Archive for October, 2010

Suffering is Our Choice


Yesterday’s post dealt with suffering as a personal choice. But suffering is also a choice made by a person on the level of the group. When we understand how suffering works on a group level, the pathway to planetary salvation is at hand.

We saw in yesterday’s post that suffering is a consequence of a belief in something that is not real. A belief is created by the false self to give it the substance it believes it lacks. It is a conceptual construct that belief appears to make real.

We need to understand why people are driven to believe anything.

If you have fully absorbed the content of yesterday’s post, you will will see that we and our family of origin work to create the false me. This is me as belief. While I described the process in very broad strokes yesterday, the process is really rather complex. The more clearly it is seen the better we can see the falseness of the underlying belief. This is why I strongly recommend readingLiberation from the Lie. It is the manual for understanding the insubstantial nature of the false self.

When our connection with Life is severed as a direct consequence of profound invalidation when we are most vulnerable (in the first year of life), the psychological self becomes our personal identity. In effect, the psychological self substitutes for life. What was immediate and real, becomes a story of which the psychological self is the primary character. The main character is the deficient self whose core thought is the belief in its own inadequacy. This is the cross we bear in this life – if we don’t wake up to its illusory and false nature. This is the only purpose for philosophy.

The psychological self is a belief. It is just a thought cluster. Because it is so deeply habitual, it becomes second nature. But this psychological self cannot be found. No matter how hard we look, no matter how long we have searched, we will never find this false me. It is, I repeat, only a belief.

The psychological self is a belief system and a big part of this system is attachments to external belief structures. These structures are like clothing. The psychological self assumes many outfits. Each outfit is a belief system.

Here is a very partial list of belief systems:

  • Gender
  • Country
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Class
  • Race

Thus:

  • The body may have the attributes of a male or female (or any combination), but the essential self has nothing to do with gender.
  • The body may have been in born in this or that country, but the essential self has nothing do with country.
  • The body may have been raised in this or that religion, but the essential self has nothing to do with religion.
  • The body may believe it is young or old, but the essential self has nothing to do with age.
  • The mind may believe that it is middle class or lower class or upper class, but the essential self has nothing to do with class.
  • The body may have the attributes of this or that race, but the essential self has nothing to do with race.

We will never wake up to our essential selves as long as BELIEVE that we are anything but the spontaneous expression life in this very moment – free of ALL belief.

Think of all of these beliefs as costumes, outfits, that the false psychological self is driven to put on to give it the substance it lacks.

Is it not remarkable to consider that gender, country, religion, age, class, and race are all just beliefs? Each is a powerful sleeping pill.

But here is the most important part of this post.

That which we are most attached, that which keeps us most deeply asleep is that which we are not aware of.

This is the part of the false self that is most resistant to our investigation. This is the condition that appears to give our belief-based self strength and substance. It comes in four flavors and as you read these flavors please visualize them not in their conceptual quality, but in their living quality – how they arise in this very moment to give your strength and substance.

Here is the list – we tend to one of these primary attachments.

Any variant of – I need to understand, get it, be right, in control, etc.
Any variant of – I am my body, my happiness and unhappiness resides in my body
Any variant of – I am nothing without someone else, I am incomplete, my well-being is expressed in my personal relationships, I am not safe in this world on my own, and
Any variant of – My identity is in how I express force, to get things to go “my” way I rely on the intimidation and the threat of force, (this is a variant of the body attachment).

If you are very sensitive or if you regularly meditate, you should be able to see these very subtle attachments are operating all the time depending on your type. They are like an undercurrent and they are the last refuge of the self.

Becoming free of the final refuge requires us to just see this mostly unseen persona in action (not necessarily as concept). Seeing it time and again is the quickest pathway to freedom and liberation.

People are killing the planet in the name of their phony gods, their gender prerogatives (men being men), the insane demands of their ugly patriotism, their greed (economic desperation), and their class excesses. If we are to truly save the planet and ourselves, we need to wake to all that is false – we must find the truth that shines brilliantly in every moment.

This means that we need to remove all of the false garments that keep us safe in our individual and collective delusions – it means to open ourselves to the vivid reality of life in this very moment. We are none of our attachments. We are life expressing itself in this very moment. We are what cannot be denied, chosen or rejected. We are that.

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Suffering is a Choice


Did you know that suffering is a choice? We choose to suffer and then we sustain the suffering by endlessly searching for a way out of suffering, all the while identifying with the very source of suffering; the illusory “me”.

The self we believe ourselves to be is (as the sentence shows) a belief.

If we look out the window, it’s obvious that the earth is not a sphere. Go ahead try this simplest of experiments – based exclusively on what you see, is it not obvious that the earth is not a sphere?

It’s also obvious that the sun revolves around the earth. We can check this out as well and see that it’s true – the sun does revolve around the earth.

Only it doesn’t and the earth is a sphere.

Often what our mind and senses tell us about the world is just not true. Unless we are awakened from the illusion of the mind and the senses, we will continue to maintain that the earth is not a sphere and that the sun revolves around the earth.

The same principle applies to the belief in the “I/me”. The mind is certain that we know that we are this me, but is that true?

It isn’t.

So who is the false me – because if we can identify what is false, the true will arise all on its own. Our goal is to see the false and not to heal the unreal.

The me that I am not is not something that we are born with – it is, like all beliefs, something we learn. We learn to be this me.

What is it we learn?

We are born as a spontaneous expression of life. But then something happens. When we are forcibly separated from our parents, when we receive the message a million times over that what we are doing is not right, when we are required to be obedient to external authority, when all of that happens the “me” is born.

The me we learn to be is the deficient me.

Unlike the baby that is a spontaneous expression of life possessing nothing – just expressing Life – the Deficient Me (DefMe) does possess something – it possesses attributes that are not right. This is the Wound. Those people that made our life possible, also wound us and the result is the Deficient Me.

The DefMe is the source of all our suffering and among its key qualities is that of possession. Instead of expressing Life naturally and spontaneously, we now possess qualities that makes us broken.

And what does this broken me seek – it seeks healing.

But here’s the “kicker” – because the broken me was never real in the first place, it can never be healed! This is the truth that we need to absorb and acknowledge.

This is the seemingly cruel irony of seeking. It can never cease until we become awake to the illusory nature of the false me.

Is there a way out? Is there a solution to our dilemma?

More importantly, how can I to stop the cycle of suffering?

There is a way out.

First, we must really see and acknowledge that healing is not a possibility. So we must stop everything “we do” to heal or improve this broken me. The effort we invest in fixing what isn’t real is a total waste of time – actually it’s worse than a waste of time because it sustains the belief in the illusory me. That’s step one.

Second, we must see that how this broken me arises in consciousness is not something we can stop as a consequence of our will. Our very expression of will is really an efforting of the broken me. Thus the manifestation of this false me, is like everything else in the universe – it happens all on its own. We must just allow everything to happen all on its own. What choice do we have? Can we wish it away? Can we force, what we have already noticed, away? Of course not!

Third, we come to realize that the idea of choice is, itself, an illusion. Everything happens. The me that believes it has choice in what happens is one of the many manifestations of the broken me.

Four, the persona that believes in the broken me is the broken me. They are two sides of the same coin. We must stop believing that this me is who we are. As we stop believing, we start seeing. The seeing was always present, but the belief was an add-on. Now we just see and sit back and enjoy the show – letting it all happen as it must.

Seeing is the natural/spontaneous expression of life as life. This seeing cannot suffer, although it can and will experience physical pain. The seeing can and will experience everything as seeing.

Words really do not do it any justice. Liberation – Awakening is the unburdening of the possession of the false self. This is what it’s all about.

Tomorrow: Suffering is OUR Choice – applying the principles of Liberation from the Lie on Groups. The me belief is deeply entangled in its group, cultural, and gender identities. These too are illusions.

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Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We're Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

,

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Fear. Hate, Division, and Ignorance – Yeah, We’re Talking about Republicans and the Tea Party


Buddha said that the difference between the awakened and unawakened is ignorance. Buddha was right.

Right now, America is in a love affair with ignorance. It’s not a beautiful thing.

The Republicans rail against the new healthcare law, which they disdainfully call Obamacare. They say, “get the government off our backs.”

Yet they just love Medicare, an entirely government run program providing health care for the elderly.

Do you want to know the difference between the new Healthcare law and Medicare? Medicare, unlike the new law, is a lot more radical. It’s a single payer system and the single payer is the government. The only problem with the new law is that it is a Republican program. It keeps the power in the hands in the private sector and they couldn’t care less about our health. They care only about one thing and that’s their bottom line. They have shareholders they are legally bound to serve. As a result the new law if full of loop holes that work against the needs nearly all of us.

What Obama should have worked for was a single payer option that would allow people to choose between the government program and the private programs. After all, the Republicans can’t stop extolling the virtues of a free market and this would provide a free market choice for all of us. But they knew that the private sector could not compete against a government program. Thus the well-being of massive corporations won out against the well-being of people. And that is the true mission of the Republican party and their millions of flunkies – known as ordinary Americans who refuse to think, refuse to explore, and refuse to open themselves up to truth.

They are ignorant. They are slaves of their hackneyed beliefs. They love a hateful and wrathful god. In effect, they love to hate. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman are their haters in chief. They lie, distort, and demean virtually everything that is good and decent in our world.

For the Republicans, this new Republican program isn’t greedy enough. They don’t want to force private health insurers to provide for pre-existing conditions or healthcare for chronically ill children. They would prefer if these non-rich people people would just die and stop bothering their corporate overlords.

When it’s all said and done, the Republicans really stand for the glorification of their ultra-rich masters and the exploitation of everyone and everything else. It’s not beautiful. It’s really very ugly.

The Republicans say that only the private sector can save our sick economy. Yet it was this same private sector that is the root cause of our economic decline, as well as the millions and millions of foreclosures based, initially, on their legions of snake-oil salesman and then on the assault of millions of vulnerable customers who they breezily and illegally drove from their homes – the very symbol of the American Dream.

They are thugs and criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

They claim that they are for the ordinary, hard-working Americans. Then how could we ever explain that their financial supporters are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, like the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? How could you explain that they insist to keep their financial supporters a secret? They must remain a secret, otherwise, you would realize the truth – the truth that you are being used and exploited – that you are dupes of the wealthy – you will realize that your ignorance makes their power possible. The more compliant you are, the more exploited you will be.

The Republicans deny global climate change. This is just a small part of their universal contempt for science in general. For they also reject the whole field of modern biology, which is based on evolution. Sarah Palin and many others claim they are not monkeys. I agree they are not monkeys – they are something infinitely worse; they are ignorant, ambitious entertainers who express their hatred through their all but limitless personal ambitions. And what is their ambition based on? It’s based on nurturing hate and division. They deny their deep-seated racism, but they have much more in common with their Nazi – Black and Brown shirted predecessors than they would ever admit.

There are 20 Republicans currently running for the Senate. Not one of them links the actions of people with global climate change. This is earth-killing ignorance of the first order. We are called to reject this agonizing ignorance and celebrate the truth.

Income inequality is more extreme in the US than any other time in our history. The top 2% of Americans own and control about half of the capital in this country. The mission of the Republicans is to make this group even richer. For they are nothing but whores and the super-rich are their Johns. Those that support these enemies of everyone and everything (except the super-rich) are in love with their own rapists. This is the social Fear-Self in action on a massive scale (see Liberation from the Lie to learn much more about Fear-Selves). They express their shared self-invalidation through supporting groups and policies that assure their continued debasement.

They wrap themselves in the tawdry costumes of god and country and besmirch both. This is a white, Christian country. We are open to Blacks and Hispanics as long as they don’t challenge that fundamental truth. They love to draw the line between us (Christains, the ignorant, the phony patriots) and them (Muslims, progressives, those concerned with the well-being of our communities and the earth itself). They love to mock those who love what is true. They love to demean and disparage. They are smug in their self-confidence and certain in their underlying self-hatred.

They love power more than anything else. For they know, down deep, that they lack the power the believe they need to build their edifice of hate and division. In seeking all of the power, they are driven to deprive every one and everything else of the power they might already possess. Thus this is truly a conflict and we need to stand up to the challenge.

We do that by being open and embracing of the truth that is everywhere and in everything. Where there is division, we must seek to bring connection. Where there is hate, we must dedicate ourselves to connection. Where there is ignorance founded on division, we must commit ourselves to connection. But getting to connection may require us to make the division between them and us even wider. Just as Krishna advises Arjuna to accept his responsibility as a killing warrior and the battlefield of life, we must now assume the weapons of conflict and dedicate ourselves to victory.

It’s all part of the cyclical nature of existence. We are living in the darkest of times. We bring the light by embracing that same light. Let the progression to light happen through our collective energies and bring all that is false to the light of what is true.

,

5 Comments

An Invitation to Experience Mind


What is mind?
Is mind a problem?
Is mind bad?
Let’s take a look.

Let’s take a walk outside – you and I.
We see the trees – the leaves changing color.
Our legs move.
Our lungs breath.
There is an effortlessness here that no thought, no teaching, no state of mind could ever
will away.

And then ….
Mind says something – something like –
‘What’s the point of this’ or
“It’s nice taking a walk.” or
“This is an especially pretty tree” or
“I wish it weren’t so windy today” or
“The light is really different in autumn.”

It could be anything.

When we listen, we can clearly hear the “doing” of our mind.
The body effortlessly walks, feels, breaths,
and the mind starts doing its normal thing.

Now watch what might happen next,
as a compulsive thought cluster makes its appearance.
This is where it gets more fun.

The mind might start judging itself.
It might say, “Why can’t I just shut-up.” or
“It’s the mind, which is the source of all my troubles.” or
“Sometimes I enjoy my thoughts and sometimes they are a pain in the ass.”
The mind can and will say anything.

The purpose of this little exercise is simply to enable anyone to feel the difference
between the talking of the mind and the effortless being that underlies it.
Even the chattering of mind itself are, in a way, effortless.
They just happen –
But they have a very different quality than the effortless being –
That sees, feels, and hears it.

Right now feel the effortless being that is just underneath the “doings” of the mind.
You might notice that the talking of the mind, is a form of doing.
The mind does stuff.
It does all of the planning and assessment that accompanies itself as it strives for enlightenment.
Isn’t that interesting.

When we feel the difference between effortless being and the “doing” of the mind,
We see that this whole Enlightenment thing is just a mind game.
It has been from the start.
That you are the effortless being even when the mind chatters away.

We see something else … something that is really important.

We see that mind was never the problem!
We see that it was only our identification with the mind and its infinitely varied states of being
As who we are
That has been a source of suffering.

We see that if the mind wants to be bitter, judgmental, self-assessing, as well as
Lofty, profound, insightful, and loving.
That all of its many doings just the play of the mind ‘doing’ what the mind must do.
It presents with a party with an open invitation.
We get spend some time there or we can just let it talk on and on.
And talk it will.

Isn’t it amazing what we discover –
In a simple walk on a clear Fall day!

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Vulnerability and Compassion


A body is vulnerable.
It gets sick – it gets tired – it gets hurt.
A psyche is vulnerable.
It gets nervous – it gets tired – it gets hurt.

Every object is vulnerable.
A flower is easily hurt and even a great oak can be cut down and killed.
Even the great galaxies that fill the night sky
They too eventually die and fade away.

So easily we forget this truth
and filled with our sense of right and our sense of needing to make a point
We strike out at others with hard words and hard actions.
We so easily forget that every object is vulnerable.

Every time we hurt another, a wall is built
The more hurt we have experienced
The taller and thicker will be our walls.

And when a threat is sensed,
We will either flee to the safety of our cold inner retreat
or
We will attack first and there is no end to the cycle of violence.
This is the way of the world.

We forget the truth of vulnerability
with our own children.
We scare them into their own walled domains.

And the sad days comes
When even they can no longer touch who they are!
For they have become prisoners of their own prison.

This is the Way when we forget the truth of vulnerability.
By understanding vulnerability,
we learn the path of compassion
We know that every body is vulnerable
Every body is fragile.
So now kindness lights our way.
Where there was judgment and righteousness
Now there is care and connection.

Be kind to yourself and unmake your walls of disconnection.
Reach out and touch yourself
and admit your own fragility.
Only by being willing to be hurt
Can we be open to something even deeper.

For the body we hurt
is our own.

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Poem: An Intermezzo


If I think I am old,
Then I am wrong.
If I think I am young,
Then I am wrong
If I think I am a man,
Then I am wrong.
If I think I am born,
Then I am wrong.
If I think I am this body,
Then I am wrong.
If I think I need this to be happy,
Then I am wrong.
If I think I am enlightened,
Then I am wrong.
If I think I am typing these words,
Then I am wrong.

Whatever I think,
Is just a thought.
If I believe it is true,
Then I am wrong.

What I am
Who could ever say?
If none can say,
Then only this – only this.

Sadness comes, sadness goes.
Happiness comes, happiness goes
Trees come, trees go.
The sun rises and the sun sets.

All in this.
All in this.

Hardship comes.
The mind rises up.
This must be corrected
This must be changed
If I think this is not good,
Then I am wrong.
So …
The mind comes and
The mind goes.

All in this.
All in this.

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