Wednesday, April 11, 2012

365 More Words into the Void

Tired of words and the knowledge that words only forge lies out of truth.

Reading more Jed McKenna. Though I resist some of what I read at the time, I come away thinking that anyone who is serious about getting to the truth needs to read McKenna, and then decide if they are really serious or not.

I am no longer so sure about myself – except for the fact that I don’t feel serious about anything else. Even so, I am a slave to my habits. Habits provide continuity which provides security. So what I am trying to get free of is the same as what I will not let go of. Habit. Beneath everything I do is one thing. Fear.

Everything I do is dictated by a preference for comfort over discomfort. It is absurdly meaningless. The ego’s program is so pathetically base – what makes it pathetic is not the baseness but how it covers up that baseness with lofty ideals and blatant lies that anything we ever do is motivated by anything else besides a preference for comfort over discomfort. It is sickening in the extreme. The hypocrisy of it.

Perhaps this is why we think of children as more “pure” – because their egotism is nakedly revealed in everything they do.

Nihilism and spirituality are not opposed but complementary. True spirituality must include nihilism, because the ego’s interpretation of reality demands that everything be recognized as utterly meaningless. That is the first step to truth.

That is why spirituality is the trap, ruse and snare that it is, the 2nd matrix. Because the news is all bad before it starts getting good.

Why the hell am I even saying all this?

Apparently the only way to get free of the ego is to face full-on the total unreality and therefore devoid-of-meaning that is our current existence. Everything we do is a way to avoid facing that truth. So what do we do when we have reached a place in which we can no longer avoid it, but cannot go back to the old ways of avoidance?


Nihilistic despair has become the bass line of my existence. I feel oddly optimistic about it.


Bruno Gonçalo said...

Of course there is really no meaning behind our actions. Whatever we do, say, write, believe to be true, is always an excuse to keep our game going (beliefs included). And we want to keep the game going because we don't want to die.

There are two meanings here to what I mean by dying:
physical death, that's the easiest and obvious one. But we also fear, perhaps even more, the acceptance of the utter Emptiness that underlies everything, and the surrender to it. To live as if we were already dead. That is dying to the Ego nature I believe.

The few moments I've experienced a taste of that surrender were frighteningly terrifyingly joyful and peaceful, to the point I couldn't and didn't want to keep it. And in that state there are no words, concepts, I felt I needed to attach to make sense of reality, everything was as it was supposed to be, the mind was quiet, thoughts did not bothered me, there was really nothing to hold on to, and that is what I think is the ultimate freedom. But it is not a freedom in the sense that "you can be and do anything" bla bla. It's the freedom of not depending on anything emotionally, intellectually, physically etc, it's total detachment. So I feel I agree with the nihilistic approach. But I feel there's a paradox here. Because by "dying" subjectively to the Ego, desires, attachments, habits, beliefs etc, you actually end up embracing that "living quality" of the present moment. Then the only thing we need to do is to carry that acceptance to the end of our lives and just die. What is wrong with that? That's what I see has true spirituality. The good news is we don't really have to DO anything to achieve that, rather we just have to "let go", give up, quit, and forget the Ego that wants to engage, manipulate, act, grasp, react, procreate, survive.

This might or not, seem interesting, but of course in our lives it's not that easy, we need money, we need to do some work, engage with society (attachment), naturally we also have sexual and other urges (biological conditioning).

The solution to this might be engaging with spiritual communities that really understand this "nihilistic" approach. Or going homeless and not giving a fuck anymore about anything (becoming total insane and indifferent). Or if we really see even this nihilist practical approach as absurd, then the only way out, if we really get to a point where we just can't take more of this shit, would be suicide.
It's just that I see that as the "easy way out" of this. Either that or I'm a fucking liar and I'm saying this because I'm terrified of death and really want to do and say everything I can to avoid it. So you might want to ignore this comment.

Or another possibility would be: stop complaining (change your habits) and just live you fucking life.


Moe Drama said...

Where's the like button? :)

Lycaeus said...

It seems like everyone has a personally emotional agenda underlying ur great ideas and ambitions. We are compulsively/unconsciously driven by fear and sex for the most part, I think...

I'm starting to see myself as a set of conditioned habits and preferences that came from outside of myself. Just a character on this stage of pleasure and pain. As I become more mature I seem to be lacking in the conviction I once had but at the same time taking things more seriously, it's weird. I remember writing about suicide, somewhat soberly, and decided I was going to literally do it-meaning my intent being to kill off all the lies I was living, and decrease my pain. Then I start thinking about the truth of my destiny (cuz I feel like I'm supposed to become something) and what I should do comes from within. And I started praying to the universe "Your will be done God, not mine, in me and through. Show me what I must do and let me be a channel of your blessings for all."... So in other words, "God, tell me what I have to do so I don't have to take responsibility for myself". But 'God" or God's mind/dream, w e it is, created us and everything, including stupid pedophiles, so everything is God's will...
Then I started thinking, okay so I want the divine will to merge with me. I want to surrender to this unknown force that whispers in my soul. So I guess I just want to be a slave to something and not think for myself and act on the simple knowledge and experience I have. Gotta find a balance between intuition, emotions, the intellect and bodily sensations.
Life can be confusing, especially when you ask too many questions. What's the purpose? Maybe our destiny is simply to run around and generate emotional/spiritual energy for some higher beings, who knows. Maybe some souls are here to help relieve suffering. I know pain and suffering are necessary for life and growth, but fucking come on, look at this mess! This society is fucking insane, there's no way this world could have been created without some outside manipulative force that is veiling something from us. Some of us sense it more than others.

I often think that this life is just a big video game we're playing, and then when we beat the level we move onto something better. Maybe we're growing our souls here.

I wonder if there really is a place called DONE like Mckenna identifies with. Sounds like he's figured everything out that he needs to, and he's damn convincing. The main benefit I get from his books is that he seems more evolved than my young self, and I feel I'm becoming a better person by reading his books. I think there actually might be a real enlightened state of being. Jed Mckenna emphasizes that there is a real thing called enlightenment. Don Juan says that you either are a Nagual, or you are not, it's black and white, you either are that evolved energy or you're not. The Children of The Law of One in The Lost Teachings of Atlantis by Jon Peniel talk about 'True Teacher's, Adepts, Enlightened people', and they emphasize that enlightenment happens suddenly like an on/off switch. Hermeticism even talks about there being true masters that are what I think is referred to as enlightenment. So I think there very well might be a place we can reach while incarnate where our selfish seperate ego self dies and all that we need to know is known to us and we would feel it inside. Who knows? I always question myself as to how deep I am in delusion.

Lycaeus said...

Kephas, I think I remember you saying Jed's book was 'mostly impressive'. Could you please elaborate on what impressed you and what didn't? I devoured his books. I sensed truth in them. And I respect your writing and what you have presented of yourself online.

I guess the meaning of everything is in the thing itself and we deserve everything we have the power to create while bound within universal laws of nature. Our power comes from our level of consciousness and understanding of cause and effect.

And about enlightenment, does waking up involve seeing people as zombies? Apocolypse movies feature the walking dead, so when you start seeing people as spiritless zombies, I think you're getting somewhere.

My brain's a bit scattered. I read too much, and don't write enough, but those are some thoughts hanging around in me that I don't really feel comfortable sharing anywhere else other than weird blogs like this, or my personal ramblings. I guess all we can do is see what is.

Knight of Ascension said...

A few perspectives I thought might be helpful, broken up over several post because of the character limit.

“Tired of words and the knowledge that words only forge lies out of truth.”

This is a veiled instance of the liar’s paradox: if "this sentence is a lie" is true, then it is false – but if the sentence is false, then it is true.

Simultaneously, you commit the performative contradiction, where the content of a statement contradicts the presuppositions implicit in its assertion. If it were impossible to convey truth in words, then one could never construct a proposition which communicates that impossibility.

If thought were the source of suffering then the most efficient route to enlightenment would be to bludgeon yourself in the head. The problem is incorrect thought, distorted perception, a misconception of the nature of people and things.

If we are going to achieve the goal of the path, we need to perfect our thoughts, not eliminate them. We need to make them more accurate, to put them in accord with how things really are.

Knight of Ascension said...

“Everything I do is dictated by a preference for comfort over discomfort. It is absurdly meaningless. The ego’s program is so pathetically base – what makes it pathetic is not the baseness but how it covers up that baseness with lofty ideals and blatant lies that anything we ever do is motivated by anything else besides a preference for comfort over discomfort.”

For the sake of argument, I’m going to assume that the desire to be comfortable is more or less equivalent to the desire to be happy.

One of the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy is that all beings want happiness and do not want suffering. In itself, this desire to be happy is not a problem. Our difficulty arises from the fact that we confuse the causes of suffering for the causes of happiness. As Shantideva puts it in this classic Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life “Those seeking to escape from suffering hasten right toward their own misery. And with the very desire for happiness, out of delusion they destroy their own well-being as if it were their enemy.”

This perspective is valuable to a spiritual practitioner because it means we don’t have to overcome our most basic motivation. Instead, we need to realize what is actually conducive to our happiness and pursue it.

So what is conducive to happiness? The Buddhist answer is altruism. If you think about it, depression is characterized by a kind of self-obsession. A depressed person focuses on their miserable lot in life, their failures, how others have judged them and so on. In contrast, moments of genuine happiness always involve giving to something to another – whether its insight, entertainment, pleasure, or sustenance.

I think you see compassion and altruism as “blatant lies” because you are still reifying the dualism between self and other. In our culture we tend to think of compassion as an emotion evoked by and directed toward other beings.
Compassion is simply the intention to end suffering – whether in oneself or in another. When you look at it that way, all of our thoughts, emotions, and actions are based in compassion. The difficulty is that our compassion often extends only as far as the perimeter of our own skin. We are constantly busy with the thought of how to end our own suffering, and only occasionally concerned with that of others.

Again, this is an empowering perspective because it means altruism doesn’t entail generating something we don’t already have. It means amplifying and extending the force that already animates our every thought and action.

It’s commonplace to hear spiritual teachers deconstruct the opposition between self and others. If we take this one step further, along the lines that I’ve been arguing, the distinction between altruism and self-interest is equally fatuous. As the Dalai Lama put it “Working at achieving the welfare of others accomplices your own along the way. What needs to be stopped is not concern for your own development, but self-cherishing, in which almost the entire focus of attention is on yourself.”

Knight of Ascension said...

“Nihilism and spirituality are not opposed but complementary. True spirituality must include nihilism…”

The main thrust of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy is concerned with navigating a middle path between two equally problematic alternatives: nihilism and substantialism. Nihilism, as you know, is the belief that nothing really matters; in an Indo-Tibetan philosophical context, it can also refer to the metaphysical assertion that nothingness is the real nature of reality. Substantialism is the belief that people and things have some sort of enduring, unitary, and independent essence.

On the basis of our implicit belief in substantialism, we regard ourselves as separate from the rest of reality. Because we then see a gulf between ourselves and all other beings we are inclined to deal with them in afflictive ways. If other beings are truly separate, then they exist either to be controlled or destroyed.

The trouble is that when one endeavors to see through the illusion of an inherently existent self, one can incline toward nihilism as so become lost in apathy and amorality.
The Buddhist Scholar Robert Thurman offers a nice reductio ad absurdum for Nihilism.

“Say you are an ardent materialist who thinks that at death you will not exist; you will be undifferentiated, nonindividuated oblivion. If you come to a moment of great agony in the present, if the now suddenly is filled with immense agony—because you have a cancer, or because you have broken something or have been disgraced, or because you’re on fire—then it would be rational for you to take a bullet and blow your brains out. And as the bullet goes through the brain, you would be thinking that the essence of the present moment will be revealed as nothing. You think that the essence of this present is a black hole, it is a nothing, it is a radical singularity of a black hole. For you, caught in that view, the ‘now’ is nothing but being a nothing.”

David Timms said...

What is this preoccupation with thinking that you have to get free of your ego?

Piney Al said...

"Everything I do is dictated by a preference for comfort over discomfort. It is absurdly meaningless. The ego’s program is so pathetically base – what makes it pathetic is not the baseness but how it covers up that baseness with lofty ideals and blatant lies that anything we ever do is motivated by anything else besides a preference for comfort over discomfort. It is sickening in the extreme. The hypocrisy of it."

I think you have confused the ego with the collective unconscious. They are intrinsically connected (and that connection needs to be made conscious if there is to be an escape route) but they are very different. If you are going to get rid of the ego then you are going to have to get rid of the collective unconscious. Good luck with that! I don't think that the hungriest of ghosts could get rid of the collective unconscious.

Mmm... Menus said...

"I think you have confused the ego with the collective unconscious."

No such thing as an "ego" or the "collective unconscious" just more imaginary maps and menus that don't actually exist... sure tastes good though eh.

Lycaeus said...

I think there definitely is some sort of subtle energy field that connects all human minds. A little evidence I support this theory with is the strange deja vu feelings I get when I hear music. As a kid, discovering different classical composers and rock songs always struck a chord in me like I've heard those songs before, when I hadn't. I would question myself if maybe I've heard them on commercials or movies, but a lot of the songs that would bring on a nostalgic feeling weren't popular radio songs or famous classical pieces... So if there's some truth to this theory, what it points out to me, is that we can easily be unconsciously influenced by the immense weight of mass-thought. A lot of my own thoughts aren't even my own.

When it comes to the motivation for overcoming ego, I think that it's a necessary obstacle because in my experience, my ego is what has held me back. I've constructed a defensive mask from pieces outside of myself out of fear to be open with others. The ego/seperate selfish self is what causes suffering. It's our selfishness that is the root of all evil. It will trick us into "escaping responsibility with responsibility" and cause a lot of pain as we threaten it's hold on us. This is what spiritual rebirth is about: the killing of the false self, but I don't think it will ever die completely, it just has to know it's place

Twang said...

"Nihilistic despair has become the bass line of my existence. I feel oddly optimistic about it."
Ha! Well, I enjoy the sound of your bass line, there's always humour in there somewhere and in my own slap bass despair.
Everything is everything... and oh so ridiculous to me.

Anonymous said...

see what happens...
when leading her on
be good leave whore
upset the applecart
no forced laughter,
smile or handshake,
judge me miserable,
my look shall pass.
middle way enforced
authentic as can be
genuine disposition
edo Jesus H. Christ
what's this feeling
fondness compassion
alien assimilation.
Thou does not micro
-manage this sim...

Anonymous said...

I had an a moment while listening to Alan Watts, something about how 'you are the whole universe expressing itself as you' and I thought why would the whole universe seek to experience something as goofy as me. But seeing myself from a distance I seemed perfectly as I inevitably had to be, unavoidable, unimaginable, and to think I could make myself anything different seemed absurd. I sometimes think that if I did not think I had freewill I would be 100% more relaxed. I suppose without the goofiness the world would be no where near so complex

Kephas said...

Lyc: I just posted some thoughts about McKenna over here

K of C: I don't necessarily consider compassion another strand of the delusion (tho JM does), and I don't necessarily agree that most people only have compassion for themselves. On contrary, I think few of us do have compassion for ourselves, which is perhaps what makes compassion for others such a relief - but also, maybe, slightly bogus.

Recognizing that compassion is seemingly as useless as anything else we can "do" but still having it and expressing it for others, and eventually for ourselves, frees up some part of ourselves from NEEDING that, so we can move beyond compassion, as we move beyond the idea of a self that needs it.

In Spanish, compassion and pity are more or less interchangeable as words.

Anonymous said...

Even Mckenna fudged his date by a couple of weeks or something. so it is said anyway.
I don't want to live in a world where opinion overrides comfort or even indulgence. Comfort is basic. We learn from the Buddha that ostairity ends up being pointless if you have enough years to throw at it and the balls to turn away from years of being invested in some "mad" pursuit. Scared of death, sure this is basic too. Shapes all corporate beings, sure that too. These are not facts by rite but by experience. Being stuck between heaven and earth appears to be our lot as humans. It's all just talking about it until the next stage we gain access. The next stage where surely and inevitably the mysteries of the last stage are bible stories to the youth of the next. And a new set of maybes and talking about it emerge. Just seems a waste if no one is enjoying themselves at any stage, given that they strive for the unknowable. Tartain.

Anonymous said...

correction. I thought the other Mckenna was being referred to.

Theofilia said...

Nihhilistic despair makes you feel "oddly optimistic".
That's a good sign, Jasun!

coast that . . .
You are exactly where you need to be right now.
Your nervous / chakra system needs some down time. Nourish you body, rest your mind.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of your dialogue a la JM is an attempt to be 'serious about getting to the truth' and how much of it is a ruse to accumulate data for some forthcomong book/essay about gurus etc. Maybe because JM seems like something of a trickster himself he seems like fair game to you. Not that I think there's anything wrong with either motivation, but maybe you're kidding yourself about being 'serious about truth' because if you really were, you might have figured it out already for yourself by now. JM seems quite attached to useless chit/chat imo. But then I guess so am I, and this is life, which has to be filled with something..

Kephas said...

I suppose we are all fair game, but fictional characters like JM doubly so. I didn't say I was serious about truth, but that I wasn't serious about anything else these days. Not the same claim, though even this one I make without certainty.

Rest assured, no book is forthcoming, though I did post a review of JM's books at Amazon.

Your accusatory-toned comment first suggests you have "figured it out" yourself - why else challenge someone for taking too long? - but then admits that you are just engaging in useless chit chat. In fact, it simmers with nihilistic despair!

Anonymous said...

I probably had a dig at your seriousness because it's something I question about myself and my own motivations.
I've followed plenty of non-dual teachers in the past, I do wonder about the notion that enlightenment is something that happens instantly, overnight, although all the non-dual teachers seem to teach that it does, I'm wondering more if it's something that happens incrementally and never finishes, I'd say I aspire more torward mystical experiences rather than 'enlightenment', although I'm not sure about the definition of either.
I was curious about what you said in your post 'So most of the time I see Dave as just Dave, but some of the time I experience him as something else,and at those times it occurs to me that this is the real Dave I am seeing' - is it like it seems there's no one there within him or something?

Kephas said...

"is it like it seems there's no one there within him or something?"

Not at all - like there is another presence, of far greater depth and intensity, ferocity, and daunting authenticity. But it is more, or less than that - it's an experience of myself also - of being elsewhere - how to describe that? Uncharted depths, becoming known through increasing ripples on the surface of "me."

If the false self is the dreamed, what is its experience as awakening approaches - and the dreamer begins to emerge into that space even as the dreamed like a reflection on the surface of the water, shimmers and breaks apart.

That's why I said that mostly Dave is "just Dave," because I am seeing the image of Dave that is being projected into my dream state. Seeing the real Dave happens, can only happen, in tandem with awakening to/in my real self...

Hero Unmasked said...

"I'd say I aspire more torward mystical experiences rather than 'enlightenment', although I'm not sure about the definition of either."

If you don't know what it is, then how will you know when you've reached/attained it? Or if it's even something that's desirable to aspire to? People make up their own definitions, so how are we to gauge it? I think anyone who claims to be enlightened has bought their own BS.

Theofilia said...

This is the Voice of the Sacred Feminine, please pardon me for bargin' in again.
when you directly experience in every firber of your being "I am Rapture's delightful abyss", you will know what "enlightenment" means.
Non-dual teachers don't know about this kind of 'enlightenment'.

Kephas said...

I've yet to hear the logic for why an enlightened person wouldn't say they were enlightened - unless it's that there is no such thing as enlightened, which isn't really logic, as logically, one can only know if something does exist, not that it doesn't... (Try proving unicorns don't exist.)

This kneejerk response seems similar to the scientism's dismissal of spiritism as quackery, based on a) inherent prejudice, and b) the evidence of a preponderance of actual quacks. It's 2 + 2 = 5 sort of logic: improbable claim plus lots of fake contenders leads to the (comfortable) conclusion that all claims must be fake, or "BS."

Anonymous said...

As far as I can make out the story told by the non-dual teachers is that something will happen in a person's life that turns them into a spiritual seeker, from then on his 'head is in the tiger's mouth', the person pursuits all kinds of spiritual practises, follows various gurus, tries everything to 'find God' or 'achieve enlightenment', they are the 'miserable seeker', they start pulling out their hair,giving up in exacerbation, and then the 'penny drops', they suddenly understand....and from then on they are never the same and are officially 'enlightened' and can teach and pontificate. The thing is, the 'penny dropping' event they describe often seems so subtle as if it were only a minor epiphany.

The Human Race said...

Well, I think Theofilia & Kephas are the ones having the kneejerk response here, but feel free to project. And yes, there is no such thing as "enlightenment" only the concept of it, which no one seems to be able to agree upon anyway, but keep defending your Belief Systems by all means if it makes you feel special.

Theofilia said...

Human Race, obviously you don't know me, didn't read my testimonials about what the Dissolution Process is/looks like, and yet claim I have a "Belief System" which makes me feel "special". Good one!

If you think the Buddha in you is already enlightend, and there is nothing further to know, or experience, than rest on those laurels. There, you are already God, right?

atypical hairless (powerless) ape said...

I RECKON (2+2) I could become enlightened (on the path, unless one doesn't realize what's happening, there's really no need to get off) again (and draw the apocalypse closer by doing nothing of the sort), IF I didn't trouble my head about correcting people (defending my stance) and offending people with "the passion". (full stop ..... refusals)

OHEY, a new paragraph, eventually it'll come to the-hell-with-this, leaving my subtle complex no other pathway than to enter in the house (to escape Sodom and Gomorrah of the abused mind) of the lord, to follow (real science now) an acute state of mind hosted by (a) spirit, bathed by tempting spirits [I've got pics. Mental clarity, and pick of the litter.] what do the window shopping for you, reel weird science, OHEY, what-do-you-know, bright new clothes! (exclamation mark steam train)

(How Much Is) That Doggie in the window?

Anonymous said...

Oh and this is how it feels to chew 5 gum.

Anonymous said...

Have you read The Psychopath's Bible by Christopher Hyatt?
I am reading it again and again.

Anonymous said...

'anyone who is serious about getting to the truth needs to read McKenna, and then decide if they are really serious or not.'

How to gauge one's seriousness? For as long as there are desires which over-ride 'seriousness', then presumably one will fail in 'getting to the truth', but how to get rid of these inferior desires? - logically it would seem to be to seek to fulfill them as soon as possible and with full enthusiasm, so that one can then move on, as a shortcut to truth, which seems contrary to the mood of nihilism.

Anonymous said...

Dark night of the soul