Santosh

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Sometimes during the day some ideas come to me and I note them when I have time. Here are some examples of these ideas that happened recently and that I found interesting.

 

FIRST POINT

First, I tried to make another meditative contact (25.08.15, more or less 5 minutes) with the “entity” that I call “Earth’s soul” (met in the experience described in the post “A spiritual experience with Sister Earth”) to see if I could help in a way or the other and to see if there were other things to be said. I did get a contact but the interaction was really less dense than the last two times. I did not really get new information except the fact that the message had been understood and that it was enough. Nevertheless two important things were stressed :

  1. time for analysis is over, we have enough information and knowledge for the purpose (to alleviate Earth’s sufferings and to better, ecologically and socially, our human societies and actions), now it is time to act. We have to stop this huge energies and resources’ burning, each seconds counts. Shortly after, I received this idea that obviously, according to circumstances, action could mean non-action, protection, savings, understanding or inner work. Furthermore we have to divide our works and actions into three categories : positive, neutral and negative (for the purpose). Positive actions should be intensified and organized, neutral actions should be used as means for improvement, and negative actions should be more and more discarded.
  2. the second important point was that the root cause of many problems (and maybe most of them) is that humans have their mind agitated, restless, unstable, unclear, murky (ex : global hyperactivity, fear of death…). We have to calm our minds in order to reduce our negative (social and ecological) impacts.

 

SECOND POINT

I understand morals, ethics, as the intellectual bases for right, correct actions. It is very surprising that our western world that are so much focused towards action, effort, initiative, work… have so little morals in their intellectual systems. This can maybe explain the huge amounts of our destructive actions.

Moral systems are often complex and propose different conflicting values. Some moral values or principles are present in some systems and not in others : how can we make a correct choice ? Is it possible to find a simple and basic moral system that could be shared by all of us ?

We already began to give answers to these questions (see for example the post “The moral issue”) and we will try to give more details about them later, but for the moment we will accept this idea (see the end of the post “A spiritual experience with Sister Earth”) that in the present-day situation, we should first focus our actions and moral systems towards the realization of the highest ecological objectives possible (the survival of the planet and its natural balances, and the harmonious integration of mankind in its natural environment) and the highest social moral principles will follow (naturally).

At a social level we should in my opinion first focus on three fundamental values (see the end of the post “Please, let the oceans, the seas and the rivers survive”) : no theft; no useless violence; no deceit. If already these three very simple moral (social) demands were integrated and applied at all levels of society without exception, a huge, huge improvement in the totality of our human societies would appear.

Work is an absolute necessity, for the human collectivity and for the planet, there is no doubt about this. The clarification of the moral bases for action will reduce our negative impacts, improve our global vibration and help to build a strong base for the development of future generations (to go from a logic of total destruction/annihilation to the progressive elevation of humanity and its values to their highest degree, see the post “transformation part 3”).

We have to note that the gap between moral ideals and the present-day (individual or collective) situation can be stressful, exhausting. We have to go swiftly towards moral ideals (especially ecological ones) but we have to keep in mind that changes take time (and possibly energy). We should not wait anxiously for the results of our actions but continue our efforts until the situation slowly betters itself. We should stay calm and stable with the minds focused on the (individual and collective) objectives, despite the difficulties.

In the yoga philosophy, one very important value that the spiritual seeker has to develop, nearly from the beginning, is “santosh”, contentment, satisfaction. Santosh is not the joy or the happiness experienced during meditation. Santosh is more a light, positive, serene mood or state of mind, coming mainly from the idea (obtained by faith or personal experience) that efforts in the good direction, in the path of yoga, will give good, interesting fruits one day or the other.

Santosh is a foretaste of stable states of happiness, created a little bit artificially in order to : 1) avoid possible depression, sadness or de-motivation coming the spiritual quest 2) reduce the anxious expectations directed towards spiritual liberation.

Obviously santosh, contentment, does not imply the negation of effort and of the will to go beyond one’s limits.

The “smile practice” can be an application of santosh. Sit (or stand) quietly, close the eyes, relax the whole body as best as you can, take three deep breaths and smile. When it is enough for you, take three deep breaths, open the eyes and go back to your normal activities.

This smile can be big or small according to the needs and feelings of the moment. It can be a few seconds or a few minutes. Try to focus on two things : 1) the physical movements on the face connected with the smile  2) the states of quietness, contentment and mild joy coming from the practice.

This technique can be interesting for depressive phases happening during the self-transformation work or during an external positive (ecological or social) work. With practice you will be able to go into a positive state of mind in only a few seconds, and after a while, the only gesture of smiling (in normal life, without the practice of the technique in itself) will trigger nearly automatically these positive states of mind.

You will also notice that maybe at the beginning, especially if you are in an unhappy state of mind, the smiles will be large and even exaggerated (to counteract the negative mood), but with practice the smile will be lighter, subtler (and even quasi invisible), more stable and will nevertheless trigger the same (or better) states of contentment or happiness.

 

THIRD POINT

To have a quiet mind is not to have an empty mind (the necessity or objective of an “empty mind”, that you often find in spiritual writings, comes only with the highest stages of meditation). On the contrary when the mind is quiet, harmonious, peaceful, relaxed, then it is possible to reach qualities of thoughts, perceptions, knowledge, intuitions much better and clearer than what you can find in a natural “undisciplined” mind. You can for example focus much more easily with a quiet mind than with an agitated mind.

When the mind is jumping continuously, chaotically and unconsciously from one thought to the other like a monkey jumping from branch to branch, then the individual can with only great difficulties be at rest, because he is engrossed in this perpetual flow of thoughts, perceptions and unconscious connections. In a way he is this perpetual mental flow. We have to remember that we mainly identify ourselves with two things : body and mind. On the contrary when the mind is peaceful, harmonious, quiet and efficient, then the individual identifies himself with these qualities.

Therefore to have a quiet or peaceful mind means efficiency, clarification, concentration and sublimation more than annihilation of inner life.

Two directions in order to achieve this goal can be put forward :

  1. if the mind does not have any coherent knowledge organization then the mind is searching, generates a lot of thoughts and does not have a correct basis for action. Morals stems from knowledge. Therefore it can be interesting to find or create small (and easy to remember and apply) knowledge organizations in order to give answers to (or condensate) the huge number of conscious and unconscious metaphysical questions. We have to remember however that verbal knowledge can only be an approximation of what reality really is. Therefore each of us should find the most sensible knowledge organization possible (with personal intuitions or elements coming from outside theories, see for example the post “The ultimate metaphysical theory part 1”).
  2. the satisfaction of desires and the protection from fears also ask a lot of energy and thoughts (hence a work on these two mental phenomena in a lot of spiritual traditions in order to redirect these energies towards more positive or spiritual goals).

 

FOURTH POINT

Human beings direct a lot of will, energy, intelligence and technology into the medical field to : increase life expectancy; reduce sufferings and repair the defects of human bodies.

Why couldn’t we direct the same amounts of efforts and energies towards the healing of our planet ? It would be close to an holistic vision of medicine, and not only an individualistic, human, vision of medicine. Indeed, what is the use of healing human bodies and minds when the base, the substratum where they grow (planet Earth and its balances) completely deteriorates and cannot work properly ?

We give immense privilege to human mind and its powers, and we have a kind of disgust, contempt and/or indifference for our bodies and the planet Earth, for Nature. The vision of yoga is interesting because it considers our bodies as possibilities of transformation, elevation, sublimation and not as enemies, hindrances or something sinful. The body must be understood, purified and controlled in order to reach a real development of the mind. Yoga does not put the emphasis on a contempt of the body but on the knowledge of its physical and subtle workings, notably the interactions between the body and the mind. We have to note that Buddhism in its spiritual form focuses mostly on the last stages of yogic meditation and does not perform a thorough work on the body before meditation as it is taught in traditional hatha yoga.

Therefore we have to work on a pacification/acceptance/integration of our relation to our bodies and to the planet. To go against the idea that Nature is morally or fundamentally bad and in opposition to the essential desires and objectives of human beings, we could say that this is maybe just a postulate. Some Indian philosophical systems (yoga for example) affirm that Reality or Nature (prakrti) is fundamentally good and that its goal is to help the souls to be liberated. These kind of apparently strange ideas or theories, coming with high probabilities from inner visions or experiences, should not be discarded outright, because our realities are not made up of only the material world (see the post “Everything exists” and  “The ultimate metaphysical theory part 2”).

 

FIFTH POINT

We have to put all the researches and manipulations in genetics, chemistry, nuclear energy, weapons of mass-destruction… under a strict moral and democratic control.

We should also inject state democratic moral control into the productive and financial sectors, especially for ecologically and socially sensitive activities. This would correspond to the vision of a fusion between communism/socialism and capitalism/liberalism (rather than an opposition between these theories, see the previous posts). Without nationalizing everything, like in the communist systems, states, in my opinion, should become stronger (on a moral level) and more protective, not only at the national level but also, most importantly, at the international level. Persons in power should be at the service of moral ideals (and not the contrary). The tendency inherent in neo-liberalism to denigrate states and their potential and actual protective dimensions, triggers deep sadness in me.

 

SIXTH POINT

Even if, in my opinion, the idea of Basic Income (see the previous posts) is really great and could be a solution to many problems, I think that we should not focus on this objective right now. It would create too much debates, adaptations, modifications, superficially and fundamentally. What we need now is positive and intelligent actions to deal with the present-day problems affecting Earth and human societies. We have to deal with the present-day problems to avoid being completely submerged by future more important and maybe unpredictable problems.

The beginning of the destruction process began a long time ago already. We have to stop it before it’s too late, do the best we can to alleviate the present-day problems, and maybe we will be in a better position to face the (in my opinion) inevitable, and maybe unpredictable, future problems that will emerge.

We could for example use the future huge amounts of expected population movements across the planet as a way to globally question our traditional views and systems (philosophical, legal, administrative, social…) and invent profoundly and for a long period something better, new and adapted to modern-day conditions.

 

SEVENTH POINT

Try to find a viewing point on a ring road or a beltway. Stay as long as you can, one, two or three hours, watching the perpetual movement. Hear the noises, smell the fumes. Try to forget all these individuals in their cars, and feel this movement, these metallic boxes going round at full speed on the asphalt, the physical heat and the emotional coldness they generate.

When you cannot anymore, when you fell disgusted by all this, stop and multiply the movements that you saw by all the cities and countries that you know or saw on TV. Each second, each minute, each hour. Going round and round. Try to feel the energies burnt and lost. And now try to find if there are good reasons for all this (except our pitiful egos, our agitated minds and hundreds of superficial and unimportant problems).

I read somewhere that each second on this planet more than 500.000 persons are flying in commercial planes (I think it was 800.000 but I am not sure). All this for profit reasons.

Don’t ask me what I think about this : I am disgusted. The main question is : what to do ?

 

EIGHTH POINT

We could try to create a new form of yoga, the ecological yoga. In this form of yoga, all efforts, energies, moral ideals, knowledge, physical and spiritual practices would be directed towards the understanding of ecology and the preservation of planet Earth’s natural balances (and not only towards self-liberation). To direct one’s efforts towards the resolution of humanity and Earth’s problems.

Many different things can be practiced very easily and quickly without having to move to distant locations : we already talked about the psychological and spiritual analysis of our taste habits to overcome our overconsumption of animal products (see the post “Please, let the oceans, the seas and the rivers survive”). To be detached from our taste habits can ease the transition towards vegetarianism and semi-vegetarianism. Learn to be patient and to wait. Try to take cold or lukewarm showers rather than hot ones, it is more energetic. Learn to withstand hunger. Learn to withstand cold or hot weather without modern technological devices. Try to use less harmful chemicals in your house or at work. Weed manually instead of using weed-killer. Try to understand animal and vegetal forms around you…

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About buddhananda
independent spiritual researcher, I find inspiration mainly into the buddhist, hindu and new age fields. I try to find connections between religions, philosophy, economy and technology. My aim is to contribute to the emergence of a better world. I also practice reiki.

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