Posts categorized "Philosophy"

We will see

It is easy to write a book that espouses the highest ideals. What's more difficult is to take those ideals and to live in the real world, as it actually is, each moment of each day. 

Sometimes it seems that the famous writers, motivational speakers, and spiritual leaders of this world are coasting through life--cushioned from the struggles, challenges, and hardships the rest of us go through. There they stand, comfortable in front of large crowds of people who are faithful enough--or perhaps desperate enough--to pay good money for their transformative presence. Are these famous spiritual or self-help leaders walking the walk, or are they merely earning a living by telling us what we want to believe and what we wish were true? Would their ideals work in their own lives even if there was no paying audience? It is a good question.

Most of us would like to be happier, we desire inner-peace and transformation; but we believe it isn't possible for us--or isn't relevant to us because of the reality of our life circumstances. One may ask, what special skills or talents do I have? How can this type of spiritual wisdom help me find a better job or earn more money? Will an enlightened version of me appeal to my romantic partner, or will I grow old alone in my decaying wisdom? Again, these are valid questions.

While I am espousing a set of spiritual beliefs, I certainly don't earn much money from an audience. I am not writing with the intention of getting rich or famous. I am only writing about how I do live. If these ideas and concepts prove to have any value at all, then they will shine in my real life as I walk my talk.

Who am I? Am I an author? Sort of, but not really. Am I a musician? Sort of , but not really. Am I a sales professional or an entrepreneur? Well, this is how I pay the bills, but does that have anything to do with this? If you end up following my blog or getting in touch with me, then the only thing you will find is a person, just like you, simply trying his best.

I believe in Love. I believe in the power of the now. I believe that it is possible to live entirely outside the ego. I believe that the universe is abundant. I believe that Love is everywhere and that it melts away all resistance. I believe that to be alive is to be giving, and the best way to give is to create. But I also know that I am living in a world in which few other people share these perspectives. Can these truths, can this approach to living actually work in the world we actually live in? We will see what manifests in my now.

In this world, to be normal is to distrust people, to avoid potentially uncomfortable situations, to avoid risk, and perhaps most of all: to fear. Few of us have ever taken big, bold steps outside of what is considered normal. At least I have done that. Most of what I do would be considered crazy and too risky to most people. It isn't that I am trying to prove anything; I am only trying to be me and to live in alignment with what feels right and natural. So far, things seem to be going quite well, but we will see. It isn't that I'm waiting for the future for an answer. The future doesn't exist. Nor does the past. What exists is the constantly present now. That which enters and leaves the now as I live according to this set of spiritual principles? We will see.  

I will not be standing in front of a large crowd telling people what they should do anytime soon. I will simply continue to be honest and to live according to what I believe is right, even if most of it goes directly against what is normal and what all of society believes. 

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.

Responding to attack

To live in Love's truth is to be attacked routinely by sick egos misguided by delusions of separation. When attacked, the greatest challenge is to continue to be Love--even to Love your attacker--and to refrain from responding to a vicious ego in the language of a vicious ego.  

After all, why would I want my attacker to feel the hell of shame and guilt? What purpose would my attack serve even if I might win a battle? Is there any victory that is worth the price of hell?

Every communication in this world is either an expression of Love or a cry coming from a desire to be Loved. Therefore, the only response to communication of any kind is a Loving, easy, effortless response.

To be Loving is not to be passive. It is possible to calmly, Lovingly state your truth--and to do so in a way that melts away resistance. It is possible to be completely honest while at the same time completely Loving.  

The Argument

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.

Stop fighting. Start giving.

I know that there is injustice in this world. It is everywhere. You are not going to win if you fight it. Stop fighting and start giving. Stop demanding what is yours and start giving what is uniquely yours to give. As radical as this sounds, it is just as true.

Do you know how they swindle you? How they exploit you? How they screw you? How they do anything and everything to rip out your soul just to squeeze out a bit more profit? That only happens because you are playing their game. You are in their freaking casino. You are going to their banks, shopping in their malls, driving their cars, watching their news and entertainment, listening to their music, and reading their books and magazines. You are doing it all to fit into their system, which they designed for the precise purpose of exploiting you.

How they must get together to laugh their evil laughs through their dirty, cigar-filled lungs and how they must speak their ugly voices from cognac-drenched tongues. It is obvious to them what a sucker you are. You are losing their game; yet, you continue to return to their table believing it is real. Let them win at the grand, ugly, senseless ego game. You can turn your back and walk forward in Love. If you are Love, they will never be able to exploit you again. Yes, you are being screwed, but the way out of this mess is to give.

When I say give, I don’t mean only that you should give what little money you have. Forget money. Think bigger. Your gift to the world is far more valuable. The force of giving is found in the act of creating. The ultimate form of giving is creativity. Everything that is has been created. The universe has been created by some supreme force. The Earth and all its nature has been created as a speck of that universe. Beyond that, we humans have also played our role as creators.

When we create in Love, we invent beautiful technologies capable of transporting us around the world and making us more comfortable. We make art that pleases the senses and expands our capacity to Love. Through creativity, we gradually shape a world in which it is possible for me to spend hours at a time, in total comfort in Eastern Europe, writing this on an awe-inspiring device that didn’t exist even decades ago.

The people who matter are the ones who create. Creating is the ultimate form of giving. To create is to become God-like and Love is the fuel of creation. When you create from ego, you build something meaningless for some short-term profit. You may come up with a scheme to fool people and to rip them off. You may come up with something so practical that it is unambitious and boring and doesn’t sell very well. Screw that, do something big.

Ego-based creation is petty, silly, meaningless, and as quickly forgotten as the profits are spent. But when you create in Love, you give birth to something that advances consciousness, creates new Loving connections, and makes people happier and more fulfilled. By giving to your fellow human beings in this way, you will profit in the ways of Love.

 

* This is an excerpt from the book Belove: How to End Pain by Escaping Your Ego

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.

It's a question of questions

The questions we ask ourselves are everything. You will never find the right answers if you are asking the wrong questions.

Pay attention to the questions you have running through your mind. How are you framing your personal dilemmas? Are you asking yourself what you have to do today or what you want to do today? Are you asking yourself how you can hold onto your job or are you asking yourself how you can triple your income and work just a few hours a day? Are you asking how you can make a terrible relationship last forever or are you asking how you can be happy in love?

Behind every question running through your head is a set of assumptions. If you remove the assumptions, you might free yourself up to ask better questions.  When you ask better questions, you might get better answers. When you act on those better answers, your life might get better because you direct your action in ways that might deliver better results.

What are your biggest questions? Are those questions really inevitable? Might there be other, more profound questions that could replace them? Can you ask better questions by removing a few assumptions? This could be your breakthrough. 

 

Question

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.

To love an ego

It is easy to love a person, but hard to love an ego. Ego is the enemy of love.

The ego is prideful and makes demands. To love someone with your ego means to expect your partner to serve that ego. It is to care less about who your partner truly is or what she feels and to care more about what she is or isn't doing to meet your expectations. You will demand, threaten, you will manipulate, you will do anything at all to get what you think you need from your partner. Unfortunately, your partner will never fully satisfy you because the ego is always greedy for more. You believe that you are great, that you are worth it, and you deserve exactly what you imagine you deserve from your partner. It is selfish and ugly.

To be in-love with an ego-driven partner is to slowly come to the understanding that it is only your good behavior that is loved (not you). You come to discover that you don't matter; rather, what matters is the role that you play. It doesn't matter to your ego-driven partner what you feel, what you think, or who you are. If you do or express something that threatens or fails to serve your partner's ego, you are swiftly met with disapproval or anger. What matters to your ego-driven partner is only what you do to serve that ego. To dedicate yourself to an ego-driven partner is to feel constantly frustrated, afraid, misunderstood, unloved and lonely.

Still, even if you express these feelings, the ego-driven partner is unwilling to change. The ego doesn't listen. It doesn't learn. The ego justifies everything. It threatens, manipulates, and resorts to hostility and violence. When out of control, the ego is willing to destroy anything to get what it thinks it needs. As a result, to love an ego-driven partner is bad for your well-being. You begin to believe that you are not worthy of love unless you meet your partner's expectations. You feel as though something is wrong with you. You find yourself hiding your true self, lying, or even cheating when the despair becomes too much.

Ego

To love without ego is to love your partner unconditionally and to completely accept who she is. It is to understand that her feelings are not a threat to you. The things she likes, the things she does for herself, the decisions she makes about the relationship, none of it is against you because it isn't about you. It is about her. Don't take it personally.

To love without ego is to fully experience the bliss that true love brings. It is to know and understand a person deeply, to have complete trust because there is no reason to lie. It is to know another person as well as you know yourself (neither of which are possible with ego). It is to feel the lightness of freedom even as you are committed. May you discover the joy and bliss of loving without ego. 

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.

What do other people think?

The vast majority of people share precisely the same value system. It is a simple system of belief that is called what do other people think. People may call themselves Christians or Muslims, they may proclaim to be Liberal or Conservative, married or single, they may select one career or another, or they may dress differently from each other, but they are all exactly the same because their lives are controlled by a shared belief system. It is a belief system that requires everyone to project a carefully-crafted, false image of themselves to the world. It demands that we seek approval. It requires us to fit-in. It insists that we must try to be normal. We must belong to some group of people who accept us.

The problem is that the things we are expected to project are not real or meaningful things. What we project on Facebook, or in public, or in everything most of us do is just an image. None of it is real because none of it reflects the way we actually feel inside, the things we really want to do, and what we really think. The value system of what do other people think leaves us feeling trapped and lonely because so much of what we are, how we feel, even what we do in secret, is considered inexpressible. 

Followers of what do other people think are violently intolerant of anyone who chooses not to live according to this value system. If anyone in this big world of ours decides to live openly in freedom, they face the full wrath of family, friends, teachers, lovers, bosses, colleagues, and probably even the post-lady. Let us remember that these followers of what do other people think have spent a lifetime sacrificing everything for this. They have gone to church when they would rather have been making love. They have sat quietly at the dinner table when they would rather have said how they really feel. They have sacrificed their entire lives carefully crafting an image to friends, family, and to the public. This is very hard work. This is the world's dream of hell and the religion of what do other people think is how we are domesticated into it. From childhood this is what is expected of us because, we are told, everyone does it.

Now let's imagine someone comes along and says, "Well, I know this is how things have been done for 2,000 years, but it doesn't work for me." Do you think that a person listening to this...someone who has sacrificed everything for the religion of what do other people think...is he or she going to be tolerant and accepting of this person? No. If he were to accept someone who rejects the value system of what do other people think, then his entire identity and belief system will shatter. He cannot allow this to happen, and so the automatic response is to shun, to shame, to ridicule, to punish, to gossip, and to do anything and everything in an attempt to make the person once again care about the religion of what do other people think.

I believe in a different value system. Mine is based on love, acceptance, and freedom. I believe that we should all live according to who we actually are, deep inside. We should all feel free to express that which makes us unique. Our uniqueness is the meaning of your lives. To let it shine is to fulfill your destiny on this planet. Total faith in love is the only path toward happiness and everything good. It cannot be sacrificed for any consideration of what do other people think. I find it quite ironic that the value system of practicing love, acceptance, and freedom despite what other people think is perhaps the most violently hated thing in this world. But I understand the reasons for this and I accept with love anyone who decides to shun, shame, or gossip.

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.

Century of fakers

Everybody's trying to make us another century of fakers (or so goes the old song by Belle and Sebastian). We live in a world where everything fake is put on display and everything real is kept hidden. Most of us spend these short lives trying our best not to rock the boat. We shamefully hide what we really think, who we truly are, what we really like, what we actually do, and who we truly love. A few of us, either through some amount of bravery or more likely circumstance, find one day that our truths are exposed to the world. When this happens, the fakers around us are repelled into their comfort zones of self-preservation and we are left completely alone.

Do we have to be fakers to be loved and accepted? Do we have to keep our truest selves, our most real feelings, and our sacred relationships hidden from the world in fear? Must the goodness and purity that exists in secrecy always be destroyed in openness? Are the words and ideas shared in our private worlds real, or is realness only to be measured in action?

It's another century of fakers in a world where beauty, love, truth and freedom only seem to flourish when hidden in deception. When tested by reality, it almost always evaporates. How ironic and unacceptable. How sad and unfulfilling. Yet how true.

After a lifetime of faking, I am now living an honest life. The first step for anyone on this journey is self-love. Without it, there is no path forward because the path is lonely. I will continue to believe in love, starting with self-love. I hope to one day find myself on this journey with someone who is on the same path of openness and truth. Until then, I will remain grateful for all of the natural giving I have received and I will continue to love and give freely.  

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.

The poly romantic

Nothing is more romantic than polyamory. Love is nothing if not a struggle against the world and no form of love is more a struggle against the world than polyamorous love is.

Romantic love does not ask "what do my parents think?" or "is this normal?". True love seeks no approval on Facebook. Crazy, insane love cares little about practicality because it creates its own refuge in some higher place. When in love, nothing matters more than a single second spent looking deeply into your lover's eye. To be in love is to find endless bliss in a simple greeting and to feel total salvation in a tired conversation at the end of a long day. 

Please don't understand what I am saying as just some sort of lovely, romantic sentiment. I mean this literally, as truth. Real love would never ask to be proven through sacrifice, commitment or will-power. The highest form of romantic love doesn't mind taking a wrecking ball to any aspect of your life. If the force of love destroys anything, then it destroys that which must be destroyed for the purpose of good. After all, love is the highest form of truth and good. How could love destroy good? Love cannot be the cause of something bad and to believe so is to be confused about what love does and what goodness is. Negative consequences in love happens only when faith in that love is abandoned. 

To commit to polyamory is to commit to love's highest ideal. To choose polyamory is to place your total, complete faith in love. It is to live each moment open to the possibility of new love just as you continue to honor lasting love. To commit to polyamory is to face dramatic challenges, changes and consequences because you are filled with the natural strength to shrug off judgment, opinions, threats, and ultimatums. If you are poly, you are a fucking beautiful romantic and I love you for it. To be the truest romantic (to be poly) is to know (not just believe) that love is the answer. To live poly is to walk love's walk.

Poly love is love. Anything else is something less than love. Anything less is an arrangement based on conditions. Love never asks anyone to be less or to love less. I still believe in love.

LOVE

Posted by Mark Manney. Feel free to email me at mark.manney@belovetribe.com.