Atheists often make a god of humanistic ideals, and in their zeal perpetuate the same crimes they attribute to faith.
Is being enlightened having everything you contact hold your interest? Ah, excellent question. It is. Compassion is having everything hold your interest. Artists feel compassion for their art. They describe their creative works as their children, even begin to imagine their art has a desired destiny, place and state of being. Artists typically experience some degree of social defiance, defying convention. It isn’t necessarily deliberate, maybe not even conscious. Like their need to create they have a need to reject the unnatural, the non instinctive. Creative scientists display the same tendency. They often take up research projects that at least border on proscribed trains of thought while trying to avoid sabotaging their career.
I saw a movie set in the 18th century. Everyone wore white powdered wigs. The artist in the story wore a black one. I thought that was a nice touch. They are known for quirks like that.
I ponder the relationship between “social defiance” and “cognitive dissonance.” Ah, they stem from the same root. Cognitive dissonance is pain for the same reason social rejection registers in the same way physical pain does, and romantic collapse the same but with more intensity. We experience pain whenever the sensory and motor organizing process is jammed, when the supposedly higher cognitive functions are loudly projecting signals that contradict the bottom up stream of perception.
An example… At the same time, “I am disgusted by this. I’m going to make myself like this!” You will behave in the cognitively driven way, but it will have serious consequences.
I think this might be what “makes” spiritual innovation — that dissonance between bottom-up and higher cognitive function.
The alternative would be to allow the liking to arise naturally in the process and length of time your body brain needs in order to allow those shifts of association, and should your experience continue to reinforce aversion over time, then to relent in your efforts to do what is obviously toxic to you.
The willingness to keep company with sinners, they entertain the imaginings of fools. Yes, this is the root of spiritual innovation. The willingness to be the fool rather than play the fool. To advocate for the devil rather than become a devil yourself.
I ponder “the fool’s wisdom.”
So this is another creative use of meditation. You can in your contemplation assume the point of view of the devils advocate, on anything, without anxiety, because for that duration you won’t be acting on anything. You can fully explore that state of mind, that attitude, and come to really understand what it would be to have that mindset, to feel that way, and understand why you don’t and wouldn’t want to. Another bit of interesting science research is they have found that people are more willing to cheat if you resist the urge to accept the present conditions of experience. That’s awkwardly phrased… The rule abiding are more likely to cheat. The rule makers are the most inclined to cheat.
Yes, we can see that in our politicians.
I ponder “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Dudley Do-Right is Snidley Whiplash on a good day, and what leads to this evil state of affairs is the state of mind that makes one think to create the rules in the first place, the rational, logical, assessing, realistic, unmoved by sensation or emotion state of mind.
I would hope that we might also see that in our selves.
People create rules to control others, not themselves. People create rules to control everything, even themselves. Failure to control the self is just the crack in the dam, the weakness in everyone’s armour, because the whole mindset is misguided, blind to the reality of the human mind and how to actually, naturally focus our attention.
When I try to create rules for myself, I have a hard time adhering to them if I’m tired. You will also have a hard time adhering to them each time you have had to. Each instance builds your resistance to rules based behaviour.
But, does meditation help us to see this sim-guidance? To see that we have made the rules to “control” ourselves? Meditation can do that indeed, if the meditative practice itself doesn’t get bogged down in traditional rules based ritual.
Does meditation enable us to break through that resistance? Enable us to stop reacting? Ritualistic meditation might as well be obsessing about K-mart socks, not to say structured meditation is bad, or to be avoided, it just has to be mindfully applied and strategically diverted from as appropriate. Is it the Dalai Lama who said that we have to try to understand the rules very well in order to know best when and how to break them?
I ponder Thoreau and his principles of civil disobedience.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.