Summary of Episode 3: Secular and Sacred: definitions; the secular overtook the sacred; before we were pure-minded, close to the gods; spiritual training is essential to get back there; organized religion; True Nature; layer upon layer of interpretation; large urban societies; social incongruities; 4 visionaries incognito; weakening of human aspirations; abdication; membership; fierce competition.
Introduction : https://niume.com/post/271701
Episode 1 : https://niume.com/post/272574
Episode 2 : https://niume.com/post/273349
Episode 3 : https://niume.com/post/274166
What happens after a great spiritual leader dies? How do people proceed and how can they avoid becoming attached to rituals, memories, and the raft of what they have learned? How can they apply their intense spiritual training ingested from a charismatic super-human to real life on their own terms? How can they avoid relinquishing their True Nature and just obey, just follow? And how can they embody their own unique nature if they become so dependent on a guru?
If this happened, surely you would become dull as an individual, able only to mechanically chant mantras or mutter prayers and confessions. In other words, you would only be able to reiterate what you had been taught and then inflict that on others in the name of bringing them to the sacred. It is no wonder that we cannot let go of the raft constructed from finite wood and wire or rope! We have actually become that raft, identified totally with it, and will not give up that identity willingly!
But you are spirit. You are energy. And like the Buddha, Jesus, Allah et al, your spirit is eternal and indestructible. You have the same potential but they took determined action. You have an innately good and pure nature and you have unique power which you only use 10% of. In other words, you are a potential Buddha, Jesus, Allah, so what will you leave behind after your passing?
Chunda, a local blacksmith, arrived with 15 friends to pay his respects to the illustrious Buddha. This so impressed the Buddha as he lay on his deathbed because Chunda was spontaneous, bright, sincere, uninhibited. His True Nature was shining through unlike the assembled dignitaries and great enlightened monastics wearing their masks.
Chunda had not been taught or initiated into intense spiritual training. He was not even a disciple of the Buddha, accepting everything without question, confusing devotion for slavery and indoctrination. So, Buddha, having refused all the other opulent offerings to take with him into the invisible world, accepted humble Chunda’s simple offering of home-cooked food.
Intensive spiritual training can easily bury your True Nature, extinguishing your bright spark. We can all be Chunda embodying our love and sincerity: living with a complete absence of hidden agendas.
You are Chunda in your natural state.
You may aspire to higher things, but you bury your initiative, your courage and creativity to step forward and to be original. You actively block your unique individuality and your ability to shed new light on the mundane and habitual.
It is indeed wonderful to have the will to train spiritually, but if you become attached to its ‘results’ and consider yourself to be separate from and superior to everyone around you, then you have missed the whole point. All the great spiritual adepts passionately wanted to do was to liberate all beings from their prisons, to wake them from their deep slumber, and to allow their potential to shine out into the world.
The Buddha revealed exactly this sentiment to the congregation waiting for him to die to the chagrin of the arrogant Kings and enlightened monks.
‘Illumination’ is a useful word in this respect. We can use the great teachings and the compassion of our gurus to illuminate us, to light up our natural talents. Later I will introduce 4 Visionaries Incognito who devoted their lives to exactly this kind of illumination but behind the scenes. They worked tirelessly without seeking any rewards or glory.
After the Buddha’s death, his bereaved disciples were lost without him. They had come to depend on him entirely and so they immersed themselves in his doctrine and ritual so that they could imitate him, to hold on to him by a thread. And in so doing, they became separate from each other, from other Buddhist communities and from those outside Buddhism. This was not the Buddha’s intention. As a great Bodhisattva, an enlightened being devoted to freeing others from their self-made prisons, he was exclusively concerned with the happiness and evolution of all sentient beings, of all life.
Human beings can so easily confuse devotion and dedication with being passive, submissive, living in some kind of neutral state. Yes, we can be devoted to something or someone sacred, but we also have to make our own True Nature shine, to make our contribution to life during its short span and so to realize our potential beyond a meagre 10%.
If we are viewing the advice our spiritual guide gives us from an intellectual point of view, or from an emotional point of view, then there is a danger we become dependent and neglect or block our True Nature. Everything concerning the spiritual is about the unknowable – we can never ‘know’ the mystical or the universe intellectually or emotionally, and so instead we must graciously accept it and so merge with it. There is nothing more to do because everything is already in its place.
Like a young child or animal, as serious adults we do not need to interfere anxiously, to enervate ourselves questing and striving. All we need is inside each of us. So, try focusing your attention instead on only listening, only breathing and only playing joyfully and sincerely on our green planet.
Episode 5: How to utilise the ups and downs of everyday life to polish our True Nature. Dissolving into the Divine, into only being, breathing and playing. The power of sound and breath.
Join me tomorrow for episode 5 – abrasion
as this new book unfolds episode by episode.
images courtesy of megapixyl.com and Linden Thorp