Sunday, April 30, 2006

BEYOND RELIGION BUT NOT SPIRITUALITY

[Please note: Religious roles and spiritual roles must be played for a time by those on the "path" to Realization; however, they are the third of seven steps, and they are the step that usually ends the "journey." Both roles convince persons that they have all the answers, so the seeking of the real answer ends. Either or both of those false identities must be assumed for a time, but both must be transitioned in order to transcend the false sense of separation that they always generate.]
From a site visitor: “I found your blog in January and read all the archives and current postings and have become very confused. I was Catholic most of my life but left the church last year over the sex scandals. (I didn't like my tithes being used for what you call "hush money.") I found some new friends who introduced me to some spiritual teachings that I like, but then I read your points about “transcending religion and spirituality.” I don’t want to give up what I’ve found and I’ve been planning to go along with those friends on a spiritual journey to India this summer. Then I read some comments in an old post from a woman named Karen and I now have doubts about the trip. Any suggestions?"
F.: You are where you are on the path. So be it. For those not around when Karen wrote, here are parts of her last communique:
[Excerpts from the e-mail from Karen]:
“I wrote last fall before going to India to tell you I thought you were totally wrong about something. I was sure if I went to India I’d find what I was looking for. I didn’t find the answer [there]."
[Summary of the response to Karen]:
Karen, the reason I did not endorse your trip was based in several facts: (1) You were misled to believe that India today is a nation of the “Realized.” (2) No one needs to travel anywhere to Realize. (3) Some “professional spiritualists” there will offer you “enlightenment, for a considerable fee,” the same as here in the States. That’s not a necessary expenditure. (4) What is “there” is what is “here” as well as what is “everywhere.” You Are That which you seek.
If you live in the U.S. and are looking for something that is “different,” understand that India and the U.S. now mirror each other in many ways:
A. As in the U.S., India for many years has experienced a joining of religion and the national government, destroying the separation of “church” and state…just as has happened in the United States.
B. Much is considered “sacred” among religious persons who are in the majority in both countries. Visit Washington, D.C. and see members of congress debating such sacred cows as the sexual orientation of a cartoon sponge or visit Mumbai and see up close and personal the real cows that are believed to be sacred. [When persons are lulled to sleep via indoctrination and programming, it’s a short leap from believing that texts are holy, that buildings are holy, and that some men are holy to also believing that cows are holy.]
C. Many persons in the U.S. cling to the 1960’s image of India as a country suffused with spirituality, the land where John Lennon began to awaken to the awareness of Reality that is reflected in his song, “Imagine.” But today, India is far more involved in religion, just as the U.S. is. The nation of India is also as engulfed in middle-class materialism as the U.S. It is just as influenced by corporate interests as the U.S. Those circumstances have shifted India away from whatever “spirituality” it might have been experiencing in the 1960’s, and now most persons in that nation have reverted to India’s long-standing religious roots. (Others who claim to be adherents of certain philosophies like Advaita Vedanta are making that their "religion.")
Go visit India or any other countries you choose. I can give you the address of a man in Mumbai who shares each day something close to “Nisarga Yoga” pointers; however, if you are going in hopes of finding some nationwide 1960’s-style spiritual movement or of being surrounded by millions of the “Realized,” save your money. [UPDATE, 2006: That address will no longer be provided in light of the many complaints being lodged regarding that man's misconduct with visitors, his direct solicitation of money, and his abandonment of Maharaj's Nisarga Yoga teachings.] Five recent e-mails to this site from persons in India were all from persons absorbed in their religious roles, firmly and proudly fixed in their “worshipper” identities and believing themselves to be do-ers. As a cost-free alternative, go into the quiet and find what you have always known but have forgotten. You do not know Who You Are. Find Who/What You Truly Are, know that no do-er is the real, and be free of all the role-playing and seeking. Then, enjoy what remains of the AS IF existence. Of course, that’s just (as you requested) a suggestion. Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]

Saturday, April 29, 2006

HOW RELIGIONS, SPIRITUAL MOVEMENTS, AND PHILOSOPHIES REINFORCE ADDICTION AND ARROGANCE: THE self-ISHNESS OF PRAYER, Part Four

[Please note: These posting are excerpted from the book “BEYOND Religion and Spirituality,” but no book need be read if the seeker will take the considerations and sit in quiet contemplation, far away from “holy” people and “holy” books and “holy” buildings and “holy” trappings and “holy” rituals. “Holy” means “different,” “different” requires duality, and all duality is a lie. While those trappings can be a part of the third step to Realization, if they are not transcended then a sense of separation and incompletion will continue.]

F.: It has been shown that spirituality, philosophies, religion and praying reinforce duality.

Spirituality breeds a “better-than mentality,” such as, “I am better than they are” or “I am so much better than I was.” It creates the dualistic belief that “I am in relationship with that power, and that helps me,” even though “relationship” itself is a term of duality. It generates the magical thinking reported in an e-mail this week: “You should give God credit where credit is due. My friends and I have been shopping for property for months to build a series of spiritual centers. Three deals fell through because god did not want those to take place. The fourth deal went through because god blessed the deal and put it on the seller’s heart to let us have the property according to our terms. We’ve learned how The Spiritual Laws of Business actually work.” Supernatural, magical thinking distorted the reality of the fact that three out of four business deals fell through while one deal out of four went through. Then, that magical thinking distorted normal happenings into paranormal orchestrations.

THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING of some philosophies (including Advaita Vedanta) has been so bastardized with the focusing on special texts (and with the worshipping of gurus and imaginary gods) that THE UNDERSTANDING itself has been lost as philosophies have been distorted into religions among many. Now, some claim, “I am a worshipper” and “I am a this” and “I am a that.” In their delusion, the I AM has been lost and replaced with an assortment of false identities…ego-states…assumed roles.

Religious wars have been fought for thousands of years and continue to this day. Hindus have faced off against Muslims in India and Kashmir; Christians, Jews and Muslims are killing each other in the Middle East; Christians and Muslims have fought in Cyprus, East Timor, Indonesia, Kurdistan, Macedonia, Nigeria, The Philippines, Chechnya, Sudan, and Uganda; the religious are attacking the non-religious in India and the U.S.; Buddhists and Hindus have fought each other in Sri Lanka; across the globe, Christian Catholics have fought with Christian Protestants for 600 years; Suni and Shi’ite Muslims fight each other on a daily basis; and the list of religion-inspired fighting and wars could continue for pages. And all the while that the religious fighting is going on, religious persons are claiming that “millions have been helped by religion.” Tell it to the 150,000,000 killed by Euro-Christians in the three Americans when those Christian invaders came and killed in order “to establish a Christian nation under God”; tell it to the millions killed in Inquisitions; tell it to the millions killed in a Holocaust that was organized by the Lutheran nation of Germany; or tell it to the trillions of others who have been killed in religious wars.

And then there are the dualistic prayers around religious combat:

“The Prayer for God to Help Us Kill Them
Prayers have preceded battles for millenia: “Dear God, please bless and protect our troops” or “Bless us in our fight against the infidels.” Those prayers are really saying: “Almightly God / Allah / Yahweh / Zeus, etc., please protect us as we go to war against others and try to kill them. Take our side in this murderous adventure and help us to destroy the people whom we have chosen to fight.”

The members of various spiritual programs or movements, the members of the thousands of religions, and the members of the 10,000+ sects or denominations all believe that if everyone would just follow their example, then religion or spirituality or their version of a philosophy or prayer would be the answer to all the problems in this world rather than the cause of so much separation and duality. They are programmed to ignore the facts. Faith preempts fact. Yet the indoctrinated will steadfastly argue that their way is the right way and that all should be clones of them and their way. Such are the tales told by those who are blinded by faith rather than enlightened by a process that begins with questioning it all. THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING never tried to impose any beliefs or concepts or dogma or rituals on any person. Instead, THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING provided a means by which personas could be freed of their ego-states (and all of the relative-existence misery and suffering that are generated by such ego.) All that need be known is revealed via the inner guru, the inner resource. Focusing on outer powers, outer texts, outer priests or preachers, or outer gurus will prevent tapping into the only source that can free persons of their belief in lies and allow the awareness of truth to happen. Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]

Friday, April 28, 2006

HOW RELIGIONS, SPIRITUAL MOVEMENTS, AND PHILOSOPHIES REINFORCE ADDICTION AND ARROGANCE: THE self-ISHNESS OF PRAYER, Part Three

[Please note: These posting are excerpted from the book “BEYOND Religion and Spirituality,” but no book need be read if seekers will take the considerations and sit in quiet contemplation, far away from their "holy friends" and other “holy” people and their “holy” books and “holy” buildings and “holy” trappings and “holy” rituals. All of those can be a part of the third step on the "journey" to Realization, but to take three of seven steps can only result in the continuation of a sense of separation and the nagging sense of incompletion that so many persons are trying to be free of.]

From a site visitor: “I don’t pray selfish prayers like the ones you’re reporting. I just pray to god, ‘Thy will be done'.”
F.: How happy you must be making your god by giving him your permission for him to do his will or by offering your endorsement of his will being done. Now, to continue:

F.: For those who seek Full Realization, all impediments must be removed. Since being in touch with Reality is sanity, then all things insane are impediments and must be discarded. And what is insane? Believing lies dreamed up by men over the ages who (a) have wanted to control the behavior of people or (b) who arrogantly wanted to impress others with their knowledge.
Rather than saying, “I don’t know,” self-proclaimed “holy” men have assumed the false role of “The Answer Man” for ages:
Q.: “What is that thunderous noise when it rains?”
The Answer Man: “Those are the sounds of angry gods.”
Q.: “Why did that storm hit and destroy my family and home?”
The Answer Man: “The gods are angry because you have not been behaving the way I told you to behave.”
Q.: “Where did I come from?”
The Answer Man: “Uhhh, a god made you.”
Q.: “What happens when I die?”
The Answer Man: “If you behave as I say, and if you never question anything written in our holy book, then you go to heaven and get a reward. If not, you will burn and suffer eternally,” or "If you live as I say, you'll recycle into one higher form after another until you reach a state of perfect peace. If not, you'll suffer. The Dalai Lama made clear that the people in New Orleans, Louisiana called Hurricane Katrina down on themselves as a result of their bad karma."

Until the lies are seen to be lies, and until such nonsense is seen to be nonsense, then truth shall never be found. Until persons see that they have not recovered Self-Awareness, then they will only be aware of what others tell them is truth and will have a relative existence that is cursed because they are being subconsciously driven by the inane programming, conditioning, and enculturation of ignorant persons.

Several tools are used by those who would program or condition or indoctrinate persons. Pavlov demonstrated one of the most commonly used methods: repetition. If a message is repeated over and over enough, persons can eventually accept the most nonsensical concept as fact. Relatedly, longevity is a tool used by those who would indoctrinate. Tales that have been repeated for centuries take hold in the “minds” of persons. And a third tool is the programming and conditioning and indoctrination by “religious authorities” or “spiritual authorities” to convince persons with desires, with perceived needs, or with fears that some "outer resource" is available to intervene in their behalf if they will only pray to that entity.

Only by questioning can any person begin the shift toward freedom from programming and indoctrination; thus, occasionally, some of the indoctrinated can see the insanity enough to say, “Wait a minute—this praying is working no better than his rabbit’s foot or her four-leaf clover.” But the authorities have an answer even for that: “All prayers are answered. Sometimes the answer is ‘No,’ sometimes it’s ‘Yes,’ and sometimes it’s ‘later’.” That usually quiets the dissenters who are thereby re-programmed to accept that a 33% “success rate” regarding their prayers is the “norm” or should be “acceptable.” Because they are so addicted to trying to control, and so arrogant about the beliefs of other persons that they now claim as their own, they will cling to the practice no matter how ineffective their prayers. Recently, the families and friends and pastors of thirteen trapped miners prayed for their safety. Only one survived. Twelve died. Those prayers had an 8.3% success rate. NBC did a special report on “Why the Miracle Miner Survived.” He claims it was because “god shed his grace on him” (but not on the others?) How special. How arrogant. How magical and supernatural the thinking. Whether dealing with life-death issues or with health issues, the arrogant believe they have the power to control:

"The Prayer to Control Healing"
One man e-mailed this week to say, “I believe that prayer can help heal other.” What that really means is: “I think that I am so hooked up with god that I also have the power to influence healing" (contradicting the findings released last week of a five-year study which showed that others' prayers had no affect at all on patients' healing). The prayer also really means, “I believe that, just by asking, god will help those I ask him to help, though he obviously would not have helped them otherwise because my prayers did make a difference. I really believe that based on my requests, god will give preferential care to those I pray for but not to others who are not being prayed for.”
To see the nonsense of prayers is not enough to be free of the influence of your culture and to then be able to sit in the quiet and discover what You have known all along but have forgotten because of programming and conditioning. Persons talk much more than they pray, so far more nonsense can be heard in all the talk that persons talk; therefore, a requirement of those who would continue along the “path” to Realization is that they not only see the nonsense of the prayers as examples of the magical thinking that prevents being in touch with Reality. The requirement is that a filter be activated during all of your waking hours. Unless you see that it is all nonsense, then you will not set aside their beliefs—which you now mistakedly claim are your beliefs—and you will never return to the purity of the no-concepts, Child Ignorance stage, you will never witness objectively, you will never know the At-one-ment that the True Self can realize, and you will never know that which is beyond the beingness and even the non-beingness. And without those understandings, you will neither truly understand the Absolute nor attain The Understanding of the Functioning of the Totality. Those who do not know—but who think they know—shall never know what they do not know. Only by casting aside all knowledge ("learned ignorance") can the truth be revealed. Otherwise, persons on the "journey" will fixate at the third of seven levels and will pass their days believing that they have power when they have none, believing that they can control what they have no influence over whatsoever, and believing that all the false roles which they are playing (including “Super Religious Person” and “Spiritual Giant”) actually define What They Are. They will be trapped in the “I am this” and “I am that” and will never truly realize the I AM, period…much less the I AM THAT. Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]

Thursday, April 27, 2006

HOW RELIGIONS, SPIRITUAL MOVEMENTS, AND PHILOSOPHIES REINFORCE ADDICTION AND ARROGANCE: THE self-ISHNESS OF PRAYER, Part Two

[Please note: Religion or spirituality serve as the third step on a seven-step journey to Realization. The Advaita Vedanta teachings that provide THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING can serve as a roadmap. To proceed along the “path,” religion and spirituality must be transcended. At the end of the “journey,” not even the roadmap is needed. Nothing else need be done.]
“Prayers to Control the Weather”
In one south Texas community where some earn the money needed to meet their basic needs by growing grain, others meet their basic needs by growing grapes. A special one-hour prayer service for rain was conducted by the grain farmers who prayed that a drought would end and that soaking rains would be provided for their grain crops. Not in attendance were the grape growers whose crop depended on dry weather. The prayer really said: “Almightly God, we know that our neighbors will be harmed by rain, but please send rain anyway because it will help us.”

As Hurricane Katrina entered the Gulf of Mexico, churches organized prayer vigils. In an area near Houston, the prayers said, “May our area be spared a strike from the hurricane. If it must come ashore near Galveston, than at least allow it to veer to the east so that our area will get the benefit of being ‘on the dry side of the storm’.” The prayer really said: “Almightly God, please protect us and screw the people to the east of us.” Evidently those prayers were heard and answered.

So the criteria for abandonment of prayer can be tested:
1. Did those prayers foster belief in lies and belief in the false? Yes. The lie is that there is a god in another world that is creating weather systems and micro-managing their routes and making adjustments to move rain clouds into certain areas upon request or to move storms away from some persons upon request and allowing the storms to destroy the homes and families of others instead.
2. Did those prayers foster selfishness? Of course. How much more selfish can persons be than to say, "God, let it rain to help my crops even if it damages my neighbors' crops" or "God, the storm is coming ashore, but let it hit others and not us.”
3. Did those prayers reinforce the master addiction of persons who wanted to control? Absolutely.
4. Did those prayers reinforce the secondary addiction of arrogant people who want to have influence over a supernatural power and to have the power to decide where it rains and doesn’t and where storms hit and don’t hit? Yes.
5. Did the prayers reinforce egotism and ego-states and then support the belief by personas with a false identity? Yes. How egotistical must persons be to think they can control weather patterns? How egotistical must persons be to think that they can entice “good” weather patterns to come to the area where they live and can send “bad” weather patterns to areas where others live? Obviously, they were trying to support the ego-states of "Farmer," "Homeowner," "Religious Person," and "Spiritual Giant," so "hooked up" with "The Power" that they can control naturally-occurring events on the planet.

“Prayers To Determine Who Dies”
Years ago, a woman on the staff of a Christian Church said, “ I prayed every day for a year that my husband would die.” In a schizophrenic fashion after she divorced the man, she later said, “I pray every day that he will find the happiness that I have found.” What her prayer really said was: “Almightly God, please be my personal hit man who will kill people if they irritate me. And please be the one to bless people I want blessed. In fact, let me play god and decide who gets killed or blessed and decide when they get killed or blessed.”

So the criteria for abandonment of prayer can be tested:
1. Did that prayer foster belief in lies and belief in the false? Yes. She believes that as a good Christian who is a godly woman, she is entitled to certain benefits, one being the ability to get someone killed if he irritates her.
2. Did the prayer foster selfishness? Yes. “I do not care if our five-year old child might suffer by growing up without her father. I want him dead.”
3. Did it reinforce the master addiction of a person who wanted to control? Absolutely.
4. Did it reinforce the secondary addiction of an arrogant person who wanted power over life and dead, over sadness and joy? Yes.
5. Did it reinforce egotism and ego-states and then support the belief by a persona with a false identity? Yes. How egotistical must a person be to think she/he should be able to use a relation with god to control who should die or who should be happy? The ego-state of "Rich Person" who would receive huge sums of money from his insurance companies had her agenda and the ego-state of "Super Religious Person Who Can Get Anything She Wants As a Result of Serving God" can be seen in the example.

Versions of Advaita Vedanta that offer THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING can guide persons away from the insanity of magical thinking and the belief in nonsense and put them back into touch with Reality. Prayers to imaginary gods (with their origins in ancient myths and superstitions) reinforce magical thinking and insanity. Children dream up imaginary friends to play with or to talk to. As they become adults, they give up their beliefs in those "pretend friends" that they dreamed up on their own. It is more difficult for persons to give up their beliefs in "pretend friends from other worlds" and in "pretend powers" that others dreamed up and that persons in positions of "authority" told them really exist. How realistic are your actions and beliefs? Have you given up belief in what they told you so that YOU can uncover what YOU have known all along but have forgotten because of programming, conditioning, and enculturation? Are you employing the inner guru to find the lies and the truth, or are you wasting time paying homage to an outer guru or to some fictitious external power? Are YOU Your Own True Self, or are you still theirs? Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

HOW RELIGIONS, SPIRITUAL MOVEMENTS, AND PHILOSOPHIES REINFORCE ADDICTION AND ARROGANCE: THE self-ISHNESS OF PRAYER, Part One

F.: The unicity is Real but duality is false; therefore, the unicity is true and all that fosters duality is a lie. Nothing fosters more duality than religion and spirituality and even some philosophies, so they are rooted in falsehood and foster lies. Religion and spirituality—and yes, even some philosophies—generate belief in separation and then support the earliest dualities of “good-bad” and “better-worse” and “reward-punishment” and “acceptable vs. to be rejected.” Not only can members of different religions and spiritual movements and philosophies not get along, but members of the same group cannot get along, so 10,000 denominations and sects and subdivisions have been formed.

Not only are religion and spirituality nothing more than stops along a “path”--stops that must be transitioned for the “journey” to be completed--but Advaita Vedanta is also to be transitioned. When a journey is completed, the roadmap is no longer required. Set it aside. Such is the case with Advaita Vedanta or any other methods or systems that can be employed as a roadmap on a trip. This site offers thorns that can be used to remove thorns, but when the final thorn has been removed, toss it all. How can this site exist if all thorns have been tossed? The consciousness speaks and all happens spontaneously. There is no "one" writing...no "one" doing anything. Along with setting aside religion, spirituality, and philosophies, the Realized also set aside all the tools and trappings of the “journey” as well. And there is no tool that is employed by a few Advaitans and by most religious and most spiritual persons that needs to be cast aside more than prayer. Why should it be cast aside? It should be cast aside because it fosters duality and therefore fosters belief in lies and belief in the false; moreover, it fosters selfishness, it reinforces the master addiction of persons to control, it reinforces the secondary addiction of the arrogant who desire to have power in order to control, and it reinforces egotism and ego-states and then supports the beliefs by persons in their false identities.

The master addiction among humans is the desire to control people, places, things, events, weather, wars, whatever. That leads to the secondary addiction which is a desire to have power. Persons want to have a supernatural power at their beck and call; they want economic power; they want personal power; they want political power; they want the power to control everything in “this world” and then the power to determine what happens eternally in some “other world.” And to that end, persons who have been programmed to accept the ancient beliefs about gods, superstitions, myths, and supernatural explanations of natural events use prayer to try to control. Here are some prayers that worshippers have shared, all of which illustrate the pointer.

“Prayers That Result from a Desire to Control Lifespan”
Years ago, a woman said, “I have a two-year old nephew who needs a heart transplant. I want fifty people to pray for a heart for him until a donor becomes available. May I add you to my list?” She never spoke to me again after my refusal and explanation. Certanly her request was noble and well-intentioned, right? Except for four problems: it was totally selfish, totally controlling, totally intended to maintain at least three false identities, and totally in evidence of how she thought she had influence over a supernatural power.

What her prayer really said was: “Almightly God, I know that if 48 people ask you to provide a heart for my nephew, you might not; I also believe that if 49 people ask you to provide a heart, you might still refuse; but I truly believe that the number “50” has some magical significance and that will do the trick. Also, please bless my nephew and extend his life (and protect my ego-state of 'aunt') though I know that this request will necessitate the death of another child who is young enough that its heart will fit in my nephew’s small chest cavity. But for my sake and the sake of my nephew, screw some other two-year old by killing him, and also screw the parents by killing their child. PS: And by the way, God, make sure he dies from a head or stomach injury and protect the chest area so that the heart is in excellent shape after that child dies.”

So the criteria can be tested:

1. Did that prayer foster belief in lies and belief in the false? Yes. The belief is that there is a male god “out there” somewhere who is micro-managing every event “here” and who will do the bidding of persons with personal agendas, even when the agenda involves the pre-meditated murder of a child.

2. Did the prayer fosters selfishness? Yes. “Let someone I care about live...by killing someone I don’t know.”

3. Did it reinforce the master addiction of a person who wanted to control? Absolutely.

4. Did it reinforce the secondary addiction of an arrogant person who wanted power over life and death of others? Yes.

5. Did it reinforce egotism and an ego-state and then support the belief by a persona with a false identity? Yes. How egotistical must a person be to think she/he can determine lifespan, can control who should live, and can affect who should die? The ego-state “aunt” was struggling for its continuity since it could not exist without a “nephew.” “Religious person” and “spiritual giant” were two more ego-states that were being reinforced through the belief of the power over life and death that could be gained via prayer.

Those who have been lulled to sleep by their religious, spiritual or philosophical progamming and conditioning cannot view their beliefs and actions objectively. They believe in the nobility of every aspect of their knowledge, beliefs, worshipping, and actions, but an objective witnessing of what is driving all of that shows how truly self-centered all of those bogus trappings and practices and dogma and beliefs really are. What appeared to be a kind and caring act, when looked at rationally, is seen to be self-serving, controlling, selfish, and arrogant. If any of the above irritates you, you might ask, "WHO feels offended? What ego-state is taking the words above as a personal attack?" Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]TOMMOROW: Not prayers to decide who lives, but prayers to control who dies

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

DISTORTING THE UNDERSTANDING, Part Three

From a site visitor: “I thought Advaita Vedanta was a philosophical path or maybe a spiritual movement. Reading some of the e-mail you’ve posted, it seems some believe that it’s a religion. Which is it?”

F.: THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING (which was likely being circulated more than 30,000 years ago in the areas that would eventually come to be known as India and Asia) preceded the discussions that would later be written into the Vedas and the Upanishads. Moses (c. 1400 B.C.) heard the teachings summarized in the phrase “I AM THAT; I AM” and plagiarized the expression in his writings, but THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING far preceded the Vedas, the Upanishads, Moses, and the writings around 800 A.D. that provided the label “Advaita Vedanta.” The concepts and ideas and understanding had to exist before they could be written. And the more that THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING has been repeated and discussed and written about over the millennia, the more distorted it has become.

There is a game some children play in which one person whispers a message and it is passed one-by-one to twenty persons or more who are seated in a circle. By the time the message arrives back at the starting point, it has almost always become so distorted through the varied repetitions that the original speaker can’t even recognize the final version (which has usually been bastardized into total nonsense in the end). Then, the group might debate who said what, what was meant, who distorted the original message, etc. Such has happened with THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING and what is now called “Advaita Vedanta,” and that is why it is said that the truth cannot be told, cannot be written, and cannot be named. To understand THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING, one must forget holy texts, holy labels, holy rituals and holy actions, must see the lies that have been told, must become free of all beliefs acquired via enculturation, and must then go into the quiet and remember what is already known but has been forgotten. In the end, all gurus are false (are personas) except the inner guru. The lies will not be seen and discarded (and the truth will not be known) via study, action, service, worship or any other "doings." The lies will be discarded and the truth will be Realized via tapping into the inner resource while just "being."

Some debates regarding Advaita Vedanta involve whether the focus should be on knowledge or worship or action. Other debates regarding Advaita Vedanta involve whether it is a philosophy or a religion or a spiritual process. All of the debates are for nil. To find the lies involved with knowledge, worship, action, philosophy, religion, or spirituality, the following must be realized: THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING (which can now be attained by taking into meditation certain pointers that guide protégés through specific considerations and “steps”) suggested being free of knowledge, which is also known as “learned ignorance.” That ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING also made clear that there is nothing to worship and that “worshipper” is nothing more than another ego-state; made clear that action does not begin with Realization but ends with Realization; and made clear that once Realization happens, no philosophy, religion or spirituality will be needed or sought. Why? Because those supposedly address wants, desires or fears of personas, but with Realization, the illusions of wants, desires and fears disappear because all personas disappear.

Have some “gurus” twisted the original teachings to suggest that their beliefs are right and should be followed? Of course, but THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING that is closest to what is now called “Advaita Vedanta” had no beliefs but instead lead to Realization which is the end of all beliefs. Have some gurus prescribed rituals to follow? Of course, but THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING that is closest to what is now called “Advaita Vedanta” had no rituals but instead lead to Realization...which is the end of all rituals. Have some gurus identified deities with personal attributes to worship? Of course, but THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING recognized no deity or person/personal god with physical, mental and emotional attributes.

Whereas the original message which was closest to what is now called “Advaita Vedanta” has been distorted because it has been divided into various approaches focusing on knowledge, worship, or action and on philosophy, religion, or spirituality, it originally freed programmed persons of belief in the ancient superstitions and mythologies that generate knowledge, worship, action, philosophy, religion, and/or spirituality. Are there some who still cling to the god or gods whose origins were rooted in the pagan myths and the ancient folklore of Greek and Roman gods? Of course. Are there some who set forth codes of conduct to be followed along with their worldviews? Of course, but in THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING there were no codes and no worldview; instead, there was freedom from all concepts and freedom from the belief that the world being viewed is real.

THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING that is offered via some of the teachings of what is now called “Advaita Vedanta” led to an understanding of the functioning of the totality, not to an understanding of “this life” and “this world” and not to rules or dogma about the way you should behave in “this world.” “This world” and “this life” are fiction, much ado about nothing, a tale told by an idiot. What good any philosophy about tales and idiocy and fiction? All of those elements that define religion (listed in yesterday’s post) are the very elements that THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING can free persons from, if they travel the “path” and complete the “journey.” Ironically, because the Realized are free of wants, fears and desires (including the desire to control, to have power, to accumulate, and to take) it can be witnessed that their movement through the remainder of their AS IF existence happens in a fashion that aligns with what personas like to call "moral behavior."

Further, Advaita Vedanta is not about “clinging to.” The Realized would never suggest that you “tie fast to” anything. THE ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING that is now provided by some of the teachings in what is called “Advaita Vedanta” was about being free of, being untied to, and being detached from all dependencies and co-dependencies which are outgrowths of duality and which foster further duality and even trinities. The unicity was distorted into a duality as the Veda was divided into two sections: one dealing with duties and another dealing with actions. Then, the unicity was subdivided into a trinity (1) with qualities, (2) without qualities and (3) with a personal god in charge of the world of appearance. If the world is an appearance—an illusion—then wouldn’t anything thought to be presiding over an illusion also be an illusion? There is but the unicity. All dualities and trinities dreamed up by men are that which is not, not THAT Which Is. Have you seen what is not? Has that allowed You to see What Is? Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]

Monday, April 24, 2006

DISTORTING THE UNDERSTANDING, Part Two

First, this From a site visitor: “If you don’t believe that Advaita Vedanta is a religion, why link to others who do? If you do not believe it is a spiritual path to follow, why link to sites that do? Seems you’re contradicting yourself.”

F.: Suppose someone at Level Two comes to this site on a day when a question or comment from someone at Stage Six is being addressed. Then, suppose that the Level Two visitor (who wouldn’t have a clue as to what that day’s posting is pointing to) happens to link to a site where he/she finds pointers that shift that person from Level Two to Level Three. Now, to continue with yesterday’s discussion.


From a site visitor [continued]: “I thought Advaita Vedanta was a philosophical path or maybe a spiritual movement. Reading some of the e-mail you’ve posted, it seems some believe that it’s a religion. Which is it?”

F.:
Some people worship alcohol. Some worship their bodies and the bodies of others. Persons can claim anything they want and can declare that they worship anything they want to worship. They can claim anything they want as their "religion." They can claim any label, or all the labels, they want, but the original understanding was that they are “not two.” What I Am and What You Are is one thing only, not two or more. All labels are false identities, and when false identities are assumed to be real, that will end the search for Who or What You Truly Are.

So a person can say that he is “an Advaitan” and is also “a religious person,” or he can say that alcohol, sex, or Advaita are his religion. He can say he is “an Advaitan” and “also worships a guru, a spouse, or his new car.” He can say he is “an Advaitan” and is guided by the Upanishads, the Holy Bible, the Torah, or any of the thousands of so-called “holy” texts. But that has nothing to do with the original understanding, nothing to do with the original intent of the “journey” that the Advaita-type understanding provided, and nothing to do with the de-accumulation of activities and texts and worship and doingness that happens automatically after Realization. [Recall that Christ offered the "Advaita teachings" long before they were called "Advaita Vedanta teachings."] So persons can make every claim they want, but they are only revealing that that they are persons (i.e., personas, non-Realized). Advaita Vedanta is not a religion or a spiritual movement since (1) its intent is to shift persons to Full Realization and since (2) Full Realization takes persons far beyond the playing of religious roles, far beyond the playing of spiritual roles, and far beyond the assumption of any other roles as identities.

If you look at hundreds of definitons of what a religion is, you’ll find they share something similar to the Oxford Dictionary definition: “The very word ‘religion’ may have come from the Latin religãre which means to tie fast. Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, a philosophy of life, and a worldview, a worldview being a set of basic, foundational beliefs concerning deity, humanity and the rest of the universe.”

How could Advaita Vedanta be a religion if the earliest teachings had no specific system of beliefs but instead encouraged the elimination of all beliefs? How could it be a religion if religion encourages “tying to something” (a guru, a god, a text) while Advaita Vedanta via its earliest teachings invited personas to be detached from all? How could Advaita Vedanta be a religion if for 35,000 years or more it (in its original unnamed form) recognized no deity or god with personal attributes and only for the last 1200 years has some persons/followers who have accepted such a concept? How could Advaita Vedanta be a religion if via its earliest teachings it invited the elimination of belief in all concepts whereas religions encourage belief in man-made codes and ethics? How could Advaita Vedanta be a religion if via its earliest teachings it revealed (a) the illusion that “life” is and if it revealed that (b) any "view" of this "world" is an illusion…all in direct opposition to the teachings of religions? How could Advaita Vedanta be a religion when religions promote foundational beliefs while Advaita Vedanta in its earliest form advocated being free of all beliefs (which are nothing more than concepts dreamed up by men)? How could Advaita Vedanta be a religion when it knows that “humanity” is an illusion and that the only thing that is real is the energy-consciousness that is being misperceived by the non-Realized, the religious, and the spiritual? How?

Because anyone can say he or she is “an Advaitan” and also “a religious person.” So it is in the world of blind men who think they see, who think they can grasp a part of the elephant and from that limited experience somehow know the whole when they only know a part. When one Realizes, Advaita is also tossed. Thorns are used to remove thorns until the last thorn is removed. Then, all thorns are tossed. Those who cling to gurus, objects of devotion, rituals or texts are clinging to useless thorns that must be fleshed out and tossed if persons are to move along the path to Full Realization. (If you move from California to New York, there is no need to go back and try to gather up all the roads you used to get to the destination. Once you have reached the destination, you’re done with the road. Since the consciousness speaks spontaneously, it may offer pointers to others about the most direct route between the two states…or it might not. It might not speak orally but might speak through writing. It might answer some persons and not others. It can determine where along the route travelers are and can guide them along the next leg or can suggest a change in direction to move back toward the main path that is more easily traveled. Or none of that might happen. So it is. What does not happen is a clinging to certain steps that were taken along the “journey.”)
The roots of the original understanding from which Advaita Vedanta evolved were simple, as was the lifestyle of those who grasped the understanding. Then, no need for any Advaita teachings existed since there were no concepts or false identities that complicated a simple lifestyle. When nomads first settled into communities, according to anthropological evidence, their lifestyle was simple. Like many jungle tribespeople today in Central or South American, humans spent 2.5 hours per day doing the work required to meet basic survival needs. (Their “work” of hunting and fishing and gathering is now what Westerners call their “vacation or relaxation activities.”) The remainder of the time, they communed, played, enjoyed sex, etc. That simple lifestyle was possible only in the absence of concepts, and it is being practiced in remote villages today that are free of concepts. Only after men began dreaming up concepts about gods—and added the trappings of prayer and worship and devotion and “right” living that they believed could get you rewards now and a reward later—did a need for the teachings arise. Only then did men dream up the dualities of "good vs. bad" and "right vs. wrong." Only after the invention of lies did persons require a method to free their “minds” of belief in those lies. Only after the passing along of concepts became the practice in certain cultures did persons need the teachings that would someday be called “Advaita Vedanta.” Only after persons began programming and conditioning their offspring with distortions did a need arise to re-purify their distorted thinking. In short, only after persons began corrupting and bastardizing the consciousness did a need arise for the teachings that can re-purify that consciousness, that can allow persons to come to remember what they already know (namely, Who or What They Are), that can free them of the nonsense of accepting magical, supernatural explanations for totally natural events, and that can allow persons to escape the complications of a lifestyle littered with concepts and activity. Only then, post-Realization, if it possible to relax, to take it easy, and to cycle beyond the complicated and enjoy the simple. Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]

Sunday, April 23, 2006

DISTORTING THE UNDERSTANDING, Part One

From a site visitor: “I thought Advaita Vedanta was a philosophical path or maybe a ‘spiritual movement.’ Reading some of the e-mail you’ve gotten, it seems some believe that it’s a religion. Which is it?”

F.: Thanks for your question. Advaita Vedanta is taken by some to be any of the above, by some to be all of the above, and by the Realized to be none of the above. The level of nonsense and debate that has evolved around Advaita Vedanta is not unlike the fabled argument engaged in by six men from India who, trying to satisfy their minds, determined that they would observe an elephant by “feeling” and determine its appearance, though all were actually blind. The first touched the side and determined that elephants look like walls, while the second felt the tusk and said that elephants look like spears. The third, who touched the trunk, concluded that elephants feel like snakes. The next felt the knee and said that elephants look just like trees, but the fifth touched an ear and came to believe that elephants look like fans. The last who touched the tail determined that elephants look just like ropes. The poet John Saxe drew this conclusion:

“So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!”


Today’s “theologic wars” are the curse of the relative existence. How has an understanding, which once provided simple steps to be followed in order to remove distortion, become so distorted and a part of the "theologic wars"? That is easily understood if it is realized that everything cycles from simplicity to complication and then back to a simple “state.” Distortion happens when persons fixate at the complicated level rather than completing the cycle and understanding the simplicity. For example:

1. In a void—which is as simple as it can get—a single hydrogen cell sprang forth. After dividing four times and reconnecting, helium evolved. Those two interacted and exploded into this universe. Everything on this planet was originally one atom. Simple.

2. In birds, animals, plants, or humans, a single cell can unite with another single cell and trigger a reaction that results in a multiplicity of cell clusterings that come to be identified as a “body” or as a tree or as whatever label humans assign. From a single unit, a body can evolve, a forest can evolve, a flock can evolve, a herd can evolve, a race can evolve. But eventually the “body” and all else will cycle back to the elements in an act of simplification as another cycle “completes.”

3. Pure consciousness manifests, but because of programming and conditioning and indoctrination, a complicated “mind” results (which is nothing more than an accumulation of beliefs, lies, and distortions that trigger more and more complications). If the cycle of the “mind” is “completed”—if the “mind” is allowed to cycle out of its imagined existence and end while the consciousness is still manifested—then simplification returns. If not, things remain complicated, but eventually the “mind” will cycle out of “existence” either way. It will end, “NOW” or “later.”

4. Historically, persons gathered in groups for protection and completion of the tasks that were required for meeting the physical needs of the body. They owned no land or houses and they accumulated nothing. Eventually, fixed communities formed and then some 35,000 years or so ago, the Aryan influence began to be spread across the globe as they practiced their beliefs in colonialism, imperialism, conquest, and either control or destruction. The value they assigned to “accumulation” took hold, societies evolved, ownership of land and other property was claimed, complications followed, rules and dogma evolved that were intended to try to control behavior and reduce complications (all to no avail), societal problems became more and more complicated, and today you see the global results.

The same happened with Advaita Vedanta. Originally, there was a simple understanding eventually summarized (but in the early going not even expressed) in the phrase “I AM THAT; I AM.” Organisms intuitively sensed the I AM. By instinct and observation they came to understand that the I AM does not manifest eternally. They saw others “die.” They saw that the animating force cycled. It came, it stayed for a time, and then it went. During the time it stayed, it wanted automatically to extend itself. Approach a bird and it will fly away from you. Why? To protect the I AM…to extend the manifestation of the consciousness that It Is. “Human-like creatures,” and later “human creatures,” lived just as spontaneously. Later still, as language developed, men began to try to explain the cycling. Other men eventually assumed religious or spiritual roles and they began to dream up more and more complicated components to tack onto the simple understanding, again to try to control behavior and conduct. Some would eventually dream up male and female gods in charge of various parts of an existence that was becoming more and more complicated, so they fabricated gods that were in charge of rain and thunder and agriculture and fertility and war, ad infinitum. Then, as they developed the primary addiction of humans (a desire to control) they developed as well the secondary addiction (a desire for power in order to control). They began to believe in magical, supernatural explanations for completely natural events, and they dreamed up magical, personal gods that were controlling from another realm the happenings in this realm. They introduced prayer, whereby they would beg the gods to give them what they wanted to extend the manifestation of the consciousness and eventually to try to satisfy the imagined needs and desires of the ego-states that they assumed as (false) identities.

Later, a man named Abraham said “There’s only one god, and he’s a male,” so those who accepted that explanation combined all of their gods and their godly duties into one “supreme” God or “Supreme Being.” Thus they combined their gods of creation, their gods of sustenance, and their gods of destruction into one, thereby fabricating the current concept of a schizophrenia god of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions that is a creator, a lover, a sustainer, a destroyer and a punisher. He can “love you unconditionally” but still has “conditions” that, if not met, will inspire him to kill you and torture you for eternity. Religions evolved, subdivisions of religions evolved, sects and denominations evolved, and more and more separation resulted. "Theologic wars" evolved into physical wars that continue to this day. The complications reached a stage where the relative existence can now be seen to be tantamount to insanity. That is what being out of touch with reality is like, and the Advaita “path” is one that can put persons back in touch with reality, free them from their insanity, and bring about Full Realization; however, that can only happen if the entire "journey" is completed.

Reality is simple. Lies and beliefs and distortions and ritual are complicated and thus insane. For tens of thousands of years, there was an understanding. Even with no name for that understanding, it was still understood. Then, as language and printing developed, men tried to codify the understanding. Advaita Vedanta beame one of six systems of philosophy in India and originally meant literally, “the end of the Vedas.” Around 800 A.D., some persons began to ignore the fact that the truth and the understanding are beyond the Vedas, said that part of the Vedas got it "wrong" but that part of the Vedas got it "right." They stopped their cycling and fixated their focus at the end of the Vedas (at the last section called “the Upanishads”). Rather than allowing even their attachment to the Vedas or the last part of it to end, they fixated there and now they cannot focus on or see what is beyond the Vedas, what is beyond religion, what is beyond the spiritual. That which can be understood via being in the quiet and tapping into the inner guru--the inner resource--is instead ignored as the focus for some persons is on an outer guru or some text thought to be "special." The truth cannot be stated. What need for a text or a guru to be worshipped or devoted to? The truth is within, not without. So corrupted has the consciousness become that yes, the offering of a few pointers and then the invitation to take those into comtemplation, can result in the basic, simple understanding exploding into (re-purified) consciousness. Upon realization, no gurus are taken to be real, no texts are taken to be "holy" or "different" or "special." Complications end and simplification returns.

But at that point in the bastardization of the original teachings, a simple understanding became more complicated as it was given a label and became one of six classical systems of Indian philosophy and then was shifted for some persons into something that was further complicated into something that was very religion-like as a result of adding texts, gurus to worship or be devoted to, rituals, action and doingness. The beingness is not seen, the non-beingness is not seen, and THAT Which I Am and THAT Which You Are and Which They Are (which is even beyond the beingness and the non-beingness) is not understood. Their abidance is not in the Absolute but is very much focused on a worldly existence which is a fraud...an illusion. Yet they stamp about in their sound and fury, trying to give significance to that which means nothing. So it is.

So is Advaita a philosophy, a religion, or a spirtual movement? It is none of those. It is a “path” of a few simple steps that can lead to an understanding that allows the cycling to complete, allows for a shift back to the simple that was, allows persons to become free of the complications, and allows persons to know again the simplicity that was before man-made concepts were dreamed up, developed, codified, published, analyzed and discussed, ad infinitum. Those man-made concepts that have been dreamed up and added to the simple understanding are the very elements that now prevent the grasping of that simple understanding. They trap persons in their religious and spiritual roles (along with all of their other roles that foster more complications and rituals and doings and dogma that in turn prevent persons from seeing the dreamed-up lies as lies and thereby prevent persons from understanding the functioning of the totality). Like those six men in the Indian fable who were trying to “satisfy their minds,” blind persons fixate in the "mind" stage while believing that they are in a spiritual stage, while thinking that they can see, and while mistaking appearances and feelings to be the Real. Those who complete the cycle understand. The rest, as Maharaj said, mistake the dawn for the noontime. Please enter into the silence of consideration. [To be continued]

Saturday, April 22, 2006

HOW RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL ROLE-PLAYING FOSTERS DUALITY AND DISTORTION

CLARIFICATIONS continued from yesterday in response to:
From a site visitor: "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."

2. Humans would have discretion over their actions…
…if they were Realized and thus knew they aren’t humans,
…if they were free of the effects of personality,
…if they were free of assuming false identities as True Identity,
…if they were free of chemical imbalances in the physical body,
…if they were free of the mental and emotional disorders that plague the earth’s population,
…if they were free of the subconscious programming and conditioning that blindly drive their conduct,
…if they were free of the effects of enculturation,
…if they were free of anger and irritability and restlessness,
...if they were not convinced that they understand fully what they do not understand fully,
...if they did not mistake the dawn for high noon, and
…if they were free of the confused belief systems that Advaita suggests they reject so they can be free—once and for all—of the effects of all concepts and beliefs.

Unfortunately, humans suffer the misconception of believing that they are making choices when they are making no choices at all but are being subconsciously driven by all of the above and more. "Discretion" is thus nothing more than another concept. The non-Realized have none. Among the Realized, living merely happens naturally and spontaneously as long as the consciousness is manifested.

3. You are correct in that the advice given by any religious authority or spiritual guru can be relevant only for a particular circumstance, that circumstance being…finding where on the “path” a seeker is and then providing the pointers required for a shift to the next level, to accommodate what you call “spiritual advancement” until Full Realization happens.

4. “Better” implies duality (the pair being “better-worse”) and is therefore no different from other dualities such as “good-bad” and “right-wrong” and “moral-immoral.” “Advaita” does literally mean “not two,” and the “not two” is not limited to the singular use of “God and I are one,” a conceptual belief that ego-states find delightful. For self-identified “worshippers” to claim that (a) they are worshipping and that (b) they are that which they worship is to admit that they are actually worshipping themselves (their false selves).
The ultimate “goal” of Advaita is the removal of all concepts and all dualistic thinking and beliefs. Why? Because “a dual-minded person is unstable in all ways.” Yet even that condition is irrelevant beyond this manifestation. Realized, there is no “one” to proclaim any assurance that he/she has the level of knowledge (along with the ability to know all future effects) that would allow for knowing—absolutely—that “this” will truly prove to be better than “that,” both now and in the longer run. "Freedom" is freedom from all concepts and beliefs and judgments. Contrary to some conclusions being drawn, there is no “judgment” being made that “religion is good” or “religion is bad” or that “playing spiritual roles is better or worse than not playing spiritual roles.” Religious or spiritual roles are required at the third level to shift the protégé away from accepting the limited identity of a physical body and away from the influence of the corrupted consciousness called “the mind.” The pointer is simply that religious roles and spiritual roles are roles and are therefore false, merely steps on a “path” that persons can continue along…or not.

So now, the point has been made and illustrated: those stuck in the third level do believe they know what is “good” and “right” and “better” for themselves, for others and for the world. Only further movement along the “path” (which is not spiritual advancement but is advancement beyond the spiritual) can shift one beyond the belief in all of the accumulated knowledge which is nothing more than learned ignorance and into the Child Ignorance stage. That “state” is the purer state of consciousness that existed prior to programming, indoctrination, conditioning, enculturation and accumulation of all of persons' learned ignorance…including that information that persons take to be their spiritual or religious beliefs and knowledge.

5. Finally, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The path to Realization is for a very few, and fewer still on that "path" will find that "Nisarga Yoga" (or “Natural Yoga”) is the approach for them. Many prefer the “advices” you reference and the "help" they think they are getting (accumulating) from advices in defining such dualistic ideas as “better or worse,” “good or bad” or “right or wrong” for persons absorbed in that “worldly living” you mention. As for that illusory, pre-Realization triad of body-mind-personality called "floyd," when the last ego-state dissolved, there was no longer a floyd to help or to be helped, but many experiences can happen along the way until there is no “one” to experience anything and until the roles of "The Helper" and "The Helped" also disappear. It has been observed that once the re-purified consciousness realizes what It Is, then no WHO or WHO's remain. It has also been observed in past sessions with proteges at various levels that "wet charcoal" will read one message into pointers, "dry charcoal" will read a different message, and those at the "gunpowder" level might simply have all of their past concepts and beliefs explode into non-existence and find that they have shifted beyond the false identities of “Religious Person” or “Spiritual Giant.” Then, they will not react to anything or anyone, will not go through the remainder of the relative existence with a “stick-up-the-rear” attitude, will be able to truly relax and take it easy, will pass through this relative existence by being but not being any role that is doing, and will not have any false, assumed identity that believes it needs to defend or fight for anything. From there, the “journey” can continue.
Please enter the silence of contemplation. [To be continued]

Friday, April 21, 2006

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

TODAY: FURTHER PAUSE FOR CLARIFICATION

F.: First, let the point be made that when the space called “floyd” was absorbed in Level Three—initially playing a religious role for years and then playing the Spiritual Giant role for many more years—there are few who were stuck there more firmly, who have defended those two false ego-states more vigorously, or who were as rigid in the dualistic beliefs of “rightness” and “wrongness” of how “they” could benefit…“if only.” By reaching the Witness Step, a person can look back objectively and see, and by reaching the Pure Witness Stage one can look back and see clearly. Then the movement along the "path" toward Full Realization can continue. Until then, "a little learning can be a dangerous thing," relatively speaking.

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."

CLARIFICATIONS:
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”

Thursday, April 20, 2006

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

[Please note: The “journey” to Realization has seven, clear-cut steps that must be taken in an exact order. The third step requires that persons first play a religious role or a spiritual role. Both must be transcended to continue, but either (or both) can serve as a step; however, it is far easier to move beyond a spiritual persona than a religious persona.]

TODAY: ANOTHER PAUSE FOR CLARIFICATION

F.: The Advaita message is currently being offered by use of a variety of approaches:

1. GURU: Some still use the earliest format whereby pointers are offered to those who sit before one playing the role of guru. (If the one called guru is realized, he knows that there is no guru, that he is merely playing a temporary role, and that there is only the inner guru which his pointers invite seekers to employ). He will allow a visitor to speak only to find out if he/she is at level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7. If the visitor is at level two, for example, the wise guru will give pointers regarding level three for that seeker to take into meditation (which is nothing more than finding a place to be quiet and alone and consider the pointers). The guru may allow a certain amount of exchange in order to receive feedback to determine if a protégé is (a) understanding the pointers or (b) missing the points and requiring more clarification, but the approach always sends the protege away to consider...and possibly to shift toward a purer level of the consciousness that We Are.

2. BOOKS: The Realized recognize no books as “holy.” Certain books offer collections of explanations, collections of what some take to be their wisdoms, explanations of ancient terms used by earlier gurus, or a variety of other subject matter.

3. TRANSCRIPTS: Some use collections of actual exchanges that took place between gurus and protégés. The reader can be a third party witness, and if the transcripts are sweeping enough that they include pointers that were offered to those at all levels (1-7), then the protégé might find all the pointers required to transcend each level to Realization. An example would be those which have been most widely circulated, the transcripts of talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE is another example with its transcripts of sessions in which protégés were guided through the steps in sequence.

Some who involve themselves with the Advaita philosophy focus on one of three approaches, sometimes debating which is “right” or “best.” Just as religious persons argue about “the correct dogma,” “the right denomination or sect,” and “the right way to practice the faith,” spiritual personas sometimes debate their various approaches and argue about (4 below) whether one should seek knowledge or (5 below) whether one should worship and be a devotee or (6 below) whether one should always be subsumed in the performance of spiritual activities.

4. JNANA SITES OR MEETINGS: Some meet to exchange or gain knowledge, or some websites post topics and then post entries from persons who are sharing their knowledge and/or opinions.

5. WORSHIP SITES OR MEETINGS: Some meet to discuss the teachings offered by a guru who used the approach that they think was the “right” approach or the “best” approach. Or, some spend time in the quiet, experiencing their devotion to a guru or to that guru’s teachings. Alone or in groups, those at level three worship something or someone or experience their devotion to someone or something. Of course, the realized accept no “right-wrong” or “best-worst” dualities. Too, the realized have transcended any guru-devotee duality and via the inner guru have reached a no-concept, no subject-object, no separation “state.” Devotees think this is the most effective way to reach realization, but what is really “effective”? Pointers that would be effective for shifting to level four a seeker who is fixated at level three would be totally ineffective for another seeker at level two or one who is already at level four. What is “effective” is the ability to detect where on the “path” a particular seeker is and then having the ability to offer pointers that can allow the seeker to transcend the stage where she/he is currently fixed and to shift to the next level, all the way to Full Realization.

6. ACTION SESSIONS: These sessions can involve (a) an individual who takes the action of going through her/his rituals or disciplines or practices or can involve (b) groups gathering to practice their disciplinary actions or to conduct what they call “spiritual practices” or "spiritual exercises."

Regarding those three, it can be said that—while on the “path” to Realization—one can focus on one method or another or can try all three methods. Post-Realization, what need could there be for any of those three methods…or any method? Those who worship or who involve themselves in their spiritual disciplines are generally able to compile very promptly a list of the various benefits they claim to receive from their "doings." The Advaitic questions are, “WHO is receiving any benefit? WHO thinks he/she is helping?” When Full Realization happens, no WHO’s remain. When Full Realization happens and you understand that you are not in the world but that the world is in you, WHO is going to improve the world? So many want others to adopt their practices or beliefs, convinced that together they can change the world, yet none of them can even change the faulty programming that has resulted in “their minds” which are convincing them that there’s a world to change and they are the ones who can do it.

Nothing in religion points away from religion. Everything in the Advaita teachings point away from Advaita and away from all concepts, including the assumption of personas as identities which claim that “I am a Gatherer of knowledge”; “I am a Disseminator of jnana”; “I am a Jnani”; "I am a Guru"; “I am a Devotee”; “I am a Bhakta”; “I am an Action-Taker,” “I am a Doer of Spiritual Activities”; “I am a Worshipper”; or I am a Teacher.” Should you find that You Are none of those, you might reside in the “I Am” until such time as the “I Am That” is also realized. [You may see the posting for 17 April 2006 for more].

7. COMBINATIONS: [Such is this site] The “forum” aspect of this site is not allowed to supersede the "pointer/consideration" aspect. This approach attempts in its limited way to use the earliest method of sharing the Advaitic teachings: questions or comments are accepted; pointers are offered; reactions are not recognized; occasionally responses are offered since they can reveal what clarification needs to be provided for those who have missed the points; and then always the invitation is to go into the silence and to contemplate rather than to react. (That said, links on this site can connect visitors to a variety of other sites that use different methods or that deal with one particular level. Why? A person at level two might not find here on any given day what is required for the shift to level three but might find on another site what is needed to shift to the next stage.)

Pointers on this site will almost always be rejected by persons. Pointers on this site will almost always inspire persons to want to debate the pointers. Personas will always respond in ways that defend their false "state of being-this" or "state of being-that." The site does not enter into such exchanges for that approach is not in alignment with the ancient method that “worked” to whatever degree anything can “work.” Why? My Cherokee grandmother taught me an ancient rule called the “Three-Moon Rule”: after a pointer was offered, protégés could not argue or debate or react for seventy-two hours. They had to take the pointers into meditation, which originally involved no humming or burning of candles or wicks, no goal of being totally-out-of-touch, and no element of chanting or worship; instead, the purpose was to take the time to sit still, to be quiet, and to contemplate each pointer that each ego-state disagrees with and find how the pointer might actually reveal something that could move the seeker beyond her/his current fixated position on the “journey” and into the next level. Please enter the silence of contemplation.
TOMORROW: A response to a person at level three, offering clarifications that might allow other visitors to avoid misunderstandings and to move to their next level.

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”

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

WORSHIP AND WORSHIPPERS: Duality and Ego-States

“There are so many who take the dawn for noon, [who take] a momentary experience for full realization and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride.”--Maharaj

FROM A SITE VISITOR: “What is your comment on 'Bhakti,' the path of devotion to achieving realization? Would you say that its only stage #3? I have come to believe that its not only possible, but also much easier, to attain realization by 'Bhakti' alone with no attempt to build 'Jnana' (knowledge) whatsoever. Thanks, Sanjay"

F.: Greetings, Sanjay. Thank you for a relevant question and an insightful comment. What I learned from my vision, which was confirmed by my guide, was that bhakti generally involves adoration and devotion. If that is accepted as a working definition, then indeed the practice would require someone or something to adore or someone of something to be devoted to. And if that is accepted, then bhakti is practiced on many levels by those not-realized as well as those moving along the path to realization.
I have witnessed persons who are identified with nothing but the physical body who adore their bodies and the bodies of others and who are devoted to their bodies and to the bodies of others. Theirs is body-bhakti. I have witnessed persons at level two who are devoted to their "minds" and the content thereof, who seem to worship their "knowledge" (a.k.a., learned ignorance.) They practice "mind" bhakti. That avails them nothing, so I concur that persons are wasting time and effort if they have as a goal to seek gnana/jnana of any form or class. If persons transcend worship of both the body and the "mind" or the seeking of knowledge, then their next level on the "journey" you have rightly identified as Stage Three (of the seven-step "journey" to Reality): there, they will devote themselves to someone or something or will worship or adore someone or something that is beyond the physical and beyond the mental. Many generally describe that as a "spiritual" or "metaphysical" or "religious" stage. It is a stage that cannot be skipped and must be experienced. Yet haven't the realized shifted beyond such duality?
To declare, "I am devoted to this or that" can happen at the Step Five Witness stage with its subject-object experiences, yet the Pure Witness is beyond, witnesses NO duality, and would observe that It Is either (a) whatever it worshipped or adored or was devoted to or (b) that whatever it worshipped, adored or was devoted to was an illusion and that "Devotee" is merely another state-of-being-this-or-that...another false role, another ego-state. The jnana/jnani stage must be transcended, the devotion stage must be transcended, the child ignorance state must be revisited, the S-O duality must happen, but eventually the True Self can witness purely, and all of that which came before pure witnessing is seen for what it was: another stop along the "journey" away from ALL and to NOTHING (to the freedom on "no concepts"). Adoration, devotion and objects or concepts thereof are still "SOMETHING." (By the way, my teacher, fully realized, still organized bhajans in his loft on a bi-daily basis for years, though they were "attention-getters," offerings that drew to the presence of the pure consciousness those persons who would later be ready for the full "journey" but who were at the time in stage three devotion and adoration. So it was. So it can be now. Eventually, however, he refused those and addressed only those proteges who were "gunpowder," not fixed in the "wet charcoal" or "dry charcoal" stage.) Best regards and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write. f.

Religious and spiritual ego-states have experiences such as mistaking the sunrise for high noon. A sunrise can appear to be beautiful and can generate emotional intoxication, but appearances and emotional intoxication are the very stuff that prevent Full Realization. Religious and spiritual persons mistake a “momentary experience” for Full Realization and in that process end up destroying whatever they have “gained.” In that process, all opportunity to know true peace and tolerance are lost. The use of assets to relieve misery and suffering are redirected toward “destroying.”
See how that plays out in the relative existence: the U.S. Government is currently in the hands of self-proclaimed religious people who worship their “god” and his “son.” See their emotional intoxication. See how they mistake their religious experiences for awakening. See how they foster neither peace nor tolerance. See how they assign assets to be used for destroying. No argument is offered to counter their claim that they are "religious people” and “worshippers.” The pointer is, those are ego-states that (1) if transitioned might allow for Full Realization but (2) if not transcended will generate the same disharmony and misery and destruction that any other ego-state will generate. For Full Realization to happen--and for peace and tolerance to happen--all ego-states must be transcended...including religious and spiritual ego-states. Please enter the silence of contemplation.

Monday, April 17, 2006

HOW RELIGION “NORMALIZES” MAGICAL THINKING AND MISUNDERSTANDING CAUSE, Part Twelve

[Please note: The “journey” to Realization has seven, clear-cut steps that must be taken in an exact order. The third step requires that persons first play a religious role or a spiritual role. Both must be transcended to continue, but either (or both) can serve as a step; however, it is far easier to move beyond a spiritual persona than a religious persona.]

F.: If the kind of supernatural or magical thinking that is fostered by religions could be compartmentalized, then all the misery caused by persons who have been religiously programmed and indoctrinated over the ages might be innocent enough. It might even seem childishly humorous or even “cute” in some provincial way. Unfortunately, the facts reveal that such distorted thinking (which results in distorted, destructive behavior) has caused too much misery and false sense of separation and devastation over the centuries to be humorous or cute. For 87% of Christians worldwide to believe that Mary was a virgin (even though she got pregnant and gave birth to several children) might be dismissed as childish or unsophisticated thinking, but when that same group believes that the destruction of 9-11 and of Hurricane Rita were god’s work, then they will seek neither true cause nor rational response. The problems will continue when cause is assigned to "an angry god."

Ninety-nine percent of all Jews believe that a god had Moses lead their ancestors to “holy” land that the god “promised” to them. (In fact there was no 40-year exodus. Moses simply took a pagan tale of a god with a magic rod who led his followers to a land of “milk, honey and wine”; then Moses inserted himself into a tale that was 500-years old in his day and wrote his version which is now considered part of a “holy” text.) For those Jews to ignore the true origin of that story and to take it literally might be humorous except their belief that a god promised them that land has resulted in over 4000 years of “holy wars” and divine-sanctioned killing.

100% of Islamic males interviewed recently really accept their religious programming and are certain that if they die killing Christians or Jews that they’ll get an eternal orgy as a reward. That picture of heaven not being “a happy hunting-ground” but “a celestial humping-ground” would be humorous if it had not inspired 1300 years of killing by Muslim males in order to earn admission to a never-ending sex romp.

Are there no basic truths in any religious teachings? Of course there are. The teachings of Jesus Christ included the Advaitic wisdom that he presented during his final three-year “ministry,” but Christians don’t discuss those teachings. Instead, they’ve engaged in a 2000-year debate over virginal vs. vaginal birth. Some stories in the Torah might have modern-day relevance, but Jews and Judaeo-Christians focus on old laws that restrict diet, that call for the killing of homosexuals, and that endorse the killing of wives found not to be virgins. With the focus on the magical, the mysterious and the miraculous, nothing real will be ever seen by those indoctrinated with dogma. Yet your original e-mail claimed that religions were “advantageous.” How can belief in lies ever be an “advantage”? Lies cannot be detected and truth cannot be grasped unless all magical thinking and all beliefs in man-made dogma and concepts are cast aside. Then, each individual can focus on finding the truth that is within…the truth that no man or woman or book can state.

Look to some of the specific instances of misery and ignorance in the relative existence that result from such magical thinking. Find people who don’t know how babies are made and you’ll find people so subsumed in the beliefs programmed into them by religion that they’ll blame flooding deaths on an angry god rather than on poorly designed levees and government agencies that ignore warning that flooding is imminent. Find people who have been so indoctrinated that they assign a religious cause to everything and you’ll also find people who are blind to government policies that inspire attacks by foreigners and who instead blame the attack on a god who hates “non-Christians, gays, and liberated women.” Develop a population of people so ignorant that they believe in virgin birth and in a god that kills through use of violent weather systems or through the use of foreign agents and you’ll have a population that assigns cause to events that have no relationship to the real cause at all. And find people that assign cause to events that have no relationship to the real cause at all and you’ll have a population that never finds viable solutions for the problems they face.

Again, magical thinking might be considered “advantageous” or innocent enough—maybe even childishly humorous or even cute in some provincial way—until it is seen that illogical, magical thinking can set an entire population on a course that ultimate sets them up for far more problems than can be imagined. Problems are prevented or solved by rational analysis, not by irrational people who think magically and supernaturally and therefore miss all opportunity to find cause and effect relationships that can solve—and many times prevent—the misery that persons suffer. The relative impact of magical thinking is overwhelming because idiocy, ignorance, and irrationality cannot be compartmentalized. Its impact is not restricted to the buildings in which the supernatural thinking is programmed into the masses. Instead, their distorted thinking and bizarre perceptions are taken outside their "holy" buildings and are allowed to impact every aspect of personal, local, state, national and international interactions of the bizarrely-programmed persons of the planet. Please enter the silence of contemplation.
TOMORROW, THE REVERSE IS DISCUSSED: HOW RELIGION “ABNORMALIZES” THE NORMAL