Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A to Z

If the path from ignorance to truth was a trip from A to Z, would one jump from A to Z, or would one go from A to B to C, or maybe C to E? Jumping from A to Z might be quite chaotic, disruptive, and much less than fun. Taking smaller jumps would let one absorb the disruptions with more ease. That is what I did. Early in childhood I had no words such as conditioning, or vasanas, but I intuitively knew that people were stuck in ruts, beliefs of all kinds that were adopted to fit in. For some reason I detested this, and it created a deep disgust in me. I refused to get baptized even though my father was a minister. I told him I would only be doing it to please everyone and that was the wrong reason. At eighteen I went to college in Southern California. It was the late sixties. It only took a couple weeks for all my beliefs to come crashing down. Even though I had resented conditioning, I had absorbed a shitload of it. When my whole structure of beliefs came crashing down, stark emptiness, meaninglessness, and confusion became my world. If there is a hell, I was in it. I didn't know that I could survive without beliefs, so I got busy getting new ones. I read voraciously, but I could only read what was close to where I had been, but with a little stretch. That was A to B to C. However, one day I noticed that what I was doing. I saw that I would take a little step, drop a belief and pick a new one that seemed more in line with the truth. When I saw the process, I thought why couldn't I just drop them all? Around that time I picked up a book by J. Krishnamurti. It was right up my alley. He proposed dropping all beliefs and just living with the unknown. He took my mind apart, but in a good way, because he showed that one could live without a self. It was the jump from A to Z. That jump caused me to have mystical experiences of oneness. But they didn't last. Those glimpses were so powerful, that even though they left, the ecstasy and meaningfulness of them, remained powerful drivers for further seeking. Eventually I came to Advaita Vedanta as taught by James Swartz. This satisfied me in a way that J. Krishnamurti and others did not. Of primary importance was that the teaching was complete. No holes, well explained. What does Advaita do? It breaks down unexamined beliefs, shows why they are false (reversed per Maya), and provide answers that make sense, and can't really be challenged once you understand them. Advaita takes one gently from A to B to C, step by step and leads you home. It's a formal process similar to what I found going on in my own search. Vedanta was a confirmation of the process I haphazardly went through. Vedanta is just much better as it is thoroughly vetted and answers all the questions. Things would have been much easier for me If I had found Advaita Vedanta sooner. Thank you James.

No comments: