The Rise of the Paradoxshram

Updated: Jun 6, 2018



We are at the cusp between an age that is dying and a new one that is being born. In the increasingly critical fermentation of a rotting economy mulching with a devastated ecology, human mastery has become a joke. The crown of creation has lost its credibility.


There are those who still desperately dive into ditches of denial, while others even more desperately attempt to keep the chaos under control. But those who are honest confess the hopelessness, the impotence, even the impossibility of it all. And yet all the while, revolutionary shifts are occurring under the malfunctioning radar screen. We are witnessing the rise of new social forms and new spiritual capacities.


One of these is the appearance of a viral form of communal organization that could be called the paradoxshram. It is somewhat like the ancient Indian ideal of the yogic ashram; but it includes and accepts the fact that no one has the power any more to keep vows, to sustain object constancy and faithfulness in relation to any sort of being, let alone the Supreme Being. The paradoxshram is a refuge for failed monks who are also failed denizens of the polymorphously perverse world of postmodernity.

A paradoxshram is a hermitage for outcasts, misfits, eccentric millionaires, and those who have grown beyond the limits of neurotic normality and seek the infinite divine madness that alone can satisfy the urge for the ultimate adventure. These adventure capitalists turn their pathologies into prophets, making use of the principle of paradox that turns every quiddity upside down and inside out into a new quid pro quo vadis that is anything but faddish. This is alchemy on steroids, morphing the lead of the ego into the gold of pure Spirit, making buddhas out of boohoos, bobos, and the last authentic bohemians.


Only in a paradoxshram can melodrama be transformed into mellow dharma without losing a stride. Only in such a setting can those who are structurally unable to make a commitment realize they have found a home, a community that is committed to them even if they do not reciprocate. And what is realized by those who enter fully into the paradox of their own hateful lack of being? Every structure of the mind is only a dream, easily melted down without a meltdown, when there is nothing external to resist. No matter how locked down is one’s heart, the iron liquefies when the heat of love produced by the friction of wisdom and compassion becomes sufficiently intense.

The joy of frustration, hate, and illness is unmasked as the timeless bliss of peace, unity and healing. The unmasking of course brings renewed resistance, renewed suffering, and then that too is revealed as the ecstasy of love. In the ongoing moebius strip show of purity porn, love is stillborn, yet still borne. The very death that is the ground and destiny of life spectrally remains as the spectrum of consciousness that contains its antithetic medicine of eternal life.


The wonder of the Goddess is that she can appear in any and every form—from the whore of Babylon to Kali the mad mass murderess to the ugly beggar on the street to the queen of heaven—without having a hair on her lovely head be disturbed. Her perfection transcends all its permutations and is unconcealed through her very shape-shifting hiddenness and her ability to turn the light into darkness, good into evil, and finally reveal every evil as a manifestation of the supreme good.


The Goddess is liberated in a paradoxshram. The ego is liberated to reveal itself as the Atman. Matter admits it has always only been pure spirit. Time confesses its true nature as eternity. Enmity concedes it has always been deep amity. All the pairs of opposites marry in a ceremony of innocence that in no sense can be construed as such.

The world is a patchwork of such vast conspiracies that not even the most psychotic conspiracy theorist could imagine. Every conspiracy is unwittingly part of a larger one, which is a cell in a yet larger and more devious plot that no one without a need to know could ever glimpse—until the airplanes hit the towers.


And although greed for money may be the root of all evil, evil is the real root of good, and good is the root of all wealth. Ultimately, the only sensible investment of one’s money is into the replenishing of the original seed of consciousness that sprouts into all these interwoven roots that create new routes to freedom and empowerment, save one’s soul, give meaning and hope to one’s existence, produce a new vision, a new culture, the possibility of a new world, one that can turn poison into fertilizer and death into life. Such a world can only germinate in a paradoxshram.


Our world is only our mind, but once the mind has released itself from all limits, infinite intelligence is available to solve even the most recalcitrant and intractable problems, like that of nuclear radiation, climate change, and all the other plagues now descending like a dark cloud of locusts on a world gone mad. We are mad because we are insufficiently mad, and mad in the wrong ways. But even that wrong-headed insanity contains the seeds of salvation, if they can only be cultivated with care and compassion, acumen and understanding. Such uncanny canniness can only emerge in the pure imperfection of the ambience of a paradoxshram.


Only a mad philanthropist would fund such a new social order, such a strange expression of divine communalism; only the most brilliant could recognize the absolute necessity and centrality of such supreme peripherality as supporting the emergence of a motley crew of screwball yogis who just might discover the secret of world renewal and attain the power to pull it off. But this much is clear: sane atheists cannot do it; conventional religious people can only pray for it; conventional psychotics cannot go beyond drool, delusions, and dreams. Only those whose madness has fully integrated with the ultimate vision of the Absolute can download the logic of this holographic hell realm and reload it as an eidolon of celestial joy.


Within you right now is a hidden paradoxshramite, a would-be Buddha seeking a sangha that can sing your cynicism into sheer delight. If you look hard enough, without and within, the seeking itself will overcome all sense of sin, and although your ego will go into a spin, the good sense of your survival instinct already intuits that only such a tribe of treasonous tribulationists can be true to the deepest calling of this historic moment, rather than getting lost in the trivia of passing apocalyptic phenomena. Those who can trump the triumphant but temporary elite of banksters and gangsters can only be the ultimate pranksters, the crazy wisdom teachers running loose on your nearest paradoxshram preparing to drop the paramatman bomb of bliss on an unsuspecting world.


Foreboding indeed is the rise of the Paradoxshram.


Namaste, Shunyamurti


#essay #ashram #changemakers


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