What is ‘Inner’ and ‘Outer’ in the context of Spirituality?

Inner World and Outer World

Inner and Outer are the terms that are often being used in the context of spirituality. The other extended terms being used are Inner World and Outer World, Inner Journey and Outer Journey. Some new terms like Inner Engineering and Inner Technology have also been added to this spiritual domain. And all these words create a confusion in the minds of a novice. Let me share my thoughts and insights on this.

Inner Objects and Outer Objects

We exactly stand in the middle and there is this inner space and outer space extended from there. The witness stands exactly in the middle. And in this space there are various objects, the whole space is curved up because of the presence of these objects, and we all interact with these objects in our own different ways. When we interact with our thoughts and emotions it is called an inner world. And when we interact with the whole existence outside and other people it is called an outer world. It is very easy for us to know and interact with outer objects. And it is very difficult to reckon the existence of the inner world and the inner objects. The objects are very very small. They are much more smaller than electrons and protons. The inner world is very subtle. We don’t even believe that such inner world really exists. Our mind space is that inner space. Our mind universe is that inner universe.

Being Mindful of the Objects

Why interaction with the objects? The whole purpose of interaction is for the knowledge and understanding of the world of objects. When I understand the objects of my world, I understand my world and myself. This is the science. The whole purpose of observation is because the observer is the observed. And observation changes the nature of the observer and the observed.

Object and the Subject

The objects have emerged from the subject. The other way of saying is that the subject manifests through the objects. And there is this interaction and collaboration between the two. Why mindfulness? There is a duality of the objects and the subject. The separation of the objects gives rise to a duality. And this duality gives rise to stress and strain. Mindfulness bridges this gap and brings us closer to the subject. And there is a possibility of an experience of unification. And the experience of the non-dual gives us stillness, tranquility and bliss. This is the whole journey of spirituality which is infinitely divided between the outer world and the inner world. And enlightenment bridges this gap and gives us the illumination of unification and oneness 🙂

The inner space and outer space is because of the presence of objects. The object is not different from the subject. The separation of the objects from the subject creates duality and gives rise to stress and strain. Mindfulness is a powerful tool and technique that bridges this gap and brings us closer to the subject. And eventually gives us the experience of unification and oneness. And this experience of oneness gives us stillness, tranquility and bliss.

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Livelihood Vs. Buddhahood

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Buddha is not against living. He is definitely against leaving. He is against leaving problems to God to solve them. There is no God the way we perceive God to be. We perceive God to be a super human entity somewhere up in the heaven. There is no such God somewhere up. So he can never come and solve our problems. We always look up and never look in. All the problems in life are our problems and surely it is our responsibility to solve them. We have created them and hence we have to own up the problems to find solutions to solve them. Buddha is in favour of improving our lives. He is for bettering our lives. He is not against life. He is not against love. He is for better life and better love. He is for Enlightened Living. He is for living wisely out of mindfulness. He is for a conscious living. He is not against Dollars. He has reverence for Dhamma and Dollars. He is not against Numbers. He is for Numbers and Nirvana. He is for quality in quantity. He is for a Quantum Consciousness. He is for matter and spirit together. He is for spirit in the matter. Everything is divine and sacred. There is nothing in the existence that is evil or non-sacred. The whole existence is divine.

Then why he left the world? This is a basic question. The only answer is that he was not aware of all this. He was carrying a wrong notion and a wrong understanding because of a wrong spiritual tradition. The tradition was that of renunciation and asceticism. And this was utterly a wrong tradition. This was one reason for his leaving the world. And the second reason was that in his whole life since childhood he was given to know only one side of life, that is, the life of comfort and convenience. He was never shown the other side of life. That is, the life of poverty, hunger and misery. Life is like the two sides of a coin. And the psychology is that if we accept only one side then slowly the other side will start surfacing and attracting. This is a simple psychology. It is a simple psychology of the attraction of the opposite. In the east people have been living in acute poverty and hence an attraction for Technology Leadership and Business Leadership. In the west people have been living in abundant comfort and luxury. And hence an attraction for Spiritual Leadership and Enlightened Leadership.

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When we suppress and repress one side, the other side creates a pressure and gains a momentum to assert and surface. This is a simple psychology. We need a new science of holistic living. We need a science of total living. Body and soul are not two different things. Matter and spirit are not two different things. Quantity and quality are not two different things. Hardware and software are not two different things. Dollars and Dhamma are not different things. Number and Nirvana are not two different things. Materialism and spiritualism are not two different ways of living. Therefore, Livelihood and Buddhahood are not antonyms. They are not against each other. They complement and support each other. Buddhahood is nothing but bringing in mindfulness in livelihood. Buddhahood is living with mindfulness. And there is no need to leave anything. There is no need to give up anything. The non-essential things, the unwanted things (wrong ideas, wrong notions, prejudices, preoccupations, wrong perceptions) will automatically be dissolved and disappeared in the process of mindfulness. Mindfulness embeds within two powerful principles. The observer is the observed. This is the first principle. The observation changes the nature of the observer and the observed. This is the second principle. And in the process of mindfulness there is a unification and an experience of oneness. Because the object is not only an object it is a subject too. The object gets transformed into the subject.

The above experience of unification and oneness is not possible in the objective science because of the observer principle. At the heart of science is a duality because of the observer principle. This observer principle always keeps the observer away from the observed. And the difference between the observer and the observed remains infinite.

Let us bring in mindfulness in livelihood and bridge the gap between Livelihood and Buddhahood. They are not two different ways of living. Let us make them as one way of living. Let it be an Enlightened Living. An Enlightened World and an Enlightened Universe is waiting for us 🙂

“Mindfulness embeds within two powerful principles. The observer is the observed. This is the first principle. The observation changes the nature of the observer and the observed. This is the second principle. And in the process of mindfulness there is a unification and an experience of oneness. Because the object is not only an object it is a subject too. The object gets transformed into the subject.”