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I've been participating on the various forums for many years. As I was reading a yet another sectarian exchange on TTB, I started to reflect on sectarianism. I think I have come to a new understanding. I'm an independent thinker and practitioner, but as far as traditions go, I've spent most of my time with the Buddhist doctrine. I also seriously love Daoism. I love the three classics, Daodejing, Zhuangzi, and Liezi. However, it would be a mistake to call my affection for Daoism purely a philosophical one, unless we use the ancient definition of philosophy as the love of wisdom. Beyond that I've read something from almost every tradition on this planet, and I found many interesting things here and there. In all this time I realized I actually don't give a crap about Buddhism, Daoism, or any other tradition. What I want is to understand myself and to grow my personal power, because I am tired of being a human being. I think that in some sense the differences between the traditions are quite valuable and these differences should be preserved for posterity, because it is these different angles that helped to illuminate my own being for me, and if this benefit occurred to me, surely it can occur to someone else as well. It's like placing a variety of mirrors around my body to see what it looks like from different angles. Each mirror only helps, and in the end, I have to be the one doing the looking and the understanding, and I am the ultimate judge of quality and authenticity, and thus, I am the ultimate authority. This puts all the responsibility and burden for my own spiritual development on me. If something goes wrong, I can't blame some Guru. It's all on me from now on and forever. However, if I do succeed, there is no credit to any Guru. No blame, and no credit. That's what happens when a person takes complete responsibility. If there are any Gurus out there who want to take credit for anything that happens to other people, please, be prepared to take blame when things go wrong, and they will. It's not normal for beings to behave as I do. I have internalized all authority and authenticity. I do not seek confirmation, validation, approval. I am not a normal being. A sense of belonging, that warm feeling of being in a cozy and cool club, such sentiments mean nothing to me. Before, people who belonged to quasi-secret clubs really used to piss me off. Now that anger is gone, and I just see them as pathetic stragglers, desperate to fill the gap in their hearts with a sense of belonging, and they get this sense by excluding others, and by differentiating themselves. They define what their turf is, and then they protect it. It's a bonding exercise. And here's what else I see. I see people who think that their own minds are worthless, incapable, and not worthy of trust, which in one word can be called insecurity. These people operate under assumptions of externalized authority and authenticity. Externalized authenticity means that if some spiritual experience or a realization happens, you are not allowed to claim it for yourself and you're not allowed to regard it as something genuine. You must go to some external source of authenticity, usually some Guru, and confirm your understanding, experience, and whatever else. Everything new in your life needs a stamp of approval. Without this stamp of approval you feel like you're nothing, worthless. It's the Guru's stamp, and the belonging to the lineage that confers wealth, status, legitimacy, everything. And if your lineage is criticized, you must defend it as if were your life on the line, because your identity is completely dependent on it. Without your Guru's stamp of approval, you're nothing. If your Guru's image is tarnished by some sectarians, you must defend your Guru, or else his stamp will lose its social value. And so you must become a sectarian yourself to fight off other sectarians all in an effort to protect yourself. If only any of you could understand how lordly and glorious my being is right now. How free and easy. How far away I am from all such meaningless and petty hassle. And all that is thanks to my spontaneous decision to take up deity yoga, where I conceive of myself as a deity. Soon after I'd done that, authority and authenticity were internalized. Old challenges were solved. Now I face new and interesting challenges instead of petty bullshit like before. I became a deity without permission, and as soon as I'd done that I've realized in fact it's the only way to become a deity. Had I asked permission in the form of an empowerment, I'd fail to actualize my current state, because I'd still be externalizing authority and authenticity. When most of the people take up deity yoga like I have, and I invite you all to take it up, sectarianism will become irrelevant. Imagine whatever highest achievements and accomplishments. When they happen, where and how do they happen? Can you see it? They happen in the space of your subjective experience. The word "subjective" is very important here. And they happen as a result of what? Do you think achievement happens as a result of understanding a doctrine, or a lineage, or a set of practices? Of course not! Achievement happens as a result of you understanding yourself! In fact, if you understood all the doctrines incorrectly, and you've performed all the practices wrongly, but you've managed to understand yourself in the process, congratulations, because you've become lordly and glorious, a field of merit worthy of offerings, a joyous one, one beyond limitations, a dancer of illusion, a happy lunatic. If you let anyone be the judge of whether or not you understand yourself correctly, you'll be in a world of pain. This is why fighting against subjectivity is a grave error. Instead, you should embrace yourselves 100%, even though you know full well that your way is not the only way. Taking this attitude you will be on a straight and narrow path toward all the mysteries and sectarianism will be over. May it be so.