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Open Source Spirituality

This post first appeared at Intentblog.com under the Weekly Intent Column.

Iconoclasts of One Era are Icons are Another

What is it?

Open Source is a movement primarily concentrated in technology that has used Internet as a foundational platform for people often unrelated who collaborate and contribute to create tools and products that were hitherto outcomes of large enterprises. Not all products have been error-free and robust but the contributions have helped bring a new wave of innovations and often destructive technologies.

There are two essential components of the classic Open Source movement:

i. Though many players work – everyone is a contributor and no one is an owner;
ii. Since no one is an owner there is no one who can claim ownership rights for the final product.

Open Source Spirituality is about open, free and selfless contributions without the urge by the preachers and Gurus to “patent” a method/teaching/idea as his/her own, such that a “Wikipedia of Spiritual Content and Substance” can come about and grows and blossoms on its own. No one may need to call a path his/her own or the only one and everyone is a mere contributor.

There maybe many contributors of equal rights, powers, and intellect.

Not every thing may be complimentary, but one idea may be able to reside together with diametrically opposite viewpoints on the sheer strength of lack of sponsorship! When there is no one to back up an idea as his or her own, there is no other idea that can cause conflict with it! They both co-exist.

We need to come to the realization that Ideas never conflict, people do. If Prophet Mohammad had provided his ideas and then washed his hands off them saying that I do not care if you think what I say is more important or more worthwhile than what Mr. Christ said a few hundred years back – there would be no conflict!

Ideas stand on the crutches of Human Ego. Religions are no different.

Parsing the Spiritual Frameworks?

To any system, enterprise, undertaking and organization there are two parts to existence – Framework and Substance.

The Prophets, Masters and Gurus have concentrated on the Substance and substance only and failed to utilize the Framework of the Unframed Creativity despite saying that they do not encourage a rigid Framework. The issue, however, is that Substance articulated as an owner as opposed to a contributor creates its own irreplaceable and unchanging Framework, specially when it comes from an Enlightened Master.

If, on the other hand, the Prophets/Masters/Gurus were content to simply use the Abundant Ambiguity of the Creation with the conviction that the Universal Consciousness in even the uninitiated will articulate as well and as loud as in Him/Her, we will probably have a society full of quiet but Enlightened Masters and Prophets because, then, that Unframed Framework maybe able provide a topography for exploration by every soul as opposed to a sedentary fulfilled belief called Faith which exerts itself as the absence of motivation to experiencing as opposed to believing.

Also read:  Vulgarity of Devotees and the state of Pashupatinath, Mansarovar and Rivers

Everyone will, in that case, be able to Own and Experience His/Her own Spiritual Light rather than live in reflected and borrowed rays.

To work with Unframed Ambiguity and yet leave without any Framework requires a Master who does not have an ego – an ego that is often expressed through His/Her urge to preach and propogate and uplift; which is where the Mohammads, Buddhas and Jesuses have failed consistently and spectacularly!!

The Efforts to Uplift mankind have singularly been mankind’s worst failures! They have tethered the rest of the humankind, constituted of “followers” or “believers” to an existence of mere mortals and get progressively boxed into more and more claustrophobic compartments, as opposed to setting the Universal Spirit free to find its level through experimentation and exploration.

Lack of belief in the Inherent Ability of a soul.. any and every Soul to “wake up” on its own is foundational to the act of preaching! The conclusion that one needs to help starts with the basic assumption that the “other” is in need of help! When everything is One and Infinite Universal Consciousness, then who needs help from whom?? It is no surprise, therefore, that “Faith” is touted as the first step in the spiritual journey by the Gurus and Prophets.

How is it that the very Enlightened Soulswho preach Oneness of Consciousness go further on to provide straitjackets of codes of conduct as if that same One is weak enough in those souls to blossom on its own?

Yet, despite their great self belief (and doubts about others’ souls to blossom without help) the Masters/Gurus/Prophets have very little, if any, permanent progress to show for their efforts. Can we categorically say that world today is happier and Spiritually better off (not as in religion because Religions have a crude Stone-age vintage barometer – that of the numbers of followers to measure success with – Islam is the fastest growing religion or Asia is the next frontier for Christianity they say!) than it was before Jesus or Buddha set foot on this planet? I am not talking about the planes, computers and the science – but Happiness and Spirituality.

To grasp the dynamics of Good and Evil and the attempts to eliminate the Evil as well as the utter failure of such efforts throughout History, we need to properly distinguish between Equality and Equilibrium. At the origin of creation, as is the bedrock of the Space Theories, there was perfect Symmetrical Energy Form that had no manifestation or articulation – Perfect Equality. However, the chaos of Big Bang manifested the creation. Equality was the original state. Once that was disturbed, the only way to sustain the creation was Equilibrium. Good and Evil, Yin and Yang, Positive and Negative sustain each other! The pendulum can move on one side for only so long. For the creation to be sustained, it will resume its return journey before long. The only other scenario possible, therefore, other than equilibrium is equality, but that state of equality will preclude the creation as we know it. So, though the Masters, Prophets, and Gurus were working towards a noble goal, it was destined for failure within the confines of this creation!

Also read:  When Gurus are no more than Prostitutes

It is interesting that the very reason why most Masters started on the endeavor to chart a new path was to get rid of the strangleholds in the existing ones. Buddha and Guru Nanak, for example, just like all others, had the same thought underlying their philosophy. They were Reformers first and Masters later. The truth is that there is NO Reform possible by creating another Path! Creating another line on a white paper that is longer or straighter than the one already marked out on the paper, does not in any way improve the existing one. We just end up creating another one. Soon every artist desirous of charting a “new” path, leaves a line such that the white space where the Universal could have expressed it self, is littered with just dark, opaque marks. While preaching the nobility of erasing the existing line, they – one after another and unfailingly without drawing any lessons from history of earlier artists kept creating new ones!!

Spirit now finds itself smothered in the magnanimity of the Reformers and the Enlightened!

Historical Verity*

Iconoclasts of One Era are Icons are Another

Most Masters agree that accepting the distinction of being Me – just simply a Human Being (or any being for that matter) leads to the separation of that Soul from the Universal Whole and dissolution of this distinction results in the Merger – then how can more distinctions within the realm of Human Existence be any path to Freedom? Our primary struggle, therefore, now lies in becoming just Human Beings again – without any categories that is! Only then, can we, move ahead to dissolve that last barrier to Freedom!

For the Souls to be free – the Universal Unframed Framework sans any Substantive content needs to be opened up and used – and for that to be possible the existing self-obsessed structures which have been so far dictated by their substance need to be comprehensively deconstructed.

If we cannot dissolve self-made, external structures; dissolution of our internal ego-structures is well nigh impossible!

My Intention for the future is best expressed by this poet:

Safa-e-hasti kar raha hoon;
Ek badi umeed par.
Ki benishaan ho loon;
To kuch naamo-nishaan paida ho.

– Author Unknown to me

(I am dissoving my person;
with this great intent.
That I may remain no more;
So a new existence could emerge!)


* With Apologies to Sri Bal Gangadhar Tilak

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Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

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13 thoughts on “Open Source Spirituality”

  1. Never thought Spirituality can be “open source” too 🙂 What a wonderful idea that sums it all and why there are increasing conflicts in the world. And how this “open source” can make this world a better world. I think in this regard surely new age preachers like Osho, Krishnamurthy and others do well.
    Loved the poem especially. Beautiful.

  2. Never thought Spirituality can be “open source” too 🙂 What a wonderful idea that sums it all and why there are increasing conflicts in the world. And how this “open source” can make this world a better world. I think in this regard surely new age preachers like Osho, Krishnamurthy and others do well.
    Loved the poem especially. Beautiful.

  3. As usual Desh, I find your essays to be very fascinating.

    This paragraph interested me the most:

    “To grasp the dynamics of Good and Evil and the attempts to eliminate the Evil as well as the utter failure of such efforts throughout History, we need to properly distinguish between Equality and Equilibrium. At the origin of creation, as is the bedrock of the Space Theories, there was perfect Symmetrical Energy Form that had no manifestation or articulation – Perfect Equality. However, the chaos of Big Bang manifested the creation. Equality was the original state. Once that was disturbed, the only way to sustain the creation was Equilibrium. Good and Evil, Yin and Yang, Positive and Negative sustain each other! The pendulum can move on one side for only so long. For the creation to be sustained, it will resume its return journey before long. The only other scenario possible, therefore, other than equilibrium is equality, but that state of equality will preclude the creation as we know it. So, though the Masters, Prophets, and Gurus were working towards a noble goal, it was destined for failure within the confines of this creation!”

    If I understand this correctly, Good and Evil must forever co-exist in the universe.

    This appears to be a basic contradiction with Judaism. We’re taught that Good and Evil are both creations, one called “yétzer hatóv,” – the good inclination, the other “yétzer har’á,” – the evil inclination. The arrival of the “mashíaH ben David” who will carry out Spiritual Redemption of all mankind, will be marked by the chief task that he will carry out – the destruction of the “yétzer har’á.”

    One has to presume, and one sees this presumption in your essay, that Evil is a physical essence of some kind, having a role to play in the universe. Unless I’m wrong, you appear to imply that this Evil cannot be eliminated, as it provides some kind of equilibrium in the universe. I may sound terribly stupid in asking you, but I’m asking anyway. Am I reading this correctly, or am I missing something? And if so, could you please try to explain it to me…

    Best regards,
    Reuven

  4. Hi Ruvy: Thanks for visiting drishtikone…

    You have read it correctly. To understand this you need to first be clear of the definition of what you call ‘God”. I believe that God is in everything and Everything is a reflection of God – It is infinite and infinitesimal! If that be so, then it would be impossible for any creation to come forth with out “God’s” act. And I go by the basic principle that “something” cannot come out of “nothing”. IN that sense, both, Good as well as evil Evil have to co-exist in “God”.

    In Gita – Krishna tells Arjun to go beyond “Maya”. He calls Maya to be composed of 3 “qualities” – the Sattavik (Good); the Rajasik (Neutral); and Tamasik (Bad). Hence, he is exhorting Arjun to move from the state of “Equilibrium” to the state of ‘Equality”.

    And in one place in Gita, while defining Himself (as in the Universal Consciousness); Krishna defines Himself in both Good and Evil parameters.

    So, it is what you think God is? If He/It is “something out there”.. to come and “set things right”, then the conclusion will inevitably be that Evil should end. But if you believe that “God” is the essential primordial substance of creation and the Creator of all that exists – then there can be NOTHING that has not been created out of It. So, God has Evil as much as Good.

    Having said this, from spiritual sense, Good and Evil are very subjective evaluations. There is no such thing as Good and Evil completely. The connotations occur in the realm of Causality. Outside the world of causality (cause and effect); such distinctions are not possible.

    Such is my understanding…

    Cheers,
    -d.

  5. As usual Desh, I find your essays to be very fascinating.

    This paragraph interested me the most:

    “To grasp the dynamics of Good and Evil and the attempts to eliminate the Evil as well as the utter failure of such efforts throughout History, we need to properly distinguish between Equality and Equilibrium. At the origin of creation, as is the bedrock of the Space Theories, there was perfect Symmetrical Energy Form that had no manifestation or articulation – Perfect Equality. However, the chaos of Big Bang manifested the creation. Equality was the original state. Once that was disturbed, the only way to sustain the creation was Equilibrium. Good and Evil, Yin and Yang, Positive and Negative sustain each other! The pendulum can move on one side for only so long. For the creation to be sustained, it will resume its return journey before long. The only other scenario possible, therefore, other than equilibrium is equality, but that state of equality will preclude the creation as we know it. So, though the Masters, Prophets, and Gurus were working towards a noble goal, it was destined for failure within the confines of this creation!”

    If I understand this correctly, Good and Evil must forever co-exist in the universe.

    This appears to be a basic contradiction with Judaism. We’re taught that Good and Evil are both creations, one called “yétzer hatóv,” – the good inclination, the other “yétzer har’á,” – the evil inclination. The arrival of the “mashíaH ben David” who will carry out Spiritual Redemption of all mankind, will be marked by the chief task that he will carry out – the destruction of the “yétzer har’á.”

    One has to presume, and one sees this presumption in your essay, that Evil is a physical essence of some kind, having a role to play in the universe. Unless I’m wrong, you appear to imply that this Evil cannot be eliminated, as it provides some kind of equilibrium in the universe. I may sound terribly stupid in asking you, but I’m asking anyway. Am I reading this correctly, or am I missing something? And if so, could you please try to explain it to me…

    Best regards,
    Reuven

  6. Thank you for being so prompt in your response!

    As I understand it, your ideas are drawn from the Vedic texts, which if I understand you properly, are science and logic on a very deep level. This is also what Kabbala is, but it’s our version of science and logic at a very deep level.

    It is my basic assumption that given that the Vedic texts and the Kabbala have the same Source, they should be reconcilable. This is why I’m writing to you.

    I’ll give you a basic Jewish definition of G-d, and then give you my take on the definition.

    G-d is an Entity that is outside of the universe, but inside of it as well as the universe is composed of His essence. The universe exists because G-d withdrew part of Himself from it, and set into motion the Big Bang, which brought about the universe and all the laws G-d created for its running. The laws do not work perfectly; the universe has a level of “slack” in its operation. What results are imperfect planetary orbits, for example, planets crashing into others, disease, imperfect births, etc. My own definition is simply “that Entity that encompasses all probability.”

    Whether the “yétzer har’á” (evil inclination) is a part of this elemental creation or not, I’m not sure. In other words, there may be a greater “Evil” that only G-d has access to which is the Evil that is the balancing force in the universe.

    Thus it may be that the destruction of the “yétzer har’á” does not disturb the greater “Evil”. I see that I have questions to pose to my on authorities and “masters.”

    Blessings,
    Reuven

  7. Ruvy – I will reply to you later this evening.. as I am at work.. but I understand what you are saying.. and find it a very interesting discussion! 🙂

  8. Hi Ruvy: Thanks for visiting drishtikone…

    You have read it correctly. To understand this you need to first be clear of the definition of what you call ‘God”. I believe that God is in everything and Everything is a reflection of God – It is infinite and infinitesimal! If that be so, then it would be impossible for any creation to come forth with out “God’s” act. And I go by the basic principle that “something” cannot come out of “nothing”. IN that sense, both, Good as well as evil Evil have to co-exist in “God”.

    In Gita – Krishna tells Arjun to go beyond “Maya”. He calls Maya to be composed of 3 “qualities” – the Sattavik (Good); the Rajasik (Neutral); and Tamasik (Bad). Hence, he is exhorting Arjun to move from the state of “Equilibrium” to the state of ‘Equality”.

    And in one place in Gita, while defining Himself (as in the Universal Consciousness); Krishna defines Himself in both Good and Evil parameters.

    So, it is what you think God is? If He/It is “something out there”.. to come and “set things right”, then the conclusion will inevitably be that Evil should end. But if you believe that “God” is the essential primordial substance of creation and the Creator of all that exists – then there can be NOTHING that has not been created out of It. So, God has Evil as much as Good.

    Having said this, from spiritual sense, Good and Evil are very subjective evaluations. There is no such thing as Good and Evil completely. The connotations occur in the realm of Causality. Outside the world of causality (cause and effect); such distinctions are not possible.

    Such is my understanding…

    Cheers,
    -d.

  9. Thank you for being so prompt in your response!

    As I understand it, your ideas are drawn from the Vedic texts, which if I understand you properly, are science and logic on a very deep level. This is also what Kabbala is, but it’s our version of science and logic at a very deep level.

    It is my basic assumption that given that the Vedic texts and the Kabbala have the same Source, they should be reconcilable. This is why I’m writing to you.

    I’ll give you a basic Jewish definition of G-d, and then give you my take on the definition.

    G-d is an Entity that is outside of the universe, but inside of it as well as the universe is composed of His essence. The universe exists because G-d withdrew part of Himself from it, and set into motion the Big Bang, which brought about the universe and all the laws G-d created for its running. The laws do not work perfectly; the universe has a level of “slack” in its operation. What results are imperfect planetary orbits, for example, planets crashing into others, disease, imperfect births, etc. My own definition is simply “that Entity that encompasses all probability.”

    Whether the “yétzer har’á” (evil inclination) is a part of this elemental creation or not, I’m not sure. In other words, there may be a greater “Evil” that only G-d has access to which is the Evil that is the balancing force in the universe.

    Thus it may be that the destruction of the “yétzer har’á” does not disturb the greater “Evil”. I see that I have questions to pose to my on authorities and “masters.”

    Blessings,
    Reuven

  10. Ruvy – I will reply to you later this evening.. as I am at work.. but I understand what you are saying.. and find it a very interesting discussion! 🙂

  11. Thats why ,I tend to call ppl like you as Osho 1 2 or3 :)).
    independent soul at Osho Ashram has or are removing Oshos picture from everywhere,even his samadhi will not be called as samadhi any more .

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