The One True Path

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The One True Path

Post  Hadrianswall on Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:49 pm

HOW CAN ONE METHOD BE AS GOOD AS ANOTHER?

Q: What you have said about the same person, or the same group of people, being able to employ entirely different techniques to achieve the same object interests me. But how can one method be as good as another?

A: If a house is on fire, two ladders may be propped against one window. Both lead to the ground. The different colours of the paint on them may obscure the fact that they are ladders.

Q: But how do we know that either is a ladder?

A: You know by learning to recognise a ladder when you see one.

Q: How is that done ?

A: By familiarising yourself with ladders.

Q: And climbing ladders?

A: While you are learning recognition, climb them as a part of it.

Q: But some people insist that there is only one ladder, their own.

A: They are right, if they are only saying that to focus attention on a specific escape-ladder as an instrument. If it works, it is equivalent to being the only true one. For practical purposes, it is.

Q: Are they right under any other circumstances?

A: Seldom, because if they really were right they would teach not 'There is only this ladder', but 'Look at all these ladders; they can-or could-work. Ours, however, is applicable to you and to me.' Failure to do this reveals ignorance.

Remark: But they are short of time.

Comment: So is everybody.

Q: Are some ladders too short?

A: Ladders are in all conditions: new, old, rotten, short, long, blue, green, weak, strong, available, in use elsewhere, and all the rest of the possibilities.

Q: What should one do about all this?

A: Try to conceive that the house is on fire. If you can do so without becoming obsessed or irrational about it, particularly without becoming suggestible through dwelling on this idea, you may get out. But while you are full of hope or fear, of sentiment or desire for social activity or personal prominence or even recognition, you will not be able to use a ladder, you may not be able to recognise one, certainly you should be spending your energies in circles which abound
for the purpose of welcoming such tendencies.

People learn by methods which correspond with the kind and extent of their aspiration: this is the constant Sufi dictum.

In the Anwar-i-Suņaili it is said:

Nobody found the way to ascend
Until he found the step of aspiration.
Seek the stage, to mount to the Moon:
None drinks rain from a well.

Equally, of course, there are many people who cannot learn something at a given time, because they have some other expectation, some preoccupation, probably an emotional one.

Reflect on this news item: 'More than 3,000 worshippers fled in near-panic from the famous Church of the Blessed Mary of the Rosary at Pompeii on Saturday night, when a bottle of Coca Cola exploded.*

* Daily Telegraph, (London) Monday, 9 May 1977, p. 6, col. 8.

Excerpt from 'Learning How to Learn': Idies Shah

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Now burn all your books, including mine. - Sendivogius

Hadrianswall

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Re: The One True Path

Post  Hadrianswall on Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:17 am

It is important to see that the main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego's constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgment, comfort or whatever it is that a particular ego is seeking. One must step out of spiritual materialism. If we do not step out of spiritual materialism, if we in fact practice it, then we may eventually find ourselves possessed of a huge collection of spiritual paths. We may feel these spiritual collections to be very
precious. We have studied so much. We may have studied Western philosophy or Oriental philosophy, practiced yoga or perhaps studied under dozens of great masters. We have achieved and we have learned. We believe that we have accumulated a hoard of knowledge. And yet, having gone through all this, there is still something to give up. It is extremely mysterious! How could this happen? Impossible! But unfortunately it is so. Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of ego's display, part of the
grandiose quality of ego. We display them to the world and, in so doing, reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure, as "spiritual" people.

But we have simply created a shop, an antique shop. We could be specializing in oriental antiques or medieval Christian antiques or antiques from some other civilization or time, but we are, nonetheless, running a shop. Before we filled our shop with so many things the room was beautiful: whitewashed walls and a very simple floor with a bright lamp burning in the ceiling. There was one object of art in the middle of the room and it was beautiful. Everyone who came appreciated its beauty, including ourselves.

But we were not satisfied and we thought, "Since this one object makes my room so beautiful, if I get more antiques, my room will be even more beautiful." So we began to collect, and the end result was chaos.

We searched the world over for beautiful objects - India, Japan, many different countries. And each time we found an antique, because we were dealing with only one object at a time, we saw it as beautiful and thought it would be beautiful in our shop. But when we brought the object home and put it there, it became just another addition to our junky collection. The beauty of the object did not radiate out any more, because it was surrounded by so many other
beautiful things. It did not mean anything anymore. Instead of a room full of beautiful antiques we created a junk shop!

Proper shopping does not entail collecting a lot of information or beauty, but it involves fully appreciating each
individual object. This is very important. If you really appreciate an object of beauty, then you completely identify with it and forget yourself. It is like seeing a very interesting, fascinating movie and forgetting that you are the audience. At that moment there is no world; your whole being is that scene of that movie. It is that kind of identification, complete involvement with one thing. Did we actually taste it and chew it and swallow it properly, that one object of beauty, that one spiritual teaching? Or did we merely regard it as a part of our vast and growing collection?

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism: ChogyamTrungpa

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Re: The One True Path

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:33 pm

Shah = cheers
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