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    Archive for the 'New Age' Category

    Mantra power from Sweden

    Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

    I was just remembering a scene from Ram Das’ Be Here Now. I don’t know if I’ve remembered it correctly since I haven’t read the book in over 20 years.

    I think most people who quote the title of that book as if it were a prescription for living haven’t read it… but that’s besides the point, which relates to my memory:

    In this scene, Ram Das has just come back from India where he had spent time with his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, and was fully engaged in his “japa” practice — repeating a mantra over and over and over and over. Mr. Das (or does he prefer the more hairdresserly Mr. Ram?) recounted (rather, I’m recounting him recounting) being in the car with his father and all that was happening is his mind was the mantra, over and over. All thoughts were subsumed by the mantra. He could barely hear his father through the mantra. And he was blissed out as he rode the waves that the mantra created in his mind.

    I was recalling this story because for the last few hours I’ve had the exact same experience!

    Every thought, feeling, sensation, experience has merely been taken over by, eaten by, swallowed whole by the musical sound resonating and reverberating through my mind.

    Vacuuming becomes the sound.

    Talking with people who came to buy my inversion table and gravity boots (thank you Craigslist) becomes the sound.

    Eating is like eating the sound.

    No thing happens in my mind that doesn’t feel equal to the sound… of ABBA’s Dancing Queen (thank you Meryl Streep in Mama Mia).

    I’m not dancing around the living room like Meryl on her Greek Isle, but the rapture is no less technicolor.

    Seriously, without the idea that “I have a song stuck in my head, especially a bubble-gum 70’s song that I wish would leave,” how is this any different than repeating some collection of Sanskrit syllables? (Can syllables actually be Sanskrit?)

    Quoting one of the advanced spiritual teachings from my Swedish guru group, “With a bit of rock music, everything is fine…”

    Start watching TV, Maitreya is coming, Maitreya is coming!

    Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

    Over the last few weeks, there have been full-page ads in our local paper, The Daily Camera, announcing that Maitreya, the One World Healer, the World Teacher, the Messiah, the returning Christ (sorry for any confusion, all of the previous are referring to the same dude), will soon be back on earth and, even better, appearing on TV.

    I hope he comes back on basic cable and not Pay-Per-View.

    I was so excited to read that “The fifth Buddha, Krishna, the Imam Mahdi” (yes, still all about the same guy), was coming back soon, because I totally forgot he was on the way… after I first heard he would soon be here THIRTY YEARS AGO!

    Yup, I first read that we were entering this new age and that Maitreya would be appearing at a mall near you back in 79… but that was, apparently twenty years after the FIRST announcement that Maitreya was going to be here soon.

    Why is it that in “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” it only took 3 instances of the boy crying wolf before nobody listened to him, but the man who cried messiah is still getting attention after fifty years?

    You’d figure after the fourth or fifth time he was a no-show, it would be hard to keep selling tickets to the concert, but, nope, somehow there’s enough cash in the coffers for a newspaper ad campaign.  I’m betting the people financing the announcement of his return are hoping that, when he comes back, he also announces, “By the way, I made a brief stop here back in ’83 and bought me a boatload of Microsoft stock… so let me reimburse you for all the ad spending. Oh, and my apologies for missing all those other times I said I was going to be here; I may be the World Healer, but I’m HORRIBLE with my day-timer!”

    And if this is truly the messiah, the World Teacher, the most ascended of the ascended masters, why is he making his appearance on television?

    Come on, people, it’s the 00’s… announcing your existence on television is so 90’s. Why isn’t the all-knowing one online?

    I won’t believe he’s actually here until he’s got a Facebook profile (if he’s on Myspace, you know he’s not the real savior), or he sends me an eCard with cutesy animated animals singing about his arrival with helium-flavored voices. I’m a skeptic about Maitreya’s existence on the Earth until there’s a Youtube video of him falling off a skateboard and smashing his nuts on a stairway handrail.

    Hey don’t get me wrong, I totally believe Maitreya is on the way. I mean who wouldn’t after encountering the logic that his gang uses:

    Every religion has a belief in the return of their leader, so it doesn’t matter what name you call him, he IS coming back.

    Can you say, “Huh?”

    This is a variation of the logic used to “prove” the existence of God (and, please, I’m not going to argue about whether God exists… I’m just going to mangle this crappy bit of “logic” for now): Well, every culture and religion believes in a creator being so, clearly, there must be one!

    Umm… not really.

    Everybody used to believe the Earth was flat, but that didn’t allow people to fall off the edge. If everyone suddenly believed that Brittney Spears was mentally stable or that Donald Trump had normal hair, I still wouldn’t want Brittney to coif The Donald.

    Ah, but who am I to demand solid rhetoric from people who have — did I mention this — continued to believe the same story for 50 years in the face of repeated lack of evidence?

    I must say, I’m fascinated with all the myriad ways we imagine a utopian future:

    • Returning messiah
    • Enlightenment (or any imagined future where we suffer no human ills)
    • Living happily ever after when you meet THE ONE (and I don’t mean Keanu Reeves)
    • Winning the lottery and never having to say, “I can’t afford it”

    I think I’ve figured out the math on how we get to these fantastical future beliefs:

    1. The mind’s job is to try to guess what will make us happy in the future (it seems to forget how bad it is at that job, how it’s rarely been right in the past, and how nobody who has gotten what we want has attained the happiness we think we will get from it… but, anyway…)
    2. When we imagine something, we can simultaneously get a “feeling of knowing” (again, let’s discount how often our feeling of knowing is completely wrong — remember the last time you KNEW that you left your keys in that place they weren’t?)
    3. Eventually, someone stumbles on the thought that the returning savior MUST be coming soon
    4. And it MUST be true, because, well, look how good and right it feels when we think about it!
    5. And then the full-page ads, 1-day workshops, best-selling “prophetic” books, and appearances on Oprah begin.

    All I can say is I’m glad I have my DVR set to record every one of the 500+ channels I receive, 24 hours a day, because I sure don’t want to miss the moment he interrupts an episode of Days of Our Lives to announce, “I’m ba-a-ack!”





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