The path of compassion, insight and creativity - GAIA and the struggle against corporatocracy and war.

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All, nothing or ....

I was listening to this speaker Shakti Caterina Maggi, and what she offered was great. She is in the Advaita tradition, and I have listened to them before.

At 41.20 a desperate woman stood up with a heartrending cry for help, and the speaker's answer was to continue to follow the teachings - more of the same. I have heard a similar interaction with another speaker from the same tradition, and I classify this as all or nothing. That needs explaining.

Firstly I cannot comment on the particular case, maybe the speaker knew her, maybe .... But I would like to consider general issues that arise from the interchange.

As result of my studies and practice that led to the Treatise, the final chapter was about GAIA. What I mean by Gaia is mostly encapsulated in Indigenous Wisdom leading, amongst others, to my joining a facebook group WISDOM KEEPERS. In it I found this meme:-

Many paths. There is only one deep underlying wisdom, understanding, Unity - one GAIA, but everybody's path is different. My purpose in writing the Treatise was not to tell people to do it my way because my path was very mixed up, but maybe what was written would strike a chord encouraging people to follow their own path. Maybe we won't reach paranibbana as some describe it.

My upheaval had a sense of desperation about it, and although I hit bottom the awakening, to use Shakti's word - my word upheaval, was not 100%. Slowly I moved on from there - sometimes very slowly, but I have matured. Maybe the questioner could have gained a sense of peace and calm by choosing another path, all people searching have to find their own way. But my heart bled for her pain, and for me more of the same was not a sufficient response.

Personally I felt a great deal of numbness prior to following the path - prior to my upheaval. So I accept the notion in "The Crisis of Awakening" that desperation is inevitable - and is potentially a good thing. In the introduction to "Power of Now", Eckhart Tolle describes his own desperation prior to his "awakening" - I think he used that word. But is that path-depression the only way?

To be honest I tend to think so for westerners, that path-depression is a common theme. But in the East there are great teachers who have not suffered that pain (path-depression) and yet are following the path. I always tout Ajaan Buddhadasa as my teacher (even though he is dead and I never met him or heard him speak), there is no indication in all that I have seen he has written that he went through a path-depression before experiencing the joy in his life.

My concern for people like the questioner, what will their path-depression lead them to? Eckhart said he felt suicidal, but I know of no such suicides. But I met an all-or-nothing drunk in Africa. He was a nice man who had been involved with a group who were demanding enlightenment. My friend never found it, gave up and hid in the booze. Being forced into a confrontation with the depression-path might not have the desired results. Only the speaker can know for herself whether she is certain that she can accept the consequences, the spiritual responsibility, of all-or-nothing advaita.

To be perfectly honest I don't know what I could do for people like the questioner. My heart would want to help her through her pain, path-depression, maybe ease it, maybe find a way of helping her look inside without all that pain. Do I know I could do it? NO. Do I know that the speaker's way won't work? NO. Do I know there are many paths? YES.

All-or-nothing or ....

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