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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Spiritual Development

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  #11  
Old 11-05-2019, 03:00 PM
zorkchop zorkchop is offline
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Altair makes some valuable determinations.

Most people . . . myself included . . . would certainly choose pleasure over pain . . . at any level. The mind and emotions tend to steer us away from pain and towards pleasure. Tho these physical experiences seem to be taking place outside our individual physical body . . . and indeed . . . many are . . . they are interpreted through the physical eyes and discerned via the emotions and thought.

So . . . yes . . . we all prefer . . . pleasure.

Here is a tidbit of esoterica that eventually the individual must face. It tends to be lesser-known and less taught than the prevalent teachings . . . but eventually wins out. Please dismiss if there are negative or reluctant reactions to this.

Karma calls for a true and demanding balance in all things. I don’t write the rules . . . this is just the way it works out. So . . . for each “happiness” . . . there must be a balancing “un-happiness.” This is NOT a pleasant thing to come up against . . . but eventually . . . one learns to resort to the middle path . . . which tends to bet . . . contentment . . . and not actual “happiness.” Though the distinction can be exceptionally subtle . . . it turns out to be . . . the winner. One can learn to be truly content within ones life . . . and yes . . . have an acceptable number of more “happy” and “sad” experiences . . . but these tend to level out as one learns to walk that proverbial Middle Path.

There is MUCH more to the Middle Path than this.

Unseeking Seeker wonders what “love” is . . . and even into Divine Love. Just about all positive religious teachings portray “God is Love.” Eventually we discern human love from Divine Love. To come to a true understandable and workable resolution of this is . . . a massive step.

But yes . . . the root of all of this . . . is Divine Love. Just what “that” is . . . is up for individual interpretation via personal experience.

Greenslade also brings up a very valid point . . . there is “this” and there is “that” and they resolve into ”both.”

One learns that there ARE two worlds . . . so to speak . . . and to let go of trying to resolve everything into “either / or. “ Mind . . . LIKES . . . “either / or.” To begin to settle all of this into an understanding of “living in this world but not of this world” . . . one begins to let both work “FOR” the individual and to let go of the battle of “one way or the other.”
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2019, 03:45 PM
Greenslade Greenslade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair
The truth is you cannot transcend your desire for pleasure. You can only substitute one form of pleasure for another..
This is where the Spiritual-exclusive perspective falls over, because this is not truth. It's only when you understand the underlying humanness that you transcend what's really holding you back.

Pleasure is a 'tool' the Limbic System of the brain uses for survival, it feels good to go this way because it's safe and pain is telling you that you shouldn't go there because you'll be eaten by lions and tigers and bears, oh my. It's a throwback from when we were woefully inadequate to deal with existence out of the trees.

There comes a time when people are no longer looking for pleasure because they understand that for them it holds no real substance, that one minute They feel pleasure but the next it's not there any more. They're looking for something that remains constant and consistent regardless of whether there's pleasure or pain, and often that 'something' becomes wholeness at a 'Soul level' if you like. They're looking for something with more 'substance'.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2019, 04:34 PM
Altair Altair is offline
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IMO, you'll find a lot of 'spiritual' people and guru's being old. Are they not speaking from a perspective of ageing, reduced testosterone levels, being settled, reduced quality of senses such as smell and taste, having the things they want in life etc. It's the privileged and the dull preaching a message to those who aren't privileged or have their senses still going strong. So I'm always cautious when I see a bearded old dude telling me I need to do X or Y. People need to understand this, that much of spirituality tells us something about people specifically, and where they are in life, and not so much the absolute truth of God..

Don't forget though, that even then every day you/we still seek pleasure. In your food, in other people, in the movies you watch, in your hobbies. There is no way for you to avoid it or transcend it, not even if your senses are getting dull. Spirituality is no different, people may experience pleasant feels and bliss and they want it again, or they are curious (mental pleasure). God we can pretty much see, and perhaps IS the King and Queen of pleasure..

It's only in spiritual communities where people, and many guru's, seem not in touch with this most obvious phenomena, that spirituality too is about pleasure. People may think they've ''transcended'' something but they drop the blue or the red and go with green or purple cause they like it more..

Last edited by Altair : 11-05-2019 at 05:27 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2019, 08:30 PM
iamthat iamthat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorkchop
Karma calls for a true and demanding balance in all things. I don’t write the rules . . . this is just the way it works out. So . . . for each “happiness” . . . there must be a balancing “un-happiness.” This is NOT a pleasant thing to come up against . . . but eventually . . . one learns to resort to the middle path . . . which tends to bet . . . contentment . . . and not actual “happiness.” Though the distinction can be exceptionally subtle . . . it turns out to be . . . the winner. One can learn to be truly content within ones life . . . and yes . . . have an acceptable number of more “happy” and “sad” experiences . . . but these tend to level out as one learns to walk that proverbial Middle Path.

Indeed. Many people think of karma in terms of rewards and punishments, but it makes more sense to consider karma as the process of restoring balance.

Which is why astrologically Libra is the sign which governs karma, as the symbol for Libra is a set of scales.

When we consider the current state of imbalance which humanity has created on this planet then we have to wonder what karmic processes will be necessary to restore balance.

Peace.
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2019, 08:48 PM
iamthat iamthat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
What is the difference between Being and Consciousness?
Do you think that Being is without Consciousness?

I would consider Being as existing everywhere without limits. There is nothing outside Being for Being to be aware of. Hence Being individualises as Consciousness, or a point of awareness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
It doesn’t make sense to use the term “Soul” synonymous to consciousness in order to distinguish it from spirit or personality. A soul is the thing that gives rise to spirit, consciousness and personality.

Our understanding and definition of Soul are different. My definition does not make sense to you, your definition does not make sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
Also we have a twoness not a trinity. One the one side we have Personality which is the temporal form a soul can chose (a set of attributes) within one incarnation. One the other side we have Identity which is the eternal structure of a soul.

Again we have different understandings of the nature of the Soul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
Isn't character development a part of spiritual development. I don't see these two as separated.

I was speaking in the context of Raja Yoga. Character development is the first stage of spiritual development. The later stages have nothing to do with character.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
Why brings knowing ourselves true freedom?
What do you understand by true freedom in this context?

True freedom is the knowledge (as in direct realisation) that we exist without limits. We are everywhere and there is nothing outside of us. Knowing ourselves to be limitless then we are free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
Do you think that peace and true freedom are the only things our souls aspire?

Difficult to answer given that we mean different things by Soul.

Peace.
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2019, 08:06 AM
Siemens Siemens is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unseeking Seeker
But the external domain is cyclic, ephemeral
And attachment ... the clinging bringing suffering
Firstly, if a soul would like to experience an external environment for a long time this would be possible. Second, it doesn’t matter if an experience is ephemeral or infinite. What counts is if it can create joy and happiness


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unseeking Seeker
Or if we discard the word love and substitute it with bubbling joy ... joy for no reason and not dependent upon anything else ... like the fragrance of a flower ... what is the source?
Yes, “joy” is a much better term than love! We aren’t striving only for “devine love” – rather we aspire all forms of joy and happiness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unseeking Seeker
The root is Divine Love. If not, what else is it? What is the source?
The root of happiness can be external. You yourself gave the answer: The fragrance of a flower is something that exists outside your consciousness. So external sensations can create joy! Like houses or expensive cars.
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2019, 08:33 AM
Siemens Siemens is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenslade
There comes a time when people are no longer looking for pleasure because they understand that for them it holds no real substance, that one minute They feel pleasure but the next it's not there any more. They're looking for something that remains constant and consistent regardless of whether there's pleasure or pain, and often that 'something' becomes wholeness at a 'Soul level' if you like. They're looking for something with more 'substance'.
Name one thing that has more substance than pleasure.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair
We are all pleasure seekers. We want joy, excitement, peace, love, you name it.. or conflict, which can also be a form of pleasure.
So the goal of spiritual development is pleasure (a more 'refined' pleasure depending on how we define pleasure).
Thanks! You seem to be one of the few who understand that everything we do and can do is striving after pleasure, joy, or happiness for all eternity.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair
It may just be a different sort of 'pleasure' but the initial drive doesn't change.. it may take a different color.
Which sorts of pleasure? I hope you don’t constrict it to love.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair
Spirituality is no different and you should be careful when you read what some teachings say regarding ''desires'' and ''attachment''. They make false conclusions. The truth is you cannot transcend your desire for pleasure. You can only substitute one form of pleasure for another.
Which conclusions are false? I think that desire in the present, in fact, can increase your ability to experience pleasure in the future.
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2019, 08:37 AM
Busby Busby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthat
Indeed. Many people think of karma in terms of rewards and punishments, but it makes more sense to consider karma as the process of restoring balance.


Peace.

Maybe not 'restoring' balance but creating balance in a new universe.

13 billion years ago the BB exploded (if it was like that) and immediately the elements appeared which today form the known universe. The BB was, or at least seemed to be, absolute chaos.
At that same moment consciousness in the form of a universal intelligence took control forming atoms into stuff. This wasn't and isn't a supernatural intelligence but one confirming and being the mover of the natural laws.
'Spiritual Development' simply means that the one time chaos has to be turned/channelled/changed/developed into order.
That is the aim, the path to be followed is called experience, and for every new universe there will be new experiences…

Karma is simply a refined word for evolution.
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  #19  
Old 12-05-2019, 09:40 AM
Altair Altair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
Thanks! You seem to be one of the few who understand that everything we do and can do is striving after pleasure, joy, or happiness for all eternity.

Which sorts of pleasure? I hope you don’t constrict it to love.

No I wouldn't dare. I'm not a love fundamentalist!!
Many stuff I enjoy got nothing to do with love, in fact I'd say it's a needlessly complicated concept. There's just kindness, enjoyment, care, excitement, attachment, the senses, intellectual curiosity etc. All of these are forms of pleasure. I find ''love'' a big and needlessly complicated concept, just like ''suffering'' and ''happiness''. They're abstractions put on a pedestal yet we have much simpler words to describe what we feel...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemens
Which conclusions are false? I think that desire in the present, in fact, can increase your ability to experience pleasure in the future.

Various things they (Buddhist, mystical Christian, and advaita traditions) say can be taken with a grain of salt, IMO. Many of them will have a cosmology where there's an end to a causeless cycle, which is entirely nonsensical ((circles don't have an end if there's no beginning)). They want to eliminate desire, which again, is nonsensical as one only replaces one form of pleasure with another. Shutting themselves up in monasteries... You go and bring one super attractive, scantily clad woman to a retreat and the entire mood will change.. LOL.

And they all have that same antagonism towards creation, seeing it as a curse that must be overcome. Any spiritual tradition that doesn't celebrate life and the world but shouts ''idolatry!'' and ''desires are evil!'' are traditions that should be scrutinized more, not taken as some holy grail. It's a tradition that's roughly 2500/3000 years old and a consequence of a civilization-induced misery and existential crisis. A healthy human society doesn't need all this stuff about escaping and hating the world..

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  #20  
Old 12-05-2019, 10:43 AM
Lorelyen Lorelyen is offline
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To me spiritual development is synonymous with self-development in a literal sense. It’s finding out who and what you’re supposed to be and how you fit into the ecology generally, perhaps more specifically “society” generally but don’t overlook your place in Nature. From that one learns to manipulate the environment to one’s best advantage. It puts one in the driving seat of ones life (process of being here on the material plane).

There have been times when I pursued spiritual matters intensely but now I rarely think about the issue. (Could be because I've got a lot of business stuff on my plate.) It tells me I’m almost there. Not quite. There are occasions when things go wrong or in hindsight I do something ‘spiritually’ careless, not in keeping with higher principles that became just a way of life. One has to contemplate the situation and maybe erect the symbols that hopefully lead to resolution.

I see now that the basic path was set a long while ago. That doesn’t mean it can’t be expanded or altered. Nothing is static. Every moment holds something of importance to us but it’s up to us to absorb experiences. One should always try to be honest about oneself; expand ones awareness.
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