The Stupid Muscle of Pop Spirituality
or “The Absurd Movements of the Half-Imaginary Prophet-Gods of the Past.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: The equation of “Nirvana” and “samsara” is not factually the case. It is not a conventional truth, nor is it in any sense obvious to the egoic mind. In the un-Enlightened condition, Nirvana and samsara are the ultimate opposites. The declaration that they are the same is truly made only by those who have transcended the limits of ego and phenomenal appearances. 
The Buddhist conception of the sameness of Nirvana and samsara is like the Hindu Advaitic conception of the sameness of the self-essence and “Brahman”. Each of these two great traditional formulae indicates a Transcendental Condition to be Realized. 
Therefore, neither formula represents a conventional truth, and neither one is a principle intended or suited for popular belief. Each one is a formula that Confesses the Truth in terms that transcend all differences and that recognizes the conditional world and self in Truth rather than apart from Truth.
Those who are not thus Enlightened or perfectly Awake must clearly understand that Nirvana and samsara are not the same. A conventionally worldy life, egoically attached to the merely apparent or perceptual “realities” of phenomenal existence, is not in any sense Nirvanic. Indeed, such a life is truly nihilistic.
Even so, there is a trend, both modern and traditional, to use the great Mahayana equation of Nirvana and samsara as a basis for the promotion of popular techniques of living that substitute worldly, religious, and ego-based yogic or mystical practices, consolations, and attainments for the Way and the Realization of Transcendental Enlightenment. 

This same trend can be seen in the worldwide effort 
to reduce the Way of Transcendental Realization, 
epitomized by the Buddhist and Advaitist traditions, 
to egoic paths of mere materialistic worldliness, 
conventional social consciousness, exoteric religious consolation, 
and magical-mystical aspiration. 

In the domains of “pop” Buddhism, the Enlightened Confession “Nirvana and samsara are the same” is reduced to the idea that discipline and transcendence are unnecessary, or the ideal of the ego with a quiet mind, or the benighted and merely consoled feeling that everything is OK as it seems—as if one could achieve a state of fear that is free of anxiety! 
The same tendencies are evident in “pop” Hinduism, where, according to the conventional belief in the sameness of atman and Brahman, the ego is regarded to be Divine, the Truth is reduced to the mortal patterns of psycho-physical inwardness, and the Spiritual Master is abandoned for the “Inner Guide” (or the ego as Master). 
These conventions of “street wisdom” are combined with bits and pieces of all traditions to create the absurd movements of “pop” spirituality, and these popular movements constantly clash in the streets with the equally absurd “pop” religions and their cultic Idols made of arbitrary beliefs and conventional mythologies about Jesus, Krishna, and all the other half-imaginary Prophet-Gods of the past. 
And all of these street wars of religion against religion, dull idea against dull idea, are nothing but the muscle of stupidity, sheeplike ego-clashes, the separate junk piles of the past all hurled at one another for the angry sake of power, whizzing between minds that are mucked in self, hardened by fear, defined by the resident passions of birth, and utterly oblivious to the Truth and the Wide-Wise significance of our bleeding worried lives.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Excerpted from Nirvanasara
1982





© 2010 ASA

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