Overthrow the Shah. Death to the West, Message in a bottle… Satan in the White House. Supporting Cuba. Opposing capitalism, Public hangings… War with Iraq.
Comrades ‘fall’ in many ways, Some move on. Others vacate their bodies… We are left holding-up the Red Flag! Not all are soldiers, But all
However, illness for many (even within privileged societies) is an everyday reality, particularly if there is no cure, or the case that medicines can only ‘control’ the situation for a time. Even in China where Daoism is an ancient medicalised spirituality, people who are ill keep themselves as ‘free’ of angst as possible, and seek to detach a ‘clear’ mind from an ill body as much as possible.
Shen is the realisation and permanent identification of consciousness with universal ’empty space’ to such a degree that when the physical brain ceases to function, the ‘practitioner’ becomes the state of ’empty space’ – which is the universe that includes all things. This is why advanced Daoist practitioners are able to enter this state whilst still in their bodies, so that the actual ‘act’ of dying becomes a formality whereby ‘breathing’ ceases altogether and qi energy permanently integrates with ‘jing’ and ‘shen’ – leaving the physical body behind forever.
That is pain, which seems to be a very important issue for human beings. As for myself, I am certainly not immune to pain, but am not interested in it. Yes pain happens from time to time, but as it is passing, I am aware that it is not permanent. In this respect I am lucky because many people suffer all the time and never have a break from the experience. I would say that life is mostly a neutral experience with outbreaks of pleasure and pain from time to time.
Today, the socio-economic forces of the West have produced the conditions for the human mind to move beyond the conditioning of a theology that reflects medieval (and earlier) conditions, and which have led to the development of secular logic and presumed superior standards of moral behaviour. The problem with this development is that it is not ‘free’ of the Judeo-Christian tradition that has served as its historical basis.