I would agree that in most circumstances the physical body has no need of shock to grow or evolve, however, the shock being pointed to by GI Gurdjieff (and the Vajrayanists from the Surmoung monastery) is not about the body, but the "thinker" that drives the body. A tree does not develop an ego complex (memory,thinking,negative emotions, etc) that requires shock or force that brings pause to ego.
Ego believes that the body (and Conscious Awareness) are its learning device. Ego seeks to evolve. For those inclined towards a spiritual path, ego creates a Dream Self dedicated to the seeking of spirituality, as if spirituality is something that we lack, and needs to be sought.
Among ego's many fallacies, is the delusion of "seek and you will find." The spiritual truth however, is that when one seeks, spirit will bring them more to seek.
Ego's strongman is Thinking or Thought. Thinking is a Self-Centered activity. Even if you are thinking about another, it is still all about you. Thinking even puts itself above the "I Am".
"I think therefore I am" is among the most ridiculous statements ego ever spewed. The I Am does not think, nor is it ego. I think is ALWAYS in the past,...whereas I Am is in the present. At best, and probably only recognized by Man3 and higher, the "i think" is "I Was" not I Am.
The necessary shock or force to stop or shift ego's thinking away from its inherent self-centeredness, and break the trance that self-centeredness believes is real. Naropa said that recognizing consciousness during his lifetime, an adept may return to it without difficulty when the shock of death threatens to disorient him.
It is an upsidedown delusion that a shock initiates trance, like the misnomer of a hypnotherapuetic trance. Hypnotherapy isn't meant to induce trance, but bring clarity of the trance that ego already has one in. Doing mushrooms isn't about manifesting an altered state, but uncovering the altered state of common egoic consciousness.
There is a Self (Buddha discussed it in the Mahanirvana sutra). The Self that can "see" or observe the truth is the real Self. The self the merely has "seen" or observed, is ego's Dream Self. To see is to view in the present. There is no present in time. To have seen is to have viewed in the past. The past is not real.
Unfortunately, ego, which is ALWAYS, without exception, in the past, believes it is real,...and that is why shock, stop, pull the rug out from under, is necessary. Shock me now, or shock me later (at death).
Awareness is not a realization that there is no "self," but that there is no ego self. Do you really want to die before realizing this?
One of the best books I've read on ego is A Course In Miracles (ACIM). I didn't care for all the Christian content, but has an accurate description of ego throughout.
"the ego uses the body to conspire against your Mind (in this context the Mind has no relation to intellect), and because the ego realizes that its 'enemy' (the Mind) can end them both (ego and body) merely by recognizing they are not part of You (the Mind), they join in the attack together. This is perhaps the strangest perception of all, if you consider what it really involves.
The ego, which is not real, attempts to persuade the Mind, which is real, that the Mind is ego's learning device; and further, that the body is more real then the Mind is.
No one in their right Mind could possibly believe this, and no one in Their 'right Mind' does believe it"
For further ACIM dialogue:
(from ACIM teacher): What is Consciousness?
"The best response is within a non-dualistic framework, and thus will hardly satisfy an intellectually inquisitive mind that demands an answer on its own terms. However, within the dualistic framework that we experience as our reality, the question is really a statement masquerading in question form, "asked" by an ego mind in order to establish its own reality and unique identity. Therefore, the questioner is really saying: "I believe I am here, and now I want you to explain to me how I got here."
Consciousness, being the first split introduced into the mind of the dreamer, is an ego state where a perceiver and a perceived seem to exist as separate "realities." Consciousness results in a concept of a limited false self that is separate and uncertain. This false self believes it is "here" and "asks" the question about its own seeming origin, thereby seeking to verify it. In truth, however, imperfection cannot emanate from perfection, and an imperfect thought of separation and division cannot arise from a perfect Mind, in which opposites cannot exist. Only in a world of dreams can these absurdities, and the beliefs that foster such uncertainty lead to musings like this.
The question therefore can only be asked by those who believe and experience that they are indeed separate and distinct, and it can only be answered by someone who agrees with this premise that the impossible has in fact happened, and therefore requires and even demands an explanation. Thus, only a dreaming ego would ask such a question, for the Mind (not to be confused with intelect/brain) could not even conceive of the separation which is the basis for asking the question in the first place. And obviously, if in reality the separation never happened once, how could it possibly happen a second time? Therefore, once again, it is a trick question, much like the comedian's question, "When did you stop beating your wife?" which, if answered, can only incriminate the person responding.
The book ACIM says: It is reasonable to ask how the mind could ever have made the ego. In fact, it is the best question you could ask, There is, however, no point in giving an answer in terms of the past because the past does not matter, and history would not exist if the same errors were not being repeated in the present (T-4.II.1:1-3).
In other words, why worry about how and why the separation happened in the distant past, when you are still making the same choice to be separate in the present?
ACIM continues: The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. The ego may ask, "How did the impossible occur?", "To what did the impossible happen?", and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer; only an experience.
Who asks you to define the ego and explain how it arose can be but he who thinks it real, and seeks by definition to ensure that its illusive nature is concealed behind the words that seem to make it so."
Other ACIM questions:
If a God did not create the world or the body, who did? Moreover, who are we and how did we get here?
This is among the most commonly asked questions, and is certainly an understandable one. Almost all people believe that they are physical and psychological selves, living in a material universe that pre-existed their coming, and which will survive their leaving. The difficulty in understanding that this is not the case lies in the fact that we are so identified with our individual corporeal selves, that it is almost impossible to conceive of our existence on the level of the mind that is outside the world of time and space.
When the thought of separation seemed to occur, A Course in Miracles explains that man seemed to fall asleep and dream a dream, the contents of which are that oneness became multiplicity, and that the non-dualistic Mind of man became fragmented and separate from its Source, split into insane segments at war with themselves. As the Course explains, these fragments projected outside the mind a series of dreams or scripts that collectively constitute the history of the physical universe. On an individual level, the serial dramas our ego personalities identify as our own personal lives are also projections of our split and fragmented minds.
Thus we are all actors and actresses on the stage of life, as Shakespeare wrote, living out a dream that we experience as our individual reality, separate and apart from Who we really are as Real Self. Moreover, our minds have projected many different personalities in the collective dream of the fragmented little self, complicating the whole process. Therefore, the question "How did we get here?" must be understood from this perspective of the collective and individual dream. In other words, we are not truly here, but are dreaming that we are. As A Course in Miracles states: "[We] are already home, dreaming of exile" (text, 169; T-10.1.2: 1). And this is how the dream seemed to happen:
Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which man remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting [to laugh] did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects (text, p. 544; T-27.VITI.6:2-3).
These "real effects" constitute the physical world we think is our home. The following passage is perhaps the best description in the Course of the process whereby this effect came into existence, once man took seriously the tiny, mad idea that there could be a substitute for Love. As we shall now see, this resulted in the making of the physical universe which is believed to be an opposite to our true Home:
The physical universe substitutes an illusion for truth; fragmentation for wholeness. It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one, and still is what it was. That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. Your whole world rests upon it. Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship that you have ever made is part of it.
You may be surprised to hear how very different is reality from what you see. You do not realize the magnitude of that one error. It was so vast and so completely incredible that from it a world of total unreality had to emerge. What else could come of it? Its fragmented aspects are fearful enough, as you begin to look at them. But nothing you have seen begins to show you the enormity of the original error, which seemed to cast you out of Home, to shatter knowledge into meaningless bits of disunited perceptions, and to force you to make further substitutions.
That was the first projection of error outward. The world arose to bide it, and became the screen on which it was projected and drawn between you and the truth. For truth extends inward, where the idea of loss is meaningless and only increase is conceivable. Do you really think it strange that a world in which everything is backwards and upside down arose from this projection of error? It was inevitable (text, pp. 347-48; T- 1 8.1.4:1-6.-5)
But A Course in Miracles further states that the world was made as an attack on Reality (workbook, p. 403; W-pIl.3.2:1), and this was accomplished, again, by the collective split mind of man that believed in its hallucinatory dreaming that it had usurped First Cause. This is the beginning of the ego's unholy trinity that was mentioned above in question 4 on page 4. The guilt over his seeming sin of separation and usurpation demanded that man be punished. Consequently, the fearful man sought to flee from his own insane projection of a wrathful, vengeful Reality who wished to destroy him. Therefore man projected his illusory guilt and fragmented self out of the mind, thereby miscreating a physical world of time and space in which he could hide from the non-physical Reality he believed he had dethroned and destroyed. Within these multiple dreams, the one man appeared to split into billions of fragments, each of which became encased in a body of individual insane dreams, believing that this would render personal "protection" against the ego's image of a wrathful Reality's ultimate punishment.
It is important to note still again that we are speaking about the collective mind of the separated man as the maker of the world. Every seemingly separated fragment is but a split-off part of that original one mind that sought to replace the One Mind of Man. Thus, the individual fragment is not responsible for the world, but it is responsible for its belief in the reality of the world.
Does A Course in Miracles really mean that a God did not create the entire physical universe?
We answer this question with a resounding affirmative! Since nothing of form, matter, or substance can be of Source, then nothing of the physical universe can be real, and there is no exception to this. Workbook Lesson 43 states, in the context of perception, which is the realm of duality and separation:
Perception is not an attribute of Source. Perception has no function in Source, and does not exist (workbook, p. 67; W-pI.43.1:1-2; 2:1-2).
In the clarification of terms we find the following crystal clear statement about the illusory nature of the world of perception, which Source did not create:
The world you see is an illusion of a world. Source did not create it, for what Source manifests must be eternal as Itself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others [e.g., the greater cosmos, as we shall see below in a passage from the text). But the time will come when all things visible will have an end (manual, p. 8 1; C-4. 1).
And finally, a similar statement in the text:
Source's laws do not obtain directly to a world perception rules, for such a world could not have been created by the Mind to which perception has no meaning. Yet Sources laws reflected everywhere [through the Holy Spirit]. Not that the world where this reflection is, is real at all. Only because Man believes it is, and from Man's belief He could not let Himself be separate entirely. (text, p. 487; T-25.111.2; italics ours).
These passages are important, because they clarify a source of misunderstanding for many students of A Course in Miracles who maintain that Jesus is teaching that God did in fact create the world. They assert that all the Course is teaching is that he did not create our misperceptions of it. Statements which contain the phrase "the world you see," as in the above passage from the manual for teachers, do not apply simply to the world we perceive through our wrong-minded lens, but rather to the fact that we see at all. Again, the entire physical universe, the world of perception and form, is illusory and outside the Mind of Reality.
Therefore, nothing that can be observed -- nothing that has form, physicality, moves, changes, deteriorates, and ultimately dies -- could be of Source. A Course in Miracles is unequivocal about this, which is why we speak of it as being a perfect non-dualistic thought system: It contains no exceptions. And so the seeming majesty of the cosmos and perceived glory of nature are all expressions of the ego's thought system of separation, as we see in this wonderful passage from the text:
What seems eternal all will have an end. The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade will not return. Where time has set an end is not where the eternal is (text, p. 572; T-29.VI.2:7- I0).
To attempt to make an exception to this fact is to attempt a compromise with truth, exactly what the ego wants in order to establish its own existence. As it states in the workbook: "What is false is false, and what is true has never changed" (workbook, p.445; W-pII.10.1:1). And again in the text:
How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible has not occurred, and can have no effects. And that is all (text, p. 600; T-31.1.1:1-4).
In conclusion, therefore, no aspect of the illusion can be accorded truth, which means that absolutely nothing in the material universe has come from Reality, or is even known by Reality. Reality is totally outside the world of dreams.
What about the beauty and goodness in the world?
Following the above answer, we can see that the so-called positive aspects of our world are equally as illusory as the negative ones. They are both aspects of a dualistic perceptual universe, which but reflect the dualistic split in the mind of Man. The famous statement "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' is also applicable here, since what one deems as beauty, another may find to be aesthetically displeasing, and vice versa. Similarly, what one society judges as good, another may judge as bad and against the common good. This can be evidenced by a careful study of history, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Therefore, using the criterion for reality of eternal changelessness that is employed in the Course, we can conclude that nothing that the world deems beautiful or good is real, and so it cannot have been created by Reality.
Therefore, given that both beauty and goodness are relative concepts and thus are illusory, we should follow the injunction to always ask ourselves: "What is the meaning of what I behold?" (text, p. 619; T-3I.VII.13:5). In other words, even though something beautiful is illusory, it remains neutral, like everything else in the world. Given to the ego, it serves its unholy purpose of reinforcing separation, specialness, and guilt. Given to the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, it serves the holy purpose of leading us to an experience of truth that lies beyond perception. For example, a sunset can reinforce the belief that I can find peace and well-being only while in its presence, or it can help remind me that the true beauty of Man is my Identity, and that this beauty is internal, within my mind and independent of anything outside it.
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