Monday, December 15, 2008

The Secrets to Manifesting Your Destiny! (1.06.12)

I was struck by a post while visiting Walt's place yesterday, which seems awfully negligent on his part. Should I file a personal injury lawsuit? I don't know, but in Significant Indications, he has an excerpt by a trend-settin' Tibetan on how to assess spiritual progress, who writes of how "a reversed attitude indicates a transformation." In fact, in today's post, A Satisfactory Life, Walt has a passage by Franklin Merrell-Wolff, who elaborates on this idea:

"I find that, as the days go by, there is a re-organization and consolidation of life about a new center. The thrill of new Awakening, that at first so dominates and sweeps personal consciousness, gradually becomes a quiet steadiness on a level of new confidence. I cannot say I feel any regret for the old life. I do not find any inhibition that would restrain me from dipping into any phase of old experience if I desired and found it convenient to do so. I do not feel the restless urge for outer adventure that formerly I felt so strongly."

I wanted to include these observations in the context of our recent discussion of the destiny drive. The thing about real spiritual growth is that it brings changes that you would not have necessarily willed, any more than a pre-pubescent child wills puberty. At least I didn't. I'm still trying to adjust.

Likewise, sometimes spiritual change can be rather disorienting, as the old interests that once oriented your life "drop away" and one reorganizes around a new center. This "unexpectedness" is one of the hallmarks of real change and growth -- a kind of seal of authenticity -- and it is again the exact opposite of that which is promised by the new agers and integralists, such as this appalling gobshite:


Look at that scheming face. Would you buy used or even new karma from a guy like that?

You see, if you will "spiritual change" with your ego, you're just going to end up with a bloated and more grasping ego, not any kind of genuine spiritual transformation, which requires surrender and then acceptance, even resignation, not to mention trials, pop quizzes, and a final exam. If you know ahead of time that you will simply be granted whatever your wretched ego desires, what kind of change is that? This will not redeem the ego, but further harden it by fostering the illusion that it can have perfect happiness in the herebelow, in its spiritually fallen state. Schuon expresses it well:

"We must tend towards Perfection because we understand it and therefore love it, and not because we desire that our ego should be perfect. In other terms, we must love and realize a virtue because it is true and beautiful, and not because it would become us if we possessed it.... One must realize the virtues for their own sake, and not in order to make them 'mine'.... Moreover, it is not we who possess a virtue, it is a virtue which possesses us."

A fraud such as Dyer would be out of business if he spoke the real truth, which is more like Ask not what God can do for you, but what you can do for God. Dyer is practicing the satanic arts (I mean that literally, not as an insult), in that he is simply employing seduction and hypnosis over the gullible. Like Schuon, he would sell few books if he were to convey hard spiritual truths such as

"Much is said about the subtle illusions and seductions which lead the spiritual pilgrim astray from the straight path and provoke his fall. Now, these illusions can only seduce him who desires some benefit for himself, such as powers or dignities or glory." But he who "seeks nothing earthly, so that he is indifferent to being forgotten by the world," "such a man possesses true poverty and nothing can seduce him."

This is the great Nothing-Everything, for "In true poverty, there remains only existence pure and simple, and existence is in its essence Being, Consciousness and Beatitude. In poverty there remains nothing more for man than what he is, thus all that is" (Schuon).

It is not that matter or sensation are shunned -- far from it -- but our priorities are straight, and we have the proper balance between the inner and outer. The point is not to deny the exterior, but "to remove oneself from its seductive tyranny" (Schuon). In real spiritual transformation, the inner takes precedence over the outer, through which the latter becomes "enriched" in a compensatory manner. The converse can never occur -- that is, enriching your exterior will never result in interior transformation of the spiritual substance.

To put it another way, you cannot will your destiny, at least until you have truly recognized it. And even then, once it is recognized, one mainly senses it in subtle ways, such as a sense of "being on the right track." In fact, in my book, I think I compared it to a kind of vehicle that is guided by a nonlocal field. It is like trying to learn how to steer within this nonlocal field, and one must be quite sensitive to do this. I imagine that it is somewhat similar to how certain animals have an interior guidance system that allows them to migrate back home, only transposed to a higher key. We all have this spiritual homing device as part of our standard equipment, but it is not like a two-dimensional map, much less a train track.

This oming devoice allows us to perceive ever so subtle indicators that our idiom is near -- in a book, person, myth, daydream, vision, aesthetic object, whatever. It is as if we project it slightly ahead of ourselves, and respond to the projection. To have "no direction" is the essence of the spiritually alienated state. I know that one of the most painful consequences of both clinical depression and anxiety is that they rob the person of spiritual direction, and therefore meaning.

On the other hand, depression can be a sort of "divine gift" if one uses it as an occasion to reclaim one's spiritual destiny and get back on the right track. Indeed, I would imagine that most Raccoons have at one time or another been shown their fate in the form of depression, despair, meaningless, etc., which was then a jumping off point for rediscovering their destiny.

The fated person, as Bollas writes, "is fundamentally interred in an internal world of self and object representations that endlessly repeat the same scenarios," and "has very little sense of a future that is at all different from the internal environment they carry around with them. The sense of fate is a feeling of despair to influence the course of one's life." Not for nothing is Groundhog Day considered one of the most profound spiritual parables ever to make it to film.

"A sense of destiny, however, is a different state, when the person feels he is moving in a personality progression that gives him a sense of steering his course." It is as if the future is able to "reach back" or down and touch the now, whereas the fated person is trapped by the past reaching forward and strangling the present:

"Instead of feeling the energy of the destiny drive and of 'possessing' futures which nourish the person in the present and creatively serve to explore pathways for potential travel, the fated person only projects the oracular" -- by which Bollas means the oppressive and mystifying voice of the dead and unalterable past. As a result, they "repress" their own living future, as it is just too painful to contemplate what might have been of their enslaved and wasted life.

Sometimes, such a person will wallow in their fate as a way to compensate for the loss of their destiny. Here again, one thinks of the victim culture of the left. But this is a real sin, for man has a right "to suffer from an injustice in so far as he cannot rise above it, but he must make an effort to do so; in no case has he the right to sink into a pit of bitterness, for such an attitude leads to hell" (Schuon).

34 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

My attorney will contact your attorney, okay?

12/15/2008 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I am sure we can arrive at a just settlement. You can't just have these unhinged posts striking the unwary.

12/15/2008 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Shazam...

12/15/2008 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

"unhinged posts"

You've perceived the real me, Doctor!

12/15/2008 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"You see, if you will "spiritual change" with your ego, you're just going to end up with an exalted ego, not any kind of genuine spiritual transformation, which requires surrender and then acceptance, even resignation, not to mention trials, pop quizzes, and a final exam."

And it's not multiple choice, ether, essay.

12/15/2008 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Likewise, sometimes spiritual change can be rather disorienting, as the old interests that once oriented your life "drop away" and one reorganizes around a new center. This "unexpectedness" is one of the hallmarks of real change and growth -- a kind of seal of authenticity -- and it is again the exact opposite of that which is promised by the new agers and integralists..."

It's true. I don't have any desire feed my ego like I used to.
The ego has landed.

Eliot Nous grounded him and the investigation is not over yet. :^)

Outstanding posts, Bob n' Walt!

12/15/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

You quoted Merrell-Wolff: "there is a re-organization and consolidation of life about a new center." This phrase really struck me as well.

It seems to me that the process he was referring to was well described by your Schuon quote:
"We must tend towards Perfection because we understand it and therefore love it . . . it is not we who possess a virtue, it is a virtue which possesses us."

We don't start out understanding such things as "Perfection," but we can learn, and work, and grow toward them. At some point, we understand that such qualities exist objectively, in the same way we think about Archetypes.

I think it is then that we begin to actively love the Ideal, or the Virtue, as Schuon says. And as we move toward it that active love tends to beckon it, and it draws nearer. As this happens, we understand it even better, love it the more, which beckons it further ... etc., etc.

In this, there is the action of ascent and descent, inspiration and exhalation, movement up and down -- like you described in the MOTT Wheel of Fortune post. It seems to me that this, at least in part, is the "re-organization and consolidation" that Merrell-Wolff referred to.

12/15/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

This reminds me of how I, as a young teen, met the Christian mystics that came to have such an impact on my life. What appealed to me was their focus on becoming perfect. That was just the right thing for me, I thought. Perfect like our Heavenly Father is perfect! What could be better suited for one such as me?

Things have been going downhill more or less ever since, thank the Light.

12/15/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger debass said...

I love the movie "Groundhog Day". I watch it over and over.

12/15/2008 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes, it's always never the same, isn't it?

12/15/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Wow Bob. Magic.
I'm very grateful that I finally found a real source of truth.

Thanks all.

12/15/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"You see, if you will "spiritual change" with your ego, you're just going to end up with a bloated and more grasping ego, not any kind of genuine spiritual transformation, which requires surrender and then acceptance, even resignation, not to mention trials, pop quizzes, and a final exam. If you know ahead of time that you will simply be granted whatever your wretched ego desires, what kind of change is that? This will not redeem the ego, but further harden it by fostering the illusion that it can have perfect happiness in the herebelow, in its spiritually fallen state. "

Not far different from the proregressives innovation to wackademia-elective classes. Why in the heck would you accept students to college who are coming to get an education, which assumes that they don't know what they need to know - part of that whole not yet educated bit - and then let them choose what classes they are going to take getting that 'education' they don't have a conception of?

I know, I know, my gripe assumes not only that the college is interested in giving the students an actual education (as if!), or even that the wackademics know what one is themselves, but... damn it's annoying.

I wonder if Dyer has a dis-honory position in one of the Iwhory towers? They certainly belong together.

12/15/2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Just cuz you got accosted by Walt's post doesn't mean you hafta turn around and kick the dog.

But it - slap - feels so good.

So many things whap upside my head today:

To put it another way, you cannot will your destiny, at least until you have truly recognized it. And even then, once it is recognized, one mainly senses it in subtle ways, such as a sense of "being on the right track."

And subtle it is, but carries with it no doubt.

This oming devoice allows us to perceive ever so subtle indicators that our idiom is near...

And almost always where it's least expected.

On the other hand, depression can be a sort of "divine gift" if one uses it as an occasion to reclaim one's spiritual destiny and get back on the right track. Indeed, I would imagine that most Raccoons have at one time or another been shown their fate in the form of depression, despair, meaningless, etc., which was then a jumping off point for rediscovering their destiny.

Wow. Bang on. There is a beautiful light in the darkness and although it takes some care and proper attention, it does impart Truth.

"A sense of destiny, however, is a different state, when the person feels he is moving in a personality progression that gives him a sense of steering his course."

The difference of that state, which was for so long muddied, is becoming crystal clear now. However, it demands facing down fire-breathing dragons and nattering mind parasites. Fate is so easy a cravenman could do it; destiny is a bloody affair. Hand me my fargin' sword, I'm steppin' into the fray.

I dunno Bob, leaking the Secrets to Manifesting Your Destiny like this could unleash anarchy on society. Say you want a revolution?

12/15/2008 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"It is not that matter or sensation are shunned -- far from it -- but our priorities are straight, and we have the proper balance between the inner and outer. The point is not to deny the exterior, but "to remove oneself from its seductive tyranny" (Schuon). In real spiritual transformation, the inner takes precedence over the outer, through which the latter becomes "enriched" in a compensatory manner. "

How easy it used to be to completely miss that point. The immediate reaction I used to have to such passages, was "what an anti-human hatred these mystics express, wishing to condemn people to poverty over wealth and happiness! How?! Why!", and now when I come across some of those comments I made years ago in the margin of this or that book... well, it's an embarrased Doh! moment, that's for sure.

12/15/2008 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"On the other hand, depression can be a sort of "divine gift" if one uses it as an occasion to reclaim one's spiritual destiny and get back on the right track. Indeed, I would imagine that most Raccoons have at one time or another been shown their fate in the form of depression, despair, meaningless, etc., which was then a jumping off point for rediscovering their destiny."

ay-yup.

"It is as if the future is able to "reach back" or down and touch the now, whereas the fated person is trapped by the past reaching forward and strangling the present..."

My God... that one resonates....

12/15/2008 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/15/2008 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/15/2008 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Robin said "However, it demands facing down fire-breathing dragons and nattering mind parasites. Fate is so easy a cravenman could do it; destiny is a bloody affair. Hand me my fargin' sword, I'm steppin' into the fray."

Ha! The Hero's path, one so simple, only the strongest dare to follow it!

Nice sword by the way. Very polished.

(Doh!Doubly deleted to swap Easy and Simple... two very different words. So simple it took me three tries to do what was so easy. Sheesh.)

12/15/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Oh, good. A chance to tell my favorite story, which is about me.

When I was in my early 20's my grandfather died, which happened at the end of a (by then recurrent) period of wayward emptiness. I think I had felt little or no emotion for a year or two, until I found myself sobbing during a dream a night or two after he died. In the midst of that, he came to me quite vividly (I really never have this kind of dream.), and when I expressed surprise that he was there, he just smiled and told me that he would be back again from time to time. (Which has never again happened in that form.)

The next day, I got a phone call from a friend in Boston saying that his roommate was moving out and asking if I wanted to take over the spot in the apartment. I remember consciously saying to myself that I was so used to saying "no" out of fear of the consequences of an action that I said yes.

The domino effect from that moment on has been unremitting and unmistakable, leading directly to my wife, my career, my family, my vast wealth, my supervision by a West Coast analytic psychiatrist with a Grotstein blurb on the back of his book just like Bob's -- none of which "I" did, other than to keep saying yes at crucial moments. (Come to think of it, isn't that how Joyce's "Ulysses" ends?)

Until now, though, I've never had any real idea why this happened and has seemingly kept happening. I'm pretty sure my leftist decadence and pot addiction had something to do with the heavy handedness needed to get the ball rolling.

Speaking of which, I still wonder who or what it was that came to me in that dream. I always just figured it was some version of myself, but now that sounds too psychobabblish.

12/15/2008 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“Old interests that once oriented your life "drop away" and one reorganizes around a new center.”

All true and would add that there has been renewed interest in some old things that were sort of placed aside, and now I’m back for completely different reasons – or rather if you’d have asked me what I liked about this or that then, I’d give better reasons today, and with no doubt in the articulation or expression of “why” I’m back “into” them now. I was just scratching the surface of things bigger than myself and not giving them much attention, and now the once tiniest of things they have become so obvious and important.

12/15/2008 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“I cannot say I feel any regret for the old life.”

Yes. The beginning of the end was the depression. Once recovered well enough to more forward, which was about five seconds after the bottom but a decade before I found this place, I just had this sense that I didn’t regret it at all. Didn’t know why, just felt it. The understanding would come much later. But at the time I remember thinking and telling people (not many – only ones who might understand) that I was so glad it happened when it did. To have gotten it behind me. Not so much to have had it at that particular time, but that to have gone through it. To be broken. There is nothing greater I don’t believe than to be saved by love – the knowing of its being. How can you have regrets?

12/15/2008 07:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Maineman:

Yes, no doubt about it, time has hinge points. Each one is literally a "big bang," ushering in a cosmos that might not have been.

12/15/2008 07:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Ah, sweet spiritual blankruptcy! I remember it well, RR, before the accident, of course.

12/15/2008 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“In true poverty, there remains only existence pure and simple, and existence is in its essence Being, Consciousness and Beatitude. In poverty there remains nothing more for man than what he is, thus all that is"

You know “poverty” is one of those saturated words too. I believe in the context we use it, it does not mean “poor” (hey, there goes another one) as in little money or material possessions. It means the ability to do without them easily. Easier than easily. It does not mean not being able to get what you want or need in any material sense.

Was thinking just this morning on that Jesus had no possessions, didn’t even write anything down never mind a pencil, the latter Bob mentions from time to time. He wrote in the dirt once, I think to prove the point. Or was it twice? Anyway, he left nothing behind. Except one thing. The Word. Which is not the written thing. He didn’t leave anything behind to worship but the Word, which is God.
Honestly, He couldn’t leave behind a material thing, could He?

12/15/2008 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Petey,
You know what they say, One’s poison arrow is another’s Guffaw Ha!

12/15/2008 07:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Aye, 'tis true. Worse yet, if you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding.

12/15/2008 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Groundhog day. Never tire of watching it. As Nacho Libre would say, “It’s thee best.”
Some of the best one-liners too.

“I’m “a” God…not “the” God…I don’t think.”

“Are you sure you’ve never played the piano before?”
“Well…my father was a piano mover.”

12/15/2008 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Speaking of Nacho Libre, well…now anyway.
For all you Ironclad Godwin’s out there who don’t mind weeping on the inside, there is a scene at the end that just well…you know…it will be curtains for you, shaay? Sort of a David and Goliath situation ‘cep it’s not going so well for our hero and the monster’s got his giant shoe on Nacho’s neck. Curtains…until he sees …
Tut tut now! Musint give it away!

12/15/2008 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Hey RR (8:03)

THANK YOU for a good laugh. Somehow it was even funnier as selected and pointed out in specific like that. Quoted well, as one would give a good impersonation. A good Bill Murray impersonation via type. Thanks. Very funny.

12/15/2008 09:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dyer is no fraud; he's got the raccoon creed down cold in his book. In Dyer's doctrine there is no deviation from Bob's doctrine, and Bob's doctrine does not deviate from the Bible's doctrine, and the Bible does not deviate from Aurobindo's doctrine, ad infinitum. That is because the truth is not terribly hard to discover or articulate.

It is hard to live it, however.

For Dyer there's the ad, which appears to pander to egoists. Hard to explain that, I agree.

Dyer tends to issue a disclaimer about the ego when he sells the program. In his worldview, ego driven desires don't even function in his system.

Nevertheless, the ad panders. Something has gone wrong; so I agree partially with your assessment of Dyer.

12/15/2008 09:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul G said...

"It is not that matter or sensation are shunned -- far from it -- but our priorities are straight, and we have the proper balance between the inner and outer."

Funny, I was just thinking about this after having a conversation with some friends earlier. My wife would express this same idea by saying that we should have our relationships in right order. This verse came to mind, at it resonated far clearer and stronger to me than it ever has before:

(Matt 6:32-34)

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


When we have our priorities straight, when we are organized about the proper Origin, everything else falls into place naturally. What could be simpler (though not necessarily easy, as Van pointed out)?

12/15/2008 11:28:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon. 09:43

How much cold hard cash have you shelled out to fullfill Dyers dreams that you feel the need to defend him?
Someone/thing gave it to him for free.

12/16/2008 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Elephant, you’re welcome!

12/16/2008 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Zoltan said...

On the word perfection. It means fully made. It does not refer to moralisms or moral standards, that is, to externals. It refers to the actualization of all potentials of which a creature is capable.

An earthworm fully earthworm is perfect while a human not fully human is not.

The tragedy of existence rests partially on this fact, that humans are the only creatures fated or destined, take your pick, to be imperfect. The apparent reason: they only have freedom to be not themselves.

In this light, ego is unique in that it is always perfect. It is always fully itself, the only aspect of personality that is so so far as most personalities are concerned.

Ego also is forever young, again, the only aspect of personality that is so so far as most personalities are concerned.

And ego neither dies nor suffers corruption (being broken of that which one is).

I am uncomfortable with a discussion of destiny that claims to be more than incidentally descriptive of aspects of a thin patina of observables, which in their nature are fleeting.

Destiny is in the abyss and unknowable. Courage in its face, born of faith, yes. Understanding, I do not understand it. I think I cannot. I can only trust and work, pray and sing, and even that is prevenient grace.

Manipulation of destiny is out of the question, an absurdity even to contemplate.

The setting and fulfilling of missions, this I understand, and moreover, expect. Actualizing capabilities, potentials of the human birth, which include but are not limited to a huge portion of karma from previous births.

Knowing one is "on track" (a curious linear metaphor in the context of this nonlocal discussion) with one's destiny would be knowing one is God, which would be the opposite of divine poverty, the emptiness of the Christ, as illustrated, for example, by the tragic conditions of the Christmas story.

Destiny is too much in the abyss for me to feel comfortable discussing it.

Another reason for that discomfort is that the question of destiny rapidly raises the problem of theodicy, as happened here recently in an unexplored tangent, and necessarily, once one examines the question and apparent phenomenology of destiny.

As Bertie would say, "Deep waters, Jeeves, deep waters."

12/16/2008 08:28:00 AM  

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