Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ANSWERING QUESTIONS RECEIVED, Part Thirteen

An Advaita forum focusing on Realisation, enlightenment, non-duality, Real Love, peace, freedom, Your Original Nature, abiding naturally, the Oneness, the Nothingness, and the teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

[To new visitors: As with Maharaj, the intent here is not to try to turn seekers into "Super Religious Persons" or "Spiritual Giants." Ultimately, it can be seen that those, too, are just roles. Here, there are two invitations: (1) to use religion or spirituality as nothing more than a plane that can carry You to the Your Destination and (2) an invitation to then exit that plane and abide for the remainder of the manifestation in a Nisarga (natural) fashion, marked by freedom and peace and by enjoying the relative existence fully, relishing all of its available pleasures and bliss rather than merely sitting on the plane for the remainder of the manifestation.]

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VISITOR: Are you saying that magical thinking and supernatural living are one and the same?

F.: Actually, the more significant point would be that there is no such thing as "supernatural living" because one must first adopt a false, supposedly "supernatural persona" or supernatural "self"-concept in order to believe that one is abiding in a supernatural fashion, but neither anything false nor any persona nor any "self" abides at all because they are all illusions.

Yet the illusion of abiding supernaturally cannot happen without the presence of magical thinking. Here's "the take" as offered here:

SUPERNATURAL LIVING:
Living that is based in magical thinking rather than fact, marked by constant attempts to bargain with or manipulate or appeal to an external power (an external locus of power and control) that the non-Realized believe can grant their wishes or share power with them in their efforts to control;

living marked by spiritual and emotional intoxication of the type that only ego-states can experience; the lifestyle followed by all persons who are so dominated by desires / fears and efforts to control people, places, things, and events that an imagined power (created in the imagination of, and in the image of, men) is endlessly sought and petitioned;

a life lived by persons who are out of touch with reality; a life lived by persons who believe the Great Reality is a person (with supernatural powers); that which can be a transitional "stage," not quite halfway along the seven-step "journey" to Reality that can move persons from their belief that the "I" is real to knowing the Absolute Which Truly Is the Real;

a lifestyle adopted by the masses during times of greatest fear or perceived attack; a lifestyle marked by rigidity and closure to alternative, scientific, or factual explanations; the type of living that prohibits questioning and thus locks persons into believing in all of the false teachings of their culture; the type of living marked by beliefs that leave persons unaware of their inner resource and inspires dependency, especially on imaginary outer resources.

MAGICAL THINKING:
Thinking based in non-fact, superstition, myth and belief in other-worldly powers; the belief that there is a micro-managing power in another realm (usually conceived as male in gender by the followers of the three religions of Abraham and others but also conceived as multiple gods and goddesses by other religious persons);

the thinking that leads to the belief that there is a single cause for all happenings on the planet, namely, an external locus of control; thinking inspired via religious or “spiritual” programming; thinking often inspired by abuse and trauma suffered in such a degree that a desire for rescue by some external power is wished or hoped for; thinking inspired by ego that wants control and therefore also wants a power at one’s beck and call that can grant wishes;

the fanciful thinking that leads persons to believe that they can petition a power in another realm that can then grant them control over people, places, things, weather, and all events; the type thinking that believes disasters are not events in nature but are punishments or signs delivered by an angry, other-worldly power; the type of thinking based in ignorance;

the type of thinking that dismisses scientific facts and endorses blind, unquestioning faith; the type thinking that blocks all awareness of Reality and imprisons persons in the confines of the false concepts of "a mind"; the type of thinking that is most often rooted in religious and spiritual beliefs; the type of thinking that leads to the belief in the U.S. culture and in other cultures as well in nonsensical beliefs that are supported by magical thinking (that is, in no-facts-involved thinking).

Some examples of the beliefs that are the result of magical (no-facts-involved) thinking include the following:

1. In the U.S., more than 99% think that when persons "die," the dead actually live on, and live on with a physical form that has an appearance that is so similar to the way they looked when alive on earth that they will be recognizable to family and friends, except that they have a gauzy, see-through look and will have sprouted wings that allow them to float about in the sky and in heaven. Gauzy or not, though, they think the physical form can experience pain - such as from flames - or can experience pleasures.

2. 90% think that some who die will also sprout wings yet will not have a gauzy appearance but will be totally invisible instead. They think that those invisible forms - called "angels" - are real and they think that those forms are forever hovering over them and they think that each "good" person has one such angel that is "guarding her or him."

3. In the U.S., 87% think that pregnancies result with input from three-parties instead of two. They think that it requires a man and a woman engaging in an act of friction that results in a sperm cell fertilizing an egg, but they also think that a god in another world intervenes in the process and plays some role as well. So in the U.S., over 87% (that is, over 271,000,000 people) do not know how babies are "made" - though the facts were made available to them in their 7th grade biology classes but were disavowed by their parents and teachers and religious and political leaders.

4. Some of another faith think that they are protected not by angels but by magical garments, special underwear that are to be worn at all times. Those same types think that every "good" man in their religion will become a god in charge of his own world and own heaven. They think that a wife can only enter into heaven by floating along the length of a veil that separates the physical realm from the heavenly realm, by listening for the code name assigned by her husband during their marriage ceremony and being whispered by their god / husband floating on the other side of the veil, and by being pulled though a slit in the veil by that god / husband. (During their marriage ceremony, a veil is set up and they do a "practice run" as part of the ritual.)

5. Those of another faith think that the alien galactic ruler Xenu (who was in charge of earth and 75 other planets in this part of the galaxy some 75 million years ago) addressed overpopulation by paralyzing the people of the other planets, by flying them to earth in DC-8 space planes, by arranging them around a volcano, and by murdering them with hydrogen bombs. Not done with that, the souls of these murdered people were gathered up and boxed, taken to cinemas and shown films for several days. The end result is that the souls clustered together and now inhabit people in their thousands. (And of course now they must be removed at huge expense, and the fees are collected by the leaders in that religion.)

6. In the book SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY: Recovering What Religions Lost, Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler is quoted as he discusses “psychosis,” a condition in which persons fail to differentiate between the symbolic (abstract) and the real (concrete). He said:

People are labeled psychotic when they refer to mental representations as if they were substantive and real. One example [involves taking] the 'voice of conscience' as the literal voice of another being, known as 'hearing voices.' The failure to differentiate between the symbolic and the real may be intentional (artistic license) or strategic (lying) or the result of a cognitive inability to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

Magical thinking is based in fantasy rather than being in touch with reality and living naturally. Schaler also discusses another illness that can generate belief in illusions:

Schizophrenia is said to be characterized by hallucinations, i.e., self-reported imaginings. Belief in God is a socially acceptable, self-reported imagining. Another example of self-reported imaginings, i.e., hallucinations, is the popular belief in the existence of angels. This belief is considered normal by mentally “healthy” people. Belief in the existence of aliens is considered abnormal and is a sign of mental illness.

Yet, insofar as angels and aliens are both hallucinations (that is, self-reported imaginings), there is no difference between believing in angels and believing in aliens. When self-reported imaginings conflict with socially-accepted norms of belief, speech, and behavior, the claims are considered psychotic. When self-reported imaginings are consistent with socially-accepted norms of belief, speech, and behavior, the claims are considered normal.


7. Billions on the planet think that naturally-occurring, destructive events such as earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. are actually supernatural events that are used by a god or gods to punish "bad" people or people with "bad karma."

8. Over 98% of the people on the planet think that miracles are real. They ignore the fact that the causes of all events and happenings could be explained factually but instead claim that such "miraculous" happenings are the result of "divine intervention" by a power or Powers from another world.

Such examples are eight of the thousands of examples of magical, warped thinking that can be observed on a daily basis. The Dream of the Planet is firmly fixed around the globe as fiction-filled minds generate magical thoughts and words. So it is.

Please enter the silence of contemplation.

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