Conditioning – Two Childhoods

Posted: 19/09/2017 in Buddhadasa, Insight, Struggle
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Having recognised that in my following the path there has been two childhoods, there has to be a recognition of implications.

I have described these childhoods as system and spiritual. We could describe the system upbringing as conditioning, education or miseducation, and likewise for spiritual. Firstly let me state that these childhoods did not follow one from the other but ran in a sense in parallel. However hitting bottom and following the path was primarily although not exclusively concerned with the system conditioning …. in my case.

Even though I describe the consequence in spiritual terms – following the path, awareness of the process at the time was concerned with systemic education. It was based on the rejection of academia and the rejection of the world of work that academia had led me into. But immediately I rejected the academia, I began to follow a spiritual path. Following the path led to experiences, led to consideration of what spiritual life meant, and led to a removing of systemic conditioning or moving beyond systemic conditioning – mostly.

In this blog I discussed two conditionings perceiving difference between East and West. Yet I also say in the blog that there is only one conditioning, that the systemic conditioning is contained within the spiritual conditioning. In spiritual terms (Buddhist) attachments, to desire – greed – and a false theory – the 1%-system, create a miseducation that conditions us into the way of life the system offers – that benefits the 1%. Included within these attachments are intellectual adherence to academic knowledge and an acceptance that we should compete for more money as a rationale for working. Yet this is not all that is in our upbringing. Whilst I consider this as miseducation, this upbringing as education teaches us organisation and basics without which we could not function in any society. But why our education should teach us to function within a 1%-capitalist-system is purely a matter of exploitation – conditioning and miseducation, and is not concerned with our human development in society or spiritually – compassion.

It is important to see how instinct fits into this conditioning. Instinct is nature’s survival, we cling to our mothers, we have a procreational instinct, and generally have survival instincts. Over time these instincts fall out of necessary use, or at least are intended to, but this does not suit the 1% who benefit from manipulating a social imbalance that propagates these instincts. Particularly the sex instinct continues far beyond its natural end integrated with socialising that connects wealth, fame, sexual imagery and exploitation.

Spiritually, what does our upbringing do? Fundamentally it creates I. Using the 5 khandas (aggregates) as that which constitutes a human, then our spiritual miseducation conditions us into attaching to these khandas, and through that attachment creating selves that during our upbringing we aggregate as I (in Buddhism this is generally discussed as anatta). Within this attachment and aggregation is an acceptance of greed and the 1%-system of war and wage-slavery.

By moving beyond our systemic upbringing, we can see the conditioning into the competitive money ethic and the world of work as a process of creating a delusion that we adhere to. By moving beyond our spiritual upbringing, we see that the conditioning that creates attachment and ultimately the self creates a delusion where we are trapped in I. By moving beyond the spiritual conditioning we can experience genuine freedom, by moving beyond the systemic conditioning we can see that this war and wage-slavery now function for the benefit of the 1%. Moving beyond systemic conditioning does not mean we then become free from spiritual conditioning, hence why I consider I had two childhoods. I described the childhoods as one following the other but after hitting bottom and starting to follow the path there was still much systemic conditioning to remove and I hadn’t really begun to think about spiritual conditioning.

What do these conditionings mean? Discussion of 1%-conditioning is common-place usually using rhetoric such as capitalist exploitation – or the like. However spiritual conditioning is rarely discussed generally except in Buddhist or similar circles. How does this esoteric discussion of anatta impact on people? Eckhart Tolle discusses the pain body regularly, this is an attachment to pain – creating a pain self that impacts on our thinking. I regularly harp on about the intellect or an intellectual self, people especially academics cling to this self, expect compliance to intellectual processes, and do not see the importance of higher mental developments (bhavana) such as insight or other benefits gained as described in Anapanasati pp79-81 [8) What is the benefit of concentration?]. The intellect through its own need to survive cannot conceive of thinking higher than its own, a typical characteristic of self. Following the path helps us understand the impact of these selves, moving beyond “spiritual” conditioning helps us to deal with these selves.

Previously in discussion I tend to have been associated with awareness of systemic conditioning – being against the 1%. In reality I am arguing against all conditioning including the conditioning by selves – that above I have called spiritual conditioning. Politically I have promoted compassion as a unifying approach (blogpost and Unity Platform), in this context compassion means freedom from suffering brought about by conditioning (the spiritual that includes systemic). Recognising two childhoods means a change to looking at conditioning rather than just the system, and even more sees the importance of compassion as a benchmark.

Finally it is interesting to consider conditioning. It is normal to perceive an agency that conditions – such as the 1%-system. The 1%-system has a clear purpose – conditioning for profit. But what is the purpose of spiritual conditioning? Who gains? It is nature’s purpose – Idapaccayata. By recognising the suffering caused by conditioning, we can enjoy the happiness that comes from moving beyond conditioning – spiritual including systemic. This is why we follow the path. Further by recognising that all conditioning is part of “spiritual” conditioning we learn how to be free of it, it is attachment – just let go. Don’t buy into it, just let go.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

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