Nirvana

The lesson a comfortable life is trying to teach us is that gratifying the mortal self is not an attainable or even worthy objective. And whether or not we learn it in life doesn’t matter because death will inevitably teach it to us. Nirvana is attained by learning death’s lesson while you are still alive. This, however,must not be confused with craving a state of submission or enslavement as these are also driven by your own selfish compulsions or that of someone else’s. True liberation must by definition not be contingent on the compulsion of self or other. Once your basic survival and comfort needs are met, external circumstances can serve equally toward your liberation as they can toward inhibiting it. But the more you require external circumstances to accommodate your spiritual needs the less likely you are to ever find spiritual liberation. This is why as a society becomes increasingly affluent, satisfying selfish human compulsion becomes more central to our wellbeing and further away we stray from grace and freedom. This is why the attainment of greater affluence must be balanced with freeing one’s self from compulsion that your affluence can serve you and not hinder you from true blissfulness.

Identity

Getting to know yourself is much like trying to find the core of an onion by peeling it. In the end what you will find is that there is nothing left of you to identity with the self.  And what you truly are is the space you occupy. Thinking you have some sort of identity is as foolish as a bubble thinking it’s something other than the air inside it.

Entanglement

Romantic love is not something you can be inside of. Just like you can’t be in hate, you can’t be in love. Love is only something you can bestow or receive.

The statement “to be in love” may actually refer to emotional entanglement or a state of infatuation. In reality, true love (in romance) is a verb and an action that can be performed and it can take on many forms.

So never say “I love you” with words because this is a lie. It’s like saying “I give to you” and then not doing anything. Those whom say it repeatedly are simply eager to hear it in return because they derive a sense of identity from the opinion of others.

Say instead “I’m going to show you love.” At least then you are making your commitment clear instead of embellishing it with meaningless ornamental language – perhaps only in the hopes of absolving yourself from any commitment or action.

Or better yet, say nothing at all and let your actions speak for themselves.

Vanity

Vanity is a noble attribute as it stems from our desire to be of value to others. But if we aren’t able (or too lazy) to find a way in which we are valuable to others, vanity will rest it’s place on our body and face. As we age, then, and find it more and more difficult to make this part of us valuable we will descend gradually into a nihilistic and easily corruptible state and a life of crime or self annihilation. Therefore it is important to find self worth in things that don’t fade. Only then will you be truly satisfied with yourself.

Serenity

Just like it is with a body of water, only when you find absolute serenity within, can you see the world reflected therein. But beware that the more still your lake becomes, the easier it is for it to become disturbed. Therefore serenity is only a first step. Next you must take your serenity and become thick, like honey, lest you become molten like metal or hardened like ice. In all three of these states will you see clearly but in only one will you be goodly. Goodly means to convert every unit you consume into two or more units that you leave behind. Those who take but leave less behind are of the opposite nature. This is why those with wisdom whom see clearly yet leave little behind will either freeze things into stillness or burn things down into dust.

Excellence

While we should tolerate and even welcome criticism of religious thought and tradition we must also be fair and acknowledge that religion has been one of the greatest drivers for human excellence over the vast majority of history. Why else would an artist spend one thousand hours on something they are only getting paid ten hours to do? Why else, if it were not for their devotion to the cause driving their creation? This capitalization of inspiration extended itself to all aspects of life including the sciences but has largely diminished at the turn of the 20th century. And because of it we have now become a society that largely wants convenience over quality and flavor over nutrition. As our devotion to God has ceased, so has our dedication and affinity to excellence been atrophied. Competition is now the only thing left to preserve human grace and excellence. Let us not forgo that also, but rather try to embrace what was once a love of something greater than us that could only be contained within the soul of each individual and never defined or categorized for you by someone else.

Tests

When the wind blows your tent down you can choose to rebuild it – but if you build it the same way as before – rest assured, when the winds return they will tear down your tent again.  Recurring tests in our life are just like this. Learn what you need to in order to overcome them and these recurrences in your life will come to an end.  The universe isn’t the one that’s tormenting you, it’s your stubborn and incessant insistence to continue rebuilding the same damn tent over and over again.

The Nature of Spirituality

What is the meaning of spirituality? Does it have a value? Can it be measured? What makes someone more or less spiritual? I think we too often confuse spirituality with religion and therefore, an identity of some kind. And so, for many whom take on the word “spiritual” to describe themselves may often be characterized by devoting the larger of their efforts to growing or spreading their ideas to others and believing themselves to be spiritual for doing so. But given that spirituality is a universal phenomena, it can’t be this. After all, if a Muslim believes themselves to be spiritual when practicing their faith and a Chrisitan when remaining faithful to their own, how could either of them truly claim to know what spirituality really is? Continue reading “The Nature of Spirituality”