A Voice in the Wilderness
DOES IT TAKE 10,000 HOURS
TO ACHIEVE MASTERY IN LIVING?

Editor’s Note: For the next several months this space will be used to explore — one-by-one — the messages, metaphysical principles, and spiritual meaning of the material found in the nearly 3,000 pages of the Conversations with God dialogues. This series of observations and interpretations is offered with my continuing disclaimer: I could be wrong about all of this.

CWG Explored/Installment #7: How long does Mastery take?

In my last column here I wrote:

What does it take to change the Self? What is required to transmogrify? Does it take a long, long time? Years and years of study, effort, and practice? Was Malcolm Gladwell right in his 2008 book, Outliers, in which he hypothesized that it takes 10,000 hours to reach mastery at anything? Could this include reaching mastery at Mastery?

I promised that I would touch on this in my next entry of this series…and so here we are. And the answer, as most of you know, is no, it does not take 10,000 hours to reach mastery at Mastery.

First of all, in my awareness it is not a question of reaching Mastery, but of returning to it. There is nothing we have to learn — not a single thing — to “reach mastery.”

In my lectures and spiritual renewal workshops I often point to a tree outside the window and ask, “What has that magnificent oak, standing there in its majesty under the splendor of its canopy, learned in the years of its growth?”

The answer, of course, is: “Nothing. Not a thing. Everything the tree needed to know to become its glorious self was encoded in the seed, no bigger than your fingernail, from which it sprung. The tree had merely to grow into what it was programmed at the outset to always become.

“Now if God so loved the tree that it encoded in its seed everything it needed in order to become what it was created to become, would God not all the more encode you?”

The answer, of course, is “Yes.” And God has.

Therefore, there is nothing for you to learn, and it does not take 10,000 hours to learn nothing. “Ah, but,” — you might say — “it took 10,000 hours and more for the tree to grow into the fullness of its magnificent self.” And that, indeed, is true. Growth takes time.

For trees.

Growth for humans takes no time at all, because we are not talking about physical growth — we are not talking about growth of the Body (or even the Mind) — we are talking about growth of the Soul . . . and such a thing is not only not required, it is impossible.

That which is whole cannot grow to become whole. That which is complete cannot grow to become complete. That which exists in its ultimate totality cannot grow to become its ultimate totality. It already is that which the Mind might imagine that it seeks to become.

The Soul simply desires to experience that which it Already and Always Is: the Individuation of Divinity, the Expression of Divine Consciousness in Singular Form. Or, if you please, a Singularization of The Singularity.

So if growth is not necessary, then what is necessary for humans to reach the State of Mastery?

Awareness. And its expansion.

And this is a function of the Mind, not of the Soul, as I have experienced it.

The Journey of the Soul through Time and Space is the process by which the Soul expands the Awareness of the Mind, so that the Mind may then use the Body to express and experience in physicality the total being’s True Nature and Only Identity.

Thus, the three-part being that constitutes every member of the human species becomes the living expression of Divinity — or the out-picturing, if you will, of that which was encoded in its DNA (Divine Natural Awareness) at the outset.

(Of course, there is no such thing as the outset, since “outset” suggests a “beginning” — and no such thing exists in the realm of Time/No Time within which Divinity expresses).

And so, it takes no Time at all to achieve Mastery. Yet it may take what you call “time” in your illusory world for your Mind to experience Mastery, and your Body to demonstrate it.

Even within the context of your illusory world, however, this is not a process of learning or achieving or becoming something you are not, but of simply realizing and expressing what you are, have always been, and will always be.

This can be experienced in “Earth time” in an instant. It does not have to take 10,000 hours. And it can if you wish it to, or if you think that it must. But it can also be experienced in an instant. And, indeed, it has been already for nearly every human being.

Many people can remember a time when, for whatever reason, and perhaps only for the blink of an eye, they suddenly and inexplicably “knew” everything. They knew who they were, they knew themselves as one with all, they knew that there was nothing they had to do to fully experience their reason for being here, they knew the deep peace and simple joy that comes from knowing that.

There is scarcely a person anywhere who has not had at least one such instant, one moment of what we have come to call “mastery” of life on this planet. It may have been when they were nine minutes old, or nine weeks old, or nine months old, or nine years old, or nineteen years old, or ninety years old, or in one of the moments between, but they, and most of us, have had at least one instant in which total mastery of life was experienced.

Of course, a statement like that begs the question: What is “mastery”? How is it defined?

For me, “mastery” is defined as “the fullest expression of the fullness of my being.” That is, the total expression of the totality of my Self.

Yet in order for me to know and to recognize that I have had such an experience, I would have to know (and be able to explain to my Mind) what my “Self” is.

What is the Self that I am seeking to express in fullness?

We’ll look at that next.

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  • Mateia Andrei (A true friend)

    How does mail from the absolute world works Neale? How fast can God deliver to me a time machine?

  • mewabe

    Martin Luther Kings Day…quote:

    “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

    —“Beyond Vietnam,” 1967

    2017: we are not approaching anymore…we have landed in the grave, and we are making it global.

  • inae park

    To put it succinctly, almost in a way that’s too simplistic, the Self that I’m seeking to express is that which is one with everything, the energy of pure, unconditional love and a creator. I endeavor to experience and express myself as that but often get caught up in the nitty-gritty and stay in forgetfulness and let my mind perceive lack, separation, and need. Reading spiritual jewels such as the Only Thing that Matters helps keep remembering. This entry was posted at just the right time, my mind was starting to lapse a little bit.

    • NealeDonaldWalsch

      It will and does, Inae. It will and does. It is time now to Awaken the Species.

      • Mateia Andrei (A true friend)

        Do you mind Neale if you answer my question?
        How does one get mail from the absolute world a time machine or from a place where they have this thing called a “time machine” (HEBs societies etc) ?

      • inae park

        Emphatically. ; )

  • Jethro

    Lately the pressures of life had settled in and with life being what it is without taking time for self, negativity had settled in. Lots of it. The higher purpose for how and why I’ve been moving through life had been hidden with serving worldly self needs rather than spiritual self needs. There is nothing wrong with being concerned about the state of the world but hurting myself with an unhealthy amount of anger about it will do no good and actually hurts others as I share my thoughts in that state of mind. I too am looking forward to the 4th addition. I should re read new revelations, which started my new way of seeing self and the world. I cannot change the big picture as no one person can but I can show people a better way and set a good example. That is my goal, that is enough.

  • mewabe

    Real courage and true spiritual wisdom, in my opinion, are demonstrated when being able to look at the problems of the world without getting psychologically overwhelmed by them and sink into anger or despair. This attitude requires a deeper grounding into what I call the real world, the world of nature, which gives us strong spiritual roots, and it also requires an inner knowing and a living experience of the ultimate spiritual truth and identity, which is “I Am”, the unassailable, eternal Self.

    To put it in other words…and in different context. A doctor working in a mental asylum needs to have a certain amount of psychological strength and a solid foundation of mental health in order to deal with his patients. A weaker person could not handle it and would end up as a patient, or would break down.

    In my view, a person who cannot handle the harsh, negative realities of the world shouldn’t…they should protect themselves from it. However, I do believe that we, meaning the specie, have a very serious problem when most people cannot handle such negative realities without being totally overwhelmed by fear or anger and ending up off balance, psychologically. It then turns out to be a serious problem, which is within us, when most people must live in denial in order to be able to function.

    The solution to resolving the problems of the world is not to ignore them, but to develop the inner wisdom, personal courage and spiritual illumination to be able to tackle them without loosing oneself in them.

    • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

      We pick & choose our battles or solutions.

      When you are a cop or work in the judicial system, it’s hard not to be jaded & the sh#t that public teachers go through is awful. Take stuff that bothers you most or you are passionate about & let your action move into that.

      That said, I still believe that when we deal with some of the many ignored simple things the bigger things may & can clear uP on their own.

      As we continue to awaken more, as the planted seeds of awaking turn to little trees & to eventual full grown orchards, perhaps mass awakening or critical mass will be surfacing & reached.

      • mewabe

        Thanks Marko..I have no problem acting on the issues which I think are important, which are very many.

        My comment was addressing a situation which I have witnessed everywhere through the years: the almost childlike inability of so many to “face the facts”. I have seen Neale being reprimanded on this blog by his audience, when he veered from what they thought was the spiritual program, which is supposed to be about love and light and butterflies, and when he dared comment on the world problems. He was accused of “negativity” and “fear mongering”. It is as though the children do not want to loose their innocence.

        • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

          Yep, I hear you Mewabe. That’s why Neale sometimes says when the train is coming at you, is it not a good idea to warn you of the train?, or is that negativity?

          As discussed many times in spiritual circles is to see challenges as opportUnity. Lately when frustrated or challenged, I think to myself “Piece of cake” to lighten up & to pre program things not always having to be difficult. Or, if they are difficult, see the blessing etc….
          Smiles, -Marko

          • mewabe

            Every problem has a solution :)

  • Penelope Tolva

    Hi Neale:
    I have had the triology of “CwC” for at least 15 years. I read through all three books. They are my “go-to” guide throughout those years. I pick up and read 2-5 pages or a chapter and always “remember”. I am mostly going back to Book 1.
    I have been making a conscious effort to read a chapter a day this last week. I recently read about being “conscious” of my thoughts, making corrections in my thinking as soon as it dawns on me that I’ve gone to sleep again. It is very challenging for me to stay in the moment but I am enjoying my life more than before I started this practice.
    The other important jewel I’ve found (re-found) is to be only about love or God. I have made a point of having a feel-good moment every day. Sometimes it is a small thing. Sometimes it makes my heart burst with joy.Today I talked with my daughter about these revelations. My daughter is a long long story but suffice to say she is fearful a lot of the time. I believe she heard what I was conveying.
    Bless you and keep you – Penelope

  • Spiritual_Annie

    I have been in touch with my Soul for a long, long time. Eons and eons, I’m told by that still, small voice. Plus memories of having understandings about the chaos in my childhood homes from the age of two that were beyond the understandings of a two year old mind. And though this particular physical body has its challenges, it still functions… mostly. Out of the three, it is my mind I struggle with most. Our minds can be incredible tools, or great deceivers.

    My mind, however it understands something intellectually, doesn’t always accept it fully. It may become aware, as in acquiring the thoughts that infer or imply something, but won’t necessarily accept it. It can, in times of doubt, look at 2+2 and not acknowledge that it equals 4, even though my mind said so yesterday. It can even dissociate from what’s going on with or around me to protect me. Why is the mind like all that, I wonder?

    Sometimes it’s because I want what I want when I want it and how i want it. (Certainly not nearly as often now as when I was younger, though.) If it shows up in another form or at another time, I may not even recognize that it’s what I called into my presence.

    Sometimes it’s because, according to societal standards, I’m not supposed to want what I want. Then, when I call it into my presence, I may not have the courage to stand up and claim it.

    Sometimes it’s because my mind becomes confused by an overload. There is often more than one or two pressing matters at a time, and in its confusion, my mind cannot determine what to call forth and sometimes I end up with a mish-mash that slightly resembles what I want, but I’m not sure.

    Then there are the times of certainty and clarity, when I know who I am and why I am here, now. Usually, though, they happen when I’m “out of my mind” meditating or daydreaming or night dreaming. I’m not sure why that certainty and clarity so easily leaves me when I switch to something other than simply being. It’s as if my mind cannot hold it for long. Not that it’s not strong enough or wise enough or intelligent enough, but as if that certainty and clarity is a liquid that slowly leaks out

    To complicate matters of the mind, I never lose the certainty or clarity of the “knowings’ that I’ve had. Is that because they somehow bypass the barriers in my mind? Or is it a “knowing” from the Soul?

    Oftentimes when i’m struggling with my mind, i’ve learned to rely on my emotions. The feeling in my gut, mostly. It lets me know when something’s not quite right. It lets me know when I’m fearful. It lets me know when I’m excited. It lets me know when I’m on target. It lets me know when I’m in danger, especially from sexual predators. My gut seems to be a barometer when my mind can’t quite make itself up. Another blessing of the body–my gut.

    We understand a lot more about the brain than we used to, but I’m not certain we know all that much about the mind. Psychologists and Psychiatrists have (in my opinion, based on years of study and experience) first guessed at the mind’s workings and its disorders, then simply started expanding on and renaming their guesses. Anyone who reads the physician’s pamphlet for a psychiatric medication knows most state that the mechanism of the medication isn’t understood, just the effects. It’s known what it does, but not how. And the origin of our thoughts, their patterns and their disorders aren’t well understood, either.

    Yep. Out of the three parts of my being, the one I understand the least is my mind. Not my physical brain, but my mind. Maybe it’s just lost. I have been told that more than once. 😉

    Love and Blessings Always,
    ~Annie

  • Gaby

    Ya me leí los tres libros de “Conversaciones con Dios” y el libro en “Casa con Dios” y me sentía muy reconfortada, pero me siento un poco frustrada al entrar a la página y darme cuenta que todo esto es solo un negocio muy lucrativo, y es que no es la primera vez que me uno a un grupo con ideas de prosperidad y desarrollo personal y luego me doy cuenta que la finalidad era el dinero y no ayudar a los demás….

    I already read the three books of “Conversations with God” and the book in “House with God” and I felt very comforted, but I feel a little frustrated to enter the page and realize that all this is just a very lucrative business, And is that it is not the first time that I join a group with ideas of prosperity and personal development and then I realize that the purpose was money and not helping others ….

    • Spiritual_Annie

      Gaby,

      I’m not sure where you are from, but I think it’s pretty universal that we pay some of the most important people lowest salaries.

      Here in the United States, we trust the education of our children, our most important resource, to underpaid and overworked teachers. In the same way, I see that our most important asset as adults is our spirituality and connection with creation, yet we expect the people we trust with it to take vows of poverty. Medical staff who aren’t physicians yet are responsible for the day-to-day care of those who are ill and are on their feet all day get paid little. The farmers and farmhands who feed us can barely make a living.

      But our lawmakers in Washington, who don’t even work the entire year and often get little done get paid large salaries. Executives at private companies who may only show up for board meetings once a month not only get huge wages, but also large bonuses if there’s been large profits.

      I don’t think it should be taken as a negative that someone who is trying to make positive changes in the world is making money doing so. The value of CWG is in it’s messages and the lives it’s touched. Why shouldn’t the person who is doing the work to spread those messages through their books, lectures and detailed seminars and workshops not be paid well for that work? I think that they should, not just because of the work that goes into it, but the lives that are touched.

      That’s just my own personal opinion.

      Love and Blessings Always,
      ~Annie

      • Stephen mills

        Great Annie some of the most coherent understandings written anywhere . True value in society is paid with little or no money,like being a parent …what job is more important than bringing up the next generation. People looking to find a cure for cancer that kills about one in two of us go begging for money yet we pay millions to sports stars that kick bags of wind around.

        • Jethro

          Amen!

        • mewabe

          You mean that sport stars kick politicians around? :))
          Sorry I couldn’t resist that one…

          • Stephen mills

            Ha-ha right on the money Dr Doolittle ….wonderful that you have Deer right in your backyard .

          • mewabe

            Thanks Stephen…deer, raccoons, opossums, hares, wild turkeys, and a resident hawk family…it’s a friendly neighborhood for the wildlife. I once counted 14 deer and 48 turkeys…they know me and aren’t scared. Some deer sleep right outside my window. I learn a lot about human behavior by watching some of them being competitive, territorial, very protective of their offsprings, etc…the funniest part is seeing male turkeys puffing themselves up and displaying their feathers to attract the attention of the females, who couldn’t care less and keep on foraging and doing their own thing. They kind of look foolish…like men who try too hard to impress women.

          • Stephen mills

            Sounds like you have a little bit of heaven on Earth my friend …your own little sanctuary . Humans are both the bane and the blessing of the universe they have the capacity to create heaven or hell in each moment .You know all this and more. We here at the global conversations really appreciate your impute and thoughts you keep us on the ground and in the real heaven which is the here and now as part of nature and remind us we are all connected with source.

          • mewabe

            Thank you Stephen!

    • Jethro

      I recently made a comment in the same manner as you have. It doesn’t matter what any of this is to anyone but you. It’s a decision you have to make. The articles provoke thought, the people who post here provoke thought, you can take away from here what you wish. A positive view, a negative view. A new thought that adds to the comfort delivered by reading the first 3 books. None of us are required to pay anything to be here. It’s not cheap to get an important message out there either. Stick around here and talk to like minded people or test your knowledge with a passionately negative person. it’s all here. You may be invited to read a book or two, but none of this will cost you a thing except the time you choose to put into it.

  • Jean

    Dear Neale,

    Thanks for your article. To be honest, this kind of article doesn’t talk to me. I am sure you do it with you heart, but i wonder if it’s really useful for everybody. I mean, it reminds me of articles we see every day in spirituality : ‘everything is perfect, you don’t have to change, you don’t have anything to learn’. To me it seems that the main problem is the lack of compassion. I am, as i guess most of people on this planet, identified with my body, emotions and mind, and at first i don’t want to be told that i have no problems, as ‘everything is already perfect’. If we see someone who is starving, i think before telling him that starving is an illusion, first you have to give him food. If we speak about spirituality, if we see people who are suffering, before telling them that they don’t need anything, and that everything is already perfect, first we have to give them love and compassion. By the way, i don’t say that you are not giving love, i am just expressing my feelings about this kind of teaching.

  • Jean

    If i may add a precision to my previous remark : that’s why i don’t like the teaching of the ‘law of attraction’. It seems to me so cold and with no compassion at all. Everybody is fully responsible for what he is living, as he has chosen to attract the things in his life. A child is starving ? Well, he deserves what he is living, right ? So he has to take full responsibility if he is starving.
    My understanding is that people deserve compassion, because they don’t have choice. They are doing their best with their level of consciousness. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. I remember the teachings of a spiritual master, Lee Lozowick. He said that nobody is free, as before getting enlightened, you are controlled by your unconscious, and after enlightenment, you are a slave of god. Of course in our modern society, where is individualism and narcissism are so strong, and where everybody wants to do what they want, this kind of teaching is not very successful. People prefer to hear to they don’t need to make any effort, as they are already perfect, and with the law of attraction, they will get very easily a big car with a beautiful house, and a lot of money. No wonder compassion is much less common, as it needs a lot of effort to express in everyday life.

    • Jethro

      Compassion requires no effort Jean. Our children are examples that make that evident. We are born with it. Society has rung it out of us. It’s not actually out of us, we have learned to never show such weaknesses. Neale is telling us we need to reconnect with the child we once were, to know who we really are. He is letting us know that it requires no ceremonies or special teaching. We are compassion. We can be who we are if we choose to forget what has been taught to us by those who thought we needed protection. Become aware of who we really are.

      To be aware of who we are does not require learning, It requires forgetting. If we can forget these useless teachings, we can then remember who we truly are.

      The soul may have or may have not picked its location in the universe, maybe it chose life with a family in poverty. The child itself didn’t ask in anyway to be or create the situation in which it is starving. Nobody wants the child to starve. I was really out of balance in my thoughts and very angry about things such as this because I didn’t know what to do. I will do all that I can and I have to find peace in that. I can’t be compassionate if I am so angry inside that I lose compassion for self, believing that I should set back and do nothing because there’s nothing that can be done.

      I personally am getting many things from these articles and the posts of the people who choose to show-up. Your post has allowed me to remember and reinforce the fact that I know I can do something for someone but I can’t do everything for everyone.

      Thank You!

      • Stephen mills

        So true Jethro I’m so much like you, angry at the insanity that our culture guides us by taking no responsibility for the things that really matter .

        • Jethro

          Hi Stephen, I was very angry for a while at this and many other things. I have found that anger, the kind I was experiencing, was not very healthy. I’m back to just being disappointed. I agree that todays culture is working against us and tearing us apart from the head down.

      • Jean

        Dear Jethro,

        Thanks for your answer. You talk about children. Let’s talk about babies. At first babies, don’t even recognize that there are others. A baby feels as there is only himself. He has no intellect capacities to see others. So how can a baby feels compassion for others ? To feel compassion you must at first recognize that others exist. It’s not because babies has no sense of separation that they are enlightened.
        When children grow up, then they start to recognize others, but for several years, they still think that they can impose they desires to everybody. It’s the age when they say no and dream of superheroes. They start to develop their ego. But if everything goes well, then they recognize more and more than in order to live in society and have relationships, they must sacrifice some of theirs desires. Of course children can express sometimes generosity, but also cruelty. You can see it often when children are together.
        It’s true that we must become like little children, but that doesn’t mean we must become childish. We must find back the spontaneity of children, but not regress to their level of consciousness.

        • Jethro

          Hello Jean, Before the child was born it had no desire to take a breath, it has no desires whatsoever, it has a natural desire to exist. As far as I know, it has no desire to laugh or cry things are just going the way they go. As soon as we smack its butt and clip the umbilical it desires air and food and finds a way to let you know something is wrong. I can only imagine its first thought is its cold. It will not begin to exhibit adult traits for some time. My sister enjoys fake crying in front of babies just a few months old, (which I’m not crazy about), it causes the child to go from laughter to crying almost as fast as my sister gets started. then she laughs and laughs. The child is reacting to something there. Empathy maybe? I’ve watched children get angry and hit another child, if the other child cries the offender immediately tries to comfort the child. Could that be compassion? At these young ages they haven’t learned to project an illusion of who they want everyone to see in them. They wish to be accepted but don’t strive to be popular. They will go years before that occurs. The innocence of a child is cherished by some due to the lack of knowledge and wisdom associated with it, just pure being. Ignorance is bliss.

          If we could experience that kind of feeling again but with the wisdom we have gained over the years, I think that would be an awesome feeling. the ability to forget or at least not be bothered by the past or worry about the future. To never be bothered by not impressing someone. To move into the next every moment doing what makes us happy without worry. But we have responsibilities. Even our responsibilities would be less cumbersome if we would, as a child does, do what makes us happy. Not what mom and dad or everyone else said would make our lives better, but do in life what makes us happy.

          I’m wondering now, what level of consciousness separates adults from children. Or is it a power issue. Most adults are just children who have been convinced that what they do is more important than being happy and they must continue doing what they do if they are ever going to be happy.

          • Jean

            Thanks again Jethro for your answer. I don’t want to write a long answer here, because in the end it will become an useless quarrel. Just a quick remark : you are asking what level of consciousness separates adults from children. Psychology studies have showed that children go through stages. Read for instance ‘Jean Piaget’ writings. I don’t want to explain in details the models here.
            But of course it’s not because they go through stages that we don’t love our children or that we consider as ‘inferiors’.

          • Jethro

            Thank you Jean, a quarrel would be useless. speaking of, I have no quarrel at all concerning the stages of child development or your statements about babies and what they may feel, believe, or react too. I had referred to having spiritual awareness in which we have the same amount of worry as a child in its innocents. I meant in a time of innocents yet aware of its self. I’m not a child psychologist nor interested in being one. I used a child in an analogy, but not to promote mastery in spirituality with ones head stuck in the stand or ignoring any problems. I did not intend to imply as you put it. “” people think the goal of spirituality is to regress to a pre-personal state.””
            I referred to a child in an analogy, not a baby. It could be very true that “”babies can’t feel compassion for others, as they don’t even recognize the existence of others.”” I can’t begin to debate that. I do believe that “”the case of a spiritual master. Even if he feels unity with all forms of life, he’s at the same time very aware of the relative existence of others.”” I’ll even add universe.

            We have nothing to quarrel about honestly. There was a misunderstanding I believe in my use of a child in an analogy. I must apologize for not being able to give a better explanation.

  • mewabe

    What is the “Self”?

    One of the problems with humanity is that, more than ever, it seems to be entirely preoccupied with itself, and with its man-made world. The new President’s inauguration is a case in point…the 4 deer who are currently eating grass in my backyard are totally unaware of this ridiculous and outdated, phony ritual, they are in touch with the real world, the world that actually matters, that of the earth, which will still be here when this human civilization is gone, as all others have gone before.

    The real Self is actually everything that transcends limited human identity, that extends beyond that…it is that which transcends culture, religion, race, gender, the limited ego and “persona”, beliefs, occupation, age, all forms of conditioning, and all experiences…it is that which remains when all else is gone. It is the core of our being.

    The best spiritual approach is, accordingly and in my view, one of discarding rather than accumulating. Travel light and you will get your “angel wings”…Furthermore, anything in the universe only exists in relation to all other things…things are what they are only in relation to each other’s presence, not only physically but spiritually.

    So to speak of the Self demands that we speak of the entire universe, as the Self and the universe are not separable, they are one.

    The great thing about discarding all human identities and forms of conditioning, all of which have to do with limitations and perceptions of separation, is that what is then left within us, this core being, resonates with all life. It is then easy to identify with the entire cosmos, effortlessly, because this is our true nature.

    This is why Taoism and Zen teach an individual to be as an “empty vessel”…emptied of its erroneous human content, of past and future, of any goal and search for meaning and of basically all human conceptual thoughts, all of which have nothing to do with reality.

    What is the Self?

    “You cannot take a hold of it
    But you cannot loose it.
    In not being able to get it, you get it.
    When you are silent, it speaks.
    When you speak, it is silent.”
    Cheng-Tao Ke

    • Jean

      It’s interesting to see the examples which are given (you are talking about a deer, and Jethro was talking about children) as ideals for spirituality. This reflects perfectly what Ken Wilber calls the ‘Pre/trans Fallacy’. This models talks about the development of the human being which goes from a pre-personal/rational state, to conventional/rational state and finally to trans-personal/rational state (trans means which includes and goes beyond). Each state includes and transcends the previous one. As pre-personal and trans-personal look similar, people think the goal of spirituality is to regress to a pre-personal state. But as a said before, babies can’t feel compassion for others, as they don’t even recognize the existence of others. That’s not the case of a spiritual master. Even if he feels unity with all forms of life, he’s at the same time very aware of the relative existence of others.

      • mewabe

        I think you might have misunderstood what I wrote. I did not imply that the deer represents an ideal for human spirituality. What I meant is that the deer is in touch with the earth, through its own instinct or whatever someone would wish to call it, while humans are no longer in touch with the earth, nature, life, or what is also called the Tao, but live within their own cultural and mental bubbles which they believe to be more important and more real than life itself, and which are delusions.

        When a Zen teacher points to a flower while being asked by a student about the “way”, he does not mean that the student should become a flower either.

        I have no interest in what a “spiritual master” is or think, to be really honest. The pursuit of “spiritual mastery” is, in my view, another expression of man’s unending obsessions with control and some forms of power and authority, and another desire of the ego to glorify itself. I would rather be a humble and eternal student of the infinite universe and blend with it, not in a state of regression, but of complete union.

        As far as children, who are not babies (let’s not confuse the two), I think that you have a very limited, very conventional, negative and outdated view on this topic. Quote: “…they recognize more and more that in order to live in society and have relationships, they must sacrifice some of theirs desires”. You are implying, if I understand correctly, that children are selfish and self-centered, and must learn to acknowledge that other people exist and matter. If you have had some personal experiences with such children, then they probably had some psychopathic tendencies, or were emotionally and psychologically damaged by bad parenting.

        • Jean

          Mewabe,

          Do you think that children are perfect and adults should teach them nothing ? If we love our children, we must also teach them that they are limits in life. If we live in society, children also has to learn that others have their own desire, and that they should be respected. I see nothing awful with this. Children go through several stages. This has been very well documented by psychology. That doesn’t mean of course that we don’t love our children or that we consider children as ‘inferiors’ of course.
          In the past education was certainly very rude.It was an extreme. But now i feel it’s the other extreme : “we should tell them nothing, because if we do, we will traumatize them !” . I don’t think we help them if we never set any limit. Well, we result in every day life of this lack of education : narcissist adults who don’t care anymore with the consequences of their act. Perhaps i am very outdated, but this is not the kind of society i want.

          • mewabe

            I cannot go into complex theories about child raising here…All I will say is that the teaching between a child and an adult is mutual, and should therefore lead to mutual respect and appreciation.
            Yes the child needs some practical instructions from the adult…but the adult, having usually forgotten his or her own spontaneous, playful, joyous and free nature, needs to be reminded by the presence of the child.

      • Jethro

        Hi Jean, Mewabe and I have both been over this. The idea is not to regress but to hold an awareness without damaging concern. To not be so emotionally concerned about our surroundings that it’s damaging. Its impossible to not know about the occurrences going on all around us in which our planet seems to be acting out as a result of human action. It appears nobody in control cares about it and some conclude that there is not a problem. I personally had become so angry about it that it was effecting my day to day. A child rarely maintains that level of thought about anything for more than a few moments, this is my reference to children. When I mention a child I cannot possibly be referencing a new born or an unborn. I will say for better clarity that I believe I’m speaking of a child between 2 and 5 approximately. When I stated “Our children are examples that make that evident” I was speaking of a child that was old enough to exhibit said action. Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer for important concerns but neither is acting out in a violent manner. A child due to its ignorance will wait for someone to handle it for them generally, this is what most adults are doing.

        I understand that Mewabe is referencing deer as just being deer. They are doing what deer do without the creation of an illusion that makes them anything other than deer. Deer are naturally deer. Humans on the other hand can act quite inhuman in there desire to obtain something such as popularity and acceptance. a human will do so without concern for any life, other than its own.

  • Spiritual_Annie

    Divine Energy individuates,
    Like a wave and the ocean
    Or a grain of sand and the beach
    Or a raindrop and the storm
    Or a ray of light and the sunshine–
    A distinct and identifiable part of the whole,
    It becomes the Soul.

    Coalescing as it slows down,
    Divine Energy is all matter
    Both elemental and complex–
    The fawn and the grass on which it feeds,
    Or the tree and the soil in which it’s rooted,
    Or the planet and the universe in which it resides–
    No matter the matter, including we.

    But how does the mind come to be?
    Is it emergent of the brain,
    Or consciousness itself,
    Or the energy emitted from each atom,
    Or possibly all three?
    Regardless of its origin,
    Divine Energy it must be.

    A three-part human being
    Consisting of all three–
    Body, mind and Soul–
    How Divine, then, are we!