As specified by The Zennist, the most accurate word describing “puthujjana (S., prithagjana) is, in one word, profane. In the religious sense a puthujjana is someone who has not entered the supermundane path—someone who is not a srotāpanna (a current winner).” This is the common “worldling” that embraces not Authentic Buddhism as taught by Gautama Buddha, but rather that of a secular variety. This is a far cry from the ariyan whose sole allegiance is to Spiritual Reality:
We learn from the canon that a puthujjana is a spiritually blind person who cannot distinguish a noble person (ariya-puggala), such as a disciple (sāvaka) or a Buddha, from a non-noble person. The reason for this is that a puthujjana cannot sense the spiritual presence of the noble person. A Buddha, for example, or a recent current-winner (sotāpanna) could be sitting together in a Dharma center and no one would be able to recognize them because they are puthujjanas who lack the dharma-eye (S., dharma-caksus). In brief, the dharma-eye marks entry into the supermundane path (lokuttara) which is the true Buddhist path.
We might recognize puthujjanas as being secularists. Secularism relates to temporal matters as distinguished from the spiritual. The secularist like the puthujjana is always subject to suffering in all of its forms unlike the Buddha’s noble disciples (ariyasāvaka). Neither the secularists nor the puthujjana can make an end to suffering. In this regard, the puthujjana and the secularist are outsiders; who lack the necessary insight to be true followers of the Buddha, one who is part of the triple gem sangha.
The puthujjana does not comprehend True Spiritual Reality As It Is: Yathabhutam.
As such, “puthujjanas remain subjects of Mara the Evil One—not the Buddha.” The Zennist’s case is very clear: men and women of the puthujjana variety have these unnamable impulses stemming from the Five Aggregates, yet they keep up a pretense, to themselves, to others; their so-called respectability, their mundane philosophy, their secular religion, are all just attempts to gloss over, to make look civilized and supposedly rational something that is at heart savage, chaotic, demented. The Zennist is an Ariyan because he stands for Truth of the Buddha’s Noble variety. The lives of the puthujjanas are always contingent upon “outside” activities and warped inner-proclivities. If these external manifestations suddenly ceased, their apparent “being” would dissolve away into the nothingness from which it originated. The puthujjanas motto is really Sartre’s Being and Nothingness; for The Zennist, the only truly important realization is one that is based on “Substance“, vs. the nothingness of the materialists. Deathlessness is where it’s at! What is the point of the puthujjana striving for enlightenment when all about them is UNreal? This is highly symbolic of the whole tragedy of UNrealized freedom; there’s really nothing to look forward to but only the emptiness of the tomb:
In the aryan (P., ariya) quest described in the Ariyapariyesana Sutta the Buddha-to-be sees the unborn supreme security from bondage which is nirvana; which is deathless and transcendent. Here, bondage refers to the temporal world which is subject to decay and death. But few these days take up the aryan search in a serious way. They prefer the unaryan [puthujjana ] quest which never fails to end in decay and death. They manage to find all kinds of excuses such as religious ones, for example, that when I die I will go to heaven. They even find non-religious excuses, that when I die, that’s it. Then there are all kinds of distractions from pleasure seeking to just surviving, day to day, not knowing if I am going to die tomorrow.
The modern, cultural narrative will have nothing to do with an aryan quest. The narrative only reinforces the [UN]aryan. I would argue that those who maintain this narrative not only fear such a quest but this fear subconsciously drives the narrative—it’s its fuel. The narrative they favor is the quick fix or a religion that guarantees instant salvation if you just join its ranks and obey its rules. But this is just a sophisticated con game, one in which we are putting our Buddha-nature, that is, our potential to become enlightened in jeopardy by following various paths that are intended to delude us spiritually.
The Zennist’s realization is truly Nietzschean in scope as one needs an intensity of will to break free from the chains of this Un-Reality. As an Ariyan, his spiritual depth demands a “total sacrifice” since succumbing to the secular and “all too human” world would erase the sure course of getting that essential glimpse into “Pure Mind” which transcends all the garbage. Today’s rabid secularism is the sure descent into Mara’s playground. This also takes on great spiritual significance as it becomes reported all too often that the “descent” has opened the door to demonic-possession. Exorcisms are fast becoming the norm and the need for more Exorcists has never been greater. For instance, within the Catholic world the role of exorcists [and the need for exorcism] used to be few and far between, now there is an incessant cry for more priests to become exorcists. Not just in catholic quarters but there is a world-wide universal demand for the spiritual art of exorcism to become normative. The unwary worldlings open the door to demonic possession through such means as the Ouija Board and spiritual-channeling of unknown and dangerous beings that emanate from dark dominions of the mind. Without being rooted in a sound spiritual-foundation one is sure to meet up with unwelcome entities that are in actuality “Mara’s minions” who would like nothing more than to possess the imprudent. Evil has by and large infiltrated secularism as a whole, and without a sure spiritual-compass to guide them many will capitulate to Mara’s stranglehold.
The Zennist would concur, with all the force of a type of religious affirmation, that “Mystics” are the best source for change. “Truth be told, only gnosis of the Absolute Substance” can overcome and transcend “the fractal world of avidya.” This is about “Essence” vs. a mundane lifestyle and mystics best encapsulate this vision of arriving “at a gnosis of the unconditioned Mind.” This is a quiet revolution from above that can help a broken humanity in this hour of crisis. Right Mysticism is the art and science of awakening to one’s best possible “Self”. As Thomas Merton once discerned, the “spiritual anguish of man has no cure but mysticism.” Gnosis in the Mystic Mind is the Truth that liberates. Yet few there are who can follow this sublime path. The Buddha realized this and the core of his teaching was not meant for the shallow-minded and UN-aryian puthujjana, but rather to those Noble few who boldly disembody themselves from all aggregated existence and follow Buddhism’s highest revelation from whence the True Self is conjoined with the One and Absolute.