Everest Is Now Within
Martin LeFevre: The fabrication of external challenges has now reached a peak (or is it nadir?) of absurdity, with this year's crop of Everest summiteers forming a conga line on the steep ascent along the spine to the top ... So what can the shrinking minority of people with a brain in their heads and an ember in their hearts do? Rather than invent more foolish, fantasy-filled external challenges, we can take up the real and present inward challenges we face as individuals and a species. ... Going where no man or woman has gone before has never been harder. However the true frontier is obvious to those who understand that it's not 'out there,' but in here. ... If one has awakened and undertaken the inner journey, and can stand alone and walk alone, the unconquerable world within can be explored with others...
May 25, 2019, 5:47pm
Becoming Is Deadening; Ending Time Is Regenerating
Martin LeFevre: A Great Blue Heron flies up to a branch from the stream about 30 meters downstream. It's only visible through the thick foliage for a few seconds, but the sight of the huge bird lumbering into the air opens a portal to the past, to the age of the dinosaurs, and halts time. ... Time was the first concept of man, and is the greatest enemy of the human being. There is no peace and renewal in time, and 'eventually' and 'gradually' never bring transformation. ... The observation of a galaxy that no longer exists, on a planet that didn't exist for another 8 billion years since the light we're seeing through the Hubble left that galaxy, means that all events that have ever happened in the universe are enfolded in the present moment. ... The ending of time in passive observation and undirected attention to the whole movement of thought (including and beginning with the illusion of the separate self) is the source of peace, renewal and communion with the immeasurable...
May 24, 2019, 11:32am
Where Do You Get Your Fire From?
Martin LeFevre: As Thomas Merton, the American Trappist monk, writer, mystic, poet and social activist, wrote on January 1, 1962: "Of all the countries that are sick, America is perhaps the most grievously afflicted...truly we have entered the 'post-Christian era' with a vengeance. Whether we are destroyed, or whether we survive, the future is awful to contemplate." ... As the Trump Administration tries to provoke Iran into a war, and Iran complies with its own provocations, the threat of nuclear war, for which Merton was so rightly concerned in 1962, seems both distant and imminent in May of 2019. ... "There is a true war-madness, an illness of the mind and spirit that is spreading with furious contagion all over the world," Merton wrote over a half century ago...
May 21, 2019, 4:14pm
Did Man Make a Wrong Turn?
Martin LeFevre: What is the root cause of our ecological destructiveness, of our unending conflict and war, of personal and ancient grudges, of hatred and violence, of psychological and emotional suffering? Is there one source of all these things? ... I feel there is. Simply put, the evolutionary adaptation of being able to consciously separate, store and manipulate 'things' spilled over into the psychological dimension, where it became division, domination and control. ... Therefore it's not so much that man made and continues to make a wrong turn, much less that evolution made a monumental mistake in evolving Homo sap. Rather, the evolution of symbolic thought carried with it the strong tendency in the creature possessing and possessed by it to fragment its planet. ... The awakening of another order of consciousness, based on awareness, attention and insight rather than symbol, memory and self, is the remedy...
May 18, 2019, 3:51pm
Igniting Insight, Not More Cognition, Is the Remedy
Martin LeFevre: Science cannot halt the destruction of the diversity of life due to man's rapaciousness, and the warming of the earth due to man-made CO2 emissions, because science cannot replace the bygone restraints of religion. Religions have lost their hold over people's minds and hearts, and good riddance to them. ... The wrongful use of science and technology is what has brought us to this pass. Science is a tool, not the source of living truth. Then what is? Undirected attention, yielding effortless stillness, awakens the brain's capacity for insight. ... More cognition is not the solution, because cognition without insight is the problem. So it isn't just that "we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." We cannot solve our problems through cognition at all. ... The human brain has a huge untapped potential for insight, which is untapped because we've given so much emphasis to thought and cognition, reason and knowledge...
May 14, 2019, 5:29pm
Demystifying Mystical Experience
Martin LeFevre: Hawks screech from different directions in the parkland, and birds play raucously. Friendliness and joy are reflected in the faces of many of the using the park for every conceivable activity-walking, running, horseback riding, biking and rollerblading. ... I dislike the term 'mystical experience.' What happens in the brain during the meditative state is neither mystical, nor an experience. To my mind it's an event, a phenomenon that is new each time it occurs. ... Effortlessly watching every mental and emotional reaction, without judging or controlling the memories and feelings that arise in the moment, is the only action that is needed to awaken the meditative state. ... Through passive observation, the brain has the capacity of gathering attention that is quicker than thought. Effortless attention then acts on thought to silence it. This can happen within anyone, if they understand how to observe the movement of thought without interference....
May 12, 2019, 5:45pm
Scale Is Irrelevant
Martin LeFevre: The word 'decimation' has its roots in the brutal Roman practice of punishing military units guilty of cowardice, mutiny or desertion by putting to death every tenth man. A UN report just came out stating that of the 8 million animals and plants on earth, man is on the verge of wiping out a million. Man is literally decimating the earth. ... Pause a moment to reflect: We humans, a sentient species, are consciously bringing about the 6th mass extinction in the 3.5 billion-year history of life on earth! ... Most people now realize that no political or economic program, no leader or group of leaders, and no appeal to human sentiment or self-interest can provide an adequate response to the crisis of consciousness. More and more people are coming to understand that the resolution is not outside us, in our political and economic systems, but within, in human consciousness itself...
May 7, 2019, 5:42pm
Meditation Has No Tradition
Martin LeFevre: As dusk descends passive observation opens the mind and heart to the beauty beyond the surface dreariness of the day. ... The space and silence of methodless meditation allow insight and renewal. In negating the observer through the action of simple watchfulness, life springs forth around and within one. The spaces between thoughts widen, and the brain quiets and clears itself of thought-consciousness. ... Why are meditation methods and techniques a mistake? Because they are fabricated by thought, and you cannot use thought to quiet the mind and go beyond thought. One has to allow the mind and heart the freedom to flow unimpeded by judgment, evaluation and effort. ... Thought is a stream that only stops when it is undividedly and intensely observed as a whole...
May 5, 2019, 4:08pm
Psychology Has Made People Sicker
Martin LeFevre: Has Western psychology deceased or increased the suffering of people, and has it enhanced or detracted from "the human condition more broadly?" I feel it has in fact increased suffering, and detracted from the human condition. ... Was there less depression some decades ago, or was it more hidden from view? Undoubtedly both, but the first reason is greater. Society is much sicker, but the focus is even more on the individual. ... Indeed, psychology's overwhelming focus on the individual would be malpractice in a culture half as sick as American culture is. It's wrong for the individual to blame society for his or her ills, but it's even more wrong to blame the individual for society's ills. ... In a dead culture, the vast majority of people adapt by 'numbing out,' and becoming inwardly dead themselves. Go along to get along. The problem is that if you cut yourself off from feeling bad, you cut yourself off from feeling anything...
May 2, 2019, 3:51pm
It's Battle for the Soul of Humanity, Not America
Martin LeFevre: Joe Biden, who quit the race in 2016 when he might well have beaten Trump, is trying to close the barn after the horses have left. "We are," Biden declared, "in the battle for the soul of this nation." That battle was lost more than a generation ago. ... The death of America's soul is what allowed the evil of Bush-Cheney to burble up, blatantly making America First, and turning us into a tribalistic nation after 9.11. Not to mention starting a self-fulfilling "global war on terror," most recently erupting horrifically on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. ... Trump has been like a caustic acid released in the bloodstream of the body politic; he erodes and corrodes everyone and everything he touches. ... There can be no "restoration of the values that bind us as a collective," because our vaunted collective values have divided us into 330 million separate selves of competition and greed...
Apr 28, 2019, 5:24pm
At the Precipice, We Change?
Martin LeFevre: Physicists and astronomers hubristically seek a "theory of everything." But here's a truth few scientists will admit: Our knowledge of the universe can never be complete and will never make humanity whole. ... Clearly, a revolution in consciousness is required. ... Our long indigenous pre-history, which stretches back for tens of thousands of years, is over. With the Agricultural, Industrial, Scientific and Digital Revolutions, 'higher thought,' unmoored and unchecked by self-knowing and insight, has been generating increasing fragmentation and disorder. ... To make the transition from symbol-based consciousness, which separates and fragments, to insight-based consciousness, which sees and acts in terms of the whole, requires a conscious transmutation.... That can only occur when the individual is doing his and her own spadework of self-knowing, and awakening insight within...
Apr 25, 2019, 4:24pm
As Civilization Collapses, A Turning?
Martin LeFevre: Many people on this Earth Day are concerned about ecological and civilizational collapse. Some think it's happening, and will spell our extinction as a species. Others think it can still be prevented. Few realize that self-knowing and psychological revolution are essential to humankind changing course. ... Many thinkers intellectually understand that "the underlying disease is one of separation: separation of mind from body, separation from each other, and separation from nature." ... Rather than question the roots of separation within however, they offer half-baked philosophical diagnosis ... So can enough people feel the urgency of radical change, and give primacy to being over becoming, to ignite a psychological revolution now?...
Apr 22, 2019, 5:38pm
A Creative Explosion of Insight
Martin LeFevre: The human crisis is much deeper and wider than America now, and involves things for which we have no words, or too many of them. What language do we speak when all languages fall short, except the unspoken language of the heart? And how does one, how does anyone convey truths that are at once perishable and unconquerable? ... The "search for answers" and "the problem-solving brain" cannot resolve the crisis of consciousness. That attitude itself is a prime impediment, not the thing that needs to be enhanced. ... Clearly we don't need more cognition; we need to ignite our brain's capacity for insight. ... Cognition is thought, and thought is cognition. Insight can and does inform thought and knowledge, but insight does not have its source, or for that matter its import for humanity, in thought and knowledge...
Apr 18, 2019, 3:56pm
The Earth Is Our Cathedral, and We're Destroying It
Martin LeFevre: Even for those who never saw Notre Dame Cathedral, even for those who have no use for organized religion, the fire engulfing one of humankind's oldest and greatest architectural structures was a sad sight. .... Some perspective is necessary however. .... It was man-made thing, and though great art has been lost, no lives were lost. What spiritual and global meanings can we draw from the loss of Notre Dame Cathedral? .... Such intricate symbols of man-made grandeur were monuments the Catholic Church built to itself as much as they were intended to give illiterate people an experience of the divine. What is their loss if we continue to desecrate the earth and decimate the creatures that evolved along with us? .... Humanity needs new epicenters, places not of symbol and stone, but cathedrals of nature where the heart and spirit can find healing and renewal...
Apr 16, 2019, 4:03pm
Did Jesus Underestimate Satan?
Martin LeFevre: "The greatest triumph of the devil in the modern age is convincing people that he doesn't exist." ... Even as a boy, I didn't understand the contradiction between Palm Sunday, which marks the triumphal arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, and the days that followed, culminating in his crucifixion on Good Friday. ... If Jesus knew he was to die on the cross for the sins of mankind, as Christians maintain, then why the set up of Palm Sunday? ... So what happened in Jerusalem? Put simply, it appears that Jesus overestimated his fellow Jews, and underestimated the dark forces arrayed against him. ... But the devil (yes it exists in human consciousness) laid a trap for him. In addition, the people were not up to his call for radical change ...
Apr 13, 2019, 4:10pm