I was lying awake a little while ago, thinking of what I wrote yesterday, and my recent experience in an online group where I tried to share the link to my interview. Essentially, the resident sophist rose up to challenge me: firstly, my presentation was too intellectual, and hence unspiritual; then, when I fought off the "scripture" that was being thrown at me in this regard, I wasn't living in the present, which is also unspiritual; when I got that straightened out (as to what I was trying to accomplish by delving into a past life), now I was defensive and "emotionally attached," which is highly unspiritual. But meanwhile, I knew this sophist had a history, and the combination of his behavior in the group, and what I personally knew of him, confirmed my impression that he's a sociopathic personality--as such, he was putting on a cloak of extreme sanctity. It means that a sociopathic personality had dominated the group, and was rising up to challenge someone who is dedicated to ferreting out the truth. And he won, because when I back-channeled the administrator, she took the part of the sophist, and charged me with the unforgiveable sin of backbiting. When I added some comments privately, she unfriended me, so that I got the message that "this person isn't available right now."
Nor will she ever be, until someday it dawns on her that I was speaking truth, and this person she is defending as being so spiritual, is full of BS.
Now, this morning it hit me, that if she didn't like my presentation in the group, she certainly wouldn't like my book. Because very early in that book, I do the same thing as regards Mathew's brother, famous poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Which is to say, I expose his hypocrisy. I do it for several reasons, first and foremost being that is what my emotions and my intuition tell me. And I have to report that as grist for the mill, in a study where I am comparing my subjective reactions to the historical record. Regarding this particular issue, my subjective reactions are radically disparate from the historical record. So one of them is wrong. For this reason, the gauntlet was thrown, for me, to prove that it was the (doctored) historical record that was wrong, and that my subjective impressions were right.
I was able to do that, but it wasn't easy, and it required a great deal of detective work, read, muck-raking. I had to essentially destroy my past-life brother's reputation in order to do it. The question then becomes, what were my motives, were they clean, and was it justified?
I won't delve into that, here, My motives were mixed, and I believe it was necessary. The point is, that anyone who is caught up in the fantasy world of denial; anyone who is caught up in the "illusion of niceness," and who imagines that that world is a spiritual one; will immediately react against my presentation. If they try to read my book, and they hit this investigation into John Greenleaf Whittier, they will react as the administrator of this group reacted--they will recoil in horror, labeling me a backbiter.
My answer to these people, who are members of my own faith community as followers of Meher Baba, is what C.S. Lewis said about his Christ figure, Aslan: "He's not a tame lion."
There is only one thing that great spiritual figures have disliked more than backbiting, and that is hypocrisy. Jesus taught, for example, to remove the beam from one's own eye, before criticizing the mote in another's. But look up what he said about the hypocritical Pharisees--He sarcastically compared them to sepulchers, clean on the outside and filthy on the inside. (And here we see that Jesus did use satire.) Likewise the analogy of wolves in sheeps' clothing. Was He backbiting to thus mock the Pharisees? Was He, himself, being a hypocrite? I think not. I think the problem of hypocrisy is so serious, that it overrides the usual concern about backbiting. It is not backbiting to expose a hypocrite, is what I conclude. Rather, it is a service--nay, a responsibility.
If you are not believed, when you discharge your responsibility, then you have tried. Had you not tried, then the harm that comes to the victims is on your head. If you try, and get rejected--not, as it might superficially appear, because you were backbiting, but because you were trying to warn somebody--then you aren't responsible for what follows. In other words, you have to play the part of the messenger, even if they shoot you for it, because you can't say, "Oh, I was afraid of being shot, so I just crumpled up the message." You have to deliver it, and let them crumple it up.
Mathew lived his entire life attempting, through satire, to expose hypocrisy--much as one sees Lee Camp doing, today. I have discovered something very interesting. I had always thought that I was being rejected, by individuals and groups, because of the satire. So as an experiment, I took the satire out of the presentation altogether, and tried being a humorless whistleblower. It doesn't matter. You get rejected either way, whether you inject a bit of sarcastic humor into it, or not. Those who are snowed, don't want to hear it no matter how it is presented. But if you use satire, they will accuse you of being sarcastic; if you take out the sarcasm, they will find another excuse, like backbiting.
This brought up for me, as I was lying there ostensibly trying to fall back to sleep, a whole bunch of other thoughts, and deeper aspects. There is a spirit of truth, or to keep it from being woo-woo, an attitude of truth, or a dedication to truth. And there is a web of lies, in which most people are embedded. The world, itself, turns out, it is said, to be an illusion, based and maintained on illusions. And this world has its place, as an incubator for consciousness. So it must be maintained. But, it must also eventually be outgrown.
With me so far?
So there are people whose job it is to maintain the illusion for the people who still need the incubator. It would be like a guy at a park where they rent bicycles to children. There's a guy whose job it is to prevent kids--or anyone else--from taking the training wheels off those bikes. Only the kids old enough to show their ID to this employee, are permitted to take them off. Anyone who comes in proclaiming, with a megaphone, "All you kids--those training wheels are unnecessary, you can ride much better without them--everybody take off your training wheels!" gets quickly shut down by the guy whose job it is to make sure that doesn't happen.
It is the sociopathic personality in society, the master of lies, who is the employee charged with preventing the removal of the training wheels. He uses every trick in the book to silence the whistleblower, or the person dedicated to truth at all costs. No sooner does the champion of truth arrive on the scene, than this fellow rises up to stop him, to shut him down. The first thing he does is to appropriate the moral high ground--to be "holier than thou." Thus, for example, did Paul when he accused Peter of being a hypocrite. (No doubt Peter had privately pointed out that Paul was a hypocrite.) Paul's "training wheels" are solidly attached to Christianity, today. No-one has been able to take them off, for the general society of Christians. They have done untold damage, and they have made of the religion of Christianity a mockery, a sort of "crippled shareware"--but still, they remain, and Paul remains, his letters being frozen in assumed, unimpeachable authority by having been incorporated into the Bible as scripture. Yet, I believe he was a sociopath.
So the only reader who is going to be able to get past the first couple of chapters in my book, is the one who is dedicated to truth at all costs, and hence is grown up enough to remove the training wheels. Everybody else will see me attacking this saintly figure of American literature, John Greenleaf Whittier, and immediately conclude that I am an awful person--just as the group administrator is now convinced that I am an awful person, and the Whittier legacy assumes that Mathew was an awful person.*
Those with ears to hear, let them hear.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
P.S. I was just reading the Fables of La Fontaine, which English version I believe Mathew originally translated as part of the French homework assignments that Abby gave him, when she was tutoring him. These days I read them aloud to her, one per day, for fun. Today's fable was "The Wolf and the Lamb," and it is an apt symbolic description of what it was like to try to logically debate with this fellow in the online group, recently. You can read it here.
*At the museum of John Greenleaf Whittier's home in Amesbury, Mass., they have a large portrait of Mathew as a young man, in which he looks hateful. But it is actually a look of righteous indignation. Knowing Mathew, what I think must have happened is that the painter, during the sitting, let loose some pro-slavery remark; and then, painted Mathew's reaction to him. Of course, the back-story for that painting is now lost. Based on his age in the portrait, and where I know he was at the time, I am guessing it was painted in New York City.
Music opening this page, "Naked Eye," by The Who,
from the album, "Odds and Sods"