When you consciously practice staying in a state of allowing you will be able to release the momentum of past emotions (that you may be carrying as a baggage in your being or in your physical body), and can allow your mind momentum to come to a state of balance, thus allowing you to work with thoughts more efficiently. It also helps to see through some deluded thinking patterns that you may be holding on to, using your awareness (and reasoning ability), instead of waiting for the mind momentum to reduce through a passive state of allowing – seeing through deluded patterns of thinking will assist in you in dissolving those patterns in the mind more quickly and thus release any emotional baggage that may be associated with it also. I always mention that the state of allowing is not a “passive” process, it’s much more efficient when you are involved actively with the process where you use the state of allowing to see through your imbalances, to see through delusions, to see through certain habits of behavior in the mind and to connect with your sense of wisdom.
At some point I used to give the pointer – “the mind is not you”, and it was just a pointer to suggest the logical truth that you are not the accumulated, or random, thinking of your mind but a “being” who has the independence to choose thoughts, to choose perspectives, to choose wisdom. Just because a thought happens in your mind doesn’t mean that you have to make it personal or that you have to take it to be true. A more well-rounded way of presenting this pointer would be to say that you have the choice to develop a balanced mind, or a balanced way of thinking, instead of saying that “the mind is not you” (and hence creating some imagination of having to fight out some imaginary enemy beyond your control). It really boils down developing a sense of awareness about the fact that you are in charge, not your accumulated thinking in the mind – you have to stop feeling so helpless to the “space of thoughts” and see thoughts for what they are, just a certain way of “perceiving” which you have the choice to change at any point. The state of allowing will help you reduce the mind momentum, and develop a strong of awareness, but this is only to aid you to develop the conscious ability to think for yourself using this awareness, instead feeling helpless to the “pre-existing” momentum of thoughts.
With respect to “ego”, I always clarify that ego is not a problem, ego (or the sense of I) is a part of self-awareness as a being, the problem is when the ego has a heavy momentum (like some form strong self-obsession) which leads to an imbalance; a strong ego-force will cause you pain because of the amount of resistance it can create every time there is a thought/situation that does not sit well with you. So the pointer is to simply work on letting go of this excess force/momentum of self-obsession, or ego-force, the pointer is not about becoming “egoless”. To try to become egoless is a form of deluded thinking. In the same way, the mind, or “thinking”, is not a problem by itself, the problem is with imbalanced forms of thinking, or deluded/unreasonable forms of thinking, which lead to imbalanced behavior, resistance to wisdom and confusion. When I talk about developing a balanced mind, I am talking about developing the capacity to think in a balanced way not only by letting go of identification with your past momentum of deluded thinking but also by developing the ability to reason, and be logical, and be willing to see reality in an objective manner.
Using your reasoning ability
You are a thinking being, you not some passive “nothingness” – it’s just that you need to bring a balance, with awareness, to the process of thinking. Conscious thinking is an ability that you need to develop as a being, the ability to think for yourself in a reasonable and logical manner, to make decisions, to make choices. A lot of people tend to start using pointers like “be surrendered”, or the state of allowing, as a means to enter into a state of passivity, about their life, which leads to an imbalance of its own, and leads to a deluded way of living.
Every pointer has a certain purpose or guidance, you need to understand the pointer for what it is without making it into a rigid protocol to live by – for example, the state of being surrendered is a pointer to relax and let go of struggling, so that you can develop some space within you for fresh thinking, for gaining access to wisdom and restoring balance in your body (removing the stress imposed by your struggle). It’s a valid and powerful pointer, but it does not mean that you let go of the faculty of thinking/reasoning altogether. The state of surrender can work towards helping you think in a clearer manner, but it should not be taken as a pointer to become a passive person. You can actually be passive for a while, and just allow your body/mind to restore its balance and energy, especially if you’ve been very imbalanced in your mindset (high mind momentum) and very struggle-oriented in the past, but it’s not a technique to employ forever, it’s just a temporary phase required for a balance to come in. Once you sense some balance coming in you would need to bring in a more active participation, in terms of thinking and making choices.
The ability to “reason” is a part of conscious thinking. You are in a better position to using your “reasoning” ability under the below conditions
– When you have a low emotional momentum which allows your reasoning to be free of emotional pressure (the emotional pressure of fear, hatred, love, sexuality or joy)
– When you’ve a clearer understanding of the physics of life-energy (like the objective presence of a light and dark nature to every reality, the oneness of life as the one energy in different forms, the law of attraction based on the fact that you attract experiences based on your inner state of being and the creative power/potential of thought)
– When you have a better understanding of yourself, as a person, as a being, with your value-system, your interests, your preferences, your dislikes and your limitations.
– When you develop the ability to be able to be more open (by connecting with your space of being) without being caught up in the mind’s momentum-based pull. This space allows you to think in a balanced manner.
– When you develop the openness to desire truth over delusion, irrespective of what the truth comes through as. The truth does, always, set you free, but it takes a certain willingness and courage to desire the truth above delusion. Delusion can give a temporary sense of security, but it’s always resting on shaky grounds.
– A willingness to stand on your authority than depend on the authority of others. To know that it’s far better to make an error based on your conscious choice/decision of thinking in a certain manner than try to find the right path by blindly following others – you can learn from your errors, and grow, but you can’t learn by blindly following someone/something without applying your ability to reason.
– The willingness to realize that truth usually lies in the “grey” areas, and if something seems “black and white” it may not necessarily represent the truth. “Black and white” form of thinking is usually rooted in rigidness and lacks the openness to allow for logical, or deeper, reasoning or wisdom.
There is a blind spot in a lot of humans towards using their reasoning ability – this blind spot is usually due to a certain fear of standing on their own authority or the fear of judgment from some higher power or just an imprisonment to emotional pressure. The very reason for the presence of a condition like OCD (obsessive thinking in a helpless manner) is because of a lack of awareness about the choice of conscious thinking and using “reasoning ability”. OCD is a condition where one blindly follows/fears a certain pattern in thinking that’s happening in their mind (whatever be the cause of it). Of course, in some people there seems to be an actual lack of capacity for “reasoning” (due to physical reasons or due to a deep unconsciousness in their being) and such a state can just be taken as one expression of life – all experiences, and state of being, have a value from an absolute perspective. However, if you have the ability to be aware of your thinking (or introspection) it means you have the ability to develop your “reasoning” capacity.
In the post – An example of allowing – there is a real-life example on how reasoning ability can work in conjunction with the state of openness/allowing to dissolve a fear.
Letting go of the attitude of being a blind follower
A part of growth, as a being, is about developing the attitude of standing on your independent thinking. Nothing original can ever come through if we only have an attitude of being a follower. Originality comes from trusting your own way of thinking. You can incorporate the wisdom you garner from outside sources, or teachers, but you also need to develop a trust in your ability to think for yourself. There was a time, when I was on the path of working on “spiritual” understanding, when I placed a lot of teachers on the pedestal, taking their teachings to be the holy grail – the teachings of “no self”, for example, was something that I accepted just because it was propounded by all the spiritual teachers, and I kept trying to incorporate what I imagined as the state of “no self” or being “egoless”. It’s only when I finally started “reasoning” these teachings that I realized the ambiguity in most of the understandings I had. I could see the escapism involved in trying to reach some state of “no self” where one is fearful of accepting the responsibility of living with a conscious choice – I could see how these teachings could easily be interpreted as some means of “passive living”. To observe reality one needs to be willing to let go of holding on to something in a rigid manner, to be aligned with reality you need to be flexible within; dependency on a technique/pointer could well be suggestive of an inner fear to be independent.
Using the faculty of reasoning I could see that a pointer like “no self” can be a means to shake a person out of over-identification with their egoic identity or self-obsession, but this pointer by itself could cause an over-identification with “selflessness” which can lead to a state of passivity or some deluded notion of spirituality. If you want passivity as an experience you are welcome to enjoy it but to me this state of “passivity” seemed like a choice that reeked of escapism rather than authenticity – it seemed as dysfunctional as the state of being over-identified with an egoic drive. In fact, I don’t see any logical sense in teachings about “no self” because they just seem to add to the delusion by creating some new imagination of some extraordinary state of reach – I would not call it a balanced teaching.
I realized that balance required a connection with your “self” while also releasing the momentum of strong self-obsession, basically what I would call a “light ego” which ensures you have space of freedom to incorporate wisdom instead of just living by your egoic-momentum alone. I could see, with reason, that a sense of self is needed for growth, for expression and for experience, which is what creates the movement of life, without a sense of self there would be no preference, no perspective and hence no creation. Every creator, including God consciousness or any evolved being, would need to have a sense of self, or self-awareness, to create. It’s just logical that self-awareness implies a sense of “I” or ego, and hence ego is not a problem itself. I also realized that desires are natural, and the problem was not with desires but with their suppression or with an imbalanced obsession or some form of deluded thinking about their extra-ordinariness (seeing only their light nature without also having a balanced awareness about their dark nature).
Exercising decisions as a conscious choice
Making decisions is sometimes the most challenging part of living, nevertheless the ability to make decisions is an important ability to develop as a part of your growth as an aware being. It’s not about putting yourself under undue pressure, but it’s also not about becoming passive and avoiding the responsibility of taking certain decisions when it’s called for. There are some decisions which your destiny, or life-force, can make for you, to give you a certain direction in your life, but there will be certain cross-roads where you will have to make your own decision based on your choice and preference. You can look at destiny as your primary schooling where you did not have the choice on the subjects you selected (but this helped you gain a certain understanding of different subjects and your preferences) until you reach a point where you need to choose your graduation course, and this is left to your choice based on the understanding that you’ve gained through your journey – someone who says there is no free-will just destiny, or someone who says there is no destiny just free-will are both suggesting a “black and white” view/thinking mostly out of a need for the security of feel certain.
It’s not that you are alone, or without guidance, because guidance is always available as a part of the intelligence of your life-stream, however you would need to make a decision based on the factors like inner-guidance and your own understanding of life and what you desire to experience. The pointer is that you can’t simply state that you are not responsible for your decisions (and that something/someone made you do it) unless you are a truly unconscious person with no iota of awareness.
The way I see it, you will be placed on the cross-roads of making decisions as a part of your growth as a being. Life has a way of orchestrating events that are required for your growth, and developing the “courage”, and self-understanding, to take decisions is part of this growth. It’s important to use your reasoning ability to make decisions rather than just allow your emotions, or delusions, to take control – however, you can always learn and grow irrespective of the decisions you make, there are no end-points, so don’t get too cautious about making decisions either. The process of weighing the light and dark nature of a reality and choosing one reality over the other is a part of using your reasoning ability – sometimes the decision making point could well be that the dark nature of one reality seems more unacceptable than the other reality, this truth is sometimes encapsulated in the saying that “change happens when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of making the change”. Understanding the dark nature and light nature possibilities of a reality is critical to certain decisions, especially some life changing decisions like whether you want to get married, whether you want to have kids, whether you want to stay with a 9 to 5 job, whether you want to quit a long-standing relationship etc, and it can also work on some far less life-changing decisions like choosing a tattoo.
You don’t have to be rigid about your decisions either. Sometimes a decision just helps you gain clarity about the decision that’s more aligned with you – this does not mean that you made the wrong decision before, it just means that you are clearer now compared to where you were before.
Some of main reasons why some people are not good at taking some “required” decisions are as below
The fear of being totally honest with yourself – To be honest with yourself requires you to allow the fear of change that can happen through the revelations that you get as you become open to wanting the truth. If your desire is to want the truth above anything else, you will always find the truth – however if your desire is to stay in a state of delusion/denial that’s exactly how you will experience your reality (for a while), but sooner or later reality does strike home simply because life is based on reality not delusion and you can’t avoid reality for long. The simple pointer is – always be willing to find out the truth, be fearless enough to know that ultimately knowing the truth is for the best and truth is what liberates confusion in essence. This willingness to always want the truth is all it takes to be privy to wisdom.
A lack of understanding about yourself – There may be several thought patterns in your mind that may be garnered from outside influence (outside conditioning) that cause you to disconnect with your own truth or personal preference. When you don’t know yourself clearly enough, you can’t know what your preferences are and how you want to live your life – your choices would seem to come more from external influence than from a place of a true inner choice. This also makes it difficult for you to take certain decisions about certain realities that you may want for yourself, and thus avoiding the commitment (in thought and action) that’s required for the reality to manifest.
A lack of understanding about the nature of life – In most cases, the reason why people fail to make good decisions is because they are not willing to accept the dark nature that a reality entails, and are focused on the light nature alone which causes them to be rooted in deluded thinking. For example, if you want a pet you should also be willing to bury it at some point when it dies, if burying a dead pet (the dark nature) feels too painful to you it’s best if you don’t buy a pet. If you buy a pet without realizing the dark nature aspects that will come with it (thus living in delusion), you will have to have to learn about its dark nature through experience and it can come as a shock or a sense of betrayal (which can act as a wake-up call too, so all experiences have their value). The more aware you are of the dark and light nature of a desire reality, the better you are at taking conscious decisions – if you want to experience a certain light nature, you should also be willing to experience the dark component that reality will bring in.
Dark nature is not “negative”, just like night is not negative, just like shadow is not negative, just like autumn is not negative, it’s just a “reality” of life (how life-energy moves), you can’t have electricity if a battery did not have a + and – terminal, the – terminal is not a negative it’s just a requirement for current to be generated. Every reality comes with a dark nature component along with light nature, it’s easier to make decisions when you are willing to understand this truth about life. You may say that it’s also easier to make decisions when one is ignorant, and that being aware of dark nature of realities can cause one to become undecided about things that they thought they wanted, but this is like saying it’s better to walk with a blindfold on. Living from ignorance has it’s own advantages but one of the biggest disadvantage is that sooner or later reality hits home, sometimes leaving you shattered out of your delusions. Conscious living can make you see through a lot of deluded thinking, and rob you of fantasies, but it ensures that you are grounded in reality and hence are not privy to rude shocks or imbalanced experiences.
The fear of failure – One of the most crippling fears that people have is about being a failure or a loser. Failure is just a perception, it’s a way of thinking – for example, I don’t look at anything as a negative or a failure, because I can see that everything has a value towards new growth, betterment and clarity. I don’t fear failure, or being labelled a loser, because such a perception holds no ground in me. I understand that I have a limited duration with this body (before it drops dead) and I am just enjoying the journey of making the most of it as suited to my conscious choice of how I want to live, and I understand that my choices will keep varying/changing as I keep living, there is no sense of holding on to a rigid mindset. What feels right for me at the moment is what I have as my guiding principle towards what I do, while accepting all the consequences of the choice. I know that in my current awareness I would never say that my choices were “wrong”, and if things don’t work out the way I imagined them I would just be open to rethink my choices from the platform I am at – I don’t have a lack mindset towards life or a sense of desperation by thinking that I am missing out on something; I understand one can’t have it all in this limited duration as this particular body and as long as I am being true to myself the results don’t matter that much. My choices come from my conscious understanding of what I would like to experience/express and after that there is no fear of failure while I am on the path because even if I don’t materialize certain choices (or end up making new choices half-way by gaining a better understanding) it wouldn’t matter as the journey is an experience by itself even if a destination is not reached.
People who are too rigid about their choices are also people who have a strong fear of failure, because they derive a very strong sense of identity from their choices (or the success of their choices). One needs to make choices based on their current understanding, of themselves and of life, but one always needs to have a sense of openness towards an evolution in thinking, towards new choices coming in, towards a better perspective coming in. Your obsession towards a particular choice should not make you imbalanced to the point of not being open to a better choice when it makes itself evident. Fear of failure is always about holding on to a narrow way of thinking about your choices or decisions, where you feel that some idea of “success” defines your worth – there is no such thing as a permanent success, life is always going to bring you a new choice/challenge to work towards, so what’s the point of associating so much importance with the notion of an end success instead of just appreciating the journey for itself? If someone calls/labels you a failure it just suggests that they have a very narrow understanding of life and it’s best that you don’t take in their perspective of you – of course, the point is to first stop looking at yourself from a narrow perspective.
How does letting go fit in with conscious living?
You may ask about how the concept of “letting go” fits in with conscious living of making conscious choices/decisions – the two look like polar opposites. The truth is that “letting go” is just a means to become open to deeper intelligence and balance, it’s not a means to become passive or to find an escape into oblivion. Words can create any form of meaning in your mind, and it’s easy to misinterpret teachings or pointers. Scientifically, you are in a better place to take decisions when you are not strained, when you are not holding on to rigid beliefs, when you are not holding onto fears – the process of “letting go” (or state of allowing) is a means to come to this plane of inner openness or inner freedom, that’s all, it’s never a pointer towards passivity in life. So in that sense, the state of allowing is not at odds with conscious living (or taking conscious decisions), rather it’s a means to create the space in you to be able to live consciously without being hampered by the unconscious momentum.
You can also ask – When I let go, shouldn’t my life-stream take care of all the decisions? When I talk about “life stream” I am not talking about some alien force that will take charge of your life for you, or move your around like a puppet on strings. When I talk about the intelligence of your life-stream it’s a pointer to the guidance, and grace, that’s available to each of us as “beings” who are aspects of life. Guidance, and grace, are an “ assistance” to your life, however that does not mean that you can give up responsibility for taking decisions when needed – remember that you are always called upon to be a “co-creator” with life and not just be a puppet who has no sense of volition. As a “being” one of your growth paths is to be able to stand on your feet, to be self-sustained in terms of being able to make your decisions, though your conscious choice, instead of living through influence. The very saying that “God helps those who help themselves” has a direct pointer to the truth that your life-stream can be way more effective towards helping you if you are willing to take some charge in your life. There may be a phase during the process of finding inner freedom, where you will feel that you are fully guided by life and it’s taking all the decisions for you, while you stay passive, but you will always reach a point (when you are stable enough) where life will look towards you to take decisions for yourself, on the choices you want to exercise, where you can no longer just allow yourself to be passive.
If you feel crippled by the momentum of your mind, or emotions, you would have to take the decision of consciously finding your space of stability by releasing this momentum – a decision to invest some time with yourself instead of simply being lost to the momentum of your current reality. To release the momentum of past accumulation through the state of allowing is a commitment by itself and requires you to make the decision to go through the process of allowing the release, accepting the dark and light nature of the process (dark nature being the discomfort, bodily and mental, that one can feel during an emotional release, and allowing the time it takes; while the light nature being the sense of inner spaciousness/wholeness that starts developing with time). You can read these post – Reducing mind momentum is the key and FAQ on the state of allowing – for more understanding of what the process of releasing emotional/mental momentum involves. Gaining a clear understanding about the dynamics of the process of release allows you to have access to “reasoning” and thus you would not be privy to falling for unreasonable or deluded thoughts while you are in the midst of a release.
During the phase of release it’s quite normal to feel a bit “passive” in life, and in one sense it’s needed to be passive for a while to allow some balance to come in to your past movement/momentum of strain and struggle. It’s a conscious decision to let go of struggle, to let go of being pulled around by your mind/emotional momentum, and find more connection with your space of being – this phase is needed for an inner balance. However, once you do sense inner balance coming in, you will feel a different movement taking over which is a movement towards a return of focus, a movement towards taking up the responsibility of conscious living – it’s important to understand that the dynamics of conscious living may be very different from the dynamics of the phase of release/letting-go (where you were allowed to be more passive). Even during the phase of release, though I use the term “passive”, I know it’s not a passive process, it takes a real commitment to stay with the conscious allowing of the release of past momentum of mind/emotion – when I say “passive” I just mean that you may not be too motivated to be involved in many external activities/involvements for a while as you are more involved with your “inner work”. To do this inner work is not “easy” neither is it passive in the sense of being without conscious volition – it has its challenges and it does take up your energy while you are in the process. When you are done with a good part of release, you are in stable position to venture on the path of conscious living, allowing the challenges that it involves.
Conscious living calls upon developing your aspects of self-understanding, making choices towards experiences that you desire, making choices towards expressions that you want to contribute (or work on), making decisions and taking responsibility for them, and being a co-creator with life in that sense. In this blog, there are some posts which deal purely with the phase of release (or letting go) and there are some posts (like this one) which deal with the dynamics of conscious living from a place of stability that comes from the phase of release. So, you may sense a conflict between pointers relating to the phase of release (letting go) and pointers relating to conscious living, they seem like opposites, however when you see the pointers in their entirety you realize that they point towards balanced living aligned with reality.