How do we accept? (Part 1)

Phroggy's picture

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We all know the routine; accept, surrender, forgive, let go, release, stop seeking. Do it and you don't have to seek Truth, Truth finds you. Stupidly simple, but far from easy. The entire spiritual path is an attempt to answer the inevitable question......How?

The difficulty with the question, of course, is that there is no direct answer because what needs to be done is not a doing, but rather an undoing. One cannot choose to accept/surrender because mind has what it believes are very good reasons for rejecting and strugling, and the simple ego choice to stop that immediately puts mind in conflict with itself. Consciously or unconsciously, we think to ourselves, 'If I accept everything as it is, I will never meet my goals, I will have to tollerate the intollerable, suffer the insufferable. I'll be abused, out of control, miserable and probably hate myself for letting life run over me, or I might be bored because I'm not going anywhere, doing anything, improving my situation, meeting challenges.'

The conflict is clear, none of the above is really acceptance. Accepting the unacceptable is just a pretense, a mind game, so we go in search of techniques to trick the mind into letting go or shutting up, but the tricks can never work because it's mind trying to trick mind, and since there's just one mind, all that results is more internal conflict: strugling to let go of struggle.

Ego is not in control of mind. Mind functions spontaneously at it's most fundamental level, and the egoic overlay of control functions only as long as this control is actively enforced, which is not possible to do 24/7, much less the rest of your life. Even if it were a temporary means to bring about Awakening, it cannot suceed because the mind control being exercised by ego will subvert that realization. Ego's control is not acceptance/surrender. As soon as ego is distracted, which usually means as soon as the meditation is over, mind goes back to functioning spontaneously, to what you might see as habitual behavior, but mind is simply operating according to it's own conditioning.

The only way is to alter that conditioning, which means altering beliefs, which means bringing a new clarity to the spontaneous functioning of mind. When this happens, mind spontaneously accepts and does not require the egoic overlay of control and the inevitable internal conflict.

So, that's my assessment of the problem. Next I'll ramble about what I've experienced as at least a partial solution.

Omkaradatta's picture

Nicely stated...

Well said; the only 'solution' is surrender, giving up, letting go. In my case I first gave up spirituality, after five years of active seeking. Then I gradually started giving up the world as well, over the course of another five years. We cannot lose the 'me' without first losing interest in what the 'me' is interested in, in our attachments. We cannot give up ourselves directly, we can only lose interest and stop fueling the fire. At some point, the fire will go out; it's inevitable.

We say that people are seeking enlightenment; closer to the truth is that they are fighting against it. Eventually it will find people, if they can stop fighting long enough. Nothing need be done -- it's all an undoing. Stop, surrender, release, give up, let go, cease, don't, just be...

Omkaradatta | Sun, 01/18/2009 - 16:25
Phroggy's picture


Yes to all of that. It's important for the seeker to examine his level of interest in worldly pursuits. We might say Awakening is for those who have 'been there, done that', and no longer have interest in fame, fortune, looking good, trying to find permanent happiness in the world, power and control. Forms of entertainment that excite others are of no particular interest, ego drama is not satisfying.

This is the person prepared to explore the possibility of transcending. As long as there is still an interest in the dream, there is no real interest in waking up. Spirituality then becomes just another interesting part of the dream.

Phroggy | Sun, 01/18/2009 - 20:50
Omkaradatta's picture

Awakening is for...

I actually think awakening is for everyone... nobody should disqualify themselves based on some particular factor(s). Folks set enlightenment 'out there' as some extremely difficult or even impossible thing to achieve, when really the truth is closer even than our own skin.

In part because of this, it's considered 'egoic' to claim awakening -- yet on any path (say, a walking path beside the road) there are people at the start of the path, somewhere in the middle, and just stepping off it at the end. There are certainly no bragging rights in any of that, yet somehow awakening is different. Mostly cuz nobody expects to stop seeking it... the horizon just keeps moving further and further out the more it's sought.

Omkaradatta | Mon, 01/19/2009 - 00:21
Mieshadwjv's picture

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Mieshadwjv | Thu, 06/24/2021 - 23:20