Ignorance Pt. III Liberation from Prison

December 16, 2009 at 8:46 pm Leave a comment

Part Three: Liberation from prison

The Rebellious Stage: Adolescence

The rebellious stage usually occurs in adolescence, where the human beings’ ability to think for themselves critically and independently from their parents, teachers, peers, religious, and political authorities become powerfully activated. In a spiritual sense, thinking independently is a misnomer as intelligence comes to all beings through the evolutionary force and primordial wisdom. Humans did not create their own brains of course.

Children possess the innate ability to think for themselves, yet they are often bigoted, overwhelmed, or forced to obey the wishes of their elders, parents, family, authority figures, and society. They also have the natural ability to rebel, reject, dissent, and throw off incorrect information. They have the innate ability to se through imposters, masquerades, puppets, manipulators, thieves, and actors; however, that innate ability is most often blunted at an early age. It is inhibited, stepped on, and repressed by forces of institutionalized ignorance based on dysfunctional belief systems, transgenerational violence, religious doctrine, ideology, dogma, mechanisms of racial pride, supremacist pride, nationalistic pride, chauvinism, and other external systems of control that most often penetrates down into one’s family structure, school, and peers. Those people who frequent the child’s early development thus become carriers of this disease.

Therefore, the rebellion stage is a critical junction in life. Either the child does not question the lies that they have been fed, or embarks upon the journey of critical independent thought; the latter winding up as true free and creative thought. Although it is best not to have become manipulated and distracted from one’s innate conscious connection with the evolutionary force in the first place, few grow up completely unscathed.

The first step in rebellion is to recognize that one has been manipulated, lied to, bounded, and enslaved, either mentally or physically, or rather both. Here we must recognize the tragedy that many never recognize that they have become a slave. Deep down of course they have, but it is deeply repressed and the memory very dim and forgotten. Rather they accept the roles laid out for them by their parents, teachers, preachers, peers, society, nation, authority figures, etc., as if it were in their own best interest. They have become thoroughly indoctrinated.

Here is the twist. When such people who have accepted wholeheartedly and completely the lie of their own slavery are confronted with an independent thinker or a rebel, the conformist slave will feel threatened on a deep level. They will not even know why they hate the rebel or the person, while liking those who think and act like they do, but the feeling is undeniable. It is the fear reaction of the ego which feels its world and hence identity threatened. Hence the cause of xenophobia and the slave holders leverage in manipulating people by bigotry, religious intolerance, prejudice, fear, and xenophobic paranoia into nationalistic wars, religious wars, racial hatred, tribal conflicts, etc.

The Box Analogy: Thinking inside and outside the box

That is all due to the ego’s misplaced need to defend its boundaries or a craving to expand it. However, since it is the egoic mindset’s need to defend its boundaries and worldview (belief about his imaginary self, the ego, and the world) spiritual growth is bounded and limited unless it occurs within the box. However, spiritual growth cannot occur inside a box. It is due to the basic insecurity that one does not really know who one is (confusion) because they have not gone on the spirit quest of independent thought. They have not gone through the process of disillusionment or the dark night of the soul… the process of deep unknowing and renewal.

It should be obvious that a disillusionment process is necessary for the removal of illusions. Childhood illusions based on inherited lies and time/place prejudices must be identified and expunged, if one desires to express their own creative/evolutionary potential. This is a period of great unknowing, but it is not to be confused with the process of un-awareness. Rather such an enquiry is based on the recognition that one does not know, but is opening to greater knowledge – to a more meaningful integrity.

By acknowledging one’s limitations, one is able to overcome them, rather than not questioning or acknowledging the pre-existing limited assumptions, the predilective belief systems, distortions, and lies that one had been taught and trained. Instead of denying or defending one’s belief, the true seeker is free from such reactive patterns. Again, the recognition of the absence of the sacred, awareness of unawareness, invokes increased awareness and thus brings the true seeker beyond the edge of their self-maintained prison into the fresh springtime of their evolutionary potential.

To recapitulate:

  • There are human slaves who are trapped inside a box, who do not and will not recognize their situation.
  • There are slaves who are trapped inside a box who recognize that they are trapped inside a box, but do not know or feel able to work outside the box. Perhaps they have been punished too much for trying escape or questioning “conventional wisdom”.
  • There are slaves trapped inside the box who have made efforts to escape (unruly slaves or rebels). These latter are not really slaves if their rebellion desire is strong enough, even though they have not yet broken free.
  • There are rebels then who have broken through the box sufficiently to see things from outside the box. These people are capable of creative/evolutionary thought outside the box to an extent.
  • Then lastly, there are the liberated being who has completely broken through all boxes, limited thought constructs, and belief systems, the jivamukti. All these can be described.

The desire for order and security: Predilection and predictability

Strangely, the box provides predictability and order. It is a known quantity, which has defined and limited boundaries. Therefore, one’s prison is often associated with security. One also identifies with stasis and invests in maintaining it. That is how prisoners become their own prison guards. The well-known Stockholm syndrome where prisoners identified with and cooperated with their captors is only a small example of a daily drama where the majority of people use that same coping mechanism in adjusting to societal demands.

Seeking security and a sense of well being from predictable structures, is how many authoritarian and totalitarian religious and political systems obtain adherents. For example, there are two camps in Buddhism. One system (misnamed the gradual path) teaches daily repetitious practices which are geared to train the mind in one direction. In this way those lacking self-discipline can throw themselves into a repetitious practice every day while gradually changing their mindsets preparing them for the higher practices. The other school is misnamed the sudden path, but actually is better labeled the direct path. They teach the highest and most efficacious practices from the very beginning, leaving nothing out. Although these practices can be mutually synergistic, obviously one path may be more optimum than the other, depending  on the practitioner’s (sadhak’s) ability, past karma, and aspiration.

Eventually the need for predictability must be abandoned, but perhaps the jury is still out whether or not a predictable everyday repetitious practice is capable of transforming the egoic mindset, while opening up the mind to its true nature.

The Father, Fuhrer, and Authoritarian Syndrome

There exists a large body of extant literature detailing the repercussions of the authoritarian personality in the family, the society, and state, which inhibits creative and evolutionary human development. This most often begins with a domineering and insecure father figure who demands absolute obedience, but mothers can equally be control freaks. It is most often framed in the context that obedience and conformity to such rules are in the child’s best interest, i.e., taken to the extreme corporeal punishment is administered “because we love you”. Again, since the literature is voluminous, we will not repeat it here, but rather focus upon the development of its affect upon the child.

If the child does not question his family’s existing values, his father, mother, religion, societal or national “values”, but rather decides to become a “good” obedient boy following in those footsteps; then because of that bio-psychic investment the child has made upon such traditions and structures, they impulsively defend and uphold such unthinkingly. Any threat to the structure is misperceived becomes a threat to “self”. Since the ego is a mental structure, such perceived threats are most often mental, and are reacted to from deep seated  emotions of anger, resentment, fear, arrogance, and envy – all of which stem from one’s estrangement from their original non-condition — their programmed disconnection from primordial wisdom.

The Cause of Confusion/ ignorance, as the denial and non-recognition of primordial wisdom

There has been a long discussion about how this human tragedy occurs and in turn, how suffering on the planet is one symptomatic result, i.e., ignorance/confusion causes malaise/suffering and dis-ease; acting upon misinformation or erroneous data or dis-organizing it, leads to disorganized and dysfunctional behavior. Egoic delusion is not a theory, but an operational milieu for most people. Such mechanisms of self-deceit define their box. When it is threatened, it reflexively defends itself and/or becomes aggressive (angry).

See: Ignorance: its cause/origin and its radical eradication at  https://prayerdance.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/ignorance-its-causeorigin-and-its-radical-eradication/ and Purveyors of Confusion and Slavery  https://prayerdance.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/purveyors-of-confusion-and-slavery/

This is delineated in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in great detail. The ego (as the separate independent I sense) mistakenly thinks/conceives itself to be the essential mechanism for intelligent thought, so it cuts itself off from the wellsprings of primordial wisdom and the evolutionary/creative force unwittingly. Unaware that the ego is suffocating, the human being, rather thinking of itself as the essential master and savior, the egoic mind projects external demons, enemies, and phantoms of the night to explain its plight or to maintain its sense of failing security and integrity. In reality, real security and self-confidence is one’s connection with the evolutionary force and primordial wisdom. That union/oneness is also a Great Integrity, while attempting the integrity of an ego based on conceptual thoughts and belief systems is hopeless in the end. In the end, it is “self” defeating; i.e., not in one’s own best interest, but the ego is stubborn. This is all explained in yoga. In yoga, the ego (asmita), alongside with its mind prisons (the citta-vrtti), is not designated as the true self (swarupa) which is realized in samadhi as the true nature of mind (swarupa sunyam).

The ego is not the true self; rather it is an ersatz mask for the expropriation of slavery. After the slave has been convinced about one’s slave identity/status, then it defends it as an act of self-preservation and sense of security. Similarly, the ego reflexively craves reinforcement given its inherent insecurity (as an ego delusion). Hence, it becomes satisfied with information, which is pleasurable and preferable (praise) and resists or attacks messages/messengers which do not support its assumptions and illusions. In that milieu, the ego barricades itself inside the box and resists change – new creative thought unless it is presented within the context of the pre-existing box.

The former is perceived as pleasure that satisfies the ego’s craving for reinforcement, security, and meaning, while the latter is perceived as painful/threatening. Because egoic human beings crave pleasure and are afraid of pain, they set themselves up for manipulation (mental and eventually behavioral). Ego identities are laid out for the human where conformity, obedience, loyalty, patriotism, or “good” behavior are rewarded, either through praise, acceptance, status, privilege, or physical reward, or punished through violence, rejection, abandonment, condemnation, banishment, taboo, deprecation,  poverty, incarceration, etc. Such tactics are primary and are used on animals successfully as well.

These strategies can become complex, where one trick is to prevent the slave from recognizing their true situation (See the link above to the article “Purveyors of Confusion and Slavery “. These strategies and tricks are overturned in many ways once the victim has recognized that they have been brainwashed (recognition of the malaise) and has begun corrective therapy. One such effective healing method is by overturning fear itself and meeting one’s fear. This is very satisfying. There are many similar yogic techniques, which will not be detailed here. Similarly the obvious remedy is to eliminate egoic tendencies in the first place by recognizing the origin of mental pain, their relation to the egoic mind’s construction of good (what we like, desire or find pleasurable) and bad (what we dislike or find painful) and defeat that momentum with the momentum of primordial wisdom through yogic practices.

The Yoga Sutras clearly outline the inter-relationship between karma (action), painful experiences (kleshic), imprisoned mindsets (citta-vrtti), belief systems (pramana), conceptual mindsets (vikalpa), and how to remediate them through effective yogic practices.

Sometimes the pain involved in facing one’s inner demons becomes overwhelming, especially when there is not only no external/social support, but even worse an onslaught of external forces which tend to magnify, project, and protect stasis (one’s old identity within the old world view). The yogi’s answer is to continue going deeper or enter a meditative retreat. However, one then may feel trapped and seek help if they feel not up to the task of going through the necessary process of disillusionment completely. Instead of working out their inner conflicts/demons intimately, within themselves by themselves (using awareness to investigate the instrument of awareness), in their dark deep night of the soul or put another way, sitting under the bodhi tree so to speak, where the egoic masquerade dies and their spiritual non-dual self arises; they seek out guidance, direction, more authority, and greater dependence upon an external constructs/worldly systems and people, which in many cases only amplifies their attachment and fear.

Because it often appears painful when going through one’s pre-existing pain while confronting one’s demons (fears), it is understandable that many choose the opposite, escapism, sedatives, tranquilizers, alcohol, over eating, neurotic self indulgence, drugs, or other such activities which either dull their awareness or distract/entertain them. These become chronic coping mechanisms of a neurotic adaptation to dysfunctional situations, which further delay the eventual confrontation with the truth. Similarly, one can seek insulation, protection, and support by surrounding themselves with like-minded peers who support their delusion. Neurotic ersatz coping mechanisms are myriad, as they are unnecessary if a slave can imagine the energy and freedom in a life free from fear, pain, attachment, and neurotic tendencies.

Many people have conflated ego with self, but the ego is not our true nature or self (swarupa). The ego is a masqueraded mental prison, where pain, fear, attachment, false identification, and limitations are imposed. When the ego dies, one’s creative life begins. The ego is not the body, unless one confuses the body as oneself. The body actually thrives free from the ego delusion. The body does not need ego (delusion) to support or protect it. The opposite is true. When the biopsychic channels in the bodymind complex are open and clear, creative and evolutionary energy flows and becomes easily accessible. Stress and confusion are removed naturally.

Karma, klesha, the flow of consciousness, and the great continuity

As mentioned above, the Yoga Sutras clearly outline the inter-relationship between karma (action), painful experiences (kleshic), mindsets (citta-vrtti), belief systems (pramana), conceptual mindsets (vikalpa), and how to remediate them through effective yogic practices.

The goal is not to limit awareness or isolate oneself, but to open up the channels (nadis) for free flowing dialogue with the evolutionary/creative force and primordial wisdom. That is the way a creative life manifests itself on the planet. We will assume that everyone who is reading this are human beings. That is, that they are manifesting with human bodies. Then we will assume that they have co-evolved from the planet earth, which is part of our solar system and universe, as well as interconnected with all known dimensions of time and space. This is said, because many people do not define their “self” in these terms. If they do not, they do not know how they came here or where they are going. They will not feel connected to a great continuity and integrity that is known both now in the human body as well as before birth and after death. This is the direction where this section is headed’ i.e., universal timeless awareness here and now. If it is not here and now, then it is neither universal awareness nor timeless.

If we do not know it NOW in this lifetime – the present, then our life potential has become greatly demeaned. This expropriation is the beginning of a phantom life. This also makes it far more difficult to prepare for physical death, because the great continuity is absent. In short, the great integrity is ever-present as a great continuity, but it remains generally unrecognized or even taboo. When it is recognized NOW and HERE, it is recognized in the past and the future simultaneously. In that realization there is no fear of physical death, rather it is simply a transition from a gross physical form of awareness to a more subtle level of awareness. For one who knows the true nature of their mind, this transition is seamless.

The ego does not transition. For the mind that has not become purified, what transitions is the karmic traces, mental samskaras, unresolved painful mental afflictions, and psychic imprints which eventually seek rebirth in a form which they can become expressed. For a liberated being, they are finished with the karmic wheel of desire, aversion, and antipathy. They may take a human birth again or not, depending upon how unconditional love and wisdom conspire.

The role of primordial wisdom throughout life

At birth we are in wonder and awe, just beginning to learn about “objective” reality. We learn discernment skills as we grow up, but most important is to know that human beings are all connected and co-evolving with everything else. If we learn about the elements,  stars, body, and time within the context of this great continuity, then education empowers our creative/evolutionary potential. Otherwise it stifles, represses, and inhibits it and with it, all life becomes demeaned. After we create and procreate, we retire and plan for the physical transition. If we are lucky, there are no snags, no transition, i.e., the physical form body on the planet ceases to exist on the planet. That seamless non-transition happens when this great integrity is not corrupted. That is to say, when we learn about human life, the body, the planet, the universe, time, and the evolutionary process in the a great continuity where such has not become disrupted, abandoned, or corrupted by negative programming in this life. Everything flows smoothly in the realm of an overall great continuity/integrity. Such a charmed life is however rare, but never the less, it is everyone’s birthright. The tragedy is that most human beings become expropriated and corrupted at an early age.

The big Self and the immortal soul

Some religions support the notion of an immortal god. Some also support the idea of an immortal soul. Some say that they are different. Some say that they are the same. Some say that they are married. Some say neither exist as separate. Some say this or that.

Buddhists take the entire idea of a separate entity that religions define as god as being self-defeating. They will however accept the idea of timeless beginningless primordial presence, but assert that this is the result of a unification of a primordial unborn formless realm with the form realm. There exists a seamless natural integrity/integration, which is our original state. We could call it original innocence, but since the word, innocence has ambiguous meanings (connoting naïveté or ignorance as well as uncorruptedness) we will use the word, integrity. We will also address the incorruptible body or the adamantine vajra body (vajrakaya) of a realized and integrated being.

In this uncorrupted reality, there is no true separation between essence and object, or of essence from anything or anybody else, except that the unaware mindset may not acknowledge such. Such a separation however is an impossibility, as it merely lies deeply buried in the unconscious. The separation being the result of unawareness, which is a mental construct, reflects a state of biopsychic imprisonment or inhibition, which in turn, obscures the light of clarity addicting one to their prison. On the other hand, the union/connection is due to unsurpassed and unobscured awareness and clarity – a recognition and immersion into unlimited space and time. This realm is an unlimited all pervasive aggregate where no thing is left out and no thing needs to be included. It is phrased as unconditional liberation. Although there may be many realms, lokas, universes, and dimensions, this holographic dimension includes them all. Being all-inclusive, it is accessed HERE and NOW. It is also accessed after and before. Implicate, it has never left us.

Indeed, it is beyond ideas of a separate God that exists outside of us, as well as a separate ego which lies inside. It is both inside and outside, but since it defies reification/objectification, it does not exist separate outside or inside, above or below, left or right, but rather in the heart/core middle of the middle. How do we dare speak of “it” which has no boundaries or definition?

Our connection with primordial wisdom and knowledge is through vast space, and time. While in the human body, it is done through the realms of form although ultimately primordial awareness is formless. This formless realm is unborn, uncreated, and unconditional. It is the source of great creative potential. Although the physical realm of this physical universe is accessed through the human vehicle, it is not separate from all the other realms even though our awareness of it is very subtle or limited – even though we may be unaware largely. For example, we can sit in a deep underground cave, but the sun may still be shining.

What is being imputed is that the idea of an immortal soul or ego is not necessary for life. In fact, it may get into the way, unless “the soul” is defined very carefully. What is labeled as the soul, in Buddhism is thus designated to be a complex of unfinished karma, old karma, the momentum of confusion, which has imprinted itself upon the mindstream which then perpetuates a rebirth in various realms, albeit some realms are astral and can be like heavens or hells. In that temporal disconnected sense there appears to be life after death and a soul, but it is a temporary and hazardous existence, because it lacks timeless awareness and hence evolutionary momentum. It is still subject to karma. In these realms if one does not work on their karmic proclivities and attain integrity, the so-called soul is delegated to ride out the winds of past imprinted karma/confusions. If they continue to develop clear awareness, then they can gain clear light liberation – reside in the great boundless of perfect integration/integrity (uncorrupted innocence).

The non-physical form world

So there has been much talk about the soul, life after death, who reincarnates if anyone, the purpose of life. All of these may be good topics or not. In yoga there is a long-standing tradition regarding what may be called the energy body, variously defined as the illusory body, vajra body, rainbowlight body, sambhogakaya (bliss body), and so forth. There exist many practices regarding these form bodies devoid of a physical body. In fact, the idea of a physical body that exists as a separate entity apart from the energy body and the formless body is flawed. None of these bodies have to do with the concept of an ego or a separate individual soul, rather the opposite. These practices are performed while alive, in this very body with the same non-dual purpose of gaining unconditional liberation in order to liberate all others.

As described above such practices of integration, form a harmonious and conscious relationship between the differentiated realm of form (rupakaya) and the formless/unborn realm (dharmakaya). There is much confusion regarding the nature of these bodies/realms. The important distinction is that these bodies are to be understood as joined and interconnected. The energy body (bliss body) is the intermediator or platform that accomplishes modulates this relationship. As this relationship between the dharmakaya (a-temporal realm) and embodiment realm via the energy body is re-established/integrated, the conscious evolution of the energy body is effected. Access is effected via experiential practices. The adamantine incorruptible body is the vajra body.

So again, a question naturally arises, what happens when the physical body dies? Of the relationship between the energy and the timeless body has been successful, then integration is seamless. Free from kleshas, confusion, and karma, the practitioner serves as a conscious emissary through the evolutionary momentum that is is integrated and infused with the primordial wisdom. Thus one serves the highest good (Samantabhadra). These are subjects covered in the six yogas of Naropa, the six yogas of Niguma, and many other high tantric practices. Eventually the vajra body is realized, but it is realized devoid of dualistic hindrances; i.e., free from imputations of an ego.

Maturation/Liberation

So we have matured from wonder, to slavery, to recognition of the slavery, to rebellion, to recognition of awakening, to awakening, liberation, and finally to conscious integration/integrity in recognition of the great integrity. What is the nature of this matured action? Its nature is one of co-evolutionary momentum and interaction. Authentic yogis do not achieve liberation so they can nod off into some catatonic/nihilistic state of non-existence. Nor do they have any desire or need to escape to some kind of bliss paradise. They are not influenced by craving nor fear, greed or anger, nor envy or praise. Their operations are not subject to dualistic scrutiny (Yoga Sutra IV.7). They do not desire making human beings dependent. The nature of their intent is the four boundless minds, which reflect the original innate mind of awakening (bodhicitta).

Microcosm and Macrocosm: the reflexive universe of the hologram

Everywhere right now, nowhere else, all the time, truly exists in holographic non-duality the open empty door for all to experience who are true seekers. The microcosm is the a-temporal primordial seed potential and the macrocosm is the entire universal universe physical, energetic, ever-changing, and temporal. On the other hand, is the microcosm imprinted within all beings and things, while suddenly we might awake to our inherent sympathetic harmony as healing vibrations of love, light, and complete clarity of awareness? Inside and out, left/right, up/down, forward/back are all linked together by limitless and infinitesimal love essence.

Is every “thing” and being a macrocosmic or microcosmic entry point or portal to anywhere else in the hologram? Is anything really solid, non-vibratory, autonomous, dead, and discrete? It depends on how you look at “it”.

Hari Om Tat Sat

End of Part III in the Series on Ignorance and Unawareness in three parts

Part I: Ignorance: its cause/origin and its radical eradication at  https://prayerdance.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/ignorance-its-causeorigin-and-its-radical-eradication/

Part II. Purveyors of Confusion and Slavery  https://prayerdance.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/purveyors-of-confusion-and-slavery/

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Ignorance: its cause/origin and radical eradication The Primordial Tradition by Kyabje Thinley Norbu Dorje

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