This is just stuff that pops up and I find interesting. Notes to myself that others may also enjoy. Warning: the author takes no responsibility whatsoever if anyone reading this stuff takes it as a teaching and/or gets upset or disturbed or has any of their beliefs challenged. If someone reads something on a blog called "The Braying Jackass" and takes it seriously then who is the true jackass?
I was bored at work (I'm always bored at work) and then remembered that I had this blog. So I decided to check it out again and read over the old posts. Blah, blah, blah...yada, yada, yada. Hard to believe I spent so much time thinking about shit like that. Of course, I get totally worked up over a certain subject for a certain period of time, then lose interest in it, then get totally worked up over something totally different, then lose interest in that, and then get totally worked up over the thing that I was totally worked up over and lost interest in a few years ago again. Ha! Life is funny, isn't it?
In the rest of your life I’m sure you plan things out, right?
What you want to do at work, for example. You figure out what kind of job you want, what kind of training you need…go to school or study on your own to learn what you need. Research companies and the best places to work, and apply. Your goal is to get a good, rewarding job and you’ll know you reached it when you have that job.
So what about the spiritual search?
Do you know what it is you want? Is it peace? Is it bliss? Is it relief from pain and suffering? To realize the truth? To become one with God? What is it?
Then you need to figure out how to reach your goal…
And then, how are you going to know if you’ve reached your goal?
Is it something attainable? Or is it something like being an athlete, where the goal is to simply keep getting better?
I wanted relief from the suffering of anxiety and depression and fear of death.
So how to get it?
First I gravitated towards Buddhism, practiced meditation. Wanted enlightenment.
But I had no idea what enlightenment would be, I’d just know it when I saw it. So I kept trying to get something that I had no idea what it was. Good luck with that one!
“Am I enlightened yet?...still confusion, still anxiety, still depression…keep meditating the shit out of it until I get it!”
So next, onto non-duality. No need to meditate or practice! Wonderful! But still confusion, anxiety, and depression. Where the fuck is my enlightenment!!??
Then seeing that the whole idea of trying to get rid of confusion, anxiety, and depression was going about it the wrong way. I was trying to stop being human. Seeking eternal bliss. Transcending experience.
It was about perfecting the self; making it bigger, brighter, and shinier.
Instead of looking to see if this thing that needed perfecting was even there.
I was reading all of this stuff about other people then making assumptions based upon their experiences, when the expert of my experiences is right here, 24/7.
(I don’t know how to finish this, insert your own pithy, witty comment!)
We are all living in a 'thought sphere'. Your thoughts are not your own; they belong to everybody. There are only thoughts, but you create a counter-thought, the thinker, with which you read every thought. Your effort to control life has created a secondary movement of thought within you, which you call the 'I'. This movement of thought within you is parallel to the movement of life, but isolated from it; it can never touch life. You are a living creature, yet you lead your entire life within the realm of this isolated, parallel movement of thought. You cut yourself off from life -- that is something very unnatural. The natural state is not a 'thoughtless state' -- that is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated for thousands of years on poor, helpless Hindus. You will never be without thought until the body is a corpse, a very dead corpse. Being able to think is necessary to survive. But in this state thought stops choking you; it falls into its natural rhythm. There is no longer a 'you' who reads the thoughts and thinks that they are 'his'. Have you ever looked at that parallel movement of thought? The books on English grammar will tell you that 'I' is a first person singular pronoun, subjective case; but that is not what you want to know. Can you look at that thing you call 'I'? It is very elusive. Look at it now, feel it, touch it, and tell me. How do you look at it? And what is the thing that is looking at what you call 'I'? This is the crux of the whole problem: the one that is looking at what you call 'I' is the 'I'. It is creating an illusory division of itself into subject and object, and through this division it is continuing. This is the divisive nature that is operating in you, in your consciousness. Continuity of its existence is all that interests it. As long as you want to understand that 'you' or to change that 'you' into something spiritual, into something holy, beautiful or marvelous, that 'you' will continue. If you do not want to do anything about it, it is not there, it's gone. How do you understand this? I have for all practical purposes made a statement: "What you are looking at is not different from the one who is looking." What do you do with a statement like this? What instrument do you have at your disposal for understanding a meaningless, illogical, irrational statement? You begin to think. Through thinking, you cannot understand a thing. You are translating what I am saying, in terms of the knowledge you already have, just as you translate everything else, because you want to get something out of it. When you stop doing that, what is there is what I am describing. The absence of what you are doing -- trying to understand, or trying to change yourself -- is the state of being that I am describing.
Recently I've begun to see very clearly how projections and assumptions work in myself.
Scott Kiloby started a "No Hold Barred" Facebook page because there were too many people on his "Open Posting" page causing trouble and challenging others so he wanted to have one page where people were free to express themselves without confrontation and negativity from others, and another page where people could challenge and push buttons without any restrictions.
Of course I gravitated immediately to the "No Holds Barred" page because I'm a wiseass that likes to bust people's chops and get pushed back in return.
The first day I was there I learned that people were taking "No Holds Barred" literally. Other than threatening someone with physical violence everything else is game. The most horrible gay slurs were thrown at Scott, and people were called the worst names imagineable. It seemed like too much, and I thought that I might not return.
But then things seemed to cool down slightly, or maybe my tolerance raised a bit, and I jumped in full throttle. I think I may have enjoyed it too much! I was pretty vicious, but the whole time that I was typing the insults I was laughing because I really couldn't take them seriously. They were just a way to get people upset, with the intention of making them face their beliefs.
More importantly, I saw that people didn't get upset at stuff that they believed to be false, rather it was the stuff that they believed to be true and felt they needed to defend that upset them. When called out on their bullshit they lashed back because, "It's my bullshit goddamnit! Stop trying to take it away from me!"
Of course what I was seeing was just a projection of myself. No one has any way of knowing whatsoever what someone else is thinking. Back in the day when I was guru hopping on Youtube I watched a lot of Florian Schlosser. He has some great insights on the human mind- or psyche, or ego, whatever you want to call it- functions. One time someone asked how to know if we're projecting onto others our own assumptions and he answered that 100% of the time that we think we know what someone else is thinking we're projecting.We're assuming we know what they're thinking because it's what we're thinking!
I swim at the YMCA and something showed me this very clearly. There's an elderly couple that also swims there and one time all of the lanes were full so I asked the elderly gentleman if I could share a lane with him and he nodded but gave me what I thought was a dirty look. "What a rude bastard!" I thought. Another time I asked his wife to share a lane and she said, "Well, I suppose I have to..." "What a rude couple!" I thought.I would see the elderly gentleman in the locker room and he never said hello, just looked over at me and then looked away. I thought I should say hi to him and tell him off for being so rude.
After that, one day when I was looking for a lane to swim in the wife looked at me and pointed to a lane that was open with a friendly smile. "Hmmm, she's not so rude...maybe she was just joking before." Just the other day when I was putting on my swim fins and my waterproof iPod the man started talking with me in a very friendly way, comment on my fins and talking about classical music. He has an accent, German I believe, so maybe he was just shy about speaking before.So I realized that I was just projecting and assuming the rudeness on their part.
After spending a couple of days on Scott's "No Holds Barred" page I wanted to enjoy the bullshit detection myself so solicited people to insult me, to give me all they had. It wasn't too successful; when people know you they may hold back slightly, plus a lot of the insults are of the "you're gay, you have no dick" junior high emasculating variety. These don't have an effect on me because I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay and am perfectly happy with my much larger than average penis ;^)
The next day though someone who's great at pushing my buttons (you know who you are!) made some comments about a note I had written. I began to engage him with the intent of pointing out his bullshit beliefs with the result being I had my own bullshit beliefs thrown back in my face. For example, I had pointed out in my note that the previous night I was giving it pretty heavily to someone and that they got very angry. He said that I had no way to know that they were actually angry. It's very easy to point out other people's assumptions, not so easy to see your own!
I noticed that whenever he said something and my immediate reaction was defensive, that what he was saying was true. I don't get angry at something that's not true, like being gay, I get angry and defensive at something which points to a truth that I'm not comfortable with. A defense of a belief such as "I'm not pretending to be a teacher posting stuff to show off my wisdom...I'm just a humble seeker trying to show others the way...How dare someone insinuate otherwise!"
After arguing back and forth he finally asked me what I was trying to convince him of. Hmmm, great question. What was I trying to convince him of? And more importantly, why was I trying to convince him or anyone else of anything?
I saw that it's very important for me to be right and to show others that I'm right. And even though I constantly say that I'm only posting notes for my own benefit that I'm really trying to show off my witty insights.I also realized why it is that I'm always bashing on gurus. It's because I once used to worship gurus and felt ashamed of it! "I must save the world from fake gurus! Listen people, don't follow fake gurus! Follow me instead!"
It's all quite amusing actually...
I saw that it's not necessary to defend any beliefs at all. What do I lose if people see through me for the bullshitter that I am? What am I trying to prove exactly? Am I afraid that people won't read my posts or take me seriously if they find out that I'm full of shit? And even though I would tell people over and over that I was full of shit I didn't really believe it myself.
Once I realized that I truly am full of shit, and that there's no need to defend any beliefs at all and in doing so it's just pointing out their worthlessness, how freeing! This is liberation, not enlightenment. When you no longer hold any stances and any self-important beliefs...or rather it's probably more true to say that when you no longer feel the need to defend your stances and self-important beliefs (because as soon as you lose one you gain another)...there's such a freedom felt!
I don't need to be this or that, or prove this or that...in fact that night was the first time in a long, long while that I didn't go on Facebook because I didn't feel that I had anything to prove or defend. I just watched a movie (Fight Club, which is awesome if you haven't seen it..I laughed so hard I thought my neighbors would complain.)
Of course the really funny thing is, why am I posting this? Am I trying to prove something? Maybe how insightful I am?
Maybe...maybe not. I really don't care. Or maybe I do. Call me out on my bullshit! Please! I'm addicted now!
The Platform Sutra of Buddhism tells the story of Hui Neng, who was an illiterate redneck from southern China, sort of like Alabama here in the U.S., who moved to northern China where all of the sophisticated people were, sort of like New York here in the U.S.
He was a vegetable seller that pulled a cart around the city, and one day he passed by a monastery where they were reading the words of the Buddha and he said to himself, “Holy fuck! That shit makes sense!”
So Hui Neng decides that he wants to join the monastery and become a monk. Of course at that time the monks were the most educated people in the whole country.When he applied to the monastery the HR person there says, “You dirty fucking redneck, you want to become a monk!!?? HA! You can work in the kitchen and clean vegetables.” Hui Neng wanted to tell her to fuck off, but he agrees and joins the monastery.
Well, the Zen Master was an old shit and decides that it’s about time to retire. He tells the monks that he’ll have a contest and whoever writes the most enlightened verse will become his successor. All the monks knew that the head monk would win, since he had read every Buddhist text backwards and forewards and when he farted he transmitted the Dharma.
The head monk wrote the following verse on the monastery wall:
The mind is like a mirror
And the body is it’s stand
Wipe the mirror every day
And let no dust gather
When the monks read this they though it was the shit. Hui Neng couldn’t read it, so he asked another monk to read it to him. After he heard it he thought, “That’s whack!” and asked the monk to write a verse down for him. He wrote:
There is no mirror
Let alone a stand
So where the fuck can dust gather?
All of the other monks read this and laughed at what the illiterate redneck said. But the Zen Master read it and realized that Hui Neng was far superior. He called Hui Neng to his room one night and told him, “You are my successor, but those other monks are full of shit and if they find out I gave you my robes they’ll whomp on your ass. So take the robes and hightail it out of Dodge and hang out in the mountains until the scene cools down.”
So Hui Neng took the robes and got the fuck out of town and hung out in the mountains for a few years before beginning to teach.
99.9% of spirituality is just about trying to polish the mirror and improve the stand. And the people that teach this are like the head monk, and their slavish disciples are like all of the other monks.
When someone speaks the truth, as harsh as it is, people chase them out of town brandishing torches. They end up being banished to the mountains.
All the while no one is willing to look to see if there really is a mirror and a stand, or if it’s a crock of shit like Hui Neng pointed out.
Hui Neng didn’t give anyone anything to hang onto. People don’t like being left empty handed. They’ll take whatever handout they can get, as long as it makes them feel better.
BTW, my translation will be available on my site soon for only $19.95. The first 100 who order will receive a signed copy of my first book, “I Am That, And A Bag Of Chips.”
Does something that someone says totally piss you off?.
It's 100% accurate...
Sometimes it's a belief that's totally obvious, sometimes it's something very subtle.
"You're a fucking idiot!"
I'm not an idiot...I'm very smart...I don't deserve to be talked to like that...I can't back down to that...I have to act tough...
"There is no God! Religion is a scam!"
People shouldn't talk like that!...It's not right to blaspheme God and religion...that person is going to hell!...There must be a God...What if there isn't?
If someone told you that there was no such thing as the sun, and that you were an idiot for believing in it, would you get upset? Of course not, you don't need to hold and defend a belief in the sun.
Anything that tweaks you is simply poking your beliefs in the ribs...challenging the very things that you hold dear...But things that you're not quite sure if they're true or not...so you'll die fighting for them!
Oh, it's all just too fucking funny...Watch and observe why humans are the most ridiculous animals