Friday, September 07, 2007

Spiritual progress

The current theme is theory and practice. Someone finally noticed what I knew already, I can answer most people's questions about life. If they ask me anything technical that's another matter, but situations that affect us all I do know. But they also mean that I realise our limits. Understanding also means recognising what we can't do, and so far it appears most of life is damage limitation once it starts to unwind. But when other people only have one or two specific problems in an otherwise OK life I can probably fix it. Just what I do. The next step, the one beyond this is the spiritual. Feeling good despite the outside shite. Plenty of that, no shortage, and we need to become immune. I know the general view which was really born with the Buddha's enlightenment. But in fact since then a handful of individuals ever reach such a point, the rest devote their lives to that aim with some or no progress. Their answer uses reincarnation but that is a naive way to fix an equation when the true answer is it's almost impossible to achieve whatever you do.

There are two spiritual paths, the peak and the trough. They do not rule each other out, as the peaks often precede the trough, the same as a normal orgasm and a tantric orgasm. Now these are real as I can attest, and put the others to shame. Much harder to repeat though. The normal meditation can produce temporary highs but true enlightenment is a constant peace. Apparently. Now whether the teachers used the methods they recommend to reach their own is debatable except for Nick Roach, but all recommend one thing, focus on the now. Whichever aspect they choose it all involves altering your awareness to the present and the rest gradually wears away. But that can take a lifetime even if you follow it religiously. It took Nick 17 years and he's probably one of the few who made it at all. But Tony Parsons did suddenly with no practice at all, but recommends one very similar which he slipped into spontaneously. For peak experiences Maharaji did what he teaches, but we get random results despite identical practice, and even the peaks last for minutes so far, so I understand the limitations of that type of process. But I've got a million times more from that than the other sort which barely does anything. We can all switch our awareness from normal to witnessing where we are and what we're feeling, but little usually comes of it.

Buddha does describe stages of enlightenment, and this would mean if you practice presence you ought to work your way through these stages, some going all the way to the end. I appear to be going backwards in mine, but at least know there are no better ways to improve. Slow appears to be the word, whatever you are going to do, even if something happens quickly as it may it isn't easy to repeat. But what's the alternative? There isn't one. The effort I've put in alone should have shown some results, but I'm very dubious if there are any. But I'll carry on practicing as the alternative is not even trying.

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