Sermon VI

In samsara- there is not even a pinprick of happiness

“If you are attached to this life you are not a practitioner.”

Hail to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Many can never truly hide the scars from the pain and trauma in life. It is written in their personality, their habits, and relationships, their eyes. It comes out in the way they live, if they feel the need to overeat, over drink, overspend, gamble, take hard drugs, pierce, and ink themselves to extremes, or in self violence both psychological and physical. Many just sink into the abyss day by day with self-pity and loathing unable to break the cycle and chains that tie them to merciless wheel of Samsara. Yes, the scars are screaming out from all humanity. But so few have the calluses to show for authentic deep, hard work and practice. The Masters conceal their scars and calluses to all but the most precious disciples. You who want to become or meet a Master, where are your calluses? Just as the blacksmiths and carpenters in the trade apprentice relationships would check to see if the hands showed signs of labor, of commitment to actual work, to see the marks of effort and discipline permanently become part of the body.

The ancients called the Way the ‘Mysteries’, because not only is there no answer that satisfies the totality of existence, there is none possible, either to articulate or fathom. It is some mercy the brain compartmentalizes the existential questions and sensory inputs to allow for a consensus of ‘consciousness’ to maintain continuity of personality or self-cohesion. Yet with all the mundane occupation of energy and senses, there is the inherent yearning for the higher spiritual states. This is Aspiration, or the need for evolution, and is in fact the motor force of all that lives with the purpose of liberation and Mastery. Anything that intrudes upon this resolve, this purpose is anti-Dharma, it is adversarial to the point that the ancients universally understood these forces as demonic.

As we have written extensively of the New Age versus Traditionalism, it is important to note both use the same terms as they are engaged in an occult war. But the New Age cherry picks emotional or feel-good aspects to lure people into false notions of reality, of nature, of what is the totality of the human condition as related to the esoteric meaning of life. There are those who are aware and intentionally nefarious, and those that are unwittingly the foils for this evil, as most ‘good’ people have a blind spot to such dark empathic manipulation. This realm is an aggregation of karma, thus it is held together with conflict, of tortured connections, relationships, threads of entangled clenched fists and pain. It is from this that we can grow and become Buddha and heroes, or as even as the Gods themselves. But trauma, loss, pain so profound that the psyche fragments, splinters, shatters, are targeted and exploited by dark forces. “Magic” or prayer or ritual in this sense is very real, in conjuring, harnessing and focusing energy. Supreme events leave an energetic signature, some so profound they are passed along in DNA, causing fractured latent mental and physical illness.

We must look at the ultimatum of existence, of facing reality, of the condition we are in. The Bodhisattvas had said, we are “Imprisoned with no control over our circumstances or death – all-pervasive suffering” with suffering imminent, ‘just waiting to happen’ with the reactions, the avoidance, the experience all generating, karma, pain, grudges, trauma, attachments, atomizing the Being into more and more fractured states. It is why the ancient understanding of healing was this supreme integration of making whole, uniting and refining the ruptured aspects of self.

We have said these countless ways and we have so many correspondences of rapid progress, healing and attainment of Siddhis. But also, those who languish in restless, volatile failure and who delude themselves that they do real practice. We are all fools in this world, but the worst is the one that fools themselves. One has self-control or one is not in control at all. Or one is sometimes in control, but exploited by these traumas, and those that use this wayward psychic energy in the collective rituals of mass culture. If one is not controlling their own thought, word and deeds, then something else is. Sincere work and meditation, humility, the cessation of hubris, of excuses, of complaining must cease for any real progress. But it holds some like a demonic parasite, sucking their energy, motivation and very life away.

The purpose of all of the power items, herbs, skillful means, initiations, empowerments is to break the rigid patterns that exploit the restless energy as it simply follows the path of least resistance. It cannot attain the power and focus to cross the threshold and carve a new pattern, one with its own intention and direction, so it continues on the groove or way. This fixing the volatile is why mercury is so central, as the essence of Shiva, of transmuted toxin, that is quicksilver that become purified and healing and fixed, able to fuse with higher metals. The lead longs and yearns to be gold, the alchemist must just remove the baseness, the atomic rigidity of matter for transmutation. But this requires supreme focus of energy that must be gathered and conducted. The crucible, which is in this case the human body, must be able to sustain this massive amount of force that wearies the bonds of material fixation of form and allows a new substance or being to emerge, purified and golden.

Truly those that cannot meditate, who cannot be still, cannot stop and face themselves, they cannot look within. They think they can manifest and do high esoteric arts that involve the controlling of the energies of fate, karma, and yet they cannot even master their own most superficial senses. It would be humorous if it was not so tragic, such a waste of potential and energy. Such a one is like a person dabbling at a language, yet they do not learn the alphabet but dream of writing poetry. Everyone has told an untruth in their life, but the worse are those that lie to themselves.

The deeper crisis and prison-like existence that many experience extends beyond this realm, beyond life and depth, beyond this dimension and reality. It is of the Mind. Samsara is the fettered mind. The harder we pull at this trap, the tighter we become ensnared. Any trapper can tell you the animals that are caught are those lured by sexuality, hunger or curiosity bates, and those looking for the easy meal, the overtly suspicious seduction or distracted from their instincts as animals to have to probe something that traps and kills them. The modern psychoanalyst would say something like, Narcissists have 3 channels: mimicry or charm, rage and self-pity, or the intellect, heart and sexuality out of triangulated balance. They cycle between those channels to get what they want, which is attention and adoration. This is a parasitic and demonic mode of being.

Even with ‘good intentions’ they inhabit a bipolar, nearly schizophrenic, bifurcated existence. The dark forces have potentiated this to exploit the human condition, where every aspect of reality is weaponized to divide people so that they cannot even agree upon basic facts, shared goals and outcomes, and the world goes mad. This is the same within the mind that is divided against itself, in continual conflict, unable to integrate opposites within, to reconcile conflicting impulses, sensations, ideals and actual circumstances.

The body and Mind are together the crucible and the toxic mercury within. The heat and pressure are the external forces of life, of toxic relationships and the karma of families, where one is born, etc. The stress of existence, of restless energy and yearning for an ideal that is always just beyond reach but seems within the grasp like the Greek myths of the punishment of Tantalus. One must guard extremes of the fires from within as well. Too much seeking just blissful experiences will yield a type of hangover, as reality will reassert itself with even more ferocious backlash. There is a prison-like sentinel intelligence, entities that monitor these states and seek to suppress them. Again, we use these concepts as convenient designations and such terms, as ‘demons’ are to be understood as such. Does it really matter if they “exist” or are real or are projections? What term better expresses those that act possessed in anti-human, anti-dharma toxic behaviors, that refuse to engage in the meaning of life and spread the spectrum of nihilism from apathy to outright chaos and suffering.

Some again, deluded by the false doctrines of New Age thinking imagine that there is no real work to be done. Some need to have the deep shamanic illness, the complete split and break and “back against the wall” experiences over and over again, to face death, terminal sickness, insanity to finally resolve to do the real practices. In fact, in these times, it is the case for most including this author, who has risen and fallen so many times. But these are the cycles of distillation, of the phases of decomposition, dissolution and breakdown, to calcination and the burning of all that is waste and dross that yields alchemical Gold.

We expound the ‘knife like’ teachings to sever Samasara. Like many objects, a knife can be useful or dangerous, a tool or a weapon for defense, or one might be careless and cut themselves upon it. But this is what the signals, the forces of the alchemical herbs, combined with practice must do. They must shatter the predictable outcomes of habitual failure and lowered expectations. They must destroy karma, excuses, obstacles and refine, over time, a new noble and purified Being. Taking herbs without the practices or power items, is healing to the body and spirit but it is not enough to sever the bad karma, the obstacles, untie the energetic knots. One must do the practices, which are hollow and of only minimal benefits without the herbs. The power items and rituals likewise empower the noetic energy, creating signatures of power and personal integrity that ripple through the aether. Those that do not have and keep a daily practice over decades are imposters, charlatans, and will waste all the promised potential. They might point the finger at the teachers, even call them liars, but it is they who lie, cheat and steal. They lie to themselves, they cheat their precious lifetimes and they steal attention and energy as they are like the drowning man who fights the one swimming to save them.

If you are not making rapid gaining progress, you are not doing real practice. You are on the threshold of divinity or demon, Buddha or hungry ghost. Who can master themselves a few minutes a day, then more over a lifetime? Who practices as if each day they will die? As if this year is their last on earth? If so, you would have no time to languish in self-pity. Like one knowing the winter comes, you would prepare as if one false move is certain death.

Only by vying with a tiger can one fully appreciate its leap.

Only after tasting bitter gall can one fully understand its bitterness.

It is said by a true master,

“For the ‘Dharma to go along with Dharma’, month by month, and year by year, as you practice, your mental continuum will become softer and softer, your afflictions will get smaller and smaller. Not just from your thinking, but from your very depths, you will be able to accept defeat again and again. Your character will become more and more excellent. Your desires for this life will get less and less. Your pride and haughty arrogance will decrease. You will feel this yourself, and your guru and companions will feel it too. The yidams and Dharma protectors will also feel it. The deities of space will feel it. Your mind will become cleaner and cleaner, and intellect will become happier and happier. Whichever angle or side you look at, you will feel no regrets. If you do not tame the mind it will wander in samsara. Thus, if something does not become an antidote for the afflictions, or does not tame your being, then what can it be used for? What has been the benefit of practicing Dharma by listening, contemplating, meditating and so forth? From your heart, you need to implant this in your mind.” –Lama Zhang in ‘Introduction to the Four Dharmas of Gampopa’

Thus have I Heard: When the time had come for Gampopa to part from his teacher Milarepa, Milarepa placed the soles of his feet on the top of Gampopa’s head, symbolizing that their work together was done. As Gampopa was about to depart, however, Milarepa added, “There is one particularly profound teaching I have yet to impart to anyone, but it is too precious to give away just like that, so you may go.” After this, the two embraced and Gampopa went on his way.Gampopa had nearly passed out of earshot when he heard Milarepa calling out to him. Hurrying back, he knelt once more before his teacher, whereupon Milarepa turned his back to him and, lifting up his robe, exposed his bare buttocks, entirely covered with thick calluses from years of meditating on a rock.“This is my final teaching to you, my beloved heart-son,” said Milarepa. “Now just do it.”