Archive for the ‘Reality’ Tag

Qualities of Nature Are Human Construct

 


 

The accepted view of reality holds that human beings exist in the context of a vast physical universe “out there.” I doubt this description because there are no color, sound, textures, patterns, scent, and beauty – nothing of this kind in the natural world. All these qualities from the fragrance of jasmine to the sting of a honey bee and the taste of honey are produced by human beings, essentially the same as photon quanta of light has no color, such qualities are only in the biology of perception and the organs or capacities for perception that are subtle and, in a sense, invisible. There are capacities for inner seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and so on that have to do with the perception of the inner realm. There are capacities for intuition, direct cognition, synthesis, discrimination, and so on. All of these capacities are fueled by the substance of essence…These organs or capacities are connected to various energetic centers in the body that animate both the body and the human mind.

The existence of the physical universe “out there” and our participation in such a universe must be seriously questioned!

It All Happens For A Reason


It is a fact that we don’t see all there is before us, our eyes ability is limited to see this dimension only, our brains filter out other information that it deems is unnecessary. What we conceive as reality in our minds may all be an illusion created by our mind, thus becoming the greatest lie of all. It is true that we alone are the sole architect who can create and form our reality. Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling? The human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly; distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.

Imagination is all an illusion, a vision of what was, is, could be, a conception of a thought brought into reality by the wandering of an ever restless mind. Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces. Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.

As you perceive reality When you argue with reality you are going to loose. I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal. Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it. Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. Until we realize that things might not be we cannot realize that things are. Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.

Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality. People see the world not as it is, but as they are. Reality is not always probable, or likely. Don’t dwell on reality; it will only keep you from greatness. Reality bites… and doesn’t let go. One might speak to great length of the three corners of reality what was seen, what was thought to be seen, and what was thought ought to be seen. Time and memory are true artists; they remold reality nearer to the heart’s desire. There are some people, who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other. Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.

The reality of life is that your perceptions — right or wrong — influence everything else you do. When you get a proper perspective of your perceptions, you may be surprised how many other things fall into place. There are intangible realities which float near us, formless and without words; realities which no one has thought out, and which are excluded for lack of interpreters. It takes only one other person to say it’s so-one other point of reality to make something real.


Body, Mind & Spirit



Clarifying your aspiration, unconditional follow-through, never abdicating your authority, practicing absolute sincerity and being a good steward of your life are the five foundations bedrock on which the spiritual liberation rests. They should not be ignored, skimmed over, or taken lightly. In a very real sense, the five foundations are absolutely essential components of the liberation that apply after awakening as much as, if not more than, before it. Don’t be deceived into thinking that the five foundations are insignificant or rudimentary simply because they appear to be attuned more to the human, or relative, aspect of reality. The five foundations are a means of living and manifesting the ultimate nature of reality in daily life. If we do not live and manifest in our lives what we realize in our deepest moments of revelation, then we are living a split life.

Furthermore, clarifying your aspiration, unconditional follow-through, never abdicating your authority, practicing absolute sincerity and being a good steward of your life provides the context within which the liberation unfolds. Misinterpretation of a spiritual teaching by the ego is always a significant danger, since the ego’s tendency is to justify whatever points of view it is attached to and invested in.

To add to this danger, any spiritual teaching rooted in the absolute nature of reality is by definition oriented toward Truth, not toward the ethical and moral dimension of relative life. This does not mean that such teachings are immoral, it means that they are trans-moral; that is, rooted in a reality beyond the relative moral and ethical standards of the dualistic perspective.

This does not mean that all morality is rendered irrelevant in the absolute view; this is a common misunderstanding. It means that morality is no longer rooted in the cultural and religious values designed to rein in and control egoistic impulses. Instead, selfless love and compassion naturally flow out of the unified view of reality as spontaneous expressions of that unity. When nothing is seen to be separate or other than you, the actions that flow through you reflect that unified perspective.

It can get complicated because it is possible to have some experience of the ultimate nature of reality while at the same time not being completely free of egoistic delusion. This makes for the possible volatile mixture of reality and illusion simultaneously existing and expressing itself in an unconscious and distorted way. While some of this is to be expected as we are maturing in spirit, there are few things more distorted or dangerous than an ego that thinks it is God.

If these foundational aspects of the spiritual life are ignored, it will almost always derail one’s spiritual unfolding to some degree. A failure to explore and come to clarity about any one of these, as well as to consistently apply them, will result in ongoing inner and outer conflict and division at some level.

The five foundations are a means of gathering all of your inner resources—body, mind, and spirit—and focusing them in a unified way toward your highest aspiration. I cannot overemphasize the importance of having a clear unified focus, sincere heart, and an unwavering desire not to knowingly delude yourself or others.


Our Normal Waking Consciousness



Changing the external world has been the genius and the obsession of our civilization. In the last two centuries, the Western monotheistic cultures have faced outward and moved objects about with astonishing efficiency. In more recent years, however, our culture has become aware of a disturbing imbalance. We have become aware of the undiscovered universe within, of the uncharted regions of consciousness.

This dialectic trend is not new. The cycle has occurred in the lives of many cultures and individuals. External material success is followed by disillusion and the basic "why" questions, and then by the discovery of the world within—a world infinitely more complex and rich than the artifactual structures of the outer world, which after all are, in origin, projections of human imagination. Eventually, the logical conceptual mind turns on itself, recognizes the foolish inadequacy of the flimsy systems it imposes on the world, suspends its own rigid control, and overthrows the domination of cognitive experience.

The politics of the nervous system is certainly as complicated and certainly as important as external politics. The politics of the nervous system involves the mind against the brain, the tyrannical verbal brain disassociating itself from the organism and world of which it is a part, censoring, alerting, and evaluating. Thus appears the fifth freedom—freedom from the learned, and cultural mind, freedom to expand one’s consciousness beyond artifactual cultural knowledge. The freedom to move from constant preoccupation with the verbal games—the social games, the game of self—to the joyous unity of what exists beyond.

This is an issue that has been considered for centuries by mystics, by philosophers of the religious experience, by those rare and truly great scientists who have been able to move in and then out beyond the limits of the science game. It was seen and described clearly by the great American psychologist William James: Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens; there lies potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness, definite types of mentality which probably somewhere have their field of application and adaptation.

No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded. How to regard them is the question, for they are so discontinuous with ordinary consciousness. Yet they may determine attitudes though they cannot furnish formulas, and open a region though they fail to give a map. At any rate, they forbid a premature closing of our accounts with reality.


Right Now, Say Yes to the Life You‘re Living


The day comes when the risk to remain tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom. There is scarcely any happiness, passion or success without struggle. Life is a constant climb, but the journey is rewarding and the view is great. It’s just a matter of pushing forward when the going gets tough. What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? It is our attitude towards it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity. You have to create more opportunities than you are handed in this world, and you have to design them with your own blood, sweat and tears. The effort, however, is well worth it.

It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something is difficult to come by, you will do that much more to make sure it’s even harder or impossible to lose. There is no shortage of problems waiting to be addressed. When you see problems piled on top of problems, and when there seems to be no end comes discontent which is the principal necessity of positive growth, but only if you do something constructive with it. Without deviation from what you’ve been doing, progress is not possible. Don’t be someone who goes through greater lengths to avoid change than you do to obtain what you desire. You must define and embrace the necessary changes that move you forward.

Your life will begin to improve when you define precisely what improvement means to you. The agonies and frustrations will start to ease only when you have something real and positive to replace them with. Be specific. Happiness is not a goal, it’s the result of a life well lived. The question is: How do you want to live going forward? To effectively move away from an unfavorable situation, you must decide exactly where you wish to go. Create a formidable intention for yourself, and feed that intention with the passion and energy that is in your desire for change. Go beyond your discontent for what is, and instead focus on imagining and creating the best of what is possible. Clearly, know where you wish to go, and then take the first real step that gets you there.

There is no shortage of problems waiting to be addressed. When you see problems piled on top of problems, and when there seems to be no end to the work that must be done in order to resolve them, what are you really seeing? You’re looking at a mountain of opportunity. You’re looking at a situation in which you can truly make a difference. You’re looking at an environment where you can reach great heights by raising the stakes and pulling the reality of what’s possible along with you. When you look at a problem, but see opportunity instead, you become a powerful source that transforms grief into greatness. There is no shortcut to a great achievement. There is no substitute for doing the work. Meditate on this every day: I will do the work. As Einstein says, genius is 1 percent talent and 99 percent hard work. You must run to be a runner. You must write to be a writer. You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business.

By all means, find ways to be more efficient in your work. But make no mistake that it takes diligent effort to build something worthwhile. There are certainly some success stories out there about people who excelled rather quickly, but you will usually find they had put in years of related work long before anyone was paying attention to their seemingly rapid success. In other words, their current state of achievement is simply all those years of work coming together flawlessly in the present.

Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed. Lack of focus, not lack of ability, is the most common problem that holds people back from their potential. We all have strengths and difficulties, and we all have the same twenty-four hour days and seven-day weeks to work with. If you find it difficult to deal with where you are, or how life is treating you, it’s time to change your focus. Start focusing on what you want going forward. Set a specific goal, keep your routine centered on it, and you’ll find the strength to move steadily in a positive direction. When you focus on the right thing, even the difficult steps will seem easier. The burdens of the moment become much more bearable when you connect with the purpose behind them.

Your time, energy, and resources will get used no matter how well you focus them. By choosing to focus properly, you get the highest return for the efforts you invest in your life. Our thoughts about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be. The reality you live through daily is a process of your thinking. You are essentially who you design yourself to be—most of what you experience is the direct result of your own creation. This reality cannot be changed without first changing your thinking.

There are lots of inherent events in life that occur completely independently of you—birth, death, loss, sickness, aging, and unexpected changes of all kinds—but these life events do not have to cause ongoing confusion and suffering. They happen, you experience a little stress, you adjust, and you move forward. The problem occurs when you don’t adjust and move forward, when your mind clings to these events in a negative light and intensifies their significance into perpetuity. If your mind does this, of course, it completely overlooks the subtle feelings of excitement, adventure, love, and joy that come from the essence of overcoming a new challenge. Ninety nine percent of the time the discontent and frustration you feel is entirely your own creation. If you dwell on the positive thoughts and possibilities at least as much as you dwell on negative thoughts and painful emotions, life’s challenges help you improve your reality.

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. No matter what you’re going to make mistakes; it’s an unavoidable truth. But the good news is; if you follow your heart and intuition, the mistakes you make will be steps in the right direction. Just because you fail once at something doesn’t mean you’re going to fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on and believe in yourself. Keep your head held high, your chin up, and above all, smile, because the most beautiful part of it all is that there’s so much left to smile about.

Life is what you make it. It is a wild rollercoaster. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does, and then just when you think it can’t get any better, it does. Every day is a beautiful mystery. Let go of yesterday’s mistakes and enjoy the mystery as it unfolds today. For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain. What you must realize is that you don’t really need more time; you just need to appreciate life in the current time. It’s a beautiful and bitter way of thinking all at once. If you don’t have what you want now, you don’t have what you want, but you still have a lot. Be thankful for what is; and also be thankful for what has not yet come to you, for that means there are still many possibilities available to you.

Find peace in the thought that you can’t ever have it all or know it all. You are always just a fraction of the whole. For if you weren’t, there would be nothing more to experience. Value what you know, and also value the countless things you don’t yet understand. For in what you do not understand, there is the joy of growth. Life will always be incomplete and a bit asymmetrical. Realize this and embrace it. Be happy and sad at the same time, be hungry and thankful at the same time, be nervous and excited at the same time, and be okay with it.

Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith. Believe in yourself through tough times. Believe in your capacity to succeed. Believe that your relationships are worth the effort. Believe that people make mistakes on their way to greatness. Believe that people can be foolish and intelligent, selfish and generous, and stressed and happy all at once. Believe that very few people hurt others on purpose. Believe that there are many roads to what’s right. Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths. Believe that the answers are out there waiting. Believe that life will surprise you again and again. Believe that the journey is the destination. Believe that it’s all worth your while.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. Regardless of what’s happened in the past or what might happen in the future, it’s being here now that’s important. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t edit it; we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if it will ever come. This moment – right now – is your life. Say yes to it. Don’t ignore it by pretending that you’re living in some other time and place. You aren’t – doing so is impossible. The only life you can live is the only life there is – the moment you are in right now. Ignoring this fact is reckless. Ignoring it is denying reality, and denying reality is rejecting the entire process of living.

Start paying attention to the present. Start paying attention to your life. Right now, say yes to the life you‘re living and notice how it starts to flow with you rather than against you.


Return to Oneness and Reality


All sentient beings are nothing but the one mind, beside which nothing exists. This mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It does not belong to the categories of things which exist or do not exist, nor can it be thought of in terms of time, past or future. The pure mind is the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. I am so close, I may look distant. So completely mixed with you, I may look separate. So out in the open, I appear hidden, so silent, because I am constantly talking with you.

A human is part of the whole called universe, but he experiences himself as separate, an optical delusion of his consciousness. Consciousness is the source and creator of everything we know. Consciousness is the only absolute, unquestionable truth. Two sages and two scientists, far apart in time and culture, all say essentially the same thing. There is only one reality, and that reality is Divine Consciousness. All else in existence is a thought of that one mind, and is sustained by thought. As Rumi and Einstein point out, all thoughts projected by the one mind, remains an indivisible part of that mind, including you.

You have the grand privilege of not only being sustained by the thoughts of source; you also share that consciousness and have the ability to create with your own thoughts. But as Einstein observed, we have chosen to ignore our oneness with all that is and cling to thoughts of separation and concepts of duality.

Consciousness is the vehicle of free will. You are always free to continue choosing separation, but your freedom also includes returning to thoughts of Oneness, returning to Reality!


It Is Itself Now


Reading about non-dual, mystical approach to spirituality you will find many obvious and deep resonances not only with the Buddha’s teachings but with the depth teachings of all the great systems of awakening and non-duality. You appreciate deeply of Buddha Dharma and also investigate into emptiness, into the very practical and immediate application of emptiness in meditation and in opening up the mind and heart

If love leads one to the point of the extinction of personality in the fire of truth, awareness can lead him to the point of seeing that ego does not really exist, and hence achieve the same goal of selflessness. Love melts the lover into the ocean of truth; there remain no traces of an “I”. Awareness, on the other hand, cuts through the illusion of a separate identity. It exposes the lie of ego: that it exists as a reality. Love melts ego away, while awareness is like turning on the light and seeing that there is nobody there. The outcome is the same in both cases, but the flavor of the path is different. One is more emotional, the other more insightful. The vocabularies of the two paths differ as a result. The path of love seeks union with the Beloved, while the path of awareness seeks the seeing of naked Reality. Just as prayer is the central practice in the path of love, meditation is the central practice in the path of awareness.

Meditation is a very fine art. Meditation is the center and the heart of all Buddhist schools. Without meditation there is really no Buddhism. Buddhism has more of a mental flavor than most other religions. It deals with the mind. Buddhism discusses mind. Sufis speak more of the Heart. This does not mean that the Buddhist Mind and the Sufi Heart are two different things. When Buddhists say Mind they don’t mean what we usually understand to be mind. When the Sufis mention the Heart they don’t mean what we call heart. The flavors of the two approaches are different because for the lower levels of spiritual experience there is a distinction between mind and heart.

The practicing of just bare attention, being mindful of my experience is the main meditation practice that I have done for years. This meditation is not an easy practice by any means, although it sounds so. Just attending to whatever I experience puts me right away in touch with the first noble truth of Buddhism, the truth of suffering. Almost all this time there is suffering in my experience, whether in me or in the world around me. This suffering and pain is a prime cause for the lowering of awareness in each of us. We just want to avoid pain at any cost, and being asleep and unaware is the most effective means. But we cannot avoid pain without lowering our awareness. So cultivating awareness brings me face to face with suffering, mine and everybody else’s.

But suffering and pain are not the only difficulties in the practice of meditation. Beyond all the tricks and defenses of ego, lie levels of experience and consciousness that are so subtle and so intangible that the meditator can be stuck for years without even knowing it. An accomplished and experienced meditation teacher is necessary, for this is a person who knows the terrain from experience and can guide the person who has never been to such places.

Insight meditation develops and cultivates insight. At the beginning insight is psychological in nature. I see my ego patterns, my ways of handling my experience, my ways of avoiding reality, my conflicts, my emotional problems, and so on. So it is awareness of my personality or my ego. This is natural for this is what is there at the beginning.

However, awareness does not stop here. In fact, awareness does not need an object. It can be just pure awareness. It can be only aware of itself. So after a while, sometimes a very long while, the content of experience starts to slow and quiet down. With consistent practice thoughts calm down, emotions quiet down, and we become very calm, very still, very peaceful.

The level of experience shifts now that there is enough stillness for us to see more clearly. We become aware of this observer in us who is paying attention. We cannot pay attention without somebody paying attention to something. First I think this is ordinary and okay. I learned, however, that this observer is not really needed. The need for an observer is the need for ego to have a center, to make itself into a center of experience. So the observer is really none other than ego, or part of ego.

I start seeing that awareness cannot develop more if it is centered. A center of awareness, an observer, always limits awareness, for it is always aware through a certain perspective, a certain point of view, from a certain direction. This somehow has a cramping effect on me. I become tense instead of relaxed. An observer means there is tension in my awareness, it’s not open and free. Now I turn my awareness backward and look at the observer. It jumps around, and awareness keeps following it. But awareness never finds any substantial reality to this observer. Regardless of how much I look there is really no observer. Sometimes it feels that it is only a thought, or an idea, or a place in my body, or a belief in its existence, but never a consistent identity. Not finding this observer makes it less real. The center of awareness relaxes its tense grip on awareness. The ego-center or the observer in this case, relaxes, spreads thinner, and slowly dissolves into the stillness. There is no more need for an observer.

Only stillness is left fresh, clear, crisp and empty. Thoughts pass through it. Emotions pass through it. Experiences pass through it. But the stillness stays immaculate, just as the clear sky stays untouched as the clouds pass through it. The winds blow. The rivers flow. The fires gnaw, but stillness is still, still.

There is a feeling of lightness, of joy, of freedom. There is a sense of naturalness with a crystal kind of clarity, just as snow-covered mountains feel natural and clear. Awareness is no longer tense. It loses its attachment and active bent. It becomes more passive, like a receptacle. Everything comes to it. This is an important transition; for usually we exert a lot of effort to pay attention, and letting go and just being feels scary. I always thought before that I would miss seeing something if I did not actively look. But I saw that I only created strain this way, and also this active awareness is really more paranoia than anything else. When I let go, and trust that awareness is naturally there and I don’t have to make an effort, awareness becomes bigger, brighter, and easier. It’s like seeing everything, being aware of everything at the same time, effortlessly. It’s like a panoramic view, but not from above, nor from any direction. It’s like awareness is everywhere, and nothing is missed or overlooked. There is no concern or fear of missing something.

All kinds of experiences happen in many new regions and spaces of the mind. Deep spaces, empty spaces, spacious spaces, soft spaces, dark spaces, light spaces, and joyous spaces happen in mind. The space itself, like stillness, becomes the object of awareness, and awareness goes deeper and deeper into it. Sometimes there is an uninterrupted space of stillness, or openness, without thoughts or feelings or any kind of content. It’s like a totally empty sky. Yet, slowly I discover that there is something like an atmosphere when the experience is happening. This atmosphere somehow colors the experience, gives it a certain flavor, which is reminiscent of myself. This insight cuts through the mental atmosphere and more openness manifests.

Awareness becomes sharper, brighter. There is a feeling of less crowdedness, as if the atmosphere got thinner and lighter. I learn that such mental atmospheres are the action of concepts. I view reality through certain concepts. That’s what I have been doing all my life, and so has everybody else. We always experience reality through the filter of our concepts of reality. Even when thoughts, feelings, and sensations subside there remains the conceptual atmosphere through which I look at reality. It’s like instead of reflecting reality in a clear mirror; I do so using a colored mirror; so I believe that reality has that color instead of seeing that it is my mirror that is colored.

At superficial levels the concepts are in words and thought. Awareness can see through these easily. However, on subtler levels there are mental concepts without even thoughts. They are beliefs about reality taken as aspects of reality, so they become imperceptible. They are very subtle for they are all-pervading. It’s like being in a colored atmosphere that colors everything in it with the same color, including me. So I naturally believe that this color is an aspect of reality. There is no way to discriminate this color, this concept, this filter. The result is that reality is not seen directly, perception is still veiled. Reality is still not totally naked.

Here intuitive awareness starts to develop. It is like a light that pierces through these concepts. Intuitive awareness is sometimes called discriminating wisdom, for it has the capacity to discriminate those subtle concepts that veil what is. Development of intuitive awareness is really the aim of being mindful of my experience. Here, real insight starts to mature. It is no longer insight into the dynamics of the personality. It is insight into the nature of reality and the nature of consciousness. Gradually, intuitive awareness cuts through these concepts, like the sword cutting through the veils, revealing reality as it is—naked existence. No coloration, no filtering. It is direct perception. It is the experience of emptiness, the void.

Void does not mean empty of content like an empty container. It is just what is without the conceptual framework on top of it. It is direct perception without the naming or labeling of reality. It is reality without the presence of ego, without the presence of a center for experience. Experience is totally open. Experience does not have a center. Experience does not have a boundary. Everything is the same as before except that it is without my prejudices or beliefs. It is itself now.


 

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