27 July 2015

THE SANDERS REVOLUTION

The fundamental economic/political crisis in America, is who has the money, and how they use it to keep what they got and to get more.

Well those who have money, corporations and the “billionaire class” buy Congress and the president through lobbyists and election donations, install majorities on state and federal supreme courts, and use them to keep their taxes down, cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, privatize functions and properties that had been government, such as prisons, and boost the prices in education through extensive school loans, raising health insurance prices, prescription prices, government health subsidized insurance.

All money is fed to the corporations and those who manage and own them. And not the trivial 1/3000th of 1% owned by the average Joe with a 401K, but the 0.1% class that owns 90% of the fixed and liquid wealth in the country.

Hillary Clinton is not touching this Gordian Knot at all.  She wants to mildly change the tax structure to encourage corporations to more seek long term versus short term profits, support a minimum wage, go after racism, and begin to empty our prisons.

What a fucking joke she would be if she were not the leading candidate for the Democratic Nominee. It makes me puck to think of her and Bill back into the White House now that they have become completely Republicanized, and the darlings of Wall Street.

But watch, if Bernie continues to surge and wins New Hampshire or Iowa, every establishment Democrat will go after him, attack him, and attempt to destroy him so that they can keep the donations from the donor class and lobbyist’ bribes.

Money rules in the USA and mostly elsewhere, except in places like Russia and China where it is just as much cronyism, and nepotism that determines who runs what.

What a corrupt world, and it takes antidote like Bernie and Pope Francis to end it.


Or, one giant violent revolution world wide—a class war to end all class wars. But Hillary and others, like MSNBC and Fox, focus on racism and guns as the vital issues so that the appararati of power and wealth remain uninvestigated and untouchable.

26 July 2015

OUR LITTLE SECRET

Most spiritual "teachers" that you encounter, especially on Facebook, ar just plain full of shit, outwardly appearing self-confident con men using charisma, a glib tongue, a knowledge of "non-dual" concepts and philosophy, and an outsized personality built on narcissistic self-aggrandizement.

Both the narcissistic and sociopathic personalities believe in themselves on the surface because they have pumped themselves up through positive self talk and high energies, and offer a popular and overly simplistic understanding of the nature of Consciousness and existence, taking some of their words out of books by Ramana, or Nisargadatta, or Muktananda, or Nityananda, or Buddha, and twist them to fit their own level of understanding.  This has created utter chaos in the spiritual marketplace because of so many sociopaths creating cults using the same words, but each wrapped around an entirely different message.

All of Facebook is nothing more than than a cattle car where people moo at each other and act as if they understood what the other perrson said, then offer rebuttals based on one line quotes from Ramana, Nisargadatta, Papaji, even Buddha or Jesus.

There is no depth of understanding on Facebook. Only people who love the terms non-dual, Consciousness, Absolute, Beingness, Now, Self or no-self, karma, mind or no-mind.  They use only the simplest and most generic terms and pretend these cartoon-like simplifications can be twisted in a way of life and final understanding.

Facebook and other social media are empty of depth understanding of Self, the world,Consciousness, or God.  There is only the exchange platitudes and one liners.

Even the terms "enlightenment" and "awakening" are meaningless, and yet seekers fall all over themselves to understand the term and feel obligated to pick a definition, and then freely offer that definition as their understanding and then defend that concept to the death.

There are so many bullshit ideas in the world of non-dual, such that the mind and ego must die before one is enlightened, without ever defining mind or ego.  No one ever defines it before saying it must die, or else saying it does not exist.

I can say I  have never experienced as ego.  I have no idea of even how to look for it, because in my view and my definition of ego, it is a congeries of pre-conscious abilities and functions that have been developed since infancy, like the ability to learn a language, judge the relative motions of cars on the street in order to judge when to cross, the ability to accurately judge another's character, and the ability to accurately know one's own limits in any given situation.  To me this is the "executive" functions of our existence, consistent with Freuds 1920s model, but also assumes most of these functions are not self-aware anymore.  That is, the ability to judge the motions of cars or balls, and the ability to whack a ball with a golf club or bat occupies one's attention for a few years when growing up, or for a few years after taing up a sport, but after the skill is mastered, we o longer are aware of that function or skill.  One can say we have no mind when it comes to this area of functioning because conscious attention is no longer needed.

BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE MIND IS DEAD, OR THE EGO IS DEAD, ONLY THAT THOSE FUNCTIONS ARE NOW SO SKILLED, CONSCIOUS AWARENESS OF THAT FUNCTIONING IS NO LONGER NEEDED. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS THE DEATH OF THE MIND OR OF THE EGO.


Yet we hear this every hour we are on facebook or other social media, that Ramana, Nisargdatta, whomever, had no ego, no mind, and totally livedelsewhere than this world in Sahaj Samadhi, or somewhere else, without body awareness, absorbed in bliss, etc.

You see, these words mean nothing to someone tryingto understand what no-mind, no-ego, absolute, emptiness, enlightenment, and awakening  mean until you have experienced it.  This is how the charlatans work.  They just use these very abstract terms, often defined by other abstract terms, fooling most of the people some of the time with their word magic.


All the above is the spiritual marketplace with innately self-assured philosophers babbling nonsense, surrounded by people looking for some certainty and stability in their lives, and maybe the ending of painful memories, depression, grief, self-criticism, emptiness, feeling unloved and fearful of contact with others.  But the charlatan teachers have this overwhelming self-confidence and project an energy field of positive energy around themselves that attract seekers because they appear to be knowers.

But a "real" teacher knows that all words, all concepts, are at best approximations, and can help you towards true freedom from bullshit only when they free you from over, more simplistic and deeper bullshit that you have gathered from books.

A "real" teacher knows that the terms "enlightenment," "awakening,"  "non-dual," "emptiness," etc. have thousands of different meanings and convey thousands of different states and experiences, or tens of thousands of teachers over the past 2,500 years.


The Buddhist goal of Nirvana, for example, is completely different from the Self-Realization of Ramana, or of Nisargadatta, which is completely different from the realization that all is Shakti of Jan Esmann, which is completely different from the incarnational spirituality of Christ, where man is God and God is man.

Try as you might, you cannot twist and distort these separate paths with differing ends, into one path with a common end point of enlightenment, one final truth that all great teachers share.  


UNDERSTANDING THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF REAL FREEDOM. UNDERSTANDING THIS MEANS THERE ARE MANY PATHS, MANY DIFFERENT AWAKENINGS, MANY DIFFERENT ENLIGHTENMENTS, AND YOU ARE ALREADY WALKING ON YOUR PATH, AND IT IS YOUR PATH ALONE THAT IS IMPORTANT.

I do not mean you should not follow any teacher.  Indeed you must follow teachers because you cannot see for yourself your own misconceptions, blockages, hangups, and habits that will free you to have a more free life and more sophisticated understandings.

I offer just one path to the exclusion of others: Realization of the Manifest Self within, a Self made of light, energies, sentience, and intelligence that is also God within.  You and God are the same.  Feel that, realize that Self within through Self-Inquiry, self-acceptance, self-love, devotion to others, to teacher, to animals, to your lover, and listening to sacred music.

I do not talk about the Absolute because the Absolute is entirely prior to Consciousness, it is there before consciousness both ontologically and also existentially, so nothing can be said about it in words.  You can only be the Absolute, and you can only be the Absolute in relation to having realized the Manifest Self of the incarnated God in you.  You are the Absolute when you can witness the Manifest Self and not be drawn into the Manifest Self.  But being the Manifest Self is a more interesting,  more alive, more energetic and loving place that being 

in the witness.  This is why I speak only about the Manifest Self.

Knowing you are God dwelling in a mortal body allows you to know you are both the Absolute, and also the Manifest Self.  They are flip sides of existence/non-existence.  I truly believe that this is the message that could save the world and mankind in this day and age where we experience ourselves as temporary incarnations of God, drenched in love for all sentient beings from a worm to cats, to other humans, each of us being a lamp onto ourselves, but also the good shepherd of earth, but also my brothers keeper for all sentient beings.

22 July 2015

Self-Realization via Advaita and Tantra

I have studied Ramana for over 40 years and Nisargadatta for 30. There are few books I can recommend about Ramana because I don't feel many really grasp Ramana. But I do recommend Michael James book available for free download from his website HERE.

Now expect to spend some time to feel this book to understanding.

Then, at the same time read Prior to Consciousness, or Consciousness and the Absolute, as well as Self-Knowledge and Self Realization by Nisargadatta Maharah available under Resources on my website at:

http://www.wearesentience.com/

Now be prepared to continue study of these books for three years, gradually getting deeper and deeper, with interspersed hammer blows of awakening.  When you then dry out as a result of energetic and/or dispassionate observation and investigation, download my free book Self-Realization and Other Awakenings from my website and switch tofeeling for the I Am inside your body and your sense of presence, accepting and loving all that arises as a result of now attending to feelings, emotions, and energies.

This will bring you to Self-Realization.  Email me, ask questions.  This is the Advaita/Tantric combo that keeps your path wet and wild, while getting deeper and deeper.




21 July 2015

TRANSFERENCE

When you are in a student/teacher relationship, a great deal, if not all you experience, are projections of aspects of yourself onto that other  half of your coupleness. This happens on both sides of the relationship, with the teacher to student side of the projections called counter transference.

Most who are teachers know this and allow transference to take place in order to create a bonding holding the student closer to the teacher.  Often this results in sexual relations between students and teachers, both homo and hetero sexual.  In many cases we say the teacher has abused their station as a receiver of idealizations of their students and abusing the “privilege” that transference has created.

However, transference happens in almost all human relationships.  Look at the mass idealizations happening between brutal dictators such as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao that the people of their nations.

There are gurus that allow the transference and others who don’t.  Those who allow it do so by remaining quiet about the arising transference, the so-called love and inappropriate adulation that students have for teachers.  In fact, many wrap themselves in a cloak of silence so as to allow the transference to bloom.  Or, they talk philosophy of existence, or about Kundalini, or Shakti, or love, or about anything except the projections.

Transference and countertransference are of two types: positive and negative.  Eventually the guru will disappoint the student for failing the student in some situation because of something the guru has done or said that does not jibe with the unconscious model of behaviors that the student has, and then the negative projections begin to dominate. 

As one psychoanalytically oriented student of mine said, “That is when the real work begins.”  So true. It is easy to stay related when there are mutual positive projections going on, but very difficult when the negative projections cause mutual anger or attacks.

Other teachers refuse transference by always being clear who and what they are and announcing where they stand every moment.  Others like Nisargadatta renounced transferences by direct attacks on the idealizations taking place, by being a cutting sword all the time.  How much more difficult to be with a teacher like this, far more difficult than being with Robert Adams or Ramana who made a cult out of silence being the best teacher.

Here is what I advise students:  Beware of instant or gut attractions to cosmetically attractive gurus, such as young and attractive teachers who use their looks to build a following.

Beware too of the teacher who emulates the examples of Ramana or Christ who teaches in silence, or offers mysticism, or common sense homilies, but appears to offer no sharp edges to cut through the transferences, because otherwise you can spend years with a teacher and just be working out old family relationships in a new setting.  Transferences are about infantile and toddler expectations continuing into adulthood.  You can spend a lot of time working them out while being with a bland, edgeless teacher, or waste less time by being with one who cuts transference and tries directly to end dependence on concepts or idealizations.

Now Nisargadatta constantly talked about his own direct experience, from the beginning as set forth in his “Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization” where he talks about energies, Krishna Consciousness, and devotion (The Manifest Self), to the books post “I Am That” where he repudiates the I Amand the Manifest Self of Consciousness, and identifies instead only with the Absolute, the Witness prior to Consciousness.

The bland teachers such as Spero, and the charismatic teachers such as Osho, encourage idealizations, either to be worked with for the student’s benefit, or to use the students for their own ends or their own narcissistic fulfillment.

Personally, I don’t like the styles of teachers who do not reveal themselves, their day to day experiences, of their awakening experiences, etc., either because they have not had an awakening experience and only talk about awakening and enlightenment without having it, or those who have had it, and are working on using the transferences for the students’ own growth.

Relationships with someone like Ramana or U.G. Krishnamurti are less “messy” than with gurus who allow projections or who encourage them through either silence, or by being a showman, like Osho and Muktananda.

Therefore, I ask you to look at what the teachers’ teach before deciding to become a member of their camp.  How does their words and posts make you feel?  Do you feel cutting truth in what they say, or do you feel comfort, acceptance, and safety because their public announcements conform to your inner images of how teachers are supposed to be?

I like Jan Esmann because he holds other teachers’ feet to the fire and frequently challenges them to clarify what they mean or to take a position. He also constantly talks about his own daily experiences, which allows students to decide for themselves whether they want what he has to offer. Swami Shankarananda constantly warns students that they need to prepare for future challenges in their life and to stand on their own two feet.

I dislike Osho because his movement became a narcissistic nightmare and who psychologically decompensated under the weight to the imprisoning idealizing projections he so open-heartedly invited.  Both he and Muktananda, another showman, met their deaths due to drugs and self-sabotaging behaviors.

I saw first-hand the damaging effects of Robert Adams allowing one and all to project whatever they wanted onto him and who really never dealt with student projections.  He lived in the role of a pope making ex cathedra pronouncements of the unreality of life and that the only reality was Consciousness, while revealing to me and I assume to a few others, his own true belief that Consciousness itself was unreal, but a position he refused to take publically because of his fear how such a message would be received. His bland words of peace and escape capture many students even today who never knew him personally, and whose bland words encourage a certain style of projections. These poor students now live in a limbo from which escape is very, very difficult.

Remember, no matter what a teacher says about the nature of reality or enlightenment, as soon as it becomes expressed it is only a map of the teachers own experiences or understanding, and is only an opinion, a POV.  There is no “truth” anywhere in what is said because “reality” lies deeper than the mind and concepts, and can only be transferred energetically, or by a careful “parsing” of what the teacher says over a few years until reality seems fir to reveal itself to you.


And there are many, many teachers who teach this way: talking about “truth” in spirituality, which is only their opinions rather from their deep experience.  Until they can talk about who and what they are directly from that position and reveal themselves and their experiences, they are only talking heads, no matter how gently or stridently their truths are expressed.

20 July 2015

I got a lot of comments recently about my big ego for daring to find any "mistakes" in Ramana's logic or expositions.  Strangely, they also say I do the same with Nisargadatta, which means they really  have not actually read what I wrote. Rather they "read" their instant bias against me for daring not to kiss the toes of Ramana and Nisargadatta.

Imagine what kind of comments I'd get if I criticized Jesus' or Buddha's understanding.  Oh, I forgot, I have.  But remember, both lived over 2,000 years ago, and most of what was written about them was written centuries later, with lots that has been written lost to history by one council or another. So how can anyone take what is claimed they have said, literally?

Rather than offering an attempt to explain away my observations, these critics only try to discredit the messenger, and also demonstrate their slavish adulation to their personal idealizations of dead gurus who can never disappoint them.

The Immortal Soul?

How many of us read Ramana and believe that whatever he said was absolutely true?  How many read Nisargadatta and believe whatever he said was the "final" truth?  How many times do we see on Facebook people quoting either as a final argument to support their POV regarding anything spiritual?

I know I did.  Ramana to me was the fount of all Truth during the first two decades of my searching, even after I had become a Zen monk and encountered very different teachings.  I compartmentalized these separate and often contradictory philosophies so as to not have to explain them even to myself.

However, during the 1980s I grabbed onto another dead teacher to take as my central truth-talker, Nisargadatta Maharaj, because of his sharp mind, bold pronouncements, and hammer-blow clarity.  It was then that I began seeing the vast differences between Ramana and Nisargadatta in terms of philosophy of existence and knowledge, and also of life-style.

With this background in mind, I was very interested in seeing the two different and opposite responses there were to my post on Life and Death, about feeling the life force and sentience leaving the body of a loved one, never to be experienced again.

Half  of my readers who commented appear to agree with Ramana’s reasoning that consciousness can perceive the death of the body means that spirit is deathless, while half appear to believe the death of the body also means the death of the spirit, that they are intimately intertwined and the death of one means the death of the other.  This is Nisargadatta’s view.  He also believed his true nature, the Absolute, was beyond both.

Let’s look at this contradiction a little deeper.  

In Theravadin Buddhism, there was no immortal soul (Atman) that underwent rebirth in incarnation after incarnation.  There were only three main truths of the original Buddha worth mentioning: Life was suffering, there was an end to suffering by getting rid of desires and the “ego” so to speak, and the only other reality was karma. There was no soul that was reborn time after time, only karmic bundles of intertwined habits, memories, desires, which created a field that would result in a rebirth, not of the soul, but of a similar sentient entity defined by the previous karmic bundle, but not the same soul.

Zen did away not only with an immortal soul, but  also with karma, and the personal self was seen as were all appearances, as empty of reality against a background of emptiness.

So both for the original Buddhists and Zen, there was no real rebirth of an enduring soul, and for Zen, no Self of any kind at all Buddhists, rebirth was to be avoided if possible, because all life was suffering, and why suffer?

Christianity, of course, does hold that the soul is immortal and lives on afterwards.  Most Hindu traditions also hold that the soul lives on birth, after birth, until its eventual dissolution in God.

No one knows of course what happens after death. Ramana just pretended he was dead but still felt his own aliveness, concluded that the spirit that perceived the body as susceptible to dying,  transcended impermanence, and was thus immortal because it was there watching the process of death, real or imagined.

Nisargadatta differently saw the I Am, the sense of a manifest self, disappears every night in deep sleep, and concluded there was something that was aware of both being awake and being asleep, or conscious and non-consciousness, aware of knowledge and the absence thereof, and concluded there was something, a “principal,” an Absolute, the “Witness,” or Noumenal Self that was entirely beyond Consciousness and the absence of Consciousness, which is one step further than Ramana took, who assumed Consciousness was real, while the perishable body was unreal. Nisargadatta said all of it was unreal: body; mind; Consciousness; the absence of Consciousness.  

In reality he identified with just sitting in the position of the Witness, viewing his body/I Am (Manifest Self)/world as impermanent, not-self-sustained illusion.
It is my personal view that someone who believes in an enduring, immortal soul that keeps getting born and dying, in a sense is given an out from fully participating in life compared to someone who believes this is his or her only life.  If one feels there is only this life, no past of furure lives, then this life becomes more precious. Those who believe in an immortal soul being re-incarnated, are likely to put off things, like pursuing Self-Realization, or perfecting one’s own understanding in this life because they have an infinite amount of time to do these things.

Now many people bring up the large number of cases of near death experiences as a proof of an afterlife and of an identity that remains aware after death.  But you have to realize all these near death people still had functioning brains able to record events around them, and also dwell in a hypnogogic state with dreams and access to deeper Subtle Body energies.  They were dead, but not brain dead, so in the most correct sense, they were never dead, thus whatever they reported cannot be extended indefinitely into a life after death because their experiences were of the Subtle or Causal Body level.

Some people like Ramana and Robert, and many others, remain aware during sleep, which to many appears to support an ongoing self-aware entity that persists forever.  However, the same argument holds: those who experience waking sleep are still doing so with an intact brain functioning capable of many deep-consciousness states.

Now if someone returned to life after being brain dead, which is the medical definition of death, and then told us something about their experiences, their message may be more credible.

I have experienced the coming and going of sleep, waking, and dream, but got to the place I cannot sleep anymore without a sleeping pill, which ends awareness during my sleep—thank God!  I love the place where I am not aware, because continuous awareness without abatement can be painful and stressful.

Thus there are no really convincing arguments that we have an immortal soul that is continuously reborn into human or other bodies, but I truly believe that if we hold this as our only life, we treasure it and others who participate in our lives much more highly.

17 July 2015

LIFE AND DEATH

Have you ever been close to a person when they die?  Have you ever had a cat or dog die in your arms, watching their eyes grown fixed and turn dull?  Have you felt the life force leave their bodies, grow limp, and then begin gradually to cool, and after a few hours to harden in rigor mortis?

You cry wracked by pain.  Your breath leaves and a darkness descends on you.  You know they are gone.  The lifeless body is still here in this world, but the life force has gone.  The consciousness has gone. Awareness of you has gone from them.  You can no longer feeltheir life force, their radiating presence, energy, and life.  It is all gone.

This is the best time  to realize that what YOU ARE has notning to do with the body except by association.  You loved the life in them.  You, who are the pure embodiment of life misses the life in them.

You as a personality miss their presence and their personality.  Never will there  be another exactly like them.

The lesson is you are not your body in essence, although the body was their and is your instrument of expression and learning.  You as the life force experience the world through the vehicle of your body.  So your body is very, very important, because through it you have consciousness and can feel the life force and personality in others, and they you.  Through it, you feel, see, hear and touch the world around.

The world is as real as you are, no less, not more. When you know this, you realize what is most precious is life itself, sentience, the ability to feel, love, serve, surrender, which appears for a few moments in time then is no more.  Even life itself is temporary, born from matter a half billion years ago, and destined to die as a planet when the sun swallows the earth 5 billion years from now.

A flower blooms, wilts, then dies and is no more.

Given that, your attention automatically turns inwards towards the experience of Self, that divine spark of existence in you, me, and everyone and thing else.

This is the essence of Ramana's awakening experience: he realized he was life itself, consciousness, sentience.

15 July 2015

FROM SYNDRIA ON THE VIDEO "GIVING AND RECEIVING LOVE, JUNE 15, 2015 FOUND ON MY BLOG AT http://itisnotreal.blogsot.com.

That was a most powerful Satsang for me. You described so clearly being lost in emptiness, just as I had been. You made it so I could actually feel , during the Satsang, my attachment to emptiness as a resistance to feeling open and vulnerable in my heart. 

It was so freeing to me when you described learning to love another as necessary, not some hindrance to be turned into a distant spiritualized perfect love. 


When I watch the videos of Satsangs I attended, it takes me right there again. Although more and more, with new impressions, too, that help me to see and hear you more fully now. 

Very precious to me, how much you share in a clear, non jargon way directly from your own experience. That helped me greatly to trust you. You guide from the map inside you, rather than a map on paper. 

Maybe its too intimate, too demanding of vulnerability for many people. Having spiritual concepts as maps is much easier to feel safe, think we're growing but really just hiding out. 

I have done a lot that myself. In fact, I feared that I had myself walled into such a confusing labyrinth of self trickery that I would die in self-created terror. Helpless and hopeless to the end. 

But, Edji you pointed the way into my heart and have stayed the course with me, helping me gain strength and courage to explore my own inner world, find Self in my unique way. 

I never felt uniquely beautiful before this. Now I'm slowly unwrapping the old dead skins covering over the light of my heart. The immensity of I AM ...wow ... I glimpse it only ...yet it knocks the breath out of me.

I don't know much, but I feel Self pressing against every damn concept
left in me...something is going to give ...

Thank you, Edji. I could never do this alone. I don't get it, that so many people can't recognize the keen-eyed teacher right in front of them. Sad..

13 July 2015

Abiding by the Living Truth

There are two things one can do to become Self-Realized: self-inquiry in the form of open acceptance of all within you, and living close to me where you can see me on a daily basis. It is a matter of energy changes, and the constant hammering of the truth, like a 24/7 exposure to Nisargasatta.

It is called gurus Grace, but it is really just a matter of propinquity, being close to the loving truth where you see it in action versus imagining what the living truth is like.

I am not alone in an ability to waken truth within you.  There are others that I know of and respect, but they are on different paths,

12 July 2015

The Final Truth

One final note.  When asked whether he always lived within a state of constant bliss, or absorbed in the bliss of Turiya alone, without being aware of the world which he called unreal, Robert always responded, "No, I experience the world much as you do, otherwise I couldnot function.  The only difference is that I know that both you and Iare Consciousness."

Let me put it this way, the Jnani has experienced all states of existence clearly, waking, dream, deep sleep, and Turiya.  He is also aware of the Absolute Witness that he is by going back and forth from the Witness position, to the witnessed position.  He or she has experienced unending bliss, peace, as well as agitation, stress, and depression.  He knows all of these, feels all of these if he just looks within, he finds himself in these states.

Each state has its own "taste" so to speak, and he has experienced the taste of Turiya, the taste of the waking and sleep states, the taste of the dream state and can discern each taste within his present experience of himself and the world.  Many times these states arise and pass away as pure states, and he does not care which it is, because they are all him.  He delights in each.

It is the beginner who first experiences the bliss underlying all experiences, all states, all emotions positive and negative, that tries to or imagines that the "final state" is one of unending, "unalloyed" bliss or peace.  The mature Jnani is at home in any state, any emotion, and appears quite ordinary because he does not always have a vacant distant look, or tears of bliss rolling down his cheeks.

He has seen and felt it all and he rests as him orher self: content, happy, joyous, accepting whatever arises within or without.  He has become the most ordinary of men whose highest wisdom is expressed by such comments as "Please pass the salt," or "What is for  dinner tonight"?, or, has the peacock been fed yet?

The mature man of God finds Self and God alive in all things, all states, and accpets and enjoys all equally.

It is the beginner who is just stepping into all these extraordinary states of bliss, peace, grace, acceptance that imagines a "final state" which is ever more of the same rather than the content acceptance of the coming and going of all states, all external conditions, all emotions of the Jnani.

11 July 2015

For Ramana and Nisargadatta Toe-lickers


For those who still believe Ramana and Nisargadatta speak of the same thing, I direct you to Michael James’ book the Happiness of Being, pages 289-292 that explain the terms Turiya and Turiya-atita.  Turiyatita does not mean a state that transcends Turiya. Rather it is because Turiya underlies the “normal” states of waking, deep sleep, and dream, and from Turiya, one experiences these other three states as mere appearances, something added on to you, and thus Turiya is the only state, not the Fourth State, and thus its real nature is beyond the meaning and designation of the Fourth State; that is, it transcends the concept of the Fouth State, and is called atita, or Turiyaatita.

In verse 32 of Uḷḷadu Nāpadu Anubandham Sri Ramana says:

For those who experience waking, dream and sleep, [the real state of]‘wakeful sleep’, [which is] beyond [these three ordinary states], isnamed turiya [the ‘fourth’]. [However] since that turiya alone exists,[and] since the three [states] that appear [and disappear] are [inreality] non-existent, [the one real state that is thus named turiya is infact] turiya-v-atīta [that which transcends even the relative conceptthat it is the ‘fourth’]. Be clear [about this truth].

Our fundamental and natural state of ‘wakeful sleep’ or true non-dual self-knowledge is described as the ‘fourth’ only to impress upon us that it is a state that is beyond our three ordinary states of waking, dream and sleep. However, when we actually go beyond our three ordinary states by experiencing our fundamental state of true self-knowledge, we will discover that this fundamental state is the only real state, and that our three ordinary states are merely imaginary appearances, which are seemingly superimposed upon it, but which in reality do not exist at all. Therefore, though it is sometimes called the ‘fourth state’, the state of true self-knowledge or ‘wakeful sleep’ is in fact the only state that truly exists.

Hence, since the term turīya or the ‘fourth’ implies the existence of three other states, it is actually not an appropriate name for the only state that truly exists. Therefore, though the true state of ‘wakeful sleep’ is named turīya, it could more appropriately be named atīta, ‘that which transcends’.

In other words, since it is the one absolute reality and is therefore completely devoid of all relativity, it transcends not only the three relative states of waking, dream and sleep but also the equally relative concept that it is the ‘fourth’ state. This is the reason why it is also described as turīyātīta, a term that literally means ‘that which transcends the fourth’.

Thus Ramana never went beyond the experience of the Fourth State (in this part of his exposition, of my shower awakening experience, where I alone existed and sleep, waking, and dream came to me like clouds that came and went and did not touch me.

          From this point of view, the normal Consciousness of waking, sleep, and dream is illusory and does not exist.

This is similar to Nisargadatta’s  concept which he inherited from Siddharameshwar,but not the same, because both Nisargadatta and his teacher clearly stated that the Absolute, the Witness, Parabrahman laid prior to Consciousness, including prior to Turiya, the Fourth State.

However, Ramana’s initial awakening concerned the explosion of awareness he felt within, including the full force of his personality, and all the internal processes of his body centered in his experience of his Self.

So Ramana moved from a position I call realization of the Manifest Self (Awareness or sentience itself, experience of the body, experience of thought, internal energies, one’s sense of presence, and the experience of the divine within as oneself), to later announcing the utter existential and ontological priority of Turiya, waking sleep as he called it, or the experience of Self as separate from the three-fold human consciousness.

Both Ramana and Nisargadatta startedas Bhakta’s worshiping  theenergies and aliveness of human god-embodied Consciousness, and then going beyond it to either Turiya (the Atman), or beyond Turiya to the Noumenal, non-existing in the world, Witness, or Parabrahman.

But, to those who have experienced both awakenings, one sees clearly that both are one.  The Noumenal Witness, Parabrahman, is the flip side of human/divine embodiment, the Manifest Self so strikingly described in Ramana’s waking experience.

In any event, I say to the reader, “So what?”

Both Ramana and Nisargadatta would say none of this would mean anything to you except by constant abiding in your own sense of Self.  Find your sense of I, or IAm, and dwell there, abide there, rest in your Self. That is, rest in you, and when you do so without thinking, you are the Witness.


After through Grace you get to have a great experience of recognizing God in you as you, you carry that sure knowledge with you evermore, but it is not obtained through reading Ramana or worshiping him, but through loving Self-acceptance and self-abidance.

10 July 2015

CAN YOU REALLY GRASP THE TRUTH OF NO TRUTH?


Most people envision the spiritual goal as some kind of advanced transcendental state of supreme unadulterated peace, bliss, joy or wisdom,or all of the above.  This state is beyond anything psychologists talk about, beyond mature humanity, and altogether beyond, at least, death—something that promises life immortal.

This hope, this wishful thinking before any deep states of Consciousness have been obtained, are only hopes created to stave off fear of death and of being no more.  It falls into the same category as a belief in heaven, or a divine savior, or of Nirvana, of going altogether beyond the human condition.  Even Nisargadatta speaks of this beyond as the Witness, the Unmanifest, the Absolute, Parabrahman, which is really a matter of faith since the Absolute could not experience Itself, because the Absolute can only know Consciousness, and it lies prior to Consciousness and cannot know itself directly.

Ramana just assumed that Consciousness was deathless spirit because of his original discovery that Consciousness and the physical body were tow entirely separate “substances” and assumed, that unlike the body that he knew died, the spirit was not subject to death.  In fact, he made Consciousness ontologically superior to the physical, and said Consciousness created the physical, and as such, was not subject to the death of the body.  This is called apposition of pure idealism where there is only Consciousness, and the world is a creation or dream, while Consciousness, the dreamer, was prior to the life and death of the body.

Nisargadatta on the other hand, claimed that both the body and Consciousness itself were both illusory, and by illusory, he meant temporary.  Only the Absolute, the Witness in each of us, was beyond life and death.  But, you have to realize from his  POV, the personal soul did not survive the physical death, Dave, Ed, Sally, and Jennifer were no more after death; they were just temporary embodyents of the Absolute Witness, that observed the changing physical world by the arising of Consciousness within each sentient being, be it an ant or a human, because of chemistry within the body.  For Maharaj, Consciousness was an ability to sense the world but which was as temporary as the health of the body.  He recognized that physical malfunctions impacted the quality and nature of Consciousness, therefore Consciousness was not Absolute.

Thus we have the two greatest advocates of Advaita in the 20th Century having entirely different views about the nature of Consciousness, and the primary identification of Self and immortality. If they disagree as to the final truth, how can anyone believe that masters from  non-Advaita traditions all hold the the same final state or the same ultimate truths?

For the life of me, I cannot understand why, and even more, how current seekers can hold to the mistake they both say the same thing or point to the same truth.  No!  They hold completely different positions on life and death, Consciousness and the world. Ramana believed only Consciousness was real, and the body/world as unreal.

Nisargadatta believed both Consciousness and the world were illusory, unreal, and that only the unseeable, unknowable Absolute Witness was real, but not personal, as it was the same witness existing within each temporary incarnation of the Absolute; each person was like a sensor to the unreal, or temporary world.

Understanding the differences between these two great Advaitins is absolutely necessary to escape from misconceptions of what Eastern spirituality in the formof Advaita, or  Jnana have to offer.

Understanding these differences forces you o recognize that there is  not just one common final state that all great spiritual teachers from Buddha, to Mohammed, to Jesus, to Milarepa, and Nityananda, shared in.

This is not what Jan Esmann teaches, that everything is Shaki, there is no individual, a belief taken from the perspective of someone whose sense of identification supposedly has disappeared.  Thus the Kundalini awakening path does not result in Ramana-like, or Nisargadatta-like understanding or end-states.

Now, when I post something  like this I get dozens of critics that throw dozens of Nisargadatta or Ramana quotes that appear to disagree with my summary.  But for the life ofme, I never see the contradictions these critics apparently see  in my exposition of Ramana and Nisaragadatta.

The critics have not delved deeply into the writings of these teachers to really understand them to their depths.  If they had, they would truly understand the vast differences between these two  teachers, and seen that the illusion of one final truth is totally illusory, and thus resigned themselves to a state of not-knowing.

Don't you see, you are freed from a search to understand or attain Ramana's state of  Consciousness, or Nisargadatta's state or understanding.  You have only yourself to look to as the entirety of the universe of self-exploration.  But, you also can never stop with attaining any one state of understanding, even your own, unless what you find is the deepest, unambiguous, permanent state of your own being and your own deepest truth.

Then what you have  is entirely yours and does not depend on agreement or disagreement with any great teacher of the past, whether of the Buddha, Christ, Ramana, Papaji, Balsakar, or Muzika.


I can however, only tell my own truth of the reality of the great Self within, the Self also called the Atman, or the divine within us as an entity of light, energy, identification, who is always at the center of my awareness as the divine within all.  This is my truth, my constant experience, and it demands me to say loudly, "I have come alive!  I Am, when before I was not."

09 July 2015

OBAMACARE CUTS ARE DECIMATING MEDICARE--STUDIES PROVE

The Impact of the ACA on Medicare Advantage

Posted on March 22, 2011 by AHIP Coverage

The ACA cuts more than $200 billion from the Medicare Advantage program ($136 billion directly and another $70 billion indirectly) which will result in seniors facing higher premiums; a reduction in additional benefits; fewer health care choices; and higher out-of-pocket costs as well.

New CBO Projections:

CBO released its March 2011 Baseline last week. The following are projections showing the impact of the ACA on Medicare Advantage:

CBO is projecting MA enrollment declines from 11.7 million enrollees in 2011 to 7.5 million in 2018 and 7.8 million in 2019.

CBO is projecting MA enrollment as a percentage of total MA enrollment decreases from 24% today to 13% in 2019.

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act substantially alters Medicare Advantage and, as a consequence, reduces the access of senior citizens and the disabled to quality health care by restricting and worsening the health care plan options available to them.”

“About three-fourths of the cuts will hit those with incomes of less than $32,400 per year in today’s dollars.”

“The loss of benefits will also vary widely by geography, with beneficiaries in the hardest-hit counties facing cuts almost five times as large as cuts for residents in the least-hit counties. In every county, the average beneficiary will lose at least 15 percent of his or her benefits.”

“According to the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), by 2017, when the changes are fully phased in, 14.8 million senior citizens and disabled Americans who would have had Medicare Advantage benefits under the previous law will be denied coverage for many services and incur higher out-of-pocket costs. About half will lose Medicare Advantage coverage entirely. Others will stay in Medicare Advantage, but at reduced benefit levels and possibly in different plans that do not meet their needs as well.”

“…half of those who would have chosen MA under prior law either will be unable to enroll in MA plans at all or will no longer find it attractive to do so.”

“…instead of reducing waste, the MA cuts will simply cut health care services available to patients and transfer spending from Medicare Advantage to other federal programs and other payers (including patients), thus increasing federal and state spending on Medicaid and patient spending on Part D, supplemental care plans, and out-of-pocket costs.”

“By 2017, Medicare beneficiaries who would have enrolled in Medicare Advantage under prior law will lose an average of $1,841 due to the MA changes alone and $3,714 when the effects of the entire bill, including the FFS cuts, are considered.”
The effects of the PPACA on Medicare Advantage enrollees will be dramatic and negative. The most obvious effects will be:

Reductions in health care services delivered.

Worse and fewer options for seniors and the disabled.

Fragmentation of care.

Disproportionate harm to low-income and minority beneficiaries.

Higher state and federal Medicaid costs.

Higher prescription drug spending.

- See more at: http://www.ahipcoverage.com/2011/03/22/the-impact-of-the-aca-on-medicare-advantage/#sthash.qJFm45tH.dpuf

07 July 2015

RESPONSE TO RICK TATE'S CRITICISM THAT MY TRUTH TELLING IS EGO-DRIVEN

Rick, if I were concerned about what people think and gathering students, I would speak as all other FB teachers speak, in the least offensive way possible, idolizing dead gurus such as Ramana, Osho, or Muktananda.

But I don't, because I am just interested in changing the incredible mess that mainstream spirituality is in the West, into something that gives the seeker a higher degree of clarity about spiritual issues and truth.

There is no clarity now in spirituality because of an abandonment of common sense, clear thinking, and an audience that has actually practiced spiritual disciplines under various teachers long enough to be "seasoned."

I have no interest in gathering followers other than setting them straight regarding spiritual matters such as Self-Realization, emptiness, Advaita teachings versus neo-advaita sillyness, etc.

I don't need students to support me. I make my living editing psychiatric reports. My only interest is to get people to avoid the errors I made over 62 years of seeking, from age 11 when I first read "In Woods of God Realization," and getting into Buddhism at age 14 after my father died and I read evans-Wentz's book, "Tibetan Book of the Dead."

In 1999 I was made the First American World Teacher of Chogye Zen Buddhism by the Korean Chogye Zen school that has several thousand temples and monasteries in Korea, and is also the school of Sueng Sahn Soen Sa--one ofmy teachers.

There is no one better qualified than I to tell the truth about spirituality in all its forms. I am not interested in getting money from studnets, all my writings and books are free, I charged nothing for Satsang for the three years I was doing it online.

I only want people to be able to see the truth rather than seeing only their idealizations of dead gurus, following dead gurus, and avaoid the live gurus who are mostly full of shit or else suffering from mental illness, Da Free Joh
.n, Osho, Muktananda, Chidvilasananda.


There are really good teachers alive and well now who do not challenge the nonsense, just because they think it impossible. Even my teacher, Robert Adams, said he had to be very careful about what he taught and said out of fear that he was stepping outside of spiritual policial correctness. He often told me he feared being destroyed by reactions to truth, such as that Consciousness itself was an illusion because it was temporary.

I guess I do have a silent wish that 100 years I will have been recognized as someone who helped seekers cut through the mystical bullshit that surrounds Ramanaand neo-Advaita, and help put spirituality onto a commonsense, rational, yet deep exploration of the Manifest Self--that Self that all can attain realization of through loving self-inquiry and self-acceptance of everything that arises in their own subjectivity, especially of the "I-sensation," which is the pulse of the divine lifeforce that exists in all sentient beings, but which they donot recognize because they look outwards, from birds and insects, to wolves and sheep, to 95% of the human race.

But the barriers to finding truth within is the immense amount of written and spoken idealization of dead gurus rather than an ability to depend on one's one's own truth. This is where I direct students: to look within, not look to Tolle, Ramana, Jeff Foster, Osho, etc. Become a lamp onto yourself instead of attacking those who show you the clay feet of past masters caught in 2,000 years of primitive culture that did not recognize the truth of a divine Self, Atman, and how that is actually experienced.

05 July 2015

Buddhism and No Self

My last post about Ramana and Buddha set off a storm of angry disagreement from some, suggesting that any criticism of these great ones is pure arrogance, and that I ought to kiss their feet as do they, and worshipfully quote Buddha or Ramana when they want to make a point.

However, this attitude is representative of the Indian way to regard teachers.  You find it in all the Buddhist Sutras which begin by endlessly praising all Buddhas and Bodhisatvas.  It is also found in all works about Ramana, speaking endless praise and devotion.  But such can get in the way of clear seeing.  It is a position of total dependency on external truth rather than self-discovery of one’s own nature.

Some, like Ramana Spencer, really believe Buddha was self-realized and call me arrogant for saying contemporary spirituality has gone way beyond Theravadin Buddhism and the original Buddhist teachings, for now a days we recognize self. Buddha’s teachings were of not-self or no self as opposed to the Vedic belief in an Atman, or unchanging divine self within all beings.

However, so many of my critics have never read even one of the original Theravadin Sutrasand may have read one or more, or heard explained one of more Mahayana Sutras and think they understand Buddhism.

But take a look at this one link about Theravadin and Mahayana Buddhism and the Self, or no-self.  Buddha was not at all concerned about self or Self.  That was not where he was at nor part of his teachings.  He taught the Fourfold Noble truth of transcending suffering and finding peace and happiness in Nirvana, or blowing out of desires.


The Fourfold Noble Truth of the original Buddha only talks about Suffering: There is suffering; there is a cause of suffering; there is a way to end suffering; and that end is following the Noble Eightfold Path.

There is no mention of self or no-self in the Fourfold Noble Truth or the Eightfold path.

However, the Pali Canon does talk about the threefold marks or characteristics of all phenomena, the last of which is anatta or no-self:

Anatta (not-self): all dhammas lack a fixed, unchanging 'essence'; there is no permanent, essential Self. A living being is a composite of the five aggregates (khandhas), which is the physical forms (rupa), feelings or sensations (vedana), perception (sanna), mental formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vinnana), none of which can be identified as one's Self. From the moment of conception, all entities (including all living beings) are subject to a process of continuous change. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada)

However, both Zen and the original Pali scriptures emphasize that at some point you have to get rid of all the scriptures and see into your own nature and what you find for yourself.

In Zen this POV is stated as, “If you meet the Buddha on the Road, kill him!”  This means you do not cling to your mental picture of the Buddha as being other than a man, or his teachings, which in the Pali Canon, emphasize analysis and contemplation of one’s inner and outer experiences.

The original Buddha said, “You must become a lamp onto your self.”

In other words, after contemplating his teachings, after a while, you have to let go both of him and his teachings, and walk your own path and develop your own perspective from your own unique experiences and understanding.


But what I have met on Facebook, is the anger of puppets, those who worship the images of Buddha and Ramana they have created in their own minds, which  have nothing to do with the real Buddha or real Ramana.  These puppets images are their own delusions born of dependency on external sources to support their own opinions.  But when you have penetrated all teachings deeply, and have found either the manifest Self of Atman, or the transcendent beyond of the Witness, Parabrahman, then you forge your own way, create your own teachings and path.

04 July 2015

Everybody thinks they know Ramana Maharshi, but they don't. They need to read about his awakening experience alone instead of indulge in all the useless metaphysics he added later.  Of his awakening experience he said even though his body was dead (really he meant insentient because he was not dead), he felt "the full force of my PERSONALITY"  and all the processes of his body were centered in his Self, and from that day forward, the Self became the center of his attention.  Not a moment passed where he was not aware of his Self.

(This is exactly my experience,but occurring in a different context.  Iam always aware of the fire of Self.)

There is nothing contained in this that says the ego dies with Self-realization, nor do the Advaitists ever define "ego."  Ego is undefinable because iof it not a thing, an entity, but a group of processes, such as thinking, feeling, tactile, smell, judging rates of motion, adapting to problems, functioning in everyday life, interpersonal relations, mathematics ability, writing ability, athletics, etc.

But buried within our inner experience is the sense of Self, the I Am Alive core which few people ever realize or experience as the core of their life, their sense of me, or I Am.  It has to either be "teased out" of the entire matrix of self-experience, or it  has to present itself to you in all its  power and glory, much as Krishna displayed his true form to Arjuna..

Buddha never discovered the Self and therefore there is no room in the subsequent 2,500 years of Buddhist thought, except for Zen where they even speak of the inner man of no rank, which is probably not the same experience.

But Ramana experienced Self as an entity, as himself and also as the Father, for he left home and went to Arunachala to do his father's work, his Self's work, with Self experienced as the divine father, which is also his own Self.

So very few understand Ramana, because he himself later became covered by, enamored by Advaita philosophy and adopted it as his own understanding. Ramana lost  his way in concepts, and almost everyone who followed Ramana became lost in those concepts on the world is unreal, body is unreal, and Self is the only real and that Self is divorced from the world and everyday experience.

03 July 2015

   Greece's ruling party and its Prime Minister Tsipras are right: A government must never surrender its sovereignty and the greater welfare of its people to the world banking systems or corporate creditors as Greece had done and the IMF and Merkel have demanded. They are demanding that Greece becomes a total vassal state, much like Obama and the Republicans are doing to our sovereignty and the welfare of the American people with world trade agreements, and a congress and president bought and paid for by corporations and the 1%.

   Ask Bernie. As he said, for him to win requires a political revolution. But he knows how much violence lies ahead seeing the successes of the Tea Party and the failure of the Occupy movement in comparison.

   We all thought because of race hatred, Obama had a high assassination potential, but that is no where near Bernie's assassination potential because he is confronting all of the powers that be: Wall Street; the 1%; international corporations whose lawyers designed the upcoming Pacific trade agreements; corporatist Democrats, and Good Old Boy Republicans.   

   Hilary is that ruling class's embodiment. Nothing that comes from her lips challenges corporate rule, international trade agreements, taxing the super wealthy, breaking up the to-big-to-fail banks, insurance companies, and investment firms. She represents their interests.

30 June 2015

BOOK RECOMMENDATION

For those interested in the medical management of mood and other psychological disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depressive disorder, and obsessive/compulsive disorders, I recommend getting John Preston's Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously Simple,the eighth edition.  You can get it for about $14 on Amazon.


I personally use Preston's more detailed and deeper Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists, the seventh edition. which costs about $34 at Amazon.


Both books cover side effects as well as the various types of resistances people have to taking medications, even for severe mental disorders. Some obsess even about minor side-effects, and discontinue the meds, others worry about dependency, even though few psych medications are addictive.  Some feels meds are a crutch, and they shouldn't need to rely on meds to function, while others stop taking meds if they don't find immediate benefit, even though most take weeks to take effect.

Yes, meds can take away emotions and make you feel more dead, but for a short term fix on an anxiety disorder or severe depression, they give respite.  Medications can always be changed until one is found that helps best.

The Handbook, at least, talks about differing racial and ethnic responses to psych medications, and interactions between the meds and also with supplements like Omega-3, etc.

There is a very interesting discussion of medications used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.




29 June 2015

SPIRITUALITY VERSUS PSYCHOTHERAPY VERSUS MEDICATIONS

PART ONE: SETTING THE STAGE FOR AUTHENTIC HEALING AND AWAKENING

Because I am back into the field of psychology, and have been reacquainting myself with therapy and psychotropic medications, I will be writing frequently about how psychology, psychopharmacology, and the pursuit of peace, enlightenment, wisdom, and Self-Realization, all fit together.

I first began my spiritual career through self-study of Zen and Ramana Maharshi in about 1966, almost 50 years ago.  I have lived in or been a member of endless Zen, Tibetan, Kundalini, Vedantic and other centers for at least 30 of those years.  I have treated people with psychological problems such as depression, manic-depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and schizophrenia directly for maybe 20 years, and for 30 years I have been a consultant to psychiatrists and psychologists defending their treatment of individuals according to ethical and medical standards for the court system.

I have also taught Zen and Self-Realization spirituality at the Extensions at UCLA, UCSD, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara.  I was a teaching monk at the International Buddhist Meditation Center for years, and studied under six Zen masters learning hundreds if not thousands of koans and their answers.  Finally, I spent eight years with Robert Adams—a student of Ramana Maharshi—and five with Jean Dunn, one of two disciples that Nisargadatta named as successors.

During this almost 50 years of exposure to these diverse spirituality modalities and psychotherapies, I have been exposed to many, many thousands of people walking one path or another and have reached many conclusions, the most important of which is as follows.

Most people walking spiritual path do so as a result of psychological problems and the mistaken belief that spirituality can resolve psychological problems.  For them, they hold the false idea that if they were to awaken, all mood disorders such as anxiety and depression would disappear, as well as fear, such as fear of losing a loved one, or fear of death itself.  They also pursue enlightenment to increase self-esteem, decrease pessimistic and obsessive thinking, while others suffering from pre-psychotic or frankly psychotic intrusions of other-worldly states, visions, visitations from entities, hallucinations, hearing voices, or else being hyper-aware and bother by noises, smells, light, and energetic currents, seek respite through meditation, Kundalini, Chi-Gong, or other practices.

However, “awakening” and enlightenment have nothing to do with resolving psychological problems.  It works in entirely different spheres, yet people, out of fear of engaging in psychotherapy or taking psychotropic medications, spend years self-treating through spiritual practices, or reading about various famed spiritual teachers such as Ramana Maharshi, Rama Krishna, Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti, etc., and try to emulate or attain through book-learning what they think these teachers have attained, whether it be peace of mind, enlightenment, bliss, or total, benign indifference to suffering in this world.

But relief from major psychological distress and suffering cannot be obtained through typical spiritual practices except for one way: learning how to observe one’s thinking and emotions.  Self-observation can create a psychological distance between a person’s sense of self and the distressing symptoms they want to end.  They wall off their sense of self from the intrusive emotional and even physical pain.

Unfortunately, after a while, users of this technique often find they have walled off portions of their own self, from themselves, and are no longer fully functioning people without a full-spectrum of emotional richness, and without a wide range of human interactions, enjoyments, and ability to feel and to tolerate both joy and suffering.

Go to any coffee shop and you will invariably find cadres of people obsessively reading the Bible and taking notes.  They often sit together and hold Bible study classes in Starbucks or Coffee Bean establishments.

Christianity is a religion of learning how to tolerate suffering and overcoming fear of death through belief in a benevolent God in the form of God the Father and God the Son, to whom you give your suffering, and the belief if you lead a good and moral life you will live in heaven forever, free from suffering, and living in joy at Christ’s side.  For some this holding onto belief—Faith—actually works for a time, and sometimes for a long time and even a life time.  Others, not so much.

Buddhism in its original Theravadin form is profoundly pessimistic, holding that life itself is suffering, but there is a way out of suffering and that is the Eightfold path or right thinking, right living, contemplation, meditation, etc.

For most with energy gurus and many New Age spiritualities, the path usually consists to trying to attain permanently altered states of mind, such as endless bliss, joy, internal energies, Sahaja or Nirvakalpa Samadhis, where you forever dwell in states of endless bliss, peace that passes by understanding, or one dwells in the Void, emptiness, or pure awareness, the pure I Am, or some other state.  Many do obtain such states that last a long, long time, and are sustained through constant practice, mindfulness, etc.

Examples of this are the energy gurus who claim to have attained constant bliss such as many of Muktananda’s swamis, Hari Krishna swamis, the author of The Most Rapid Means to Eternal Bliss, Michael Langford, Jan Esmann, and many others, who practice Kundalini, pranayama, visualizations, and other exercises for many years in order to awaken one’s Kundalini energies and keep it awake.  Another is Eric Pepin who teaches mostly about navigating through various astral states and energy fields.

However, feeling bliss does not really resolve psychological problems, it is just that their experience is mitigated by the feeling of bliss.  Some of these energy teachers can become profoundly narcissistic and even frankly psychotic, such as Da Free John and Osho as he decompensated into frank psychosis after long-term extreme drug use. Muktananda himself died as a result of too-fast withdrawal from Valium which causes a plummeting of his blood pressure and heart failure.

I know this previous paragraph will draw huge amounts of critical comments from  former students of these teachers, as well as readers of these teachers who hold onto belief that these figures were the greatest, happiest, and wisest of beings, when in fact, many were closing in on insanity in the form of malignant narcissism. 

As my  own primary teacher, Robert Adams, said, “Insanity and enlightenment walk hand in hand.” Robert himself was profoundly withdrawn from  life and the world, finding profound peace by ignoring the world, its suffering, and activities.

This is the first introductory post on founding a truly integrated modality of healing psychological problems and finding awakening to one’s own self, or Self-Realization to both the Manifest Human Self, and to the Self as the ultimate Witness.

I will post about medications and the unfounded fears that people have about medications, such that they foster dependency, make you into a zombie, make you feel that you are sick, that therefore something is very wrong with you, further reducing self-esteem, or the belief that psychotherapy (and drugs) are a crutch, and no self-respecting person should ever seek help from a therapist, or from medications, and that one should  only life oneself by one’s own bootstraps.  This is pure poppycock.

I myself, as admitted above, have submitted myself not only do many spiritual teachers over 50 years, but also to eight years of twice a week psychotherapy in several different modalities, from Gestalt to psychoanalysis (4 X week), taken medications for depression and for anxiety, and have practiced and taught many types of meditation and of self-inquiry.  I still take a sleeping pill, sometimes several, to get to a deep sleep state because sleep apnea otherwise makes deep and REM sleep impossible.

In addition, the deep sleep, dream, and waking are all temporary states that come and go as they will,and are all affected by the health of the body as well as how long and well one has progressed in meditation.

Over the next few months I want to give you insights gained after having done it all for a half century.  I want to tell you what works, what does not, what practices or beliefs actually make for more suffering or delusion than the disorder one is trying to overcome.

Like I said near the beginning, most people practicing or even interested in spirituality, are doing so to escape suffering, and usually as an escape from psychological suffering such as depression, manic-depression, severe anxiety or persistent fears of death or pther events, escape from a pervading dread of the worst happening, low self-esteem, psychotic phenomena, or from physical pain, or even “imagined” of psychogenic pain.

These people want to do it all themselves and not take psychotropic medications, see therapists, or even go to  a spiritual teacher.  They think they can resolve their dis-ease and distress purely through the mind, book learning, self-talk, positive affirmations, belief in the Bible or Buddha, Christ or Osho, or Krishnamurti.

These people do not have any idea of how complex the problems of psychological pain and suffering are, and the many, many ways there are to resolve the suffering, but the fears of following those methods prevents true relief of that suffering.

As a taste, I will  say only one thing, one hint of what is to come.  Medication cannot resolve a deep depression, if anything, it will worsen it by divorcing yourself from feeling even more than the depression does.  The moist effective way out of depression is a combination of medication and appropriate psychotherapy.  This holds true for other mood disorders, such as manic-depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, obessional disorders, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I certainly cannot give all the answers to resolving these disorders all by yourselves, because even major depressive disorders have many different causes, and it takes a good medical evaluation to best determine the way to mitigate this type of suffering.  But psychotropic medications can often assist the spiritual seeker by freeing them of a depression, anxiety state, violent mood swings that undermine our ability to be steadfast and persistent in any successful spiritual practice.

Also, as an additional understanding I want to convey, it is almost impossible to lift yourself out of a Major Depressive Episode without psychotropic medications or psychotherapy.  It literally cannot be done through spiritual methods.


Often Major Depressive Episodes end just by the passage of time, as do strong periods of deep anxiety and panic disorders, but each untreated episode changes brain function and neurologic chemistry to the extent that there is a much higher chance of subsequent episodes, and each new episode further changes brain function and chemistry until the disorder can become chronic, and no longer requires an external trigger, such as death of a loved one or loss of a job or home.