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Posts Tagged ‘enlightenment’

Temporary Enlightenment

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Make Vs Create

February 8, 2010 1 comment

After overcoming the religious specificity in which “A Course In Miracles” is written, I’m finding that it is a deeply moving piece of spiritual work. One of the profound and simple (being a simpleton, I love profound and simple) insights communicated to me is the difference ‘tween making and creating. According to the ACIM authors, human beings “make” out of necessity (to get paid, to solve a problem, etc) but “create” out of love (art, music, children, etc). Before this discovery, I thought that “making” and “creating” were cut from the same cloth.

The story behind the making of ACIM is remarkable:

A Course in Miracles began with the sudden decision of two people to join in a common goal. Their names were Helen Schucman and William Thetford, Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. They were anything but spiritual. Their relationship with each other was difficult and often strained, and they were concerned with personal and professional acceptance and status. In general, they had considerable investment in the values of the world. Their lives were hardly in accord with anything that the Course advocates.

Schucman writes:

The head of my department unexpectedly announced that he was tired of the angry and aggressive feelings our attitudes reflected, and concluded that, ‘there must be another way.’ As if on cue I agreed to help him find it. Apparently this Course is the other way.

I was still very surprised when I wrote, “This is a course in miracles.” That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook. The writing was never automatic. It could be interrupted at any time and later picked up again. It made me very uncomfortable, but it never seriously occurred to me to stop. It seemed to be a special assignment I had somehow, somewhere agreed to complete.

I remember hearing Eckhart Tolle elaborate on how “The Power Of Now” came into existence. A former PhD student himself, Eckhart described the content as “coming through” him and not “from” him. Michael Jackson, when asked in an interview how he created his best work, stated that the music “came through” him.

I’d love for some creation that’s beneficial to mankind to “come through” me. How about you?

Stuck In The Middle

December 9, 2009 8 comments

With the goal of bringing more peace into my life and the lives of others, I’ve studied the work of quite a few spiritual teachers over the years. Adyashanti is one of those sages whose teachings resonate with me. In this interview, Adya states:

“Simply because you’ve had an awakening, however, does not mean you stay awake. Enlightenment, in simple terms, is when you stay awake. If the awakening is abiding, that’s enlightenment. And most awakenings are not abiding — at least, not initially.”

Before those words, I always thought that enlightenment and awakening were the same concept, but Adya’s words make sense to me. I haven’t experienced either of those two states of being, but I hope to someday. The problem with this wishful thinking is that…. it’s wishful thinking:

“One of the best ways to avoid awakening is to let the idea of awakening be co-opted by the mind and then projected onto a future event: something that’s going to happen outside of this moment. This looking to the future isn’t really the fault of the spiritual practices themselves; it’s the attitude with which the mind engages in the practices — an attitude that is seeking a future end and seeing that end as somehow inherently different from what already exists here and now.”

Freakin’ Bummer. Since I’m a slave to my mind, I may be a lost cause. It’s time to change strategies, but wait, the mind devises strategies! According to Adya (and the vast majority of other teachers) using the mind to attain enlightenment is fruitless. Double bummer.

Many spiritual teachers profess that tragedy can be a doorway into awakening and Adya is no different:

Reality is not operating on any moral principle. It’s looking for a moment when the seeker is exhausted. It can be prompted by some tragic event: an illness, or the death of a loved one, or a divorce. Reality rushes into the crack and presents itself.

Triple bummer. I’ve experienced several deeply tragic events but reality hasn’t found any crack to infiltrate my being yet. The lead sarcophagus that encases me is still too impenetrable.

Oh well. With no clue on how to go about awakening out of the dream of separation and experiencing the reality of universal connectedness, I’m, as Stealers Wheel would sing, “Stuck In The Middle“.

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