Thursday, August 30, 2007

Good vs. Bad - the Never Ending Story

The other day, my brother in law, who is not philosophical by nature, sent
my mind into an interesting story. He had come out to replace our toilet
(in exchange for which my wife will sew him a new vest - his wifecan't sew,
I don't do toilets). At one point he was taking a short break and was on
the phone with a friend who had obviously said something to the effect that
they were "Dealing with shit," to which my brother in law wisely replied,
"That doesn't do any good, there's always more shit!"

Indeed, I thought, there IS always more shit, and yet this is what all the
world is trying to do - deal with their shit, as if, at some point there
won't be any more. How ludicrous! There will ALWAYS be more shit. The end
of shit is the end of the game, and there is no end of the game. The end of
the game is called dying...and then you get another life, and try again. At
least, that's the way it works in the games. Your character dies, and then
you try again, usually doing the same exact thing you were doing last time
you died.

One of the benefits of our modern technological age is it is a microcosm of
the 'real' world. The game world shows us how the 'real' world works. You
die. You try again. And again. And again. The difference is that this game
never ends. This is one of the reasons I think there is no end of the world
scenario - good OR bad.

There seem to be essentially two groups of people - those awaiting the
apocalypse and those awaiting the ascension (either in one form or another
- depending on their ideas of what that looks like - religious, ecological,
or otherwise. But it ain't gonna happen. It can't. It makes good blogs and
talk radio, but the reality is that the game ALWAYS goes on.

"But look at all the changes," people may cry. Yes, there are changes, but
there have always been changes. Perhaps they are going faster now, but just
like in the game, just because you finish a level doesn't mean the game is
over, you just finished that level. And guess what? By the time you finish
the game, the 'Creator' comes out with new disks with more levels, which of
course you have to buy (or maybe switch to another game). But it is never
over. And there is ALWAYS more shit to deal with. So deal with it, but
then, consider, is it really shit? To whom is it occurring? Is it real, or
simply an ongoing game within which you are simply one of the characters?
There is no ultimate happy or cataclysmic ending. Yes, your character (and
every character you know) will die, but that's how it has been since time
immemorial. Why, oh good God, why, should anything change now??? It's just
another level is all, like every day is a new day. Same dream, different
scenario. Get used to it. Or, recognize the dream for what it is, which
means all that shit.... Doesn't mean shit.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Five M's of Seeking

One of the primary difficulties when it comes to Enlightenment is
that hardly anyone understands in the least what it is. For instance,
I have often made the distinction between Mastery and Enlightenment,
while 'Jed McKenna' makes the distinction between Mysticism and
Enlightenment. Expanding those three a little, I would like to give
a quick overview of what I'm calling the 5 M's :

Moksha (Moksha being one of the Sanskrit words for Enlightenment and
essential means 'Freedom')

Many of these categories will have overlaps, and many 'individuals'
overlap in where they 'are' or in their 'recognition' of these 5. But
the general idea is that if you are seeking something, you better
know what the heck that it is you're seeking. If you're not clear,
you're not going to be even looking in the right place, and chances
are extremely good you're going to get something that ISN'T
enlightenment. If you're not looking for enlightenment (and chances
are you really aren't), that's fine. But if you think you are, you'd
better be able to discriminate what enlightenment is versus the other four.

Morality - Morality has to do with the concern or distinction between
right and wrong, good and bad. This has NOTHING whatsoever to do with
Enlightenment. Most of your Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam,
Christianity) are strongly morality based, as well as many other
philosophies - how one should or should not act or speak or be. This
would also include such things as Political Correctness, which is
just a more modern version (or post-modern) version of antiquated
morals for a new-age.

Maturity - Maturity has to do with just being an adult. Many of the
people on a so-called spiritual search are simply seeking a mother or
father figure, looking for a scapegoat, seeking to escape any kind of
responsibility for their thoughts or actions (even though they still
believe they are a concrete individual). Maturity is not as common as
you think. I'm a relatively intelligent guy, but I was 30 before I
actual recognized that I could no longer blame my parents, other
family, friends, circumstances, etc. for how I was feeling. If you
are blaming others for the way you feel and act, not recognizing that
your response to others is your choice, then you have not yet reached
a stage of adult maturity.

Mastery - This (and mysticism) are the most commonly confused with
enlightenment. Some of the obvious ideas of Mastery are walking on
water, feeding the multitudes, reading minds, any kind of psychic or
similar phenomena, healing, manifestation, finding a parking space,
etc. etc. The whole "Secret" Law of Attraction thing, and a great
amount of 'New Age' stuff is totally about mastery and has nothing
whatsoever to do with Enlightenment. It is based on a somebody (you)
who wants to have some kind of control, or that in some way fosters,
nurtures, assists the ego. All of the abundance, prosperity, feel
good stuff is generally in this category or the next...

Mysticism - The best way to describe mysticism is that it usually
deals with altered states of consciousness - ecstacy, bliss, a sense
of union, and/or other dimensions of consciousness - seeing God,
angels, kundalini risings, various yogic states, etc. These are VERY
often confused with enlightenment, because so often enlightenment is
poorly described as a state of bliss, ecstasy and so forth. I have
done it myself on occasion. Similarly, Love, compassion, etc. are
states of consciousness, not enlightenment. They all still have an
individual, a person, a you, who is seeking and/or having a 'state'
of bliss, love, awareness or something else - a state being something
which has a beginning and thus also an end. It is something different
or more that YOU are trying to attain.

Moksha (Enlightenment) - In Moksha, nothing changes, while at the
same time everything changes. The primary distinction between
Enlightenment and everything else is that there is no longer a 'You'
who is acting, seeking, or anything else. It is most simply the
recognition or perhaps apperception (not just intellectually or
mentally), but concretely, tangibly, that what you thought was you
is simply an apparent 'part' of the non-dual awareness that already
always is; that you are consciousness itself, and not the body, or
mind or memories, or concepts, or habits; that there is only ONE
thing going on in this infinite moment, whether known or unknown, and
that is Self/God/Nothingness/Allness. All of the other M's are based
on a person. Moksha (freedom) is totally different because it is the
recognition that there is no person - so morality doesn't play a
part, maturity doesn't play a part, mastery and mysticism have
nothing to do with it. There's nobody there to seek or care whether
those ideals are there or not. Now, that doesn't mean that they might
not manifest in a particular 'Enlightened Being'. Some enlightened
'individuals' either worked for those things prior, or they came
along in conjunction with, or the so-called individual's karma was to
manifest those, either before during or after the recognition of
Enlightenment. But they are not dependent upon enlightenment, nor is
enlightenment dependent upon ANY of those other M's.

The truth is, many people, upon understanding that Moksha or
Enlightenment means the annihilation of their identifications with
their old ideas of right and wrong, all the groovy beliefs about
altered states, God, Love, Light, and so forth, realize they truly
aren't seeking Enlightenment. More likely, they are seeking mastery
or mysticism or even maturity. And there is absolutely nothing wrong
with that. Many people just want to have a much better dream-life, a
more 'spiritual' or healthy or compassionate dream-life, and that's
totally fine. But just don't confuse that with enlightenment or
waking up from the dream. And if you are seeking those things, go to
a teacher who teaches those things. And if you are truly seeking
Enlightenment, make sure you are going to a teacher that is teaching
Enlightenment, and not something else and calling it Enlightenment
(which is far more common than you'd think)!