The Futility of Heroism

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The idea of the Hero is a misunderstood notion occluded with a hidden deception – a power and revenge fantasy that requires one to hope and wait for the arrival of a savior to solve one’s problems. Thus the arrival of a hero implies and reinforces the enslavement and powerlessness of the saved – instead of one requiring to take self-directed action to assist and support one’s self.

Have you noticed Hollywood’s endless dedication to the superhero blockbuster movie over the past 20 years? Time for another Avengers movie. Soon, Star Wars and a Superman – Batman film coming down the pike. It seems the continuous recycling of cinematic renditions of  extraordinary beings is perhaps the safest bet for making a huge profit in the movie industry today, in so much that it has successfully tapped into the mass psychology of the American public, who generally feel more disempowered, alienated  and disconnected from having to exist within a world of constant existential anxiety. The meaning of the superhero offers much cathartic relief, if for a moment.

I voraciously consumed comic book and their stories of superheroes as a child, although as I became older, I found myself more fascinated by the various artists like Neal Adams, Gil Kane and Jim Aparo who drew the comics than being fascinated by the exploits of the superheroes themselves. Being a comic book artist at one time seemed like a fun and interesting way to make a living, so I thought at the time. When the first superhero movies began to appear in major Hollywood blockbuster fashion such as the Superman, Batman and Spider-Man movies of the past 20 years or so, I saw that there existed definite problems in translating the genre into film. The ideas of grown men donning these costumes and using violence against others to solve problems were… it must be said, kinda silly.

However, all people have an ancient, built-in tuner for a good story. Especially if it features a good hero-figure. From Gilgamesh to Krishna to Hercules to Jesus Christ, the tale of the hero always seems to satisfy that emptiness inside us that we desperately want to fill in with the hope that things will turn out okay for us. Or at least that someone, something or somehow or someway – things will work out. The hero is the anthropomorphic stand-in for our hopes and dreams being fulfilled by something that must always exist outside of us. But this embodied figure of hope – as typified as the “hero,” is based on the cruelest of self-delusions, because to give into such a fantasy, one has to abandon the center of power within one’s self. One has to become enslaved to the idea of being saved by a savior.

The Hero can be described as a figure who swoops in unexpectedly armed with the ability to solve another’s problem. Some believe that the Hero is a figure that possesses supernal qualities or gifts that normal people don’t possess. In ancient Greece, ancestral worship may have given rise to the phenomenon of the hero cult. The Athenian legislator Draco (c. 600 BCE) introduced a written code of laws to replace the tradition of oral law to be used in court. Due to the severe and harsh nature of the laws he authored, for instance, the theft of a single head of cabbage could result in death penalty for the thief) the term “draconian” has been passed down to us to describe such unforgiving and extremely punitive legal qualities. However, one of Draco’s strictures was the official establishment of hero-cult worship in Athens. The most important thing about the hero was not so much of how he or she lived, but rather in the hero’s death. Thus ancient hero shrines were erected that were venerated and thought to provide supernatural protection to the local community of worshippers. There is a reason why this fascination of the hero exists: people have no faith within themselves to face life and overcome challenges that confront them.  They would rather wait and hope for deliverance from another.

Not all challenges are created equal, however. Most people in the world believe that all they have to hold onto is a belief and a hope for something better will come along, or that somehow “things will work out” on their own, or someone or some God will deliver them out of their problems. It is certainly understandable. And it is certainly understandable that most people in the world have suffer at such an unbearable level of pain, despair and anxiety that even all hope for something better is driven out of them. But for those who are stable enough to carry on, the lure of the arrival of the hero is an intoxicating delusion that only fuels self-suppression and fantasies of revenge.

This fantasy of revenge is seen very clearly in religious dramas and doctrine. I had a hard time understanding why it was so easy for modern-day African Americans to continue to follow the Christian religion, which according to my sensibilities is the official religion of the legacy of White European slave trade. The answer came to me while reading Flannery O’Connor’s novella Wise Blood, where the protagonist Hazel Motes in public preaching display of defiance in his utter rejection of his traumatic Christian upbringing , repeatedly spits out this scornful declaration: “Jesus is just a trick on niggers.” It is an extremely cultural loaded throwaway line that at first glance sounds like racist nihilism, but reveals the genius of O’Connor’s understanding of the demented religious ethos of the Southern gothic, for within it there exists the key in understanding the religious methodology of one race subjugating another via Christian mind control by instilling a hopeless revenge fantasy of divine proportions, endless versions which I heard repeatedly as a child through endless Sunday sermons –  how “the first will be the last” and how God’s Justice will descend on the evil-doers (code for the White man generally) and reward His faithful followers (and servants). It is telling that despite the precipitous decline of religious affiliation in America (as reported by the latest Pew study), Christianity still enjoys a strong and consistent support among African-Americans. It isn’t surprising. Historically, preaching the Gospel was one of a few occupations African-American men were allowed to have.

In this reading, God is the Ultimate “Hero.” But in order to accept the savior, first you have to accept your suffering, enslavement, powerlessness and repression indefinitely in this life before you can attain cosmic, Heavenly peace in the after-life. You have to die first before you can be redeemed. One must always await the arrival of the Hero (Christians have been waiting in vain for over 2000 years) – which is to say – one must always seek first the Kingdom of Righteousness and Glory in one’s powerlessness,  suppression and death. Jesus is considered a hero because as a God, he sacrificed himself and became a martyr, which is a form of senseless suicide.

Of course, it is difficult to attain the realization that such a self-delusion that can only exist within the deceptions and meaninglessness of one’s imagination – because no real solution to anyone’s problem can be “fixed” by another – and certainly no solution can exist where there is no self-realization, or self-responsibility, or self-honesty, or self-movement, or self-direction or self-acceptance inside one’s self. One has to be an active participant within all that or give in to further enslavement, abuse and deception. 

Can it be that one’s successful triumph over one’s own self-limitations is the only heroic act possible? Attempting to place one’s self in a mental flowery bed that “feels good” or the seeking of “happiness” leads down the path of self-deception, separation and enslavement.

Handle with care anyone who presents themselves to you as a hero. They don’t really want to save you. What they really want is to take you for a ride.

Jesus and the 3rd Roll

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A man once accompanied Jesus, saying to him, “Let me go with you and be your disciple.” They set out and got as far as the bank of a river, and they sat down to eat. They had with them three bread rolls. They ate two and a third was left. Jesus then rose and went to the river to drink.
When he returned, he did not see the third roll, so he asked the man: “Who took the roll?”
“I do not know,” the man replied.
Jesus and his companion got underway again and he saw a doe with two fawns. Jesus called one of the two and it approached him. Then Jesus slaughtered it, roasted some of it, and shared it with the other. Then he said to the deer, “Rise, if God grants.” The deer did get up and left. Jesus then turned to his companion and said, “I ask you in the name of him who showed you this miracle, who took the roll?”
“I do not know,” the man replied.
The two of them next arrived at a lake in a valley. Jesus took the man by the hand and together they walked upon the water. When they had crossed over, Jesus said to him, “I ask you in the name of him who showed you this miracle, who took the roll?”
“I do not know,” the man replied.
Then they came to a parched desert and sat down on the ground. Jesus picked up some dirt and sand, then said, “Turn to gold, if God grants!” And it did. Jesus separated the gold into three portions, saying, “A third for me, a third for you, and a third for whoever took the roll.”
The man said, “It was I who took the roll.”
Jesus said, “The gold is all yours.”
Jesus then left him. Two men overtook him [the man] in the desert, saw the gold, and wanted to rob and kill him. He said to them, “Why not split it three ways? Then one of you may go into town to buy us some food to eat.” One of them was sent off and then said to himself, “Why should I divide the gold with those two? I need only poison the food and I shall have all the gold for myself.” He went off and bought what he required.
Meanwhile, the two who stayed behind said to each other, “Why should we give him a third of the gold? Instead, let us kill him when he returns and divide the money between the two of us.” When he got back, they fell upon him, ate the food, and died.

The gold remained in the desert with three corpses beside it. Jesus passed by, found them that way, and said to his companions, “Such is the world. Beware of it.”

Law of Attraction Part 2. Early Accounts and the Divine Mind

Buddha

 

The functional form of prayer has as many divergent points as there are religions, and these points range anywhere from requesting some Divine blessing or boon, to gaining some intimate knowledge and understanding of the Nature and existence of God. Thus, Religion and Prayer are inseparable.

Let us take a brief look at the major religions of the world and of their functional forms of prayer to see if there are any hints or signs of the Law of Attraction within them.

 

Hinduism

The Rig Veda is the principal book of hymns of Hinduism and thought to have been written some 3000 years ago, making the Veda the oldest religious text that is still used in the world today. The very first hymn of the Rig Veda is addressed to Agni, the Hindu Deity of Fire and acceptor of sacrifices. This Vedic hymn has its own the Law of Attraction saying: “Through Agni man obtaineth wealth, yes, plenty waxing day by day…”

It is interesting to note that Ancient Hindu prayers and mantras also functioned as magical incantations extolling the virtues of the Gods, who are considered to possess irresistible magical powers that can be used to solicit Divine favors for the welfare of the person or the community.

 

Buddhism

In an uncanny foreshadowing of the Law of Attraction, the ancient Buddhists also insisted that if you believe in something with enough intensity, you will become what you believe.

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.”
– Buddha, The Dhammapada

These lines from the Dhammapada are a favorite confirmation point of the proponents of the Law of Attraction. However, one of the main tenets of Buddhism is to transcend the state of suffering – and to do that, it helps to transcend the mind by removing attachment to material things. Thus for the Buddhist, prayer is used to remove the negativity within the mind and purify it through meditation which eventually leads to ‘Awakening.’ Meditation is not used to acquire material possession or abundance.

 

Judaism

The Jewish Rabbinical Tradition claims that God “longs for the prayer of the righteous.” Judaism recognizes three different sorts of prayer – thanksgiving, praise and requests. There is a belief in Judaism that God will take action in response to prayer, and the rabbinical tradition tells us that the more we ask God to help us, the more God will love us MORE.

 

Christianity 

Christians who buy into the Law of Attraction are fond to use this quote found in the Gospel of Mark, regarding prayer:

“Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
The 1st Epistle of John says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1John 5:14). 

Thus for a prayer to be answered, it is God’s Will that must always be taken into account. But what is allowable for a Christian to pray for?

The answers are often contradictory. The Early Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine claimed that one could pray for anything as long as it was ‘legal.’ Thomas Aquinas said that praying was a waste of time since God had already decided whose prayers He will answer and no amount of prayer could ever change God’s Mind.

 

Islam

The Qur’an places many conditions and rules regarding prayer. A Muslim must perform the Salat- the 5 obligatory prayers that must be done at specific times during the day while facing the holy city of Mecca. The Muslim engages in an elaborate regimen of ablution, bowing, kneeling, prostrating and so on. The Muslim considers prayer as the most important factor in life after possessing a true and correct belief of God and His Prophet. The function of Prayer in Islam is to strengthen the character and deepen the connection of the faithful and is an expression of religious reverence. Basically, Muslims have no reason to pray outside of the notion that God told them to do it and that it would be good for them.

As we have seen, Prayer is one of the earliest and most popular form of the Law of Attraction. Whether the prayer is a petition for good fortune, or to curse one’s enemies, or even as a way to justify human sacrifice to lift a drought, all Prayer is the epitome of human self-interest which is a key point of the Law of Attraction. And for the Believers, the Will of the Heavenly Father always knows what is best for humanity.

 

The Divine Mind

A central tenet in the Law of Attraction is the emphasis placed on the magnetic and creative energy of the mind. As we have already shown, belief and practice of the Law of Attraction has always existed in one form or another, beginning in the dim past as ritual magic as a way to gain personal power from Gods or Demons. We also saw how ritual magic and incantation evolved into prayer – the respectful request for divine favor. The Gods were seen as cosmic forces with good and evil inclinations – beings, if you will, whose agendas a human could only guess at or fear.

The Ancient Greek Philosophers had a slightly different picture of cosmic forces. Obviously, they had their typical anthropomorphic Gods and Goddesses, Heroes, Golden Fleece, Mystery Cults and all of that. But the Greeks also had their own twist on the age-old pursuit of determining what made up the cosmos and how it worked. They imagined a universe as an ordered, rational process of a substance that was the source of all things. Various opinions were considered about the nature of this substance among the Greek philosophers, ranging from fire, air, water and earth. But it was the pre-Socratic philosopher Anaxagoras who came up with a cosmology in which he described the first principle as a divine Mind or Intelligence. Anaxagoras said that the physical was infinitely divisible and motionless unless moved by this Mind, which he called, ‘Nous.’

The Greek philosophers Heraclitus and Zeno both described the first cause as Logos, Greek for “Word’ or ‘Reason,’ which was an infinite, divine fire which operated in the same systematic fashion as Anaxagoras’ Nous. This Logos was a Divine Intelligence that was infused within all of existence.

Zeno and the Stoics also believed in predestination – where Humanity’s Fate was tied to a Divine Plan that Human Beings were unable to escape. Everything that happens to you is part of this Divine Plan, the Stoics said, so you might as suck it up and learn to foster indifference to events in the world, because you are not free to change anything. There are no accidents. There is no free will. Everything exists to further the Divine Plan.

In the first century CE, during the time of the historical Jesus, there was a Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria who went by the name of Philo. Philo joined Jewish and Platonic ideas into a cosmology in which he claimed that God was totally transcendent, unmoved and unconcerned about the affairs of this world. Outside of this God is eternal matter – evil and formless. Since God can have no connection to the corrupted state of the physical, the Logos, as the Reason and Spoken Word of God, functions as the mediator between God and Humanity. But by the end of the 2nd century CE, a radical new definition of Logos is presented. What was once conceived by Classical Greek philosophers as the rational Creative Principle and Divine Mediator between Heaven and Earth, is now reinterpreted by Christian theologians into the figure of the Son of God, descended to Earth in the flesh, in the bodily form of Jesus Christ.

Another important Egyptian philosopher of that era was Plotinus, who also placed a wholly transcendent, wholly unknowable and wholly indescribable God as the source of all things. This God cannot change, and thus it does not create – for that would imply change. From the source, or the One, as Plotinus called it, emanated the Divine Mind. The Divine Mind – Nous, again functions as mediator between Source and Creation, and holds all of existence, which are the Thoughts of God.

From the Divine Mind emanates the Soul. The Soul can be seen in all life forms – plant, animal and human, ordered in a hierarchy of progressively complex combinations of souls that are the outflows of the Cosmic Soul. For someone who claims that the source of creation is utterly unknowable, Philo and Plotinus sure seem to know a lot about this God.

By the time of the medieval period, Christian Theology had been heavily influenced by the teachings of St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, who each had their own interpretation of God’s Divine Plan. Augustine claimed that God knew before time who would receive His ‘Graces.’ According to Augustine, if you do not receive these graces, it’s only because God already knows that you won’t take them. Centuries later, the great Scholastic, Thomas Aquinas, taught that when we use our mind and heart according to the Divine Plan, we are united in love and knowledge and live the very life of God. And yet, this Divine Plan is unknown, which sounds a lot like Philo and Plotinus and a bit like the modern explanation Law of Attraction – where the emphasis of being “in synch” with the Divine Plan is the key in having your abundance manifest in your life.

 

Next: Alchemy & Medieval Magic

Fear of Equality, Part 10. The Theology of Capitalism

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In the last blog I looked very briefly at the work of Max Weber, principally his landmark thesis, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  Weber makes a lot of claims and most of them resonate with those who see capitalism as the most logical system of social organization the world has ever seen. The pursuit of profit, according to Weber, isn’t simply a means to an end, it is the end unto itself. Profit is the reward for entering the system and taking advantage of one’s opportunity. In fact, the Holy Book encourages pursuit of profit, and in a New Testament parable, the lesson in profit-making is frightfully clear. [1] If you do not create a profit what you do have will be taken away and given to one who possess more with the added punishment of being cast outside of the system, into the darkness and presumably, outside of the Living Light of God. Biblical passages such as these are set in opposition against those like, “You can’t both serve God or money,” and the verse in Mark 10:25: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” Jesus’ punchline delivered after he instructs the rich man to give all his possessions to the poor.

Thus, again according to Weber, one of the signs of favor that God bestowed on His chosen ones was prosperity. Weber actually wondered whether a feedback loop was occurring where the spirit of Capitalism was affecting religious beliefs and religious beliefs affecting Capitalism. These days, where the accumulation of wealth occurs at a unfathimable pace and Christianity’s waning influence over the cultural landscape, people don’t seem to defend the theology of Capitalism as fervently as they did in the past. They almost seem too embarrassed to even attempt a defense. I find this fascinating because Capitalism is perfectly set up to be an economic theology that is self-contained within its inner logic and rationale. This may indicate an estrangement between the religious belief systems of the 19th century era and the turn to postspirituality in the existential 21st century. Or it may simply be another case of cultural amnesia, that blank void of forgetfulness at the center of our national history where all shared cultural memories fade into oblivion. Weber did predict, however, that the logic of the spirit of Capitalism would lead to alienation and a loss of faith. [2]

But getting back to the point: the theology of Capitalism fulfills a vital service for the continued exploitation and subjugation of humanity, at least in America. It gives form, shape, direction and most important – a moral justification for continuing economic and political inequality. Any talk about income equality can only be seen as heresy and apostasy against the morality of enlightened self-interest. Its catechism can be described as followed –

What is God? MONEY.

The Son of God? THE INDIVIDUAL.

The Holy Spirit? ALL THE THINGS MONEY CAN BUY FROM THE BANKS AND CORPORATIONS.

Places of Worship? THE MALL

The Antichrist? THE EVIL COLLECTIVE, OFTEN CONFLATED WITH THE COMMIES, PINKOS, SOCIALISTS, THE STATE, ETC. BASICALLY ANYTHING THAT INTERFERES WITH THE UNLIMITED PURSUIT OF WEALTH.

The Profits… err, I mean PROPHETS? AYN RAND, HAYEK, MISES, ROTHBARD, FRIEDMAN, ORAL ROBERTS, CREFLO DOLLAR, REVEREND IKE, JIM BAKER, BENNY HINN (And a million others)…et al.

The Gospel? ATLAS SHRUGGED, THE SECRET, The PROSPERITY GOSPEL and its cousin, THE LAW OF ATTRACTION.

The “Prosperity Gospel” championed by many of the names above is ironically (perhaps) most accepted by the poor and lower classes in America. They are also the least educated, as well, which sets them up for living their lives hoping and praying that one day the LORD will grant them a winning lottery ticket or something that will lift them out of their financial bad money hell. After all, God wants YOU to be financially blessed and prosperous. You just have to figure out on your own how you are going to do that in a system that only acknowledges the digits in your bank account. IF you are fortunate enough to have one, that is.

Capitalism is a religion, yes. And like all religions on the planet, there exists within it an existential pathological dimension as well. While Religions of all varieties claim to be the worship of a supernatural power that controls, orders and gives meaning and direction for human lives, all of them are quite guilty of doing more harm than good for human beings in the world. Fear of Equality endorses the theology of Capitalism because it provides a moral and rational framework to justify continuing exploitation, injustice and profiteering at the expense of humanity at large.  It reduces, retards, contains and corrals creative and critical thinking that can lead to dangerous questioning of the system, of our own possibilities and potentials of human growth on a worldwide scale.  Turned inside out, the theology of capitalism reveals itself to be a dry, waterless canal filled with the dusty bones and wretched remains of countless lives who never had a chance at attaining a dignified life. Ask them how it felt being a worthless slave cast into the outer darkness, where there is the weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Ask them if the religion of Capitalism was worth the sacrifice.

Ask yourself.

 

Fear of Equality, Part 11 Our Enemy, The State

 

NOTES

[1]  A peculiar passage from Matthew and a similar account in Luke places these words into the mouth of Jesus. “13 “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. 14 For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work270 and gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 18 But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 19 After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29 For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (Matthew 25:13-30).

[2] The exploitation of the working class led to the worker’s alienation as the increasing bureaucratic apparatus with its hierarchy of command and its impersonality sought to regulate and standardize behavior. Weber called this state, the “iron cage.” No one knows who will live in this cage in the future, or whether at the end of this tremendous development, entirely new prophets will arise, or there will be a great rebirth of old ideas and ideals, or, if neither, mechanized petrification, embellished with a sort of convulsive self-importance. For of the fast stage of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: “Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved.” Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Los Angeles, CA: RoxburyPublishing, 1998.

06/21/2012 – 2012 and the Uselessness of Compassion

Shinzen Young: Genuine wisdom or ironic Zen nonsense? 

“Compassion is to share the pain without sharing the suffering.” ~Shinzen Young. 

How can one who claims to be a spiritual master be so oblivious of misguided nonsense that escapes from the depths of  their brainpan? And yet, acclaimed and renowned “mindfulness” teacher Shinzen Young seems unaware of the violence of his redefinition-mangling in service of his metaphysical  perspective. In his attempt to fuse “contemplative meditation” techniques of the East with the “scientific method” of the West, Shinzen Young has been lauded for his “innovative interactive, algorithmic approach to mindfulness.” “Mindfulness” refers to the Buddhist contemplative meditation techniques (Vipassanā) where the goal is to focus on the awareness of the mind and body and achieve knowledge of the nature of reality which then I suppose makes one a “Spiritual Master.”

But why do so many “Spiritual Masters” say such ridiculous, incomprehensible bullshit? Has their “mindfulness” meditation experiences left them with so much knowledge about the nature of reality that they can even see how far removed they’ve become from every-day common sense? Run through the above quote once more:

“Compassion is to share the pain without sharing the suffering.” 

What’s the takeaway point of this sentence? Well, the unintended point made by Shinzen reveals the uselessness of compassion, which is commonly described as an emotional response within a person to the misfortune and suffering of another and wanting to do something about it to remove the other’s plight. But to create a situation where one can safely  share one’s pain without sharing the other’s suffering is like having one’s cake and eating it too. Why would anyone want to share another’s suffering “out of compassion” without getting down into the dirty, painful and equality-based business of removing the suffering for everyone? Because nobody in their “right mind” would want to. It is the human design to avoid suffering at all costs, especially if one has enough money – and it takes money – to keep physical suffering at a manageable level.

But nobody, including Shinzen, would want to actually do something about the suffering of others in this world, or literally place their feet in the shoes of someone’s suffering.  Much better to “feel bad” about the plight of human trafficking or hearing about children starving to death in the media. A brief, cheap, momentary emotional investment called “compassion” is enough for most people.

But one doesn’t really “share the pain”  of others through compassion, do they? And this is where Shinzen misses the point. He could have said something more profound by revealing the uselessness of human compassion – where one could place the total amount of that human emotion one side of an equation against the totality of human suffering on the other side and see how effective emotions really are in dealing with the human condition of suffering. Or he could have gotten down into the shit with the misfortunate  others like Mother Teresa – who despite her existential doubts spent her life amid the suffering of others [1] and could only cope with her own metaphysical doubts by linking her own spiritual suffering and the suffering of others with the “suffering of Jesus.” But that doesn’t seem to be any more effective in dealing with the removal of suffering, does it?

Spouting religious and spiritual language and meditative exercises  to deal with human problems has simply never worked. Using human emotions like compassion, pity and sympathy to deal with human problems has simply never, ever worked in stopping the condition of human suffering. What statements like these do is allow the person who comes across them to become beguiled by the implied “wisdom” imparted. But it isn’t “wisdom.” It’s just ironic Zen-Buddhist bullshit.  It’s bullshit because all statements made from the starting point of projecting a religiously philosophical perspective can only fail in providing real insight to humanity. Buddhism has been around for nearly 3000 years and it’s failed in bringing “enlightenment” to the people. It’s ironic because Shinzen obviously believes in the power of compassion without sharing another’s suffering but he simply fails to understand that such a point reveals compassion to be nothing more than an illusion. Then again,  this is quite proper since all metaphysics deal with elevating illusions into meaningless life-long obsessions – while choosing to ignore and excuse real suffering and despair with pious blandishments and feel-good flowerhat philosophies And now you know what really matters to these spiritual shysters. Forget about trying to find a way to lift the peoples of this world out of an endemic of inequality. What is most important to these gurus is within the relation of their own knowledge and information about the nature of reality to others while making a buck. I can only hope against hope that people will wake up and reject that and choose equality for all and make it happen. But first, we have to stop listening and being bewitched by the deceptive spiritual nonsense these gurus love to share so much. 

Note

[1]]”Now Father—since 49 or 50 this terrible sense of loss—this untold darkness—this loneliness—this continual longing for God—which gives me that pain deep down in my heart.—Darkness is such that I really do not see—neither with my mind nor with my reason.—The place of God in my soul is blank.—There is no God in me.—When the pain of longing is so great—I just long & long for God—and then it is that I feel—He does not want me—He is not there.—Heaven—souls—why these are just words—which mean nothing to me.—My very life seems so contradictory. I help souls—to go where?—Why all this? Where is the soul in my very being? God does not want me.—Sometimes—I just hear my own heart cry out—“My God” and nothing else comes.—The torture and pain I can’t explain.”

Letter to Father Joseph Neuner by Mother Teresa.

05/26/2012 – Is the Mind the most powerful thing in the Universe?

“Uhn.. if I could just think… a bit… harder… somethin’s bound to happen!”

Your thoughts create your reality.

Your mind is more powerful than you know.

Are you worried about something right now?

Are you feeling unsure about something these days?

God invites you to change your thinking.

Miracles seldom occur in the lives of those who do not consider them possible.

There could be a miracle waiting for you this minute.

Please make room for it in your thinking. Thanks.

Love, Your Friend….

Neale Donald Walsch

Wow. The mind has been given a lot of credit by philosophers, metaphysicians, science and religion. Not only does the miraculous mind receive credit for moving things in the universe, it has been touted as creating the universe! That sounds nice but seriously, can we really define consciousness in any other terms other than a vampirous abstraction, or as  generative and consuming energetic of substance –  like a flame devouring and evaporating a candle of wax?  But the majestic brilliance of the flickering light lasts only for a moment until it vanishes into the darkness, rubbed out from existence and from memories. But such metaphors must sound too cruel for people like Walsch when referring to something so God-like as the mind, until one realizes that  there is a difference between “God” and “God-like.” I suppose the biggest difference is that “God” is a mind-created fable and  truth-claim about a unseeable object while the mind is something we are all very intimate with, especially its oppressive, deceptive and ingratiating nature which ceaselessly drives us to erect such titanic monumental altars to worship it.  The mind has seemingly deserved all the praise that we have given it, what with all the wonderful things in the world that the mind has given us, like depleted uranium, plastic soup oceans and genetically modified vegetables (and wasn’t the world clamoring for more depleted uranium, plastic in the oceans and genetically modified food?)

If one would find any benefit to blame whoever was responsible for lifting up such a bully to eminence, we could mention the Brahmanas and the ancient Greeks. The Advaita – the orthodox philosophical school of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism), claims that Brahman is “knowledge” and everything in the visible world, “eternal spiritual body which is full of bliss!”  He is the Supreme Person! A Consciousness of Absolute Truth! The principle Upanishads claim that Brahman is the infinite consciousness. And how did we come to know of this infinite consciousness? From the words handed down from Vedic literature. You know, from stories. But the Vedas will be the first to admit, the Brahman that can be talked about is not the true Brahman.  Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

The Greeks had their stories as well, but I’m not talking about their superhero gods like Hercules, Aphrodite and Apollo. Their conception of the mind as God was just as abstractly absolute as anything  the Brahmanas cooked up. Anaxagoras conceived of a cosmology of where there was nothing but a formless, cosmic soup that existed at the beginning , until a cosmic mind he called, nous placed everything in order.  As Donnie Darko would say, “Deus Ex Machina! Our Lord and savior.” Anaxagoras never said where is “mind” came from, but you gotta admit, it makes for a great story and it even influenced the great Plato and the Neoplatonists, who also conceived a transcendent cosmic mind as being and thought from which all things emanated. The enemies of the Neoplatonists were the Gnostics, who claimed that the physical creation was the inferior and flawed work of an evil creator and a growing post-Judean sect called Christians who worshipped a crucified man as the Son of God, the Logos, the creative principle made flesh.

And to this day, there are people who believe that the mind within our holy brains, is the most powerful thing in the universe. Good ol’ New Age. Way to keep the cosmic consciousness home fires burning. From this we gather stories about how the human mind, the “greatest force in the universe,” is evolving into achieving “higher consciousness” and increasing our vibration to the point of becoming one with the cosmic consciousness.  Which is all well and good, but goddamn, where does the love-in end, Neale Donald Walsch? Why do you ask us to “make room in our minds for miracles,” for God’s sake? I understand that some of the books you’ve presented appear rich in wisdom and profound statements and that  you made a fortune with them, but did you ever ask yourself whether the alleged contact with “God” could in any way be verified? Did you ever consider that the words you assumed that came from “God” were actually formed within  a secret compartment  within your mind that in no way was connected to any Divine source? From judging the above quote, I reckon not, because it sounds like you are serious when you suggest that “making room” ” in your thinking for a miraculous intervention from “God.” Somehow, according to the schematic of  Walsch,  “God” is quite limited – and can only act on the human scene through the thoughts of human beings, but only if we engage in wishful, magical thinking. Again, like Eckhart Tolle, Barbara Hand Clow, Esther Hicks  and many, many others who present consciousness as the most powerful force in the universe, they present claims as truths and don’t seem to realize the difference. To tell people to make room in their thinking for a miracle is capitulation of one’s self-direction. Thus Walsch’s claims are not credible and people need to check themselves for the lack of development of their common sense if they buy into this garbage. And that so many people do buy into this trash should make one question whether consciousness is all that “powerful” after all.

05/04/2012 – 2012 My Reply to “Franklin Beenz”

Franklin Beenz (if that’s his real name) is upset that I don’t give a fuck whether he properly investigates the Desteni Material or not. Something is stuck in Franklin’s craw and I don’t know why he insists on posting his disappointment about… why I don’t give a fuck whether he properly investigates the Desteni Material or not. The reason why I don’t give a fuck is because I’ve already investigated it, compared it to what I already knew and understood, participated fully on the various forums, visited and lived with them for years and still find the material (and the people behind it) trustworthy, impeccable and free from bullshit. So Franklin, how is it my responsibility to “prove” anything to you? You apparently know how to type, have access to the internet and seemingly have a working knowledge in English. If you can’t be bothered to research this yourself, then fuck off. Simple. Surprised I had to say that, a bit.

Now for you out there who may think I’m being too harsh on Franklin, here’s his last comment to me, submitted for your approval. He was asking my “source” responsible for the story I related in the FAQ. I told him the source was from a thread in the old Open Forum – which is archived to be viewed through permission only.

The source is from a ‘thread’ – and so that’s that, it’s true because it’s from a thread and you ‘simply don’t care’ that the words, message in that ‘thread’ should make actual and factual sense, be logical for any of your fellow human beings. So while traditional religions offer the word of god, you offer a thread and it matters not that either traditional religious beliefs nor your thread should actually make sense to your fellow humans.

The words and the message in the thread make perfect sense to me, Franklin, although according to your sensibilities it may seem like we’re pissing on logic and rationality… but I find it amusing that you would drag the Gods of the traditional religions into your bosom. Aren’t you a well-conditioned automaton?

Thanks for this little demonstration on how selflessness and equality operate in ones life if one puts into practice the teaching you are selflessly sharing and promoting here.

You’re welcome, but Franklin, I would never dream of taking your own responsibility away from you (unlike the Gods of your traditional religions). And I would never stand in your way of understanding equality and self-honesty if you sincerely asked, instead of spiking your inquiries with hater-aid.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if everyone arrogantly and selfish-centeredly ‘simply didn’t care’ that their religious beliefs/teachings, philosophies of life, ideologies, value systems, etc ,that they were promoting and sharing with their fellow human beings, actually and factually contained logic and actually made sense?

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if people didn’t pretend to understand more than they actually did, and considered different ideas without the need to always place one’s own precious perspective above all others, without deceptive forked-tongued blandishments and deceitful dissembling? But that would be asking too much from you, eh Franklin?

It would be and remain a world demonstrating ‘the fucked-up nature of human beings and the world we’re bent on destroying’.

Unfortunately, I am forced to agree with my words you pasted above. There’s too much of the Desteni Material to go through to make such sweeping conclusions, Franklin.  There are thousands of documents and videos. It’s deep, gnarly and sometimes scary stuff. And you’re not going to understand a lot of it. I’ve walked this for almost 5 fucking years and I barely grasp it. So, those are the main reasons why I don’t give a fuck whether you get the message or not. Because it’s your responsibility to get it, not mine. It’s all there waiting for you. You know it’s there. But if you’re like all the other haters, then get over yourself, stop posting on my blog, go back to your Traditional Gods and fuck off. And thanks for reading.