The School of the Spirit

All mundane desires are shadows in the diseased fancies of man. The crazed rush after these illusive mad dreams of false happiness only leads to the awaiting charnel house of unfulfillment. Why do these carnal worldlings linger in this substanceless affair? Because the quest itself has become the substitute for quiescence in the Unborn. Unable to rest in IT, endless discontent reigns supreme at the expense of the only True Reality.

According to Vijñānavāda, the sphere of human experience does not represent a mere type of experience among many others, but a specific one which represents a “deviation” from the authentic reality. The erroneous self-identity, the bonded, afflicted condition (kliṣṭa), characterized by suffering (duḥkha), infringes the undetermined (nirvikalpaka, aparicchinna), free (mukta), quiet, calm (śanta, nirvāṇa), beatific (sukha) condition of the genuine reality (the ultimate reality – dharmadhātu and the causal flow – pratātyasamutpāda identified with the store-house consciousness – ālayavijñāna). Thus, the human sphere means more than a mere experience, it means alteration, it means getting out of what is real. (Ovidiu Cristian Nedu, Selfhood and Knowledge in Yogācāra Buddhism, pg.17)

A life solely invested in desires can be likened unto a spider’s web. They are woven together by Mara, the father of lies, the arch enemy of our Unborn Spirit, devoid of pure substance yet they can simultaneously catch and hold us fast in his sticky embrace perpetually keeping us his prisoner. St. Gregory said:

All that man pursues in this life has no existence except in his mind, not in reality: opinion, honor, dignities, glory, and fortune: all these are the work of this life’s spiders. . . . But those who rise to the heights escape, with the flick of a wing, from the spiders of this world. Only those who, like flies, are heavy and without energy remain caught in the glue of this world and are taken and bound, as though in nets, by honors, pleasures, praise and manifold desires, and thus they become the prey of the beast that seeks to capture them.

The worldling spins a whole network of false-lies around his spirit by the perpetual desecration of his Authentic Self to mundane values that don’t really exist. In doing so one liquidates the mind in the afterglow of passing images thus beckoning his Best Self into a vast darkened wilderness where one’s spirit soon succumbs to the elements. Such a life that is immersed in a sea of matter can be akin to the Greek Myth concerning Sysiphus and his diurnal rolling the huge bolder uphill only knowing full-well that it will escape his grasp, only falling to the wretched bottom once again. He will never know the joy of reaching the summit.

Only at the summit can one come across and enter into the awaiting classroom of the School of the Spirit, whose subject matter is boundless and whose alumni teach only THAT which is Unborn and deathless.

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