A voicehearer’s path ~

MB1There was a question on Daily Buddhism that is one that baffles all who have entered a path of enlightenment, no matter the faith of origin or place in the world at large. When one makes choices that go contrary to the social “norm”, one is sometimes accosted by physically or verbally violent reactions from others. The question was how to deal with this. But my question for many years has simply been, why?

I come from a Christian background, but about 25 years ago gave up on the sect I was with, feeling that they could not or would not follow Y’shua’s teachings to love. The general actions of the congregants seemed, in fact, to be something quite the opposite, at least of the person was not of “Our Church”. The insistence was that we were not to love those who were outside the faith, as they were apostate and “not really human”, well, that was never said, but that was the feeling one got.

My problem was that Y’shua had dealt with just that phenomenon. His comment was that “Publicans love their own, what benefit to us if we behaved no better?” That’s a paraphrase, but then everything read from the manuscripts is paraphrased in order for us to understandJesus the wording and syntax of the sentences. But, there it is, what do we benefit if we behave in a manner that is like those who follow no spiritual path of any kind?

In my explorations after that, I found that the Buddhists as a rule were more obedient to those teachings than those who followed the Christ. It was in looking at why they were obedient to Christ, when Christ’s own seemed unable, that I began to realize that there is this “position” that the human spirit adapts all too easily. That is, “I am right, you are wrong, you must suffer.”  This way of looking at the position of others as ”wrongness” that somehow affects one’s own well-being, indeed, seems rampant in the Western world.

Such an attitudes still puzzles me. There seem to be two extremes here in the West. Either there is an intense caring of what others think to the intent to control those thoughts, or be controlled by them, or there is an extreme diffidence that borders on a sort of personality disorder of detachment from all connection with others; neither is healthy. If we maintain an attitude of what I have learned to think of as compassionate detachment, we can cope with the daily struggle without letting it overload us.

So, what is that? It’s the willingness to look at the behavior of others as “their issue”, knowing that there is little we can do to “make” them see the world differently without some manipulation of their world or ours, while deeply caring that they are happy in so far as it lies within our purvue. Happiness comes from within. We cannot “make” someone else truly happy. We can do our best to please them, or at least not to offend them, but we cannot make them feel contentment within. That is something they must discover for themselves.

I still don’t know why we are so bound in this part of the world to insist that others live their lives by our rules. The only thing that makes any buffalowhite3sense to me is that it is quite possible the unhappy one has chosen a life other than the one they truly wanted in order to meet someone else’s expectations, and the “different one’s” choice to live an idiosyncratic life hits a soreness within. That is sad. But it makes a sort of strange sense, doesn’t it?

It is for this reason that I respect a Native American teaching imparted to me by my Lakota and Shawnee teachers. “Follow your own truth”. You are expected to do this prayerfully and respectfully of others, but you are expected to find the path you are to walk from within yourself, not from what others want of you. It seems to me to be a right way to live. I hope someday our culture will evolve enough to teach that to our children.

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Comments on: "Hatred, anger, interference, why?" (2)

  1. I have a spiritual friend who keeps saying that life is a matter of choice yet I’m still not fully convinced.
    If I choose my own path or follow my own truth, will that assure me of peace?

    • The process I was referring to within the path of the Lakota Souix is called hanbeleycheya. It is not simple, but it does seem to be quite effective. One fasts and prays periodically for a year or more, and then goes “on the hill” under the care of a holy man or woman. This is also a time of fasting, this most rigorous because it is outdoors in the weather, alone, with the holy person watching and coming to visit in one’s camp.

      The word means “seeking a vision” and one often finds one’s most personal totem teacher and companion during this time. It is this teacher companion from the spirit world that helps you find the path you came in intending to walk.

      Sometimes you came in with an intention to walk a path that is not what others would call peaceful, yet, if it is your true path, you will find an inner “rightness” about the path you walk that will feel as though everything within you is lined up in the way it was meant to be.

      If I could guarantee that that would be peaceful by the world’s definition, I would, but I suspect it is more by the definition of one’s own heart. That you would find with such a search. Should you seek out a Lakota “Wichasa Wakan” or holy man, remember that even in this path there are charlatans, seek one with a good reputation. That is important.

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