Truth / Spiritual Experience


I’ve been watching JBP biblical series and many other JBP videos on YouTube. It amazes me how much info he can store in his RAM and use it to describe something. That said, words tend to fail describing what cannot be described. I’ve been on a spiritual quest/journey for about 20 years and JBP is a refreshing addition to the very few people currently espousing these type subjects and asking these type questions.
After listening to him, I realized that he is espousing the truth. His explanation of the Bible and how the mind works and the 12 steps to live are all just that…the truth. That’s why when you hear the truth, even if one does not understand the words on an intellectual level, you nonetheless recognize it as the truth from within. The truth IS. And what is IS. It cannot be changed. One can delude ones self, as many do, getting caught up in words and thoughts…which are the same, words are the flow of thought. If you do the things JBP suggests, the outcome will be the same for all. Another thing I’ve noticed is that when I am exposed to truth and recognize it, it doesn’t seem like I’m learning something new.itw more like I already knew it…just became aware of knowing it. It’s more of a recognition thing than new knowledge. It’s already there in me.
Experiencing the truth is often called having a spiritual experience. If you ask a bunch of people what the definition of spiritual experience is, you’ll probably get just as many responses as people you ask. I’m no different so I’ve co-opted a phrase Eckhart Tolle uses as my definition of a spiritual experience and that is “Freedom is the realization that you are not the thinker”. I love that and have found that too, to be the Truth. Here’s a simple experiment for those who believe they are the thinker and the thoughts are their own… if the thoughts are yours and you are purposely thinking them, then tell them to stop. Go ahead…give it a try…I’ll wait.
Well…how’d it go? They didn’t stop, did they. No… and they never will.
The next obvious question is “if I am not the thinker, what am I”? THAT, I believe, is what JBP, the Bible, most religions, and others are pointing towards or at. You are THAT. Like God told Moses when he asked him what he was, God replied “I am that I am”. Huh! What does that mean? I Again…words cannot describe what cannot be described. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t so.
I’m interested in hearing responses to my post. And I’m so glad JBP has, without asking, found himself thrust into our consciousness on a global level. Similar to Eckhart Tolle and every spiritual teacher before him, including the Buddha and Christ. No true spiritual teacher strives for notoriety.
Thanks for reading

(Benjamin Lupton) #2

When I was a teenager, my map of meaning comprised of myself and a compass — I wanted to ensure my compass was pointing in the right direction.

This is had the side effect of making me a bit extreme. Once I new my ideal, I was somewhat militant in its achievement.

Years later I burned out, as obviously that is not sustainable.

Over recent years, I’ve come to this revised metaphor instead.

I am in the ocean on a ship. The ship is my body, or a spiritual home, as a marriage would also work as the ship. I am hopefully the sailor. There are storms (external influence) that will harm me against my will. Other days, it will help. I must be willing to navigate, and revise my navigation, in case the stars or the compass fails. This requires the consistent improvement of my intuitions, and the ability to revise them in the face of better arguments (dramas of the mind). My ability to survive in the seas, is purely from my past (and thus present) efforts, to protect my future self from my worst/laziest self. With practice, I will find moments of respite, an island of grace, or a vista of weather, here and there. Before the area runs dry with a lack of potential (a now previous ideal, a previous true north of the compass, has now known insufficiencies, and is met with boredom, frustration, and curiosity of new potentials), and I must board the ship again.

Regarding truth is something you already knew, or remembered. I think this is a subjective/affective sensation rather than an objective truth. As truth is something you have integrated, and thus it becomes you, and thus loses the feeling of foreignness that it once had while it was disintegrated from you. Causing an eventual subjective oneness, even on external objective truths that were once completely alien. And when we reject prior truths, we feel to them as a friend (or enemy) that we’ve fallen out of sync with.

I say this, as reading JBP’s recommended texts, feel far from obvious to me in the truths they provide.

As an aside, and I’m not saying you made this implication, but I just want to make its possibility explicit: It would also imply that education, or that man, is the cause of man’s corruption, however if one is raised without man’s influence (such as the case of the feral child) they resemble savages, not men.

Hence the language used by early colonists and explorers that described certain practices of indigenous tribes as barbaric. The vice versa is also true.

Culture corrupts, but it also purifies; protecting man against culture (other men and himself), as well as against the environment.

To that extent, I think Peterson is an enculturation figure for the new shapeless cross-border society of western values (christian, science, liberty).