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Re: Andy: change and growth/Jody

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  • jodyrrr
    ... I m not suggesting that engaging in a practice makes us special with regards to other people, but I do agree that thinking oneself to be special as a
    Message 1 of 123 , Nov 30, 2003
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Andy" <endofthedream@y...>
      wrote:
      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "jodyrrr"
      > <jodyrrr@y...> wrote:
      > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Andy"
      > <endofthedream@y...>
      > > wrote:
      > > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "jodyrrr"
      > > > <jodyrrr@y...> wrote:
      > > > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Andy
      > > > <endofthedream@y...>
      > > > > wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > [snip]
      > > > >
      > > > > > There is no growth.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > There is only apparent change.
      > > > >
      > > > > Some patterns and directions that can be observed in change are
      > > > > what we call growth.
      > > > >
      > > > > From the regard of the individual, there is a trajectory of
      > > > > development which seems to occur in the context of a spiritual
      > > > > practice.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > *****This "trajectory of development" may occur in contexts other
      > > > than spiritual practice as well. Spiritual practice is nothing
      > > > special.
      >
      >
      > > I'd offer that spiritual practice *is* special when it is approached
      > > as a discipline of transformation. The engagement which practice
      > > engenders seems to allow for an accelleration of this
      > > transformation.
      >
      > *****Yes, I understand this perspective. And I am suggesting that
      > the understanding you offer is simply another story we tell
      > ourselves. It continues the sense of separation: this is special;
      > this is not special. I am involved in the "special" activity ----> I
      > am therefore special.

      I'm not suggesting that engaging in a practice makes us special
      with regards to other people, but I do agree that thinking oneself
      to be special as a result of one's spiritual life does indeed contribute
      greatly to the occlusion and can prevent understanding from being
      known directly.

      > IS there actually transformation? Can one transform from what one is
      > into what one is?

      No, but one can transform and be aided in life by the transformation.

      Also, look at the lives of various saints and you will see they generally
      endured quite intensive periods of transformation (as individuals)
      in their lives.

      > Consider: if you believe you can't see, and therefore conclude that
      > you are blind, and then someone turns the lightswitch on and you now
      > can see...was there any transformation (other than the light coming
      > on)? You thought you were blind (because you couldn't see). That
      > was the "state" of things for you. However, in actuality, you were
      > not blind (that was a misunderstanding arising from thought). You
      > could see, but there was no light to allow that seeing to happen.
      > So, in turning on the light, was there transformation? That is what
      > awakening is all about: a realization that there was nothing to
      > transform into. That what was being sought was always, already Right
      > Here Now! Perhaps something was lifted, but that which "thinks" it
      > was transformed is exactly what was already, always There.

      Very good. I agree that no transformation is actually necessary.
      However, transformation is what happens in a spiritual practice,
      and those who come to understanding usually do so in the
      context of a transformational practice. The connection is only
      apparent, but it is also very consistent.


      > > The connection between transformation and understanding is
      > > only apparent, but you cannot deny that those who have come
      > > to understanding have *usually* done so from within the context
      > > of a spiritual practice.
      >
      > *****Is this an assumption? I know it is common (popular) knowledge:
      > those who have come to understanding have *usually* done so from
      > within the context of a spiritual practice. But is it so?

      Yes. In most of those I believe to live in understanding, there was a
      period of spiritual practice and the accompaning psychological
      transformation before their experiential understanding dawned.

      > Perhaps there are many who have come to this understanding who have
      > not done any spiritual practice, about which we know nothing?

      That may well be true.

      > Maybe they embody this understanding "naturally," without effort?

      Perhaps. However, in those I've come across myself, there was usually
      a period of sadhana that occurred beforehand, and that sadhana resulted
      in various degrees of personal transformation.

      > Maybe, to some, the understanding is so...natural, commonplace, that
      > they do not speak of it (and thus we would miss them in any
      > statistical collection about who used spiritual practice
      > successfully)?

      That could be true.

      > Maybe awakening happens ... spontaneoulsy (as in "spontaneous
      > remission") in some, with no preparation, no forethought, and, being
      > so, they don't even know it is "spiritual" and do not talk of it to
      > anyone?

      Who knows? If they aren't "spiritual" folk telling us about it, we'll
      never know, will we?

      > > True spiritual understanding is almost always preceded by
      > > massive personal transformation (growth through change.)
      >
      >
      > *****Again: this is how such things are consensually perceived and
      > agreed upon. I wonder if that is not simply part of the "story."

      This is how things have been observed directly by myself. But
      I must agree that there could be many examples of understanding
      that have occurred completely outside of anything we might
      call a "spiritual" practice.

      > See: change implies time and I wonder if time is really "real"
      > (Hahaha!!!). If there is only Now! then over the course of
      > what "time" does change happen? If there is only Now! and Now! and
      > Now! (despite the mind's - and society's - assertion that time is
      > linear: past, present, future) ... if all there is an immediate
      > Now! ... then over the course of what "time" does change happen?
      > Does not change require the positing of a past (I was this way
      > before)...and if so, what is this "past" other than memory?

      Observation of transformation is called change. Now A. appears
      different than now B. That is change.

      > > We may come to know ourselves as the eternally changeless, but we
      > > seem to endure quite a bit of change before coming to that point.
      >
      >
      > *****Yes, I would agree: we "seem to endure" ... but "seems" is
      > not "is." ;-) One is fantasy; the other, actuality.

      Not fantasy, memory. We can revoke memory's reality by saying it's
      not what "is", but that doesn't make it fantasy any more than telling
      a story is fiction just because it's a story.
    • devi@pacific.net
      ... Patanjali. ... formed. ... devi: i have it on order from the library, i ve already read about four or five commentaries, most from indian scholors, i m
      Message 123 of 123 , Dec 17, 2003
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        > If you like the study of the mind, Eglaelin, You might try Georg
        > Feuerstein's translation and commentary on "Yoga Sutra" by
        Patanjali.
        > It is the basis of Raja Yoga. It is very systematic and well
        formed.
        >
        > Love,
        > Bobby G.

        devi: i have it on order from the library, i've already read about
        four or five commentaries, most from indian scholors, i'm actually
        thinking about offering study groups in my area..
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