Zen and the Integrated Individual

For many years, I hopelessly languished in a world of anger and frustration. The insane world, to put it bluntly, pissed me off. Despite my belief in rational thought and loving ways, I allowed the insanity and irrationality of the world to cause me to indulge in some irrational selfishness. For instance, I remember losing my temper and viciously punching the living room wall which resulted in my fist going all the way through to the bedroom. My reward was feeling ashamed of myself and the cost of fixing the wall.  Fortunately, I moved forward on my quest to become an Integrated Individual, discovering the Zen state of mind along the way.

The day comes when you realize the journey to enlightenment seems cluttered with blocks and obstacles. Sometimes I wondered “What’s the point of all this heartbreak and frustration. Why go on when circumstances constantly beat me down?” Still, I kept moving forward, stumbling along the way.

During a dark period of my life, I discovered meditation. Although, it took me years to realize it, I found a path that eventually led to me to what I consider the Holy Grail of Zen – Peace of Mind.

Zen, Truth and Meditation   

I ordered Jonathan Parker’s “Pathways to Mastership” and began a daily meditation program  Now here’s a marvelous program that helps the individual reach an accelerated state of awareness, tap intuitive powers, increase reasoning abilities, capture the Zen state of mind and gain control over his life.

Allow me to elaborate on an incredible moment of enlightenment I experienced.

In the conclusion of the course, Jonathan states “You might be wondering if you are making up these meditation experiences in your head.” Now most mystics and metaphysicians would probably come up with some elaborate explanation about the astral plane, other dimensions, alternative lives or something to that effect, which is all fine and dandy.” However, Jonathan said “Of course you are. Everything is all mind.”

I thought and meditated on this bit of wisdom for a long time. I knew that reality is exactly what it is—reality. But, maybe what I saw was only the tip of the iceberg. I asked the question, “What powerful insight is he attempting to convey?”

After receiving many fleeting glimpses of truth, the ‘eureka’ moment arrived and I experienced enlightenment (at least I think I did). It’s so simple. I wondered why I didn’t realize it sooner. Of course, many things seem simple in hindsight.

What he meant was that you are capable of manifesting the life you desire. You create your values, set your goals and you take effective actions. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek would confidently state “Make it so.” The climatic moment arrived as I realized you also create your peace of mind, reaching a marvelous Zen state of being.

The Life of the Integrated Individual.

A Metaphysical Insight

Another profound statement Jonathan Parker makes in “The Pathways to Mastership” course is “Going with the flow, offering no resistance at all and not forming possessive attachments, that would be universal harmony.”

Unfortunately, this statement is open to misunderstanding. It could possibly lead one to believe that non-action is the path to higher awareness. However, action is the essence of life. Fortunately, meditating on cause and effect, developing your reasoning and intuitive powers then taking action by using the correct means to achieve chosen ends is the way to accelerated awareness.

Going with the Flow

Going with the flow doesn’t mean joining the mass of humanity by unhappily floating down the river of pain, suffering, frustration and despair. Sadly, many men and women who attempt to escape the wheel of illusion mistakenly believe they flow in a stream of success and happiness. The unwary person thinks he’s shedding illusions, when in actuality he is accumulating more. In his darkest moment, he wonders why life doesn’t reward him for his “higher awareness.” He feels the deepest canyon stands between himself and the Zen state of mind.

Not only does energy surround you, you are energy. Going with the flow requires you go with the flow of your positive energy by going with the flow of you. You may be asking what you are supposed to do with the negative energy. Well, you accept it (non-resistance), flow with it (non-reaction) and allow it to dissipate (non-attachment) by easily releasing it. The more you practice your Zen meditations, the easier it is to release negativity. Tragically, most people allow the life-draining energy to sap their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual strength, which leads to some rather undesirable consequences.

Flowing with your positive energy results in you:

  1. Expanding the power of your mind.
  2. Increasing your intuitive powers, which unleashes your creativity.
  3. Reasoning more effectively which allows you to easily integrate concepts.
  4. Realizing the Zen state of mind.

Offering No Resistance 

Obviously when you’re in the flow, you don’t want to offer resistance. Non-Resistance is one of the 3 pillars of peace of mind. 

When I was an angry young man I resisted just about everything in sight; unless of course it had to do with drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll. About the only time I experienced peace of mind was when I smoked a joint. As far as Zen goes, I had never heard of it, although when I listened to the beautiful and meaningful music of the Moody Blues I caught a glimpse of what I would finally experience and realize.

Most of mankind exists in a dream state. The unwary man and woman floats down a stream of misery, oblivious to the fact that it doesn’t have to be that way. Unwittingly, the uninitiated individual allows the establishment to brainwash him with illusion after illusion.

Let’s go back to the 60’s and look at the hippies of the “Age of Love.” I doubt anyone could mistake their activities as an indulgence in rationality and control of thoughts, feelings and actions. Now, I have to admit that there was some mindless fun and even some experimentation with altered states of awareness. Anyway, many of the “flower children” find themselves unhappily trapped under a rock, in a stream chosen by others, with no hope of escape. Some of them have allowed the dangerous politically correct BS to capture them.

Maybe these “once upon a time” hippies can wake up and realize a peaceful rebellion is about to occur, one based on personal liberty and freedom, Yes! The doorway to escape from illusion stands right before us. Behind it resides something no drug could ever supply, the Zen state of mind. Renewal of your body, mind and spirit exists as more than a distant possibility. The delicious nectar of the fountain of youth flows abundantly.

Wisdom for Life.

Not Forming Possessive Attachments

This one is rather tricky because it’s virtually impossible to go through life without some attachments. However, most people allow themselves to become overwhelmed with the illusion of materiality. Have you ever heard of slavery? Instead of their attachments serving them, many men and women serve their attachments.

By now, we should know that Non-Attachment forms one of the pillars of peace of mind, which results from the realizations you achieve during your Zen meditations.

Before you start feeling uneasy, allow me to explain some facts of the good life. It is wonderful to savor the good things life has to offer. A tasty meal in an elegant setting is far more enjoyable than a tasteless meal at a slop shop. Comfortable, stylish clothes wear better than unstylish, uncomfortable clothes. Obviously, it’s important to enhance your self-esteem.  An ecstatic sexual experience with someone you connect with is far more rewarding than a less than mediocre sexual encounter with someone you don’t value.

If we can conclude that better is well better, why shouldn’t we form possessive attachments?  The reason is that our attachments can result in us experiencing more pain than joy. Here’s what happens.

A startling realization comes that all things must pass. You look on life with joy and satisfaction thinking about everything you value, love and cherish; then the thought of losing it brings up feelings of despair. The question arises, “Why is everything transient?  Why is each moment so fleeting, never to return?  Of course, the only answer is—that is the nature of existence.

No matter what, your life and situations will eventually pass, which is difficult to accept so you shove the painful realizations to the background. An exception might be if your life currently stinks and you want it to move quickly to something else. Surprisingly, many possessively cling to their pain and misery which is about as far from the Zen state of mind you can get.

Mothers have to accept the fact their children eventually grow up and leave. Lovers have to live with the realization that their relationship will age and finally pass into eternity. We will even have to leave the music we love when the end comes. At least, that’s the way it appears to our limited consciousness.

There is only one way to live. Feel nostalgic about the past with its memories, but live completely in the present, accepting it will pass away as all things must, at least in this lifetime.

Do not become attached to your possessions. The Integrated Individual practices non-attachment through his Zen state of mind. After all, you want to experience your possessions as a source of joy and pleasure, not as a cause of pain and suffering.

Live fully in the present, making every minute count. Your favorite songs, the touch of your lover’s hand, the clean fresh aroma of a cool spring morning, the delectable taste of your favorite food, all these things should be experienced and appreciated to the fullest. I guarantee the Integrated Individual enjoys his (her) activities to the max.

Zen, Peace of Mind and the Way of the Integrated Individual

I have no scientific proof of what I am about to reveal. I discovered and realized the following insight through 27 years of meditation and I know it to be true. Of course, you can take it or leave it. I personally believe it is part of experiencing the peace that comes with the Zen state of mind.

When the Integrated Individual thinks about mortality and his values vanishing forever, he relies on spiritual knowing. He (she) believes his loves and passions will live on through eternity, that they will never really pass away. Everything created exists eternally, somewhere in the universe.

Here’s what you can do. Let your worries fade away and live for the moment, enjoying life and accepting your ability to survive through eternity. Believe it or not, it is possible to experience the Zen state of mind always. And that my friend is universal harmony.

RA Meyer – Master the Social Maze

P.S. Because of all the negative feedback I’m receiving from some Zen practitioners, I must state that I don’t accept their conclusion that reality is an illusion and the mind is void. I believe in the axiomatic concepts of existence, identity and consciousness.

Here’s one comment I received that I completely disagree with.

“A student of the Way recognizes that his identity and all of the movements of consciousness (life/existence) are perceived; and that the perceived cannot perceive; therefore he knows his mind to be alike to a void, unattached from forms; imperceptible; and falling under no distinction of life and death, or that of existence or non existence.”

 

The Integrated Individual– Evolution of a Reluctant Objectivist

Seasons come and seasons go, often at an accelerated pace. Does it seem that each day of your life disappears at a rapid pace? The somewhat disheartening realization that your life relentlessly moves towards eternity makes it more difficult to anticipate change. Much of the new circumstances you face, cause you to wish for the “good ole’ days” which amounts to living in the past. I’ve concluded there’s only one way to handle life. You must evolve into an Integrated Individual.

Following is the first article on how I attempt to evolve from a Reluctant Objectivist into an Integrated Individual. You should know that the process is never complete because each day offers you something valuable in your quest to improve mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Objectivism

At one time, I called myself an Objectivist. After all, what other way is there to live besides adopting the power of reason, individualism and laissez faire capitalism. Evolving into an Integrated Individual doesn’t mean you give these up. In fact, they make an excellent foundation for obtaining your goals and desires.

The fact that Objectivism supplies you a firm base for everyday living doesn’t make it your life. You must build your existence on a strong foundation. Many Objectivists won’t agree with me, but you have to go beyond Ayn Rand’s marvelous philosophy to create the life of your dreams. She erroneously claimed reason is an absolute, which completely disregards the power of intuition. For many years, I failed understand the above, allowed my intuitive powers to remain dormant and suffered because of it.

In addition, you want to step beyond your limitations. Placing a label on yourself restricts your efforts to evolve into an Integrated Individual. That’s why I no longer call myself an Objectivist.

An Inspiring Quote for the Integrated Individual.

Human Action

I remember how exciting it was when I discovered the science of human action – praxeology. The teachings opened up my mind to understanding cause and effect relationships. Unfortunately, I began beating people over the head with my new knowledge, which caused me much frustration because most men and women didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.

Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action reigns as one the greatest books ever written. Except where he spouted some inconsistent musings about the military draft, his Magnum Opus remains impeccable. For that reason, the Integrated Individual makes sure he understands the laws of human action and doesn’t fall for the nonsense of Keynesian, Marxist and Mathematical economists.

An Integrated Individual embraces personal liberty and freedom and supports individual rights.

Beyond Objectivism

You might wonder what hides behind the dogma of Objectivism. Unfortunately, many supporters of Ayn Rand’s philosophy remain completely intolerant of any teachings that don’t conform to party policy. In fact, the intolerance is worse than that of Christianity. If you are what Christians call a sinner, they will welcome you with open arms in the hope you give up your evil ways. No matter how often you wander off the path of righteousness, you’re always welcome back into the fold.

As far as Objectivism goes, if you start claiming that maybe Plato, Immanuel Kant or Buddhism has some valid points, you will probably be treated as if you’re mentally deranged or suffer from the plague. In fact, I’m risking total ostracism by writing this article. All I can do at this point is quote Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”, although I can shorten that to “Frankly, I don’t give a damn.”  

Ayn Rand roasts Zen mercilessly in “The Romantic Manifesto” probably her most flawed book with this statement. “I suggest you take note of the following fact: by rejecting reason and surrendering to the unhampered sway of their unleashed emotions (and whims), the apostles of irrationality, the existentialists, the Zen Buddhists, the non-objective artists have not achieved a free, joyous, triumphant life, but a sense of doom, nausea and screaming, cosmic terror.”

I have to disagree with her analysis of Zen Buddhism. Zen meditations will clear your mind of negativity and self-limiting beliefs and offer you peace of mind. I can verify this because I have been meditating for 27 years and consider the practice a life-enhancing activity. If your blood pressure soars to 185/110, you certainly won’t be able to reason it down to let’s say 128/75. However, everyday meditation practices could very well do the trick. It’s utterly ridiculous to believe that Zen meditations will result in a sense of doom, nausea and screaming, cosmic terror.”

You Can Always Discover a New Beginning.

I will conclude this section by stating “Now don’t get me wrong. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged stands alone as a masterpiece.”

The Integrated Individual

Before we move on, it’s important to not begin labeling yourself as the Integrated Individual. Yes, it’s vital you live as one, but remember labels mean self-limitations. When I use the term in my writings, it’s a tool to convey important information.

An Integrated Individual takes charge of his thoughts, feelings and actions. He happily discovers cause and effect relationships in the sphere of human action. His sense of life allows him to experience the joy of his existence.

Self-Mastery means the individual knows he exists as a being who possesses power. It is possible to call him or her a warrior. In the classic book by Carlos Castaneda, “Journey to Ixtlan” don Juan says “A warrior calculates everything. That’s control. But once his calculations are over he acts. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.”

Not only does the Integrated Individual tune himself to survive, he (she) thrives. He understands reality and he uses his knowledge to succeed in his endeavors and obtains peace of mind because he is confident in his ability to overcome challenges and obstacles. He believes that he will achieve his goals and desires.

The journey of life is often filled with many obstacles and challenges. Sometimes I was up to conquering or transcending them, other times I fell flat on my face. Some of these circumstances are already posted on this blog.

I will continue to reveal what I went through in order to help you overcome any challenge you face…and do a better job of it than I did. I have enough stories to keep the blog going for years. The new category is “Confessions of the Integrated Individual.” Of course, that doesn’t mean I have arrived. Richard Bach stated “You teach best what you most need to learn.”

Do you ever feel that life is a game? Richard Bach also said “That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.”

Yes, sometimes we lose, however, we can transform losing into winning and realize that each new day offers us something to express appreciation and gratitude for…and here’s something never to forget “Little things mean a lot.”

RA Meyer – Master the Social Maze

Journey of the Reluctant Objectivist

One late afternoon in June, I arrived home from work, my last day on the job. The company had just fired me. The boss told me they needed team players and couldn’t tolerate the anti-social stuff I spouted off too often. He said “Get your belongings together, visit human services for your final check and get out. It wasn’t the first time somebody fired me. From past experience, I should have considered the ending the start of a new journey.

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Consequences of Walking the Path of Mysticism

Here’s the reason I decided to explore the path of mysticism and suffered the consequences.

My new sales and marketing campaign is exactly where I want it. I think I will reward myself with a long walk in the woods and just observe and enjoy nature. The fresh air will do me good. First, I better step outside and check the weather. My thermometer says 66 degrees. It’s sunny with a few puffy clouds drifting by. The mild breeze feels good as it caresses my hair and face. Yeah, I think I’ll do it now.

Well, I’m on my way to Eden Park. It has about 15 miles of trails and many options for changing your path. I should arrive in about 10 minutes.

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Love of Rational Selfishness and Capitalism

Western Civilization teeters on the verge of collapse. The social and economic policies of the political and financial establishment sinks as a bloated mixture of quack Keynesian economics and spurious socialist dogma. You may believe the stock market indicates otherwise; however, any free market economist can expose the so-called recovery as a fraud. In addition, most people show no love for rational selfishness and laissez faire capitalism.

You may be wondering how it’s possible for us to feel any love towards fellow human beings…when so many seem to be caught up in a whirlwind of evil doings, while others apathetically put up with it. Ayn Rand statedEvil requires the sanction of the victim.”

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Action, Objectivism, Four Noble Truths of Buddhism

In the article Christian Objectivism: Possibility or Contradiction we explored whether Christianity is compatible with Objectivism…or not. Now it’s time to find out if the Four Noble Truths of Buddhist philosophy tie in with the philosophy of reason and action.

Do you ever think about your trials and tribulations and wonder if life is worth the daily effort you must put forth? You’ve probably noticed that as soon as one desire is satisfied a new one pops up and demands satisfaction. You feel as if you are on an endless treadmill of attempting to satisfy wants and desires.

Are you familiar with the “Four Noble Truths” of Buddhist philosophy? They are:

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Christian Objectivism: Possibility or Contradiction

Sean Edwards states Christian Objectivism is a worldview that synthesizes the Christian faith with Ayn Rand’s philosophy called Objectivism.

It’s always nice when Objectivism attracts men and women to its marvelous philosophy of life. However, we must ask: “Is Christian Objectivism a possibility or a contradiction?” Let’s find out.

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Journey to Objectivism, Reason and Human Action

A person leaves school and vows he will never be subject to that torture again. The result: The disillusioned individual often drifts through life with a closed mind…and a resistance to new ideas and new ways of living. The virtues of Objectivism, reason and laissez faire capitalism remain outside of his awareness. Eventually, he (she) settles into a comfort zone of boredom and stagnation. Finally, his life becomes unsettled, filled with one crisis after another. A changing world won’t let him cling to his uninspiring routines.

Progressive Schools

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Death of Objectivism and “Heartless” Ayn Rand?

Jennifer Burns, author of the Ayn Rand book “Goddess of the Market” claims “Ayn Rand is dead. It’s been 35 years since hundreds of mourners filed by her coffin (fittingly accompanied by a dollar-sign-shaped flower arrangement), but it has been only four months since she truly died as a force in American politics.” Does that indicate the death of Objectivism?

In her article “We just might miss the ‘heartless’ Ayn Rand” she also states “In electing Trump, the Republican base rejected laissez-faire economics in favor of economic nationalism.”

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The Altruist Demands Your Sacrifice

The Altruist Demands Your Sacrifice is dedicated to the memory of Ayn Rand…February 2, 1905 to March 6, 1982…who courageously fought the anti-life philosophy of altruism.

When the economy unravels, the altruist will put out the call for sacrifice…your sacrifice. He will claim “those that have…must help those who need.” You know the old Karl Marx belief promoting communism…which never considers that needs are unlimited and resources are scarce.

An altruist believes in collectivism…which means the almighty state owns your life. Who cares if you prefer to live for your own sake.

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