Friday, December 16, 2016

THE ULTIMATE SICKNESS: Causes, Symptoms, Aspects, Effects, Treatment, Part Eleven

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TODAY'S CONSIDERATIONS

 THE FOUR STAGES 
(Continued)

The seven steps to Realization (which Maharaj never delineated in order by number but which he certainly laid out time and again during satsang sessions in the attic) are discussed in detail in the book FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE and will be alluded to here, but those are really a sub-set of the "bigger picture," a part of the Four Stages as discussed in the book THE ULTIMATE SICKNESS - THE ULTIMATE MEDICINE:

Stage I: Being Programmed to Accumulate (Ages 1-20) 

Stage II. Accumulating (Ages 20-40) 

In Stage II, persons reach a crossroads: 

(1) Some burn out; realize that twenty years of accumulating has left them feeling empty inside; and see that their culture mislead them entirely about what is "important" and what is not. Some even reach a point where they say, "I cannot live with myself anymore"

(which means "I" - that which is authentic - cannot live anymore with the results of allowing the agendas of my false "self," . . . in fact, all of my false "selves" . . . to continue to control me, to control my every thought and word and action; so I have got to seek something else or die or remain miserable for the remainder of the relative existence); 

or, 

(2) they never reach that realization and continue to follow the path of accumulation until the end of the manifestation. 

Now to continue with . . . 

Stage III. The Forest Dweller Stage 

Considerable space will be allotted to the discussion of the third stage because it is there that many fixate. The point was offered earlier: "During this stage, some activities might legitimately move seekers along the 'path,' but most do not." 

One of the last ego-states to be abandoned is "The Seeker," often held to as firmly as the Step Three ego-states of "The Religious One" and "The Spiritual Giant." 

When one is truly identified with "The Seeker" role (which is soon upgraded to "The Super Seeker") then the ego-defense mechanism of egotism is triggered to defend that ego-state. The question then becomes, what would happen in the warped mind of "The Super Seekers" if they finally "found"? In their minds, they would actually "end."

Just as Personality Type Three Achievers never really want to achieve a goal (constantly raising the ante if they approach a defined goal so that they can continue to achieve, that is, can continue to "be") so too is the case with the persona of "The Super Seeker."

"The Super Seeker" never really wants to "find" and put to rest once and for all the seeking, the knowledge-gathering, the going, the doing, the zooming, the spiritual workaholism. What a setup for misery! How dull a boy shall Jack be in that mode? 

Nowadays, seekers do not typically go to the forest to seek in the quiet, in the solitude, and within. Instead, most who are trapped in the third stage are forever engaging others, seeking without rather than within. 

Here sometimes, a team effort is offered where the non-duality message is combined with professional counselling. One woman recently faced serious problems with even booking the first of those sessions because of the manic level in which her seeking was happening: 

in one month alone, she had sought out "a native American spiritualist" and had conducted a series of sweat lodges; had engaged in "aura cleansing" (to allow her "to better attract love into her life," she claimed); and had visited an ashram (where she allowed a shaman to inject "some liquid" into her head, though what the liquid was she did not know because everything there spoke Spanish which she does not understand). 

The prior month, a guru from India had performed another soul cleansing ceremony on her which was intended not only to purge her body of diseases but that would, also in turn, allow her to "address more effectively her mental and emotional issues." 

She had been following a vitamin regimen for a year that requires her to consume several hundred pills each week, and her pattern is that if she is about to finish one seminar or retreat (with one of those Maharaj called "The Big Name Teachers" when warning seekers to stay away from them), she schedules the next. Of course, once she revealed how insanely she was attached to both her seeker role and her spiritual going and doing and zooming, she was sent on her way. 

Another example was shared recently of a person similarly trapped in the third stage of seeking which often inspires persons to "drop out," (literally or mentally) as they play with a frenzied passion "the seeking games." One so-called "Advaitin" reported the following:

Just had tea with a friend who spent four years in a Buddhist retreat centre; she is gearing up to sell everything and go travelling. It’s a spiritual quest, she tells me. I asked her what she is looking for.

"To find the love in her own heart," she says, as well as "freedom" and "to reclaim her health from her forty-a-day smoking addiction as well as an eating disorder."

From her retreat and mahamudra practices, she understands conceptually the birthless state, yet she again and again reverts to identification with the person that has endless needs and flaws and that must seek and travel and find the “right” context. In other words, she has the answer, yet reverts to persona identifications and then feeds the hungry ego-in-pain rather than rest in freedom. 

At this stage, persons often seek because (in spite of all of the accumulation of things or places or knowledge or "spiritual experiences" and "spiritual exercises,") there remains a sense of emptiness rather than fulfillment. 

Some seek to become "The Experts of Seeking"; some go and do and zoom to escape the self, the false self; some seek to avoid the chatter of a thousand monkeys that is going on between their ears if they sit still for even a moment. 

Some seek because they can no longer dissociate from their misery or emptiness and truly want to find an answer that brings relief. But most of those, as the case with the two persons described above, have no notion at all that the seeking at this stage should

move from seeking answers and power and guides from without

to

being still within, to being quiet within, and to allow the focus of all of their outward-directed seeking to shift to an inward-directed seeking. 

They do not understand that the religious or spiritual seeker, moving about within the third stage rather than transitioning it, is still nowhere need "actual realization" (that is - according to Maharaj - being free of all learned ignorance).

Still accumulating knowledge and roles and experiences, they are still totally removed from the understanding, a few lucid intervals notwithstanding. (This stage is not to be confused with the third of seven steps to Realization where religious and spiritual personas are again clung to. That happens in the fourth stage.) 

It is not until that fourth stage that the readiness manifests, and then a seeker might be prepared to begin the seven-step "journey" to Realization that can only happen with the guidance that can be provided by a teacher than knows those seven steps. 

Yet here, the same kind of insane, manic seeking happened. First, there was the entrapment of seeking within the confines of a certain denomination of religion, the result of childhood programming and conditioning which would result in "floyd" being "a recovering Baptist" for decades. (And that was even after - as early as the ages of 5 and 6 - that he had called BS on what the people in that church were telling him.)

After leaving home, there were periods when the seeking happened within the same religion but via a second denomination, and later a third. In that sleepwalking period, it was evidently believed that one person trained to sell dogma might not be able to guide me to truth, but two others persons trained in different denominations to sell the same dogma might be able to guide me to truth. (See? Insane.)

Eventually, at least that much insanity was seen, so the search moved away from the venues of organized religion and the focus was on a variety of philosophies and non-Christian religions, including Deism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. 

Then the focal point shifted to Shinto, Sikhism, and Taoism. From there, "floyd" sought out The Big Name Teachers where a few words of each resonated but none provided the entire and clear teachings. None knew the specific steps on the "path" to "Full Realization." All were warping the message in order to make it appealing to the masses (so that the masses would turn over their money to buy one big, heaping helping of BS after another. All of those Big Name Teachers were as far off the mark as those ignorance-driven Baptists had been early on).

Meanwhile, "floyd" was totally subsumed in, totally trapped in, the seeking; in the knowledge-gathering; in the "Noumenal going, the Noumenal doing, the Noumenal zooming; in his spiritual workaholism. 

Again, what a setup for the fluctuations between hope and disappointment, rooted in the chaos of believing, "Now, I've got it! I've got it!" I've got it!" only to find shortly the actual fact of the matter: "Oops, I don't got it." Consider how truly dull and unstable a boy Jack, or "floyd," shall be in that mode.

Eventually, the forest dweller stage saw a change that allowed all of that outward seeking to slowly begin to shift to less and less seeking of the outward variety to more and more seeking of the inward variety. 

All of that was left behind and I went into the forest (not a requirement) to see what I might see on "My own," to look within, to look only at what is natural, and to see (as did Thoreau) if I might find the means by which persons can live deliberately rather than in a madcap and impulsive and impetuous manner. 

Next:

What "floyd" came to see during twenty-five months in the forest how birds and spiders and the deer and a bear with her two cubs became "floyd's" teachers, and how, eventually, all external teachers gave way once the inner guru - the inner resource - was finally tapped into. 

Once the author became physically and mentally and emotionally depleted as a result of many decades of arduous going and doing and zooming as a result of spiritual workaholism, and as a result of searching without rather than within, then the movement to the forest came automatically, spontaneously. 

I became "driven" to get away. Though it was not seen initially, the escapism that inspired the twenty-five-month retreat into the forest was no different from the escapism that drove all of the external seeking:

an external god had been sought; the external power of money and possession and status and influence had been sought; external teachers had been sought from around the globe; external rituals and exercises had been sought and found and used; 

"special" places had been sought; an entire library of books had been sought out and amassed, books made famous because the authors calculated rightly what kind of content could garner mass appeal, content that focuses on the phenomenal while peppering their books with the vocabulary of the noumenal in order to distract from the fact that their teachings address the relative only because none of them know the exact steps to "Full Realization."

The Gottmans, known to be two of the most skilled researchers on the planet in terms of marriage, note that any relationship still "has a chance" until the one definite, clearly recognizable deal-breaker manifests with one or both partners, namely, "disgust." 

I had to become disgusted with the traditional methods of seeking that were popular among the masses. I had to move away, as Robert Frost did, and enter "the yellow wood" and see where the path "diverged" and "look down one road as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth."

I had to see that the bent "path" was the one I had tried and had to see that it does not go where I had been trying to go. I had to then "take the other that wanted wear" and move forth beyond fear with fearful hope and with courage, knowing, as Frost said, "how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back." 

I had to be willing to leave behind all that had been and I had to stand where "two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by." The result: "that has made all the difference." 

As for you, you need not literally go to the forest as did "maharaj" and as did "floyd." You may enter the forest dweller stage right now wherever you are by shifting the focus of your search away from popular books and famous authors and famous lecturers and societal forms of personal power and imaginary external forms of Personal Power(s); 

by turning the direction of your search away from externals; by looking away from the unnatural and the supernatural and by focusing on that which is natural and by seeing clearly the difference in those three; by seeing what amazing shifts can happen if you model that which is natural rather than that which is unnatural or supernatural / spiritual and by looking within until an all-natural fashion of abidance happens. 

During twenty-five months in the forest, I saw that birds moved away from me as I approached and understood the way that consciousness would extend itself, automatically, and triggers a desire for eternal continuity. 

I saw that spiders did their work and then relaxed and patiently waited for nature to run its course. I saw, by watching the deer, what natural living really entails. I saw by observing snakes how predictable life-forms behave with their different "personalities." 

Some snakes when approached during my morning or afternoon walks would slink away, avoiding conflict and encounters. Others, such as the cottonmouths that frequented the areas around the ponds or swamps in some of the woods I visited, were highly aggressive. They were wired to fight. The copperheads were seen, and it was witnessed that they liked to lie in the sun across an open trail and that they were calmer and left people alone if people left them alone. Yet they could be controlling, willing to stake out a territory as if it were "their own" and then would kill to protect the space they claimed. 

The different types of snakes showed how powerless (or ruthless) persons are when functioning under the influence of a personality type (or types) that are common to the groups they are members of. 

I looked at the swamps and was reminded of the primordial soup and was reminded of what any eight-grader should know from a basic science class:

. . . that all is energy-matter;

. . . that neither energy nor matter can be created or destroyed;

 . . . that, therefore, there cannot have been any "creation";

. . . that, therefore, there could have never been any "Creator"; and

. . . that the original ooze consisted of hydrogen and ammonia and methane and that lightning struck the soup and formed amino acids. 

I was reminded that those acids are the building blocks of life; was reminded that it all began with a spark; was reminded that a spark of consciousness can manifest and can cycle in and can cycle out; and was reminded that what drives all of "this" is indeed, as the scientist said, "a little electric current, set up by the sunshine.” 

And I saw by way of an encounter with a bear and her two cubs how

(1) a psychically-healthy human can process an actual or perceived threat in the fifteen minute time-frame which professionals suggest is a reasonable amount of time needed to process 

versus 

(2) the way that psychically-unhealthy humans who are attached to their false identities can go months and even years without processing perceived threats and without seeing that personas cannot be hurt or threatened and without becoming free of resentments around such misperceptions and then returning to a state of peace. 

It was that understanding which allowed the following response to be shared with a seeker who wrote: 

You witness feelings rise and fall. How long can your feelings last, for example, if you lose a friend? Would the feelings simply rise for a minute, a day, a week, etc.? Where do you draw the line? 

The response: The procedure - which is called “psychological processing” by therapists - is termed “seeing the actual facts” or “seeing reality” by non-dualists. The need for either

(a) processing

or

(b) seeing truth

only follows “mind”-generated mis-perceptions which are distortions.

Among persons, it is an on-going requirement; among "the realized," it is not required at all. 

The Stage III discussion will be completed tomorrow. 

Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

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