The comprehensive spiritual textbook by OM C. Parkin
Text compilation and editing by Anama Frühling
This brief account of OM C. Parkin's examination of the teachings of other spiritual masters and teachers or other important personalities in his book "Intelligence of Awakening" is intended as a kind of guide, albeit very brief and necessarily very limited, through the extremely complex and comprehensive work. For the most part, the presentation adheres very closely to the author's text and, wherever possible, reproduces it literally, which is not indicated in order to make it easier to read. The rather frequent necessity to limit larger, detailed and differentiated contexts to the most essential, in between required own formulations and summaries to the best of our knowledge and understanding.
Although Ramana Maharshi, Sri Poonjaji and Gangaji, the teachers of the Advaitic lineage of transmission, in which OM C. Parkin stands, are quoted most frequently, they are not mentioned in this presentation. Their quotations have more anecdotal character. The pure Advaita they represent is, so to speak, part of the basic fabric or foundation of his own teaching, and conveys the ultimate one truth with which no confrontation is possible because where there is only one there is nothing that can be confronted. This also applies to the Christian masters, Jesus Christ and Meister Eckhart, who are also very often quoted, or to the Buddha in the Buddhist tradition, since Advaita is not limited to the traditional Eastern advaita teachings, but forms the deepest core of any serious tradition.
OM C. Parkin, like other teachers, is convinced that the pure Advaita teaching assumes too high a spiritual level to serve as starting point for the materialistic Western man’s spiritual path. The latter, as Mariana Caplan (see Mariana Caplan) says, lives in a "spiritual desert", considers his individual ego-mind for what he is, and worships the human mind as his god. Therefore, before he can devote himself to self-enquiry according to Ramana Maharshi with the question: "Who am I?", which aims at the divine Self, at what he really is, preparatory or accompanying psychological work is needed which explores his mental concept world and shows him what he is not, so that he can give up his false self-images. This happens in the "inner work" (see Almaas, Gurdjieff), which OM C. Parkin calls "small self-exploration".
While the East devoted itself intensively to the exploration of the inner worlds, to "inner science", the West, since the Enlightenment, which upset the Church's dogmatically defined world view based on dogmas, has concentrated on the scientific exploration of the outer worlds. Recently, the findings of natural sciences, especially physics, have led to astonishing results and insights that have fully confirmed those of the "inner scientists" of the East.
Therefore, in "Intelligence of Awakening" not only an extensive and differentiated discussion about important teachers of other traditions takes place, but also about important humanities and natural scientists. As a result of this discussion, repeatedly connections between the inner and outer worlds are established and, after careful examination, a teaching or parts of a teaching are discarded or integrated as a useful and enriching element, such as, among others, Ramesh Balsekar's concept of the thinking and the working mind, Almaas’ theory of holes and, on another level, Freud's concept of the ego and the superego, or even the big bang theory of space physics.
A. H. Almaas
Spiritual Teacher from Kuwait and Founder of the Rhidwan School and the Diamond Approach
The author quotes A. H. Almaas with his "Theory of Holes", which states that the life of an ordinary person consists largely of an accumulation of apparent inner holes and the attempt to fill them by satisfying desires and needs, thus creating an artificial abundance. A hole refers to any part one has lost consciousness of so that one feels a sense of deficiency, a lack of value and self-esteem that one wants to replace by value from the outside, by false abundance. The theory of holes underscores OM C. Parkin's statement that human beings are usually reluctant to dive into emptiness because they first have to experience directly the lack created by the imaginary inner holes, an experience which they avoid more than anything else.
The theory of holes, i.e. of a false inner emptiness, illustrates OM C. Parkin's teaching of the three control centres of the human being, whose natural energy flow is often disrupted by false emptiness or false abundance, and supports his concept of "inner work", which Almaas calls a "lifeline for real life".
However, in a detailed footnote, the author agrees with Ken Wilber's criticism that Almaas succumbs to a pre/trans confusion in his teaching (see Ken Wilber) by romanticizing early childhood and not distinguishing forms of relative essence from actual ESSENCE.
Indian Saint and Spiritual Master
For OM C. Parkin, AnandamayiMa is undisputedly one of the very rare exceptions who, detached from the world, rested in the Self from childhood on and did not have to follow the developmental path necessary for human consciousness leading through a separate, isolated ego-identity. A disciple of AnandamayiMa attributes the relative absence of saints in the West to the lack of Western people’s spontaneous trust. AnandamayiMa’s statement quoted here in connection with certain eating habits: "Your purity is my food. Material food plays a quite insignificant role" confirms the author's view that "the impurity of physical food is insignificant compared to the impurity of mental food“.
Enlighteners, Scientists, Philosophers
The epoch of the Enlightenment, which began in the 17th century, initiated a process of secularization in the Western collective, which buried a mythical god of faith, threw religious delusions overboard and led man out of his "self-inflicted immaturity", "out of the inability to use his mind without the guidance of another", as Immanuel Kant put it. This laid the foundation for a new human dignity and relative freedom, and the virtue of sobriety became the basis of scientific method. In the zeal of the Enlightenment, however, one's own reason, understanding, the thinking mind was now elevated to the new God, and already with Kant a blindness to the limits of so-called reason was apparent. This blindness led to a deification of the rational mind and to a still persisting rational and materialistic world view.
Ken Wilber points out that rationality is also the mind's striving towards the (divine) SPIRIT, but this is only true on condition that the mind remains aware of its limitations. However, this is hardly ever the case and also not the case in science. Hardly any scientist has progressed beyond the thinking mind and is aware of the fact that the level of the researcher’s consciousness determines and limits his research. He is unaware of his unconsciousness. The thinking mind produces a limited image of the world, a limited world view, a distortion of reality which, from the author's point of view, can only be resolved by the exploration of one’s mental world on an inner path.
Brain researchers also lack awareness of what the English physicist Peter Russell calls their "metaparadigm", their assumption, which underlies all research and has never been questioned, that the material world is the real world. They try to fathom how and where the brain generates consciousness, which is the great anomaly of the material world view. Their inner conviction is not only that matter generates spirit, but also that matter generates soul and matter generates God.
OM C. Parkin considers a sober scientific investigation by means of observation and experiment, which originates from the "pure reason" postulated by Kant, to be the means of choice, even on the path of inner knowledge. If the external scientist researches into complete objectivity and the internal scientist into complete subjectivity, both ultimately come to the same results. Quantum physics penetrates so deeply into the object, into matter, that it dissolves. The inner scientist penetrates so deeply into the ego, which initially appears as a subject, that the subject dissolves along with its imaginary worlds.
Similar to inner and outer science, OM C. Parkin distinguishes two types of philosophy. There is a "philosophy" of the thinking mind, a theoretical philosophy, which he calls Second Philosophy. It contains second-hand knowledge and concepts, designs great theoretical philosophical or theological constructs of thought, but has no direct knowledge of SELF. It can be exceptionally intelligent, but it is not wise. In the author's view, this category includes all university-taught philosophy as well as most of the well-known philosophers, including such diverse thinkers as Jürgen Habermas and Peter Sloterdijk.
The first philosophy is the eternal philosophy, the philosophia perennis, which arises from the wisdom of not-knowing and formulates universal knowledge that permeates all cultures and eras. There is no instance that knows anything; therefore, knowledge comes from first hand, from the no-mind, from the source of non-knowledge, from emptiness itself. It is only interested in the pure path of experience and is the basis of inner science. Jiddu Krishnamurti, Master Eckhart, the great Zen Masters and even Ramana Maharshi belong to this category.
Augustine of Hippos
4th/5th Century, Saint of the Roman Catholic Church, one of the Fathers of the Church
Augustine, as one of the early patriarchs who laid the theological foundation of Christian doctrine, was one of the most influential in shaping it and setting the course for it to move ever further away from the original teachings of Jesus. His misogyny, which was not only based on the biblical story of creation and the Fall of Man, but also on personal problems, had its share in the Christian devaluation of woman as the original sinner, as inferior and not, like men, created in the image of God. She had to serve man and was excluded from education and teaching. In the life and teachings of Jesus however, there is no sign of a devaluing and negative attitude towards women. OM C. Parkin points out that this devaluation did not only concern the outer woman, but female qualities, the female soul, the female powers par excellence. Since female and male forces are at work in every human being, this means that the devaluation also affected the female powers in the man and led to the Church developing more and more into a life-hostile and power-political institution led by old men with rigid hierarchical structures, which had little in common with the teachings of Jesus and the early Christian communities. In "Intelligence of Awakening" it is shown how much this devaluation of female qualities has penetrated the collective Christian psyche and still has a disastrous effect today.
A further ominous influence came from Augustine's doctrine of original sin, which attributed to every human being an innate guilt that goes back to the Fall of Man, which still poisons the subconscious of the Christian collective, but which is likewise never mentioned in the teachings of Jesus.
OM C. Parkin sees in the Christian doctrine of original sin, not only a phenomenon of a mind that has been "passed on" over generations, but also a correspondence to the Eastern concept of karma, to the image of the karmic wheel that keeps turning.
Recently Deceased Indian Advaita Teacher in the Tradition of Nisargadatta Maharash
Ramesh Balsekar, to whose teaching OM C. Parkin frequently refers, introduces the concept of the thinking and the working mind, a concept the author considers to be very valuable. In contrast to the thinking mind, which gives rise to the ego-identification, which is attached to the past, present and future and generates the suffering of the human being, the working mind refers to pure intelligence, as it does its work in the service of the whole organism at this moment and carries out the tasks that have to be done in the world. This concept differentiates the statement that the I or the mind must die, which is often perceived as threatening, to the effect that, as OM C. Parkin says, although the I-mind must die as an independent identity, the working mind remains as a servant of the One. The latter is embedded in the view of the whole and free from the concept of an individual thinker or a personal doer. "There is a way to go, walking happens, but there is no traveler. All happenings are processes in the flow of totality." Ramesh Balsekar also coined the term "body/mind mechanism" for the intelligent human organism, as occasionally used by OM C. Parkin.
American Author of Spiritual Non-fiction
Mariana Caplan is a student of the recently deceased Jewish-American teacher Lee Lozowick, who taught in the Indian Baul tradition and liked to use very clear words. He is quoted by OM C. Parkin with his saying about the many students who were declared enlightened at an early stage by Sri Poonjaji: "You disgusting guys who think you are a teacher because you were in India, three days with Poonjaji who told you you were enlightened".
In her book The Guru Question, Mariana Caplan dealt in detail with the question of who the true spiritual teacher, the guru, really is, and whether and why a person who strives for truth and knowledge needs his help. In the West, the term guru has almost become a swearword that describes a false teacher, a charlatan. The true guru does not exist at all in Western culture, is denied and faded out. Mariana Caplan describes Western culture as a spiritual desert where people predominantly are not interested in spiritual matters and if interest is present, due to a lack of spiritual education, there is also a lack of knowledge enabling them to distinguish between real and fake. The result of her research in this field fully confirms the presentation of this theme by OM C. Parkin.
American Teacher, Former Student of Poonjaji
Andrew Cohen is viewed very critically overall. For example, his claim that enlightenment must be expressed in ethically correct behaviour is taken ad absurdum, as rules for "enlightened behaviour" create a picture of what enlightenment should look like or how it should manifest itself in the world. OM C. Parkin points out that the true teacher is in a natural state and acts spontaneously from that state. He is not interested in being a role model. Lao Tse said: "When the Tao was lost, morality (which is made up of concepts of the thinking mind) came.“ Cohen's juxtaposition of "selfish enlightenment" and "true enlightenment" is also an absurdity in the author's eyes. There is no such thing as "selfish enlightenment", this is merely an expression of the ego-mind. Even Andrew Cohen's idea that he redefined enlightenment by connecting it with evolution and his criticism of the Advaita-Teaching as a pure teaching of being, which does not include the aspect of becoming, cannot be sustained, as OM C. Parkin demonstrates in his remarks.
Andrew Cohen took the fact that his teacher Sri Poonjaji had declared a large number of students to be "enlightened" besides himself as an occasion to question Poonjaji as a final teacher. After Poonjaji had rejected him, he left Poonjaji and sought confirmation of his "enlightened view" from all sorts of other teachers. OM C. Parkin sees in Cohen's relationship with his teacher the workings of the passion of doubt and the resulting loss of reality.
Founder of Psychoanalysis
The concept of ego and superego introduced by Sigmund Freud plays an important role in the exploration of the psychological ego, the thinking mind, in the "small self-enquiry". This judgemental inner instance gives the impression of standing above the ego and does not reveal itself as a part separated from it, representing its self-righteous claim to power. It is responsible for all unexamined convictions, opinions, views of the world and of God. Its apparent knowledge is ignorance. It is the instance that corresponds to "God the Father", the God of the ordinary person, to conscience and morality. An important aspect of the super-ego in Freud's research and teaching is the control of instincts, for the lack of basic trust OM C. Parkin sees in Freud makes natural forces appear threatening and evil. The super-ego, i.e. the thinking mind, places itself above the three control centers of man (see Gurdjieff), occupies them and disrupts their natural flow with its control and condemnation.
Freud's great limitation is to be found in his materialism, which makes him see the soul as a "process based on brain activity that cannot be separated from neuronal events. His rational view of the world and of the self, which emerged from the Enlightenment, led to the reverse version of the pre/trans confusion (See Ken Wilber), to the trans/pre-confusion, and made him a typical "reductionist" who explains and reduces transrational, transpersonal experiences to phenomena of pre-rational, myth-believing religiosity.
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
Armenian Mystic and Teacher of the 4th Way
OM C. Parkin takes an in-depth look at George I. Gurdjieff’s teachings, which he perfects and integrates into his own teaching of the science of the human being. He agrees with Gurdjieff's statement that as long as people do not do inner work, they function as blindly and unconsciously as machines. Like Gurdjieff, he describes three subtle control centres, each of which controls one of the three bodies of man (the physical, emotional or mental body). During their developmental process, fixations occur in the individual centres, which disturb the energetic flow and communication between the centres and prevent further development. Gurdjieff assigns to each of these centres a traditional spiritual path of development that leads beyond the fixation in the respective centre. The physical centre is assigned the path of the ascetic who seeks to overcome the sensual-physical attachment to the material world, the emotional centre the path of the monk who wants to free himself from emotional transfiguration, the mental centre the path of the yogi which leads from the fixation in the mental centre into silence through meditation. In the Indian tradition the paths of Karma Yoga (selfless action), Bhakti Yoga (devotion) and Jnana Yoga (knowledge and insight) correspond to this.
The 4th path, which is also taught by OM C. Parkin, works at all three centres at the same time and trains their abilities equally. It forms the essence and perfection of the three traditional paths and removes the blockages that have arisen during the development processes of the three centres. Only the conscious effort of inner work leads to the "second incarnation", to rebirth in non-dualistic, transpersonal consciousness, the consciousness of the Self. Here the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John are alluded to: "You must be born anew."
In Christian Faith considered the Founder of the Christian Religion and the Only Son of God Born of a Virgin.
In "Intelligence of Awakening," Jesus Christ appears as a wisdom teacher, as an enlightened Master, whose teaching imparted universal knowledge from the unlimited integral divine intelligence and was still passed on unadulterated in Original Christianity. After the intervention of the Church Fathers (see Augustine), the teaching distanced itself more and more from its origins and finally solidified in the fixed structures and dogmas of an established religion and a church, which was increasingly concerned with power politics. The living teaching of wisdom and love turned into a dead transfer of knowledge and exercise of power, which in part took on extreme forms and created a climate of fear instead of love, the fear of a punishing God stirred up by the Church. OM C. Parkin sees in the petrified solidity of the Church not only spiritual arrogance, as in the claim to infallibility of papal dogmas as a kind of imitation of enlightened understanding created by the superego, but also a shiver of cold fear that has frozen over the centuries: the mental fear that the powerful have of the rejected female soul (see Augustine), which represents the unpredictable, destructive for the preservation of power, passion, frailty and chaos.
In "Intelligence of Awakening" it is described how, with the falsification of his teaching by the Church, the image of Jesus also changed in the consciousness of the Christian collective. While in Original Christianity, there are images that show Jesus in serene equanimity as a healer and as a teacher in white philosopher robes, the image of Jesus in the Church has changed more and more into the image of the crucified one, the cross has become a symbol of Christianity, the center of gravity has shifted from life to death. Suffering and pain have come to the fore and displaced the resurrection from consciousness. The Kingdom of God has been shifted into the hereafter, while Jesus proclaimed: The Kingdom of God is within you. With regard to the crucifixion, from the author's point of view it is all too often overlooked that the outer course of events reflects an inner happening that can occur in every human being, a happening in which an inner crucifixion (of the ego-mind) is followed by an inner resurrection (in the Self). Seen in this way, the crucifixion is not the symbol of an eternal curse of suffering put on human beings, as theologians like Augustine have seen it, but the crucifixion is the beginning of their awakening.
Carl Gustav Jung
Swiss Psychoanalyst, Former Student of Freud
In contrast to the "reductionist" Freud, OM C. Parkin sees in his renegade disciple Carl Gustav Jung an "elevationist" who suffered from the pre/trans confusion and transfigured and elevated pre-rational archetypes, which are pre-forms of the thinking mind, to mystical experiences, while at the same time avoiding the encounter with Ramana Maharshi, probably the greatest mystic of the last century. OM C. Parkin points out that Jung's archetypes do not correspond to what he himself describes as collective conceptions of the mind, profound fundamental human key issues on which individual experience is based, such as in the Christian collective conceptions of God or the devil.
A long footnote deals with Jung's relationship with Ramana Maharshi. Jung saw in Ramana a "type" without uniqueness, who embodies the "melody of the spiritual life of India" whom he encountered everywhere on his travels in India and whom he therefore did not need to visit. From OM C. Parkin’s point of view, he thus places himself, like the "non-teachers", on an absolute standpoint from which all differences in the relative world disappear. No more differentiation is necessary, there are no hierarchies. It does not matter whether he sees "the melody" in the eyes of a village boy or in the eyes of Ramana Maharshi. Jung also assumes that Ramana has not transcended the contradiction between holiness and humanity, sees body-enmity instead of body-transcendence in him and inquires with a disciple of Ramana from which concrete activities Ramana's realisation can be inferred. OM C. Parkin recognises in his behaviour and his argumentation the work and the doubts of a thinking mind, which is fixed in the body centre and, according to the teachings of the Enneagram, in the archetype of the saint, which avoids the essential and searches for clues in concrete matter.
Yiddu Krishnamurti; U.G. Krishnamurti; Stephen Harrison
The author critically deals in depth with the phenomenon of the "non-teacher", i.e. a teacher who appears in the role of the teacher but at the same time rejects this role and instead calls himself e.g. a "spiritual friend". Both Ramana Maharshi and Jiddu Krishnamurti, one of the great wisdom teachers of modern times, said of themselves that they had no disciples because there was no teacher. From OM C. Parkin’s point of view, however, they both did not mean the same thing. While Ramana's teaching represents the transcendence of everything, including the student/teacher concept, for him Krishnamurti's rejection of the teacher shows a limitation resulting from his personal history in which he was to be built up as the great World Teacher by the Theosophical Society. He rejected this in a courageous speech, but got stuck in the opposite pole by taking a personal anti-stance towards the impersonal power of authority. Paradoxically, he became the teacher of thousands of students, but was not prepared to see the contradiction in his teaching, which he was pointed out to in a meeting by AnandamayiMa, for example. One of her students commented: While his path is certainly of value, he does not accept the value of approaches other than his own.
One of his Indian students was the eponymous U. G. Krishnamurti, who later taught himself in the role of a radical non-teacher and who, in an attitude that was not free of pubertal traits, revolted against the authority of his teacher for the rest of his life and did not even accept the authority of a Ramana Maharshi. When asked if he could "give him enlightenment", the latter had replied, "I can give it to you, but can you take it?“ This appeared to the mind of U. G. Krishnamurti as such arrogance that he never visited Ramana again.
In connection with this topic, the author especially addresses the younger American "non-teacher" Stephen Harrison, who rejects the student/teacher relationship and its inherent hierarchical principle as an outdated, dysfunctional structure and contrasts free communication at eye level with teaching. Thus, ironically, a one-sidedly heterarchic (juxtaposed) view of teaching is hierarchically superimposed on the hierarchy in teaching. His argumentation appears to OM C. Parkin influenced by the American mind's obsession with money - sex - power, in which Harrison sees the driving forces of a spiritual teacher. He generalizes the spiritual teacher as the "false teacher" par excellence and the spiritual disciple who, as OM C. Parkin explains in his book, goes through three phases until he matures, as the "child-disciple" in the first phase, who gives up his authority to an abusive teacher and cannot even be called a real spiritual disciple.
Hierarchy and heterarchy are two equal opposites, working together as male and female principles in creation. However, a differentiated examination of these two principles is completely missing in Harrison's work. OM C. Parkin sees in this a personal unsolved authority problem, which leads either to the assumption of the role of a non-teacher or the role of an abusive authority. In both cases, it is a matter of not recognizing natural evolutionary hierarchies and failing to understand them.
American Philosopher and Consciousness Researcher
The author takes a particularly detailed look at the philosopher and consciousness researcher Ken Wilber, to whose work he frequently refers, where substantial agreements with his own teachings become apparent. Particularly noteworthy here is the emphasis on scientificity in self-exploration. The "inner scientist" is described by Ken Wilber as a "researcher in the laboratory of his own consciousness", mysticism as "inner science". The author also often uses the term "pre/trans confusion", introduced by Wilber, which indicates that pre-rational infantile pre-suffering states are very often confused with spiritual unity states which have transformed suffering.
However, while appreciating Wilber's work as a "great testimony to the exploration of the spectrum of consciousness", the author also expresses, in a multi-page footnote, serious criticism of Wilber's work as a tendentially theoretical philosophy which is not based on experience and self-exploration but on logical inference, shows signs of intellectualism, and conveys a flavor of lacking or even devaluating female qualities, thus showing a certain one-sidedness.