Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Category: Social Commentary

Elbow to Elbow Eyes Astray

Electronic
hallucinations
crave our
attention.

While
cacophonous sound
competes for our
thoughts.

Elbow
to elbow
eyes
astray.

Sipping
comforting poisons
served
by the glass.

Drawn
together
by human
need.

Alone
together
in private worlds
of flashing screens.

Seeking
one another
elbow to elbow
eyes astray.

Mystics of Every Religion

When religion serves as a road to connecting with the infinite creator, it serves us well. When religious identity and its finite conception of the creator becomes the object of veneration, then religion becomes a dead end, and religious identity a form of idolatry. Idolatry being the worshiping of anything less than the infinite creator manifest in finite forms. So beware the idolatry of faith, and seek instead the infinite creator.

Mystics of every religion have more in common with one another than with the average adherents of their faith. When we sit in meditation or centering prayer, we sit in the same infinite field of awareness that is the one infinite creator. By returning to that silence time after time, we attune with the infinite field of awareness, and thus purify our hearts and minds.

When religion encourages a silent mind and open heart, one inevitably comes to express the universal humanistic values of the religion’s founder. These values become inverted when religious mythology encounters one with a raucous mind possessed of fixed ideals and a closed heart. Such a one has little interest in the infinite creator, and is more concerned with protecting, promoting, and expanding tribal identity as defined by a set of religious dogmas. In this way religion becomes an idol, and a dead end for spiritual aspirants.

Love Thy Enemy

The only way to destroy one’s enemies is to have none. There is no evil, only delusion. There are no enemies, only god. Only the heart’s capacity to disintegrate the differences between self and other-self can end the cycle of fear, hatred, and ignorance. That means blinking at neither the light nor dark, and looking even at one’s enemies and saying, “We are one body. You are me as well, even though you hate me and wish to destroy me.”

Love is the radical and unconditional acceptance of another being. It is the acknowledgement of other as self, and the acceptance of that other-self, even though they hate you or wish you harm. Avoid or withdraw from those beings who seek to harm you, but never make them your enemy.

 

 

I Believe in Progress

I believe in progress. Not necessarily at the social level, but at the level of the hearts and minds of each sentient being. As a pantheist the only difference I see between the creation and god is the illusion of separateness. The former being a fragment of the whole experiencing separateness to learn, grow, and enrich the creation/creator. This perspective assumes a certain evolution of consciousness/soul from the elements, to animals, then humans, and ultimately beyond. Each stage with its own lessons learned over many incarnations, as god becomes individuated consciousness on its long path back to source.

This perspective views the human incarnative experience as the stage of self-awareness working on the lessons of love. Love being the means by which we pierce the illusion of separateness and remember that all is one. What comes next is indeed the Kingdom of God, but this perspective requires each individual to build it in their own heart and mind. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is already among us.

This perspective believes each individual is responsible for their own salvation; that salvation is the work of many lifetimes, and that all beings ultimately find their way back home. We live on a planet of incarnative humans at all different stages of their journey, and the free will of each must be respected to learn their lessons at their own pace. Unfortunately, the instrument of instruction is suffering, and when the values of souls who haven’t learned the lessons of love takes over a society suffering ensues.

While I can work towards building a more loving society through politics and other mundane means, when the majority of people in my society insist on learning the lessons of love in a different way, then that is as it must be. The question for me and my journey is do I stay and witness the suffering and alleviate it where I can, or do I find a society more in alignment with my values?

Morning Meditation

Human civilization will only survive with great love or great control. As the instruments of self destruction multiply with each passing day, we are confronted with a future where right action will emanate from the open heart of every citizen, or wrong action will be monitored, rooted out, and controlled. We have both the seeds of a new human consciousness with an expanded sense of self, community, and empathy along with a surveillance/police state about to fall into the hands of the most dangerous organization on Earth. I choose love.

Growing Our Hearts

My heart has been hurting over the last few days, but maybe this will provide an opportunity for it to grow. This was a complicated election, with lots of ideological, economic, and sociological components. But at the meta level it was a choice between love versus hate. Inclusion versus exclusion. Empathy versus resentment. Love, inclusion, and empathy lost at the ballot box, but must never lose in our hearts and daily lives. It is tempting to hate, resent, and exclude those who brought this about, but then we become the thing we revile. Hate cannot defeat hate, only love can do that. Darkness cannot defeat darkness, only light can do that. We win by living our values more fiercely and unconditionally than ever before. We win by loving, including, and empathizing even with those we find offensive.

Morning Meditation

My first thoughts after my morning meditation and prayer for peace, was that I hope every group of people that has ever been oppressed in this country votes today. I am a white male in a heterosexual relationship, and if only my cohorts voted a neo-fascist who speaks brazenly about nuclear war, thinks climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, and has earned the endorsement of the KKK and Neo-Nazis would become President. If only white straight men voted, our country and potentially the planet would commit suicide by politics, based on ideas and hatreds that belong in the 20th century. So in addition to peace, I pray that every group that has ever felt the sting and bears the memory of oppression, hatred, and marginalization votes today. I pray that portion of our collective consciousness that knows the consequences of fear, hatred, and ignorance rejects the ideas that so many of my cohorts wish to carry forward into the future.

A Western Heretic

I am a western heretic; having lost faith in the religion of my people, that constant technological progress is necessary and universally good.  Our creations reflect our inner nature, and we cannot escape spiritual infancy with technological maturity.

We built a world on the foundation of the ego’s never ending want. A world premised, on the externalization of identity and a rejection of the present moment. We built a world to divert our anxious minds, and give comfort to our decaying flesh. Abandoning inward seeking for outward buying, selling, and coveting.

The seeker became the consumer, and from cradle to grave remained an infant all his days.

We got lost in time; mourning the traumas of the past, and intermittently dreading and hoping for a non-existent future. Abdicating the present moment, which upon inspection, is never lacking.

We built a world that produces misery, in all its varied and sundry forms. Vainly hoping that one form will be better than the last, and will satisfy for a time the ego’s endless craving.

We are ugly inside; filled with envy, greed, fear, and hate. So we built an ugly world, that reflects our inner nature, in amplified and varying forms.

Kind Hearts and Sweet Dispositions

My visits to Buddhist and Unitarian spiritual communities over the past month have served as a much needed boost to my faith in humanity. Trump and his followers are on everyone’s mind, even as we reach for that which is most sacred. The reactions are uniformly quite horror and confusion. “I don’t understand, they seem to live in a different world,” is a frequent refrain.

Trump is an avatar of a mindset and spiritual disposition that is diametrically opposed to these sweet seekers. He embodies fear, hate, and ignorance; whereas they cultivate love, grace, and empathy. He seeks to build walls, where they seek to build bridges between themselves and their fellow beings. We all awaken this life or the next, and must sometimes wonder in darkness to know and love the light.

While I strive to love and understand by brothers and sisters lost in fear, hate, and ignorance; I am eternally grateful for the kind hearts and sweet dispositions of those fellow seekers for whom darkness is an unfathomable affliction.

Into the Void

Occasionally I break the cardinal rule of anyone who values their sanity and peace of mind; I read the comments section of news articles. An while it can be a jarring and disheartening experience, I encourage you to do the same.

It reminds me that I have the privilege of living a manicured life. Over the years I have cultivated a circle of friends that I both cherish and enjoy, and have meticulously groomed my social media feeds to the point that everything I see is thoughtful, informative, or uplifting. As a result I have attained an artificial sense of the world being comprised primarily of thoughtful and intelligent people with good intentions.

Then I stare into the void of the comments section, and all my pretty illusions crumble like gossamer in a fire. The depth of the fear, hate, ignorance, and hysteria I see varies depending on the news source, but is always quantifiably present. What world do these people live in I wonder, surely it is not the same as mine. Who are these aliens that have such drastically different understandings of science, morality, and justice?

Then I take it a step further, and visit these aliens on their home worlds. In a click, I am on their social media profiles, looking at pictures, prior posts, and their self-identifiers. These aliens are human after all. They have families they love, friends, jobs, hobbies and passions.

They are human and we share a common Earth, but their manicured world is much different than mine. Their faces have a lot in common, old, white, and working class. Much like the family I love, but studiously avoid discussing politics and religion with. In these moments I feel empathy for even the most vicious troll. I am reminded that we are not so different after all, and that only time and education divide us.

As Thanksgiving approaches many of us will be seeing relatives who may or may not be like the comments trolls that degrade our faith in humanity. Perhaps this year, it would be useful to seek to further understand your similarities, instead of just avoiding your differences. You may not agree on politics and religion, but you’ll certainly have more empathy for these aliens at the dinner table.