tirsdag 20. desember 2011

Self mastery

Life seems to be a series of moments in which I can decide to live up to my highest potential, or scrape along providing myself with excuses for performing at my absolute minimum. The liberating thing about time being manifest as consecutive moments, is that I can choose where I want life to go next when I become conscious of it. In times of extreme physical or mental hardship the equilibrium of my apparently solid determination is prone to upset, and that is when unconsciousness around my own emotions and negative thought patterns can result in a downward spiral into self-pity, and numbing myself to what I’m really feeling. Consciousness around times of intense emotion and stress is one of the hardest and most important practices I’m struggling to cultivate right now. When my mind is at it’s weakest and most vulnerable and I feel like numbing out, is also when I need to pay most careful attention to what I want from life. The desire for relief can sometimes get in the way of my mission, and once I start down that path it can take a while before I snap out of it. I’m present to the fact that there will inevitably be fluctuations. 
There often seems to be a notion, especially in new age communities, that in order for our path to be successful we should be happy and loving all the time. If you are truly seeking truth on a spiritual path, I don’t think that is natural. The masters that we exalt and revere are seen as examples of how successful we can be. They are seemingly perfectly in balance, immune to emotional disturbance, and in possession of unattainable skills. I have been guilty of putting them on a pedestal many times. This illusion of them being somehow ‘better’ than us isn’t serving their egos, and it is definitely not serving us. They likely have their own flaws and weaknesses that we are not seeing. Masters should be seen for who they are, unique individuals, just like you and me, who have come a long way, but have their own issues to deal with. Rather than prostrating ourselves in front of them and praying and hoping that just possibly, one day, we might be just like them, we should be standing with them and exploring life with their wisdom and experience guiding us. A master may be extraordinary, but it is possible that someday, if you work hard, you may surpass them. In the beginning it will often seem unattainable, but I like to remember a famous quote: “Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther.”
To be clear, I’m not advocating disrespect for masters, but a perspective where instead of distancing ourselves from them, we are getting closer to them. Not through fake worship, or exalted adoration, but through a realization of our shared humanity and kinship.

Love from Wudang

7 kommentarer:

  1. You're so right, Bjarte. On this way we all need this insight. I think you have a very good master, when he let you learn this first.

  2. I love this, Bjarte. What stands out most for me is your suggestion that constant happiness isn't natural. I have been thinking about this today as I was reading some Robert Bly yesterday about the naivete of new age men.

    Today I was thinking back to the time when I saw constant happiness as an ideal and how many people strengthened that belief in their feedback to me.

    But I must say, many years later I find myself much happier and more integrated and whole as a human being having anger, irritation and prejudice as integrated and often present parts of who I am.

    I still think I'm the shit, but less then earlier ;-) "The shit" in the sense of self-inflated narcissistic new age arrogance. Integrating our dark side is the only way to maturity.

    In this regard, I consider you a great example. You have my admiration and support.


  3. Everything that appears is singing one song, which is the song of emptiness and fullness. We experience the world of phenomena and consciousness, of light and dark, playing themselves out in a dance without separation. "Jack Kornfield" Klem, Silje

  4. I think of life like a staircase with many stairs leading to a floor platforms and further new stairs ending up in a higher floor platform etc. - an ongoing spiral movment. Every stairs contains lessens to reveal in our conciousness (both in our mental and feeling body). We can't jump over a stair, because then the solid ground on the next floor platform will not be consistent. So to speak we are being moved down some stairs to repeat the lessons.

    If one stair is holding one truth, the next stair can hold another truth that eliminates the truth on the stair we came from. In that way will every truth be the correct truth to those people beliving them to overcome the current step and get a solid and consistent platform conciousness. In this perspective is nothing wrong or better than another perspective or truth. If we have come further in our consciousness than others, the heart only need to recognize others efforts on the steps we've already been through (even if they have chosen a different setting from us), bless them and move forward on our own path. The "omniscient" ego will compare, try to straighten or correct other people's efforts, condemn if they do not do what is within our own truth and perhaps eventually directly oppose them.

    This is my overall earthly perspective, but in the cosmic creation, there are always many exceptions to the rules ...

    I wish you a peaceful Christmas, Bjarte and may the New Year bring many moments of insight, joy and love! :-D


  5. Bjarte, your words evoke the wonder of the journey into our own self, and out of the self in the arms of our parents and teachers.
    For me, PatC, one of the most precious gifts, and an answer to my deepest dream - that the world will be better because my sons are in it - appeared as they moved to places in their lives where I could not have sent them. When they grew beyond my experience, my hope was validated, my parenting was celebrated, and they were more than my children.
    We are human together, and each of us is lifted up, to reach higher than our teachers and parents. Enjoy your evolution, and continue to acknowledge those who lift you... as sweetly as you already do.

  6. Very interesting read that I feel corresponds to my feeling of living the life of continuos improvement. Its a journey to death and we better live well with ourselves when we travel upon it or else there is no point to it.