Religions offer up a damn good deal on death: have faith, do what you're told, and you won't die.
If this was really true, I'd sign up in a heartbeat, since then I wouldn't have to worry about what will happen after my last one. Which appears likely to be nothing... death being the absence of living.
But there are worse things than dying and not existing any more. I'd rank the possibilities in this order of preference:
(1) Die and live on pleasantly in another form ("heaven").
(2) Die and cease to exist.
(3) Die and live on horribly in another form ("hell").
Most of us have experienced pain, physical or psychological, that was so extreme, at some point we'd choose death over life if the suffering persisted. Knowing this, religions shrewdly use a good cop/bad cop strategy in marketing their belief wares to potential converts.
The joys of heaven await the faithful. The terrors of hell await the skeptics.
So it isn't surprising that most people in the world accept a promise of salvation from one religion or another. That's the easy way to go.
However, only if you don't think about the promise (better termed a scam) very deeply. Because obviously there's no way to know whether you've cheated death until after the game of life has stopped being played.
Thus no one --repeat, no one -- has ever confirmed for himself or herself a religion's claim that death is the gateway to more life. This claim has to be taken on faith: believe now and get the evidence later.
Well, to hell with that.
Driving around this afternoon, I heard part of an interview with Barbara Enrenreich, who has written a book decrying the relentless promotion of positive thinking in America.
She said that she's in favor of neither positive nor negative thinking, but rather realistic thinking. Excellent advice.
Religions want us to have warm and fuzzy notions of a fantasized afterlife (positive thinking), while fearing the hellish consequences if we don't have faith in the fantasy (negative thinking).
There's another option: accepting that death is real, but not dwelling on death either positively or negatively.
In this way, death can be cheated honestly -- by not playing the heaven game, the hell game, or the "holy fuck I'm going to die and never exist again!" game. Don't play any game with death. Ignore it.
Easy to say, you may be thinking. But hard to do if you've got a life-threatening illness, or if a loved one has passed away.
Admitted. Sort of.
Yes, it may be hard to break a longstanding habit of pondering death either positively or negatively by envisioning what might happen after someone takes their last breath. However, it isn't difficult to focus on living while we're alive.
All we have to do is do it. Live. Here and now. Not there and then.
Some years back a woman told me a story about her husband's fatal brain cancer. She said that it attacked a part of his brain which controlled his fear of death. So he knew he was dying. And it didn't bother him a bit.
"Sounds like a great way to go," I told her.
Another great way to go is to live life fully, passionately, and whole-heartedly. Then, die. On-off. No mixing up of life and death. No premature dying by envisioning either a pleasant or unpleasant afterlife.
What happens after death (or doesn't happen) will happen. Or, not.
We cheat death by walking away from the heaven/hell playing table. Eternal non-existence doesn't bother us either, because for now we exist -- thereby giving the finger to non-existence.
If death has the last laugh, that's fine. We won't be around to be the butt of the joke.
Death has been done plenty of times, it is nothing new. All my past relatives have died, without exception. So it seems at least a family trait. I have not one single relative with eternal life and if I did it would put a big strain on the pension scheme.
But all this life/death stuff is about the little I living in the skin bag. No one fearing death has got over the egotistical nature of this fear. So what you will die? Did you fear birth? Of course not as you had no idea you'd be alive one day.
People have babies knowing for certain that they are giving birth to a new death. But nature itself does this - This is how the cycle moves.
No one is that special that they need to live on. It is such an egotistical notion to need that. Just die. It's been done plenty of times before. No big deal - life goes on.
Posted by: Tao (the one with the blog) | October 13, 2009 at 06:00 PM
Life has been done so few times, it is something new. Few of my past relatives have lived, without exception. So it seems at least not a family trait. I have not one single relative who has really lived and if I did it would put a big boost on the enjoyment scheme.
But all this death/life stuff is about the little skin bag living in the I. No one fearing life has got over the egoless nature of this ferlessness. So what you will live? Did you fear death? Of course not as you had no idea you'd be dying every day.
People have babies knowing for certain that they are giving death to birth. But nature itself does this - This is how the cycle moves.
No one is that ordinary that they need to die. It is such an egoless notion to need that. Just live. It's been done so few times before. Big deal - death goes on.
Posted by: alive & well | October 13, 2009 at 06:42 PM
An utterly superb post!! Tao's comment was damn good too!!
Posted by: The Rambling Taoist | October 13, 2009 at 07:36 PM
Tao (the one with the blog), a few thoughts on your comment...
Yes, ego is one reason people fear death. However, I've never considered that deer or dogs (two species common in our neck of the woods) have big egos. Yet each defends itself against threats to life.
So there is something natural about fearing death when it comes in the form of a cougar, aggressive pit bull, or a meth addict armed with a gun.
This experiment can't be done, being decidedly unethical. But it'd be interesting to hook some supposedly enlightened people up to various stress-measuring devices, then subject them to a highly realistic threat to their life, like pretending that a crazed gunman has invaded the psychology lab.
I wonder how those who claim they are indifferent to living or dying would react when faced with seemingly imminent death. Maybe calmly. Maybe not.
At any rate, I wonder whether indifference to living or dying is something people should strive for, since it seems to be natural (as noted above) for creatures to prefer life over death -- unless suicidal or willing to sacrifice themselves, as soldiers and other heroes may do.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 13, 2009 at 09:35 PM
Brian, I don't know either :)
Do they fear injury or death in those cases?
As for facing death I have died. I had a death experience where I welcomed death, went with it and was pretty shocked and quite altered when I came back around to waking consciousness and realized I had not actually died. (long story).
Posted by: Tao (the one with the blog) | October 13, 2009 at 10:03 PM
Tao, I like long stories. You should tell it sometime. Or, maybe you have -- on your blog. If so, point us to the story. I like to read about near-death experiences.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 13, 2009 at 10:48 PM
i think this is very good article, and the first comment was also quite amusing.
"What happens after death (or doesn't happen) will happen. Or, not. "
This for me is the crux of it, what is going to happen, if anything, will happen.
Although karma might seem a justified outcome, i cant believe that if there is a higher being that he would resort to such forms of justice and reward or punishment.
And i also think a god that only admits you into heaven and out of the wheel of transmigration if you perform your meditiation and live according to man-made tenets of vegetarianism, etc - is not a particular fantastic god at all - in fact that sort of god sounds like he has plenty of petty man-made limitations.
Surely if there is a greater intelligence, such a god would be above reward or punishment, but instead would be about uncomnditional forgiveness and love.
This is why i find it difficult to accept various religious and mystic claims on the afterlife.
Posted by: George | October 14, 2009 at 07:19 AM
When I sought out a religion it was not for fear of death but for help in quality of living and a way to please and connect with the power that was behind life. I began looking for one, found it, left it after like 13 years for another-- serial monogamy, and then decided that none of them offered what I had hoped and left again. It never related though to fear of what happened after we die, which surprised several pastors when we talked about the philosophy of it all.
Now at the age I am, I think about what might come next, having explored reincarnation the last about equal amount of time for each of the two religions. I know a lot about what reincarnation might be but am to a point of feeling like you said above-- it doesn't matter. Lead this life as best I can, true to my inner voice, and not paying attention to the rules others set out (most come out of one of those religions). I like to know what they are to evaluate their sense, but not let them be blindly followed or denied. I try to live without fear of some eventual afterlife consequence. Just do what feels 'best' for a full living experience and will not hurt others or myself. If there is more, then living that way will make it better and I will have learned as much as possible through this lifetime. If there is nothing more, I got all I could out of this fleshly experience I was blessed enough to have.
Posted by: Rain | October 14, 2009 at 08:11 AM
Nice comment. I agree with your point of view. I wonder, what is the "best" for a full living experience?
Posted by: Roger | October 14, 2009 at 08:30 AM
Tao (the one with the blog)
I have been reading some of your site, its quite interesting.
the most profound bit was the following extract, which seems to have urged on my respect for taoism a million-fold:
"Where Zen and Buddhism will say the truth, enlightenment, and so on can be reached through dedicated meditation and practice, a Tao master may sip some wine, fart, and go to sleep."
Posted by: George | October 14, 2009 at 08:49 AM
Sant mat teaches that you CAN overcome death, that is why so many people follow it - they have HOPE and they so desperately want to believe - that they will believe it absolutely.
Doesn't mattar that there is no proof - they believe there is proof - whenever a satsangi dies the number one question is always the same "Did the master come?" If he did not then it's still okay because it means he DID come but the disciple just chose not to tell anyone. It is unthinkable that the master will not come at the time of death.
When you do beyond this desperate need to be saved - you can look at life as it is - and let life be life and death be death. Death is actually your saviour because what if you lived forever and never died? You would want to be saved from life! You would seek death because you don't want to live forever - what will you do with such a long life that never ends? Then death will become your saviour.
I have a post on my blog where I discuss this from the sant mat viewpoint.
The posting is called
"The Master will save you from Death!"
Posted by: Osho Robbins | October 14, 2009 at 03:51 PM
Osho you talk like a typical theorist
You know nothing yet discuss and proclaim things as if you are the veritable authority on the subject.
Meanwhile you couldn't be further deluded than you are.
Posted by: ashy | October 15, 2009 at 02:34 AM
Just die and get it done with
then you can stop chit chatting away about every possible speculation under the sun.
Posted by: ashy | October 15, 2009 at 02:37 AM
Dear Osho Robbins,
Master does not come from anywhere for the followers of Sant Mat. But at the time of death ones'concentration at eye center is complete and final therefore the Master becomes visible from within (radiant form of the Master) for an initiate.
If such a concentration is achieved during lifetime, the Master becomes visible while living. It has no temporal boundaries.
I am sure that you already know it. It just occured to me to scribble. There are minor things. Believing or not believing does not make a difference.
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | October 15, 2009 at 03:06 AM
And, Rakesh, how would you know if what you say is true?
Just back it up a bit - that's all I request.
Posted by: Bob | October 15, 2009 at 05:32 AM
If you happen to get a chance to observe a person who is on the verge to die, you will find that the person says explicitly that he/ she is loosing control of first feet, then legs, then chest portion and finally points towards forehead.
It is a normal practice in India among Hindus that when a person shows symptoms of nearing death, the person is laid down on the floor and relatives bring a lit earthenware by the side of the person. Very often, the elderly people leave their body in presence of close relatives.
Meditation is nothing else but rehearse to die.
That is all.
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | October 15, 2009 at 06:45 AM
Rakesh, as Bob requested you didn't provide any evidence that what you said is true. Which was, in part:
"Master does not come from anywhere for the followers of Sant Mat. But at the time of death ones'concentration at eye center is complete and final therefore the Master becomes visible from within (radiant form of the Master) for an initiate."
Why should anyone consider these words anything but your personal belief? And why should Osho Robbins already know this, as you told him?
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 15, 2009 at 08:20 AM
if there is god after death, why does one have to pracitice while alive? god will be there anyway.
and why do ppl need to try train their minds to see god while still alive? If god wanted us to see god when alive why has god created all this illusion?
Posted by: George | October 15, 2009 at 08:24 AM
Ashy, Rakesh, and all believers - you are unaware that you do not know anything. You think you know - but actually you know nothing. You have BELIEF. You mistake your belief for truth and knowing. A belief is just a belief.
All your 'knowing' is borrowed - meaning that you have heard it and are repeating it like a parrot. That is what happens in RS satsangs. A speaker tells you what he has learned about sant mat - the theories and concepts he believes are true. He is not giving you any knowledge - just more beliefs and concepts.
Do I know anything? No. I also know nothing - but I know that I know nothing. And the moment you know nothing - and face this absolute truth - then something happens. What happens is that clarity comes - your eyes open and you see what was always in front of you - but previously your belief kept you blind.
From this clarity comes realization. It is not some extra-ordinary mystical state. It is very ordinary - like opening your eyes. It is like everyone has their eyes closed and you have just opened your eyes and you can see. They are blind simply because they have shut their eyes.
No master will come - this is not my belief. I am not asking anyone to believe me. No master will come because this whole thing of master coming is a BELIEF system - the same as children believe in Santa Claus. Of course someone may SEE his master at the time of death and I will still say that no master will come. They are simply deluded because all visions are delusions and self-created. The mind will create anything it believes.
Once you 'grow up' it becomes obvious that there is no santa claus. It is not that you have stopped believing - it is just so obvious - but little children still believe. It is the same with God and Masters etc. When you finally 'grow up' and drop all the silly beliefs - the truth becomes obvious and self-evident.
Posted by: Osho Robbins | October 15, 2009 at 05:00 PM
How to cheat death... without religion:
Posted by: this life | October 15, 2009 at 09:32 PM
How to live life... without religion:
Posted by: this life | October 15, 2009 at 09:35 PM
......Why should anyone consider these words anything but your personal belief? And why should Osho Robbins already know this, as you told him?
......Very funny questions, indeed! On your blog I have narrated the death of my father before me and my family members. Gentleman, It has happened before me something like sun rises daily before my eyes in the east. Moreover, how do say that Osho does not know this? It was premise.
Sir, I would say truth has to be experienced and can not be explained. I am not a very learned person but I always intend to learn from little things around me.
A very simple thing. If you ask me to let you know about the smell of a rotten apple, however briefly or elaborately I explain I can satisfy you only by bringing a rotten apple before you physically.
Thanks for your comments.
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | October 15, 2009 at 10:34 PM
Rakesh, you weren't asked "funny" guestions. Just questions. Which you still haven't answered.
You don't know what your father experienced when he died. Christians see Jesus. Disciples see their guru. Buddhists may see the Buddha, I presume.
This doesn't mean that all of these people are actually seeing someone real. It just may mean that a religious figure they've revered for much of their life appears in their mind as they near death.
Again, you don't know. I don't know. No one knows. This is all the questions you've been asked point to: not knowing. We're all in the same position when it comes to what happens at death: not knowing.
Humility is saying, "I don't know." I'm willing to say that: "I don't know." Are you?
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 16, 2009 at 12:10 AM
humility is knowing what you don't know, and appreciating those things you do know to be true.
Humility is also about not pretending you know something whether you think you have some intellectual understanding of anything to be true or false.
Some of you stand on your non knowing soap boxes in here spouting all manner of speculative jargon about stuff you don't have even half a clue about.
Especially these self proclaimed puffed up knowers of nothing.
You wouldn't know the difference between a believer, atheist, agnostic, skeptic or mystic if you had to trip over one in the street, yet you fools spout like non knowing know it alls about everything unknown under the sun.
If you want or need to know about what happens at or before death, then get on with it and die, and stop proclaiming all your incessant hogwash non knowingness about every theoretical supposition and speculation under the sun.
Especially you highfalutin non knowers of nothing.
Posted by: ashy | October 16, 2009 at 02:54 AM
The poor knowers that know sweet bugger all about anything chickening out from knowing nothing and facing bare facts square in the face .. again.
If ever there were poor snivelling cowards in this universe, you are it.
Posted by: ashy | October 16, 2009 at 03:03 AM
If you find this last post offensive to your status quo, you can delete it, I assumed you had rejected the previous one because it had not shown up as posted. Else leave it standing, its not too far off the mark anyway.
Makes relatively zero difference one way or the other in any case, as if any words posted on a cyber blog do.
Posted by: ashy | October 16, 2009 at 03:09 AM
if ppl weren't to speculate, there'd be nothing left to say, might as well close this and every blog down, as well as every master spouting from his own soapbox.
If it truly was all, and only, about personal experiemce, there would be no use for language or communication of any kind.
if that were to happen we'd still be stuck in the stone age grunting to one another and totally unaware of any understanding of the cosmos around us.
the mystics did not teach anyone about the universe, they know nothing about it at all, what they've leant is from modern science which has derived from the western enlightement.
the only think the mystics might claim to have a better appreciation of is the psychology of the mind, but there is no way of learning anything objectively true about the human through a subjective exploration.
Posted by: George | October 16, 2009 at 03:13 AM
If you say that you do not know. I say that I know less than you know.
Posted by: rakesh bhasin | October 16, 2009 at 03:26 AM
Ashy - I don't know what your intention is for posting the responses above.
You've made no clear point with regards to the death issue. Your words are flat and contain no substance.
Posted by: Bob | October 16, 2009 at 06:23 AM
the intention Bob is pretty much the obvious. If you need or want to know what happens during or after the death process, then learn how to die, and do so. No amount of speculative reasoning on this blog site or any other written medium will give you any clearer knowledge or understanding about any of it whatsoever.
This is why the mystics are predominantly so much further down any road of realised understanding than any of you skeptic rationalists could ever dream to be. The difference is they see and know, while you reason and speculate. Till doomsday.
George once you have met or spoken to a mystic or he has imparted some inner understanding to your rather closed mind, then perhaps you might be in a position to make any such sweeping statements about what they might know or not.
As to my 3 posts above, only the first one was intended, as a response to Osho the intellectual theorist. The other two you can discount as they were as a result of an assumption on my part that the first one had been deleted by the moderator police.
Posted by: ashy | October 16, 2009 at 06:56 AM
ashy, as Bob noted, your comments lack substance. I've left them up as an example of how true believers criticize skeptical "speculation," then respond with a bunch of speculation of their own.
From now on, please respond to the substance of a post, rather than criticizing open examination and discussion of religious claims. If you are opposed to this, why do you take part in this blog?
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 16, 2009 at 08:05 AM
well by the same token then why dont the mystics get on with it and die already rather then preaching doomsday to the rest of us?
I have listened to you who has imparted much mystical wisdom (tho i understand you do not hold youtself out as a mystic), which has opened my eyes to a very different perspective, but what i can't really understand is the need for dogmatic shouting down or shock-and-awe tactics to try and 'awaken' others to your view of reality.
perhaps my perception is wrong, but even if evidence is contrary to mystical knowledge, where personal experience triumph over ideas and the intellect, why not let other decide that for themselves if they want to by discussing and weighing up all options and giving their views?
Posted by: George | October 16, 2009 at 08:14 AM
Perhaps personal experience or subjective truth is the only thing that counts (mystic), but surely its more likely that the human mind - with its conceptual ability for language and abstract thought - is what has actually got us to the point of contemplating the meaning of our own existence in the first place?
Which other lifeforms do we think are likely to ponder their existence? The most basic one's presumably don't have much of a mind let alone aything going thru it, which might require arduous training or meditiation to still. Its not impossible, but common sense suggests its unlikely that the chimpazee, let alone the egg-plant, ever ponders the meaning of their existence or what happens after death.
I mean these are surely the ultimate nondualists who live in the now operating predominantly on instinct alone - yet do they see any great truths?
Posted by: George | October 16, 2009 at 08:40 AM
George, great comment -- your last one. You've raised some fresh ideas that made me think about thinking in a different way.
Yes, what would it be like to be an ultimate non-dualist? Or one with the One?
In my book about Plotinus, I pointed out that he says it'd be ridiculous if Socrates were to finally realize the ultimate truth he'd sought all his life, only to cease existing as Socrates when this happened.
Meaning, there can't be a realization of unitary truth without a separate realizer. Without this, there's just something without anyone knowing it exists.
Ken Wilber, for all the sense he doesn't make, does get this right. He likes to talk about how regression to an infantile state of undifferentiation isn't the same as progression to a mature understanding of interconnectedness.
We can't go back to, like you said, an animalistic or vegetative state of just existing. We're humans, not sea slugs or sea cucumbers. Human cognition is a big part of who we are. To deny it is to use it in the denying, which obviously doesn't make sense.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 16, 2009 at 09:30 AM
yes, nicely summed up Brian, wilber gets a bit too fancy for my liking, but thats understandable as you have said it.
Ashy probably going to chew my ear off, but i do struggle to see how a seer can actually see or realise unity, it actually seems to me that the intellectual case for inteconnectedness is stronger, which is back-to-front.
then again, i am a novice in these mystical matters, so i might have it totally back-to-front. i do think its probably worth taking up meditation and giving it a go in any case. who knows, unless you tried it.
On the website of Tao above there was a link to a google video given by a french Buddhist preist on meditation, actually fascinating.
Posted by: George | October 16, 2009 at 10:30 AM
"Meaning, there can't be a realization of unitary truth without a separate realizer. Without this, there's just something without anyone knowing it exists."
--This could be the realization or the liberation.
Posted by: Roger | October 16, 2009 at 11:28 AM
I don't recognise Doomsday... the Bollywood movie Dhoom on the other hand is worth recognition.
As for mystics, well, other people are welcome to sit at their feet lost in awe and hope.
George, there are thousands of meditations. Choose carefully. Vippasana does not add anything, but needs a little Metta I.M.O.
Tao, your blog or website... the address?
Posted by: Catherine | October 16, 2009 at 10:14 PM
Catherine, here's the Tao Wow blog URL:
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 16, 2009 at 11:35 PM
I was thinking that most of the meditations seem to have as their aim, the stilling of the mind, be it by focussing on an object, a mantra or one's breathing = or simply relaxing so as to try let thoughts subside as they bubble up.
Was thinking the latter is probably most apt for a beginner, without ficussing too much on anything apart from keeping breathing rhythmical, just to sit quietly somehwere for maybe 20mins each morning.
Do you have any advice for a beginner?
Posted by: George | October 17, 2009 at 03:51 AM
These that purport to know quite who is the 'believer' and who is the 'skeptic' or the 'knower' still within the abject disillusionment of where truth resides or not.
They think they can utilize their faculties of reason and intellect to discern knowledge from fallacy, yet it is precisely the pure unadulterated arrogance of their debilitated egoist reason that separates them from the very truth they pretend to seek.
If it were truly truth they sought, then they would seek it where it could be found, yet in exactly the opposite direction they venture, straight into the debilitating incapacitated realm of the egocentric, self deluding, arrogance encrusted, self righteous, and truth denying, egoist mind.
Posted by: ashy | October 17, 2009 at 05:07 AM
First decide what it is you actually seek, make that very clear to yourself. If you are afraid of letting go your ego ravaged and self centered, self attached mind, then the mystic path is not for you. Then the compromised approach of some kind of secondary spin off feeling good type of meditation practice aligned with retaining your precious self preserving identity, is what you maybe seek. Like Taoism, or Tai Chi, or Sadhana this or Pranayam or Kundalini that.
This is not the path to realization at all, it is perhaps akin to some kind of self improvement program to feeling better about yourself or some such secondary compromising approach to who you think you may be, but in essence it is just another secondary cop out to following the dictates of your mind in a perhaps less constraining environment or setting.
Bottom line is there are no two or more paths to realization, there is only one, even the ancients like Plotinus would have told you the same. There is but one way to die, and one way to be born. Not two.
The path to realization is identical to everyone, whether they like to catagorize themselves as churchless or skeptic or atheist or agnostic or evangalist or mystic, the path through death to realization is identical, its simply been designed that way, for better or for worse, and most likely the former.
Mystics have traversed those avenues, and in very simple terms they offer those eager to seek and discern for themselves similar salient understanding the opportunity to uncover the identical realization of who they in fact actually are.
Most human individuals are simply to afraid or self rigidified and paranoid to let go of their precious self centered identity they think is the be all and end all of their ego centric existence, so they seek every ulterior motive under the sun to hang onto it for all they are worth.
The only thing actually worth achieving in this four score years and ten sojourn here on this planet for anyone with any resolution to seeking clarity of the mystery of who we are, is to learn how to die, whilst alive, that is the sum total of the entire exercise within this eat or be eaten escapade in this vale of duality.
Once you have mastered that you may well be on your way to discovering the bigger picture, till then rack your reasoning brain for all its worth, it will only give you second hand information and second rate clarity, no true understanding of anything worth knowing really.
So those purporting to seek substance on this blog site, if its truly substance you truly seek, then learn how to die, and then shut this poor ravaged self deluded intellectually disillusioned mind up, because the incessant reasoning and incapacitated assumptions are leading you all around the garden path. Forever. Yes, all the way unto doomsday, and perhaps beyond.
Posted by: ashy | October 17, 2009 at 05:45 AM
ashy, a few thoughts...
It doesn't seem that you have been able to shut your own mind up, since it is still busily writing comments about your thoughts concerning how other people think. Do you see any contradiction here?
You speak of "mystics" as if they were a single entity, all saying the same thing. Actually, mystics are all over the place when it comes to the nature of God, meditation, existence of an enduring soul, and so on.
Plotinus is different from Buddha who is different from Rumi who is different from Meister Eckhart who is different from Lao Tzu who is different from Kabir, and so on.
Your take on mysticism is only one among many: the notion that shutting down physical and mental motion ("dying while living") is the path to self- and god-realization.
If you read much Zen literature, you'll find that this approach is derided as delusional. Which it might be. Or, not. Who knows? That's the point.
Who knows? There are many ways, many paths. There's no evidence that one is more true than the others.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 17, 2009 at 07:48 AM
"Once you have mastered that you may well be on your way to discovering the bigger picture, till then rack your reasoning brain for all its worth, it will only give you second hand information and second rate clarity, no true understanding of anything worth knowing really."
--How do i know i have mastered?
--How do i know i am well on my way?
--How do i know the worth of my reasoning brain?
--So whats wrong with second hand information? There could be value in second hand info, after all it's just information.
--So whats wrong with second rate clarity, it's better than third rate.
--What is the difference between "no true" understanding of anything worth knowing, and "true" understanding of nothing not worth anything?
Posted by: Roger | October 17, 2009 at 08:19 AM
Ashy writes: "These that purport to know [...are...] still within the abject disillusionment of where truth resides"
* then where exactly does this truth reside??
Ashy: "it is precisely the pure unadulterated arrogance of [...] reason that separates them from the very truth they pretend to seek."
* if truth cannot be approached through reason, then how?? you like to say that others are not looking for truth in the right way and the right place, that they are wrong, but yet you offer nothing better. so if you have some greater truth, then present it. because criticising others saying they know not truth, and yet offering no other superior truth, is foolishess.
Ashy: "If it were truly truth they sought, then they would seek it where it could be found"
* then where is it found?? and what is this truth that you speak of??
Ashy: "in exactly the opposite direction they venture, straight into the debilitating incapacitated realm of the egocentric, self deluding, arrogance encrusted, self righteous, and truth denying, egoist mind."
* isn't that what you are doing by criticising others?? in order to fault someone else's efforts and truths, you must necessarily come from the position of the "egoist mind".
Ashy: "First decide what it is you actually seek"
* but what if other people are not seeking? or what if their perceptions or experiences are different than yours or someone else's??
Ashy: "If you are afraid of letting go your ego ravaged and self centered, self attached mind, then the mystic path is not for you."
* what is the mystic path, in your opinion?? but remember that it is only your opinion.
Ashy: "some kind of secondary spin off feeling good type of meditation practice"
* please elaborate, what meditation path is that??
Ashy: "Like Taoism, or Tai Chi, or Sadhana this or Pranayam or Kundalini that."
* then you are saying that all the taoist sages, and all the buddhist sages, and all the indian hindu yogis, and all the kundalini siddhas, of all time... are all nothing more than inferior and "secondary spin off feeling good type of meditation" practitioners?? how could that be?? how do you know that for sure?? did you actually know all of these sages and yogis and mystics and siddhas personally?? were you right there with them down throughout the last five to ten thousand years of history?? i don't think you were. do you know how they meditated?? do you you know what they perceived and experienced, or understood and realized?? do you actually know all about everything that they knew and taught?? if so, then please show how all of that is inferior, and what exactly is superior to that which all those sages and yogis knew and practiced??
* if you have something better or moore superior than what others have known, done, or shared, then you should present it. but to criticsie other peeple's efforts, and yet present nothing better yourself, is again foolishness.
Ashy: "This is not the path to realization at all"
* if it is not, then what is the "path to realization", in your opinion and your experience experience??
Ashy: "it is perhaps akin to some kind of self improvement program [...] some such secondary compromising approach to who you think you may be"
* how do you know this?? how do you know it is only a "selfimprovement progam" or a "secondary compromising approach"?? and also, who do you think that you are?? but bear in mind that it can only be what you think. but if you feel that you actually know who you are, then please tell exactly who and what that is.
Ashy: "in essence it is just another secondary cop out to following the dictates of your mind in a perhaps less constraining environment or setting."
* is it?? then please explain, how do you know that?? how do you know what other people practice or experience or do or know??
Ashy: "there are no two or more paths to realization, there is only one"
* alright, then please tell what exactly is that "one" path to realization?? because if you are going to say that there are not more than one path, or that other people's paths are wrong or incorrect or faulty, then you should present what (in your opiniion) is the one and only true path to realization?? in other words, don't just criticise others without presenting some viable alternative.
Ashy: "even the ancients like Plotinus would have told you the same."
* would they? how do you know what they would say? how do you know what Plotinus would say?? please show evidence where Plotinus says that "there is only one" path. Iif you are going to make such a claim, then you must necessarily back that up with proof. so show exactly where Plotinus says that there is "only one" path.
Ashy: "The path to realization is identical to everyone"
* why do you say that?? how do you know that?? where is the evidence that "the path to realization" is identical and the same for everyone.
Ashy: "the path through death to realization is identical"
* so you are saying that this "realization" is only achieved after dying?? meaning after death?? how do you know this?? how could you know this?? since you are not dead yet, then how could you know that this "realization" comes only "through death"??
Ashy: "its simply been designed that way"
* how do you know this? and, who designed it "that way"??
Ashy: "Mystics have traversed those avenues"
* have they?? and hoow do you know this?? how do you actually know what mystics have "travesed" or what they experience?? where you there with them?? you really do not know what someone else has experienced or achieved, and whether or not that was actually something real.
Ashy: "they offer [...] the opportunity to uncover the identical realization of who they in fact actually are."
* well then, who or what exactly is that??
Ashy: "Most human individuals are [...] afraid or [...] paranoid to let go of their precious self centered identity"
* how do you know this to be true about "most" other people?? what allows you this judgement??
Ashy: "they think is the be all and end all of their ego centric existence, so they seek every ulterior motive [...] to hang onto it"
* how do you know, how could you possibly know, what other people think or what they do??
Ashy: "The only thing actually worth achieving in this [...] sojourn here on this planet [...] is to learn how to die, whilst alive"
* if you believe that, then why don't you just die?? if you think that dying is the only worthwhile thing to do with your life, then why aren't you dead yet?? why are you here telling other people to die?? that seems pretty hypocritical to me. if you think dying is the best thing to do in life, then you should be following your own advice. and other people don't necessarily see it your way. other people value life and they value their lives. if you think dying id better than living, that dying is the way to go, then why are you even here??
Ashy: "Once you have mastered that you may well be on your way"
* there is nothing to master. if you die, well then you will be dead. talking about dying is rather absurd. there is no need to die, only just appreciate your life while you are alive. there is no need to be concerned with death. it will come in its own way and time and place.
Ashy: "it will only give you second hand information and second rate clarity, no true understanding of anything worth knowing really."
* so what is "worth knowing"??
Ashy: "those purporting to seek substance on this blog site"
* who are they exactly??
Ashy: "if its truly substance you truly seek, [...] then shut this poor ravaged self deluded intellectually disillusioned mind up, because the incessant reasoning and incapacitated assumptions are leading you all around the garden path."
* are your comments not full of assumptions and intellectual reasoning?? you make many assumptions, and worse, you could not even post one word or comment here if you did not have a mind. so again, you come off as being a bit of a hypocrite.
Ashy: "all the way unto doomsday, and perhaps beyond"
* what's up with this "doomsday" rap?? is that yet another assumption?? or just another put-down without offering any meaningfull substance and alternatives??
Posted by: this life | October 17, 2009 at 02:48 PM
this life, good job -- you nailed Ashy. He's crucified on his own cross of unsupported dogmatic statements.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 17, 2009 at 02:57 PM
yes, and I would like to add the following for added perspective:
Tantra is a much misunderstood science in these times. The truth is that it is a rare individual who has the capacity to learn and understand Tantra. Without a bonafide teacher, you’ll just be spinning your wheels. It may take a lifetime of study to complete the course, which cannot be done in mere weekends after which you are proclaimed a master.
It’s difficult to separate Tantra from the occult, as it is Tantra where the right and left hand paths have their most prominent presence. The chances are that most practitioners will wind up on the left hand path, whether they intended it or not. It’s an area of study that is best avoided by anyone who wants to remain sane. If you think you have the goods to interact with Smashan Tara, then be my guest.
However, none of these Byzantine intricacies are necessary anyway. If a person would simply work on developing the capacity to express unqualified love, they will achieve as much if not more, than any amount of study put into the workings of Tantra.
There are two main paths to self-realization and they are the path of knowledge and the path of devotion. We have a mind and we have a heart. It might well be that one who attains, to the highest state to which knowledge can bring them, must return again to learn what only the heart can teach them. On the other hand, those who follow the path of the heart may not return for the knowledge; as the heart contains it all.
I’ve read so many books and traveled on so many planes, with and without the booster rockets. Yet I know less now than I did when I started. It comes upon me stronger and stronger every day that I will apprehend and achieve nothing, until I have surrendered utterly …and this life seems determined to force my hand in that regard.
Knowledge can be a dangerous thing because it feeds arrogance. Magical powers can be even more dangerous because of the impetus to exercise them. The great Hindu saint Ramakrishna achieved a high state of realization in his devotion to Kali, and had all of the yogic siddhis given to him. Throughout his life he never used one of them and turned them over to his disciple Vivekananda upon his departure for the higher realms.
Ramakrishna was a very simple guy. Sri Sarada Devi was a very simple lady. Jacob Boehme was a very simple guy. St Francis was a very simple guy. It seems to me that the divine has a thing for simple people and elevates their lives and their names into prominence as examples for the world. There’s a point to be made which is that you don’t need the intricate complexities of academia to arrive at the highest understandings. If anything, they are a hindrance. You don’t need titles and awards as evidence that you are worthy or exceptional. The most exceptional person on Earth is the one who seeks the divine with their whole heart and mind.
It is impossible to bullshit the divine. The divine knows things about you that you don’t even suspect and is sitting at the center of your being observing everything you do and adjusting your course accordingly. As long as you choose to believe that everything is under your control you will be allowed to harbor that until the time comes to show you otherwise. If you don’t seek God in the springtime of your life, he won’t be there in the winter. That's a stern admonition from a spiritual teacher who was generally known for the sweetness of his speech; Paramahansa Yogananda.
Npwever, as much as the world can pummel and punish you, no one can do it quite as well as you can. The agony of reflection, on a life wasted, is a terrible fate.
There are only a few things about Tantra that need to be understood and everything pertinent to your particular being will be added as needed: Seek to see the divine in everything. When you eat, consume your food as if it were the very stuff of realization itself. Eat with persistent gratitude. Treat everyone as if they were an angel in disguise. Love the divine in everything and surrender the reactive mind every time it rears its ugly head. Let your every word and gesture be an expression of conscious love for what is hidden in what surrounds and permeates you. Become childlike by discarding what you think you know because, you don’t really know.
Some of those I mentioned were near illiterate. They didn’t read any of those books which we puff ourselves up about for having read. Some of them traveled very little except across the landscape of the great within. They had no armies or fortunes but they transformed the world in the time when they were present.
The divine cannot enter a heart where shortcomings and negative qualities reside and are elevated as desirable characteristics. These must be evicted before you can invite the divine. The divine is waiting right now. The divine is camped on the door step of the gateway of the heart. The divine wants to embrace you as the returning prodigal and endlessly shower gifts and blessings upon you.
What do we do instead? We allow ourselves to be thrown into darkness by demons that consume our treasures and laugh at our ignorance. We voluntarily turn ourselves over to the slave master for torment and abuse. We parade about in the shame of our imagined importance while we are steadily and relentlessly reduced to nothing.
Whenever the sex force arises from the physical core, or through the conduit of the imagination, direct it toward the divine. Whenever engaged in some performance of it, let it be that you are having intercourse with the divine. Bless everything you do and offer it up and sooner rather than later you will find yourself in that secret walled garden that opens inward and outward from within ourselves. The word ‘paradise’ translates, or the interpretation of the original, is ‘walled garden’.
Everything that we need to be concerned with is taking place within us. The main problem for everyone is a lack of dedication and persistence. We give up and turn off just as we are about to arrive. We send off for a package and then leave before the postman can place it in our hands.
Try to turn your mind to your idea of the divine and watch closely. Watch how you will be off thinking about something else in short order and not know how it happened. You must engage the divine in conversation all through your day. Take a walk in the twilight and at dawn; these are especially good times. Get in the habit of discussing everything that happens to you with the author of all things. Make this the point of your life and I promise you, your life, and this life, will have a point.
Posted by: this life | October 17, 2009 at 07:57 PM
this life, the Divine?! Redirecting the sex force to the Divine?! Why not just have sex and enjoy it while it lasts! Be steadily and relentlessly reduced to nothing? Why not embrace nothingness- check it out? 'mystical' and the 'you must' part- what's that about? The springtime is the malleable time when the fresh green shoots can easily be bent.
There, now you can call me Roger!
George, why not see if you like it? Anything that doesn't mess with good sense.
Posted by: Catherine | October 17, 2009 at 10:39 PM
"the Divine?! Redirecting the sex force to the Divine?!
* that6s not what i said or meant.
"Why not just have sex and enjoy it while it lasts!"
* that is what I said and meant.
"Be steadily and relentlessly reduced to nothing?"
* i didn't say or imply that. i said surrender, not "reduced to nothing".
"Why not embrace nothingness"
* there is no such thing. nothing is just that, nothing. so what is there to embrace? i embrace the fullness of life, not nothingness. i am interested in life. i am not interested in nothingness. but if you prefer nothingness, then whatever suits you fancy.
"'mystical' and the 'you must' part- what's that about?"
* the "must" part? "what's that about" you ask?? well, instead of nit-picking and out of context, if you look for the reason and meaning in the greater context, you may find the answer to that.
so to assist you, here is the whole of what was written, to which that pertained:
"It might well be that one who attains, to the highest state to which knowledge can bring them, must return again to learn what only the heart can teach them."
"The divine cannot enter a heart where shortcomings and negative qualities reside and are elevated as desirable characteristics. These must be evicted before you can invite the divine."
"Try to turn your mind to your idea of the divine and watch closely. Watch how you will be off thinking about something else in short order and not know how it happened. You must engage the divine in conversation all through your day."
Posted by: this life | October 18, 2009 at 12:34 AM
i am not interested in a self-help program, rather i am interested in finding this realised self which all of the mystic tradition hint at.
There appear to many of them, one of them is Sant Mat, but there are others, which makes sense unless Sant Mat is viewed as the only Truth in which case its like every other religion that has ever existed.
Posted by: George | October 18, 2009 at 04:18 AM
I think Brian is quite correct in this regard, how can you bemoan others for conceptualizing on an internet site when you are doing the same?
One of the things dislike about religion (and many mystic traditions) is the need to try goad ppl into faith upon threat of doomsday scenarios - which makes me highly suspiciously immediately.
Why is it that believers so typically turn to FEAR scenarios to manipulate others? This threat or menace of fear which is suspended over people's heads does not sound god-like or divinely inspired at all, it sounds distinctly human-like and even amateurish in its psychology.
The first bit of your most interesting post I disagree with is Yoganandas stern warning for seeking god in the springtime to be there in the winter.
If there is a god, why would he not be above petty human needs like devotion? Surely a great god would love all his creations and help them at their most vulnerable regardless of their erroneous limited beliefs? Punishment for non-belief, what a petty god that would seem.
A second issue is all this humility and bowing and scraping. I find these claims of 'arrogance' astounding. Science claims an approximation (changeable model) of the truth based on available evidence, whereas mysticism/religion claim absolute truth without any evidence whatsoever.
While every human is far more than their intelligence or knowledge - just as the mystics feel their sacred knowledge is capable of opening up minds - so i would argue that the western scientific model of enlightenment could open up many 'uneducated' superstitious minds too.
Historically its the uneducated masses for whom religious belief has held the most sway, but once ppl become educated (aware) of alternatives they can choose the form of knowledge they feel is best - knowlege is power.
Posted by: George | October 18, 2009 at 05:31 AM
this life, I don't understand the notion of "turn your mind to your idea of the divine" and "engage the divine in conversation."
It seems like this divides life into something "divine" and something that isn't. But what's the difference between them?
How would I recognize the "divine" so I could engage it in conversation? If the divine is my idea of it, aren't I talking to myself? (something I do a lot of already)
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 18, 2009 at 09:33 AM
"Why not just have sex and enjoy it while it lasts!"
* that is what I said and meant.
---Damn, I'm glad you said and meant that. Oh what glory to the divine.....
Posted by: Roger | October 18, 2009 at 12:57 PM
On October 18, 2009 at 05:31 AM
"One of the things dislike about religion (and many mystic traditions) is the need to try goad ppl into faith upon threat of doomsday scenarios - which makes me highly suspiciously immediately."
* i'm not exactly sure why you are telling me that, as it was not i who brought up the "doomsday scenarios". the doomsday comment was Ashy's. but perhaps you were just agreeing with me??
* here is what i said regarding Ashy's doomsday comment: "what's up with this "doomsday" rap?? is that yet another assumption?? or just another put-down without offering any meaningfull substance and alternatives??"
George wrote: "This threat or menace of fear which is suspended over people's heads does not sound god-like or divinely inspired at all, it sounds distinctly human-like and even amateurish in its psychology."
* yes, i definitely agree.
George wrote: "The first bit of your most interesting post I disagree with is Yoganandas stern warning for seeking god in the springtime to be there in the winter."
* i really don't know what to tell you except that i interpreted his saying to mean 'seize the moment', before it is lost or before the time passes.
George wrote: "If there is a god, why would he not be above petty human needs like devotion?"
* i very much agree. i wasn't meaning or implying giving some sort of "devotion" to any "god". it was more about appreciating or feeling a sacredness about all things, even seeminglly ordinary things and ordinary moments (like eating food) in one's daily life.
George wrote: "Surely a great god would love all his creations and help them at their most vulnerable regardless of their erroneous limited beliefs?"
* again i agree with you. there was no meaning or implication of any "great god". the term "the divine" was not referring to any "god". the only mention of the word "god" was in that Yogananda quote. so perhaps that was what caused you to come to a different interpretation of meaning. sorry about that.
George wrote: "Punishment for non-belief, what a petty god that would seem."
* again i agree.
George wrote: "A second issue is all this humility and bowing and scraping. I find these claims of 'arrogance' astounding."
* i'm not sure what you mean here. no "bowing and scraping" was implied. the universe appears to be governed by the laws of physics etc. that is what is meant by 'everything is under control'. and so "humility" is to recognize that, to recognize that we as individuals are really not in control of anything (except in the very personal and local sense of having control of our bodies - at least we assume that we do). we are generally controlled by forces beyond and greater than ourselves.
George wrote: "Science claims an approximation (changeable model) of the truth based on available evidence, whereas mysticism/religion claim absolute truth without any evidence whatsoever."
* again i agree. and there was no claiming of any absolute truth. if it appeared that way to you, i did not intend to convey that.
George wrote: "i would argue that the western scientific model of enlightenment could open up many 'uneducated' superstitious minds too."
* i very much agree.
George wrote: "once ppl become educated (aware) of alternatives they can choose the form of knowledge they feel is best - knowlege is power."
* yes, i agree with that as well.
On October 18, 2009 at 09:33 AM
Brian wrote: "I don't understand the notion of "turn your mind to your idea of the divine" and "engage the divine in conversation."
* it was intended to mean: 'turn your attention and awareness towards being receptive to a higher intelligence. be receptive to the intelligence and guidance of the universe. but if that notion of having an openess towards higher intelligence does not appeal to you, then that is quite alright.
Brian wrote: "It seems like this divides life into something "divine" and something that isn't. But what's the difference between them?"
* that is not what was the intended meaning. no dividing or difference was implied. the "divine" is not apart from otherwise ordinary life. and that was the point. to feel the sacred within the ordinary.
Brian wrote: "How would I recognize the "divine" so I could engage it in conversation?"
* "the divine" meant a higher intelligence. there is always a 'connection' (so to speak) with this. and "conversation" just means being open and receptive to the higher intelligence, and also engaging or interacting or communcating with, higher intelligence.
Brian wrote: "If the divine is my idea of it, aren't I talking to myself?"
* yes, but no. because what was meant by your "idea" of it, is simply a way to formulate and direct your awareness towards, or your communication with, the divine (the higher intelligence) within. so yes, the divine or higher intelligence is within yourself.
Posted by: this life | October 18, 2009 at 09:55 PM
I watched an excellent spontaneous Tango the other day on a balmy evening in a courtyard surrounded by restaurants. A couple got up- she was fabulous... and large- much older than her young slender gay partner and she was dressed in a red cocktail dress. They danced with such elegance and grace... so self assured. She did that thing amongst others where she drags the toe of her stilleto up the back of his calf. An imperfect pair doing a little perfect something together....I still smile when I remember that special occasion....now that was a conversation.
Posted by: Catherine | October 18, 2009 at 10:00 PM
Catherine, wow, sounds like a great moment. I enjoyed my Argentine Tango lessons, but it is a difficult style to dance -- largely because it is so spontaneous, in the moment, unstructured.
I still love to watch it. Laurel and I just have decided to focus on ballroom dancing, including American Tango. On a good night, I can approximate some of the feeling of Argentine Tango (which you saw) with American Tango moves.
Eventually, if I live so long and practice dancing more often than we have been recently, I'd like to meld some favorite Argentine Tango moves into our American Tango repertoire. That would be the best of both worlds.
Have you seen "The Tango Lesson"? Great movie. If you haven't, you should. I shared a favorite scene in this blog post:
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 18, 2009 at 10:15 PM
[George wanted to see this comment, so I've republished it. I unpublished it because there was no content to it -- just criticism of this blog. -- Blogger Brian]
still tangoing through these two fold tulips yet not an iota of truth resides.
seems to me that truth is hardly the subject of discussion here.
every other two bit self indulgent ideology of I ness and my ness seems the order of the day, but considering truth is simply not a part of the equation.
As regards doomsday, it was a manner of speech simply denoting to some of you that you will still be tangoing around your dual deriving non realized minds until doomsday, and perhaps beyond.
Have you ever stopped to consider that your 4 score years and ten sojourn here may all be but a wink of an eye, a glimpse into the vast beyond, yet you take it all so tangoistically self assuredly seriously. As if every dawning tomorrow supercedes the next. And yet the only constant you can be assured of is in truth death, and the end of one cycle producing the next, the end of one reality dissolving and merging into the next. Perhaps the end of one body or planet or solar system or galaxy or universe being engulfed by the next.
You ask the big question then shy away from the answers, that are practically staring you in the face. You stuck inside the mobile of your false deluded egoist arrogance, lest you cannot see it clear as daylight.
So learn the art of true life, learn the art of dying to your illusion, die to the very duality of your encrusted self assured I ness.
The issue is simply this, and seems with all the so called higher echelons of intelligent learned skepticism that does the rounds here, you still cannot grasp a very simple concept, so in reactionary repercussion you look to nail some 'believer' or 'fundamentalist' to some cross or other, while in true respect it is you that have not the simple realizable attribute of humility to understand the simple meaning of anything. You are fast stuck and crucified to the very cross of your infallible unbending justifications and prejudicial conceit.
Like dying before death for instance, still beating about your bush of disillusionary intellectual reasoning about it all, but nowhere near to determining anything of substance in relation to the real experience of any of it.
All second hand information from second hand sources, from this psychoanalytical writer or the other, from one skeptical mind to the next, from one source of agnostic non knowingness to the atheistic illusionary view, from this past dead sage or the other.
This chap 'this life' first, according to Brian, has nailed me to my cross of dogmatic duality, and then in the very next post proceeds to discuss attuning yourself to the way of the 'divine'. To become null and void to self and surrendering to the will of the divine.
So make up your minds, what is it, what is it you seek to expound or propound, or preach about? The mind, the non knowing assumptions that all mystics speak from differing vantage points, or are all One?
Is it the 'divine' you seek or your own encrusted blind man bluff delusion, forever and a day?
So what is it pray tell, you great thinkers of free thought? Your thought is so far removed from freedom you don't even have the beginning of the clue as to what free thought is about.
You quote Lao Tzu, or Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi a favourite here, or Plotinus, the ancient mystic you did some in depth thesis on, or Socrates, or Kabir, or Yogananda or Vivekenanda, yet who is the one you listen to, unequivically?
All are past tense, all are dead, as is your thinking, deader than dead. If it is none of these dead sages you heed then it is your fallible encrusted blind leading the blind mind you bow and scrape your sorry unbending highly intellectualized and learned mind to.
You cannot know, unfortunately, not a single one of you, not Hines, nor Wilbur, nor Dawkins, nor Hawkins, nor Chopra, nor Wright nor Robbins, can know anything really, none of these great stuck in the mud thinkers know anything past their own dualistic notions of theoretical assumption, only that which they surmise, and guess, and theorize about.
If anyone here are seriously concerned and interested in the avenue where truth most certainly resides, then seek it where it can be found, but in this vale of ever eluding ever deluding tears where one mans mind deludes himself and the other, no such truth can ever be forthcoming. Ever.
Posted by: ashy | October 19, 2009 at 05:25 AM
lol, where has Ashy's comment gone?
i was trying to read it.
yes, agree with all of that.
Posted by: George | October 19, 2009 at 10:44 AM
You said, "You ask the big question then shy away from the answers, that are practically staring you in the face."
What are these answers?
Why not provide the answers instead of insults and criticism?
I know why. It's because for you the answer is Sant Mat and others here are not receptive to it. You have been chastized for over-preaching Sant Mat on this blog, so now all you can do is lash out in anger instead.
Sure, you are hurt and the validity of your belief system has been threatened by the blog participants, but all you are doing is making it worse for yourself. No one else is affected by your tirades. You are making a fool of yourself carrying on this way.
There is no depth of understanding or wisdom in your words even though you try to express yourself with eloquent phrasing. Your words are hollow and only reflect bitterness and a lack of philosophical sophistication.
I am not saying this to hurt you. I would like to see you quit this endless cycling of bad feelings for your own good. Leave it behind and follow your chosen path in peace.
Posted by: tucson | October 19, 2009 at 03:32 PM
tucson, good advice. I hope Ashy will take it. Regardless, I'm not going to leave up any more comments from him like the one above.
I started the "I Hate Church of the Churchless" blog so people like Ashy would have a place to spout their venom against open discussion and rational examination of religious claims. He's got lots of entries there, and can continue to post more rants if he wants to.
But like you said, there's no purpose in "endless cycling of bad feelings." I have no idea why people spend so much time on a blog, or web site, that they can't stand. Crazy. I wonder what else they do for "fun" in their free time. Poke themselves in the eye with a sharp stick, I guess.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 19, 2009 at 04:20 PM
“this life” comments are such a pleasure to read, churchless in essence and at the same time with an understanding and appreciation of a connectedness with a “higher intelligence” within.
Answers to the big questions like death? Continuing to seek the truth within, each individual finding the answers for him or herself.
Posted by: Jen | October 19, 2009 at 06:26 PM
On October 19, 2009 at 05:25 AM
Ashy wrote: "still tangoing [...] yet not an iota of truth resides.
* ashy, i asked what is the "truth" in your opinion. yet you still refuse to present this "truth" that you criticise others for not presenting. so you must not have the supposed "truth" that you speak of, and thatt you cticise others for not having.
Asy wrote: "seems to me that truth is hardly the subject of discussion here."
* the search for truth is discussed quite frequently. but even though you keep on repeating the word "truth", you have yet to present what you regard as being that truth.
Ashy wrote: "considering truth is simply not a part of the equation."
* your mere repetition of the word "truth" is meaningless, unless and until you present what this truth is for you.
Ashy wrote: "you will still be tangoing around your dual deriving non realized minds until doomsday, and perhaps beyond."
* how do you know, and how could you know, that others have "non realized minds"??
Ashy wrote: "Have you ever stopped to consider that your [...]sojourn here may all be but a wink of an eye"
* but have you ever considered that your's is too?? what makes you assume that you are any different than anyone else?? because you are not.
Ashy wrote: "the only constant you can be assured of is in truth death"
* and the same applies to you as well.
Ashy wrote: "You ask the big question then shy away from the answers"
* that is exactly what you are doing. you have been asked to present what you consider to be truth. but you "shy away" from answering. so that makes you nothing more than a classic hypocrite.
Ashy wrote: "learn the art of dying to your illusion, die to the very duality of your encrusted self assured I ness."
* how do you know that others have this "self assured I ness"?? you only know yourself at best. so this "self assured I ness" that you claim others have, can only be a projection of your own.
Ashy wrote: "The issue is simply this, [...] it is you that have not the simple realizable attribute of humility to understand the simple meaning of anything."
* if you are so humble, then why don't you offer something with meaning, which you believe others lack??
Ashy wrote: "You are fast stuck [...] to the very cross of your [...] justifications and prejudicial conceit."
* that sounds lkke a very apt and accurate description of your own mentality, as revealed throughout your comments.
Ashy wrote: "Like dying before death for instance, [...] but nowhere near to [...] the real experience of any of it.
* to each his own. so if you wish to die sooner, rather than waiting for the inevitable occurance of natural death, then that is your choice. but it not your business to advise others to die before their time.
Ashy wrote: "All second hand information from second hand sources, [...] from this past dead sage or the other.
* all information (that is not directly derived from one's own personal experience) is "second hand information", and that includes everything that you say here as well.
Ashy wrote: "This chap 'this life' [...] proceeds to discuss attuning yourself to the way of the 'divine'. To become null and void to self and surrendering to the will of the divine.
* no, not to the "way" of the divine, but rather simply to the divine.
Ashy wrote: "what is it you seek to expound or propound, or preach about?"
* i would ask you the same question. in fact, i have asked you the same question, but you never answer.
Ashy wrote: "Is it the 'divine' you seek or your own encrusted blind man bluff delusion"
* i would have to ask you the same question.
Ashy wrote: "you don't even have the beginning of the clue as to what free thought is about."
* considering the overall negative thrust of all your comments, your thinking isn't very free.
Ashy wrote: "You quote Lao Tzu, or Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi a favourite here, or Plotinus, the ancient mystic you did some in depth thesis on, or Socrates, or Kabir, or Yogananda or Vivekenanda, yet who is the one you listen to, unequivically?"
* if you are asking me personally, well i don't listen to anyone.
Ashy wrote: "All are past tense, all are dead"
* yes and all the previous RS gurus - shiv dayal singh, jaimal singh, jagat singh, and charan singh - are all dead too.
Ashy wrote: "If it is none of these dead sages you heed then it is your [...] highly intellectualized and learned mind"
* sorry, but it is neither.
Ashy wrote: "You cannot know, unfortunately, not a single one of you, [...] can know anything really"
* yes, and the same goes for you as well.
Ashy wrote: "none of these great [...] thinkers know anything past their own dualistic notions of theoretical assumption, only that which they surmise, and guess, and theorize about."
* but how could you know what they do or do not know, if you don't know anything either?
Ashy wrote: "If anyone here are seriously concerned and interested in the avenue where truth most certainly resides, then seek it where it can be found"
* and where is that?? again, where (in your opinion) can it be found??
Ashy wrote: "but in this vale of [...] tears [...], no such truth can ever be forthcoming."
* i've heard that before. but then, it is usually always repeated or employed by people who have no greater or more substantial truth to offer.
Posted by: this life | October 19, 2009 at 06:48 PM
Jen, thanks and appreciation from "this life":
Posted by: this life | October 19, 2009 at 06:57 PM
Living, and dying... without religion.
"The Dreams We Left Behind" - performed by Pedestrian & written by Primal Scream Music, for Sons of Anarchy:
Posted by: this life | October 19, 2009 at 09:01 PM
I look forward to watching 'The Tango Lesson'... Devil may care!
Lovely response this life.
Posted by: Catherine | October 19, 2009 at 09:09 PM
Ashy, in fairness there are many who sympathize on here with your view that no-one knows anything other than the satguru.
what is wrong with discussing this?
Posted by: George | October 21, 2009 at 06:24 AM
"My sole purpose of intitially making contact here was the false premise that I would perhaps find some like minded sincere seekers after truth, well after the degree of false ego ravaged self righteous hypocricy and mind deluded self encrusted deceit filled liars that parade around here as if they are some kind of 'elevated' free thinkers, I have come to the absolute and unequivical conclusion that these false fraudulent prophets of non free thinking are the most pitifully mind deluded fools on this planet, if not in this universe."
---A very long sentence.
Posted by: Roger | October 21, 2009 at 09:01 AM
Birth is the opposite of death
life has no opposite
Posted by: Katie Grace | October 27, 2009 at 09:33 PM
Katie, interesting point. When I said "no mixing up of life and death" I guess I was trying to say the same thing. But you said it better, in just a few words.
I like those four words: "life has no opposite." Profound. Yet simple.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | October 27, 2009 at 09:39 PM
my advise is never worry about death. it will never happen in your lifetime!
gerald aug............gerald augustinus
Posted by: gerald augustinus | August 01, 2015 at 04:31 PM