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A Hidden Teaching December 3, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 08) A Hidden Teaching.
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PARTICIPANT: This all makes sense, but why have I not heard this approach before?

WW: You probably have heard it before, but just didn’t realize it because traditionally it has been disguised in symbolic fables and stories that the author hopes may get through to someone.

There are a couple of reasons for this. It has been only in recent times with modern cultures that individuals have had the freedom to express themselves. Even today there are many places in the world, such as the Mideast, where discussions like this are strictly forbidden. The government and religious leaders throughout history would certainly not allow written material that questioned the entrenched dogma of the time. The authorities find this to be a threat to their position. My mentor of decades ago was approached by church leaders and asked to stop having discussions with church members. Some church members had spoken about this subject matter to other church members and leaders. The church leaders found that some members were falling away…the church was losing control. Had this occurred, let’s say 150 years ago, the church leaders may have told him to stay away, rather than ask. If this had occurred in some other part of the world, his wellbeing may have been in serious danger.

PARTICIPANT: Did he stop talking to them?

WW: No …But he did require that the meeting with the church elders be recorded on tape, then he printed transcripts, which he handed out to interested parties.

PARTICIPANT: Did you read the transcript?

WW: Yes.

PARTICIPANT: What was your opinion of it?

WW: The church leaders were seemingly quite nice about the whole thing, but made it clear that they didn’t like what was going on. It appeared to me that the church leaders indicted themselves.

PARTICIPANT: Can you tell us which church it was?

WW: That, I will not say.
Another reason that fables and stories were used is because the story may appear to the authorities of the period to be quite innocuous, thereby not a threat, thereby not destroyed by the authorities. Some stories and fables have lasted for centuries or millennia.

There is also a third reason for not openly discussing this teaching. …Some practitioners of this teaching indicate that it’s a wasted effort because it is all too often misquoted and misunderstood …and twisted to the point that it is unrecognizable. Similar wording may mean something else entirely, so the teaching then loses its meaning or intent. Also, there comes a point in a person’s life where he or she may be receptive to work on these ideas, usually when things are not going so well, but if that person already heard this teaching years prior, they may just reject it, saying, “I have already heard all of that.” Some say it’s unwise to give more information than a person can use. I say that uninterested parties just won’t listen anyway.

This teaching gets turned around by practitioners and teachers of the exoteric, and is turned into an exoteric teaching. Even the most learned professors and preachers seem to be highly confused when it comes to understanding the self and the picture of man. They claim to be giving an esoteric teaching, but the fact is, they don’t begin to question their own vision of good and bad. I’m not any kind of Bible expert, but it looks like Jesus didn’t have much respect for the teachings of the scribes, Pharisees and authorities of his day. I don’t think that the basics of philosophical and religious teachings have changed that much, if we look at the basic motives of people.

As for those who claim to be inwardly different or spiritual leaders, they look to me to be self-deluded …kidding themselves about their true inner nature. Let’s face it; I want to have a little attention and approval because I think it will make me feel good. People want to be spiritual or to be seen as spiritual because it’s going to make them feel good, even if by some circuitous route. Why does a person want to gain heaven and be with God? Why does a person want to avoid hell and all that goes with that? Because they want to feel gooood! That doesn’t have anything to do with genuine spirituality; it’s just plain damn crude! Isn’t that just an expression of our most basic motivational decision? It’s all about motive …motive …more about motive at another time.
Before we move on, I would suppose there might be another reason that not many people care to go public with these ideas. The person going public gets put under the microscope and gets accused of not being perfect, even though they make no claims to that effect.

PARTICIPANT: Aren’t you a spiritual person? I mean…you have obviously spent a lot of time on these studies. Wouldn’t you say that makes you a spiritual person?

WW: I would prefer not to put static labels on myself, but if pressed, I would consider myself to be a practitioner of hedonism.

PARTICIPANT: A hedonist!

WW: Sure. Do we all know what hedonism is?

PARTICIPANT: A pleasure seeker.

WW: Right. The idea that pleasure seeking, which also implies the avoidance of pain, is one’s stated purpose—one’s main drive.

PARTICIPANT: I don’t get it. Why would you claim to be a hedonist after saying all you said about skewed, misguided values?

WW: I once heard this maxim: “The greatest impediment to experiencing a given quality is the belief that you already have it.” We can check out this maxim somewhere down the road to see if it works. If this maxim is true, then it would follow that when we hear someone say they’re working on their spiritual life, we can be quite sure that they are working on covering up their hedonism. This maxim is a two-edged sword. Perhaps we could apply this maxim to hedonism. “The greatest impediment to experiencing hedonism is the belief that you already have it.” Could it be that the first step toward a spiritual life would be to admit what one is? How can a person experience the surrender of self if that person can’t inwardly make a confession of what self does?

ED: You’ve said that this “teaching,” as you call it, is obscure. It must be very obscure; nobody has ever heard of it. Isn’t it just logical, that if this teaching really had anything to it, somebody besides you would be talking about it? It’s like you’re saying everyone in the world is out of step, except you.

WW: This teaching has been forced underground for millennia by the authority of convention and leadership and by people who reject it because, seemingly, none of their neighbors or friends care anything about it. Let’s face it Ed, you’re not atypical.

ED: What’s that supposed to mean? I admit that I’m a typical guy. I put my pants on and go to work, just like everybody else. What’s wrong with that?

WW: Nothing’s wrong with that, but you just told us one reason why it’s obscure.

ED: No, I just questioned its obscurity.

WW: Right. You say that you’re a typical guy and that you don’t question the authority of convention. You say that you’re like everyone else. If everyone is like you, then that’s the reason this teaching is obscure. People don’t want to ask real questions, people don’t want to look. You said it, Ed. You are everyone.

End of debate. Willard 23, Ed 0.

ED: You only win our parleys in your own mind. You’re real clever at turning things around backwards and making it sound logical, but that doesn’t make it true. I still say somebody else ought to be standing up and taking the podium with this. I’m not saying that it makes you necessarily wrong, I’m just saying, it’s suspicious. It’s just like you are with your horse. Just because you think it’s the best horse around, doesn’t make it true. It’s like you’re a cult of one.

WW: Well, my mentor is long since dead, his mentor is long since dead, and nobody wants to take the reins on this runaway buggy that’s headed for the rocks. Although I’m not qualified, I’m the only one who’s talking. I guess we’re stuck with me until a real teacher comes along.

Comments? Questions?