Monday, September 12, 2016

Non-Duality Can Be the Ultimate Medicine for the Ultimate Sickness, But It Cannot Be the Ultimate Answer for EVERY Sickness, Part “I”

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To continue with additional excerpts from Instability / Insanity: What the Advaita Teachings Can (and Cannot Address)"

The Goldilocks Syndrome, Part One 

To review, the objective of this book is this: over the last two decades, it has been observed that many believe that all of their "issues" can be addressed via their religion, their "program," their ideology, or their philosophy (including Advaita). In most cases, the "issues" that mar the relative existence are rooted in multi-faceted causes (Maharaj: "The cause of all is all") and often require a holistic, multi-faceted approach. 

Yes, there are the elements of the Ultimate Sickness that the Advaita Teachings can uniquely address, but this series is also showing that the teachings cannot provide the complete solution for everything that contributes to the misery and suffering of persons around the globe. 

The intent is to distinguish between what has been seen to "work" when the teachings are understood and what has been seen not to work; to provide an understanding of the broad range of contributors to instability and insanity; and - as an Advaitin - to allow readers to be informed about the broad range of influences that can be addressed via the teachings and to differentiate those from influences that require additional assistance to address properly. 

When instability is rooted in dualistic thoughts, words, beliefs, ideas, concepts, and false identifications, then the relative existence is not unlike what Dickens described in the opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us . . .." 

Now, those addicted to chaos will find no interest in the pointers being offered in this series. They are so bored that they must generate disorder and commotion and turmoil in order to trigger the adrenal glands to release cortisol (hydrocortisone) in order to generate a rush that gives them a sense of "being alive." 

Those who prefer drama and histrionics will find nothing of interest, for the existence here happens in a drama-free manner and in a reaction-free mode. That does not prevent feelings from taking place. It merely prevents the setting off of a chain reaction of events that generate even more turmoil than the relative existence usually tosses one's way. 

Yet the relative existence of the masses will usually be marked by being unstable, by fluctuating, by shifting constantly, by being unsteady, by being unpredictable, and by being inconsistent. A term which has been coined and used occasionally here encapsulates a great deal of what is discussed in terms of the causes and symptoms of the human condition that is marked so often by chaos and misery and suffering and pain. 

The term is "The Goldilocks Syndrome." Goldilocks, from the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is the incarnation of many of the personality traits that make the relative existence miserable; displays the behaviors and attitudes that generate relationship problems with couples, neighbors, and other nations; and personifies the beliefs that bring about most of the misery and suffering on the planet. 

For those not familiar with the story, a young blond girl trespasses on the property of a family of bears and invades their home while they are out for a walk. She eats their breakfast porridge, complaining about one being too hot, the other being too cold, and the third being just right. She tries three chairs and two are not right but a smaller one is perfect, yet she breaks that chair which was really too small for her size. She then goes into the bear's bedroom and tries their beds, complaining that one is too hard and that one is too soft but that the other is just right. 

With that, she takes a nap, not feeling the least bit of concern about trespassing on someone else's land and entering their home; not feeling the least concern about stealing their food; not feeling troubled at all about breaking their property; and not feeling uneasy at all about using their possessions without consent. (Remind you of any of the behaviors of xenophobic nations discussed earlier?) 

When the girl is discovered by the bears, she simply runs away. She had done her damage and - obviously self-absorbed and driven by a sense of entitlement - feels no remorse, no concern, and no regrets about the chaos or harm she has generated or about the mess she has left behind for others to clean up. End of story. So note first the traits that reveal which personality disorders are driving her: 

1. There is her moodiness-driven complaining ("too hard, too soft, just right") which might be caused by the Cyclothymic Personality Disorder or by the Bipolar Disorder. With that disorder, there is almost always the accompanying Idealization Disorder (the third bowl of porridge, the third chair, and the third bed being the ones that are perfect . . . just right). 

That disorder inspires what is called here "upgrading," that is, "upgrading illusions." That also indicates that the Perfectionistic Personality Disorder is present, which usually ends up blocking judgmental persons from ever really being satisfied and which triggers the Devaluation Personality Disorder (which is referred to here as "downgrading"). When that activates, more instability is generated as what was considered ideal is suddenly thought to be totally unacceptable. 

(In the relative existence of dualities, flux is guaranteed, and so is constant alternating between extremes.) 

Evident also are some of the other personality disorders that cause instability and relative problems (all of which show why Advaitin teachers for millennia have encouraged the abandonment of all personality): The Antisocial Personality Disorder; The Avoidant Personality Disorder; the Borderline Personality Disorder (marked by a pervasive instability of mood, causing problems with interpersonal relationships; fears of abandonment; and chronic feelings of emptiness, threats, anger, and self-damaging behavior); 

the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (characterized by grandiosity, a lack of social empathy, interpersonal exploitativeness, and also a sense of entitlement); and the Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). The OCPD is characterized by person's rushing into action without taking the time to consider all of the relative pro's and con's involved, behaving in illogical and unreasonable and immature ways; 

it is also characterized by one being emotionally-constricted; unduly rigid; stubborn and controlling; perfectionistic and preoccupied with trivial details; being overly-concerned with having everything done one's own way; and being excessively-devoted to work and productivity. 

2. There is in her behavior the widespread self-centeredness among the non-Realized, which the teachings can address in some cases. 

3. There is the arrogance and the sense of entitlement and the preoccupation with self and with one's own desires which cause problems among persons on a local, state, national and international basis. 

4. There is at least an implication of xenophobia, her rights being more important than the rights of others. And the analysis could go on and on. 

Most persons on the planet are as unstable and as moody and, often, just as arrogant as Goldilocks; moreover, instability precedes the problems that persons have in relationships and contributes to those internal disharmonies that account for the awful feelings (or emotions) that persons try to deal with on a daily basis. 

Yet most do not want to complete the full process required to be free. And one reason that many do not want to be free is because they are suffering from this mental illness called here "The Goldilocks Syndrome": they are willing to readily give up what they think is "too this" or "too that" but unwilling to give up what they think is "just right" - just perfect at any particular moment. 

The insanity of that is this: the only constant in the relative existence is change, so whatever the distorted seeing takes to be perfect now will change shortly. The Laws of Thermodynamics are not suspended either by ignoring them or denying them. What has come together will come apart, be it "you with the perfect mate," "the perfect relationship," the "perfect locale," "the perfect body" . . . whatever. The soup that Goldilocks found to be too hot, if left alone patiently for a few minutes, could have been "just right." 

But that condition of just right-ness would soon have given way to soup that was perceived to be too cold. Function as a non-Realized person and it will be revealed that any and all satisfaction is fleeting. To be totally free is to be free of trying to manipulate the environment or the body - or other bodies - to one's own self-will and instead merely witnessing whatever happens spontaneously. The freedom that precedes peace can happen "now" and "here," not "later" and "there." 

It comes when "The Goldilocks Syndrome" has been transitioned, where there is a position of neutrality and where no dualistic judgments are being drawn about things being "too hard vs. too soft" or "too hot vs. too cold." It comes when the equally-as-delusional-notion that "something is just right and will always remain that way" is transcended. 

Trapped in "The Goldilocks Syndrome," some will believe that the body in the mirror is too hard, and some will conclude that the body in the mirror is too soft. A few will think that the body has yet reached the perfect state but will, nevertheless, develop an egotism-based appreciation for its current condition; others will think their bodies will never be good enough and will therefore suffer the relative misery of "low self-esteem"; but few will ever agree with Goldilocks that they have found something that is "just right." 

Only extreme narcissists believe that to be the case, and when such narcissists meet, “The Dance of Physicality” begins as some use the body to attract the type of partners who will respond to image and looks alone and who will thus satisfy their corporeal desires; some use the body during the dance as they try to attain either long-term financial security or short-term financial compensation; and some use the body as a means to treat psychological issues around control or esteem. 

Only the Absolute is a non-moving target. All else will be in constant flux, and the "joy" of things perceived to be "just right" will give way to the misery of those same things soon perceived to be "all wrong." 

To be continued. 

Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

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