Wednesday, April 19, 2006

HOW RELIGION, AND OFTEN SPIRITUALITY, “ABNORMALIZE” THE NORMAL, Part One

F.: A point in this series of discussions has been reached where most abandon all consideration and end the movement along this "path." The religious ego-states and the spiritual-giant ego-states are so powerful that any suggestion that they be transcended is taken to be personal attack. Indeed, that perception is correct to the extent that persons are being invited to question the lies adopted by their personas--by their false images--as being real. Only a few will proceed. For those few, the discussion continues:
A man visiting one of the sessions conducted years ago in which proteges were guided through the seven-steps to Realization [see http://floydhenderson.com/iamabsolute.htm ] described himself as “formerly a high official in a Christian church” and currently as “a spiritual counselor” and “a sponsor in a twelve-step program.” Still influenced by both the duality and confusion of his religious dogma, spiritual disciplines, and multiple ego-states, he reported that at times he advised males and females to abstain from masturbation (though at other times he thought it could be helpful in some ways), to abstain from sex on occasion even if married, to deprive themselves of sleep in order to meditate, to adhere strictly to a vegetarian diet, and to use the various trappings of spirituality (bells, smoke, special attire, etc.) to enhance their experiences. He counseled homosexual persons to abstain from sex and to read the text he considered “holy” in order to change their “orientation.” He illustrated perfectly the pointer that this relative existence can be traversed naturally, supernatually, or unnaturally. He also illustrated perfectly that only natural living is sane and that unnatural living and supernatural living—marked by magical thinking—are insane. Insanity is being out of touch with reality (A.K.A., not being fully Realized).

Masturbation is natural and normal (though persons suffering anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder can use the practice in excess to try to treat mental-emotional problems). But to say or believe that “there is a god who does not want you to masturbate” is abnormal and is evidence of magical thinking. For couples to think they are pleasing a god either by sacrificing sex with each other or by depriving themselves of sleep is unnatural. Also, among several thousand species studied, 10.1% exhibited homosexual tendencies. Fourteen penguins at the zoo in New York City are homosexual. While not typical at only 10%, homosexuality nevertheless occurs throughout nature among birds, animals, and humans. Nothing considered “holy” will change that orientation, though it might suppress tendencies that are natural to those persons.

As for the belief that a god is judging persons for their dietary habits—forbidding the eating of pork or preferring fish on a certain day of the week or forbidding beef consumption or demanding that persons follow a vegetable diet only—magical thinking is again at play. Three body types exist, and one-third of the earth’s population function at their best on a vegetarian food plan; one-third of all bodies function best on a combination plan; and one third function best on a high-protein meat only plan, healthiest if organic choices are made in order to avoid injected contaminants. Scientific testing can identity one’s type, and when my spiritual persona arbitrarily decided that he would be pure on a vegetable-only plan (though it was later learned that I was a combination type) my sympathetic and parasympathetic systems crashed, along with my adrenals and hypothalmus. When religions advised four thousand years ago that pork should be avoiding for fear of contracting disease or because pigs were "impure aminals," the health aspect of that advice was wise in those days. With refrigeration today, it is irrelevant.

Is it sane or insane to allow religious or spiritual advisors to determine what you should do or not do with your body and organs? Is it sane or insane to ignore scientific evidence and to allow religious or spiritual advisors to determine what you should or should not eat? Is it sane or insane to allow religious or spiritual advisors to determine when you should sleep and when you should not? Is it sane or insane to allow religious or spiritual advisors to convince you that you are “holier” or “more spiritual” in a robe, in the presence of smoke, when hearing the sound of a bowl being struck with a stick, or when humming? Is it sane or insane to allow religious or spiritual advisors to determine that, if you are female, you should cover yourself from top to bottom in a burqa and that you should agree to be struck with sticks if you flash a little ankle in public? Is it sane or insane to allow religious or spiritual advisors to make you feel guility about a sexual orientation that you did not choose? Is it sane or insane to allow an ayatollah to advise you to beat women if you see their legs in public while writing at the same time that having sex with one of four animals he identified or with a pigeon is approved by that religious leader? Are there still some persons who think that anything has generated more insane concepts or more insane behaviors than the religious and spiritual beliefs that have been dreamed up by controlling men throughout the ages? Of course. There are billions who are ready to fight to defend all of the beliefs and practices listed above. There are billions who would prefer death over abandonment of their supernatural or unnatural "disciplines."
Across the planet, persons adhere to the dogma that evolved from Abraham or to the spiritual disciplines that men dreamed up; therefore, across the planet, a duality exists that contributes to frustration, misery, suffering, and outright insanity (i.e., detachment from reality). Being torn by puritannical teachings and natural drives, schizophrenia and duality mark the lives of persons across the globe. Such is the result when sane, rational, realistic, natural living is avoided and supernatural or unnatural living are accepted as “normal and sane.” The relative existence "name" of the sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj is based in the fact that he offered pointers that were based in what some call “Nisarga Yoga.” “Nisarga" means “natural.” The invitation here is to set aside all names and labels and yoga types and consider the sanity of natural, AS IF living and the insanity of supernatural, magical or unnatural living. Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]
TOMORROW: The insanity of the concept of “Seven Deadly Sins”