A: The importance of time is very much related to your question about the afterlife. Without time, there would be no importance or immediacy to the ego. Just picture this, if you had a job to do, set forth by your boss, but he put no time restraint on it. Many people would not even start the job, they would just let it sit there. In the same way, if our ego does not have something to compare our progress to, it tends to also not get started with a job, undertaking or journey. Herein lies the importance of time. So time is actually very important. However, the ego then because of its dual nature, of seeing thing only one-sided, not both sides or gradations in the middle, sees time and performance as the most important things and either strives for them, gives up, or creates denial to its own progress. One must take the middle ground when dealing with time and performance and see that they are supremely important, however not develop stress and anxiety around them. If you contemplate on these two things, with time and results on one side, and enjoying the present moment on the other side, and bring them to your heart center, a synthesis will occur wherein you respect time and progress but live in the moment, honoring them.
What to do when someone is angry with you.
Q: What should I do when someone is angry at me or treats me unkindly?
A: The best thing to do is to try and put yourself in their shoes. What are they feeling, what is their perspective? What are their past experiences in life, and how is this affecting their point of view now? How are they viewing you?
This practice pulls you out of the duality of victim/victimizer, and puts you into the experience of compassion. There’s always a reason why someone acts in a certain way, and usually it has very little to do with you. Usually the person who is experiencing anger is acting reactively from their ego. Don’t take it personally.
To take it personally puts you at odds with the person, which the person can consciously or unconsciously perceive, and keeps the drama going. To see the person compassionately usually takes the energy out of the anger, and often times will take the person back, out of their angry state, and make them realize that their anger has very little to do with you.
Of course, to practice this takes time and dedication with identifying more with the watcher than your ego. Be patient, and practice this consistently. Often times it will resolve and issue. If it does not, it will free your energy up to make much better decisions.
Should you confront this person about their anger? Should you discontinue associating with this person because of their anger? When you are watching from the witness instead of reacting from your ego, the choice will become clearer and clearer with time.
“Beingness” and “doingness.”
Q: How can we relax more into “beingness” rather than “doingness”?
A: People see beingness and doingness as a duality, and that is the problem. From the ego’s perspective, it’s either/or. However, doingness is contained within beingness.
To relax more into beingness, you just have to take a step back, get a wider perspective, and become both the witness and the doer of actions. Both the witness and the doer are contained within beingness. Beingness is all inclusive, not either/or or exclusive. But to think of beingness from the point of view of the ego creates a duality. In reality, there is no duality, and herein lies the error.
Practice this, contemplate this definition. Have faith that this shift within your consciousness will happen. You are responsible for the work you put into this, but not the outcome. Realizing this in and of itself will take the wind out of the sails of the ego and put you more into the state of consciousness of beingness.
Learning this is kind of like any other skill in your life. It seemed like it took forever for little me to learn to ride a bike, but now that little me knows how, he will probably never forget. Realizing beingness is kind of like that.
Also, just as one person may learn something very easily, one may learn beingness easily, or it may be very difficult for another person. It may take a long or short time. All this is karmically determined.
But if one remembers that they are responsible for the effort put in, not the outcome, and practices humbly (remember, true humility is a sign of non-attachment, just as impatience is a characteristic of ego), it will take the stress out of learning, and the state of beingness will be reached much more quickly.
Learning about ourselves through relationships
Q: What is my obligation to my family, friends, coworkers, and such?
A: You don’t really have “obligations” to them. All relationships are lived through on this earth so that we may better experience what we want to experience here on earth. In other words, if you want to learn about love, then we have loving relationships. If we want to learn about fear, then fear is a predominating factor in our relationships. We use relationships to learn about ourselves, and express what we want to express.
That being said, if you say that you’re committed to doing XYZ, and if you welch on your agreement, there are psychic/karmic repercussions. These repercussions are different in every single circumstance, and are not meant to be looked at as punishment, retribution, or God’s vengeance. It’s just that we live in a world of duality, and every action has a reaction.
For instance, if you treat the people around you with love and respect, they will tend to treat you back with love and respect, even if they don’t show it all the time. And if they don’t show it, it’s because they are living out of their egoic consciousness, with some kind of attachment or aversion that prevents them from being loving. We’re all like this.