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  • Writer's pictureScarlett Demy

Avoiding Spiritual Masochism

Often times people grasp for measurement of reality through concepts. A poor attempt for finding constancy in reality’s uncontainable dynamic motion and expression, this manifests as the assignment of meaning and levels to ones spiritual attainment. To see how far ahead or behind one is to ones peers and the world at large. In the world of duality, meaning is a tool and reflection we ourselves program. Even the astrological planets were named after our Mythological gods and imbued with their personalities.

The irony of spiritual pursuit is that the more one seeks, the more resistance is created. Only through awareness and acceptance of one’s nature does he begin to transcend his limitations. Control comes from giving up control, and austerity is a cleverly disguised means of control.

In the Dharmacakrapravartana Sūtra, the Buddha addresses 5 ascetics with whom he had previously practiced his austerities by saying “There is an addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is an addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable. Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (the Perfect One) has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana (Nirvana).”

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