Idealism Has A Fatal Flaw

Some people say a bodhisattva is an ideal human being, but idealism has a fatal flawEvery human world view has a concept of the ideal human being.  It doesn’t matter whether the world view is religious or materialistic.  The ideal human being of a particular world view has a certain set of attributes and qualities.  These qualities are demonstrated by engagement in some activities, and avoidance of other activities.

The New Message from God has a relatively nuanced approach to this.  Steps to Knowledge teaches that certain practices should be embraced, such as observation, compassion and contribution.  Steps to Knowledge teaches that certain practices should be avoided, such as judgment, blame and assumption.  So it is reasonable to say that if a person studies Steps to Knowledge, he will become a certain kind of person.

But the New Message from God doesn’t identify a particular individual as the ideal human being.  Someone is thinking “Well, what about this Marshall Vian Summers person you go on and on about.  Is he the ideal human being of the world view of the New Message from God?”  My answer is “If he is, he’s not supposed to be.”  He is the Messenger of this New Message, and he shares his message by his life, but if we put him on a pedestal, if we make him the ideal human being, then he failed, then we failed.

Idealism has a fatal flaw

Some time ago, I mentioned that in the late 1980’s, the organization of Marshall Summers made a series of five cassette tapes containing messages Marshall had received.  One of these tapes was on the development of Knowledge.  On this tape, it was taught that ideals and idealism was a hindrance to the emergence of Knowledge.  I don’t remember why this was this case.  But Step 54, “I will not live in idealism,” elaborates.

“What is idealism but ideas of things that are hoped for based on disappointment? Your idealism includes yourself, your relationships and the world in which you live. It includes God and life and all realms of experience that you can imagine. Without experience, there is idealism. Idealism can be helpful at the beginning, for it can start you moving in a true direction, but you must not rest your conclusions or your identity upon it, for only experience can give you that which is true to you and that which you can fully accept. Let not idealism guide you, for Knowledge is here to guide you.”

When the word “true” is used as an adjective in Steps to Knowledge (as in “a true direction,”) I am currently hearing the phrase “genuine and effective” in my mind’s ear.  Idealism can be helpful at the beginning, for it can start you moving in a genuine and effective direction.

Still, idealism has a fatal flaw.  What is this fatal flaw?  The violation of experience.  I have offered as a working definition of knowing something “an experience of something being self-evident which inspires consistent action.”  If we don’t have experience, we don’t have knowing.  If experience is being violated, then a false self which is apart from life is being created.

Kabir (translated by Rabindranath Tagore) has an exclamation point he would like to provide:

THERE is nothing but water at the holy bathing places; and I know that they are useless, for I have bathed in them.
The images are all lifeless, they cannot speak; I know, for I have cried aloud to them.
The Purana and the Koran are mere words; lifting up the curtain, I have seen.
Kabîr gives utterance to the words of experience; and he knows very well that all other things are untrue.

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