Friday, October 28, 2011

Let It Happen With Dignity, Part Four

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An Advaita forum focusing on Realisation, enlightenment, non-duality, Real Love, peace, freedom, Your original nature, abiding naturally, the Oneness, the Nothingness, and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

As for Maharaj, you will find here some of his early pointers for beginners but some of his later pointers that are for seekers farther along the "path." During his last years, he said of I AM THAT: "That book and whatever was expounded at that time was only relevant for that period. I am speaking differently today" and am "emphasizing different aspects." What he offered later differed considerably from his earlier talks, making clear that the pointers in I AM THAT will take you to the midpoint of "the race" but that his final talks point the way to "the finish line."

F.: Shared in an earlier post in this series was this exchange:

Questioner: "Is it not obligatory to live out one’s natural span of life?"

Maharaj: "Natural - spontaneously - easy - yes. But disease and suffering are not natural. There is noble virtue in unshakable endurance of whatever comes, but there is also dignity in the refusal of meaningless torture and humiliation."

For Maharaj to say that "there is also dignity in" reveals that he was expanding his list of what constitutes abidance with dignity. "The refusal" is one element of dignity, added to the other modes of dignity that he catalogued which include:

abiding naturally;

abiding spontaneously;

and

abiding in an easy fashion.

Are you abiding in a natural, spontaneous, easy fashion?

Next, re-consider this, please:

"Dignity" is defined as "a composed manner or style." "Composed" is defined as "calm" or "tranquil" or "serene."

To ask persons to appraise objectively the manner or style of their abidance is to ask a surgeon to perform surgery on herself / himself. Neither can ever happen.

A man arrived here recently in a state of total panic, his anxiety level so high that he had entered into a state of emotional intoxication that included a level of histrionics that is seldom seen on any Broadway stage.

Though an intelligent professional and a financially-successful doctor, the subconscious agendas of his personas rendered his intelligence completely useless, inspiring extreme theatrics and hyperventilation.

Yet when he was told that I could not talk with him until he calmed down, he was shocked. The panic attacks of this "Perfectionist" have been so "normalized" over the years that they now seem to be a completely reasonable attribute of his present modus operandi.

He sees himself as a most dignified gentleman and professional, and was quite offended when a contrary view was offered for his consideration. The source of this particular bout of panic?

Several personas were feeling threatened by his wife's most recent notice that she was thinking about leaving him.

Floyd: "Is this the same wife whom you claimed a few weeks ago was 'making your life a living hell' and who has 'refused to have sex with you for a decade' and who 'criticizes you ceaselessly' and who has told you that 'she does not love you and never has'?"

He: "You know it is."

Floyd: "And now you are once again upset at the prospect that she might leave but not at all upset at the prospect that she might stay? Interesting."

Maharaj's talk of abiding with dignity offers as much opportunity for self-deception and distortion as anything that calls for accurate and honest and objective self-inspection. The man could not see at all that he has neither a shred of calmness or serenity nor a shred of dignity, what with his theatrics and over-reacting and drama and histrionics and panic.

So what is required for truly abiding with dignity, calmness, serenity, and tranquility? Witnessing all that happens without the accompaniment of emotion-driven actions or persona-induced reactions while remaining fully awake and aware and conscious to All.

And what does not constitute living with dignity, calmness, serenity, and calmness?

Being "emotionally-unavailable," which only results in an outer appearance of calmness.

Being devoid of feelings, which only results in an outer appearance of serenity.

Being near-catatonic, which only results in an outer appearance of calmness.

Being in a cannabis-or-pill-or-alcohol-induced state which only appears to be a state of calmness.

Being driven by one's societal influence when that culture is one with a "Northern bent" that results in persons being cold and uncaring and rigid and distant and excessively formal and remote and detached and aloof, which only results in an outer appearance of dignity and serenity.

Being trapped in avoidance, which only results in an outer appearance of calmness.

Being uncommunicative and repressing one's feelings when an expression of what is being felt inside would be far healthier, which only supports an illusion of calmness.

Being in denial, which only results in the delusion that one is calm and serene.

In those cases and many more, the appearance of being dignified, calm, serene, and composed is quite the opposite of the Real dignity that Maharaj referred to and is nothing at all like Real calmness, Real serenity, and Real composure.

Maharaj spoke of "the inner" and "the outer." Unless those are one, and unless the outer is a true reflection of the inner, then any claims about being "pretty cool and calm and collected" are just so much distortion and self-delusion and self-deception.

You are invited to enter into the silence. (To be continued)

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