Friday, December 23, 2016

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

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TODAY'S CONSIDERATIONS 

THE FOUR STAGES AS TAUGHT HERE: 

Stage I: Programmed to accumulate 

Stage II: Accumulating 

a. Discomfort / Emptiness inspiring even more accumulation 

or 

b. Discomfort / Emptiness inspiring seeking outside the popular venues 

Stage III: Forest Dweller - the prerequisite and facilitator of the "inner journey" 

Stage IV: De-Accumulation (via completion of the Four Stages and the Seven Steps to Realization, followed by abidance in the solitude of a relative existence that has been overlaid with the Absolute, then by abidance as the Nothingness, then by abidance, period, until the end of the manifestation). 

In "Chapter Thirteen" of THE ULTIMATE SICKNESS / THE ULTIMATE MEDICINE the following is shared regarding the fourth stage: 

Stage IV: The De-Accumulation / Actual "Journey" Stage 

Regarding the points offered earlier, one interested in non-duality said, "Those pointers spoke very clearly. Some will think they want realization but in fact are seeking to fulfill personality drivers, like being part of a community; being special; being chosen. You and I know that suffering comes from choosing a path that does not point beyond those drivers. 

For those invested in the spiritual role, stress comes from saying they want realization when they actually want a spiritual family, comforting rituals, and a God to believe in. Maybe they even want to be a spiritual teacher and help others. 

So the actual goal is not realization – even though this is the stated goal; hence, the stress when they come upon the teaching that refutes the need for a family, ritual, belief in God, etc. In essence, if they want to stop at Step 3, just be honest about the goals. Don’t pitch for realization." 

The reply: "Yes, and it is becoming fixated in the "good" roles assumed at the third step of the seven steps that just as much distortion comes as existed in the days even prior to beginning a 'journey'." 

The approach here is, when possible, to offer "real time" examples and illustrations of pointers, so as an example of the consequences of believing one is "truly good" while thinking that "others" aren't quite up to par, consider the woman referenced here before who works in a local church and who speaks over and over - as so many "good-role" players do - about how she is "being blessed" and how she is "so very blessed." Why does she claim to be blessed? What has happened which gives her that belief? Nothing really "noble" at all.

Actually, she is following the game plan taught by her parents which - in her mind - has worked beautifully for her: 

Her father: "You're good looking. You don't need to go to college. Use your looks to find a man to take care of you." (In other words, "A man is a plan. Do not seek independence. You do not need to acquire any salable skills. You already have something that is salable. Find someone willing to pay all your bills and give you money for the opportunity to be seen with a good-looking woman on his arm.")

Her mother: "And manipulate him with love. If you do that, you'll get everything you want or need." 

[Note that Maharaj did not define love as a tool to be used for manipulation. It is simply the awareness which results when there is an understanding of the fact that "Wisdom is knowing that I am nothing; Love is knowing that I am everything."]

So why does that woman constantly report to one and all that is blessed? Because her parents' plan, which became her plan, has worked. She found one man willing to pay her bills and provide the lifestyle she wanted for twenty years. When that deal went south, she found another man who makes even more money than the first husband and who is now willing to spend even more money on her. And her perspective is that she can be the super religious, super pure one while also being the one selling her looks to the highest bidder; furthermore, in her mind, that's all about God having "blessed her" all her life.

Want to play that game? Many do, both males and females. Is there any place for either "sin classifications" vs. "virtue classifications" in the non-dual understanding? The unequivocal answer is, "No." Maharaj, referring to the loft where he offered satsang, said: " "Only that person will visit this place whose virtue and sin have come to an end." 

Similarly, it can be asked if there is any place in the non-dual understanding for concepts about either (a) "being blessed by a god or a goddess from another world" vs. (b) "not being blessed by a god or goddess from another world." Again, the unequivocal answer is, "No." 

This additional example of the actual effects of warped belief systems has been shared in the past but is relevant here:

In the same church which employed the woman who claims to "be blessed" because she's always found rich men to take care of all of her financial needs, the pastor set up what he called "a prayer chain," to be used by the congregants "to tap into the Power of God by lifting up thousands of prayers simultaneously when you or a fellow church member is in need." The workings of the plan were explained this way: 

"If someone is facing a 'crisis,' call the director of prayer and explain the need, no matter the time, day or night. The director will call the ten co-directors and pass on the need. They will each call ten members on their lists; those ten will also call ten on their lists; those ten will call ten on their lists, etc. Within minutes, we will have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people praying to God for the same thing, all at the same time. 

"Does it help for more than one to ask God for something? According to the Holy Scriptures, yes. The Bible says, 'Join me in praying so that, when God answers, God will be glorified in answering many prayers'; so the belief is that 'God gets more glory if many people are praying for a thing and He does it than if two people are praying for a thing and He does it.' It's all about glory to God!" 

Really? So how did that work in actual practice? Before going into that, consider what "Comedian-Non-Dualist" George Carlin found tested the "pray to God for what you want" theory and shared his findings: 

[There are] "trillions and trillions of prayers every day, asking and begging and pleading for favors. 'Do this'; 'Gimme that'; 'I want a new car'; 'I want a better job.' And most of this praying takes place on Sunday! His day off! And I say fine, pray for anything you want. Pray for anything. But . . . what about The Divine Plan? Remember that? The Divine Plan. A long time ago God made A Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought. Decided it was a good plan. Put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, The Divine Plan has been doing just fine. 

"Now you come along and pray for something. Well, suppose the thing you want isn't in God's Divine Plan? What do you want him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn't it seem a little arrogant? It's A Divine Plan. What's the use of being God if every run-down schmuck with a two-dollar prayer book can come along and fuck up your plan? 

"And here's something else, another problem you might have: suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? 'Well it's God's will. God's will be done.' Fine, but if it is God's will and He's going to do whatever He wants to anyway, why bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me. Couldn't you just skip the praying part and get right to 'His will'"? 

"So you know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci. And I noticed that of all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers that I now offer to Joe Pesci, all of them are being answered at about the same 50 percent rate. Half the time I get what I want. Half the time I don't. Same as god: 50 / 50. Same as the four-leaf clover, the horse shoe, the rabbit's foot, and the wishing well. It's all the same: 50 / 50. So just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish and enjoy yourself."

[That came from Carlin's HBO special entitled "You Are All Diseased," meaning, "You all have the Ultimate Sickness."]

So to continue with the illustrations: 

How did Carlin's observations match up with the church's prayer hotline results? About the same. Half the time, the congregants prayers were answered. Half the time, they were not. One week on a Monday, for example, each of the mothers of two female members of the church suffered serious strokes. Both were hospitalized within hours of each other. Twice on that Monday, the prayer chain was activated for each stroke victim. The result: one woman died on Wednesday; the other woman recovered and was released from the hospital on Friday.

Someone attending a church service the following Sunday shared with me what happened next. 

The pastor gloated about "the success of the prayer chain." He shared with the members during the three services conducted that Sunday that "the prayer chain worked just as it was intended. So-and-so's mom was released from the hospital on Friday and is resting comfortably at home. Praise be to God! The congregation shouted back in unison: "Praise be to God!" 

Now the fellow telling me about this said that he was seated on the row in front of the two women whose mothers had strokes. They were holding hands, the one whose mother survived trying to console her friend whose mother did not. The man said that - when the pastor began his gloating - the man glanced back over his shoulder and saw the woman whose mother died as she pulled her hand away from her friend and raised both hands to cover her face and try to hide the tears streaming down her face. 

Later, she would asked the pastor in a closed door session why the chain worked for her friend's mom but not for hers. The answer: "God works in mysterious ways." 

If you find something cruel about a pastor bragging in front of a woman whose mother had just died about how his prayer chain had worked so effectively while ignoring the fact that it did not work at all in her mother's case, you might be seeing clearly. If you find something almost barbaric about the way all that unfolded in front of that woman and an entire congregation, then you might be seeing more clearly. If you find that the entire notion of that pastor's prayer chain and his telling people that they have the power to control the Power they worship amounts to nothing more than total nonsense, then you are seeing even more clearly. 

As for the woman in that church who claims to "be blessed," many of the congregants were suffering from financial hardships, having undergone foreclosure and the loss of their homes by their lenders, etc. Was there not also something cruel about a church employee bragging about how great her life is going while so many felt that their lives were in the toilet? 

Being raised in a right-wing, ultra-conservative Southern Baptist church where the messages were that (1) "We should all be God-fearing persons" and that (2) "God blesses good people in all ways, including financially," I looked at the slum house in the gang-infested neighborhood where I lived and wondered, "Dang, how bad are we? We must be a family of really rotten people. Ain't no financial blessings happening here." 

It became clear early on that, although the U.S. Constitution supposedly banned the use of "cruel and unusual punishment," the church we attended had no problem at all with worshiping a God who endorsed the concept of cruel and unusual wholeheartedly.

It was clear early on that I was going to have to develop a constitution which would allow me to be freed from dealing with a god who was more cruel than the U.S. Government (which began with the slaughter of 150,000,000 people in "the Americas" and has always been known planet wide to be a nation with some of the cruelest citizens ever). 

Back to the examples:

Moreover, most cultures have derogatory names for men or women who enter into a profession where persons use an attractive appearance and an attractive body and manipulation of mates and false love in order to get money, and none of those names include "The Super Religious Church Worker Who Is Blessed Because She Is So Good." So she has always been able to find a wealthy man who is willing to buy what is for sale and then puts a spin on what is actually happening by claiming that God is rewarding her, and the results of her effective plan provide evidence of "being blessed by God"?

The spin allows her to ignore the fact that she is fixated at the body level of identification. The spin she puts on her "success" allows her to believe that she is living in a non-relative, supernatural, all-Noumenal, super religious and super spiritual manner. The fact? It's all based in arrogance, in distortion, and in self-deception which combine to facilitate the continuation of the notion that she is "special" in the eyes of God, in the eyes of her fellow churchgoers, in the eyes of her community, and in the eyes of herself, that is, her false self.

Such is what happens when a "new and improved and virtuous" persona is assumed at the third step and when the search ends there. 

Which leads to the subject matter to be discussed now, namely, the levels of distortion and mis-identification which can be eliminated if the seven steps are taken in their exact order and move one away from (1) the belief in the false "I" and eventually to (2) an understanding of the Absolute and one's original nature and the way that distortion-free abidance can happen for the remainder of the manifestation.

The author's online course begins with a challenging of the culture's mores and basic beliefs which are programmed into persons from early on. The "journey" does not begin with the step one questioning of body identification but begins by laying a foundation of willingness to question, questioning that must go to the very root of societal norms and customs and to the very root of what one's society claims is virtuous and valuable. 

The series of propositionalities that are addressed in the first two eBooks in the course are not intended to replace former beliefs with new beliefs. They are intended to shift the seeker into a state of willingness where even the most entrenched beliefs are questioned . . . beliefs about such concepts as patriotism and nationalism; 

about every item included in a society's list of that culture's "sacred cows"; and about all of the items included in a nation's list of "bests": 

"We are the best country on the planet and we have the best medical care system on the planet and we have the only right form of government and we have the very best economic system, ad infinitum,

all of which leads to the egotistical belief that everyone else should be just like them. 

The course also invites persons to be willing to question all of their religious and so-called "spiritual" beliefs, the culture's teachings about "relationships," and the culture's teachings about accumulation. 

Only if the willingness to question it all is present is the readiness also present to begin the seven-step "journey" by questioning the most basic beliefs about one's identity. Then only can body and mind and personality identifications be challenged; and then only can the bogus and warped content of the "mind" be challenged and finally purged, once and for all.

Only after rejecting all of that can one move along the "path" and complete the rest of the steps which remove the final vestiges of identification and beliefs and which allows for the shift to the "zero concept" step. After that, the remainder of the "journey" can be completed. 

Then, an understanding of the functioning of the totality manifests; the Truth that cannot be spoken but that can be known is known; then, even the knower and the knowing fall away (along with all that is unnatural and all that was mistakenly thought to involve something supernatural / spiritual), after which abidance happens naturally. 

At the end of the nisarga "path," there is neither a seeker nor a self nor a belief in a "Supreme Self." Neti-neti is not just an understanding - it is the foundation on which the remainder of the manifestation happens. Spontaneity replaces the plans which came about as a result of personal agendas (that is, the agendas of false personas), and then abidance happens in a non-dual, no-concept, no-identity mode. 

This is not for all; in fact, it is for few. That is why Maharaj was not among the "biggest names" when he was teaching. His gatherings were neither ashram-sized nor super-sized; they barely filled a tiny loft on many days, especially prior to publication and circulation of the I AM THAT transcriptions. 

In his later talks, he would recommend that seekers stop reading those transcripts, so his popularity would fall because his message moved farther away from the Traditional Teaching / religious / spiritual approach and dealt (A) almost exclusively with the psychological roots of the Ultimate Sickness and with (B) the nisarga yoga which ignores the popular "religious and spirituality-based" message, which gives nothing, and which eventually strips away all. 

If any vestige of a "WHO" remains, that nisarga offering will have no appeal, but for the few who have tired after having sought everything else, who have sought everywhere else, who have tried by every means to gain, who have accumulated all that can be accumulated (including spiritual knowledge and a plethora of "good personas" to replace the "bad personas"), then the readiness for this message might manifest. 

There is the tale of a young lad running about with a net one day in a field of flowers, chasing butterflies all day long without success. At the end of the day, tired and exhausted and frustrated and plagued with a sense of emptiness and failure, he dropped to his knees and his head fell forward on the ground. 

He was done, wiped out, finished, suffering from a "to-hell-with-it-all" mindset. He raised himself to his knees and looked at the setting sun and felt there was a message there for him: the day is ending and peace is settling across the field and maybe that is the way to go - just end it all. 

But at that moment, he sensed something approaching from his left and as he looked in that direction, a butterfly - spontaneously and softly - lit upon his shoulder. He looked about and saw that the peace which was settling across the now-quiet field had come because he had stopped running and doing and zooming. 

He had been the source of all of the commotion all along, and only when he stopped contributing to the commotion did peace come. Only then did that which he had sought come to him. He had to go nowhere, had to run nowhere, had nothing more to chase, and had nothing more to drive him to seek and do and go and zoom. 

The same awaits all if they choose to complete the Nisarga path to natural living. "Realize fully" via this yoga and you can rest in the manner which Maharaj suggested: "Like the peaceful deer, lying in the cool blue shade." Then, your existence will not be tantamount to a field full of commotion, and all that is necessary and natural and quiet and peaceful can come to you, automatically and spontaneously. 

And when externals happen to interrupt the quiet and the peace, you will be able and willing to avoid being drawn into the surrounding insanity and chaos and will, instead, find a way to return to the quiet and peace. 

To be continued. 

Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

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