Monday, May 26, 2014

We Prefer Listening to Doing

Jesus, Lao Tse, and Buddha didn't aim to start the religions they're associated with. That phenomenon was the by-product of their personal search for truth. The fact that, at one point in their lives, each of them went on a lonely quest for knowledge, using the tools available at the time, i.e., using their bodies as laboratories. They weren't thinking about religion or about science. Yet, the discoveries they made during their fateful retreats turned out to be the precursors of both religion and science.

Struggle of Good and Evil
He Talks; She Listens

Each of them had absented themselves for a time from their worldly preoccupations to practice a solitary meditation, and it was through this practice that they awakened Kundalini, that placeholder term we use to denote the evolutionary energy in man. Other traditions have other names for it: Chi, orgone, or life force. The names aren't important; they are interchangeable.

What did they discover? They discovered a hidden sub-system inside their bodies that, properly aroused, opened the doors to higher consciousness and led them to infer an ontology for human potential beyond anything science knows today. They were doers, not talkers, impelled by what Gopi Krishna called the evolutionary impulse. An impulse to self-actualization written into our DNA. What is the mechanism behind self-actualization that they shared? According to historical research, they shared the practice of meditation. It was through meditation that they came to the discovery of the dormant evolutionary energy in every human body.

The Seventh Seal in Drag
On Alert

Only after making their discoveries did they begin talking about them. First they practiced, then they talked. It was as if they were saying: Do before talking, and when you do talk, talk about doing.

These men didn't talk about religion; they talked about doing. Unfortunately, the doing part has become lost, especially here in the West. However, if you look carefully at the religious teachings surrounding their discoveries and boil them down to their barest denominators, they amount to not much more than the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A simple enough maxim to enunciate, but quite difficult to adhere to in practice. The very fact we in the West call our religions faiths, not practices should give some indication of what we're dealing with. In other words, traditional religion means: I'm going to talk, and you're going to listen. I'm going to give you my opinion on what you should think and believe. Never mind about verifying; shut up, listen, and believe.

Don't blame the progenitors. They didn't actually start the various religions named after them. In fact, Jesus Christ wasn't a Christian; Lao Tse wasn't a Taoist, and Buddha wasn't a Buddhist. The signing-up, party member stuff came later, after camp followers, sycophants, and spin doctors began politicizing and formalizing their teachings, turning them into money-making organizations. It was after the fact that these religions were named for their progenitors.

Yes, there is still a residue of legitimate devotion to the initial discoveries those pioneers made about human evolution and how we might speed it up in order to avoid the pitfalls of negative emotion, greed, war, racial hatred, wanton violence. But much of their teaching about meditation has been lost over the centuries and we are left with the man-made dogmas and doctrines that have nothing to do with doing.

Yes, we love to listen; we hate to do. In the first place, DO WHAT? What is it I should do? How do I know WHAT to do? In the second place, I don't have time. In the third place, I don't have any guarantee it would work. In the fourth place, it can't be any good if I don't have to pay a lot for it. In the fifth place, it can't be very helpful if Oprah hasn't mentioned it. And so on...

Waiting for the Next Messiah

Well, the meditation methods they practiced still work and are still doable today. That's right, whether for spiritual, religious, or scientific purposes, individuals are still using their bodies as laboratories, pushing the evolutionary envelope. One thing you need to know: in this long evolutionary journey we have not yet accomplished very much. There's still much distance to cover. We are but mere outlines of our potential. Enlightenment, self-actualization, self-realization are not carved-in-stone achievements; they are milestones in an on-going process that is never completed, but keeps us continually reaching for completion.