Welcome

by L. Ron Gardner

Welcome to Electrical Spirituality, the website of spiritual teacher/mystic-philosopher L. Ron Gardner.  I named my website Electrical Spirituality because the spiritual Dharma I teach and write about is electrical in every way—radical and demystifying and correlated with Ohm’s Law. And because I’m an electrical guy (Sun conjunct Uranus in my natal chart), when I turn my attention to subjects other than spirituality--politics, culture, and health, et al.--my radical (gone-to-the-root) and sometimes revolutionary viewpoints can best be described as electrical. To learn more about me and this website, click on “About” on the menu bar.

Directly below this Welcome piece are my Current Posts. At the top of the right column are my books, which you can learn about and read samples writings from by placing the cursor on the titles under “Books” on the menu bar. Below my books are my Recent Posts (which, when no longer “recent,” can be accessed in “Archives”).

Feel free to comment on anything on this site, but please keep your comments civil and to the point.… Read the full article

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Mind and No-mind

by L. Ron Gardner



[This is a just-finished, raw and unedited, excerpt from a chapter of the Zen book I'm writing (concurrently with one on Dzogchen). Any suggestions for improvements from the cognoscenti would be appreciated.]

There is nothing in Buddhism more confusing than the usage and meaning of the terms Mind, mind, no-mind, Awareness, and awareness, which are often used loosely, contradictorily, and/or synonymously. It would take a book to properly consider this subject, but in the confines of a couple-thousand-word article, I’ll attempt to shed some light on it by briefly elaborating these terms.

Mind

When “Mind” is capitalized, it should mean universal, transcendental Mind, or Consciousness, or Awareness. This Mind, in Sanskrit, is Cit. This unborn, unmanifest Mind never enters creation, and is a synonym for Ultimate Reality.

In his Introduction to the Lankavatara Sutra, D.T. Suzuki writes: ‘Mind- only’ means absolute mind, to be distinguished from an empirical mind which is the subject of psychological study. When it begins with a capital letter, it is the ultimate reality on which the entire world of individual objects depends for its value.… Read the full article

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Sam Harris on Waking Up

February 3, 2018
[This is a raw, unedited article that will be included in my forthcoming book on Zen, which, barring unforeseen circumstances, will be published in 2019.]

Sam “Hardly a Sage” Harris

Many people consider Sam Harris a paragon of rationality and gnosis, an exemplar of enlightened post-postmodern wisdom who marries science and spirit. I don’t. And in this article, I seek to expose Sam’s ignorance regarding religion and spirituality. I aim to “behead” him with my “Dharma Sword” and reveal him as an overrated thinker and a clueless mystic.

“Soapbox” Sam is a philosophic “bottom-feeder” who specializes in pontificating on exoteric subjects with mass appeal. His books--Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, and The End of Faith--are geared to the common man who rejects conventional religion and seeks answers through science and reason.

Sam “the Sham,” however, doesn’t just want to denigrate conventional religion—especially Islam and Christianity—he also wants to be the “guru,” or knowledgeable guide, who educates the common man about spiritual awakening.… Read the full article

Ken Wilber’s “The Fourth Turning”

January 14, 2018
[This is a raw, unedited article I just finished writing. It will be included in my Zen text, which will be published in 2019.]

Ken Wilber is considered by many to be America's greatest living philosopher. Wilber, who bills himself as a “pandit” (Dharma scholar/teacher), specializes in integral theory and solutions, which provide the lens through which he views humanity’s past, present and future. And in his 2015 book "The Fourth Turning: Imagining the Evolution of an Integral Buddhism," Wilber focuses his “integral lens” on Buddhism (the religion he most vibes with), and envisages another (or fourth) turning of its wheel that would embody the principles that are at the heart of his Integral philosophy.

In The Fourth Turning’s Introduction, Wilber informs us that the world's religions "need to get serious about updating their fundamental dogmas." He says that the core ideas can be maintained, but that these new discoveries about spiritual experiences, spiritual intelligence, and spiritual development during the past thousand years need to be integrated into an Integral framework that includes and transcends the central teachings of the traditions.… Read the full article

The Emptiness of Emptiness

January 2, 2018
[This is a raw unedited article I just wrote, which will be included in the Zen book I just started writing. I'm also working on a Dzogchen text, which should be published by the end of 2018.The Zen text won't be finished and published until some time in 2019.]

For a three-year period in my life–1974-1976—I was deeply into the Prajnaparamita Sutras. My meditation practice during this period focused on developing a mind that dwelled upon nothing and in seeing all things as empty. But then, thanks to the teachings of Adi Da Samraj (then known as Bubba Free John), I had an epiphany: I realized that my attempts to develop a non-abiding mind and to negate phenomenal reality by imagining it as empty were simply forms of the avoidance of relationship (or whole-body communion with life and the Spirit-current, or Shakti).

After my epiphany I continued for a few years to randomly attend sittings at Zen groups, but I no longer had an interest in Zen philosophy and its apotheosis of emptiness. I basically forgot about the emptiness Dharma until 2003, when a friend introduced me to the teachings of Ayn Rand, which not only enlightened me on emptiness but also inspired me to read academic texts by Buddhism professors on the subject.… Read the full article

Jesus (Jack Cohen) Meets the President

December 28, 2017
(This is an excerpt from my mind-blowing surrealistic novel "Kill Jesus: The Shocking Return of the Chosen One." It is available in Kindle and paperback at Amazon.com.)
Jack arrived at the Department of Treasury just before 10:30 a.m. He made his way through security, located Grinder’s office and found himself seated across from the Secretary of the Treasury by 10:45 a.m. Immediately he made himself at home, extending his legs so that his Nikes rested on Grinder’s desk. He pulled out a long, fat Cohiba and promptly lit it without bothering to ask. When Grinder objected, Jack blew smoke in his face without apology and proceeded to laugh out loud.

No doubt Jack was feeling his oats — and as he was only nineteen years old, some might attribute his boorishness to teenage immaturity. But it was more than that. Tibetan Buddhism would say that he was simply exhibiting “crazy wisdom,” the sort of unconventional, outrageous, or unexpected behavior that comes from En-Light-ened activity.

“I’ll get right to the point,” said Grinder. “The President has authorized me to offer you a generous lump sum to end your revolution and the run on the banks.… Read the full article