rideforever

The Complete System

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1 hour ago, Mudfoot said:

But if you haven't, or s/he cannot, you have to invent the framework yourself. 

 

In fact that would only be common sense, while holding on to a system that's clearly at odds with one's own experiences would just be silly. So the problem is not so much that many people today choose to deviate from the old time orthodox teachings but that mystical experiences don't speak for themselves (whatever those experiencing them might say). Like all experiences even mystical experiences only mean something specific after being interpreted, where the interpretation might well be unconsciously woven into the experience itself. Currently there happen to be so many interpretations that it's hardly possible any longer to discuss mystical experiences and their meaning(s) without creating a big cacophony and metaphysical confusion or dispute.

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3 hours ago, Mudfoot said:

As a beginner you are presented with a framework, but as you progress in your practice you get experiences that do not fit within the original frame. 

yes. meaning it was a faulty framework to begin with

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3 hours ago, wandelaar said:

In fact that would only be common sense, while holding on to a system that's clearly at odds with one's own experiences would just be silly. So the problem is not so much that many people today choose to deviate from the old time orthodox teachings but that mystical experiences don't speak for themselves (whatever those experiencing them might say). Like all experiences even mystical experiences only mean something specific after being interpreted, where the interpretation might well be unconsciously woven into the experience itself. Currently there happen to be so many interpretations that it's hardly possible any longer to discuss mystical experiences and their meaning(s) without creating a big cacophony and metaphysical confusion or dispute.

 

All good.

Best teacher teaches some theory, then some practice, then you 10x time doing practice and make decision what you see.   Not practice to confirm things, but to be in right place, meaning feel self deepening.
Teaching is short brief direct and concise and include specifics not "lurve we all one".   But specific details on the structure function of the inner or outer reality, and the method of the path and how it works.
For instance, the thinking mind arises from a point in centre of forehead.   Cultivation is a) energetic presence (b) recognition (c) emobdiment (d) surrender into personal aspect (e) surrender into universal aspect.
Specific from concept to practice to reality.
Other teachers can inspire even if no details, and then not disturb : also good.

 

Probably before all that the teacher must connect you to the Soul of the path.   That is even more important.

Edited by rideforever
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6 hours ago, Mudfoot said:

I can understand why this happens. 

 

As a beginner you are presented with a framework, but as you progress in your practice you get experiences that do not fit within the original frame. 

 

If you have continued your practice with a teacher that can expand the model, well than all is fine. 

 

But if you haven't, or s/he cannot, you have to invent the framework yourself. 

 

Spot on.

 

The most deplorable thing (IMO) is when you invent your own framework and after some time start to teach it as a true art!!

 

That is how these jewels in human achievement are ground down into dust and disappear in the wind.

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8 hours ago, rideforever said:

Probably before all that the teacher must connect you to the Soul of the path.   That is even more important

What you said!:)

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:32 AM, Mudfoot said:

As a beginner you are presented with a framework, but as you progress in your practice you get experiences that do not fit within the original frame. 

 

 I think this is significant ... and ... how it should be. Each of us has to find our own way ... and our own Way ... or at least our own sense of the Way. To say that we have a framework ... or even a teacher ... means to accept someone else's understanding of the Way. In doing so, you remain constrained by someone else's experience and not finding your own way. 

 

It seems that the basic goal of Daoist practice is direct experience of the Way. By definition ... experience ... it is an individualistic pursuit. The various teachers (lineages) and frameworks (methods) can start one off in the general direction but at some point the individual needs to break free of the guidance and carry on, on their own.

 

Thus, the image of a framework expanding ... or of surpassing the its initial guidance is apt. Seems like a good teacher will lead the student to the limits of the framework ... and let them go.

 

 

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:32 PM, Mudfoot said:

I can understand why this happens. 

 

As a beginner you are presented with a framework, but as you progress in your practice you get experiences that do not fit within the original frame. 

 

If you have continued your practice with a teacher that can expand the model, well than all is fine. 

 

But if you haven't, or s/he cannot, you have to invent the framework yourself. 

Thank you @Mudfoot, that is close to exactly the reason that I retired from my last practice after 4 decades. Until I read your post I wasn't able to put it into words. :)

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16 hours ago, OldDog said:

 

 I think this is significant ... and ... how it should be. Each of us has to find our own way ... and our own Way ... or at least our own sense of the Way. To say that we have a framework ... or even a teacher ... means to accept someone else's understanding of the Way. In doing so, you remain constrained by someone else's experience and not finding your own way. 

 

It seems that the basic goal of Daoist practice is direct experience of the Way. By definition ... experience ... it is an individualistic pursuit. The various teachers (lineages) and frameworks (methods) can start one off in the general direction but at some point the individual needs to break free of the guidance and carry on, on their own.

 

Thus, the image of a framework expanding ... or of surpassing the its initial guidance is apt. Seems like a good teacher will lead the student to the limits of the framework ... and let them go.

 

 

Thanks @OldDog, this is so significant: personal experiential knowledge of a practice like Daoist Neidan.:)

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So you need a framework that is all inclusive. 

 

Personally, I like the Recognition Sutras. 

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5 hours ago, Mudfoot said:

So you need a framework that is all inclusive.

 

How could that even be possible? Frames limit - that is their power, and that gives them meaning. Saying and approving everything is saying nothing at all. In my opinion the crucial thing is that we as persons must have the guts to leave a particular framework behind if it no longer fits. That's the basis of common sense, science and spiritual development.

 

Edited by wandelaar
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1 hour ago, wandelaar said:

 

How could that even be possible? Frames limit - that is their power, and that gives them meaning. Saying and approving everything is saying nothing at all. In my opinion the crucial thing is that we as persons must have the guts to leave a particular framework behind if it no longer fits. That's the basis of common sense, science and spiritual development.

 

Well, no. 

There is actually a theoretical model about how these frameworks grow and include the old but expand beyond that , I am relatively sure it was written within the context of Kashmir Shaivism since that is the only area I have been reading up on the last few years. 

 

I don't remember the specifics, think of it as bla bla bla Brahma into Vishnu into Shiva something something..... 😁 

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I think there’s a delicate balance to be struck.

 

I’ve often experienced students leaving teachers and lineages at a certain stage. But it’s often hard to judge whether you’ve hit the limits of the system or your own limits.

 

Personally I’ve been very fortunate to find teachers that I trust 100%. I know it’s quite rare, but if you find a teacher with impeccable character and skills - then it’s imperative that you trust them fully, because they’ll lead you past your own limitations.

 

The reality is that the teachings in classical lineages are passed down in a very particular way. And it’s a way that’s not so popular in the modern age. It requires some trust and humility - and with so many charlatans around that’s a hard thing to do. It’s like falling in love after you’ve been hurt too many times :)

 

Development in the arts tends to happen in jumps in skill and ability rather than growing linearly and steadily. And quite often just before the next ‘jump’ in skill level there’s a period of difficulty, doubt and often boredom. But if you have an authentic teacher in an authentic lineage, I think it’s best to trust in the process despite your personal feelings.

 

 

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You definitely have a point there. If you don't understand and/or are able to do something than that may mean several things:

 

1. It's bullshit.

2. It's isn't bullshit, but it is currently beyond one's understanding and/or capability. 

3. It's not one's cup of thee, and it only "works" for a certain type of people.

 

So it is indeed delicate to decide what is what. There is always an element of trust and/or distrust involved. I believe distrust isn't altogether a bad thing, but one should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

Edited by wandelaar

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2 hours ago, wandelaar said:

... distrust isn't altogether a bad thing ...

 

Yes, one has to understand that teachers are not all perfect ... they are human and have their own faults. That does not mean there is no value in their teaching ... but also means their teaching is not de facto abosolute.

 

Teaching/learning is a two sided relationship. As much depends on the ability of a student to learn ... accept, practice and understand ... as does the ability of the teacher, either in the sense of the teachers level of personal attainment or ability to impart the knowledge. Complex relationships indeed.

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3 hours ago, freeform said:

Development in the arts tends to happen in jumps in skill and ability rather than growing linearly and steadily.

 

I almost laughed out loud when I read this. Not in a derogatory manner but more in the sense of an "Ah, ha!"

 

The image that came to mind was one of quantum states and the energy that must be applied to a particle to change states. 

 

I know, its not a perfect analogy but it's what popped into mind. So, I laughed.

 

Slight digression, sorry.

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You have also to reckon with the fact that what a teacher considers to be knowledge need not be knowledge according to your own criteria. So even when you are sure that the teacher is of impeccable character, that still doesn't imply that you yourself would have reached the same conclusions (or acquired the same knowledge) when you would have lived through the same experiences as your teacher. Some paths can be bullshit according to your own criteria while being the pinnacle of spirituality according the your teacher, without your teacher necessarily being an idiot or a charlatan. 

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27 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

You have also to reckon with the fact that what a teacher considers to be knowledge need not be knowledge according to your own criteria.

 

While it is true that we all must ultimately make decisions according to our own criteria, the seeking of a teacher implies that there is knowledge that we do not posses of which we wish to avail. So, while caution is always advisable, one is better off suspending ones current criteria for the opportunity to acquire new knowledge. Approach the teacher and teaching with an empty cup.

 

 

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That's impossible. With an empty cup there would no longer be a reason to prefer one teacher to another, or to no teacher at all.

 

Most of the stories I read on this forum that are supposed to prove some point of view don't convince me at all, so there is every reason for me to be sceptical about teachers claiming to know this or that on the basis of their own experience.

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There are no complete systems only complete people. The recipe maybe 1000 of years old but 1000 years of development is still not enough.

 

Dead arts are complete, living arts are never completed there is a sky above the sky meaning that attainment does not end so can never be completed unless someone is satisfied with small accomplishments and walks away.

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Perhaps the metaphor is misunderstood.

 

Empty cup meaning ...  without preconceived notion ... without distracting attitude such as egocentric, argumentative, etc. Empty cup does not mean without desire or some background ... or without virtue.

 

When a student approaches teacher in an open manner, is attentive, is sincere and works hard ... this is said to be virtue ... and will result in gongfu.

 

He who neither values his teacher

Nor loves the lesson

Is one gone far astray,

Though he be learned.


-Such is the subtle secret.

 

 

 

 

Edited by OldDog
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Being approached as a teacher has to be earned. I'm too old to throw away my time, energy and money on following people who pose as teachers without being able to show that they are worth the appellation.

 

For me it's the other way around: only when somebody has accomplishments to show that he is worthy of being called a teacher, then I will regard him as a teacher and show him the kind of respect that goes with it.

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1 hour ago, wandelaar said:

Being approached as a teacher has to be earned. I'm too old to throw away my time, energy and money on following people who pose as teachers without being able to show that they are worth the appellation.

 

For me it's the other way around: only when somebody has accomplishments to show that he is worthy of being called a teacher, then I will regard him as a teacher and show him the kind of respect that goes with it.

 

Life is too short to learn from someone who doesn't have the whole system. Question how can one call themselves a master of said system if they didn't learn all of it in the first place to master it? Seems to be some form of mental gymnastics to cover up some insecurities to the likes of which I have never seen.

Edited by beachbum78
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2 hours ago, wandelaar said:

What do you mean by the whole system?

 

 

Sure lets talk on mastery and application.  The path of mastery is endless. Just as a lawyer goes to law school first before starting his career as a lawyer; one has to learn first then apply.

 

Mastery is the continuing use of skillful application of a given trade but one has to learn it first. Without learning the art one can not apply it. An if one never applies it then they will never understand the art an has no hope in mastering its application.

Edited by beachbum78

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There is only so much to learn from the examples of others , what is written in the classics , or even from a living teacher. Right? 

So , at some point , when one feels that they have the basic plan under their belt , they then need to apply it in the complex real-time world. 

 

One can try to master the entire world , to know the perfect response for every situation , and so forth... (but because none of us see the future completely and in detail ,, the right thing to do is often a thing we must guess at).   

 

That's why Tao is called or described as an ally , its not the be-all end all answer to- Life , the Universe and everything.

It doesn't make one infallible or perfect - but the understanding of it should enlighten one to the fact that there is no perfection other than to say things are already what they are and are not deficient or imperfect, since that is a subjective judgement ( that implies expectations of what, rightfully, things should be ,,and are not) . 

 

So there is no 'whole system' which includes all the applications , but there IS a 'whole system'  in that all the hints given ,can add up , to all the hints garnered. 

IMO

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