the path as i find it
When I was a youth I studied many spiritual and mystical traditions. Then when I was about 19 1/2 I started a travel agency. From that day forward my mystical pursuits were largely eliminated. (April 19, 1983).
Then after my travel business career paused (1993) I read Krishnamurti, some hybrid physics metaphysics (the holographic universe) and I read the bible, which I had studied largely through the lens of the Kabbalah.
I believe it was around August of 2012 I went to a Vipassana retreat of S.N Goenka for 10 days of silent meditation. Would that I had done so before. What a direct path! No visualization (though I suppose I inadvertently supplied some of it) no speech. Just 10 days to struggle with who I was.
"It is important not to mistake the mental disorder of depression with sadness and disillusionment that stem from deepening insight into the nature of reality. Such unhappiness may be aroused, for example, by a personal sense of disenchantment with the unsatisfying pursuit of hedonic pleasure, or overwhelming sympathy for the suffering and misery of others, accompanied by a sense of helplessness to alleviate their pain."
This fellow is quite interesing...
Reading the atthakavagga
Today I have been very unspiritual. I have felt irritable. I have felt that I have lost the levels of attainment I believe I previously had. I have meditated a bit, I have read a good deal. Finally I found something that brought a smile to my face, in "What the Buddha taught" by Walpola Rahula.
"Then there is a way of practicing mental development('meditation') with
regard to al our sensations or feelings, whether happy, unhappy or neutral. Let us
take only one example. You experience an unhappy, sorrowful sensation. In this
state your mind is cloudy, hazy, not clear, it is depressed. In some cases, you do not
even see clearly why you have that unhappy feeling. First of al , you should learn
not to be unhappy about your unhappy feeling, not to be worried about your
worries. But try to see clearly why there is a sensation or a feeling of unhappiness, or
worry, or sorrow. Try to examine how it arises, its cause, how it disappears, its
cessation. Try to examine it as if you are observing it from outside, without any
subjective reaction, as a scientist observes some object. Here, too, you should not
look at it as 'my feeling' or 'my sensation' subjectively, but only look at it as 'a feeling'
or 'a sensation' objectively. You should forget again the false idea of 'I'. When you
see its nature, how it arises and disappears, your mind grows dispassionate towards
that sensation, and becomes detached and free. It is the same with regard to al
sensations or feelings. "
Last night saw great program:
1) Ideas that seem authentic and bear all the hall marks - they are historically strong candidates to be the original teaching of whatever origin it comes from is..
2) ideas that seem authentic by all scholarly measures but one recoils from. For example the idea of Hell. Which does not so far in my readings appear often in his most authentic suttas, which are in the
Majjhima Nikaya. (1) and the satti patana sutta. for exanple.
3) Ideas that seem to arise after the Buddha by others, which seem helpful, this would be the "no one has a monopoly on the truth camp" Such as buddhaghosa. and
4) ideas which are additive which seem to be a distraction.
What has been interesting to me lately, as I have tried to improve my diet and meditate and purify my mind morally (!) and have begun to plumb the rich waters of my subconscious in dream as well to some extent in waking life, is the idea that amongst us dwell as the Greeks thought Gods.
To see the people in my life as demi gods. This has 3 poetic levels. On one hand, perhaps some of us are in fact demi gods lurking. At times I have thought my wife was some sort of Goddess. In this case I would be living with some sort of super being disguised as a mortal.
Second people could be vastly greater archetypes than they themselves know, these are sleeping demigods.
Third, the very power of a full human being could be demi god like. Imagine all of us developed to our natural maximums, a bunch of super heroes and super villains cloaked partly by the fog of our slavery to the illusory world of lowest common demoninator human society...
In this third case we might want to consider if reincarnation existed, what intense beings we all would be if we could remember, except all with spiritual senility, but curable! We would indeed be walking archetypes..And of course there is the theory of Ancestral Memory...
Speaking of the time in 1993 when I read the entire bible and tore it apart analytically to determine "what is the practice ?" I see many parallels with Jesus and Siddharta of course. Jesus did not confirm he was the Messiah directly. Not even those who put him forth as the Messiah stuffed those words into the gospels. Siddharta never claimed to have attained a state others could not conceivable attain either. They both emphasized morality. Siddharta lived in a land with a rich tradition in meditation, the New Testament does not describe a spiritual practice in detail.
The Vedic Cosmology, The kabbalistic cosmology and the Buddhist cosmology are all extremely similar.
But I am reluctant to put on the Internet this comparison. We must leave somethings un profane. And the Internet is profane. Source texts can be found. Wonderful. My own interpretations... well this is another contradiction. On the one hand Buddha says there is nothing in the clenched fist of the teacher, but he considers a whole class of questions not ones he wishes to answer. In other words, if it is vital to your spiritual progress he will tell you. If it isn't he may decline.
Dark night of the soul. Gnawing doubts. Attempts to maintain path. Confusion. Not enough meditation.
One cannot except doctrines whole, one can provisionally, in order to give them a "fair trial" as Goenka says. All traditions produce contradictions.
As in my other page on this site "Science of mind" indicates in the case of Buddhist 'attainment' One must sort out three or four types of ideas.