If You’re Trying To Achieve The Blissful State, Stop: Nirvana Is The Death Of Reason

photo from elephantjournal.com

The blissful, tranquil, enlightened, higher-conscious, nirvana-like state is incompatible with your goals, with the pursuit of virtue, with reason, with science, with society, with the progress of civilisation.

We don’t want to reach nirvana—or rather, we shouldn’t be trying to. Unless your goal is to be a monk, a meditation guru, a recluse, then you shouldn’t be trying to reach nirvana, either. In fact, in the practice of mediation, it is often this trying to get to ‘bliss’ or ‘nirvana’ or ‘peace’ or into an ‘enlightened state’, that is why most people derive little to no benefit from it; the conscious, wishful struggle for the utopic disposition is totally understandable, and often why most people uptake meditation/mindfulness practices, but it is the primary reason most people give up.

Meditation, done properly—or rather, the type mediation that shows the most promise and from which people derive the most benefit— is but the act of watching the contents of one’s mind; it is the practice of observing the thoughts, sensations, emotions, feelings—the experience—that enters the infinite space that is your own consciousness.

But what is the problem with nirvana, you ask? Well, simply, you cannot get connect with life, understand, socialise, work on problems, think critically… if you are in a state of heightened consciousness. Those who have had experiences with psychedelics (namely Psilocybin or LSD) can attest to this; whatever you learn, whatever epiphanes you reach, however good you feel, well, it all changes once you come back to reality. Likewise, those who have been on meditation retreats will know that overwhelm and confusion and anxiety and even depression seep back in once you return from your utopian, disconnected, distraction-free, worry-free ashram, and make contact once again with Life.

This is not to say there is nothing to be gained from such things as psychedelic experiences, meditation holidays, and the practice of meditation/mindfulness; there is, but the gain is not the reaching of of higher consciousness, which is always ephemeral. The value of mediation is not to be found in the 20 minutes of practice, but in the way it alters the way you go about your day, your life—the way you speak, the way you act, the way you deal with emotion, the way you think, etc. The value of the psychedelic experience, quite amazingly, is that is shows you precisely why nirvana is not a place the people should be trying to reach: it opens your eyes to chaos, mayhem, the powerful and ruthless neverending torrent that is the unfiltered and pure experience; it shows one reality minus all the things that prevent us from reaching a state of nirvana, but that are absolutely necessary (judging, categorising, critical thinking, discipline, restraint, striving, and so forth), and it is a very, very different place to the one you’re currently in.

Nirvana is the death of reason. Personal enlightenment is not compatible with the progress of civilisation, with building a better world, with societal enlightenment. A state of nirvana can be achieved, but only by the death of reason—which, ironically, was given to us by the Enlightenment.

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