Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk

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phyllis
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Postby phyllis » November 7th, 2007, 4:03 pm

I think different paths and religions look different at first because all we see are the differences among everything. Differences used to frighten me because I would wonder if I am “wrong” and should be “like them”, but now I am more able to see past these differences without fear, maybe because I realize we are all already alike.

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anna
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Postby anna » December 12th, 2007, 2:50 am

Or said another way from the Zen observation: the me is the problem - get the me out of the way, one way or another, and we see or know who we are, and were all along. The me was imposed on us, and through that imposition we narrow ourselves down ignorantly, and unknowingly, much to our misfortune. Of course, there are those around who are there to inform us about this misunderstanding and "tragedy", but so long as we "get something" from being a me, we will resist relinquishing it, even sometimes hearing it. Sad to say, we get not only the pleasure, but the pain therein by hanging on to it. :cry:

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W4TVQ
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Re: Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk

Postby W4TVQ » December 28th, 2007, 3:15 pm

OK, Anna, now you done quit preachin' and gone to meddlin'...

"Cause that is the conundrum I am fiddling with right now. I see the absolute valuelessness of the ego. I see the absolute necessity of relinquishing the ego, if nothing else, to prove that Alan Watts was right when he said that "egoless people have great character." I see the lovely free fields on the other side of that fence, and the grass actually IS greener over there.

Yet I still cannot let go of the #@$(&! ego. It is as if my fingers are clamped on it and frozen to immobility. It's like trying to let go of a cherished teddy bear that represents "security." As you say, I must be getting something [more valuable to the ego than I realize] out of the "me."

I seem to still be in that space I wrote about in my favorite of my own poems:

I seek the fireblown glory of the Spirit
-- the blood returning red, reaffirmed,
the silent god burning within the bush.
Coughing dry prayers on hollow evening winds,
left with no prayer, I pray; left with no hope
I hope for hope, to lay a snare for God,
to make him love me though I fear the love;
to make him make me need him, hating the need;
to make Him heal me though I reek of evil.
I give a wish to serve in lieu of service
because I wish to serve but cannot serve,
and wish to love though love be not within me,
honoring God in Whom I disbelieve
because I disbelieve the unbelief,
knowing no place to turn I have not turned.
This gift is left only, a mere withholding;
to seek no more, to leave it in His hand,
and wait, simply to wait, alone, to wait
.

:confused:

I don't quite know what to do with this can of worms, so I tend now to simply regard it as "what is right now" and go on with the business at hand, whatever that happens to be today. Happily, I have forever to get it straightened out. It is helpful to vocalize it. Having given up the Tribal God, I don't expect a deus ex machina to appear and resolve things for me (darn it).

I see myself rather like that litle seed I wrote about, aware of the imperative to "become," waiting for the rain to fall and precipitate the dying-and-rising process. Actually, I suppose the rain is falling already, or I would not be here writing this.

Namaste
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley

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anna
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Re: Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk

Postby anna » January 12th, 2008, 4:10 pm

More than half the battle is "hearing the good news" - that the "me" is the problem - and recognizing that it is the problem. Most of us spend our lives seeing the problems "out there" never realizing that as Pogo said so many years ago "The problem is us!". (Remember him? 50's, 60's - great old philosopher, who knew back then?!)

Then, since we know what the problem is, we let it do its dance, as it always will, no matter who we discover ourselves to be, but it does not bind us any longer. One of the greatest of teachers continued to go through the motions of devotional exercises even though he knew he was not that ego that drove him to do those exercises. His response to inquiry about that practice was: the body and mind are habituated to it, who am I to interfere with their pleasures! He called that particular ego a burnt carcass, but none the less, its ashes remained.

I have found that being a little more lenient with the ego and its foibles can help - treat it more like a pet monkey, chained, but active, and less like a combatant. Remember, the ego derives energy from both good and bad attention - it is the attention that it seeks to maintain its continuity. Maybe looking the other way will deplete it? But still, we need to find enough feedback or payback to make it worth THAT effort to look the other way as well. If we write out a list of pros and cons to allowing dominance by the ego, the list will be great instruction toward what we want out of life. That is the ultimate issue, and the ultimate struggle, you know?

A refined, or controlled ego, what might better be called a "pure" ego is more what I see occurring than the actual destruction of the ego. We need some kind of ego in order to maintain the body/mind, through which we are manifesting. Utter destruction of the ego is impossible, I think, and probably harmful to try. Jesus certainly had an ego - he could not have acted out in anger without one. What he had, as opposed to the more mundane, is an ego which was refined enough so that God shone through without obstruction. That's what we are as babies, and that is what we are still, but have been told we are not. At least that's how I see it. (A)  (A)
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers........Wordsworth

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anna
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Re:

Postby anna » January 12th, 2008, 4:24 pm

Gulliver wrote:Here's something I like from one of my Zen Buddhist texts which sounds like this forum. A student asks, "What is Zen?" The Master replies, "It is right before your eyes." The student says, "If it is right before my eyes, why can't I see it?" The Master says, "You can't see it because you have a me." The student asks, "When I no longer have a me, will I realize Zen then?" The Master says, "When there is no me, who wants to realize Zen?"


Gulliver hits the nail on the head for me. :D That said, there is someone, or something to enjoy the experience of "no me", and that I believe is the ego ashes. Otherwise, what's the point of all of it, or any of this? Of course, the great ones would tell me, there is no point! And until I accept that point, I will continue to ask the question. The questioner, of course, is me! :lol:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers........Wordsworth


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