This is my second post of many in an attempt to summarize my forthcomming book. They should be reviewed in order.
Human beings are relaters. We relate to ourselves, other life including all the flora and fauna, and to situations, things and ideas. (I’ve just listed the main categories of realities, which will be the subject of a future post) this relating is of primary significance to our quality of life and subjective life-experience. Victor Frankel in his work “Man’s Search for Meaning,” discussed how the Nazis took away everything he had, including his dignity, but they could not take away his ability to chose how he reacted to his situation, i.e. what they did to him. This describes the significance of how we relate to things. This relating is supremely powerful and marks the difference between a great sage and a fool, or between Christ and the average guy. Enlightenment and spiritual development in general is not an additive process, it’s reductive. It’s not a matter of becoming someone else it’s a matter of learning a new way of being. (way of being requires a specific definition; later) first we learn to STOP so we can see what is going on. Then we learn to relate positively rather than negatively, and then we learn emptiness. But for a long time, the premium for our spiritual growth is on relating positively. Learning to relate differently is what gives rise to the thought that “…after I grew, nothing changed, but everything changed.”
This quality of relating is what we have to work with in spiritual growth. We aren’t changing ourselves, we are learning to relate differently. Growth is about learning the T/(t)ruth and aligning yourbeing with it. (“Truth” and “truth” and “being” will all be defined later.) This quality of being relaters is of utmost significance. This is what we change when we grow; how we relate, or how we be, or how we are. “How” is all we can change. “who, what, where, when, and why” are all decided for us as ego’s. We have no control over these. All we can control and influence is HOW. Who we are never changes. In fact, life is partly a process of discovering who we truly are. (more on this later) Where and when can be changed by moving through space/time, but they are set on a grand scale for each person through birth. Whether or not we choose as selfs (others say “soul” but I believe “self” is more descriptive as it also implies uniqueness) (choice and choosing occurrs on 3 levels, more later) a certain place and time to be born is a valid question, but even if we do, and I believe it’s likely we do, from ego’s perspective, there is no choice about the time and place or other conditions of one’s birth. Who we ultimately are is characerized by self and determined by TFB and this is certainly not under our (“ego’s”) control. Lastly, the why of our existence has been predetermined also. This can considered on two levels, both beyond ego’s control: 1-is the existential why for our individual life and self, 2-is the why from TFB’s “perspective,” that is, why we are here as a race or people or species. The first is our individual why and the second is our deeper, collective why.
If you are experiencing difficulty, look within for the reason. You are certainly relating (-) (read “(-)” as negatively) in some way. This may merely mean a lack of something (+) (read “(+)” as positive(ly)) like confidence or faith or whatever. But in every case, the difficulty is there for a reason and the ultimate reason is always the same; to teach us lessons, to learn about Truth and truth and to learn to align ourbeings with it. (being entails: self, consciousness, ego and body; our complete being. To say “self” or “ourselves” indicates a specific part of our total being) (“T”ruth is the ultimate Truth beyond the universe, that aspect of the eternal that is and always was and always will be or that is beyond space/time. “t”ruth is the unchanging truth of our “self” the individual truth.)
There cannot be enough emphasis placed on relating. It’s the pivotal force we have to work with. It determines our subjective life experience, or our “happiness.” (happiness is a loaded word. I prefer peace/joy, but more later)