SHARE

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Spirituality Ego Trip

The ONE is nonduality, it preludes reality, and it is the source of all existence and non-existence.
All consciousness from the simplest to the self-consciousness, rises from the ONE as waves rise from the ocean, and after their journey in the duality world, all consciousness returns to the source, to the ONE.

I have discussed this metaphysical concept, at large, in some of my previous blogs but today this will be just a brief introduction to the subject at hand “The Spiritual Ego Trip”  
So, what is the Ego and what is an Ego trip?

As we are born we still have the quality of non-duality, that means the newborn and very young babies have no knowledge of “Good” or “Bad” we are pure Spirit encapsulated in a meat, bones and skin bag. 
We must learn what pain is in order to know what pleasure is, we have to learn what a lie is in order to know what truth is, we have to learn what hate is in order to know what love is. In short, we must know the evil in order to know the good.

This may sound harsh but without losing our innocence we wouldn’t be able to survive in the material world. This is our original sin “eating the apple from the tree of knowledge”
Along with the knowledge, we also learn how to speak and how to reason using language and symbols.
We are also indoctrinated in the concept of identity.

You are no longer a manifestation of God part of all that there is but a separate individual, a human.
To enforce that identity, you are given a label, a name and a role you have to play – to be John the son or Mary the daughter of your parents. Usually, after that, you are assigned another role “the student role”

Sometime around 7 years old +-  our learned function “the reason” connects to the assigned identity.
and thinking becomes predominant over all the other functions of the Spirit; intuition, imagination, creativity.
If you are lucky some of your talents may be nourished and further develop or unlucky and have all your talents be suppressed and never develop.

It is in the teenage period when the reason reaches the stage of self-consciousness “the I think therefore I am” form. At that time, the Ego takes control from the Spirit and asserts itself as the true identity of the human experience. Our Ego trips multiply. We are sports fans, boyfriend, and girlfriend, democrat or republican, Christian or Muslim, athlete or cheerleader etc.

But these Ego trips are just the introduction to the big roles, father, mother, engineer, teacher, entrepreneur or worker etc. Just ask anybody who are you and they will answer with the assigned label and role. Nobody has any clue that, that is just an Ego trip not the real identity of the “I”

The development of the Ego imposes the Ego qualities over our personality overshadowing the qualities of our Spirit. All Ego qualities arise from the belief in its separate state from everything as opposed to the spirit that knows it is connected to everything.

Some of the Ego qualities derive from that are the belief of scarcity, poverty, ignorance, and fear but what keeps the Ego in power is the supreme quality of the Ego – Vanity. The I am better than you Ego game that all of us are involved in even if we are not aware of it,

The classical example of vanity Ego trip would be any person driving a Ferrari or similar car, any person decked in jewelry or a guy with a trophy wife. That is the Ego saying to the world look at me I am better than you. I am a winner and everybody else is a loser. But that is just a façade, an empty attempt to fill the void of Ego existence.

Another form of Ego trip is the spiritual Ego trip. Because of the explosion of information, we now know that material success doesn’t equate with happiness and we even look down on people with money.
Having money will not excuse you from being a douche bag so some people have found another way to be better than you. The spiritual pseudo “non-material” Ego trip.

One of my favorite spiritual Ego trips are the eco-planet-saving warriors. You know the type; vegan, hip, Prius driving apple book totting, save the planet preachers.
Here is the point: For millions of years, we have been living in harmony with the planet without generating any garbage or industrial pollution. Actually, there are people that do that even now. 

The Amish people live in perfect harmony with planet earth. 
They cultivate their own food, make their own clothes and have a zero impact on the planet.
So, all those hip types trying to make you feel guilty for using plastic bags or eating a beef steak are just little hypocrites. 
They are not here to save the planet they are here to show you how much better they are then you. 
If they really cared about the planet they should give up their Priuses, Apple laptops, and cell phones and go live on an Amish farm with zero impact on the planet they say they love. Right?

And then of course then is us the Zen Buddhist, Born again Christians, Hassidic Jews, and Fundamentalist Muslims. You know the type; My God is better than your God and my religion and beliefs the only right one. In other words, I am better than you Ego trip disguised as “I am doing you a favor saving your soul from the eternal flames of hell”

It is all a charade, a grotesque circus of hypocrisy. The Pope and the Vatican are the richest men and institution on the globe. How did they get all that money, treasures and land? From ripping off the poor and then turning around to lead the fight against the poverty they created. Just like our eco-warriors friends. If you want to end poverty why not do it? After all, you have all the means and nobody will stop you.  

So, the bottom line is, if you belong to any organized religious or non-religious group you are on an Ego trip. 
Jesus and Gautama had no church or temple. Christ was not Christian and Buddha was not a Buddhist. 
If you want to be a spiritual person you should be like Jesus “in this world but not of this world” and like Gautama a beggar, a nobody meditating under the Bodhi tree.



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The promise of spirituality

“We cannot solve the world’s significant problems with the same level of consciousness that created them”
Albert Einstein

I was having a picnic in the park with my family.
It was around the Easter and the kids were having fun hunting for the hidden eggs.
I was lying on the blanket next to the remains of the picnic feast when I noticed an ant coming searching for food.

I don’t know if the ant could smell the food, for sure she couldn’t see it, but somehow she knew the food was around and it was determined to find it.
The funny thing about this is that from my vintage POV it was quite clear where the food was and what the obstacles and the clear path was but the poor ant had no idea and no other way to find it than by trial and error.

Eventually after many trials the ant found a crumb of food but I was thinking what if the ant knew what I knew?
What if, just like the ant, we are looking around for whatever we are looking, unaware that all the information, all the knowledge we need for success in life it is already available?
What if we could have a different POV where all that information about life’s obstacles and the optimum path would be clearly visible to us?

This is the promise of spirituality:
To put us in touch with a higher source of knowledge and wisdom.
To transform one’s life path and experience.
To elevate the level of human consciousness to an optimum level.

This is the path I am looking for and if you are looking for the same thing you are welcome top come along on my journey.
But as Albert Camus said:
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend."



Monday, December 11, 2017

Choice

I have been asked many times:
“Have you ever seen God?”
“Have you ever seen a picture or any scientific proof of his existence?”
(For some reason people believe God is a dude :)
And invariably the other question:
“How can an educated and intelligent man like you believe in a superstition about something that doesn’t exist?”

“The same way I believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
I like to reply.
You see, not everything that is important to me exist in a physical form.
Actually, of all the things that are really important to me only, health, clean air, and healthy food are of material nature.
The most important things in my life; love, happiness, and freedom do not exist in the physical realm.
But for me, they are more real than the things I can see and touch.

Here is the scoop:
I do not have the choice of the reality I live in.
However, I have the choice of my beliefs.

Do I want to believe that I am just an evolved monkey?
An insignificant part of a mechanical universe being banged around like billiard balls by cold mechanical forces and laws?
Do I want to run my life by biological animal instincts in the name of survival of the fittest?

Or do I want to believe that I am somebody and something special?
That I can overcome my animal instincts and evolve into something noble, enlightened, a beautiful human being?

It doesn’t make any difference if God exists or not.
If the universe is a stupid exploding bunch of rocks or not.
If there are heaven and hell, karma and reincarnation or just nothing after life.
Those things are not a choice!
They are or they are not. That’s all, but they are not something you can choose.
The only thing you and  I can choose is our beliefs.

Do you want to live your life according to what; the society, mass media, government, the scientific establishment, or the church has chosen for you?
Aren’t you tired of being manipulated, lied to, used and abused by the very institutions that were supposed to watch over your wellbeing?

Well, if you do, you ought to know that you have the choice to choose your beliefs according to the life you want to live not according to anyone else may tell you to do!
(Including yours truly Anagami)
The choice is yours.
Define your own reality!




Friday, December 8, 2017

The Acorn Universe

“Believe those who are seeking the truth.
Doubt those who find it.”
Andre Gide

I was watching this time-lapse photography on YouTube.
It was a vine climbing up a wall, and this young sprout acted like an arm or tentacle probing and searching the wall.
When it found a nail on the wall, something amazing happened.
The vine sprouted a curly ending and grabbed the nail!
That time lapse camera showed not only that the vine was moving but that it was doing something intelligent too!

I had a moment of epiphany.
I realized that instance how narrow and prejudiced we see the reality around us.

Out of the infinite spectrum of electromagnetic radiations we see an extremely narrow band.
Out of the sound spectrum, again we can only hear a tiny portion.
Our senses of smell and taste are even worse, we are nothing compared to dogs or sharks.
Not to mention that we lack some senses totally – like the shark’s ability to sense electrical fields, the snake's ability to see infrared or the bats to see sound.

But the biggest problem is our prejudiced way in which we look at reality.
We look at reality according to our frame reference of time, size, form or function.
For example, we only see things moving at close to human speed, therefore we do not see plants moving.
We see the things the way we are not the way they truly are.

Imagine that you could see 50 years of evolution of an oak tree in a second.
It would look like the oak acorn explodes into an oak tree!
…Imagine that you could look at the universe without the human subjectivity.
Would the universe still look like exploding or would it look like an acorn growing up, evolving not expanding, budding into galaxies and solar systems in an organic way rather than a random blast?

I always had an ambivalent feeling about the big bang theory.
You see, if you would take a can of paint and a stick of dynamite and exploded the paint into an empty white room, you would expect to get just a random splash of paint on the walls. You wouldn’t expect to get anything like repeated shapes or organized patterns.
So to me, this explanation that the universe exploded into being the way it is just by accident sounds totally bogus.

I am not a scientist and I can’t prove my theory, but for me, the idea of an “Acorn Universe” growing and evolving, sounds more sensible than the "Big Bang" theory.
What do you think?


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Chemical Brain

You can look at a human brain and compare it with a personal computer
You have the hardware, that collection of billions of neurons connected in trillions of connections, and you have the software, all your memories, and thoughts firing the neurons creating an electrical storm in your brain.

This is a rather new view of the brain’s functionality. For the longest time, we thought that our thoughts are created by the neurons firing but now we understand that the brain is just a machine and it is the software, our thoughts, that makes the brain think.
So where is that software, that data in our brain that thing we identify as being us, comes from?

We are a quilt of data collected and put together from all over the place.
We start with the data inherited from our parents through our DNA. We add to that the formative learning from our primary caretakers, parents, grandparents or nurses. Then we enter the school system, the media, TV and Internet and of course our own curiosity impulses will make us search and assimilate more data.

All this data put together makes up what we call “I”
Since I can remember I felt that in my head there were to people present. I couldn’t quite understand it and nobody could explain it to me why I felt that way. Later when I grew up I kept it as a secret because of the stigma attached to the people that heard voices in their heads but latter when I start my search for spirituality the question came back to me.

The best I could do is to separate the “I” into two parts. The “Spirit” or “Soul” being the part we are born with, the information carried through the DNA from generation to generation from the beginning of time. The I am therefore I think presence. I look at that primordial data as the BIOS of the brain, the language on all the other languages are built.

The second voice of “I” is the Ego or “Reason. This is the part that is added to us through education and experience. This is the “I think therefore I am” presence. It is a higher language using abstractions like words, written words, and spoken words. This Higher language is specific varying from culture to culture and individual to individual.

I also believe there is a “hardware” duality as well. I believe that the “Spirit” resides in our “primitive” brain the limbic system and that the Ego resides in the modern brain, in the cortex.
Also, the way the two manifestations of “I” have separate ways of operation and interface with the rest of the body.

The Spirit / Soul operates in feelings and emotions and interacts with the rest of the body through hormones: Estrogen, Testosterone, Adrenaline, Ephedrine, Dopamine, Serotonin etc.
The Ego /Reason operates in electrical pulses through the firing of the neurons in the cortex and the interaction with the rest of the body is done also through electrical pulses carried to all the muscle that we can control.

Getting old has its set of problems, especially health-related problems. So, I found myself with a little lower back pain problem. I went to see a pain specialist (OK my problem wasn’t that little) and he prescribed me a large dose of a drug used in the treatment of depression that also has a pain control effect and not like the opioids it is not addictive in long time use.
But my greatest concern was not the addiction part but how this mood/pain control drug will affect my spiritual practice, mainly my meditation.
Since the pain had already ruined my meditation sessions I went ahead with the drug treatment.
I thought I will be like some of my friends that are doing long-term depression drug treatments.
Turn into a zombie indifference to what’s going on without any genuine feelings or creative expression.

What I found very interesting is that the effect was exactly the opposite.
My meditation practice has not suffered I even go as far as to say to say that is better.
That doesn’t make any sense unless the meditation somehow changes the way the drug affects my system. That is a fascinating hypothesis and it would be really interesting if a comparative study will be done to see what is the effect of meditation on mood-altering drugs.



Monday, December 4, 2017

The Ultimate Illusion

"Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue. . .” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Look very carefully at the two triangles in the picture
Are they equal or is the triangle on the bottom bigger by the one white square?

What is the ultimate illusion?
No, it is not the damn triangles – although they are not bad either.
The ultimate illusion is “EGO”

Let’s start with a simple question “Who are you”
And the usual answer would be something like; John or Marry.
But let’s take the question a little deeper than that.

Let’s start when a dad’s DNA and a mom’s DNA first got together.
Obviously, that DNA union cannot be called a child; the best I can think of would be to call it a gate, an open door through which the universe would come into being.

But there is no “John” or “Marry” in a woman’s womb.
There are carrots and peas, beef and potatoes and all that is recycled into a new fetus.
But the fetus is not made of “John” or “Marry” it is simply hand me down matter, it is the universe restructured into a new experience.

That, that once was the experience of carrot, potatoes, and beef is now the experience of a finger or a nose.
Well, I am simplifying all that process but you get the idea.

The notion we have, that we were made by our mothers is completely false.
Our mothers’ wombs were no more than a gathering place for the universe to express itself as a newborn.
Once the gate is open the mother has no control over the process of creation.
The universe acts on its own.

Then after nine-month, the baby is delivered, not borne as the common knowledge falsely tells us. 
All that the parents do is to give it a name “John” or “Marry”

We spend the rest of the childhood being thought that we were made, not that we are self-expression.
We spend the whole childhood into being brainwashed that we are not a part of the universe but that we are indeed “John” and “Marry”

We grow up to see ourselves as individuals separate from nature and to see nature as an enemy that has to be conquered and held in submission.
We grow up to see ourselves separate from all the other human beings and spend our entire life competing, fighting, to win the success race

But we are not “John” or “Marry” we are the universe experiencing a human form.
The “Johns” and “Marries” are parasites growing on this experience.
The “Johns” and “Marries” have no control over this experience.
We grow, mature, get old and die. We have no control over that.
Nobody ever had, not even Buddha in his whole glory; he died just like everybody else, an old man.

But look at it from the universe’s point of view.
Birth and death do not exist.
The experience of the universe is a continuous transformation.
What is eternal remains eternal through all the transformations and metamorphoses. 
Only the “EGO” the “Johns” and “Marries” is created and therefore destroyed when the illusion is over.


And that is the fear that we all live with; that when “John” and “Mary” are gone, the experience will stop and there will be nothing left but a big black hole.
Nothingness forever! Aaaaah!!! The horror.
But when the illusion is over and our Ego ends, the universe doesn’t end, it just goes on and on, creating new “Johns” and “Marries”

BTW the bottom triangle is bigger because it is not actually a triangle It is a quadrilateral



Friday, December 1, 2017

The Simplicity of Problem Solutions

Initially, I wanted to name this post “The Simplicity of Problem Solutions and the Complexity of Systems” But that seemed a little bit too long. I just want to let you know that latter on the post we will talk about System and how they relate to problems.

More likely if you are alive you have some problems to deal in your life right now and (I know you don‘t want to hear this) your future is full of problems you don’t even dream about.
Also, I know that dealing with your problems is not always easy or pleasant.
I would even go as far to say that dealing with problems is one of life tasks people hate most.

Actually, this is a totally wrong sentiment, a myth passed down from generation to generation.
This is similar to the false rumor spread in the school system, that math is hard.
Math is actually very easy, so easy even computers do it if you know what you are doing.
So it is solving life’s problems super easy if you know what you are doing.

How can solving problems be simple?
Here it is:
You are hungry, you eat. You are tired you rest. Your job sucks, you get another job.
Your relationship sucks, you get a new boyfriend/girlfriend.
See how simple it is?

Solving problems is simply because at the basis of every problem there is a fundamental law of nature. It is the law of causality AKA the law of cause and effect.
This law tells us that for every effect there is a cause therefore for every problem there is a solution.

You get a splinter in your finger, that causes pain.
You remove the cause of the pain – pull out the splinter – the pain goes away.
And that’s the law. If you remove the cause the problem disappears.
Solving problems is very simple. Recognizing the cause-effect relationship is more problematic.

Let me give you some examples:
Poverty, war, drug addiction, Donald Trump, prostitution, terrorism and much, much, more of our social problems are actually no problems at all. They are symptoms. Hence they cannot be fixed because we are violating the law we just explained in the previous paragraph.
You can’t fix a problem by treating the symptoms. You have to remove the cause.

Donald Trump, to pick a hot and controversial issue, is not a problem like most people believe. He is a symptom.
By fighting DT we are not addressing the “cause” that propelled him in the White House.
We are fighting the symptom and the effect of that is actually exactly the opposite of what we want. The result is we are making Trump’s position even stronger.

In the 2020 elections, unless the economy goes into a recession, DT will be reelected possible by a landslide. And I am willing to bet on that.

We have declared war on alcohol and drugs, on prostitution and poverty on inequality and terrorism, just to mention a few. We have not won a single one of those wars and we are never going to win any of them because they are not problems and because we are not looking at what causes them, which is where the real problems are.

And here is where the complexity of systems comes into play.
A simple cause and effect problem is easy to see and easy to solve.
You broke your glasses; you buy a new pair of glasses.
When it comes to complex systems like relationships or social and economic problems there is no simple cause and effect interaction but a series of causes all acting and interacting at the same time.

If you have a bad relationship in your life, you try to analyze all possible causes and eliminate them hoping to fix the relationship.
By trial and error, we can logically eliminate all the problems and make the relationship work.
This approach works for any complex system.

But even then you may not fix the problems and the relationship will fail
So you will try a new relationship and another and another.
If these relationship failures turn into a repeating pattern you have to stop and ask:
What is the one constant one feature all these bad relationships have in common?

Yup, that would be you. So fixing the problem would be replacing you with a better you.
Very simple. Yes I know it is very hard to change but I never said I’ll give you an easy way to fix your problems just a simple one.

And last but not list. Problems do not fix themselves and contrary to popular belief problems do not disappear in time if we ignore them, they just get even worse.
So catching a problem when it first starts is easier to fix than after it gets complicate.
Fixing your problem ASAP is the best way to deal with your problems.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wolves

"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.
This makes it hard to plan the day."
— E.B. White

There is this old Cherokee story:
One evening beside the fire an old man is telling his grandson a story
“Inside every one of us, there are two wolves in a battle of life and death.
One white, pure and good, full of love, hope, joy, kindness, generosity, compassion, and faith.
The other one black as the night, evil, full of anger, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment and hate.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied,
"The one you feed the most."

I couldn’t agree more but things have changed a little bit since the Cherokee Indian times.
We now live in a society of "entanglement" where personal boundaries are more and more violated.

I wake up in the morning full of energy and enthusiasm
I take a shower, brush my teeth, do a quick meditation, eat breakfast and then proceed to the daily chores.
As long as I stay inside my house, I can control my life with no problems.
The moment I open the door – the physical one or the informational one– the outside world rushes in bringing with it the inevitable negativity.

It could be some well-intentioned friend emailing me about a swine flu pandemic in Europe or Asia, news of war, death, and destruction or economic and political disasters.
It could be some guy cutting me off on the freeway or my boss in a bad mood.
Some colleague with some petty office quarrel or a million other irritating, useless garbage.

You try to stay positive.
You try to be the loving and understanding “good” guy.
You turn the other chick, you make amends, you forgive and forget.
In the end, you end up tired and polluted.
You go home, take a shower, do your meditation and go to bed hoping the next day will be a better one.

I have walked some distance on the path of spiritual enlightenment and by now I know very well I shouldn’t feed the bad wolf inside me.
The problem is all the other people in my life that are feeding it.

It is impossible to go through the day without being bombarded with bad news and negativity. The whole society is built that way.
We are constantly manipulated by the media to live in fear and uncertainty because people in that mind state are easy to control and manipulate.

I know it sounds like one of these far-fetched conspiracy theories but I lived long enough in fear and worry and I heard one too many times that the sky is falling.
And after all these years here I am still kicking and screaming.

So what was all the fear and the worries I had for all these years? Absolutely nothing.
I spent precious energy and time on illusory dangers and disasters just to lose focus on what was important in my life.

Do you know, or can you imagine what your life would be like if every day you would hear only the good news, positivity and optimism?
Can you imagine how that would feel?
Unfortunately, we can only imagine because we will never live that reality.

So, how do we stop our negativity from growing, our dark wolf from being fed in a world where we have no power or control?
Very simple – you just don’t give a shit about all the bullshit.

I used to try to avoid people and places just to protect myself from the bombardment of negativity and I have failed. So I did the only other option I had, stand up and fight.
Whenever somebody approached me with “have you heard of…?” I pulled out my guns and fire “I don’t give a shit!” and pretty soon none of my friends was feeding my wolf anymore.

If you feel overwhelmed like I used to feel, you should try it
I don’t give a shit! It is totally liberating and empowering.



Monday, November 27, 2017

Perspective and Perception

There is a story of a little boy that grew up near a municipal airport.
Although, for his parents living next to an airport was a nuisance, and the only reason they bought the house at that location was the cheap price, for the boy living next to the airport was an amazing gift.
The boy would spend hours and hours watching the planes take off and land and when he was not doing that he was playing with his favorite plain toy.

One day when he was about 5-6 years old his parents announced that they would go on vacation and that they will fly a plane over there.
Needless to say, the boy was in heaven. He was super excited, not that much about the vacation but because for the first time in his life he’s going to fly on a plane. It was a dream comes true.

So, after what it fell an eternity and after a sleepless night, the big day arrived.
The little boy could hardly contain his excitement.
They took a taxi, they went through the TSA line, they waited at the gate and finally, they boarded the plane. Of course, the boy got the best seat by the window.

And here he was, after all the wait and anticipation the engines roar and the plane rolled to the tarmac.
The boy was glued face to the window.
Finally, with a rush and a rumble, the plane took off.

After a couple of minutes, the boy became very agitated. He was looking frantic at the window and then at the passengers on the plane.
-What’s wrong? Asked his mother
-Are we flying in the air? Ask the boy.
-Of course dear, we are up up up in the air. Isn’t this wonderful?
- Yes – said the boy – but when are we going to get smaller?

Of course, as adults, we know planes don’t get smaller when they fly, they stay the same size, only our perception changes.
We know things do not change they stay the same unless WE change them. Like getting in a car accident. That will definitively change the car.

So things do not change by themselves they are changed by the wear and tear of use or by accidents but if preserved, like some artifacts buried in the funeral chambers of the pyramids, they will last forever.
What about things that are not material like love, hope, luck, opportunity, dreams and aspirations, fears and hopes? Do non-material things change by themselves?

We have a tendency to believe that immaterial, ideal, things change by themselves, A classical example is luck. When somebody wins something we believe their luck has changed. But is it the luck that has change or the person?
We say that things like opportunities will come our way. But is it that the opportunities are moving or that opportunities have always been there and we are moving towards them?

Do things come our way or do we move towards them or away from them?
This is a fundamental question and depending on how you answer it you will give yourself control over your life or take control away.
Things do not change unless we change them and that rule applies to all things material and ideal
Most people will not agree with that because deep down to their core they are afraid to take the responsibility for their lives.
People will live in the superstition of luck and destiny. They will look at life like the little boy looking at the planes. They will say things like “look at that successful person, how lucky they are” but are the people getting lucky or is just our perception that it does?

Once you take control of your life and realize that things will not come your way, that you have to move towards the things you want, your life will start changing.
People that are following their dreams will find themselves getting lucky, having people and opportunities coming their way having answers and solution to their problems magically appear at the right time.

But that is just a perception, Things do not change. All the opportunities, the people the money, the  luck, the answers and solution to your problems  as well as the bad luck the traps and accidents the negativity and all the wrong answers are already existing out there
Getting them come your way or not is a matter of you walking towards or away from them.

 It is a matter of you moving instead of waiting for things to move your way.


Friday, November 24, 2017

The Pearl of Wisdom

This is the story of little Ozzy.

He was the 4456th son of Mother of Pearl and of all his brother and sisters he was the smallest oyster in the bunch.
He was always a little slow – as oysters go – and nobody thought he would accomplish anything in life.

As expected, when the time came to pearl out little Ozzy turned out to be a failure.
All his brothers and sisters proudly displayed their pearls but no matter how hard he tried little Ozzy came out empty.

He was the laughing stock of the oyster culture and ashamed of himself he decided to run away and save his family from the humiliation.
One dark night he sneaked out and went into the open ocean.

When the first rays of the sun started shining, tired of pulling his shell all night, he stopped by a big rock and started sobbing.

- Hey! What’s with the crying?
It turns out that the rock was just an old turtle doing his morning meditation.
- I am a total failure and disgrace to my family. I am an oyster without a pearl.
Would you please eat me and put me out of my misery?

- Well, I am a vegetarian – said the turtle – But I tell you what.
I will give you the pearl of wisdom so you wouldn’t be a pearless oyster anymore.
- The pearl of wisdom, what is that? – asked Ozzy
- It is the most magnificent, amazing, perfect pearl in the ocean. - said the turtle.
It will give infinite wisdom to anyone that wears it. Just open up and say aaa!

As Ozzy open up his shell the turtle picked up a round pebble and shoved it in.
- How do you feel? – Asked the turtle
- Wow! That feels great, big and heavy. I shell go back and made my family proud.
- Wait, wait! You cannot go back to your family. – Said the turtle.
- This is a magic pearl and if you show it to anyone it will turn into a rock.

Very disappointed but very happy at the same time, little Ozzy thanked the turtle and left to look for his fortune in the underwater world.

He decided to be a monk and spend the rest of his life helping the poor and the sick.
Ozzy went from place to place imparting his new found wisdom to anyone he met.
Soon his reputation and fame grew and creatures from all over the ocean, the poor and the rich, the humble and the powerful, came seeking his wise advice.

He was a great teacher and counsel and many generations of disciples followed him.
In time his pearl of wisdom became legend.

After years and years of travel, feeling that his end is near Ozzy decided to go back home.

News of his return traveled fast and all the oysters, his brother and sisters and his little nephews were waiting with great anticipation.

It was a triumphant return and they gave him the highest honors.
They all gather around in the town square to listen to his life story.
At the end, his nephews shouted.

- Uncle Ozzy can we see the pearl of wisdom, can we see it pleeease?
Oh, what the heck. Said Ozzy to himself. After all, I don’t need it anymore.

So he opened up its shell for the first time since he had met the turtle.
And there it was, whiter and more radiant than the angels' skin, glowing in brilliant radiance:
The most magnificent, amazing, perfect pearl in the ocean.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Demolition Zen

Zen will tear you apart, deconstruct and shred you to pieces, demolish every belief and piece of knowledge to the depths of your mental foundation, obliterate you and reduce you to NOTHING.
So now you know where that Zen obsession with nothing and emptiness stems from.
It is a Zen necessity a  primordial directive a must without Zen will not make any sense.

If that is not your Zen experience then you are doing it the wrong way or you are not  doing Zen but some sort of Westernized version of some Buddist  and Vedic superstitions wrapped up by the New Age gurus as Zen and marketed to the hyp crowd, cause you may say anything about Zen but one thing will all agree: Zen is cool and fashionable.

Of course, the process is maddeningly painful and only a half-crazed men will choose to go the whole way thru with his own mental suicide.
So the Zen experience, like any other suicide missions is strictly on a voluntary basis. 
Not only that but you will, have to beg for it and a true Zen master very rarely accepts a student and usually only after he has subjected the student to a lot of humiliating tasks.

But if self inflicted pain is not your thing, like I mention before, there are a lot of pseudo-spiritual practices out there from organized religion that for a small donation of your money will give you permission to any sin you may desire to commit from adultery to rape and murder and after that give you a free pass to heaven.

 Or you can go with the New Age crowd which is a lovely colorful spiritual circus under which tent the most bizarre freaks have gathered.
You can play with crystals, groovy music and sound frequencies collared lights and even some mushrooms and LSD trips cause the New Age motto is “Anything Goes” the more bizarre and irrational the better.

And of course, there is the “serious” scientific side of spirituality. The MD crowd.
Here we have the Ph.D. professors in psychology, the shrinks, a whole spectrum of therapists, family counselors and anything else that could squeeze under the cover of “scientific” authority.
Also, they have some really good drugs and as one that has been a patient I have to tell you that’s the only good thing about psychiatrists, they can hook you up with some really powerful shit.

So all these non-Zen paths can be summarised by the defining philosophy “we want to make you feel good”
This philosophy comes from the totally erroneous conclusion that pain is a problem and therefore getting rid of pain is the good mental and spiritual practice.
Here is the bummer. Pain is not a problem. It has never and will never be a problem. 
Pain and suffering are the symptom and as such not treatable, because treating a symptom will only make the problem worse.

I don’t want to brag about this but Buddha the original 100% genuine one lord Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni  Buddha, was the first modern psychiatrist and the one and only that understood that pain and suffering are the symptoms of internal inheriting human problem the “dukkha”  the noble truth of suffering AKA desire, craving, addiction, clinging etc
And the first one to develop a cognitive therapy based system to deal with this problem: “The eightfold path”

Have you ever had to rebuild your house? Maybe smaller like remodeling your kitchen?
OK even if you have not personally done it you are familiar with the process.
A bunch of men come in your kitchen and basically destroy your kitchen, tear everything down and the haul out all the old cabinets, appliances an all the debris generated during the demolition process.
Then when everything is cleared to the bare bone they go in and build the kitchen of your dreams.

So this process, this cycle of destruction and construction is very well understood in the construction business and no contractor no matter how stupid will tell you that you can remodel your kitchen while still keeping your old appliances and furniture. It is just common sense.
But not for the people involved in spiritual and mental growth

The cycle of destruction and rebirth was known to mankind since ancient times. Why do you think we celebrate Christmas. Yeah, I know the Jesy story but that is just plain BS. The Catholic church ripped off the pagan celebration of death – winter equinox – and rebirth – spring equinox and made it into their own ritual, hence the existence of  Christmas trees, the Easter bunnies and eggs, pagan symbols of life perpetuity and fertility still remaining in the rituals to our days.

It is interesting that in India the cult of  Kali and Lord Shiva the destructive and respective constructive were at one tie on equal footing although today the followers of Kali are dismal and dimming down under the overwhelming propaganda of  love peace and happiness BS
Mother Kali the destructive principle given birth to the lord of creation, Lord Shiva, what a profound mind-blowing understanding of the universe. 
Too bad we discard it because it didn’t sound “nice” and it irritates our sense of morality.

So going back where we began:

Zen will tear you apart, deconstruct and shred you to pieces, demolish every belief and piece of knowledge to the depths of your mental foundation, obliterate you and reduce you to NOTHING.
And in the place of your retched Ego will erect a structure of light, harmony, and beauty.
But then again enlightenment like house remodeling is a very expensive business proposition and not everybody is willing to pay the price.



Monday, November 20, 2017

The Tao of Internet

"Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth."
Ludwig Börne

If the internet would have a counterpart in the physical world it would be undoubtedly Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is sold to the public at large on the idea of winning money and adult entertainment.
If you want to win or sin (or both) you ought to go to Las Vegas. - Right?
He, he, he!

Well, the next time you go to Las Vegas take a good look at the luxurious casinos and all that glitter around you.
Then say out loud to yourself:
- All this has been built with the money of the people that have come to Las Vegas to win!

Las Vegas might be trumpeted as the win and sin capital of the world but, there is very little wining and sinning going on in Las Vegas (unless you own a casino) – trust me on that, been there done that :)
Las Vegas was built on the mechanics of losing.
Actually, it exists only because losing is guaranteed – it is built into the system.
BTW – They do not keep it a secret and publicly admit to it – they are crooks but they are honest :)

So what about the Internet and the Las Vegas parallel?
Well, the internet is sold to the public at large on the idea of connecting people. - Right?
But if any of you are on the internet looking for human connection, true love or just old fashion sex, you might as well go to Las Vegas to win some money!

The internet is sold as a connecting device but every time you connect to the internet you are disconnecting from reality
Behind every slot machine, there is a person looking for winning money
Behind every computer screen, there is a lonely human being looking for human contact.
You are completely mistaken. The system doesn't work for you, you are working for the system.

There is very little human connection on the internet :(
If you are on the internet right now (Well, you ought to be – you are reading my blog. Duh!)
Take a good look at the empty room and say out loud to yourself:
- There is nobody here except me!
No, I am not here at this moment – unless by a remote chance and even then I am here with me not with you.

Surfing the internet is one of the loneliest human activities, probably second only to masturbation – but not as lonely as surfing and masturbating at the same time – trust me on that, ahem… so I heard :)
The internet was built on the principle of people being apart. If you are with another person or group of people the internet becomes useless.
The internet is booming because the people don't get together like they used to do in the old days.

Every day we rush home or to the office to get in “touch” with the other people rushing to their computers.
But are the facebooks and the blogs, the myspaces, and tweeters actually increasing your human contact in the physical world?
Has the internet helped you getting together with more people or just to create an illusion of that gain?
Do you have more “real” friends since the internet revolution or less?

Is there no better way to disconnect from life than sitting in front of a computer
There is no better way to be alone in public as looking into your smartphone
Are the internet and the new technologies the bridge to human contact, or the wall that keeps us apart?
Are we building a new society a new human consciousness?
Are we evolving into cybernetic organisms or devolving in a source and servants for a higher nonhuman civilization to come?

I don't know - you be the judge!


Friday, November 17, 2017

Back to Basics II

Meditation is one of the most popular practices in the world.  It extends across the boundaries of beliefs, religions, and dogmas and it is practiced by billions of people, Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and even by Atheists.
It is also one of the few spiritual practices that have been scrutinized and validated by the scientific community. 

The numerous positive benefits of meditation are widely known and documented but we are not going to elaborate on that aspect here, or maybe we will, but another time.
What I really want to talk about is the practical aspect of meditation and in particular some of the more problematic and misunderstood aspects.

People starting the Buddhist practice usually come from other backgrounds, Christian, Jewish come to mind, and they are usually either disappointed by the unsatisfactory answers their former religion give. Like “What was God doing during the Holocaust?” 
Or does a guy that rapes and murders a child goes to heaven if he accepts Jesus as his savior? 
Or they are looking for a practical solution to their worldly problems like people suffering from drug addiction, anxiety, depression etc.

Unlike the religions that offer you heaven but only after you are dead Buddhism offers peace of mind and ease of human suffering right here and now.
Because their religious background students starting the practice of Buddhism put a lot of emphasis on the dogmatic side and less on the pragmatic side which is totally wrong.

To truly understand Buddhism a student should start by understanding what Buddhism is and who Budda was. It should be a mandatory requirement that all Buddhist students should read “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse before studying any of the holy books and sutras.

There are some major points not mentioned in the holy texts and that the teachers, Gurus will not mention to the students like the fact that After studying for thirty years with the best teachers India had all that Buddha got was disappointment and disillusionment and that only after meditating for forty days and nights under the bodhi tree Gautama awaken and attained enlightenment.

Buddhism is something that you do like cooking. 
You may study as many cookbooks you want you are not going to become a chef unless you get in the kitchen.
Yet the Gurus insist on pushing the students on the scholastic path to enlightenment which takes you to nowhere. 

I have met people that have studied Buddhism for 10 -20 -30 years and when I asked them how long till the end of the path they gave me the BS answer that is not the destination but the journey.
That is Ego talk defending the Egotrip, not the eternal soul seeking liberation from the material world. But will leave that discussion for another blog.

So probably you are wondering how much scholastic knowledge does one needs to attain enlightenment. 
The answer is zero, zilch, nada. 
The scriptures are like maps and very confusing because nobody seems to agree on the topology of the human spirit and how to navigate it. 
Even without a map if you keep wandering around you may accidentally find enlightenment, even if that wasn’t your intention at all. 

Pick up this book at your local library “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. 
This is the real account of a spontaneous enlightenment. The guy is real and the even is real, you have to trust me on that. 
But be careful although the event was 100% genuine the way he translates his experience has some major flaws. Once again will maybe talk about that another time.

Back to meditation. 
Short of having a spontaneous enlightenment or a near-death experience the only tried and trusted path to enlightenment is MEDITATION.
So let’s start talking what meditation is. 
To me is the process of awakening. 

I hate labels because people confuse the labels with the reality and getting attached to words makes us miss the meanings.
The process of awakening is a journey from point A the material, dualistic Ego reality and prison of reason to point B the non-dualistic ideal plan of the spirit and free unbounded, infinite existence.

I will not bore you with my 35 years of trial and errors so let’s go directly to the good stuff.

STEP 1 – Shutting down the rational – reasoning Ego mind. 
We are all familiar with the disease plaguing humanity of constant mental chatter AKA rumination. This constant incessant brain activity is the reason for many human mental conditions and just by learning this first step anybody will be greatly rewarded.

The principle behind shutting down the reasoning mind is the fact that the brain can only process one task at the time. 
Multitasking is a misnomer we do not multitask we just switch between tasks really fast giving us the illusion that we are actually doing two or many tasks at the same time.
If you don’t, believe me, there is a very easy way to blow away that misconception 
Next time you feel like you are multitasking start counting backward from 5000 to 1 
That will stop your multitasking dead in its tracks.

So how do you stop your mind from reasoning? 
Very simple you find something to keep your mind preoccupated like watching the clouds drifting in the sky, the flow of a small creek or the flickering flame of a candle. All those things and much more like that are very good mental relaxation techniques and like I said very beneficial in destressing, alleviating anxieties etc etc.

For our practice, however, I found out the most effective method way of quieting the mind is OM chanting. 
You can find OM Buddhist chanting on youtube and can download it on your computer and from there put it on an MP3 player or a smartphone.

Before going to sleep play the OM chant. Join in the chant. 
Note: You don’t have to hit the perfect note or keep up a certain length just find a comfortable tone of your voice that will harmonize with the voices of the monks. 

I recommend you practice only this step until it feels natural to you. Don’t worry if you fall asleep and don’t try to force to stay awake. 
Remember the only purpose of this practice is to quiet the mind nothing less nothing more. I am emphasizing this because the meditation is a naturally progressive chain and if you don’t master the first step the following steps will fail. Also once you master the first step the second step will fall in naturally.

STEP 2 – Contemplation. 
Although we have stopped the mind chatter chanting OM is actually still a brain process so if we keep chanting we are stuck at that level forever so while the OM chant is still playing you drift out from the active chanting, this should happen naturally and when its happening you just let it be. 
You switch your focus to a contemplative mode you are there as a witness with no other agenda other than letting it be. 

Things will start happening, actually, the things are always happening but this time you will become aware of your subconscious mind activity. 
In the beginning, your Reason mind will try to pop out of its inactive mod and try to grab, dissect and judge what’s going on. 

No need to panic just go back to the OM chanting and calm her down. 
You should keep your practice at level two until you are not experiencing any of those pop-ups. 
Like I said once mastered the level you will naturally be attracted to the next level.

STEP -3 Detachment. 
Like I said do not get attached to the labels you need to understand the principle behind the label, II just call it detachment because that is what resonates in my mind. 
So when you are in step 2 CONTEMPLATION you are witnessing your reality as you are watching a movie. 

You have to understand that at this point there are two entities involved The Observer and the Observed. 
Step 3 DETACHMENT is a step in which that difference is erased. 
You should naturally move in a mind experience where there is no observer and observed or that you are both. 

This will translate into a detachment from your corporeal existence. 
Some people in the new age spirituality will call it out of body experience, third eye opening etc etc. IT DOESN”T MATTER. The words mean nothing. The only important thing is that you understand what was going on. At this point, your consciousness is expanding beyond the limits of your physical existence.

Note: The first step is always the shortest, The second will be longer but not extreme, The third step is usually the longest. You are exploring the vast regions of consciousness and that is a lot of exploring to do. So be patient enjoy the experience and as always don’t force anything.
And finally 

STEP 4 -Transcendence. 
Although in step 3 you have escaped the limits of self you are literally still in the dualistic reality you are still not free of the concept of self. 
Step four is where you are going to die, The construct of self has to vanish before you can become one. 

You know that joke about the Buddhist monk asking the hot dog vendor “make me one with everything”? This is it. This is the place where the AWAKENING and subsequently the Enlightenment happens. 

How do you do it? 
I don’t know I haven’t passed that threshold yet but when I'll do it I’ll let you know.

Good luck with your practice. 
Be patient an persistent. You should do your meditation religiously every night before bedtime. 
You may practice it anytime as many times you want but pushing it will not work or make it faster it will be exactly the opposite making it longer So you practice once in the evening every day without exception or excuses and whenever you feel its right and natural.

Good luck and if you reach enlightenment first  I’ll be your first student!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Back to Basics I

I am a very practical man and as I am getting older and have less and less time on my hands to waste, anything I do has to have a purpose and it has to work, to give results, in order to be worthy of my time.
So, I don’t care if it is the Bible, the Quran or the Buddhist sutras, I am expecting that the teachings they impart to be beneficial to my life and if they don’t then too bad because I’m not putting up with the BS anymore.
So instead of concentrating on holy texts and books, as I use to do when I was young, I now concentrate on my practice, my meditation, my affirmations, and visualization.

I found out that you don’t need a Bible to talk to God. He will talk to you anytime you want. 
You just have to learn how to do it, how to stop listening to your mind chatter, stop listening to your Ego, and create the mind silence in which God can address you and can be heard.
I know it sounds simple, maybe too simple but believe me it is much harder when you meditate and actually are trying to stop the chatter in your mind.

So, let me share with you some of the things I found out from my daily practice.
Prayer, meditation, chanting, mantras, yoga etc etc are just names for the same process we are trying to affect in our subconscious mind. 
Basically, there are two things we can do: Erase old programming or write new programming. Obviously, we want to erase the “bad” programming and add “good” programming but as you know hell is paved with good intentions and sometimes things turn out just the opposite to what we want to accomplish.

By practicing forgiveness, thanks giving, gratitude, charity, and compassion we can remove some of the negativity we have accumulated. 
By practicing affirmations, visualizations, hypnosis or self-hypnosis or NLP we can introduce new programming in our life. 
Most people just do one of the two without realizing that you have to do both and not in just any random fashion but in this precise order: First, erase then re-write.

It is essential to first decide what we want to accomplish and make a plan on how we are going to accomplish it rather than jumping in and do a lot of things in the hope that something will work.
Like I said if you don’t know what are you doing you can end up screwing yourself up and trust me I’ve seen some very fucked up “spiritual” people.

The other thing you have to know before actually doing anything is the “language level match” principle.
It states that in order to communicate you have to speak the same language with the one you are trying to communicate with. It sounds so basic that many people don’t even consider it.

So, let me ask you what language does your subconscious speak? English, French, Chinese? Whatever your answer is it is probably wrong because the subconscious doesn’t speak an abstract language like words or images. 
The only things that our subconscious understands are emotions and feelings.
If the words of your affirmations and the images of your visualization do not trigger any emotions it is exactly like saying blah, blah, blah to your subconscious.

In order to make your affirmations and visualization work, you have to find the words that trigger the desired emotions in us.
 There is no given script since the same words trigger differently in different people but you can read some affirmations or listen to some on YouTube and make notes of how you respond emotionally or you can try the old method of trial and error,
 Just experiment with your affirmations and take my advice, do not assume anything just go wildly random.

The second and maybe the most important IMO is the meditation practice but for that, you’ll have to read my next post. 
Until then good luck with your practice!