It is common knowledge that Buddhism appeared to have no future. Partly, this was a direct consequence of the perception that it had no real past that could be possibly conceived as historical. As a distinct subject, of course it appeared to exist, but those who were paid to ‘know more’ about these things, made it a foundational point that Buddhism was ahistorical in nature, and in essence existed outside of time and space, and could not be judged in the usual academic manner, unlike all the other world religions, which died out overtime due to improved social conditions. This was, we were told, due to the fact that in the old society, humanity’s estrangement from itself had led to the development of imaginary spiritual constructs in the mind that were mistakenly believed to exist outside of the minds that created them.
Social conditions, that is work conditions and relationships between those who owned businesses and those who worked in them, tended to have a psychological effect that split the mind in half, creating an inner imbalance that tried to correct itself in the wrong way, by inventing super-human beings and mythological paradises that these beings resided within. None of this was visible, of course, but this did not prevent millions of human beings from adhering to these ideas and passing them on to their children. For centuries, religious thinking prevailed, until the means of production created so much physical wealth that the inner bonds of religiosity started to weaken and snap, allowing attitudes to secularise, and society to slowly change. Yes – the various religious institutions limped on for many years, evening inspiring vicious world-wide wars, but eventually they faded away. Atheism, for a time, took on the garb of the religion it sort to replace. A kind of religiosity, with all its arrogance and inability to listen, but one that whilst perpetuating certain religious-like behaviours, nevertheless, denied the existence of a god and a spiritual realm.
Today, this kind of atheism is viewed as a great error – not because of its denial of the validity of religion, but rather because it mimicked religion to such an extent, that it was often indistinguishable from it. God was replaced by the arrogance of the assumption of superior knowledge. Whilst denying god, the new atheists had in fact merely transferred the belief in an all powerful deity, to that of a powerful mode of knowing. This was to be expected. Following hundreds of years of religious rule, humanity, whilst moving their collective minds away from imagery and fear, had simply modified the familiar modes of thought that religion had instilled. Viewed from today’s standpoint, the time period known as ‘secularism’ is clearly seen as just another form of religiosity, albeit one no longer controlled by religious institutions, but rather by the whims of that other sickness known as ‘individualism’. At that time, no one really understood that all philosophy is fiction. Science – which was the result of the isolation of the ‘intellection’ of religiosity, made great gains, which were juxtaposed against the general conservatism of religions. In reality, this kind of thinking pitted like against like, whilst assuming a fictitious innate difference. Religion had dominated humanity for so long that when its formal structures began to change, no one was able to see clearly what exactly was happening. New states of being were viewed as if not related to those states which obviously preceded them. A sense of cultural advancement grew out of a partial and disjointed view of the world that did not allow for the identification of continuation. In this peculiar world, circumstances imposed upon individuals from the outside were considered to be the fault of those who experienced the circumstances.
A small number of people apparently controlled the vast majority of people through the issuing of money in payment for physical labour. The amount issued was never in accordance with the true value of the labour exerted, nor did the labourer partake in the true profit gained from the worth of the product manufactured. Just how this arrangement worked varied over-time as technology changed and developed, but the general relationship of asymmetric re-imbursement for labour exerted remained more or less constant for centuries. We often enquired why people lived like this and did not seek to change their lives. The answer seems to be that the powerful minority built structures in society that secured their elitist position, structures such as military forces and police units, as well as oppressive civil agencies, that although presented a surface rhetoric of existing to assist the people, actually existed to do the exact opposite. The majority of people in this situation could not change the structures they lived in, because of the weight of the accumulated social power arrayed against them. Religion, for a time, actually co-operated with this oppression and altered its teachings to represent this shift in emphasis. Jesus, who over-turned the tables of the money-lenders, and taught that money and work were not necessary for humanity, was suddenly represented by a religion that developed a ‘work ethic’ in its attempt to take a share of the monetary value of the exploited masses. The view today is that this was a time of great social idiocy. The reasons are many and varied, but all point to the essential unfairness of the structure of society. The state does not exist today as it did then, in fact, it does not exist all. Like the state, religion in its theological incarnation has died away. That does not mean that it doesn’t exist – far from it – it has never been persecuted, but rather has dissolved into redundancy. Its teachings are still extant, actually they are preserved as an official policy, but as a body of knowledge they have no relevancy for the people of today. Buddhism has been an interesting exemption to this case. Yes, the religiosity of Buddhism has fallen away, but the essential teaching regarding mind development and mind control have been viewed as an important part of the New Education Programme (NEP). As there is an ample supply of everything that can be required for human life, greed no longer exists. As society is no longer separated into unjust divisions, there is no point in creating hatred, and as education is now perfected as a means of transferring knowledge, delusion is an impossibility. However, Buddhism as a means of meditative development has been widely engaged throughout society as a method to stabilise the human mind and increase the output of its spirituality. Spirituality is defined today as the ability to think good and clever thoughts – it has nothing to do with the old definitions.
Buddhism, when stripped of its religiosity has no history in and of itself. However, as it never really was designed as a religion as such, and bearing in-mind that it never advocated a god as a saviour, what is left is its pure core of mind developmental knowledge. This knowledge has been built from direct experience of viewing the inner workings of the mind itself. Although we now know that there is no ‘inner’ or ‘outer’ as such, it is also true that humans tend to be born with a very definite sense of an inner being opposed to an outer world. This is the residue of old thinking that is being educated out of the people, through the use of meditation practice. Interestingly, the Buddha taught that this false dichotomy is the source of all human suffering. This false state sets-up the foundation that the old society was based upon. It serves to create the circumstance for the old exploitative structures to re-emerge. Obviously this is a counter-productive situation that would lead to the collapse of the modern ‘whole’ society, back into small elitist groups dominating the majority of people for their own profit. Buddhism, as a remnant of the old society is the only philosophical body of knowledge that has survived the peaceful evolution into the present society of wholeness. Eventually, it is believed, this dualistic mind residue will be finally uprooted as the social conditions move individuals away from the requirement to reproduce it. At such a time, even Buddhism will cease to have any relevance. The social conditions that led the Buddha to realise his mind in relation to his existence, will fade away, or evolve into something new and hitherto unexpected. Wholeness has taught that dualism is redundant and its existence created much suffering. Things are no longer ‘idealist’, or ‘materialist’, but beyond both limited descriptions. Mind and matter are now understood to be one and the same substance. It is true that Buddhism developed similar philosophical assumptions through the personal experiences of its mediators’, but this experience of what was called ‘enlightenment’, remained the domain of the few. It was not readily available throughout society as its acquisition was based purely upon the false assumption of self-effort, the practice of which created purely personal experiences.
We now understand enlightenment to be nothing other than the experience of wholeness. Our society no longer separates the human mind into dysfunctional fragments, but rather presents a totality of valid experience. A divergence from wholeness is an error or disease that is treated through meditative practice that is free of dogma. The inner and outer must appear the same for suffering not to arise. The dualistic state is a miserable state. An interesting test of perception is to sit down and close the eyes, and focus upon the breath. Exactly the same state of wholeness should be observable that is familiar during ordinary activity. This state is automatically imbued with well-being and good health because it is complete and optimum. If the eyes close, and a significantly different world appears to the mind’s eye, then it is obvious that the weakening effects of partiality are present. This means that the individual concerned is suffering from the problem of projecting authority and power into entities that exist in his environment, and is thus separating his mind into an imaginary dichotomy. Mind and matter appear as if two distinct entities that have no connection. When reconciled, the inner and outer adjust to their true single nature. Buddhism originated in Asia, in a place called ‘India’. This was a time when the world and its people were separated into nations. Of course, such archaic nonsense is hard to comprehend in the light of wholeness being. This was the product of enforced competition between artificially created groups of human beings. The divisions were endless and completely fictitious. For these mythic barriers to be maintained from generation to generation, education was designed to create the required psychological structures in the minds of individuals. Without this kind of indoctrination, it would not have taken long for these false social boundaries to have fallen away. The idea that the human mind might be the doorway to a better material existence was not new to the West, indeed, a place called ‘Ancient Greece’ had advocated just this concept, but with the domination of theocratic religions, and the fall into commerce, led the world to develop greed related exchange systems, where the value of an object was transferred into bits of metal and pieces of paper. In this way of thinking, the accumulation of these entities termed ‘money’ became the pursuit of the majority of human beings. From these inert objects, a mythic status was created that allowed bearers of such trinkets to assume an air of power in society, and even to dominate major institutions and establishments.
The suffering this type of exchange system created was immense and it is surprising that it prevailed for as long as did. Everything was reduced to its monetary value – even human beings – and those who managed to acquire more money than others were perceived as being of more social worth. The conditioning of the human mind allowed for this system to flourish, despite its inherent ridiculous nature and potential for harm. In many ways, Buddhism in its essence represents a lost tradition in the West that probably originated in old Greece, but as the human mind pre-exists this time, it is extremely likely that other, equally interesting and effective methods of mind development existed. Buddhism, by way of example, originated out of the social conditions created by Brahmanism in old India. Admittedly, this kind of mind-orientated philosophy developed into the mistaken dichotomy of ‘idealism’ opposed to ‘materialism’. This division – and that is exactly what it was – created confusion and estrangement between people for centuries. Both concepts are ideas in the mind – that is obvious – but the problem was what was done with each idea. Idealists, who limited everything to a ‘thought’, believed that materialism was wrong because it denied the relevancy of the mind that perceives all phenomena. Materialists, using the notion of old science based solely upon the measuring of the dimensions of objects and entities, believed with equal strength, that the mind had been the place that theocracy and superstition had originated, and that the least the actual subjective thought processes had to do with anything, the better. Materialism, in its various guises, sought to use the mind in a certain way so that only ‘objective’ measurement was represented in thought. However, the fact that thought was used at all was often not openly admitted, as this was considered an act of allowing pure idealism in through the backdoor. The truth of the matter was that the human mind conceived both concepts – as it conceives all concepts. The error was in presuming that there existed two unconnected realms that appeared to some how interact with one another through no obvious medium – a mental plane and a material plane. After years of dispute and mutual non-acknowledgement of one another’s philosophical position, humanity evolved beyond this conundrum, and developed an awareness whereby a separate mind was integrated with a distinct material world. This was not really a victory for either camp, as both concepts lost their self-imposed and isolating privileges. What did occur was the expansion of awareness whereby perception, thought construct and emotion, were fully understood to be part of the material world, and that at the same time, the material world was understood to be fully a part of perceptual awareness. No real difference could be seen between mind and matter, with the new understanding not being limited to either idealism or materialism. Neither side had won, but both sides had been thoroughly transcended. This understanding evolved as society moved forward in its outer, material development. Inner changes occurred that corresponded to these changes, and humanity moved forward as a result.
The human mind has never lost its uniqueness regardless of society’s progression. Although it may be truthfully asserted that mind and environment are of the same substance, the human mind contains thoughts and feelings that appear to be superimposed across the mind’s reflective surface. Once initially conditioned by outer events and circumstances, these entities appear to have a will of their own. The study of this phenomenon was called ‘psychology’ in the old order of society. Buddhism in its present form replaces this old mode of thinking. The indulging of thought forms and feelings as if they had no connection to external stimuli was obviously a habit of monetary exploitation. Those whose minds were not better or worse than the people they supposedly treated, pretended that their own minds were some how superior to the minds that they were treating. Elaborate systems and structures were conceived and applied that assumed a semi-medical authority. In none of this, however, was the nature and effect of exploitative society investigated or explored. The true nature of what use to be called ‘mental illness’ was never examined at its essence. It was treated as its symptoms were inherent to the individuals affected and of course, the individual was blamed for the ills of society that had been internalised. Actions were also attributed to the individual, with no concern regarding the outer social pressure that produced them. Under the guise of ‘free will’, society’s ills were ascribed to the lack of morality contained within an individual’s mind and body. The mind and body of those so affected were removed from mainstream society and placed in buildings known as prisons. These were abodes of terrible and oppressive structures.
The old Judeo-Christian systems of theocratic law evolved into secular law which was religious in everything but surface appearance. Even that was coded toward the religious. A Judge took the place of god, and a jury of twelve people represented the twelve disciples of Jesus. Being sent down to prison mimicked the Judeo-Christian descent into a terrible hell. This horrific use of the imagination was tolerated for many hundreds of years across the cultures of the world, with the religious content varying according to local, historical conditions. Imagination or this type originated within the he old morality, hypocritical in the extreme, was designed by those with wealth, and became flesh through the acquisition of social power. Once the appropriate power was established in the physical world, then any and all kinds of fantastical imaginations could be given physical form, like that associated with a theatre. It was primarily experienced by those with little or no access to wealth or power. Power gave the impression that all kinds of unrealities were in fact ‘real’. Imprisonment was packaged as an act of character ‘reform’, when the hellish reality of its regime was designed to induce a state of utter terror in the minds of those experiencing subjected to it. The old morality was hypocritical in the extreme. Justice flowed from the minority who possessed virtually everything, and was designed to keep the rest of the people – the masses – firmly in their social place. When deprivation did not achieve the desired result, psychological terrorism was employed to an alarming degree. Often the two went hand in hand with no real distinction. When Buddhism emerged in the West – through Western travellers returning fromAsiaand Asian migration, it was assailed by the forces of commerce and in many instances, became a hand-maiden to the process of monetary accumulation. It was not like this at the start. In the beginning, Westerners travelled toAsiaand submitted themselves fully to the Asian training, usually as a monastic. When these Westerners returned, they brought a very pure transmission that remained obscure to the masses for quite some time. Asian migrants – the true custodians of their own Buddhistic cultures, brought Buddhism complete with its communal aspects – families built local Buddhist temples that often housed Buddhist monks of particular lineage and ethnicity. Asian migrants often felt excluded from the majority population by unfamiliar cultural practices and religious discrimination. Westerners, for their part, remained indifferent to the Asian presence, lacking the education and social skills to access the Asian culture that had presented itself on their doorstep. This is a broad and sweeping generalisation. There were many individuals on both sides – Western and Asian – who did manage a meaningful correspondence. Over-all, despite these small successes, the two camps remained a mystery to one another. Books about Buddhism began to be written by Westerners, about their experiences in Asian Buddhist settings. Some Asian scholars even produced very good early English translations and explanations of Buddhist philosophy and practice. However, after centuries of theological domination, the West had lost its familiar knowledge of the concept of re-birth that was normal as an assumption in ancientGreece, and even early Christianity. This led to an intellectual rejection of this teaching and the fragmentation of Buddhist philosophy into competing camps in the West.
The fragmentation allowed for bizarre notions of geographic prejudice, with so called ‘Western’ Buddhisms presenting themselves as logical alternatives to the original teachings of Asian Buddhism. Of course, Buddhism as a complete philosophical system does acknowledge this kind of fragmentation, as the Buddha himself rejected any such notions. This attempt to re-brand Buddhism portrays a fundamental understanding of its inherent philosophical nature. The Buddha rejected prevailing religious and philosophical ideas relevant to his time and place. His method is remarkably like that employed by Socrates. A question and answer format that through the use of logic and the disposal of redundant notions, the truth is revealed. The rejection of re-birth as illogical represents a basic misunderstanding of the Buddha’s teaching. He taught that re-birth exists whilst ignorance exists, but does not exist when enlightenment is attained. In this context, the rejection of the notion of re-birth is an act of ignorance, firmly within the realm of delusive thinking. That is to say that it is an act of a divided mind, estranged from its own essence. As the Buddha ultimately rejects re-birth in the enlightened state, it is obvious that re-birth as a concept is not as simple as it first appears. Since the advent of the age of wholeness, the mind has not been divided through social pressure and inner habit. A new understanding has replaced the old entrenchments. Continuation of mind and matter has replaced the primitive notion of the remaking of a single personality. Even the Buddha described a person as being the product of an ever changing bundle of aggregates – meaning that whatever re-birth meant in his day, it could not have been the simple re-appearing of a known individual. The answer, as we now know, is that for life to exist, an entwined matter and consciousness must be reproduced time and time again. Personality and physical features have no bearing whatsoever. Something essential continues, that can not be limited to a soul theory, or the material re-becoming of a known and recognisable human being. This is not the notion of Buddhist re-birth.
This all lead to a thorough re-examination of what it means to ‘live’ and to ‘die’. The old dichotomy of living is successful, whilst dying is a failure no longer carries any currency. Life spans have been immeasurably extended by an enlightened attitude to nutrition and medical care. We are all doctors today, and this kind of knowledge is no longer the domain of the select few. When a physical body becomes inert at the conclusion of its life, conscious control ceases and energy takes on a new form in the environment. Out of the environment new life is produced. We are all part of an immense cycle without end. To reject the notion of Buddhist re-birth without fully understanding it, is to deny the obvious cycle of life. Buddhism has survived in part, due to its pragmatic approach to the presence of consciously aware life. It can not be intellectually fragmented and yet be assumed to still retain its essential ‘Buddhist’ meaning. It can not be progressed, made artificially pragmatic, or declared geographically distinct. To remove any of its supporting philosophical assumptions renders it something other than ‘Buddhism’, and an alien to itself. Uneducated tampering prevents the philosophical system from performing its true function of creating wholeness in the mind, and in so doing, to render itself redundant in the process. Buddhism is not a religion to be followed, but rather a path to be traversed that leads to a very definite destination. Once reached, the path itself becomes superfluous and must be given up without attachment. The era of wholeness has followed this exact path. Through the use of pathways now defunct, new expressions and modes of creation have come into being that have freed humanity from the drudgery of an everyday existence that involved the fighting or competing of individuals for resources that were artificially withheld from the general public access as a means to make them appear ‘worth’ more than they actually were really worth. Conflict equalled increased profits. The time of wholeness is beyond this now. It is considered important, however, that such times are remembered for the terror that they inspired, and for the dysfunction they represented. This why today it is acknowledged that every action has a definite effect that does not go beyond the particular action and effect itself. It is true that an effect can serve as the basis for further reactions, but these reactions are themselves the product of identifiable causes that lead to a chain of observable events. The Buddha referred to this process as ‘karma’, or the teaching on actions. Western science had also seen this connection between events in the physical world and developed ‘closed systems’ of analysis as a result. The Buddha, however, extended this teaching in include the stream of thoughts in the mind, as well as to apply it to the environment proper. Whereas Western science only focused upon the physical world, the Buddha saw a connection between thought and physical behaviour, at least in relation to a living human being. The Buddha acknowledged that the environment outside of the human body appeared to have a cause and effect mechanism distinct to itself, but he also linked perception of these events to the human mind, thus creating a nexus between animate life and inanimate objects.
Here, we see a hint of wholeness that would much later form the basis of the world human culture. Although our current state of wholeness can not be said to have evolved directly from Buddhism, the fact that Buddhism offered such a view a very long time ago is testament to the advanced thinking method of the Buddha himself, who, through introspection, managed to perceive reality in a certain manner that acted as a corrective to many thoughts and habits of his day. Not only this, but many others not living in his time, or originating in his cultural circumstances, also benefitted from his approach of dismissing prevailing narratives as being philosophically unprofitable. For these reasons, Buddhism as an archaic entity is still considered useful in today’s society of wholeness. Eventually, if human beings develop further so that no inner thoughts appear to be different from the environment, then, and in that case, the noble philosophy of the Buddha will have run its natural cause and have no further relevance to society or humanity. At such a time, notions such as ‘Buddha’ and ‘enlightenment’ will have no meaning to humanity as the states these words represent will become normal, everyday attributes. Of all the paths considered ‘religious’, it is Buddhism which has retained its useful integrity for the longest time, despite almost unfathomable changes in humanity and society.