Wednesday, April 06, 2016

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

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TODAY’S CONSIDERATIONS 

In medical trials when new pharmaceuticals are being tested, the members of one group will be given the medication which is under development; members of a second group will be given a placebo. 

A placebo is a substance which has no therapeutic effect, used with a control group in testing new drugs. It is an ineffective medicine prescribed more for the psychological benefit to patients than for any physiological effect (a measure designed merely to calm or please someone temporarily without addressing that person’s actual problem at all).

Alcohol is a favorite placebo which is self-prescribed by millions, along with other drugs, porn, shopping, working, and - for some – chaos, which some use to try to address the discomfort of their boredom or their inability to tolerate silence and peace and quietness.

Some placebos take the form of either (1) religion or (2) spirituality. Those are placebos which are used with control groups, with groups which submit to being controlled if they are given something which will never address their real issues but which they are told is guaranteed to do so.

Early on, Maharaj used both of those placebos as a component of the Ultimate Medicine. Same here. Around the globe, ninety-seven percent of all humans are using “#1” as their favorite placebo, handed down within their families from one generation to the next as what amounts to a “home cure” for their fear or anxiety or worry or as a “magic potion” which can supposedly help their dreams and desires and wishes and hopes come true. 

Karl Marx said: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” (a pointer which some have paraphrased over the years as “religion is the opiate of the masses”). 

Millions more are using #2 above as the main ingredient in their version of the Ultimate Medicine. Many of them – even as they are laying claim to their feigned humility – brag about the fact that they “are not religious but are spiritual instead,” being spiritual supposedly involving "a higher plane" and "a higher power" than that of persons who are only religious. 

For years, Maharaj used a compounded version of the Medicine which contained one part religion and one part non-duality; when Westerners (who were obsessed with #2 above) began to show up in droves in his loft, he modified his version of the Medicine by mixing up a new compound inspired by their presence, offering a version of the Ultimate Medicine which contained one part religion, two parts non-duality, and four parts spirituality. Eventually, he came to understand that the Ultimate Sickness is a mental Sickness, a psychological Sickness, and that what he had been undertaking was tantamount to a physician trying to use aspirin to cure cancer. 

High doses of aspirin might offer a temporary respite from the effects of a tumor just beginning to form inside a plant food body; with more growth, it will begin pressing against nerves and will trigger a pain sensation, inspiring the use of even more aspirin; yet the wise know that aspirin can only address symptoms and can do nothing to address one's actual problems. 

Maharaj stopped trying to use aspirin-like religion and spirituality to treat the Ultimate Sickness after he saw the low success rate of those approaches (saying that the pathetic success rate of those approaches was only in the range of 1 in 100,000 or 1 in 1,000,000 and likely 1 in 10,000,000). Wisely, he looked for a deeper understanding of the Sickness so that he could stop handing out placebos and could offer a more effective form of the Medicine instead. 

The true awareness came only after he understood fully that mental, psychological issues were not a “component” of the Ultimate Sickness but were at the very center and core and root of the Sickness. The new approach he used - focusing his attention on the role that the mind plays in the Sickness and how its content has to be eliminated if persons are ever to be freed of learned ignorance and restored to sanity - was more in alignment with what is at the heart of the non-dual understanding, namely, that there is among the masses an overabundance of that which is false and a scarcity of (and even a near-total absence of) that which is authentic. 

[The Advaitin poet Shakespeare wrote - ironically . . . just tongue in cheek - that “apparel oft proclaims the man,” that is, “clothes make the man.” In many cultures all around the globe, that is still a widely-popular belief. Accumulation is rooted in the notion that “the trophy wife on his arm makes the man”; that “the best paying job makes the woman / the man”; that “the largest house in the community makes the man”; that “the richest man makes the woman”; that “the most expensive car makes the person”; that “the rarest jewels make the woman / the man”; ad infinitum.] 

Only the truly honest and truly objective and truly wise witness will ask: 

“What could be more worthless than this which is totally phony? Nothing.” 

“What could be more worthless than that which is dishonest, which is not real, which is false? Nothing.” 

“What could possibly be more dishonest than something that is false? Nothing.” 

“So what could possibly be more dishonest than a false self?” 

and 

“What could possibly be of more worth during a relative existence than that which is authentic?” 

In the end, there’s only one of two means by which the movement through the relative existence usually happens: it unfolds either in a phony fashion or in an authentic manner. In the end, some might be able to look back and say, "I went with authenticity." Few among the remaining masses will ever look back and see, "Damnation. I spent an entire lifetime chasing after the false, pursing the phony, clinging to image."

Again, nothing is more frustrating and disappointing than loving something that is not real and / or loving something that proves to be quite different from what it appeared to be. Endless misery and suffering come when the fake and the phony and the bogus are mistaken for the authentic. Why such misery and suffering?

Because the fake and the phony and the bogus on one hand and the authentic on the other hand only come in one size: the former is unbelievably heavy, while the latter is rather light.

To be continued.

Please enter into the silence of contemplation.

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