The recent post, Apophatic Periphraxis, will be our final video for the foreseeable future. I have finally built up sufficient ontological context, the framework of understanding to be able to say that. If you have followed our series from the beginning you will have no trouble understanding it. This is my ultimate public contribution in the realm of original thought.
I have been making videos on various topics associated with the Buddha’s teaching for almost four years now. There are well over two hundred videos, (many unpublished) spanning a vast gamut of topics: from the basics of how to overcome learning disabilities and cognitive impairment from forced mass schooling, to the deepest and most difficult subjects like Nibbāna and the advanced apophatic ontological model of the Buddha’s teaching.
I really do appreciate the interest that many sincere viewers have shown. But unfortunately, their response has been minimal. It’s probably my fault. Of course the videos could have been better planned and produced. But I was just one man working alone. Maybe if I had some help, I could have done a lot more.
Despite my shortcomings and the other problems, everything that really needed to be said, I have said. Yet in all this time, as far as I know (correct me if I’m wrong here) no one has really got it.
How can I tell? Well, let me ask you this: When will the retreat center you sponsored and organized, with the video studio and production staff, be ready? Or: How long before you give up your plastic purgatory in the paved paradise of conditioned existence, and hop on a plane for Sri Lanka to hang out and meditate with me in the jungle?
That’s what I thought.
I would probably refuse the retreat center and/or send you home after a few days, but that’s beside the point.
There has been an almost complete lack of what I consider a significant appropriate response to my work. But there has been a significant inappropriate response—from phony sentimental sycophancy, to stony sullen silence, to vicious malign intent. Surprisingly, the most venomous response by far has come from the so-called ‘buddhist’ community in the west—the very people to whom my work is primarily directed.
I get the message.
I’m not tone-deaf; I just don’t give up easily, especially when I know I’m right. I have found that many problems respond well to persistence. I’ve learned a lot. And it was an auspicious work that significantly increased my stock of good Kamma and helped me attain Path fruits. So I don’t regret the four-year investment in helping and encouraging people on the Internet. It’s just not fun anymore; and I am at the point in life where ‘if it ain’t fun, it don’t get done’.
But that’s not the only factor involved.
Tell the truth, I am just burned out on western culture altogether. Especially when I consider the impact it historically has had on other cultures worldwide, I feel disgusted. The ancient treasure-trove of spiritual wisdom, and the beautiful ecologically harmonious agrarian village culture based on it, fashioned by ancient wise men out of compassion for the people, have almost been destroyed. And the Internet—far from the pinnacle of human civilization—is simply the last stage in a long process of social devolution, meant to impoverish and herd the sheeple into a stultifying maze of useless, vapid stupidity. How easily they have given up their independence and surrendered the means of production to the faceless corporatocracy.
Human society has become so successful, so completely victorious over nature—including human nature—that most people have become completely inauthentic. There is no naturalness, fun, adventure or wonder left in the ordinary person’s life: only the daily grind and consumption of empty sense enjoyment.
The conquest of nature by technology, now almost complete, is a Pyrrhic victory. We have cut off the branch we were sitting on, disconnected ourselves from our source of life. Deep down everyone knows this, and they are bracing for the crash.
It’s not pretty or fun to watch a whole world go mad and commit suicide. But I foresaw this a long time ago, and made it my business to find a way out.
So by the grace of some admirable friends, after a long search I have found an unused cave temple deep in the countryside, near an ancient village not on any map, where the old ways are still current, where the people still appreciate and care for men of wisdom. I have earned the love, respect and trust of a community for whom the Buddha’s teaching is a sacred lifelong dedication to wisdom, truthfulness, harmlessness and spiritual practice. They have very kindly invited me to spend the rest of my life in an environment of peace and understanding.
Sorry, but I will not have much time for Internet anymore. For me the Buddha’s teaching is so much more than just a spare-time hobby, ego-enhancement for wealthy dilettantes, pretty pictures with silly sayings of doubtful provenance, or a vicious no-holds-barred popularity contest…
I’m just going to sit down in a nice mud hut next to a stream with a cow grazing nearby, or in the deep silence of a pagoda on a jungle hilltop, and let the feelings get felt, the thoughts get thunk, and the mind unwind until it’s done.
I would love to share much more about my life and the delightful, inspiring things that are happening. So much has changed for me in the last three months, since the extraordinary experience of enlightenment on the plane returning from Norway. But unfortunately, I suspect that foolish people of evil intent who falsely label themselves ‘buddhists’ would abuse that information, and I don’t want to be disturbed.
I’m having way too much fun.