Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Two Choices!!
THE TWO CHOICE (Life or Death)
One of the most common questions spiritual seekers ask is:
“When I listen to the satsang videos I feel clear but the moment something negative happens I am back to square one. How can I keep stable in my awareness of the Truth?”
You are a human being and therefore convinced that you are living in duality. Since the human and the Being are opposites in values and interpretation of life we get ‘caught’ in a quandary between the two. Thus, there seem to be two choices. The human choice is so conditioned that before we even have a chance to see what is happening, out of habit and familiarity, we keep choosing it unconsciously. To top it all, we are also convinced unconsciously (and might not want to admit it) that we are this human part more than the Being part.
In Truth, there aren’t two separate parts of us but only Being. It is like looking at ourselves in a mirror and believing that we are that reflection rather than the One looking into it. In other words, we have identified with the human so much that whether it is real is not even ever challenged. The human is only a reflection of Being that has taken on the characteristics of the conditioned mind.
The Conditioned Mind
The conditioned mind is so-called because it is the product of our induction into the physical life. Our parents brought us with values inherited from their parents, schooled and educated in their limited tradition, nationality and religion plus whatever values of their inner life according to the ways in which their inner life was viewed. This is not wrong but simply a conditioned viewpoint like hypnosis. Hypnosis refers to the unconscious values that lie unchallenged (unquestioned) in our subconscious mind. We are hypnotized in their belief. Beliefs are NOT reality because they can be shaken whereas Truth cannot be shaken. Here are some belief systems and their result -- Muslims believe that anyone outside their belief-system is an infidel. Christians believe that theirs is the truth yet both religions have created great division from Oneness. Besides these limiting beliefs, we are conditioned by cultural differences that have caused wars and inhuman cruelty. What is being said here is this – we are not criticizing beliefs per se but saying that anything that separates us from Oneness takes us away from Oneness.
You are NOT this conditioning
If you have traveled the world then you have broadened your mind enough to see how each culture in the world holds different value systems. They are conditioned values that narrow our view of our Being nature. We do not reject these values but expand them to include even opposing beliefs.
When you start awakening to your true Being nature you start seeing how limited your conditioning is and it is both shocking and frightening. It is shocking because we never challenged our values before we started seeking a broader perspective, and frightening because we see that we are NOT who we thought we were at all. Yet something intuitive inside us (our Being) beckons us to follow this broader path and when we listen to satsang videos we resonate with this Truth since it is already known by our Being nature. However, the familiarity of our conditioning will draw us back, almost instantly, the moment we forget what we just heard at satsang.
Ego is conditioned suffering
It is these conditioned beliefs that create the back-and-forth swing from stabilizing into Truth of Being. This back and forth between human and Being will continue until we are ready to commit our human values to forgiveness. The word ‘forgiveness’ is a term abhorrent to the ego. Once we start recognizing the truth about forgiveness, we will see that it takes much less energy to forgive than to indulge in our lower values.
When we indulge in self-defense of our ego system of thinking we suffer. Yet this suffering is so familiar to us that we might prefer it to Being at the moment of being hurt. For instance, suppose in childhood you did not experience much warmth and approval, then as an adult you feel a deep gnawing lack inside you. This lack or low self-worth had become so much a part of your value system (habit of thinking) that even your self-image has become hypnotized into your viewpoint of life and self.
Ego creates unconscious guilt
This self-image of lack (separation from Oneness) which we have taken to be who we are creates an unconscious guilt that seeks self-punishment because it doesn’t deserve love. Love, being Oneness itself, does not reside on the level of our immediate awareness and that’s why it is called unconscious guilt. It is an itch that can’t be scratched and so whenever we are confronted by some lack either in communication or thinking, we react without realizing the extent of that reaction.
Our reactions from resentment to violence are triggered by this unconscious guilt image of ourselves. It resides as a frozen center within us. We often ‘lose it’ emotionally and even become violent and bitchy. However again, because it is so familiar to us and because we feel we deserve punishment we hold-on to this melodrama rather than forgive it. Somehow this melodrama justifies our value system of who we believe we are.
Spiritual seeking as an escape
Now here’s another devious way of conditioning called ‘spiritual distraction.’ Spiritual distraction’ among seekers is so common that it escapes awareness entirely. For an example of spiritual distraction – Mary has now become totally well-versed in the words of spirituality namely the terms ‘Oneness’ or ‘egolessness’ or ‘pure awareness’ or Truth and believes she knows the Truth. This distraction is a common strategy of the conditioned human not to look at its own escapes from Truth. It is a way to pat itself on the back as being spiritual while still indulging in self-defensive tactics and ego thinking. When it sees that it is getting caught then it feels guilty rather than inquire “who is it that is feeling guilty?” In other words, these escapes from truth are so common that the simple knowing of forgiveness, commitment to truth and abiding as the Truth are elusive and avoided.
Tug-of-war between human & Being
Our life becomes a tug-of-war between human and Being. At this point we keep choosing ‘death’ rather than Life. This appears to be so because at this ‘stage’ there seems to be two choices (which in Truth do not exist at all). We are actually choosing death every time we indulge in ego rather than Life.
It is all a choice between Life or Death
Why is it called ‘death’? Death is that which kills the spirit in us. It makes us heavy, tense, stressed out, mentally tired, bored, doubtful, guilty, fearful and incredibly frightened of the future.
On the other hand we have Life. Life is radiance, aliveness, Nowness, ISness, Truth, happiness, forgiveness and allowing with full acceptance. Life is innocent and does not dwell on the idea of sin, wrong or that which is not-good. In fact…
True Life is so innocent that it can be likened to a child or kitten and puppy in their innocence. This ‘Life’ value system doesn’t see wrong or sin but love everywhere.
So initially the spiritual seeker is torn between life and death. Again, why do we call it Life and Death? The terms are so appropriate that they hit the mark just by seeing the words. The ego believes in death and in fact he/she is frightened of dying and won’t even think about it. The innocent Life, on the other hand, loves Life so much that death is not frightening simply because there is no death ever. The innocent can see this clearly that death happens only to the individual and there isn’t one.
How do we forgive ‘death-thinking?’
How do we forgive death-thinking? Forgiveness is also known as quantum forgiveness which means that there is no action taken to forgive. Forgiveness (fore-giveness) is giving forth the belief in death to allow Life to take its place with no ‘buts’ ‘what-ifs’ or any holding on to death.
Death is that which has an end to it; it deteriorates, it hides, it fears, it destroys itself, it rots and finally disappears or gets lost in darkness.
Life, on the other hand, sees clearly through its innocence that such limitation are only the creation of the ego-mind.
Forgiveness is seeing that there is nothing to forgive simply because death is an ego-creation.
Life is ever flowing and has no beginning or end. It is our true Home. Jesus called it “The Kingdom of God.” It is all that is beautiful, pure, innocent, loving, open, trusting, unworldly and joyous. Life is eternal and knows no limitations, no boundaries and has infinite possibilities. It looks at everyone with pure innocent love and trust and even though it sees the world of darkness and death it is still untouched without denying its illusory existence.
Innocence does not deny this illusory world of pain but looks beyond it.
So, how does one forgive?
Let’s take it step-by-step -- say that your conditioned self is confronted with a challenge whether it is financial, work-related, relationship-related or self-related.
The immediate response of the ego-self is worry, anger, irritation, rage or depression and escape. This immediate response is immediately seen for what it is and that’s the first step. In our conditioned human state, death always speaks first.
Once we become aware of this ‘death’ experience we acknowledge how the body is experiencing that death through churning stomach, heart palpitations, maybe hot and cold shivers, trembling, heat building up to a pitch as if ready to explode in violence or anger or simply holding-it-in and becomes depression or apathy or indifference (all different forms of death).
Now having become aware of this ‘death’ feeling experienced as sensation in the body, simply acknowledge it to yourself and allow yourself to see your reaction and how you indulge in it. This is something you can do if you have understood the two choices of human and Being.
Fourth and final step:
At this point there’s not much you can do but sit down for a moment, take a few deep breaths and say, “I choose Life because I am Life and it is forgiven.” Then go in front of a mirror and reflect this Life in your face. The face of death is morose, sunken, heavy and avoids direct eye-contact. The face of Life, on the other hand, is willing to smile and even brighten the eyes. This becomes fore-giveness and it alters the conditioned aspects of death into Life. When we awaken fully then it is simply that we keep choosing Life and not death. It is a choice between Truth and falsehood. It is this simple, and there is no ‘doing’ per se but an awareness of love and giving forth that love.
What would be the results of this ‘practice’?
This might not alter your sensations of fear and pain but having gone through the steps with sincerity you have actually erased any future karmic consequences from your emotional trigger (which inevitably follow when no awareness is allowed). As you continue asking the Holy Spirit (“I AM” essence of you) for help then this ‘practice’ becomes a fast way to inner freedom.
The gradual transformation from worldly harshness and crudeness to innocence and sweetness is a joy to behold.