Tag Archives: communication

Media Bias in the Thought-free Zones

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The political-big-business-and-money-establishment powerfully conditions our televisions, radio, and newspapers. Sometimes this is obvious but often it is subtle. Most media like to create the impression of even-handed and objective reporting but this is frequently an illusion. Stories are selectively emphasized and often worded in a way that is biased and deceptive, all the while giving a false impression of fair and honest reporting.

The problem is, people don’t know how to think, and large numbers are ill equipped to handle the media onslaught, becoming unwitting media victims, hypnotized by slogans, appeals to fear, and materialistic self-interest.

 

Fox image by Peter G Trimming (modified)

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Multiple-choice Meditative Semantics

Faith is

  • a. an emotional tendency to lean on nothing, believing it to be something.
  • b. verification by the heart
  • c. wishful thinking used to cover a multitude of sins
  • d. knowledge that is half in shadow and half in light
  • e. the passion of fools and persecutors
  • f. the bird that sings while the dawn is still dark
  • g. all of the above
  • h. none of the above
  • i. all of the above and none of the above

Loss of face is

  • a. social dishonor
  • b. a misnomer for loss of mask
  • c. gain of heart

When I speak of love, I’m usually referring to:

  • a. Dependency
  • b Idolization
  • c. Sentimentality
  • d. Friendship
  • e. Wisdom of the soul
  • f. Physical attraction
  • g. The worship of the divine through human
  • h The desire to love
  • i. The desire to be loved
  • j. Finding the right object of love
  • k. A relationship to a specific person
  • l. Selfless giving
  • m. Over protectiveness
  • n Consciousness of God
  • o Economics
  • p. Other

Most spiritual guidance is

  • a. from one’s own mind
  • b. personal delusions from one’s own mind
  • c. subconscious wish-life
  • d. aspirations from previous lives
  • e. communication from ordinary discarnate people
  • f. unconscious telepathic eavesdropping
  • g. misappropriation of thoughts floating in space
  • h. from one’s own soul
  • i. from a great spiritual teacher
  • j. tricky combinations of a few the above

Forgiveness is a sign of imperfect tolerance. True/false

Most meditation is selfish and is so not meditation at all. True/false

All people who have only two eyes and two years are blind and deaf. True/false

All true/false and multiple-choice questions are misleading oversimplifications. True/False

Interpersonal Resonance

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It’s rare to resonate to the actual meaning in the mind and heart of another. Ego usually prefers a more personal interpretation. We hear words, automatically assigning them meaning based on personal knowledge. This is natural and inevitable, but our sin is that we forget about our ego and the limits of our knowledge. The interpretative process becomes thoughtless and self-centered, and we relate to another’s words in a way that misses the meaning. We jump to the conclusion that we know what’s being said. It’s a natural action of ego. It’s tricky, because words of themselves are just dead forms and illusions. We ourselves give them life, or fail to give it. Having words in our ears doesn’t mean we have the meaning in the mind and heart of the speaker. All this might seem obvious, yet this very day have we not all fallen short of the glory of communion.

The glory of meaning is in people, not in words. Meaning is an arc of light in the space between words.

“All music is what awakes from you
When you are reminded by the instruments.”

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

And in reading, thinking, and listening, all meaning is what wakes from us when we are reminded by the words.

Where Meaning Is

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Are words better able to convey mundane experiences than subtle or spiritual ones?  No, because the virtues and limits of words are the same in each case. It’s experience in common that makes all communication via words possible, because the meaning of everything (from the most spiritual to the most material) is not in the words but in the consciousness of the listener or reader.

“The eyesight has another eyesight and the hearing another hearing and the voice another voice.”

—Henry David Thoreau

The Esoteric Landscape—a Difficult Journey

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Let us consider the world of the “esoteric” or “spiritual science”—these suggests a wide diversity of things such as psychic phenomena, the supernatural, mysticism, meditation, tarot card reading, kabalistic obscurity, crystal balls, reincarnation, astral bodies, auras and chakaras, Eastern thought, metaphysics, and the occult. For some, the language may also call to mind witches and wizards, seances, a yogi in a mountain cave, magical charms, mysterious rites, and perhaps even some UFOs thrown in. And for some, the esoteric terms even associate with cults, satanic worship, or some TV show on the latest strange, weird, or bizarre phenomena. We might say that, the human scene, being what it is, people inevitably acquire a superficial picture; a caricature of whatever realities esoteric language is intended to point to. And among many people, a term like “esoteric” or “occult” conjures emotions most strange, while in this maze of language and concepts–usually but vaguely and poorly defined–wander the metaphysically oriented people of the world.

All this is not to belittle the truth underlying the language, but rather to help us realize more clearly the difficulties of discerning that truth. It helps to realize that excellent things are rare, and that for every true teacher, there are a thousand pretentious gurus. For every true psychic, there are a thousand pseudopsychics. For every prophetic visionary, thousands of false prophets walk the earth. And for every truly enlightened individual, there are thousands spiritual charlatans. And the matter is further complicated by the fact that we rarely have just obviously “false” communications but a cryptic blend of the true, and half-true, of false, and a partly false. There are a thousands of shades of partly true offered us from every direction.

And everywhere we find systems, gimmicks, offerings of pretty packages, of effortless cures and quick enlightenments, and even metaphysical versions of get-rich-quick schemes. And for every purely wrought axiom of wisdom, there are a thousand clichés and inferior versions.

It may also help us to realize that, at one extreme, everything becomes counterfeited and debased. Everything has false and glamorous versions. Everything has illusory and shadowy counterparts. So, on the surface, everywhere is scattered fool’s gold.

At the other extreme, in deeper spaces, is the clear gold light of wisdom. But between the extremes is a world of grays where things gradually shade toward the light. This is the world where our discrimination and insight are constantly tested. This is the world where we must learn to think and see ever more clearly. We live along a twilight path of human understanding, a world mixed of dark and light. Yet, along the way, we may more optimistically recall that shadows suggest the light that cast them.

Take heart then that the Powers that be thought so well of us as to lay upon our path such difficult circumstances. Our own powers are equal to the challenge, if not today, then surely tomorrow, and we have an infinity of tomorrows.

Let us bring out of the dense fabric of human thought some clear ideas, set them upon a pedestal, elevated, striking, luminous—suitable objects for reflection. The light of them is beautiful and, in one way, simple, yielding to us by interior radiance that vision of clarity we so deeply need for the difficult journey.

Information Overload: Tests of Discrimination

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What a wild world! We’re bombarded with so much information these days that the onslaught threatens to overwhelm us. Ideas, images, propaganda, voices, montages, songs and screeches–a veritable whirlwind of communication beckons us to the heady heights of some new comprehension or threatens to plunge us into a maelstrom information overload. Words and images assault us–we ride waves of communication that pour toward us from all directions. Plug into the new world and the blinding Technicolor radiance of it flows through us; some of this is dazzling, some awful.

Pause of stillness, thought, focus, and clarity. It must be about discrimination. I will choose carefully. I must be critical, yet open. Carefully verify what is important; ignore what is not. So then, to choose, to carefully discern what is most worthwhile. It is a modern school for an ancient and time-honored lesson: the tests of discrimination.