Events fill so much of the time they happen in that there’s no space left for our choices, displeasures, and beliefs. The problem is that we confuse the past and the future with the events that are in the now. Our choices, displeasures, regrets, and worries can only find a place for themselves in the past or future.
The key point is how natural and spontaneous you are or not. You have to let things be and allow them to stay in their natural states. Anything not natural or spontaneous is defective, unreal, and harmful. It leads you toward ignorance and delusion.
Learning to act spontaneously depends on how well you can purify yourself from excess.
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From the moment we’re born into this world, we’re trained and conditioned to be someone. Our natural state is always defective. We should eat this way, not that way. We should talk this way, not that way. We should go to this school and read these books. We should perform as many items as we can from the list of things we “should” do. We surely also have our own lists of “shoulds” and “should nots.” A certain situation, person, time, or event should be this, not that.
Almost all people have the same perception: “This person, event, or situation is not good enough.” Even if we decide after a thorough deliberation that it’s the other way around, and we’re confronted with a situation, the not-good-enough perception surfaces again, especially if it’s an undesirable situation or vice versa.
The not-good-enough perception travels in two directions of time. First, it goes back in time and makes you feel regret. If only I was this way. If only I had done that. If only things had turned out better. Second, it goes forward in time and makes you anxious. What if I cannot become this. What if it doesn’t turn out like that?
This perception affects me in the present moment and makes me feel inadequate. I, as a defective being that’s the result of a defective past, will inevitably be a flawed, defective person, and I may make flawed choices. So, to prevent this defective being from doing defective things, I have to criticize, govern, and change it. As for accepting myself as I am? NO WAY!
See the path that we, humanity, take?
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When I was a young boy, my favorite story was the one about the little black fish. You may have heard it too. What I like most about the little black fish is how they always swim upstream. Spiritual teachings are just like that: They involve going against the current, while everyone else is swimming along with it.
This is not something we do to appear different, cool, or exotic. You just walk up to something smiling, while everyone else tries to avoid it. You give up the things everyone else clings to. You cry over things that everyone laughs at and smile at things that everyone cries over. You naturally end up rubbing against the grain.
Consequently, the first step of awakening is to accept who we are, but not just that. We also need to learn how to be who we are. Our natural state of existence is one with all that is. We cannot separate all that is from who we are. If something I regret or lament for is a product of the past, and what I desire belongs to the future, then what I am now is the now itself.
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What we keep doing day in, day out is be dissatisfied with everything and reflect upon it. These kinds of situations always mean the same thing: I’m not happy with that, or I’m not pleased by what happened. Being displeased with something happening is the same as being displeased with yourself. Pleasure is about experiencing “that which is” and speculating about it. Displeasure is the same. In both cases, we experience that which is in the present time, but I end up dwelling on the past, which I cannot change, or the future, which doesn’t exist in reality. I speculate like this because I want to do what I just did in a different, better, and preferable way in the future. The regrets and worries I mentioned above emerge from this process.
Here’s a hint for you, so you can be like a little black fish: You cannot change the past, because it’s gone. You cannot change the future, because it doesn’t exist yet, and you cannot know what it may bring to you. You cannot change the present, because it’s constantly changing, and when you shift your focus toward it, it’s already gone. The only thing you can do is change the way you speculate about the past and the future. If you give up displeasure and accept that which you are, things can fend for themselves.
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If you ask me to summarize spiritualism in one short phrase, my answer would be “letting go.” But letting go of what? That which isn’t. That which is excessive. That which is incompatible with the now. That which is incompatible with me. That which is unreal. That which are my beliefs!
My displeasure is nothing other than the sum of my beliefs. The present cannot coexist with displeasure, belief, desire, hate, and so on. The present is “to be,” not “to prefer or not to prefer.” “Being” doesn’t allow for these things. “Being” fills the moment so much that these things cannot find a place for themselves. The problem is that we confuse the past and the future with the now. Our choices, displeasures, regrets and worries can find a place for themselves only in the past or future. The only problem is that we cannot revisit the past, and the future is ever pending. What we have to let go of is our unrealistic beliefs . This is a state of deep slumber, like hypnosis. As long as we refuse to wake up, we will continue thinking that time consists of the past and the future, abandoning the now in order to struggle for existence in this imaginary time. So we slaughter the only moment in which we can exist. Slaughtering the now is like killing what you really are and trying to replace it with a make-believe image composed of beliefs, which is the ego. It means to turn into a living dead.
That’s what we “let go” of on this path. How to do this is what we learn as pupils and teach as teachers. We let it go and start to live.
Because to let go is to be.