Friday, February 27, 2009

Where do all crazy ideas come from? Fundamentalist Christianity, Islamism, Neo-liberalism, all the weird religious and political crazyisms, neo-Nazism, libertarianism, biologism … What is wrong with us? Why do we feel that we absolutely have to invent a belief system to make life worth living? Why is it so difficult to live without a fantasy about how life ought to be lived? Why is it so difficult to be here and now without an explanation to it? Should I get myself a pair of Buddhist glasses or a pair of psychological middle class self-improvement glasses? Maybe I should try the tantric Hindu glasses? How am I supposed to look at the world?

In our western liberal culture, it is of utter importance to be someone. You cannot be just anybody. You have to be a lawyer, a doctor or a teacher; you have to be a movie star, a rock star, a poet or an artist. You have to be something. You cannot just be what you are, even if you have enough money. To simply be a human being is to be a loser. We are like ducks: Above the surface we look cool and calm, beneath the surface we paddle like hell.

Most people will eventually wake up from this hypnosis and realize that they have been completely crazy and that they have been driven by completely crazy ideas. Though it is probably not until we have to face death, our own or someone near to us, that we realize the futility with beliefs and ideas.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Marijuana is not harmless

Pot smokers hang out with other pot smokers and vinos hang out with other vinos. Left- wingers hang out with other left-wingers and neo-Nazis hang out with other neo-Nazis. A society consists of many different communities, religious, political and social.

Marijuana is not habit forming like nicotine or cocaine but an confirmed pot smoker will still find it almost impossible to give up his pot. Why would he like to give up his pot? I mean, most doctors consider it to be fairly harmless. Well, one reason could be because pot makes it impossible to experience the now clearly. Pot smokers live their life in a haze. It is meaningless to practice meditation if you are stoned or if you have smoked marijuana the past days. Anyway, it is difficult to give up marijuana for someone who has been smoking for many years, whatever reason he may have. Why is that? What makes it so difficult?

I think one reason is that marijuana has a numbing effect on unpleasant emotions, another more important reason is that the pot smoker is loosing his pot smoker identity when he give up his beloved drug. He do not belong to a group anymore. He is expelled, or rather,he has expelled himself. He feels like a wolf without a pack or a bird without a cage. He feels lonely and miss his friends.

It is ,for the same reason, difficult for a neo-liberal to give up his neo-liberalism and for a Catholic to give up his Catholicism. It is difficult to give up cigarettes and it is difficult to give up racism or judgementalism. It is a matter of identity. It is a matter of giving up a mental construction or illusion. The question is: What do you have to give up?
What do you have to realize?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

If you are a smoker and give up smoking you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be terrible.You are able to endure this suffering only because you know that it will pass.You know that in three weeks you will feel fine again.
So, during the first weeks without nicotine there is not much point in bothering about the now. Eckhart Tolle says that only the now is real. OK. But when you give up your cigarettes it is good to now that things will be better in the future.

If you have a hard and lousy job to complete you can endure it only because you know that this job will not last forever, and at the dentist most people prefer the future to the present moment. Hope is very important to human beings. Hope is the wish for a better future. We are lost without hope. We are lost without the future.

However, if you never live in the now, if you always live in the future or in the past, it will become a habitual way of looking at the world. You will forget about the present now. You will loose it. You will forget about who you are. You will live your life in a fantasy world. You will end up as a zombie, as a living dead.

A human life consists of a lot of habits. We can get so used to hurrying that we hurry even if we don’t have to. We can get so used to being tired that we eventually don't know of any other state of mind. We can get used to living in a fog.

The autopilot mode is very useful. To learn how to drive a car takes time and energy. But after a few years you don’t have to think at all about your driving. It has become automatic. You can easily have a fiery conversation with someone while the autopilot is doing the driving for you. Isn’t this amazing?

So, the habits are OK, as I see it,and the dreams about a better future and all the fantasies. They are not our enemies. They are the sea we are swimming in. Problems appear only if we forget about the now completely. To wake up to the present now is to wake up for a moment from sleepwalking. It is to wake up from the hypnosis. Whales have to come to the surface to breathe. We have to visit the now every three to five minutes or so. And the Dolphins are making their jumps into the now
just for the fun of it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who is driving your car? Is it your mother or your father? Is it your husband or your wife? Is it a boyfriend with alcohol problems or is it displeased wife? What if it is a ghost?

Where are you heading? What would happen if you took over the wheel? Where would you go? Would it by like having a bunch of complaining kids in the back seat and their drunken grandfather beside you?
-Mum! Why can’t we go to the Mc Donald’s?

Your goals are not your goals. Your political opinions are not your political opinions. Your beliefs are not your beliefs. You get almost everything from others. Your cup of tea is not your cup of tea. Someone else is driving your car. You are a passenger.

"I still have an ego. I still have ego reactions." Isn’t this strange statements?
Who is this I who is having an ego? Who is this I who is observing how the ego reacted? I think that they both originate from the same place. Ego is an unconscious reaction. The I is conscious.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The head is endlessly producing explanations. This is not a problem. The problems appear when you believe in the explanations. If you, for example, truly believe that you are a complete idiot or a looser, you will feel depressed. It is also a problem if you believe that you are superior or wonderful, or realistic or whatever your head is going on about. The more you are caught up in an explanation the stronger you hold on to a story the more problems you will create and the more disconnected you will be to what is going on here and now.

"I have no willpower. I am ugly. I am stupid. Life has no meaning. My noose is too big. I am such a jerk." How do I get rid of all those ideas?

"She is so selfish. They are so smart. They are so dense. I belong to a superior race. Life is unjust. There is no other meaning to life but getting rich. Poor people are poor because they are stupid. Poor people have no class. We live and we die for no reason at all."

All beliefs are wrong. A thousand years ago many people believed that the earth was flat. Three hundred fifty years ago people believed in witches. Three hundred fifty years from now people will think that we were deeply deluded.

All beliefs are wrong, all religious beliefs, scientific beliefs, philosophical explanations, conclusions, deductions and theories. Fifty years from now also the most well documented scientific evidences will be replaced by new evidences.

"Near death experiences are but hallucinations due to lack of oxygen. There are many universes out there. There is only one universe. Beliefs are so strong. They can’t be changed." Also this is beliefs and all beliefs are wrong. There is such tremendous and liberating power in this idea. Do not trust your own explanations. See them for what they are, just words. We don't have anything to hold on to, but fantasies.

This is not nihilism. Nihilists are extremely pessimistic. They are caught up in extremely pessimistic explanations. This is not relativism. Relativists are also so obsessed with their philosophy that they miss out the present moment completely.

All beliefs are wrong. Isn't also this belief wrong? Of course it is. All beliefs are wrong. Be what you are, here and now, without getting too caught up in speculations about it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Selfish people care only about themselves. Some people don’t care at all about themselves. They care only about other people, their children, their company, their political organization or whatever.

In nature there is always a balance between polarities. Predators and their pray live in a balance. The predator die out if the pray die out. The brain is in fact two brain halves, balancing each other. Some people overuse their left brain half. Some people overuse their right brain half.

The autonomous nervous system consists of two parts also balancing each other, the sympathetic nervous system and the para sympathetic nervous system. Too much activity over a too long period of time in one or the other is not healthy. It creates all kinds of physical disorders.

So, there has to be balance. Ying and Yang has to be in balance. The formless world and the world of form need each other. Without the world of form, the formless world wouldn't exist because no one would be there to recognize it. If you focus only on the spiritual realm, like the religious people or if you focus only on material things, like the mundane people you are out of balance. You are out of balance if you care only about your inner world or if you care only about the outer world.

We live in an extremely unbalanced culture. Those who has got on their lot to balance out the extreme materialism has a tough job.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The word sin and the word unconscious are both but words. We can mean different things when we talk about sins and unconsciousness but I would say that it is the same thing.

In biblical Hebrew, the generic word for sin is het. It means to error, to miss the mark. It does not mean to do evil. (Wikipedia)

In Buddhism and Hinduism, they do not talk about sins. They talk about Karma. Good deeds produce good results bad deeds produce bad results.

Atheists do not use the word sin. They talk about right or wrong. It is wrong to abuse children. It is wrong to exploit poor people. You use the word unconscious. Only unconscious people exploit poor people or abuse children. It is a matter of words. If the bad deed is wrong, bad karma, unconscious or sinful doesn’t really matter, I think.

The belief that awakening is possible to all people, also to those who have done terrible things is not cynical. We have all been unconscious and we have all done bad things. I also believe that awakening is not about an on or off kind of thing. You can wake up to some extent during the day, some days more, some days less. One moment unconscious, the next moment half awake, sometimes wide awake. Enlightenment, the final awakening is for the Buddhas, I think, not for me. Soon we will disappear in the fog of Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Suppose that you were a selfish, nasty and unpleasant person. Suppose that you had caused a lot of misery to a lot of people. Maybe you had been drinking to much and neglected your children, maybe you had abused them when you were drunk. Or suppose you were a big businessman, merciless, cold as ice, and that you had exploited a lot of poor people in poor countries to make yourself richer. It would then be a matter of course that your brain produced a lot of explanations to explain away your wrongdoings. “I create jobs. If they hadn’t worked for me they would have been worse off. They should be grateful, really. Without me, they would have been starving. And I look at all the money I spend on charity. And I go to church on Sunday. I'm a good man”

It is not very probable that such people will ever wake up. It is rare that such people realize fully what they have done and what kind of people they are. But it is possible. All people have the possibility to wake up, here in this life. Your sins are forgiven and your soul is free. This is a wonderful Christian belief, isn’t it?
It is such a pity that almost all churches and Christian sects seem to be corrupt, right wing or downright crazy. They can’t help people in the awakening process. How did that happen?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

“Near death experiences can have tremendous effects on the people who have them… Changes in values and beliefs often occur after a near death experience, including changes in personality and outlook on life, such as greater appreciation of life, higher self esteem, greater compassion for others, a heightened sense of purpose and self understanding and a desire to learn…”

Matthew Dowel wrote this. I found it on the Wikipedia when I was goggling for “Near death experiences.”

After Pavlov discovered “the conditioned response”, he tried to find out how to extinguish it. The dogs, who were used to get food when a bell was ringing, never stopped to dribble when they heard the bell, even if they now got food without the sound from the bell and sometimes did not get food when the bell was ringing. When they heard the bell, they always began to dribble. The only way to get rid of the conditioned response was to beat the poor dogs so badly that they were brought very close to death. ´

To get rid of our conditionings we have to be brought very close to death. We have to have a near death experience. We can, if I have it right, experience something like a near death experience if we take certain drugs, DMT or ketamine.

I don’t want to have a near death experience. I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I don’t want to try DMT. I don’t want to fast for forty days in the desert. I accept my conditionings. I accept my conditioned self. I accept myself for what I am. When I hear the bell I begin to drivel. So what? I no longer try to better myself. I don’t try to wake up. I don’t try to stay awake. When I am tired, I go to bed.

It seems to me though, that science has a very limited way of looking at the world. Science believes in the existence of only one world, one universe. I believe that outside our universe there are many, many more. Our universe is like a bubble in an endless foam bath. This belief is according to science meaningless because it is not testable. OK, I accept that. However, I still believe in other universes, other worlds, other possibilities. I think that the idea of only one universe is poor. But I also believe that I will never get to know about these things even if I have a near death experience or eat DMT.

Where, do you think, did I have this thought? You have three guesses.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It is painful to an inveterate smoker to give up smoking. It is in fact extremely painful, at least for some smokers. I read in the paper that those with a specific gene will find it five times harder to give up smoking, compared to those who don’t have this gene.

Anyway, the first week or two without nicotine feels like a terrible flu. The withdrawal symptoms are peaking on the third day. The inner voice is coming up with amazingly negative ideas. The irritation with other people is unbearable. After the third week things are getting better. However, a deep sadness can linger on for months. A new identity is gradually being formed. The smoker can no longer hang out with his old friends at the pub. He feels like a crayfish. When a crayfish grow he has to shed his old shell and wait under a rock until the new shell is formed. He is loosing all meaning to his life. He is loosing his love of other people. Then, suddenly, he finds himself smoking again."Oh Brother! This is life, isn’t it?"

"How the hell did this happen? Why did I start smoking again? What an idiot I am?"
OK, after a few months of heavy chain smoking and self loathing the smoker realizes again that he has to do something or else he will cough his lungs out. So he stops smoking again and suffers the same ordeal again, for the umpteenth time, deeply convinced that this has to be the last time. However, his life can go on like this for years, back and forth, sometimes a smoker, sometimes a non smoker.

All habits are hard to give up, thinking habits, eating habits, drinking habits
inveterate prejudices, deeply ingrained opinions, selfishness, laziness. A habit is not always a problem, though. To eat, drink and be merry can be wonderful for years but eventually the day will come when some doctor tells you that either you change your lifestyle or you will die.

Selfishness is another vice but it is seldom a problem to the selfish person. It is the people he meets who suffers.

To give up prejudices, ingrained opinions and selfishness is probably the most difficult tasks you will ever have to face in your life. They are impossible to give up, I think. It is not even worth trying. The abandonment of a prejudice or a selfish belief will happen by itself or it won’t happen at all. A deeply ingrained belief or prejudice will not be abandoned, until the believer, at the bottom of his heart, realizes that he has been all wrong.

Yes, it is hard to give up ideas. To some people it is extremely hard. Think of all those who eventually realize that the cult they belong to is destructive and evil
Some people are also born into such cults. They need professional help from mind control experts and therapists to start a new life.

What if all of us need help from mind control experts to start a new life? What if all of us belong to different kind of destructive cults? Isn't this a terrible thought?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whom do you talk to when you are talking to yourself? Who is this person? Mostly the inner voice is directed to someone else. All of us have imagined discussions in our heads. "When I meet her again I shall tell her that..." It is like a rehearsal. But whom are you talking to when you're talking to yourself? Who is listening to your explanations? Have you figured these things out yet? Is he like a schoolteacher
or is he more like a drunkard on a park bench? Is he like a police officer? Is he like a mafia boss? Do you have to spread yourself thin to please him or is he laid back and relaxed? Is it difficult to get him out of bed in the morning? Is it almost impossible to get him out of his god damn couch in the afternoon? Some people have a good old friend, some people have a sergeant.

Are you proud like a soldier when he is decorated by his imagined general, or do you feel more like a dog? Do you wag your inner tail or do you cringe when your master looks at you?

Of course he can be a she. What if she is like a nasty, judgmental and condescending wife of a millionaire. What if she is like a mother singing to herself in the laundry. What if she is like a prostitute with a serious drug problem? Could it be. that you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick? Maybe it is the police officer who is explaining his take on things to his imagined listers. What a mess!
The inner world is truly chaotic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009