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stasis or growth?-Re: [anthroposophy] Ancient principles and practices

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  • elaine upton
    Hello Jeff, Art, and all of this thread. Interesting, Jeff, what you say about Eastern teachings and practices being watered down for the West. I have found
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 4, 2000
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      Hello Jeff, Art, and all of this thread.

      Interesting, Jeff, what you say about Eastern teachings and practices being
      watered down for the West. I have found this apparently so.

      Also interesting is what you say (quoted below my letter here) about
      exercises that merely take us into the body and show what is at any given
      present (certain feelings or states) without taking us further and opening
      us to growth. This seems an important distinction. But, the question is,
      what is it in the "American" mass soul that wants these watered down things,
      this general practice of being "dummed down" or receiving what is "watered
      down"?

      The mass media (television being the most obvious example) practice "dumbing
      us down", so that advertisements and sitcoms appeal to the lowest instincts,
      urges, drives (false pride, greed, fear, and the like). These media often
      put us to sleep, or keep us there. And so, the craze for Eastern teachings
      seems to fit this mode of reception. Often people seem to think that by
      engaging in some Hindu or Buddhist or otherwise yogic practice of breathing
      or whatever that they are opening to something profound. Well, i guess
      "profound" is relative.
      Opening to feelings of sadness or to memories of childhood abuse or to
      feelings of euphoria ((if one stops there and does not go further)) is, it
      seems to me, merely a NARCISSITIC exercise. A lot of narcissism is being
      spread, often, though not always, in these new age workshops and gatherings.

      --(Again, this is not to say that it is all bad. I'm sure there are openings
      that are important, and i have participated in such and do from time to
      time. Yet, there is this limitation, where the practices easily become
      self-absorbing and don't uplift to spiritual evolutionary work.)--

      Thus, what is the way needed for our time and space and physical-social
      conditions? This is what Steiner sought to address. However, i feel there is
      need for anthroposophists or students of spiritual science to continue to
      evolve, and not even stop with the offerings of Steiner, great though these
      are.

      Just my two wampum pieces,
      elaine
      ***********

      Jeff wrote:
      >((...))
      >I think the point to Yoga and other ancient practices like Tai Chi or
      >even Zen is time and place. Some of the principles for spiritual
      >development have endured over time but the practices for transforming
      >the body and especially the soul are ineffective for the most part. What
      >has happened to Yoga (the yoga that most know today) is that it has been
      >divorced from the Eastern temple or ashram Tradition and made into a
      >shell of what it once was. Yes, having well being and feeling vital
      >energy in the body is fine but this is not spiritual work on the soul
      >and directly transformative to the spirit. These methods simply seem to
      >clear blocks and reveal what is already existing within us but that is
      >not necessarily growth.
      >((...snip))
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    • arthra999@yahoo.com
      I think that as Yoga has become more popular in the West ...there are those who want to hitch their wagon to the star and financially capitalize on it..
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 5, 2000
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        I think that as Yoga has become more popular in the West
        ...there are those who want to hitch their wagon to the star and
        financially capitalize on it..

        American culture to me is one interested in techniques... how to
        achieve an orgasm, how to repair a garage door, how to play
        superior video games and so on....We isolate the techniques
        and forget the context of the larger tradition particularly in the
        case of Zen Buddhism and Yoga. We are also talking about a
        culture that is less patient, reads less and is more focused on a
        very small attention span.

        That's why I think we need to encourage people to transcend
        their culture through the practise and study of Yoga and spiritual
        science. Most of the people I come in contact with seem very
        willing to do this. As i mentioned earlier a circle of people i work
        with have a hunger to explore spirituality ...their own as well as
        other's quests... I think we can say there has rarely been a time
        when the world has been so connected and interrelated, this is
        an opportunity my friends to "network" as they say and "tune in"...
        a time to explore our innate nature and experiment with new
        forms of cultural possibilities that were not possible just a few
        generations ago. I think it's a changing volatile time but one that
        offers exciting opportunities!

        - Art





        --- In anthroposophy@egroups.com, "elaine upton"
        <elaineupton@h...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello Jeff, Art, and all of this thread.
        >
        > Interesting, Jeff, what you say about Eastern teachings and
        practices being
        > watered down for the West. I have found this apparently so.
        >
        > Also interesting is what you say (quoted below my letter here)
        about
        > exercises that merely take us into the body and show what is at
        any given
        > present (certain feelings or states) without taking us further
        and opening
        > us to growth. This seems an important distinction. But, the
        question is,
        > what is it in the "American" mass soul that wants these
        watered down things,
        > this general practice of being "dummed down" or receiving
        what is "watered
        > down"?
        >
        > The mass media (television being the most obvious example)
        practice "dumbing
        > us down", so that advertisements and sitcoms appeal to the
        lowest instincts,
        > urges, drives (false pride, greed, fear, and the like). These
        media often
        > put us to sleep, or keep us there. And so, the craze for Eastern
        teachings
        > seems to fit this mode of reception. Often people seem to think
        that by
        > engaging in some Hindu or Buddhist or otherwise yogic
        practice of breathing
        > or whatever that they are opening to something profound. Well,
        i guess
        > "profound" is relative.
        > Opening to feelings of sadness or to memories of childhood
        abuse or to
        > feelings of euphoria ((if one stops there and does not go
        further)) is, it
        > seems to me, merely a NARCISSITIC exercise. A lot of
        narcissism is being
        > spread, often, though not always, in these new age workshops
        and gatherings.
        >
        > --(Again, this is not to say that it is all bad. I'm sure there are
        openings
        > that are important, and i have participated in such and do from
        time to
        > time. Yet, there is this limitation, where the practices easily
        become
        > self-absorbing and don't uplift to spiritual evolutionary work.)--
        >
        > Thus, what is the way needed for our time and space and
        physical-social
        > conditions? This is what Steiner sought to address. However, i
        feel there is
        > need for anthroposophists or students of spiritual science to
        continue to
        > evolve, and not even stop with the offerings of Steiner, great
        though these
        > are.
        >
        > Just my two wampum pieces,
        > elaine
        > ***********
        >
        > Jeff wrote:
        > >((...))
        > >I think the point to Yoga and other ancient practices like Tai
        Chi or
        > >even Zen is time and place. Some of the principles for
        spiritual
        > >development have endured over time but the practices for
        transforming
        > >the body and especially the soul are ineffective for the most
        part. What
        > >has happened to Yoga (the yoga that most know today) is that
        it has been
        > >divorced from the Eastern temple or ashram Tradition and
        made into a
        > >shell of what it once was. Yes, having well being and feeling
        vital
        > >energy in the body is fine but this is not spiritual work on the
        soul
        > >and directly transformative to the spirit. These methods
        simply seem to
        > >clear blocks and reveal what is already existing within us but
        that is
        > >not necessarily growth.
        > >((...snip))
        >
        __________________________________________________
        ___________________________________
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        http://explorer.msn.com
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