Tuesday, September 08, 2015

MAHARAJ: “There’s No Such Thing As Peace of Mind,” Part J

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I was asked, “Don’t you ever feel hopeful? I mean, isn’t the desireless life that Maharaj spoke of a boring, unfulfilled, depressing life?”

To clarify what Maharaj said on the subject: “All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well . . . desire by itself is not wrong.”

So he made clear: “It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy, truth liberates.”

To that end of “being happy,” he said: “You will receive everything you need when you stop asking for what you do not need.”

See? Here, there is happiness because there is no asking for what is not needed. What is needed - oxygen, food, clothing, shelter, etc. - simply comes (though working for it by one means or another has always been required).

Some seekers came Maharaj’s way and - as he provided what they needed by allowing them the opportunity to hear the consciousness speak through that space -  so they provided most of what he needed for survival (along with the proceeds from his one remaining shop which was still operating after he wisely transitioned his Forest Dweller Stage and returned to Bombay). The same happens here with those that combine to provide the support which helps allow these sharings to continue.

To further clarify, Maharaj said: “Destiny is the result of causes, mostly accidental, and is therefore loosely wove"; however, he went on to identity “hope” as one thing that can “help overcome it,” but even that he explained further when he said: "Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your heart.”

So “hope” as he typically used the word dealt less with wanting or wishing or expecting or anticipating or desiring and more with a “chance” or “possibility.”

He said, “It is choices you make that are wrong. To imagine that some little thing - food, sex, power, fame - will make you happy is to deceive oneself.”

And if

a. the mind is at play

and if

b. the beliefs stored therein are at play (which give a bogus sense of reality to assigned and assumed personalities as identities along with their fear-and-desire-based agendas),

then

one will be driven by subconscious forces and will have no ability to “make choices.”

Whatever happens, though, persons will assume that they are making conscious choices even as they are being driven by the subconscious desires and fears and beliefs of the mind and personalities.

That said, it cannot be concluded accurately that Maharaj was “hopeless” or that Floyd is “hopeless.” Maharaj's understanding was that he could offer pointers toward truth to millions and that only a few would grasp the truth, yet he shared anyway. Same here.

In terms of the relative existence, he could have been said to “have had hope” based in his observable willingness to keep sharing, knowing the results would always be only slightly above nil. Same here.

Moreover, if sane, one will – as Maharaj said - “wish yourself well,” and if Love and the unicity are understood, then there will also be the kind of caring and empathy which lead to “wishing everyone well.” So are there words heard here and actions witnessed here which inspire that kind of hope?

Yes, there are heard here certain words and there are actions witnessed which provide a sense of the kind of “hope” which deals with “a chance” and “the possibility” that there can come on occasion the kind of changes which can free people of the effects of the mental illness called the “Ultimate Sickness"; which can free them of the effects of their accumulated learned ignorance; and which can allow them to be restored to sanity and thereafter abide naturally and happily.
 
But is there really "a new earth" and "widespread enlightenment that is manifesting everywhere"? Absolutely not. Are there small pockets of change and clarity and light which are being seen and which have nothing to do with desire but have all to do with a sense of “hope-chance-opportunity” among some that are in those pockets? Absolutely.

For example, I witness nowadays my daughter and her husband and many of their friends who are part of the change and who are moving away from generational prejudices and judgmentalism and who are breaking free of the influence of this country’s dualistic, schizophrenic puritanical fervor on one hand while balancing out the effects of the opposing germ of wildness on the other hand which (as is the case with all dualities) trap so many persons in misery.

To that end, my daughter’s belief systems in the past have been rooted in the dogma of traditional religion which her mother continues to encourage and endorse. My son-in-law has never been trapped in dogma, so it is of interest that they have recently found together a pastor whom they can both relate to.

That man's pointers provide evidence of what is happening in those few pockets of understanding and enlightenment and realization which are springing up rarely but are, nevertheless, springing up. This weekend my daughter and her husband came to visit and shared over dinner some of the pointers that the pastor is sharing with them and others. Here are some of the words he shares on his blog as the awareness speaks through a most unorthodox speck of consciousness:

*** "It now seems that white people who care about the suffering of black people have run out of every other option. So long as we only work for racial justice within a system forged in the fires of white supremacy, we ourselves constitute the bars of their oppression (in spite of our best intentions.) The people who have been targeted for oppression are the only ones who can determine what actions are helpful, but it is time for every white person of conscience to report for duty."

*** "Painful memories may resurface after a time of growth, or we may become aware of some painful aspect of ourselves. These are not setbacks to our growth but are a different kind of growth - that of our roots into the dark hidden recesses of our being. Osho taught: 'Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches.' A tree is the marriage of heaven and earth, of fire and water, of light and darkness. So are we. Every moment that does not prompt us to stretch joyously toward the light is an invitation to grow into the dark rich roots of our earthy wisdom.”

*** "According to the World Health Organization, the main causes of maternal deaths are these: severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth), infections (usually after childbirth), high blood pressure during pregnancy, complications from delivery, and unsafe abortion.

"And the factors preventing women all over the world from getting care during pregnancy and childbirth are: poverty, distance, lack of information, inadequate services and cultural practices.

[Then, he spoke of the “pro-life” movement and right-wing politicians in the U.S. and in his home state of Texas]

They are “introducing the very factors that threaten the lives of women in other parts of the world." In Texas alone - they have closed over 50 women’s health care clinics.”

[He then notes]: 

"What isn’t often reported is that none of the Texas clinics forced to close actually provided abortions. Instead, the “pro-life” movement has cut off access to contraception, cancer screening and preventative care for many women.”

“Forcing women into giving childbirth is also forcing them to take a greater risk than terminating a pregnancy under medically safe conditions. I am sure most people working against safe and legal abortion are sincere and do not mean to endanger women, but when we force others to take a risk, it is an act of violence - even if we do so because we are ‘pro-life.' Simple answers in a complicated world can kill."

*** "When Jesus spoke of 'truth,' I do not believe he could have been referring to the Bible nor to the creeds of the church because these had yet to be written. I believe that Jesus, like the Buddha, was calling us into a deeper sense of reality. Those who reduce religion to a system of belief are sometimes escaping from the real relationships into which they are actually being called.”

*** "Piety can be the perfect mask for bullying. The bible can be memorized for use as a social crowbar, and sometimes the phrase 'I’ll pray for you' is little more than the dagger of shame draped in liturgical velvet."

*** "I was born into a pretty typical version of Christianity. My mom always said, however, that every religion has something to teach us. Until I arrived at college, I had never actually opened the scriptures of any other faith. I started a lifelong practice of respectfully reading the scriptures of other world faiths. To my surprise, I began to learn things about Jesus I never might have discovered had I stayed in my little sectarian version of Christianity.

"I opened up my first world scripture, which was Hindu. As I read the words of Krishna, it felt like I was hearing a missing track from a familiar song. It was like I had only seen through one facet of a diamond, and was now realizing for the first time that the true jewel was vastly larger than I could have imagined.

"I could hear for the first time that Jesus, like Krishna, was calling us to something much deeper than traditional religion - calling us into the vastness of our common life with all. What had been the comfortable wading pool of sectarian religion was suddenly beginning to feel like the vast open waters of life.

"From Buddhism I began to understand that Jesus wasn’t calling us to dogma. Like Buddha, he was calling us to a deeper and wider wakefulness. In studying the spiritual riddles of Zen I realized that Jesus taught in parables for the same reason that Buddha did. If love is our aim, then awareness - not belief - is our true path.

"From Taoism I learned that heaven could be found in the ordinary gifts of nature. When Jesus told us to consider the birds of the air, he was saying, like Taoists, that life itself can be our teacher. I better understood the Sermon on the Mount when I discovered the Taoist teaching that the soft (water) overcomes the hard (stone), and that 'the ocean is the ruler of waters because it takes the lowest place.'

"From Islam I learned to give myself fully to life, holding nothing back. From Sufi Islam I learned that humor can be a great guide to the sacred. It was Sufi poetry that first awakened me to scripture not as a joyless essay but as a cosmic song to which we should be dancing.

"From the Jewish prophets I learned that I needed to love the people in my religion and nation enough to tell them when I thought they were being unjust.

"Finally, from atheism I learned the importance of radical honesty. Reading the compassionate appeals of freethinkers, I came to understand the second commandment (not to make images of God) means that doubt is as important to faith as is belief.

"I am still a Christian after all these years, but I have left the little version of my upbringing and have come to understand my own faith as one voice in a larger choir."

*** "The essence of courage does not consist in the willingness to be violent. The essence of courage is found in the willingness to face our own pain, and to share the pain of others. Most violence in the world is born out of a lack of the courage it takes to empathize."

*** "Our church made national headlines within our denomination, and in many religious publications, when we accepted an atheist into our membership. Our actions were pictured as defiant by some and as complacent by others. In truth, we were honoring a church tradition that goes back as far as Doubting Thomas and is found in many great religions of the world.

“'All we know of the truth is that the absolute truth, such as it is, is beyond our reach.' So wrote Nicholas of Cusa, a German mathematician and philosopher, but also a Catholic Cardinal. He called his method 'De Docta Ignorantia' (Learned Ignorance).

"Buddha is recorded to have said: ' . . . Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher".'”

“There have been times in history when agnosticism and atheism have found honored places in the church under the title ‘negative’ or ‘apophatic’ theology. Such 'negative' theology did not so much actively attack the symbol God but taught that a pious and humble unknowing better honors the mystery of being than the pretended certainty of a creed.”

“'The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth,' wrote Pierre Abelard, a French scholastic philosopher and theologian.

"We live in a culture where religion is usually equated with a very narrow spectrum of human thought, but there are religions living in our midst that welcome critical thinking and doubt.

"Even Christianity has not always resisted honest doubt. There were times when the best critical and most pious thinking could live together in the same skull. There is no reason we cannot return to that kind of honest religion if we are willing to go through a perpetual reformation, possible only when doubt and commitment are both deemed essential for a life of faith.

*** "Towards the end of his career, Martin Luther King started calling himself 'a world citizen.' He had escaped the prison of limited allegiance we are taught to have as Americans. He questioned capitalism. He questioned the American empire and whether we can surrender responsibility to such mechanistic systems and not lose our own humanity. People said that Dr. King had blown it by condemning the war in Vietnam. When we look back with the eyes of discernment, we realize that something prophetic was happening that was invisible at the time."

[For the full version, you may visit Jim Rigby]
  
So, to return to that original question I was asked which led to this post: “Don’t you ever feel hopeful?” If that is asking, “Do I ever witness anything which suggests that there is ‘a chance’ or ‘the possibility’ for some persons to be freed from their false beliefs and to be freed from the costly blind-faith effects of their programming and conditioning and domestication and acculturation and brainwashing and indoctrination and then live sanely and naturally and peacefully and happily?”

If that is the question, then the answer would be a resounding, “Yes! Indeed!”
 
To be continued.

Please enter the silence of contemplation.

[NOTE: The four most recent posts follow. You may access all of the posts in this series and in the previous series and several thousand other posts as well by clicking on the links in the "Recent Posts and Archives" section.]

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