High-Brow, Selective, Sanitized Spirituality

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On Dependence:

"But it is what all the mystics in the past have been telling us. I'm not saying that 'me', the conditioned self, will not sometimes fall into its usual patterns. That's the way we've been conditioned. But it raises the question wether it is conceivable to live a life in which you would be so totally alone that you would depend on no one.

We all depend on one another for all kinds of things, don't we? We depend on the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Interdependence. That's fine! We set up society this way and we allot different functions to different people for the welfare of everyone, so that we will function better and live more effectively-at least we hope so. But to depend on another psychologically--to depend on another emotionally-what does that imply? It means to depend on another human being for my happiness.

Think about that. Because if you do, the next thing you will be doing, wether you are aware of it or not, is DEMANDING that other people contribute to your happiness. Then there will be a next step-fear-fear of loss, fear of alienation, fear of rejection, mutual control. Perfect love casts out fear. Where there is love there are no demands, no expectations, no dependency. I do not demand that you make me happy; my happiness does not lie in you. If you were to leave me, I will not feel sorry for myself; I enjoy your company immmensly, but I do not cling.

I enjoy it on a non-clinging basis. What I really enjoy is not you; it's something greater than both you and me. It is something I discovered, a kind of symphony, a kind of orchestra that plays one melody in your presence, but when you part, the orchestra does not stop. When I meet someone else, it plays another melody, which is also very delightful. And when I am alone, it continues to play. There is a great repertoire and it never ceases to play.

That's what awakening is all about. That's also why we are hypnotized, brainwashed, asleep it seems terrifying to ask, but can you be said to love me if you cling to me and will not let me go? If you will not let me be? Can you be said to love me if you need me psychologically or emotionally for your happiness? This flies in the face of the universal teaching of all the scriptures, of all religions, of all the mystics. 'How is it that we missed it for so many years?'. I say to myself repeatedly 'How come I did not see it?'. When you read those radical things in the scriptures, you begin to wonder: Is this man crazy? But after awhile you begin to think everybody else is crazy. 'Unless you hate your father and mother, brothers, sisters, unless you renounce and give up everything you possess, you cannot be my disciple'. You must drop it all. Not physical renunciation, you understand; that is easy. When your illusions drop, you are in touch with reality at last, and believe me, you will never again be lonely, never again. Loneliness is not cured by human company. Loneliness is cured by contact with reality. Oh, I have so much to say about that. Contact with reality, dropping one's illusions, making contact with the real. Whatever it is, it has no name. We can only know it by dropping what is unreal. You can only know what aloneness is when you drop your clinging, when you drop your dependency. But the first step toward that is that you see it as desirable. If you don't see it as desireable, how will you get anywhere near it?

Think of the loneliness that is yours. Would human company ever take it away? It will only serve as a distraction. There's an emptiness inside, isn't there? And when the emptiness surfaces, what do you do? You run away, turn on the television, turn on the radio, read a book, search for human company, seek entertainment, seek distraction. Everybody does that. It's big business nowadays, an organized industry to distract us and entertain us."

Anthony DeMello, SJ

Another jab from DeMello. Many folks I know who have found relationships difficult have carried a secret motto around with them-"Any relationship is better than no relationship". These people have not realized they are tying their happiness to another human being. For years up until I met my wife, I used to take woman hostage in relationships, and a few times cajoled and manipulated people to stay in the relationship, to give it another chance. You see, I had little or no self-esteem, nad the dependencies I created were stultifying.

Through vigorous self-examination, and numerous actions to build self-esteem, I reached a much healthier state of being. Do I do it perfectally? Absolutely not. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my happiness today does not depend on my wife, my employer, etc.. What a freedom. What a relief. What a revelation. I may have said this before, but one of my favorite sayings is 'dont't judge your insides by other people's outsides'. This is a step toward not depending on others to determine my 'goodness' or 'badness'.

These are just some more thoughts during the dog days of August in New Jersey. ugh.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), August 10, 2000


Please bear with me while I try to hack out what I really want to respond to here. I knew someone who went whole hog into the EST thing after a break up of a long term relationship. Anyone remember old Werner? Did the chap in 'Magnolia' remind you a little of those kinda guys? My friend was brainwashed by 'new' definitions of what love *really* is, all the while forking over more money for seminars than he could afford. There are 'leaders' out there of many stripes, angling for your attention and pocketbook.

"But to depend on another psychologically--to depend on another emotionally-what does that imply?"

On the flip side of that, what if you are unwilling or unable to be a dependable partner psychologically or emotionally - what does that imply?


This brings back many memories. Some outfits start out exploring these issues, or urges, and end up manipulating individuals for the organizations' gain. I realize that I'm reacting from my own history here, Ive lost many friends to a staggering variety of cults over the years, and some never did return - sane or alive.

"It's big business nowadays, an organized industry to distract us and entertain us."

The entertainment industry is an organized business to make money. Period. Why does it make so much money? Perhaps because we all have similar longings, and it capatilizes on these things { with our support & gratitude }. Many faith-based organizations successfully use the same show business tactics.

-- flora (***@__._), August 10, 2000.

{Can I put in a special request for a "High-Brow, Selective, Sanitized Spirituality" topic? Howzabout 'Guilt'?.}

-- flora (***@__._), August 10, 2000.

I agree with this one, FS. In fact, "Can you be said to love me if you need me psychologically or emotionally for your happiness?" was just what went through my head when a poster recently expressed how if it weren't for her children she wouldn't see a point in life. I paraphrased what was said, but I realized that her self-esteem was so low that she was using her children as a crutch.

I've enjoyed listening to my daughters discuss their relationships, FS. The concept of someone wanting you SO much that they don't want you to share time with anyone but them is very alluring to someone 17. I fell for it when I was 17, and so did my girls. By 19, we'd all grown out of that stage.

Gee, Flora. I know lots of folks who read the books, but I don't know anyone who popped for the seminars. I'm sure I even read some of the books myself. I'm up for a guilt thread. My mom did a GREAT job in that department, and I told my kids to let me know if I ever guilt-rapped them. Heh. They did let me know. Of course I also let THEM know when they did the same. Guilt and co-dependence go together, right?

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), August 10, 2000.

Mornin' Nita,

"The concept of someone wanting you SO much that they don't want you to share time with anyone but them is very alluring to someone 17."

How much of that is biology & how much is psychology, do ya 'spose?

-- flora (***@__._), August 10, 2000.

Very interesting essay FS. I think there's a lot worthwhile in it. I had a single friend that was so needy for people, all the time, that an evening home alone made her frantic. On the other hand, I cherished evenings home alone. Some of us need more quiet times and space than others.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), August 10, 2000.

FS, This is precisely what the patriots here are trying to drive home. We are being governed by fear, and fraud.

And it's a total disgrace for anyone to disrespect those who are awakened to that reality and attempting to illustrate it.

-- KoFE (your@town.USA), August 10, 2000.


When I read this stuff now, I think it's just blather whereas I used to pay more attention. Does that mean I've shut down to new ideas (bad) or have I just evolved beyond it (good)?

Again, if awareness is circular, what's the point of change?


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), August 10, 2000.


I am beginning to no longer believe that you do not have malice aforethought in posting to my threads. Hey man, flame away, and then keep coming back, claiming that you did not mean it. But any rational person can see that you are trying to antagonize me, and, for this one time, You have succeeded. But I promise you, that if you continue to do this, I will stop responding to your post all together, and you and KOFE can have a grand old time telling anybody who will read how much of a hypocrite I am, and how ridiculous my spirituality is.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I would like to have liked you, Frank, but you have given me no choice. If you do not believe you are intending to antagonize me, then you may want to look up a definition of "passive-agressive". I am not, after this post, going to waste my time and my energy responding to YOUR BLATHER.

Farewell, my friend. I can set healthy boundries today. Having a dialouge with you is not healthy. If you think this is rather severe, I am sorry. I will not make the same mistake as Luna.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), August 10, 2000.

FS: Good essay, thanks.

I think this is an apt quote:

I exist as I am, that is enough,

If no other in the world be aware I sit content,

And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware, and by far the largest to me, and that

Is myself,

And whether I come to my own today or in

Ten thousand or ten million years,

I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness,

I can wait.

--Walt Whitman--(Leaves of Grass)

"What a freedom. What a relief. What a revelation. I may have said this before, but one of my favorite sayings is 'dont't judge your insides by other people's outsides"

How did you get there? Was there a helpful book? Just wondering...


-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith0110@aol.com), August 10, 2000.


Farewell then. If this essay helps you in some way I'm glad.


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), August 10, 2000.

Hey Frank,

Would you be a natural to frame a good guilt thread?

-- flora (***@__._), August 10, 2000.


There is no one book; I was tired of living my life the way I was living it-happy if my girlfriend or employer were happy with me, sad if the opposite were true. I had become a puppet, strings being pulled all the time. Something had to change or I was going to die.

If there is one book I can say was most helpgul it is Dr. Wayne Dwyer's "Your Sacred Self". I have read it at least three times, and always pick it up when I feel like I am slipping into my old ways. The change was slow and gradual-it involved a large amount of building self esteem by setting small goals and accomplishing them- and more. I finally saw the trap of having my self-worth determined by another. best of luck.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), August 10, 2000.

This thread touched off a conversation with friend of mine, whose greatest joy and path in life is learning about religion and following her faith. She was shocked to hear that another mutual friend had also been hooked in Erhard era. {And another who was a 'coal walker' in the '80's. Does this stuff only prevail on the left coast? Don't y'all realize what fun you're missing? There's plenty of Fundie fun, too}.

Her take was essentially that the true faiths offer their works for free. I thought this might resonate with your feelings, FS.

-- flora (***@__._), August 10, 2000.


It is a very easy thing for social creatures to do, look for approval beyond ourselves.

One thing that I enjoy listening for is someone saying "Oh he makes me so MAD!!"

Does he? Or is it me that makes myself mad in reaction to him? And if it is me that makes me mad, why? Is it because as a social creature we wish for things to flow smoothly amongst the group? Or is it a need to be right? And if I get mad at him for either reason, does that not go back to looking outside of myself? Which brings me to, is looking outside of myself a bad thing? Or is it only a matter of degree? If it is a matter of degree how do I decide if my degree of approval seeking is excessive? And excessive compared to who? Others outside myself?

So many questions, so few beers to decide it over.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), August 10, 2000.


I think that there is a happy medium. For sure, it is unhealthy to depend on other's (or another's) approval for our own self-esteem. But we are not alive if we are alone too much. Does a tree make a sound if it falls and there is no one to hear it? Is a human being alive if he/she is so isolated that no one knows they exist?

What is the worst punishment? Solitary confinement. Who commits the majority of heinous crimes? The "troubled loner".

IMO, the trick is to find the right combination of healthy aloneness (self sufficiency) and healthy togetherness where we interact with others, not for self-validation, but for joy and love.

Personally, I also need a spiritual dimension both to my aloneness and to my togetherness.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), August 10, 2000.


-- al-d. (dogs@zianet.com), August 11, 2000.

FS: I read all of Wayne Dyer's stuff too.


-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith0110@aol.com), August 11, 2000.

FS: I think Lars nailed it. A healthy 'medium' ie balance

For me this is DEEP having read Claudia Black's book, I freaked out.

I try not to be too serious at all times, freak out as needed, and cling while necessary.

Try not to be too lost in thought and go easy on self.

Lately you have been very comical, but yet their is a depth to you and it is intense. Easy does it guy and BTW, thanks for all the help you have given me :-0

xoxo, sumer (BTW i am STILL sulking cuz you wont walk to the playground with me) :-)

-- consumer (shh@aol.com), August 11, 2000.

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