Tag Archives: suicide

Death to God!

In my last post I wrote about the disparity between the abundant lives most of us live in developed economies in the twenty-first century, and the anger and blame that sits within many of us. That attitude of rage is seen most often on social media. We may find ourselves surprised at how angry we become when reading or watching things online. Where does that anger come from? I argued that modern cultures, including liberal ideals and the human potential movement, have unconsciously created cultures of pessimism and judgmental condemnation. And I argued that this anger is, for the most part, unnecessary.

At the end of that article I promised to follow up with a post about anger at an even deeper level: the rage at God, the universe and all existence.

The essence of this deep rage is the rejection of the world and its people, the universe and all of existence. It is nihilistic. It seeks extinction of sentience. In other words, it is suicidal. Freud’s death wish holds true for many of us as individuals, and for the human collective.

At its deepest level this rage seeks to destroy God itself. We look around and see darkness painted thick upon the fabric of the cosmos: war, rape, suicide, and suffering in its multiple forms. No matter how much we are granted by kind fate, no matter how great we come to be, it is all taken away… by the hand of God.

Even as we struggle to live and thrive in the world, we may carry within us the polarity of the desire for self-preservation, and self-destruction.

You might say I don’t believe in God, so this doesn’t apply to me and the increasing masses of people in the world who no longer believe in God (or, at least, not in religious versions of God). But you would be wrong. As Carl Jung pointed out a long time ago, God is not just a belief. It is an archetype which sits at the heart of the human psyche. It is a motif which it central to the way we process reality, albeit often at a subtle level. This is why even atheists will curse God when something goes wrong, or thank God when an unexpected joy comes into their lives.

Nietzsche was wrong. The atheists are wrong. God is not dead. We just want that to be so, and we want the bastard to go out with a bang.

 

How science gets it wrong

Current mainstream dominant psychology and neuroscience is reductionist. It has all but rejected the concepts of the mind and consciousness, and along with them most ideas which are psychological and “psychic” in nature. The ideas of depth psychologists like Jung and Freud are rarely discussed. They have been thrown into the dust bin of history.

In modern cognitive science the mind is nothing but the expression of neuro-physiology. Within such a mechanical model, mental constructs can either be ignored or discussed merely as peripheral phenomena.

But as I have pointed out numerous times in my writings, the reductionist model of mind is faulted. I base this understanding on experience gleaned from several decades exploring consciousness at a first-person level. Conversely, many of today’s experts in the fields of psychology and even consciousness theory have spent little or no time opening these inner door-ways. This lack of experience  and understanding has greatly contributed to the misunderstandings that underpin mainstream mechanistic models of mind today.

Eventually the idea of consciousness will have to return to the fore in our models of mind, and with that we will have to reintroduce the mental world. Some of the ideas of traditional psychology will return, albeit with a more nuanced and scientifically literate integration with neuro-science. We will, for example, realise that although Freud’s essentially pneumatic model of mind was deeply faulted, it nonetheless contains many accurate understandings of the human psyche. Much of Jung’s work will have to be acknowledged, also. Archetypes do reside within the human psyche. They do form collective artefacts which influence human consciousness and behavior.

 

The turning away

A crucial aspect of our God rage is that many human beings, probably about a third of us, don’t want to be here (exact quantification is unnecessary). They reject the life that they have been given, the world and the cosmos. And they reject humanity. If my figure is right, we have over two billion people sharing psychic space who want to blow the place up. It is a highly volatile collective mental space.

Discovering the God rage within my own psyche was frightening. I unearthed it during inner child work, where I would relax deeply and allow myself to feel whatever emerged within my own mind. What I found was that what underpinned many of the “dramas” I had with other people and the world a was very, very, very deep anger. And fear. There was a terrifying sense of helpless despair within me. I just wanted everything to end, including myself. This came as some surprise, because I was not consciously aware of any suicidal tendencies within myself.

But there it was. And there it may still be. Despite doing much healing work, I have learned not to impose self-concepts on such things. It is better to relax and allow such energies to express themselves, if that is what the moment calls for. Having gone into such dark spaces, and having given that wound loving attention without judgment or desire to eliminate it, I now do not need to be afraid of it. That inner work has granted me courage to face whatever arises from the psyche.

 

The source of the God rage

The God rage is a mental remnant of both our personal biographies and of collective human history – and the history of all life on this planet. The God rage is primordial. Our psychic evolution through past eons and also through the relatively recent history of human civilization has been bloody and violent. It has been traumatic.

Trauma typically does not dissipate once the physical expression has passed. A child that has been abused by its parents typically retains that pain and suffering at some level, even if the kid grows up, matures, and hopefully manages to build a successful life and relationships. Further, if the individual does not process that trauma it will tend to be deposited onto the consciousness fields of their children, perhaps even before the offspring are born. When the traumatised person dies, his or her consciousness field typically does not dissipate either. It lingers. And along with that the psychic field remains.

A similar principle operates with human collective consciousness fields. Our history books may often substitute undesirable histories for the delusion of flattering narratives, but the consciousness constructs will tend to remain. Every war, genocide, invasion and colonisation remains extant at some level. Those narratives then tend to be reactivated in later generations.

We can tell big lies, but we cannot hide from big truths forever. We can employ misnomers like “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” “The Peaceful Liberation of Tibet” or “the settlement of Australia,” but you can’t lie to the universe. It knows.

We know, deep within ourselves.

Thus it is that at a mental level we hold the consciousness structures of the ancestors, and ultimately of the entire human race.

How this expresses itself varies from individual to individual. Our minds are like hierarchies of concepts and stories, each nestled into greater pools of consciousness which extend beyond the body and into space and timelessness.

This is why the destructive rage at God, the world and its people affects the way we live our lives even into the scientific era. Because our collective pain and anger is so great, we have to invest psychological energy into suppressing it. We have to generate strategies to deny our trauma, our anger. Most typically this generates depression. When anger, sadness sand fear are suppressed they become heavy weights which drag us down. We carry baggage – a lot more baggage that we would like to admit.

The God rage is one of the primary motifs which we humans must negotiate in our psycho-spiritual evolution. Until the problem is fully owned and integrated by us both as individuals and as a species, the God rage will continue to create chaos and suffering. And destruction.

After all this is stated, the question then becomes: what is to be done about the God rage? How can we heal this pain? That will be the subject of my next post.

Marcus

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Faking it for God: Are you a spiritual fraud?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a spiritual fraud?

Because I am. Just wondering if you are too.

But before I talk about what a fake I am, let me go back a few days to what has been – for me – the most notable news story of the month so far.

On Wednesday, June 5th, the bodies of two Brooklyn self-help gurus were found in their apartment. Lynne Rosen and John Littig died of asphyxiation after inhaling helium, leaving behind suicide notes apologising for their actions. At this stage there are no reports of why they took their lives.

Littig was, according to his web site, a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and personal life coach. Rosen was also a life coach, speaker and consultant.

Rosen and Littig’s company was called “Why Not Now”. The pair hosted a monthly radio show on WBAI called “The Pursuit of Happiness,” where they urged listeners to seek happiness and embrace spontaneity.

The pair encouraged people to take risks, be spontaneous and follow their intuition  – to live their bliss. John Litting was clear on this:

“Intuition and impulse are extraordinarily important things in life. You will not be well-served if the impulse is shut down or you think about everything too much. Sometimes you just do it.”

So what happened to this couple? How is it that people who talk of happiness and teach spiritual principles can be so desperately unhappy themselves?

It is not my intention to pass judgment on John Littig and Lynne Rosen. If I did so it would be rather hypocritical of me, as I have felt all the feelings and experienced many of the things that I suspect they did. Nor are they different from many, many people in the self-help movement and “spiritual industry”.

So what did they experience? We have no definite information from official sources. However as my “job” is that of an intuitive (amongst a few other hats I wear), and I do have a strong sense of certain issues surrounding the couple.

Both Lynne Rosen and John Littig lost hope.

There is a strong sense of depression around John. There is also the idea of financial debt, the feeling of being a failure, that there is no way out. No future.

Lynn was deeply confused, looking to Littig for help. My perception is that there was a co-dependency issue. She also had a strong desire to escape, to “go to a better place”.

For both there is the overall belief that there is a better existence awaiting us on “the other side”.

In the end they felt themselves to be frauds, unable to live up to their own teachings.

They gave up.

I am now going to move onto discussing something I refer to as “spiritual fraudulence”. Let me just emphasise that this is a common issue in the self-help age. It is relevant not only to the lives of Lynne Rosen and John Littig. It is almost pervasive amongst generation X and even more so for generation Y.

Spiritual fraudulence occurs when the reality of our lives, and especially our inner worlds, becomes greatly dissociated from the face that we show the world; and different also from what we are willing to admit to ourselves about our emotional well-being. Spiritual fraudulence is a significant issue in just about all spiritual and religious traditions, and amongst their organisations and teachers.

The essential problem is that people within these organisations  – and the individual teachers themselves – find it very difficult to embody the ideals that they teach. The mind attempts to personify an ideal – to be happy, spiritual, Christ-like, Buddha-like etc. – but the ideal remains distanced from the reality.

Christianity, for example, teaches us about the compassion of Christ, the importance of forgiveness, and the love of God. Yet in reality the history of Christianity has been dotted with war and bloodshed, intolerance and persecution. In recent years there have been endless sex scandals involving the clergy. The hypocrisy and the lies are astounding.

The history of the Church is largely a history of spiritual fraudulence.

If only it was merely the Church that is guilty of this! But no. To some degree it is true of almost all religious and spiritual traditions, both ancient and modern.

It is also true for all of us – we the spiritual seekers of today. The human ego does not differ that greatly from person to person, nor in its expression from group to group.

The ego emerges from your biology, and the need to stay alive, drive away competitors, establish safety from external threats, to procreate and to seek power and gain attention. Hatred, anger, judgment, violence, jealousy and narcissism define the human ego. It gets attached to ideas and beliefs, believes that it is special, and demands that God give it what it wants.

It is also very stubborn and highly prone to self-delusion. Part of the ego’s desire to be special is thinking that it is spiritually advanced or above others.

It is prepared to do this even though there is a very big price to pay to maintain the delusion.

That price is keeping itself imprisoned in a world of separation and alienation. The ego refuses to surrender to the present moment, to what is real in the here and now. It can never really know life, and it can never truly love. For its nature is to attach importance and meaning to ideas and objects, and strive relentlessly to make sure that those attachments are not threatened.

Now here is the key. Spiritual ideals and rituals – including all the stuff that you read about in self-help books – are a favourite target of attachment. There are no ideas or concepts – no matter how pure or “spiritual” you think they are – that are exceptions to this.

This includes the very words you are reading now.

Now!

When the mind or ego attaches itself to a spiritual ideal or philosophy the result is the expansion of the spiritual ego. The spiritual ego is what the mind creates so that it does not have to live the very spiritual ideals it worships. This is a truly insane agenda.

What lies behind this silly little game is the mind’s terror of the “fall” it must take to actually live the ideals it espouses. It has to surrender control to the present, to what is real. That means that it has to let go of the dream of a better future, and especially the dream of being elevated above everyone else and life itself.

The second issue is that letting go into presence requires that a person feel all that is within themselves, including the emotional body. And most of us carry a lot of pain. Indeed it is this emotional pain which was largely behind the creation of the ego in the first place, way back when we were children.

My fellow self-help gurus and life coaches are amongst the very worst offenders. Many of the spiritual and self-help teachers I see – both those who are well-known and the little ones like me – are spiritually fraudulent. Their overall motivation stems not from the “big I”, but from the ego. For this reason they just cannot walk the talk. As soon as the workshop is over and the last participant has left the room, their mind is wondering around full of doubt and fear. They drive home and scream at the idiot who pulls out in front of them. Then they set the next agenda to secure control over the world and to shut out the silence of presence.

If they are particularly foolish, spiritual teachers go public with their fraudulence. They go on FaceBook and rant about how horrible and shitty humanity is, all the while complaining about how they are not getting what they want.

Many times I have dealt with people like this. All it takes to bring out the “little i” is some misplaced sense of grievance, and the judgment and rage explodes from them. I could list many examples.

But I won’t, as I would be a hypocrite.

We are all spiritual fakes sometimes. After all, we are only human. And therein lies part of the problem. In so many spiritual traditions and cultures we are supposed to be perfect, to be Buddha-like or Christ-like. But you are not Christ or the Buddha. You are just you.

I am just me. And your imperfection is perfection itself.

Yesterday I was complaining to someone about how truly awful it is that I have to put so much time and energy into online book promotion, even when the recent results have not been as good as I’d hoped for. Yes, life has been unfair to me of late. With my book promotion I have even followed, to the letter, the detailed advice of one best-selling Kindle author. This fellow has gotten rich best-selling his books about how to sell your books best. Indeed he best-sells tens of thousands of books a month. That’s why he’s a best-selling author, no?

I applied Mr Best Seller’s advice to the letter. And it has made absolutely no difference to my book sales.

Poor me.

But that is what most of us do at least sometimes, no?

Who is your favourite spiritual teacher? Now, picture that teacher in your own mind getting back from his/her latest public gathering in a particularly shitty mood, swearing out loud and kicking the cat.

Now you get what I mean.

Yes. Hard as it may seem to believe, every self-help and spiritual author you have ever read lives a life which sometimes – maybe often – deviates from his own teachings.

And as far as I am concerned, that is perfectly fine. The problem is not allowing the “small I” to run the ship of your being for a while. The problem is that many remain there, while pretending that they are living life from the “big I”.

Most of the time they are not aware they are doing this. Remember the bit about the ego being sneaky?

My essential point is that the real problem arises when we have no default position from which to shift out of that ego state. Many, many people on a spiritual journey find their default position has unconsciously become spiritual ego.

They are unable to relax into presence. There is nowhere to go when the darkness descends, and the world does not grant them what they want. When this occurs for an extended time they become very frustrated, angry, disillusioned. They may even hate themselves because they know they cannot walk the talk. 

None of us can walk the talk all the time. None of us is perfect, and the world will never give us what we want all the time. That is not how Spirit works. “Spiritual” philosophies like the naive law of attraction, as found in The Secret, can be quite harmful because they tell people that they can have whatever we want. They wrongly suggest that the focus of life should be upon manifesting our desires. The inevitable result of this false teaching is that the spiritual practitioner becomes angry and bitter when the world refuses to manifest his will. Then he turns upon himself, as he knows that he is a “failure”.

There is a simple solution to all this. We must make simple presence the default position in life. We must not set our default position within the world of belief and expectation, of spiritual philosophy and grandiose futures.

This is what I did the other day when I found myself being a spiritual fraud. Not long after complaining to my friend about my lack of book sales, I sat down and surrendered to presence. Breathing fully into my body and into the real world of the present moment, I fully acknowledged to God all the thoughts, attitudes and feelings that were circulating within myself, including all the judgment, anger and pain.

Within moments it was all gone. All the beliefs and expectations vanished too. My attachment to book sales vanished into nothingness, and I was free.

Freedom is a space of infinite potential within the present moment. This is the space of “I don’t know”; that sense of “I know nothing”.

In such moments I do not even know who I am. I am simply silent surrender.

I am.

And that is when the most beautiful of all human experience unfolds.

Not happiness.

But peace.

If there is one thing that the unfortunate story of Lynne Rosen and John Littig teaches us, it is that there is no such thing as perfect happiness. Happiness comes and goes like the wind. While there are many things we can do to encourage it, I do not believe that it should be the basis of the spiritual journey. Nor even the life journey.

Make peace your essence. It arises spontaneously from the moment, and it is as free as the air we breathe. And it is very, very simple. It is also incredibly powerful, for it may harnesses the forces of Grace.

And Grace, by definition, is beyond our control. You cannot wield that power. You simply allow it.

Of course, none of this negates the importance of common sense when dealing with depression or mental illness. Don’t be afraid to seek help – including professional help – if you need it. You cannot do it all yourself, and if you isolate yourself you may actually worsen the problem.

In relationships the Grace of presence can fill us.

But no matter what you do or where you find yourself, just be here. Now. It is from this foundation that you can then move through the world of space and time, and create your world. But this will not be the forced, rigid movement that emerges from the mind’s quest for power and control. It is flow itself.

You will find that there is an infinite power that comes with you in each and every one of those moments of surrender. As you yield to it, your momentary attachments fall away like sands through a child’s fingers. That is the joy of perfect presence. Presence passes playfully before us, smiling, teasing us. Inviting peace.

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