I received two emails from a seeker who met me once en-route to a jungle commune run by a drug-taking guru.
The email gave me an opportunity to explain a number of faults in spiritual groups of the “Get Nowhere Fast” variety.
Unfortunately, this type of “Nowhere” is not the supreme deluxe version but the regular mundane “Nowhere” version which can be experienced anywhere (like our city’s concrete jungle) but it’s so much easier to cope (presumably) with the mundane under the influence of drugs. I would have imagined that a jungle is so spectacularly wild that one would NOT need drugs but some people just can’t cope without their distractions.
The points which I made in the email refer to various aberrant spiritual groups (how judgmental) and not solely to the “let’s-take-drugs-in-the-jungle” crowd.
Rather than paste the two emails here I will just refer to the relevant lines. You can fill in the gaps. Just to give some context the writer claims to have achieved a “realization of the truth” over one year ago, and that there are other self-realisers in the same commune.
The main question in the email seems to be asking if self-realisers can change the world by reaching a critical mass. There is a strong suggestion that they can’t and that they make all the same interpersonal goof-ups as other people do. I take it further and state that some so-called self-realisers are actually abusers which begs the question what is a true self-realisation.
Below is my reply:
About the main ideas you wonder about [i.e. critical mass], I don’t think I have ever promoted them.
I frequently find that other teachings are really messy and that I am often asked to debug people’s confused thoughts.
Sometimes it’s natural to ask certain typical seeker questions, other times the questioner has been conditioned to think and question in a certain (useless) way. This makes them join the seemingly never-ending merry-go-round of religious fanatics and village idiots that we see every generation ruining the planet. Critical mass? Possibly – but most definitely spinning in the wrong direction.
The prescription for pseudo-religious brainwashing is mental detoxification -the dropping all religious beliefs. This has become a popular method in in the West in recent times – but it is not the end of the journey just a pit-stop on the road to Enlightenment.
Concerning so-called “self-realisers”, especially the “nod and a wink” variety, suspicions are raised when the person rigidly maintains a “no beliefs, no mind, no attachments” stance. This smacks of an anal retentiveness which is only of service in certain backward tantra groups.
It seems that there are many Western groups who hold this frozen position of pseudo-spiritual high rigor mortis. It starts with the fixed stare and the permanent smile. However, no amount of makeup and air-freshener, will make the purifying corpse of the faking-IT-in-the-belife that-this-is-making-IT seeker into the real thing, although naive mass followings (the greater the numbers, the worse the ignorance) (ref: Nuremburg 1936) can’t see the con.
For the discerning seeker, these Western groups unwittingly reveal their fake pedigree, much like a Cockney who has bought a Lordship when he opens his mouth to speak, when they misguidedly claim to be branches of the tree of Hindu Advaita (renamed in American McSpirituality as “non-dualism”). The original Shankacharya would be turning in his grave, except he may have been burned already.
Fake groups are unable to grow in anything but numbers, and certainly not wisdom, because like the recipients of every transplanted belief system they are orphaned and under-fed. They therefore eternally await The Final Reckoning when the missing intellectual jigsaw piece will finally be bestowed upon them – which it never is. What we see today, unfortunately, are a lot of humans claiming to be seekers but acting like like dogs barking up the wrong tree.
This is not to knock, what you have experienced. You have probably learned that experience is better than intellectual knowledge, and yet, beliefs have entered your reported “no-mind” state long enough to cause you to write me – twice! Itchy sods.
I would not appraise your current state without witnessing it (not that I am in the business of handing out MoT certificates [Ministry of Transport]). All I can say is that I have met a number of dubious characters who claimed to be “there” or had “IT” but who were conspicuously in a far worse state than your average Joe. Worse, they tended to act out, just as you fear in your email, in the most hideous ways. This is not to say that you are in that place.
However, I am uncertain of the ashram/commune where you are. It’s well-known that shamanic herbal drugs are dished out there like cabbage was in schools in my day. I don’t agree with drug use. Worse, I know of at least two cases of drug-induced insanity which required leaving the ashram to get long-term psychological and energetic help. Too dangerous. Drugs damage. I would not trust these groups.
“How can self realized ones save the world? in the commune that I live
in there are several no minders, does this make the rest of us any more conscious…the answer is no.”
You have answered your own question, although, I would direct you to go further.
Is “self-realisation” the same as “no-mind”? Not necessarily, but from (a particular) no-mind can come the realisation of how one’s self will live. For me, that unavoidably and immediately meant being a spiritual teacher from the moment I got enlightened. So, self-realisation could be defined as knowing who you are and what you are to do in this life.
“Self realized ones (I don’t like to use the word “enlightenment” it just conjures up ideas or something to become)”
A person can even aim to become one of the “self realized ones”. I am looking for substitutes for the word “enlightenment” from time to time.
“Tell me honestly David, do you not act out human behaviour, get angry, upset etc? I am not suggesting that you get attached to your own emotions but acting them out effects others around.”
I am glad you asked me to be “honest” ; ) – i don’t want to be like those dishonest ones who claim to be self-realised.
I would love to answer this question. Everyone wonders about it sometime.
I do act out human behaviours. I love passionate emotions, but I am often careful about when, where and how I express them.
“Surely in these moments of human attachment atrocities can occur?”
That’s an extreme speculation. I don’t know what is possible. I know that I have learned to act responsibly with awareness and avoid hurting except to saves a person. You are entering the area of ethics and right action which will ruin your no-mind . Can you accept the price for extra growth?
Will real self-realisation save mankind? Yes, in time, if it spreads.
Will critical mass do it? That’s a vague idea which could be better defined. It’s not easy for people to change and there are not enough true self-realisers at the moment. But I want to see more – just not the FroZen No-Mind garden peas variety.