From Bondage to Freedom

The moment you make a decision you are drifting; you are changing track. The decisions that you make depends on the options that you have. The options are in your mind in the form of thoughts. You pick up a thought and act or not act on it. The thoughts that you have today depends on your birth and your birth in not in your control. You cannot choose your parents or the family or the environment in which you will be born. This is decided by existence or God or Nature, whatever you may call it. Today If I am an engineer, the Idea of being an engineer must have come from my parents or from the education that was provided to me by my parents. The thought must have come to me from somewhere outside, which depends on the environment in which I was born and my birth was not decided by me. So whatever I do, it is the decision of creation or existence or God. So we see that we remain confined to our small world. This is the case with everyone of us. We are bound by our world in which we were born. And we keep circling within our small worlds. We are limited within our small worlds. Our actions are limited by our thoughts and our thoughts are limited by our births. We are constantly drifting, but drifting within our worlds. Whatever we do, we are confined to our world. In the modern times, our small world is the whole world because we all are connected. We know what someone else is doing, who may be half the world away. We can get ideas and thoughts from someone else who is half way around the world. Whatever we do, we are as if chained to our own worlds. This is the case with all the people in this world. Each one of us is acting according to the thoughts they have. All of us being born in the same connected planet have similar thoughts and we act according to our thoughts. Millions of people have similar thoughts and when so many people are acting on similar thoughts using their will power (only when your will is acted on a thought there is action), they are bound to clash with each other and there is bound to be conflict. There is bound to be suffering. Someone will win and someone will lose. No one can always win. There has to be loss and one cannot win all the time. This is the wheel of the world and it is dangerous. Because of this the world is made of opposites – Happiness and sorrow, of victory and defeat, of good and bad. This is why our lives are full of both. One cannot say that one will always be a winner and one will always be happy. This is the case with everyone. To an ordinary man, he is born into bondage. Being in bondage he suffers. He cannot get out of this bondage.

If you look closely, every day we make decisions are all decisions are for ourselves. We all want to earn money, we all want to have a good position in society, we want power, we want to be famous, we want to do great business, we want a better job, we want a good house, and we want a peaceful family, a good husband, a good wife, good children and a lot more. In every action of us there is an “I” or “ME” included. There cannot be action without this “I”. Everything that we do is for ourselves. The decisions we make every day is because of this “I”.  There are millions of people in the planet, working for their “I”. This “I” makes us act. This “I” makes us move forward in life. And all these “I”s are bound to clash with each other. There is suffering, there is conflict, and there is killing and violence. The world moves because of all the “I”s otherwise there would be no movement. The wheel of the world moves because all the “I”s and this wheel is dangerous. It creates enormous suffering for all the people.

There are two ways to freedom from this bondage.

  • One, if you decide NOT to drift at all. You decide not make a decision at all. You decide once and for all not to act on your thoughts, whatever your  thoughts may be, whatever may be the source of your thoughts, and you will  not act. You leave the world, and become a recluse. You do not care about this world – you do not care about your parents, wife, children or husband. You do not care about anything at all. You do not care about what will  happen to them if you leave them forever. You say “I don’t want anything” and leave. In this path, only the “I” remains and everything else is renounced. If you are the “I” and the world is “you” – the “You” or everything other than “I” vanishes, leaving only the pure “I”. If you see closely using your intellect, then you will know that the “I” exist because of the “You”. Without the “You” there is no “I”. So, when the “You”  is completely removed by slowly renouncing the “You”, when the “You” is no  more, the “I” also vanishes – leaving you enlightened – leaving you completely Free. You become a Buddha.
  • Two, if  you decide to drift as and when required as if the drift is being done by      Creation or existence. You will provide no resistance to drift. This is  just the opposite of the first method. You decide to be in this world, drift and change course. You care about everything, do everything; you use your will to act on your thoughts. But if you act on all your thoughts then there s bound to be conflict. There is bound to be suffering. What to do then? The problem is not because of your action, but on the results of the actions. The results cause suffering – the results make you win or lose, the results make your victorious or make you a failure. The results will make us drift in life. In this method, you have to leave the results in the hands of God. In this method, you will just drift and not bother about drifting.

If we are being driven by god, then all we have is free time. The journey is his responsibility, ours. We do not know where we will drift, where we will change course. He will drive us to our goals; we need not bother to reach. If you look back, we have been drifting along all our lives and the point where we are today is because of all the drifts that had taken place in the past. So, we have lots and lots of time. Time does not matter. One need not be in a hurry at all. Even if you are late, it does not matter. Even if you miss something it does not matter. For example, in a 10 hour journey, what do you do? You may read; you may listen to music; you may chat with other co passengers or with anyone travelling with you. You are free to do whatever you want. You may look out of the window and enjoy the scenery. You may go to sleep. Whatever you do, it is not going to affect the journey. Because whatever you do, you are journeying in the right direction. No time is going to be wasted.  You need not worry about what will happen if you do not do what you are doing during the journey. You may do something or not do something – it does not matter.

Similarly in life, whatever you do, no time is going to be wasted because you are driven by God. If you cry, you are not wasting time, if you read or if you celebrate and enjoy your journey, you are not wasting any time.

If the results are in his control, then we are free from the results, then the responsibility is on His shoulders or on existence. He will take you wherever He has to take you and He is will definitely take you.

If you are crying – you are passing time by crying

If you are angry – you are just passing time by being angry

If you are doing business – you are passing time by doing business

If you are driving – you are still passing time by driving

If you are working – you are still passing time by working

If you are sad – you are passing time by being sad

If you are depressed – you are passing time by being depressed

If you are celebrating and rejoicing – then you are passing time by celebrating

If you are serious about something or someone – you are just passing time by being serious

If you are fighting with someone – then you are passing time by fighting with that person

If you do not do anything – even then you are passing time by doing nothing

When you are passing time, you are just passing time, there is no responsibility on you – you can take work as a play, whatever you do – and when you are passing time, without any responsibility of results – you can celebrate.

All you do is just pass time – you have nothing else to do – there is no hurry – your arrival will be decided by him – and in the mean time you have to pass your time. And while in a journey we always enjoy. At least the journey is enjoyed – we do not know what will happen when we arrive – but relax and enjoy the journey because we are not driving the bus or train, we do not have to bother about the route, we do not have to bother about whether we are in the right direction or not. We know that we will arrive and this makes us relax. Remember that this journey is an unending journey so there is rejoicing and celebrating all our lives. There is freedom all our lives – no matter where we are and what we do.

In the process of being drifted, understand that God is drifting you, this drifting is your journey and during the process – celebrate and enjoy – whatever you are doing, wherever you are – just enjoy – know that what you are doing does not matter and wherever you are does not matter.

Do whatever you are doing, but change a little in the way you think. You have to keep in mind one line “NOT ME, BUT THOU ART”.

You do whatever you do, but know that it is not for you that you are doing this but for the other.

  • If you are getting married – You marry for not your happiness, but for the happiness for your spouse.
  • If you are earning money – you are not earning money for yourself or for your happiness but for your family and others
  • If you buying a house – you are buying it for the happiness for your family for the safety and security of your family
  • If you are working – you are working for the betterment of your family – to give them a good life
  • While taking decisions, while acting on your thoughts – know that all your actions will be for the other and not for yourself
  • If you are struggling – know that you are struggling for others and not yourself

It will be as if, you are slowly removing yourself from the picture, leaving behind the conflict. It is as if you are making the wheel of the world move freely by not being a block and getting crushed in between. It is as if you are making the life of others easier by not being a block on their way. It is nothing but just a change in the thought process. In this case, you put yourself last and others ahead of you. This will help to slowly do away with the “I”. The “I” will slowly vanish and you will be left with only “you”. And when the “I” vanishes, the “you” also vanishes leaving you enlightened – you become a Buddha.

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Your mind is the Society

If you do something new, the society may not accept. Each and every person will have their own comments – good, bad, right, wrong etc. Most of them will stop you from doing it. You all must have had this experience. Even if they do not stop you physically, they will have their own comments. They will discuss within themselves about your new endeavor – whatever it is. Some people will say that you are right and some people will say that you are wrong. If these people in the society are made to sit together and have a group discussion on your new endeavor, they will continue to argue for years. But have you ever thought, why are these people always discussing – because they want to know the outcome of your new endeavor. But one thing is clear that they cannot stop you physically from doing what you want to do and they cannot ever come to a conclusion. It is impossible. No one is able to know the future. That is why I say that the discussion will continue for years and one day they will forget or they will give up being tired of discussing.

Imagine that one day the society vanishes, no one is there. You are alone with your new plan. The moment you “think” of working on your plan, you mind starts speaking. It will talk about right and wrong, good and bad etc etc. There will start a discussion in your mind. A group discussion – consisting of various voices. Some voices will say good, some will say bad, some will say right, and some will say wrong.

If you watch is closely, it is the same group discussion that would have happened between the people in the society. The comments or objections that will come in your mind while you are alone, will be the same comments raised by the people in the society.

The comments or objections are always the same, whether it is in your mind, or the society. You mind also raises the same objections. This is because, whatever we have learned, it is from the society. The good, the bad, the right and the wrong has been decided by the society. So whatever the mind knows is nothing but what the society knows. It is all the crowd knows. In short, your mind is the society. Your mind is crowd.

Your mind consists of all the people living in the society. That is why a group discussion is possible in your mind. That is why there are various opinions. If there was only “one”, then the questions of “yes” and “No” would not be there. A discussion would not be possible. A discussion will be possible only when there are more than one. Difference of opinion is possible only when there are more than one inside. All these people, since they are in your mind, that the form of “I”, in your mind.

You think that it is you saying once – yes- and once – no. But in reality there are many people giving their own free opinion to you in your mind.

IT IS NEVER YOU. NO THOUGHT CAN BE YOURS.

Whenever you mind objects or raises questions, know that it is not you, it is the society objecting or raising questions. And similarly the discussion in your mind is also because it wants to know the outcome, it wants to see the result. You must have noticed, that you also always want to know “what will happen?”,whenever you want to do something new.

The discussion in your mind, will also fade and eventually stop once you don’t give a damn to it. This is the way. You can do away with the society, by only not listening to what your mind says.

You cannot erase the society but you can always go beyond your mind. Going beyond the mind is going beyond the society. You can always know the millions of voices inside, and say to yourself “I will no longer listen to you” and go ahead in life.

But the final question is of this one “I” who says “I will no longer listen to you”. Even if you do away with all the “I”s made up of the society, this one “I” remains. Doing away with this final “I” is the final step towards enlightenment.

The Walking Experiment – To Know the Inner Voice

If we watch ourselves carefully, we will know that we are always in a hurry. Whatever we are doing, walking, eating, driving, working, we are always in a hurry to finish. But we do not know the reason for our hurried-ness  We do not know what will we do after we finish what we are doing now. But we are always in the hurry to finish.

This hurried-ness comes is unconsciousness. We don’t know but we hurry. If you read my post “Why we hate? – The exercise”, you will know that we are not one, but we are divided into so many identities. Some of then we are already and the other identities, we want to be. But this whole thing is imaginary. All the “I”s are imaginary.

We are in a hurry because, we fear that if we are late, we might cease to be what we think we are, we may no longer be the “I” we think we are. These “I”s make us who we are, otherwise who we would be. But the strangest part is that, all these “I”s are imaginary and we keep chasing and protecting these “I”s all our lives. It is just like you imagine someone has thrown a ball high up, an imaginary ball, thrown high up by an imaginary person, and you run to catch the imaginary ball in reality. This is madness.

All those things that are in your mind are imaginary, they cannot be real, but take them to be real, they make us who we are, how can we let them go? The only reality is here and now.

In your mind, automatically you are put in a situation, good or bad, whatever, and then another “I” emerges rationalizes the situation. If it is a bad situation, the “I” says “don’t worry everything will be fine” and if it is a good situation, you rejoice in your imagination. But the unfortunate part is that everything is imaginary, except what you are doing here and now.

In your mind, several “I”s emerge and they keep talking with each other and the “Real” you does something else. But we are not able to do something else, we get involved in the argument or discussion between the “i”s in our mind. By “We” I mean another “I”, forms and takes part in the mental discussion. Two “I”s are discussing and we take the form of another “I” and join the discussion in our mind, all imaginary. “I” after “I” forms and we are lost in the discussion.

The moment we take part in the discussion, we are lost from the real world. If we are walking our walk takes the rhythm of the discussion that is going on. If we are driving, our driving takes the rhythm of the inner talk. This happens because we remain unaware of the inner talk. The moment you are aware of the inner talks, the inner talk stops.

Most of us are unaware of this inner talk. I have devised an exercise that would let you know your inner talk. It is as follows:

Most of the time, when we are walking with someone, we see that the speed of our walk increases and becomes very fast. We are continuously talking and our walking gets faster and faster and reaches a point where our legs start to ache. Then we slow down. Till the time, our legs did not ache, we did not realize that we are walking so fast. But we did not start with an intention or objective to walk fast. But it happened. This happened because, our walk took the rhythm of our talk.

The same happens when you are walking alone. We start slow but then the speed increases when we have walked for some time. We think we are alone but we are not. What will happen to all these “I”s. We are actually many, may be hundreds, all alive and kicking! They are talking discussing their survival strategies. And every moment another “I” emerge and take part in the discussion, all imaginary, but we think that it is us.

The walking exercise:

  1. Start walking alone on a road or a park, a place which is not so crowded

  2. With time your speed will increase but you will not know about it.So I suggest you put an alarm so that it reminds you in 10 minutes time after you have started.

  3. The moment the alarm rings – stop for 5 minutes – you may sit, if you find a place to sit nearby

  4. Just watch your mind – The thoughts and you walk were “synergizing” each other. They were moving at a same speed, the thoughts in your mind, and your walk. The thoughts had also taken up a momentum. The moment you stop walking and sit. The thoughts, having a momentum, will continue in the same speed for some time. This is the time, when you will come to know your inner chatter very clearly.

  5. Start walking very slowly after 5 minutes of sitting. – I mean very slowly – you will notice that the chatter will be minimum when you walk very slowly. Keep walking for 10 minutes very slowly. In these ten minutes, if you are aware, you will slowly feel that, as time is passing after you have started walking slowly, the intensity of the inner chatter is increasing very slowly.

These 5 steps will very clearly let you know you inner chatter. It will let you know what you are thinking all the time. You are discussing all the time in your mind. In step 4, when you watch your mind, things will be very clear. If you continue with this exercise for 5 days, you will know all your major inner arguments, because our arguments are all repetitive.

Once you know your inner chatter, you will realize that you are not actually who you think you are. You will come to know that you are most of the time an imaginary identity in your mind, discussing with all other identities.

Then your actions will change, because, you will earlier only aware of the inner chatter and took it for reality. Now you will have options, whether to act as per the requirement of this moment or go as per the inner imaginary chatter in your mind.

These imaginary identities are kept alive only by thinking. The more you are unconscious, lost in your mind, the more they are prominent and alive. The more you throw the light of your awareness on them, they vanish.  This is the reason why humans are always thinking, they need time to think, they need time for relaxation, so that they can always think, unconsciously, and keep them alive.

Knowing your inner imaginary chatter, and understanding that it is all imaginary and acting as per the requirement of the moment will completely change your life for the better.

One Has to “STOP”

For knowing our thoughts, enormous amount of awareness is required, the driving force behind each action of ours has to be known, driving force behind each word we utter has to be known..one has to “stop” and let the thoughts “pass”. This “stopping” is very important. We keep keep moving simultaneous with the thoughts, we are parallel to the thoughts, that is why we do not know. The moment we stop, we can see them pass, hear them, see them and then do away with them. This stopping has to be learnt.

Understanding Consciousness Part 1

Consciousness cannot be defined and hence cannot be understood by the mind. It can only be experienced. If it was defined it would have become a “thing” and it would have become a part of your mind. It would have become a thought. That is why consciousness has not been defined till date. It cannot be defined.
Consciousness can only be experienced. However there are proofs of its existence. Anything that can be experienced, exists. Some thing that you know, something that is within your ken, may not exist, you may only know it.
 
Following are some of my thoughts on what the consciousness is. They are haphazard and not in order, but it will give you some feeling about the fact that it exists.

It has to be random. It can only be felt. There is no definition of consciousness.

In my opinion, Consciousness can be defined as “unlimited space”. It is the space in which everything happens. There is no difference between outer space and our consciousness. 

Consciousness contains everything that you can “think of”.

All your thoughts are a part of your consciousness. 
 
All your imaginations are a part of consciousness.
Consciousness is the medium in which all thoughts and imaginations happen. 

Consciousness is the place where the inner talk happens. Everything internal happens in consciousness.

If you are able to know your inner talk, if you are able to see what are the imaginations. Then you have created space and you have gone beyond your mind and have accessed consciousness.
 
It is another universe. In the universe, real things happen, in human consciousness imaginary things happen.
Whatever is outside, is also inside. There is another universe inside.
Consciousness gives you freedom. Freedom to make a choice. When consciousness evolves, one no longer is dependent on the thoughts and are not controlled by the thoughts. He becomes free to do anything. 

All innovations happen in the spaces available when awareness develops. When one is able to get over thoughts and access the vast space of Consciousness. 

It is blank space is you are free to create anything there.
In the post – The voice, the knower and the Actor, I have mentioned that there are voices inside. There is someone talking all the time and if we sit quietly, we will be able to hear that voice. I have also mentioned about imaginations.
Your mind consists of these voices and Imaginations. 
 
There is someone or something who is aware of these voices and Imaginations. I have defined that “someone” or “something” as the “Knower”

The knower is the “Awareness”. When you develop awareness, when you develop more and more eyes and ears inside, you are developing consciousness. You are becoming spacious inside.
Consciousness is the sum of “Voices and Imaginations and the Knower”. Unless the knower evolves, you will not be able to understand consciousness.
 
Consciousness is unending so it can be taken as a constant. 
 
The “Knower” or awareness has to be developed. It has not evolved as yet in humans, otherwise, this would not have been the condition of humanity as it is today.
 
We are unaware that consciousness can be as unending as the universe. More the knower, lesser the voices. The voices are nothing as compared to the knower. But for someone who is not a “Buddha”, there are only voices and Imaginations. There is no knower. The consciousness is confined only the the voices and imaginations. He is left with no choice. He works like a robot, artificially intelligent. Artificially intelligent because he has no access to the supreme Intelligence, which is the only intelligence.
 
For him It is “tight”. There is no space left. only when there is space, the knower can get inside and look at or know the voices and Imaginations.
One day if our awareness may grow to that extent that the voices and Imaginations may completely vanish. It is as if, a speck of sand in the universe. It will have no existence.
A state of no thought is consciousness. In this situation, the consciousness will only consist of the knower and there will be no voices inside.
As awareness grows, more and more space is available to us “inside”.This space gives us freedom.
Another point – We dream. In our dreams, we are a part. If the dream is considered to be a movie for the sake of understanding, we are one of the protagonists. But who then is watching the dream. It is your awareness who is watching the dream. The inner eyes are watching the dream.
 
Consciousness is the medium in which the dream happens.

I ll keep writing again and again on consciousness as and when I experience an expansion of consciousness. I ll try to relate it to our day to day experiences so that all of you reading my posts will understand.