Achievements. Our society is absolutely obsessed by them. Achievements mean success and success means you are worth something, you’ve done something useful, you’ve contributed to society (or at least, to your own ego), you’ve finally “made it”.
The context I’m going to be talking about achievements in is the one where you are constantly striving to enhance yourself, your self-image, your self-worth, through some kind of accomplishment that you deem makes you better, greater and more important, as well as (ane perhaps especially) happier and more fulfilled.
Achievements are our society’s way of dangling a carrot in front of your face in order to make you endlessly run towards it, never catching it. The carrot is always just out of reach. Even when you accomplish something the victory seems to be only temporary as the next thing that’s missing is always presented to you again by the world and ultimately your own mind, keeping you eternally stuck in the chase.
Freedom, happiness, fulfillment thus always remain out of reach.
In life we all have choices, decisions that need to be made, paths that need to be chosen. How are you choosing your path? Are you aware of what is happening or are you letting your own unconscious conditioning, your autopilot responses take you for a ride?
The key here is awareness. You see, most people aren’t really aware of themselves, their thoughts, their emotions, even their body. They live life on autopilot and they make the majority of their decisions unconsciously. They let their conditioning, their habits, create their life and future for them.
Your choices, your decisions come from you. Who you are, how you feel and most importantly what you desire will determine how you react to life and ultimately what path you will take forward. Whether you will go left or right in the next intersection, whether you will get angry or react peacefully to the next provocation.
There is an abundance of complexity in this grand game of the Cosmos. And often, all of us, myself included, can get lost in it. When we come in touch with many metaphysical, spiritual or philosophical concepts the confusion may grow deeper and deeper. Often these things drive us away from such topics, pushing us to a point where we so eagerly dismiss them. The whole thing simply becomes too much to bear.
There is so much complexity we can discover and all of our natural sciences will continue to evolve and discover it. Metaphysical and philosophical concepts once thought to be beyond our reach will eventually turn into what we consider normal, everyday reality.
But fundamentally, or so at least I feel, life, the core of all existence, is simple. There is a simplicity behind all this complexity. This inherent simplicity is so well represented by the notion of being, being as you are.
By allowing yourself to be as you are, allowing yourself to be, I believe you are actually tapping into the most fundamental truth of reality itself. For all reality stems from this simplicity and all complexity seems to have simplicity as its predecessor.
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin” – Jesus of Nazareth
You, yourself stem from this simplicity. At the core, deep down, beyond your surface self, you ARE this simplicity. You are the wave of the Ocean, but you are also in unity with the Ocean itself.
If you are like most people, your mind is usually clouded with thoughts filled with anxiety, grief, fear, lust, anger, pride…An array of uninvited emotions, thoughts, pictures and sensations. This smokescreen, which is usually your constant companion, is precisely what is clouding your awareness and leading you away from your true nature and intuition.
The emotions you feel are a much better indicator of your relative state at the time than your thoughts. To get to your intuition, you must thus first come in touch with your emotions. Your emotions will tell you much about how you will feel and react when a certain event happens or when you play out a certain action. Of course the accuracy of that depends on the degree you are identified with your feelings at the time and in general.
Though your emotions may tell you a lot about your conditioning and will paint a more real picture of your reality than your thoughts, they are not your intuition.
Beneath emotions is your true self, your Soul that is interlinked with the Absolute (some will call this your “higher self”). The more you can come in contact with your essence, the more you will come in contact with your true intuition. The more you are aware of your deepest self, the more you can act from that place.
And once you start acting from that place, basing your decisions from this place of true knowing, the more your life can become truly miraculous.
Throughout your life you will undoubtedly make many mistakes.
Many times things will happen that you will, with all your heart, wish you could simply undo five minutes later. But the past has passed and is now only a memory, so the only way to change it is to start from the only place that is real – this moment.
The subconscious mind carries within it many negative habitual patterns and programs that direct your thoughts, emotions and consequently, your actions.
Because the strongest of these programs are intertwined with deep emotional imprints (fear, anger, sadness…) it is no easy task to prevent them from coming into manifestation.
Often times people assume that when they experience sadness, anger, fear, apathy, hate…or any other emotional state they would like to be free from, freedom is far off and they are completely trapped in a whirlwind of suffering without any means of escape.
But the truth is, freedom, peace, love and joy are always behind every instance of pain you experience. Every time you suffer, that suffering is always a layer on top of the freedom that you are, every time you become upset, that is simply the result of an energy, a reaction, blinding your inner clarity.
Now granted, not all emotional charges are the same. It is unlikely (though not impossible) that you can immediately free yourself from the pain caused by a deeply heartbreaking situation, the death of a loved one, a traumatic experience such as abuse, a partner’s infidelity… but even these wounds can be mended. No matter how deep the pain, everything and I mean everything, can be let go, every piece of pain and suffering you experience in your consciousness can be dissolved and integrated.
The most important thing you need to heal yourself is the magical light that cuts through the darkness of illusion – awareness.
Have you ever thought about the importance of looking squarely into the face of the unavoidable end that all beings that have been born must face, something our present society tends to avoid talking about as we attempt to hide the inevitable from our view and never discuss it openly, usually seeing at as the greatest tragedy and defeat there is – have you ever considered facing death and the liberation that comes from doing so?
I’ve recently had a conversation with a man that only had one year left to live. He had a late stage of cancer and had given up on all hope and decided that he was going to accept and surrender to his fate, whatever that may be. He fully accepted his death, whenever that may come (according to him it would not be longer than a year) and came to peace with it. What he told me was that the surrender to death was an incredibly liberating experience to him and he seemed happy, even joyous as I spoke to him. Superficial things like losing money didn’t bother him anymore (he donated a sum of money before I started talking with him) and he seemed at peace with what was going to happen.
We, as living beings are incredibly attached to our bodies and this physical existence. The more attached we are to our life and everything in it, the more we suffer at the thought that all that we have accumulated and created might be taken away from us – all the money, the relationships, our physical body we have cared for so deeply (if we have of course)….Though a correlation is not necessary, for the most part people that have accumulated or achieved less in their lives tend to care less about the end of them – a homeless man with no friends or family hardly has anything to lose so to him, death may even come as a relief from the nightmare he had to endure on this planet.
For others, letting go of what they have is difficult. But ultimately what traps us is not what we have or do not have, but our attachments to all these things that are only transient in their existence. A homeless man could be more attached to his life and body than a rich man who has realized his deeper self is beyond all that he has accumulated and achieved in his brief existence on Earth – his happiness it mostly not related to the passing things he has in his life and he can go freely, since his attachment is low or nonexistent. He has let go of them, surrendered to what will be and what is and has thus found peace.
To truly live, we must face death, the reality that one day we will leave this body behind and leap into the unknown. Even if you do believe in an afterlife or reincarnation, leaving this life and this body you have grown so attached to behind you can be and usually is the cause and culprit of one of our deepest fears – the annihilation of what we believe ourselves to be – the body/mind.
Realizing you will die, really accepting and embracing the fear of your physical demise is one of deepest means of coming in touch with what is beyond the body and beyond the mind – beyond that which you are so incredibly afraid to lose, because you identify with it so deeply.
“Truth is simple, if it was complicated, everyone would understand it”
Though many systems of practice, of esoteric and occult thought exist, many metaphysical teaching of great value from which there is much to learn from, the core of true spirituality is very simple.
As a teacher once said “There are no spiritual thoughts or beliefs, true spirituality lies beyond thought and belief”.
And in this statement lies a great truth.
Because what you seek is always beyond thought, emotion and belief. The very nature of all that exists, including the finest level of creation, which are thoughts, spring from Source, Being or God as many may call it.
By seeing Being as the innermost nature of all things, including yourself, and as the thing from which all of manifested reality springs, you free yourself from the grasp of the world. You transcend it and are thus free to create and play within it without the burden of suffering.
“Does this action lead me closer to peace and freedom?”
“Does this action lead me deeper into the now?”
Questions are an incredible tool. Above is only a small example of two questions that can lead you to great freedom within.
You can probe your subconscious by asking it various questions and waiting for the answer to spring up and show itself to you (in this particular case you can also visualize yourself doing the action you are unsure about and then feeling in your body and through you mind whether this action does lead you to greater freedom, peace and general relief – and thus deeper into the present moment)
By doing so, your subconscious mind will show you and tell you what the right action is and in the case with the two questions above – what action you need to take that will lead to its further dissolution. And remember, the more of the past and future related conditioned programming from the mind you dissolve, the more freedom you will find.
These two simple questions, when applied often and in an honest introspective way, while the answers are heeded and not ignored (to the best of your ability), can create a dramatic impact and change your life.
Try it out and tell me how it worked for you in the comments below.
Unconditionally accepting yourself means allowing yourself to be as you are. It means allowing and embracing your inner state (your thoughts, feelings, pictures, bodily sensations…), your image of yourself and your body.
To have self-acceptance, one must first have self-awareness. Since you cannot accept what you aren’t even aware of, it’s important to first become conscious of what’s happening inside you, on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.
It is easier to become more and more conscious of yourself if you practice embracing anything that comes up into your awareness.
Indeed, one of the main reasons many people can’t feel their emotions, feel cut of from
their body or any other part of their experience is lack of acceptance and with it an innate resistance and urge to repress every part of themselves that they feel is wrong, bad, or just doesn’t fit into their idea of who they think they are.
As long as you reject a part of you, your awareness can never grow – in fact it shrinks. Since you cannot bear to look at this particular part of yourself, you will only remain conscious of that which you can accept and allow to be as it is.
To resist yourself and your inner world, is to suffer – and since your relationship to others is very often a direct reflection of the relationship you have with yourself, it also usually means to unconsciously inflict suffering on the world.
The more of yourself you resist, the more you feel blank and empty inside, until finally you can’t feel anything anymore – this is often where most people turn to outer stimulation to keep the feeling of aliveness they’ve lost inside.
Food, drugs, alcohol, violence or constant outer stimulation (like watching TV for hours every day), become your escape, your means to avoid your internal world and yourself. This often leads to more resistance, self-hatred and the feeling of »deadness« inside, which can then further manifest as a physical problems (i.e. a disease) or as an unfavorable external event that you would usually perceive as negative.