THE ‘WHAT IF’ SERIES

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PART TWO: ECONOMICS, MONETARY AND RESOURCE-BASED SYSTEMS.

            There is the stipulation that our planet is suffering from overpopulation. But then again, what warrants this stipulation and what is overpopulation? The general definition of overpopulation is a situation in which a species’ number exceeds the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. However, there is more than enough inhabitable land on the planet at this time to handle in excess of five times the human and animal population. So if this is the case, then, pray tell, why is there a cry of our planet suffering from overpopulation?

            What if this overpopulation insinuation is economic reasons? What if the reason is to create a sense of scarcity and therefore drive demand upwards and hence, prices? All things being equal, there are individuals, corporations and special interest groups who stand to benefit a whole lot from increasing prices, regardless of what is happening to the rest of the globe.

            What if the major flaws in monetary and financial systems could be easily addressed? What if humanity went through a cataclysmic situation that put an end to our present economical/financial structures? Do we lose our humanity with that, or do we adapt to something that is more sustaining and humane that would benefit everyone and not just a few?

            What if we from monetary-based economical systems to resource-based systems? Granted, present-day economics claim to attempt to maximize the use of natural resources, but the motivation behind such thoughts are generally egoistic and egocentric, as this has been proven by the economic situation of our times. What if a resource-based system were to be implemented throughout the globe?

Could it work? Could it be the remedy to our present-day egocentric economics? Well, there is only one way to find out… 

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PONDERISMS

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PART ONE: I AM.

            Whenever one is asked to the question, “Could you please tell me something about yourself?” the general answer to this question would constitute one’s name, age, work/educational status, relationship status, location, family, and sometimes ethnicity and nationality. Usually, these responses are nothing but a regurgitation of various aspects of one’s conditioning that one has donned on oneself as factual and true (and in a sense these are all true). They constitute one’s ‘story’ and, consequently, on a broader scale, one’s identity.

The very term ‘identity’ comes from two Latin words “idem”, which means “same” or identical”, and “facere”, which means “to make”. So an identity is something that is trying to make or create a semblance of something else (that is original). It is an imitation of the real thing; meaning that an identity is merely a copy, a fake or an illusion of what is real. There is actually nothing wrong with having an identity; it is part and parcel of the three-dimensional plane on which one resides. However, when one becomes trapped in this sense of self that is fake and false, and holds this to be ultimately true, then one becomes misguided and one misses the point. In other words, when one holds on to the illusion as true, then one is bound to suffer in the very ignorance that one finds oneself in. As such, one is bound to ask the very question that Humankind has been asking since its very existence; WHO AM I?

The letter “I” may be the loneliest letter in the English alphabet, but at the same time, it is the only letter that holds the ultimate truth and in the same breath, harbors the only illusion there is. It is no coincidence that the personal pronoun “I” when translated to Latin is “ego”, which is the exact, general term used to describe the world of form; the ego. Usually, many people ascribe all that is negative to this term, but that may not be entirely true. We just stated about that the ego represents all that is in the world of illusion and that includes all the bad and all the good. Yes, the ego also includes all that is good. Let us use some examples to explain this situation.

Would you classify a knife as dangerous or something good? The argumentative response would be that “it depends on what it’s used for” and this is justified. Use a knife to cook some food and feed the hungry, and it you have done something good. Use a knife to commit murder, and you have done something bad. So, is a knife a good thing or a bad thing? The fact is, a knife just is, but it is one’s individual perception or the way one uses a knife that brings about the notion of a knife being a good thing or a bad thing. The medium of the mind then sets in and causes a situation in which a knife is either identified as something good or something bad. I would like to refer the reader to my post entitled The Analogy of Light for further understanding on the subject of how the medium of the mind can cause aberrations of the truth and generate illusions.

We return to the question again of WHO AM I? In the previous two paragraphs, we have focused on the illusionary part of the letter “I”. Now we will focus on the ultimate truth of this letter. Consider the following scenario. If one plants a seed of corn in the ground, it bears corn. The same is true with any other seed. The human body is merely a vessel, albeit a most amazing and complex protoplasmic constituency. Regardless, it is still a vessel, a house, a temple. Various religions and cultures hold this same belief. The Christian Bible even has some verses in them relating to this situation:

          “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Please note that the verse says “your body” and not “you are the temple of the Holy Spirit.” This belief is so profound that the Ancient Egyptians built an entire temple to mimic the human physiognomy at Luxor that has been called The Temple of Man.

So, if our bodies are just temples, then who are we? In the story of creation of the first couple in the Book of Genesis, it is says:

“And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life.” Genesis 2:7.

If Man (formed out of the ground) is symbolic of the ground and the Breath of Life is symbolic of the God-life (for lack of a better term), then who are we? If corn seeds beget corn, bean seeds beget beans, then who does God, The Divine, The All-That-Is, The Nameless-Formless One (and all the myriad of names that have been given to this “entity”) beget? Every time one says, “I am this or that.” one assigns limits to your true nature and being. One is going for papier marche instead of the real deal. One is settling for the lie instead of the truth. The Christian Bible has a very simple (but frightening to most) answer to this question:

“I have said, ‘You are Gods…’” Psalms 82:6

And when Moses asked the Voice in the burning bush what to tell the Israelites when he (Moses) was asked who sent him, the Voice said:

“I Am who I Am,” Exodus 3:14

Since you hail from and are inseparable from this same fabric of divinity and truth, the answer to the question “WHO AM I?” is the same response given to Moses, or in simpler terms: I AM….

SYMBOLISMS

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PART I: YOGA.

            In the western civilizations, yoga has become a part of a fitness program, with its original eastern teachings and meanings being lost in the misconstrued mindset of the west. However, a compendium on yoga would be physical, mental and spiritual practices that are meant to still the mind, or bring the mind to permanent peace. It is the stilling of the ever-changing states of the mind and hence bringing it to union with the divine (with stillness itself). It is interesting to read that in the Christian Bible, being still has a direct connection to knowing God.

            ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ Psalm 46.10.

            If one takes a look at a spinning wheel, one notices that as the wheel spins, every single point of the wheel that spins in one direction has an opposite and equal spin in the other direction. For every bit of sorrow, there is a little joy. For every bit of happiness, there is a little sadness; and it goes on and on. Isaac Newton sums this up in his Third Law of Motion:

            ‘For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.’

These are the various states of the mind and when one becomes trapped or identified in this situation of feeling subject to the ever-changing states of mind, one then becomes trapped in the melodrama of world of the ego, or the world of illusion.

            But even though the wheel is spinning, the very center of the wheel does not. It is the immovable center and is not subject to the ever-changing state of the spinning wheel. The purpose of yoga is to bring one to the state of the immovable mind, stillness or union with the divine (or what some folks have termed as ‘God’). So it is recommended that whenever one is practicing yoga, one could appreciate the fact that there is more to yoga than just the physical aspect of it. True peace is peace that one experiences when one is free from the constructs of the ever-changing states of the mind. It is one that is obtained only through stillness of the mind (the immovable center), which is the same as union with the divine. Yoga could help one get to that state of mind and being.

GOOD FRIDAY: APRIL 2, 2010.

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As far as I’m concerned, there was nothing good about that day. At 3:05pm, I just left work and was going to the store when the call came in. My world as I knew it changed for good. I have never been the same person and, to be honest, a part of me died that day as well. I got the call from my brother. It was something I never expected; something I never thought it would ever happen. I mean, it may be a natural thing. But when it came to the greatest man who ever lived, it was never supposed to happen. The greatest man who ever lived, my father, had just passed away.

An avalanche of emotions hit me that same moment. Time ceased! I felt shock, grief, anger, confusion, sadness and worst of all pain, in one uncanny, malefic, sledge-hammer, and soul-crushing slam on my reality. This was never supposed to happen. My father cannot die! He’s my father! There was still so much we had to, so much more I had to do for him, he never even got to see his future grand children from me! The last I remember of him when he was alive, was at the airport when he turned around one more time to look at me and call my name right before he went to the terminal! That was the last I saw of him; and exactly twenty-eight days later, he left this world. His life expired.

I could not even cry like I wanted to at the funeral. I had to stay strong and comfort my sisters. They were an emotional train-wreck! I had to step away to wail like a child, because if my sisters saw me, they would break down even further. My brothers tried to stay strong as well, but this was our father and one could only stay strong for so long. In my privacy, I let it all out! The pain never eased up, the heartache never faded! I’d give everything I have, everything that I am to hear him laugh once again, or hear him snore across the house once again. I’d give it all up without batting an eye, without even thinking!

It only gets a little more tolerable over the years, but the pain is still as fresh as spring water from the mountains. I burn a candle for him every now and then. I burn a candle on April 2nd of every year since then and on his birthday and I cry and cry. I have had to stop so many times during this writing to dry my eyes and catch my breath. This has been the hardest piece of writing I have ever done in my life. I have grown a little stronger, but the pain is still there. At this point in time, I feel like nothing else and no one can harm me because I have experienced the worst there is to experience. A part of me may have died that day as well, but as long as my father lives in my heart, the part of me that died gave birth to a new, stronger and improved me.

I miss you, Dad! I really do!

But I love you more and you’ll always be alive in my heart.

THE ANALOGY OF LIGHT

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White light is white light. When a beam of white light hits a red piece of glass, it comes out on the other side of the red piece glass as red light. When it hits a green piece of glass, it comes out on the other side of the green piece of glass as green light. The same thing happens for various colors of glass. In all cases, some of the light gets reflected back in the direction from which the beam of light came. When a prism is used, the white light is dispersed into seven different colors. In the case of a transparent, colorless piece of glass, most of the white light goes through as white light. Some of it gets reflected back, however.

Truth is like the beam of white light and the human mind is like a piece of glass upon which this beam of white light (Truth) lands on. The various colors of the pieces of glass represent the conditioning the human mind has acquired over a lifetime or many lifetimes; cultural, parental, political, religious, social, geographical, amongst other forms of conditioning. The various colors of light that result from white light passing through the various colors of the glass medium are synonymous to the ideologies, belief systems, governmental structures, idiosyncrasies, cultural background and even fanatical propensities that permeate the human race are all the spawns of the misrepresentation, misunderstanding and misconstruing of the fundamentals of our true identities.

For this cause, we fight, maim and kill one another in the name of ‘our beliefs’, ‘our teachings’, ‘our hopes’, ‘our constitution’, and ‘our truths’. Everyone else who is not in line with us becomes our enemy. Those who do not see ‘our light’ are ‘in the dark and are lost’ and must be punished or will suffer punishment at the hands of some supreme ruler, whose law is that of total obedience or suffer the consequences. Sometimes, in an effort to not be a part of the extreme, we take upon the mantle of having several beliefs and opinions. We train our minds to act as a prism, splitting the truth into various ‘truths’. And we whip out the fist of justification to assert our stance, without even realizing that if something requires justification, then it is not Truth in itself. It is only an illusion because Truth requires no justification. Truth just is!

If only we could change our perspective and shift our focus to beyond the medium of the mind. We could stop looking at the result of our minds and start paying attention to the white light itself; we could let Truth teach us and reveal itself to us rather than us letting our intelligence get in the way. Only when we start looking towards the source itself that our minds can become as clear as colorless glass pieces, and then can we manifest the Truth in our daily lives in as pure of its form as we can. Truth would then flow through us naturally because it is our true identity. Truth and Consciousness then become one and inseparable in us and once this change takes place on an individual basis, then we can impact our world in a very different but more beautiful way.

THE WHAT IF SERIES

Religion

Part One: Religion and its Promises

Why do we do the things we do? Are humans intrinsically altruistic? Are humans motivated by fear, greed, passion, or the rewards that may come with tomorrow’s promises? Why do we live? What is the purpose, the meaning, the reason, the logic? What if everything you thought was true was a lie? What if all you lived for or hoped for vanished like a kiss in the wind? What if all your motivation got washed away like waves to writing on the beach?

What if you discover there is no heaven, no hell, or no afterlife? What if you find out there are no seventy-two virgins waiting for you on the other side? What if you find out that the one you thought or called “God” is not an old man with a beard, or a woman with all the wisdom of wisdom itself? What if you realize that the ego is neither good nor bad and that the karma you have struggled so hard to minimize or fight is just a figment of one’s mind; a product of the ego itself. What if you come to terms with the fact that the cycle of birth and rebirth is neither endless nor existent and that nirvana is not out there but in here? What do you do then?

Truth requires neither justification nor the slaughter of humans. Only human ideologies and institutionalized thinking require such. When one is stripped of all one knows, knew or thought one knew, when there exists no purpose or hope, when past and future are seen for what they really are, when one assumes the stands of neither friend nor foe, when one becomes the immovable center in the spinning wheel of life, when the denial stops and acceptance begins, when the fighting ceases and one totally lets go, when one is becomes still in the seeming chaos, then one can be who one really is. One can embrace one’s true identity and see the oneness of All-That-Is.