Of success and failure

People in the 19th century had strange ideas about evolution (the theosophists, among others), and I guess some of those ideas are still here. Basically, the idea is that species evolve from a more primitive to a more sophisticated form. What happens in reality is that the species “fork”, they branch out, and each branch is then subject to outside pressures, under which it either goes extinct, or survives. This creates an appearance of evolution of the species, but species don’t actually evolve. They just go extinct, or not. The fact that we still have billions of years old single-cell species, as well as hundreds of millions of years old multi-cell species is evidence enough that species don’t evolve. Yes, they branch out and diversify all the time, but sometimes all of those modified branches die out because they are less resistant to extinction than the original version, which persists. A horseshoe crab is one such example; a shark is another.

Evolution is an illusion which is perceived when you have several mutated branches of a species, and one such branch survives the extinction pressures, while the others do not; then you get the impression that the species evolved to survive.

What actually behaves exactly like people in the 19th century believed the species behave, is the soul – an aggregate of karmic substance, if you will. It starts as a simple structure, and if it continues to evolve (which is not necessarily the case) it can grow in both size and complexity, and it can respond to “evolutionary pressures” by changing into something that is better suited to the environment.

This is the greatest danger posed by this world – it creates an upside-down set of evolutionary pressures and criteria for success, and if you take it seriously (and you are very much motivated to do so) you will make spiritual choices that will re-shape your soul into something that is better suited for survival and success here. Not in the spiritual world, which is the home and the natural environment of the soul, but here.

Let’s see what that means. Let’s imagine that your physical body can evolve the way people think the species evolve – adapt into a more successful form when the environment changes. Let’s say you swim in the sea, and you understand that you’re poorly adapted for it, and you “evolve” into something similar to a seal, and then a dolphin. However, then something changes and you are pulled back to the land, your original home, and you have a little mermaid experience, being completely misshaped and crippled by your previously made choices to adapt to the sea, and you find out that you are now in essence a blob of dysfunctional, dying mess, because you can’t change back effectively, or quickly enough for it to matter. Basically, this world is “the sea” to the soul – unnatural environment with laws that don’t make sense in the real world your soul had evolved for. If you adapt to be successful under the rules of this place, you’ll have to evolve into a dolphin or a jellyfish, and guess what happens when you return to “dry land” of the real world. You discover that you turned yourself into a monster, unfit for anything. The idea from the New Age movement of the 1990s, that the purpose of this world is to help you evolve by providing evolutionary pressure is not wrong – however, the idea that your evolution will go into the direction that will be recognized as improvement according to the criteria of the spiritual realms is highly dubious. By “evolving” you probably think being prodded to turn into an angel of God or an enlightened being; however, the creator of this place had other ideas and priorities. Basically, you think the pressures of this world will help you be a better person, while in fact it is designed to help you become a better jellyfish.

That’s why Christianity is so much better a religion than Judaism and Islam; it understands that criteria of success, as defined by this world, are on a completely unrelated dimension, in relation to success as defined by God and the spiritual realms – basically, what this world casts away, God embraces, and what this world embraces, God casts away. Judaism, Islam (and heretical forms of Christianity such as protestantism) think in terms that God is the ultimate power here and everywhere, He makes all the rules everywhere, and if He likes someone, He rewards him with treasures and success of all kinds, and if someone is seen as unworthy, God punishes him by denying him success and all the good things of the world. The revolution of Christ’s teaching is that this world is in fact not ruled by God – “the Prince of this world” is the title that belongs to Satan. Satan can bestow worldly gifts, either as a temptation or as a way to make one stray from the true path of God, and God can expose those dearest to Him to great trials, deprivations, suffering and death in this world. Basically, what Jesus revealed is that the criteria of this world are not the same as the criteria of God – in fact, it would be proper to say that they are almost perpendicular. Success in terms of the world means to acquire more wealth and more control over other men, and produce the greatest number of most successful offspring. Success in terms of God means to acquire spiritual qualities that are of God – basically, to look at the light of God, and see it as your own, and radiate it outwards into other beings and things, to the greater glory of God. This light of God is the light of spirit, and of understanding that God is the supreme, most fundamental reality of all, and to shine this light means to make it grow in other beings, make others grow in awareness of God, in spiritual beauty, consciousness, bliss, power and reality. As you can see, intersection between those two criteria-sets is very vague, and trying to attain full success under one set of criteria all but guarantees failure according to the other set. As Jesus also said, it might not be the best idea to completely disregard the criteria of this world, and it’s good to “give to Caesar that which is of Caesar”, which is something that was all-but-ignored in the dark ages, when Christians neglected the worldly sphere to a fault, but the fundamental lesson is that you should think twice before you envy those who have great success in this place, because they might be a jellyfish in heaven, having evolved to thrive in this world but to fail in the real one created by God, and also think twice before feeling pity for a pathetic beggar because that might be Milarepa, or for a condemned criminal on a cross of execution, because that might be Jesus. If a world is designed to humiliate God, it would be foolish to expect God to be the greatest of winners in all worldly things.


There’s been all that talk about the upcoming Ukrainian offensive, and I keep waiting for people in the West to figure it out, but I’m afraid it’s not happening, so I’ll describe why such an offensive is simply impossible. I mean, it’s possible, but it’s an incredibly suicidal idea.

To put it simply, the way Ukrainians fought this war so far can be divided into two main tactical modes. The first is to dig into concrete installations surrounded by civilians, and make themselves extremely hard to dig out, and force the Russians to kill their own civilians in the process. The examples of this are Mariupol and Bakhmut. The second tactical mode is to use American satellite imagery in order to see what positions are poorly defended by Russians, and make a breakthrough there.

Both tactical modes are the result of battlefield realities: first, the Russians own the sky, they own the option of heavy bombardment, they see everything with satellites, AWACS planes and drones, and facing them in the open means facing a superior army without an element of surprise, which means annihilation. The second battlefield reality is that Ukraine consists mostly of vast empty landscapes – both forests and agricultural land and fields. Those vast swathes of land are basically indefensible, you can’t have enough military coverage to be able to protect every spot against a concentrated attack, and to add insult to injury, the Russians tend to be using extremely low numbers in this war, and I guess it’s called special military operation for a reason, because they aren’t using troop concentrations sufficient to make it a proper war, and on the other hand it’s not a police intervention either. This means that the Russians can’t defend the entire length of the front against a concentrated pin-point attack, and both sides need to give up open land immediately, because any non-fortified static troop placement will immediately find itself under enemy fire. This also explains why the Russians chose to withdraw from certain positions; open land is costly to defend, and you gain nothing except the ability to brag about controlling more land. The corollary is that the war is about controlling key fortified junctions, and after those fall, you also lose huge swathes of land that surround them. Also, the two sides see the war differently; the Ukrainians try to control as much land as possible in order to present this as a victory. The Russians, on the other hand, intend to destroy the enemy, and see control over the land as a result of that; controlling much land before the enemy has been destroyed isn’t necessarily something that incurs benefits, especially if you have a large “fifth column” to contend with on the territory you control, as they did in Kherson city, where a significant minority of the population is virulently pro-Ukrainian and created so much problems for the Russians that they decided to give the city up and destroy the concept of Ukrainian state and nationality first; policing crazy people at this point was more trouble than it was worth.

To put it in simple terms, the Ukrainians want to take the land and genocide the Russians from it. The Russians want to destroy the genocidal Ukrainian ideological leadership and pacify the country so that it is no longer a threat.

This makes any Russian withdrawal a moral issue, because the Ukrainians will kill all “collaborators” (read: normal people) on this territory. This happened in Bucha, it happened in Kherson city, and in many other places. Also, at any point where the Ukrainians get close enough, they will deliberately target Russian and pro-Russian civilians; they even targeted their own prisoners of war in order to discourage surrender. Wherever the Russians take control, they try to establish normality and civility; however, the part of the population that has been infected by the mental virus of Ukrainianism constantly create trouble there, and the Russians have no clear idea of what to do with them. They don’t want to kill them, and nothing else seems to work.

What does this mean to the possibility of offensive warfare by both sides?

As for the Russians, I’m not even sure that they themselves know what they want to do. For them, it’s more about what they don’t want: they don’t want the Americans to continue occupying and indoctrinating increasingly closer countries and installing virulently anti-Russian “democratic” zombies there, not to mention American bases and nuclear-war installations. They also don’t want to cause a nuclear war with America. In addition, they don’t want other countries to dictate what they can or cannot do in their own sphere of interest, for instance trying to restrict trade and the flow of money. Other than that, I’m not sure that they either know or care. They are in the process of figuring out what they are, and so far they can’t decide between the Imperial/Orthodox past and the Soviet past, trying to own the legacy of both, and integrate it with what they see as the good things that came from the West – capitalist economy, freedom of expression, democracy and so on. Unfortunately, this process of figuring out what they are is being interrupted by the West, which would prefer Russia not to be at all, which unfortunately makes it all-but-certain that the most radical, violent and determined fractions within Russia will prevail, because that’s what happens when the country and nation are under attack by a foreign enemy. This means that the goals and methods used by Russia in this war might suddenly change, from the current careful and indecisive approach, to a sledge hammer of genocide that will simply wipe out everything in its path, when they have had enough of this bullshit. This means that the Russians are exclusively limited by political will and ideology, and militarily they can do whatever they want, when they decide that they want it enough to pay the price required for freedom.

The Ukrainians are a different matter. Ideologically, they have no problem with any kind of murder, torture, genocide or plunder required to attain their goals, which are to kill all Russians and create a Ukrainian fake nation with a fake history in their place. Their problem is that they have no military or industrial capacity for any such thing, which necessarily makes them an instrument of the West. They also sustained heavy losses and simply don’t have the manpower left for offensive warfare. They supposedly have 12 brigades trained by the West, in reserve for the “spring offensive”, but if you have in mind that they lost 35 brigades in Bakhmut, and they presently don’t count brigades at more than 50% of conventional numbers, it becomes obvious that they can’t perform serious offensive actions against any position the Russians are willing to defend, and the Russian goal won’t even be to defend a position, as much to kill those 12 “brigades” of virulent Nazis, and once this is done, simply march to Kiev and take over. The Russians won’t fight the Ukrainians over some field, they intend to destroy the hostile Ukrainians, and the easiest way to weed those out is to wait for them to come to you with guns and try to kill you. Then you turn them into graves and repeat the process until they stop coming. At this point you march to Polish border and establish the Democratic Republic of Ukraine as a member of the Russian federation, the way it historically always was.

So, why exactly is it technically impossible for the Ukrainians to perform an offensive? First of all, they don’t have the high ground, which at this day and age means supremacy in space and air. In space, the Americans provide the Ukrainians with all the data, but the Russians see everything as well, so things are equal in that regard. However, the Russians control the air, and for all intents and purposes, the entire Ukraine is a Russian-managed no-fly zone. Whatever flies there is either Russian, or a target. To prepare for an offensive means to stage fuel, weapons, ammunition, food and men close to the point where you want to make a breakthrough. As you do the staging, the enemy does the watching, and when your warehouses and barracks are full, they blow them up. This is what’s been happening in the recent weeks, to great effect, and to a point where the Ukrainians no longer have anything to do the offensive with. Also, when you assemble all those troops, tanks and stuff, it’s very visible from orbit, and a very nice and fat target for the Russian cruise missiles and airforce. On the other hand, the Russians can assemble whatever forces they want in the background, and the Ukrainians can’t do anything about it. This means that the Ukrainians can’t technically perform significant offensive operations, and the Russians can, but whether they actually do it depends on their strategical assessment of the wider war with the West, and their intents on the international scene.

Post-Bakhmut analysis

After the liberation of Artyomovsk (or, should we say, successful accomplishment of the Bakhmut meat grinder operation), some numbers are starting to come up, so I’ll lay down the basic stats.

The Ukrainians seem to have rotated between 27 and 35 brigades in and around Bakhmut. Those units are now mostly destroyed – dead or wounded. The minimal number of Ukrainian dead in this operation was around 50000, although I wouldn’t be surprised at twice as much.

The vast majority of Russian fighters involved in the operation belong to the Wagner private military organization, and the number that is mentioned is around 26000 men, enhanced by some Russian regular troops – marines and paratroopers. The losses on the side of Wagner are not clear – I haven’t seen any actual reports, but I would guess two to five thousand dead, but the number of troops involved in the operation definitely puts the upper limit of 10000 to a total number of Russian casualties in the operation. The Wagner people also seem to be tired, stressed out, and in dire need of being rotated out of the front line.

The Ukrainian positions in Bakhmut were among the most heavily fortified positions in the history of war, and I’m not saying that lightly. There are hundreds of kilometres of underground tunnels and facilities there, plus the Soviet reinforced concrete buildings that are incredibly hard to grind down. They also had all kinds of drones and surveillance equipment, uninterrupted supplies and so on.

The conventional wisdom of war states that you need a 3x stronger attacking force to conduct a successful siege. The fact that the Russians managed to grind down such a powerfully fortified settlement with so few troops is a unique thing in the history of warfare. Their success can be attributed to several factors. First, the Ukrainians tend to approach warfare like moles and ground hogs, digging themselves in and counting on being very hard to dig out. By doing this, they forfeit all initiative of manoeuvre warfare, and basically just postpone their inevitable defeat. Furthermore, the Russians used more and better artillery, advanced tactical and operational skills, and worked against an enemy whose position is fixed and known, with their own force that is flexible and mobile. They also used some very advanced stuff, like electronic tags for preventing blue-on-blue fire, drones, infrared goggles and sights and so on, and they also controlled the air, being able to call on occasional airstrikes, although this happened rarely. The fact that the Russians had a much smaller force contributed to the length of the operation, but to be honest, the nature of the operation was such that you could hardly do this faster by throwing more men at it; you would merely increase your losses, which the Russians tried to avoid, and quite successfully.

So, far from the picture of courageous but outnumbered Ukrainian soldiers fighting against a huge tide of Mordor, the truth seems to be the opposite – the huge number of Ukrainians dug themself deeply into concrete, displayed neither military skill nor tactical intelligence, underestimated their enemy, misread the tactical situation, and were an inferior fighting force by absolutely all standards of warfare, except for the level of equipment, which was of the highest NATO quality and included very current intelligence provided by American military satellites and analysts in Ramstein and other locations via satellite Internet link. Another deplorable thing about the Ukrainians is that they invariably tend to dig in in a civilian settlement, and not just any, but one with Russian population, because they know that the Russians will care about civilian casualties, and to them, the more Russian civilians die, the better. This fact complicates things immensely for the Russians, because they have to restrict the use of weapons of mass destruction, and basically dig out the ground hogs slowly with very granular and localised attacks, and not, for instance, with high-yield thermobaric weapons that would basically kill every living thing in the area, or with enough explosive to level the entire city blocks, which they absolutely could do.

All in all, this confirms my assessment that the Russians were doing this operation with basically their little finger, and one arm and both legs tied. They didn’t use practically any of their military, they didn’t use high-yield weaponry, they were constantly fighting outnumbered, and the enemy could count on NATO intelligence support from satellites and AWACS planes and what not, and they treated this not as some great adversity, but they literally called this “operation meat grinder”. They saw this as a slaughterhouse for the enemy, because they got them to defend a strategically crucial point they can’t afford to lose because it controls the entire area east of Dniepr river and is also the most heavily fortified area in that part of the world, and they knew several things: Russian soldiers are better, Russian tactics are better, and Russian weapons are better than NATO weapons. This sounds incredible, but the results speak for themselves.

Also, it is obvious that the Russians were in no hurry to end this quickly at all cost; they are in fact in no hurry even to end the regular bombardments of Donetsk city. My analysis of their strategy is that they are trying to accomplish two major things: first, not escalate this into a nuclear war if at all possible, because then the losses would be such, that the entire Ukraine would be a rounding error; and second, avoid being so successful in warfare that they destroy their own economy and relations with friendly countries in the process. Winning Ukraine is not really a goal; it’s basically not even something they really want, but rather something they tried very hard to avoid, but couldn’t. If they wanted to get Ukraine, they could do it easily by cutting all Ukraine’s ties to the West by entering from Belarus at the NATO border with several hundred thousand troops and thousands of tanks and other heavy machinery, turning off gas, electricity and water to all population centres of Ukraine, destroying the Ukrainian military, killing their leadership and installing their own military government in Kiev. This is still quite possible, but I have to ask, what would they actually gain, and at what cost? They would demonstrate strength and decisiveness and eliminate a very hostile force that is a puppet of their true enemies. Millions of Ukrainians would die. This would portray the Russians as ruthless, dangerous savages and would result in a serious propaganda victory for the West. Now they look “weak” and “indecisive”, but they also look restrained, careful and rational. Maybe they don’t want to look like someone who has the most powerful military in the world, and no virtue and restraint in its application, no? However, I’m not sure that their restraint works against America, because America seems to be too stupid to understand it or even to perceive it; they implicitly assume that the Russians would just go in and brute-force everything if they could, and the fact that they don’t means that they can’t. The concept that the Russians could easily depopulate Ukraine, but simply don’t want to do it because of moral reasons, is absolutely unfathomable to the Americans, because they see the Russians as a big violent stupid bear that does everything by brute force and great numbers, and they see themselves as surgical-precision superior-technology superpower; however, the mere statistical layout of the Russian victory in Bakhmut, which will be called Artyomovsk from now on, proves the opposite. The Americans are the ones who get by using low-precision (basically, kill them all and let God sort them out), brute force, numerical supremacy approach (so called “shock and awe”), and the Russians are using high-precision, high-technology, strategically and tactically careful approach, succeeding against a NATO force that has satellites and AWACS and all kinds of ground weaponry, and is 3-4x more numerous, and the result was a resounding Russian victory with minimal losses of manpower and equipment.

The silliest thing is, the West still thinks it has a technological and tactical superiority, and believes in magical virtues of “modern NATO weapons” and “NATO training”, both of which proved to be obviously inferior. Unless American military analysts do an analysis similar to the one I made, this is absolutely not going to end well for anybody, because they are going to double-down on their mistakes until they feel they have to resort to a nuclear option, which the Russians are trying to avoid at all cost, but this seems to actually increase the probability of such outcome. I don’t think it’s possible for the Americans to accept the facts of the situation, which are that their technology and tactical training suffered a resounding defeat by a technologically and tactically superior, but vastly numerically weaker enemy. They just had too much of their own kool-aid, and the talk of sending F-16s into Russian air defence umbrella is strong evidence thereof. They just don’t get it that the Russian rocket technology is at least 20 years superior to their own, that Russian radars are superior to their own, and that the Russians also have satellites and AWACS planes, high-precision and long-range rockets, and all kinds of technological wizardry. Unfortunately, after the cold war they stopped being afraid, and they could very much use fear at this point, because they were never so relatively weak against an opponent since their independence war against Britain.


One of the most common questions I get when I say that this world isn’t real are, basically, “so if it’s not real, it doesn’t really matter what we do?” and “why not just kill ourselves and get it over with?” The second, implicit thing that is seldom or never asked, but people just assume it, is that if the physical world isn’t real, the astral world lies in the direction away from the matter, and in the direction of human imagination, fantasy and abstract things.

First of all, if you pay attention you will see that I don’t really formulate things that way – I don’t really say that the world isn’t real. I say that it’s software and not hardware. I say that it isn’t the reality. I say there is no “here”. I say that there are levels of reality, or levels of illusion of you want, and you can nest illusion within simulation and so on, and God is the most fundamental reality. The “it’s not real” formulation is what the audience infers, because they think that’s what I’m saying, but this is a mistake.

This “place” is a mixture of reality and illusion. The world itself is a persistent, convincing illusion. I won’t say it’s a simulation, because the word implies that it mimics something that looks very much like it, which it does not – it’s its own thing, not a lower-reality copy. The most accurate description would be that it’s of the same kind of a virtual reality as the interior of a video-game that is not designed to mimic our world, but it has its own laws and logic, it’s consistent in its behaviour, and once you’re connected to it, all your memories and perceptions of the outside world are suppressed. So far, nothing I said contradicts the idea that it is not real, other than the fact that “real” is usually defined as something you can consistently perceive and scientifically test. However, when you have actually real souls connected to such a virtual reality, things become very real, in the sense that all the interactions they have are real. You can hurt actual people in the virtual world, which is something you can easily see in the online games, where you have sociopaths who use the virtual reality to intentionally hurt others because they think it’s not real, and so they can do whatever they want. This is what I would call a nested illusion, or an illusion within an illusion, the only difference being that we can’t yet create illusions that completely suppress memory and perception that contradict it. However, if you observe how people behave in those online multiplayer games, you’ll see that those who behave as if it isn’t real, and they can do whatever they want to others as if it has no real consequences, turn into very real assholes, and their actions produce very real victimization of others. If you could perceive their karmic bodies, you would see that all those “virtual” actions have very real consequences, because if you practice being an asshole, you actually turn into one, and you can’t just turn that off. Also, rules of the game matter a lot, and people instinctively try to win, and so they adapt to the rules in ways that allow them to score higher. If the game defines “winning” as obtaining control over the greatest number of virtual in-game resources, such as special kinds of swords, armour and amulets, in-game money and assets and so on, and you need to hurt other real players and treat them as stepping-stones on your way towards greater virtual acquisitions, what’s going to happen is that you are going to break the rules of an actually real world made by God, in order to score virtual achievements in a virtual world, and the world will try to suppress the feeling of wrongness you feel in the actually real world, and rationalize it by “but I got the level 12 sword that damages armour and scores one-hit kills against dragons, and I got 10000 gold coins”, and all you had to do to get it is kill your wife in the actual world, or something equally “unimportant”. Also, when I talk about attractors, imagine some bullshitful in-game thing such as Amulet of the Green Forest that gives you the ability to shapeshift and phase through objects, and in normal circumstances you would shrug and say “whatever”, but let’s say that the game engine has the ability to blend such virtual structures with something from the real world, that is actually attractive, because it radiates higher reality or fulfilment, and such a virtual achievement becomes attractive to you on the level of a much deeper reality, and when you see that stupid amulet in the game, you feel some deep attraction you can’t logically explain, and you feel as if it gives you a reason to invest time, energy and effort, and it gives you a worthy goal to strive for, and you become willing to sacrifice all sorts of things that matter to you in order to get that thing, but when you get it, it doesn’t feel right, and it feels as if the goal has shifted to another thing, another sword, amulet, book or cloak, and you keep hunting those mirages, at the same time sacrificing things that actually matter, hurting people who actually matter to you, because you are hunting “greatness” and “fulfilment”.

What I mean when I say this place is a combination of illusion and reality, is that you didn’t actually leave the real world to come here, because there is no “here”. You are still in the real world, and so are all the other souls you constantly interact with. However, the “Amulet of Golden Dawn” and “Sword of Thorough Maiming” are illusions. If the rules of the game persuade you that you need to win at all cost, and this means breaking your relationships with actual people in the real world, or committing karmic violations that will harm or destroy your soul, in order to attain the Amulet of Golden Piss and win the throne of the kingdom of Kebabia, you will find out that winning and losing aren’t what they seem at the first glance. When you’re done “winning” and wake up in the real world, and see how much you actually fucked up, your perspective might change drastically. Also, there are things that require you to commit yourself in certain ways that go beyond this life in order to be allowed to attain something here. For instance, you commit your soul to the Creator of the World in order to be able to manifest “miracles” or achieve some state of consciousness while incarnated. Once you wake up, you find out that the commitment you made inside the illusion still binds you, and you permanently lost your freedom and spiritual sovereignty, and you are basically a slave now, or a battery that powers some in-world attractor. A trivial case would be selling your soul to Satan, either figuratively or literally, for some in-world achievement, and finding out that what you got is a mirage in the world of mirages, and what you sold is the only thing that has value.

So, when I say that there is no “here”, but also that this place is a mixture of reality and illusion, I mean that quite literally. This place is not real, but God is very real, and God is also reality underneath all else. God is “hardware”. Remove the veil of matter and you find out that you were in the mind of God, the entire time. The fact that the world is an illusion doesn’t mean it’s not rendered within the most holy and sacred reality. When I say there is no world, it means you are in fact in the mind of God. It doesn’t mean that everything is shit. It means the Amulet of Wealth and the Sword of Conquest are shit, but your co-player might be your actual wife or best friend from the real world created by God, and killing them in-game to get the amulet might be a really bad idea with real-world consequences. Also, since you’re really in the mind of God, everything you think and do has actual consequences in terms of your relationship with God, who is the highest of realities and greatest of achievements. God can be touched through real things even in an illusory world. That is the secret.

So, obviously, there’s much more to it than people initially think, and it’s both more complex and far simpler than you might imagine.


I recently talked about scripts and attractors, and I’m currently dealing with one that is probably the most obscure, weird and scary things I ever saw. You see, attainment of liberation/enlightenment during life is one. Specifically, the “during life” part.

Let’s first deal with the definition of the goal, according to Vedanta and Buddhism. Vedanta is not a singular teaching; advaita according to Shankaracarya defines liberation as a state of direct and perfect realization of oneness of atman and brahman, which burns up all seeds of future karma and all connections with the illusory world (maya). This is moksha, or mukti. If this is attained during life, it’s referred to as jivanmukti.

Dualistic teachings, like those of Ramanuja, Madhva and Caitanya, have much more in common with Islam and Christianity than they do with advaita Vedanta, which is probably because India was under Muslim occupation when they were developed, and the Muslims tended to violently eradicate philosophies that contradicted Islam. This is how we ended up with the versions of Hinduism that basically believe in a monotheistic deity and see liberation as ending up in heaven with this deity after death. In dualistic Vaishnavism, reincarnation is not seen as necessarily bad, because even deities seem to incarnate in this world occasionally, when it fits their purposes, but involuntary reincarnation caused by karmic necessity or attachment is. In general, being “conditioned” by anything is seen as bad, because it is the opposite of freedom. Basically, being born here because you wanted to follow God who was born here to do something is an act of unconditional free will, and as such it is fine; being born here because you were forced to by your past karma means your fate is conditioned and not free, and this is not fine. Essentially, the dualists see the goal as developing such spiritual refinement that you are no longer attracted by anything other than God, and resolving all kinds of past karmic obligations and not creating new ones, in order to prevent loss of freedom, or conditioning of will.

Buddhists are more complicated. Because nirvana is defined in ways that are completely inconsistent with normal human existence, they usually don’t think such a goal is attainable during life, but some mahayana schools, such as Zen, believe it is possible to achieve “insight” or “enlightenment” that changes the way one perceives things, and allows one to acquire something between detachment and change of perspective, where things are perceived very acutely and in the present moment, but the self-centered aspect of existence is lost. Between attempts to attain emptiness and attempts of clicking-into a change of perspective, it is quite obvious that Buddhists in general have no idea what nirvana is or how to attain it. This is understandable, because nirvana is defined as something you can’t really understand if you didn’t attain it, but I would say that Buddhist existence is most clearly defined as a confusion of paths and goals. Between trivial accomplishments and confusions, there is a very impressive path of Vajrayana, which I can describe only as “we don’t know what nirvana is, but there are Dakinis, there are higher levels of consciousness they lead us towards, there are blissful and scary spiritual things, and if we achieve those things it might not matter whether we understand nirvana or not, because our personal reality might be a mixture of reality and illusion, and nirvana might very well be the state where the mixture consists of 0% illusion and 100% reality, whatever that is”. This is a very honest approach that seems to have perfect alignment with my personal experience – basically, start somewhere, follow higher reality and avoid illusions and nonsense, and always take God over a good theology.

When we normalize this set by trimming away obvious non-accomplishments and trivialities, we end up with, basically, three viable definitions of enlightenment.

The first is that brahman is the only true reality, and what we are perceiving is a paradox of dual/relative existence which takes place when maya is superimposed upon brahman. When we permanently depart from this illusion of duality, we are free.

The second is that there is God, there are all sorts of spiritual entities of various degrees of purity and complexity, that inhabit all kinds of planes of existence according to their levels of sophistication, purity and attachment, and the goal is to attain greatest sophistication, purity and detachment which will allow us to dwell in the highest of the realms, together with God and his saints.

The third is that we live a complex mixture of reality and illusion, which includes our spiritual bodies, which can evolve in sophistication, complexity and purity; if we really try to make progress, we will be offered help by Dakinis, which are in essence angelic beings that manifest nirvana to us, in our limited condition, and if we follow their guidance our perception will consist of more reality and less illusion, which also means that our spiritual bodies will look less like a chaotic mess, and more like a jewel of vajra. Nirvana might just be a fancy name for a state of our spiritual body where it is hard, coherent and pure vajra, and solving actual problems and attaining actual goals is preferable to having a clean theory that explains everything, especially since our bodies just might be incapable of formulating a theory that is both accurate and useful, since a higher reality is by definition something that cannot be either contained or described in terms of a lower reality.

The great advantage of the third definition is that it is pragmatic, useful for attaining actual spiritual results, and useless for intellectual posturing. This can never be overstated, because it is my experience that advaita Vedanta produces incredible intellectual contentment by providing “final answers”, and the result is that its followers are basically stupid people with a very high opinion of themselves and their “Self-realization”. They obviously don’t look like they achieved anything near an actual ultimate reality, and it’s more like they fell into some kind of a trap for egotistical pricks. The second definition, that of dualistic Vedanta (which includes Christianity and Islam) has one important advantage over advaita, which is that it inherently doesn’t allow one to be content with his level of achievement during this life, if he has any brains in him, because it is obvious that the final judgment of his achievement will be made by God after this life, when his fate will be determined. This, by definition, should discourage fucking around and having any pride in one’s salvation or its certainty, but of course there are stupid people who manage to miss even that obvious fact.

But let’s return to the matter at hand, which is the global attractor I’m presently having the misfortune of dealing with. It deals with spirituality here. Even the people who believe that salvation is only determined after this life are not immune to its influence, because it deals with a very broad spectrum of “achievements”, spiritual ones included, and it is very easy to convince one that he needs to accomplish or attain something here as a pre-condition of salvation. This “here” part is the trap, and if it ensnares you, you will basically attempt to pull the entire world with you to God, because you will not want to let go. Bushmen of Kalahari catch monkeys that way, by offering them something they want, but in a very tight space, so that if they close their hand around the object of desire, they can’t pull out their hand and escape, so the choice is between having the object of desire and escaping. The monkeys invariably wish to have both – to escape with the thing they want – and they invariably end up as lunch.

People want to have the kingdom of heaven, but they want it here. They want enlightenment, here. They want supernatural powers, here. The here part creates a mantric contradiction which binds you to this world, and not only that, but it invests the energy of your efforts into feeding the importance, necessity and reality of this world, thus making it stronger, and you weaker. The funniest thing is, the same attractor that makes people want a Rolex or a Ferrari also deals with this. As strange and crazy as it seems, wanting a Rolex in this world and wanting to achieve liberation during life are equivalent attachments.

Also, if you want to achieve things here, you need to have its owner’s permission. What part of your very real soul are you willing to give Satan, the Prince of this world, in trade for an “achievement” in this illusory place? I figured that part out long ago, when I read something in Yogananda’s autobiography, about a saint who used atoms of his previously cremated physical body to manifest a temporary physical body in order to encourage disciples after his death. Why specifically the atoms of his body? Why not any atoms at random, when he has the power over arranging atoms into physical structures, anyway? Why not just condensed light? Why did Jesus have to resurrect his physical body, not just manifest another structure by condensing light into matter? Because they don’t have permission from Satan, but they do have permission over their physical body that they obtained under the original incarnation contract, and they hacked this arrangement. See the problem? Want something here, you have to come to Satan for it, and of course he’s going to give it to you, out of the kindness of his heart, without asking for anything in return. Right.

You need to let go. You are already on the other side, so there’s no reason to fear it. This place doesn’t actually exist, except as an illusion-generator. It does, however, block your vision and memory, feed you reflections of real things projected onto illusory things, and promote attachments. You don’t have to go to the spirit-world; your spirit never left it, because the best hidden secret of this place is that matter can’t actually contain spirit; your soul is not actually in the physical world, it’s still “up there”, only under an influence of a very strong and persistent illusion, and the part of why we seem to be stuck here is because we are deluded into thinking that we need it for spiritual purposes. We don’t. Let go.