October 22, 2009

The Pfc’s Coup: Monotheism

Posted in Monotheism tagged , at 11:52 pm by Jeremy

In my last post, The Rise of Dualism, I described how Plato and his Neoplatonic followers embedded the notion of body/soul dualism deep in the bedrock of Western thought.

From Plato’s time, our Western tradition of thought has consequently been structured by a cascade of dualities: mind/body; soul/body; eternal life in heaven/temporary life on earth; reason/emotion; man/nature.  These dualities are fundamental to the way we think.

But it was when Christianity arose, merging the Hebrew idea of an omnipotent God with Plato’s idea of the abstract Good, that the pfc was able to take virtually total control of human consciousness.  In the first few centuries of our common era, as Christianity pervaded Western thought, the dualism first conceived by Plato became the only acceptable view of existence.

Mosaic of Saint Paul (Vatican)

Mosaic of Saint Paul (from the Vatican)

Our bodies became vessels of evil.  In the words of St. Paul, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”[1] Or as the Book of John says: “he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”[2] And the hatred of the material world, combined with a love for eternal salvation, continued unremittingly down the generations.  The Cloud of Unknowing, a highly regarded spiritual text of the 14th century, describes the body as a “foul stinking lump”:

For as oft as [the soul] would have a true knowing and a feeling of his God in purity of spirit… he findeth evermore his knowing and his feeling as it were occupied and filled with a foul stinking lump of himself, the which must always be hated and despised and forsaken, if he shall be God’s perfect disciple.[3]

Hundreds of years later, New England clergyman, Cotton Mather was urinating against a wall and was disgusted by the sight of a dog relieving himself too.  He came up with a unique response:

Thought I; ‘What mean and vile things are the children of men… How much do our natural necessities debase us, and place us… on the same level with the very dogs.’

My thought proceeded.  ‘Yet I will be a more noble creature; and at the very time when my natural necessities debase me into the condition of the beast, my spirit shall (I say at that very time!) rise and soar’…

Accordingly, I resolved that it should be my ordinary practice, whenever I step to answer one or the other necessity of nature to make it an opportunity of shaping in my mind some holy, noble, divine thought…”[4]

The examples are endless.  For over a thousand years, people of European descent thought of themselves as a “strange hybrid monster”[5] composed of two disconnected parts, a soul and a body, fighting against each other.

Rene Descartes, 1596-1650

Rene Descartes, 1596-1650

This culminated in the seventeenth century, when the philosopher René Descartes who, after Plato, has probably had a greater impact than any other philosopher on modern Western thought, transformed this dualism into a form that would work for the modern world, with his famous conception of “cogito ergo sum” – “I think therefore I am”.  Only our thought was truly reliable.  Our sensations couldn’t be trusted.  In Descartes’ own words “there is nothing included in the concept of body that belongs to the mind; and nothing in that of the mind that belongs to the body.”[6] The body was just a machine that wore out, a temporary abode for the immortal soul.

God granting dominion over Nature to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

God granting dominion over Nature to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

And if the body were just a machine, then it followed that animals were nothing other than machines, because they didn’t have human souls within them.  In fact, all of Nature was just a machine.  A machine that’s there for the purposes of mankind, since didn’t God say in Genesis that Man shall “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth”?[7]

This is what I mean by the pfc’s coup.  First, Plato established the idea of  the pfc’s conceptualization function as a separate dimension existing in its own image: an eternal world of abstraction.  Next, the rise of Christianity gave a name to that abstraction – God – and assigned it infinite, universal power.  Finally, the pfc (although of course it wasn’t known by that name) was  identified as the only part of each human being that could connect with that infinite power – the abstracting mind, the immortal soul.

And now that this dualism was firmly established, everything else was fair game.  Nature was there to be used for our purposes.  Other peoples needed to be conquered in order to save their infinite souls that they didn’t even know they had.

In my next post, I’ll look at how the the rise of science permitted the pfc to expand its power even further – establishing a true tyranny over our consciousness.


[1] I Corinthians 15:50

[2] Book of John, 12:25

[3] Quoted in Huxley, A. (1945/2004). The Perennial Philosophy, New York: HarperCollins, p. 37

[4] Quoted in Orians, G. H. (2008). “Nature & human nature.” Dædalus(Spring 2008), 39-48.  (p. 40)

[5] Lovejoy, A.O., ([1936] 1964). The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[6] Quoted by Capra, F., (1982/1988). The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture. New York: Bantam Books.

[7] Genesis, 1:26

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27 Comments »

  1. Middle Way said,

    When you realize that nothing in the real world is 100% good or 100% bad, then you can see that “Reality is Between the Dualities”.
    http://tmakashi.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/hello-world/

  2. Juliano said,

    No –dont blame the body! Blame the mindset. Not ALL humans with zee pfc are complete insane warmongering toxic shits who hate women, animals, ….etc etc nature.

    Your thesis would seek to do lobotomy on us–and this sorry idea has been done, and still is–called lobotomy. And GUESS who would do it??

    • jeremylent said,

      I agree – it’s the mindset I’m describing. Please see my post “What does the tyranny of the prefrontal cortex really mean? A detailed critique.” for a discussion of the thesis that explains how it’s our cultural imbalance, not the pfc as a part of our anatomy, that I’m critiquing.

      The solution is certainly not a lobotomy! I propose what I call moving towards a “democracy of consciousness”, where we permit all aspects of our lived experience, including our feelings and instincts, to participate in a more integrated mind/body consciousness. See my other blog, Finding the Li, for more on the proposed solution.

  3. Middle Way said,

    A potential flaw to your “democracy of consciousness” is the role of the subconscious or unconscious. Meditation is often viewed as “quieting the mind”, but focusing on breathing seems to increase awareness of subconscious activities (i.e. anger arising, thoughts arising, fear increasing, etc). In this way, normally subconscious thoughts become more conscious, allowing for more “democracy” of control/cooperation. Regular meditation is a necessary component of any integrated mind/body consciousness.

    In Finding the Li, you mention the role of Buddhism. Buddhism in general (and Zen in particular) utilizes meditation as a component to achieving enlightenment (seeing the world w/o illusion). The Two-Truths doctrine describes conventional truth and ultimate truth. Conventional truths are the dualistic world (good and bad, right and wrong) and ultimate truths are non-dualistic (reality is between the dualities). Nothing in the real world is dualistic (100% good or bad), yet conventional truths claim that there is.

    • jeremylent said,

      Thanks for the thoughtful insights. I agree with you on the central role of meditation (which I personally practice every day), on permitting normally subconscious fragments, sensations and drives to become part of our consciousness. I consider meditation to be a crucially important vehicle towards that democracy (just like having a free press is an essential part of a nation’s democracy).

      In future blog posts, I intend to address vipassana and Zen Buddhist perspectives on the path to a “democracy of consciousness.”

  4. Juliano said,

    I just read your Finding the Li, and it is very interesting. However, I still see implied that the pfc is somehow to blame. Well, women have it too and so do gay people, and people who have dark skin, and indigenous peoples, and ‘heretics’ and we all have suffered at the controlling and violent insanity of the solar warrior cults, the patriariarchy, the dominiator-takers over the millenia.

    As solution you mention Taoism and Buddhism, but even though out of the two Taoism seems more to me closer to the Goddess religion, it still justifies war when there is ‘no other way’, and Buddhism’s history is not as peaceful as is popularly believed, and its ‘spiritual’ goals are very reminiscent of the patriarchal pattern—world-denying. Seeking final escape from the ‘wheel of birth and death’!

    I like you am very deeply interested in solutions to the major crises facing us which seems to–feels to me like–walls blatantly revealed more and more closing in on us and all species, and poisoning the very web of life.

    You dont mention sacred plants and substances?? Over the years of being online whenever I have tried to talk with Buddhists–a wide variety==about psychedelics I have met with closedmindedness and even irrational hostility! I have even been accused myself of being brain damaged.

    But I see very much that a HUGE reason for the suppression of soul/feeling is the war on entheogens! The ‘war’ includes the propaganda against them (which even so-called ‘enlighted’ Buddhists have fallen for) be it they damge your brain, make you go ‘mentally ill’, make you become a Charles Manson, fly off buildings etc etc, and also the physicalist ‘explanations’ that they have no sacred meaning but are merely a ‘chemical ride’. All of that is PROPAGANDA. And I like to encourage people to question it.

    So yes, Imagination, Ecstasy. and Critical Thinking is solution, as well as speaking out against tyranny. Exposing it.
    We need to bond with nature, and best way is sacred participation with nature. To *love* Earth,

    Peace

    Juliano

    • jeremylent said,

      I’m with you, Juliano, on the subject of entheogens. I think the suppression of entheogens in our society is a symptom, rather than a cause, of the underlying pathology. Given the “pfc tyranny” of our society, I believe entheogens can play an important part in opening people’s minds to other perspectives on the world. However, (see my response to Middle Way) in the long run I believed internally driven processes such as meditation are more sustainable.

      Here’s an analogy: imagine you’re climbing a big mountain. I see entheogens like a weather balloon that can temporarily raise you up to see the whole landscape and glimpse where you’re headed. Then you’re back down on the trail, and meditation/mindfulness is like the journey itself that gets you to where you glimpsed. But for many of us in the Western world, without the weather balloon, we’d never know there was a place worth heading for!

      Regarding the pfc: the pfc itself is a wonderful part of our biology, an essential part of what makes us human. It’s not the pfc itself, but our Western society’s 2,000 year long process of raising up the abstractions produced by the pfc to a sanctity separate from the the “animate” workings of the rest of our consciousness that I’m talking about as a tyranny. The sanctification of mind over body, God over nature, reason over emotion, technology over the natural world… That’s the tyranny.

      Finally, the term “Buddhism” covers a vast range of meanings. I agree with you that a lot of traditional Buddhist practices are hard to differentiate from other religious sanctifications. However, I think the modern “secular Buddhist” tradition, emphasizing mindfulness meditation and present moment awareness, is one of the most powerful vehicles available for helping us overcome the “tyranny” in our own minds.

    • Middle Way said,

      I too am with you in terms of entheogens having a valid role to play in the enlightenment of our world. As a practicing Buddhist, the dharma teachings direct people to avoid intoxicants, and people who do not know etheogens would categorize them w/ intoxicants. But, when used in a spiritual way, it alters perception so that people can experience reality from a different perspective. The danger of intoxicants and entheogens is their abuse or misuse, which frequently (normally) occurs, so the more common response would be to avoid them, because of the fear of becoming dependent (relying) on them. You are correct that is an unenlightened approach, which hopefully will be corrected once entheogens are recognized for their medicinal qualities and not as intoxicants.

      Jeremy gave the analogy of entheogens being like a weather balloon, where I might compare entheogens to a flashlight in a dark room. A flashlight “lightens” up a portion of the room. The objective of “enlightenment” is to see the world clearly w/o the need of a flashlight.

      There is much misunderstanding of Buddhism, and Buddhism itself must accept much of the blame. It is said that Buddha taught the Middle Way… a way between the dualities. You describe buddhism as being “world denying with their seeking final escape from the wheel of birth and death”. Non-duality means that birth and death are not real, as we believe them to be (start and end points). When people see clearly and recognize that we are part of (interconnected to) everything else, that is when we will become (more) enlightened.

      Propaganda is all around us, so it is difficult to see clearly. Many (most) buddhist and people in general have an incorrect understanding of entheogens, due to the prevalent propaganda. Buddhism is based in non-dualism, wisdom, and compassion (for all life).

      Working together, someday we will help save this planet by bringing wisdom and enlightenment to the world. Using Mother Earth as a compass is valuable, but it will take much more to overcome the self-centered attitude of humans. IMO the Middle Way and the ultimate truth stands a chance of success.

      Namaste

  5. Juliano said,

    “Jeremy gave the analogy of entheogens being like a weather balloon, where I might compare entheogens to a flashlight in a dark room. A flashlight “lightens” up a portion of the room. The objective of “enlightenment” is to see the world clearly w/o the need of a flashlight.”

    I wouldn’t call entheogenic insight a ‘flashlight’ but more ‘Enlightenment’—for if you understand that way before the rise of Buddhism in Goddess religion ‘Enlightenment’ *meant* the deep ecstatic insights we can have eating her sacred fruits, and this was in continuum with integration. Ie., ‘enlightenemnt is deeply understanding that life and death are interelated and we already ARE immortal. And with this comes deep love for nature.

    Now, a very good example of how the solar-cult-warrior mindset tried to subvert this understanding is in the western ‘creation myth’ in the biblical Book of Genesis. ALL the ancient preliteral Goddess symbolism is there, the Goddess who is ‘demoted’ to ‘mortal’ woman, Eve, who the male Adam births (stamping the patriarchal designs all over the story!), the Tree, Serpent, and Fruit (which really is entheogenic fruit)–Now see what they do, they de-grade all of this imagery with their ‘Word of God’. This is propaganda right?
    They blame Eve for ‘mankind’s disobedience against ‘God’ (who is the dominator authority elitists writing this), and blame her for bring death. Obviously they are implying that death was never utterly interelated with life. For it is absurd to imagine you can abstract out two ‘terms’ from what is a dynamic *process*. But that is what that propaganda does, and this carries on down their imposed linear sense of time (‘history’), because we see other ‘thinkers’ like Rene Descartes, for example–the animal torturer–who having abstracted ‘mind’ and ‘body’ in his mind THEN asks the question how ‘they’ can come together. That absurdity continues.

    “There is much misunderstanding of Buddhism, and Buddhism itself must accept much of the blame. It is said that Buddha taught the Middle Way… a way between the dualities. You describe buddhism as being “world denying with their seeking final escape from the wheel of birth and death”. Non-duality means that birth and death are not real, as we believe them to be (start and end points). When people see clearly and recognize that we are part of (interconnected to) everything else, that is when we will become (more) enlightened.”

    We already ARE. That is my point. And entheogenic experience is the great fruit because there is no ‘holy man’ who has ‘achieved’ this great state, nor his followers –who have not ‘achieved’ ‘enlightenment’ yet but are workin on it. No, any commoner can–with respect enter the sense of eternal now. Just like that. All the propaganda crap blown away.

    What happens after the ‘come down’ is that you find yourself surrounded gby a very brutal mechanistic soul-dead world. THAT I can see. I dont have to be told that I am not ‘enlightened’ because I dont see that death and borth are not real. Of COURSE they are real. Babies get born and people die. That is how it should be. And also to know that every moment is simultanously dying and being reborn, and life is organically dying and rebirthing with every day, and night. Even *movement* can be understood as relying on the ‘death’ of the wake of motion. Like a ship at sea where its wake is the ‘death’ of its life of movement?

    So I dont agree that entheogens are just a one-off and then we become Buddhist meditators. Entheogens are food. Are our soul food. And MOST needed in this terrible world with so much dis-ease.
    ‘Mindfullness’ for me is not trying to get to some placid state of being, but being sharply aware of what the dominators are doing to others and earth and speaking out against it. I often feel that this ‘mindfullness’ trip is a glorified version of psychiatric ‘antidepressant’.

    Peace

    Juliano

    • Middle Way said,

      A few short comments:

      The word entheogens means “god inside us”, but is more commonly used to refer to any psychoactive substances when used for their religious or spiritual effects. Entheogens can supplement many various practices for healing, transcendence, and revelation, including: meditation, psychonautics, art projects, and psychedelic therapy. (wikipedia)

      Spiritual enlightenment means to obtain a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, to communicate with or understand the mind of God, to achieve some other type of profound spiritual understanding, or to achieve a fundamentally changed level of existence whereby one’s self is experienced as a nonchanging field of pure consciousness. (wikipedia)

      Buddha enlightenment is a translation of the word bodhi, which means a state of freedom from suffering, desire and ignorance, which are collectively known as saṃsāra. Bohi is also translated as “awakening” or “understanding”. (wikipedia)

      “enlightenment is deeply understanding that life and death are interelated and we already ARE immortal.” “I dont have to be told that I am not ‘enlightened’ because I dont see that death and birth are not real. Of COURSE they are real. Babies get born and people die.” (Juliano)

      Namaste

    • Middle Way said,

      “‘Mindfullness’ for me is not trying to get to some placid state of being, but being sharply aware of what the dominators are doing to others and earth and speaking out against it.”

      Not sure where you live, but if you live in the western world, you are one of the dominators. Mindfulness is being aware of that paradox and seeing uncomfortable truths.

      Propaganda comes in many forms and dualistic thinking is commonly utilized in propaganda. Consequently, as long as you think and speak dualistically, then you are promoting that propaganda. Reality is between the dualities.

      • Juliano said,

        I dont see myself as a dominator just because I happen to have been born in the western world. To say that would imply that there are not people in the western world who ALSO suffer under the main dominating ideology–which is industrial fascism–or the patriarchy.
        What about the ‘peasants’ who had their rights to the COMMON land taken from them, and were herded like animals into the concrete cities to salve all hours for low money? Were THEY the dominators, or were they the dominated?

      • Middle Way said,

        Hi Juliano,
        “Reality is Between the Dualities”
        If the dualities are dominator or peasant, the reality is that you (and i) are between them. When we ignore that reality, we revolve in the cycle of birth/pleasure and death/suffering. When we acknowledge that reality, it is an eye-opening experience.

        Dualistic mind is the propaganda that we grow up with (maya). Non-dualistic mind is the reality which resides in nature (universal truths). Sticking with dualistic mind is easy, but an ignorant mind leads to desires and suffering. Giving up dualistic mind is difficult. Achieving non-dualistic mind is difficult. Achieving Buddha enlightenment is difficult, but the merits are real. If you don’t think they are real, just take in a deep breath of air.

  6. Juliano said,

    “Buddha enlightenment is a translation of the word bodhi, which means a state of freedom from suffering, desire and ignorance, which are collectively known as saṃsāra. Bohi is also translated as “awakening” or “understanding”. (wikipedia)”

    I desire. I am ignorant. I suffer. This is what is called life, not idealism. THAT is the problem I have with Eastern philosophy including Buddhism. It implies ‘you are wrong now’

    How different is that suggestion than from the Christian one that claims your born in ‘original sin’ and ned the church and Jesus to save you? It is ‘your wrong now’–in all these patriarchal belief systems there is a guilting factor. And this is because they are authoritarian. They are run by –usually males (as you know Buddhism was origianlly monastry system)–people who want you to cling to their authority.

    There is one supposed saying of the Buddha where he encourages you to not take anything said without you using YOUR reason to figure out if it makes sense to YOU. If only people would just hear him say that and do that.

    Nature IS sacred–NOW. You are as scared as you are—NOW. so dont hurt nature. Love nature and nature’s sacred fruits. And stop feeling guilty and wrong 🙂

    • Middle Way said,

      “It (eastern philosophy) implies ‘you are wrong now’”

      That would be an incorrect interpretation, as in buddhism, there is no ‘you’ and there is no ‘wrong’. Both are dualistic. When you say that you suffer, desire and ignore, it simply means that you have not attained (Buddhist) enlightenment.

      I apologize for not being able to communicate Buddhist wisdom by way blog postings. You seem to have made much progress on your journey. These words are simply meant to be a sign post, pointing out View Points.

      Namaste (I bow to the spirit inside you)

      • Juliano said,

        I said__ “It (eastern philosophy) implies ‘you are wrong now’”

        you—That would be an incorrect interpretation, as in buddhism, there is no ‘you’ and there is no ‘wrong’. Both are dualistic. When you say that you suffer, desire and ignore, it simply means that you have not attained (Buddhist) enlightenment.

        me—See the thing is that that is very confusing, confounding and doesn’t smack of actual reality. ACTUAL reality is me here now feeling the way I do. Which as I said, am a ‘me’ who desires, can be ignorant (we cannot know *everything* and some things we’ve known we even forget, and remember–hence i am ignore-ant of them at that time I forget) and suffer. THAT is real. I know this.
        Now, someone comes along and says, eg ‘psssst, you heard of this dude called Buddha? They say he lived in (? century) and he got ‘enlightened’ and wasn’t a you like you and me, and also didn’t have desire, or suffer, or get ignorant. Want some?’
        Now THAT idea makes YOU feel NOW that you NEED something, right? You realize that how you are NOW is *wrong* and therefore if you follow Buddhism one day you will get that goal. So your then hooked to believe this and will meditate and meditate. Desiring not to be attached to desire…!

        you—-I apologize for not being able to communicate Buddhist wisdom by way blog postings. You seem to have made much progress on your journey. These words are simply meant to be a sign post, pointing out View Points.

        Namaste (I bow to the spirit inside you)

        Thanks. I just say what I feel. I see sacred plants and substances as very real. Direct. Ie., you could go onto someone till the cows come home about ‘Buddha Enlightenment’ and what you need to do to attain it. Yet EVERYONE can partake of sacred fruit and BE enlightened now. It is already here.
        now….. the problem is that we have to ‘come down’ into a world that is oppressed under a mechanistic philosophy, and is war mongering, and genocidal and ecocidal. So THAT is real also and we somehow have to deal with it and stand up against it.

      • Middle Way said,

        Yes, to realize that duality is an illusion/maya is confusing and confounding, because you have been taught your whole life to be dualistic. You are like a glass that is filled (w/ western logic and dualism), so more water just overflows. I tell you that a half-full glass is better, and western logic says a full glass is better.

        In some ways, Buddhist enlightenment is like finding a larger glass, pouring your water into it, while still having room for more.

  7. Juliano said,

    *you are as sacred as you are” not scared LOL

  8. Juliano said,

    “Hi Juliano,
    “Reality is Between the Dualities”
    If the dualities are dominator or peasant, the reality is that you (and i) are between them. When we ignore that reality, we revolve in the cycle of birth/pleasure and death/suffering. When we acknowledge that reality, it is an eye-opening experience.

    Dualistic mind is the propaganda that we grow up with (maya). Non-dualistic mind is the reality which resides in nature (universal truths). Sticking with dualistic mind is easy, but an ignorant mind leads to desires and suffering. Giving up dualistic mind is difficult. Achieving non-dualistic mind is difficult. Achieving Buddha enlightenment is difficult, but the merits are real. If you don’t think they are real, just take in a deep breath of air.”

    Foy you it is ‘difficult’ because you believe in it. For me it is not difficult because I see through that explanation. I am just being direct. I really recommend the book The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power
    It really deconstructs the ‘nondualism’ which comes from the Eastern belief systems.

    As I say–the REALITY is not the IDEA, but how we feel now. It is no use saying to a ‘peasant’ or anyone who is oppressed that its their fault because they dont know how to thinking non-dualistically. The reality is they ARE oppressed, period. And noone wants to be oppressed

    • Middle Way said,

      Thank you for the reference to the Guru Papers. I was able to read “Oneness, enlightenment, and the mystical experience”, which deconstructs each of these from an outsiders viewpoint. I began to reply to many of their points, but realized that it would require pages.

      I will just say, Guru Papers is like an critical analysis of music using words (i.e. Music Papers: Instruments of Sonic Abuse). The words are logical, but you’ll have no real sense of the music. If the words convince you not to listen, then you’ll simply miss the music.

  9. Juliano said,

    “Yes, to realize that duality is an illusion/maya is confusing and confounding, because you have been taught your whole life to be dualistic. You are like a glass that is filled (w/ western logic and dualism), so more water just overflows. I tell you that a half-full glass is better, and western logic says a full glass is better.

    In some ways, Buddhist enlightenment is like finding a larger glass, pouring your water into it, while still having room for more.”

    You keep presuming I am at fault.
    Even though I tell you I feel alright you insist that it is because I am not ‘enlightened’. So are YOU? Are you enlightened? have you got it yet?

    • Middle Way said,

      A closed door keeps the cold wind out, but lets in very little light.
      Contrary to the Guru Papers, enlightenment is not either/or, but a process.
      Please enlighten me….is the door closed or open… or between?

  10. Juliano said,

    “Thank you for the reference to the Guru Papers. I was able to read “Oneness, enlightenment, and the mystical experience”, which deconstructs each of these from an outsiders viewpoint. I began to reply to many of their points, but realized that it would require pages.

    I will just say, Guru Papers is like an critical analysis of music using words (i.e. Music Papers: Instruments of Sonic Abuse). The words are logical, but you’ll have no real sense of the music. If the words convince you not to listen, then you’ll simply miss the music.”

    No, your wrong. If read and understood it will help you see through the ‘holy man scam’. I dont agree with everything they say–ie., they include Goddess religion in their critique, and their solution is not to my taste. But I really get them about the abstraction of a ‘Oneness’. It fits in with so much else I have learnt–fitting patterns.
    Have YOU found ‘oneness’. Be honest in your answer.

    • Middle Way said,

      “have i found ‘oneness’?”
      here is my honest answer….. between…. between ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
      i really wish we could talk, because then it could be a dialog, instead of a blog posting, but i will try to describe what i know of oneness.

      let us examine this question; is there anything in the real world that is 100% good or 100% bad? people have said “the ocean is 100% good” but people drown in the ocean. people have said “hitler was 100% bad” but hitler loved arian children. although it often takes some thought, no one (so far) has come up with anything in the real world, which is 100% good or bad. please let me know if anyone can.

      if nothing in the real world is 100% good or 100% bad, then dualistic opposites do not really exist… they are abstractions. most people desire to be good (honest, kind, friendly, etc), but they constantly fall short, leading to unhappiness/suffering. what people need to see is that we are all in-between being a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ person. if this is agreeable, then we can proceed to what ‘oneness’ seems to be.

      the area/space between good (hold up the left hand) and bad (hold up the right hand, leaving a space between the hands) is the area where we all exist…. that area (i visualize it as an oval) is the oneness. the whole world is the one area between the dualities. some people are closer to the left hand, others closer to the right hand, but we are ALL between the dualities. if you can see that area between the hands is where everyone and everything exists, that would be a ‘flashlight’ of enlightenment.

      do i see or feel ‘oneness’ all of the time… no. when i do see that ‘oneness’, anger/unhappiness tends to fade and compassion/happiness tends to grow. that is my honest answer. hopefully, my ‘flashlight’ had batteries which worked. this is (my understanding of) the Middle Way. sorry, writing more might clarify ‘oneness’, but i am trying to be brief.

      jeremy… i apologize for monopolizing your comment area. do you think we have gotten too far off-topic of the pfc and monotheism?

  11. Juliano said,

    “A closed door keeps the cold wind out, but lets in very little light.
    Contrary to the Guru Papers, enlightenment is not either/or, but a process.
    Please enlighten me….is the door closed or open… or between?”

    First, have you read the whole book? Or just excerpts from the internet?

    Your asking me what is ‘enlightenment’? I actually went into this a few posts back. I sad that I understand the original meaning of ‘Enlightenment’–long before the advent of Buddhism, was the direct experience Celebrants have after ingesting sacred fruits of the Goddess.
    To understand what that means is to understand that nature IS sacred already. And to have this understanding when taking nature’s sacrred fruits is enlightenment. it isn’t a goal–to. To ‘constantly seeing through dualism’—to not seeing life and death, and being in all-the-time-bliss, etc etc. ALL of that is idealism. And it traps you in a sense of time. Ie–that now you aint got what you want–‘enlightenment’, but if you ‘meditate meditate meditate’ and/or ‘practice practice practice’ soon you will see

    IF you want to see it like that the universe is very accomodating. But I dont. I DO suffer, I DO desire—get angry, feel lost, giggle when i shouldn’t all that, but I see this as life. A life that is common to us all

    I see dis-eased people. NOT because they are not seeing ‘non-dualistically’ and haven’t found Buddhism, but because of what the State propaganda machine does to us via ‘education’–enforced ‘education’, and the mass media, and the central controlling myth, the myth of mental illness.
    And also the war against sacred plants, or entheogens, or psychedelics. ALL conspire to control peoples consciousness.

    Enlightenment is seeing this. It is no big fancy word meaning some great escape into some superior sense of being. It is rather an unlearning–a seeing through propaganda. It is ongoing—exploration. And when you start understanding sacredness of nature that IS enlightened. There is no need to say ‘are you Enlightened’? That is superfluous. It just objectifies some state-to-get-to-if-you-follow-my-religion

    • Middle Way said,

      on the internet, i was able to read the first section, “oneness, enlightenment, and the mystical experience” (approx. 20 pages, not the whole book).

      thank you and best wishes on your journey. i would feel more comfortable carrying on additional comments at my blog (Middle Way).

      namaste

      • Juliano said,

        Yeah thanks. We agree in a way. its just I dont think there is a goal as such. I feel it is a reurn to soul. feeling, through sacred plants
        ‘Meditation’ for me is just being aware. Being aware of imagination, and even real suffering etc


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