Posts Tagged liberation

Santa Claus and the Dark Side: The Religion is Crap Series Part 2


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How many of us don’t remember being told, in no uncertain terms, that if we wanted presents for xmas, we better be “good little boys/girls”? Even as a jew, I was told this (that should tell you something about my family of origin)!

In that little phrase “good little girl/boy”, the whole purpose of religion is revealed. This is what the book of Revelations should have been about.

More than anything else, religion is about Obedience. We can make this discovery if we go way back in time and look at religion when it first got its start at the time of the first great agricultural revolution – about 10,000 years ago in the Tigris/Euphrates Valley in present day Iraq. What happened back then that gave birth to religion, as we know it today? What does that cultural event have to tell us about Santa Claus?

Quite a lot actually.

Prior to the development of intensive agriculture the lives of men and women were governed by the movements of wild animals. Nearly all people were nomadic. They followed the herds for meat and scoured the earth for wild vegetables, nuts, and herbs.

Their most important skill was pure, naked awareness. They needed to see their world in order to survive. And this next fact should blow your mind. These people lacked storage containers. Why is this little fact so incredibly amazing? It is extraordinary because it tells us that nearly every human being faced hunger and even starvation every day if the people failed to find adequate food. You and I might get blown all out of shape if our car fails to start in the morning or if our internet connection isn’t working. Well these people faced death every morning and all indications suggest that they really didn’t worry about it.

They had something that people today lack and that quality is trust. They had complete trust that nature would take of their needs, even if they lived in some of the harshest climates on earth, such as the deserts of Northern Africa, the Arctic, or the rain forests. Contemporary studies of modern hunting and gathering people have clearly shown that they didn’t worry about food. They were experts at awareness and the competence that gave them in their lives and they trusted utterly.

Yet these same people had no notion of religion. Yes, they believed in spirits, but their beliefs were based on the larger realization that everything is alive. And as a living being, it possessed a spirit. Birth, death, marriage were not defined by the handed-down rules of a religious organization. Instead, they were everyday happenings with no special significance outside of themselves. Even death was a casual event of little importance.

All of that changed with the advent of intensive agriculture. Once people began to depend on their own work and not nature itself, then they needed to invent gods to protect their crops. So the first religions were about rain and sun gods, the very celestial bodies on which their farms depended. The other essential god was a fertility god, which could bless women with the capacity of having many children, especially boys. For in the world of intensive agriculture what was needed more than anything else was workers and soldiers. So men had to exchange the formless freedoms of the hunting and gathering life to the world of endless labor in the hot sun, tending the crops and building great edifices for their god rulers. And women became baby makers, for without sufficient workers and soldiers the fledgling nation would fall victim to other states, as well as to experience the decline of their farms.

What was the essential ingredient on which this world depended? Obedience. Productive work from dawn to dusk was essential. And a big part of the newly minted obedient life was to placate the never fully dependable gods. So men invented human sacrifice and countless other ceremonies intended to keep the potentially angry gods satisfied with human labor and faithfulness.

The failure to fear the gods and their representatives on earth was a great sin punishable by death. Obedience was the name of the game then and continues to be now. We must follow the rules. We must fear punishment. We must please our parents, teachers, and bosses. Our lives must be governed by fear. The forge of civilization was and always has been discipline. Without discipline, the whole edifice of industrial civilization falls apart. It is not built by labor, rather endless labor is made possible through fear. Civilization and fear are one and the same.

We might have many of the fruits of civilization, but it need not be driven by fear and obedience. There is another way, but that is the themes of future posts.

Thus Adam was punished for eating at the Tree of Knowledge by a life of endless labor and Eve was punished by having to experience the agony of child-birth. Who did this? It could be no one else but God. Only God could be this vengeful. Only God could create a universe of toil built on obedience. This newly created God became the embodiment of the industrial world. God too, is fear. We are told that we must fear God and love him all at the same time.

And just as Native American languages have no word for “religion”, they also have no word for “punishment”. Isn’t that interesting? Doesn’t that open up alternative worlds to you?

And from all of this pain and fear, religion took on its second role – that of creating stories of transcendence. If we work ourselves to the bone and if we raise enough laborers and soldiers and, most of all, if we’ve been “good little girls and boys”, then and only then can we rewarded by an eternity in heaven. Hallelujah. Thank you God, for your are more than anything else a loving God.

Now, if you’re not obedient, then you go and spend an eternity in the fires and ice of hell. Can we make it any clearer than that? We might also say, that if you meditate for a hundred lifetimes, if you’re lucky you’ll attain Nirvana – same difference – same game.

So you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town.

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The True Warrior: Words by Don Juan



The self-confidence of a warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to himself. You’re after the self-confidence of the average man, when you should be after the humbleness of a warrior. The difference between the two is remarkable. Self-confidence entails knowing something for sure; humbleness entails being impeccable in one’s actions and feelings.


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Resist the Path Taken by Others and Be Yourself



Resist the temptation to quote other teachers, gurus, or writers.

Resist the temptation to place quotes written by others on Facebook.

Resist trying to be like anyone else.

Find out who you are and be yourself.

When we work to integrate the words of another into our own personality, we are, one believing that these high sounding words actually reflect their writer (or speaker) actual self and, more important, we use these lofty phrases as ways to protect our own vulnerability. Because we are afraid to actually be ourselves without any crutches we use the philosophies of others to model our life. In this way we fail to be true to ourselves.

There is seeming safety in the well-respected and admired. It is also fear of being one’s self.

A better question to ask is this: what am I so afraid of? Do I not trust my own being?

Until you are willing to walk out into the light of life itself as who YOU are, you will continue running to the words of others as a crutch and support. Even if it feels shaky and uncertain – do it.

This is why the Zen Buddhists say, ‘if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.’

Don’t waste another moment living a second-hand life. Be you or you will never be.

Georges Seurat the artist who drew the picture of the lead image in this article as well as the painting below, for which he is best known:


did not sell a single painting in his life. He believed in his art and his vision. He learned his craft from others, but developed an approach to art that was uniquely his own. This is what it means to believe in the genius of one’s self.


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Newest Review of Liberation from the Lie at Amazon.com


Author Eric Gross and his ambitious 364 book `Liberation From The Lie’ is a clarion call to humanity, encouraging each and everyone of us to rediscover our uniqueness, pursue our long ignored dreams and return to the heroic path for which we were destined. While his message is contemporary and relevant his frame of reference is predominantly Buddhist with an eclectic fusion of traditions (spiritual and otherwise) that prove once again that the really important truths are the ancient ones.

One of the greatest strengths of the authors exploration of the self and its myriad of illusory, deceptive manifestations is his ability to blend numerous traditions into a cohesive theme. He accomplishes this difficult task of balancing both sacred and secular teachings in such a manner as to keep all readers thoroughly engaged no matter what their personal predilection may be.

Delving into the complex, inner workings of the psyche is no easy task for most authors, they either lose their audience in profundity or resort to shallow cliché and catch phrases. Eric Gross does neither. His ideas flow gently and gracefully across the printed page taking the reader on an highly personal voyage inward peeling the layers of pretense and facade with a grace and craftsmanship that is truly inspiring.

Are you ready to rise above the morass of conventional wisdom and discover a new way of understanding yourself, the world around you and what you’re here to accomplish? Are you prepared to wake up and return to the heroic journey we are all called to? If you are `Liberation From The Lie’ is the book for you!

You can see this review yourself by clicking HERE.

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Dialogue #3: The Expert Digression with Our Pals Q and L


Q. Hey, just one more thing. May I?

Q

Q

L. Fire away.
Q. You said that you are an Expert. Am I correct?
L. Yes
Q. What are you an Expert of?
L. That’s a very good question?
Q. I just think that maybe you’re doing your fear based thing, based on your own words.
L. Maybe I am. Who would care?
Q. I do. We are truth seekers and now it seems you’re just playing a big game with us. Frankly, I’m feeling a little bit used by you.
L. I’m not using you. Let me explain.
The Wound and our Fear-Selves are our destiny. I am fulfilling the voice of my own Wound, but with a decisive change.
Q. What is that?

Mr. L

Mr. L

L. There are two categories of doing – maybe more, but for our purposes, let’s limit it to two. There is doing based on inadequacy (this refers to the action of a Fear-Self) and there is doing based on the collapse of our primal identification (this is action unrelated to a Fear-Self); the innate belief in our own inadequacy, insufficiency, and worthlessness. This is the place you need to connect to without the compensatory mechanism of the fear-based self. This is the authentic self. Are you following me?
Q. Nope.
L. When I’m identified with inadequacy, I need to be the expert. I NEED to be. My happiness depends on you listening to me and thinking something like, “wow isn’t he smart”, “isn’t he enlightened”, “isn’t he an ancient soul” and so on. The inadequate expert is seeking respect and love. We should not see this as a problem, but just as a manifestation of our invalidation in this life. But when the trance with inadequacy is severed this personality construct is seen as unnecessary – empty. Now I’m talking for the fun of it. That is love and connection. You see, the Wound is not, in itself a problem. Rather it possesses it refracts the light from our authentic self.
Q. Now you lost me.
L. This should make it clear.
We are like an onion. We have layers and, just like an onion, these layers are porous. The allow the light of our authentic self to pass through them. Our center, the part that connects to that which is rooted in the tao (Christ Consciousness, God, the Great Spirit, etc.), is the authentic self. This is the deepest part. Next comes the Wound – which forms our psychological personality. The Fear-Selves (Expert, Pleaser, Spiritualist, etc.) are the third layer. The fourth layer is our life itself. That makes for four porous layers. ALL the light comes from the authentic self, so even the dark Wound is illuminated by its light. Are you following me?
Q. Yes, to my surprise, I am.
L. So when the trance with the Lie is severed, our Wound and our Fear-Selves are transmuted into key structural elements of the Living Self. How they are transmuted and how they express themselves is unique to every living being. That’s why only you can find your … Song. This is the stepping into the light.
This is the Law of Liberation from the Lie.

It is also dismounting from the high horse of the ego.
Q. So, you’re saying that we never really transcend the Wound and its Fear-Selves?
L. Yep. They are not transcended, they are transmuted. They are no longer the pivot of our lives. The true pivot is the authentic self. It has no positions, no shape, no goals, no thoughts, no feelings … it is the field of all existence.
Q. Thank you Mr. Liberation


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Dialogue #2: Our Relentless Q Continues His Dialogue with Mr. Liberation


Mr. Q

Mr. Q

Q. Yesterday you tossed around a lot of frankly fancy language about this thing you call the Wound, before I question the basis for your remarks, would you be kind enough to inform your audience a little more about this thing you claim is real?
L. Happily
First, know that everything that is not the authentic self is psychosocial in nature. The authentic self is neither a product of society nor does it possess psychological attributes.
Q. Well you certainly started off in a rather heavy fashion haven’t you? Not feeling all that light hearted and lovey dovey this morning are we?
L. I’m sorry for the complicated language. I wish I could make it simpler for you. But let’s move on.
The Wound is psychological in nature. While our emergence in this world is perfect and the purest reflection of the Great Spirit, our birth as a person with a story begins with the Wound. This is the one birth we, as individuals, can point to. It is the birth of our psychological self..
So, going back to the wounded self, as the one who is rejected, how are we to respond?

We respond the way we respond to anything that causes us pain; we remove the source of the pain.
Q. What does that mean?

Mr. L

Mr. L

L. The primal psychological self removes the pain by struggling for love or, conversely by proving the correctness of the projected identification by bringing even more negative attention to itself.
Q. And how does it do that?
L. Living with the Wound is something that cannot be borne. To cancel the pain of the Wound, the child needs to figure out how to obtain love from the parents. The lesson, it most typically learns is this: love is earned. So, the next step is how to earn love. We do this by becoming compliant, good, pleasing others, obedient, in other words, lovable. Some children take the opposite path. They, on some level, accept their belief in their own inadequacy and reify the experience through opposition, rebellion, anger, and depression. Thus the story of our life begins and, for most of us, ends.

Q. Would you be kind enough to give us an example or two?
L. Sure.
If the child believes that the basis for the inadequacy identification is that he is unworthy of love, then she will begin her life-long struggle to please the important people around her. In this way she will get the love she believes that she failed to obtain as the inadequate child. She learns the complex path of manipulating life with the purpose of elevating herself by pleasing important others (and often demeaning unimportant others). In the second example, let’s take a look at the Expert Fear-Self. If the young child believes that he is so worthless that his voice fails to merit attention (a very common type – such as Mr. Liberation himself), he will seek to develop a personality whose voice must be heard to gain him, at the very least, attention, and, hopefully, respect and even love. Liberation calls these Wound responses Fear-Based Selves. In the first case we have the Pleaser and in the second, we have the Expert. The compensatory responses to the Wound are who we believe ourselves to be. They are compensatory adaptations to the agonizing pain of the Wound. They are motivated by fear and overall insecurity. We hope to make our mark on the world with these personalities. They are, in a way, the children of the Wound. They generally don’t stray too far from their parent, for when life gets difficult (and it will), when the pleaser powers of the Pleaser fail to please, when the Expert is ignored, the full, dark force of the Wound returns and life becomes agonizing. This is the way the life of fear and insecurity works.
Q. You certainly have said a mouthful. I must say it’s rather compelling, but how do you know this is true?
L. We cannot know anything in a vacuum. We can only know something through contrast.
Q. What the hell does that mean? You know you can really be exasperating sometimes. Has anyone else mentioned that to you?
L. Yes, several times and yet I try to be very clear. I guess I’m not the greatest communicator.
Q. So what does that statement about contrast mean?
L. We can ask the question, do we notice the Wound and the Fear-Selves phenomenon in all cultures?
Q. And?
L. In fact, the Wound and the Fear-Selves are all but absent among hunting and gathering people, a type of culture, although dominant in most of human life on this planet, is all but extinct today. These cultures respond very differently to children in ways that are too numerous to mention for the time we have today, but suffice it to say that they experienced children as direct creations of God and not as objects that needed to be molded into a projection of the parents through discipline, correction, isolation, or (god forbid) comparison. Children were seen as mysterious, carrying their own unique gifts that flower in each moment. We know this to be true based on the accounts of dozens of anthropologists, explorers, as well as my own experience working on the Navajo Nation. These children present a very different psychological profile than do the children of civilization, particularly of the intensely competitive society of the United States, which is one of the most fear-driven cultures in human history.
These children tend to be emotionally balanced, are not prone to temper tantrums, and often show an effortless smile and easy laugh. This is not a romanticization of primal cultures. These are the observations made by highly trained researchers and explorers who lived directly with people living in this way. These cultures possess their own frailties and beliefs, but they are not the concern of this book.
Q. So what are we supposed to do with all of this information?
L. See if there is validity to it. Find out if it is true. If it seems to be true then what do we do with this knowledge? This is the most challenging question you could ever ask yourself, for if your whole identity rests on this personality type that lives to avoid underlying fear and insecurity, then who are we really if we are not the person we have taken ourselves to be? Making this journey even more scary, we realize that if who we have believed ourselves to be is false, then we risk falling back into the Wound; the very last thing most of are motivated to do. When we are fear motivated, and nearly all of us are, then the person we have needed to be is false. There is not a wake-up call more powerful than this.

What makes this doable, is that the Wound to, as we understand it, as false as well. This is the silver lining. This is the gold ring.
Let’s take a look at our Expert. He has dedicated his life to getting noticed, being respected, whatever – now he sees that all along he was compensating for a belief in his own innate inadequacy and insufficiency. This identification in his innate inadequacy is the LIE that is referred to in the title of the Liberation book. At once, he sees both his Fear-Self and its corresponding Wound. He sees the whole trajectory of his life. What then?
Q Yes, what then?
L. He is now much more in touch with his authentic self, however fragile that contact might be, that energy that can observe without the undermining contamination of false belief. That is huge and immediately transformative. He watches himself and, for the first time, he sees, but now he sees with the eyes of the authentic self. This is Liberation, or, at least, the beginning of it. This is the next great step in the Journey of his life. The tethers are coming off and the light of freedom glimmers on the horizon.
Hey, my friend – this is enough for today. Thank you for giving me this time. I’m sorry to have to take my leave when we have reached such a pivotal point in our discussions.
Q. Well, you have certainly given us quite a bit to mull over. Frankly, I find your ideas intriguing and would like to know more. Thank you Mr. Liberation.


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The Wise Self: Dialogue Number 1 with Mr. Liberation


Today we are visiting with Mr. Liberation. We will be asking him several questions about his ideas on the True Self. Ahhhhh – here’s Mr. Liberation now. Let’s get started.

Q

Q

Mr. L

Mr. L

Q. Hello Mr. Liberation. How are you today?
L. Very well. Thanks for asking. How are you?
Q. Well also. Thanks. Do you mind if we get started?
L. Not at all.
Q. Could you talk about what you mean about the authentic self and please don’t use fancy or confusing language. I think our listeners would prefer clarity.
L. I will try to be clear. The authentic self is who we are prior to our Wounding and the subsequent development of the False-Selves. It is, literally, the light of our lives.
Q. This is not at all clear. First of all you haven’t really answered my question and you referred to a Wound without any explanation at all. You don’t seem to be making any real effort at all. Could you be clearer?
L. I will try. I am often quite lazy with my language. My apologies.
We can’t know who we are until we see or even better, feel, our Wound and the Fear-Selves. But before we can do that we need to be very clear about what the Wound is. Until we understand the theory, we will never understand what follows. That’s why I was rather vague with my first response.
Q. So what is the Wound?
L. Before we are wounded, we must be attacked. In this case, we are the victim of circumstance.
Q. I’m afraid we’re not off to such a good start.

L. Virtually all of us are born perfect. We are a direct reflection of the creative intelligence of the universe, but as very small babies, we are very vulnerable to our external environment. Unless our parents see us as, literally, perfect expressions of the creative intelligence of the universe, which is very unlikely, and love us as we are and not as they would prefer us to be, then we will become wounded. We are wounded by being isolated from our life givers, by being frequently corrected, told to keep quiet, separated, having to deal with sibs of similar age, of being unjustly disciplined, of needing to be molded by the fears and insecurities of the life givers. This creates the Wound. The Wound is agony for the very young child. The Wound is something that must be overcome and so begins a lifetime of seeking love, security, and balance. Because this seeking is rooted in the Wound and not our authentic being, it is never fully satisfactory or grounded. It is always shaky and fear driven. We will talk about his in more detail later.

The Wound is the collapse of the authentic self into the abyss of the deficient self. The authentic Self needs nothing. It is prior to any needing, but all of this is just words. It cannot be realized until we see our individual and personal Wound.
Q. And how does one “see” this Wound? What is the Wound?
L. The Wound is the decisive attack on the essential self when it is most vulnerable, i.e., shortly after birth in this dimension.
So when the young person is seen as flawed by the life givers or even as not sacred, just a thing to be molded by discipline, then the authentic self becomes covered over by the scab of the Wound. The young person needs only thing; unconditional love for what IT IS AS IT IS. It needs to be held and touched for that is how we express love. This, alas, does not happen, even in the most loving and well intended families. In nearly all families, conditions are placed on love and acceptance. Few children fully meet these conditions.
What happens is quite the opposite.
The child is often left alone in the terror and the isolation of its own room – even in its first weeks with its life givers. Thus, at the very start of life the Wound begins. Then when the child gets older, it is often forced to be isolated, corrected, seen as the source of parental conflict – even in loving and supportive families, there is usually the assumption that the child is not perfect. This is, of course, a lie. The child is perfect and requires no discipline regarding its essential self.
Q. And what is that great lie Mr. Liberation?
L. It gets the idea (the lie) that there is something fundamentally wrong with the newborn child. It is defective. It is not altogether right. It is not fully deserving of love. On some levels, it is rejected. The child has not received the one thing it needs; unconditional acceptance on HER terms. Thus is formed the Wound. The belief in our innate inadequacy is the primal lie.
Q. So what happens next?
L. The Wound is agony. It cannot be tolerated. It cannot be allowed to stay as it is (for most of us – there are exceptions, but we might get to that later).
The Wound results in two outcomes. One, the child learns the very harsh lesson that in this life, love is earned, and two, that as she is, she will fail to earn this love, so that the person needs to become someone else. Thus begins the life of ceaseless seeking, ceaseless searching for an improved ME.  This becomes a Fear-Self. The Fear-Based self takes many forms, such as the achiever, the pleaser, the seeker, the terrified one, the loner, the expert, and quite a few others. This is the false self within which we become lost and spend a lifetime trying to improve. Until this fear-based self is seen for exactly what it is, we will never find the balance that is the innate nature of the authentic self. It is insecurity in pursuit of security. This is, of course, a hopeless and vain endeavor.
Q. So what happens of the authentic Self?
L. It gets covered over. It gets covered over first by the Wound and then by the Fear-Based selves. The full immersion into the lie of this existence. But, the authentic self  is never lost and, in fact, it is always within us alive and well even amid the life of the Wound and the Fear-Selves; it just becomes a very quiet dimension of our conditioned self. We could talk about the authentic self living amid the fear-selves sometime. It’s a fascinating topic.
Hey my very good friend, I’m getting a little tired of all this talk talk talk. I need to do some errands.
Q. Could we continue this fascinating discussion tomorrow?
L. Hopefully yes, until then, good bye.


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