We’re talking about mythological postures of humanity as explained by Joseph Campbell, and mythology as the primary function of helping us deal with the existential truth of life that life lives on life. We are all going to be eaten by life, eventually by the worm. We live on the death of life, and it will be our turn. As Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now said: The Horror, the Horror.
Primitive people affirmed this blood and guts fact of life; religious people didn’t. They want to get to a better place. This is a modern problem. How do you affirm the suffering in the world, the world as surfing, and. how to you at the same time reject this suffering. How do you say YES and NO at the same time.
The answer we come up with goes back to Zoraster. The Cosmos is a War between Light and Darkness that will eventually be a victory of Light, and it is our human duty to fight on the side of Light, so instead of a light switch that is either ON or OFF, we have a rheostat that gradually turns up the light. We affirm what agrees with us, and negate what doesn’t. And we believe in the future when only light will prevail and America will be Restored. This mythology create time, doesn’t it. One needs time in order to end the Cosmic War.
But primitive people did not live in time. They lived Now because they affirmed NOW as being IT. There is no better place. And the life negators, the monks who wanted out just turned their backs on the world and went to a monastery. Well, that doesn’t work out so well now. So we for the most part just life in the Rheostat World where we need more time to turn up the light and we only affirm the Light and not the Phantom of the Opera, of the dark side of the room. Ironically, if you only see light and no darkness, you will never appreciate a Rembrandt painting.
So lets talk about the Transcendent Way of Buddhism and other non-dual traditions. Instead of dividing the world into light and dark like Zoraster and the Abrahamic religions of the Levant, Buddhism affirms the negative. AHAH! Since the negative of life is obvious and can’t be ignored, just saying NO does not work. And just saying YES and going with the negative, drinking yourself to death, does not work wither. Nor does creating a gradient when you try to create more light and suppress the darkness word, because, if you have have a water bed, you can’t get rid of the bubble by jumping on it.
The Joyous Participation in the sorrow, not of the world, but of your own mind, is the Transcendent Way that is now sweeping the Western world in all the mindfulness and meditation practices we are doing. I turn into my own negativity and welcome it. This is a psychological way, not of the therapist who save me, but by me becoming my own savior. I become the Christ metaphorically who joyfully embraces my crucifixion and sorrows.