Originally posted by RogerT
Having an experience of ego death is one thing. The pursuit of enlightenment, the 8 fold path, the Rig Veda, the chanting meditations etc etc, are an
elitist trap designed to keep you looking up rather than sideways.
I agree. If you are seeking enlightenment "elsewhere" or think that "someone else has it," you are in for a long, sad, ride.
Originally posted by RogerT
One of the most bizarre things to me was the in-fighting amongst the south american shamans. Bickering like spoilt children, jealousies and firing
etheric darts at each other around the globe. These are guys and gals that 'see the light' almost nightly.
I have never met a south American Shaman,
but I did meet a Hindu guru, and a Buddhist Lama after my own experience. After what happened happened,
I went looking to see if I could find anyone who could tell me what the heck happened to me. I had no real personal background in any religious
tradition, I had been raised agnostic, and in an area where elements of Polytheism still remained, so although I was aware of many religions, I had no
personal "belief" in any one. I was hoping, initially, to find that "leaders" of some of the religions would understand, or recognize what had
happened. I knew very clearly it was a spiritual experience, (how can you not?) but I had no framework in which to make it make any kind of sense.
Science simply doesnt recognize it other than a hallucination or a misfire of some neuron somewhere.
Anyway, my own experience of Gurus and Lamas is that they are, like the leaders of every religion I have since met, business people first and
foremost. Bureaucrats. They follow a set of rules, they expect you to, they recognize hierarchy, and rank, and status, they get swept up in the
adoration of their followers and their egos swell accordingly. If they have actually had the experience, and I have not met one that I could tell for
certain had, they have been overrun by their ego and the specialness of it all.
So, I dont know what light the Shamans are seeing in your description, or the Gurus or the Lamas, but if their ego is dying in the experience, it
sounds like it resurrects as soon as it is over. Lol. In fact, I think the greatest trap is not to get on the long arduous path to enlightenment of
the everyday seeker, (Which is bad enough) but to have the experience of enlightenment itself and then have the Ego hijack it somehow. I think what
saved me as an individual, (to the degree I have been saved at all) is that I was ignorant of what happened when it did. If my ego had had the
information it needed to immediately grab that experience and "turn it into itself" I think I would have been doomed. (Remember, my ego wanted to
be a corporate raider, not a nice ego) My first ego based thought was something like, "Ok, I have just merged into God. I hope I am not going
crazy, because that was pretty cool, and it sure would suck to end up in a nuthouse." Had my Ego known how unusual it was, or that it was a sought
after experience, or had any knowledge of religion as a personal belief, I probably would have thought, "It rocks to be ME, therefore I am special,
chosen, etc." Which is what I think happens to a lot of "seekers" who stumble onto enlightenment.
The trick, if it can be called that, is to have the experience, and realize it has nothing to do with "you," your specific individual ego or
identity. And be able to maintain that "knowing it is not you" (as an individual) while the ego struggles to grab onto it. I did nothing to
"deserve" it. I know it could not have been about "me" or any "merit" I had. I didnt even practice any faith. (Though I was influenced by
Christianity as all Westerners are to some degree, and the Hawaiian polytheism as I have always loved mythology) What happened was there was a moment
in my life where my Ego got completely defeated by circumstances beyond my control, and "I" let go for a moment of trying to control my
experience/life. When I did, the experience happened to me. It flooded in. It could happen to anyone whose ego would get out of the way.
Unfortunately, TRYING to make your ego get out of the way is an act of Ego itself. Totally self defeating. Koans, Meditation, devout worship, these
are all other ways of getting someone to the state of weakened Ego, (without their realizing what is happening and bypassing the "trying" part) so
that the "crack" in the Ego can occur. It just so happens that there are "spontaneous" ways, suffering, psychological or physical, that can take
you there serendipitously.
Anyway, thats my long and probably more-than-you-cared-to-hear analysis of enlightenment,
In case you cant tell, I totally want to hear other
people's experience of enlightenment, so that I can continue my sorting
out of the factors involved. The historical texts have been "added" to by devout followers, and the "Enlightened ones" deified, so although I can
see the "core" experience, I cannot always see the factors that led to it, nor do any of the traditions tell of the struggle with the ego that
follows. (They cant, it would ruin the deification) Well, Christianity does a little, when Jesus struggles with "Satan."
I have been fortunate enough to "bump" into one or two others who have had the experience, but when they hear I have had it too, they clam up. (So
far, everyone I have met that I am certain had the experience lost the ego battle and refuse to acknowledge "others" have had it too, if "others"
have it, you cant be "the chosen one" now can you?) Some, like Eckhart Tolle, and a few others alive, I believe DID have the experience, AND have
not lost the ego battle, but they are famous and inaccessible to me, so I cannot ask them questions.
So, if anyone has anything they want to add to my survey of the experience, I would LOVE to hear it. U2U me if it is too personal to share on the
boards where you can be bashed.