Myth, Mysticism and Insight

 

In The Tao Of Physics, Fritjof Capra makes some interesting observations on the subject of myth in mysticism and what those of insight come to understand about such.   I had as much in mind when I wrote of constructs in the book ‘What Is Wrong With Scientology?’,  but clearly did not articulate it nearly as well.

“Indian mysticism, and Hinduism in particular, clothes its statements in the form of myths, using metaphors and symbols, poetic images, similes and allegories.  Mythical language is much less restricted by logic and common sense. It is full of magic and paradoxical situations, rich in suggestive images and never precise, and can thus convey the way in which mystics experience reality much better than factual language.  According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, ‘myth embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words.’

“The rich Indian imagination has created a vast number of gods and goddesses whose incarnations and exploits are the subject of fantastic tales, collected in epics of huge dimensions.  The Hindu with deep insight knows that all these gods are creations of the mind, mythical images representing the many faces of reality. On the other hand, he or she also knows that they were not merely created to make the stories more attractive, but are essential vehicles to convey the doctrines of a philosophy rooted in mystical experience.”

If there is truth to this, what does one make of the understandings or motivations of those who insist upon literal conceptualizations of imaginative religious mythology?   Are they of deep insight themselves?  Are they actively preventing others from developing or attaining deep insight?   You might have experienced some of the cognitive dissonance (or analytical and/or intuitive enturbulance) that is concomitant with inculcation of fantastic mythologies, not as part of an acknowledged ‘mystical experience’ but instead as cold, hard, unquestionable fact.  Or perhaps you are comfortable with the security that comes with faith and belief in mythology.

Name Calling and Labeling

 

name-calling

One thing that I have observed over the years is that name-calling and affixing derogatory labels to people usually exacerbates any perceived shortcomings in the target.  It is in the nature of people to defend themselves when under personal attack.  When it comes to using labels and name-calling to make nothing of the target, oft times the target reinforces the behavior labeled in an effort to somehow vindicate himself.

Name-calling seems to be an ingrained habit with some.  Folks might take some form of temporary satisfaction by considering themselves greater than those whom they condemn by shouting condemnatory labels. But, in the long run they are not really lessening the target nor are they increasing their own stature by doing so.  To the contrary, they wind up lessening their own integrity by defining themselves in the context of their chosen nemesis.  That fact alone makes them the effect of and thus less than their perceived enemies.

A valued teacher of mine once said ‘when you point your finger at someone, look to where your other three fingers are pointing.’

finger

Where To Plant Your Feet

 

synchronicity

Ta-sui was asked, “Buddha’s truth is everywhere; so where do you teach students to plant their feet?”

He replied, “The vast ocean lets fish leap freely; the endless sky lets birds fly freely.”

- translation by Thomas Cleary

 

The Self

self

Chih-men was asked, ‘What is my self?’

He replied, ‘Who is asking?’

The questioner said, ‘Please help me more.’

Chih-men said, ‘The robber is a coward at heart.’

- translated by Thomas Cleary

Now or Never

scientology

Scientology is a religion.  I have seen ample evidence both from within its organizations and from without them that scientology is workable to the degree one believes in it.  It works when one believes that it will.  It does not work when one does not believe that it will.  It is just like any other religion in that regard.

I have previously discussed the cognitive dissonance set in place by scientology’s insistence upon being considered religion and science at once; a feature that results in scientologists’ apparent inability to differentiate belief from demonstrable certainty.  Beyond that particular feature scientology ought not be that difficult to get over.

I no longer wish to debate with religionists over their firmly held beliefs.  The majority of them find some level of comfort and security in keeping their beliefs undisturbed.  The better part of the rest seem to only get from such discussions some argumentation with which to triumphantly declare, ‘aha, it is a fraud!';   further motivation for continuing to beset themselves with it.

My heartfelt advice for those who no longer believe in scientology and yet continue to haunt themselves over it, is that you give it a rest.  Give yourself some space to come to grips with the fact of scientology’s religious nature. Once you do that you can fairly easily decide whether you want to continue to believe in it – or obsess with it – or not. Once you do that the rest of the way in or out is fairly simple and requires little to no guidance.

Causation

 

 

hold-the-sun

Here is a passage from the Tao that appears at a critical juncture in my in-progress book.  I have also referred to it in previous posts.

Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises all by itself?

Review where your important cognitions, realizations, or problem solutions come from.  Do you create them?  Or do you let go sufficiently so that you may perceive them as they arrive all on their own?  Are you the author of something brand new to the universe?  Or do you open yourself up to see something that was already there?  Do the brilliant ideas come when you extrovert sufficiently from self and self- importance to make way for them?  Or do they come when you are undisturbed – or encouraged – to gather your true master-of-the-universe bearing sufficient to birth another masterpiece?