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!