Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Charge of the Light Brigade!

blank_pageFrequently, intense and somewhat heated exchanges occur in discussion forums focusing on spirituality. Usually, this is handled with civility, however, often it tends to create bad feelings amongst individuals and, although, this may rise up occasionally, most tend to seek out greater civility and make apologies as necessary.

But this is life, boys and girls! These discussions are microcosmic representations of life itself, merely abridged and abbreviated.

Yet, lo and behold, we have the charge of the Light Brigade! Because they refuse to enter into the often dark depths of engagement, and often are disengaged from most conflicts of life, the lightworkers come to our "emotional rescue." They seek to spread peace and light in the hopes of redirecting hostilities, but merely make the participants feel even more guilty for their conflictual engagement.

Who could not feel guilty when the interaction they recently engaged in was anything but "peace and light"?

Thank god for the lightworkers and their clichés of love and godliness; with their comfortable pithy quotes from the master teachers of light.

Sometimes I want to ask, are you real? But that would be too controversial and so, It would go unanswered.

I sense their presence always, out there in the margins, rarely engaging except to post a quote from the venerable in the hopes of saving the discussion from death by negativity. Disagree with their means and you instantly indict yourself as in league with the positivity sucking devils of darkness.

Conflict is anathema to the lightworkers who define life as merely the spreading of positive "vibrations." We must remain positive at all times. Philosophical negativity is shunned because, as their creed demands, negativity in all its forms can never have any value and can only lead to more negativity. Negative interactions can have no cathartic effect in aiding individuals in seeing more clearly the views they hold. Life is chock full of conflict and most is of our own doing, individually and collectively. Yet, we tend to grow through spasms of pain and suffering. We watch others struggle to make sense of anger and depression and we identify with them, because their struggle is ours.

Most of us, that is, but not the lightworkers. They seem unusually immune to the conflicts the rest of us poor folk plod through. But if only we would just seek the light, all our troubles would be gone, "come into the light, Caroleanne, come into the light!"

But we are!

For the lightworkers, dirty laundry stinks and so we must quickly wash away our issues and problems with lots of soap and water. Remember when you mother washed out your fowl mouth with soap? You continued to use the ‘F' word even more ferociously! ( well, maybe that was just me)

No, dear friends, we must always shed our light upon the world, because darkness has no value. Ahh... but without darkness to define your seeking the light, how would you define your "self" and the very project you are engaged in?

Forget the deep-seated ancient issues and the wounds crying out to be healed. Just pour pink paint over them and everything will be all better. I avoid lightworkers like the plague, since they deny us our struggle, and merely provide 'lip-service' the aphorisms of the ancient lightworkers.

They deny LIFE.

These frightened folks tend to rile me more than the complex exchanges between ideological opponents seeking common ground. It's almost as if there are no problems that their positive thinking can't solve.

I meet these individuals in my work on a daily basis and have come to see this as a feint, a delusion, a foil, because under all their peace and light is a boiling cauldron of emotion just waiting to come to the surface and murder everyone in their path.

They scare me...

"Don't you dare," they seem to say, in their desperate need to hide from their own emotional self.

Here ye, oh, lightworkers of the world:

You are not saving the world by spreading your light. The light comes from intimately understanding one another within our depths, not from deflecting that understanding through platitudes that seek to offset negativity. Face your fears through another. Intimacy demands discomfort in vacating all our pretty ideological boxes and packages. Your "light" merely prolongs the inevitable intimacy that our conflict has the potential to bring.

Throw away your pithy quotes and your scripts from the "masters."

I ask... WHAT SAY YOU! Will you give me honesty or just more of your "light."

Mature conflict is encouraged in the often painful search for the truth that is discovered by all differently. Even immature conflict is warranted as long as adults can apologize for their mistakes of the mouth. If you are afraid of conflict, you are asked to risk you plastic sense of peace and seek the intimacy that true depth of engagement brings. Real peace is not born of new age platitudes and clichés, but of engagement. Swim in my depths and I will join with yours in our own Intimate Awakening.

Spreading of light allowed, but only through depth of engagement.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Uh…Mike, what are you laughing at?

Mike: Haha! What I just wrote! Teehee. LOL!

ego: Mike, don’t you think you should be taking our spirituality a little more seriously?

Mike: Huh? Why? And what do you mean "our" spirituality?

ego: Mike, you know we're in this together and nobody’s gonna take what you write seriously if you act as if this is all a big joke. Besides, “enlightenment” is serious business!

Mike: Well, maybe it is a “big joke.” In fact, maybe God’s laughing his ass off with all our serious spiritual and religious bullshit!

ego: Mike! We cannot have this! Spirituality is serious business and you gotta stop fooling around. There’s important work to be done!

Mike: Says who? You! You take everything so damn serious, no wonder most days I’m a mental case!

ego: I am truly shocked by your attitude! The world’s ancient spiritual paths and religions are based on centuries of serious teachings, taught by serious “masters.” You can't just disrespect the teachings with your lame comedy bits.

Mike: I thought we were trying to break from the past.

ego: Uh…well…yes… we are, but keep in mind that I am a product of your past. Therefore, for you to exist you must accept the past in me.

Mike: Well, maybe by no longer taking spirituality so serious, I no longer have to take you serious and life might become a bit more enjoyable around here.

ego: Enjoyable! Mike, life is suffering and sacrifice and you know that, since I’ve spent years teaching you. How could you forget? Now mike…you need to keep in mind that I assisted you in acquiring all the important stuff you now know. You need to take this seriously, dammit!

Mike: Hmmm…maybe what you fear is that, if spirituality becomes a big joke to me, you’ll also become a big joke, since you seem to thrive on my taking everything seriously, especially the so-called “important stuff."

ego: Mike! Stop this now! You need to get with the program like everybody else and stop this foolishness.

Mike: See ya…

ego: Mike... wait… Mike! Don’t do this………..Mike?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


ego: Hey Mike! What about lunch, aren’t you hungry?

Mike: Shhhh…can't you see I'm trying to meditate?

ego: oooh, sorry….Hey! wait a minute... if that’s true then why were you just thinking about your girlfriend from high school?

Mike: Good grief! I thought we went over this already? Don’t you remember what we were taught? Thoughts come and go and I have to just allow them to pass "like fallen leaves on a stream."

ego: Uh...okay, but I don’t think this hunger is gonna pass like leaves on a stream.

Mike: Damn! Why’ does it always have to be about you?

ego: But, Mike, I only have your best interests at heart.

Mike: Then let me meditate in peace. Don’t you realize I’m trying to awaken to my true nature?

ego: Oh, okay….but, how can you awaken to your “true nature” if you have to let it pass "like fallen leaves on a stream."

Mike: No! It’s the thoughts that pass like "fallen leaves on a stream," not my true nature. My true nature is the end of all thought.

ego: Ooooh! Okay, I get it…..but then….how will you know when it’s time to eat?

Mike: Well…Oh, I don’t know! That's not important! Why are you asking so many questions? I just need you to shut up and cooperate with these spiritual practices so I can start making some progress here.

ego: To get enlightened?

Mike: Yes! To get enlightened, dammit!

ego: Ok, I get it now….but….don’t you think we should we eat first and then get enlightened? I mean…if you stop thinking… we might starve!

Mike: (sigh) Ok, fine! Let’s eat first….

Friday, March 20, 2009

Modern Gurus and Psychiatric Disorders

Here’s a great post (Shame, Guilt and Guru's Blood from What Enlightenment??! Blog) on the teaching practices and approaches of the populist modern guru, or “enlightened bad-boy,” Andrew Cohen. The report of his enlightened antics is rather long but deeply interesting and the comments of others are "enlightening" as well.

It seems that many of our modern enlightenment gurus may in fact be afflicted with various psychiatric disorders. Narcissistic personality disorder, varying degrees of schizotypal and low-grade schizophrenia, and of course, the roller coaster symptomology of bipolar affective disorder. Bipolar disorder is composed of a manic stage and a depressive stage and Cohen seems clearly afflicted with this neurochemical imbalanced condition..
Manic phase of bipolar disorder
Signs and symptoms of the manic phase of bipolar disorder may include:
  • Euphoria
  • Extreme optimism
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Poor judgment
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Agitation
  • Increased physical activity
  • Risky behavior
  • Spending sprees
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Drug abuse
The depressive phase consists of sadness, hopelessness, extreme anxiety, guilt, irritability, problems concentrating and various other depressed symptoms. Yet, we are not drawn to the depressed guru, (boring!) but the manic eccentricities of the enlightened ones. Not to be eccentric is a sure sign of normalcy and a failure to be “awakened.”

Psychiatric symptoms are clearly evident in some of our most revered modern gurus such as Jed Mckenna, Ken Wilber (actually Jed's a bit more narcissistic than Ken), Adi Da (clearly, also shizotypal as well), Osho (now there’s a real neurochemical imbalance, yet the popular spiritualists all over the internet still seem to constantly quote the guy), and numerous others.

Andrew Cohen is certainly a prime candidate for medication therapy. Unfortunately, the claim of being “enlightened” easily masks the symptomatic behaviors and we all, schmucks that we are, suffer as well from the cult of personality and our own endemic and indigenous "dependence personality disorder" (this seems even more rampant within the ranks of the followers).

Cohen’s practice was to embarrass and insult his “students,” have them perform shameful acts, head shaving, standing still for long hours performing “penitence,” remaining immersed in cold water, etc, etc, the list goes on and on.

Ha! But guru-loving schmucks that we are, we continue to buy this guy’s magazine and engage in his prescribed “practices.” Numerous other so-called 'modern' gurus line up to join Cohen’s brilliant 'enlightened' marketing machine. Popular Gurus such as Ken Wilber, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, et al, suck at the Cohen marketing teat with no reservation, because let’s face it, enlightenment is one thing, the marketing of your enlightened status is a whole other ball game.

This spiritual celebrity game has garnered Billions of dollars from the unsuspecting collective seeking to “awaken” to some other reality only to be immersed in the same ego-games they sought to leave behind. It seems to me that similar to the exposing of the wall street cons and criminals, the spirituality ego-games will need to go through such a deep cleansing. Yet, these shysters are much more difficult to expose due to the elusive nature of the "enlightenment" project. Maybe the project should be discontinued since, with all the so-called 'enlightened ones' that have 'appeared' throughout history, we still seem hell bent on mutually destroying ourselves.

That leaves us to ask, "so then, what good is 'enlightenment' anyway"?

If you want to experience “awakening” from a madman, get committed to the asylum.

If you want to “awaken” to truth then look to the ones you love to show it to you.

Either way, it's your choice!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Perfect Peace is "Enlightenment"

Peace has always been the purpose of this blog. Contrary to the fact that I tend to stir the pot of the conventional ego-games, that we refer to as "spirituality," and get some folks a bit irritated in my questioning of the accepted sacred concepts.

However, the problem is that your ego-self is rarely at peace and defines itself specifically through conflict. It grits and grinds against its experience of reality as if that experience were actually opposing it. Why would an ego-self construct experiences that seem to be against itself? Why else would it engage in the conflict of adopting a spiritual path (often grueling) if not to acquire (get) a complete cessation of conflict?

Ahh… but are conflict experiences really counter to the ego or do they in fact give it a sense of 'real' existence?

Who would “you” be without conflict? The ego-self constructs dualistic experiences for which to know itself as separately engaged in its 'world.' What would life be like without problems to solve, justified battles to wage or obstacles to overcome? Doesn’t life often seem like nothing more than a series of problem-solving events? What are you competing for in all the ego-games you play? Through what rewards and outcomes do you define "happiness"?

If your ‘self’ experienced no conflict how would it know itself? Could you know your ‘self’ in Perfect Peace , totally and completely absent of all conflict? Could you experience a conflict-free world and still know your ‘self’?

To understand your ego-dynamics is to be at peace because you realize the "true nature" of the 'games' you play. The mind that is completely conflict-free is in perfect peace. Variable “happiness” is actually to experience, at varying degrees, reduced conflict and requires nothing external be acted upon to in order to achieve it. You need do nothing and it just may be all your relentless 'doing' that promotes experiences of continued conflict.

However, your ego-self knows itself through acting upon its experience of world. For an ego-self, not to be 'doing' is not to BE. Is it any wonder that "productivity" is worshiped as the means to "happiness."

Think of all the times you have felt truly "happy." Were they not times when conflict seemed no longer present in your experience? Win the Lotto million dollar jackpot and you will believe that "happiness" has finally been secured, because in that instant you will simply conceptualize your ‘self’ free of conflict (no doubt it will return along with the conflict that money inevitably brings). When you got that raise at work recall that, briefly, conflict dissolved. That new relationship or that new car or house seems to momentarily ease your conflicted mind. Are you happy you lost weight? Make no mistake, you believe you 'got' something valuable and all value in acquisition is nothing more than a belief that conflict has been resolved.

All your acquisitions serve to construct a conscious experience of momentary conflict alleviation. But, sadly, it never seems to last, because for an ego-self it MUST not last.

The ego-self must reject anything that demonstrates consistency since this would smack of an absolute. Note that the ego’s chief goal of ‘getting’ or acquisition allowed you to think that whatever you got solved your problems and in that moment conflict was gone. Yet, it only returns upon the realization that whatever you ‘got’ (ego-game rewards and outcomes) essentially solved nothing and frequently only brought more conflict.

Infinite players realize nothing needed be acquired for Perfect Peace to be realized. You need DO nothing. There is no such state of mind as “happiness” and seeking happiness is a hoax and a fraud that keeps you playing the ego-games of life in the hope of acquiring greater happiness. This allows no rest for your conflict weary mind.

Time to rest awhile….

What you seek is an absence of conflict and you can have that without even leaving your chair. A mind in perfect peace is an “enlightened” mind. To experience a complete and total absence of conflict is to be “awakened.” Isn’t this your “true nature”?

Nirvana is conflict free. Heaven is perfect peace. Perfect peace is perfect thought and this is attainable without the need for esoteric ideologies or austere practices.

Just recognize that conflict is a choice and choose differently in every moment.

Such an experience has nothing to do with an external world, but will radically alter everything you see. In fact, it’s available now, simply waiting to invigorate your experience of "self," if you could only be free of your conflict.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

EGO DYNAMICS: Master Your Contextualized Experience

The ego-self is nothing more than a comprehensive and all-encompassing experience of the 'world' and the 'others' who seem to inhabit it.

It’s not “real’ in any absolute sense, except in the context of an ego-self demanding and contextualizing it as ‘real’ (I am assuming that you consider your ‘self’ real).

This experience of ‘reality’ is what the ancient wisdom traditions refer to as “illusion.” However, for centuries this reference has been rather inconsequential to the grand scheme of reality as the same experiences are compulsively repeated, on and on, ad nauseam. This is because the so-called “illusion” is contextualized by the ego-self (“you”) as a ‘reality’ that is deeply engaging and, therefore, is experienced as anything but illusory. This creates expectation as to the parameters of your experience. Consider how rarely your experiences deviate from your repertoire of expectation.

Teaching that your experience of reality is an “illusion” encourages disengaging from the richness of that experience because, as they teach, it is not ‘real’ but an “illusion.” Yet, the teachings essentially seek to aid you, because within this "illusion," that the ego-self contextualizes as “real,” comes a great deal of attendant suffering. Suffering that you experience as personal and as related to others and the world. Therefore, it would seem logical that the less engaged you are with the “illusion” of reality the less suffering you will experience. Anyone who claims that seeking "enlightenment" has nothing to do with an escape from suffering is fooling you and merely demonstrates that they are compromising with truth in their addiction to the ancient "enlightenment" agendas.

Nevertheless, the contradiction is that any reduction of suffering through disengaging merely further reinforces the experience of suffering as 'real.' Why else would you desperately seek a way out, if the suffering were not so vividly 'real'? From these ancient teachings, we have large pockets of the collective participating in 'insight practices' to aid in understanding this ancient teaching of illusory reality (maya).

But what drives them to seek an exit are the experiences of suffering that they have made real.

Note that to contextualize your experience of reality as "illusion" you must detach from it through practices that essentially seek to aid in attaining insight into the nature of reality as “illusion.” Once again, this engages you in a reinforcing circularity. Seek to understand it as illusion and you make it real simply through the desire to know it as not real or illusion.

However, what you may come to realize is that 'reality' is nothing more than experience (internal and external) that you have contextualized as 'real.' This does not deny your experience but puts it in the proper perspective.

Although the insight practitioners feel the outcome is worthwhile, the world is seemingly unaffected by these ancient esoteric wisdom teachings which attempt to countermand and essentially annihilate all your attempts at controlling your ‘reality.’

Control is anathema to the eastern religious ideologies. Yet, non-control is anathema to the ego-self.

This hypocrisy is unavoidable as you engage in practices that seek to inform you of the "illusion," yet still find yourself destitute due to the current "economic crisis." If you have a family to maintain, embracing the ideology that reality is an illusion does little to alleviate your fears for the future. Such fear can only obstruct your plans to attain some awakening insight into the actual nature of reality.

I would suggest that if you decide to invest belief in an illusional reality, get some good life insurance for your family. Thus, when you finally exit the 'world,' at least they will be protected. In addition, if you wish to follow the ancient teachings I would advise you to physically disengage from your family and the world at large and seek residence at a local monastery where you can, based on the teachings by others who supposedly disengaged, physically and mentally disengage with the world you so desperately seek to exit.


Or you may wish to consider that reality is nothing more than experience that you contextualize as ‘real" and that it has no other 'substance' or' form' other than what you project upon that experience. In so doing you can seek variable degrees of control to that experience and your meditative insight practices can be tailored to this effect simply because:

You are cause.

All religious-spiritual paths assert either ‘control’ or ‘non-control’ in the search for greater insight into your “true-nature.” Yet, both seek to change your current experience from one of suffering to one of bliss. The problem with 'non-control' is that it contradicts your current efforts at seeking control and thereby reducing suffering through various actions upon 'reality.' These actions serve to magnify and reinforce your further attempts to reduce suffering through acting upon your world.

Did you consolidate all your credit cards to reduce your debt? Problem solved. Did marriage therapy help save your eroding marriage? Problem solved. Did medical treatment alleviate your symptoms? problem solved. Did you apologize for your error? problem solved. Notice how your acting upon reality and seeking to control conditions contradicts the eastern teachings that “thoughts arise,” and experiences simply occur, so just forget about it, you have NO CONTROL.

"But wait, I just got a new better paying job, so how can I have no control?"

You cannot avoid feeling hypocritical in your attempts to control parts of reality, while engaged in practices that assert non-control of the whole. In altering physical reality, what you are acting upon is nothing more than your ‘experience’ of a world, since ‘reality’ is nothing more than experience and has no physical properties other than the contexts and concepts of the ego-self.

Surrender 'sensation' as conduit for experience and seek change at the source.

Your experiences are impermanent and therefore, extremely malleable, but only by attaining the deep insight of yourself as causative agent can you 'act' upon your experience in knowing that the ego-self is causative agent of all your experiences.

However, the rub is that the ego-self employs the parameters of past experience to engage with future experiences of ‘self’ and ‘world’ and this speaks to the adage that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Therefore, the only way to engage with any changed experience of ‘reality’ is to disengage from past experience as that which informs the ego as to what can be expected in the future.

You may contend that you often engage with experiences that seems wholly unexpected. Yet, I would respond that every experience you have ever encountered is completely predictable and not unknown to an ego-self that only realizes itself through ever-changing experiences within the realm of expectation (death is the only experience the ego-self cannot predict, yet it does vigilantly prepare through various means for that end).

However, if past experience is composed primarily of denying ‘self’ as cause, why would that not continue to be the primary factor in all future experiences? In fact, discarding expectation built on past experience will eventually culminate in the most unexpected and surprising experience that could ever be constructed.

That of God.

You may ignore this theoretical proposition as patently absurd. However, keep in mind that what you consciously ignore now is solely based on expectation from past experience. The past informs what can be currently accepted as conventionally “real’ in this present moment. The ego-self allows nothing more than what it expects and prepares for and this severely limits what can be experienced now. Unfortunately, you will not resolve your experience of suffering by employing the same experiences that caused the suffering in the first place. You will need to leap beyond what you know and experience beyond the boundaries of everything you have ever been taught to experience as 'real.'

Nevertheless, what all the ancient masters teach is that eventually you will understand reality as nothing more than your self-constructed experience of a reality that essentially does not exist, except as an experience in your mind.

Master the dynamics of the ego-self and master your experience of reality.

Good Luck With That!

Monday, March 16, 2009

EGO DYNAMICS: Absolving Guilt to Continue Playing

The ego-self is a ‘getting’ machine. Whether that getting is based on acquiring resources, money, pleasure, bodily allegiances, “enlightenment” or innocence, the ego-self strives to get or acquire.

Joining, for an ego-self, is useful only in relation to what can be obtained or secured for itself and ego’s will seek out alliances through limited joining to further individual progress toward additional acquisition or getting.

This is why so many spiritual and religious ideologies fail to capture mass, collective attention and, thereby, also fail to initiate positive world change. This is because most spiritual-religious ideologies teach an anti-egoic morality. These ideologies seek to undermine the ego’s raison d’etre, or reason for being, as that of ‘getting’ or "the pursuit of acquisition" (which we ignorantly refer to as "the pursuit of happiness." LOL!). This is replaced with a religious-spiritual morality of unification and joining. Unfortunately, anti-ego morality, although able to capture and contain some egos, has never presented a strong enough case against the ego-self's chief modus operandi of getting and acquisition.

Therefore, the easiest way for religious-spiritual institutions to engender greater ego participation in spiritual ideologies and their practices, is to tailor the ideology to conform to the act of 'getting' that egos have performed for centuries (note Christianity's "thou shalt not steal" commandment. As if God cares about your property rights!).

This dumbing-down of spiritual-religious ideology has been occurring over many centuries. You may deeply consider what the "Buddha said," but always recognize that the Buddha's teachings were tailored to the cultural era in which they were codified and taught. Examine any of the current neo-zen, modern non-dualistic or "Integral Christian" websites and blogs and this will be clear. The ego-self demands that the "ancient traditions" be tailored to meet the modern ego-self existence.

Eventually, all original ideologies must conform to the ego-self, rather than the ego-self conforming to the ideology. For instance, the Christian prescription “judge not lest ye be judged” is applicable only to a point, after which it is completely discarded by an ego-self that requires guilt be projected outward in order to further its own innocence. Insult me and, as my religious ideology teaches, I will seek to forgive you.

But steal from me, or commit some other high order transgression or "sin," and I will judge you guilty and righteously endorse your just punishment.
The ego rebels against dissonance and, if you believe yourself deeply spiritual or religious, your actions must conform to this belief, so as not to experience discord. This can be an incredibly arduous task due to the absurd ego-games we all participate in. Therefore, it's easier to tailor your spiritual beliefs than your actions, since the world demands conformity, and thus, the ego will compromise its ideological belief system before it compromises its 'getting' behaviors, actions and lifestyle.

This is how so many can amass personal fortunes beyond all reason, while being acutely aware that others exist in abject poverty.

While many egos may find amassing exorbitant personal wealth absurd and indictable as guilty (although most participate in it to some degree, but consider their participation "reasonable"), the ego-self that has spent a lifetime pursuing extreme wealth will easily rationalize this as innocent and morally acceptable and ally with other egos in confirming and proclaiming that justification (allegiances are a crucial component of the ego's shedding guilt).

This makes it easier to recognize that, while others live in poverty and die of starvation, the ego’s acquired wealth is deserved and justified so, "keep your hands off of my stack."

Capitalism was originally founded for just this purpose and the central tenet, that all egos can achieve great wealth amidst abject poverty, has been accepted and fully adopted by millions of egos who live out their entire lives conforming to that rationalization.

However, too many players in the games of capital-wealth acquisition (monetary-value) and the games become increasingly harder to play as the rules become more complicated and absurd. This can be seen with regard to the current rules of subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, structured finance trades, etc, etc, etc. Who but an alliance of elite specialized egos, could justify such absurdities that less astute egos could never even begin to understand. This makes the game accessible to only a few and the rules actually exclude players from the desired outcome (and rewards are limited simply because ego's conform to the "scarcity principle").

This is similar to organized religion in that, to be a member of the Christian Church you must know the basic rules of Christianity. However, to assert power within the Christian Church you must know the rules in much more depth.

Unfortunately, many of the egos who subscribed to the monetary-value ideology (and make no mistake, ‘playing the market’ is a game that has taken on religious proportions) are beginning to see how untenable it really is. This ego-game is losing its justification and now we are seeing repressed guilt rear its ugly head as we seek just punishment for the guilty.

This will require that participating egos seek to justify their actions through absolution of guilt and continued justification of the game rules.

The ego-self rarely reacts to its own egoic tendencies and tends to justify its actions and thoughts as normal. However, egos are quite adept at reacting to guilt in other egos. The ego-self strives to shed guilt primarily by projecting it outward, seeking to rationalize every decision it makes as innocent and necessary to itself. In fact, the ego is superb at rationalizing away guilt through justifying actions and behaviors, for how else could it continue to live in an absurd world and practice the absurdities that allow that experience of "world' to be perpetuated. In time, it all begins to seem so ordinary and normal - business as usual.

Look closely at your participation in the games of the world. Do you feel that many of the ego-games you participate in are absurd? How do you justify continued play?

OJ Simpson was able to enjoy playing 18 holes of golf, even though his ego-self could NOT deny that he had committed an act of murder. All that is needed is the right formula for shedding egoic guilt and rationalizing the act. Even though Simpson acquired few supportive allies, I tend to imagine he merely absolved himself of guilt through contriving a rationalization proving that what he did needed to be done (God?) and that none can understand this, but him. (similar to Hitler's "final solution" except that Hitler acquired many allies to his cause)

Many have justified similar actions through such a distorted egoic morality that can only be claimed by the actor (with or without allies), but allows the actor to live completely free of guilt and sometimes to continue playing ego-games that cause incredible suffering to others.

In fact, this was how the current Iraq war was waged (although a 'divine allegiance' was expressed because God is certainly the most valuable ally one could acquire). In fact, the egos that waged it were able to attain allegiance from other egos right from the onset. However, those same egos that once allied with the game, now attempt in numerous ways to deny complicity, shed guilt and acquire greater innocence so that they can again be seen as credible players in the ego-game of 'politics.'

The ego-self constructs experiences to assert it’s existence into a ‘world’ and to make that experience 'real.' These experiences must reinforce a sense of innocence to its actions, thereby, maintaining the experience of ‘world.’ Guilt tends to negate actions and must be avoided at all costs, so that innocence can keep the insane machine rolling along.

This is why so little has changed over the past two thousand years to terminate most ego-games.

Therefore, rather than change your actions, the ego constructs 'alibis' that seek to protect actions from guilt thereby perpetuating the experience of ‘world’ and the ego-games that reinforce that experience. Although severe economic changes are most likely on the horizon, it is doubtful that ego-games that seek to acquire extreme wealth will ever significantly change. This is because wealth acquisition has become the egos primary mode of 'self' awareness (simply examine how many people recently chose suicidal death over ending play in this crucial self-defining ego-game)

The ego-self could construct a different experience of ‘world’ in which it seeks to absolve itself of all guilt and performs only actions that perpetuate only innocence (some guy named Jesus is believed to have done just that). Problem is, that would indict it for past actions that no longer conform to the new construct and achieving innocence might be excruciatingly difficult due to that past guilt. However, you could forgive all past actions by completely dissociating from the past. But then, that would mean both guilty and innocent actions would cease to be acknowledged.

This means that “you” would cease to be as "you" now know your 'self.' Therefore, the question is, 'who' and 'what' would you BE?

Artwork by Pamela Wilson- "untitled"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Games without Frontiers vs. GroupThink

In the game of non-duality it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. However, if non-duality is the outcome (reward) you seek, then you play to win.

The problem is always in the rules of the game and not the playing of games because everyone plays, but not everyone plays to win.

The ego-self demands rules for which to tailor its thought and behavior in order to achieve the identified finite outcomes available in all ego-games. This is because most ego-games are played to win.

You can't just play for the sake of playing and if you fail to demonstrate the requisite desire to win, you're quickly disqualified as not a real player. You'll find this conformance rule in just about every serious ego-game. Even games whose outcome is transcending all games requires that you take the rules very seriously.

Players tend to get frustrated if an outcome (conclusion) does not seem likely, particularly if they play by the rules, and this is because outcomes are valuable. Without the rules how can you get the prize? Try to change the rules and you will be met with derision and contempt. Besides, many of the rules have been followed for centuries, so who are you to deviate.

You must deviate.

You'll often get a taste of this in spiritual-religious circles in which attempts are made to terminate the discussion, such as "well, looks like we will never know" or "words will always fail us." The unspoken rule is that "this can not be talked about." Spiritual explorations seen as having no definitive conclusion are determined by consensus as having no value in advancing the outcome and are quickly extinguished.

Consensus is crucial to the spiritual game and if we're all in agreement, then how can the rules be wrong?

Rules by majority consensus (democracy) are often the most debilitating and stifling of all ego-games because they compel by asserting that all preceding rules (precedent) must be followed without a full understanding and disclosure as to WHY. Historical games can be frightening because players perpetuate a "repetition compulsion" and even when the games demonstrate that the rules are unsustainable, the rules must never change. Unquestioning adherence to historical rules leads to GroupThink.

"Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. Individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking are lost in the pursuit of group cohesiveness, as are the advantages of reasonable balance in choice and thought that might normally be obtained by making decisions as a group. During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking."
Rules are necessary and egos do not do well in unstructured games.

The ego-self, in predicting its chances of winning, will essentially attempt to reinvent itself in preparation for many serious ego-games. This requires it classify and categorize all competitive participants (other egos) as to their willingness to play by the rules and their level of play. Many are "masters" of the rules, while others are merely classified as beginners or "novices." The ego-self will adjust its thought and behavior in accord with the evaluated (judged) level of the player it interacts with and other players having attained higher rank or title will be deferred to, while others may even be revered.

However, non-players do not even exist in the arena of play that the serious player experiences. This is because ego-games exclude those who do not play by the rules and to participate you must play by the rules. Non-players are non-entities and this is why many egos are often happy when a corporation lays off thousands in order to increase profitability, which means the company's stock price goes up and many egos experience the thrill of winning, even though others (employees) are left destitute. To the serious player, those laid off are non-players and therefore, they don't really exist and need not be accounted for.

In fact, it's important for all egos to be categorized as to their willingness to play by the rules. All egos need to be 'classified' and if it appears you cannot be classified within the conventional brackets, then clearly you demonstrate disrespect for the game and are disqualified as a non serious player, or persona non grata.

This is easily discernible even in societal games in relation to the ostracism of social deviants who refuse to play by the consensual rules, as determined by majority, and are easily marginalized.

However, interestingly enough, in time, society often seeks to integrate many deviants and will often accept and integrate the deviant's rules, with some changes (dumb-down), into the accepted protocol, so that years later the deviant is celebrated as "visionary" or "master." Yet, this signifies a win or achieved outcome and makes the deviant a finite player (even if dead, since winners always live on in the minds of living players) who must relent to accepting the altered rules in order to win the "visionary" title, thereby making his/her rules simply part of the conventional, or serious, ego-games.

All ego's seek allies to further enrich their pursuit of winning (and will often ally with deceased players in a form of historical allegiance). Your allegiance, although valued by other egos, requires a serious adherence to the rules of the game as set forth by players before you who have been acknowledged as winners.

This blog eschews and minimizes the seriousness of all religious-spiritual ideology, or rules, but fully advocates that the games must be played. Serious players will see this as an indictment on the rules passed down for centuries and may seek to disqualify the lack of rules presented here as inauthentic and lacking the seriousness necessary to win the desired outcome.

Many ego-games have been played for centuries and the rules have never changed. Previous winners become the models, or "gurus," for future winners. J.P. Morgan is as much admired and emulated as Gautama Buddha, as a "master" of his respective game. The words of both have been immortalized and the rules they adhered to continue to guide even today's player.

All ego-games must have rules and all egos must play some game at some time. Not to play some game at some time, for an ego-self, would be indicative of non-existence. However, to play with no intention of winning is to play infinitely and forever.

Can you make up your own rules as you go along and change them anytime it appears an outcome is approaching? Can you play by the rules of society with no serious intent? Can you play NOT to win or will you eventually be lured in by the rewards of winning?

Just wondering....

Hans plays with Lotte
Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi,
Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo,
Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builds a bonfire,
Enrico plays with it

-Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside

-Whistling tunes we're kissing baboons in the jungle
It's a knockout

If looks could kill, they probably will

In games without frontiers-war without tears
Games without frontiers-war without tears

Jeux sans frontieres

Andre has a red flag,

Chiang Ching's is blue
They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu
Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games
Hiding out in tree-tops shouting out rude names

-Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside

-Whistling tunes we piss on the goons in the jungle
It's a knockout

If looks could kill they probably will

In games without frontiers-wars without tears
If looks could kill they probably will
In games without frontiers-war without tears
Games without frontiers-war without tears 

(Peter Gabriel)

Monday, March 9, 2009

EGO DYNAMICS: The Delusion of Perception

The ego-self is a context of consciousness which constructs its own context we refer to as "perception" through which to experience objects of consciousness. Since the ego-self is itself an object of consciousness it creates a separate experience it calls "perception" for which to have an experience of 'world.'

Perception is a way of experiencing your ‘world’ by keeping you in a frame of reference divided off and separated from other concepts or 'world.' Therefore, you must perceive your world to 'know' it, yet you claim to undeniably ‘know,’ or conceive of, your 'self.' You can conceive of mind and thought, but you believe that you can only ‘perceive’ a world. Yet, the paradox is that everything is conceptually conceived IN consciousness because there is NO "outside" through which perception is required.

Perception relies on judging differences from a ‘value-scale.’ Value creates inequality of perception and this is what fuels perception. This is because without inequality, no differences could be perceived and if no differences were perceived the ego would be done for.

Without ‘value’ nothing could be perceived at all, since your experience of others and the world is completely predicated on a value hierarchy that has many facets, both deep and surface. Value determines what is perceived and the ego demands this judgment be provided by the senses of a 'gross' concept we refer to as body. Therefore, the body is an object of perception along with other objects of consciousness, but it is ego ordained to perceive a 'world' through which to experience itself. It is a delusional tool that can no longer serve a purpose once the origin of experience is realized.

The body is a ruse, since the ego constructed the experience of ‘mind’ through which to experience itself. Ego-self simply demands the body ‘perceive’ because if the mind were conceptualized as the origin of perception (thus conceiving a 'world' as nothing more than a construct of consciousness) this would have grave implications for the ego’s need to separate, or project itself away, from the objects of consciousness. It would, in fact, make the ego face itself as that which constructs experience instead of the body 'perceiving' an external world which is then experienced in 'mind,' (only after it is perceived). If that were true than the ego would simply be another object of consciousness completely equal with all other objects ("objects" meaning anything awareness can grasp). Actually, It would BE all objects and not a separate construct. This is because consciousness does not differentiate and has no need of judgment abilities, because 'abilities' are a product of an ego-self context.

All “awakening" processes create brief experiences of complete equality. No matter how brief these experiences are, they can be quite exhilarating. However, it is still the ego-self experiencing itself momentarily engaged in an equalized playing field.

There is a tendency for these experiences to alter perception of the world. These experiences have a way of kindling a strange sense of 'close' engagement with one's experience of 'world,' as boundaries are suddenly loosened and become less concise and rigid. However, boundaries between objects of consciousness must remain for an ego to 'exist.'

It seems that authentic "enlightenment" is always experienced with and through another and solitary experiences are inadequate, since they merely reinforce boundaries rather than diminish them. This is because, out of all experiences the ego-self could construct, it is the experience of ‘others’ that is most profound and most valued and, interestingly enough, this seems to give us the most problems.

These equalizing moments, or experiences of perfect equality, can be life altering and world changing. Nevertheless, equalizing experience is frightening to an ego-self that will resist such an experience as detrimental to its continued experience of 'existing.'

If you closely examine the the obstacles of your life you will recognize that this resistance was cause. On the other hand, recall your defining moments and you will see that they were times of least resistance. This explains our intermittent attraction and revulsion to one another, since we both fear and desire such a grand unifying experience. This attract-resist ego dynamic is most profound in your 'intimate' relationships and you can easily watch the dynamic played out from moment to moment, day to day, year after year.

So, Good Luck With That!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

EGO DYNAMICS: Constructing Experience

I'm experiencing the ego-self right now, as are you experiencing your ego, or self-concept 'package.' This experience is about as inconsistent as you could imagine. In fact, that's exactly how you do imagine it.

When you awoke this morning did you plan your 'day'? Did you make decisions on doing this or that? Ego-self is the protagonist in all your predicting and preparing. "You" are ALWAYS directly engaged with experiencing your 'self' through realizing parts and never a whole. You could never NOT be engaged with ego-self, since you would NOT 'exist' if you completely detached from your circular experience of 'identity.'

"You" are the context of every experience "you" encounter, because you constructed the experience in order to encounter it. Understand the ego-self dynamics and you understand the mechanics of experience.

Many spiritual paths seek to annihilate that context in the belief that there is some underlying context not reliant on "you" being a "you."

Yet, take out the "you" as subject, and there would be nothing to experience (object), since every experience is subjectively encountered and interpreted. "Awakening" is meaningful and therefore, "you" will experience the meaning you intend it to be. This will be based on the ideology you enter into it with. What you go in with is what you come out with, only magnified by the intensity of altered/heightened states of consciousness.

Even the glorious "egoless" experience that many so desperately seek, is itself an ego experience. Seek and you shall find, simply because you have constructed it to be experienced.

Ego-self interprets, and even 'names,' everything it experiences ("banana," "dog," "god," "enlightenment," "ego," "orgasm," "consciousness," etc, etc). This provides an undeniable sense of 'reality' and seems to help increase mutual understanding of experience, but only barely, since you could never fully understand MY experience nor I, yours.

I have noted that my "parsing" of ego-self experience has tended to anger some folks, particularly when I start at the top (the ultimate experience of "enlightenment") and work down. When, in fact, this understanding of ego dynamics may aid in understanding the specialized concepts we tend to provide a religious observance to, without realizing this compulsion for 'sacred' contexts actually impedes experience.

Maybe the easiest method toward "awakening" is to simply understand the ego dynamics that determine the context, and conduct, of your life. The fact, that you have named and given meaning to some event in time as an "awakening" means you will have it exactly as you have contextualized it, based on the ideology that taught you how it should be contextualized in order to be experienced. This digging into concepts need not be painful and can lead to that "lightness of being" we would like to experience in our lives.


You can name it anything you want, self, mind, consciousness, ego, big mind, awareness, Joe, Sally etc, etc, etc, (mine seems to be called "mike") the point is it's "you." You will carefully observe it by understanding the concepts it, or "you," idolize and associate with as 'truth.' No need to dissociate, just know what "you" associate to and how serious you take this association. This is exactly what I do by 'parsing' the dynamics of the ego. But this seems to cause anxiety and resentment in folks because, essentially people don't want to KNOW the concepts they adhere to in defining the 'self,' especially when those concepts have been made sacred. They proclaim:

Just "Be Here Now," and shutup, dammit!

Socrates' declaration "know thyself" becomes "know thy... 'self.' Your concepts inform "your" ego-self how to "Be Here Now" and, make no mistake, "you" will define that "now," (whether you wish to deny this defining or not) simply because it MEANS SOMETHING to "you." Denying your will to construct experience simply limits experiencing fully.

The ego-self must give meaning to every experience BEFORE IT IS EXPERIENCED or it would NOT mean anything at all. You would not experience that which is meaningless, simply because it would not exist in your subjective 'world.' Experience is conceptualized through interpretation. Every experience you have must be interpreted by your "self' for your 'self' to KNOW it at all. Anything you do not conceptually interpret denotes no awareness that it even exists.

But here's the rub, "you" construct experiences so that "you" can then interpret what you constructed. This is the 'infinite game.'

Many claim that I complicate that which is "simple." Actually, this is an attempt of ego-self to deny itself through specialized concepts, or platitudes, that tend to terminate all attempts to understand the concepts it constructs and lives by as 'truth.' However, some folks refuse to just "simply be here now" and they dig deeper into the mass of conceptual understandings the ego-self proclaims as truth, in recognition that "be here now" was constructed and interpreted by the ego-self merely to reinforce itself as 'real.'

Obviously, many would prefer nothing be said and this is the "fallacy of the sacred" and religions are fueled by it. The modern 'masters" proclaim, "just seek silence in the emptiness."

Ideological "enlightenment" programs (is there any other kind?) deny "you" as source. A completely "empty" and "silent" ego-self could not exist to experience the silence and emptiness. However, since it does believe it exists, it will construct experiences that it provides MEANING to, so that it can interpret that meaning in a circular reinforcing context of 'existence' or an infinite 'I AM.' It will attach nomenclature to those experiences by calling them "silence," "emptiness" and "enlightenment."

But what is it really? ; )

Saturday, March 7, 2009


ego: Bingo! Houston we have “awakening”!

Mike: Wow! I felt it too. You think it was the Big Ragu, the Whole Shebang?

ego: Well, maybe not the full enlightenment, but certainly an awakening, at the least.

Mike: What? There’s more than one? So… is this the first awakening, or was there one before it?

ego: I don’t recall any thing like that before. Must be the first.

Mike: So how many more do we need to get before we get the full enlightenment?

ego: I’m not sure. Quite a few, I think. In fact, wasn’t it four Jhanas.... or was it seven Chakras? Wait a minute, which map are we following anyway?

Mike: Damn! I didn’t even think about that…

ego: Geez, Mike, we can’t just go wondering around in the Kosmos. We gotta have a map.

Mike: But I thought we were trying to become “non-dual”?

ego: But Mike, I can’t help you read that map. Remember, non-dual means we can’t talk about this stuff anymore.

Mike: Well… if I don’t talk to you about it, how will I know when I’m there?

ego: I don’t know. But that’s what the non-dual gurus teach. Non-dualism cannot be talked about because it’s “non-conceptual” and can only be experienced.

Mike: Uh, okay….but then…how did we learn about it from the guru?

ego: He told us, silly. Good thing you got me, otherwise how would you remember all this stuff!?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Populist Gurus and Spiritual Cowboys

Spiritual populism is certainly on the rise in the west and the cowboy-gurus are poppin' out of the woodwork. I imagine that as empirical reality begins to severely bite folks in the arse, many will begin turning to these circus masters.

It's interesting that we seek for new, more sustainable ideas for evolving the empirical world, but continue to accept the same old spiritual claptrap from the spiritual cowboys and 'action-heroes' of "awakening."

Consciousness clearly exhibits it’s resistance to evolution in its compulsion to repeat and idolize the same tired old stories over and over again.

Here's an interview with Jed Mckenna, another populist guru singing the same sad songs we’ve all heard, ad nauseum, for centuries. I was going to purchase one of his books until I read this interview. I was not surprised to encounter the same pithy “pointing to the moon” platitudes that are repeated endlessly.

However, I will admit that Jed's a bit different from the norm in that he adds that good 'ole fundamentalist “fire and brimstone,” of the early 20th century evangelist preachers, to non-dual entertainment. Now we have non-dualist teacher as evangelical cowboy lassoing you for the big round-up of souls. Jed McKenna's gonna beat that 'dualism' right outa ya!

Notice that his third book is called "Spiritual Warfare." Seems to me if we could just get rid of all the testosterone tainted spirituality out there, we might be able to finally get somewhere with this "awakening" business. It is becoming clear, with all these western gurus, that you can't be "male" and enlightened too. But that's just a growing observation I've been experiencing and, obviously, I lump myself in that pile.

In the interview “Jed” tells us what “awakening” is NOT about:
“If it’s soothing or comforting, if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy; if it’s about getting into pleasant emotional or mental states; if it’s about peace, love, tranquility, silence or bliss; if it’s about a brighter future or a better tomorrow; if it makes you feel good about yourself or boosts your self-esteem, tells you you’re okay, tells you everything’s just fine the way it is; if it offers to improve, benefit or elevate you, or if it suggests that someone else is better or above you; if it’s about belief or faith or worship; if it raises or alters consciousness; if it combats stress or deepens relaxation, or if it’s therapeutic or healing, or if it promises happiness or relief from unhappiness, if it’s about any of these or similar things, then it’s not about waking up. Then it’s about living in the dreamstate, not smashing out of it.”
Ahhh… how the western mind loves to “smash” its way to enlightenment, “bring it on dude, I’ll blast ya! Let's kick some ass people!" So who's the Alien we've got to destroy? Why none other than the evil and dreaded "ego" and its "dreamstate" world.

Jed's a hard worker and his brand of enlightenment easily conforms to the paradigm of working to transcend the ego or "no pain, no gain." I’ll bet you his ego loves it and yours will too!

Jed’s “awakening” is:
“On the other hand, if it feels like you’re being skinned alive, if it feels like a prolonged evisceration, if you feel your identity unraveling, if it twists you up physically and drains your health and derails your life, if you feel love dying inside you, if it seems like death would be better, then it’s probably the process of awakening. That, or a helluva case of gas.”

Skinned alive, prolonged evisceration, twisted, drained and derailed, dying inside and seeming like death…is “awakening.” LOL! Seems more like a Bruce Willis movie to me.

Notice that the interviewer writes that Jed’s hobbies are, “he plays video games, he rides a mountain bike, he skydives, he reads Walt Whitman. Jed McKenna is an enlightened teacher.”

Walt Whitman? So what happened to “O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done.”

Nope! Not for Jed. He’s no sissy and in this game, only the strong survive.

So how do we know he’s “awakened”? Well..he said so.
But also “he had an ashram in Iowa, numerous students (several of whom became enlightened), and has three books to his name.” There ya have it, folks. He’s awakened others and wrote books about it. What more proof do you need?

But Jed recognizes he doesn’t fit the bill for your average enlightened guy. But he don’t care a speck,

“a few pockets of resistance pop up, but I plow over them. Their indignation is as meaningless to me as the growls of little pink puppies. I’m indulging myself with a somewhat more forceful manner of communicating now, mainly for my own amusement, and their reaction at this stage is not a factor.”

Ha! And he eats "little pink puppies" for breakfast, don't ya know! This guy sounds like a goon from the Sopranos. He just plows over 'em, yee haw!

Good grief…"but where are the clowns? Quick, send in the clowns. Don't bother, they're here."

So how how does our super-hero want you to "awaken"?
“An exodus not outward toward Japan or India or Tibet, but inward, toward the self—toward self-reliance, toward self-determination, toward a common sense approach to figuring out just what the hell’s going on around here. A wiping of the slate. A fresh start. Sincere, intelligent people dispensing with the past and beginning anew. Beginning by asking themselves, "Okay, where are we? What do we know for sure? What do we know that’s true?"
Yea, well (yawn) we’ve heard that “seek the kingdom within” spiel before. Nothing much new here. However, for Jed this “truth’ is mighty painful and your gonna suffer mightily for it. Non-dualism meets the crucifixion (playing at a theater near you!)

But then imagine my surprise when the interviewer writes this:
“Jed McKenna doesn't exist (I'm sure "he" would agree with this on one level!) -- there is no teacher named Jed, no ashram in Iowa, and no students as described in his books. It is all a fake. What evidence do I have for this? the fact that there is no evidence for any of it. No photos, no face-to-face meetings, no one saying they have ever met the man, much less been a student of his (I welcome any evidence to the contrary)."

"McKenna expertly diffuses this objection.”

JED: "This whole thing really has nothing to do with me personally and it would be counter-productive to shift the focus onto me. I’m not relevant to anyone’s search. I’m just a finger pointing at the moon. There’s nothing to be learned from the finger. Everybody’s eager to find a distraction from the real work of waking up, but that’s all it is, a distraction.”
So there is NO Jed Mckenna and just a finger pointing at the moon? HA!

Doesn’t matter though. Who cares who Jed Mckenna is? Not Jed, since "Jed McKenna" is a pseudonym. Now we have dozens of blogs all gossiping about who Jed McKenna really is.

But here is an important point that "Jed" makes, “Don't you think it's reasonable to ask to know a teacher's success rate? The proof is in the pudding, right? Didn't you ask them about the fruit of their teachings when you started with them?"

Well, maybe that’s not because of the teacher, but because there is NO “enlightenment.” Therefore, anyone who proclaims to teach a fiction should stick to writing books and therefore, "Jeds" teaching is fictionally relevant.

Your experiences are NOT "illusory" and there is no “real” that you need seek. But don’t tell the seekers. Unfortunately, when the new inmate enters the asylum, confidently proclaiming himself Jesus, all the other inmates quickly vie to become his disciple. Look at the history of "awakening" and this "monkey see-monkey do" process becomes abundantly clear. The whole paradigm is an ego fixation. It's time for awakening into the anti-awakening movement. You will learn the truth, but the learning is infinite and can have no outcome.

In fact, if you want to start “awakening” you’re probably better off not reading books by these self-proclaimed charlatans and I haven’t found one that doesn’t fit that bill. However, "Jed" has offered you one piece of sound advice.

Read Walt Whitman.

Now there’s a real guru and a truly enlightened teacher!

NEW ADDENDUM TO THIS POST - "Making Egos Real (or Jed McKenna is one big fact ego)" 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What are You Defending Against in This Moment

It’s never really about attack, since attack comes from the need to defend. Attack is merely an aspect of an ego defense system. However, your ego-self system is ever vigilant against attack (psychological and physical) and this is because it's an active player in the game of death. The objective of that game is different from all 'life' games since you must avoid the outcome rather than seek it. In avoiding this outcome we press into our experience of 'life' by demanding outcomes to life experiences to prove our 'living' and this involves the enlightenment or awakening paradigms.

Enlightenment is sought in 'life' primarily in opposition to the experience of 'death.' It is conceived as the greatest method of asserting 'self' into the experience of 'world,' in opposition to the most diminished experience which we refer to as death (or end of 'self').

However, keep in mind that the ego-self is not as concerned about ending it’s concept of ‘body” as it is with ending the total experience of a ‘self,’ in which the body is only one part of that comprehensive integrated experience.

This is because ‘self’ is only an experience. Its 'world' has no tangible or physical properties only the experience of tangible and physical properties. The ego-self constructs numerous and variable experiences for which to ‘live’ (experience) through its construct of 'self.'

Yet, your ego-self has no experience of death, other than an experience of 'inevitability' and you do experience that everyday.

The ego-self constructs each and every experience it encounters and this is why there are no coincidences in 'life' ("you" just deny responsibility and that denial is the foundation of an 'ego-self'). It provides itself with teachers and teaching moments (and not the ones you consciously choose). This helps maintain an experience of a ‘world’ as directly received from a 'world.' Nevertheless, it cannot construct the experience of death and this cannot be taught from the 'world.' Oh sure, it can experience others dying, but, it cannot construct its own experience of death since it allows for no teachers or teaching moments in time.

Since it has no experience of death, but death is conceptualized as inevitable, it is conceptualized as an 'ending.' This entails a moment to moment self-experience we refer to as "mortality." It is this mortality that makes the ego-self entirely unsafe with itself. How can you trust what you teach yourself (and you pretty much teach yourself everything) if within the construct of 'self' is mortality and the complete cessation of 'self' at any moment?

Certainly, the world provides theoretical and conceptual teachings on death (religion and spirituality), but always doubt is inherent in every theory simply because they cannot be tested. But obviously the ego-self will construct an experience of death since death is inherent to its self-construct and this is because it constructs the experience of ‘others’ dying. Yet, the experience of death, unlike other life experiences cannot ever be confirmed until the moment of death.

Therefore, you are never NOT constructing an experience of death in your experience of life and this tends to put a damper on things.

All of our experiences tend to interface with one another and this is why just having “intent,” as the Law of Attraction proponents advocate, is rather inconsequential, since any 'intention' construct must compete with its opposite. What’s important about the egoic experiential construct of death is that you will spend your entire ‘life’ constructing your experience of death and this is the function of all religious-spiritual concepts and ideologies.

However, you will NOT realize or 'know' the culmination of this death-construct until the time of death. It’s not important to realize the ‘when’ of death, because the game is about preparing for that 'event' at any moment and this is why death is the only experience the ego-self must defend against IN every moment. Since it cannot define or construct it, it must therefore always be vigilantly prepared for it. Interestingly enough, there are examples of individuals who, upon accepting the diagnosis of a terminal condition, discard all preparation and report this to be the most joyous time of their entire life.

Essentially, your defense against death is how the ego-self defines life because all assertion of ego-self into the world is in opposition to death. To "live life to the fullest" is only to oppose the dualistic opposite of life, which is death. The paradox is that the ego-self construct, or experience of ‘self,’ includes living-unto-death within it and this tends to buffer or dumb down all experiences because deeply inherent within each experience of living, is the construct of death. Subsequently, Living-unto-death reinforces the experience of ‘time’ because there is so little of it available to 'life.'

All ego-self experiences tend to dualistically nest within each other reinforcing and canceling-out other experiences and this merely supports the ego’s need TO experience ceaselessly. Will the ego-self experience ceaselessly after death? The answer is denied because there is no construct of experience through which to define itself in-death. This demands 'fear' and fear is the warning to the self of the immediacy and mortality of death, because it has no experience to go on.

The name of this game is defense and your defenses reinforce the ego-self concept of death and this is what must be defended against through asserting the ego-self into its experience of ‘world.’ But how can you assert into life and defend against death at the same time? Essentially, "you" have no choice since you cannot escape the dualistic 'self' that "you" require. To completely end one process would end the other and you would cease to exist and "you" certainly cannot allow that to happen. You cannot just defend against death or assert for life. You must do both, alternately and cyclically.

However, you can experience a reduction of defense, and this seems equivalent to the levels of the enlightenment experience. Recognize the ego-self use of defenses to protect the ‘self’ against death (not just embodied self, but more importantly the psychological self). This defending against can be experienced from moment to moment, like when your child talks back to you, you are cut off in traffic, argue with a coworker, etc, etc, any experience that has anger, anxiety, depression or guilt is solely related to fear of death. Anything that threatens the self-package is treated as threat of an end to the experience of 'self.'

Keep in mind that it’s not survival of the body that is of most concern, but the survival of the whole experience of ‘self,' including body, mind, others and world. If the psychological component of ‘self’ is threatened (the experience we believe as located in "mind") this is equal to bodily threat and can create as much panic and fear as if the body were threatened.

It is fear that you defend against because it warns of death. This fear creates vigilance and vigilance demands defense and constant defense can drain you to exhaustion (but this will not stop it because of your dire need to defend). Stillness of mind and body (not necessarily “meditation”) is helpful in recognizing your perpetual vigilance toward defense. This is because all your hustle and bustle, within your experience of ‘world,’ is actually from fear. Let fear guide you to your defenses so that you can fully examine why you do what you do. Therefore, the question is, when I experience fear, what am I defending against in this moment and what is the purpose I have assigned to this fear.

This might help you realize the need to do less, since it’s only the experience of death that you are protecting yourself from in all your 'doings' and to limit such self-protection can be quite liberating to say the least. Essentially, you must substitute the need to defend with an evolving experience of complete safety.

Good Luck With That!