That's the thing. I have to admit, there is something about being pretty ordinary. Ordinary is good.
For some reason there is something that sends up alarm bells when someone comes on to the site talking down to everyone like the rest of the membership is a bunch of idiots for not following such and such teacher or for not believing in this or that dogma. It kind of defeats the point of why we are here. More than that, it is dreary and boring.
That being said, it is really fun hearing another person's point of view. When there is a true give and take a lot of learning can take place and can even be quite transformative, but it seems that this openness for transformation never takes place when someone is just talking at, and not with you. You can tell the difference. There's a "something is clicking-ness" about it.
It doesn't always have to be about grim, seriously serious spiritual stuff either. A friend once said that when they hear people getting way too serious they want to start giggling. Frankly one of my favorite things on the site is the piece about cats. It's kind of mindless but it works inside of you.
BTW, General Theosophy is kind of kewl too. Richard definitely groks it.
I am reminded of the numerous times and ways in which the Dalai Lama emphasizes the one thing all people have in common, the need for happiness.
This seems like a healthy starting (and ending) point no matter where you are at.
Sometimes when challenged by spiritual lessons we can adopt an attitude to, 'out do' others. We start to send subtle rockets at one another which in turn creates a hostile atmosphere. Usually it's because we want to be the one "in the know: rather than the one learning or having truths unveiled to us... take a break, learn to laugh at yourself
I can be deadly serious about my commitment, yet not take myself too seriously. I am allowed to lighten up! And dare I say live a little, walk on the wild side, be me, make mistakes, um and other assorted clichés that show my age.
Whatever our age we live with all kinds of contradictions and inconsistencies, and the perfect faith is no more free of these than the perfect world view or the ultimate ideologies, fantasies, dreams etc
I never set out to offend the spiritual sensibilities of others, well ok maybe I do, ;) with the occasional humour, irreverent anecdote or personal impious reflection. What I hope comes through is an awe, and fear of our creator. Poking fun at myself is part of that love and appreciation.
How can we be Spiritual and live a Spiritual life without perfect and pure intent and without being a hypocrite. How do we keep it from being a sham? Big revelation here - Sometimes we don’t.Sometimes we just do it anyway and hope that it works and is acceptable. Sometimes it makes us part of a group, and that is enough, Sometimes it generates a sense of self and that is enough, sometimes it strengthens us or those around us and that is enough, sometimes it even connects us to the divine and that is enough. Hey we’re all flying by the seat of our pants here, and have as many worries, desires etc as you little miss. Well I am anyhow.
In the last year I have relearned to articulate some things that I had sensed but never before expressed. I have also learned to hold my tongue,... if you can't say anything nice.... don't say anything at all. Now that is balanced with a challenge in love , yep sometimes we do have to challenge anothers pov, as much for their benefit as our own. I understand that I am in transition and probably an enathema to some. I live in this world and yet am not of it. Everyday I face decisions and choices. But it is always my decision..
I can lead a spiritual life, and eat, dress, pray, marry, have sex, celebrate rites of passage, raise children, study, think, relate to others, and mark special times, or not depending on what choice I make, yet still not find myself terribly at odds with contemporary culture.
Of course there are conflicts, but the tensions are quite bearable and the impasses are generally negotiable. And that’s why we have each other, to help – looking at this motly crew I’d be bemused myself but they do have their plus points, really they do, honest they do, they do I’m sure, at least I think they do I’m still digging with some of them but hey they get the rough ride they in return get me.
All this diversity, only proves that there is vitality and dynamism. The fact that there are no neatly drawn lines is a sign of health and not disorder. Within these parameters there is room for everyone.
The great thing is you don’t have to be "someone", you only have to be you – who was created wonderfully and uniquely. Be happy with this creation just as you are.
The forum is not an exclusive club ....... you can bring your friends too! Character is seldom given miraculously, we grow into it. So its ok you don't have to be perfect ----YET ! :wink:
First, I must define spirituality for myself: it is the recognition that I am NOT a physical being but something else, some not-thing, a thought maker, a spirit being, if one can say it that way - capable, at times, of stepping aside from the commands and demands of this physical being and examining it and life itself from a different perspective. As a child, I often had experiences that were majestic and yet simple and natural, things I imagine all children have. But I refused to deny them as those around me demanded - I have remained very child-like in my trust and simplicity. This sounds like bragging but few would want to be like me: “too trusting, too open” are just some of the criticisms.
I often find that what I most want is a scrapbook, full of pictures of family and friends, places and memories from past lives. In that scrapbook, I would find the ones I know now and could then realize why I know them now - it would save a lot of time and trouble, for them and for me. But that is not the point, is it? The time and the trouble seem to be the very ingredients that make for the lesson and the point finally learned.
I often find what I am learning is control - control of my temper, my quick responses to people and to feelings; but I am also learning lack of control, letting the body respond instead of me. For example, I often play solitaire to relax. I have discovered that when I step back and do not concentrate so hard, my body/brain plays better than I could. There is a complicated game called Miss Milligan and for years I have had a rating of 22% success; now letting the body/brain do the task, my ranking is 42%. It is amazing to me.
I have also learned that things are not nearly as difficult as I thought. For example, I can tell myself to sleep for 20 minutes and then will wake up as though an alarm went off 20 minutes later. I always thought that was amazing when others did it; now I know all it takes is paying attention, telling the body what you want. Which tells me that all the things I now have I TOLD THE BODY I WANTED if not now at some time. This is important to really know but I am not so happy knowing it. Who would want to take credit for this mess of skin and bones and wear and tear, prejudices and problems?
What is the point of all this rambling? I am learning the a,b,c of a thought-being while unlearning the x,y,z of being such a physical being. Some years ago, I was approached after a lecture and criticized by a stranger telling me I knew nothing about the New Age and should keep my mouth shut until I did know something. I immediately volunteered to work at a New Age magazine here in Philadelphia. It was hard work and I made a dumb mistake and the owner/editor told me off in no uncertain terms and I bristled.
I stormed out of his office, furious that he had treated me in such a manner after all the free effort he was getting from me. By the time I sat at my desk, my heart asked me if I thought I was right. I got up, went back into his office and apologized, explaining that I was upset with myself for making the mistake and upset with him for his method of telling me. I promised to be more careful. As I was leaving the room, he jumped up and asked, “How did you do that? Sit down, tell me how Theosophy teaches you to do that!” That is the point of all this rambling, that if you take it seriously, use it well, Theosophy teaches you that you can do that and that you must, eventually, do it - that you are here to express Spirit, even if you cannot describe it to anyone else.
If it is of any help to you , I hope you will indulge in what I have to write , I wish you to see it from the point of Spirituality and not as something controverting psychological methods to bring about a consonance in the body-mind- person apparatus. This is a totally spiritual one and not to be nixed with anything worldly . In the "Mirror and Reflection Analogy" (for Metaphysical matters ) its is as follows
The reflection in the mirror is identified with you but it is totally attributeless - in the sense that it has no feelings or good or evil etc etc . So it is only apparently you .
The Mirror reflects all objects positioned correctly in front of it - so the reflection though identified with you has only an apparent connection , since the reflection will not endure when the mirror is improperly placed.
Again the figure seen in the mirror reflects back as it inherits the properties of the mirror - ie when you make faces or move it does the same thing .
Also the figure in the mirror will be subject to any deformities or dirt that may be present in the mirror as it inherits the properties of the mirror - but which may not be actually there in you
The Body ,Its reflection and the mirror stand in the following relation within you The Self ,Ego (reflection of the self ) In the Intellect (the mirror).
The property of the intellect is that it reflects whatever is placed before it and the Ego which is a reflection of the Self appears in it . The intellect is not conscious and the Ego has no action (as it is a reflection of the self and due to it being reflected by the Mirror- apparently appears to have action , and the mirror seems to be conscious (ie. Alive) . So there is a reflection of the self in the intellect which is the ego - Therefor we have the consciousness of the reflection (ie.Ego) imparting consciousness to the non conscious (intellect ie. Mirror) which is in fact an instrument - and an instrument must have an agent - this agent is the Ego (which does not have any action actually ). So there is a mutual superimposition of the Qualities of the Self (Consciousness ) via its Reflection in the Intellect . Due to which the intellect appears Conscious and the Self appears to have action . This reflection of the self in the intellect is our empirical existence and it grows and dies with the body .
It is this reflection that must be used to command the body mind and intellect - nothing else will work as they are all instruments of action of the empirical ego in the intellect . Or rather Action from the intellect ie. Knowledge alone can control these appendages - not worldly knowledge - but knowledge of yourself . Whatever is manifested in from knowledge through the intellect (I use the words "Knowledge THROUGH the intellect '' specifically as it is the only true knowledge ) is manifested on earth correctly .