Author Topic: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?  (Read 23193 times)

Offline Away With The Fairys

  • Dagobah Resident
  • *******
  • Posts: 944
    • Away With The Fairys
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #105 on: October 23, 2012, 12:50:59 AM »

Also, my teachers – whom I naturally hold in high regard – have come to see good fruit in my efforts and support my Work as a teacher. 

Do you pay them money or work for them?


No. 

You didn't pay your teachers in any way for the instruction you received?

And in case He did... what's wrong? Aren't we supposed to pay back for what others give us? Is not this encouraged here?


Well not money for titles.

Offline Alana

  • SuperModerator
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,906
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #106 on: October 23, 2012, 01:44:49 AM »

Also, my teachers – whom I naturally hold in high regard – have come to see good fruit in my efforts and support my Work as a teacher. 

Do you pay them money or work for them?


No. 

You didn't pay your teachers in any way for the instruction you received?

And in case He did... what's wrong? Aren't we supposed to pay back for what others give us? Is not this encouraged here?

I don't understand how this question is relevant to this discussion. Anart is just asking for clarification to something GregoryJ said. The above reads to me like a question full of assumptions.   
But s/he that dares not gasp the thorn
should never crave the rose.

Offline abeofarrell

  • Jedi
  • ****
  • Posts: 240
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #107 on: October 23, 2012, 02:20:02 AM »
Gregory, I feel it is good time for me to say something. First of all, I want you to know that I do understand what you are feeling now, most of the people on this forum have experienced the same feelings you are feeling now.  More so myself because I have been down the path of both meditation and also taijiquan.

When I first came to the forum I too questioned what people suggested.  I felt that it was unreasonable that I must follow their way or Work.  SpiralOut told me many times that the 4th way was superior in efficacy simply because it did away with buffers present in most of the other systems of self-development. I struggled with such ideas, until I did all the suggested readings and tried out the 4th Way's ideas for myself, then my perspective changed.

Many times Laura and others have suggested to read the cognitive readings.  For me too this seemed strange and unnecessary as I was attracted to the more spiritual or esoteric ways.  Now I see that a lot of that attraction was my personality using spirituality as a buffer ("see, I understand this! I am spiritual!").  Yes, the esoteric readings are great, when we are ready for them, but the point is that there is modern psychological research backing up most of what Gurdjieff said, and providing really valuable extra details relevant for us today.

What does it mean to be on the 4th Way.  If you read In Search Of The Miraculous you will see that it is differentiated from three other ways.  Those other ways respectively seek enlightenment by working on the Mind, the Body and the Emotions.  Meditation works on the mind. Through mental control after many decades of training the control extends to some degree to the body and the emotions.  The 4th Way works on all 3 parts simultaneously.  How is that possible? The 4th Way is training in daily life.  There is no independent practice which you do outside daily life.  The fruits of the 4th Way are only available if we apply its methods to our daily life, in particular those moments of stress and conflict.  This is achieved by actively observing our interaction at those times.  Watching our emotional responses, watching the thoughts running through our mind, watching how our body tenses or relaxes.  This reveals aspects of our machine which we cannot see when we are sitting in repose alone in meditation.  This relates to the original object of this thread which is Conscious Suffering (CS).  CS means that when we experience conflict in daily life we do not resist it but we allow the conflict to shape us by maintaining our objectivity and sense of identity, and allowing the conflict to show us aspects of the false personality.

One common theme in most religions and esoteric practices is the deceptiveness of the human mind.  This is why meditation alone will not help. If you read the recommended psychology books you will learn 2 important things:

1. Most of what we call our personality is unconscious, meaning unaccessible through any means. And this unconscious iceberg evaluates everything, judges everything and even makes decisions and prioritises for us.  Moreover it decides our values based on past experiences and mental programs then it colours everything we see. Thus any meditation in and of itself alone will not suffice.  Hence Gurdjieff states that we need a school.  NOBODY can recognise their chief feature (their false personality) by themselves.
2. Our unconscious mind creates narratives to interpret reality so as to make reality easy to accept for us. Everything, and I do mean everything, is interpreted through a narrative whose purpose is "self-calming" and buffering.  As SpiralOut has often said, for 99% of us our reality falls under one of two categories: wishful thinking or denial.

How then can we truly know ourselves?  The first part is self-observation in daily life, particularly during times of conflict and stress.  The second part is to look at how others see us.  Research shows that even a perfect stranger knows more about you than you do about yourself.  Yes, a perfect stranger.  This is psychological, clinical research. (discussed in Strangers to Ourselves).

Meditation led me into a false sense of self-understanding.  Yes, in a state of calm meditation, alone on the cushion, I understood myself.  But that "self" was only one of hundreds of "selves".  To have a full understanding you need to self-observe continually, and you need others to look at what you are saying and show you how they see you. 

Hope this helps you understand. Like many others here have said, I have respect for your abilities in Taiji and meditation, but it is a common fallacy to try and apply expertise across domains.  There is a lot of truth in what has been said.  Sift through it, think on it.  More over start to think back to moments of stress and conflict you have had and see how it all fits.  And my friend, DO read the psychology books, particular Stranger to Ourselves and Thinking: Fast and Slow.
I CHOOSE THE RED PILL

Offline anart

  • The Living Force
  • ********
  • Posts: 16,725
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #108 on: October 23, 2012, 02:58:23 AM »

Also, my teachers – whom I naturally hold in high regard – have come to see good fruit in my efforts and support my Work as a teacher. 

Do you pay them money or work for them?


No. 

You didn't pay your teachers in any way for the instruction you received?

And in case He did... what's wrong? Aren't we supposed to pay back for what others give us? Is not this encouraged here?

I don't understand how this question is relevant to this discussion. Anart is just asking for clarification to something GregoryJ said. The above reads to me like a question full of assumptions.

Exactly.  Ana, it's really not wise to inject your own issues into other people's discussions.  You know what they say about people who live in glass houses.  I'm simply asking for clarification because to my knowledge most Tai Chi students do in fact pay for the instruction, but I could be mistaken.  That's all.

Offline Buddy

  • The Living Force
  • ********
  • Posts: 5,206
  • Reality Scout
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #109 on: October 23, 2012, 02:59:56 AM »
GregoryJ, earlier on this thread you indicated an interest in "projection". Re-reading this thread will probably give you and any other reader all the basic info needed, OSIT. This seems to be really basic stuff for us and I'm sure any member who has done nothing but read the "big 5" recommended reading books can already understand and recognize that much.

Assuming I'm doing a good thing here, I'll save you a bit of time, with a brief review based on my own understanding, which could be in error, so please just consider it for what it may be worth. I rely on Admin and Mods to correct me where I'm off.

Earlier on this thread I wrote:

one neat exercise for understanding projection is to imagine for a moment that there are no 'others'. Imagine for a moment that everything you are saying about others is actual evidence that it is you to whom it applies (in systems theory it's called the false system boundary problem). It really is a neat exercise.

...which was followed a bit later with:

[...]
The point being that it seems you could benefit from understanding how to separate what you perceive and your thoughts about that from what appears to be automatic emotional valuations pointing to it.

I had my first visceral realization of the above when I realized that those negative feelings that came with anothers comment really referred to me. Yes, the negative feeling was self-referential. The feeling was one of self-disapproval for my low-level competence to really grok what was being communicated. Those negative feelings always disappear when I improve my own understanding. Always.

Do you see what is meant? Many times our negative feelings and disapprovals of others may be nothing more than inner self-evaluations of our own competence in that particular situation.

It seems to me that if you had been reading and seriously trying to understand what people are communicating to you, you wouldn't have demonstrated that bit of projection following this post from anart:


Quote from: anart
   LOL - that is classic.  First off, yes, it is about your self-importance and nothing else. That is blatantly obvious. Secondly, you saying that you were basically just 'testing us' is hilarious because it's simply not true.  Read back through your posts.  You weren't testing, you were reacting and there is a very, very big difference.

Until you learn to really see your own self-importance and how it rules you, you are stuck.


First of all, there is contempt in this statement, Anart!

You are the first to assert 'contempt'. If contempt were not in you and restimulated, then with what would you have juxtaposed anart's words in order to settle on that particular interpretation? Having clued us to what feeling had been generated in you, anart writes:

Quote from: anart
   
[...]
Just because you are feeling contempt for me and my input does not mean that I feel contempt - or have ever even approached feeling contempt - for you, in any way.

    You really aren't seeing reality as it is.
 

...to which you respond with:

Denial.  Defense mechanism. You really aren't seeing reality as it is.  ;)

You see, that's my point here: not only can I say the same darn thing to you, but how am I supposed to think differently about it – given the context and the limitations of the lack of face-to-face?

What you displayed with your "Denial.  Defense mechanism. You really aren't seeing reality as it is." was a simple technique of emotional manipulation, sometimes called a version of "crazy-making" in the narcissism literature when it happens in an emotionally charged confrontation. Not because we say so, of course, but because tons of other people have allowed this stuff to become documented and used in therapy settings.

Anyway, the answer to your question above is simple and has already been given on this thread but perhaps you simply overlooked it? That is probably why you then write:

I see only one way to know if you are right, Anart.  So I will take it on faith and do as you suggest.

...as if "faith" is required where simply reading and "grokking" will suffice.

So Laura writes:

Don't just read the posts, get and read the books.  And read as if your life depends on it because it may.  Go to the recommended books list on the forum here and begin reading those books too.

So, here is where you can find the full list:

Comprehensive Guide for the Serious Reader

...and where you will also find this list of the basic stuff:

Quote
...Laura suggests that they be read in the following order: The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout; The Narcissistic Family by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman & Robert M. Pressman; Trapped in The Mirror by Elan Golomb; Unholy Hungers by Barbara Hort; and In Sheep's Clothing by George K. Simon.

In the meantime, you may be interested in this as a reminder:

Quote from: GregoryJ
If you have any links to practical exercises for reveal this more clearly, I'd be much obliged.

Read the cognitive science board here - https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/board,74.0.html - especially these threads: Redirect: The surprising new science of psychological change, The Adaptive Unconscious, and Thinking, Fast And Slow.
It seems, from all the studies that are done, that an elevated mood - one of happy expectation of the possibility of adventure - is the greatest protection against illness. Perhaps it is also the one that makes one "inedible" to the Matrix? -Laura

Offline kenlee

  • SuperModerator
  • ********
  • Posts: 877
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #110 on: October 23, 2012, 03:41:19 AM »
I see only one way to know if you are right, Anart.  So I will take it on faith and do as you suggest.  But indeed I am very surprised to hear your criticism as I have been told for some years by a great variety of people that I am such an affective communicator and purveyor of insight, and that I've helped many people come to a better understanding of life and find some purpose within it – which is of course, always up to them.  But I guess that's just because the world is so inert? (rhetorical, at this point)  Also, my teachers – whom I naturally hold in high regard – have come to see good fruit in my efforts and support my Work as a teacher.

Gregory, I mean really, your putting a whole heck of a lot of energy here on this thread defending an image of yourself. If you look behind all the words your writing here (and it's getting very complicated) you'll see that there's a simple and basic essential truth behind it all. There's what you are saying (which is a lot!) and then there's your motivation for saying it which is the simple basic truth that stays constant throughout it all. Everything your writing is really saying nothing more then "I'm right!" and it's being said over and over and over again.

Maybe try reading this thread from the beginning as if you were observing someone else writing what you wrote within the overall context of the responses given by the forum members here and see how you, as a forum member, might observe and respond as if someone else was writing it? From that can you observe the behavior of your responses and then, from that, infer the basic motivation behind it?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 04:00:17 AM by kenlee »
Willing is not enough; we must do. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
 --  Bruce Lee

I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. --Mt. 10:16

Offline Perceval

  • Administrator
  • ********
  • Posts: 5,118
    • Sott.net
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #111 on: October 23, 2012, 12:47:36 PM »
What I'm hearing from you is really a first for me, so you'll understand if I am doubtful of it, and per what I have already stated, reiteration from others here doesn't necessarily bolster your feedback.

This is a strange thing to say Gregory. Why would you automatically doubt something someone says to you about yourself just because it is a 'first' for you, and just because it contrasts with what others have said about you? Surely you realise that people who see you as a teacher and even those who see you as a valuable student, would tend to tell you things you want to hear. Students would do it because they hold you in high regard, teachers might do it because they want to keep you as a student for their own reasons.

Surely you are aware that, in a general sense, the average person is not very knowledgeable about human relationships, and, as a result, their assessment of a person can be very subjective and skewed. Anyone who understands the human condition even a little would have cause to doubt what a majority of people say to them, or, at the very least, not take it as gospel truth, or more importantly, an accurate assessment of themselves.

People that only know me from what I write say positive things about me, but almost all of it is based on what I have written and the 'impression' such people get about me based on what I have written and the 'image' of me they have created in their own minds. For that reason, I would never internalise such praise and transform it into some sort of stamp of approval of me as a person, because those people don't really know me. I know myself and my own flaws far better than those people 'out there', and the people that really know me know my flaws better than I do.

Of course, you might think you could apply all of the above to this forum and the comments made to you by members here. But there is a big difference between people on this forum who understand all of the above and the 'others' you refer to who have praised you who, generally speaking, do not understand any of it. One of the main purposes of this forum is to research and study the human condition, and understand it better. That fact alone should give more weight to the comments made to you here than the comments made to you by 'others' who are not part of this forum and who have not engaged in the type of study and research that members here have.

I think you might benefit a lot from reading a couple of books like "Strangers to Ourselves" and "Thinking fast and slow". They are pretty easy and very interesting reads, and will help you to understand more clearly what we are trying to say, and the truth of it. Until then, I'm not sure continuing with this conversation will do anyone much good. I could be wrong though, and it's up to you to decide.
"When you begin to separate limiting emotions based on assumptions from emotions that open one to unlimited possibilities, that means you are preparing for the next density."

Offline Laura

  • Administrator
  • ********
  • Posts: 25,826
    • http://www.laura-knight-jadczyk.com
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #112 on: October 23, 2012, 01:22:26 PM »

I think you might benefit a lot from reading a couple of books like "Strangers to Ourselves" and "Thinking fast and slow". They are pretty easy and very interesting reads, and will help you to understand more clearly what we are trying to say, and the truth of it. Until then, I'm not sure continuing with this conversation will do anyone much good. I could be wrong though, and it's up to you to decide.

 I agree.

We could also just play nice and polite and follow the game plan of the pathological types in power who have created the socio-cultural norms by which we have all been programmed to prevent us from fulfilling our potential as masters of our own destiny capable of making truly free will choices without the influence of the "machine".

Let me share here just a bit of what I've been writing in the new book over the past few days.  It's in the context of a historical review which I will omit though I think the connections will be clear:

Quote
History, in its purest form, is simply a recitation of events, what really happened at a certain point in time and at a certain place. Historians, (and archaeologists, in some instances) as a rule, don’t do much analyzing except in the sense of trying to sort out cause and effect in strictly time/event based terms. Some of them go even further and try to figure out what drives key individuals to do some significant thing, but as far as I have been able to see after reading history for over 40 years, most historians do a really poor job of it. The reason for this, as should be clear by now at this point in the present text, is because they do not take psychology and environment into account as ought to be done.

Just as Toynbee noted, that empires fall due to internal andexternal causes, so is it that human beings act as they do based on internal and external causes. A human being is a pattern seeking and reading organism that seeks its own survival. Added to that is the fact that, as an organism subject to sexual reproduction and the recombination of DNA that this entails, human beings are not created equal or at all the same by any stretch of the imagination.

An external event can act on a dozen different individuals by inducing in them a dozen variations of organismic response. The external environment is constantly acting on human beings and that environment includes social conditioning from childhood to planetary environment which may include influences of which science is not yet aware or, if they are aware, do not fully understand, including solar radiation and cosmic rays and EM emanations of all sorts both from the planet, the atmosphere and the cosmos.  All of these – and probably more – can condition the response of the organism which is already born with particular tendencies to greater or lesser sensitivity to those inputs.

Further, there is a statistically significant percentage of individuals born with damaged or deficient psychological apparatus in the same way individuals can be born with physical handicaps. As many psychologists and neuroscientists of our modern day have noted, and more vigorously in recent years, these types of individuals can have profoundly influential effects on human society, usually negative. Since current events are just history in the making, and we are aware of these factors acting in the social and political environment now, we must take those factors into consideration when reviewing historical events. A historian who looks at a particular development in history and attributes motives to the characters based on inadequate psychological knowledge only confounds the issues.

An example comes from Constantine’s execution of his own son and murder of his wife. One of the most pathetic theories I’ve read about this incident comes from Adrian Goldsworthy in his book “How Rome Fell (pp. 189-191). He suggests that an alternative explanation for the execution of Crispus was Constantine's desire to keep a firm grip on his prospective heirs combined with Fausta's desire for having her sons inheriting instead of their stepbrother; that was reason enough for killing Crispus. He suggests that the subsequent execution of Fausta was just a reminder to her children that Constantine would not hesitate in "killing his own relatives when he felt this was necessary".

In other words, Constantine and Fausta conspired between themselves to do away with Constantine’s eldest son so that the younger ones would inherit, and then Constantine just offed Fausta to scare those boys so they would stay in line until he died naturally! Think about that: are we to believe that Constantine was so devoid of humanity that he killed his own son and wife just to make an impression? “Oh, I have four sons, I’ll just kill one of them to make the others aware that I can do it… never liked him or his mother anyway… Hmm… you think that it was because I like you better? Watch this, I’ll do your mother too so you don’t get on a high horse with me!”  Puh-leeeze!

Obviously, it’s not easy to put ourselves in the shoes of people back in those times because we don’t have the social conditioning from birth onward that they had; ours is very different. Cognitive science demonstrates pretty conclusively that most of what we think and believe about pretty much everything is conditioned into us as I’ve already discussed in the section on reality. So we do have to take Constantine’s social conditioning into account along with the possibility of psychopathology.

I gave this problem some thought recently. I started out thinking that, considering the conditions of those ancient times, probably everyone was completely messed up because nobody was following any practices of psychologically sound, well-researched child-rearing. That is, how could anybody have been sane back then since they were all abused since birth by modern standards? Well, that’s a ridiculous premise and I knew it the instant the thought formed in my mind. Modern neuroscience and cognitive psychology demonstrate that there is a standard distribution curve of hard-wired human behaviors that are conditioned by evolution. This means that at the same time that there are individuals in any group that will suffer from genetic psychological malformation, there are others in the same group that will demonstrate a tendency to evolutionarily adaptive pro-social behaviors no matter how they are raised and conditioned. Obviously, the vast majority will fall somewhere in the middle – it is a bell curve, after all – but the general principle holds: enough human beings in any sample will rise above, or emerge through, their conditioning to be fully “actualized” as pro-social human beings – even if their basic needs are not met! The other side of this coin is, of course, the observed fact that many anti-social types actualize themselves in that mode in spite of the best and most caring child rearing. And of course, as always, the people in the middle – the majority - can go one way or the other depending on general social trends

Okay, so having said that, what can we say about Constantine and the peoples of his time? The first thing that occurs to me is that they really weren’t all that different from people today. There is probably as much in the way of very bad child-rearing and violence in the home now as there was then. Human attitudes toward strangers – outsiders – is much the same, grinding poverty and starvation still afflicts most of the world; people living well off the suffering of others is the same; the silly superstitions that people believe in are the same or worse; we have the same corruption in high places, the same murderous and adulterous elites ruling over us killing innocent people at the flick of a switch; the same corrupt legal systems, and on and on. Indeed, we have somewhat different social customs and expectations, but that varies over the globe by as much between some cultures as it does between cultures separated in time. There are still many cultures that consider it acceptable to kill their wives and children if they have done something dishonorable according to the socially accepted standards. These very same cultures can, in other respects, be thought quite advanced.

So overall, I don’t see any reason to say that Constantine would have killed his son and wife to “keep a firm grip on his heirs.” I would say that, as it is in all times, murder is either reactionary or instrumental. Anybody can react violently to the right stimuli, only the psychologically twisted use violence instrumentally: to get something. The latter is characteristic of psychopathy. The murders of Crispus and Fausta do not in any way appear to be instrumental; they are rather more like murders in reaction to betrayal.  As it is, the only facts known to us are that Crispus and Fausta died by order of Constantine and the socio-cultural norms of the day – and still in operation in our own day in some societies, established that “the father of the Roman family had the power over everyone and everything in the home. This power was legally recognized. If any member of the family behaved in any way that he considered exceeding the boundaries of proper behavior he had the power to punish the offender with harsh sentences, such as, banishment, slavery, and death. One thing that testifies on behalf of Constantine is his treatment of his mother whom he obviously cherished.

What appears to have been driving Constantine was the fact that he was the illegitimate son of an army officer and a barmaid. Early in his reign he had his family history re-written to establish that his parents actually were married to one another, that his father was a great-nephew of the emperor Claudius Gothicus, and so forth. The writings (panygyric and inscriptional) that assert these things all post-date Constantine’s granting of the title of Augusta to his mother (as well as his wife). This tends to suggest that Constantine could never relax and consider himself immune to challenges to his right to rule. His father’s second marriage to Theodora, adopted daughter of Maximian, had been very productive and he had not only three half sisters, but three half-brothers as well. Obviously, as Lieu and Montserrat point out, Constantine’s power rested on victory in war but it appears, from the above-mentioned “re-writing of history” that his legitimacy and the status of his mother mattered very much to Constantine.

The typology of the individual who is driven to prove his worth because he grew up being made to feel inferior is a rather common psychological characterization. It only becomes much more interesting when the individual is one who is placed by the accident of birth in a position to affect the course of history. Constantine’s mother was a poor, Bithynian barmaid and we have seen from the letter of Pliny the Younger that Christianity was taking firm and rapid hold among the poorer classes in that region several generations before Constantine so it is likely that his mother was brought up as a Christian. His attachment to her undoubtedly is what drove him to prove himself and to please her. My thought is that the driving force behind the Christianization of the Roman Empire was Helena, a poor peasant barmaid.

As for the murders of Crispus and Fausta, I think that Fausta caused the murder of Crispus and Licinius II due to ambitions for her own children and jealousy of Crispus. And she very well may have told the truth about a plot to usurp Constantine. But there was Helena who could see something of her own son in his son, Crispus, the child of a concubine who was put aside as she had been, and whether or not Fausta was telling the truth, Helena saw to her destruction. Those are what I see as the internal elements driving the dynamics of that group of historical actors.

On the outside, there was certainly something going on and had been for some time. The problems with having accurate information about those times are manifold from a historical point of view due to the to-ing and fro-ing of the various players and their alternating agendas. Because of the Christianizing influence of his mother, Constantine would have seen environmental stresses from a Christian perspective. But he also had input from his father, a worshipper of Sol Invictus. In his heart, he probably wasn’t all that sure, but he wanted to please Helena and, at the end, he took Pascal’s Wager.

In conclusion, I would suggest that the only way to really understand history is to become as knowledgable as possible about both the interior and exterior drivers of human beings both individually and collectively. That is what I am trying to do in this volume: to bring together the historical events set against the background of the environment, while teasing out and inferring internal motivations based on fact based research in cognitive science and neuroscience.

And then later:

Quote
Julian’s first act as emperor was to preside over the Christian funeral of Constantius and he personally escorted the body to the Church of the Apostles. Then, he got down to business. He rejected the style of administration of Constantine who had “abandoned the traditions of the past” and began to clean house in the inefficient, corrupt, and expensive royal court as well as the burdensome and corrupt bureaucracy of civic officials, secret agents, and so on. Thousands of servants, eunuchs and superfluous officials were dismissed. He set up a court to deal with the corruption and a number of high-ranking officials of Constantius were found guilty of crimes and executed. Julian was conspicuously absent from any executions which indicated that he did not like the practice even if he found it necessary.

Julian made no attempt to turn himself into an absolute autocrat which is where things become interesting. He returned authority to cities in an effort to reduce imperial involvement in local affairs (downsizing big government). Any city lands owned by the imperial government was returned to them and city council members were compelled to resume civic authority. Additionally, the tribute in gold that was traditionally owed by each city to the imperium was made voluntary, not mandatory. All arrears of land taxes were cancelled. This was a very popular move because the corruption of the imperial tax system had been the biggest complaint of the people. Julian thought that the role of the empire should be only administration of the law and defense of the borders, while the cities would be autonomous administrations.

In replacing any truly necessary political and civil administrators, Julian chose from the intellectual and professional classes rather then from the wealthy elite. In 362, he chose a Frankish general as consul making clear the fact that the support of the western army was important to the empire. It was a popular move in the west and within the army itself, but the wealthy elite of Constantinople were shocked.

In Antioch, Julian discovered that wealthy merchants were causing food problems by hoarding to raise prices. He brought the matter to the attention of the local city council, but when they did nothing, he took matters into his own hands and set the prices and personally imported grain from Egypt to relieve the crisis. Surprisingly, Ammianus was critical of this saying that Julian was driven by a “thirst for popularity.”

...

Julian seems like a really decent sort, what we would nowadays call a “bleeding-heart liberal.” Well, being something of that sort myself, I understand the sentiments; I was also raised in a devout protestant family with strong Calvinistic values of hard work and compassion for those less fortunate. But I have also learned by hard experience that human beings are not, in fact, born equal in any sense of the word. Not only is everyone genetically different in all respects (within a normative distribution curve) including intelligence and abilities, it seems that the ideals of democracy, i.e. liberty, equality, fraternity, are just propagandistic slogans created to dazzle the masses while oligarchies continue to rule by guile and deception, wearing masks of nobility exactly as described by Machiavelli. What has been most difficult for me to come to terms with is the fact that human beings are not just stunningly receptive to being dominated and controlled by the simplest – or most outrageous – deceptions, they actually want it! The masses of humanity, vis a vis their elite rulers, are much like an abused wife who refuses to think badly of her husband no matter how brutal he is toward her and her children!

As the great Historian of Religion, Mircea Eliade pointed out, the study of history, through its various disciplines, offers a view of mankind that is almost insupportable. The rapacious movements of hungry tribes, invading and conquering and destroying in the darkness of prehistory; the barbarian invaders of the civilized world; the bloodbaths of the crusades of Catholic Europe against the "infidels" of the Middle East; the stalking "noonday terror" of the Inquisition where martyrs quenched the flames with their blood; and the raging holocaust of modern genocide. Wars, famine, pestilence; all produce an intolerable sense of indefensibility against what Mircea Eliade calls the Terror of History.

   
Quote
When man contemplates history, AS IT IS, he is forced to realize that he is in the iron grip of an existence that seems to have no real care or concern for his pain and suffering. Over and over again, the same sufferings fall upon mankind multiplied millions upon millions of times over millennia. The totality of human suffering is a dreadful thing. I could write until the end of the world using oceans of ink and forests of paper, and never fully convey this terrible condition in which mankind finds his existence.

    The beast of arbitrary calamity has always been with us. For as long as human hearts have pumped hot blood through their too-fragile bodies and glowed with the inexpressible sweetness of life and yearning for all that is good and right and loving, the sneering, stalking, drooling and scheming beast of "real life" has licked its lips in anticipation of its next feast of terror and suffering. Since the beginning of time, this mystery of the estate of man, this Curse of Cain has existed. And, since the Ancient of Days, the cry has been: "My punishment is greater than I can bear!"
But if you find yourself saying this, you are "alienated," antisocial, and accused by those who accept the status quo of being incapable of finding any meaning in life. You are just simply not "with the program”; you are not an Authoritarian. If you point out that the actions of our leaders do not match their words, that there is something screamingly amiss in our world, you are “alienated” and you suffer from a “personal bias” that is not “in synch” with reality.  After all, our world is just hunky dory; two billion people meeting their deaths in a century of wars and famines is just "the cost of doing business" in this reality. (This is the socio-political view, not the view of cognitive or social sciences though there are scientists within the fields that have been corrupted to support such views, including psychologists who actually write papers supporting torture as an effective method of gathering information – sick bastards, all of them.)

Most of our problems as a species come from an inability to agree on our conclusions which is generally based on a misinterpretation of the basic events of life. For this reason we are always fighting over symbolism and definitions, the very things that are supposed to help us understand each other better. It seems that the ability to see reality without any illusions is a very difficult perspective to acquire. It consists of viewing the world without the denial that plagues our understanding of basic events, as opposed to the illusory values imposed on it by society. Society has a very dim view of alienation. The fact is, however, that where alienation occurs, feedback loops exist between the individual resistance to a system and the system's response. Overall this resistance is very costly for the system.

A good example of this are the varying persecutions which have been instituted to chase down relatively harmless people chosen as scapegoats for the cause. Any time one or another group is being labeled as "alienated," you can be sure that it is a smokescreen for other activities. And when there is smoke, there is usually a war; if there's a war, someone is making money churning out weapons or medical care or news or insurance against fear in another form.

The questions "what is an alienated person?" and "what is the philosophical significance of alienation" are two entirely different orders of questions, and a failure to recognize this fact breeds confusion.

First of all, we want to exclude what may be truly "pathological alienation," which expresses itself as destructive acts undertaken against the shortcomings of our culture. These destructive acts can include felonious behavior as well as self-destructive processes, including self-medicated escape into drugs and alcohol, magical thinking, etc. Here, we are interested in alienation as a process of expanding our objective perception of reality. Do we view reality as a Cartoon World where all the characters suffer all kinds of dreadful experiences which are instantly erased from view and memory in the next frame, or, have we acquired a more spiritually adult perception of the realities of life that tell us that when a huge boulder is dropped on the character, he will be crushed and will not reappear in the next frame without a wrinkle or a bruise. Are we living our lives as Comic Book Characters, or as Response-Able perceivers of a broader reality?

The answer to the first question: what is an alienated person amounts to an existential judgment. How a person becomes "alienated" can simply be a matter of historical fact. We can learn the facts of that person's life, and we can learn what that person thinks from what they say or write. Based on this information, we may decide that they are alienated because they have suffered trauma. Or we may determine that they are alienated because they see more clearly the objective reality and do not forget from one minute to the next what they have seen. The answer to "what is the philosophical significance?" is a proposition of VALUE; in other words, a spiritual judgment. What alienation ultimately means in this sense can only be deduced in terms of the record of the inner experiences of the soul wrestling with the crises of fate.

Cognitive science suggests that childhood dissociation is a technique that unhappy people develop to adapt to difficult situations. And, as it happens, the tendency and ability to dissociate differs from person to person in our standard deviation curve. That is, at one end, there are people that dissociate all the time; we would call them delusional. On the other end, there are people who, no matter how terrible things are, still avoid dissociation. In the middle, where the vast majority fall, dissociation is common and ubiquitous.

So, in a world of cruelty and suffering, people who are not alienated in the terms as I am discussing it, might very well be viewing reality in a dissociated state: dissociated from what IS, the objective world. Whether they are adhering to the status quo as a positive experience, or any other reality that does not take into account the broadest range of observable facts, such individuals may be operating in pathological states of dissociation. In this sense, the idea that "God is in heaven and all is right with the world" is a fantasy.A very simple way of looking at it is in terms of what is popularly called Stockholm Syndrome. A person who is NOT alienated from a world run amok, a system that is clearly operating based on manipulation and terror tactics has dissociated and identified with the oppressor; he or she has "sold out" in order to survive.

The term, Stockholm Syndrome, was coined in the early 70's to describe the puzzling reactions of four bank employees to their captors. On August 23, 1973, three women and one man were taken hostage in one of the largest banks in Stockholm. They were held for six days by two ex-convicts who threatened their lives but also showed them kindness. To the world's surprise, all of the hostages strongly resisted the government's efforts to rescue them and were quite eager to defend their captors. Indeed, several months after the hostages were saved by the police, they still had warm feelings for the men who threatened their lives. Two of the women eventually got engaged to the captors. Psychologist Dee Graham has theorized that Stockholm Syndrome occurs on a societal level. Since our culture is patriarchal, she believes that all women suffer from it - to widely varying degrees, of course. She has expanded on her theories in Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men's Violence, and Women's Lives, which is well worth reading.

When there is a socially imposed mandate to think well of their leaders and view the world in a positive light, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, people find it necessary to become highly attuned to the approval or disapproval of the social norms that are created and propagated by the rulers and their elite supporters who have the resources to suppress most contrary perspectives. As a result, the masses of authoritarians are motivated to learn how to think only in terms of social norms, and learn that it is dangerouse – even life-threatening – to honestly examine their own, honest experiences. As victims of Societal Stockholm Syndrome, we are encouraged to develop psychological characteristics pleasing to the system. These include: dependency, lack of initiative, inability to act, decide, think; strategies for staying alive, including denial, attentiveness to the system's demands, wants, and expressions of approval of the system itself. We are taught to develop fondness for the system accompanied by fear of interference by anyone who challenges the system's perspective.Most of all, we are conditioned to be overwhelmingly grateful to the system for giving us life. We focus on the system's kindnesses, not its acts of brutality. Denial of terror and anger, and the perception of the system as omnipotent keep us psychologically attached to the System. High anxiety functions to keep us from seeing available options. .Victims have to concentrate on survival, requiring avoidance of direct, honest reaction to destructive treatment. Psychophysical stress responses develop and the infection is passed on to the next generation. We’ve already seen this in Constantine and his psychologically disturbed children. There is not enough data to determine if they were born that way, as psychopaths, or if they were just damaged. But we suspect that either way, genetics played some part. So the dynamics of Stockholm Syndrome in relation to Authoritarians directly addresses what was going on in the late Roman Empire.

Julian the Apostate was an “alienated” person in the context of his times. Such persons are generally exceptional and eccentric and Julian was certainly that. Marcus Aurelius was his model emperor and there are many parallels between them.

Now we come to the problem: Julian described the ideal ruler (based on his study of Marcus Aurelius) as being essentially primus inter pares ("first among equals"), operating under the same laws as his subjects. While in Constantinople therefore it was not strange to see Julian frequently active in the Senate, participating in debates and making speeches, placing himself at the level of the other members of the Senate. Julian was also an ascetic. Since the masses had become accustomed to being brutalized by their rulers who distanced themselves by taking on the role of gods who were very distant from mere mortals, they could not accept an emperor who was a good and decent man. Even his friends – high intellectuals – were divided about his practice of talking to his subjects on an equal basis. Ammianus Marcellinus thought it was foolish vanity and that Julian’s “desire for popularity often led him to converse with unworthy persons.” 

The Authoritarian personality is well-known among researchers for excusing the corruption of the elite by accepting that those in authority must be “different”, that their “burdens of rule” mean that they have special stresses requiring fulfillment of important needs such as extreme luxury, self-indulgence, sexual rapacity and even pedophilia. The recent scandals in our own world that expose these things and are then ignored by the people who continue to support the most depraved and vicious examples of anti-social human-looking creatures are evidence of exactly this sort of thing.

Thus it was that Julian’s subjects wanted an all-powerful Emperor who was so high above them that he could behave as Constantine and Constantius II had. Ammianus actually approved of Constantius’ public behavior:

Quote
He always maintained the dignity of imperial majesty, and his greatness and lofty spirit disdained the favout of the populace. He was exceedingly sparing in confering the higher dignitaries, with few exceptions allowing no innovations in the way of additions to the administrative offices; and he never let the military lift their heads too high.... That no one ever saw him wipe his mouth or nose in public, or spit, or turn his face  in either direction... (21.16)

…though he described him as a moral degenerate.

Hopefully, this will clarify what we are about: deprogramming ourselves from The Matrix, conquering the Predator's mind, destroying buffers to consciousness and conscience, and believe me, it doesn't just happen from meditating and thinking nice thoughts and taking classes or practicing Tai Chi or Hoo Flung Dung. 

It is called The Work because that is exactly what it is.  And not everybody is capable of doing it. Many individuals are capable of talking about it until, one day, their own sacred cow is in our sights and then they run, screaming, back to their dissociative illusions so that those icky painful brain chemicals that have been set up to run according to the will of the elite will quiet down and let them have peace and feel good again.

The really odd ones, in my opinion, are those that go on the attack once they have run away because they can't do the work. Generally this is described very well by Colin Wilson in his theory of the "Right Man Syndrome."  That is actually a variation on subconscious selection and substitution as described by Lobaczewski.  Some people KNOW at some level that they have run away from truth and the only way to make themselves feel better is to make the truth WRONG, and those speaking it also wrong and bad.  It's rather like religious fundamentalism: you have to convert everyone else to what you believe because you think that if more people agree with you, it will confirm that you have made the right choice of beliefs even if, deep inside, there is a part of you being killed by the lie.

So, basically, attackers really only seek to shore up their choice which, at some level, they know is wrong.

In some people, these deeper knowings never come to consciousness except in dreams.  And even dreams are careful about "breaking it gently" often presenting the dynamics as a sort of play where the roles of different parts of the self are taken by other people.  You would enjoy exploring this dynamic in "Women Who Run With the Wolves" and "Unholy Hungers."

The world isn't black and white, there are many shades of gray.  And things are way more complex and subtle than most philosophies allow. At the same time, there IS good and there IS evil, but it is the context, the specific situation that determines which is which. 

A "mirror", as we call it, IS very unpleasant from a strictly social point of view. It's not nice and it's not polite in the terms of social intercourse where one is obliged to play games and pretend so that there is never a discouraging word or unpleasantness spoken.

So you can choose.  We can all be acquaintances and play nice, or we can be warriors together seeking to be free of an iron-fisted, uncaring system that seeks to devour all of humanity. And the first order of business, as Castaneda points out, is getting rid of self-importance and recouping energy.  You can take years doing that, or the fast track, here.



« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:27:15 PM by Laura »
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Offline Eos

  • Jedi Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 409
  • We never know what yesterday will be
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #113 on: October 23, 2012, 07:05:18 PM »
...
Hopefully, this will clarify what we are about: deprogramming ourselves from The Matrix, conquering the Predator's mind, destroying buffers to consciousness and conscience, and believe me, it doesn't just happen from meditating and thinking nice thoughts and taking classes or practicing Tai Chi or Hoo Flung Dung. 

It is called The Work because that is exactly what it is.  And not everybody is capable of doing it. Many individuals are capable of talking about it until, one day, their own sacred cow is in our sights and then they run, screaming, back to their dissociative illusions so that those icky painful brain chemicals that have been set up to run according to the will of the elite will quiet down and let them have peace and feel good again.

The really odd ones, in my opinion, are those that go on the attack once they have run away because they can't do the work. Generally this is described very well by Colin Wilson in his theory of the "Right Man Syndrome."  That is actually a variation on subconscious selection and substitution as described by Lobaczewski.  Some people KNOW at some level that they have run away from truth and the only way to make themselves feel better is to make the truth WRONG, and those speaking it also wrong and bad.  It's rather like religious fundamentalism: you have to convert everyone else to what you believe because you think that if more people agree with you, it will confirm that you have made the right choice of beliefs even if, deep inside, there is a part of you being killed by the lie.

So, basically, attackers really only seek to shore up their choice which, at some level, they know is wrong.

In some people, these deeper knowings never come to consciousness except in dreams.  And even dreams are careful about "breaking it gently" often presenting the dynamics as a sort of play where the roles of different parts of the self are taken by other people.  You would enjoy exploring this dynamic in "Women Who Run With the Wolves" and "Unholy Hungers."

The world isn't black and white, there are many shades of gray.  And things are way more complex and subtle than most philosophies allow. At the same time, there IS good and there IS evil, but it is the context, the specific situation that determines which is which. 

A "mirror", as we call it, IS very unpleasant from a strictly social point of view. It's not nice and it's not polite in the terms of social intercourse where one is obliged to play games and pretend so that there is never a discouraging word or unpleasantness spoken.

So you can choose.  We can all be acquaintances and play nice, or we can be warriors together seeking to be free of an iron-fisted, uncaring system that seeks to devour all of humanity. And the first order of business, as Castaneda points out, is getting rid of self-importance and recouping energy.  You can take years doing that, or the fast track, here.

Great words.
Though, if I agree that the "fast track" is networking, there is still a big difference for me between sharing from person to person or through the Internet, as with this forum.
We are all more or less alone, in the midst of the surrounding people immersed in the Matrix without a clue about it.
Mirror, O mirror, who's this "I" speaking from far away ?
Sometimes I feel like missing real people to work with...
Anything which is not surrounded with uncertainty is not sure

Offline anart

  • The Living Force
  • ********
  • Posts: 16,725
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #114 on: October 23, 2012, 07:29:35 PM »

Though, if I agree that the "fast track" is networking, there is still a big difference for me between sharing from person to person or through the Internet, as with this forum.
We are all more or less alone, in the midst of the surrounding people immersed in the Matrix without a clue about it.
Mirror, O mirror, who's this "I" speaking from far away ?
Sometimes I feel like missing real people to work with...

We're right here. You get out of it what you put into it.

Offline Eos

  • Jedi Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 409
  • We never know what yesterday will be
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #115 on: October 23, 2012, 09:50:27 PM »
...We're right here. You get out of it what you put into it.

Yes, you are right (here).
It's always more or less of the same in whatever situation we may find ourselves, that we get out of it what we put into it...
And thanks to this computer technology, we are able to reach one another and share our thoughts, which was impossible not long ago.
A new way toward consciousness expansion, for one willing to go for it. Not easy nor obvious, but definitely worth it !
Anything which is not surrounded with uncertainty is not sure

Offline Carl

  • The Living Force
  • ********
  • Posts: 1,195
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #116 on: October 23, 2012, 10:15:46 PM »
...We're right here. You get out of it what you put into it.

Yes, you are right (here).
It's always more or less of the same in whatever situation we may find ourselves, that we get out of it what we put into it...
And thanks to this computer technology, we are able to reach one another and share our thoughts, which was impossible not long ago.
A new way toward consciousness expansion, for one willing to go for it. Not easy nor obvious, but definitely worth it !

Plus, being a lone warrior in a hostile world with only periodic contact with your true peers is a great challenge in itself. Maybe the fact that we are spread all over the globe is of great significance in terms of our collective Work in the world, or mission.

Either way it is what it is, there's no use complaining about it.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Offline Spiral Out

  • Jedi Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #117 on: October 23, 2012, 10:22:16 PM »
I'm reading The Wave volume 8 "Debugging the Universe" right now and something what Laura wrote stood out:

Quote
No matter where you stand, no matter in what direction you look, you find the web of the spider. It doesn’t matter if you start with metaphysics, if you freely follow the tracks, you may end up in paleontology, or astrophysics or psychiatry or mythology or geology, and on and on. There is no element of human culture that has not been manipulated in order to trap and feed.

which reminded me of something I said in "Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition":

Quote
There is always more to learn and find out that requires an adjustment and new understanding, expanding our view and understanding of reality. It is what raising consciousness implies.  People who are stuck in one idea or teaching and try to explain everything through it are building their own limited reality box. This also relates to psychology, astrology, philosophy, the healing arts, spiritual practices or any religion (east and west) where many “experts” in any of these systems are looking through one lens (many of them distorted/false to begin with), not realizing that this approach can easily lead to distortion and a tunnel vision.  It can also become an egotistical point of pride preventing that person to admit to him/herself that there is maybe more to the story which one hasn’t considered before, especially when they have written books about it, their career depends on it and they have an image to sell/live up to.

One can see these fallacies with many popular spiritual teachers, researchers, visionaries, therapists and self-help gurus, where career and image seem to take precedence over truth and reality. There are many topics that affect us more than many of them are aware of, be it the idea of hyperdimensional manipulation, genetic psychopathy or soulless humans. But instead of being more open to such topics and looking into them sincerely and unbiased, these seemingly intelligent and aware individuals ignore or debunk them right off-hand exposing their own lack of critical thinking.

In that context I was thinking of you, Gregory, and I believe we had a discussion about it and I also sent you this quote from the video. Of course, you "agreed" again, however have you actually applied it to your own path and tradition SINCERELY? I've studied the Tao, Chi Gong and Tai Chi as well, also with so-called "Masters". What I've found over the years is that there is also much disinformation (lies mixed with truth) in these systems/teachings.

Especially much of the eastern traditions are somewhat "romanticized" in our western culture. They can produce certain "states" relating to "angelic" or "oneness" as you mentioned yourself, but for the most part these states can be very deceiving and lead one astray on the path to truly know oneself and seek truth within and without.

In your case your tradition is also your career, how you make a living, etc. So obviously the feedback given to you here does open up a can of worms for you, which you have a hard time accepting, as you said. There would be many repercussions, which I mention in my latest article "Voting, Cognitive Dissonance and Fear of the Unknown" as well:

Quote
Looking deeper into all the topics I mentioned, unbiased, confronting the lies in the world, the lies Obama tells and most importantly the lies people tell themselves with all the buffers, wishful thinking and justifications, WILL open up a can of worms many people are not willing or even able to follow through with.

Why?

Because it WILL conflict with virtually everything they believe in. It will conflict with their career, their associations and friends, their status, public image, etc. They WILL get attacked and ridiculed for speaking the truth about these topics, for no one really wants to hear the truth. They want to hear "comforting" and "inspiring" words that agree with their already made-up beliefs (based on lies) and anyone who dares to question these deep-rooted beliefs and sacred cows is being ridiculed and/or attacked for reasons that have nothing to do with the facts at hand. Then there is self-importance, political correctness and people's inherent NEED to be recognized and praised for what they do or say, so truth usually takes a backseat for ambition, status and narcissistic admiration.

Now I know that you have already a lot on your plate and much has been conveyed to you in terms of feedback and suggested reading, however, I also do recommend for you to read "The Wave" series by Laura where she writes about all of that what has been said here in more depth, including the issue with "meditation practices", which doesn't mean meditation is bad in itself. However, truth is mixed with lies and the devil is in the details, as always.

I know you have gotten into Laura's work and much of that which is being discussed on this forum fairly recently. There are many core-concepts you don't fully understand as it is evident from your posts on here. Be it psychology, the predator mind or even hyperdimensional manipulation and how it has operated throughout history affecting every single tradition and institution, including the tradition you and your Master follow. There are very few esoteric teachings that seem less corrupted than others. Even Gurdjieff's, Mouravieff's and Castaneda's work needs some careful examination, so things are not taken out of context in light of other information in the ongoing search for the truth about our world and the control system. For example there are many "schools" based on G's work nowadays that have corrupted the work, intentionally or unintentionally. There is a thread about this on here as well.

I don't think you've quite grasped the "terror of the situation" and how the control system operates through virtually everything, most of all THROUGH YOU, getting at your weaknesses you don't even see in yourself. Hence it is absolutely essentially for anyone who is SINCERELY engaged in the work to seek truth within and without to do it in a network with people who are aware of how the Matrix Control System works and have the same aim. Getting mirrors/feedback from people who don't know these deeper aspects of our reality as discussed here will mostly only confirm your buffers with emotional hooks, feeding your predator, self-importance and false I. 

Laura's work, SOTT and everything on here is different than anything else I've come across, not only the lateral depth of research but also the horizontal spectrum, connecting the dots from MANY traditions/systems, historical writings, modern and ancient science, weeding out the true from the false. It's an ongoing process. Nothing is black and white. Keep in mind that good disinformation can contain mostly truth but one lie is enough to divert the seeker and he starts off a false foundation, despite all the "recognition" he gets and what physiological effects it may produce within him. He can be very successful as a "teacher" and "master" with a big following and admiration, but all along he's dreaming to be awake, or "waking up" in another dream.
This also relates to the quote I posted in another thread http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,29274.30.html :

Quote
Do not believe that in the world there exist only the once born and the twice born; unfortunately the once and a half born and the aborted ones also exist. Beware not to be taken in by their convincing lies and machiavellian language. These beings live neither in this world nor the next. They are neither initiates nor laymen, but imitators of Masters, semi-sages, sowers with unclean hands, the followers of dead scrolls, and black magicians who covet me and boast of my love when they are not even worthy of my smile.

Some may wear saris or tunics; others, collars and aprons; others, the Rosicrucian attire; some proclaim themselves the only possessors of the truth, believing that they actually possess this monopoly. All of them claim my friendship, but are only beggars who plead to me for crumbs of wisdom. You do not achieve second birth by standing on your head or meditating, nor in the coffin of purely symbolic ceremonies, nor by good works or the grace of the Holy Spirit.

- from "The Stellar Man" by John Baines, titled "Message from Isis"
"Illusion, thinking it is reality, takes reality for illusion" - Boris Mouravieff

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - Carl Gustav Jung

Offline Pierre

  • SuperModerator
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,208
  • Formerly known as Belibaste
    • Power and Psychopathy
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #118 on: October 30, 2012, 11:42:47 PM »
Quote
They can produce certain "states" relating to "angelic" or "oneness" as you mentioned yourself, but for the most part these states can be very deceiving and lead one astray on the path to truly know oneself and seek truth within and without.

Hi Gregory,

The excerpt above is very true although when it was told to me I didn't really believe it. Well, I didn't believe it at all! My spiritual experience had nothing to do with a vulgar neurochemically-induced illusion. How dare they talk about things they don't even know!

I can relate to you because, at the time, I was in a similar situation. For years I had been practicing Tai Chi, Chi Cong, Neu Cong, meditation... several hours every single day. I had a "master" that I respected and liked very much. He liked me too.

I was experiencing a lot of "great" and "supernatural" things. The whole nine yards actually : permanent flow in the higher chakras, out-of-the-body experiences, time suspension, dreaming à la Castaneda, meditation lights, "transcendental states", even very audible chi discharges (I have witnesses!)

As Laura said this is a drug. But unlike other drugs it is not labeled as a drug. It is labeled as good. Internal martial arts are considered as a path to spirituality, self-mastery, enlightenment, good for the health, good for the mind, good to face your fear, good to master your body. What wouldn't you use and abuse something that is, according to every available source, good for your and for the humanity?

And unlike other drugs it makes you feel very SPECIAL. Heck, how many people can claim they experienced what I experienced? How many people have gone through those hallmarks of spirituality? Who can be aware in his dreams and direct them? Who can choose his dreams? Who can "activate" his higher chakras? Who can direct audible "chi" bursts? Who can see the light? Who can be the light? Who can feel this warm and sweet energy running through the whole body?

And there is also the investment factor... When you look back at those thousands of hours of meditation, training and sweat, the status you gained in your school, the esteem of your master, the respect of your students. All the sacrifices you made to be where you are now.

There might be also a nagging feeling (not necessarily conscious) that maybe you're somehow wrong. In my case I managed to avoid any conflictual ideas with a handy little narrative : what I was learning in this forum and what I did in my school was very similar. Actually it was even better than that, it was complementary.

Problem is that I had to shove more and more piece of data under the rug to maintain the illusion that I was walking the great spiritual path.

I think the question that exercised me the most and helped me open the eyes about this whole thing was: "Did those years of practice, make you a better individual?". I guess at the time I smiled and gave some kind of smartass answer but the question haunted me and the more I though about it, the more I was discovering not-so-convenient answers...

Some members of this forum were the first ones to give not-so-enthusiastic feedbacks about my great spiritual activities. Up to this point all my friends, my relatives, my workmates were oh-so impressed with my self-displine, dedication, investment in high oriental spiritual and martial techniques. I was becoming almost holy, a kind of semi-buddha, dispensing some wise advises to a few elects. That was a feeding frenzy, my self-importance was pumped to the max (while I was pretending to follow the way of humility!) 

One thing I had difficulties to reconcile though was the allegedly high level of spiritual achievement of my master (and of his master) and some surprising ignorance they displayed sometimes. Of course the narrative is that they don't have to bother with material or intellectual things since they've already managed the spiritual ones. Anyhow I was puzzled with this kind of indifference with what happens on Earth, people suffering, unjustice. Although the narratives maintained by me and by them was that they worked hard to help others but on a spiritual level. You couldn't see it but it was much more efficient than any effort made at the low tangibles levels!

Well, in the 4th way teaching, the first step is to viscerally realize that we are just reaction machines, total slaves of our conditioning, beliefs and blindness. That's quite a painful step, it's even more painful when you considered yourself as well advanced on the path to spirituality.
 

In 700 years the laurel will turn green again

Belibaste

------------------------------------------

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose

The Rose

Offline Aragorn

  • Ambassador
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,707
Re: Gregory James - Faux "Master"?
« Reply #119 on: October 31, 2012, 07:15:33 AM »
Thank you, Belibaste, your post was very educating. I've noticed similar tendencies among some of the Reiki practitioners and teachers. It's like Reiki will solve ALL of your problems, some even end up doing Reiki to their car instead of changing the spark plugs.  :cool2:
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 07:17:21 AM by Aragorn »
"We will do almost anything to conceal from ourselves the sad fact that we are mere gnats buzzing around a cosmic dung heap." -John Keel, The Eighth Tower-