SELF-DOUBT AND CYNICISM VS. PROFOUND TRUST
 From a Talk by Adyashanti

"There is nothing more insidiously destructive to the attainment of
liberation than self-doubt and cynicism.  Doubt is a movement of the
conditioned mind that always claims that "it's not possible ... that
freedom is not possible for me [or for you - or at least it is very
very difficult, very distant]."  Doubt always knows; it "knows" that
nothing is possible.  And in this knowing, doubt robs you of the pos-
sibility of anything truly new or transformative from happening.  Fur-
thermore, doubt is always accompanied by a pervasive cynicism that
unconsciously puts a negative spin on whatever it touches.  Cynicism
is a world view which protects the ego from scrutiny by maintaining
a negative stance in relationship to what it does not know, does not
want to know, or cannot know.  Many spiritual seekers have no idea
how cynical and doubt-laden they actually are.  It is this blindness
and denial of the presence of doubt and cynicism that makes the birth
of a profound trust impossible - a trust without which final libera-
tion will always remain simply a dream." - Adyashanti

[That trust is also often called "homage", or even "devotion" or
"surrender" - and the path that encompasses this openness of heart
is called "bhakti".  Once Self-realization is ripening, this open-
ness of heart in devotion is essential in order to expand out and
meet and imbibe your god/goddess. - MDG]


BHAGAVAD GITA ON HOMAGE, REPEATED INQUIRY, AND SERVICE

For example, in the Bhagavad Gita, 4:34, Lord Krishna says:

   "Through homage, repeated inquiry, and service,
    the men of knowledge who have experienced Reality
    will teach you knowledge."

Maharishi's commentary says:

   "By 'homage' is meant submission or surrender."

The commentary says that surrender to the teacher (ultimately to the
Truth that the teacher is a reflector of), is the prerequisite for
asking questions (repeated inquiry, or curiosity).  After devotion,
the questions are true seekings for deeper understanding.  There is
no hint of any intention to diminish the teacher or test the teacher
or argue with the teacher or improve the teacher - no hint of any in-
tention to doubt the teacher or the Truth.  There is no intention to
play the game "I'm more OK, based on making you less OK". The teacher
has already been accepted fully as a conduit of Truth, and the inten-
tion of the inquiry is to make everyone "more and more OK, more and
more infinite/vast/divine."

Then the heart of the teacher opens wide, any and all questions are
welcome and appropriate, and deep knowledge flows in response to
them.  This acceptance of the teacher is actually a surrender to the
unbounded Truth; it invites the unbounded to shine forth through the
teacher.  This trust or surrender means that the individual has
"gotten out of the way" to some extent, has dropped their ego-defend-
ing patterns, has dropped their guard.

Before trust, before devotion, the questions are not really from a
surrendered place.  The questioner has not accepted the teacher as a
teacher, the questioner has not accepted the limitations of his/her
own relative ego/intellect, and therefore there is not that open flow
of knowledge.  In the questions there may be some lack of respect for
the teacher, some implication that the teacher is not competent, some
belittling or depreciation of the teacher.  The teacher's heart is
not opened by this, the recipient's guard is not put down, and the
flow of Truth is not profound.

We all know from everyday experience that questions (curiosity) gener-
ally can have two very distinct purposes, even in mundane conversation:

1. To actually gain understanding, as sincere inquiries; to create
    love/togetherness/unity by going deeper into knowledge; to open
    the conduit for richer flow of knowledge.

2. To hide something behind the smokescreen of a question:
    a. To hide our criticism/anger, to avoid making a directly critical
       statement.
    b. To hide that we're trying to control or dominate someone - to
       hide that we're trying to manipulate someone or trying to engage
       someone in a game.
    c. To create doubt/division/fear.

    In this case, questions are actually deceptions, a kind of passive/
    aggressive behavior.  Rather than saying what we feel in direct
    statements, we hide behind questions.  If challenged, if our true
    but hidden feelings or motives are noticed, we can always say "I
    didn't mean any criticism - I was just wondering...".  Often it is
    apparent to observers, and to the recipient of the "question", that
    we were NOT "just wondering".  The question has an obvious edge to
    it, or it asks for an answer that we already know or could figure
    out, or it is pretty blatantly a manipulation, or it just leaves
    the recipient feeling odd, as though they've been tricked or mess-
    ed with.

    Although not so easy to say in words, the difference in how it feels
    to receive these two different kinds of questions (inquiries) is
    energetically obvious to most of us.  Sincere questions, without
    hidden emotional agendas or motives, evoke an open flow of knowledge,
    evoke more unity and deepening, and don't leave a strange aftertaste.

The nature of a person's speech (and writing), especially their style
of spiritual inquiry and discussion (as on this list), is very reveal-
ing about the condition of their heart and mind.  They reveal so clear-
ly whether they are swimming in the sea of doubt and cynicism and ego-
defense, or whether they've found the life-preserver of surrender and
simplicity and concern for others.


Namaste,

Michael

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