I read an article yesterday by a spiritual teacher instructing his followers to act from their “highest self.” He was beseeching his readers to be more loving, more kind, more wise; not to act on their emotional reactivity, but to take a wiser approach; the approach their “highest selves” would take. This sounds like lovely advice. It sounds really good, and moral, and righteous. The problem is that it’s not real.
This advice asks people not to act on their emotions, not to act on their normal drives, but to identify with some supremely loving, wise, “higher,” saintlier version of themselves. And to pretend to be that. What happens is everyone walks around pretending to be “spiritual.” Believing that the “higher self” is some kind of doormat, who has no emotions, preferences, or courage to speak up is a mistake. This is fake spirituality. This is religious dogma with a new name. It’s not authentic. It’s not honest. And it’s psychologically unhealthy. (more…)
Often times when some negative event befalls someone we know, we shake our heads in sympathy. “What a shame. Poor guy. He’s such a good person. How could this happen to him? He was always so kind and caring. Everyone loves him…” We make the mistake of thinking that this “bad” thing that happened is some kind of misfortune. A run of bad luck. Perhaps a mistake on the victim’s part even. But this kind of thinking traps us in suffering. It is how most people live, but it is not the right way to live. (more…)
The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the thinker. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought. That thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter: beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.
Good morning internet friends! It’s cold here this morning, so with a hot cup of coffee, I’ve sat down to write some more…
Several weeks after I discovered Gary and the Toltec wisdom, I thought surely these ideas must be available in other traditions, and so my relationship with Buddhism began. Instead of following one specific sect of Buddhism (they seem to be country-specific), I cherry picked ideas and teachers from the different lineages. Here is a collection of monks and nuns and dharmas that I follow. (more…)