If we want to find the truth – as opposed to being told the theory of truth – we have to retrace our steps authentically, from confusion-ignorance to confusion-wisdom.
CURIOSITY AND NON-CONFORMITY
ARE THE TWO WINGS OF SPIRITUAL FREEDOM
Curiosity and non-conformity come about because we are no longer satisfied with our present state; it doesn’t add up, it’s confusing, we feel ill at ease, and we realise that we live in a world of suffering. We look for answers because what we are being told does not satisfy.
It’s vital to remember this, particularly when we join a spiritual group 🙂
Without curiosity, we become mechanical, unreasoning, dumb conformists, interested only our precious microscopic world, obsessing with immediate gratification and status, and oblivious about how mindless – and a little creepy – we have become. We can have as many teachings as we can afford, and still remain ignorant because, without individual curiosity, we will be closed off to finding timeless truth while we memorise textbooks and institutionalise ourselves. In this way, we are adopting “spiritual correctness”.
Like political correctness, spiritual correctness wants to us to be ‘one’, to be the same. This is a Marxist ideal of conformity; spiritual organisations don’t like awkward customers 😀 “Ah! That’s ego!” proclaim the righteous, who expect us to conform to group-think through micro-fear and micro-aggression … such conformity is spiritual correctness. (Incidentally, it is the group that has this Marxist ideal, while one could say that the teacher is the dictator; this is fair enough because they do have a system which they have to maintain, and we have the choice to subscribe solely to that one group or take our information from many sources. Spiritual correctness is imposed (perhaps unconsciously) by the students, rather than the teacher.)
Has political correctness become spiritual correctness? Or did spiritual correctness come first? “In the beginning was the word” and words can have many meanings. The ‘New Age Thinkers’ want us to be all equal and all one: to suggest otherwise seriously risks offending them, and so we lose our ability to discriminate. We may ask questions, but accept generalisations as answers: I found I never asked follow-up questions in case it embarrassed the teacher. It seems that we have to learn the ‘right’ questions, and this denies the various levels of understanding. This might not even be clear to the questioner, as they may be in the midst of a transition between levels, and the teacher should be able to pick this up, as the teachings contain many levels within them.
I have been involved in something termed “spiritual harvesting”, where small groups talked together about their feelings about and appreciation for the teachings, and then came together to feedback to the main group, in the presence of the teacher.
Sounds great! But my wife and I were amazed at the conformity. It quickly became clear that people said what they thought others wanted them to say. They adhered to cliches, and there was no individual, heartfelt honesty. I actually mentioned neurolinguistic programming, as we were expected to agree with everything. That didn’t go down well at all; spiritual people shun very quickly ;-).
Shun:persistently avoid, ignore, or reject through antipathy or caution. ORIGIN Old English shrink back with fear, seek safety from an enemy
The Buddha said, “Do not take my word for it; find out for yourself.” Through this process, we uncover all! He certainly did not want us to repeat a load of rehearsed questions and answers in order to look good.
In the beginning, we learn from working in a group, but we gradually find that the members of that group have subtly different views, different intensities, different energies, different capacities, different backgrounds, which can result in communication problems and lead to potential disagreements. And so one has to tread very carefully: on silent retreat, all we do is smile, nod and walk on.
Political and spiritual correctness both want us to conform, when the whole point is to break out of restrictions and slavery. As in every walk of life, politics plays a part in spiritual centres; there are hierarchies and inner groups.
Politics: activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organisation.
Those who don’t want you to be curious want you to believe that conforming is what makes a person safe and decent; again, this is spiritual correctness in action.
In our fast-paced world, the majority of people don’t feel they have the time to engage in spiritual exploration or a personal search. It’s much easier to hold prepackaged beliefs about ourselves and life. Prepackaged answers are so very convenient … until we realise that, although we are very learned, we lack compassion to those close to us.
We must take care of our spiritual welfare by realising what we truly are, and, through understanding, we do the same for everyone else. We are all pure, compassionate awareness, but we are not all ‘one’ at the same time. If we were all ‘one’, we’d all decide to stand in the same place! 😀
There are a lot of questions to be asked, and in every question there is an answer, until there are no more questions, no more learning. It is all about freedom, and that is our birthright.
If you’re an awkward customer, and would like to chat: Buddhainthemud@hotmail.com