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.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mechanics of Giving

In the quest to be an awakened being, recognition of mechanical patterns is a vital step. Where it can get sneaky is where the habit is a "good" one. Exercise. Teaching. Volunteering.These are good habits.

For example, how could generosity be a problem? We "should" be giving human beings, right? It's important to help others when they need it, right? Taking the should out of the equation is the first step. Removing value judgments from our actions is essential, and oh-so-challenging for most people.

The term Enlightened Self-Interest is one which may be appropriate in being honest about why we do our acts of service. Examine the motivations behind giving. Do I give to get? Do I give to feel good about myself? Do I give so I won't feel bad about my own good fortune? Generosity in itself is a lovely thing if we can be conscious about it, are willing to root out expectations and be in clarity with why we do what we do.

5 comments:

Mendur said...

So *any* habit, even a good one, is detrimental to becoming awake? I think I can understand that.

What always confuses me is “removing value judgments”. If you no longer place values on your actions, how do you know if they are good or bad? useful or useless? beneficial or harmful? enlightened self-interest or selfishness?

I know, I know. In Taoism, one should move beyond such dualities. In Christianity, the intent is more important than the action (e.g., the Pharisee and the tax collector in the temple). But if you no longer judge the value (or the values) of your actions, what is the difference between an awakened being and a sociopath?

And yes, I think too much.

Janet said...

It kind of depends on one's goal. There's nothing wrong with doing good deeds and having healthy habits. But if one is striving for an awakened state, even giving to the poor or exercising can become part of the trance if done simply out of habit or out of unconscious motivations. Does my generosity just feed a story about my Ego's desire to be a good person? Do I exercise because that's what I do every morning, or to feed an obsession with not looking bad? See the assessment of value here?

When speaking of removing value judgments, it does not mean we can ever stop having preferences or valuing some things over others. But it's more setting up "good vs bad" judgments to which I'm referring. Can we notice something that happens, either internally or externally, and simply take it as information?

Thank you for your visit.

John said...

Step back even further:

can you take your own value judgements of good and bad just as information?

Janet said...

Exactly!!

rom said...

Everything around us gives, the trees, the sun, the earth all give out.

My view is that I am part of this nature, something I give to someone else was not mine in the first place, I was the means used to give whatever it was to the real owner of it who is the person who benefits or utilises it.