Tag Archives: eternity

To Seek or not to Seek…?

Here is a dichotomy in my mind…

I can remain calm , through acceptance, self denial, and simplicity.  This will include being satisfied with what is, and refusing to desire so to avoid suffering.

 

Or I can live this life seeking for meaning through prayer, reflection, reading, and studying.  Being unsatisfied and wanting more in life, but feeling hopeful and maintaining faith that I will find more satisfaction .

I can let life continue to be without necessarily trying to “find ” God , or live by trying to discover who and what God is and hoping that a divine intervention will come.

What would be the correct path? I can decide to remain calm and accept life as it is, meditating and simply being.  I can do  this by being aware of the present moment.  Living in the here and now.  I can also remain calm by refraining from desiring and wanting.  Happiness would then be wanting what I already have.  Being a minimalist.  Believing that less in more.  Letting things pass through me… letting go…. without resistance… without judgment.  And experiencing peace.

But I am suddenly aware of the injustice of life.  I am aware of wars… hunger… terrorism …. and famine.  I then become more sensitive to the “evils” that poison this world.   I  start feeling anger…. frustration…. and disgust.   And then  I am motivated again to fight for justice and peace.

Which means I cannot just be. I have to move and do something.  So the question remains: Should I seek justice and peace?  Or should I simply be and accept?  Should I turn the other cheek, or fight for equality and justice? Should I remain calm, let go and let God…  or should I stand up and take action?

Blessed are the poor in spirit… but also are the ones who fight for justice.  Blessed are the meek, the ones who mourn,  and the peace makers… but also the ones who reveal the hypocrites, give to the poor, and speak the truth.

Maybe there is a time for everything.  A time to fight, and a time to make peace.   A time to speak, and a time to remain silent.

Perhaps we are called to act and not act according to the circumstances.  According to the needs at the moment.  But who decides?

Maybe it does not have to be a dichotomy, but a more fluid, mixed approach of seeking and not seeking according to our calling.

 


Emptiness. Equality. Essence.

I have written a couple of posts in the past which define the nature of this blog. One of them is Surrender, Simplify and Serve (the subtitle of the blog) and Patience, Peace, and Presence. These are essential themes that have transformed my life recently.
This current post is about three other topics that have also given me a more profound meaning to life.

Emptiness is simply the process of denying myself. It is the difficult step of getting rid of all the falsified ego that poisons me.  It is making room for something else.  Something bigger.  It is truly liberating because it involves “cleaning” our minds from the falsified ego that bonds us into a fantasy.  The ego prefers to be inflated, to be full, and to shine.  But it is truly a false way to happiness.  Emptiness will free us from the illusion that the ego is based on, and helps us return to our true selves.  It is based on surrendering.  Which creates patience.

Equality is the idea that everyone is truly the same. We are all worthy of respect.   There is no one more important or better than anybody else. It is NOT what the Ego is about. I read somewhere recently that the Ego never feels equal to others, but inferior or superior to others. Equality is the true nature of all humanity collectively.  It surpasses patriotism, racism, nationalism, classicism, and so forth.  Instead of classifying and compartmentalizing us, Equality actually unifies and simplifies our lives.  Because it is the realization that we are one group of beings with similar nature.   When we think only about ourselves , which is human nature, then we practice selfishness, which is my definition of evil. So, yes, human nature is evil, because it is based solely on serving the ego.  But when we genuinely think of others and live to serve others, the same way we would do it for ourselves, then we live beyond human nature.  It is supernatural.  It is divine.  It brings peace.

Essence is then the true nature of our beings. It is the pure state of existence which would ultimately bring eternal Presence.  We do this by simply serving each other.  The true nature of our existence is to serve and help one another.   It is who were really are.  Which then brings us to experience Presence.  And Presence is what we should live.
My prayer, my hope  has been that I experience emptiness, equality, and essence in my life.

Surrender leads to Emptiness, which creates Patience

Simplifying leads to Equality, which makes Peace.

Service is the Essence of life, which brings us to Presence.


r E li G i O n

Most of us have our own religions. We don’t have to believe in a deity in order to practice a religion. It could be manifested through patriotism by adhering to patriotic rituals such as saluting the national flag.  We can practice religion through sports by painting our faces and cheering during a sports event.  We can also practice religion through politics by attending a political rally and through entertainment by attending music concerts.

The dictionary defines religion as follows:

1.

    a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
     b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
The fourth definition reflects more what I am describing in this post. But I am going to take a step further here.

Notice that the word RELIGION has the word EGO in it (r E li G i O n) , which may explain why it is basically the manifestation of our Egos (tongue in cheek).  But seriously speaking, Religion (of any kind) simply nourishes our Egos by making us feel superior, protected, and invincible.

Any kind of religion is an attempt to make us feel better and superior.  It is a desperate way of deceiving the real self from the hard and true nature of our fragile existence.  We tend to feel inferior to other more powerful and greater entities, such as authority figures and natural phenomena.  So we prefer to deceive ourselves by assuming a greater role than what we truly are, such as calling ourselves professionals, wealthy, experts, and intelligent.

Our different kinds of religion can also give us a sense of protection from our volatile state of existence.  It temporary relieves us from being prone to pain and ultimately death.  It keeps us from being ridiculed and marginalized.  We do this by armoring ourselves with rituals, citizenship, drugs, and fashion.  It provides a false sense of security fueled by fantasy.

All sorts of religion can also make us feel invincible. It helps us feel unstoppable through identification with a sports team, political party, culture, and race.  It provides a sense of immortality.  This “eternal identity” is also manifested through family traditions.

But there is hope.  We can still free ourselves from the deception of the different religions that keep our egos nourished.  It is through the difficult process of emptiness.  It is scary to refrain from protecting our egos through any kind of religion described above.  But I believe it is possible.  We have to accept the fact that we our finite beings and will eventually die.  So, I invite you to take my challenge and start living life without relying on feeding the falsified ego.  Surrender to suffering and embrace it.  Practice mindfulness, surrendering, and being in the present moment.


The Delusion of Life

We tend to believe we are the center of the universe.   We like to think we are advanced beings capable of so many things.

But we  are simply a whole bunch of self proclaimed “intelligent” creatures living in a huge piece of circular rock, spinning and revolving around one humongous burning star among billions of stars in a seemingly limitless black space.

In spite of this humbling fact about our existence, we limit our growth by fighting each other over land, religion, and money.  We learn to hate each other faster than we are willing to accept and love one another.

Even after realizing the insignificance of our presence in the vast universe, we keep fixated on how to win the competition through consumerism and mass manipulation.  We prefer to compete rather than cooperate.

In spite of realizing that we definitely not know everything there is to know about our human lives and the reason for the universe’s existence, we still live our lives as if we have everything figured out.  We tend to pretend to know instead of living and accepting uncertainty.

We live in our own bubble of grandiosity and self-adoration.  But we are truly unsecured and we constantly feed our egos to the point of living a fantasy through religion, fame, professionalism, fashion,  patriotism, and pride.

This is our delusion.

This is what keeps us in a superficial sense of security and invisibility.

Will we ever fully wake up to the reality of our limitations? Will we accept the fact that we are all the same?  Will we accept and embrace our mortality?


“Am I Dying…?”

This question was asked to me by my uncle who is suffering from lung cancer that has spread to his brain. He has been given days to live.

I did not know what to say. Should I tell him what I have heard? Should I try to change the subject? Should I lie? I froze.

I could have used logic and say “We are all going to die…” Or I could have minimized it and said “Don’t worry… you are fine…” Or perhaps I could have denied it and say “No, you are not .” Others would have probably used religion by talking about God and the “plan of salvation.” Would this be ok? Do I have the authority to talk to a dying person about what to do to go to heaven, when I have my own faults?  My own doubts?

Death is such an awful thing to accept.  It is difficult to finally face the reality that one day a loved one and all of us are going to cease to exist on this earth.

Cancer is a monster.  It is a way for the cells to replicate faster than it can get rid of, ultimately killing the whole body. It is a way for the body to slowly commit suicide.  Scary.  If I had a completely objective mind, the thought of cancer would be simply a medical condition that just happens. But since I have feelings, goals, intentions, wills, and hopes, thinking about this makes be very uncomfortable.

Is it possible to accept death without any fear?  I have learned that we all have a fear of death from birth.  As babies we cry when hungry, cold, bored, or in pain.  All of these experiences, if not taken care of, will ultimately lead to death.  When we are adolescents, we crave for acceptance and identity, something that will lead to feeling abandonment, isolation , and ultimately death if not addressed.  As adults, we want to marry, earn a career, have possessions, and have a purpose in life,  which will bring us to depression and anxiety if not accomplished because it means that we will be closer to having or being nothing, which is related to death.

If we are going to die anyways, why do we fear is so much?  It happens to everybody.  Why do we always try to ignore it and pretend it is not going to happen?   Is it the fear of the unknown?  Should we learn to accept it as we learn to accept failures, discomfort and pain?  Analyzing about why we fear death does not help me to alleviate the fear.

We have the concept of eternity.  We long to live forever.  Does this mean that we can actually live forever?

I don’t have the answers.  I am not sure if anyone does.  All I know is that one day we will all have to confront our end.  I hope that before that happens, I will be able to do what I enjoy the most and gives me purpose in life:  spend time with my children, paint, go to the beach, learn to play the guitar, visit other countries like Italy and Japan, and much more.  Today is the day to do these things.

However,  I also try to remind myself that I don’t want to be here simply to meet my own selfish desires.  I want to also be other people’s blessings.  I want to help others feel loved and important.  I should not only strive for the things I want for myself.  I want to also be part of a whole.

I recently read the quote “To be happy is not to have what I want.. but to want what I have”.  Great words of inspiration!   Being content with what I already have should be my life’s purpose.  That is why I also long for simplicity.

Maybe being content with my current life will help me to accept death more.  Maybe being happy with what I have accomplished and how I have blessed others should give me peace of mind.  Perhaps wanting to continue to help others in need should be my ongoing journey until it all ends.  Maybe death is like graduation.  A stage in life where I look back and acknowledge my losses and triumphs, always thinking that it is all about helping my fellow human beings.

What did I actually say to my uncle you may be asking?  I looked at those big green eyes staring at me…. thought for a few seconds and said “I don’t know for sure… all I know is that you are still here with us today…you have accomplished a lot in your life…  and we are happy to have you right now…. because we love you.”


Wanting to Live

I am fed up.  Not happy with myself.  Sick and tired of this life.   No, I am not suicidal.  Nor am I trying to get pity.    This is not an inspirational, uplifting post, nor a New Year’s resolution post either.  It is simply an expression of what I want…what I need.  A new beginning.  A new life.  But I cannot simply start a new life, unless I end the current life.  I have been wanting to start fresh, which I think is part of my spiritual growth.  But it has been harder than I thought. This blog has been a tremendous tool to express this belief.  But my life is something different.  Something that must die for the new to begin.

I am exhausted with the mundane, predictable way of life.  I know (or I think I know) what this life is about, but I am unable to manifest it. The routine keeps me from starting over again.  What life do I want to start? The only true life which I call Kingdom of Heaven.  I strongly believe in surrendering, simplifying, and serving. But it has been difficult. I have been feeling anxious, worried, and taking care of my own selfish agenda instead.  I am sick of it!

I want to be peaceful, generous,  gentle, patient, and grateful.  The latter trait, grateful, is what I really long for.  I would like to be able to say “Thank you” more and less “Why me?”.   I would like to think that this is just a step closer to the peace I long for, instead of just a mundane and purposeless life.  I have thought that maybe I should be completely neutral, and regard this life as “it is what it is”.  But this would be denying the beauty of life, the transcendent aspect of life,  which I know exists, but I have trouble grasping

I can’t think of life as simply a neutral  state of existence.  I believe there is more, but the routine and troubles of life makes it hard to look beyond what my eyes can see.  I tried religion for more than 35 years, it hasn’t worked.  Forcing myself to get congregated in a structured  community that is based on a rigid, exclusive, and manipulative doctrine does not give me the peace and resolution that I long for.  I long for a more inclusive and flexible approach.  I tried socializing more, I am  simply not a social person.  There is so much socializing that I can do before I start feeling  awkward and out of place. The only interaction that I can appreciate and feel comfortable with is blogging.  I have started to try yoga, but the routine does not let me be more consistent.  I also like to do art, which helps me to express myself more. But again, the routine blocks me.  I strongly dislike my current life!

Maybe this experience is normal.  Maybe everyone goes through this some point in their lives.  Don’t know if I should refer this stage in life as “mid life crisis” or simply some “spiritual crisis”, but I am at a point in life where I would like to go away and start fresh.    I am refering to a change of life that I wish I could do in an instant.  I recognize this is childish and wishful thinking.  But it is how I feel right now.  Maybe moving to a different town, closer to the coast.  Yes, that would be refreshing.  And working at a job where I can concentrate on things I enjoy the most (art, charity, counseling). But at the same time, I must acknowledge where I am right now, and be responsible enough to take care of things. I also believe this life is not all there is.  There must be something more…but, what is this “more”?

Thank you for reading.  I may continue in my next post…  Suggestions are welcomed, but not expected.  See you later.


How Evolved Am I Towards God?

How far am I  from God? from Heaven?  from Truth? Reflecting further on this life, I keep contemplating on how far (or close) am I from discovering the entire meaning of my existence.  How different is my current concept of life versus the actual life?  Those of you who have followed my blog, have read that I believe that the main reason we are here on earth, the main theme of the Gospel, is to serve others.  And when we focus our attention to our own selfish agendas, then we are not accomplishing this mission.  The sooner I empty myself from preconceived concepts about people, the world, life itself, I believe the closer I evolve towards God.  Everything changes.  It is a fact of life.  If I choose to believe that I should believe certain things about life  without any room for continuous learning and growth, then I am stuck, stagnated, I am then in a spiritual crisis.  But to move on, to evolve,  in my spiritual journey means growing and therefore getting closer to God. Could I be wrong about this belief?  Yes I could, but I am convinced that at least I am here to serve others, unconditionally.

Evolving closer to God to me means  the following:

  • having less preconceived concepts about anything
  • accepting my faults and the faults of others
  • forgiving or refraining from holding grudges
  • overlooking social differences such as sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, world views, etc.
  • allowing the self to be transparent, without pretending to be someone I am not
  • practicing simplicity and humility
  • fighting for justice, peace, and equality
  • letting go of ambitions
  • having a growing desire to serve, unconditionally

What would be your definition of evolving towards God?