The Purpose Journey (Day 52)
The Purpose Journey (Day 52)
After Tristan was finished, Elaine asked a most needed question, “Rav, I listened very carefully to your last talk and my mind was open. I think your Roshi would tell you that I listened with beginners’ mind. I am curious as to how the lineaged Buddhist Masters would react to your presentation? How does your Teaching differ from that of Zen or Tibetan Buddhism?”
Rav smiling replied, “Excellent Elaine, most excellent. I have been waiting for someone to ask about the interface between Buddhism and Scientific Gnosticism. They mesh rather well, I would say. Any place, you would like me to begin, Elaine?”
Elaine said, “Yes, the Buddhist Canon teaches that the universe contains six levels of experiential existence.”
Rav began, “The Buddhist Schools are in agreement that the universe contains a total of six realms of experiential existence. I do not dispute the existential reality of any particular realm, though I do not list them in a linear order, as do the Buddhists: realms of gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hellish beings.
“The Buddhists ascribe, to these realms, an emotive set which characterizes the etiology for residing in one realm or another. In the same order as the realms, the problematic and unwholesome emotions are pride, jealousy, desire, ignorance, greed, and anger.
“Personally, I have never been convinced that existence in any particular realm is secondary to any predominance of one particular negative emotion. Rather, residency within a described realm is related to how an individual expresses his or her self-centeredness and hoarding of any desirable commodity. For example, one person finding self-aggrandizement most pleasant will live an earthly life based upon seeking personal power and control. Another will find pleasure in worldly goods will work diligently so to hoard and control such commodities. Another will be angry with his or her situation and strike back at society in one manner or another. However, in every case, one or more of the stated negative emotions will show a prominence as to behavior toward others.
“Our School has seen many cases of persons drawn naturally to greed and hoarding, persons diligently working so to increase and stabilize greed, persons transforming themselves into treasure chests so to take what such goods into the afterlife. In the end, each one becomes a kli, or vessel, for full manifestation of greed. Another way to say such is that these persons, by clinging, grasping, localizing greed to himself or herself, and making greed his or her demiurgus will transform his or her atonic body so too fully identified with the negative emotion of GREED. There is no reincarnation, as each willingly forfeited his or her free choice and opportunity for enlightenment so to be merged with Mammon, or Universal Greed.
“The Buddhist Schools are speaking of the extreme cases in which persons purposely glory one of the unwholesome emotive states of aggrandizement, envy, physical desires, ignorance, hoarding, or hatred. This is why Swedenborg taught that each person chooses where he or she would like to spend his or she afterlife–based upon his or her core love or desire. Some schools teach that there are one physical life and one afterlife during the life of any universe. Many Buddhist Schools teach that individual afterlives exist for varying times and then reincarnation again becomes possible. Some schools teach that reincarnation is a rare gift earned by few persons who have based their lives upon altruism, compassion, wisdom, and good works.
“Our dearest and most beloved friend, Gabriel, may be the wisest of all enlightened beings. For Gabriel is utterly honest about such matters and says, ‘As the dreamtime was and continues to be the creative playground of mankind (and other partially conscious beings), what one finds residents, within this vast, transfinite, space-time, are all of the above and many more examples of physical and aphysical life. The Unborn are boundless in its Love for all creatures. Boundless in its Generosity, boundless in its Tolerance for foolishness, boundless in its Patience, and boundless in its Hope every moment some conscious heart will discover the emerald key hidden deep within his or her heart so to open the door to the Kingdom of the Unborn Within.
“Whenever a living being discovering the emerald key, all beings in the astral worlds hear a joyous laugh emanating from everywhere and nowhere. The beings in the heavens are reminded of the Unborn’s endless Love and Compassion. The beings in the hells tell each other that god is laughing at everyone. And our benefactor Gabriel, he laughs with the Unborn and suffers for those who sold eternity for worthless power and rocks.
“Moreover, as the Buddhist Schools teach transmigration, rather than successive human reincarnation, each realm is perceived as existentially separated from the others. Gabriel showed me a very long time ago, how each realm actually represents the major categories of human behavior, excluding enlightenment. These realms are not fundamental to the astral, or atonic, worlds, but are fundamental for our species.
“As Gabriel and I have mentioned previously, the realms of post-corporeal existence were not formulated by Ein Sof, but were created by the collective desires of mankind over many aeons. Each of us develops brain-dependent, sets of personas and operating modes which allow us to function within the social world effectively. There is nothing divine about these structures and operating modes as they are emergent from the neural circuitry of the human brain.
“The spiritual term ‘soul’ should never be associated with such brain phenomena. Many schools denote these sets of personas and operating modes by the terms ‘false self or false personality.’
“Realizing the truth of the evolutionary nature of the false self is most helpful for spiritual growth. While, nature builds the brains which create the false selves, our brains organize the atonic energies so to produce a living, creative, virtual world, which we call our dreams. It is our world of dreams which allow our false selves to come to a realization that they exist independent of the body and possess an existence unique to themselves. The feeling of independent existence arises for three reasons.
“The first reason being that our dream selves, and other characters, operate seemingly independent of the corporeal body. The second reason being that the atonic energies are enriched by the 5Q+1, especially, the Quale of everlasting Presence. It is Quale of Presence which provides the various ego states comprising the false self to believe that each possesses primary existence. The third reason being that the false self possesses access to one’s autobiographical memories and so can link a person’s life events in a temporal string. In other words, it feels that it knows that it knows and can act under volition in the world.
“Unfortunately, for the false self, as it does not understand how it came to be in the first place, it possesses a deep fear that it may stop existing one day. It knows the body will die and so is afraid the atonic body will also die. It is a reasonable fear based upon the situation. Therefore, it does everything it can to ‘puff itself up,’ ‘to gather riches and goods for the future,’ and ‘to not think about death.’ It is the false self which desires the self-aggrandizement and hoarding of goods.
“The fear of permanent death is so strong that such fear survives physical death and continues to torment the atonic bodies of the deceased. It attempts to avert such death by creating an imago of an everlasting afterlife in the astral world for it to dwell within. The astral existence of the realms of gods and demigods roughly corresponding to the Christian’s heaven; while, the realms of hungry ghosts and hell beings correspond to the Christian’s hell.
“Gabriel has spent much time explaining the nature of the astral, or atonic, worlds to you and so I shall not repeat such.
“Based upon Gabriel’s reformulation of the Buddhist Teachings, all realms exist within the physical world retaining the Buddhist principle that the most favorable birth realm is that of humankind, we place the human realm higher than the others so to form an inverted ‘v’ or ‘Λ.’ The left arm descending to demigods and gods; the right arm descending to animals, hungry ghosts and hell beings. The human realm refers to persons who are responsible as to living a mundane life predicated on useful work and satisfying family duties. Gurdjieff calls such persons ‘householders.’
“The left arm of the gods and demigods refer to people whom the populace believes to be special and privileged in life. The right arm represents people who hoard and hurt others. I am sure each of you can provide examples,” finished Tristan.
“Rav,” began Helen, “your explanation seems to solve the ongoing problem of how to define and locate what neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers call ‘ego.’”
Rav replied, “Yes, it does suggest a solution to the problem of the relationship between ego and false self. Our school posits that ego is a mental function that animates and provides independent awareness and volition to the false self. However, ego does not reside in the central nervous system, but in the atonic world via the Quale of Presence. If this were not true, as soon as a person died physically, so he or she died aphysically. Hence, no afterlife, no reincarnation, no meaning or purpose to anything.
“Actually, I think rather than false self, we should call this psychological entity, the ‘imaginary self.’ It is much kinder and more accurate.
Morgana spoke up, “Darling, I think we have enough for the day. I suggest all you gather up your coats and boots and head to Camelot for dinner and dancing.”
Tristan smiling replied, “Great idea, darling. We have not been about for a while and it will do all of your children good. In addition, it is time for some romance, eh, Morgana?”
Morgana blushing bright red threw a pillow at Tristan. “Stop teasing me and embarrassing the children.”
Merlin intervened, “OK, everyone up, off to the water closets, and we shall all have a grand time in Camelot–even, if Tristan and Morgana are whispering to each other and kissing.”