Sri Bodhi Prana

Followup 2 to "How to Fake Enlightenment"

Satori sometimes comes about when one has concentrated long and hard trying to solve an insoluble problem. Before satori, it seems imperative that you solve the riddle. It seems like it must have an answer of some sort, even though you may well know, having been steeped in a tradition that fosters this kind of mindwork, that giving up on trying to solve it *is* the solution. The student knows he can't just give up, because he has heard the stories about the student who tries to fool the master by imitating the actions of someone else who *has* had the experience. Of course it never works. The enlightened *know* the look, the walk and the talk, just as recovering drug addicts can invariably tell that someone at a meeting is lying about being clean.

It has been said that Biblical literalism provides some of the most difficult koans. This is at least in part because there is no tradition comparable to zazen in fundamentalist Christian sects. Additionally, the "koans" of Christian fundamentalism are scattershot things, not meant to tense the mind properly, but rather codified misunderstandings of the deep meaning of real Christian mystical experience. Better to study Eckhart rather than Robertson.

Yeah, Christian koans are difficult, but not as difficult as Subgenius koans. The Subgenius is at a disadvantage in several ways. In some ways the goal of slack is like the goal of enlightenment, but there is no great problem to overcome -- the luck plane just tilts your way, and glory be, you're on easy street. Slack is a desired state, but not a goal to be achieved through hard work. Not only that, but the SG is naturally cynical about religious traditions, and sort of a wise ass to boot, so the idea of seriously pursuing a "religious" regimen is distinctly uncool. In a way, the SG is just the sort who might be tempted to take the easy way, to fake enlightenment, to show his superiority over the other religious kooks.

In truth, many SGs really do feel a great affinity for Zen and Taoism, because they are the ultimate non-religious religions. While as a student you are expected to seriously believe five impossible things before breakfast, the goal is to see how silly these things are and to toss them aside when you *really* understand. One hears of people who just *get* it suddenly, seemingly without formal preparation, but these people have been preparing their minds by trying to solve some koan or the other. Whether it was given by a master or is just some insoluble idee fixe is not important: the important thing is that it occupies their mind and causes great mental stress.

I am sure that there is nothing you would like better than to achieve satori. You know it is what you want. Why not do the impossible, the unthinkable, and accept this gift from "Bob", this koan offered by someone you despise, someone who you are sure is a base charlatan, a flim flam man, a Royal Pain in the Ass, but whose narrative is compelling enough to attract you nonetheless?

The Subgenius is taught to pull the wool over his own eyes, in other words, to fool himself rather than allowing himself to be fooled by others. But he is still being fooled! Haven't you been pulling the wool over your own eyes long enough? Why not pull the wool from the other side? You know intellectually that you are God, that you are weaving the fabric of "reality" from nothing more than the division into this and that, by making distinctions. It's a pretty good yarn, isn't it, this world? You *know* intellectually that the fabric of reality is woven from just this kind of wool.

Why not find out how it is done? Ask yourself "How do I hold the first thread in place?"


Sri Bodhi Prana