Posted: 31/08/2016 by zandtao in Freedom, Meditation

I am still reading Brad – not sure why. In his latest blog he discusses miracles, and apparently Dogen discusses miracles in the Shobogenzo chapter “Jinzu” so I must look at that.

I do not like the use of the word “miracle”. Growing up a Catholic the word “miracle” was in the background, but “magic” in whatever form always feels unsound as a basis for a proper way of life – a life of sila. There is a seduction about miracles and powers that makes me feel total antipathy.

After my first “miracle”, when I hit bottom and came out the other side with bells and banjos ringing in my ears everywhere I began exploring the occult – this together with the Kabbalah seemed the western esoteric tradition. It was all so attractive, and yet at no time did these writings demand sila of me. And of course there was Castaneda with death over the shoulder, stopping time and all such – with no appeal to sila, his sila has now been questioned.

I learned of how there can be seduction near the Path when I started to read Aleisteir Crowley’s “Diary of a Drug Fiend”, I got really sucked in. I began to think he had something, and was thinking about it more and more – until eventually something powerfully said “this is drugs it is crap” (I don’t remember the words but the sentiment was so strong); I have never picked up a book of his again. But that was not the end of such attraction. Some time later I took a Jane Roberts book on holiday to Greece with me. I was sat on a hotel balcony in Delphi overlooking a valley that opened out to the sea, and began imagining that in a past life I had been a Greek warrior walking down that valley. Again I got sucked in until eventually I realised who was teaching her, the name was Seth, and Seth does not have good connotations. I remember a book by Frederic Lionel that warned against these attractions of “Glamour” (here is a blog I wrote years later on “Glamour” – I now can’t find the title of Frederic Lionel’s book, I think it was “Glamour”), and glamour is something I have tried to eschew ever since.

Once I turned more towards India and Easter, I began hearing of how all gurus would lock themselves away and develop these wonderful powers, siddhis, how they could perform magic and stuff. I realised that ain’t it, is the Path sitting levitating? Eventually through meditation discipline and these types of warnings I knew that we’re not here to develop by-products (siddhis), we are here to live a good moral life; the siddhis are attractions – distractions.

Soon after I retired I began looking into “A Course in Miracles” in which we could all develop powers (siddhis) to create miracles through being good people and applying ourselves. I felt it was taking me the wrong way, and I stopped – reasons here.

Every time I see the name Marianne Williamson I see it in the right places with her saying and doing the right things. Except for the fact that she is a huge advocate of “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM), possibly her most famous book is based on the course called “Return to Love”. She talks of the miracles of returning to love overcoming fear. This message is not a problem, for me it is the appeal to ego – the glamour – that makes me wary. When I listen to this clip, danger bells ring. By removing the conditioning that is fear, there is the freedom that comes – sunnata. She calls this freedom love, perfectly fine, and the process “return to love”. But in this expression of love there can still be khandas, ego. And when she talks of this process empowering her to do anything, I worry whether an ego is included. It was the concern that I might include this ego that made me quit ACIM 8 or so years ago.

What is evident is that ACIM removes the conditioning that includes fear. But removing conditioning is not the end of problems on the Path, it is the start of a different set of problems. There are the dangers of introducing a new mindset – in this case ACIM, and becoming attached to it. There are the dangers, already alluded to, of becoming attached to the power, attached to the glamour. For me coping with these dangers requires a high level of sila and circumspection throughout. For me it is not sufficient to say love and the power that comes with it is the guiding force. Pure love does not make mistakes, but love expressed through humans has all the issues of attaching to the khandas creating ego. From my limited experience with ACIM that ego is appealed to in making the person divine so as to create miracles; there are many risks. From 3.30 mins in the clip, she describes removing fear with the conditioned limiting ego-mind leading to ego-death, this process I agree with. But the ego does not die it reincarnates at other times as I mentioned with the dangers arising from attachment to the khandas.

Whether it is the miracles of Jesus or the miracles of ACIM, I do not like the use of the word miracles because both are talking about power and neither are talking about sila. But the use of the word also points us in the wrong direction. It is not the miracles that need to hold our focus but the peace and harmony that comes from following the true path. It is the insight usually arising from meditation, and the clarity of zazen. It is Gaia, Nature, Life, Unity that is so wonderful, as Brad says “you can directly and immediately examine this one great miracle in detail for yourself using your own body and your own mind just as they are right here and right now.” Miracle sounds like power, superhuman, special – don’t like that, peace and harmony can come from a true life, that is more than enough.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

  1. zandtao says:

    PS I think Brad does not focus on the power and magic, I believe his use of the term “great miracle” is a contrast and not an advocation of a miraculous approach.

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