Category Archives: Self
Two questions :
What is it that makes you uniquely you ?
What is the you, that takes you to be you ?
Please don’t be afraid ! Let the world hear you !
In today’s walk and talk I explore the self through the Buddhist concept of the 5 Aggregates and Process Fields (my own idea, which is simlar to Alfred White Northhead’s Process Philosophy) and ask how we are to live when we can embrace a wider concept of self.
During the early part of this walk, I examine two dead sheep – who provide a real life example of the nature of the self. Don’t look if images of death frighten you. These things are a part of my day to day reality and reguarly remind me of the nature of the self.
More on the 5 Aggregates here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skandha and Process Philosophy here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_philosophy / https://archive.org/details/AlfredNorthWhiteheadProcessAndReality.
May your contemplations be grand and illuminating ! 😉
In today’s walk in the big paddock, I introduce the core ideas behind the mystical Buddha’s teachings and talk a little about how my ET friend Dude changed my view of Buddhism and my own efforts to eliminate desire from my life.
Don’t be offended if you are a Buddhist. This monologue is an effort to simply Buddhism and make it easy to understand. It isn’t a critical treatise on significant doctrines but a gentle overview of what the Buddha may have been trying to get at.
Happy trails ! 😉
Unvenerable Bright Garlick.
More on Buddhism here :
Be Yourself and No One Elses Expectation of You !
Think of this as perhaps a follow on from the last post.
As someone who has always been obsessed with microbial life, I have been fascinated with how microbes play a role in every single ecosystem – including within our bodies. A recent discussion with Dude about the human need for Round Worms and Thread Worms (yes you read correctly), led us to an interesting exploration of Microbiomes and how modern humans have disturbed their natural bodily systems.
In today’s monologue I explore what it means to have a singular physical self, in view of the fact that we contain countless biomes – made up of organisms from the 5 kingdoms (Monera, Fungi, Protista, Plantae, Animalia) and the potential implications that these microbiomes have for our mental/emotional and physical health and ability to communicate with the other parts of us.
Enjoy ! B. 😉
Those who want to really understand this idea in depth, should read the works of Lynn Margulis : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Margulis.
Relevant links :
Here are some cool videos related to this monologue.
This may mark my return to writing.
Back in the early days of the internet, it was very popular for online diarists to write a FAQ post about themselves or to answer a set of real or imagined questions. It was in essence, another way of writing a public biography. Of course people continue to do this in all manner of ways. For the most part, I have resisted such an idea and only recently created a Read Here First tab https://etandi.wordpress.com/read-here-first/, after encountering a great deal of annoying commentary and criticism. Writing any kind of public biography, is really another way of saying, I think, a number of things :
- What you want the public to know about you;
- What pisses you off;
- What matters most to you.
I became very conscious after my first uncomfortable expedition into the world of online journals, that it was necessary to create a public image that I felt comfortable with. So as part of my journey with Youtube and WordPress and Facebook, I chose deliberately to express certain aspects of myself and downplay other aspects of myself. I also chose very deliberately to protect the people who matter most to me and to protect my privacy. Right from the beginning I decided that there were certain things I would share about my life and other things that I would keep private. I have chosen to share certain things about myself and my life, that others would not (especially my own own relatives and other people I know) because I know my true nature. I have drawn a line at a certain point, before which public knowledge of my outer life is largely insignificant. What matters most to me, is those I love and my inner world. Having said that, I don’t go about broadcasting where I live or the name of my oncologist or my location on any given day. There are reasonable limits to what we should and should not share. And each of us have to discover what they are for ourselves.
After my first online journal, I learnt very quickly about the full extent of online surveillance and how the lower arms of The Architecture function in collecting and sharing information. I have no concern about any agency that watches what I do, knows who I am or where I live. I can do little to avoid their scrutiny without experiencing some kind of paranoia – which I refuse to do. I do however maintain a certain style of dead man’s trigger, should it ever be required. I am more concerned about the ordinary crazy Joes, who would like to invade my privacy or hurt those I care about. Most of them are religious nutcases and some of them, really are very dangerous people. Having worked as a therapist with many very disturbed people, I know first hand, just how unpredictable and dangerous they can be. So, I don’t live in fear of those who do surveillance or the crazy Joes but I take certain precautions to ensure that my privacy remains intact. Sometimes I stuff up and have to deal with the consequences but I’m getting better at drawing boundaries.
I think of the internet as a great big personality gallery, in which individuals have the opportunity to express themselves in any way they wish. For some people it’s through pornography, for some people it’s through art or music, for some people it’s through blogging, etc. Everyone has their own way of expressing themselves. Every human being has a public life and a private life. There are things that every human being likes to keep to themselves. And we each have our own unique set of boundaries that shift by degrees, depending on how close people are to us. Usually our partners know more about us than our parents and our best friends know more about us than our colleagues. I share more about certain aspects of my life, with people I will never meet, than I do with my own relatives. And similarly, there are things I share with them, that you will never know about. The fluid boundaries that we maintain serve many purposes and suit different degrees of comfort that we experience with different people in different situations. Just because we share some things with one group of people and some things with another group of people, doesn’t necessarily make us deceptive ! I try hard to be a deeply honest person but that doesn’t mean I am going to share my sexual fantasies with you (yes I am a sexual being !), the pin numbers to my bank cards or my deepest fears or concerns. And so from this perspective, I have chosen to manufacture a public image, in preference to sharing anything and everything (although sometimes it may look that way !). You may see me as a peace lover but I have an angry side, you may see me as a long haired hippy but I detest most hippies, you may see me as a person who has everything sorted out but I still have lots of challenges in my life (as I think you may have gathered recently) and you might think because I have 4 guitars and long hair I can play guitar when truthfully, I suck !
For a while, I thought very seriously about only conveying myself as a person who had transcended ordinary problems. I wondered long and hard about the implications of that. It began when I wrote a journal book a few years back (as yet unpublished). At the beginning of the book I spent a great deal of time reflecting on the nature of the mind and the experiences I was having with exploring the nature of the self. But a few months later I found myself venting my frustrations about my son and my work colleagues. I then realized that this was going to be a very different book to the one I initially envisaged. I learned to drop my expectations of producing a particular style of book (outcome) and to just go with the flow. When I spoke to several ETs about my online presence, they suggested I focus on being real. So that’s what I have tried to do. I haven’t shared with you, every one of my darkest moments but neither have I held back on sharing some of my dramas with the world and giving you a sense of my imperfections. Some years ago Dude spoke to me about how every single great human spiritual teacher, who has ever existed; had flaws and weaknesses. My guide Kanatek told me about how Confucius used to fake certain things to give the impression of being wiser than he really was. And today, many people hold Confucius in high esteem, oblivious of his outright deceptions. And one of my other guides Jaoshan, told me about how people thought he was enlightened and even though he knew he wasn’t he refused to correct them for fear of retribution.
What you find here and on YT is largely how I really am. I care immensely about people and Earth, I am imperfect, honest, curious, weak, strong, caring, pissed off, sick of the human race and always try to be as kind as I can be. I hold opinions just like anyone else but I try to hold them lightly, knowing that I may change my mind or discover that I am wrong and because I know that everything is impermanent. I was once a hard core Buddhist and I aspired to free myself of all desire and attachment and aversion but I realized after several swift kicks in the head from illness, my guides and my ET friends; that I didn’t need to free myself of desire, attachment or aversion. I only need to see how I function and to experience everything fully. So when I get pissed off, I get pissed off properly; when I get upset, I get upset properly; when I laugh, I laugh till I’m sick; when I feel sorrow, I feel it deeply; when I feel doubt, I let it rise fully; and when I feel compassion, I feel it without discrimination. I feel everything fully and then I let it go, trying my best to see what I have experienced and to learn from it.
It would be easier for the online world and perhaps for me to say and act in a certain way; to tow the line; to believe what almost everyone in the field of ETs and UFOs believes; to promote a belief in bad vs good ETs; to follow what others believe about reality, the Secret, the Law of Attraction, the Law of Love, Climate Change, ET Disclosure, Gun Control, Biotechnology, Veganism, Good Music, Bad Government etc. But I don’t and I can’t ! There are some things which I think are true and many that I disagree with. And I’ve been that way all my life. And because of that it has been a difficult and solitary road. I’ve never felt alone but I have been alone and gone against the grain. Whether it was at school, university, in my work life, among friends or family. Even among those I loved the most. I found that my greatest teachers were outcasts and people who were largely unpopular. People who really didn’t care what others thought of them. But there were also others who were loved by many.
When I look back over the other lives I am aware of having lived, I see the same patterns repeating. And two things stand out about that. I have always been stubborn, hard headed and thick skinned and I care immensely about certain things and will do anything to stand up for them. In other lives, it has cost me everything, even life itself. But in this life I realize that life itself is more precious than the opinions we hold dearest and the things we think are worth standing up for. Of course it isn’t black and white, which is why I still struggle with what to care about and where to put my energy. But that is part of my path and mine alone. Something I need to understand and integrate into my life.
I started my working life as a scientist because I was fascinated by nature and cared about understanding how things work and doing good with my knowledge; and then side stepped into social work and psychotherapy because I wanted to help people to heal; before going into environmental work because I cared about the planet; and then finally left work to concentrate on healing, living and writing because I want to heal from my tumours and devote my life to writing about things that I feel matter. I continue to help people because I care about healing my fellow human beings and I continue to plant trees because I love the natural world and care immensely about reversing biodiversity loss.
I’m actually not very good at anything. But I think I might be OK at observation. I have always been an observer of life and perhaps because of this I feel more than many people feel and have the capacity to write about things that make others feel. As an angry young man, I used to write about my own darkness and terrible things that revolted people but now as mature and balanced middle aged man, I try to write about things that I feel will create some good in the world. I look at all the books I see on shelves everywhere and books that fill the internet and I’m conscious that I don’t to contribute to the crap we’ve created, unless my crap has the capacity to bring a little light into the world. Trees die for our words. And insects die and other life forms die for our words, so it had better be worth it ! We’re all meaning seeking, idea making creatures, who find value in living and stories. We have choices to make about the meaning we seek, the ideas we make and how we live our lives and the stories we create and the stories we’re drawn to. But not many humans see that we have active choices before us, each and every day. Sure, I can tell you about the novel biosphere destroying bioterrorist ideas I have conceived but I had better be sure that I can live with the consequences. So, if I am smart, stupid ideas stay in my head and good ideas come out, guided by the heart. Sometimes I get that right and sometimes I get that wrong. Life is what it is and it is up to each of us to decide whether to seek any meaning or not and just what that meaning should be. And similarly, Eckhart Tolle is right when he said,”You are not your story” and Matt Smith as Dr Who is also right when he said, “We’re all just stories in the end, just make it a good one, eh ?”. We have a choice to both sit with what is and to create stories that help us make sense of life and to find meaning. And we have a choice about how we participate in the stories of this species and planet Earth. But it all begins with self awareness. Learning to know the true nature of the self. So I guess, if anything, that’s what really matters to me. When we know the nature of the self, we understand all of humanity and we can act in a way that creates greatest possible benefit for all beings. At least sometimes because no one is perfect !
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What follows is my effort at a sort of FAQ. I’ll try and keep it simple and they’ll be plenty of overlap with the Read Here First tab.
I believe :
- That life is to be lived fully – meaning that we should use our time wisely and feel everything.
- In the value of wonder and humility in the face of the great mystery of existence.
- That we are all controlled by Thought Forms – ideas we believe in.
- In personal responsibility.
- In the power of love to transform all of us.
- In the power of anger to create good.
- In the power of forgiveness.
- In understanding, tolerance and compassion – within reasonable limits.
- In connecting with the Earth, plants and animals, every single day.
- That we are not separate from Earth.
- That everything is impermanent and that the only thing that is permanent is The Light Within.
- That mind is the foreground of all things.
- We are all obliged to cultivate an awareness of the basic functioning of mind and the nature of Self.
- We are all obliged to cultivate an awareness of basic identity and subsequent us and them ideologies and their impact on humanity and Earth.
- That the power of the “I” and the “I Am” is a dangerous thing but it can be a good thing, if understood correctly.
- That knowledge of perception and identity are critical to understanding the nature of reality and our place on Earth.
- We should all be educated on how to breath correctly and how to live with stress.
- We must be taught about the dangers of if-then happiness and how our desire for stuff, drives the consumption chain and has a dramatic impact on the health of Earth and all his species.
- We should be wise about the rapid transmission of dangerous ideas (just because we can create them, doesn’t mean we should share them !).
- We must all find our own motivation to live fully, to see what is and to create change where necessary.
- That we should think about the consequences of major technological, financial, social and military actions, on several generations (as suggested by certain First Nations peoples) before we go ahead and act.
- That most human beings are disconnected from the natural world and need to be reconnected.
- That we should slow down technological developments. The iPhone 6 and XBox One are apparently fine as they are !
- That we can and should find new ways to tell good stories about our lives, humanity, life, other species, Earth, our place in the cosmos, ETs and the Cosmos.
- That certain obsessions are having a massive impact on human health and the health of the biosphere. These include mobile phones, hand held electronics, the internet and gaming.
- That the entire gaming industry and its users has a responsibility to grow up, stop escaping and care about the Earth.
- In an eclectic approach to education that integrates such unique ideas as Choice Theory, Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, ethics, Buddhist theories of Mind and Mindfulness, indigenous theories of interconnection, the latest theory from child psychology, and neuroscience (ideas such as neuroplasticity), play theory, comparative religion, family systems theory and rights of passage experiences.
- In an ethical framework for living and for all disciplines of study, human endevour and life.
- We must act swiftly to halt the decline of biodiversity and ecosystems and plant billions of trees, shrubs and grasses, as part of an effort to restore ecosystems.
- We have an obligation to Earth and future generations of all species to unearth the lower arms of The Architecture and The Diamond Complex and do everything to promote an awareness of how it pervades every aspect of modern life. And subsequently create healthier solutions to how we function as a species.
- We should find reasonable means to slow down and reduce the human population.
- We should eradicate or relocate all feral animals in every country.
- We should do our best to educate the masses about the dangers of feral animals and introduced plants/weeds and make every effort to control their spread and numbers.
- In responsible cat ownership and that all domestic cats should be kept indoors or micro chipped, tag and monitored. Domestic cats are having a dramatic impact on reducing global biodiversity !
- In some some form of global collective that has that has at it’s core the welfare of all living beings on Earth.
- That our dependence on fossil fuels and the over dependence on green energies such as solar and wind, ignores their potential environmental impact and ignores many of the other truly green energy technologies that we could potentially conceive and create.
- That money can be used to do good.
- That we can all practice being a little kinder every single day, through small acts of kindness towards every person we meet.
- That all mistakes have positive outcomes at some point.
- That mistakes help us learn.
- Good leaders are self aware leaders who see the forest and the trees.
- All leaders must live and act in congruence with what they claim to value.
- That life and death are indivisible but appear divided.
- That oneness is bullshit. There is only ONE but we act as if there is difference. How many people love a serial killer or the Syphilis bacteria ? We have lots of nice ideas but they mean nothing in practice !
- There is a place for incarceration and institutionalization.
- That The Something Monologues are a big waffleathon that sometimes have very little value but that I enjoy making them.
- That bullet points suck but they save time !
- In changing my mind whenever I feel like it.
- That the Creator Race ETs made our planet, seeded all life here and continue to intervene in the development of life on Earth.
- In our connection to a cosmic family.
- I have an obligation to speak truthfully about the nature of the ETs and my experiences with them.
- In nothing.
- In letting everything go.
I don’t believe :
- In evil, the Devil (I don’t believe in the Devil but he believes in Me !), bad space faring ETs, the Greys (although I have referred to them once as a reference point people could understand), the Mantids, the Nordics, the Reptilians, the Zetas, the Alien Agenda, the Archons, Hybrids/Hybrid Children, Indigo/Crystal Children, Star Seeds, Ascension, the council of 8 or 5 or whatever number, The Galactic Federation of Light, Ashtar Command, Ascended Masters, the Light Fellowship, the Great White Brotherhood, the Bilderbergs/Elite/Trilateral Commission/White Hats/Black Hats/, Outer Body Experiences (I think the term is a misnomer – these experiences merely represent a shift in perception to what we might call the Greater Self), Densities (3rd density, 5th density, 9th density etc.), 3 dimensional self vs 5 dimensional self, a literal hell, other than the one we create on Earth or the Matrix.
- In the solutions offered by the DSM model of mental health, Big Pharma, Big Ag or Big Finance.
- That money is a particularly useful system.
- In making statement art for Facebook.
- That eradicating the so called elite or worlds power structures will solve our problems. We are the fundamental problem and unless each an everyone of us makes an effort to cultivate self awareness, nothing will ever improve.
- That any political system offers humans the perfect solution for living peacefully together or caring for our world.
- In incarceration for many of the things that we have incarcerated people for – such as drug possession and drug use. I believe in life transforming and radical rehabilitation.
- In Man Made Climate Change. I did from 1989-2004 but changed my mind n 2005, when I was finally convinced that climate is driven by the sun and other celestial dynamics.
- In the value or right of certain groups in the lower arms of The Architecture and Google to carry out all pervasive surveillance and collection of data (which goes way beyond meta data).
- In any justification for war.
- The escalation of religious wars, sectarianism, religious extremism, patriotism and nationalist fervor.
- In the right to own and carry a gun.
- That science has a clue about the nature of reality.
- That light has a fixed speed or is composed of photons.
- That there is a fundamental particle.
- That time is anything more than a subjective phenomenon.
- That science should be leading human development.
- That it’s fair to criticize many of the great pioneers of human study – such as Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Carl Jung etc.
- That we have a right to go into space, explore space and colonize other plants. We ought to sort our shit out here first, before fucking up the rest of the galaxy !
- That artificial intelligence offers any kind of threat to humanity. AI is only as good as it’s algorithms. The real threat is from those who write the programs that will run AI and those that create the technology.
- In any kind of singularity, associated with the rise of AI.
- In the red pill or the blue pill or that another person’s ideas represent reality.
- In gurus other than the Self. Every human is fallible.
- In holding fast to opinions for ever.
- That man is the pinnacle of life.
- In a salvationist god, as in the God of orthodox Islam, Christianity or Judaism.
- That any one person, doctrine or teaching has all the answers.
And so ends another waffleathon. I will not pass this way again ! 😉
More words from the good Doctor :
In this brief monologue, I explore how some ETs seem to be able to time travel and enter the afterlife. I offer a metaphor that I think might help you to make some sense of how they do this, using my own experiences with my ET friends as examples.;-)
When I was a young boy I used to love visualising the scale of things. At some point I visualised everything that I was made of, from my body all the way down to the things that make up my atoms; and then changed directions and visualised my body and it’s place in the entire cosmos, starting with its place on Earth, moving up through all of the celestial bodies until there was only one whole. The capacity to visualise, helped me from an yearly age to understand my place in existence and the significance of my insignificance. In my early 20’s I started to read philosophy and science and particularly the works of the mathematician Paul Davies. And it’s through these works, I came to realise that from one perspective life and self are illusions. Soon after I discovered Buddhism and after a brief flirt with Tibetan Buddhism, I realised I knew very little about what a self really is. Later when I returned to Buddhism after a lot more life experience, I discovered the Buddha’s teachings on Dependent Origination or Dependent Arising and The 5 Aggregates. It was then that I truly understood that what we take to be a self is an illusion.
Dependent Origination or Dependent Arising is essentially the idea that things do not exist in and by themselves, they depend on other things and are composed of other things. A cube of sugar is not a cube of sugar without Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen molecules binding together in a unique pattern to form Glucose. And each of these elements is not an element without their molecules being bound together in a particular configuration. And each these molecules is not a molecule without their protons, electrons and neutrons being bound together in a particular configuration (which may show signs of wave or particle behaviour). Everything in existence (matter and perhaps even energy) depends on something else for its existence and is composed of other things.
The 5 Aggregates are an assemblage of parts, if you will, that make up a human or animal. They include form, feeling, perception, mental fabrications and consciousness. They may have aspects which reflect the past, present or future, be internal or external, subtle or gross. We regard these aggregates as our own and collectively they constitute the self. The problem is that we regard each of these aggregates and the 5 of them together as something in our possession. This assemblage of parts make up our being, which we take to be permanent and real. Sometimes we grasp, reaching out for the 5 Aggregates and the self they create, clinging to them and becoming attached to them. At other times we develop a kind of repulsion to the 5 Aggregates and the self they create and try to avoid them. These cycles of attachment and aversion are based on the false premise that the self that we think we are is permanent. We forget that all phenomenon are impermanent and will not last forever. Each of the 5 Aggregates depends on the aggregation or assemblage of other components, parts or aspects and is susceptible to decay. Nothing in any of the 5 Aggregates has the quality of existing in and of itself and of being able to last forever. All of them obey a kind of law of transformation, in which they decay into other components, parts or aspects; becoming something else. Whilst Buddhism doesn’t recognise a soul or spirit, it does recognise a kind of subtle consciousness, which is the thing which creates mental projections after death and in life and the thing which takes on a body after death and in life and carries the mental imprints that we recognise as Karma. If there is a self according to Buddhism, it is the subtle consciousness which leaves the body at death with the Bardo of Death and continues in a new body with the Bardo of Becoming.
According to Buddhist philosophy, those that attain liberation from the illusion of self, enter the dimension of nothingness, where they see the ground luminosity of being. Which might be the same light of the Near Death Experience.
When you understand that the self is a construct composed of the 5 Aggregates, you soon see that all of the strivings of human existence are based on the false belief that the thing that you are is permanent and if you can get hold of the things you most desire, you can keep hold of them and attain something satisfying that will last forever. Buddhism suggests that the only sure way to freedom (liberation) is that you lose these false beliefs and lose all sense of self.
Later, after I had rediscovered Buddhism in it’s various schools and devoted myself to meditation, I discovered the many different teachings of Non Duality. The fundamental teaching of Non Duality, is that the there is only the One whole and that the individual I is an illusion. The greatest teacher of Neo Advaita, Ramana Maharshi suggested that that there are two selves – the I, which is the self we are all familiar with and the I:I, the true self, which exists in the background of the I. The I arises from the I:I. You’ve heard me talk before about the Small Self and the Greater Self, which is essentially the same thing. From a Non Duality perspective, the I or the Small Self which we take to be who we are, is just an illusion that is composed of perishable parts but the I:I or the Greater Self is our Real Self and is the only thing that is permanent. So when Ramana asks us “Who is it that is asking “Who Am I ?” ?” , he is asking us first to peel back the layers of the perceived self (the Small Self or the I) and see what exists behind it. When we do this we discover at first the intellectual experience of the Greater Self or I:I and then the felt experience of the Greater Self or I:I. Another way of saying this, is that when you penetrate what you really are and move past all the assembled parts or aggregates, you discover God. Or, when you surrender the self or I, only God remains.
So, this all sounds good in theory but how do we make use of it in real life. I think that first of all we have to come to a kind of acceptance of two things. A human being has both a relative self or a Small Self or an I, that exists as a separate body and mind that will live and die. It experiences desire and all manner of emotions. It is susceptible to grasping, craving, attachment, repulsion and aversion. It is impermanent and always hungry for something. A human being also has an absolute self or a Greater Self or the I:I, that is everything. It is within time and beyond time and cannot die. It is not susceptible to grasping, craving, attachment, repulsion or aversion; and although it may experience them, it is not bound to them. It experiences desire and all manner of emotions but once again, is not bound to them. But the Small Self and the Greater Self are not 2 distinguishable beings. They exist as aspects of being and between them, I believe there exists gradations of awareness or more or less aware aspects of the Smaller Self. Picture a continuum with the Small Self at one end and the Greater Self at the other end. In between lay a grey area in which an individual may experience different levels of awareness related to the totality of their being. Depending on what level of awareness an individual develops, one can deal with the challenges that present themselves to us in life and in death in different ways. When, for example we recognise impermanence in all phenomena, we can remain unfussed about anything that arises in life – be it fame or rejection, success or failure, sickness or health, prosperity or poverty, love or hate, or any of the countless desires or mental fabrications that pass through the mind. We ride the tides of change with indifference, knowing that all things change and nothing lasts forever. We know that our only sure abode and the only place of real security is emptiness.
Most humans don’t know the first thing about impermanence or the causes of suffering. Nor do they care. Space faring ETs on the other hand, understand that all phenomena are impermanent. But they also recognise the causes of suffering and the nature of the self. They are not however, limited to the insights of Buddha or Buddhism or Neo Advaita or the spiritual beliefs of India or China or any other group of people on Earth. My sense from my experiences with many different races of ETs, is that they understand that material life is short, especially for humans. They also understand that every living thing suffers and will die. They see the struggle of countless life forms and know that every life form must come to grips with the passage of it’s life and the experience of dying and existence after death. They know that all life has equal value and that no life form is any more deserving than any other. They understand in their own way, that life and the sense of self, arises from an assemblage of parts and that the sense of self is an illusion. But they also recognise that what I call the Small Self (which exists in relation to other Small Selves) has as much value as the Greater Self. They recognise that all life forms are unique expressions of self and unique expressions of the One – whatever they may call the One. They recognise that I am the One and that you are the One and that they are the One and that the ant under your foot is the One, as much as anything else is the One. And they know that all of these unique expressions of the One, are impermanent and because of their uniqueness and impermanence, they are absolutely precious. That is why they consider all life to be sacred. That doesn’t however mean that every ET treats every individual in the cosmos the same way. They have their own unique ways of expressing their beliefs.
When Dude recently said that ETs don’t have compassion, he meant that ETs treat life the way it should be treated because they SEE the nature of reality as it really is and that every unique expression of the One is susceptible to the same laws of impermanence and change. Dude may not talk of God, because he knows his true nature and the nature of reality and that there is no separation between the One and himself. His sense of self embraces the illusory aspects of self (the Small Self) and the permanent aspects of self (the Greater Self). He knows that creation arises within all that he is. Other ETs however, may conceive of reality in a different way to Dude’s people and construct reality and their sense of self in a different way. None of them are limited to human spirituality or philosophy but some of them may have ideas, conceptions and beliefs that are similar.
One of the things I find really fascinating and immensely liberating about my experiences with Dude, is that he encouraged me to embrace my desires. I went through a stage of analysing all of my desires, after having done it several years before and feeling like I needed to do something more serious about it for my own well being. And as I was doing it, Dude reminded me that desire is a fundamental quality of life. I was trying to identify healthy and unhealthy desires and weed out as many desires as I could because I was conscious that desire leads to aversion and attachment and causes suffering in life and death. Of course, you cannot erase desire without the desire to erase desire. So it’s a viscous circle that requires a certain level of acceptance about certain primal desires. Dude also reminded me that despite their outward appearances, many great spiritual teachers (past and present) (the Dalai Lama among them) live with desire and are afflicted with strong emotions like fear and existential hunger. Despite all of their outward commentaries on liberation from desire, they themselves are bound to desire. He went on to suggest that it is desire that creates experience and the opportunity for growth. You may remember me sharing the story of Dude’s leaf collecting interest and how that desire to collect 1 leaf from every plant on Earth, gave him the opportunity to collect at least 98 % of all of our plants and created countless opportunities for him to experience the many different life forms and places of our Earth. Through this experience he travelled to every continent, he met many many people and discovered the oldest plants on our world. He also, accidentally killed the last known plant of a particular species, when he pulled a leaf off it on the side of a cliff and it fell out of the small crack it was growing from. He later recreated an individual and replanted it. But he felt bad that he killed the plant that gave up it’s leaf. All of these experiences of collecting a single leaf, created opportunities for him to interact with life and discover things about our world and himself. The act of discovery helped him to grow and to mature and to learn and bring kindness to our world. Without that desire, he would be bereft of countless experiences that benefited both he and others. He would also be bereft of countless memories that have brought meaning and joy to his life. And it all began when my ex wife, as a 4 or 5 year old, gave him a a small leaf of the bracken fern he had been hiding behind, after he introduced himself to her, in the late 1960’s.
Dude and his people don’t discount the importance of desires or of suffering because they see equal value in the experience of the Small Self. The experience of individuality for them is as important as the experience of wholeness or the many different levels of awareness that the Small Self is capable of in life and death. Unlike hard core Buddhists, they don’t see the need to anchor one’s self to the certainty that the self is an illusion and that the only sure abode is emptiness. Instead they embrace the illusion and enjoy it for what it is.
But they go even further than this. They see that the inner and outer worlds are one. What is within the imagination, is what is within the whole and when they give energy to the imagination, they create in the outer world. Unlike many of our traditional spiritualities, that declare that what the mind creates is unreal, the Muajra, embrace all that the mind creates as possibility; knowing that they can create what they wish, with the right application of intention, feeling, imagination and energy.
So perhaps, if I was an ET, I would say that the real illusion of self, is that the Small Self is an illusion and that the Greater Self is real. And that the truth is that both the Small Self and the Greater Self are both illusions and both real. I and I:I are of equal value and both are illusions and both are real.
But what would I know, if neither You nor I are what we think we are ?