The great dharma wheel is nothing more complex than that. The big mystery in life is that there is no mystery.
Plato attributes the rise of misanthropy (hatred for humanity) first to trust of humanity. An inclination in the individual to see all human beings as entirely virtuous. Then as their faith in humanity proves untenable, they developed first the disconnection, then an active avoidance of human community. In a sense, this faith is sloth is it not? But is the sin in this faith which modern religions still encourage us to have, or does it lay elsewhere?
I was once there. I lost faith in everything around me. But as Arnie says… “I’mmm back!” Indeed, welcome back to life. We have faith in humanity, and it is repeatedly dashed so people become embittered cynics. But this modern cynicism is hard to justify in my view, and even loses touch with the original philosophy of cynicism.
I would say the form of sloth we indulge in that manifests as faith in humanity is error only because it misplaces your locus of control. Rather than being present in any experience, we believe all will be well because of some absolute principle we are told governs things, and that we come to believe despite our experience.
I personally am not an atheist. People function based on principles/ideals. They live “in the spirit of” and these spirits have a very real and living impact on the world and human society. Not being an atheist I am a misotheist. I am not a misanthrope. The “gods” of humanity have caused a great deal of suffering. We have been the prisoners of our own nature projected onto a false front so that we could divorce ourselves from our own prejudices.
We abdicate our rights and thus our potential to have pleasure in life in service to “gods”. Be the god money, or progress, or even humanism. We set up any set of ideals as absolute, then become quite embittered and vicious when our faith is misplaced. We are our gods keepers, but we make of them our jailors. We suffer, but only of our own doing.
Will I say there are no gods? No. I would say quite the contrary, there indeed are. We can be trapped in unthinking reactions, and part of the reason why is that we attribute them to sources that aren’t their creator. We are not self originating beings. All that is in our being was in the world before our birth into it, and will remain even after no such being recognizable as man still breathes.
So why do these powers seem fickle? Why do they seem capable of evil? Well, that’s the crux… “seeming“. We are touched by the spirit of sloth and react with judgement. We analyze, or even worse reject these spirits, then wonder why they seem to dominate our reality.
It has been said that our greatest fear is not that we are powerless, but that we are powerful without measure. We cling vehemently to disempowering relationships with the “gods/spirits/emotions” never realizing that any relationship is our choice. We are given total choice and total freedom. There is no lurking punishment, just the potential to disempower ourselves yet again. Live in an endless cycle of “but …” and “if …” when all is readily available to us right now, as well as the wisdom to choose.
Depressed people have stopped choosing. Convinced themselves for whatever reason they can’t, and when the spirit of “anger” enters them raging like a Tibetan angry god, it’s their punisher rather than their liberator. God gives them a hand up, but they judge it to be what they expect. It is the “other” hand, and other hands always punish them. This is why they get so depressed. If they allowed it to be their own hand, recognized the darkness as their brother/sister and not their enemy, their suffering would not last, could not last. That is the great mystery of the destroyer god. The destroyer destroys only the destructive.
In a discussion class I went to yesterday, the facilitator stated it’s the mind that takes all the credit for what you do, and tosses you to the winds when it doesn’t work out. That there are no failures or mistakes, just a choice you made using a persona that didn’t work. That you learn more about relationships from what you’re not, than what you are. That gets right to the point. We come to know god/self as what we are not, but this is a judgement. When you encounter the “demons” in people, they are yours. When you see godlike love in another, that is your love. These are your potentials as you can only perceive what you are. Demons teach. Angels teach. They are the self same soul. Laughter and tears, how do they differ?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.One World class participants. Thank you!)