Friday, February 29, 2008

Life is terrible. Reality is terrible. It is hard to find words to all the horrors. Not only Nazis killed little children just for the fun of it. In South America the natives where hunted for sport, like foxes. Little children are sold as prostitutes everyday, in China, in Russia, in Thailand, in India, in Kosovo. This is big business. The atrocities are endless.

So, to survive in this terrible world you have to construct a castle in the air, and you have to make yourself comfortable there, you have to come up with a good fantasy, or you will drown in all the horrors.

Any fairy tale will do, Santa Claus, the Easter rabbit, any religion, as long as it works for you, as long as you can believe in it. I have changed my mind now. It is wrong to complain about religions? I have stopped to complain about religions from now on.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I shouldn’t feel the way I feel. I shouldn’t be so damn nervous. I shouldn’t think the way I think. I shouldn't write about what I think. I shouldn’t believe the way I believe. I shouldn’t look the way I look. I need to lose weight. My nose is too big. I need to have an operation. I need to have a complete makeover. I should stop complaining. I should be more optimistic. I should be more creative, more positive, more confident. I should take a class in yoga or NLP, some kind of therapy that really works. I need to be more consistent with whatever I do. I shouldn't give up so easily. I really need to do something. I really need to realize something. I should be more grateful. I should love myself. I should be more loving. I should be more lovable. I should be more successful. I shouldn’t be so damn lazy. I should have more energy. I should pay more attention to what I eat. I should be more thoughtful. I should be more fulfilled, dynamic, forgiving, attentive… I need to find my true self. There are so many books around, so many therapies, so many PhDs. There are gurus everywhere. Answers. We have now reached a point in history when we have all the answers.The world is filled with them. We are at the end of history. This is the last dance. I should stop worrying. I should stop brooding. I should realize that there are no should s. I should relax now.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Suppose you were a man or a woman living in Germany at the end of the nineteen thirties. Suppose you had experienced some kind of awakening. Do you think that, under those circumstances, you would have had feelings of frustration, sadness or anger about what was going on around you? Or would you have experienced feelings of bliss? Will awakening always mean that you suddenly begin to love everything, as it is, because everything is in perfect divine order?

And what about today? People that wake up today, will they not also feel frustration, sadness or sorrow for how this planet has been ruined? Or would they simply jump for joy. "Hurray! I’m awake! I’m saved!"

What does it mean to wake up? Different people seem to mean different things when they talk about “waking up.” It is the same thing with the religions. Since the beginnings of Christianity, historians say, about 22, 000 different interpretations has developed. Think of it, 22, 000 different interpretations of the same book. Catholics, Mormons, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses…

I have definitely not experienced the kind of awakening Eckhart Tolle talks about, when the mind suddenly is filled with a lasting peace, but I am listening carefully to what he has to say. He is not an bullshitter, I think. I am listening to you also. What are we experiencing? Is it something similar as Eckhart? I still have an endlessly babbling inner voice, though, but nowadays I don’t care too much about what it has to say, and I still get carried away by stupid emotions, though not as intense as when I was younger, I can experience moments of peace but it doesn’t last very long. Is it possible to extend those moments?

In Indian spirituality the aim is often to rid oneself of all emotions. Fear, sadness, melancholy, worry, jealousy and anger are considered disturbances. An enlightened spiritual teacher has successfully deleted those programs from his mind. This path is not my path. I think that some sadness is healthy and some sadness is idiotic, some fear is good and some fear is bad, some jealousy is completely understandable and some is not. So how can one come to know which is which?
Animals also experience fear, anger and sadness. Those emotions must have some kind of biological source. But to wake up to what is, as I see it, must also involve an acceptance of the mind as it is, and how it functions.

So what about the delusions? If you accept the mind as it is, why don’t you accept the delusions? Isn’t delusions also something that makes us human? Why can’t you accept that some people turn themselves into Nazis or Neo Liberals or Muslim fundamentalists?
Well, Nazism, fundamentalist Islam and neo liberalism are mind constructions. Buddhism, Christianity and Psychotherapy are also mind constructions. Mind constructions are like castles in the air, fantasies. Fear, sadness and anger on the other hand is biological mechanisms, like digestion or the immune response.

Thoughts are also something one has to accept, I think, as long as we are able to question their contents. Thoughts has also a biological source. They have survived in the biological evolution because they proved to be useful. They made it possible for us to make up plans and strategies for how to survive in this or that hostile surrounding. So don’t try to rid yourself of thoughts, but learn to see them for what they are. Almost nothing, really, weak electric currents in the head that are sometimes useful.

To sum up, this is how I look at things: Don’t try to rid yourself of fear, or jealousy, or anger or thoughts. To me waking up is to be aware of these things. However, try to get rid of your definitions. They are completely useless. I am a Christian, I am a liberal, I am a neo conservative, I am a socialist, I am an idiot...

“How smart I am, when I think of it. How clever I am. I am awakened. I am enlightened. After all these years and years of esoteric studies I have finally reached this incredible high level. I am superior. I am fantastic. I am a God. Bow before me so I can bless you.” This is what I think of as an serious mind problem. And those who bow before such guys has even worse problems. The blind is leading the blind.

But how can we explain the synchronicities? And how do we explain Pim van Lommels findings that people seem to perceive things when the brain clearly has stopped to function? And how can we explain the dreams that seem to tell us something? How can we explain the dream world at all? How can we explain anything, the self, the mind, the body, all the billions and billions of chemical reactions that happen every second? What is life about? How come it all started? Isn’t it strange? Everything? Really!

Friday, February 22, 2008

All people have some kind of philosophy of life, or rather a number of philosophies, that direct their actions, something like software programs in a computer. The question is where all these programs are coming from and if they are all useful.

A computer without software is of course not of much use, but it also needs someone who sits there and presses the buttons, someone who make use of it. Well, it should be easy to construct a computer software that start up the computer in the morning and let it do some meaningless calculations during the day and then shut it down at night, at a certain time, but what would be the point with that?

Anyway, we all have philosophies of life, programs that direct our actions. One person, for example, can be deeply convinced that nothing is important but to make it in this world, no matter what. Another person may feel that career is not that important. Maybe he feels that it is more important to have as much fun as possible. A man may think that nothing matters but to do his duty. He can willingly risk his life in an unjust and completely meaningless war or engage himself fully in some deeply unethical activities, only because someone tells him to.

There are many different philosophies of life on the market. Some of them are useful, some of them are meant to cover hidden agendas. Some people cover their true career strategies behind clouds of religion or new age mumbo jumbo and some people are not even aware what kind of programs they have in their computer.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If I can’t change my dog how can I expect others to change their’s?

It is possible, though, to teach old dogs new tricks. We have good dog trainers here in this country and they get good results with intensive training programs.

But who or what is that I, that try to teach the brain something new? And what new tricks do the brain have to learn? Should he try to behave more like a Buddhist monk, or a Hindu Yogi, or maybe more like a successful upperclass American, positive, self confidant, like in the TV shows. Wouldn't that make life easier, if you where more like you are supposed to be.

What kind of dog do you have, a Yorkshire terrier, a poodle, a German Sheppard?

Be yourself! they tell us, the rock stars and the self improvement gurus. Many of them lie. They pretend that they are themselves, but in reality they put on a show, they act. Well, let them pretend , let them act. That’s their job, and they are so much better paid than I am?

What can we do? It is almost impossible for us to meet in the physical world. What can we do but write and have our endless talks over the phone? What would we do if we didn’t have words. Words are pretty important. Also fantasies, dreams and jokes are important. The world we live in is truly a terrible place. Most people in the world experience almost no happiness at all. It is just an endless struggle to survive. AIDS, starvation, exploitation, trafficking, war, poverty, drug problems… How could we live in this world without fantasies. Maybe the religions serve a purpose after all.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Christian mythology Mary did not became pregnant the natural way. There is a Father God but no Mother God. Isn’t that interesting? How could there be a father if there is no mother?


This is elementary: We can only perceive a small, small fraction of the totality. We are like frogs in a well, totally unaware of the nearby lake, as the Buddhists say. Our senses are not keen enough. Even with the best microscopes and telescopes in the world we will have a limited view. We will never know if there are many more universes out there.
So we use our imagination to make up fantasies how the world is working. Also the scientists speculate. No one knows for sure. This is not a problem as long as we don’t mix up our fantasies with how it really is.

Religions are not a problem as long as we don’t believe in them. And the stronger our beliefs are, the more trouble we will create for ourselves and to others. We might end up as wackos,fanatics or fundamentalists.

Fantasies, opinions and ideas are not a problem either, as long as we don’t take them seriously. If you think that you know who you are and what the world is like then you can be sure that you are wrong. Strong opinions will lead to trouble.

Well, suppose that you had found yourself living in Germany, in the end of the nineteen thirties, then what choice would you have had? If you had told people in your neighborhood that you didn’t’ have any strong opinions about anything. Then they for sure would have given you a hard time. The same thing is happening today in America or in Europe. If you point out to people you meet that they have got it all wrong, that they don’t know what they talk about, that their religion or strong political opinions is nothing but fantasies, then they will be very upset.

So it is better to shut up. It has always been healthier to keep the mouth shut.


Think of it. What if you're not the one you think you are. What if you're, in reality, someone else. Maybe the world is not at all what you think it is. Maybe the life you are living right now is all wrong. What if you are on the wrong train. What if you are completely fooled, like those who has bought shares in non existing summerhouses. This is not speculative nonsense. People has always fooled themselves.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

If there is a God, a creator, with a plan for his creation, how come he created us so blind, so cruel, so evil? This is an age old question. How come he accept so much evil in the world? Why do so many innocent children have to suffer so much?

One answer that many Christians give is: Because he gave us a free will and we insist to do wrong. All the brutality, all the wars, all the idiocies, is not his fault. We have to repent and pray for forgiveness.

But most people in the world are already deeply religious, and Christianity is the religion with the largest numbers of followers. Almost all big wigs in the world are religious. Augusto Pinochet in Chile, for example, was a devout Catholic. Al Capone was a Catholic. Berlusconi in Italy and George W Bush are deeply religious men. The slave traders, the slave owners, the inquisitors where all Christians. The Hutus who where responsible for the genocide in Rwanda where fanatic born again Christians. Christianity clearly doesn’t work.

The Hindus believe that if innocent children are suffering it is because they did bad things in previous lifetimes. They believe that all suffering is a righteous punishment for wrongdoings. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna is convincing Arjuna to skip his doubts about going out to war against his relatives. If you kill someone that you have to kill, know that you can never really kill anyone. The body is but a garment. The Muslims have similar ideas, if I have got it right, but they go to heaven when the Hindus come back in to this world.

The atheists don’t have to bother about the theodicy problem but they have to have a view. Should one speak up against evil, injustices and idiocies or should one simply shrug ones shoulders?

The problem is that many atheists, really, in their hearts are religious, and many religious people, really, in their hearts are atheists. Many sincere and religious people pretend that they are atheists because they don’t want to be mixed up with all the religious hypocrites, and many atheists pretend that they are religious simply because they think it looks good. What a mess! What the hell can we do? I really don’t know. Almost all people in the world seems to have an answer but I don’t. To me it is a relief to meet people that don’t have a clue. With such people I feel at home.

I agree with Karen Bishop that apathy must be a part of the “ascension process“. To put the same idea in other words: To be disillusioned is to suffer because one is getting rid of illusions.

Another answer to the question how God can allow so much evil is of course that he/she is pretty useless. He/she created us to his/her image. When human beings make children they rarely have a plan for it. Also good parents can find that their kids run into trouble with drugs and criminality. Maybe “God” didn’t have a plan for us. Maybe we came to this world by an accident, a roll in the hay one midsummer night. Maybe the Gods weren’t even married when it happened and even if they then tried the best they could, they couldn’t stop us from running in to trouble. I still think that Homer and Marge is a better image than Shiva and Shakti. And the idea of just one father God doesn’t make any sense at all to me.

To search for perfection is neurotic, I think. To try to be a perfect parent that has to create perfect kids, exactly like in the books is an crazy idea. In the same way: The idea of a perfect God is neurotic.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Think of a cruise ship that is cruising the Atlantic. You are invited for a wonderful holiday trip together with some other 2600 people. But it is not a very pleasant trip. Everyone seems to be completely crazy. Everyone is fighting like hell to get a greater share of everything. A few people has managed to get hold of almost everything. Many people are hungry and have to beg for crumbs. Violent fights are constantly flaring up, sometimes on C-deck, sometimes on A-deck. Different groups are formed around a few psychopathic gang leaders. You are told that it has always been like this. If you question the way things are too much you will step on someone's toes and get a very hard time. If you don’t like it you are free to jump overboard right away.

Well, all people are not crazy. Some try to do the best they can with the situation. They try to find ways to cope. They try to love what is, simply because there is nothing else. They try religion, prayers, yoga, meditation, psychotherapy or simply to be human. It works as long as they happen to be on a part of the ship where the fighting is not too bad.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

To discuss religion with a Jehovah’s Witness is a waste of time. His views, opinions and ideas are written in stone. He has no other intention but try to change your mind. The same thing happens if you discuss politics with a neo-liberal economist or women’s rights with a fundamentalist Muslim. Well, the same thing happens if you try to discuss almost anything with anyone. We all have our views written in stone.

To rid oneself from opinions, ideas and ways of looking at things is extremely difficult. We just can’t give them up. And still, this is what we have to do. Without this crucial step no further awakening is possible. To be able to question one’s own “thinking”, to be able to question oneself is extremely important. To have a strong self-confidence can create a huge problems if ones ideas are misunderstandings. And to doubt everything can sometimes be very healthy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What if God is not very powerful? What if he’s not like a king? Maybe he is more like Homer Simpson.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A mean and evil old man can easily convince himself that he has always been too kind.

A woman can think of herself as a smart woman with class. She can be convinced of that her good manners is because of her good upbringing. However, in reality she is just a pain in the neck; in reality she is carrying herself like a sulky teenager on her shopping rounds.

Even complete idiots can think of themselves as clever.

This is how the human mind works. To wake up from delusions is not easy, it is in fact incredibly painful.

Think of a man who has devoted his life to Nazism. Maybe he did terrible things in a concentration camp during the second world war. To him it doesn’t pay off to wake up. Or think of a man who has spent his life teaching the benefits of egoism. Or think of an alcoholic who has ruined the life of his children. It's not hard to understand that such guys feels a resistance to waking up, but isn't it strange that also normal every day people with fairly clean consciences also feel a strong resistance to waking up. Why is that?

Why is it so hard to wake up? Is there any point in waking up, really? Isn’t it better to snuggle up somewhere and try to make the best of the situation?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Think of a Caribbean cruising ship. It has been hired for the purpose of a psychological experiment. Imagine that you invite two thousand subjects for the experiment. To qualify they have to be susceptible to hypnosis and agree to take part in this experiment. OK, on boarding this wonderful cruise ship all the guests are hypnotized. Some are hypnotized to believe that they are deeply religious; Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, fanatic Muslims, fanatic Hindus. Some are hypnotized to believe that they are atheists. Some are made to believe that they are extreme right-wingers, some are made to believe that they are left-wingers, some are made to believe that they are artists, some are made to believe that they are ordinary office clerks. Some are made to believe that they are superior, some are made to believe that they are inferior. Some are made to believe that nothing is important but money…

Well, this is quite a job and will take some time I guess, even if a dozen good hypnotists are there to help.

Now, if you invite a few people as a control group, people that you don’t hypnotize and that are totally unaware of the experiment, do you think that they would smell a rat?

And, if you on the second day of the trip woke them all up, do you think that they would feel like they had just woken up from a dream? Would they feel like they are in one of those dreams, you know, when you in the dream, dream that you wake up from a dream?

Are all people, really hypnotized sleepwalkers?

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Nazis in Germany was possessed by weird ideas. Today the Islamists are possessed and so are fundamentalist Christians and neo-liberals. We can be possessed in so many different ways. We can get all sorts of crazy ideas in our heads. We can be deeply convinced about things that we later understand was completely idiotic. To wake up from such misunderstandings is very painful.
If you think of how we have ruined this planet with our incredible greed, evil and stupidity, you will feel depressed. The holocaust, the gulag, the slave trade, the inquisition trials… It is terrible to think of it. So don’t. Don’t think of it. Put your attention somewhere else. On love, maybe, or something fun. Become like a child. Don’t worry. Be happy. Be optimistic. Positive thinking can do the trick. Bring in the clowns. Or train your mind like you train a dog. Teach him to sit, teach him to avoid shit and, for Christ’s sake, teach him not to eat it. If you happen to see an ugly street fight, just walk away and pretend you didn’t see it. Try to become innocent again. Try to become like an idiot: I don’t see anything, I don’t hear anything. I don’t say anything. You have to have an strategy.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Maybe all the different scientific and philosophical ways of looking at life, as well as all the different religious ways, are just different fantasies, mental constructions, castles in the air.
You are born somewhere and you will die somewhere and in your life you just wander about, like a hen or a rooster. When you die your body will disappear in a furnace, your thoughts will disappear, your feelings, your fantasies, your ego, everything.

Pim van Lommels near death studies are interesting, but still, he is studying near death experiences, not death itself.

When I observe “my” thoughts and you observe yours, the I that is observing is a neutral, non individual onlooker. Your I and my I and all the I’s in the world is really one and the same. What makes us different is our thoughts, my story and your story, my body and your body.

In Hinduism this non individual I and the great universal I is of the same substance and it is eternal. In Buddhism this I, the observer, is just a thought among all the other thoughts. As long as there are humans on this planet the I will survive. But if we blow this planet to pieces also the I will disappear. The "I am" is dependent of brain matter. So no part of “you” is reincarnating? Your thoughts, your story, your ego, nothing is reincarnating, but the non individual observer will look at the world through other eyes. The theories of reincarnation is like the theories of heaven and hell, it is meant for the uneducated masses.
The only thing that is real, is this moment. This is it. You stare at these words. There will be no future reincarnations, no heaven or hell, no nothing, This is it.

What makes humans different from the animals is the mind, the stories, the philosophies, the speculations, the fantasies, the mythologies, the misunderstandings, the jokes… It seems to me that many “spiritual” people try to get rid of all that "mind stuff". Why is that? Isn’t it that what makes us human?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Some people pretend that they are religious
and some people pretend that they are not.
Some people pretend that they are trustworthy
and some people pretend that they love art.
Some people pretend that they love themselves
and some people pretend that they are normal.
Some people pretend that they love their job and their wife.
Some people pretend that they care about the environment and the future.
Some people pretend that they really enjoyed the party.
We are not real, we are all pretenders in one way or another.
When we die we will pretend that we die.

Monday, February 4, 2008

End of time
Many people realize now that there is no hope for the human species. The pollution and the climate change has now proved to be more alarming than we knew. It's to late now. We have already crossed the bridge. Economic liberalism can't solve the problem. If everyone is free to maximize their profits without restrictions an environmental disaster will be the end result. Economic liberalism is ruling the world and its basic idea is that restrictions on the free market are bad.
So, economic liberalism failed, communism failed and the mixed economies failed. All empires will fall, and what we see now is the end years of this global empire.
Also the religions failed. What is Christianity but 2000 years of terror? Hundreds of years of inquisition trials and torture chambers, participation in the slave trade and colonialism, not to mention the “spare the rod and spoil the child” way of looking at life. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, what did they bring about but war? Catholics against Protestants, Sunni Muslims against Shia Muslims, Hindus against Muslims, Jews against Palestinians…
All our belief systems have failed and proved to be disastrous. There is no hope for us and there is nothing we can do about it.
This is not just negative thinking, it's facts and it's hard to digest facts. It's hard to digest that there is no cure to your cancer, it's hard to digest that your wife has left you and it's hard to digest that all your beliefs were nothing but misunderstandings.