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Re: Information and Relative Realities

Posted by Mark H. on May 15, 2000, at 19:54:56

In reply to Information, posted by Jamie on May 15, 2000, at 17:37:32

Hi Jamie,

I received the information from "Fred Stone" as well. I believe it is important to open dialogs with those who experience things differently than most people, because there is no compelling evidence that any one point of view or understanding of relative reality is correct.

In other words, as I've been reminded, a label such as "psychotic," while useful within the "majority reality" for quickly and efficiently dealing with a too-large caseload or prescribing medications based on the experience of other physicians, breaks down as a definitive explanation for a person under closer examination -- as does any label. It's not that "psychosis" doesn't exist -- it's just a cluster of enough-similar symptoms to justify a diagnosis -- but that everyone seems to be somewhere on a continuum that includes psychosis. As such, our only argument for "correctness" is that more people see the world the way "we" do than the way "they" (i. e., schizophrenics) do. That's not much of a basis for an argument!

I have some intuitive ability. I really don't care if someone who doesn't believe in intuition says I'm picking up on visual cues, small subconscious signals in body language or tone of voice, or making generalizations that apply to everybody. That's fine. I don't need an explanation to know what I know, and the basis for my knowing is unimportant to me. But if I presented it in the "wrong" way, I could be considered insane. Instead, people used to seek my advice on a regular basis. There's an interestingly small difference there. (I quit doing readings when I couldn't reliably set my depression aside.)

When someone sees vast, interconnected conspiracies controlling the world right down to a particular individual (usually the person perceiving the conspiracy), my internal "oh, this person is a paranoid" alarm usually goes off.

But increasingly, I'm interested in knowing what exactly they perceive. Why? Because most spiritual paths state that heaven and hell are right here on earth, that they are not "somewhere else," that all realities are in fact co-existing in the same place and time. "Healthier" or at least "happier" people generally exhibit more denial and assumption of goodness than "less healthy" or at least "less happy" people. "Correct" or "incorrect" becomes a bit of a blur. I sometimes wonder if we were all instantly aware of all the suffering and wrongdoing in the world, we might despair and want to kill ourselves -- yet my teacher says just the opposite is true. On the other hand, if we are able to perceive the emptiness of even the most seemingly debased and sadistic phenomena, then we're free, aren't we?

Buddhism suggests that the outer world doesn't need to change to be understood as perfect and empty of any inherent reality. Yet my lama claims that no one ever got to enlightenment from negativity, so I smile that once again Buddhism proves practical as well as epistemological.

So if I choose the relative delusion of happiness and trust and innate goodness over the relative delusion of unhappiness and distrust and evil, it is for a reason, and not just because I think it is more "correct." I am interested in the personal experiences of the damned, as it were, because in understanding my differences and similarities with them I might glimpse an enlightened person's differences and similarities with me, and in doing so, choose to move more towards the light, towards positiveness, greater healing, and ultimately, benefit for others as well as for myself. I'm just a selfish beginner who is longing to be a little less so.

Best wishes,

Mark H.




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