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A Personal Journey.
Jonathan Francois Douglas O’Haly
PART 1: THE INTERIOR 1. Dialogue
What is spiritual enlightenment? What are the exact steps or choices we must make to traverse successfully along this path? What methods will prove to be most useful? Who should we put our trust in? What spiritual product should we choose or what spiritual team should we declare our allegiance to? The acquisition of enlightenment must indeed be such an awe inspiring accomplishment. It could be the key to everything. For those of us who have failed or not accomplished to the heights that we have dreamed of the pursuit of being enlightened seems a totally logical extension of our selves. Indeed amongst the most monumental names in human history are the prophets, the philosophers, and the saints. Maybe after all we were meant to fail at things, our failure itself being the fuel that propels us to approach this new and much more important life. Because how does one walk this path finding one’s self successful and totally involved in society? Must we not be, at least a little, like the great Buddhist and Taoist hermits who live in caves off somewhere in the mountains of China? Must we not remove ourselves from the attitudes and delusions of the day to finally truly find ourselves, uncovering our true nature, our true selves, not those we have developed in reacting to the pressures of a limited and unenlightened world? Maybe we can become spiritually aware while still participating in life and society, taking time to work and look after our loved ones. Maybe like everything else in life the solution is not found in doing this or that. The solution is found in balancing this and that. In this light being isolated and alone all the time is not the answer nor is the opposite of this attitude, never being so. Maybe people thinking that they can’t pursue this goal until they have more time on their hands has become a huge public delusion. People find some time for themselves and then expect to find some quick spiritual
insight. It’s like you are finally ready to jump in the river so to speak but you’re actually swimming up current and you’re going to get tired soon and give up. Your spiritual journey consists of jumping in the river and going wild for like 5 minutes every once in awhile. Maybe the spiritual path and your life can mesh together perfectly but you are just ignorant to it? People may think they need to get away from their life, their children, their jobs whatever to be alone and finally uncover some truth. People don’t realize that the greatest meditative experience is found in living life not hiding from it. Life is spiritual. Like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin says so perfectly, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -
If becoming enlightened is seen as simply uncovering our true nature then it is implied by some to be inexplicably simple. Others of course would argue that the opposite is true. How do you unwind yourself from everything that defines your character and personality in order to uncover what truly belongs and what doesn’t? Can we burn out the impurities? Can we just force our minds into the mighty furnace confidant that we will someone remain sane individuals after the process is completed? Is this a path or is this thee path? If hell is the name given to the fire that purifies ourselves after we die so that we may be reborn is not madness the name given to the experience that allows ourselves to be reborn in this life? In this light should we not pray for the furious fires of hell to descend down upon us? In all honesty we can’t believe that we have the answers to the most complex, if not complex then the most important, issue that will ever confront a human being. Because either 1. there is something very real about the idea of enlightenment and you have been almost wasting away your entire life because you have somehow not been in the know about the whole thing or 2. you are chasing something entirely subjective that doesn’t really exist beyond one fooling one’s self into thinking that they have uncovered something that they really haven’t maybe even only in order to deceive other people. And you are likewise wasting away your short mortal life that would be better used doing things that are more enjoyable than meditating and being frustrated about not attaining to permanent bliss and perfection. Who has attained to enlightenment if anyone has and who hasn’t? Many adepts of spirituality will find this an extremely important question. How can we really say anyways? If we personally know someone and have spent a considerable amount of time with them it is much easier of course to have an opinion beyond reading about someone or reading something from them.
Most spiritual teachers as well would like to present people with a definitive method. Do this for awhile and you will become enlightened. While it is vital that people yes do have the belief that they can accomplish something or they maybe never will, it is also maybe hazardous to place too much faith in a particular technique. People can try out one approach for awhile only to turn around and say, “This isn’t working, that was a little frustrating, now I’m going to try out this other thing for awhile.” In a consumer driven society spirituality becomes presented in the same light. People become sold on brands in much the same way as they do in choosing which pop or sports team they support. Here for example is something hilarious I found on the internet:
Here is the list of the ten ways to spiritual realization from the most effective to the least effective: 1. Dzogchen - Self-Liberation 2. Douglas Harding - Self-Seeing 3. Richard Rose - Reverse Vector 4. Ramana Maharshi - Self-Inquiry 5. Hesychasm - Mystical Prayer 6. Zen - Zazen 7. G. I. Gurdjieff - Self-Remembering 8. Vipassana - Psychological Witnessing 9. Mindfulness - Physical Witnessing 10. Patanjali - Samyama http://identitywhatisit.blogspot.com/2011/07/ten-paths-to-self-realizationenlightenm.html
Yes people love lists. Almost like making a list entitled, “10 best 80’s songs to drink to.” He’s not even giving you 10 spiritual routes you can take. He’s somehow ranked the ten best from 1 to 10. Personally I think that if your spiritual thing isn’t on this list then you really need to rethink things. Basically he’s ranking these based on how effective they are at defocusing awareness which for him is the key to becoming enlightened. I tried to read more of his stuff to figure it out but found it rather confusing. Maybe if I let in sit in my brain for a few days I can go back to it and be able to understand it all a little better.
One important thing which seems to get ignored is that becoming enlightened is a process that is beyond any technique, philosophy or approach. Watching your breath for example is not really going to help you truly find yourself. People forget that if enlightenment isn’t something that is as natural to the human being as giving birth and dying is then it doesn’t really exist in any sort of meaningful way. Chasing enlightenment could be the most daunting task a human being could ever attempt and of course it is most natural for someone to want some sort of structure to negate the impending chaos and uncertainty that they may face. People naturally fear physical hardship but spiritual and mental? There is also the question of process itself? Is becoming enlightened a process or is it as many would suggest a state of being that you are already ready to become a part of, you just need to almost trick your mind into seeing it. Take this quote from Osho for instance, “In a single moment, in one stroke, you can become enlightened. It is not a gradual process, because enlightenment is not something that you have to invent.” Most things that happen in nature however are things that unfold naturally with process and that isn’t because we’re inventing them. Winter gradually gives way to spring. Like Lao Tsu says, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." So are you walking along the right path or are you getting frustrated because you’re just not getting it? Using this approach a teacher becomes frustrated as well, “Why isn’t my student getting this? It’s so easy!” A teacher might try to use drastic measures in order to help his or her pupils finally see the light. What good is a teacher if he or she can’t wake up his or her closest disciples? Maybe if we approached the spiritual path with patience we would see a more fruitful outcome? You can encourage a seed but it is still subject to at least some of the laws of nature for example. There seems to be a fairly popular misconception that spiritual masters can run around just ‘presto’ enlightening people. Of course with so many spiritual techniques vying for your attention
some will have to make outrageous claims to get your notice. Consider this:
So, how long will Enlightenment take? Perhaps: a lifetime if you are attempting to realize Enlightenment via your various life experiences. 2 to 10 years if you seriously contemplate the content-context of selected literature in the field of Transcendental Spirituality. 1 to 2 years if you seriously study OM Aphorisms. 4 to 8 hours if you undergo the Ultimate Horizon Insights consultation. http://www.highvibrations.org/archive1/ulthori.htm:
Four to eight hours? How could you not bite into this apple? Enlightenment in this light has become fully a marketable commodity. Here’s something else in a similar vein:
We can reach the second realm by practicing Zen, by asking questions like "Who am I?" "Who are you?" and "Who is chanting holy names?" and by deliberating over Zen enigmas. By practicing yoga, we can also attain the first or second realm, or at the most, the third realm. But that's as far as we can go. We need a more powerful method to go beyond that, and that is the Quan Yin Method, which brings immediate enlightenment. Excerpt from: Supreme Master Ching Hai Lecture, March 31, 1989 (Originally in Chinese), Chiching Temple, Ilan, Formosa http://godsdirectcontact.com/relatedtopics/zenandenlightenment.html
Here is something from Mahadev that differs slightly alluding to what we referred to before bearing on the concept of process in the pursuit of enlightenment versus there being none.
Everyone should work hard to purify their own mind. Once the mind is purified (clear of resentments, greed, animosity, arrogance, and other forms of selfishness) the
vastness of consciousness will manifest itself. This is the process of enlightenment. It is a natural process of self-discovery, the unfolding of our real nature. Enlightenment is the essential purpose of our existence. Without enlightenment, our life is incomplete. Attaining enlightenment is the only way to find lasting happiness and contentment. There is no other way. http://adityadham.com/aditya/process.html
Mahadev is making it clear here, at least for me, that there is a process involved in all this. Even if in the end we can look back and say, “Well I was a caterpillar and then POOF I was a butterfly, concentrate, I will show you how.” I mean even if someone is enlightened are they not still mistaken? Do we forget that we were in a cocoon like state for awhile and then nature finally spit us out. Are we somehow forgetting all that and then taking credit for it all claiming that we have hit upon some form of mind trickery that will somehow make us a million bucks and help a whole lot of people as well. What if I have it all wrong though? What if I thought I was in some cocoon like spiritual state when I just hadn’t found the right setting for my mind to frequent upon and instead of trying to formulate and explain it all I’m telling people, “Find the answers on your own! I found mine on my own and it’s the only way.” So in starting upon a subject hoping to help people have clarity the opposite begins to shine through a little. However I have found that since I maybe realized enlightenment within myself some 15 years ago it has taken me this whole 15 years of learning how to finally really start to master and fully harmonize that energy. Enlightenment is a process both before and after the fact. For me essentially 3 years before and 15 years so far after. You have to have the willpower and desire to fully live this life not because it’s easier but because it is something you feel is your destiny. A good part of me questions the benefits of being enlightened for the average person. Are these people really ready for it all? And that begs another question of course. Are people being sold on an idea that they aren’t really ready to see through to the end, “perfect permanent bliss and harmony!” causing them to jump into something that really only adds to the confusion that they already have to deal with on a daily basis? Are people suffering from serious psychological hardship
because of this all? Not saying enlightenment doesn’t exist and it isn’t magical but we can obviously ask some serious questions about it all.
People obviously prefer there to be a shortcut to something like this. Even a year of hard spiritual work, and spiritual work can be very hard, seems like a long time to some to have to endure in order to reach the state of enlightenment. Maybe there are quicker methods that can take one there? Maybe the significant amount of time that ends up being wasted as we essentially look for answers outside of ourselves makes up the vast majority of time that people associate with attaining to self realization. The vast majority of people who understand a little about spirituality will tell you, “Oh enlightenment. That can take you lifetimes to discover.” Take the Quan Yin method which I poked fun at earlier. Their take on it all is to meditate on the inner light and sound of God which is also the way I have always meditated. Not because I had ever heard of Quan Yin or any other similar method, it became something that clicked when I faced a point in my life when I desperately needed something that did. Maybe if we ask enough questions we can finally find some concrete answers. Consider what the ancient sages of India have to say about it all in the Katha Upanishad, “When all longings that are in the heart vanish, then a mortal becomes immortal and attains Brahman (infinite consciousness) here.” So accordingly we must rein in our minds and imaginations maybe for the first time in our lives and learn to be content. Indeed in most spiritual tradition and practice living in the present or existing fully in the here and now carries a significant amount of importance. Ponder this list that I found searching for ‘self realization’ on Wikipedia:
According to Maslow, self realized people share the following qualities: ● Truth: honest, reality, beauty, pure, clean and unadulterated completeness ● Goodness: rightness, desirability, uprightness, benevolence, honesty ● Beauty: rightness, form, aliveness, simplicity, richness, wholeness, perfection, completion, ● Wholeness: unity, integration, tendency to oneness, interconnectedness, simplicity, organization, structure, order, not dissociated, synergy ● Dichotomy-transcendence: acceptance, resolution, integration, polarities,
● Aliveness: process, not-deadness, spontaneity, self-regulation, full-functioning ● Unique: idiosyncrasy, individuality, non comparability, novelty ● Perfection: nothing superfluous, nothing lacking, everything in its right place, justrightness, suitability, justice ● Necessity: inevitability: it must be just that way, not changed in any slightest way ● Completion: ending, justice, fulfillment ● Justice: fairness, suitability, disinterestedness, non partiality, ● Order: lawfulness, rightness, perfectly arranged ● Simplicity: nakedness, abstract, essential skeletal, bluntness ● Richness: differentiation, complexity, intricacy, totality ● Effortlessness: ease; lack of strain, striving, or difficulty ● Playfulness: fun, joy, amusement ● Self-sufficiency: autonomy, independence, self-determining. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-realization
Pretty long list of positive qualities that ‘Self Realized’ people share. I don’t know if I have all these qualities. It is a good meditation to read them all and think about our character and personality. Character is something we can develop. Some people reject the notion of growth and cover themselves in a sort of ‘that’s just how I am’ attitude. Some of the benefits of spiritual practice is in thinking about these things and working on cultivating better mental and emotional habits. However these are things that people should naturally work on and have nothing to do with accepting or rejecting the idea of enlightenment. The supreme focus that is put on becoming enlightened by many spiritual disciplines can maybe make the whole process more frustrating than anything else leading to very little or no progress. People search for the easy route, presto enlightenment, leading to supreme effortless perfection. People who have experienced enlightenment start thinking of themselves as being ‘perfect’ and somehow decide that they should be teaching others. Character development is ignored at both ends of the scale. Enlightenment leads to frustration. The idea of enlightenment that the vast majority of the world seems to share in is not a true one.
5. The Enemy
How about the notion that we must overcome our ‘ego’? Is it really true like many would like to believe that the only thing that keeps us from eternal bliss and perfection is some sort of internal enemy?
You can begin to reverse your frustrations with spiritual enlightenment by identifying the ego "you" and recognizing when it takes over. In "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying", Sogyal Rinpoche says: "Two people have been living in you all of your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to." http://www.achieving-life-abundance.com/elusive-enlightenment.html
So let me get this straight? You can begin to reverse your frustration by starting to believe that there is an enemy inside of yourself that is trying to thwart you at every step? Seriously? Now we can all admit that most people are too egotistic and that people, all people, would be wise to practice not being so. Some people maybe though are on the other end of the scale however and end up getting taken advantage of because of it. There is a huge difference between acting egotistic and having a separate identity inside of yourself, the ego, that exists only to sabotage you. Almost like promoting schizophrenia? Maybe your ego does need to die along the path to enlightenment at some point. The operating system you have developed in reacting to the material world can not process the larger ideas of spirituality and you must throw that one away in order to find a more encompassing and efficient level of consciousness. However at no point is your ego the enemy. You are your ego in the way that your ego is the filter that you have developed in order to look at life. You need to work with yourself. You need to realize that you must do away with all or your previous and prior conditioning and approach everything renewed from a point of stillness and emptiness. This implies working and communicating with yourself. Not in creating some sort of internal scapegoat and enemy. Also the process implies great hardship. We are talking about a
journey into the depths of madness itself when we start talking about overcoming the ego and approaching enlightenment. What percentage of people agree to this journey before they start upon it? People are pulled in by grand words that over advertise the end result but are not told anything at all about what the journey will really entail. Maybe if people have a proper understanding and they approach the question with love and clarity they can seamlessly mesh into a new way of being? However for people like myself who bought into the whole war with the ego way of looking at things the journey is a rocky one and many people, unlike myself luckily, are not going to make it back to the shores of sanity.
Student: "Is it possible to achieve enlightenment without becoming mad?" Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche: "We are mad anyway, in different degrees. We may not become completely mad unless we are maniacs- religious maniacs or political maniacs, whatever- unless we lost control of the situation. We have a sort of medium madness going on all the time, with the possibility of absolute madness. You see – that is samsara – madness. And that which is not madness is called enlightenment. Because such an idea as madness exists, therefore automatically there is that which is not madness, which is enlightenment. So once you begin to talk about enlightenment, or freedom, that means you are speaking in terms of madness." http://www.orderofcompassion.com/talkingdharma/2010/07/madness-andenlightenment/
Kind of an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ rationale to the whole thing. Maybe in a certain light normal material consciousness is a form of madness and everyone is essentially mad. But being mad in a normal everyday, we’re all mad I guess, sort of way is a million times better than being truly insane searching for an idea of enlightenment that doesn’t truly exist. And not insane in like a, “Yo dude. I am like so radically insane man. Check this move out.” kind of way. I have traversed the depths of the human mind and it is not a fun place to be. It’s dark, it’s hopeless, it’s so terrible that I can’t even find the words to truly describe it. If this process is an integral part of becoming enlightened which is not really a state of pure and total bliss and perfection, well then? Do you even want to walk part ways down this road? At some point you need to go all the way because there’s no turning back. If we can bring clarity to something to help others then we obviously should.
Here is something from someone who is maybe at least trying to be honest about everything. I only posted a couple of the paragraphs that encompass his or her answer to the question:
MANY SAY THAT YOUR MEDITATION TECHNIQUES ARE DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEY CAN RELEASE MORE ENERGY THAN WE CAN DEAL WITH. AND YOU HAVE OFTEN SAID THAT MADNESS AND ENLIGHTENMENT ARE EQUALLY POSSIBLE ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH. CAN YOU SAY SOME MORE ABOUT MADNESS AND HOW WE CAN AVOID IT? ….That's what I was saying yesterday. On the third layer, the chaos layer, the possibility of madness is there -- if you get identified. So before you get identified you have to learn awareness. And all my meditation techniques are such that they teach you two things: one: to be aware, and another: to be chaotic. They create chaos in you, and simultaneously they create awareness in you, they have an inbuilt safety. So don't be afraid. And anyway, I am here! …..When everything goes into chaos within you that means everything moves to the original source -- manmade rules, regulations are lost. The games of the society disappear; all definitions are meaningless. You move into the undefined, with no map. It is a beautiful experience, an experience of the unknown. But dangerous! If you become lost you become mad. http://www.energyenhancement.org/taoism/Taoism-Daoism-Tao-Dao-Lao-Tzu-TaoTe-Ching-Vol-4-Tao-The-Three-Treasures-Ch-6-This-Is-The-Whole-World-I-HaveQuestion-5.html
Yes. Dangerous. Here is something written by Immanuel Kant:
An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment? (1784)
Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] "Have courage to use your own understanding!"--that is the motto of enlightenment. http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~mgamer/Etexts/kant.html
I don’t think he is specifically talking about spiritual enlightenment
here. Maybe he is. He might as well be. He is hitting the nail right on the head though. If you are going to walk this path 1. courage, 2. courage to think for yourself, to find the answers within yourself. Georg Feuerstein from his book ‘Holy Madness: Spirituality, Crazy-Wise Teachers, and Enlightenment’ :
Enlightenment is the shattering of all mental constructions about existence, including the notions of emptiness and chaos or fullness and harmony. It is awakening from the dream in which we mistake our metaphors for the real thing. As the psychiatrist and Zen practitioner Hubert Benoit put it: 'At a single stroke I have completely crushed the cave of phantoms.' The phantoms are the curious mental creations with which we surround ourselves and through which we live a mediated existence. http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/excerpts.php?id=18135
This is really good. Something written by Jafree Ozwald on the enlightened beings website. Most spiritual websites look like they haven’t been updated since you could first use images on the internet and none are complete without pictures of floating dolphins and other cool stuff.
To drop into enlightenment right now, takes absolute total surrender to What Is. Start with letting go of all efforting to get somewhere better than here now, and start playing like a curious kid again. What is here now is the God Source, what could be better than that? This will bring you closer to enlightenment instantly. You already have unlimited potentiality and an exquisite imagination inside. Use it! Let your mind fly free with it. Only then you can know true freedom and truly be the master of your mind.
Let go of all efforting. The curious kid bit is true. You see way too many people give up and let themselves get old because they lose that sense of excitement that children naturally have. What could be better than the God Source? Good question. Here’s some more:
Enlightenment means you have awakened to the "Light" within you. It also happens at the speed of light! Enlightenment may take months, years or lifetimes of self-inquiry, inner exploration, and letting go, yet it is the main purpose why you came here. All your problems, issues, distractions, negative feelings/thoughts, and judgments are your fuel that are propelling you forward into this light of your Divine Consciousness. The world will always deliver to you the perfect people, situations and stumbling blocks that you are needing to stand up in this light. http://www.enlightenedbeings.com/what-is-enlightenment.html
I can’t really criticize anything this guy is saying. Self inquiry. Check. Inner exploration. I really like the last sentence. Life is too unpredictable to totally base your entire life upon this but it’s something that I think about. It’s also the kind of thinking that we find in the writings of Lao Tsu, “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” Here’s another one, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist
them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” So is learning to be enlightened somehow the same as learning to be one with life and finding lasting harmony? We have to assume that if being enlightened is our true nature as spirituality would have us believe then life should already be engineered to have the exact mechanisms intact that would naturally progress us along the mighty road of evolution. And this type of thinking begs the question. In trying to implement a shortcut, a program, or a method to your own search for truth are you speeding the process along or are you stagnating? Of course we can argue that participating in these different spiritual pursuits are part of our prescribed destiny. True. But. The last step in spiritual attainment before the realization of enlightenment is in stepping beyond not only the teacher but also the teachings. Whether the ideas of your particular method of even just the ideas about it all you have collected from various sources by means of your own independent search for truth. To truly realize the answers within yourself you must clear your mind of everything. Until you have realized that living truth with yourself it all is just mindless chatter. After you have attained to enlightenment you can go back if you like and go over the different methods and the things that different people have said and think about whether you agree or not. Like Immanuel Kants says, “Have courage to use your own understanding!” That is really the golden key to enlightenment and the main stumbling block for the mass realization of enlightenment on a global scale. I know many people will say, “Look I’m not at that point yet. I still have to study and practice everything my master says.” I guess that’s where the courage bit comes in. People can be genuine about spirituality but if they are joining a spiritual movement without having the key element to it all in their arsenal, courage, are they not doomed to at least one lifetime of unsuccessfully reaching their apparent goal? And people also will become disillusioned with their teacher or master after realizing that they are yes human and totally capable of doing the same stupid things that other human beings are. Teachers are judged. People in power are always judged and power almost always corrupts. Shouldn’t the people who see
themselves as followers and give their power to other people maybe not be at fault as well? It’s the major problem not just in spirituality but within the vast realm of the human condition itself. Hey it’s why we will never aspire to living within a truly democratic society. It’s why I can keep quoting Kant without knowing if he is talking about a spiritual ideal of enlightenment or just a purely intellectual one. Like Nietzsche says, “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Or Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” Beyond everything the enlightened individual is one who has questioned everything about the world, about society, philosophy, and especially about his or herself. And then keeps questioning.
Maneesha, beyond enlightenment is only beyondness. Enlightenment is the last host. Beyond it, all boundaries disappear, all experiences disappear. Experience comes to its utmost in enlightenment; it is the very peak of all that is beautiful, of all that is immortal, of all that is blissful -- but it is an experience. Beyond enlightenment there is no experience at all, because the experiencer has disappeared. Enlightenment is not only the peak of experience, it is also the finest definition of your being. Beyond it, there is only nothingness; you will not come again to a point which has to be transcended. Experience, the experiencer, enlightenment -- all have been left behind. You are part of the tremendous nothingness that is infinite. This is the nothingness out of which the whole existence comes, the womb; and this is the nothingness in which all the existence disappears. OSHO, from the book, “Beyond Enlightenment.” http://www.oshoworld.com/e-books/eng_discourses.asp
Hunh? Here’s something from the same book which I like because it totally clears up something that has always confused me, “... and stars are not small things; they are not so small as they look to you. They look small because they are so far away, millions of light years away, but they are huge.” Oh OK. I was wondering why I could never jump up and grab one.
7. Beyond Enlightenment
Enlightenment is the goal of human beings. But those who are enlightened cannot remain static; they will have to move, they will have to change. And now they have only one thing to lose -- themselves. They have enjoyed everything. They have enjoyed the purity of individuality; now they have to enjoy the disappearing of individuality. They have seen the beauty of individuality; now they have to see the disappearance and its beauty, and the silence that follows, that abysmal serenity that follows.
Again from Osho from the same book which you can download by following the link in the last chapter. I kind of get what he’s talking about here. At a certain point you just can’t keep congratulating yourself about things or vice versa. When you are part of a bigger picture you start to see how things happen on a bigger scale. Individuality does kind of disappear in a way. Life blesses us with things, with responsibility, with gifts and talents and it’s not something we take in egotistically. I can remember thinking about how special I was when I was younger and now I don’t at all even though now I maybe truly am. Things just are. I do smile at his choice of words here, “abysmal serenity.” Hunh? a·bys·mal
adjective 1. of or like an abyss; immeasurably deep or great. 2. extremely or hopelessly bad or severe: abysmal ignorance;abysmal poverty.
I think maybe definition 2 is what most people will think when they hear the word abysmal. I do know that if we study the life of Osho or Rajneesh which is what he was known by for the vast majority of his life, enlightenment probably was a bit abysmal at times especially when coming down from weeks of drug fueled partying partaking in group orgies with brainwashed disciples amongst other things. Notice I am not going to say he was or wasn’t enlightened. Maybe he became enlightened and thought, “Sweet. Now it’s time to rock and roll.” No one thinks less of the great rock stars of the 60’s and 70’s because of their crazy lifestyles. Probably the opposite. Why are spiritual icons somehow held by many in a different light? It’s almost like if you were truly enlightened you would just be sitting cross legged somewhere with a huge smile on your face living off
of air and water.
Question 2 BELOVED OSHO, THE OTHER NIGHT WHEN YOU TALKED ABOUT THE EGO AND HOW, WITH AWARENESS, ONE CAN SEE THAT IT DOES NOT EXIST, I REALIZED THAT I NEVER PUT MUCH EMPHASIS ON AWARENESS. FOR ME, BEING WITH YOU ALWAYS MEANT LOVING YOU AS MUCH AS I CAN, LONGING FOR YOU AND TRYING TO BE AS CLOSE TO YOU AS POSSIBLE. BELOVED OSHO, CAN YOU PLEASE SHOW THE WAY FOR A FEMALE GERMAN LOVER TO BECOME MORE AWARE?
Again from the same book. You don’t have to dig deep into the writings of Osho to find pure ridiculousness. Like come on? Apparently Osho bragged to his disciples that he had mastered Tantra and could have sex for hours but according to those who knew him the opposite was more true.
Question 3 BELOVED OSHO, THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO PARTS IN ME RELATED TO YOU. ONE PART OF ME HAS THE DRIVE TO WORK, RUN AROUND, ORGANIZE, JUMP UP AND DOWN, FIGHT, TALK TO PRESS AND POLITICIANS, JUST SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. THE OTHER PART, WHICH HAS BECOME SO MUCH STRONGER OVER THE LAST YEARS, JUST WANTS TO SIT AT YOUR SIDE AND ABSORB EVERYTHING -- YOU, YOUR SILENCE AND YOUR WORDS. WAS IT THAT I HAD TO BE SO ACTIVE JUST TO BE ABLE TO SIT SILENTLY NOW? OSHO, PLEASE CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR OUTER AND YOUR INNER WORK? There is no split in you. If a part fights in the outer world for my message to be spread to all nooks and corners, and the other part simply wants to sit close to me, drinking my silence, my presence, my peace, rejoicing in my blissfulness, being ecstatic just without doing anything.... Ordinarily it may seem that these two parts are against each other. They are not. The more you shout from the housetops, the more you will be able to sit silently, close to me; and the more you can sit silently, close to me, the more you will have something to
share with the world, something to fight for.
Haha OK. “Drinking my silence, my peace, rejoicing in my blissfulness.” This is a bit long but this is the funniest bit I think I’ve ever read:
Question 5 BELOVED OSHO, TWENTY-FIVE YEARS TO GET TO YOU, THREE YEARS TO HANG AROUND YOU, FOUR YEARS TO RUN AWAY FROM YOU IN A ROLLER-COASTER RELATIONSHIP. FOUR YEARS TO STAGGER BACK TOWARDS YOU, ELEVEN YEARS TO GET A QUESTION THROUGH TO YOU -- AND YOU GIVE THE ANSWER TO THIS GERMAN FELLOW, GUNAKAR AND WANT TO SEND ME BACK TO HELL AND SOME DIFFICULT WOMAN. AND IN TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS' TIME, MAYBE YOU HAVE ESCAPED WHEN I CRAWL BACK TO ASK YOU, "WHAT'S NEXT?" OSHO, DO YOU WANT TO KILL ME OR SOMETHING? Gunateet, you are right. The question was yours -- at least written by you -- but Gunakar needed the answer more. There has not been any misunderstanding. He was also surprised, because he had not asked the question. But it was his question. And he could not believe how somebody else had written exactly the question that he was going to ask. And it was not time for you, for that question. Perhaps you got the vibration of the German Gunakar, and wrote down the question; it was not your question. And I can understand your difficulty: it took eleven years for you to ask the question and now you are worried that I am sending you back to your old life and the hard woman. About that you are wrong. Once you get a woman, it is always hard. If you miss a woman, it is just ice cream. Once you get a woman, suddenly she is steel hard. But without women there would have been no enlightenment in this world. Just think... a world without women. Then you cannot find any Gautam Buddha, because there is nobody to run away from. If there is no woman, there is no problem. Women are the real incentive. They say that behind every great man there is a woman; it may be true, it may not be true. But behind every enlightened man there are many women -- one won't do.
Let me get this straight. If there were no women there would be no
enlightenment because there would be no one to run away from. Oh K. It all makes sense now. “If there is no woman, there is no problem.” The last bit is the best. Just having one woman won’t do at all. That would be absolute madness for an enlightened man. I would probably be a little ticked off too if I waited 11 years to get the chance to ask a question and then the answer is given to the german Gunakar.
Question 3 BELOVED OSHO, GOVIND SIDDHARTH'S ENLIGHTENMENT SHOWED ME THAT I AM NOT CONNECTED WITH ENLIGHTENMENT AT ALL. I CANNOT IMAGINE HOW I WOULD FEEL BEING ENLIGHTENED. I REALIZED HOW FAR AWAY IT IS FOR ME, AND THAT I AM NOT REALLY SEEKING IT. CONCERNING MYSELF, I HAVE MOSTLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE STATE CALLED ENLIGHTENMENT. I SEE THAT I AM ONLY LONGING FOR IT WHEN I AM IN A STATE OF PAIN, AND FEEL LOST, AND DON'T KNOW ANY MORE WHAT TO DO. BUT IN MOMENTS OF HAPPINESS AND FULFILLMENT, ENLIGHTENMENT DOES NOT EXIST AT ALL. WOULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS? Lokita, enlightenment is absolutely un-Germanic. I have gone through all the great philosophers of Germany; nobody has any idea of enlightenment. So you need not be worried. It simply shows you are a pure Nordic German, stuck with another German, Niskriya. One German is enough of a hindrance towards enlightenment, and two Germans together... it is impossible. You both will tug at each other's legs and will not allow anybody to become enlightened! And the idea of enlightenment has arisen because of Govind Siddharth's enlightenment. It is not your longing or your search. This is what I have been calling borrowed. If it is not nature that is desiring something in you, a longing coming out of your very soul, out of your very roots, then don't waste time on it.
He ends with some good advice and I will end this chapter with deep thoughts about the wisdom of letting 2 or more Germans be together.
Question 5 BELOVED OSHO,
A GLIMPSE OF YOUR EYES, A FLASH OF TOTAL LOVE -- IT HAPPENS IN A SECOND BUT STAYS FOREVER. OSHO, HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? It is a simple phenomenon. A moment of love is a moment of eternity. The depth of it is so great that time cannot erase it.
Awwwwww! Now that is “Beyond Enlightenment”!
8. Maybe I Am Enlightened?
One question we have not posed yet in relation to the idea of spiritual enlightenment is the question of perception. Perception as it relates to the experience of enlightenment. People when introduced to the idea of enlightenment might wonder if they are enlightened. They might wonder if one would necessarily know when and if one did become enlightened. Another common thing is for people to think that an enlightened person would never say they were or else they would exist so outside of all definition and thought that they wouldn’t therefore know they were. I hope this is confusing for you because it is confusing me. Tom Stine:
I think it was Yogananda who said, “Anyone who claims to be enlightened isn’t.” I don’t think he got it quite right. Better to say, “Anyone who believes he is enlightened isn’t!” For enlightenment is beyond any belief as it is beyond the mind. http://tomstine.com/how-do-you-know-if-someone-is-enlightened/
One thing that puzzles me is that if no one ever claimed to be enlightened or knew anything about enlightenment then we wouldn’t even be talking about it right now. Nobody would. Even those who are telling you that no one would ever think that he or she was enlightened if they truly were. Saying in a roundabout way that they know enough about being enlightened that they know how it truly works. Are they implying something and contradicting their own message maybe? How do we attempt to spread an idea out into the world if we all decide that no one will ever talk about it? Should people not share their experiences? I think that sharing these things are almost our moral responsibility? Take the life of the Buddha for instance. Imagine how many less people in this world would have begun this search if it was not for him? He actively introduced the dialogue of enlightenment on a now worldwide scale. Say if he had decided, “Oh I should not talk about this or believe in it.” Where would spirituality be now?
What are the parameters of enlightenment? Is it something we grow into? Is it the result of process or can it happen all at once without any prior notice. Shouldn't one need to be interviewed by a master or tested by a time proven method perhaps in order to officially confirm that we are so? I've actually seen tests online that one can take to confirm it or not. I've seen lists where things are presented as "Here are 30 things that if you believe you may be enlightened." Personally I would describe normal material consciousness as being dim, I would describe the long journey to spiritual truth to be dim and also dark at times, and I would describe enlightenment as being therefore light. In the moments before we become enlightened it is absolutely dark and then it is as if a light switch is flipped on, ding. It really is beyond definition. Like Albert Einstein says, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if every thing is.” Being enlightened is the state in where we see the miraculous everywhere. Not because we tell ourselves or remind ourselves to. But because we do naturally because we have experienced it within ourselves. The attempt to continuously puzzle over it all and strictly define enlightenment is absolutely ludicrous. Words can maybe bring some clarity but some things can not be described they can only really be experienced.
Perseverance in (seeking to gain) the knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, and perception of the gain that comes from knowledge of the truth: This is called knowledge : all that is contrary to this is ignorance.
Bhagavad Gita 13:11
The person who wrote this is telling you that there is darkness and then there is light. All that is contrary to knowledge of the Supreme Spirit is ignorance. Or like Einstein said things are miraculous or they are not. There are two extremes here.
Now he was the Buddha, the fully liberated one, awakened, enlightened. The search of six long years had ended. It was a day when the full-moon shone, casting a bright silver light on the whole countryside, a day in the month of Vesak (May). The Buddha was thirty-five years old and, for a week, following Enlightenment, he sat under the tree enjoying the state of perfect happiness he had achieved. The Tree later
became known as the Tree of Enlightenment or the Bodhi-Tree and the place is still known as Buddha Gaya. He spent a further six weeks near the tree. It is said that for a whole week, he gazed at the tree with gratitude for having sheltered him. http://www.buddhamind.info/leftside/under/buddha/enlight.htm
You know when you have entered the state called enlightenment. There is absolutely no doubt about it. It is unlike anything else. It is not an intellectual conclusion that one can make. It's as if you woke up from a lifelong sleep. There is still a journey involved in learning and mastering the consciousness and how it relates to the world and you relate to it. When you wake up in the morning do you wonder, "Am I really awake?" Enlightenment is the same. This is why the truly enlightened have so much confidence in their own awakening. They know. There is no doubt. Study the words of Jesus or the Buddha or any great master. Do you sense even the most minute bit of uncertainty in what they are saying? No. They always speak with a great conviction that totally eludes the normal person. As the Buddha says, “Those who really seek the path to Enlightenment dictate terms to their mind. Then they proceed with strong determination.” and also, “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him” Notice that he is introducing the concept with no abstractions involved. It’s really the same seek and ye shall find message that Jesus puts forth. There’s no like you can’t know when you’re enlightened or think you are or you’re not logic to the message.
I stood in the midst of the world, and incarnate I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, I found none among them athirst. And my soul was grieved for the sons of men, for they are blind in their hearts and do not see that empty they have come into the world and that empty they are destined to come forth again from the world. However, now they are drunk--when they have shaken off their wine, then shall they rethink. Jesus
Jesus is saying here that he became awakened and was saddened
realizing that the rest of the world did not search for the same light and truth that he had found. He is not beating around the bush with his words. He never does. “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. And after they have reigned they will rest.” What is he talking about? Enlightenment? Yes. There is authority in his speech. He has awakened.
"Why is everyone here so happy except me?" "Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere," said the Master. "Why don't I see goodness and beauty everywhere?" "Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside."
Anthony de Mello
How we perceive life is a reflection of how far we have evolved along the great path of personal evolution. Two people may have essentially the same life. The same job, the same living situation, the same number of kids. Whatever. For one individual their life could be considered by them to be heavenly and for another they exist for the most part in it’s opposite, hell. People automatically think of the immense amount of wisdom and understanding that an enlightened being must have attained to and think to themselves, “If I was enlightened I would be a famous or successful this or that.” The idea of enlightenment before enlightenment always filters through the ego. The ego that we have developed in being raised in this world feeling separated from it and always engrossed in external events and conditions. “How would this benefit us?” is almost the automatic reaction. If your life was de facto wonderful and beautiful even heavenly would you necessarily be out in the world seeking fame and fortune? Here’s something funny on that note from an article entitled, “Being Enlightened Gets You Everything In Life.”
Enlightenment is about seeing through the illusions of life and knowing what reality really is. When you are enlightened, you can have everything you want. Because you’ll know the truth about what everything is, and what does it really mean to have something. It is an irony of the world that the people who seek material things and desire to have them before thinking about enlightenment, tend to attain neither, but
those that acquire enlightenment first are the ones who do. The desireless attain all their desires. http://www.mindreality.com/being-enlightened-gets-you-everything-in-life
“The desireless attain all their desires.” Kind of a Zen feel to the whole thing. I’m not going to say that that type of logic doesn’t make sense to me however I am skeptical of it all maybe because of the title of the article? It seems a little like closing your eyes and pretending to be invisible when you’re a kid. “I will pretend I desire nothing and then I will have all my desires manifest themselves for me and more!” But still the enlightened do get everything in life. Inner peace. Jesus once again, “Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again.” Again thoughts about being alone to give yourself space to think about things. To think for yourself. What is the kingdom of heaven? Enlightenment? Luke 17:20-21
King James Version (KJV) 20And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
The kingdom of God is within you! “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” To me it’s obvious as to what he was trying to tell people. What will be opened unto you from seeking for it? The kingdom of heaven? Yes. Enlightenment. From the famous spiritual book, “I AM THAT: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.” which was recommended to me by a friend that was recommended in turn by a friend of his who is enlightened as the best spiritual book one can study.
Q: Do you experience desires occasionally? M: Desires are just waves in the mind. You know a wave when you see one. A desire is just a thing among many. I feel no urge to satisfy it, no action needs be taken on it. Freedom from desire means this: the compulsion to satisfy is absent. Q: Why do desires arise at all? M: Because you imagine that you were born, and that you will die if you do not take care of your body. Desire for embodied
existence is the root-cause of trouble. http://www.ivantic.net/Ostale_knjiige/Nisargadata/ Sri%20Nisargadatta%20Maharaj%20-%20I%20Am%20That.pdf
9. Medicine People
The Buddha says, “Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.” Self inquiry. Why should someone believe in enlightenment therefore? Well one doesn’t necessarily need to. The same quote from Jesus Christ that I used in the last chapter, “Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again.” What makes one chosen? Knowing in your heart that it is your time and it is your destiny to walk this path. I know people who think that, “Someday I may examine this but not right now.” Invariably most people will have excuses as to why they are not ready to now. Two possibilities. One. Fear. Two. Maybe the seed that is in you is sprouting already but you can sense that your own tree of knowledge will not rise above the surface for the next number of years. So find peace now. Relax about it all. Your time will come. What is a calling in this light? The ancient shamans for instance were called, people have always been called to this life whether they believed in the idea of enlightenment or not. If you don’t read this and feel your heart being pulled in it’s direction then don’t worry about it. It’s either not your time yet or you are heading in the right direction already waiting to find answers in your own heart before you decide one way or another. Because how can you believe in enlightenment until you have truly experienced it? Really you can’t. Here’s some stuff about shamans from a really good article:
The word shaman originated with the Evenki- the Tungusic language of Siberia, where Saman is used as both a noun and a verb.; this in turn is derived from the Sanskrit 'sramana, a term used for Buddhist monks meaning to heat oneself or practice austerities. The Sanskrit term illustrates the inner spiritual nature of the shaman's calling and alludes to the physical ordeals that are usually a part of the shaman's initiation, as well as his or her ability to accomplish mystical feats which are impossible for the average person.
Campbell suggested "It has always been the business of the great Seers known in India as rishis, in biblical terms as prophets, to primitive folk as shamans; in our own day as poets and artists to perform the work of the first and second function of a mythology by recognizing the veil of nature as viewed in the science of their times." In addition to this list, we might add the concept of physical or mental illness and near death experiences that can portend the shamanic call.. The lineage of the shaman's domain is finding renewal in our times. For those who dare to follow the path, to accept the call, shamanism represents an extraordinary source of healing for the modern ills of humankind. http://www.theharmonyproject.org/shamanism.html
Here’s something else about being called as it relates to shamanism.
Not everyone can become a shaman... It is a terrible experience to survive a calling and thus one should not "wish" to be a shaman. One might be called as a Shaman. Often a person will become seriously ill (mentally or physically) during this calling. They will then realise, or be informed of their calling. Once the person begins their training and accepts their calling, they will be freed of their illness. This calling is not a request, but rather a divine command. One may be raised in a Christian family which rejects the path of the shaman, but to ignore the call would not be acceptable. Most Shamanic cultures believe that rejecting a call is a fatal mistake. Surviving the call is what gives the shaman the experience needed to begin healing others. http://www.empathys.co.uk/71.html
The idea of being called to shamanism by some inner spiritual force whether direct or abstract is central to all shamanism by all cultures around the world. It is accepted even in the most scholarly work that has been done on shamanism which for me obviously is a fascinating subject. Study the lives of Jesus or Buddha. They were shamans tit for tat. Did not Buddha sit under the bodhi tree battling the mystical demons that existed within his own mind until he was finally victorious. That is what in scholarly tradition is referred to as ‘shamanic initiation’.
Shamanic initiation is probably the least well understood of all the many forms of spiritual awakening. It may also be by far and away the most powerful.
After enlightenment what did he do? He became a healer. He finally attained to the ability to help others heal themselves in a spiritual, holistic way. He spent the rest of his life travelling perfectly content in living out his life’s calling. As a shaman finding his way in a society that was more modern than those we usually associate the word and concept of shamanism with. People must change with the times. How do shamans act today? Who knows? People are still individuals. Most don’t call themselves shamans though and even more of these people don’t participate in traditional shamanic ceremony etc. Well they do. But in a modern way.
For starters, shamanic initiation is not about having mastered a body of knowledge, nor is it about having “spent time” immersed in this or that indigenous tradition. Authentic shamanic initiation is not achieved by having completed some long-term training program, nor is it conveyed by having participated in many levels of ritual or ceremony. http://www.themetaarts.com/2006june/hankwesselman.html
Here’s more to think about from the same article:
For the unprepared, this can be problematic, to say the least. Most Westerners do not live in communities in which interaction with spirits is part of their experienced reality on a daily basis. The shamanic initiate may have no clear idea of what is happening to them, and given Western psychology’s tendency to pathologize behavior, they may find themselves in fear of their “paranormal experiences.” They may also find themselves very much alone because they usually discover rather quickly that they have to be very circumspect about with whom they share their experiences. Under these circumstances, connection with an authentic shamanic teacher can be life changing, even life saving, yet in the same breath, it must also be said that the mantle of authenticity and initiation is not conveyed to the shamanic aspirant by the teacher as is common in Wicca or Yoga, Zen or Tai Ch’i. On the shaman’s path, authentic initiation can only be conferred by the spirits
This is the same seek and ye shall find type of message that we were talking about before really. Because you must find the truth written in your own heart. The idea that you need a guru to initiate you is the false one. Shamanism is a purer form of enlightenment really. You might think, “Ok spirits?” What are spirits? They are simply inner manifestations. They are not things we can connect to externally. If I replaced the word spirits with the words, ‘inner demons’ you would probably feel more comfortable. But that is only the bad part of the spiritual realm. The inner demons are the constructs that you have unconsciously created or inherited from the world to block you from entering the kingdom of heaven. We live in a psychic universe. All spirits are connected to each other in a higher form of awareness than most humans are capable of operating on. And when we reach the capability to exist on this level harmoniously then we have entered the state of enlightenment and we like Albert Einstein pointed out can begin to see the miraculous everywhere. Really most of the things in life that obstruct us exist because of our inability to be one with this great web of telepathic energy. Chi if you will. Bad spirits can not attack you. There are no bad spirits excepting your own illusions. Will good spirits however attempt to shake you up a little bit if they can so that you might begin upon the great journey of self examination, awakening? Did not mighty Socrates say that, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The mighty force of the universe is playful like the nature of a dolphin. If one finally notices then it will attempt to try to get you to jump into the great ocean of awareness so it can play with you. You can’t really instantly become enlightened. Things take time. Caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly. As in shamanic lore and as is in true enlightenment. The cocoon is a dark and mysterious place but have faith if you feel yourself within it’s grasp because nature is working it’s magic upon you so you can become something more evolved. The cocoon state is also what we would refer fearfully to as insanity or madness. And that is why to the average citizen the truly enlightened will often seem a tad crazy, a tad eccentric. And they are. They have that side to themselves. But it is not fear that we feel when we think
about living inside of this great cocoon, this process of re-creation. Instead it is felt with loving respect and gratitude because the experience of truly becoming mad was the path that led to the greatest blessing imaginable for us. We can speak about madness more but that is the next chapter.
“It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” Thomas Moore “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence -- whether much that is glorious- whether all that is profound - does not spring from disease of thought -- from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in awakening, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil. They penetrate, however, rudderless or compassless into the vast ocean of the "light ineffable".” Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora “There are those to whom one must advise madness.” Joseph Joubert “(there is) no other means of escaping from one's consciousness than to deny it, to look upon it as an organic disease of the terrestrial intelligence - a disease which we must endeavor to cure by an action which must appear to us an action of violent and willful madness, but which, on the other side of our appearances, is probably an action of health. ("Of Immortality")” Maurice Maeterlinck http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/madness
10. Mother. I am mad.
Sounds like bad logic at first glance but can we begin to understand and judge those who have maybe glimpsed the shores or true sanity or spiritual enlightenment by wondering if these exact same people understand and appreciate the journey towards it? Through it’s apparent opposite. Insanity?
“Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.” R.D. Laing The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way is the one that achieves madness.” Mick Jagger
Can we maybe start to see everything in a proper perspective? Most people are afraid, rightly so, of losing their precious sanity. But if it is truly part of the essential journey towards renewal and rebirth then there should be those who speak out loud about taking these vital steps. Enlightenment is a word. It is really nothing more. Remove the word and then we only have the journey. When we look at it or think about, “Well who understands the journey?” then we are struck with the immensity of it all. Some people fear madness. Others who have seen it as the great blessing that leads to being reborn think differently. A significant percentage of the world sees madness for what it truly is. How else can we be recreated, reshaped, remolded? If the mass of humanity exists divorced from the telepathic, from the very fabric of our true selves then we as human beings naturally adopt an attitude of limitation in the very first few years of our lives. Nothing is more important for a child as finding a way to fit into society. Unenlightenment. We can not blame our parents. Even if they know truth as children growing into the world it is often unimportant to us. We can’t see it. We can blame society but society doesn’t know any
better. So we must face ourselves. If you do desire to overthrow your conditioning, to become capable and limitless then you must throw away everything. All of your thoughts, notions, and ideas must be thrown into the mighty fires of hell. Your impurities must be burned out of what you really truly are. An eternal spirit of god and the universe. You must embrace madness. Madness is your key to unlocking the greatest ideas and ideals of humankind. Like Aristotle so rightly maintains. “No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.” There are really 4 types of people in this light. 1. There are people who are absolutely afraid of losing their mind. 2. There are people who have and are still stuck in a bad place and hate it. And this also includes people who are mad but don’t know it which is what creates scary people. 3. There are people who are stuck in a bad place and have a little even if a very minute amount of belief that it is actually a path to becoming something more evolved. And 4. People who are in love with madness because it is what had led to their transformation into something more holistic and spiritual. What can we hope to really accomplish with all this? Well it is to help 2’s become 3’s and assure that 1’s bypass the second stage. And also of course to inspire the 3’s to a breakthrough into true rebirth, shamanism, and enlightenment. Here’s some thoughts on the subject:
See, the human mind is kind of like... a piñata. When it breaks open, there's a lot of surprises inside. Once you get the piñata perspective, you see that losing your mind can be a peak experience. Jane Wagner Temporary madness may be necessary in some cases, to cleanse and renovate the mind; just as a fit of illness is to carry off the humours of the body. Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827 A man might pass for insane who should see things as they are. William Ellery Channing I suppose it is much more comfortable to be mad and know it, than to be sane and have
one's doubts. G.B. Burgin To think that the spectre you see is an illusion does not rob him of his terrors: it simply adds the further terror of madness itself -- and then on top of that the horrible surmise that those whom the rest call mad have, all along, been the only people who see the world as it really is. C.S. Lewis, Perelandra Madness is terrific I can assure you, and not to be sniffed at; and in its lava I still find most of the things I write about. It shoots out of one everything shaped, final, not in mere driblets, as sanity does. Virginia Woolf, Letters
Let us think about it all again from a different perspective. Here’s another definition of enlightenment and it of course immediately presents us with another question.
So my definition of enlightenment is: Enlightenment is a brief awakening of the mind when all prejudices and discriminations are momentarily set aside, and the world around you becomes a source of wonder. The emphasis here is on ‘brief’. I don’t think it is possible to be in a constant state of enlightenment but I do believe we get a glimpse of it from time to time and we can learn to experience more of these brief moments. The trick is recognising the glimpses. http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/5-keys-to-enlightenment/
This is step number 4 out of his ‘5 Keys to Enlightenment’:
4. Write your enlightenment moments down in a special book. You might only write in that book once a year but you’ll be glad you did.
This is a very watered down version of ‘enlightenment’. This is enlightenment for normal materially conscious people so they can say to themselves, “Yes we all have our brief moments of enlightenment and he’s probably right if we focus on them more we can probably have them a little more often.” I wonder how much money he is making off of this angle of approach. Probably oodles more than what most people who will tell you the truth will make. I’m not saying he’s doing or saying anything wrong here. I’m just saying that this it isn’t really enlightenment. I’m not saying it’s also probably not a great form of therapy either.
taiyaki July 5 Member Enlightenment is just seeing what is and through seeing what is there is no attachment towards all mental phenomena. And by no attachment I mean one is fully engaged. So anger arises and then passes just like the thunderstorm arises and passes. Enlightenment is a being who embodies infinite potential and infinite expression. Thus one is free from everything (thoughts, emotions, etc). That does not mean one avoids these things. In actually one feels such things even more fully, but since there is a radical awareness, one just accepts it all...and naturally like all things they arise and fall.
So there is the non dual awareness and then the realization of the emptiness of all things. Then realizing there is only truth. And then realizing how this truth functions in such world. For most people it is a sudden awakening and gradual cultivation. So in one sense one is already enlightened and one is unenlightening themselves in every moment. Just seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling, feeling, and thinking = buddha. But don't take my word for it. Find out for yourself. http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/11302/what-are-your-personal-thoughts-onenlightenment-what-do-you-think-it-actually-is/p1
That was very poetic even though english might not be his first language. I would guess that the person who wrote this is enlightened. There are so many essential things that he is saying that someone who hasn’t experienced it all wouldn’t understand. “It is a sudden awakening and a gradual cultivation.” This bit is really good too, “Thus one is free from everything (thoughts, emotions, etc). That does not mean one avoids these things. In actually one feels such things even more fully, but since there is a radical awareness, one just accepts it all...and naturally like all things they arise and fall.” This is sort of humorous. Obviously this guy Taiyaki does think he is enlightened as well.
● jll July 5 ● Member ● Buddha said it takes an enlightened person to know an enlightened person. AFAIK, nobody on this forum is enlightened. ● ● ● ● ● ● taiyaki July 5 Member Actually there are quite a bit of enlightened folks on this forum. Open your eyes it is pretty obvious. jll July 5 Member I would not recognise them since I am not enlightened.
Jill kind of gets told but she bows out gracefully. Here is something from someone who has studied enlightenment but definitely not
Temporary_arising July 6 Member Enlightenment is the realisation of no self, impermanence, emptiness and non duality. Basically ceasation of illusiory thoughts. In regards to seeing yourself in others etc that's not correct as there is no self nor other. In reality, while experiencing them, they are all there is of you. Literally. This needs to be realised non conceptually though. There is also no possibility of somebody killing your wife as there is no you, no wife, and nobody to kill anybody nor anybody to die.
So many people are so attached and addicted to material consciousness that they buy into the idea of enlightenment as being this state where you somehow don’t even exist. This is a confusing bit, “There is also no possibility of somebody killing your wife as there is no you, no wife, and nobody to kill anybody nor anybody to die.” Scary. Almost an Osho like logic to all this. I know a lot of spiritual people will probably stop reading this as soon as they sense that I might be not like totally in love with Osho. He does write some good stuff but then at other times I think, “that makes absolutely no sense.” Like I read once from him where he was saying that most people die right after they become enlightened.
Enlightenment is awakening from a deep sleep, coming to consciousness from a state of unconsciousness. It does not need any God outside. God outside is very dangerous. Its implications are ugly, because God outside means worshipping, praising him, praying to him, going to the mosque, going to the church, going to the synagogue. God outside will never allow you to enter within yourself: your eyes are focused outside -and there is no God outside. You are looking into an empty sky. http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Enlightenment/ osho_enlightenment_realization.htm
This is a great article from him. Very inspiring. I know that during his life he went through periods where he was actively working and speaking about enlightenment and others where even at one point he publicly declared that he wasn’t enlightened and was basically in hiding. Maybe
some of his stuff was written from a point of clarity and some wasn’t. I do personally know what it is like to fall from enlightenment and then to return again. It’s not a guaranteed state by any means. Another question. Maybe the Osho media empire, an empire that apparently grew to be way larger than what he could control, decided it needed to roll on and it employed ghost writers to write for him who had no true understanding of the intricacies of the message? Here’s something from a very brief Osho bio about his awakening:
At the age of twenty-one, Osho became enlightened. "For many lives I had been working on myself, struggling, doing whatsoever can be done - and nothing was happening. The very effort was a barrier... Not that one can reach without seeking. Seeking is needed, but then comes a point when seeking has to be dropped... And that day the search stopped...it started happening. A new energy arose... It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air - and I was thinking it was very far away. And it was so near..." A full account of his enlightenment can be found in The Discipline of Transcendence. After his enlightenment on March 21, 1953, Osho graduated from the University of Saugar with first class honors in philosophy. While a student, he won the All-India Debating Championship. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Jabalpur for nine years. Meanwhile, he traveled throughout India giving talks, challenging religious leaders in public debate and meeting people from all walks of life. He read extensively, everything he could find to broaden his understanding of the belief systems and psychology of contemporary man. http://www.sannyas.net/osho_shortbio.htm
Here is something great from one of the world’s most famous philosophers, Jiddu Krishnamurti:
The so-called enlightened people are not enlightened, for the moment they say, "I am enlightened", they are not. That is their vanity. It is like a man saying, "I am really humble" - when a man says that you know what he is. Real humility is not the opposite of vanity. When vanity ends the other is. Those who have said they are enlightened, say you must attain it, step by step, practise this, do that, don't do this; become my
pupil, I'll tell you what to do, I'll give you an Indian name, or a new Christian name, and so on. And you, an irrational human being, accept this nonsense. So you ask, what is that supreme enlightenment? A mind that has no conflict, no sense of striving, of going, moving and achieving. http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Enlightenment/Krishnamurti-Enlightenment.htm
More of the same if you say you are enlightened you are really not but I am but I’m not going to directly say it but I will imply that I am by saying that I know more about it then people who think they are, or say they are. I don’t know. It’s all a little Alice in Wonderland to me. On the other hand he is making some good points in this as well. This makes some sense, “So you ask, what is that supreme enlightenment? A mind that has no conflict, no sense of striving, of going, moving and achieving.” However I’m not sure that having goals and aspirations is somehow unenlightened either. The first bit has a bit of a mystical like feel to it. Like is he implying that you could be enlightened but then if you somehow directly say it poof you become unenlightened. So you can only say you are in a roundabout way. It makes me wonder if there are like little goblins who sneak into your head and try to trick you into uttering the stupidest words you could ever utter and thus losing your enlightenment powers. From Osho again.
But remember, let me repeat it again, there is no other reality, there is only one reality. But the one reality can be seen in two ways: with sleepy eyes, dreamy eyes, eyes full of dust, and then what you see is distorted; and the same reality can be seen without sleep, without dreaming eyes, without dust. Then whatsoever you see is the truth — and truth liberates. Source – Osho Book “The Book of Wisdom” http://www.oshoteachings.com/osho-it-is-a-question-of-awakening-here-and-now/
This for me is emphasizing the two extremes of consciousness, sleeping and waking, that I was referencing before by using Einstein’s quote about seeing the miraculous in everything or not seeing it.
Throughout the ages mystics, yogis, saints and philosophers have been seeking the answer to the riddle of life. Many believe that enlightenment - spiritual awakening is the
answer. Nowadays, it seems that there is a tendency to seek instant enlightenment, like instant coffee, and to interpret all kinds of experiences as enlightenment or spiritual awakening. The mind seeks and invents all kinds of theories. It works with concepts and words. It discusses and analyzes everything and is restricted to its own content. To every answer there is another question. Thoughts are endless and any theory is only a mental invention invented by the mind. What are called facts are also in the realm of the mind. The mind can find reasons and excuses for everything. Whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not, the mind rules your life and is your master. You see, interpret and react to life through its filters, habits and tendencies. http://www.successconsciousness.com/index_000013.htm
Eckhart Tolle interviewed by Andrew Cohen for Enlightennext magazine. Interesting:
AC: Do you mean pure action, untainted by ego? ET: Yes, first things first. What comes first is realization and liberation, and then let action flow out of that—and that will be pure, untainted, and there's no karma attached to it whatsoever. Otherwise, no matter how high our ideals are, we will still strengthen the ego through our good actions. Unfortunately, you cannot fulfill the commandments unless you are egoless—and there are very few who are—as all the people who have tried to practice the teachings of Christ have found out. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is one of the main teachings of Jesus, and you cannot fulfill that commandment, no matter how hard you try, if you don't know who you are at the deepest level. Love your neighbor as yourself means your neighbor is yourself, and that recognition of oneness is love. http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j18/tolle.asp?page=2
When you have truly awakened you see in every human being that same capability, that same source, that same future. The truly awakened naturally look and embrace every human being with the same unconditional love and respect.
12. I’m Okay and You’re Okay
Andrew Cohen from his article enltitled, “What Is Enlightenment Anyway? Past, present, and future...and why my students will never get “enlightened.”
God, or the mind of enlightenment itself, will only be able to enter into this world with the power to truly transform it through a human vehicle that is strong enough to bear the weight of having to be that One without a second while holding the individual ego utterly at bay—a tall order indeed! The power, energy, ecstasy, and brilliant clarity that is found in the experience of enlightened consciousness is usually too overwhelming a temptation for the ego—the temptation to be “the one” who is enlightened. Indeed, the beginning of my disillusionment with Sri Poonjaji was seeing him, again and again, proclaiming people “enlightened” and sending them out to teach, merely because they had had a higher-state, or “samadhi,” experience in his company. http://www.andrewcohen.org/blog/index.php?/blog/post/what-is-enlightenment-anyway/
I like how grand he makes it all sound, “God or the mind of enlightenment itself!” Maybe having a spiritual teacher can actually be a major barrier on the spiritual path. We must turn our eyes inward and the teacher no matter what he or she is saying is that last piece of external driftwood that people are holding onto from an egotistic level afraid to jump unknowing into that huge ocean of all consciousness to truly discover themselves. From the same article:
Many of my own students, over the years, would have been considered, by any neoadvaita standard, to be “enlightened.” All I would have had to do was affirm them, tell them they were God’s gift to humanity, and send them out with my blessing, and I’m sure many would have done pretty well out there in the postmodern spiritual supermarket, where “all is one” means “I’m okay and you’re okay” or “you’re already enlightened and I’m already enlightened.” But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve challenged individuals like this at the level of character, which means soul-level integrity, and seen them crumble before my very eyes.
Ouch Andrew. Are you implying that there are people running around claiming to be enlightened who aren’t? I like kung fu. One of the best things about kung fu is how kung fu masters will go into someone else’s kung fu
school and beat everyone up to prove that they’re style is awesome and the other school’s sucks. Is that Andrew’s angle on all this? “I’ve challenged individuals like this......and seen them crumble before my very eyes.” Maybe it’s because I watched Conan the Barbarian last night. Seems like it could maybe kind of be the same thing. Talking about some of his senior students:
I’m sure they would be considered “enlightened” by some. But the thing is, the traditional definition of enlightenment refers to coming to the end of the developmental process, to having “arrived.” In an evolutionary context, which is what my teaching is all about, enlightenment is not about coming to the end of anything, but rather, to the beginning of something else.
Good point. Becoming enlightened signals the start of a new journey. There is still a lot of growing involved before you can think of yourself as a teacher. When the majority of the world thinks of enlightenment as Cohen says as arriving at the end of a developmental process then I think there is a tendency sometimes for people who have actually experienced enlightenment to stagnate and then fall out of it all because they are not evolving into it and it all can start to fade away. It you get somewhere special because you have immersed yourself in a journey of self discovery then you must continue. You can’t just stop and think that you have arrived somewhere. It’s really almost like bringing the ego back into your life. You need to stay on your toes with it all. Learning implies embracing the mystery of it all constantly. The attitude for some is almost, “I have learned everything about it all and I can show you the way!” This is funny. A comment by someone posted to this same article:
Clifton Isaacs — November 14, 2006 Andrew, I attended your May retreat at Foxhollow this year and am fairly certain that I don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about most of the time, but this was indeed a very clarifying post. It said a lot of things that needed saying and addressed several questions I had about your teaching. Very plainspoken and to the point! However, I don’t believe I’ll be back. Your thing is not for me and I don’t like it. I don’t like being relentlessly battered with admonitions that I haven’t “got” it, and that I “don’t know” what it is you’re talking about. Thanks for the humility medicine but I don’t see myself volunteering for such a vertiginous experience again. Nevertheless, I’m not trashing you. It’s just that I failed to make a connection at the
retreat and will continue to seek connections elsewhere. I didn’t see anything dishonest or disingenuous there, I just don’t see “me” there. Peace.
“Thanks for the humility medicine but I don’t see myself volunteering for such a vertiginous experience again.” Apparently that is Andrew Cohen’s style. He really likes to ‘challenge’ people. Not sure how I feel about it all. I think that you can’t teach this kind of stuff and mistakenly thinking you can creates frustration in so called spiritual teachers.
Simon Henderson — November 16, 2006 Dear Andrew. I am a new student of yours in London. And have been having wonderful experiences of this intersubjective enlightenment within the context of enlightened communication in the meetings with the members of differing levels of commitment. Matt, I want to offer you the idea that sitting in a cave doing extreme spiritual practices doesn’t directly benefit any more than the individual who is practising it… If the goal of the practise is to move the consciousness of the whole forward to a new level, then how can this help except through the noosphere? In the same way that group meditation is more powerful than individual practise, the group intersubjective enlightened communication is more powerful than sitting in your head and thinking enlightened thoughts. Also it is really putting all this into practise where the power comes into it.
“How can this help except through the noosphere?” I don’t have to say anything more about this letter. This guy is not going to become enlightened anytime soon. Like Thomas Moore says “It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” To truly face yourself on your own. That is mystery and madness. There is way too much here that goes against that.
mylene — June 02, 2009 Hello Andrew… Thank you for your wisdom. I have had a ‘kick’ from a ‘neo-advaita- teacher’ which - if it hadn’t been for Intelligence, Grace and a good dose of luck - could have killed me. I could say that I am 5 years into the ‘process’, if I may apply any length of time in this evolutionary unfolding. It has been indeed a deadly ride at times, and nothing could have taught me more spiritual wisdom than the number of burnt feathers I lost on the way. I hope nobody will follow these… There, was a self-proclaimed Guru with a powerful energy capable to shoot you up into awareness and develop a passionate YES in all dimension of your beings...After 2 years of near schizophrenia and highly developed spiritual arrogance that was conveniently covering the former, I was a mess.
I am wondering to what extend this actually created Fear about the journey I am still as passionately following… the knock downs of Ego are not so harsh by now, I am just not minding it. I have had a very ‘heady’ journey, pretty much like the map offered by tibetan buddhism really even though it was all spontaneously arising without any book or lama following me. It is quite a trip I must say… Love
Definitely not always an easy road.
Frank Luke — July 09, 2010 I’ve stopped using the term Enlightenment except in the most special instances where one speaks of the Buddha and those or any who certifiably and uncontestably have attained that most highly consciousness. This is probably limited to those who have gone on to higher states than the human, perhaps the Dalai Lama himself (?). What I now speak of and envision is the attainment of a Spiritual Awakening that is the ticket to the possibilities and responsibilities of committing and adopting the spiritual path that commits profoundly we humans to attaining that higher consciousness and commitment to attempting to bettering the planet and all of Creations, personally and collectively.
“Perhaps the Dalai Lama himself?” “Certifiably and uncontestably.” Part of me wants to just throw my hands in the air and scream. People will never attain to inner peace by continuing to look outside themselves. But not even 0.01% of so called spiritual seekers will get this. They keep reading different things, trying different methods, going to different workshops, wondering about who is or isn’t really enlightened. I seriously wonder if someone who was really enlightened would even ever pose as a spiritual teacher. It’s all so futile. You can’t teach this. You can’t. You could have a spiritual teaching team with you 24 hours a day with the world’s 10 greatest masters ever including Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, etc. etc. and you would never grow any closer to the truth.
Swami Sai Premananda — November 17, 2006 Dearest Andrew, All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. Reading your blog of last is a complete confirmation of my latest thoughts and deep feelings on enlightenment. For some in my very small circle, I am viewed as a devil who demands more than what is necessary for enlightenment. One devotee jokes that I am a public relations nightmare for her as the demands I place for the attainment of enlightenment are not possible and not even necessary for most people. She says this is just “your path” that had to be so demanding and it is not so for all. Some people have thrown my book ‘Principles of Higher Living’ across the wall because the truth in it provokes them so much that they cannot take it. In the beginning, I thought I should’ve masked the path to enlightenment
in a fictional book as it would’ve been more acceptable to the masses. However, due to my naiveté, I shared openly the past 15 years of my life with all the demands, sacrifices and complete surrender that the path to enlightenment entails. After reading your blog, I am re-affirmed that my choice was correct. I believe that a completely principled way of life is the only thing that will bring about a state of enlightenment that is lasting and true. Anything lesser is lesser and therefore is not enlightenment. Forgive me for I am not a scholarly person, but I pray that I have understood what little of I have read of your teachings properly. Swami Sai Premananda
I don’t know this guy obviously but does he seem just from this little comment to you to be a fairly genuine person? “One devotee jokes that I am a public relations nightmare for her as the demands I place for the attainment of enlightenment are not possible and not even necessary for most people.” Not sure why he needs PR. Whatever. I did ‘google’ him and found his website:
Swami Premananda is an enlightened master of the East who encourages spiritual seekers to find the Divine within themselves. His name means the master of divine love (Prema) and supreme joy (Ananda). http://www.sripremananda.org/english/e1_life/e1a_intr.html
He says a couple of times on here that he wants to encourage you on the spiritual path. Maybe he’s someone who it taking the right approach to all this?
After many years of hard work, I now have senior students who are truly evolved souls and teachers in their own right, who teach all over the world. When people spend time in their company, they enter into higher states of consciousness and experience profound and surging bursts of spiritual inspiration. But even more importantly, these men and women uphold a level of moral integrity that most people find truly impressive... and the reason for that is that they have paid a very high price, and they are for REAL. They are calling others to evolve beyond green-meme pluralistic thinking to discover a new kind of intersubjective evolutionary enlightenment where the whole notion of individual attainment takes a back seat to the recognition of a thrilling new potential for us all. I’m sure they would be considered “enlightened” by some.
So Andrew Cohen for me has somehow implied that he has some students who are more advanced than other’s upon the great highway of enlightenment. Not sure how he knows whether these people are or aren’t more enlightened than he is. Maybe as long as you’re a student you’re going to forever be pigeonholed as not knowing as much as Andrew.
Well probably. This whole article was a response by him to someone or apparently some people who commented on another article he wrote wondering why he had never taught someone to be enlightened. Maybe the whole teacher student thing needs to be redefined. Maybe we’re all just fellow travellers in this all.
I have always been very public about the fact that I am a guru in the true sense of the word, at a time when, ironically, that title can be used respectably in just about any field except spirituality. http://www.andrewcohen.org/blog/index.php?/blog/post/declaration-of-integrity/
This kind of jumped out at me. “A Declaration of Integrity.” I don’t know. Maybe gurus don’t actually exist and you’re fooling yourself? “Ironically.”? No ironically you seem a little egotistic about it all. With all the definitions and categories that some of these people come up with they are going a long ways towards externalizing the inner journey. “What state am I in now or what step am I on? I thought I was on step 31 but maybe after today I’m thinking I’m still on 30?” I’m sorry but it doesn’t work like that. It can’t. Really. It can’t. I’m not saying don’t formulate anything intellectual about it all I guess I’m just frustrated about the fact that people will cling on to anything they can outside of themselves so that they don’t have to do what they’re pretending their doing. Walking the spiritual path.
THE SCALE OF KNOWLEDGE LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE DEFINITION RELATED QUOTES 17. Realizing that you are not aware You realize that you are not consciously aware of the Allencompassing Truth. You realize you are not connected with the Oneness Realizing String Theory can’t explain everything and that there is more 18. Awareness Being consciously aware of the All-
encompassing Truth or being able to maintain thinking or feeling the Truth. Consciously living and sharing in the Oneness Being able to explain all known facets of our reality through integrating the M, E 8 and Superstring theories
Take this list for example. I’m not going to criticise it, I thought I was because I thought you can’t keep trying to fit the greatest mystery of life into flipping categories. It’s something a friend of mine sent me from his enlightened buddy he somehow met on Skype I think? Take steps 17 and then 18. Is step 17 maybe the beginning of initiation into what I was referring to earlier as the cocoon state. And 18....enlightenment? I guess in a way language is all we have to describe these things to people so we just have to do our best even though people will naturally hold on to certain things we have said or implied without truly searching inside themselves like we keep trying to tell them to.
You’ve heard of Nirvana the band now here’s something on what that word means from wikipedia.
Nirvana is the soteriological goal of several Indian religions including Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. It is synonymous with the concept of liberation (moksha) which refers to release from a state of suffering after an often lengthy period of committed spiritual practice. The concept of nirvana comes from the Yogic traditions of the Sramanas whose origins go back to at least the earliest centuries of the first millenium BCE. The Pali Canon contains the earliest written detailed discussion of nirvana and the concept has thus become most associated with the teaching of the historical Buddha. It was later adopted in the Bhagavad Gita of the Mahabharata. In general terms nirvana is a state of transcendence involving the subjective experience of release from a prior state of bondage. This is the result of a natural re-ordering of the mind and body via means of yogic discipline or sadhana. According to the particular tradition, with the experience of nirvana the mind (Buddhism) or soul (Jainism) or spirit (Hinduism) has ended its identity with material phenomena and experiences a sense of great peace and a unique form of awareness or intelligence that is called bodhi in Buddhism, Kevala Jnana in Jainism, kaivalya (Asamprajnata Samadhi) in Yoga.
Nirvana, moksha, enlightenment, entering the kingdom of heaven within this life. Seemingly parallel concepts.
In the Dhammapada, the Buddha says of nirvāna that it is "the highest happiness", an enduring, transcendental happiness qualitatively different from the limited, transitory happiness derived from impermanent things.
An enduring transcendental happiness different from limited happiness derived from impermanent things. The only thing that is really permanent is you. And of course the only true lasting happiness is the one found within your own living soul. Yourself.
Nirvana is also characterized by transcendental knowledge or bodhi a concept translated most commonly into English as 'enlightenment'. This knowledge is considered in terms of being fully awake to the true nature of reality (see bodhi). One who possesses or abides in bodhi is called a buddha or arahant. The Buddha explains the unique character of the enlightened mind as a result of it having become "unconditioned" (asankhata) which is to say free from the conditions formerly obscuring it by the volitional formations.
The Pāli Canon also contains other perspectives on nirvāna; for one, it is linked to seeing the empty nature of all phenomena. It is also presented as a radical reordering of consciousness and unleashing of awareness. Scholar Herbert Guenther speculates that with nirvāṇa "the ideal personality, the true human being" becomes reality.
The science of enlightenment. Fascinating stuff. The western world really has nothing comparable.
A liberated (enlightened) individual performs neutral actions (Pali: kiriya kamma) producing no fruit (vipaka) but nonetheless preserves a particular individual personality which is the result of the traces of his or her karmic heritage. The very fact that there is a psycho-physical substrate during the remainder of an arahant's lifetime shows the continuing effect of karma. The stance of the early scriptures is that attaining nibbāna in either the current or some future birth depends on effort, and is not pre-determined.
The last part of course is in the whole seek and ye shall find vein. It also kind of flies in the face of alot of spiritual practice and theory that tells you that must give up on all effort or you will never remove the veil between here and the realm of enlightenment. Kind of. It is true. In the last moments before one reaches Nirvana the intellect finally totally 100% gives up on trying to figure it all out and says, “look I have no idea.” allowing the soul to finally shine through and reorganize things. It’s not an intellectual thing. You can’t just do it. It is a natural process. It has to happen on it’s own. You won’t be ready until you’re ready. So it takes great effort to reach a state of effortlessness. Like when Osho says, “With effort, reach to effortlessness. With seeking, reach to a state of no-seeking. With mind, arrive at no-mind.” The problem is that people keep trying to attain to effortlessness before it has become a natural condition. I know it’s all part of the path. Osho:
Sosan is easier than Patanjali. The same will happen in the end. Much effort will bring you to effortlessness, no-effort also will bring you to effortlessness -- because effort can never be the goal, effort can only be the means. You cannot go on making effort forever and forever. You make effort to reach a state of effortlessness. With Patanjali effort is the path, effortlessness is the goal; effort is the means, effortlessness is the end. With Sosan effortlessness is the means, effortlessness is the goal. With Sosan the first step is the last step; with Sosan there is no distinction between means and goals. But with Patanjali there is -- you have to make many steps. http://www.buddhasangha.com/oshoquotes/osho-quotes-on-effortlessness.htm
The thing about the realization of Truth is that you can’t understand it because you are conditioned to think to live in this material world of opposites. The thing about supreme knowledge is that it is beyond opposites, it is paradoxical in nature. Like Alan Watts says, “If you study the writings of the mystics, you will always find things in them that appear to be paradoxes, as in Zen, particularly.”
The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. The discoveries made in the infinitely small world of particle physics indicate randomness and chance, and I do not find it any more difficult to live with the paradox of a universe of randomness and chance and a universe of pattern and purpose than I do with light as a wave and light as a particle. Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being. Madeleine L'Engle
It’s kind of like if I told you that fate and free will both exist equally. That’s a paradoxical statement. Truth is like that. It is neither here or there. It is both here and there. It is a natural balance that totally supersedes any attempt at balance. Until you have attained to Nirvana you will never be able to totally exist with the supreme effortlessness that is brought about by the greatest effort, the spiritual search.
The mind is aware; it is conscious. In many places the Buddha describes his enlightenment in terms of "knowing:" such as in the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta, "Knowing arose" (ñāṇa udapādi). With nirvāṇa the consciousness is released, and the mind becomes aware in a way that is totally unconstrained by anything in the conditioned world. The Buddha describes this in a variety of passages. One way is as follows: Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around.
Nirvana as it relates to the Bhagavad Gita:
In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains that Brahma nirvana (nirvana in Brahman) can be attained by one who is capable of cognizing the essence of Brahman; by getting rid of vices, becoming free from duality, free from the worldly attractions and anger, dedicated to spiritual pursuits, having subdued thoughts and cognized Atman, and dedicating oneself to the good of all. Brahma nirvana is the state of release or liberation; the union with the divine ground of existence (Brahman) and this experience of blissful ego-lessness.
“Becoming free from duality.” In other words being enlightened and naturally having a true understanding of the paradoxical nature of life and the universe.
14. The Teacher
Check this out. A website that compiles information about different spiritual teachers and even rates them.
Spirituality is the search for the profound within us. This site is a timesaving guide to one aspect of the spiritual search: the search for a spiritual teacher. We hope this teacher will guide us to the goal: Enlightenment, the Absolute, Truth, Reality, the Self, God, Oneness, Satori, Nirvana -- the place we know to be our true Home. http://www.spiritualteachers.org/
Like I surmised before maybe having a spiritual teacher is actually a huge hindrance on the spiritual path where the main objective is to uncover our own true nature. However I will totally suspend my doubts for the purpose of writing this chapter. Cause maybe I am wrong after all anyways. Always have at least a little doubt about things in your mind so you can quickly change and adapt and become more evolved. And, I guess, like when I was talking about the Buddha, is it not good that people exist who are continuing the dialogue, inspiring people, and being there for people who really need someone who is, at least for encouragement? So let’s look at the ratings then: http://www.spiritualteachers.org/ratings.htm One thing that kind of immediately popped out at me was seeing Andrew Cohen’s name down in the lowest category. 1 star. Not recommended. Some of these people I’ve heard of but am not that familiar with. Most of the names on here are completely unfamiliar to me. J. Krishnamurti whom my dad read passages from to me and my brother when we were just small kids comes in with 2 stars, a little better, as, “interesting and possibly helpful to you.” He has a little write up about all these people as well. Also of interest to you is that all the highest rated
teachers are dead except for Bernadette Roberts, I don’t even know who that is. Check out this bit he wrote about Andrew, I know picking on Andrew again. I was wondering if Andrew was going to be a martial arts master at one point but then realized, “hey gurus get way more ladies” so he transformed himself into what he is today, a spiritual maverick:
Andrew Cohen did not seem too thrilled to be speaking at a Whole Life Expo. He knew it was not the audience to hear him criticize the self-acceptance and feel-good way to enlightenment of pop spirituality. Although he seemed a little cautious at first, by the end of his talk, he probably offended two-thirds of the people in the room His bluntness in addressing the human condition was by far his most notable feature. As he said, "When you really get to know people, you realize they're all crazy." He said most people are afraid of enlightenment when they realize it is really about the death of the ego and not about self-acceptance. Cohen mockingly ridiculed those who would rather keep their pathetic, fear-ridden selves, then step into the unknown of ego-death. He even criticized that holy cow of modern spirituality: the romantic relationship. He said the longing for liberation was in opposition to the "promise of perfection in romance," and virtually everyone chooses the later.
Kind of funny. “He even criticized that holy cow of modern spirituality: the romantic relationship.” I do think that all in all the most common habit of humankind in trying to quench that eternal burning desire that is really always there inside of ourselves screaming for us to find truth and Nirvana, no not the rock band, is to pretend that it will all finally go away when we have found the perfect mate. True love. Relying on someone else to fulfill that calling towards what you need to find in your own heart has caused humankind so much difficulty, to understate the true immensity of it all. People who believe in and feel the yearning for ‘true love’ can probably be the hardest people to be in a relationship with. From the get go their expectations are way too high. I think from this point we can point out that spirituality means 2 completely different things to 2 different kinds of people. On the one hand there are those for whom spirituality is completely a moralistic pursuit. There could be mystical aspects to it, for some there definitely are, but spirituality is all about feeling good, being positive, and of course love. For most of these people someone truly spiritual would never do something even emotionally hurtful to someone or speak out against them in a critical
way. An ‘enlightened’ person is probably just someone who has learned to love everyone permanently, totally, unconditionally. Other people however see spirituality completely differently. For other people like Andrew Cohen, and he may be on the extreme end of the scale, spirituality is all about unlocking a higher state of consciousness and finding union with the creative force of the universe. People in this category are seeing the spiritual journey exactly like the ancient Shamans saw it whether they realize that or not. It’s like when I had a girlfriend, if we had an argument that would make her realize that oh I wasn’t spiritual and should maybe even give up on writing about it all acting as if I knew oh so much. For me on the other hand, I’m not a bad person, I don’t like to argue, I know that I should evolve to be a calmer person even though I do realize that sometimes you have to speak strongly to people to try to help them get out of their little emotional loopholes. Like, “STOP, LOOK, THINGS AREN’T THAT BAD!” Come on. There have been many times when I’ve looked back on life and thought, I am going to learn from that and act in a more harmonious way next time. Acting immature is embarrassing, let’s be honest. And I do believe in karma. However whether I can act immature occasionally has really nothing to do with whether I’ve achieved to higher consciousness or not. If I said something someone took the wrong way, I might think, “why did I say that? I kind of wish I didn’t.”, but at no time would I think, “I’m not really spiritual, I’m not enlightened.” Of course if I did something really immature then I would definitely think that though like if I hit someone I would probably crash out of higher consciousness under the weight of it all at least for awhile. It has actually happened to me. A good question we can ask here is whether enlightened people can actually do bad things in the world? The answer which will highlight the difference between my two definitions of spirituality is undeniably yes and that flies firmly right in the face of those who believe in the first definition. Are there bad superheroes? Are there bad wizards? Sounds ridiculous but there a lot of parallels here between what appeals to us on an unconscious level and what really exists within our universe. Maybe I’m wrong here. Will the almighty force of karma reign in those who may have tasted higher
consciousness but nevertheless walk an unrighteous path. I hope so. Notice I'm taking a more of a Professor X approach to things here than say maybe Cohen who comes off more like Magneto at times. Some enlightened people tend to see so called 'normal' people as being little more than farm animals who can find happiness in simply serving their needs. There are millions of people on this planet awakening right now and they need real help and real answers. I could truly care less about whether you think I am or am not enlightened or whether you think I know what I am talking about. Nor do I have a desire to be a worshipped demigod. I think that there are enough people evolving right now in the world that the golden days of unadulterated guru worshipping (golden for misguided gurus) are ending quickly anyways. Basically, to return to my definitions, one set of people view spirituality as something that should at all times lead to more comfort and harmony. The idea of 'comfort' is central to modern humanity. Being enlightened really means nothing more than being peaceful and loving for the most part. Like the guy who encourages you to write your little enlightenment moments in your enlightenment notebook so you might teach yourself to have them a little more often. Spirituality for most should lead to a better life, better relationships, a better job, more success, happiness, contentment, etc, etc. Tangible benefits that can comfort the ego. Or within this category as well just fantasy things like angels and other things that more please and satisfy the imagination. Central ideas: peace, love and harmony. Good things yes. But all in all this isn't my definition of spirituality. That type of spirituality doesn't talk about walking the hard road of ego obliteration to true higher consciousness. This second type of spirituality, different than the first, doesn't pretend to offer anything that will really lead to a more comfortable existence either, or at least shouldn't. Madness if anything has produced strong men and women refashioned in the world by nature as gods and as wild spirits of nature itself. A lot of the confusion that exists in the minds of those who follow both paths I think happens because of the way that the two overlap in the public imagination. Followers of the first for instance should just completely forget about enlightenment and those of the second definition should stop fooling themselves with grand ideas about achieving to eternal everlasting effortless peace. Becoming enlightened beyond everything is the most magical thing the human being can experience besides dying and people should be happy appreciating that. We buy into what others who peddle in a spirituality of the imagination in order to only strengthen and reinforce
there own egos in the material world want to tell people enlightenment is to fool them. I do believe in the goodness and the love that the first definition of spirituality stresses as being things that every human being should aspire to. And these ideas are key in reaching higher within higher consciousness as well as promoting true spirituality on a larger scale. A person like me is putting a huge chunk of possible karma on my shoulders by saying what I say because I have allowed myself to be maybe considered a living example of the true condition. I won’t just be disappointing myself I will be further doing more harm, if even in a small way, to the ideas of Shamanism and true spirituality. And when Andrew Cohen says like I quoted a couple of chapters ago commenting on how spiritual gurus are for the most part considered by the world at large to be a joke, well? Deservedly so if we study the history of it all. I think that spiritual teachers and gurus should re promote themselves as ‘spiritual coaches’ instead. Because really you can teach someone to drive but you can’t teach them to necessarily drive well enough to win the ‘formula 500’ for example. You can encourage and inspire people to reach inside themselves and maybe reach to those heights though. This gets a little harsh, I don’t know Andrew Cohen:
2004 Update: Another sign of decay in Cohen is in teaming up with Ken Wilber. Wilber is an amazingly intelligent man who spins entrancing cosmological visions that hypnotize many an intellectual into believing their truth. He's not a dishonest man, just one deeply in love with his own mind -- "a Big Mind," as he says. In a series of interviews in What is Enlightenment magazine, Cohen and Wilber seem to endlessly enjoy chuckling over how brilliant and revolutionary they are. 2005 Update: I've finally decided to downgrade Cohen's rating. Five years since meeting him, I've seen nothing to enhance my impression and plenty to disillusion me. A reader sent the following two websites that contain a wealth of opinion regarding Cohen; most of it from former and current students: essentialwhatenlightenment.blogspot.com/ whatenlightenment.blogspot.com/ The short of it is that nobody in his organization is finding enlightenment and Andrew Cohen keeps ratcheting up the pressure to try and break students' egos. As one writer said, Cohen's approach is ham-handed. While seemingly still interested in helping his
students, the organization (now known as EnlightenNext, Inc.) keeps enlarging, netting 2.1 million dollars of profit in 2003. Oh, and check out this headline swiped from the official Andrew Cohen page: Andrew Cohen’s international jazz fusion band, Unfulfilled Desires, recently rounded off a tour of the Northeastern US with an explosive performance of “The Path”..." Makes one wonder who Cohen is trying to impress .... The official Andrew Cohen webpage is: www.andrewcohen.org/ For a glimpse of what Andrew's mom says about him (and it's not good), go to this link: www.scp-inc.org/publications/newsletters/N2203/mother_of_god.html The latest criticism of Andrew Cohen appears as American Guru: A Story of Love, Betrayal and Healing by William Yenner. Yenner was on the board of directors for EnlightenNext and presents an insider's view of his thirteen years with Cohen as well as the experiences of other former students.
Kind of starting to feel sorry for the guy. I know that he was heavily criticized by his former guru Poonj as well as many former students but now this guy is presenting a link to something his mom wrote about him? Like come on? Should I follow this link?
The apt subtitle of this intimate, revealing story by Luna Tarlo begins with the words, "A mother's account of her experience as a disciple of her son, a well-known American guru, and of her struggle to free herself from his control."
And later....She actually wrote a book. This is from the review:
In his article, "Releasing the Unspeakable Glory of the Absolute," Cohen talks about his philosophy like a broken guru record: "The true Self cares only about itSelf [sic]; ...that power reveals itself to be a hurricane of destruction leaving in its wake only perfect peace and unqualified harmony; ...permanent revolution of body, mind and soul..." Cohen's teaching includes skillful means, a euphemism for the guru-can-do-anything to trick, attract, coerce, embarrass or shock a devotee who wants enlightenment. To such gurus enlightenment means entitlement to money, power, sex and unquestioning submission. The illusion to be entertained is that the guru as Andrew Cohen, son of Luna (or name any enlightened one) is not who the devotee worships; it is the Absolute Self that has seized Andrew's being that is being worshipped. Meanwhile, little Andrew enjoys the entitlements without taking responsibility--it is the big Absolute that makes the demands.
Hunh? Pretty harsh stuff. I’m not going to comment on this. I think maybe Andrew does understand Shamanism, “the true Self....that power
reveals itself to be a hurricane of destruction leaving in its wake only perfect peace and unqualified harmony.” Like I said before enlightenment has been oversold in the world and I think maybe Andrew has oversold it to himself. 'Perfect peace and unqualified harmony.' Is that really what Andrew truly embodies? None of this really means he is not enlightened. Has he continued along the great path of life and evolution after becoming enlightened? Maybe not that far. It’s the main trap for the modern spiritual seeker. Maybe that's where the true peace bit is really found. In actively continuing along the almighty path of evolution? Almost everyone thinks of enlightenment as being this final end state of thinking and being and it is somewhat ironic that I quoted Andrew in an earlier chapter conveying this exact same idea. Maybe he has evolved since 2004, 2005 when his spiritual teacher rating was downgraded to one star on the ‘spiritual teachers’ website. Maybe the weight of it all weighed down on him so much that he had to finally realize that he needed to keep evolving. The same thing happened to me not so long ago. One thing that is a huge trap for spiritual teachers is that in being for the most part ego less and having to deal with egotistic people constantly trying to get them to see and realize the truth is by definition maybe going to ruffle a lot of feathers to say the least. Most people are so emotionally tied to their false sense of who they really are and even trying to get them to see the light in the most polite and kindhearted way can really cause them a lot of hurt. As advanced beings as well we can see the hurt that they feel, thinking that someone else thinks that they are maybe going about things wrong, but we may have a hard time repairing it. It is after all not just another expression of their own egotistic inability to see a greater truth? Say am I insensitive or are you actually being extremely selfish by refusing growth and holding ill feelings towards me just because I tried to help you see a bigger picture of things, when you asked, or say in Andrew’s case when you paid to come see me? You almost might need therapy, at least a friend, who you can talk to or go see who can help repair your own little selfish, limited sense of your self. I’m Ok you’re OK. You’re perfect just the way you are! This is the way that most people think a spiritual teacher should conduct one’s self. Almost as an ego masseuse.
We live in a material, egotistic world. The human ego is such a fragile little creature. Even the strongest ones are and can be fractured quite easily. Now I’m starting to sound like Andrew Cohen. To defend the guy I do know that a friend of mine a while ago was talking about going to see him because he said he really needed someone to kick his butt to help him overcome his ego and see things as they truly are finally. So maybe his style is not for you and it’s not how I might go about things but maybe for some people it is and it fits in the big picture somewhere. It’s so easy to judge. Maybe it’s like George Lucas presented it in Star Wars. Obi Won was a Jedi and understood the Force. But Yoda really understood the Force and was honestly thee true master. Obi Won had no business really trying to teach anyone, Darth Vader was the result. He needed like another century or two of studying the force before he would be anywhere near a true master like good ole Yoda. Pretty accurately explains how I personally feel about spiritual teaching. This is about Bernadette Rogers a certified 5 star teacher from the spiritual teacher’s website. He doesn’t really say anything about why or how she’s such a great teacher:
She insists that the no-self event is not a part of the world's mystical literature and that her's is the first attempt to describe what is beyond the unitive stage. She points out the errors in the language of other traditions, then excuses her own language as insufficient for describing the no-self stage. It never seems to occur to her that other authors are also struggling to describe the indescribable:
I immediately get suspicious when people say they are the first to describe or experience some new higher of state of enlightenment. I saw that with the Osho book, “Beyond Enlightenment” where in the intro they present Osho as stepping beyond other great masters like Jesus and Buddha. They were enlightened, but Osho is beyond enlightenment. Cohen has some new enlightenment he’s writing about now as well. I mean honestly there are alot of people writing about spirituality out there and you have to maybe feel like you need to present something that gets people’s attention just to survive in a crowded market.
One possible way of envisioning the human passage is the following. We think of ourselves as originally emerging from the unknown, from darkness, nothingness or non-existence into the light of consciousness. But as consciousness develops we discover the increasing ability to see in the dark, see into the nothingness or mystery within ourselves and eventually realize that this darkness and nothingness is the divine from which we emerged and with which we are one. Thus we discover that our original darkness IS true light. Midway in this passage, divine light (darkness or unknowing) and the light of consciousness are in balance, with neither outshining the other. But as we move beyond this mid-point, divine light begins to outshine the light of consciousness until, in the end, the light of consciousness goes out and only divine light remains. http://www.spiritualteachers.org/bernadette_roberts.htm
OK. Makes sense to me. Well written. Here’s more:
From this vantage point we look back on the passage and see that although consciousness was the veil that dimmed the light, this dimming was necessary in order to make the human dimension possible. But if consciousness makes human existence possible, it is also not separate from the divine, nor does it completely hide it; on the contrary, consciousness or self is man's faculty or medium for experiencing the divine - so long as it remains, that is [this is key]. Our passage through consciousness is the gradual return to the divine; we leave the divine unknowingly and in darkness, but we return knowingly and in light.
I don’t really get it totally. I mean it could make a lot of sense. It kind of does. Maybe the reason is that this quote isn’t supposed to make it clear as to why she thinks she’s the first to write about a higher state of being than mere unification with God:
Actually, I met up with Buddhism only at the end of my journey, after the no-self experience. Since I knew that this experience was not articulated in our contemplative literature, I went to the library to see if it could be found in the Eastern Religions. It did not take me long to realize that I would not find it in the Hindu tradition, where, as I see it, the final state is equivalent to the Christian experience of oneness or transforming union. If a Hindu had what I call the no-self experience, it would be the sudden, unexpected disappearance of the Atman-Brahman, the divine Self in the "cave of the heart", and the disappearance of the cave as well. It would be the ending of God-consciousness, or transcendental consciousness - that seemingly bottomless
experience of "being", "consciousness", and "bliss" that articulates the state of oneness. To regard this ending as the falling away of the ego is a grave error; ego must fall away before the state of oneness can be realized. The no-self experience is the falling away of this previously realized transcendent state. http://www.spiritualteachers.org/b_roberts_interview.htm
“The no-self experience is the falling away of this previously realized transcendent state.” Kind of reminds me of something i was reading from Krishnamurti a while ago. I am in a higher state now, “No-Self”. Oooooooh. I’m being maybe overcritical here. Remember when you have lost your ego you can say things like this and not be in the least bit mean about it all because you would find it funny if someone poked fun at you in the same way. It’s kind of like some Osho stuff I read before too. It’s like some of these people don’t even exist anymore. To me honestly it sounds more like, you’ve dropped out of Enlightenment, Higher Conscious, Transendence and Union and you are choosing to see your new state of mind as being an evolution of yourself. In an egotistic way. You’re calling a step backwards a step forwards. It may be a step forward for you because you obviously weren’t ready to fully immerse yourself in true enlightenment and you need to learn more about the human condition before you are ready to. But it is not necessarily a step forward for the rest of us. Those of us who fall out of enlightenment and enter the world seeing life through the means of the ego once again can actually end up with a huge ego because we have just come from somewhere so high and beautiful. This is a hard subject to really encompass convincingly because someone could say, “How do you know you don’t have it all wrong and you are obviously the one who is extremely egotistic about it all!” And I have dropped out of higher consciousness quite a few times just trying to be sure about it all and figure everything out. I wonder what Andrew thinks about Bernadette? Worth a ‘google’ search.
15. You’re Like So Zen Today!
I decided to go back to the spiritual teachers website. I went from there to his write up on Bassui, Huang Po, and Foyan, three famous medieval Zen masters. These three guys come in with a respectable 3 star rating as ‘invaluable helpers along the way’. I’ve read some Huang Po before. Check out this quote from him that is shared on this website:
"Men are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the Void with nothing to stay their fall. They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma." http://www.spiritualteachers.org/ratings.htm
That might as well be the mission statement for enlightenment. And it’s all you really need to know about it all as well. Many spiritual writers will make things sound incredibly complicated. I don’t think the Truth should be complicated at all. Huang Po is certifiably 5 stars for me. The author of this website sums up Huang Po perfectly by saying, “Anything you can think of is not the answer, so you must strive to put an end to conceptual thought. Such is the essence of Huang Po.” This is something he shares from Bassui (1327-1387):
If you push forward with your last ounce of strength at the very point where the path of your thinking has been blocked, and then, completely stymied, leap with hands high in the air into the tremendous abyss of fire confronting you -- into the ever-burning flame of your own primordial nature -- all ego-consciousness, all delusive feelings and thoughts and perceptions will perish with your ego-root and the true source of your Self-nature will appear. You will feel resurrected, all sickness having completely vanished, and will experience genuine peace and joy.
That is so beautiful and also expresses perfectly the spirituality that I am attempting to define by writing this book as well as the ideas of ancient spirituality or shamanism. This is from Wikipedia:
Huángbò placed the text down without looking at and after a long pause asked, “Do you understand?” Pei replied, “I don’t understand.” Huángbò said, “If it can be understood in this manner, then it isn’t the true teaching. If it can be seen in paper and ink, then it’s not the essence of our order.”  Huángbò was also noted for the manner of his teaching, incorporating the hitting and shouting pioneered by Mazu. There are a number of instances in the record of Huángbò slapping students. The Blue Cliff Record tells the story of the future emperor of China,
hiding in the Chan community as a novice monk, receiving slaps from Huángbò for questioning why Huángbò was bowing to an image of the Buddha. The most famous instance was when Linji was directed by the head monk, Muzhou Daoming, to question Huángbò on the meaning of Buddhism after he (Linji) had been practicing in Huángbò’s monastery for three years without an interview. Three times Linji went to Huángbò and three times the only answer he got was a slap. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huangbo_Xiyun
The latter bit has an Andrew Cohen ring to it. I wonder if Andrew slaps people when they ask him dumb questions. I’m sure he’s thought about it.
While Huángbò was an uncompromising and somewhat fearsome Chan teacher, he understood the nature of fear in students when they heard the doctrine of emptiness and the Void: “Those who hasten towards it [the Void] dare not enter, fearing to hurtle down through the void with nothing to cling to or to stay their fall. So they look to the brink and retreat.”  He taught that ‘no activity’ was the gateway of his Dharma but that “all who reach this gate fear to enter.”  To overcome this fear, one “must enter it with the suddenness of a knife-thrust” 
Kind of like Cohen screaming at people because they fear to throw away their own egos. Sort of a martial arts master, master of enlightenment feel to Huang Po. Another guy anyways who kind of farts in the face of the whole ‘loving blissful guru’ thing that most people accept and buy into. This is the quote that whoever wrote the wikipedia entry ends off with and it’s a good one:
You people are just like drunkards. I don’t know how you manage to keep on your feet in such a sodden condition. Why everyone will die laughing at you. It all seems so easy, so why do we have to live to see a day like this? Can’t you understand that in the whole Empire of the T’ang there are no ‘teachers of Zen’?” A monk stepped forth and asked, “How can you say that? At this very moment, as all can see, we are sitting face to face with one who has appeared in the world to be a teacher of monks and a leader of men!” Please note that I did not say there is no Zen. I merely pointed out that there are no teachers!
Kind of reflects my own philosophy a little, this one, “There are no teachers!” And this is why I don’t want to be a spiritual ‘teacher’. I don’t want people hovering around me trying to learn something from me that I can’t teach except by saying things like, “look inside yourself.” and “kill your ego!” I’m saying this in a humorous way but I’d probably start screaming
at people ala Andrew Cohen after awhile getting sick of the same dumb questions over and over or just go Huang Po on their asses and start slapping people around. Being a spiritual teacher would be a frustrating exercise for me and to add to that the fact that people would be constantly wanting to criticize me via things like the internet. Look at Cohen. Maybe he does deserve it all. But one of the main criticisms that I hear is that, “He hasn’t even taught one person enlightenment!” Huang Po once again, “There are no teachers!” SLAP.
16. Bad Superheroes and Sheep.
The Zen tradition has a history of famous drunken poets and masters.... Public encouragement for drinking in several communities where the teacher was alcoholic has led many students to follow suit, and certain Buddhist and Hindu communities have needed to start AA groups to begin to deal with their addiction problems.... Students who enter spiritual communities do not imagine they will encounter these kinds of difficulties (Kornfield, 1993).
That little bit is from the book, “Stripping the Gurus”, an extremely critical look at various spiritual teachers and organisations. You can download it here:
Some of the stuff presented in this book seems a little questionable. I read the chapter on Krishnamurti and he uses a lot of gossipy little quotes from people in order to trash him, “so and so said at one time he said such and such about someone else!” Just little petty things that are taken totally out of context. Like he said Aldous Huxley’s mind was like a waste basket at one point apparently. And that’s significant for the author because Huxley thought hearing Krishnamurti speak was like listening to the Buddha and when Huxley’s house burned down Krishnamurti’s books were amongst the first he replaced. Maybe he was joking with the wastebasket comment maybe he wasn’t. Who cares? Apparently as well he points out that the Krinsh as he calls him said some fairly egotistic things in the time preceding his death. Again? It’s almost as if like the author of this book can find any sort of trash on anyone promoting spirituality it allows him to say to himself, “Relax. You don’t need to think about it all anymore. It’s all obviously just a huge hoax anyways.” Like apparently Krishnamurti had had a 20 odd year affair with a woman while at the same time he had at various times spoken publicly about the benefits of abstinence. So? I’m a soccer coach and if I tell my players to not drink even though I enjoy drinking does that mean that I am therefore not a genuine person? And if I had an affair with someone would it mean somehow that I didn’t know anything about coaching soccer? Bill
Clinton had an affair on his wife, I think maybe a couple at least, but that’s not why he was a bad president. It has nothing to do with it. The chapter on Zen, starting on page 38, is pretty harsh. A lot of deeply ingrained violence involved in all this. From page 42:
Likewise for the sagely Omori Sogen, “lauded as the ‘greatest Zen master of modern times,’ whose very life is ‘worthy to be considered a masterpiece of Zen art’”: Instead of a master concerned with the “life-giving sword” ... of Zen, we encounter someone who from the 1920s took an active part in the ultra-right’s agenda to eliminate parliamentary democracy through political assassination at home and promote Japan’s imperialist aims abroad. In short, a man willing to kill all who stood in the way of his political agenda, yet claiming the enlightenment of the Buddha as his own.... Hosokawa Dogen writes: “The life of Omori Roshi is the manifestation of traditional and true Zen” (Victoria, 2003).
I don’t know how I feel about all this? Starting to take the good superhero/ bad superhero theory that I introduced in an earlier chapter a little more seriously. This is scary but this more speaks out against the evils of an organized religion rather than those who pronounce the idea of spiritual enlightenment.
Not until 2001 did any of the branches of Rinzai Zen admit or apologize for their zealous support of Japanese militarism (in WWII and otherwise), in equating that militarism with “Buddha Dharma” (Victoria, 2003). [D]uring the war leading Zen masters and scholars claimed, among other things, that killing Chinese was an expression of Buddhist compassion designed to rid the latter of their “defilements” (Victoria, 2003).
How about this though?
Zen has further long embraced, even prior to its introduction to Japan in the twelfth century, the idea that enlightened beings transcend good and evil. One Zen master told me that the moral precepts were very important for students to follow, but, of course, Zen masters didn’t need to bother with them since they were “free.” You
can imagine what troubles later visited that community (Kornfield, 1993).
I’ve actually encountered this idea numerous times in reading about spirituality and enlightenment. It’s like ‘enlightened’ people automatically get this like 007 James Bond, ‘license to kill’ badge from the almighty universe. What if the world’s thoughts on spiritual enlightenment are totally false? What if I have it all right? Let’s say you take people who have emerged from what I referred to before as the ‘great cocoon’ into a new state of being, what primitive people call Shamanism, and the world is telling them basically, “You now embody perfection and are beyond good and evil!” This is really dangerous stuff. Newly enlightened people emerge as newborn children more than anything else. You are in a wondrous new world everything is magical and you are years away from really making any real sense of it all. Speaking metaphorically let’s say we use my X-Men analogy that I introduced before. People in the world are becoming mutants, they can’t control their powers totally, and they’re given this moral imperative to act in any way that may make sense to them. If you become enlightened within a community let’s say then there are accepted ways to behave, there are rules and regulations. Even if we from the west look at an eastern spiritual community and see that people are getting hit or we see that so called enlightened master’s are given free reign with the women there whether married or even underage, well? We can criticize that. I’m going to. People there may say as an excuse, “Well enlightened people are above moral concepts.” But think about it all in the west? People aren’t for the most part becoming enlightened in spiritual communities with any sort of spiritual guidance. People are becoming enlightened on their own only with information gathered from books or things we’ve heard, just fragments of different things floating around in our heads from various sources. And one of these things is that enlightenment is beyond the perception of moral responsibility. Another is that the enlightened person has entered a state of ‘true perfection’. Maybe something has been lost in translation somewhere. Maybe the state of enlightenment is true perfection. But people take this idea and translate it as, “Oh everything the enlightened person does or says is truly perfect!”
All in all these aren’t things that a few people, spiritual people, believe in. I’m talking about the most massive ideas about spirituality that exist in the world today. And much of it continues to be perpetuated by misguided enlightened people who enjoy the status quo, as is, becuase it gives them license to.....party, be rich, and be worshipped however they may wish to. Bad shamans. Bad superheroes. It’s all the same thing. You may think I’m wrong about all this but in doing so you are helping perpetuate all this. If you could revive one of the great primordial shamans from the early ages of humanity itself they would tell you this exact same thing. It’s like Star Wars and the ‘dark side’. We as ‘enlightened’ people are offered this choice really, we can help perpetuate it all and find a huge amount of enjoyment in it all if we want. Serving the dark side has it’s privileges. For most the answer is “hell yea why the hell not! Rock on!” I mean do I want to sleep with a bunch of beautiful women all the time? But let’s look at the bigger picture here for a second. The world needs to evolve right now to save itself. Are we aiding that or being a major hindrance towards it all? Maybe we can tell ourselves, “evolution is so powerful, it necessarily doesn’t even need us to do anything in order for it to arrive at it’s prescribed destination right on time as it always will anyways.” That may be true, it may not. Another issue to contemplate and this issue exists completely outside of whether people have either the wrong ideas about enlightenment or are even rightly skeptical about it all. Higher consciousness seems to infer true charisma on the enlightened individual. People can seem to just naturally gravitate to these people and they can find themselves within a cult like environment before long. An environment where values and morals start to deviate from what society as a whole believes. The cult leader seems from outside appearance to be some sort of brainwashing mastermind. If we can help the world understand the psychology behind this all we should. I’m saying here that maybe spiritual leaders themselves may have in a way been brainwashed as well. Yes misled by themselves, by the overriding myths of spirituality, as well as by the blind devotion of devotees who would offer their guru anything. I’ve met many people in my life who have this romantic idea of
travelling to India or China and having the opportunity to learn and live within a community dedicated to a spiritual master. Like say if we are angered with the way that animals are treated in the meat production industry. Who do we blame? Do we blame the government for not having or for not holding companies to having more humane and better ways of doing things? Do we blame the companies themselves? Or do we blame the people that continue to buy the cheapest product they can find thus fueling the whole process in the first place? Well? It’s a system gone awry I think. We have to blame everyone involved and the myths behind it all as well really. There are many public misconceptions that explain why people continue to eat this poisonous product. How about the people who may not eat meat but otherwise don’t take any action to really help the situation? I think essentially it’s the same thing with spiritual teaching. Blaming particular people doesn’t really help us understand the situation. We must change how people think, all people, and not just assume that people who have attained to higher consciousness should somehow be free from the same things that tempt people who haven’t. Just a thought. If you decide to go to a spiritual community where you have to live apart from your wife and you’re not allowed to spend time alone with her either because you’ve been advised to practice abstinence. And if all of the women in the community all live together in a house where the only men who are allowed to enter are the guru and a few of his closest disciples. Well? If after a number of years you realize that the women have been sleeping with him? At some point you have to blame yourself. Yes people are sheep. And we are going to keep getting treated like sheep as long as we keep playing the part. And that is a problem that goes way beyond spirituality reflecting itself everywhere in the world. Take politicians or corporations for example. We just faithfully hope that they will act responsibly with the vast amount of power we’ve entrusted to them. Bad spirituality is in no way a different phenomena really. Wait hold your breath......
Andrew Cohen is not just a spiritual teacher—he is an inspiring phenomenon. Since his awakening in 1986 he has only lived, breathed and spoken of one thing:
the potential for total liberation from the bondage of ignorance, superstition and selfishness. Powerless to limit his unceasing investigation, he has looked at the “jewel of enlightenment” from every angle, and given birth to a teaching that is vast and subtle, yet incomparably direct and revolutionary in its impact (from the “About the Author” section in [Cohen, 1999]; self-published)
Andrew has his own chapter in ‘Stripping the Gurus’. Hey any publicity is good publicity!
17. Everywhere I Look There You Are, Maybe We Were Meant To Be Together!
After giving up his musical aspirations in despair of not finding perfect, lasting spiritual happiness through them (in his version)—or of not having the right stuff to get to the top as a drummer (in his mother’s version).
About Andrew Cohen from the book ‘Stripping the Gurus’ that I introduced in the last chapter and also gave a link where you can actually download it. Ouch. Thanks mom. His own mother wrote a book about how much of a tool he is. I talked about that a little bit before.
[Poonja] read a list of the names of all the Buddhas that had come into this world. When
he got to the end of the list he read out my name and then looked at me and smiled (Cohen, 1992). Following his enlightenment, and with only a scant two and a half weeks of training, Poonja sent Cohen out into the world as a teacher, with great expectations. Andrew himself then reportedly confirmed his own feelings, of now having a special purpose in life —and a fairly messianic one at that— to his mother: “Believe it or not Poonja and I might be the only two people in the whole world doing the [enlightenment] work we’re doing,” Andrew said (Tarlo, 1997)
Poonja was Andrew’s guru. He actually sent another one of his disciples to America a while after to basically trail Andrew and try to undo all the bad work he was doing. Kind of like Obi Won training Darth Vader and then scrambling around trying to remedy the situation realizing he had made a fairly big mistake.
“I’m only jealous of one man,” [Poonja] said. “Who was that?” I asked. “The Buddha,” he replied, “he’s the only one who surpassed me” (Cohen, 1992). Of course, being the foremost disciple of such an exalted figure is bound to do wonders
for one’s self-image. Thus, in Andrew’s own reported, enlightened words (in Tarlo, 1997): [V]ery few people like me exist in the world. I can destroy a person’s karma.... If you trust me, I have the power to completely destroy your past. Anyone who loves me ... is guaranteed enlightenment. You know, Luna, sometimes I feel like a god. Regarding “Luna”: Cohen always referred to his mother by her first name, even before his “enlightenment.
This is in reference to his mother Luna again:
was soon to benefit from Cohen’s spiritual largesse, apparently being informed over afternoon tea—to her own surprise—that she was now enlightened.
This is all a little scary slash humorous but in defense of Andrew a lot of this grand messiah, “The world is going to be transformed by my enlightenment!” attitude is extremely common in newly enlightened adepts especially amongst those who are younger. It takes some time to understand the world and how it works within your new thinking processes. It just highlights the fact really that enlightenment is not a ‘final end state” of thinking and being as Andrew Cohen now points out in his writing as well.
The “messiah” epithet is actually not at all out of place here, for the possibility was apparently actually floated, among Cohen’s followers, that he may have been the reincarnation of the Buddha. As Poonja himself declared: “The twentieth century is lucky to have seen the Perfect Buddha reborn to live with them to Free [sic] them from the miserable samsara” (Cohen, 1992). Not to be outdone, disciples of Cohen reportedly also suggested that Andrew may have been the reincarnation of Jesus Christ (Tarlo, 1997)
Here’s a bit about disciples actually playing a part in the whole mess of egotistic craziness that can come from every angle and warp thinking in a cult like spiritual community. This is scary:
[O]ne cannot be too dependent upon a truly enlightened person, Cohen said,
exasperated. “The more attached you get to a person like that, the more free, literally, you become.” Cohen derided the importance that people in general, and Westerners in particular, give to independence.... Cohen’s belief in his own specialness kept coming to the fore. Those who are enlightened, he said, by definition can do no wrong. They “are no longer acting out of ignorance, in ways that are causing suffering to other people” (Horgan, 2003).
This reflects perfectly what I was talking about in the last chapter I wrote entitled, “Bad Superheroes and Sheep” where I was talking about joining the dark side and wholeheartedly supporting it’s myths and ideas to control and manipulate people. As the author of ‘Stripping the Gurus’ points out correctly:
That, of course, is the most dangerous belief which any human being could hold. Yet, it is the normal attitude of any loyal disciple toward his or her “perfect” guru, invariably demanded by the latter, as we have already explicitly seen with Trungpa, Da, and many sad others: Maharishi [Mahesh Yogi] can do no wrong (Scott, 1978). [Rajneesh] can’t be wrong (Belfrage, 1981)
I like this bit. It has like a North Korean dictator feel to it. Still in the Andrew Cohen chapter. Page 166:
• Students on meditation retreats not being allowed to have personal conversations, only being permitted to discuss Cohen’s summary of his teachings in his “five fundamentals”
• The guru instructing his devotees to shave their heads and maintain celibate relations to prove their dedication to his path. At one point, approximately one-fifth of the community were shaven celibates.
And finally from Andrew’s mother again:
After all that, Luna Tarlo (1997) summarized her own opinions regarding Cohen’s guruship: It just seems to me that [Andrew] is as duped by his own propaganda as were all those other brother-gurus in the marketplace who promised deliverance from suffering—from Hitler to David Koresh
I like this bit:
Anyway, Cohen’s own books are themselves no examples of fine literature, metaphysical or otherwise, being abundantly padded with blank pages and unnecessarily large—generally nearly double spaced—leading between lines of text. For example, of the seventy-two total pages, including front and back matter, in his self-serving (1999) tract, In Defense of the Guru Principle, twentysix are blank, and four others contain only section/chapter headings. Eight more are taken up with the foreword and preface, giving the book an unbelievable “Don’t Need To Read This” rating of 38/72 = 53%, even independent of its nearly double-spaced content.
How about this:
Cohen describes enlightenment as a form of not-knowing. And yet his guruhood, his entire life, revolves around his belief in—his knowledge of—his own unsurpasse perfection. To borrow a phrase, Cohen is a super-egomanic. His casual contempt for us ordinary, egotistical humans is frightening, as is his belief that, as an enlightened being who has transcended good and evil, he can do no harm. Cohen may not be a monster, as his mother claims, but he has the capacity to become one (Horgan, 2003; italics added).
18. No! You Didn’t!
Rajneesh died of a heart attack in 1990 at age fifty-eight, but not before changing his name to “Osho” (“Beloved Master”), under which authorship his books are currently being marketed. His Poona ashram continues to host devotees from around the world— up to 10,000 at a time—in an increasingly resort-like, “Club MEDitation” atmosphere. Indeed, the environment currently features waterfalls, a giant swimming pool, a sauna and cybercafe, and tennis courts where “zennis” (non-competitive Zen tennis) is played. “Osho has become a cocktail party name,” said Sanjay Bharthi, thirty-four, a freelance graphic designer who described the Osho lifestyle as “so aesthetic, so juicy, so modern, and at the same time so peaceful” (Waldman, 2002). In India the once-persecuted Rajneesh is currently the country’s best-selling author. His books are on display in the federal parliament library—an honor accorded to only one other, Mahatma Gandhi (Hamilton, 1998).
This all blasts off on page 133 of the book, “Stripping the Gurus”. It’s such a crazy story I feel that you need to read it all. It’s so crazy that to include the gist of it all in this book I would have to quote the whole entire chapter. Say what you want about Rajneesh slash Osho, I will say he’s a total crackpot, but man he’s got to be the guy other misguided teachers would want to emulate. Nobody partied like Osho. Nobody.
[Rajneesh] stated that he himself had attained [Enlightenment] at the age of twentyone.... [H]e went on to declare that ... there was only one Enlightened Master at any particular time, and that he was the one (Milne, 1986).
That bit is good. Why have any competition?
In 1976, the homophobic (as per Andrew Harvey  and Storr ) Rajneesh made it known that he was going to be selecting twelve female “mediums” from the ashram for nightly, restricted-group “energy darshans.” The purpose of those was to be the transferring of his energy through them to the community, and to the world at large. As to the characteristics which Bhagwan was looking for in his mediums, he soon explained: [O]nly women with large breasts could hope for the honor. “I have been tortured by small-breasted women for many lives together,” he announced to a startled audience, “and I will not do it in this life!” (Milne, 1986).
Why do crazy ass rappers name themselves after famous gangsters they should be paying homage to this bad ass mofo.
Sometimes [Bhagwan] would ask attractive women to strip off in front of him and lie naked while he peered at them intently. Then, after satisfying himself, he would ask them to get dressed again. He also had couples make love in front of him, a definite case of voyeurism.... In the later years, in Poona, many sexual experiments were tried. Bhagwan told one woman how to overcome her phobia of rats: she should indulge in oral sex.... In another tantric session at Poona, the male participants had to eat a ripe mango from between their female partners’ legs. The mangoes were very popular with everyone (Milne, 1986).
How about this?
Former mediums claimed to have had sexual contact with Bhagwan for the purpose of “stimulating our lower chakras”... and for “orchestrating our energies” (Palmer and Sharma, 1993). He would manipulate my genitals, masturbate me, but it was also as if he was rewiring my circuits (in Gordon, 1987).
Yo Baby I’m just like you know, rewiring your circuits. Chillax!
Rajneesh went on to assemble the world’s largest private collection of Rolls-Royces— ninety-three in total. The combination of Bhagwan’s public silence, increasing isolation from his surrounding ashram community, and large Rolls-Royce collection, soon manifested as the new phenomenon of “car-shan,” or drive-by blessings. There, the faithful would line up to catch a glimpse of His Holiness during his daily trips into the nearest town—Antelope, population thirtynine—forty-five minutes away. Meanwhile, privileged residents and visitors to Oregon and the Rajneesh ashrams/ communes elsewhere enjoyed horseback and aircraft rides, boating, swimming and river rafting.
93 Rolls Royces? So he moves to Oregon and purchases a 120 mile square ranch in order to evade charges of tax evasion in India to a tune of some 4 million buckeroos.
Fears that insiders at the Oregon ashram may have been plotting to murder Rajneesh soon took root, however. Thus, in late 1984, Bhagwan and his “right-hand woman,” Sheela, allegedly commenced with spending $100,000 per month on the installation of
wiretapping and bugging equipment throughout Rajneeshpuram (Milne, 1986)
Getting a little Whacko slash Waco Texas.
spiked salad bars at ten restaurants in [nearby The Dalles, Oregon] with salmonella and sickened about 750 people (Flaccus, 2001). The goal there was apparently to incapacitate large numbers of voters, allowing the Rajneesh-sponsored candidates to prevail in county elections. A contamination of the local water supply was reportedly planned for after the “test” restaurant poisoning. Investigations into that salmonella outbreak ultimately revealed an alleged plot to kill the former U.S. Attorney for Oregon, Charles Turner. Though the attack was never actually carried out, in the hope of derailing the investigation into their other activities some of Rajneesh’s loyal followers nevertheless reportedly assembled a hit team in 1985. They bought guns, watched Turner’s home, office and car, and discussed ways to assassinate him (Larabee, 2000).
OH Osho! Touching on Krishnamurti again:
Bhagwan went on: “I am so relieved that I do not have to pretend to be enlightened any more. Poor Krishnamurti ... he still has to pretend” (Milne, 1986). Krishnamurti—who actually considered Rajneesh to be a “criminal” for his abuse of the guru-disciple relationship—was the only “sage” whom Rajneesh had ever acknowledged as an equal
OK. So he’s back in India. Kicked out of the US and:
The Oregon ashram closed down soon after Bhagwan’s departure. (Various followers were later convicted on assault, attempted murder, wiretapping and food poisoning charges [Larabee, 2000].) Today, it serves as a summer Bible camp for teenagers safely devoted to following their own, more conservatively acceptable (but still long-haired, robe-wearing, “only one Enlightened Master”) Messiah.
Here’s something from somewhere else:
At its peak, the movement had about 200,000 members and 600 centers around the world. They were targeted by many anti-cult groups as an evil, mind control cult. One source, in a masterful stroke of religious disinformation, claimed that "Bhagwan" means "Master of the Vagina." He has been called the "sex guru."
200,000 members and 600 centers around the world? Holy Kamoly! Andrew buddy you have to kick it up a notch here! “Master of the Vagina.” That’s what I would be called if I was a guru. I’m joking! Kind of...
He taught a form of Monism, that God was in everything and everyone. There is no division between "God" and "not-God". People, even at their worse, are divine. He recognized Jesus Christ as having attained enlightenment, and believed that he survived his crucifixion and moved to India where he died at the age of 112. Osho was noted for reading very offensive jokes; some were anti-Semitic; others were anti-Roman Catholicism; others insulted just about every ethnic and religious group in the world. He explained that the purpose of these jokes was to shock people and to encourage them to examine their identification with and attachment to their ethnic or religious beliefs. His contention was that national, religious, gender and racial divisions are destructive.
I think racial jokes are stupid. Unless they’re told by funny black people pointing out how lame white people are.
Becoming a disciple meant assuming a new name and wearing the traditional orange dress of ascetic Hindu holy men, including a mala (beaded necklace) carrying a locket with his picture. However, his sannyasins were encouraged to follow a celebratory rather than ascetic lifestyle. He himself was not to be worshipped but regarded as a catalytic agent, "a sun encouraging the flower to open".
From Wikipedia. A celebatory lifestyle. I do think that that is what enlightenment is all about. Celebration.
The two adjoining houses and 6 acres (24,000 m2) of land became the nucleus of an ashram, and the property is still the heart of the present-day Osho International Meditation Resort. It allowed the regular audio recording and, later, video recording and printing of his discourses for worldwide distribution, enabling him to reach far larger audiences. The number of Western visitors increased sharply. The ashram soon featured an arts-and-crafts centre producing clothes, jewellery, ceramics and organic cosmetics and hosted performances of theatre, music and mime. From 1975, after the arrival of several therapists from the Human Potential Movement, the ashram began to complement meditations with a growing number of therapy groups, which became a major source of income for the ashram.
Sounds kind of fun? I like the arts.
The Poona ashram was by all accounts an exciting and intense place to be, with an emotionally charged, madhouse-carnival atmosphere. The day began at 6:00 a.m.
with Dynamic Meditation. From 8:00 a.m., Osho gave a 60- to 90-minute spontaneous lecture in the ashram's "Buddha Hall" auditorium, commenting on religious writings or answering questions from visitors and disciples. Until 1981, lecture series held in Hindi alternated with series held in English. During the day, various meditations and therapies took place, whose intensity was ascribed to the spiritual energy of Osho's "buddhafield". In evening darshans, Osho conversed with individual disciples or visitors and initiated disciples ("gave sannyas"). Sannyasins came for darshan when departing or returning or when they had anything they wanted to discuss.
It gets a lot weirder. A whole lot. As I pointed out before.
Hugh B. Urban noted that Osho appeared to fit with Max Weber’s classical image of the charismatic figure, being held to possess "an extraordinary supernatural power or 'grace', which was essentially irrational and affective". Osho corresponded to Weber's pure charismatic type in rejecting all rational laws and institutions and claiming to subvert all hierarchical authority, though Urban notes that the promise of absolute freedom inherent in this resulted in bureaucratic organisation and institutional control within larger communes.
Charisma. When I made the analogy comparing enlightened people to superheroes before it might of made you wonder, “Ya but what super powers do they have?” Charisma my friend. It means a lot.
A number of commentators have remarked upon Osho's charisma. Comparing Osho with Gurdjieff, Anthony Storr wrote that Osho was "personally extremely impressive", noting that "many of those who visited him for the first time felt that their most intimate feelings were instantly understood, that they were accepted and unequivocally welcomed rather than judged. [Osho] seemed to radiate energy and to awaken hidden possibilities in those who came into contact with him." Many sannyasins have stated that hearing Osho speak, they "fell in love with him." Susan J. Palmer noted that even critics attested to the power of his presence. James S. Gordon, a psychiatrist and researcher, recalls inexplicably finding himself laughing like a child, hugging strangers and having tears of gratitude in his eyes after a glance by Osho from within his passing Rolls-Royce. Frances FitzGerald concluded upon listening to Osho in person that he was a brilliant lecturer, and expressed surprise at his talent as a comedian, which had not been apparent from reading his books, as well as the hypnotic quality of his talks, which had a profound effect on his audience. Hugh Milne (Swami Shivamurti), an ex-devotee who between 1973 and 1982 worked closely with Osho as leader of the Poona Ashram Guard and as his personal bodyguard, noted that their first meeting left him with a sense that far more than words had passed between them: "There is no invasion of privacy, no alarm, but it is as if his soul is slowly slipping inside mine, and in a split second transferring vital information." Milne also observed another facet of Osho's
charismatic ability in stating that he was "a brilliant manipulator of the unquestioning disciple."
Does any of this mean you can’t learn something form the guy?
There are widely divergent views on Osho's qualities as a thinker and speaker. Khushwant Singh, eminent author, historian and former editor of the Hindustan Times, has described him as "the most original thinker that India has produced: the most erudite, the most clearheaded and the most innovative". In his view, Osho was a "freethinking agnostic" who had the ability to explain the most abstract concepts in simple language, illustrated with witty anecdotes, who mocked gods, prophets, scriptures and religious practices and gave a totally new dimension to religion. The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has called Osho a "Wittgenstein of religions", ranking him as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century; in his view, Osho had performed a radical deconstruction of the word games played by the world's religions.
Writing in the Seattle Post Intelligencer in January 1990, American author Tom Robbins stated that based on his readings of Osho's books, he was convinced Osho was the 20th century's "greatest spiritual teacher." Robbins, while stressing that he was not a disciple, further stated that he had "read enough vicious propaganda and slanted reports to suspect that he was one of the most maligned figures in history." Osho's commentary on the Sikh scripture known as Japuji was hailed as the best available by Giani Zail Singh, the former President of India. In 2011, author Farrukh Dhondy reported that film star Kabir Bedi was a fan of Osho, and viewed Osho's works as "the most sublime interpretations of Indian philosophy that he had come across". Dhondy himself viewed Osho as "the cleverest intellectual confidence trickster that India has produced. His output of the 'interpretation' of Indian texts is specifically slanted towards a generation of disillusioned westerners who wanted (and perhaps still want) to 'have their cake, eat it' [and] claim at the same time that cake-eating is the highest virtue according to ancient-fused-with-scientific wisdom."
Most enlightened people don’t hold so called ‘normal’ consciousness people in very high regard. It kind of reminds me way too often of how ‘normal’ people think about farm animals. And then in the vast majority of enlightened traditions vegetarianism is an active and even required part of the culture. It’s kind of a circle of abuse but then I guess farm animals don’t really get to abuse anyone. Except for the stomachs and the spiritual Karma of those who eat them I guess. Consider what Gurdjieff has to say about poor, misunderstood normal people. From Wikipedia:
Gurdjieff claimed that people cannot perceive reality in their current states because they do not possess consciousness but rather live in a state of a hypnotic "waking sleep." "Man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies." As a result of this condition, each person perceives things from a completely subjective perspective. Gurdjieff stated that maleficent events such as wars and so on could not possibly take place if people were more awake. He asserted that people in their typical state function as unconscious automatons, but that one can "wake up" and become a different sort of human being altogether. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff
Here’s something in a different vein still from Wikipedia:
Opinions on Gurdjieff's writings and activities are divided. Sympathizers regard him as a charismatic master who brought new knowledge into Western culture, a psychology and cosmology that enable insights beyond those provided by established science. On the other hand, some critics assert he was simply a charlatan with a large ego and a constant need for self-glorification. Gurdjieff is said to have had a strong influence on many modern mystics, artists, writers, and thinkers, including Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh), Frank Lloyd Wright, Keith Jarrett, George Russell (composer), Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, Robert Fripp, Jacob Needleman, John Shirley, Carlos Castaneda, Dennis Lewis, Peter Brook, Kate Bush, P. L. Travers, Robert S de Ropp, Walter Inglis Anderson, Jean Toomer, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Louis Pauwels, James Moore and Abdullah Isa Neil Dougan.
One humorous thing about all this is that if we look at so
called ‘enlightened’ teachers the one common thing that is central to all of their writing is the question of overcoming the ego. Enlightened people by definition claim to have overcome the human ego and transcended into a new state of being. However to ‘normal’ people enlightened people very often seem hugely egotistic. I read a book about Shamanism and the author instead of referring to enlightened individuals as being egoless refers to them instead, after losing their egos in the dark pits of madness, as being refashioned with ‘superegos’. Like a new and improved operating system. I think that is a much more accurate way of looking at things. Enlightened people are usually very confidant about themselves. And referring to themselves as beings with no-ego is going to endlessly confuse people. Back to talking about ‘unconscious automatons.’
Louis Pauwels among others criticizes Gurdjieff for his insistence on considering people as "asleep" in a state closely resembling "hypnotic sleep." Gurdjieff said, even specifically at times, that a pious, good, and moral man was no more "spiritually developed" than any other person; they are all equally "asleep."
Most people will think that people with good morals will naturally ascend to enlightenment if enlightenment even truly exists. Most people who write about enlightenment will tell you, no that’s not how it works. ‘A pious, good, and moral man’ is still an ‘automaton.’
Critics note that Gurdjieff gives no value to most of the elements that comprise the life of an average man. According to Gurdjieff, everything an "average man" possesses, accomplishes, does, and feels is completely accidental and without any initiative. A common everyday ordinary man is born a machine and dies a machine without any chance of being anything else.
What about this? We’re still in Wikipedia land.
According to Rom Landau, a journalist in the 1930s, as reported to him by Achmed Abdullah: at the beginning of the 20th century, Gurdjieff was a Russian secret agent in Tibet who went by the name of "Hambro Akuan Dorzhieff" (i.e. Agvan Dorjiev), chief tutor to the Dalai Lama.
That’s pretty crazy? Another sexual tyrant this Gurdjieff fellow you talk about?
Colin Wilson writes about "...Gurdjieff's reputation for seducing his female students. (In
Providence, Rhode Island, in 1960, a man was pointed out to me as one of Gurdjieff's illegitimate children. The professor who told me this also assured me that Gurdjieff had left many children around America)."
Here’s a definition of ‘normal consciousness’ found on a site called Spirit Wiki:
'Normal Consciousness refers to the average, everyday, waking consciousness typically attained as a result of our standard global socialization process. Normal consciousness is a limited form of consciousness and is reflective of a physical unit damaged or otherwise limited by childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, emotional neglect, faulty socialization (i.e. gendered socialization, competitive socialization), or simply incorrect instruction (i.e. God is an external, patriarchal, and punishing entity, spiritual realities are filled with demons, etc.). As a heuristic we may suggest that normal consciousness ranges anywhere from 8% to 15% capacity of the physical unit (i.e. a consciousness quotient of between 8 and 15).
Hunh? You got to feel sorry for normal people in this light. Operating at 8% to 15% capacity? They make normal people almost sound like zombies?
In fact, why should somebody who is healthy go to a psychoanalyst? -- And particularly somebody who has attained to superconsciousness. He will have a far vaster vision than any psychologist. He has nothing to learn from them; he can teach them many things of which they are absolutely unaware. The man who has reached to the collective superconsciousness has become almost superhuman. http://www.oshoworld.com/osho_talk/talks/bondag41.asp
Osho here. This is why superheroes don’t need to go to pyschoanalysts. Gods getting help from automatons? Apparently western pyschology really sucks...
Western psychology has been avoiding facing the reality of the higher states of mind. I call these people cowards. They are trying to look busy in mental asylums, or sitting by the side of the couch and listening to the dreams of some stupid guy -- mostly Americans, because you have to tell your dream and you have to pay too; otherwise, who is going to listen to your stupid dream?
The psychologist is paid -- it is the most highly paid profession today -- for a strange thing: that he listens. Whether he listens or not you don't know. He just sits behind the couch so you cannot even see him, whether he is dozing, thinking: "When is this guy going to finish?"
Remember Osho is ‘Beyond Enlightenment’:
At the level of superconscious mind, all thoughts, all feelings disappear; you start living in an absolute silence. But this silence is a little bit empty. It is beautiful; just to be silent, utterly silent, has a beauty of its own. But when you reach to the collective superconscious you become aware that silence can remain and yet it can become full; it need not be empty. It can become full of joy, it can become full of love, it can become full of creativity. But there is still one higher stage: the cosmic superconsciousness, where your individuality disappears like a dewdrop falling into the ocean. Suddenly you become the whole ocean. At the stage of cosmic superconsciousness you start experiencing the ultimate truth of life, the meaning of existence, your unity with the whole.
“Your individuality disappears like a dewdrop falling into the ocean,” And then feel the need to buy as many Rolls Royces as you can. OK.
And you have not been given any insight into how to go on growing. You have not even been told that there is anything above the normal conscious mind. In fact, even the psychoanalysts don't know that there is something above it -- and they are not interested, for the simple reason that the person who goes above is not a patient. He has no dreams to analyze, he is not sick anymore. He is for the first time healthy, and getting more and more healthy. At the seventh stage he will be whole. To me, that's what "holy" should mean -- not being a saint according to a certain doctrine, not being an ascetic, not following Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism. The real holiness is the fragrance of becoming whole, becoming one with the whole. But because psychoanalysis has become a business in the West...and it was meant to become a business. It was created by a Jew, and it is mostly dominated by the Jews; it is a Jewish profession. And whatever the Jews do will become a business. Christianity became a business -- that was the working of a Jewish carpenter, Jesus Christ. It is big business. Sigmund Freud has created another big business.
I knew it! Those darn Jews! This is from the site Protobuddhism. Sounds like neanderthals meet Buddism or something.
The normal human being is not at the highest evolutionary level. This is why there is so much crime, war and mental sickness prevalent in the world today. The Buddhists believe that, individuals do evolve beyond this common level from time to time, and this has occurred many times in the past. Buddhists believe that the teaching of the Buddha is a description of the path of evolution of the human being. They also believe that the Buddha represents that fully evolved state, and his perfected disciples were also fully evolved individuals. They were those who had transcended the normal consciousness and attained to a Supernormal or Divine consciousness. It is an evolution from existence to experience; from self to no self. http://www.protobuddhism.com/index.php? option=com_content&view=article&id=55&Itemid=62
You damned normal people. Everything is your fault because you’re so damned normal! From self to no self. This is funny from the Eckhart Tolle discussion website. Those stinkin’ unenlightened people!
How do you handle unenlightened people? by ButterflyInFlight » Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:13 pm Hi all, I have recently begun reading books by Eckhart Tolle and I think that the ideas and concepts that he shares are very enlightening. I began dissolving my ego as soon as I felt the first moment of deep inner peace free from the ego. I'm living more confidently and peacefully but I am also finding it harder and harder to be around unenlightened people and often think about leaving all my attachments and joining a Temple =) http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth.info/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1489
I don’t think enlightened people want to go live in other people’s temples. They usually want to have their own temples.
Trying to understand spiritual truth through a spiritually unenlightened mind is a good way to “lose your mind” altogether; which might not be so bad after all, if it frees you to learn through spiritual discernment. That which is imparted and revealed to you from within, you will never doubt. Scriptures tell us to… • “Set your mind on things above (the spiritual realities of the kingdom of God) not on
things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1 • “But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” Job 32:8 http://www.spiritualliving.net/?page_id=48
Oh you crazy automatons. Looks like you’ll have to go really crazy before you’ll be hanging out with the cool kids.
Chapter 20 - In Case You Were Wondering......
In the last chapter we poked fun at people operating on a normal level of consciousness versus people who at least claim to have transcended and magically become something entirely different. The so called superhuman. When I made my analogy in the beginning of the chapter comparing normal people to farm animals it was done in a humorous way. I think that most enlightened people love and respect people, often even in a more completely mature and evolved way than those same people are capable of. God is in everyone. Even if he or she is sleeping. I can maybe show you more respect than other people because I can truly see your true potential while other people will focus on your limitations, or what they perceive to be your limitations, seen and flavored through their own limited ability to truly perceive reality. Everything gets filtered through the human ego. You can’t see your true power so you seek to box up and compartmentalize others. Back to trying to clarify my analogy. Most people love farm animals. But they think of them as being unintelligent and totally fit to be creatures of servitude. Most enlightened people see animals in a different light. When I for example look into the eyes of one I see the intense reflection of God in a way that I know I can not fully embody. Creatures of this Earth are holy vessels of our Creator, the almighty power of life itself. Thinking of killing one for me seems so extremely absurd. I think no less of human beings and would truly wish harm on none of them. Do I want bad people locked away in prison where they can’t harm other people? Yes. But i do want to hurt and torture them? No. Anyone can be transformed. When you have undergone the greatest transformation, the ascent of the higher self, then you understand that. As far as vegetarianism and spiritual enlightenment goes many spiritual teachings and traditions maintain that you cannot reach that state while still enjoying eating non plant food. From wikipedia:
Chapter 7 of the Nirvana Sutra (translated by Kosho Yamamoto and edited by Dr. Tony Page) states: "One who eats meat kills the seed of great compassion... O Kasyapa! I, from now on, tell my disciples to refrain from eating any kind of meat. O Kasyapa! When one eats meat, this gives out the smell of meat while one is walking, standing, sitting or reclining. People smell this and become fearful. This is as when one comes near a lion. One sees and smells the lion, and fear arises. O good man! When one eats garlic, the dirty smell is unbearable. Other people notice it. They smell the bad smell. They leave that person and go away. Even from far off, people hate to see such a person. They will not come near him. It is the same with one who eats meat. It is a similar situation with all people who, on smelling the meat, become afraid and entertain the thought of death. All living things in the water, on land and in the sky desert such a person and run away. They say that this person is their enemy. Hence the Bodhisattva does not eat meat." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_vegetarianism
This is fun I can use stuff from an essay I wrote a couple of years ago. I don’t know if it’s impossible to become enlightened if you are eating animals, maybe not, but it is obvious and interesting that most people who are enlightened will advise against it:
Here is some stuff on the great spiritual traditions of the east from Carrie e Varjavandt, Secretary, Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Dundee from the 15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957 in Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India. It is in the East that vegetarianism finds its strongest expression in religious thought. Forming the basis of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism (a Buddhist sect) is the belief that all life should be respected because the body is an outer shell for the spirit within. “ Hinduism is the oldest of all Eastern religions and an early supporter of vegetarianism. It teaches that vegetarianism is on the path to being truly holy. The Vedas, India's ancient scriptures in which Hinduism has its roots, state, Only the animal killer cannot relish the message of the Absolute Truth. And of meat eaters the scriptures damningly state, Such sinful persons will be eaten by the same creatures they have killed in this world. The Vedas set out the code of sarva-bhuta-hita, (devotion to the good of all creatures) which says that people should see the same life in all creatures regardless of their outer dress or bodies. In fact the Vedas go so far as to say that those who cannot understand the principle of life in lesser beings are missing the meaning of life altogether and risk
losing their sense of humanity. “
How about this?
From Charles Brandt in his book, “The Vital Problem”: So we see that all the most important religions of the world including those founded by Zarathustra, Osiris. Buddha, Brahma, Muhammad, Confucius, Moses, Christ, and the ancient Greeks recognize this principle : Do not destroy life, but increase it through hygiene, through peace ... To love is the most positive, and not to kill the most negative form of the vital imperative. Consequently, in all the most important religions : "Do love" and "Do not kill" constitute the two most important Commandments. This allows that the most important religions implicitly recognize that the basis of morals consists in the law of the conservation of life. The Founders of all religions have devoted themselves to preach peace, and to cure the sick. Because peace and health are the two most effective means to promote life, as well from the general as from the individual point of view.
If you’re interested more in this topic you can download this little essay that I wrote:
Here’s something from the Integral Spiritual Practice website on Andrew Cohen’s approach to trying to get through to so called normal people:
More recently, I’ve read some hair-raising stories of blaming and shaming and anathematizing the ego that seem like they would only create very deep hypermasculine splits in people’s psyches. The worst stories sound pretty strange. I don’t “condone” humiliating, pressuring, or emotionally traumatizing people. http://www.integralspiritualpractice.com/blog/on-outrageous-teaching-and-charges-ofenabling-abuse
This is pretty good phrasing, “deep hypermasculine splits in people’s psyches.” Some more:
But many of the folks who lived through it tell me that they all relate to a particular period of extreme transformational intensity that worked to create an intrapsychic crisis in the dualistic polarity between students’ egos and their enlightened intentions, one that ultimately enabled them to break through into a new zone of self-transcending freedom and mutual trust. I’ve read and heard various passionate testimonies that support this interpretation. Many former and current students assure me that the kinds of incidents that are being called “abuse” ceased long ago. Do I know for a fact that this is true? I can’t be certain. But I think so. And I’m 100% satisfied that there’s no simplistic openand-shut evil here. It’s at the very least a paradoxical dynamic in which nuances count.
I think the thing about Andrew’s style of teaching is that he is very upfront about it all. If you go to a retreat with him you should know what to expect. It’s not like you’re taking your wife and your family, giving away all of your possessions, and going to live with some guru who claims to be the true embodiment of love and everything is good. Typically in those situations you are agreeing to be a farm animal. Your new guru may truly wish for you to become enlightened even though he has advised you to transfer all your savings to him and he sleeps with your wife on a regular basis. Gurus in these environments truly think of themselves as virtual sheepherders. The vast majority of people who they interact with who aren’t enlightened are totally overjoyed to be serving them. Therefore a guru is very good at convincing other people to dedicate their lives to servitude as well. It’s cultural. It’s historical. Guru love. It’s the only way to become enlightened in the minds of millions and millions of people. This is item 22 on a ‘false guru test’ I found on the internet. There’s 26 things on here and they say if your guru has 7 or more of these things he might not be real. Maybe it should be, if your guru has like 2 of these things you should think that. Seems like a lot of pretty integral things here.
Makes false claims of lineage: Many mistakenly believe that realisation can only happen under the guidance of a realized master. In this belief system, gurus are only authentic when they come from a line or lineage of realized gurus. Desperate not to be left out, some gurus claim a false lineage of enlightened masters to bolster their authority to teach. Another pseudo form of "lineage" is to recount a miracle that once happened to them (maybe they cured themselves of some disease or God spoke to them personally) which infers that they are "chosen" and therefore have the authority to
set themselves up as teachers and gurus. http://www.energygrid.com/spirit/ap-falsegurutest.html
It is very important for gurus to claim membership in some sort of hugely important and over inflated framework of things. I think it was the Maharishi who claimed to be the last in a direct lineage of gurus who went back to Jesus Christ. Or Osho’s, ‘there is only one enlightened master in the world at any one time and that is me!’ From a guru’s point of view over advertising themselves makes sense because it helps make their students become more devoted which can only help themselves find awakening because the only way to awaken is by total surrender to the guru. If you can follow that.
Gives him or herself outrageous titles: Not satisfied by being "merely" an enlightened being, many false gurus give themselves titles (or allow their followers to do so) to indicate that they are literally God-Incarnate, the reincarnation of the Buddha or Christ, or THE chosen one. Some continually change their names, to keep pace with their burgeoning egos.
That was item 18 on the false guru test. Kind of funny. “Sheeple. follow me.” “Who cares. I need some more farm animals around here, it’s getting boring on the farm.”
He told the New York audience, as he had told innumerable others before in several around-the-world tours, that adoption of his teachings by 10% or even 1% of the world’s population would “be enough to neutralize the power of war for thousands of years” (Ebon, 1968)
http://www.strippingthegurus.com/ That’s something from the Maharishi chapter entitled, ‘The Sixth Beatle’ in the book, ‘Stripping the Gurus’. Sounds pretty effective. Adopting T M or transcendental meditation by 1% of the world’s population could neutralize the power of war for thousands of years.
21. Hay Can You See Me? Am I Invisible Yet?
I’m reading the Maharishi chapter, ‘The Sixth Beatle’ found in the book, “Stripping the Gurus.” I don’t know about all this. Check this bit out:
All of that notwithstanding, by 1994 the technique of “Yogic Flying” had been taught to more than 100,000 people worldwide. The Maharishi has also claimed that advanced practitioners can develop powers of invisibility, mind-reading, perfect health and immortality (Epstein, 1995). His Holiness further asserted a “Maharishi Effect,” whereby relatively small numbers of meditators are claimed to be able to positively and measurably influence world events. That phenomenon has even been alleged to measurably lower crime rates in regions such as Washington, DC, and Kosovo (in Augst of 1999), via the “accumulated good energy” of the practitioners.
The chapter’s entitled ‘The Sixth Beatle’ because he was chillin’ out with the Beatles for awhile. Not too shabby. Maharishi is maybe the one guy who kind of took things to the same level as Osho did as far as attaining to huge heights of international fame. The Hare Krishna guy was pretty big too.
Like Ravi Shankar before him, [the Maharishi had] been unaware of the group’s stature, but, armed with the relevant records, he underwent a crash-course in their music and began to illustrate his talks with quotes from their lyrics. Flattered though they were, the Beatles were unconvinced by his argument that, if they were sincere about meditation, they ought to tithe a percentage of their income into his Swiss bank account. Because they hadn’t actually said no, the Maharishi assured American investors that the four would be co-starring in a TV documentary about him (Clayson, 1996).
Here’s something quick about Prabhupada, the guy who founded the Hare Krishna movement from the Maharishi chapter:
The devotional/mantra yoga-based Hare Krishna movement itself is rooted in the extremely patriarchal Vedic culture. It was brought to the United States in the mid-
1960s by the now-late Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada—who soon starred in a San Francisco rock concert featuring the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. Prabhupada’s own guru was claimed to be an avatar. (George, John and Yoko participated in an extended interview with Prabhupada in 1969, which was kept in print in booklet form by the Krishna organization for many years afterwards. Harrison also wrote the foreword for Prabhupada’s book, Krishna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead.)
Maharishi’s most famous contribution besides for inspiring a Beatles song and apparently helping get them off drugs for long enough to record apparently some of their best work is of course, T M or Transcendental Meditation:
Transcendental Meditation itself is an instance of mantra yoga. The student mentally repeats a series of Sanskrit words for a minimum of twenty minutes every morning and evening. (Such mantras are reportedly selected on the basis of the student’s age. And they don’t come cheaply.) Maharishi was quick to discourage other disciplines. “All these systems have been misinterpreted for the last hundreds of years,” he said. “Don’t waste time with them. If you are interested in hatha yoga, wait until I have time to reinterpret it. There is no match for Transcendental Meditation either in principles or in practice in any field of knowledge” (Ebon, 1968; italics added).
I like this, “if you are interested in Hatha Yoga, wait until I have time to reinterpret it.” Check out this bit from Wikipedia:
The Maharishi is reported to have trained more than 40,000 TM teachers, taught the Transcendental Meditation technique to "more than five million people" and founded thousands of teaching centers and hundreds of colleges, universities and schools while TM websites report tens of thousands learned his advanced meditation techniques. His initiatives include schools and universities with campuses in several countries including India, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The Maharishi, his family and close associates created charitable organisations and forprofit businesses including health clinics, mail-order health supplements and organic farms. The reported value of the Maharishi's empire has ranged from the millions to billions of dollars and in 2008, the organization placed the value of their United States
assets at about $300 million.
Maharishi was certifiably Peter Gabriel, “Big Time.” He also at least must seem to the average ‘sane’ person, and even to the odd ‘insane’ person like me, to be certifiably nuts. How about this?
In keeping with the hoped-for freedom from our secular troubles, in the wake of September 11, 2001, the Maharishi announced that if some government gave him a billion dollars, he would end terrorism and create peace by hiring 40,000 Yogic Fliers to start hopping full time. No government took him up on the offer, which clearly irks him (Carlson, 2002).
Believe it or not Maharishi’s empire has had to field it’s fair share of controversy over the years. Here’s something that makes a whole lot of sense:
And how have other, past problems within the sphere of influence of the Late Great Sage been handled? It depends on whom you ask; Skolnick (1991), for one, reported: “I was taught to lie and to get around the petty rules of the ‘unenlightened’ in order to get favorable reports into the media,” says [one former, high-ranking follower]. “We were taught how to exploit the reporters’ gullibility and fascination with the exotic, especially what comes from the East. We thought we weren’t doing anything wrong, because we were told it was often necessary to deceive the unenlightened to advance our guru’s plan to save the world.”
I’ll leave you with that little jewel, “it was often necessary to deceive the unenlightened to advance our guru’s plan to save the world.” Or maybe this:
The Maharishi had a message of happiness, writing in 1967, that "being happy is of the utmost importance. Success in anything is through happiness. Under all circumstances be happy. Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss". His philosophy featured the concept that "within everyone is an unlimited reservoir of energy, intelligence, and happiness". He emphasised the naturalness of his meditation technique as a simple way of developing this potential.
22. I’m the True Guru, Suckas!
Gurus can show they are serious about enlightenment or devotion if they seem to have no other interests but to perform religious ritual, and talk and sing about deities or religious ideas and stories. Such commitment is impressive to many Indian disciples. However since most Westerners are not that familiar with Indian religious ritual, the gurus in the West do not practice them that often and focus more on meditation . It is therefore more difficult to judge a guru's religious commitment based on the amount of external religious ritual he or she performs. Here the Western disciple is at a disadvantage since he or she cannot use this ritual behavior as an indicator of the commitment of the prospective guru. http://www.om-guru.com/html/saints/choosinggurus.html
Here in the west we don’t know if a guru is real because the west doesn’t see the importance of doing enlightened things like singing about deities and performing other rituals. Seems like pretty poor criteria for finding a guru. But that is a cultural feeling because I am from the west.
The lineage of the guru is also sometimes given great importance. Is he or she initiated and by whom? Is the guru's guru known and respected? Is there evidence that the guru was actually given initiation by the person he claims to have initiated him? Many Indians are very suspicious of gurus who claim to "be the path" and are therefore not dependent on a tradition or in a lineage themselves. Westerners should ask questions about lineage and understand the guru's background before accepting any guru as do most Indians.
This kind of evokes something cultural in me because I always thought the whole guru lineage succession thing was a little ridiculous. But looking at it like this it maybe makes a little more sense.
Other ecstatic gurus can go through periods of madness where they chase people and throw rocks at those who approach them. When they return to a more normal state, they may be much loved and respected by the local people for their devotion or spiritual power. These are the kinds of teachers that may provide powerful initiation for disciples but they would not be role-models in the sense that no one could really follow their
idiosyncratic ways. They are unique and may be available and helpful only for short periods of time. However these types of gurus are likely never to leave India. Most Western disciples will never meet them. This information is therefore mostly relevant to those who travel to India in search of a guru.
These types of people we call ‘crazy’ in the west and I think very few would associate the word ‘guru’ with them.
One guru who shall go unnamed claimed to have "king" and "warrior" karma to live out in this life. He was able to live like a sultan controlling the lives of hundreds of individuals. He would give erratic and confusing directions, showering love and attention at one moment and act cold and rejecting the next. He claimed to be like Shiva (or one with him - the god Shiva is not usually known for his compassionate style).
Wow. Be careful.
On rare occasions, a Westerner may attempt to draw on elements in the Indian tradition and act as a Tantric guru. This happened with Ram Das who studied with a Western women who claimed to take the place of his Indian guru who died. She claimed to be in contact with his dead guru and convinced him to become a disciple. His unusual and mostly destructive relationship with this female guru is documented in the 1976 Yoga Journal article titled Egg on My Beard (PDF reader required). In this case, he clearly rejected her and came to see the dishonesty and manipulation. However, in many other situations, the resulting relationship is far more ambiguous. In such cases, the disciple is left asking, "Was the guru God on earth being served by an imperfect disciple, or was he or she a madman sent by evil forces or negative karma to drive his disciples towards the same state of madness?" Such questions are asked over and over, but not easily answered.
A lot of unanswered questions involved in all this. Is he talking about Osho here?
Another guru who was known for his fleet of expensive cars asked his disciples to avoid attachment by having them sleep randomly with each other as a kind of spiritual therapy. Again, this kind of thing is unacceptable in India and would be rejected immediately. It is clearly against the principle of renunciation which is fundamental to the tradition. There are small numbers of "tantric chakras" in certain areas of India where highly ritualized sex is done for spiritual purposes (and sometimes for providing an excuse to sleep with those that are not one's spouse) but they are kept very secret
and would not be accepted by the larger population.
This I’m assuming is a stab at Chogyam Trungpa:
Yet another guru who was Tibetan rather than Hindu was drunk a great deal of the time and was involved in heterosexual orgies and appointed an assistant who was known for leading homosexual orgies.
This is a website dedicated to helping you find a guru. Here’s something else to consider:
The criteria for choosing a guru are complex but a few qualities that are respected are celibacy (seven of the ten Indians mentioned at this site were celibate), lack of interest in money (some gurus like Prahlad Chandra even take a vow to refuse to ever touch money), ability to sit in meditation for hours (and even days) without any movement or disturbance. This criterion is especially important for yogic gurus such as those who are in a Shankaracharya lineage such as Paramahamsa Yogananda.
This might be unfair but it’s pretty easy not to physically touch money when you could theoretically get your accountant to do it all for you electronically. I know I always point out the stupidest things. This is from the introduction on the home page:
In Hinduism, it is believed that certain individuals have developed spiritually to the point where they can lead others to liberation (moksha), or give them access to spiritual states either in this life, or after death. These teachers are believed to have special abilities, such as the capacity to give darshan (a transfer of blessings or spiritual power from guru to disciple via glance or mantra). In addition, some Gurus are said to be able to enter a disciple's dreams to give teachings or initiation. Sometimes the guru's gaze can cause a profound spiritual experience. Many students claim to sense a spiritual atmosphere around their teacher which affects their moods and perceptions in positive ways. http://www.om-guru.com/
This is clarifying:
Some of the pictures of gurus presented here can be found on public and private altars throughout India. The images may be accompanied by one or more Hindu gods in
such situations. In rare cases, the guru is considered to be an avatar, which means incarnation of a god. Human gurus sometimes attain a degree of honor and respect that approaches that of a god. This is because like a god, the true guru has the power and wisdom to help the disciple cross the ocean of suffering to reach a state of spiritual freedom, or a heavenly paradise. The biographies that follow are intended to show the different kinds of gurus that exist, and how they relate to students. In addition, special emphasis is placed on descriptions of the spiritual experiences of these teachers. The degree of respect given to a teacher is largely based upon the perceived depth of his or her spiritual realization.
I didn’t put that bit in bold text myself, that’s how it comes form this website: special emphasis is placed on descriptions of the spiritual experiences of these teachers. If you’re an aspiring guru quick assemble and practice glorifying your best spiritual experiences. I’ve never thought about it before but I guess it is very important. Here’s something on Maharishi. Kind of actually sounds like me as a child but I don’t think my family was cursed by a wandering monk.
Ramana Maharhshi was a guru of international renown from southern India who taught during the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in 1879 near Madurai, Tamilnadu. His father was a farmer. He was the second of three sons. The family was religious, giving ritual offerings to the family deity and visiting temples. One unusual aspect of his family history was a curse that was put on the family by a wandering monk who was refused food by a family member. The monk decreed that in every generation, one child in the family would renounce the world to lead a religious life. Ramana was largely disinterested in school and absent-minded during work. He had a marked inclination towards introspection and selfanalysis. He used to ask fundamental questions about identity, such as the question "who am I?". He was always seeking to find the answer to the mystery of his own identity and origins.
I don’t know why that copied with a box and I can’t immediately figure
out how to get rid of it. Here’s something about Inayat Khan who I found a lot of solace in reading from when my own mind was rooted firmly in the horrors of spiritual initiation.
Inayat describes the close relationship the disciple should develop with his or her teacher: The next thing in the attainment of the inner life is to seek a spiritual guide - someone whom a man can absolutely trust and have every confidence in, someone to whom one can look up to, and one with whom one is in sympathy - a relationship which would culminate in what is called devotion. And if once he has found someone in life that he considers his Guru, his Murshad, his guide, then he should give him all confidence, so that not a thing is kept back. If there is something kept back, then what is given might just as well be taken away, because everything must be done fully, either have confidence or not have confidence, either have trust or not have trust. On the path of perfection, all things must be done fully. The Inner Life, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Orient Books, 1980, P. 43)
Total devotion to your guru. If even 1% of yourself is held back you are only cheating yourself, “On the path of perfection, all things must be done fully.”
Inayat maintained close contact with his teacher for four years. During this time, he experienced a level of realization that made God a reality in his life. As his master lay dying, the teacher told him: "Go to the Western world my son and unite East and West through the magic of your music". Two years later, in September of 1910, Inayat sailed for America.
Smile. “Unite East and West through the magic of your music.”
In later life, Inayat went through a three stage set of realizations which had such a profound effect on him as to make him "almost unrecognizable" to those who knew him. Inayat claimed that while his consciousness was far removed from the body, he was obliged to pass through the different states of awareness that all human beings pass through in their development. The experience was analogous to Dante's experience of hell, purgatory, and heaven which concludes in the Beatific Vision of God.
Part of this initiation consisted of an experience of Hell. Hell is a place that the living visit in dreams, and the dead experience when their consciousness lives on to reap the results of their negative actions in life. Inayat's view was that hell in the afterlife is comparable to dreaming but much more intense. The next vision was an experience of purgatory where souls suffer in an effort to move beyond their attachments and limitations. This act of purification requires a great effort of will. The third vision was a stage of bliss where the human element was purified and purged to the point of illumination. Von Stalk describes Inayat as "cosmic" and as a being "now given up to service as a superb channel for the divine" following this final experience.
There that is why special emphasis is placed on descriptions of the spiritual experiences of these teachers. Sounds like shamanism or something. In case you’re still confused and wondering why you need a guru consider this from another web site:
Why A Guru?
Again we come to an important question related to the Hindu tradition: do I need a guru, and if so how do I know if a certain guru is right for me? Let us start with the first question by saying that according the Indian Vedic tradition which spans some 8,000 years of history the answer is an absolute yes. As Elizabeth pointed out in Eat Pray Love “Gandhi himself always wanted to study with a Guru, but never, to his regret, had the time or opportunity to find one.” She goes onto quote Gandhi who said “I think there is a great deal of truth in the doctrine that true knowledge is impossible without a Guru.” http://www.eatprayloveashram.com/
I like the Gandhi quote? So he never attained to true knowledge because he didn’t have a guru? Sounds more like a cop out to me. How about this:
An old Hindu story depicts the Guru as “the lantern which aluminates the pathway before the spiritual seeker, showing which way the path goes and what turns to avoid.” It is believed that without a Guru one is bound to fall into the vicious cycle of their ego trying to teach them lessons about not having an ego which is fundamentally impossible. How can a human being know what it is like to be an eagle gliding through the sky without actually becoming an eagle? We may try hang gliding and parasailing, but in order to get the full experience of the eagle we have to actually become an eagle.
I didn’t quite get how actually becoming an eagle and having to have a guru relate to each other? If you’ve read the previous chapters in this
book you’ll realize I’m very skeptical about the importance of having a guru. I’ve even surmised that having the belief that one needs one is huge hindrance on the spiritual path. And I’ve speculated that having a guru or even wanting to find one is actually a huge obstacle that is preventing you from fully facing yourself and finally attaining to illumination. If we return to the knowledge of shamanism or ancient spirituality then it is well understood that only the spirits can initiate you. This is the ‘inner journey’ remember. This is from the false guru test that I talked about in the last chapter and it’s number 1 on the list.
1. States his or her own enlightenment: The wisest masters tend not to state their own enlightenment or perfection for they know that it is both unhelpful to themselves and to their students. The false teachers often make this claim because they have little else on offer to attract followers. http://www.energygrid.com/spirit/ap-falsegurutest.html
I know I’ve stated my confusion with this sort of logic before but? If you are at a point in your life where you are seriously confused and you need some clarity and guidance well? You kind of want to be with an enlightened teacher. Someone who isn’t honestly won’t be able to help you out much. You might follow this and find someone who never talks about enlightenment like in, “I’ve found the perfect teacher! He’s not even enlightened, or he’s more enlightened than enlightened people are because truly enlightened people never say they are!” You can intellectualize your way around this endlessly. For me it always comes back to, people are already walking on the road towards it, so why not talk about it, there’s no reason to act superior about it all by being, ‘hush hush everyone.’ People get upset about enlightenment. It really grates at the human ego. Enlightenment enlightenment enlightenment. People are reading this and getting angry. I have people I love in my life, friends, who don’t respect me because I think I’m enlightened. Right now they’re thinking to themselves, “Stop fucking talking about enlightenment already! You don’t know anything about it! People think your crazy!”
23. To Infinity and Beyond!
I like this bit, translated from the Isa Upanishad by the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, Prabhupada.
6. He who sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within everything never hates anything or any being.
That for me alludes to what we were talking about before as far as seeing the True Nature and potential within other people as well as in other creatures. This realization, not so much a realization, but more of a state of being because it is a natural exercise and not an intellectual one, is also the root of true charisma. The enlightened individual can bring transcendental feelings out of someone. Some people even feel emotionally hurt feeling that they had such a strong connection with someone who may obviously not feel the same, meaning they may not see the importance of pursuing it, the connection, because they have that same deep connection with everyone.
7. One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him? http://vedabase.net/iso/en
‘God realization’ or what Prabuhada I think most often refers to as ‘Krsna Consciousness’. For me another way of looking at the topic of spiritual enlightenment. This is from Wikipedia on the Isa Upanishad:
The Isha Upanishad is significant amongst the Upanishads for its description of the nature of the supreme being (Ish). It presents a monistor non-dual perspective of the universe, in that it describes this being as "unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and uncontaminated" (verse 8), one who "moves and does not move', who is 'far away, but very near as well'" and who "although fixed in His abode is swifter than the mind" (verses 4 & 5).
The text then asserts the oneness of the supreme self; "For the enlightened one all that exists is nothing but the Self" and asks; "So how could any delusion or suffering continue for those who know this oneness?" The later verses take the form of a series of prayers requesting that the speaker be able to see past the supreme light or effulgence in order to understand the true nature of the Supreme Lord.
Here’s something on the Upanishads in general, from wikipedia again:
The Upanishads are philosophical texts considered to be an early source of Hindu religion. More than 200 are known, of which the first dozen or so, the oldest and most important, are variously referred to as the principal, main (mukhya) or old Upanishads. The oldest of these, the Brihadaranyaka, Jaiminiya Upanisadbrahmana and theChandogya Upanishads, were composed during the pre-Buddhist era of India, while the Taittiriya, Aitareya andKausitaki, which show Buddhist influence, must have been composed after the 5th century BCE. The remainder of the mukhya Upanishads are dated to the last few centuries BCE.
Some more, according to this next bit the Upanishads are really important:
Two words that are of paramount importance in grasping the Upanishads are Brahman and Atman. The Brahman is the universal spirit and the Atman is the individual Self. Differing opinions exist amongst scholars regarding the etymology of these words. Brahman probably comes from the root brh which means "The Biggest ~ The Greatest ~ The ALL". Brahman is "the infinite Spirit Source and fabric and core and destiny of all existence, both manifested and unmanifested and the formless infinite substratum and from whom the universe has grown". Brahman is the ultimate, both transcendent and immanent, the absolute infinite existence, the sum total of all that ever is, was, or shall be. The word Atman means the immortal perfect Spirit of any living creature, being, including trees etc. The idea put forth by the Upanishadic seers that Atman and Brahman are One and the same is one of the greatest contributions made to the thought of the world.
This next bit is more from Prabuhada’s translation of the Isa Upanishad. If you’re going to start studying something finding the right translator is key. A lot of scholars actually find Prabuhada’s translations of various Hindi texts to be unsurpassed in terms of quality and
understanding. And you can also get many of his books by donating to the Hare Krishna movement. In Vancouver you often see devotees selling books on Granville St. I got like a sweet hardcover version of the Bhagavad Gita for like 5 dollars, which might of been a bit of a chincy donation. I do find Prabuhada a bit much sometimes though. Maybe more on that later.
12. Those who are engaged in the worship of demigods enter into the darkest region of ignorance, and still more so do the worshipers of the impersonal Absolute.
That definitely farts right in the face of most religious thought. Demigods. For me that could refer to so called enlightened masters and spiritual leaders and gurus as well as maybe like deities and gods and goddesses of olympus or whatever. The impersonal Absolute. Anything divine outside of yourself for me is false and can be called ‘the impersonal Absolute.’ Here’s the same verse but translated by Paramanda instead:
XII. They fall into blind darkness who worship the Unmanifested and they fall into greater darkness who worship the manifested. http://www.yoga-age.com/upanishads/isha.html
I can’t read Sanskrit unfortunately so I can’t offer my opinion on this. The two versions aren’t that different but then again they are.
6. He who sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within everything never hates anything or any being. VI. He who sees all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from It (the Self).
Or how about this one:
7. One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him? VII. He who perceives all beings as the Self’ for him how can there be delusion or grief, when he sees this oneness (everywhere) ? He who perceives the Self everywhere
never shrinks from anything, because through his higher consciousness he feels united with all life. When a man sees God in all beings and all beings in God, and also God dwelling in his own Soul, how can he hate any living thing? Grief and delusion rest upon a belief in diversity, which leads to competition and all forms of selfishness. With the realization of oneness, the sense of diversity vanishes and the cause of misery is removed.
I think for me instead of saying, I like this version or that version, I like being able to read and reference both. This next one is from Nikhilananda. Maybe you can’t be considered to be a real guru by some until you have translated the Upanishads into your own words and probably unfortunately, into something that reflects your own philosophy more than other guru’s translations do. And you probably don’t want your followers walking around talking about someone else’s translation as well. I’m being a little cynical here.
7) To the seer, all things have verily become the Self: what delusion, what sorrow, can there be for him who beholds that oneness? http://swamij.com/upanishad-isha.htm
Here’s some thoughts from Aurobindo on the Upanishads:
In the same way a commentator of the Dualistic School, when he came across the word tattvamasi, “Thou art That”, indicated that it should be read as atat tvamasi, “Thou art that other one”. A prominent teacher of the Mayavada who came after Shankara adopted a different means; he satisfied himself by expelling the Isha Upanishad from the list of the principal authoritative Upanishads and promoting the Nrisimhottaratapini in its place. In fact it is quite unnecessary to impose one's opinions by such physical force. The Upanishad illustrates infinite aspects of the infinite Brahman and, because it does not uphold any particular philosophic view, a thousand philosophic views have sprouted from this single seed.Each philosophy takes up a side of the infinite truth and presents it to the intellect in a systematic way. The infinite Brahman manifests itself in infinite ways; paths leading to the infinite Brahman are also numberless.
“The infinite Brahman manifests itself in infinite ways; paths leading to the infinite Brahman are also numberless.” Such a beautiful statement it warms my heart. Who is Aurobindo? I’ve heard the name of course but
that’s about it. Once again....Wikipedia:
(15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) The central theme of Sri Aurobindo's vision was the evolution of human life into life divine. He wrote: "Man is a transitional being. He is not final. The step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner spirit and the logic of nature's process."
I guess he kind of set the stage for what I was talking about before, as it says here creating, ‘a major literary corpus in English.’
Sri Aurobindo synthesized Eastern and Western philosophy, religion, literature, and psychology in writings. Aurobindo was the first Indian to create a major literary corpus in English. His works include philosophy; poetry; translations of and commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Gita; plays; literary, social, political, and historical criticism; devotional works; spiritual journals and three volumes of letters. His principal philosophical writings are The Life Divine and The Synthesis of Yoga, while his principal poetic work is Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol.
Here’s something about his philosophy:
One of Sri Aurobindo's main philosophical achievements was to introduce the concept of evolution into Vedantic thought. Samkhya philosophy had already proposed such a notion centuries earlier, but Aurobindo rejected the materialistic tendencies of both Darwinism and Samkhya, and proposed an evolution of spirit along with that of matter, and that the evolution of matter was a result of the former. Sri Aurobindo rejected a major conception of Indian philosophy that says that the World is a Maya (illusion) and that living as a renunciate was the only way out. He says that it is possible, not only to transcend human nature but also to transform it and to live in the world as a free and evolved human being with a new consciousness and a new nature which could spontaneously perceive truth of things, and proceed in all matters on the basis of inner oneness, love and light.
Here’s some more:
Sri Aurobindo's vision of the future includes the appearance of what may be called a new species, the supramental being, a divine being which would be as different
and superior to present humanity as humanity is to the animal. It would have a consciousness different in kind than the mind of the human, a different status and quality and functioning. Even the physical form of this being would be different, more luminous and flexible and adaptable, entirely conscious and harmonious. Between this supramental being and humanity, there would be transitional beings, who would be human in birth and form, but whose consciousness would approach that of the supramental being. These transitional beings would appear prior to that of the full supramental being, and would constitute an intermediate stage in the Earth's evolution, through which the soul would pass in its growth towards its divine manifestation as the supramental being in the earth nature.
A little bit in there kind of referring to normal human beings as being animals compared to superhumans, or as Aurobindo says, the supramental being. That same thought is something I touched on before in earlier chapters.
Philosophy of social evolution Sri Aurobindo's spiritual vision extended beyond the perfection and transformation of the individual; it included within its scope the evolution and transformation of human society. In both the individual and in society, the soul and spirit is at first hidden and occult. This, he argues, influences the direction and course of development from behind, but allowing nature to follow its gradual, zigzagging, and conflict-ridden course. Afterwards, as mind develops and becomes more dominant over obscure impulses and egocentered drives of vital nature. This results in a more objective, enlightened perception and approach towards human existence and the potential developments that become possible. At the highest stage of mental development, he argues, a greater possibility and principle becomes apparent, which is spiritual and supramental in nature. At this point a true solution to humanity's problems becomes visible in the context of a radical transformation of human life into a form of divine existence.
I like social evolution. It’s a subject that a lot of spiritual people will ignore.
In The Synthesis of Yoga, and in his voluminous correspondence with his disciples collected under the title Letters on Yoga, Sri Aurobindo laid out the psychological principles and practices of the Integral Yoga or Poorna Yoga. The aim of Integral yoga is to enable the individual who undertakes it the attainment of a conscious identity with the Divine, the true Self, and to transform the mind, life, and body so they would become fit instruments for a divine life on Earth. In addition, Sri Aurobindo indicated that the aim of his yoga is the divinization of earth by bringing down what he called the Supermind, which is the Truth-consciousness. The particular method he suggested is the purification of all parts of the personality and their eventual surrender, which allows the Psychic Being to emerge, enabling the individual to become the supramental being by opening to and receiving the supramental Force.
Such gnostic individuals would then become the basis of a new society, culminating in a divine life on Earth.
This is from another website:
Optimistic and dynamic world-view The great originality of Sri Aurobindo is to have fused the modern scientific concept of evolution with the perennial gnostic experience of an all-pervading divine consciousness supporting all phenomenal existence. His synthesis was not a philosophic construct, but a realisation stemming from direct spiritual experience. The unfolding of more and more complex forms and higher levels of consciousness out of an original total material inconscience is seen as the gradual return to self-awareness and the diverse selfexpression of involved Spirit. This process is evidently not complete, and the evolution of higher levels of consciousness and less unconscious forms of expression are to be expected. But with the development of Mind, individual human beings can, if they choose, use their will and intelligence to begin to participate consciously in this process of self-discovery and self-exploration. This knowledge founds an optimistic and dynamic world-view, which gives each individual a meaningful place in a progressive cosmic unfolding, and casts our understanding of human endeavour, whether individual or collective, in a new and purposeful perspective. Many facets of this world-view are elaborated in the 35 volumes of Sri Aurobindo's Collected Works. http://www.auroville.org/vision/sriauro.htm
To me that kind of sounds like something that Andrew Cohen is trying to present now. Some of you are probably like, “No. Not Cohen again!” I like optimism and I like trying to understand evolution, both on a personal and societal level. It’s something that I was interested in, in a limited way perhaps, before I even began upon this spiritual journey.” Or you could equally say that I have always been on a spiritual journey which is a little more accurate. This is something from the Andrew Cohen website by Tom Huston entitled, “A Brief History of Evolutionary Spirituality.”
Echoing that sentiment almost two centuries later, the American philosopher Ken Wilber wrote: “Both humans and rocks are equally Spirit, but only humans can consciously realize that fact, and between the rock and the human lies evolution.” And in the span between Wilber and Hegel reigned numerous champions of this revolutionary concept of “spiritual evolution” in both the East and the West. Foremost
among these were the Indian philosopher-sage Sri Aurobindo, the French philosopher Henri Bergson, and the French paleontologist and Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Other key figures included the American essayist and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Austrian theosophical visionary Rudolph Steiner, and the German integral theorist Jean Gebser. http://www.andrewcohen.org/teachings/history-evolutionary-spirituality2.asp
I like how he includes Andrew’s best buddy, Ken Wilber, as a foremost voice in it all. Maybe he is, I have no idea. For me, one thing of immediate notice is the inclusion of the name Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who I quoted, but had no idea of who he was, to finish off the first chapter in this book. This is actually a really interesting article. Here’s some more of this that touches on Aurobindo:
Yet it was the work of the great Sri Aurobindo that, while following a similar thread to Bergson and Teilhard, brought an entirely new dimension to this burgeoning field— namely, translating the concept of spiritual evolution into a spiritualpractice. After completing his studies in literature and philosophy at Cambridge in 1892, he became a leading figure in the Indian independence movement and was declared “the most dangerous man alive” by the British Empire, but eventually left the freedom fight to devote his life to exploring liberation of an altogether different kind. After experiencing a deep spiritual awakening, Aurobindo's consciousness opened onto a vision of human possibilities that saw the attainment of nirvana—typically held to be the goal of all mystical pursuits—as merely the beginning of a personal engagement with the evolutionary force that has been driving the cosmos forward since the dawn of creation. Leading his spiritual community in the practice of “integral yoga,” Aurobindo was the first to synthesize the modern understanding of evolution with the timeless revelation of enlightenment, and pioneered the idea that human beings are capable of aligning their lives with the trajectory and purpose of the universe itself.
Well said. “Was declared “the most dangerous man alive” by the British Empire.” I like that. Kind of a James Bond meets Che Guevara feel to it. This is the end bit to it all and it pulls Andrew back into the whole monumental scale of things:
Freed from the mythic dogmatisms of premodern religion, transcending the materialistic biases of modern scientific thought, and liberated also from the narcissistic self-
obsessions of postmodern spirituality, what kind of world might a universal, evolutionary spirituality—or a truly twenty-first century religion—create? As one of the few pioneers in this nascent field who is attempting to put the philosophy into real-world practice through his teachings of Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen is endeavoring to find out...
Freed from the mythic dogmatisms of premodern religion, transcending the materialistic biases of modern scientific thought, and liberated also from the narcissistic self-obsessions of postmodern spirituality......Ladies and Gentlemen.......Andrew Cohen! “To Infinity.....and Beyond!”
24. Self Discovery, Seed Sprouts, and Zombies!
Here’s something good I read from an article entitled, ‘Illumination and Liberation.’
Until an aspirant has not reached a certain degree of enlightenment, his spiritual practice can not truly begin. He will not understand this work nor what is at stake for him. He will simply remain prisoner with fantastic ideas and imaginations on spirituality arising from his ordinary self and containing no truth. At best, his views will represent a set of intellectual speculation on the mystery of his being and his existence, probably elaborated with good intentions, but that would be unrelated to reality. Finally, it will not lead him any closer to the realisation of his true nature and to a correct understanding of the hidden meaning of life and death. http://www.meditation-presence.com/en/articles/illumination
So spiritual practice can not really begin until someone has reached a certain degree of enlightenment? That kind of goes against what a lot of people think. He gives us this thought about it all, “At best, his views will represent a set of intellectual speculation on the mystery of his being and his existence, probably elaborated with good intentions, but that would be unrelated to reality.” And finally, “Finally, it will not lead him any closer to the realisation of his true nature and to a correct understanding of the hidden meaning of life and death.” When I said that this type of thinking goes against what many people believe what I meant is that most people believe the opposite. That spiritual practice leads someone to enlightenment. Meditate long enough with the right method for instance and you will presto become an enlightened individual, a Buddha, a person of higher consciousness. This guy though is saying become enlightened first then start spiritual practice. The first thought that might be hitting you of course is how do you become enlightened then if not by spiritual practice? This is the next sentence in it all:
Although it is absolutely true that the seeker should at the beginning struggle to achieve enlightenment, it is also extremely important for him to understand that, paradoxically, he must not under any circumstances, practice his spiritual exercises with the conscious or unconscious desire to obtain results.
Enlightenment occurs after a long dialogue with yourself. It is a struggle and you have to be fully immersed in it. You must not practice spiritual exercises with the conscious or unconscious desire to obtain results. Why? Because spiritual practice doesn’t bring results. Not any real results until after you are enlightened and are ready to understand it all. Spiritual practices like meditation or yoga do not help you become enlightened. Enlightenment is a separate thing. You must turn your eyes inward and let the process begin. Whenever you hear terms like ‘self knowledge’ or ‘self discovery’ what people are referring to is this process of self awakening that leads us to higher consciousness. People think naturally that oh if I had enough time to meditate or more time to or someone to show me how to better then I could grow closer to these ideas. The journey of self awakening is such a subtle one that people who aren’t involved in it are totally unable to understand it. It naturally sounds superstitious. It also is an opposite approach to what people in a material world use to approach learning. Everything in this material existence is learned or grasped from outside of ourselves. There’s nothing inside of us for most people. People who think there is are probably crazy. Who will people believe in? Someone who will tell you that they can teach you the methods and practices required to attain to enlightenment or people like myself who are trying to tell you the truth. People again naturally rebel against what I am saying. People will think, ok let me get this straight, I will attain to the greatest idea of humanity, the only way i can attain to this is by looking and learning about myself, my thoughts, my thinking, my inner voices, my emotions, about what and who I truly am? Basically I’m telling you that God lives within you, that you are in a way God as is everything in this universe and you must find this out for yourself. I know many people will automatically say, ok I get that, I’ve read something similar many times before but I don’t feel it in my life on a daily
basis, knowing that hasn’t really made that much of a difference in my life. The difference between thinking something and knowing something is vast. When you know that you have opened up your heart fully to the true energy source of the universe then that is what is called self knowledge. It is not something that I think about and question. Well I have. It’s like flipping a light switch on and off in your head. Many times I thought maybe there’s something beyond this, things aren’t really going perfectly for me right now and I flipped the switch off to journey some more through the darkness. But after awhile one realizes that hay this is home, this place of illumination, and instead of having doubts about it we think, I’m going to clean up and reorganize this place now. We take that crucial step that some people never take, even after having reached to enlightenment, and we start to reorganize and retrain ourselves, we start to meditate and study and learn how to be good and useful people. As healers. This is from the same article I linked to before at the start of this chapter:
Indeed, for the vast majority of the seekers, illumination (provided they reach it) does just mean the beginning of this difficult journey towards their emancipation. In other words, enlightenment is only the beginning of a life of work and study, because the seeker must not forget where he started from: his tendencies not yet transformed as well as his sexual appetites and his other desires again and again will lift their hungry heads and harass him.
That is worded beautifully and it was wonderful that right after I wrote what I just did above I went back to that article and almost the first thing I read was this. Again, “In other words, enlightenment is only the beginning of a life of work and study, because the seeker must not forget where he started from: his tendencies not yet transformed as well as his sexual appetites and his other desires again and again will lift their hungry heads and harass him.” This by the way is one of the best articles I have ever read. There are two journeys here. First becoming enlightened and then secondly making the decision to continue the journey to truth and personal evolution. When we live in a world where enlightenment is seen by most people and advertised by many as being a final end state. Then people who become enlightened are naturally themselves duped by the
propaganda and think, ‘oh I’m here.’ It’s like a seed let’s say that had finally sprouted and journeyed unknowingly up through the darkness of the earth. The seed thinks, ‘oh ok that’s it! I did it!’ not realizing that destiny equates with further growth. Not trying to rob the little sprout of it’s little moment of true glory. And when you take this metaphor further, how do the dormant seeds who live below the surface and have never ever glimpsed light know what life becomes like above ground? “Do you want to see the light? Follow me, serve me and I will lead you there!” This is what our so called spiritual teachers tell us. Or for most people, the dormant seeds of our material world, light and a life above the surface of their dim state of normality and consciousness just doesn’t exist and people who say it does are lunatics. I’m a tree but you’re thinking now, it’s obvious that this guy is truly crazy. I can’t get mad at you, you don’t even see that you are a seed because you are blind and it is so dark where you live I would be wasting my energy just trying to convince you. For enlightened people maybe stuck in a rut, maybe stuck in the shadows of two rocks not knowing what to do, I can try to reach them yelling, “look at me up here, I was once small like you, spread your roots now before the rain stops!” For enlightened people how do you grow into this idea? Well by being evolved, evolving. People are confused by the whole thing. “Anyone can become enlightened? People who might not have spent their life doing selfless things maybe even who have done the opposite sometimes can become enlightened?” Robbers, thieves, wife stealers, hell anyone even murderers can become enlightened. We all have the same capacity to sprout. The journey towards being enlightened is the same as a seed sprout searching through the darkness looking to break through the soil. You were in this comfortable little place your whole life with things and people who made you feel comfortable, even if it was difficult sometimes, now you’e changing, you’re losing your sense of who you are and people think that you’re a freak and something is wrong with you. Insanity and madness. You are in a cocoon. In primitive societies people did not get stuck in this state eternally. It was understood by the tribe that the spirits had taken hold of a tribe member and it was a blessing for the tribe because soon they would have a new healer. But take western society. We are basically told the opposite. It’s like, still on the seed thing, you are told that you are a
freak because you are sprouting so you are given root killer to try to keep you looking normal like everyone else. People don’t know any better. The system doesn’t know any better. But it’s still a huge problem in the world and I might start crying if I think about how sad it really is. Like I’m watching the TV show ‘Merlin’ with my children and in this show people who have ‘magic’ are being killed and exterminated. We’re not killing healers today but the world is trying to kill the magic inside of them. Even where I live in civilized Canada people in this situation are being given electro shock therapy, many people have died, and the practice of performing a lobotomy has resurfaced except perhaps in a more modern (humane) way. Doctors are simply just inserting wires into your head in order to short out your third eye or pineal gland. Hoping to help you resume a zombie like life of complete normalcy. If we take everything I have said in this book so far and we consider the immensity of what I have just pointed out maybe we can understand why some so called enlightened people think so little of so called normal people? I mean you guys are killing everything natural in the world including the natural source inside of yourselves and others. You have convinced yourselves that you are right so you are heading full force down the path of total annihilation unable to see that you are not just wrong about some things, recycling or vegetarianism or bicycling or whatever, but you are wrong about EVERYTHING. Everything you do is de facto wrong because you are not doing what is right, evolving. Here’s a quote I found on the net:
"Ninety per cent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves -- so how can we know anyone else?" Sidney J. Harris
Kind of saying what I was albeit in a much more polite way. Here’s another one I like from the same page on a little different theme:
"I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. If a plant cannot live according to its nature it dies; and so a man."
Henry David Thoreau
This one is inspiring:
"The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart." Julien Green
http://www.best-self-help-sites.com/self-discovery-quotes.html "One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better." Blaise Pascal "Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering." St. Augustine "One's own self is well hidden from one's own self; of all mines of treasure, one's own is the last to be dug up." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche "The only difference between us is that I am aware of my natural state, while you are bemused.... We discover it by being earnest, by searching, enquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving one's life to this discovery." Nisargadatta
25. Chop Wood, Carry Water
This is from a website, selfgrowth.com, the online self improvement community, entitled, ‘Attaining to Enlightenment (For Normal People):
If you pay attention to human interaction involving displays of gratitude you’ll notice there are more smiles surrounding a complete transaction of “thank you” and “you’re welcome”. Partaking in complete transactions, you will notice a prolonged sense of good feelings; that is, the positive energy flows over and has a greater tendency to influence more of your day. It’s the simple things like this in life that provide enlightenment in a sometimes dark and unnavigable world. Reading, saying, and experiencing simple everyday things of this nature can change your life and the lives of the people around you. http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Attaining_Enlightenment_For_Normal_People.html
Ok I’ve actually set up an account on this website and now I’m being asked to provide a short bio, explaining why I’m an expert, for my ‘expert page’, in my chosen subject ‘spirituality: enlightenment.’
Write us a brief biography, 25-200 words, including your full name, credentials, professional qualifications and experience in the area you're applying to build an Expert Page in. Our editors will use this to determine if your request will be approved.
‘Credentials, professional qualifications and experience’! Not sure if I will even do this. I don’t know if I care enough. I wonder if I will get approved based on my non existent qualifications. The investigative journalist part of me, ‘investigating enlightenment’ thinks I should. Maybe I should quote this little bit from Sri Chinmoy for my bio which I find hilarious but haven’t found a way to incorporate in my story yet:
The best type of meditation comes when you enter into my consciousness by looking at a picture taken of me when I am in a high meditative consciousness (Chinmoy, 1978).
Maybe I could present myself as being part of the school of teaching enlightenment to people by having them look at pictures of me! Maybe I will go back there and see what other people’s bios say about how qualified
they are. Check this out these people are presented as being selfgrowth.com’s official enlightenment experts and this is a course you can take through their website:
Featuring Training Course #8: How to Become an Integrated Ascended Master, Integrated I AM Master and Integrated Christ/ Buddha in this Lifetime http://www.iamuniversity.org/iamu/latestupdate/4927-Featuring-Training-Course-HowBecome-Integrated-Ascended-Master-Integrated-Master-and-Integrated-Christ-Buddhathis-Lifetime.html
Sounds pretty sweet. Here is a list of the benefits of shelling out like $400 for this course.
To be more precise, among other things, in this 900-page Ascended Master Training Course you will learn: ● how to maintain Christ Consciousness under all circumstances of life, ● how to integrate your higher Lightbodies, ● why it is important that you make adjustments when other people are unable to, ● what the secret keys are to becoming invulnerable to attack and criticism, ● why prayer, affirmations and visualizations do not always get people the results they want, ● samples of global huna prayers to turn the tide of world events, ● what the most powerful and effective form of prayer in the world is, ● questions and answers on negative extraterrestrial implants, ● how to become a master healer for self and others, ● insights about the incredible power of thought and ideas, ● how to communicate with God and the Masters if you are not clairvoyant and clairaudient, ● how to keep the issue of light and darkness properly in perspective, ● what the 77 illusions of Earth life are, ● what the 22 different ways are that Spiritual seekers realize God, ● what the nature of the astral plane looks like, ● why it is so exciting to be incarnated on Earth right now, ● what your responsibility towards the Five Kingdoms is, ● what the difference between duality and polarity is, ● what the platinum keys are to accelerate your Spiritual evolution, ● why the Ascended Masters give us Spiritual assignments to do, ● what glamours of the Spiritual path to transcend,
● how to become an integrated full spectrum prism replica of God on Earth, ● and much, much more,…
Maybe in my bio I should say that I took this course and became ‘enlightened.’ Just joking! There’s so many exciting bits you can learn about in this course. I want to take it and remember I already think that I’m ‘enlightened.’ I like this one especially, “how to become an integrated full spectrum prism replica of God on Earth!” This is good too, “questions and answers on negative extraterrestrial implants!” I have no idea what that means but it sounds important enough in itself to sign up for this thing like right now.
........I am so grateful and thankful to God Christ and the Holy Spirit you Gloria, Joshua, and all of Gods Spiritual Hierarchy from top to bottom, I am so grateful for the I AM University and everyone involved init. I cant tell you how happy I am, I found my home now all I have to do is go to work, just about finished with A Beginner's Guide to the Path of Ascension book, that is number three, finished..... I will be a new man, thanks to all you wonderful folks in the I, AM, now I have tears running down my face. Thanks guys I Love All You from the Bottom of My heart and Soul. I cannot tell you how I really feel, I don't have the words. Tell Joshua thanks and all the Spiritual Hierarchy........ ........Yesterday I did the gifts of the holy spirit and 33 Godsupersenses cd and I had tears rolling down my cheeks ,tears of joy......... did my brothers and sisters also feel that way at that WESAK?...... http://www.iamuniversity.org/iamu/prospectivestudents/testimonials/3538Testimonials.html
People seem pretty grateful judging from some of these very powerful testimonials. I’m checking out some videos on these two right now. Joshua Stone passed away at some point and then Gloria Excelsias, his closest student took over the I am university.
Part 2 - Gloria Excelsias co-creative channelling with Dr Joshua David Stone and Lord Maitreya at Wesak 2008, Salzburg, Austria http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AXLL91vSfU&feature=related
She has a really colourful way of speaking. This is a really good article from SelfGrowth.com. Not sure what the connection with I AM
university is but it’s being plugged everywhere. If your interested in finding inner peace then link up to this:
Letting Go of Control You will have to let go of control to find inner peace. This is control you have over any one in your life and control over life itself. One thing you can’t do if you want peace, is give anyone else power over your feelings. When you try to control someone, ultimately they are controlling you. If you feel you need to monitor someone’s every move, or have them be with you all the time, you are really restricting yourself to the same. You have to develop trust and let go of fear.
Letting go of control is a giant concept and most people are somehow internally programmed to totally obstruct any thought about it all. Even the illusion of being in control is somehow the one thing that seems to give people their precious sanity. Just being addicted to the imagination, imagining controlling things. Having control over the future. Control over who they are, what they believe, their opinions, sexual preferences even. What I’m trying to say is that people can’t find the state of mind being able to be empty, still, and without expectations. People need to especially have control over what they have decided they want for the future. I want this or that. I need this or that. I want this to happen for me. People can say what’s wrong with wanting to be successful. Maybe nothing. But wanting something can not only block you from finding inner peace, it can also conversely block you from what you think you want because you are giving off a stressful vibration instead of a harmonious one. How about just going with the flow and seeing where life will take you. Some more from the same article:
If you feel scared, accept it for what it is, a harmless yet uncomfortable emotion. No big deal and when you’ve overcome it a few times, it becomes easy. Never say “You make me feel so angry/sad/frustrated!” because you are choosing to feel those things and what someone else does with their life should not impact on you. It is about developing emotional intelligence and allowing people to live their life without being responsible for your reactions.
People have expectations. They can’t let go. Things they have absolutely no control over start causing them stress and anguish. People look outwards always. Children should learn about self growth in school. We want our children to be successful in the world so we think, oh they don’t need to take courses on spirituality. We should hope for children to have inner peace beyond anything else. Because that is true success. I’ll end this chapter with these thoughts that give a good question a correspondingly good answer:
Why would anyone want to bother with all this inner peace stuff? To end the cycle of ups and downs, emotions popping up when you don’t want them too, interactions with others become diplomatic and helpful and you will be able to experience an inner calm and confidence that words can not describe. You will no longer have petty conversations that are full of gossip and bragging, but will begin to talk about ideas and events that are interesting and positive. What you put out, you really get back in life. So if you think and feel negatively towards others, you will think and feel negative about yourself as well.
Or maybe I will end on this bit:
Whenever someone makes a decision as to how they spend their own time or energy, it is their decision to make, so don’t go sticking your nose in where it isn’t wanted and don’t think it is all about you. You can also meditate in your every day life. There is an art to being able to live in the moment and there is an old Buddhist saying that you may have heard. It goes “Before enlightenment, carry water, chop wood - after enlightenment, carry water, chop wood”. The difference is the state of mind and inner peace. Before enlightenment, you would do every day tasks with your mind racing through thoughts and memories. You would be thinking about yesterday and tomorrow and be unaware of the beauty of the moment. You could even be annoyed that you have to do the task at hand.
26. Shut Up Mind! You Always Sing the Stupidest Songs!
This is the second out of ten steps that will bring you closer to an experience of spiritual enlightenment:
2. Quieting the incessant chattering repetitive mind. The Ego is the thought program. Like a computer, it is un-aware. It just spits out information and computes ideas that are about the past and future. The mind/ego is a limited construct of ideas and beliefs about who we think we are. The more we can silence the chattering mind, the less we are trapped in this Ego. You could say that E. G. O. really is an acronym for Excluding God's Omnipresence. Only through the constant release of the Ego can we live in the true spiritually enlightened reality. We become aligned with the bigger Truth that are infinite Spiritual beings AND do also exist this physical third dimensional world. http://www.enlightenedbeings.com/how-to-become-enlightened.html
I was in some job search workshops a couple of years ago and our instructor at one point said something like: who doesn’t have this endless chatter going on in their head at all times, most of it negative? I, of course, without thinking about it all raised my hand immediately. Well I didn’t think about it because I guess it’s something that I haven’t experienced for awhile. So correspondingly I was totally taken aback by the reaction of the class. Half the class was shocked and looked over at me like, ya right smart ass thanks for interrupting class, and the other half of the class laughed out loud thinking to themselves, he is a funny guy. I can’t remember what exactly the teacher said but it was obvious she didn’t believe me and just continued off along her train of thought explaining why we can have a natural tendency to sabotage ourselves along the job search trail or whatever.
But "mind chatter" cannot be controlled by an intellectual process. It knows the game better than anyone. But what mind chatter does not like, is to be watched. The moment "mind chatter" is observed - it stops. Perspective is the key to controlling "mind chatter" - a perspective that observes. Once the spaces of silence between the thoughts are recognized, intellect fumbles, an influx occurs, and inspiration flourishes. The
process repeats, and "mind chatter" begins again. Observing "mind chatter" is the beginning of a process that will change your life. http://www.claytentylor.com/mindchatter.html
It can’t be controlled because, “Mind chatter’ knows the game better than anyone else!” “But what mind chatter does not like is to be watched.” “Hello. This is Mind Chatter please stop watching me damnit!” There’s been a few times in the last few years when the topic of mindless mind chatter has come up in conversation and each time I’ve kind of gapped out for a few seconds having to think about it and center myself without laughing because I’ve forgot about what life was like before for me. You don’t know how ridiculous the whole thing sounds when you’re not experiencing it and haven’t experienced it for awhile. From here I’m going to go right into what my own gut feeling tells me about mind chatter. Let’s say you have a broken radio that can’t tune into a station properly, like it just jumps all over the dial, nothing makes sense and it is of course after not too long, frustrating. Like your radio is stuck on static then you hear tonight at 6 then you hear 10 seconds of the daily news in Chinese then more static, just pure craziness really. Here’s what I think is going. Your internal universal communication device, your third eye, is not functioning properly. You don’t know how to tune it to the right frequency and leave it there. This is what not to do I think from another site:
What if the mind chatter is just too persistent? I just drown it out with these three words: "Happy, Happy, Happy!" http://tvance.hubpages.com/hub/Is-Mind-Chatter-Driving-You-Crazy
Seems to me like trying to drown it all out by saying to yourself, “Happy, Happy, Happy!” would just add to it all and be an even more frustrating exercise. Now I’m starting to feel sorry for people, is this really what people have to deal with? This is from the same article:
It may be blocking your success and happiness...
What is Mind Chatter? That's when random thoughts get in a loop and repeat themselves over and over. Usually those thoughts are not happy or uplifting thoughts. It could be the words from a song. When it comes to money, do you often find yourself locked into negative emotions like these? ● Guilt ● Shame ● Blame ● Frustration ● Fear ● Anxiety ● Helplessness ● Hopelessness ● Pessimism ● Doubt ● Resentment ● Worry ● Jealousy Did you know that every time you experience any emotions like these, you are creating through the Law of Attraction even more more lack. In order to turn lack into happiness, success and abundance, you have to avoid investing in these negative emotions. It is your mind that gets in a negative loop of thinking.
So it’s like a negative loop that you get stuck in that starts to basically spin out of control because of the law of attraction, things keep getting worse for yourself because that’s what you’re creating by being stuck in a negative loop.
The train of thought starts off strong in one direction, but the mind pulls the reins back HARD, curving that line back up into the opposite direction, but you pull forward again and the mind pulls back and you get this circular train of thought where it becomes too exhausting to fight out of, so you end up with a tie, and in a tie, the mind wins. http://briankim.net/blog/2009/05/how-to-deal-with-circular-mind-chatter/
“It becomes too exhausting to fight out of, so you end up with a tie, and in a tie, the mind wins.” What? Serious? People are at war with their own minds! In an earlier chapter I kind of questioned why the average person would want to really be enlightened thinking they thought it would be more glorious than it really is and they had no idea alluding to the hardships to be endured along the journey there. Now I’ve changed my mind 100%. People
need to find enlightenment. From the same article that I linked to above:
The VERY first thing to do is UNDERSTAND WHY your mind does this in the first place.Your mind is designed to help you AVOID PAIN. If our minds were not designed that way, our species would not have survived very long. So when we try something new, something that puts a kink into our relatively stable equilibrium, our mind throws up the red flag. Our mind sees what CAN be in terms of how what we’re planning to do can cause us pain in the future. Not only that, it blows it up in size. This can be a really big stumbling block for those who have very vivid imaginations. And worse yet for those who have the gift of extrapolating WAY into the future (you know who you are). So it’s understandable why the mind pulls back the reins HARD. That’s its job. You are not weak or abnormal. This happens to everybody.
“This happens to everybody!” Kind of the same logic that was in my class before where I put my hand up foolishly, apparently trying to derail the instructors own train of thought on the human condition. “You suck but everyone does so don’t worry about it” I wonder if I was the only person who ever stuck his hand up when that same instructor posed her question that was never a question in the first place?
And the main reason so many would-be entrepreneurs struggle is because their friends and their mind are beating them up and wearing them down. They have a plan, they have a dream, they have a product … and they have a nagging internal voice saying, “you can’t do this. This will never work.” Are you considering a coach? Or has your “mind chatter” already talked you out of it? http://www.rogershermansociety.com/chatter.htm
“Their friends and their mind are beating them up.” “Dumb mind stop beating me up!” This needs like an Alfred Hitchcock voice to it, “Or has your ‘mind chatter’ already talked you of it.” Like a weird paranormal , murder mystery feel to it all. This is good, from J. Krishnamurti:
But when you realize that your mind is chattering and look at it, staying with it, then you will see what happens. Your mind is chattering. All right, watch it. You say, ''All right, chatter''. You are attending, which means you are not trying not to chatter, not saying, ''I must not'', or suppressing it; you are just attending to chattering. If you do, you will see what happens; your mind is clear and probably that is the state of a 'normal', healthy human being.
Source- J. Krishnamurti Questions and Answers, Saanen, 1980 http://www.buddhasangha.com/krishnamurti/jiddu_krishnamurti_chattering_mind.htm
I guess my mind chatters as well. But remember I think of it more as my “universal communication device” and I more just attend to it like Krishnamurti says. The whole process is more fascinating than anything else. I honestly can not imagine fighting with my mind. I like when Krishnamurti says, “your mind is clear and probably that is the state of a 'normal', healthy human being.” Thanks. Glad I’m not the only one saying that. What is normal and healthy? This is so good from the Bipolar Type II Support Group:
01/14/2009 02:47 PM gilly14 Hi Everyone, I was wondering if anyone out there has a CLEAR mind or is it constantly filled with chatter/songs/racing thoughts ect. What medication are you on that stops this chaos. : :
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“What medication are you on that stops this chaos” Give this guy a hug. This is the first answer he’s given and it really scares me!
I'm still looking for meds that stop the racing.... especially at night. My doctor gave me ambien but that gives me HORRIBLE nightmares....not to mention if I don't go to sleep I have no idea what I did while I was still awake
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Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how
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Previous discussions I participated in: Anyone Here Not Taking Meds? Anyone awake, January 14th, 2009 Lamictal and typing
01/14/2009 09:03 PM
“If i don’t go to sleep I have no idea what I did while I was awake.” Horrible nightmares. A lot of enlightened people don’t believe in many (or most) of these so called psychological disorders seeing them instead as an attempt to put a label on people who are stuck half way between normal and higher consciousness. People who instead of evolving are looking for answers from the unenlightened medical establishment, via primarily fancy sounding medication that has terrible side effects.
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I still have a song that I listened to yesterday morning running through my head and it will not let up. Cold by Crossfade. Great song, but really annoying to have it going on for 24 hours. Also I didn’t sleep good last night at all, kept having endless conversations in my head. Had to keep reminding myself that I can have these conversations with the people when they are actually there and there is no point to me staying up "talking" to them when they arent there to hear!
From somewhere else explaining ‘racing thoughts’ which is bipolar versus the much scarier version of it all, ‘hearing voices.” Ooooooh! Sorry. I can be a dick sometimes.....I know.
The phenomenon called racing thoughts is distinct from "hearing voices," which is a symptom of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, severe mania or other psychotic disorders. Racing thoughts can be a symptom of mania, hypomania or a mixed episode, but unlike some other symptoms of these moods, they can also occur with depression or an anxiety disorder. Sometimes racing thoughts are accompanied by a pounding heart or pounding pulses, including drumming in the ears. http://bipolar.about.com/cs/faqs/f/faq_racethought.htm
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Thanks for the link! That definitely clears up a lot for me. Whenever I am excited or anxious I think I get that way, at least moderately. I overanalyze too! And constantly prepare what I am going to say in various situations. If I am walking alone I find something in my pocket as a weapon in case there's some creeper on the sidewalk (Live near a campus that is reknowned (aren't they all) for heavy drinking. I also think of my escape routes, which house I would barge into for help, etc. Fun fun. I only remember one event in 8th or 9th grade that may be evidence for me: My friends made a list of things they didn't like about me that I had to change for us to remain friends (Nice, huh) and one of the conditions was that I had to stop constantly humming/singing the same weird songs all the time. (We had separate tastes in music to boot.) Could just be they were way too concerned with being cool, but then again, I honestly can't remember how "bad" it was.
I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I am glad to know that I'm not the only one with the internal chatter. Mine varies from songs to racing thoughts about what I should be/want to be/wish I didn't have to be/ doing to loud buzzing. Years ago I went through a battery of tests about the buzzing but they couldn't find anything (heh heh). At night the noise keeps me from falling asleep because if I pay attention to it, I get VERY anxious. I try to channel my thoughts into specific directions by making up A to Z word lists...colors, foods, species of birds. That method stopped working when I started the bipolar meds. A week or so ago I found a new type of list that works both to settle my mind and to slightly improve my mood: I make lists of words that I find amusing. A single word (eg, wombat) that makes me chuckle can calm me down enough to fall asleep. Oh God, here I go...trapezoid...legume...somebody stop me!
Broken radios. But still repairable. These are people stuck, trapped in the process of a psychic breakthrough unable to make the breakthrough because of a number of reasons. Shut up mind! You always sing the stupidest songs!
27. If You Really Want to Look at The Absurdity of it All
Last chapter we talked about how annoying mindless mind chatter is. Some schools of thought see the solution being in learning to adopt more positive thinking patterns by retraining the mind. Some like myself see enlightenment itself as the real answer. Tuning into the right frequency finally. Coming up with a solution for some can become pretty intellectual. For others it is to be found in science. Their mind’s race a little more than most people’s do meaning that their mind’s are damaged so they just need a little medication to re balance themselves. Some people might not even really think about it all until they start meditating and studying spirituality. We’re told to find that quiet space inside of ourselves beyond our thoughts and for the very first time we may take a serious look at the craziness that is going on in our own heads. (The craziness that people for the most part ignore by keeping busy. Busy doing things and busy thinking.) We start to think more about living in the present or being non judgemental, or to stop worrying and doubting ourselves ditto. What we find out is that we can’t. The mind in this light, the ego for others, is obviously the enemy. For all besides for very few, the name of the game is to trick the mind. This is from a great article on the subject of ego by Osho:
The ego is an accumulated phenomenon, a by-product of living with others. If a child lives totally alone, he will never come to grow an ego. But that is not going to help. He will remain like an animal. That doesn't mean that he will come to know the real self, no. The real can be known only through the false, so the ego is a must. One has to pass through it. It is a discipline. The real can be known only through the illusion. You cannot know the truth directly. First you have to know that which is not true. First you have to encounter the untrue. Through that encounter you become capable of knowing the truth. If you know the false as the false, truth will dawn upon you. Ego is a need; it is a social need, it is a social by-product. The society means all that is around you - not you, but all that is around you. All, minus you, is the society. And everybody reflects. You will go to school and the teacher will reflect who you are.
You will be in friendship with other children and they will reflect who you are. By and by, everybody is adding to your ego, and everybody is trying to modify it in such a way that you don't become a problem to the society. They are not concerned with you. They are concerned with the society. Society is concerned with itself, and that's how it should be. They are not concerned that you should become a self-knower. They are concerned that you should become an efficient part in the mechanism of the society. You should fit into the pattern. So they are trying to give you an ego that fits with the society. They teach you morality. Morality means giving you an ego which will fit with the society. If you are immoral, you will always be a misfit somewhere or other. That's why we put criminals in the prisons - not that they have done something wrong, not that by putting them in the prisons we are going to improve them, no. They simply don't fit. They are troublemakers. They have certain types of egos of which the society doesn't approve. If the society approves, everything is good. One man kills somebody - he is a murderer. And the same man in wartime kills thousands - he becomes a great hero. The society is not bothered by a murder, but the murder should be committed for the society - then it is okay. The society doesn't bother about morality. http://deoxy.org/egofalse.htm
We are raised in a herd to become a member of the herd. He is saying a lot of interesting things here. We need to know the false before we can find the truth. That is how I feel about the concept of global enlightenment. As in the herd has to completely walk down the wrong path before it finally must face itself and embrace higher consciousness really fully discarding materialism for the first time. You can’t know which is the right way until you have examined and then discarded everything that is wrong. This part is really good too:
The society creates an ego because the ego can be controlled and manipulated. The self can never be controlled or manipulated. Nobody has ever heard of the society controlling a self - not possible. And the child needs a center; the child is completely unaware of his own center. The society gives him a center and the child is by and by convinced that this is his center, the ego that society gives.
Society, humanity, can not give you a center in your rightful place as a spiritual entity because society de facto totally denies that truth in itself because it is 100% only focused on its own exodus away from that truth. Think about how the world works. Look at humanity. Think about cancer for instance. Cancer exists because a human being is in a state of imbalance. The cure is simple. Re-balance yourself and the human body will then gain the upper hand and have the power to begin healing itself. The world can not see the simplicity of it all just like it can not see the simplicity of spirituality and the notion of being at peace regardless of material circumstance. How does the world seek to cure cancer? By bringing more imbalance to the human being, by wasting more materials on a non existent solution, by stressing over it endlessly, by creating huge industries and bureaucracies around it all that serve themselves by embracing a status quo. Cancer is a billion dollar industry. Serving people with psychological imbalance stuck half way through the transition to higher consciousness with therapy and medication, even with so called spiritual help ditto. Hey if we really want to look at the absurdity of it all killing the planet is how all money is made. Cancer, killing the human being. Psychological diseases, killing the mind. The economy, killing the planet.
So you have two centers. One center you come with, which is given by existence itself. That is the self. And the other center, which is created by the society, is the ego. It is a false thing - and it is a very great trick. Through the ego the society is controlling you. You have to behave in a certain way, because only then does the society appreciate you. You have to walk in a certain way; you have to laugh in a certain way; you have to follow certain manners, a morality, a code. Only then will the society appreciate you, and if it doesn't, you ego will be shaken. And when the ego is shaken, you don't know where you are, who you are.
Osho again. I never thought I would be quoting Osho so much but this is some of the best stuff I’ve read on the subject. When I talk about, in the last chapter, and in this one, people being stuck half way between normal and higher consciousness:
And remember, there is going to be an interim period, an interval, when the ego
will be shattered, when you will not know who you are, when you will not know where you are going, when all boundaries will melt. You will simply be confused, a chaos. Because of this chaos, you are afraid to lose the ego. But it has to be so. One has to pass through the chaos before one attains to the real center. And if you are daring, the period will be small. If you are afraid, and you again fall back to the ego, and you again start arranging it, then it can be very, very long; many lives can be wasted.
People’s egos are unravelling but they are afraid to let go so they go to seek help from society and society says, “You’re damaged, lots of people are, its normal, take this, and that’s the best anyone can do for you.” This is the next bit. I’m quoting a lot of material from this article.
I have heard: One small child was visiting his grandparents. He was just four years old. In the night when the grandmother was putting him to sleep, he suddenly started crying and weeping and said, "I want to go home. I am afraid of darkness." But the grandmother said, "I know well that at home also you sleep in the dark; I have never seen a light on. So why are you afraid here?" The boy said, "Yes, that's right - but that is MY darkness." This darkness is completely unknown. Even with darkness you feel, "This is MINE." Outside - an unknown darkness. With the ego you feel, "This is MY darkness." It may be troublesome, maybe it creates many miseries, but still mine. Something to hold to, something to cling to, something underneath the feet; you are not in a vacuum, not in an emptiness. You may be miserable, but at least you ARE. Even being miserable gives you a feeling of 'I am'. Moving from it, fear takes over; you start feeling afraid of the unknown darkness and chaos - because society has managed to clear a small part of your being.
This is so true it makes me chuckle. The ego is such a persuasive and all powerful force that even people who are so obviously psychologically incapable of operating in any sort of holistic or meaningful way are just as addicted to their egos and as fearful of losing them as anyone else is. It’s exactly as Osho says. This is mine. People in bad spaces love talking about their disease, their problems, their illusions, their medication, there techniques to trick themselves to sleep or whatever. It’s who they are. It gives them comfort. It’s home. Outside of it is craziness. I have a friend who barely operates. But I can’t explain it all to him, he
doesn’t get it. He’s so close to higher consciousness but he will probably never get there because he can’t see it. Because he can’t step out of herd consciousness primarily. When I became psychologically sick I had already through my own studies decided that the very most fundamental logic of capitalism and the world today, of humanity itself was essentially flawed. I had started reading about the beauty of ancient Africa, about different ways of thinking and organizing society. At almost the very moment I realized I was losing it in a huge way I signed out Holger Kalweit’s books on Shamanism from the library. Did I have my doubts? Yes. Was I absolutely tortured for 3 odd years? Yes. Maybe in a way it was even harder for me because i was trying to get myself past it all instead of just settling in and saying, “Fine i just want to be normal even if it is a damaged normal, I can find other people who are damaged as well and i can feel normal interacting with them.” An integral part of myself knew that I was on a path, that I was in a cocoon like state, that i would soon be whole and free and that i would soon shoot up into the sky. No part of me believed that western psychology could tell me anything about my state. I knew they were wrong, that they could tell me I would be sick forever, that higher consciousness didn’t exist and that shamans were fools and idiot savants or whatever, extremely deluded relics of a superstitious and silly like period of human evolution. I was lucky. What are all these people missing? If we really want to help and heal people then we are not going to do that by targeting individual people who probably won’t be able to fully listen because they’ve been so conditioned by shared consciousness and humanity’s own collective insanity. We must change society. We must take control of the whole god damned herd and pull it back before it runs right off of the edge of existence. Because those of us who look ahead a little can see that edge up off on the horizon.
One has to be daring, courageous. One has to take a step into the unknown. For a while all boundaries will be lost. For a while you will feel dizzy.
For a while, you will feel very afraid and shaken, as if an earthquake has happened. But if you are courageous and you don't go backwards, if you don't fall back to the ego and you go on and on, there is a hidden center within you that you have been carrying for many lives. That is your soul, the self.
Pretty much sums up what I’ve been saying as well throughout this whole book. A lot of people’s first reaction to the statement that i made above will be, ya right! You’re just parroting and copying what other people have said! You’re not enlightened!
Once you come near it, everything changes, everything settles again. But now this settling is not done by the society. Now everything becomes a cosmos, not a chaos; a new order arises. But this is no longer the order of the society - it is the very order of existence itself. It is what Buddha calls Dhamma, Lao Tzu calls Tao, Heraclitus calls Logos. It is not man-made. It is the VERY order of existence itself. Then everything is suddenly beautiful again, and for the first time really beautiful, because man-made things cannot be beautiful. At the most you can hide the ugliness of them, that's all. You can decorate them, but they can never be beautiful. The difference is just like the difference between a real flower and a plastic or paper flower. The ego is a plastic flower - dead. It just looks like a flower, it is not a flower. You cannot really call it a flower. Even linguistically to call it a flower is wrong, because a flower is something which flowers. And this plastic thing is just a thing, not a flowering. It is dead. There is no life in it.
28. Shut Up ALREADY! Your Book SUCKS!
People automatically assume that if you’re writing a book it must not be that important because if they were writing a book it wouldn’t be important. The ego. Everything is a reflection of the truth, a shimmering distorted reflection seen through the human being’s own lens that clouds the inner mind’s eye. People who know a little about writing will wonder if you have a publisher and then they will feel a little sorry for you because they would feel sorry for themselves if they were ‘wasting’ time writing something that some company might never publish. Most people are doing way more important things with their time. They’re making money! The ego. Its like in the ‘Lord of the Rings’. You have the ring that you are so addicted to, that is destroying you. You must find the strength to walk through the darkness and throw it in the great fire to save the world. But most would go Gollum and can’t. Mine mine mine. Just like endlessly play with it. “My ego is so magnificent!” “My Precious! Oh my Precious!” Even if the ego (well the vast majority are) is operating in a completely un wholistic manner, people are completely and almost endlessly fascinated with theirs. It’s so Lord of the Rings. It’s an addiction beyond any other. People are addicted to being right. It’s hard enough for most people to take a small step in their thinking like something like, “You’re right its not a big deal if gays marry, it doesn’t affect me at all!” For some people that’s huge. Everybody almost has taken small steps in their own way in their own time towards truth. Not too many take the big step though. It’s not that the world meaning society is bad or evil, that there aren’t remarkable and admirable things about it, about what it has accomplished, indeed especially about everyday normal people. On the most integral and fundamental level humanity is absolutely wrong and falsely fixated on material existence instead of spiritual. People live in almost like a weird distorted mirror image world where nothing is really real. Humanity may evolve, it may in a sense be evolving right now but it is still almost on all levels completely or at least partially mistaken about everything. Say if you had a huge ball that was rolling off in the wrong
direction for a long time. You could try to slow that ball down but it would take a lot. And it would take a lot more to stop it and then waaaaay more to get it rolling off in the right direction. What if the ball had been gaining in velocity everyday since the beginning of humanity? So it becomes a hard thing to judge. Are we slowing this huge shitball down at all? Or is it still despite all of our efforts simply still gaining speed. So it’s a matter of subjectivity. I don’t know if we can say either way. Something is happening in the general consciousness of humanity. If the goal of enlightenment is to return ourselves to a state of natural excitement which will naturally return us to a state of true health then deciding that this or that will happen in the future when we honestly don’t know is not the right way to let our thoughts travel. We live in an exciting time where our very words and actions can impact on the future course of the planet and we all have a huge part to play in shaping something that reflects our true nature not our (un)natural aversion to and fear of it. Here’s an interesting interview about ‘nature deficit disorder.’
Basically what I’m thinking is this. Most people are naturally enemies of nature and all that is natural. People are deathly afraid of the wild, within and without. People have for the most part since the beginning of civilization attempted to move further and further from it. You might argue that people in cities have lawns or parks or gardens or whatever. But all of that is a carefully controlled and manicured version of nature. Much like the human ego. “I am a carefully cultivated gentleman who adheres to strict rules and guidelines!” We want nature to serve us not the other way around. We don’t want trees popping out of, and cracking our god damned sidewalks. Pests, bugs, weeds, invasive species. Just like things in our bodies or minds malfunctioning. Nature isn’t always predictable. That’s why people hate it. After thousands of years of studying our own physical bodies we still really have no clue as to how to fix things. Well we can do very minor repair work. People love computers. You can always fix a computer if something goes
wrong, replace something or even get a new one which is always fun. People find the stupidest reasons for buying new ones. “Mine’s not fast enough!” Ya but all you do is surf the net and the only reason it’s slow is because you’ve installed and uninstalled so many dumb programs. Back up your crap and reinstall windows. I dare say people like buying new things because it contributes to killing off nature which is bothersome, nature I mean. People hate nature. The unpredictability if it I mean. If our body is malfunctioning the logic of the world is to punish it. AZT, chemotherapy, medication. People love animals but mostly only if they serve them. People love dogs. If I killed a dog and ate it people would equate me in this country with a psychopath. I would probably be famous across Canada. Murderer! If I killed a cow? Nothing. We have our socially accepted ways of doing things. People rarely think outside those norms that we are forced to accept in order to be considered part of society. Whether in mainstream society, whatever that means, or in any one of society’s social sub groups. How many people exist outside of society completely letting the infinite complexity and unpredictableness of nature enter us on the most fundamental level without expectation? That’s where the role of the Shaman comes in. Individuals in every society that has ever graced humanity since the very beginning to the most modern off into the infinite future has/ will contain the very individual who because of time and circumstance has become somehow through disintegration and renewal, one with the natural world. This is the shaman. In more primitive societies when people were more powerless and dependent on the forces of nature shamans held important positions in society. Shamans were like ambassadors or more like mediators in charge of negotiations between the two worlds. Today shamans are considered passe superstitious and absolutely unnecessary. People were never that comfortable with the shaman anyways. Shamans in Australian Aboriginal are called clever men or women. In mythology the shaman is the trickster, the figure who teaches wisdom by playing tricks on people. Shamans don’t adhere to the rules of society. Their not criminals, their more bothersome really. Because they are so naturally intelligent they challenge people which is what the average
person does not want to be, challenged. This is my little world don’t come in here I’m fine with this little world its predictable and comfortable. The shaman cant help but try to bother you. He knocks on your door yelling, hay come out and play!, but you just cover your ears and hope he goes away. Damned shamans you think, leave me the hell alone! Of course we want you to come out and play with us! Its lonely being a shaman, sure we love loneliness, but its fun to have people to play with sometimes. Not people who immediately would want to cage us and manicure us into something predictable. That’s bothersome for us. Damned normal people we think. Its not even that the shaman would have to attempt to disturb your precious sleep. He or she just does so inadvertently. Its unexplainable. People automatically react in a certain way before these individuals. Most people must attempt cut this type of person down to size in their own minds and it their conversations with others. Like if you had a giant but you didn’t believe in giants you could just cut him in half so it made sense to your way of thinking which excluded the value of nature from being anything more than something completely controlled and manicured. At best you think the shaman is just tricking you. He’s just a comedian. He’s funny for a bit but then you have to send him off because his craziness wears off on you. It’s like when you go to see a stand up comedian and he pokes fun at you in front of everyone. Comedians love pushing peoples buttons. Funny shaman! He loves talking about things like schizophrenia and enlightenment because it makes everyone feel uncomfortable and then he can have a good laugh to himself at everyone else’s expense.
All evolution in thought and conduct must at first appear as heresy and misconduct. — George Bernard Shaw The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the collective or creative consciousness. —Emile Durkheim
The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, is at first directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men, the language of real life. Conceiving, thinking, the mental intercourse of men, appear at this stage as the direct efflux of their material behaviour. The same applies to mental production as expressed in the language of politics, laws, morality, religion, metaphysics, etc., of a people. Men are the producers of their conceptions, ideas, etc. – real, active men, as they are conditioned by a definite development of their productive forces and of the intercourse corresponding to these, up to its furthest forms. Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence, and the existence of men is their actual life-process. If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life-process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm
29. YA But What Do You Know? Cause You Don’t Know SHIT!
One of the things about deciding to write about spiritual illumination is that you might not be prepared for the controversy it may all cause in your local community or within your circles of friends, relatives or co workers. You may have already surrounded yourself with spiritually orientated people so beginning to write or speak about it all isn’t shocking, it’s really only just an extension of where you already are. If you live in a small community (an island) where the people you interact with everyday are just normal everyday folk the idea of someone thinking they’re enlightened (explicit) or even thinking they know enough about it to be an expert on the subject and potentially have a book published about it is......hard for some people to stomach. Last night I had an ex girlfriend come over for a minute and talking about having dinner with another ex of mine she said in a snarky voice, “Ya. We talked about your enlightenment!” Busted. You’re right I’m not enlightened and it took you two dastardly detectives of higher consciousness butting your remarkable brains against each other to finally REALLY figure it all out. (Neither of them know that much about spirituality.) I can just imagine, it was probably along the lines of “Ya, He doesn’t even have a girlfriend and he said he doesnt want to see me anymore.” “Ya he’s obviously not enlightened! “Ya he’s always hanging out by himself and a few weeks ago when i wouldn’t leave his house he yelled at me to.” “Ya he’s not working much he’s spending all his time writing his dumb book that makes no sense LOL” Its funny how everyone has an opinion about something even when they know nothing about it. It’s actually a huge disease in the world. As children we are taught that part of growing and establishing ourselves as grown ups in the world is to have cherished ideas and opinions about things even when we know almost absolutely nothing about the subject. Or all we know is what one source or another has led us to believe about something, one sided or not. It’s the whole basis for democracy isn’t it? People with limited information making poorly informed decisions influenced by advertising more than anything else giving people and political parties free reign for the next 4 odd years or whatever. And if you’ve voted the logic is that you can feel smug about it all. At least you
played your part. The problem is people who didn’t exercise their right to make a poorly informed choice electing one party or another into power when no party should have the power to make any decision without full public input anyways. That’s democracy. Voting on actual issues. Not in saying to ourselves, oh we voted for these guys or some other people did so they can fuck us over for the next 3 to 4 years! We don’t, hopefully this isn’t news to you, actually live in a democratic society. We live in corporatocracy. Real power is held in the hands of corporations who vie for influence with our elected political officials and long serving heads of bureaucracy. Corporations don’t really have to answer to the public. Corporations can just move their offices to a new country if we try to tax them or make them answerable to the public, as in true democracy. It becomes a lowest common denominator logic where countries and provinces or states try to dismantle as many safeguards and regulations as possible so companies will choose their place to reside and do business in. In recent years so called first world or modern democracies have shown that they actually have way less backbone when it comes to dealing with huge resource companies for instance. Countries like Venezuela or Mongolia will demand a huge amount of money from oil companies if they want to extract that invaluable resource. In Canada most resource companies aren’t taxed at all! We give away our oil our minerals our lumber to huge companies and we get absolutely nothing back from it all except for a bunch of dead end jobs for our under educated population. We think that oh these companies are doing business here, were actually subsidising them (Alberta tar sands), instead of maybe Mongolia so we win. (A bunch of kids who didn’t finish high school are now making 30 bucks an hour or whatever.) No, we gave away our oil for nothing, its all gone, companies move to Mongolia, oil is now worth twice as much and Mongolia can ask for anything they want. We can take the logic of the lowest common denominator to the individual level as well, to the voter. Basically we take the dumbest ideas of the day and vote in a political party that reflects the often orchestrated anger, insanity, and overall stupidity of humanity. How about the prejudice. People voted for Hitler, people voted for George Bush (or name any American president.) Iraq seemed like a great idea to almost everyone in
America. Republicans, democrats, hell even Neil Young was on board. People were pissed. Even when people somehow vote in seemingly good people. People with real ideas. Real power, no not political, corporate, is not going to allow real change because it will affect their profit margin where the only real consideration is in the value of their stocks. Faced with this there’s only two options. Kennedy- assasinated. Obama- sold out. (Corporations love dumb people because they keep buying shit.) Imagine if Obama announced tomorrow that he was cutting all military spending in half. He would be killed. Well he wouldn’t be able to anyways because the congress and senate wouldn’t allow it. So he would be killed and accomplish nothing because of it. Unless he wanted to compete with Che for t shirt sales. Maybe he wouldn’t be killed. People would probably just call him a wacko. There’s ALOT less paranoia out there now then there was during the good ole Communism days. The stock market has turned everything into a very dangerous alternate reality, an abstraction, that says we have created huge uncontrollable unpoliceable entities that answer to nothing to no one person to not even a group of people but only to the logic of profit. Profit beyond everything. Profit beyond gasp human life. Human tragedy is very profitable. As are similar (orchestrated) tragedies of the natural environment. Lots of money is made for instance off of unhealthiness. Health care. People are not healthy and a huge industry has been created because of this sad fact. For millions of years people worked hard and spent good amounts of time outside. And ate whole food. Now it’s completely different, people are killing themselves (slowly) and all in all health care its probably a trillion dollar industry. Who will look the logic of it all squarely in the face. Not many. It’s exactly the same thing with spiritual enlightenment. Think about lowest common denominator. The way that people think on a global level totally explains what is happening in the world. You can say, “Well these huge pharma companies are really no different than the huge defense companies!” Well the problem is that the people who run these entities are really just as blind maybe more so than other people are. They don’t see anything wrong with the logic of it all. Its totally logical to them and that’s
why they’ve made a career within it all. Money, profit, greed. What I’m saying is this. The world has fashioned you with the ego. Yes. But also equally true people have fashioned the world in their own image as a reflection to their ignorance of truth and distance from their true selves. We can’t totally overturn the most basic logic of the world and the reason for it because we can’t do that within our very own selves. Even the most intelligent and cutting edge thinkers of the day. Many of them can point out the countless flaws involved with the way our world operates just like we can look at ourselves and point out the flaws in the way we operate, ego. Without solving the huge rubik’s cube in your own head your ability to truly help save the world will be much less powerful than it could be. Yes we need a revolution in the world. If we can help people to find the true revolution, the revolution within, then the material world will naturally (peacefully) start to reorganize itself to reflect our higher vibrations. Its like health care. The sick wont heal the sick. Imagine that consciousness is a huge maze. The craziness in the world exists because the vast majority of people in the world fully exist in one nook or cranny of that maze, of limited, material consciousness. Crazy people have left their little nook or cranny and are stumbling around the maze frightened. Enlightened people however have made their way out of the maze. They understand the maze. They exist in the great luminous emptiness that exists outside of it all and can truly look at it all and say, the logic is wrong. Until people see that sad fact and the mass of humanity starts to swim back to the shores of true sanity and the place of it’s creation then the world will continue to be a crazy place. It’s all just a reflection of our own spiritual status. Not individually necessarily but imagine that democracy does exist but it does so on a higher level, in the collective consciousness. People can think, “Oh. I’m actually doing shit. All he is doing is parroting other peoples ideas about enlightenment, chuckle chuckle chuckle.” Well we all have our time and place. The logic is wrong. You can think from where you are, “We can change the world without seeking enlightenment, Come on!” Yes individuals and societies without the ideas of spiritual enlightenment and higher consciousness can do better in the world. Part of the reason that
our world is really all in all a pretty good place to live, dependent on the evolution of your viewpoint of course, and the reality of where you are, is because of the selfless struggle of enlightened and unenlightened individuals. But think of it this way as well. We’re all living together let’s say in a sinking ship. How much effort does it take to just keep this god damned ship afloat? There’s not enough room for all of us so most people have to sleep in the bottom of the ship where the risk of meeting death is so so so much higher and people pretty much have to live off of scraps and dirty water. Sure I know a lot of unenlightened people realize how crazy this whole world is. How fundamentally wrong everything is when people starve and others horde billions. And a very few control the world’s money supply itself. Yes I know. But people who know this can for the most part walk around the ship depressed because they don’t know what to do about it all and they don’t have the strength either to help foster change. They’re walking around the ship thinking this ship sucks, people are idiots there so in love with their little piece of this fucked up ship and trying to fight tooth and nail for a slightly better place to lie their head that it is collectively going to end killing all of us. Enlightenment differs slightly. Yes this ship is fucked up beyond our ability to keep up the long term upkeep of it all. I know that even more than you do. I know how much more fundamentally flawed the human mind is because i have left the maze and can truly see the big picture. You may know the maze sucks but that’s about as far as it can go for you. Your consciousness is still trapped in the logic of materialism. You’re not free yet. I find life extremely exciting right now because i understand how to truly affect change. Being enlightened gives one the strength of character, conviction, and understanding to truly reach people. I can see your spot in the maze and if you listen to me I can probably talk you into starting to consider new things, ways of thinking and living. I don’t even really have to try to affect change. I just do. This is the gift of higher consciousness. The problem is not the 1%. The problem is everyone stuck in the maze in the logic of material living, of choosing to stay on this fucked up ship instead of living like we all could all of us rich and well off on fucking beautiful floating
eco pods. (If we all cooperated.) The problem is the system but the system is an illusion. It is simply just a reflection of our own collective (un)consciousness. The problem is that as health is always a question of balance the world at large has lost all balance. If the key is to balance the inner and outer life then where are we at now? We have gone completely material. Even most spiritual and philosophical thought has become just another cog in the wheel of unabandoned materialism. The true eternal art of disciplined self examination does not exist for the 99.9% There’s the problem. The idea of enlightenment itself is only something that people may gain by continuing to walk the wrong path of looking outside of themselves for answers. Methods, teachers, books, the right time, the right place, the guru.
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