Friday, January 4, 2013

Believe It or Not

Rote Teaching and “The System”
For many, the material I and others write and speak about (suppressed emotion, “how life works,” “far-out”/“far-in” experiences, etc.) can be unsettling.

But why?

For starters, why not look at the education system. What happens when we go to school?

Here are some textbooks, here are some data sheets, here’s your lesson. Sit at this desk and take notes. Memorize, memorize, memorize, so that you can vomit it all out onto an exam in a few weeks. If you pass, you’ll be able to do just what I’m doing in a few short years.

In those few short years, guess what those rote memory students are doing… More or less formally, they’re "teaching" from rote memory. Not so much, if at all, from intuition, understanding, experience, or wisdom, but from repetitive conditioning. As a result, they have little to pass on that is True or personally embodied because they know little that is True or personally embodied. A paraphrase of Matthew 15:14 makes it self-evident where this leaves future students: If the blind lead the blind, will not both fall into a pit?

What rote “teaching” does is create in us a heaping pile of intellectual data—statistics and beliefs—about “how life is,” “who we are,” “why we are here,” “what we ‘should’ be doing,” and so on. Few are they who ever realize the illusion they’ve become tangled up in.

No better is the fact that these statistics and beliefs point us in a single direction—toward what works for “The System.”

I’m not trying to get into conspiracy by saying this so much as to point out a simple truth. The System, rather than allowing us to be the unique, creative beings we are, has created a certain mold from which it has demanded that the whole world’s population “fit or be fitted...or die.” The System has told us what’s “right,” what’s “wrong,” what’s “good,” what’s “bad”—we’ve been given everything, and we've mostly, if not wholly, accepted it as true (even the contradictory stuff).

Believe This, Don’t Believe That
Let’s consider: What does every grade school curriculum offer?

Math, reading, science, social studies, language arts—the basics. The intellectual basics. Over and over and over and over again.

Interestingly enough, even though grade school takes up half our waking hours in our most pivotal years of childhood through young adult development, there are no courses on topics such as emotional integration and spiritual development. (And forget about holistic dieting. When our government wants to pass off ketchup as “a serving of vegetables” in school cafeterias, you know we’re in trouble.) Even courses that help open our creative side, like art and music, are each relegated to one, 50-minute class each week (if offered at all).

Point to Ponder: Why is it that we have two brain hemispheres, both of which are equal yet very different in function (concrete vs. abstract), and our schools seek to over-develop the intellectual side while effectively suppressing the creative side? I mean, not only is this “neuro-dualism” common knowledge, but it is a well-established fact that (income-making abilities be damned) people who focus on their creative passion(s) are more free, more happy, more peaceful, more open-minded; they have more zest and love for life. Yet our education system pretty much blows this off to instead force feed us the same rote, intellectual data year after year after year. Why do you suppose this is?

What we’re seeing here is a system created and perpetuated which pushes certain areas and negates others. In our minds, and thus in our society, such discrimination creates beliefs about what is “kosher” and what is “taboo”; what is “acceptable,” “true,” and “right,” and what is “inappropriate,” “wrong,” and “false.”

Making a Connection
Let’s keep this all in mind now because I want to relate it to the very first thing I said—that writing of this nature can be unsettling to many readers…

When we go to school we know we’re going to have to take a math course or two or 12. Generally speaking, we don’t make an issue about this. We take the courses. If we don’t understand something, we ask questions. We do sample problems and homework to substantiate the claims made during class. The next day, if the previous lesson is still not understood, we politely ask questions to make sense of it. Maybe we even get tutoring if a concept is particularly hard to grasp.

Essentially, what is being taught is accepted as damn near, if not completely, true.

But what happens if one such as myself comes along and sees someone—Fred, his name is—who is well educated only intellectually. In other words, school was a breeze; but emotionally and spiritually Fred suppresses much and self-realizes little.

And I notice that Fred eats like a horse. It's clear that he does so because he's got suppressed childhood drama to resolve. Gluttony helps him take his mind off of his inner suffering. (In terms of The System, can you see why Big Education doesn’t teach holistic healing? From where would Big Food and Big Pharma make their profits?)

Can you imagine how Fred would take this were I to suggest it to him, perhaps even if he specifically asked for such input?

Clearly, Fred doesn’t want to face his issues. Not only has his whole upbringing told him to avoid his problems and that someone will save him, but he’s also deathly afraid of what he might find if he were to take an inward look.

You see...Even if indirectly, we’ve been told that a savior will come, that the self is not the creator; that we are victims of a plagued world, of an angry god. We’re of the belief that we are to steer clear of whatever is on the inside.

But isn’t this a bit peculiar? How can we be so hardcore about learning every itty-bitty physical detail about the operating principles of the world around us, but we want nothing to do with knowledge of the operating principles of the world within us? Of the creator within us—be it as basic as a clay sculptor or as godly as the shaper of reality?

Sample problems in arithmetic? Nom, nom, nom!
“Sample problems” in emotional healing? What? Get that shit away from me!

Even many of those who do try “sample problems” approach their issues from a dead-end angle. They accept only the superficial “help” that isn’t really help at all but still offers that momentary bout of ego-pleasure in “doing something.” (Like reading “Prevention” magazine.) They feign an open mind, though their wall of beliefs remains solidly intact.

Hardened Beliefs, Kill Shots, and Unpreparedness or Innecessity
Sometimes this information is read by folks who claim to already “know.” Regardless, they still say they want to understand it. But as it is, these individuals are not usually ready to soften or release prior beliefs in order to see the sense in alternate ideas. Although a desire is claimed outwardly, the unconscious will create the circumstances that prevent the loss of “who I am.” Prior “knowing” (i.e.: hardened belief) gives the non-believer reason to avoid doing “homework,” to avoid deeper internal questioning, and to avoid “tutoring.”

Then some others (maybe the same people) expect a “kill shot” or a “silver bullet” (sorry, not the Coors Light kind). They want something quick and snappy that will make such a perspective “legitimate.” One where they can get what is suggested, again, without the “homework,” questions, or “remedial education.”

These people tend to forget/ignore that we learn basic mathematics, for example, over the course of many years. There’s way too much information and complexity to expect to sit down for 10 or 20 minutes or even a few hours and integrate it all. The belief, as an egoic cover-up, seems to be that new/different perspectives should be grasped with ease. If it’s not easily understood and in parallel to common belief, it must be garbage.

Or, maybe the one trying to understand just isn’t ready or meant to understand (at least not up to a certain, likely unknown, point). In college, I took Calculus I three times. I never passed. While some may look down on me for this, I could care less. My present awareness has revealed to me that passing calculus (and all the other classes I’d dropped or failed) would actually have been a hindrance to the life path I needed to align with for my highest good, for my soul’s very purpose in this incarnation. I needed all that “failure” (i.e.: lack of understanding) for the attainment of the numerous spiritual lessons born of it. My “failure” wasn’t failure at all, but abundant blessings in waiting.

The Contradictory Stuff
The final area I’d like to comment on is beliefs in opposition.

In the 7 Levels of Wealth Manifestation,” Margaret Lynch mentions the self-sabotage in simultaneously holding the two beliefs: Life is lack, and I’m never going to be like that (“that” meaning, like our parents who lived in lack).

After all, aren’t they paradoxical? Aren’t they an impossibility if paired? If we believe in the first, we should be poor. If we believe the second, we should be on our way to making it rich, if not already there. Yet we believe them both equally.

The result is that every time we manifest for ourselves the opportunity to “hit it big” through the power of the latter belief, we dash it away via the former. We have, through subconscious co-creation with the universe, a mind designed for self-sabotage.

Trying to grasp alternate thought works on a similar principle. For example, as a child one may acquire a belief: Miracles are for Christians only. Or The power of God resides only in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. When I come along saying that I no longer follow Christianity, that this power is within each of us, that miracles can happen to anyone, even if I were to offer scientific and experiential, written and video evidence, one’s subconscious beliefs will attempt to override it all.

This can’t be true. He’s deluded. There has to be something he’s overlooking. He’s been reading too many books on the occult. It’s magic. It’s satanic. He’s been drinking too much Kool-Aid. Take your pick. There’s always a justification.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve shared words with another, whether my own words or someone else’s, only to be cursed or gaped at like my face were melting. Like, John, what planet are you from?

All the while, I’m wondering how someone can’t get what I’m saying because it’s so obvious; it’s so simplistic.

But it’s the way so many of us have allowed ourselves to become—hyper-intellectual, belief-oriented, outward-facing—that makes us totally blind to what is right before us; that drives us to make complex problems out of that which just is—out of that which doesn’t even need a solution because there had never been a problem until we’d created one.

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Multiple Synchronicities
I was about ready to publish this when I noticed that something didn’t feel quite right about it. As a result I spent a few hours trying to modify the beginning section into sensibility and cohesion. I knew I was close, but I felt drained.

The heck with it. I’ll come back and finish it later.

Let’s go back in time 24 hours…

Last night I went to Barnes and Noble. I normally avoid B&N because they’re expensive and have a poor book selection (…although they do sell LEGOs!), but I’d received a gift card for Christmas.

On my journey, I noticed a book called Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening (by various authors). Considering my experience on 12/12/12 and after skimming it over, the book felt like a keeper so I held on to it.

Looking around some more, I thought about getting a book by Neale Donald Walsch. Not seeing any, I checked the B&N in-store inventory computer…Nothing. Are you kidding? So I walked back to the “New Age” section.

I saw Be Here Now by Ram Dass, a book I’d considered in the past. When I flipped it over and saw the US price of $15.15, Canadian price of $20.20, and a short barcode of “51515,” I knew it was also a keeper. I’ve been seeing 1 and 5 combos like crazy and I’d seen “2020” on a license plate on the drive to the store. (“2020” was my word count just at the time I stopped typing in order to grab the Amazon link.)

Well...I set it back on the shelf. (In part, I’d felt that I’d save cash and buy it on Amazon since I’d received a gift card for there, too. In other part, well, never you mind…)

I then walked toward the front to pick up the Dilbert 2013 Day-To-Day Calendar for my dad. Feeling that I didn’t want to get only Kundalini Rising, I walked back to the “New Age” section…And found a small collection by NDW that supposedly didn’t exist. After selecting The Only Thing That Matters, I got in the checkout line.

The hell with Amazon. This doesn’t feel right.

I walked over to the shelf once again, put NDW back, and picked up Ram Dass.

Fast forward to now…

After I walked away from my computer in exhaustion, I sat on my bed and began reading the first pages of Be Here Now. The same pages where Ram Dass discusses how, in his earlier academic teaching days, he and everyone around him, of a highly credentialed, intellectual nature, were doing nothing more than merely relearning, rewriting, and restating everything that their predecessors had learned, rewritten, and restated themselves. As were the students he and fellow professors were teaching.

If the blind lead the blind, will not both fall into a pit?

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