January 19, 2012

God & Buddhism: A Western Journey Down the Path of Dharma.

~via the Web of Enlightenment

At one time, we were all connected, so to speak. There was an intuition of being. We were aware that we were awareness. “God” wasn’t over there; it was at the core of who we were. There was a rawness about us—we were open and willing to be embarrassed. Furthermore, this way of being was so natural, so instinctual, that we didn’t even think about it. But somehow we caught the sickness that was being passed around.

Society was intimidated by our freedom and confidence. Societies are dependent upon conformity, and neither freedom nor confidence conforms to external expectations. Caught in the psychological momentum that installed the very insecurity that now compelled them to act, they transmitted their pervasive sense of dis-ease—they taught us that we were separate or other than the immediacy of direct experience. First, they assured us that the power of being, from which our life emerged, had a name and that name was “God.” Then, they drove home the idea that God was out there. In subsequent lessons we were taught shame—that grace was afforded only to those individuals who achieved a standard of perfection that was situated just beyond our grasp. This is “The Fall.” This is what happened. This is how we came to be ashamed of our own existence. This is how we became they. Sad.

How does one unlearn such violent and deceptive propaganda? Well, first of all, we cannot employ the problem as a solution. We cannot expect the culture that created the pain and the confusion to offer us a way out. The path to freedom is a lonely path. One has to practice radical hopelessness. Without reservation, we have to let go of the idea of getting some place—heaven, enlightenment, becoming a good, better, or perfect person.

This is a completely different way of working with oneself. It is an invitation to reconnect with our basic humanity and unfold in accordance with our human nature; rather than trying to conform to our inherited ideas of perfection, which are impregnated with shame and insecurity and require the use of self-aggression to implement. In this way, we relate to where we are at. This relationship is meditation.

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