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The "Get a Job, Have a Wife, Make a Child , Get a Life" Thread

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Hellow,

 

what are your thoughts on this?

 

what part do you think it plays in personal cultivation?

 

how can personal cultivation benefit from it,

and how our Life can benefit from personal cultivation?

 

how did your kids help you undestand more about the Tao?

 

how did maternal pregnancy help you figure out more about spiritual pregnancy?

 

there are so many questions that can be adressed, please dont be shy and make a list yourselves...

 

there were a lot of wise words on this.

all of the guys and girls that know what it means, please share an insight

 

Thank you so much

 

^_^

 

L1

Edited by Little1

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The stronger our relationships our to family, friends, coworkers, fellow taobums, etc the more information and energy we can send and take in order to progress on the path of joy. While a certain degree of negativity is needed as grist for the mill, there's a real need for lots of grooviness and it's the task in front of us to inspire the best out of every relationship that we have.

 

While some will do better as pure loners, I think most cultivators will do best staying in society.

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Thanks Yoda!

 

Every insight on this is priceless...

 

L1

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if you haven't mastered life how can you expect to master yourself?

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If I haven't mastered myself, how can I expect to master life?

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And if you haven't mastered either yourself or your life... that's when the temptation to consider yourself a master is the strongest. :D

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I read somewhere that back in the old days, all who wanted to study kabbala had to be jewish men, who already had grown children, and who had proven themselves as pillars of society. Only then were they considered to have the maturity to recieve and relate to the mysteries of the kabbala. That is one tradition.

 

To your question, I think the job, married partner and "life" are, well all a matter of cultural conditioning, expectations and preferences. It does not matter much. The real tricky part of your question is in what ways having and taking care of children infuences one's spiritual path.

 

First, I'd say that children are neither necessary for nor a hindrance to achieving spiritual goals (whatever the goals are) because empirical and historical evidence shows clearly that there are many childless true masters as well as masters with children.

 

Second, I think most would agree that to care for someone else in an unselfish way is good for one's spiritual development. To have a child with someone, and to stay around to take care of that child no matter what, is really the most simple way to practice how to care for someone else every day (and night) for the rest of one's life.

 

Therefore, and third, I'd say that to commit oneself to having children and to help them to grow up, is the most basic, simple and straightforward human (or animal for that matter) way to culture the virtues of love, devotion and unselfishness. (It is btw also a good way to understand oneself and to learn more about the patterns and behaviours that one received from one's own parents.)

 

Lastly, I'll repeat that it seems unlikely that it is the only way, or even that it is the best way for everybody. I recall, though, a long passage in Umberto Eco's, Focault's pendulum, where the girlfriend of one of the protagonists patiently explains to her boyfriend that his search for the holy grail is just a pontless backwards metaphor, ecause her womb really is the grail, and it isn't inaccesible and far away, but right there next to him, or something like that.

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it does help you face cultural programming in various arenas..

with kids you are no longer the sole navel of the earth..

if sustain ever had a place...

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too many people look for these things i.e. a wife a child to make them feel complete

 

if you are not complete without them, you will never be complete with them, if fact you will be more broken becasue you will be stealing energy from them and putting them under pressure for the short comings in your life.

 

 

the is a big thing in the country that i am now that if a woman ismairried by the time she is 30 she is on the shelf. i have never seen so many unhappy marriages as the people around me now.

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One consideration though that might be of interest to cultivators:

committed bachelors' life span is an average of ten years shorter than that of married men (regardless of whether the marriage is subjectively perceived as "happy") and five years shorter than that of men who were married but divorced. Being married seems to prolong a man's life more efficiently than any practice he may take on.

 

Alas, this is not true for women. Being married does nothing for our longevity. Old maidens, divorcees and happily married women still finish together, statistically speaking. However, there's other considerations of some interest. Having had no fewer than one and no more than four children prolongs a woman's life considerably. Having breastfed them cuts her chances of getting breast cancer to a fraction of what they are otherwise. Having had her first child between the ages of 18 and 23 cuts her chances of getting most other female disorders to a fraction of what they are otherwise. Looks like nature has her own answer to the question posed in the thread.

 

However, the world today is set up in such family-hostile, anti-child fashion that I can only commiserate with people who have the sense of the natural pull toward normalcy going strong, since everything is pitched against them, is designed to defeat them and their healthy instincts. I wouldn't blame anyone deciding to bail out of the battle for normalcy today, because it is so incredibly lost already, to so many. I guess I'm not optimistic about either option -- no use knocking down a wall only to break into the adjacent prison cell. Screwed if you do, screwed if you don't.

 

Do something about the world we're living in, I would tell anyone ISO a "spiritual" path. For starters, take a long hard look at it and get informed about how people are living in it and why and who has "chosen" this for them, and toward what purpose. Then of course anyone may choose to drop out -- but I would try to drop out wisely... if there is such a thing.

Edited by Taomeow

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One consideration though that might be of interest to cultivators:

committed bachelors' life span is an average of ten years shorter than that of married men (regardless of whether the marriage is subjectively perceived as "happy") and five years shorter than that of men who were married but divorced. Being married seems to prolong a man's life more efficiently than any practice he may take on.

Well, the flaw in that conclusion is that correlation =/= causation.

 

Reality is, women now have more choice and so tend to pick healthier men to marry to begin with. The poorer, unhealthier ones get weeded out by this classist institution reserved for the bourgeoise men of society.

 

Marriage and longevity are just symptoms of this select group of providers.

 

Although, marriage itself could also conceivably reduce high-risk bachelor behaviors like partying, carousing, casual sex and thrill-seeking. And replace them with PTA conferences, workaholicism and lawn-mowing.

 

Meanwhile, divorce (which often goes hand-in-hand with marriage these days) can be completely financially and emotionally devastating to a man. Therefore, caveat emptor. I think that media release is very shaky at best and intentional propaganda at worst.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think love and relationships are GREAT. :D But, I am far less enthusiastic about legal, static frameworks for those fluid relationships.

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Well, the flaw in that conclusion is that correlation =/= causation.

 

Reality is, women now have more choice and so tend to pick healthier men to marry to begin with. The poorer, unhealthier ones get weeded out by this classist institution reserved for the bourgeoise men of society.

 

Marriage and longevity are just symptoms of this select group of providers.

 

Although, marriage itself could also conceivably reduce high-risk bachelor behaviors like partying, carousing, casual sex and thrill-seeking. And replace them with PTA conferences, workaholicism and lawn-mowing.

 

Meanwhile, divorce (which often goes hand-in-hand with marriage these days) can be completely financially and emotionally devastating to a man. Therefore, caveat emptor. I think that media release is very shaky at best and intentional propaganda at worst.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think love and relationships are GREAT. :D But, I am far less enthusiastic about legal, static frameworks for those fluid relationships.

OK, I got your point. However, I object to the "flaw" part, since it is projected and not my doing: I didn't make a peep about causation, I presented a fact, not its interpretation. The source of this fact is not the US of A where what you're talking about probably applies, but, rather, worldwide statistics that include countries where ALL men are poor and where (this part I know from living elsewhere) being in poor health has never been a serious obstacle for a male of reasonable age in finding a wife. The stigma of being unmarried is a very strong factor, chiefly reserved for women but occasionally men too, in more traditional societies, so whoever could get married, usually did.

 

Of course all these reasons to get married are fubar -- economic, social, legal, etc.. The main reason has been, for hundreds of thousands of years, biological: merely the fact that the human child is born absolutely immature and unprepared to fend for herself for a longer period of her life than offspring of any other species. In all species where the baby requires an extended period of care (e.g., higher primates -- five to eight years, elephants -- twelve years), the institute of marriage (without the church and the vows) naturally exists. Sometimes a marriage is a harem-like arrangement with an extended family of uncles, aunts, etc., caring for the young -- e.g., among large felines; and sometimes it is mostly, or exclusively, monogamous -- e.g., among wolves and large birds of prey. But the arrangement seems to be predicated entirely on the needs of the offspring. Sharks, snakes, frogs and any other species whose little ones are born mature enough to take care of themselves don't marry and maintain no families. I think humans today are more shark-like in their mentality, but alas not in their biology -- so children are not nurtured because adults prefer shark-like activities, but human babies are still born as dependent and needy as they did a million years ago, and everything they miss out on comes back to haunt them -- and then gets transmitted to the next generation of developmentally frustrated humans. And that's where all our troubles begin and end up, and begin and end up again.

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Marriage good, kids good, family good.

 

I'm in a sandwiched generation. My parents are in there 70's. They have me and my sisters to be there for them. Whatever happens, whatever illness or problem we're there for them, with love and support. They have 4 people watching out for them. Thats a powerful thing you may or may not get in your 70's and 80's from surviving friends.

 

You learn about love and sacrifice from your kids. You're constantly reminded about simple pleasures of play and unconditioned awareness. They give you a chance to re-experience pieces of your childhood, fly the kites again, play video games, catch, see a ball game.

 

They're a test of sanity but you wouldn't trade them for anything. They give meaning to life and are a reason for hope in the world.

 

Wives similarly. You learn love and intimacy; fight for it, surrender to it. Its nice to wake up to a warm body in your bed, too trust someone with everything.

 

Its not for everyone, its a hard brave choice, but the rewards are certainly there.

 

Michael

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OK, I got your point. However, I object to the "flaw" part, since it is projected and not my doing: I didn't make a peep about causation, I presented a fact, not its interpretation.
Well, there was a preliminary causitive conclusion here:
Being married seems to prolong a man's life more efficiently than any practice he may take on.
And maybe it does help do that, who knows?

 

I'm just saying that many jumped to that conclusion prematurely, IMO.

 

Michael - You have a very Old School view of kids as retirement plans, lol. That's what they do in Asia and other Old World societies, still. Nothing really wrong with that though, as traditional familial roles. However, you can still have all that family stuff without legal marriage, and save yourself the risks and paperwork!

 

Of course, lawyers, family courts, event planners, jewelers, caterers, dressmakers and counselors might lose some of your disposable income, though... :D

Edited by vortex

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^_^ i was worried for a moment there, but this seems to turn out really ok.

 

DEEPEST THANKS to all who are in favour of paying one's debt to family, ancestors and society...

Chang Sanfeng once said that:

 

1. For the first stages of the practice all you need are some good basics and a nice kick in the butt,

to go on with your life,

enjoy it, make the best out of it, start a family,

help the society, help the world.....

 

2. After you fulfill your debts, then you are ready... the average age? 50-50 some. It's the age that Chinese say a man is fully grown.

 

3. Some interesting quote: those that do not proceed with this schedule, from Chang Sanfeng point of view, are not even worthy of noticing.

 

Maybe Taomeow can help me a moment here: Dear Feline, i have a theory that goes like this

 

- your being is largely a donation to you from three sources:

1. The Ancestors

2. The Earth

3. The Heavens

if you want to do anything with yourself, you need to first pay your debt to these Three Sources of your LifeForce. Paying the debt, to either ancestors, earth or heavens - im sure there are thousands of accounts for it in mythology and relligion.

Then, after winning the trust and support of THE THREE, your Path is open.

 

Well, what do you make of it? Others?

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I would never have kids on my own. To adopt seems much more rewarding and noble to me, that will test a lot more things and much better in my opinion. As for marriage, dear god...it's evident that all these things are pure obsessions of the ego and pressure from society.

 

It hides the fear of insecurity in people, of not being alone, the relief that life goes on, and the relief that you are special. To me, 90% of people getting married and having kids clearly feel that way, so they do it thinking they will get relief. Actually most of them don't even think about anything, they just do it. After all and if they are lucky they do get something, a perfect illusion. Wise people know better, they already know they are not alone, that life goes on and that they are special. They don't need to prove it to anyone else, including themselves.

 

And of course, i'm not denying that the other 10% (i would say a lot less than that...) get wonderful and loving experiences from it! I definitely agree that family life, childs and the whole thing is a wonderful experience, but handled by wonderful individuals only. I doubt this world and most of us are remotely ready to handle it.

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My perspective as a married man with children and a profession and a thirst for physical, intellectual, and spiritual challenge.

 

Personal cultivation is a wonderful thing. It challenges me endlessly on physical, mental, and spiritual levels.

I have managed to incorporate them into my busy life. My family has suffered for it to some degree but I like to think they also benefit.

 

I look at having a family as an important part of a fulfilling life for me. Not everyone feels the desire. The joys and heartbreaks of a long term relationship and raising children are infinitely more intense to me than the highest highs or lowest lows of cultivation. I would not have a fraction of my understanding and appreciation for life without being a parent and husband. It has been the source of some of my greatest pain and challenges. On the other hand, it provides the greatest rewards one can dream of. Nevertheless, personal cultivation remains an extremely important part of my life. It gives me an opportunity to be totally selfish and work on myself. It helps to balance me.

 

There is a reason why cultivators go off to live as hermits for serious meditation in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cultures (not to mention Western culture). Maintaining a very rigorous schedule of training is extremely difficult while living in society and providing for a family. On the other hand, some of these cultures also appreciate the value of experiencing the more "mundane" aspects of life either before or after the cultivation practice.

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Michael - You have a very Old School view of kids as retirement plans, lol. That's what they do in Asia and other Old World societies, still. Nothing really wrong with that though, as traditional familial roles. However, you can still have all that family stuff without legal marriage, and save yourself the risks and paperwork!

 

Of course, lawyers, family courts, event planners, jewelers, caterers, dressmakers and counselors might lose some of your disposable income, though... :D

 

Yes and I fatten them up incase I have to sell them by the pound :o.

 

Its not just a retirement package, its the whole package, love, security and support. Living with someone is hard. We date many people before we take the leap into marriage. Without the legal & religious stuff it's easier to treat your partner as another step along the way. Nothing wrong with that when you're young. But when you get older and there are dependencies and when there are kids you need more then 'as long as it feels good'. Cause it don't always feel good.

 

You create the risk because you've found someone special, too special to let go of when 'things don't feel good'. Feeling change, situations change, but ..beyond change there is the sacred. Thats what you aim for. Maybe its not native to the human condition but its a worth while goal.

 

Michael

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Just get a Life. Including all the prerequisite constituent parts of it. If job, wife, child comprise that, then get 'em, if not, don't. But get that which does...word up, having a Life is why you were born.

 

In my own experience, nurturing of another person and cultivation of our relationship are fundamental to my having a Life. Her being my wife wasn't important for 21 years until it became an economic advantage for her to be such due to my...uh, job. Guard too jealously that relationship do I to willingly make agents of distraction from it. And too adept at SKF am I to allow them to be made accidentally B).

Edited by xenolith

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Maybe Taomeow can help me a moment here: Dear Feline, i have a theory that goes like this

 

- your being is largely a donation to you from three sources:

1. The Ancestors

2. The Earth

3. The Heavens

if you want to do anything with yourself, you need to first pay your debt to these Three Sources of your LifeForce. Paying the debt, to either ancestors, earth or heavens - im sure there are thousands of accounts for it in mythology and relligion.

Then, after winning the trust and support of THE THREE, your Path is open.

 

Well, what do you make of it? Others?

Dear Little1,

 

I am in full agreement -- except your No.1, 2 and 3 would be my No.2, 3 and 4. And the Number One? I believe in one's obligation to one's children that must take precedence over any other. I believe in giving them the kind of love no one else in the world has any right to claim, not in heaven, not on earth. I think they are the only valid receptacle for sacrifice, devotion, unconditional "yes" to everything they are. (No, I'm not giving you a recipe for creating "spoiled brats" -- love has never, ever spoiled anyone, its unreal substitutes, in the absence of the real thing, is what generates "spoiled brats." This -- and 32 injected assaults on the immune and neurological and endocrine system by age 2.) My children are entitled to absolutely everything I have to give and more -- everybody else please prove to me (the generic me) you're worthy of my taking away from me and giving to you. I'm supposed to love someone who's done nothing to deserve it yet? I'm game -- provided this someone is my child. Everybody else, please initiate, reciprocate -- or beat it. (Disapproving tsk, tsk from the Buddhist side of the field... yeah, I hear you. I still don't love the child abuser, and never will -- and I could mention a few other types I don't love, feel under no obligation to please or accommodate, and never will.)

 

This understanding, about the biggest obligation having to be directed towards the weakest, most dependent -- the child -- rather than the powerful who you have no power and control over -- is missing from the collective consciousness and the collective unconscious of all civilized societies, which makes me think civilization, at the core of what it's for, is an acting-out of this one make-or-break omission of the human experience, a big toy for an emotionally frustrated child who can never grow up because the real thing never was, so he'll have to play with toys -- for a few thousand years... This, too, shall pass...

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So eloquent are Ms. Meow's comments as to force further truthfulness from me...I would Love to father a child, but my ability to support a child was taken from me by my mother who robbed me of my education and my health while I was a child...I'll reserve the jaw dropping details for the book I will write. Through the Tao and illumination of my self I've overcome both (multiple graduate degrees and excellent health) and have become deeply aware on many subjects. But taking care of myself and finding Love with a desperately poor woman has rendered me unable to afford a child. Consider your self blessed if such is an option to you, for me it isn't and never has been. But understand that having a Life does not having a child require. What matters is having Love. In that I am rich.

 

Be well upon your path...and having a Life you are.

 

Peace friends.

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Thank you Taomeow :)

 

I think there are two views on this, the taoist one, and the buddhist one.

The taoist view is Ziran, "Just So", and the buddhist one focuses on not perpetuating the "Instruments of Suffering".

I largely agree with the taoist view. As for adopting children, i do belive it is an honorable choise. But i also think it must come second to having your own offsprings. If you can raise your children well (the first duty), and still have enough resources to adopt other children, then you really are a hero in my book.

 

Complaining about the rules of society, and trying to break them, i dont think it's very smart.

It's because these rules are embedded in ourselves so deep, that the only easy "wu-wei" sollution would be to obey to them. Hence the Chinese mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism - their spirituality is a unique blend of the three: paying your dues to Gods and Buddhas, to Society, and to Nature. And as Taomeow put it so sweet, to your own children.

 

The first form of longevity is having a family....

 

The first form of immortality is having children...

 

L1

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