Contradictions of Love (The controversy of love, contradictions in relationship, duality). A chapter from Technologies of Success: Living Well Isn’t Against The Law by Vyacheslav Ruzov

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 9.39.39 PM

Love comes to us from two sources. The result looks practically

the same externally, but internally there’s a fundamental difference.

If love manifests from human lust, it is fraught with contradictions.

This is because any material activity is dual by nature. As much as we’d

like to have good luck, an equal share of bad luck follows. As much

as we’d like Yin to come into our life, it is always accompanied by the

same size Yang. Then, if love comes from spiritual reality, it is bound

to collide with material reality. And again, there’s no way to get around

contradictions.

The desire for eternal love doesn’t match with the impermanence

of this world. Thus, conflict is inevitable. But it doesn’t mean that love

is impossible. Conflict is less of a problem if we realize what’s going on.

 

The main thing is to understand the inner essence of contradictions.

The duality of this phenomenon can be minimized then. For example,

an experienced housewife knows that hot oil and water come into

conflict. If you pour water into hot oil, the mixture will explode.

However, if you pour oil into boiling water, you’ll only hear a slight

FIZZLE.

He beats you because he loves you…

These impressive and terrible words came out of the easiest

contradiction that exists in love. That is the contradiction of allpermissiveness

and the desire to protect. If I allow my beloved one

absolutely everything – gratification of any kind, I let him/her get into

a dreadful situation one day. Except joy, they will sooner or later have

to experience the same amount of suffering.

A truly loving person wants his/her beloved to be happy and

doesn’t want him/her to suffer. It requires that we resolve a contradiction

between all-permissiveness and the desire to protect against grief. And

it is resolved by the method of strictness. Strictness is the right balance

between all-permissiveness and prohibition. If we truly love someone,

we have to be strict. If we aspire for true love, we must be prepared to

be strict with ourselves.

We allow swimming in the river but strictly forbid swimming

beyond the buoys. We allow staying out but demand to come back

home before dark. We allow the child to play with friends but insist on

doing homework first. We allow riding a bike but prohibit riding on a

busy road.

Too much rigor grows into violence; lack of strictness, however,

turns into all-permissiveness. Both these extremes impede love, or, in

other words, neither is the expression of love since the key principle –

the desire to protect – is being lost.

The same principle of strictness reveals itself in spiritual love, as

well. A spiritual person loves God, but instead of all-permissiveness,

this love manifests itself as iron discipline. A believer doesn’t think that

“now that I love God I can do anything I want”. On the contrary, to

protect his/her love, one becomes strict with oneself in desires, when

it comes to mind, senses and body. It’s not that one simply rejoices

Technologies of Success: Living Well Isn’t Against The Law by Vyacheslav Ruzov 76

in spiritual happiness – along with that, a spiritual person abides by

all the rules of spiritual development. However, if he/she is too strict,

love for God grows into fanaticism. On the other hand, if one is too

relaxed, it becomes sentimentalism, or sahajiya. Again, these extremes

don’t let divine love develop and cause many types of suffering instead.

Therefore, if one speaks about the Absolute Truth but doesn’t touch on

the topic of strictness of spiritual life, in a befitting way, this is a form of

subtle violence. A listener becomes deceived, being deprived of proper

understanding of love.

Another contradiction of love manifests itself in the relationship

with the seniors. A senior person is the one we should seek good advice

from. As we try to follow this advice, a complex loving controversy

becomes apparent. The seniors invariably possess perfect rightmindedness

concerning the theoretical framework. But when it comes

to practical application, misunderstandings may occur. This is because

life circumstances of those who get advice may be different. Therefore,

whenever we face a contradiction, we must know the rules for proper

behavior. It will help us not to lose our loving relations with the seniors.

And these loving relations are among the most important ones.

Once again, strictness is what is needed. On one hand, we

wholeheartedly value the experience of the senior. We try our best to

grasp the vision of how to act. It is with all our heart that we feel the

desire of the seniors to protect us. We appreciate it and are very grateful

for their advice.

One day people complained to the old sage about all the evil that

came into being together with the so-called technical advancement:

“What’s the use of this technical junk?” they said. “How does it

help people think about the values and sense of life?”

“Anything can contribute to our knowledge.”

“What can we learn, say, from a railroad?”

“That in a moment one can lose everything.”

“What about the telegraph service?”

“That you have to pay for every word you say.”

“How about the phone?”

 

“That everything we speak here is heard over there…”

On the other hand, we mind our own life principles and strive

to get it done so that there is no contradiction at the end. We are

obliged to accept loving instructions from the seniors. But we are also

responsible for other people we love: the junior ones; those dependent

on us, the equals; and God, after all. If we are not strict with regards to

this situation, love of the seniors won’t bring happiness to us. It won’t

make them happy either. And we have ourselves to blame! To take sage

advice is not enough – one has to put it to work in a proper way. Looks

like a semi-finished product. If it hasn’t been heated, who is to blame?

This is exactly what love for seniors is – we must follow their advice

in such a way that everyone gets happy. Failure to do so will cause

misery to those who have given this advice, after all. This is especially

important to remember, if the advice raises many doubts.

We are talking about it because seniors nowadays stop playing

the role of wise mentors who know the purpose of human life. But it

doesn’t mean we should reject their advice. Disregard for seniors will

destroy our soul; destroy all culture, humanity and spirituality, along

with that. Therefore, we do follow the seniors’ advice, but if it’s not too

spiritual, we make adjustments. In the long run, these adjustments are

beneficial for us, the seniors and all the surrounding people, as well.

For example, if a senior person asks to drink to his/her health,

we are obliged to drink, but it doesn’t have to be alcohol. If you drink

alcohol, it will make you ill, and the seniors who advised it, will also

face the consequences. And so, because we wish the adviser all the best,

we drink juice instead of whiskey, as we follow their advice. By doing

so, we keep ourselves healthy and protect the seniors from negative

consequences. The one who, getting the advice, thinks not whether

it’s proper or improper, but how to follow it so that everyone derives

benefit, is a friend to all living beings. Even if you give such a person

a wrong advice, he/she will follow it in such a way that you benefit

yourself in any case.

The key is not to be afraid to act strictly. Strictness is a mandatory

attribute of a high achiever — a person who wants to do good to others.

Technologies of Success: Living Well Isn’t Against The Law by Vyacheslav Ruzov 78

A low achiever is the one ready to do good to himself/herself only. It’s

common to think that unlucky fellows are those for whom nothing

goes well. But this is not the case. A real loser is the one who benefits

himself/herself only while making others suffer. Therefore, we shouldn’t

be afraid to benefit both individuals and the community as a whole. It

will teach us true spiritual generosity – nobility of a person ready to

undergo hardships for the sake of bringing true spiritual happiness to

others. This is how a man of faith acts, and this is really glorious. Only

those who have no fear can do good and bring happiness to others in

this world.

It was right at our subway station that a terrorist attack took place

yesterday, and I’d like to tell a parable in this regard.

Once upon a time a monk wandered the world and met the

Plague. The Plague was making way to his native city.

“Where are you going to?” he asked her.

“The city you lived in,” said the Plague. “I have to claim a thousand

lives.”

It happened after a while that the monk encountered her again.

“Why did you deceive me?” he reproached her. “You said you

would claim a thousand lives, but you took five thousand.”

“I told you the truth then,” replied the Plague. “I really took a

thousand lives. Others died from fear.”

We shouldn’t be afraid whenever we come up against an obstacle

or get into trouble, or when we receive some contradictory advice. It

doesn’t matter in the least. The main thing is our willingness to make

every effort to dovetail all that with the superior purpose. The purpose

is to gain spiritual understanding since it is only spiritual vision that

can release one from suffering. I must understand that I’m the eternal

soul and being happy is in my nature. Whereas the body is temporary

and it’s always full of anxiety. Only if I manage to understand that,

can I fully focus on the soul and endure bodily problems with dignity,

thereby starting to live like a real sage.

 

To sum it up, let’s hear another parable.

Once upon a time there lived a very wise sage. People always

turned to him for help, and he always gave good counsel. The fame of

his wisdom spread everywhere.

One day it reached the ears of another man who was also wise

and famous in his neighborhood. He also used to help others. He liked

it that people considered him to be the wisest and put value in his

advice. As soon as this man learnt about another sage, he became angry.

He thought he would lose his fame now. And the man started to think

how to prove to others that he was actually the wisest.

Finally he decided, I’m gonna take a butterfly, hide it in my

hands, approach the sage in front of everybody and ask: “What’s the

thing in my hands?” Naturally, he is a great sage. He’ll twig and say:

“You’ve got a butterfly.” Then I’ll ask him: “Is it dead or alive?” If he says

the butterfly is alive, I’ll slightly press it with my palms. When I let my

hands slacken, everyone will see that the butterfly is dead.

And in case he says the butterfly is dead, I’ll set it free and it will

fly. People will see that he was not right.

So said, so done. He took a butterfly and approached the sage.

“What’s in my hands?” he asked.

The sage looked and said,

“You’ve got a butterfly.”

Then he said,

“Now tell me: is it dead or alive?”

The sage looked into his eyes and thought for a while.

“Everything is in your hands,” — he said.

Advertisements

The Power of Kind Words (chapter from “How to Get Twice as Happy” by V.O. Ruzov)

Since we’re constantly learning – the process of learning continues throughout life – we are immensely responsible for transmitting this knowledge to others. A full-fledged educational system includes knowledge on how to share information acquired. We should transfer the knowledge we get proficiently, effectively and on a regular basis. The science of knowledge transfer has many subsections. Listeners may belong to different categories. Each of them requires a different approach to be convinced to accept our knowledge. Seniors, juniors and equals are trained according to certain rules, considering the differences between them. But today we’ll discuss broad guidelines enabling to give knowledge to any person, regardless of their age, education and social status.

Naturally, first and foremost, to impart some information, we must be firmly convinced of it. We are transmitting not just information itself, but our confidence. Feeling of confidence is the invisible information-carrying medium, and it must be top-quality. Imagine that you help a driver to pull out of driveway onto the busy road. He can’t see the road and fully trusts you. You give him the sign whether to turn onto the road or to wait a little. And if you aren’t sure about what you are doing, better not to help at all. Otherwise, it may result in an accident. This is why drivers are especially annoyed by unsophisticated passengers giving them driving tips.

As soon as you become convinced of the truthfulness of knowledge you get, you may start distributing this knowledge. Here, it’s not the power of reasoning or strong convincing skills that play the major role. In the process of knowledge transfer, love rules the roost. Yes, if the speech of the person, except their confidence in the message, is saturated with love, it reaches the very heart of a listener and is perceived as the most valuable gift. We must be aware of that. Pleasant speech is not deceitful flattery. It is a true message imparted by those who are full of compassion towards the listener and hence, choose words that protect veracity from rudeness.

 

Mark these words: a wise person protects veracity from pride and rudeness. Pride and rudeness downgrade the importance of the message of truth and can even destroy it completely. Under the influence of rudeness and pride, the truth easily turns into dangerous lies. Love is the fire that transforms a dish of knowledge into a splendid feast. If a person lacks love (displays rudeness), the dish is undercooked. If there’s too much love or it is wrongly directed (pride), the dish is burnt. Having quality food products is not enough – one needs to cook them perfectly. To receive truth is not enough because one needs to protect it. The Truth is one – it’s easy to give it an imperceptible twist, harness it to serve the false ego and start to exploit. Therefore, the duty of every right-minded person is to protect the truth at all costs.

file0001785926379Sages say that sweet words, gladness and a loving glance, when they accompany a gift, are valued more highly than the gift itself. Gift-giving is a good deed, an act of kindness, but well-wishing attitude touches the heart even more. The same goes for knowledge. Maybe our knowledge won’t help a conversation partner to learn anything new. But if he feels our love, if he feels that we see the beautiful soul in his heart, it will encourage him to reevaluate the words he might have heard a hundred thousand times before. He’ll be able to see things in a different light. How many times in our life did we hear that God loves us? But what have we understood? Has anyone ever given thought to it?

 

But one fine moment we hear the same words and suddenly realize that God really loves us and pushes us toward happiness by all means, although we stand up against it. He doesn’t take offence and continues to send loving teachers. We suddenly come to this realization because a person who says these words is speaking with love. It is selfless display of love, for no obvious reason. We are moved by this merciful spiritual love. Our heart melts. And the simple words “God loves you” become so easily understandable that we immediately feel like we want to go and tell others about it.

 

Someone who talks about human suffering must really see this suffering and show real compassion towards people. Sages say that pain is soothed by a frank look in the eyes, sympathetic glance and caring words. Otherwise, our help won’t bring any real relief to anyone else’s heart. A person will hear right things, undeniable facts, well-shaped logical arguments… But the heart won’t be softened. In fact, it may become even more cynical and cold. Instead of embracing spiritual path, one may close his mind against it once and forever, if we give that person a cold shoulder instead of warm-hearted welcome. The one who knows is not the full embodiment of knowledge. He only invites others into its realm. But we shouldn’t forget that people judge by those who stand at the entrance. The knowledge we invite to obtain is judged by its representatives.

 

Even from a material standpoint, kindness brings only benefits. A modern man thinks that in order to flourish, one needs to be pushy and harsh. In reality, except brutal force, one needs to know the golden rule for prosperity. According to it, the one who gladdens people’s hearts with kind words has nothing to fear from poverty. People will never leave such a person in the lurch. Yes, by using brutal force and being rude, one can really get rich quick. But a rich man is not necessarily a prosperous man. Prosperity is the absence of poverty, and poverty is always ready to return to a rude man. Poverty adores harsh people. Therefore, the Vedas differentiate between temporary riches and permanent prosperity. These are two different things. Temporary riches are like the flash of a match in the darkness, even though it’s very bright. Prosperity is compared to an oil lamp that, although it may be not too bright, burns steadily all night long.

 

It is said in the scriptures that the true adornment of a prosperous man is not jewelry, but his righteous speech and impeccable manners. Strange, indeed, that people are rude to each other, despite knowing full well how much joy sweet words can bring. Something makes us be rude; it is the direct influence of our past. When we want to say pleasant things, but swear-words fall from our lips instead, in this very moment we can fathom our past life. Our karma comes to us and makes us reveal the true nature of our character that is called prarabdha-karma. The way we behaved in the past affects our behavior in the present. Therefore, changes in the heart start with changing the speech.

 

Sages say: if you can use soft words, why to pronounce hurtful ones? Isn’t it stupid to pick unripe berries and trample down the ripe ones with your feet? It must be remembered that low-minded people are always rude, average-minded people answer rudeness with equal rudeness, and high-minded individuals are never rude, no matter how bad they are treated. Therefore, an intelligent person should think twice before saying something.

 

One should decide: is it really necessary to say to this person what I want to say? Can I speak kindly, or am I going to let harsh words slip out? Am I sure what I’m going to say is true? I should also make sure that my words don’t inflict pain on someone not in my presence, even if that person won’t hear them right now.

Will my words make any difference at all? Wouldn’t it be better to keep silent and say nothing? Isn’t it that my talk is a fat lot of use?

 

Wise people say that even in everyday life we shouldn’t yell loudly at a person. If he stands far from you, do not yell across the street – come closer and talk calmly, softly and with love. When we start yelling, it is never soft and kind. It is always rough and angry. So be careful about your speech in any situation. Misuse of the tongue leads to commitment of four sins: malicious gossip, fault-finding, cheating and idle talk. These four flaws are said to give no peace neither to the individual, nor the society one mingles with. There are three interrelated factors: proper perception, proper hearing and proper speech. If one of them is missing, other factors also suffer. If the speech is indecent, the vision also becomes perverted. One hears right things but takes them the wrong way.

 

And here is a funny story of perception. Once, all villagers came to the local sage and asked, “What’s more important – the sunlight or the moonlight? We can’t understand.”

The sage thought for a while and said, “Certainly, the moonlight is more important!”

“But why?” the folks asked. “Could you explain to us, know-nothings?”

“It’s quite simple,” said the sage. “The moon shines at night when it’s dark and we need it to shine. The sun shines during the daytime, when it’s already light around and we have no need for it at all.”

The villagers listened and thought, “Isn’t it time for us to find another sage?”

The Secret to Life Satisfaction (chapter from “How to Get Twice as Happy” by V.O. Ruzov)

DSCN8820

We talk a lot about the happiness of love, but it’s not always easily attainable. Therefore, the Vedas also give a lot of information about happiness of contentment. This is a kind of happiness, meant for those whose feeling of love hasn’t yet fully developed. Any development process has its own stages and levels. Happiness is also quite achievable, provided that we don’t associate it only with its supreme stage – happiness of pure selfless love. Otherwise, we may feel quite down in the dumps. One may think: “I’ve just started the path to spiritual development. How can I love the Absolute Truth selflessly? I’m not even sure whether I can experience happiness at all, and what is it, by the way?”

 

At the beginning of spiritual journey, an individual can barely comprehend the new feelings and emotions that arise on this path. The whole thing is not yet clear and looks quite suspicious. Material impressions still remain fresh and strong. They tempt us to follow an old paradigm. New feelings also come up as we experience new kinds of joy unknown before. This is the joy of spiritual purification, spiritual association and self-realization. It delights and frightens us at the same time. But the main thing is that it’s not quite comprehensible yet. Imagine being served a dish containing unfamiliar items. Yes, it’s interesting, but we may be afraid to try it. Hence, let’s refer to the simple notion of “contentment” and see what we should and shouldn’t be content with in our life.

 

Wise people say one should feel satisfied with the following three: one’s own wife, or family members in general; food given by providence, and wealth acquired by honest effort. Let’s begin with the first point: being content with your family. We’ve discussed this matter dozens, if not hundreds of times, but it’s being brought up in the instructions of the sages again and again. The skill of family contentment is the essential part of preparation for spiritual happiness.

 

How can we define family members? These are the ones we have to associate with, as we can’t totally cut off relations with them, even if we try to reject them, go to another country or try to forget. Therefore, kin relationships prepare us for the fact that in our spiritual life we’ll also have eternal relatives. So we must learn to communicate on the basis of understanding eternity at once. All in all, our senior relative is the Absolute Truth Himself. And if we can’t maintain relations even with ordinary individuals, how will we practice yoga and establish relations with our most-hard-to-understand relative?

 

Yes, kin relationships in the material world extend only to one life. But if we spend it learning to communicate so as not to break off our relationships, it will be quite enough. Spiritual happiness requires our understanding of eternal nature of relationships. If we don’t accept this relationship style in our heart, we’ll never be able to approach the higher levels of happiness. The more we realize we’re eternally connected with each other, the happier we become. If one has understood that he/she must lead family life so that relations never break during this life, one has become mature for the higher stage of love which goes beyond the scope of just one life. It means one is ready for spiritual love.

 

Contentment with food given by providence is also essential for quick spiritual progress. It means I shouldn’t seek happiness elsewhere but accept what is given by providence. If I’m discontent with food on my plate, it means I’m discontent with my position, and the food on someone else’s plate seems more delicious to me. And this is nothing else than envy and greed which make my mind restless.

 

One might think, “What’s wrong with the desire to get the food I want?” But in fact, our major problem is rooted in this desire. When we don’t have access to something, we think we were deprived of our rightful share. But why don’t we have it? We simply don’t know how to avail of it. If we demonstrate envy, greed, discontent, we simply don’t see we already have everything to be endlessly happy. Yet instead of getting to know about genuine happiness, we start looking for such forms of happiness that shouldn’t be known. We are looking for sinful happiness. It’s plain, accessible, painful, and always seems not enough. It always seems insufficient. This is a clear sign of sin: we think we were deprived of our due share.

 

For that very reason, it was always considered proper to eat one’s meals at home, in a family circle. If someone began to eat elsewhere, it was considered as bad sign: one is dissatisfied with something and may soon cut loose from family. But today everyone is dissatisfied and eats in his own room, holding a grudge against all other relatives. Modern family meals more remind of a daily briefing than the exchange of loving emotions in the contented atmosphere.

 

Finally, we need to say a few words about being content with an honest living. That is pretty much the same thing as what we’ve just discussed. One should be content with the level of wealth earned by honest effort. Satisfaction won’t come as a result of cheating. Hence, I should find such a job where I can be sure that I’m getting honest pay for honest work, without being engaged in thievery or some financial misconduct. For example, in the former USSR labor system was arranged in such a way that folks were either thieving or dodging, or doing both. It all led to the outbreak of discontent which escalated into revolution.

 

One should bear in mind that satisfaction comes from our willingness to make others happy by fair means. This suggests our readiness for the next level of happiness.

 

So if you work hard and honestly, but earn a scanty pittance, know that you have already paid for honesty and nobleness, and thus for contentment and your ability to increase happiness.

 

Now let’s hear what sages say about what one shouldn’t be content with. They specify that one should never feel satisfied with the following three: study, meditation (chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord) and charity. This kind of discontent really shows that a person is geared towards happiness. He is not just cheating himself and others. How can one ever be complacent about the knowledge of the Absolute Truth? The absolute knowledge can’t be fully comprehended by definition. This is what makes it so interesting. And if one starts to think he has understood everything, and feeling complacent, stops studying spiritual philosophy, it can mean two things. Either what he was studying was not the Absolute Truth, or he was setting for himself selfish material goals. In a nutshell, a truly happy person never thinks he has understood everything. He becomes more and more convinced that he knows nothing, and hence makes every effort to learn at least something.

 

A happy man takes the same view of meditation and any other form of spiritual self-improvement. Spiritual life is about coming closer to the Absolute Truth. We’ve only just begun. Thus, discontent about one’s level of self-realization is the sign of inspiration and desire to walk this path till the end. We may also conclude that a contented benefactor is none other than a degrading deceiver hiding under the guise of service to people.

Why is contentment so important for us? When I’m content, I’m fine with everything. This is possible only on one condition: I must really understand I deserve a lot worse than what I have. It’s most likely that I deserve even the most severe punishment. So every time I run into trouble, I should realize: judging by things I’ve gone and done in this material world, I must have brought upon myself the world of trouble. And yet, unpleasant experiences are somewhat minimized. They go much more smoothly than could be expected. Hence, I must be grateful, forever grateful. In other words, contentment is awareness of the mercy of the Absolute Truth, gratitude for His forgiveness and the fact that He is so understanding, patient, all-merciful, and thus, affectionate… A contented person is the one who understands that he is loved by God, which means he himself is ready to get love for God. The mercy of the Absolute Truth comes upon such a contented person in the form of eternal happiness of selfless love.

 

Those who are complacent in their meditation are also under the spell of illusion. Meditation is the service we render to the Absolute Truth with our limited consciousness. It is obvious that there’s no limit to perfection in this activity. Therefore, if I’m complacent about meditation, I consider myself equal to the Absolute Truth. And this is a very dangerous, pernicious state of mind.

 

We can’t afford to be complacent about charity, as well. We can’t help everyone by definition. But if I’m lulled into complacency after I managed to help a small number of living beings, I was not helping them – I was only flattering my vanity. The one, who sincerely does real welfare work, can see the sufferings of other living entities. Such a person understands that the whole world is actually suffering, but he’s incapable of providing neither physical nor philosophical relief. And still, he will exert every effort to help others.

 

Valentine Ideas for Vegetarian/Vegan

It is coming tomorrow!

114-Romantic-Vegan-Dinner-Ideas-_thumb

14 ROMANTIC VEGAN DINNER IDEAS

 

575-ValentinesDayFare

This Valentine’s Day, Love is in the Fare!

 

Image-163

THE PERFECT VEGAN VALENTINE’S DAY MENU

Vegetarian-Valentines-Day-Dinner-Recipes

20 Mouthwatering Vegetarian Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes

and just one more

A Simple Valentine’s Day Menu (Vegan + Gluten-free)

Consciousness, nature, happiness (V.Ruzov)

Consciousness has a reflective nature: if everyone is laughinLaughter-Yoga-is-the-Solution-to-Be-Happy.jpgg, I am also starting to giggle, and if all curse, I also go into a fight. The truth is that we should seek knowledge of how to make others happy, because only in this case, we can become happy.