The Primary Cause: Mental Health and Truth

It is no secret that mental health is a serious problem in our modern society. Often unrecognised, and many times denied, it is impossible to say exactly how many people struggle with these issues, or whether it is a pandemic which affects all of humanity. Nonetheless, the science of the mind has developed in many forms to combat the problem, and counselling and drugs are used to treat the symptoms of various conditions.

However, while it is true that we are better able to understand these problems now, and provide some relief to those who experience them, such remedies do not solve the problem as a whole. Arguably, our minds are the single greatest cause of pain on the planet, especially in western society.

As this blog is characterised by an explanation of Truth, I do not want to delve too deeply into what that is in this article. I do, however, want to stress the importance of understanding ourselves to beat mental health problems. Too often, teachers and spiritual gurus talk about states of bliss, attained through certain techniques, but do not actually want to get down and dirty with the problems around them. The best teachers are those who understand suffering, have experienced it, and are willing to empathise with others in order to help them.

Spiritual teachers have become somewhat of an obsolete part of society. They sit on their pedestals and preach about how good life really is, without facing the reality of the suffering in people around them. This is why they are so often frowned upon by hard-working people, who see them only as money-grabbers and posers.

It is wholly possible for those who understand the Truth to make real change in society. While it is true that spiritual teachers should be more willing to enter the world to help others, it is also true that people need to develop a better understanding of these teachers and be more open to learning about themselves. Yes, there are some nutters out there who preach all about ‘Enlightenment’ but never seem to help anyone, but there are also very genuine people who understand the Truth and feel only compassion for others. If we can become more open to these people, and to exploring our own inner nature, we can begin to combat mental health disorders on a much vaster scale, not just treating them, but curing them altogether.

I genuinely feel that what western society needs more than anything right now is a cure for mental health problems, and these people have it. What is important is finding those who are genuine enough and have the right understanding to really help, and it is through them that we can all begin to see a brighter future, born through knowing who we really are.

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The Unknown: Living in the Bliss of Ignorance

Why do we want to believe in fantasy? Why is it that we feel so deep within us that there is something so much more to this world, something of unutterable power and beauty? Like a dream, life goes by and we are caught in its web. But to look around and to see the wonder, the danger, and the joy of existence is to live as we are meant to live, breathing life not only into our lungs but into our hearts.

Adventure, travel, mystery: these are the things which we as humans will always be fascinated with. The idea of the unknown, and the wonders which it holds will forever be an addiction to the human spirit, one which we try so hard to suppress. It is the fuel for human discovery, progress, and achievement, and it is the lifeblood of our quest to understand ourselves.

Why restrain it?

When we live in the unknown, we are like children again, discovering a world which we thought we knew but never understood. Without a plan or map, we are left as spontaneous beings, feeling our way through life. Living without knowledge, like a blank slate that can never be written upon, we exist in a dream world where everything is new and exciting. The simplest of things can become our greatest joys: the grass swaying in the wind or the warmth of the Sun on our faces.

Give in to the mystery and revel in the unknown in every moment. We can try to create our own guidebook to life, but what’s the fun in that? Just live without expectation and see where life takes you, because I can guarantee that wherever you end up, the journey will be much more exciting.

Riding the Wave: Living Life to the Full

The Universe is an incredible place. In every moment, life unfolds in a sequence of events which are entwined together in a way which we will never understand. Everything, from the falling of a leaf to the motion of a planet, is affected by and affects everything else. In a way, existence is like one complex organism, a living and breathing being extending across the cosmos.

In respect to our own lives, every moment and every event which takes place is influenced by everything around us. The delayed arrival of the early morning train, or a quick rain shower, will change the course of our lives forever. In a way, our lives are a constant unfolding of what is already determined, like a great wave slowly crashing into shore. We are almost powerless to influence it, and as much as we would like to believe that we have some control, we can only make slight adjustments to its course. 

Life, then, is something to be experienced rather than conquered. To live life while constantly trying to change it is to miss all the beauty and the joy around us. If we are able to simply live, and allow the current of life to flow, we will experience everything to its full extent. 

To fight the wave is to tumble into its grip, thrown about in confusion by its mighty power.  But when we give into it, and let it carry us on its awesome crest, life becomes a joy and a blessing.

Emptiness: Where Dreams and Reality Collide

How do we know whether something is possible or impossible? How can we put limits on a world which we can never totally understand?

Our beliefs, the many concepts and ideas which we hold in our heads, provide a rulebook for what we are able to achieve in our lives. From our past experiences, our education, and from what we are told by other people, we know that there are limits to what we can achieve. We know that there are boundaries which we can never cross and freedoms which we can never experience.

But what happens when we strip away these ideas, when we free our minds from the fetters of concept and thought?

In the silence provided by emptiness, an emptiness beyond even the concept of emptiness, where no thoughts or desires arise, there are no limits. The walls of our cell have crumbled, and now there is just empty space. The whole world, filled with objects which no longer seem real, becomes a living and breathing expression of ourselves. Dream-like and surreal, forms merge into a formless whole of which we are the source. Through the absence of concepts, objects no longer have distinct forms. Our own identity crumbles with the walls of the cell, and our bodies merge to become a part of this new landscape.

While such a process may seem fantastical, and mystical beyond achievement, it is the very essence of our existence in every moment. Even when turbulent emotions arise, they no longer have any power, as they are not considered to be’real’ or separate from ourselves. It is like the whole of reality falls into our own being.

However, even these ideas remain barriers to true freedom. When all ideas and limitations are removed, when even the concept of emptiness is destroyed, we are left in the boundless silence of being, standing alone on the empty plain of existence.

The Buddha’s Secret: No Search, No Problem

Can you remember a time before you knew about nirvana? Can you remember a time when you weren’t searching for something more? These two goals define us as human beings. We are always searching for something, be that wealth and status or enlightenment. However, it is this very search for meaning and happiness which prevents us from seeing the happiness that is always here, which is in fact totally natural.

Have you ever considered that it is your very insistence that there is a search to be undertaken which holds you back? Consider for a moment that the whole idea of spirituality and the search for enlightenment is a fiction, and that no search need be undertaken to find happiness, that enlightenment itself is just a myth. 

Where does that leave us? 

If the search is just a made-up story, that would mean that our present condition, with all of its thoughts and mental problems, is the enlightened condition. We could continue to pick holes in our present state, but is there really anything that needs changing? Are we not perfect as we are?

The realisation that whatever we try will not lead us to the truth is a crucial one. Only by forgetting about spirituality and enlightenment, and returning to the very being which we are, can we ever hope to be free of burden. We are so busy looking for meaning elsewhere, that we don’t notice that what we are is all we will ever need.

Forget about enlightenment. Forget about the search, and live without the need to change who you are or your position in life.

This is to live without fear. This is to truly live.

Defeat: The Ultimate Blessing

The world will always support us on a journey to understand ourselves. In ways which we cannot comprehend, our lives are shaped by circumstance. Often what we believe to be a blessing can become a curse, and our greatest fears can become our greatest allies.

Let us say for example that you win the lottery. The sudden acquisition of wealth suddenly blows away all fears for survival, and you are able to live a life of comfort and pleasure without the need to work or strive. The result is often severe depression. With nothing to work towards or achieve, the winner is left with an empty shell of life, in which pleasure is valued by how much the experience costs. In the opposite scenario, extreme poverty forces us to work and to achieve, and the simplest things in life can become our greatest joys.

While wealth does not directly determine our happiness, as a wealthy person can be more happy than a person in poverty, it is important to realise that our situation in life is suited to promote our own growth. If we never faced adversity, we would never develop as people, and if we never experienced the love of others, we would never understand true altruism.

One of the greatest gifts which life can throw at us is that of utter defeat. When we are totally broken, unable to move on and unable to piece ourselves back together, we are forced to surrender ourselves to something greater than us. If we are able to give ourselves to this, to go with it rather than to fight it, we will be reborn all the stronger. We cannot hold onto the same beliefs about ourselves for our entire lives, and it is though these moments that we are humbled, learning more about ourselves and discovering the hidden strength within our own hearts.

You are forever supported by life. Like a river, through the hard times and the good, it will always guiding you towards the ocean.