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OfflinePedM
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A True Test
    #3308532 - 11/02/04 11:48 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I moved out of my parents house about three months ago. Since then, my parents have been taking a lot of vacations. They are arriving back in Calgary this afternoon from a visit to family and friends in Newfoundland. While they were gone, I borrowed with permission their Honda Civic. Having a car makes it much easier to run errands for my apartment, obtaining things such as light bulbs, groceries, whatever we might need whenever we need it. Last night, I was dropping the car off at the house so that it would be there for them when they arrived home. When I pulled into the garage, the first thing that I noticed was that two very serious details were out of place. First, the Minivan that should be parked in the garage was missing. Second, the door leading into the house wans't as it should be -- it was wide open.

My good friend Dustin was in the car with me. My girlfriend was following behind us in her own car and had not yet encountered the scene. The plan was that the three of us would order pizza and watch a movie on my parents' big screen television. Before exiting the vehicle, I called my girlfriend on her cellphone and told her to keep her distance from the house, and to watch for anything suspicious on her way into the neighbourhood. As Dustin and I stepped out of the car, he asked me where he might find an object to use as a weapon. I handed him a hammer. I had a baseball bat. We went inside.

Everything was gone. The 52" TV we had planned to watch the movie on, the DVD player, the home theater system, the $6000 6-point surround sound system, the computer, even the telephone, all were gone. A little frightened, we perused the rest of the house, checking behind every shower curtain for hiding criminals. Thankfully, we didn't need to use our weapons. On the upper floor, the closet had been torn apart, every drawer and cabinet emptied on to the floor. Needless to say, all the jewelry was gone. What's most disturbing was that one of my mother's dresses was laid out on the bed, stretched and torn at the seams. A bra had been placed across the chest of the dress, and panties at the waist. Someone had worn my mother's clothes, and they wanted us to know it. Floating in the toilet was an unflushed turd. It wasn't enough of a thrill for these folks to take my family's possessions. They had to violate my family, to mock and humilate them as well.

And so all of that lovely stuff about patience, equanimity and non-attachment that I always talk about flew right out the window. I was angry. I was cursing, I was wishing death and hell on the people who did this to my family. I was fantasizing about bringing them to justice with violence. I punched the wall and all sorts of silly things.

In retrospect, I regret all of that reactionary behaviour. That tells me that some part of my being is basically virtuous and good. Though, more importantly, I learned that all of the ethics and spiritual views I have been training into myself after all of this time have not really penetrated to the core of my being. In fact, they haven't penetrated very deeply at all.

When I am provided for; when my family is safe and happy; when there is food in my belly and heat in my home; it's very easy to talk and talk about patience and other spiritual things. But I have been very lazy about actual spiritual practice. Sure, I might meditate every day. I might go out of my way to transmit Dharma to those who ask. I might go out of my way to help other people. But, what have I really been doing with all these actions?

Instead of really trying to transform, I've been basking in the good feelings that come from blah blah blahing about spiritual transformation. I've been treating spirituality as commodity, like it were a bowl of cookies. I have a bite every now and then, and it tastes good. I might offer some cookies to other people. But have I actually put any effort into making my own cookies? No, not really.

And so, right under my own nose, I was being extremely dishonest with myself. That's what I've discovered with this whole incident. I thought it might be an interesting lesson to share.


--------------------


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InvisibleBuddahKillah
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Registered: 10/15/04
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Re: A True Test [Re: Ped]
    #3308598 - 11/02/04 12:13 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Great post. Spirituality is much more than ideas that make you "feel good". It is much more than buying some book from barns'n'noble, reading it and feeling as if you "understand" it. It is a transformation that comes slowly and penetrates the core of your being.

A dog is not reckoned good by the sound of his bark.
A man is not reckoned wise by the noise from his mouth.


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: A True Test [Re: Ped]
    #3309262 - 11/02/04 03:09 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I dont know if you remember or not, a long time ago when i brought this situation out in a discussion with you. That if confronted, given the choices that we have as humans, knowing what we know about spirituality and compassion... what really should we do? Why do we react the way we do?

Maybe only the unprevileged will ever have the glory of knowing that their salvation is in surrendering to that which has no price or no economic advantage.

This is why i have a problem with religion, because it cannot see into all the situations which the chaos of the universe can bring into peoples lives.

I like buddhism, and the teachings that it can bring to people, but i realized that there are parts of my life, in this life, here in this modern world, which are out of the bounds of the past, and what buddha and them had in mind for us.

It was a test for you, a test of how you will tranform your ideas into this new dimensions which seems to have been thrusted upon you. You will witness the ultimate of the human condition... Maybe only then when everyone coems to realize the truth about the way people really are, that we can really start to tranform ourselves into who and what we want to be, and to truely embrace the best aspects of our "divine"/concious understanding... I dont know, but for me its only through this process that i have been able to udnerstand. Maybe its just trying to resolve the imbalance in the duality... *shrugs*

sorry to hear about your mis fortune, i know what its like to have been stolen from and left behind, and mocked.

any news on who might have done it? What did your parents say?


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: A True Test [Re: Ped]
    #3309346 - 11/02/04 03:35 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I'm very sorry to hear about this. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself, but I see what you're saying. Even Jesus became angry and overturned the moneychangers tables at the temple. The type of anger that comes from witnessing injustice is not nearly as damaging to ones spirit as many of the other negative emotions. Now if you became a vigilante like Charles Bronson you've got a more serious problem.

I'm sure now that you've had time to think about it, you know not to take this situation personally as these idiots almost certainly don't know you or your parents. Hopefully they will be caught soon and meet their karma. Because those are the actions of sick people.

A few weeks ago I listened to a man tell me of how he lost his daughter to a drunk driver. The kid was fifteen and driving 120 mph with a passenger, his mother(drunk also). I was moved when he told me of confronting the young man in the hospital after identifying his daughter's body. He said the boy didn't look at him as he told him, "Whatever your purpose in life is, FIND IT and do what you were put on this earth to do." His calm resolve was impressive. Of course, who knows what his reaction was initially?

Another thing to consider is how would you have reacted if this had happened before you began your spiritual practices? You might have reacted even more negatively. So don't be too discouraged, but is indeed painful when something negative is brought to light in oneself. Life is a test, and a constant struggle against the darker aspects of oneself.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: A True Test [Re: Jellric]
    #3309404 - 11/02/04 03:52 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Ped:
Did you dwell on it and twist yourself up all inside, or did you get angry, vent the anger, and return to normal. The second is the more likely and healthy reaction. We should express ourselve appropriately(unless doing so is more damaging)at the time to release these negative emotions so normality can return. Nothing unspiritual about that.


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OfflinePedM
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Re: A True Test [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3309653 - 11/02/04 04:38 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Jellric,

I hadn't meant to say that I was feeling discouraged. It was a real eye-opener for me is all.


Huehuecoyotl,

I understand what you're saying, but I don't tend to agree that any moment of anger or hatred should be accepted as normal. It's the goal of most Buddhists to bring themselves to such peace that they don't ever experience anger. Such a thing sounds extremely repressive and destructive, but really it's only a matter of adjusting our perspective so that it can no longer accomodate hostile feelings toward other beings.


--------------------


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


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Offlinedeff
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Re: A True Test [Re: Ped]
    #3309698 - 11/02/04 04:47 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Great post Ped :smile:

Your anger in this situation is expected, although it may not be justified based on your beliefs. However, the very fact that you were able to step outside your emotional reaction and see how it was contradicting your spiritual beliefs, and then were able to be honest with yourself about it, shows that the angered state was only very temporary - and not at all 'you'. :smile:

It was, as you said, a test :smile:. While you may have been angered at first, the ability to realize this and not justify it as acceptable shows that you "passed" imo :smile:

No violence happened. You just forget yourself for a moment behind the programmed response of anger. If this means that now you'll work even harder at incorporating spiritual views into living, then it could even be seen as a positive event :smile:.


ps- sorry to hear about your parents


--------------------



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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: A True Test [Re: Ped]
    #3309704 - 11/02/04 04:48 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

You are not accepting that people are imperfect and even the most disciplined Buddhist has moments of anger. Repressing anger is not in line with any discipline as it is quite unhealthy. The sooner feelings are expressed the sooner one returns to a normal happy state. I studied Buddhism for a few years and I know enough to understand that acceptance of one's self is key.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Offlinedeff
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Re: A True Test [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3309782 - 11/02/04 04:59 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

"Repressing anger is not in line with any discipline as it is quite unhealthy"

Repressing it may be, but detaching yourself from it's grip certainly is not :smile:

It's possible. Saying it isn't is an excuse for self imperfection :laugh:


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: A True Test [Re: deff]
    #3310203 - 11/02/04 06:04 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

The idea of perfection is destructive in itself is it not?


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Offlinedeff
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Re: A True Test [Re: Zero7a1]
    #3310288 - 11/02/04 06:20 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I mean self imperfection as in not adhering to one's own subjective view of "good" living.

There is no such thing as imperfection objectively, and one should not feel 'destroyed' by failing to live up to the illusion.

But it's a different matter when one's actions conflict with their own sense of 'proper action'.

If you feel you 'should' be a certain way, then become that way, and do not make excuses against this self 'perfection'.

Like Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world" :heart:


--------------------



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OfflineMushmonkey
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Re: A True Test [Re: deff]
    #3310389 - 11/02/04 06:46 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I wish you the best in finding the bastards.


As far as the anger goes, do not worry about it.

You -can- become totally free from anger, at all times. Unfortunately, at least as far as I've experienced, this requires a complete detachment from the actual reality of living. That means no real happiness either. It's not that great. In fact it's pretty shitty, and I've chose to be angry, be sad, and be upset, so that I also may be happy, excited, and content.

And that aside, I agree with wanting to beat them senseless. We should not suffer the evil nor accept their existence. yar.


--------------------
i finally got around to making a sig
revel in its glory and quake in fear at its might
grar.


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Offlinedeff
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Re: A True Test [Re: Mushmonkey]
    #3310421 - 11/02/04 06:52 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

"Unfortunately, at least as far as I've experienced, this requires a complete detachment from the actual reality of living."

Wouldn't this detached state then become the 'actual reality of living'? Do mutual perceptions of reality make them any more 'real'?

Either way, you stretch both poles evenly away from the center, and therefore nothing has changed. Rather, by aligning your awareness with the center (detachment) - certain aspects of reality become more 'clear' :smile:


--------------------



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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: A True Test [Re: Ped]
    #3310478 - 11/02/04 07:03 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

understand what you're saying, but I don't tend to agree that any moment of anger or hatred should be accepted as normal.




whats normal?

-------------------

What have you honestly learned about yourself? About people, and about your family?


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OfflineDMTelepath
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Re: A True Test [Re: Zero7a1]
    #3310503 - 11/02/04 07:07 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Sorry to hear about what happened to you and your family. I am in the same sort of situation as you. I take spirituality as a commodity most times, and i'm actually pretty lazy when it comes to practicing. I don't even meditate every day like i really want to. I don't have much self control. Sounds like i need a kick in the ass to open my eyes also. Today was a good day for me and i realized lots of things i need to work on, and began working on them today. I hope we talk in the future, peace.


--------------------
Me, Myself, and GOD


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: A True Test [Re: deff]
    #3310575 - 11/02/04 07:16 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I did not say that one should not STRIVE for perfection, merely that one can never attain it. To feel guilt for being imperfect is another example of imperfection. Dwelling on imperfection is NOT the same as being detached.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflineDMTelepath
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Re: A True Test [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3310650 - 11/02/04 07:30 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

One is perfection though. Once you become one with everything, you are perfect. No human ego can be perfect, because he will always have at least the slightest bit of an ego besides oneness. God is perfect IMO.

EDIT: Sorry to go off topic, that was sort of lame of me. Peace


--------------------
Me, Myself, and GOD


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: A True Test [Re: DMTelepath]
    #3310671 - 11/02/04 07:35 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

You hit the point of what I meant and made it clear to me. Feelings of guilt or imperfection are manifestations of ego.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: A True Test [Re: DMTelepath]
    #3310673 - 11/02/04 07:35 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

great job ped. this is a powerfull and usefull realization, and it takes courage to admit it to yourself let alone the rest of us. the question is, do you get back up, dust yourself off and carry on with the added energy this lesson has given you, or do you resign yourself to failure?

in judo, every time you get smacked on the ground, as long as you get back up, you have become more powerfull. the harder the smack, the greater the lesson


--------------------


Everything I post is fiction. This poster is no longer active.


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: A True Test [Re: Ped]
    #3311141 - 11/02/04 09:19 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I hadn't meant to say that I was feeling discouraged. It was a real eye-opener for me is all.

Well, ok.. you sure sounded discouraged to me.  :confused:


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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