The Disturbing Implications of Being a Sponge in a Swamp

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic


In what must surely be one of the biggest understatements of all time, the late, great Terence McKenna said: “Culture is not your friend.” Thankfully, he went on to explain precisely why that’s the case. But still, the phrase, “not your friend,” doesn’t really capture the gravity of the situation, nor the urgency with which we should all be striving to end this dubious relationship. For those of a religious persuasion, who may not have heard of Terence McKenna, the Bible itself echoes the exact same sentiment at James 4:4. “Adulterers! Do you not realise that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of this world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”

Of course, a proper understanding of the word ‘God’, as referring to one’s Self (one’s own true Self), makes this scripture relevant to everyone. For culture/society is the enemy of one’s own natural and divine identity. Which is precisely why this ‘socialised self’, known as a person, needs to die, in order for our lives to truly begin. Until that happens, we are not actually living, as such, but are merely being lived (by society).

The sponge analogy is a good one, but it’s not perfect. For as human sponges, we are not simply dropped into cultural pools of clear, sparkling water. No, we are plunged into a toxic soup of every vile and poisonous substance known to man. This is what we cannot help but absorb, as children. And then, as adults, we wonder why we’re so depressed, why life is a drag, why our country is about to go to war (again), and why nothing seems to make any sense. And this, very simply, is why human culture is “not your friend.”

But what can we do about it?

Step 1. Know that you’re a sponge. If you had been born in a different culture, or time, then you would be a very different ‘person’ right now. So how valid, exactly, is the person that you currently feel yourself to be?

Step 2. Get out of the swamp (and dry out). According to the Russian esotericist, P. D. Ouspensky, it takes about three months, spent in total isolation, to see the world for what it truly is: Your enemy.

Step 3. Laminate yourself. Use the knowledge gained in isolation to protect yourself from any further incursions. You will, after all, have to return to the swamp, which means having to be of it

Step 4. Be strong. Living in Truth or “walking with God,” is the hardest thing anyone will ever have to do. It is also, paradoxically, the easiest and most natural thing in the world (once liberation/realisation has taken place).

Step 5. Understand the wider benefits. You are not simply doing this for yourself, but for humanity. Indeed, there is no greater act of service that you can perform for humanity than this. Well done if you’ve made it this far.


Submitted: December 14, 2020

© Copyright 2021 JayShakti. All rights reserved.

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