Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Habits of Spiritual Living: Bad Behavior and Other Mischief

The lessons we need to learn are indicated by our behavior. In order to learn the associated lesson, one must be self-observant or meditative.

In my case, one of my behaviors was railing against Christianity. My beef with it was the negative starting point. The basic claim, as I saw it which may not be how you see it, is that human beings are bad and they only way they can get near their creator was through the torturous death of a third party. The declaration that all humans are unworthy drove me around the proverbial bend. While this is something I still disagree with, the level of my anger confused me.

Once I saw the perfection, the reason for my anger slowly became clear. I viewed myself as unworthy of the divine but at the same time knew this was false. The conflict within, between feeling I was unworthy and knowing I wasn't, became an external conflict with adherents to that religion. Having seen the perfection, I am aware of my worthiness, yours and everyone else's. Now, I just find the acceptance of the doctrine of unworthiness puzzling and I wouldn't let you teach it to my children*, but I am not mad at anyone for believing it.

There is another example of religiously-linked (for lack of a better word) behavior that is interesting. There is a fellow commenting on this space that goes by the name of Christian. He is an atheist. His first appearance was on my soul reading page where he wrote:

So what scientific evidence do you have for a soul? Evidence that can be verified in a lab, or that has been published in a major scientific journal will do.

I responded:

Christian, a man who is so sure of his position would not need to seek out a blog such as mine to challenge. He would be content within himself and find that such mischief was not necessary. Your question, is really a plea for self-discovery. I suggest you begin or continue your personal journey into such things and discover what proof you may find. Beginning books on Buddhism are an excellent place to start.
To my relief, there was no reply. I really dislike arguing with people and I am content to allow him to hold any viewpoint he wants. I appreciated the fact that he allowed me the same. I thought he moved on until he offered another benign comment yesterday.

To me, his behavior, which is not socially negative in any way, indicates that he is trying to learn something. I have no guess as to what as that is not my place. His life is his life and he knows it better than I. That said, I bet he knows why he is reading this space. I would also make a small wager that there is more to that reason than he knows. I say that not to pick on him but because we all do that. It is my hope that he understands I bring this example without any sort of pejorative judgment. 

The point is that from the outside we don't know what his lesson is. We don't even know the subject of the lesson. Religion, magick and the like may have nothing to do with it. The point is that, from the inside, the lesson being sought may not be clear until after it is learned. The point is that he is leading himself to said lesson. That is something we all do. Once that happens, we have a choice. To learn or not to learn? That is the question. 

Over the years, I have seen a more overt form behavior that ought to lead to lessons. Most people call it denial. Unless some sort of mental illness is involved, we know when we are in denial. Denial makes us feel bad and often necessitates further less than valuable acts to keep it going, which we have to deny, which can lead to more behaviors etc.

If you are human, the chances are very good that you've done this. They way out is to examine the initial behavior. Why did you sleep with his wife? Why did you knowingly punish your daughter when you knew she did nothing wrong? Why did you start drinking that night in the first place?**  Chances are you'll be lead to other behaviors that link up. This will be difficult but it is one of the only active ways out of the trap. The passive way is through meditation. 

Either way, once you solve the original cause of the behavior and heal from whatever damage created the cause, moving past denial is much easier. Why? Because the person that committed the original acts will no longer exist! 

*   I do not have any kids. 
** If you can't ask that, ask why you are denying what you know you did. If the answer involves any  other party besides yourself, you have not looked deep enough.

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