Friday, October 29, 2010

Learning to flow in meditation to fearlessness and relaxing into the feeling that everything is unfolding perfectly.

I wanted to share something meditation as a process of entering into fearlessness, to present what meditation might be in relationship to our feeling side. Sometimes meditation is looking at from the view of calming the mind by letting go ...of thinking. When we meditate there is sometimes an LA freeway of thoughts running through our internal highways. This kind of mind cannot be forced into mental silence. This kind of intention only drives the thoughts into the unconscious where they manifest in turbulent dreams. It is wiser to feel the emotional tone of the thoughts and notice that they are processing a lot of fear. When we accept that we are afraid and anxious, then the mind starts to calm down. When we can look at our fear, own our fear, embrace our fear, and become friends with our fear, then we relax even more. In a paradoxical way, we are no longer afraid of our fear, we are no longer trying to become fearless. If we try to become fearless, then we are in resistance and actually get more stuck in the pattern of fear, and our thoughts race faster and faster in an effort to lash out at something that seems responsible for the fear. It is really perfect that this kind of meditation awareness can possibly arise when everyone might be dressing up as their favorite fear and wandering the streets on one side and everyone is campaigning against what they fear might happen politically.

When thoughts are felt and we acknowledge the fear tone about them, then the intellectual details of our fears become secondary to what is being felt. We do not analyze in meditation, we do not add thoughts to thoughts. Simply feeling the fear and noticing how fear was trying to escape itself and is no longer doing so is already a deep relaxation. We notice that analysis and debate are driven by subtle fears. The thoughts slow down naturally as we notice this. Ideally, if we have not already done so, our breathing reflects this process and also calms down into deep and full inhales and soft and slow exhales with gentle transitions of one turning into the other, rather than holding our breath anywhere.

If we are sensitive enough, we will notice certain thoughts are more core to the movement of fear than others. Most thoughts are reactive and merely embellish the fear, but some thoughts are very core to the fear, like a whirling vortex, like a tornado, and having a kind of empty center to itself. The energy of the tornado is fueled by a subtle sense of self clinging, of feeling a need to protect oneself as a body and mind, as a self identity, with all its system of attachments, possessions, resistances, and opinions about what is right and what is wrong. This subtle self clinging is behind a kind of constructed "me", our personality, and which holds the energy of anger, fear, and sadness. Again the secret is acceptance that this is what we have made ourselves to be and what we sometimes keep reinforcing through our seeking, latching on to things, and resisting other things, especially on the level of thoughts and emotions, anchoring in the sensation of being hurt and feeling pain, and not wanting to repeat a karma rerun and yet doing this very often both internally and externally as the tornado keeps spinning in circles.

The paradox is that we can release the whole energy of this tornado by surrendering into the fear happening, by releasing our resistance to what is feared. The object of the fear, the mental pictures of past atrocities and future apocalypses, are, as the Buddha said, "empty of a solid self", they will probably not ever really happen and if they did they would pass away very quickly anyway. It is the fear that makes what it resists feel solid and real, just as it makes the constructed self identity feel solid and real. It is, in some sense, this fear tornado that makes our world. When the fear is met inside and we surrender to our Golgotha, we die very quickly, and we notice a level inside us that cannot die. It is silent, eternal, peaceful, empty, clear, wise, compassionate, and creative without needing to manifest anything to show that it is creative. It may feel like a leap to go from the depths of fear into fearlessness so easily, but when a tornado stops whirling, a fever does calm down, and the landscape feels both quiet and cleansed.

I do find the metaphor of a tornado to be a good one, because inside the eye of the tornado is a quiet empty space, nothing solid, nothing that seems real, and yet this empty space is more real than the tornado itself, which is just a frenzied activity which disappears completely in one moment of not doing. In a strange way, one does meet a "new heaven and a new Earth" after our tornado apocalypse, or, as one poet said, "both a new world and the old world made explicit" or as the Upanishads said, "the ancient yet evernew". The "tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" comes to an end, and the silent Earth remains. The Buddha conquered all the forces of Mara by simply touching this Earth.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Anthem to Meditation 24/40

Thus I had heard, Guatama Buddha was fasting upon one grain of rice a day for six months. He was pushing himself too hard. With great concentration and dedication to his meditative discipline, he became skin and bones. His skull almost protruded from his skin. When doing walking meditation, when trying to cross a tiny stream, he tripped and fell into the water and almost drowned. He struggled hard with his weakened body and finally carried himself to the back to solid ground. Looking at his reflection in the water, he saw that he discipline only carried him closer to physical death. "If I cannot easily cross this tiny stream," he thought to himself, "How can I cross the great of sorrow? How can I help liberate all sentient beings from their all sorrow?" At that moment, relaxed all effort, and in the silence of a receptive mind, the truth of the middle way dawned within his understanding. He saw that renouncing and struggling against all pleasure was not the way. He saw that indulging and trying to have the most pleasure possible was also not the way. He saw that becoming caring to himself and others, being sensitive to what is truly needed and truly nourishes, giving to himself and to others what is needed, no more and no less than what is needed, it was possible to grow beyond the grip of sorrow and attain supreme perfect enlightenment. He further reflected, "I have struggled with all the meditative tools that all my teachers have given me to work with, fighting experience of sorrow every moment, waging war against sorrow, storming its castle, scaling its walls, hammering through each and every barrier it placed in my path, all this effort has only exhausted me and sorrow still reigns upon this world, people are born in pain, experience loss of love, cry in grief when they lose those they love, one by one are killed by death, cry in agony when tortured and hurt, feel pain when harsh words are spoken to them, feel pain when they are deprived food, when they have limbs cut off, when disease befalls them, when wars destroy their villages, when monarchs make them slaves, when wild animals gnaw at their bodies, when robbers plunder their wealth, when earthquakes, floods, and fires wipe out their crops, and when meteors crash and annihilate vast regions of their lands. I realize that I do not even know what this thing called sorrow even is. I have been too busy fighting and resisting sorrow to ever feel what it truly is. What is this thing called sorrow? How does it arise, how does it abide, how does it change, and what makes it finally dissolve? What are the causes and conditions that makes sorrow thrive? What are the causes and conditions that allow sorrow to dissolve? Is sorrow necesary to human life, animal life, and cosmic life? Do all beings experience sorrow? Is it possible to cut the root of sorrow so deeply and so completely that it never arises ever again? Does sorrow serve any useful purpose? Can any positive purpose that sorrow has be replaced by something that does not have strain, agony, or hardship within itself? How can I understand what sorrow is? How can I penetrate its mystery and power to touch its essence?"

As Buddha silently contemplated his question, Tara disguised as the cowgirl Sujata magically appeared carrying rice boiled in sweet milk, a healing remedy, to bring the tired, ill, and worn out Buddha back to life. The Buddha was on the verge of dying, yet whenever anyone is on a sincere quest to find the truth of life, then life itself will bring what is needed, guard against the foolishness of our quest, bring us back on track, and heal us when needed. Tara, one with this wish of life, came to the Buddha, healed him, talked with him, and encouraged him. Fortified by this contact, the Buddha resolved, "I will not stop my meditation upon sorrow until I have attained supreme perfect enlightenment." With this confidence, born of Tara, he sat down in a perfect lotus, formed the mudra of perfect peace, turned his two physical eyes inward to his 3rd eye, and simply watched the movement of sorrow, without clinging or resisting anything, but reflecting everything perfectly, nonreactively, and impartially, like a mirror, curious as a child, as patient as a mature adult, and as sincere as a seeker of truth who knows that he or she does not know, and humble enough to learn.

He simply watched the movement of sorrow, saw the 12 nidanas in action, feeding each other, reinforcing each other. He saw his sense organs contact sense objects, activate samskaras in his subconscious mind, trigger an internal reaction, inspire craving, resistence, and delusion, breeding unconscious activity, giving rise to an isolated sense of self, forming a destiny of struggle, exhausting himself, feeling sickness, old age, death, and rebirth. His memory opened up. He saw lifetime after lifetime of cause and effect, linking all events within his lifestream, propelling him to an unknown future where even more sorrow was guaranteed. Little bursts of joy and hope kept alive his seeking, craving, grasping, possessing, and defending what he had found. Yet these gains were always transitory, were always taken away from him. He found he could not keep the people that he truly loved in his life. Although he would attract them back, lifetime after lifetime, each temporary loss was painful and every temporary meeting, no matter how joyful, had a subtle lining of sorrow because of the unconscious knowing that this joy would end. He saw memories of burying and cremating thousands upon thousands of loved ones, groaning and crying at their passing, and then seeking new loves to replace the old moves, feeling a deep aloneness within himself, wandering in worlds of sorrow, never finding more than temporary solace in the arms of a silently and slowly decaying lover, seeing body after body undergoing decay, death, cremation, wandering through the bardo, seeking rebirth into yet another body that is karmaically destined also to die.

Not so well known to some traditions, Tara came to him, made love to him five times. First through earth element love, grounding him in the simple essence of a humble earth life that could accept and live with transitoriness, accepting the Earthy humble woman who would be a devoted friend, taking refuge in each other, and being with each other. Then as a water element lover, playful, flowing, dancing, gently moving to tidal rhythms, ebbing and flowing with the moon, feeling harmony, flowing together. Then appearing as a fire element lover, passionate, intense, exciting, and electric, each surrendering to powerful intensity and letting each other be fully and totally overwhelmed, riding the energy wave into the unknown, so fully in present time and passion to not care where life was taking them, then exploding into the air element, expanding into joy, moaning, sounding, crying, moving this way and that, throbbing. Then as space element lovers, resting simply in snuggle space, feeling borderless warmth, being motionless, and simply being. In this fivefold element love dance, Tara initiated him, completed him, and lead him into the childhood sorrow of having lost his mother in her birthing of him. He deeply and fully cried, ended the cravings that emerged from his heart, sunk into the Earth, was held, and ended all separation from life. He no longer gave rise to any sense of separate self and all its dilemas of seeking. Tara kissed him and left him on his final day, blessed him as a spiritual teacher of humans, animals, hungry ghosts, asuras, and angels. He moved deeply into the depths of silence and emptiness within him, fell into the luminous levels of bliss, moved beyond all the worlds of form and formlessness, and found a deep and abiding sense of inner peace, beyond change and changelessness. When morning dawned in the 41st day, the planet Venus arose as the morning star, pulling him back out in the ordinary world of humans and animals, forests, oceans, and trees. Touching the morning star with his three eyes fully opened, he realized that he had attained supreme perfect enlightenment, and would soon contemplate how to serve, heal, and teach the human world, how to guide all sentient beings beyond sorrow. His body radiated a blessing energy into the world and was already inspiring people to move beyond their sorrows, a silent teaching vibrating within the sound of "ah", inviting people to let go, let go, truly let go, completely let go, letting go without strain or struggle, fall into their wounds, allowing life to fully heal all wounds, and then to awaken and rejoice in the wonder of being alive.

In deep meditation for 24 hours per day for 40 days, not wasting energy and so not needing to sleep for that time, not lost in thoughts and thought conflicts that would drain energy, having done karma mudra early in his life with Yasodhara, Jnana Mudra with White Tara, transmuting emotions through visionary elemental lovemaking, fear into wisdom (tram), sadness into compassion (hreeh), anger into creativity (ahh), jealousy into surrender (hung), and arrogance into enlightenment (ohm), and then eventually reaching mahamudra with the formless universe (ohm-ah-hung), Buddha awakens and abides in intuitive wisdom (ah), ever resting in the unborn, the unchanging, and the undying, maturing to show the 32 marks of perfect male and female hormonal balance, and eventually ending aging and death in his body (and then sacrificing his physical body to burn away a portion of the planetary karma and recreating another body, a light body, from the universal prana, and then guiding the healing of this planet from Mount of the Holy Vulture). The Buddha then starts his role as world teacher.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Questioning Eternal Hell

My spiritual life went through three basic phases. They were a seeker, a Christian, and then a Buddhist. There were some subphases involved in each of these. I started out within Evangelical Christianity and transitioned to contemplative Christianity, almost joining the Pecos Benedictine Monastary at one point. During my contemplative time, I was devoting myself to contemplative prayer. I was using the writings of Underhill, Brother Lawrence, and the unknown author of THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING. I would eventually transition into Zen meditation and Buddhist meditation, mainly because its wordlessness spoke deeply to me. It felt like a deeper truth was found in silence, without any partisan mental interpretation. It is like the communication two between a man and woman in love, expressing how they feel passionately and nonverbally, through touch and tenderness. Words eventually do get in the way and even the most lofty words seem more hollow than the tender caresses of someone who is communicating loving affection.

The exercise that was contained in THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING was to write a beautiful devotional poem prayer towards the Divine, and then condense in stage by stage into less and less words, until you had only one word. The word could simply be "God" or "Truth" or "Life" or anything that symbolized the highest living reality that there was. It would be preferable that the word be only one syllable. You then repeated the single word, over and over, making each repetition as if done for the first time. Each repetition was meant to call forth the mood and feeling of the larger prayer, just as the syllable "Ah" is meant to contain the entire Heart Sutra in Buddhism. From the vantage point of THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING each repetition is to pierce the Cloud of Unknowing that is between a person and the Divine, until the barrier is lifted and oneness is felt.

I found that by such focused repetition that I went into deep concentration and experienced many intermediate spaces. Many of them moved way beyond the world and were relatively free from sorrow. They were not Nirvana, but were abodes where sorrow did not exist but still could be shaken and allow us to fall back into sorrow. I pressed on further, as the book instructed, and continued to focus, calling forth as much love and devotion as I could. After a few months of this kind of prayer, I entered a space that was flooded with Divine Love. It felt very warm and luminous. The feeling of love present in this space was hard to describe, or rather hard to do justice in words. All the words of the devotion poem seemed hollow in the light of what was experienced. The feeling of devotion in the poem prayer was as different from what was experienced as a romance novel is to an actual deep passionate romance or as different as a menu is to the actual meal. In that space, I feel with clarity that this Divine Love only wished for our good, our happiness, and nothing more. It could not even wish for us to be pricked by a pin and could not, by any stretch of imagination, wish for the ultimate cruelty of eternal damnation. In this experience of Divine Love, I jettisoned clearly and completely any belief that eternal damnation could be true. It was seen as clearly and completely false. In fact, it looked like the exact opposite of unconditional Divine Love. What could be more of an opposite of a love that automatically and completely forgives everyone for everything that they have ever done? The dogma of eternal hell is that some god tortures you every day forever and ever with no hope of ever escaping this judgment, no chance to repent and be free, no chance to atonement for the torture with any kind of remedial task, and no chance to even have the pain even lessen some, and that each moment is as painful as being burned alive without the relief of even being able to die and ceasing to exist. Even further, the teaching is that every day you know that the judgment of god is just and that you deserve this horrible and cruel eternal fate. As such it is even worse than Prometheus, who knew he did good, and, even though tormented for aeons, he saw his eventual vindication and release from sorrow with his ability to see into the future.

It has been over 30 years since that initial experience of Universal Unconditional Divine Love and the original clarity of that experience is still with me and still evolving me. What I see now that Christianity is a little insane because it tries to hold a contradiction between "God is Love" and "God throws people into Hell forever, tormenting them every day." It is a confusion between love and violence that inspires the abusive treatment of children in the name of punishing them and disciplining them for their own good or torturing Native Americans until they accept Jesus Christ as personal lord and savior and then burning them to death before they can change their mind (thereby saving them from eternal damnation, strangely logical deduction about what to do with nonbelievers given the initial insane belief, any torture to convert someone is justified and better than leaving them as nonbelievers in the hands of an angry, primitive, unforgiving, violent, and righteous god, the insane logical deduction being further proof of how much of a contradiction there is between unconditional divine love and highly conditional eternal damnation).

I further do not believe that the dogma of eternal hell was part of the original teaching of Jesus, do not believe that the dogma of eternal hell is even really very biblical, and I further do not believe that the idea is conducive to human sanity. I later came to understand that the idea is even demonic and that Christianity has a demon infecting its thinking and will always have a demon infecting its thinking until it releases all allegiance to this idea. The dogma of eternal damnation reduces Christianity down to an evil brainwashing cult more extreme than any other evil cult in the history of religion. It is behind every war lead in the name of Christ, even justifying Christians killing Christians. It is the reason why Christianity as a whole had the bloodiest track record of any religion in known history. It has justified the torture of countless pagan and even heretical Christians relative whatever the prevailing dogmas were. Every other rotten dogma that Christians have ever believed has been fueled and supported by this one dogma.

For instance, Christians have been intolerant of all "nonbelievers" whether they believe in god, many gods, or no gods. They are all lumped together and given the same judgment. Why? Because Christians believe that god did the same thing and threw all nonbelievers into eternal hell forever and further that THEY DESERVED IT. If they believe that nonbelievers SHOULD BE TORTURED FOREVER rejecting Jesus Christ as personal lord and savior, then it justifies treating all nonbelievers very badly, mocking and poking fun at their beliefs, attributing the worse motives to their behaviors (they have to be so bad in truth that they deserve to be tortured forever every single day but having their burned alive without the respite of death). Think about what this means since human judges may give only three consecutive life sentences to a serial sociopathic psychopathic killer or just kill them as punishment for what they have done. They do not torture these killers and even then not forever and ever. There is a sense of just proportion to human justice, that the punishment must fit the crime. But infinite torture for a finite amount of crimes can NEVER be proportionate. Further, the argument that it is "god's mysterious will" does not work, because there is NO CHANGE IN OUTCOME from the torture. It might be strangely justified if it lead to a person having a change of heart, like a person who is more loving to everyone after seeing the cruelties of war. But the people tortured in hell never have a chance to ever change their heart and leave to a better place. A mysterious will operating at a higher wisdom than ours only makes sense if it leads to something good, but eternal hell does not lead to anything good at all. It is not like a criminal who is sentenced, pays his or her dues, has remorse for what he or she did, and learns to be a good citizen. In other words, the dogma of eternal damnation leaves no chance of ever explaining how Divine Love could do this to anyone.

What makes an evil religious cult is a strong distinction between the "in group" and the "out group", with a hostility towards the outgroup (all those who do not belong to the group). In the psychological and sociological studies of extreme cults (many of them believing in eternal damnation for nonbelievers and many of them justifying intense treatment of nonbelievers through this dogma, both as a motivator to convert them so that they can avoid the cruel fate and as a fear tactic to scare them into joining), the strong distinction and the hostility towards the out group is key in their formation. The dogma of eternal damnation, by its very definition, is the most extreme distinction you can make between in group (believer) and out group (nonbeliever) with one going to eternal blissful heaven while the other goes into eternal endless torment. It also has the god behind the dogma modelling extreme hatred of the outgroup (torturing them forever for rejecting his son). The punishment of eternal damnation is given in "righteous wrath".

From a hypnotherapy view, the power of ideas, when believed, leads to emotional states. There is no good state that can come from believing this idea. It makes the in group (believers) intolerant. The very idea is the most intolerant idea possible. Nonbelievers are not tolerated at all. They are not merely left alone. They are not even merely wiped out and killed. They are tortured forever because of how bad they are. Because of this, any ideological inter-religious dialogue cannot truly be based on "mutual respect". You cannot really respect someone if you feel that they are so bad that they should be tortured forever, while you are destined by the mere fact of believing the right teaching to go to eternal blissful heaven.

If we consider Christianity barbaric for having justified slavery, treated women as inferiors to men, and stoning homosexuals for merely having an alternative sexual orientation, then all of these criticisms pale in comparison to torturing people forever merely because they disbelieve.

I am mentioning all this because the constant bombardment of the dogma of eternal hell, from it the preachers who preached it, all the churches that have believed it and still believe it, from all the forums that have discussed it, and from all the books that presuppose it, has desensitized people to how cruel, evil, and barbaric the idea really is. The dogma of eternal damnation, more than any idea, is the exact opposite of Unconditional Universal Divine Love (which I feel is at the very heart of everything that Jesus taught).

I would go further to ask why Christians have not been bothered by this dogma. Why has this contradiction not been fully seen? Why has this contradiction not been jettisoned completely from a religion that supposed to believe in love, forgiveness, nonjudgment, and grace? How different is this dogma to Jesus teaching people to turn the other cheek, bless those who curse them, pray for those who persecute them, resist not evil, forgive people again and again, and love your enemies. Jesus uses the metaphor of the rain which pours on everyone equally and the sun which shines on everyone equally. Then he wants us to be merciful as his god is merciful. In other words, we are meant to forgive underconditionally because that is what god aka love does. There is no need for atonement for sins. Imagine that someone wrong me and comes to ask me for forgiveness and I say, "Wait, before I accept your forgiveness, I must vent all the wrath that you deserve on to my cat, have it squirm in pain, die nailed to a board, and then resurrected from the grave." You then see me severely torture the cat with what I feel you deserve. You would wonder how sane I was. The funny thing is that even what Jesus gets from god in the atonement story is less than what a single nonbeliever gets in hell. No matter how horrible was the wrath that the scape goat of god got, he could at least die and become free from the pain. The poor nonbeliever gets to be tormented with extreme agony forever with each day really being more than he or she could bear. It is curious that fire is used as a symbol for the extreme torture, because the sheer pain of being burned alive is so painful that many burn victims die because the pain is too much for them (but at least they can die).

I could come from a few other sides about the dogma of eternal hell, but my hope that it is not necessary, that calling this false and vicious idea for what it really is will be enough. But just to summarize the main points:

1. that the idea is a logical and psychological contradition to Unconditional Love
2. that it confuses love and violence and therefore justifies all kinds of cruelty that plays out in history and which has not stopped.
3. that it defines a radical difference between the saved in group and the not saved out group, the latter which is believed to be deserving of eternal punishment, and therefore promotes intolerance and hatred of the out group, and even has justified torturing them, killing them, and making them slaves.
4. that it has inspired a lot of cruel events that can look very demonic in modern times, with events so cruel that you might barf your dinner and have bad dreams if you heard them described in detail.
5. that if this teaching is a foundational tenet of some versions of Christianity and that if it is, for instance, one of the five fundamentals of Christian fundamentalism, then it may be considered sufficient proof that those versions of Christianity are false or at least in need of severe revision (unless they want to solve the contradiction by jettisoning belief in Unconditional Divine Love which I think would even be a worse mistake).
6. that it is a demon inspired dogma or a demonic meme (a mental virus which infects the mind and harms it, causing it to go insane and even become more intolerant and hateful), and that as long as a Christian tradition, or any tradition at all, believes the meme it will continue to have a demon lurking in it and causing all kinds of problems and suffering for people (some Christians who do believe it are less affected by simply not taking the belief seriously or not really believing it).
7. that it does not allow the cultic Christians who believe it to engage in mutually respectful dialogue with other religions and possibly learn from them (or at least forms a barrier of intolerance of heretics that is hard to overcome).
8. that it makes the cultic Christians fear based, guilt based, punitive, dogmatic, and intolerant.

In answer to one of the questions raised earlier about why this contradiction between Unconditional Divine Love and Eternal Damnation has not been clearly seen and felt so that mature and sane Christians jettison it (like C. S. Lewis and George MacDonald and many universalists eventually did), it is because the meme had already taken root and build buffers around itself. It is for the same reason that many Whites in the South could be very loving to other Whites and not feel the need to love the Black slaves enough to set them free, treat them as equals, care for them, and not beat them. A kind of cognitive disodence happens to protect the meme. The study of memetic buffers is an interesting one in its own right. But the first step in releasing the idea is to "call a spade, a spade" to name the ugly meme for what it really is so that it can be released. It does indirectly link to the immortalist theme, because feeling that Divine Love pervades the universe is behind physical immortality, that heaven can replace hell here on Earth. The belief that "death is necessary and inevitable, that there is nothing you can do to stop it, and that you are a fool for trying" is another meme (and another theme for another day). Releasing these kinds of memetic infections does increase our health, happiness, and longevity.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Need for Life Extension

I wanted to share some thoughts that I did glean from some of the immortalist literature that I had read. It seems that this theme has been explored a lot by science fiction authors. It is interesting sometimes to read about an immortal character and what they learn from having lived on this planet for a very long time. It seems that actual immortals like Saint Germain, Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita, Babaji and others seem to drop out of the usual flow of conventional history. They usually keep their longevity a secret, since this makes their life easier. A number of scientists would like to verify the immortalist claims of such beings. But the word "claim" may not be the right word. They will sometimes honestly assert the truth of their longevity when asked, since for them it is nothing they have to prove to themselves. It can be verified by their memory of their long lifespan. Some of them had the fortune of being in social environments where the attainment was more acceptable, like in Northern India, the Himalayas, and Tibet. While others like Saint Germain would need to periodically move from place to place, start over again socially, and then move again, so that people would not notice that they were not aging and dying. Some anonymity is needed or useful for their lives. I have found this to be generally true.

The psychological profile of the immortals does seem to show something consistent. Some of it is common sense. Immortals would be independent thinkers, willing to question the nature of the truth of human life, and willing to live by what they theorize or discover. People who conform to the social consensus reality will not be immortalists, since all social consensus realities of the Earth are mortalist. They believe that physical immortality is not possible, is not desirable, is not natural, and/or is so difficult that it is not worth trying to attain. When I have shared the idea of physical immortality, I am met with the same basic thoughts against the idea. They come from atheists and theists alike. They are almost always the same. Occasionally there is some new wrinkle in the arguments, like whether or not telemere ripping during mitosis represents an absolute biological clock toward inevitable death that we can do very little about.

[FYI: I do not feel that the telemere clock is absolute and suspect that telemerase can repair the rips and that astragalus can help generate telemerase. If telemere ripping represented an absolute biological clock, then immortal single celled creates like amoebas should have died out. Single celled creatures have reproduced by mitosis and faithfully replicate their DNA from generation to generation over millions of years without telemere ripping stopping them. Since both the "children" of the mitosis are the "parent", the original cell that emerged from the life soup of the ancient world is still alive in all the subsequent mitosis produced cells. They do eventually die under certain circumstances, like extreme heat or by an antibiotic, but they have no built in terminus for their lives. Apparently this is also true for the Redwood Tree and the Creosote Plant. It seems, too, that reproduction and zygote formation "resets" the telemere clock in the human species, and therefore points to the possibility of healing telemere rips. I would take that actual immortals have walked the planet to be a kind of proof that this is possible too.]

As mentioned in an earlier article, the average lifespan of human beings has been increasing over the last 3,000 years. It has gone from the biblical generation of 40 years to the current lifespan expectation of 80 years. It seems to be pushing to 90 years. I did find it interesting that George Burns and Bob Hope both lived past 100 years, since I do feel that a sense of humor is an important immortalist factor. The numbers I am quoting are loose numbers. I would like for some more standardization to happen with immortalist studies. For instance, the Okinawa Diet was based on study of one of the longest lived cultures on the planet. They determined this by seeing what percentage of the total population lived past 100 and found 7 percent. While I liked this index for a measuring the longevity of a culture, there is some question about whether to count death by accidents, war, and plagues. It has been only in recent times, too, that census data on the people of a culture has been standardized and reliable enough to make comprehensive studies. This automatically filters out studies of more ancient cultures that might have some wisdom to share in this regard. The other problem with such studies is that, while documenting how people age and die, there has not been a prevailing belief that diet has been as critical a factor that I feel it is. The result is that people are not documented in such a manner that their longevity and their diet can be correlated. This is further compounded by the complexity of the diet process. Many people who are learning about the importance of right diet are changing their diet in stages. Sometimes going forward and sometimes going back, sometimes eating "good" food according to some standard, but too much food, sometimes mixing "good" food together with poor food combining, or eating good food that collectively is too acidic, even though individually is okay if they are balanced by more alkaline food. There is another problem, too, since to me "right breathing" alkalizes our blood stream and can reduce the effects of a slightly acidic diet and make it work, while another person who underbreaths may be undermining the effects of a healthier alkaline diet, since underbreathing does increase acidity. I also feel that eating animal flesh has karmaic consequences and does reduce lifespan. It takes some time to get all this right.

What is interesting is that in many traditional agricultural societies and early city states that the time a person entered into adulthood was around 12 to 14 years old. This is when the initiation took place. When the lifespan was only 40 years, this made sense, they had 75 percent of their life ahead of them. 25 percent was in childhood and teenagehood, 50 percent in adulthood, and 25 percent in old age. With a 80 year lifespan, this makes the first 25 percent being 20 years, the middle 20 to 60, and then 60 to 80 as the last 25 percent. With the lifespan pushing to 90 years and a 100 years, it seems that the age of becoming a functional adult is still 25 percent of this number. It does seem that somewhere between 20 and 25 we become functional adults. Unlike the early agricultural societies that had their initiations into adulthood at 12 to 14, we have more to learn to step into our societies as adults. We are expected to do some "intellectual specialization" to learn a mentally learned skilled through education and training, and then take a role in society. This is complicated by some specializations becoming obsolete as technology advances. New specializations are required and old ones are not needed anymore. This means that we need to keep learning and growing more than we had before. The Buddhist idea that everything is in constant change really shows up in the very rapid changes our society is undergoing. Curiously, there is a feeling that things have not changed much, even though the change has been enormous. Even people who want to go back to the "good old days" are picking time points to go back to that are not far in the past. It would be good to study ancient history to get a sense of where the human species has been and where it is going. Paradoxically, history is getting to be a bigger thing to study. We are making history as we go along and more records are appearing over time. We record more records than cultures some 1,000 years ago. We are replicating and sending data to each other at a very high speed thanks to the internet. If you get what it meant that a Buddhist monk would spend a whole year carefully copying a book by hand so that another Lamasary would have the information, and we now can clone over 500 books on a DVD in about 30 minutes to give to a friend using a computer, we have done the work of 500 monk years in that short a time. From books being rare and wonderful wonders of information in the ancient world, we are now flooded with so much text that we could not even read it all in an 80 lifespan, and not even in a lifespan of 500 years.

My sense is that the human lifespan needs to increase for a certain kind of growth and maturity to happen. The learning process required to become a functional and effective adult is going to increase for a certain mutational shift to happen. We are already involved in this process. We have already extended life further, doubled it, and need to do it again. It is how knowledge leads to more knowledge.

One way of understanding this is to imagine what it would have been like if Einstein lived for 300 years, that he kept pushing the knowledge envelope, that he kept going more deeply into general relativity. For instance, he apparently wrote down in his journal that we used the full capacity of our brain that it would turn into light [again, I am sorry that I do not have a documentary reference for this, but if someone has it maybe they can post a reference in the comment field]. Did he have a "light episode"? Did he, for a moment, feel his brain shift into light, or his whole body? Jesus transfigured his body into a light body when "praying" on a mountain and was witnessed by some of his disciples. I suspect that Einstein had a similar moment. This has happened to me also about three times. They happen as a kind of evolutionary fast forward, as a kind of glimpse about what is possible. I feel it will happen to more people as time flows onward.

With a longer lifespan, there is more time to learn more things that make life worth living, like picking up a musical instrument and learning how to play some songs. Musical intelligence I feel helps the brain to evolve further. Ideally we should all pick up an instrument and learn how to play it, for our growth, even if we do not become a concert pianist or a rock star. Learning more than one language helps a lot, because then we can see how one language is like a reality tunnel that shapes our perceptions and that we have stereo tunnels with two languages being mastered, and even more richness of perception when we can master scientific language, emotional language, musical language, artistic language, poetic language, and mathematical language.

What is curious is that the intentional to conquer aging and death shifts a lot of things for a sentient being. It opens up our thinking to living differently and more fully. Life becomes less about merely struggling to survive, reproducing some children, getting a small amount of happiness through certain activities, and then dying, but become more about a certain kind of learning, evolution, and growth that seems to have no terminal point, and which also has its own joy that is deeper and more rewarding than simply craving pleasurable sensations.

Padmasambhava was a kind of "renaissance" person, he learned many things on many frontiers. His education was well rounded even in "worldly arts" before he took to diving deep into meditation, attaining physical immortality, and then morphing his physical body into a light body. He still can be invoked through his mantra "Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum", since he promised to instantly appear to anyone who sincerely calls him through this mantra (in practice, it takes some time to feel him be present, since our telepathic sensitivity needs to activate and there are some obscuring karmas to overcome to feel his energy, but it is not too long, odds are something will be felt if one did 111,111 repetitions within 3 months).

It seems that in the early stages of an immortalist life, there is an interest in healing and growth, processing emotions, learning about ideal diet, mastering breathing, mastering Hatha Yoga and Chi Kung, and mastering meditation. For me, it seems that energy healing, breathwork, vegan diet, process oriented hypnosis, using sound (overtone chanting, crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, Theremin, Djembe, and Hang Drum), and mastering herbs are important right now. I hope to devote some time to learning about "alchemy" in terms of monoatomic elements and calcinated mercury as it used for healing and for longevity. Like learning about the internet and computers in general, as it seems to link us all together and assist each other in such quests.

It may be time when immortalists can start coming "out of the closet" and living more out in the open now, though I do find it better to keep a little quiet about this still. I personally do not like the idea of being experimented on to determine my lifespan. I think it was interesting that Jesus did a transfiguration of his body into a light body to show his process. To me, this kind of proving feels more natural to me. In other words, if we focus on the immortalist life style we will have things like "light episodes" happen to us and other markers that we are succeeding in this goal.

There is a kind of patience and humility to this process. Unlike some religious traditions where they might settle for an internal experience of some higher state, the level of realization of something internal has to outpicture in the mind and body for an immortal. Krishnamurti, who has starting to believe that aging and death might not be necessary near the end of his life (and he lived around 90 years) and who was starting to do things like experiment with a raw diet and fresh vegetable juices, felt his brain had ceased to atrophy and was confident enough in this to offer his brain to science to study after he died. Unfortunately, brain science is still in its infancy and they could not verify much from checking his brain out. It looked healthy and intact. Maybe as science progresses more it will be able to study such brains and get more data from the studies. I think I know what Krishnamurti felt, though, that motivated him to assert that his brain had shifted and was not not subject to a kind of entropy any more. When I was studying his teachings and practicing awareness, I did feel my brain reach a kind of emptiness, clarity, and stillness where something deep and wonderful opened up. It did seem like we get worn out by "thinking, thinking, thinking" and when the brain ends thought of a certain kind and comes to a silent curious awareness that an aging, wear and tear, and entropy ends. I do find, too, when I am working with people that afflicted emotional states are usually accompanied by a large mass of thoughts that are running through the mind often and repetitively. I find I have to listen in a certain way to extract the information I need and to not get worn down with them. When the brain is alive, vibrant, and silent inside, it is a very different state and it feels like regeneration is happening rather than the brain get further worn down. I remember one line in a song by the Eagles that goes, "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive your crazy."

I feel that the growth that humanity is capable of now needs the support of a longer lifespan, even with the advent of methods of accelerated learning. I would like for children to get this kind of vision of human life, to feel more is possible than merely being a worker-droid in an industrialized society, who has an intellectual training to be one cog in the social machinery and who might get obsolete when this niche is superceded by technological advance. I feel we can hold the vision of becoming prosperous enough to have some level of freedom from this kind of survival necessity and become free to pursue a kind of creative path. It does require some skill and there is more than one way of achieving this vision. Saint Germain lived as a prosperous aristocrat, while Babaji lives the life of a Hindu Sannyasin, eating simple meals (or at least used to, odds are pranayama has replaced food entirely, but if we adopted his path we would need to eat for a while), and staying in nature. I get the feeling we will be doing something different, having a kind of simple life in a high tech world. Appreciating nearby nature and not buying into extreme consumerism and the debt economy. I feel it is possible to avoid getting into debt and this simplifies life a lot. If we reject debt paths, then we will find other paths that are useful to move forward on. A lot of friends I know got locked down on a mortgage and many are getting out of the high mortgage payments and high interest (the interest can end up being more than the money borrowed by even 2x or 3x) by cashing out as best they can, selling their house short, and sometimes coming out with a small amount of money or a small remaining debt. The consumer world has created many paths with differing amounts of money being achieved by different people in different ways, with often very little proportion of hours to money gained when one compare the work of one person to another. Money itself is a strange phenomenon. It is necessary for the exchange of goods, has taxes looming in the background, and is nebulous at times how it represents wealth. Money itself can inflate and deflate in value, in terms of what it can buy at different points in history. One dollar could buy a good meal one time, but now it seems about 10 bucks is needed for the same meal. But wages were less per a hour before than now, the amount of work time a meal costs is more complex to figure out, especially since some people are living on a minimum wage while others are earning over one million bucks per a year and are even finding ways of not paying taxes on it. There is something excessive and unbalanced in all this. I consider a person prosperous if he or she manages to stay out of debt, can pay all their bills, and has a little extra to put into savings at the end of the month. I think the key is to find better and better options over time. I call the path, "enlightenment on a budget". For instance, I think eating healthy is better than medical insurance, because the latter only kicks in when you have an illness (unless a loophole makes the illness an exception and few are completely certain their insurance will cover the crisis when it happens), whereas the former might prevent the illness. Strangely enough, a lot of medical insurance has a deductible so you end going into debt anyway. Since some of them only cover serious debilitating illnesses, sometimes the coverage does not do any real good, since if you are so impaired that you cannot work, then the seemingly generous money you get to pay your hospital bill, minus down time, minus the deductible, minus all the money that you will not make from not being handicapped, you are out anyway. For whereas if you do yoga, eat healthy, live safely, and burn away accident producing karma, then you have a chance to keep your life evolving. Insurance does not help accidents to not happen and no insurance covers all severe accidents (aka death recovery medical clause) and money is usually not enough anyway. I concluded that they were really not worth it, but then some elements need to change in the lifestyle to do "preventative medicine". In short, I would rather put my money into things that further my healing process, than to plan to cover for possible bad events with incomplete coverage at best. Again, there is more than one path here, and part of being "in the world but not of it" is to navigate the options we have wisely.