Saturday, May 30, 2009

Some people are ecstatic and truly believe that they are saved and that they will go to heaven when they die, but in reality they have been fooled by a mad revivalist.

Some people believe that they are searching for the truth, but in reality, they are running away from it, like if they were fugitives.

Some people believe that they are awakened and some people believe that they are not.

This is how the mind works.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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This is a picture of the curtains in my mothers little cottage where I stay when I visit her. My mother likes cats. Cats are cute, yes, and so are mice. But cats and mice are not the best of friends, in the real word. The curtains are nice, but they are not depicting the world as it actually is. Well, who would like to have curtains depicting the true interactions between cats and mice?
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I have changed my mind completely about Joan Tollifson and her book” Awake in the Heartland”. It is actually a very interesting book. She tells about all her weaknesses, shortcomings and limitations. This is not common among spiritual teachers. In fact, this must be the first “spiritual” book I have ever read where the author seems to be a little neurotic and completely unfantastic. And she has many interesting thoughts. Here is another quotation from “Awake in the Heartland”:

“We visualize what can never actually exist: a one-sided coin, up triumphing permanently over down. But that is not how it works. Up cannot exist without down. They are always in perfect balance. Neither one really exists.
Perfection never exists the way we imagine in the mind. The only true perfection is exactly what is here right now…
From our human perspective, it would be a terrible thing if there was a global nuclear war that wiped out all the life forms on earth. But from the perspective of the totality, it might just be a tiny event, clearing the way for something new to emerge. From the point of view of the dinosaur, their extinction would seem like a dreadful mistake… From the perspective of the universe, the disorder is all part of the larger order, in which there is space for all possibilities and mistakes, for play. There is room for everything in this dream, even the horror.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Answer to Doreen’s comment:

I don’t resist evolution with all my might. Where did you get that from? I don’t resist change. I can be very downhearted, sometimes, when I look at the world, how things actually are, our behavior here in this world. I know that it is not necessary to be completely caught up in nonsense, political nonsense, religious nonsense, philosophical nonsense, personal nonsense. It is possible to wake up from all this. And people do change. People do recover from alcoholism, drug addiction and criminality. Some people actually leave their religious or political sects. People do wake up from delusions. We are not baboons, after all. And this makes me even more down hearted. It is not necessary to be completely deluded.

I’m not unknowingly talking to you. I’m upset about the people who made the film “Slum Dog Millionaire” and don’t pay their main actors. They should pay the actors the same money they would have had to pay Hannah Montana or the kids in “High School Musical”. Now.

And I am upset about all the damn Hollywoodish nonsense spirituality we are drowning in. Are people not allowed to be upset about anything? To wake up, I think, is not to live in a state of permanent bliss, like a junkie right after a heroin injection. It is to cut the crap. To see how things really are. Life is so much more than horrors and stupidities. I know. A coin has two sides. Our planet is so beautiful. All the other planets we know of is nothing but rocks and dust and sand, with terrible climate conditions. How come so few seem to see this?
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If you look at life, what do you see? Unbelievable sufferings, war, injustice, bigotry, hate? There is war in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan… Mafia wars, clan wars, religious wars; there is war everywhere. And some people are making a fortune selling the arms.

I read in the newspaper that the kids who acted in the film “Slum Dog Millionaire” are still living in the slum. The authorities took down the shack where Rubina was living because they are going to build a railway. She was crying. “Where are we going to live now?” she asked. It doesn’t matter that she had a main part in the film who brought in millions of dollars. What the hell, she is just a slum kid.

We have probably always been like this, idiotic, narrow minded and violent. This is the reality of things. How can we wake up from this nightmare? Maybe we can’t. Maybe idiocy is our true nature, in our blood, like in the baboons.

To love what is, is a concept for the rich. With therapy, meditation and retreats they have a chance to experience that state of mind, for some time before they eventually end up in a cancer ward.
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This quotation is from Joan Tollifson’s book “Awake in the Heartland”:

“I feel little ambition to do anything more than be quiet, sit in my armchair as much as possible, watch the birds and the clouds, talk to the folks in my building when we pass in the halls, visit my mother, nothing much. Sometimes I have the thought that I should be doing something more. But nothing seems to come. Any movement that starts to arise toward something else simply doesn’t feel genuine. It drops away, and I just keep sitting quietly, watching the clouds.
At some point, the need for money will force my hand, since sitting in my bliss chair doesn’t pay the bills. Then again, maybe it does, since I seem to be quite well supported by life at the moment. and in fact, always have been. It just feels a little uncertain and unpredictable! Once I got a fortune cookie that said, You will be paid thousands of dollars daily for doing nothing.
The trick is to truly do nothing. It is harder than it sounds.
There is an immense pressure from society to produce, to advance, to achieve, to accomplish, to perform.”

To those who have to work hard to make a living this way of talking is nonsensical. A lifetime of therapy, silent retreats, chasing gurus, doing nothing, writing books on doing nothing, giving classes on how to do nothing, all this is simply not interesting to us who work. This doing nothing is not a path to enlightenment for working people. This account is from a rich person’s point of view.

Like there is a Christianity for the rich, there is spirituality for the rich. Nothing is wrong with this. It is not wrong to inherit a lot of money or to win money on a lottery ticket. This simply happen to some people. And it gives them another outlook on life, another perspective. Let the rich have their spirituality and their Christianity. But don’t mix up their point of view with your, and don’t listen to their advice, if you are working to make a living. Working people have to follow another path. Eventually we will all meet at the same place, death.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

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A journalist with a right wing bent will write his articles from a right-wing point of view; and a left-wing journalist will write from a left-wing point of view. A professor of History with right-wing ideals will look at the world through right-wing glasses. Journalists and historians are not objective, though they can be deeply convinced that they are. Nothing is strange with this. This is how we function.

In the same way, an artist will crate from a certain perspective. In old Chinese painting, the artist practiced and practiced until he could copy the old masterpieces perfectly. In modern art, the artists have ideas that they should create something original or provoking.

We all have certain ideas about how things should be, what is beautiful and what is ugly, what is right and what is wrong, how things should be done and how life should be lived. It is almost impossible to create anything without a filtering through unconscious conditionings.

However, some times it happens that people discover that they have a secret agenda, an unconscious agenda, that they look at the world through a conditioned filter. The professor of History might say to himself at some point in his life, “It wasn’t the truth I was looking for. I left out certain things and enhanced the importance of others. I sold my soul. My career was more important to me than the truth.” He now has a choice. Either he tries to forget about this realization and continue his walk along the same old path, or he tries to investigate this, to him, new dimension of the human psyche.

Anyway, my point here is that there are other dimensions to the human psyche. We are something more than biologically and socially conditioned robots. It is possible to experience this. This is to come out from the forest. Some part of us can see that we have been fooling ourselves.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Many Christians think that they are Christians but in reality, they are not. They don’t put into practice any of the teachings in the New Testament. They don’t turn the other cheek, they don’t love their neighbor, they don’t forgive, they lay up for themselves treasures on earth and they sound trumpets when they give alms.

Many relativists are not relativists and many scientists are not very scientific when it comes to love and jealousy. They can also make mountains out of molehills.

Many people who think of themselves as spiritual are not spiritual at all. They can be very materialistic when they are about to lose or make money. Many liberals are not liberal, many people with high moral values steal.

Some people believe that they are absolutely useless but in reality,they are not. Some people think that they are fantastic but in reality they are complete jerks.

Some people ought to be ashamed but they are proud of themselves and others ought to be proud but feel ashamed.

Why is it so difficult to see things clearly? Is it something wrong with the computer or is it something wrong with the user of it? Do we really use our brain like we use our computers or is this an illusion? Isn't the I who make use of the computers or the brain a product of the brain?
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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Those who seek will find what they want to find.

The word culture stems from the Latin word cultura meaning “to cultivate”, to grow. Humans have been cultivating plants for more than 10 000 years now and many different varieties of many different plants have been bred through the years. We grow many thousands of different varieties of potatoes, for example, King Edward, Bintje, Flava, Early Puritan... Some varieties grow better in the north with long summer days and some varieties prefer the south. Biologists know of about 100 000 varieties of rice and more than 50 000 varieties of garden roses.

In a similar way many different varieties of religion and philosophies of life have developed through the centuries. History of religion scholars know of more than 20 000 different varieties of Christianity but the varieties of Hinduism are uncountable.

Rich people will read the Bible and come up with their interpretation and neurotic people will make their their neurotic interpretations. Those who seek will find what they want to find.

Much of modern spirituality is heavily influenced by Indian spiritual teachers. Most Indian spiritual teachers don’t have to work for a living. Their devotees will feed them. Sometimes they have to spoon feed them, like the devotees of Ramana Maharishi did to keep him alive. He had freed himself from all worldly desire and cravings, also the desire to eat. It is crazy to give up eating, I think. Such yoga is for crazy people. Nevertheless, he had a lot of poor and a lot of completely sane followers. I don't understand how this works.

Poor people all over the world support the rich peoples Christianity, read the Bible with a rich mans glasses and pray to the Gods of the rich. Working class people vote for the rich peoples politicians. Explain this to me, please. Isn't it like if the Jews in Germany in the nineteen thirties had voted for the Nazis?

As I see it. It is better to give up the religions and the philosophies of life than giving up eating and and growing vegetables.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hot air

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I know people who have been drunk for decades. I have never met them sober. I have been to parties and got involved in discussions with neo-Nazis. Not the violent and howling kind with baseball bats but the more sophisticated. I have known born again Christians and fanatic Muslims. I have also known non-fanatic Muslims, who enjoyed drinking whiskey, and I have known Christians who where completely possessed by the idea of getting rich. I once knew an American guy who had worked as a mercenary in Africa for many years, in Angola and Mozambique. He said that it was good job because it paid well. He was a nice fellow, relaxed and with an good sense of humor. I have had friends with strong left-wing opinions and I have had friends who were deeply into Buddhism. It turned out later that they had a secret agenda and that they were really social climbers who used their Buddhism or their intellectual left wing stance as a cover. I have met so many different kinds of people in my life and I have learned now not to listen too hard to what they have to say. I no longer care much if someone is a Christian a Muslim or a high brow intellectual. I don’t care if someone believes in astrology or in an unregulated market. I have myself, through the years, frantically defended so many strange things. I know exactly what it is all about: hot air. Not only politicians are hypocrites. What if the climate change is due to all the hot air we emit?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reverse alchemy

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We can transform life and the world around us into something small, stupid and totally meaningless. “There is not much point with anything. Life sucks and then you die. Nothing but money counts, really.” However, it is possible, I think, to see that this is not the reality as it is, but a conditioned habitual way of looking at it, an idea of what the world is like.

Sometimes we have to make ourselves completely stupid in order to fit into a group. We have to adjust to others, at work or in school, and because it is not that easy to find a new job or a new school we have to a put up with a lot. So the stupidity gets reinforced and after a number of years we don't know about anything but stupidities. Life and the world has been completely transformed into something totally stupid.
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Consciousness; awareness, attention, the sense of I am, the observer and the observed, all of it vanish at night and comes back in the morning. A doctor can put you to sleep in a second before an operation. And then he wakes you up again after the operation. A good hypnotist can do the same thing only by using words. Consciousness is very flimsy.

Consciousness comes and goes; presence, the now, awareness, attention, awakenings, thoughts, discipline, love, joy, suffering, the sense of I am, meaning, everything comes and goes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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When the physicists look deeply into matter they get confused, they find that it consists of more than 99,9 % empty space, empty space between the electrons and the nucleus of the atom, empty space between the atoms and empty space between the molecules. And when they look further into what an electron or the nucleus of an atom really is, they get even more confused. Likewise, if you look deeply into yourself, who you really are, you will also get confused. Who am I? What is the sense of I, really, the observer of it all? What does it consist of? Chemical reactions? You will not get enlightened if you look deeply into yourself, you will get confused. And the more you dig the more you will find and the more confused you will get. What is this all about? You will not find any final answers. It is not possible for us humans to understand life and the world. We have to accept this fact.

We can, of course, invent tons of theories, mythologies and speculations. We can also convince others and ourselves that we know; we can fool ourselves, but eventually, if we look deep enough, we have to accept that we don’t understand much. We have to accept that we are lost. We have to live in this world, on this level of understanding things. You are sitting on chair, it consist of something, it is not just empty space, and this is a computer screen you are staring at. We have to bring home the bacon, one way or another, and do the best we can with the cards that have been dealt to us. However, we don’t have to fight furiously to defend our crazy beliefs, we don't have to beat ourselves up, or others, if we don’t want to. We don’t have to mess up the world around us with wars, violence, neurotic hatred and extreme selfishness. All this is due to misunderstandings and delusions. We think that we know what life is about, but we don’t. It is all very sad.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes we are deeply convinced about things that later turn out to be all wrong. Mistakes, misunderstandings and misapprehensions make the world go around. Delusions are not something we can get rid of, they are the manuscripts to the play.

Nevertheless, waking up from a delusion is possible. It is not necessary to be totally deluded for the rest of ones life. It is not necessary to endlessly criticize other people, one self and life. It is possible to wake up from selfishness.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

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Something obviously happens to people who have been close to death. Life becomes much more meaningful to them, much more precious. They don’t want to waste time on nonsense anymore. They no longer feel that they need to improve themselves, loose weight or practice yoga. They no longer care that much about self-help books, how to get rich, how to get in touch with angels, how to find the true self, how to get self fulfilled, how to become radiant, stuff like that They no longer feel that they desperately need to compete and prove that they are wonderful. They don’t feel like fussing and fighting anymore.

Pavlov discovered the conditioned reflex in the late ninetieth century when he did experiments with dogs. The dogs learned that they would get food when a bell rang and they began to drivel as soon as they heard the bell. Their body chemistry changed when they heard the bell. Pavlov called this “psychic secretion” Then he tried to figure out how to extinct the conditioning. This proved to be difficult. Eventually he found that if he beat the dogs so badly that they almost died the conditioned reflex disappeared.

In the nineteen fifties CIA did extensive research on mind control, how to make the mind blank so they could fill it with something new. You can read about this terrible research in Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine“. (The Russians made of course also such experiments.) This is the time when the word “brain washed” was coined.

Why so much fuss about conditioning? What would we be like without conditioning? Wold we exist at all? Isn't conditioning what makes us human? Middle-class people, working-class people, Muslims, Hindus, Protestants, Jews and Palestinians, aren't all this what makes us different just different kinds of conditionings? We can’t bring all people close to death to make them “wake up”. We have to accept life as it is, I think. We have to accept that we are all living in conditioned dreamworlds. We have to accept that people will go to war if a strong leader tells them to go to war. We are not much different from chimpanzees and baboons.
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This is the golf course I cross in the morning on my way to work. The picture is taken just after I have passed it. As you can see it is not very spectacular. But I tell you, I have had great thoughts here. And many stupid ones. I have flown across it, one foot above the ground, I have seen the world clearly from here, without any thoughts at all to obscure my vision, and I have been totally lost here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

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The brain is constantly producing stupid thoughts. Usually we try the best we can to not reveal them, but a lot of them shines through anyway. Sometimes, though, the head comes up with clever stuff. We then think to ourselves, “Oh boy, this is clever. I have to jot it down so I don’t forget about it.” The clever stuff eventually ends up in notebooks, blog entries or, if the person is able to write well, it might end up in a book. That is the reason you can find so many clever books. All the stupidities are filtered away. The reality of things is heavily censored in clever books.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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A: 99% of all species that have ever lived on this planet are now extinct. Nothing is strange if also humankind will disappear. We're all going to die. Why bother about the climate change? Why bother about anything?

B: Isn’t that just a depressing thought. Depressing thoughts leads to nothing but depression and misery. It is much better with an optimistic outlook on life and death. Optimism makes you happier and healthier. Depression creates all sorts of physical ailments; coronary disease, cancer, hives, you name it. An optimistic and positive person lives a longer and better life than a negative person does. It has been proved scientifically. We are not made for negative thinking.

A: I suppose you’re right. The purpose with religion is to create a meaningful fantasy that make our life worth living. I shall not complain if you find a fantasy that makes you happy. However, some people can’t stop wondering what the world is really like. Fairy tales and belief systems doesn’t satisfy them. They need to know the truth. Hindus and Buddhists who look deeply into their religion, talk about relative and absolute truth. Relative truth is for the masses. The masses are satisfied with explanations about going to heaven when they die, or reincarnating. Those who look deeply into what life and death really is, know that life is short and that there is no part of you that lives on after death. They know that there is no permanent self. The self, or ego, you experience now is already is gone tomorrow, in this life, how could it be passed on to another life? The one you are today is not the same you as you were fifteen years ago.

B: All this is just thoughts. Also the clever thoughts are nothing but thoughts. Clever thoughts and stupid thoughts are made of the same stuff. Those who really look deeply into things know that thoughts are not the same as the truth. They know that the map is not the territory, no matter how accurate it is. The menu will not satisfy your hunger. If fairy tales doesn’t satisfy you, you can look deeply into the now, like the mystics. Have you ever heard of a mystic who explains that life has no meaning, that life sucks and then you die?

A: I think that the mystics are completely caught up in nonsense and delusions. What we perceive as the present moment is a distorted representation of what has been processed in the subconscious mind. You are aware of just a small fraction of what the sense organs pick up. Unconscious blinders filters away tons of stuff. And the sense organs only pick up a small fraction of the totality.

B: Well, then you have to look deeply into what the scientists have to say. The physicists discovered more than seventy years ago that the reality is not at all like we think it is. The quantum physicists discovered that in the real world the electron both exist in a certain place and doesn't exist in that particular place. Serious scientists of today admit that they don’t have a clue about anything. They admit that the reality is totally weird. They have nothing but theories to offer. When you realize that a thought is just a thought, or a theory is just a theory, it is to wake up for a moment from hypnosis. When you realize that you are driven by a crazy idea, the crazy idea loses some of its power. It is wonderful to wake up from crazy ideas. We don't have to eat the menu cards.
Words are not just words. Words are magic spells that hypnotize you. They can turn you into a right-winger or a left-winger, they can turn you into a Protestant or a Muslim, they can turn you into a miserable loser or a high cast Hindu. Words can turn you into almost anything. They can change the world around you; they can make you believe that you are absolutely right about things that are all wrong, they can take you in completely and ruin your life. Seriously, what are you without your story about yourself and what the world is like?

Words are useful, though, when you say things like, “The hammer is on the kitchen table.” or “ She will be back tomorrow.” However, it is difficult to put into words what potatoes taste like, or explain how to swim. It is like discussing colors with someone who is blind since birth. “What does it feel like to be happy? Explain it to me in simple words, please. I don’t know what you talk about. I have never experienced this what you call happiness.“ To explain with words what you mean with awakening or non-self is impossible. Sometimes it is better to keep the mouth shut.

Saturday, May 2, 2009