My Reality, My Responsibility

An idea is all it takes to start a dramatic soap opera, be it a nightmare or a happy dream. Not just one idea, to be exact, but rather the first idea that sets the motion of a series of other connected ideas along with it – the entire retinue of cast, so to speak. If the first idea is about brutality, the whole cast of the opera must be brutal, ugly, revengeful etc – don’t expect the cast to be lovey-dovey or cartoonish by nature. If the idea of betrayal comes to mind, we can be sure it is about victimhood, persecutor-ship, jealousy and all its relatives of “poor-me” mentality. We have to take into account how our ideas are churning out more stuff – it all begins from our mind and ends itself there too – never will it end somewhere “out there”. If we think it is out there that we need to make us feel whole again, we can be sure we will never see Peace except revenge; and all revenge has guilt as its result, not peace.

Birds of the same feather flocks together – one wrong mad idea is sufficient to bring in a retinue of wrong ideas along with it. The mind works in accordance with the law of attraction, or, law of causal relationship. One moment of idea is connected to an immediate past and results in the next idea. In short, each idea we have is constantly connected to the immediate past and future.

In other words, when the mind is ignorant, we can be sure the idea that springs up from it is wrong by nature, seeking further evidences to support the idea. One can experience this in their daily lives – when something goes “wrong” the mind will play out its drama by making others wrong. Similarly, when one falls in love with another, passionately, one will not see any wrongness except all the “goodness” about another, irrelevant whether that person exhibit certain unattractive characteristics. But when love finally wanes, usually after a wedding, everything becomes apparently clear! Love blinds! In truth there is no love except ignorance!

Ideas constantly appear in our perception, in the way we look at things. It also arises in our attitude. Thus we are the maker of our reality. What we perceive is what we see as truth. Be careful with what we have in our minds. Whatever we already have will bring forth views that support our beliefs. When we are not able to see whether what we have is right perception or wrong perception (right view or wrong view) we are doom into further suffering or freedom. Do we have the wisdom to break the cycle when wrong ideas are already in our system? Would we be able to know whether the perception we have is right or wrong – that lead us to bondage or freedom? That requires unwavering self-inquiry and good spiritual friends – not that kind of friends that support our poor-me stories, but friends that allow us to see our mistakes. Not many would love to have friends who point out our errors. Only the wise.

That reminds me what Yeshua had said – When you bring forth that within you, then that will save you. If you do not, then that will kill you.

Another beautiful piece from him –
Recognize what is in front of you,
and what is hidden from you will be revealed.
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

The journey to total Freedom is to continuously probe ideas that are detriment to our peace, to our freedom. And this can only be done when we turn the radar inwards, not outwards. Thus integrity and self-responsibility of what occurs in the mind is one’s highest priority.  The world is merely a mirage, bringing up the worst and best of us. The stories and dramas are all irrelevant, if we wish to see our way out from the entire maya of existence.

Let the House be Overturned

Through many a birth
I wandered in samsara,
seeking, but not finding
the builder of this house*.
Sorrowful is it to be born again and again.

O house-builder! Thou art seen.
Thou shalt build no house again.
All thy rafters are broken.
Thy ridge-pole is shattered.
My mind has attained the unconditioned.
Achieved is the end of craving.

– The Buddha

samsara: cyclic birth and death
* Builder of this house: (craving = tanha)
 House: body; Rafters: passion; Ridge pole: ignorance.

* * *

Yeshua said:
I will overturn this house
and none will be able to rebuild it.

– The Gospel of Thomas

Existence and the world are synonymous. Though it may seems the world is “out there” and existence is “in here”, both are pointing at the same thing, albeit a different perspective. What is the same thing that both existence and the world are pointing at? Lies – a fabricated illusion that I, unawarely had made it real. Like a house of walls that I have built around myself for safety – that very house that gives me security is the very place that imprisons me – a self imposed prison that I deceived myself into. How insane can that be? I am a prisoner, a prison warden and also the prison itself. And who is the one who puts me there in the first place? Myself. I am the victim, the defendant, the jury, and also the judge in the courtroom of my own creation – prosecuting myself all the way into doom.

I named existence a house of lies – lying, deceiving, fabricating, cheating, an impostor – over and over again in my life. I am not referring to a conscious liar but rather, you and me, no matter how good or kind we think we are, are merely an unconscious lie we tell ourselves.

Every nook and corner of my activities, I find myself lying, albeit an unconscious one. To be accurate, it is not me lying since I am totally unaware of it. Yet it is the very system I put into myself that activates the process to run in me. It is an ancient program running on its own, having a life of its own. It is the conditioned I put myself into; from the past; that propels the liar in me to still run rampage at this moment.

If I were to trace back the very source of my own action that is occurring in the now, I will find the victim in me. Doesn’t matter whether my action is deemed wholesome or unwholesome, the mere fact that “I” am happy or sad is already pointing to a victim mentality in me. I have never got out from myself. I am imprisoned in my own thoughts and views that colored me from seeing the world as separate from me. The meaning of separation could only occur where walls are put up to give a definition of inside and outside.

To escape from this illusion, I have to do what Yeshua has proclaimed in the Gospel of Thomas:

I have sown fire upon the world,
and now I tend it to a blaze.

The program I run, is no longer necessary, but I am totally ignorant to it – simply because the built-in system disallows questioning – not that the system stops me from inquiring but rather for the simple reason that I took the system as a gospel truth that I created upon myself to protect the illusionary victimization I am in. The victim mentality that is going on in me is strengthening the system, the aged old program.

So long as there is an “I” idea, I am already a victim by default. Do I experience inferiority? Oh yes, as a victim. Do I experience superiority – definitely, as a judge. Do I experience equality? All the time, consistently comparing with another for approval and security. Be it superior, inferior or in between, as equal – I am playing the role of a victim – for I am the worst judge, jury, persecutor, warden – right till the end where I doomed myself to imprisonment. I am the player of the whole game, my own game.

To keep inquiring each moment is the beginning of setting the fire upon the world, the release of the victim in me. And it is not a one time off job. It is life itself – tending the blaze by bringing inquiry to the forefront of my thoughts, speech and action – where I will be consistently directed back to the system – the motivation behind each veil, the source of the program that is still in me NOW.

An unquestioned inquiry is a lie of the highest order. Where I don’t question my motivation, I am making the world the subject of responsibility, that I, myself, am not the source of misery. For too long I have fooled myself by questioning the world albeit at mind level, living a life totally devoid of inner questioning. Look not far and you will see how much judgment arises in the mind at each moment – that is the result of questioning the world, instead of coming back to the source itself – our own mind. It is a comfort zone that I have mastered throughout my life. To exchange it for a new way of living is scary as it gives a meaning that I have to live life all over again – more than that, I am being given the impression that who I am in the past were merely lies, lies, and lies, and nothing less. Who of a sane mind would do that – stirring mud in still, clear water?

But yet, so long as there is mud in the water, the water cannot be considered clear, except stale and in stagnation, amidst an illusionary peacefulness. That is truly a serious lie, an insanity looming at the background of the so-called sanity, like you and me. We are all walking ghosts, moving aimlessly in the sand of time; until we are awaken from it.

Further reading: Journaling Truth

The Sand of Time – Oblivious to the Obvious

From personal observation and experience, the Spirit, Wisdom or Essence, whatever you may call it, never left me; not even once, not even a breath of a moment. Not like stories of the old where I hear about “have mercy God, why have you forsaken me?” – for God, or Spirit, or whatever name I put upon it, is not something, or someone that is separated from me. It is inseparable. In fact the word “separation” was not even in the equation at all in the very first place. It is just a delusional experience I get when I don’t realize that there is nothing that I “should” not have and nothing that I “could” have other than what is already here for me.

The meaning of “lack” only arises in me when I want something other than what is already here in my space. What is already in my space is all that I am – for that is who I really am – defined by what is in the experience. In short, experiences define me. If anger is in my space, I define myself as “I am Angry”. If food is in front of me and a pleasant experience comes up in me, I define myself as “I am Happy” etc. I am peaceful, I am hurt, I am stupid, I am intelligent, I am jealous – mere definitions of experiences. I am being given experiences all the time, not one moment short of it. Other than experiences, I am no-thing – not even “I am”. In fact, “I am no-thing” is also not spiritually correct as there is no “I am” other than experience. When experience arises, “I am” accompanies it. In other words there is merely experiencing but no experiencer, observing but no observer.

But desire or clinging makes me think otherwise, delusionally. It makes me think I am “Someone” or “Somebody” if I have what I want. In truth I can’t have anything except experience itself. “Experience” and the “need to have something” is exclusive and yet the same thing.  The “need to have something” is an experience that is already in my space. If I don’t see it as an experience, I fall into the trap that it is “I” that is needing it, hence “I am needing” instead of needing as an experience. When this equation is not seen exactly as it is, I ignore the Truth that is present at that moment of time and fall into the dream of lack, which calls forth the meaning of “separation” of what I am wanting and not able to have it. Irrelevant whether I will have it later or not, but each wanting is already a meaning of “separation” attached to it.

Ignorance is the cause – in other words missing the mark resulting in misperception that is going on in the Now. Hence, clinging is the effect. Both this causal relationship of ignorance or clinging is wrong view by nature. A wrong view or idea that comes into my space which I do not recognize it as an experience but instead latch on to it as “I am experiencing” – a delusional realness that perpetuates the nightmare of this so-called existence. Existence does not exist except in a dream, an illusion of clinging on to the idea sprang from not having and thus the need to seek for it. Right here, right now, once the misperception is change – from seeing it as an experience, rather than “I am experiencing”, what is misperceived is brought into Truth – it is all just a tiny mad idea.

Herein lies the Peace; immaculate, unspotted, untouched, unconditioned – where “I” was merely a dream, a dream that has never occurred at all, except in an illusion. And illusion is but a misperception, a delusion of sort, an off tangent of what is – missing the mark.

it begins
as an unobvious error
a very tiny little bit of misperception
a REALITY off tangent
and a whole meaning of time conceived
harmless as it may seems
left unchecked
a nightmare
an unimaginable suffering.

beyond time
beyond space
nothing
occurred
except but a dream.

wakeup… wakeup!

***

an article worth reading:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/freedomfrombuddhanature.html

Illusional Image

The green dot – is it real or only exist in your perception? Do you see it growing?
Can you really trust what you see?

Misperceiving False for Reality

Each moment of experience bring us to make a choice that is to either respond or react; in other words, based from right or wrong perception.Right perception is one that is based from wisdom, a learning that we have understood or realized from the past. Wrong perception is a conclusion that is based from ignorance, a judgment that we interpret, without giving ourselves a chance to reflect wisely within us what is the lesson of that moment. To give attention to the effect is a misperception as there is nothing we can do about it, thus wrong perception.

In short, we either learnt from the past or make a blanket conclusion out from it. It is not true that we always learn from the past – in fact we seldom learn except make conclusions out of what we experienced – through what we like and don’t like, instead of what brings us freedom or bondage. If it is a true learning, it would have been a realization, an understanding, and hence wisdom that leads us to peace and freedom. If our present actions are based from our past experiences of fear, of what we like and don’t like, then we can be sure we are locked into our past, experiencing a bondage that we have to apply in the present again, to escape the pain. “To learn” is to mean giving ourselves the space of an open mind to reach in and understand what is demeaning our peace, our freedom. If the mind is in the state of righteousness and arrogance, unaware of the fear lingering at the background, we have shut ourselves to understanding, to wisdom.

It is about being aware of these two dynamics playing up in us at each moment. We can only know or recognize them by being awake to the moment. Rarely we were trained to do this – hence the practice of mindful living. The mind is constantly focusing on the outside rather than in here – the very source where all issues are. Let me illustrate an event that shows these dynamics. I was on rice fasting for two weeks and there were many a time I smelled delicious cooking coming from my neighbour’s kitchen. To an unquestioned experience, the first thing that came to mind was how nice it was if I was able to savour that food. That thought would have perpetuated me further to a wild imagination of “what if”s and probably led to my giving up my fast in exchange for that pleasure. Or on the other extreme, the mind may have guilt for having such a thought and out of fear or shame, forced itself back quickly to some other activity as to avoid the temptation.

Both thoughts are detrimental to freedom and peace though on the onset it may seem as if I had picked out the right thing to do. But what I did was neither of both. I allowed myself the space to recognize the nature of the mind that was taking place – that nothing could be included or excluded from past, except to acknowledge it. Whatever effect experience that came up from that scent is nature – I don’t have a choice in it. My only choice lies in how I respond or react to it. I don’t have a choice not to smell the scent – either it comes into my space or otherwise. And as I allow nature to unfold itself I realized that the scent has nothing to do with my taste, except a thought that arise subsequently wanting to eat it. What has the scent got to do with eating? That understanding alone was enough to bring me back into peace, recognizing that smelling is part of the process and wisdom has the ability to differentiate it with the taste and hence the end of the thought. This self inquiry arose when I give myself the space to observe how nature works – not by suppressing or refraining from smelling.

Right choice comes from wisdom. And it is also wisdom that makes me see that I can’t stop others from judging me. And it is again wisdom that allows me to learn from the situation after it happened. Where there is no wisdom, there is no choice except jumping into a reaction which is based from wrong perception of the past and what started off as ignorance will spiral further that leads to more defence, attack and ultimately blame and pain. There is no other way except to relearn from it again in another situation where we are called upon to choose again – to inquire so as to gain deeper insights into the reason of our errors and the pain deriving from it, which in return will be gifted with wisdom. Each little step we take in watching the mind is a sure journey Home, to Truth itself.