Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MAHARAJ: “Lightment” vs. Enlightenment, Part “ZZ”

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TODAY’S CONSIDERATIONS 

(First, to review a pointer from yesterday): 

Parents want to control their children. Politicians want to control the masses. Megalomaniacs want to control all people and things on the planet. 

[To that could have been added, “And those who think that they are especially knowledgeable when it comes to non-duality or who think that they have realized far more than others or who are trapped in the highest levels of the type of arrogance which comes with the assumption of such ego-states as 'The Spiritual Giant' or 'The Super Religious One' or 'The Very Wise One' or 'The One Who Knows More Than Others,' those persons will want to control others who are sharing non-dual pointers and will want to tell others what they should say and what they should not say."

For one to believe that he is entitled, as a result of his superior level of understanding, to tell a non-dual teacher which examples or passages or parts of the teacher’s books or postings should be removed or how certain sections of the teacher’s books or postings should be re-written to “include this and exclude that” is evidence of massive levels of arrogance and is evidence of the very desire to control which seekers are being invited to abandon in this discussion. First, most have no clue about what the five basic methods of teaching non-duality are, no clue about which one they are following, and no clue about which is being used here. 

Thus, the response to those types during the first seven or eight of the twenty-seven years that non-duality pointers have been shared here via satsang, retreats, tapes, videos, books and postings was, “Since you appear to be so wise, why are you reading my writings or listening to my talks rather than writing your own books and offering your own talks? WHO (what ego-state) wants to control the content of the books and postings here when he could have his own blog and control the content of that blog?"

During the last two decades or so, however, there has been no response at all. Why? It was seen that sometimes you might swat at a gnat to try to shoo it away. Often you might miss completely when taking a swipe at a gnat to be rid of it, but usually, if you just ignore the gnats that come your way, they’ll eventually go away on their own. Human gnats thrive on getting attention. The suggestion is, do not feed their desire for attention and ignore their desire to control.] 

Yesterday, some pointers by Laura Cococcia, including observations by Michael Shermer, were shared during the discussion of the way that persons are fooled from early on and then eventually fool themselves and other persons. Today, more of a piece written here years ago (entitled “SKEPTICISM AND QUESTIONING IT ALL: The Prerequisites for Clarity, Freedom, Peace and Happiness”) will be offered for your consideration:

Skepticism and questioning were originally two of humankind's most-regularly-employed tools for survival. Now that the brain has been bastardized with a programmed and conditioned "mind," the original survival tools have been abandoned. Consider two examples of the way it was: 

1. Grandmother - a "Cherokee Medicine Woman" - was the epitome of skeptical awareness. When we walked through the forest surrounding her cabin, she took the most gentle steps, modeling the way that she and generations before her could walk in total silence, moving through the woods without breaking so much as a small twig. On a few occasions, she was observed as she walked right up next to a grazing deer, completely undetected, almost close enough to reach out and touch it. She could approach hawks that were sitting on limbs just overhead without frightening them away. She could anticipate a copperhead lying across a trail in a spot of sun before we ever got near it, and she awakened that ability in my cousins and me. The trademark of Grandmother and her ancestors was awareness - quiet awareness - bursting with complete alertness. But they were also skeptical as they moved through the forest, ever aware of any potential threats that might be lurking in a bush. 

2. Last week, during a Skype session with a man in Australia, today's topic arose and he shared what he had witnessed when he spent some time in what he called "The Bush" with "bushmen." The term "bushmen" is used by whites in Australia to refer to the indigenous peoples (the "Aborigines") who live and travel in the wilderness, especially in "the outback." Those indigenous peoples have defied the odds against surviving in Australia's harshest lands - despite whatever obstacles nature may have put in their way - for 40,000 years (or possibly far more). 

Aboriginal people learn about their environment early on and first-hand, as was the case with Grandmother, so children are soon able to identify the characteristics of animals, plants, sources of food and water, weather patterns, and the relative dangers of The Bush. They are inherently vigilant but also are taught in ways that hone those innate skills of vigilance, awareness, attentiveness, alertness, watchfulness, and, yes, caution without being fearful or hyper-vigilant. They are not among the masses that now walk about in their sleep without ever questioning anything that they have been taught or anything in their environment that might represent a danger. 

A lack of those skills was the main reason that many early Europeans and explorers died when they first came to Australia. The wise Aborigine was never unaware of what was going on around her or him. If a noise was heard in the bush, it was not ignored. Immediately, the brain would process and determine if the sound could be ignored or if it required further investigation, questioning, inquiring into, and examining. Should there be any reservations about accepting such noise as meaningless? 

Some sense of "wishing" might rise into the consciousness, something that said, "I do not want anything dangerous to be there," but that did not stop the inquiry. What had to be determined was this: "I might wish for that, but will it assist survival to accept on faith alone the belief that there is nothing to investigate? Would it be wise to believe whatever makes me feel safer or more comfortable or more reassured without investigating?" 

Relatedly, author Laura Cococcia shared her observations as well as some provided by Shermer when she wrote the following: 

"To describe why humans are evolutionarily programmed to believe unquestioningly in what [Shermer] calls 'active agents' even when we cannot see them, he asks us to imagine a distant human ancestor walking a plain in Africa. Perhaps she's enjoying a blue sky and a sunny day, until she hears a suspicious noise in a bush but can't see its source. Now, she must choose a course of action based on the question, is the noise just the passive wind, or is it a dangerous predator, an active agent with the intention to attack? What she chooses to believe might very well save her life, or end it. 

"This decision, Shermer says, is a crucial one. Should the ancestor believe it's only the wind when really a lion is lurking nearby, the potential for disaster is high. However, if she believes it is a lion and proceeds more cautiously when in fact it is only the wind, the only cost to her well-being is, perhaps, a little self-deception - cautious self-deception that, when practiced, may actually save her life under similar circumstances in the future." 

Again, the wise - who are moving through the relative existence with the clarity that comes with being fully awake - use inquiry to determine if what is being witnessed is "a-'snake'-in-a-rope" or, as dangerously, "a-'rope'-in-a-snake." So, to the pointer offered earlier: skepticism and questioning were originally two of humankind's most-regularly-employed tools for survival. Now that the brain has been bastardized with a programmed and conditioned "mind," the original survival tools have been abandoned. 

Now, around the globe - where 97% of persons polled claim to be affiliated with one religion or another - children for the most part are not taught to be skeptical or to question ("the stay-away-from-strangers" admonition being an exception rather than the rule). 

In most cases, they are programmed to have blind faith over skepticism. Rather than being encouraged to doubt what they are told without proof or evidence, they are punished if they question so-called "authorities" (be the authority a person or a supposedly "holy" book). 

Cococcia said, "It takes almost no effort to make a child believe in Santa Claus. Step one? Put some presents under a Christmas tree every year. Step two? Tell the child that Santa Claus put them there. Result? You've got a Santa-believer on your hands." She notes, "Shermer asserts that belief is the natural human state, and that it is science and reason that seem unnatural to us" and she notes that the skeptic "pulls away the curtain that divides us from our understanding of why we are prone to believe ultimately illogical, at times fantastical, things. 

"Santa Claus, and his mystical compatriots the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, are cultural as well as psychological phenomena that serve as apt examples of our propensity for self-deception. Of course, 'self-deception' might seem like a fairly heavy-handed term to use in describing the average 5-year-old's belief in Santa Claus."

[Right. Initially, they are being deceived by others; they will later deceive themselves and other persons.] 

Cococcia continues: "So let's extend the metaphor, as Shermer does, back to our ancestors. As a little girl, the ancestor likely learns about the dangers of the savannah as her consciousness develops, as her brain makes connections that help to make logical sense of the world. She begins to understand that 'thought processes,' or lapses thereof, can lead to survival or extinction. Beliefs born of patterned thought take hold, and eventually leave a legacy in her 21st century progeny that states, 'It is more prudent to believe wrongly than not to believe and be wrong'." 

And that is the subconscious mantra of the sleepwalking, unquestioning persons who are trapped in ignorance: "It is more prudent to believe wrongly than not to believe and be wrong." And it is the conscious mantra of some as well, such as the man who warned, "Floyd, I'd rather believe in God and die and find out that I was wrong than to not believe in God and then die and find out I was wrong and then spend eternity in hell. But that's the course you're on, Mister." 

Such is the state of the consciousness when blocked or when bastardized via programming, domestication, conditioning, acculturation, brainwashing, and indoctrination. 

Such is the state of the blocked consciousness when the threat of immediate punishment looms if one questions authority. Such is the state of the blocked consciousness when the threat of future punishment looms if one questions dogma or spiritual teachings or "holy" writings. 

Such is the state of the blocked consciousness if one has a fear of questioning the obvious incompetency and failure of a supposedly all-knowing and all-powerful god (or gods and goddesses) who cannot or will not use His (Their) power to make available a war-free, torture-free, disease-free, corruption-free, hate-free, murder-free, genocide-free, insanity-free, ignorance-free planet. 

So chaos and misery and suffering are now the abnormal "norm" on the planet since the survival tools of skepticism and questioning have been eliminated and replaced with duality-based beliefs that now generate widespread war, torture, disease, corruption, hate, murder, genocide, insanity, ignorance, and a planetful of persons who are walking about in their sleep rather than being vigilant, awake, aware, attentive, alert, watchful, cautious at times, and willing to question the nonsense they have been taught rather than accepting - on blind faith - all of that nonsense as fact. 

To be continued. 

 Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

 [NOTE: The four most recent posts will 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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