Archive for Reality

Symbols for Nothingness

Posted in Beauty, Buddhism, Christianity, Film, Folklore, History, love, Storytelling, The Arts, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by wizardsmoke

How many states were founded by anarchists? Why every one, because every questioner of the old order is the founder of the new order. — Head Wide Open

Whether or not the stories of Jesus or the Buddha are real, I don’t care. If I had to take a firm stance, I’d just say they are fiction. Not because they can’t be “proved” but because everything is fiction. There are certainly facts that can be recorded, but all interpretations of life are still some manner of fiction.

I suppose I can understand the historian’s impulse to catalog everything, to make sure things are properly remembered and not spun romantically or forgotten completely. But don’t historians have some lofty dreams (kind of like scientists) that if they could only show people what is real, what can be touched, humanity could learn from its mistakes? You know, the whole thing about how “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” This is all fiction too.

Although it’s said that “truth is stranger than fiction”, often fiction is more real than truth. Or it is the “other side of truth.” No, it’s not more true in an empirical fashion — it’s just more true in that it actually has life to it. It is the breath of the body. The problem with most people’s fiction (here referring to the perceptions we allow ourselves) is that it becomes static, blind, unchanging — as though the breath had stopped or were not spreading throughout the body (and then some people even deny the relevance of the breath).

I often wonder why humanity is so obsessed with storytelling. If you break down stories, you’ll find that all plots often involve some disagreement between two characters or parties. Friction, schisms, drama are all the apple of the artistic eye. Mankind’s greatest moments are still the products of its errors. A great love story has more broken hearts than fulfilled romantic wishes, and great war stories have less to do with heroism than a melancholy fondness for senseless carnage and loss.

But in the world of truth, there is no pleasure or pain. It’s perverse that our lives become fiction and novelties which we tell ourselves — which we pamper our egos with. But that’s no surprise, considering humanity prides itself on illusions of being divine creator and destructor. What else can explain the microprocessor and atomic bomb?

Isn’t it weird…

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Reality Bites, Religion with tags , , , , , on January 30, 2008 by wizardsmoke

…that westerners can be tricked into thinking Buddhism doesn’t function as a religion? As if it functioned differently from other religions? As if Buddhists were any less deluded than Christians on average? Well…. hmm….

I think there’s a lot to be had from studying Buddhist thought, but I think likewise is true of Western religious practices as well. Nobody has the humane syndrome consolidated under one roof, ya dig? Like, I don’t know if the Tibetan Buddhists have got such a leg up on Socrates in terms of actual understanding of reality. Or maybe Socrates was an asshole, we’ll never really know.

What I will admit, is that I think Buddhism has the firmest and clearest elucidation of the path to “stainless reality” over any other body of philosophy. And that the further developments of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy do even more of this, indicating the various stages and accomplishments of the bodhisattva. So it’s like a gauge by which one can measure themselves and other figures in terms of insight and accomplishment.

Still, I’m not a Buddhist. And I don’t bow down to nobody, unless they’re exploding with compassion and willpower, and even then I’d rather just hang out with them and try to get their positive traits to rub off on me. And those divine character traits are hard to catch; usually when you think you’re in the presence of one of those peeps it’s really ’cause you’re bewitched.

Just remember — if there’s a conscious judgment in your mind of someone’s quality, you in no position to decide! Spontaneity is the way to be!

Master of Reality

Posted in Buddhism, Occult, Reality Bites, Religion, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2008 by wizardsmoke

What may be news to you if you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 incalculable eons, is that desire and willpower don’t mix well. When you have a one-pointed desire for something, your willpower will deprive you of accomplishing that goal. There’s actually a kind of cosmic law, a fundamental building block of all phenomena ensuring that obsessive, consciously entertained desires cannot be realized through blatant concentration or efforts.

You can certainly achieve your desires by measuring and mapping out which steps it will take to realize them, and fulfilling these steps one at a time (i.e. the Scientific Method). But this involves one-pointed concentration on the individual tasks themselves and following those tasks without entertaining the cumulative desire to be realized from them. That method is the example Thanissaro Bhikkhu is always using to describe the practice of the Buddhist path: it’s like driving a car to the mountains; you don’t keep your eyes on the mountains while you’re driving, you keep them on the road that takes you to the mountains. If you stare at the mountains, you’ll crash and never reach them.

There are the methods of autosuggestion to the subconscious, practiced widely in some magickal traditions. This is where the folklore of making wishes comes from. People in contemporary society seem to think those wishes upon birthday-cake-candles and coins-thrown-in-fountains are all nonsense or superstition, but they are legitimately wishes. There’s a pretty concise science to it all.

Still, a problem is that desires will fog up a person’s perception. And the less desires a being has, the stronger their overall perception of things. Desires work as powerful illusions. An individual under the influence of a desire will temporarily find everything else in one’s life to become less important. This is why in Buddhism or in any other religious path, a person lives a simplistic life with few desires. Because happiness comes from abiding in deep awareness of the nature of reality, which cannot happen while one is following a desire. In fact, achieving enlightenment is spurred initially by a strong desire for true happiness, but it has to be let go at some point because the desire is just an illusion that serves a temporary purpose for the mind.

Of course, unless one is a monastic, one is not simply going to give up sex, money or alcohol very easily. But it’s worth noting that these things do weaken the mind. And a weak mind is ripe to be plundered by those beings deeply enamored with emotions and deep urges, or the ability to manipulate the fabric of the desire realm.

For example, some people are skeptical of hypnotism, and if you really 100% can resist hypnosis it won’t work on you. But the problem is that most people eventually will just give in to the instructions of the hypnotist and follow the repetitive imagery or sound or whatever, simply because their minds are untrained, weak, easily bored and always looking for something to attach to. So when people get brainwashed or hypnotized or fooled by an illusion, it’s because they waver from their willpower to resist it for just one moment. This is enough to entrance a person. And this one moment is the one that matters; it’s the one where you make your stupidest mistakes.

In other words, the more desires you have, the less likely you are to see things coming your way. Or something.

Confucianism, Christianity and Buddhism all sort of function under a similar premise: they have a specific set of teachings one should carry out which will make everything else in the universe knowable. In other words, don’t wonder about all that other stuff (like what is the self or the “I”; what is the essence of sexual desire) if you really want to observe what the nature of everything is.

But you already knew that, right?