Friday, May 17, 2019

The Spiritual and the Religious; the Active and the Awake

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Are being spiritually active and spiritually awake the same?

Are spiritual activity and religious activity the same?

If they’re different, why?

Spiritual Activity

Attending a religious service, praying, reading a holy book, and chanting a Sanskrit mantra might be considered spiritual activities.

What may come as a surprise is that activities such as gardening, making music, and cooking can also be spiritually-oriented.

While we don’t generally think of the latter group as pertaining to spirituality, truth is, the former group isn’t necessarily spiritual either. It’s dependent upon the mentality of the doer.

Stated in uncommon terms, what would make an activity spiritual is the removal of one’s attention from the left-mind-based, dualistic illusion we think of as “reality” and a placement of focus instead on one’s beingness. Whether praying or painting, if the doer is focused in-the-moment and without egoic attachment, the activity becomes a spiritual activity. One does not have to be aware of one’s self as being spiritually active in order to reap the benefits.

It should be said, however, that some spiritual activities offer greater benefits than others. Meditation is a prime example due to its intense inward focus.

Spiritual activity will advance one along the spiritual path (whatever that means for a given person), but it’s neither a prerequisite for nor an assurer of a spiritual awakening in a given lifetime.

Spiritual Wakefulness

It can be said that a spiritual awakening is “the soul realizing itself in human form.”

Awakening is a radical shift in an individual’s perception of “who I am” and “how life is.”

Awakening begins the divinely guided process of seeing and releasing all that isn’t true to one’s inherent, pure-spirited nature. This is to say, karma must be balanced: fears and false beliefs must be removed, traumas must be healed, repressed emotions must be felt, forgiveness must be given, and so on. With intuitive awareness, all these things become clear, they cannot be unseen, and avoidance of them quickly makes them worse.

Contrast this to unawakened experience: life externally reflects internal troubles to everyone for healing but runs on more of a go-at-your-own-pace timetable and allows for a great deal of avoidance (think: coping mechanisms such as alcoholism and complaining).

As to how awakening comes about perceptually, this can’t be said specifically. Even though all souls, as individual beings, will ultimately come to the same spiritual realizations about self, God, and existence, in the beginning awakening hits everyone in a more or less different way: one person might suddenly recall memories from past lives, another person might unexpectedly fall into a state of profound mental silence and peace, another person might receive intuitive awareness of alternate dimensions, another person (as happened with me) might simply realize that something has changed dramatically, though the “what” may be uncertain, and they’re now strongly drawn to and intuitively aware of the finer, lighter, and more natural things of life.

Absent previous spiritual activity, a person will be drawn toward it upon having a spiritual awakening. If they’d been spiritually active prior to awakening, their activity will be enhanced and they will see an intensification of benefits. They will also have a better sense of which activities are best suited to them as an individual. If a person had been religiously active, any religious falsities will become clear and change will become a necessity.

A Glimpse of Beyond

When yet unawakened and whether someone is spiritually active or not, it is possible for a person to be graced with a momentary glimpse beyond the veil This could be described as receiving a taste of any variation of awakened perception.

For example, a person might be out in the woods and suddenly feel a deep inner peace and a strong sense of connection with all the life around them. Or while intensely training their bodies for a sporting competition they might experience a “runner’s high.” Using certain drugs or having a Near Death Experience can bring about the most profound of these glimpses beyond.

Whatever the case, the glimpse-type of experience could be called a “spiritual opening,” for while it may be intense in its spiritual/metaphysical/mystical implications, once it passes—and it will—an experiencer can and will often choose to go right back to doing whatever they’d been doing prior as if nothing had ever happened.

Timing of Awakening

A spiritual awakening is bestowed by Divine Grace. It comes in its own Divine Timing and cannot be forced to happen. It is not an intellectual or scientific discovery, and you don’t find it, it finds you—within.

A person can do all sorts of religious and/or spiritual practices everyday of their life, but there is a fundamental, soul-triggered shift that’s required for an awakening.

This is not to discourage spiritual practice. By all means, do it! Spiritual activity can still bring great positive change to one’s self and the world. It’s just to say that there is a difference—a huge difference—between being spiritually active and having had a spiritual awakening, the timing of which is anyone’s guess.

We’re all created from the same Source and will all return to the same Source. The difference is in the paths we take, these paths being set by our souls. When one’s soul says it’s time to awaken, it’s time to awaken, regardless of how spiritually active a given person had been beforehand.

Spiritual Activity Versus Religious Activity

In pointing out differences between spiritual activity and spiritual wakefulness, there’s a kind of challenge that may arise, and this is to avoid equating being spiritually active—and especially spiritually awake—with being religiously active.

I’ve gone over this topic a number of times before and don’t wish to repeat it here. I only wish to point out that because religions (mostly Western) have so often distorted spiritual truth, a great many people who have been following their religion religiously have been religiously active, not spiritually active.

To those for whom this applies, I realize this may be profoundly upsetting and very difficult to accept—or liberating if you allow it. It is true nevertheless and can be recognized due to its support of the limited mindset of “who I am” and “how life is” that we’ve been collectively carrying for eons—the mindset of lack, unworthiness, guilt, victimhood, shame, innate sinfulness, separation from God, etc.

Spiritual truth states that all of existence—be it mineral, plant, animal, human, cell, water, star—everything!—is on a level playing field; All That Is is unconditionally loved by and in oneness with God; abundance, perfection, and wholeness are everywhere. (This not to suggest the endorsement of wearing rose-colored glasses.)

Also, religion (again, Western) often has a heavy focus on spirituality as being rooted in intellectual knowledge. This idea is propagated and perpetuated by false religious teachings and a world culture that focuses on the need to “know” and get “out there” while completely denying what is “in here.”

True spiritual activity and spiritual wakefulness drive a process of unlearning. This is not to say that the intellect is thrown out like moldy bread—there’s nothing wrong with learning. It’s simply understood both that much of what we learn is contrary to spiritual truth and that the sheer conceptualization and endlessly gathering and studying of data from “out there” does not help us to know who or what we and God truly are.

“How Do I Know If I’m Spiritually Active?”

Now that we’ve looked at the difference between spiritual activity and spiritual wakefulness and have pointed out that religious activity doesn’t necessarily equate with spiritual activity or spiritual wakefulness, it’s worth gaining more clarity as to what spiritual activity is and how we would know it.

Generally, a consequence of the spiritual path is that the one practicing feels good.

Ideally, when we meditate or chant “Shri Ram Jai Ram” or sing “Ave Maria” or help the homeless, it makes us feel good in a non-egoic way. Such an activity is a spiritual activity because lifts our spirits and helps to lift the spirits of others.

What are not spiritual activities, for example, are reading scripture because we feel forced to, or meditating on a street corner for the sake of being seen as “spiritual people,” or dumping our paths on others because we’ve been told that our way is “The One Right Way.”

These activities may please us very momentarily as we feel the relief of having satisfied our or someone else’s selfish desires, but they will not inherently feel good to us, we will continue craving/needing more, and they will not help to lift our spirits or anyone else’s.

Worse is when there’s a religious activity that’s claimed to be “spiritual” such as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I can’t speak for everyone, perhaps for a few people it really does help, but on consideration of my own life experience and between my observations and my intuitive “get” of the lives of others, confessing (purported) sins to a priest (who is himself a sinner) under the false and insensible belief that the confessor is too unworthy to directly request forgiveness from God is replete with unnecessary guilt, shame, and self-rejection.

Yes, the confessor may feel a shred better afterward thinking that their sins had actually been forgiven. But guilt, which is often bogus, had obviously driven them to the confessional, and should they slip up just once afterward—and they will—the guilt will settle right back in. But really, as I've seen with myself and far too many others, the guilt simply never leaves; nothing ever actually heals because the base, subconscious programming never changes.

This is not spiritual—it’s torture.

Keep the following in mind, too, for it is no small thing:

As much as the spiritual path generally leaves a person feeling good in consequence—this for the reason that it usually feels good to be free, to be kind, to be loving, to be in integrity, and so on—the path is not about feeling good; it’s not about going out and trying to feel good; it’s not about getting a spiritual high.

Spirituality is far removed from our conventional way of thinking and feeling because the spiritual path is about feeling everything that arises, which includes healing old, repressed hurts and being able to witness others who hurt without needing to avoid it or change it.

Our world culture, and many times even religion, has told us to avoid pain or “fix” it; it’s told us that if something discomforts us, stuff the emotion down, go drink a beer or get a few dopamine hits through new Facebook likes, and then resentfully complain about what offends us to our neighbor.

On the spiritual path, rather than running away when pain—more specifically: suffering—arises, the feeling is felt into and self-inquired about as to why it’s arising. The issue can then be resolved. Painful though this can be upfront, the result is some smaller or greater degree of freedom, peace, love, and so forth within. Naturally, these same qualities reflect themselves without.

Non-judgment

With these distinctions being given between the spiritual and the religious, between the active and the awake, bear in mind that this is not meant to be any kind of judgment of “who is better than” and “who is less than.”

We all wake up in whatever lifetime we wake up in: it’s a matter of soul choice, not, say, a measure of God’s love for a particular individual or God’s rejection of another. We’ve all come from the same place and we’re all going back to the same place, but we’re all on different paths with different timings.

The best any of us can do is be true to ourselves and live for the soul purposes we’ve come here to live. This is where non-judgmental self-security is found.

If we’re not feeling secure in our beliefs and choices, if we become angry and feel jealousy when others appear more spiritually aware than us, then we’re not being true to ourselves or to the purposes we’ve come here to live.

I mean, sort of, we may be. If we’d come here to experience what it’s like to get entangled in false religio-spiritual ideas (and we all get entangled in something), then fine. But there’s no path designed to go in without coming back out. Distortion is used to reveal “what is not” in order for us, should we choose healing, to more deeply realize what we are. In this realization is self-truth and self-security.

Follow the Flow

As water and electricity follow the path of least resistance, so do those who walk a spiritual path. (We do our best, anyway!)

This does not mean that they avoid pain, per se, for pain is a guidepost. But they do make a continuous effort to understand their pain as well as pain’s close friend, suffering, as not to keep repeating them. To avoid is to resist, and to resist is to create more pain and suffering.

It would thus do us well to examine our religious and/or spiritual practice if we have one. Are we being religiously active and, as commonly happens, perpetuating pain and suffering? Are we truly spiritually active, religiously or not?

If we don’t have a spiritual practice, I’m not so sure we can simply start one. Maybe, but I think it’s more of an internal thing: either the interest is there or it’s not; we can’t make it be there. And there’s nothing wrong with this, for it’s the soul’s desire or it wouldn’t be happening.

Although, we might begin a meditation practice. Because, really, there’s actually nothing particularly spiritual about basic meditation—it’s simply a focus on the “space between.”

Whatever happens, happens; whatever doesn’t, doesn’t. Either way, since we’re innately spiritual beings and meditation reconnects us with this beingness, we must see improvements both spiritual and otherwise reflected in everyday life. These could show up as peace, as more intent focus, greater happiness, or whatever like that…

You know, the things we all wish for but haven't yet found by any external means.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

You're Human, Joe. So Be Human!

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



This one goes out to the overly identified, average Joe (and Jane, but Jane must at times read between the lines; the “why” will be quite evident soon enough…).

Dear Joe,

God put you here as a human. So stop trying to be not-human.

We’re all unique and we’re all at least a little bit screwed up, you included, and we don’t help ourselves by rejecting what we are.

While some aspects of ourselves are distorted to one degree or another and must be healed, other aspects only appear distorted because we believe and thus perceive them to be so. Were the false beliefs resolved, we might continue on with these things in joy and gratitude for their existence in our lives.

That Man “Thing”

For example, Joe, you as a man (or so we’ll assume with the name of “Joe”) have a thing between your legs called a penis.

Many men pretend that this thing is not there. They’re afraid to touch it like it’s going to bite them, they’ll grow hair on their palms, they’ll go blind, or God will send them straight to hell if it happens to become erect.

Lots of men grow big ol’ tummies as not to scar their eyesight should they catch even a peripheral glance of it. This increase in body fat serves to deepen the repression further because it causes issues which effect as a decrease in libido and impotence.

That people accept this is unsettling. A General would not be okay if there were a Private in his presence that refused to stand at attention. You shouldn’t be okay with it either.

You might yet disagree, Joe, but a penis is actually a pretty happenin’ thing; it’s a very human (and otherwise mammalian) thing. What makes it unhappenin’ and “unhuman” is a bunch of stupid ideas that you’ve been taught by the wacky religio-cultural traditions of our world.

They’d gotten people to believe their lies many long years ago, they’d enforced the lies in many traumatic ways, and the collective has carried the lies and trauma forward through the ages. But they’re just that: lies.

If you would take some time to look within, you would see this. You would see that you’ve been taught to shun your humanism for the selfish desires of others, at a major cost to you and to no benefit whatsoever.

Keep in mind that God did put that thing there, after all. So rather than seeing it as an inherent evil, try seeing it as part of a tool-based lesson.

Suppose you have an overeating eating disorder. Physically speaking, your tools are food, digestion, hunger, etc., and your lesson might be to substitute the fast-food and doughnuts for real food, to get off the sofa and go to the gym, and to stop working for your parents’ approval and do something that nourishes your soul. No lesson would be learned by going to an extreme such as having gastric bypass surgery or deciding that food is evil and then becoming anorexic.

The situation with your man-business is more or less the same. Learn to see it as a tool rather than an inherent curse. Stop repressing it’s needs, get in touch with yourself (inside, I mean, but outside is good, too), and use it how it was meant to be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

Your Spiritual Essence

Joe, you may have heard the saying that we’re not human beings who have spiritual experiences but spiritual beings who have human experiences.

We must then assume, if we don’t know, that there is some greater significance to being spirits embodied as humans than merely “getting through” and then, hopefully, going to heaven.

But many people don’t assume this, and so, for fear of going to hell for eternity while simultaneously feeling terrible guilt and believing themselves unworthy of heaven, they take on a “spiritual” identity. This can operate in different guises, but I’d like to tell you about a particular circumstance from my own life in which I had experienced this…

Just after having a spiritual awakening around ten years ago, I felt strongly compelled to get rid of most of my belongings. In this were my video games and consoles and about 200 CDs.

There were certainly other reasons this has happened that I won’t touch on right now, but it seem to me that it was partly due to a need to purge out discordant internal programs such as, “I am a spiritual person,” and, “I have to act like a spiritual person.”

I think I had detach from my earthly identity and act out enough of the “spiritual” identity to see that “being spiritual” is nonsense.

For, now, ten years hence, after having done a great deal of healing, I’m finding myself attracted to similar games and music again. This attraction is not in quite the same way, but it I’m unmistakably interested, nonetheless.

What I’ve come to see, Joe, is that I’m meant to be in touch with my spiritual nature, to deepen my connection with my true, spiritual Self and to learn Life’s spiritual lessons that only come in physical form—but I’m also here to honor those physically-oriented things that “click” with me.

Even if you’re not in the midst of a spiritual awakening, you’re still in the same boat because you are also a spiritual being having a human experience. If you truly have an issue that’s causing you to harm yourself or others, then you would do well to heal it. But if something you’re doing isn’t exactly “productive” or “divine” or whatever, so what?

Enjoy being a human being while being a human being. God’s not sending anyone to hell just because they enjoy playing Mario Kart or listening to The Offspring or kicking a soccer ball around or driving an expensive sports car. It’s far less about what you do than how you do it; than the perspective from which you do it.

Such Is How It Is Until It Isn’t

Misguided and prodded on by a messed up world culture, you, Joe, like everyone else, have bought into all sorts of silly ideas.

One example of this would be if you were to act as though it’s your personal responsibility to single-handedly save the environment by recycling everything, using less gas by shifting your car into neutral every time you drive down a hill, and so on.

While recycling and lessening your usage of gas and other similar behaviors are in their essence helpful, what’s not helpful at all is carrying the guilt that compels false responsibility and unhealthy behaviors.

It serves no one to be wasteful or destructive, but let’s be realistic: We’re human beings doing human things, and we will do things as we do them until we do them differently.

Be a human being, Joe. Drive a car if you need to drive a car. If a bike or a bus or a carpool with the neighbors truly works, fine. But trying to “save” is often the hard way, not because, say, our means aren't yet efficient enough, but because of the faulty internal programming it’s based on.

Do what feels right, not what your ego forces down your throat because government “authorities” have continued to guilt-trip you into believing that you are solely responsible for climate change.

And get this… It is only in being human—in accepting ourselves and Life as it is—that Life will gift us with the awareness of Real Solutions to the problems that actually exist.

For example, were you not totally fixated on the imaginary “problem” that ,Oil is a scarce commodity, and I have to be super careful how much I use, and blah, blah, blah, Life would begin to show you how The System is really designed and present you with alternate ways to more easefully work within The System while lessening your support of it.

Would enough people detach, The System would fail and alternate, more ideal means would proliferate.

Being human can be amazingly difficult. Sadly, most of this difficulty is completely unnecessary and occurs only because people are unable to accept their own humanity.

Freedom Is Your Birthright

We’ve all been taught to see with tunnel vision, Joe. We’ve all been taught limitation of personality, like Person A has to have traits 1, 2, and 3, and Person B has to have traits 4, 5, and 6, and Person C has to have traits 7, 8, and 9, and none can overlap or become the other, nor can any take on traits $, @, or }. God save he who dares to become Person V^ with traits 3, 16d, and %.

This is what we’ve been calling “normal,” and our society worships it only because everyone is so caught up in the lies. They fear accepting that everything they’ve learned and become is false, so they repress themselves and condemn and punish those who act with any degree of deviancy.

In reality, in truth behind all the facades, we’re all far more like Person V^ than Person A, B, or C. By “civilized” standards truly healthy people are anything but “normal,” yet “normal” in a society as distorted as ours is fantastically unhealthy.

We live in a society, Joe, where we’ve been taught things like drinking alcohol to in-toxic-ation is just dandy, and where it’s totally honorable for hundreds of thousands of teenagers to sign up to go off to foreign lands and murder, or be murdered by, “enemies” in the name of “freedom,” “peace,” and “God.”

But, for example, if someone dyes their hair bright green and then goes to church, people freak out about how awful the person is. “That is so disrespectful to God! She should be ashamed of herself!”

Is it? Should she? Or is it “so disrespectful to God” that most people are wallowing endlessly in a state of repression and fear of being true to themselves; of being the unique, creative, and free human beings God has intended each of us to be? (1)

Think about it: You don’t have to force a child to play or draw or sing or dance. The child does these things automatically and spontaneously.

What the child doesn’t do—what no child does—automatically and spontaneously is wake up at 7:00 am sharp Monday through Friday, eat the same breakfast, put on the same uniform, spend eight hours sitting at a desk while rehearsing his emotionally stifling standardization etiquette, and so on.

All such behaviors are forced and must be constantly reinforced lest they be lost and a reversion to freedom result.

Adults are nothing more than System-zombified children… Except those who we remember because they’d done something significant to improve the world: these being the same people who refused to let repression and standardization consume them.

Choose Humanism

We’re not human beings who have spiritual experiences but spiritual beings who have human experiences.

By all means, Joe, if you truly feel compelled to lead a path of abstinence that drives full-bore toward the spiritual, I’m not suggesting that be avoided—assuming you do it in a non-repressive manner.

This is probably not the case for you, however, because it’s not the case for most people. So have a human experience. Live your life at the level of consciousness you exist in, not fourteen levels higher. Welcome the spiritual into your life, but welcome in the human, too.

The latter is, after all, why you’re having a human experience: Not to run away from your humanness into what you imagine is “spirituality,” but to open to and integrate your true spiritual nature into your human form as you explore the unending diversity of physical existence.

You're human, Joe, so be human!

-----

(1) It’s only natural that people might argue of this point, “But bright green hair in church is so distracting.” Is it really? Or is the distraction the mental-emotional state from which people are viewing the situation that causes them to refuse acceptance of what is, to divert their attention, and to blame it judgmentally on “other”? If bright green hair were common, no one would think anything of it… Maybe when babies cry their mothers should put duct tape over their mouths or lock them in the car with closed windows until the service is over… A bit over-the-top, no? But increasingly unhealthy reactivity is what happens when we focus on solving effects rather than causes: “Let me try to control others, because I'm unable to control my own thoughts.”

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Truth: It's Beyond Belief

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness




“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”
--Carl Rogers

If you want the truth, you must release the belief that what you don’t know will be explainable in terms you already accept.


What the “truth” is doesn’t particularly matter for there are always greater truths and higher and wider perspectives.

It's just that, because belief creates perception, you'll only ever see higher and greater truths to the extent that you're free of the idea that what you now think you know is either an end in itself or a necessity to understanding what you don’t yet know.

At times you may have to learn a given thing in order to understand some other given thing, but many times it is essential to throw out what had been learned previously in order for the new to clarify.


To an ancient Grecian, a light bulb would be a miracle. The carrier of the light bulb would be considered godly. But there's neither miracle nor god. There’s merely ever-present electricity channeled through an appropriate medium that’s housed in glass.

The ancient Grecian could never understand the light bulb in terms of what he already knew.


In finance, spirituality, religion, history, astronomy, biology, or whatever, the same holds true: You may never be able to understand what is yet unknown to you by continuing to look at it in terms of what you think is true.


Simply give up your belief-attachments to all your imagined hows and whys and what-is-possible-and-what-is-nots—the very ones you now believe to be “the truth”—and you will begin seeing the deeper ways of life that have been in front of you all along.

...And of course, don't hold on to anything you learn too tightly because it's seeming validity is only relative to where you stand to look at it. It will change as you do.

Monday, April 22, 2019

“Cry for Me. Would You, Please?”

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Complaining.

Let’s cut to the chase.

Okay, well, maybe not. Because to chase something means to go after it. So in this case, the chase is actually complaining itself.

What we need to do is cut to the catch: an understanding that will put the mentality that drives complaining in its proper place.

The Brutal Truth

When a person complains, they are basically saying:

“Pity me. Save me. I am (perceiving myself to be) a helpless, worthless victim.”

If this sounds exaggerated, you can rest assured it’s not. As I’ve said elsewhere, I used to complain around 100% of the time I had my mouth open. Quite the opposite is now true, and a lot has been revealed to me in hindsight.

Our negative behaviors always have a brutal truth (or ten) hiding behind them.

Your Life Sucks, I Know

Suppose at work your boss told you that you have to do overtime for the next two weeks in order to satisfy a certain customer’s needs.

You find this frustrating as is, but worse is that not only did your boss not ask if you’re willing—he demanded it—you also know that your boss is pushing you because he’s trying to make up for a past mistake that he, not you, is responsible for. But victim that you perceive yourself to be, you smiled and replied to your boss, “Yeah. Okay. That’ll be fine.”

Inside you’re burning. Your work has become more difficult because you can’t stop thinking about what an ass your boss is. At lunch you complain with coworkers who’d also been pulled in. After work you hit the bar and complain with a few of the regulars. At home you complain to your spouse and make some less-than-positive social media posts about your lousy life. In between all else you complain in your own head, and when you go to bed you dream that you’re being whipped by your boss.

The next day you wake up, still annoyed, make a few “choice” comments about your job to your spouse, and then go off to work. Five minutes into your twenty-minute drive, someone cuts you off and forces you into another lane. Your inner-burning intensifies, now about something else.

At work, you complain to those in nearby cubicles about the dickweed that nearly killed you just minutes earlier. They naturally take your side and complain with you about lousy drivers in their lives and the multitude of other injustices life serves out to them undeservedly.

Birds of a feather flock together, so there are always plenty of people for you to complain to and who will complain right back. And so it goes.

The Victim Conspiracy

Did that make you tired just by reading it? Because it made me feel tired just by writing it. And indeed, it’s exhausting stuff, but this is what complaining is like.

Complaining stems from a victim mentality. This is a very intoxicating form of self-identity (and self-absorption) that causes the carrier to constantly perceive the things of life, often even the harmless things, as hazardous, as though all of life is conspiring to hurt the complainer.

Since the outer world mirrors the inner, this conspiracy theory does actually hold some water to the extent that life gives us all what we fear and believe: Victims must necessarily perceive perpetrators.

A complainer must be linked to this perception, a complainer must see life as on the offensive, because without offenders the victim mentality, and thus the “who I am” self-identity, could not be upheld.

Victimization must at least appear to happen in order to support the (illusory) perception, in order to uphold (false) beliefs and fears, in order to maintain the Law of Free Will.

Where Are They Now?

Complaining doesn’t happen in the moment of an unpleasing incident. Rather, it happens seconds, days, and decades or more later. (“Men would be just fine without women. Eve bit the apple first.”)

Of any given person, place, thing, or situation for which you complain about…

…where is that person right now?
  • Another room?
  • A different country?
  • Six feet under?
…where is that place right now?
  • Up the street?
  • The next town over?
  • The other side of the world?
…where is that thing right now?
  • In the garage?
  • At work?
  • In a landfill?
…where is that situation right now?
  • In a history book?
  • Potentially somewhere in the future?
  • Back when you were a teenager?

Chances are extremely high that whatever it is you’re complaining about is not currently in your life experience. It’s therefore directly affecting you in no way whatsoever, right now.

This means that your greatest enemy is your own thinking. You have a given experience (or hear of someone else's), your thoughts and perceptions make you a victim to it, and then, by way of complaining, you get off (if subconsciously) to perpetuating that victimhood.

It’s no mistake that you are at the center of all of your life’s problems. For the form of victimhood in which complaining is concerned is happening is in your mind only.

The real problem is you.

And how’s this for irony? …You go to work, unpleasant things happen so you become miserable, and then you go home and complain. In other words, you’re still at work! You’d been so annoyed because you had to work overtime, and now you’re working double-overtime! And that schlep who’d cut you off in the morning—he’s long gone. But you, you’re still dragging him around, cutting off your own life!

Wasting Hate

“Okay. So, maybe I complain a lot; maybe I’m being negative. But my boss is a jackass! And do you realize how many shitty drivers are out there?”

Stop blaming others. Yes, people can be jackasses and people can be shitty drivers (and sometimes both). But they’re in your life primarily because you draw them to you. You want a reason to complain, but because the causal reason is unconscious to you and because it's not true to who you really are, Life manifests an effectual situation into your experience in an effort to make the causal reason visible for the sake of healing.

Until you accept that your blaming and complaining is hurting you far more than it’s helping and then you do something to change, your life is going to keep on sucking.

If blaming and complaining were actually helping, don’t you think circumstances would have resolved by now? Don’t you think you’d feel better? Don’t you think you’d have less and less to stress and blame and complain about if your “venting” truly vented your pent-up agitation?

Hence, why you can complain to fifty people and could complain just as passionately to fifty more: because whatever you’re looking to get—pity, sympathy, release, satisfaction, justification, a savior—it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t help, or it’s positive but your negativity is pushing it further away.

Venting

Make no mistake: It is perfectly fine to vent sometimes. But when people make a living of bitching, pissing, and moaning about countless things in life, especially repeatedly and over the long haul, they prove that they have no conceptualization for or ability to actually accept, release, and move on.

That is venting: Taking a moment to unload in a non-destructive way and then being done with it. In clarity, a person can accept their circumstances as is and choose empowerment to deal with things as they are or to make them better.

You Are the Puzzle, So You Must Be All of the Pieces

The other thing about complaining is this: No one gets you the way you do.

If people complain with you, although they may seem sympathetic, they are involving themselves because they see you as an opportunity to vent their own frustrations.

If they show pity, it’s because they don’t understand that a victim makes his- or herself a victim—it’s not imposed by any external force. If they could actually see this, they’d never fall prey to your false, poor-me identity or offer pity because it’s uncalled for.

Otherwise, the one to whom you complain may get you to the extent that, say, you and a coworker have both been “forced” to work overtime and both of you hate it, but the fact that you are two, separate individuals (even if the best of friends and lovers) means that there is necessarily a disconnect.

You complain because you’re looking for inner-peace; you’re looking to be heard and validated. Trouble is, no one external carries the uniquely-shaped pieces of fulfillment that interlock specifically with your emptiness. Unless you wish to go on complaining forever, you as the complainer must therefore find what you seek within.

Make It Real

If you’re a complainer and are reading this, do you get it now? Do you see where you stand with this? Is it now clear to you why complaining is useless (unless you want to remain a victim)? How it’s only serving to hurt you? How it’s you hurting yourself?

No one can do for you what you have to do for you: become your own source of fulfillment, of empowerment, of peace, of happiness.

And you can do this, you do have what you need within you.

Life is one; life is whole. Whatever you’re carrying that’s negative, there’s necessarily a positive polarity to match. It’s just that if you want this positive then you have to learn to give it your attention like you currently give your attention to the negative.

The quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” isn’t offered lightly. What appears to us as real is only as real as each of us make it.

If you want your reality to be positive, then you have to make it that way.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Gambler's Bane

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



A lack of self-worth.

This is the gambler’s bane.

There is nothing more damaging to a gambler than believing he’s unworthy of prosperity.

Indeed, this type of gambler might as well quit while he’s ahead. Because, no, he may not have won anything yet, but in believing that he’s unworthy, well, it can only go downhill from there.

Self-Sabotage: A Self-Activated yet Inadvertent “Death” Sentence

One of the most significant issues that pairs with a lack of self-worth is self-sabotage.

But here’s the thing: In a great many cases, most people don’t know they’re about to self-sabotage when they’re about to self-sabotage or that they’re self-sabotaging when they’re in the midst of self-sabotaging. Sometimes they know and stubbornly speak or act anyway, but usually not.

In general, most gambling is a form of unwitting self-sabotage. It’s people believing I’m unworthy of prosperity and then unconsciously acting out this belief—and losing in return.

Scratch-offs

When it comes to playing the lottery, consider the ticket machine at the local grocery store. You can get scratch-off tickets for $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, and $20 denominations. The odds of winning (at least here in Pennsylvania) are approximately 1 in 4.5, and the higher the ticket denominations, the greater the prizes. (To note, many of the winners at lower denominations are “free tickets”… So, even many winners are basically losers.)

Now, instead of the vast majority of people thinking, I’m feeling like a winner, baby! and then dumping in, say, $500 dollars they’d saved up to buy 25 consecutive $20 tickets all on the same roll, they’re more like, Hmmm… I’ll spend $40 this week, and I’ll buy a bunch of $1, $2, and $3 dollar tickets from an assortment of rolls. The $10’s and the $20’s cost quite a bit considering that, gosh, I could only get a few tickets, and if I don’t win anything, what a waste of money.

So then, after purchasing tickets in such a way as to offer nearly the lowest possible probability of winning, they scratch their tickets off and, except for maybe a small win here or there, the vast majority are losers. (The top prizes go higher, but even $20 to $100 wins on lower denomination tickets are quite rare.)

Wash, rinse, repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Week. After week. After week.

If people would have straight up bought the 25 consecutive $20 tickets all on the same roll, they’d most likely have won back a significant amount more money than they’d put down. This not only because the potential winnings are a lot higher and because 25 consecutive tickets with a 1 in 4.5 win potential makes winning virtually guaranteed, but because doing as much would imply (at least in most cases) that the buyers believe they are worthy of winning.

Take note:
  1. The buyers believe they’re worthy and so resonate with winning,
  2. they’re willing to take a bigger financial risk, and
  3. and they have a win-oriented strategy.
Life rewards those who align themselves with the rewards they seek.

Now take this idea a step further and imagine if everyone played like this. If everyone who plays the lottery decided tomorrow that they deserved to win and only played the $20 tickets. I can’t help but think that the governments (the ones who run the game) would be f-u-c-k-e-d in a hurry. They’re depending on people to act like worthless victims, to self-sabotage and thus buy cheap—and then lose—repeatedly. Cheap is largely where they make their money.

Oh, and they’re totally banking on the fact that the low-stakes ticket buyers are going to continue buying cheap tickets because they know people of perceived low self-worth don’t have the most thrilling lives and will get addicted to the dopamine hits they get every time they have a ticket to scratch. What did I win!? What did I win!? They will lose repeatedly, and losing sucks, but, oh, the feel of anticipation!

Casinos

Casinos work similar to the lottery. In the high-stakes areas, although people can and do lose more because they have to gamble with higher amounts, they can and do also win more.

In the low-stakes areas, however—where the vast majority of gamblers play—is where casinos make a significant portion of their money. This is where thousands and millions of people play who believe they’re worthless and therefore aren’t willing to bet big to win big. They go sit at the penny slots (and other low-stakes games) and collectively gamble away countless billions of dollars.

Psychologically, “poor lil me” gamblers can’t imagine going to the casino and spending, say, $400 or $1000 but only having a couple of pulls. They thus stick to the low-stakes games thinking that with a few hundred more pulls their chances of winning big are higher… And soooo many dopamine hits!

The chances of periodically winning a few bucks may be increased compared to the higher stakes games, but the design—especially nowadays when everything is rigged electronically and can be ultra-easily monitored and manipulated—is such that the players are more likely to go home empty-handed.

That said, once again imagine if everyone abruptly cleared out of the low-stakes areas and instead spent big money on the high-stakes games. The house would be in deep s-h-i-t.

Penny slots may be penny slots, but with many thousands of people pouring in millions of collective dollars per day and winning far lesser amounts, that’s a lot of frickin’ dough the casinos are raking in.

Distortion-driven

What’s interesting about all this is that most gamblers actually gamble because they believe they’re unworthy.

If they felt worthy, they wouldn’t self-sabotage and therefore wouldn’t play the games the way they do. In fact, most gamblers would cease being interested in gambling at all.

If they felt worthy, rather than imaging that I’m not making big money any other way, so hopefully I’ll get lucky, they’d go out and make “luck.” This is to say, they wouldn’t have such self-demoralizing beliefs, and so they would naturally be empowered to make money in a legit, growth-oriented, satisfying way.

By all means, if some people really do enjoy gambling, so be it. If they’re not using it as a tool of escape or self-destruction or some such thing, I haven’t any argument against it. (My sense with this being that the people who stay would be much more so those who play real games, not those who sit at slot machines while mindlessly pulling levers and drinking cocktails for 8 hours straight.)

The trouble is in the distortions carried by most people who are currently involved in gambling. They use gambling as a way out and harm themselves and others, if only indirectly, in the process.

The Bigger Picture

While we’re here, it’s worth taking a minute to look at the situation from a wider perspective.

The more one wishes to win (or to simply be prosperous in life in general), the more they’re going to have to believe in themselves and their inherent worth.

However, this is not to say that winning is directly correlated to self-worth.

For example, the stories are plentiful in which people live humdrum lives (a common sign of beliefs of worthlessness) and win mega super millions—only for their lives to go to complete shit. Sure, on the news just after their win they’d said a bunch of nice things they’d do with the money. But time and again winners’ lives nosedive into oblivion.

Even if these people truly believe they deserve big money, maybe they don’t believe they deserve the abundance that would naturally follow; maybe they believe money is bad and selfish people are going to hate them and attack them for it; maybe they believe mo’ money, mo’ problems.

Generalities can be given as I’ve done here, but specifics are something that each person must discover within themselves.

Maybe someone hadn’t had any positive beliefs at all but they’d made a soul choice to experience a large financial gain and then a total collapse. Or maybe in a different lifetime they’d been a successful bank robber and this lifetime is their returned karma.

So while internal resonance with worthlessness does play a significant role in a gambler’s behavior, winning and losing, on any scale, can certainly have other implications.

It’s Up To You

I don’t feel there’s anything inherently evil about gambling.

If no harm results and it gets peoples’ jollies off to play high-stakes Texas Hold’em, so be it. If no harm results and some friends want to get together every Friday night, throw in a few dollars each, and play Blackjack, so be it.

Gambling is not the problem, nor is money.

The problem is the pervasive, low self-worth distortions within individuals and the collective and the way the gambling industry takes excessive advantage of this.

If you’re honest with yourself, I’m sure you will be able to figure out how you fit into this, assuming you do. As always, it’s up to you, the individual, to discover and heal your own self-destructive programming.

Maybe gambling gets you a few extra bucks, but at what cost?

Surely, your wallet isn’t the only thing feeling a pain of lack…

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Pain: Sign Language from Life Itself

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Have you ever been in pain?

Has your life ever been a pain?

Yes and yes, I’m sure.

And why do you suppose this pain has existed?

Because...
  • ...your pain is penance for your inherent sinfulness?
  • ...pain is what you get for being stupid?
  • ...pain is simply a part of life?
  • ...there aren’t enough OSHA regulations to keep us safe?
  • ...we don’t pay enough tax money to create effective enough government programs that would bring about greater well-being?

These may all be true in their own way, so take your pick, if any seem particularly resonant with you. For regardless, you’re going to perceive your experiences of pain as the results of whatever reasons you believe their causes to be.

If you have any wish, though, to consider that one of the most frequent causes of pain is entirely different than anything you’ve probably ever been told, then read on.

Providing Value

Still here?

Great. I guess that means I now have to provide you with something of value.

Here it is. Here is the truth about pain that makes all other causes of pain nearly irrelevant:

Pain is an indicator of what not to do.

Whoa! Captain Obvious at the helm!

Surely, there’s must be something more, something of value, right?

Hmmm. Well, that’s quite valuable, but if you insist on something further…

Rules of Engagement

Here are 3 very important details about life:
  1. Life is inherently positively-oriented, wants the best for you, and helps you to experience the best.
  2. You create your life experience using a combination of conscious thinking and subconscious programming.
  3. Life cannot directly interfere with your choices.
Item number 1 is very, very hard to see if you believe, for example, that pain is penance for your inherent sinfulness, because of too few OSHA regulations, and other such things.

Your sight of the truth will be nil because all of these lines of thinking imply either that you’re a worthless sack of crap or that life is inherently dangerous and you must protect, protect, protect if you want to be safe. In other words, all you will see are your own false beliefs and fears, and neither are positively-oriented.

As for item number 2, if you’re conscious thoughts are negatively-based, it means your subconscious programming is negatively-based. (You wouldn’t perceive falsely or jump to fear unless prior programming were telling you to do so.) You are thus going to continually create a life experience in which what you see “proves” your false beliefs and is a trigger for your fears.

Mind you, this will be your experience. And it is one that is purely perceptual.

Consider: It is not unsafe to drive without a seatbelt. Many, many people perceive that it is, but it is not. Because the fact of the matter is, unless someone is in a car accident or driving so wildly that they can’t stay seated, driving without a seatbelt is 100% harmless. (Even in untoward circumstances, being in a seatbelt has not always guaranteed the least harmful outcome.)

So while one person may ride without a seatbelt in total panic and fear for their life, another may be in a state of complete calm. The experience each has, no matter how seemingly real, is about what’s inside.

In terms of item number 3, you’re choosing what is false and negative, consciously and subconsciously, and Life is not allowed to directly wake you from your slumber. You may not like what you’re dreaming, no, you may hate it passionately. But it is of your choosing, and as long as you chose it the better part of Life will remain in abeyance, unable to show you item number 1, that it really does have your best interest in mind.

Luckily for all those who cannot be shown what’s up directly, Life is allowed to show them what’s up indirectly.

The questions then become: Who has eyes to see? Who has ears to hear?

Success and Failure

People are so willing to acknowledge their successes.
“Ahhh. Would you look at this? I’ve done some nice work.”

“Finally, I have a college degree. Now I’m a worthwhile human being.”
But their perspective very much changes when they fail or when ends don’t meet.
“Dammit! It broke again! They make shit so cheap these days.”

“Why the hell did she tell me to meet her here if she wasn’t even going to show up?”
So, too, do people often get miserable when situations aren’t about success or failure, per se, but, in a different way of saying it, whether or not life is easeful or painful.
“Oh, I did it again. I am such a freakin’ idiot.”

“For cryin’ out loud! This is the third time today that I banged my elbow! This house is too damn small.”
Do you see what I see? Do you see how when “the good” occurs people are willing to claim themselves as the creators of those experiences, but when “the bad” occurs people want to either place the creation of that pain on someone or something else or blame themselves merely as incompetent?

When was the last time you heard someone say,
“Ouch! I bit my tongue! But maybe my Higher Self is using my body to guide me to avoid speaking the angry thoughts I’ve been thinking about saying to the neighbor.”

“Oh, hell, the rearview mirror just fell off the windshield when I tried to adjust it. Maybe Life is telling me I need to take more time to look into my repressed past in order to heal the cause of the problems I’ve been having lately.”

Pain’s Value

What I’m saying here may seem ridiculous to you, but I can assure you it is not fictional.

Read that one again about the bitten tongue. The next time you bite your tongue, ask yourself what you were thinking either when it happened or just prior. Most likely, you were not thinking, Ahhh. I’m so happy and in love with life; more likely, The next time I see him I’m going to give him a piece of my mind!

Maybe you won’t get it the first time, but if you put in a little effort, I’m sure you’ll see that I’m not making this stuff up.

And be sure to use the wittiness of Life to your benefit.

We commonly use the saying, “Bite your tongue,” when telling another not to say the negative thing they want to. Life, your Higher Self, God, or whatever you want to call The One Who Makes It Happen is neither stupid nor some aloof entity that doesn’t know anything about you. It knows everything and will spontaneously manifest experiences for you, through you, using metaphors, to tell you almost exactly what is up. Again, It can’t tell you directly, but if you’re thinking, I’m going to curse him out, and then you bite your tongue, the message really can’t get much more obvious.

Or consider this next example. You'll notice the connection isn't as obvious as the previous one, but, as a signal of warning, it's not that far from:

You’re going the wrong way. Maybe you’re consistently eating poorly and developing an illness, maybe you’re working on a project that isn’t aligned with your better judgment, or maybe whatever. The point is that what you’re doing is not in your best interest and you would do well to reverse course before the accumulation of your thoughts, words, and/or actions reaches a critical mass, a negative “event” results, and not only has your effort failed but you’ve been set back severely.

During the development period, were you aware enough, you might notice that you hear an increase in car horns and alarms, even insofar as the frequency of your hearing them is in proportion to the rate with which you move along. Or maybe you’re trying to design your own website and since beginning your computer has repeatedly been flashing virus warnings.

Unaware, you might think that horns beep and alarms woop excessively because people are crazy or that virus warnings keep arising because your computer is a dumb piece of garbage. While there might be some truth to such thoughts, the greater truth could well be that Life is trying to warn you that, should you continue on your current path, you will end up in significant pain.

And if you’re already in pain?

Nothing changes. Ask about it. Figure it out, whatever “it” may be.
  • “Why are my teeth so sensitive?”
  • “Why does everyone blame me for their woes?”
  • “Why do I have so much trouble with money?”
  • “Why did I fall off my bike today?”
Whatever your pain is—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, circumstantial—it’s not an accident. (Not even car accidents are accidents.) Your pain is a reflective guidepost waiting for you to “read” so that you can heal old, internal wounds and realign yourself with who and what you truly are.

Pain’s Other Uncommon Purpose

In saying all this, I would like to make a distinction.

When we do things in life that are worthwhile, it’s not uncommon that we manifest crappy (and sometimes obscenely crappy) experiences in attempt to block ourselves from success to “prove” our ego’s perception of unworthiness. Yet they are these very obstacles we must overcome in order to move forward.

There is a difference, then, between manifesting hardship when burning out old egoic programming and hardship manifesting as Life’s way of saying, “No!”

An example of manifesting hardship could be going out to live your dreams and then having several major incidents arise that seemingly deny you access. These incidents are more or less of a right-of-passage that allow you to quickly overcome limiting aspects of your ego so your endeavor can be successful.

You may or may not need to ask why these things are happening in order to move beyond them. (Although, personally, I would ask since I ask the cause about everything that pains me.) Assuming you don’t reject the experiences and go into a depression and give up on life, your very passage through is the overcoming.

I note these egoic events as “manifesting hardship” because they come about due to lower, humanly, self-causation. Although you don’t do it consciously, you (egoically-identified) are manifesting your hardship.

On the other hand, an example of hardship manifesting (note the word reversal) might be you desiring to sell your car (imagining the public bus will serve just fine) but then a tire goes flat, the windshield cracks, and the E-brake light in the dashboard won’t turn off (“STOP!!!”).

I note these as “hardship manifesting” because they are provided by a higher, spiritual power. These are not caused consciously but superconsciously. Although uncomfortable, pain—and, moreover, it’s oft-consequent suffering—is the best tool Life has for waking us from asleep.

Be aware that in giving these two types and examples of hardship I’m not attempting to offer any definitive line by which to define one type of hardship versus the other.

It’s always possible, for instance, that someone could believe they’re going to work their dream job, experience a few setbacks, and, lacking self-inquiry, also believe that the setbacks are their right-of-passage. The truth could be that the setbacks are actually Life attempting to block their passage because their “dream job” is founded on a desperate need for parental approval.

The development of intuition and the practice of regular self-inquiry are therefore most useful tools. Opening to the guidance Life provides is one thing, but being clear as to what the signs mean is another, and both require inner-clarity.

Hardship Is a Circumstance; Pain Is a Perspective.

The suggested causes of pain that I'd offered at the start (i.e.: pain is penance, etc.) are quite relative. Were a believer to remove those beliefs and any associated guilt, unworthiness, etc., they'd see that there'd simply been nothing to their seeming reality but external life reflecting their internal state. Their whole experience would change because they had changed.

Other situations may lean more toward an “absolute.” For example, suppose a child is born with a birth defect that causes great hardship. The cause may be something such as past-life karma or the desire of a soul for that experience. Although these sorts of circumstances don't fit with the examples given at the start, the fact remains that there is something to be learned by all who're involved through the pain. Unlike the relative, belief-related pains, although the hardship may never subside, the pain and suffering can subside when the perspective about the pain is altered for the positive.

Ready?

You might now see the tragedy of our world culture in seeking every means imaginable (and unimaginable) to allay our pains by external, artificial means: our pains are the very things that, given adequate attention, will allow us to heal their causes and thus reduce and often even end them forever.

So, what do say? Do you want to carry on as you've been, or are you willing to at least give this a try, to take a deeper look into what your pain may really be about?

What have you got to lose, anyway, but pain—and a falsely-identified ego that takes pleasure in it?

Monday, April 1, 2019

On Pseudohumanism

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



“In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few.”
--Shunryu Suzuki

What Is It?

Pseudohumanism is the path of life walked by the pseudohuman.

The pseudohuman derives his name—well, I have derived his name—from his unshakeable need to label all inconvenient and non-“authority”-conforming areas of life as “pseudo-”, or fake. He is thus labeled as he labels.

To elaborate: A pseudohuman is an individual who maintains all the seen and unseen physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual characteristics of the rest of humanity (for, of course, he cannot do otherwise) yet is so willfully stubborn in his limited intellectual malaise that he imagines all non-“authority”-conforming ideas to be ignorant, if not completely asinine. He lives as though the factuality, or any potential factuality, of many of the experiences and much of the knowledge of his fellow man is utterly erroneous.

The pseudohuman clings ardently to the mainstream: sometimes to the experimental scientific method, sometimes to the mysteries of religious dogma, and sometimes, in utter cognitive dissonance, to both. Whatever the case, he praises “the acceptable view” and rejects, sometimes wantonly, any alternative fields and their proponents.

(Ironically, a phrase the pseudohuman likes to use toward those who offer open-minded suggestion is, “Think for yourself.”)

“Pseudosciences,” They’re Often Called

Shamanism is one such field the pseudohuman abhors.

The majority of Western man has imagined the shaman—“an uneducated, bush-dwelling, old man”—to be a crackpot for claiming he can talk to spirits. Mainstream science won’t acknowledge the validity of such things—indeed, they’ll touch nothing whatsoever related to consciousness or “life beyond”—and religions will only accept such notions, if at all, to the extent that these notions align with the their highly questionable, cherry-picked dogma.

Likewise, the numerologist, the psychic, and the astrologer are rejected.

Even should the pseudohuman dare to read one such a practitioner’s report and notice that aspects of it align with their life, the report may be seen as “strikingly similar” or “weirdly coincident” yet without any legitimacy. The religious pseudohuman’s ignorance is further revealed in his inability to perceive the metaphorical passages of scripture that relate to these very topics (of which there are countless).

Then there are those with whom one might reasonably think a pseudohuman would associate with more kindly, such as physicists, lovers of thinking and the scientific method.

But they’re not always kind. Indeed, sometimes they’re fantastically mean-spirited because some of these physicists speak of such things as the electric universe theory and quantum physics. Granted, the alternate theorists don’t have all the answers; yet when the conventional theorists choose to lash out at the former they seem not to notice that they themselves haven’t all the answers either.

A Lack of Essential Abilities

Certainly, some of the people who practice in any of these alternate fields are quacks. These areas are no less immune to skewing than any other field since the results are a matter of the practitioner’s inner state, and thus perception, and their willingness—or lack thereof—to pursue the truth at any cost.

The pseudohuman doesn’t seem to have the ability to decipher between the quack and the honest practitioner, however, because his skills are poor in balanced skepticism and discernment.

To be skeptical is lean toward disbelief but to consider something with equanimity while seeking further evidence before drawing a conclusion, if drawing one at all. To be discerning is to call on every resource available from intellectual knowledge to experience to intuition and then make a judgment, all the while acknowledging that any given judgment may be inaccurate.

Pseudohumans can’t use either of these tools because their deliberate ignorance blinds their perceptual capacities from seeing any potential plausibility in other ideas. Truth or no, alternative ideas are minimally entertained, if at all, and so the formulation of well-rounded hypotheses and conclusions is completely inhibited.

Spoon-Fed Minds

The information required to devise reasonable theories can often be obtained with relatively minimal effort. Meaning, evidence and facts are, not always but commonly enough, either experiential upon a little bit of experimentation or can be found in prior documentation.

Yet the pseudohuman won’t do the research or self-experimentation. Maybe some, maybe enough to justify, say, “I read about it,” but hardly enough to challenge their beliefs. They then drop on any fields they see as inconvenient the willy-nilly label of “pseudoscience” (and some other less kind words) in order to justify that further research would be a waste of time and energy.

But again, in many cases there is documentation available to explain phenomena being discussed. Or if the collected data does not provide cold, hard proof, at the very least it may well still be adequate enough that no counter-theory can adequately debunk the evidence given.

If you’re not a pseudohuman and you talk to one, they might argue something like, “You’re wrong. After all, what you’re saying is contrary to what that Harvard Ph.D. recently said regarding the subject.”

With all due respect to those who are well-educated and do good work, at the same time it’s sometimes like, “Why do you need a Harvard Ph.D. to tell you what is or is not true that countless other non-“authoritatively”-validated and -promoted individuals and groups have been providing data on for years or decades or centuries?”

And what ever happened to experience? How has human experience become a marginal scribble to the dictates of “authoritative” intellectualism?

Newton didn’t get hit on the head with an apple and say, “This is bullshit! No one has discovered gravity yet, so how can this apple fall on my head?” To the contrary, the apple fell on Newton’s head and it caused him to realize that there is a property of nature that expresses itself as gravity. The ultra-obvious fact of the matter has been smothering us since Day1.

Pseudohumans are so busy waiting for “authority” to spoon-feed them the intellectual answers to everything that, not only do they thrust away so many of the truths of life that are already right before them, they remain blind to all the inconsistencies and contradictions within the information they already accept as “true.”

Causation and Life Path Choices

The most significant cause of pseudohumanism is an individual’s desperation for love, approval, validation, etc. that he’d
  1. never had (e.g.: absent parents),
  2. had to struggle for (e.g.: parents giving far more attention to their work than their children), and/or
  3. had for a time during childhood but then lost (e.g.: upon the birth of younger siblings).
In any case, the child would imagine that he is unworthy unless he can prove himself to “authority,” or “they who know” and “they who have the power to give me what I most need.”

In this culture of “authority” worship, the child becomes drawn to prominent figures within science and/or religion (“father”), the two fields claiming to know everything. (Note that I’m focusing on information-based love, approval, and so on. There are many more areas where a child might look for the same, an example being a child who seeks to prove his manliness by becoming a fireman or a soldier.)

The ultimate aim is to receive “authority’s” approval, attention, etc., and this is done by following their lead. But of course all gains are transitory and so there must be a constant effort to remain worthy.

As this individual follows this path, ever is he forging his perceived identity, false though it is. Eventually he might well come to be in the position of “authority” himself, having both peers and followers who place their expectations upon him of “who he is.” Now he has become like an approval magnet—at least as long as he doesn’t change his mind!

Culture and various institutions further support the pseudohuman’s need of identity. Should he receive, for example, academic tenure at a university, although the claim of tenure is to promote free thinking, it seems the truth is quite contradictory: tenured staff are effectively beholden to the status quo and the desires of the biggest financial powers behind the institutions.

Passive Pseudohumanism

What I’ve not yet mentioned is a more passive kind of pseudohuman. This type of individual still desires love, approval, etc. and carries a perceived lack of self-worth, but he is not quite so ferocious in his beliefs or in defending them.

I’ve been no stranger to this, myself.

One way this manifested for me is that if something had come up in conversation about, say, a shaman talking with spirits, I would have laughed it off and said it was a silly thing.

However, I really had no idea. I’d never done research, I hadn’t any experience, nor had I talked to anyone who had themselves experienced or witnessed such things. I was basically nothing more than a parrot repeating whatever those around me were saying and what I thought they would like me to say in attempt to fit in.

The passive pseudohuman seems to be more expressive of the unworthiness trait than the active trait. What I mean is that although the aggressive types necessarily carry a lack of self-worth, their dominant behavior is “leveling up” in the world, unlike the passive types who lean more into the “I’m too much of a failure to achieve” victim mentality.

The passive pseudohuman is so overwhelmed by his perceived unworthiness that he simply can’t muster up the motivation to achieve, whereas the active pseudohuman is quite forward, if not at times belligerent, in attempt to hide from view any conscious awareness that his true fuel is, likewise, a belief of unworthiness.

Self-Made

This is the pseudohuman and the way of life that is pseudohumanism.

Unwilling to allow one’s self to be fully human in the context of the Complete Reality of Life, one labels small and large chunks of Reality (if potential) as “pseudo-” and thus removes them from his or her field of awareness. The pseudohuman willfully chooses ignorance and limitation.

As life is naught but a mirror, the one who labels becomes the labeled.

Why the Explanation?

As I wrote this I got wondering, Why am I writing this? Few pseudohumans will probably even read it. And as I wrote further I noticed I wasn’t offering anything solution-wise. I kept writing, nevertheless, because something seemingly needed to be said.

(Interestingly, although I’ve written much of this feeling uncertain, shortly after I’d begun two instances unexpectedly came up in my life related to Newton, the apple, and gravity. My above comments about the same were actually a primary trigger for this whole article, so I assumed those occurrences to be synchronicities telling me to “keep going.”)

What I’ve come to see is that maybe this isn’t written for pseudohumans. Maybe, rather, it’s for those who are open-minded and can accept alternate lines of thinking but haven’t been able to wrap their minds around pseudohuman behavior.

Dealing with these people can be very frustrating—especially with the active types—but awareness as to their game and why they behave as they do makes handling situations involving them easier. Seeing them as they are can help foreshadow likely trouble prior to interacting with them; for this reason, the feeling that conversation is necessary will subside and walking away if conversation begins becomes a much more reasonable option.

We must always pay heed, though, to the particulars of our own reactivity to these people. I’ve personally come a long way in being able to better deal with the more active/aggressive pseudohumans, but I find that from time to time an aspect of the “Listen to me because I know I’m right and you’re wrong (dammit!)” programming comes up. In these cases, there’s little if any desire for validation from “authority,” but there is a general desire for the validation of my self-worth by being “right.”

Whether you or I, we can learn this, that, and the other thing about how people operate, but if we ourselves are screwed up, we’re going to repeatedly find ourselves engaged in reactivity. Becoming aware of and purging out every internal trigger is the only path to true resolution.

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If you’re interested in reading a rant I wrote about this topic prior to coming up with the idea of pseudohumanism, you can read “Selective Ignorance: A Rant”. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Pray Like You Mean It

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



The other day I saw on a religious document the suggestion to pray to God for an increase in understanding, wisdom, and so on.

This reminded me of the Serenity Prayer:
God,
grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
I think these prayers are good in theory and intention, but it seems most people remain unaware that such prayers must be accompanied by some type of action. These prayers must parallel a willingness to see and accept the truth, whatever it may be, and a willingness to change, whatever the seeming cost.

Similar is how people say, “Why worry when you can pray?” all the while worrying even though they pray regularly.

The reason for the similarity is that, in the vast majority of cases, prayer doesn’t automatically alleviate worry—or bestow understanding, wisdom, or whatever else might be prayed for.

If we want something, by all means we can pray about it—praise, request, affirm, be grateful—whatever feels right to any of us as individuals. But we must realize that we also have to make sure that we are making ourselves open and worthy of deserving our request.

Understanding

Let’s say you feel ignorant and would like greater understanding.

You might begin by seeking intellectual growth. This isn’t inherently a problem, of course, for the intellect is an excellent tool of learning.

But maybe a year or three-quarters of a lifetime (or twenty-seven lifetimes) thereafter, you might come to realize that the intellect is quite limited and cannot provide you the understanding you seek.

You realize the physical world cannot give you what you want and feel compelled toward the spiritual. Here you decide to pray for understanding. But let’s hope this is not all you do.

For it is here where you must also do something. You can’t just sit on the laurels of your former lifestyle and pretend that God is going to drop the secrets of the universe into your lap because you’ve decided to regularly pray for as much.

If you want to understand life, then you must first understand yourself, from which true understanding will be given in equal measure.

This means you must self-inquire, meditate, heal old wounds, and so on. You must quiet your mind and develop impartiality. Otherwise you will be too overwhelmed by an endless cacophony of thoughts and too filled with judgments and false ideas to perceive what is really going on.

Your cup is already full, so you must empty it out before you can fill it anew.

Wisdom

Much the same could be said about wisdom as understanding except, so I feel, that understanding is more related to the mind while wisdom is more related to experience.

In this Western culture of ours, many people have come to believe that wisdom comes with age. A little wisdom is likely, but what is gained is mostly street smarts and knowledge. Because if wisdom came with age, this planet would hardly appear as it does to be going to hell in a handbasket. (More on that in a minute.)

Many have also come to believe that wisdom is gained through book learning and by listening to book-learned teachers. I’ve had a fair bit of experience with Roman Catholicism, and I can tell you that they say virtually nothing about personal experience. They might use phrases such as, “Receive Holy Communion and feel God dwelling within you,” but all such talk is empty; clergy speaks as though they have any idea what it’s like to feel God within them and as if any “good Catholic” can just receive Communion and have some blissful, loving feeling of God-oneness. Catholicism is so very much about the intellectual gathering of religious information, as though God is something to be conceptualized and categorized.

Unfortunately for all those who are hooked into this game, wisdom is not an intellectual knowing. You could read every book and scientific article and every piece of scripture on the planet but be none the wiser.

Wisdom is a spiritual quality, and it is born of self-awareness and the lessons learned from hard life experience. Intellect will be useful along the way, but so will be smarts, intuition, and the plain old struggle of trial and error.

To acquire wisdom, you must be willing to see all that is distorted in your thought, speech, action, and life circumstances and be willing to change yourself and your circumstances appropriately—and then do just that.

Such work is very difficult for most people because they’re generally quite stubborn and reluctant to take personal responsibility for the woes of their lives.

Vernon Law said, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” If you want wisdom, or “the lesson,” it is in passing the tests that life places before you.

How will you know when you’re being tested? You already know the tests. Maybe not all of them, but that hardly matters; you’ll come to each test at their appropriate times. I don’t doubt, though, that, perhaps with very few exceptions, people have some idea, “I have a drinking problem,” or, “I’m too critical of others,” or, “I’m lazy at work,” or, “I take too much shit from my wife.”

Wisdom begins just beyond where you are, but you have to take the first step, and then the second, and then the third, and so on, onward and upward.

All that being said, pray as you will for increased wisdom. But you must necessarily resolve the distortions, recognized by their discomfort and the dis-ease of your own conscience, contained within your daily life experiences, for these are the stepping stones toward a wiser you.

It Isn’t Easy

The process of getting what you pray for will probably not be easy. At least not in the beginning.

This is for the reason that the extent to which you want what is ever more real and true is the extent to which you must let go of whatever is false, no matter how dearly you hold it to be otherwise.

For example, you might be super religious and you might pray for understanding regarding a certain tenet put forth by your religion. If the truth is that the tenet is false and has been professed by a corrupt leadership, you must be willing to accept this. And not only this, for if religious integrity has been broken once, then it’s most likely been broken repeatedly.

New understanding comes not so much like choosing dinner from a menu but more like the menu choosing dinner for you. You may at times pick the restaurant, but what you are served is at the whims of life rather than personal desire.

Furthermore, understanding is not like intellectual growth. With the latter you can be very selective about whatever it is you wish to learn about. Understanding (and other such qualities) comes more often from unexpected places and at unexpected times.

If you’re looking to understand that religious tenet but it’s false, you’re not then going to get the understanding you seek by searching deeper within the religion you hold so dear. Instead, in some form you’re probably not going to expect and in one you may not like, you are going to be shown an alternate path. You’ll be somehow shown that the tenet is wrong (to whatever degree that may be), and you’ll be shown (as appropriate) what is correct in its place.

In a different example, let’s suppose you want “the serenity to accept the things [you] cannot change.”

You recognize that all too often when you don’t get what you want you freak out about it. You may start using the Serenity Prayer and think that that alone will help you to become more serene.

I really can’t say to what degree the prayer is going to help you, but there’s a “hidden” yet critical rule that you must obey here: you simultaneously have to do the inner work of figuring out and resolving what makes you so imbalanced and reactive.

By all means, keep up the praying. But know that the praying alone cannot remove from you the false beliefs you’d learned in your childhood about how to act when you don’t get what you want; prayer alone cannot release you from numerous fears telling you that there’s a problem if you don’t get your way; prayer alone cannot replace the care of a healer who may be required to help resolve any repressed, inhibiting traumas.

Your prayers may afford you some greater yet minimal level of serenity by virtue of your mind’s focus on serenity and your belief in the power of the prayer. However, your prayers will act more prominently as a light to reveal any internal obstructing darkness so that you can, with attention and intention, heal and become more self-aware, and in consequence arrive at the serenity you seek.

This path is highly rewarding, but it’s scarcely for the faint of heart.

Pray Right or Go Wrong

I spent the first 23 or so years of my life as a Roman Catholic (going to weekly mass, 12 years of Catholic education, etc.). Being religious, following one of the most significant religions on the planet, it might be assumed that I’d been taught how to pray effectively.

Well, I wasn’t.

I was taught some prayers, yes, and I was told to say them before bed or before dinner or whatever, but no one ever told me how prayers actually work or how not to pray lest my prayers go unanswered. No one ever told me that praying in fear and worry negates the act of praying. No one ever told me that I would do well to do something in tandem with praying, as though what I requested would more or less miraculously come to me with no further effort on my part.

I’ve no doubt that billions of people have been educated (or not) in like manner.

For it doesn’t seem, to me, remotely possible that if even a bare majority of all the religious people in the world have been praying effectively for the last few centuries or millennia while simultaneously living in alignment with their prayers that our world could be in the shape it is currently in—it’s a reflection of each of us collectively, after all.

How many people pray for wisdom but deal with uncomfortable experiences and feelings by complaining, going to the bar, or getting lost in their cellphones?

How many people pray for understanding but shun alternate lines of thought?

How many people pray for peace but support war?

How many people pray for health but smoke or drink or eat junk food?

How many people pray for truth but watch reality TV and mainstream news?

How many people pray for kindness but insistently criticize their fellow man?

How many people pray for transparency but allow their “authorities” to get away with crimes against humanity?

How many people pray for serenity but blame others for their anger?

How many people pray to little if any effect whatsoever because they want change but they really don’t have any desire to be the change they seek?