Spiritual Attainment

This is an answer to a question asked Here.

To quickly answer before I elaborate a bit: 
I don't think there is no such thing as spirituality. What I think is: there is no spirituality separate from materiality.

When you talk about spiritual goals they are really material goals, and when you talk about material goals they are really spiritual goals.

Both are words for the same thing.

To achieve either you are using the same instrument.

And there is no other instrument.

Without Mind there would be no means for you to be spiritual. Without Mind there would be no means for you to be psychical. (I capitalize Mind because in this case I don't mean mind as a personal mind, but mind as the collective flow of humanity.)

If you are thinking everything is a test of how spiritual you can be, how present you can be and concentrated you can be. If you are thinking how every opportunity in life is a test of how to be your best self in any given situation, you may deny the full spectrum of self, which includes your worst self just as much as your best self. Your nature includes and is both you when you are not aware of your actions and you when fully aware. Both equally encapsulate nature.

You are nature - anything that you do will be an expression of its boundless potential. Even things you might consider wrong or things which you might view as wrong doing.

This, however, does not excuse wrong doing and man should strive to hold ideals that include, not exclude. It does not excuse wrong doing because nature is as much Other as it is You.

One does not have to brand themselves spiritual to be compassionate. One can be materialistic and be just as emphatic.

What we call spiritual is a term to describe a way of seeing and touching reality

To feel compassion and show compassion is to be compassionate, but does not require spirituality.

For instance, instead of being calm about not being compassionate in any given moment, you may instead think about how uncompassionate you are, and that too is your nature just as much as being compassionate.

We may end up feeling unrest because we think we shouldn't feel unrest.

You may even think the solution is to think of how you can solve this problem.

There is no problem to begin with. The perceived solution is what creates the problem and remains responsible for creating the problem time and again.

I talked about this in my previous post called Pursuit of Happiness.

However, having said all that, I think there are aspects of our existence that can be called spiritual. 
These are aspects of ourselves which go deeper than what we normally perceive or see in our typical ways of perception. And in meditation or instances of presence where we are not thinking of the past or the future, but immerse ourselves in the flow of now and feel ourselves to embody that flow, in these instances when conceptualization is cut and we gain direct access, I believe we become and see the very essence of what we named spirituality. An experience that needs to be embodied in action and loses it's isness as soon as a word is uttered about it. A thing that can be pointed at but never truly explained. This, however, does not mean that our everyday thinking, our stress and our worries are not spiritual processes as well.

It just means that in moments of frivolous mental activity we don't feel this connection to what we call spirit, to the essential flow of existence, as deeply or as directly, as we are distracted and hypnotized by mind.

Not Zen

Man proposes, God disposes.

Every action of man, even his life, is disposed and bares little meaning outside man.

Man is the beauty of this world. He holds in his hand the will to behold but mostly chooses to ignore.

There is no soul. 
Nothing the self fear more than it too being disposed. Of there being a time in which nothing of it will remain. In this it has made itself eternal in the need for continuity. It has made the soul.

Man projects what is already there, in himself as nature. The soul is a projection of man who desires to be eternal. Like him, the soul exist as an expression of thought.

For man, there is no world outside thought and mind. Only more delusion of mind.

You are not a man having the experience of a soul.

You are not a soul having the experience of man.

You are existence having an experience of itself.

Existence experiencing Self.

Ego Loss and the Higher Self Delusion

For the purpose of this let me explain what I mean by Ego as to avoid any confusion. We as bodies are space, its tangible aspect. While what we label as Ego is more akin to time, a unit of measurement that cannot exist without space, but unlike space, is used to measure that in which it exists. An idea about a thing which reflects the thing in an attempt to portray it. An agreement of there being a way of measuring a person's personality and traits, whereas the end result is a set of guidelines and shouldn't be confused with all of what a person is. The term Ego exists as a way of measuring the psyche.

What we call an ego collapse or loss is the exact point where this psyche, the individual's inner workings and perceptional responses, no longer know how to deal with the situation at hand. 
The subsequent reaction produced is a temporary but often complete loss of self-identity.
It is something that happens daily, although the older and individual gets, the more he or she tends to notice only collapses which are extremely prominent in the psyche. For the most extreme ego deaths, a more readily used terminology exists in clinical psychology: mental breakdown.

Due to the term mental breakdown and the associated stigma, an ego collapse is taboo in most western social circles. You're not going to bring it up as an ice-breaker. 
For most remains a thing to be avoided at all costs, as it suggest a delirious self, an unstable mind, emotional fragility and mental instability, and in the event of an actual occurrence of a breakdown, the person in question is often considered, for a time, to be devoid of that which makes a mind able to exist in any intractable sense. However, a collapse can potentially underline something else.

In the instance of a collapse or loss, the part of mind which forms responses to stimuli based on previous experiences and ideas about experiences, usually does one of two things: it produces an attack which we often call an overreaction, or withdraws and produces a non-reaction. It may produce reactions that follow on any point of the spectrum between these extremes.

In both cases it adjusts and adapts. It does this by skewing what is and adjusts itself not to what is going on, but in most cases molds a situation to fit its own preconceptions and beliefs. In other words, in most cases it does not accept what is, but looks for ways to justify its own existent point of view and further deny what is in any way it knows how.

Let’s first examine why such a thing might occur.

The initial breakdown or collapse occurs due to the inability of the mind to accept what is. That which is becomes too out of bounds of the every-day perception upon which the ego has so far functioned. The conditioning patterns upon which the ego operates cannot produce a reaction. Non-acceptance of what is, in other words, not accepting things as they are, triggers a dissonance between the idea of self and the happening perceived to be outside of the self, where the ego needs to effectively shrink into a more basic self, and reset in order to adapt. It will attempt to attack, defend, hide, or a combo of any of these reactions (and more) in a very short span of time.

For a person to realize what is happening and what the event underlines, a collapse needs to happen again, and preferably again under proper guidence. However many times it takes.

At some point a subtle feeling can arise in anyone who has undergone a series of collapses.

It can portray the nature of the ego.

Or more precisely, it brings the awareness of the Self identifying wholly and completely with it.

The Ego is and will remain a telescope with a narrow view of assessment that feeds the rest of the organism whatever it needs to survive in any given situation.

When trying to go beyond the ego as a way to test yourself by doing something opposite of what you thought the ego might do, you may find yourself wondering if the reaction produced was in fact ego-driven in some subconscious way. This portrays the strength of the deception; but also presents a stronger problem which the ego will resolve in a very cunning way.

The Ego will, instead of recognizing itself and exposing itself to the scrutiny of perception, create what most call a Higher Self. The ego will develop the Higher Self through subtle means of self-deception and self-confirmation. It will actively seek out minds with the same attitudes and knowledge of the Higher Self to confirm itself in the individual psyche. The Ego will seek minds to shape itself and lean itself upon in order to give the concept of the Higher Self validity through acknowledgement. It will guide a person through levels of confirmation to make him or her believe in the Higher Self, while still being the same self, or ego in disguise.

Questions may be asked of others who have “realized the Higher Self”. The most readily asked being: “How can I differentiate between what is my Ego reaction, and what is the reaction of the Higher Self?”

The answer usually goes something like this: The Ego reaction comes after the initial gut reaction. The initial reaction of the Higher Self is the right and immediate reaction.

In this scenario, an ego reaction is the reaction which is not immediate - a response which goes through a filter in the mind for a particular social condition. However, even the most basic gut reaction will always arise from the mind, and so always be conditioned. (If you think when you are by yourself your reactions are not socially driven it will be a mistake.*) (*A human being is never separate from his social environment, no matter the level of isolation. If the Self perceives that the Self intends to isolate itself from its environment it can do something the mind does on a regular basis. It will project itself as far into the future as it must to justify what it is doing now. In other words, it will do things now for future acknowledgement and confirmation.)

In still other words, the Self has the potential to access the meta-mind and react instantly based on emotional responses that have not yet formed into complex thoughts about a situation, while an ego processes the emotional response and runs it through the meta-mind's thinking patterns overlaying the emotional patterns, and so is influenced by the created patterns of thinking, as well as the created patterns of emotional response.

This perceived layer or conscious decision may trick anyone that in fact these two responses are separate, or even performed by two separate entities, one more true to the idea of self than the other.

However, this distinction between ego and self is again a product of pattern, as the meta-mind or what we call self cannot experience anything without knowledge. Be it genetic knowledge or learned knowledge. Without this knowledge, no experience arises, as every and all experience can arise from mind and its ideas.
Even the meta-mind operates according to pattern and cannot produce a reaction without a mental pattern according to which it can produce it. 
A trans-personal experience is not a trans-personal experience if you never heard of a trans-personal experience and what it might be. At the point of not-knowing about this experience, the happening is that of a living organism and perception.
Without knowledge you cannot experience anything, and once experienced, that experience fortifies the knowledge, this them becomes a circle wherein you are unable to see the circle as happening and so instead you produce more versions of the self, claiming each to be more self-aware than the last in order to create new experience of self-awareness, while still being in the same circle.

We may end up thinking the initial gut reaction is more valuable than the second, Ego reaction, as our skewed belief and propensity to repeat the same patterns and think through the same system of knowledge. It may even happen that we devalue the response produced by thinking and value that produced by feeling as we operate on the basis that the self is real, as much as we believe the ego is real and not a set of ideas about itself.

In this sense, the higher self in maintained, thinking and believing it exists in much the same way we believe the ego does: as an entity with its own will and drive separate from the perceived meta-self.

To give two basic examples why the Higher Self and the Ego are the same thing, we can use two examples. (Here the word illusion is meant as a division created by mind where there is none or a fantasy to explain reality)

  1. the clouds and their separation from the sky is illusory. The clouds are an aspect of the sky and not a thing in the sky. They draw a pattern of the sky, not a pattern in the sky.

You can argue the distinction is semantic, and that indeed the clouds are a measurable phenomena happening in what we call sky. But this way of explaining what a cloud is, uses the same modes of thinking as any separation between any object and subject. In the same way, we shift in different social environments depending on what group you find yourself in and separate the perceived subject and the perceived object. We sense that we become a pattern in that social process and re-imagine the self in most social situations. As the separating mechanism becomes us and so fades from immediate perception, we fail to be aware of this event of becoming an active or passive participant as becoming the happening itself, instead, we view the self as being an event inside the happening.

In all social situations, the only separating mechanism which informs the self that it is an event inside a happening and not the happening itself, remains our self-awareness.
We started doing this when we were kids.
We had a Self for our family, for our friends, our pet, our other group of friends, etc. In school we were placed into a program and expected to create a Self that will be able to function out there. A failure to be that program brought with it a perceivable threat of being able to fit into a system that requires the inception of specific programs to work.

Can therefore any benefit be found in watching your own thinking and doing? Or should a person always react in a knee-jerk motion?

At first you may notice that when the mind is on stage, it will not produce a thought-reaction as long as you can maintain focus and intensely watch. If you attempted it you may notice how difficult this is to maintain for any impressive length of time. Meaning that, as long as you watch the next thought that will come, it will not.

When thoughts come and you remain focused and watch, you will find that in these situations, your reactions to your own thinking and responses to this thinking tend to shift to a different spectrum.

There comes an acceptance of things as they are and as they come and go, while keeping nothing. The life of such an individual can be more akin to playing. Almost in the same manner as playing any instrument. The Self is that which strums the strings or hits the drum, but the strumming is not the guitar, only an expression of it. The guitar itself keeps no notes, they come, then they go.

That is the function of the Self, to look at itself, while the Ego’s function might seem to be to sense things outside and produce instant reactions. It can do this the most efficiently by making you think the world inside you is separate from outside. But also to have you believe that even your inner world is seperate into a watcher and that which is being watched. A doer and a thinker. A reactionist and a being who can perceive the reactions as happening. And yet the Ego cannot exist without the Self and Other just as a cloud cannot exist without the environment we perceive it to be inside of. Just as the Self cannot exist without Other and Other cannot be without Self.

Somewhere in our evolutionary path we became self-aware. 

Which immediately served to conceptually separate us from our environment. Without self-awareness an awareness of there being an Other as well as a Self cannot exist. Without this self-awareness you would be hard pressed to ever feel separate from anything. As we perceive animals as not being self-aware conceptually, we never say an animal has en Ego, only a Self that is that animal right down to the marrow.

The next of the two ways of seeing why the initial separation into a Higher Self is illusory, and why this creates only further separation from the meta-self and creates another identity based on ideas about what the self is, is this:

  1. You could do it ad infinitum and never reach “The Real You” or “Highest Self”, because you will always be under the illusion that you have reached it. As the Self, you can watch the Ego, then as the Higher Self  you can watch the Self watching the Ego, then watch the Higher Self watching the Self who watches the Ego, then watch the watcher who watches the Higher Self who watches the Self who watches the Ego and so on... You can do this until however long you like and only create more illusion and separateness. Or you can recognize that the basic problem was illusory.
The Self needs no further label of Higher or Lower, and the Self has a social structure, which we call the Ego – but which is not separate from the Self, but remains that which reflects whatever it receives. You can express a certain nature, but it is an expression of the same Self as the Self that is the Ego.

The only way to break this cycle is to realize that the I and the Ego are the same thing. You may watch what you are doing and not like it, then say, “Aha! That is the Ego, not the real me,”  but instead of seeing the Ego as a thing to be fought and defeated, see it as a tool. By watching the Ego, what you are doing is watching the construct in your mind made by the imprints of your existence in the physical dimension. It is not a presence, but a concept, an abstract, a possibility. You may not like this construct, and that is fine, but that does not mean the one watching is different than the thing being watched.

So by looking at the Ego in this sense, by creating the illusion of duality, you can see the ego as a creation of the basic functioning of the Self, a program you can understand by observing it. The main purpose of the Ego will remain survival. To separate You from Environment and to help You be safe from Environment. And for that it is perfect, as it creates the perfectly crafted illusion of there being a separate existence between Self and Other. It is best at activating patterns to fit a role, but the role is not the nature of that which plays the role. The nature of that which plays the role is empty. Not empty in any real sense of the word, but empty of separate existence.
Knowing this, you can start producing reactions that take into account this inseparability from anything else. 

You can watch the ego and have feelings produced by what you call the ego which may lead you to believe the ego is real, and that would be a completely fair assumption. However, thinking that the emotions were produced by the ego is the same as thinking what you thought of right now is something Mary has thought of across the street and that it didn't come from you. Do not think of it as watching the Ego, but of “stepping back and allowing the I to look at Itself.”

There is a Zen Koan that asks: “When many are reduced to one, what is one reduced to?”

Just like this problem of the Ego, your immediate reaction will be to examine the Koan as a problem to be solved. You may think, "If Many can be reduced, then One must also be reduced – because the question implies it." 
Or if you think in a manner of “all is one”, you might say, "If Many is reduced to One, then one cannot be further reduced, as all is one."

And yet the problem is illusory. As one is reduced from many, so can one be reduced to many. One and Many are both man-made measurement and have no meaning besides in the mind. Many already contains one and in fact implies it, so one is always many as the concept of one cannot be perceived without the concept of many. In this manner the question is a trick, much like the idea of separation from your ego is a trick.

No matter the effort, you will never become separate from the ego. Instead you can see it as a play that you can either go along with, or do differently. In trying to separate from it, you are attempting to do the same thing as if a finger were trying to touch its own tip. 
The attempt can only create more illusion. 
Recognize that touching the tip itself with the tip is impossible, not because of some mechanical problem of the human body, but because it is already done, as the very separateness of the tip from the finger is not there. The mind created a tip where there is just a finger, pointing at itself.

The Undivided Mind

You can never separate yourself from the totality of existence. The undivided mind knows and lives this. Whatever you do, whatever you think, it will be in relation to this complete immersion in the totality. I am not referring to the totality of human existence, but the whole of Nature, the totality of its energetic flow.

Thought remains the only separating mechanism, creating an imaginary divide between the thinker and the thought. Between that which is being experienced and the experiencer.

To whatever degree, humans like the idea of themselves as creators of experience. We like the idea of others thinking of us as creative individuals and of ourselves as individuals who create. Either by creating thought or by creating the physical expression of thought. And yet all of our creative capabilities are constructed from past events, from other minds and training in expression of thought and doing. 

There is no such thing as new thought. There are no thoughts which are your own.

In this sense we are often fooled by ourselves, believing we are creating something new or something not made of something imagined or seen or explained, before.  We think we create new things and new thoughts constantly. But this is not our nature. Nature is not creative. Nature is emergent. It emerges out of itself. From the possibility of itself and nothing emerges out if nature which is not it; any event is by its nature an expression of its boundless potential.

Our direct experience revolves around the idea of consciousness and of being immersed in sensory inputs, and we neglect that what we call unconsciousness is just as much part of nature. And that every emergent sentient thing jumps between what we call consciousness and unconsciousness. And sentience, being conscious and experiencing consciousness, appears to be interested only in unconsciousness. This is to say, that all desire of every organism seems bent towards a primitive or an increasingly complex desire not to desire. The deepest expression of this desire is unconsciousness.

For animals this is simple, as it mostly centers around food. Meaning an animal will bend all of its will towards gaining enough food so all desire for food may cease for a time and it can slip into unconsciousness.

But then there is the human animal. 
Our desires seem complex, all of them driven by the desire not to desire and seeking pleasure in desire. In this we are fully immersed in the expression of the totality. The only separating factor from the totality of existence being the projected thought. Thought that we project upon the totality. Thought that tries to define, measure, explain. Our ability to realize that there is a self watching itself when looking into a mirror is the very source of division in the divided mind.

What emerges is the ability to project any idea into a constructed framework of logical thinking and drive that idea to what we think is the logical conclusion. A conclusion based on the premise projected by the human and its perceived division from all other things. Resulting in an imagined divide between all further projections stemming from the first.

This allows us to think thought itself can be observed by imagining an observer. And yet what is observing thought is just more thought.

We are not creators. We are imitators.

Somewhere in our path of becoming what we are right now, we became self-aware. A thing in our minds was born which allowed us to imagine ourselves as separated from the things around us and made it possible for us to imagine that our thoughts can be directly observed by an imagined observer. So our immersion in this totality was separated by thought from that which is being immersed. We cease to realize our complete immersion and inseparability through the very thing which makes us believe we are separate.

A human being never acts, he reacts. 

Every society in which a human lives is dependent on things around that human. He cannot exist alone or inside a vacuum.

And yet we constantly think that we do. That all our thoughts are our own. That all our emotions are our own.

The only separation which mind experiences is the experience of thought. Then projects its own imagined separation outwards to all things.

People think it is possible for them to observe thought. That it's an empty mind which looks upon its own thinking. There is not such thing as empty mind. You can call it presence, you can call it concentration, you can call it whatever you wish. It will still be thought.

The undivided mind knows this and ceases to try and define its own state outside of its own Isness. Ceases to label it.

What is observing thought is still thought.

What is experiencing bliss is still thought.

What is experiencing emptiness of thought is still thought.

What is being present is still thought.

You believe you are experiencing your life, and yet you don't really know if you are alive or dead. 

If I were to ask you if you are alive, then ask you why you think you are alive, you will recite to me what you were told what life is. What they said to you are the properties of life, the processes of life, ideas of what must happen for something to be considered alive.

The undivided mind knows these are concepts about life, and not its Nature. The undivided mind knows it has no ideas of its own and everything is recycled. The undivided mind knows no thoughts are its own and belong to it, but belong to us all. There is nothing which can be said - just as everything I have said now - which will not be trying to convey a concept, and in conveying manages to point away from the Isness of the thing, and instead attempts to convey a thought about a thing.

The undivided mind knows there is nothing there which can be enlightened and nothing there to free itself from. When all concepts are stripped away, when all ideas are put aside, when all concepts about what the Self is are brushed away, nothing is left. And so the undivided mind knows there is nothing there to find, and in this sees itself as full of all things all at once.

(animation by mr.div)

All Will be Revealed to Yourself by Yourself

This is an answer to a question asked here.

In my view, veganism as a movement shouldn't act as a way to abolish the idea of human superiority as compared to animals. It would be a mistake to think that we are not in many ways subjectively superior beings than any other animal on this planet. However, this superiority is in today's society by and large displayed by us as being subjugators, exploiters, slavers and destroyers.

All life is equal when viewed on a planetary scale, meaning all life contributes to the emergent balance of nature on this planet.

Except the human animal.

The human's contribution to the emergent balance of nature comes by far only in what we consider to be the negative aspect of balance, and so for the most part, the human acts as a personification of the destructive nature of reality.

I don't think veganism should act as a social justice movement. But as a movement of social enlightenment. Enlightenment meaning to bring to light aspects of society and humanity which have not been shown or thought about, or aspects which have been purposely hidden. Whether this movement achieves any sort of justice is beside the point, what is the point is to enlighten a person within, and not necessarily for the purpose of achieving some external goal. What each person does with the knowledge and how he realizes this knowledge in action is up to the individual.
An external goal would be if veganism should be successful in criminalizing all behavior that would bring harm to any animal. 

To me this  is not the point. 

The true goal remains an inner one, to achieve an illumination of the individual where harm towards animals and living beings in general would not be penalized by law, but prevented by an individual's own sense of self, morality and discipline. Meaning any harm towards an animal would be unthinkable to begin with and would be taken into consideration before any consumerist action is taken if the action is not necessary for survival.

Not everyone should be expected to care about the suffering of animals and their destruction for the sole purpose to be eaten. But everyone can realize that even in a room where a human stands along with 10.000 animals, there are 10.001 subjective individuals, but only one Self, and that any harm towards any of these individuals is harm towards the same Self.

I think this caring and a wish not to cause animal suffering is a natural state for most.
We abhor animal cruelty in the same way as we abhor cruelty towards the helpless when seen perpetrated by another.

Yet each one of us is on a different path towards realizing and equating meat on our plate with suffering and death.

We know death was involved, but we often do not realize or think suffering was, as well, or to what degree. Or see why we should care.
Or that by eating and buying meat we are directly supporting cruelty, suffering and the slavery of animals, even if on a personal level we would never commit these acts ourselves.

This means every person will react differently and consider every word anyone says about this subject differently. Some may even know all aspects of the industry and choose not to care, and would most likely argue the case of being on this earth to experience sensual pleasure which in their mind involves eating animal flesh, as well. Or perhaps argue the carnist's position, or an evolutionary one in which humanity's brain-meat as we know it would not evolve to a point it has if we would not have eaten meat. This is a tenuous proposition at best, since no one can truly say for sure that this would not have happened anyway.

A lot of vegans like to think this movement is the same as trying to abolish slavery.
We own and treat animals as slaves, even those we call pets, who are still, despite being pets, for the most part slaves to our will. Slavery was allowed to continue until those who owned slaves were forcefully removed from power or the power to own slaves was forcefully removed by action and law.

In this regard some vegans think humans also need to be forced to see their ways as destructive and to see animals as having equal rights to life and expression.
And yet always the only examples which are brought up for this kind of thinking are those that worked. Vegans like to mention the freeing of slaves, which was done forcefully, but never mention any of the other forceful events like the inquisition, the Islamic state, the christian expansion era in Europe, and all other empires.

Forcing your own beliefs on anyone is rarely not a hateful event.

You may succeed in your goal, but true seeds of compassion can only be planted in minds by showing what compassion is, not preaching it, by showing them what love towards all beings is, not explaining it, or enforcing it. And as the animals deserve this love and compassion, so do human beings. Even those who eat meat. They must be free to see this for themselves, shown how they can see this for themselves. Or be free to destroy themselves because of not seeing.

Shown how their actions and what they are doing right now in regards to animals will not help them on their sad path to feel better about who they are. But that compassion and love will. That they should realize and look at what they are doing and always know there's time to alter their decisions here an now.

Ultimately I think the role of veganism shouldn't be to bring about social change, but a transformation of the individual self. In whatever way someone wishes to do this, either by centering around what they themselves eat, or if it's walking the streets asking people who wear fur if the animal gave their consent. Ultimately that is up to the individual.

At least it is true, most of us like the idea of humanity as an apex being on top of the food chain.
This is a ridiculous assertion.
The food chain doesn't exist.
Nature is not interested in creating the perfect organism or a perfect species, or one that is below another or merely the food of another. Nature only ever emerges from itself and creates mirrors of itself, and in so doing creates perfect systems.
We alone can realize this self, no other animal has the ability to know itself and realize itself the way we can. And yet we as humans have not yet realized what our role in this system is. As of now, we act as slavers, destroyers, consumers... But perhaps our purpose and why we arose from this Earth is to be its spirit, its will, its compassion, its love and its caretakers. Its destructive will when there is a need for it. But only we can be this, only we were given the capacity to do this.

Mystical Experience

Reality appears to all minds in different ratios of it spectrum.

The spectrum to which the mind has access to depends on perceptional channels.

Perceptual channels are falsely divided by the mind into 'parts'.

So divided, they cannot mirror the undivided reality of Self.

Until reality is seen through the divided mind, it will not be felt through all channels of perception, and so never truly seen.

And as the eyes show the spectrum of light in a single image, the mystical experience reveals all things as a single Self.

Veganism and Satiation

What a lot of people exclude when switching to a vegan diet is the psychological aspect of the switch.

For most, their focus seems to be on the body as if it were the main driving force for feelings of ‘constant hunger’ and ‘satiation’. It is not. The mind and body work in unison, however fullness is a bodily sensation, while satiation is a mental one. Without mind and the sense of being full transmitted through your body and to the mind, you could eat until your stomach would explode and still never feel satiated. This is what a lot of people experience when switching, never feeling satiated. Some feel they have to -- and do eat all the time when they switch to a new diet -- yet always seem to feel hungry anyway. This is, from a bodily standpoint, impossible. That is to say, you cannot possibly be full and hungry at the same time. What you feel is not hunger, but craving. What you feel is also the gut bacteria's influence and the subsequent desire for meat. (link below)

When you equate meat as your main source of nourishment and have built a strong pattern over, let’s say 20 years, your mind will equate food with eating meat. When this desire is not met on a physical and psychological level (eating meat), your mind will not tell you you have not gotten enough food, instead it will tell you you have not gotten the food you equal with satiation.

When you switch your diet, your whole system of digestion, which starts by chewing and salivating, where the first signals are transmitted between different organs and the mind, is being altered. Your entire pattern of eating is being disrupted, and the mind counters this by trying to get you back on the pattern it knows: eating meat equals food and satiation. So despite having plenty of nourishment, the mind still desires meat.

This can have all sorts of adverse affect that you may equate with not eating meat (I've heard mention of hair loss which all males dread like it's the devil), but this is a psychosomatic effect brought on by stress. Namely the stress of not having your desires met and not living according to your desires.

All human activity is ruled by desire. The most ingenious mechanism the mind creates is the desire not to desire(more about this here). A wish for a period of freedom from desire after your desire has been met and the mind has not figured out something else that it wants yet.

A man can never not eat meat, if the desire not to eat meat is not there. If he wants a specific candy, he will always want that candy, no other candy will satiate that desire. Meaning he will continue to crave meat as long as he has the smallest desire to eat it, but has chosen some reason why he does not want to eat it, like animal cruelty, but does not yet believe in his own reason firmly enough. This creates a dissonance of wanting to eat meat, yet thinking you can’t because it’s wrong. These two states cannot exist at the same time in any mind, and will cause psychological, and in turn psychical effects.

This mechanism is the same for anything concerning desire. A man can never act righteously, if the desire to act righteously is not there.

But realize this: The pattern of eating meat and arriving at satiation is a product of mind. And the mind is more difficult to train than the body. The body will adjust itself to anything the mind does, while you alone can adjust mind and its patterns. You alone can choose to be compassionate.

But as long as the desire for convenience and the desire to be lazy with your food is there, you will see a vegan diet as being difficult and inconvenient, and will find countless excuses not to eat a vegan diet. There is no excuse. You do not live in the Now in which this would be impossible for you. If you are reading this text, chances are you live in a country with excess food and any excuse you come up with for consuming the dead flesh of an animal's life is no longer justifiable.

For a vegan diet to be successful, you must love it and love all animals. There is no way around this. This love and appreciation for animals, I think, is the default human state. You have to love being compassionate towards animals. You have to have the desire to act this way. You have to love the fact that no animal had to die for you to live. For a vegan diet to be successful and nourishing to the mind and body, you have to prepare meals that you cannot wait to eat because they will be delicious. You must love yourself enough not to desire meat that you know, for whatever reason, is not what you should be eating. You must know that whatever animal products they put in whatever food you eat, it was never for your benefit, it was never for the benefit of animals, but solely and purely because of the desire for money. Free range or not, it was not for the love of animals, but for the desire for money. No killing of an innocent animal, even if an animal lived a "happy existence" is justifiable. Ever. If a bear attacks you, fight it, kill it if you must. I've never seen a chicken attack anyone.

But here's the gist: By not eating animals and sticking with it, the pattern of eating meat for satiation will atrophy, and your mind will naturally not connect meat with food, but start to connect it again with what you once knew, what you knew as a little girl or a boy: that meat belongs to an animal that should live and be loved, or be free to be an animal, it does not belong to you, it never did and it never will.

research source

Desire not to Desire

All human activity is ruled by desire. Every action is performed because of desire, and every wish-fulfillment activity made because of desire.

We can name the specific desires, of which there seem to be six main ones, each tied to the other with no end of one and no start of the other, but all of them depending on each other and fueling one another.

These are:






But that's five, right? What's the sixth?

Continuation is the most basic and ties directly to our will to live and continue our existence. We shape our lives around the constant desire to continue our existence.

To continue our existence, the desire to possess things and hoard them within and around ourselves arises. Ideas, concepts, food, drink, partners.

To attract partners especially, and to incite what we call love, we employ vanity, which is a way of acting that involves and makes us go, in whatever way, “look at me.” Our actions towards our partners are always in some way cantered around what we get out of this relationship. Love arises as a result of knowing our actions can lead to benefits for ourselves. When this is no longer present in some way that seems meaningful to us, love no longer arises. To this you may say there are people that love boundlessly and get nothing in return. They do, they get the sensation of love, contentment, or feeling better about themselves etc.

Competition arises out of every human endeavor, a desire for being a step higher, morally superior, physically more capable, better lover, bigger bank account. All of these stem from the desire to be better and create competition and rivalry.

The last one is the desire for influence. All of us, on some level, either directly, philosophically or metaphysically, know our mind is shaped by other minds. And above all, consciously or unconsciously, we too begin to desire to have influence over other minds.

But there is one desire which precedes all desires and makes them possible in the first place.

It is the desire not to desire.

All of our mental and physical activity is cantered not around the five basic desires, but on the sixth desire, which is our desire to be free of desire.

Very early in our lives we figure out that no matter how many things we get, how much stuff and possession we buy, how much food we eat, how many women or men we get, how many minds we influence, or how much better we are at something than someone else, the same desire for all of these always remains. On some level we all figure this out very quickly, that these desires seem infinite. We are glad, for a time, that we have gotten the object of our desire, but never manage to figure out what we would have to get for that desire to cease.

Because the object of our desire is in the forefront of our mind, we are constantly fooled by the object, negating the subject and the psychological process of attainment of desire.

We fail to see that the contentment and peace we experience upon getting the object or subject of our desire came from being free of desire. This lasts for however long the previous desire is not replaced by a new one, and our desire to be free of desire begins again.

How to Find Yourself

You can't.

Moment by moment you are creating the idea of Self.

Ever-changing, transient and inconstant.

You always elude yourself when you try and look.

Behind the horizon, just over the hill.

Instead of looking, realize you are creating the hill.

Pursuit of Happiness

A human being never acts, he only reacts.

And our reactions have led to a state where humanity has become obsessed with positive emotions. In most cases, we want to shield ourselves and deny all emotions which we perceive as negative. To be happy is what we consider the highest goal: to be completely positive. We fear experiencing any negative emotions and experiences, as these ultimately, if they are perceived and self-determined as being constant and neverending, want us to leave this body full of suffering.

All human beings experience what they experience because of mind. Without mind there is no experience. If they believe that they have seen a certain aspect of experience which is the domain of the soul, this is only more mind.

You wish to understand what happens when you die. And you would like to believe that some know, you don’t personally, but hope that others might. You may have had experiences that made you question the event of death, but you still do not know because you are still alive. 

All experiences which describe what happens after the death of the body and what happens to the soul come from living minds. Living minds subject to the same emotions to which they have always been subject to.

Anyone can reach a realization of knowing, that is to say feeling, that they are not a body, but a soul. Because you train to feel that.

Because we do not equate spirit with matter and vice versa, and because of our duality in this, we believe that this training and practice to become enlightened is a spiritual exercise. Something which also goes on beyond mind. And yet all you are doing is training matter to respond a certain way, training spirit to do things a certain way, to view things a certain way and to feel a certain way.

You are training yourself to be enlightened. You are training yourself not to equate yourself as this body, but as an immaterial being beyond this body.

A bodybuilder trains his body to become completely honed, and has self-realized the body to be as he has fashioned it. The same has been done by the guru, master, yogi. The very same process of training, where the guru not only has to train a certain way, but also think and act and eat a certain way.

Anyone who has ever met a bodybuilder, or anyone that is on what he thinks is a path to enlightenment, knows that a person such as this does a certain amount of training, but also thinks a certain way, acts a certain way, projects a look that is emulating a certain ideal and to an extent perceives and feels things a certain way. The enlightenment-seeker, just like the bodybuilder, has an idea in their mind of what a certain type of person looks like and acts like, then tries to imitate. Some have it easier than others, in bodybuilding and in the path.

This is because some grasp a certain truth more deeply than others. That the body and mind are one and the same thing and completely connected and inseparable, and know, on whatever level, that spirit is matter and matter is spirit.

Here I am not talking about spirit as any kind of non-material entity over which the body is superimposed. I mean spirit as that which all things possess, a thing we cannot truly define because all definitions move away from it, and yet we all feel it within us, and in things that we perceive as living. We know it is in there when we look at a tree, and we question what it is in moments of depersonalization. Moments when we look in the mirror and feel as though that which is looking is not that which we see.

Not only does matter change and alter to our increasingly repeated mental states or muscle movements, so our spirit changes. In this instance, again, I am forced to change what I mean by spirit. In this instance, I do not mean a certain unseen aspect of us, but our spirit with which we do things, that which is not seen directly by others, but is perceived.

Just as it is good for us to never forget that these gurus and yogis and masters are human, we must also realize that words such as spirit and matter are man-made. They describe states of the same thing. They describe states of a spectrum just as white and black describe different states of a spectrum, but both belong to what we named color. They describe states of energy, but only states, while both of these things remain energy.

So why would a person that is enlightened lie about knowing what happens to us when we die?

They are not enlightened. And they are not lying.

They have trained themselves to believe in what was once an idea. They are subject to the same fears, vanity, desires, even though they have trained themselves not to equate the momentary state of fear, for instance, to an actual state of self. 

The human body and mind is amazing. We constantly put it aside and fool ourselves that the psyche is not capable of incredible self-deception and self-training. Or at least think that we ourselves are wise or smart enough to notice it as it happens.

We think that training the mind to act a certain way and be a certain way may not bring genuine results, only imitations. Then act further on this assumption as if everything we do isn't already an imitation. 
When you look at any spiritual discipline you will see the very same thing in every spiritual practice, and that is that it is a manual in training the mind/body to perceive in a certain manner, to act in a certain manner and respond in a certain manner. Usually this stems towards positive alignment. Why would a great guru deny himself all possible experiences and solely focus on experiencing the positive, or to try and train his mind not to label anything as positive or negative, but simply as states? Because all acts, no matter how selfless they may seem, are fueled by desire.

Humans and all activities of a human are led by desire precisely because they are human. The guru is subject to vanity, fear, concealment, despair, depression, elation, tranquility, equanimity, bliss,… Just as you are and can be subject to emotion and lust for influence. Human beings have created the idea of god because they themselves wish to be it, they emulate that ideal. Not necessarily the wise man with a long white beard, but a transcendent entity to be asked for guidance. To think and believe that you are beyond any of these notions is precisely that notion hiding in its own denial.

The human nature is possibility, human nature is to put on masks, to play roles, to delight in roles. These roles can give pleasure and contentment to other beings, so gurus and teachers and masters choose to play these roles to help, selfishly. So that through their selfish acts to help themselves through helping others the act can be made selfless.

And yet a lot of minds stay on the same level as most bodybuilders, they train their minds and enlighten themselves, not realizing that this enlightenment which they have attained is still a role, and that it is not what they truly are either. This reaching of enlightenment often presents itself in the annihilation of the experiencer as separate from the experience and the destruction of the one who puts on the mask, yet in the process many become unaware that anything has been put on in its place.

And in our unknowing of our own nature, we tend to almost worship these human beings, because our psychology is still not connected to the very same thing that the guru has connected himself to. To that which plays the role, to our nature.

In our search and craving for positivity, we focus our energy around these beings and solely on their positive, which in our limited understanding of our nature means to emulate, to be neither truly positive or negative, but subservient, nice, kind. As if bowing to a being would allow us to feel what we perceive they feel, to be as calm as we perceive they are, not knowing the countless hours of training they underwent.

We think that through pacification of ourselves we will understand what they understood, without any training in feeling how they feel.

We think that showing not merely our respect, but subservience, we will become closer to god which we see in an enlightened man.

But this is to believe that you yourself need anything else but you yourself to reach enlightenment. Because when you reach enlightenment, who reaches it, your guru, your teacher, your master, or you? When you reach it, do you think you still call it enlightenment? What happens when you go deep enough to find a basic self with no ideas about what things are, how they work, what he is seeing, where is he or who is he? What happens when you find that when these ideas and memories of ideas are gone, there is absolutely nothing there but possibility? What is there, what is left for you to possibly enlighten?

The real training these minds undergo and the lesson every person must learn in the path to enlightenment is not how to be happy. Constant happiness is an impossible goal. Man himself is subject to constant impermanence. This applies to all of his experiences and states. There are no states and emotions which are not subject to impermanence.

The training, the practice, is not to get attached to a certain state, but to fully realize that it is impermanent and subject to change and alteration. So that when a state arises it is a state, instead of your whole being becoming that state.

Where the idea of enlightenment came from, the term Moksha, is only the first step towards becoming. But what it does and why it is named enlightenment is fundamental and can easily be decried in terms of western ideas from where this term came from.

Light is constantly passing through your neurons. We call it electrical energy, but let me try and explain why it is good for you to try and enlighten yourself and it what way you should.

What I am about to say is my claim alone, and the only basis I have for this claim is subjective experience. 

In quantum theory, we have theorized a certain thing called a black body. A black body is a cavity wherein perfect energetic equilibrium can be reached, meaning that the exact amount of energy that is being emitted from the surface of the black body is being absorbed by the black body.

I think the only reason we were able to theorize and think about this concept is because our brain, our neurons and in fact our bodies are black bodies.

Another basic concept of the black body is that the emission rate increases with temperature, but not indefinitely, because this emission is counteracted by absorption until the point of equilibrium.

It is crucial to point out that this black body emits and absorbs every energy of every possible frequency and direction.

Again, this is the same with what we understand as the process of thinking and feeling. Every possible frequency that can be absorbed through the senses is absorbed by mind, and emitted.

The wish for enlightenment creates a state where neurons will in their nets of knowledge absorb all possible frequencies that are provided by the senses.

And the realization of enlightenment in doing is the emission of every possible frequency and in every possible direction. Suddenly the outside world and the inner world reach a perfect equilibrium.

But is that not what you are doing right now? Is this not already your natural state?

But to enlighten these neurons, to begin the absorption is very interesting. Because neurons do not work like any other receptor of light. When light flows through them, they "glow" but always slowly dim. So a certain kind of thinking can make those pathways glow and the more you repeat this, the longer they will stay lit and the more those pathways will become the default state.
(this description is beyond rough, but uses the simplest terms possible)

Knowing this, why would you not like to be immersed in your situation? To feel it fully? 
You know you have these experiences, and you know they are normal, and yet a part of you wishes to reject them because of an idea of what an enlightened person is and about what kind of experiences you think he doesn't have. You wish to reject reality because of your ideas about reality.

If you seek to practice in order to gain anything, you might as well stop now, as you will be perpetually disappointed. Rather practice should be a way to gain insight into your own self and to an eventual realization that the Self itself is a temporal state.

To realize that what you call self and all of the emotions associated with it, all of the memories and states associated with it, are learned states brought on by doing, or practice of some kind. What you do and say, you are.  What you practice, you are.

The nature of the temporal illusion is in possibility. The possibility is there, it is you who must make the movement to actualize that possibility. Whatever it is.

Your original nature is not in these emotions, but in emptiness. In emptiness that is not empty as we understand it, but empty of separate existence. In so that, whatever you do will never be done independently. By this I do not necessarily mean that what you do will effect all beings. Rather that what you do with the body will not just happen in the body, and what you do with mind will not just happen in mind. They are not separate movements, and in the same way you are not a separate movement in the world.

The temporal illusion that is man is a learned process. What the Self is and what it is not is learned in exactly the same fashion as is what spectrum of light represents the word orange. Just the same as what shape represents the word chair.

The ground you walk upon may seem separate to you, but that separation is learned and is precisely there because of your belief in a Self, which implies Other.

And yet all of this is merely perception. Just as this text is. But what kind of perception do you want? Will you choose it, in other words are you interested in seeing it directly and for yourself, or will you let other minds tell you what reality is?

This obsession with the positive emotion of happiness is inherent in us since we were told that we must be happy instead of being taught how to find reasons to be happy. Because of this we are constantly searching for happiness instead of searching for a reason to be happy. Happiness cannot be willed, it has to come by itself as a result of direct action. As long as we think happiness will come from either just thinking, or just doing, without meaningful doing and meaningful thinking together, peace will remain elusive. It will remain elusive in our psyche as you either just think and never do, or just do and then after the doing is done find it empty of existential meaning. We will not see in that doing our reason as to why we are here but will begin to see it as distraction from meaning.

But what could be meaningful action?

We were taught to embrace individualism in its ultimate sense of there being an individual who must strive by himself for himself. Occasionally he may ask for help but not too much of it.

And we are thought certainty of self through affirmation of pre-existing beliefs, whether through our own beliefs or in most cases, through cultural beliefs. We ignore the real everyday uncertainty of the individual and because of the teaching of individualism think that our mind has to be made into something concrete and frigid. Then mistakenly equate frigidness as individuality and realness. While individuality in itself is always an imitation.

We forget that the most selfish action or what we could consider as bad action is redeemed and made selfless when it is done for the benefit of others. A sage always wants to make himself feel better. Just as any human. He has accepted that making others feel better by extension makes him feel better as well.

The sage has learned that, while emotions and thoughts can alter his state then and there, his self-deterministic nature and awareness can directly alter how he will react and look at these arising states. He knows and lives this knowledge, that there always remains – if not the will and strength or the physical ability to alter any given situation – the possibility to choose how he will perceive his own state produced by mind or situation, and that he alone can act in this regard.

To me there are always but two choices a human can ever make and only one is meaningful.

They both exist within the same mental concept of bad and good.

A good, meaningful choice is one that takes into account the notion of things being empty only of separate existence.

A bad choice is one that ignores the notion of things being empty only of separate existence.