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Monday, October 16, 2017

Destiny

Do you believe in destiny?
Do you believe that every word you say, every thought you have, every decision you take and every action you make, has already been decided for you and you are just acting like a puppet on a string?

Or, do you believe in free will?
You believe that you are the master of your mind, that everything you think and every decision you make is up to you and you are responsible for your own actions?

Well, if you don’t believe in free will, I have some very bad news for you.
You have to believe in free will – You have no choice!
Right?

I often talk about the Western thought and the scientific method of looking at the world.
As westerners, we tend to see the world as black and white, one way or the other, free will or determinism.
We don’t see the universe as an infinite rainbow of realities; we only see reality as true or false.

So there is another point of view I would like to tell you about, where free will and determinism are not absolutes but rather gradients, nuances, variables in a universe of infinite possibilities scenarios.

Let’s look at life as a game of cards:
At birth, you are dealt a hand. Some of us are lucky some are less fortunate.
Some are born rich some are born poor. Some are born in big powerful countries some are born in small insignificant ones. Some of us are white, black, male, female etc.

I have to make a small parenthesis here.  In the Buddhist thought of reincarnation, you chose the state of your birth and the problems of your life according to the lessons you have to learn.
So the hand you are dealt is not random at all. But that makes little or no difference.

Once you are born you start playing your hand.
In the beginning, you are actually not the one making the decisions but your parents.
Eventually, as you grow older you gain more and more independence and finally, you become the master of your own decisions, of your destiny.

Now regardless of how you believe the game is played, regardless that you believe in destiny or free will, the rules of the game does not change:
You play your hand badly, you lose.
You play your hand correctly, you win.

Looking back at your life, in retrospective, you can see the instances when you played your hand badly and you can see when you took the right decisions.  You are aware that if you have played your hand correctly if you have taken all the correct decisions, your life would have been totally different than what you have now.

I define destiny as a perfect scenario of your life, as what your life should be if playing all your hands perfectly.
The purpose of your destiny is to teach you all your lessons you need to escape the wheel of reincarnation.
The purpose of your destiny is to attain enlightenment in your lifetime.
Failing to do so will result in your death and subsequently a new reincarnation.

So how do you play your hand perfectly?
How do you know that your life is on the right path?
How do you know you are manifesting your own destiny?

When you are on the right path you know it by the way you feel.
When you are on the right path you are in what I call “the zone”.
You feel different, you are energized, you have clarity, you have energy and joy.
When you are on the path of your destiny you are confident, optimist and fearless.

When you are in “the zone” you start developing “premonition”, you start sensing the future.
You start feeling, knowing instinctively what to say and what to do.

Another sign of being on the path is “deja-vu”
You start having more and more deja-vu episodes to the point that you will experience your life like a cinematic experience.
Like watching your life unfold rather than the usual “I have no idea what’s going on” feeling of your regular life.

So, are you in the zone?
Are you playing all your hands correctly?
Are you manifesting your destiny?

If not it’s time to rock the boat, break the rules, change the course.
Like Stephen Colbert said:
“Attack your life! It’s going to kill you anyway”



Friday, October 13, 2017

Love your Enemy

Hate is a poisonous emotion eating at your soul like a cancer.

We all know that harboring negative emotions is bad for you, both spiritually and physically.
So we all try to combat negativity one way or another.
We may use prescription drugs or some not so prescribed ones or we can use a non-chemical, spiritual approach to reach that state of positive feeling.

We all have some measure of success in dealing with our shortcomings but when it comes to dealing with other people, things get a little bit more complicated. Like in this well-known instance:
“Love your Enemy!”

It sounds so right, so Christian so enlightened and because of that so overused to the point that it even sounds plausible.
That is until you try to apply it in real life and you find out that you can’t do it.
But you cannot admit it because you don’t want other people to think you are an unenlightened asshole.

Relax! You are not an asshole.
“Love your Enemy!” is just fancy bullshit and nobody actually does it, not because we haven’t tried it but because it is impossible to do.

Oh, the blasphemy!

Here is the truth; “Love your Enemy!” is a double bind just like “don’t think of a pink elephant”, “act naturally” or “love me unconditionally”
They all sound right until you look past the semantics and understand the real meaning of what is saying.

Let me translate for you:
“don’t think of a pink elephant” = don’t think what you are thinking
“act naturally” = force yourself not to force yourself
“love me unconditionally” =be unconditioned by my condition
And of course:
“Love your Enemy!” = love what you hate

You cannot satisfy a double bind because a double bind is a contradiction in terms.
Bottom line, you cannot have the cake and eat it too.

So how do we deal with the people we hate?

First, you have to understand that the opposite of love is not hate.
The opposite of love is indifference and if you don’t believe me, go ahead and try it.
There is nothing more efficient in killing a love affair than indifference.

So what is the opposite of hate, what would make hate dissipate?
The opposite of hate is compassion.
By looking at whom you hate with compassion you will rain in your hatred.
The problem is that very few people understand what compassion is and very few people practice compassion in their daily life.

Compassion is in the Western culture is defined as a “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”
So the tenant of Western civilization is “Feel compassion for the unfortunate ones and love for your enemies” while the Eastern point of view is quite opposite “Feel love for the unfortunate ones and compassion for your enemies”

I find it very hard to define what compassion is or what it feels like but I will give you an example.
Hitler, one of the most hated people ever. ]I cannot love him because I cannot love what he has done but I can look at him like this:

“Hitler is not a historical hero; he’s humanity’s greatest failure”
 “What was the hell, the pain, the hatred that has poisoned his soul so bad to turn him from a human being into a monster like that?”  

We dehumanize our enemies in order to let our hate rage.
The moment we think of our enemies as a distorted, misguided, misfortunate, tortured human beings the hatred changes into compassion.

I don’t know if I have convinced you to start practicing compassion in your life but if not, I just want to say one more thing.
Hate hurts more the person that hates than the person is hated.
Think about it.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Zen Thoughts

Buddha gathered his disciples at a lake on Gridhakuta for instruction.
His adherents sat in a circle about him eagerly awaiting his teachings.
Wordlessly Buddha reached into the muck and pulled up a single lotus flower.
He then held it high for all to see.

Practically everyone was bewildered. But then the disciple Mahakashyapa began to laugh.
Finally, Buddha handed the lotus flower to Mahakashyapa and said,
“What can be said I have said to you, and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.”
...

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

You cannot learn the truth, you can only experience and remember it.
You can learn a lot of things; you can learn how to cook, how to fix a car or you can learn a new language but you cannot learn the truth.

The truth you have learned is false because there is only one truth, reality.
Reality is the ultimate and only truth, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
And that cannot be learned.

I can tell you that you are a part of this universe, the manifestation, and materialization of the infinite intelligence of the universe.
I can tell you that your feeling of separation from the rest of the reality the belief that you are independent of the rest of the world is just a hallucination, a construct of your frightened ego.
I can tell you that you already know everything you want to know and that your ignorance is just an illusion of your Ego/

You may understand my words you will understand my meaning but you will not grasp the truth of my statement unless you recognize the truth, the reality behind my words until you remember who you are. until you break free from the prison of reason,

You cannot learn the truth.
Reality is too complex to understand. God is too complex to understand.
You can only experience and remember them.
You cannot learn and know who you are, you can only remember it.


Monday, October 9, 2017

The Mechanics of Love

When I met Emily she was working as a salesperson, although she had a degree in journalism and dreamed of being a writer. 
She had taken this sales job, after graduating from college, as a temporary job, until she would get a “real” job, doing what she loved. 
Somehow she got stuck paying her bills and never made it out of sales into the publishing world.

She was in her mid 30’s now. She lived by the ocean in a small, rented apartment that cost her a fortune and sucked up more than half of her salary. She drove an old, beat-up Volvo station wagon and it looked like her life was going nowhere really slow.

What amazed me about her was how bright she was and how hard she worked for her meager salary.
Being the rude, crude, pushy individual that you all are suspecting under this Buddhist robe, I started pushing her to get a life or get control of her life or do something.

I don’t know if it was the prospect of financial independence and the freedom of pursuing her dreams, or if she did it just to stop me from my incessant nagging, but one day she quit her job and started her own business of selling medical supplies.

She was intelligent, articulate, honest, genuine, dedicated and she worked her but off 24/7.
To no one's surprise, after a couple of months, she landed some major clients and the money started pouring in.

Gone were the days of coupon clipping and discount stores. She was making more money that she had ever dreamed.
So, the first thing she wanted to do with her newfound wealth, was to get rid of her old Volvo and get a new car.

- I am getting a Porsche! - She announced me with a big green on her face.
- Are you out of your mind? – I said – You don’t need a Porsche for? A Porsche is for middle age males with penis size and erectile problems.
Get yourself a new Volvo if a new car is what you want.
- You are just an old fashion square, an Easter European male chauvinist. 
This is America where a woman can be and have anything she wants! 
When I was in college I wanted a Porsche but I couldn’t afford it. I promised myself that if I ever become successful I would get one, and that is what I’m going to do!

So she did. She bought herself a top of the line Porsche convertible, but there were some minor problems with this car.
First: This was 25 years ago, well before laptop computers and PowerPoint, when salespeople carried around overhead projectors, presentation boards, product samples and other bulky visual aids. 

Also, a Porsche wouldn’t take out to lunch more than one client at the time and it had to be a slim and limber one, to get in and out of the car.

And last, but not least, this marvel of German engineering was a stick shift and Emily as talented and creative as she was, did not have any mechanical acumen. – I can still hear the grinding of gears and the squeal of the clutch burning up.

So, to no surprise, the Porsche ended up in a garage for repairs and continued to spend more time with the mechanic than with Emily. – Not to mention the 3-5 thousand dollars bills she had to pay each time.

Pretty soon Emily started missing her appointments and losing her accounts and a financial disaster loomed around the corner.
She needed a reliable car. 
Forced by the circumstances she got rid of the Porsche and bought a brand new Volvo station wagon.

She was not very happy with her new car, in the beginning, but as her business started to pick up again, her affection for her new Volvo grew and eventually, she fell in love with it.
I know that because she gave it a nickname and when girls nicknames their cars, that means love.

So what the hell buying a car has to do with relationships? You may ask.
Well, this is the deal: 
What do you choose in a relationship; the person that you want or the person that you need?

It looks to me that in the USA everybody is looking for Mr. and Ms. Right. For a Porsche, not a Volvo.
Like a guy I know – can’t mention his name – that got a trophy wife and found himself in a divorce court after a year or so.
What do you expect when you marry a $6000 pair of tits? A woman that cooks, does laundry and cleans after you? I think not.

Mr. and Ms. Right are nice to take out and show off to your jealous friends and relatives but that is about it. Just as it is with a Porsche.
If you dream of living on a ranch and having horses around, you don’t need a Porsche you need – dare I say it – a Pickup Truck!

Yes, boys and girls we all want to marry Angelina Jolly and Brad Pitt but would your relationship last more than 24 hours? Yeah, sure, keep on dreaming!

If you really want a relationship that lasts. A relationship that is more than a fa├žade, somebody to be your friend, support and mate for the rest of your life you have to learn a new word “COMPATIBLE” 
So forget about Mr. and Ms. Right and start looking around for something else:
Who is your Volvo?


Friday, October 6, 2017

The Metaphysics of Money

So, are we spirit with a physical body or are we animated material bodies with a spirit?
The little voice inside my head is screaming “I am a spirit, you dummy!” but my lower back pain is killing me – old story – and it is damn hard to ignore the pain no matter how enlightened I think I am.
So I’ll have to leave the answer to you – other people he seems to know better who and what I am.

Either you are a spirit or not, you can’t ignore the things around you.
We depend on things, we need and buy things, we crave and desire things, things are a necessity, they are part of our life and like it or not, they define us as individuals and as species.
We are humans because we are the only animal that can make and use things. Right?
It is only when we started to build and use tools that the human civilization took off and brought us where we are now today.
Some will argue that is the brink of extinction but nobody will argue that the human success as a species on this planet is due to our ability to make things.

But what are things and why do we need them?
Things are “Enhancers” they amplify, magnify, expedite, intensify, speed up and multiply.
Cars, trains and airplanes are nothing but things that make us go faster.
A gun is nothing but a human killing amplifier.
Although cars in USA are killing more people than guns and that might put a hole in my theory – hey let's ban the use of cars! - just a brain fart :)
But you get the idea. Things are making our life easier in a way or another.
At least in theory.

What about money?
Money is a piece of paper to hard and too small to even wipe your ass.
Why and how is money so important and so good and evil at the same time?
Money is a thing that can be anything, therefore its “enhancing” power it is not limited to one thing; it could be speed if you buy a plane ticket or shelter if you buy a house, it can even be unconditional love. No not a hooker... I was thinking more like a puppy :)
Because of this potential money has, it makes it into an amplifier of your whole life, of who you are as a person.
Hence, a nice person will be 10 - 100 times nicer if he has money while an asshole will be 10 - 100 times a bigger asshole if he has money.

This little metaphysical trick was used by some charlatan guru – I don’t remember his name but I know he had one Rolls Royce car for every day of the year.
So this crook promised to make you happy if you renounce your money – and obviously give it to him.
The truth is that he did not make anybody happier but rather by removing the magnifying power of the money, his victims just felt less miserable.
You can see the reverse of this power on people that win millions of dollars on the lottery.
Within a year from the big win 99% of them are worse than before!
Money does not lift them up out of their misery it is the other way around, it makes their misery even bigger!

So now here is the answer many have asked since the invention of money:
Why doesn’t God help me with money when I am down, bitter, unhappy and miserable?
Because God loves you! That’s why.
And also:
Why does God suddenly blesses me with all this money when I am happy and content with what I have and my life?
Because God loves you! That’s why.

So before you ask God for money ask yourself.
Am I happy? Am I content and at peace within and without?
Because if your house is on fire you are just asking God to pour some gasoline on you!!!
Yep, be careful what you wish for:
– You might get it.