Non-attachment in a Materialistic World

If you live a “normal” western life in which the pursuit of career, family and social standing is important to you it is likely that you will be attached to all sorts of things. These might include your reputation, your children, your car, the pet budgerigar, your money in the bank, your self-image and your view of the world, your ideas on what constitutes life the universe and everything. You may well be prone to arguing the toss about mundane and trivial things. You may even imagine that you have a life philosophy of sorts. If you are so minded, missing the observation of grown men kicking a bag of wind around in front of tens of thousands of other “grown” men and women is something that you would prefer not to do. You may find it difficult not to care who is where in the premier league football results table, which on occasion you will feel impelled to check.

It is beyond your comprehension that anyone may not be attached to worldly and mundane things in a similar manner to you. You will have no concept or feeling or understanding of what non-attachment means. It might exist as a pseudo-intellectual possibility in which some geezers wearing funny robes, probably of Indian or Asian extraction and maybe be monks are non-attached. But it would be very hard to reconcile that someone you once knew, who was fond of a shandy or two, could be non-attached. Therefore, you would perhaps project your own attachment on to him and imagine that he had similar attachment-based drivers and motives as you do.

You would find it really difficult not to become attached to any thoughts which might arise in the mind, partially because you like to argue the toss. If you believe in binary answers like right or wrong, you would be seeking certainty and absolute certainty if possible. You may find it difficult to detach from your thoughts or rather the internal dialogue which masquerades as thought. You will live largely in a world parametrised by your internal dialogue and the social conditioning which surrounds you and into which you are a fully paid up and subscribed member.

If someone said to you read the Diamond sutra, you might read it, but could you attain it?

Pseudo-intellectual exercise and living practice differ considerably. The diamond sutra contains an intellectual trap for those keen on debate.

If you are keen or adamant on being right because you suffer from self-diagnosed omniscience the very first line will possibly slip by unregistered, because if you do fully register it AND agree with it your entire world view will come tumbling down.

All appearance is delusion.

Your view of yourself as a human being is a bit off. Your picture is assembled by mind.

What your eyes see is probably different from what you cognitively assimilate. If you think about it even a little, your pictorial images in your mind are built from a cis-trans isomerism photochemical reaction and yet you imagine yourself as some serious important dude or a glamorous chick!!

People are greedy, they covet all sorts of stuff. There is a psychologically manipulative industry which encourages covetousness, it is called advertising. We have this new species “influencer”, allegedly.

Inherent in the Diamond sutra is the teaching of impermanence, everything changes and fades.

I view this sutra as saying, please stop taking yourself so God dammed seriously, admit you don’t know everything, live fully in the moment, relax a little {if you can} and stop being so attached to shit because existence is fleeting, savour and respect it whilst you can.

My view is that we do not own anything we temporarily have a loan of things and can be grateful for that. We can appreciate instead of demand, insist and covet.

——————-

Here is a little exercise.

Fill a sink partially with some water.

Open your hand and make a palm. Pick up some water with your hand.

How much can you hold and how long for?

Next place your hand under water and try to grab some water with your fist. Clench your fist as tight as you can.

How much can you hold and how long for?

Which of these two is best?

This is for all the self-diagnosed omniscients out there…

Knock me down with a feather, Clever Trevor
Widebrows wonder whether Clever Trevor’s clever
Either have they got, nor neither haven’t not
Got no right to make a clot out of Trevor

Why should I feel bad about something I ain’t had
Such stupidiness is mad
‘Cos nothing underfoot comes to nothing less to add
To a load of old toot
And I ain’t half not half glad ‘cos there’s nowhere to put it even if I had
I’m a bit of a Jack the Lad

Towards Whom Have You Been a Complete and Utter Dick?

In our ignorance we imagine a degree of omniscience which is largely unwarranted. This is especially so if we are one of THE gang, the boys club, the jack the lads, who slap each other’s backs in the full and extensive knowledge that they, we, know it all. We are the best.

I have a very weak and loose hypothesis based on visions and dreaming, that it is possible that I am an incarnation of one of Buddha’s closest disciples namely the scholar Bakula.

In Tibetan terms that would make me some kind of a tulku. It would be I who pass the white scarf of blessing over to you.

But if you have and continue to “diss” me and belittle me as a loony, what would be the implications for you?

It is one of those “place your bets” situations.

I am JUSTIFIED in being a complete and utter dick towards this being. He is wrong and we are the righteous.

There is no such thing as karma, I am right, I know best. My wonderful career is tantamount!!

There is no karmic implication for our nation in treating this being so poorly.

Or is there?

It is funny how people in ignorance despite imagined knowledge, fail to appreciate that other people have different values.

Oh well, perhaps over thinking, pass the Merlot…

Conflicting Narratives

We live in a times where conflicting narratives abound. It can sometimes be difficult to know who or what to believe. There is a desire for truth but exactly whose truth are we referring to when we say I want the truth. Is there a THE truth, the one and only unequivocal truth or should we speak of A truth. People imagine themselves to be in possession of the facts. If you think even a little about it, “facts” have a measure of interpretation to them. We could measure event flow, but beyond that there is some interpretation.

What can I say about my circumstances that is factual?

In the context of physical plane manifestation, I am living in a house in rural Brittany, I receive a small pension and use some of my time to type on this thing which I call a keyboard. I do gardening and do it yourself works in the house. I cook dinner most evenings. How I find myself here is open to any number of conflicting narratives. An outside observer may not know about the pension but if they were looking at me through binoculars what I have just written would be consistent with their observations. This is the Realm of Like This.

If they were snooping on me via my blog or some other means they could try to figure out “where I am I at” or “where I am coming from”. Their interpretation of that is unlikely to be 100% objective. They could construct some narrative or other. This narrative would be divergent from the one that I might construct.

It is extremely unlikely that they will have read everything that I have, that they understand what I do. I’ll wager that there is not a single being on this planet who comes close to having studied all the things that I have. Some people will have studied a lot more than me. I am pretty specialised in my knowledge set. Some of that set will of course overlap with the knowledge sets of others; the natural sciences part in particular. I doubt many of my erstwhile colleagues have read Aleister Crowley nor checked his various tabulated correspondences.

I have had a dream which suggests that I am an incarnation or a manifestation of this chap, Bakula. He was a close disciple of Buddha and is said to have been one of the sixteen arhats.

Immediately two conflicting narratives spring to mind. 1) It was just a dream and 2) It is true. There are of course many others, which might proffer levels of complexity and over interpretation. The first narrative has very little implication and is therefore readily acceptable. The second narrative has much wider implication especially if you put the thinking cap on. It is less acceptable because arhats are not meant to re-incarnate, they are supposed to achieve nirvana in perhaps the land of the pure abodes. Yet there are, other teachings that suggest free beings do indeed on occasion incarnate. Indeed, the Tibetans have recognised incarnations of Bakula.

“Ven. Bakula Rinpoche died while in India on November 4, 2003.

He lived one of the more interesting lives of a Buddhist lama. Born into a royal family of Ladakh, India, he was later recognized by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of Bakula Arhat – one of the Sixteen Arhats (direct disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha who had tremendous spiritual realizations).

Bakula Rinpoche had a keen interest in Mongolia and Russia from a young age, and while other Tibetan teachers were going to the West, Bakula Rinpoche said, “Everyone is going to the west – it’s easy to go to the west.”

After Rinpoche worked as a minister of the Indian government under Indira Gandhi, he began to travel to Mongolia and the USSR, where he helped re-open ancient monasteries and organize Buddhist peace conferences. In 1990, was appointed as the Indian ambassador to Mongolia for a period of two years. When he arrived, Mongolia was still communist, but during his stay – which lasted more than 10 years – it became a free country, so Bakula Rinpoche could travel freely and work to revive pure Buddhism.

After the fall of Communism in Mongolia, Bakula Rinpoche established monasteries and nunneries, hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama, invited Lama Zopa Rinpoche several times, and granted ordination to many Mongolians. He retired from his position as ambassador in 2000.

Interestingly enough, according to Mongolian folklore, there was a long-held belief that Bakula Arhat would one day come from India to revive Buddhism in Mongolia. Perhaps it wasn’t folklore.

On the 26th February 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has confirmed Thupten Ngawang, a child born in Nubra, Ladakh as the reincarnation of Bakula Rinpoche. The child is a bright little boy born on 24th November 2005 and has been chosen from among several children.”

If narrative 2 is correct, then a part of my shared essence was found in Ladakh. Tibetan Buddhism entertains that different parts of a master’s essence can manifest, mind, spirit etc..

Because of the myriad of implications of narrative 2 it would be unacceptable to the minds of many. Could you imagine those people with whom I have gone out on the lash with imagining me as the reincarnation of a Buddhist “saint”. These guys don’t drink ten pints of Stella Artois in one sitting, smoke Marlboro Lights or skin up spliffs. If you have been mean to me, it would be even harder to accept that you have been mean to a reincarnating arhat.

You may have noticed the dropping penny. If the penny does drop what happens then?

Over the years many people have dismissed what I have told them, gotten angry with my suggestions and offended at my words. In most cases I have been wearing black Levi’s. If I had said the same things wearing the robes of a Buddhist monk, would their reaction have differed? Probably. If I was called Rinpoche, would they have been so pissed off? Maybe. Many people have tried to beat me and get one over on me. Would narrative two have implications for their recapitulation?

We base our interpretation of the world on our narratives which may be far from accurate. But people genuinely believe that they know more than they do in very many cases. You may have noticed that I take the piss out of self-diagnosed omniscience from time to time.

How good is the basis set of narratives upon which you interpret your experience of living?

Do you have any conflicting narratives?

The Astounding Omniscience of They

If you want to be free, then you will need to think for yourself and then learn to trust that and what your heart tells you.

You many need to do this against a backdrop of the astounding omniscience of they. This means that you might be at the sharp end of group opinion. It is not a comfortable place.

This relates to the “Making Plans for Nigel” theme, a favourite theme of mine. Other people gather together and make plans for what to do with Nigel. They imagine that if they present Nigel with a fait accompli, he will be happy and go along with it. Of course, they have not consulted Nigel whilst they are making plans for him, so it is by way of an intrigue. He has been excluded and thereby plotted upon. This never occurs to them, it lies outside their astounding omniscience.

Group mind deems itself wise and all-knowing, this is because like-minded people share a similar approach. Because there is little dissent within a homogeneous group, it imagines that consensual accuracy is in fact wide ranging and accurate. A little careful thought suggests that homogeneous groups are limited to the conceptual abilities to be found within their homogeneity. Although they may imagine themselves capable of thinking outside the box, the box is pretty small to start off with. So even if they manage to get outside the box it is still close to the box.

There is something comforting about the consensus of a group. Because of that it deems itself to be righter. From within the group it seems OK to recruit into it or inflict opinion upon those outside it. They imagine themselves attractive and to have a gravitational pull.

If you want to be free, then you have to be mindful of this draw of group-mind. It can be difficult to maintain clarity in the light of peer pressure. Group-mind is volatile and can turn in an instant, sometimes on others. And group-mind once moving has more momentum, thereby it is difficult to stop or resist. It takes some character to not get caught up in group-mind. That primitive urge to belong to some tribe or other is strong. External people will always consult the tribe before the individual. This means that the astounding omniscience of they, is the more widely accepted. They say a lot of things.

If you want to be free, then you will need to think for yourself and then learn to trust that and what your heart tells you.

Omniscience – Gloat

What does contextual credibility mean to you?

I am fully aware of how many people from my past think and assemble their own peculiar version of reality. If for example I talk about past life recall, I have shattered my contextual credibility within that / their schema, that exact and all encompassing and utterly omniscient world view.

They may even scoff or gloat…no Encephalitis there…not one tiny bit!!

Clearly  I have proven myself to be some flaky, whacko, David Icke like figure.  Only I haven’t because I am not presenting “facts” I am suggesting hypothesis.

I, really don’t care who is “right”.

People therein might gloat that I have shot myself in the foot and that they will “win”.

Haven’t they David, Joshua and Richard?

Do you want me to go further? More names, including surnames?

We each of us place our bets on the accuracy of our philosophy, our belief system.

We may kill others because we, the omniscient, are right…

It is sad as a sad thing on a particularly sad day…

self-diagnosed omniscience

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to meet a number of people with very high opinions of the extent of their own knowledge and intellect.  This is an ode to them.


the persistent insistence

on being right

with self-diagnosed omniscience

so very entitled

 

me, my, mine

only me, only I

know all the answers why

 

the blindfolded ears

refuse to hear

anything or anyone else

 

my cosmic intellect

encompasses all knowledge

all wisdom

there is or can ever be

 

it says so on my door

the font eternal

whence all clever things

issue

 

I know best

better than you

oh, yes, I do!

Dharma of the Day #16 {brotherhood}

stop for a moment!!

shift your mind

are we not all brothers and sisters?

 

we share much more

than we differ,

do we not?

 

the trenches and minefields

which we each build

waste only blood and, life

 

and it is so very sad to see

so many poppies growing

who unlike us, have learned

 

to bow their heads

 

put aside all your bile

and that jar of gall-stones

place it next, the vinegar

 

maybe you are better

than me

and, fully omniscient

 

I would not have the

responsibility for your, omniscience

no, not, for all the tea in China !!

 

I am sad for the burden

which you bear

but only in your mind

 

stop for a moment!!

shift your mind

are we not all brothers and sisters?

 

we share much more

than we differ,

do we not?

 

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Knackered

Been tidying up over the fence in the “swamp” and up in the orchard pruning.  Trying to use a hand saw fitted to a four-metre pole is pretty tiring. All the muscles in my shoulders are aching and my arms are throbbing. It is kind of nice.

This afternoon I have been reflecting on how clever people can get themselves into “holes” even when they have been warned in advance about them. And then instead of noting they are in a hole; they keep on digging.

“Some things simply are not true, I am so clever, so omniscient. Pooh-pooh.”

There is an outside chance that I may be an incarnation of the dude previous. This has many implications. The most obvious one is don’t be a dick towards me, that is bad karma. Of course, I may also not be an incarnation.

Faites vos jeux, place your bets.

I mentioned previously that I worked in pastoral care. As a part of this some of the students would “try to pull a fast one” others needed help. Now these students were topflight ultra-smart ones. So, I on occasion got involved in some very tortuous scenarios. Luckily, before I got the metaphorical Alzheimer’s, I had a near photographic memory and could recall everything they said. I would make a mental note and when they came to the next meeting with an “improved” story, I reminded them of version 1.0. I would warn them that I would continue to do this. It is quite funny watching someone dig themselves a hole and then carry on digging. They were obviously smarter than me, at least in their minds.

It is wok time tonight. The wok is my oldest possession, bought in Migros in Berne. It is ~ 27 years old!!

Time to get chopping…