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Apr 25

Random Thoughts on Spirituality

I am a person who understands the world primarily using concepts but with intuition as a guide. But I went through a long spiritual path that had few concepts to guide me and finally culminated in a very ordinary state. All the states and ecstasies came to end and there is no chance of them returning. Looking back at the journey it is possible to discern exactly what happened. This understanding is what I have been trying to convey in essays and short comments. I am currently writing a novel where I can show the spiritual life in ways that an academic essay never can.

There are a few things that I have learned regarding spirituality and I’d like to summarize them here.

  • The spiritual journey is not about beliefs or understanding of concepts or ideas.
  • The journey is about that special connection one has with the universe.
  • That special connection is unique to each person.
  • Spiritual practice as a routine or exercise has limited value.
  • The world’s religions are more for social cohesion than spiritual development.
  • Conditioning and internalizing of beliefs are incompatible with a spiritual life.
  • Self-emptying removes the impediments to direct awareness.
  • Self-emptying and a belief system are incompatible.
  • Following a system is incompatible with a spiritual life.
  • A goal of the spiritual life is to let go of connections to acquired beliefs.
  • A goal of the spiritual life is to completely let go of one’s conditioning.
  • Conditioning is more insidious than one can imagine.
  • Humanity has embraced conditioning as a mechanism of control.
  • Conditioning exploits a flaw in our collective development.
  • Attachment is that linkage of emotion and belief.
  • Attachment creates a pseudo-reality that seems real.
  • Conditioning + Attachment = imposed inner world = psychological prison
  • Inner looking is used to maintain our conditioned environment.
  • We have to look away from the conditioned environment to be free of it.
  • Once we purge this environment the inner becomes a place of wisdom, as it should be.
  • The spiritual path is only possible once we have purged our conditioning.
  • Without purging our conditioning, we are following a self-imposed belief system.
  • Purging our conditioning is like vomiting out a noxious substance that doesn’t belong there.
  • Purging our conditioning is complete liberation.
  • Liberation allows us to walk the path without fear.
  • Love blossoms from a life without fear.
  • Love carries us along on the journey.

7 comments

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  1. beth

    These all sound very clear and very true to me, Larry. I like the way that you have listed them.

  2. Laura

    Your list reminds me of why I run. When I am running, I am not conditioning my mind but being count-cultural and looking away. An adaptation of your technique can be used during running: focus on some object way up the road, and let go of all else.

  3. Larry

    Thanks for the insight on the adaptation. There are many instances in life when we can just stop and be absorbed in the complete presence of something.

    The other day I was walking in a botanical garden and came upon a magnificent tree. I had to stop and get lost in that vision for some time.

    While techniques to focus can be useful, it is also helpful to be watchful for those sights and sounds that capture our attention. When this becomes a life process, then our life is enriched.

  4. Sid

    Larry,

    There is a yoga which negates every possible way of liberation…so that one is trapped by the inability to move in any direction…the seeker exhaustion and futility finally results in their giving up all effort and immediately a trap door opens up and they are free.

    I would like to know more about your novel.

    Sid

  5. Larry

    Sid,

    What yoga are you referring to? I think that might require a guru/disciple relationship as it seems exceedingly difficult to accomplish on your own. But that is an effective approach: when the seeker finally gives up the quest and the effort to attain it, they are left with a simple awareness that it was here all along. That can be very liberating.

    The novel is about a reporter who discovers and investigates peacefully serene individuals walking the streets of a large metropolitan city. It is a story of discovery and transformation as he goes deeper into their world. Should be done a few weeks and maybe a few more to proof it.

    I’m planning to release it as a free ebook (PDF) with the possibility of producing it as a printed book it if there is sufficient demand.

  6. Jenny

    Re: The world’s religions are more for social cohesion than spiritual development.

    Larry,

    I agree with most of the points that you made, except this one. I think beneath all the rules and rhetoric, religion is a means to love one another and to be at peace with yourself. It is in the misinterpretation of these rules and rhetoric that leads to violence, but I believe that through loving and accepting oneself you become spiritually developed and hopefully be socially cohesive with others through these means.

  7. Larry

    Jenny,

    You are speaking of the ideal regarding religion, not the reality. Mainstream religion does not instruct the masses on spiritual liberation or the spiritual journey — that area is left to the mystical elements of the religion which is a very tiny minority. As one goes through the spiritual journey, one finds the universal love that connects us to one another. It is one thing to find that love within and another to follow rules of good behavior. Religion has become a giant corporate when it could have become a force to help each individual find their spiritual nature and thereby creating a climate where violence and hatred cannot survive in the world.

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