I'm prone toward feeling competitive. That was obvious when I was playing competitive tennis. I didn't like to lose. It's been less obvious now.
But today when I started reading Be Water, My Friend, a book written by Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee's daughter, after putting it aside for a while, I came across her description of how Bruce Lee viewed a competitive attitude in everyday relationships and situations.
I saw myself in these Six Diseases. Maybe you will also. Shannon Lee says: (the indented passages are from Bruce Lee)
If we want to look at how we practice all forms of rivalry, there are six diseases my father wrote about, all of which stem from the desire we have to win at all costs. These diseases rely on being in competition, which is typically where we go in a relationship the moment any discord pops up.
When we relate to others in these ways, we are disconnecting from them and disconnecting from our true selves in order to access some form of outside validation. In other words, there is no relationship, no collaboration, no cocreation. There is only the victor and the loser.
The Six Diseases are:
The desire for victory
I have to be the winner. If I don't win, I'm a loser. If I win, everybody else is a loser.
The desire to resort to technical cunning
I rely on the power of my wits to show you how great I am. Who cares about people or their feelings as long as everyone can see how clever I am?
The desire to display all that has been learned
Check me out. I know lots of things. I can speak at length about anything. It doesn't matter what anyone else has to say (especially if it's dumb).
The desire to awe the enemy
I am a force to be reckoned with. Look out! I will wow you to get your approval even if I have to do something shocking and wild to get your attention.
The desire to play the passive role
I am so easy to get along with. Who wouldn't like me? I am so unobtrusive and sweet. I will put anything that's important to me aside to make sure that you see how likeable and wonderful I am. How could you not like me when I sacrifice everything just for you?
The desire to rid oneself of whatever disease one is affected by
I am not okay as I am. I will perform constant self-work and read as many books as I can and take so many classes to make myself good that you will see that I am always trying to be a good person even if I continue to do lots of shitty things. I know I'm not okay as I am. And I know you know that I know I'm not okay as I am, which makes it okay not to get truly better as long as it looks like I'm trying.
With all of these pitfalls, there's an attachment to an outside outcome, which ultimately disconnects us from people and situations. There is only the desire to manipulate or shock and awe the "opponent." Even in the noble desire to be rid of the disease, there is a characterization of oneself as "the afflicted one" and therefore a denial of your own power.
I offer you these six diseases to consider as possible avenues of self-exploration because we have all participated in them when relating to another person or a situation. Can you recognize any of these in yourself?
If you were to dig a little deeper, where would you find the wounding perception that motivates the disease and where could the healing begin? Allow yourself the awareness to notice your tactics and the freedom to feel your pain points. Realize that the diseases are just a delusion of the mind and the ego.
You complain about how judgmental people are? Guess what you're being -- judgmental. You give someone the cold shoulder for not being nicer to you? Guess what -- you're not being nice. You gossip about what a gossip someone is? You're a gossip yourself. You get mad at someone for not loving you the "right" way -- that's not very loving.
Take a look in the mirror and see how you are extending the life of the disease rather than finding the cure and, ultimately, the healing.
These diseases are traps. They will keep you locked in isolation and stagnate your growth. They will keep your success always outside of yourself and out of your hands as you chase victory and validation through the eyes of someone else.
And what's more, they will keep you from being fully yourself. Attachment to outcome is denial of one's true commitment to self.
The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of an engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or in defeat. See that there is no one to fight, only an illusion to see through.
What a coincident ... hahaha
About another form of winning!!
Just before opening the blog I was watching and interview on TV with a young rider in the "tour of Flandres" ..THE course in the year for cycling loving Belgium.
The young man said that he hoped one day to be able to ride one of the three "big courses" of Europe. No word was said about winning or being one of the first ten. He onli spoke of taking part in such an endeavor and being able to arive at the finish after 3 weeks of cycling. In the meantime, talking about this prospect ONCE being able just to paricipate.. his whole face and eyes was shining.
Is that not the expression of the Olympic spirit ... participating?!
Posted by: um | April 03, 2022 at 05:24 AM
"You cannot build on broken glass"
Instead of worrying over your weaknesses, why not find your inner strengths? Let those guide you forward? Let those become the center of your life!
Every success was built on strengths.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 03, 2022 at 09:28 AM
Instead of thinking "I'm OK except for a few weaknesses...."
Why not think "I am my strength. Everything else is just old conditioning layered over me... Let me shed those, day by day let me shed all of what I identified with, except my one true inner strength!"
"Be like melting snow. Shed yourself of yourself."
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 03, 2022 at 09:31 AM
You can write what you want, cite whatever mystic you want, no human being has ever had the capacity to "will" something.
At night, after an evening ritual, you lay down in bed and sleep will overpower you.
The surgeon, will fixate two parts of a broken leg in the right position, and create the circumstance for nature to bind them together. He does not cure,, he does not the binding, he just creates the circimstanses for healing to happen.
No one can become happy at will. No body can leave his shortcommings behind at will. At best he can create the circumstances for nature to do things for him.
Nobody can have inner experiences at will .. nobody... not even you
Posted by: um | April 03, 2022 at 10:58 AM
Nobody can at will do what Rumi speaks about
When it happened to him, he could later describe what happened by comparing the dissovomg of the ego with melting snow..
Snow does not melt itself.... its melted .....by ... by the sun!!
Posted by: um | April 03, 2022 at 11:14 AM
Try your best.
Even your master asked that much.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 03, 2022 at 12:47 PM
I have not lost my memory, so I remember him saying time and again that it was all in his hands and not in yours Spence..
He asked his initiates to do THEIR part but doing their part was not causal for the development.
It is as simple as that.
The whole tale of Sant Mat, the cormology so to say is laid down in the shepherd [the master] bringing the [sheep, the disciples, initiates] home to the owner of the sheep [the lord]. The sheperd has a deal with the owner not with the sheep.
Whitch sheep are to be rounded up and brought into the stable by what shepherd is not in the hands of the sheep.
If one of the initiates [ as sheep] does want to break his promise, the sheperd is not freed from his obligations towards the owner to bring in ALL the sheep without losing one.
If needed, he will send the dogs to round the sheep in and no sheep is allowed to drift that far away that it cannor be driven back to the flock.
You see spence, I do remember it all,.... the only thing sheep can do in this tale is to walk along ... they are brouht in ... at the time of the shepherd, under his conditions, at his wimps.
In this tale there is nothing to be found from what you go on and on to make people believe.
PS: This was the tale and what I do with it is something else and private.
Posted by: um | April 03, 2022 at 01:45 PM
@ um : [ the only thing sheep can do in this tale is to walk along ... they are brouht in ... at the time of the shepherd, under his conditions, at his wimps.(whim?) ]
Hopefully I won't add any sacrilegious content, but I thought the sheep was
free to complain. I mean, bitch about the sheepdog to the shepherd at least
(or anything else that occurs to you. To kvetch is human). What's the worst
that might happen... you're already on a forced march after all.
Posted by: Dungeness | April 03, 2022 at 03:17 PM
Hmmm ... wait ... did he not write ... it is not the time now to complain, ask questions etc??.....is that not the same as .... sheep, stop "bleating"?
And in that tale of the worm and the eagle, did he not say that if he was flying high with the worm in his claws, he would strengthen his grip if he had the idea that the worm was not able to hold on to him on his own ...adding and in those moments, please do not complain.??
Again for others .. what I made of these tales is private, I just write down how I remeber what was taught.
Posted by: um | April 03, 2022 at 04:44 PM
Gurinder said that he’s not God and that he’s not “the Master”. He’s just a guru/teacher/friend. So your inner experiences are not In Gurinder’s hands. All Gurinder does is show you what position to to sit in and tells you the words to say. He also does Q&A. But that’s all he does. Most of his time is devoted to running the Dera.
Again, he has said a thousand times that he’s not God and he’s not the inner Master, he’s just a teacher. Whatever you see inside is either imagination or revelation.
Posted by: Sonya | April 03, 2022 at 05:59 PM
Seriously, 10% of his time is spent doing the spiritual stuff. 90% is spent traveling and running the World Wide RSSB (it’s a lot of work overseeing the logistics of an organization of 20 million plus people).
Posted by: Sonya | April 03, 2022 at 06:04 PM
Every day when you awake your have a decision to make, and indeed you do make it.
"Will I be happy today or will I choose to have an attitude?"
That is 100% your freedom and you are 100% responsible that.
If you thick your Master said anything different, then you and I have a different idea of what He taught.
But if today is your chosen day to a have a 'tude, then by all means have at it. Wear it out.
Your attitude determines your altitude. That isn't just Sant Mat. It's a universal truth.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 03, 2022 at 06:13 PM
Well, at least GSD’s not Buddha—what a self righteous jerk he was.
Posted by: Sonya | April 03, 2022 at 06:29 PM
@ um : [ Hmmm ... wait ... did he not write ... it is not the time now to complain, ask questions etc??.....is that not the same as .... sheep, stop "bleating"? ]
Hmm, then you smile and ask the shepherd: "Haven't disciples run away when
told of their selection to shepherd...is that not a complaint?"
In other words, a disciple's complaints signals his engagement with the Path. It
becomes a prayer to the eagle to hold him tightly and never let go.
Posted by: Dungeness | April 03, 2022 at 08:14 PM
>> "Will I be happy today or will I choose to have an attitude?"<<
Iread it but I can not believe my eyes ... hahaha
Chose !!! .... hahahaha
That would be of the level of an scientist finding the long dreamed of perpetuum mobile for the professionals working as psychotherpists, counselors and the like.
Posted by: um | April 04, 2022 at 02:27 AM
Within the perimeters of the tale, what you wrote is certainly a way to answer it.
But I am not here to discuss the tale.
What I intend and I do hope to make that clear, is to discuss "how people" deal with certain facts / issues.
Things [tales] are what they are
seldom what they look like or are understood
let alone how they are presented.
What matters for me, more than anything else, what things like faith, devotion, meditation etc does with people, how they handle it.
The teacher in Beas that I came to know, according my personal understanding, never said a word in public about the details of the path, but was always willing,to kindly, answer the questions of the audience; questions that were always related to "how to deal with the teachings" in everyday life. Whatever little he discussed on topics af free will, karma, reincarnation etc was all related to ..."how to practice the teachings" ... but not about the teachings themselves.
So much so, that for a while, just to tease people a little, I would say: He had nothing to say, he did not say a thing, there was nothing to say. The only thing HE had to say is ask them to do their meditation.
And Dungeness ...Blessed are those that believe and have faith.
Posted by: um | April 04, 2022 at 02:44 AM
>> Gurinder said that he’s not God and that he’s not “the Master”. He’s just a guru/teacher/friend<<
If that is what he said, he said exactly the same as his uncle did ... hahaha
Whether they are what "people think" they are I do not know and to be frank I was never that much interested in that issue even. What I do know and remember is what they said in public etc.
When he started his office, he made, like all predecessors some statements about what and how he was going to act. One ot the things he said was, that he wanted to bring confusion ... and ... that is what he did. He is very linguistic talented ... and when I listened to what he had to say in the past .. often I had to laugh my heart out. In my ears he is often very funny, knowing how the average listener will take his words.
His uncle too would juggle in answering questions with words, like "he", "the master" these words could easily refer to more identities eben in one and the same sentence.
Only now and then he would made it clear to the audience that the person that they were seeing was not the master and that they, sitting there were not the souls. What the relation was between the man sitting there answering questions and the so calle "inner master" or the "master to be seen" bij his disciples was never discussed. He would advise them to look upon him as a friend.
So nothing new. ... yes the social behavior is different... but who cares??
Posted by: um | April 04, 2022 at 03:02 AM
"Snow does not melt itself.... its melted .....by ... by the sun!!"
That sun is in everyone, Um. You carry it with you wherever you go.
Attend to it. Melting will happen all on its own.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 05, 2022 at 05:05 AM
Humans have no power to will..... to suggest others that they can is .... let us just say... is not as it is ... and infact ..... an form of "snake oil selling"
No body can chose / will to sleep, have an desired mood, be what he wants to be etc etc.
At best he can create circumstance.
Humans, being created, cannot created themselves, they have to accept and adapt live as it comes to them, in terms of personal and outward conditions.
The pull, must come from within.
Like the welknown food on the table and the hunger inside, they are all GIVEN.
Not to say there is a giver.
Just to say that it is NOT in THEIR hands.
It is like a talent ... nobody can give it, create it when it is not there.
There is only one unique variation of humanity, like yourself. The was nobody before you , there will be no after you. We cannot do and should not do what you have to do.
Suggesting otherwise makes you seen in my eyes as an snake oil seller in the name of the divine.
Posted by: um | April 05, 2022 at 06:39 AM
To suggest human beings have no capacity for improvement is a very dark, nihilistic view.
The comfort that provides to those who have tried and failed is limited at best and harmful generally.
Encouragement is a natural thing. Maharaji said we should always have hope.
To take that away makes little sense.
You are making an argument that has no basis.
Everyone experiences choosing a direction, making effort and making progress.
Yes there may be obstacles, but these are just stepping stones.
I don't see how it helps anyone to just give up, unless doing so temporarily gives them the peace to find inspiration in a new approach, and then, to stand up once more and continue their journey, armed with their new approach, and possibly new direction.
If you really believed as you do you would not pass comment on any other person for the reasons you state: We are who we are.
If you can accept this about me, then your argument at least carries the weight of you doing what you preach.
As for others, people seek inspiration because something internally wants to move forward and make progress.
Many people are here in Church of the Churchless precisely because they have trusted their insight to live more honest lives and continue their own journey of personal progress.
I don't mind that you don't believe in such things.
However it is wrong to claim Maharaji had anything to do with such a belief as you promote. His perspective was the opposite: that limited human beings could reach the infinite, and he encouraged everyone to believe in such things, to carry such hope.
I don't see any of that in what you wrote.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 05, 2022 at 07:15 AM
Let me take this a little further, Um.
I'm not promoting Sant Mat.
But if anyone wants to know where I got my inspiration, that is where they should look.
But look at Brian Ji also. He is also a Satsangi, and has stripped away every false thing to find inspiration in sources that for him are rock solid.
We both operate from the same dynamic commitment to Truth. And I tell you, I believe Maharaji was Teacher to both of us.
Bruce Lee studied many schools of martial arts and developed his own hybrid. But that doesn't in any way negate the truth of any of those schools for those who have leaned from them and live them.
It's not one size fits all.
Love of truth is not one size fits all.
But love of truth is always hopeful and aspirational, a lifelong journey, because we are limited and the creation is infinite.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 05, 2022 at 07:39 AM
Either you do not understand what I write or you do not want to.
"If you really believed as you do you would not pass comment on any other person for the reasons you state: We are who we are.<<
Do not worry Spence, I often had and have to face the temptation to act as Wittgenstein did and taking the consequences of his sutra and withdraw in the garden as gardener.
He realize quite soon that in that way there was nobody left to point at that sutra of his.
To put that option before me is in my eyes and expression of ill will Spence.
What i have stressed time and again is that humans cannot create. If they have a talent, just to use an example, they can develop that.. But ... developing that talent is no change ,it does not add, it does not transform, it does not grow.
Adaptation to what is, the only possibility all living creatures have, has nothing to do with how you make it seen as Nihilism etc.
You want to sell an idea as it was done by that american preacher that wrote so many books with tittles "How to be come a better ..."
Millions of books have been sold, it did not change humanity for a bit
When young I made my son to understand that evil mostly comes in the angelic guise.
Posted by: um | April 05, 2022 at 08:08 AM
There is diction:
An then you are jostled into a situation that you cannot but act in a certain way.
Two times in my life I save a persons life. In both situations , i was jostled into it, and could not do otherwise , than act in a given way and that action safed these persons their life.
I did not chose to save peoples live or to be a herpo of sorts and i do not know if circumstances ariize again whether i will not act as an onlooker.
Never blame an onlooker ... he is just not asked to act.
Posted by: um | April 05, 2022 at 08:35 AM