Friday, November 19, 2010

Living and Dying Without Ever Finding Fulfillment

The day begins when we awake, it ends when we sleep. During the interval between awakening and sleeping, some of us find our lives to be rewarding. While many of us find ourselves mired deeply in the struggles of survival and overwhelmed by our suffering.

Some of us don't have any idea of what it means to live a fulfilling life, particularly with minds besieged by cesspools of victimization and suffering. And like any adaptable animal, we swim in our cesspools without regard for the stench permeating our minds with deleterious victim beliefs.

This constant inhaling of victim beliefs provide us with few opportunities to fulfill our dreams. However, there are times, albeit infrequent ones, where we do get glimpses of living fulfilled lives. Unfortunately, they seem to come and go without our having any control over them. Poof! One moment we're feeling good about ourselves, the next moment we're feeling depressed.

During most of waking hours, we are busy chasing after things and people to bring us fulfillment.  We stuff our minds with delusional visions of having a nice car, suit, house, an expensive watch or a beautiful person to make us feel complete, fulfilled. We seldom spend comparable time searching for enlightenment.

It's difficult for some of us to believe enlightenment is as valuable as material things. The things in our lives are more important than abstractness -- the invisible power within us -- in bringing us the worthiness we seek. Consequently, we spend very little time on discovering our inner power. A house is real. So it is an automobile, clothes, entertainment, and so forth.

Similarly, many of our journeys are predetermined for us. The maps have already been created to show us the right roads to travel on. These well-traveled roads, paved with beliefs of materialism, egoism, glitter and psychological gratification. We travel on them because most of the people encourage us to. They point to the deep craters of suffering, neatly decorated by victim beliefs, as testament to the benefits you receive if stay on the victim road.

Today, some of us are tired of living in the squalid conditions within the repugnant cesspools of victimization. We want to travel on new roads. However, for us to travel on new roads, we have to build them. They only exist in our minds. Fortunately, there are some maps to guide us to some less traveled roads. These are the roads created by the enlightenment engineers. They are smooth and free of litter and the stench of victimization.

One of the first things we notice on the enlightenment road is fulfillment. Every action is a fulfillment of our desires to liberate ourselves from the cesspool of victimization. We are able to spend our waking hours pursuing enlightenment, the fulfillment we seek

The important thing for us to remember is that we can get off the victimization road. We can awake each day with the vision and clarity to overcome the suffering we are creating in our lives by our beliefs. When we change our beliefs, we change our paths, our journeys. This means we must travel on some less traveled roads. 

It's not difficult to do. All that's required of us is the willingness to stop abusing ourselves with victim (powerlessness) beliefs and search for the map (insight) within us that will guide us to enlightenment.. This is the moment when we stop chasing the illusions of victimization.

Meanwhile, from our suffering come seeds of enlightenment. Some of those seeds are planted in "Seeds from the Ashes."

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Value of a Victim's Life

It seems to many peace-loving people that too many people are being killed in the world. Some of them are killed by strangers, some by law enforcement, some by the military and others by friends, spouses, and the judicial system. And, sadly, we don't even know most of them.

They are faceless strangers we see on television, read about on the Internet or in newspapers. They're not part of our family. So we don't weep for them, except in those situations where we imagine something similar happening to one of our family members.

When it applies to us, we recognize the importance of life. And when it doesn't, we don't dwell on it long, unless the news media make us. We're stuck with our beliefs about the importance of life, or lake thereof. We're also stuck with our beliefs that some lives are more important than others.

Many of us don't like to discuss the importance of life outside of our immediate families. Perhaps we find this difficult to do, because we know that our society have already determined the value of our lives. They rank us according to where we live, the color of our skin, our religion, social, economic, and political status, and so on. We're born into this value-ranking system. No one asked us for our input.

Nevertheless, after we live for awhile, we begin to like ourselves and the way we look, talk, and act. We spend countless hours grooming ourselves, watching our diets, and trying to live socially accepted lives. And even with all of our efforts, we're unsure if we are having any impact on the decision-makers. Are they willing to give greater value to our lives because of the work we're doing?

The secret members of our society are not really too concern about what we think about the value of our lives. They must defend the existing ranking system, which determines the value of all of our lives. Although we don't know whose making these judgments, we believe it must be the oligarchy, or maybe it's even us doing it to ourselves.

Meanwhile, we continue to want our lives to be just as valuable as others in the society. And while we know that society doesn't agree with us, we still move forward with our desires to not have our lives labeled as inferior to others. Deep within our being, we believe we are important, our lives valuable, and we don't want our society to devalue us by its values life ranking system.

Similarly, we know that a devalued life is the core cause of personal suffering -- the cravings to become something that's acceptable to others and not to ourselves. Whenever we forget that we are adequate, complete as we are now, we begin to plunge ourselves deeper into victimization. By accepting judgments about the value of our lives, we embody the deleterious effects of victimization.

Unfortunately, many of us continue to do this until we reach the point where our lives become meaningless, worthless. At this stage of our victimization, we believe everyone in our class lives are worthless. This causes us to believe we are justified to take another person in our class life. We have minimal fears that we will be seriously punished by the system for killing someone whose life has already been devalued.

The violence in our society and in the world comes primarily from devalued people who believe their lives are meaningless. The thousands of people killed in our cities every year are far greater than the combined deaths of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, sadly, those responsible for the killings believe they are fighting a war to gain self-respect from society. They want to be somebody.

For us to stop thinking of ourselves as victims with devalued lives, we must begin the process to revalue our own lives. We must begin to connect with our core feelings and to stop the senseless violence. To do this, we must lean what it means to really live in the world where we're able to experience and share love, peace, and compassion with ourselves and others.

Somewhere buried deep within our consciousness is the self-awareness of pure goodness. This place exists beneath the layers of victim beliefs, the years of victimization, and the deep yearning to feel good about our lives.  It's there.

To find it, we must overcome the doubts we have about the value of our lives. We must remain firm in our commitment to seek enlightenment. The value of life is contained in our awareness of enlightenment.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Children of America's Ghettos

We are living in an era of great anger. Many of us are searching for answers on the economy, war, and the endless political machinations dominating the news. And even with our daily meditations and prayers, we find it difficult to escape the gloom and doom. Yet many of us have, even under our current circumstance, a higher quality of  life than the millions of children in America's ghettos.

As the enlightenment-seekers, we are always working to find clarity. We desire to live beyond the darkness to see what's happening in our lives. And, unfortunately, sometimes by focusing too  much on our own development, we forget about the suffering of others. Perhaps we don't totally forget about others' suffering, we don't accept it as part of our own enlightenment efforts.

Many of us believe enlightenment is a personal commitment each of us have to make. We don't believe it can be forced on others. They must accept enlightenment willingly. And those who choose not pursue enlightenment will continue to live with suffering. It's their choice. And we want to leave it at that.

Whenever we take the time to think about the reasons we began to work on ourselves, we vividly remember the intense suffering we were undergoing at the time. We also know that by committing to enlightenment, we are also committing to sharing ourselves with others. If not, it seems rather selfish to become enlightened while the rest of the world is mired in lifelong suffering.

There cannot be pure enlightenment in our lives until we address our relationship with the children of America's ghettos. They remind us of where we are in our personal growth. We are forced to ask ourselves whether we are really enlightened or playing games of spiritual superiority.

Regardless to the pious words, spiritual posturing, and claims of compassion, we still feel an emptiness in our spirit because of the suffering of others.

 Similarly, this emptiness in our lives cannot be fulfilled with spiritual isolation of prayer and meditation. We must go beyond our own disciplines and actively express compassion to those who need it just as much as we do. We cannot become complete without sharing everything we have with the world. And our sharing must be very different from what traditional sharing has meant to them. 

The children of America's ghettos are born into great suffering. Most of them are destined to experience such intense suffering that most of us cannot even imagine the magnitude of it. Their suffering is not only tied to lack, limitation, and struggle, but suffering of the soul. And most of all, they suffer from a lack of genuine love and compassion from those who are responsible for giving it to them.

Nevertheless, regardless to the number of times we talk about accepting responsibility for our actions, we are speaking from our own perspective about suffering. It's our personal message. It's a perspective unavailable to those seemingly destined for jail, prison, unemployment, drug, alcohol, and food addictions, illiteracy, and every other societal degradation known to us.

There's no way for us to reconcile our enlightenment work without including others, even those who defy our efforts. And although many of us are unaware of what it's like to have a truly enlightened awareness, we believe it must be a state of consciousness that understands suffering. And to understand suffering, we also understand the victimization killing the dreams of millions suffering in America's ghettos.

America's ghettos extend beyond the physical parameters. The ghetto beliefs and culture thrives in everyone in this country. We have been taught to perceive it as the hellhole we all want to get away from. And as we do, we lose the ability to understand why we continue to have suffering in our lives, even when we achieve so many things -- education, money, status, and so forth.

Those of us who believe we are beyond the clutches of the ghetto culture, perceive others' suffering from our own victim perspective. We magnify their suffering by questioning the goodness of humans and the universal love of the Creator. We want answers to problems on suffering that are unavailable to us because we are too victimized by our own suffering.

Nevertheless, we still want to do something about the endless suffering of others in the world.Some of us pray for them. While others give money. And others develop programs to assist them with jobs, education, housing, addictions, and so forth.

We earnestly believe we are helping them to overcome the intense suffering caused by years of victimization. The more we give, the more they suffer. We cannot seem to reach our goal of less suffering. While we constantly search for more things to make the people more like us, we overlook that what's missing from our giving is love and compassion. We're devaluing  love and compassion by valuing money, education, jobs,and so forth.

After much work, as we go deeper into ourselves, we will gain the necessary clarity to discern the collective nature of suffering. This clarity will enlighten us to understand that we are all responsible for creating the conditions, the belief system, that's responsible for creating and maintaining America's ghettos.

Some of us seeking enlightenment believe our lives reflect a greater awareness of peace, love and compassion than those on drugs, alcohol, in prison, or mired in poverty, anger and self-hatred. And while we are products of the ghetto belief system, even those who deny it because of their current status, we find it difficult now to believe our suffering originated from our victimization.

Meanwhile, regardless to our denials, we have our own personal victim beliefs that are responsible for our suffering. They have everything to do with how we work on ourselves. We have a special illness -- victimization of the mind -- that requires special medicine. This medicine is only available in an enlightened consciousness.

It will take most of us the rest of our lives to cure ourselves of victimization.