Wednesday 14 December 2016

Unfollow The Crowd

I once wrote: “When consciousness has not evolved through life, people tend to develop a juvenile emotional need for a patriarchal figure which represents a source of authority. Whether it’s a president, a boss, a religious leader, or even a God(s), the figures are accordingly looked upon as powerful, protective, comforting, and dependable entities to be trusted and followed.

I equally wrote: “Follow no crowd; and a crowd may eventually follow you.

The following is a further elaboration regarding both reflections — with a focus on the religious and “spiritual”

Some of the middlemen who claim to be closer to God than all the rest of humanity realise that they can outwit their followers by making them believe that the more you serve them, the more you are pleasing God. Needless to say, many folks throughout history bought this balderdash. This is not a mere reflection, but a truth. 

As Allan Watts eloquently reminded us: “Anybody who tells you that he has some way of leading you to spiritual enlightenment is like somebody who picks your pocket and sells you your own watch. Of course if you didn’t know you had a watch, that might be the only way of getting you to realize.”

Now, this is not to say that all men are on the same spiritual frequency or fathom the true oneness they share with the fundamental substance of nature in the same way; because they are not. This is also not to say that some teachers cannot help us along our journey; because they certainly can.

But rather, it shows that for many of the followers, having a middleman or teacher or guru becomes their only way to add spiritual significance into their lives and to feel whole. As such, they throw away that responsibility by counting on another entity. This renders them mentally and emotionally immature — losing their freedom and critical thinking in the process while never achieving wholeness. On the other hand, propelled by the dogmas, rules, and hierarchy they embody, when the fake gurus notice the submission of such followers they begin taking advantage of it.

I remember coming across a photo on Facebook of a group of men sitting in some Sufi gathering with the caption: He who does not have a sheikh (a guru, a master, whatever the name is) his master is the devil. Do you see how disempowering it is to live like that? Always needing a master to set you straight, to hold your hand. This, by the way, is a belief of someone who considers himself to be a Sufi; so one can only imagine how atavistic it could get with more dogmatic, fundamental sects.

To mention a few instances showing how belief in
hundreds-of-year-old traditions can close up the mind, some sheikhs — Islamic religious figures in the 21st century are still debating if women should be allowed to drive. Also if men should pee while sitting down or standing up or if it is halal to say Merry Christmas to Christians. I kid you not, and I will stop here because it could get comical.

Another equal reminder is those self-proclaimed Christians millionaire preachers who fly around 65-million-dollars private jets preaching to the masses that they should pay them money so that Jesus would love them. Watch the YouTube video of televangelists Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis half-wittingly trying to defend their fortunes. Them, too, claim to have that special connection with God which allows them to speak to Him at will, implying that most other people cannot. And the masses believe these con-artists and pay money to listen to them, for Jesus and charity.

In reality, this is how a significant number of adults think when it comes to spiritual matters, which shows how religion can indeed be used as a political system devised to control and oppress. These followers are grown men and women who have probably been conditioned since childhood that you can buy heaven and that you need a mediator who is closer to God and knows more than you to get there — by idolising centuries-old scriptures and mimicking the experiences of others. Or possibly this unilluminated notion came on later in life out of fear of death and hell. 

The truth remains, when you follow people you cease to follow truth. Unless you learn how to stop depending on middlemen, by ceasing to seek that which is outside yourself to give you validation and meaning and spiritual significance, you will likely spend your entire life believing that you are just another drop in the ocean; mindlessly following the herd of drops, as a mere insignificant and separated creation, plagued by a lethal poor-little-me mindset which is taking you further away from the Tao.

Conversely, if you come to realise that you are connected to the whole, therefore you are the entire ocean — Youniverse — you will accordingly live a grand cosmic life. That is simply Self-Actualisation. It all lies in our perception, which in turn stems from our conception of the world we’re living in.

You see, there is a difference between the essence of obedience
and the essence of morality and integrity. The first is doing what we are told regardless of what is right, while the second is doing what is right regardless of what we are told. 

Further, being good and having morals has nothing to do with your nationality, religion, skin colour, or creed. It simply depends on the level of empathy you possess — how you treat others. For it is not our beliefs that matter in the end, it’s our behaviour.

Realising the true significance of our insignificance is one essential step to see beyond the veil. Truly knowing thyself means you eventually recognise that we do not need those we think are more spiritually evolved in order to give us meaning. One could learn from them, but it never has to reach the level of idolatry, simply because it becomes counter-intuitive to what spirituality inherently is.

Authentic teachers who help your growth and evolution show you where to look without telling you what to see. What they can do is open the door, but you must enter by yourself. Because the sacred sanctuary is nowhere other than within the self.

 In fact, teachers do not even have to be human. If we are attentive enough, nature is a teacher, animals and plants are teachers and so are situations.

Much like the connection between the observer and the observed in the quantum realm, the divine spark that we seek is already within us. There is no separateness. Allow it to shine through you unobstructed and it will eternally light your way.

Follow no crowd, and a crowd may eventually follow you.

 Do you follow?

“I am in you and I am you. No one can understand this until
he has lost his mind.”
— Rumi

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