Reply To: Conspiracy theory spread

  • Don Salmon

    March 28, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Whit:

    I hope you don’t mind if I keep shifting away from intellectual discussion to practice.

    Krishna Prem (I’ll tell you more about him at some point if there’s interest – he was the first Westerner – a British citizen, no less – accepted into the Vaishnava order in India; the devotees of Krishna. He was a spiritual and scientific genius who knew Western philosophy through and through, and taught himself Pali and Sanskrit to read the Buddhist scriptures in the original. But he was a rare individual East or West who knew Reality beyond personal and impersonal)

    Anyway, Krishna Prem wrote a wonderful essay on symbolism in the 1920s. He noted how religious scholar Rudolf Otto wrote an essay wondering if Shankara’s Brahman, the Buddhist Nirvana were the “same” or “different.”

    Krishna Prem responded: “Are the words different? Of course they are. Is the Reality to which they point the same or different? Well, Reality is infinite so of course there are different “aspects” of it (which is what the “Gods” have always referred to in India and much of the more mystical east). But Reality is One.

    OF course, the LH can argue forever about what “One” means. The Zen answer is “not-two” (which doesn’t mean One!!!)

    So let’s practice! What are you aware of?

    Colors, sounds, body sensations; instinctive cravings or fears; various more complex emotions, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, etc.

    All of these exist within one field of awareness.

    Here’s an age old exercise you can try:

    Conjure up an image of a dog.

    You have 2 aspects of experience: the dog image, and the awareness of it. Notice the awareness is effortless; you don’t have to DO anything to conjure it up.

    Now erase the dog and you just have awareness.

    There are any number of LH arguments against this exercise by the way. As with Stephenson’s answer to the problem of the impossibility of his steam locomotive working (your problem is solved by its moving), the arguments are irrelevant. You CAN see this aspect of experience – it’s not an “Argument” about a dog and awareness – it’s a practice.

    When you see EVERYTHING within and as reflections of this one awareness (well, it’s not “one” but let’s not get back into philosophy:>)))

    You’ll see that all the arguments down the centuries about God or Gods or Tao or whatever become completely irrelevant. Thomas Aquinas realized this at the end of his life (all my theology has no more worth than straw, he said).

    But really, see what happens if you don’t think about it. you can see this with your eyes open – One Presence, One Life, One Being, One Consciousness, One Bliss. And yet there is infinite multiplicity (oops, I did say don’t think about it:>))