I have been ruminating if I should touch this topic or not as it is complicated to explain; mainly because a lot of people are conditioned that suffering in this present life is required in order to obtain an auspicious after-life. “Suffering” as a requisite is framed in the context of “punishment” that needed to be endure. The meek ones who will inherit the earth are expected to be always humble — always obedient, not raising their voice — always submissive, even when somebody kicks them. If I picture that in my head, the image that I see is that of a doormat — always under someone else’s feet — always trodden — without complaint, without a voice.
Yet, even Jesus raised hell when He saw that people were bringing in gambling inside the temple. Even the One we considered as Son of God who descended from heaven in order to save mankind from the original sin fought when soldiers came to bring Him into the “hands of justice”. And this Divine Person taught followers (of course, you do not expect that His followers were consisted of the society elite, right?) to give their other cheek if another human slap it. That is NOT to be MEEK. That is an ACT of demanding EQUALITY. A slap is an insult to the dignity of the person that is most likely given by one who is in authority to a subject. A subject that offers his/her other cheek to be slapped once more is not being meek – it is to say, “I am not afraid of you, here you can slap me one more time. But you do not scare me. I can stand you.” Jesus had a colorful history as is common with the Realizers – a history that is quite a paradox and may not be acceptable to ordinary humans’ code of morality.
So excuse me if I have to say this – THERE IS NO PERFECT TEACHER if, by perfection, we mean they have to act in accordance with our idea of right and wrong. We are deluding ourselves if we think that Teachers and Realizers and every Buddha must be an epitome of sainthood. Who created the concept of saint anyway? Humans. The same humans who are prone to flaws. In God we trust, everything and everyone else we virus-scan. According to Shams of Tabriz: “Logic leads you to the right door, but it is the heart that takes you inside the door.”
Religions, in essence, are founded in LOVE – the religion of all religions. However, trouble arose when the frail humans started using it as a way to dominate people and coerce us into submission. Teachings were misrepresented in order to make it as a tool of fear not to liberate mankind but to limit their freedom and growth. Oh, you need not raise your brows at what I am saying. All you need to do is to do your own research. How many scriptures were burned in order to serve the agenda of Christianity as it is today? How many modern finds attested about the existence of such lost scriptures? I need not tell you that – go and ask Mr. Google, it knows everything (it knows you better than you know yourself – of course, we know that fact; but we pretend we don’t because hey, why rock the boat when we can live in perfect delusion).
This life is meant as suffering but not in the context of punishment – the “suffering” or enduring of the test given to us is meant for our soul to grow into maturity. If we can learn to understand that and view existence from that perspective, then we already solve 50% of the difficulty.
We are not meant to be dominated by another humans – we are meant to grow in freedom and love. Therefore, conforming to sets of standard prescribed by the majority, a.k.a. ass-kissing, is a sure way to live in absolute unhappiness and fear. When we start doing things with the objective to either please or conform, we are signing away our happiness — and by that act, we are signing away the vigor of our soul. That can lead us to stress, sickness and eventually, death. Ever wondered why there are apparently more people now suffering from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts? It is partly because we fail to understand life from the appropriate point of view. Life is not a “work” – we do not need goals and milestone for that. Life is not a race – we do not keep looking at the other side of the fence because we “think” it is greener than ours. Life is not about paying bills – we have to learn to manage our “wants” and “desires” that are concocted and incepted in our brain by the powerful few who marketed us the thought of “I am not enough.” Well, heck, I am enough for myself. I am happy with all my pluses and minuses. I have big nose and extra flab, so what? The big nose provides for my breathing and the extra flab provides me extra heat for the cold weather!
Why am I discussing all this? Well, a friend of mine, David, forwarded me a YouTube link (https://youtu.be/y1VG7895XnU) that featured an interview by one of our local anchors with Anita Moorjani – a cancer survivor and author of the best-selling book, Dying To Be Me. She is an Indian whose near-death experience was properly documented that even science cannot question it (if you are interested to know more of her, visit http://anitamoorjani.com/). There was a part in the interview in which she was asked about heaven. She said she does not talk about heaven because people have different concepts of heaven. Which is quite true.
Tell me. Do you really think that all people who died will see Jesus in the other side? Do you expect a Muslim not to see Allah? Or a Hindu not to see Krishna or Shiva? Or a Buddhist not to see Buddha?
Whatever are fed into our consciousness in the here and now are the things that will manifest in the other realm. A Christian will see Jesus, a Muslim will see Allah, a Hindu will see Krishna (or Shiva or any form of deity he/she believes in), a Buddhist will see Buddha – and so on and so forth, all in accordance to the prior conditioning we received.
Hence, Anita Moorjani did not talk of heaven because the “heaven” that she saw will be seen as “flop” by our minds. Hellooooo, no angels there – no singing – no drifting clouds – and certainly, there was no room waiting for her up there. What she saw is simply a replica of the same life we have here except she was free from embodiment. But she also saw more – she finally understood the point of life.
She understood that she lived in fear. She understood that her suffering and her sickness were things she created for herself. She understood that she had, all along, a choice.
Life is a test. Life is suffering. But we have a choice. As ADI DA SAMRAJ put it:
“You cannot become happy; you can only be happy. If you want to enjoy life, then all you need to do is to enjoy life.”
By that, He did not mean we seek pleasure to temporarily satisfy our addiction concerning money, sex and food. By that, He meant our attitude towards life. A choice. A radical choice. If we want to be happy, we only choose to be happy – happy regardless if we do not have money; happy regardless of the circumstance we are going through; happy to embrace the challenges because we know that by embracing it and surrendering to the process of life, we shall grow into maturity.
There is a quote by ADI DA which I find very enlightening. He said:
See? If we adopt this kind of perspective, losing something or someone will never hurt us the way it is hurting us right now. If we do not own anything, if we are meant to return everything, then how can we ever feel cheated or betrayed once we lost it? Surely, when another being loaned us his/her stuff, we will be more than willing to return it with gratitude once he/she needed to get it back. Isn’t it so?
That is the essence of non-attachment. That is the essence of Gibran’s wisdom:
“Love gives naught but itself; and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not; nor would it be possessed. For love is sufficient unto love.”
Let us allow love to master us all – believe in love, surrender to love – even “when love crowns us and crucifies us at the same time for love is about our growth but also for our pruning” (borrowed from Gibran).
Be a victor or be a victim – your choice.
Ciao! Until next! In the meantime, be happy…be love…because life is beautifully short but it is still a gift we should be grateful for. Indeed, even saints come down here and trade bliss with chaotic existence because life in this realm is a taste of heaven and earth. (Oh, it is up to you how you would like to interpret that last statement, lol!)