Authentic spiritual life

this is an article i found from an ipad app. it has struck me the most that sometimes, people go through life everyday, doing what they have to… but never really do what they want… its been instilled in our thoughts that to do what we want is selfish…. so we do all the RIGHT thing to show everyone that we are happy with the choice we made. it may seem fitting to the society…but what are we doing to ourselves? are we being fair? our soul crave for change…
but our minds take full control of what we should learn to be letting to instead…

i hope you enjoy this article…..

Authentic spiritual life is difficult. It takes time and energy, intelligence, determination and self-discipline. It requires other personal qualities and activities that most people regard as unpleasant and try to avoid whenever possible. It is certainly much easier to just kick back and surf the web, listen to music or watch TV. So why bother with spiritual life? Why invest all that time and energy when you could be out enjoying yourself?

The answer is simple: Because you are a human being. Being human means that you are a spiritual being in the material world, and that includes an inherent deep dissatisfaction with life. As science-fiction writer Phillip K. Dick opined, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Oh, you can go into denial about it; you can suppress it from your consciousness for some time. You can distract yourself for hours or days on end, but it always comes back—usually when you least expect it. All of a sudden something clicks inside, you sit up and take stock, and realize your actual situation in life: You are suffering.

Sure, you keep up a good front. You manage to force a smile somehow, and hope no one suspects. Your act is together—those periods of desperation, those times when you feel everything caving in on you, the darkness and uncertainty eating away at your soul—you keep those to yourself and never let anyone know. Actually you are a mess, and you feel it deep within your heart. You hide it beautifully; but in the silence of the darkest hours of the night, within your most confidential chamber of consciousness, you know that it’s all a lie, that this material life is not enough. Way down under all your phoniness, all your bluster and bravado, you just know there has got be some other way to live, some better way to look at the world, some way to touch life more fully. The truth is out there somewhere.

Now and then you click into the groove by chance. You get a great new job; you fall in love; you win a little at the game. And for a while, life takes on a richness and clarity that makes all the bad times and boredom fade away. The whole texture of your consciousness changes and, full of pleasure in just being alive, you say to yourself, “OK, now I’ve made it; now I will be happy.” But then after a little more time, that glow fades away like smoke in the wind, and you are left with a nostalgic memory and a vague awareness that something is deeply wrong.

There really is another whole realm of depth and sensitivity available in life; but somehow, you’re just not seeing it. You can dream about it, but you can’t quite grasp what it might be. You wind up feeling alienated, cut off from the juice of living. You feel insulated from the existential sweetness of being by a cocoon of sensory cotton. You are not really touching life; you are not making it. And then even that vague dissatisfaction fades away, and you are back to the same old, hard cold reality. The world looks like the usual foul place, boring at best and at its worst, dizzyingly confusing, violent and terrifying. Human life in the material world is an emotional roller-coaster, and you spend most of your time languishing at the bottom of the ramp, yearning for the heights, even though you know the only way you can go from there is down.

So what is wrong with you? Are you insane? A freak? No, you are just a typical human being on planet Earth. You suffer from the same spiritual disease that infects every human being: Maya or illusion. This is a spiritual disease, an infection of your mind and consciousness whose tentacles reach everywhere: chronic tension, depression and health problems; lack of genuine compassion, even for people closest to you; emotional blockage, a feeling of deadness even in the midst of life. Ultimately, old age, sickness and death will take us all away. And then what? You don’t know, and that yawning emptiness is terrifying.

No ordinary human being is entirely free from this spiritual disease. We have built an elaborate popular culture around hiding from it, suppressing it, pretending it’s not there, distracting ourselves from it with material goals, sense gratification, achievement and status. But it never quite goes away; it’s a constant undercurrent in every thought and every perception; a little wordless voice at the back of one’s head saying, “Not good enough yet. Got to have more. Got to make it better. Got to be better.” It’s a disease, a disease of consciousness that manifests everywhere in subtle forms.

Go to a party. Listen to the forced laughter, that brittle sound like breaking glass, expressing fun on the surface but fear underneath. Feel the tension, the pressure; nobody really relaxes, they are too busy trying too hard to make others think they are having fun. Go to a game. Watch the fans in the stands, the fits of irrational anger; the uncontrolled frustration bubbling out of people; negative emotion and unbridled egotism masquerading as enthusiasm or team spirit. Watch the drunkenness, the fights in the stands. These people are not at peace with themselves; they are desperately trying to release a painful inner tension. Watch the news on TV; listen to the lyrics in popular songs. The same theme is repeated over and over in endless variations: loneliness, jealousy, envy, suffering, discontent and stress. Life seems to be a perpetual struggle, an enormous effort against staggering odds just to survive. And even if we survive, we still suffer.

And what is our solution to all this dissatisfaction? Led by mass-media dreams we fantasize, “If only I had more money, then I would be happy; if only I can find somebody who really loves me; if only I can lose 20 pounds; if only I had a color TV, Jacuzzi, or blonde hair, if only…” on and on ad nauseam. Most people just run through the same old maze, day after day and never act on their dreams and fantasies. But even if you do, it doesn’t work; it doesn’t have any effect. You have simply wasted a bit more of your valuable, irreplaceable time and energy without finding a real solution to the problems of life.

So where does this disease come from and more important, what can we do about it? It is a disease of consciousness, and it comes from conditions that we have established our own minds. It is a deep, subtle and pervasive set of bad mental habits, a Gordian knot of karmic entanglement that we have built up bit-by-bit over many years and even lifetimes, and that we have to unravel patiently, one piece at a time. We can overhaul our mind and purify our consciousness; heal them slowly, methodically, and transform our consciousness back into its pristine state, if we know the correct process. Healing this disease is the actual purpose and process of authentic spiritual life.




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