In this episode, we explore the concept of Samsara, or the ignorance that causes suffering in your life. By understanding your true nature and the wisdom of the Upanishads, you can transform your suffering into wisdom. We cover:
- What is the reason you suffer?
- How the ego disguises our true nature and causes suffering in life
- The secret of Higher Knowledge as the key to unlocking your true self and potential for joy and happiness
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Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let’s begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:29
Hello, welcome to another episode of Soul Sessions. I’m Debra Berndt Maldonado. I’m here with Robert Maldonado. We are founders of CreativeMind. We’re continuing our series on Eastern wisdom, the wisdom of the Upanishads.
Robert Maldonado 00:44
And we’re talking about the transformation of suffering into wisdom.
Debra Maldonado 00:50
How to transform your suffering into wisdom. Before we get started today, I want to remind you, if you’d like to stay tuned to every episode, go to Spotify, iTunes, make sure you subscribe to our podcast. If you’re watching us here on YouTube, there’s a button here in the corner, you can click and subscribe to our channel. Let’s get started. How do we turn suffering into wisdom? Everyone can relate to suffering.
Robert Maldonado 01:20
We begin with the story of Arjuna in the middle of the battle. Most of you are familiar with the Bhagavad Gita. It is the story of two families that are at war with each other, or actually, it’s one family that’s at war with each other. The camps are split between that family where there’s uncles, parents, brothers, cousins on both sides, ready to fight each other. The whole Gita takes place right in the middle of that battle. The armies are about to clash. Arjuna, who is one of the leaders of the main group, the Pandavas, has for his charioteer none other than Krishna himself, representing the divine. He asked Krishna to drive the chariot to the middle of the field, right between the two armies about to clash, and he loses his nerve. He says “This situation, this impossible war, if we win, we would have to kill grandparents, uncles, cousins. If we don’t win, if we lose, we lose the kingdom, I lose my brothers, there is no real winning in that situation.” It’s a it’s a lose-lose.
Debra Maldonado 03:12
We feel that way with life, that we’re fighting this battle that we can never win.
Robert Maldonado 03:18
He becomes very dejected and depressed and drops his bow and arrow. Thus begins Krishna’s teachings where he instructs him on the proper conduct in such an unwinnable situation. It’s a good starting point for us because we’re talking about samsara suffering. It takes a little bit of thinking through explanation, so bear with us. If we go back to what the Upanishads teach, and the Gita is considered summation or distillation of the wisdom of the Upanishads, what Krishna teaches Arjuna is precisely what the Upanishads says. This is the wisdom you need to face this unwinnable war you’re facing. It simply states that we suffer because we mistake the unreal for the real and the real for the unreal. What does that mean? We go back a little bit to how we’re born. We’re born into this world, we perceive things to be separate from us. We use our senses to observe the world around us. We see colors, objects, forms, other people, animals, nature, the great cosmos beyond us. That experience, the Upanishads explain, confuses us. Because the way the world appears to us, it appears to be separate from us, it appears to be out there, whereas we feel to be inside our head, or inside our body anyway.
Debra Maldonado 05:36
As they say in Buddhism, that independent arising, that statement of there’s these things independent of our mind, that are happening outside of us.
Robert Maldonado 05:48
What we’re trying to do in our work is look for the psychology of these spiritual teachings, what is the psychology behind that, so that we can use it in our coaching process, in our teaching. If we go back to this idea, we’re born into a body or with a body, and we observe objects to be separate from us.
Debra Maldonado 06:22
We believe we’re an object too, an object in the world.
Robert Maldonado 06:31
We desire objects because we need food, we need shelter, therefore, we move towards the things that give us pleasure and try to stay away from the things that hurt us.
Debra Maldonado 06:48
Sometimes it’s not even pleasure, it’s security, safety. It’s not a joy pleasure, sometimes it’s more of the pleasure of feeling secure.
Robert Maldonado 06:59
We can think of the hierarchy of needs here, you have to start with the basics and move up. You won’t want to create poetry if you’re hungry, you need to be satiated first and have food, then you can go on to a higher need. But at the basic level, we need to survive, therefore, we need shelter, food, comfort, etc. And we need to stay away from danger, of course, make sure we survive.
Debra Maldonado 07:30
There’s a lot of levels to that pleasure and moving away from pain. It’s social too. We have these social needs that are about feeling safe in a group, feeling safe in the familiar.
Robert Maldonado 07:43
But at the basic level, we have objects. We have the world out there, and me as a body in here. What that does, that duality of good and bad, because the mind has to discern what is good for me and what is bad for me, what leads to fulfillment of those needs and what leads to not acquiring those needs. That duality gives rise to the sense of ego, the sense of I.
Debra Maldonado 08:19
The part of you that wants to protect this body, it’s a mechanism or a function that says “This body is important. It’s more important than any other body, I need to protect it.”
Robert Maldonado 08:30
This is a function that arises out of the need of outer perception. It’s an apparent self but it’s not real. It’s like if there is a need to move towards comfort and safety and need to ward off pain and suffering, there must be somebody doing that. That gives rise to that I.
Debra Maldonado 09:18
It’s so simple but hard to practice.
Robert Maldonado 09:25
The Upanishads say it is confusion because that’s not who you are. You are the pure awareness. But you start to believe I must be the I because I’m actively seeking comfort. These things give me comfort, food, shelter, and these other things give me pain and suffering, therefore I need to move away from them. That becomes solidified or feels solid to us, that there is this I in my body, in my mind, that is the real me. It says, that’s the first step towards samsara, towards the creation of more suffering for ourselves. Because it’s a false assumption that we’re making.
Debra Maldonado 10:21
When I was first starting personal development, they would say “Use affirmations like ‘I am good enough, I am smart.’” Is that reinforcing the ego? I’m attracting more money every day, I’m finding the love of my life, I am loved, I’m lovable. That would be what the ego thinks, it builds this character, then it associates things in the outer world to define itself at the same time, not only safety, but its identity, its self concept gets connected to “If I have money, or I get this house, or buy this car, or have this relationship, I am something.”
Robert Maldonado 11:04
That is what is meant by mistaking the unreal for the real. We start to believe the objects in the world, the appearance of the world is real. The things in my mind, my imagination, my thoughts are less real.
Debra Maldonado 11:31
Or even your spiritual nature is not as real, or things that you can’t see.
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Robert Maldonado 12:34
Things we can’t see, at that point we haven’t even investigated who the I is. We’re assuming that the I is this body, this apparent need I have for safety, comfort, food, moving away from pain, the duality.
Debra Maldonado 12:56
The I doesn’t have imagination because it’s only making its assumptions on what it can see with the senses. When you think about possibilities or changing your life or doing something different, your ego I will not identify with that because it’s always looking at what’s real, “let’s be reasonable, let’s be rational, let’s see what we created before.” That’s how it creates the future from the past. In that way it creates suffering because we get stuck. I love the metaphor, we talked about this before, I use this a lot when I’m coaching my clients. We’ve all had an experience similar to this. Imagine you walked into a dark room. There was a rope on the floor. But the room was dark, so you mistook that rope for a snake. You immediately tense up and freak out, I would, maybe someone wouldn’t, but most people would freak out wondering if this snake is dangerous. Is it going to bite me? Is it gonna hurt me? Our defenses come in, the ego kicks in to save you, preserve the body. Then you turn on the light and all of a sudden you realize it’s a rope. Immediately you relax. Did you experience the snake even though it wasn’t there? Yes, you had an experience of pain, suffering, and fear. You can’t deny that that experience is real. But when you turned on the light, you realize that the experience was unreal. That’s what life is. We get caught up in seeing snakes everywhere, when we haven’t turned the light on and shined our higher wisdom to understand who we really are, to see that there’s nothing to fear and what the true nature of the reality is. Again, you’re not saying the world is an illusion, it’s not real, because we do have real experiences of suffering. But the suffering is within us. It’s not in the external object.
Robert Maldonado 15:16
That’s a beautiful metaphor. When we see the world in or through the Samsara, through the suffering, we’re seeing the snake, we’re thinking this rope, this neutral world, the way it’s appearing to us, is actually a snake. It’s dangerous, it’s harmful, it’s something I have to be very cautious about.
Debra Maldonado 15:45
We all can relate to worrying about something, worrying if things are going to work out, maybe going to a doctor’s appointment and getting a test, or worrying if the relationship is going to work out. I call it pre-suffering because it hasn’t happened yet but you’re suffering already. Then everything works out and you feel better. But you suffer that whole time based on your mind projecting into the future this worst case scenario. That’s what the ego does all the time. It’s always looking for danger and creating suffering about something that may or may not happen. As Mark Twain famously said “A lot of terrible things happen in my life but mostly, none of them actually turned out to be true.”
Robert Maldonado 16:36
The psychological understanding of human suffering is that it’s based on misperception of the world. Our perceptual systems, our organs tell us the world is a snake, it’s out there, it appears dangerous or daunting, it’s causing us suffering, fear, anxiety, trepidation. But in reality, that suffering we’re experiencing is because of the misunderstanding of the nature of reality. We’re mistaking the unreal, the apparent world appearance, for the real. We think it’s real, therefore, we persist in suffering.
Debra Maldonado 17:38
Like a nightmare, when you wake up, you’re being chased by something or something terrible is happening, you’re feeling those feelings in your body, and you wake up and it was just a dream. The Samsara happens also in our dream world.
Robert Maldonado 17:58
Let’s address this because a lot of you might know samsara from the Buddhist terminology, we’re not talking in that sense. We’re talking more in the original sense from the Upanishads, where samsara is very much related to Maya. Maya is the apparent universe, the way it appears to us. Maya itself is not necessarily suffering because it’s simply the expression of the cosmos, the way it organizes itself and appears to us. But samsara is our individual misperception that causes our suffering and intensifies our individual suffering, throws us, very similar to Arjuna, into that state where we feel like I can’t fight the world, it’s too big, it’s too much, there’s nothing I can do about it. We feel like giving up, we feel dejected, powerless against this incredible force of suffering.
Debra Maldonado 19:26
When I had certain things I wanted in my life, then I received them, it was never enough. I have this new house, it’s really nice, but then I want the next thing. That craving the ego has for more, and dissatisfaction because it thinks these things are going to give you happiness, sometimes we get disappointed. One time you had this new car, then after a while you’re like “It’s just a car.” We have this idea in our mind. We have moments of seeing the illusion of reduction of suffering through a temporary positive thing that happens in our life, but it’s not lasting, it’s fleeting. That is what samsara is. It’s like a bucket with holes in it, it could never be filled when you’re coming from the perception of the ego.
Robert Maldonado 20:23
Our interpretation, and keep in mind that we’re looking at higher knowledge from the perspective of philosophy, of psychology, we definitely respect people that understand it in a religious way and practice it. By all means, continue to do that, we encourage that. But we want to understand the psychology of it, so that maybe everyone can use it for their own enlightenment, for their own wisdom. From the psychological perspective, the idea of rebirth— because samsara, the term is tied to cycle of birth and death, continuously, cyclically rotating, giving rise to continuous births and deaths. But if we look at it from the philosophical perspective, the way the Upanishads were written, they were not written from a materialistic perspective, for them this was not a material universe, as we conceive it now.
Debra Maldonado 21:36
Which is interesting because now the quantum scientists are doing research, and they’re saying, what they said thousands of years ago, this is what they were talking about when they were talking about consciousness and perception. The observer has the power to shape the reality. That is mind blowing.
Robert Maldonado 21:57
They were written in a paradigm, it says “Everything is consciousness, everything is awareness.” If you think of a pure awareness, and actually you can’t think of it because our thoughts are designed to think in objective terms and thinking of objects. The pure awareness would be like the space in which things arise. Look around the room that you’re in right now, you see objects. Your mind is trained and conditioned to look at objects and to perceive them, not see the space. This space is the awareness where these objects are existing and arising. That is consciousness. When we consider the universe from that perspective, what it means is that everything we see in the cosmic realm, in the whole universe, galaxies, planets, all these beautiful things, they are arising within consciousness. They’re not separate from consciousness. In the West, we’re used to thinking of consciousness as our awareness of objects. This more cognition. But in the eastern philosophy, in the Upanishads consciousness is the substance out of which everything is made, including what we perceive as material objects.
Debra Maldonado 23:49
That’s what they’re discovering. As they go down to the atoms, subatomic particles, quarks, they can’t find anything solid. It’s like intelligence that isn’t bound by the laws of physics. It’s quantum physics. It’s interesting that it took us thousands of years to find that through mathematics, how this relates together.
Robert Maldonado 24:23
When we read about the idea of rebirth, of continuously cycling through life and death, from that perspective of a consciousness universe, meaning everything is arising within one field of awareness, one field of consciousness. That’s a very different interpretation because we don’t start to think in terms of individual bodies dying and then being reborn.
Debra Maldonado 25:03
Where there’s a soul that is material and goes somewhere else, outside of consciousness, to some other realm, then comes into another body in that physical material concept. But in religion it makes more sense from the materialistic concept. If we hear about the rebirth and reincarnation, it makes more sense to us if we’re in a material universe, that it’s a physical experience. But what you’re saying is, it’s a conscious experience, it’s appearing in consciousness, which means there’s no matter, it’s all one, there’s no separation.
Robert Maldonado 25:46
If you think about this, it’s saying that your physical body that we experienced to be born in, to die, is within that consciousness and experiencing the world, which is also consciousness, then it doesn’t make sense that you would be going from one body to another in that physical way that reincarnation is often interpreted as.
Debra Maldonado 26:19
We would assume that you and that new body are separate.
Robert Maldonado 26:24
If we bring it down to a practical matter, why would it teach us this, if it wasn’t for us to use or to understand? If we interpret it in the sense it was written, in a paradigm of consciousness, that everything is occurring within this one consciousness, we can understand it in a better way. Because what it’s saying is that the false sense of I is what’s being reborn continuously. Whenever we perceive or misperceive the world of duality, it reinforces a sense of I, meaning it’s reborn.
Debra Maldonado 27:10
A great example would be someone who’s in their passion, they’re painting, they’re in that creative flow. Their I is God, their I isn’t saying “I’m such a great painter, these are great colors, I hope people like it.” You’re just creating. Then when you get criticized about it, the I pops up. That would be a good example of us losing the I temporarily. We can all experience that.
Robert Maldonado 27:42
What they mean, or what the Upanishads mean, and this is our interpretation, we respect people that have their own unique interpretation and practices based on that, but our interpretation, from the philosophical, psychological perspective is that what the pundits are saying is that the I is continuously reborn because of our attachment to objects, our misperception of what the world is, because it begins with that understanding that you’re mistaking the unreal for the real. You’re thinking the objects, the physical appearance of the world is real, which gives rise to that individual I, which is the false sense of I, which leads to our suffering. That’s the wheel of suffering it’s talking about, very much in the moment. It continuously recreates that when we misperceive the world. We’re continuously seeing the snake instead of perceiving the rope that is there.
Debra Maldonado 29:02
How does that relate to conditioning? Because everyone can relate to conditioning. Would that be that we’re conditioned to believe or have a habit of seeing ourselves in a false sense, seeing us attached to our body and this object as who we are, just this physical body?
Robert Maldonado 29:28
I would say it is the deeper foundation of what the ego is. Then we can understand conditioning to be interaction with the objects. When we get a positive, when we obtain something that gives us pleasure, food, shelter, whatever it is we’re seeking, we get reinforced, the I is reinforced, that false sense of me becomes stronger.
Debra Maldonado 30:00
That conditioning creates suffering. To make us free from suffering is when the ego’s not activated. We are free of suffering. We have to find a way to stop identifying as the I for us to escape suffering of life.
Robert Maldonado 30:24
If you look at spiritual traditions from around the world from different times, they all have it in common. Their aim’s to help the individual realize the false sense of themselves, the I, the ego isn’t who they are.
Debra Maldonado 30:46
People hear about self-actualization, self-realization. When you think about consciousness, that’s another word Jung and the Upanishads called the self, not the ego, but the self is this consciousness, we are this oneness with everything. Realizing this is that idea of self-realization, self-actualization is transcending the ego.
Robert Maldonado 31:12
Ego is not the true self. We see it in Jung’s psychology as well, he’s developing a psychology to help people move towards the true self, finding their true self. Or really, you are always the true self, there’s nothing else you can be. But the covering, the appearance of the snake, the illusion of a snake, is what causes our confusion, and therefore causes our suffering.
Debra Maldonado 31:48
There’s no snake, except in our mind. The way out of suffering is to transcend the ego. When we are suffering, we have to remember “I must be attached to my ego, I must be experiencing myself as ego if I am suffering.” It’s a signal that you’re seeing the world as a misperception. Anytime we’re triggered, anytime we feel uncomfortable or dissatisfied in life, you’re seeing the world through the eyes of the ego, not through your true self. Because the true self doesn’t suffer. The true self can never be harmed, can never be burned, can never be damaged. Only the ego, or this concept of ego can experience pain, suffering, traumas, hurts, heartache. All those things are because we think we’re the ego.
Robert Maldonado 32:47
One of the biggest hindrances to crossing this ocean of samsara, this misperception, this illusory experience that we have a pain and suffering in the world is higher knowledge. Higher knowledge is the boat that gets us across the ocean.
Debra Maldonado 33:12
It’s almost like carrying us, so we’re not dipping into suffering. It’s carrying us, so we can experience the world, we can be in the world. It’s not to reject it because it’s not real. We’re seeing it from the right perspective, then we can really enjoy it. A lot of people say “If it’s unreal, then can I not enjoy love, and romance, and luxury, and delicious food?” It’s the opposite. We actually enjoy it more because it’s not to relieve suffering. It’s pure creation, pure experience.
Robert Maldonado 33:48
I often say this to people that come up with that argument. There’s no reason why we can’t enjoy the world as long as we understand its nature. It’s when we misperceive its nature, we think the unreal is real, that we suffer. But there is a reality in all this. That’s also what we forget. It’s not only saying everything is an illusion, therefore, you’re lost, or it doesn’t matter. It’s saying that the reality is the awareness in you because you are that awareness in which everything is arising.
Debra Maldonado 34:43
It’s the witness in the world. We need that witness to see it the right way. There’s awareness that individually we’re connect that way. Awareness is connection to the bigger self, we’re swimming in that individual awareness. We have our conscious mind, we have that awareness, we’re aware that we’re here, you’re aware you’re listening to this. A taste of that pure awareness because you can be aware of your suffering, but the awareness isn’t suffering. It’s aware that your body is suffering or that your mind is creating suffering, otherwise you wouldn’t know suffering, if you didn’t have an awareness of that. There’s that duality again, of being in the body, being aware of yourself, then suffering is optional.
Robert Maldonado 35:49
That’s one of the philosophical difficulties in answering the question how is the mind aware? Is that the same awareness we’re meaning when we say “pure awareness”? The Upanishads say consciousness cannot be conditioned. But the human mind is conditioned consciousness. If we tease that apart and examine it, what it’s saying is we believe we’re conditioned because of our attachment to the objects. Our very desire, our attachment to the objects makes it feel like we’re conditioned, but we cannot be conditioned, even the mind can’t be conditioned because you can’t hold on to the objects. You can try, but the world cannot hurt you, unless you believe it hurts you. When you believe it hurts you, that’s the experience of suffering.
Debra Maldonado 37:08
For example, if you are afraid of getting heartbroken in a relationship, you believe that you can be heartbroken in a relationship, you are going to experience heartbreak in a relationship. But if you don’t believe it’s possible, it won’t happen. Because you’re not conditioned to believe that’s even a possibility. Would that’d be a way to look at it?
Robert Maldonado 37:32
That’s one way to think about it. Metaphors are good in this regards because there is no real good language to express pure awareness. Because there are no objects in it, the objects are arising in it.
Debra Maldonado 37:50
Just so you know, this is something you have to really study, this isn’t something you’re gonna be like “I get it. I know it. I’m not conditioned awareness. I’m pure self.” It takes study. This episode is not going to make you enlightened by just listening to it. It’s a taste and introduction to this work. There’s a lot more to get it in a direct way.
Robert Maldonado 38:18
One of the ways to think about it is to think of pure awareness as a liquid, as water, or as oil, sometimes it’s described. When you pour it into something, when you pour water into a glass, the water takes the shape of the glass. It becomes the thing that you poured it into, the form, the shape you poured it into.
Debra Maldonado 38:48
The water’s consciousness, the shape is your expectation of who you believe you are, what’s possible, what you’ve been conditioned to experience.
Robert Maldonado 39:01
What you believe is real. If you believe the snake is real, you experience the snake. You experience the suffering and the fear that arises from that experience. That’s how we’re creating our life, our experience of the world. Consciousness is neutral, it will take any form we expect to see from it, any shape we pour it into. If we pour it into a fearful mind, it becomes a fearful experience. If we pour it into an enlightened mind, it becomes an enlightened experience.
Debra Maldonado 39:44
Consciousness moves through our body. If we think of our body, and our mind is more beyond our body, but that individual sense of who we are. The consciousness pours into it, and it’s limited by the past conditioning. Not limited, but it gives you an experience of limitation. But you really are free to transcend it if you can understand. You’re not stuck in your conditioning, there’s a freedom outside of it. But if you believe you’re the sum of the past of everything that happened to you, you build your expectations and your identity on that past experience and ego experience, that’s going to be your predictive life, you’re going to keep having the same results, the same suffering, you keep getting reborn into the same suffering, like wheel of karma you can’t escape, because you’re looking at the world the same way. I think you had a quote on our Instagram where you said that you have to look at the world differently in order to have a different experience.
Robert Maldonado 40:52
As human beings, we operate on this principle of a narrative. Your ego, for example, has a history. It constructs this narrative of who you are based on past experiences. We carry that around in our head, it is not a real thing because nobody else can see it except us.
Debra Maldonado 41:21
If someone says “I’m never going to be successful”, that narrative dictates their experience and suffering. It’ll appear as though they’re battling something external, like Arjuna in the battle, I have to battle the world. But you’re bringing in that idea that you’re not good enough, you’re never going to succeed, then that’s what you keep getting. But then you think it’s the world that’s given it to you versus your mind creating it. Would that be a way that we stay in suffering?
Robert Maldonado 41:54
That’s the rebirth. We recreate our narrative continuously, moment after moment. Therefore, the world appears continuous to us, stable, it makes sense. There you see the function of it, it’s useful in that it gives us that sense of continuity, that it is me who went through a certain experience and learned a certain way of doing things. It’s useful for survival mechanisms, or for survival purposes. But it’s not freedom in the true sense of the word because we’re locked into the limitations of that narratives.
Debra Maldonado 42:40
It feeds back to us, which reinforces the narrative and this loop. “I told you it’s hard.” If something is too hard, it’s never going to happen. We are speaking and creating, spinning, we all hear that your thoughts create your life. But it’s not just your thoughts, but the emotional body, when you’re feeling the snake. You didn’t just think “That’s a snake, I shouldn’t be afraid”, you had an unconscious reaction to it. Most of what we’re seeing is this unconscious pattern we’ve been taught. We forget how it got started. We assume it’s real. We’re so used to being a certain way, or the world being a certain way, that we just assume it’s just the way it is, there’s no other way. Let’s talk about how you escape samsara. Not escape, but how do you get yourself out of the suffering, how to relieve your suffering?
Robert Maldonado 43:46
If we think back to this misperception of the world as the cause or pretty close to what the cause is, it’s our ignorance of that experience that’s really holding us back. We believe our senses are telling us something true, when they’re not. Our senses are designed to help us survive, not to give us the ultimate reality. The ultimate reality is that pure awareness we mentioned. That’s the real you, that is what you can count on, what you can stand on as the ground of being that never shifts, it’s stable. The world is always shifting, because that’s its nature, it’s Maya, it’s appearance, it’s always in flux. To put your money on the external is a losing bet, because it’s always going to change. It’s never going to give you what you expect it to give. Expecting the world to give you happiness, stability, safety, that’s the cause of suffering. It begins that cycle of misperception. Putting your hopes and dreams on something that cannot be stable, you’re creating your own suffering. The answer is knowledge. If ignorance is that mechanism that’s causing the whole wheel of samsara to spin, awareness, higher knowledge of the true awareness, of the true nature, of yourself, is the way out of that samsaric cycle.
Debra Maldonado 46:01
Where can somebody get this? How does someone go about finding it? When I was first introduced to the higher knowledge, I read books on Buddhism, they made a lot of sense, but I was trying to figure it out on my own. I remember when you gave me a couple books, you gave me the Gita, my mind went “I have no idea what this means.” It was so confusing. I had to read it over and over, ask you questions because you understood what the metaphors meant, also listen to lectures by Swamis and read more about it. You start to see, “I get what they’re saying here.” At first it’s very confusing because we’re conditioned to see the world in a certain way. Higher knowledge basically turns it on its head, ignorance is on one side, the higher knowledge is everything you’ve learned is incorrect, as far as the true nature. It’s turning everything on its head, the ego will try to resist this new knowledge because it wants to stay in ignorance. It’s just the pattern of being in the body. It’s the challenge of every person. We’re not talking about ignorance as in non-smart, non-intelligent, but ignorance and lack of higher knowledge.
Robert Maldonado 47:31
Let’s define higher knowledge. Because that implies lower knowledge, or a different kind of knowledge. Ordinary lower knowledge is knowledge of the world because it’s an appearance. Knowledge of that appearance is good, it helps us survive, it helps us build cars and planes, all the stuff we see.
Debra Maldonado 47:57
Engineering, science, biology, physiology, mathematics.
Robert Maldonado 48:02
It’s lower knowledge because it is knowledge of the objects, not the knower, not the observer, not the witness, or the pure awareness. Higher knowledge is knowledge that teaches you about the true nature of the self, the true self. Any knowledge that points to that awareness is higher knowledge. The purest higher knowledge we’ve seen on this planet is the Upanishads. It is the manual for consciousness, or what the nature of your mind is, what the nature of reality is.
Debra Maldonado 48:43
It’s not a religion, it’s a philosophy, it’s understanding. After your ego wrestles with it, you become free if you realize it. If anything bothered you in the world, the Upanishads has an answer to help you free your mind from that suffering. The mind is causing the suffering, not the world. You can read higher knowledge but I found that the best way to learn higher knowledge is to have a teacher or a coach trained in higher knowledge. Not a coach that’s going to tell you about the world that you know, your thoughts and feelings maybe, that’s lower knowledge. But it’s the awareness behind your thoughts and feelings. What’s the awareness behind your conditioning? That is higher knowledge. Having someone guide you is the fastest way to really integrate it and have a direct experience of it. The ego wants to hide it from you. If you try to do it yourself, it has trapdoors that lead you back. It’s one of those mazes that you’ll end up at the beginning again. Your ego tries to rationalize and say “This makes a lot of sense”, bypassing the real truth to get you to not go deeper when things are confusing. I used to read a lot of pop psychology, self-help books. It made a lot of sense. I felt like it was really great. It didn’t challenge me. But when I started reading the Gita and the Upanishads, it really made me think, it really made me question everything I thought. When you’re getting that knowledge, and you have a coach that challenges what your mind is seeing, what your mind is assuming, that’s really where you can start to escape suffering or transcend the suffering and stop the cycle.
Robert Maldonado 50:46
Ot is very much like waking up. Like Buddha says “There’s no difference between me and all human beings, it is simply that I’m awake.” You wake up to the reality of things. Instead of seeing the snake, the appearance of things as real, you start to understand, I am the real, my awareness is the real, not the objects that I see appearing in that awareness.
Debra Maldonado 51:18
We’re going to be continuing the series, but remember, anytime we feel triggered, feel suffering of our mind, ask yourself “I’m not seeing things the right way. If I’m suffering, there’s something I’m missing. There’s something I’m not seeing.” Sit with that feeling, ask yourself what this is about. Where’s my misperception? Listen to this episode again, start to see where my ego is caught up in this. Once you recognize how the ego’s caught up, it’s like light turning on in that room, you start to see the rope and not the snake. We’ll see you next week, continuing our series on higher wisdom. We really enjoyed sharing this with you today. If you’d like to continue to listen to our podcast, if you’re on Spotify, iTunes, or the podcast hosting services, please subscribe to Soul Sessions by CreativeMind. Or if you’re on YouTube, you’re watching us on video, click the button in the corner that says Subscribe and make sure you don’t miss any episode as we continue to help you free your mind and get out of suffering.
Robert Maldonado 52:35
See you next time.
Debra Maldonado 52:36
Take care everyone.
Thank you for joining us. Don’t forget to subscribe to CreativeMind Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Sessions. See you next time.