by Marcus Antebi
Article at a Glance:
If you’re contemplating ancient philosophy and engaging in a lifestyle encompassing compassionate behavior, self-improvement, and striving to understand the nature of reality, then my hat is off to you.
Those topics and life focuses are not of interest to everyone, especially those who are very young. It indicates a high level of thinking to contemplate the source and origin of creation. Many think along those lines, but among those in their younger years it’s common to misunderstand philosophy and scientific information pertaining to those types of things.
We certainly haven’t been conditioned in the modern world to contemplate such matters. We are raised in a highly competitive society with idols and superstars as our heroes. We grow up in a society where people are valued by their money, possessions, and beauty. We’ve made progress over many, many generations, and although we’ve become quite civilized we’re still influenced by systems and ways of thinking that cause us to struggle needlessly.
One issue is that it’s easy to misinterpret certain ancestral teachings because they were written in different languages and some of their verbiage and tenets are such that they don’t translate well into English.
The word “attachment” is often misunderstood. Sometimes it’s difficult, at least until we get older, to discern the difference between attachments that lead us to struggle and suffer and attachments that bring us peace. There can be attachments that we have to physical objects outside of our body (including people) and there can be attachments to mental concepts. Such concepts that we can become attached to include feelings, definitions, and judgments. The trick is to form attachments to the right mental concepts, and deciding right from wrong requires proper judgment.
Of course we only want to form attachments to things that benefit ourselves, our loved ones, and those around us. Some believe that being enlightened and fully conscious necessitates that we place judgments on nothing, but doing so would make it impossible to live in the material world. But we can exercise the right judgment on events, things, and thoughts, and it will take practice, learning, and discipline on our part to learn how to do so.
The greatest masters who live in the most peaceful places and who have lived pristine, compassionate lives have attachments of all kinds. But they have tremendous balance in their minds: They live their lives in such a way that they won’t cause themselves unnecessary distractions.
They are not archaic people—in many ways they are among the most progressive thinkers. I believe this to be the case because I think that in future generations mankind will evolve so as to not become distracted from the nature of truth and the nature of light.
It’s hard to envision this now. This is because we don’t live in an age of light; we live in an age in which we are emerging from many forms of darkness. One such form of darkness is our lack of concern for the earth. Humanity should care for the planet as a collective organism, applying technology, communication, education, and passion to solving our environmental problems. Clearly, we’re not there yet.
I believe that it’s a form of darkness that humanity can’t collectively see that large-scale killing of animals for our survival in this day and age isn’t necessary. We have the ability to create synthetic materials for warmth and shelter and highly developed transportation networks to provide access to all types of plant-based food to most of the people on the planet.
The fact that most people experience mental and emotional suffering is clearly evidence that we are in an age of darkness. Improper child rearing is a primary cause of this. Many people know how to properly care for their young, but others are blind to the effects that errors in parenting have on their own offspring and have had on their own development. Overall, there aren’t enough people that understand how to keep a child’s mind innocent and pure and free from trauma, abuse, and torture. It’s crucial that we change this unfortunate global situation.
I believe that time would change the state of darkness that humanity now finds itself in. The question is, will humanity run out of time before that change occurs?
I’m not seeking to depress you by posing that question. Rather I’m hoping that it will motivate you to change. You can change, and you can help others change. You can develop a nonviolent attitude, you can become a healer, and you can teach people great things about life, faith, and peace.
I believe that the memories that you put into your consciousness when you perish will go back into humanity’s collective consciousness through complicated energetic shift changes and transfers. If you will change the mind of someone, that person will change the mind of someone else, and the conscious experience that you have may find its way into the genetic material of our future brothers and sisters. In that way, positive change will happen one day.
This doesn’t mean that the future will be perfect. I find it hard to believe that there could ever be a perfect creature, because I don’t believe that enough time will transpire for that to happen. And the other thing is that in natural progressions there is always room for potential improvement, so the definition of perfection can change over time.
Everything is a work in progress; that is the nature of the universe and it’s a universal truth. I’ve received teachings from many brilliant masters. I asked a number of them what universal truths existed that went beyond subjective truth. One of them told me that the primary truth in all of the natural world is that everything is constantly progressing and improving. Even if it seems as though something is taking a step backwards, there’s progress in the universe at all times. The universe finds better ways to create matter and to find structure and order, and it’s been changing since the beginning of time.
I am extremely interested in philosophy, but I disagree very strongly with those who claim that everything in the universe is an illusion and that nothing is really happening. That is sheer nonsense.
I believe in obeying the laws of nature. By doing so one can experience goodness and life and avoid negative consequences. And I personally don’t believe that it’s necessary to live a life of harmony with nature and with fellow humans for the purpose of avoiding punishment from a divine creator. One should live a life of love in appreciation for those we share the planet with, and for the planet itself, rather than living in fear of retribution for misdeeds.
When I use the word divine, what I’m describing is the ultimate reality and the ultimate creator of this vast, unfathomable, mysterious universe. I’m speaking of the being who created things beyond the universe, the being who created time, and the being who created consciousness. Yet I prefer to not think of the being in a spiritual sense, and I view the being as subject to the laws of the universe that it created to begin with.
The Western mindset is the only mindset that considers the universe as a random possibility. This is because we have grown up completely disconnected from nature and from the customs of spending time gazing up at the stars and contemplating creation. We don’t follow the right stories, and we don’t have the right rituals and celebrations. Because of this, we look at things in an extremely materialistic and childish way.
You can stop looking at things in that way yourself, and you might even be able to inspire others to stop doing so as well. The way to free yourself from that faulty way of thinking is by using your own mind properly. Using meditation, take a journey in your mind into the cosmos: Spend time breathing and thinking of its vastness, and consider all of the activity that’s going on there. And realize that something that created this also created your eyes and your consciousness. It wanted to create a conscious creature able to see what is going on and to have a reaction to what is going on.
I believe that the whole point of creation is for beings to experience it, react to it, and judge it properly. Creation is masterful and beautiful. It’s gorgeous, it’s terrifying, it’s mysterious, it’s orderly, and it’s chaotic.
Something wants us to see things and sense things. We were created with the senses because whatever created us dreamed it. This is similar to the way that we dream, then wake up into the material world, and then accomplish things and bring them into reality. The creator did things in much the same way.
All conscious beings are here to witness. There is much debate about what the purpose of that witnessing is. People have been thinking about it for eons. We may not understand some of these things, and we certainly can’t explain many things. When we don’t understand what we’re looking at in the universe, we use scientific disciplines and expend resources to learn more about the nature of space and time. But we keep unraveling new mysteries.
Any great physicist will tell you we don’t know one billionth of a percent of what there is to know about the universe. We know more than what we might’ve known a long time ago, but we understand today that it’s just a fraction of what there is to discover. And there’s more than one way to explore the universe.
Remember that the origin of your physical body comes from the elements that were born in the universe. That means that there’s information recorded in the material you’re made of, and the information is accessible to you through the chemistry of your body. The vehicle to read that information is the vehicle of the mind. We may not understand the information that we receive completely. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, and it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to practice tapping into that knowledge.
Human beings discovered a thing called love. The universe has a love of itself. It struggles to create at times, and we look at things and sometimes get the impression that the universe is destroying itself. But the universe is about life itself and the sustaining of it.
What is life to thinking creatures? It’s consciousness. It’s awareness. It’s a beautiful thing. But we have strayed away from the natural order of things. We suffer so much that we forget to look at the simplest, most beautiful things. We forget to embrace, rejoice, and cry at the beauty and the glory of life.
We are afraid. But fear is actually a beautiful emotion. It’s an emotion that keeps us from destroying ourselves. It’s an emotion that will protect us from danger. But as we grow older we have to learn how to manage our fear. We have to learn how to fear only real threats and real danger. We can’t just allow ourselves to live in an anxious state because we’ve become used to living that way: We have to work through that.
A huge barrier to overcoming fear and achieving enlightenment is participation in destructive behavior. We take on destructive behaviors because we are parrots; we are copycat creatures who mimic others. We mimic the behavior of fellow humans who engage in addictive and destructive behaviors, but being in the natural world we should observe and in some cases even emulate the behavior of certain animals.
Note that we have terms that describe animal behavior positively, such as “brave as a lion,” “busy as a bee,” “smart as a fox,” and the like. And humans and animals alike have the same desire to live.
Creatures are not naturally suicidal. But humans with an intellect can be pushed over the edge by unfortunate circumstances and past trauma. And it’s unbelievably tragic that people with diseased thinking become mass murderers and rapists.
Human beings are highly intelligent thinking creatures with free will. A person can become a serial killer, a rockstar, a priest, a nurse, a mother, a father, or an inventor. Anything is possible.
Some actually blame religions for deficiencies in the human psyche. I don’t agree. I don’t believe that religions have failed mankind, but that mankind has failed religions. Although I’m not a religious man as such, I believe that religions can be quite helpful for some. If a religion tells you to love your neighbor, turn the other cheek, and live a life of nonviolence, that is certainly good. But if your religion teaches you to hold up a giant flag, say things such as “My god is better than yours,” and invade other countries, I think that’s incredibly wrong and tragic. I think that the teachings put forth by many leaders’ writings are misinterpretations and misrepresentations designed to give certain individuals control over the masses.
I believe very strongly in the philosophies in the world that teach people simple ways to heal their minds. If you heal your mind, then what you have in your mind is an instruction book for all of humanity. If you heal your mind from all the different sufferings and you learn the correct way to look at the world, you will not live in fear. You will not kill your brother, you will not steal, and you will live a life of compassion and sharing.