Gathering Minds

The Black Panther

Looking in the mirror we see ourselves and in that seeing we come to define ourselves as being. Unfortunately, when we try to fool ourselves by having a memory lapse that we are already being, we come to believe in all sorts of realities and as if by magic, the universe appears. What common agreement need we have?

Just because a bunch of lunatics in an insane asylum tend to think along the same thought-lines doesn’t mean that agreement becomes the universal cement in which to create and bind our realities. In reality, it comes down to something far less glamorous - our own selfish ends and like a pack of rabid dogs, we tend to run in packs scouring the land in order to feed.

This is what any and every group known and unknown to man does day in and day out - they feed.

And so, the Black Panther comes to stand in our way.

According to corporate Scientology, the "Black Panther Mechanism" is defined as:

"one of the five ways in which a human being reacts toward a source of danger. The term derives its name from an example given in the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health: A particularly black-tempered black panther is sitting on the stairs and a man named Gus is sitting in the living room. Gus wants to go to bed. But there is the black panther. The problem is to get upstairs. There are five things that Gus can do about this panther:

(1) he can go attack the black panther;
(2) he can run out of the house and flee the black panther;
(3) he can use the back stairs and avoid the black panther;
(4) he can neglect the black panther;
and
(5) he can succumb to the black panther.

These are the five mechanisms: attack, flee, avoid, neglect or succumb. All actions can be seen to fall within these courses."

- http://www.scientology.org/p_jpg/wis/wiseng/gloss.htm

It can be quite compelling to buy into this thought-line but like any mental image just because there is an appearance of reality it doesn’t mean that there is, in fact, a reality at all. Of the five choices that we are presented with they all gain their reality from a common basis. That basis is what is called "do". It comes from the "Be-Have-Do" triumvirate, but that is another subject better left for another rainy day.

‘Doing’ is but the action undertaken in order to attain or ‘have’ one thing or another in one’s quest to "be" one thing or another. Sound convoluted? Indeed it is as mental constructs will undoubtedly always arrive at the same conclusion. The appearance of the five mechanisms has little to do with spiritual freedom and everything to do with ensuring ‘busy work’. When one is actively engaged in the process of ‘doing’ it can be said that one’s spirituality has taken a flying leap into the ocean of life and living. Diving right in we become consumed with ‘doing’, with keeping ourselves, especially our heads, up and out of the water. It’s a worthless endeavor but it certainly keeps us busy for a time.

The Black Panther certainly keeps us busy for a time. As we mentate, nothing of import happens. It’s like a computer going full steam in order to calculate some equation. What eventually pops up is a ‘plan of action’. Heavily do we rely on our mental wits and storehouse of experience in order to compute a safe and sane route past the beast. It is a tried and true practice. Why would this particular methodology be called into question since both corporate Scientology and it’s independent contractors have both practiced and enforced the imagery. It surely must be valid. And then something pretty funny happens.

Someone comes along and says: "You are not your body."

It blows the Black Panther mechanism sky high. You see, all five points of the mechanism are rooted, deeply rooted, in a body-centric viewpoint. From the body’s point of view the Black Panther MUST be dealt with. We wouldn’t want the body to be harmed would we? So from a ‘protect the body’ viewpoint, these five points are extremely important and probably quite helpful.

From a spiritual standpoint, they all become meaningless and hollow. But we make of it what we will.

When the ‘doing’ stops, when any and all methodologies are swept away, when all thought-forms are extinguished what remains is what has always, and will always, exist. It is called one’s self. It is that inner nature which gives all being it’s basis, all reality it’s realism and all experience it’s depth. This is why spiritual freedom is labeled as it is. Our spiritual nature comes to be free and entirely separate from it’s reflection. It comes to be recognized as it is, fully and completely.

When we come to know of ourselves, when we come to remove the wool we have placed before our eyes, we will see that the Black Panther is nothing but some thing which we have placed before us and the only danger there is, is not seeing that simple fact. When we turn our backs on our true nature it becomes a different story altogether, the Black Panther becomes a very real and very frightening experience.

In your spiritual pursuits don’t forget to look in the mirror of life and see that yes, you are indeed there, in all your glory.

But if your journey takes you into the realm of experience don’t forget to pack a suitcase because you will be there for quite some time. As a matter of fact, haven’t we all been there already for quite some time? Does one ever tire of finding new and clever ways of dealing with the Black Panther? Does one ever tire of running from one’s self?

Perhaps, as some have claimed, that this is all nothing but a game. A game played by immortal beings where some become losers and some become winners. Where some are pawns and pieces and others games masters and gods. In a universe of experience just waiting to happen, there is something for everyone. But unless and until we step out of all the mental imagery, we will never come face to face with ourselves and truly, deeply, know exactly who or what we really are.

How easy it is to come up with stories and ideas of who or what we really are. How easy it is to think about how we are really spiritual beings and of how pleasant the feelings are of being one’s own keeper. All these superfluous events do nothing in facing the actual beast, the idea we have of ourselves.

The idea we have of ourselves.

Spiritual freedom is not an idea and it is not a goal. When we idealize a thought we move away from ourselves. When we contemplate states of existence, we move away from ourselves. When we ‘play the game’ we become something other than what we really are. Is it any wonder that so many have such difficulty in being themselves? Is it any wonder that this planet is in such a deplorable state? Is it any wonder that as we move further and further away from ourselves we find that the universe becomes a place for ‘survival’ where we must fight each and every Black Panther to the death or else it is we who may find death. Is it any wonder that as we think and think about our state of existence, we get no where.

We are indeed very, very busy with ourselves.

Accordingly, perhaps a number SIX should be added to the Black Panther Mechanism and this would be:

(6) he can see it for what it is.

Number six would be the spiritual route and since Scientology is about spiritual freedom who in their right mind would not be able to see this? To see something for what it is. Not to see something as some one else says it is, that would be another’s truth, but to find our own truth. To see reality as it really is. To be free from all thoughts, concepts and ideas and to know.

This is not a new game to play and it is not a new mental methodology to make one’s own. It is spiritual freedom.

When one see’s something for what it is there is no effort expended in trying to change it, confront it or to ignore it. There is no ‘doing’ involved. When we are completely unable to be at peace with any one or any thing then it is at that time we find ourselves to be very much in control. Our thoughts, ideas and concepts come to be in control of our actions. We have moved away from ourselves and therefore reality comes to bite us swiftly and ferociously.

Spiritual freedom is freedom of the idea and ideas that we have of our selves. Our true nature cannot and never will live up to any sort of idea that we may ever have about it. We are not an idea. We are not mental constructs. We just ARE, wholly and completely.

Thinking that we are anything else is like sitting up at the top of the stairs and just waiting for someone to come along so that we can pounce on them most unexpectedly.

Our true nature is like that. It takes experience to a level way beyond imagination because we are that. And since we are that, it cannot become known.

All you have to do to see that, is to look, to see it for what it is.