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Questions that arise are often functions of attitudes, opinions, narrow beliefs. If one's awareness is hollow or shallow, perhaps deep issues had better be put aside for the sake of "baby steps progress" or similar. There is hopefully a fit time for that too.

Personified feelings may take the shape of this and that and transform themselves this way and that, just as in dreams. The dream does not have much outward to show for, but it amounts to impress the mind on deeper levels all the same, and helps to preserve one's sanity. (cf. Evans-Wentz 1960:31 etc.)

Thus, reality as we take it to be, includes much more than what we make out of through the senses and instruments that "prolong" them, so to speak.

Luckily, proficient meditation does not call for blind beliefs.

Should we stop meditating, should be bar ourselves from the benefits that the best meditation methods offer?

Often it is better to be half-hearted than wholeheartedly foolish for a lifetime.

How can we become more effective at meditating? How can we deal with guru sayings above our heads?

I give some tips in the following, a few things to bite into.

Teachings about Needs

Questions may arise from deep-going needs, and for other reasons too. Some needs are linked to one another, and the same goes for questions they engender.

Questions tend to arise from different hungers, and answers that can nourish, may function on the level(s) intended, but also on other levels. The pyramid of needs that Abraham Maslow postulates, goes into various hungers, or needs. They are to be be met fruitfully, so that one may climb to the next level, and the level after that again, to the point of peaking, or self-actualising.

The self-actualising bit suggests among other things:

First get the facts involved; that is no hocus-pocus. And solve the problems of blind beliefs and gross prejudice if or when you are up to it. Since they tend to bind and hem your inner energies, you may get more spontaneous and often frivolous in the process, but there is no guarantee of that, or that a less tied-down you will be well received by dogmatic fools around around. There are many who remain in such shackles, and some seem to benefit from keeping others in shackles as well.

You may do well to keep your private business private for the sake of long-term safety. That comes in addition to concluding as carefully as you can.

Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

Figure. 1. Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

Q: Does Maslow's Pyramid of Needs imply "Accept spontaneous morality" somehow?

A: In fact, it does. He studied a lot of so-called self-actualising persons, and one of the things that came up, was that they were moral, a lot moral from deep within, and did not much consider the opinions of many for being that way. He writes: "These individuals are strongly ethical, they have definite moral standards, they do right and do not do wrong. Needless to say, their notions of right and wrong and of good and evil are often not the conventional ones. (Maslow 1989:141)".

Maslow further noted about these outstanding ones:

Their sense of humor is not of the ordinary type. They do not consider funny what the average person considers to be funny. Thus they do not laugh at hostile humor (making people laugh by hurting someone) or superiority humor (laughing at someone else's inferiority) or authority-rebellion humor (the unfunny, Oedipal, or smutty joke). Characteristically what they consider humor is more closely allied to philosophy than to anything else. It may also be called the humor of the real because it consists in large part in poking fun at human beings in general when they are foolish, or forget their place in the universe, or try to be big when they are actually small. This can take the form of pohng fun at themselves, but this is not done in any masochistic or clownlike way. . . . Such humor can be very pervasive. (Ibid 141-42)

There is a quotation by the New England thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood." [from Emerson's essay Self-Reliance]

Good adaptations can be great too, the greater you are -

There is more on these and other sides to self-actualisation or what leads into it, in Maslow's writings. As for morality, placed near the apex of Maslow's pyramid, the Austrian Rudolf Steiner has a say too.

Throughout your training, you must continually increase your moral strength, your inner purity and your power of observation . . . Strive for purity of your moral character. Banish all thought of ever using knowledge gained in this way for dumb personal benefit, as you may gain a trifle power over your fellow-creatures. A rule: For every one step that you take in the pursuit of higher knowledge, take three steps in the perfection of your own character." ( Wisdom of Rudolf Steiner).

One's own, inner morality is to be finely tuned into, he says. Buddha holds adequate morality to be so vitally important that it goes into the fabric of his great Gentle Middle Path, the general way of Buddhism. In sane, apt yoga, too, there are do's and don'ts of morality to adhere for much the same reasons as Rudolf Steiner is into.


Some answers, Literature  

Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling, ed. The Tibetan Book of the Dead: After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane, according to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English Rendering. London: Oxford University Press, 1927. — Many editions and translations of the significant book have appeared since then. My favourite edition is from 1960.

Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.

Steiner, Rudolf. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment. GA 10. Translation by George Metaxa, Herndon, VA: Anthroposophic Press, 1947.

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