Saturday, January 06, 2007

REMAINS OF IGNORANCE: On Grieving for God, Part II

Note: You may also wish to read Part I, and Part III.

In Theravadan Buddhism there were entire classes of questions that the Buddha refused to answer, merely saying that the answers would not hasten your way on the path: Are there gods? Have I lived before? Are there evolved beings in addition to humans? and the like.

Post-TM, this is the approach that I've chosen. I've put the entire question of my spirituality on hold for a few years while I let the post-TM dust settle and reexamine what are my personal beliefs -- and which are alien artifacts implanted during my time in TM.

For twenty-odd years I confused "spirituality" with a not-unpleasant dizzy sensation that I paid thousands of dollars to experience twice a day. I confused "ethics and morality" with doing whatever it took to get the money for my next TM course. Someone might lie dying on the sidewalk in front of me, but not only would I not stoop to help him, I'd be careful to not even touch him for fear his "stress" would pollute me.

That was the spirituality I was taught in the TM movement.

These days I'm somewhat less into exotic experiences between my ears, and rather more into old-fashioned "service." That's what my work in, on TM-Free Blog, and in my therapy practice is all about. Service and making amends to the same people I once so disdained if they refused to learn TM.

I figure if there is a god, and he or she doesn't value my service over my meditation-induced decreased blood lactate levels or increased alpha waves, I probably wouldn't be comfortable in his or her heaven anyway.

In a few years, I may feel differently. But for right now, this is comfortable.

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