Basics

A year ago I had a fundamental shift, a letting go.

I’m not done. But I do feel significantly lighter, more natural, easier.

It happened as I recognized that the basic problem with me, and all human beings, is fear.

The Buddha said that people suffer. We suffer, not because there is suffering, but because of the damage caused by fear in the mind. Every human being, I think, at some point and at some level, knows that he or she is not seated in naturalness. It’s interesting that most people do not face this problem head-on. There even seems to be prevailing sentiment that even though I am not seated in naturalness, everyone else has figured it out.

Why some of us are able to see and admit the insanity within, and some of us ignore what is so very obvious when seen, is a bit of a mystery to me. How did I go for 45 years not seeing that there is nothing wrong with life but there is something wrong with my orientation to life? Suffering gives us this insight.

The Buddha’s second noble truth says that there is a way out of this suffering. This is of course where the whole misleading world of religion and spirituality begins. This is where it starts with the myriad, confusing, dogmatic, often money-making, always divisive, ways to be spiritual. God, awareness, presence, meditation, particular teachings, particular beliefs, particular practices, hierarchies and advancement and so on–none of them has worked in the long history of humanity. But this is what we do.

I go back to only that which I am certain of. Which is very little.

I know that the basic problem is that we perceive reality through damaged mental structures. Some people may call these mental structures the ego and the mind, but I haven’t found it useful to analyze this too deeply.

I think that the damage is caused by an original fear.

I know in the presence of damaged faculties nothing we know or believe or practice can have any certainty to it. The experience of life happens in the mind, that is all our perceptions and sensations and actions and beliefs and thoughts and emotions come from the mind, and when the mind structures are damaged, nothing can have any certainty.

The solution to this is go back to the source. To go back as deeply as we can within ourselves, so that there is a touching between the damage and the source.

I had believed that to go back to the source requires spiritual work. I thought I had to ferret through all that is false to find truth. I was completely wrong about that.

The source is right here, right now, right on the surface. It doesn’t require meditation. It doesn’t require spiritual knowledge. It doesn’t require a particular practice or particular understanding. Even to call it source is a bit too much.

It’s just looking at the sense of who I am, the sense of I AM, the very ordinary every-day sense of what it feels to be me.

Along with the looking, the release technique I talk about here is still with me. It’s very natural now, innate. I don’t consciously think about letting go. It happens.

The giving up of the spiritual quest is a huge relief.

And life simply lives. For some of us on a spiritual journey frequently confusing questions come up, about how we can reconcile our regular life with our current spiritual understanding. I don’t have a clearer understanding–it’s more that the questions are disappearing.

It’s kind of strange that a five year harried spiritual quest has come down to something so simple.

This is what I feel now. It’s a pretty good place to be.

25 thoughts on “Basics

  1. Nitin

    Namaste Kaushikbhai,

    Yes, its basics, it’s like when rich doctor prescribe expensive medicine, it works fine because mind accepted with good result, while simple & free medicine always neglected with doubt. 21st century human are bit complicated, never look it simple manner first, and now we are in so deep practice of wrong style of looking the life and forgot the basics. (natural)
    Yes, its damn FEAR, its 24, 7 behind you, it does not manner who you are and where you are. A article written by Swami Vivekanand on fear where he mentioned about that fear is the only Factor in life on earth. One can not achieve the state of fearless mind for ever. Fear may be the only driving gear for all the life & its activities.
    Let it go & surrender with all the life situation with out any resistance may lead to the fearlessness path, but ego mind does not let it happened. If one can keep control/balance over fear, ego & desire, may live more basic.
    We do all crazy things for the few basic need of life & then we forget the basic. Work, career, position, prestige, wealth etc start controlling the life & the Boss became the servant & he does not even know it.
    Thank you & cheers.

    Nitin

  2. RevDella

    I believe we feel fear when we feel disconnected from Spirit — at least, I know I feel fear when I feel this sense of separation.

    I find that regular doing spiritual practices helps me feel connected to the the Spirit within me. I agree that our minds can create distorted perceptions of the way things are, and this can contribute to suffering. But for me, my spiritual practices help me disentangle my mind from this distorted — sometimes extremely irrational — thinking.

    I do believe that it requires work — often a great deal of spiritual work — to undo the scars that can come from a lifetime of faulty thinking. However, if you are dedicated to doing the necessary spiritual work on a consistent basis, I find that it becomes much easier to get back on track once the fear sets in. It is easier to feel connected to the source of my being — Spirit. When I am centered in this connection, all fear disappears.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Thanks for your commment RevDella.

      It is because of fear that we are disconnected from ourselves. Spiritual practice and spiritual work can be important, as it was in my case, to show me that there is another possibility. Practices can also often bring about comfort and relieve symptoms–for example the release technique I talk about here is very good at that.

      But it wasn’t spiritual work or spiritual knowledge or any practice which brought about naturalness. It was simply the recognition that the original problem is fear, and the problem is singular, and it can be solved in a practical way. In fact after this recognition, I happily lost interest in all of spirituality.

      I hope you’re doing well!

      k

  3. Philip

    Hey Kaushik so nice to have you back I’ve missed your posts.
    The Ruthless Truth Arena has crumbled and so has this belief in ‘me’. What I realised was that the seeing of this is the ultimate not doing. What ever I could think it was, it was not it, it was always prior, simpler more obvious. There is only what is and it can’t be seen
    because it is the seeing itself, it is the noticing. So thinking you are not done is only thought, you could not not be done, it is impossible, there is only being done. Seeing thought for what it is, limitation doing it’s job trying to get this but it never can, because its already this which includes this as thought pretending to be limited. There is no practice, no progress, no goal, no getting anything its just thought trying to help out. Its just this life in free fall, totally out of control. Sit back and rest into it, enjoy the ride. Sweet! and uncomfortable and peaceful and painful.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hey Philip! I hope you’re well.

      Well, yes, thinking that I’m not done is a thought. And yes, there is no practice, no progress, no spiritual concept of knowledge–it’s all just thought, and so is what I’ve just said here.

      Nevertheless there is fear and there is the resistance caused by fear and there are consequent thoughts and emotions colored by fear and the damage it does. As you point out there aren’t any practices or spiritual concepts or knowledge which can help. What can help, in my experience, is to look at our essential nature, which is just a simple looking. And to let go.

      Stay well!
      k

  4. Kate

    I believe that earth is a school of sorts; we come here (repeatedly) to learn lessons. From that perspective, I can see that things are as they probably need to be. However, I worry about the environment and I hate to see people and animals suffer. I feel that there is so much that needs to be “fixed”. I’d be a lot happier without these concerns but it’s hard not to care. How are you able to see life as perfect? By letting go, do you mean that you’ve developed trust in the higher powers?

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Kate,
      The problems you mention of course do exist. There can all sorts of concerns about the condition of humanity.

      I think the salvation is not in solution of any specific problem (and of course there is nothing wrong with being concerned about and contributing)–but the salvation of humanity is in individual awakening. The problems we see–the cruelty and insanity and dissatisfaction–are only problems because of a small bit of fear in us.

      I hope you’re doing well, Kate!
      k

  5. Mikkel

    Hi Kaushik

    Good to hear from you again. It seems that you are settled with expressing what you wanted to by now, which I personally find to be a kind of exciting moment. Its always exciting to see what comes up on your site. Its like “this is it” and from that on there is a bursting vitality to everything.

    I stopped worrying about enlightenment last summer, as I finally realized that there is only the pursue of the ego and the transformation into a new ego and absolutely nothing else. The transformation of the ego happens by it self and not from our work with it – which of course doesnt mean that our work is wrong, its merely suggestive, based on the flow of our actions as statistical experiments. If you build a brigde with the use of math, it doesnt mean that math makes the brigde stable, but it eventually will be stable, when trying it out afterwards.

    But an important lesson for me has been, that the transformation of the ego is just another one, its not enlightenment or empty mind etc. We can choose to call that spiritual or not, I dont bother really. Can be good to have a name for the most important work in our life.

    After having listened to John Sherman podcasts and various reports, it has become apparent to me, that people get very different experiences by observing themselfs. The change of reaction pattern that we experience, or change of perception consciously or not, is quite individual.

    It is my impression that many reports that they loose the repetitive behavior of some emotions. Whereas I always put an effort into maintaining the negative emotions in order to change the perception only, which I succeeded last summer. Only recently it occurred to me, that I might not neccesarely need to maintain this particularly nasty feeling of suffocation, that depression can feel like.

    Acceptance is a strange thing. Just because you can accept, it doesnt mean you will accept it if there is an alternative. Yet when you can accept something, you will find it even easier to move on to something different. If I have a headache, I never bother about it, but I never hesitate to take a pill. If I couldnt stand the pain, I would probably not want a pill.

    Im not sure how this works, just a thought. Im very engaged in my life now and have a body of experience that will probably never reach its “limits” in the next million years, so it doesnt really matter.

    Mikkel

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Mikkel,

      The things you mention–the decrease in interest in spirituality, the recognition that spiritual advancement is the domain of the ego, re-engagement with life, acceptance and so on, are all part of my experience as well and I think indicative that fear and the damage it does are falling away. And I agree, both the problem and the recovery from it are highly individual.

      I hope you’re well my friend.

      k

  6. Bill

    I believe the second noble truth addresses the cause of suffering, while the third is about cessation of suffering.

  7. Max

    Thanks for this. This might be my only practice going forward, plus some meditations, likely. I do wonder if one can return to source, using only this technique, without some work to eradicate enough thought patterns. I think I’m afraid to admit that my meditation practice may have all been a waste, haha (which somehow I don’t think it has been).

    I think I’m abandoning enlightenment and spirituality. I feel that the goal for enlightenment and progress has both helped and hurt me, and I’m at a point now where I don’t think I need them any more. I feel somehow these concepts are meant to get you to a place where you don’t need them anymore, but perhaps I never needed them.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Max,

      Meditation is fine. Like yoga and exercise, it can calm the mind.

      I’m very pleased to hear you’re at a point where you’re abandoning enlightenment and spirituality. I felt tremendous relief at that point. But I also imagine some people meet feel a little uncomfortable, because it seems everyone else is so driven to chase and believe.

      The looking at the sense of you does work.

      k

      1. Neerav

        Max and Kaushik,

        The reason why you two feel like abandoning spirituality and Enlightenment is because you are going for them with desires, hopes and expectations. You set Enlightenment as the goal and spirituality as the method to get there. That is the mistake that I realized as well, recently. It is the ego (spiritual ego) that wants Enlightenment as a goal, which is the mistake here being made by many spiritual seekers. Yes, you do get a drive from both deep within (i.e. the Self) and from without (i.e. God), which urges you onwards, but the fact that you are thinking of abandoning spirituality and Enlightenment is a warning sign that you are letting your ego win, which will keep you in suffering (“dukkha”), without question, until you realize the deceptive games that it is playing with you. The ego is very clever in taking over to as to make you give up in trying, knowing that pursuing Enlightenment via the spiritual path means its own death/demise and the subsequent end of suffering, which is the “fuel” by which the ego thrives and lives. Be very wary of this.

        Instead, do your spiritual practices (whatever they are), but leave the end result up to God and Divine Will (surrendering both the efforts and the end results to God). Think of “karma yoga” in the Bhagavad Gita, when you practice spirituality. That will undermine the ego’s clerveness in trying to make Enlightenment the goal and making you abandon both Enlightenment and spirituality for its own selfish purposes. Good luck!

        Regards,

        Neerav

        1. Max

          I’m not giving up my practice, but giving up the end results, as the desire for enlightenment is holding me back. I’m giving up conceptualizing a lot of spirituality because it’s no longer useful, while there are still some concepts that are useful. I wondered how clear my comment may have been. I’m essentially abandoning a lot of spiritual concepts which seem useless, while for a while they did indeed motivate me to achieve growth, but at the cost of the ego attaching to them.

          Hope this clears it up

          1. Neerav

            Hi Max,

            Keep doing what you are doing, but surrender both your efforts and your end result to God. Compared to just surrendering the end result, this will undermine the ego even greater.

            The attachment to concepts as a hinderance, which you also mentioned is very insightful! As I was telling Kaushik in another blog post, spiritual philosophies, ideas, and concepts themselves are guides…….as sign posts to point you in the right direction and help you determine whether you are going the right way. Eventually, all concepts, ideas and yes……..even beliefs must be left behind and transcended. They can be useful to study and apply, but they do must be done away with to reach God, as He is beyond all concepts, ideas and beliefs. Even I, as a spiritual seeker, will have to eventually abandon all of them, prefreably by surrendering them to God.

            I am not sure how you are going to get rid of any attachment to concepts, ideas and even beliefs, but you will figure it out…….the answer will come from deep within! Fear not!

            – Neerav

        2. Kaushik Post author

          My purpose is not to be spiritual.

          My purpose is to be a natural and sane human being, free from resistance and suffering. That is my purpose because now I know it is achievable. And it is my purpose to share this simple thing with everyone.

          There is nothing wrong with spirituality–indeed, there is nothing wrong with any human pursuit (except those that cause harm).

          The only problem with life is the context of dissatisfaction. Not the lack of spiritual attainment or understanding.

          And the context of dissatisfaction goes you look at the sense of you.

          I fully understand that this is very difficult for spiritual people to see. I am just very fortunate that I came to the end of seeking, and then came to understand the looking. But still, it doesn’t matter how attached we are to spiritual thinking. This still works.

          1. Neerav

            The dissatisfaction with spiritual seekers lies with the egoic goals, expectations and hopes of attaining something………as I said to Max, if you pursuit the spiritual path without any ego involvement, it becomes a lot better. The ego, which is the source of suffering and resistance, wants to become “spiritual”, and so, it takes over and pumps you with goals, expectations and hopes, which lead to dissatisfation and the ceasing of the pursuit when some or all of them are not met. In the end, it ends up being a wi-win situation for the ego, in which you continue to be in its realm of suffering and resistance. The ego is doing this very cleverly and cunningly.

            1. Neerav

              Just to add another point that I forgot mention, the ego (ego-self) will also claim, as it does for anything else, “doership” for spiritual practices”, in addition to having you make goals and have expectations and hopes with regards to the eventual outcome of your spritual pursuit in hoping to ruin you with dissatisfaction so it can survive.

              – Neerav

      2. Neerav

        Hi Kaushik,

        I can never get into yoga. I mean, what is the point of getting myself tied into a pretzel? How will take take me back to where I came from, which is my Source, and thereby end my suffering? The only thing that I would use yoga for is for relaxation of the body and mind, and not for transcending both them and the world and the suffering due to the painful dualities that these three things present to oneself.

        – Neerav

  8. phill V.

    You are all believing in a fake being. Have you ever met the deity that has your all around faith? Do you really believe that a man born into humanity could become a god? Please enlighten me, why do you believe in this religion?

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