In other words

Screenshot anime Dororon

“Dream about Heaven” – individual bliss or Divine Nature?

The renunciation of the contemplative does not at all have the aim of accumulating merits for the sake of individual bliss; it serves to put the soul, by what one might call radical measures, into the most favorable possible state for realizing its own infinite Essence.” – Frithjof Schuon, Prayer Fashions Man.

This sounds eerily familiar. Didn’t I try (and perhaps fail) to express some of the same in my entry last month, “Ascesis“? I think I said entirely too much, while Schuon may lean in the other direction. He condenses things into crystal clarity, but it also has some of the diamond’s hardness. Not easily chewed and digested.

And no, I haven’t read this book before. But it is not like we are the first two to think of this, I am sure.

“Accumulating merits for the sake of individual bliss” – this is what modern atheists call “pie in the sky when you die”. Rack up bonus points in Heaven so you can get a good seat, by doing good but unpleasant things and not doing pleasant things that you want to do. Then sit and watch the idiots who failed to rack up bonus points, as you look down on them in eternity with a big grin.

But the reality of a Christian (or another practitioner) is something entirely different. Life is hard enough without fulfilling the fantasies of atheist stereotypes. It may be that we start out with a desire for individual bliss, or at least (in my case) a desire to escape Hell. We all have to start somewhere. And it may be that I would renounce far more than I do, if I had some kind of tally of divine favor points (like in the RPG Darklands, which was loosely based on Catholic Germany of the late middle ages, and where you spent Divine Favor by invoking saints for miracles, then rebuilt your divine favor by spending time in prayer or going to Mass.)

But the way I see it, giving up this or that is not a matter of earning points, it is a matter of taking out the trash first, then usable but obsolete stuff to make room for something better. Not just something better for me as this bag of flesh, but for everyone, everywhere, at all times. In the last instance Divine nature, but at least as an intermediate step, the Human Operating System version 3. It seems Schuon had it too, no big surprise there.

43 thoughts on “In other words

  1. I am not sure that is possible. Trouble is something everyone in this world goes through, and now it is your turn. I have been in trouble before and will no doubt be so again: None of us is likely to leave this world alive. All we can do is make the best out of our time. And when there is storm and darkness, the best we can do is just hold on to hope, faith and love that gives, and not add to our troubles.

    I’d love to be the kind of spiritual superhero, that you could be freed from all your troubles simply by associating with me. That is highly unlikely to happen in this lifetime, alas!

  2. It is natural to feel fear and worry. The mind is simply doing its job, looking out for danger. But you don’t need to listen to it all the time. If we are in danger, we do what we can to avoid it. If we get very sick, we see a doctor. If we receive serious threats of crime, we go to the police. If the house seems about to collapse, we move out. Once we have done what we can, we have to go on with our life for as long as it lasts.

    If there was no life after death, it would not really matter whether we lived or died. We would not have anything to accomplish on this planet, we would simply be misguided animals. There are already over 7 billions of us, so there would certainly be no need to live long enough to breed. We could just concentrate of having a good time while still alive.

    But seeing how there is a spirit world, to which we return when we die (and in which we live even now, although we don’t notice it as easily when we are in the flesh), the greatest danger is evil. We should certainly seek to stay alive so we can grow and benefit others in this world, but when it comes down to it, it is better to die while doing good than while doing evil. When you have done what you can to protect yourself by peaceful means, you simply have to work on accumulating good in your heart, by the things you read, by the things you think of, and not least by the things you do. This will leave your spirit in the best position for the next stage.

    People can attack your body, but they cannot actually attack your soul. Only your own mind parasites are a danger to your soul, and like roaches they dislike places that are bright and clean. Let us not have dark, dank rooms in your mind where we feed the mind parasites. It can be hard to let go of some sorts of thoughts, but if we let in as much Light as possible, the shadow-dwelling things inside us will retreat on their own, step by step as the brightness increases.

    If religion is not your thing, you should see a psychiatrist. I am not a big fan of the drug-dealing members of that profession, although I suppose it helps in the more desperate cases, but some of them are pretty good at talking to people. It seems that I am not, as I am pretty much reduced to repeating myself (and the great guiding spirits from which I’ve learned).

  3. It is human to make mistakes, and I am sure you are no exception. But even if you live a perfect life, you might still be crucified, according to what I’ve read. So trouble is something everyone goes through.

    That said, there is one point that I think is worth looking at. And that is what I wrote about in the entry about the Satanic force. There is a generic force that resists when we rock the boat, when we suddenly change course or speed. For those who try to become spiritual, it personifies as Satan (or Mara in Buddhism). But it can also be seen as a part of a much larger program to keep people in place, a kind of shackles that keep sane people from going insane, decent people from suddenly turning evil, and also carnal people from suddenly turning spiritual.

    Watching your efforts over quite some time now, I would hazard to say that you have probably woken this power. You have rocked the boat, gone further faster than the “game mechanics” of Real Life allows at your level. For this reason, I am not surprised that you are being slapped around by the prison guards of ordinary life. You have learned a lot, fast. But most of us cannot move that fast with our life even if our mind races ahead. We have to build up momentum gradually, and avoid rocking the boat too much in the meantime.

    It is certainly possible to be too slow as well, and I probably am. But if you want to reduce your troubles, if you don’t want to risk spiritual and physical attacks and perhaps even insanity, you should probably concentrate on the basics. Living an ordinary life, but a good one, while you quietly study the spiritual truths without drawing attention. If you lived in a monastery or some such institution built to support rapid spiritual growth, it would have been a bit different. But as a hermit (much like me in later years) you don’t have much support to fall back on. That is why I think you are being put in the tumble dryer. You will have to choose for yourself of course, whether to forge ahead or try to consolidate and build momentum below the radar.

  4. Remember that people cannot modify your mind directly, only through your own mind modules. To speak simply, these are things like fears, desires, wants and wishes that resonate with you. Other people may sometimes awaken such elements in us, but we are responsible for what we do. The most important day in my life was when I as a teenager learned that no one else can make me do anything.

    Until then I had been like a preschooler who says: “It is his fault, he made me hit him”. You may sometimes see this in court, a rapist saying “It was her fault, she made me do it!” But that doesn’t even hold up in a human court. Sometimes resisting other people’s influence is painful, as you describe, but this is because of our own attachments. We are not like a radio car that can be remote controlled. We are human beings with the gift of freedom. But it isn’t free in the sense that it costs nothing. Sometimes not doing anything can be hard enough.

    There are small temptations, like chocolate and games. Resisting these is good practice in peacetime. But there are big temptations, like hurting others or yourself. When you feel that you are under siege, you must concentrate on this: “First of all, to do no harm.”

  5. If this is really how you feel, I think you should see a doctor. You could have some kind of depression or something. It is very important that you don’t harm yourself or others, so if you have thoughts in that direction, you should seek medical help quickly.

    My misgivings about psychiatrists is that because they swim in human craziness day out and day in, they tend to interpret any interest in spirituality as a disorder, whereas a spiritual life has been the natural order for the human mind for thousands of years. So I am kind of cautious about taking advice from them in matters of the spirit. But they do help people who suffer from panic and despair.

    If I misunderstand the situation and you are not in the kind of suffering that makes you think to harm yourself or others, then you need only live an ordinary life and give as much love (respect, understanding, seeking the happiness of others) as possible. This is a certain way toward happiness in the long run. Those who seek the happiness of others will no more avoid their own happiness than a garden hose in use can avoid water. It flows through them. But it does not come so easily to the natural person, of course. We are taught to compete with others and gather things for ourselves.

  6. It will definitely end. Even I had a time when I was still fairly young when my life was not just like a pitch dark road, it was like a pitch dark road where all the cars come toward you and their headlights shine straight in your face without dimming so the light becomes worse than the darkness. I had been fairly confident in myself and made a big decision in my spiritual life, not aware of what the cost would be.

    All things in this world pass. All conditioned things are subject to change, as the Buddha so often pointed out. He was around 80 years old when he left so he knew what he talked about.

    That said, you certainly have put yourself in an unnecessary tough spot. Offroad spirituality without the support of an established spiritual tradition, a tried and tested guru (I sincerely hope I don’t count as such), the help of friends or family or, as a last resort, medical professionals and chemistry. You sure have guts.

    These days we often hear people say: “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” But the truth is usually that they aren’t VERY spiritual. They don’t want to go to church / temple / synagogue with all the idiots, but they vaguely believe in some higher force and perhaps angels or the spirits of those who have gone before. And that goes well enough as long as they keep it in that vague, airy, fluffy way. But the moment you actually MEET something from outside the everyday world, you wish you weren’t alone in the wilderness.

    I would certainly feel better if I knew you had any of these things to support you. I know I am kind of setting a bad example as a happy hermit, but then I have learned to “not drive faster than my guardian angel can fly”. And I have decades of immersing myself in holy Scripture while surrounded by high-level Christian mystics as a foundation of my later exploration.

    As long as you truly wish to be good, evil can never overcome you. Light is always stronger than darkness, for darkness is merely absence of light. But you could make life less harsh for yourself by not doing everything alone and relying only on yourself.

  7. If I were in such a situation, I would “commend my body to the healers and my spirit to God”, in other words I would see a doctor and get checked for neurological problems. I would follow their advice as long as they don’t ask me to do anything that is against my conscience.

    And I would have prayed to God, of course. You may say that you can’t do that because you don’t believe in God that way. Yet you keep talking to me, and I keep talking to God. Why not get rid of the middleman? ^_^

    • I’ve had gnostic data turn out wrong before.

      I do not know what to make of the information I am receiving.

      • Well, yeah, I guess gnosis may be a bit early. These things take a lot more basics and foundation building than we imagine in advance. But I was thinking that perhaps you could just do like religious people and pray to some vaguely defined Supreme Being. This was how I began. After praying to God, I waited a while before logging out, so to speak. If God had actually talked back to me, I would have panicked, no doubt. But it was from God’s silence that I learned the most, for I soon discovered that this silence was not an absence, but a silent presence, similar to sitting in silence with an old friend or loved relative. I did not need an answer, because I knew that as long as this Presence was with me, everything would eventually be alright.

        Later the Presence began to evaluate the thoughts that passed through my mind, affirming some of them and rejecting others. So in that way it comes somewhat close to speaking to me, I guess. I certainly have learned a lot. But I would still be very nervous if I actually began hearing voices! Somewhat depending on what they said, of course.

  8. Indeed, controlling one’s emotions and getting a higher / detached / objective perspective is the “solution” to much of what happens in a human life. As C.G. Jung noticed, intellectual people often have strong but poorly nuanced emotions, so this would probably apply to most of my readers here. Luckily, while we can’t control what other people do to us, we CAN control what we do to them, and then work from there on inward to find the root causes of why we react as we do. This is a lifelong detective work, and a pretty interesting one.

        • The reason I recommend talking to a doctor or a priest (or both) is not so much that they are likable people, and I am aware that you know things they don’t. But what they have is life experience and, in a certain sense, death experience. Your knowledge of pain – spiritual, mental or physical – is largely subjective. Doctors and priests work with it as a living. They see people who struggle to live, and people who struggle to die. They see people who hold on to various hopes and fail, and they see people who reach the bottom of despair and then break through it and light wells up. They have seen pain and grief; some of them have become cynical, blocking the pain out, deciding that they remain in this job only to earn a living. Others have developed an empathy that no theory can give, a deep understanding, sharing suffering while at the same time seeing it objectively for what it is. It is worth looking for these people. I think some nurses also qualify, or at least they used to, although these days it seems many of them have so much to do and so little time to do it.

      • I’m feeling disgusted. I can’t believe humans are so devoid of respect.

        I’m down with clean living. I would like to live quietly as neuroscience researcher.

        The problem is that I cannot manage the attacks at all. Sometimes it occurs first thing in the morning.

        • Humans are rarely evil or good. For the most part they are just lost in themselves, struggling for what they think profits themselves, hopefully their family, and perhaps those from which they expect favors in the future. For almost everyone, almost everyone else is just a “non player character”, a person who is not really real.

  9. When going to talk to a priest of psychiatrist, it is best to not plan much. Your plans will just make their work harder, because they will have to go around these roadblocks.

    You should just explain very simply what your problem is, the things that make it hard for you . Here are some examples:
    “I am terrified. I feel like something terrible is going to happen, or someone is going to attack me.”
    “I sometimes grow so angry, I am worried that I might harm someone.”
    “I sometimes feel a sudden urge to end my life.”
    “I feel someone else trying to take over my body.”
    If you say something simple like this, they will ask you the questions that are needed. It is best to answer such questions right there without having a prepared answer. It may seem to take longer, but actually it takes longer for a soul healer, whether spiritual or medical, to try to unpack the fine speeches of someone who is too well prepared.

    • I don’t see how they could refuse helping you (if you can pay them, at least). Unless some enemy is actually, physically, repeatedly showing up in your home beating you or threatening you with lethal weapons, the reactions you describe are rather over the top, and you could get expert help at tuning them down to a more appropriate level. A priest or a doctor would be the most appropriate professionals to deal with it, and you don’t seem to have much trust in religion.

      And not least, talking to someone face to face about your problem – wearing your own name and your own face – would be a good thing in itself, as it would “ground” you.

  10. Then perhaps you should see a priest.
    Dhammapada 1:3-6, the words of the Buddha.

    “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.”
    Those who harbor such thoughts
    do not still their hatred.
    “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.”
    Those who do not harbor such thoughts
    still their hatred.
    Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world.
    By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased.
    This is a law eternal.
    There are those who do not realize
    that one day we all must die.
    But those who do realize this
    settle their quarrels.

  11. I don’t know how this is in your country, here in Norway we need to first see a General Practitioner who will then refer us to a psychiatrist if necessary. But then we have socialized medicine, so the state pays most of the bills, and we don’t have enough psychs for everyone to see them at the expense of the tax payer. So it may be different where you live.

    Anyway, please talk honestly to someone, whether it is a priest, a doctor or a non-judgmental friend (if such a thing exists). This grounding is very valuable.

    • That sounds like a hellish life. At least it was to me. It would be tragic if you were to be locked in this state of mind all the way to the end of your life. It is necessary that we reach the state of basic love while in this life.

      Basically, it starts with a decision to give love to others. I don’t mean in a romantic way, but in the way Christ describes basic love, namely to do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

      The golden rule of Hell is to do unto others as they would do unto you, and do it first. This causes evil to escalate. The absurd notion behind this is that it is better to die while doing evil than while doing good. In western literature I believe it is called to take as many of the bastards with you to hell as possible.

      However, the golden rule of Heaven is the one preached by Christ, who lived and died with the firm decision to take as many of the bastards with him to Heaven as possible.

      Now, Christ may be a bit above your league, despite your earlier aspirations, but this is the kind of thinking we must think. I make a habit of looking at random people and thinking: “Bless you!” or “God protect you!” or “May good things happen to you!” – things like that. My goal, which admittedly is a bit of a stretch, is that if someone were to cause my death, whether by accident or the darkness that sometimes clouds people’s minds, I will die with a blessing, and while it might take a while for it to work, at least I would try to send the bastard to Heaven where he belongs. There is no one on earth that is born from Hell, after all. If you look into a baby’s eyes, you should be able to see that everyone originally belongs in Heaven.

      Of course, if you don’t believe in an afterlife, you have nothing to lose either way. Except your chains in this life. And the way to escape from terrible fear is the firm decision that if anyone kills you, hurts you or betrays you, you will take the bastard with you to Heaven or die trying.

      People don’t need to be good for us to bless them. We need to be good to bless them. What they do is up to them. But we’ll take as many of the bastards with us to Heaven as we can, OK?

  12. That is why I have implored you for months now to talk to someone. Someone who knows you, if possible. If not, someone in authority: Police, priests, doctors. Someone you can talk to in your own name with your own face.

    I think the story that would be revealed in that case would be somewhat different from the story you present here. I am not calling you a liar, rather there is something big that is lacking here, something you cannot tell me and hope I will understand using gnosis or be told by the Presence. But for you to be helped, you need to talk honestly with someone while you wear your own face and your own name. I am not jumping on a plane to go meet you, and I don’t think you would face me if I could do even that. There is something you fear to say, perhaps fear to even think, so much that you choose to suffer hell alone instead of opening up.
    Not that you would be the first person to do that, of course.

  13. I must disagree. If a weak person threatened you with an obvious toy saber, you would not appreciate their effort, but you would not feel really threatened. And if someone threatens to take over your body, you have no more reason to fear them than a toy. There is no weapon by which another human, living or dead, can actually take over your body. The only way you can get controlled is by means of your own mind parasites if they grow strong enough to overwhelm your normal consciousness. However, mind parasites are like roaches or cellar fungi that only thrive in dark, dirty places. If you open your mind to the light, they cannot live. This is exactly why you have to talk with real people as a real person, to open your mind to the daylight. Only those who keep their hearts closed can be taken over, and only by the things that grow in their own darkness, not directly by another person.

    Søren Kierkegaard said that the demonic is the closed. Not quite right, perhaps, but close enough. To be more exact, the dangers to our wholeness of self are the mind parasites that grow in those closed rooms, where no one ever gets to open the door.

    You hold that key. How long will you go back on your decisions? If you wait forever, there is the risk that your surface consciousness will crumble and the mind parasites will take control, leading to your death or mental hospitalization, whichever comes first. Remember, the mind parasites (complexes) don’t care. They don’t believe in death. Don’t you remember that from the Ruthless Truth? They only want to further their own ends, they do not care about you. But they fear the light. They fear being revealed. Choose wisely.

  14. With disbelief. If the US government’s secret services sink millions of dollars into a project over several years, poisoning people to the point where some of them die and others are left crippled, and then give it up and go back to waterboarding – how can you believe some guy on the Internet will be able to do mind control casually? You don’t even believe in God, but you believe that someone on the Internet has godlike powers?

    The influence you feel comes from repressed parts of yourself. This is what you need to work on. It is the doors of your own mind that hide your secrets.

    I may not have told you this clearly enough, but the world of time is not in darkness, as you seem to believe. Even if someone had the ability to cast curses, how would they hit you? Do you not know that those who serve the Light never perish? The rays of their spiritual brightness remain in the world. It can be said that some of these great guiding lights shine with different colors; speaking spiritually, of course. In this sense the dimension of time is always filled with bright rays of light in many dazzling colors, a rainbow-colored web of bright, protective light that surrounds us all. It is only by closing our hearts that we can maintain darkness. This is certainly true.

    But on a more practical level, if you don’t believe in God or Heaven or the Light, you should believe far less in the power of darkness.

    Whether you are a spiritualist or a materialist, then, the conclusion is the same. The greatest danger to any man is his stubborn dedication to deep, dark secrets in his own heart.

    Please don’t run away from help and hide in the dark. The world is dazzling bright, if only you could see it.

  15. Hey, don’t diss schizophrenics! One of my few friends from middle school went on to have schizophrenia. True, he went through some tough times, but he was not a bad guy.

  16. So, in the end you chose not to go through with it. I guess this is why they say “Hell is not locked from the outside but from the inside.”

    It is your suffering, so of course it is your choice. If you do little, things will change little. If you do nothing, things will continue their current course.

    • Umm.. That doesn’t really answer the question.

      So, in the end you chose not to go through with it.”
      No decision has been made and you are well aware of that.

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