Friday, October 31, 2008

DETERMINISM AS OPPOSED TO CHOICE, LOGIC, AND REASON, Part Five

An Advaita Vedanta philosophy site, focusing on Realization, enlightenment, nisarga yoga, non-duality (nonduality), your original nature, dwelling as your natural state, and the teachings of Maharaj.

FROM A SITE VISITOR: What did you mean about varieties of determinism?


FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR [Referring to the book CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS]: My girlfriend read your book--found it biologically deterministic but is willing to consider its questions.

FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR: "A" kills person "B.” What's the cause? If "A" reads the point that the cause of all is all, then he does not feel guilty. Raja

FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR: Dearest floyd, Reading the post today, was reminded of words from Yajnavalkya when he attempted to dispel the fear of giving up individuality: “Where there are two, one sees another, one hears another, one welcomes another, one thinks of another, one knows another. But when the whole has become That (Atman), who is seen by whom, who is to be heard by whom, who is to be welcomed by whom, who is to be known by whom?” And…who is killing whom, indeed! g

F.: Exactly, ginny. In order to kill, persons identified with the body-mind-personality triad must be functioning under the auspices of warped or blocked consciousness; in order to drop bombs as an optional, personal choice, persons must be asleep and driven by the effects of warped or blocked consciousness as a result of distorted programming and conditioning;


and in order to refuse to negotiate one’s way through the relative existence via negotiation, one must be driven by a massive manifestation of egotism that accompanies the most firmly entrenched ego-states that have been assumed as identities.


How much influence does cultural determinism play in influencing entire races or countries to exhibit a propensity for war and fighting while other cultures have traditionally preferred peace? A significant role. Some nations on the whole take no offense when leaders make light of destruction, laughing even when a head of their government sings a lighthearted tune about bombing another country.


Persons can be inspired when their leaders exhibit a warrior mentality and speak positively of what fighters they are (that is, announce that their role is "The Fighter" and "The Super Fighter").


[Recall that it was Columbus who wrote in his diary of the natives he found in the “New World”—an interesting concept in itself—that they were so peaceful and docile that they were sure to make wonderful slaves.]

Now, to continue with the discussion of the combined roles of biological determinism and personality determinism begun yesterday, but first, to reiterate:

Advaitins share the understanding that the cause of all is all in order to allow seekers to be free of misunderstandings in one more area of human behavior during the relative. If one cannot understand the effects of personality and programming and conditioning determiners and then be free of those influences, then they will function throughout the relative existence with no more freedom than that of a Pavlovian dog.

The way that the personality type of Type Ones through Types Fives drive thoughts and words and deeds in “relationships” was covered yesterday. Here are the remainder:

Type Sixes are generally dependent, often driven by fear and anxiety and often seeking others to take care of them and provide security. (And Type Sixes account for 50% of all females on the planet and 50% of males on the planet. Want to control 50% of the population of the planet? Just play to their fears and their anxieties.)


Types Sevens will avoid commitment or tend to be ambivalent and distracted.


Types Eights will be demanding and controlling and uncompromising.


Type Nines can be stubborn, passive-aggressive, and defensive.


Is the greatest factor in determining personality type probably environmental? Likely. Yet are there also biological aspects of personality? Definitely.


So the biological determiners work to drive persons into relationships to meet desires and to assuage fears and then personality determiners drive behavior in their relationships. Maharaj was a proponent of using science to support the teachings, so, in terms of biological determiners, consider the influence of the limbic area of the brain:


In laboratory studies, male rats have been found to be stimulated by sexual visuals and smells (the response having been detected within the limbic area of the brain including the hypothalamus and the amygdala). No such response was registered in female rats.


Human testing showed a similar response. Even if human females found certain visuals to have some arousal effect, they did not show as dramatic a level of increased activity in the limbic area as human males who were shown sexually-stimulating pictures. In the testing of those women, however, it was seen that the limbic area did affect women more than men in terms of generating emotional reactions...especially involving attraction, desire, and lust.


Such differences are examples of biological determinism in terms of human male and human female thoughts and words and deeds, and such biological influences can combine with other determiners (such as environmental, cultural, natural, and experiential influences) to create totally different agendas between males and females in relationships.


Consider the natural/biological determiners that inspire males of various species to fight for dominance and the right to breed with females. Examples can be seen (1) in the wild as rams fight—on some occasions to the death—for the right to breed with a group of ewes or (2) in human cultures. [See tapes of “The Jerry Springer Show” for examples of sleepwalking humans whose more prurient instincts drive them to fight for breeding rights.]


The fact is that rams seek sex and ewes trade sex. Ewes “save themselves” for the “best” male, a status determined by the superior physical prowess that is evidenced when that male wins the fight over the ewes. (Those persons who take themselves to be functioning on "a much higher plane" will certainly be offended by any suggestion that some humans exhibit the same behavior when biological factors are at play, yes?)


That natural determiner among ewes is activated to assure the quality of the species and to answer their drive (a) to be taken care of and (b) to be protected from advances from rams to which they have no attraction and (c) to have a sense of security. Naturally, the ewes sense that those desires can best be met by the strongest or most dominant male.


Again, as natural as that is, many persons take offense at the notion that the same natural determiners might drive human behavior. Having evolved—in their minds—to “far higher levels than the animals,” surely what is happening in their relationships cannot possibly be so simplistic and offensive and biologically-driven as to involve a male who is seeking sex and a woman who is trading sex for security or protection or being taken care of.


Yet if one studies the survey results of 1000 male newlyweds and 1000 female newlyweds who were asked why they had married, the males indicated they were "tired of the dating scene" (tired of the chase for a sex partner) and the females top three answers dealt with "security and/or financial issues."


The answer “I married for love” did not make the top 15 responses offered by the 2000 recently-married persons. Are there exceptions? Of course. Are they in the majority? Research suggests not. Are some ram/ewe-type parallels in evidence? Yes. Is that a result of biological determinism? Yes, especially among the non-Realized. [See CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS for full details. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TODAY’S POST:

  • Click CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS

  • Click FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)

  • Click LIBERATION

  • TWO OTHER OFFERINGS ARE AVAILABLE:

    More and more seekers are requesting an understanding of how a personality formed in childhood is still determining and controlling everything that is thought or said or done in adulthood. Others have inquired about an opportunity to speak one-on-one about the seven-step “path” to Realization.

    Thus, two opportunities are being offered from now until Dec 15th at 50% off:

    PERSONALITY TYPING:

    Here’s what is included in the package that is available for the next two months (the service available to international visitors but these price being only for the Continental U.S.):

    A copy of the personality test (B) Priority mailing of the test (C) Analysis of the test results (D) a one-hour telephone session to discuss the results (E) the cost of the telephone conference. Cost is US$95.

    ONE-ON-ONE SATSANG VIA TELE-CONFERENCE

    For the next two months, a tele-conference to discuss any aspects of the Advaita teachings one-on-one will be offered. [Rich from the U.K. completed this package recently and was able to make a low-rate international call from his home in the U.K. to the office here in the U.S. for his conference.] The cost covers the income that cannot be earned as a result of being unavailable for regular retainer contract income during your conference time.] Cost is US$75.

    To arrange either package, >Click ARRANGE PACKAGES provide all of the information requested, and in the message box at the bottom, indicate that you want to make arrangements for the PERSONALITY TYPING or for the ONE-ON-ONE ADVAITA SESSION or both.

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    DETERMINISM AS OPPOSED TO CHOICE, LOGIC, AND REASON, Part Four

    An Advaita Vedanta philosophy site, focusing on Realization, enlightenment, nisarga yoga, non-duality (nonduality), your original nature, dwelling as your natural state, and the teachings of Maharaj.

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: [Received 25 October]: What did you mean in today’s post when you talked about varieties of determinism rather than choice and logic and reason? Sounds interesting in a way but I have no clue what you’re talking about, Thank you, Stephen.


    FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR [Referring to the book CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS]: My girlfriend read your book and found herself having a VERY strong reaction to it--she found it biologically deterministic but is willing to consider its questions.

    FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR Hi floyd, In the above discussion, you mentioned that the cause of all is all. let's take this scenario. Person "A" killed person "B" with a knife.what's the cause, is it the knife, or the metal that made knife,or the current consciousness that used knife. There is no single cause. If the Person "A" reads the above point that cause of all is all ,then he does not feel guilty and can go on with unmanifesting the consciousness. Please share light on this. Raja

    F.: [Raja’s e-mail is along the lines of several received from those who erroneously believe that to understand the chains of events that lead to any happening can be used as justification to behave in ways in which the Realized would never behave.]


    Raja, after so many months, what is this talk of “going on with unmanifesting the consciousness”? The consciousness is manifested. It is either functioning as pure, unblocked consciousness or not. Next, as mentioned to you months ago, you love to dream up scenarios, but they are not leading you to Realization and they never will.


    This topic, and others that are undertaken as nothing more than entertainment, are not for you. You still want to talk “trigonometry” without having yet mastered “addition and subtraction.” As suggested to you many times, go back to the basics because your words indicate that you have not grasped even the most fundamental understandings.


    The Realized understand the functioning of the totality, a piece of which is being explained in this series. The Realized are at one with all, so any talk of “killing another” would simultaneously be committing suicide…to kill self. Yet there are no “others”—there is no duality, so the issue is moot for the Realized.


    Why do some kill? Because of a chain of events and because they are not Realized. They are still trapped in false identities which they are trying to maintain or defend with a “fight-to-the-death” mentality. They are emotionally-intoxicated (a condition again that can only be "experienced" by an ego-state).


    Why have you not killed? There is a chain of events that has resulted in raja not killing. There is a chain of events that has resulted in some persons killing. It is the non-Realized who might use “causes” as an excuse or justification to harm; it is the Realized that comprehend the endless succession of events that lead to all happenings. It is the Realized that reach an understanding of how the totality functions and why the totality functions as it does.


    That said, what has any of your fascination with scenarios got to do with raja finding out all that he is not, finding out Who/What He Is, and dwelling as the natural state…the no-killing state…the no-dreaming state (which includes not dreaming up scenarios rather than answering the basic Advaitin questions first).


    Back to the same suggestion offered time and again to you: stop with the dreaming—including the dreaming up of scenarios—and stay with the I AM for now. Later, you can come out and play along with the “entertainment” part of the teachings, including this current series. But until you know who you are not and until you see all of the distractions that are causing you to behave as you are behaving, focus on “the work,” not on the play.


    Now, yesterday’s post ended with this: If one would move beyond the levels of determinism that rob the non-Realized of choice and logic and reason, then they must understand the varieties of determinism that control the non-Realized on the planet. So what are the various types of determinism that drive persons to think or talk or behave the way they do? The list includes, but is not limited to:


    biological (or genetic or natural) determinism, social (or environmental) determinism, archetypal determinism, physical (or chemical or body type) determinism, psychic (or psychological) determinism, and personality (or ego) determinism.


    BIOLOGICAL (OR GENETIC OR NATURAL) DETERMINISM

    First, since some persons find the notion of “biological determinism as a controlling or influential factor” to be an insult to “advanced” humans (or would that really just be to those offended persons specifically?), two questions will be answered:


    "Isn’t it possible for humans to transcend certain biological drives and think, talk, and act in ways that are rooted in logic and reason and sensibility?" Unequivocally, yes. “Does that happen with any regularity on this planet?” No.


    As an example of biological influences (and overcoming the influence of biological determinism), consider the human sex drive:


    Of course a person can transcend biological-psychological influences, as well as the sway of the sex drive, and can then exercise reason and choose not to engage in an act of unsafe sex (an act that could easily be an example of assisted suicide if the potential lethal consequences of that act are considered nowadays).


    Too, 50% of all married men and 60% of all married women will never have an extramarital affair, biological urges notwithstanding. (That might be a result of overcoming biological urges or it might be the result of an absence of opportunity.)


    Also, even among the scientists and sociologists and others who have studied this subject in detail, there is no consensus regarding the role of the genetic aspect in determining behavior. Members of those groups continue to debate “the ratio of cause” that should be assigned to genetic vs. environmental influence on human behavior vs. biological influences on human behavior.


    But since the term “biological determinism” arose after a reading of the book on “relationships,” consider the factors being discussed in this section in regards to "relationships," realizing also that some understanding of personality determiners, in addition to biological determiners, would be relevant to the discussion.


    If one were to study the typical beliefs about relationships as associated with personality type, it would be seen that the nine basic types all have different agendas about “love,” about “relationships,” about relationship fears, and about relationship desires. Under duress (or under the influence of religious or spiritual-based arrogance and a sense of “better-than-ness”):


    Type Ones seek “perfect love,” their definition of what that should look like based in the totality of their experiences. They can become quite critical when a partner fails to meet their standards or expectations or definitions.


    Type’s Twos seek unlimited love. They can never get enough now to make up for the perceived or actual shortage then.


    Type Threes can be exploitative and sporadic…wanting someone on day one but being ready to reject them on day five hundred or day two-fifty or day thirty or even on day two.


    Type Fours typically imagine idealized forms of “love” (which can never be attained in actuality).


    Type Fives can be withdrawn and contentious when in a "relationship."


    The discussion of the combined effects of biological and personality influences on behavior in "relationships" will continue tomorrow. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TODAY’S POST:

  • Click FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)

  • Click LIBERATION

  • TWO OTHER OFFERINGS ARE AVAILABLE:

    More and more seekers are requesting an understanding of how a personality formed in childhood is still determining and controlling everything that is thought or said or done in adulthood. Others have inquired about an opportunity to speak one-on-one about the seven-step “path” to Realization.

    Thus, two opportunities are being offered from now until Dec 15th at 50% off:

    PERSONALITY TYPING:

    Here’s what is included in the package that is available for the next two months (the service available to international visitors but these price being only for the Continental U.S.):

    A copy of the personality test (B) Priority mailing of the test (C) Analysis of the test results (D) a one-hour telephone session to discuss the results (E) the cost of the telephone conference. Cost is US$95.

    ONE-ON-ONE SATSANG VIA TELE-CONFERENCE

    For the next two months, a tele-conference to discuss any aspects of the Advaita teachings one-on-one will be offered. [Rich from the U.K. completed this package recently and was able to make a low-rate international call from his home in the U.K. to the office here in the U.S. for his conference.] The cost covers the income that cannot be earned as a result of being unavailable for regular retainer contract income during your conference time.] Cost is US$75.

    To arrange either package, >Click ARRANGE PACKAGES provide all of the information requested, and in the message box at the bottom, indicate that you want to make arrangements for the PERSONALITY TYPING or for the ONE-ON-ONE ADVAITA SESSION or both.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    DETERMINISM AS OPPOSED TO CHOICE, LOGIC, AND REASON, Part Three

    An Advaita Vedanta philosophy site, focusing on Realization, enlightenment, nisarga yoga, non-duality (nonduality), your original nature, dwelling as your natural state, and the teachings of Maharaj.

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: [Received 25 October]: What did you mean in today’s post when you talked about varieties of determinism rather than choice and logic and reason? Sounds interesting in a way but I have no clue what you’re talking about, Thank you, Stephen.


    FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR [Referring to the book CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS]: My girlfriend read your book and found herself having a VERY strong reaction to it--she found it biologically deterministic but is willing to consider its questions.


    F.: Yesterday’s post ended with this: the Advaitin pointer regarding “no single cause” will be examined in more detail.


    In the book FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE, the following from a transcript of an exchange during a recorded satsang session addresses the “no single cause” teaching:


    F.: “Upon realization, another duality disappears: the credit-blame duality. The realized know that assigning credit to one source or assigning blame to one source is to ignore the reality of an infinite chain of happenings. Here’s a simple example that might be relevant. Last week, driving along the road that leads out here, the rear tire of a car ahead of me threw a pebble against my windshield and cracked it. You’ve all probably had a similar experience? [Nods in agreement] What caused that?”


    Questioner: “The rear tire of the car ahead of you.”


    Questioner 2: “Actually, the driver of the car was responsible. I think people who do that should have to pay for the cost of the repair.”


    F.: “I’m glad you said that since your comment will let us see how wrong that type thinking is and let me offer the pointer about ‘cause’.” [Participant displays a mock frown. Laughter from group] As I passed that car and drove farther along the road, I caught up with a truck that was hauling gravel…and spilling it all along the roadway. The pebbles in the road, one of which was thrown into my windshield earlier, most likely came from that truck. Now who’s to blame for my cracked windshield?”


    Questioner 2: “The driver of the dump truck.”


    Questioner 3: “The manager of the hauling company who allowed the truck to haul gravel without a cover over the top to prevent slippage.”


    F.: “The manager? Or could it have been the owner of the hauling company who was too cheap to provide covers or too negligent to be certain that covers were being used?”


    Questioner 4: “I’ll play along: it was the fault of the highway patrol that is not efficient enough to pull over those creating hazards on the road.” [Laughter from group]


    F.: “Or the legislators who misappropriated funds to their pet projects and underfunded the highway patrol? [More laughs] Okay, enough. You get the picture. A series of events evolved in a way that, at a particular moment, a particular set of circumstances also evolved that resulted in a broken windshield on my vehicle. And if we wanted to play this game a little longer, you’ve already shown that we could trace the cause back millions of years to the circumstances that resulted in a boulder being broken down into pebbles, one of which millions of years later struck my windshield. But billions of years before that, an atom appeared in a vacuum, maybe even spit forth from an adjacent universe. And that atom split and then split again and then formed a mutated atom and those two collided and…bang…that collision caused a chain reaction that resulted in our boulder being formed billions of years later. And then millions of years after that, the boulder atrophied into huge stones and then rocks and then pebbles, and because of that happening and because of a truck and an owner and a manager and a driver and a construction project and an inefficient highway patrol and a driver and a car ahead of me, my windshield broke. Ha. Look at the billions of events that had to occur over a period of billions of years in order for my windshield to be damaged. Yet arrogantly, persons want to claim that they know exactly what's causing any particular happening. Persons want to tell you the one cause that they think is behind whatever is happening. They want to credit one thing or one entity or one power. Or they want to blame one thing or one entity or one power.”


    Questioner: We’re back to the pointer you offered before.”


    F.: “Specifically?”


    Questioner: “About over-simplifying the ‘cause’ of anything. You said something like ‘the cause of everything is everything that’s happened before’.”


    The point being offered there is that to limit cause or to assign blame to one factor is to ignore the many deterministic factors that drive events or that drive human thoughts and words and deeds. If persons would be freed from being driven (a condition which removes choice) then they must understand the expansive assortment of contributory sources that drive them to think and talk and behave as they do.


    Recently, a person in the news said that understanding the cause of global warming doesn’t matter…that we just need to solve the problem. How can any problem be solved without knowing the cause? How can a repetition of the same problems be prevented if the cause of the problem is not known?


    To say, “I don’t care how the car got in the ditch, just get it out” is a setup to allow the same circumstances to be repeated and to allow the car to continue ending up in ditches.


    So too is the case when persons do not understand what determines (what drives) their thoughts and words and deeds. If one would move beyond the levels of determinism that rob the non-Realized of choice and logic and reason, then they must understand the varieties of determinism that control the non-Realized on the planet. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TODAY’S POST:

  • Click FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)

  • Click LIBERATION

  • TWO OTHER OFFERINGS ARE AVAILABLE:

    More and more seekers are requesting an understanding of how a personality formed in childhood is still determining and controlling everything that is thought or said or done in adulthood. Others have inquired about an opportunity to speak one-on-one about the seven-step “path” to Realization.

    Thus, two opportunities are being offered from now until Dec 15th at 50% off:

    PERSONALITY TYPING:

    Here’s what is included in the package that is available for the next two months (the service available to international visitors but these price being only for the Continental U.S.):

    A copy of the personality test (B) Priority mailing of the test (C) Analysis of the test results (D) a one-hour telephone session to discuss the results (E) the cost of the telephone conference. Cost is US$95.

    ONE-ON-ONE SATSANG VIA TELE-CONFERENCE

    For the next two months, a tele-conference to discuss any aspects of the Advaita teachings one-on-one will be offered. [Rich from the U.K. completed this package recently and was able to make a low-rate international call from his home in the U.K. to the office here in the U.S. for his conference.] The cost covers the income that cannot be earned as a result of being unavailable for regular retainer contract income during your conference time.] Cost is US$75.

    To arrange either package, >Click ARRANGE PACKAGES provide all of the information requested, and in the message box at the bottom, indicate that you want to make arrangements for the PERSONALITY TYPING or for the ONE-ON-ONE ADVAITA SESSION or both.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    DETERMINISM AS OPPOSED TO CHOICE, LOGIC, AND REASON, Part Two

    An Advaita Vedanta philosophy site, focusing on Realization, enlightenment, nisarga yoga, non-duality (nonduality), your original nature, dwelling as your natural state, and the teachings of Maharaj.


    FROM A SITE VISITOR: [Received 25 October]: What did you mean in today’s post when you talked about varieties of determinism rather than choice and logic and reason? Sounds interesting in a way but I have no clue what you’re talking about, Thank you, Stephen.


    FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR [Referring to the book CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS]: My girlfriend read your book and found herself having a VERY strong reaction to it--she found it biologically deterministic but is willing to consider its questions.


    F.: First, let it be said that no criticism is offered regarding any person having a reaction. Among the Realized, witnessing and understanding merely happen (without attachment) whether peacefulness or an absence of peacefulness is being witnessed. Reactions are rampant among the non-Realized, and the Advaitin teacher will witness such reactions with the same type of objectivity exhibited by a physician who is analyzing a patient’s symptoms:


    The doctor will witness the symptoms that indicate a lack of wellness, will determine what treatment is indicated, and will discuss with the patient what was revealed in the diagnosis, but she/he would not judge or criticize the patient while discussing what caused the problem and what needs to change.


    So it is here. The “very strong reaction” will be discussed, but there should be no notion of any “personal attack” taking place since, ultimately, no persons are involved.


    That said, if a person has a “very strong reaction” to anything and would dismiss it as nothing more than “biological determinism,” wouldn’t that “very strong reaction” itself be an example of deterministic forces at play?


    If not, would the claim be that “I chose to have that very strong (and very uncomfortable) reaction”? If that is the case, then it begs the question, “Why would you choose to have a strong and uncomfortable reaction?” Obviously, the reaction was not a result of choice but was a result of one or more deterministic factors.


    It also begs these questions: “Now, are you willing to admit that you are yet susceptible to deterministic influences?” and “Are you interested in completing a process that can free You from the vicissitudes of whatever determined that reaction?”


    “Further, are you interested in completing a process that can free You from the fluctuations and the instability of mood swings that are triggered by one or more of the various types of determinism?” and “Are you interested in bringing to an end the experiencing of such 'negative' reactions like the 'very strong' one that happened?”


    More to the point, if true understanding is sought, would it not be necessary to understand what was behind that reaction, that is, to learn what determined that reaction instead of merely experiencing it, possibly over and over again?


    Also, is it possible that some believe that certain types of determinism are more acceptable than other types of determinism? [For example, might personality determinism be "OK" while biological determinism would be "bad"?] The Realized, rather than being driven to a "very strong reaction" by deterministic influences, would have merely witnessed from one of the two levels of witnessing:


    [NOTE ON WITNESSING: Early on, while traveling along the “path” to Realization, the witnessing is of the subject-object variety: “Ah, I see his/her words” or “I see this” or “I see that.” Farther along, the witnessing is of the Pure variety:


    “I do not see this or that. I see THAT. I see the unicity. I do not see subjects here vs. objects there. I do not recognize those former, false selves that were capable of anger, reaction, and emotional intoxication. I shall not give over control of my feelings to externals...to ‘others’.”]


    Before continuing with the discussion, let it be understood that the very strong reaction had nothing to do with the content of the book. The very strong reaction was caused by one or more of the several influences that determine how people think and talk and behave. And the way that persons think and talk and behave is determined (post-programming and conditioning and acculturation and domestication) by internal, not external, factors.


    Consider the susceptibility of one’s disposition—not to mention the inability to maintain peace—if one is at the mercy of external influences. Only the Realized would have had a choice after reading that book:


    After witnessing the words, (A) the words might have been considered pointers toward the truth or (B) the words might have been considered pointers toward the false; either way, the choice would have been to (C) consider the content further without any emotional reaction or (D) set the book aside without further consideration and without any emotional reaction.


    Either way, something would cause (1) an emotional reaction or would cause (2) the reading to end without any emotional reaction. The cause of #1 would likely be multi-faceted...rooted in many deterministic factors; the cause of #2 might be a completion of the “journey” to Full Realization.


    The Realized Advaitin understands the teachings that point to an endless series of occurrences that cause various behaviors and emoting and thinking and talking that are typical among the non-Realized.


    The Realized understand precipitating events, external behavioral causation, and internal behavioral causation. The Realized also function throughout the post-Realization manifestation without being influenced by any of those three factors.

    The Realized teacher will point the seeker toward all of the factors that drive persons into entrapment in body and mind and personality influences. The Advaitin teacher will guide the seeker to an understanding of the deterministic factors that interrupt peace so those can be discarded.

    Tomorrow, the Advaitin pointer regarding “no single cause” will be examined in more detail so that those trapped in personas can be free of reacting, of over-reacting, and of emotional intoxication. Only then can choice be an option; only then can logic and reason prevail over emotionalism. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TODAY’S POST:

  • Click FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)

  • and
  • Click LIBERATION

  • TWO OTHER OFFERINGS ARE AVAILABLE:

    More and more seekers are requesting an understanding of how a personality formed in childhood is still determining and controlling everything that is thought or said or done in adulthood. Others have inquired about an opportunity to speak one-on-one about the seven-step “path” to Realization.

    Thus, two opportunities are being offered from now until Dec 15th at 50% off:

    PERSONALITY TYPING:

    Here’s what is included in the package that is available for the next two months (the service available to international visitors but these price being only for the Continental U.S.):

    A copy of the personality test (B) Priority mailing of the test (C) Analysis of the test results (D) a one-hour telephone session to discuss the results (E) the cost of the telephone conference. Cost is US$95.

    ONE-ON-ONE SATSANG VIA TELE-CONFERENCE

    For the next two months, a tele-conference to discuss any aspects of the Advaita teachings one-on-one will be offered. [Rich from the U.K. completed this package recently and was able to make a low-rate international call from his home in the U.K. to the office here in the U.S. for his conference.] The cost covers the income that cannot be earned as a result of being unavailable for regular retainer contract income during your conference time.] Cost is US$75.

    To arrange either package, >Click ARRANGE PACKAGES provide all of the information requested, and in the message box at the bottom, indicate that you want to make arrangements for the PERSONALITY TYPING or for the ONE-ON-ONE ADVAITA SESSION or both.

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    DETERMINISM AS OPPOSED TO CHOICE, LOGIC, AND REASON, Part One

    An Advaita Vedanta philosophy site, focusing on Realization, enlightenment, nisarga yoga, non-duality (nonduality), your original nature, dwelling as your natural state, and the teachings of Maharaj.

    FROM A SITE VISITOR: [Received 25 October]: What did you mean in today’s post when you talked about varieties of determinism rather than choice and logic and reason? Sounds interesting in a way but I have no clue what you’re talking about, Thank you, Stephen.


    FROM ANOTHER SITE VISITOR [Referring to the book CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS]: My girlfriend read your book and found herself having a VERY strong reaction to it--she found it biologically deterministic but is willing to consider its questions.


    F.: A discussion of “determinism” and “cause”—as related to the Advaita teachings—is appropriate as persons attempt to understand what the teachings offer in regards to cause (meaning “the cause of all happenings” as well as “the cause of thoughts, words, and deeds among persons”).


    Maharaj’s pointers exhibited an element of determinism when he taught that the cause of all is all, meaning that all happenings are a result of the entire compilation of antecedent happenings and conditions which, in turn, affect current thoughts and words and deeds among persons.


    There has been an unbroken series of events that are all related, starting from the moment that one atom manifested within a vacuum and precipitated the happenings that resulted in what is called “this universe.”


    The non-Realized believe that they are making choices and have no understanding at all of the plethora of influences that are driving them to think as they think, to talk as they talk, and to behave as they behave.


    Their egotism will inspire them to believe that they are separate from “lower forms” and that they are “higher level beings” with their supposed capability to choose, to “love,” to determine their own fate, to have control, to “rise above instinct,” to live civilly, to rule self, to think, and to affect permanent change by improving self and others.


    They will note as if it were a legitimate source of pride that humans are "the highest life form" on the planet. They will brag about how they are "unique," separate from the animals and capable of rising above natural and innate and cultural and "personal" and biological and/or animalistic drives. They will claim to be uniquely capable of being able to consciously choose to take a “higher and more noble path” and to be free of being driven by causes other than conscious choice.


    [Visitors can revisit the archives and find the instances where e-mails have been received that criticized pointers which suggest that humans could often be far more civil if they lived more naturally in the fashion of some animals.


    The criticisms that have come on occasion to counter such suggestions always tout “the human mind” and “man’s dominion over the animals” and “humankind’s nobility that manifests when man rises to a point that ascends far above any reached by animals.” Such e-mails trigger more than one of the five senses when they arrive. The egotism oozing from such claims are almost visible in such e-mails. The odor of such blatant egocentricity is palpable.]


    Many among the non-Realized would (or do) concur with the words spoken by a Shakespearean character, never realizing that the writer’s words were intended to be ironic...placed in the mouth of one of the most troubled and confused and tortured and dual-minded characters in all of drama:


    Quote 1: “What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!


    Many persons are less enamored with mankind/womankind/humankind in general but are still quite enamored with their own self-ness (which they believe wholeheartedly is something that most certainly is quite noble and capable of reason and is in possession of infinite faculties and is admirable and angelic and godlike and beautiful in all ways).


    In fact, the Realized poet was making clear that those would only be the views of one who is trapped in duality and angst and torment and ego and egotism and indecisiveness. The words that follow “Quote 1” show not only the confusion of Hamlet as he considers the “worth of man” but express an entirely opposite view that is aligned with the poet’s actual realization:


    Quote 2: And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me….”


    The arrogant will cling to the appraisal of humans in general (or of self specifically) as expressed in “Quote 1” and will reject completely the more humbling assessment as expressed in “Quote 2.”


    Of course the non-Realized, trapped as they are in the pride of their species or in the pride of their own self-ness, can have a “VERY strong reaction” to any words which might suggest that much of the behavior among humans is biologically determined (or is driven by a combination of the many types of determinism that exist).


    The follow-up questions in that case must include:


    1. “WHO had a strong reaction? WHO cares? That is, which persona or personas registered strong offense?


    2. "Further, who missed the fact that biological determinism was identified as one of the sources of relative problems—that is, as one of the varieties of determinism that blindly drive human thoughts and human words and human deeds—but has missed the offered Advaitin pointers that identify the relative solution to the relative problems that result from deterministic factors which prevent choice and which block the use of reason and logic?


    3. "WHO believes that all of his/her thoughts and words and deeds are controlled strictly by her/him and not more often caused by all that has been experienced by a specific speck of consciousness and that is being impacted by other specks of consciousness and by all happenings that have manifested previously?"


    The cause of what persons think and say and do is most often determined by a variety of causes and by a series of unbroken occurrences that they are not even conscious of, much less understand.


    While persons love to believe that they are powerful (or that they have completed a noble or religious or spiritual body of “work” that has empowered them) the fact is that—short of Full Realization—persons will never understand the relative functioning that happens as a result of the blockage of pure consciousness. And even less will they understand the functioning of the totality and what is required to be free of being driven unconsciously and/or subconsciously and/or deterministically.


    Yet the fact remains that if one is being driven—in a car for example—he/she can be in one of three places and cannot possibly be in a fourth place. If being driven, one can be in the passenger seat, in the back seat, or in the trunk. The one place a person cannot be—if being driven—in behind the wheel.


    Persons being driven will have no choice as to where they go, how they go, or when they go. They have no choice at all, and all of their thoughts and words and deeds will be determined instead by a host of factors that they do not understand and over which they have no control. Please enter the silence of contemplation.

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