Effort or No-Effort

joejo's picture



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Is the Spiritual path one of effort or No effort? We hear contradictory statements on this issue and agree with one or the other version depending on our whim. Some would immediately object and say that they have closely followed the arguments and their decision is based on sound reason.

Let us take the case of those that advocate that there is nothing required to be done as there is no path and hence there could be no goal, one has just to Be and no effort is required. Some would claim that our very nature is awareness and all one has to do is to realise that by being passively aware without effort.

Obviously when we are trying to solve a mathematical problem one does not need physical effort. Even this may not entirely be true for physical well being would aid and not deter us in our mental exertion. Even understanding requires expenditure of some energy.

First prerequisite in my opinion is to put ones house in order. That does not mean a state of utopia, as there would be waves and one cannot wait for them to stop to commence swimming, but disentanglement from mindless engagement from life that takes up all the energy and time. Considerable intelligence and effort is required to arrive at this stage for we are heavily conditioned and going against the grain requires tremendous courage and effort.

I would be equally suspicious of those who make it all sound as if it was well nigh impossible and would require something out of the blue or many lifetimes of effort as they may want to put it. All I want to say to them is a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.