My basic policy and that of Captain Theosophy might be summed up in General Theosophy #7: “Always be kinder than your strength needs to be.”
Perhaps this needs to be mentioned at the outset because kindness to those who might be new prospects for meditation might mean that a little “unkindness” has to be directed toward a few things in “Master’s Yoga’s” recent blog called “The Art of Meditation." Fortunately, however, from the standpoint of person-to-person kindness, Master’s Yoga’s writing seems somewhat less like the original work of the blog writer and somewhat more like the sincere attempt to convey, if not always the exact words perfectly translated, at least the essential “flavor” of a certain “Master C.V.V.”—whether this Eastern worthy is living or dead, fact or fiction, I do not know.
Therefore, a kinder, gentler title for what follows could probably be “Captain Theosophy
Versus Some Thoughts of Master C.V.V.”:
Master C.V.V.: “MEDITATION IS MERGING IN NOTHINGNESS.”
Captain T.: With respect, Master, not generally. “MERGING IN NOTHINGNESS” might perhaps be a better definition for coma than it is for what people usually experience during, or want from, meditation.
Indeed, except for a minority of individuals who may actually be after the personhood-dissolving,end-of-the-line Nirvikalpa Samadhi, what most meditators are probably interested in is Savikalpa Samadhi. This is where the person “is still around,” or remains conscious as a“Once-Removed-Witness,” to enjoy the progressive bliss, lightness, delight,ecstasy, renewal, vitality, etc. resulting from increased association with, or partial egoic (“semi-Self”) transformation into the Spiritual (Buddhic) Level of consciousness. This, of course, is in addition to what could even be a “translifetime goal” of advancing one’s Degree of Self-realization.
But for the here-and-now experience, Ramakrishna once put it something like this: “The purpose of [this type of] meditation is to taste the honey, not to become the honey.”
Master C.V.V.: “Men have different attitudes. Men differ accordingly. Their
Psychology differs. So, their tastes and temperaments vary. One method suits one
type of people. Another system suits another type of people.”
Captain T.: Agreed. The problem, of course, is that not so many aspirants may be attracted by a “nothingness method” if all they can expect to get for their effort or non-effort is nothingness.
However, it could be, Master, that your references to nothingness have been misconstrued. After all, in one place you also did say, “It [meditation] is not sleep but nearer to sleep. It is sleep with conscience [sic. consciousness].” Yes, but even so, giving you the benefit-of-the-doubt on this subject is not so easy. This is especially so because of the hard-not-to-think-of-as “publicity pictures” of yourself which were submitted along with the blog material.
If I am wrong about the purpose for the pictures, I apologize. I suppose my “hang-up” is that to me the pictures seem suspiciously close to being “worship-bait” for the masses who—in Theosophical “psychological-analog” terms—may be at Fourth Degree or even such a beginning stage of Fifth Degree Self-awareness (5.0—5.3?) that they occasionally still have trouble preventing total egoic immersions in Fourth-Level (Desire-Mental, kama-manas, “I really am my desire-tainted mental construct”) types of consciousnesses.
So for one thing, I do not like the pictures for the look-Way-Up-to-see-me impression I get from them. For another thing, I may like them even less because of the way you physically appear in them. I am daring to say this even though I remember full well that one of the first social lessons of elementary school is that any reference to someone else’s personal appearance should be totally out-of-bounds. Here, though, I am not talking about your huge Prussian-era mustache, your no-abs shirtless physique, or anything else like that.
I am not even talking about the “halo” or “partial-aura” which has been drawn around
your head—and which I am certain that you, as a real Master, would have never self-aggrandizingly personally authorized. I mean, however necessary these fluorescent saint-identifiers might have been in the art world of the Middle Ages, they do seem a little heavy-handed and comic-bookish in Post-Modern times—something like illustrated magnetic power-rays coming from the eyes of hypnotists . . . or lightning bolts shooting from the genital regions of male porn stars. . . .
No, the big problem with the way you look is that the pictures seem to capture you at a moment when you actually do seem a little like you might be immersed in psychological Nothingness . . . or to be completely honest, Nothingness/Starkness—perhaps even with one wet toe testing the waters of Sternness. . . . I might be the only one who gets this impression, but to me you definitely look less like you are enjoying Nirvana
and little more like you are preparing yourself to give some sort of martial-arts demonstration.
Therefore, I am concerned that this representation of you may not be helpful in interesting very many new people in the value of meditation (or even in hanging out withothers in the Nothingness crowd, actually). Indeed, my view is that over the centuries perhaps the best advertisements for meditation have been the omnipresent Buddha statues—the majority of which, at the minimum, have at least a subtle smile on the many faces of the Buddha.
A smile: artists down through the ages have very often put smiles on the faces of saints and sages, and I am not ashamed to say that is what I am going for, too. But not just an
occasion-appropriate outer smile, but an all-occasion “inner smile” as well.
Master C.V.V.: “REALLY THERE IS NO TECHNIC [sic TECHNIQUE] FOR MEDITATION. STRICTLY THERE IS NO PATH THAT LEADS TO THE PEAK.”
Captain T.: With respect, Master, this may only be half right, or half not-confusing
the way it has been put into words. Rajnesh (Osho) and others often referred to meditation as a state of awareness rather than any particular practice; nevertheless it is said that Rajnesh himself utilized over a hundred “meditation techniques,” including his
“active meditations,” as “paths” leading to that “peak” of awareness.
Master C.V.V.: “SO YOU NEED A GURU OR MASTER TO CHECK YOUR SHORTCOMINGS.”
Captain T.: Forgive me. What is the Sanskrit word for “spam”?
Master C.V.V.: “WHEN YOU FIND A GURU HE WILL PULL YOU UP.”
Captain T.: Forgive me. Sign up now while there is still kneeling room?
Master C.V.V.: “The freshers should not take meditation seriously.IF THEY CONSIDER IT SERIOUS, IT WILL CREATE TENSIONS.”
Captain T.: Freshers are notoriously difficult to work with. Sometimes, though, General Theosophy #8 may get through to them: “If you think you are a Master worthy of public notice, stop such thinking and thereby improve the possibility.”
Now, even I have some "tension," Master, because I think I may not have strict enough with myself about following General Theosophy #7's advice concerning kindness. Anyway, all kindness to you, personally, and great admiration for Master’s Yoga’s fine intention and effort.