25 SPIRITUAL LESSONS

There are many lessons we can learn during the course of our lives that can help us overcome our problems and live in contentment.
In this post I would like to share some of the greatest such lessons I have learned. For this reason I have compiled a list of 25 spiritual lessons that I find of utmost importance that anyone should try to understand and always keep in mind:
    1. Never let anyone’s behavior tell you what to do. You are a free being and responsible for your actions.
    2. We are all connected. If you help another being, you are helping yourself. If you hurt another being, you are bound to hurt yourself.Don’t be afraid of painful experiences. Pain is neither good nor bad in itself, but we can deal with it in good and bad ways.When you drop all desires and expectations about how people should be, you will never feel deceived or hurt again.
    3. All fears ultimately come down to the fear of death. Unless you become familiar with the idea of death, you will never be able to truly live care-free.
    4. You cannot know more about another person than you can know about yourself. And the more you get to know yourself, the better you will understand others.
    5. True love can never be hurt, because it gives without asking anything in return. So even if love is unseen or rejected by those at whom it is directed, it keeps on being what it is.
    6. Pleasure and pain are two aspects of the same coin. You can never have one without the other.
    7. By treating the symptom you won’t cure the disease. Instead, try to get rid of the root-cause.
    8. There is no God higher than Truth.
    9. Don’t focus you attention on what people say or do. Rather, seek to find out their motive for speaking and acting the way they do (this also applies to yourself).
    10. Speak the truth, no matter what the consequences. Being honest is the only way to be at peace with yourself and others.
    11. Possessions can possess you. Let go of your attachments to your belongings.
    12. We all come to this world alone and leave this world alone. Don’t be afraid to be experience aloneness, because only in this way will you be able to confront yourself as you truly are.
    13. Never submit yourself to any relationship. True friendship can flower only under the sun of mutual respect.
    14. When you lose a friend, don’t hurry to replace him with another one. Instead, find the space to examine your heartache.
    15. Sometimes your enemies can help you more than your friends. Enemies are always willing to point out to the negative aspects of yourself.
    16. Gratification does not mean contentment. Gratification comes and goes, contentment stays with you forever.
    17. Don’t mistake desire for love. Desire is a passionate fire, love is calm breeze.
    18. Everyone is motivated either by fear or by love. Choose to be motivated by love.
    19. Seek to change yourseld, not the world. Unless you embody the change you  want to see in the world, the world will remain the same for you.
    20. Don’t try to escape from unpleasant experiences with others. See this as an opportunity to better understand people, instead of projecting your own images on them.
    21. There is no knowledge other than self-knowledge. Unless what you get to know transforms yourself, it cannot be called true knowledge.
    22. Your beliefs shape your perceptions, just like sunglasses color what you see.
    23. Do not imitate other Create your own path and walk on it.
 This post was originally published on http://www.altering-perspectives.com

Poetry arrived.. in search of me

And it was at that age…Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating planations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.

 

Pablo Neruda

Why Your Daughter’s Marriage Shouldn’t Be Your Biggest Dream For Her

“When are you going to start saving? Don’t forget there’s a girl growing up in the house..”, countless wives have been reminding their husbands in Indian households and sometimes on TV screens. Parents in the country place too much emphasis on marriage. And if you’re a girl, this gets doubled. The moment the doctor announces the gender, the planning starts, the saving starts. And more importantly, the worrying.
Because of the pervasive dowry system that devours most families by attaching itself to destructive notions of what constitute status, honor and respect, this directly affects the family’s management of financial resources and how girls are brought up. An unmarried daughter becomes a burden to be removed which in turn subjects her to differential treatment. Giving your daughter’s marriage utmost importance means everything you do for her is ultimately influenced by this concern. You either don’t educate her beyond a basic level because you don’t have enough money to spend on both (and clearly you’ve decided marriage is to be given the bigger priority), or you educate her (often according to your own wishes rather than hers) with the prospect of fetching a well qualified groom so that she can be ‘sent off’ to a ‘respectable’ home.
Placing emphasis on marriage means raising girls in a manner primarily aimed at molding them into a societal expectation of what an ideal bride or wife should be like, instead of fostering and encouraging individual characteristics. And in a patriarchal society, these demands are never free of misogyny. The perfect wife looks like Aishwarya Rai, talks like Mother Teresa and is willing to be submissive like Sita. She is unambitious, unassertive, unaware or not demanding of her rights, and has been blessed with extra invisible hands to successfully manage all household work and (increasingly) also a job without the slightest complaints. Girls then are taught from a young age to value their looks more than their talents and skills, to place their career aspirations or financial independence secondary to the need for being married at the ‘right’ time and having kids, and to perpetuate this vicious cycle through their own daughters, all the while carrying a burden of living up to the good girl myth so as to not ‘invite’ rape, lest they become used goods. Because rape is something that is given to us when we “ask for it”, and the unit of measurement of a woman’s worth is virginity. Right?
Imposing one’s dreams on another human being and wanting them to strictly fulfill them for you is a pretty selfish expectation and even a messed up form of ‘love’ (which is how people usually like to rationalize it). This stems from the perception that holds children as properties of parents and in particular, a woman’s identity only in relation to a man. It’s somewhat similar to indoctrinating kids into the parents’ religion at an impressionable age and closing the doors of curiosity, only even more violating. While one may be able to completely break free from religious beliefs at least on a mental level, the social costs of leaving an unsuccessful marriage in a patriarchal culture are many, especially if you’re a woman. Being a father-in-law or a grandmother is a privilege, not a right. But having the freedom to decide whether we want to give our parents that privilege is a right no one should be denied, because the decisions involved would first and foremost affect ourselves.
Not to mention the oppression it puts out for women who don’t fit into the supposed standards. Lesbian women, disabled women, trans/queer women, those wishing to stay single or those who want to have a partner but not get married. Women with physical disabilities constantly deal with ablest attitudes that infantile them or treat them as less of a woman. Imagine the look of horror on the father’s face when he tells his daughter they’re going to start looking for a suitable match and her response is, “I hope she will let me keep my job.” Thankfully, we have an effective homophobic climate in place to avoid any such awkward situations. It’s simple, we just force them into repressing their sexuality and entering an arranged heterosexual relationship!
Marriage is not the ultimate purpose of a female life. I’ll say that again, it really isn’t. It’s only a part of it, and a choice some women wish to make while some women don’t. The important thing is they should have the liberty to do so without being coerced or emotionally blackmailed. This has absolutely nothing to do with their ‘worth’ as a person. Meaning, purpose and fulfillment in life can be found in a billion ways and if your daughter wants to include marriage at some point in that list, fine. If not, that should be fine as well. Give her education, good morals, encourage her to pursue her passions, let her celebrate her sexuality and uniqueness. The rest should be up to her. After all, if it is your daughter’s welfare that you wish for, then start by placing the control of her future in her own hands.

**The above post is shared from,Nirmukta,an organisation which promotes science, free-thought and secular humanism in India.
You can read more about Nirmukta on “http://http://freethoughtblogs.com/nirmukta/