This is was sent to me in correspondence from Madhuvisa Dasa
Human beings are herding animals. Like sheep, we experience a strong pull to believe whatever it appears "the crowd" believes. When one is of this mind, of course he'll seek the "orthodox," of course he'll instinctively support what he thinks is "widely agreed upon," of course he'll want to imagine that his flock's dogma is "undisputed."
On the other hand, of course, there's a percentage of the population that wants to be independent, and see for ourselves. In that case, orthodoxy and wide agreement and the like count for very very little.
Yes. there will always be individuals who foolishly think all sorts of delusional things… but are they really independent when they are completely under the control of the three modes of nature? Just how independent are you? Can your independence free you from the miseries of life such as sickness, or the torment from other entities like mosquitoes, rats, bad landlords, bosses or business clients?
Are you free from the heat of a scorching hot day, the IRS, or the local laws of the land? Are you so confident with your own abilities that you can honestly say you never made a mistake, were never deceived, or can avoid germs or pollens that might make you sick?
The only independence you really have is the freedom to recognize your own limitations.
Instead you choose to remain in denial of your own gross shortcomings and imply that you are so independent, that by dint of your own unique super perception alone you will be able to understand things properly.
This concept is as immature as all the hippies of the 60's who also myopically believed they were "unique" and rebelled against the norm by growing their hair out and wearing old jeans. Those individuals also thought they were so "special" because they were committed to their own "unique self expression."
The truth was that all the other so called "independent" hippies were doing the exact same thing. So just how unique were they? Such so called independent thinking became so common the clothing manufacturers pre-washed and strategically wore out portions of the jeans prior to sale just to feed the burgeoning market of self deceived "do-my-own-thing" individuals.
The hippies rebelled against capitalism, but the corporate system they wanted to reject made the clothes they wore and took their money. In the same way all sorts of stubborn people foolishly think they are "free" when they are completely bound up by the laws of nature and their own personal karma.
You say you prefer to "see" for yourself but your eyes are as useless as all your other mundane senses. You can't even see bacteria or radio activity. Someone could feed you certain poisons and you would not be able to detect it. Some drugs will make you "FEEL" great but they are actually addictively deadly.
A dog has a better ability to sniff out food then you can and a cat can see much better then you can at night yet you remain so proud about figuring things out for yourself? Even the baby gazelle knows better not to stray too far from the pack, lest he be eaten by the lion… yet you pride yourself in your ability to fly independently into the fire of sense gratification like the stupid moth who is attracted by the very light that will burn him to ash!
You have failed to reconcile the four obvious flaws of human nature which I repeat again with the hope that you will someday face these challenges directly instead of responding with cute pithy platitudes in an attempt to obfuscate your own ignorance.
All humans suffer from: 1) Imperfect Senses, 2) The Propensity to Cheat, 3) Deception by Illusion, and the 4) Propensity to Make Mistakes.
Do you expect us to believe that you don't suffer from these afflictions like the rest of us? If you agree that you have these shortcomings, then how can you claim you have the ability to see, know or understand anything by dint of your own feeble powers?
People you concur with are not really interested in a serious examination of their own limitations. They are more committed to clinging to their proud rebellious mentality even when it isn't in their best interest just like foolish children who often rebel against the protective instructions of their own loving parents.
Eventually most children grow up and become working and productive citizens in society. Some do not and those individuals are the ones who end up spending their life in jail because of their untamed incorrigible nature. Prison culture has its own rules, beliefs, and consensus of opinions too but it's based on the raw animal principles of survival. Human life is meant for more than that.
Depending on how rigorously one is willing to objectively consider his given situation, a person will evolve to a particular level of understanding. One may adopt "prison" consciousness, "Buddhist" consciousness, "material consciousness", or real "God consciousness" which can be recognized by specific tangible symptoms.
The type of consciousness we choose to embrace is actually the only freedom any of us have and each one of these different states of consciousness have a corresponding type of reciprocal karmic response. You may say you don't believe in karma but if you focus more on "food" then you do on "exercise" then you will become overweight regardless of if you believe it or not. When you grow up spiritually your realize that the laws of nature are not bound to what YOU want or can understand.
They are stringent and you are bound to them just like gravity holds us to the earth. Regardless of how much your petty false ego runs around squeaking about independence, freedom and the delusional idea that you can understand anything on your own, the evidence indicates otherwise.
So there are all sorts of groups, religions, belief systems and teachers who are ready to concur with whatever state of consciousness one happens to hover over. After arriving at this obvious axiomatic truth, the intelligent person will inquire… where is the best place to invest my consciousness?
You are free to dismiss such inquiry as futile, irrelevant, all false or all an illusion. Fools have been doing that since the beginning of time. On the other hand history shows that astute individuals have not hidden behind cop-outs to avoid the quest for a meaningful and purposeful life.
They are reticent about any thought process, particularly those that require examining which state of consciousness may actually be superior based on the correlating behavior it manifests. In their world there is no distinction between the consciousness of the drug peddling, violent gang member thief, and a priest who risks his life to bring medicine to the head-hunter children of Indonesia.
It's a lot easier to dodge all social responsibilities then it is properly understand what constituted good ethics and personal morals. They attract those who are spiritually lazy, self serving and very poorly informed.
The fools can prance around and declare themselves to be free, independent, or whatever other narcissistic thing they want to BELIEVE but as long as they do, they only prove how little education they got.
You pompously declare that "wide agreement and (the opinions of others may) count for very, very little..." to you. But it is obvious that the opinions of those fools are meaningful to you. Their own insidiously bloated dogma has polluted your head with so much rhetorical non-conclusive sophistry that you are compelled to defend it despite all the circular logic and false assumptions you must use to do so.