Sunday, 25 March 2012

Eastern Promise - Part III

This is part III of an answer to the question:  You asked me what I think you are doing.

I think you are going down the same route many Eastern philosophies are.

For part I click here

Where we have argued with spiritual folk in the past, has been on the merits of our status in relation to the main traditions. Now we can start to outline some conceptions and address them.

Of course we would be ignorant to say that seeing no self is the end of our search and we are fully truth realised, or whatever criteria you may think it takes to say we are fully 'enlightened'. 
This is evident, since we are trying to establish a post self framework and we will certainly admit that after seeing no self, the work really begins in coming to terms with your new found freedom.

Learning how to live life again post-self requires facing up to the truth, which seems to be just as important as realising no self. This is because what we have always lacked, was the de-conditioning work that the other traditions such as Buddhism and Advaita have focussed on.

No one has doubted that we have undergone a paradigm shift in the way in which we see the world. I think this can be clearly evidenced by the fact that what we say is consistent, coherent and also dovetails with the insights of all the spiritual traditions perfectly. 

What we say across our blog roll, our clarity of vision and our penetrating insights, would all point to the same thing.

Were there to be an element of untruth about what we had experienced, then there would certainly be chasms of ambiguity in what we were saying and we would have been torn to bloody pieces by our critics. 
Whilst we are exploring the post self world, we do sometimes make mistakes as we explore our new found freedom, however, the core of what we have said is unshakeable, and these critics have more often than not galvanised the strength of this insight, and made us realise the power of this insight.

We can always point to one simple truth every time which is the notion that the self is an illusion.

So are we enlightened by Buddhist and Advaitan standards?

The simple answer is no.

Do we care about becoming enlightened?

The simple answer is no we do not care.

However, if we were to break down our conditioning further, then it maybe that we would be enlightened by their same standards, which are; annihilate your ignorance, and see the self for what it really is. 
The reason we do not fulfil their criteria presently is because we have not removed our conditioning, and have only started to demolish the complexes of hubris that we have accumulated through our lives.

Also, we do not accept the auxiliary metaphysical assumptions that they do. We are peeling the layers of old complexes away still and it is safe to say we still have some questions to ask. 
By Zen and Neo - Advaitan standards though, we certainly seem to conform to their version of 'enlightened'.  

We fully acknowledge that we have not done the de-conditioning work that Buddhist and Advaitan proponents have done in demolishing their accumulated ignorance. The thing is, there is no quick fix for anything. 
It is not a simple case of seeing no self and your ego vanishes. It is a case of measuring everything against the standard of actual reality and not our preconceived notions of what reality is.

That is the most important thing post-self, and this is where your false beliefs and judgements are challenged.

In this respect, we operate backwards to Buddhism and Advaita, where we see the final realisation and then work on our conditioning afterwards.

One thing we have maintained from the very beginning is this one thing.

Nobody has an exclusive monopoly over the truth.

We need to be crystal clear on this aspect. For all that anyone has said detractor or otherwise, nobody can have exclusive access to the truth. Maybe they offer different methodologies to access the truth but truth is universal to anyone who is willing to look in real life.

The truth cannot be hidden by obscure concepts, riddles and systems of worship any more, once it is realised the truth was always there right in front of us the whole time. We have simply found a short cut to seeing this truth, obviously some people are not going to like this fact, particularly when it undermines their religion.

If you were to deliver a very uncharitable analysis of our insight, you could accuse us of discovering a life hack where you are able to:

  • Live a life without being bound tightly to the ego
  • Have the ability to see that your notions of suffering are the result of fantasy
  • Have the ability to dissolve negativity before it arises by measuring it against reality
  • Be free from the need for bolstering a flaky self image and self esteem
  • Be non attached to outcomes and desires
  • Have a degree of serenity and clear insight in to the human condition
  • Live an authentic life in line with your basic drives

If you wanted to give us the most charitable interpretation, then you might say we are 'enlightened'. The reality I think, is somewhere in between these two extremes, because we can draw many parallels between us and the east but we can also openly admit and embrace where we differ. 
You can choose, maybe you are not enlightened but you have the above benefits? Sounds like a worthwhile life hack to me, if that is as uncharitably as you want to interpret it.

Since we began this journey, we have been surprised by the number of people who had never encountered any spiritual teachings in their life, but had already realised the insight of no self, before they had come across us. We were also surprised by the number of people from the spiritual community who were dead against us freeing people, and would rather wallow out contemplating the lilly, while the rest of humanity was left to suffer. 
We were surprised further by the fact they either shrugged their shoulders and admitted that they didn't care, or tried to claim that what we were doing was dangerous and only they had special access to the truth.  

Truth realisation is not confined to spiritual believers any more, it can be realised by anyone who is willing to gather a shred of courage to look and is willing to test their beliefs in the light of reality. 
This is not always pleasant but when people act courageously, they get themselves free by simply looking in real life and applying the light of reality to their belief system. In that sense we are starting an autolysis of sorts, where our misconceptions are demolished by the truth.

Upon seeing no self, there is further to go and the autolysis does not stop, although it becomes a bit more relaxed than scrutinising no self against reality daily, until you 'get it' that there is no self.

Post-self we have to focus on scrutinising our beliefs against reality and see if they hold true. This is a learning curve for everyone, and it is like learning to live all over again within an entirely new paradigm.

That is the post self challenge, and here this aligns us with the traditional conceptions of enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita, in that we have to break down our old conditionings. 
It could well be easier to do when you have already seen the truth of no self, because you have a laser focus on reality that you do not get by simply meditating. Whether our method is more effective in the long run we will have to wait and see, and I would certainly not say meditation does not have its uses.

One thing for sure, we are not trying to annihilate all thought, repress our emotions, nor are we trying to become enlightened in their sense of the word.

We simply see the false self cast in its true light, we see it as the transparent illusion it really is.

In this, we see the truth of no self not as an axiom in which to live our lives by, but as a new paradigm in which to live. This paradigm gives great clarity and a distinctive quality of simply 'being' that was not available to us before we saw this. We clearly see that we had mistakenly believed that we were our thoughts for most of our childhood and adult lives. The realisation is that there is nothing more than simply being. The question what is the point in life? Is already answered for us.

From here we can conclude that whilst certain parallels can be drawn, and some of what the sages say is insightful and prudent, it is evident that we openly do not embrace Eastern methodology and we do not embrace their metaphysical claims.

We do not desire to destroy all our thoughts and emotions, we actually have found a genuine alternative to spiritual enlightenment, that affords you the freedom to be authentic and use reality as the final arbiter of truth, without having to buy in to a formalised methodology and set of metaphysical beliefs that involves ten years of meditating.

It may not be the bells and whistles state you thought it would be, what we are offering is simply the truth. Its not spiritual, its not enlightenment, it is simply something that is universally true, it just seems that there are many parallels we can draw with the Eastern tradition.

Admittedly most people do not care about the truth, they often want to chase an ideal they were falsely sold. Jed Mckenna was bang on the money in that aspect of his book.

Part IV Here


Anonymous said...

appreciate the work you are doing here. a question that comes to mind would be if you think that believing in truth realisation without actually experiencing it would be benefitial?

believing in truth is the core of all religions. thus, believing in no-self until you see it, could be a new, benefitial religion. instead of millions of people believing that if they believe in the wrong god people will go to hell.
dont you think?

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

No, You have got this all completely and totally wrong.

I see what you are trying to say but that is totally contradictory to the entire reason we are involved in getting this message out there. The whole aim of truth strike and all the people involved is this:

What we really want to do is empower people to challenge their belief systems.

Just that one thing.

The very last thing we would want is for this aim to be compromised.

What you are proposing here is to swap one belief for another one, before people even realise it is true? Do you really think this is a good idea? We can give an example of this exact thing happening in human history.

Take Buddhism for instance. What they have done is taken a core truth and dressed it up in formal ceremonies, ritual and added metaphysical dogma such as karma and samsara, which is a total load of BS. There are two kinds of Buddhists really.

You have actual Buddhists who meditate and practice. In Buddhist countries these are the perhaps 5% of monks who are not there for their families vanity, or who have come out of prison and have nowhere to go. These incidentally make up 95% of monks. Most monks are there so there family look good to the community. It is a token and worthless gesture. The 5% that stay and are genuinely interested follow the teachings of Buddha, although they adopt the metaphysical beliefs in tandem.

Then on the other hand, you have the popular religion for the masses Buddhism, such as the Therevada faith in Thailand. The actual real Buddhists are trying to get enlightened. The masses are simply praying to ghosts and hoping that by doing good deeds, they will find favour that will bring them a sudden change in fortune. This inherent contradiction was horrible to see. I was watching some of the poorest people, who lived in bamboo huts on the side of a motorway, being fleeced by a religion that promised a better life if they do them good deeds and give them enough money. This not only deferred the responsibility of them making the effort to try and improve their lives for themselves but made them cling on to fantasises that one day everything will be OK. As a side benefit, this also made them ignore the plight of disabled people, because they believe that bad karma caused them their misfortune and means they are completely justified to turn a blind eye to them and leave them in their plight.

Since they genuinely believe this, they spend their lives praying to ghosts for good luck to put it as simply as I can.

What has happened is Buddha's core message has been shrouded in lies and greed. You always see a nice array of golden statues and precious things in Buddhist temples, they certainly don't go short of a bob or two, while the very people who fund them live in abject poverty, believe in waiting for a magical event that will solve all their problems and will leave their fellow humans suffering because they genuinely believe they bought it on themselves. That is a glaring contradiction and turned my stomach when I saw what was happening, yet this is their culture and they cling to these notions blindly and is even funded by the government and is institutionalised in to the education system.

That is as simple as I can spell it out and this is what happens when you try to build a belief structure around a simple truth. You create more problems than you solve and people do nothing to realise the truth for themselves, which is dangerous.

If millions of people suddenly switched from believing in hell to another belief what have you really achieved? Give someone a helping hand to ascertain the truth about reality for themselves and question their mistaken beliefs... then that is something worthwhile.

Without someone actually undertaking an analysis of their beliefs and testing them, then another belief is UTTERLY WORTHLESS.

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