A variance in understanding
Why the abundance of
Spiritual Truth in the East and the lack there of in the West?
The philosophical and lifestyle differences between East and West are apparent
particularly when travelling from one side to the other. The west is
characterised by serious conformity and competition, but within India, there is something wonderful and transcendent evident by the resplendent colours and the joy on people's faces
that draws people from all nations seeking knowledge beyond belief.
There is little doubt that India is the central point of Eastern Spirituality and
is also the origin of all civilisations. Sometime long distant when all other
humans remained hunter-gatherers, Hindu mystics came to understand the nature of
existence and the true nature of being human.
They saw we had a choice of living as animals and eating or being eaten yet they
understood our dependency, our confinement as spiritual beings to our bodies and
our environment. They understood the need for happiness and saw that by knowing
life, knowing oneself as part of something far greater was liberating; happiness
Conversely the Western concept is that of individuality and materialism. The
world is to be enjoyed and/or profited from but to do so, it must be controlled
which is causing the destruction of all life on Earth yet those in power are in
The ancient Hindus developed the concept known as Sanatana Dharma, a way of
living in accord with nature and that knowing one's internal world was as
important as knowing one's physical world. Meanwhile with trade and commerce
commencing into regions less enlightened, the influence of patriarchal
capitalism distorted the Dharmic ideology creating the western belief systems
and capitalist global model.
"In the words of Mary Boyce, "Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the
doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection
of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited
soul and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to
much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it
is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence..." She also adds:- "Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed
world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly
and indirectly, than any other single faith." ~
The Hindus had modern well-developed cities at a time when Europeans were still
living in caves and fire was their greatest treasure. Those ancient followers of
Dharma were able to correctly evaluate the general nature of our solar system
and neighbouring galaxies many thousands of years ago. They gave us the language,
mathematics and science with which the modern technological world is built.
The West took knowledge acquired through following Dharma and turned it toward
personal pleasures. The Hindus had no such concerns because they understood that
happiness and joy arose from within as an expression of life and much more meaningful than pleasure
which is only a
One could argue that for long periods of time Bharat (South
Asia) was a literal paradise or a
heaven on earth. Natural foods were abundant and the climate although
sometimes a little too hot in summer and in the northern regions a little too
cool in winter was ideal. A life according to Dharma did not
exclude pleasure but the focus was more on human well-being for both the
individual, society and the long term continuity of human civilisation.
One of the key aspects of a Dharmic lifestyle is that there is a recognition
that the internal world and the external world are equally important. In other
words the inner self is just as important as the outer self and by paying
attention to the nature of one's own mind or consciousness, by following one's
actions and observing the reactions, the progress of one's life can be made
pleasant and harmonious.
West of India with the development of patriarchal capitalism, those who came to
value power, wealth and pleasure despised the Hindus who were happy for no
obvious reason. They made a sport of killing the bulls, turning Hindu ideas into
belief systems encouraging the ignorant to deride and destroy the mother of all.
Conversely in the West:
We and I must include myself here in seeking the root of social and political
injustice, the level of disease and suffering in Western society looked to the
east for solutions. We invented our own concept of psychology, healthcare and
lifestyle based not on real needs but based solutions on greed and desire.
In my opinion this was bought about through the rise of patriarchal capitalism.
The West abandoned the Divine feminine and if you look into the ancient Middle
East, this history can be followed. The Jewish God El (later Yahweh) was
divorced from his female counterpart Ashera and women became chattels, something
that only happened two women in India during the British occupation.
If we look at Western civilisation we see so many extremes of behaviours that in
analysis they are all about seeking pleasure. Pleasure temporarily negates pain
and suffering, and pleasure generates a desire for more pleasure. If you reflect
on your own life for a moment, you wake up in the morning and use the bathroom
to deal with the body's most basic of needs. Many people begin their day with a
cup of coffee, a ritual to bring the mind into focus on the days tasks which
most often are all to do with seeking pleasure or escape from suffering.
Working and achieving sufficient remuneration without conflict generates a
certain amount of pleasure and some work for the pleasure afforded by work being
a distraction from one's mental suffering. Mental suffering that cannot be
alleviated through mental involvement or physical activity is generally treated
with medications which dull the symptoms without curing the problem.
This need for pleasure creates addictive or compulsive behaviours, the
millionaire is not satisfied, he or she needs to make another million in part
because there is someone else with more and this is one compulsive behaviour
that often has unpleasant consequences. In the news recently it was reported
that a certain celebrity who preaches social responsibility gains much of her
wealth by employing slave labourers.
Capitalism became the driver toward new pleasures, new distractions from
reality, distractions from the self-inflicted pain and suffering that is almost
universally experienced across the western world. It is believed that by
adopting certain beliefs and a regulated lifestyle according to the needs of the
body balanced against the demands to be employed (often in destructive and
anti-life occupations) there one can enjoy a certain satisfaction in life and
perhaps if you follow prescribed beliefs to the letter, you will be happy.
This is clearly no solution to any of our problems and in fact it exacerbates
them because people have to come up with new excuses, new beliefs, and new
justifications and rationales. This is a grand deception yet the Western world
has been led by beliefs that are completely unfounded and used knowledge and
technology to create new pleasures.
Happiness and pleasure are not the same
A young child is happy because he or she is connected to life and the world is
filled with wonder. The young child has not formed opinions, learned to judge or
to seek pleasure until such time pleasure is encouraged. The Western education
system then systematically erodes a child's happiness and teaches that a certain
skill will bring pleasure and happiness. And instead of knowing life and giving
to life, the idea is established that life owes me or that pleasure is my right
and we can see this happening today in our laws.
Conversely the Hindu child is taught to be appreciative and the child slowly
learns that by appreciation a certain magic happens, the universe is revealed
facilitating the flow of happiness and joy. To be sure there is an advice in the
West to be thankful but true appreciation and praise without strings attached in
the Western world is rare or disingenuous. A case in point is Saddam Hussein,
the US administration declared him a friend of the USA and encouraged him to
attack Iran even supplying chemical weapons for that purpose. Then the US did an
about turn and attacked Iraq and the tragedy continues.
The Western world has become dominated by a group of individuals controlling the
world for their own pleasure without concern for anyone else. Their friendships
are entered into for political expediency and if there was such a thing as a
devil or an antichrist, these (mostly men) most fit that description and they
develop places like Guantanamo bay.
To really understand the differences between happiness and pleasure, one must
know one's own human nature. The Western world is taught to identify one's
persona with the physical body. This of course is borrowed from the earth and
returned (recycled) after death - it is impermanent yet people crave some sense
of permanence. Many people in the Western world, perhaps the majority are so
embedded in their own suffering that they cannot see the forest for the trees do
not realise they are a soul with a body and mind - the soul represents the
permanent and the panacea to suffering.
The move from a matriarchal to a patriarchal civilisation that began around 6000
BC is the cause of much suffering today. The divorce of El and Ashera represents
civilisation turning its back on the Divine feminine which has a greater
affinity with the human soul and began a long period of erosion within the human
consciousness bringing us to this sorry state where the soul is completely
Bereft of spiritual connection, there is only suffering and that suffering at
times can be placated by experiencing pleasure. People seek pleasure in various
forms of sexual expression yet without genuine heartfelt love, such pleasure
further damages the psych and increases the distance between the sense of self
and spiritual reality.
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