In all sincerity though, I’ll be selling those Tibetan crystals off some time next week or so if anyone’s interested. They’re pretty nifty.
So I won two pounds of Tibetan quartz from a three hundred year old monk in a hand of poker last weekend.
the-quixotic-lyph said: If desire is so dangerous, how do I motivate myself? How do I acknowledge what ought be changed and seek to change it without desire? How do I drive myself to what I've always well, wanted to- in so few words. How do avoid seeking, and exist as bliss
You cannot avoid seeking and desiring while living functionally in society. That is why many spiritual paths follow a direction of renunciation. They do not renounce bliss or happiness or joy or passion but they renounce the forms to which we limit them.
However, I firmly believe it is still possible to follow a spiritual path while living in society. It simply requires a different approach. Because in the end, the spiritual way is not about becoming something you aren’t already but finally discovering the truth of what you and your existence have been all along.
Your question is actually in three parts, to my eyes. The first is how to be motivated without desire. The second is how to discern what needs to be changed and to change it without desire. And the last is how to avoid seeking and exist as bliss.
So I shall address these parts in order:
1. How to be motivated without desire? I think it’s important to distinguish between desire and passion. A desire is something you think will make you happy once it is fulfilled. Like desiring a girlfriend because you think that will make you happy. Whereas a passion is more like something you enjoy the totality of, inclusive of the good and the bad.
Take for example someone who has a passion for building homes and constructing living spaces. There are some fascinating and rewarding bits, like putting the final piece into place or having a breakthrough in terms of aesthetic or structure. But there are also some boring things too, like using calculus to optimize the space being used, pulling the nails out of some mistaken creations, and so on.
What keeps you focused and driven even when you find yourself with bloodshot eyes at 2am staring over blueprints? Passion.
A passion isn’t looking to be fulfilled or finished. It doesn’t demand to be fulfilled, as if you are waiting for happiness only once you finish building the house. The whole messy process is part of the experience.
In my experience, the best motivation comes from your passion. Passion seems to link both head and heart. It’s not some basic primal desire nor is it some sterile academic interest. It is a fusion of head’s inspiration and heart’s fire.
2. How to discern what needs to be changed and to change it without desire? Using desire as a lens through which to determine what needs to be changed and how to change it is probably the cause of all suffering between groups of humans. Desire is by nature a selfish thing and often masquerades in forms of service so as to keep itself alive.
The most important thing for pinpointing change is clarity of vision. You cannot see clearly when you are desirous just as you cannot shop at the supermarket effectively when you are hungry. It’s as simple as that.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop feeling the way you do but rather you must be willing to factor that in. It’s like knowing your throwing arm pulls to the right and accounting for that when throwing a pass. Be aware of your own feelings and desires as such.
Meditation is crucial in learning to open yourself to the full expression of emotion and thought even while being unencumbered by it. Meditate daily.
3. How to avoid seeking and exist as bliss? Now we come back to renunciation versus society.
You are already bliss. You cannot avoid seeking. But what you can do is seek knowledge of your blissful existence with all the desire you can muster.
Every desire you have should be driven into that one desire for liberation from the suffering of confusion and firm abidance in the blissful reality of your existence.
It is a common saying that a spiritual seeker should seek truth the way a drowning human seeks air. There is no room for maybe’s or if’s or but’s. You can’t even really say a drowning human desires air because it is much more than that. It’s more than even needing air. A drowning human claws toward the promise of air with all the ferocity of the animal kingdom.
But finally in the end even that is left behind. Our desires, especially our highest desire of blissful liberation, will never be satisfied. It is only in their dissipation that the radiance of happiness and bliss shine forth. This is why we are never happy to stay in a state of desire but seek to satisfy our desires. It is in the desire’s absence that happiness and peace shine forth from within. Yet we misattribute that shine to the desire itself and so continue seeking it in cycles.
Daily meditation is the only continually reliable way I have found to manifest all of these changes spontaneously. You don’t need to know what’s happening. Sometimes knowing or expecting can even get in the way. Just sit and meditate daily. Read the words of self-realized teachers such as Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and you will continue to unfold in your journey.
And lastly, don’t confuse ultimate existential truth with the relative experience of body-consciousness. Don’t try to draw conclusions about relative experience from insight into the ultimate. Otherwise you may get caught up in silly games and distracted from the original intention of your path.
Namaste :) Hope this was useful.
Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.
kevluvs said: Have you been accused if being selfish for not caving into the demands and expectations of family, friends or society in general. The more self aware I become, I tend to do what I feel is right for me and that is a source of some tension with those I know.
Self-awareness has nothing to do with the actions you take, although that can be a manifestation of it.
Self-awareness is that of existence itself without any limit imposed upon it of name, form, definition, separation, and time. Who is knowing the Self? Not the mind, not the body, not the senses, not the thoughts. The Self knows itself by itself within itself. You are none other than that Self.
It is the sensation of aliveness. When you pay close attention to the transition from dreaming/sleep to waking consciousness in the morning, sometimes you can get a hint of it.
There is no greater right you can do for yourself or others than coming to know this living reality of your eternal existence. It is like the like of a thousand suns that drowns the flickering flames of desires, delusions, and confusions.
There is a Middle Way through the journey of society and humanity that is not a meek moderation between two opposites but rather a mighty and powerful technology. We cannot wholly reject family, friends, and society in general because not only do we exist in an interdependent balance with those phenomena but also our very path to awakening lies among their beautiful yet confused dance.
At the same time, we cannot wholly dismiss our own aspirations, insights, and passions. We must be true to the cosmic melody with which we were born.
That is the Middle Way. It prevents us from wholly dismissing or clinging to something. Instead, we are encouraged to embrace the play of ambiguity between the two, and from that may come something you never would have expected.
A brief example:
In college, I could have easily been described as a stoner creative writer. I had no responsibilities to being a part of society, be that society at large or even campus society. I did what I wanted. I studied ancient cultures and their mythologies, I consumed the fascinating and weird aspects of the sciences, and I just sort of wandered through my own cross-stitched world.
After college, I had trouble finding a balance with the demands of society and family. I couldn’t find a societal expression for my college-bound existence. I tried film industry, marketing, and writing. I couldn’t jive with the sheer system of it. I never had the kind of intelligence to operate and flourish within an office.
Long story short, I’m going back to school to become a doctor. In college, I could have never seen that coming. Like, at all. But now it is literally the greatest thing I’m doing with my time. Is it easy? No. Do I like it all the time? No. But do I still wake up in the morning with doubts? Nope.
I don’t regret my studies in undergrad. They were brilliant and enriching, but they were also ultimately incomplete because I did not consider the larger picture of which I would be taking part.
Have I been accused of being selfish? MANY times. Both in the past and the present. Sometimes I’m being selfish without realizing it. Sometimes others are just being self-entitled. In order to really know the difference between the two, you have to be willing to recognize when you are being selfish and you have to be willing to forgive when others are being self-entitled. Then clarity is your guide, not ego.
Try it out and see what insight comes to you for your own unique situation.
Namaste brother! Much love.
TriBeCa light sprites
highandry said: What are your thoughts on people-pleasers? Helpful or harmful?
I think it’s just stagnating.
Pleasing people does not help them. Giving a child a piece of candy certainly pleases them but that doesn’t mean it’s a helpful thing.
Conversely, doing something compassionate and charitable such as feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless, and so on isn’t about pleasure. The gratitude, relief, and appreciation is much deeper than simply being pleased.
The duality of pleasure and displeasure really only exists in the realm of wants. It doesn’t reach into the realm of needs. People don’t know what they want. Many want things that are harmful and unhealthy simply because they are confused as to the real source of peace, freedom, and happiness, which is within.
So by pleasing such confused people, you would be perpetuating their delusions. It’s not our place to point out and uproot the illusions of others but where we can, we should avoid feeding them.
Most of the people I’ve known who are focused on pleasing others do so from a place of insecurity or desire to be pleased themselves. Whereas the most compassionate people I have known were also very ruthless in the sense that their passion for serving others wouldn’t tolerate any bullshit.
Just my thoughts.
This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.
Stunning chunk of raw labradorite. Probably my favorite kind of stone.
I am the eternal hunt.
I am the eternal prey.
My visceral potential overflows,
Spontaneous activity manifests
and throughout all universes it plays.
Nothing in existence interrupts my celebration
Because nothing in existence is apart from Me.
I am the Sun at High Noon
and I am the Sun at Midnight.
And I am Her servant.
The dying God dies
and from Her is reborn.
Maiden Mother Crone
She is all that is desired,
needed, and feared.
Like the moon
who seduces the sea’s undulating body,
So the Goddess moves all by Her gravity, Her very Void.
What is left to do?
Hunt and be hunted.
Consume and be consumed.
It is the celebration.
all of creation revels in union’s bliss.
ashramof1 said: Fascinating piece on the second law. Questions though : why would order arise in the first place ? Where does this tendency to create order that then gets hammered by entropy come from ? Is entropy a reaction to the order impulse ? Did order come first ? We are floating gently on the billowy thermals of an endless mystery aren't we ?
Right?! Brilliant questions, brother. Of course, thermal-floating monkeys such as ourselves can only speculate as to their answers. But why not?
I think the first thing to do is to pin down what we mean by order. Because the majority of our understanding regarding order comes from a human mind. It is well-known that the human brain has refined pattern recognition, which has been a useful survival trait. But it also causes us to see things that aren’t really there. Like seeing a face made of the craters on the moon.
However, scientifically speaking, there is a difference between order and disorder. Probability is one distinguishing factor. For example, you toss a deck of cards into the air. There is only one arrangement for the cards to fall and still be in order. But there are many, many more ways for the cards to fall out of order. So while the notion of an ordered deck of cards is a human idea, the understanding of the probability regarding ways to combine arrangements is statistical.
From what I’ve studied in the mere three weeks of Bio, I’ve come to suspect that life is inevitable. Out of the randomness, given the right conditions, life happens. Complex living systems just occur.
AND given the Second Law of Thermodynamics, this means that somehow the occurrence of life is either in balance with the entropy of the universe or adds to it. It’s not hard to see the way nature remains in balanced cycles while humans are a volatile and chaotic species. I’m sure we’re disordered enough for the biomass of the entire planet!
However, because entropy can never technically decrease, it’s all a one-way trip. This is one theory that gave form to the notion of maximum entropy and the eventual heat-death of the Universe.
My suspicion is that the maximum entropy/minimum free energy state of the final universe at “death” resembles the minimum entropy/maximum free energy state of the universe moments before the big bang. This would suggest they are a mutually propagating and coupled system. Order and Disorder shape, nourish, and devour one another.
I’m just spitballing here but it’s cool to contemplate :)
Namaste my friend. Much love.