Gandhi said it right: “Be the change you seek in the world.” But most get it backwards and begin a political agenda that is at odds with the powers that be. When their ethics aren’t upheld properly, obstacles arise. Then paranoia sets in and they defeat themselves. These types of people see an evil or corrupt world and become very impatient. Without the dharma-eye they cannot see the help going on “behind the scenes” and so they take it upon themselves to change the world. And they do this in an unskillful way that ends up in a disaster.
It has been said that your opinion of the world is a reflection of your character. I have to agree. Change does come but it happens very slowly. The Buddhas of this world see the world as already perfect. Even so, they aren’t ignorant of the fact that certain systems or ways of living are wrong or in need of improvement. They know all too well that people are suffering. These masters are ready to help anyone who seeks their wisdom or advice.
The main rule of thumb when being on a spiritual path is:
Do NOT follow your thoughts, do NOT pay attention to images, do NOT listen to voices you may hear and do NOT follow impulses that would violate the rules (precepts) or laws of society.
Over the last decade we have seen mental illness on the rise. Deep spiritual seekers are now being labeled as having Manic-depression, Schizophrenia, or Borderline Personality Disorder. The following is some information so you can see the patterns of behavior that develops through having mistaken conceptions on the path.
A recent story:
One lady I recently talked to had herself convinced that she was the new Maitreya. She tried to explain to me that she hears voices in her head and this was a common thing in the past. She said, “Voice hearers were once very important in ancient civilizations, there is nothing insane about this.” She went on to say that one of her intentions was to destroy the scriptures. I told her these voice-hearers were disciples of the Buddha called Shravakas who listened to the actual Shakyamuni Buddha discoursing on the dharma in person. But to no avail, I couldn’t convince her otherwise.
One of the dark’s agenda is to destroy the dharma or sacred scriptures. But, in reality, the dharma is the LIFE-BLOOD for all living and non-living beings. It is the source of happiness and upheld by the bodhisattvas, masters, and lineage holders as a gift to you – so that you can be set free and be liberated.
Please, if you hear a voice in your head it is a psychic phenomena and on a lower (astral) plane than proper meditation. For your own good, you should stop all meditation or breathing exercise or whatever you are doing and seek qualified help.
On having powers:
Every demon that enters someone’s mind has convinced them they have a special power or ability to endure and survive. Look at Charlie Sheen’s attitude. He feels indestructible due to his excess use of drugs that would normally cause death to ordinary person. He just negatively conditioned his body to tolerate the stress. Furthermore, most of us know about Jesus and how he heard a voice in his head that told him to jump off a cliff. Fortunately, he did NOT listen to that demon. He set the right example for all of us.
Every intuition that you receive MUST be backed by reason and grounded in reality – otherwise you will eventually lose your path. The informed aspirant knows exactly how to stay on track. In Buddhism, there are checks and balances so your spiritual career doesn’t turn into a colossal failure or spiritual materialism. If you know the Eight Worldly Dharmas you’ll be ahead of the game because you’ll know what to avoid.
The Eight Worldly Concerns are:
- hope for PLEASURE and fear of PAIN
- hope for FAME and fear of INSIGNIFICANCE
- hope for PRAISE and fear of BLAME
- hope for GAIN and fear of LOSS
Pay attention to when these eight mundane concerns manifest in you. As these thoughts or feelings arise in excess then you’ll know immediately to avoid clinging and grasping to agendas filled with all sorts of hope and fear. They are the links to your subconscious demons.
Some people have the mistaken idea that enlightenment is gifted or graced by a Higher Power. This is a very dangerous belief to hold on to. The Buddha never taught that he could grant someone enlightenment with the snap of a finger or a push of a button. All he can do is explain what is right from wrong, correct from incorrect and show us the way to a lasting happiness.
You have to be a LIGHT UNTO YOURSELF. You have to obtain the necessary realization on your own. No one else can do it for you. You are required to do the hard work of purification, study and contemplation. The unfortunate result of holding onto such a mistaken belief (that an external being can clear away all of your karma) is being hospitalized for a mental illness. This seems to be happening more and more to people in our degenerate time. Here is what most likely happens:
Patterns of behavior:
In a general way, men are innately aggressive. They are ready to “take a leap of faith” and follow their hunches and synchronicities as a test to be passed. Once passed you feel elated and “in favor” of the god or demon guiding or impulsing you. Naturally you believe you are the “chosen one” of God and will be enlightened very soon. This type of euphoria goes on for some time when things go right. When things go wrong or out of hand paranoia sets in and then you crash. You end up being depressed for many reasons; mainly for being in a miserable world and still unenlightened. These men end up being labeled as Bipolar.
In a general way, women are innately passive. They are also ready to “take a leap of faith” and follow their hunches and synchronicities as a test of faith to be passed. Once passed you feel elated and “in favor” of the god or demon guiding or impulsing you. Naturally you believe you are the “chosen one” of God/Goddess and you will be enlightened very soon. They also have highs and lows like men do. But instead of lashing out (exploding) at others the way men do they lash inwardly (imploding) in a suicidal way. These women could end up being labeled as borderline or Schizophrenic.
The five paths:
Every religion has its place depending on where you are at in your spiritual evolution. When you get rid of the dogma and limitations of certain lower views then you can see the beauty in each religion and how it all fits like a mosaic in this world. What is unique about Buddhism is that you can more easily figure out where you are on the Path and how much further work you have to do on yourself. There is no guesswork involved. The Buddha explained in detail the five paths and ten bhumis of ascension especially in the Lankavatara sutra.
The five paths are:
- The path of accumulation (one must clear away the heavy negative karmas)
- The path of preparation (one must clear emotional afflictions)
- The path of seeing (one has a direct perception of their true nature)
- The path of learning (one begins to clear away the cognitive obscurations)
- The path of no-more learning (one becomes a fully awake and omniscient being)
Sometimes, when you have a decision to make, you usually get yourself in a bind depending on the perplexity of the choices. Some will consult the tarot deck, soothsayers, fortunetellers and divination. Others will consult their spirit guides for help. This can be very costly financially but more costly if the guidance comes from a corrupt or unenlightened source. All of this can be easily be cut-through in a simple way so that you can be more self-sufficient. You have your own innate wisdom within you.
The key principle is to FOLLOW THE PATH OF JOY. For example, when you think of a future scenario and you are wondering if you should accept a course of action then you should feel joyful and effortless when imagining yourself doing it. Otherwise, if the future possibility is wrought with a lot of pressure and resistance then that course of action should be rejected and not followed through.
The Buddha knew well that the above principle was not fool-proof since some people misinterpret their feelings and intuitions. Since the Buddha calculated 84,000 outflows of poisonous thoughts, feelings, and actions he gave out specific precepts of what to accept or reject as a guideline for certain spiritual progress. Unfortunately, there are some people that take pleasure and joy in being destructive in all sorts of heinous crimes or perverted behaviors. They would enjoy pulling the wings off of insects for example. That is simply wrong.
In a more precise way, the Buddhist precepts were given to assist you to develop your conduct in a right and safe way for positive day-to-day living. As it has been taught, there are hundreds of basic precepts to hold in Buddhism. This type of self-denial has caused so much anger, confusion, and resentment among humans and non-humans. For some, it was considered too harsh to accept these facts immediately. They rejected Buddhism because it went against their normal, negative habitual way of living. In reality, it is for everyone’s greater good to evolve in this way as it has been said:
The Buddha told Ananda, “You constantly hear me explain in the Vinaya that there are three unalterable aspects to cultivation. That is, collecting one’s thoughts constitutes the precepts; from the precepts comes samadhi; and out of samadhi arises wisdom. Samadhi arises from precepts, and wisdom is revealed out of samadhi.” ~ Shurangama Sutra
Walking the path:
If you are serious about walking on solid ground on a spiritual path then finding a qualified Lama is of utmost importance. The lama can begin to teach you what steps to take. Being initiated into these more advanced practices are ways for you to send healing energy to the world without interfering with anyone’s free-will. These practices require a transmission and words of honor.
Learning to perform a sadhana such as a fire puja (homa) or Ganachakra (tsok) feast is the best way to accumulate merit and wisdom as well as pacify the inner and outer elements. This is a skillful way to help all worldly and non-worldly beings that are suffering without hurting yourself in the process.
All the best,