From the beginning there never was a secret, every mystery you have ever wondered about has been hidden in plain sight.

We are the Ātmeśvara Mārga School, and if we took ourselves seriously enough to have an "official" voice, this would be it. We are dedicated to the process of human integration, of moving from the segregated, mechanistic, conditioned state, to the Integrated, unconditioned state of the awake, adult human.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Falling Down

Things can be going along quite nicely, the path feeling smooth, the messages all thumbs up. We cannot help but dance for joy in the music of our lives. Suddenly something is in the way, the road no longer smooth. We trip. Maybe we fall. We look around, did anyone see that clumsiness? Possibly all those who moments ago were our cheerleaders. Possibly nobody at all.

One of the big challenges on the path of our lives is how to deal with these falls. If the stumble was caused by our own unawareness, do we stand accountable for our actions? Do we become discouraged and just sit on the side of the road pouting in self-pity over a skinned knee? If the fall was seemingly caused by another's action, do we waste energy in anger and blame?

Developing an ability to keep moving forward whether the road is smooth or bumpy is key to reaching our destination. A key in this is of course, holding the non-attached view of our journey. (Take advantage while down of noticing what things look like from below- there could be important information there). Another is remembering to continue both being accountable and being kind to our selves in doing so.

Look at babies becoming toddlers: they fall all the time. They may bump something in the landing. They may cry for a moment, but they don't blame someone else, or give themselves a hard time. And they get back up. Because the most important thing is their desire for mobility.

How strong is your desire for mobility? Are you willing to keep getting back up?


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand that. I think it's because I've learned a bit about several paths and they seem to disagree on how to deal with the situation. (Then again, I could be mis-interpreting what I've learned.)

Is the desire for mobility one of the desires which must be overcome, according to Buddhist thought?

On the other hand, Christianity (at least in certain forms of it), might see the obstacles themselves as tests from God that must be striven against and overcome.

Then there are the Taoists who believe one should simply flow around the obstacles like water, rather than striving to overcome them.

So the Buddhist would surrender their desire for mobility, the Christian would combat the obstacles to keep moving, and the Taoist would avoid/embrace it to move past it?

Are they all correct? Does it depend on which path you are following because each has a different destination? Or, quite possible, did I miss something?

Janet said...


The path is a construct or metaphor, as is the desire for mobility. As is, in fact, pretty much everything.

In this case the path represents both the movement through life in a very general sense, and our intentions towards awakening. The point I was trying to make with this post is that we can get stuck when things go wrong, for whatever reason.

And while I am definitely an advocate of becoming an adult, we can learn nevertheless from babies, the determination to keep moving without submitting to guilt, blame or shame.

Regarding the different types of "paths", I won't assess judgment of one being better than the other. But I would agree that each might have a different view or interpretation of the significance of this post. Which is a great illustration of the fact that religions or paths are simply filters through which truth is sifted. Ultimately, we must go further.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. The relentlessness of babies. Several paths mention them as well.

The Tao Te Ching talks about babies able to yell and never get hoarse.

The Bible: "But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven."

They seem to indicate that children possess what adults have forgotten and that to grow spiritually, we have to remember what we've lost. But I think there's a trap, there, too. As you said, the point is becoming an adult, not reverting to childhood ... learn from babies but don't become one.

But back to the main theme: I'm still not sure I understand the whole mobility vs. obstacles concept. Is it necessary to have a destination in mind in order to understand the "path" and "obstacles" metaphors?


Janet said...


Have you ever been working on a project which seems to have a nice momentum, and suddenly it begins to stall out? Either you make a misjudgment, or someone else who is involved loses interest, or some variable shifts against your favor?

At this point, you have various choices of how to handle it. Each will have it's energetic and concrete result.

It is similar with the journey of awakening. There can be exciting, noticeable "progress" and then boom! some old pattern pops back up and gets in the way.

In terms of having a destination, that is a stage in the process. At some point, there is no more destination to be sought, but the challenge is to journey that far without being tripped up or diverted by rocks in the path.

Thank you for making me think more about this.