13 Oct 2012
PUT A GROUP of 'awakened' individuals together — online or off — and you will witness so much ego and self-deception that it would be comical if it weren't so tragic. In fact, my advice to you is, if you are serious about awakening, DON'T hang out with those who profess to be awake, only those who are simple and authentic. Anyone who chats on about their awakened status is in ego, period.
For example, there is an interesting website called Liberation Unleashed which I was introduced to me a few weeks back. This organisation seems to be full of a lot of interesting info and individuals, and it appears to have helped some to realize their empty nature. But this group of people seem to have formalized the whole process of awakening, and in so doing they have opened themselves up to the ravages of the spiritual ego. When something is formalized like that — when awakening is regarded simply as seeing the imaginary nature of ego — then this sets up problems, even if what they are teaching is essentially true. For by having a method for achieving the goal of realization, by using 'conveyor-belt' processes, they give the ego something very solid to grab on to. It is only by living in the mystery of life and being that we can we prevent the habit of positionality.
Having buzzed around the non-dual movements for a few years now I have to say that I see exactly the same level of self-deception and hubris that you see in any group of people who believe they know the answers. And many of them are so sure of their own awakening that their world has become divided between those who are awake and those who are asleep. Yes, a division in a non-dual outlook. For example, the website mentioned above has a forum, and when you are in this forum you are color coded: red for liberators; blue for those who are awake; and green for those who want to be awake (see below).
So what they are doing is effectively dividing people up into those who are awake and those who want to be awake, with an elite category of 'liberators'. This is just more division and a clear sign that those running the site are not quite as liberated as they would like the world to believe.
Anyone who is certain of truth, certain of their own awakening, is actually full of shit. I am sorry to use strong language but I am tired of this whole farce of non-dual awakening. Or perhaps I should say that tiredness of this whole farce of non-dual awakening is arising! Seeing the non-reality of self is just one tiny step in spiritual awakening, a process which requires grace to complete it. Even egos can glimpse the non-reality of self, before making such a non-reality into another identity.
In the era of Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and H.W. L. Poonjaji (Papaji), non-dual teachings were embedded in the much larger context of a rich Hindu spiritual culture stretching back thousands of years, with the highest teachings passed on by the oral tradition. The same can be said for the Buddhist movements. These ancient spiritual cultures meant that those seeking liberation were always just a tiny speck in a larger movement of teachings and past liberated teachers, and this afforded them humility. Realization of the empty nature of self in these traditions is seen as an important step in the path to unity, but just a step nonetheless. Those who realize the empty nature of self were kept in check by the understanding that their dissolution in the divine was only just beginning even in that emptiness, and that grace was involved in bringing them to the heart of All-That-Is, to bring them to full liberation.
Compare that to the situation to what we have now in the neo-advaita movements. Many of these individuals seem to think that mentally realizing the empty nature of self is the final solution — the pinnacle of spiritual flowering. These individuals are quite happy to label themselves as awake and the rest of humanity as asleep. But the whole point is that as we wake up, the world wakes up with us. There is no division, and any division arising is ego. You just have to read some of the modern non-dual sites to see the amount of hubris involved. It is so obviously an Emperor's New Clothes scenario, with few daring to state the obvious because few are willing to be labelled as asleep.
Well, I would like to declare to the world that I am not awake, that I will never awaken and that awakening in this context is just BS. I would rather be a tiny spec in the unity of All-That-Is than a special or enlightened being. Far better to just live a simple life and be as authentic as you can to both yourself and others, show heart-felt compassion to all beings, and stay away from modern self-proclaimed awakened teachers who color-code awakening! Grrrr……
I am sorry for the above yesterday's post above. It was judgemental. I am sure these individuals are helping people in their own way, and that their hearts are in the right place. However, I do feel that only awakening that includes rather than excludes is authentic awakening. Many people see awakening as a realization that comes in the moment, and whilst this is true (nothing happens outside the present moment), most awakening is a gradual process, like the opening of a flower. By seeing it as merely the momentary realization of the non-reality of self will cause problems as it is all too easy for that realization to subsequently become conceptual as conceptualisation is a habit that usually kicks in even after authentic awakening experiences. To stop awakening becoming conceptual we need to drop seeing it as the finish line in our spiritual progress. Indeed, we need to forget about spiritual progress altogether, and instead focus on loving the world and seeing awakening as a realization of our fundamental unity with All That Is, rather than something to separate us (using color codes) from others. In this way, the ego does not get a chance to grab on to awakening and use it for its own individual glorification. And boy, will it use it if given half a chance! The whole world is waking up and we are fortunate to be living in this age of awakening. Thank you Cpji for teaching me so much :-)