Thursday, June 30, 2005

Avoiding the Snare of Solipsism


Some teach that it is "impossible to love others." For, they say (correctly) that the cosmos is a complex series of multiple mirrors. But does this imply that "others" do not really exist?

Not at all. The mature and wise mystic knows that the "material" and "physical" world is all Mind. It is all maya or "illusion." The world is virtual, a dream. Mystics believe that Mind alone is real. God is Mind, and "Reality" is one common mystical name for God, or Lovemind. Just as you have Mind (because you have a mind), so mystics know that the divine One manifests as other very real minds. God is "playing" you, as a role, and is also "pretending" to be all other minds. So, others are just as real as you are.

The presentation that it is "impossible" to love others is not the accurate Way of Love, but a misunderstanding and distortion. This pseudospirituality emphasizes unhealthy solipsism rather than healthy other-centeredness and real Love. What is "solipsism"? It is a spiritual disease or disorder that promotes and supports ultra-egotism. It is the lonely, unfulfilling belief that makes ego into a false "god," as it is under the delusion that you are the only mind in the cosmos.

Since it implies that it is somehow "spiritual," solipsism is a counterfeit. That is why it can be more subtle, and more dangerous, than other beliefs. It pretends to be "enlightenment," but is a disastrous dead-end. It goes nowhere fast, and reverses true spiritual growth.

It is based upon an exaggeration of a truth: The cosmos is our teacher, and our school. It is, in many ways, the deeper psyche. But this collective Unconscious is so vast that it is like a tree, and we are all leaves from that one tree. You are one leaf, and your friends are others. Each is just as real as you. But mystics say that we have forgotten our interior connection with the One, or one Mind (Spirit, God, or Lovemind). The Way of mysticism helps us overcome this soulevel amnesia." We remember that we were never "separate" from Godmind, and neither has anyone else ever been. It is the practice of Love alone that can bring us to this stunning awakening.

But mystics have never allowed themselves to slip off that slippery slope into solipsism. That way is antispiritual because of the delusion that only the ego exists. And mysticism is only just beginning with the "death" of the ego, or, more correctly, its disappearance into cosmic Lovemind.

So, by emphasizing a small aspect of mysticism (that the world is a series of teaching "mirrors"), this group has failed to understand the essential and bottomline meaning of Love. And those who do not understand the basic component of Love should not try, out of ego, to be "spiritual teachers."

In saying that "loving others" was an impossibility, this group smashed the foundationteaching of all mysticism, from the Buddha and Lao Tzu to Jesus Christ. The great luminaries, masters and teachers, do not call upon us to do the "impossible." They, and their Way, challenge us actively literally to "lose ourselves" in the process of loving others. To "lose" yourself in Love is to merge mind with Mind, self with Self, personal mind disappearing into Lovemind. Nothing in the world is more fulfilling than that. Why? Because this is the purpose for which we were created!

Selflove is great, necessary, and wonderful. But if our Love stops there, as was implied in their earlier article, we are "Love-dead." For Love is brightest, warmest, and most beautiful when we learn to universalize it. That is, in fact, why we were born into this difficult world-- to learn patience, kindness, goodness, and the other aspects of Love that are expressed towards others. A so-called "spiritual" life without other-centeredness is a contradiction in terms, and is lifeless and barren. On the other hand, a life filled with Love expressed towards others is a life abundant in the riches of the Spirit, the jewels of the spiritual Journey.

Like Bonnie, the reader whom they display, I too find some of their messages incomprehensible, such as the one that you earlier forwarded to me about "Love's" being "impossible," except towards the Self. As this is egotism, thinly disguised, it can be dangerously unspiritual, or even antispiritual. The most perilous of all teachings are those which claim to be "very deep" spirituality, but have only an empty hole at their center. Love should be the Center of our lives, and of our truly spiritual messages. To follow this group, I feel, is to be lost in the cheap, shabby counterfeit of solipsism.

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