All writings herein serve to open up the world towards knowledge that matters, to piece together the greatest philosophies of living, and to expound ways towards
the path of freedom, happiness & choice.

#137 God and Religions, by Tarun Sardana, Edited by Dave Croce

Posted: September 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Life | No Comments »

(Him: I’ve actually gone past the stage where I’m interested in voicing out anything regarding religions. But sometimes, it’s quite interesting to stir things up a little. This post is not meant to be an advice, or argument, or opposition. Rather, it’s meant to provide food for thought. Enjoy.)

Q: Why God has created such a terrible world, full of sufferings and struggle?

A: You should ask God. I cannot answer on his behalf.

Q: How should I ask him?

A: If you have found out that there is God who has created all this, you must also know how to reach him and ask him.

Q: Every religion believes in the existence of God. Are you saying that you don’t believe in his existence?

A: I am saying that the religions who have told you that he exists, must have told you the way to speak to him.

Q: My religion says God speaks to me through my conscience.

A: What is conscience?

Q: An inner call that tells me what is right or wrong. If I am going on a wrong path, it stops me.

A: Stops you as in holds you or just informs you?

Q: It informs me that this is wrong but still leaves the choice with me and allows me to exercise my free will.

A: Since when were you hearing your conscience? Was it there when you were 2 or 3 years old?

Q: I don’t remember.

A: My child is 3 years old. Sometimes when he doesn’t like someone, he asks them to leave and in gross words, asks them to get out (laughs). It becomes quite embarrassing for us, but he doesn’t mind. It is okay for him. There is a child in our colony who pushed another child from the slide and he was seriously injured, receiving some stitches. Can you do such a thing?

A: Maybe….no.

Q: Would it be your conscience that tells you not to push a small innocent child, that this is a sin?

A: Yes.

Q: So, it seems God doesn’t speak to 2 or 3 year old children, he only speaks to grown ups like you. You know why he has chosen to speak to you and not to that child? Because that child doesn’t know anything about God right now, or his rights and wrongs. But now his family will start that training. They will tell him, this is right and this is wrong. This is God and this is the way to reach God. Then slowly, as he grows up, God will start speaking to him as well through his conscience. When he will choose a path that doesn’t qualify as God’s path, per the training given, his conscience will tell him, don’t do this. This is not right. But is it God or is it the training that is speaking to him? To me, your conscience sounds more like knowledge fed in since childhood by your parents and society, than God’s voice.

If you really want to listen to what existence wants to say to you, then this “you” will have to disappear. Completely disappear. This “you” is incapable of understanding anything. Because this “you” is already full of ideas, beliefs and knowledge fed in by parents, society and an education system. How can something that is already full, receive anything?

Can you take your father’s call while you have in the ear plugs of your iPod? You will not hear the bell ringing because you will be so occupied and possessed by the music playing. The knowledge given to you is like that music and the iPod is your mind. This mind is already full of ideas and beliefs about you, about God, about religion, about right and wrong. There is no way to communicate to you. Even right now, whatever I am saying, you are busy taking notes of it. Half of your attention is on the words spoken and you are trying to recall if you have missed anything. In this process, you are missing what is happening right Now. You are missing where these words are leading.

(Someone suggested the questioner to keep the notebook aside.)

Q: What should I do then?

A: Leave God alone. He is not doing anything to you. The God that you know of is the God that has been taught to you. You have no first hand information about him. The God you know is the proprietary of religions. They fight amongst each other to claim their ownership on him. They each tell you that “this” is the way and put the others down. We are taught religion and its way, we are not taught God. How can anyone “teach” you God? God cannot be taught. Teaching implies words and words themselves are helpless here. How will they help you?

“God”, is a very small word. It cannot even attempt to explain the vastness that it is supposed to point to. If I fill a vessel with ocean water and bring it to you, it will not give you the slightest idea of what an ocean means. To understand it you will have to see the ocean. When you actually see it, only then will you know what an ocean is. Why it is called endless and why it is called vast? Looking at the vessel, you will not know.

All the scriptures, religions, teachings are like vessels. They cannot give a slightest idea of the magic that holds this universe. Every vessel has a different shape and it has molded the ocean in its own shape, thinking this is how the ocean looks and this is what it is. Vessels are claiming that they know the ocean. They are fighting with each other and in the process, they are going to break each other down. Let them do that.

If you want to know this magic that you call God, just open your eyes. Look around. You cannot miss the magic, if your eyes are really open. It is in the sky, it is in the earth, it is in the trees, it is in the moon, it is in the stars… It is everywhere. It is in the coming and going of these breaths. You are looking for the magician so you are missing the magic. Stop looking for the magician and you will see him in the magic itself. He is not separate from the magic. He Is the very magic.

Do not look for him in any particular place and you will find him everywhere and in everything.

(Him: Tarun Sardana has an upcoming new book called “I am Not Brahman”, according to the newsletter from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights by Editor Jerry Katz. Whenever it comes to things that carry religious connotations, many people tend to get slightly sensitive. I’d suggest however that my dear reader, give the message in the story a try. It may bring you on a roller-coaster ride that will shock you, or amaze you, or disappoint you, or enrich you, or strengthen you depending upon where you are right now in life. For me, the teachings from the Hindhu or Buddhist religions on how to live, to be open, or loving, and unconstrained is what I actually value. Maybe that would appeal to you too.)


#136 A Quote to Share

Posted: September 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Life | No Comments »

Living the best of yourself, regardless of the results. That is all that matters. Kurt Kobain: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person that you are.” Billions in the world have brainwashed us with the way we should live. That we should have or achieve exactly this, or that, before we are truly seen as worthy of who we are. And yet, that doesn’t have to be it. In fact, life may be more about this – doing what you want as the best you, because life doesn’t necessarily always work out exactly as we’d want it to. However, if you live this way, you could at least be happy knowing that you have lived independently, solely, out of the best of you, and who knows, in the future – it’s exactly when you’re living like this, that life works out exactly as the way you’ve always envisioned it to be.


#135 Live Happy

Posted: September 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Life | No Comments »

It’s been some time since I’ve actually had the desire to write.

Why? Because I’m personally learning life all over again.

When I started this blog, I had in my mind all intentions to discover the truths about life and live everyday sticking to them.

But what I eventually realized is, there is really no one particular way to live in order to be happy.

In fact, if you want to live happily, it’s better to choose to live as many ways as you can embrace throughout the day!

It’s more like this:

The moment you think you’ve learned the greatest about something, that you’ve reached an end of the road on a particular path, life would hit you in the butt and point your eyes in another direction. When you look in the new direction, you find out that it’s a much more, progressive path, and you go “Aahhh… that’s the way” – but the thing is, once you seem to reach the end of that path, life hits you once again in your butt and shows you what you’ve actually missed on the previous path, making you scratch your head, wondering what it is you’ve actually learned. New directions, new paths, new discoveries.

Usually, what we’ll actually learn is to just live.

Yep, all these ideas, concepts, bla… bla… they’ll all just serve one purpose:

To send people to hit on enough walls, fall enough times, hurt them enough, so that people’s eyes would be opened, they’ll be able to pause and see things consciously once again, and they can look at life with a clarity that’ll allow them to make new choices that aren’t automatic but chosen, out of the self.

And that’s when you can live happy.

How?

By choosing to live happy.

Yep, expecting to be happy isn’t going to turn out nice.

Being able to live life happily is a CHOICE.

A decision, to live as happy as you can no matter the circumstances, the situations, or whatever happens!

It sounds like a damn cliche.

But shit, stop for once.

Instead of reading this piece, understand it!

If you don’t agree with the above, it only means you gotta hit on more walls.

And that’s not a bad thing, because look – you could only experience pain because you’re ALIVE.

ALIVE and BREATHING, a beautiful thing especially when you think of all the things it can offer, when everything you do is done out of your choice!

It’s like playing an awesome game, life is. Whatever you do is like an experiment. You do this, you get this result, you do that, sometimes you still get this result! And yet you keep doing it, and sometimes, a miracle happens, something surprising comes as a result, smiles are exchanged, laughters fill everywhere around you, it’s Stunnin’. Curiosity is exchanged with satisfaction. Efforts are exchanged with fulfillment, or sometimes, a slightly prolonged one perhaps with tons of painful and suffering experiences worth making a movie out of for entertainment in between. Imagine how beautiful everything is, especially when you can really live happy and look on the brighter side, all the time!

That is why sometimes my best friend and I, we’d have conversations about experiences, people, or just things. And all of them, though they might not be the greatest, prettiest, classiest,  or most amazing of their category in the eyes of most people in the world, we’d still take up our glasses, make a clank and say the same thing everytime, “Perfect.”

Not perfect because of the level of public judgement in their category, but because we see them as natural and perfect as they are.

Now if you think you haven’t understand this clearly, please go up and read the above once more. It’ll be worth it, because life lived from this point is the most neutral and fair of all. You aren’t hindered by the games of the mind, and won’t easily be swept along blindly by the floods and waters of life. Even when you think you are, you could actually, with a snap of a switch of perception, put yourself in a powerful enough position that makes life perfect or beautiful again.

Something like this: Being reprimanded by your boss right in front of your face can actually make you smile (do it just inside your brain of course), because you’re reminded that it’s only because you’re alive that you can experience this seemingly horrendous image in front of you. Sitting on a chair feeling bored, you could suddenly see things the happy way and slow down your pace even further, feel your breathing, see the beatitudes of boredness or just entertain yourself with the littlest or dumbest (in an adults’ perception) of things like a baby would, even if it means singing or just laughing out of nowhere. Yes it’d seem dumb if you read the above through the ego. The point here is though, that if you wanna be happy, forget judgment and just be so. If not, if you wanna be pissed off once in a while, to be hurt, to beat yourself up, you could also choose to stick to that big ass ego for a while.

It’s all going to be out of choice!

So, you get me?

Hope you do, now go and laugh your socks off : )

 


#134 Improve Every Moment, by Leo Babauta

Posted: September 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Life | No Comments »

I’m a big proponent of slowing down, simplifying, doing less, and being less busy … but what if you can’t?

What if your life can’t be made less busy — are you doomed to a life of anxiety and unhappiness?

No. I’m going to share with you a very simple tool that might just transform your life. It’s something I’ve been trying in the last few months, and I can attest that it works brilliantly.

This one little method will help you to:

  • Be more present, so life doesn’t rush past you without you noticing.
  • Enjoy every activity you do more, so life is better all the time.
  • Feel more relaxed, so every day is as good as a vacation.
  • Be ready to handle anything that comes your way.

Not bad for a very tiny method, no? Let’s dive in.

Busy vs. relaxed

Normally we have two different modes in life. There’s the busy of our everyday lives, and then there’s the relaxed mode, which happens when we have some unstructured time: vacation, a day at the beach, a spa getaway, some time in the park with the kids.

Relaxed mode is one where we perhaps think less and feel more. We just soak in the sun, the sounds, the sensations. This is a child-like time, because it’s the mode that young children are in the most. We do our best to train kids not to be like this, so they can be good workers when they grow up and serve our corporate masters.

And so we grow up to be in busy mode most of the week, and if we’re lucky we get a day or two, maybe only an hour or two of relaxed mode. When the Internet sucks us in, we have less relaxed mode because the Internet keeps us in our minds, and we forget about the physical world around us.

How can we change this? How can we bring the child-like relaxed, sensory mode back into our everyday lives, not just during breaks and meditation/yoga time and vacations?

It’s not that difficult, if you practice.

The Zen State

When we are in relaxed mode, we notice the sensations of the wind and sun, the sounds of water and laughter, the brilliant colors of nature, the smiles around us, the grass or sand between our toes. We are feeling instead of thinking. The sensations of our bodies flow into our minds, and it makes us relaxed, happy.

We can re-learn this mode of being with practice. Do it now. You’re reading a computer or mobile device screen, so your mind is in the world of the Internet … but your body is in the physical world. If you’re sitting, your butt can feel the chair. Your back might be a bit hunched. Your fingers are on a keyboard or mouse. Is the air around you cold or warm? Are there sounds you can notice? Is your jaw clenched? Notice your breathing.

When you put your focus into physcial sensations, you are entering relaxed mode instead of thinking mode. It’s not that you’re completely relaxed, but you’re in the same state of mind as the times you are relaxed, like yoga or the beach or lazing away a Sunday in bed.

Once you learn to do this, you can do it any time. In fact, all the time.

If you’re taking a shower, feel the water running down you, soak in the temperature and the sound of running water. If you’re eating, taste every little nuance of the food, smell the food, feel the texture in your mouth, feel the movement of your hand going to your mouth.

Do this as you work, as you talk on the phone or respond to emails or walk to a meeting or drive to an appointment, noticing the sensations on your skin, the colors around you, the sounds of humanity, your breath coming in and leaving you. Do this at home, as you do chores or prepare food or clean up or get ready for work. Do this throughout your day, and you will be in a constant state of relaxation and enjoyment.

It will transform everything you do, if you do it. It will turn busy-ness into being present, harriedness into enjoyment.

Life will be lived, instead of ignored.

(To learn more about Leo, visit: http://www.zenhabits.net)