Friday, March 28, 2008

Some spiritual attitudes

Some spiritual attitudes that I have experienced or read in books so far

1) Be honest:
There is nothing like being honest as far as possible. It clear things up, clears up unwanted feelings, clears the road ahead and makes life easier. This is something I have learnt in grad life so far.

2) Respect: Everyone deserves respect. I used to judge people based on their academic achievements and skills when I came here. This attitude has caused me more trouble than anything else. Again, everyone deserves respect no matter their standing, no matter their behavior, no matter their situation.

3) Acceptance: I had a lot of pre-concieved notions of how my life should be. These things are not too bad, it's like having a plan. Only thing, plans can fail. And you got to accept the situation calmly and without resentment or hatred or other negative feelings when things don't go your way. Acceptance of the "here and now" is a very powerful tool, since it can liberate you from worries, from the past misgivings and from future uncertainities. This quality is something that I have grown to appreciate through my experiences in grad school.

4) Giving in your best a.k.a living life to the fullest:
There is a saying my parents and uncle would oft repeat: "When you eat, you eat. When you play, you play. When you work, you work".
The import here is that you giving in your "full mind" in whatever it is that you are currently doing or being. Don't worry about the future as you work over that report. Don't feel guilty for some past action when you are having your food.
This attitude as all other spiritual attitudes "makes life simple".

So doesn't matter how screwed up your life is, doesn't matter if you have been down the shit hole, doesn't matter if things can't get worser (by the way, they always can) - all you got to focus on is "now", "the now", "THE NOW". What are you doing now?
What are you being now?
What do you wish to do now?
Math analogy:
This is similar to the "memoryless property" of the exponential distribution which you encounter in probability.
Usually inter-arrival times of buses at bus-stops are assumed to follow an exponential distribution.
What this means is, it doesn't matter how long you have been waiting at the bus-stop, the probability that the next bus is going to arrive within 5 minutes is always the same!

So give in your best in whatever you do, give in your full mind to whatever task you are working on and that my friend, is "the way to live life to the fullest".

Work hard but do not have expectations on the results is another way of interpreting "acceptance". See my previous post on "Perfection" to know why we should accept the "here and now".
The previous post is basically a summary of the teachings in the "Conversation with God" books written by Neale Donald Walsch.

Is relaxation a spiritual attitude? Relaxation is a by-product of following the above four-attitudes. But if for some reason, you are stuck in life due to circumstance, then relax! There are powerful relaxation techniques available that calm you down from any possible situation you could imagine yourself in.This is a good webpage to know more about a relaxation technique.

My purpose of writing this blog is to truthfully record my spiritual learnings learnt from experiences and also from books so as to serve as a reference for me for the future and also to inspire the readers to get into the act of introspecting their lives and attitudes with the aim of spiritual growth.
A few books I recommend (and have read myself) to get started into spirituality:

1) Conversations with God series by Neale Donald Walsch - Includes Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Friendship with God, Home with God, Communion with God, etc.

I have read other books in bits and pieces: Eckhart Tolle's "The power of Now", Gary Zukav's "Soul stories", etc.

This is a very revealing video that I came across thanks to Erin Pavalina.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Interpreting "Things are perfect as they are"

You must have heard of the saying oft repeated: "Things are perfect as they are. Situations are perfect as they are".

The basis for these statements is founded in spirituality and philosophy and I give two interpretations of the "perfect" statement:

1) Who am I?
The first interpretation is based on the definition of the self. Who is the real 'self'. New age spirituality and old age philosophy says that "you are verily the supreme spirit - The Tao, the Brahman, the Atman, The holy spirit, The father, The God, etc". According to this adage, you are no longer limited to the "Ego" or the self that we think we are. In that case, since you are unlimited in nature, the events or occurences in the real world have no bearing on your identity and hence you are "very ok" with any event or outcome that occurs. You are very ok with people's behaviors simply because you don't have any expectation on them and that is again because your sense of identity is independent of their behaviors: You are not insulted by them because 'you' are not 'you the ego', but you are 'you the infinite - you that cannot be tainted or insulted'.

2) Creation philosophy
The creation spirituality has that:
Creation occurs at three levels: Thought, word and deed. There is also another level, the level of being.
According to the creation philosophy, most of whatever we experience in life is due to our creating that experience through thoughts, words or actions.
Since we have created our experience beforehand, the experience should itself be perfect. If it is not perfect, then
we may have mistakenly intended or called forth another experience than we wished to.
Even in this case, since we are the creators of our experience, we can always "recreate" to create a new experience that we like or wish for.
But the problem with the creation argument is that the creation happens at three levels: sub-conscious or the unconscious, conscious and the super-conscious levels.
And people are not usually aware of what they are creating at the super-conscious level or the sub-conscious level. So they create at the conscious level and they assume that things will turn out the way they should. They do except when they conflict with what they are creating at the super-conscious level.

So in both the cases discussed above, things are indeed perfect as they are and as we experience them. In the second case, we may not be aware that we are creating at the super-conscious level. In the first case, we are not aware that we are the "supreme spirit".
But "believing" in the philosophy of "Thou art God" or "We are creative beings" and understanding what that means is sufficient for us to "act as if" things are perfect.

These philosophies give us a basis and act as an incentive for us to practice "perfection" or the adage that "Experiences, events, people's behaviors" are perfect as they are.

When you know that things are perfect, you don't have expectations on the result and hence the saying: "Work towards your goal but do not expect the results to turn out as you expect. That is to say don't have expectations".
When you don't have expectations in life, you "accept" with joy and love and peace, what you get. Isn't this a beautiful way of living life? Indeed this way of living life is a path to mastery - mastery of the self and experiencing who you really are (refer to 1)).