Renouncing Self - The Dangers Of Spiritual Egotism - Behaviorism And The Belief In Subject/Object Dualism Is Despicable - In Praise Of Roughage - Where Can I Find A Spiritually Liberated Person To Talk To?
Comments On The Kena Upanishad - Spiritual Aspirants Must Renounce Self - But What Is The Self? The Dangers Associated With Claiming Spiritual Insights and Powers As Your Own - The Khata Upanishad and the Importance of Determination - Excessive Socialization With Non-Spiritually Attuned Individuals Causes Instability and Impedes Progress on the Spiritual Path - Absolute Integrity In Our Social Relations - How I Despise Behaviorism And The Over-Intellectualization Of The Educational Process - In The Absence Of Spirit, Caffeine And Sugar Are What People Rely On To Sustain Their Godless Behavior - The Chore Of Reliability Measures In The Special Education Classroom - The Ugliness Of Reliability Measures In The Special Education Classroom (Education Is An Objective Endeavor After All!) - The Suction, Cleansing Effect of Roughage - Structured vs Unstructured Water - An Uncomfortable Gulf In Terms Of Spiritual Practice - Christmas Parties Are Like The Plague - I Want A Spiritually Liberated Person To Talk To?
Tape Transcriptions - Tape #14 - July 28, 1994
*1994.7.28. (continuation of tape #14)
(hiking, tired voice, next day?) I was reading some of the Upanishads today -- the Kena Upanishad and an introduction -- and (sigh) you have to renounce self. You have to renounce your individual self-identity in order to attain knowledge of the deathless Self, capital "S." (sigh) And that's extremely hard for me. (spitting) One of my problems is, uh, having these higher energies filter through me, and then calling them my own or confusing them with products of my individual self-existence. That's what creates the instability. It's the framework of your consciousness, your frame of reference. Like I was all jazzed up today, the last day of my seminar. I was getting very, very positive strokes from quite a number of people, and I found myself perceiving that I was very well received and was considered extremely intelligent and deep in my thinking and was appreciated very deeply. I had no problem interacting with anyone there. Out of 400 people I could have had any one of them be my friend. But the problem with that is, if you are true to your Self, capital "S", the Self, these things happen, because people see that you are authentic. You see, in the past I'd get unstable, I'd start to get grandiose thinking, and then to come off of that I'd overeat, over stimulate myself sexually, whatever, because naturally it's an unstable situation to be referring all these great things to your individual self consciousness -- your consciousness as a separate being apart from everyone else, apart from God. And really, the only way out of this dilemma is to have a totally profound realization of -- and continued existence and harmony with -- the Absolute Self, God. Then, if all these good things or bad things happen to you (labored breathing) -- let's just say all these good things happen to you -- you don't get this feeling of insecurity or vertigo that can come from such heights. It doesn't affect you because the reference is not you, it's God. God takes all the fruits -- all the joys, all the sorrows. Okay, so there, that's one statement.
The other thing I wanted to say was that, if that's the case, if that's really the way out of this for me, out of this problem I've got (heavy breathing, continued hiking), uhm, then what's so hard about getting it, realizing it? Okay, all I can do is trace back to some experiences, like that one I had a few weeks ago. You see, these things are operating according to what I would understand relatively easily. You take me, for example. You know, I'm pretty good about selflessness. You know, I don't think my ego is too grandiose. It's fairly ready to transfer most of my authority over to God. Given that, I think I'm fairly ready to receive that information, that knowledge. So, when I felt myself being absorbed into a sort of unified consciousness, because truly all these mental contraptions I felt collapsing upon a singularity in which only selflessness, in which only total Self realization existed. (labored breathing) -- Why did I get scared? I mean, there should have been no apprehension about it whatsoever, unless I could fool myself so completely that I could trigger that reaction in my heart. It concerns me quite a bit, because let's say I have some more to learn. Everyone does! You know, like Buddha said, it's like breaking out of the shell, like a chicken breaking out of its shell. Of course I can't be perfect right now. Of course my ideas aren't all perfect. But when you achieve that state of mind all the bullshit is erased. It is! To the best of my ability that is how I understand it. Still, why the fear?
I was thinking this afternoon about two things. One is that the Khata Upanishad referred very highly, very praisingly, to this boy, a teenager, who they said had persistence. He was very concerned about death. He wanted ultimate release from that. He was terrified of dying. He desired to understand it completely. He was very dogged in his determination to understand. And I really hope that I am, too. I'm more than most, but I don't know if it's enough. (labored breathing) You forget yourself when you get overly involved in the world. [garbled] said it's a sham, all these social forms and these social expectations. But okay, enough. So, I want to be persistent.
But, the other thing that dawned on me is that -- fuck -- I guess I'm going to need to redouble and retriple my sense of devotion. I mean, the thing is I have a hard time getting on my hands and knees and praying to this energy in me. (sound of footsteps along trail) I mean, I have a lot of questions about why that state of mind is so necessary. I mean, I probably totally underestimate the whole thing, but I just don't like all these theological overtones about God. (sigh) From my extremely limited experience, it's merely a higher energy working through, you know, the subtle nervous system, that leads to heightened states of consciousness and feelings of great fulfillment. I don't know. What I'm saying is I just want to bring it all down to earth. I don't think it helps anyone to think that there is something high and mighty going on all the time.
As Gandhi said, we have to reduce ourselves to zero. You know, and as the Upanishad was saying, you have to basically give up your self sense, your individual self sense, and I guess that's just what you have to do. But to really do that, to have a chance to come close to that experience again, then I mustn't fight it quite so much. I'll have to somehow just yield my mind over to God. But again, we have that problem of the milestone experience. You know, I always wanted to see more of a continuation -- a continuity between my present form of consciousness and THAT -- so that I wouldn't risk freaking out so much. Some of the drama is just an extension my thinking that "this is going to be an earth shattering, all-in-one experience." But that basic fear and suspense is not just a mental fabrication. It's based on the accounts I've read of others, and my own intuition and experiences or near-experiences of the same.
I was almost going to get into a speech about how it's by not incorporating spiritual energies properly that you get a lot of dysfunction. You know, how this self concept of mine screws up the interpretation and the grounding process. But that would be problematic for what my problem has always been, which is, the very end, almost the very last extent, before basically the (im-) material dimension for your suffering. I mean spirit would be realized if the situation were better than it is. And, so, you can just blame the psychological dimension to our being that blows it and causes us, you know, to do these self-destructive things to harm this process and somehow sustain itself. Like today, you could really look at it and say the reason why I felt unbalanced and fascinated by food and sex was really -- on a very major level, a result of this -- I was much more knowledgeable and grounded than most of the people I talked to. And I talked to too many people. (birds chirping) I was drained. Lots of people were coming to me. I was there too long in that air-conditioned space. What I mean is that if I was in a more natural environment, and with people more spiritually grounded and inclined, I doubt very much that I would have felt so out of control when I left there. And so I never want to get in to... (laughter) I always hated the idea of spiritual knowledge as a panacea, as a substitute for material development and social development -- because it's not. Because, ultimately, you just have to give way, like I'm trying to do now, because really I feel I've gone as far as I can in this world, and in this form of consciousness. It's time to let go. I have the best job I can manage in a decent manner, a secure job that won't cause me much worry, except from too much work, but once I do that I am certainly capable of the job, and there are certainly plenty of openings. I am in the most healthful environment that I can reasonably achieve. And, basically I have, in my analysis of the situation, I have everything I need for a modest, productive, decent, good life. Now that I have that, it's time to let go.
(hiking, sound of path crunching under my footsteps; heavy breathing) I still have the masters degree to do. Somehow that will be accomplished.
You know, God and religion have been used far too long as a justification for the status quo. Just one among a million examples is the practice of confession in the Catholic Church in which, maybe, you've done something that would be viewed negatively by your spouse. Let's say you [hate them? garbled], or let's say you've cheated, or who knows what; and instead of telling them, you tell your priest, or you tell God. And that's not good enough. Because what we're aspiring toward is integrity, absolute integrity in our relations with people, in our relations with God and ourselves. And in my view, let's say that this event -- were it to be known, if it were to cause a breakup in the marriage, and you have a choice of being truthful to your spouse, and either growing together with that or growing apart, it doesn't matter, it will be growth. And (sigh), basically, subtly, and over time, growingly, a deadening of the relationship, because as these secrets build, you cut off a part of yourself inasmuch as you don't share that information with your loved one. I've always been much more for individual fulfillment over, uhm (heavy breathing) social relations. That's a can of worms. You can't get away from social relations, but interpersonal relationships at that deep level... oh God, I'll get to this some other time... But basically, for me, like I was with Michelle, when I found out she had slept with that other guy, it hurt me a lot, but I still wanted her. Maybe it was lust, I don't know. I think if the love is good and pure, you'll forgive. And not to engage in that process of total disclosure and total forgiveness -- (sigh) you know, as long as they're somehow making progress toward self improvement that's not just cyclical -- and even if it is, because pain is a real part of life... oh, I don't know...
(later, still hiking) It's still July 28 . Uhm, I just want to say a few things about why this master's degree program is causing me such pain. You know, if they would just say, "Do this 60-page paper, in this highly structured, scientific way, or put in 5000 hours of community service" -- say, washing dishes at a soup kitchen or helping push old folks in wheelchairs, or who knows what -- I would take it. I would rather do the 5000 hours. Do you know how many years that is? That's like ten hours each weekend for ten years. I don't know. Maybe they'd want less than 5000 hours because that's a lot. That'd be ten years of five hours a day on the weekends. But I am much more inclined to do that. Oh, but then you might say that I am intellectually arrogant, that I am unwilling to submit my mind. But I'm not -- at least not in certain ways. I told them that I'd much rather write a novel. I'd write a 500-page novel for them about my experiences as a schoolteacher and what it's like teaching special ed; (sigh) and I'd even edit out stuff about God. I'd just have it be from a real gutsy, emotional viewpoint. It wouldn't have to be spiritually-oriented at all. Or it would, but you wouldn't call it that -- there would be no words in there to describe that. The language would stay within the boundaries of the secular institution. I'd be willing to do that, without much stress. (birds chirping, heavy breathing) Similarly, I'd be happy to write a paper -- a theoretical, intellectual paper -- that was an analysis that included a spiritual dimension of my job. You know, what were the spiritual benefits of working with these kids? What were the costs of working within the system? I could draw from various theorists -- spiritual and secular psychological. But no, I have to do it in a very subject-object, behaviorist, and manipulative way. (sigh) You see, what it is, like it was for Ayn Rand, for her heroes, my mind is my most sacred thing, I think really, more so even than my body, although it's a tough call sometimes. It's how you put my mind to work that causes stress. Making it work in certain ways goes really against the grain of it. And the only way to carry on with that is to, basically, engage in certain forms of false consciousness or denial. That's what most people's educations are about: How to basically deny spiritual insight and still use your brain. Thus, the advent of coffee, junk food snacking, cafes and, who knows, a whole host of other things that get the mind to move without the spirit moving with it. (sigh) Anyways, I don't know, so there you have it. I have potentially a year and a half ahead of me, writing that paper.
I think really, what I am looking forward to here, is aside from having certain paperwork deadlines for X , that I have to cut into my hiking and personal life to achieve -- that will be a burden -- almost definitely the most stressful part will be her coming into my classroom to do reliability measures of my data collection. She'll be taking data alongside me and we'll have to compare. And it will be that sharing of scientific-mindedness with her, and also, basically exposing the way I am with my kids -- you know, their lack of a perfect scientific program, and my not being interested in jumping around all the time acting like I am the perfect teacher. Exposing those parts of me, and having her there, will be the most sublime of pains. (birds singing, still hiking) I am sure I will lose sleep the nights before she comes. Hopefully, it will not be more than five or six times that she has to come in order to establish reliability.
I want to say something to the defense of roughage. I read in this article that too much roughage causes bloating and gas. And let me qualify that, because actually, I've had a lot of problems with bloating and gas. Well, here's how you avoid them. It's not roughage's fault. Okay. Lunch -- whenever I can -- I have a big salad, or a fairly big salad. Lately, I've had it all raw without any dressings -- my chopped up vegetables of various types, and garlic and ginger, and then the non-vegetables like tofu and seaweed, some kind of seaweed, and some sunflower seeds. It all goes together quite well. It's wonderful. But, it takes a while to digest. So, if I've had that big salad, and it's been in my stomach for two hours, or even two-and-a-half or three hours, it's not quite enough time. What happens is, if you go ahead and have something sweet -- like some cookies and some fruit juice, or something like that -- or too much water and something sweet, something that doesn't really combine well with it, then you will get horrible gas. It's a terrible feeling. But then it will go away after a while. But the gas is not a natural byproduct of roughage; it's a product of improper combining and not giving it enough time to digest. Maybe my portions are just too large. But if you're going to have a big salad like that, it needs to be sitting in there for four hours, maybe a little bit more. And then it's perfect. It creates this suction effect on you. It's such a cleansing thing. When it's in there right it feels fantastic. It's like this full feeling, but it's also pulling debris and toxins off your G.I. tract. (birds chirping loudly) It creates the total opposite of bloating. You know, it's like the opposite of gas. It's pulling out of you into itself without any gas. It's remarkable.
I was reading in Gabriel Cousen's (pdf) book about fasting, and God, I wish, I don't know, I would love to be experiencing that [Conscious Eating, pdf]. Autolysis. After a few days of fasting the body starts to break down toxins and drag out dead cells from the body. It increases your vitality and youthfulness. It seems I have a difficult time parting from food. I don't know if this is a product of not being able to control my senses, as I'm supposed to be, according to many spiritual paths. Or if this is a spiritual need of mine, like it was for Gopi Krishna. I'll keep on nudging myself in that direction.
One of the things I am unhappy about actually is my skin and the texture of my muscles. I have this bloated feeling throughout me. I look at my muscles and they are quite saggy. It's not that I want to lift weights, but I feel like I probably have some excess water -- and that could be a result of too much sugar. I know I have way too much sweets. But what I am also looking into is the quality of my water. Apparently, distilled water is unstructured and unstructured water is associated with the intracellular fluids and cancer. Basically, it's not a very friendly form of water. The way to structure it is you have to have a strong life force or, based on some of these principles of the Hunzas and other long-lived peoples, you can get these mineral catalysts to help the water become more structured, which means, instead of hostile isolated water molecules, you've got eight of them that form these crystalline structures and that is done with a cation or some kind of mineral element that's good for you and helps with the water. My hope is that if I have more of these, more of this kind of water, my body fluids, my kidneys, and my overall skin tone will show some improvement. My skin's alright, but I could do a lot better because I've seen better. Also, if I could just drink less water, naturally, that would be helpful. That would mean having more fresh fruits and vegetables and less of the kinds of (dead) foods that need to have supplemented water. That always helps the skin.
(still hiking) I was thinking about how I avoid socializing like the plague. Currently, what's causing me stress is there's one fellow who comes on this hike a lot, with his dogs. I went to a party at his house with his wife over Christmas a while back. You know, they are nice people. I was there only twenty minutes. I couldn't handle it. But I see him up here frequently and I talk to him, and he continues to invite me over for dinner. It's his way of showing friendship and that he appreciates me. His wife likes me, too. The thing is, they are not -- in my view -- spiritually oriented; and, I don't really want to engage with people who aren't. Not that I am even looking for people who are. The only people who I might care to talk to on occasion are, for instance, Jonas, or Rajiva, these two guys at the Hare Krishna temple. But even them I didn't want to see sometimes because, even though I enjoy talking about Ayurvedic medicine, Vedic thought, bhakti yoga, these things, but what it came down to eventually was that they wanted me to participate in the form of religion that they practiced. Although I can still talk to them, there is a strain there because what you've got is, you know, recognition between two people, but this uncomfortable gulf, in terms of practice, persists. And so I don't want them for friends, either, though I do like them. I'm trying to think of who I'd care to be with as a friend. Probably someone who's very much a loner like myself -- someone who's very critical of the world, trying to find some sort of spiritual balance in their lives, through meditation or whatever. I don't know. I don't know if I'd even see it if I saw it. There must be some people who I'd care to be friends with if I saw them. Who I would like for a friend or someone to talk to would be someone who was what you call spiritually liberated (bird singing). That would be an interesting person to talk to.
Comment from 11/27/2014
I had one observation by X that I failed -- yes, I received an F -- because the words I used in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich lesson did not match exactly what I had written on my lesson plan. Every word and prompt that I used was required to be written into my script. My professor stated that without such direct correspondence the children's learning process would be inhibited on account of the likelihood of another person's using different verbal prompts during the lesson. She asserted that the children would be confused and that the only way for them to properly acquire a new skill is if every person approached their instuction the exact same way. I, of course, found this obnoxious. The presumption that we can control for all variables in a given situation is an illusion. There is much that is beyond our control, and thank God for that. The variations in teaching methods from lesson to lesson and from person to person is a great gift, in my opinion, and facilitates the generalization of skills across different settings and circumstances. The behavioristic mindset that plagues my professor is anathema to me. Human beings are not machines. We have souls and self-determination. Our every experience and response is new and subject to modification in response to the wonder and mystery that is Creation and Life. Even if patterns can be described, individual conduct is not 100% controllable, nor would I ever want it to be. Some people, in extreme situations, choose death over being shackled to some manipulative, external force.
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