March 12, 2005 at 2:14 pm #3310
Spirelx brought up an interesting point in his post below. He doubts that
< all true spiritual paths will produce the same progressive physical, < spiritual, and energetic changes and will, if successful, reach the same < ultimate goal. There are many reasons why most of the practitioners from different paths (including Buddhism) do not experience Samadhi, and consequentially different stages of Dhyana. I just want to bring up 4 very important ones. 1. They cannot overcome sexual lust. 2. They don't put enough time to practice. 3. Absence of merit to progress on the spiritual path. We talked about this before and it was sidetracked into religious view and dogmas. Merit has nothing to do with religion. You need good merit to progress on a spiritual path because, if you don't, you will definitely fail. Without a doubt. I want to give you a few examples to prove my points. You can try them and see the results, because they are easily proven. Everyone knows how hard it is to sit down and practice. Even if you do sit down, it's hard to make a habit of it, and eventually you will stop. Why do you think it is? If you are in this kind of situation, you can try one thing: Go and do some volunteer work at a homeless shelter or go and feed a few homeless people every day for about a week. By the end of the week, your practices will start on their own and you don't have to force and struggle with them. Another example would be this. If you established your practices and have no problem meditating for a long periods of time, now try and do some "bad" things. Like beating up some people, breaking a few windows in the houses and cars, etc. Do this just for a day or two. By the end of the first day you will notice the effort you have to put when you start your practices. By the end of a second day you will stop all together. These examples can be easily verified, if one chooses to. Merit is your "Green Light" to the results you can read only in scriptures. And, finally the 4th reason why people fail is: 4. People get trapped by their spiritual experiences and newly developed spiritual powers. You don't have to reject them- you just have to let them go. View them like the scenery you see from a window of a fast moving train. If you stop to look closer... oh, well, you stopped. It is very hard to succeed because we have to let go of everything. Most people, instead of letting it go, chose to spiritualize it. But eventually we WILL have enough wisdom to see. 🙂 Metta.March 12, 2005 at 3:16 pm #3311
Do you feel that Virtue and merit are the same thing? I am curious to know whether by merit, you mean developing virtue that is a permanent part of your self, your emotional and spiritual being and your actions, or do you mean that you are getting “good points” like gold star stickers, and that we can get “more merit than others” by getting more points? (this is a semantic argument)
I do not think that is your meaning, though. I think it is more that if you align your inner being with your outer actions, then your outer actions will begin to benefit your inner being; a very western approach(which is okay if that is what you like and it works for you). Daoism takes the opposite approach that if you create a neutral center, by connecting to the pure virtue qualities of the five vital organ shen (fusion fundamentals) then you will manifest that neutrality and pure virtue in the outer world.
The “Dao De Jing” roughly translates as the “Way and Virtue Classic”. The chinese character for “De”, or virtue, is rooted in the character for heart.
Cultivating neutral force through daoist inner alchemy IS cultivating pure virtue qualities, but it is not always active, moral virtue, as in doing good deeds, and may not always necessarily look good. It is dissolving the polarizations of energetic forces that you encounter through cooking and balancing them out. It responds spontaneously to other beings in the environment that we are interacting with to create harmony and balance, which may or may not involve doing good deeds.
Isn’t the question of moral virtue the same one faced by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Mumia Abu Jamal, or Angela Davis? How do you respond virtuously when you are faced with negativity? In a way that will draw you and the opposing aspect into a state of balance, or a way that will perpetuate the conflict? Different people have different ways of respondng to outer and inner forces because they are made up of different qualities, but hopefully the whole process will serve to create balance within the interaction of the whole and help the individual to further their own cultivation as a part of the whole interdependence of all beings.
“Cultivate Virtue in your own person,
and it becomes a genuine part of you.
Cultivate it in the family,
and it will abide.
Cultivate it in the community,
and it will live and grow.
Cultivate it in the state,
and it will flourish abundantly.
Cultivate it in the world,
And it will become universal….
How do I know about the world?
By what is within me.”
-Lao ZiMarch 12, 2005 at 4:35 pm #3313
< Do you feel that Virtue and merit are the same thing? >
No, they are not. If you look from a NON-LINEAR time frame, you can see a myriad moments of this lifetime and others, each with its own “charge”, so to speak. It’s our “past”, “present” and “future” happening. All of them already done, already complete and ever present. Some people may call it “destiny” and the momentum generated by those moments “karma”.
Some people do not believe in Destiny and say this is all BS. All I can do is to direct them to Tieh Pan Shen Shu Iron Abacus Numerology or The Indian Nadi Granthas Palm Leaves. The master of one of these systems can take your exact date and time of birth, make calculations and, based on a number, pull out an already written piece of paper that predicts in details things about your marriage, spouse, kids, occupation, fortune, specific names etc (for every person it’s a different kind of prediction with different subjects).
More information on this is here:
White Fat Cow: How to Change Your Life, Fortune and Destiny Through Merit and Meditation
It’s extremely hard to change your Destiny. The only way I could see is through spiritual cultivation.
< Cultivating neutral force through daoist inner alchemy IS cultivating pure < virtue qualities, but it is not always active, moral virtue, as in doing < good deeds, and may not always necessarily look good. It is dissolving the < polarizations of energetic forces that you encounter through cooking and < balancing them out. It responds spontaneously to other beings in the < environment that we are interacting with to create harmony and balance, < which may or may not involve doing good deeds. I agree that it can be possible. The point I was trying to make is without proper merit cultivation of "neutral force" will either fail or will be just a mental illusion. Good post. Metta.March 12, 2005 at 4:38 pm #3315March 12, 2005 at 9:35 pm #3317
As one lama I’m familiar with likes to put it:
If you fill your mind stream with good, positive impressions (otherwise known as the path of accumulation) meditation will almost happen by itself; the mind will have no problem looking into and sinking into itself. But if you truly have a bad conscience, good luck even getting to sleep…
This can be taken too far or be misunderstood though; sometimes you have to step on someone’s toes. Conversely, you can always start from where you are, no matter where you are, and turn poison into the elixir; it’s just easier with a good conscience.
Enter also, in my mind, the bodhisattva intent. You can disagree with someone, and even forcefully prevent someone from hurting others, but you always keep your heart open to them if and when they are willing to deal honestly with their inner shit. You never identify a person (or yourself) wholly with their manifestations (which would be an example of inaccurate perception). In my experience pride is one of the worst culprits to people getting it together, incidentally.
For someone who is free in the way we’ve been discussing, there is no winning or losing–crazy wisdom. But karma is still there and will still bite you in the ass if you spit in its face.
SimonMarch 13, 2005 at 10:26 pm #3319
You did nothing to change my doubt, since in essence you just re-stated the position that various spiritual practices are all the same and anyone who thinks they’re experiencing something different is “stuck” or “grasping at illusion”. This is the exactly the position I doubt. The only thing I’m certain of is that neither of us can prove our bias.
Regarding merit, I agree with you. I think the whole “nuetral core/virtue energy” daoist thing misses your point about merit. As I said earlier (see plato v winn Part II), GOOD WORKS ARE A PRACTICE. And just like any practice they tranform the individual practicing them on a spiritual, energetic and physical level.
This is also why most spiritual traditions have pretty much the same list of “good works”. This list of good works may be a set of “external” rules about how to live morally but the rules were created by people who did these “practices” and saw their transformative effect on the practitioner. There’s nothing wrong with a set of external rules by which to live if they in fact work to transform both the world and the individual practicing them. That is what many moral codes do.
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