Category Archives: motive

Self-centered Metaphysics

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Self-centered metaphysics is a contradiction in terms. It’s a curious and often unnoticed fact that most schools and teachings termed metaphysical, place the major emphasis on more or less mundane egocentric concerns:  awaken your psychic powers, get money, exercise influence, find love and romance, achieve personal enlightenment easily and quickly, and so on.  There is a wide spectrum of desire-appeal in these that ranges from the “metaphysics” of winning a lottery to subtler goals like general self-improvement and gaining knowledge.

Given the current nature of humans, such motivations and appeals are to be expected.  But they are not about metaphysics but “physics,” that is, the physics of bodies and their desires.  In the normal course of life, we do need metaphysics to awaken personal powers, get money, exercise influence, and find love.  With the exception of the last—and depending on what level of “love” we mean—these normal human goals are achievable without the confusion of redefining them as a spiritual path.   But in a curious way, selfish appeals and methods get wrapped up in various “spiritual” and “supernormal” packaging.  The seduction of that is that we can go on living an ordinary life while while entertaining the ego satisfying illusion that we are on a special spiritual path.

Goals like self-improvement, gaining knowledge, or getting clear of personality limitations can began to shade up toward something spiritual since they can support a healthy and more integrated personality.   And we need some measure of progressive normalcy before we can expect safe progress toward spiritual or supernormal.   Our practical pursuits are useful training and develop faculties in us that are a fitting prelude to spiritual progress, and moving toward the future our earthly abilities lend themselves to use on higher turns of the spiral of life.  But, as often happens, more or less egocentric concerns saturates the beginning, the middle, and the end of pseudo-metaphysical teachings.

We search for happiness, and real happiness is spiritual sunlight.  When approaching the spiritual, any desire emphasizing our egocentric concerns dims the light, and acts as a barrier separating us from the goal.  We achieve happiness not by grabbing for it, but as a byproduct of love, a radiant sun-like disposition and motivation.  For spiritual things, we achieve is by radiance.  But the ego in us is not radiant, not giving.  It is like a grasping hand, whereas the higher symbol is an open hand.  Spiritual receptivity is like this open hand held out to the sun.  If we try to grab the light, our hand closes on darkness. 

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Sunflower Motivations

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Something above phantasmal self shines continually. We try to find it in acquisitions. We humor each other with names attached to faces and voices, and play games of getting, but all unconsciously, and for a purpose hidden, then slowly revealed.

And finally, to approach acquisition and faculty by way of love–that I think, is key. The Sun, symbol of self, is our archetype. The physical sun serves us well, and the spiritual sun serves well. We also must serve well, which is the value of getting. Acquisition, personal growth, aspiration, seem to me to be preparatory schools that find they’re meaning in service of light. Our light-seeking moves toward discovered radiance in which is our happiness. And as sun cannot help but give itself in radiance, so also our inner nature. We are more light sphere than anything, and with but a thin veil between brain and our fiery core.

Acting as If

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Let’s ask in what sense it is benevolent and productive to “act as if ” we are spiritually empowered. Consider what it would be like to be at the next rung of the ladder, that is, what would our increased responsibilities be to others and to ourselves. Then with perspective, let’s play at being a little better than we currently are. Put a better foot forward, not to be seen, but because it is a wonderful life-affirming thing to do. In fact, we are always projecting ourselves forward, aspiring to be and act somewhat better than we are. In the right way, this is healthy. We are, in effect, calling ourselves out, engaging in an affirmation intended to move us toward the future. So what would it be like to begin to engage in the next level of work, the next wider sphere of responsibility, the next greater circle of love? What would it be to practice, to engage in life with the next greater step of purity and clarity? Why wait? Act as if.