Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo #18: The Mind

For last weeks Wednesday Woo, click here:Wednesday Woo #17: Karma and Morality.

When one hangs around New Age circles for any amount of time, their main concern with consciousness, the mind, and individuality becomes quite obvious: they wish to be rid of it all. Now, I have mentioned this subject before, particularly when it comes to the dangers of losing one’s individual freedom, but this time I would like to focus your attention on the concept of “losing the mind” AKA “becoming pure consciousness,” which translates to a method of peace that essentially turns your mind to goo. The dangers of this idea should be quite evident, but those who desire to attain spiritual enlightenment silence the alarm bells.

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“Being a human being is a tough state, especially if you have an awareness of that nagging voice within.”

Human beings cannot achieve this “no mind” of course, but that doesn’t stop New Agers from pretending. I say pretending simply because they claim to be at peace, yet when faced with criticism of their ideas, they tend to fall down from nirvana cloud nine in order to give me shit, telling me that I must open my mind to their woo, without any clue that I had already done so, much to my own despair. This is a hypocritical role in which they partake, and either they lack the cognitive ability to be self-aware (because they don’t expose themselves to adequate stimuli), or they are liars. Either way, I see no moral direction in the practice, since any negative or critical thought that arises is cast aside for more pleasant, yet ultimately meaningless platitudes.

Being a human being is a tough state, especially if you have an awareness of that nagging voice within. I cannot blame people for wishing to escape such a thing, however there are better methods in which to do this. It’s ok to take a moment to relax from the inner critic – listen to music, do something creative, learn a new, challenging skill, etc., but to abandon such stimuli leads to your own brain’s demise. What I find really disconcerting about running away from stimuli for a fake inner peace is, these folks say they wish to be more creative, yet critical thinking is the pathway toward greater creativity.

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If you have yet to read Darwin’s Apple, I suggest you check it out. It explains religious ritual, as well as prayer from a more evolutionary correlation of trying to deal with the agony of having higher order consciousness. Being aware of the self, as well as being able to predict future events such as one’s own death brings existential problems. It makes sense that human beings would wish to escape, but the reality is: there is no escaping death. All there can be is a momentary lapse in memory. No amount of belief in energy living on forever is going to change this fact, but believing your energy will last forever places a person in a state where they never have to face any mental challenges that would better their lives while they are here, not to mention, offers no moral guideline to how to treat others.

“It would be chaos – with no technological advances, because intuitions have a tendency to be absolutely wrong in practice, thus any invention would fail.”

If one is willing to sacrifice their own individuality to attain a fake sense of peace, they will push others to do the same, which they do, and wish for everyone to “wake up” to the nonsense they have adopted. Consider the implications of a society run by people who refuse to be challenged, think karma is for real, are skeptical of science, and think that their own personal truth is the actual truth. Seems like woo-woo-Jesus would like such a society…

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It would be chaos – with no technological advances, because intuitions have a tendency to be absolutely wrong in practice, thus any invention would fail. Without critical thinking, brains would be mush, so no one would even bother to care for advancement anyhow. Language and writing would decline, because New Agers consider words as meaningless, but poverty would advance, since karma/reincarnation as a moral compass provides only a way of looking down on those who weren’t born into successful circumstances. In fact, you don’t have to even imagine such a thing, since OSHO did his own experiment in mindlessness, having created a small society, but a society nonetheless, where people abandoned their minds, only to be traumatized. Many of them were never the same.

 

“Shoes and minds must be left at the gate.”

 

Keep your mind healthy, for it is pertinent if you wish to live a good, moral, healthy life. Read books that challenge you, play games with people, and begin practicing critical thinking for your own sake. Get mental stimulation, after all, a good mind is a terrible thing to waste.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young

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Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo #17: Karma and Morality

For last weeks article, click here: Wednesday Woo #16: Astral Projection

One of the most important aspects of life for us social animals our relationships, and in order to maintain good, loving relationships, we must have some sense of integrity. In fact, one of the largest debates during humanity’s enlightenment period was how to conduct ourselves morally. This debate remains alive and well, and is still a very poignant when it comes to progress. Our moral concepts drive us past the instinctively selfish states toward more harmonious goals and achievements, simply because of concern for the best in human well-being. Those who follow the gurus of New Age teachings tend to leave their innate sense of humanity behind, instead choosing a path that encourages selfishness and an utter lack of concern for other people. One of the most important aspects of life for us social animals are our relationships, and in order to maintain good, loving relationships, we must have some sense of integrity. In fact, one of the largest debates during humanity’s enlightenment period was how to conduct ourselves morally. This debate remains alive and well, and is still a very poignant when it comes to progress. Our moral concepts drive us past the instinctively selfish states toward more harmonious goals and achievements, simply because of concern for the best in human well-being. Those who follow the gurus of New Age teachings tend to leave their innate sense of humanity behind, instead choosing a path that encourages selfishness and an utter lack of concern for other people.

Obviously this is not a man who wished to transcend his own selfish desires in order to achieve the best possible morality. Instead, he was more concerned with having as much for himself as possible, surrounded himself with the very rich, and duping them out of millions of dollars so he could satiate his own folly. This is a definite step backward in terms of any serious moral argument born from the enlightenment. While Osho claims to have abandoned the teachings of the past, he certainly seems to be living in accordance to the concept of karma, which is a philosophy utilized by his native India in order to maintain the hierarchy of power and poverty in the country. The caste system is an atrocious, undignified ideology, which highlights consequences being passed on through reincarnation as opposed to actual human effort.
Karma
Basically, karma works as follows:

1. “It’s your own fault, even if you don’t remember why.”
If you’re poor, sick, or being abused, well, tough shit! You should’ve never done the stuff you don’t remember doing. It must have been horrible, so let’s treat you like crap until you learn not to do the things that we have no evidence of you ever having done.
2. “What you do now impacts the future.”
Kind of self evident, but again, this is a grain of truth in a bag full of shit.
3. “We get what we deserve.”
There is no evidence for this, but those who maintain that karma is the medium through which justice is served don’t feel they need evidence, and can selfishly justify treating people like crap while leaning on the idea of “act now, pay later.” What a wayward way of thinking!
4. “Let’s assume that nothing we do matters.”
Of course, this is pretty much where the idea of karma logically leads, although it does contradict the above notions of impacting the future, and getting what you deserve. Perhaps this is the only pillar of the entire philosophy. What kind of real morality assumes nothing at all matters?
5. “Nothing is random.”
Once again, there is no evidence to back up this claim, and only serves as a way to confirm a bias that upholds the monstrosity that is the caste system. This is a religious concept that creates a boundary between the rich and poor, us and them, those who “deserve” horrible lives and those who do not. I see no way that a person could truly hold these beliefs while maintaining a moral way of life. The belief in karma should be abandoned if we are to achieve the best possible course toward human well-being. The struggle to end this type of karmic discrimination has been going on for a long while now, and hopefully, for the betterment of their own people, those who stand against the caste system shall be victorious. The question I have is, do we really want to maintain these ideas of karma that have spread so much horror in the country from which they derive? 

When I was a New Ager, I struggled with accepting this idea, so I had to redefine karma as “lessons we learn in life” as opposed to its actual meaning. I knew about the caste system, and despite wanting to accept the New Age type of enlightenment, a part of me just could not accept karma without changing it to suit my own terms. This was one of the cognitive dissonances I had to face ultimately, and as soon as this concept broke down for me, I began to notice the horrible things people in my “tribe” were saying about other people, as well as world events. The last straw for me was seeing a friend of mine complain about videos being shared on her timeline about the Syrian gas attack that showed children writhing in pain and struggling to breathe. Her issue with it wasn’t about how horrible it was that human beings were made to suffer in such an agonizing way – no, she was bitching because it brought down her “good vibes”.  This made my jaw drop and my blood boil, and upon recalling this event, the hypocrisy and lack of concern still makes me angry. This was a woman who talked nonstop about loving others, yet where was the love?
New Agers say they abhor religion, but this isn’t really the case, they consider all religions to have some sort of truth, which of course is just cherry picking. The truth is that these ancient holy books have very little actual truth in them, and if one follows the logic of old religious concepts like karma, we take a step backward morally. I think we can do better, and in order to do that, we need to leave behind the cruel philosophies of “holy” books.