My favorite childhood action figure was Superman. He could fly through the air like a speeding bullet, leap over tall buildings with a single bound and was more powerful than a speeding locomotive. I can hear the trailer now: “Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s Superman. Superman had superhuman qualities that were the lust of every male kid.
Superman had an alter ego. His name was Clark Kent. Kent, a mild mannered reporter for a daily metropolitan newspaper. Kent wore a business suit, tie, fedora and horned-rimmed glasses. He had a girlfriend name Lois Lane. The reporter clothing and the lifestyle that went with it transformed Superman from a superhuman to a common newspaper reporter. When the reporter clothing came off, Superman emerged to defeat the bad guys and enforce justice using super powers.
We humans are a Superman with a Clark Kent alter ego. Religions sometime refer to the human’s Superman nature as a “spark” of the divine which can be developed by following its rules. This blog takes exception to that line of thinking. That “spark,” the superhuman nature within all of us, is already fully developed. It needs no further embellishment. It is factory installed, so to speak. It is an inner light that already shines with full brightness, 24/7. There is nothing to develop. But its brightness is dimmed because of obscurations that are the equivalent of Clark Kent’s mild mannered reporter clothing and the attendant lifestyle they impose on Superman. Thus, human divine nature is not developed by “bringing out.” It is realized by “taking away” by removing the obscurations. The obscurations transform the person from the superhuman he or she is by nature, to a common Self.
When obscurations are fully removed the Buddhists say the person has achieved Buddhahood. Being the Christian that I am (albeit new wave), I call it Christ nature. That is to say, He was Jesus of Nazareth and not the son of Mr. and Mrs. Christ. Christ is the title He earned by bringing out His Christ nature, the same nature that is inherent, but obscured, in each human being. I am Tom of Texas. If I could do what Jesus did, remove my obscurations, I would become known as Tom Christ. Buddhahood, Universal Christ…they mean the same thing, a pure, perfect, primordial state of mind; a re-merger of the individualized, human mind into the primordial Universal Consciousness or Universal Mind from which it came.
What are these obscurations that keep us from realizing our true, divine nature? They are the aggregate total of the wants, wishes, desires, hopes, ambitions, regrets, successes, biases, habits, memories and so forth that have accumulated over many, many lifetimes through reincarnation. I refer to them as the cosmic file cabinets. Everyone is under the influence of the content of their personal file cabinets, one for each life led. My content is different from yours. We use the content to process sense perceptions in order to experience reality, to each his own. When I was a kid I became sick by overdosing on German Chocolate cake. To this day when I see a German Chocolate cake I get a sickening feeling. Someone else might see the same cake and find a culinary delight. Two people having the same sensory experience but receiving it with entirely different results. This is the file cabinet in action. It makes me think I am different from you; two people identical and united by their innate, divine, superhuman nature, their true essence, but separated by the different content in their respective file cabinets.
The contents of the file cabinets and the references made to it make the person a Self. I am reminded of the Mickey Mouse flip book I had has a kid. Every page had an image of Mickey, each with him in a slightly different position, page to page. Each page stood on its own but when I shuffled through all of them with a single flipping motion, Mickey came to life as if he was real. So, what happens is this. When the human shuffles through his or her file cabinets while naturally processing sense perceptions he or she brings the content to life much the way Mickey came to life as I shuffled through my flip book as a kid. The bottom line is that which we refer to with the pronouns me, my, I and mine doesn’t really exist. The file cabinet contents make us think we are a Self; an agency that all along is purely a figment of the imagination; a state of mind that makes the person think he or she not only exists but is different from everyone and everything else in the field of vision. Self! No mortician has ever found one on the autopsy slab nor has a surgeon on the operating table. It is a state of mind.
Spiritual perfection is realized when one is able to eliminate Self. Experience has shown that it is not possible to avoid accessing the file cabinets when processing sense perceptions. It is possible, however, to ignore the results of the processing and thus stop the secondary, daisy-chain of thoughts that subsequently develop. The only known cure is mind training through meditation. Then, for the accomplished one, thoughts arise and are harmlessly dismissed, spontaneously and without effort. Critics argue that the resulting state of mind is that of a common critter, like a cow or beast of burden, instinctively responding to its surroundings. To the contrary, that is not what happens. What happens is that sense perceptions are evaluated, not using file cabinet content but from a divine perspective with recognition that in very essence, everything…animal, vegetable, or mineral…is divine by nature. Called enlightened, the person is able to look through the wide spread diversity found in Mother Nature and find divine expression in everything, the ultimate in sameness. They see things exactly as they are.
Self! No mortician has ever found one on the autopsy slab nor has a surgeon on the operating table. It is a state of mind.
Dr. Sarah Konrad (University of Michigan) studies human compassion and concludes that it is failing in modern society at an alarming rate. She tested compassion expression in two groups of volunteers. One group had minimal meditation training, the other none. In tests with designed opportunities to express compassion, the meditators outperformed the non-meditators by a large margin. Conclusion? Compassion is not something one does. Compassion is something that happens when Self declines (through meditation) and the innate, otherwise blanketed divine presence comes to the forefront. I cover Dr. Konrad’s work in my book, Christianity’s Dirty Little Secrets, pp 12-14.
Jesus taught we should do into others as we would have them do into us. I submit that one cannot treat others as they would like to be treated until Self is eliminated and the duality of me versus you is likewise negated. Otherwise, when resources are scarce and push comes to shove, an attitude of “after me you come first” will always prevail. He also taught of each human’s divine nature by explaining how to make a mountain uproot and move into the sea by command alone. This particular passage throws Christian theologians for loops because their ideology does not recognize the divine nature of human existence.So, when someone prays for God to bless me, I ask, “why would God bless something that doesn’t exist?”
Once you understand and accept that Self is a controllable state of mind, life will never be the same. Many are depressed to discover that they don’t exist. Sorry, but truth is Teflon. It will always flow to where in needs to be so we have to deal with it. Non-acceptance of the fallacy of Self is delusional and the root cause of the world’s problems. Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?