Mapping this theory and Christianity analysis to Buddhism
I haven't made the progress I ought in reading the Buddhism intro books. I have spelled out very clearly and cogently how the cybernetic theory of ego transcendence interprets Christian myth-religion. I have also shown just enough how that interpretation can easily map to 3 or 4 key Buddhist concepts or allegory-ideas:
There are lower and higher meaning-networks for all these terms. Lower thinking thinks rebirth means rebirth into another person's life. Higher thinking explains why "rebirth" is undesirable: rebirth actually means the mind falling back into the habitual egoic worldmodel and way of thinking, even after several entheogenic peaks. The problem is how to stop that falling back into delusion, allegorized as the problem of ending the cycle of rebirths and avoiding reincarnation, to attain nirvana.
Everyone wants me to map the theory to Buddhism. This would be very easy if I knew Buddhist myth-religion a little more. I've already demonstrated how to connect the theory to Christian myth-religion; now it is far easier to extend that interpretation to Buddhist sayings and myths and allegories/metaphors.
What Buddhist sayings or myths or metaphors lend themselves to the same type of interpretation as I've applied to cracking the puzzle of making good sense out of Christianity as a clever puzzle to be solved by finding a higher interpretation?
>Secondly, Buddhism avoid making statements such as "this exists" or this "doesn't exist." as in the 34 negations above. This is the Middle Way. In generaL, high Buddhism, would then say, "there is neither "free will," nor is there "no-free-will," a understanding that needs to be bridged first before one can apply your thoery in a technically correct way. Ths Middle Way principle is not a compromise. In this sense, adapting various theories to this principle becomes techncially difficult and one must understand the high Buddhsit understanding of general and specific."
>To further clarify this, here is a short passage of Chih-I (tien- t'ai the Great) from the Moho Chi Kuan (contemplation and and observation):
>states: "It is easy for a sticky hand to adhere, and hard to awaken from deep dreaming. Some people seal up a text and restrict its sense, declaring their own personal understanding of it to be right. They vie with others to seize tiles and pebbles, thinking they are baubles of lapis luzuli. Even the most familiar things and explicit statements they fail to understand; how could they not but err when it comes to the abstruse principle and hidden teaching? This is why it is necessary to discuss "the returning to the purport."
This sounds like my strong focus on "networks of word meanings" and the phrase "in what sense does X exist?" More useful than asking whether the historical Jesus existed or not, it's better to ask "in what exact sense did Jesus historically exist?" Instead of vaguely asking "Our our choices free, or not free?", we must ask "In what exact sense are our choices free?" Instead of asking "Does ego exist, or not?", the only way to make progress in understanding is to ask rather, "In what sense does ego exist, and it what sense does ego not exist? That is, what exactly is the nature of ego?"
Kouros Mystes wrote:
>>>Our [pagan] Gods are part of Fate- immersed in the system, almost- just like we; They must "bow" to Fate and Necessity, just as everything must- but they (the Gods) have perceptive abilities above and beyond ours, giving them a godly experience of Fate, while we get the mortal experience.
>To me this sounds too much like mystic-state allegory: The "Gods" are those people (!) enlightenend (aware of cosmic determinism) whereas the "mere mortals" are those people which have not experienced the block-universe.
>We don't have the slightest evidence of the existence of literal "Gods". Apart from that, what would really be the point of it? What's the point of stating what some hazy Gods are subject to?
It is often of *utmost* mystic-state importance, the relation of Gods to Fate.
Because the core of mystic-state experiential insight is that everything that exists is ruled by Fate; the future is fixed and singular, everything in the world is fixed eternally in place; egoic agency is powerless to change what one's future thoughts and actions are to be, because the stream of thoughts is frozen into place at all points in time. This can cause self-control instability, and one reaction is prayer to a transcendent god above Fate's power, outside cosmic determinsm, to rescue and fish one out of the turbulent stormy control-chaos into safety.
>This is the same thing with people believing in a literal "saved race". Rather than imagining this in a literal sense, read "Gods" as allegory for those of US (!) who transcended the cosmos [primarily] by ingesting visionary plants.
Religious systems of myth also need a useful middle category: the immortals, saints, saved, purified, divinized, who have been raised (being not a free powerful agent) by a benevolent compassionate mysterious black-box god/savior, up to the level of the gods, which is often described as being outside cosmic determinism, beyond the sphere of the fixed stars (determinism).
>Those who have eaten the holy flesh are in some sense "Gods", *especially* contrasted by those "mere mortals" which have no clue about the nature of the cosmos.
A mortal is one's lower self (freewillist self-concept & worldmodel) which must be sacrificed to move along to a higher, truer perspective and worldmodel: determinism (often combined with a postulated ultra-transcendent divine realm). For the mystic, way down below is freewillist delusion; much higher and more true is determinism, and far higher than that -- radically and absolutely higher -- is transcendence of determinism which has such great height in order to still affirm determinism.
Everything that exists is subject to and fully ruled by determinism; therefore, to be above determinism one would have to be in a black-box realm that is beyond existence and superior to it. This postulation of a divine realm so high it's even above the deterministic cosmos of all-that-exists and all-that-is-real, is "non-rational" but only in a completely controlled and restrained sense.
"I have ascended to the realm so high, it is above the real, above what merely exists, up into true existence." This is the heart of the spirit of Neoplatonism, which is the main foundation for Christian theology.
>Reading these terms ["Gods", "mortals"] as allegory, they make *perfect* sense: Those experienced *have* "a godly experience of Fate" as opposed to those not in the know, which only know of the mortal way of perceiving the world [freewill-way of thinking].
>Come to think of it, Buddhism knows quite a bit about "Gods", i guess it'd be worth it to check back how well those writings lend to esoteric-interpretation.
Have I not repeatedly explained all of this already exactly how that is indeed the case? You force me to write more about mythic allegory in Asian Buddhism. It was enough for me to prove that Christianity is purely mythic allegory, and prove that all religions are the same here in principle and in general. I cannot spend time spelling it out in specific and concrete detail again and again for each religion -- though they are all the same; they are all purely mythic allegory for entheogen determinism.
*All* religious writings are sacred exactly because of their densely packed deliberate support for esoteric-interpretation.
I already explained the scheme of:
o burn away mortality to become imperishable/immortal
o a god-man twice-born, from a mortal then from a god
o the gods
o Fate, the Fates
It was a debated issue whether Zeus (for example) was above Fate. Anyone who states that the ancients arranged it one specific way is a sophomore, a beginning scholar. This is all a matter of mystic-state allegory, and mythic symbols have some degree of flexibility.
Favor myth: where there is talk of gods and mortals and magic, there is both low literalism and high enlightenment. Distrust lack of myth: where there is no talk of gods and mortals and magic, there is neither low literalism nor high enlightenment, but only dull uncomprehending rationality that knows nothing more than "the literalist view is false"; the middle level, proud to reject all myth, lacks any positive understanding and transcendent knowledge.
Dull uncomprehending demythicized "rationality" doesn't understand what a rejection of literalism actually should amounts to; they don't know about literalism versus truly mythic-mystic-state allegory/metaphor.
It takes several lifetimes, several reincarnations to attain extinction (of the egoic mode of being), where "lifetimes" are demarcated from each other by ego death experiences. After a series of ego death experiences, the mind finally retains the mystic insight rather than falling back or reincarnating into habitual conceptual patterns of egoic thinking. Ego (egoic worldmodel or egoic operating system) is allegorized as "body".
>"This is the Dharma body of the Tathâgata, the middle way of reality and the fundamental nature of the Dharma, which is said to be silence and extinction.
>it must seem that it takes an awfully long time before we attain a stage where we can open our inherent Buddha nature and reveal our Awakening, but even so, within one lifetime it can be shown that our persons are indeed the three bodies that are not separate from the one of the Buddha.
>all of them alike have the possibility to reveal their inherent Buddha nature in a single lifetime.
>even though there is difference between those of superior, average and lesser propensities among humankind, they can all figure out within a single lifetime, that they are in fact without any duality, the oneness of the fundamental substance of the Buddha Tathâgata."
>Nirvana/extinction of ego is a teaching of expedient means, to make one seek Supreme Enlightenment. When that is achieved, a person reaches the stage of non-retrogression.
Retrogression into egoic habits of thinking is allegorized as "backsliding" in Christian myth-religion-mysticism, or the king turning away from God and falling back into idol-worship.
>There is also a collective enlightenment where many in a given environment attain enlightenment at once. In this collective enlightenment, large groups attain enlightenment simultaneously -- rather than just the rare few.
That stands to reason, given my assertions that enlightenment is completely straightforward and easy when equipped with the right tools, which are the rational, ergonomic conceptual model of mystic insight such as I'm systematizing, in conjunction with the entheogenic intense mystic altered state -- that is, a series of mystic sessions interspersed with studying the concepts.
Because enlightenment is actually easily rationally comprehensible and the mystic state is actually easy and ergonomic to produce on demand in typical minds through (external) entheogens, enlightenment can potentially propagate rapidly throughout a society.
In a series of mystic-state sessions, the problem arises that one keeps temporarily attaining enlightenment (grasping the transcendent worldmodel) but losing it again, falling back into egoic thinking until the next temporary mystic-state session. One keeps temporarily rising above the egoic fleshly way of thinking, then being dragged back down into egoic incarnation again.
What must one do, what can one give to *secure* the mind's grasp of the transcendent worldmodel? How can one kill and negate forevermore the egoic way of thinking? There are two solutions: insanity, where egoic thinking is dis-integrated into chaos, or the divine pattern, the transcendent worldview, attained by deliberately sacrificing ego. What exactly does one do to sacrificially kill, cross out, trip up, fatally wound the ego?
Does one commit mayhem to fatally violate and disruptively disprove the ego? No, that misses the mark and fails as a method. What one must do is understand the meaning of the dying and rising godman -- one then becomes "in" the godman.
Picture his sacrificial violent suicide of his own egoic controller self, and consider that this godman, in the mythic realm, has exorcised his egoic demon so that we can all secure understanding of sacrificing the ego to gain the transcendent identity and transcendent knowledge. Does the godman bloodily kil himself on our behalf? No, we are that godman on the mythic plane; he on the tree *is me*; I put myself up on that tree; that's *my* blood, that's *my* pierced side, that's *my* deliberately violated and pierced cybernetic heart of self-control sovereignty.
I *have been* pierced; I am in the godman and I *am* that godman. And all the godmen are *the* godman. Only by being that finally overthrown lower godman's sacrificial self, can I secure transcendent comprehension, the transcendent way of thinking, and thus avoid being reincarnated once again into the egoic way of thinking and the egoic worldmodel.
>Do you want to say that the first Christians saw their godman that [esoteric-only] way? That much in Paul says just this?
Below, I focus on such an esoteric system of thinking, without emphasis on the esoteric understanding of "reincarnation". It's clear some early Christians in some way believed in some sort of reincarnation, but I haven't read any details about their views on this subject -- I suppose they considered reincarnation in multiple esoteric ways. In one esoteric sense, reincarnation is desirable or is a timelessly already-attained reality, since the Ground peers out through all people at all times.
In another esoteric sense, reincarnation is something to be struggled against through a series of mystic initiations. Most importantly, mystics everywhere in all times and religions think in the same general mode, that includes the kind of ideas I'm presenting.
There are two goals in constructing a theory of esoteric Christianity:
o Show what the ultimate, highest meaning of Christianity is (regardless of how widespread and refined this understanding has ever been).
o Show that the earliest Christians, and the best of the esoteric Christians across history, saw the Christian godman in this way, and that the Paul character created by the earliest Christians, who were esoteric/Gnostic Christians, was the mouthpiece and fictional founding figure to whom such a view of the godman was attributed by those who created the Paul figure.
The Catholic, official church started a little later and essentially created and especially owned the apostle characters early on, particularly Peter and James. After using the Peter and James characters -- "the apostles" for short -- to express condemnation against the teachings attributed to the Gnostics' Paul character, the Catholic official church later took over the Paul character, resisting Paulinism by co-opting it. That's why the canonical teachings attributed to the Paul character are completely inconsistent.
At various times, the majority of Christians may or may not have seen the godman as esoteric-only, conceived as I originally described. We must use our judgement in deciding which are the real Christians, the most authentic form of Christianity, the most original form of Christian, the earliest authentic form of Christianity, and the most ultimately important and valuable form of Christianity.
If one mystic started Christianity with esoteric intent, and one mystic later held the esoteric view of Christianity, and everyone else assumed Literalist Christianity, then I'd say that the two individuals are the authentic, real Christians, and that everyone else had a corrupted version of Christianity.
So even if there's little evidence that esoteric Christianity was the authentic original form in terms of popularity and numbers, we can still use judgement to declare that the "real", "original", "authentic", and "intended" form of Christianity.
According to Literalists, the Literalist version of Christianity was and is the real, original, authentic, and intended form of Christianity.
According to Gnostics (esotericists, mystics), the Gnostic or experiential mystery-religion version of Christianity was and is the real, original, authentic, and intended form of Christianity.
In earliest Christianity, suppose there was at least one Literalist and at least one Gnostic (in Freke & Gandy's general, universal sense of the term). In each era, suppose there was at least one Literalist and at least one Gnostic. How could we then declare either version of Christianity "what Christianity is really about"? If there has always been a battle to declare esoteric or Literalist Christianity to be the real (orthodox) version, and the other to be the false (heretical) version, then how can we talk of "the real" or "the original" version?
There were always a variety of esoteric versions of Christianity ("the Gnostics must be wrong because they don't all allegorize the same way"). Similarly, there were always variety of Literalist versions -- not only bickering Protestant denominations constantly breaking away from each other, not only Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant, but *even within Literalist Catholicism itself*.
Despite that kind of diversity within esoteric and Literalist Christianity, there are only two essential conceptions of Christianity: esoteric and exoteric; Gnostic and Literalist. The view of "the real meaning of the godman" that I originally posted is what the genuine esoterics or Gnostics believed and have always believed -- or, what the overall esoteric/Gnostic "way of thinking" and tradition has been.
Even if no individual has ever thought exactly the way I described, the views of individual Gnostics, considered collectively, point to exactly that view. There have always been two forms or levels of Christianity -- lower Christianity and higher Christianity. Higher Christianity, considered overall, holds the esoteric, experiential view of the godman as I described.
Higher Christianity has its own self-reinforcing integrity as a system of thinking -- regardless of the original and later Gnostic/mystics. So does Literalist Christianity have its own self-reinforcing integrity as a system of thinking -- in its own way, it is "perfectly consistent". I've defined the Higher Christianity guided by the goal of such "perfectly consistent" thinking.
That esoteric-Christianity system of thinking remains perfectly consistent regardless of what several earliest Christian schools thought, or how they thought, and what later mystic and heretical schools thought. The original, Gnostic Christians and the later heretic-mystics may have fallen short of the understanding of the godman I described, but it's nevertheless essentially "what they believed" and "how they understood the godman".
To fully establish the primacy of esoteric Christianity over Literalist Christianity, it is important to both attain a beautifully self-consistent esoteric understanding of Christianity that is independent of what any individuals thought, and, establish that in fact the original Christians and later mystics held just this esoteric understanding of Christianity.
>you mentioned that you would like to extend your burgeoning theory to Budhhism & Islam; ...
I have gathered books on these and have read some: everything fell together easier than hoped; I'm now pursuing integrated religion-myth. Putting it one way, I start with Christianity, work outward to Judaism and mystery-cults and classical myth and Zoroastrianism, then embrace all religion and world mythology.
>I did despair at the time that we would ever see a book from _you_, prior to the heat death of the universe.
Soon, within the next decade.
>Whereas Christianity in some ways is a no brainer,
In some ways -- but in some ways Christianity is the one that is most in denial of mythic reality; it hides its mystery more than others; it is *posed* as more of a recalcitrant and brittle puzzle than the religion-myth systems.
>the body [of true experiential esoteric Christianity that provides enlightenment and transformation] died circa 400 AD & you've been doing a "Crime Scene Investigation" of the corpse for the last 1600 years or so.
My research and paradigm construction has recently led to a new formulation: Christianity has *always* been a tradition of two opposing traditions, the esoteric and exoteric brands like Coke versus Pepsi.
Despite the media disinformation we've been fed, experiential gnostic esoteric Christianity *didn't* die shortly after Constantine/Eusebius; the power-elite *taught* us that esoteric Christianity died out and the traditional Christianity has always been exoteric, but don't believe that propaganda: esoteric and entheogenic Christianity has *always* survived to some degree as a continuous popular tradition, suppressed only to some degree.
We're *told* of some Age of Belief by our establishment history books, but studying further, we find how much the 1400s were an age of full-on disbelief. Continuing to peer even closer, we deconstruct such notions of "belief" and "unbelief", and inquire about what *type* of belief: esoteric or exoteric. We ought to assume that many during the so-called Age of Belief *did* believe, but their belief was of the esoteric type: a countertraditional but by no means untraditional type.
The latest Entheos journal has a great article about Datura, the "lily" held by Gabriel during the anunciation to Mary that she (our psyche) was pregnant with the divine sinless and pure child, and would give birth to the son of God: through entheogens, the egoic mind dies and gives birth to the transcendent mind. The exoteric establishment depended on the popularity of this type of Christianity, which was *the* heresy, even as the establishment did its best to co-opt Christianity.
Forget what the establishment books tell us about the supposed history of Christianity -- that is merely the *exoteric* history of Christianity.
>However if you were to credibly tackle the sophisticated & elegant Buddhism we might lose you for a decade or more.. :-)
A decade is all too short. I'll try to publish a print book not much more than a decade from now. I'll be providing print-on-demand soon. Start saving up for that $65 toner cartridge (so much for the notion of "instead of buying expensive books I'll print from the Web").
For my theory of Buddha or Mohammed, just search-and-replace "Jesus" with "Buddha" or "Mohammed":
o Jesus was a myth only, and myth is entheogen allegory; Jesus is entheogen allegory.
o Jesus was none other than the entheogen.
o See JamesArthur.net for more.
o Jesus is a personification of the ego-death encounter with cosmic determinism and in some sense a way of transcending this determinism.
o Everything written about Jesus is worthless folly if read literally, and profound if read through the lens of the allegorical altered mythic state of cognition.
>In anycase here are two good books to explore before you embark IMHO.
The books look relevant to the cybernetic theory of ego death, and hard to find out about, thanks.
>India did a pretty decent job of documenting their kings, in the Puranas, and in the case of the story of Buddha in Magadha, his dad was the king. In the real story of Gautama, there was none of the religious balderdash. He was simply the king's son who left town and began to meditate and do austerities, as a follower of Sankaya style meditation, became disastisfied, had a heavy experience and taught a profound philosophy, denying the Brahman corruption and sacrifices and taught the mental state of the Middle way. He denied divinity and as such religiousity.
The "king" theme immediately casts intense doubt on historicity. In myth-religion, the "king" represents the initiate's delusion of egoic sovereignty or free-will. Surveys of myth are packed full with kings and kings' sons, reflecting the centrality of the topics of the illusion of freewill sovereignty and being reborn.
King, son, sacrifice, religion -- these ideas arose together. Mostly likely, the Historical Buddha story started as standard flowery whimsical, clever myth, and was -- precisely as happened with liberal Christianity -- later artificially reified by being stripped of the mythic, supposely "later accretions" that were actually the original main point and function of the story.
Just as Christian thinking has created both a hyper-mythical Jesus and a modern-era stripped-down "realistic scientific humanist Jesus", so did Buddhist thinking produce both types of Buddha: the anti-mythical Theorist of Enlightenment Buddha and the clever poetic mystic-allegory Buddha.
I recall there are 3 turnings of the wheel of the law, like 3 ways of conceiving merit, such as the egoic conception of merit and system of merit, the intermediate scheme of merit, and the transcendent conception of merit.
>Other most important factors and terms of high Mahayana Buddhism, which is applicable to a entheogenic theory, for later explanation:
>1. Three Bodies of the Buddha
>2. Ichinen Sanzen
>3. General and Specific Transmission
>4. Three Great Secret Laws
>Buddhism is both crap and wrong. Did you not know that Buddhism was set up as a psychological ploy to try and rid that part of the world of all its religions at that time.
>The 'philosophy' which states that there is no real self in the machine - and yet that self reincarnates. They want to get their act together. Moreover, you cannot destroy a lie with yet another lie.
That's literalism, which is the key problem with religion and spiritual ignorance -- plaguing even atheism, which generally ends up being "alternative literalism", just like mainstream liberal Christianity. Authentic Buddhism, like all the religions, flows directly from the perennial wellspring of entheogens -- psychoactive plants and chymicals.
The self is a largely, essentially illusory mental construct; an illusion of freewill/separate self agency that remains *delusion* as long as childish gullible belief in the reality of the illusion persists.
During a series of visionary plant sessions every couple weeks, the self delusion is transcended briefly but the self delusion keeps returning, until the mind fully consciously learns and retains the transcendent mental model. This pattern is allegorized as a series of undesirable reincarnations, terminating into final release into nirvana, with no more reincarnating. So it is perfectly coherent to state that there is no real self and that the self reincarnates. It's all about mystic-state psychological structures and standard common patterns of development -- the classic initiation series.
>>As with making the case for a historical Jesus there are also similar problems with a historical Buddha. It can be demonstrated that the Buddha is a composite of godmen, legends and sayings. There is a host of candidates for a historical buddha as there are for a historical Jesus. There are about 25 buddhas who appeared before Gotama. The name Gotama is a common one in ancient India. So what proof is there that the sayings of many Gotamas may not have been ascribed to one person. There was a universal mythos in the ancient world which resulted in religions based on astrotheology and perhaps entheogen use. There is no proof that there was a singular historical personage for any of them. The only hope to find a single historical figure for any of the ancient god men would be to evemeristically lift up a common man to superman status by mythos.
There is certainly a definable sense in which a uniquely historical Buddha is in-principle impossible and nonsensical:
The entire problem revolves around the notion of *singleness*. It's definable as impossible in-principle that there was just a single Buddha, depending on how you define "a single Buddha". The entire problem is reducable to the definition of "single historical Buddha". Depending on how you define your terms, there were 100 or more genuine historical Buddhas, or none at all.
What is most arbitrary is singling out one man as the *only* historical Buddha -- the grounds for this are as weak as quicksand. Any style of argument that elects one particular man as "the only historical Buddha" is completely vulnerable to using that same argument to put forth some other man as "the only historical Buddha" instead.
You end up with, same as in Historical Jesus studies, the embarrassing problem of too many "only historical Buddha" candidates and no possible justifiable way to choose from among them -- and worst of all, all of this misses the only relevant, active sense of Buddha -- that archetype experienced during the intense mystic altered state.
Thus in principle and in essence, in the sense I define, there can be no historical Buddha; Buddha is strictly and essentially an archetypal expression of insights and experiences from the intense mystic altered state.
Reincarnation as a moral system is functionally equivalent to heaven and hell.
In the lower mode of heaven-and-hell religions, the egoic freewilling moral agent controls themselves by fear of eternal torment in hell, or temporary torment in purgatory, and hope of bliss in heaven. The egoic mind is taught to identify with that future self in heaven or hell.
In the higher mode of heaven-and-hell religions, freewill is revealed as an illusion, and in conjunction, heaven and hell are redefined as states of thinking in this life.
In the lower mode of reincarnation religions, the egoic freewilling moral agent controls themselves by fear of rebirth in an unpleasant life, and hope of rebirth in a better life. The egoic mind is taught to identify with that future reincarnated self.
In the higher mode of reincarnation religions, freewill is revealed as an illusion, and in conjunction, rebirth and nirvanic cessation of rebirth are redefined as states of thinking in this life. There is no doer, so there is no moral remainder to be carried into the next reincarnation for the purpose of moral punishment or reward.
The caste system demonstrates that reincarnation as a scheme of mundane moral control, like the heaven and hell scheme of moral control, can be abused by a socio-political domination hierarchy. In the caste system, the upper class lives high on the hog, taking everything from the lower classes, saying that the lower classes did something bad in a previous incarnation and thus deserve their current low life.
This functional equivalence of the reincarnation scheme and the heaven-and-hell scheme is a great demonstration of why I could almost focus all my attention on Christianity and leave it to other people to apply the resulting analysis to other religions.
>Nirvana=This has a number of meanings, depending on how it is meant in either low or high Buddhism. The literal term, actually means "death," or "extinction," and referred to a goal of early buddhism, to free oneself from the cycle of birth and death, which was already the goal of the hindus......but in high mahayana (Saddharma Pundarika) it was revealed that the teaching of "Nirvana," was actually a "Secret and Skillful Means of the Buddha." I already quoted the applicable passages in previous posts and I told the story of the "Transient Castle," where the analogy of a leader of travelers conjures up a Castle to inspire the travelers to keep going to the goal and later it is discovered that the Castle was an illusion and then the real goal is revealed. This is a fundamental principle of high Mahayana. Another Buddhist term is "The Expedient means of Nirvana" means the "Expedient means of Death," wherein not only are expedients used by wise buddhas to teach the law, but even nature itself, provides an "secret" expedient means.
This reminds me of an animated ad showing a man floating back and forth in sitting meditation 9 inches above the ground. It that how I picture enlightenment? Not at all, but perhaps it is comparable to how I felt when I made sense of the construct of "kingdom of God" in terms of no-free-will, Nov. 14, 2001, enabling me to finally form a systematic interpretation of Christianity that fit with my since-1988 core model of block-universe determinism.
I had episodically experienced the return of the messiah and entering the kingdom of God before, even connecting it with the no-free-will concept (this was part of the "grand forking path" insight), but didn't yet secure a complete, systematic interpretation.
Upon finally attaining a complete, systematic interpretation, for a few days I was in heaven, in nirvana, not in the sense of being in a mystic altered state while comprehending the metaphors, but rather, just being in the normal state of consciousness but having a scientific/theoretic breakthrough experience by reflecting on the experiences and insights of the mystic altered state and reflecting upon how mystic-state metaphor works as a clever systematic meaning-puzzle.
In this sense, my full ascension into heaven didn't occur in the mystic altered state, but was heavily informed by the insights of the mystic altered state, including insights about networks of word-meanings.
The promise of entering a castle-like heaven, as in the book of Revelation, can be an expedient means. Attaining a transformed, higher-coherence worldmodel is like attaining a castle, entering a kind of blissful nirvana, ascending to heaven in the company of the saints. The castle could be considered real, as a certain kind of castle.
Alan Watts is too much of a poet without explaining himself explicitly: in the book The Way of Zen, he likes saying enlightenment is nothing to be gained, but while true in a certain sense, I maintain that enlightenment is something to be gained by the mind: a higher, more coherent worldmodel in addition to the mind's previous worldmodel.
I completely reject the notion that expedient means is an option that works better than explicit explanation of the principles of enlightenment. The most expedient means are entheogens, combined with teaching rational explicit systematic principles, combined with teaching how mystic/mythic/religious metaphor works as a poetic encoding/decoding system.
>Nevertheless, for some reason of his own, the Buddha declared in the Muryogi Sutra, "[Expounding the Law in various ways,] I made use of the power of expedient means. But in these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth." Like a parent who has second thoughts about the transfer deed he has written out earlier, he looked back with regret upon all the sutras he had expounded during the past forty years and more, including those which taught rebirth in the Land of Perfect Bliss, and declared [that no matter how earnestly one may practice them,] "...in the end one will never attain supreme enlightenment, even after the lapse of countless, limitless, inconceivable asogi kalpas." He reiterated this in the Hoben chapter of the Lotus Sutra, saying, "Honestly discarding the provisional teachings, I will expound only the supreme Way." By "discarding the provisional teachings," he meant that one should discard the Nembutsu and other teachings preached during the period of those forty-some years."
Honestly discarding the provisional teachings, I expound only the supreme Way, which includes teaching the ultimate meaning of the provisional teachings.
>>To arrive at no-free-will determinism most fully and classically, requires a series of mystic-state experiences in conjunction with study of the perennial philosophy. This course of development is allegorized in religion and high philosophy as, among various other metaphors, a series of reincarnations/lifetimes leading to the cessation of rebirth (a series of mystic-state experiences leading to the cessation of taking for granted the flow of time and one's across-time causal agency)
The above appears to equate the series of reincarnations, series of lifetimes, and series of mystic-state sessions. However, the series of reincarnations is actually *interleaved* with the series of mystic-state sessions or satoris, as an interleaving of contrasting states. The initiation sequence is allegorized as a finite series of reincarnations leading to the cessation of reincarnation, as follows:
1. Child's life before initiation -- assumes and experiences in-time, freewill thinking and in-time causal-chain determinism.
2. Initiation session #1 -- experience of block-universe determinism and no-free-will. This is rationally comprehended only slightly (10%), during the mystic state.
3. Resuming of ordinary-state thinking and experiencing, without retaining the glimpse of block-universe determinism and the comprehension of no-free-will. This is reincarnation #1.
4. Initiation session #2 -- experience of block-universe determinism and no-free-will. This is rationally comprehended more than before (20%), but not well enough to be retained.
5. Resuming of ordinary-state thinking and experiencing, retaining just partially the glimpse of block-universe determinism and the comprehension of no-free-will. This is reincarnation #2.
6. Final initiation session (classically, around session #8) -- experience of block-universe determinism and no-free-will. Fully rationally comprehended.
7. Resuming of ordinary-state thinking and experiencing, retaining fully the mental worldmodel of block-universe determinism. This is not a reincarnation; naive freewill thinking does not resume as something seriously believed; the mind at last fully sees through the illusion. This is nirvana -- the cessation of rebirth; the cessation of the habitual return of the freewill mental model as something seriously taken as a literal reality.
The social function of the literalist view of reincarnation is the standard function of lower, literalist religion: to prop up the childish, stage-appropriate delusion of moral reward and punishment, suited for illusory freewill moral agents.
The literalist view of reincarnation is essentially moralist; to support the development and stabilization of egoic freewill moral thinking, preliminary to initiation and enlightenment. During the process of enlightenment, the literalist view of reincarnation is superceded by the metaphorical view of reincarnation described here.
The same change of views from literalist to mystical metaphorical occurs in the Christian myth-religion regarding the nature of heaven and hell. At first, the ideas of heaven and hell are shaped so as to inculcate in-time, freewillist, causal-chain moral thinking, fitting for developing the practical delusion and convention of in-time causal agency. Heaven is a reward for the good acts of freewill agents; hell is a punishment for the bad acts of freewill agents.
During the mystic initiation process, the ideas of heaven and hell transform to mean enlightenment and unenlightenment regarding freewill in-time causal moral agency -- they also refer to psychic turbulence of self-control during the intense mystic altered state.
I hope someone more familiar with the concept of karma answers the question.
As an axiomatic starting point for theorizing, I reject magic, ESP, precognition, the supernatural, literalist heaven and hell, literalist devils and angels, and karma.
Look at how the literalist belief in heaven and hell, reincarnation, and karma work: they are mundane moral schemes that serve to guide people as moral agents. Hell, reincarnation in a lower class, and bad karma are all invented threats that the superego holds over the childish ego, in a mind that takes ego as real and considers the people to be genuine moral agents possessing metaphysical freedom.
Karma functions as a kind of moralism, though it is defined in such a way as to minimize or downplay moralism. It retains the magic kind of thinking that is the hallmark of the ego and the egoic self-control system. Suppose we firmly reject karma -- the fears of lack of self-restraint that immediately come to mind are the exact same kind of fears as if you firmly reject hell as punishment.
>My question is about karma, how does it fit into egodeath and is it in reality real to think that there is karma? Does the universe really judge us and give us based on karma?
The ego lives in the realm of karma. When egoic thinking is transcended, thinking in terms of karma is also transcended, which means that the mind retains that practical way of thinking but doesn't take it seriously.
The universe does not judge people. The superego judges the ego, all as part of the egoic system of thinking. People who do bad things often get away with it an never pay a price in terms of karma or reincarnation in a lower class or punishment in hell. That is the hard adult reality.
Karma is a social convention and a psychological construct that is part of the egoic personal self-government system."
Michael Anderson wrote:
>That's karma. When you hurt another, you are really hurting the greater "body", to which you are atached. You do not feel it from the illusory cage of your ego, because the pain is felt by the body outside of time and space. Likewise with pleasure.
>I believe that this is what Christ meant when he said, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."
It's encouraging to see that people understand the framework I'm describing and prove it by providing compatible ideas I haven't thought of.
>To me, karma is not a moralistic/judgement-based phenomenon of some sort, rather it is a logical conclusion that falls out when you recognize the illusory nature of the ego.
The uninitiated and unlearned don't know about the way of conceiving karma you describe. Now we have defined the lower, egoic conception of karma (per my previous posting) and the higher, transcendent conception of karma (per your description).
Remember my general theory of religion: religion has two distinct levels: lower, ethical training for the mundane egoic, uninitiated mind (including freewill and separate-self thinking); and higher, metaphysical truth for the transcendent, adult, initiated mind (including no-free-will and no-separate-self thinking).
If we submit a concept for analysis such as "karma", we should immediately try to define two distinct versions of it: the lower, egoic conception, and the higher, transcendent conception."