06 Into the sunset: The worldview illusion

The worldview illusion

In the religious sphere people have a tendency of imagining things working in ways that have nothing in particular to do with either common sense or reality. For instance, there is a belief that transmission of knowledge from above, into an “authorized guru”, functions more-less like downloading a file from the Internet into a personal computer. The idea is supposedly that there’s readily available knowledge “up there”, this knowledge can be copied into a yogi’s brain, and there are no revisions or modifications. If a guru happens to modify anything along the way, it means he didn’t get the authentic version of the original document, and if he’s perfecting it, it makes him more of a seeker on a path than a master.

So yeah, that’s what the kindergarten of spirituality looks like.

Spiritual experience and initiation are not a download of information. That’s not the way things work. A much better comparison is exposure to a magnetic field of great strength, which produces partial magnetization of suitable ferromagnetic materials even after brief exposure. This “magnetization” can last for quite a while, but it is incomplete, like a fragment of a hologram, which contains the entire picture, only faded and unclear, and it takes multiple exposures to the “magnetic field” to make a stronger impression, but due to the qualities of the physical matter, imperfections of the physical brain, and inability to perform a 1:1 mapping of the higher realities onto matter, the print will necessarily and inevitably remain incomplete. It’s akin to a two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional body. As good as it is, it is necessarily an image on a surface, and not a volume. The projection is but an imperfect, reduced interpretation, and only from a singular point of view. If you rotate the 3d object, it will form a different 2d image.

Let’s move from the abstract to the specific, to an example of a spiritual experience. Let’s say you read a few texts on yoga and you tried to meditate. At some point you really manage to attain a spiritual experience, and you feel something that looks at the same time like an expansion of consciousness, powerful flash of joy and bliss, alleviation of weight and pressure that come from the painful nature of the physical existence, and a great sense of this experience’s higher degree of reality compared to the physical, sensory experiences. This experience lasts for ten seconds or so, and after it passes you remain in a state of awe and amazement. You try to understand what was it that you actually experienced, and you automatically create a narrative, a story that purports to explain the experience. And so, you make your theories, but none of it causes the experience to repeat, nor does it necessarily make any sense.

After months or years, you quite unexpectedly, while riding on a train or a bus and thinking about something unrelated, experience the following: a powerful burst of energy that gives you goosebumps from head to toe as if you were exposed to a powerful light, only it isn’t physical, but more consciousness and power. You understand that this light is a sense of presence of some spiritual being that reacted to some of your thoughts and came to answer them, since your thinking started leading you in a wrong way. The being addresses you with something that is more of a sequence of thoughts, or realizations, than spoken language, although you automatically attempt to translate it all into linear verbalized thought, and you get feedback in real time if you make a mistake in translation – the message repeats until you comprehend it as it was intended. After the message has been delivered, the being disappears from your consciousness and you can no longer sense its presence. Again, you try to think of a narrative that would make sense of the experience.

In the following months you have an impression that you keep hitting the limits of your understanding and you are frustrated because nobody is explaining anything to you and you are nevertheless expected to get it, and at that very moment a part of the veil of illusion is removed from your consciousness and you find yourself in the presence of a powerful spiritual being, yet completely different from the previous experiences. It’s powerful, conscious, brilliant, and completely different from the previous one; let’s say you can feel the difference the way you can feel a woman to be different than a man, or a mathematician from a historian. This being doesn’t convey any messages, but its very mode of existence, its “aura” and context automatically deliver you first into savikalpa, and immediately afterwards into nirvikalpa samadhi, and you experience a state of cosmic consciousness, realization that I Am, in all things, that I am One and Undivided, without other. I am that brahman, My nature is sat-cit-ananda. In the transition between that and the human consciousness, your consciousness is flooded by a great number of realizations, very briefly, and you don’t manage to decipher them properly in an unequivocal manner. When asked to describe the thing, you could pick any number of correct answers. In any case, the way you understand things has nothing whatsoever to do with the way people imagine the transfer of “spiritual knowledge”, supposedly by copying books from a heavenly library, or cramming chemistry or math in school, or whatever nonsense. The real thing is something entirely different.

After the experience, again you try to assemble a worldview. What does it all mean? Some things are obvious, while others are not. It is obvious that the transcendental exists, and that its reality is of a higher order compared to the material existence. It is obvious that there are the spiritual beings with different properties, all of them powerful, magnificent, blissful and with vast consciousness. They are also benevolent, they appear occasionally when they deem it necessary, and they convey some important knowledge or realization. The experiences are occasionally “impersonal”, as the Hare Krishnas would say, and it creates an impression that the core reality is a state of consciousness, something like bliss or awareness, and occasionally they are incredibly personal, which creates the impression that it is the person of God that produces the impersonal radiation of consciousness, power and reality. The impression immediately shifts and it seems that the personal deity is merely a personal form of the vast ocean of consciousness, reality and happiness.

Which of the theories is more accurate? I would really like to hear the opinion of smartasses who think spiritual knowledge to be something that is either copied in its final form, or is not really authentic, because that is what a realistic situation looks like. Which interpretation is intellectually more accurate, and how much does it matter? Is an experience authentic if you are not sure how to accurately interpret it? Is an experience under question if you change interpretations, knowing it’s an equation with multiple solutions, and that it gains accuracy in proportion to the number of iterations, like the integral calculus, meaning that you can meditate on the same state for ten years and, from such direction of consciousness upon a Divine state, the realizations gradually emanate, creating a complex image with progressively greater accuracy?

Do you understand that it is possible to have a complete, perfect and absolute realization of the transcendental, and at the same time be unable to say three coherent sentences about it? If not, you obviously never had a transcendental experience, and all your thoughts on the matter amount to nothing.

The sign of problems is not when one talks about spiritual experiences in unclear terms or with differences in each narration, but on the contrary, when he talks too consistently and using clearly intelligible concepts, which usually indicates we are dealing with either a fraud, or a person whose mind is too shackled with rigid structures, conditioned by the experiences with physical matter. A third option is that you’re dealing with a very smart person who deliberately invented stories that cater to your limitations, in order to lead you as far as possible along the path to actually acquiring a first-hand experience. Still, most often we are dealing with people who had an experience of the spiritual light, and then concluded that it must have been Jesus, because the Bible said that Jesus is the light of the world, or something. Their next step is the conclusion that if they saw Jesus, it must confirm the literal accuracy of everything they read in the Bible, and they end up preaching against abortion and homosexuality, because Jesus wants it – indeed, he personally told them so. And what is the truth in all of this? That they saw the spiritual light. Everything else is just hogwash, the mind’s attempt to forcefully make sense of the experience. That’s what the mind is for: it attempts to integrate experiences into an equivocal narrative, essentially making a map of the world which you can use to find your way around and survive. When you don’t understand how this works, and you don’t differentiate between experience and interpretation, and you start to believe in this nonsense, that’s when you start having a problem. The same experience can be used to prove Christianity, advaita Vedanta, dvaita Vedanta, Buddhism, monotheism, polytheism or Islam. In all of that, only the experience itself is actually true, and everything else is the ape-mind’s attempt to impose its control over the things that go way past its pay grade.

You can blame ego, Satan or Canada, but the fact remains that the purpose of the brain is to process inputs; it is biologically conditioned to perform a single purpose, which is to integrate sensory inputs into a consistent map of the world that will keep you alive, allow you to reproduce, and to attain better social status and control of the resources. When the brain is given spiritual inputs, it treats them the same way it does everything else: it tries to create a narrative that makes sense and will improve its chances in the world. You need to watch out for that, because the brain didn’t cause the experience to happen, nor does it have any claim whatsoever in the matter; if anything, the experience happened despite the brain’s best efforts to filter things out, not because of it. More-less everything the brain does with the memory of the spiritual experience serves the purpose of rehashing it to favor the human animal aspects – essentially, the brain will treat it the way it did in the case of thousands of your ancestors when it saw a stick: it thought whether it could be shaped into a good club to whack someone upon the head or a spear to impale him through the gut. This is why all good systems advise against talking to others about your experiences and using them to further your social status, because the experiences you had will happen to be your last. You see, once this animalistic aspect of human existence creates a “spiritual narrative” that it finds to be socially useful despite being wrong, it will cement things so strongly within your mind, by making a strong mental structure that is intended to defend your existence and wellbeing, that this thing will stand as a strong obstacle to your further spiritual efforts, because you would have to discreate it all in order to move on, and you will have the feeling that your entire world will collapse if you let it go. It is therefore much more useful to see spiritual light, and say that you saw spiritual light the meaning of which is unknown to you, than it is to say that you saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and that he is the light of the world, opposes the abortion and hates faggots, and that it confirms everything that’s said in the Bible, which means that your religion is the only true religion.

05 Into the sunset: A successful practice doesn’t require a good theory

A successful practice doesn’t require a good theory

The questions that logically arise at this point basically all ask “how”, in regard to the mechanics and physics of the spiritual. If something exists and functions, there must be a mechanism that makes it so, the underlying laws of some layer of nature, on which this functionality is defined, as gravity is defined within the material universe.

Gravity is actually a good example, since we have a very good example of “how” it works, because all the mechanisms are known, we have the formulae that work completely reliably and perfectly anticipate the behavior of matter even in the most extreme of conditions, but despite all that we still don’t know “what” gravity really is, or how this force actually functions. In fact, we don’t even know whether it is a force at all, or simply geometric curvature of the universe, where gravity isn’t as much a force as mass is a coordinate axis, like width, breadth and depth. It is therefore quite possible that even in the material universe there is a force so fundamental that nothing in the known universe would exist without it, it permeates the entirety of our material existence and is its necessary prerequisite, its behavior is completely understood and predictable, and yet on a theoretical level we don’t know what it is. I’m telling you this so that you would understand that it isn’t necessary to understand the exact “why” as long as you know “how”. You don’t need to understand the exact underlying mechanism. NASA didn’t have to know what gravity is in order to send satellites into orbit and men onto the Moon; what was important is to understand “how” gravity works, in a sense of having the precise formulae that describe the behavior of massive objects in a gravity field. Those formulae are known, which is why we have no problem planning and executing spaceflight, despite the fact that the physicists are still trying to figure out whether there is some exotic form of boson called “graviton” which produces the gravitational attraction, or Feynman was right to speak of gravity as a geometric property of space, which would explain why we can’t make a unified theory that would encompass both gravity and other forces.

If this can be the state of things with the physical universe and physical matter, which is a tangible domain subject to simple sensory verification and experimentation, imagine how much more sensitive the things become in the spiritual sphere. To establish that something exists at all is very difficult. To establish the general rules according to which something works is immeasurably more difficult. To establish “what” something is exactly, is practically impossible. As a matter of fact, it appears that the modern physics found itself in a bit of a tight spot, because its theories can be experimentally tested only up to a point. When it reached concepts according to which the entire material manifestation is but a tiny fragment of a far more complex picture, such as the n-dimensional strings, it managed to find itself in a position that was commonly reserved for the spiritual sciences.

Due to the aforementioned difficulties, the various religious or spiritual systems are traditionally more accustomed to describing the actions that give favorable results, than they are describing the inner workings of the system according to which things work as they do. This is because it is easier to apply the scientific method to establishing what works and what doesn’t – you make several attempts, see what works and after a few generations you end up with a decent system, which has foundations, walls and roof, and gives repeatable results. Admittedly, it’s mostly an attempt to map the unknown while working blindly, which often gives the results with very narrow applicability, and with poor ability to generalize.

It is therefore no wonder that the religions are most similar on the layer of the recommended actions, while their “whys” can differ wildly. This is so because it’s reasonably easy to empirically establish what kind of activity results in favorable spiritual changes, and when it comes to figuring out why that may be, everyone had an idea, and none of those could be successfully falsified.

This, of course, has a very likely corollary that everybody is in fact operating on a level on which astronomy was studied in ancient Babylonia – there is observation of the phenomenon, but without true understanding, which resulted in some kind of astrology, where watching the animal entrails and watching the motion of the planets served the same purpose: attempting to anticipate what the harvest will be like. Obviously, without a correct theoretical model, attempts at predicting the future result in some form of divination. This, I’m afraid, is the level at which most religious systems, including the best ones, seem to be firmly anchored.

You will probably expect me, like all other systems, to cite myself as a great exception to that rule, but I have no such intention. On the contrary, I can cite my own experience and practice as a great illustration of that principle, with the notable exception that I, unlike most, am aware of my position.

Let’s take the example of the techniques of yoga that I formulated in their final form in year 1997. I created them by figuring out what worked in practice. I knew exactly what had to be done in order to get a certain result, I knew how the energies behave when the consciousness is directed in a certain way, and I formulated it into a technical system. But had one asked me “what” exactly is going on, I would of course have an explanation ready, but I was acutely aware that the explanation was far from the accurate understanding of the underlying mechanisms, since I didn’t know what those were, really. I knew what had to be done in order to get from point A to point B, the way a cook knows how to make a cake, but if you asked him what physical and chemical processes take place during certain phases of admixture and thermal processing of the ingredients, the explanation he could give you would leave much to be desired. That, however, doesn’t mean that the cake isn’t good and that he’s not a good cook. It’s just that full understanding of the theory and the underlying principles of a phenomenon doesn’t belong to the same skillset as the understanding of the practice that is based on those principles. They are two separate things. For example, a world champion rally driver uses physics while driving, but don’t expect him to express it in terms of a tensor of forces at the wheel or to express distance as a definite integral of velocity. What he does know is how to get through that bend at the highest velocity possible for the given terrain and in a given vehicle. On the other hand, you can have a physicist who will be able to calculate those things formally and accurately, but don’t expect him to sit in the car and drive like a rally champion. Those are the two separate and unrelated skillsets, and you would really have to be a really bad asshole to tell the physicist that his formulae are worthless because he can’t drive worth a damn, or to tell the driver that his skill is shit because he can’t explain what he’s doing in terms of mathematics. Those are not legitimate objections, but pure sophistry and nefarious wordplay. Do you know when it was that I came to really understand the majority of the theoretical background of my inner space technique? Quite recently; in the year 2010. That’s 13 years since I originally formulated the technique. And you know what I would change now in the original formulation of the technique? Absolutely nothing. It’s perfect from start to finish. Understanding of what exactly is going on with the kalapas and their aggregations is completely irrelevant for the formulation and functionality of the technique. Likewise, I could have spent 13 years playing tennis and only in the last year learn enough physics to completely understand and calculate the path of the ball, its elastic deformation and release of the stored energy, and this knowledge would change nothing, except being a nice thing to know. It’s great to have a theory, but doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with practice; furthermore, you can have dramatically different theories, even in a sense where one of them is completely wrong and one is completely right, and the choice between them can have very little effect on the practical situation, such as it happened with the celestial mechanics. Up until Newton (or, more accurately, until Laplace), the completely theoretically wrong Ptolemaic system was giving more accurate predictions of the celestial body motions and eclipses than the principally more accurate heliocentric one, because the mathematics necessary to do calculus on a n-body system wasn’t invented yet, and a purely scientific test that compared the accuracy of predictions made by the respective systems would have had to choose the Ptolemaic one. If you have two systems, of which one makes better predictions, it’s obvious that you are going to favor it. It is thus possible for a better theory to give worse results, at least in its early phase of development, and too much scientific rigidity can get you stuck with a theory that is completely wrong, simply because you judged the results at too early a phase, and you didn’t allow the new theory to limp along until its maturity.

What is to be noted in my case is that practical experience doesn’t immediately provide you with a good theory. An intellectually watertight theoretical system doesn’t automatically follow from the practical knowledge, spiritual experience and understanding which things are useful and which are harmful – a theory is something entirely other, and a talent for formulating one is as different from the “feeling” for the spiritual practice, as the talent for driving a rally car from the talent for computing the phycical parameters of the drive. Those things are as separate as night and day, as separate as the capacity for love and the ability to formulate love in terms of biochemistry, by measuring the concentration of endorphins and mapping the activity of the sections in the brain, as separate as it is to experience orgasm and to make a quantitative lab analysis of the ejaculate.

For some reason, people expected me to provide some theory, and that’s what I did. I figured something out, because that’s what I’m good at, but I kept modifying it depending on the evolution of my understanding of things. On the other hand, I hardly ever changed the recommended practice, which was the first thing I formulated, a long time ago. I didn’t add anything since 1998, although what I personally do is much different now, because of my greater skill and power, but the way I would recommend one to go about acquiring those skills did not change. The practical techniques from 1997 proved themselves as good, flexible and effective, simply because I came up with them in a feedback loop with reality, by spending a few years figuring out what exactly works, I identified the mechanisms and they work as such, and the fact that I didn’t understand the theory behind it had absolutely no detrimental effect. When I read my old writings in which I explained to students what they were to do, I find them to be the same things I would say today, with my current knowledge, despite the fact that I now have a better understanding of the underlying theory. I simply worked by instinct, and I knew what had to be done despite not knowing why. I knew what would work, and I was fully within my right expecting to be obeyed without question. It’s like having a master kickboxer tell you how to kick a bag. If you do exactly as he told you, you will learn the correct technique, regardless of the fact that he can’t name all the muscles, ligaments and bones in your arms and legs. Those things are unrelated to the degree of his practical skill. A kickboxer doesn’t have to pass an anatomy exam in order to know how to hit one in the head so that he passes out. When I look at the things I taught people in hindsight, absolutely all of it would have excellent results had they literally and diligently applied it. The fact that my theoretical understanding evolved doesn’t mean that the past instructions were inferior.

This however doesn’t mean that everything the religions are bombarding their followers with is good and useful; on the contrary, a lot of it is a product of rationalizations and poor interpretations. I recently read an excellent example in a modern children’s book based on ancient Greek myths, where a satyr, a goat-man, seeks his lost god Pan, and in an instant he senses “the breath of the wild” which is an unmistakable sign of his god. Later, as he attempted to understand what caused the experience, he mistakenly concluded that it was the coffee he was having at the moment, and kept saturating himself with coffee for months, in attempts to re-create the experience. The religious sphere shows us more examples of this form of logical error, than they do of correct understanding of the phenomena. It often happens that a person has a spiritual experience for one reason, or without any reason whatsoever, and later attributes the experience to something he happened to do at the moment, which doesn’t necessarily have any causal relationship with the experience – was it because I was a vegetarian, or because I was celibate, or because I walked barefoot, or because I faced North, or because I prayed to the right God, or because I made the right kind of sacrifice, because I smoked the right kind of weed, had sex with the right person, or had coffee at exactly right time in the morning? It’s something to have in mind when analyzing the “holy scriptures” and writings of people who had spiritual experiences, who then built a theoretical framework around it in order to explain what happened to them and attempt to re-create it. Because, for the most part, they are barking at the wrong tree.

04 Into the sunset: Nature and evolution of the soul

Nature and evolution of the soul

The idea according to which not all shall attain enlightenment, and we are in fact dealing with the evolutionary principles that do not have a predefined or certain ending, is deeply unpopular in the oriental circles, probably because the people who choose to follow the eastern religions in the West opt for them as an alternative to the Abrahamic monotheistic religions such as Christianity, where the central theme is exactly the possibility of hell and uncertainty of salvation. If someone found that to be extreme or nonsensical, he usually found some niche New Age philosophy based on Vedanta or Buddhism, according to which all beings in their essential nature are the eternal and perfect atman, or, alternatively, where Buddhahood  is inherent to all beings, and all beings will eventually attain enlightenment.

I’m not saying that the eastern religions don’t teach that; indeed, Vedanta teaches that individual beings are but a transitory illusion, and the only truth is atman, while Buddhism indeed has significant branches teaching how Buddhahood is inherent to the beings, and that it only needs to be activated by removing the impurities; there are folk tales from Buddhist traditions according to which Buddha said that even Devadatta (portrayed in those tales as a great scoundrel and malefactor) will eventually attain Buddhahood. Those tales, combined with the stories about the Bodhisattvas and their limitless compassion, saturate Mahayana Buddhism, and it is understandable why this narrative is usually accepted beyond doubt. According to this narrative, a being in its original nature is perfectly pure, and everything that is commonly perceived as spiritual filth, low inclinations etc., is interpreted as karmic impurity, which exists on the lower, external part of the soul, closer to the sphere of choices and activities than the inner nature. As much as this narrative exists in Buddhism on the level of later interpretations and transformations of the original teaching, in Vedanta it exists as the central theory.

Despite all that, this narrative is incorrect. Vedanta and Mahayana are in error, and the original Buddhism is much closer to reality.

In the original Buddhism, there is no such thing as the “original core of the being”. It is a later concept. In the original Buddhism, karma is not the “external layer” of energy, accumulated by activities and superimposed on the true being. There is no concept of the “original being” or soul that exists separately from karma: the soul consists of karma, soul is a name we have for the aggregation of karmic substance, produced by choices and activities through many incarnations.

This is a radical concept, and a more difficult one for the Westerners to understand, than the concepts of Vedanta (dual or nondual), because it is incompatible with the Christian concept of soul, which also functions according to the concept of soul on one layer, and its actions and their consequences on another. On the other hand, the Western physics operates with the concepts that are far closer to the Buddhist understanding, and this is what I am going to use in order to illustrate the point. You see, what the original Buddhism teaches is that an atom as a concept doesn’t exist once you have removed the protons, neutrons and the electrons. I devoted big parts of “The jewel in the lotus” to this, where I explained the concept on the example of an apple, which differs greatly in the hermetic worldviews on one hand, and science and Buddhism on another. The hermetic worldviews think that a physical apple is an imperfect and transitory manifestation of a perfect ideal apple, which exists somewhere in the astral plane in its perfect and eternal form, and all earthly apples are merely the imperfect reflections of that ideal. Science and Buddhism, on the other hand, claim that an apple is merely an appearance, and that the mental image of an apple is an illusion, and reality is that a bunch of atoms are interconnected into molecules and further into larger structures, none of which has anything to do with an apple. There is no Applium (Ap), the fundamental atom of everything apple; just carbon, oxygen, nitrogen etc. Buddhism has the same opinion of soul, as it does of apple: that it is an aggregate, a synthetic entity created as a result of the elaborate process of karmic evolution, by accretion of karmic substance into an increasingly larger and more complex structure, which comes to include increasingly complex substances. This process of evolution is by no means a necessity or a given, but only a possibility. Likewise, Buddhahood is also a mere possibility, and by no means a necessity, and is certainly not a guaranteed destination for all.

Buddhism doesn’t interpret the vast differences that exist between the souls as results of karmic impurity superimposed on the original perfection, but simply as insufficient complexity and evolvement, causing a quantitative and qualitative inferiority of the unevolved souls compared to the evolved ones. It is very logically straightforward and parsimonic – if you stop to think, a theory according to which a primitive sack of shit who beats up his wife when piss drunk, rapes his daughter and listens to some shit folk music, is really a Buddha in his true nature, only covered with more bad karma, is utterly nonsensical. It’s like saying that a rock has the same essential nature as a man, only covered with more karmic impurity. None of it makes any sense. A theory according to which those beings differ in spiritual sophistication and complexity, and so a drunken savage is merely a drunken savage, a being whose undeveloped soul consists of much simpler karmic structures than that of a sophisticated, subtle person of high spiritual longings – it explains the evidence without a need for crazy assumptions and citing dogma. Of course, it’s not a theory that has much chance of gaining popularity among the masses, because the majority would rather believe that humans are all equal in their essential nature, and that the differences are superficial. In reality, it is the opposite: it’s exactly the similarities between people that are superficial. The similarities are a result of incarnation into the same biological species with very small genetic diversity, or variation between specimens, combined with the quality of the physical plane that blocks the direct influence of the soul on the matter. In those circumstances, the uniformity of the biological platform masks the huge quantitative and qualitative differences between the souls, and so there is an appearance that the entities created from some astral substance, that would feel equally at home if incarnated as insects, snakes, hamsters or squirrels, as well as Gods made of the Purusha, around whom “weapons” and “robes” made of vajras orbit and pledge devotion and allegiance to, are “more-less the same”, that they are “equal”, only because they are both incarnated as the same species of ape.

You can forget equality. The very concept is completely remote from any kind of a spiritual reality. Those are the fairy-tales that serve the purpose of social cohesion of a human community, an animality not greatly different from the mechanisms that bind the bees into a colony. Physically speaking, the humans are more-less the same. Intellectually, there are already significant differences, but when we come to the soul, the differences can reach the order of magnitude that separates a hydrogen atom from the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy, and the physical similarity of the bodies through which those vastly different entities manifest their presence on the physical plane is one of the greatest illusions, and greatest injustices. Ok, you object to that, and think you’re anyone’s equal. Sure, join the club of those who thought that Jesus and Barabbas were equal and it doesn’t matter who gets crucified. Get it yet? Jesus was a God, and Barabbas, well, nobody cares about what he was. That’s the truth about the nature of their souls. Body-wise, they were both brown apes. Do you now understand why I might believe this to be a source of immense injustice?

One might now say that a yogi in the state of samadhi, or cosmic consciousness, switches into a state in which there is only One, and that this is the foundation of the theory of equality and identical fundamental nature of the souls, because the fundamental nature of all souls is brahman, and nothing else.

Where there is One, there is no multitude. There are no humans, there is no equality, there are no relationships between things, in short, there is no relativity because that is the Absolute. The things that apply to the Absolute cannot be projected on the interpersonal relationships of the relative beings, and serve as a foundation for theories. It is true that the Absolute is One, but it is also true that the Absolute is sat-cit-ananda, the totality of reality-consciousness-bliss. It would be fair to say that you reflect Oneness about as much as you reflect the sat-cit-ananda, which is to say not much. The human packs and the spiritual darkness of their inner social workings have absolutely nothing to do with the state of One, so it would be wrong to attempt to draw any kind of parallel between equality of humans and the Oneness of brahman. In short, it is wrong to us the existence of the Absolute as foundation for the theory of an eternal soul, or equality between the beings. For all you know, the connection of your soul with the Absolute might not be any more eternal than that of your mortal material body – because, of course, if everything is brahman, then the atoms of your body are brahman, and how is their claim to eternity less than that of your soul? As brahman is the eternal witness to the corporal existence, so is it a witness of the astral and who knows what other existence. To draw a conclusion that all souls are indeed brahman and as such equal, is as sensible as saying that one dollar and one billion dollars are both manifestations of the same concept of money and as such equal. Sure, if they are equal, give me the billion and you keep one.

To interpret the difference between the souls with the difference in karmic purity makes about as much sense as it would be to claim that the difference between a university professor and a worker at some mill is to be attributed to the fact that a worker’s mind is filled with bad content. It’s not filled with any content whatsoever, that’s the problem. The worker failed to develop his mind, and as a result it has lesser complexity and sophistication of content. The professor kept developing his mind and filling it with content of high quality, and the worker didn’t. That’s the difference. It’s not as if they both started from the super-genius level and the worker fucked himself up more with the passage of time; no, they both started as babies with empty heads, with the difference being that the worker was fucking around and playing football while the professor was reading books and learning things. The vedantic theory about the different levels of impurity cast over the originally perfect atman is therefore completely wrong and cannot be reconciled with the facts. The Buddhist original theory of evolution by progressive growth in complexity of a karmic aggregate matches the perception very accurately. So, not only were you not originally a perfect soul made in God’s image, but you did not exist as an entity, at all. This has two main corollaries: one pleasant, and one not so much. The not so pleasant one is that you cannot rely on having the good daddy in heaven who loves you and gets all riled up each time you do this or that. The pleasant corollary is the same thing, once you think about it. You don’t have a daddy in heaven who will make incessant demands without bothering to teach you anything of value first, a daddy who has expectations but provides you with nothing of value. You are not a created being, and so you don’t owe anything to your creator – if anything, you are your own creator, since your soul was created as a result of your own choices and actions, unique and personal. Each decision made you in a way a sculptor removes excessive stone and “releases” a statue from the stone. Every choice defined what you are, and what you are not.

I won’t bother to go into details of the underlying energetics, at least not at this occasion, because here it is of no consequence. What matters is that your actions made you as you are now. If you rather spent time, as a kid, learning and reading, instead of fucking around and stealing, you turned into an intellectual rather than a thief and a scoundrel. Your actions defined you. If you used the opportunity to screw someone over instead of helping him, your actions defined you. If you saw something beautiful and mocked it instead of stopping and feeling the gratitude for the opportunity to witness its existence, your actions defined you. If you saw something ugly and evil, and you failed to feel revulsion and need to oppose this evil in some manner, but instead you mocked the victim of the evil, your actions defined you.

You are your own God Father the Creator, you are your own Michelangelo, having carved yourself out of the primordial spiritual substance and out of the pool of possibility, and whether you look like David, or like Michelangelo’s turd, it’s your exclusive fault or merit. There are no gods to thank, or blame. It’s your own fault, it’s your own claim to fame, and your reality is a direct result of your volition and your perception of what brahman is. It is the reason why some souls are tiny little turdlings made of filthy astral substance, while some others are the oceans of light, power, and consciousness that far exceed anything that is worshiped by the faithful in the temples of the religions. Choices. Out of the treasury that is brahman, some choose to appropriate the jewels of consciousness, reality and bliss, and some choose to shit at the treasury’s door, so that any visitor would have to step into the glorious product of their existence.

There indeed are the Gods, but they are not the ones who made you. They made themselves into what they are, the same as you did. This is at one hand humiliating, if we observe only the difference in the results, but it is also immensely encouraging, if you take a look at what can be attained. In any case, if you’re no good, it’s not a given, and you have no one to blame for your predicament; on the contrary, it is something that can be immediately acted upon, in order to effect change. On the other hand, if you are a great soul with many great accomplishments in your crown, there is no God who would claim the credit that you fully deserve. You, then, are to be praised as a wonderful and magnificent creator of a God.

03 Into the sunset: Samyama, for salvation or doom

Samyama, for salvation or doom

We are on incredibly slippery terrain here. On one hand, it is incredibly easy to go too far and extinguish the natural, animal-instinctual impulses in all sorts of situations, and on the other hand it’s very easy to indulge yourself and allow this or that, justifying every descent into animality and permissiveness. Like (probably) everybody else who dealt with spirituality, I spent many years figuring out the right balance in those things, until at one point I reached a solution, which is truly shocking in its simplicity. You see, I decided that none of this really matters.

You see, it is completely irrelevant what you do, or not; what matters is whether it keeps you in the right spiritual state, that your vertical doesn’t collapse and that your spiritual core doesn’t become compromised. The sphere of activity is simply too complex to be able to classify actions into proper and improper, according to all possible criteria and categories, since their valuation is a dynamic thing, and that each moment, each situation is a universe of its own, with new rules and laws, and none of what you did yesterday, properly or improperly, is usable as a validation scheme for today.

This, of course, is not a philosophy that could be of use to the beginners, and I can already see the vast ocean of abuse that could follow from its application – every fool could justify all the bestialities from his personal Id with the concept of spontaneous spirituality, and if someone has a problem with that, he can go fuck himself. It is therefore necessary, before attempting excursions into spontaneity and easing the restrictions, to discipline one’s animal nature with some form of strict training. Here I don’t mean some trivial form of self-discipline, but difficult and demanding exercises of maintaining the meditative state during the waking hours and normal daily activities, which initially appears to be impossible, because the mechanisms of activity are so coarse and unrefined, they instantly take the beginner out of the meditative state. Initially, it is possible to integrate only the simplest forms of activity, and even that for mere seconds, where the first spoken word takes you out of meditation, because you lack the neural traces that would bind the meditative state and activity; those things function as successive and mutually exclusive states, where you must almost literally “rewire” your brain in order to make the meditation during activity possible. This is on one hand utterly simple, but at the other hand it’s also brutally demanding, and exactly because this demanding nature of the practice, as well as the subtlety and lack of fireworks in the result-end of the equation, the beginners often choose the path of least resistance and the methods that allow them to quickly emulate the results of demanding spiritual practice, but are a blind alley and a counterfeit of spirituality. In order to attain meaningful results with this technique, you will need months of constant practice – half a year is expected – and even then, you should not expect miracles, but only to get quite close to complete removal of the time delay between reaching the spiritual state and the ability to funnel it into thoughts, words and actions. Only after multiple years of practice can you expect complete transparency in normal situations.

It’s therefore a simple and straightforward matter, there are no complicated exotic techniques involved. You just need to keep yourself in a meditative state while you act, and retry immediately after each failure. If you manage to act without breaking your meditative state, it was a correct reflection of your spiritual vertical. Since the thing is difficult to do, the results won’t be something you will be able to brag about in front of other “spiritual seekers”, so this technique is for obvious reasons avoided by cultists and others who see the spiritual practice as a form of social advancement.

If “meditative state” is too abstract a term for you, you need to learn that first. This is not a beginner’s course in spirituality. In fact, I assume the audience to have a couple of years of serious meditative practice under their belt. However, even if that’s not the case, there are ways in which this method can be of use – it will suffice to find a point where you are content with yourself, the point of personal dignity and balance, and just don’t do things that would compromise your personal balance and dignity. Again, it sounds simple, until you actually try it, but again we come to what I keep repeating, that yoga is neither a sport nor some kind of fuckery, but a very fundamental way of organizing one’s life around the deepest, most profound states of consciousness that you can grasp, and grow from that point onwards. If yoga is merely a separate drawer in your metaphorical cupboard, with separate content, then such practice will produce no value. Yoga cannot exist in the context where yoga, karate, programming and photography exist as separate preoccupation; yoga is the foundation, and karate, programming and photography are things that can be practiced in yogic or non-yogic manner. Yoga is the bond between soul and action. It’s not something that can be set aside and practiced for half an hour every day. Such practice is worthless. Yoga is a way in which you do all other things, and it is, by definition, the process of transformation of your fundamental, basic approach to everything else in life.

We now encounter possibly the most serious problem, which I hinted at earlier, when I mentioned the inherent spiritual weakness of the practitioner as a significant problem. You see, the problem with conveying the spiritual state into physical activity is that it assumes that you are a being with a healthy spiritual core. If Satan conveyed his spiritual state into action perfectly, you will end up with perfectly satanic action. So, we are dealing with the GIGO principle – garbage in, garbage out. You can’t have activity that’s on the greater level of purity and sophistication than that of your soul. If your soul is shit, your correctly performed action will be good for nothing more than filling the sewers.

Don’t think I hadn’t considered this possibility – oh yeah, if one’s soul is shit, just transform it into a ray of divine light. If only it were that simple. I did come up with an answer, but you won’t like that one. You see, I concluded that the soul, basically the central karmic mass that incarnates into the body, is a product of millions, if not billions of years of gradual and painstakingly slow karmic aggregation and increase in complexity of the spiritual structures. If you spent a billion years turning yourself into shit, it’s illusory to expect that a magic wand of some spiritual technique will turn you into a ray of sunshine. It just doesn’t work like that. So, I concluded that the only meaningful thing to do is to profile the audience and simply shoo away the persons who are dark, corrupt and satanic, turn them into dedicated enemies so that they never could even consider a yogic practice and become a serious problem, and teach yoga only to the persons who incarnate really subtle energies, without significant participation of anything that would even remotely stink of evil. If there’s anything in this world that exists in excessive amounts, it’s the evil souls, and I really don’t need to teach those how to become super-demons trained in the spiritual equivalent of martial arts. Yeah, that’s a wonderful idea, let’s try it. Not. So, I intentionally function in a way that will irk those beyond belief and whack them out of balance, and if possible, completely psychically destroy them. Yes, I intentionally and deliberately destroy a certain profile of souls, and I see it as a supremely useful form of activity, at least as useful as teaching great souls how to attain perfection in their actions. Spiritual decomposition and destruction of demons to the point of karmic dissociation is a praiseworthy goal, because it permanently puts them out of circulation and thus removes one of the leading causes of evil in the world. The primary cause of evil in the world are neither disease nor earthquakes nor floods, but demonic humans who are under the power and control of Satan. The sooner they are put out of commission, the better for everyone else.

How does this dovetail with the things like ahimsa and love for all beings, you will ask? Well it doesn’t; I couldn’t care less for neither of those things, the way I don’t care what I’ll have for lunch as long as it is nutritious and tastes good. I see things in a more generalized way, not on the level of beings, but on the level of fundamental spiritual states embodied by the beings. Opposite to what’s common in the “spiritual circles”, I don’t see a being as an eternal given, colored by certain qualities that are to be ignored in one’s approach if he is to be equal towards all.

What I am doing is seeing the sat-cit-ananda as the primordial given, and I see the individual beings as agglomerations of spiritual substance that more or less reflect this pre-existing perfection and bear its qualities, or oppose them. All my devotion and loyalty, and, if we’ll succumb to the level of poetry, love, belong to brahman, who is sat-cit-ananda. My relationship with the beings is a total, absolute reflection of their relationship with sat-cit-ananda. If a being is in love with brahman, meditates on him, bears its qualities throughout life, strives to dive into him deeper, drink more of him and live him in the world, I worship this being and devote my life to his service. If, however, a being dedicates his life to opposing the qualities of brahman in everything he sees and is able to reach, this being is my enemy and I will crush him underfoot like a bug, not only without the slightest feeling of guilt, but with great dedication, care, attention and pleasure. To destroy such vermin is a great goodness, and their life is a great evil. I intentionally lure them into committing fatally sinful actions that will utterly destroy them, to the point of nothing remaining, and quarter would neither be sought, nor given.

Someone will now ask whether I intentionally and deliberately decided to provide some with an instrument of enlightenment, while provoking the others into ruining themselves, my answer will surprisingly be “no”. I just blindly followed the lead from “above”, from the Gods who had sent me here and who in fact control my fate. When I first understood that they don’t see the universal enlightenment of beings as a worthy goal, or any kind of goal for that matter, but force beings into making the final and conclusive choices through which they will profile themselves for good or evil, with the extreme destinations in either godhood or sharing the doom of Satan, my surprise was great, and I spent a long time checking myself for the possible error in interpretation, but the result was not only conclusive, but also firm as a rock. Apparently, the guys “up there” see it as a priority to clear the air, and end the situation where various vile and dark fucks drag their pathetic selves across this world like stink across bad water, excusing themselves repeatedly with ignorance, misunderstanding, lack of opportunity for the real and final choice, “because I couldn’t choose against God because I never saw a pure enough form of God, and since I love God so much I was always so annoyed with those bad blasphemous impurities, please give me another chance, if I really saw the pure form of God I would surely recognize Him and choose Him” – you get the picture. Since final dissolution is quite a permanent thing and there must be no possibility of mistake, apparently a next chance was an easy thing to get if you knew the right tricks.

Since those creatures are apparently experts in avoiding punishment, and this world is a weird place with an even weirder law-set, the result was basically that an enormous number of demonic souls happened to end up here, becoming progressively more concentrated in the population with the passage of time, as well as attaining greater concert and coherence, and, for all intents and purposes, harmony with the designs of Satan. It is obvious that a great part of their existence was devoted to making good people’s lives difficult, as well as devising various snares, illusions, and deceptions to be put in circulation here, so that nobody could have a chance to get out, they would have the eternal power and authority, and basically they would shit such an enormous turd that not even God could clean it. Also, an increasing number of bodies was filled with “blanks”, and are essentially soulless entities that reflect only the global background astral field. With the exponential population growth, this was not unexpected.

This probably dragged on for thousands, if not millions of years, until it reached a point where the guys “up there” decided to put an end to this party, in ways that reflect both their wisdom and cold anger.

What’s my role in this? The real question is, who am I? Guess rightly, and the gates of salvation open. Guess wrongly, and the gates of doom open.

02 Into the sunset: Beasts from the Id

Beasts from the Id

The artificial problem called “ego” was introduced into the tales of spirituality because the real problem is on one hand easier to understand, on the other hand it’s solvable, and thirdly, it’s not useful for sectarian posturing and manipulation.

The real problem isn’t ego, but identification of “self” with the general situation which, according to the logic of inertia, creates automatic responses – fears, instincts, desires, attachments, animal behavior of both recognizable and obscure kinds – they are all in fact things that a “human animal” does automatically, and “self”, namely atman or asmita, is but a passenger in that vehicle, a witness. This interpretation is not my invention – you can find it in an often quoted yet infrequently understood passage of the Bhagavad-gita:

The Almighty Lord said:
He who despises not the light,
activity and delusion when they are present,
nor desires them when they are not; 

Who is indifferent and undisturbed by the gunas.
He, who is firm and calm
in knowledge that only the gunas act,

He, who is equal in both pleasure and pain,
who abides in Self, to whom earth and gold are the same,
who is the same in both the pleasant and the unpleasant,
who has realization, who cares not for praise or admonishment, 

Who is the same in both glory and disgrace,
to both friend and foe, who abandoned all longings,
he is said to have gone beyond the gunas.

(Bhagavad-gita 14,22-25)

Of course, this is all wrong. Indifference is not a path towards enlightenment, but towards utter spiritual destitution. Indifference is the thing called tamo-guna by the Gita: the quality of a base and darkened spirit. The people who are the same in both pleasant and unpleasant, who care for neither praise nor admonishment, same in glory and shame, with friend and foe, stone and gold alike, they are not enlightened, although such people do indeed exist. They are the ones in the deepest coma, with heavy brain damage, so extensive that they are unable to process the sensory stimuli and form personal identity.

Usually the commentator of those verses mentions that transcendence is such a vast source of bliss, and the being is so fulfilled and consumed by the said bliss, that in such a state of expanded consciousness it loses all corporal awareness, and all bodily functions are performed automatically and without any spiritual engagement, since such a person’s attention is wholly consumed by the bliss of brahman.

This is true, and such a state indeed exists, but one can only exist in such a way for a very short time, before the bodily functions cease. It is therefore not an instruction in how to live one’s life, but a description of a state that narrowly precedes death, or follows it. The descriptions of the NDE experiences greatly resemble the state described in those verses – he who experienced that, has no desire to return to the physical existence, which is a miserable condition, and from such a perspective anything physical is indeed equally unenviable – gold, rock, it’s all the same, it’s just matter, whose main qualities are limitation of soul and suffering. Likewise, the relationships such as “friend” and “foe” are rarely spiritual in nature, and are mostly caused by the material things, which are perceived as trite and ridiculous delusions once the confines of the body are lifted from the soul. In a similar way the hostilities ceased between Croatian and Serbian prisoners in the Hague tribunal, once they were discarded and surrendered by their respective states in order to gain petty concessions by the hostile “international community”: as much as they were ready to wage war for the sake of their homelands, after being cast aside by those, they recognized the fellow prisoners as their “compatriots”. Human hostilities are therefore often quite relative and conditioned by the material circumstances, or “gunas”.

Of course, hostilities of other sorts also exist, such as when a yogi is hated because of his spiritual power and holiness, the way Krishna was hated by the demons who incessantly made attempts against his life, since early childhood. This kind of hatred belongs to the spiritual, transcendental sphere, where a conflict exists between the beings of light and darkness, unrelated to any material circumstance or transitory condition. He who hates the incarnated God, does so due to his instinctual hatred for the disembodied, transcendental God, where the embodied God serves as a sort of a visible aspect of the invisible object of his hatred, and, unlike the transcendental God, a viable target for his rage. The hatred that the demonic souls feel for God therefore transcends the material sphere, which tells us that things that transcend the matter are not necessarily great, because the worst evils in fact descended into the matter from the transcendental spheres. Satan and the demons are spiritual, not material beings.

This opens a wholly new view of the physical existence. The conventional view is that things taking place here are reducible to that which is consumed by moth and rust: the sum of material hardships and false values which all fade away in death. The contrary position is that some things that take place in the physical plane reflect the spiritual struggle between the cosmic good and cosmic evil, a conflict between the good and evil spiritual beings, those that manifest brahman which is sat-cit-ananda (reality-consciousness-bliss), and those that manifest various ways in which consciousness, truth and happiness can be obscured and twisted. You will now ask “why would a being evolve in the direction of perversion and darkening of the positive qualities”, to which my response will be that both the reason behind this phenomenon, as well as its comprehension, are not important. The fact is that such beings exist, and everybody can bear witness to that fact, since they vastly outnumber the good ones in this world, and are usually more powerful, because this world has fundamental qualities that place it closer to complete evil than to complete goodness, so they are enabled in their evil by the nature of this world. The reason behind the evil nature of such beings is therefore not important. What is important is not to be spiritually defeated by them, and it would also be good if they could all be exterminated, if at all possible. You see, if they continue to be “recycled” in the process of reincarnation, and in each cycle they manage to do some great evil, or at least prevent something good from happening, their cumulative harmfulness is enormous, and is a much bigger deal than the material destructive forces such as floods and earthquakes. One of the favorite pastimes of the evil souls is the creation of deceptive ideologies that increase reliance on the material and reduce participation of transcendence in the physical existence of the beings, essentially removing God from our reality. In such “materialization”, as opposed to spiritualization, the masses of people are conditioned to accept sophistry and “evidence” within the horizon of perception more than they would trust in their own spiritual sense of rightness and goodness. This results in atrocious acts on the massive scale, such as those committed in great wars, where people treat each other in the most savage and bestial manner. Essentially, since the French revolution and the “age of enlightenment”, the earth turned into a red mud from all the blood that was spilled in attempts to rid the world of God. I hope this explains my aversion toward the systems of thought that weaken the faith in the spiritual and utilize something that superficially resembles reason and evidence. In reality, what those do is a sophisticated form of deception, whose disproval is beyond most people’s intellectual ability, similar to the arguments “proving” that we never went to the Moon by using photographic examples that will make a photographer facepalm, but a common person would believe the objection to be valid. Furthermore, when you are being systematically deceived by an Oxford professor who is exceptionally intelligent, educated and trained in trickery of logic, the likelihood of you understanding where you had been deceived, why it was done, and how the arguments can be properly refuted, gravitates toward zero. Such a thing can be dismantled by an expert thinker with a great amount of reading behind him, and with great oratory skills, but such are few. To be sure, the other side of the coin are the evil souls who abuse human affinity for the transcendental in order to deceive them with false religious teachings, which lead them toward spiritual darkness.

It is, therefore, a fact that merely by incarnating here we are exposed to a great number of various spiritual dangers.

The first, fundamental danger originates from the very endarkening nature of the incarnation into the body of an animal that is guided by instincts and senses, with narrowed horizon of perception, limited cognition, and with all memory of existence that preceded the physical incarnation blocked. Also, our “supernatural” means of solving physical problems are blocked.

The second danger originates from other beings, who utilize the aforementioned situation to sell you their “spiritual merchandise”, using “logic” to lead you into a course of action that opposes your long term spiritual interests.

The third danger are one’s own inherent spiritual weaknesses and bad inclinations.

My initial statement, that the artificial problem called “ego” was introduced into the tales of spirituality because the real problem is on one hand easier to understand, on the other hand it’s solvable, and thirdly, that it’s not useful for sectarian posturing and manipulation, can now be explained properly. The real problem is the fact that the experience of physical incarnation performs an enormous limiting pressure on the soul, with potentially fatal consequences if the soul responds badly to the pressure and turns towards evil, thus changing its spiritual vector. An additional problem is that the effects of such transformation are not clearly visible during the physical incarnation, and it is thus possible to be utterly ruined in a spiritual sense, without any apparently bad symptoms. Due to such illusion, which encourages one to underestimate the real effects of the capital spiritual choices, the problem can be obscured until it reaches the point where no help is possible – an analogy can be made with some form of cancer that remains asymptomatic until it reaches the terminal phase, essentially deceiving you into thinking you’re fine until you feel the first symptoms, and at that point your body is so ruined you are left with mere weeks of life expectancy.

We are therefore very far from being able to reduce the problem of human existence to a few trivial sentences, such as “the ego is bad, when you defeat it you will become enlightened”. It’s exactly the opposite: the perceived symptoms of a “strong” ego, meaning the arrogance, posturing, ruthlessness with others, and ability to sacrifice anything in order to achieve your short-sighted goals, are in fact the symptoms of a weak ego, of weak penetration of higher spiritual principles into the animal instincts and physical nature. This supposed “ego” is essentially the instinctual animal nature, what Freud would call “id”. It’s an animal that wants to be physically safe, it wants to reproduce, it wants to dominate, it wants to own, and it wants to be socially reputable and accepted. In absence of spiritualization of those animal instinctual mechanisms, we get what the spiritual people are accustomed to calling the “ego”, meaning the animalistic asshole with a big SUV, half a kilo of golden chain around his neck, smiling a “has money, can buy pussy” smile. The irony is that most “spiritual people” practice the same animalistic mechanisms, only cloaked in different jargon and applied to the sphere of cults and the reputation as is acquired in those circles, where celibacy and vegetarianism exist as an equivalent to an SUV, a Rolex and an expensively decorated female with abundant mammary glands. The symbols of success flaunted by an insecure animal vary according to the value-set of the social circle. When a Hare Krishna monk uses terms that portray him as humble, fallen and devoted to the “supreme personality of godhead”, he’s essentially checking the same boxes that a Brioni suit, a Rolex and an S-class Mercedes check in some other social group.

The paradox of the “spiritual” followings is therefore in the fact that their followers utilize vast amounts of time and effort in order to emulate the results of the process of spiritualization of the animalistic mechanisms, all in order to satisfy those very animalistic mechanisms, that other social groups satisfy by earning money to spend on the posturing trinkets. This kind of “spirituality” is, to paraphrase Von Clausewitz, attainment of animalistic goals by other means, and it is obvious that no true spiritualization is to be found in this sphere, and that such “ego” contains the least proportion of “selfness” or emancipation of the transcendental Self, and the greatest proportion of unconscious instinctual animality, leaving the Self as a helpless, passive passenger and witness to the abominations done in its name.

It therefore follows that the presence of ego, or self in the animal existence, manifests first and foremost in the ability to say “stop”, to stop the “id” and say “not in my name, you won’t”. This distance from one’s own animality is a symptom of a soul that is awakening in the body, a sign of ability to impose one’s authority and control over the flesh. When the soul becomes aware of its own exalted position and dignity, and refuses to humiliate itself with the actions that the animalistic aspect of man would find perfectly acceptable, only then can we speak of spiritualization of the animal, because the soul had imposed its control and influence over the sphere, its force saturated the animal mechanism and subjected it to its own authority.

In practical terms, what does all that mean? It is obvious that the animal mechanisms cannot be blocked because that would result either in bodily death or to serious disruptions in bodily functions. It is obvious that it makes no sense to block breathing, intake of food and water, speech, excretion and sexual functions, but they can be subject to the authority of the soul, which means to refuse to act in animalistic and undignified manner in all that we do. For instance, you can refuse to get piss drunk and lose control of your bodily functions, you can refuse sexual intercourse with the wrong people, refuse to acquire wealth by unethical means that would result in spiritual degradation, and refuse to abandon your ideals under the pressure of uncontrolled animality and instead force your physical existence into compliance with the said ideals. Of course, it’s not all about refusals – one also needs to know how to accept the things that we perceive as attainment of his spiritual goals. There’s an art of accepting the right things, refusing the wrong things and knowing the difference. Emancipation of the soul is sometimes in the direction of refusing, and at other times in the direction of accepting, basically it’s about knowing when to say “no” and when to say “yes”. Simplified ideas along the line of “everything material is dirty and it’s best to block everything, from sex to food (yes, there are people who think it’s unspiritual to eat food and who attempt to live on prana, at least until they starve and die) are in fact a reflection of poor understanding and lack of subtlety in thinking. Complete refusal of everything connected to the physical existence is a symptom of desperate weakness and panic of the soul, caused by the inability to cope with matter, not superior spirituality that dominates the matter. Spiritual emancipation in the matter lies in the direction of the choices whose quality reflects the qualities of the soul. This emancipation of the soul and mastery over the animalistic, “id” aspect of the human existence has a result of formation of a strong, well shaped ego, which is in fact a seed from which an enlightened personality can grow, manifesting the totality of the Divine reality through the physical body, having the animal aspects of its existence not just under control, but transforming them into “jewels”, the aspects of Divine reality, holy objects through which God can be seen, and brahman can be known. That’s why the saints are ways in which we can know God’s nature – it’s because they transformed their physical existence into a path towards God.

The process recommended by the “spirituals” – the fight against the ego – therefore has the only function in posturing, and no worthwhile spiritual goal can be realized in this manner. Everyone who ever attempted it merely dug their heels into the square one of spirituality, accomplishing nothing for decades, all the while falling prey to the very animality they profess to fight. This is why the spiritual followings, both large and small, abound with the most vile and wicked evils.

On the other hand, there is a simple method of control and moderation, of examining one’s actions and desires in the context of our spiritual longings and goals, and a simple criterion of assessing the validity of actions according to whether you feel more or less “as yourself” while doing them, therefore the criterion of magnifying or reducing your own personality, where you keep choosing that which makes you greater, better, freer, more dignified – this method gives results instantly, it utilizes all aspects of your personal reality, common sense, conscience and other spiritual aspects you can grasp and utilize, and it completely immune to sectarianism, posturing and manipulation. If your primary criterion is personal dignity and greatness, and not external validation, you already went past one of the primary mechanisms through which the animal nature subjugates the soul, usually in very insidious and subtle ways. For instance, modesty and humility are often presented as essential qualities of a “spiritual seeker”, and this is in fact an animalistic social mechanism through which an individual submits to the community and its judgment, allowing others to determine his value and position in the community, which is unfailingly met with a positive response by the community, accompanied by the energetic exchanges in the area of the anahata cakra. We are therefore dealing with an insidious pack-animal social mechanism which is not commonly recognized as animalistic, while on the other hand sexuality is seen as purely animalistic, while in reality it has a potential of being an exceptionally valuable and powerful instrument of spiritual connection and exchange, more related to pure spirituality than any form of religious ceremony.