Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ken Wilber on Spiritual Teachers

This is good stuff. Perhaps I just love it cause it gives me a license to just be me...

(Found it here.)

Ken Wilber Quote from the foreword to Andrew Cohen's new book:

"When it comes to spiritual teachers, there are those who are safe, gentle, consoling, soothing, caring; and there are the outlaws, the living terrors, the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls of God realization, the men and women who are in your face, disturbing you, terrifying you, until you radically awaken to who and what you really are.

And may I suggest?: choose your teachers carefully.

If you want encouragement, soft smiles, ego stroking, gentle caresses of your self-contracting ways, pats on the back and sweet words of solace, find yourself a Nice Guy or Good Girl, and hold their hand on the sweet path of stress reduction and egoic comfort. But if you want Enlightenment, if you want to wake up, if you want to get fried in the fire of passionate Infinity, then, I promise you: find yourself a Rude Boy or a Nasty Girl, the ones who make you uncomfortable in their presence, who scare you witless, who will turn on you in a second and hold you up for ridicule, who will make you wish you were never born, who will offer you not sweet comfort but abject terror, not saccharin solace but scorching angst, for then, just then, you might very well be on the path to your own Original Face.

Most of us, I suspect, prefer our spiritual teachers to be of the Nice-Guy variety. Soft, comforting, non-threatening, a source of succor for a worn and weary soul, a safe harbor in the samsaric storm. There is nothing wrong with that, of course; spirituality comes in all sorts of flavors, and I have known some awfully Nice Guys. But if the flavor tends toward Enlightenment instead of consolation, if it drifts away from soothing dreams toward actually waking up, if it rumbles toward a God realization and not egoic fortification, then that demands a brutal, shocking death: a literal death of your separate self, a painful, frightening, horrifying dissolution—a miraculous extinction you will actually witness as you expand into the boundless, formless, radical Truth that will pervade your every cell and drench your being to the core and expand what you thought was your self until it embraces the distant galaxies. For only on the other side of death lies Spirit, only on the other side of egoic slaughter lies the Good and the True and the Beautiful. "You will come in due course to realize that your true glory lies where you cease to exist," as the illustrious Sri Ramana Maharshi constantly reminded us. Your true glory lies on the other side of your death, and who will show you that?

Not the Nice Guys and not the Good Girls. They don't want to hurt your feelings. They don't want to upset you. They are here to whisper sweet nothings in your ear and place consolation prizes in the outstretched hand of the self-contraction, balm for a war-torn weary ego, techniques to prop it up in its constant battle with the world of otherness. In a sense, it's very easy being a Nice-Guy teacher: no muss, no fuss, no wrestling with egoic resistance and exhausting confrontation. Be nice to the ego, pat it on the back, have it count its breaths, hum a few mantras.

Rude Boys know better. They are not here to console but to shatter, not to comfort but to demolish. They are uncompromising, brutal, laser-like. They are in your face until you recognize your Original Face—and they simply will not back off, they will not back down, they will not let up until you let go—radically, fully, completely, unhesitatingly. They live as Compassion—real compassion, not idiot compassion—and real compassion uses a sword more often than a sweet. They deeply offend the ego (and the greater the offense, the bigger the ego). They are alive as Truth, they are everywhere confronted with egos, and they choose the former uncompromisingly.

Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, used to say that nobody comes to a therapist to get better (although they always say they do); they really come to perfect their neurosis. Just so, nobody comes to a spiritual teacher to get Enlightenment (although everybody claims they do); rather, they come to a spiritual teacher to learn more subtle and sophisticated egoic games—in this case, the game of "Look at me being really spiritual."

After all, what is it in you that brings you to a spiritual teacher in the first place? It's not the Spirit in you, since that is already enlightened and has no need to seek. No, it is the ego in you that brings you to a teacher: you want to see yourself in the presence of the spiritual game, you want to meet yourself tomorrow as a realized being—in plain language, you want your ego to continue into a spiritual paradise.

And what's a poor teacher to do, confronted with such egoic cunning? Everybody who comes to a spiritual teacher comes egoically motivated. And teachers have two choices in the face of this onslaught of the separate selves, this conference of the self-contractions: they can play to the audience, or they can blow the entire building up.

Andrew Cohen is a Rude Boy. He is not here to offer comfort; he is here to tear you into approximately a thousand pieces...so that Infinity can reassemble you, Freedom can replace imprisonment, Fullness can outshine fear. And that simply will not happen if all you want is consolation, soothing prayers, ruffle-free platitudes, "It will all be okay." Well, it will not be okay if you want Enlightenment. It will, in fact, be hell, and only Rude Boys are rude enough to tell you that, and to show you that—if you can stand the rudeness, stay in the fire, burn clean as Infinity and radiate as the stars."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Here's to the crazy ones...

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Apple Computers

God I love that. Guaranteed goose bumps here:

Please join me in pushing the human race forward. Thanks.

-bri

(Want more courage quotes? Check out a couple hundred of my favorites here.)

thinkarete.themanifesto

(We'll start with a little manifesto I wrote a couple years ago. ..)

thinkarete.themanifesto

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

OK...

So...uh...what exactly are you waiting for?

This isn’t a dress rehearsal...

Wake up!

Here’s the deal: What we can be, we MUST be.

Period.

There’s no getting around that one.

So, turn off your TV. Put down your drink. Get off the medication.

Quit numbing yourself. The pain’s not going away.

Not until you thinkarete.

“thinkarete”?

Yep.

Gandhi got it. Einstein got it. Mother Theresa got it.

Tiger gets it. Gates gets it. Oprah gets it.

The Greeks got it.

Get this: Guys like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle said that if you want happiness you better live with areté--a word that literally means virtue or excellence but has a deeper meaning...something closer to “constantly striving to reach your highest potential.”
areté.

How beautiful is that? It was one of the highest ideals of Greek culture.

It should be one of ours.

Tragically, it’s not.

We seem to be more interested in resumes, accolades and 401k's.

Speaking of retirement...

Who came up with that? Work like crazy doing something we're not passionate about so we can accumulate enough money to pay the bills from our stress-caused illnesses while we complain about what we should have done when we were still young.

Hmmm...We can’t quite figure that one out. Seems like it makes a bit more sense to go ahead and dare to live now...

Why not thinkarete?

Live to your highest potential--moment to moment to moment.

Not in the mood?

Fine. Then live with regret, anxiety, and disillusionment.

Your call.

Think about it. When do we feel most alive?

Exactly. When we’re being ourselves--our highest selves.

You want happiness?

thinkarete.

Dream. Grow. Stretch yourself.

Rip off the tie. Jump out of the cubicle.

Dream. Think. Dare to be crazy.

What are you waiting for?

thinkarete.

Are you crazy enough to think you can change the world?

Good.

Now go out and do it.

Live. Love. Smile. Hug. Laugh. Dream. Do. Create.

Have fun. Be intense. Be audacious. Be unreasonable. Act impeccably. Breathe.

Be you. Be different. Get paid to do what you love. Dance in your underwear on your way to work...

Why not?

Ditch the tie. Escape the cube. Leave the 8-5. Trash the resume.

Ignore the critics. And the cynics. Burn the corporate ladders. Laugh at the ceilings.

Quit the bitching. Open your mind. End the laziness. Overcome the fear. Transcend the conditioning...

Why not?

Move the world.

Change the world.

Push the human race forward.

Whatever you call it, go out and do it.

When?

Now.

Not when you have enough money or once you do this or do that. That’s nonsense.

It’s not gonna be easy, but go out and live your dream. Now.

You deserve it.

And, if that doesn’t move you: The world deserves it.
thinkarete.

http://www.thinkarete.com/