Tag Archives: religion

The New Age

I am thinking about this task I set before me. But what is this task? Every time I define it, I eventually realize that my solution is disconnected from life.

This is happening more and more. When I examine a problem, and break it down into its essential parts, understand why, the answer is always the same. The difference is on the surface and it begins to disappear as you go deeper into it.

To know what is correct, one must know the goal that is sought. The same is true for public policy, which is further burdened by the question of who are the “you” and who are the “them”. In a democratic society the question is further complicated by the knowledge that what people want, and what is good for them, are not often the same. Such is the state of our world, and the depth of our problems.

I know what the problem is–I have seen it since I was a child–but how do I label it? Labels are a construct, an inherent untruth caused by expressing something with words–words in place of what is real. Words also carry the baggage of speaker and listener, which inhibits our communication further.

Communication is a much bigger problem in our current world, much more than “guns” or “violence” or “global warming” or any other label we give to our unhappiness. To study a multitude of one type of event already chooses the perspective of their commonality. It is a prejudice to think of such things. It is outside of the greater reality, and therefor inherently misleading. It is like the religious person that declares their “team” as their salvation. Like a word they speak is a magic spell that contains some power because it is truth, but these are constructs.

“I am a Christian so I’m saved and good (therefor better than you, so give me…)”

Are you you Jesus? Are you the Christ? The Anointed One? Then you are not “Christian”! I say there has only ever been one Christian. Jesus wasn’t Jesus because of what Synagogue he went to, or who his guru was, or from any exterior adornment. It is not a turban, a holy rock, a book–all expressions of something external. They are not us. We cannot take ownership of their lessons externally.

“I am against guns”

Congratulations… Now what?

“I am a communist.” Actually… No one says that. Lol They say, “Capitalism has failed.”

What’s does that mean exactly? Why focus on that? A construct.

“Why are you, Dan, talking about this? You are going around in circles, talking about yourself–personal things! You should isolate the issue to something small and external, yet expansive and beyond control. I’m not the problem!”

Genesis, a book of many faiths, talks of “original sin” as “eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” This is a metaphor for our judgements and how we banish ourselves from a blissful garden.

We have been making the same arguments for thousands of years. We argue who is better. What is better. We argue who should get more. We argue over what truth is correct, who’s messiah is correct, who’s God is real, expecting to gain from that correctness, that actually exposes the incorrectness of our judgements and motives. We only ever argue for more of something. Search inside yourself and see. We rarely question whether more is what we need…

“Why?” Why is the question that is unasked too often. “Enlightenment” is when you understand “why?”

An enlightened man can speak. Many will hear. Many will repeat. Few will understand, because few asked “Why?” Fewer still found the answer in the self.

“Why” is so close to the core, you see. I am sure many are asking, “Why what?” but this is the ego intruding into the thoughts, living there and being so at home you don’t notice the intruder. You look in the mirror, you see the intruder, and you think it is you.

The ultimate “why” is the why of existence. That is our core. That is our life journey. That is the key to change. Not because of what I believe but because of the truth.

“What truth?”

We are on a journey.

Look at your life. Some have examined what they have in comparison to others. They feel good or bad, depending on how much they have on their side of the scale. They rarely ask why they chose to weigh those particular things in comparison. Should you really be sad to not own a nice car? Should you then be happy to have a nice car? You don’t like cars? What do you like? What frivolous thing are you addicted to?

Or why weigh at all? Is happiness born out of judgement? What does your experience tell you? Forget holy books and think. Forget about what others tell you. Listen to your own testimony.

If someone progresses to the point of wanting to abandon judgement, that is bad. If someone progresses to a point of wanting to see things as they are that is good. But how to be free of limiting judgement? Isn’t this a judgement?… The answer isn’t “how” because the source of the desire to be free is still the ego.

You expected stats? Cold numbers? A cutoff line? Where you could be “good” or “bad”, “saved” opposed to “lost”? You would be approved of or have a new enemy to blame and attack? Is this a different take on our world? Good. It’s about time.

Did you expect blame? Who is to blame? “Who” is not enlightened. “Who?” is a question of darkness. Who is of the ego. (When I typed, “who” just now on my phone, autocorrect even suggested “ego”.)

So I guess this is where I will state a thesis… The blame is on the ego–YOU.

“The Ego did what? Did the “ego” kill those children? Did the ego kill that hero teacher? That is like blaming ‘the Devil’.”

Yes. Indeed. The ego is the devil. Notice the small ‘d’, as the true devil hides in us. Do not address the devil with the respect of a capital letter or you make him real, and yet fight an imaginary foe that you will never defeat. The fight will be endless and you will have no satisfaction, no happiness.

I hear of events. I hear of unrest. There is a rape epidemic in India. The people are protesting. While many will claim sophisticated reasoning, the simple truth is that you don’t stop rape by protest. But you do change minds. You express your side, engage others. But this pressure can only change “them”. I have found it much more difficult to change “them”, than me.

“What are you talking about? Keep to one subject!”

Don’t you see? I am! It is the mind that separates.

When we start comparing figures of what killed people we forget that they were people. We lose sight of the feeling that made us look for a solution, and in such a state we will not find a solution.

If we look at “how” they were raped, “who” raped them, “where” they were raped, “when” they were raped, we mistake these answers for “why”. Most don’t know why or even ask. We run from this topic by blaming and shaming and indulging and casting the lamb out into the wilderness, confident that we are now cleansed. “They are bad” …But we can only change ourselves and change is what we need–not more blame.

The “why” is the much harder question because it is indirect. You can’t get to it. Run after it and you will answer how, who, what, where and when, but “why” will elude you.

I had an experience once. It is one of those things that atheists don’t accept. Not because some “miracle” happened–something impossible. No impossible thing happened, yet many dismiss my experience. They mock me and others because it is “just a feeling”.

If I heard those words I would be sceptical too–and I was because I thought I understood feelings and didn’t need to learn more. My definition of reason was narrow: If you can’t create it in a laboratory it can never be real.

“What is this feeling? Prove it!”

Well it’s like this, in my left hand is misery, in my right hand is joy, the bliss I felt was near the sun. When you feel it, you will also understand. But this is all irrelevant anyways. It isn’t a path so it isn’t useful… It is external. Forget it.

“A path to what?”

What do we desire? Is this entirely personal? Are we just egos battling it out in this mouldy rock for a little more of what released a happy chemical yesterday? Then who’s desires should win? Who is right? What is right…

… “Why?”…

There is that ego again. What is right? Who is right? When is right? The “why” is the answer, but an abstract one. The delusion of the ego asks the questions of the ego.

“Why do we live?”

“Why do tragedies happen?”

“What is happiness?”

These three are the same question. Our language is so poor in describing reality. One cannot get a satisfactory answer for any one question without an answer for all three. The “feeling” can answer one at a time and it answers with the same answer to all three.

What Yogi ever shot up a school?

I hear of many people who claim religion–a belief of any kind–that do horrible things. Atheists love to point out examples of ignorant people that try to use religion to coverup or justify their actions, usually, as an example of the low intelligence of religion–and therefor the stupidity of God. These people are just parrots of their egos’ favourite verses–the atheists and the theists.

This is why I like Yoga, forms of Buddhism and Toaism. They ignore God. Bless them. Only when you ignore the external G_d can you ever find any god in you. They don’t even want to call it “God” so they don’t confuse their students into looking outside of themselves. The answer is only in one place.

I once wrote something titled, “A New Year’s Resolution for Humanity”. It explained in a variety of ways, how logically we are not that smart, we don’t know very much about much of anything, and as time passes and humanity knows more and more, we all know a smaller piece–we get dumber in relation to the whole. We rely on others’ knowledge more and more, yet drift apart. And we are indeed losing touch with real wisdom as a society, yet we are gaining certainty of correctness, as we forget ourselves without technology. All we know is to consume more. Make it easier. Faster. Faster. Faster. More and then we will be happy. Why don’t we challenge this belief?

While in current times we have increased knowledge greatly over the past, we have mainly increased memorization of others knowledge of gadgets, and of the external, without even the ability to know if this knowledge be wisdom or fallacy, and we care not as long as it suits the purposes of the ego that asked the question.

We are on a journey. We cannot read about the journey and claim to have made it. We cannot see the beauty in a picture from the top of Mount Everest. Only those that made the climb can see it. Yet so many profess the truth of a photograph! This is religion.

Yet even this is false–the entire mountain is false–the climb is what is real.

We all climb our own mountains. When one finds happiness in climbing the mountain before them, they will progress to the top. At the top they will look down to see who is following and see nobody. We climb alone. Yet we believe others exist. We see them with our eyes and we don’t connect, though neither do the left and right hands.

If your partner climbs the mountain, good for them: why be proud? You did not climb. Why argue with those that haven’t climbed, or are not interested? If climbing is so great, climb! These are religious people today and all times.

Believers go to war over ideas they don’t understand to silence their self-doubt. This is trying to beat someone up the mountain. I assure you this is not the mountain to climb. The mountain of ego is “more”. The higher you try to climb the higher the mountain gets–you can never reach the top. The faster you go, the more others want to get in your way, and you will be miserable in your defeat or victory over them.

“I’ll be happy once I have______”

We all strive for happiness don’t we? It is universal. The atheist, Christian, the Muslim, the Jew, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Toaist, the philosopher, the Marxist, the satanist, the environmentalist, the fascist, the animal–All want the same thing. Happiness. All want the same thing?! No wonder we are always fighting and never happy! We think happiness is what we get from others. There is a limited amount and we don’t have enough. Oh no the misery!

Others are an illusion. Sounds goofy doesn’t it? Just some new age bla bla bla you have heard before. It had as little meaning then as now…

…But doesn’t happiness come form relationships? Don’t we all crave these things? Even self realized people do! Nothing is more universal. If it is universal, it is truth.

But then how can happiness come from taking and hurting and killing and lying and fighting those we could have relationships with, like we learn? Actions that foster relationships bring us the most joy.

If we know our happiness comes from giving, we must be giving to ourselves. If we are separate and losing when we give, how could losing make us happy? It is nonsense! If we are happy we aren’t “losing”. If we aren’t losing when we give to others–others must not be separate from us! We take from the left hand and give to the right hand. If what we now have in the right hand is best there, the whole is happier. The left hand is not in despair.

Logic, reason and science are about observing phenomena, making predictions, and testing the hypothesis. When one gains experience, a pattern is seen to how change is made. The way in which we struggle alone and make progress alone is telling of our relationship to the universe. We look and see others: they are but a shadow of our thoughts, feelings and actions. If others react to our choices in the way that I claim, then it shows a deeper connection–deeper than random particles bumping into each other for no reason, to no end, and without consequence.

When I was practising Kung fu, there was a saying on the wall that I would pass before lessons. “There is no enemy, the only enemy is within our own habitual patterns of passion, aggression and ignorance.” If this is our battle, how can we live in a random world with no creator and no purpose?

The better question is, if one begins to live their life this way, is the outcome foolishness? Does one fall behind in the race against the separate people that are constantly clawing at them, hurting and inhibiting them? Or does one rise above as if their thoughts, feelings, and actions create their world in a way that can only be described as a “miracle” according to your current view of cause and effect? Do the outcomes of your choices make you believe that you and the external world are one directly interconnected system? A system where you have the power to directly effect change and the inescapable burden of the equal responsibility to do so?

That “feeling” I felt, is the feeling of connectedness. Everything is connected. Everything right. You don’t think but “feel” that everything is as it should be, because nothing can be lost. There is no thought, in the standard sense because thought is a tool to create this bliss. You see how life and death connect. You see things changing and staying the same. Where your thinking alone would see contradiction, your heart sees none. Your thinking sees multiple. Your heart sees one.

Thinking is of time. Time is meaningless without events, events have no meaning without space. Thinking is therefor of this world. If you seek truth in a single false perspective, you will only see partially, or in contradiction. You will be disconnected. You will not be happy. The left will fight the right, and the whole will be lost. This is us and our world.

In our heart–hearts–are the answer to our spiritual, political, cultural, environmental, and commercial difficulties. Only there can we see how wrong we are to seek happiness outside ourselves. This fallacy is the root of all evil. No solutions can come from anywhere or anyone other than you.

We all want a messiah. We all want someone else to do the work for us. We want a devil to blame and a father figure to save us. This has been the way for thousands of years.

Progress has indeed been made. We as a species have come a long way, but much of that progress has been made on the shoulders of so few individuals.

We have much further to go and we do not have time to continue to seek change by conventional, external means. We must change so much about our society in such a short time–progressing more in the next few years than in the previous thousand.

The consequences of failure are greater than at any time in history. But I do not feel doomed, because I know the truth.

These groups we try to change are artificial constructs. They are like holograms. That is why change through force is so hard and slow. When we change ourselves we act directly upon our world–immediately and completely.

We cannot change “them” very fast at all, but I have seen a person change their own self in minutes. When we give up the fallacy of our blame and accept responsibility for all that we come across, for all that we do, think and feel, the change has already occurred. This was meant to be. This is for me. I will act. Without ego. Without anger. Without fear.

Be a leader for that change–Yes, You! You can and must lead in your own way. Inside, you are the King and Queen of your kingdom!

We need leaders for equality, but how can we have equality without perceptual equanimity?
We need leaders for peace, but how can we have peace that is not within us?
We need leaders for fairness, but how can we understand what is fair, if we cannot understand our own souls’ journey?
We need leaders for joy–yes joy–but how can we spread joy if we cannot feel it in ourselves in such quantity that we overflow?

If you do not feel this way now, how will changing “them” cause you to feel blissful? Any satisfaction will be purely of the mind, and if it is in your mind, achieve that happiness in your mind now.

So much more can be done in an atmosphere of encouragement and inclusiveness. When we unite ourself with others, in our own mind, we unite the world. What problems come from unity?

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The Wisdom of Ravi Vilkhu:A Poor Farmer from a Village Bought a Baby Goat in the City

A Poor Farmer from a Village Bought a Baby Goat in the City

By Ravi Vilkhu

A poor farmer from a village bought a baby goat in the city.  As he started walking towards his village with the baby goat, a few of the city hooligans thought that if they could somehow manage to seize the baby goat, they would be able to enjoy a good meal and also a celebration. They could invite some friends and make a feast. But how to get it?
The illiterate villager seemed to be a very strong and healthy man and the hooligans of the city were a little weak. To take the goat directly from him could lead to a fight and there could be trouble, so they had to be very careful and trick him somehow. They decided on a trick. When the villager was about to leave the city, one of those four or five people met him on the road and said, “Hello! Good morning!”
He replied, “Good morning!”
Then the hooligan looked up and said, “Why are you carrying this dog on your shoulders?” — in fact he was carrying the baby goat on his shoulders — “From where did you buy this dog? It is a very good dog!”
The farmer laughed. He said, “Have you gone mad? It is not a dog! I have bought a goat, it is a baby goat!”
The man said, “Don’t enter your village carrying a dog, otherwise people will think you are mad. Do you think this is a goat?”
And the man went on his way. The farmer laughed and thought that this was very strange, but he touched the goat’s legs to see whether it is was a goat or a dog. That was the hooligan’s motive.
The farmer found that it really was a goat and feeling reassured he went on walking.
In the next lane a second hooligan met him. He said, “Hello, you have bought a very good dog. I also want to buy a dog. From where did you buy it?” Now the villager could not say with the same confidence that this was not a dog because now a second man was saying the same thing and two people cannot be mistaken.
Still he laughed and said, “This is not a dog, sir, it is a goat.”
The man said, “Who told you that it is a goat? It seems that somebody has cheated you — is this a goat?” And he went away. The villager took the goat down from his shoulders to see what the matter was but it was definitely a goat. Both of those people were mistaken! But a fear arose within him that perhaps he was suffering from a delusion.
Now he felt rather afraid as he continued walking down the road — and then he met the third person who said, “Hello! From where have you bought this dog?” This time he did not have the courage to say that this was a goat.
He answered, “I bought it in the city.” It was very difficult for him to say that this was a goat and he started to think that maybe he shouldn’t take it to the village. He has wasted the money and he will be condemned in the village. People will think that he has gone mad. While he was thinking this, the fourth man met him.
He said, “This is strange! I have never seen anybody carrying a dog on his shoulders. Do you think that this a goat?”
The villager looked around and saw that he was alone, nobody was around — so he dropped the goat and ran quickly to his village. His five rupees had been wasted but at least he wouldn’t be called mad.
And the four hooligans took the goat away.

Because four people repeated something again and again, it became difficult for the farmer to believe that what they were saying could be wrong. And when the ‘custodians’ of our religions tell you something, you find it difficult not to believe. And when those people are models of truth and sincerity, it becomes even more difficult. And when they are sincere renouncers of the world, it becomes much more difficult — because there is no reason to disbelieve what they are saying. It is not necessarily that they are deceiving you — ninety-nine times out of a hundred they are people who have a wrong conception themselves and they themselves have been deceived. It is not necessarily that they are deceivers, but they are in the same rut as you are.
One thing is certain: as long as man is told to believe, he will continue to be exploited. As long as man is asked to believe, he cannot be free of exploitation.

What am I trying to say?
I want to tell you that if we want to get rid of the entanglement of thoughts which has been formed within us, to which thousands of centuries have contributed, in which impressions of hundreds of years are collected, then one thing must be fully understood: there is nothing more suicidal than belief. One thing we have to definitely understand is that to believe, to believe blindly, to accept silently with closed eyes, has been the basic cause of the crippling our lives until now.
But everybody asks you to believe them — they tell you to believe them, not to believe others. They say, “Do not believe other people because they are wrong. I am right, believe me.”

Whoever makes a belief system a basis for his life is entering into a world of blindness — and no light to see with can ever enter into his life. He can never attain light in his life. One who believes in others will never be able to know himself.
So am I asking you to disbelieve? No! There is no need to disbelieve either. But we think that if we don’t believe something then we inevitably disbelieve it. There is a state of mind which neither believes nor disbelieves…. Disbelief is a form of belief. When we say that we don’t believe in god, what are we saying? We are saying that we believe in the non-existence of god. When we say, “I don’t believe in the soul,” then we are saying that we believe in the non-existence of the soul. Belief and disbelief are similar things, there is no difference between them. Belief is positive and disbelief is negative. Belief is a positive trust and disbelief is a negative trust, but both are trusts.
When a man dies, four people carry his dead body to the funeral ground on a bier on their shoulders. When one shoulder starts aching then they change to another shoulder. For a while they get relief for the tired shoulder.
Then the second shoulder gets tired and they change to the other shoulder again. One who changes his beliefs is only changing from one shoulder to another, the weight is always present, it makes no difference. One gets relief only for a while.
If a Hindu becomes a Mohammedan, if a Mohammedan becomes a Sikh, if a Sikh becomes a Christian, if someone drops all religions and becomes a communist or something else, if he is just dropping one belief system and catching hold of another, there is no change in the burden on his mind. He gets relief for a while but it is only a change in the weight on the shoulders — there is no meaning in that kind of relief.
As long as one believes, one puts oneself in bondage, one puts oneself in prison and one is tied in some way or other, somewhere or other.
How can an imprisoned person, an imprisoned mind, become free from thoughts? How can he become free from the thoughts which he is holding on to with his whole being and which he believes in? How can he get rid of them?
People who believe are unable to reach any understanding. People who accept silently are unable have any experience of their own. The journey of those who are blind and hold on to the fact that if the others say that there is light then certainly there must be light, ends right there. The journey only continues when the restlessness stays and stays and stays and never disappears. Restlessness comes only when you feel there is something which people say is there, but you don’t see it so you cannot accept it. You can accept it only when you see it. This kind of restlessness: “I will accept only when I see with my own eyes,” needs to be there in the mind.
Man is very lazy. If he can attain knowledge without making any effort, why should he make the effort, why should he do any work? If enlightenment can be attained just by believing, without seeking, then why should he try to make the journey to enlightenment on his own? And when someone says, “Believe in me, I will take you to enlightenment,” why should he make a huge effort by himself? When somebody says, “Sit in my boat. I will take you to the other shore and then the matter is over,” he would prefer to sit silently in the boat and go to sleep.
But nobody can reach anywhere in somebody else’s boat. And nobody can see with another’s eye — nobody ever has and nobody ever will.
One has to walk on one’s own feet, one has to see with one’s own eyes,
one has to live by one’s own heart beat.
One has to live by oneself and one has to die by oneself.
Nobody can live in another’s place; nobody can die in another’s place. Nobody can take another’s place; neither can one take anybody else’s place. If there is anything totally impossible in this world, it is the fact that no one can take anyone else’s place. The first thing for an intelligent person to do is to say goodbye to all his contradictory thoughts and decide, “I will not believe. I want to know. This does not mean that you are rejecting something; it simply means that you are standing aloof from both acceptance and rejection. You are saying, “I do not agree nor disagree”.

Can you gather the courage and strength to take your being to this middle point?

If you can, then this castle of thoughts can fall down immediately –
Life changes by fighting and by struggling. Life changes by the effort of facing it and changing it. Life does not change by keeping your eyes closed and just accepting scriptures. Meditation is the way of waking up the consciousness deep inside you, not making it go to sleep. That which is hiding deep inside you should wake up, and become so aware that not a single part inside remains asleep. Your whole being should wake up.

Meditation is the name of that state of awareness.

By Ravi Vilkhu

Against All Things: Marxism and Evangelicalism

Like most, I dream Utopian visions of a world without hunger and poverty, war or violence, hatred or anger. But it is only a dream, as it is an inherently flawed statement, because it is “anti”. Consider: you can not live in the building you destroy, but only take refuge in the ruble. To live in a superior building–or a superior way–you must build.

So many contemporary ideologically based movements fail by losing focus of what they want and concentrate instead on removing their opposition by focusing on what they don’t want. Many socialists are against corporations, tax breaks for the rich, and any individual or institution that challenges their power. Many Evangelical Christians are against gays, abortions, state-welfare, and any individual that challenges their power.

It is not the application of laws that will bring about the world that we all crave–though have not seen. Our collective values determine the course and position of every society, every institution, and every individual. It is not the application of law, since our laws come from those guided by values.

You can make laws about sharing. You can make laws about marriage. You can make many laws that attempt to build something great by destroying something lesser.

A marxist society fails in that it attempts to regulate every action to be fair, equal, similar, and just. Who makes these laws?

An Evangelical theocracy fails in that it attempts to regulate sin and make people go to heaven–to utopia. But who enforces these laws?

As long as people have built their lives around greed, hatred, and all things divisive and selfish, people will only cower in the ruble of these values. No priests or politicians with these values will ever build anything by pointing the finger at those that break their laws. Laws fill prisons–not heaven. Destruction feeds ego–not people.

I can see utopia. It is a world built on the values within us.

If Jesus was the Leader of a Political Party…

If Jesus was the Leader of a political party he would act in accordance to his teachings. He would love, give and forgive. He would be honest, peaceful and fair. He would not judge individuals, but instead put their actions on trial.

If Jesus was the Leader of a political party, he would judge the strength of the economy by how many were fed, sheltered and employed–not by the profits of corporations or by the volume of material possessions sold. His speeches would remind us that “he who dies with the most toys”–lived the life of a spoiled child.

If Jesus was the Leader of a political party, in times of economic woes he would ask the rich to assist the poor that worked so hard to make them wealthy. Only a tyrant would ask the poor to suffer through hard times while the rich continued to enjoy tax breaks

If Jesus was the Leader of a political party he would uphold the commandments and lead honest debate. He would prove his views and be a living example. He would not rule by power, aggression, fear or deceit, as so many politicians do.

If Jesus was the Leader of a political party he would preach that using the earth to survive is just, while raping the earth with unsatiable greed is forbidden by the tenth commandment–the one about coveting.

If Jesus was the Leader of a political party, his views would be the polar opposite of any neo-conservative platform or Leader.

If Jesus was the Leader of a political party, he would be unlike any politician. He would have my vote.