Thursday, September 29, 2005

Confession

Yesterday, a group of six co-workers and myself went to lunch. They started talking about someone. I joined-in. The kindest things weren't quite said. Why am I still participating in such behavior? Haven't I developed enough spiritually to not give in to such temptations? Just when I thought I loved everyone, here I am doing wrong, talking about someone behind their back. I feel guilty.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

This happens to me often.
But I don't really blame myself.
Blaming myself doesn't really help I guess. I just get frustrated about myself.
I just try to observe it without much thought. Just see it and let it pass.
Just realizing that I am judgemental, vain, petty, silly, stupid is some kind of enlightenment in itself. I am not a saint. Therefore, I am not afraid of not being saintly, or criticized for not being one.

RedBark said...

Hello Stacey,

I know how you feel.

You are talking about Will. "The ability to not do what you want to do." I think that will is a good indicator of "spirituality".

Don't feel bad about failure. I think we will be failing until we become one with God. That may be many lifetimes. Even Angels and Saints are probably not perfect.

No effort is wasted, and we do slowly make progress. Next time you will do a little bit better.

Anyway I still think that you are one of the nicest people around. :)

utenzi said...

You should feel guilty about it, Stacey, but as long as you stay determined to do better--you will become better. It's a neverending process so don't let occasional slips discourage you.

Blow'n in the wind said...

But who was hurt by this discussion?

Why are you still thinking about it and writing about it?

Until we really understand 'who' we are and 'who' is affected by our actions, won't we continue to behave in the same manor?

Is it possible that when we hurt another we are hurting ourselves?...and, therefore, can we assume that we actually are one?

*previously known as 'anonymous'

Sophia said...

Anonymous,

I sometimes find myself doing things I regret, but usually after I've done them. I think making a move towards being more aware of the moment and noticing it right then and there is a step I could make in the right direction.

But, having said that, I know what you mean. I am definitely not a saint.

Sophia said...

Thank you, Beard. I always appreciate your kind words. They are soothing. :)

Sophia said...

Utenzi,

I'm starting to believe that guilt is an excellent tool when it comes to self-improvement.

Sophia said...

Blow'n in the Wind,

Glad to see you have a name, now. There are quite a few anonymouses in here, and it's usually difficult to tell one from the other. However, I could still discern you from the rest. Don't worry, that's a good thing. :)

To answer your questions, I probably suffered more than the "victim" did. It probably comes from that saying, "What they don't know won't hurt them." And that may be true, but now I (or my ego), has to be the one to feel the guilt. This may be proof more than anything that we are all One. Talking bad about him only hurts me.

I don't know why I was still thinking about it and writing about it. I guess it was just one of those "Dear Diary" moments.

Can I ask you a question? Who do you think we are?

Blow'n in the wind said...

One.

An illusion of many, but one.

Sophia said...

Blowin' in the Wind,

I agree with you. :)

Sophia said...

By the way, Blow'n in the Wind...

I went to see Bob Dylan in concert a couple months ago. Nice name. :)

RedBark said...

Good Morning Stacey, :)

I was just about to tell you that seeing that we are doing what we do not want to do is a big step in the right direction, but I see that you realized this for yourself.

You are right, the progression is from total oblivion, to realizing that we have just done something we did not want to do, to realizing that we are now doing something that we do not want to do, to realizing that we are about to do something that we do not want to do and doing something to prevent it from happening.

RedBark said...

Hello Utenzi,

Yes guilt is an effective tool for modifying behavior. However an alternative is to replace such mechanical means of self control with consious self control. This means responding to each moment intelligently with will instead of with a preprogrammed response.

We are made up of these pre-programmed mechanisms to the point that consiousness has been entirely replaced with mechanicality.

utenzi said...

'Tis true, Beard. That would be a better way to go--and no doubt Stacey will eventually get there. I doubt I ever will since I'm not aiming as high as she is.

RedBark said...

Utenzi,

I think that you have got a pretty good chance yourself.

Castor said...

Why am I still participating in such behavior?
If you are already enlightened, there is a chance that you have a different reason for joining in:
pretending not to be different from the rest, in order to avoid conflict. You didn't want to exhibit any "holier-than-thou attitude" in order not to attract attention. I sometimes catch myself doing this, for fear of being branded "the saint" or " the preacherman".
To be enlightened is to act like one, without worrying about what people say. Just let them think!
This is where mantras could be of help. You can formulate your own, specially applicable against difficult situations and unskillful people.
When I am in the company of ambitious people, I let them do the thinking all the time. I just listen to everything, in a very meditative fashion. They always think I agree all the time.

RedBark said...

Castor,


Sorry, I do not understand.
Are you refering to myself or perhaps yourself?

utenzi said...

I think Castor is referring to Stacey and her situation at lunch.

Castor said...

Beard,
Sorry about that!
I am referring to myself. This is a trick I am trying on myself to see if I can trick myself into enlightenment:
I pretend to be an enlightened person. It means I know a little bit how an enlightened person think, feel and act in a certain situation, and act accordingly.
If I happen to be wrong, no big deal. I just forget about it.
I try to do better next time.
Of course, this is something you shouldn't take seriously. I mean about being enlightened; an enlightened person doesn't go around telling people he is the Buddha.
A truly enlightened person doesn't reflect or deliberate about a lot of things, especially
personal matters. He simply acts. He trusts and follows his own insights. He's got immovable wisdom, if you remember from Takuan. He doesn't let himself be manipulated, intimidated, and judged by anyone's standard. He knows unconsciously what he is doing. He is relaxed, spontaneous,
and decisive.

Sophia said...

Hi Castor,

Yes. That is part of it. Actually, that might be the majority of it. I join-in because I'm afraid of what they'll think if I don't. Like you, I don't want to be "the saint" or the "goody two shoes". I'm too afraid of drawing attention to myself. This is something I felt in high school. Why am I feeling it now? I'm a 27 year old woman.

Castor said...

Stacey,
Good question!
Not easy to answer.
This requires self-kowledge.
I believe there are people who
are by nature, or nurture, introverted. This makes them feel separate from the rest of us, with all complications that go with it. I am one such person.
Anyway, attracting attention in not such a good way of life.
Being alone, and feeling alone is something you might have to get used to. In your aloneness and loneliness, you may find something worth sharing to others.
Of course, conversations should always be welcomed. This is what makes us one with others, by opening up to others, which sometimes takes a lot of courage.
This is something you have and should be happy about.

RedBark said...

Castor,

No problem. Thanks for the clarification.

Good idea trying to trick yourself. I use tricks too.


That would be my view of an enlightened person, but I do not know how I could know it for sure. I am pretty sure that they(enlightened folks) still have all the same thoughts that we have but they just let them go faster.

Thanks for the reminder about Takuan. I had forgotten that I wanted to finish reading that.


"Assume a virtue, if you have it not." William Shakespeare

RedBark said...

Utenzi,

Thanks, I think that it was partly about that but I missed it.

RedBark said...

Castor,

I have read the first half of Takuan. It was great but I do not ttink that I would have understood if I had not already learned something about letting go of thoughts.

He is probably right about my speaking about enlightenment revealing my ignorance.

I particularly liked:
"If one thinks he will be taken by his thoughts."

and:

Sarugaku(monkey music)

It is the very mind itself
That leads the mind astray;
Of the mind,
Do not be mindless.

I started the second part but I do not undertand much about "right mindedness" yet.

I also read a bit about principle, which I assume to be what you meant by "...a matter of principle" but I could not understand it.

Thanks again for the recommendation.

Castor said...

Beard,
Enlightenment shouldn't be such a big deal really. Some very enlightened people say that we are all enlightened already, which could be very difficult to accept. Some less enlightened people say, there is no such thing as enlightenment. Personally, I kind of
believe there is such a thing.
Society often dictates that we should be humble about a lot of things, including this "achievement" we call enlightenment. That's the reason
some people don't admit being
enlightened themselves. I think humility, true or false, is a virtue that we shouln't assume.
How can I be sure of it?
If you accept it as a fact, then
maybe you can be. Otherwise, try philosophizing.
I am just a monkey-minded philosopher.
I am made up of thoughts and nothing else. This mind/body is what really exist as a small part of the Universe.

Change said...

I love this painting, but I somehow wonder why you chose this particular one.

You should feel guilty, "talking about someone behind their back". However, "we" all do, it's almost natural, but it is easy to avoid it.

Sophia said...

Hi Castor,

I do enjoy time with others. I used to socialize more often, but now I find that as I grow older I stay at home often, either surfing the web and educating myself or reading. I like my alone time. I can be my most creative, then. I also find that my "internet friends" and I have more in common than people who live in my area. It is difficult for me to click with anyone in this area. I wonder if all the spiritual, yet non-religious people flock to New York City or something? Most of my friends are Christians, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I feel I can't discuss my spirituality with them. I guess in this way I stand out whether or not I want to.

Sophia said...

Hi Change,

You ask about my reason for choosing Sir Franck Dicksee's "The Confession".

I was looking for a painting that was confession-oriented to go with the post. That particular painting stuck out from the rest because of the enigmatic expressions on the characters' faces. The young woman is sitting there, and what looks like to me is waiting for a response from the priest.

I think the woman is confessing because of the position of her hands. The hands seem to make her appear a little nervous. I sometimes do things with my hands when I'm nervous. I lay one on top of the other like that. Her eyes carry a look of worry. The priest is afraid to look her in the eyes. His legs are crossed like a psychologist's who is really listening.

But confession is sometimes necessary to get the load off one's chest. It's a release.

Castor said...

Beard,
By the way,I just listened to Alan Watts' Teaches Meditation.
He said even this thing called Universe, which includes my mind/body doesn't really exist. It's just a product of thinking
or thoughts.
I grew older reading a few of Alan Watts' and J. Krishnamurti's Book, most of it in Dutch. But I have my own thinking. Watts I am afraid is some kind of a half-baked Zen philosopher and J. K. doesn't believe in Zen.

RedBark said...

Castor,

I am glad to hear that you do not take Allan Watts too seriously. Even so, I(and he) have no way to know for sure whether what he claims is true.

Years ago I tried to read Krishnamurti but I could not get anything out of it.

I have been reading Peter Ouspensky. Related to your theory that we are nothing but thoughts, in "The Fourth Way" he talks about how we are made up of consciousness and functions.

He says that the two are completely independent. Thinking, feeling, moving, sensing, etc are functions and can be done without any awareness at all. This is clear to me and I can give examples of each.

However I can not see how to prove that consiousness can exist without functions.

Castor said...

Beard,
J. Krishnamurti's teaching is
basically: "Wees slechts bewust van wat je denkt and doet, and niets anders."
It means: Just be aware of what you think and do, and nothing else(literally).
Sometime ago, I read his diary in Dutch almost everyday. And this is what stood out as his most important teaching. The advice
became my "mantra" for awhile, but never really understood it until much later.
Like Watts, Krishnamurti is opposed to conciously trying to transform oneself, thru any kind of technique or method, and any form of discipline, and endevour.
That's why he didn't recommend
any system like yoga, vipassana, zen, etc.
He has a very good argument or reasons againts these practices.
Watts differ from Krishnamurti in that he recommended any of all the possible meditation methods
with the warning not to try to do it to try to change or improve oneself. This would be contrary to the real purpose of meditation.
Which is to be aware of the "presence in the present" to use J. Prevert's expression.

RedBark said...

Castor,

Thank you for that really clear explanation of Krishnamuri and Watts.