Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Do You Believe In God?"

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



The Big Question

Time and again ever since I dropped religion, people have asked me, “Do you believe in God?”

This is a question often posed to religion-leavers like myself, so I’m going to address it here. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding as though being non-religious equates with the denial of God. This is simply not the case.

However, this is not to suggest that I do believe. I have no intentions of giving a yes or no answer, and my answer is likely to displease. For as far as this writer is concerned, the question of, Do you believe in God? is short-sighted and irrelevant.

Truth and Belief

For eons we’ve been living under a cloud of neediness to align with things. How do we align? By making up beliefs about these things and our relationship to them as though the Truth can’t or won’t reveal itself to us without us trying to tell it what it is and support it as such.

But the Truth already is and doesn’t need us to interfere. It doesn’t need us programming perception-altering ideas—beliefs—into our minds about how things supposedly are. All we need to do with life is see it.

So of God, why do I have to believe? Does my belief in God prove God’s existence or my disbelief negate God?

Neither does either. What is just is. If there’s a God, it doesn’t matter if I believe or disbelieve. In either case I’m still believing something, and so whatever life would show to me I’m going to perceive it as occurring through the falsifying lens of my mental constructs.

Religion’s Lie

And keep in mind, since this question of, Do you believe in God? is typically directed toward the non-religious from the religious, that religion itself is often a denial of God in the sense that God is just as Truth is.

Religion is an arrangement of dogmas, rituals, etc. which are nearly all based not on facts but on beliefs of “what God is,” “how things happened in the past,” and “what must be done right now” to prepare for “what will happen in the future.”

This, I feel, is an important distinction which many religious folks don’t get.

A person calling it quits to religion (and all related baggage) does not mean, implicitly or explicitly, that that person is also denying the existence of God.

Will religion often, in some way, shape, or form, overtly or covertly, drive the guilt-trip into the congregants that to perform such a move would be to deny God?

Absolutely! Indeed, your sorry ass is going to hell!

But only because you believe it. Hell is a mindset, folks. That is what hell is.

What truly bothers the organizations is that they're not going to be getting your support. You're one less person to help them keep up their facade of so-called "truth." And if using lies, fear, and the threat of eternal damnation are going to keep you, they really have no problem using such tactics... Which has nothing whatsoever to do with God, because "God is Love." (1 John 4:8)

Free your mind, free yourself, and then tell me how much God cares that you don’t specifically believe in him… or her…or it.

Experience and Knowing

Again, all we need to do is see. Life will take care of everything else because the Truth is the natural way.

And, if you still want, you can use the word “God.” But really “God” is just that—a word, a name, a descriptor for that which is the Totality-of-Divine-Stillness-and-Movement-which-Is-Everything-and-No-thing that can never be adequately described in human terms.

So rather than thinking about God and making up all kinds of mental suppositions about how this God is or what this God wants—try to experience is-ness instead.

Drop all else and just experience.

And always remember that Jesus said: “Know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

What he didn’t say was: “Make up a whole bunch of shit, believe it’s true even though there’s no proof and you’d heard it 294th hand, and then go live it as if it’s gospel truth.”

To see is to know. To be is to know.

Without judgment or assumption or belief.

Here and now.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Thought: Illogic

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



If you want to understand those who seem to you "illogical," then you must think illogically yourself.

At which point you will realize that the illogic of others is logic to them for it's the frame of reference through which they perceive life.

Not much different than how your own thoughts, words, and behavior may well appear illogical to others, though you, yourself, believe them to be "logical."

Similar can be said for “normality,” “sensibility,” preference, and so forth.

In the end, perspectives are neither “wrong” nor “right,” as all are equal and are functional for those who use them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Writing In the Dark

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



College Arrogance

Back in my college days I was always right. If I didn’t like the way something was being taught, either the method of teaching was stupid, the professor was stupid, or both. My judgment was, of course, clear.

Well, as it happened, I’d had this one professor who, on the first day of class, had a video to show us and asked that we take notes while watching it. After beginning the video, he promptly shut off all the lights—the only “light” remaining on being the small TV at the front left of the classroom.

A few minutes into the movie, someone asked the professor if he could turn a light or two on because he couldn’t see where or what he was writing. To this the professor stopped the video, turned all the lights on, and then stood there is silence for what seemed an eternity.

After we had all aged a few years, he said that when he was in college the same thing happened to him. He said it was a lesson to write notes while focusing more on the video than the notes being taken. This would require that the note-taker set a finger on the edge of their notebook at the start of a line and continue to slide that finger down the imagined distance to the next line so that their writing hand would know where to carry on with the notes.

The professor then turned all the lights off and restarted the video.

As you may have suspected by my opening comments, I didn’t like this at all. It was most certainly the dumbest exercise I’d ever been asked to do in my life. What a dick this guy was.

That was both the first and last time I attended that class.

All of this took place back in 2005.

A Toolbox Without Tools

January of 2012 rolls around, and I can’t help but notice that there are some really strange things happening to me.

One of these is that my dreams, at least the ones I’d remember on waking, were becoming more frequent, more vivid, and more intense. For about a two week period I consistently woke up between 3 and 4 am. (A few times I’d woken up at exactly the same time—3:34 happened at least two nights in a row. But I’m left wondering if it was actually 3:33 and I just hadn’t turned myself over to see the time until a minute later).

After that, I spent about a week waking up between 4 and 5 every night. And in the time following, and at its peak, there was at least a solid week where I’d wake up every single night, an upwards of seven or eight times per night, with the memory of some wild and crazy dream I’d just had. (And I do mean wild and crazy—like there’s-some-bizarre-ass-shit-inside-that-needs-to-be-healed kind of wild and crazy.)

I had been interested in the idea of lucid dreaming and taking control of my dreams but my awareness and remembrance had been, to the above point, so few and far between that I’d never written my dreams down as recommended. As my dreams became more frequent, vivid, and intense, I figured it was a better time than ever to do so.

Yet because I couldn’t have remembered them all enough to write them down upon waking for the day, it meant that I had to write out my dreams in the dark. And so I’d lay there doing just that—I'd write a line and move my thumb; write a line, move my thumb. And suddenly it dawned on me what was occurring…

Oh, how it made me laugh! Oh, how I laughed! So arrogant I had been! To ever think that I knew better than the Universe itself! The audacity to think that Life was not giving me exactly what I needed! Oh, how I laughed!

The Moral

The key here is to take a hint from this once supremely arrogant author.

Too often, we think we know what we need and get all bitchy moany when it doesn’t make an appearance, or at least not in the way we’d imagined it would.

However, the truth is that the universe is quite deft at managing itself. It knows what it’s doing and knows when to do it—it’s we who typically don’t—it’s we with our silly notion of “human exceptionalism” hardwired into our psyches, driving us to behave like we’re beyond Creation’s intelligence and separate from cosmic law.

But we’re not. And so we must learn, at which point it’s often hard not to do anything but laugh.

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Note: This text is a modified version of a post originally published on 3/15/12 to former personal blog “Without a Story.”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Words Are For the Herds

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Words are not used by people. People are used by words.

Not that it has to be this way. It’s just what we’ve so far chosen. Should you be interested in learning how people, including you, are used by words, then read on. Today I’m going to help you free yourself from the shackles of language.

What? You’re not wearing any word shackles? …Yeah. Right… And I’m King Kong…

You only think you’re not wearing word shackles because these fetters are of the mind. Not only are they invisible, but no one has ever brought them to your attention. You’ve spent your life believing words are true and real when, in fact, they are illusory mind-fodder designed to conceal reality.

This is not to say we shouldn’t use them. Words are kind of important to the interaction between most people in life as we know it. The purpose here (and in my other word-related writing, “What Is a Word?”) is to guide you into a deeper awareness of the subtler tones of language.

I’ll start you off with a simple example. The more exciting and complex will follow, as will the smiles and a-ha!'s.

Breaking Words Into Components

I’m first going to suggest that you break words into sections.

One word that comes to mind is: discuss. Normally, when we hear or use this word, it brings to mind imagery of multiple people talking together about the same topic.

When we break down discuss into parts—“dis” and “cuss”—there arises an alternate possibility. Now, “dis-cuss” comes across as "the argument/conversation we have with another as a means invalidating that which is being slandered or cussed".

Simple enough, and it offers a peek at where we’re headed.

Phonetics

Another way to see words is by their phonetic nature. In this sense, we would take a word and pronounce it in a slightly different way from the way we’re used to but still basically sounds like the word in mind.

An example of this is the word disease. From my own experience, people nearly always pronounce this word like “dih-zeeze.” This is all fine and good, but it’s also a subtle mask. Looking literally, hearing phonetically, and speaking slowly as we break down disease into its constituent parts of “dis” and “ease,” we recognize disease as "dis-ease," or a lack of ease.

Which is utterly obvious as to being what sickness is. But who sees it? It took this avid reader and wordsmith/manipulator-of-words/writer about 27 years, and that was at someone else's suggestion.

History is another common one. This word is a hair more complex than the prior two, but we’re still sticking to the same formula.

When we separate history to its phonetic, component parts, the result is “his” and “story,” or “his-story.” And isn’t that right on? Except for very recently, the last 13,000-ish years of recorded his-story has been of a world dominated by patriarchy. And, naturally enough, who do you suppose is writing about our past, telling us what he wants us to know and not telling about what he doesn’t what us to know? The Man!

Which leads to the question: What is the medium through which The Man dumps on us so many of his lies about "how life is"?

Take a minute to think about it. I'm looking for a frequently used, one-syllable word. Use phonetics. Sound it out. Say the word at half-speed. Alternately, you can ask the question and let your mind go silent and see if the answer comes to you.

...
....
.....

Ah... Yes... Through the news... Through the noose!

Alternate and Standard Definitions

Sometimes it may help us, once we segment words, to look at what we have when substituting definitions.

For example, let’s suppose we have a word beginning with the prefix con-. To most people, though they may not be exactly sure that con- means “with” or “together,” they probably still realize it as a common prefix which can be used on myriad other words and indicates the same for each. It’s unlikely con- would be thought of, instead, as meaning “scam” or “rip-off” as when placed alone.

But what if it did or could?

One instance of this can be found in the word consumerism. To the average Joe and Jane, consumerism is the ideology which promotes the buying of ever more goods and services. (Pardon me, whilst I chuckle. Ha! “Goods,” they’re called. It’s mostly ego-feeding trash… Anyway…)

Consumerism broken up, however, tells us a very different story. Indeed, it gives us a vital clue about “his-story.”
  • “con” --> fraud, scam, swindle
  • “sumer” --> Sumer --> Sumeria is the ancient Middle Eastern region where his-story tells us the excess buying of goods, just for the sake of having more, originated.
  • “ism” --> doctrine, philosophy, belief system
Yep. It’s been right under your nose all along. The Western “One Right Way” philosophy of consumerism, of the egregious buying of goods and services, is the most ancient of all scams!

So you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is read the “noose” paper. And scattered throughout you see advertisements.

Advertisement:
“advert is meant” --> “to draw attention is meant,” or
"advert eyes meant" --> "to draw attention of the eyes is meant."

And so your attention continues to flip-flop back and forth between the “noose” and "con-sumer" marketing. And you’re none the wiser. Until now. (You're welcome.)

Intuitions

The last major item on the agenda today is intuitive wordplay. To call it intuitive is to say that the recognition of a given word’s deeper meanings just happens. One moment you’ll be painting a wall or trimming your toenails, and the next moment you’ll be struck unexpectedly by word intuition.

I imagine this can come about with nearly any word at all and the meanings you’re offered will probably surprise you.

For example, the other day I was in my kitchen making lunch when the following just plopped into my mind, neat as you please:
Inform. Typically, we think of this as meaning: “to tell someone something.” But inform could also suggest: “to give data”; wherein the “data” is manifest or “in form” (versus unmanifest such as felt perception).

Information. Typically, “data.” But as seen with intuitive perception, and as related to the case of education as noted below, information becomes “in-formation”; as to say, “all subjects are given the same data with expectations for a uniform, predictable, and robotic outcome."

Etymologies and Education

One final thing I’d like to touch on briefly is etymologies. Etymology is sometimes important, but word origins are something few of us have a solid knowledge base in. Etymologizing isn’t then what I’d necessarily suggest, but I want to be sure to point it out as a possible path.

To me, reading into words, so to speak, is more about perceiving words through the intuitive eye as they appear right now rather than using one’s physical eyes to connect modern words to their bygone counterparts.

[Note 9/7/17: Since writing this post on 1/11/15, I’ve come to see that etymologies, if one looks deeply enough, can provide an amazing level of clarity. And so I do, now, highly recommend one keeps their eyes open to this.]

But regardless of how this all pans out for you, I want you to know that what I give you in this writing is meant to be guidance. Because with guidance I can lead you forward, without force or standardization, and allow you at any time to drop out or even advance further than I.

What I do not have any interest in doing is educating you. Education is forcing "in-formation" on others in unnatural ways (such as rote schooling or through the "noose") and expecting them to be able to barf it all back verbatim so as to be validated as worthy of grasping the "con-sumer-ism" mindset.

What I do not have any interest in doing, as the etymology of educating denotes, is “training animals”.


Click here for: “Words Are for the Herds – Part 2”.