What I writeabout Robert also applies to a great extent to Shiv: sobering, confronting, clear. Shiv in his last posting as Advaitaholics Anonymous (6-11-2021) on Facebook:
"The goal of my writing since the very beginning was two-fold. To expose spiritual culture – including the people, the communities, the rituals, the texts, the practices and the postures as an elaborate smoke-and-mirrors designed to prevent seekers from perceiving the very thing it promised them – truth. Reality of life and self as it exists. My second goal was to orient readers TO that reality – the very truth in search of which they became involved in spiritual culture in the first place. But I chose to do this NOT by pontificating on some esoteric understanding, providing false or misleading promises of transcendent experiences nor even prescribing any set path or technique. Instead, I always relentlessly pointed readers back to themselves. To the very experience they were having – now. No matter what the experience. No matter how "unevolved". No matter how "mind-based". No matter how "egoic".
Through my writings, I instead encouraged people to be "just as they are" – as broken, as suffering, as confused, as conflicted, as "unawakened" as they are.
Because wherever a person is – is the ONLY space from which truth can be perceived. And this truth is nothing mystical, mythical, transcendent or undetectable. It is the most evident thing there is. It is life itself. It is WHAT IS.
Yet, what obscures this truth is our very unwillingness to perceive it from where we are. Our very unwillingness to be as we are. It is because we are perpetually lost in another version of what could/should/already has/will be that we struggle to find our bearings within the reality we actually inhabit now. We struggle to find acceptance and contentment in that which we are.
So, the solution is not to point a person towards trying to find acceptance, contentment and a lack of suffering. Because that is a wild goose chase that the person will remain on for the rest of their lives. Which is essentially what many spiritual teachings do – present the promise of liberation, peace, joy and self-realization and send people off on a journey to find it.
Rather, I pointed instead to the only SPACE from which these experiences of being organically emerge. The here and now. The problem is the here-and-now for most people doesn't look like contentment. It looks like anxiety, depression, crushing debt, unfulfilled desire, loneliness, insecurity, confusion, self-contempt. It matters not WHAT the here and now appear as. All that matters is the here and now.
- Shiv Sengupta, Advaitaholics Anonymous: Sobering Insights for Spiritual Addicts
- Shiv Sengupta, Advaitaholics Anonymous: A Manifesto for Spiritual Anarchy