There is No Way to Spirituality; It is The Way

Our simple seeker was meditating on the spiritual concept
of “The Way”. She had always, it seems, found the term
problematic.

What’s the problem with it?

“The way to go” can refer to a direction.

It is a direction.

But, it can also refer to how to live; as in a power
tripper insisting it be her way.

Or his?

I didn’t want you to consider it as personal.

It is personal.

I could have also meant power-trippers in general.

Also suggests the personal was included.

Okay. Yes, but you do sometimes …

Only sometimes?

I’m learning a new way of coping with your way?

How?

Yes. Exactly. Your way, as how you would or do
whatever; your style.

And the results?

It makes it so much less of a struggle; so much
less stressful.

In what way?

Even individual children develop their own way,
their own style, of learning.

And my way is just my style?

Not just …

Yes. We each are unique in some way and we can
only be who we are and learn and do whatever,
our way.

Then, the way to enlightenment can only be
an individual way?

Yes and no.

Please explain.

Learning math, or any other academic subject,
or in developing any skill, requires accepting
general rules or guidelines. But, within
these rules there is infinite flexibility.

Is developing a spiritual life a skill?

No.

Is it a way to enlightenment?

No.

Then, what

It is The Way.

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How to Resolve Conflicting Needs

Our simple seeker was meditating on, or was she
just thinking about, her next year’s garden.

Why not just call it planning?

Planning has to develop out of …

Out of what?

Awareness of what is, and what it is that is
pleasing about what is, and what is not, and,
given the limits of a small garden area, what
might be even more pleasing than was pleasing
this past season.

Also, there is a yearly chore of restricting
the space that existing plants can expand
into.

And attacking those who have spread beyond
their allotted area?

Attacking sounds violent.

Is there a gentle way to cut them back?

I have tried restricting their spread
by placing patio stones between them, but …

Their roots find a way to reach under and ..

Yes. Then I cut them back. But it doesn’t
work.

What does?

Digging up the whole clump and subdividing it.

Then, what?

One third gets to return to the original area
and the rest goes to a new home or the compost.

Do all of your plants get the same treatment?

No. There are some too dear to me to risk disturbing.

How to deal with the invasive nature of their roots?

Their individual root systems spread at differing depths
beneath the surface of the soil But, they, too must be
cutback when they threaten more fragile plants. But, if
they can work it out together I try to provide enough
water, nutrients, compost and loam to keep them all
happy. Also, gentle hoeing discourages wandering roots.

How would such a system of control work in keeping
the peace between groups of people?

What do you mean?

Does your garden’s collection of competing needs
remind you of human society?

In a way, yes. We each have personal needs
and desires, and so does everyone else.

Yes.

So, how to resolve such a situation of competition
for limited resources?

Self-control, co-operation, and mutual respect.

And, if that doesn’t work.

Then, the law of the jungle will.

Survival of the fittest and those who adapt?

Yes.

A Higher Infusion of Energy

Our simple seeker was meditating on the concept of
reverse transcendence.

How did that idea get into your mind?

I don’t know. Perhaps you put it there.

For what purpose?

Perhaps to inform me of the topic of today’s lesson.

How would you explain reverse transcendence?

In traditional yoga practice the mind of the student
and that of her teacher become interconnected.

Where does reverse transcendence fit into such
a situation.

As the student absorbs more and more of her teacher’s
understanding …

Understanding and not wisdom?

Are they not the same?

Yes. Go on.

Then her own wisdom or awareness expands, as she
absorbs some of his.

Does she transcend her own mind?

No. An overlap, as in the process of paradigm shifts,
develops between the student’s mind and that of
her teacher’s.

Duality becomes one?

Not totally.

So, she absorbs his energy without losing her own?

Perhaps our unique energy could never be in danger
of being consumed by another.

It could be weakened or strengthened. Is this
the result of a student attracting and absorbing
her teacher’s energy?

Perhaps neither happens.

Then, what does or might happen?

The student may become increasingly aware of her own
vibrating energy through a more relaxed and trusting
association with his.

Very good. But, where does your concept of reverse
transformation come in?

I’m still vague about it but transcendence suggests
going beyond, and if her Guru’s energy is
strengthening her own then the flow of higher energy
is from without to within – a reverse flow from
the generally accepted view of transcendence
as going beyond, or from within to without.

Does the teacher lose anything in this transfer of
energy?

Is there a transfer?

Yes.

Then the high energy the teacher transmits to his
student would be replaced by an even higher infusion
of energy from His source of enlightenment, as a
pressure gradient system might work.

Is that all?

For now, yes. Did I do well?

For now, yes.

Instinct and Intuition as Yin and Yang

Our simple seeker was meditating on The Ace of Swords,
the Tarot card she had randomly selected to direct
her focus on relationship issues of today.

The Ace of Swords represents the full range of
intellectual capacities and potentials.

Then, simple common sense would be a form of, or
a prerequisite to higher levels of intellectual
development.

What would connect them to each other?

Perhaps different levels of awareness.

Are they related as you and I are?

If common sense is a prerequisite of intelligence …

And it both is and is not.

How is that possible?

What is common sense?

An instinctive or intuitive knowing.

Are they the same?

What?

Instinct and intuition.

Is one more primitive?

Primitive?

More basic in that it developed prior
to the other.

As in emotion and intellect?

Instinct and intuition may be more closely
connected to each other.

In what way?

Perhaps intuition develops into instinct?

As in transcending?

Yes.

Would instinct then dissolve?

No.

Why?

Transcending doesn’t involve exchanging
one for the other.

Could they operate or function separately?

What?

Instinct and intuition.

Yes.

Then there is no transcendence from one
to the other?

Perhaps transcendence still plays a part
in the game.

What role? What game?

Perhaps as intuition develops …

It never develops. It transcends into awareness.

Then, perhaps instinct is more emotional
and intuition is more intellectual, as in
Yin and Yang?

Yes.

Could common sense be a blend of instinct
and intuition.

Yes.

Wow!

Now, where does awareness fit into this picture?

I am becoming more aware of the interrelationship
between emotion and intellect.

Yes.

Do they develop separately?

Is that possible?

They each need the other in order to develop
in a healthy way?

Yes.

I think I’m over my head.

Yes.

Awareness of Personal Power Requires Meditation

Our simple seeker had randomly chosen and was now studying
her daily personal relationship card, The King of Wands.
This authority figure presented as having a firm grip on power.

Is it possible?

Is what possible?

To possess a firm grip on authority?

He seems ready to do battle to maintain it, and beneath his
royal robes he wears a body suit of armour.

Then he rules with an iron grip?

Wands are wood, but he does seem prepared, and yet ..

And yet?

Something in his posture and facial expression suggests
a willingness to listen to reason.

Does he remind you of me?

Not at all.

Why?

Wands express action.

And teachers do not?

Not in a physical sense.

Intellectual development has physical results.

How?

Everything you do, say, or think is an expression of
intellectual development.

Wow!

Does that mean you agree?

No.

Then what?

It means that I’m impressed with your self-confidence.

Yes, but do you disagree?

No.

Why not?

Self-directed actions must be based on thoughts,
blended with emotions, and our thoughts are influenced
by those whom we have chosen, or who have been chosen
for us, to develop and guide our thinking.

Do I guide your thinking.

Yes, you certainly have had a powerful effect on my
thinking.

In what way?

You have continuously, or so it seems, challenged me
to defend or question my own thinking.

And the effects of earlier teachers and social
conditioning on your thinking?

Yes.

Now, back to the King of Action.

What about him?

I’ll ask you again: Do teachers possess power
to influence their students’ actions; what they
say and do?

Yes, both now and in the future. I now understand
the power of what we know, or think we know.

Yes, that we have learned from whomever we allowed
to teach us whatever.

Free will?

Yes.

Personal responsibility?

Yes, that too.

What about emotions.

What about them?

Have I taught you any?

How can anyone learn or teach emotions?

Nothing we can say, think, or do is, or can be
emotion-free.

How can we learn to recognize which emotion is
embedded in what particular thought, word or
action?

Self-awareness.

How to develop self-awareness?

Self-reflection and meditation in some form.

How does self-awareness relate to the symbolic
form of The King of Action.

His seeming sense of power is a reflection of
his self-awareness. He is aware of his own
personal strengths, his personal power.
Are you, of yours?

No.

Yes.

Compassion Has a History of Passionate Concern

Our simple seeker was practicing slow and deep breathing,
to calm her overly charged emotions, after reading
a passionate post of a patriotic soul concerning
her homeland, or, at least, the land of her birth.

The young journalist (or did it require youth to care
so deeply?) was obviously very agitated by what had happened,
was happening now, and what might yet happen; all of it
seemingly beyond her power to control.

How did her energy affect your own in such a way?

I don’t know how that was possible. Perhaps we’re kindred spirits.

Yes. We each resonate at a frequency that magnetically attracts
and connects with others resonating with the same or similar
vibration.

Through a computer?

No.

Then, how?

Thoughts have power to resonate whether written, spoken, or
reflected upon in one’s own mind.

Then, the computer …

Or a book …

I’m not going there.

Where?

You have hinted at a book for the past ten thousand years
or more. I don’t care any more.

Why?

I allowed myself to get too personally involved in
the prospect.

Yes.

What does that mean?

It is the same with the young journalist who has become
a deeply distressed witness to a human tragedy.

Expanded awareness would allow her to transform her
agitated emotions to empathy?

And then to compassion.

Yes, and you are right, again.

In what way.

In that she seems to see her world too close-up
to allow for expanded awareness.

Would she care less for current events if she
could distance herself from them?

No. She would still know that she was helpless
to change what is.

What can she change?

I’m not sure.

We can each change how we choose to respond
to whatever situation.

Would she have expressed less care if she had
not shared her experience, her story?

Yes.

To Inspire Us to Think

Our simple seeker had rediscovered Jack Schwartz
somewhere in her personal collection of books
that crowded together in a distressingly
disorganized way, in a bookcase designed
to hold far fewer books than she seemed unable
to let go of.

How did she come to hold it in her hands, now?
It had obviously been cherished by her at
some time in the past, beyond her current
memory. It was full of underlining and
highlighting – her personal signature
statement of interest, though sneered at
by some who claim closeness to her.

If you care for me then accept my ways?

Yes. But, “Human Energy Systems” was still
with her, even though it had been written
more than thirty years ago.

What has that to do with anything?

Of lasting value?

Yes.

That would depend ..

On what?

Our understanding develops over time.

Not necessarily.

Sudden insight?

Yes.

Then, as if designed to impress this truth
in the mind of his simple student, her book
opened to “Seeing is not believing”, and
“All the sensory systems of the body
can be misled in one way or another”, and
“In the intuitive domain, however, certainty
often seems to provide factual knowledge”.

A sudden idea or insight can inspire us
to do research on our own, to seek
more information on our subject of interest.

So, there is no conflict between awareness
and formal knowledge?

There is and must be constant conflict
between our personal understanding
of anything and what has been generally
accepted as knowledge.

Why?

There could be no advancement in
our understanding if sudden insights
did not come before dedicated study.

To prove the truth of the new concept?

Or to disprove it.

How?

Not how.

Then, why?

To inspire us to think.