From a site visitor: “Having been a religious person, your postings offended me for several days. (I know! WHO thinks he’s offended?!) I have wondered in the past how a president who claims he’s religious and says he has experienced the atonement (what you call the at-one-ment) could kill innocents. Then I saw that I’ve been wanting to attack you! Very revealing. Thank you for the considerations.”
F.: Most persons—if they learn at all—learn less via instruction and more via experience. The Advaita "journey," if completed, can shift you beyond “person” and “learning” and “instruction” and “experiences,” but those are all way-stations along the “path.” You realized something about your “self” via your experiencing that same desire to attack while claiming to be a peaceful person of god. So it is in the world of duplicity that religion and spirituality and all other forms of programming, conditioning, and indoctrination inspire. Thus, the invitation to “move on” beyond those roles and the duality they support; otherwise, you’ll be judgmental, you’ll think anyone who does not agree with your beliefs is senseless, and you’ll forever be driven into a state of emotional intoxication that drives you to attack in order to defend.
Here’s another reaction from a Level Three Advaitan who was driven to respond to the suggestion that it’s insane to allow religious or spiritual people to tell you what to do:
From a site visitor: "It does not make much sense to say animal behavior is natural/normal and that its perfectly OK to keep practicing it. Humans are the only creatures who have descretion over their own actions. It is certainly better to exercise this descretion for various reasons including spiritual advancement. Having said that I agree that the advice givan by religious gurus are usually good only for the place, time and circumstances under which they are givan. Religion may abnormalize the normal (natural). But these advices if taken in the right context will help improve worldly living but also contribute to the spiritual advancement of the followers."
1. Please allow this opportunity for clarification: there was never any intent to compare humans to animals. I would never insult animals like that. [Ha.] Animals behave naturally and therefore kill primarily to eat; humans kill to accumulate, to control, to force beliefs and concept on others, and to punish after using dualistic labels to classify others as “right or wrong,” “good or bad,” “better or worse,” and “acceptable or to be rejected.” The facts reveal that religious (or “spiritual”) fighting has killed more persons on the planet than anything else other than natural causes, so the facts shall be allowed to speak for themselves. (Maybe the “advices” you mention are not being taken in what you call the “right context.”) Yet the fact remains that those religious German Lutherans of the 1940’s did not kill six million Jews and six million others until after they had labeled them as “wrong,” “bad,” “worse than us” and “to be rejected.” To clarify, however, the pointer is not that religious and spiritual roles should never be entered into or that religious roles or spiritual roles should never be played. Either a religious or spiritual state is required for transitioning along the “path” because no person can shift directly from “mind identification” to the “Child Ignorance” state. The intermediate step is necessary.
So where does this arrogant “man is noble but animals are not” attitude originate among the religious? Several centuries before Moses, a pagan author wrote about man being created in the image of a god and given “dominion” over everything, including women who were “lesser.” Moses plagiarized the old tale which had a woman being made from a small part of a man, but those stolen words attributed to Moses have been used to distort man’s self-image ever since: “I, man, am noble. I have dominion over the other sex, over all birds and animals, and over all the skies and oceans and earth.” OK…tell the Katrina victims about man’s dominion over nature. Man has dominion over nothing, especially his “self” or “selves.” His ego-states and false images (including his religious personas and his spiritual personas) have dominion over man. Later, it will be shown how religion reinforces the master addiction (the desire to control everything) by inspiring the secondary addiction (a desire for power…earthly power, supernatural power, unlimited power). For now, what else is natural that is abnormalized by all that supernatural, magical thinking and the desire of men to control and to have power that inspired them to dream up their regulations and dogma and subsequent punishments for violations?
[First, this disclaimer: Of course anything in excess in the relative can prove to be detrimental to body and mind, but those things that religions list as “deadly sins” that they would like to eliminate—including lust, anger, greed, pride, envy, gluttony, and slothfulness—have useful purposes…their origins rooted in the natural needs of birds, animals, and humans.]
Without LUST, all species would end with the passing of the current generation. ANGER is a natural reaction to that which is threatening. (If a reaction of anger is the result of an ego-state imagining a false threat to be real, that is another matter.) GREED in measure can inspire the productivity required to meet the basic physical needs that humans experience. PRIDE can generate quality of the productivity which is required to meet physical needs, as do ENVY and GLUTTONY. SLOTHFULNESS can inspire the “recharging of the batteries,” such quiet time necessary for the providing of balance to the activity inspired by pride, envy, and gluttony. Again, it is seen that what persons who are absorbed in the egotism of their ego-states would like to control or eliminate is unnatural and insane (i.e., out of touch with reality).
All influences on behavior and thought that are inspired by the various chemical makeups of bodies, by the programming and conditioning of the various “minds,” by genes, by one or more of the Sufi-identified personality types, and by all the other factors that affect human behavior can be addressed. The final level of freedom comes when anything which deals with the human, relative existence is transcended and abidance in the Absolute happens. Only then will you not be inspired to react; only then will you be free of emotional intoxication; only then will you not feel the need to fight to defend your concepts, for all concepts will have been seen to be false. Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]
TOMORROW: The Remaining Clarifications: How Religion and Spirituality Distort Perception
UPCOMING: Distorting Advaita: The Blind Men and an Elephant; How Religion and Spirituality Reinforce Addictions and Arrogance: The “selfishness” of Prayer; Personas That Think They Can Define “Good” and “Bad”