I think it would be cool if I/we could gather and go through the works of Ram Dass and Krishnamurti and Tim Leary and Ken Wilber and Blavatsky and Crowley and Ouspensky and Gurdjieff and Thích Nhất Hạnh and Tolle and A. H. Almaas and all, all, all the other teachers–and then line them all up, saying "they're all talking about the same thing" indicating more or less equivalent terms, identifying various practices as being variations on one another, and, in short, helping compile a Wikipedia of enlightenment. The knowledge and methods and aim are out there and no one way is the most helpful, but currently I'm blown about by the wind from one teaching to another, learning stage 10 before I'm done with stage 3 (not that that is truly problematic)–but anyway, I just really do feel such a thing would be very helpful. And it would involve and allow for a lot less ego if we had one grammar or way for talking about these things, a project that was between us and not coming from any one of us. Now the NPOV problems on such a wiki would be tricky indeed, but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.
This was suggested to me when I read the WP article for Ken Wilber (whom I've never read) and seeing he had named his philosophy (mine is distinct! this is the way!) and started an institute with that name (come here! learn the way!). Now I don't know him and am probably being way too hard on him, but do you see what I mean? Even though in essence his attempt is to do what I'm proposing, it's not that–because it's still his; it's got his title and concept over all the stuff it contains. Even if he's not biased, it smells like the possibility of bias to me. And so he makes it yet another approach instead of a sufficiently universal project that a seeker can trust it to, if nothing else, orient them with regard to all the teachings.
Now someone will say, "Ah, just look within, that is all the guidance you need" but I say sometimes good advice is helpful. After all, you didn't invent the language you just spoke to me with, you who are saying "Ah, just look within." You didn't come up with those words or concepts, did not crystallize them, did not make sure that I knew them. So even you saying "Ah, just look within" are sending my way some helpful things already out there in the universe–and that's all I'm asking for: to gather the wisdom and draw some lines between things so we can focus more on the doing and not get lost (as I sometimes feel I am) on the collecting of info on how to do the doing.
Update: I'm not surprised to discover that there have been attempts at this already (in, e.g., Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy):
"This book, I repeat, is an anthology of the Perennial Philosophy;
but, though an anthology, it contains but few extracts from the
writings of professional men of letters and, though illustrating a
philosophy, hardly anything from the professional philosophers. The
reason for this is very simple. The Perennial Philosophy is primarily
concerned with the one, divine Reality substantial to the manifold world
of things and lives and minds. But the nature of this one Reality is
such that it cannot be directly and immediately apprehended except by
those who have chosen to fulfil certain conditions, making themselves
loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit. Why should this be so ? We do
not know. It is just one of those facts which we have to accept,
whether we like them or not and however implausible and unlikely they
may seem. Nothing in our everyday experience gives us any reason for
supposing that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen; and yet when we
subject water to certain rather drastic treatments, the nature of its
constituent elements becomes manifest. Similarly, nothing in our
everyday experience gives us much reason for supposing that the mind of
the average sensual man has, as one of its constituents, something
resembling, or identical with, the Reality substantial to the manifold
world; and yet, when that mind is subjected to certain rather drastic
treatments, the divine element, of which it is in part at least
composed, becomes manifest, not only to the mind itself, but also, by
its reflection in external behaviour, to other minds. It is only by
making physical experiments that we can discover the intimate nature of
matter and its potentialities. And it is only by making psychological
and moral experiments that we can discover the intimate nature of mind
and its potentialities. In the ordinary circumstances of average sensual
life these potentialities of the mind remain latent and unmanifested.
If we would realize them, we must fulfil certain conditions and obey
certain rules, which experience has shown empirically to be valid."
I'm glad! But I think that much more could be done that would be very helpful.
Also, shouldn't we teach kids this stuff? Shouldn't we teach psychology to basically everyone in school? Not psychology as formalized in western science, but something like a user's manual for the human mind. Not that a lot of parents wouldn't flip twenty bricks if such a thing was proposed in their school, but not all of them.
"One can go on endlessly reading, discussing, piling up words upon words, without ever doing anything about it. It is like a man that is always ploughing, never sowing, and therefore never reaping. Most of us are in that position. And words, ideas, theories, have become much more important than actual living, which is acting, doing."
"Please let us be clear on this point — that you cannot by any process, through any discipline, through any form of meditation, go to truth, God, or whatever name you like to give it. It is much too vast, it cannot possibly be conceived of; no description will cover it, no book can hold it, nor any word contain it. So you cannot by any devious method, by an sacrifice, by any discipline or through any guru, go to it. You must await it, it will come to you, you cannot go to it. That is the fundamental thing one has to understand, that not through any trick of the mind, not through any control, through any virtue, any compulsion, any form of suppression, can the mind possibly go to truth. All that the mind can do is be quiet but not with the intention of receiving it. And that is one of the most difficult things of all because we think truth can be experienced right away through doing certain things. Truth is not to be bought any more than love can be bought."
"You cannot find truth through anybody else. How can you? Surely, truth is not something static; it has no fixed abode; it is not an end, a goal. On the contrary, it is living, dynamic, alert, alive. How can it be an end? If truth is a fixed point, it is no longer truth; it is then a mere opinion. Truth is the unknown, and a mind that is seeking truth will never find it. For mind is made up of the known; it is the result of the past, the outcome of time — which you can observe for yourself. Mind is the instrument of the known; hence it cannot find the unknown; it can only move from the known to the known. When the mind seeks truth, the truth it has read about in books, that "truth" is self-projected, for then the mind is merely in pursuit of the known, a more satisfactory known than the previous one. When the mind seeks truth, it is seeking its own self-projection, not truth. After all, an ideal is self-projected; it is fictitious, unreal. What is real is what is, not the opposite. But a mind that is seeking reality, seeking God, is seeking the known. When you think of God, your God is the projection of your own thought, the result of social influences. You can think only of the known; you cannot think of the unknown, you cannot concentrate on truth. The moment you think of the unknown, it is merely the self-projected known. So, God or truth cannot be thought about. If you think about it, it is not truth. Truth cannot be sought; it comes to you. You can go after only what is known. When the mind is not tortured by the known, by the effects of the known, then only can truth reveal itself. Truth is in every leaf, every tear; it is to be known from moment to moment. No one can lead you to truth; and if anyone leads you, it can only be to the known."
"In seeking there are several things involved: there is the seeker and the thing that he seeks after. When the seeker finds what he thinks is truth, is God, is enlightenment, he must be able to recognize it. He must recognize it, right? Recognition implies previous knowledge, otherwise you cannot recognize. I cannot recognize you if I had not met you yesterday. Therefore when I say this is truth, I have already known it and therefore it is not truth. So a man who is seeking truth lives a life of hypocrisy, because his truth is the projection of his memory, of his desire, of his intentions to find something other than "what is", a formula. So seeking implies duality — the one who seeks and the thing sought after — and where there is duality there is conflict. There is wastage of energy. So you can never find it, you can never invite it."