The Failure of “Spiritualism”


I am not an Advaitist. I am not a Buddhist. I am not anything, but myself, committed to what is true and freeing myself of what I can SEE as false. That is the challenge of our lives.

This is what you must know; people are addicted to feeling good. In comes in every form and flavor. That is the work of ego, working in service to our primal Wound. “If we fail to strive for safety – happiness – feeling good – then how will I ever be secure, happy, and feel good?” This is the perennial question of the ego. This is its obsession.

See that security – happiness – feeling good are all concepts. They are not real. They are projections of the mind. They are the false. As long as you insist on pursuing them, you will waste your life on goals that are unreal. You will live as Don Quixote, living a life that is filled with madness chasing after windmills.

The grave danger in Buddhist and nonduality teachings is how the mind bends them to achieve the goals of the deficient self. How does it do this? It does this by negating the authentic self! In this role, spiritualism is no different from any other authority in our lives that seek to mold us in ITS vision and kill our own.

Awareness shows us what is true and what is false. Usually, what is false are the beliefs we cling to that make us feel safe. But any belief that we cling to, that is not based in the truth of actual seeing can and often will undermine our well being. Beliefs are limits. They are ideas that we have absorbed from authorities in our lives. Coming alive to who we truly our asks us to question and explore our most deeply held beliefs.

Life is not designed to be easy. Only an ego loves the easy – the easy money, the easy sex, the easy this, the easy that. Life is designed to be active – alive. When we “rest in awareness” as the only goal of life, we have sacrificed our individuality. We have zoned out in the life of total “acceptance”. The only problem with that “belief” is the one thing we fail to accept becomes ourselves! Can you see that? Zoning out in belief is the same thing as zoning out with drugs – only more challenging and thus a bigger accomplishment of the ego. That’s why doctrine based spiritualism is thought to be better than drug abuse. Is it?

Zoning out is not a problem. Often the body/mind needs to zone out. We live in an exhausting time and zoning out is a pleasure we would be foolish to deny ourselves, but it is not our ultimate identity. When that happens, as it often does in meditative philosophies, we fail in the challenge of living.

Wake up to your aliveness. Wake up to your senses. Wake up to your mind – the mind that is embedded in what is real and is motivated to drop what it discovers is false. For example, I know that cars are contributing to the environmental deterioration of the planet, so I’ve decided to do all of my local errands by bike or foot. That’s what I do. If I think that makes me better than others, then I have converted what I have seen as true within awareness to be an action of ego. I see all of that and act accordingly. I see that income inequality breeds racism and classism, so I support political agendas that encourage people to live as sisters and brothers economically and socially. I know that my body depends on nature, so I can SEE that we are all connected and that when one part of our world suffers, we all suffer. I see that this as true. I see that when we pursue security through weapons, walled communities, unfair laws, racism, sexism, that we inspire division and this is life out of balance. So when I observe those tendencies in myself, I can see where I am contributing to the division and hardship of the world. Seeing it is the first and most decisive step we can make in our own liberation.

We Are All Related

We Are All Related

This is the challenge of living.

And before I conclude this post, let’s talk a minute about humor. Ultimately, this is the most liberating emotion of all. Grave seriousness is a very dependable red flag of the ego. Take yourself lightly in nearly all matters and you will truly see what is false in you. When you become overly serious (one of my “issues”) check out the status of your ego and get a good laugh out of your grandiosity. I can assure you probably look pretty funny to others – or even worse an authority for others to follow.

If you choose to follow, as many spiritual traditions urge us to do, then know yourself as a follower. If you choose to be yourself, that you become a light unto yourself.  That light can free others of their own darkness.

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  1. #1 by fayezie on May 1, 2009 - 4:39 pm

    Hey! Read my latest post, puh-lease, I want feed back on this very topic. I, unfortunately, have to run, but just quickly panned down the list of blog posts under buddhism…

    • #2 by Eric on May 1, 2009 - 4:46 pm

      How would I find your post?

  2. #3 by Faye on May 1, 2009 - 5:30 pm

    Oooh I apologize, thought my name would automatically be hyperlinked…. It’s the most recent post at http://www.fayezie.com

    • #4 by Eric on May 2, 2009 - 12:41 pm

      Hi
      I did read the post that I believe you were directing me to about Buddhism and religion.
      There was a time when I was attracted to Buddhism. I belonged to a Zen monastery for quite a few years and had a Roshi.
      I made many discoveries while meditating and I loved and still love core Buddhist values. You could say that it’s my favorite religion! But I also realized that even Buddhism becomes divisive; between insiders and the outsiders, Buddhists and Hindus, the deification of the Buddha and many Buddhist teachers, etc. That was not for me.
      That is the problem with not only religion, but essentially all organizations.
      Also, I realized that organizations, beyond their purpose as social networks, contradict my core value, which is simply to be and as life as it rises within the consciousness of this body/mind. Based just on my experience, this is the only realization a person ever needs to make. I don’t need nor want anything that nurtures my ego – which includes the very content of my life. It seems to me, that the ego loves identities, titles, accomplishments, security, happiness, and all the rest. They are all concepts and realization shows the empty nature of concepts.
      I hope this was helpful.
      Thanks for contacting me. Let me know what’s happening with you.
      eric

  3. #5 by Reza Fotovat on May 2, 2009 - 1:46 am

    حراست

    شرکت مهندسی حارس هوشمند با فعالیت در زمینه امنیت اطلاعات و ارتباطات و همچنین حفاظت الکترونیک بازوی کمکی حراست ها و تولید کننده نرم افزار کنترل مراجعین می باشد.

  4. #6 by Reza Fotovat on May 2, 2009 - 2:49 am

    شرکت
    مهندسین مشاور حارس خاورمیانه ارائه دهنده خدمات مشاوره امنیت اطلاعات شامل امنیت شبکه و امنیت اتوماسیون اداری و حفاظت الکترونیک شامل دوربین مدار بسته و تجهیزات کنترل دسترسی طبق استاندارد iso 27001 می باشد.

  5. #7 by hanna on May 3, 2009 - 4:38 am

    hi eric,

    I succumbed into food-( addiction)
    from my early childhood until now

    My body is unbalanced as well as the rest of whats my responsibility to care for.

    My own will is easily deluded by the “ego”.

    My understanding beneath this ill situation is ok.

    There is help and groups to attend.
    Focusing on building a structure and to not act on impulse
    in order to free oneself from addictive behaviours.

    All those groups are creating a new dependecy…

    Tricky, hah?

    Hanna

    • #8 by Eric on May 3, 2009 - 9:09 am

      Hi Hanna,
      You say your “own will is easily deluded by the “ego”.” Your will, from the start, is the expression of your ego. Until that is seen, no sustainable change will happen for you.
      Why do I know this true? Because anything maintained by will takes enormous effort and generally fails over time.
      Will and ego are both expressions of the self identified with deficiency, inadequacy, and worthlessness (the Wound triad). They spawn an array of Fear-Selves to compensate for these very painful identities.
      I would suggest that you check out earlier posts of mine on this site. Go to the “Tag Cloud” and click on “wound” – or any related term (depression, psychology).
      The book itself is a lot more detailed.
      The chain of dependency ends when the ‘deficient self’ is brought to light.
      love, eric

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