In times of universal deceit, telling
the truth is a revolutionary act.
         - George Orwell

Napoleon once observed that "history" is a set of lies agreed upon. In an era of ubiquitous fake news and information warfare, this has never been more true. The very concept of objective truth in history is fading out of our world. Pure propaganda and outright lies are passing into our history textbooks as unquestioned truth, condemning future generations to false views about historical reality. But the task of sifting through the lies and propaganda is overwhelming, limited by the ambition and time constraints of most observors. Only those who have dedicated their lives to sorting reality from falsehood are qualified to rewrite "consensus" history as a duty to humanity. The contributors to this site endeavor to do just that.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Trip of a Lifetime: Rules in the Game of Enlightenment (Part II)

        Back in the 1960's those who broke from society's mold in an attempt to create a new way of living from the materialistic wasteland which had become the West were confused as to whether they were psychotic or spiritual.  They gathered in various groups and under various umbrellas so that at least they could reassure each other that if they were psychotic they were at least in it together.
       To be sure, they were freeing themselves from a cultural model of reality that had been considered absolute.  But as they started to break free there was a lot of melodrama:  violence, anger, confusion, as well as ecstasy and bliss.  The pure part of the movement derived from the outer manifestations of genuine inner change, new awarenesses about how modernity had perverted the human character to create unnecessary discord between man and nature and between man and man.  The impurities were derived from the new objects of clinging - the new symbols and ideologies that were latched onto in order to reassure themselves that they were in fact different.  There was a general confusion between inner freedom and external freedom, between revolution and evolution.

This was largely because of the lack of models or metaphysics that would allow Truth-seekers to appreciate the grandiosity of the change they were undergoing.  The wider project of attaining enlightenment - for the self and for the masses - kept getting subjugated to lesser projects of social, psychological, or political change. The whole project of bringing 5,000 years of eastern traditions to the West was still in its infancy stages.

Everyone, it seems, was busy trying to convert themselves using the traditional Western methods of working from the outside in, not vice versa.  There was a lot of adoption of external symbols and accoutrements that made one look like a "revolutionary", but the real work needed to be done inside.  During this same period, the word God was still taboo, as everyone preferred to talk about "altered states of consciousness" instead.  But implicit in all of this was the recognition that change was possible - that no matter who people thought they were or how badly society had warped them they could still change and become whatever Christ or Buddha was.  This was a big shift from the serf mentality that dominated the Western world for centuries and constituted the biggest social criticism of philosophers like Nietzsche.  The problem, perhaps, was that the 60's generation were so addicted to the rational mind that they assumed they could think their way out of any predicament, and that enlightenment was some kind of achievement like a university degree.  In fact, enlightenment is a transformation of being.

Most in the 60's generation didn't bargain for the implications of the trip they found themselves on.  They didn't really want God or Nirvana, they just wanted to want God or Nirvana.  That's a different level of the game.  For most, it was enough to show that you wanted to want God or wanted to want enlightenment.  That kept them cool, safe, and secure, with a reassuring feeling that they were moving in the right direction.  It gets a little scary when you directly experience the void during, say, a bad acid trip. But two generations later, with the 60's generation passing into ripe old age, the one thing we have going for us is complete honesty about our predicament.  Not that everyone agrees about what that predicament is, but the foundational assumptions about just about everything have been called into question by the raw capacity to ask formerly taboo questions and seek answers via the Internet.

While it may not feel like it sometimes, there is in fact less melodrama and dramatic histrionics going on now.  "Tolerance" for divergent views has made incredible headway in the age of Oprah and Facebook, even if we feel overwhelmed by fake news, flashy computer graphics and triviality.  A much larger percentage of people are able to see "The Game" for what it really is, thanks to concepts like The Matrix.  People are learning that we'll never argue our way into righteousness, happiness or enlightenment, because arguments are just another prison that end up catching us in our pretension that we're something that we're not.  What is sinking in more than anything else is that we are all mutants - ever-evolving beings in a universe filled with sentience.  We aren't as special as we once thought we were.

Despite the globalization of culture, slowly but surely we're coming to the realization that you can't impose your own trip on other people.  Attempts to do so always end in failure.  "Us" and "Them" ain't what it used to be.  It was always ideologies which drove us apart, not core features.  Even the demonization of seemingly worthy objects of hate, such as ISIS terrorists, is being deconstructed and shredded when we dig a little deeper and find such terrorists are trained and funded by our own intelligence agencies to be "enemies of convenience" to justify war and invasion. Thanks to the Internet, an ever-larger segment of the population is waking up to the lies and deception, realizing that the enemy is us.

The way that elites keep the same Game going is by constantly keeping the ground under our feet shifting.  The news cycle moves so fast that we are caught off guard, like a sleight-of-hand trick. Not knowing who or what to believe, or what to focus on as important, keeps us in a perpetual state of "future shock" - not unlike being in the front passenger seat of a speeding car we have no control over.  It's not the kind of environment that induces sleep, but neither is it an environment conducing to overcoming anxiety, confusion, disorientation and helplessness. Under such conditions, we lose sight of the centre of the universe - which just happens to be exactly where you are.  You're too busy thinking you're going somewhere else - fast - even if you don't know where that is.

In reality, every single experience you have is grist for the mill of awakening.  Your whole incarnation IS the teaching. If you take your eyes off your grounding, sooner or later you're going to trip and fall flat on your face. Similarly, you can't be stepping on others to try to get "higher" or closer to God and Truth.  Truth must be balanced with caring, for that's when you start to develop the capacity to look up and to look down at the same moment.  To look in and to look out.  You have to learn to accept the entire mosaic as it actually exists, and the evolutionary journey of all beings around you. When you choose to help beings that are suffering in the way that they need to be helped, you advance your own liberation from suffering.  You have to keep your eyes, your heart, fixed firmly on the truth and on caring.  You have to honour your body, and your society.  You must honour the entire game, and the particular karmic predicament you find yourself in.

Wishing you were "somewhere else" so that it would be easier won't get you there. When you say things like, "I can't stand living in the city", what you're really saying is the city is showing you things in yourself which you wish you didn't have.  When you get angry, you need to realize that the only reason this happened is because you're holding on to a secret stashed model of how you think things ought to be.  All forms of clinging - both conscious and unconscious - must be dredged up and discarded.  And doing this often feels like going through an intense fire of internal purification.  Getting rid of the things that would free your soul is not fun or easy, but is necessary.  Only by opening yourself to raw, non-clinging, non-attached truth, creating a mirror by which you can see where you stash your secrets about yourself, can you move beyond that which is keeping you from becoming perfect - a perfect instrument of God.  Your mind will become like two mirrors, facing each other, with nothing in between.  It's looking at itself looking at itself, and realizes there is only One.  The One has become many for the sport of the play, for the Game we call life.  Learn its rules, and "you" become enlightened.

[Part III will be for me Annalee!]

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