Saturday, November 15, 2014

"'Cause you've got personality...."

A recent piece by Ian Welsh, Character as Personal Destiny, had me scratching my head and wondering. I don't fully agree with his ideas, which reminded me somewhat of remarks I read long ago on an astrology forum, stating that "it's possible, once enlightened, to transcend one's astrology". I recall that I did question that proposal at the time. A post of mine from last year touches on similar thoughts - Musings on Meditation. My response to commenter and blog-buddy "mike" there included this thought:
We're here to untangle from the puzzle of life what we can, I suppose. If meditation helps in the untangling process, it can't be bad. But I've always had the uncomfortable feeling that, if taken to extremes, it could simply provide an excuse for not taking note of what's going on outside of one's own inner-ness. These days, I'd hesitate to blame anyone for that attitude, things being as they are - but somehow it doesn't feel right.
Anyway, back to Ian Welsh's recent piece - SNIPS:
The idea of karma is related to this. You’re born at a particular time, with a particular personality, to particular parents, in a particular place. Your nurture and your nature (the personality that even babies have) is predetermined, therefore your life is predetermined, because how you will react to events is a matter of your character, which is your original personality plus the circumstances you grow up in.

The fully enlightened are said to be largely immune to karma. This is because, often, as you meditate, it becomes clear that personality is a choice. You don’t have to act in accordance with your personality if it’s not in your self interest. This is true of everyone, but it’s one of those abilities most people don’t use. As you meditate you become detached from your own character, it doesn’t seem important to you, and as a result it loses much of its power. As it loses its power you become free to act as you please, and in that sense you break your karma. (And by act, I also mean think. The sort of terrible thoughts that plague many people lose much of their power.)...............................Meditation, then, can make you free and rob you of much of the juice required to make use of that freedom. The less you care, the happier you are (I know many people won’t believe that, I’ll just say that in my experience it’s true, and many other people attest to the same). .........................Still, I think it’s worth remembering that your personality isn’t anything super-precious, and that it can be your chains. Acting in ways that aren’t beneficial to you (or, often to anyone else) because of your personality serves no one. Personality is often chains, and yet we treasure it. If you want to be happier, be less attached to who you are.

"You don't care"....that's the scary part to me. A population of "don't carers" sharing a planet with equal or greater numbers of "I want power,
control and...everything and will have its".

Oh - what the heck! I shall stay unenlightened and care!

'cause you've got personality,
Walk, personality
Talk, Personality
Smile, Personality
Charm, personality
Love, personality
And of Cause you've got
A great big heart.....


mike said...

There are many forms of "I don't care" and most of the non-enlightened, non-spiritual of planet Earth have performed a selfish version of "I don't care" to manifest chaos and destruction upon us. An interesting feature of the spiritually enlightened is their requirement or dependence upon the non for sustenance in the form of tithing or donations...such as the beggar Buddhists of Thailand, who wander the streets anticipating food-monetary donations, to which they endow a special blessing upon the giver. A quick search of Ian Welsh does provide that he cares enough to support himself writing about politics and lifestyles...maybe that keeps him grounded.

The astrological version of enlightenment is learning to benefit from the positive selection and flow of energy, even if it's the most difficult of aspects. If one has been born and has a natal chart, one will react to influences derived from those initial energies. It is impossible to negate material influences regardless of enlightenment levels...natural disasters abound, human-induced disasters abound, and personal disasters abound, regardless of spiritual attainment.

I do understand Ian Welsh's logic, but from an astrological view, it could be defined as too much Neptune...LOL. There are a number of pundits that have written similar thoughts using different methodologies and have labelled the process by another name. Norman Vincent Peale comes to mind, with his book, "The Power of Positive Thinking" (1952)..."change your thoughts and change your world". There are countless new-age writers and bloggers that espouse some technique to avoid the pain of life.

The science of meditation can't be ignored, as it's been demonstrated to be of benefit. But, the same can be said of eating a well-balanced diet, sleeping a full eight hours, being physically attractive, obtaining a good education, having a mid to upper strata of socioeconomic standing, regular medical check-ups, etc.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Teilhard de Chardin

mike (again) said...

P.S. - It isn't for me to say who is or isn't reaping spiritual benefit from meditation, but there are any number of business elite and Hollywood celebrities that meditate...many make no spiritual inference, but claim it provides better decision making and clarity.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Quelle surprise! We actually agree on something! ;-)

Yes, Ian Welsh has written some very good political pieces. He's different from many who have written in similar vein on more "spiritual" or New Agey stuff. He does care. For me, this makes his essays on meditation and suchlike even harder to understand.

When people start talking or writing about "enlightenment" always brings to mind the spirit of that old quote: The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.

Dearie me, I must be feeling extra cynical today. ;-/

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Yikes! that'd put me off meditating for life. Oprah?!

I read a critical piece on Oprah the other day which "enlightened" me somewhat in her direction. I have, by the way, never watched a single show of hers and shy away from reading anything she has written.
she may be a fellow Aquarius Sun type but she give me the creeps.

LB said...

Twilight ~ I think if we want to tune-out (and not care), meditation won't make much of a difference either way.

Here's a youtube link documenting the process of teaching meditation to prisoners, as well as an interview with Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist Monk, peace activist and spiritual teacher who encourages mindfulness and non-violent action as a means to achieve social justice. He influenced Martin Luther King to speak out publicly against the Vietnam War:

His books are some of my favorites.:) I also believe meditation has many spiritual and practical benefits.

Twilight said...

LB ~ What ever floats your boat, LB. We each have to find our own course through the ocean of life. what suits one personality type will not necessarily suit everyone.
I think I've floated my row-boat reasonably well without benefit of meditating, thus far. I'm unlikely to change course now.

I can't watch Oprah doing her thing - sorry. It's not nice of me, I know this, but I simply cannot stand to watch her pontifications - or those of the many "spiritual" leaders who make piles of $$$$$$ from their books and lecture tours.

I'm in that sort of mood today. :-/

Sonny G said...

I have no dislike of meditation and I have sincerely tried it- alone and with a teacher who I know was truly trying to help me help myself by quieting the almost constant chatter in my head.

alas, I was'nt able to achieve Nirvana, by a long shot lol. Its just not how I'm wired, though I am happy for all who wish to and do achieve it..

I read your post Annie:: ps I use your name versus Twilight because its comforting to me.. not sure I was clear with that, so I hope you know what I meant.

I also read Mike's and LB's comment and understood what they both said.
I was born Motivated- so motivational speakers on any level dont really mean much too me nor do I understand what people get from them. In the end you must motivate yourself on all levels.
I care and I dont want to stop caring or even care a little or a lot less.
Caring often brings great joy and even when it brings some pain, that pain is a great motivator for change and growth and learning.. so I guess what I am trying to convey with all these words is...
I could have missed the pain/caring but I'd have had to miss the Dance..
ps- Annie, you and Garth are my favorite Aquarius folks..

Sonny G said...

oh yea and Tom Selleck too:)

LB said...

Twilight ~ I understand and share your feelings about those who fail to walk the talk, whether they make money or not.

It's also why, after learning more about Thich Nhat Hanh's efforts during the Vietnam War, his words as a spiritual teacher and peace activist carried greater weight with me - though I admit to feeling disappointed at some of the directions he's gone in in recent years.

Imperfect as he may be, thankfully the essential message of his original teachings remains uncorrupted and worthwhile for many of us.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Annie, Ann... or Twilight is fine, Sonny - thank you! :-)

I feel much the same as you do - and that song, "The Dance" has always been my favourite of Garth Brooks' many brilliant compositions...along with "If Tomorrow Never Comes".

Tom Selleck was another of my faves, especially in his role as Magnum P.I. - until I discovered he's a Republican - dang! What a big disappointment that was. Not sure about Garth Brooks - he could be Republican too, coming as he does from Oklahoma. Sigh. But his songs are still great.

Twilight said...

LB ~ I guess success goes to their heads in time, no matter how sincere they might have been at the outset.

Sonny G said...

Hi and Happy Sunday to Ya'll

I hope your health is continuing to improve Annie.

Its really cold now because the temps are only going to 50 during the day and that means the house does'nt warm up and it gets cooler quicker when the sun goes down.. I had to turn the heat on last night. I know other states are even colder so I'm not complaining.
I know I can ask Google but I thought I'd ask ya'll too..
Do any of you have a numerology site that you feel is most accurate? I find that subject interesting and would like to gain more knowledge about it. Too me its also a science and would seem to work well along with astrology..
Have a great day.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Hi, and good wishes to you too!

Can't help on numerology - sorry. Maybe someone else will have a website or book suggestion.

I've long been interested in a system using playing cards updated for the 20th century by Robert Camp (Google him) which blends an ancient system of astrology and numerology - I think. I have found his book "Love Cards" to be exceptionally good and eerily accurate.

Sonny G said...

oh yes Annie I have both the Robert Hand books. I'll go back and take a look at those.
I am the 7 of hearts- The Peace Maker:) thanks for reminding me..

Twilight said...

Sonny - Robert Camp though, not Robert Hand (though Robert Hand IS a superb astrologer!)

Oh good! I'm glad you're familiar with Camp's books. I'm King of Clubs would ya believe? "Master of Knowledge?"...Mr Camp - you jest!!!

mike (again) said...

Sonny, I've only delved into the very surface of numerology, so not any help here. I remember that you previously made comments regarding the numerology of various topics in Twilight's posts, so you must have some proficiency already.

mike (again) said...

Twilight, the conclusion to "The Paradise" was excellent, I thought...wrapped-up nicely. I would have preferred to have seen Weston struck by lightening at the end, but fitting that he and Katherine reconciled. I actually felt sympathy for Katherine the past several episodes...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ They did a very quick sprint to the finish line didn't they!?
Nicely finalised with no loose ends dangling. I wish Miss Audrey had returned for a final bow - I've missed her in the 2nd season.

Sonny G said...

yes Robert Camp of course:)
though I do have a few Robert Hand books also..

yes Mike I bought a used book in 1988 and tried to learn on my own and off and on since I've dabbled with it.

aww so many stories to tell..
Your Chardin quote is REAL.

Anonymous said...

Words often fail when dealing with issues of psychology and enlightenment (not that I claim enlightenment).

Spirituality which goes somewhat beyond psychology can leave you with a deep sense of continuity. It's not that there isn't suffering, there is. It's that this too shall pass, and that all of us are, in some sense, more than our bodies.

As for caring, you care less, but there is also far less resistance to action, so you can still act if you choose to.

I certainly can't speak for the fully self-aware, the fully self-enlightened (as best I can tell there are levels of spiritual realization. You can have real achievements and still be far short of Buddha, say.)

But I can say that a number of people I know who are somewhat enlightened, do still involve themselves in the world's affairs in a beneficial way.

To be sure, however, enlightenment can lead to retreat, to lack of involvement in the world. It can also lead to very antisocial behaviour, as it strips away conditioning and gives you freedom.

This is why the Hindus emphasize love (read Biography of Yogi), and Buddhists emphasize compassion.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ Thank you for those observations - very interesting. This is obviously a complex subject, with different levels of involvement, and possibly is understood in different ways by different individuals from different cultures too.