The Condition of Man
For most people life is unconscious, automatic and repetitive. People think they know themselves, but what they call themselves is only a collection of repetitive thoughts, feelings, opinions, judgments and beliefs, combined with periodic bursts of desire and anger, held together by a shallow, unexamined idea of self. Most of mankind is asleep and doesn’t know it. We live a shadow life, shrouded by a thick veil of ignorance. We are all born into this condition.
This ignorance is sustained by unexamined and unconscious living. Our superficial habits, routines, preferences and expectations keep us in a state of endless distraction. We cling to these, defining who we are and what is important based on them. We are puppets on a string, a mechanical wind-up toy and we don’t know it. We live automatically, taking the miracle of life for granted.
This is the condition man is born into. It is a state of delusion. We are deluded and don’t know it. Each generation passes this delusion on to the next. Each of us has been programmed, conditioned and shaped by outside forces, people in our childhood, past experiences, education and religion, social and cultural pressures. The collective agreement and the endless repetition of these influences reinforce this conditioning, ensuring our conformity, either through compliance or rebellion. We are taught how to be, think and act. And since everyone is in the same state, no one notices. We were all born into this state of ignorance. The inevitable outcome of ignorance is bondage. This has been the condition of mankind for a long, long time.
Life is a miracle yet we take it for granted. The whole universe has been at work for 14 billion years to manifest this miraculous life we take for granted. It has taken a long time for the universe to work out the possibilities that lay latent in the Infinite that have produced “us”- self aware beings, capable of intelligence and choice. We are the result of a long evolutionary process that has been built, stone by stone, a huge pyramid of which each of us is the tip. Each of us is the rarest of the rare in this universe. We are the miracle of existence. Awakening is the process of the universe waking up to Itself as us.
Periodically there comes a time in a person’s life when the veil of ignorance is fractured and a doorway opens into the domains of inner truth and spirit. Usually this experience causes confusion, pain and suffering, but sometimes it can be an experience of love, wisdom and unity with a vast presence far beyond our limited sense of our self. Our perspective changes and suddenly we “wake up” and “see” the hidden tangled knots that have kept our lives small and bound. We can “see” our ignorance. This is awakening and it begins a process which, if there is sufficient support and guidance, dissolves the veils, and dissipates ignorance, creating a state of liberation.
Awakening is rare and rarer still are those who are able to endure the turbulence it creates. It is easy for one to give up or lose their way or to stop before the transformation is complete. It is a difficult to stick with the process and it is difficult to find your way through its twists and turns. This leads us to the purpose of this program.