Sunday, January 08, 2017

THE ULTIMATE SICKNESS: Causes, Symptoms, Aspects, Effects, Treatment, Part Thirty-Two

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Before continuing, a query came in yesterday about the non-dual pointers attributed to Yeshu'a / Jesus, questioning the fact that the Advaitin teachings had not reached the Middle East by then "since Shankara only came along during the later 700's, early 800's." (There was a reminder yesterday of how ancient the non-dual teachings are by way of a reference made to Yeshu'a / Jesus having heard and repeated one of the most ancient non-dual pointers: "A dual-minded person is unstable in all ways." That was more than 2000 years ago.) 

The reply: "Do your research and find the facts, one of which is that non-dual pointers were being offered for thousands of years before Advaita Vedanta was 'consolidated'."

Some persons who are interested in "Advaita Vedanta," such as that person who sent the query yesterday, pay considerable attention to Adi Shankara who is credited by many with having "consolidated" the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.

The facts: By around 1200 BC, the oldest layer of Vedic texts - apart from the Rigvedic hymns - was probably essentially complete, but the non-dual message was being spread much earlier. 

It was approximately 3,400 years ago, around 1400 BCE, when a fellow named "Moses" supposedly wrote what are some of the early Jewish texts wherein referenced was made to the summative statement of non-duality, "I AM THAT; I AM."

By the way, the writings of Moses (no matter whether he or someone else wrote them) were near-totally plagiarized from ancient pagan religions and mythical tales circulating in his day. Moses supposedly wrote what are now considered some of the earliest Jewish writings, some of which Christians nowadays include in their so-called "Holy Bible" (literally meaning "different book). 

It was Moses or someone else collected and plagiarized as many of the stories already being circulated that the book of "Genesis" contains two totally contradictory versions of the creation which were being told in earlier times. Yet in those writings, Moses - if indeed he was the author of those Jewish writings - claims that God appeared to him in the form of a burning bush and identified himself with these words. "I AM THAT I AM." 

Note that having heard the term but never having seen it in writing, the author omitted the semicolon after "THAT" and thereby added a whole new level of confusion to the meaning of the summative statement of non-duality. 

The point, though, is this: the Far Eastern non-dual teachings had reached the Middle East more than 3000 years ago, likely via the people traveling with the caravans which moved back and forth along the trade route between the Middle East and the Far East at the time.

Moreover, 2000 years ago when those same trade routes were still in operation, Jeshu'a's uncle ran one such caravan and that likely accounts for some Eastern writings which speak of Yeshu'a having been in India some 2000 years ago, likely having been invited by his uncle on one or more of his trips. Thus, Yeshu'a may have been exposed to the non-dual teachings when he accompanied his uncle to India. At any rate, he was sharing non-dual pointers during his later years.

Other teachings which are associated with John and the Baptist and Yeshu'a / Jesus were likely collected while living among the Essenes, possibly while living in isolation along the shores of the Dead Sea. One Essene pointer dealt with non-duality when they discussed - as did Maharaj and as is discussed here - the effects of programming, conditioning, acculturation, etc. 

So the Essenes shared some non-dual pointers thousands of years ago, noting that (1) all humans begin at "birth" as authentics but almost all "die" as counterfeit replicas and that (2) the goal of any "path" should be to return persons to an understanding of their original, authentic condition

Thus, the non-dual teachings have been around for many thousands of years and far earlier than 800 A.D. 

Now to continue: Another source of the instability and insanity which come with the teaching and learning of dualistic concepts is what is called here "The Goldilocks Syndrome." 

The earliest written version of an old tale dealing with a girl who invades the home of three bears dates back to the early 1800's. As is the case with the poems, songs, movies, plays, short stories, novels, etc. which have been written over the years and are popular today among audiences who don't have a clue about non-dual but are nevertheless moved by non-dual themes and messages, the not-two message is similarly embedded in the "Goldilocks" story. 

[A bound volume of this following eBook would contain over 250 pages of quotations, pointers and other information dealing with the message of non-duality and non-two-ness. The book contains quotations and pointers not only from scores of non-duality books and talks but also offers non-duality pointers which have appeared in works of non-fiction, fiction, literature, and movies. 

For example, included are miscellaneous non-duality quotations and pointers which are relevant to those seeking the non-dual understanding and that have been offered by philosophers and sages and seers of truth from various periods, including:

from Plato, St. Francis of Assisi, Desiderius Erasmus, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Richard E. Lingenfelter, Robert Burton, Daniel H. Boorstin, Gary Zukav, E. Bayda, Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Brad Thor, Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Immanuel Kant, Bruce Lipton, Clive Cussler, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Lewis Thomas, Max Planck, Heinrich Hertz, and others; 

and from certain non-duality pointers that have appeared in the non-fiction writings of Ralph Klein, Barbara McClintock, Erwin Schrodinger, Fritjof Capra, Niels Bohr, David Bohm, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Marvin Kaye, S.H. Sharp, Paul Krassner, Ken Kesey, Russell Brand, G.I. Gurdjieff, a variety of examples of the non-duality message contained in the body of Native America wisdom, and non-duality pointers from "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS" (a.k.a., "the A.A. Big Book"); 

as well as examples of the non-duality message which have appeared in the fictional works of Jack Kerouac, Michael Connelly, Mary Shelley, Victor Hugo, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Abraham "Bram" Stoker and others; 

and also the non-duality message as offered in film with a list of over thirty movies which are all based in non-duality, including The Matrix (Part One), The 13th Floor, Inception, The Truman Show, Dark City, Existenz, Avatar, and many more.] 

The non-dual message permeates the arts and literature and music, and many among the masses relate to the non-dual themes which they are exposed to without having any understanding at all about what it is that they are being attracted to.  

Now to continue with the discussion of the various sources of duality and what can - and cannot - treat - the resultant Sickness: In the book INSTABILITY / INSANITY: What the Advaita Teachings Can (and Cannot) Address  this is offered: 

Instability / Insanity: The Goldilocks Syndrome, Part One 

To review: 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-haired 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 the people abiding in 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 the behavior of Goldilocks 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 which 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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