Ignorance, egoism, suffering and selflessness, free from ignorance, egoism and suffering

Due to the ignorance in the mind, there is an existence in the mind perception of a self-identity of an individual being (the ego, what the mind thinks is ‘I’) that consists of the body and the mind, and many others would also include the soul, where they believe that the body and the mind is mortal and impermanent (The impermanent I), while the soul is immortal and infinite (The permanent I), even when people have no idea what is the soul and whether the soul exist or non-exist. Just because many different religious scriptures say so, and people would just believe that it must be true.

People believe that after the death of the body and the mind (decomposed / stop existing), the soul (the silent consciousness/witness that is infinite/immortal) will be responsible for the consequences of all the actions and inactions of the body and the mind from birth till death, and be judged by ‘God’, and be sent to heaven or hell, to enjoy or suffer, for all that is nothing to do with the soul, if it exists. For example, if the mind is evil and being the ‘driver’ or ‘master’ of the body, it performs evil actions through the body, and somehow, the innocent soul will be punished for those evil doings and be sent to hell to suffer. Again, it’s everyone’s freedom for what they believe or disbelieve. It’s also up to everyone’s self-inquiry into the truth of everything to know the truth to attain self-realization.

In Buddhism, Buddha never mentioned about God or the soul. There’s deliberate non-comment over the existence or non-existence of God and the soul. This itself is a great teaching, where Buddha didn’t interfere with people’s believe or disbelieve in God or the soul. It doesn’t matter. Whether someone believes God and the soul exist or non-exist, it doesn’t free this being from the perception or experience of suffering if there’s egoism.

Buddha taught everyone to inquire into the truth of everything through deep mind purification via the eight fold path, self-control, self-discipline, self-inquiry, desireless, non-attachment, observing and respecting the law of impermanence, selflessness, renunciation, and silence. If the mind experiences or perceives suffering, it’s in now. It’s neither in the past nor the future. This is important. It doesn’t matter people believe that there’s only one life, or there’s continuous transitions of life infinitely, the only existence is now, and liberation from suffering is neither in the past nor in the future, is in now. In one moment, the mind experiences suffering when there’s attachment, and in one moment this mind is free from suffering when there’s no attachment. Suffering and liberation from suffering has nothing to do with any beliefs that one inherited from birth or adopted later in life.

This self-identity (the ego) comes along with egoism of desires, attachment, identification, clinging, longing, intention and expectation, and it thinks it is the one who performs actions and it is the one who receives the fruit of actions, and it’s the one who enjoys and suffers, where all kinds of impurities of satisfaction/dissatisfaction, fulfillment/disappointment, contentment/greed, admiration/jealousy, calmness/anger, love/hatred, respect/discrimination, friendliness/animosity, joy/hurts, innocent/guilt, pleased/regret, pride/shamefulness, low self-esteem/arrogance, excitement/boredom, fullness/emptiness, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, courage/fear and peace/worry, and etc, arising and passing away in the mind reacting towards all the perception of names and forms through the senses, based on what ‘I’ think what things are, and what ‘I’ like and dislike, what ‘I’ agree and disagree with, what ‘I’ want and doesn’t want. The egoistic mind perceives suffering/emptiness/unhappiness/dissatisfaction, when some or all of its desires are not being gratified, and hence the ego desires to escape or avoid or be free from suffering/emptiness/unhappiness/dissatisfaction.

But then ignorance hinders the mind from knowing the truth of the root cause of suffering/emptiness/unhappiness/dissatisfaction, where it thinks all its suffering/emptiness/unhappiness/dissatisfaction is caused by the quality of the objects of names and forms that it comes in contact with (the presence of certain names and forms) or doesn’t come in contact with (the absence of certain names and forms), and the mind thinks that it could escape or avoid or be free from suffering/emptiness/unhappiness/dissatisfaction through continuously and determinedly gratifying all its desires, by experiencing or coming in contact with certain qualities of names and forms, that it likes and wants and agrees with, that it thinks they have the quality that contribute pleasure, satisfaction, meaningfulness and happiness, such like doing something that makes it feels good, satisfied, happy and meaningful, and smoking/eating/drinking/touching/smelling/hearing/seeing/watching/reading/imagining something that will make it feels good, satisfied, happy and meaningful, while avoiding the experience or contact with certain qualities of names and forms that the mind doesn’t like, doesn’t want and doesn’t agree with, that it thinks they have the quality that contribute unpleasantness, dissatisfaction, meaninglessness and unhappiness, that will make it feels disturbed, dissatisfied, unhappy or meaningless. And hence, the mind is suffering from restlessness.

The real cause of all suffering/emptiness/unhappiness/dissatisfaction is not in the quality of names and forms that the mind perceives or doesn’t perceive through the sense, but it’s the ignorance and egoism that generates the idea/existence of ‘I’ that attached onto and identifying with the body and the mind, and the soul (for those who believe in the soul), where there are desires of craving and aversion and attachment towards what the ego likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with, wants and doesn’t want. Suffering exists is due to the existence of desires and attachment in the mind. If desires and attachment cease existing in the mind, suffering doesn’t exist.

The impure minds might interpret selflessness as non-existence of ‘my’ worldly life existence, where they think if ‘I’ doesn’t exist, then ‘my’ entire worldly life existence consisting the body and the mind in this world doesn’t exist at all. If people think or believe that is the truth, they will think that they can just do whatever they like as it doesn’t matter because all these worldly life experiences are not real, and they won’t suffer for the consequences of their actions. And so, all kinds of human suffering are not real, or non-existing. They believe that this worldly life existence is one long dream or a continuous flow of many dreams. In dreams, we can do anything that we want, but once we woke up, we are not responsible for whatever we did or experienced in all the dreams. There’s no consequences of actions in dreams, where we could experience death and injury in dreams, we could kill other people and be killed by others, and still, once we woke up from the dreams, we are still alive and non-injured, and there’s no responsibility of any consequences of actions performed in the dreams, as none of those actions or experiences are real. It’s just mere imaginations of the mind. If they feel satisfied in this dream of a worldly existence, they hope to stay in the dream (live forever in this life existence), and will be reluctant to be awaken in a different reality that is unknown to them (death of this life existence or next life). And if they are dissatisfied with this dream, they hope to be awaken in a different but better reality that is unknown to them (heaven or a better life in a better world).

And if all worldly experiences are not real, and suffering are not real, then there’s no need to talk about any kind of practices to be free from suffering, where everyone would be more selfish and immoral, and wouldn’t have self-control to refrain one’s behavior from causing harm to oneself and others.

But then this ‘understanding’ doesn’t bring people liberation from the suffering of the consequences of their actions in their worldly life existence (An existence in now that is subject to impermanence and consequences of actions), as the body and the mind continues to experience suffering even though there is the ‘interpretation’, or ‘understanding’, or ‘idea’ in the mind about worldly life existence is just a dream, all is not real. In dreams, everything might not be logical and are disorientated most of the time, such like old memories and fresh memories and wild imaginations might appear together at one time in a dream, and it’s okay, as once we woke up, we will know that all those images/experiences are not real, no matter how scary or painful or excited or violence was the dream. But, in this worldly life existence, in now, one will be treated as mentally ill, if one’s mind perceives mixed up images of some old memories with fresh memories and wild imaginations, and believes that all these images are real, and this will influence one’s behavior and affect one’s relationship with other people. It doesn’t matter if one strongly believes or disbelieves that this life existence is just a dream, all is not real, but if suffering arise due to attachment, suffering is here, it doesn’t disappear if we don’t like or don’t want this suffering.

This ‘interpretation’ or ‘understanding’ of selflessness or non-existence of ‘I’, is the outcome of the impure ignorant minds attached onto and identifying with the body and the mind as ‘I’ or ‘Who I am’. And so, these minds couldn’t go beyond the understanding of the body and the mind are existing and functioning in this present moment, and it’s mortal and impermanent, but then the existence and the function of the body and the mind is selflessness, that there’s no ‘I’ existing as an individual being to be mastering or in control of the impermanent existence, function, condition and state of the body and the mind. It’s just the mind functioning and perceiving all kinds of names and forms through the senses in the present, and the mind might keep jumping back and forth between the past memories and future wild imaginations and the perceptions through the senses in the present, and all these thoughts perceptions/activities, whether pleasant or unpleasant, desired or undesired, the perceiver (the mind), the perceived (the objects of names and forms), the past memories, the present experiences and the future wild imaginations, are impermanent and there’s no ‘I’ in control of the impermanent changes. All these experiences are here, in now, the only existence. The past doesn’t exist in now, just some remembrance of past experiences. The future doesn’t exist, just some wild imaginations, and they all are impermanent, and there’s no ‘I’ existing as the perceiver or the experiencer of all the pleasant and unpleasant, desirable and undesirable experiences in the present, or remembrance of the past, or wild imaginations of the future, in now.

This ‘I’ that the mind think is ‘who/what I am’ doesn’t exist or non-exist. There is injury in the body, the mind perceives this sensation of pain in the body, in now, and this sensation of pain is impermanent, and there’s no ‘I’ am in pain, or ‘I’ am suffering from painful sensation. There’s no disappointment or dissatisfaction when this painful sensation is here. There is pleasant sensation in the body, the mind perceives this pleasant sensation in the body, in now, and this pleasant sensation is impermanent, and there’s no ‘I’ am pleasant, or ‘I’ am enjoying pleasant sensation. There’s no disappointment or dissatisfaction when this pleasant sensation changed into something else or disappeared.

Once the ego is annihilated, there’s no one there to initiate desires of craving or aversion towards all the perception of names and forms, and hence, there’s no tension or restlessness in the egoless and desireless mind, there’s no one here to react with dissatisfaction, disappointment, greed, jealousy, anger, hatred, pride, low self-esteem, animosity, hurts, regret, guilt, fear and worry, and etc. The mind is aware of all the perceptions of names and forms (the past memories, present moment and future imaginations), in now, but it’s free from tension and restlessness, or suffering. There’s no clinging or aversion towards all the names and forms that are present in now, and there’s no craving or longing or aversion towards names and forms that are absent in now. It’s at peace, disregards all the perception of names and forms being here, as what they are. And all these names and forms have no intention or quality to contribute pleasure or suffering to the mind. There’s no ‘I’ being there to enjoy or suffer. There are actions being performed through the body and the mind, and there are consequences of actions, but there is no ‘I’ being there performing actions and to enjoy or suffer for the consequences of actions.

Just like all the internal organs and every single cells in the body, they are performing actions ceaselessly to support the existence and function of this body until they are worn out, but there’s no egoism in each of them to discriminate each other, to like or dislike and agree or disagree with each other, to be superior or inferior than one another, to be identified as the performer of actions or the receiver of the fruit of actions. But this egoism exists in the thinking mind due to ignorance, that initiates all kinds of suffering to itself, which is truly unnecessary.

Be free.

The world is just what it is

The world is just what it is

It’s neither good nor bad

Different minds perceive different reality

It’s neither right nor wrong when different minds perceive the world differently

It’s all the play of mind perception under the influence of ignorance and egoism

And lots of personal and social selfish desires, intentions and expectations

The egos expect and want to make the world to be the way that they like it to be

Different egos expect and want different world

The egos say they love the world, but they don’t love the world as it is

The egos don’t like the world being what it is

“I want my/our world to be like this and not like that”

The egos complain that

There is too much of what they don’t like and don’t want

There is too little of what they like and want

The egos get offended when other egos expect them to behave in the way that other egos want them to behave

And yet, the egos expect other egos to behave in the way that they want other egos to behave

They expect other egos to respect them as they are

And yet, they don’t respect other egos to be what they are

If people

Don’t like to hear this

Don’t agree with this

And feel offended and insulted and disturbed and hurt by this

Then know that that’s the ego’s reaction out of ignorance

Let go of the ego

Silent the mind

The world is just what it is

Do what you think is good for the world

Without attachment

Without expectation

Without identification

But, know that

Different minds have different standard and idea about what is good for the world

Just do your best

If you think it’s too much

If you are going to lose your sanity

If you don’t want to play the games run by the egos

Then

Be kind to yourself

Retreat from the world

Let everyone takes care of themselves

Be free

Silencing the restless, egoistic, prideful, impure, ignorant mind is the one and only yoga practice

If one truly cares for the world and wants to benefit the world, if one wants to free oneself and others from suffering, then one works on silencing one’s restless, egoistic, prideful, impure, ignorant mind.

Keep working on silencing the mind, not stimulating the mind.

Move away from the world of worldly beings, affairs, thinking, beliefs, practices and activities.

When one has developed the firm foundation of immovable dispassion and non-attachment (disinterest in worldly objects of names and forms), one can mix freely into the world of worldly beings, affairs, thinking, beliefs, practices and activities.

Being passionate towards worldly ideas, objects and affairs, empowering worldly personal identity and worldly image, and faults finding, defaming and mocking others whom we think are faulty, are not yoga practice.

All amount of actions being performed is like preparing all kinds of good food with good intention but putting it in a dirty bowl, if one tries to change or influence the world to be the way that one thinks it should be, but one doesn’t work on silencing the restless, egoistic, prideful, impure, ignorant mind.

No one can discipline our mind for us but the mind itself

No one can discipline our mind for us but the mind itself.

No one can purify our mind for us but the mind itself.

No one can do our practice for us but the mind itself.

No one can free the mind from ignorance and egoism for us but the mind itself.

No one can liberate the mind from suffering of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, pride, dissatisfaction, disappointment, fear and worry for us but the mind itself.

When the mind is free from ignorance and egoism and impurities, the mind will be peaceful as it is, undetermined by the good or bad condition of the body and the mind, the ups and downs of life experiences, the good and bad relationships with everyone, the good and bad condition of the world and the surrounding environment.

When one thinks and feels and says, “I am contented, happy and peaceful. I’m all good. Life is good. The part of the world where I live in is good. The people in my life are good and wonderful.” Know that this mind is not necessarily free. The mind might still be affected and disturbed by what the mind thinks and believes as ‘not good’, ‘bad’, ‘negative’, ‘suffering’ and ‘wrong’, based on the worldly thinking and belief that has been ingraining into their minds, influenced by many influences coming from everywhere (The parents, the society, the friends circle, the social network, the education, the religious teachings, the stories told by different people from everywhere, the researchers, the scientists, the philosophers, the medias, the politicians, the world leaders, and so on.)

There’s nothing abnormal or wrong for anyone to think and feel contended, happy and peaceful, when one perceives everything about oneself, as well as everything and everyone that are related to one’s life, is all good, is the way that how one would like it to be. Or, one should feel grateful when things are like this, and one should feel bad, angry, guilty and shameful when things are like that. And people would hurt themselves or others, in pursuit of a life that they think is ‘meaningful’, ‘fruitful’, ‘successful’ and ‘happy’, or people might hurt themselves and/or others when they think they should be feeling bad, angry, guilty and shameful about something. People manipulate or make use of other people’s feelings and emotions to be ‘doing’ something for them unwittingly. People stir up other people’s anger, hatred and fear to create a situation in the society that will allow them to achieve something that they want.

There are many minds don’t mind being ‘not free’, as they think and believe that that is what human life is about – achieving a life that what they think and believe as ‘meaningful’, ‘fruitful’, ‘successful’ and ‘happy’. They are ‘free’ in their own world when they feel contented and happy (as long as everything and everyone is the way that they like it to be, and all their desires are being gratified). That’s their freedom.

Minds that are deeply conditioned by particular thinking and belief to think, to behave, to act and react, to feel confident or not, to feel happy or not, to feel meaningful or not, and to feel good or bad, are easily being influenced by intentional manipulation from those who want to influence the people to think in certain ways and to believe in certain beliefs, so that they can get the support that they want from the people to be in power to achieve what they want to achieve in the world of selfish desires.

The yoga and meditation practice is to purify the mind, to free the mind from the pollution of conditional worldly thinking and belief, which is the product of ignorance and egoism, as well as the fuel that feeds ignorance and egoism. And all these worldly thinking and belief about what is a meaningful, fruitful, successful and happy life, how people should think and behave, act and react, and what people should believe in, are being manipulated by many impure selfish minds. If the mind is under the influence of ignorance and egoism, it is easily be manipulated and influenced by what they perceive through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking, that are not necessarily the truth of what things are. No matter how intelligent that the mind thinks it is, it still can be manipulated and influenced by worldly conditional thinking and belief, without knowing that it has already been manipulated or influenced by them.

If one’s mind starts to reason/doubt/investigate the truth of the information that has been feeding to it from here and there, it will be hammered and threatened by worldly people around and from part of itself that is being conditioned to believe that ‘This is bad and evil!’, ‘This is wrong!’, ‘You are bad and evil!’, ‘You don’t deserve love and goodness!’, ‘You will be condemned to hell!’, ‘You will be punished and suffered!’, ‘You will bring shame and suffering to your family!’, and so on.

We can understand why many religious people or organizations or politicians or capitalists or business people don’t like it if people are being exposed to the teachings of BUDDHISM, YOGA and MEDITATION about SELF-INQUIRY to investigate the truth of everything and be free from worldly conditioned thinking and belief. When yoga is being commercialized with lots of ‘yoga products’ and ‘organic health and beauty related yogic products’, and there are many of the ‘yoga practitioners’, ‘yoga teachers’, or ‘yoga lovers’ are being influenced by it without knowing that they have become the ‘slaves’ of particular people or groups or organizations who are playing the mind games.

Yoga and meditation practice is to free the mind that has been conditioning by all these worldly thinking and belief. And thus, there is a very important part of the yoga and meditation practice that is being ignored or criticized by many worldly people, including those who think they love yoga and practice yoga, which is the practice of SILENCE, to be in solitude and seclusion for a sustained period of time (at least 5-6 years), to move away from the society, stop mixing with worldly people, stop engaging in worldly interactions and conversations, stop reading newspapers, novels and magazines, stop watching TV programs, advertisements and movies, stop all kinds of worldly contact and communication. It doesn’t matter whether the mind thinks these ‘inputs’ of the mind are true, or not true. By allowing the mind to be in silence and cleared out of all the worldly thinking and belief, be free from conditional judgment and expectation based on the worldly thinking and belief, the mind will be able to see the truth of things as it is. This sounds extreme or horrible for many people, but it is the most effective way to free the mind from being manipulated or influenced by ceaseless ‘inputs’ that are not the truth of what things are. Only those who are determined and are fearless to let go all the worldly thinking and belief as well as worldly identity with qualities of names and forms can truly practice yoga and meditation. Or else, everyone is just doing some forms of different styles and brands of ‘yoga exercises’ to feel good and look good.

Be free.

Children grow up without a father or a mother or both parents

Of course, it would be good if the children grow up in an environment that they are being loved and supported by both ‘loving’ parents.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, one of the parents is not there to love and support the children as they grow up, it would be good if at least there is a ‘loving’ father or mother being there to love and support the children.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, both of the parents are not there to love and support the children as they grow up, it would be good if they can depend on some other people’s charity, love and support until they become independent.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, there’s nobody being there to love and support the children as they grow up, that they have to depend on themselves and nature, it would be good if the children know how to love themselves and be independent without self-pity, self-blame and bitterness, no matter how difficult and harsh it can be.

If due to unforeseen circumstances, the children grow up in an environment where one or both of the parents or the care taker, is ignorant, unloving, selfish and abusive, it would be better if the children grow up without the parents or any care takers. Growing up in an environment surrounded by and under the influence of ignorant people with ignorant behavior can be worst than being alone not be surrounded by ignorant people with ignorant influences. Children grow up under the care of one or both of the parents are not necessarily well brought up to have the correct understanding of life and be free from unhappiness and suffering, who won’t hurt themselves or other beings out of ignorance and egoism, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

If life appears to be challenging and difficult, most important is that one knows how to love oneself, and has peace and compassion. It’s not a suffering or unfortunate if one grows up being abandoned or unloved or unsupported or being abused, if one has self-awareness and self-realization, be free from ignorance and egoism. There’s no need of self-pity, self-blame, anger, hatred, envy, bitterness, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear or worry.

Being alone, by oneself, of solitude, is not something ‘bad’ or ‘difficult’ or ‘hardship’ or ‘suffering’. It’s indeed a great ‘fortune’ to immerse into the silence of solitude, of peace and compassion, being free from ignorance and egoism.

Many people are surrounded by some or many other people, of family and friends, but they are not necessarily peaceful and be free from suffering.

Be free.