Transforming Intellect into Realization

The mind, more often than not, has confused itself by making information as realization. There is a vast distinction between both and to recognize their salient characters needs the eyes of wisdom. Information is knowledge whereas realization is wisdom. One is merely an intellectual understanding whereas the other is a spiritual experience, a state of being.

Using upset as an example – I have experienced from many past occasions that upset is an effect of a certain peculiar idea that I am righteous about; and if I am denying this reality, I am bound to make the world wrong whenever I am being triggered. I will see the world as against me. If I defend something, I am sure to perceive others as an attack – both attack and defence comes as a pair, not separately. This realization has to be credited to A Course in Miracle’s statement “denial makes projection” as it begins my journey of learning to observe how true this statement is. Yet there are many a time where I would have failed to resolve my upsets even though I am aware of the ideas that I was having. It was what I was not seeing, rather than concluding the above statement being untrue or only works for certain situations. Usually, it would dawn upon me much later that I was barking at the wrong tree at those periods of time.

It is important to know that what is hidden from me will be revealed if I am able to recognize what is in front of me, for there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. Thus, if the maxim upset is caused by righteous clinging on to ideas and yet if I am unable to resolve my upset even though I am able to recognize the cause of it, I can be sure I am not recognizing the ideas correctly, or rather I am missing a point here. By nature, true recognition (potentially wisdom based) has the ability of undoing clinging. Naturally, when one is able to see an error, one has already rectified himself at that moment, that is, upon right recognition. It cannot be otherwise. In the same manner, recognizing a wrong attitude propels one immediately to right attitude. Each upset is merely an indicator letting me know that I am still not recognizing wisely.

So what are the misperceptions I have overlooked? There are a few wrong ideas that I am righteous about, very deeply ingrained by the society norm. To begin with, my idea is always right and as such what opposes it, is wrong. Even if I were to be open-minded, and ready to listen to your idea or view; with my intention is to undermine your perception; I will use your own words against you. That is how righteous the mind can be. More ideas on the list:

  1. I should not be upset (guilt)
  2. I am upset of myself for being upset (shame)
  3. Why am I upset again (anger)
  4. I should be able to resolve my upset and it is not happening (clinging)
  5. I am the problem of my upset (self-punishment)
  6. I must not express my upset (expectation + shame)

Each particular statement is an idea generated from a past perception, gotten either from a self concluded experience or a conscience ingrained from an unquestioned cultural or societal belief.

These ideas appear as thoughts in the mind. It camouflages further what is already present in my space – the original righteous idea that I am clinging on. In other words, the above examples are sub-ideas that strengthen the original idea. They are after-effects of a wrong idea. Observe how a wrong idea contagiously spread more wrong ideas into the mind. In truth, if I am able to recognize the original idea, there would not be any follow-up to it.

When I miss the mark of what is already here for me, and yet want to resolve the upset, the intellectual mind will be busily occupying itself into thinking of ways how to fix the upset. This is none other than what Albert Einstein was implying – answering from the same level where the question arises is insanity. Instead of giving up all the doing and let the muddle clear itself, the mind uses whatever knowledge it learns from the past to fix a situation instead of using those knowledge or information as an opportunity to observe the mind and thus gain understanding from it. All understanding could only arise through introspection or observation, not through intellectual fixing.

By composing oneself, whatever information one has from the past can be easily brought into the present moment and thus allow understanding to unfold by itself when proper observation is applied. In other words, one’s job is just to allow clarity into the present and by simply doing so, what obscure the truth comes into clarity. The intellectual mind is an obscurity.

Thus in truth, information or knowledge are merely truth for me to observe, not to apply. In the space of stillness, all is shown, and something realized.

My Choice, My Detriment

When I like or love someone, what is it that I am liking or loving about that person, to the effect that I want to be closer to that person, or even needing to possess him or her? But, as usual, more often that not, upon longer interaction or relationship with that person, I would come to realize that it is not what I wanted – to be with that person.

I may put up with the relationship a little longer, hoping that things will change – the wait and see syndrome, or I may just leave and move on with life, expecting another new experience to come into my space again in due time. Or, I may, just like many other lovers – engaged, married and settled down to life; begin a new adjustment to what has been bonded.

What is it that makes me move into or away from a relationship? Personality, looks, character, attitude, or what? There are many ideas to that and some are valid, at least for a certain period of time until things change! Now if I were to direct my attention inwards and listen to what I am attracted to instead of listening to what my head wants, I may come to a new frontier of understanding to the reasons of my choices in my relationships.

I came to realize that the form or character of that person has nothing much to do at all with my choices, though my head thinks I am deciding from that angle. I may be taught from media influences or parental/friends advices on what kind of relationship I should incline towards but when it comes to my own journey, in truth, I am no longer in charge, except by what is in me. My choices are much limited and confirmed mainly from whatever ideas that I already have in my system, formed from the many years or even lifetimes of interactions. In fact, there is no choice at all except matching of what is in my database, the mind’s hard disk. I am dancing to the tune of my ideas, to my same lingo, so to speak.

I am drawn to a relationship by what fits into my idea. If I have an idea of abandonment in my life and if a person crosses my path that seems to offer me a sense of belonging, at least for that temporary period of time, I will unconsciously be attracted to it and begin to find ways of bonding that relationship. Sad to say, I find that many a time the mind will manipulate its way through sweet talking, subtly lying, conformity or even giving up one’s integrity for the sake of making that relationship work. And to keep that relationship bonded, I will consistently adjust myself by giving in to the others’ needs – a very exhausting and painful process indeed – just to make sure that my fear of being abandonment will not arise. I am living my dream world and manipulating others to fit into my dream. But how could that be possible as attitude changes all the time? What I perceive in that person is only what I want from them – but in reality that person does not offer me what I want all the time.

Hence when I don’t see that reality, I am creating my doom again. That person may find my presence suffocating as I try ways of making him fit into my need. In reality, no one has rejected or abandoned me. My playing up of fear of being abandoned jeopardizes my own relationship.

It is interesting to observe here that the people I am attracting into my field are seldom for my highest growth except to maintain my status quo. Instead of surrendering to what comes to me, trusting that each every person that crosses my path has something for me to grow out from my box, I choose people that fits into my need and move away from those who push my buttons.

How much then have we grown throughout the years? Or have we even? It is not that destiny or the God in our perception is unfair – everything, yes EVERYTHING, within our own field is our doing, albeit an unconscious movement. We doomed ourselves in many ways. We jeopardize our own growth. When we don’t seek what is within us, we destroy ourselves in long term. When we seek what is within us, what is within us will assist us to find a way out from the narrow confinement of our own created box.

So what is it that we are attracted to in any person we seemingly like? A piece of missing jigsaw that we are seeking to make our storyline perfect – and our jigsaw formation are none other than all our experiences we have of our past – the ideas and views that we conclude from each encounter that conditioned us to look at things in a very specific and peculiar way, many a times not based on wisdom, but rather judgments and ignorant of what is. It is a vicious cycle and when we don’t take moments to inquire why this is happening in our lives, we are led blindly by the nose to another experience that repeats what is in the past. Scary? Indeed.

Be it pleasant or an unpleasant journey, know that my present journey is but a continuation of what I have not undone from the past. I am the creator of my own bondage in a very unconscious way.

Read another synchronized entry from JournalingTruth titled Healing the Abandoned for a better insight.

Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.

– A Course In Miracles

Deepest Truth means Looking Within

Finding your deepest truth means looking within. It means not blaming other people, not playing the victim and not spending time feeling sorry for yourself. When you look more deeply at any situation, you can always see that you set it up for your growth. In any situation you feel you were a victim you always had an inkling of what was going on, and ignored opportunities to change things.

As you look more deeply at things that really bother you, I want to propose a thought: Nothing you are upset about is caused by what you think. For instance, you may be upset that your friend accused you of doing something you didn’t do. Upon deeper examination, you will find that it is a recreation of an earlier pain, played out over and over in changing scenery with different people until you resolve it. It may be a reenactment of a childhood drama in which you were accused of things you didn’t do. Pain, anger, or resentment you feel now almost always comes from a similar childhood experience. You recreate the pain so that you can move beyond it. Next time you feel angry at someone, stop. Close your eyes and go within. See that you have had similar experiences before. Realize that you are reliving some childhood decision and that now is an opportunity to end this pattern in your life and come from your deepest truth. Realize other people are only drawn to play out certain roles with you to help you evolve. Let go of any anger or blame you have towards them.

Sanaya Roman (Channel for Orin), Personal Power through Awareness

Denial Makes Projection

I see similarity of denial taught in A Course in Miracle with the Buddha’s teaching on moha, or ignorance. To ignore is to deny what is already in existence and thus creating a whole entire web of delusion of “I”.

What I deny I project

All projections are denial. And all denial results in projection. When I deny something within me, I make an image out of the world by seeing it as separate from me, as against me. For instance, if I don’t acknowledge my inability to be fully responsible for my own choices, and when someone is to suggest an idea that may seems to be in total opposite to what I choose, I am bound to see him as attacking or against me. In another perspective, if someone is unable to accept what is in his or her space, say an illness, that person will see the illness as an enemy to oppose. He/she will seek further evidences to make the illness wrong and by doing so only make matters worse by solving the symptom without working on the source of the dis-ease. In another example, if I see someone as better than me, I am not seeing the comparison as a self-judgment I have made upon myself. I am continuously projecting out into the world what I am denying, by making the world my enemy. In other words when I judge others, irrelevant whether the judgment is a positive or negative comment, I am in truth, judging myself.

Projection makes perception

When I take the projection as reality, not understanding that they are merely pointing to a denial within me, I make this reality into further perception – seeing realness in it. Back to the example of the inability to be steadfast in my own choices – my denial of this fact makes me project in others as attacking my freedom to choose. This in return makes me perceive others as “enemy”, “wrong”, “bad”, “unfair” or towards myself as a “victim”, with a “poor me” mentality. Observe how a beginning of denial creates a snowballing effect of misperceptions which makes us seek further evidences to proof ourselves or others as “right” and “wrong”.

Whenever there is ignorance of things as they truly are, I am subjected to a truckload of self-suffering, not to mention the suffering of others too. Everything begins with me and ends in me. When I don’t see the source of my projection, I fail to see the end of my own mind-made suffering. Indeed painful are repeated lessons until I see the truth of its reality. As a matter of fact, nothing actually occurred in terms of perception except for what is playing out in the mind.

It takes a renewed awakening, the remembering to be aware of the source of all projections that can lead me out of this entanglement. So long as I do not turn my attention inwards to every relationship I have; be it animate or inanimate; I will not be able to recognize the source of my suffering – be it in any forms of attachment or resistance. I am the creator of my own suffering, the cause of suffering, the ending of suffering, and the way leading out of suffering.

Weak Rooting, Fake Footing

Upon reading Paul Ferrini’s article on Inner Authority, it came to my realization that a major number of upsets that I have each day; projected mainly upon someone or something else, other than myself; has much to do with my non inner authority.

Within a day I was able to see how much integrity I actually have in myself; for example, my day with my spouse. It started in the morning where I wanted to have some time for myself and I did not voice it out to Lai Fun. Instead, I had this defensive mentality that all I wanted was free space – all for myself. Obviously when I am defensive, I am already preparing for an attack, albeit an unconscious one; even if the request that came at any moment in time could be as trivial as answering a phone call. When I do not express what I need, or be an authority to my inner intention but instead defend myself, I am already in a state of dis-ease; and surely, any trigger, irrelevant whether it is essential or not, is enough to make me see anyone, or even anything, as wrong. I was never at peace and I saw the mind being in constant lookout to either defend or attack anyone who “robs my time”. And I could see how the mind grumbled and used my spouse as a scapegoat for blaming, for taking up “my precious time”. How on earth would she had known what was it that I wanted?

Of course, if I was loving and had the attitude of give and take, such upset would not have arisen in the first place – but wait-a-minute, let me be clear – have I been an incessant pleaser and giver, instead of a balanced player of receiving and giving? The question here is not about compromising, which is very often being played out by so-called “loving” couples – in fact, it is because of compromising that we are always in feud with our partners; irrespective whether it is spoken or, in silence. One obvious sign is to observe the communication between couples – are we still in loving talking terms or are we merely silent throughout the day; though silence is still a form of communication – though passive in nature? I remember a friend who once mentioned about his relationship with his spouse – “we seldom talk, and everything is fine” until he embarked on his own self healing journey. There is so much deceit we have upon ourselves, learnt from a culture, carried forward from an unquestioned societal norm that we are unaware of.

I can’t live for others except to be true to myself. At each moment, I am called to vocalize my needs and each expression is a form of verbalizing my inner authority, particular if it has to involve another. If I am to express myself as a way to defend my needs, I am no longer standing in my own space of authority but authorizing others. My expression of defense may be in a form of subtle attack, by trying to control others in giving out fear. By doing so, I am not trusting that a consistent loving expression is my stand of integrity. I am afraid of being moved by others’ view, not truly seeing that it is actually my weakness in standing up for my needs – and to curb that, I use fear as a hasty way of to convey my needs so that I need not face my shortcomings. Doing so weakens my own inner authority further.

Even with my needs, I am invited to question them further. Is my need based on fear, which in reality is a ‘want’ in disguised? When there is a “wanting” I am already projecting a lack in me which is another façade of fear. When I want something, am I trying to control a situation to get what I desire? If such is the case, I am already expressing authority over others, short changing myself in the process. It is pretty tricky as I keep balancing myself between inner authority; either over or under-extending myself by being an authority for others or having no authority for myself.

There is only one thing that is clear – so long as I am upset, I can be sure I have sold my soul away, so to speak. I am not honest with myself.

Inner Authority

Let’s be clear. Being your own authority does not mean being an authority for anyone else! It just means that you don’t let any one else become an authority for you. Everyone is free to choose, including you. And everyone is responsible for the choice that he or she makes. How else could it be?

Many people try to cross these clear lines of responsibility, but doing so only clouds their perception of reality. Don’t be a glutton for punishment. Honor these lines and you will honor each other.

First, understand that you are not taking responsibility for yourself when:

  1. You let someone else make choices for you, or
  2. You make choices for someone else.

This is co-dependence. It is not empowering to yourself or the other person. It may appear to gain you a temporary advantage, but you pay for that advantage by forfeiting your freedom to choose your own life.

It’s great to listen to others and learn from others. Intimate sharing is essential to your spiritual growth. It gives you feedback that you can use to expand your perceptions. But others do not know what you need. Even psychics and other intuitive persons cannot tell you what you need to know. They may supply an important piece of information or they may not. Either way, you are the person who must use this information to find your peace.

Understand that there are limits on what anyone can tell you that will be truly helpful. Those limits apply to what you can tell others. The most help you can give or receive from others is encouragement. Anything more than that is rarely helpful.

To be your own authority, you must let go of the concept that there is an answer outside of you. You must let go of the concept that there is something to achieve.

Authority comes directly out of experience. It says: “I honor my life. I accept what is true for me, even if it is not true for others.”

Inner authority is inconsistent with prescribing for others. As soon as you try to make others fit with your values and beliefs, you undercut the power of those values and beliefs in your own life. As soon as you need the agreement of others to honor your own life, you have lost touch with your inner authority.


Nature, and Beyond Nature

I find the mind intriguing, and yet, baffling. Nothing has come near to comparing the capability of the mind, its weirdness and its potentiality. When I refer to the mind, I am referring to a nature rather than something that I am learning to comprehend. In terms of nature – it is not something that belongs to me and yet it is something that I can’t separate from except to experience it. I am using the word “nature” to denote an experience that is universal by observation and has a specific order or pattern that can be understood by anyone who examined it.

At the individual level, each of us has a specific interest and priority in life, be it money, career, status, hobby, relationship, health or even solitude. Underlying each interest is our need to feel complete, as food for satiating our inner need. There is something within each and every one of us that needs to be continuously fed, to feel complete. Seldom do we try to probe or understand why is there such a specific need tailored to each different individual. This uniqueness propels us to judge our neighbour or help us find common grounds for friendship. The proverb birds of the same feather flocks together points to the effect of this peculiar need.

Our observation of cliques, tribes, fellowships, societies, organisations or even individualisations are all based from this specific need ingrained in each of us. It is from this need, specialness is motivated. Where there is specialness, separation inevitably arises. Separation is not something we consciously create and thus it is impossible to have a non separate entity or a common ground of understanding for us to be together – simply for the reason that lodged within each of us is this unquestioned need that propels us to be different from others. No matter how well we jive with others that resonates with our inner need, somewhere along the friendship there is prone to be disharmony or splits, or on a lesser degree, adjustment to fit into each other’s need; which ironically becomes another form of our own inner need. For us to feel belong we either move away to find another grouping that we can subscribe to or make inner adjustment to escape our fear of rejection.

Our entire life is practically on this unconscious motion – changing courses to satiate our needs or making adjustments to feel belong. Seldom are we authority of our own mind. The mind’s need is subjugating us to live a life of misery and slavery – albeit an unconscious choice – imprisoning us to keep satiating its need. Where there are moments of choice, each choice is made according to this mind’s need. Is there then truly a choice or merely a conditioning brought forward from the blindness or ignorance of this need?

A secular life does not invoke such questioning and thus practically gives away a life in vain to the vanity of the mind’s desire. To the uninitiated, material gains and status is the yardstick of a successful life whereas to an inner seeker, a seeker who wish to understand and transcend the meaning of existence; all gains are merely a camouflage of an incessant addiction found at the deepest core of the mind – the need. Spiritual gains, or as Chogyam Truangpa bluntly refer to as material spiritualism, are no different from those of material pursuit. Spiritual ecstasies, calmness, joy or any uplifting experiences becomes a trapping for the need when we identify them as the ultimate experience of oneness or God, or even enlightenment. Where there is a need, there exists the ego, the opposite to what sacredness of God or enlightenment is.

In short, God or enlightenment has nothing to do with the world. It is entirely exclusive and beyond the mind, not to mention the body. To match what is beyond the mind as mind experiences makes a mockery of the sanctity of what a mind has the potential of achieving – its own destruction – the destruction of “I-ness” which is the cause of all the need. Here lies the fallacy of the mind – its weirdness of the unquestioned need due to ignorance and its potential of ‘self’-destruction, arising from self-inquiry – wisdom.

What then is this need, in reality? An idea. Plainly an idea – arising from delusion and along with it is the world born.