In one of the previous posts, titled ‘Mindfulness / Mindlessness / Awareness Or Simply Stillness’, we saw how mind may be seen as the universal mind and the individual mind and we also looked at the terms ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Mindlessness’ and ‘Awareness’ in the context of one’s spiritual development and we proposed that another term that can be used, i.e., ‘stillness’. In inner and outer stillness, the seeker / disciple can come across the silent and timeless stillness of the ‘now’.
In this stillness, the individual mind gets reconnected to the universal mind to create the oness / wholeness which Jesus called the Kingdom of Heaven or which Buddha called nirvana.
The story of Adam in the Bible can be seen as a symbolic representation of the disconnect / severance of the individual mind from the universal mind.
In the Biblical story of the origin of the universe, God made Adam and then he made Eve. And he put them in the Garden of Eden (apparently for an eternal, unending life of bliss and contentment). In this garden there were many fruit-bearing trees. One of these trees was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from this tree and also that if they did eat from this tree, they will die.
But that is exactly what Adam and Eve did. Prompted by the serpent / devil, Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. When God came back, he called out to Adam. Now Adam, after having eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, had discovered his ‘nakedness’ and when God called out to him, he did not want to go before God, feeling ashamed of his nakedness.
Eventually God found out that Adam and Eve had eaten from the forbidden tree. He banished them from the Garden of Eden and sentenced Adam and his descendants to a life of toil and death.
To some extent, this is symbolic of what happens between the universal mind, the individual mind and the ego. The universal mind gives rise to the individual mind. The individual mind develops the ego, i.e., knowledge of good and evil and other polarities, other divisions and images. Then the individual ego gets disconnected from the universal mind and is unable to access that universal source of wisdom, almost like Adam was banished form the Garden of Eden.
Man (humankind) develops the ego and this ego causes man to stray from the spiritual path. It also causes man to believe in life and death. The moment we become ego-ised, we are sentenced to death. The ego has to die one day. But if there is no ego, there is no death. This is what the great wisdom teachers have been teaching us. Remove the ego from the equation of life and live eternally. A return to the Garden of Eden.
Just like Adam was banished to a life of hard work and death, we, the ego-based mankind, is destined for a life of hard work, slavery and eventually an unsatisfied / unfulfilled death.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t need to end in an unfulfilled death. We actually do not end like that, we are part of the eternal, unending universe, but we think we die. And we don’t need to think like that.
After Adam, the only real significant thing that happened in Christianity was Jesus or the Jesus movement (we don’t actually know if he existed or not, but there was definitely a huge movement in his name). Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu and a few others understood the disconnect between the universal mind and the individual mind. They understood the significance of the Adam and Eve story or other similar stories of the origin of the universe. They understood that the disconnect can be rectified and removed and oneness can be brought back.
However, we have never listened to these great teachers. Whenever they come, we kill them or just manipulate their sayings to our personal profit, which is why we continue to live in such appalling conditions. The most ‘advanced’ and ‘civilized’ societies are no better than what used to be called the ‘third world’ countries. The differences are skin-deep. The same anger, violence, hatred, greed, hypocrisy, corruption, poverty, frustration and bitterness are found in every society without fail.
There is a global spiritual failure right in front of our eyes that we are unable to see. And we are unable to see because we do not have the mind to comprehend it. Even when the eyes see it, the mind does not register it. And there is only one reason. The ego. Because of the ego, we are unable to understand that the homeless person I see when I am passing by on the road in my expensive car is only me. No, I see him or her as the poor homeless person who is different from me. And there is no reason for me to help him / her. Maybe I feel a bit of pity for that person for a few seconds, maybe I take out some money and give to him for some reason that justifies that action and then I drive on. Even charity has to have a reason. Sharing needs a justification.
That is our real poverty: Its not how much money we have in our bank account, but how connected we are to the rest of our own self. The more connected we are, the richer we are. The more disconnected we are, the poorer we are.
And by this definition of poverty, the richest countries or societies in the world are actually some of the poorest. The more financially rich a society is, the poorer it seems to be in terms of spirituality and human connection. Money and the so-called ‘prosperity’ that it brings have their cost. They actually make us poor, not rich.
I do not like the word, ‘sin’, but if there is any such thing called sin, then, the separation / disconnect from ‘others’ is the ‘Original Sin’ and the only sin.
When Jesus said, “Repent”, he was talking about repentance for this sin.
When Buddha was teaching about attachments and letting go of attachments, he was talking about letting go of the ego and everything that binds us to the ego.
Same for other great wisdom teachers who had discovered this poverty of man.
But, no, we don’t need to listen to such non-sensical old-fashioned idiotic BS. The world has moved on and we have made significant advancements in science, technology, education, etc. We now have enough wisdom for ourselves. Lets keep going as we are.