Tuesday, November 03, 2009

CONTRARIANS, CONTRARY PERSONS, AND TEACHERS WHO SHARE WISDOM THAT IS CONTRARY TO “CONVENTIONAL WISDOM,” Part FIVE

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F.: Several weeks ago, a visitor who claimed to be “getting into Native American spirituality” stumbled upon this site and, after reading a few entries, asked if Advaitins were “contrarians.”

Last week, this question was raised: “…if a handful of Advaitins are offering teachings that run contrary to the “conventional wisdom” (a.k.a., widely-accepted learned ignorance) then why can they not be considered contrarians?”

So, what is the reference to "contrarians"? Long ago (a) among the Far Eastern Indians and Asians (some of whom would migrate and settle on the land now called “the Americas”) and (b) among those who would come to be called “the indigenous peoples” of South, Central and North America,” there were some who were called “contrarians.”

Nowadays, in the field of finance, contrarians are those who go against the conventional “wisdom” of the masses and buy when others sell or sell while others are buying. Among Native Americans and others mentioned above, however, the term “contrarian” refers to one who speaks in ironies or contradictions, who functions as a jester or satirist or clown, none of whom follow the path that the masses follow.

Such "contrarians" are thought of as being “backwards or upside-down or contrary in nature” and often do things in a backwards or unconventional manner, literally walking backwards or saying the opposite of what they really mean or believe.

During a heat wave, they might wear winter clothing and complain about the heat; if hungry, they might complain about being too full; if cold, they might wander about naked and protest that they are hot. In some of those cases, they might be modeling how ignorant it is to complain about relative conditions that are beyond human influence—a pointer with which some Advaitins would agree.

However, before discussing the similarities and differences in contrarians and Advaitins, let it be said that “contrarians” should not be confused with persons who are simply “contrary” (which Advaitins are not, though their understandings do run contrary to “conventional wisdom”).

Yet Advaitins are not contrary merely for the sake of being contrary. Contrary types are argumentative and combative, and such malcontents will never know any peace. They are driven by personality / personalities that formed because of abuse and that have driven them to become abusers as well. Some are driven by personality-induced fears and anxiety and, to combat their condition, also become bullies.

Many digress to such a degree that they become self-absorbed egomaniacs, megalomaniacs, antisocial types, or even sociopaths. Recently, a contrary one who is totally separated from Reality and from any understanding of her own motives, much less Truth, said after a few pointers to Truth were offered which she could not possibly grasp:

“Oh, I see the problem now. I speak English and you speak Swahili.” So she speaks “the right way” and this speck speaks “the wrong way,” the right way marked by sleep-talk and make-believe and mind-speak and the wrong way marked by pointers that invite persons to abandon their self-absorption (that is, absorption in their identification with their false self / selves) and to know the Real Self.

Persons (specifically, the non-Realized and non-willing) living in their false identification with one or many ego-states—which will result in the manifestation of egotism functioning as an ego-state defense mechanism—will resist any pointer that runs contrary to their belief systems or that challenges the validity of their false identity / identities.

The result is that they will be contrary in the face of pointers toward Truth as they defend their untrue beliefs; moreover, they will believe that the pure consciousness which is speaking in ways that point in a direction that is in opposition to their beliefs are the contrary ones.

They will also be convinced that there is nothing for them to understand since they already know it all; thus, her later observation, "He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know."

Egotism will inspire them to believe that “the problem” is always with you…with others. The consideration offered to the speaker above is this: Is it possible that you are speaking in English and I am speaking in English, but that you are hearing in Swahili—a language about which you know nothing?

The actual name of the language that she cannot hear is the language of what Maharaj called premakash, or "the universal heart." That “instrument” was shut down early on among the contrary ones, so if they now hear words spoken in the language of the heart, of course it might as well be a foreign language. As far as they are concerned, it is.

On a certain level, though, it is fact that persons who seem to be speaking the same language are not doing so at all. Maharaj’s words can shed light on this “English/Swahili” issue if the pointers in the following exchange are understood:

Maharaj: We are not speaking the same language. Yours is a make-believe talk; all hangs on suppositions and assumptions. You speak with assurance about things you are not sure of.
Questioner: Therefore, I am here.
Maharaj: You are not yet here. I am here. Come in! But you don't. You want me to live your life, feel your way, use your language. I cannot, and it will not help you. You must come to me. Words are of the mind and the mind obscures and distorts. Hence the absolute need to go beyond words and move over to my side.

He explained that few will ever engage in shravana, in hearing pointers to the Truth which can be offered by a Realized teacher. Hearers Realize; non-hearers continue to live in delusion and duality...in a relative existence that is marked by spells of misery and suffering which delusion and duality generate.

Only a few will ever reach the point where they can admit that which one visitor to the loft admitted:

Questioner: There is a basic difference between us. You know the real while I know only the workings of my mind. Therefore what you say is one thing, what I hear is another. What you say is true; what I understand is false, though the words are the same. There is a gap between us. How to close the gap?
Maharaj: Give up the idea of being what you think yourself to be and there will be no gap.

More often, as with the mindful woman quoted above who is "hearing Swahili" when English is being spoken, the case is as described by Maharaj:

The mind does not grasp the whole—its focus is very narrow. It sees fragments only and fails to perceive the picture. Just as a man who hears sounds, but does not understand the language, may accuse the speaker of meaningless jabbering, and be altogether wrong. What to one is a chaotic stream of sounds is a beautiful poem to another.

Are You hearing the poetry...the poetry of the heart...of the Pure Consciousness? How well persons are able to hear depends on how well they are able to listen, and how willing they are to consider what they hear, rather than how much they can egotistically talk about themselves and their firmly-held beliefs which they have never subjected to objective consideration, much less questioned wholeheartedly. Please enter into the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

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