Orange Sun

The orange sun
reveals my ignorance.
I still have much to learn.

I have traveled
many hard-won miles
to come to the place
where, on looking back,
I see with perfect clarity
that I am not the same
as I was.

I think of myself
as a spiritual person,
but now, in the light
of this orange sun I see
that there are an infinite
number of levels to climb,
an uncountable number
of steps left to take.

This orange sun
shines on one
not the same
as other orange suns
have shone on before,
and under the next
orange sun yet another
completely different person
will be revealed.

If I am still growing
then moments like these
must be the growing pains.

Suffering

I am reading “Polishing The Mirror” by Ram Das.

There are many things I agree with in the text, but there are a few that I do not. As well as a few that I am not prepared for.

I would like to present a radically different view of suffering. According to Ram Das, and presumably as taught to him by one named Marah-Ji, suffering is a part of life. It is an integral ingredient to change. In fact no change can come without suffering, especially in a spiritual level.

What I think Ram Das, and those who believe similarly, are forgetting is that expecting something draws it to you. Ram Das himself says he was wondering what old age felt like when he had his stroke.Probably the act of expecting something, combined with your beliefs, essentially changes your energy frequency to match whatever it is you are expecting. Like attracts like. Whatever you focus on becomes your experience. We see this time and again. But even this is a belief.

The question is what lies outside of the belief and expectancy of suffering? What lies outside the belief in like attracts like? Or that expecting something in some way brings it to you? As I am right with you in still having these beliefs I do not know. But I do know enough to ask, to wonder. If we were free of all our belief structures, would suffering exist?

My advice is to simply assume nothing. Maybe everyone throughout the history of humankind has suffered in spiritual growth. But that was the past. It no longer exists. No matter hoe many times something happened in the past, there is no guarantee that is what will happen now, in this moment. For all his emphasis on “Be Here Now” Ram Das seems to be forgetting this.

It is likely you only suffer in your growth, especially your spiritual growth, because all your texts tell you that you will, or your teacher has told you that you will, or you have studied other great spiritual people and have seen how they suffered. But there are no guarantees in life, not even for suffering. Spiritual growth does not have to be painful.

Spiritual growth has been painful for me. It may continue to be so, if I am unable to figure out how to divest myself of this idea that I must suffer. Renouncing my Christian faith of 20+ years and ripping apart my identity was not easy, or without suffering. Living as a spiritual, not religious person and former Christian among Christians is not easy, and is a situation that can bring suffering, although it has been minor so far. Disconnecting myself from a Tulpa, something I created and fell in love with, hurt like fucking hell. So yeah, there was suffering in the ending of that relationship, such as it was.

But the question remains, did these things have to hurt? Not that I am dwelling on the past, just asking a simple, or maybe no so simple, question. I think the answer is also deceptively simple. No.

The Buddha was probably on to something when he said that some of the causes for suffering were attachment and aversion. If you have to break away from something to which you are attached, you can imagine that must be painful, If you have to connect to something you don’t want to plug into, yeah, that would probably hurt. There is resistance in each case. But what happens if there is no resistance, just flow? Flow can also be thought of as grace. What happens when you flow from right around or through things that other people in your position would want to attach to or avoid?

I say suffering is unnecessary. There is no judgment, karma, punishment or sin. There is really only action and consequence. Let go of your beliefs in judgment, karma, punishment and sin. Let go of your beliefs in suffering. Flow, be graceful, through the situations in your life. Through what presents itself to you in your experience. Around, over, or through what is. See for yourself if there is suffering. Prove it to yourself.

No resistance, no suffering, plain and simple. All our belief systems, our definitions of what is, our vies about reality, this is what brings us suffering. Throw that shit out, let it all go, and be with each moment, as it is, without trying to change it or experiencing anything else. Demonstrate grace, flow through each of these moments. Admit, Allow, Accept.

The spiritual path doesn’t have to be painful. You don’t have to experience pain. You don’t have to suffer. Life is not suffering. I don’t give a crap what the great spiritual masters have all said. I doubt their greatness, if they have succumbed to these belief systems.

Even the process of the physical body growing old and dying, our belief in death, is based only a a belief that everyone before us has died, science tells us that our bodies wear out and we belief what the scientists say. I think we receive some kind of programming at our birth, a package of race history and memories, including things like “laws” of death, decay or even gravity. These belief systems, this programming, is in our subconscious before we draw our first breaths. Then it is reinforced by those who raised us, or teachers through life, and our personal experience. We jump off a barn, land on the ground, break our leg. Yup, gravity works! Guess I can’t fly afterall…

But I say that it is only your beliefs that bring you suffering, that keep you on the ground, and that cause your body to grow old and die. Someday humanity will collectively figure this out. It will be interesting to see what happens when humanity reaches a point that there is no “law” affecting anyone at all, no belief systems, no death, no suffering. What kind of world would that be? What would it be like to live truly free, without any restrictions?

Well that is only a possible future, nothing more. Maybe we get to see it from the afterlife, or maybe it already exists and we can watch it once we have left our physical bodies. Since the future is a question mark, with nothing set in stone, and the past no longer exists, I will stay here, in the present moment, sharing these thoughts with you. Maybe planting the seeds for that future evolution…

08-07-2012

This post signifies a number of things. First of all Romance Beyond Reality has been deleted. The posts still exist for now, but will, in time, be consigned to a page archiving the posts and hopefully the comments. Secondly my profile is being updated. I no longer have a lover, a wife, in another reality. I never did. Thirdly I am merging my two blogs, Romance Beyond Reality and A Different Path, into one blog. I will now be chronicling my physical and spiritual progress. The physical part I can get this Google Map stuff working. You should be able to track me on my journey when I leave home next month.

That journey is part of a larger journey away from my parents, away from the influence of others, and towards finding my own identity. The first step for me was to move beyond my Christian faith. Retaining it for now, but moving past it, opening myself to other ideas, other religions. This was also the first step in my spiritual growth. The next step was probably my interaction with the manifestation of force or energy that I took to be my lover and later my wife. Another step was taken when I decided to face the truth, that my lover, my wife, was not real, at least not in the way I thought. I took another step tonight.

Tonight, with the moon shining brightly on the concrete pad where I do my exercises, somewhere between 30-50 feet from my parent’s RV and its windows, with only a little vegetation between us, I decided to remove my clothes, throw caution to the wind, tell the accompanying fear to shut the hell up, and do the 5 Tibetans, with the 6th bonus one, following it with the corpse pose looking up at the stars after closing my eyes for a while and just listening to my heart and my breath, and ending with some seated meditation and full body mudhra, all completely naked.

I could sense in some way the moonlight on my skin, I could feel the breeze occasionally blow across it. Weirdly no mosquitoes troubled me, only a stray cat we adopted interrupted me. There were no sexual thoughts, not even when I position myself over my left foot, placing the heel under the (sacrem? base of the spine) having of course to handle my equipment in the process. I did a few minutes of ZaZen meditation, a minute or less of full body bandha or mudhra, whatever the proper word is. The process is a lock. You clench your anal muscles, exhale, clench your stomach, chin down, clenching it to your chest, tongue back as far as you can get get it, eyebrows furrowed and clenched together. Holding breath and locking as long as you can. I followed this with some simple Deep Meditation. “Release, Flow.” Palms up this time, thumb and forefinger together, the rest sticking out. Just sitting there, in the moonlight. Not letting fear control me, nor sexual desires. Only distracted by the cat after I was there for a while.

This was the most liberating time of my life. The feelings I had during this time were hard to describe. Especially considering that I used to be someone who had exhibitionist tenancies, driven to expose himself, pleasure himself in that state. None of these old ghosts haunted me tonight. I was free, even of fear of my parent’s by some chance glancing out the window and seeing me there. I didn’t care. It was time, has been time for a while now, to separate myself from their values.

Do you know what I believe Adam and Eve’s greatest sins really were, assuming the Bible as any validity? It wasn’t that they were naked there in the Garden of Eden. It wasn’t that they ate of the forbidden fruit. It was that they disobeyed, and by doing so became ashamed of their physical bodies. God had to make coverings for them. Our bodies are a gift. Whatever our size, shape and condition, our bodies are beautiful, and we should appreciate them, and not be ashamed of them. If we truly appreciate them, are truly thankful for them and not ashamed of them we will take better care of them, making them even more beautiful. No matter your age, if your body is fit and well taken care of it will be a marvel to behold.

I think this is the greatest issue of Christians in general. The idea of being openly naked makes them afraid. They believe it to be a sin. In doing so they put a negative focus on the beautiful organic machine they have been given to enjoy the planet with. Do you know the first sign that mankind is moving to utopia? When he and she throws off their clothing, only wearing it to protect the body as needed, otherwise openly displaying their bodies without lust, fear, improper thoughts, and all the other things that plague Christians and non-Christians alike today.

Tonight I threw away one part of my Christian belief system, to go with other bits and pieces I have cast aside. That one part is that being naked is somehow wrong or sinful. I felt more at one with the life around me tonight than I ever have. I enjoyed my exercise and mediation time out there in the moonlight. And I intend to continue to exercise and meditate naked whenever the weather permits, wherever I am. I will try to be respectful of others and find as private a place as I can when I do this, but I will no longer be ruled by these old beliefs or the laws of society, whatever the consequences may be.

Those other bits and pieces? The belief that masturbation is a sin. The belief that we are all sinners in need of confessing our sins every night. The belief that we need saving. The belief that there is only Heaven or Hell, nothing else. The belief that we are somehow separate from each other, our planet, and God. These are just a few of the old Christian beliefs I have cast aside, and found myself better for it. I’m sure as time passes more and more of this old skin will have to be shed. I am sure there is that in Christianity that is right and true. But I will discover these things for myself, in my own life experience, not from the words of a book of questionable accuracy.

One more step… Also a beginning of sort. A tremulous first step in continuing the journey of my spiritual development, which due to recent circumstances came to a grinding halt. One step, one moment, at a time along this path, my path.

Moving On…