Spiritual Disciplines

in spirituality •  last month 

I’m curious about various disciplines which you might say have a spiritual component. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, Wim Hof breathing, silent retreats, light or sense deprivation, text/scripture study and research, visualization techniques, or verbal declarations, I’m feeling a desire to explore potentials. I’m also thinking about whether or not they are, to some degree, completely pointless. By that I mean many of these “spiritual” (as in grounded in the non physical which we now know via modern science makes up over 99.9999999999996% of reality) practices might simply be tools in the physical realm to position the mind, heart, soul, Chakras, (insert your preferred word here) to better perceive, receive, and even manipulate the signals which many different traditions argue make up our conscious experience. If time and space are mostly an illusion, then are these disciplined practices (which in some cases take more than a decade to master) also an illusion? Is what we seek at the end of such a journey already within us and immediately accessible or must we, like a trained athlete, go through the daily work of lifting weights and exercise to prepare the mind and body? When it comes to the “powers” often attributed to spiritual masters, it makes sense to think only those with the deepest levels of commitment and dedication would be allowed to reach them or else the very fabric of reality might be at the whim of any uninitiated, undisciplined child.

And yet, I wonder. What if there is a shortcut? Spiritual technologies or ancient plant medicines are sometimes described as shortcuts or cheat codes for this consciousness training simulator. I’ve explored this route briefly and for my personal journey, I’m not yet convinced this is my path. Like Neo in the Matrix or Luke Skywalker of Star Wars, both of which were considered too old to start their training, is there a pathway that is simply meant to be and doesn’t follow the traditional order of things? At the same time, they both could not escape their training, even if it did seem a bit abbreviated (Neo going from some basic training right into facing agents, Skywalker leaving Yoda and Degobah prematurely to face Vader). On the surface, it may seem silly to gain insight from fictions, but I’m beginning to think there is something fractal in nature related to the stories we tell and their relationship to our own hero’s journey.

Maybe I want there to be a shortcut which doesn’t require a decade or more of isolated training at all hours of the day and night because I want to live in a world with billions of transcendent beings, fully in touch with source consciousness. I want to live in a world where those seeking enlightenment can also maintain families, relationships, and responsibilities in this physical world.

Or maybe I’m just lazy.

Maybe I’m afraid of wasting my time.

Maybe I know deep down there is no shortcut. It’s possible the various practices are simply rules of creation which must be followed without exception. Like math, they work only when you follow the process. If so, which process is the most efficient for my individual DNA and level of awareness? Why waste time exploring approaches which aren’t efficient or ideal? Also, how to distinguish between a practice which isn’t a fit for a given individual and the inevitable difficulty which must be overcome by any disciplined practice? These seem like good questions to ponder and good questions lead to breakthroughs.

What are some good questions you are asking yourself along these lines?

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A bit of a stream of consciousness here, but you got me going :-)

I like to play with this way of visualizing "time" as a book, which has a clear linear progression from beginning to end, and yet all of it exists all the time. That seems to be how reality would seem to a being outside of linear time; I highly recommend watching the first episode of Star Trek Deep Space 9 if you want to play with that one a bit. Add to this the idea of multiple realities, multiple timelines... That's a lot of choices available to us at any time.

A lot of radio stations broadcasting, but we only pick up what we're tuned in to. Abraham-Hicks talks about this quite a bit, and Bashar dives into it as well. I remember one talk from Bashar about how humans act like shifting between realities is such a difficult thing, when we actually do it constantly. Every time we make a choice, we are shifting ourself to line follow a more specific timeline/reality(ies). The Law of Attraction says that our focus is our way of "controlling" this shifting, our way of tuning to the station we want. As thought/action patterns, momentum builds, and it becomes harder and harder to change them. For so many the earliest patterns are created by the dozen plus years of government indoctrination, plus the media bombardment, plus usually growing up in families & cultures who don't realize/believe/align with these relatively simple principles (even though they are inherent in basically every religion & spiritual practice.) Dr. Joe Dispenza has some amazing content in this realm, blending together epigenetics, manifestation, neurobiology, and so much more in the most wonderful way.

One of the big effects of psychedelics is that they allow for a softening or even a knocking down of the walls that these thought patterns have created, allowing us to see the world in a different way, and do quite a bit of reprogramming work if used intentionally. Combinations of things like meditation (not just in the Buddhist sense, but more in a general sense of absolute focus, whether on surroundings, a mantra, a feeling, etc), psychedelics (especially micro-dosing), clean eating, sensory deprivation can definitely ease & speed the process.

That pure loving Source frequency is always there, and there are certainly tons of different paths to being tuned into it more often. I think a lot of the "shorter" ones are often the more traumatic/NDE experiences, or those that affect the brain in some way as to not leave much ability to exist in "both worlds" as it were. The slow, consistent, practice-based methods are going to work the best for most, because getting the average human to start off with just 15 minutes a day of meditation is much easier then getting the average human to take a heroic dose of psychedelics or give up all their worldly belongings to walk the land.

The difference of now is that we have access to all these paths, all these tools, all the teachings, all these personal experiences, all the world itself. We can read/listen to basically all of the spiritual teachings in human history, and connect with others on the same quest for Truth/Love/Source.

Thanks for calling that one through Luke, hope you're having a beautiful Autumn!

Strangely enough, I actually think that there is a shortcut or that the process can take place quickly under the right circumstances. The process that you are talking about really comes down to the strength of the individual. The strength to let go. Many of the practices that you referred to (yoga, meditation, prayer, martial arts in some cases...etc) are all about letting go of the ego self, and our fears, limitations, attachments and predisposed notions of the world, so the we can align our energy with the energy of the universe. When an individual is uninhibited by the mind that is full of self imposed limitations, they can do great things. Often it is our own beliefs about the world that stop us. Try to imagine all of the limits, predisposed notions and fears that you have collected since birth (many you are probably not even aware of) and then try to imagine what life would be like if they all disappeared. What you could do. Now do the same with all material and intellectual pursuits, and lastly with all of your attachments. Our attachments alone are enough to stop a person from pursuing such a state. People are so attached to others that they even tell themselves that they will see and be with their loved ones after death. That they will meet them in the afterlife. That is despite their being no evidence whatsoever to confirm such a belief. It is a method of self consolation to combat one of our biggest fears.

Many of the natural processes of aligning our being with the energy of the universe tends to be a gradual letting go. Meditation in many ways is a sort of letting go of the minds influence over the being. Stop the thoughts and over time, lose the baggage. But the process could be fast if something occurred that was jarring enough for individuals to question all of their predisposed notions of the world. All their fears and limitations, wants and desires. I think it is possible. But could such a state be sustained? That is even more challenging I think. Can a person actually live functionally in such a state?
Generally, all of our predisposed notions of the world, limits and fears are continuously reinforced by our daily interactions with society. Just one example would be that society reinforces the notion that money is important, so much of our energy is consumed in the pursuit of money. We may fear not obtaining it because of the effect that would have on our future self and all such things. I think that monks isolate themselves from the distractions of the world that try to take their time and energy away from being with the universe.
Another question to ask oneself would be, if it's possible would you even want it? Would you want to let go of everything?

Just my thoughts on the subject.

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  ·  last month Reveal Comment

Luke, I'm so glad i saw this post! I especially like that you said "I’m also thinking about whether or not they are, to some degree, completely pointless." And the part about these spiritual practices potentially being illusion.

I think - as Jordan Peterson says - people are seeking meaning, so they latch onto anything offering that. Personally, I'm super skeptical. Like you, I've explored the "shortcuts" some. I learned a few things but i feel as if I've gleaned more "enlightenment" from doing 15 years of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, luckily from a very down to earth teacher. No mystical bullshit.

Which brings me to a concern. Maybe two or more related. (1) masculinity being demonized at what seems to me an increasing rate, (2) testosterone reduction, and (3) infiltration of mysticism and veganism infiltrating the voluntaryist community.

Your thoughts?

There are shortcuts...psilocybin, lysurgic diethylmide, and N-Dimethyltryptamine to name a few. However, they will not allow the permanent state of mind that is the ultimate goal. I liken them more to putting together a jigsaw puzzle and looking at the cover of the box...you can see the puzzle all put together and see the direction you should be going, but that isn’t putting the actual puzzle together.

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..like this post, These are themes people should take more time to think about..I m familiar with a few of them, but I m really lazy and undisciplined to exercise every day..but doesn’t matter, the energy you handle it is the key..here one of my favorite phrases from Don Juan from Carlos Castaneda‘s book ‚journey to ixtlan‘: ‚every way with heart is the right way‘...respect for your thoughts, steem on..up.. follow you..

@lukestokes, I want to say one thing and that is, answers are within us. In my opinion our Spiritual Component is Route Guider but our Flesh is Materialistic Guider so there is so much of confusion.

Not a Cheat code but if you want to know what you want to do to get a true Healing and Peace then go back to the Roots, by that i mean and in my opinion the ultimate answer is Mother Nature, sit underneath of a tree and do a Self-Introspection or try to communicate with your inner voice which is sitting very deep under you, in my opinion nature is great Inner Communication Tool.

Spirituality and Healing is just not about the Plants or something like that, everything is spiritual, without Spiritual Force no action, we can raise our Spirituality through our passionate work.

Have a wonderful time ahead and stay blessed.

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I do believe we are immersed in our daily doings to such an extent we make things more difficult than necessary ( a learned behavior). I consider many of the systems in place to be controlled, as they reinforce the difficulty of just being oneself. Having said that, here two of the ideas that caught my attention many years ago.

1- Treat every thought in your mind as originating from elsewhere. The results are shocking and allows for a control and peace unparalleled when applied.

2- We have been trained to wallow in ignorance of our own power. Trained to place the cause of extra-ordinary actions on something outside of ourselves (prayer, rituals, magic, etc). By agreeing to such a thing, we choose to remain ignorant on whatever it is that makes us dynamic. The rituals and systems trick people into harnessing their power while believing it comes from elsewhere. This in no way precludes the idea that forces are outside of ourselves, nor that they may sometimes be involved in spectacular doings. Just the truth that a crutch such as always attributing powerful acts to them perpetuates the ignorance we are farmed to graze in.

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¿Shortcuts? Hahaha, there are none mate. Just go with the 'flow' freely and they will present by itself when you least expect them. };)

Shortcuts

Dance, completely immersing and losing yourself to dance, is the most spiritual practise there is. A complete synthesis of mind, body and soul.

I can access the present moment and achieve flow state much easier through dance than any other conventional spiritual practise.