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Highlights #800

Click here to go to the next issue.


Thursday, August 16


GARY MERRILL

I know - once on the spritual path you find it
everywhere, even in bars and the most unlikely
places! But if people have recognized no "Higher
Power" in themselves or in their lives yet, can
situations such as I have described above and more
- such as thievery and worse - be expected to
happen? (well - duh, have i answered my own
question here?) --valerie

I don't see it as surprising to find that someone
on a spiritual path is pursuing self interest.
Isn't being on a 'spiritual path' just self interet
cloaked over, concealed. Giving rise to the
conceipt of spiritual pride (before a fall).

The question is 'is it possible not to be on any
path?' and what would that mean, and also is it
possible to end all seeking or for seeking to drop
away? Because we are our paths.

The question of friendship is an interesting one
and I suppose the honest answer would be that we
often have friends because we 'like' them, we are
like them and we gain mutual gratification and
assurance. Until we don't anyway, then maybe a
divorce :-) Perhaps a better approach to
'friendship' would be 'those that communicate or
commune or share in some way'. Aloneness comes into
this as well I think, whether there's a needful
relationship or not. (I'm not sure I would want to
join any club which would have me as a member :-))

MARK OTTER

Hi Valerie,

I wonder if it is possible to be on a spiritual
path oneself and not be tested in some way. It
sounds like an opportunity has arisen to see into
the motives of others, recognize something of one's
self in their behavior (it's all just a mirror),
forgive both the "others" and the "self", bring
unconditional love into the scene, and realize the
underlying unity. If you can see it in this way,
perhaps you will come to see all of it this way.
(and if you succeed at this, perhaps you can help
me to...)

well, just a thought from this side of the
bleachers. I wish you well with your journey.

SU GANDOLF

Hi Valerie,

I think questions regarding how to live with others
are a deep, lifelong "koan". I try not to "get the
answers" to these questions, because those
"answers" will inevitably be, ultimately,
unsatisfactory. You can always get someone to
val-idate :) whatever you need validated at a
particular time, and there is nothing "wrong" with
that. Is there an answer you were hoping to hear
from someone on this list? Well, whatever it is,
it's available to you. Trust yourself. You are free
to cut yourself off from particular people, to
judge them, to get out of their way when they start
swinging their ax your way, to tell them how you
feel. You are free to have one set of expectations
for those who call themselves "spiritual" and one
for those who do not, to decide that people who
make such distinctions are "hoity-toity", etc. You
are also free to change your mind. Life is flux.
Or, it "is". I prefer to allow the questions
themselves to deepen, than to fix on the "answers".
You say you were hurt. I have two responses. I'm
sorry... and, wonderful! Disappointment creates
abundant opportunity to let go of everything
(illusion, hope, expectation) that keeps us from
realizing what's here, now.

NINA

I'm smack in the middle of a not-so friendly
maelstrom with a colleague I consider(ed?) a good
friend. It began with a cinnamon roll referred to
as white trashy. It was fed with miscommunication
and then no communication (I was given the silent
treatment for two weeks... totally unacceptable
when you're working on projects with someone). It
gained allies in my work stress and health
difficulties. This morning, what seemed to be the
beginning of resolution, something that began with
apologies both ways, quickly descended into the
hell of manipulative demands and passive-aggressive
non- resolving, plus a hefty dose of boiling blood.
There was a loud blow up that could be heard by
all, including the client my boss was meeting with.
I left the office.

So, after spending the past few hours on top of a
parking garage alternating weeping with sitting
dumbstruck, thinking I would be able to pull myself
together, I finally gave up on going back to work.
I spent some time wandering aimlessly around town
instead. I'll probably let the dogs out soon, lock
up the flat, and go back to wandering.

(I did, however, call to let my boss know that I
would be in for my 4pm job review! Oh, yes, I have
been on my best possible behavior this morning!)

Yes, Su... good practice for letting go of
everything. Hard to chew it right now, though.

YOGINI SAKTI

Valerie wrote [[.. i found myself with a couple of
people I thought were "friends" .. you wouldn't
expect it of spiritual aspirants or people who were
working on themselves as much.]] ** How long have
you known these folk? Perhaps they have always been
they way the are now, as you see them. Perhaps you
are seeing them through 'new' eyes, with enhanced
clarity.

[[.. I was quite shocked and hurt to be treated
this way.]] ** It is important to understand
'what', inside ourselves, that causes these
feelings. Can you recall another time where you
felt this way? What is so 'shocking' & 'hurt'ful
about their actions? Discrimination and discernment
are valuable tools.

[[If people are not even on the spiritual path yet,
or maybe just pay it lip service, should it pose a
problem to friendship?]] ** This depends solely on
you Valerie. Each of us must, with each breath,
define our relationships. To ourselves, our
co-workers, our family, our environment, etc.

[[.. if people have recognized no "Higher Power" in
themselves or in their lives yet, can situations
[snip] be expected to happen?]] ** Certainly.
Without a personal code of morals & ethics the
individual(s) in question will live their life
based on personal perception of 'right' &/or
'wrong'. Just as those of us who have a particular
philosophy do; we seek to live within the
perimeters of our path, as well as determine what
our chosen credos mean once filtered through our
personal experience.

Su advised [[You are free to cut yourself off
[snip] You are free to have one set of expectations
for those who call themselves "spiritual" and one
for those who do not [snip] You are also free to
change your mind.]] ** Precisely!

[[Disappointment creates abundant opportunity to
let go of everything ..]] ** I agree completely!

Om Santi ... Yogini Sakti

____________________________________________________________________

DICK FORTIER

Hi everyone, This is my first posting so please be
kind; I'm old and have a very fragile ego. The
recent discussions remind me of a story about
Gurdjieff. It seems he charged exorbitant rates for
his schools, since he felt that people would pay
more attention if they had to pay a great deal.
(Well that's what he said.) Anyway, in one of his
schools there was a very disruptive person who was
antagonizing the other participants to no end. This
person finally decided to leave the school, which
made everyone else very happy. When Gurdjieff found
out, he tracked the person down at the rail station
and actually begged him to come back. He finally
persuaded this person by promising to refund all of
his money. When the other participants found out,
they were extremely upset and complained bitterly
to Gurdjieff. His reply was that this person was
the best possible resource for them to find out
about themselves. End of story. I understand this
forum has rules and I agree with them. My only
thought was, If someone either on the forum or a
friend is antagonizing us; aren't we supposed to
ask who is being antagonized and why. (Excluding
the moderator, who has to keep the rules.) Love to
all Dick Fortier

SARLO

A good question but it has some assumptions built
in, particularly that this forum is a mystery
school under the direction of a Gurdjieff or Pema
Chodron or equivalent, and that participants know
and accept these conditions.

I don thin so, as the "disruptive person" under
consideration might say. Therefore we are obliged
to consider the analogy as less than apt.

Yes, it is more or less always a good idea
inquiry-into-truthwise to ask who is being
antagonised and why. But acceptance of this useful
principle as overriding all others allows certain
types of abusive people to indulge in abuse that
may not always be in participants' best interests
growth-wise. Indeed i would say that acceptance of
*any* principle as overriding all others will lead
to some form of abuse. The legalistic approach must
always run into situations which fall between the
cracks. Gödel says this is true even of scientific
systems, so what to say of sociopolical ones? We
are left with trusting the moderator and
co-participants or not.

Abusive people come in many shapes and sizes and
MOs. They are as attracted to lists like this one
as a pedophile is to scout troops and day-care
centers. Freedom of speech: great moral principle.
"Ask yourself who is being abused, not who is
abusing you": Ramana, Wayne, Todd, all the biggies
say so. What's it spell? License to abuse. Who
could ask for more?

But we have to consider others' rights to a list
more free of abuse. If there is to be some sort of
consensus here -- not to be confused with democracy
-- eventually a recidivist abuser will have to
leave. We had one on a list i moderate. The whining
over unsubbing continues on other lists of which we
are both members; in fact, he blessed NDS with a
whine about the time Gene took over. It's not like
they give up easily.

But it's also not like this is the only place where
they can indulge their dumping and projections.
People who unrepentently give themselves permission
to abuse others and cannot self-moderate should
stick to lists where complete freedom is allowed or
their own lists where they make the rules. They
don't belong in a list like NDS.

SU GANDOLF

Yeah, this is a good reminder. Only, I have to put
this story in the "Urban Legend" category. The
version I heard was identical, except it was not
Gurjieff. It took place in a Buddhist monastery.
I'm pretty sure Pema Chodron tells this story in
one of her books. Still, there is Truth there, if
not fact.

____________________________________________________________________

MARK OTTER

BEAR WITH IT, NINA!!!! Something important is
happening, and it will work out fine. I've got two
weeks left in my job, which blew up in my face
something awful, but I'm calm finally (It's been
over a year in process, and I too have sat in the
parking lot trying to figure out what the hell to
do while moistening my face as if I were watering
crops in the desert... (huh?)

seriously, God is pulling the strings here. Stick
around to see how it works out. (ie be a witness to
it and don't prejudge it using old standards.)
___________________________________________________________________________

MICHAEL READ

ARKANSAS CITY (EAP) -- A Little Rock woman was
killed yesterday after leaping through her moving
car's sun roof during an incident best described as
"a mistaken rapture" by dozens of eye witnesses.

Thirteen other people were injured after a
twenty-car pile up resulted from people trying to
avoid hitting the woman who was apparently
convinced that the rapture was occurring when she
saw twelve people floating up into the air, and
then passed a man on the side of the road who she
claimed was Jesus.

"She started screaming "He's back, He's back" and
climbed right out of the sunroof and jumped off the
roof of the car," said Everett Williams, husband of
28-year-old Georgann Williams who was pronounced
dead at the scene.

"I was slowing down but she wouldn't wait till I
stopped," Williams said. She thought the rapture
was happening and was convinced that Jesus was
gonna lift her up into the sky," he went on to say.

"This is the strangest thing I've seen since I've
been on the force," said Paul Madison, first
officer on the scene.

Madison questioned the man who looked like Jesus
and discovered that he was dressed up as Jesus and
was on his way to a toga costume party when the
tarp covering the bed of his pickup truck came
loose and released twelve blow up sex dolls filled
with helium which floated up into the air.

Ernie Jenkins, 32, of Fort Smith, who's been told
by several of his friends that he looks like Jesus,
pulled over and lifted his arms into the air in
frustration, and said , "Come back here," just as
the Williams' car passed him, and Mrs. Williams was
sure that it was Jesus lifting people up into the
sky as they passed by him, according to her
husband, who says his wife loved Jesus more than
anything else.

When asked for comments about the twelve sex dolls,
Jenkins replied "This is all just too weird for me.
I never expected anything like this to happen."

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