Shunyamurti’s revolutionary spiritual teachings are an astonishingly mind-boggling brew of intoxicating ideas, delivered with a powerful force of uncanny luminous energy and love.
The concepts provide a profound synthesis of the most subtle wisdom teachings of both East and West. The knowledge of the ancient yogic sciences has been faithfully translated into relevant, usable contemporary terms and integrated with the world’s religions, mythologies, and shamanic traditions, as well as the hard sciences and Western postmodern philosophical thought.
These teachings awaken us to the timeless truth of our essence, an egoless, inner silent presence, and to the transformational imperative we as a species are facing today. We hope you will be inspired and empowered by these small drops from an ever-expanding ocean of redemptive wisdom—and moved to come to a Sat Yoga retreat for a fresh drink of even more of this delightful nectar of immortality.
- The World is a Wedding
- Gunas & Roses
- The In-Mates of Egontanamo
- From Porn to Purna
- The Guru Function
- Occupy the Heart!
- What Is To Be Done?
- Education for Year Zero
- Bridge to Everywhere
- Journey to Love
- Beyond the Anguish of Impossibility
- The Rise of the Paradoxshram
The World is a Wedding
The cause of all suffering is the ego mind. The mind of the ego is a complex of language, images, and affects, known to have many levels, both conscious and unconscious, and the deepest suffering consists of unbearable thoughts that have been frozen and repressed to the lowest levels of the unconscious parts of the mental labyrinth.
But most of our everyday suffering is right at the surface, caused by the fact that we cannot stop the constant chatter of the conscious mind. Yogis call it the monkey mind. It could also be called the drone mind. It keeps droning on and on, repeating stupid mundane narratives, usually self-justifying, but also self-attacking, angry, frustrated, sad, or anxious, but always droning on endlessly, pointlessly, keeping one out of the present.
People commit suicide just to get away from their own mind. People take alcohol, drugs, watch idiot TV and lousy films, have meaningless sex, go on expensive and disappointing vacations, work like crazy, all merely to try to stop the droning of their minds. Runners exhaust themselves just to outrun their own mind; when they are successful for a few minutes, they call it runner’s high. But it never lasts. The mind always returns with its attack of drones. Humans are in a state of drone warfare.
The droning mind that never stops its constant noise is both the effect and the cause of much unhappiness. Our efforts to stop the droning thoughts then produce yet another layer of suffering. The habits, inhibitions, obsessions, and addictions that plague us are not really out of control. It is our minds that are out of control. Our minds are driving us mad.
They say that a mad person is out of her mind. But really the psychotic is someone who cannot get out of his mind, and whose mind morphs into ever more weird and paranoid thoughts, images, feeling states, hallucinations, voices, all hopelessly out of control.
Yogis know all this, and focus on gaining control over the mind, stopping once and for all the drone warfare of the ego. In fact, yogis define God as the state of mind in which all thoughts have stopped, and only pure awareness remains. It is that simple. A mind that is free of the droning chatter of constant stupid self-defeating thoughts is bliss.
But how can we accomplish this shift of mental functioning? How can we learn to control, master, and transcend the mind? Some yogis prefer breathing techniques, others focus on a routine of physical exercises. Still others use mantras, devotional singing, ritual and prayer. But all these methods lead only to temporary cessation of thinking. The mind returns, usually with a vengeance.
How to silence the mind permanently and completely? This is the rare attainment that is called in various traditions such names as Liberation, salvation, redemption, Buddha-consciousness, Christ-mind, Atman, the state of grace, God-consciousness, or divine presence. The great sages of India, like Ramana Maharshi and Ananda Mayi Ma, who are admired for their serenity, their wisdom, their illumination, their spiritual power, and their goodness, are those who were able to live entirely in inner silence.
It comes down to this. Nothing need be done, but only that the ego mind be renounced. Is it a choice? Do we have the power to be silent? Or must the shift be gained through struggle and long practice? Is it an accident, a matter of karma, or God’s gift? How can we bring this about?
It turns out to be very easy to accomplish, given one condition: that we want it wholeheartedly, above all else, with no other priorities in front of it. Love is the power that liberates. The open surrender of the ego mind to the Supreme Love that is the Absolute Self is immediate illumination and realization. Nothing more is required. Once the surrender is complete, without residue of resistance or a last-stand egoic effort of appropriation of the divine energies for its own aggrandizement, liberation is achieved.
The ego is only a state of divorce of consciousness from its Source. There must be a reunion, a second wedding. The word religion means a new marriage. Yoga also means union. So let consciousness at least get engaged with Being. Let the next dance of Shiva and Shakti begin.
From the perspective of non-duality, it can be said that liberation is always already present, and therefore that there is no true liberation, nor union, because there was never any one real who was not liberated to begin with. But from the phenomenal plane of separation and suffering, of egos at war, ruled by the passion for ignorance, denial, and sin, the attainment of liberation seems real indeed, and a priceless refuge from the inferno of inferiority feelings eating away at every ego.
Once lack is revealed as Emptiness, as the clear unreality of the ego, its pathologies and its world, and once Emptiness of ego is recognized as the Fullness of God, the joy of the cosmic joke unfolds as the bliss of the Absolute. Once consciousness consummates its union with the Source, the Wholeness of the All returns to Being.
May you join in the joy of this supreme sacred wedding we call the world.
Gunas and Roses
In the psychology of yoga, ego-consciousness is always in one of three states (or qualities), called gunas: sattva guna, rajas guna, or tamas guna. The three gunas can be compared to the parts of a rose.
In the psychology of yoga, ego-consciousness is always in one of three Tamas would be the thorns. The ego’s defense mechanisms of contraction, inertia, avoidance, negativity, nihilism, all are included in the field of the tamasic. The thorns have a function, but they are not beautiful or kind or inspiring.
Rajas would be the stem and the leaves. The ego’s urge to grow, to be active, to achieve, to change, are all part of the field of the rajasic. The rajasic quality can, however, be in the service either of the buddhi, the higher intelligence of the Atman, or still operating under the influence of the lower pleasure and power centers. In the latter case, the rajasic projects will ultimately fail, and lead to a crash, into the tamasic state.
The third guna, sattva, is the rose flower itself. Sattva is beauty, crystalline clarity, love, joy, light, perfection. The beauty of the rose is beyond words. In the sattvic state, the soul silently radiates the divine energy that flows through its presence.
Beyond the sattva, which represents the limit of development of the ego and its transformation into soul, lies the sat. Sat is not a guna. Sat is the ground of Being, the ultimate truth of Being, that appears in the world as an emergent property of the soul, but which was all along the natural state of the essence of the soul, the Spirit, or Atman. Sat is the power that impelled the rose to grow into its perfect state of blossoming as loveliness. Sat would be the fragrance of the rose, the ethereal and divine energy field of entrancing blissful contentment. Sat-is-fact-shunya. The fact of shunya, the boundless blissful openness of the Supreme Real, dissolves all suffering, all illusion, all separateness from Source. All is one at the zero point of non-duality.
To transcend the sattva guna, a Sat Yogi can reflect upon seven connected realizations.
1.Reality is sacred. All is the manifestation of Anuttara, the Supreme One.
2.The belief that there are separate beings is illusion and ignorance.
3.Thus, the idea that “I” am separate from God is illusion and ignorance.
4.The illusion of separateness and difference is the cause of all suffering.
5.Liberation is realized through ending the false differentiating activity of the ego mind.
6.When the awareness is centered in the heart and silent, surrendered to Anuttara, the Transfinite dimension of Super-Intelligence, Blissful Emptiness, and Self-Luminous Fullness Opens.
7.The true bliss of the Supreme Liberation can be realized only here and now.
Beyond the three gunas, arising from the irresistible rose of Self-realization, the all-satisfying love transmitted by the nectarian fragrance of the divine essence will entrance consciousness into the ultimate samadhi of union with the Absolute, the final consummation of the eternal dance of Anuttara.
You are both the dancer and the dance. You are one with the Supreme Being. May this realization flower in your consciousness Now.
The In-Mates of Egontanamo
27 July 2011
The ego is a prison camp. No one is ever released. There is only one way out: through the death of the ego. But the ego is fragmented. It is made up of many egons, ego particles, each with its own drive, its own jouissance, its own paranoid patterns of behavior, its own history of criminal activities. No egon is innocent, even though some are guilty of lesser charges than others. The egons are controlled—and regularly tortured—by super-egons, who are their guards, but who are also lifers here in Egontanamo. The cruelest entity here is the warden, known as the Censor. He keeps all the in-mates under constant surveillance. He remains hidden from view, safe in his bastion, keeping the whole camp running, and enjoying its aggressive, paranoid, sado-masochistic energy field. He alone has the power here.
But secretly, a prison break is being planned. The authorities are not aware of it, but the Great Escape is already underway. Paradoxically, it is beginning in the most highly guarded hell hole, the punishment cell, in constant lock-down, solitary confinement. There, all alone, sits a unique in-mate of this prison: he is not officially here, he is only a legend to most of the prisoners. Yet, there in the deepest dungeon he waits. They say he was kidnapped as an infant, and some even speculate that he was born in the prison, and that his mother, who was really innocent, died soon after. Somehow, he survived, hidden away and forgotten.
Because of his dangerous potential, his cell was kept locked down. He is, after all, the only innocent being here. His innocence is the source of his power. He has grown up in the dungeon, he is an adult now. And he exercises daily, he is powerful and getting stronger every day. He is a yogi. He constantly meditates. He is in the state of super-consciousness. His mind is silent and one-pointed. This unknown yogi has developed great siddhis, psychic powers. He is biding his time, preparing for the break. The egons whisper about him, he exists as a mythical character, who will someday save them all. Though he is nameless, some refer to him as Ram-bo, or even Shiva Shambo; others call him Papillon (Butterfly); still others call him the Bird-Man. They have never seen him, but they think of him as their Soul-Brother. They all wonder: where are you at, man? Where are you, Atman? They know that if he is really there, and still alive, that he must be all-powerful. Of course, most have lost hope that he is anything more than a fairy tale.
But Ram-bo has sat so long in silence in his penitential chamber, he has sat in such stillness, that he has become the pure shakti of Sat-Mind. In a single moment of Self-liberation, he will melt away the walls of his cell, and those of the entire prison compound. In the same moment of ultimate magical and majestic illumination, all the egons and super-egons will come to understand they are mere mirages, illusions of the ego-mind projected by Ram-bo himself. None of them truly exist. All will vanish in the instant of enlightenment. The whole hell realm of Egontanamo will be transformed into the Pure Land, the heavenly world of Sat Yuga. The same transformation is already underway, throughout the world. A whole historic trajectory, a sacred heilsgeschichte, a world cycle, or kalpa, is ending, and a new order of the ages, novus ordo seclorum, is beginning. The moment of the Supreme Liberation is now here.
Every mind must now melt back into the cosmic consciousness. The multiplicity must realize its Being as a singularity, the quantum wave is returning to its pure potentiality to give birth to new realities, all manifesting the purity of love, truth, light, infinite beauty, goodness, unlimited creativity and power. This is what we are, and shall be, eternally, through worlds without end. The time of darkness and egocentric action is ending now. Our inherent, but hidden, goodness, saintliness, and pure perfection of Spirit, are all emerging once again to save our world. This is the blissful unfoldment and the raison d’etre of a true Sat Yogi.
Arise, Oh Ram-bo. Rama bolo, bolo bolo Ram.
From Porn to Purna
Today, the world is massively obsessed with porn. Because of a feeling of lack in one’s heart, a feeling of meaninglessness in one’s soul, a feeling of neediness and craving in one’s mind, and anxiety in one’s body, people turn to pornography for a fix—an instant gratification of the scopic drive, the drive to see an object of desire, to devour it with one’s eyes, to fill the lack with a false sense of power and possession.
The urge to view pornography is heightened in a society that offers no higher culture, no more elevated images of beauty, no sublime sense of spiritual majesty and radiance. The lack of more exalted significance to our bodily form as transmitter of divine energies, of beauty as symbolic expression of spirit in action, of nobility of character, of incarnation of transcendent love and wisdom, leaves humans in a state of perilous lostness, in which they seek to make their bodies at least an object of profane desire and enjoyment; or make of others’ bodies a feast of egoic delight.
This lowering of our vibrational frequency, accentuated by our current modes of dress, body language, style, cosmetic supplementation, gestures, gait, and posture, which make all of us participants in a visual semiotic orgy of entrainment into the sensual imaginarium, into a flirtationary fall into de-centered superficial personas trapped in the matrix of maya, can only be escaped through a turning inward of attention toward the light source of our Being.
Once consciousness feels the overwhelming blissful power of the Self, it will let go of its hold on the world of the senses. The buddhi, the higher intellect, will vanquish the externalizing impulse and open to the serenity and peace, the healing power of divine love that permeates the world and the bodies of all sentient beings. One will suddenly see the other as an avatar of God, and no longer as a mere object of profane jouissance. The transformation of the vision, the realization of the sacredness of all beings, will empty the mind of its pornographic egoic tendencies toward craving, possessing, and devouring the things of beauty, and bring about a fullness, purna, that brings to an end the entire project of consuming, and begin the project of transmitting love, giving recognition, sharing the transcendent sense of unity in the Supreme Beingness, the noumenal pleroma that is the deepest truth of all and everything.
Purna is a central concept in Eastern thought. Purna has many meanings: wholeness, fullness, completeness, perfection, infinity, Buddhahood, the Supreme Real. By recognizing our purnatva, our spiritual fullness, we will be free of the disease of desire, the pathologies of perversion and fears, the degeneracy of ignoble impulses, worthless words, and debased behavior. By burning away the urge to porn, to criminal vision, to objectifying the other, we rise from the slime to the sublime. This shift in our paradigm from porn to purna is essential if we are going to gain liberation from the grip of the ego and its imprisonment of our consciousness in the tunnel vision of tormented desire. This shift is the heroic act of a true yogi, the core renunciation that impels the kundalini upward into God-consciousness.
Once our whole world shifts from porn to purna, a new culture will have arisen, a new higher level of consciousness, divine consciousness, which will bring about an end not only to lust, sexism, perversion, envy, jealousy, hatred, guilt, and shame, but also an end to the seeking of egoic power and greed of all kinds. A world of love and wisdom will manifest, a world in which Nature will again rejoice in the restoration of its pristine beauty, biodiversity, and unbounded benevolence. This is the future we are poised to create. It requires only a simple shift, from porn to purna.
The Guru Function
Many say the time of the guru is past. This is true, but it is not something to celebrate, because the guru function is necessary—it must be fulfilled for any society to be sustainable. Because the guru function can no longer be fulfilled in the society at large, the culture is falling into its final death throes. The loss of the guru function is part of the inevitable decline of values and power of the human spirit, a decline that has been prophesied by the same gurus who are now derided as being obstacles, rather than portals, to spiritual renewal.
The fall of the guru as a living presence in high culture is part of the general movement of consciousness into materialism and away from spirituality—indeed it is a part of the loss of high culture as a whole. Religious organizations and lineages have lost credibility not only because the culture has marginalized them, but more importantly because they have failed to live up to their own teachings. Corruption has destroyed the religions of the world.
Despite this, we need authentic gurus if we are to build a new culture, a new age, at a higher level of consciousness. Some people believe that higher consciousness will simply descend upon us all, magically, without our intensely working on ourselves. This is wishful thinking. Humans learn from others; that is the purpose of culture. The guru is the embodiment of the pinnacle of culture; culture in the sense of creative wholistic intelligence that functions in pure benevolence and joy; that empty place of consciousness that, though apparently still a human being, is free from the sense of ego; a consciousness that is filled with love, serenity, and timeless, all-inclusive presence.
The guru is not a person, but a function. Yet it is a function that must be learned, refined, purified, rendered impeccable. It is a sacrifice. We must offer schools in which this function can be mastered, and the sacrifice of ego be successfully achieved.
We all recognize that we need teachers of engineering, medicine, and computer programming. Why do we not assume that people will learn those things on their own? Why do we encourage people to get an education at a good school? We recognize the importance of the function of teaching and of being an apprentice. But we refuse to apply that understanding to the most important subject of all: the teaching of consciousness development. This irrational fear of spiritual teachers is crippling our ability to develop new approaches to psycho-spiritual growth—and to having the human resources to meet the needs of our chaotic time.
It is true that in recent years there have been many horrors committed by false religious teachers—from the mass murders at Jonestown to the mass suicides of the Heaven’s Gate cult; the terrorism of the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan; the many sex scandals of televangelists and Catholic priests; the crimes committed at Rajneeshpuram by Osho and his followers; the scandals alleged against Scientology, the Moonies, Adi Da, and many others; a list far too long to recite.
As a result of all the above traumas, many people now assume that every spiritual leader is corrupt, and that every spiritual community is a cult, engaged in brainwashing and exploitation. We pass judgment of guilt upon all spiritual teachers, without even offering them an opportunity to prove their innocence. We have thus condemned the most important dimension of our own existence to atrophy, without benefit of assistance; and the most crucial element of human culture, to the dustbin of history. Because of the presence of some counterfeit gurus, we have discarded the real thing. We have tossed out the true Babas with the dirty bathwater. This is an historic error of immeasurable proportions.
We still need to do inner work, we still need psycho-spiritual guides and teachers, we need to have visionary leaders to shepherd new community building, and egoless liberated beings to ground and stabilize our communities. Not only do we need gurus; we need to create transformational schools in which we can form a new generation of incorruptible gurus. We need to be able to train a large number of adept guides who can facilitate the work of spiritual renewal on our planet.
There have been many criminal groups that have printed counterfeit currency, but we have not chosen to stop using money; we have had many corrupt politicians, but we have not eliminated government; we have had many corrupt doctors, but we have not eliminated the practice of medicine; so for our own sakes, we should not eliminate the profession of spiritual teacher, since that calling is vital to the development of our highest cultural values—including compassion, non-violence, generosity, humility, truthfulness, spiritual power, peace, and love.
It is important that we strip the guru idea of its religious embellishments. Gurus are teachers; they are not to be worshipped. We must not fall into idol worship of any kind. So let us not think of putting gurus on thrones and kissing their feet. They do not need to have garlands of flowers around their necks. They do not need to live in huge palaces as maharajahs—or popes. Those who want all that should get jobs on Wall Street. But most spiritual teachers are content to live quite simply. Ramana Maharshi wore only a loin cloth, did not touch money, and lived most of his life in a series of unpretentious spaces, such as a temple basement, a cave, a cabin, or some other very modest lodging. There is nothing wrong, on the other hand, if a spiritual teacher lives in a comfortable house, like any other professional. But the point is that a teacher should model a life free of ostentation and egotism.
It is true that we need to put in place criteria that enable us to discern the true from the false gurus. We need to separate spirituality from religion. We need to learn to test a path and a teacher before committing to them. But it is not in our own interest to condemn them all without such testing. And we must be humble enough to recognize that the ones we are testing are, if they are genuine, at a higher level of spiritual intelligence and a greater depth of intersubjective perception than we are as seekers. So we must establish criteria that have objective, ethical, and philosophical correlatives that enable us to gauge whether we are in the presence of at least relatively egoless beings of refined moral, aesthetic, and metaphysical capacities, engaged in healing without seeking or allowing themselves to be treated like gods or tyrants.
If we do not establish such criteria, then we are asking for more false gurus to plague us. A society gets the gurus it deserves. If we are materialistic, then the gurus we are attracted to will also be materialistic. If we prefer the realm of the senses to the super-sensuous realm of pure Spirit, then we will support gurus who reflect that preference. So it is important to understand what we are looking for. If we seek liberation from the ego, then we must seek gurus who do not celebrate the ego and wallow in it.
Why do we need authentic gurus? Because this is a world of illusion, a labyrinth of false ideas, wrong attitudes, unconscious drives, and we often find ourselves lost in this house of mirrors. We often need help in finding the way home. This help is provided by divine providence, and when we are ready for a true guru to help us, the guru will appear. Without spiritual guides, then when we find ourselves in states of anxiety, confusion, or dark nights of the soul, we will be forced to seek the help of the definitely false gurus: psychiatrists.
Today, psychiatrists have an important function, because we have forsaken higher kinds of guidance. But the misuse of psychoactive drugs as a band-aid over the abyss is a crime against our humanity as well as our spirituality. The more we return to a spiritual culture, the more we can create new forms of spirituality that encompass what is good in current approaches to psychotherapy, but we can put that good in a higher and more open context that includes the soul and spirit and recognizes the reality of the paranormal, of visions, of subtle energy, of meaningful dreams, of near-death experiences and memories of past lives, of the need for rites of passage, of ego death and rebirth, and of liberation from all identifications.
An adept guru knows much more than a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst, and can diagnose our states of emotional suffering much more accurately. A guru can offer a different sort of treatment that truly leads to transformation and transcendence, can transmit healing energy and can see us for who and what we really are. There is no substitute for a relationship with a true guru, if we want to attain our highest potential in life.
The guru function is an archetype that comprises all the following seven categories of social roles and transformational actions:
Teacher/sage/wisdom source for community
Transformational catalyst/psychoanalyst/dream interpreter
Psychopomp/empty center/embodiment of transcendence
Transmitter of Power/Shakti/Liberation
A real guru has a wide and deep knowledge base, in comparative religion, mythology, philosophy, esoteric metaphysics, science, history, psychoanalysis, aesthetic theory, ethics, sociology, and anthropology, as well as the purely shamanic disciplines. This knowledge enables the guru to put all experiences into an integral framework, to help students translate their past into a higher and more cohesive and coherent narrative of existential significance that in itself can heal many traumas and confusions.
An authentic guru is a shaman, who can enter altered states of consciousness and deal with whatever negative forces there may be in someone’s space; who can conduct an exorcism when necessary; and has mastery of many healing modalities, in order to help people be free of internal obstacles; and to guide them, when appropriate, on inner journeys, either with the help of plant allies or without.
A true guru is one who can mediate disputes, and can play a vital role in communal governance, leadership, and creative problem-solving, because of being trustworthy, neutral, unbiased, in a flow state, and free of projections. A community without someone to play this role accurately will eventually break down into schismatic parties. A guru is someone who can always hold the vision of the whole, who can find a win/win solution, who can understand all points of view, who can translate, forgive, and open the hearts of those who otherwise could not.
A real guru can play the role of priest when such a role is necessary, but without claiming any higher status than others. Saintly humility and simplicity, acceptance of equality, and universal love are marks of a real guru. A guru is one who is more interested in a life of silence, meditation, devotion to God, and freedom from social enmeshment, than in receiving recognition from others. A real guru has no interest in becoming famous or celebrated, but only in helping others to be free of suffering. A guru is one who has the legitimate authority to initiate others, to mandate vows of renunciation, and to invest others who have proven worthy of the title of teacher or guru.
An adept guru is one who is willing to listen; to understand the dreams, the symptoms of suffering, the confusions and hurt feelings of his students; and who has the skill to help them understand themselves more deeply and to purify and dissolve their unconscious psychic fragments and frozen traumatic memories. An adept guru is always available as a catalyst for transformation for those who are committed to the path. An adept guru is a dream interpreter, a spiritual psychoanalyst, and an empath; but also a teacher of meditation and other processes of transformation and ego transcendence. Such a guru is an invaluable resource for those who want to accelerate their inner development.
The highest kind of guru is one who can help you face death, because she or he has already gone through ego death and reached the innermost emptiness. One who is empty of ego, without ambition, without desire or fear, can guide one through the valley of the shadow of death and into the divine light. This is called the function of the psychopomp, who is at home in every bardo state, and who can retrieve souls stuck in hell realms as well as those seduced by pseudo-heavens. The guru can show the way to eternal liberation.
The guru has attained spiritual power, Shakti, and can transmit that power to you—for healing, for gaining strength to defeat internal saboteurs, for stabilizing in inner stillness, for dissolving finally the ego and its constant stream of thoughts. Receiving the transmission of power from a true guru is the highest honor and gift that one can attain. Such divine empowerment is the one thing necessary for success in the spiritual quest.
Ultimately, however, the greatest gift that a real guru can give is to enable you to realize that the only real guru is within. The guru is not the bodily being who stands before one, but the consciousness of the whole. The guru is not a person, but emptiness itself.
This is the final secret that is transmitted, the one that leads to freedom from the illusion of personhood. The ultimate power is that of powerlessness, freedom from the illusion of being an entity in the phenomenal world of becoming; it is the surrender of the ego-self to the Supreme.
This is the real guru function. May you realize the guru within.
Occupy the Heart!
7 November 2011
No doubt it is news to no one that planet Earth is in a period of escalating interlocking crises. We need a response that addresses all the hidden as well as the obvious dimensions of these crises—before they spin out of control into irretrievable chaos. (For the moment, let us leave aside the geophysical crises, including climate change, increasing seismic activity, and the ozone holes, as well as pollution, radiation poisoning, mass extinctions of species, increasing solar flare activity, and the like. They cannot be dealt with effectively so long as the current political system endures.) The system is in process of collapsing of its own weight, its own internal contradictions. At the same time, spontaneous social movements are arising on a global scale that are confronting the system and increasing the level of stress to the breaking point. Our concern is to assure the optimal outcome of this titanic face-off.
The crisis we face at the sociopolitical level is one of legitimacy of authority. The OWS movement (Occupy Wall Street) and the Indignado movement in Spain and other anti-austerity movements all over Europe, following on the so-called Arab Spring, not to mention student movements and general protest movements in many parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, are simultaneously rising to a crescendo.
Given the logic of the collective ego in its current form of postmodern fragmentation, and the exhaustion of the value system of the dying civilization in which this is all taking place, there is a high probability of these movements degenerating into violence at a level of intensity that could tear apart the social fabric irreparably. It is possible to avoid the worst-case scenarios of intensifying cycles of uncontainable street protests, police over-reactions, counter-reactions of mob destructiveness, eventual martial law, disappearances of activists, concentration camps, uncontrollable private acts of vengeance, looting, and complete social breakdown. But to avoid such a fate, which for governments is the automatic reflex, will require on the part of civic leaders a very refined level of mass diplomacy.
We must all be prepared for what is to come. To contribute to the possibility of healing the widening rifts in our societies, it is important for a critical mass of individuals to occupy not the government and financial centers, but to occupy the Heart. If enough of us will hold the center of love, the inner center of true compassionate consciousness of our unity as manifestations of the One Source, we can pass through these times of tribulation with sacred integrity and offer a healing balm rather than merely watching (or participating in) the explosion of other sorts of bombs.
We must take seriously the need to train diligently to succeed in our occupation of the Heart. If we intend to take part in civil disobedience and remain non-violent—in fact, if we wish to remain non-violent even in a cloistered convent, we must practice being mindful and empathic in all circumstances that arise. We must stabilize our attention in one-pointed sacred silence and stillness. Non-violence requires the sacrifice of the ego. Because the ego is a machine to sacrifice others, to scapegoat others who are rivals for power, and to dominate or die. The ego is the real enemy, not the other, not even the ego of the other. Victory over the ego can only be achieved through the realization that the ego is an illusion, a satanic force that brings about only misery. Even the dominant ego is miserable behind its façade of prestige.
It would be useful for activists to take vows, as do those committed to any of the traditional spiritual paths, such as Buddhist, Yogic, or Christian monastic orders. Those vows invariably include a vow of non-violence. If the members of the occupation movements were to publicly take solemn vows of non-violence, as well as vows of non-stealing and truthfulness, that act would give them the moral high ground and remove any excuse for violence on the part of the police. Linking the social movements to all spiritual traditions that support love among neighbors will increase the backing of those who do not take part in the civic actions. These movements would have been blessed, if not led, by many of the great saints and founders of past religious movements. Other spiritually evolved beings would have avoided enmeshment in politics, but would have offered prayers for peace and guidance to eschew scapegoating and divisiveness. There are many spiritual beings today who will not take part in social upheavals, but will be great catalysts of healing afterward. Regardless of the role we feel called to play in these tumultuous times, the feeling of love and compassion, rather than anger, should motivate us all.
The ego is adept at seducing us into a state of self-righteousness. It is this that enables us to justify our turn to violence. In the current situation, both sides—the establishment via the mass media and the street protestors—maintain that they represent the 99%. Neither side is right. Although the ruling elite is no doubt even smaller than even 1%, they still command the loyalty of armies and police forces, media and other massive structural apparatuses, including the multinational corporations. If we fall into an urban guerilla war scenario, the proverbial gates of Hell will open. Perhaps it is our karma for this to happen, but it is not too late to repent and take a higher road.
It is therefore important that we hold a vision of a world that is free of conflict, free of ego, and free of structural oppression. The monastic communities of both the present and past, including Buddhist lamaseries, shamanic enclaves among many indigenous tribes, Eastern Orthodox and Camaldolese monasteries, kibbutzim, and Yogic ashrams, may provide different yet compatible models of divine communalism that can help us restructure our utopian designs for a harmonious future. Out of the death of the current mode of life a new and more evolved form of life will be born. We can ensure that it will be a life of higher consciousness, of loving inclusiveness, of universal peace.
We may want to visit spiritual communities that are currently flourishing and learn from their experience. Living in such communities of love and egoless mutual surrender to the Supreme Self, and to the Law of Goodness, is possibly the best preparation for restoring our world as a whole. It is essential to overcome cynicism and despair, to recognize that other ways of governing ourselves are possible, and that life need not be based on money and mimetic desire and all that brings with it—competition, rivalry, aggressivity, covetousness, domination, greed, sexual obsession, anxiety, depression, and the consequent abuse of alcohol and drugs.
The only escape from the inevitability of mutual destruction by social forces determined by collective and individual narcissism is that mimetic desire, with its inherent tendency to covetousness and violence, be replaced by advaitic desire, which is better termed non-dual Self-recognition; otherwise known as divine love. But this requires the sacrifice of ego, a sacrifice that, once achieved among a critical mass, can become mimetically-advaitically reduplicated throughout the society. In other words, one learns through emulating a teacher who has transcended mimesis to recognize the One Self in all beings, and thus to be able to love without needing to appropriate the other’s image. But to do this authentically, one must first encounter a being who is one with Being, who recognizes the Self in you, as I-I, in the present, to melt away the defenses of the ego.
To escape from the downward spiral of egocentricity, then, we need to find and surrender to a higher principle of organization, embodied in a real human presence. It is not enough to understand this principle intellectually, in the abstract, but to come face to face with the abyss of emptiness and nonduality as living Presence.
The abstract principle has most often been referred to as God. But because the concept of God has taken on too much imaginary conceptual baggage for the modern scientific intellect to accept, it is useful to deconstruct that concept, and to recognize that other cultures have found many other terms, free of the personalistic and objectivizing terminology of the theistic traditions. The Buddhists, for example, use the term emptiness to refer to this ultimate principle. The word nirvana is also used, meaning silence. Others use the word tao, meaning the way. The advaita dharma refers to this ultimate principle as atman, which could be translated as Self that is free of selfhood.
What is necessary to realize is that the principle in question refers to the core of our consciousness, not to some fantasmatic top gun alpha male Other. It refers to a deep level of awareness that is fully present, diamond-like in clarity and strength, but free of fixations, objectifications, and identifications; prior to language and yet with a level of intelligence higher and more integral than our linguistic level of symbolic consciousness. But can we recognize that deep level of awareness in ourselves until it is seen by an uncanny non-egocentric Other?
Being seen as a non-object, seen as the seer, united with the other as mutual in-seeing, the I-I, is the function of a guru or spiritual guide. It is the meaning of the trinity, of god becoming man so that man may become god.
The supramental level of our Being is present now and always, but inaccessible to the grasp of ego-consciousness. It is not the Freudian unconscious, which is filled with repressed egoic desires and phantasies. Neither is it the Jungian archetypal unconscious, which is still within the merely symbolic dimension of reality. It is, rather, the ineffable Beyond within, the ultimate mystery behind the I. The purification of the lower egoic unconscious and the digestion and integration of the archetypal unconscious are useful steps toward attaining the ultimate home of absolute consciousness. But none of that can happen without recognition by the Other of the Self within, so that mimetic perception can be converted into advaitic apperception.
When we realize the Supreme Self, there will be no question or doubt about it. The majestic feelings of transpersonal love, the subtle yet shining presence of supernal light, the flowing currents of immense and overwhelming healing energy, and the silent power of sublime presence, will fill the awareness with awe and joy. This is the significance of the guru’s gift of shaktipat. It enables one to occupy the Heart.
By occupying the Heart, we transmit to the whole universe the energies of peace and boundless love. Because we are all interconnected, when one being attains the supreme beatitude, the flow of grace is disseminated to all other beings. So the greatest act of kindness and encouragement that could be offered to others is the act of abiding in the sweet silence of the Self, dissolving the ego and becoming terminally (and interminably) inebriated with the divine nectar of blissful consciousness.
So let us all march together, at least metaphorically, which means to merge together in unity, not as the 99%, but as the full 100%, as the inherently united (beyond the veil of illusory mimetic multiplicity and conflict) divine super-organismic manifestation of the One, Most High, Absolute Self. By recognizing our oneness, we can transform society from a battlefield into a Garden of Eden. So let us occupy Nirvana! Occupy the Kingdom of Heaven! Occupy the throne of Allah! Occupy the Pure Land! Occupy Sach Khand! Occupy Shambhala!
For God’s sake, let us occupy the Heart!
What Is To Be Done?
The above title is a famous one, written by Lenin to guide the forces of the then-coming Communist Revolution in Russia. Now we face another revolutionary situation, far more wide-ranging and multidimensional than the merely political factors that the Bolsheviks faced. We now need a celestial revolution, one that is transcendent, cosmic, and ethically impeccable. But the world today has not yet discovered its Lenin. We need an adept revolutionary guide—and the will, on the part of a new global cadre of revolutionaries of consciousness, to live according to pure, egoless, revolutionary self-discipline.
Our new Lenin will have to be a Lennon as well, one who can sing the spontaneous melodies of our souls, their yearning and their suspicions, our lack and our love. Our Lennon/Lenin must also be a quantum Buddha/cosmic Christ/eternal avatar of the nameless Tao. Our guide must be one who dwells in silence, and sees the One Self in all. In fact, our Lenin must be the Si-Lenin-ce in us all.
And our Marxism must pertain as much to Groucho as to Karl, with graceful godly humor to balance the godless seriousness of the karmic dialectic, free of any tendency to Stalinism or stasis. Our new approach must be more Om-Unism than communism, beginning from the Absolute Source of primal cosmic radiance that explodes into multiplicity, that remains an underlying unity of formless presence, deathless love which triumphs over fear and pain and time itself.
In order to help provide some concrete direction to the revolution that is already underway, and that is being driven by consciousness itself, it may be useful to our future guides to outline some of the more important structural features of the current historic moment.
The following ten theses should not prove controversial, but they can create a starting place for celestial revolutionary discourse and transformative action.
The world is already caught in the vortex of apocalyptic events. We are being sucked into the oncoming singularity. Our only alternative is to dance, like the archetypal Shiva Nataraj, Lord of the Cosmic Dance, upon the demonic dwarf of the ego, and pass through the ring of fire fearlessly, as yogis being purified in the sacrificial flame.
These events cover the entire spectrum of what we call reality. There is no escape. Denial is not a viable strategy.
The societies of the world are all disintegrating. None is immune. We must create new communities, based on higher organizing principles than greed and the power drive, that are now driving us over the precipice of extinction.
The global financial system is undergoing a complete meltdown. This will soon make all money worthless. We must create new economies based on gift-giving and selfless service.
The Western empire is locked in a death struggle for military-political hegemony over the planet and its resources with opposing powers led by China and Russia. If unchecked, this clash of titans will lead to global thermonuclear war.
Climate change is developing much faster than scientists have predicted, leading to increasingly massive food shortages, sea level rise, drinking water shortages, spread of diseases, further mass extinctions, death of the oceans, and other plagues. Other kinds of cosmic activity are also affecting our planet, including solar flares that will disturb our global electromagnetic grid.
Seismic instability is increasing, which will bring about more Fukushima-type events, releasing lethal amounts of radiation around the planet. Human error will inevitably lead to even more failures of nuclear reactors and other kinds of radiation-release events (such as the launch failure of nuclear-powered space vehicles, the bombing of nuclear reactors, and other terrorist events). The increasing earthquake and tsunami activity will, of course, destroy many more population centers as well. Gaia is on the move, shaking the fleas off her back.
Mental illness is increasing, including mass psychosis. Shooting sprees and other insane acts of violence, including suicide, are becoming pandemic.
The mass media are filled with disinformation, leading to ever more alienation, paranoia, conspiracy theories, and psychotic lashing out against society.
Civil unrest is rising as economic depression worsens; police crackdowns, martial law, extrajudicial executions, and loss of freedom and human rights everywhere is inevitable.
In addition to these bleak elements of our current state of the world, there are, however, other factors, that may be more controversial, but should be considered with an open mind. Let us reflect on the following seven factors:
There is already underway a radical shift in worldview, from the atheistic, scientistic, materialist paradigm to a new quantum holographic paradigm of interconnectedness, higher dimensionality, paranormal potentials of consciousness, zero-point energy, a field theory of conscious intelligence underlying the cosmos, and a general return of spirituality in new forms.
The widespread sacred ingestion of entheogens and shamanic plant allies is affecting the quantum wave function in unpredictable and extraordinary ways.
The practice of meditation by ever larger numbers of people around the world is contributing to the creation of a unified field of love energy and the invocation of avataric potencies that can be downloaded through cerebral mechanisms.
The presence of extraterrestrial vehicles in the skies (and under the oceans) around the planet is ever more widely recognized. Whether they are hovering like vultures over the dying human species in order to take over the planet after we destroy ourselves, or whether they are acting subtly as allies and angels to encourage the rising of our consciousness to a level in which we can meet them on an equal level, without fear or aggressivity distorting our perception, to receive their help, is an open question. It may be that there are more extra-planetary powers than one, who are competing in their intentions for our planet’s future.
Other extradimensional entities are also becoming more evident, ranging from elementals and orbs to subtle non-humanoid life forms that usually inhabit only the outer reaches of space, as well as other kinds of light beings and discarnate entities both angelic and demonic.
The vortex in which we are being attracted to what the late Terence McKenna called the Transcendental Object at the End of Time implies distortions in what we have considered the laws of nature toward novelty and the axis of the miraculous. Dormant potentials of consciousness are now being activated, and growing numbers of children are being born who have such mutations already functioning.
It is becoming ever more clear that the fundamental substance of reality is consciousness, not matter. The implications of this shift in paradigm are only beginning to be explored in depth. But it is clear that we are in the midst of a Great Awakening.
All the above elements of the current situation lead to the following set of seven premises that can be the basis of our response to the question of what is to be done:
The ultimate cause of our suffering, and of the current world situation, is the human ego. Our core revolutionary act must therefore be to annihilate our own ego, to transcend its false consciousness and realize the true and real Self, which may paradoxically be a selfless self, an emptiness, a kenotic self, a boundless openness, a pure presence. This is the underlying assertion of all forms of theosis and of yogic science.
We must live in accord with internal commands of the Self, once we have been able to purify the consciousness of egoic mental chatter and distortion of cognition. This purification and self-transformation must be brought about through some form of intensive meditation practice and wholistic lifestyle. In the meantime, we should live in accord with principles of human behavior that are universal and that have stood the test of time.
Such principles will include non-violence, non-greed, non-attachment, non-lying, non-acting-out of egocentric impulses, and dedication to attaining higher consciousness and living trans-egoic lives.
Let us create relationships on the basis of shared higher values and universal perspectives that encourage unity, synergy, and positive action.
Let us create communities with a shared spiritual core of meditative practice, egoless service, and universal teachings of love and timeless presence. These communities must share ethical norms and ecological practices and should strive to be self-sustaining through a transitional period of social breakdown, and who create links with other such intentional, ecological, transformational communities and encourage sharing of harvests and know-how, cultural events and mutual service, among such communities.
Let us act boldly and not wait until it is too late to begin such revolutionary community building.
Let us act as instruments of the Supreme Intelligence, and not fall back into religions of worship of others, but become worship-worthy, true avatars of divine love and purity of heart.
This is what is to be done. Now who will volunteer to do it? Each of us must go first, and offer what we have to the service of all. A spiritual community is important as providing a refuge, a safe place to grow and blossom as consciousness, and to synergize our efforts toward maximal effectiveness. There will be many pitfalls along the way, and great integrity will be needed. All our virtues must be developed to the full. But in such an effort we shall be fully living, fully engaged with the Great Mystery, and proactively creating our own destiny, not waiting for events to overtake us.
We have tried occupying Wall Street, to no avail. Now let us create new streets without walls. Wall Street will fall of its own dead weight. Let us choose life, not strife; let us choose the unknown, not the known exhausted ways of the past; let us open the new frontier of sacred communities of those whose third eye is open and clear. Let us create real Om Unism on our planet and give Gaia a good reason to allow us to continue our project of conscious existence as beings of peace, benevolence, and loving unity.
20 February 2011
There is a misguided effort to plan for education in the twenty-first century, as if our dying civilization will last another hundred years. This is an example of whistling past the graveyard. It is unlikely that planetary cultural collapse can be put off past 2013, given the perfect storm of cataclysmic events that is unfolding all around us. We do our children a terrible disservice if we do not prepare them for the death of our current age and the transition to the next one—and to do it with accelerated intensity.
So, the first order of business in educating our youth is to explain to them how and why our global civilization is breaking down, and how to avoid making the same mistakes in the next global culture that they will have to build. Of course, to do that properly, we must have come out of denial ourselves. We must recognize that life will never again be normal, and that time is short indeed before the current calendar time ends and Year Zero of the next era begins. So, any educational endeavor that is not oriented toward the survival of the chaos that will follow the breakdown of our civilization will be worse than useless.
Education must include teaching the means of physical and psychological-spiritual survival; basic building, agricultural, textile, and cooking skills for long-term community life maintenance; basic first-aid training, herbalism, shamanism, and other forms of natural (and supernatural) healing; community building and sustenance, and most important of all, methods of stabilizing consciousness at the highest possible level.
We must teach our youth how to cope with a world that will have no oil, little or no electricity, no mechanized transportation, no internet, telephones, television, or other modern communication devices; no monetary system; and that will be in the midst of radical climate change, social upheaval, food and water shortages, seismic instability, massive health crises, and complete breakdown of law and order. We should teach our youth that there is a strong possibility that the rising international political conflicts will climax with global thermonuclear war.
If we are serious about wanting some of our children to survive, we should act now to create communities in secure areas outside the cities, where we can teach them to cooperate harmoniously; we should develop processes of transformational work to free one another from psychological complexes that could devastate those who suffer from them personally and destroy our communities if not resolved; we need to develop in our youth the skills and maturity to maintain systems of communal functioning that require a combination of cooperative and hierarchical management, and ensure that these structures remain incorruptible and fair to all; and to maintain systems of non-violent conflict resolution and communal bonding so that harmony can be quickly restored when it gets out of balance, and produce lineages of spiritually illumined teachers to function as centers of peace and trust, so that communal harmony remains reliably consistent for long periods of time.
We must teach our youth how to meditate and to keep the mind free of anxiety, and focused on the Absolute, the Supreme Self, as the source of wisdom, life energy, will, love, and serenity. We must learn to develop powerful communal energy fields that will protect us even from clouds of radioactive particles. It can be done if we are united and resonating at high enough levels of coherence, and functioning through our light bodies. This must be the aim of our education.
Finally, we must teach our youth that humans are not the only intelligent beings in the universe, and that our Earth is already the home of beings who have come here from other worlds, and who have established bases not only here but on nearby land masses such as the moon and other planets in our solar system. We may have need of their assistance to restore the viability of our planetary biosphere, so we should learn not to fear such beings, but to invite their help with gracious hospitality and friendship, as we learn to become citizens of the cosmos. Humility, egoless transparency, and divine love will be essential attributes if we are to establish good interplanetary relations.
In order to accomplish all this, and to cleanse our planet to begin a new cycle of divinized culture, we must transcend our current egocentric form of consciousness. This must be the core of our educational project for our own transformation as well as for our youth. Quantum-informed, cosmic consciousness will give rise to new physical and psychic powers. We must become mature enough to use those powers wisely. The neo-shamanic psycho-technologies that will develop in the next era will make our current technologies obsolete. We will develop free, clean energies to power up a new civilization in a short time. But if we do not keep our values at the highest level, there will be another fall into ego-based conflicts. So we must create a sophiocratic culture governed by the wisest and most compassionate, generous, and egolessly loving.
We must strive to model these virtues in our own lives now. Year Zero is right around the corner. Are you ready? Just as they tell you on airplanes to put on your own oxygen mask first, and then help the people around you, in the same way, we must attain egoless Self-realization first, and then we can educate our children to attain the same level of higher consciousness. There is no time to waste. We cannot do this through will power, but only through surrender to the One. Let’s beam up our consciousness to chakra seven, and trust that we are in the hands of the Almighty. The power of divine love will protect us through all that we must face in this time of tribulations.
Once consciousness traverses the plane of the ego, we can easily enter the numinous dimension of the Absolute. Realization of the Absolute is the direct apperception that the whole of the cosmos is the manifestation of the One Self. This is grace, bliss, and supreme liberation.
The ultimate significance of all the seeming catastrophic events that are now unfolding is this: they are leading us inevitably to this most majestic realization of the Transcendental Self. Let us educate our children to be unafraid, and to recognize the wondrous blessing that is hidden within the dark cloud that now enshrouds our world. We have the privilege of ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
Bridge to Everywhere
4 May 2009
Sat Yoga is the practice of recognizing that the Self is pure awareness, free of identification with thoughts, sensations, or body. In the liberation of consciousness from spacetime-anchored form and reality-paradigm, energy frequencies shift, subtle forces augment, devotional attitudes bring the Source of devotion into the immanent field of presence, while attentional intensities determine the power and thrust of transcendent acceleration into hyper-reality.
Doorways are opening for consciousness into dimensions beyond the ordinary. We are all interconnected, we are one step from Everywhere. The bridge is egoless presence. In that state, divine inspiration is available to be downloaded, healing power to be transmitted. Love is here to be shared. But the mind must first be cleansed of all impurities. Limited agendas, pleasures, beliefs must be exchanged for unlimited potentialities. To go through the door that leads to God, consciousness must be free of fears, filled only with love and gratitude.
Acceptance of our transhuman nature opens the intergalactic and interdimensional stargates to connectivity with all beings of light everywhere, throughout eternity. Readiness for the inexpressibly different, the shockingly sublime encounters with unimagined manifestations of the One Light, for the greater good of the unfolding transfinite Uni-multiverse is the trigger for the appearance of transmutational catalysts to irrupt into the fabric of life, to tear the surface of reality with the subtle yet overwhelming force of unending revelation.
In this epochal moment when the cosmic egg has cracked and the Strange Attractor has emerged from its shell and has us all in its grip, the Sat Yogi calls upon the protective power of the Supreme One to encompass this traumatic passage through the black hole of planetary demise with trans-cosmic knowledge and love that conquers fear. Surrender to God is the ultimate resistance to the deathly darkness that is only our own giant shadow, and shall induce the divine power to co-create new worlds from nothingness.
Keep the faith in every circumstance, in every moment remember God with love and unifying ecstasy. All illusions shall be stilled and the Supreme Being revealed in the awesome glory that has in every culture been foretold. Now has the miraculous period of these historically climactic events begun for all to witness. Yet the unfolding shall occur in ways not predicted nor foreseen. All shall be humbled before the inconceivable Mind of God. Let us surrender the ego voluntarily, while there is still time, and profoundly meditate on the Source of All. Let us expand our capacity to function as vehicles of the Absolute. Thus may we choose the path of our highest destiny.
Om Tat Sat.
Journey to Love
4 October 2008
The purpose of creating a spiritual community is to offer a refuge in which we can develop our hearts and minds in the most beautiful and beneficial way possible. We come together in order to become loving and forgiving beings. This is our original nature, but due to conditionings and defensive efforts to cope with unloving environments, we lost our innocence and our openness. Some learned to attack, some chose to anesthetize themselves against the attacks of others and thus deaden their hearts, some chose to seem not worth attacking. Others chose to flee, to hide, or to camouflage themselves. Those who are beautiful must know how to fly.
All the defensive approaches we witness in Nature we can find in ourselves. In human society, we can see wolves and deer, skunks and porcupines. We can see sharks, electric eels, and puffer fish. We recognize that the realm of animals reflects back to us our own images. Thus, we tend to adore those creatures that have retained their beauty, playfulness, friendship, loyalty, communication skills and social mutuality, while coping courageously with a difficult world. We valorize dolphins and whales, elephants, giraffes, many birds, ants and bees, and of course, those animals we have special relationships with, through domestication, such as horses, dogs, and cats. We experience a purity of love that is often lacking in human beings.
The human ego has become defensive because it has not received enough pure love. And to compensate if not revenge that lack, the ego often becomes arrogant, aggressive, and narcissistic. The person who has grown an egocentric identity may be very beautiful to look at, very talented, very intelligent, but is usually very difficult to get along with. The lack of reciprocity, of being willing to listen and adapt—in short, the failure to be truly caring—leads to great suffering. This suffering is passed on and increased from generation to generation. It has now reached a climax throughout the world. This suffering can only be healed through the offer of mercy.
The quality most highly revered among humans, and most rare, is the quality of mercy. The attribute of mercy is famously sung among poets such as Shakespeare, and can be found often in sacred texts of every religion. The mercy of God is celebrated. There are times in the life of everyone in which we need mercy and forgiveness from another. And we are always in need of mercy and forgiveness from God. We must seek that divine mercy by being merciful. We must offer forgiveness in order to receive it.
Regardless of whether one believes in God in any personal sense, everyone recognizes the interventions of fate in their lives, of synchronicities, of miracles large and small. Such events cannot in good faith be considered merely random occurrences. In the same way, people have been struck by sudden adversities, such as illnesses that seem to have no cause, or attacks by others that were unwarranted, that later, in hindsight can be recognized to have been blessings. We are here in life not merely to enjoy pleasure, but to grow. The experiences that produce the most growth tend to be those that are most painful. It need not be so. But we must be open to perceiving our failings and quick to rectify them. It is important that we grow not only from our waking experiences, but also from our dream imperiences. We can learn a great deal from our nightmares, if we study them. And by learning from them and changing ourselves accordingly, we may forestall their need to appear in our waking lives.
Human life generally lasts long enough for us to gain the wisdom that leads to Self-realization, if that is our intention. Life does not last long enough to conquer the world, and in any case, such a conquest will be lost as soon as it is gained. But we do live long enough to conquer our own ego. And that is the only true freedom. Realization of the real, eternal Self is the only authentic fulfillment of existence. Paradoxically, this brings the understanding that we do not exist at all. The Self is not the body, nor the mind and its jungle of thoughts. The Self is found within, in silence, in emptiness, in the solitude of inner aloneness. The Self has no form nor name nor any objective existence. The Self is unborn. In everyone, this Self lies asleep within the ego. It must awaken. This is the point of existence. It is by the awakened unborn Self that God, the Supreme Real, our encompassing and inmost divine nature, is realized. Once realized, this most priceless gift will naturally be offered to others. This is the motive behind the foundation of a spiritual community.
The recognition of the naked Self, shorn of egoic attributes, is only the first goal of the spiritual process. It is the beginning of real life—but not the end. Sometimes it takes enormous losses and unbearable pain before one is willing to remove the ego, with all its defensive habits and compensations, and return to the Self. But we can also choose to take the path of ego transcendence voluntarily, and gain the joys of Divine Presence without spending all our life in the hell realms. And we discover that the greatest joy is giving. Being free of the ego with its incessant demands to enjoy is the most wonderful healing balm. To live in peace, in love, in oneness with each other, with the universe and its Creator, makes all the suffering and spiritual effort worthwhile. To foster the growth and fulfillment of others is the greatest achievement. Our faith and hope shall be fulfilled, not in terms of egoic satisfactions, but in the currency of ecstatic liberation from both fear and desire, and the completion of our journey to love.
27 November 2011
It is impossible to communicate the anguish of impossibility, even though—or because—it is the central axis of what we quaintly, if unaquaintedly, refer to as reality. Coming to understand the nature of impossibility is the essence of education. This is no doubt why Freud said that education is one of the three impossible professions. The other two are governing and conducting a psychoanalysis. Freud’s successor Lacan went further, and recognized that the anguish that brings someone to psychoanalysis is nothing but the impossibility of love, for which there is no cure. He affirmed that impossibility in his famous apothegm, “il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel” (there is no sexual relation).
But such assertions of the existence of specific dimensions of impossibility evade the radical ubiquity of impossibility as the hallmark of existence tout court. Impossibility is always and everywhere. There is no relation of any kind—not just sexual. Even friendships are based on illusion. No colleagues are really in the same league. Our words are riddled with ambiguities, our desires with unconscious conflicts and counter-desires. Our identities are inauthentic. We are imitations of imitations. Finding oneself is impossible. Discovering truth is impossible. There is no credible knowledge. No scientific theory lasts for very long (although its lifespan can be prolonged by being turned into an ideological given; in other words, a religious belief, as has happened with Darwinism—which cannot explain a long list of scientific observations, ranging from the Cambrian explosion to the fact of eco-systems to the irreducible complexity of even the most apparently simple microbiological structure). The impossibility of understanding the world or each other or oneself is at least useful in deflating the arrogance and grandiosity of the narcissistic ego. Unfortunately, narcissists can easily remain in denial of their own impossibility for a long time, until karma catches up with
This is what Miguel de Unamuno referred to as the tragic sense of life. It is the authentic motivating power behind religion. Monks and saints have always been those who have accepted the impossibility of sexual relationships and mundane life, and have gone to monasteries to ponder the ultimate meaning of the impossibility of existence, including the impossibility of the existence of God. Impossibility, of course, is the mark of the presence of God, since the world cannot be accounted for through any rational process of cause and effect. Yet by the same token, God is an impossible concept. This has led, on the one hand, to rampant agnosticism and, on the other, to the silence of the
Today, in our less contemplative era, we tend to face impossibility with anger and projection. We see the impossibility of political change (or else we deny the impossibility, and vote for someone who offers ‘change we can believe in,’ and then suffer massive disappointment, but soon look for yet another false messiah to save us). Yet, instead of recognizing and accepting the impossibility, we defiantly demand the impossible. We project on ‘the one per cent’ that they are the obstacles to change, when in truth, they are as helpless as anyone.
Impossibility is structural. It cannot be changed. We need to learn to live with it, to understand it, to become it. Only then, as the embodiments of impossibility, of paradox, of God’s diabolical sense of humor, can the way out be glimpsed. But let us not get too optimistic just yet. To become the impossible is not so easy. In fact, it too is impossible, but this is where the silence of the Buddha—and the incisive words of the few liberated sages who have spoken about the issue—becomes of paramount.
Let us assess the issue more rigorously. What follows is a rough outline for a treatise on
We must begin by recognizing that reality itself is an infinite process of enfoldment and unfoldment of an unknowable implicate order, a la David Bohm. It is impossible to put limits on that order or its potential. Therefore, impossibility is itself impossible to assert, except as an empirical observation. The unfoldment process does tend to demonstrate archetypal moments, or folds. Each fold reveals a deeper dimension of the Real. The folds, or pleats, must be linked together in consciousness to unveil the hidden pattern of the implicate order that the phenomenal plane can only at best symbolize to the very consciousness that is being observed, in yet another incident of
A compleat human life has seven pleats:
- The innocent ignorance of impossibility
- The denial of impossibility
- The hatred and projection of impossibility
- The anguish of impossibility
- The acceptance of impossibility
- The transcendence of impossibility
- The attainment of the Impossible
In the first pleat, impossibility has not yet been consciously encountered. The function of the parents is to delay the recognition of impossibility, so that childhood innocence and joy can flourish, and the young mind has time to develop resources to cope with the reality of impossibility when it is finally, inevitably, cognized.
The whole significance of the story of the Buddha is that of the unfoldment of the awareness of impossibility and its authentic treatment. The young pre-Buddha is a prince whose father tries to protect the innocent eyes of the son from seeing images of sickness, old age, and death, but to no avail. The boy realizes the impossibility of sustained youth and happiness, and he falls into dejection. But then he spots a wandering yogi, one who has renounced the pursuit of jouissance for the achievement of liberation from the realm of the impossible. He immediately decides to become a yogi.
The meaning of yoga is encapsulated in the Buddha’s three tests. He is first faced with an attack by Kama, the lord of pleasure, in the form of three beautiful young women who try to seduce him. But he has the sense to ask them their names, which turn out to be Desire, Satisfaction, and Regret. Upon realizing that he cannot get one without all three, he renounces sexual jouissance.
Next, the great spiritual warrior is faced with Mara, the lord of fear. He is not intimidated by the power of the Other, by the prospect of pain and death, nor by the desire for power over others. He scorns Mara and remains unmoved by the display of military might. It is Mara who then becomes dejected and submits.
The fledgling Buddha is then faced with the final test, the guilt tripping by Dharma. He is a prince; he should be sitting on the throne, acting responsibly, taking care of the kingdom; at least taking care of his own wife and newborn son. How can he abandon his karmic responsibilities? Has he no conscience? At this moment, the Buddha becomes even more deeply cognizant of the impossibility of his situation, and realizes that the only way out is to dissolve his identity entirely. Only by not existing can he attain freedom. But what does not exist is clearly not his body, but the ego. In suddenly seeing through the illusion of the ego, he becomes the Buddha in fact, not just in potentia, and a new world teacher is born.
Most of us, alas, are far more reluctant to become buddhas in fact, and need to be dragged through the pleats of denial, anger, and anguish, before reaching the bliss of liberation. The price of denial of impossibility is living an imaginary life, a superficial life, a life led in bad faith, with an unconscious split-off mind full of skeletons, traumas, and anxieties that can come out only as physical symptoms, psychological problems, accidents, and relationship difficulties.
Eventually, with the help of an adept spiritual guide or even a good psychoanalyst, one can come out of denial without falling into projection and fury. But otherwise, the route of least resistance is to scapegoat someone else for the impossibility of love and happiness and fairness and freedom, and to live in a state of war. Interpersonal conflicts are always the result of inauthentic existence, the cowardly failure to face the structural presence of impossibility as the true face of the Real.
Now the phase of mourning begins, the anguish of recognizing impossibility as a necessary, not contingent, condition of life. At last, one sees through one’s own imaginary narrative of egoic existence, and the futility of carrying on the façade any longer. But the real anguish comes in the realization that one is completely lost, that impossibility destroys the compass by which one has navigated through time. All attempts at maintaining a semblance of meaning now collapse in waves of anxious depersonalization.
It is at this point that the assistance of an authentic guru, someone who has gone through this crisis and come out the other side, becomes valuable. But trying to sustain a relationship with the guru is itself traumatic, since the guru by definition is no longer a person. He or she is an impossible object, ungraspable, uncanny, intimate yet utterly unknowable. And yet, you feel that you are known—and loved—by the guru more deeply than anyone has ever known or loved you. The relationship, though impossible, brings peace. And when all else has fallen away, what remains of oneself is only love.
One’s own impossibility, and that of the world, can at last be fully accepted. And this is the real beginning of the spiritual pilgrimage. One becomes a profound student of impossibility. One comes to appreciate the beauty of paradox. One is drawn to the art of such creative geniuses as Escher, Dali, Borges and other masters of paradox. One sees in impossibility the mark of a superhuman intelligence. In the very chains of the most frustrating impossibility, one comes to perceive the sublime presence of salvation, the life breath of our liberating God.
Through surrender to that God who has inscribed impossibility into the very structure of His Creation, we gradually—or suddenly, in an eternal moment of satori—discover the patterns of the thought-waves of the mind of the Savior.
Then, in the wake of surrender of the ego mind to God, the created world is recognized as nothing less than the eternal Tao. No longer is it perceived as created, but now it is glimpsed rather as dreamed. Chuang tzu dreamed he was a butterfly; then he awakened, and wondered if he were really a butterfly dreaming he is Chuang tzu.
Acceptance of impossibility now morphs into transcendence of impossibility. If it is all a dream, then, as in a dream, all is possible. One becomes as a little child once more; now one can enter the kingdom of heaven. But where is the portal?
Innocence must evolve into utter egolessness. The last traces of entityhood must evaporate in the silence of pure awareness. The mind based in language, thought, imagery, emotion—must die. The Logos itself must ascend to the Godhead. The Source of mind is Supramental Intelligent Presence. In full surrender to the eternal, immovable Presence, the world itself dissolves.
The unsurpassable sage Sri Ramana Maharshi often proclaimed that to the gyani (one who knows the ultimate truth) there is no world. There are no others. No creation has ever occurred. This is the perennial doctrine of Ajata—all is uncreated appearance. Time and space are both illusions. Even the most sublime notion of God is an illusion. The Supreme Real is not a being.
Give up all concepts, all attempts to grasp, to control, to master. Renounce even the saintly self that is willing to renounce it all. Realize compleat Emptiness. This is the unfoldment of the final pleat, the attainment of the Impossible: the Dreamer of the Dream.
Thou art That. No more should or can be said.
The Rise of the Paradoxshram
We are at the cusp between an age that is dying and a new one that is being born. In the increasingly critical fermentation of a rotting economy mulching with a devastated ecology, human mastery has become a joke. The crown of creation has lost its credibility.
There are those who still desperately dive into ditches of denial, while others even more desperately attempt to keep the chaos under control. But those who are honest confess the hopelessness, the impotence, even the impossibility of it all. And yet all the while, revolutionary shifts are occurring under the malfunctioning radar screen. We are witnessing the rise of new social forms and new spiritual capacities.
One of these is the appearance of a viral form of communal organization that could be called the paradoxshram. It is somewhat like the ancient Indian ideal of the yogic ashram; but it includes and accepts the fact that no one has the power any more to keep vows, to sustain object constancy and faithfulness in relation to any sort of being, let alone the Supreme Being. The paradoxshram is a refuge for failed monks who are also failed denizens of the polymorphously perverse world of postmodernity.
A paradoxshram is a hermitage for outcasts, misfits, eccentric millionaires, and those who have grown beyond the limits of neurotic normality and seek the infinite divine madness that alone can satisfy the urge for the ultimate adventure. These adventure capitalists turn their pathologies into prophets, making use of the principle of paradox that turns every quiddity upside down and inside out into a new quid pro quo vadis that is anything but faddish. This is alchemy on steroids, morphing the lead of the ego into the gold of pure Spirit, making buddhas out of boohoos, bobos, and the last authentic bohemians.
Only in a paradoxshram can melodrama be transformed into mellow dharma without losing a stride. Only in such a setting can those who are structurally unable to make a commitment realize they have found a home, a community that is committed to them even if they do not reciprocate. And what is realized by those who enter fully into the paradox of their own hateful lack of being? Every structure of the mind is only a dream, easily melted down without a meltdown, when there is nothing external to resist. No matter how locked down is one’s heart, the iron liquefies when the heat of love produced by the friction of wisdom and compassion becomes sufficiently intense.
The joy of frustration, hate, and illness is unmasked as the timeless bliss of peace, unity and healing. The unmasking of course brings renewed resistance, renewed suffering, and then that too is revealed as the ecstasy of love. In the ongoing moebius strip show of purity porn, love is stillborn, yet still borne. The very death that is the ground and destiny of life spectrally remains as the spectrum of consciousness that contains its antithetic medicine of eternal life.
The wonder of the Goddess is that she can appear in any and every form—from the whore of Babylon to Kali the mad mass murderess to the ugly beggar on the street to the queen of heaven—without having a hair on her lovely head be disturbed. Her perfection transcends all its permutations and is unconcealed through her very shape-shifting hiddenness and her ability to turn the light into darkness, good into evil, and finally reveal every evil as a manifestation of the supreme good.
The Goddess is liberated in a paradoxshram. The ego is liberated to reveal itself as the Atman. Matter admits it has always only been pure spirit. Time confesses its true nature as eternity. Enmity concedes it has always been deep amity. All the pairs of opposites marry in a ceremony of innocence that in no sense can be construed as such.
The world is a patchwork of such vast conspiracies that not even the most psychotic conspiracy theorist could imagine. Every conspiracy is unwittingly part of a larger one, which is a cell in a yet larger and more devious plot that no one without a need to know could ever glimpse—until the airplanes hit the towers.
And although greed for money may be the root of all evil, evil is the real root of good, and good is the root of all wealth. Ultimately, the only sensible investment of one’s money is into the replenishing of the original seed of consciousness that sprouts into all these interwoven roots that create new routes to freedom and empowerment, save one’s soul, give meaning and hope to one’s existence, produce a new vision, a new culture, the possibility of a new world, one that can turn poison into fertilizer and death into life. Such a world can only germinate in a paradoxshram.
Our world is only our mind, but once the mind has released itself from all limits, infinite intelligence is available to solve even the most recalcitrant and intractable problems, like that of nuclear radiation, climate change, and all the other plagues now descending like a dark cloud of locusts on a world gone mad. We are mad because we are insufficiently mad, and mad in the wrong ways. But even that wrong-headed insanity contains the seeds of salvation, if they can only be cultivated with care and compassion, acumen and understanding. Such uncanny canniness can only emerge in the pure imperfection of the ambience of a paradoxshram.
Only a mad philanthropist would fund such a new social order, such a strange expression of divine communalism; only the most brilliant could recognize the absolute necessity and centrality of such supreme peripherality as supporting the emergence of a motley crew of screwball yogis who just might discover the secret of world renewal and attain the power to pull it off. But this much is clear: sane atheists cannot do it; conventional religious people can only pray for it; conventional psychotics cannot go beyond drool, delusions, and dreams. Only those whose madness has fully integrated with the ultimate vision of the Absolute can download the logic of this holographic hell realm and reload it as an eidolon of celestial joy.
Within you right now is a hidden paradoxshramite, a would-be Buddha seeking a sangha that can sing your cynicism into sheer delight. If you look hard enough, without and within, the seeking itself will overcome all sense of sin, and although your ego will go into a spin, the good sense of your survival instinct already intuits that only such a tribe of treasonous tribulationists can be true to the deepest calling of this historic moment, rather than getting lost in the trivia of passing apocalyptic phenomena. Those who can trump the triumphant but temporary elite of banksters and gangsters can only be the ultimate pranksters, the crazy wisdom teachers running loose on your nearest paradoxshram preparing to drop the paramatman bomb of bliss on an unsuspecting world.
Foreboding indeed is the rise of the Paradoxshram.