by Kevin Solway
- Contents -
I have not been able to inspire much interest among publishers with this book. I am no salesman. However, I have written this book for interested people to read, and not for personal profit, so I offer it to you here at no cost other than the toll it will extract from your false heart.
If you are interested in finding out more about the ideas presented in this book I would be glad to hear from you. I would also be glad to hear from any publishers who would like to make this book more convenient to read by printing and binding it for me.
In these few marks on paper, I offer you everything that I have, and everything that I am. Thus I exist in this work both physically and spiritually. If you read me as you read the works of others, I will appear empty. Project your own understanding onto me, to make me meaningful, and you will destroy me. Dismemberment does not appeal to me, so I will warn and warn again in an attempt to confound. And even if my warnings touch only a single one of you, the effort will have been worth the trouble.
These writings will not be welcomed by the run of humanity, nor are they intended for such animals - the herd, obsessed with happiness and the preserving of the life. My wisdom is not for the public life and the organizations within it, neither for mass movements nor break-away sects. Groups appeal to the herd mentality, but the wisdom I speak of in these writings cannot exist in such an environment and in such minds. Rather, I preserve this work for the mere handful of worthies, the true individuals, few though they be and far between. You will know yourself to be one of these precious ones when the externals of authority and tradition fill you with disgust, and when you at last delve into your own intelligence in search of your own wisdom.
Any search for a wise teacher is mistaken, for the truly wise are as rare as the stars at midday. You could comb the world without discovering a single one. Much less would you find an organization full of them! Hence, if these writings fall into the hands of "groups", be they adherents of mysticism, devotees of meditation, or scientists, you can be sure my heart is not with them.
In time, many will hold up these words for their own devious purposes. Not least among them will be the philosophers - those foul creatures. They will strip this work bare as soon as they get their greedy hands on it. My truth is infinitely remote from professional thinkers. Their delight is to slam me into a category, aligning me with this or that religion or school of thought, much as they might throw a criminal into jail. They say my thought coincides with so and so, while it differs with such and such. They conveniently miss the whole point, and lose everything. How do such ignorant fools hope to judge men of the Infinite? My ideas will always appear contradictory and paradoxical to them. In their hurry to get on with their job they judge brothers and sisters to be of different species!
We barely deserve spiritual writings. Wise words need a special reader. Such a reader must have an irrepressible intellect, a courageous heart, and the stride of a giant. Yet who among us is not too feeble to bear scrutiny? Who among us has left the animal behind and become human?
There will always be those who find happiness elusive within the mainstream, rejecting it in favour of the uncommon. Such people think that the fewer who share a belief, and the more unlikely that belief is, then the more true the belief must be! The ideas I present in these writings may well attract such defeated and desperate minds which seek an unusual stone. More than likely these people will form an organization to "preserve the truth". And if it also provides moral support and gives people something "constructive" to do with their time, then well and good, but I will have nothing to do with them. Such shells of men will have been attracted for the wrong reasons, and will therefore only flesh-out their own despicable ideas. I do not and will not breathe the same air as they!
But if you have thrown your happiness to the wind, with the joy of becoming free of the greatest of burdens. And if you have chosen to trust your fate to reason alone, then I am the air for your lungs.
You should regard these writings not so much as dogmatic scriptural injunctions, but as a children's class in the use of the brain. It is all about making the brain a teacher, in order to distinguish between the true and the false, the wise and the foolish.
These words are to awaken you to the highest wisdom. But what is wisdom? If there is wisdom, then where are the wise men? . . . It is ever true that the wise are few, because nothing is hated quite so much as truth, and few can accept such hatred - too many of us need love.
Despite the rarity of the sage, I would like to paint a rough picture of him, just to give you an idea of how inhuman he really is, or perhaps to alter your conception of what it means to be human. He is a solitary being, though he is also at home in a crowd. Altogether he has a complete lack of human values. He loves nothing, therefore he hates nothing. Happiness is repugnant to him, so he never suffers. He depends on nothing, and questions all human motivation.
But don't take my word for it. Only a sage can recognize a sage, just as a specialist in a field of work knows his subject. So the first step in the search for wisdom is to cultivate your own. Nor will you find it anywhere outside your own mind. If you try to find wise men, you will create your own, and your mind will rot with their false wisdom. For where would you find a man of true wisdom? Even if you did meet one, how would you recognize him? Having disregarded your own mind in favour of your search, you will be penniless. No doubt you would judge the genuine sage to be destructive of human morals, cynical, negative, and quite mad. Moreover, how would you possibly be able to benefit from his teachings?
Thus you must discover the guru within your own mind. In the end you will find there is no other way. You stand alone with your own brain tucked securely away inside your skull. There is just you and your thought.
These notes are designed to be a stimulant, or a catalyst, or perhaps even a guide - a guide for a trek across a vast and unfamiliar desert on the expectation of finding an oasis. You must do all the walking. And no less must you also consider the reliability of the guide! You may do well to listen to his advice, but in the end the decision is yours alone. Ultimately you must rely on your own desert skills, accumulated over many years, to test his judgement. Use his aid to awaken and amplify your own skills. Learn from him where his knowledge is greater than your own - and take a different direction where perhaps his judgement is faulty.
Long desert years can teach many things, but bad habits and biases become ingrained. A guide's advice may seem sound enough, but is he mistaken? The guide may be correct in nine of his directions, but what about that tenth one? This last is the most crucial, determining whether you make it to water or die of thirst. In spiritual matters, a single wayward direction signifies bankruptcy, for once true wisdom is awakened there is never any mistake as to its direction.
Let no one ever say that what I present in these writings is a new religion, or that it reveals profound truths that have been hidden from all who have gone before. The truths I speak of are not new. Many have been aware of them before me, and experienced them more deeply. All the essential truths I point to can be found in the teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. And in some respects the teachings of these religions far outweigh the power and effectiveness of what I offer here.
The appalling thing is of course, that these religions have become corrupted and their meaning lost. Their teachings have been misinterpreted and have spread through society in a highly damaging form. The physical words of the teachings may have remained relatively unchanged through time, but the interpretation and thus the truth of them has changed radically. Truth is certainly present within some religions, but is absent from them as they exist in all their diverse forms today. The truth can indeed be found within many religious scriptures, but only when you understand them correctly.
I have little to add to the teachings of the Buddha. His teachings are essentially complete - when rightly understood, and when the chaff is separated from the seed. My aim is to help in that separation process, to help weed out the mass of unwanted cultural rubbish that has gathered over centuries. I say again, I do not expound a new truth, or even improve on an old one. I seek to clarify the very same Truth that has been known for many ages; the very same Truth that has been forgotten for many ages.
I am not one for originality. If I invent new names for God, it may well help you to overcome any preconceptions you have about the old ones, but I will not do this, as new names only create more confusion. There are already enough words, so I will use the words we already have, and try to awaken your minds to their real and intended meaning.
I seek to present the characteristics of Truth in such a way as to distinguish it from all those mystical truths and philosophies that are common barter these days, and which present themselves as the ultimate. I will set reality into sharp relief against the backdrop of worldliness, thus allowing it to be seen in all its glory - and terrifying power.
I have tried to present these thoughts in as efficient a way as possible. I do not make an effort at writing beautifully. Writing and reading must not become mere entertainment - they can be powerful attachments as damaging as any. Effectiveness is my sole consideration, so forgive me if I have strayed from the traditions of style and content. I have not written to speak to you, but to trigger your own mind into speaking with itself. I aim to challenge your most deeply cherished of thoughts. I want to invoke you to think with your whole being, rather than allow you to hold ideas at the safe distance of your intellect. It is all about the discovery of courage.
Now read, and as you read, know that you read my blood - no light matter!
Kevin Solway, 1990
When you're seventeen you know everything. When you're twenty-seven, if you still know everything you're still seventeen.
Unfortunately, most of us don't begin to think until the ripe age of thirty - when things are a little more quiet. The problem is, at this age it is too late to begin doubting one's basic assumptions in life. Pride is a factor - it is too distressing to admit failure and have to start all over again.
As we age we nearly always undergo a hardening of the attitudes, or a hardening of the heart - not unlike hardening of the arteries. All our efforts become directed towards extinguishing the idea that something new may be possible. Up until now we have had some ideals, some faith in reason, but age beats all the hope out of us. Now we need security, and security requires certainty. If our categories are not concrete and beyond doubt we will surely be crucified by them. Therefore, once we reach thirty we know everything - even if it is the cowardly certainty that we can never know absolute truth! From this time on we are the slaves of abstraction and unable to ask the noble questions of youth.
For young children it is primarily experience that determines character. For the adult it is character that determines experience. That is, the ego is initially built on experience, and later builds experience. Thus the elderly fear change because they have something to lose; while the young are still building, and have everything to gain. Children are therefore curious and open; they are not afraid to ask questions precisely because they do not fear ignorance.
But children become adults, and soon the feelers of abstract thought grow and reach out, bringing a new knowledge, a great knowledge, and great fears also. Soon, everything becomes fearful, and they too will be heard barking, even when the wind rustles through the grasses.
What is it to be a child? A child is one who sees adults as mad. Thus, when you find the people of this world acceptable, you have grown up. It is better to have more of the adolescent in you than the "mature". Strictly speaking, maturity indicates the end of growth, both physically and mentally. If you're green you're growing; if you're ripe, you're rotting.
As a young child I used to beat-up my parents till they told me the truth; such was my passion for the absolute. By the grace of God that zeal is still with me! These days I beat-up God till he gives me what I want.
"Maturity" is the balanced, stable and content ego-mind of later life. It precipitates once the many worldly skills have been learnt and integrated so as to operate automatically. The mature can be said to "have their act together" - an apt expression, as it is truly only an act which they have perfected. They are actors, who after long years of practice have perfected a certain role. And they are ever comfortable with that role, provided the stage is set for them.
The more composed, or balanced a person is, the more secure is their ego, and the less likely they are to partake of any real thought. They will not risk everything they have built up during their life, not now. They believe suffering is behind them. "Suffering and anxiety are for youth" they think in their deepest thoughts. "We need hardship to mature" they reflect. Oh Great Wisdom!
The mature man is one who has lost the strength and desire for perfection, and now proclaims such striving to be folly. Here begins compassion . . .
The textbooks say that children display "egocentrism" - as if this were different from the plain old egotism of adults! The fact is, we cowards refrain from saying children are egotistical because it doesn't seem right to condemn normal behaviour.
"Egocentrism" says that it is acceptable to be egotistical about helping others, as opposed to serving only oneself. It is designed to do away with the more nasty and inconsiderate word "egotistic".
The Youngest Child
How so very important it is, whether one is the first child born, or the last. So much rests upon this. The oldest child is more exposed, and becomes independent and hard, whereas the youngest is more sheltered, and correspondingly softer.
I have heard it said that the youngest child matures sooner than his elder brothers and sisters. It is more accurate to say that he grows-up sooner - at the expense of maturity. This is because the company of elder siblings is stimulating, and the younger child can rapidly learn the many tricks and deceptions of life. However, he never faces the hard knocks of those who go before him, and doesn't become seasoned.
The oldest child is like a wise old weather-beaten man who shows his years; while the youngest is a bright socialite of the city.
If you begin by sacrificing yourself to those you love, you will end by hating those very people. This follows as surely as night follows day. A house built on sand, no matter how devotedly, is doomed to be washed away with the rain. All things are temporary: belief in them is sure to end in disappointment.
The old-aged are often bitter about life. They feel cheated that all they had been given has now been taken away. Gone is the strength and beauty of youth, gone are the children, friends are dead, dreams of the future are no longer possible, and past achievements seem empty. There is nothing to savour from the past, nor anything in the future or the present. Time will strip all things bare - do not doubt it for a moment!
We must learn that this life is not ours to lose. Not even temporary rights are ours.
Too late for spiritual life?
Age: I'm fifty-four years old I'll have you know! Its too late for me to be embarking on a brand new way of life.
Youth: Perhaps you are right. There's no denying you have become set in your ways. But it's not too late to consider your "future lives". So, you may have made the mistake of ceasing to grow, but you can still use the time you have left to tell others of your mistake, and help prevent them from making the same blunder.
When does old begin?
We are truly old only when death is near - and at whatever age this may be. The idea that it is possible to die young is ludicrous. We die at the end of our lifespan and not before. Life always runs its full term: how can it be otherwise?
The pure mind must have its foundation in the early years of life. The elderly man whose mind turns toward the philosophic and religious spheres can at best only become the shadow of the spiritual man. He may have all the form, but lacks the substance.
When you're eighteen, the world's your oyster. If you don't find a pearl in it, you just open-up another one.
Yet the time will come when you run out of oysters to open, and the pearls you have turn red-hot.
Heroin, cocaine, and alcohol can indeed open up the mind to altered states of consciousness, as can music, poetry, and meditation. However, do not think these experiences give you new insights into reality, or that they are even remotely spiritual. Drugs like these can serve only to help the ego forget its problems, and only for a short time. They dangerously suppress the symptoms, but do not cure the disease. You may well experience a rare heavenly bliss and warm sense of fulfillment, though I bid you think again! Soft drugs invariably lead to hard-drugs. Small superstitions give birth to gross miscarriages of reason.
Far from bringing us closer to reality, such practices distance us from it by making us content with a dream. At least at other times reality is close enough to foil our plans.
This is not to say altered states of consciousness are without their use. With intelligence, they can help to make us aware of the many faces of reality, and thus that reality exists purely within the mind. Unfortunately, the herd look no further than their present comfort, and cannot learn from experience. Implications and consequences are alien concepts to such animals, who are fully occupied just keeping from drowning in the stormy seas of their lives. They have no time for investigating the nature of life and death: they have no time to live.
Entertainment: a way of avoiding boredom.
Boredom: when you don't want to think about life and can't find entertainment.
Loneliness: what people who are attached to the company of others call boredom.
Depression: when you are forced to think about life, and don't like what you see.
The Strength of Attachment
So, you wish to know the strength of your attachment for a particular thing? Look no further than your need for it, because need is attachment.
If you wish to know the character a person, then look where their love alights: no one can hide.
Attachment to the future
The girl says: "Some day my prince will come, and take me away from all this."
We all live with the hope that our daily toil is leading towards perfection. We believe the reward for all our suffering is just around the corner, and that soon, everything will be different. Indeed, it is commonly said that hope is the only thing that makes life worth living.
That which is commonly said is always wrong. Hope does not make life worth living, because it is in vain. Perfection never comes to the foolish, no matter how long and deep their faith. It is not surprising the elderly feel bitter and cheated.
If a cart is not moving, do you hit the cart, or the horse that pulls it? If we do not attain perfection are we to blame, or the method we use to attain it? The method is the horse, and we are the cart. Foolish hopes cannot carry us to our destination.
A job is not merely a tranquillizing drug forced upon the ego, but is a dangerously addictive and destructive poison.
Work destroys the mind more effectively than anything else, which is precisely why it is enforced. After all, we are all equal, and therefore nobody must be permitted to have a mind. Work saps you of your thought by a process of taking your mind prisoner, monopolizing it, absorbing it, preventing you from thinking about anything other than work. It becomes your life. You become it. What is left?
You may not enjoy your work at first, but you soon change to accommodate it. In time, work comes to possess you so thoroughly that every moment away from work is spent recovering . . . in preparation for work. We come to accept work as a necessary sacrificial ritual, in which we sacrifice ourselves.
"Everybody needs love" and "everybody works" become uttered in the same breath - two dogmas that represent the cornerstones of our entire existence. Together, they successfully banish freedom of thought from society. Yet is this not what we really want?
You must be strong to live freely in this world, where all people are "drug addicts" who try to force their drugs upon you with every possible threat and manipulation - in the name of "morality".
To preserve yourself, you must know fully: this is not mine; this am I not; this is no soul of mine.
We prefer to run away from problems than face them squarely. We are not clever enough to dissolve problems when they are small, so we let them grow into monsters, and then try to live with them.
Travel is one such monster, and it claims far too many of us. We require continuous change in order to forget ourselves, our past, and all the suffering it supports. But how can you run from yourself? No matter how far you run, your thoughts will accompany you.
Your good friends
An individual cannot have friends - by definition. So let your good friends be your thoughts of the Infinite, and have no friend besides; for what kind of friend could that be? Confide in God alone. Live with eternity.
The last thing you should ever do is offer your hand to a person in need. Look into their eyes; how deep is their delusion! How could you give further poison to one already dying from it?
A spiritual friendship is no ordinary friendship. Your best spiritual friend must also be your best enemy, for they will challenge you, and pinch and poke you into action. Spiritual friends do not wish to flatter you, and make you stronger, but to undermine your false prides and make you weaker; because only the weak are strong enough, and sensitive enough for God. Only the weak can have doubts, a chink in the armour through which God can enter. Only the weak can transcend goodness, for the strong are content to do their good, but good always turns bad within samsara.
Television represents one thousand more ways to avoid thought. Could there be a more lazy way to live? At least before television we would have to occupy our own minds, which would require some power of will. But now, with the pressing of a button, you can have your mind flooded with the thoughts of another.
Some of you cry "But what about the educational programs?". All I can say is that if those programs are educational then education is dead. Your "education" is merely a self-righteous form of entertainment. The horrifying thing is, that you have been taught to regard education in this distorted way by television!
Research has found that even though we watch television for relaxation, we are less relaxed after watching television than beforehand. I am sure this is because we feel degraded by the way we are treated by this imposing machine. Television is aimed at the lowest common denominator in society - so we the viewers are treated as fools. Nor do we have any direct control over the content or timing of what flashes on the screen before us. Our self-esteem suffers even more when we realize that we are so wretchedly weak that we still love the drug of television despite the utterly disrespectful way it treats us.
Television watching is like smoking, in that the psychological harm it does to a person in terms of guilt, degradation, and demoralization, probably outweighs any other harm.
Simply looking at the night sky and the infinity of space can be enough to awaken us to our true nature. Perhaps this is the very reason we invented television - to keep us indoors, to glue our eyes to, and prevent them from straying.
And perhaps this is also why so many of us live in cities, where atmospheric pollution and bright lights render the stars invisible. We huddle together in these, which we call the great cultural centres, as though digging ourselves a hole to hide in - while all around us the magnificence and glory of Nature go unnoticed.
"Which side are you on?" . . . evocative words indeed. They could be the entire lyrics for a protest song. And what are these words saying? Which group are you with! Which club do you belong to! Are you a somebody! The implication being that if you do not immediately join a group then you are an indecisive person of no character.
These days it is all the rage to have an opinion; whether that opinion is justified is irrelevant . . . as long as you have an opinion!
Note: in this, and rest of the dialogues in this book, the person "Q" represents the seeker of truth, or at least the opponent of it, while person "A" represents truth.
Q: What is the difference between lust and desire, and what is wrong with them?
A: Lust is like the root of a tree and desire is the branches. Lust is the root desire, the basic hunger for permanence and power. Desire is a modification of lust; it is directed and controlled lust. Lust is also foolishness, for nothing is lacking in reality. In Nature everything is perfect from the very beginning.
However, if you are not enlightened, then lust is a part of your being and you cannot realistically hope to be instantly free of it. In this case it is good to lust for Truth and for God. Only a ravenous hunger for God can quash lust and desire. If a child cries loudly enough for its mother, she soon comes running. The fire grows until the fire brigade are called into action; then it is rapidly quenched. If you love the Truth enough, it will not be able to evade you.
Likewise, if you wish to possess anything at all, whether it be man, woman, or money, then make sure you always occupy your mind with it, and desire it with all your heart. You will gradually come to identify yourself so closely with the object, that you will feel inseparable from it. The foolish find much pleasure in such loss of identity. They say they "lose themselves" in the things they love. The wise weep over their plight.
Filling the mind
Q: How do you fill your days?
A: How can they be emptied? A day is a full day no matter what you do with it. When you abandon concepts of "full" and "empty" then your days will be truly full. Think of Reality, of God, and your days will become full of God.
Whatever you think, you become. Have you noticed how male actors who always play the role of a woman become more effeminate? If you always think of women, you are bound to become like them. If you continually think of yourself as a successful businessman, then you will gradually acquire the qualities of a successful businessman. In the same way, if you continually fill your mind with the Infinite, then your mind will gradually become Infinite.
Chuang-tzu once said: "The effect of life in society is to complicate and confuse our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not."
Thus we should concentrate on what we really are, rather than on what we are not.
Mind your own business
Q: I choose the ups and downs of egotistic life, what right have you to try and change me?
A: Choose all you like, you will not stop the man of Truth from managing his own affairs. He regards you as his own self and will try to stop you from destroying yourself along with all humankind.
Q: But you cannot change the way I think!
A: This conversation is changing the way you think whether you like it or not. Do you really think you are independent from me? You breathe in the air I breathe out! All things in this Universe are interconnected, and our minds too are physically connected. How can I not change the way you think?
Q: I can see that your mind has an effect on mine, as does mine on yours, but you have yet to change my mind in the way you want to. Many of your ideas bother me deeply. You are against all attachments, yet clearly not all attachments are bad: it is a surely a noble thing to cultivate good attachments.
A: There is no such thing as a "good attachment". An attachment may not cause immediate harm, in your eyes, but all attachments hold within them the seeds of destruction that even you may learn to recognize. Parents may bring a child up to love sport, music, and reading - yet the child becomes a mass murderer - why? Of course it is because of upbringing. All things have causes, and there are no causes other than upbringing, whether they be genetic or environmental.
The child was reared to be an egotist, that is, without wisdom, so the child became an egotist. Once you have an ego you are no longer in control of your own life. Your precious life becomes a struggle for survival, to avoid pain. And you don't have the luxury of being able to choose just how to avoid that pain, but will make full use of whatever opportunity presents itself. Nor is there time to consider the consequences of your actions. From the perspective of every ego, living is a case of "kill or be killed".
Q: You speak many strange words, are you Enlightened?
A: Can you discover whether a person is Enlightened simply by asking them? Can you believe what people say? If you take people at their word, you are resting your life on shaky foundations indeed! How do you know whether another is telling you what they really think? Or what if they are genuinely mistaken in what they say? Even if they do tell you the truth - how do you know you are correctly interpreting their words?
You must become Enlightened yourself. Only then are you able to consider the meaning of Enlightenment, and the words of those who have achieved it.
Q: I have one more question. You say we should not be so materialistic. But if everyone gave up their material attachments the whole economic structure of our society would collapse!
A: Truth cannot be altered to accommodate the world. The moment Truth is compromised it ceases to exist. Therefore the world must bow to Truth.
City and Country
Country living is dangerous; it is far too easy to stagnate. If the reality of change is not forced upon us there is little to threaten our cherished beliefs. The ego will be sheltered, never knocked off balance and forced into change. Where there is no change, there is no hope. While the countryside can be a good place to assimilate and digest one's life experiences, the wretchedness of our lives is not so evident in the country as it is in the city.
The city has the whole of life within it. A thousand different and contrasting world views rubbing shoulders with one another, prodding the ego from every direction. This variety helps to prevent the blindness of familiarity, and provides much needed intellectual stimulation. Here we can see egotism in all its forms, and importantly, the causes and consequences of this egotism can be examined side by side. In the city, it is much more difficult to rest content.
An intensely strong motivation, deep disgust, and a yearning desire is required to transcend this world, which can be difficult to generate in the sleepy dales of the countryside. This is why the city is so useful: it reminds one of the Devil, and therefore of God also. And even though distractions in the city are many, it may be easier to find God here than in the mountains. For here at least there is more chance we will exhaust all avenues of enjoyment and pain, and finally turn to reason, which, after all, we wretches will only do as a last resort.
So, be warned, while the countryside proffers one peace and quiet and freedom from disgust, tranquillity can be fatal!
Imagine a wilderness, with paths scattered throughout. A traveller naturally falls into these paths, as they offer an easier passage through the punishing country. His passage wears the paths even more, making them even better defined. Gradually these paths become major thoroughfares.
This is a model for the human mind, with the paths being our habitual deluded patterns of thinking. As forestry students our dictum was: "Off the road and into the bush!" We didn't want to be "led down the garden path". Spiritual growth too, demands that we abandon false brain-pathways, and start out anew, striving headlong into the wild and untamed country. After many years of effort, a new way will take shape - the highway to Enlightenment.
So, after much work, you may have at last found the highway to God - then congratulations - but this is only the beginning! Sticking to the main road is easy, but we love to be sidetracked. The old, familiar routes take time to grow-over, and until they do, the tendency is to fall into them again. And each time you re-tread an old way, it is refreshed, and becomes all the more attractive to travellers like yourself.
Attached or unattached
The supported man and the standing man look the same, but move quite differently. A puppet does not have the freedom of a human being. A fool does not have the freedom of a sage.
Money in the bank
Money is the root of all evil, and comes in many forms: there is experience in life, formal qualifications, and experience with suffering; all are easily experienced as money in the bank, which is a form of attachment to the future.
The dying man says "I am not afraid of dying, it is leaving my wife that terrifies me." Hah! Has he really lived all these years only to think he will be going somewhere at death! And when he is dead, the widow, drowning in grief, says "I know my husband is dead, I just don't know where he is, that's what upsets me so."
Observations on marriage
- You should really make the most of marriage, because you're only going to get married two or three times in a lifetime.
- Marriage is a great institution - if you don't mind living in an institution.
- Marriage is an attempt to complete childhood. Thus in marriage we never fully become adults, for childhood must be grown out of, not completed.
- If you are single and attached to the opposite sex, then three quarters of your mind is taken-up with them. This leaves only one quarter available to reason. With so little reason available to you, marriage is sure to follow. Now the whole of your mind is taken up with family - eliminating reason completely!
- An unhappy husband once said to a psychologist "Marriage doesn't work, the only thing that works is divorce." "Divorce is only a temporary happiness" replied the psychologist.
- Does a wife truly wish for her husband to become a Buddha? Does a husband truly wish for his wife to become a Buddha? Thus, if you wish to become a Buddha, do not marry.
- In contrast to a loose-jointed framework egotism, the union of marriage is a stone-wall egotism. This is precisely why we are told marriage is the truly ennobling life.
One thing to be said for polygamy is that it gives a man more freedom - yes, freedom. A lone wife will feel she is entitled to the entirety of her husband's attention. His very closeness gives her a purchase on him. It is as though he presents her with a large surface area to which she can apply her glue - which bonds deathly tight. However, one wife among many will feel no such exclusivity. She will feel no ownership and will make few, if any demands on her husband.
It can move one's heart to see a young couple romantically enthralled with each other. But the heart becomes deeply sad just a few months later - to see their paralyzing dependence on one another.
It is not sex that keeps one from God, but love, its attendant emotions, and the lifestyle that supports it.
So much effort
I wish I never heard of your "time management" and your "quality time". I wish instead you would go beyond time. Then you will have all the time in the world! In such a timeless state it is impossible to do anything that is not perfect, and waste is never a concern.
And then I hear you talk of the importance of concentration. If only you would concentrate on not concentrating! With all your efforts you only concoct for yourself a deadly concentrate. Let it go to the winds! Let it evaporate harmlessly away on the strong and fresh ocean breezes. Be rid of your burden!
Thoughts about war
- We do not fear war, because it provides less suffering than does peace. Why is this? Simply because peace inevitably becomes tiresome and boring, and makes us feel insufficient and vulnerable. War, on the other hand, arouses feelings of confidence and power - it reinvigorates.
- It is said that teenagers can readily adapt to war because they are too young to comprehend their own death. More accurately, they cannot comprehend their own life. They have not yet developed hopes and goals for the future, and therefore have nothing to lose.
- Some say war memorials are a glorification of war. Well, they are certainly a means for emotional gratification, precisely the value of war itself!
Travel broadens the mind, but often dilutes it in the process. There is more of a stretching than a broadening, with depth being sacrificed for more extensive shallows.
The classic traveller is like a salesman in that he has to compromise and bend to suit others, being dependent on their good will. The wise, however, do not compromise, and thus are not strangers to cold and hunger.
Therefore, if you haven't the strength to travel as do the wise, then settle yourself until you are. If you travel too soon your mind will become overrun with plans and concerns for food, shelter, and how to please others. Such a mind has no room for real thought. So, be careful how you run, for you may leave something valuable behind!
- In the outback: the outback is constant, while we change.
- In the city: the city changes, while we are constant.
With our romantic love we are like a dog chasing a car. There is much thrill in the chase, but what to do with the car when you catch it? We are more animal than we give ourselves credit for.
Masturbation and drugs
All worldly joys are wholly selfish, whether they arise from compassion, love, or greed: thus all worldly happiness is masturbatory in nature.
Similarly, all attachments are drugs: thus we are all drug addicts.
The reason people talk so much, is because if they didn't, their brains might start to work.
The power of food
A man will put down his poetry to listen to music. Even this he forgets upon the sight of a beautiful woman. Yet even a woman cannot hold his attention when he smells food!
The approval of others
We poor fools seem to find our identity in how others perceive us. We need their approval before we can do anything! Men especially need the approval of women. Perhaps this is a legacy from childhood, and the wish to please the mother.
The wise are altogether different. They know themselves as individuals; that is, separate from the world, where praise or hatred cannot touch them. They are mere robots, and God is the programmer; and robots do not seek approval as they go about their business. The sun needs approval from no-one, and it shines. The wind needs approval from no-one, and it blows.
Not that it would ever occur to the wise man to seek approval, for who could judge him anyway? And what of it if they could? Who, when faced with the terrifying rawness of true thought, would approve? If the wise man ever meets with the approval of a woman, it is because she has not confronted his thought.
The sagely mind is free and perfect. It has no capacity, and therefore no room for praise or blame. This is no human mind.
I read it!
To the people of today, if something is written in a book then it means that a significant number of people share the same view. This alone qualifies it in their mind as a valid, viable consensual reality. Reality is thus created by numbers, and numbers become God.
If you question their assumptions they will argue "do you seriously think so many good and intelligent people can be wrong?".
This is exactly the case in religion, where, rather than seeking truth through reason, people place their faith in what is popular and "viable". Or rather, they consider it reasonable to place their faith in numbers.
Cannot escape God
You might cover your ears with your hands and blindfold your eyes, but you can't escape the sun sailing in the sky, the leaves of trees swaying in the breeze, the waves crashing against the shore, and the vast depths of space.
A sticker seen on the rear bumper of a porsche said "He who dies with the most toys wins."
The poor get poorer. The rich get porsche.
Can you become a little child? Unblinking and unaffected by externals, wandering aimlessly, resting where put, following the current of things, ignorant of the distinctions of sex. After all, what does a dead man know of desire?: for a child is yet dead.
A child can cry all day without its throat becoming hoarse. Can you too speak from the source? Can you speak as yourself, rather than as your voice? Can you lay your mind open to the Universe, fearless of the consequences?
One day of joy is too much. One thousand days is never enough.
Truth appears cold - to one attached to warmth. One cannot throw away attachments - they must be outgrown.
Sometimes it is better to give-in to an attachment - to get it out of the system. The ego must be convinced beyond doubt of the wretchedness of life. Stubbornly, the ego seems only to be able to learn the hard way.
It is not enough to dislike attachments; there must be disgust. Yet nothing conquers quite like love! To actually love being free of attachment, free of life, wild and unrestrained as the wind: that's what I call vicious!
The Buddha said: "The greatest miracle is to know the Truth, and to make it known to others." This utterance was probably the greatest miracle of all time.
One thing at a time
It is said the essence of Zen is to do one thing at a time; but I say to you, the essence of Zen is to do all things at one time.
Q: I wish you wouldn't use all those Zen techniques. Can't you just talk to me in plain language?
A: What on earth are Zen techniques? - I know nothing of them. I use whatever means I see fit to make you see the Truth. That is all.
Q: But who are you anyway to be making all the authoritative statements you do? I think it is highly presumptuous of you.
A: Who are you to be saying "who are you?"
You must have the ability to drive off the plowman's ox and to snatch away the hungry man's food before you will see how Zen helps people.
The death of Buddhism
In ancient times the title "Zen Master" was highly regarded by the wise. In ancient times there were still one or two genuine teachers worthy of the title. Today however, Buddhism is dead, and calling someone a Zen Master is no different to calling them a dog or a pig.
A thousand years ago, a Dharma Dragon like Hakuin may have seduced me into accepting the title of a Zen Master. Today, however, I would sooner shoot myself in the foot. A thousand years ago I may well have dedicated my efforts towards cleaning the vile muck out of the temple. But it has gone too far. The temple has become a heap of dung.
The Ten Innermost Jewels
- Four entrustments:
- Entrusting one's mind and thoughts to the attainment of
- Entrusting one's life to life as a beggar.
- Accepting poverty.
- Entrusting one's life to life as a beggar to death
- Not holding any hopes and dreams of success.
- Entrusting one's life to a barren cave.
- Accepting that society regards you as an enemy, and will make no place for you.
- Entrusting one's mind and thoughts to the attainment of enlightenment.
- Three diamond-like convictions:
- To be stalwart towards hindrances caused by friends and relatives.
- To disregard the opinion of worldly people.
- No matter whether they call you a madman or a saint.
- To firmly guard one's practice.
- To be stalwart towards hindrances caused by friends and relatives.
- Three changes in one's living status:
- Expulsion from the ranks of men.
- Finding oneself among the ranks of dogs.
- Attaining divine ranks.
- Expulsion from the ranks of men.
Did we begin ?
A scientist said recently that the soul comes into existence when the mother accepts the child. A Tibetan lama has said that the life essence passes from the father into the mother, before conception. Personally, I believe it all begins with the sparkle in someone's eye.
So when does life begin? Who is right and who is wrong?
The whole question of a woman's right to abort a pregnancy, and whether it constitutes murder, revolves around the problem of when life actually begins: that is, the definition of life. Does it begin at conception, or at birth, or at some time between conception and birth, or even before conception? Is it possible that some of us never actually meet the criteria for "life"? Then again, are we assuming too much in supposing that life can come into existence at all!
Most of us believe in our self-existence and therefore that our life must have begun at some point in time; and this point in time is the whole point! For despite our frantic efforts to ascertain the exact moment of our grand coming into existence, we are doomed to failure as is the cat who tries to catch his own tail.
To believe one's life began at birth is satisfying enough for a child, but as our knowledge grows it fails to satisfy. Many a scientist finds the moment of conception a satisfying place to make a beginning. They say that conception represents the "complete genetic complement," and a new existence. But upon analysis we find that conception is not an event, but a process - a process in which nothing whatsoever can ever come into existence. And what is more, nothing becomes "complete" as nothing was lacking in the first place. Conception results in a genetic code inside a cell, a set of instructions, nothing more - which is no more "life" than a blueprint for a house is the actual house.
If anything at all comes into existence at conception it is our labels, or words we use as tools to provide us with handles for grappling with an elusive reality.
What does this leave us? A world without beginnings! The extinction of the spark of life! This seems a heartless prospect. This knowledge of beginnings is not spiritual, and may leave your heart ashen; but mark my words: it is the highest of all! I beg you consider that Nature is not entirely undeserving of respect.
Yes, respect for Nature is something we know little of. And it saddens me to have to say that we people . . . are believers in magic! The demon of superstition abounds within our hearts and minds. We have presupposed that a "self", some abstract phenomena we have never satisfactorily defined, does exist and has come into existence. Then we clever people amuse ourselves conjuring up events of "creation" to explain it all, wrongly and unnecessarily piling rubbish on top of what already exists in all its perfection.
The belief that life is created at conception, or at any point in time for that matter, is just as deluded and as wretched as the Christian belief in creation. It is a belief that something can be created out of nothing. Such thinking is positively hateful of reason and is typical of the scoundrels we humans are. We are not slow to disparage others when they throw reason to the winds. And we heap scorn upon those unfortunate fundamentalist religionists, when all the time, we, hypocrites to the core, harbour the deepest evil - blind faith in self-existence.
Life can never come into existence. There is just change here, and no matter how much you might like to have been "born", it is simply not a real possibility. No matter your love of life, reality remains.
Know that any boundary line you draw to designate a "beginning" will by necessity be totally arbitrary. Nonetheless such boundaries must be made-up for practical purposes, there being no demarcations in reality. The crucial thing to remember while we go about our business is that all boundaries are drawn by the imagination, and are therefore illusory. I bid you never forget this truth!
Can we avoid these illusions? No, for we have evolved within Nature in such a way that our senses and concepts provide us with boundaries, with illusions, which we must accept if we are to survive. However, we must not be ruled by these marvelous appearances, but put them firmly under our control. If we concretely defined life as existing at conception, then to halt the growth of the resultant chemical grouping would literally be murder! If we let words control our lives in this way we will be perpetually faced with such ludicrous and perplexing problems.
We ourselves define what is to be "life" and "death". They do not exist of their own account, so we must devise them for communicating and living. Such concepts should be used as tools to make life easy. It is madness to let them dictate to us, and to let them confound our spirits with unending confusion. We ourselves must choose definitions of life in line with the requirements of the survival of our species, and the advancement of wisdom. We could choose "life" to mean any number of things. In an underpopulated world life could begin at conception, making abortion illegal, while in an overpopulated world life might begin at birth.
The essential thing is that there are no ultimate values given to us. We alone are the creators of values. Do not shirk your responsibility! Learn to be a creator! To fail here is to personally condemn humankind to death.
Can religion help us live up to such a responsibility, and to live more harmoniously with reality? Hardly! The religions of today are symptomatic of the anti-thought pervasive through all society. They are the perfect crystallization of all I deplore. They express a pitiful fear of personal responsibility, a fear of freedom, and are kept alive through a psychology of self-grasping and the desire for permanence and predictability. Religion is the most active of movements to fight against the terrifying chaos of Nature. Its method is to package everything into neat little bundles, suitable for displaying on a mantlepiece. Religion is a sorry statement that we humans prefer to find happiness in belief rather than through reason.
So I implore you to use your brains, and have faith in your own ability to reason. Yes, I hear your doubts all too clearly: you regard reason a dubious master. But hear me out! If you use reason without fear or concession, how can it possibly lead you astray? So I say, respect your mind, love reason, be an example!
Ramana Maharishee said: "You who wish to celebrate the birthday, seek first whence was your birth. Your true birthday is when you enter that which transcends birth and death - the eternal being. On your birthday you should mourn your entry into life. To glory in it, and celebrate it, is like decorating a corpse."
To celebrate the birthday is to celebrate the ego, and is to fight against destiny. Only when life and death have been transcended can destiny play its joyful games unrestricted.
All things find their beginning in their causes. This is not a difficult notion to grasp. However, causes are infinite and therefore impossible to grasp, so the ultimate cause is beyond comprehension.
It is then said to me:
"What is the use of knowing that all things are caused if we can never know what those causes are? Causation may well be the Way of Nature, as you declare, and all things accordingly natural; but such knowledge is worthless! If you are correct in saying all things are natural, then nothing is unnatural and the word "natural" ceases to have any useful meaning. It seems you would have us do away with all our words."
Does it not help to know the Truth? Ask this of yourselves. I tell you, it is only the ego that cannot make use of Truth. Truth alone has the strength to free the mind of emotion and its distorting force. Being free of delusion, you will experience true freedom. Why worry about possibly having your words stripped from you? Even if you do lose your precious words, which I do not accept, is the Truth not good enough compensation?
It seems to me you cannot function without your precious distorting force. You seem to have no life beyond your fiction. Any authentic truth would sap the life blood out of you. You haven't the strength to see that your whole life from beginning to end has been a hopeless mistake. And even less have you the strength to confront others with such a truth. In the end you always conclude "It is useless to think in such a dangerous manner, that type of thinking never got anybody anywhere."
Motivation and karma
Action is the body of karma and continues the flow of karma. All actions have causes, and all actions have effects.
I have often said that it is a person's motivation alone that creates karma, rather than their physical actions; thus good intentions are rewarded, even if they sometimes fail to produce the desired result. Yet this is not strictly true, for all actions have an effect in accordance with their causes, regardless of whether those causes are mental or physical.
Even so, it is by far the motivation that brings about the greater consequence. Take the case of an ordinary thoughtless person giving a thousand dollars of their own hard earned money to help a poor man. No doubt there will be an effect here, perhaps even a beneficial effect, but the greatest consequence by far issues from the (impure) motivation behind the action of giving. Ego-based motivations always result in further egotism and destruction, whereas a pure motivation is an eternal well-spring of glorious wisdom. Nothing but good can arise from a pure motivation.
Actions may indeed appear helpful, and the poor may become healthy. However, healthy bodies and happy minds are not reliable indicators of healthy spirits. The poor man's new found wealth may give him the financial space to develop his mind - then well and good - but it is no thanks to the person who gave him money. For it was their intention only to be rid of their guilt, and to experience their warm glow of satisfaction. Any benefit that should come out of such a situation is purely by chance, and is far outweighed by the deleterious effects of a selfish motivation.
To judge another
There is no greater virtue than judgement, and it is so easy to judge truly. You can judge a tree by the fruit that it bears: how can it deceive? How can you be misled or mistaken if you trace the pathways of cause and effect?
Judge a man's character by his actions, look at his friends, and you too will learn to see through walls.
When someone, wallowing in self-pity, blames their own failure on themselves, you must explain to them how they are blameless. After all, they and everything they do have their causes which stem from beginningless time. No-one can change destiny.
However, when they blame others, then explain how the fault is their own. It is at least their responsibility to get others to take responsibility.
Never say "I am too deluded for there to be any chance of my becoming wise." For the smallest of seeds can grow into the largest of trees. Once a cause is created it is never lost, even though it may take a million years to grow and reach fruition.
Use reason, then have faith: this is always the process. You must come to understand cause and effect fully, or you will fail to break through the Barrier and will therefore believe your efforts are in vain. Break the chain of karma, or you will remain a fool who believes in death.
Oh how you pay for your past joy: how women haunt!
Failure to learn from past lives
Christianity is an enormous wealth: it has provided us with thousands of years of mistakes from which to learn. So what have you learned?
War is eternally followed by peace, and peace by war. After all, is not every war fought - for peace? Yes, happiness is followed by suffering, and suffering by happiness. Has a relation between the two ever occurred to you? And has it occurred to you that the relation is causal?
Because the ignorant do not understand cause and effect they are perplexed by so many things in life. They do not know why they suffer. They are like a dog being beaten for what it did yesterday.
The shadow falls in such a direction as the sun wills: we do not have free will about having free will. Those who believe in free will save themselves - but lose the world.
Things are predetermined, though we can never know for sure in what way they are determined. Thus we have fate and destiny, yet also mystery.
Ultimately, however, there can be no predetermination as things necessarily pre-exist in their causes. If a thing already exists, it cannot be determined or destined. Creation too, is impossible.
The fool asks "Why did this happen?" and "What is the purpose?"
This is like saying "Why does a plant come from a seed?" The whole world is caught up with the delusion of reward and punishment. The reward for the seeker of true knowledge is no reward.
What is history?
Is history a purely academic study of the dead past? Or is it rather a study of human behaviour, and therefore a biological science? I put it to you that history is a living material out of which we are made, and is therefore a study of our "past lives".
What you are
Open yourself up to who you are, to what you are. Look to your causes, look to the past, look to what makes you. You are what makes you. True eyes do not see things themselves, but their causes, their totality.
You are what you do, what is within you, which is what you have been, and what you will become.
As a child my father said to me "It was I who brought you into this world." This got me thinking. Was I going to owe my life to another for evermore? My intuition suggested my father was in error. So where did I really come from? This question occupied my mind for years.
To begin with, my mother was certainly as responsible for my existence as my father was, so he wasn't my sole creator. Yet did my parents make me at all? Were they instead merely vehicles for my genes? The latter is surely true. So, I was made by genes then, which come from beginningless time, and are not made by parents. Then is my body simply made by genetic material? Not at all, it is made out of transformed food, and my parents did not create the food either!
Then I knew where my body came from, but was I my body anyway? Is not the essential "me" my personality? Then where did this personality come from? Certainly, my parents had some input, but there were millions of other inputs. And even the input from my parents was not theirs to give, but was channelled through them.
My conclusion then: parents do not make a child, neither body nor mind - we are truly Children of God.
Nothing of worth is achieved without planning. And both short and long-term plans have their place. It is all very well to plan to have a University degree at the end of a three year course, but you must pass your exam today! Likewise, if you want to spend future years in the presence of God, you must pass the required daily tests.
If you don't drive carefully today, you may not be alive tomorrow.
Humans are held to be the most complex lifeform on this planet. What does this mean I wonder? If you break something down into smaller and smaller pieces it becomes more and more simple, and human beings are no exception. As understanding grows, complexity dwindles.
Nature, which knows nothing other than cause and effect, finds complexity and simplicity meaningless.
Q: Where did the original mass of the universe come from?
A: What is this "mass" you speak of? Where is the boundary between mass and not-mass? Both are manifestations of Mind. Mind is that which is without beginning.
Q: Your whole philosophy is based on assumptions about cause and effect. You say that all things have causes, and thus lack inherent existence because all things are dependent on their causes. But how do you know all things must have causes? If you are wrong, then things can exist inherently, and your entire philosophy falls to the ground!
A: "Existence" is a human concept. If you perceive or conceive of a thing, then you cause its existence. Thus there is no way a thing can be without causes. Also, a thing cannot exist without having parts, and these parts constitute causes. In nuclear physics there are some particles which arguably have no parts. However, they do have characteristics, or attributes, and these too constitute causes. Again, things must have causes.
In addition, we live in a world where time is a demonstrable reality. The passage of time necessitates change, and change is made of cause and effect. Thus, where there is time there is causation. When our minds created time, they created causation too. The one cannot exist without the other.
Q: Your argument defeats itself: if nothing truly exists, then cause and effect doesn't truly exist. Yet you use it to support your philosophy! Similarly, why do you think time is real?
A: It is incorrect to say that cause and effect doesn't exist, for while things lack inherent existence, they also lack inherent non-existence. Because cause and effect is a useful concept it is a valid and useful tool. Without tools, we can do no work.
As for time, it is real if we make it real. If we made time not real, through conceiving of it in a different philosophical manner, then, once again it would be impossible for an inherently existing self to exist.
A: Because a self can only exist in relation to other selves. Relations are causes, which are not possible when there is no time.
Q: Why so?
A: Because relations are human concepts and concepts require time. No time means no concepts which means no relations which in turn means no existence.
Q: Given the existence of time, why does the passage of time necessitate change?
A: Because time is measured by change. If there were no change, there would be no time.
Q: You have given me a circular argument! You say that change is a reality because time exists; and then you say time is measured by change!
A: Yes, the argument is circular, but this does not make it false. You see, we are speaking from the aspect of relative truth. In the end, all dealings in the relative world turn out to be self-referential, and circular. This is because all things exist only in relation to each other.
If you want ultimate truths you will have to look behind and beyond all these words.
Q: Human life obviously begins at conception because the fertilized egg (the conceptus) will develop into a human being.
A: Will it? How do you know this? What if the mother is run over by a truck? Clearly, the fertilized cell will only develop into a human being if and only if it gets the right conditions. A male spermatozoan or a female ovum will also develop into a human being given the right conditions; does this mean life begins with the formation of the gametes?
Q: But the gametes cannot develop into a human being on their own, they are incomplete, whereas the conceptus is complete.
A: Can the conceptus develop into a human being on its own? Is it really complete? If we placed a conceptus on the palm of your hand and left it there, would it develop into a human being on its own?
Q: Hmmmph! Then look at it from another angle. You would have to agree that conception is the cause of a beginning, and is thus the beginning of life.
A: Make up your mind. Is conception a beginning, or the cause of a beginning? If conception is the cause of a beginning, then what about the cause of the beginning of conception - is that not also a beginning? If you ask me, your "conception" is merely a conception of your brain.
Q: The whole world is evidence of a Superior Creative Intelligence.
A: How so?
Q: Well, all things must have had a beginning, and that beginning can only be God.
A: That's puzzling. It is my experience that nothing has a beginning; for all beginnings have beginnings and so on ad infinitum.
Q: Yes, but where did the whole of Nature come from? It must have had an original beginning.
A: You agree that all things have beginnings. So this "original" beginning of Nature, according to your reasoning, must also have a beginning. If a beginning has a beginning it cannot be a beginning. Thus I say that all is beginningless. And consider this too: how can that which is without beginning have an end?
Q: If nothing has a beginning, then why do scientists say the big bang was the beginning of the Universe?
A: God knows! They also say time began at the big bang; but how can something begin when time doesn't exist? All talk of beginnings and ends is futile. It is as rational to say there are beginnings as to say there are no beginnings: both have their use, and their correct place.
It seems to me that the religion which most espouses cause and effect believes in it the least.
The Buddhists of today believe that the individual is alone responsible for all that befalls him. Consequently they do not consider it possible to cause another to suffer. Nor do they believe it possible to change others for the better. Thus, in a single blow they avoid any responsibility for others.
I will throw down what has already fallen! An understanding of rebirth will yet be reborn.
Many children vow never to become like their parents; but how many vow to avoid the causes of becoming like their parents?
If you wish to be rid of a weed, you must pull it out by the roots.
To the women in my audience: cause and effect is most definitely real.
To the men in my audience: cause and effect is most definitely not real.
The Other Side of the Coin
Love, I am told, is the basis of Christianity.
Then what is love? Does the word not describe the good feeling we get from something? Have you noticed how we only love that which lifts our spirits? Do we ever love those things that bring us unending pain? It should be clear from this point alone that love is entirely selfish, even if it is in the name of some God.
There is another side of the coin to love - hatred and violence. And just as one side of a coin is inseparable from the other, love is inseparable from hatred. Wherever there is love there is also hatred - hatred of the loss of love. And wherever there is hatred there is also violence, for hatred is violence.
It should not surprise us that Jesus himself despised all nice sounding things. He said that he detested all things valued by men (Luke 16:15), and I ask you, what do men value more than love? To be sure, the more popular or appealing a thing is, the more false it is bound to be. Jesus said "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Matt 10:34). The true love of Nature is such a sword; I bid you forget your petty love. Don't be fooled by sugar-coated words; seek only men's bread, bitter bread.
The Creation of God
From where does inner spiritual strength come?: from God or from a belief in God? The question doesn't bear thinking about; the God of Christianity is so obviously a creation of the imagination. To discover why we people feel the need to create such Gods, we must examine the operation of the ego.
Most of us regard egotism as consisting almost entirely of dominant behavior, as seen mainly in men. Yet submissiveness is equally egotistical, and is most common in women. Indeed, dominance and submission are the two primary means by which the ego finds security.
Submission is most satisfying when the object one submits to is super-dominant. Therefore, Christians have seen fit to create for themselves an all-powerful, all-knowing God - in their own image - to submit themselves to. Another cunning reason for the creation of such a God is so we might all be equal before him. This savage blow adequately disposes of the great individuals, and conveniently protects the Christian from standards. For now they can refuse to believe that truly wise men can and do exist, we being all equal before God.
There is nothing more repulsive to me than the effeminate submissiveness found in Christianity, nothing worse than their "love", "kindness", "peace", and "equality", which are all part of their plot designed to turn everything into a childrens' fairy-tale.
What Jesus said to the Pharisees all those years ago applies equally well to Christians today: "Woe to you! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are!" (Matt 23:15).
Tombs for the Prophets
"Woe to you, because you build the tombs for the prophets, and it was your forefathers who killed them! So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did. They killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets shed since the beginning of the world." (Luke 11:47)
Jesus spoke these words to the "interpreters of the law," the Pharisees. Yet the Christians of today fall into this very same group - for wrongly interpreting the Bible. They protest, ever so earnestly "we would not kill Jesus" - but their words cannot hide their hearts. They build a grand tomb for Jesus, called the Church, and thereby testify against themselves that they agree with what their forefathers did. Their forefathers did the killing, and now they do their best to keep Jesus dead by burying him beneath their false remembrances.
The non-existence of God
By far the greatest proof against the existence of God (their God at least) is the calibre and personality of the people he is supposed to support.
What deity in his right mind would cast his personal aura around such a motley bunch of smug, self-centred, hypocrites? Their only claim to such signal honour is the cosmic breadth of their own egos!
Furthermore, for a God who is supposed to be compassionate, his incredible meanness is ample proof that such a God cannot exist. Some of us may live our lives earnestly seeking the truth and wanting to live honestly. Consequently, we will not believe in a God. What is more, we only do this because of our upbringing - we are innocent! God, in his almighty wisdom, judges us to be evil, and despite our suffering in this life (for wanting to live honestly) we are condemned to eternal punishment in the flames of hell!
The fact that people of different religions worship entirely different Gods is also telling. And just because a person is born in a particular country, and into a particular creed, he is convinced that his God is the only true one. This does not mean in itself that all religions are wrong, but it does mean there are an awful lot of false Gods out there, with a lot of pathetic people in tow.
On top of this, the incredibly irrational arguments Christians offer as proof of their God's existence are alone enough to convince any thinking person that such a God cannot exist! A wise God would not empower idiots.
Has it ever occurred to you there might just be some truth in religious scriptures, but that misguided souls have misinterpreted them? Might I suggest that instead of God being Truth (as Christians proclaim), Truth is God - and that the Truth has many names.
What is this "Truth" I hear you ask me. Look around you, Truth is not apart from the physical world.
Was Jesus a woman?
Many of you regard compassion the highest virtue. Forgive me if I cannot oblige you, for I do not believe in it. You do not have to think terribly deeply to realize that the so-called virtues of compassion, sympathy, and love, are all 100% selfish.
We pleasure ourselves in three ways with the drug of compassion. Firstly, our ego gets a boost by its good conscience. Secondly, the ego feels secure in the thought that compassion is an investment which will be returned (Christians believe they will go to heaven). And thirdly, if one should try to help others, there is the sympathetic (similar-feeling) response of feeling in oneself the benefit one imagines the other person to feel.
What filthy wretchedness is compassion! And all the more so when it is done in the name of some God, and with the excuse of possessing ultimate authority. By submitting to an imaginary God, we thereby avoid taking responsibility for our actions, and are then oblivious to the disastrous consequences.
"Compassion" is one of those sweet, sugar-coated words, along with "love", "devotion" and "peace", which pander to the pleasant dreams of Christians. But each one of these words is a time bomb, capable of destroying humankind! Each bears within it the seeds of hatred, violence, greed, and war, which will inevitable come to fruit. Yet Christians do not concern themselves with consequences or responsibility; they see only the "peace", and not the war that lies within its thin shell.
Was Jesus a woman? Christians certainly paint him as such - submissive, meek, mild, compassionate, and loving. They have projected their own petty values and weaknesses onto him, turning him into a woman! For a person to need a father figure for support is bad enough, but this is not nearly so bad as needing a mother figure!
I challenge you to examine the character of Jesus. Do not think for a minute that he had any of our crude worldly virtues. Jesus was definitely not a Christian, and it is a crime to suggest he has anything to do with such a farce. Jesus was more of a man than the most manly of men, for he had gone beyond both the masculine and the feminine, beyond fear, love, and compassion.
The most comical of all beings
Jesus says, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Mediocrity (Christianity) takes him at his word and sets up a man-fishery for profit. And this man-fishery is a godly enterprise, the stock-holders in this company can appeal to words of scripture for backing. They can go tranquilly to meet the judgement, saying "We have accomplished thy word, we have fished for men." - KierkegaardSuch is the mentality of Christians, who treat men as dead fish. O what a fool they make of their God! Do they really believe that an all-powerful God would have to stoop so low as to depend on a few words on paper to make people believe in him? Such a pathetic attempt! And do they really think such a God would have invested so much in a single man, Jesus?
Now what is this Christian God but the most comical being that ever lived! He sets the earth in motion, then threatens it with a hell! Eternal punishment! He says "unless you make your life as profitable and enjoyable as you possibly can, I'll seize upon your person, and torture you to death in the most dreadful manner."
This is comical. One does not need to force people to be happy under threat of a loaded pistol!
Of Dreamers and Believers
Faith and belief are important concepts in Christianity. Christianity is the most depraved vision of life imaginable. What does this say about faith and belief?
I put it to you that faith and belief are the highest qualities of mankind - but only when it is faith in truth and belief in truth - not faith and belief in illusions.
Sadly, precious few can be said to be true believers, and men of faith. This is because our society is based on the herd mentality. Mediocrity and compromise have sway over the individual, and over reason.
A magician performs a trick on stage, an illusion. Many of the audience are emotionally rapt. They fool themselves into believing that illusion is in fact reality in order to enjoy the show. Similarly do we lose ourselves in things such as television, whose picture is just a picture, and not reality. And then a fellow imagines that his lover is something immensely valuable - when all she is in reality is just a bag full of blood, mucous, bones, and fat. Again, our dreams at night can be disturbingly real, but they are no more real than all our other experiences.
Religionists and their ilk are expert dreamers, and expert believers. To justify themselves they plead "but people need a God," and they desperately implore "you need to believe in something." Indeed they do need their beliefs - in the same way that a drug addict needs his drug. They justify in the same way that a drug addict justifies, and ignore consequences just as skillfully.
No, our world has too many dreamers, and too many believers in dreams. It is time to wake up!
I urge you to first seek the truth; penetrate through the illusions of the everyday - then have faith in what you discover. This is the most excruciatingly demanding task a person can ever take on. Be warned, it is no folly!
Spiders of the Cross
Christians are like spiders, who spin their sticky and tangled webs upon the cross, using it as a convenient support. Within a few years, the webs build up, until the cross is no longer visible - a dark and dirty shadow. Here the spiders lay in wait - to trap unsuspecting passers-by.
"Woe to you, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering." (Luke 11:52)
Just as a spider has no chance of ever fathoming the profound philosophic meaning of the cross, nor does a Christian have the slightest hope. Such creatures are not even fit to be taught about spirituality, let alone practice it! They take every priceless gem of religious teaching and totally distort it to suit their own egos.
Christians claim to worship an infinite God, but they instead worship a finite one, and of their own making (either Jesus himself as God, or a grandfather figure, or some other necessarily limited conceptual form). To worship the finite in the name of the infinite is the worst kind of idolatry, and is truly using God's name in vain.
Are not Christians also like cannibals? - for they live by eating the man who died for them.
Christians not only use the teachings of Jesus as a crutch (or a stretcher) for their egos; they actually live off it. They make cunning and protracted plans to make the teachings their primary source of sustenance for the rest of their lives. At least ordinary cannibals get the job over with quickly!
By masticating and macerating the valuable teachings of Jesus with their egos, they are in fact eating the body of Christ. Little did Jesus realize he was going to be cannibalized when he said to his apostles "this is my body given for you." Jesus also said: "Where there is a corpse, there the vultures will gather."
Christianity, which came into the world as the truth men die for, has become the truth upon which they live.
Evolution or Evolution
Of all the evils perpetrated by Christians, arguably the worst is their disbelief in the law of cause and effect. Their belief in the existence of a God who created Nature, and who himself is causeless, is the most criminally wrong and unfounded of all delusions.
The fundamental characteristic of Nature is change, which is the only thing that doesn't change. All things, which are changing, have causes and also effects.
There is no room in Nature for the likes of "chance". Take the rolling of a dice for example. The number that turns up when we throw a dice is caused by such factors as the way we throw the dice, the shape of the dice, the table surface and so on. However, no matter how many causes we know, we can never predict anything with 100% certainty - not even that the sun will rise tomorrow morning - because the causes involved are too many and complex. Even so, this certainly doesn't mean things are without cause.
Our limited minds cannot trace the infinite complexity of causes and conditions in Nature, so there will always be unknowns. It is because our egos are uncomfortable with the threat of the unknown that we try to fill the gaps in our knowledge by manufacturing explanations. In such a way do we arrive at the notion of a God who created us, or even aliens who are breeding us. Hardly a solution! We must instead learn to accept the infinite complexity of Nature, for She works in mysterious ways, and we cannot follow Her. There is no disgrace in not knowing something that cannot be known; all disgrace lies in knowing something mistakenly.
If the current models for the mechanism of evolution contain small gaps - what matter! Christians say that scientists cling to the idea of evolution to avoid facing the reality of God. I believe the opposite is closer to the truth. To believe we were specially created by an all-powerful God is very satisfying to the ego. But Science contends with the infinity of Nature, of cause and effect, our Creator; the True all-powerful God. The power that is feared by all who cling to life.
The Christian faith
Christians profess: "Some things are not meant to be thought about, but should be taken on faith." Their God does not want them to suffer reason.
Yet does their God exist? They say yes, but he is unknowable, hence faith is required. These wretched Christians make their God "unknowable" for the express purpose of making him easy to know. He is easy to know because they have but to imagine him, and he is there. This is in stark contrast to the True God who is knowable, yet extremely difficult to know.
Similarly, they make Jesus superhuman, elevating him to the plane of God, at which distance he cannot make demands. For now he is not human, so cannot expect us to be like him, or even to want to be like him. You see, we are only human and he, after all, is God. Such a Jesus can at most only expect our worship and praise.
I tell you, the only thing the "Christian" Jesus has in common with the real one is a name. No one can deny the colossal effect the "Christian" Jesus has had on this world: it is just so horrible to contemplate!
Imagine this: An immortal called Jesus takes a short excursion from his paradise in the heavens to visit earth. To the inhabitants he says: "I am God, and you are merely human and mortal. I am the Almighty, and you - are not. You can never be as I. Nevertheless, I see fit to bless you with my presence, which is a great inconvenience to me as I much prefer the comforts of heaven. I come to this earth to show you my incredible power, and to give warning that you had better do my bidding - or else!"
Christianity has strayed so far from the truth that marriage is now regarded as the highest excellence. The priest says "If you are too weak to marry you should remain single." Agh! It is hard to believe the teachings of the New Testament could be twisted so completely into their exact opposite.
Marriage is mutual selfishness, a team effort to defeat reality. Yet the priest calls it "mutual fulfillment".
The pope is the all-round "no-man"; who could take him seriously? Even his own followers regard him as somewhat of a fictional character. He is an entertainer: Mr. Pope and his pope-mobile - like Santa Claus and his sleigh.
Whether or not Santa Claus really exists is irrelevant to us: what matters to us is the fantasy.
It is fitting that the Christian priest wear a dog-collar; for he is led on a lead.
Today's furor in the Church is over the question of a woman's right to ordination. This is quite foolish because there is no clergyman who is not in reality a woman. There is not a man among them. In any case, the whole debate is quite laughable, and people are worrying themselves unnecessarily about nothing, for Christianity simply does not exist! Who could drag it into the twentieth century? Who could reform it?
The shortness of vision
Christians are often heard to argue that it is not they as a group who are responsible for all the divorce, abortions, drug abuse, and violence in society, but that such problems are primarily due to the non-Christian element.
For all their talk, the real cause of all these problems is the selfishness and egotism that comes of petty mindedness. In this regard, Christians are the very worst culprits. Whereas most people will quite honestly admit to their egotism, Christians never cease in their efforts to conceal it. The shopkeeper is an honest man, who openly says "I am a shopkeeper." The priest, in his solemn sanctity would not admit to this at any price.
Christians may not be directly, physically responsible (in the immediate sense) for many of the rapes and murders, but they are definitely a major cause. And why? Because every single Christian perpetuates the self-righteous and self-centred lifestyle that is guaranteed to blossom in violence and suffering. Christians set the trend of self-gratification, and others naturally follow - and in their own way - choosing different drugs to that of the Christian, to suit their own individual tastes. If you bring your child up on heroin, you cannot blame them if they one day experiment with LSD. Religion is just one of many "drugs", just one "opium of the people."
The worst of it, is that young children are inducted into this shameful drug taking while they are too young to question what is being done to them.
When a religion is small and newly formed we call it a madcap cult; though when it becomes established it qualifies as a bona fide religion. What then are religions if not large and dangerous cults?
Christianity is a monster madcap cult, made up of desperately selfish people. Their "compassion" is a crudely disguised form of self-love, and their "peace" involves an intense hatred of whatever threatens it.
The Christian defense
Christians, in their defense, plead "Jesus really did exist two thousand years ago." So what! And he may also have been wise. But what has all that got to do with Christianity? If you can judge a tree by the fruit it bears, and if by any chance Christianity is an indication of the personality of Jesus, then he was the most ignorant and self-centred hypocrite who ever lived!
A Personal God
The problem with Christianity and communism is that nobody has tried either of them. The so-called Christians of today say they believe in a personal God; but how more impersonal could a God be that exists who knows where, ruthlessly ordering his creation around?
The wretches of today who call themselves men cannot bear the weight of having a personal God, so they expelled him into infinity.
How many are there that venture to become God-men? Only for them does God become truly personal. For them, His loved ones, He sees fit to preserve the finite, in which God-men have been seen to dance and play.
The Christianity of today - despicable ease - holds God to have abandoned one if things do not go according one's will. It would never occur to such fools that it is impossible for God to abandon a part of Himself. If you politely suggest to them that perhaps they had instead abandoned God, they would accuse you of the most treacherous blasphemy.
"We have both love and happiness" they smirk unto me "and the God who is Love brings all happiness. Thus do we relate to our Father." Do they really think the Devil is such a fool he is unable to make a person happy! Oh well, as in the movies, I suppose the good guy has to win.
"Jesus said 'Ask and you shall receive,' therefore we ask" they explain. But I tell you, there must always be giving before there can be taking. How conveniently they ignore the struggles of Jesus's life! They concentrate only on his birth and death, Christmas and Easter, condemning his life to oblivion.
How wretched scholars are - accepting money to enlighten others, while themselves are in darkness. On the other hand, at least they are not as bad as the priest, who cheats people out of their hard-earned money in the name of God.
A priest's life is not an easy one: each day he has to lie increasingly, to keep pace with the rate that science is uncovering the truth.
The anarchist doesn't want to be ruled. Christianity is a form of anarchy, because the Christian doesn't want to be ruled by reason.
A Statement of Belief
I am a Christian, though I do not believe in a personal God. Nor do I believe in a physical heaven or hell, or life after death. I do not believe Nature was created. I do not necessarily believe Jesus was crucified on a cross, and I certainly do not believe he physically rose from the dead. I do not necessarily believe Jesus ever existed, or that if he did, that he possessed wisdom. I do not believe one has to read the Bible to be a Christian, nor for that matter does one need any respect for the Bible.
My doctrine is: the Truth is God. Say yes! to the Living Reality.
The Christians of today speak of themselves as "vehicles for God," a selfless sacrifice . . . and then I speak of myself as a vehicle for my genes and thoughts. How disappointed they are in me!
We cannot be lenient on a priest just because his words are correct. Words are only scratches on paper, or noises of the throat. What is important is the meaning of the words, for they are the true words. If you speak, but with incorrect meaning, then your words are wrong.
You may hold the key to the door of knowledge - you may have words - but if you don't go through the door you will only hinder others from doing so.
The "necessary being" argument states that as all things are caused then Nature itself must have been caused, and that it can only have been caused by something without causes - God.
Firstly, it may be true that all things have causes. But Nature Herself is not a "thing" and therefore cannot be said to have causes. "Things" can only exist for observers, and as we are manifestations of Nature, we cannot stand apart from Her to observe.
Secondly, no law says that all things must have causes. Show me a single cause! Show me where that cause begins and ends - it cannot be done, so why all this talk of "causes".
Thirdly, why create the notion of a "necessary being" at all? Such a being is actually an unnecessary being. Why must things have an ultimate cause? Why can't causes stem back endlessly?
Whoever formulated the "necessary being" argument must have really tried hard, as I have never heard an argument more shallow, blatantly dishonest, and hateful of reason. Instead of going to all the trouble of creating this "unnecessary being", why not save a step and accept the Reality of Nature? Do you really hate Nature so much as to wish to step beyond and apart from Her? The "necessary being" argument is necessary only for the ego in its unending battle against reality.
Christians say that a "creative agency" is necessary to explain why this particular Universe came about instead of any one of infinite possible Universes. Yes, a creative agency is indeed required, and that creative agency is their own foolish brains! Contingency ensures there is no such thing as chance. Only one thing is ever possible - that which happens. "Coincidences" are therefore impossible, though there can be ignorance about the possible.
Truth hurts, so it is not popular. It follows that nor is a truthful man popular. He is hated as much as death itself.
Religion, knowing this, has understandably made itself attractive and reassuring. Yet should religion be sold as sex is sold? Should it dress-up seductively, smile, and do everything to please the client? Is religion really something for the masses, like the latest thing in contraception? - so you can indulge in the pleasures of life without having to face the consequences.
This must be said, so let it now be said: that which has come to be known as "Christianity" is precisely what Christ came to abolish. Christians have conveniently turned everything around to suit themselves. They create a God in their own image, then promptly set him to work as a servant. Rather than believe in what Jesus believed, and in Truth, they prefer to believe in the historical man of Jesus, and that historically, he believed in a God. But they neither understand Jesus, nor the "God" he professed to have faith in. Christians have made themselves safe, by putting Christianity at a distance. They have made it into something historical, which becomes more diluted with each generation.
Truth, or understanding Nature, does not interest the Christian in the slightest degree. Interest in truth makes one vulnerable to change, and change is painful. "But I am too weak" says the Christian, with relief, and recoils into the safety of belief. If these so-called Christians would only be honest, and say "Yes, I do it purely for my own well-being," then I would think there is at least some hope for them. Instead they say "I do it for others, out of my love of God." Nothing could be more loathsome. It is one thing to get fat merely from over-eating; but to get pallid-fat, on cakes and confections - this is horrible.
The priest is a total abomination. He does his utmost to make sure that nobody has the gall to venture out, and try to understand. He does all in his power to make of us content with mere belief. He shakes with terror at the thought that a person may be so presumptuous as to wish to know the Truth for themselves. He would much prefer us to remain content and harmless, like a herd of cows. And just as a physician bungles a case to make himself indispensable, so does the priest demoralize men, to make himself indispensable. At his very best he dispenses advice that is superficially empowering, but is crippling in the long-run.
It is said that the purpose of the Christian sermon is to convince the Christian that he does in fact believe in Christianity. That is, to give the Christian faith that he has faith; to remind the Christian what he believes in. And why does the Christian need to be reminded? - because it is so easy to forget you believe something, especially when what you believe in isn't true.
Personally, I think that to ask someone to believe in the doctrines of Christianity is to ask too much. Thus I hold that the sermon is designed to help the Christian forget his belief that he doesn't really believe in Christianity . . .
Equal and opposite
Wherever Christianity exists there will also be Satanism. Any power creates its equal and opposite.
When you mint a new coin, that coin will have two sides. Money is the root of all evil, so it is better not to create any currency: when there is no currency, there is no poverty.
An honest Christian
Is there such a thing as an honest Christian? Surely there must be one or two; perhaps the odd monk or theologian? What about the Pope?
An "honest Christian" is a contradiction in terms. It is impossible to be a Christian and honest at the same time. Let no priest sympathize with my truths! Let him renounce his Christianity before he seeks my companionship.
Christians confidently tell me that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine (well, perhaps not quite so confidently). Yet they manage to completely ignore his human aspect, and totally obscure the light of his divine aspect with their own darkness. They end up with a Jesus creature of their own making - a kind of fairy.
Ask a Christian how they know the Bible was indeed inspired by God, and not the Devil. Or ask them how they know their "experiences" are of God, rather than of something else. Then you will see how much faith they have in reason. They will of course abandon reason immediately, as though they had inadvertently picked up a burning ember. Feelings are their so-called life.
They are like the boy who pretends to own his father's car, yet when the police pull him over he pleads innocence. Christians get the benefit of believing they possess the highest, but they do not take responsibility for it. They do not hesitate to preach their wisdom, but when pressed on a telling point they reply: "The Bible says so."
Because Christianity is so philosophically shallow, there is ample scope for debate within its walls. In fact, there is so much scope for debate it is a necessity. The Christian needs a careful measure of debate and questioning to create the illusion for himself that he is not a complete animal: this is the purpose of theology.
The eastern religions, like Buddhism, have greater philosophical depth. Consequently, Buddhists are more secure and sure of themselves, and feel no need for rigorous questioning, or re-evaluation and re-interpretation.
For this reason, the Christians may have a dubious edge on the Buddhists, for as long as there is dissatisfaction there is hope. The Buddhists know a thing or two more than the Christians, but have stagnated in their complacency and self-righteousness.
Take care how you try to take control of your mind. You seek one-pointed concentration, but I tell you concentration is always one-pointed. Only one thought can occupy awareness at any one time. Do not try to force the mind to do anything unnatural. It is the nature of mind to jump hither and thither, so any effort to concentrate and confine it is doomed to end in frustration and disappointment.
While you cannot contain the mind, you can certainly work towards stilling it. A turmoiled mind chops and changes, thoughts race from one attachment and from one anxiety to another, unmanageable. In a peaceful mind thoughts move smoothly and without agitation; one can give each thought all the attention it needs before passing on to the next, undistracted by fears and anxieties.
Thought within a concentrated mind is like lightning, but without the thunder. Only with this mind will your thought have the power necessary to attain knowledge of the infinite, and further, to act on it! Remember, the concentrated mind is a tool only for use in greater things - do not rest in its bliss.
It is said to be important to train the mind in concentration. Yet I say to you, train yourself to love the truth with all your heart! Then you will have no need of concentration, for the mind sticks inseparably and quite naturally to whatever it truly loves. If you find joy in a lover, then nothing can distract you from thinking about your lover. Likewise, if you love God, then you will not allow God to leave. It is not enough to love concentration, for then you will be forever focused on concentration, and will forget God.
You see, concentration by itself brings happiness, but not Truth; whereas love of Truth brings both concentration and Truth without effort. Love is warm, while concentration is cold by comparison. Concentration must become effortless, as it only can with love. So be wary of training, for you do not need to train yourself to eat lovely chocolate!
You think concentration will give you the strength to see the ultimate; but only a sincere desire to put reason into practice will help you. Without this seed of sincerity even the most powerful of mental attainments will be without the legs to move.
This is your bondage, that you practice meditation. So I tell you, do not meditate: keep your mind in its natural state.
Don't get bogged-down over meditation. True meditation is simply loving God. It is just a way of spending time to make sure you don't waste time - that's all.
What makes all things? The senses make all things. Therefore learn to see through your eyes in the most real sense, and not with them. Then there will be no confusion over subject and object. The Truth is just like this.
As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the senses on which the mind can focus can carry away one's intelligence.
Q: What is consciousness?
Q: Then consciousness must die when the body dies, because thoughts are dependent on a functioning brain.
A: Thoughts are not just chemicals within the brain - they are much more. Thoughts can be shared with others, and even written in a book. So, when the body dies, consciousness does not die. Consciousness is already dead, so cannot die.
Q: What is it that is conscious?
A: No activity of mind is ever conscious.
Q: Surely consciousness is conscious.
A: What is consciousness?
Modern Buddhists use the "preservation of type" argument to maintain their belief in literal reincarnation. The argument says that consciousness cannot die at death, for just as nothing can be created, nor can it be destroyed: all must be preserved.
But I tell you consciousness is material and therefore dies with the body . . . inasmuch as a body can die. Why is consciousness material? Because if it were non-material it would not be able to know about the material. Consciousness must either be separate from the material, and necessarily isolated, or the same as material, and sharing its properties. There is no alternative.
If the preservation of type argument were strictly true, then it would not be possible to make milk into butter, as milk is of a different type to butter. Similarly, it would be impossible for a child to grow into an adult, they being different types.
It is claimed that something has a consciousness if there is something it is like to be that thing. But is there something it is like to be us? What is it? Is it not all illusion?
The fear of death
We people are not death-denying, but truth-denying. Death is the ultimate escape from suffering, so we are hardly afraid of it.
We do not fear death, but we do fear the possibility of a protracted and painful death. We fear the loss of personal freedom that comes with illness. We fear rejection by our friends. And we fear having to abandon our dreams for the future, and the hope which gave us so much strength for life.
So you see, the death we fear is the death of happiness. We see the loss of a happy life as the loss of life itself. To add to our troubles, these deaths are happening all the time. Whenever we perceive that we have lost something, we experience a death. Again, we are not afraid of death, but of the thought of loss.
Reincarnation doctrine teaches that your thoughts during "death" determine your future rebirth. In other words, your attitude during the experience of loss will determine your future consciousness, and your "future life".
A popular song goes . . .
Drowning in the sea of love,
Where everyone would love to drown.
and another . . .
Killing me softly with his song.
The psychology behind these words is the desire to fill the mind with so much rubbish that boredom and suffering will have no place to exist. We use entertainment and the media to swamp our minds with sensational tripe, to arouse our every emotion so that we might forget reality altogether.
When reality is forgotten, life ceases to exist. Consequently our whole lives revolve around killing ourselves!
Jesus's death is symbolic of the death of the ego. His resurrection is symbolic of subsequent rebirth in the spirit.
The ego does not really exist, therefore its death is unsurprising. The spirit is eternal, so its birth is a certainty.
Someone who has died cannot be hurt by anything, nor afflicted with any problems. The dead have no chores. However, despite their dead condition they still hang around. In truth, we are all dead - we just haven't woken-up to the fact.
Modern Buddhism stresses the importance of death awareness, yet negates the whole idea of death with a belief in literal reincarnation. This conveniently takes all the punch out of death, making the Buddhist meditation on death useless.
The power of the idea of death shouldn't reside in its power over life, but in how it can impel us to discover the illusoriness of life. Death awareness achieves nothing if all it inspires us to consider is the possibility of life after death, or the temporary nature of life.
To slip into trying is to slip into delusion. We make so much work for ourselves! In the first place we justify our deluded behaviour, taking us sufficiently far from Truth to feel safe. Then, to give us something to do, we manage to justify a battle to return to the Truth we have lost!
This is not the Way! You need neither take a rest in attachments nor return to Truth, but slip imperceptibly into the stillness of boundlessness. Discover the Supreme Knack, and attain simplicity. Truth can be neither lost nor gained.
It is futile to think about things: things are neither real nor illusory. You must have faith! Learn to ramble with effortless ease in the vacancy of the fields of indifference. Learn to live directly, alongside things - for Truth resides in things.
Are things caused or do they have independence? Both avenues are fruitless. Better to accept the Being of things and be done with it. Trying to understand more is really to understand less. It is like pouring more fuel upon a raging fire to try and put it out.
When that mind of Truth finally does arrive, you are in more danger than ever! At first there is no attachment, but soon the beast of enjoyment rears its ugly head. With enjoyment one becomes willingly blind. Your purity and stillness of mind may well have been the fruit of wisdom, but the ego will come forth and take the credit. Now, with its increased strength and confidence it is not one to let upsetting thoughts arise. The ego becomes King once more, stronger than before.
Even if you manage to dethrone the ego again, and return to reason, the damage has been done. The ego has been fed its nectar of the gods, and it will not forget!
So I warn you that as your God consciousness expands, so does your ego. Do not underestimate the power of the ego! It will remain strong and powerful beneath your deepest thoughts, ready to pounce at every opportunity, until the final ember of desire has grown cold.
Refraining from speaking the truth is also a form of lying. We argue that "white lies" help us to avoid the unpleasant confrontations that would only upset others; but then our whole existence becomes a white lie. And while snow is pure white, in a blizzard it becomes black.
"Lying is a refusal to accept and relate the truth exactly as we see it. And lying does not require effort, as we like to imagine. Lies come effortlessly in the form of feelings, convictions and beliefs. And we refuse to believe that we are so evil to be able to lie effortlessly. Another lie!" - Nietzsche
The priest believes he can never know what is ultimately true because he is not Christ. And he believes that in order to lie the truth must first be known. In this way he immunizes himself against lying! He banishes both truth and falsity from his vocabulary and replaces them with "faith".
The pleasure in devotion
Devotion involves living and expressing one's life through another, so one rises or falls by the fate of that other. Thus we must respect what we devote ourselves to, be it a spouse, an occupation, or a belief system. The pleasure in devotion, if pleasure there can be from such a precarious arrangement, is in the giving-up of oneself. By giving up oneself one also leaves behind one's problems and sufferings. In a sense one becomes selfless, but more importantly soulless.
Who to blame?
If the patient gets angry, should the doctor get angry with the patient? No, the patient is ill, and commonly gets angry for this reason. If a child gets angry and strikes out at the parent, does the parent beat the child in return? Not at all, for it is the nature of children to have occasional emotional outbursts. If a man is rowing across the river and an empty boat drifts into him, spilling him into the water. Does he become angry with the empty boat?
So I tell you, do not be upset with others, whatever they may do. We are all like empty boats: we have causes, but no driver.
The immoral society
Business owners and advertisers justify corrupting and debasing society with their wares by saying "we only give people what they want." They speak truly enough, the problem is, commercialism serves our base animal nature, rather than our higher intellectual self. Commercialism is geared towards the lowest common denominator in human consciousness - which is sub-human.
Similarly, hypnotists claim that people will not do anything under hypnotic influence they do not really want to do. Again, this may be true, but it is also true that hypnotism removes a person's inhibitions, their conscience - unleashing the raw ego.
Imagination is at the root of all fear and anxiety. If you were to place a plank on the ground and ask someone to walk along it, they would see no danger, and would not lose their balance as they traversed its length. However, if you were to suspend the plank one metre above the ground, they would probably hesitate. And if you placed the plank forty stories in the sky, spanning two skyscrapers, their answer would be a resounding "No!".
The physical situation is exactly the same in each case. It is still the same plank, and the risk does not increase with height. The factor that changes everything is the imagination. The imagination of falling off the plank is experienced as a reality, which paralyzes the mind with fear.
Fear is the mind killer. Yet fear is only imaginary, so is easy to destroy. A thief flees when found out. Darkness vanishes the moment the light is turned on.
A mind bathed in spirit is not within time, but time is within it. A boat is meant to go into water, but the water must not get into the boat. In the same way, we are meant to be in the world, but the world must not get into us.
God is like a magnet, which does not attract iron that is rusty and dirty. God cannot draw you to Him when your mind is laden with the rust of material desires, and when the dust of sensual craving sits heavily upon you.
Your many desires are like the coins in your pocket. The more you have, the more they weigh you down. Why don't you convert them into the one paper note of higher currency? - the currency of Heaven?
I once heard a story of two men who had both visited a certain river. In a discussion between the two, the first man said that he saw the river full, while the second man said that it was dry. After much argument they decided to go back to the place and ask the locals. The locals said they were both right, as they saw the river at different times of the year.
Words cause problems in the same manner. If we regard words as the actual objects instead of mere labels, then we are indeed creating problems for ourselves. Two people may hold the same view, yet think they believe differently simply because they use different words. Alternatively, two people may hold conflicting views yet will believe they share the same view because of similar words.
This latter case is all too common these days. People want to believe they share the same view as others, to avoid friction. For example, traditional Christians and Buddhists will often refuse to recognize their fundamental and irreconcilable differences on the basis that both traditions use the word "compassion" - which they take to mean that both traditions are essentially the same. Such thinking is below reproach.
Greed is good
A noble motto
Which also means
Greed is God
A. The misconception that intuition is a spiritual skill.
There are three primary types of consciousness:
- No intuition: Where there is awareness only of externals and
- Intuition: Where there is an awareness of the richness and
power of the mind, but there is no integrated understanding or control of
this power. Reason is undeveloped.
- Total knowledge: Here there are no "intuitions", but a
continuous mind with no division between reason and intuition.
It is a mistake to see these three as progressive stages. The first does not lead to the second, and the second will not lead to the third. Reason, and reason alone has the capacity to carry one into the realms of all-knowledge.
This is not to say the intuitive mind is without value. Then what is the intuitive mind? It arises when the mind is clear enough for it to make clean and unhindered associations through connective thought. It enables one to tap hitherto unavailable sources of insight. To those who experience this mind for the first time, such a power seems beyond this world, and is easily mistaken for enlightenment. Furthermore, the talent of intuition is often accompanied by the realization of the interconnectedness of all things in Nature. This feeble mental advancement can be the cause of great excitement and monstrous self-deception with it.
Unfortunately, intuitive powers are usually more of a hindrance to spiritual growth than a help. A shallow brute of a person, concerned wholly with externals, is often more in touch with reality than the sensitive and intuitive person, who cannot place her feelings in context with the real world. This is because intuitions invariably degenerate into superstitions, if they did not surface as such.
The intuitive life may hold much colour and joy, but it fails to provide one with a love of truth, a holy courage, and a deep yearning for God. Even when distinguished from crude emotional feelings, intuitions do not bring about wisdom, unless they are combined with a healthy foundation of reason. Enlightenment is intuition after reflection. Reason is the essential element, the condition without which there is nothing.
The religions of today, as understood by their adherents, fall into the first category - no intuition. Such shallow doctrines may convert you in a moment. The mystical and meditation schools fall into the intuitive class, and can give you a few ecstatic hours after a few years. But all-knowledge involves a love of Truth, and is the labour of a lifetime.
It is relatively easy to attain intuitive skills if one becomes child-like, abandoning the sharp categories of adult rationality. But this is a case of going backwards to childhood rather than forwards to a new birth and holy innocence. Those with total knowledge require all to be reason. They need to know everything, including where their intuitions or mental associations come from, and what they mean. They take nothing on faith unnecessarily.
Witch-doctors and seers of various kinds may be intuitively skilled and in touch with the rhythms of Nature; but they have no love of Truth. To them, myths are not merely myths, but actuality. This brings me to the next major misconception I wish to deal with, which concerns the problem of mistaking symbols for reality itself.
B. The misconception regarding "aspects" of the Truth.
There are not different levels of knowing or explaining Truth, though there are certainly different aspects to both knowing the Truth and to explaining it. If there are any "levels" of truth at all, there is the level of untruth, and the level of truth - no more.
If one knows the underlying Substance of Truth, then one will see all its aspects quite automatically. It is impossible to be aware of only one, or several aspects of Truth, without being fully able to appreciate them all. Therefore, if someone claims to have realized an aspect of the Truth, but is unaware of all the ways of God, then they are not seeing an aspect at all, but a false construct of the imagination. Once you know fully about a whale, you will also know how it will appear from the countless different angles.
It is wrong to consider the many different religions as representing different aspects of Truth unless each of them are fully aware of all the aspects. The religions of today are far indeed from such a goal. Their "aspects" are apparitions. Christians say a God exists. Buddhists demand that no such thing is possible. These are not two different ways of describing the same Truth, but are entirely different mental constructs.
A similar misunderstanding arises regarding the stages of spiritual growth. The so-called stages of the spiritual path are too often seen as training in different aspects of truth. That is, as degrees of rightness. When all aspects are learned, one is supposed to arrive at the complete truth. Nothing could be more wrong.
Book-learning is nothing to do with truth. Nor are ritual practices or mysticism related to truth even in the smallest way. These activities may on occasion stimulate the mind into further action, but so can many other activities. Taking drugs may stimulate the mind, but this doesn't make drug-taking a stage in spiritual life! Religious practices can only be called stages in spiritual life if they lead directly towards truth; that is, if they promote enquiry, reason, and faith in reason. We must realize that the religions of today are the mortal enemy of reason and enquiry.
Today's religion is not symbolic of Truth because it is neither presented nor received as symbolic. Nor is Truth conceived of in any form by religion, because in religion there is no awareness of Truth at all. Nor is the mysticism of the "new age" any closer to the true path. Mystic reverie and meditative self-absorption are no different to the bliss of losing oneself in daydreams of love and wealth. They certainly give the spirit a new lease of life - the spirit of the ego!
Modern psychology is helping to feed these deluded ideas. It says we can never know absolute truth because all is relative. This argument can justify anything you like in that it completely does away with truth. Psychology holds that we see reality in different ways, and suggests that we have a right to do so - a right which should be respected. Yet I say again, people do not see reality in different ways. On the contrary, they construct entirely different realities out of their concepts, which have nothing to do with the real world. They have different ways of sorting out and surviving the mess in their brains, not different ways of seeing reality. They see a threatening and confusing world waiting to be tamed by thought, and are blind to the eternal Truth which requires no taming. Their ignorance of reality is inevitably harmful to society, and hardly deserves respect. Not only is their model of reality false; what it models is also false.
Indeed, all is relative. I only wish you would believe it! The reason you do not see the Ultimate Truth beyond doubt is because you continue to believe in your relative truths, despite having found them out!
Insanity can be localized to particular parts of the brain. You may be perfectly rational when doing mathematics, yet become quite mad when religion or relationships are involved. This is because we divide our minds into insulated departments which we do not permit to interact logically on each other. We divide our lives into idea-tight compartments, which we believe is for our own safety, blinding ourselves to the contradictions and evils that permeate our existence. Consequently, the so-called "aspects" of our lives are completely independent dreamworlds.
This does not mean we should simply accept all the compartments as an interacting whole. Two wrongs do not make a right, let alone countless wrongs. I read somewhere that "the higher philosophy is so wisely balanced and beautifully integrated that it does not disdain any of the ways of knowing, but uses each in its proper place." Such thinking is fatal, as it avoids the dreaded task of demolition. There is no easy solution to our problems. We must destroy all the compartments of the mind, and start our education again. The so-called "ways of knowing" are hindrances, not stepping stones. If you want to become popular and revered as a sage, then by all means talk of integration. But if you want immortality, then you will do what is difficult: you will not speak of stages, but of truth.
One must work from the bottom up, rather than the top down. Only by understanding the underlying Substance can one understand its aspects. Chaos, randomness, and chance, are together one aspect of reality, and determinism, fatalism, and causation, are another. If one cannot see both angles clearly, one cannot therefore know the reality underneath.
The idea of "aspects" is just another blockade to protect us from the demands of Truth. We say we cannot know truth, other than through its aspects, and conclude that we should not criticize the views of others, as they might be viewing reality from another aspect . . . those cowardly words again! . . . "might" and "aspects". It is because you have no courageous faith in reason that you do not know the Truth. And because you do not know the Truth, you have no confidence to think or do anything decisively. Thus you hide yourself behind your petty "no ultimate truth", and will not come out to help others with a harsh word, even if they were dying in front of you.
C. The misconception of seeking the truth through others.
The student will complain: "At first I learned much from you, but now your words are confused and offer me no sustenance. You cannot explain the truth to me, so I can only conclude that you do not understand it."
This problem arises when the student seeks truth, but does not wish to abandon untruth. He gets ahead of himself and conveniently forgets the difficult task of practice, because practice always means the dreaded renunciation. Practice requires faith, and faith kills. It is easy to see why people reach an impenetrable barrier. Up until now the ego has in some respects been strengthened by the power that comes with knowledge. Now knowledge turns traitor, and just as a parent, for their own mental well-being, denies the reality of a rebellious child, so the ego denies its rebellious thoughts. The student comes up with endless objections, which are an excuse for not being able to accept what reason dictates. They will spend all their time thinking-up vain arguments rather than getting down to the task of cleaning up their minds. They will concentrate on undermining the teacher's words, demanding Truth from them, without uncovering their own Truth.
Because they seek Truth in a teacher's words, they find none; for words are but signposts. They see his words, but not his meaning. They see his surface, but not his depths. Despite all this, the teacher remains stalwart, and refrains from using complicated arguments and rationalizations. He continues to speak simply, appears a simpleton, and is thus accused of incompetence.
He could weave beautiful philosophies and tell captivating stories, and the world would love him. But he has too much respect for life. He could display his power of intellect to all, and they would pronounce him a great man; but he has left reasoning behind. He is a catalyst for a chemical reaction which precipitates enlightenment - but you must provide the ingredients.
There are no words to explain the Truth. The more words you use, the farther you will be from it. Sometimes the sage remains silent; at other times he speaks. But when he does use words he refutes those very same words. In this way he uses words to convey Truth, without explaining it.
D. The misconception that the "new age" movement has anything at all to do with spirituality.
Boredom can only be suffered for so long, before a change is needed. The latest break-out of activity has been called the "new age" movement. It arises out of discontent and is a resounding vote of no-confidence in traditional religion and science. The consensus is that while the prevailing structures may bring outer stability and security, they are not conducive to the promotion of inner spiritual resources within individuals. It is claimed that our modern technological society provides for the stomach, but not for the soul.
I hereby rename the "new age" the woman's age. For to be honest, we are seeking to satisfy the heart - let's leave the spirit out of it! Needs of the spirit are impossible for a spiritless people. But thanks to the new-found voice of our women, and their new-found power over men, we are hearing of the needs of the heart.
Creativity, intuition, emotion . . . let them come - and let reason come too! For only reason can destroy heart. And why must the heart be killed? Because reason is human, and the heart is animal.
Modern times have been a strain on old ways, and on old ideals and hopes. For all our scholarship, we have yet to discover peace. All our philosophy and theology have brought us no closer to understanding life. Science has defeated itself and become relative. Thus we no longer believe in truth, have given-up on truth, in favour of utility.
For all these reasons, the male of our species, the dreamer, has lost his ability to dream. He has lost confidence in himself and has fallen back on his inner feminine resources. Women are all too keen to lend him a helping hand; but nor do they hesitate to put the boot in while he is down, debasing him further. Now, having abandoned his own will, and having had it kicked out of him by woman, he has become a vehicle for the will of woman. He has discovered heart, but I tell you, the heart is animal!
The "new age" is the very embodiment of nihilism. It says "There is no Truth, all is acceptable, all are aspects, all is truth." I am not the first madman to say "God is dead," but I am the first to say that he died of too much truth!
It is the distorted reason in man which denies heart. And it is the heart in a man, the heart he denies, which distorts his reason. It is the heart in a woman which denies reason. And it is the heart in a woman, the heart she loves, which brings her to want to satisfy her heart. Both woman, and the woman in man, saw through the faulty masculine rationality. But this woman did not see through the fault of her own heart!
I tell you, the heart is animal, and because we are animals we have ever a tendency to go again on all fours. I fear that just as water flows downhill, following the path of least resistance, we will fall from the snow-capped mountains and clear skies of reason, down to the engulfing hell-fires and heavens of the heart. Granted, we will not have far to fall, as our reason has yet only made a base-camp in the foothills - where it promptly forgot its task. Yet here at least one might get a breeze of cool air from the tops, which might incline our gaze upwards.
The modern woman is more masculine than her predecessor; but if man is pseudo-rational then the modern woman is further again removed from the ideal, for she is a pseudo-man. Her "new age" philosophy is devoid of any intellect at all. At best, science is pseudo-truth, but the "new age" is mere pseudo-science, though with a feminine heart. And the heart is animal.
You must commit yourself to your task as a fish commits itself to water. Thirst for God as much as a dying man thirsts for life. Long for enlightenment as much as a drowning man longs for a breath of air. If you don't strongly determine to get up in the morning, you remain asleep. Similarly, if you don't determine to break the cycle of attachment, it will continue forever. You must will to die to the world. If you are uncertain whether to be truthful or not, how can you possibly live in truth?
Forget your letting-go and giving-in and expanding your consciousness. If anything, enlightenment is a becoming. The experience is like that of a drop in the ocean, who lets the ocean in.
You must uncover the true mind you were born with. When you were born, you had an unborn pure mind, and knew things without effort. You knew well enough whether a thing was hot or cold. The unborn pure mind is like a bright mirror. When anything is placed in front of it, its shape has to be reflected, even though the mirror has no intention to reflect it. And when that object is taken away, the mirror does not reflect it, even though it does not decide to cease reflecting it. This is the vital nature of your true mind, and is the basis of enlightenment. So I tell you, understand "unborn" and make it your life.
Transcript of a conversation with a group of Buddhists
Q: If I do what I think is right, isn't that good enough?
A: The enlightened do good. The ignorant do bad.
Q: I am trying to do my best. I can't do any more than that.
A: I am here to make your best better.
Q: Are you then enlightened? - thinking you can go around changing people. If you are enlightened then you should be able to perform miracles, or at least create an illusion or two for us.
A: If the Buddha himself materialized before you to give you teachings, you would not be able see him. Anyway, you create more than enough illusions all by yourselves without any help from me.
Q: Forgive me for being stubborn, but I challenge your claim to enlightenment. If there is such a thing as an Ultimate Truth, then I wish to know it. And if you are truly enlightened then you should be able to explain the Truth to us on many different levels, to suit our individual capacities.
A: What makes you think that? Have you read it in one of your books? Since you yourself know nothing of enlightenment how can you make such statements? Do you imagine you have a partial understanding of Truth? I tell you there is no such thing! With regard to Truth, you either understand it, or you don't. God does not come in portions. A drop of water is never partly boiling.
Only if God Himself speaks through you are you qualified to speak about enlightenment and what is possible with it. Do not think your words harm no-one: we are all teachers, and thus have a great responsibility to others. Do not be the blind leading the blind.
Q: I really will try to understand this "Truth" of yours if you can explain it to us. Will you give us your explanation of the Buddhist "Two Truths".
A: The two truths, the ultimate and conventional, are in fact only one. When we say that waves exist, it is understood that the ocean exists, and vice versa. The two truths are not separate existences, but different aspects of the one Truth.
Q: Our Buddhist scriptures say that the self has a conventional self-existence, yet I have heard you deny the conventional existence of a self - how so?
A: The self is a fact, not a reality. You are trying to understand two before you understand one. You are trying to understand the conventional dualistic world before you know God. Conventional existence is not so easy to understand. Do you really think you can understand the meaning of "conventional" before you have understood the way in which all things exist? First the Kingdom of God!
Q: It seems to me you are just refuting everything we say, trying to avoid our questions. How can we communicate without conventional reality, and if we don't use words?; we'll just end up in confusion! Let us leave this question of ultimate and conventional truths for now if we may. I want to know what you understand by the Buddhist term "emptiness".
A: Everything looks confused to a confused eye. But when all falsity is abandoned, there is no confusion. As for "emptiness", this word cannot be defined. If I were to be really verbose, and risk losing my tongue, I could say what is normally said - that emptiness is the way in which all things really exist; that is, lacking inherent existence.
Q: What's wrong with that definition?
A: Saying that all things lack inherent existence is an assertion about things, and is therefore guaranteed to be in error. If all things lack inherent existence, then what is inherent existence? Is inherent existence something real to be able to talk about it? If inherent existence is not something real, then we cannot rightly talk of a lack of inherent existence. Furthermore, what is it that possesses the quality of lacking inherent existence? Does it have inherent existence?
There were some questions to which the Buddha remained silent. One of them was "Where does a person go when he dies?" His answer (silence) communicated that the question was wrongly asked. What is this "life" you imagine to exist? And what is this "death"? That which does not come into existence experiences neither life nor death. Things exist neither with inherent existence nor without inherent existence. You continue to dispute with me because you don't understand.
Q: You continue telling us we don't understand, without giving a reasoned argument!
A: My arguments may not seem reasonable to you personally, though I will explain myself further for the benefit of your companions.
I only speak the truth. You want me to tell you what Reality is, but Truth cannot be heard by those without ears to hear. You don't understand because you refuse to let go of your finite common-sense and open yourself up to learning. You are like fish that cannot comprehend life on dry land, or insects of the summer that know nothing beyond their own season.
You people refuse to see what is directly in front of your own eyes. You are like someone who refuses to get out of bed in the morning, preferring his confused dreams to the glory of the day.
Q: Even if what you say is true, and we Buddhists are blind sheep, I think you are too critical of others.
A: I do not criticize people, but their habits, motivations, and thoughts. I do not see people as self-existing entities, but as the results of causes. "People" do not exist in the way you think they do, and your traditional Buddhist ideas concerning "personal karma" are a big mistake. Forget personal karma, you Buddhists have never given a thought to what a person actually is! You talk of reincarnation, repeated life and death, when you yourselves understand nothing of either life or death.
Q: You speak authoritatively, but ultimately your views are only your own, and are subjective.
A: It means nothing to me whether you call my truth subjective or objective. Though I wonder what you mean by the word "subjective". Do you mean that any thought held by an individual is subjective, and therefore false? You probably didn't notice, but you did use the word "ultimately". So, you do believe there is a truth beyond the subjective! Have you not experienced an occasion where someone's personal thoughts were correct?
Q: I cannot fault your reasoning, but I fear that you are the sort of person who takes things apart into little pieces, and can't put them back together again.
A: I think perhaps you fear being taken apart into little pieces; and then not being able to put yourself back together again. Do not fear. When you take apart all your false thoughts you will automatically see Reality, and will not need to put anything back together. It is because you refuse to take things apart that you do not see your own nature.
Q: I don't think you have the right to go around criticizing others.
A: On the contrary, it is my responsibility to do so.
Q: Shouldn't you let people live their own lives and make their own mistakes? Surely it is our own personal freedom that we can make our own mistakes.
A: I try to influence the minds of others because of what I call "the whim of God." Nature has given me the responsibility to show people the error of their ways. You say I should mind my own business, and that is precisely what I am doing. You see, I regard all people as my own self, and what they do, I do. It is my responsibility to correct myself, is it not? How can there be "personal freedom" when we are all interconnected, and when the actions of one person influence the actions of everyone else?
All is "I". A flower is I, the moon is I, my brother is I, even you are in fact myself.
God is the doer of all things. God alone is real and all else is illusory. You may not think you are myself, but this does not change the reality. Being One with all is what I call Love.
Q: As far as we are concerned you can't have any wisdom because you have no respect for others, and few have any respect for you.
A: I respect only Truth. For me, there is no "good" to be respected and "bad" to be despised. I do not put false values on things as you and all other worldly thinkers do. Things are just as they are - some are good and some are bad. Thus there are good men and bad men. A good man is the teacher of a bad man. A bad man is the hater of a good man. I am not respected because I am a good man.
Q: Forgive me, but your thoughts are so cold and clinical - so logical! You are full of intellectual speculation. Clearly, your actions do not flow from your heart, but from your head.
A: Again, for the benefit of your patient companions, there is no difference between the head and the True heart. The True heart is not the emotional heart. All human emotions, feelings, and intuitions, are based on the ego. True heart is based on wisdom alone, which can only be discovered through reason.
Q: I come back to my initial point: if you are so wise, then you must be enlightened, and should then be omniscient and omnipotent!
A: Have you read this in your books also? Since you yourself are not enlightened how can you talk about such things! You have no idea of the meaning of the terms you are using. Omniscience and omnipotence are inherent in all of us. When the mind becomes clear of all delusions these natural powers are what remain.
Omniscience, "all-knowing", does not mean knowing everything that is happening in the Universe. The omniscient mind is where thoughts are infinite in nature, and therefore unbound. Similarly, omnipotence does not refer to unlimited power over Nature, but to one's primal state of unbridled perfection that is beyond measure.
Q: But the Buddha said that the enlightened man can see all past and future lives.
A: Once again, you, an un-enlightened person, have the effrontery to speak of past and future lives! You have yet to understand this life, yet you vainly go about talking of past and future lives!
Q: But it is the Buddha who said these things, not myself.
A: What do you know of the Buddha? You who are unenlightened! How can you hope to understand the functioning of the enlightened mind? How can you hope to understand what an enlightened man means by "past and future lives?"
Q: Surely the Buddha wouldn't have taught us those things if they were untrue, or if they were so difficult that only one or two could ever understand them. The Buddha wanted to help us all to escape our suffering!
A: Again I say to you, how can you, who are un-enlightened, hope to understand what the Buddha did or did not intend? For that matter, how can you judge who is a Buddha? You have no comprehension of enlightenment, or the nature of an enlightened person. You are painting a picture of the enlightened man as you wish him to be. You are projecting your own false values and creating your own imaginary Buddha. You have fallen into exactly the same trap as Christians, who have created their own Jesus out of the evil broth of their own lies.
I think I have said enough for you to think about for one day.
Q: All I can say is that you are lucky we are spiritual people, otherwise we might well get violent with you for what you've said today.
We people live within a tall container. If you can jump half a metre, you are regarded as talented. If you can jump a little over half a metre, then you are a superman and a genius. But jump clear out of the container - and you are not seen!
Sometimes physical mutations help a species to survive, and sometimes not. Similarly with changes to the consciousness of man. Spiritual wisdom may aid the survival of the species, or not. It is a matter of probability, and personally, I think the best odds lie with wisdom.
The fool searches for his roots, but is perplexed when they keep branching into other species.
There are physicists who are searching for a "creative agency" to explain the Universe. The problem is, the more you discover of a creator, the more he branches off into other creative agencies. Indeed, there is no beginning to beginnings.
Evolution is not a scientific theory, but a principle, a doctrine, and a philosophy. Evolution is the process of change - both mental and physical.
Critics of evolution have said: "We have looked at the evolution of matter, but not its origin." They cannot see the wood for the trees, for evolution is precisely about origins. Origins make up the body of evolution.
There is a strong argument that much of our behaviour evolved as a side consequence of our having evolved a large brain. A gradual increase in brain capacity gave us an evolutionary advantage in activities such as food procurement and finding shelter. When a certain brain capacity was reached many other things became possible - as a side consequence. Detailed abstract thought, which enabled us to extend our thoughts forward into the future and back into the past, made us aware of our own mortality. The fear of death was born, and it didn't take us long to make-up all manner of belief systems to help overcome this fear. However, a large brain wasn't all bad, for in the same stroke we gained a strange and wonderful thing - the potential to discover Ultimate Truth.
Describing our potential for enlightenment as a mere side consequence may be true in one sense, but is quite untrue in another. You see, the thing from which our "side consequence" stems is itself a side consequence. That is, our large brain capacity is a side consequence of the laws of Nature. The laws of Nature are such that things change, therefore there are changes to genetic material, and our brain capability changes as a consequence - a "side" consequence.
Yes, all things are "side consequences". God is the primary Being, and all things are His play.
The beginning of life
"Life" is a concept for practical use only; it doesn't exist by itself. A tree doesn't say "I am alive." A rock doesn't say "I am dead."
Some reject evolution because they abhor the idea of being just a "sophisticated slime" that evolved, by blind chance, from the primeval ponds. They need not worry, for any slime that is ignorant of evolution is in no way sophisticated.
Simple and Complex
We seem to think that the more complex a thing is, the more advanced it is. This conveniently puts humans at the pinnacle of creation.
Yet is it not our experience that the simplest thing that does the job is best? The insects have been around much longer than we humans, and look like remaining long after we have self-destructed. Could humankind be a failed experiment in complex construction? Or is there some other purpose to life than mere survival?
Q: All religious traditions emphasize the importance of faith, yet you reject it! Please explain yourself.
A: I reject only blind faith. Blind faith is when you believe something without having established certainty of its truth. In contrast, true faith is when you believe in something you know with certainty to be true.
Q: But if you are certain of a truth, then surely you don't require faith in it?
A: We don't like to believe in the products of reason - one requires faith in reason.
Q: That sounds reasonable enough, but you are rejecting all religious traditions! Surely scriptural authority and the instructions of a genuine guru count for something? Are they not deserving of some faith?
A: As I have said, authority is not deserving of any faith, unless you know with certainty what the authority says is true. That is, it is good to have faith in a genuine authority, though to be able to judge the genuineness of an authority one must first have certainty about what is true and false.
Q: Then you are saying that to judge another to be a genuine authority, we ourselves must be an equal authority.
Q: Perhaps, but we can certainly recognize those who have superior knowledge to ourselves, and make them our gurus.
A: If you learn something from a person, something you are certain is true, then you can rightly assume the person in question knew it before you did. You may then infer that the person is probably in possession of further such truths; but remember this is only a statement of probability, and not certainty. Make this person your guru by all means, but it is wrong to assume the guru knows everything, or indeed that the guru knows any more than yourself.
Q: If we cannot be certain that another knows more than ourselves, then how can they be our guru?
A: A guru is a teacher of truth. If a person teaches truth, they are a guru, otherwise not.
Q: An extremely wise guru, renowned by some as a saint, has taught that if a guru teaches nine things you agree with, and one you are unsure about, then it is wise to accept that extra one on faith.
A: Do you believe that on faith? I sincerely hope this "wise guru" of yours did not say that, or that you misunderstood his teaching; but I fear you may have heard him correctly.
I repeat, you should take nothing on faith. Learn to examine each item individually and on its own merits. If you are unsure about that tenth item, then you should give it special examination, but whatever you do, do not believe it! It is always that tenth item which distinguishes the true gurus from the impostors. It is easy to speak many small truths, and it is equally easy to fall down on the big ones. If a guru teaches nine things you agree with, and one that you know to be wrong, then you would do well to review the previous nine in the light of the tenth!
Watch how you go. The disciple, in following his master, should be careful not to tread upon his master's shadow. Keep your distance! Beware lest ye be crushed by a falling statue!
A genuine guru will not teach you anything. Though he will not complain if you use him as catalyst, or a stimulant, or as a foe to challenge the authenticity of your own attainment. There are three kinds of succession: The inferior man succeeds the man of power. The mediocre man succeeds his benefactor. The superior man succeeds his enemy.
Doubt is the fuel for Faith. It is also a marvelous pillow, for a well constructed head.
"Only that God who sees in highest heaven: he only knows whence comes this Universe, and whether it was made or un-created. He only knows . . . Or perhaps he knows not." - Rig Veda X, 129
Unfortunately, "doubt is the fuel for faith" becomes hideously comical when seen in the context of modern Christianity. The Christianity of today sets up faith as a kind of challenge - to make life more interesting. Doubt is essential, because without doubt there would be no such challenge, and no fun. Consequently, Christianity has gone out of its way to believe in the most ridiculous notions humanly possible, to ensure doubt for all but the most brainless. Indeed, people are never happy unless they're never happy.
People these days cultivate doubt because it is an intellectual status symbol. Thus their doubt is an imitation doubt. And because they never truly doubt, they never arrive at a real resolution to life's problems. They doubt everything except that which should be doubted - the heart, which after all, is unreliable.
True doubt is a kind of true faith, because it is a faith in reason, which is indirectly a faith in truth.
Blind faith is an essential part of everyday life. Yet this does not justify blind faith in religion! The true thinker accepts what life forces upon him, but will not submit to faith unnecessarily. When crossing a road one has faith that the cars will stop at the red light. This is blind faith perhaps, but it is supported by experience, and more importantly is necessary if one is to cross the road. Religious faith on the other hand is totally uncalled for, and is an irresponsible waste of human life.
That Christianity is nothing but an evil broth thrown together to satisfy the masses is illustrated perfectly by a former Dean of St.Pauls Cathedral, London, who once said publicly: "As for repudiating obsolete dogmas, it is very difficult. We have no right to offend these little ones that believe . . . It is perfectly hopeless to try to compose a creed which will satisfy both a learned scholar and his kitchenmaid."
Religious people know nothing about truth or falsity, nor do they wish to. It is useless to mention "blind faith" in their company, for it is a meaningless term to them. They understand only one word, and that word is "satisfaction".
To demand an intellectual conscience of people is to be in the throng of the city as a solitary in the desert . . . the herd are so empty of conscience they will not even hate you.
God is dead
It is said: God is dead. But if God is dead, then Man too is dead.
Man is born to trouble, as sparks fly upwards; though his upwards flight is sometimes towards God!
Are you moving this minute like God's immaculate machine?, without a single unnecessary move? How does one move such? The task is to discern the task in everything and at all times; and that task is God.
Someone on holiday forces themselves to let-go of all their worries. They reason they have gone to so much trouble, and spent so much money on their holiday that they would be stupid not to enjoy themselves. They would feel a failure if they were not able to relax. With this powerful motivation they force all disturbing thoughts from the mind.
Now take your case: you have been chosen to take the holiday for the whole human species! The onus is on you to take a rest in God on their behalf. Are you going to forego the holiday that the species is relying on you so much to take?
Don't parley with the world
I beg of you, transcend! - do not spend your few days here "solving problems". What are you waiting for? I tell you, attain the Kingdom of God first, then do all the thinking you like. Only with intense Love of God will you attain a clean-clear infinite mind. Otherwise you will continue your unending dance with the demon of the earth.
When you cease your unnecessary problem solving, you will cease to distinguish between the shape of a person and the shape around the person. Know this as a sign.
A girl in love
Which do you think she appreciates more - that her beloved remembers her on the week-end when he has nothing else to do, or that he still thinks of her when he is busiest of all. In the same way, God is most pleased when you think of him when it is difficult to do so.
Taking a rest
It is impossible for the lover of God to take a rest from God. Even when life becomes unbearable because of God's demands, and when one asks God for permission to take a rest, the rest period is no less strenuous, for the rest is again the God-relationship.
We may get involved with God on the understanding that God will love us. But soon we find out that it is God who wants to be loved, and according to God's understanding of what love is. It is not easy to be a Christian, even for the best of us: it is permissable to say "I dare not".
God is fatal
It takes a lifetime to build up a secure dream, a dream that can justify one's loves and relationships. And when it is done, there is great comfort. Then God enters the picture! And when he has taken the dream apart, it is impossible to put it back together again. God is fatal.
How fast the change can be . . . from a tormented mind of tiredness and boredom, to the powerful clear mind of bliss. One has only to drop everything with a devoted love of God and in a moment you have cast off your burden and become a Buddha. Suddenly you are no longer the doer, but God is the doer, and He takes all responsibilities.
After all, who are you to take responsibility for what God does! What presumption!
Kingdom of God first
If an arrow is shot in your side, your first job is to remove it. Then, and only then, are you at your leisure to consider the details of from whence it came, and why. The fool, blinded by his hurt, is too busy worrying about the rude invasion of his privacy to think of removing the arrow, and save his own life.
When you are sick, it is advisable to take the medicine and get better. Thinking of what it may be like to regain your health will not save you, no matter how genuine your love of life.
Don't waste time thinking about the reality of the mental world as opposed to the physical world; not when Reality is right there in front of you! There is no greater barrier to knowledge than the desire for understanding. You haven't time to tackle with phantoms; life is so short, and there is so much to be done.
Have faith in reason I tell you! - but you want to understand all, all psychology, and all religion. You say "I cannot make a move until I have all knowledge at my disposal. What rubbish! You can certainly make a start by rejecting that which you know to be false. What are you scared of? Why the delay? One reason only is sufficient to see fit to reject the evil game known as "love", so false is it. Yet you have gathered for yourselves a thousand reasons, and still this is not enough for you to break the chains with which you hold it to you - much as a child holds to his mother by her apron strings.
You fools think you can learn all that is false while you merrily bathe in falsity like pigs in swill. Your whole world is false: you can only relate your falsities to other falsities. Consequently, even your falsities are false.
There are two ways of escaping the sufferings of this world:
"Accept my life, dear God" - Kierkegaard
"Beam me up Spock" - Kirk (Star Treck)
Speak the truth
It is not hard to keep the opposite sex away: all it requires is a little honesty. Speak and think always of God, and of the love of God. Speak always of non-attachment, and with disgust for all things petty - and watch them run for cover - purely for self survival!
Even atheists are not true believers, not truly Godless like myself. They reserve the possibility of one day believing in some God or other, just in case such a fantasy should become necessary to get them through a difficult period in life. We wretches like to keep our options open - to give the imagination full reign.
Cured by the grace of God
God is called into existence as an explanation for everything we cannot satisfactorily explain with reason. In this way the non-rational becomes God: consequently the emotions are God!
Proof of God's existence
The lack of inherent existence in all things is proven, therefore an individual God is disproven.
The reality of the True God cannot be proven, because God is merely a word for Reality, and Reality cannot be proven to exist - it just is.
From the depths
God is found - only at the expense of others.
How is a great mind born? It all begins in childhood. Introduce children to the realm of the imagination, and with the grace of the Earth they will learn that reality is a thing of the mind. What can possibly limit such a one?
All too easily, however, the imagination becomes a dangerous escape from reality. Children often stagnate with an incomplete understanding of the imagination. They grow up thinking nothing in the world can harm them, that they can always create their own pleasant reality inside their own minds, independent of the outside world. The imaginary friends of childhood can so very easily grow into the countless religions and superstitions of adulthood. So take care with the children.
Just as you should try to clarify your dreams and visualizations, making them vivid and detailed, so should you sharpen-up your waking life. All of life is an image-in-ing, and for as long as the mind continues to create images you will not be able to escape the imagination. I ask you, what isn't an image in our minds? We are indeed creatures of the imagination, for it is all we have got, and is the only reality.
When we relate to objects we are actually relating to images in our minds. When a man loves a woman, he is not in love with the woman herself, but with his picture of her. So, never think your lover has given themselves to you, for they have instead given themselves to desire, pleasure, and illusion.
The enlightened man is different because he is in control of his imagination, so his imaginings are pure, and he is unattached to these imaginings.
A turmoiled mind is cast from one disturbing conception to another. And because vision is closely related to the imagination, is it any wonder the eyes become tired and sore?
If a person is widely read, it is nearly always because he refuses to think for himself. He reads to keep knowledge at the distance of his intellect, and at the distance of the book in his hand, where knowledge is impersonal and objective, and at which distance he deems himself safe. He never becomes an individual, and his words are never his own, but borrowed.
No matter how many people there are in this crowded world, the individual person never becomes insignificant: he never comes into existence! Thus he is forever fulfilled and omnipotent, creating everything out of nothing.
The believer doesn't believe himself worthy or capable of deciding what is true or false for himself, so he believes in what he reads, or in what he is told.
His hypocrisy lies in his having still decided something for himself, in having decided which authority to believe in. He doesn't want to be an individual, but cannot avoid being so. Thus he turns his back on himself, on truth, and on God.
Increasing level of difficulty
Imagine a bond between all people, an elastic bond. The more highly you develop spiritually, the greater is the force pulling you back down. The more you must depend on the grace of God to counteract the increasing pull from below.
And as much as the weight of the world pulls you down . . . you pull the entire world up with you as you go.
Do we moderns lack identity? And is this lack of identity the source of our problems? Heavens no! We have more than enough "identity". There are thinkers, jokers, punks, activists, Christians, Mothers, Fathers, just to name a few.
There is no shortage of identity - what we lack is human identity. I see many characters, but no human beings.
The only way to successfully interpret religious scriptures is if you do not need to interpret them, and do not care to do so. You must not have preconceived ideas about whether such writings are in fact spiritual in nature at all.
Only when your wisdom is independent of books, when the words of the "Great Wise Men" are irrelevant to you, and you have the wisdom gone beyond, can you do justice to the blood of others.
The one who reads books or listens to the words of others in search of Truth is someone who does not know the Truth. Knowers of Truth do not look for Truth outside of themselves. One who is ignorant of Truth cannot correctly interpret the words of one who is realized. So I say, don't mistake knowledge for advancement: seek only the source of knowledge.
The fool lacks the courage to look within himself for Truth, so he looks everywhere else. He runs from himself, seeking his head which he thinks he has lost. He runs from Truth to set up something more agreeable.
The authority of the sage does not come from any scriptures or any grand historic tradition, but is his own, and is absolute.
Who is the doer?
Do you do all the good things you want to do? If not, then you are doing things you don't want to do - so it is not you who are acting! Who is it?
The world is growing smaller by the day, and we are forced to confront values that conflict with our own. We find that if we are to avoid friction with others, and preserve peace in the world, we must hold many contradictory beliefs. Thus the universal personality is born, capable of tolerating all. Unfortunately, its birth succeeds the death of individuality and character.
Q: You can't make others change.
A: You don't like the idea that others can make you change. You like to feel in control of your life. You imagine yourself to be like a God, untouched by the world, creating from nothing, and in control of your own destiny. Yet Nature controls every aspect of your life, and Nature dictates that others will make you change. Do parents give the child a choice whether or not to go to school? No! The parents make the child go to school. So do the wise make others come to see the truth.
Q: But people have their own individual karma they have to follow. You cannot create causes for their change.
A: Who said anything about creating causes? I follow my own individual karma, and that is to make others change. You see, you have to be very careful about this concept of "individual karma". It is merely a category used for convenience of communication, and has no other reality. Therefore, there is no individual karma or group karma. You must abandon all such concepts, other than for practical use. You must first learn to see the formless aspect of karma before you can see all its other aspects.
Q: Are you enlightened?
A: If I speak the truth and put it into practice, then I am one who is enlightened.
To see things objectively
Visualize a small version of yourself standing on the upheld palm of your left hand, and visualize the rest of humanity on your other hand. Now, weigh up the two, and ask yourself, which is the most important?
When I put this to people they reply: "But why can't I be on the hand with all the others?"
How it scares a person, to even imagine themselves as an individual! This is particularly so with women. A man may well reason that the species is more important than the individual, but for women a single life has more value than the rest of the Universe.
Be wary never to feel at home in a house of sin! Learn never to feel at one with the people. Remain ever separate, observing, and alone. Be fearful of this world, until you learn to truly love God. A dose of disgust is necessary, lest you become foolishly enamoured of this world.
So hard for me to believe
How can others be so different from me? Am I not human?
In genetic development one small change in the genetic code can result in massive differences in the resulting creature . . I had just one thought that others did not have . . .
Now I am a diamond in a forest of charcoal.
Preparation for the future
You must be able to visualize yourself doing what you wish to do. If you cannot at least do this, then your goal is not realistic.
How can you hope to one day become a true individual if you can't visualize yourself living without the crutch of emotional attachment? If you cannot see yourself soon being hated by all humanity, men and women alike, then you have not yet grasped what it means to live honestly.
Dust to dust
We come from dust, we are dust, and return to dust. Thus is the unchangeable nature of God. Behold immortality!
Jesus said "I am with you always": this is such a beautiful statement when understood in its deepest sense.
As the word "always" suggests, He is not present in time, He is time. I am with you all-ways - God is present in every way, how can Reality abandon you?
Immortal and infinite
Does "immortal" mean everlasting life? No such thing! To be immortal is to be im-mortal, that is, not mortal, not living - and thus incapable of death.
Similarly, "infinite" means not finite; it does not mean "immeasurably large".
There is a correct and an incorrect way to wonder.
I bid you not seek happiness in the infinite complexity of Nature. Shun sunsets and blue skies. And why? Because such wonder is nothing more than a cowardly egotistical submission to the complexity and creative power of Nature.
The wonder I wish upon you is stainless; it is incapable of co-existing with such crudities as happiness. It is not tainted with the grime of emotion, but is as deep and clear and heavy as Nature Herself.
The void is a deep and dark ocean. If you as much as generate a single deluded thought, great and furious currents well into being. When this happens, the fabric of reality itself is disturbed.
Therefore be still and unmoving, like an uncarved block of wood. Return to what you were before your mother and father were born.
Q: You say that Truth is life, but when I look at you . . . you are a young man, yet your head is balding and your hair is turning grey. It seems to me you are dying an early death, and have not seen much of happiness.
A: Granted, my happiness is different to yours. Mine is a future happiness.
Q: The way you are going, you haven't got much of a future!
A: Neither the future nor anything else stops with my death. My future happiness is as safe as the future itself. And the future is as safe as the past.
Q: I don't understand why you work towards a future happiness, when happiness is available to us this very day.
A: My happiness is more different than you think. While your happiness is the cause of suffering, and your suffering the cause of happiness, my happiness, and my future, is beyond both happiness and suffering. My future is the wreckless, extravagant and ruthless joy of Nature Herself; a timeless romp across Universes; the creation and destruction of gods and men; playing with the sands of time. It is the joy . . . the joy that I couldn't be born, even if I wanted to.
Wake to the day with the joy and zest of having arrived in Heaven. All will be well for you. Sit back and enjoy! What can possibly touch you, who are beyond space and time? Be as a dead man, the dead man you are, untouched by the worries and concerns of this world.
Encourage the children
Some know much, but not enough for joy. They know what is false, but not what is true. They seek truth, but not perfection. They sacrifice much, but not their suffering. They give much, but not their life. They love truth, but will not become that love.
I tell you, the children must be encouraged. If you tell them "nobody is perfect" they will not seek perfection. If you tell them that some things cannot be known, they will not try to know them. If you tell them they must be human, they will remain human. I beg of you, my brothers and sisters, give me a Superman!
When a child thinks they have reached the pinnacle, in academia or in sport, then show them where they stand in relation to the eternal - thus encouraging them onwards. If you let them settle with grand ideas of themselves they will resent you later on. For there will be a rude awakening, and they will be ill-equipped to cope with it. But point to the horizon, and urge them forth, and their humility alone will be sufficient to forge a path and propel them along it.
So just make sure you teach by example and seek only the supreme joy of wisdom. Do you have it in you to pass-up the joys of talent? Oh how success cripples!
The joyful wisdom is not achieved through controlling lust. Lust itself vanishes with even a single breath of the true joyful wisdom.
"If you can harmonize and delight in all things, master them and never be at a loss for joy, if you can do this day and night without a break and make it be spring with everything, mingling with all and creating the moment within your own mind - this is what I call being whole in power." - Chuang Tzu
I grew ears,
And for the first time,
I could hear the wind,
And see the colour of the sky,
And wonder at the illusion of distance,
And feel the touch of thumb on forefinger.
There is much to learn
You can learn much from the workaholic businessmen and the religious fanatic.
From the businessman, be reminded how great your resolve and confidence must be. And seeing the deluded and fanatical religionist absorbed in bliss during ritual, be reminded of how you must love the Truth with like fervor, and become absorbed in Truth.
Three types of person are unable to learn:
- The upside-down pot:
If you are totally content with who you are, then you will have no desire to learn.
- The defiled pot:
You may desire to learn, but your bad habits prevent you from progressing in thought. You will be like an imperfect mirror that distorts an image.
- A pot with holes:
You may have intelligence and a keen desire to learn, but your motivation is weak. Without a powerful motivation there is no concentration, and without concentration there is no assimilation or memory.
Raising the sights
One aims only as far as one can see. We live behind a towering wall of stone, to protect us from the outside. If a generous soul from the outside should one day kindly smash a hole in our wall, and then himself show us the way by dancing beyond the distant horizon, then our sights will be raised quite automatically. People can only achieve what they believe to be achievable; so I tell you, make yourself a pattern to the flock!
The situation is like that of fleas, who, when you remove the lid of their jar will jump only as high as the lid used to be. They restrict themselves to a perceived limit, until after a time they realize the restriction has been lifted, and jump to freedom.
The subject of the sexes, evolution, and the beginning of life are all good subjects to stimulate and promote minds into the spiritual sphere. All three are fundamental to our lives, so progress with them empowers the mind quite naturally. One who masters them has the feeling: "While others stumble about in darkness I have learned how to turn on the light - what can hold me now! This very Universe is not enough to confine me - I am free!"
Confusion is an essential part of learning. If confusion is avoided we can never go through it and progress to clarity. Confusion results when we are not sure. While surety is lacking, there is room for learning.
The perplexed student of philosophy asks "how much of me is me?" This is something. At least he is partially unsettled. He may yet become more unsettled, then ask the real question: Is there a me?
Good teachers cover their tracks. They do not wish to mislead people by leaving behind them a tangible path to be followed. Therefore they appear to contradict themselves, and do not give easy answers. The price of answer-giving is high. It prevents people from learning how to think for themselves.
To develop the mind
Three main paths of mental activity need to be exercised: In, within, and out.
In: Read and listen, accept everything Nature has to offer.
Within: Having taken-in information, convert it into knowledge and wisdom by bathing it in the light of Reality. Digest your mental food in the stomach of the Earth.
Out: Speak and write, so other parts of your mind (which includes other people) can benefit from your gain.
These three pathways are intimately linked: if you wish to function fully you must develop all three to their capacity. Therefore, when you read, do not merely read, but think, and write, and sometimes read aloud, ensuring the development of a balanced mind.
Those who are truly human will overflow with joy when you show them their own ugliness, and they will beg you to reveal more - others will blink.
There are three types of mindfulness:
- Mindfulness of the body
- Mindfulness of the mind
- Mindfulness of mindfulness
Whatever has been learnt
By those whose minds lack alertness
Just like water in a leaking vase
It will not be retained in their memory.
How a man can give birth to a child
You cannot give a person enlightenment, just as you cannot give birth to another's child - but you can certainly assist them in bearing their own child.
Angry young men
Let the angry young man go forth, and become an angry God!; for an angry God is a blissful creature. The Old Testament is more beautiful than the new one: God was more angry in those days.
Scientifically, nothing can ever be proven conclusively, only disproven. All we can do is formulate hypotheses and theories based on evidence.
Sadly, this noble principle is useless in the face of an unreasoning mind. Such a mind is utterly convinced even by a complete absence of evidence.
Q: You say all is uncertain; but surely my knowledge that I have lived a life is an absolute certainty.
A: We cannot know with certainty that we had a childhood; it may have been programmed into us, or projected into our brains. However, our childhood is a strong appearance to us, and I can't think of anything that would discount it. Therefore, because it is a reasonable idea we should uphold it as a reality.
Q: If we accept childhood because it appears to us, then we should also accept the ego, which is certainly a strong appearance to us. The ego may consist of false thoughts, but it is surely reasonable to accept the conventional reality of the ego, along with all its desires.
A: Hunger is a reality, but we need not put up with it! Likewise, delusion is a reality, but this doesn't mean it has to remain. There are many realities: it is also a reality that I want to live in accordance with Truth, which involves destroying the ego. Childhood may not be a false thought, but the ego certainly is: some things can be known with certainty.
Uncertainty too, is a certainty. Uncertainty does not defeat the purpose of learning, but is the goal of it.
Without fuel there is no fire. Doubt is the fuel for learning, and later for faith. The moment there is a genuine doubt, the mind opens, and knowledge enters. With doubt one considers the possibility that something new is possible: this involves learning.
Without learning there can be no knowledge of truth, let alone faith in it. Oh how I despise the priests of religion who speak lovingly of "faith": they know not of what they speak. I tell you, without knowledge there can be no faith. One must know all about God before one can have faith in Him.
Studying is easy, to truly learn is difficult, and to act on what you have learnt is more difficult still.
The prodigal son was loved and helped by his father when the self-righteous son was not. Only the sufferer can be helped by God. Only his mind has room for something new.
Similarly with the brother who said "yes" and did not, and the other brother who said "no" and who eventually did his father's will. The one had room for something new.
Advice for University students
Many find their security and comfort in a church. Others find it at a University, which is like a church in many ways.
The lecturers are the priests, and the gospel is the educational tradition that has been passed down through the centuries. And just as religion has lost all semblance to truth through the passage of time, so has our education system become completely without a basis in truth and reason.
Our system of education is more honestly called "socio- engineering". It manufactures a society by forcing traditional values and patterns of thinking onto us, rather than encouraging us to think for ourselves. Thus, a University is the same as a church in that it is a place for self-gratification, rather than for rationality and thinking. It is a place for illusions.
Important questions are not at home in a place of learning. University education must be popular, or Universities go out of business.
Philosophy departments take a token look at life: but there is never an intention to find answers. Philosophy is a scholastic exercise providing scholars with jobs - the ultimate in twaddling. The result is a huge amount of meaningless knowledge, the application of which does more harm than good. And why? Because our knowledge and our lives are without a basis in Truth.
The academic staff are necessarily the worst culprits - a result of the length of time they have spent being "educated". Three or four years at a University is enough to destroy any tendency towards reason and free thought a person may have. Our friendly professor has spent many years in this mind-deadening environment, and it shows on his face. In his fatherliness he passes his feeble thoughts on to his thousands of students, perpetuating ignorance in grand fashion.
Universities successfully teach one how to be happy, self- satisfied and proud for one's education. They do not teach one to reason, investigate, question, and suffer for the truth. Universities train in taking soft options, in suppressing or omitting the important or essential truths, and successfully produce contented sub-humans. For example, evolution is rightly taught, and shows that all things arise out of causes and are not spontaneously created from nothing. However, the fact that evolution points to the non-existence of an independent "self", and the world-shattering consequences of this knowledge in our lives, is completely ignored. Yet this knowledge of self is the most important of all, and is the only thing that can truly be called wisdom.
The only difference between the University graduate and the ordinary animal-creature on the street is that the graduate earns more money. Though what makes the educated person so despicable is that they set themselves up as being accomplished in the realm of the intellect, when their ignorance is probably more complete and secure than anyone's.
The situation is this - the one who is to attend a University for what is a sizeable portion of their life, feels that they must conform and fit-in just to survive the ordeal. Such is our weakness: we so want the money and security education provides, we willingly sell our soul for it.
Be warned, what you do is who you are, and determines what you will become.
If at first sight University life seems shallow, artificial, and like a dream, then you see truly. Hold-on to this thought, and have faith in it. Dreams have a tendency of gradually engulfing one's better judgement, until they seem to be reality itself. Be on your guard! Do not lose your footing and get swept away in the torrent of youth and yearning (as opposed to Truth and learning).
Be honest with yourselves. If you attend University purely for security and comfort, then know that it is so. Do not pretend you are doing anything other than dragging the world even further down than it already is. I beg you not to obscure and clutter the way for those few who have it in them to strive for Truth.
"I love him who is a free spirit and a free heart:
thus his head is only the bowels of his heart,
but his heart drives him to his downfall."
What is Love?
Much has been spoken of love. And after all has been said, it is clear that love is above all - comical.
For it is comical that we regard ourselves to be individual and whole, yet do not feel complete without our "other half", which must surely make each one of us half a person. We must truly despise selfhood, for we do not desire to be one with ourselves, but only with somebody else.
Man in particular regards himself to be a lion of strength and independence. Yet he becomes a puppy under the love that destroys selfhood and makes us all the same. He so often feels in control of love, seeing it as a tool for his skillful hands, believing it a game. Yet love comes to control him increasingly, and relentlessly, until it dictates his every move. He is proud of his ability to shatter alleged mysteries with the power of reason. Yet, to him, both women and love remain total mysteries - mysteries so overwhelming they have conquered him utterly, for he submitted to them long ago.
Woman, on the other hand, sees herself as modest by nature, earthy, with feet on the ground, unlike her male counterpart. Yet have you noticed how she makes not the slightest objection when man promotes her to the position of goddess? For when a man loves a woman she becomes for him the greatest of all things. He sets her up on a pedestal, making himself naught before her, and offering no less than his life. Does she feel a pang of conscience about this untoward attention? Does she refuse it? On the contrary, she feels insulted if man doesn't lay himself at her feet, crying over her infinite beauty and absolute power.
Yes, love is truly incredible, but more incredible still is our ignorance of it. For all our intellectual attainments, love remains notably unexplained. If humankind has a worst failing, it would have to be our ignorance about the true nature of love. The lover knows not what love is, nor exactly what it is he loves, nor why he loves. Indeed, our ageless profound wisdom tells us not to question love . . not to spoil what is already perfect. If ignorance about love is your dignity, then much good may it do you. I will be content as a failure in your eyes, vainly holding to my thought. For if love is a mystery, it is so only to those who refuse to think.
I hear many of you object that you are not complete philistines, and that you do in fact contemplate love at length. Well, if your music and reading tastes are anything to go by, you do indeed never stop thinking about love. The problem is, you think about love after the fact. First you accept love, then you think about it. You never stop to consider what love is, whether it is right or wrong, real or illusory. Did doubt and reflection die with God?
Then let us take a closer look at this love of ours: who knows what evil dwarves we may find lurking in the nooks and crannies of our hearts! Perhaps love is not the great and unfailing pillar of virtue we are led to believe.
Certainly, of the millions in this world deserving of our love, in marriage we choose to give our whole love to a single one. Is this fair? Should we not love all people equally and unreservedly? The grisly fact is, we love only for what we get in return. That is, we love what we get in return - we love happiness and happiness alone. Do you doubt me? Then ask yourself, do you ever love that which brings you unending pain and hardship?
Love is an attempt to redress the conflicts and unmet desires of childhood. Consequently, our loved one tends to be a composite of our family members. It is all to do with ego gratification. We do not love someone because of their goodness, but because they make us feel good. Thus, love comes before morality . . . and (conveniently) prevents it.
Also amazing is the belief that we can avoid possessiveness in love. All too often I hear it said: "Love by all means, but avoid the curse of attachment!" Agh! As if love and attachment were two separate things! How I am tried! Don't you know that love is attachment, and is therefore the embodiment of possessiveness? Don't you know that your loved one becomes your alter-body, your alter-mind, and your alter-self? And just as you would feel possessive of your own eyes if a stranger tried to take them, one feels possessive of love. How little we would enjoy our love if love was not itself attachment! We would need no lover, and when there is no need there is no caring, no enjoyment, and no purpose for any relationship.
And how often I notice our habit of falling in love with our opposites! Curiously, we seem completely unaware of this irrational behaviour: we regard it as normal, seeing no contradiction. Or is it more accurate to say that we perceive nothing wrong with irrational behaviour? Think about it for a moment: worshipping and devoting yourself to someone whose values are opposite to those you cherish! Falling in love with your enemy! The world calls it sharing: I call it compromise and weakness.
Yet there must be tension in a relationship to give love material to work with. There must be conflict in order for each participant to find their own identity and their own joy. That is, some suffering is necessary in love, as love involves playing one lover off against the other through pain. That is, for a couple to be compatible in love, there must be a degree of incompatibility. Thus, in love, the imperfect is held to be perfect.
Yes, love needs rough terrain. It needs the challenge of mountain climbs, and the thrill of downhill runs. Such activity, however, is not without cost: bones break when you fall.
It must also be said that love expects compromise and sacrifice from the loved one. Yet how foolish is a love in which one has to change who one is, to keep in favour with love.
The concept of love as sharing also deserves a second look, for it seems to me that between two beings so radically different as man and woman, no true reciprocal relation is possible. Man and woman have entirely different concepts of love, so there are two loves, and they are so unlike as to deserve different names. The love of woman is devotion. The love of man is to want devotion. Woman gives herself; man acquires more. I see little scope for sharing in such a relationship.
I particularly challenge a man's motive for falling in love. What is his purpose? What does he hope to gain? The answer is too crude to bear a mention. Furthermore, I question the dignity of winning a woman's affection. And still more, how dignified is it to lose your temper with, or argue with a woman? (which surely is a measure of love). For a woman, like a child, has only the shallowest and most insubstantial of thoughts. If you were to try to paddle your feet in her oceans, you wouldn't even get your feet wet. How can one honestly expect her to be rational, consistent, and just? It is the man who falls short, with his unrealistic expectations of woman. To expect a woman to be a woman, and yet to think as a man, is to be a woman, and is far indeed from dignity. How much less dignified it is to actually love a woman!
Undeniably, contradictions abound where love is even mentioned. Love is held to be a universal good, yet we find that some loves, strangely, are more acceptable than others. To love one's family is virtuous, yet to love violence is evil. So, we tell the young to be cautious where they place their love, which is like trying to tell a cancer that it may infect all parts of the body - except this one particular part. You see, love is so ruinous of mind that once it is created, nothing can stop its destructive course.
For all this, love is most comical among the scholars and intellectuals, for here the contradiction is most glaring. They pride themselves on their respect for reason, yet their lives evidence the exact opposite - because love is without doubt the most irrational and non-sensical of all pursuits. To one and all it is an unknown quantity, yet the intellectuals have no problem with it. This gives one cause to seriously doubt what qualifies them to be the guardians of human knowledge. They are quick enough to pounce on a fellow scholar if he has some small fault which might distort his judgement. Yet love - that immense and unknown power - is accepted as the linchpin of life without question.
To see a serious person, who thinks himself serious, parading in a clowns uniform and behaving as a clown - completely unknown to himself, is comical. It is even more comical when a whole group of serious friends are likewise clowning - unknown to themselves. So are the intellectuals, who cannot see the foolishness of their love, continuing about their business as though nothing were wrong - as though they were innocent!
Unfortunately, of the rare few in this world who do exercise their brains, only one or two do so in earnest. The rest are mental sportsman, who think merely for entertainment. These wretches are even worse than brainless animals, for they understand love, yet go along with it regardless. Woe to them who knowingly submit their will to a lie! Woe is the scholar! Woe the academic!
Their cold and rigid thought cannot cope with something as simple in essence as love. Formal academic thought is biased, and does not provide the power or means to discover the things close to the heart, close to the mind - the subjective truths. Yet without subjective truth there is no truth at all, no matter how many volumes of categories and systems we manage to fill. True objectivity comes about only through absolute subjectivity.
Only the individual, thinking with his whole being, sees the true and ugly face of love. Then love, for him, becomes impossible. However, this is not the end of it, for he will be swept up by a vast wind, and a new love, that will carry him beyond desire. He will discover Truth, and Love is Truth, and True Love is being truthful. No longer will he wander aimlessly through the cruel mystery of love, life, and suffering. No longer will he be love's slave, and his life a juggling act with contradictory opposites. He will be free.
Well, I thought love was humorous, but I am not laughing - and nor are you. Is love then too humorous to laugh about?
. . . Or perhaps only some truths are funny.
Commitment and marriage
A: When I get married I will be forever faithful to my husband.
B: What if, when you are married, you meet a better man, whom you love even more than your husband? Wouldn't it be terribly unfair to him if you didn't marry him?
A: Well, in that case I would get a divorce - as long as it wasn't just lust.
That hard headed woman
The song goes: "I'm looking for a hard-headed woman. One that will make me do my best."
Hah! The contradictions of relationships are unlimited! If the woman really was hard-headed she certainly wouldn't have any interest in men - nor men in her!
Man wants a woman to appear as the person he himself wishes to be - the perfect man. He wants to see her as strong, rational, cool, above the world. If she gives this appearance, then good for her - but she had better be feminine underneath!
A woman has to be all things to a man, sometimes a mother, a sister, a daughter, a prostitute, and sometimes . . . a father.
When she looks on you with longing eyes, she is like a heroin addict, ogling her white powder with eyes of burning love. What is love if not this?
The cancer of love
The universal catch-cry is: "The most important thing in life is love." What this really means is: "The most important thing in life is that which makes me feel most important."
Most people (and who are not "most people") do not even realize they are dying of disease. They see their human love as a virtue, rather than a cancer.
The first of the four Buddhist noble truths is "the recognition of ignorance." However, in failing to uncover the truth about their greatest joy - I am speaking of love - Buddhists fail to realize even this first and essential truth.
It is not by chance I entitled this collection of writings "Poison for the heart."
We speak of "sexual relationships" to avoid the actuality of the emotional relationship. To consider emotions is to get a little too close to an unwanted truth - the insecurity of the ego.
More accurately, sex is 90% emotional only during the fleeting romantic stage - then it becomes 90% physical.
Blowing love out of the water
Would your lover still love you if you were covered from head to toe in boils? They would? Then what if you had no arms or legs either? They would? Then would they love you if you had a bad personality as well!
We people have no choice about what kind of personality we have. It is surely unfair to love someone just because they happen to be physically attractive and have a good personality.
The third person
Lovers hate a third person, and "three's a crowd" because that third person represents and reminds us of the true perspective. Reason is a third person where love is concerned, and one does one's best to be rid of it by living a sub-mental existence.
Beauty (or a bodhisattva's lament)
A clover crested hillock,
A lush carpet of virulent green.
Fragile bouquets gilded by brilliant fire,
In a sapphire sky,
Where crystal palaces skud gracefully by.
A restless brook burbles in rocky delight,
Chattering of distant peaks,
Pillars of the sky,
Cloaked in pure white sabel,
Locks of icy wind cascading from top-most crown,
Where a lone eagle soars in majestic pride.
All dissolves to mud when I see her smile.
(modified from a University students' magazine)
I will not love (because . . .)
- I will not cause a woman to pain - as I would upon my death, if not
- I will neither hate nor be hated: as you always hate the thing that
you love, insofar as it pains you.
- I will not cause others to suffer through envy, because of a woman's
love for me, or because I love another.
- I will not love, restricting my own freedom, as well as the freedom
Love is . . . being another's psychological boxing ground. It is also like being a cooked goose, stuffed and sitting on the table, and being told how tasty it is - before being devoured. Such a goose has no cause for rejoicing. Thus you must be a wild goose, high and free.
So, they still see you as a table goose? They still taste you on their palates? - let them to their imaginings!
Woman vs Nature
When a man loves a woman, he can never really appreciate Nature, because his heart's just not in it. It's in a woman.
A woman's love
When a man loves a woman, he does not give himself, but takes her. When a woman loves a man she gives herself utterly. Utterly? Yet there is one small thing she will never submit - her enjoyment! Thus she keeps for herself what she really values, and gives what is not important to her. His gain is therefore hollow, as she has given nothing. He has been duped, for she has given him sand dressed up as gold. But then . . . she never did promise him anything.
What is more, it is not so much the man that she loves, but the Man that he reminds her of. So she loves another, not a physical man but an imaginary one. And there are many who remind her of Him. Therefore the man in love is eternally cuckolded. He looks after another man's woman, in the naive belief that she is his.
Men too are unfaithful, but I do not need to tell you that.