We wonder, why it is so difficult to “breakthrough”. What is it that distorts and stands in the way of “my love”? The answer to the question is in our intention. Not all motives, though spiritual, are pure. Often enough they are not even an intention, but an impulse. Some look to compensate for frailty of character, some to gain power, others for to find an easy way in life. Any such desires, conscious or unconscious are like a weight on our spirit, keeping it from reaching its natural fulfillment. Wajid
More stuff added soon…
We are the product of our environment. Many sources
We deal with facts and not the idea of fact. J Krishnamuti
Fact is a shadow of the truth. Sufi Inayat Khan
I have occasionally spoken of the fact that we are a product of our environment, often with the expectation of an understanding that varied according to the subject I was addressing at the time. Considering the importance of understanding the place and influence of conditioning and our propensity toward simplification, to interpret a statement or word to its most common use, it behooves us to have a more detailed and yet broad understanding of this idea.
First we need to look into the primordial environmental start of this process, which happens to be the time our parent have the sexual encounter that will provide the two elements carrying the DNA that will be the basis of the structure that will produce our physical body.
There is no denying that we carry the imprint and are the product of that first primal exposure in the environment of our mother’s womb.
Because during our life we have a psychological need to feel some sense of control and a desire to account for our destiny, there has been talk in the spiritual community about our having a choice on the karmic possibility of our life, that we chose the parental situation that will provide the learning and exposure to certain experiences. I mention this because it might be true, although my penchant from experience, as a variation on that theme, is that we are attracted by the sympathetic resonance of our parents reflecting our own as a divine spark, which is how the spiritual world seems to function. Being that most of us cannot personally ascertain the reality of this belief, I leave it at that, a choice of personal belief that offers a supporting mode of thinking from that ideology.
From this humble beginning we progressively become a conglomeration of impressions, nutrients, emotions, sounds etc. picked up from the immediate environment of our mother, and less directly at this stage, our father through his influence and relationship with our mother and the environment they jointly create. All of this at a deep experiential level, that will remain with us throughout our life, unless at some point we feel the need for a purification in order to reconnect with the original divine spark, from which all started.
After a gestation of nine months we are delivered into the world of direct experiences, hopefully under the emotional, psychic, and physical protection of our parents. This is when our inherent inner potential instinctively begins exploring our immediate world. From innocence, at least of the world of form, and with an inherent curiosity, inspired by an original intention (yet to be discovered), we begin a process of informational absorption, limited only by our brain capacity and rapidity of assimilation.
Slowly at first, but progressively faster, we acquire (instinctual) knowledge and (intellectual) education. All of which eventually brings us to a bifurcation on the road of becoming, a moment in time in our life that is not of the realm of time, but circumstantial. In other words this instant will come and go many times, as long as we don’t recognize the opportunity offered by the challenge of the bifurcation. If one of this moments happen to have all the right ingredients, the sleep walker may awaken.
The important question is, what does awakening mean, what is it that changes in a person in this process from sleep to awaken?
To comprehend the process of awakening we need to go back to the early years of our journey, when our brain and our innocence, needed to rely on trust and accepted words and concepts at face value. We were given meanings and definitions on words and thoughts, according to our parents, friends and school teachers, an understanding, that also made sense to them, as they acquired their information in the same manner from their parents, friends and school teachers. We observed that society used the same words and concepts and that it worked for people. That there was acknowledgement and that grades of proficiency were given according to familiarity and proficiency of use.
Although for some, the social norm of learning did not work well. From the start, they found they had a different association with words and thinking. To them the way the dictionary meaning of words was used seemed limiting, when using them they felt a superficiality, which boxed them in, hiding a deeper dimension of understanding that they experienced in painting, music, dance and other artistic forms of expression.
In the meantime the public and particularly the scholarly individuals, found satisfaction in the orderliness of the clear definition of words. The world being full of unknown, of unexpected, it is gratifying, for most people, to be able to count on regularity, and to have the security of rational expectations. In other words to exist in a structured world, where the unexpected is kept a bay. Which indeed makes life easier and more manageable, “when it works.”
So we can safely say that there is nothing wrong with this structured model, of society, of the world. Except that is, when the individual begins to feel stifled, and mentally and emotionally suppressed. The security, and orderliness that came from the intellectual knowledge and thinking perspective becomes oppressive by its limitation. There is a lack of depth in that form of communication that reveals an emptiness of being that cannot be satisfied with more of the same, be it words, thoughts or objects. There is a feeling of wanting to break free from the confining box of shallow exchange, when the environment and society become a hollow mode of communication rehashing prescribed sound bites, without the depth of personal thinking about one’s words. If we are able to catch it “That instant, is the bifurcation on the road.”
What is the solution, which has been spoken, hinted, shared, by mystics, be they masters, saints, prophets or other? Which of course, society loves to hate, or hates to love, depending on what they have to say.
The solution is to crack open the box of our conditioned mind, the very framework that has provided some illusory sense of security. To daringly experience the far reaching radiance of our own intuitive intelligence, to enter into the uncertainty of a reality, that has a depth beyond our rational, that requires an emotional availability to the shattering of one’s perspective of the world, on the rock of truth. Yes, it might be painful, or as painful as one tries to resist, due to a deep fear of the unknown. But the gain is the discovery of an emotional depth that reveals an experiential knowledge that will takes us to the far edge of our humanity, to reach into the purpose of our life, in a dimension of being that harbors no dependency no analysis, just a quality of silence to one’s listening.
“That is the awakening.”
“GRATITUDE is not a passive response to something given to us, gratitude is being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us.
“Gratitude is not something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.
“Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is privilege, that we are part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape. To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit inner lives beneath surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once.
“Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege. Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative means we are simply not paying attention.”
© David Whyte
That we armor and protect ourselves in this society is not news to anyone reading this. And we also treasure those times when we feel that our emotions and expression are fully received, unconditionally respected, and ‘held’ — partly because those experiences are so very rare.
Research has shown that the more we can live in a relatively undefended state, our whole life is benefited, our physical health as well as our relationships. But it sometimes takes great courage and self-confidence to ‘de-squam’ (Pir Vilayat’s term) ourselves of the contrivances of defense.
I think the sensation of being “vulnerable” and therefore on tenuous ground stems from a time in our life — early childhood, when we were first getting the hang of embodiment. We really were dependent upon those around us — our caregivers and teachers — to clearly mirror our awesomesauce back to us so that we could fully own it. They either didn’t see it, or they judged it, or they tried to make it into something else. So we carry the wounds of that, of being not-seen or of being seen in a distorted or hurtful way.
The spiritual and psychological reality is that as adults it doesn’t matter at all how we are seen by others, and even if we make a self-disclosure that is somehow judged or misused by another, it won’t result in actual damage to us. But to the extent that we are living a re-echo of that truly vulnerable time in the past, we might buy into a demeaning or belittling image of ourselves and become very contracted and reactive around it.
So it is incumbent upon us to be aware of those tender places in ourselves and in each other, and to treat our defenses with a certain degree of respect. Our defenses were once a solution to a problem, and we won’t give them up until we see ourselves differently.
Spiritual community is a crucible; no one’s ego is their private property — though in any social gathering, the social contract includes a subtle collusion to avoid exposing member’ wounds. But it’s a proper function of spiritual community to expose everyone’s uncooked places to themselves.
Having said that, we do not need to do anything intentional or explicit to make that happen. It does that by itself, and is not personal. It is NOT truly compassionate to expose another’s tender place without their explicit permission, like, you are their therapist. It is an *attack* to call someone down on their defense; it puts you one-up and just makes the other person more defended.
But at the same time, where there is an atmosphere of acceptance, we can begin to experiment with being more permeable to each other and to take some risks with being more open and self-disclosing. The more unconditional acceptance abides in the presence in the space, the easier this can be, to the point that we really can just unzip our egos and step out of them.
That doesn’t mean that the old wounds will not surface — just the opposite, in fact — it means that you’re actually ready to engage those wounds in a way that they can be healed and that a certain developmental process that was stalled in childhood gets restarted.