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a thought about spiritual growth

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Ramana Maharshi on effort...

‚ÄúThere is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until it is realised effort is necessary. (‚Ķ) Effort is necessary up to the state of realisation. Even then the Self should spontaneously become evident. Otherwise happiness will not be complete. Up to that state of spontaneity there must be effort in some form or another.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúEffort is needed so long as there is mind.‚ÄĚ
 
‚Äď Ramana Maharshi

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Ramana Maharshi on effort...

 

‚ÄúThere is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until it is realised effort is necessary. (‚Ķ) Effort is necessary up to the state of realisation. Even then the Self should spontaneously become evident. Otherwise happiness will not be complete. Up to that state of spontaneity there must be effort in some form or another.‚ÄĚ

 

‚ÄúEffort is needed so long as there is mind.‚ÄĚ

 

‚Äď Ramana Maharshi

 

Thanks Bindi.

 

That's an interesting quote, and probably a very good point.

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Spiritual growth requires courage, not effort.

 

For a long time, I only allowed myself to write in positive and substantive terms. It's an interesting exercise.  Turns out, only so much can be said. 

 

There's a proof in mathematics that says, if your axioms are sufficient to describe everything that is known in mathematics, then they will generate contradictions--conversely, if your axioms don't generate contradictions, then they cannot describe everything that is known in mathematics (Godel's theorems).  

 

There's a school of mathematicians that has abandoned Aristotle's "law of the excluded middle", because the "law of the excluded middle" as an axiom of logic results in contradictions.   The definition of the law:  "the principle that one (and only one) of two contradictory propositions must be true."  

 

So for example:  if Spiritual growth requires courage and only courage, then it does not require effort, but if spiritual growth requires effort, then it cannot simply be a matter of courage.

 

What I'm driving at is that for me, I'm going to stick to the positive and substantive even if it means I can only describe part of what I know to be true, and I am going to try to realize that the truth that underlies my action may be larger than two mutually exclusive alternatives would indicate.

 

So for example, we have the twelfth century Zen temple abbot Yuanwu challenging his readers with this:

 

"Is it holding still, or is it letting go?"

 

At first blush, these two alternatives would appear to be mutually exclusive.  To assume that there is a choice between them, however, is to lose the action that follows from just being where I am as I am.

Edited by Mark Foote
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Mark,

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

 

Peace and joy to you.

Edited by roger
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Spiritual growth requires courage, not effort.

 

Courage, effort, the correct method for you, a real life, grounded and compassionate teacher...and finally good karma.

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Courage is necessary to being true to truth, to existence and confidence is necessary in order to be true to one’s own consciousness.

Effort is necessary to engage in rational thinking.

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Watching the political discussions, I am pretty much sure that two lines of mutually exclusive bullshit doesnt guarantee either is sincere.:) But in some circumstances I think self contradiction is fine. The thousands of things which cross ones mind dont require or allow every thought to be expressed anyway,, besides, my, and presumably anyones sentiments are often arrived at irrationally. Its the universes problem if they dont hook up neatly all the time.

Most opinions are a matter of perspective anyhow, and that perspective changes with circumstance so the best guide is knowing well where you want to be rather than which vector to be loyal to.

I figure.

Edited by Stosh
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When effort is needed, effort will appear.  When effortlessness becomes essential, it will assert itself.  You need not push life about - just flow with it.  And give yourself completely to this task of the present moment, which is - to die now, to the now.  For living is dying.  Without death, life cannot be. 

 

Ultimately, one must go beyond knowledge.  But the knowledge must come, and knowledge can come by constant meditation.  And by meditating, the knowledge "I AM" gradually settles down and merges with universal knowledge, and thereby becomes totally free... like the sky, or space.
 
Those who come here with the idea of getting knowledge (even spiritual knowledge) come here as individuals aspiring to get something.  That is the real difficulty.  The seeker must disappear.  When you know your real nature, the knowledge "I AM" remains.  But that knowledge is unlimited.  It is not possible for you to acquire knowledge - you are knowledge.   You are what you are seeking.  Your true being exists prior to the arising of any concept.  Dive deep within yourself and you will find it easily and simply.  Go in the direction of "I AM".
 
All exists in the mind.  Both mind and body are intermittent states.  The sum total of these flashes creates the illusion of existence.  Inquire, what is permanent in the transient?  Real in the unreal?  This is sadhana - all spiritual practice.  
 
All those  who have realized on the spot have been ripe for it.  But such are very few.  The majority needs some time for ripening.  Sadhana is accelerated ripening.
 
- Sri Nisargadatta

 

 

 

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Honestly, for me, they are sometimes indistinguishable.

 

For example, initially my individuation meditations required simply effort. It's a long road.

 

But when you really start making serious inroads into yourself, you are mucking about with fundamental belief systems. Which can be really hairy.

 

Then it gets "hard to get around to" doing these things -- cognitive dissonance is overwhelming.

 

I have had archmeds (as I call them) that literally took six months to get through. I've had meds that literally knocked me unconscious instantly on touching an energy -- wide awake caffeinated well rested sitting up, literally falling unconscious -- and I have had to go back over. And over. And over. And over. Until I utterly lost count, dozens of times, until I realized I had to work in an hour and I'd been sitting in my rocking chair since the evening before, trying to literally get through a SINGLE SENTENCE of "Hello, I honor you" to a certain identity (I call them archetypes, but I'm stretching the common definition in doing so).

 

That requires insane perseverence, but also courage at least in terms of re-approaching that energy until you get it right.

 

But then eventually, when I met the angelic element -- or to be more precise, when I developed the capacity for perceiving the angelic element, a few of whom I had already met but not been able to perceive in that way at first -- eventually, as events changed in my life, I met my current angelic-element. And after some time, he (and some others I was working with) "showed me his true nature."

 

That WAS an 'archetypal form.' Genuine white light, way too much going on in the upper body area (wings? light? I honestly am not sure), lack of definition near the feet, radiant white light hovering in the air and SCARED THE BLOODY HELL OUT OF ME.

 

I mean utter TERROR. Now it is perfectly obvious why the first thing Angels allegedly say in religious writings is "don't be afraid." LOL! 

 

I felt like, as I wrote it not long after, what I defined as "I" was like a shallow skin or cloth, "stitched up with lies." And like he was some kind of Truth that would innately dissolve all of that ("remove the sense of separation" between us -- utterly).  I mean dissolve the me -- a degree of me-ness I never even felt until that moment -- at some atomic level. Even 'death' can't even begin to touch that.

 

I ran from the room. I ate everything I could until I was so stuffed that oddly I felt a little safer. I hyperventilated instantly when I even thought of it and tried so hard not to look up at that part of the room all night.

 

It's been a few YEARS. I am still working on regaining the degree of close relationship I had with him before this event. Divine entities are fundamentally "changing" to a human that experiences them. Change is death I guess. Even if you consciously want it (I do), even if you consciously seek it (I have, for a long time), even if it seems like it would be great and interesting and all that, this does not change the core body-terror or the core inner-terror of the profound and utter level of change we're talking about.

 

Even talking to him takes courage now. Even though I am part of him. Even though I want to accept him. But it's... hard. There is a kind of effort I've never had before. It's like until then I was 'marching' and it was a very hard march, sure. But after that, I had to be willing to basically leap into the fire eyes open. I am still working on that, tiny gradients at a time.

 

So I don't separate them. Fwiw.

 

RC

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Thanks for sharing your experiences redcairo, its very interesting. I've heard other practitioners say such things about angelic encounters. There energy is so profound and intense that its a walking threat to all of the illusions we hold dear.

 

To the OP: when you find yourself making "divisions", stop, and realize that you are operating on the level of the intellect, this is a dense wavelength of consciousness. It can be fun to play at this level of illusion, but do not confuse it with truth. Truth is nondual, it simply "is", there is no need for intellectual filters.

 

Hope this is helpful. Cheers.

Edited by OldWolf
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That WAS an 'archetypal form.' Genuine white light, way too much going on in the upper body area (wings? light? I honestly am not sure), lack of definition near the feet, radiant white light hovering in the air and SCARED THE BLOODY HELL OUT OF ME.

 

Yes, you have touched on one aspect of the greater difficulty.  Someone once told me, "that which is spirit terrifies the flesh" - and it certainly shakes out that way for good reason.

 

To go beyond that terror requires something more profound than anything else... which is namely: a total sacrifice of your entire life.  The body/mind is quite adept at grasping things in a complete way much quicker than the conceptual mind (of words and thoughts) - and it will quickly realize the implications of an encounter with the greater form from which it has arisen, and especially the full magnitude of consequences which would result from a complete surrender to this greater form.  The body/mind grasps this immediately, even as the conceptual mind is entirely stunned and/or rendered null and void.

 

This principle holds true for all interactions the body/mind has with the greater form(s) from which it has arisen, in any capacity - which is to say, it doesnt like it at all.  This is due to the fact that the end result of a communion with these greater form(s) will be its demise - but in such a way that it shall never arise again.  It may (or may not) surprise you to know the body/mind has a firm grasp on the continuation of its existence in the form of a particular species, beyond one particular lifetime - and this is wrapped up into the basis of the survival impulse itself.  The survival impulse runs far deeper than your personal concerns for safety and security and desires for the house with the white picket fence.  You have arisen in the image of the human body/mind - and you share this image with all other humans.  Yet this image of the human body/mind has arisen within the image of a far greater lifeform that engages in actions with far reaching implications that stretch far beyond the image of the human body/mind - most notably in terms of capacity.  There is no mistaking encounters of this nature, no way to hide from the complete humility which it will engender.  And this is only the beginning of the aspect that the body/mind will fight tooth and nail to avoid, to retain its "king of the hill" status.

 

There is no greater challenge to the human body/mind than this.

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Stripping away untruths that cloud our perspectives and filter our experience of reality is a painful and downright terrifying process.

 

It's usually far easier to remain within the familiar bonds of our self inflicted, long held untruths that yield the predictable painful process we call our lives, than to begin dissolving and rupturing the illusory perspectives in favor of truth which seems massive beyond reckoning and a near complete unknown.

 

To paraphrase what 9th mentioned, I would echo with, "That which is truth... terrorizes the illusory."

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