Saturday, February 2, 2008

Yearning for Knowledge and Higher Consciousness

Norman D. Livergood from the Hermes Press websites really has some very appealing pages to read. He's the guy that had that course on the Perennial Tradition that I was interested in, but can't take since I'm on antidepressants. I really don't like being discriminated against like that, but I still enjoy his web sites. He has another course that I would be interested in, called "Progressive Awareness". I took the "test" just because I felt the questions really apply to me. You're not really supposed to take it unless you are sure you want to sign up for the class, but I thought I'd ask myself these questions just to see what the answers would be. While I probably had a sorry answer for one or two of them, I thought the inquiry into myself would be worthwhile.

The questions can be found here, but don't submit unless you're going to take the class (which cost $200):

These are the answers I gave to them: 1: B 2: A 3: B 4: A 5: A 6: A 7: A 8: B 9: B 10: B 11: B 12: B 13: A 14: B 15: B 16: A 17: A 18: A 19: A 20: A 21: B 22: B 23: B 24: B 25: B 26: B 27: B 28: B 29: B 30: B

(Speaking of course costs, I briefly asked my husband about taking the class, and he gasped. This particular class's information page didn't say anything about antidepressants, though.)

Check it out here:

His other knowledgeable websites can be found here: Check out some of the links on the top, like Philosophy, Perennial Tradition, Plato Studies, etc. The political stuff I skipped over since I'm not interested in politics.

I want this knowledge so bad but I can't give-up my home or family to get it. I can work on the psychological issues. I can improve myself. I've had an epiphany. I think I'd do well learning this.

Does anyone out there know this material besides this guy? Is giving up attachments to family and friends that important to making progress on this path?

If anyone knows what this is about, please make contact.

I don't know if this is a real spiritual hunger or if it's madness. I have things getting in my way of reaching these goals, really silly crazy human things.

I've been looking for answers for more than three years now.


Anonymous said...

The 12 step programs like AA have their counterpart (Alanon) for the friends/relatives/spouses of alcoholics.

Having had a relationship with an addict I attended many an Alanon meeting. I was was always dissatisfied with the idea that the affected person should disconnect from the addict and conduct their own lives independent of the addict while remaining in a pseudo relationship.

It has always been my personal opinion that either you work within the family structure for improvement or you completely part company in such cases.

The only time to divest oneself of familial ties, IMO, is if someone is being abusive and they're damaging either physically or emotionally. I am certain that destruction of a successful working relationship is counterproductive.


Siegfried said...

All we need to know is available to us for free. Especially now because of internet.
Only we don't appreciate what is obvious. We think it should be hidden.
And we think it should be inspired. Coming out of some hidden channel, we know not wherefrom.
And we think it is priceless but should be paid for.
That's how so much verbiage and garbage come into the world.
I remain skeptical.
Some people need to be shot. ;>)
But yes, of course, I try some of these things.

Siegfried said...

Maybe we should revise the Bible. That's where all these things come from. Some prophets of old. Who taught God is speaking thru them. And repressing anyone who contadicted them.
How to tell if a prophet is true. Or false.

Siegfried said...

Satan speaks 99.9 % of the truth. So only .1 % is false. Nice thinking!

Sophia said...


I know I could never leave home for something like this, but I am very curious about why I've seen it mentioned that one must give-up attachments to family and friends. Do they mean physical attachments or emotional attachments? Maybe they mean dependence? One of the pages I was reading mentioned something about being prepared to move in order to study with the teacher. In this day and age, in which the Internet has become a big part of our communication systems, why is it necessary to physically be in the presence of a teacher? I can understand that it might be necessary for an occasional physical meeting, but to make such a permenant lifestyle change seems very frightening to me. One would not only have to be equipped emotionally, but financially as well, and the way things are going today in this country, I personally don't know too many people who would be financially equipped to make such a move. That would entail giving up the career, our source of bread and milk. Are there really rich people who make these kinds of decisions in this day and age?

Sophia said...


For some reason, thinking that it's hidden makes it more desirable. I just have a strange feeling that there is information that esoteric schools have that could help me develop as a person as well as to achieve spiritual knowledge and understanding. Maybe these are selfish reasons, though.

I don't understand your bit about Satan, though. I'm not Christian so I don't think of Satan as some fallen angel, but I do think the name Satan represents evil that is in the world today.

Siegfried said...

I've been thinking about this for awhile. And I'm tempted to give you my opinions about it. But I guess you shouldn't take anything seriously, whatever I tell you.
Well, there is really a lot of evil in the world since human beings came into existence. But is it necessary evil? I don't know.
And where is it coming from?
And about brainwashing. Where does it begin?
From my own experience, I think It had began long before I became a cult member. My indoctrination, my beliefs and blind following made me ripe for certain religious and spiritual groups.
If you'd ask me, if there is such a thing as demon possession, I'd probably say yes. But what is the nature of it is something most people don't understand. Like some people think there are really fallen angels including Satan or Lucifer. This is what most fundamental Christians believe. But what is spiritual, divine, diabolic or demonic possession or obsession really all about?
How do you explain all these phenomena? And is it supernatural?

Siegfried said...

I think we're living in the Dark Ages when it comes to this.
How does it feel to think of oneself to be possessed by a demon or by Satan himself? Or to be really possessed by the spirit of the Antichrist?
How does one get delivered from possession?
Many are not so lucky.

Sophia said...


Here's a question for you to ponder on. Do you think evil existed before the rise of humans? Or did humans create evil?

Maybe this will get us started on answering the question, where does it come from?

Anonymous said...

"The creator" is also "the destroyer" because all change involves destruction coupled with replacement. It all starts with replacing nothing with something.

The challange is to determine whether any force that is not the creator/destroyer (might as well start calling this the CD for brevity) of the creation story can have the power to counter the wishes and will of the CD. So where did it come from? Why the original creation from nothing is said to be by the will of the CD leaving us with the understanding that the CD created evil by permitting actions countering the CD's will.

When one approaches montheism with an idea of something capable of counteracting the will of the CD, one quite rapidly begins to recognize alternate gods in a pluralistic heirarchy not very unlike the mythological religions predating the earliest monotheistic traditions.

Was "Noah's flood" evil? No, despite the destruction of much of creation on earth it was the CD's will. As defined by example, evil is anything that counters the will of the CD. Next comes the heirarchy of evil. What's worse, killing a fly or killing a human being. Both are life endowed (according to teachings) by the CD. So measuring the "evil quotient" of the same act, that is killing, there are alleged to be varying degrees of evil associated with killing unless the killing is done by the CD in which case is redefined as not being evil at all. Thus we arrive to an understanding that killing is not, of itself, evil, but evil arises out of whose will is responsible for the act.

Once the "mystery" characteristic is attached to that sort of question most people stop wondering about it and move on to easier ideas.

It is very difficult to discover any logical system that is self-consistent throughout. As it turns out, mathematics is the only one (as far as I know.) Language and plain logic are not good candidates. Consider the statement,
"This sentence is false." And finally that leads us to the question, is that sentence in the example above in any way evil?


Sophia said...

No wonder the Greeks and Romans were given towards hard polytheism. It doesn't seem that far-fetched, really, especially if one is adament about the fact that God is pleasant. For, if the God of everyone is pleasant, He/She would not have allowed all of the evil in the world to happen. It would be reasonable to imagine other gods exist, other less-pleasant gods. Most worship this idea of a pleasant god. If there are other gods, I'd want to worship the pleasant god, of course. Henotheism!

Anonymous said...


I've never commented here on your blog before, but I feel I should now. You asked...

"Is giving up attachments to family and friends that important to making progress on this path?"

The word attachment in this context is a very tricky thing. When you are giving up attachment to your family and friends you are releasing what you think you know they are. You don't know what you are, and because of that you don't know what true detachment is. Detachment is descriptive not prescriptive. Neither is it something you can 'do'.

Find out what you are before worrying about giving anything up.


Sophia said...

Hi AnonReader,

Thanks for stopping by.

From what I read on the web site, it sounds as if this teacher is literally saying that one has to be prepared to relocate to study under the teacher, as well as putting friends and family second to the study of the tradition.

If I don't know what I am, isn't it true that others don't know what I am either? And wouldn't it hurt them if I gave up my attachments to them? Even if I finally figured out what I was and determined that giving up my attachments to them was OK?

I've been trying to figure out what I am. If you have any ideas, please feel free to tell me. :)

Thank you for your comment. Feel free to give input anytime anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Hi again Sophia-

First off I will state that any teacher who states there is something that must be done, moving and giving up ties to family and friends, and then charges such high fees for courses is very suspect. If what you are is what you are, then why should you have to pay for what you are? What you are was there before any concepts of spirituality/religion/path ever entered your mind. What you are was there before the invention of money/value/worth. Giving up family and friends then moving and paying for something that you already are is ludicris.

With that being asked...

"If I don't know what I am, isn't it true that others don't know what I am either? And wouldn't it hurt them if I gave up my attachments to them? Even if I finally figured out what I was and determined that giving up my attachments to them was OK?"

No one, not even one who is realized, can tell you what you are. In this respect you are truly on your own, but that is not a bad thing. Who else but yourself can truly know what you are anyway? What better way to find out, by yourself and for yourself?

Teachers do not tell students what they are, teachers ask students questions. Questions that turn the student in on him/herself. Teachers do not lead, they show students how to lead themselves.

As far as hurting your family and friends goes, just remember that you will have to live with the consequences of any decisions you make in that regard. If leaving them is an option for you, one that you are ok with, then by all means do so. But there is no need to try to detach yourself from your love for them or hurt them by making some declaration that they are spiritually in your way. They shouldn't have to pay for something that you are going through.

And once again, don't worry about wether it's ok or not to give up your attachment to them, that's putting the cart before the horse. :-) Like I said...detachment is not what it's made out to be. Detachment is a result not a means. Don't worry about that till you get there. For real, it's not an issue. Just worry about yourself, that's what this is all about right? :-)

I don't know what you are into spiritually, what teachings you are attracted to, but I'd like to offer you a link to something that helped me. It may not be to your taste, but the gems contained in the pages are truly priceless. :-)

If I may offer a suggestion..The Tenth Man and Posthumous Peices really get to the meat of things. These were two of his later books and it's clear he cut out a lot of the fun bantering to replace it with a hammering away at everything we think we are but are not. Enjoy!


Sophia said...

Hi AnonReader,

Thanks for the Wei Wu Wei recommendations. I was surprised to learn - while reading information tonight about _The Tenth Man_ - That Wei Wu Wei is actually a fairly recent figure. For some reason, anytime I heard his name previously, I thought of some ancient eastern spiritual teacher, with a goatee like Confucius, from ages ago. Jed McKenna used some of his quotes in his own books. I remember liking them. :)

I know I couldn't drop everything and move away from family and home to become a student. I would really like to be a student from the comfort of my own home. I was disappointed while reading about the possibility of giving things up because it made me feel left out, based on the premise that the one thing I can't do is leave home or family. Nor am I financially stable enough to leave home and take-up residence elsewhere. I'd like to know just who would do something like this. What kind of person would they be?

A realized person probably couldn't tell me who I am, but they could tell me who they are and I could indirectly assume who I am based on what I know them to be. But maybe that would only be an intellectual understanding. One of the things I worry about when it comes to my spirituality, is wondering if I'm just intellectualizing things or truly understanding and living them in my heart.

"Teachers do not tell students what they are, teachers ask students questions. Questions that turn the student in on him/herself." You've just described my dream teacher. A few times, my searching for a spiritual teacher has led me to people who feel it necessary to preach to me about their religion. I am thankful for their generosity in giving their time to me and wanting to share something so important to them, and I truly enjoy learning about world religions, but their preaching, no matter what religion, only reminds me of the suffering I went through as a child in a Christian church. It's real teaching that I yearn for, and real teaching is so much different than preaching. Real teaching is Universal.

Thanks so much for your absolutely awesome comments. You made a good point when you said that what I am was there before concepts.