Psychology of the Buddhas
After finding cures for my own mental illness back in 1977 I set out to share the happy news with others. Working mostly on a donation basis I led groups in meditation, primal therapy, dance therapy and conducted individual sessions that varied from person to person. The gist of my work was to simply share the tools I had picked up along the way, specifically primal release of blocked emotions, radical diet change and the ecstasy of real meditation to replace the false and destructive highs of drugs and alcohol.
Then, for whatever reason I jumped into the mainstream and spent about 12 years working in group homes and residential care facilities for the mentally ill. In the role of head counselor and then director, I employed alternative approaches surreptitiously in an attempt to create a milieu of healing for the residents (patients), most of whom were very sick having spent on average twenty plus years institutionalized, eating denatured foods, smoking, staring blankly at the TV set and ingesting a variety of psychotropic medicines.
Thus warehoused they were in pretty sorry shape, most of them overweight, their senses dulled by the drugs and the unnatural food, but even so, the “miracles” of meditation, music, a little natural food, brief sojourns in fields and forests, a little laughter and a lot of love began a slow, but steady awakening of consciousness. They were coming alive, starting to question, asking for less drugs, more freedom, better interactions with the outside world. They were becoming difficult, and that was a problem for the rulers. The rulers needed to be in control. Compassionate warehousing was the order of the day. They rationalized and justified this slow dance on the killing ground with a well-documented mindset that severe mental illness was incurable and needed to be addressed through chemical restraints. No longer tied to their beds in locked wards, they were now physically free, but chemically fettered.
I was harassed, intimidated, and finally disappeared. It is the age old story, the stuff of high drama, the basis for many books and movies such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but in my case it was very quiet and subdued, almost boring. Ushered into a pristinely appointed office, a neatly dressed trio of human resources people calmly informed me that due to budget requirements, my position had to be eliminated. I remained relatively calm yet managed to inform them that they were liars, hypocrites, and probably doomed to eternal damnation in the fiery pit.
The three lawyers I spoke with over the next year were extremely sympathetic and sided with me. One of them who had prior knowledge of the institution stated that what they were doing to the forty mentally ill inmates was abhorrent, disgusting, sad and shameful, yet completely legal, and that what they were doing to me was vicious, mean-spirited, cowardly, dishonest, yet completely legal.
So, here I am, taking up the pen and trusting that it is indeed mightier than the sword. I do not have a hidden agenda. My desire is to expose the corrupt system and assist the inmates in their inner quest for freedom.
The basis for my thesis is my own journey from madness to relative sanity and my observation of many institutionalized people who respond positively when a simple meditation technique is introduced into their lives. The technique is simply awareness through breathing.
To simply rise out of ordinary consciousness is the beginning of sanity. This theory, taught by Master Osho, an enlightened gentleman from Poona, India has its basis in the idea that there are seven layers of consciousness. Whereas the standard psychiatric approach to insanity is to attempt to bring the “madman” up from a disturbed consciousness to a societally-sanctioned idea of normalcy, the seven layer approach known as the Psychology of the Buddhas aims much higher and does not differentiate all that much between the insane and the normal.
The main reason why our western approach is such a failure is that the insane person doesn’t see our so-called sanity as anything particularly wonderful and worth achieving. We normal people appear to be as dull as white bread and apparently boiling within with a plethora of unpleasantries, i.e. rage, jealousy, envy, greed, fear and a propensity to wage warfare against other normals of a different skin tone, religious affiliation or country allegiance.
The Psychology of the Buddhas states that just as there are three layers beneath ordinary consciousness, there are three layers above, each one more luminous than the previous one. The simple-to-learn breathing technique, done by the “insane” or the “normal” has the same effect and purpose. It takes the meditator above the normal mind which is a mind equally divided between conscious mind and unconscious mind, and elevates him or her to a state of being defined as super conscious mind. Once a foothold has been established in that colorful, luminous reality, a descent into unconsciousness becomes virtually impossible. It also affords the person a glimpse into the upper two levels of consciousness which are identified as collective super consciousness and cosmic super consciousness, the last one being equivalent to a state which has been referred to as Christ Consciousness, Buddhahood and Enlightenment.
To reiterate, the problem with enticing the so-called madman who resides in the somewhat fascinating world of unconsciousness to rise to the somewhat colorless, neurotic, and often violent world of normal consciousness is often doomed to failure simply because the rewards of living in normal consciousness are not that great and the madman can see that millions of the normals seem to be falling into unconsciousness every day, becoming insane, falling into drunkenness, creating wars, ingesting drugs. Why bother?
In contrast, the Psychology of the Buddhas elevates both the normal and the madman to a level of bliss that is similar to a chemically induced euphoric state, but with no corresponding descent into despair.
For contemporary western man, Master Osho has devised the Dynamic Meditation as a powerful cleansing technique which helps prepare the person for the more gentle awareness-through-breathing technique. The author of this article, a long-time disciple of Osho, is available to individuals or groups to teach and share these processes on a donation basis.
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