Yesterday Jay Lou left a comment on one of my posts that started off, "I don't want to be rude to you. But if you can't say anything good about something then don't say it at all."
I was surprised by that sentiment. I seem to recall an elementary school teacher saying something similar back in first or second grade, but adults rarely, if ever, speak that way.
It struck me as remarkably unscientific.
Yet it was pretty obvious that the commenter was a devotee of Sant Mat (likely the Radha Soami Satsang Beas branch), a spiritual path that I used to follow assiduously, and which likes to call itself the "Science of the Soul."
For the rest of his comment was:
This path is to be experienced on our own. It doesn't always work with everyone, even the Masters say that. Even though things might be going good for you but at the time of your death you will see what you have turned your back on. This mind of ours makes us doubt a lot and we have to control it. I'm just saying this to you to please don't say anything about the path, if you can't say anything good then don't say anything at all. Respect the path for what it is, even if you think its wrong and gives and didn't work for you. I think you have lost faith and don't know what you have lost. I just hope one day you understand and find what you are looking for.
It's difficult to imagine a scientist advising a colleague, "Don't say anything about this theory. Respect it for what is, even if it appears to be wrong and unworkable."
But it's easy to picture a religious fundamentalist wanting to stifle criticism of his belief system. Which sure seems to be the case here.
Lots of God-fearing people are, obviously, swayed by fear. Guru-fearing people also. I used to be one of them, so I understand where Jay Lou is coming from.
He believes that if you're not initiated by a perfect living Master who has been sent by God to take on the sins (karma) of marked souls who are destined to return to their heavenly father, then you're screwed after you die.
Just as Christianity teaches, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth as you're thrown into the clutches of the Devil (which Sant Mat calls the "negative power" or Universal Mind).
Well, maybe at the time of my death I really will see what I've turned my back on. But I doubt it. What I've made a commitment to face myself toward is truth – reality.
It's difficult for me to imagine that reality is going to turn into fantasy after death. And I don't see any evidence that the cosmos has been set up so that certain souls are punished post mortem, and other souls are rewarded.
My spirituality, if you want to call it that (I think of it more as reality'ity), is premised on a scientific assumption: universal laws are just that. They apply to everyone, everywhere.
Gravity doesn't care if someone believes in it or not. Gravity doesn't care if someone criticizes it, or not. Gravity doesn't care if someone calls it by every swear word in their lexicon, or not.
By contrast, many people believe that God (or his emissary, such as a guru) does care. So they are super-careful about not taking the Lord's name in vain, bad mouthing their chosen divinity, expressing doubts about this being, and such.
They view God as akin to an easily offended human. Someone you don't want to say anything bad about, because he doesn't take kindly to criticism. Hence, "if you can't say something good, then don't say anything at all."
Well, what I say about Sant Mat and Radha Soami Satsang Beas on this blog is based on more than thirty-five years of intimate experience. I diligently followed the path that Jay Lou refers to, and now I feel entirely justified in speaking about what I found – and didn't find – along the way.
That's science, whether it be directed at knowing physical reality or what, if anything, may lie beyond the physical. You say it like it is, recognizing that "is" continually changes as reality becomes better understood.
What you don't do is censor the truth as you perceive it because such might offend someone. That's ridiculous, especially if it's considered that ultimate reality (a.k.a. "God") is the one being offended.
If God is that fickle and hyper-sensitive, I've got no interest in kissing his ass. Actually, I'm not interested in divine ass kissing regardless of God's desires in this regard, because if I'm going to affix my lips to a posterior, I want it to be a real one.
Jacob just submitted his own blog comment on "Reality is the best religion." My reaction? Right on, dude.
I agree, im 16, many people around me believe that their is a heaven or hell, why? i mean maybe if life was a movie or video game sure, but seriously when has something like that ever been seen before your eyes? when you die, your dead so live it up
I also liked Benito's response to Jay Lou. Nicely said.