An Open Letter to an Associate
The following article wrote itself as I was responding to a fellow, who calls himself Wylo, with whom I have recently become associated. I was going to name this article An Open Letter to a Friend, but that's a bit presumptuous.
Anyway, if you've ever wondered why this blog exists, you can read below and find out why I do it.
Wylo, your message is encouraging to me. I have also been encouraged by seeing the rest of the Ruthless Truth forum, Ciaran Healy's blog and Facebook page, Liberation Unleashed and the Dharma Overground. That might sound like a mixed bag but here's the point: these web sites suggest to me that the world might be on the verge of addressing an issue that has concerned me for years.
The way I see it, humanity now has the means to destroy itself, and within a generation will have the means to destroy all life on this planet. So the time for us to learn to wage peace is running out. Over 2600 years have elapsed since the Buddha woke up, but we can't mess around any longer. Either there is some cooperation and advancement in enlightenment studies or humanity will go the way of the dinosaurs.
A few years ago I brought up this matter in one of the top Buddhist forums. I did not find the response helpful. The most representative comment was, “What part of Buddhism did you not understand?” I left with the impression that they'd confused enlightenment with fatalism, but what did I know?
I could be utterly misguided, but as I see it the advent of the Internet is creating a shift in the global mentality, and this will affect the “enlightened” as well. “Cooperative research” is what I hope to see now. I see no reason why enlightenment studies cannot be subjected to the same checks, balances, doubt and honesty that science is reputed to have. I have never found these so-called “spiritual” matters the least bit mystical. They do require a certain flexibility of mind, though not, in my experience, as much as is required for quantum physics!
Last year, after I was diagnosed with cancer, my father suggested that I jot down my varied views. I protested that I couldn't think of a way to express my ideas clearly, but he said I could at least try. So I started a blog. Maybe I could say something that was useful. Still, I seriously doubted I'd make a difference. But the process of writing, researching and promoting the blog led me to people who seem to be on roughly the same wavelength, and who seem more oriented toward cooperation than I've seen before.
I am serious about cooperation. I personally think that all religions have, at their core, a sense of the truth, even if memetic drift has rendered it almost unrecognizable. I include even strange renditions such as Kaballah, Sufism, A Course in Miracles and more. All of these seem to me to bear the same relation to truth that alchemy did to chemistry before science rigorized the process of discovery. It is my hope that before I die I can see a similar leap forward in enlightenment circles.
So now we'll see what happens.