Tag Archives: oneness

What’s Wrong with Distractions?

Can you just sit, without the need to go shopping, have a drink, play some slots, meet some girls…or guys,  place a bet, see the game, look at magazines, call people, surf the net or have a smoke?

But what’s wrong with those things? You might ask.

In philosophers’ patter, let’s presuppose three things: (1) That the highest purpose of human existence is to awaken our consciousness (2) That by ethically wrong, we mean the deliberate causing of harm to a sentient being (3) That there is a difference between ethical wrongness and and spiritual wrongness.

With that in mind, we first have to understand what is meant by “wrong.” We can rule out the idea that anything is ethically wrong with those things mentioned (presumption #2)—because in doing them you’re not causing direct harm to yourself or others and you probably have no intention to. But, those kinds of attractions may be considered wrong in the sense that they fail to support us in our longing for true inner contentment. Moreover, they don’t serve in bringing us nearer to the most exquisite goal of spiritual awakening (presumptions #1 and #3).

We’re talking more about what an activity doesn’t do for us than what it does do. And it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ever engage in amusements for the sake of amusement. It just means that we shouldn’t expect them to deliver what they are incapable of delivering.

Joy and happiness never derived from the external world. It is only the ego that looks habitually and incessantly for the next new thing—attached as it is, to the illusion of fulfillment by these things, as well as to the illusion that fulfillment happens at some other time. So, we are deceiving ourselves, from the beginning, by looking for happiness from anything, amusements, novelties, fantasies, experiences, in short, from things—things external to ourselves, things whose novelty quickly wears off, whose initial thrill wears away and whose very fabric wears out. All external things have a shadow side. The addict crashes every time and every time goes looking for another fix. The shopper needs the current issue, the gamer needs the latest version.

We even look to other people as potential sources of happiness, thus converting them into possessions and approaching them in the spirit of ownership, with negative emotions, like jealousy, suspicion and resentment the inevitable result of such an arrangement.

Meanwhile, we become prey to our own never-ending search for fulfillment out there. By doing so, we are essentially giving up our power to the world. And when we disempower ourselves, we become further distanced from the ultimate goal of awakening and further entrenched in illusion.

In Zen terminology, true joy comes from waking up to this moment. In Yogic language…from the realization of your own divine, abiding Self.

Nothing is more empowering than our liberation from the chains that bind us to the mistaken belief that joy is external to us. Distractions, by definition, keep us from this realization, thus leading us astray from our spiritual goal, wasting our time and disparaging our sacred purpose as humans.

And this, we may call spiritual wrongness (presumption #3).

Oneness

This lovely question landed in my youtube inbox the other day. I think it is the kind of question others probably wonder about, too–it is the same kind of question I wondered a lot about, so I would like to share it.

Sent to: profquesada

Hi, I’ve been watching your videos, and have been reading Alan Watts and I have a question that keeps coming up whenever the concept of no self is talked about. I understand very well the fact that other things should be considered vital and important to us such as the air, the trees, ect., because without oxygen our lungs would be useless. But where I start to lose understanding is why this vitalness of other things is linked with the concept that we are the same as them? Yes everything is interdependent, but the difference between an earthworm and I is that all of my cells have a certain DNA structure or code that is different from the earthworms’, and even different from other peoples’. This is a question I thought a lot about that I don’t ever see discussed. Thanks for your videos they were very interesting to watch — Ellie

Hi Ellie,
I’m happy to know you enjoyed my talks. I’ll respond to your question very simply. You’re quite right, on the material plane, I am very different than an earthworm! However–and this is the whole point of meditation, really–the idea is to transcend this material identification. It is the same tendency that is at the root of our body identity, and all the suffering we bring upon ourselves because of it. Our physical identities are like masks we wear for a limited time, then, as a snake sheds its skin, we shed that persona. What’s left? That’s where different traditions come in, but that doesn’t matter for now. The practices nudge us out of our illusion, our delusion of separateness and dissolve us into this, whatever-it-is. Call it suchness, call it Brahman, call it God, call it energy. Everyday, we can simply call it beauty!
~DQ