Monday, August 24, 2015

The poverty of modern amoral spirituality

Today morality is everybody's own business. In a way it is the correct approach. We have different systems of morality. A respect to different religions with their special nuances of morality is essential to a peaceful world. An essential idea to curb any attempt to over-aggressive evangelical thrusts. An essential idea to curb Governments from persecuting people with different systems of belief and morality. An essential idea that the modern world should be secular with due respects to religion and spirituality.

On the approach to spirituality, a different fallacy dawns on the modern man - spirituality can devout from any belief system. Such approach attracts some people who are disappointed by today's organized religions, for example Christianity, for people living in the West. New age spirituality seems to be synonymous with a negation of Christianity while embracing a form of Eastern religion notably Tao or Zen like. But the question is: Are Tao and Zen devoid of morality?

In the surface of it, Tao and Zen surely do look like a devoid of morality. Isn't it Tao said Good and Bad co-exist together in a person, equal in quality as well in in quantity? Isn't Zen enlightenment comes from a break-through away from worldly karma - which essentially means our inner world will not then be dictated by any pre-conditions however they were created (which has further been caused by previous karma)?

The fallacy of modern amoral spirituality is that it has assumed that practitioners of Tao and Zen begin with amorality and  ended up with amorality - and with a stronger belief in amorality at the end, the "meaning" of Enlightenments" per excellence!

To be true, without the quibbles of philosophers (analytical in nature), everybody knows what is good and what is bad, or what is moral and what is immoral. A dilemma comes for the pious man when he begins to realize that it is not easy for him to stay a good person for a continual period of time before his "other side" revolt. "The more we do good, the stronger of our urge to do bad as compensation", as Freudian/Jungian psychologists would have predicted. It also concurs with Tao and Zen teachings that good/bad exist within each of us in more or less half/half. In the Platform Sutra, our Zen master raised an impossible question for his young student to answer: "If I strike you with a stick, will you feel pain or no pain?" and he completed this Zen riddle by saying "If you do not feel pain, you are just a piece of stone and can't be Enlightened; and if you feel pain like any human being, then you will bear a grudge."

In Zen it is through a rebirth through meditation being facilitated, while out of meditation, by mental challenges fired from one's master (including the use of Koan). In Tao it is through rebirth of a new embryo through deep meditation facilitated by treating any negative thoughts (during meditation) arising from our inner self as fantasy. The ultimate objective is forming of a higher level new self into which our ego can step into (or identify with) after we have done good deed to avoid our "mental revolts". With the help of meditation, such negative energy arising from such revolts will be neutralized. And with such neutralization, we can perform our next good deed without the negative part holding us back or creating an internal voice questioning our pious endeavors. Without such understanding, New age spirituality only runs in a futile circle as best, and resulting in ego-elation or psyche dependency (towards one's master) at worst. Beware spiritual seekers!

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