Wednesday, September 09, 2015

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

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Today's Considerations

One man who read yesterday’s post sent the following, which was typical of several emails received:

“Very promising, but this would still be the third step, no?”

Of course the pastor is still lingering at the third step on the seven step “path,” as has been the case with most persons on the planet, as was the case with most who now claim to be “enlightened” or “realized,” as is the case with all in "Twelve Step programs" who proudly proclaim that they are “spiritual rather than religious,” as was Maharaj, as was Floyd, and as is almost every person on the planet nowadays (97% claiming a religious affiliation and millions more claiming to be spiritual).

Those who are a part of the “small pockets” referenced yesterday who are on the vanguard of inviting persons to become free of the rigidity and narrow-mindedness and closed-mindedness (that is, of all “mindedness”) which result from all forms of programming and conditioning and domestication and acculturation and indoctrination and brainwashing  are almost all still trapped to one degree or another in the learned ignorance and even insanity which come when the dualistic nature of consciousness guarantees that dualistic beliefs will be passed on, learned, and then either clung to or - in a few rare instances - rejected at some point.

In the meantime, most will fall into the category of those described by Maharaj who “think they are being bathed in the full light of the noonday sun when they are actually still standing in the dull light of dawn.”

Yet the witnessing of any shift by any of the billions who are trapped in dogma or in “spiritual principles” (or in any other set of unquestioned and blindly-accepted concepts and false identities) is still welcome.

As Maharaj said, “It is enough to know who you are not.” To substitute one identity for another or to cling to formerly assigned or assumed identities will still prevent the manifestation of total freedom and peace, but the third step must be taken along the way. Most will stay there until the end of the manifestation; a few will transition that step and move on to the understanding; but for those in the hinterland – in the vicinity or neighborhood or outskirts of The Village of Seeing Clearly – even if they never see the total truth and never understand the functioning of the totality, is not their weekend pass from prison better than their continuing to accept being totally locked away in solitary confinement for 24 / 7?

Until totally freed, even those locked away in a prison who are given a temporary weekend pass or who are confined to house arrest would likely appreciate that taste of freedom over the conditions of total incarceration.

Yet those who think that their beliefs define who they are will most certainly suffer the angst of struggling with identification issues until they come to understand that what they are is not defined by their belief systems (which are not their beliefs anyway but are the beliefs of “others” which have been blindly accepted). Only if that understanding comes will they finally be able to follow Maharaj’s advice and stop following the words “I am” with any identifiers.

Then the lies they were told and the lies they continue to believe might be seen for the lies that they are. Then they will never again say:

“I am a . . . Christian / Hindu / Advaitin / Muslim / Buddhist / Taoist  / Sufi / atheist / Knower / Jnani / Non-Dualist” . . . whatever. [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am an alcoholic.” [This would still be the third step, no?”] And they will never again say:

“I am a Realized One.” [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am the Supreme Self.” [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am a member of this group or that group, this congregation or that congregation, this political party or that political party.” [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am a citizen of the greatest country on earth.” [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am religious.” [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am spiritual.” [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am enlightened.” [This would still be the third step, no?] And they will never again say:

“I am . . . Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.” [This would still be the third step, no?]

Meanwhile, if there is a speck of consciousness which has the courage to tell the truth to those who have come her or his way; has the courage to challenge their belief systems; has the courage to point out their absence of wisdom which most take to be “their mastery of the conventional wisdom in their culture”; and has the courage to let the chips fall where they may without any fear at all, then that is welcomed because it provides a potential for hope of the kind that refers to “a chance” or “a possibility” of being free of nonsense and ignorance and insanity.

Here in the U.S., those who demand that the government stop interfering with their values and stop regulating their businesses (no matter how much those businesses abuse their workers and no matter how much they contaminate the environment) are the same ones who want the government to use its authority to define what kinds of sex are okay and what kinds are not; to define what women can do with their bodies and what they cannot; to control who can marry and who cannot; etc.

The contradictory concept that the U.S. can

(a) still claim that it is “a democracy” while

(b) limiting the rights of some citizens

is a belief that is alive and well among many.

And most of those who are fighting for their right to discriminate are cloaking their justifications in “their faith and beliefs and values.” That is all mind stuff, all dualistic nonsense, all totally self-contradictory.

Again, though, there are a few voices being raised which inspire the kind of hope as defined above. Christ is reported to have walked into the temple and run the money changers out with a whip, but Maharaj did not walk into temples and do that; at the age of six, I was challenging the nonsense being taught in a Southern Baptist church, but most did not. Outsiders and rebels and challengers of unnatural and supernatural beliefs are not welcome to speak in any venues, and if they do get a chance to speak and challenge the beliefs held by the members of their audience, it is rare that they get a second chance to do the same.Yet that is exactly what Maharaj did.

So it is welcomed when "insiders" take such steps, for only they have even the slightest chance of being given any credibility. The pastor yesterday was not being cited as an example of one who had “fully realized,” yet he is displaying the courage to point out lies and to point toward the truth. In terms of the on-going “who-can-marry-debate” in the U.S., another man is trying to do the same. His words will be shared momentarily.

Here, the words of those still identifying themselves as “a Christian” or “a pastor” are sometimes shared. Why? Because of what Maharaj modeled:  none who came to the loft were “realized” (there claims notwithstanding); all believed lies to one degree or another; and all claimed that they were seeking the truth (though, actually, most persons have no tolerance at all for the truth). Yet they were welcomed by Maharaj anyway. 

The same applies to the few who are self-identifying as “a Christian” or “a pastor” but who have the courage to challenge the belief systems of those who come their way, belief systems which reinforce a false sense of different-from-ment and better-than-ment; thus, in addition to Jim Rigby yesterday, meet Adam Phillips today.

He and his wife Sarah moved to Portland in 2013 to open Christ Church, a new faith community in Rose City. One year into their new church start, they were kicked out of the Evangelical Covenant Church, Adam's faith family for two decades, for encouraging the church to include those among the LGBTQ community.

More recently, Adam Phillips has served in a number of capacities in Christian advocacy and development groups, working with organizations such as The ONE Campaign, such as Bread for the World, such as Micah Challenge, and such as World Vision.

As is the case with the current Pope who is sharing in many but not all ways the kind of message that Jesus taught after he began sharing non-dual pointers and speaking of Real Love and inclusion, Phillips had the courage to expose the nonsense behind those who are talking about “God’s definition of marriage being limited to one man and one woman” and are expressing their willingness to "fight to the end" to uphold the “Biblical laws regarding marriage.”

A huge number of Christians are vehemently opposed to those whom they claim are “trying to redefine marriage in ways that are contrary to what the Bible teaches." What inspired those types to kick Phillips out of the church? His pointing out that their beliefs about what the Bible has to say about marriage are totally bogus. He lost his job because he offered these kinds of clarifications about what “Biblical marriage” was really like, which is completely contrary to what they believe:

“Upon closer examination of the Scriptures, the very notion of ‘Biblical marriage’ becomes a thorny mess. There's the definition of Biblical marriage in which a man must marry his deceased brother's wife. This idea of ‘Levirate marriage’ is a strong tradition in ancient tribal family structures and makes it mark in early Jewish and even Muslim contexts. The mandate to marry one's dead brother's wife is all about promoting the family line, love be damned, and is found in Deuteronomy 25:5-6: 'If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel'.” (NIV)

“Then there's the Biblical marriage definition that mandates a raped woman to be wed to her rapist, but only after the rapist pays the raped woman's father fifty coins: ‘If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives’." (Deuteronomy 22:28-29, NIV)

“Then there's the complicated story where Moses and the Israelites conquer the Midianites and divide the spoils, including property, livestock and women, marrying conquered Midianite women off to the victorious soldiers. Sound like Game of Thrones? It's in the Bible (see Numbers 31).

“The Bible also defines marriage and family rules when it comes to slave ownership: 'The married slaves may eventually go free, but the children of that union must stay enslaved'." And if you are now holding your head in your hands and wondering does the Bible really say this, then I invite you to read the complicated, inspiring and sometimes contradictory story of the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible.”

“The Bible allows for polygamy, too. Many heroes of the faith like Moses, Solomon, Jacob and David all had more than one wife. Unless they just had one wife and one concubine, like Abraham.”

[You know Abraham, right? The revered fellow who is called “The Father of Judaism” and “The Father of Christianity” and “The Father of Islam.”]

Phillips closes with this: “Redefine marriage? People of faith have been wrestling with this for years in our holy books and in our Spirit-led convictions.”

Again, no pastors or popes are being held up as examples of those who have reached a state of “Full Realization.” The words of a few of them are offered because they are at least adhering to some of the basic, foundational pointers of non-duality, such as "Question it all" and "Stop blindly believing - without any investigation at all - everything that you have been told" (which Maharaj dismissed as “hearsay”).

These few – at least for the time afforded them - are “insiders” speaking to “insiders.” That is happening in a way that no “outsider” can.

The levels of “ignorance and stupidity and insanity” which Maharaj addressed were not set in place in one generation, and they shall not be undone in the span of a single generation. Additionally, the widespread, pervasive acceptance of lies as truth will never end as long as humans are walking about on the planet; however, as was the case with Maharaj, if only a few of the many who have heard or seen someone pointing toward the truth are freed from their mental imprisonment, that is quite okay.

It was okay with Maharaj and it is okay here.

Even after he abandoned religion and spirituality, Maharaj had no fight with religion or spirituality. Same here. His opposition was to the ignorance and nonsense and insanity which they foster and which they perpetuate, and that’s something quite different from the charge of “hating religion and spirituality per se.”

Do you see the chaos and insanity which any and all roles perpetuate? Do you see that assuming and assigning and adopting false identities first requires the formation of a mind? Do you see that it also requires that a mind be pumped chock full of nonsense and lies? 

Hence the sages have long invited seekers to be rid of all identification (rather than just the “bad identifications”), and a few even invited seekers to be rid of the identities which they deemed to be “good” or “great” or even “Supreme.”

Both mind and personality identification must end for wisdom and clarity and freedom and peace to come. 
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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