God and the Devil are strolling down a garden path.
God is holding his hands cupped together out in front of him.
“Whatcha got in there?” the Devil inquires.
“None of your business,” God replies.
“Come on. Let me see. What harm could I possibly do to something
that belongs to … GOD?”
“Forget it,” God says.
After a few more exchanges, God finally relents and opens his hands.
“What IS it?” the Devil asks, clearly perplexed.
“It’s TRUTH,” God replies.
The Devil’s eyes immediately glow fire-red.
“Ouuuu!” he exclaims, “Here, let me take that and organize it for you!”
A Wisdom Teaching
One of my favorite wisdom teachings comes from Jiddu Krishnamurti (his teachings are some of my favorites; not him, however. He was a little too severe and humorless for my taste. Which I would very likely be as well, if my family “sold” me to a bunch of crazy Theosophists and shipped me off from India to England at a very young age. But I digress).
A powerful teaching that Krishnamurti is much noted for came after he announced to his Theosophist benefactors out of the blue one day that he was immediately disbanding the spiritual community that had grown up around him – The Order of the Star. He completely disbanded the organization of 60,000 followers. That must have taken some strength of heart. I’d love to see a contemporary mega-church leader or corporate CEO do something like that. It defies the imagination: Joel Osteen closing Lakewood Church, or Jeff Bezos closing Amazon and all their mega-distribution center doors. “People don’t really need to buy any more crap,” Bezos declared in his dissolution address, “Even at our competition-destroying discount prices. And we don’t really need to be blackening the skies with package-delivery drones either. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.”
In dissolving his extensive organization, Krishnamurti announced:
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path.
Krishnamurti thought the goal of complete psychological freedom could only be realized through an individual understanding their real-world relationships with themselves, society, and nature. Most neuroscientists would whole-heartedly agree: every neural network contained in every brain on this planet is necessarily unique in its exquisite, complex unfolding. It turns out that extensive research by neuroscientist Andrew Newberg has determined that every Christian is uniquely Christian, every Muslim is uniquely Muslim, every Jew is uniquely Jewish.
Main Brain Directive
Our brains are designed and developed for one primary reason: to move our bodies through the world in ways that promote and sustain life. Because the environment is constantly changing, our brains must have the capacity to constantly change as well. And they do (take a look at this 2 minute video to see those changes unfolding live).
So, if a constantly changing brain is designed to safely navigate us through a constantly changing world, what shall Christians, Muslims and Jews (or any of the adherents to the world’s other 10000 religions, each with their own God) do about our ongoing attempts to make so many things in our world predictable, safe, stable and secure? In three words: get over it. With more than 7 billion people on the planet, all walking around with brains just like yours in a constant state of dynamic flux (never mind the continual flux that the natural world is constantly in), all attempts to resist change can only result in great suffering. Change is a fundamental feature of living systems. All things ceaselessly undergo creation, change, birth and death. One important way to begin to be able to feel comfortable turning toward this reality and fully embracing it is to creatively work with Karl Pribram’s observation about our bodies and brains – which is to regularly practice skillful ways to regulate afflictive arousal. The changes that the world presents us with isn’t the problem; it’s how our brains and bodies change and grow to be able to manage them.
It’s a good thing to engage in somatic practices that allow us to regulate the biophysical (hyper)arousal that often accompanies change, especially change that surprises us, that we are completely unprepared for. (If you click this link you’ll find a rich Mind Map infographic that depicts a great menu of activities that we can choose from as possible ongoing regulation practices). It is out of this lifelong practice of WARP (Willful Arousal Regulation Practice) that I personally believe makes neural networks more robust, with great compassionate strength of heart emerging as an inevitable by-product. In walking our own pathless land toward truth, we should all become so WARPed.
Note: Only two more spaces remaining for The Writer’s Brain webinar. Click HERE if your warped brain thinks you might be interested.