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Ensnared: Truth, Pragmatism and Authority

A Précis of the Trap

Indian philosophy refers to the World as Maya — which literally means illusion or magic. That it does so is most appropriate.

Even within what ought perhaps to be the natural realm of Truth-discourse — spiritual philosophy and religion — reality is almost entirely full of junk: countless pages of conflicting philosophy, doctrine, ominous warnings and irritable teachers. You have only to conduct a simple Internet search on any one of the major traditions to see this phenomenon, particularly upon the more esoteric such as Advaita or Buddhism. Or you can conduct an informal survey of the supposed experts within a particular discourse and usually obtain the same result within a minutes or hours. For instance, the number of (mis)interpretations of the core Buddhist doctrine of Emptiness is probably more than I can count on one hand, and that is just a single idea.

In reality, Truth-discourse is no less a gigantic trap than any other area of human discourse. A vast number of teachers are obviously teaching something, though whatever it is, it often has nothing to do with Truth or spiritual liberation. Perhaps more than in any other area, within the domain of spiritual philosophy Maya has been most triumphant!

How is one to pick a path through all these conflicting ideas, thoughts and babble? What makes this author's opinion so special?

An Improbable Strategy

It is time to become pragmatic. You are here now. You want answers now, not in another lifetime which may never arrive. It is no use picking thorough the sea of conflicting ideas and voices:

Ditch authority — all of it, including your own. You cannot trust it. All of it is simply more appearance. None of it may be discerned from a passing dream.

Interrogate and enumerate all your assumptions, exhaustively. Work persistently at it for at least a year.

Look for that which is truly universal, and independent of even the species who is looking, or the mode of introspection which is being used, or the limitations of cognition which are applicable. Look for that which does not depend on second-hand concepts, except in so far as it is to be later formulated and articulated, to the extent that it may be. Identify that which is both practically relevant to you now and which will make sense later. Seek that, however small or simple it is, which does not change.

Seek genuine, profound Truth. Then, and only then, see if you can make sense of the rest in light of that small nugget.

No Defense, No Argument, No Justification

The Truth needs no defense for it is obvious. The purpose of this website is not to convince you of anything — of a belief, or a philosophy, or a set of opinions, ideals or ideas — there is no need. The purpose of this website is to state as clearly as is possible, the Truth when viewed from the most rudimentary and fundmental context of the human being, and to invite you to see it for yourself. I cannot make a water-tight case for the Truth in the same way I cannot make a water-tight case that you exist and are reading this article; though both are evident, even as 'the details' are in some regard disputable.

Indeed, Self-Realization is not about the aquisition of knowledge or opinion, but rather, the illumination of unverifiable and obnoxious beliefs that impinge fundamentally upon the intimate relationship between Self and reality.