Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Inspiracy and Conspiration on the Left

We never got to item four on yesterday's agenda, Is an atheist New Ager who meditates and claims to be enlightened accessing the same O->(n), or is there a dark side to this practice?

Two words: Deepak. Chopra.

First of all, I would be extremely skeptical of anyone who "claims to be enlightened" (let alone someone who sells enlightenment), because such claims are rarely made by the enlightened. Saints don't declare their sanctity. If anything, the opposite: they are most aware of their sinfulness.

Even Jesus didn't say, "hey, look at me, I'm enlightened! Buy my book!" Rather, when it is genuine, "enlightenment" is something that is witnessed and testified to by others. And it awakens and resonates with something spiritually healthy in the witness.

In this regard it is a matter of discerning spirits. By definition there is no objective way to discern a spirit, being that spirits are not objects. Nevertheless, there are ways.

For example, Jesus advises us to "Beware of false prophets" deusguised "in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." (This recalls Churchill's characterization of Nazis as "carnivorous sheep.")

So, how do we tell the difference? "By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" My Bible has a cross reference to Jeremiah 23:16, where it says that these false prophets "speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord."

In Spitzer's Finding True Happiness there is a whole section on Discernment of Spirits. It is appropriately contained in the chapter on Divine Inspiration and Guidance, because if there is divine inspiration, then surely there is sub- or anti-divine inspiration.

What really inspires the Islamists, for example? There is no question that they are inspired, and that this inspiration gives them the strength of will to engage in "superhuman" (antihuman) feats.

This is one reason why Obama's inability to name that which inspires them is so diabolical. By failing to say what in-spires them (or what they are in-spiring from below), it is as if he is con-spiring with them -- or with the spirit that animates them. Which he surely is, for those with eyes to see.

The question is, why does the left protect and embrace an ideology that runs directly counter to so many of its sacred cowpies, including homosexuality? It must mean that the spirit that unifies the two -- Islamism and Leftism -- is coming from a much deeper source than mere surface differences. To con-spire is to "breathe with," and both Islam and the left are definitely inhaling.

This would explain how the left could oppose Hitler one day, only to embrace him the next with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. For a normal person this would cause intolerable cognitive dissonance if not ontological whiplash. But spirit is very fluid, easily dissolving such contradictions. There is a logic involved, but it is more like dream logic than the wideawakey version.

Life is hard enough. It's harder when you're stupid, but perhaps it becomes easier if you combine stupid with evil, because then the stupid doesn't burn as much -- or at least you have lots of support in your culpable stupidity.

In ten or eleven Muslim countries homosexuality is punishable by death. You can ask for gays and Muslims to unite there, but only one side will come out standing.

Here are some additional contradictions on the left which the unholy spirit helps to smooth over:

"Biological sexual differentiation must yield to voluntary gender identity," and yet, homosexuality is genetically determined; "the demonstrable failure of socialism wherever it has been tried is proof that it has not been properly implemented"; "democratic Israel is an apartheid state"; "Islam with its record of unstinting bloodshed is a religion of peace"; "a child in the womb is a mass of insensible protoplasm" (unless the mother decides otherwise); "there is no such thing as truth, an axiom regarded as true"; etc.

I say, resolving such stark contradictions is an infrahuman task that requires assistance from below.

That was an unintended snidetrip. Back to the question at hand, which is a little more subtle than it is on the pneuma-political plane (where it would be comic if it weren't so tragic), since the phenomena will generally be more of a mixed bag, a combination of good and evil, light and shadow, instead of unalloyed evil (being that there is no one good but the One).

But we're out of time, so, to be continued...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I. Am. Adequate!

Well, I'm off the hook again with the court. But that means I'm on the hook for reader James' questions, which I rashly promised to tackle if I didn't have jury duty. Those questions are as follows:

1) I assume that your communication with Holy Spirit began with meditation? Could you describe this in more detail?

2) In the beginning did you use any aids, such as music or spoken word? How long after beginning did you (weeks, months, years?) before O->(n).

3) Do you think this is available to everybody, or is it more of a gift or talent?

4) Is an atheist New Ager who meditates and claims to be enlightened accessing the same O->(n), or is there a dark side to this practice?

Starting with question one, the answer is Yes and No. I would say that formal communication with the Holy Spirit began with meditation (and of course it is the HS that is communicating with us, not vice versa; we are just opening ourselves to, and co-upperating with, it).

To continue with the meditation part, I began meditating in 1995, and continued doing so on a daily basis -- same time, same place -- for a full ten years. Then my son was born, and it unalterably changed the routine around here. A new phase began, which was the blog.

I'm sure I've spoken of this meditation practice before, but it was in the specific context of being an informal disciple of Sri Aurobindo. The technique was easy, so it was very much compatible with my personality style: 1) silence the mind, and 2) open oneself to the descent of the grace. There was no "self effort" at all; rather, it was entirely (as the Buddhists say) "other powered."

This appealed to me because I had actually experimented with various forms of meditation for many years prior to this, and really gotten nowhere (I can't say I was ever very disciplined about it).

In this regard, I had been trying to be a do-it-yoursopher, almost treating it as a scientific technique to transcend the ego and vault myself into a higher dimension or something. But this new way involved an implicit recognition that I myself could get nowhere, and that I had to surrender to a higher power if I were to enjoy a free launch.

Right away you can see the parallel with Christian meditation, or what is more properly called "infused contemplation." To quote Professor Wiki,

"Infused or higher contemplation (also called intuitive, passive or extraordinary) is a supernatural gift by which a person's mind and will become totally centered on God. It is a form of mystical union with God, a union characterized by the fact that it is God, and God only, who manifests himself. Under this influence of God, which assumes the free cooperation of the human will, the intellect receives special insights into things of the spirit..."

Another writer says that although "the prayer is called passive, man is not purely passive in it. On the contrary, one is never so completely and utterly active as when God moves him by the graces of mystical prayer. But in this mystical experience the 'divine partner in the dialogue' is in the foreground rather than the human response."

This is why in the book I adopted the symbols (---) and (o) for our silence and openness/receptivity before O. I suppose it takes a kind of "effort" to maintain (---) and (o), but as far as I'm concerned the yoke is on us and it's easy.

Having said all this, I have come to believe that the story of the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is really the story of our lives; in short, every biography is a pneumography, but every pneumography is different, since we are each unique. Our lives are a complex tapestry of horizontal and vertical influences, such that no story can be the same.

There was a time when I would have been aware of no vertical influences in my life. However, I think that anyone on a spiritual path reaches a kind of tipping point whereby they look back upon their lives and become aware of a cosmic Conspiracy of Grace that had been occurring all along. There is a recognosis of the myriad experiences, events, and meetings that had to occur for you to be where you are. From this perspective the whole thing looks contrived. No one would believe it, except that it actually happened.

Anyway, when I would engage in the meditation I would begin with a chant/prayer with words to the effect of "I surrender my life, my heart, my mind, to your light, your love, your power." Just total surrender. I give up. I can't get anywhere on my own, so it's on you. Little help, please. Throw us a bone, eh?

I would literally imagine the vertical energy coming down into the top of my skull -- you know, the seventh chakra. In order to facilitate the exchange, I would breathe it in via inhalation, and "surrender" it via exhalation (something I still do to this day). So I was literally imagining (↓↑) via respiration.

And soon enough I began to feel something in the top of my head, although it could of course be just my imagination. Nevertheless, it was a definite sensation of energy and opening, so I just stayed with it. After all, I had nothing better to do with my time, and besides, a little belief in the unbelievable never hurt anyone.

As for aids to meditation, I did sometimes have ambient music on in the background (such as Steve Roach). Also, I had an old, first generation "brainwave synchronizer" that I believe I purchased at Hammacher Schlemmer or some other overpriced gift store. I'm not sure it did anything it was advertised to do, but it did facilitate the silence and emptiness.

James makes a reference to O-->(n) which is the symbol I deploy in the book for infused contemplation -- or to put it in the most general terms possible, the communication of content from ultimate reality to us. Unbelievable? Yes, unless you believe ultimate reality exists and that we are in its image. Then it's as easy as shutting up and listening.

Having said that, this leads directly to James' next question, "Do you think this is available to everybody, or is it more of a gift or talent?" I suppose in theory it's available to everyone, but practically speaking it can't be. For example, could I write a symphony that communicates the divine presence? Yeah, but it would help to learn an instrument and to know musical theory and notation, like Bach. It would also help to totally devote my life -- not only to music, but to God, or to God-through-music.

In my case, I have totally devoted my life to God-through-words. Which is not that easy, since Bob is definitely not to language as Bach is to music. I am obviously not a great writer, but I do believe I'm an adequate one, and I have been told that I am good at conveying deep or complex ideas in a straightforward and unpretentious manner. So, I think I'm adequate to get the job done so long as this verticalisthenic exercise of (b)logostreaming is accompanied by total sincerity and surrender.

So the current structure is really no different than the meditation of old, except I surrender my mind, my heart, and my FINGERS to your light, your love, your power.

To be continued...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Blogging Under the Influence

Well, I'm in the clear for today. I wasn't needed for jury duty. In California you're on the hook for one week, but you can check in the night before and they may or may not need you. So here I am with nothing to write about, as usual.

As you can see from the sidebar, I've been reading Robert Spitzer's trilogy -- soon to be a tetralogy -- on happiness, suffering and transcendence. Right now I'm in the middle of volume 2, The Soul's Upward Yearning: Clues to Our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason. The whole structure of the series is a bit like One Cosmos (the book), except it is much more sprawling and sometimes repetitive, taking him four books to carefully convey what I recklessly packed into one eccentric flight of fancy.

For example, in my book there is a very brief passage on What It's Like to write under the influence of the Holy Spirit. I didn't put it exactly that way, but there is something in there vis-a-vis having one's language conditioned from above, as opposed to coming out in a mechanical or precogitated way -- about truly speaking instead of being spoken by language.

As an aside, the One Cosmos book -- very much like the blog -- was simultaneously written and discovered. It is by no means a work of "scholarship," although I naturally brought in scholarly support when and where I could.

You could say that the book is both experiential and phenomenological. If read in the proper spirit of discovery, it is as if we can take a cosmic adventure together, starting at zero and ending in O. It's a whatchamacallit... a journey from innocence to experience, only on a metaphysical plane. I couldn't write the same naive book today, because I "know" too much. Now I have proper names for all the experiences.

As I've mentioned before, one of the shocks of my life is that the names for all these experiences already existed in Christianity. Thus, nowadays I deploy Christian words, symbols, and concepts for the experiences, but the experiences came first.

Which goes back to the subject of today's post, alluded to above with the remark about language and the Holy Spirit. Again, in my case, I made an independent discovery that my writing could be conditioned from above by some nonlocal force. Now I call it the Holy Spirit, but at the time it was just a seemingly disorganized raid on the wild godhead.

Anyway, in Spitzer's Book One there is a whole chapter devoted to Divine Inspiration and Guidance, with a subsection on The Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and I've never read anything that so closely parallels my experience. For example,

"Every time I write a book or an article, I begin with a vague or general idea that suddenly turns into a very clear, detailed tractate, expressing ideas and wisdom far beyond my own."


At one point "I tried to flatter myself by thinking that, well, perhaps I was being incredibly and spontaneously insightful in the writing process..." This was around the time I was struggling with what I was going to call the cult.

"[B]ut then it occurred to me that I had never really thought about most of the fine points I was making -- not even for a moment." And "after literally dozens of occurrences of this kind of inspiration," he concluded that "while I did play some role in the writing, another wiser and more subtle agent was also integral to the process." Yes, that's right -- Petey.

"Jesus intended to give the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to all believers," such that we should call upon its in-spiration "whenever we need spiritual wisdom or want to communicate that wisdom to others." Which is pretty much all the time. Thus, you should call upon the Holy Spirit to read these posts just as much as I do to write them. Among other things, this will help you discern when I am full of it.

Which is always possible, being that I never know what I am talking about. Spitzer has the identical experience when writing on a subject that is relatively new to him. It would be accompanied by a distinct sort of excitement which is "part of the Holy Spirit's encouragement -- and if I seized the moment, I would begin speaking or writing about the subject as if it had been a product of long reflection."

In the book I refer to it as being drawn into the Great Attractor. Likewise, Spitzer says it is as if one is "drawn into ideas and ideals about which you were not previously thinking. You will probably be startled by these new ideas [?!] and wonder how they popped into your imagination..." However, "if you go with the inspiration into the new domain, you might notice how your thinking becomes expansive, and in some cases, explosive" -- what we call depth charges.

Something similar occurs to me when reading Deep Truth. Spitzer talks about this experience as well, for it must come from the same source that "guides us to all truth." "I kept thinking, 'Wow! That's right.' I didn't know why it was right (yet); I just knew that it was 'spot on.' I had an inner conviction... about truth that I could not yet justify. I... wondered how I could be so sure about something for which I had not yet mastered the rationale."

That's exactly how it is for me: there are certain truths that, when I hear them, it is as if a key fits perfectly into the lock. My mind says "case closed," such that there is no reason to spend any more time pondering the question. The gnosis is settled!

One can also experience the other side of this via our coon-scent. It is "the opposite experience of feeling a conviction about falsity" which is communicated through a feeling of emptiness or negativity or alienation or darkness. It's that feeling you get -- or that sulfuric odor you detect -- when Obama, or Pelosi, or Hillary, or Harry Reid, or Josh Earnest open their mouths.