Friday, February 15, 2008

The fast track to spiritual realization and development

I was thinking about a reply I made to someone the other day in which I was referring primarily to myself but also to others who may share some of my faults when I wrote, "I think that for many Americans, there is idea of taking a short cut, of cutting through the red tape, of getting past the formalities and getting right down to whatever lies beyond all of that. As if the expedient means were just some pretty but unnecessary wrapping and packaging and the real prize, enlightenment, is underneath. I think this tendency to to want to skip to the end holds true even when the path itself *is* the lesson or when it has no shortcuts." I was thinking about that and about the shallowness of such petty concerns in light of the reality of suffering. I then recalled something I have heard from both Buddhist and Christian teachers (and I am sure other traditions have similar ideas as well) - that suffering and disappointment can be a fast track to spiritual realization and development. What do you think?

[for info on my perspective on suffering check out my posts on the meaning of liberation from suffering]

1 comment:

  1. I read this quote recently in a Quaker book and remembered this post of yours

    Those who have travelled in the dark night
    have both very daring and, at the same time,
    very practical advice to give to new journeyers.
    "stay in the darkness and emptiness.
    Do not flee from the nothingness or
    try to fill up that hollow place
    with your own attempts to create new finite pillars
    on which to build your life"...
    In the darkness, all reliance on our human efforts
    to bring salvation is shattered.
    The old self dies. Into emptiness God brings new life.
    Sandra Cronk, 1991


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