Blindfold Beliefs

All blind faith means is that you are living life as if you are blindfolded. If you don’t investigate your beliefs, you will blindly be controlled by them as if you were a puppet on a string.

When something is done that causes harm 99.999% of the time it is done so through ignorance. There aren’t many people who consciously do things that cause harm to themselves or others. I know for me, I did things that caused harm without any knowledge whatsoever that I was doing this. If you asked me what I was doing I would have said, I’m just doing my thing, but the sad truth is to this day I have no idea what my thing was. This is exactly what happens when a person blindly goes through life without investigating if they are getting the maximum benefit out of their actions. For me this was the case for many years. It’s different today because of investigating how I was and what needed to change. It was the conditioning in place that kept me blind to my own conditioning and there wasn’t much of a benefit to this for anyone.

God wasn’t really the topic of yesterday’s article, it more so pointed to the fallacy of a belief prior to investigating if it truly is a benefit. A belief is a story, what title it is given depends on your conditioning. You will follow whatever it is that you have been conditioned to follow. Blind faith is living blindly and as in the song “Amazing Grace” it states “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see” My writings are pointers for a person to look if what I’m writing about is true, but if you just answer from a belief you’re anchored to, inquiry and investigation won’t be possibly, hence the value of my writings will not be seen. I’m not saying this because I’m a know it all, but I have been through something traumatic that revealed a totally different way to see things. This wasn’t magical, it transpired because of investigating what I read and what I went through and it was through this investigating that the blindfold was removed and I found a truly beneficial way to live that’s based in truth.

 

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The Fallacy of Faith

Life will always be as it is regardless of the created story of faith. Faith is strictly used by the Conditioned Mind to provide the fallacy of comfort, but it’s really not needed if one just lives life as it is.

The lack of being able to live life as it was caused my entire struggle with life. Faith is but a word, there are many interpretations of it, but in truth they are all just a created story. The way I used faith was I thought it meant things should be as I wanted. It’s not a big surprise that this kind of faith caused many problems. I only had faith in the material world and I had to use things in order to feel good, which meant I only had myself to rely on to get what I thought I needed for satisfaction.

At the time this was the conditioning that was in place. Also I firmly held on to a faith of a God that if it didn’t grant me my wishes where was the need for it. If I didn’t get what I desired I didn’t need faith, I could be disappointed without it. This was the conditioning in place so I took care of things myself. I figured I might as well, after all this God story wasn’t doing anything for me; what I really wanted was a magician.

It’s not this way today, but not because there is a belief in something. Today the fallacy of having faith has been exposed and the truth of right now is where my trust lies. This truth doesn’t need a story of faith that everything is as it should be because there’s something in charge, it means it’s as it is and that’s it. There’s no longer the need for a story in my life, because life is lived as it occurs. Through the practice of being with life as it is, there’s a knowing that life will work out simply as it does. To me this is a faith that truly works because it’s used as a means of letting go of “I”. I’ve stopped using faith as the story of believing something is going to take care me. Life is life, it takes care of itself, I’m just a part of it. Whatever happens is life just being life, it needs no story of faith. This is the acceptance of being with the reality of life as it is. I don’t need faith to live life as it is because life will always be as it is regardless of what story or fallacy the Conditioned Mind wants to use to make one think it should be different. For me, life is always as it is right now and to think there’s a need to have faith in something outside myself only changes life as it is to the fallacy of life as it isn’t.

 

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The Gospel of Thomas (the Younger)

 Iam writing to introduce a new book, The Gospel of Thomas (The Younger).  It tells a captivating Buddhism-inspired story while  severely critiquing the canon Gospels and replacing a theology based on deity worship with a prescription for living a full and happy life. It offers a humanistic and secular view of Jesus and Christianity, if such a thing is possible. It shows how Christianity took a wrong turn early on and does its best to set it straight. That’s a brazenly audacious thing to attempt—trying to change a most basic element of Western civilization and culture — but readers and critics say the book has done so in an enthralling and compelling way.

 The Gospel of Thomas (The Younger) is a revolutionary manuscript that conjures up a vivid portrait of the First Century Greco-Roman world and its larger-than-life characters: from Jesus and his disciples, to Greek philosophers, to Roman emperors and their political confidantes. Not just a novel, it might be considered a gospel—a new telling of the origins of Christianity and an explosive, visionary reinterpretation of Jesus’ teachings. Besides being an entertaining read, it is painstakingly researched using Biblical scriptures and hundreds of other historical sources to confront the myths and fictions of orthodox Christianity.
 The novel opens with a note from the “translator/editor” who introduces this newly found gospel as a genuine First Century document. Through the eyes of Thomas, a nephew of both Jesus and the disciple we now know as Doubting Thomas, we get a comprehensive and thoughtful first-hand account of the Greco-Roman world at that time.  Beginning with his recollections as a child, Thomas presents Jesus as a warm, charismatic, rustic philosopher schooled in the Pharisee tradition, who is regarded as a rabbi or teacher rather than a deity. However, immediately following Jesus’ death, his disciples are rife with political and personal turmoil and conflicting motives, spawning a splintering organizational and theological power struggle between Christians, Jews, Mercenaries, Stoics, Emperors, and the Roman Legion. Through Thomas’ extensive travels we become witness to the blueprints of early Christianity, harrowing negotiations with Roman emperors, Hellenic shipwrecks, gruesome battles in the Holy Land, and, most importantly, relationships that transcend decades, empires, tribes, and bloodshed.

“A convincing faux gospel that challenges orthodoxy.  Thomas traverses his world encountering First Century figures from Jesus to Nero bringing his times and the origins of Christianity alive in a fresh, new way with wry humor and exciting storytelling.”  –Winston Groom, author of  Forrest Gump

"McDonald is a born storyteller, and his research is impeccable. The book is fascinating from beginning to end, and his long-overdue, iconoclastic portrait of the Apostle Paul made me stand up and cheer."   — Lewis Shiner, author of GLIMPSES

Learn more at www.garytmcdonald.com
 

 

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Thought Bondage

When there’s a need to reach for something because the mind becomes agitated, one is in bondage to that thought. Until this is seen, one will remain in bondage to the thought that peace is in the next thing reached for.

You will never find the peace you are seeking as long as you are in bondage to the thought of finding peace. Peace is something that’s already within everyone, but because of the way our Conditioned Mind controls, we get stuck in the thought that peace is something outside of us. Unfortunately this bondage makes the very peace one is seeking impossible to manifest. This bondage is the reason one is constantly reaching for something from the outside and until this is seen, one will remain in bondage to the thought that peace is in the next thing reached for. Reaching for alcohol, gambling, drugs, sex, social status, programs, therapy, self help books and on and on is all the proof needed that one is in bondage. This can’t be stressed enough as this bondage to your thoughts has to be seen if one is to experience true peace in their life.

It’s impossible for the thought of peace to provide peace. What does have to happen if one is to experience peace is there has to be an understanding of why you’re not at peace; that there isn’t peace is only because of one’s inability to just be. When the need to reach for something arises, the bondage to this thought begins. This bondage is a vicious cycle that’s very difficult to break free from. Peace isn’t something attained or achieved so it’s in doing less that peace arises. To many people get lost in the thought of trying to find peace. Since peace is already within you, the thought about finding it needs to be discarded so the bondage of this thought can fall away. This is not easy to see, but it’s why I write. Understand though, I don’t write to help anyone find peace, I write so the bondage to the thought of trying to find peace can be seen for what it is; the cause of why one isn’t at peace.

 

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Tug fo War

The tools of pushing or pulling are developed to cope with life, this is why life is seemingly full of problems, but whatever arises doesn’t cause the problems, it’s the pushing or pulling that does.

Nothing needs to be dismissed for one to be free, but freedom cannot be found by pushing away or pulling in what’s occurring. Pushing away or pulling in is linked to thinking we’re getting rid of something, but truly getting rid of something will only happen when it’s dealt with as it it, if it’s not it will never go away. When it’s dealt with it won’t have to be pushed or pulled so it will naturally fall away. This is how one has to approach each moment if freedom is to be had. The way we develop tools to cope with things is why there’s problems, but whatever it is that arises doesn’t truly cause the problem. Granted it may be something that really hurts and has no benefit whatsoever, like the death of a loved one, but if it’s not dealt with in a way that it’s not dismissed or a made up story is attached, the energy of the situation controls your reactions and it will get stored until it’s time to rise up again. This is why the same thoughts are repeated over and over, they have to because of the trace energy in place.

The awareness this is happening can allow you to be with what arises and not want it different. After all the only reason a person pushes or pulls something is because it’s not wanted, this pushing or pulling is the same energy as grasping it’s just being used differently. Pushing or pulling is attachment to either wanting or not wanting and grasping is strictly attachment to wanting, slightly different with a pushing action, but the same attachment. This is very subtle to see and it will only be noticed when one is with the moment as it arises and doesn’t want it to be different. So regardless if it’s labeled good, bad, like, dislike, or whatever, it’s all the same attachment, and the only thing the applied label does is it determines if one reaches for something by pushing it away or pulling it in.

 

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Silently Awake

When words are used to try and convince others that a certain way to live is right, it opens the door to conflict. A true testament of any awakening is demonstrated in silence because silence is what one awakens to.

Social media is a useful tools that can be used to connect with people and assist each other where years ago one was basically on their own, as far as interaction was concerned. Books were always available, but books limit ones expansion to what’s written because one can only learn what content is presented in a book. It’s very difficult for the expansion of the mind through knowledge alone. It’s why I find social media so comical at times because some of the content of the things written are as limiting as the content of a book. People throw phrases around like the words really mean something, they only do to a Conditioned Mind. You see if the mind wasn’t conditioned, the need for defining phrases wouldn’t be needed. When there’s an awareness that there’s no explaining necessary to try and convince anyone of a correct way, it’s then that real freedom from the bondage of self can be realized. Everyone’s way is correct to a degree because it’s what’s provided to them; no two people are provided with the same exact view.

The point of this post is to show words aren’t truly needed to define enlightenment, Nirvana, God, love, or whatever else one wants to use to define their insightfulness, which by the way is mostly made up by the Conditioned Mind. When true freedom is discovered, it manifest as silence; words aren’t needed. The less one uses words to try and convince others that there’s a certain way to live, the more the way is demonstrated to others; being an example of love needs no convincing. Everyone discovers what the Universe provides for them, nothing more nothing less, and as soon as this is realized, it’s then that one will be truly free because there will be no words needed to explain or convince others that there’s a certain way to live. This will be seen by those who understand answers cannot be defined with words because answers can only arise when there is silence.

 

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The Art of Being Silent

Originally published in New York Spirit

 

 

Four monks decided to meditate silently without uttering a word for two weeks. By dusk on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out.

The first monk said, “Oh, no! The candle is out.”

The second monk said, “Aren’t we supposed to observe silence?”

The third monk said, “Why must you two break the silence?”

The fourth monk laughed and said, “Ha! I’m the only one who didn’t speak.”

Silence doesn’t come easy. And in the modern world, absolutely not! The chaos outside creates chaos inside. Many of us are retreating to a ten minute morning meditation to get some moments of silence. Why are we seeking silence? Just because the decibels are too loud for our ears? Perhaps. Why, then, saints and monks living in the lap of nature are serenely quiet just like the nature around them? In fact, the new monks’ first set of lessons includes keeping silent.

Noise vs. Sound

When I told this to one of my acquaintance, she asked me, “How are they away from noises of nature?” I gasped. Noises? Nature has sounds. Not noise. A sound is a reverberation of energies. Noise is unwanted, energy-draining sonic modulation. They are surrounded by sounds of nature which in fact, helps them to transcend deeper into their silence.

Silence is usually connoted with something negative as it appears to be an absence of sound. To many, silence is uncomfortable. That is because retracting oneself from the cacophony of outside world and journeying inside is not what one is used to. We are encircled by words, sentences, languages, gossips, conversations almost all the time. We relate to that world of traffic. But words, as Sadhguru explains, are a lie. The sound is the truth. Words are man-made. They can mean anything. Gift means a souvenir in English and denotes poison in German. It is the mind that forgets the natural flair for sounds and recognizes only words.

You listen to different sounds in nature. There is not a single word yet the melodies of these sounds touch your core. Words have their significance – a lot – but not at the expense of forgetting the value of silence. Each should be given an equal amount of our time.

Maun

Silence and absence of noise are not exactly the same. You can sit alone when no one is talking and still the commotion in your mind, the clatter of your thoughts can exist. There is a better word in Sanskrit to explain the silence which I am trying to discuss here- Maun (Mow-n).

There is a great significance of tuning oneself to silence. So much so, that in India, there is a day called Mauni Amavasya (Silent New moon day) which falls in the month of January. Saints observe silence on this day. The energy of silence is heightened by the astrological fact that the Sun and the Moon enter in Capricorn. All the water bodies, too, have great influence this day. That’s why there is a big occasion of a dip in holy rivers on this day which millions of people attend in India.

How to begin

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Start with keeping half an hour silence. Switch off TV, music, phone ringer and other noise generating gears. You can sit in meditation or in a garden observing nature around you. You can also go for nature’s walk for these solitude hours. Understand that the purpose is to get comfortable with silence first. You can increase this time to one to two hours of silence every day. You would begin to enjoy these hours of peacefulness. You would notice that even after these assigned two hours of silence, you would involuntarily choose silence instead of saying something unmindfully which usually you regret later. That is because silence makes us attentive. The chaos of thoughts hushes down. Understand that expressing gratitude or saying what is absolutely necessary is not breaking the vow. You can always get back to where you were.

Going within

Going within is the way to many secrets of leading this life. Our sixth sense gets activated when there is calm inside. Observing silence is the way to becoming silence eventually. You cannot be on the inner path with the clamor. There are two steps to enter this path of silence. First is to cease the noise from outside and the second is to mute the thoughts’ disharmony. Introspection comes this way. Mindfulness comes this way. Calmness comes this way.

Silence is powerful. It is a blooming period for a bud. It is a poetry for two lovers. It is a meditation for a saint. It is the enchanted portal to the answers you seek.

May we all know the powerful sound of silence!

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Life’s Intentions

Life has its own intentions and when the mind is quiet one will be in alignment with them. This isn’t to satisfy our made up mind intentions, but strictly for ones that are solely for the betterment of the Universe.

You do what you do because your Conditioned Mind tells you what to do. You wake up in the morning and the day begins. You do whatever it is that you do and about sixteen hours later it’s time to call it a day and go to sleep just so you can do it again tomorrow. We say tomorrow, but the reality of life is it’s one continuous journey, there aren’t really any breaks in it. Time, days, years, decades, centuries, are all man made concepts that are used to the extent of establishing some structure in life, but they are attached to way to much; they’re actually designed to control you.

I’m not saying nothing matters, but does anyone living really know what the intentions of life is? Life’s intention is relatively unknown, sure we can make something up and as a species we’re actually very good at this. We can have intentions about helping others, or loving others, raising a family, being kind, working on this or that, or whatever it is that we use to justify our existence, but the bottom line is one day just like that and without permission, BANG our existence ends. Only when it’s realized to be mindful of the present moment is life’s true intention fulfilled because in that moment there’s no time, days, years, decades, centuries, or whatever else the Conditioned Mind uses to block the Universe from using one for its intent. The only thing needed for this to occur is to be still and once there’s stillness one is used for the betterment of the Universe, not for a created intention to fulfill the Conditioned Mind.

 

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The Suffering of “I”

Because the Conditioned Mind isn’t understood enough it’s very difficult to notice the insights that reveal the cause of suffering, hence without these insights one remains entrapped to “l” wanting things different.

Anytime the present moment is wanted different, instantly this causes the one wanting it different to suffer. Why this suffering happens isn’t because of what’s occurring, it happens because of the attachment to a delusional “I” only the idea of “I” could ever want anything different and thus suffer. This is so subtle that it’s missed by most people, even those who claim to be deeply spiritual. Why this is missed is because the Conditioned Mind isn’t understood at the level that allows for this insight to be seen. Many have a practice that’s mind based and so much of what’s in place is from the intellect. True peace can never be fully experienced from the intellect alone, it can assist in getting the mind to settle enough to allow insights to arise without having to make something up, but the mind will have to be minus any story to allow this.

Wanting the slightest thing that arises in the moment different causes suffering. From a simple hang nail, to losing a loved one, or even wanting a loved one, and on and on. Although some things will be attached to more than others, the base of the delusional “I” is the common denominator of all suffering. It has nothing to do with what one thinks is causing the suffering, only attachment causes it and “I” is at the core. Very difficult to see because this “I” will tell you you’re not suffering. It will tell you that the writer of this article doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but if what I wrote wasn’t true, it would just roll off and your “I” wouldn’t give it a second thought. For me I’ve learned the delusional “I” is the cause of suffering and the only way one will ever be free from it is to let go of “I”.

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Present Moment Tie In

There’s one very important piece that most people miss when it comes to living life in the most beneficial way possible and that’s living in the present moment, not in a conceptual way, but in a way that ties it all in.

Because nothing truly happens outside the realm of Now if the tools one is using to live life don’t tie it all into the present moment, the delusion of everything being somewhere out there will be the base of existence. There has to be a tool in place to tie it in to the Now until this becomes second nature. Life is mostly lived as if it’s somewhere out there because that’s the conditioning in place and until there’s something to establish a tie to the present, nothing changes as the delusion of somewhere out there continues its dominance and living life in a truly beneficial way only occurs by accident.

The breath is one tool that can be used as a tie, there’s also sitting, chants, tapping, guided mediations, and array of other things. The important thing here to realize is that these things aren’t magical, what they do is tie you into the Now and because Now is the only place that truly exist, you are in harmony with life as it is. This simple yet profound truth is missed by most people because of the nonsense (no sense) of the Conditioned Mind and hence your struggle to find this harmony remains. It’s not that harmony isn’t possible, it’s just not experienced because the present moment tie isn’t being utilized.

 

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