Friday, April 14, 2017

NO END "PATHS"? A LIFE-LONG "JOURNEY" WHICH NEVER REACHES THE DESTINATION? A LIFETIME OF TREATMENT WITH NO CURE AT ALL? Sensible and Sane? Or Senseless and Insane? Part "E"

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TODAY'S CONSIDERATIONS 

Every time I've been involved with the purchase of a house, I've gone to a title company for the signing of all of the necessary documents and the closing of the deal. They have always provided me with an amortization schedule listing every payment amount that I will be required to send to the lender for either 180 months or for 360 months;

the date each payment will be due; how much of each monthly payment will be applied to reducing the principal owed and how much will be applied to the interest being charged on the loan; and what the ending balance will be on my account after each of those payments is made.

They are very clear and forthright when identifying the steps I must take for the next 15 or 30 years in order to purchase the home being financed. In short, they tell me all of the steps up front that the process will require before I even begin.

Likewise, before beginning a trip along a route I've never traveled, I can visit a website and put in my current location and my intended destination and the site will provide a printable, step-by-step guide for my journey, identifying and numbering each step on the journey, town-by-town and mile-by-mile, which the journey will entail.

Yet who that is a religious leader or guide will tell you in advance how many steps are going to be required on the journey they are endorsing? Hardly any, but their steps (depending on how long a follower lives) can number in the hundreds of thousands or in the millions. The main point:

Their plan for your journey is never intended to end during your lifetime. You will always be required, per their plans, to do whatever they are recommending that you do and you'll have to do it each and every day - or even five times per day - and do that several times a week and also do "this" each week and do "that" annually and do "these other things" throughout all of the days and weeks and months and years of your life.

Or who that is a spiritual leader or guide or guru or sponsor will tell you in advance exactly how many steps are going to be required on the journey which they are endorsing? Few, but depending on the method being used by any given leader / guide / guru and depending on how long a follower lives, the actual number of steps required will be in the hundreds of thousands or in the millions, but never really just "12." Their plan for your journey is never intended to end until the relative existence ends.

I know people who joined a group to treat their alcoholism 35 years ago, and to this day, they are still "in treatment," still going to meetings every day, still going to retreats, still going to study groups where their literature is read and discussed; still going and doing and zooming with the only promise that they "will need to do all of that until the day they die"; meanwhile, they are still as unavailable to their spouses and children as they were when they were staying away from home and out drinking every night.

I know people who have been going to church (or the temple or the ashram or the mosque) for 60 and 70 years and they are still going and doing and zooming with the only promise that they "will need to keep that up until the day they die." With religious groups and spiritual groups, and with philosophical and ideological groups, their only guarantee is that there will be no end to what their members must do.

I know one counselor who never makes more than a one-year commitment at most to her clients, saying, "If the process I use does not address your issues and heal you so that you can leave and enjoy a simple, mentally-healthy, fulfilling life, then you do not need to continue with me." How rare! By contrast, I know people who have been going to their same counselor for 15 and 20 years or more. Really? Do you really have that much patience while awaiting results, or are you just willing to pay for a captive audience to listen to you talk?

As is the case with a terminal illness, the various treatment plans for the Ultimate Sickness offer no effective and final healing (i.e., restoration to sanity and freedom from learned ignorance) but are merely stopgap processes instead. Their plans include no cures at all for what truly ails those who come their way, and some even admit that they have no cure and that the most they can offer anyone is "a daily reprieve."

Daily reprieves do not address the core causes of anyone's problems, and like addictive opiates, they only mask the symptoms (such as humans' pain and suffering) rather than eliminating the actual causes of humanity's problems (namely, the beliefs stored in the human mind).

Some of you know that I told a doctor a few years ago who was passing on a not-especially-pleasant diagnosis that . . .

"My perspective is this: quality of life is key, and if that can't be, then I'm prepared to bid farewell to the remainder of an existence which can't offer that." He was shocked and said that "not giving up" and "being willing to fight for my life" and "staying positive" were vital to recovery. I chuckled and then smiled and said, "We'll see what happens, Doc. We'll see."

That discussion was about physical, elemental plant food body issues, but on the journey when freedom and peace and unconditional happiness were being sought, similar circumstances prevailed in every venue I visited and with all the person I visited who were offering one method or another which they said would take care of what ailed me. They all lied.

I reached a point where I refused to associate with any who were offering hollow promises and daily reprieves and more concepts and ineffective treatment plans which were being touted as "the best means" or "the only way" available for addressing the kinds of boredom or depression or joylessness or chaos or misery and suffering which are commonplace among the masses.

I saw that some among the self-identified "non-dual teachers" (or Advaitin or Advaita Vedantin or Neo-Advaitin or Neo-Vedantin or Pseudo-Advaitin teachers) were claiming that their teaching method only required one step. I saw that Maharaj originally discussed seven different, sequential steps when using the Direct Path, SELF-Enquiry Method he initially recommended but that - later on - he made clear that just taking the first four steps using the Direct Path, self-Enquiry Method (that is, the false-self  enquiry method) would be "enough."

No matter what "way" is being presented, you deserve to understand upfront, just as when one buys a house, what the entire process is going to entail; however, most seekers - religious, spiritual, philosophical, ideological or otherwise - are most likely to find someone offering a process which is, again, never intended to end. Most, instead, will endorse a method which only promises (but does not actually deliver) a 24-hour break from symptoms and which calls for daily work and daily reading and daily this and daily that for what ails persons; yet they never offer a complete cure.

Many plans are also steeped in amazing levels of irony, so if one is suffering from the effects of a Dependent Personality Disorder, rather than addressing that mental / personality disorder, their treatment for dependency is to recommend that you find . . . a new dependency! "Be dependent on the group or on a particular person or on God." What?

A doctor, if handicapped by a similar belief system, might say, "The plan to treat your cancer is not to get rid of all of the cancerous cells inside you but is to help you get a new and different kind of cancer." What?

I might ask, "How about instead of being dependent I become . . . totally independent? How about being free, once and for all? How about then just being?"

And the reply would be: "No! Stop being so arrogant. That won't work. No way," they say. "The way you are wired, you will always be dependent on something, so find something 'good' to be dependent on instead of something 'bad'."

If a plan to treat the Ultimate Sickness were similar to the plan to treat addiction or physical sickness, then the similarly incompetent "non-dual teacher" would say, "Just accept that our approach treats symptoms rather than causes and that you'll never be cured and that we don't have a viable treatment plan and that all you'll ever have is a short respite." In such a case, an even-slightly-sane seeker would move on and seek a second opinion, or a third, or a fourth.

But with the Ultimate (Mental) Sickness, most seekers go along with the "as-long-as-you-live-method" being offered by most preachers and priests and rabbis and ayatollahs and imams and sponsors and gurus and a host of other cult and sky-cult and cult-like leaders. "Okay, then. I'll do your deal forever."

Having tried most of the religious approaches and a variety of spiritual methodologies and a variety of supposedly "non-dual" methods, I came to a point where the seeking shifted and the search became one for something outside any and all of the established venues and beyond what was generally being offered in any of those places.

A vision also came which redirected the search to the inner resource and another level of clarity came. Here, that had to be the case. All else had failed. Having tried "their" methods of accumulating and learning more and more of what they were teaching (but having received no relief from the Sickness), the groundwork had been laid for being open to a totally different approach and a totally different perspective, a perspective which offered for consideration the notion that - rather than learning more - maybe I needed to know a helluva lot less.

Then the turning point came with the realization that "In fact, maybe I need to un-learn everything that I have ever been taught" and that "Maybe I need to see that it was all nonsense, all BS, and that - for a real change - I do not need someone who (like all the others) wants to teach me more when an 'un-teaching process' is what is actually being called for." Eventually, I found that, and all seeking ended. 

Nowadays, I share what I found with the few that are interested in a similar, simpler, finite treatment plan for the Sickness so that the treatment can be received and so that the remainder of the existence can then be spent in mere beingness rather than in being trapped in the craziness of religious or spiritual or philosophical or ideological workaholism and in all sorts of dogmatic and / or spiritual going and doing and zooming and toiling. 

So consider:

Would you be able to spot how truly crazy I would be if I were living in Israel and said to you, "Hey, I'm gonna go down to The Wall and do me some really serious wailing and kiss me some rock and then get me some one-on-one time with Yahweh by stuffing some written prayers on folded paper in the cracks of the wall to let Him know what I want Him to do. Wanna join me?"

Surely you would spot the full-blown crazy beliefs that were driving that behavior, yes? Surely, if you were wise and awake and aware and conscious you'd say, "Uhhh, I'm gonna take a pass on that."

And then when I returned home after my daily dose of wailing, you might ask, "How'd your talk with God go today?" And if suddenly I were to snap out of the dream and become at least somewhat free of delusion, would I not admit, "Not good. I may as well have been talking to a damn wall"?

Yet, can you recall times when you were also trapped in similar fanaticism-and-delusion-based-beliefs which led to nonsensical behaviors involving religious or spiritual or philosophical or ideological going and doing and zooming? Maharaj finally saw that was what happened in his case. I certainly saw that had happened in my case.

The more relevant question, then, is this:

Might it be possible that you are still trapped to one degree or another in some form of religious or spiritual or philosophical or ideological going and doing and zooming? Might that be a big part of all of the "stuff" you need to get free of?

To be continued. 

Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

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