Sunday, February 01, 2009

Making sense of a few spiritual concepts

While reading new-age, spiritual, religious, self-help books, I came across many concepts that seemed conflicting at first. A deeper examination revealed that they build on each other. For example, there is this concept of 'letting go'. A person who hears this for the first time, might sarcastically comment, 'Oh yeah, let go of your job, it's all good'. And then there is another concept of 'following your bliss or passion'. Do these two concepts seem to conflict with each other?
Now, another concept I have encountered is, 'Nothing matters'. Now you are like, 'that's even worse than letting go'. Well, all these concepts have their contextual frames of reference, where they hold good. So here's my understanding of these concepts:

1. Letting go: Letting go refers to letting go of worries and cares, past hurts, grief, anger, hate, etc. It's not about letting go of your passions or your happiness. This concept comes from the larger than life perspective that whatever is showing up currently in your life in the form of circumstances, people, situations, etc are for your highest good...that essentially circumstances you are currently facing are perfect for your spiritual growth despite apparent evidence to the contrary. It comes from the larger than life perspective that life is meant to be fun, life is a game, we need to enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination. That doesn't mean you don't dream, on the contrary, it means that you could dream as much as possible but don't let your circumstances curtail your beliefs that you can achieve these dreams... As you can see, letting go is in total harmony with 'following your bliss or passions', because you have done away with worries and fears that stop you from pursuing your passion through the process of letting go or surrender.

2. Circumstances don't matter, only state of being matters:
This concept is related to the concept of 'letting go'. This concept is essentially the same as "thought-belief-creation paradigm"[2] or the "Be-do-have" [1] paradigm.
Normally, people look at their cicumstances and say, oh I am having a bad time, if only things were better, I could be more happier and enjoy my life.. This is the 'have-do-be' paradigm. That is, if I have my (fill in: money, skills, time etc), I can do the things I like to do, and therefore be happy. The, 'have-do-be' paradigm comes from the belief that happiness is a product of circumstances.
Now, the new paradigm, the 'be-do-have' paradigm is essentially based on the understanding that happiness is a state of mind and therefore be happy, and your circumstances will change for the better. On the other hand, if you choose to be depressed, worried, fearful,and all the negative states of being, then your circumstances will mirror those states of being..You see this is a vicious circle.
The 'be-do-have' paradigm goes hand in hand with the 'thought-belief-creation' paradigm, which states that your thoughts and beliefs create your reality..literally.
I have tested this concept out, works very well. I thus immediately check myself if I see myself having thoughts that are based on fear or doubt or lack. For example, 'I somehow seem to lack the resources I need to pursue my passion'...This thought is based on 'lack', and by our paradigm, you would get stuck in circumstances that reflect your belief of lack.
Thus, we get this concept of 'Circumstances don't matter, only state of being matters' [3] i.e. to say, irrespective of how good or bad the circumstances seem, they can always get better. For that to happen, stop worrying and change your state of being to happiness or joy or peace and once you change your state of being to joy or peace or happiness, you would then create better circumstances from these positive states of being.

3. Nothing matters
This is the ultimate and one of the broadest spiritual concepts I have encountered.
Though it may be difficult to apply, understanding this concept can keep your boat afloat in the most depressing of times. I have personally come to a realization of this concept through some experiences I had in 2007.
I read about this concept in a book and I asked myself, how can "Nothing matter?". Ofcourse, my grades matter. Ofcourse, money matters. How the heck can you say that nothing matters?
It seemed like I was challenging the universe. The universe responded in kind by giving me a profound experience, where the only way I thought I could get out of the situation was by letting go of my fears, and by understanding that even if the worst possible thing happened to me, that would be ok - Once I came to that level of acceptance of my situation and its worst case possibility, the situation cleared magically and all my fears were unfounded. I then realized that this situation had a lesson for me- Nothing really matters.
The broader spiritual basis for this concept is that death is just a horizon[5] and that you always exist either with a physical body in the physical reality or as a spirit being in the spirit realm[1], which indicates that death is a transition from the physical realm to the spiritual realm; and also that the core of your being or the spirit that you are is a spirit of love, bliss and joy. So despite the seeming travails that you face on earth, when you go back to the spiritual realm, it would seem like you just spent a day on earth, and you are back home, full of joy and full of love.
That is why nothing matters on earth or anywhere, for the core of your being is always untainted and always full of love, bliss and is also eternal[1].


The three concepts of 'letting go', 'thought-belief-creation paradigm', and 'nothing matters' are in perfect harmony with each other. 'Thought-belief-creation paradigm' is very practical, since once you begin to test this concept out([2]&[3]) (and notice that for example, if you have been thinking of someone all day, you get a call from that person or you get a visit, etc ), you have immediately started empowering yourself with this paradigm. Another way to use this paradigm is to have a list of intentions that reflect what you wish happen in your life and then say those intentions or give thought to those intentions everyday. 'Letting go' is also a useful concept, although, this concept is usually applied in practice once a person reaches a certain level of spiritual growth or if circumstances are such that you surrender to god/goddess/All-that-is and trust that the circumstances are assisting your spiritual growth.
Nothing matters is useful if you want to get the broadest perspective possible on life.. Life is essentially meaningless, it is you who assign meaning to it based on your beliefs and expectations. And circumstances turning out one way or the other doesn't matter, because in the ultimate reality, you are a whole, complete being of love, light, and we) are essentially god in the ultimate reality. This is explained very well in [1].

[1] Conversations with god series. Neale Donald Walsch.
[2] Ask and it's given. Abraham Esther Hicks.
[3] Channeling video by Darryl Anka: Circumstances don't matter.
[4] Spiritual growth. Sanaya Roman.
[5] Autobiography of a yogi. Paramahamsa Yogananda.

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