Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Waking Up"

There are some of us who are too inflexible with our beliefs. We are quick to anger whenever someone challenges them. And on many occasions, we find it difficult to believe we don't already know everything we need to know or what we don't know is not that important. Unfortunately, our inflexibility is responsible for the continuous pain and suffering in our lives.

Many of us suffer because we are accustomed to it. We have been taught that suffering is a part of living.  We also have been taught that  happiness is fleeting; so is success, love, money, and so on. And from the darkness of our suffering, we believe we are the rightful heirs for maintaining the status-quo on world suffering.

As the self-imposed heirs of suffering, we are entrusted with the power to teach others the principles of suffering. We accept our responsibilities blindly, without question. We are insensitive to those who question our authority.

We are the ones who crave approval for our actions and seek validation for our suffering. We are the ones trapped in the cave of darkness with flickering lights of wisdom shining brightly outside of us.
Some of us want to know what's outside the cave of darkness and suffering.

As we move closer to the flickering lights of wisdom, we seem to always encounter the sleepy-eyed, half-awake soothsayers telling us to listen to them and stay in the darkness. They're the ones who teach us to belong to certain political parties, become members of certain religions, attend certain schools, and marry certain types of people.

Many of us succumb to these teachings and remain steadfast in our beliefs that we have make the right decision to embody the cave of darkness. Similarly, we accept these teachings, even though they don't remove the suffering from our lives, because they are all we know about ourselves and the world we live in.

After awhile, we stop searching for information outside the cave of darkness. We ignore the flickering lights and treat them as illusions. We cling helplessly to the learning process of victimization and powerlessness. And by doing this, we create more darkness and suffering in our lives.

Some of us who haven't given up on our desires to overcome our suffering begin to hallucinate and believe that we are unique or different from others.  We believe our personal experiences with pain and suffering differentiate us from others. Even though we are willing to concede that we can be members of the same church, political party, or for that matter be close friends, our pain and suffering is different from others.

Meanwhile, it's our fixation on uniqueness that causes us to suffer even more. By believing we are different, we began to judge those who don't agree with us. If others disagree with us, they become estranged from us. They become our enemies; people we cannot get along with.

One of the primary reasons we continue to quarrel with others is because we are still half-awake. We can only remember our lives from within the context of the development of our beliefs. This causes us to believe our existence began with the teaching that created our beliefs.

So at certain points in our early childhood, while still half-sleep, we began to believe we were born with certain characteristics which made us unique from others. And it was the uniqueness that caused us to believe we were separate from the families next door, those living around the corner or in another city. This is the point in time when we began to travel on a road of suffering.

Nevertheless, the families next door and in other locations were also being taught certain beliefs that were almost identical to the ones we were being taught. While some might have been taught to be Baptists, Methodists, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist and so forth, we were all getting this information from people responsible for passing these generational beliefs on to us.

Meanwhile, in order for us to wake up, we must begin to loosen our grips on our beliefs and understand they are not sacrosanct. They represent the learning process of pain and suffering. This is the information we were taught in our personal development.

And when we become awake enough to understand this learning process, we will be able to develop new beliefs to assist us with moving out of the darkness. We will perceive the flickering lights of wisdom for what they really are: rays of enlightenment to guide us out of the darkness of pain and suffering.

The search for enlightenment is a new learning process for us. We are breaking free of lifelong beliefs of complacency with pain and suffering. In other words, our willingness to remain powerless. The desire to overcome pain and suffering comes from our intuitive consciousness or our unconditioned consciousness; that part of us that has not conditioned itself to be anything at this time.

This unconditioned consciousness contains both the power of creation and expression. As much as we might desire to do it differently, we cannot search for enlightenment with fixed beliefs formed while we were half asleep.

We must enter into enlightenment free of victim beliefs and judgments about ourselves and others. This is the journey all of the awakened ones had to travel. And it's the one we must travel if we are serious about leaving the cave of darkness and achieving enlightenment.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mindful Actions Against Psychological Abuses

As we begin the new year, many of us are wondering what's in store for us. We have had a rough year. We have had to endure prolonged unemployment, a dysfunctional government, an unsettling housing market, burgeoning debt, and the fear that no one really understands what's happening to us.

We are real people, so are our problems. We are not insignificant faces in the 9.8 percent unemployment rates nor are we faceless, lifeless, carcatiures in the monthly foreclosure statistics. People talk about us as if they know us or feel the deep angst suffocating our visions for success and happiness. We are the ones suffering while others are posturing over what to do about us.

There's something terrible wrong with the way we feel about ourselves. The best way to describe it is that it feels like thousands of tiny pricks of psychological devastation penetrating our brains. It's a constant, never ending process of pain and suffering. It follows us even into sleep.

Some of us want desperately to blame someone for our dilemma, our suffering, but who? It's difficult to pinpoint the responsible culprits. Perhaps no one is responsible, except us. After all, it's our suffering.

Meanwhile, even as we suffer, our lives are seeking to escape from it all the time. We are meeting new people, reading new books, experimenting with new electronic gadgets, and getting psychologically inoculated with massive dosages of machinations that keep us stupefied with doubts, fears, and worries. We, who live our lives in anonymity, are the ones everyone is designing new laws, plans, and so forth to address our doubts, fears, and worries.

Perhaps there are people who might conclude that we are psychologically abused, because we are weak and unable to make it in the world. We have become victimized by our own failures. So much so that we are incapable to knowing what we want.

Some others might believe we have become too powerless to think and act on our own. So we need someone to make decisions for us. After all, we cannot create jobs, manufacture money or build houses. And since we have become victimized by our problems, we'll just have to have patience until they can create some opportunities for us.

Patience is difficult when you are almost starving, homeless, and your dreams are dimmed by your doubts, fears, and worries. Patience doesn't seem like a good panacea.

Some of us believe we need action, but we don't clearly know what type of action. We are too consumed by lack, limitation and struggle to clearly see our way out of our suffering. And the psychological prescriptions provided to us only seem to exacerbate our problems.

So what do we need to do to solve our problems? Some of us have embraced the concept, it's more of a spiritual philosophy, of enlightenment to overcome our problems. Enlightenment, in this instance, is a tool to assist us with trusting ourselves to solve our own problems. It means believing that we  have the power to know what's bothering us and the ability to overcome whatever it is.

Enlightenment is not a contemporary fad. It's not an I-pad, computer, smart phone and so on. It is about our willingness to sit with ourselves and stop creating so many things to distract us from getting to know ourselves. Too many of us have forgotten what it feels like to love ourselves, even when we're told that we don't measure up to society's standards of worthiness.

Nevertheless, to love ourselves is to know ourselves. We begin this process when we face the doubts, fears, and worries in our lives. Whenever we really understand what's causing us to feel so inadequate, we will truly understand the origins of our doubts, fears, and worries.

As enlightenment-seekers, the answers to all our problems are found in their creator. And since we are the creators of everything in our lives, we are responsible for the actions we need to do to change how we think and live.