Thursday, May 31, 2007

NARCISSISTS AND THE NON-REALIZED, Part Four

F.: Is it becoming clearer why NPD blocks Realization? All of the "personal traits" that are eliminated via Realization are the stock and trade of narcissists. The characteristics that narcissists develop and cling to are traits that narcissists are not likely to ever want to abandon. In their "minds," those traits make them "who they are."
If you examine the mythological Narcissus that provided the name for this disorder, another understanding might be attained. As the tale goes, a flower near the edge of a body of water grew out over the water and then downward in a way that allowed it to look at itself. Supposedly, since all that it could see was itself, it fell in love with itself. That is not quite the case with actual narcissists, though it is true that all they can see is themselves...is their false self. While narcissists can only see the reflected (false) self, the fact is that, unlike their namesake, they are not really in love with themselves (that is, with their True Self).

As with Narcissus, narcissists are really only in love with their image and their appearance, but the real difference in narcissists and their mythological namesake is that at some never-recognized level, they hate the false self and all the work required to sustain the image, but they will not abandon that mission. The life of a narcissist, therefore, always involves living in the mirror. Many narcissists will talk of love, but if one is only in love with a self-image—is only in love with self—then ultimately that person is not capable of loving “another.”
A narcissist is especially unable to love the Realized that are in touch with the True Self (and will actually hate what they see in the Realized) because the Realized will not mirror the narcissist and reinforce the false. Such hatred reveals that narcissists, at some level, feel insecure and threatened and vulnerable (for fear of their image being seen as false). Their desire to feel secure and strong will drive them to try to overpower everyone either by manipulation, by kindness or (if that fails) by brute force.

It should now be clearer why the point was offered in an earlier post that

only in the absence of personality, and thus in the absence of that personality disorder called "narcissism" which inspires an attachment to false images, can the True Self be known and can true peace happen.

Here's another case study as an example. Because narcissists cannot know True Love (that is, un-self-ish, unconditional, unconditioned Love), they mistake many other emotions for love. For example, consider the narcissistic woman with a sense of entitlement, discussed in one chapter from the book CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS. Her case is a reminder that (1) all personality is rooted in childhood adaptations in response to dysfunctionalism, that (2) personality disorders fixate when childhood adaptations become adult personality traits, that (3) personality disorders are, therefore, rooted in concepts that were learned experientially during childhood but are carried over into adulthood, and that (4) childhood survival skills, and the subsequent childish thinking and behavior, work very poorly when applied to adult-age circumstances, relatively speaking.

In that case from the book CASTING LIGHT, the woman’s father told her at eighteen that he would send her brother to college but would not pay for her to attend. His advice to her was, “You’re good-looking. Go get a job until you find a man to take care of you.” Her mother added, “If you manipulate men with love, you can get anything you’ll ever want or need.” The subliminal message behind those statements included, “Your brother is valuable but you are not” and “Use your body and your looks to attract men. Then, use love as tool to manipulate them into taking care of you and you'll live a good life.”
Later, she would share that "men always make women feel like whores." In truth, it was her parents who taught her to use the same strategy that prostitutes use, namely, attract men with your body and fake them out with "love" in order to get money and be taken care of. The woman did not become a professional prostitute, per se, but her parents' advice did turn her into what some call a "lifestyle whore," driven to use body and looks, skilled at manipulating men, and willing to "fake love" in order to attain the lifestyle she wants. (Narcissistic men prey on certain women in the same way.)

Those words of her parents became her marching orders for life because they programmed and conditioned her to be narcissistic, to be a user, to be a manipulator, to believe that love is nothing more than a tool, and to identify with body alone. As far as the pointer that narcissists cannot know True Love but they mistake many other emotions as love, that applies as well: the woman in the case study has never earned her own way and has accumulated huge debts when alone. She married multiple times, always going for the wealthy man who was attracted to her looks and who was in a position to meet her financial desires and needs and to assuage her financial fears. Each time that some man was willing to “take care of her” (that is, was willing to “bail her out” and pay off her financial debts and cover all her expenses) she always mistook the feeling of “relief” for the emotion of “love.”

Now, compare her traits to the traits of narcissists in yestersday’s post that were taken from the DSM-IV: preoccupied with success, power, beauty, and ideal love, that is with “idealized” love; want to associate only with high-status, wealthy people; appear to care about people in order to use them; feel entitled; and are takers. Those are also the traits of the non-Realized, the traits that attach persons to their roles, that make them dependent and co-dependent, and that will almost always prevent them from ever seeking authenticity and Realization.

As far as “love” goes, narcissists are, of course, not the only ones giving lip service to it without having a clue about the unicity and True Self and what, therefore, “True Love” involves in this relative existence. For example, in another chapter of CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS, the results of a survey of newlyweds are provided. 1000 women offered the top fifteen reasons they had recently married their husbands and 1000 men offered the top ten reasons that they had recently married their wives. What was not included in any of the top 25 reasons for marrying their spouses, as provided by the 2000 recently-married people who were surveyed? Guess. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
(FOR THE ANSWER AND FOR MORE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN CASTING LIGHT)
  • Click CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    NARCISSISTS AND THE NON-REALIZED, Part Three

    F.: Being so far removed from the Unchanging Reality (and thus so attuned to chaos and disorder and change and instability), narcissists will fluctuate and, as a result, will hate tomorrow what they love today; will contradict tomorrow what they say today; will deny tomorrow having said what they said today; and will claim today that they love peace but tomorrow will start a war. Being so far removed from the peace of knowing the True Self, they will attach to the fighting that is required to defend their false images and ego-states. They will be driven, and (as has been pointed out on this site before) he who is driven has no control over where he goes or how he goes…even if he is deluded into thinking he is in control.

    Ultimately, they will be driven by their enthrallment with, and passion for, their false self. They will chase in their self-absorbed and merciless fashion their own indulgences, desires and authority, all to one end: to preserve at all costs their public persona, their well-honed illusion, and their counterfeit image which they present and which they believe is real. Narcissists can be effective teachers to this degree: observant seekers can see that everything narcissists do, say, feel or think is a cataloguing of what must be abandoned in order for Realization to happen.

    For a more complete picture of the narcissist, review the traits of those exhibiting the Narcissistic Personality Disorder as reported in the DSM-IV.

    Narcissists display an exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., they exaggerate their achievements and talents and expect to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements); they exhibit a sense of grandiosity; one of their favorite statements in this area is, “I don’t have to put up with that.” Grandiosity and self-importance block Realization.

    Narcissists display a preoccupation with their fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love, living in their own “world” and reacting with affront when “reality” dares to intrude. Belief in fantasies and their false "world" blocks Realization.

    Narcissists believe that they are special and can only be understood by, or should only associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions; many a narcissist has been “born into” a “high-status institution” such as a church or mosque or temple or business or political family or has been “re-born” into a “high-status” institution such as a church or mosque or temple or spiritual group; those associated with religious or spiritual groups often epitomize the height of religious and/or spiritual arrogance as well as the “my way or the highway” mentality. Believing in the duality of “special vs. non-special” as well as fixating at the third of seven steps to Reality (the religious or spiritual step) will block Full Realization.

    Narcissists display an excessive requirement for admiration, wanting praise, compliments, expressions of envy, and reinforcement of their belief that they are better than all others; they appear to care about people, but they only use people because narcissists have a need for regular affirmation of their image by the masses in order for the narcissists to continue to believe that their image is real; at some deep, subconscious level, the narcissist knows that he/she is bogus and is a complete phony, but by working continuously to impress the masses or a selected group of people who are easily fooled by the narcissist’s act, the narcissist’s image receives the confirmation that it requires in order for the warped consciousness of the narcissist to continue to believe that its image is real. Attachment to a false self-image blocks Realization.

    Narcissists display a sense of entitlement, believing that they deserve favorable treatment; the sense of entitlement also convinces them that all of their desires or needs should be met by others; thus, attractive female narcissists with that sense of entitlement (which convinces them that they should be taken care of) are often willing to trade their good looks for security, status, and/or position; likewise, financially-successful male narcissists (convinced that they are entitled to have all of their wishes fulfilled) are often willing to trade their income for an attractive mate who is willing to fulfill their every desire and provide status by proxy; in the end, a narcissist believes that the only justification for dealing with people is to use them to the benefit of the narcissist. To believe that one is “different” and deserves more than “others” blocks Realization.

    Narcissists display a pattern of selfishly taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends; they are users and takers and will get what they want, no matter the effect on anyone else. Belief in “needs” and “others” will block Realization.

    Narcissists display a total inability to feel empathy. The inability to know and feel the unicity will block Realization.

    Narcissists display an envy of others while believing that others should envy them. Arrogance and concepts about “others” block Realization.

    Narcissists display arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors and attitudes. Beliefs that generate those behaviors and attitudes block Realization.
    Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    NARCISSISTS AND THE NON-REALIZED, Part Two

    F.: If you do not adumbrate every idea and belief held by narcissists, then their greatest desire is for you to be destroyed. They might try to destroy you financially or in terms of your feelings or even literally. Yet even if you adumbrate their every idea and belief, even if you try to meet their many demands, even if you acquiesce to their many desires, and even if you play into their unlimited fears that are hidden behind their cloak of bravado, you will still not be good enough, on any regular basis. The desire for conflict, destruction, judgment and self-serving concepts will prevent Realization.

    You will never be able to please narcissists consistently because their desires and expectations are constantly shifting; therefore, they cannot be pleased (their public display of confidence and stability and calm notwithstanding). Pointing out your failures or shortcomings is easy for them, but as far as recognizing any of their own personality disorders or defects or failures, it will not likely ever happen. (One experienced psychotherapist who meets monthly with her peers said most agree that, for them, the two most difficult disorders to treat are eating disorders and narcissism.) The failures of narcissists will always be subjected to “the spin,” and they will claim their failures are really successes…or will be very soon. And if all does not turn out the way they predicted, it is your fault and/or the fault of others. Certainly no failure could possibly have anything to do with them. The propensity to spin lies rather than seek truth will block any opportunity for Realization to happen.

    If you spend time in private with narcissists, that savoir faire image that they display in public will be shown to be a phony act, but they will still take their public image to be real. You will be shocked at some point at the level of rage that they can occasionally display. (They use rage in the unnatural way that some persons use sex, actually feeling a sense of relief in the state of exhaustion that follows their outbursts and feeling a sense of release that comes after the sharp elevation, and subsequent sharp decrease, in levels of adrenaline.) Attachment to phoniness, to images, and to rage will always block Realization.

    You will no longer even recognize the one who you thought you knew, and that has to be the case since the narcissist does not know Who/What He or She Truly Is either. It is all image. You will eventually begin to "walk on eggshells" in their presence in an effort to avoid triggering another outburst. Those around narcissists or in dependent relations with them (employee, spouse, etc.) take adaptive measures because narcissists are not likely to ever change; therefore, those who stay around them must adapt in order to survive, either figuratively or literally.

    As a result, those dealing with narcissists can eventually become as far removed from reality and the True Self as the narcissists. You’ll fail to keep the peace you're trying to maintain, of course, since narcissists really hate the peace, deep inside. The power they have over you and others is their aphrodisiac, whether their power is in the form of economic power, religious power, spiritual power, psychological power, military power, sexual power, powers of manipulation or any other form that relative power might take. Attachment to power and to delusions of grandeur blocks Realization.

    And it will do no good to discuss with friends or family what the narcissist is like behind closed doors. The public persona is too fixed in the minds of those who have seen the narcissist and who have observed the public image that is displayed. And the reason that the public image of the narcissist is so fixed in their minds is because it is so fixed in the mind of the narcissist who truly believes his/her own lies, who really thinks she/he is that image being displayed, who really thinks he/she is "good" and "right" and "moral"...always and in all ways. Narcissists have no motivation to seek a different understanding because they are convinced that their beliefs or ideas or concepts or perceptions are always right. In fact, because they are always right, there is no need for introspection. The last thing a narcissist would ever do would be to question himself/herself. They never have to consider whether they are "right or wrong"...it's a given that their way is the right way. You will be labeled the one with a problem…not them. Narcissists and their supporters are “good and right” and those with differing views are “evil and wrong.” Attachment to concepts rooted in duality will prevent Realization.

    Entire cultures or nations have become embroiled in their narcissistic leaders’ ego-based illusions and have taken them to be “their reality” as well. What egomaniac does not want to hear a megalomaniac declare that his nation is the greatest? Who among the non-Realized does not want to hear that his team is the greatest, that his town is the greatest, or that his religion is "the right one"? If a narcissist hears an Advaitin speak of “illusions” and “false images” and “phoniness” and "dogma that amounts to nothing more than modern versions of ancient myths," those words will trigger a contemptuous reaction from narcissists who hate what they will dismiss as "lofty nonsense." In contrast, those who begin to awaken to any degree at all are more likely to seek "the path to truth" and a guide to lead them through the steps to Realization.

    Relatedly, nothing invokes more hatred in a narcissist than one who suggests being rid of phony images. No attack is perceived as more threatening to narcissists than a suggestion that their image is bogus. They are convinced that they really are the images that they display with such style and aplomb, and those who see only the roles that narcissists display in public are just as convinced. The desire to play-act (and to create and sustain false roles) will always prevent Realization.

    Popular opinions regarding many narcissists will include the belief that “anyone seen in public to be so 'good,' so confident, so caring, so loving, so generous and so strong cannot possibly be living out an illusion. They cannot possibly be phony because they appear too sincere and too real; they must be the genuine article.” If you can’t “get along with them” or if you "don’t go along with them," then you are surely the one who is warped and wrong. They are fun to be around in public and they often make others "feel good," so any who do not agree with them will be dismissed as being "jealous or confused or just plain wrong."

    Narcissists are the actors who take the starring role in The Drama of the Lie, and everything they do or say is pre-scripted. Their original lines were written by their programmers during childhood. Now they constantly write and revise and modify their lines so that the stage characters that they are playing will be taken to be real by everyone in their audiences. On stage, they can appear to play an humble role, but they actually hate sharing the spotlight with anyone else. Everyone is supposed to be a member of their audience, applauding them so enthusiastically that their inner sense of worthlessness is transformed into a sense of grand value.

    Narcissists constantly seek reassurance that their images are real, so they need the masses to buy into their phony images and show respect and admiration for those images. When that happens, narcissists take that as confirmation that their phony images are real. They need those constant assurances in order to suppress any occasional feelings that might try to rise from deep within that would say, "You're a fraud and a fake and a phony." While trying to show publicly how kind and caring they are, their message is that if they have to be sadistic and destructive, it is because others “asked for it” by not following orders given or advice offered or warnings proffered. Is it becoming clear why NPD blocks the "path" to Realization for narcissists? Is it becoming clear that they model for seekers everything that must be abandoned in order for Full Realization to happen? Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

    Monday, May 28, 2007

    NARCISSISTS AND THE NON-REALIZED, Part One

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: Why would you attack Anglos-Saxons as being more narcissistic than anyone else? I think if you look around you’ll see that other races are causing more troubles on the planet than the Anglo-Saxons.

    F.: The first suggestion to you is to find WHO wrote this e-mail. Obviously, some false self certainly took something personally and then tried to shift the focus to “other races.” Next, though the Narcissistic Personality Disorder(NPD) can now be seen to dominate persons of many races and cultures all across the planet, the pointer offered yesterday was that Anglo-Saxon nations have historically shown a higher rate of narcissism than others. Aryans have been attacking and pillaging and plundering and taking and using and abusing for tens of thousands of years, a "right" assumed by all narcissists.
    Further, modern researchers (conducting psychological, personality, and/or enneagram studies on an international basis) have uncovered higher than usual rates of narcissism among four nations specifically that have traditionally had Aryan-majority populations. If you study the traits of those with the “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” and then study world history, you’ll see evidence of what those studies now confirm. Why should Aryans especially be aware of the findings?

    Suppose you were a member of a family that has historically been prone to heart disease. The(relative) interest of your physical health would be served if you were made aware of the fact. Suppose you were a member of a race that has historically been the one that is most prone to suffering from sickle cell anemia. The (relative) interest of your physical health would be served if you were made aware of the fact. Then, suppose you were a member of a race that has historically been the one that is most prone to suffering from “The Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” The (relative) interest of your mental and emotional health would be served if you were made aware of that fact.
    Yet the typical narcissist could read this entire series that begins today and relate to none of the description of a narcissist, so it's not really for them. Instead, the postings in this series might enlighten some readers who are only beginning to adopt some of the traits of NPD and inspire them to stop that process. It might also enlighten some just enough to inspire them to stop empowering the narcissists in their relative lives or in their cultures or in their nations, once it is seen how dramatically narcissists continue to impact the relative existence of most on the planet.

    As for the writer of the e-mail above, to move beyond your resentment, focus not on a perceived attack on your race but on the Advaita pointer that was being offered: peace and narcissism cannot co-exist, and Realization cannot happen as long as a narcissistic personality is present. Forget “them” then or “them” now. Forget "this race" or "that race" and focus on this: What about “you,” right now? Which narcissistic behaviors are marking "your" relative existence?
    There are several reasons why narcissism was mentioned on an Advaita site: (1) narcissism blocks Realization; (2) persons across the globe have been, and are being, dominated and abused and used by those with the NPD disorder…in their “personal relations”…in their nations…and on the international stage; (3) the Advaita philosophy deals with being free of false images while narcissism inspires the adoption and maintenance of false images/ego-states; (4) ego-states and narcissistic arrogance have historically generated most of the misery on the planet and still continue to do so; and (5) because the influence of narcissistic nations is being imposed more and more on a global basis, more and more narcissistic behaviors are manifesting since cultures with narcissistic populations are modeling that behavior which, in turn, is manifesting in many cultures across the planet.

    Therefore, the relevance to the Advaita Teachings should be clear: if one personality disorder had to be named that, more than any other, prevents the Realization process from happening, it would be NPD. The topic for consideration today is, “Why would ‘The Narcissistic Personality Disorder,’ more than any other, prevent Realization?”

    Consider the traits of the relative existence of narcissists (and of your relative existence if dealing with dominating narcissists) in contrast to the traits of the Realized who live in the peaceful, AS IF fashion that was discussed on 27 May 2007. See how pervasive and domineering (and often popular) narcissists are on the planet in their roles of political leaders, employers, power brokers, entertainers, and yes, spouses. Moreover, realize that you have dealt with narcissists and that you are dealing with them on a daily basis right now, an assertion that can be made with confidence since so many persons on the planet are exhibiting the traits of the disorder. So, to understand narcissists, note first that what you see is never what you get with narcissists. They are in a constant state of flux, working to maintain a kind image one day but later revealing a brutal inner core.
    The narcissist is the one you have admired, the one who you found to be at least somewhat physically attractive per your culture’s standards, the one who inspired you and charmed you, the one who lifted you up when you were down, the one who convinced you to give him/her your vote, the one who convinced you that you had finally found "Mr. or Ms. Right," the one who shared her/his beliefs and concepts with such conviction that you adopted those beliefs and accepted them as “right.” The narcissist is the one that seemed to have it so “together” that you emulated or admired that person. The narcissist is the one that might have made you feel "in love" to some degree and also made you feel "loved" or "truly cared about" to some degree when in that person’s presence or when hearing that person speak on television.

    But the narcissist is also the one who, at some point, turned on you, inexplicably. As a leader, he was eventually shown to be adept at spinning the truth or to be an outright liar. If you entered into a "personal relationship" or a work-related "relationship" with a narcissist, that person's facade eventually began to fall on occasion and revealed a person who was not charming at all but was seen to be a ruthless cutthroat whose tongue could be a most vile weapon. The narcissist was seen to be one who talked about beliefs but who did not adhere to them because social standards only apply to the other, "lesser" individuals in any society.
    The narcissist is the one who will claim to be so dedicated to peace that he/she is willing to send you off to fight and to die for the peace that the narcissist claims to want. The narcissist is the one who can tout his/her religious or spiritual principles one day but can violate them all the next. The narcissist is the one who can justify the use of physical torture when dealing with those he takes to be "the enemy" or mental and emotional torture when dealing with a spouse or employee who is not meeting every demand or expectation. The narcissist is not the harmless rope that, at first glance, was mistaken to be a deadly snake. The narcissist is the deadly snake that, at first glance, was taken to be a harmless rope.
    If you are seeking Realization but are adopting some of the narcissistic tendencies that will be discussed in the upcoming posts, they will have to be abandoned before any movement along the path to Realization can happen. If you are moving along the path with some hope that one or more full-blown narcissists affecting your relative existence might change, abandon that hope. It will not likely happen. For today, the invitation is to determine why narcissism blocks Realization. Begin by considering this: the Advaita Teachings offer a means by which one can escape entrapment in personality (that is, can be free of identifying with a persona or false self) in order to escape relative existence suffering and misery. For narcissists, generating suffering and misery is the very essence of their relative existence. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    “AS IF LIVING” and NON-ATTACHMENT

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: Two questions: you mentioned AS IF living on Friday. What exactly does that entail? You also talk about giving up my attachments to those I care about. Why is that a requirement? It seems this is more about loss than about ordinary living. (Not trying to be argumentative--just wondering.) Please explain. Thank you. William

    F.: Hello William. Your question was not taken to be argumentative. The topics of AS IF living and non-attachment have both been treated thoroughly on the site. Here’s how to search for past discussions of a topic, using AS living as an example:
    1. In the white area at the top left of this page, next to the term SEARCH BLOG, type AS IF.
    2. Click SEARCH BLOG.
    3. Click EDIT at the top of the page.
    4. Click FIND (on This Page) on the drop-down menu.
    5. Next to “Find what:” re-type AS IF in that new window.
    6. Click FIND NEXT. Each time you click it, you'll be taken down the page to the next instance where the word appeared in prior postings. The term will be highlighted.

    Meanwhile, here are some pointers for consideration that describe what AS IF living is like, meaning, what the relative existence is like for the remainder of the manifestation of consciousness, post-Realization:

    1. First, this IS all about loss if “loss” refers to the loss of false beliefs, false identities, false words, false fears, false desires, ad infinitum. Ultimately, it is found that there is neither loss nor gain. There is the beingness, the non-beingness, and that which is beyond both.

    2. During the seven-step “journey” to Realization, a lessening of interest in things dealing with what you took to be “your world” will be witnessed. As protégés move farther away from the lies of their cultures and closer to the truth that can be understood but that cannot be stated, the consciousness becomes more and more purified. Understand that when the consciousness has been re-purified, one does not become an “unfeeling, uncaring robot” (to use the words of one visitor who took that to be the end result of Full Realization). In fact, an objective witness would have to conclude that he can detect no difference in the AS IF lifestyle of the Realized and anyone else that could be considered “ordinary” or “normal” or living in a completely natural fashion. The Realized feel but they witness feelings as they rise and fall instead of becoming trapped in a state of emotional intoxication and chain reactions induced by ego and its associated anger and fear.

    3. As for your question regarding attachment/non-attachment: in the “Child Ignorance Stage,” that brief period in which the “Am-ness” was but was not known, you were attached to nothing. Thus, you were perfectly content so long as you were not hungry or wet. Once you came to know the “Am-ness,” you became attached to that “Am-ness.” Soon you became attached to persons. Later, you became attached to “your things.” Even later, you became attached to the beliefs that “they” taught you. Then you attached to those who shared your same beliefs. You eventually became so attached to “your” ideas and concepts that you became willing to fight over them. As for Me, My abidance is in that original state wherein I had no awareness of the “Am-ness” and thus no attachment to anything.

    To live as naturally and as contentedly as a dry, well-fed baby, that original state of non-attachment must become your natural state. How? By returning to that state in which there was no self-consciousness (that is, when there was no consciousness of a false self or selves). When no “I-ness” was known, there was no attachment. Attachment only comes after knowledge of the false “I” comes and after ideas and concepts come. AS IF living is the type of living that happens post-Realization, marked by an absence of belief in any false self or in any concepts, all of which are also false.
    [Note: Do not confuse "non-attachment" with what diagnosticians refer to as "Attachment Disorder." During the remainder of the manifestation, the Realized "care" because the unicity is known. Nothing happens "to one" that does not sumultaneously happen "to all"; however, only persons can suffer from "Attachment Disorder" because only persons are still trapped in personality and in all of the dysfunction that personality generates.]

    4. The obstacle for those who are seeking and who seem to “get so close” to Realization but who cannot grasp the final understanding is this: persons are completely attached to their personas (and the false concepts that are used to support those false selves). The result of that attachment to concepts that support ego-states is this: if persons “get a glimpse” of their True Self or of their true state beyond, their desires and fears will pull them right back into a state of being attached to body and mind and personality. AS IF living is free of all of that since all body and “mind” and personality identities have been discarded.
    Then, with personality having been discarded, that scourge of the relative existence called "The Narcissistic Personality Disorder" (which, historically, has been most pervasive in Anglo-Saxon cultures) cannot exist. And only in the absence of personality, and thus in the absence of that personality disorder called "narcissism" which inspires an attachment to false images, can the True Self be known and true peace happen.

    For further explanations, you may now search for earlier postings on “AS IF living” by using the search instructions at the top of the page. Peace and Light. Please enter the silence of contemplation.

    Saturday, May 26, 2007

    THE IRONY: Relative Concerns Can Interfere with Following the Path to Freedom from Relative Concerns

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: Hello Floyd. My girlfriend and I have been studying Native American spirituality for several years now. She found your site when you were writing about how the Native Americans brought their philosophy from Asia and then we started reading about Adviata Vedanta. (We are going to watch the Wounded Knee movie on Sunday.) But here is the deal. Adviata Vedanta has really “grabbed” me--now just like what some Indains said blew my mind, what you have said is blowing my mind even more. I’m going to order some of your books to investigate more because it seems like what you’re saying is from some higher plane than what we have been reading for years. Beth has enjoyed what she read so far on your site but is not interested in studying anything but N.A. spirituality. We read about how different your grandmother and grandfather were and it did not cause a problem. Then I read what you wrote about relationship problems and the wife who has accepted all those different roles as identities and the problems that she is having in her relationship right now, so can one person follow Adviata and another person follow N.A. spirituality and still be happy together? Steven and Beth

    F. Hello Steven. Thanks for your e-mail, it’s “Dear Abby” tone notwithstanding. If you re-read what you have written, you should see that it concerns neither Native American spirituality nor the Advaita Teachings. You asked no questions about either one. Your concerns are really about your relative issues. If you had understood the wisdom behind the words of the Native Americans who were quoted on the site earlier this month, along with the Advaita Teachings on this site, then you could never have written the words above. Why? Because the motivation was not about finding truth and Self or transcending spirituality. What your words reveal are certain fears about “loss”…about “losing Beth” if your “journey” takes you along a different "path."

    You two have felt a connection as you have studied N.A. spirituality, but it has not led to an understanding of the “not two.” Nor has it led to an understanding that there is no “connection” but only the oneness beyond all perceived multiplicity.

    As for offering advice about what you or she or both of you should or should not do in terms of the “path” to follow, this is not a site that offers advice about such personal issues. This is a site that exposes the fraudulent nature of personal issues. Recommendations about which readings would be appropriate to one considering the Advaita “path” will be offered at the end, but do not take that as advice about whether you should read those books or not. In the meantime, here are some pointers to take into the quiet that are relevant to what you have written in your e-mail:

    First, you mention the wife (discussed in postings this past week) who assumed false identities, but your words revealed that you have not found the roles you’ve assumed. From My stance as the Pure Witness, you have no identity, but from your stance, you take yourself to be many things which you are not.

    You are concerned about your body and mind issues. “Will Beth leave me if we don’t keep sharing our common interest in N.A. spirituality?” “Can I do what I am being led to do, or not”? “Since 'boyfriend' is dependent on 'girlfriend' for its existence, might I be destroyed if I take a different ‘path’?” Burdened with those body-mind-personality concerns, you will be blocked from knowing that you are limitless.

    As for N.A. spirituality, or any other version of spirituality, you can learn thorough some readings that can be recommended that religion and/or spirituality are the third of seven steps to Full Enlightenment but are not the "final destination." The accumulating of spiritual knowledge that you two have been doing together has happened in your objective world, but that world is a mirage. Your world is illusion, so anything you learn in that world is illusory as well. The study of religion or spirituality is a necessary step, but it is not even the halfway point to Full Realization.
    Whatever you think you have gained from your spiritual quest will eventually be irrelevant if you continue the “path” to the Full and Original Understanding. If you come to know that you were being lied to by everyone who has ever spoken of “steven” having been born, then you also know that all the things you have been told about spirituality and purpose and meaning were also lies.

    As for “higher plane,” nothing in the Advaita Teachings or the N.A. spiritual teachings will raise you to a higher plane, but that point will not make sense until you understand What You Truly Are. There is no improvement or growth or development because there is no “one” to improve, grow, or develop. What comes from taking the "seven-step journey to Reality" is not a movement to a higher plane but is instead a re-purification of the consciousness that has been warped via programming and conditioning and enculturation.

    Understand that anything written on this site and anything spoken by Native elders and anything you read from past Advaitin sages is hearsay. The effective teacher will guide you through the step-by-step process of removing the obstacles that are preventing you from knowing what you already know (but do not know that you know). That will happen after the consciousness is re-purified and you tap into the "inner guru" or the "inner resource."

    As for “blowing your mind,” that’s the intent.

    Now, you may take the pointers above into consideration, but more Advaita reading and instruction will be required for you to understand, should you determine to follow that "path." As for a suggested reading list, you can visit http://advaitaclasses.blogspot.com/ to find the order in which the readings should be undertaken. You can order the books at www.floydhenderson.com without having to enroll in the classes. Thx again for the writing. Please enter the silence of contemplation.
    MUCH OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN WISDOM COLLECTED ON THE “JOURNEY” IS SHARED IN THE MEDITATION GUIDES (WHICH SOME SEEKERS READ STRAIGHT THROUGH RATHER THAN ON A DAILY BASIS). INTERESTED IN ORDERING BOTH AT A REDUCED RATE?
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  • Friday, May 25, 2007

    EGO-STATES: “LOVE” OR “EGO,” BUT NOT BOTH (A Continuing Series on Ego-States), Part Six, The Conclusion

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: So the whole problem really begins with ego, right? Sam (PS Thanks for the blog site.)

    F.: This series has discussed the price of being trapped in ego-states by focusing on a man and woman who for twenty years have been play-acting with each other, assuming phony roles, saying phony words, and living phony lives on the stage of The Drama of the Lie. They are not the exception in this culture or in most other cultures.
    What is most insane-like among the non-Realized is the fact that they become so embroiled in their roles—and so embroiled in the play that they are writing and re-writing every day—that they eventually take their roles and games and play-acting to be the real. Once they are convinced that their play is “their world,” then when the curtain falls on that play—as it surely will—they are so traumatized by the collapsing of "their world" that they often contemplate suicide or murder or both. (The woman in this series wants to die because her husband is leaving. Another woman said this week that she wants to die because her husband died. Either way, that which they assumed would last forever...did not. Is grief natural? Yes. Are grief-inspired murder and suicide natural? No, though they are becoming far more "typical.")

    The connection between the assumption of ego-states and the “problems in personal relationships” has been illustrated. Having accepted the culture’s lies that they are “two,” persons who take themselves to be “a couple” can light all of the “Unity Candles” that they want but that symbolic act (which is done quickly and then forgotten as quickly) can never replace Realization which alone leads to a full understanding of “not two.” Thus, they will develop personas and they will try to relate and they will never see the double lie that the terms “personal” and “relationships” point to.

    Is that to say that dating and marriage and establishment of households are to be avoided? Of course not. It is to say that only misery and suffering can follow when persons become programmed and conditioned and enculturated in a way that leads them to believe that the temporary can be forever. The relative existence is marked with such chaos and change and fluctuation that to expect any phase or stage to last forever is delusional, but it is that very belief which leads many persons to those suidical or homicidal thoughts that come when assumed personas in assumed relationships eventually end.
    And there are stages in the ever-changing realm of the relative. Shakespeare spoke of “Seven Stages.” Some Eastern philosophies speak of “Three Stages” (student-householder-forest dweller) and some speak of “Five Stages” (Programming, Accumulation, Self-inquiry, Realization, and De-accumulation).

    Shakespeare said that “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” He listed the infant stage, the student stage, the lover stage, the fighter stage, and—before returning to the childish stage during advanced age—there are the stages of introspection and consideration which can lead to enlightenment that can, in turn, end the fighting and lead to relaxing and taking it easy, no matter what happens.

    Easterners who discuss "Three Stages" list the student stage, the householder stage, and the forest dweller stage. In the first stage, the “tools” required for meeting the basic necessities of the relative existence are accumulated. In the second stage, accumulating happens at an accelerated pace (including a job, a spouse, a home, furnishings, children, necessities, luxuries, etc.). Most persons fixate at that stage and never reach the third stage, the “forest dweller” stage.

    That third stage has been entered literally by many who abandon all material possessions and retreat to the woods for contemplation and considerations that can lead to enlightenment. Henry David Thoreau was one of the few U.S. citizens in his day to enter that third stage that has its roots in Eastern philosophy. Moving to Walden Pond, he said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Yesterday, the pointer was offered that the wife (who is now suicidal because she is losing her primary label) has not realized the point offered by Advaita and adumbrated by Thoreau: separated from Self, she has come to die without discovering that she has not yet lived.

    To come to the essential understandings via the “forest dweller stage,” however, does not require that one literally go to the woods (though time in “re-treat” for “re-creation” can be most effective). Furthermore, most Advaita teachers would never encourage anyone who might be wanting to skip from stage one to stage three. Maharaj did not offer the teachings to his children because they had to move into the householder stage and “earn a living.” Exposure to the Teachings at too early an age can prove detrimental to movement through each of the stages, he pointed out.

    That said, there is no age requirement for transitioning beyond the householder stage and into the forest dweller stage since one need not literally leave family and possessions behind in order for enlightenment to happen. Most persons, however, will fixate in the second stage and never seek the understanding available via the third stage. As a result of that fixation, they will live with the constant fluctuations between “good times” and “bad times” and all of the instability that comes with the adoption of ego-states that are generated while in the householder stage. Eventually, those roles will either be taken away traumatically or can be forfeited with pleasure. That is a key consideration in this discussion.

    The pointer was offered yesterday that “Realization, which allows for AS IF living, is a pre-emptive strike against that which will eventually strike all persons absorbed in ego-states.” AS IF living means that freedom from the “mind” and “personality” has happened, so freedom from both self-absorption and even SELF-absorption has happened. Even freedom from SELF-absorption? Yes. Among the Realized, the relative existence is not burdened with having to focus on any concepts or any teachings or even on “The True Self.” If the teachings happen to be shared post-Realization, that generally accounts for a small portion of a day’s activities. Nothing is obsessed over, including Advaita, once Full Realization happens.

    Consider again the pointer that was offered yesterday:

    The Realized merely see all exactly as it is yet still live in a contented, AS IF fashion that allows peace to happen whether “in relationship” or not, whether “in love” or not, or whether “married” or not. The Realized are driven by nothing, including relative desires, relative fears, or relative perceptions of need. That is never the case with persons (the non-Realized). Total freedom can happen, no matter what your circumstances might be.

    Are you ready to be free? CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF REALTIONSHIPS identifies the sources of problems in “relationships” and offers solutions that can be applied during the remaining manifestation of the consciousness. FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE is a guide through the steps that can lead to total freedom. The ways and the means are available. May your “journey” begin now (or continue now) and move promptly to its end in order that freedom from all things relative might be transitioned so that You can abide as the Absolute and know absolute peace and absolute freedom...now. Please enter the silence of contemplation.

  • Click FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)
  • Thursday, May 24, 2007

    EGO-STATES: “LOVE” OR “EGO,” BUT NOT BOTH (A Continuing Series on Ego-States), Part Five

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: So the whole problem really begins with ego, right? Sam (PS Thanks for the blog site.)

    F.: Taking into account all of the Advaitin pointers that have ever been offered, none is likely to be as despised by persons (by the non-Realized) as the pointer that “there is no continuity of body or mind or personality.” Ranking a close second is likely the pointer that, “If you have not Realized, then you have never loved; if you are only dealing with the non-Realized, you are not being loved.”

    Those who would debate that point are the ones who really desire love or who fear not having love or who believe they really need love or who are convinced that no one could not love them. They do not understand “mutually exclusive.” If reason and logic are applied, it should be clear that one involved in self—that is, a person assuming any false role and taking the false self to be the True Self, will automatically be self-involved and self-absorbed.

    One who is self-involved and self-absorbed will see “a world of others,” and all interaction with those “others” will only be to sustain one’s co-dependent or interdependent ego-states…one’s false self or false selves. That “world” of ego-states and egomania will always be devoid of love. Demanding sex every day might be taken as a sign that "he really loves me" and "he really wants me" and "I am securing my roles." The objective Advaitin witness can see that the only thing happening is that the ego-state of “The Lover” is being sustained for the husband. The savvy clinician will see that a sex addiction is being enabled...and nothing more.

    Persons tout the benefits of "self-esteem"; that notwithstanding, to be self-involved and self-absorbed and in love with one’s false self/selves excludes any chance for the manifestation of unconditional love. The “search for love” among the non-Realized really involves nothing more than a desire to find an opposite-sex clone of self. The belief is, "Surely we will be compatible forever if we have the same thoughts, the same beliefs, the same behaviors and habits, the same desires, the same fears, etc.," as if persons are not in a constant state of flux and as if they "will always be the way they are now."
    The non-Realized, being unaware of the unicity in which True Love is based, will claim that they are “in love” while actually being in love with a mirror image. They are only in love with self, and more specifically, they are only in love with their false ego-states while believing that they truly love those who support their false roles. “The Employee” loves the boss who allows that role to continue (especially if the job is high-paying) and hates the boss who fires her/him and destroys that role. “The Wife” claims to love the man who was her accomplice in forming and sustaining her false images.

    That which is real is unchanging, so if love can turn to hate, it was not real to begin with.

    The case study for this series is a woman whose husband claimed for years that he loved her but now “does not love her anymore.” After the beginning months or years of most marriages, a point is reached when it is declared that “the honeymoon is over.” What does that mean? It means that all of the images that were being shown or assumed during dating are eventually seen to be nothing more than misrepresentations. It means that the personality defects that were being covered up are now coming to light.

    For those who are really asleep or in denial, being fooled (or fooling oneself) can go on for years. The woman going through a divorce claims that “up until now, he always loved me and I always loved him.” Objective witnesses who read the details of her account would conclude that other factors were involved which convinced her that love is compatible with being controlled by a self-absorbed and neglectful man who took the money she earned, who made her handle all projects and then attacked her over the results, who refused to discuss having children, who demanded sex every day for twenty years, who had a multi-year affair, and who is now leaving her for another woman after she played the role of “The Dutiful and Obedient and Accommodating Wife” for twenty years.

    Some might conclude that she was more likely to have been in love with the idea of love or with the idea of “the two of you” or with the idea of their being “a couple.” Some might conclude that she enjoyed being seen about town with what she described as “the best-looking man in town” who bought “the biggest mansion in the city” where they “entertained lavishly.” Some would study her words and conclude that she was in love with something other than “him.” She knows the price they paid for their mansion to the penny, but she does not know the price she has paid by internalizing another person instead of finding her True Self.

    Likely, for the first time in decades, she is in a position to finally be true to her Self rather than playing the role of “His Wife” (“his” meaning literally, “the wife possessed by him”). She is in a position to stop playing her false roles of “The Wife” and “The Opposite-Sex Clone of a Man” and “The Provider of Daily Sex.” She thinks he is leaving her, but the fact is that he was never "with" her. She thinks she is dying now, but she has been "dead" for years (meaning, dead to her True Self).

    The relevant Advaita pointer has been offered earlier:

    The belief by persons that their various roles actually define who they are becomes entrenched. Then, if personas feel that they are being hurt, challenged, interfered with, or threatened, most persons become willing to fight to preserve that which is nothing more than an image. Many have fought to the (relative) death to preserve the false personality that their “minds” have convinced them is who they actually are.

    With her threats to kill herself, the woman is “entrenched” in the roles of “Wife,” “Socialite,” “Co-Owner of a Mansion,” “The Woman Enhanced by Being with a Handsome Man,” “The Woman Who Will Always Be Secure, Having Married the Rich Man,” ad infinitum. With those ego-states now being “threatened,” she is ready to fight to the death. In this case, the fight to the death involves her own relative death because she is convinced that if she cannot continue to play her false roles in “The Drama of the Lie,” that ending the manifestation of the consciousness is the only viable alternative available.

    Consider how much suffering persons experience as 50-60% who marry will have to face the lost of their assumed identities and will have to deal with the emotional intoxication that happens when the loss of so many identities strikes at once.

    If only all false identities were discarded on one’s own timetable instead of a timetable imposed by a co-dependent sustainer of one’s ego-states. If only the ego-states were discarded while visiting with a teacher/guide under calm and rational circumstances. Then, all of the trauma of having identities snatched away could be avoided by having given them up voluntarily. “The Fearful Employee” can disappear though the job can continue. “The Dutiful, Obedient, Accommodating Wife” could disappear though the marriage could continue (the indication for intensive counseling notwithstanding).

    The difference is this: the Realized can still feel what they feel without becoming “robotic,” as some charge. Feelings are witnessed as they rise and fall, but the Realized are free of the assumption of false identities that drive persons to think that the loss of a culturally-assigned label is grounds for suicide. Realization, which allows for AS IF living, is a pre-emptive strike against that which will eventually strike all persons absorbed in ego-states. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
    THE FULL TREATMENT OF THE SUBJECT OF “RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS” IS AVAILABLE
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  • Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    EGO-STATES: Either The Invisible Drivers or The Former Hijackers or The Eventual Destroyers, Part Four

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: So the whole problem really begins with ego, right? Sam (PS Thanks for the blog site.)

    F.: Henry David Thoreau suggested that most persons live “lives of quiet desperation.” An example of that is being observed in the case cited earlier in this series in which a woman is considering suicide because she is losing her “wife” label. Among the Realized, the quiet does often mark the relative existence but desperation mars none of it. The Realized merely see all exactly as it is yet still live in a contented, AS IF fashion that allows peace to happen whether “in relationship” or not, whether “in love” or not, or whether “married” or not. That is never the case with persons (the non-Realized).

    Most persons move in and out of what they think are “personal relationships,” often settling into one that they think will be forever. That concept of “personal relationship” amounts to “duality to the second power,” so to speak, because “personal” is rooted in personas and because “relationship” requires a belief that there are two persons who are relating to each other (as opposed to the unicity being known). Were the unicity to be known, there would be nothing happening that could be taken “personally,” there would be no need to work on trying to “relate,” and there would be no ego or egotism driving all “interactions.”

    However, since persons cannot witness objectively and see all exactly as it is, they operate in denial, claiming that “all is going along quite well, actually” and that “things in my life are as good as—or far better than—can be expected.” (If that were the case, why is it that as of January 2007, substance abuse rates are at an all-time high as persons try to escape the relative circumstances which they cannot cope with? Why is it that in the U.S., doctors are prescribing anti-depressants to over 10,000,000 women each year? And why is it that 25% of men and women are now abusing alcohol at a level that indicates a need for some level of treatment?)

    Can Advaita lead to Realization which could provide a means by which "two" could function in a natural, "not-two" manner? Of course. Since few will ever Realize, though, is it likely that the relative problems that persons are experiencing in “personal relationships” will be reduced? Of course not. How could "two" who do not know the “not-two” possibly have any clue about what the term “love” is trying to point to?

    How can persons who do not have the slightest clue about Who/What They Truly Are have any clear understanding of what “love”—or anything else—is? Since their “world” is nothing more than a distorted image of their own “I-consciousness,” and since that warped consciousness traps them in the false I / ego, and since that entrapment will motivate them to seek a perfect clone of themselves to “love,” all persons end up in love with self only. Several previous pointers are relevant in that regard:

    Persons desiring to know what love is might benefit more (relatively speaking, of course) if they were able to understand what love is not.

    What persons call "love" is the most magnificent experience of all; it is also the most horrendous experience of all. With such duality, how can that possibly be taken for the real? As for feeling or emotion, if love happens as a feeling, take the ride and watch the feelings rise and fall; if love happens as an emotion—that is, if it is being "experienced" by a person in an ego-state—prepare for war.


    If such a discussion makes “you” feel uncomfortable to even consider the subject matter, find WHO is it that feels uncomfortable. And even if the discussion does make “you” feel uncomfortable, can you nevertheless relate to any part of the above?

    For example, have you ever been convinced that you have really known someone—a friend, an employer, a spouse, a lover, whatever—only to find later that your impression or image of them was totally wrong and that maybe you had been totally fooled? When “the wife” becoming the “not-wife” was asked if her story could be shared anonymously on this site, she said, “If it might keep others from making the mistakes I made, then it’s fine with me.”

    That supposes that, trapped as she was in a false identity, she chose to do what she did. It also supposes that if you are trapped in a false persona, you can have freedom of choice, if you can learn from her mistakes (which is not likely to happen either). Would anyone seriously believe that she chose the life she has lived for the last twenty years? Trapped as a result of assuming the false identity of “The Insecure and Dutiful Wife,” she acquiesced to a man’s demand that she abandon her natural instinct to have a child; that she work but never receive any of the pay for her work; that she assent to his daily demands for sex; and that she stand by in denial as he took another woman on trips and as he set up an apartment for the two of them. Now she claims that "he fooled her and didn’t love her," though "she loved him."

    She loved him, or she entered into a co-dependent/dependent "relationship" and assumed multiple identities that required his presence to sustain them? Was that love that drove her to behave as she did in her relationship with him? Would love require the abandonment of natural instincts? Would love require that she forfeit the hope of having a child? Would love require the abandonment of Self? Would love require the forfeiture of all that is earned from one’s employment? Would love require that one place one’s head in the sand in order to maintain the status quo and status? Was that love she was showing, or was desire and fear being displayed as an ego-state was driving her and forcing her to place her relative existence on hold to please another and to prevent her from ever seeking the True and Authentic Self? Did she love him, or did she love the roles and the perks that came from sharing a house and a bed with a man she described as being "very handsome and very rich"?

    Now, she wants to die without realizing that she has already been dead for 20 years to the degree that she lived a relative existence for someone else and without being true to Self. He had two lives; she had none. For her, the opportunity has finally come for the first time in two decades to actually Realize and then live a contented AS IF existence rather than to end the manifestation. But she would have to find the truth that these earlier considerations (based in non-duality) are pointing to:

    “I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” Oriah Mountain Dreamer

    “It appears that where marriage is solemnized by the church and blessed by the priest, it may at the same time be surrounded with customs and ideas of a frivolous, superficial, and even prurient character. Love between a man and a woman is founded on the mating instinct and is not free from desire and self-seeking.” Charles Eastman

    “I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to Your Self; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.” Oriah Mountain Dreamer
    Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
    THE FULL TREATMENT OF THE SUBJECT OF “RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS” IS AVAILABLE
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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    EGO-STATES: Either The Invisible Drivers or The Former Hijackers or The Eventual Destroyers, Part Three

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: So the whole problem really begins with ego, right? Sam (PS Thanks for the blog site.)

    F.: The three most common possibilities, once an ego-state has been assumed, are (1) to allow it to unconsciously drive one through life, (2) to witness the ego-state that has hijacked you and discard it as an identity in order to be free or (3) to be willing to fight for the false identity and to either be destructive toward others (relatively speaking) or to eventually allow it to destroy you (relatively speaking). The false self always becomes intolerable, whether to those dealing with the one trapped in ego, to the one trapped in ego, or to both.

    Persons become self-destructive when they are removed from knowing Who/What They Truly Are and when they are suffering as a result of being driven by the false self. Many often go with “Destruction Option #1” and literally try to destroy the self by suicide. Other persons go with "Destruction Option #2" and try to destroy the one thought to be attacking their false self. The third, less violent approach is to be rid of the identification with the ego-state (which is the Advaita approach) whereby the false self or selves are forfeited by the non-violent means of seeing all that you are not and then finding the True Self and knowing Who/What You Truly Are.

    In the earlier example of a marriage that is ending, see how “Destruction Option #1” is manifesting as suicide is being threatened. Further, as pointed out in earlier posts, 59% of all women murdered in the U.S., and 41% of all men, are killed during the breakup of a relationship. (Consider: on average, more than 50% of all murders in the U.S. do not involve “dangerous strangers” but involve persons who have said “I love you” repeatedly.) In the U.S. and many other countries as well, the adoption of this one, single ego-state results in widespread murder and/or suicide.

    The impact of a collapsing marriage is further exacerbated by the fact that persons, always in denial, are so shocked when that which will only happen to others happens to them. (The belief that it will only happen to others is based in the false image that each has formed of a partner and the false images that each partner is showing to the other.) With a divorce rate in the U.S. that has remained well above 50% for decades, the statistics show, and the facts are, that most who marry nowadays will go through a divorce. The discarding of all ego-states prior to facing that eventuality could reduce the national suicide-murder rate significantly.
    Studies vary but show that 20-40% of all persons who go through a divorce will contemplate suicide, that the suicide rate among divorcing men is twice the national average, and that the suicide rate among divorcing men is 400% higher than among women. Though the statistics deal only with the relative existence, the fact is that assumption of ego-states can kill, yet persons who assume an ego-state to be a definition of who they are will have no willingness at all to forfeit that false identity. Hence, the low rate of Realization and the high rate of murder/suicide.

    Why else does such destruction happen, in addition to the codependency and interdependency mentioned earlier? When one has assumed a false identity and is then forced to face the fact that the identity is false, then the “death of an ego-state” will feel so real that a person/persona will actually believe that it is she/he (and not just a role) that is dying. A man will truly take the least threatening posture in nature (namely, a woman walking away from him) as the most threatening posture in nature. That is why Advaita offers so many pointers aimed at seeing how body-mind-personality identification will guarantee distorted thinking and will prevent all logic and reason from manifesting.

    The end of an ego-state can generate suffering to a degree that is so intense that persons often opt to end the body and mind and personality that have sustained the false identity by ending the manifestation of the consciousness. Realization would prevent the degree of emotional intoxication that surrounds the end of any ego-state. And again, the role-playing and the false images in a marriage can end without the marriage ending. The result could be quite liberating.

    Next, Advaita's forewarnings about being driven by desires and fears are even most relevant when ego-states are ending. The clinging to false identities and beliefs and perceptions and images is always driven by desire or fear or both, and all desire and all fear will generate relative existence misery. If you understand the connection between (a) desires and fears and (b) ego-state assumption and (c) destructive conduct in the relative existence and (d) the fact that an ego-state can drive persons to shift almost instantly from the “I love you mode” to the “I have the right to kill you mode,” then you will understand why no more than 5% will ever likely Realize Fully. Here are the reasons why most will not Realize and why (among other factors) they will not be able to conduct themselves in a reasonable and logical and sane fashion in their “relationships”:

    persons (the non-Realized) are driven by desires and fears; and

    most persons desire (above all else and at any cost) to be loved; and

    no two persons will ever define love in the same way; and

    persons have expectations about how people who “love” them should behave; and

    persons' ideas about what constitutes love will always vary from one person to the next; and

    those ideas will assure variances in the expectations that personas have about the “right way to behave, if you love me”; and

    expectations, which will never be met in the precise way desired, will always lead to disagreement and fighting; and

    so many persons fear not finding love (or fear finding love and then losing it); or

    so many persons find love and are certain they shall have it forever (in spite of statistics to the contrary) only to discover—like the woman in the story earlier—that they did not really have at all what they thought they had; and

    persons are like the woman in the scenario earlier, trapped in her body-mind-persona and willing to do almost anything to preserve a false identity that is taken to be real; and

    persons prefer to deny that the image presented by someone (and/or the image they have formulated in their “minds” of someone) is not real; and

    persons prefer their status quo rather than to having to face “the loss of status”; and

    persons are so convinced that the roles which they are playing are truly who they are that they will prefer to live a lie rather than seek the truth.

    Therefore, most—as a result of their desires and fears and expectations—will never witness objectively. They will not see the lies that they are living unless forced to admit the truth. Even then, denial will usually dominate their every thought. Now, to "you":
    1. Are you currently assuming an identity that you are "certain" will never end?
    2. Are you "sure" that you will be exempt from ever having to try to process the loss of a role in a sane and resonable fashion so that you do not fall into the trap of emotional intoxication that accompanies the end of an ego-state?
    3. Are you certain that there are no false identities that could be discarded right now?
    4. Are you positive that there are no ego-states that are driving you or that are inspiring destructive tendencies (relatively speaking), or...
    ...have you witnessed every former ego-states that had been hijacking you and then gotten free of being influenced or driven by any false identity? The witnessing of all of the ego-states being assumed, and then seeing that they are false, is a starting point for the Advaita "journey" to Full Realization. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

    Sunday, May 20, 2007

    EGO-STATES: Either The Invisible Drivers or The Former Hijackers or The Eventual Destroyers, Part Two

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: So the whole problem really begins with ego, right? Sam (PS Thanks for the blog site.)

    F.: Ego-states either (a) invisibly drive those who assume false identities or (b) have been recognized and discarded so that persons formerly hijacked by false identities are now free or (c) will lead to destructive behaviors, relatively speaking. Ego-states have such influence over thought and behavior because they generate both codependency and interdependency.

    First, codependency is fostered since “The Husband” must depend upon the presence of “The Wife” in order to “exist”; “The Employee” is co-dependent upon “The Employer”; “The Helper” is dependent upon the “The Needy”; “The Needy” and “The Takers” are dependent upon “The Loving” and “The Giving” and “The Helpers” for maintaining their ego-states; “The Users” depend on the “The Enablers” and "The Enablers" must depend on "The Users" in order to perpetuate their false identity;
    “The One Who Is Loved So Dearly” is dependent upon “The Lover Who Is So Dear” for perpetuation of that role; and “The Compassionate, Caring Lover” is dependent on finding and keeping a person who is seeking compassion and needing love and wanting to be cared for. If one is really interested in a lifestyle that is more simple, then it must be seen that all of the wanting and seeking and desiring and searching and role-playing and dependency can become rather complicated, can it not? And if one is seeking freedom, it cannot manifest as long as dependencies are preferred.

    Next, interdependencies are fostered since no ego-state will ever stand alone but will always generate more ego-states. As an example, in the case described yesterday, “The Wife” does not think that she is just losing “The Husband” but thinks she is losing all of the other roles that developed from the assumption of that primary identity as well: “The Homeowner” is dying; “The Active Socialite" and "The Social Entertainer” are gone; “The One Enjoyng the Benefits of the Status Quo” is gone; “The One With Status” is gone since one of the richer men in the community is leaving; “The Woman with High Esteem” is gone, having been left for “The Younger Woman.” “The Financially-Secure Person” is gone. “The One Who Can Retire Someday” feels that she is gone forever.

    The list could go on, but focus now on the effects of being forced to see that things were never really the way they were assumed to be: when ego-states are struck by the light of reality which ends the false belief that “this is going to last forever,” persons are forced to recognize that their false identities are temporary and are forced to admit that they were all just phony illusions. Finding out that a lie is a lie (when it was thought to be 100% true) is a mental and emotional and physical shock…be it the discovery that there is no Santa, that there is no God with its male or female appendages, or that “until recently he’s always been a loving, faithful, caring spouse and I was always sure he would honor his vows and me forever.”

    When the overwhelming mental and emotional and physical pain that accompanies the “death” of an ego-state is triggered among persons, then a series of disproportionate reactions will often follow since it is seldom the case that one, solitary ego-state is ending. When one identity comes tumbling down, the entire structure built on multiple codependent and interdependent (false) identities will collapse. If persons feel as if they are dying when an ego-state is seen to have been false, imagine the impact of a happening that brings about an end to the assumption of dozens of false identities. Thus, the quote from yesterday: “I think he’s just not himself right now and will come to his senses and return. If he doesn’t, I will kill myself.”

    “He’s not himself” really means that (1) “he is no longer showing the phony image, that false self, that he showed in the past” and (2) “he is no longer meeting the image that I had dreamed up in my mind of the way I thought he was.” It also means that (3) “while I thought I knew someone better than anyone knew him, I have been sleeping with a stranger all these years” and that (4) “I would prefer to continue to live that lie and once again believe it is the truth than forfeit a false identity and use this event as an opportunity to find out Who or What I Truly Am and then be free for the first time in forty years.” Finally, it means (5) "I think I am dying now" instead of seeing the fact that "all along I have been living a 'death-in-life' existence with this guy and really only now have a chance to 'come alive'...that is, to find Who/What I Truly Am and then be free for the remainder of the manifestation of this consciousness."

    The expression “I will kill myself” means that “I have so thoroughly accepted as my primary identity a role assigned to me by my family and my culture and a religious institution that I prefer death to no longer being able to continue to play a spurious role that has enslaved me to a selfish, controlling, dominating, narcissistic, self-absorbed person.” It would be tantamount to someone being held and tortured in Nanjing Prison in China, being released, walking about free, and then deciding that “You know, that wasn’t really so bad after all; in fact, I really had a pretty good thing with Nanjing. I think I'd like to go back and stay in that prison for the rest of my life.” Such is the inability to see clearly when trapped in the darkness of ego-states.

    Does all this mean, therefore, that she should never have married? Of course not. Does it mean that if you're married, you must get a divorce to be free? Of course not. You might recall an earlier pointer offered to a “husband” who thought he was dying: “If you cling to the false identity of ‘husband,’ you shall never find the True Self, so peace will never happen consistently. If you find the True Self, then either ‘husbanding’ or ‘not husbanding’ can happen…and consistent peace will manifest either way.” The pointer to “The Wife” who thinks it is she who is dying is that misery and suffering almost always manifest when roles are assumed and when co-dependency and interdependencies are formed. Might a professional help guide her through the five stages of processing grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance)? That’s certainly possible.

    For the Advaitin seeker, however, there is another pointer that can be drawn, based on the scenario above: why not launch a preemptive strike against the ego and against all ego-states? Why not be rid of them on your terms rather than on someone else’s terms? Why not calmly and willingly discard each and every one of those false identities now, rather than waiting for them to be struck down violently and traumatically later on?

    There is nothing that is happening right now that cannot continue to happen in the absence of ego-states. It is just that it will all happen from a position of neutrality, from the stance of the witness, from a condition of non-attachment and, therefore, from a state of true freedom in the absence of codependency. (By the way, if you are “in relationship” with someone who objects to your being that free, then you have an entirely different matter to consider, and if you do not want to be that free, then you have a greater matter, relatively speaking, to consider.)
    All that having been said, how many will escape the effects of the emotional intoxication that accompanies ego-states and will thereby be reasonable enough and logical enough to accept nothing short of true and unequivocable freedom? Few. So it is. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To continue on Tuesday, May 22. Out of town until then.)
    WORKING ON ISSUES ARISING IN RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE NON-REALIZED, ON FINDING SOLUTIONS TO “RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS,” AND ON BEING FREE EVEN IF “IN A RELATIONSHIP”?

    Saturday, May 19, 2007

    EGO-STATES: Either The Invisible Drivers or The Former Hijackers or The Eventual Destroyers, Part One

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: So the whole problem really begins with ego, right? Sam (PS Thanks for the blog site.)

    F.: Hello, Sam. On the simpliest level, that’s a valid conclusion. As indicated in the title FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (a Seven-Step Journey to Reality), the Advaita “path” is really a “journey” that moves one away from identifying with the (false) “I” to abiding as the Absolute.

    Once the body is taken to be the core identity, and once the “mind” has been distorted via programming and conditioning and enculturation, then the foundation has been laid...the foundation on which all personas will be built. After that, ego-states become the invisible force that drives all thought and conduct, and that results in a loss of any ability to choose. (If you are in a car and being driven, then you are in the passenger seat, the back seat, or the trunk, but you are not behind the steering wheel. One being driven has no ability to determine what the car does or where it goes. So it is when persons are driven by the agendas of their ego-states.)

    “Ego” in Latin means “I,” and refers to the false identities (or roles or false selves or images or characters or shadow selves or personas) that are assigned and assumed and that are supported by ego-defense mechanisms once they are taken to be “Who I Am.” The ego-states can be recognized since they always follow the phrase “I am”: “I am a boy/girl”; “I am a lover”; “I am a wife/husband.” Once an ego-state is assumed, it immediately self-promotes itself to super status: "I am a Super Husband" or "I am a Super Wife" (and therefore deserve super, special treatment). Some of the ego-defense mechanisms that persons employ to try to sustain their false image(s) include: rationalization, projection, displacement, denial, intellectualization, repression, sublimation, and suppression.

    The Advaitin practice of focusing on the “I AM” only is an invitation to ignore those false identities by breaking the habit of following the I AM with a litany of labels that your culture (or other cultures) have dreamed up. It is a means by which those traversing the first three steps of the “path” can begin to abandon the habit of constantly defining and re-defining who they think they are by using the labeling tools of their culture. Why abandon ego-states? Because they become the invisible driver in your relative existence, because they will become a hijacker and will hold you captive, and because they are the source of all destruction in the relative existence, including self-destruction.

    The assumption of ego-states is at the root of all relative existence problems. Mentioned yesterday, one woman has defined herself with the limiting identity of “wife” (in fact, “The Super Dutiful Wife”) for twenty years. She gave her consent for her story to be shared, so it follows as an example of what can happen when ego-states are finally exposed and then trigger a desire to self-destruct:

    “My husband is leaving me after 20 years. We never had children because he didn’t want them; he made me take charge of projects he wanted done but then raged when the bills for those projects came in; we have both held jobs throughout the entire marriage but he took both checks and controlled how the money was spent. He wanted sex nearly every day for 20 years, and so we had sex nearly every day.

    “Friends said his talk about how ‘men like to trade up when they get in their forties and find a younger woman’ showed he was capable of doing exactly that. They made me furious when they said that. Friends and family said he probably had a companion on his frequent out-of-town trips when he made excuses about why I couldn’t go along. When he got an apartment in addition to our house so he could have ‘a quiet place to go to relax,’ friends said I should check that out, but I trusted him and I guess I didn’t really want to find out anything different from the way I thought things were.

    “Then, a few weeks ago he said he wanted a divorce and I should ‘handle it and move on like he’s moving on.’ Now, people who knew both of us have told me that he’s been having an affair for years. Up until recently he’s always been a loving, faithful, caring spouse and I was always sure he would honor his vows and me forever, so I think he’s just not himself right now and will come to his senses and return. If he doesn’t, I will kill myself.” (She was advised to seek immediate professional help, and she is now seeing a therapist.)

    To see how all reason and logic is abandoned when a false identity is assumed, around marriage for example, this example was offered in December of 2005:

    A document (such as a marriage license) can inspire a false belief that a dependent role can define who you are. How grand is the lie? Take the fictional Thomas Smith as an example. He married Jane Jones and a man in a robe told her that she was now Mrs. Thomas Smith. She assumed that new identity and all the fears and expectations and desires that came with it. But her fears were realized when Thomas left her for Mary Martin. In a court, a man in a robe told Jane Jones/Mrs. Thomas Smith that she was no longer Mrs. Thomas Smith but could once again be Miss Jane Jones; shortly after that event, another man in a robe told Mary Martin that she was Mrs. Thomas Smith.

    She assumed that new identity and all the fears and expectations and desires that came with it. But her fears were realized when Thomas left her for Patty Prentiss. In a court, a man in a robe told Mary Martin/Mrs. Thomas Smith that she was no longer Mrs. Thomas Smith but could once again be Miss Mary Martin; shortly after that event, another man in a robe told Patty Prentiss that she was Mrs. Thomas Smith.

    Do you see the insanity of assuming identities? "Mrs. Thomas Smith" was a role assumed by three different persons, and all three really believed that they were who and what their culture told them that they were. But the culture told three different persons that they were the same person. In the remote past, Jane was Mrs. Thomas Smith; in the past Mary was Mrs. Thomas Smith; in the present, Patty is Mrs. Thomas Smith. One can guess that in the future, Patty will not be Mrs. Thomas Smith.

    From this example, isn’t it clear that any assumption of any persona as a real identity is an insane case of mistaken, false identity? Are you assuming any false identities as real identities? Are you unconsciously listening to all the persons in your culture who haven't a clue as to Who They Truly Are while unconsciously allowing them to tell you who or what you are? Then you'll also unconsciously accept all the fears and desires and expectations that come with roles and that guarantee misery in the relative existence.

    It is no wonder that so many persons reach a point where they admit, “I don’t even know who I am anymore.” Tomorrow, the destructive force of ego-states will be discussed via the example above in which a woman who has said “I am a wife” for two decades now faces the reality of having to declare, “I am not a wife.” As a result, she has threatened to kill herself (meaning, the “not wife” is sensing the “loss” of a false self, is feeling that a real self is dying, and is ready to avoid having to process the imaginary demise of a culturally-assigned identity by killing herself). If only she had made that “not wife” declaration decades ago and had found her True Self, then all of the “wife-type happenings” could have continued without the limiting, false identification with a role that has now triggered a desire to self-destruct.
    How about you? Are you aware of the fact that all of your anger or emotional intoxication or hurt is rooted in an ego-state? Are you aware that each ego-state prizes above all else it's sense of self-worth and will fight to the death to sustain that false self that desires to be seen as being worthy and valuable and wonderful? When was the last time that "you" became upset? Can you identify which ego-state felt hurt or interfered with or threatened in that incident? Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

    Friday, May 18, 2007

    BEYOND THE BEINGNESS AND THE NON-BEINGNESS

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: I cannot understand “beyond the beingness and the non-beingness.” Can you clarify? Thank you, David
    F.: Of course, David, but understand that any discussion of beingness and non-beingness will happen on one level for seekers at one point and at a different level for seekers at another point. Since your place on the "path" is not known, an introduction to this subject matter is treated in several chapters of the book FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE. The response today will be directed toward those who are at the advanced stages on the “journey” and are ready for final clarification. That point made, here are three considerations:

    1. “How can that which is illusion, and therefore has never been, possibly be thought to ‘be’?”

    2. “How can that which is illusion, and therefore has never been, possibly be thought to ‘have been at some time’?”

    and

    3. “How can that which is illusion, and therefore has never been, be thought to ‘not be’ now?”

    The three keys, of course, are to understand first that everything you see is illusion...that nothing perceived with "your eyes" is as you perceive it. Next is to understand that nothing that is perceived with a programmed, conditioned, and enculturated "mind" is as the "mind" thinks it is. And third, nothing that you assume as a persona is real. Freedom from belief in images and illusions is the prerequisite for detaching from the beingness and the non-beingness and understanding that which is beyond.

    For further clarification, consider this relative existence experience: when “floyd” was married, a discussion about baby names took place. It was determined that if there were a female child, she’d be named “Ashley” and if there were a male child, he’d be named “Kyle.” A daughter was born.

    Now, we can talk about Ashley, if you like, but can we talk about “Kyle”? Would you take Ashley to “be” but Kyle to “not be”? To that end, the non-Realized will (mistakenly) take Ashley to be “a being” and would have to (mistakenly) take Kyle to be “a non-being,” as of now. They would also take “floyd” as “a being” now but, post-manifestation, to be a “non-being.” (That can be a starting point for those beginning the "journey," but truth is beyond even that.) As Advaitins for ages have noted, all such talk would be no different from discussing “the child of a barren woman.”

    The reason that Krishna discounted the beingness and the non-beingness (ultimately making them both a moot issue) was because the Absolute is beyond any relative existence illusions about (1) something “being” or about (2) something that “had been” but is now “not being” any more. If that which “has only been imagined to have been” via the warped consciousness is and was only imagined, then why speak now of something (which never was) as “not being”? The being/non-being notions, as with all aspects of the Advaita Teachings, are not complicated once logic and reason are applied.
    (Tomorrow, a discussion will begin of a person suffering tremendous misery as her assumed role of "wife" is now coming to an end. She thinks her "husband" is "not being himself" now that he's leaving her for another woman but will "come to his senses" and return. What she is not seeing is that he cannot "not be" what she only imagined he was to begin with, namely, "a loving, faithful, caring spouse who will honor his vows and me forever.")
    Understand the following: that which has only been a figment of the imagination never did have any "be-ness" at all and, therefore, cannot logically be said to "not be" now. The most that can happen is for persons to awaken to reality and understand that what they thought they were seeing was not that at all.

    Is there a step on the “path” when the seeker must be introduced to "being and non-being pointers"? Of course. The consciousness is manifested and this AM-ness is perceived to be happening, yet everything in consciousness is ultimately about duality and therefore not real (since to be “conscious of” implies something being consciousness of something else…even if that something else is the unicity). Eventually, the consciousness will not be manifested and any currently perceived Is-ness will not be perceived. The temporary is not the real and never was.
    So why even discuss "beingness and non-beingness"? The only grounds for sharing any Advaita terms or concepts along the way is to point to the various stages by which the consciousness was warped (and thereafter to point to the steps that must be transcended in reverse order to be free of the relative effects of the warped consciousness). Post-Realization, all of the terms or concepts will be cast aside, including beingness and non-beingness as well.

    Another accurate pointer could be that “post-manifestation, there is no 'self' or 'Self' that can be aware of, or conscious of, anything.” Syllogistic reasoning can then be used to uncover the facts regarding this topic:

    (A) the Absolute is beyond both beingness and non-beingness;
    (B) the Absolute is that which is real; therefore,
    (C) neither the beingness nor the non-beingness can be real, so
    I (the Absolute) am beyond both.

    Understand those pointers and you might understand why...
    ...“the world” is only in you and why
    ...You are not in the world and why
    ...the illusions of beingness and non-beingness are also in you.
    Please enter the silence of contemplation.
    FOR A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF BEINGNESS AND NON-BEINGNESS:
  • Click FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)

  • YES, BOOKS ARE SHIPPED INTERNATIONALLY. The USPS set new rates that went into effect on 14 May 2007. You may visit http://ircalc.usps.gov/ to calculate rates and view options. (In the “weight boxes,” estimate from 1 pound for a single book to 3 pounds and 14 ounces for 5-6 books.) Add $5 to cover package preparation, the assistant's trip to the PO, the completion of international shipping forms, and postal fees.