A Guide To The Perplexed

"Suicide?"

 "Yes, you committed suicide." my Spirit Guide replied.

"But I was dying of Parkinson's and my attorney acted to execute (I believe the legal term is) my advanced directive with assisted suicide in Zurich."

"Yes exactly and that is why what you did was wrong.  You were a brilliant doctor, scientist and writer.  Just think of all the lives you could have touched if you had finished your trilogy of a novel.  Or all the lives that would be alive today if you had kept up your clinic work.  Or your beloved animals who have to find themselves a new homes.  Or the friends you had touched with your genius that will never enjoy your quips and satiric humor ever again."  

"What?"  I said  "I was demented and in a public nursing home unable to move and about to choke on my own secretions.   You call what I did suicide?  My disease made me incapable of doing anything.  No sir, no sir, if life becomes more painful than its absence then ending it is a mercy."

"Well"  My ghostly friend said "that's what they all say.  Quit your whining.  Let me tell you how it is.  You are going to have to come back,  Not because
you suicided --  the Universe could give a flying **** about that. Suicide is a bourgeois prejudice. You have to come back so you will remember what I am about to tell you now.  

"I don't believe in any form of immortality."  I replied.  "Every modern theologian will tell you that there is an afterlife but secretly they will tell you it is merely symbolic.  Real immortality where the person has identity and some life like when they were alive in some sort of heaven is a fiction.  When you are dead you are dead meat.  We can at most hope that we will live on symbolically in our children, the products of our work, or some other contribution in the real word.  Of course even that sort of immortality is doomed to crumble eventually.  So as Keynes said "In the long term we are all dead." 

"Good point.  I both agree and disagree.  Reincarnation is not immortality as you describe it.  You are not the same person you will be upon rebirth.   Unfortunately in the trauma that is reincarnation you forget everything as Plato wrote in the dialogue called the Meno and you keep coming back until you remember your lessons perfectly.  When you can remember, you can graduate and go to the next level of consciousness (an Antarean dung beetle or some such creature) or come back enlightened to help others advance on their path  --  but only if you are graced with compassion.  This is a state of great bliss and not for everyone.  It's your choice.  The beauty of reincarnation is that it binds all life together in common experience. Everybody gets to try out each others shoes by being them for a life.  Thus you develop respect for all life and do not step on that worm for fear it may be an  incarnated relative or some such.

"So now I will tell you what you Will soon forget and spend your next lifetime trying to remember."

I interrupted "You know I don't think I'm coming back because you remember all those people
who underwent surgery and had out of body experience?"

"Yes?"

"Well I've had lots of anesthesia and there is nothing there. Blackness, zip, zippo. So that must mean all those other honkies are coming back and I'm
not this time around."

"You think that's what it means? Were you dying at the time?"

"No."

"Well, out of body experiences happen when you are ready to die and are leaving your body but someone intervenes."

"Oh, is that so. Well, I better learn how not to come back then."

And I was a captive audience hanging on to every word -- determined that when I slip down that birth canal towards the light at the end of the tunnel, I will not forget this time. Strangely I sensed I had done this before millions and millions of times and even saw myself living as myriad animal lives and even insect lives such as worms {yuck} and other vermin. But with each life I accumulated small increments of knowledge all culminating in this moment.

"First disillusionment" my Spirit Guide said, "is that light at the end of the tunnel you see.  It is nothing more than your frontal lobe konking out and the excitation of certain small areas of the occipital lobe that fire and create a circle of light.  If you happen to meet parents and friends along the way to death they are merely deep impressions they made on you in your hippocampus.  As the brain function retreats to the brain stem the occipital lobe is further driven by pathways from there until you merge with the light at the end of the tunnel and you are dead."

"Life" My spirit guide began," is full of suffering and it is particularly severe now (and will probably continue to be in the future). You are all on
the precipice of history. BPO (before peak oil) and APO (after peak oil). If global warming does not stay below two degrees F increase by 2015 the global
melt down cannot be stopped.

"Meanwhile if you don't reduce the population by 6 billion by 2055 when you run completely out of oil --  If you don't fix the world then -- the planet will fix the situation itself, probably rain Forrest defoliation will release an ancient virus which has no cure and a mass die off of humans will do the job.

"You have a lot of questions: I suggest you find out who it is who is asking the questions in your mind. Know that suffering is existence and quiet your
mind with mediation.  Stop the desire that leads to suffering. Also know yourself and see your ego as the evil that comes between you and your higher
power. Finally, exercise NO MIND because thinking in duality or opposites also leads to suffering.

"I have just told you the fundamental tasks of Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism. They are all ONE and you have them for free so don't discount this wisdom just because I gave it to you. If you want you can send me money in a brown paper wrapper if you feel you must!

"That was kind of fast so let's take it apart slowly.  There once was a tribe of nomads who figured that for simplicity sake there must only be one god because they had a hard time managing half a billion new commandments.   Now when you come to this conviction while all the tribes around you are worshiping millions of gods --  seemingly one for every ant hill --  because they are scared that that big freeze will come again and ruin everything, then you are bound to be beaten up.  And so the nomads were enslaved and they learned how to be slaves very well.  They developed what you might
say is a slave mentality.  This consisted of giving special meaning to words called the law and believing that they had magical powers to replace the real powerlessness they felt.  They then had a remarkable incite:  the reason we are alive is to suffer -- which was not far from the truth.  In fact the cosmic purpose of your life is to suffer and in fact language -- just like the Tower of Babel --  leads inexorably to suffering.

"Modern philosophers like Wittgenstein came to the same conclusion. There is a religion called Zen whose purpose is to break its followers of language by giving them word puzzles which actually have no meaning called Koans. What is the sound of one hand clapping? A monk would mediate on this for ages and each time he met his teacher or Roshi, he was proud to have the answer. His Roshi would just give him a crack on the head and send him back for more meditation. Through stilling the mind,  the inner language dialogs would eventually be silenced and the monk would be freed of suffering. More about this later.

"So we can thank this tribe of nomads for suffering down through the ages the innumerable pogroms and holocausts to teach you these simple facts.  In fact today these nomads don't even believe there is a god but put up a front.  This is because if they did believe in god then they would have to admit that he was the most evil god that there is. Indeed he is guilty of making a covenant years ago not with this tribe --  but with a very evil group people called the SS -- and some of this ancient tribe went meekly to the showers that weren't showers.  They were after all a very intelligent and reasonable people who had a history of suffering and so couldn't believe the depravity that some humans enact on others.  And besides they had proved
they could suffer through any holocaust couldn't they?  

"It turns out that modern thinking explains god as a result of the infant who has needs and always finds the mother figure is there to satisfy their needs.  Later, the transitional object represented by society provides satisfaction for the needs of the growing infant until we mature and as adults we believe that god is created to fulfill the infantile needs for comfort as an adult.  God is always there to comfort us through a form of meditation called prayer.  But god is a fiction invented to function as the mother figure we had as infants.  God is thus atavistic if you understand the term?

"And this is the way history teaches you lessons through suffering. Humans through the ages have pondered about the solution to eliminating suffering. These technologies are called religions.

"So we have established two facts:  there better not be a god and language leads to suffering.  If there was a god you could pawn off your responsibility for your life and blame him and thus not learn a damn thing while you are alive to learn and if their were a language you could even get grants in schools of great learning just to solve problems that are pseudo (false) problems like does Santa Claus exist?  

"In fact a group of ascetics in north-eastern India led by a prince named Siddhartha came to the same conclusions. There is no god and through mediation one could become enlightened and become your own god. If you achieved enlightenment all suffering would then have served its purpose. It would be seen as illusion and become bliss."

"What about fun?"  I challenged the spirit.  "Don't you paint a glum universe where everything is conflict?"

"Yes I do because as an astute fellow once said the world is everywhere red in tooth and claw.  What you call fun is a snare and delusion created by your ego to prevent you from reaching enlightenment.  And this is a perfect segue to the next teaching point: the Ego.

"I, me, I want, give that to me. All this usage shows us that language serves something called the Ego. The Ego is your inner dialog, your committee. Its purpose is to take over and become god. The kingdom of god is within you. Indeed we have god and the devil both within us. The Ego tries to come between you and your higher power which is the godhead potential in you. It wants to tempt you to abdicate this wish for enlightenment and replace it with itself.   It does this through fun. It does this by confusing you with alcohol and hallucinogens, It does this through greed for wealth and
other transitory thing that the world provides.

"It is Satan. Once upon a time there was a prophet from that same nomad tribe I mentioned above who realized that suffering comes from this Ego and the answer to suffering was to give all you own away and follow him. In other words beat the Ego at its game of accumulating wealth by giving everything away.  He was said to perform many miracles but these were just really pallor tricks which his apostles made up to sell the technology better. He was right nevertheless. And just as the other members of his tribe had suffered before, they nailed him to a cross for getting the right answer and showing the Ego's con game for what it was.

"For you see there are people who make a living off other peoples Egos. They are called grifters. To be a good grifter you must know how corrupt the Ego can make a person and then leverage that knowledge into stealing money from the mark. In a sense, the early members of the religion about the Ego being the cause of suffering were grifters themselves but that is another story.

"I am almost through so have patience. There is yet another technology that was invented thousands and thousands of years ago to solve the problem of suffering. Drama.  It was born in the ancient subcontinent of India. Throughout history, India has played host to thousands of gods and goddesses who engage in a vast drama of existence. Much like the Greek gods, the Indian gods were immortal and thought mortals were the stuff of burlesque and pratfalls. The Iliad of example is a horrible story of conquest and misery to humans but to the gods they thought the whole thing was their play thing. Thus the great Indian month-long epic the Mahābhārata was just a bagatelle to the gods who like a sword brought the universe into creation and destruction as if it was a spring picnic. But the central message of all the Upanishads, over thousands of years, dealt with suffering. It discovered that the cause for suffering was duality, dilemma, and opposites. Drama is the Ego's movement in play.  Drama is fun and therefore it is a snare and a delusion.   Through their epics they showed that life is a drama between opposites ---most basic of which is man and woman.   If one through meditation and yoga could free one's mind from duality one would be release from this veil of torment. So here we have all the great religions coming together as drama.  All great dramas try to remind us how we are trapped by the dramas in our own lives and how drama causes suffering.

"First, the Ego is caught in the language of duality, next it tries to become the godhead by owning all world desire but cannot have it because Ego is
forever alone caught in the self and the other duality, hence drama.   What is the answer?  Perhaps you will find your own way. Here the solution is to meditate -- to still your mind of language and duality, meditate to still your mind from the desires of this world and kill your Ego. Not an easy menu. That is why you will forget this when you are reborn. It is too simple; but the hardest thing in the world because the Ego and desire and language and drama lay so many traps for you. "

"Well, thank you very much for the secret hand shake
and all that. I will not forget this time. By the way who are you?"

"Oh, I'm your Ego.  Bye, bye."
miriamairim miriamairim
61-65, F
Feb 28, 2011