What I see.

I see people, but more than the people I see the heavy shields they keep on carrying. The shields are of Ideas, beliefs, notions, concepts and identities. The person sitting behind those heavy shields, I have observed, is always an innocent little child. Atrophied, a little scared, caged inside the shields like an animal.

It wants to come out. It wants to enjoy life but shields pose as if there is some danger outside. They give a different picture of the world. The child wants to touch the flowers, it wants to slide on the rainbows, it wants to walk on the clouds. But all that the child beneath the shield is made to see is Competition – cut throat competition, enemies – ready to stab you. Its all a rat race towards nothing where one does not even bother to stop and look around at the whole absurdity; where one is caught in the ‘supposed to(s)’ and imitation.

All that the child wants is food and love. When I get to walk by Rose garden or Sukhna Lake or any other park at that, I see some real children. They have enough trust to keep their defenses down. They sit embracing each other, some of them even kissing. Neither future nor past exists for them. They are in the moment.

But when they separate, truth surfaces. Their shields are up again. All that had been happening was a trade – ” You keep your shield down and I mine; I give you love and you me”. Its not that shields get down on their own, its all a means to an end. To seek a gratification. To seek gratification and then to revert back to the cut throat competition with enemies who are ready to stab you. Even that love becomes like sex – a momentary escape from the monotonous struggle of life. 

This ‘competition’ and ‘enemies’, all seems like an over exaggeration. It does because we are living blindly. We our-self are not aware where our actions spring from. To see how the mind works – as a means to an end- makes us see the whole trade that is going in around us in the names of Love, in the name of religion, in the name of spirituality, in the name of humanity and what not; to see that it leads to misery no matter how noble it may seem on the surface.

We tend to get caught in the word and all the junk that has been conditioned into us with that word. To see the reality as it is is often painful but it is also liberating in the long run. But our shells of beliefs and concepts are so precious to us that we would rather spend our whole life in them, defending them. To look beyond the shell is to embrace the open sky that is there for you. To have the courage to look beneath at the hollowness is to take the path to true freedom.

But we just want to build a bigger and stronger shell. No matter how big your shell is, its not match for the sky. NO matter how strong it is , it will still keep you busy all your life. When you are busy with trivialities, you miss life. You sacrifice life at the altar of your notions. You end up spending your life maintaining your shell. To have the courage to go through the PAIN of understanding your misery is to end the game. End the game and start living.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Dear Arz,
    first I’d like to say,I love your site….you write beautifully and express yourself so well.

    I agree with so much of what you say here, but have a question; You begin this article by stating “I see”….and then go on to describe the ‘shields’ you perceive ‘others’ as hiding behind. Do you accept any personal responsibility for that which you ‘see’ and perceive?….surely, if we look outward and see ‘others’ in our reality who are flawed, contracted or otherwise ‘less than’ what we deem to be optimum, isn’t this a result of our own perceptions and judgments?

    What I’ve come to recognize is that as my own consciousness expands and I come to greater understanding of the nature of self and reality in general, the more I look outward to see see ‘others’ who are also of expanded consciousness, expressing themselves in freedom.

    In my experience, when the inner shifts, the outer reality and the ‘others’ we see and perceive also shift. As I awaken, I am experiencing the awakening of those around me.

    If I look outward to deem another as hiding behind a shield, Am I not observing with a certain amount of judgment? Is it possible to even perceive ‘shields’ around others if I am not also to some extent still holding my own shield?

    I certainly don’t profess to hold all the answers to these things. While I’ve come to certain realizations of my own, I very much acknowledge that personal ‘truths’ are malleable and in flux. I really enjoy conversing on these subjects and sincerely hope that my query here is accepted more in the light of engaging discussion rather than challenging the ideas you put forth.

    I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    Reply

  2. First of all, thanks for giving such a beautiful comment. I pretty much like challenging comments. Especially those ones that hit hard on my views.

    “Surely, if we look outward and see ‘others’ in our reality who are flawed, contracted or otherwise ‘less than’ what we deem to be optimum, isn’t this a result of our own perceptions and judgments?”

    It inevitably is. You see we all pass through various stages of conscious development or expansion as you call it. When you access your past from the present state you definitely see a contrast there. The experiences we our-self have been through are pretty natural stages in conscious expansion and I feel each one of us has to pass through them. There can be exceptions like there always are. And I personally don’t see anything as optimum. If you are at a low level of conscious development yet you are moving then you are much better than being stuck somewhere higher on the consciousness scale. Its all about moving. To be stuck at any stage is to be stuck. When I wrote the above , it certainly did include me on a certain level. The intention was just to give that push to myself as well as to others who may have recognized how this tendency is binding their free movement. I do not see what I write as pointing to certain people but rather to certain tendencies that stagnate. Its the barrier of human existence that in the very explanation of the observation , the observer has to come in. (Continued in the next comment)

    Reply

  3. “What I’ve come to recognize is that as my own consciousness expands and I come to greater understanding of the nature of self and reality in general, the more I look outward to see see ‘others’ who are also of expanded consciousness, expressing themselves in freedom”

    I have a little different experience . When one grows , the judgements start transmuting into compassion. One feels the other as one is oneself. This does somewhat blur the distinction but any compassionate person would not deny the burden other people are unnecessarily carrying.

    “If I look outward to deem another as hiding behind a shield, Am I not observing with a certain amount of judgment? Is it possible to even perceive ‘shields’ around others if I am not also to some extent still holding my own shield?”

    Judgement, i think, is never of the expression. its always of the mind. What I mean is , to express certain opinions may have their roots in two different things. One is an open mind which is open to both the possibilities. The other is the closed who is open to just certain opinions ( Which its expressing). The latter is bound in its expression , it will not only express but also perceive only that which it holds inside. In the former case, all is perceived. There is no particular inclination to any end. But when it comes to expressing whatever one has observed openly, one has to make a choice in expression. One can make it abusively, assertively, casually, or simply just implying a possibility. One has to choose whatever option seems most effective. From my personal experience I have seen that being assertive seems to be the best . Implying just a possibility provides an easy escape grounds fro the people already escaping from themselves. To express assertively need not mean that one is closed inside. Its at the time of expression that the choice comes in, not necessarily at the time of assimilation ( forming judgement). And I see it better to be ruthlessly compassionate than to be cleverly conforming.

    it is pretty much easy to observe shields when you have been able to drop them . These are not really judgement, but rather compassion because one has been through the same.

    Reply

  4. The only thing that can keep you moving is to realize that there is no realization. When our consciousness expands we tend to see each stage as being ‘something’. We hold certain opinions which we prefer to call realizations instead. Its OK to express those ‘realizations’ but to actually see them as realizations brings you one step closer to stagnation. To keep the attitude that you ‘know nothing’ inside is the key. At each stage we tend to get into that complacency that we know at least ‘something’. This is the barrier between freedom and bondage; between wonder and you. One has to carry humility inside. One has to be open to the possibility of much more to be realized. But when it comes to expressing , you cannot start stating yourself as if you know nothing. In this way, believe me, you will not be able to convey anything.

    The very act of expression is end-oriented. If It had not been so , one would have not bothered to talk or write what is inside. Either the end is to share what is overflowing or top point to certain tendencies, one has to ‘show’ some knowing. From inside one can keep utter humility. But too much humility ( I do not know tendency) will only hamper the rippling out of whatever that has taken over you.

    Reply

  5. Thanks Arz Sra for that deep and eloquent response.

    “To keep the attitude that you ‘know nothing’ inside is the key”.

    Yes!…this one is a pearl!….(or key as you say)

    I could not agree more that the moment we believe we’ve accessed THE ultiimate TRUTH…the ultimate knowing ..the end all and be all, we’ve stagnated.

    I regularly remind myself that each time I think I’ve ‘realized’ something of importance, this realization is occurring within the confines of the level of awareness I’m currently at…and that ‘this too shall pass.’

    Your point is well taken that judgment transforms into compassion when we expand our consciousness. There is no doubt that when suffering is seen to exist, compassion arises from an expanded consciousness, however, it seems to me, there is a point where the actual ‘reality’ we experience, shifts in relation to our state of consciousness. I base this upon my own experience of seeing first hand how the state of my own consciousness quite literally transforms the reality I come to experience…(including the consciousness of the others I encounter).

    When I myself was at a more contracted state of consciousness and I believed that most others around me were also of low consciousness, that is precisely what I manifested in my reality. More recently, as my own consciousness has expanded, I’m quite literally surrounded by ‘others’ (like yourself) who are also awakened and aware.

    Now, this is certainly not to say that my current reality is completely filled with nothing but enlightened people, (for the record, I don’t consider myself enlightened…actually, I don’t resonate with the finality of that concept) however, I will say that it’s rare these days for me to have an encounter with an another that does not feel like a meeting of souls. I very much do believe that as each of us expands our consciousness to greater vantage points, our reality and everything in it, including ‘others’ who appear are included in this expansion.

    …..Not a disagreement with anything you’ve said here really, more just a glimpse from another angle.

    Thanks so much for engaging me!…..I so enjoy these discussions. 🙂

    Reply

  6. Posted by Prayas Bhatia on December 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Hi

    Really liked your website. I cant explain it in words how I felt reading your website.

    Regards
    Prayas

    Reply

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