Archive for Buddha

Show me what is real

Posted in Mysticism, Occult, Philosophy, Religion, society, Stayin' Alive, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Although there is probably nothing outside of the universe itself, the material/physical universe is not the only game in town. I’m not an athiest or Bright/”Naturalist” since I don’t subscribe to a strict materialistic view of existence.

Science is pretty popular as the methodology to explain unknown phenomena. But it’s just an academic method of recording data and experiments. To me, science does not actually prove anything beyond a cold, stale collection of data; science just accumulates data used to expand upon human lines of reasoning. And what is reason but an argument for one’s desires? Human reason generally seeks to influence people.

As some religious proponents have mentioned (contrary to what it looks like, I am not “religious”) if scientific analysis says something is true or factual and I don’t understand the explanation but am simply told to accept it as fact, this is no different from accepting religious gospel I don’t understand. Believing in things on blind faith is pretty useless. The only truth is direct experience. Transmission is a form of direct experience.

The only truth is experience –> transmissions can only be made in person, in the flesh, as experiences –> ultimately, enlightenment is self-realized, not transmitted

Which makes sense. All the great mystics and saints and demons and wizards have pointed out: reality must be realized by oneself. I can only show you the door, you have to open it, blah blah. Like the Buddha’s “Alone in the universe I am exalted” idea, for if one is alone in the universe, how can one’s perceptions rely on anyone else’s interpretation of life? Why are people so afraid to trust their own perceptions of reality?

Austin Spare wrote about how all desires and realizations must be done and achieved through flesh — that flesh is reality. And Musashi talked of how true understanding of martial arts and violence could only be learned through direct experience and transmission. Buddha said don’t believe something just because someone told you it’s true — try it for yourself. It is all the same idea: live in your body, live out your ideas, experiment with deep philosophies in your actual life, not just as thoughtful meditations. When people sit around and make speculations about things they don’t do, when they don’t actually go out and experience those things for themselves, they become worthless people. A person has to throw themselves into their experiences to understand life in any worthwhile capacity.

Zen Fiction

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Cults, Monasticism, Occult, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Ah, love or hate Brad Warner, the “reform” Zen master, I can give the man props for one primary element of his particular brand of Zen Buddhism: his denial of the existence of an ultimate being/teacher with superpowers. He routinely points out how there is no such thing as a religious superman or infallible leader. I think this is an idea that is overwhelmingly sparse in religion, even amongst Zen Buddhists.

A ha, of course there’s tons of stuff to disagree with Brad Warner about (his Zen Buddhism, like a lot of Zen Buddhism these days, seems watered down — but what do I know?). For example, he claims rebirth does not exist. Which is a major no-no with almost everyone else in Buddhism. And he writes for Suicide Girls, which is questionable, since SG has the potential of being a grimy business scheme.

Still, Brad was only a pretext to discussing religious infallibility, which he has conveniently written about on his most recent post. I know people are afraid of dismissing the idea of a superhuman. The problem is only when people fail to see how “super powers” are only the result of intense practice in any particular thing. It seems the “super” powers of realized minds are actually just the result of incredibly sensitive, mundane mental awareness. I do wish you could protect people from all cults by telling them no person is infallible, there is no superhuman state of existence, etc. But no, everything else sucks people in just as hard: sporting events, politics, romantic relationships, and so on. Still, if Brad is honest, I admire his intention to help people see cults for what they are.

I tend to see “magick” and the traditional occult sciences (astrology/divination, geomancy, Kabbalah, elemental magic) as having been misappropriated by “New Agers.” Most of these practices are considered bunk in the modern scientific world, but they hold esteem– at the very least– as cultural traditions which continue to operate, but as fringe novelty beliefs.

Some hermetic sciences are more like “internal sciences” or “theorems for experimentation with one’s inner mind.” And when people go mad in sorcery, it’s not all that different from a traditional religious teacher going nutso. Sorcerors, like all community leaders and organizers, often fall into the ideas of thinking they’re a god or an excessively powerful person. They think their ability to manipulate people is a sign of their intelligence (the basic tenet of Ayn Rand-ian “philosophy”).

But I think, without all the fancy esoteric dressing, the only honest “answer” to the average human’s need for salvation and deliverance from this world, is one which prescribes that the individual sit and only think of the present moment — the breath. It’s kinda hard to make a cult out of something so simple. Or is it?

Those things I’m wary of: certain kinds of Tibetan Buddhism; martial arts groups like the Bujinkan — I wonder if their dogmas aren’t just intentionally powerful illusions, meant to pull in initiates. Because this stuff totally happens in every religion in the world. So don’t you dare think you have the key while no one else does.

Idolize That!

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Cults, genius, God(s), Monasticism, Mysticism, Reality Bites, Religion, Tantra, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Disclaimer: the following is the author’s opinion (©) and no one else’s!

What is William Blake’s term poetic genius referring to? My definition is: An individual, whose manifestation possesses the ability to exaggerate the deep, layered, subconscious through a communicative medium of time-space expression. In other words, a true artist. Art is a wondrous thing, isn’t it? It is the ability of one individual to give others a vibrant taste of their experience of the cosmic fabric.

In Buddhism, there are two kinds of Buddhas, or awakened beings. Now, I’ve always wondered what the difference is. I’ve seen it written in various places that a Paccateka Buddha does not or cannot teach others; they are self-realized beings — “silent ones”. On the other hand, a Sammasamyaka Buddha is a fully realized being who can teach others the way to enlightenment.

But that still doesn’t explain much. Or it leaves so much out that it’s almost a ridiculous manner of defining these subjects. Lots of folks in Mahayana Buddhism (North Indian-Tibetan-Chinese-Korean-Japanese branches) take things called “Bodhisattva vows” where they vow to be reborn until they achieve total perfect enlightenment (Sammasamyaka Buddhas). This apparently takes years beyond comprehension (it is even described that way). And these perfect Buddhas are the ones who create Buddhism on other planets/world systems/universes etc. So, Shakyamuni Buddha was a full Buddha and was supposedly the only one in our world system.

I understand that (paraphrased) textbook explanation. But the end result is that the full Buddha becomes something that is untouchable and beyond this life; we can’t become Buddha in this life, we’re fallen from grace, blah blah blah. It also paints a tearful, valiant, romantic picture of existence — things having a specific purpose, there being a specific goal to it all, and so forth. When really, enlightenment is totally boring (or so I’ve heard).

Thus I have my own (probably heretical) interpretation of this whole “perfect Buddha” system. Bear in mind I’m going out on a limb here. I don’t wanna get you kicked out of your peace-club or whatever because you quoted my stupid ass at your weekly sesshin.

Creative genius is very rare, right? And so are Buddhas. I tend to have my own belief, that a fully realized Buddha is an enlightened person whom also possesses the creative genius. In other words, they are a creatively gifted individual whom has also attained so-called “enlightenment.” Because, a creative genius can potently share — transmit — their intimate perceptions of the world with others. Maybe a perfect Buddha does this with enlightenment itself.

I bring this up because surely there are enlightened people with no creative talent. I mean, it seems foolish to assume that only people with creative genius are enlightened, doesn’t it? And I am not saying that every creative genius is enlightened. Far from it! But the point is: a fully enlightened Buddha (in my opinion) is one that has attained enlightenment and possesses a poetic genius!

‘Course, from a religious perspective, there are flaws in my, uh… “logic”. The first thing is: a fully realized Buddha only appears once per world-system according to Buddhist cosmology. So… Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical Prince Siddhartha, is the only fully realized Buddha in our world-system. Everyone else, Buddhas may they be, are inferior in their accumulation of wisdom or merit or whatever else. And there are technical terms for these accumulations (It’s funny how the whole system of “full enlightenment” can only be undertaken by people who partake of the Buddhist agenda).

But that’s a little religio-centric for me. That sounds a lot like having Christ as our sole savior. I wish it were so easy. Because that’s one of the hard things for me to accept: that one person has the goods and I can just tag along with them and figure it all out. You know, just relax, hit the cruise button and put the ship on auto-pilot. But the people who incubate themselves in their teacher’s shadow their whole lives do not become completely self-realized. No way. Think you can be like Hatsumi by following Hatsumi? I wonder.

Do our teachers love us with pity — as children? Who knows. But they probably respect peers more. And I doubt those of us who pray to icons can be respected mutually. I mean, duh. This is, I think, one of the true criticisms of idolatry. I don’t know if this is an actual criticism from the Old Testament — it’s been a while since I looked through that one — but believing in an idol, idolizing, makes one pitiful.

Anyway, funny how the Christians and Buddhists and Muslims and god-only-knows-who-else believe in reincarnation on some level. That either their soul or their savior will be reborn at some point (although Buddhism acknowledges that it is not the same actual person). But if anyone comes back, they would be rejected immediately. I mean, what a threat to the established power structure of the religion!

Which doesn’t mean I hate iconography or statues or Buddhas or Christs or kami or trickster ravens. It just means, in the words of Musashi, “I do not rely on gods or buddhas, but I respect them”. Isn’t that how a person of true creative integrity is? They don’t worship their influences, but respect and acknowledge their influence and importance.