Tag: liberation

Before enlightenment, manage chronic disease and make the best of adversity. After enlightenment, manage chronic disease and make the best of adversity.

The most frightening thing I’ve had to accept in my life is that there is no liberation on Earth except liberation from death and rebirth. I thought that spirit would liberate me from the pain of my body, but that is not the way. However, the process by which we struggle can move us closer to divinity or not. God is selective and changes the path from time to time. Right now, in my view, if you want to struggle the right way, look to the Black American struggle mechanisms of the last 400 years: Spirituals, The Blues, Ecstatic Gospel music, improvisation, and protest, to name a few. From the utter darkness of being a chattel slave to then being a second-class citizen was born a new light that is now available to everyone. Add in psychedelics, and you got a good Gumbo going!

We are born into prison, and we will die in prison. Earth is a prison, the Sun is the warden. Pardons are available, but you have to go your own way. Society herds us away from the possibility of a pardon on purpose. Only those who go their own way will be rewarded. Otherwise, just get used to living in prison. And you can find ways of getting a lot of nice stuff in your cell and have the best cell in the block, but you’re still in prison. This sounds unbelievably harsh to many people, but that is only because most people have been told that they are free and have no chains. Those of us who have seen the bottom of this reality and have been beaten by metaphorical prison guards can see past the illusion.

This was Buddha’s message. Samsara is prison and Maya is the delusion that we are not in prison. Some people have such nice prison cells that they assume that this cannot be prison. They work tirelessly to arrange their prison cell to make it “nice” enough so that they forget they are in prison. Then, one day, a guard will come in and remove all of their property. Instead of realizing that they were wrong and that no one is outside of the prison in this plane of existence, they go mad trying to blame other prisoners for making life seem like a prison.

There is a famous verse from the New Testament of the Christian Bible where Jesus was asked by a wealthy man what is the best way for him to get into Heaven and escape prison. Jesus replied “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). Jesus was telling him that being impoverished is a great way of seeing reality for the prison that it is. He was telling the prisoner with the nicely furnished cell to clear out his prison cell to the bare minimum. He would then be able to see the bars on the window and the light beyond the bars, which is true reality.

I understand how painful and lonely it can be to see oneself as imprisoned in a painful reality with no hope of liberation beyond death. I have strained against the bars on my prison cell window, hoping to break them to run free. I have attempted like mad to find an escape route from the prison. My life has been very harsh at times. I have a multitude of labels even one of which would be a heavy cross to bear. Living as a second class citizen and having a chronic pain condition and chronic fatigue condition requires me to struggle daily just to survive. I attempted suicide many times until I realized that I would just be back in the prison after dying a self-murderer, filled with hatred for my Earthly existence and self.

God is real, but the path is obscured and you will be taunted mercilessly for following it. This is the esoteric truth of the Passion of Christ where Jesus was made to carry the heavy cross while others jeered at him, whipped him, and deprived him of any semblance of comfort. The cross represents the intersection of the spirit (the vertical line) with the limitations of material reality (the horizontal line). Pursuing God requires us to fully accept that life is a prison, but in the example of Christ, we can see how others will fight like mad to shut up those who dare to say that their nicely appointed prison cell is meaningless. Jesus was saying that their fancy cell was like a bow wrapped around a piece of shit. And they were not amused to say the least. But those with the barest of prison cells followed him. They did not have the delusion of those “on the top” in this reality.

Nearly five years ago, I was given a pardon, but I didn’t realize what it was until now. I still sought escape even though I was not suicidal anymore. The notion that one can be fully healed on Earth if we just get our prison cell nice enough is a really common delusion. There is an irreducible amount of pain and suffering that we must bear on this planet. However, we can accept that pain and not let it drive us mad. We can see the prison cell bars as not really threatening at all. We can see that through acceptance of the dark aspects of life, they lose their fangs and cease being horrifying. I have internalized this acceptance slowly over the last five years, but our society makes it difficult to have this level of acceptance because most people are obsessed with the delusion that they can escape the cross of harsh reality on Earth.

I still find it hard to accept that I am fully saved from death because I still have to endure such suffering, but I don’t know what human life is not mired in suffering. Yes, I can walk the line and do my best to attenuate my pain through self-discipline and acting on wisdom and not fear. But I will continue to be tested, strained, and challenged until I die, and this is fine. I have gained wisdom and peace in place of fear and madness. Today, I am sitting in bed, my nerves firing what feels like electric shocks throughout my body. The title of this article is a reference to a Zen aphorism that says “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” We might achieve total enlightenment, but our body, like a cow that we must care for, requires maintenance and care, and this will persist until we die. So today, I’m caring for my body, in prison, enduring the literal pain of this existence. But I bow to that pain as a teacher and guide. And I chop wood and carry water just like any other day.

David said in Psalm 23: “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.” He did not say that he will be free of evil. He said that he will not fear any evil that he encounters. We all live in the valley. We can climb a mountain or build a tower to the heavens, but we are still in the valley. I know why I suffer. I suffer so that I grow into oneness with the divine. I have remembered my divine origin through the process of enduring suffering. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato asserted in his philosophy of anamnesis that true knowledge is gained by remembering our divine origin. I have remembered it. I wished with gigantic fervor to return to it. But I was denied. I internalized this rejection as a judgment on my character.

We are all prisoners, and yet, in being imprisoned, we have the ability to bring the light of the divine to a dark world. In this way, we are also born as unlit candles, may you find your fire, so that you may see, and others around you may see as well. The more people who have burning wicks, the more pleasant this prison life will be.

What is Real Christianity? It is Total Liberation, and it is Illegal.

The early Christians were a radical gnostic liberation cult that was transformed into the Catholic Church by the Roman empire. All of the liberating aspects were removed and transformed into a Pope worshipping society. The Catholic Church has been garbage from the beginning. The Protestant church is only moderately better. Jesus, if that was his real name, taught his followers how to exit the simulation. It was too much for the people invested in worldly power. You can learn this liberating technique today, but it has been successfully stigmatized as mental illness, antisocial behavior, and dangerous psychology. Believing that material reality is all there is is the actual dangerous belief. I’ll give you a clue about what leads to liberation. Psychedelic drugs help. Androgyny helps. Hearing your conscience speak in your head helps. Energy work definitely helps.

You can be liberated, but you might be hated in the process. That’s just the trade-off for peace of mind and salvation.

Deep lessons learned through loss, the Reader’s Digest version.

I think one of the best lessons I’ve learned while living in hardship is that you can always see the stars. You can always see the heavens, even when you are trapped in the mud or the gutter. You can feel real divinity and happiness and joy no matter how poor you are. You can feel peace no matter how many walls exist in front of you. Usually, we do that through our profession. We reach for the stars and find inner purpose in life through small tasks of seemingly benign averageness. I reach because I need to. I’ve survived so much deprivation. So, I have been broken down by grief. And now, I feel liberated. And so I reach. And I feel another hand reaching down.