One of the difficult challenges to overcome on the Spiritual Path, is letting go of the notion of singular truths, that make someone 'right' and someone else 'wrong'. Prior to awakening, people and society tend to deal with absolute truths - there is 'what's happened', beyond question, and all we need to figure out is, what took place. This makes someone 'right' and someone else 'wrong'. And it defines you to an identity within a reality - a fixed ego, forming judgments about the world and people in it. It's severely limiting. How might we let go of that?
A butterfly dreaming it's a man
The only absolute in the universe is presence - pure potential before any thing arises. Of this, it becomes possible to speak in absolutes. However, where you're speaking about, thinking about, or working with, anything that is in existence - anything that arises from presence - then you're working within the realm of the relative.
- This is crucial to grasp. What it means is, that you're always appreciating an aspect of life relative to another. Therefore neither is fixed. Therefore neither can be absolutely defined. That's why, your view on reality, is only ever a perspective. It is not absolute truth. It can be a relativistic truth, and there will be truth in it, but never the whole truth.
Chuang Tzu is universally regarded as the greatest Taoist after Lao Tzu. His butterfly dream is probably the most celebrated dream ever to be recorded in the history of Chinese Philosophy...
- Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, flying about enjoying itself. It did not know that it was Chuang Tzu. Suddenly he awoke, and veritably was Chuang Tszu again. He did not know whether it was Chuang Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly, or whether it was the butterfly dreaming that it was Chuang Tzu. Between Chuang Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction. This is a case of what is called the transformation of things.
Now the chances are, even after such a powerful dream, you'd be able to distinguish the landscape that holds you different from the butterfly. Or if you were spiritually awake, you might be able to read the synchronistic interplay - the objective mother tongue of the universe - which tells you that you are the person and not the butterfly. So you could be reasonably sure - perhaps 95% - of the form you are in. But you could never be absolutely sure, because your frame of reference to the world, is always relativistic, never absolute, and is therefore always changing.
How may an understanding of this vitally important philosophy profoundly assist in your daily life?
Giving up absolutes - perhaps the greatest freedom of all
An ego needs it to be 'this way' or 'that way'. It needs there to be someone who is 'right', and someone who is 'wrong'. It needs its opinion to be justified and upheld. An ego is even prepared to go to war over that (as we witness mercilessly happening by supposedly the most intelligent leaders on the planet).
- The problem is that your perspective on reality is always influenced by your own filters: mental, emotional and karmic veils, which cause you to see reality in a particular way. They might cause you to take on the oppressor or victim role for example.
This is what makes reality so painful for the ego. So uncertain, or else so controlling. And it means you squeeze the very juice out of life.
It comes from needing the security of a particular situation or outcome - something is needed of the moment, without which, there is great insecurity.
What if though, you could change your perspective of what you really need from the moment?
What if you could see relativistic reality - existence - more as a mirror, which reflects back to you, always encouraging you to be more aligned in who you are?
- Well firstly, this truth takes away the need for there to be 'right' and 'wrong'
It takes away the need to 'win' something materialistically
It takes away the striving (to always be right for example)
It can remove disharmony between people because it encourages each to look at their own stuff
It means you're always growing, learning, evolving.
I've found that in being able to approach life in this way, it makes me more open to the moment. It means I can listen to a viewpoint, but not be constrained or limited by it. I can listen to it, but then I'm free to make an aligned response - as aligned as I can be.
This is incredibly liberating and so opening, it allows light to literally flood in.
Let go of the need for it to be a certain way
Next time you find yourself caught up in a particular situation, invested in the outcome, afraid or tight of what might happen if it doesn't go a particular way, stop. Go into the tightness the situation generates. Remind yourself you are the One, and need no particular outcome from this situation.
(Try this popular...9 step spiritual healing Process)
- Just let go of the need for the moment to be a certain way. Let go of fixed opnions. Stop condemning people or situations because 'that's how it was last time' or 'this will happen if I don't try to fix it'. In expecting the world to be constantly changing, embrace and celebrate constant change. It's a vibrant energy in itself. It's so uplifting and rejuvenating.
The majority in society are not yet ready to live this way. The ego will still cling on to that which justifies its existence. As you evolve, no doubt the people around you will try clinging on to the old reality and try to resist your change.
Nevermind. Keep reminding yourself of the butterfly story. In a sense, become the butterfly that dances from flower to flower, never fixing itself by other's opinions, allowing itself to transform, moment by moment, with the landscape.
Then your life will become liberating, fulfilling and free. Increasingly you'll feel relaxed, whole and complete. You'll be embracing change, no longer locked in by a fixed opinion of the world. You'll look at life with the awe and wonder of a small child.
(on behalf of Openhand)
(Publishers - please publish with links intact and the Openhand brief biog. Thankyou <3)
Openhand is a unique approach to spiritual evolution: integrating enlightened wisdom of spiritual masters through the ages, it is a way of tapping into the Benevolent Guiding Consciousness of the Universe and aligning with it in your life. It helps you unveil your True Self, remove karmic blockages and unfold your Divine Destiny. It leads to authentic, resilient and truly successful living.
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