Paradise is for Evil People

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“In the spiritual traditions of the East—and in fact universally, in the esoteric traditions, which includes Sat Yoga—a spiritual teacher is not one who makes any claim to goodness, or special closeness to God,” remarks Shunyamurti, the spiritual guide of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. “But it is only a matter of having become bored with one’s ego narratives,” whether those be of righteous indignation, victimhood and depression, superiority/inferiority, etc. “When one throws those away and lives in silence—a silence that is a surrender to the Real, to what is True, behind all of those narratives . . . then one is approaching Liberation.”

“St. Augustine, who is of course a very orthodox-approved Catholic saint, made a very interesting comment in one of his books. He says, ‘Whenever you touch God, you’re touching the devil.’ And in one of the books of Shinran . . . he said that the Pure Land, which is paradise, Garden of Eden, the Golden Age, is for evil people. . . . Why is that? . . . Because the narrative that one tells oneself is almost always to put oneself in the position of the ‘good guy’ with the white hat, who’s been exploited and taken advantage of and misunderstood, etc., etc. And it’s that narrative that has to get very boring, and has to be recognized as a fabrication that has no validity.”

“And so in this act of meditation we’re letting go of the narratives. We’re letting go of the walls we’ve put up around our heart and the attacks and the defenses and the rationalizations for why it’s impossible to be free and to live life responsibly, facing reality on its own terms without trying to have it one’s own way. And it’s that that frees one to let go of the anger and the anxiety and the depression and all of that. Nothing else will do it; there’s no other medicine, really. But letting go of the whole narrative. And we don’t like to do that because, of course, yes, we’d like to get rid of the vexation, but we want to keep the jouissance. We like the anger and the justification. And we like the feeling like we’re the good guys and all of that. Nonduality means you give up this sense of good vs. evil, negative vs. positive, me vs. the other. There is no ‘me.’ There is no other. But it’s only when the mind is quiet that we can recognize that, and be free.” Recorded on the evening of Thursday, December 9, 2010.

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