Monday, June 16, 2014
Adultery of the heart - happens all the time
"Everyone makes an ego or a self for himself, which is subject to enormous variation because of its instability. He also makes an ego for everyone else he perceives, which is equally variable. Their interaction is a process which alters both, because they were not made by or with the Unalterable. It is important to realize that this alteration can and does occur as readily when the interaction takes place in the mind as when it involves physical proximity. Thinking about another ego is as effective in changing relative perception as is physical interaction. There could be no better example that the ego is only an idea and not a fact." T-4.II.2:1-6
Is the "inherent worth and dignity of every person" a fact or a fiction? Is this "person" a fantasy or something real?
Jesus says in Mathew 5:28 "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Does the person who is lusting and the imagined person lusted after have "inherent worth and dignity"?
My friend Sam says, "No, Dave, don't be silly. Both the person filled with lust and the person he or she imagines in his or her mind lusted after are just imaginary and neither have anything to do with the self/not self that the principle is speaking about."
"You're saying, Sam," I say, "that this interaction is just the nonsense of two egos getting it on like in a dream, and Jesus is not condemning but suggesting, maybe with humor, that the lustful person is just engaged in idle bull shit that has no real meaning?"
"Yeah, you can say that. The imagining of the lustful person doesn't seem to have any inherent worth and dignity does it? Not because it is sexual but because it is the projection of one ego imagining another ego which in the mind of reality is insane and we do it all the time especially when it comes to perceived slights, disappointments, injustices, even successes we are jealous of, from others. It's like we create this soap opera in our own mind where we alternate between victim and victor and this "monkey mind as the buddhists call it" becomes our reality in the sense that we create this dream trance that we think is real, but it is only, often, a hell of our own making. This adultery, betrayal, unfaithfulness, attacks, happens all the time about all kinds of topics not just sexual. Jesus is saying when we project our own ego stuff onto ourselves and others we are losing faith with the inherent worth and dignity of our being and committing an adultery, our being is being adulterated."
"And this dream which is an adulteration, a separation, from our unitive experience of God, doesn't have any inherent worth and dignity is what you are saying," I ask?
"How could it? We just make it up." said Sam
"So what is this inherent worth and dignity that the first principle is referring to," I ask?
"You're going deep, now, Dave. We should probably save this question for when we have more time. However, let me suggest that the answer from the Perennial Philosophy gives to this question is that spiritual training leads to the transcendance of the personality, the giving up of the "self", the ego and becoming one with God, our Higher Power, Life. Til next time?"
"Yeah, okay. Thanks Sam."
And so I wonder how the inherent worth and dignity of every person spoken about in the first principle does not refer to the ego, but rather to some other quality called, for lack of a better word, or phrase, the "unitive oneness with the Godhead.