Tag Archives: Meditation

Presence

The above was taken during the Lo Krathong on Yi Peng (Full Moon Day). It is a festival where wishes are made and lanterns are floated in the sky. It is a very awe inspiring experience that feels magical.

We can garner a lot of insight on certain topics by the metaphors we voluntarily choose to use. Light is associated with good and darkness is associated with evil. If we simplify, evil could be associated with absence and good could be associated with presence. If we strive to create more presence, we are doing good and if our actions are creating absence, we are doing evil. To save a life creates presence and to murder creates absence. In these two examples we are talking about a literal physical presence.

Sometimes in life we are confronted with difficult moral and ethical situations. If the issue is complex we will have internal conflict regarding selfishness vs selflessness. In our world filled with technology and shifting cultural/social norms figuring out what is right vs wrong is sometimes not as easy as we would like it to be. The answer is we should try to be as present as possible in not only our lives but the lives of other; walk a mile in their shoes so to speak.

To look at the stars is awe inspiring. To look at the stars and feel present in the universe, realizing that the atoms that make you up are as old as the universe and will persist even after your current form, can be profound. Being truly present can be very difficult but also very rewarding.

Escaping Emotion (A Method)

The idea of escaping emotion has been around since the starting of civilization. Emotions can often be negative and so we will try to be objective or practice other methods of escaping emotion such as meditation. The need to escape emotion is usually always used in the context of escaping bad emotions such as fear or sadness because no one really wants to escape joy unless they are in a phase of their life where they are seeking purpose.

The most interesting thing about escaping emotion is how often we do it but we just don’t recognize it. I remember when I was a child and someone asked me how I was feeling and I responded truthfully, “I don’t really feel anything at all.” This was followed by, “Are you feeling alright?” I quickly learned that the proper response to that question was that I feel good or that I am okay. I think everyone can relate to this. How many times have you been asked how you are feeling and responded with, “I am good” when you knew that wasn’t entirely truthful? Why do we do this?

Humanity is obsessed with binary choices. Something has to be good or evil, wrong or right, and happy or sad. When we interact socially with people there is usually emotion present such as excitement or regret. When we interact with fellow employees over work tasks there is almost never emotion involved unless there is some kind of problem. I imagine there are people reading this blog right now that are stateless. They are neither happy or sad and if they were to really meditate on that for a moment it might actually make some people feel uncomfortable. In fact an unemotional state is where we spend a significant amount of time but we hardly reflect on it. This is because in an unemotional state there is no need to reflect, you have a goal or an objective of some type that needs to be accomplished and this might be something as simple as the need to go to the washroom.

Imagine you are driving down a long high way where the scenery was completely the same and suddenly you come to screeching to a stop to let ducks cross the road. If the trip took hours, it wouldn’t matter, you would only remember the emotional state you were in when the ducks crossed the road. When you reflect on your state of no emotion it might feel like you’re not living. However, after awhile you will realize that this state can be utilized to have moments of clarity.

Emotions are a reactionary force to try and get us to do something to compensate for some kind of stress or make us recognize lack of stress. That said, you are capable of interacting with the universe in a non-reactionary way. So how do you voluntarily escape emotion? That is the simple part. Unlike meditation this state is easy to get into once you recognize it. Let me explain. Odds are you have never really reflected on this state you enter on a regular basis, but now that you know it exists all you have to do is catch yourself in the act. Once you catch yourself in the act you can reflect on it and once you know how it “feels” you can gain the ability to turn it on and off. When you enter this state it might allow you to make better choices then to simply follow your emotions which almost always have a much shorter term horizon.

Eckhart Tolle is a Drug Dealer

lake yogaYour ego causes you so much stress, you need to let go of thinking and discover your true soul. This is the path to freedom and peace.

The above statement is true but that isn’t a good thing. It is very true that meditation and discovering what people call your true center can have a certain peaceful affect on your psychology. However, this could slow our progression down as a race and have some other unforeseen consequences.

Every human action is powered by the ego. Every action derives from want. Your desire and need to find peace, and think about peace, is also driven by your ego. The mental gymnastics people are playing with themselves to “view the viewer” is a method of giving you peace through release. When you surrender, you give up the need to become more accomplished. This is why the most spiritual of people will either be those at the very top who can’t really accomplish much more or those at the bottom who can’t seem to accomplish anything.

To surrender the need to accomplish is no different then taking a drug to override your senses. While people might think they are casting off their ego what they are actually doing is reprogramming it. The very method of meditation is a mechanism for psychological programming. Whenever you have a thought you discard it and you stay focused on the present. When things bubble up to your consciousness and you discard them you are telling your unconscious that these things don’t matter as much because the whole purpose of the consciousness is to prioritize importance.

Don’t get me wrong, meditation is very important to do. In fact I endorse meditating some what frequently. It is like cleaning out a closet. What I don’t endorse is to stop caring or to delude yourself in to thinking you can actually stop caring. No one seems to find it odd that these people who have discovered how to truly stop caring, care so little that they need to tell everyone about it?

“A trait that we call empathy, a trait that completely vanishes if everyone simply accepts everything.”

We have incorrectly demonized selfishness. Every philanthropic action in the world is a way of forming a better world for ourselves. When we vilify selfishness incorrectly it is not good for society. Are you evil when you feel hunger and selfishly want to eat? Of course not. We create a hyperbole where on one side of the spectrum we have people who give away everything and live in poverty (saints) and on the other you have these evil business men who take money for services. The ego is a core to our selfishness and it makes us want to accomplish things. That isn’t to say it is perfect but it actually has done a some what decent job so far in progressing us as a human race.

I want to change the world, or at least try. If I stopped caring and simply accepted life for what it was there would be little motivation for me to do so. In a Brave New World a drug called soma was discussed that had zero biological side effects. This drug allowed the “beta” working class to do horrible jobs but get through it. I can’t help but believe that spirituality revolving around the attempted casting off of the ego is the soma of this society. It’s a way of allowing people to deal with, sometimes incorrectly, the dissatisfaction with their lives.

The main problem is that right now we can’t support everyone being satisfied. Someone has to clean the sewers. However, we’re trying to fix that. We can get workers out of the sewers with technology but that technology might not be developed by someone who is satisfied either, it might be developed by someone who just needs to pay their bills. At a certain point there will be so many improvements that we will enter what I call the second phase. In this phase we will be able to live in ways that right now we can’t even think or dream about.

The difference between say Eckhart Tolle and I is that I believe that dissatisfaction is necessary to improve the lives of all humans where as he thinks that everyone can just learn to deal with their terrible situations. He is a glorified drug dealer. People who work in sewers should not be happy about what they’re doing because then who would be interested in getting them out of that situation? Our need to help others stems from a trait that we call empathy and this is a trait that completely vanishes if everyone simply accepts everything.