LIFE IS EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS
Is that so? This must be the conclusion of one who has never romanced with life, who has no joy, thrill, excitement, and fun in life. Someone who was utterly frustrated with life and must have run away from life into the depth of jungle, away from humanity. So was my reaction when I first heard the concept – Life is Empty & Meaningless.
Destiny however, kept thrusting that concept on my face again & again in many ways, till I asked God how can this be so? And then understanding dawned.
The concept says – ‘Life Is’ not ‘My life Is’. My life is definitely full of meanings full of purpose, ambitions, goals, dignity, honour, service, responsibilities, duty, family, workplace, community, society etc. Then what is the difference between ‘Life Is’, and ‘My Life Is’? How can life be if I am not around?
Then came the understanding of FIVE LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS in the waking state. First is ‘YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE’. In this state of consciousness, the individual considers others responsible for everything that is happening in his life. His accusing fingers are always pointing outwards, always fixing or complaining. He is a perpetual Victim. He believes in concepts like, ‘the world is not a safe enough’, ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘if I don’t take care of myself who will take care of me’, ‘there isn’t enough for all of us’, ‘life is a struggle’, ‘I have to work hard to make things happen’, ‘smartness pays’, ‘extract the maximum from a given situation’, ‘everything is fair in love (relationships, family) and war (work area)’, ‘be on your guard’, etc.
He is continually confronting his unworthiness and his whole life is about proving to the world and to himself how great he is. He is perpetually at war, always trying to win. His mission in life is solving problems, and in his accomplishments, he is full of pride, going into superiority complex and in his failure, he is frustrated or goes into guilt and shame giving him inferiority complex. In his victory, he flexes his muscles (resources), dominates and manipulates others and in his loss he cries foul and seeks sympathy. He remains a victim even in victory, because in spite of the applause of the outside world, in his loneliness he experiences his lackness, unlovablenesss and unworthiness.
Most of humanity is in that place. A poet says that this is the society of dead people floating around. Why does he call them dead? Because they are unaware, so low in consciousness, that they are sleepwalking, not aware that their life is nothing but an effect of stimulus and reaction. The individual is unaware of his programming that was over by the time he was 5 years old, over which he had no say, no choice, and no will. A programming partly genetic (physical) and partly environmental (psychological) that created the personality.
So insecure is he, that he is continuously creating around him circles of security through knowledge, money, status, skills, recognition, relationships, family, and contacts. His life is rotating around survival (being in control of the situation), sex and strength (power). His celebration is a pressure cooker syndrome. Being in war with life, he is accumulating lot of tension which he tries to drown in more work, beverages, food, entertainment, vacations, shopping, parties or there are cathartic outbursts (anger, rage, violence) in relationship, work area or other places.
The society elders or sages knew of the danger of this pressure cooker syndrome. So every culture provided the pressure release mechanism through sports activities and cultural celebrations around social, religious or cultural events, where people could come together and laugh, shout, dance, cry, sing – in short release the pent up emotions which were not expressed or experienced but shut down. Emotions are emotions, i.e. energy in motion. When the flow of energy is blocked by fear, anger, helplessness, judgement, guilt, shame, they create stress and suppressed stress pops up in another time, in a distorted way and creates the lack of wellbeing or illness.
Life in this state of consciousness is only a compensation game, compensating for lack of love, lack of worthiness, for something wrong with life, for something missing. Rooted in the consciousness that ‘others are responsible, he tries to rearrange the outer world, thinking that will make him feel safe, secure and loveable. But so unconscious he is that he cannot see the futility of the game. Hope drives him that just a little more or different, and I will be fulfilled.
Second level of consciousness is ‘WE ARE RESPONSIBLE’. The individual goes to some seminar, workshop, reads or hears something or someone or may be just an insight happens, and an understanding dawns that I have also been contributing to everything that is happening around me. The finger that has all the strength in pointing outwards accusing others is not stiff anymore. He realises that he is also responsible for the state of affairs he is in. He starts forgiving people in his life for what they did and the way they are. He gives them greater room to move around, is a little more compassionate, accommodating, lenient. The journey of moving from circumference to centre, from outside to inside starts.
He starts becoming aware of his conditioning or programming, how he has been on auto-pilot. For the first time he is aware of choice as choice and not an impulse of the personality. He starts experiencing some sense of freedom, to the extent that he is giving freedom to others. He starts to become aware of how his love was conditional, strategic, manipulative, more to do with survival, sex and strength and less to do with heart. He is now willing to compromise, adjust, and let go in relationship and in life. He fights less with life and accepts more of life. And just being in that place, miracles start happening in his life for which he had to do nothing.
As one continues dwelling into the consciousness “We Are Responsible”, there comes an urge to know – to what extent am I responsible? As the enquiry continues, sooner or later, one realises that our experiences are shaped by our perceptions, the way we see and understand, and our understanding is shaped by our beliefs, ideals, judgements, values, superstitions – in short, our conditioning.
As the realisation deepens, one enters into the third level of consciousness ‘ –I AM RESPONSIBLE’. One realises that the world out there is an ‘occurring world’. The same incident witnessed by three people creates three different reactions, ranging from ‘in favour’, ‘against’ to ‘indifferent’ or a permutation combination of these three. One realises that our life is not about the unfolding of events around us, but it is about our relationship with those events, that shapes up the subsequent events. The same event can be perceived as an opportunity or threat depending on our point of view and this point of view depends on our conditioning.
One is now aware that the world around me, the life I am living now, is a function of my perceptions and nothing to do with others. In the second level of consciousness, the stiffness of the finger pointing, our making others responsible has loosened. In the third level, the hand stretched out loosens and drops. One is now aware that the outside world is nnly a ‘mirror’ reflecting back to me all my conditioning. And if I don’t like the reflection, it is useless to change the mirror, but only to change what is reflected.
The question now is how to change what is reflected i.e. our conditioning. This was and is the question being explored for thousands and thousands of years. Religion explored it at emotional level, psychologists are exploring at mind level, even biologists are exploring at the level of genes. New age movement is exploring to influence the conditioning at the energy level.
The attempt at each level is to shift or replace the undesirable with the desirable, a failure with success, a breakdown with breakthrough, a no possibility with possibility, an unloveableness with loveableness. The attempt is to source the shift from inside rather than outside.
The shift is impacted by raising the awareness of what is happening, rather than focussing on the interpretations. Raising the level of understanding as to the nature of conditioning and how it binds the individual. Whereas earlier, one was the effect of unconscious reaction, the individual now lives life by conscious choices. He chooses not to allow the past to intrude in the present. All Transformation Workshops are designed around and rests on the fundamental distinction ‘choice’ – that one can choose to be in love and not in fear, that one can choose to be free and not stuck, that one has the choice to redesign one’s life that as one chooses to come in order, the world around him comes in order.
As one is engaging, more and more into what it means to come in order and how to come in order, one ultimately, sooner or later, stumbles into the question – ‘Who Am I’? A deeper level of enquiry transcends the personality and settles on the basics – Body and Mind – body is the gross mind and mind is the subtle body and both are conditioned genetically and environmentally. The conditioning is over in the childhood and keeps getting reinforced with age. One realises that ones thoughts are not his own, that their arising is random, unpredictable and uncontrollable. They do not arise from the brain, that the brain is a mere hardware and some Power creates the electrical impulses which triggers the neurons which activates the muscles into action.
He realises that what he considers ‘his will’ is only a thought and so the arising and sustaining of ‘his will’ or ‘will power’ like all thoughts is unpredictable and the effect of his conditioning and circumstances which is not in his control. One also realises that the unfolding of the events in his life, moment by moment is also unpredictable, and like all thoughts not in his control, that future only reveals itself in the moment.
He now questions, ‘If I had no say in my conditioning, if I have no say in the arising of my thoughts and if I will have no say in the unfolding of the events of my life, if all I am is a programmed and destined organism with no will of my own, with no choice of my own, if all I am is a puppet, then how can I be responsible for anything in my life?
One has now entered the fourth level of consciousness – ‘NOBODY IS RESPONSIBLE’. Everything is ‘Divine Will’ and whether one accepts or rejects this concept is also God’s will. One realises that the individual that he is, one of the entity among billions of his species called humanity and there are millions of other species – micro organisms to macro organisms, cohabiting with humanity. It is the Source, the Totality, All That Is, God Consciousness, Universal Energy or whatever that be called, is playing this game – the Lila or Cosmic Dance according to whims, patterns, agendas or as it chooses. The individual entity is merely a pawn on the chess board called Existence.
The individual now realises that there is ‘No Free Choice’ – the foundation on which rested the third level of consciousness. How can a puppet have a choice? Up to the third level of consciousness there is ‘Ego’. Ego is separation from Source. In that separation, lacking personal recognition, the ego creates the personality, and within the illusions of that creation, the personality assumes ‘I have a choice’. In that ‘choice’, arises personal wants, expectations, agendas and personal doership which gives rise to pride in accomplishment while guilt and frustration in failure.
In the fourth level of consciousness, what arises in similar circumstance is pleasure instead of pride or regret instead of guilt. In accomplishment, neither is there any aggression to stamp the personal authority on the event, and in failure neither is there any escapism through blame or vanity. In the fourth level, the individual is not irresponsible. There is just no one left to be responsible. All events become an arising, an happening, through and around the individual. The individual becomes a ‘witness’, witnessing the occurring of the events in the outer world and witnessing the occurring of the thoughts , emotions and sensations in the inner world, and witnessing the actions automatically happening through the mind-body organism.
Manifestation is the spontaneous arising of two interconnected opposites from the same Source. This there cannot be no saint without there being a sinner, no beauty without ugliness, no good without bad, no light without dark. Up to the third level of consciousness, the individual believes he has a choice, that he can choose one against the other polarity. In the fourth level there is the realisation that the moment you have denied ugliness, you have denied beauty because both beauty and ugly are interconnected opposites. It is just that one is in the forefront and the other is in the background, awaiting its opportunity to come in the forefront.
In the fourth level is the realisation that ‘nothing happens unless it is the will of God, the source’. One becomes the spectator of the happening, the judgements, the wants & expectations. There is also the realisation that the personality is merely an idea, a concept, an illusion and an illusion can never know the Source. Ram can never know god, the personality can never be enlightened, and the ego can never be at peace. The ego is the illusion that there is a thinker, a doer, a seeker, an experiencer.
The Universal Truth is I Am. In meditation, one experiences I am as ‘the presence’, ‘the consciousness’, which makes one consciousness of his presence. One can deny the existence of God, but nobody can deny he exists. This awareness of existence, not the personal presence, the impersonal I am is the only truth. Up to third level of consciousness, one says I am Ram, and that’s when the problem arises. Ram says I like the saint but I don’t like the criminal. I want the beautiful but I don’t want the ugliness. Ram chooses.
God has created Ego or separation through Maya or divine Hypnosis. The basis of Maya is everybody thinks ‘he’ is separate and all actions are ‘his’ actions. Maya means false identification with the body-mind organism as a separate individual. Unhappiness arises in our trying to control our ego. When we accept the ego and surrender ourselves to the Source which created the ego, we have surrendered the ego itself.
When we accept that no individual does anything, that actions happens through each body-mind organism according to the way it is programmed by God and willed by God, then four beautiful things happen: no guilt, no pride, o hate, no envy. Life becomes simple. But even this acceptance, this surrender is not in our control and will happen only when God or impersonal functioning of consciousness wills it to happen.
Consciousness in rest is the Source or Unmanifest. Consciousness in movement is Manifest or I Am. The I Am is expressing through billions of mind-body organisms according to the script, gives appropriate thoughts in line with the script, unfolds the events in line with the script and brings forth the reactions which becomes the cause for the script moving into the next frame. Everything that is happening in the present moment is impersonal, and according to the programming and according to the destiny of the mind-body organism. But in time, I Am becomes I Am Ram. A separation from impersonal to personal happens, ego or mind-intellect is born and claims personal ownership of all thoughts, desires and actions.
Ram says, ‘my thoughts, my desires, my actions’. This is Lila – the movement of the Unmanifest, to Manifest, to Personality – held in place by Maya or Divine Hypnosis and sustained by Duality – the spontaneous arising of two interconnected opposites. When there is no ego, the I Am shines forth through a body-mind organism without personal identification. When the body-mind organism dies, I Am continues as I Am and expresses through other mind-body organism.
The final understanding is ‘acceptance’, that nothing is in one’s control and there truly no Ram, that Ram is only an idea construct, a concept held in place by personal doership and ownership. As the understanding deepens, one rests more and more in the impersonal, in the presence that one is, in the silence and stillness. Life then becomes a happening, not given by goals and ambitions, not given by desires and aversions, but living in the moment, responding to the unfolding events spontaneously according to Divine Will.
With the annihilation of the ego, the separaton, the being has transcended the first illusion of Ram or the personality. But the world is still around and he questions the validity of Existence, as to how real the manifested world, is, the world that he is experiencing and encountering in the waking state.
The enquiry takes him to another world, the Dream world. He notices that the dream world is not created out of any building blocks, that they are created Instantaneously, that they are as authentic and as solid as the real world they cease to exist when the consciousness shifts to waking state. The difference between the two worlds being that in the dream world time and space is not linear allowing one to switch over from one event to another event instantaneously and we don’t enter the dream world exactly where we left, but enter the real world waking up exactly where we went to sleep. The dream world has no continuity whereas the waking world has a continuity which is because of the linearity of time and space.
One gets intuitively that the dream world was only a projection of the mind, that the world that got created was a virtual world, created instantaneously out of nothing and that actually nothing ever happened. One now questions the validity of the waking world or the real world, that this world may be a projection of the Universal Mind creating a public dream as against the private dream created by the individual mind. One has now entered the threshold of the fifth level of consciousness – ‘NOTHING EVER HAPPENED’, it is all a dream, a Universal dream.
This universal dream is Maya or Divine Hypnosis which has hypnotized us into thinking that all that we see in the waking state is real. Just as a master Hypnotist can make a group of people believe whatever he suggests, so can the Divine Hypnotist make us believe that the waking world is real, just like the movie that we see in the movie theatre appears to be real.
The shadow is real because it can be seen. It is unreal because it has no independent existence. The manifestation is real because it can be observed. It is unreal because it has no independent existence of its own. It is merely a reflection of the consciousness within itself. In this level the understanding is that consciousness is all there is. Consciousness within itself. In this level the understanding is that consciousness Is all there is. Consciousness has scripted the movie, produced the movie, is playing all the characters, is witnessing and experiencing the movie and the movie is happening on the screen of consciousness.
This movie is already make, is already there, already complete for all time and cannot be changed. It is only unfolding frame by frame on the screen of time and space. If your role in the movie is to think ‘I have free choice’ then so shall it be. If your role is that of an ‘enlightened master’ or of a ‘disciple’, then so shall it be. If your role is that of a ‘protector’ or of a ‘serial killer’, then so shall it be. And if your role is to accept that ‘I am only a mind-body organism programmed and destined with no free choice or will and that everything is God’s will’, then so shall it be. The only thing is: A character who has realised that he is only a character, does not care any more for enlightenment or freedom.
In fourth and fifth level of consciousness, life has no purpose, no goals, no ambitions, no agenda, nothing to accomplish, nowhere to reach, nothing to become. Life is lived in the now, in the moment, spontaneously, in full acceptance.
Life becomes Empty and Meaningless. In this emptiness one experiences the fulfilment; in the meaninglessness one experiences the wholeness.
This was an intellectual, conceptual presentation. Do not accept it, do not reject it. Investigate it, enquire how valid it is, whether it has a ring of truth?
From the internet