Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bullshit

Here in this country the newspapers are obsessed with a high police commissioner who was caught with his pants down. His special interests were bondage sex and pedophilia.

What makes matters worse (if that is possible) is the fact that he was very active giving speeches all over the country and also in the UN, about equal rights for women and the importance of showing respect to other people.

This is just another tragic example of the utter meaninglessness with words. What people talk about may be true or it may be just bullshit. You will never know. No words, no matter how beautiful they are, can be trusted.

Al Capone was, in a radio interview, very concerned about all the criminality in Chicago.

In 2002, the Jon Jay report listed 4392 catholic priests and deacons in the US against whom allegations of sexual abuse have been substantiated. (Wikipedia) Thousands and thousands of people must have listened to their bullshit sermons, without knowing that they had other interests than the words of Jesus.

The list of bullshitters could be made very long. In fact, all people are, have been or will be talking bullshit. This is my firm conviction. Not all people are as magnificent bullshitters as the police commissioner and the priests who sexually abused children, but all people talk a lot of bullshit. I know, because I have been listening to my own bullshit all my life.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

 
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Hypnosis

If we, human beings, for some improbable reason should evolve to a higher level of consciousness, if we were able to abandon the idiotic level where we are now, maybe we would be able to save ourselves from war, hatred and the final environmental world catastrophe.

I believe that the very first step is to abandon the fairy tales. It is wonderful to tell fairy tales to children. Small children love fairy tales. However, things change, as they grow older.

At some point in their life, children realize that there is no Santa Claus and no trolls in the woods, and no real Peter Pan. This is not how reality works.

We have to abandon many kinds of misperceptions, as we grow older. We have to abandon tons of personal, political and spiritual nonsense. Of course, we can hold on to our misperceptions if we want to, but I believe that a higher level of consciousness can never be experienced as long as we refuse to take off our bullshit glasses.

Hitler hypnotized millions of Germans, Mussolini hypnotized millions of Italians and millions of people were hypnotized by the communist ideology. Today billions of people are hypnotized by the neo-liberalism philosophy. Nothing really counts but dollars. We are also hypnotized by all sorts of religious beliefs, Christian fundamentalism, Muslim fundamentalism, Hindu fundamentalism…

Sai Baba has hypnotized thousands of people and the Pope has hypnotized hundreds of millions.

We are hypnotized by our beliefs about ourselves, about the world, about everything.

To wake up is to wake up from the hypnosis.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Free will

Human beings are pack animals by nature, like dogs, wolfs and chimpanzees. We are biologically constructed and historically conditioned to live in groups. Every pack has a leader who dominates and leads the other members. All the other members of the pack form a hierarchy where everyone has a place. Whenever we form a group, this pattern is repeated and it creates endless problems to us modern human beings.

We will go to war and do the most terrible things, we will work like donkeys for endless hours, all our life, we will do anything our leaders tell us to do. We will believe whatever they tell us to believe. It is all very sad.

And if we don't have a pack to belong to, we feel lonely, miserable and expelled. Therefore, when we find a pack, we will do whatever it takes to fit in.

We desperately need someone who can tell us how to think, how to believe, what to say, which clothes to wear. We will follow our leaders even if they lead us to hell. We need someone who can point out the way for us.

Religions, religious cults, motorcycle gangs, political movements, work places, gurus and their followers, sports teams, hippie communities, school classes, any group of people, will organize themselves according to the pack principles. We are created this way.

However, Human beings are not only driven by biological urges and social conditionings. There are more variables to the equation. For example, we do not have to use the automatic mode constantly. To be aware and present in the now is to step out from automatic biological and psychological patterns.

It is possible to pay more attention to what is going on, within us and around us. It is very difficult to be present when we are interacting with other people, but it is possible, I think, to bring in glimpses of attention, awareness and presence. It is possible to switch to manual mode, at least for short moments.

Habits

Our habits keep us in captivity,
eating habits, drinking habits, thinking habits…
They are like prison wardens.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Awakening is a word

If you have been drinking, smoking and rambling for decades you will one day find yourself saying to yourself in the mirror, "I have to do something. I have to change. There must be something more to life than this."

The same thing can happen to you if you for many years have lived a decent, normal life based on self-deception. Suddenly one day you say to yourself, `I feel like a zombie. I feel like a sleepwalker. Is this all there is to life? I can't stand another talk show. There must be something more to life than TV shows. And I can’t stand another dinner party, “Can you pass me the gravy please, it’s wonderful, isn’t it?” I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t live like this.´

Sometimes the death of someone near to you shakes you awake, sometimes a life threatening disease. Sometimes a divorce has the same effect. `Oh my God, she’s sleeping with someone else. I die. I have to kill myself.´

Sometimes awakening comes unexpectedly, like a bolt from a clear blue sky, sometimes it is a slow process.

All people wake up in life, for different reasons, and then they go back sleep again. It is like smokers who give up smoking. Three months later they are smoking again.

However, some people give up smoking for good. They are done with smoking.

Some people wake up for good.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Abstract nouns

I know exactly what you mean when you talk about apples or bananas. However, when you talk about God, love or consciousness I can never be sure what you have in mind. Abstract nouns have different meanings to different people. So when we discuss consciousness, for example, maybe we are not talking about the same thing. Maybe it is like if you talk about lavender in southern France and I talk about cherry trees in Scandinavia.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What is consciousness?

The word consciousness is used in many different ways.
One definition is, "the part of us which is not unconscious",
the part of us which wakes up in the morning
like if the light is switched on.

Animals have consciousness but no language.
They don't have a word for consciousness.
They don't have any words for anything.

Can consciousness exist without a body and a brain?
What is it made of?
Electro chemical reactions?
Is it made of spirit?
What is it good for? Why did it evolve?
Did it evolve?
Was it created trough a Darwinian evolutionary process,
like the eyes and the ears
or did it exist before life here on earth?
Is it a side effect?

Anesthetics can make you unconscious in a second.
Another chemical can wake you up again.

I believe that my consciousness will disappear forever when I die.
It seems logical to me. I mean, I disappear every night.
Spiritual people say that I am not awakened yet.
Our beliefs separate us, like left-wingers and right-wingers
are separated by opinions.

Consciousness is a very mysterious flame, as I see it.
Isn’t it amazing to be alive and conscious?
What difference does it make to your life
if it is a material or a spiritual process
which brings the consciousness about?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gurus

There are so many gurus, spiritual teachers and preachers on the market, so many psychotherapies, self-improvement methods and meditation techniques to try out.

There are so many religions, ideologies and belief systems, so many different ideas about what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong.

There are so many signposts pointing in different directions.

Christianity is not a religion. What we call Christianity is in fact many different religions with completely different interpretations of the Bible. However, all Christians believe that they know which interpretation is the right one. Have you ever heard a Christian say that he is not sure about if he's right or wrong about the teachings of Jesus. How is this possible? Some of them have to be wrong, haven’t they? Some of them have to be deluded.

Therefore, the question must be, if you are interested in the truth, who is right and who is wrong? Who was the first to meet Jesus after the resurrection, Peter or Maria? Was there a resurrection? Is Jesus but a mythological figure, like Narcissus or Hercules? Are people suffering from cancer because their faith in Jesus isn’t strong enough? Are rich people rich because they are blessed? Is AIDS Gods punishment of the sinful?

For many years the self-improvement gurus was preaching the importance of goal setting. You have to have a goal. You have to become something. You have to strive for something. Success is of utter importance. Beautiful girls don‘t want to marry losers. “Reach for the stars.” “The sky is the limit.” Nowadays these ideas are passé. Nowadays the self-improvement gurus are teaching mindfulness and how to live in the now.

It doesn’t matter what is right or wrong, you might argue, as long as it makes you happy. Maybe you are right. I don’t know. If Nazism makes someone happy why complain? A lonely guy might find some buddies among the Nazis.

My point is that it is possible to wake up from delusions. It is possible to give up smoking. It is possible to beat a drug addiction. It is possible to leave an abusive cult and it is not necessary to replace it with a new one. It is also possible to leave a cult even if it's not abusive. It is not necessary with a religion or a belief system. You don't need a religion or a philosophy to make yourself a cup of tea. You don't need a religion or a philosophy to pick up your kids from school. You don’t need any Gurus. Be very apprehensive and skeptic when Gurus and spiritual teachers point out the way for you. If you ask another Guru he will point in another direction. A third Guru will give you a third direction.

Friday, January 15, 2010

 
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My Guru

False ego

Some people dress themselves up as bohemian artists and some dress themselves up as as secretaries.

They begin to talk like bohemian artists or secretaries. The tone of their voice change; the words they use, the way they carry themselves. They begin to act like artists or secretaries. They begin to think like artists or secretaries. And the other artists and secretaries do the same.

After a number of years, they no longer remember that their role is but a role, a small part in a play. They have lost themselves.

"All the world's a stage." Welcome to an audition. Be what you want to be. An intellectual, a rock star, a Hollywood wife, an evangelical Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist monk, a truck driver, an alcoholic, a gangster, a priest… There are endless possibilities.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ego

Ego is the Latin word for I.
"Ego sum rex Romanus" means “I am the king of Rome.”

I am hungry. I am 55 years old. I am born here. This is an uncomplicated way of using the word I.

I am a stupid old fool. I am too fat. I have a big ugly nose. This is not a very smart but still a comprehensible way of using the I-word.

He has a big ego. My ego reacted. This way of using the word ego is weird I think, though it is common in every day language. It sounds like the word I denote something, a part of a person, like an organ, like a kidney or an eye or a big nose or something.

He is very egoistic. I got very upset and angry when she called me a stupid old fool. I had a wonderful thought today. I have crazy thoughts popping in to my head. This way of using the word ego or I makes more sense to me.

I have an ego. I have an I. When did this strange way of talking begin? Did it begin with Freud?
 
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Narcissism

Narcissus loved himself. He was wrapped up in himself.
A flower and a psychological disorder are named after him.
 
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My altar

Superstition

We don’t believe in witches anymore. Three, four hundred years ago, ordinary people were very afraid of witches. About 100 000 witches were hunted down and burned to death here in Europe.

And, we no longer believe in trolls or gnomes or ghosts or evil spirits. Today we believe that such beings are creations of overheated minds. We believe that they are fantasies.

We no longer believe that evil spirits causes schizophrenia and epileptic fits or that kids can contract polio if they jump in heaps of leaves in the autumn.

We no longer believe in God as they did three hundred years ago. The churches have lost most of their power over common peoples minds. We are no longer afraid to end up in hell when we die. Some people are still going to church on Sundays and some people are still afraid of ghosts but people in general have abandoned superstition. Beliefs change.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The caring instinct

I believe that human beings have a caring instinct. This instinct can be strong or weak. If we don’t have any children of our own to take care of, we will have to find someone else’s children to care for. If we are not able to find any children to care for we will have to get ourselves a dog or a cat. If we don’t have any children and no dog or cat to take care of, we will have to feed the ducks or the pigeons in the park. If we don’t care fore anyone or anything but ourselves, we will get sick.

I believe that all people here on earth today are descendants from a small group of humans who lived about a hundred thousand years ago in South Africa. We are all related. All of us belong to the same clan. Differences in skin color are just adaptations to different climates.
Human beings are much more closely related to each other than chimpanzees are. This is what modern genetic research has arrived at.

I believe that human beings of today are a result of a biological and a cultural evolution. At some point in our evolution language and an ability to plan for future events gradually developed. Those who were good at anticipating future events and able to make workable plans survived, and those who couldn’t plan disappeared. Human beings are extremely dependant on the ability to cooperate and the ability to make plans because we are so weak compared to the other animals with their big teeth or horns.

If we focus all our attention on the future, if we are extremely goal orientated, we will of course forget about the now. We can become so obsessed with the future that we completely lose our ability to be present in the now. The ability to be present in the now withers away, like any other ability, if it is never used. I believe that the ability to be present here and now can be improved and I believe that some people are able to be very present in the now. I agree with Eckhart when he says that only the now is real. It goes without saying. However, if we never look in to the future we will soon find ourselves in trouble. (I’m sorry. I can’t come with you. I can’t afford it. I have so many bills to pay next week.) I do not believe that living in the now implies that we cannot plan for the next week.

I believe that because of our ability to see different scenarios in our imagination we are forced to choose, one way or another. Free will implies choice.

I believe that a human being can become obsessed with almost anything because of his or her ability to fantasize, combined with his or her headstrongness. We can become obsessed with alcohol, drugs, ourselves, sex, career, money, power, art, food, religion, daydreaming…

Some people seem to always be somewhere else, even if they are not focused on future goals or brooding on the past. They are lost in their dream worlds, pondering what was going on before the Big Bang or what is happening to us when we die.

I believe that awakening is about waking up from daydreaming and obsessions. I believe that this wakeful state of mind never last for long. We will again and again get lost in fantasies and conceptual thinking. I believe that this is how the mind works. However, if we were not able to wake up to this present moment, again and again, we would be completely lost in delusion and the imaginary dream worlds.

Why are you here?

What is the purpose with you’re visit here on our planet?
Seriously. Are you a tourist?
Are you looking for a job here?
Are you here to get rich?
Are you here to exploit natural resources and poor people?
Are you on the run?
Are you involved in illegal activities?
Are you involved in drug or sex trafficking?
Are you here to have sex with children?

Esoteric and exoteric philosophy

All people have a philosophy of life, not just philosophers. Many people have, in fact, two, one exoteric, public, and one secret, esoteric.

The secret philosophy of life, the hidden agenda, is often not as becoming as the official one.

It is our secret philosophy of life that directs our actions. When we make up our mind and decide if we shall stay or if we shall go, if we shall accept an offer or if we shall say no, these decisions come from our esoteric philosophy of life.

Our secret philosophy of life is secret also to ourselves, it is unconscious, we don’t think of it, we are not aware of it. It is like learning how to drive a car. In the beginning, we have to put all our attention into the driving, after a year or so the driving has become automatic. We don’t have to think of it. We can put our conscious mind on other things while the unconscious mind does the driving for us.

However, we have to change when things around us change. For example, if you move to England you have to get used to left-hand traffic. You will then have to put a lot of attention to the driving again and this is tiring. It will take some time before the driving becomes automatic again.

Neither our exoteric nor our esoteric philosophy of life is our own. We have picked them up from people around us, from our family and friends, from books and TV and parts of them have probably a genetic origin. We are conditioned, socially and biologically.

Chimpanzees have only one philosophy of life. They are not at all like humans though we share 98, 5 % of their genes.

Bonobos, or the Pygmy chimpanzees, are not like chimpanzees. Bonobos have so much sex with all the members in the flock that a father will never know which of his offspring is his. They live in matriarchal communities; chimpanzees live in patriarchal communities and a chimpanzee boss has to put a lot of energy into guarding his wives from having sex with others than him.

I have changed my mind again. It is not possible to live, I think now, without a philosophy of life. We are wired for explanations, mind constructions and beliefs. This is one of the important differences between human beings and other animals. We can’t stop the thinking, birds can't keep from singing and fish can’t stop swimming.

All the religions have proved to be disastrous. They have not just caused endless miseries because of superstition, but what is more important; they have created a `them and us´ way of looking at life which has resulted in war and violence. All the political ideologies have also proved to be disastrous. What can we do? Can't we simply drop the religions, the ideologies and the philosophies of life? I think now that this is not possible.

I think now that we have to create a new religion or a new philosophy of life and a new ideology that is adjusted to this time. Christianity is two thousand years old, Islam is a religion from the Middle Ages, Communism, Nazism and liberalism is from the ninetieth and the twentieth century. They are all passé.

I used to think that what we have to do is getting rid of all the religions, philosophies and ideologies, that we must free ourselves from conceptual thinking, social and biological conditioning, without creating a new belief system to replace the old world idiocies with. Now I understand that this is not possible. We have to create a new religion. Human beings are not able to live without beliefs, values and ideas.

What is the point with creating a new religion or a new philosophy of life? The old religions and ideologies are still here, aren’t they, thousands of different versions of Christianity, thousands of different versions of Hinduism, thousands of different versions of Islam? And, as if this is not enough aren’t there already thousands and thousands of new gurus and teachers to be found on the internet? There must be someone or something for you out there. What's wrong with Eckhart? What's your problem? Do you want to become a guru yourself? What's wrong with you?

You’re trying to put out a fire with gasoline, aren't you? What makes you think that you can create a new religion, without creating more madness?

Because I have to. And so do you. We all create new religions, beliefs, interpretations and philosophies of life because we are made to do it. We are all gurus, high priests and preachers. We’re not at all like the apes.