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Lets Go Bowling
August 21st, 2006, 07:47 PM
Rant 174
Lunacy

"puthujjanahi ummattaka"
[ordinary persons are lunatics]
-Pali Buddhist saying

"The belief in magic is the denial that delusion is possible."

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."
-Edgar Allen Poe

"To experience emptiness is not a descent into an abyss of nothingness nor an ascent into a separate realm. It is a recovery of the freedom to configure oneself as an intentional, unimpeded trajectory through the shifting, ambiguous sands of life. To recognize this emptiness is not a negation of life: it gives us a glimpse of what enables anything to happen at all...Emptiness is experienced as the letting go of fixed ideas about oneself and the world."
-Stephen Batchelor (from "Verses from the Center")

In samsara (the Buddhist word for "Thud"), friendships, in fact, any sorts of relationship, are easily lost in fogs of belief, self validation, praise-blame games, and other naked ape territorial pissing contests. Reality tunnels become more important that reality itself. (Maybe this whole notion of "importance" needs to be done away with.) Impressions, feelings, sentiments, and perceptions (which are always fickle and unreliable) are seen as better than any truth. Why? Because deep down we know that truths never validate or confirm us. We try to sneak around all this by saying that our feelings, perceptions, and impressions make up this thing called a "soul." Yet no such thing can be shown to exist. Underneath it all, we intuit that there is really no such thing as "my" or "mine." No 'soul.' So we latch onto impressions, feelings and perceptions instead to build up a huge bulwark of ego that we deny is impermanent and insubstantial, even while we see the winds slowly dissolving all that we build. Anyone or anything that can not be used to validate or confirm our views or ideas about ourselves, is rejected or disregarded. We are willing to sacrifice everything to keep the fiction of "self" going strong. We say this behavior is due to the mental illness of narcissism, yet according to Buddhism it is simply 'delusion' and we all do it to some extent. (But then again, the Buddhists say that our belief in some inherent 'self' is the source of our insanity. So we all have a mental illness, or we are in recovery.)

Connections become nothing more than shallow projections of our own desires that get redirected with any passing wind of sentiment. So long as someone is good to us, or likes us, or somehow validates us, we accept them. Whenever the perception changes, even on the merest passing fancy, we look again and if that same person appears to not be good to us, or doesn't like us, or no longer can be seen as validating us or our ideas, we no longer accept them. Our whole view of them changes. We forget anything we have learned about them and reframe every memory and every past experience based on the needling bastard sentiment of our current desire. We forget older ideas about faith, commitment, understanding or loyalty (practices developed to try to help us mature) because these will not satisfy our endless search amongst the shifting distractions and dazzle for that sentiment or situation in which we get all we want and 'feel real.' An old master was once asked about whether he thought modern society was more liberating than traditional ones. He said he preferred formal traditional contexts instead of today's more casual atmosphere because, in his words, "Traditional forms of relating are more constant and give people the space to learn how to understand each other. Sentiment, which is what today's people use for relating, is easily changed with any fancy that takes root leaving no actual space to learn how to understand another." He called our entire modern society "the triumph of selfishness."

We think to stave off what we think of as chaos behind the walls of a new order of ego, and in this is a major source for most of our psychological dramas and traumas. We forget that others are living their own lives as ends in their own right and not as characters in our personal stories. And any reminder of this truth is immediately denied. We become like the occult magicians, seeking to validate the self and the selfish experiences through the worn out cliches of 'higher yearnings' and fantastic flights of fancy from reality...or some grand astral plane...gathering and reorganizing any evidence to give ourselves the appearance that what we are doing is working, while suppressing anything that may raise that damned specter of reality: chance.

This type of thinking we call normal and think nothing more about it. (Well, unless we think that we really are occult magicians. Then most people rightly think of the game as either fraudulent, self-deceptive, or perverted.) Hopefully we can perfume the smell of the burning of the ship of order with the fragrance of loads of bullshit. Or maybe we think we can put the fires out by covering them under mountains of bullshit. Or maybe we think we can expend a little energy here and there seeking to plug up all the loopholes in the idea of self or the proverbial cracks in the paradigm. Yet it all shatters anyway. Wouldn't it be better to simply let it all go and learn to sail on the winds of chaos? Not so, we think. If we sail on those winds, then that means we can't really demarcate a certain territory with groups or networks of people and call it "mine" or "ours." Realizing that this marking is just an illusive game, we flee from the very notion like roaches from the sunlight.

None of this should surprise any of us. It is akin to being in a nuthouse, eventually you'll start fitting in with the other inmates and act crazy. Eventually you will be crazy. It's assimilation in action, or as a wise prophet once said "Monkey see, monkey do." And remember that we were born and raised into it. Buddhists have a story about a king who was warned by a soothsayer that it was going to rain poisoned water which would make everyone insane after drinking it. So this king stored a lot of water for himself, his family and various ministers. Smart thinking on his part, since he wanted to at least have the government and rulers with some marbles left. Anyway, the rains come. Most people drink the water and go nuts. Eventually the people start thinking that they are the ones who are now sane and that the king and his officials are the crazy ones. One by one, his family members and ministers succumb to social pressure and drink the poisoned water too, leaving the king left as the last sane person, but now, by the new standards of his kingdom, he is the crazy one. Alone and despairing, he at last drinks the poisoned water too and loses his mind. All of these people in this story would rather be seen or validated as sane than to actually be sane. It says something about the usual human social motivations.

Samsara keeps most of us enthralled to ignorance, insanity, and delusion, but because most people are in the same straits, anyone who seeks freedom is considered the crazy one. "What?" people say, "How can you just BE happy? You need to do like us, and get things, people, or experiences in order to be happy. Happiness," they say, "only comes after serious hard work and sacrifice. So how dare you think you could just open up and BE happy? Who do you think you are? The Buddha?" This foul doctrine is an affront to laughter and happiness everywhere. Yet you will be told by many around you that you are the affront to righteousness by simply choosing happiness. But I think everyone else is so involved in being noticed or in being validated that a person who just says "screw it!" and chooses happiness is a threat to them and this collective nuthouse we call society. If you are just happy, then no one can make you work for them, no one can take advantage of you because you don't want what they claim to be selling. Your friends may resent you because you no longer support their efforts to be validated, and you have no more need to be validated - having discovered that, surprise surprise, you already in fact exist. Once you can choose happiness, hell you can choose freedom. Hell, other people's evil hooks and lines can't bait you any longer. Once this happens, others around you might start checking this whole BEing happiness idea out. Delusion and its vast horde of enablers may seriously be threatened if this sort of thing is allowed to spread. (Now you know why they want to kill messiahs, christs, and other liberated people. So you may want to keep quiet about your personal discovery of this unconditioned happiness and freedom thing.)

Discordians call such crap like this collective enslaving socio-cultural insanity the Curse. Buddhists call it part of samsara. In samsara there is nothing that can be relied upon. Not one thing. Not one feeling. Not one thought. Not several. Not your hopes. Not your fears. Not your hatreds. Not your loves. Not your house, car, or shoes. Not your body. Not your mind. Not your words, nor the words of others. Not your religion. Not your self. Not your beliefs. Not your outlook. Not a damned thing can be relied upon except for the continuity of your own intentions. And even that is provisional. Wouldn't it just be better to stop clinging to any of it? Or maybe just accept that one of the only constant facts of existence is uncertainty and that it could be a source of happiness if we learned to accept that as part of what is really going on.

Just how in the hell did we end up here anyway? Because we can't stand the fact that what we have been socially brainwashed to fear may very well be the source and expression of all existence. Both Buddhism and Discordianism say that we ended up here because of our refusal to see what the hell is really going on. We stop searching for it once we find enough evidence that can be made to fit into our prefabricated schemas. So we end up going around in circles thinking we are getting somewhere. We end up trying to validate ourselves, forgetting that we already exist. Somehow we have allowed the Curse of Grayface to delude us into thinking we need to do this or that, or that we need to connect with this or that person, in order to feel real. Just think about that for a moment: "Feeling real"? Doesn't this point out that it is just a feeling. And feelings change, thus maybe we can get better skilled at changing them? Maybe all we need to do to feel real is to simply choose to do so. "Oh, no!" some of you might be thinking, "that's too simple! It's not occult enough or mysterious enough or magical enough. Stop talking like that, Irreverend. I have spent way too much time and effort on finding and validating my self, or 'who-I-really-am,' to just admit that such a journey was a farce." But there is no exit from existence. There is no escape. No way out. You can deny or run from this truth of our silliness at trying to reify ourselves, but it only leads you around the circle yet again. Samsara. Thud.

Samsara is the wandering around looking for reification. Thud is what it does to our minds because it blocks us from seeing the luminous spontaneous chaos of all phenomena (us included). One scary facet of this cycle, according to Buddhists, is that it ain't over when we think it is. Death doesn't get us off the spinning anymore than eating honey coated razor blades would help our throats heal better. The energy goes no where but into another embodied existence, another lifetime. Even death can't shatter our complacency when we are ignorant and by that point we have to make a new lifetime with a new self to validate with new schemas, and on and on. Scary? It doesn't have to be. We could choose to see it as the circus it is and learn to play with it. But only when we stop taking our "selves" so seriously.

Maybe the Buddhist or chaoist monks and nuns are on to something here. Maybe instead of seeing them as escaping from a world that gives them pain, it is more accurate to describe them as no longer willing to be distracted by samsara or Thud. So maybe they are really letting go of any right to be distracted. They are getting free from the Curse. They are silencing the desire for validation and renouncing anything that does not help them become free, including that "self" notion, relationships, and possessions. Something they are doing seems to be working, since they are always smiling or giggling. Like Eris and her children often do.

We can learn to stop gladly grasping at anything or anyone, even at such a being as a deity or some spirit, in the false hope that we can have our fears assuaged...our vulnerabilities coddled over...our sadness replaced with 'feeling real.' In the way of slavery, which is considered 'freedom' in the land of Thud, once that thing, or being, is no longer 'needed' for this 'feeling real,' we drop it and move on to the next and best most new and improved thing that will dazzle us or distract us. We may cling hard to something when the shit hits the fan and our former way or paradigm collapses or gets exposed as being false. But we can stop all of this. Just as easily as we drop one thing and move on to the next distraction that will validate our egos and prop up the Great Deception, we can drop the whole project. We can forego the whole deceptive process. We can learn to stand on our own two feet. We can learn to give Grayface the finger.

We should never forget that any new plan, schema, or paradigm is just as liable to shatter as the last one. Any new direction is just as liable or prone to disappointment, disillusion, and sadness as the last. Our escape from who we used to be can turn out to be only a flight from reality and we are still left with the same parts of our lives we refused to deal with before. So it is good to have a sense of humor. You must be able to laugh at yourself if you want to be free.

Some of you have stopped looking for crutches and supports, validation and reification. This shows a little wisdom and a taste of freedom. In fact this realization shows you may be beginning to see what is really going on. It shows you may have started to become disgusted with slavery to anyone else and slavery to that fiction, that creation of artistry, we call "self." Once free of trying to reify existence, you may actually enjoy some of it.

When do we realize that just because we must view existence from a personal point of view, doesn't mean we have to take it so personally?

-Irreverend Hugh
August 10th, 2006


"durvij˝ai sevita kaamah kaamo bhavati bandhanam
sa eva sevito vij˝ai kaamo mokshaprasaadhakah
...
sarvakaamopabhogaistu ramatha muktito 'bhayaat"

[Enjoyed by the ignorant, love becomes bondage.
That very same love, tasted by one who understands, brings liberation.
Fearlessly enjoy all the pleasures of love for the sake of liberation]

eldora_avalon
August 21st, 2006, 08:30 PM
Wow, I got through the whole thing, I didn't get dizzy once, I was able to see part of where I am on the path, to see behind and laugh at myself and to look forward to a place I know I can be. Either that or the massive amounts of caffeine and chocolate I have ingested to try and make this headache go away are huging with my head.

"Life is too serious to take so seriously"

Someone I used to know used to say that, but he was weird, even by our standards. I don't know if he made it up or if it is a quote from something else.

I can just be happy and it drives people nuts. Has for a long time. People think I am on drugs sometimes. My sister used to laugh more, then she married a fuddy duddy and the fuddyduddyness seems to be contagious and it is sad. She is working around it a bit now, after 3 years, but it is still not the same. She has pulled away from me and she sees me as different more now, as being less serious than her. It's strange. She doesn't see how different she is, how much she has given up to be 'married'. Well, to be fair, she (not as much as the rest of my family) has always viewed me as 'different' wtfever that is supposed to mean. Not 'normal' not 'usual' not 'ordinary'. I have always seen the world different than the 'average' person. I seem to be leaning more towards the Buddhists.

Wait, we have Discordian nuns When did that happen and do they have the same silly celibacy gig going on, 'cause I don't do celibacy well. Sorry, that might have to wait until my next lifetime to be worked on

Lets Go Bowling
August 21st, 2006, 08:46 PM
Celibacy and Discordianism? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

eldora_avalon
August 21st, 2006, 09:24 PM
Celibacy and Discordianism? HAHAHAHAHAHA!
You brought up monks and nuns I was just checking if that was the same sort of deal or not. With the celibacy thing.