Reading Lila – Meditation


… Another mystery in the treatment of the insane … is the value of peace and quiet and isolation … Leave them alone … Ironically the one thing that the mental hospitals and doctors do best is the one thing they never take credit for … They know it works, but there’s no way of justifying that because the whole cultural set they have to operate in says that doing nothing is the same as doing something wrong … what sometimes occurs in an insane asylum but occurs deliberately in a mystic retreat is a natural human process called dhyana in Sanskrit. In our culture … ambiguously called ‘meditation’.

Just as mystics traditionally seek monasteries and ashrams … so are the insane treated by isolation in places of relative calm and austerity and silence. The Western treatment of dhyana is a beautiful example of how the static patterns of a culture can make something not exist … People in this culture are hypnotized into thinking they do not meditate when in fact they do … boats … seaside cottages … lake cabins … hiking trails … golf courses … It’s the need for dhyana that is behind all these. Vacations too … how perfectly named that is … an emptying out…of all the static clutter…settling into an undefined sort of tranquility.

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Reading Lila – Shock


… as long as the psychiatric approach is encased within a subject-object metaphysical understanding it will always seek a patterned solution to insanity, never a mystic one … When Socrates says in one of his dialogues, ‘Our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness provided the madness is given us by divine gift’, the psychiatric profession doesn’t know what in the world he is talking about…

The Metaphysics of Quality suggests [there is another] solution to insanity … to dissolve all static patterns, both sane and insane and find the base of all reality, Dynamic Quality, that is independent of them all. The Metaphysics of Quality says that it is immoral for sane people to force cultural conformity by suppressing the Dynamic drives that produce insanity. Such oppression is a lower form of evolution trying to devour a higher one.

Once this theoretical structure is available, it offers solutions to some mysteries in the present treatment of the insane … For example … The value of shock treatment is not that it returns a lunatic to normal cultural patterns. It certainly does not do that. It’s value is that it destroys all patterns… cultural & private, and leaves the patient temporarily in a Dynamic state. All the shock does is duplicate the effects of hitting the patient over the head with a baseball bat. It simply knocks him senseless. In fact it was to imitate the effect of hitting someone over the head… without the risk of skull injury that Ugo Cerletti developed [it] …

… but what goes unrecognized .. is the fact that this senseless unpatterned state is a valuable state of existence… psychiatrists of course don’t know what to do with it, and so the patient often slips back into lunacy and has to be knocked senseless again. But sometimes the patient, in a moment of Zen wisdom, sees the superficiality of both his own contrary patterns and the cultural patterns, sees that one gets him electrically clubbed … and the other sets him free from the institution … and thereupon makes a wise mystic decision to get the hell out of there by whatever avenue is available.

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Reading Lila – Religion


What’s wrong with insanity is that she’s outside any culture … a culture of one. That’s what had to be reconciled … At a hospital they’d just start shooting her full of drugs and tell her to adjust … they wouldn’t see … that she is adjusting …… is the adjustment … [it] isn’t necessarily a step in the wrong direction, it can be an intermediate step in the right direction … the problem of ‘curing’ an insane person is like the problem of ‘curing’ a Moslem … or ‘curing’ a communist … or ‘curing’ a republican … You’re not going to make progress by telling them how wrong they are … The important thing was to support her delusions and then slowly wean her away from them rather than fight them.

The catch here, that almost any philosopher would spot, is the word ‘delusion’. It’s always the other person who’s ‘deluded’ … Delusions can be held by whole groups … as long as we’re not a part of that group. If we’re a member … [they] become a ‘minority-opinion’ … A person isn’t considered insane if there are a number of people who believe the same way … then it’s a religion.

… It sounds quite blasphemous to put religion and insanity on an equal footing for comparison, but his point was … to illuminate insanity … The current subject-object point of view of religion, conventionally muted so as not to stir up the fanatics, is that religious mysticism and insanity are the same. Religious mysticism is one of those delusions that isn’t called insane only because there are so many people involved ……

The Metaphysics of Quality … says the subject-object people are almost right when they identify religious-mysticism with insanity … Both lunatics and mystics have freed themselves from the conventional static intellectual patterns of their culture. The only difference is that the lunatic has shifted over to a private static pattern of his own, whereas the mystic has abandoned all static patterns in favor of pure Dynamic Quality …

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Reading Lila – Dynamic


Dynamic Quality is a higher moral order than scientific truth, and it is as immoral for philosophers of science to try to suppress Dynamic Quality as it is for church authorities to suppress scientific method. Dynamic value is an integral part of science. It is the cutting edge of scientific progress itself.

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Reading Lila – Contrarians


Contrarians sometimes just seem to savagely attack every kind of static moral pattern they can find … as though … a kind of revenge … The Cheyenne had a whole society of contrarians to assimilate the phenomenon within their social fabric … [they] rode their horses sitting backward, entered teepees backward … Members seemed to enter the contrary society when they felt a great wrong, a great injustice, had been done to them and apparently it was felt that this was a way of resolving the injustice.

… When u add a concept of ‘Dynamic Quality’ to a rational understanding of the world, you can add a lot to an understanding of contrarians. Some of them aren’t just being negative toward static moral patterns, they are actively pursuing a Dynamic goal … negative contrarian streaks … sometimes it’s a degenerative negativism … sometimes an ego pattern … sometimes a static pattern of it’s own …

But sometimes it’s Dynamic, where your whole being senses that the static situation is an enemy of life itself. That’s what drives the really creative people … the feeling that if they don’t break out of this jail-house … they’re going to die. They’re way too energetic and aggressive to be decadent. They’re fighting for some kind of Dynamic freedom from the static patterns … It’s often confused with degeneracy but it’s actually a form of moral regeneration …

… in addition to the usual solutions to insanity … stay locked up or learn to conform … there was a third one, to reject all movies, private and cultural, and head for Dynamic Quality itself, which is no movie at all … evolution doesn’t take place only within societies, it takes place within individuals too … Sometimes the insane & the contrarians & the ones who are closest to suicide are the most valuable people society has … They have taken the burdens of the culture onto themselves, and in their struggle … they’re solving problems for the culture as well.

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