"IN EXTREME SITUATIONS, the entire universe becomes our foe; at such critical times, unity of mind and technique is essential--do not let your heart waver!"
The Art of Peace - Morihei Ueshiba
[Founder of AIKIDO]
We all want to be strong .. no matter who we are. Although our personal interpretation of what strength is can vary enormously. Even the smallest child can throw a tantrum and express a wish for "strength". Some children can simply find the strength needed to overcome extreme situations.
However, a situation does not have to be EXTREME for humans, male and female, to express: "I wish I was strong!"
To a banker "strength" can mean the ability to do whatever he or she wants. Cunningly take out your perceived opponents and critics - destroy them - make them pay for their critisism... In this case strength is perceived as the ruthless Alpha Dog who can destroy anything that stands in his way and feel no remorse.
To a Buddhist, strength may mean the ability to see something through to its very end with Ultimate Compassion. In this respect, strength becomes the direct application of inner principles one holds sacred. To experience and show compassion, no matter who tries to destroy you...
To some, power is the strength to destroy whatever stands in their way .. and to others, strength is the power to forgive and feel compassion no matter what happens.
Most of us imagine extreme situations to be external to ourselves, coming at us from outside, unrelated to our inner world and to who we are. It's outside! Right? Outside of me!!
The EXPERIENCE is INSIDE.
Give ten people a camera and put them in the same spot with the same light at the same moment, and you will get ten different photographs of the same scene. For example, I may lie down and photograph the scene from ground level rather than standing up. But even without such changes in perspective, each photograph will be different. That is "our experience".
The next level is what each person will make of the photographs (the past event) .. "I don't like my photograph, yours is better." .. "I love them all!" - "I like my own photograph best." .. "I wish I could do this better." It's called REACTION.
How we react is usually dictated by THOUGHT. The inner ego personality with all its experiences and conditioning. How I see myself, how I think about myself, how I feel about myself. Therefore, the outer EVENT instantly becomes an INNER EXPERIENCE the moment it happens.
A small example of this: It is the two day holiday period and the roads are almost totally empty .. and people are having accidents with their cars on these almost empty roads. My inner reaction to this is .. how stupid can you get ??
The only difference is that I observe my own behaviour and I pay attention to the reaction - right! Usually, we are on auto-pilot thinking our thoughts and really not paying attention. We indulge in our thoughts. Thought lives in its own fantasy world. Awareness of who we are does not play a big part in our lives.
We watch the other drivers having car accidents on empty roads; but we do not pay attention to our own reactions.
When we see other drivers having silly accidents on empty roads, we always feel better than them .. don't we? Hey! I am not so stupid to do something like that!! Because, the inner reactions of each one of us are very complex. Like that you can experience an inner multi-dimensional reaction in less than a nano-second. The reaction is like a complete hologram .. in an instant!
If I do something stupid - it is the SAME REACTION !!
I will react to my own stupidity, in the same way I react to the other driver. The source is very important to understand. You may think that you have one personal reaction for yourself and another reaction for people outside of you. But! No! It is all one .. it is simply THOUGHT.
You are not reacting, THOUGHT is reacting!!
Have you ever noticed your thoughts giving you a bad time?
Well! Try this! Be aware of your thoughts. Turn around 180 degrees to face the other half of the circle .. and ask yourself .. wait a minute! Question those thoughts with awareness. You may notice something change inside you!
The moment you become aware of thought, it goes quiet. The moment you challenge thought, it has nothing to say. One could say awareness is like switching off the auto-pilot.
In ancient texts most of the world's cultures had some story that, the "gods" left Earth thousands of years ago saying: We will be back... We will return in "the future".
The Maya and Native Americans say: The Future Is Now!
When the physical human being's Spirit is allowing the auto-pilot (thought) to navigate through life .. that is like the owner of the temple has gone off and THOUGHT becomes king. One could say the monkey (thought) takes over the daily life and navigation of the human being / the human temple / our lives.
One could also say that SPIRIT (awareness) reaches over and switches off the auto-pilot setting in the mind / brain. The energy of the mind is no longer concentrated up in a small area of the frontal lobe; but the energy is seated in an older central area of the mind / brain called "awareness".
How Ego Makes Us Weak
When our minds are on auto-pilot (ego-thought) it means the whole energy of the human is controlled and directed by thought (ego). Thought can do what it wants and tie energy resources of the body up in so many ways - both functional and dysfunctional. We are usually a mixture of the two extremes.
Thought - the petty ego - becomes the reaction to any and all events in our lives .. both external and internal. If you pay attention and become aware .. you see that thought reacts to external events and internal events in the same way.
To thought, you are as stupid as the next guy on the road.
The worst part of all is the way we humans fall apart when THOUGHT starts to go negative on us. You know! Personality complex, loneliness, sadness .. the fears. This excessive use of life energy for the ego WEAKENS us. The life energy of the human beings becomes weak as ego increases.
Thought-ego is strong and the human being is weak.
Thought-ego is master and the human being is the slave.
When the life force (energy) leaves the human body, THOUGHT dies. The Spirit is not thought. The petty ego does not survive death. Therefore, why do we humans allow the ego to rule physical life? Why do we live on "auto-pilot"?
There is one simple solution!
When the mind pays attention to all this, something changes.
The moment one refuses to accept this automatic internal dialogue draining away all resources of the body, something changes. Refusing to accept thought using the life force energy to create internal negativity - makes us stronger.
Why do we as living beings accept to live on auto-pilot?