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April 04, 2009

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"So spirituality is materiality is living is being a human is meditating is dancing is Tai Chi is having sex is drinking wine is chanting sutras is studying science... and is everything else also.

What works for you, works. What doesn't, doesn't."

Doesn't work for me ... sounds like a bit of a cop out.

zenjen, I'm curious: copping out of what?

Couldn't be life, because I'm living.
Couldn't be searching for meaning, because I"m still doing that.
Couldn't be integrating the inner and outer me, because Tai Chi is helping me do that.
Couldn't be happiness, because I'm happier now than before.

So what is the cop out? What am I ignoring that you feel I shouldn't be?

I wouldn't have asked these questions if you had simply said, "Doesn't work for me." That's simple and honest. But when you go on to talk about a bit of a cop out, that's when I want to know more about what you're referring to.

Brian,

Good question. This was a knee jerk reaction from me so I have to question myself deeply for the answer. "What is the cop out?" - a sort of koan for me. Just dashing out the door so will get back to you.

zenjen, no problem. It just struck me that we all -- you included, I'm sure -- make so many changes in our lives.

I've changed...wives, jobs, professions, cars, cell phone providers, satellite TV services, dentists, martial arts styles, homes, and so much else.

Yet when it comes to spiritual, religious, or philosophical beliefs, many people have an expectation that someone won't change, and should stick with a choice for a lifetime even if it isn't working for them.

Fairly recently we got fed up with Dish Network and switched to DirecTV for our satellite service. I'm sure you wouldn't say that was a "cop out," nor would be our switch from basic cellular service to iPhones.

I don't think that sticking with something just for the sake of sticking with it makes sense. I suspect you agree, but am wondering if spirituality seems to be an exception for you.

where you get this fixed dogmatic rooted notion that no person alive has ever had a spiritual experience, again I have to challenge your fundamentalism, your indoctrination is so fixed so rooted so fundamentally flawed in the floor of materialist arrogance that there is perhaps no hope for one so dogmatic and fixed and disillusioned till life or death itself will have to hammer such rooted arrogant assumptions right from off the perch of such rooted fundamentalism.

some would say changing wives is a cop out, maybe changing dentists ain't, but those principles where we look at every angle of the swot analysis before taking the plunge and then making the decisive 'choice' to go with it till death do us part, and then copping out midway or someway through the commitment, is absolutely definitely a cop out, no question about it, only with spirituality I don't reckon it works quite that way, because maybe we may think we have the overriding veto as to what works for us and what don't when in fact that is possibly furthest from the truth.

zenjen is right, easy to flow like a tango dancing, tai chi flowing, Bob Dylan's rolling stone, except the old adage still holds true whether you willing to recognize it or not, but rolling stones most certainly don't gather no moss.

Hi Brian,

I don’t think change or changing is a cop out. I probably reacted to your earlier comment because it sounded a bit too indulgent.

You seem to be saying that every activity in this material realm is spiritual. In other words, there is no definition between materiality and spirituality. Don’t some things have more spiritual significance eg, sitting in meditation versus playing a game of football?

Then again, I do understand that whatever we are doing in the context of everyday life can be spiritually significant if the focus and intent is correct and we are acting with a conscious presence.

You also said: “I don't think that sticking with something just for the sake of sticking with it makes sense. I suspect you agree, but am wondering if spirituality seems to be an exception for you.”

The way I feel about spirituality is constantly changing, every day, every second – never a dull moment!

zenjen,

You stated,

"The way I feel about spirituality is constantly changing, every day, every second – never a dull moment!"

---In your own words, what is spirituality?
I understand your feeling about spirituality, however, define it, in relationship with materiality.
---Nothing crappy or wrong with your statement.

Roger


Zenjen, you said:

"I don’t think change or changing is a cop out.

-- Then why be concerned, why put a limit on what is 'spiritual' and what is not? How can one thing, one activity, one situation be any more spiritual than another?

You seem to be implying that things such as meditation etc are somehow more 'spiritual' compared to other activities in life. How can that be? How is an hour of inward meditaton any more spiritual than an hour a doctor spends saving someone's life, or an hour walk in nature, or an hour spent in feeding starving childen, or an hour working in the garden, etc etc etc?

"You seem to be saying that every activity in this material realm is spiritual. In other words, there is no definition between materiality and spirituality."

-- How could it not be spiritual? How could there be a difference? What is "materiality"? And what is "spirituality"? How can you divide life, existence, time, or consciousness... into spiritual and non-spiritual?

"Don’t some things have more spiritual significance eg, sitting in meditation versus playing a game of football?"

-- How could it?

"whatever we are doing in the context of everyday life can be spiritually significant if the focus and intent is correct and we are acting with a conscious presence."

-- I don't think it matters at all whether there is "focus and intent" and "a conscious presence", or not. What if there isn't any focus and intent? What does it matter what intent there is? What if there isn't any so-called "conscious presence"?

Things are, just as they are. So why does anything have to be any different than whatever it is at any particular moment? Why does anyone have to be any different than whatever it is that they are naturally being and doing?

"The way I feel about spirituality is constantly changing, every day, every second"

-- So then whjy make distinctions between spiritual and non-spiritual?


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Ashy said;

"some would say changing wives is a cop out"

-- The viability of a marriage depends on many factors. If a marriage is not working or harmonious and it is problematic beyond repair, then divorce is entirely appropriate. The same goes for belief systems and spiritual paths. Life is about choice and finding what works. And no one has any business or right to tell others to stick with something that does not work. Spirituality and/or religion is a private personal individual choice at every step of the way.

"those principles where we look at every angle [...] before taking the plunge and then making the decisive 'choice' to go with it till death [...] and then copping out midway or someway through the commitment, is absolutely definitely a cop out"

-- That is a narrow-minded and rigid mentality that is not in accord with growth and evolving perspective. And "commitment" is an entirely personal and individual matter, that can be altered at any time one chooses. It is none of anyone elses business or concern to judge. Personal liberty and freedom of choice is paramount.

"only with spirituality I don't reckon it works quite that way, because maybe we may think we have the overriding veto as to what works for us and what don't when in fact that is possibly furthest from the truth."

-- This statement of Ashy's, more than any other, shows and reveals the very crux of Ashy's rigid fundamentalist and fatalist mentality, and inability to think and act freely and rationally. It is terribly sad to see people such as Ashy being so utterly disempowered and bereft of will power, and freedom of choice and freedom of thought.

Roger,

You say: “I understand your feeling about spirituality, however, define it, in relationship with materiality.”

Reading this particular essay of Brian’s has actually shown me how I usually define spirituality as being separate from materiality.

tAo,

You say: “Then why be concerned, why put a limit on what is 'spiritual' and what is not? How can one thing, one activity, one situation be any more spiritual than another?”

This is so true, why do I separate my spirituality from my material existence? This feeling of separation has been my strongest feeling ever since childhood so now it must change. It’s going to be a huge mental shift, hope I can do it. This is why I am attracted to Zen; this is what it is all about (for me).

Spirituality: What best increases vibrant, satisfying survival of ourselves as well as everything and everyone around us including furture generations.

'No root' is a new and interesting concept for me and could be a valuable method for such survival. I'm going to put it into practice and see how I do after a few weeks.

tAo, thank you for your sensible response.

Zenjen, it looks like you are already putting 'no root' into practice.

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