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 Blooming Stars

Consciousness Living

            Persons are who they are and what they are intellectually and emotionally. They live at the level of consciousness they have. Their functioning is primarily determined by their given state of consciousness which in turn is directed by the cumulative experiences of their past and their aspirations for the future. As they are driven by their past programming that work as an impenetrable fortress around them, and a future-related purpose, tragically their presence is a mere pseudo-presence that is in reality composed of the past and the future. Buddha diagnosed these problem centuries ago, and developed Vipassana, a meditative experience to see things as they really are in order to heal human suffering by living mindfully and consciously in the present. I became keenly aware of this lack of living in the here and now (present moment) as one unnecessary conflict after another consumed my time and energy in the Shantisadan Siddhasharm that I live in. I have been putting out one fire after another, and sometimes making reparations for the abuse or violations of human rights suffered by innocent parties. Often there is neither shanti (peace) nor siddhi (realization). Instead what are there are loud cacophonies and destructive shouting matches that attract the attention of the ashram workers and neighbors. Change needed to occur for the viable and healthy continuation of the organization. So I got into deep, prayerful reflection and extensive analysis to remedy the situation.

            What I came up with is: At the root there is no unifying ideology or unity of purpose that bind all together. Strong personalities with so-called entitlements clash even for insignificant things that snow-ball into big battles for power and control. Some strong personality in the group sabotages healthy compromises or consensus building and cooperative decision-making. In the given situation, diagnosis was easy, but remedy proved to be very difficult and expensive emotionally and financially. When persons say strong actions are required, they often do not realize decisions taken cannot be put into practice without the cooperation of the parties concerned in a democratic set-up with one standard for all.

            I also found for myself: coercion or subtle and opportunistic manipulations do not work as they are not good for the spirit life. Authority must come from within as a result of lived life, modeling, and normative experience. I cannot change anyone. Each one has to change oneself from within. Most persons are good and well-intentioned, and even generous. They are very good toward persons that they like. These are persons to be guarded against. They can be your close relatives such as parents, children, brothers or sisters, even spouses and friends. If they do not get what they want from you, you may lose their favors or their admiration for you. That is why at one time when Christ’s attention was called to his mother and brothers wanting to speak to him while engaging a large gathering; he asked who my mother is? And who are my brothers? And he himself replied: Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother (Matthew 12: 46-50). Resisting them is not in one’s own emotional and material interest. But resist you must.

            Because of their unwillingness or inability to change added to their skeptical and even cynical view of the world coming from their unresolved painful past, they are condemned to live in the past. They cannot get out of the hard shell of the past programming. While they need not be judged, getting along with them is difficult even though emotional sharing is very rewarding. Well-thought out reasons do not work as they are predominantly guided by their strong emotions, narcissistic hurts, blind loyalties, and selfish interests.. A generous supply of love and tolerance is essential to deal with them. We have to be vigilant that we do not get into reacting and playing their games. While letting them be who they are, letting them know what you think and how they affect you with compassion and empathy are truly divine. In the coming few years that I have left, I am making it a priority to practice it with conscious living in the present moment, the only precious moment I am privileged to have.

 

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