Who am I to talk about Life?
Everyone who is born wants to know why. At least they want to know why they go through pain. Everyone is allowed to think about it — we don't have to be someone special to ask what we are here for. Or to find out!
We like to be told things — but no-one can really 'tell' us who or what we are ... that is something we have to know... to experience for ourselves.
Christianity would have us agree that we are miserable sinners, powerless but for God. Hinduism would have us discover that it is actualy us ourselves that are God! Famous thinkers like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking tell us that both are wrong, but their arguments do not tell us how we came to be, and certainly not why, and what we are made of — only some guff about chance, or laws of physics. But who/what created 'chance'? Who/what created 'laws of physics'? These big thinkers tell us that God doesn't exist but they only tell us that the version of God they are talking about doesn't exist — which I am quite sure is true! But that doesn't mean that something you can call God doesn't exist — it just means they have defined God wrongly: something greater than their mind must exist because their mind, like everything else that you can describe, is made of something!
Scientists call this 'self-evident' because it needs no proof – it is an undeniable experience that we exist, however much we may try to discuss or disprove it.
But one thinker tried to include the idea of God in Physics – Einstein – and wsa able to show us that everything is a form of energy. That is, every 'thing'. He announced his discovery that energy changes to and from matter but cannot be created or destroyed.
These words are remarkably similar to a description of the Hindu view of 'God', which is that everything is a form of 'The Divine' — whatever that is! Or, to put it another way, God's form, or shape, is all that there is. You would expect God to have an interesting appearance, wouldn't you?
All we have to do is swap the word 'God' for 'Energy' (or whatever word you like for 'the universe', 'what is', etc.) and we find we are describing most philosophies on the planet. Who doesn't believe that there is energy? And Einstein pointed out that we are all made of it. It's nice that E=mc2 links Energy, Matter and Light. Sounds very hippie, New Age, doesn't it? But it is physics fact, tested to ... destruction ... by the atomic bomb which was one proof of the correctness of the theory. Amazing amount of energy locked up in a small piece of matter...
Well — if we are all made of matter=energy=God, we must, in fact, BE God! In FACT!! Hmmmm... do we feel like God? No? Why not, if we definitely are? The reason seems to be that ... it's all in the mind...
Hinduism says not only that we ARE God but that we don't know we are. It states that there is also another aspect of God's creation called 'Maya' – delusion that the world exists and is real. 'Another aspect of God' of course means 'another part of ourselves', if we are made only of God. Some part of God's creation - our own creation - hides from us the full knowledge of our true nature. Hinduism therefore proposes that the only point of life is to regain our knowledge of our divine nature, which got lost in Maya. Any other aim in this life is ... deluded!
What is the nature of Maya, this deception. Think about it — we think we are 'Ian', or 'Caroline', or whoever — but we rarely think we are God, when in fact we are ONLY God! The key word here is THINK. What is it that THINKS? The MIND...
Our mind is certainly capable of giving us an altered experience of reality — take alcohol or drugs, dreaming — or hypnotism. Each of these changes our perception of what is going on, because they affect the mind. So to sum up, we seem to have been blessed with a reality that is God/energy/omniscience but also an interesting deluding mechanism — our mind.
How interesting! Why did we do that, and what do we do about it? Perhaps the answer is something we are very familiar with, until our mind gets too boring... play! We'll come to that in a moment.
So is this all true??? Has it been tested? By whom? It is all very unfamiliar territory for Westerners. But fortunately, in the East, wise old people have been exploring reality for a lot longer than us babies in the West.
Hinduism lists the names of many great people who have set out to explore the nature of the mind, perhaps intending to break through into some other reality or place. But perhaps the most successful have simply realised that there is nothing to 'break through' and no place to go to. In fact, trying to do so is just another activity of a deluded mind!
There are many developments of Hinduism. Buddhism is a development of Hinduism, exported to countries fruther East than India. And one development of Buddhism is Zen Buddhism. The idea of Zen Buddhism is that sudden enlightenment can take place. Other forms of Buddhism and Hinduism are more based on steady practices such as meditation.
The point is - you may get the point immediately, that the mind is not the wonderful thing we hold it to be in the West but actually the one thing that stands in the way of everything you really want - bliss, peace, love!
So if your mind immediately sees clearly that it is not wanted, it may become silent and allow you to feel your true nature. Before I thought about any of this, early in my life, I had occasional 'ecstatic' moments that I couldn't explain, when I just felt supremely happy for no reason. You may get that feeling just reading this or... rather more likely... you will have to train your mind to shut up!
Let me set this in another context.
There is a Sanskrit word 'leela' that means 'divine play' — which is God's entertainment of creating the universe and all that's in it. Supposedly what we/God are engaged in doing: just playing. Nothing has a reason or a purpose. I found that simple thought utterly fulfilling, when I first heard it!
But... rather serious play... it doesn't seem like playing, much of the time — more like pain! One might be tempted to throw away that idea as ridiculous. But, may I point out — when we are feeling good and happy, we actually choose to immerse ourselves in suspense stories, drama stories and even horror stories — for pleasure. And if we don't find them totally convincing, we are disappointed!
So why shouldn't God experience all the human drama for his 'leela', his play? It is not as if it is real ... though it feels jolly real to us and others who suffer — not like 'play' at all.
So, the whole human drama of what are we doing here? and what do we do about pain and suffering? becomes the goal of our personal part of the drama.
So, what to do?
If we think about it – the times when life doesn't feel at all like play are when we are immersed in strong thoughts and feelings, usually sadness or pain, and our thoughts grow more and more intense. So, what if we were able to think less? The theory would predict that we would feel less deluded.
So ... perhaps we could try thinking less. Easy to say — but hard to do. Thoughts are all based on wanting something, or wanting to avoid something. So by stopping wanting things, we will think less. We can try this, right now: simply stop wanting anything – but, that means everything! Try wanting absolutely NOTHING. I've found I gain immense and surprising peace by stopping wanting anything at all. It doesn't last long but I get a brief experience of surprising peace.
So, what if we could train ourself to want less, or even nothing at all? Of course, it is not easy to live like that... which is the biggest problem. Our Western culture is all about WANTING WANTING WANTING and we seem stupid if we don't. But amazingly, we become better equipped to get what we really want when we are at peace, and not actually wanting the result we seek. But it is easy to slip back and get more desires again, including the desire to have no desire — and we lose the peace again.
Difficult and paradoxical. But... if the theory is right, it must be the supreme game that we have set ourselves, the highest challenge. The final stage of human evolution, no less. Would you expect it to be easy?
But then again — what are we waiting for? I was amazed to discover this clear understanding of life when I was in India, not in London or the USA. But I found that the Indian civlisation is much older than ours, much wiser than ours... civilisation has been going strong for a long, long time in that part of the world.
OK, enough for now! These words here are not proposing any cult, or any method, or any product. This is just a chat, a few thoughts and observations aftger being here on the planet for a while now! I will write more... like you, I have so little time to spare.
However, there is already enough here to completely change one's view of life — if we think about it! — and then when it makes complete sense to us: stop thinking about it! It's a most extraordinary game ...
I like to speak plainly. Of course, there are many great books and great teachers out there. Many of them make the 'meaning of life' very complex and daunting.
Well, it may be daunting, when you try even what I have said ... to undo the mind's hold since birth... but the basic idea is not complex, or daunting — or even 'secret'. I believe that the founders of the great religions would have made it very simple, like this. But followers and commentators come along: they love to make themselves sound important by writing great books 'interpreting' what the great men made so simple.
The simple theory here fits all the basic understanding of religions and beliefs in one simple stroke. See if you don't become happier and healthier just by wanting less. Don't overdo it! Don't give everything up tonight! That is not the way! Well, unless you are the Buddha — that is exactly what he did, on hearing what made such sense to him. I don't really agree with that, though. You don't need to change anything about your life — just change the way you see it.
Many techniques of meditation and yoga exist to help us quiet the mind and get a glimpse of what is possible through mental silence. I've certainly glimpsed my 'pure energy' – and, equally certainly, I have not made that glimpse a permanent state of mind! I'm still working on it! But the glimpses and the theory have given me immense peace, simply from realising that the mind and all its babble is NOT anything to take seriously: especially in the middle of a sleepless night! In India they say,"Mind is like a mad monkey!"
Peace, contentment, love - these are the things that are far more important than ambition, money or pleasures — though it may take a little time to get convinced of this. You could try reading this through again... unless you have already 'got the point'...
Email me if any difficulties. I don't want anyone feeling worse because of anything I have written!
.... last edited 16th October 2016. More to come when I find time, if anyone is interested! Contact me if you wish to. All the best! (and the 'best' is LOVE!)