Friday, March 30, 2012

The Ultimate Fact Of All Philosophy

Zen is the ultimate fact of all philosophy and religion. Every intellectual effort must culminate in it, or rather must start from it, if it is to bear any practical fruits. Every religious faith must spring from it if it has to prove at all efficiently and livingly workable in our active life. Therefore Zen is not necessarily the fountain of Buddhism thought and life alone; it is very much alive also in Christianity, Mohommedanism in Taoism and even in positivistic Confucianism. What makes all these religious and philosophies vital and inspiring, keeping up their usefulness and efficiency, is due to the presence in them of what I may designate as the Zen element.

D. T. Suzuki, the 20th century’s foremost authority on Buddhist thought, is explaining how Zen or consciousness impacts religion as well as philosophy. Zen is the inner action of consciousness, and it manifests using one of the non-physical aspect of the self or the psyche. The action of Zen can be experienced through different religions and philosophies because those modalities are part of our belief structure. Religions help open a channel to the inner self and we use that channel to form or influence our belief structure. All beliefs are valid to the believer until another aspect of consciousness forms another channel within the psyche. There is an ever-changing genesis of awareness going on within the psyche, and Zen is the word that can be used to describe portions of that genesis. Zen moments are unlimited, and they occur at various points in linear time.

Consciousness qualities fragment into Zen moments in order to sense other fragments of the self. Zen appears in religious experiences so the physical self can sense certain pieces of the psyche in time sequences. The action of the psyche intermingles with the action of Zen in a cloud-type way, and the combination produces a plethora of associations and influences that expand the awareness of our inner world.

Suzuki goes on to say:

Mere scholasticism or mere sacerdotalism will never create a living faith. Religion requires something inwardly propelling, energizing and capable of doing work. The intellect is useful in its place, but when it tries to cover the whole field of religion it dries up the source of life.

Faith is another way of saying we believe without proof. Individual consciousness experiences faith through the action of Zen not the action of religion. Religious groups tend to root themselves in rigid beliefs, and that inhibits the inner energy that circulates through the action of Zen. Those groups control willing participants through limited as well as judgmental beliefs. In that atmosphere faith is distorted. The source of faith constantly changes as we become more aware of the multiplicity that exists within the psyche and Zen. The value of an open mind is the main ingredient in the action of Zen, and it is a catalyst that regulates the power of religion.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Staves In A Tub

Griffy the Cooper

The cooper should know about tubs But I learned about life as well. And you who loiter around these graves Think you know life. You think our eyes sweeps about a wide horizon, perhaps, In truth you are only looking around the interior of your tub. You cannot lift yourself to its rim And see the outer world of things, And at the same time see yourself. You are submerged in the tub of yourself. Taboos and rules and appearances, Are the staves of your tub. Break them and dispel the witchcraft Of thinking your tub is life! And that you know life!

Edgar Lee Masters wrote the Spoon River Anthology in 1915. It is a collection of short poems that describe life in the fictional town of Spoon River. There are two hundred and twelve different characters in the work, and two hundred and forty-four accounts of different life experiences. Each poem is an epitaph written by a dead citizen of Spoon River. The characters speak without facades. They have no reason to fear the consequences of being honest. Each character constructs a picture of life the way they should have lived it, or they explain why they lived it the way they did. Griffy the Cooper is one of the characters that lived in Spoon River.

We all want to live some of our experiences over again. We want to use the insight we have now, and apply it to the past or the future. The past is what defines us, and the future is what tempts us. Our tubs are filled with past memories and future expectations, and they often hinder us from living in the now. A large chunk of our beliefs are rooted in the past so we bring a considerable amount of baggage to our daily decision making process. We forget that we are much more than the cells we depend on in this physical life. Our beliefs emerged us in a tub of taboos, rules, and appearances and we act out these tub mates like the thespians we aspire to be.

Our tubs are anchored to other worlds. These other realities are filled with the same sort energy that creates what we create in this reality. The rims we design around our individual and mass tub restrict us from experiencing other aspects of these worlds until we have the fortitude to accept the fact that we create our own experiences through our thoughts and beliefs.

Consciousness is energy in action, and it creates an enormous amount of tubs. We see the results of our own tub creations in the economic and political turmoil we bathe in daily. The sense that we must separate, restrict, and isolate one tub from another keeps us submerged in the stagnant water of fear. Our ability to expand our awareness, and experience the freedom to elect, govern, and accept leaders that lead with fundamental innate values is stymied by our inability to see past the rim of our own tub.

We live in a world of diverse tubs. Some tubs are filled with awareness; others are half full, and others are a quarter full. There are tubs that we label “empty,” but there is always some awareness floating at the rim of every tub. The ability to create our physical experiences is forged into the foundation of every tub and rim.

Individual tubs are supported by a complex belief structure, and that structure is always under construction. We have the tools and the insight to look over the rim of our tub at any point in linear time, and experience other realities that expand our beliefs. Expanding our beliefs about the self and our mass reality is a natural aspect of our consciousness. We do it using the contrast we create economically, politically, and religiously, but we can also expand the nature of the self by becoming aware that we are staves in tubs of own making.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mutable Genius

Genius Upborne and surrounded we are by this all-creating nature, soft and fluid as a cloud or the air, why should we be such hard pedants, and magnify a few forms? Why should we make account of time, or of magnitude, or of figure? The soul knows them not, and genius, obeying its law, knows how to play with them as a young child plays with graybeards and in churches. Genius studies the casual thought, and, far back in the womb of things, sees the rays parting from one orb, that diverge ere they fall by infinite diameters.

Genius watches the monad through all his masks as he performs the metempsychosis of nature. Genius detects through the fly, through the caterpillar, through the grub, through the egg, the constant individual; through countless individuals, the fixed species; through many species, the genius; through all genera, the steadfast type; through all the kingdoms of organized life, the eternal unit. Nature is a mutable cloud, which is always and never the same.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote those thoughts in his 1841 essay History. Genius flows through all life. There’s even genius in the invisible forms of life that change the chemical make-up of other organisms. Life is a book of genius. That book is filled with blank pages, and individual consciousness gets to choose how to fill each page. Consciousness fills those pages with a special blend of innate energy that creates as it expands.

Our consciousness moves through a plethora of probabilities every moment, but we rarely see the genius within those untouched probabilities until a moment is shaped and lived. We try to examine all the genius within our mental reach, but we only see some of the mutable consciousness in the physical universe. In the unexplainable world of inner consciousness, genius is as fluid as the mental clouds formed by our perceptions. It is constantly in motion and it changes as we perceive it.

The freedom to explore our consciousness is restricted by our limited view of the self. We rely on religion or science to confirm or deny certain physical and non-physical truths about the nature of human consciousness. Once these “truths” are analyzed and judged by our fragmented system, the framework for logical sanity is established. Anything outside of that framework is considered false or insane until it has been proven true by our perceptions as well as our intent. Most of the truths we considered true through the centuries eventually are proven false so the framework of perceived genius has insane cracks in its foundation. Common sense guards the fractured framework until that common sense becomes uncommon.

Fragmented genius is classified using a logical sense of linear time, and exterior divisions. Our fragmented genius works as long as we stay within our fractured framework, but, our innate genius still exists outside of that framework, and it functions in a plethora of ways. That genius gradually breaks down the insanity of regulated commonality.

The insanity of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, a maggot turning into a fly, or an egg turning into physical consciousness show us various aspects of consciousness that thrive on mutable waves of time and space. The impetus to turn non-physical energy into individual mutable genius is part of the nature of the self. Mutable genius is a quality of consciousness. It breaks down the hard pendants of thought we form to define life.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Power of Rule

The first and foremost aim of each political party is to prevail over the other in order to get into power or to stay in it. But, no leadership is absolute. Political leadership exerted according to the democratic method is even less so than are others because of that competitive element which is of the essence of democracy.

Joseph Schumpeter was the chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Bonn from 1925 to 1932. He fled to the United States in 1932 to escape Nazi rule, and became a professor of economics at Harvard. He taught there until his death in 1950. His book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy is his best known work, but his other works about the economic dynamics of capitalism are widely read in universities all over the world.

Schumpeter talks about the political structure of a democracy in his book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. He said the primary function of the elector’s vote is to produce a government in a democracy, but the only democracy that actually achieves that goal is the United States. In all other democracies the electorate’s vote only produces an intermediate organ called a parliament. The parliament actually produces a direct government.

Theoretically every follower has the right of displacing his leadership, but only a chosen few have a chance of doing that in our hybrid form of democracy. The leader usually responds to political threats by taking a middle course, which includes subtly insisting on discipline, and allowing himself to be thwarted. He tempers pressure using judicial concessions, frowns with compliments, and punishments with benefits. These tactics usually result in a considerable amount of freedom in terms of political give and take. Minor issues of sectional importance are accepted by the leader, and other issues are left in a boiling pot of political rhetoric.

The two-party system that is in place now has changed over the years. Our elected party officials don’t necessarily intend to promote public welfare based on principles they believe in and agree on. The system functions with one arm tied behind its back. Both parties create flexible principles that promote the success of their party, but those principles may not enhance the success of the democracy.

Schumpeter explains the process this way:

For all parties will of course, at any given time, provide themselves with a stock of principles or planks and these principles or planks may be characteristic of the party that adopts them and they are as important for its success as the brands of goods a department store sells that are characteristic of it and important for its success. But the department store cannot be defined in terms of its brands and party cannot be defined in terms of its principles.

A party is a group whose members propose to act in concert in the competitive struggle for political power. If that were not so it would be impossible for different parties to adapt exactly or almost exactly the same program. Yet this happens as everyone knows. Party and machine politicians are simply the response to the fact that the electoral mass is incapable of action other than a stampede, and they constitute an attempt to regulate political competition. Their acts are similar to the corresponding practices of a trade association. The psycho-technics of party management and party advertising, slogans and other political rhetoric are not accessories. They are of the essence of politics.

The light of awareness has been turned to the on position, and we now see that the word democracy does not mean the people actually rule. The democracy we are experiencing means the people only have an opportunity of accepting or rejecting the men who rule them. Those men decide the fate of the people, and they may use undemocratic ways to achieve that goal. Our current democracy can be defined as the rule of the politician not the people.

Through the years political office has become a career for the professionals and lawyers that agreed to serve for a specific term. Once elected, the power of rule takes over, and these businessmen and lawyers are absorbed by pseudo-political success. They proclaim themselves the saviors of the system― a system that is broken by their quest for entitlements. They deal in votes rather than in the real issues. In our modern democracy, government office has become a long term career not a limited service.

Schumpeter forecasted the breakdown of our democratic system back in 1938. He said:

The efficiency of democratic government is inevitably impaired because of the tremendous loss of energy which the incessant battle in Congress and outside of it imposes upon the leading men. It is further impaired by the necessity of bending policies to the exigencies of political warfare. Neither proposition is open to doubt. The democratic method produces legislation and administration as by-products of the struggle for political office.

It seems the argument that Edmund Burke made when he addressed the English Parliament with respect to the American colonies has been forgotten or ignored. Burke bluntly told the Parliament that it must impose limits on itself. Our system has expanded to a point where the intellectual and moral level of the constituents is overlooked in order to promote an individual party― not our democracy. Individual proposals that are set forth by congressmen and senators must resist the temptation to embarrass or upset the leadership in order to gain a political victory. Negative political gestures that are constructed to destroy differences in political opinions are not the seeds for a fruitful democracy.

Victor Frankl the Austrian psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and one of the key figures in existential therapy reminded us how to plant fruitful political seeds when he said:

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

We must change our thoughts about politics. We must adapt a national character and national habits that will reestablish the basic moral principles that are innately rooted in the human psyche. Our national voice is fragmented and then divided by two hostile political camps, and the result is an eroding democracy. Democracy rests on a rational scheme of positive human actions, and the values that are set in motion by a healthy dose of moral character.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fertile Soil Of Expressions

The difference between men is in their principle of associations. Some men classify objects by color and size and other accidents of appearance; others by intrinsic likeness, or by the relation of cause and effect. The progress of the intellect is to the clearer vision of causes, which neglects surface differences. To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. For the eye is fastened on the life, and slights the circumstance. Every chemical substance, every plant, every animal in its growth, teaches unity of cause, the variety of appearance.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1841 essay, History strikes a chord of knowing within the psyche. We eventually sense other aspects of our essence, and realize they have been shrouded by vacillating vibrations. Those vibrations manifest as judgments, associations and influences. Our world springs into a new phase of creativity each moment, but we tend to resist the power of our own energy. Our physical differences block our ability to feel comfortable with the self we call “me.”

The universe is an unfinished painting that changes with individual as well as mass brush strokes. Those stokes manifest from choices, probabilities and intent. There is an artist, poet, saint, and philosopher in all of us, and they are all fused with the divine rite of expression. Every atom and molecule possesses a consciousness that identifies with, and reacts to our individual expressions. Our cells are aware of all the probable cooperative ventures that make life a never-ending quest for value fulfillment. The cells are connected to the spiritual, mental, and psychic aspects of the self. They dwell in the visible as well as the invisible inner universe. Our physical components wrap themselves around space and time, and our inner consciousness injects them with awareness.

We learn more about the nature of the self by examining our creations and accepting them as the brush strokes we choose for our painting of life. Our painting contains unique creative genius as well as distortions. Both genius and distortions teach us acceptance without resistance. That is the basic formula for unity. Our painting also exposes the diversity that acts as a vital impetus for change. Our cultural and social painting appears to be set in one objective world, but the colors within the paint seep into other realities, and dress those altered states with alternative probabilities. We neglect to focus on other inner choices, but the probabilities within them help design several worlds simultaneously.

Our life painting is like a diamond that has many facets. We cover those facets with past knowledge and future ignorance as well as present awareness. Awareness is filled with growth, destruction, and psychic stimulation. Those influences and associations give our painting the character and the panache to experience and appreciate life as the painter as well as the painting. It is up to us to recognize our multidimensional self. Every painter is enriched by the multiplicity of consciousness, and each painting continues to expand in the fertile soil of our individual mental expressions.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Philosophical Assumptions

All disciplines rest on a network of philosophical assumptions about the nature of life and reality. These fundamental assumptions play a potent, but often unconscious, role in determining our beliefs about mind and human nature. For example, the materialist who believes that matter is the primary constituent of reality and that life and consciousness are merely curious accidents will regard mind and human nature very differently from the person who believes that consciousness is primary and life is its purposeful creation. For the materialist, people and minds may be endlessly fascinating but are at bottom merely machines devoid of significance and ultimately reducible to neuronal fireworks and chemical combinations. For the idealist, on the other hand, people and minds may be part of a universal consciousness and partake of its boundless significance.

Roger Walsh and Frances Vaughan expressed those thoughts in The Philosophy of Transcendence, which is a chapter in their 1993 book, Paths Beyond Ego. Life is expression and that expression is as diverse as the consciousness experiencing it. The diversity that exists within each individual aspect of consciousness makes each expression of life a fulfilling as well as expanding experience.

There is no such thing as a non-living thing to the idealist. The idealist knows that there is consciousness in the tiniest particle whatever that life expression may be. Some particles may lack the conditions that materialists set forth to define living. Those conditions are arbitrarily set by limited beliefs about consciousness. Idealists accept the notion that there was consciousness before the smallest cell manifested physically. They believe the first cell materialized because it existed in the inner reality of its own consciousness. Idealists also believe that consciousness impresses or forms into matter through intent.

Consciousness is energy in action. We experience a portion of that action physically. The exciting physical experience we choose is the product of an invisible consciousness design and a designer. Those aspects of the self are so entrenched in each other that it is impossible to separate them. We are creators that experience our own creations. All life is endowed with creativity. The world blossoms with new creativity every second. Inner impulses from an invisible universal energy constantly impregnate creations with the force of consciousness, and that expands the awareness of materialists as well as idealists.

Those labels, and other labels like them, create separation, which is fertile ground for expansion. In this reality the essence of the self uses the diversity created by these distinct perceptions to expand individual as well as mass consciousness. In another reality, materialists may be idealists, and idealists may be materialists. The ability to create separation using physiological assumptions is a tool used by certain aspects or forms of consciousness to sense the complete self.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Invisible Impetus

Those who are scattered, simplify your worrying lives. There is one righteousness: Water the fruit trees and don’t water the thorns. Be generous to what nurtures the spirit and God’s luminous reason-light. Don’t honor what causes dysentery and knotted-up tumors.

Don’t feed both sides of yourself equally. The spirit and the body carry different loads and require different attentions. Too often we put saddlebags on Jesus and let the donkey run loose in the pasture. Don’t make the body do what the spirit does best, and don’t put a big load on the spirit that the body could carry easily.

Rumi, the great 13th poet and mystic, was not educated the way we believe education should be administered. He was not part of the select few that controlled the political, economic and social structure of Turkish life in those days, but he was insightful and very connected. Rumi understood that we are more than we think we are. He was conscious of his inner consciousness, and expressed it in his religious beliefs and his poetry. He realized that daily events are created by our thoughts, beliefs and purposes.

Rumi’s reality then and our reality now, provide a stage where certain events may or may not occur. We experience those events, label them, and file them in our consciousness. Our reality is filled with what Rumi calls fruit trees and thorn bushes. We have the free will to choose fruit or thorns in every moment.

Rumi’s poetry brings out the fact that we are not victims of war, poverty, disease or social injustice. We create those issues in order to experience the contrast that exists in our focused reality. The pains we experience from the contrast we create are tools of expansion. Expansion of consciousness is the natural action of the self. We use our non-physical assets physically in order to expand our beliefs about the self and the nature of consciousness.

We all have different desires, perceptions and standards when it comes to creating a physical environment to experience. Each environment has value so one is not less the other. We don’t choose to experience physical life the same way, and we do not want to be alike in this reality because we are a whole part as well as an individualistic part of a diverse group of non-physical energies.

Our non-physical energy provides an invisible impetus to our brain and body cells. All of our cells change constantly. The non-physical aspects of the self provide the mental food for the metamorphic cellular activity we experience throughput our physical lives. We experience these changes in different ways, but, for the most part, we don’t focus on them. Non-physical energy helps the body mechanism function in sync with our beliefs as well as our inner consciousness.

Non-physical energy is like the air. We don’t see air, but it surrounds and flows through us. We can’t hold the air, but we can contain it in different vessels. The air in those vessels is contained, but it’s not different from the air that exists in other forms. When we release air from a vessel, it blends with the air around it and disappears. The air never appeared in the first place, but we knew it was there. Non-physical energy is like the air. It is always in us and it is always surrounding us with impulses and thoughts. Some of these messages become events and experiences in this reality, and others are experienced in other realities.

When we sense the power our own non-physical energy and then focus on it, we can use it to experience what we want in this reality. We should accept the thorns or the diversity we create, and know that is part of the physical process we call living. When we start to focus on what we create in this reality, we begin to diffuse our victim mentality. We realize that our reality is fertilized by our thoughts and beliefs. Our reality is filled with infinite individual choices, and probabilities. Our invisible impetus helps the focused self experience our choices in a manner that fulfills our intent.

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