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Change And Acceptance


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One of the PC podcasts that I just finished listening to dealt with the subject of change and acceptance, that it is sometimes a struggle or a balancing act for us to accept where we are in our journey while still being open to change.

 

I thought it would be interested to ask how our forum friends balance these two in a practical way. In other words, some folks here feel like they have found what they have sought all their lives, so they are no longer seekers. Others are still exploring other beliefs and worldviews, perhaps because they don't feel content with where they are or they cannot accept that they are finished with their journey.

 

So how about you? Do you feel like you have arrived, that you are done changing, that you have accepted that where you are is right where you need to be and that there is nothing more?

 

Or do you feel like there is still more change to come? Do you feel that there is still a "more" that you don't know or haven't experienced and you long for that "more"?

 

Or is your journey one of accepting certain things as being givens while still being open to other things for further exploration?

 

Are you perfectly content with where you are? Do desire something more? Is there a balance to be found between the two?

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Bill,

 

My favorite example is the story of Simeon and Anna in Luke 2: 25-32. Regular church goers who attended every week, their faith was deep, believing that if they kept being receptive to the inbreaking the of the Spirit they would experience it. It happened in church. Each of us seek regular practices that we trust to keep us open to the stirring of the water, the movement of the Spirit, the moment to take action. Simeon and Anna seemed to have arrived at that place where they accepted what and how "to do it", but the "doing" - or "being" - left them open to see the time of change. Most important is the way of watching, waiting, regular practice. There are those who never see what they think of as change; what is important was the practice that kept them open.

 

I think there are sea-changes and and "rivulet-changes" :) . Changes that change our whole way of thinking and changes in what we will do in the next moment. "I must leave the denomination I have been a member of all my life" or "I must say a kind word to the person next to me".

 

Dutch

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(snip)

I thought it would be interested to ask how our forum friends balance these two in a practical way. In other words, some folks here feel like they have found what they have sought all their lives, so they are no longer seekers. Others are still exploring other beliefs and worldviews, perhaps because they don't feel content with where they are or they cannot accept that they are finished with their journey.

 

So how about you? Do you feel like you have arrived, that you are done changing, that you have accepted that where you are is right where you need to be and that there is nothing more?

 

Or do you feel like there is still more change to come? Do you feel that there is still a "more" that you don't know or haven't experienced and you long for that "more"?

 

Or is your journey one of accepting certain things as being givens while still being open to other things for further exploration?

 

Are you perfectly content with where you are? Do desire something more? Is there a balance to be found between the two?

 

Bill,

 

It seems to me that one can box oneself into your choices so i will try to answer in a way that fits more accurately.

 

First of all i am not a seeker but that doesn't mean that this creature is done changing. What it means is I have come to realize that i am in my inner being complete, without lack or need and that there is nothing lost or in need of seeking for me to be complete. Having said that also does NOT mean that I don't read or contemplate ideas, views, or the study of other religions or that there is no progress or change taking place or visible to others in the body and mind that I use. It simply means that I know those changes will take place of itself and I realize they are not ultimately who I am at a deeper level. They are just part of a ephemeral story of phenomena that no longer holds me in its grip. A story that is no longer of great importance to me. Also the term 'more' has become just a concept of mind that I no longer desire or identify with. It seems to me in the concept of 'more', more will never be enough. I am in acceptance with whatever life brings my way.

 

Joseph

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I enjoyed your response, Joseph. I wasn't trying to box anyone in, it's just that I do enjoy questions that are of a semi-dualistic nature because religion seems to be so often myopic. Most people in PC do not seem to be of the black/white paradigm so I appreciate hearing some of the grays.

 

I like what you had to say and can relate to some of it, though not all. For example, I do feel totally accepted by What Is (without the constant need for confession of sin or the sacrifice of Christ on the cross). At the same time, I do think there is a More than what I have experienced or know so I am at least curious about it and, hopefully, open about it.

 

For me, and maybe just for me, there is a balance found in knowing that I am accepted but wanting to be more while, at the same time, knowing I can be more but not worrying myself sick over where I think I am lacking.

 

In my past experiences, the notion was pretty much that one had to change to be accepted. So I'm curious as to if experiences of those who are PC still line up with that paradigm or not.

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Bill and All in general,

 

Just a bit of sharing or thoughts to be taken lightly as one mans view....

 

In regard to MORE, from my observation of the mind, it seems to me that the ego structure of mind is always wanting more or to be more. I see the mind structure as identifying with having whether it be objects, experiences or whatever but I find that the satisfaction from any of those things is always short-lived. It is never enough. After some time, even after profound spiritual experiences, it always leaves one wanting more. It seems to me to be inherent in the design and structure of mind that most all of us identify with i or the ego. To me, having, whether physical objects or even a spiritual experience is always related to a concept called 'ownership'. This 'ownership' to me is an illusion because it gives a kind of basis to make oneself feel special which is also short-lived. In effect it re-enforces ego and the ego cannot survive without this continued wanting and having. I guess one could look at it like an addiction. And if it isn't getting what it thinks it needs it gets bored and seeks more drama whether pleasurable or painful. It seems to me, it make little difference to the structure. It is like a feeding machine and if it can't get good food, it will settle for bad food, as long as it is food.

 

One, in my view, will in time come to realize this and recognize the structure of ego for what it is and a bit of how it works. In recognizing or awareness of, the structure starts to collapse of its own accord. Kind of like turning on a light where the false is exposed so the true that was there all the time can then be seen. It is like a shift in identification that brings on a peace, an at-homeness, completeness whereby one realizes that 'wanting', 'more' and having which is the concept of ownership are all fiction and that who you are has little to do with your story. In essence, i guess what i am saying is ... you are already special, complete and more, at the core of your being, regardless of your story, whether realized or not and it is this wanting to be more, that actually is the obstacle, to realizing and being what you already are at your core so it can surface of its own accord. Paradoxical?

 

Probably won't make much sense to some but that is okay. It can always be filed in the recycle bin with no offense taken here laugh.gif .

 

Love,

Joseph

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Every time I think I've "arrived" I face new challenges that make me realize how far I still have to go biggrin.gif

 

Janet

 

 

Hi Janet,

 

I can relate to that statement with past personal experience.

Yet now i find, in my view, perhaps there is no 'where' to arrive that you aren't already. happy.gif

 

It seems to me the moment one 'thinks' they have arrived 'there', one has created in mind a ficticious 'there' as if it objectively exists, and by doing so, in effect only, removed oneself from where one is in Reality.

 

Perhaps this is what the writer had in mind when he wrote "We are complete in Christ" and not as though we have already arrived when he wrote of the resurrection " Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ (present tense)" This to me, speaking of the resurrection/transformation that is complete and perfect Now but that appears in the concept of time empowered by this knowledge and realization.

 

And again in the statement "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: " (is come - present tense) Perhaps this is what is referred to as the second coming that is in time as a process but is empowered in the present by its inward realization. However, this is not as the present fundamental church envisioned so is understandably not widely accepted? Perhaps because it is a mystery?

 

Joseph

 

edited 9/29/09 10:58am

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Hi everyone,

 

I thought I would reply to this in two ways, firstly my own perspective, and then by relating two discussions I recently had.

 

Firstly I don't think I would ever wish to relinquish the epithet 'seeker'. I am quite content with my spiritual aspect in many ways, so much so that I can't see myself changing too much as the years roll on into autumn! But I still 'seek', seek fellowship, seek other points of view, seek to challenge my faith, which can only make it stronger. A Roman Catholic friend of mine who had a jesuit education was once told that true faith is forever questioning, and not being afraid of dealing with the answers. I also think that, just as he grows, I want my son to learn more and more about his Dad as he reaches ages where that knowledge is relevant (he doesn't even know what a huge Oscar Wilde fan I am yet), so too I think the Limitless Divine wants its children to seek it out, learn more about it, pick it's brains. Thus we can get closer, and grow in our faith.

 

Speaking of change, two discussions I recently had sum up what I mean. A friend of mine, for many years now, has been happily wearing the mantle of atheist. His spirituality is immense, and he believes in an afterlife and also a neo-platonic concept of a collective one-ness, which could easily be referred to as God. When I ask him to describe the God he rejects, it is a God I reject too, for it is couched in ultra-conservative images of a judeo-christian puppeteer, one which most of us here would reject. Just recently we had a huge discussion, talking about theism versus deisim, what atheism means in today's society (the dawkins and hitchens type) etc. After a while he admitted that he used to called himself a 'transcendental universalist' but stopped because people got confused so he just started calling himself an atheist as it was the closest 'label' he felt comfortable with. After this discussion he decided to go back to being a TU! Now my friend's spirituality remains the same, his passionate opinions are still constant and content, but a major change occurred in self perception, a change which, however superficial (I know it is just a label) meant an awful lot to him!

 

A second story is a friend of mine training for the anglican priesthood. He and I have differening views on Gay Clergy, I am totally for it, he against it, and we had a big discussion about it recently. Through the discussion we realised that he was working from a presumption, namely that being gay is inherently sinful, which I just don't have. Once he realised that I just did not accept the core presumption, he finally understood why I would be for gay clergy, and indeed said he had much food for thought and perhaps should think more on the subject. Again, my friend's ultimate faith and vocation has not changed a bit, but the way he lives out his faith may (I hope) be changed a little by realising he was working from a presumtion that may be flawed.

 

This is a long post, but I have been away for a while. I am a seeker, as are we all I think, and this can only be a good thing.

 

Adi

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I take change for granted. I'm still tinkering around with my ideas regarding "life, the universe, and everthing" as I think the galaxy hitchhiker put it. I have some definitions of God, the Bible, Jesus (more or less, anyway), religion, church, and whatever, but I figure they are always subject to revision.

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grampawombat

 

I take change for granted. I'm still tinkering around with my ideas regarding "life, the universe, and everthing" as I think the galaxy hitchhiker put it. I have some definitions of God, the Bible, Jesus (more or less, anyway), religion, church, and whatever, but I figure they are always subject to revision.

 

You have the gift - so simple, so clear :D

 

Dutch

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Hi Janet,

 

I can relate to that statement with past personal experience.

Yet now i find, in my view, perhaps there is no 'where' to arrive that you aren't already. happy.gif

 

It seems to me the moment one 'thinks' they have arrived 'there', one has created in mind a ficticious 'there' as if it objectively exists, and by doing so, in effect only, removed oneself from where one is in Reality.

 

Perhaps this is what the writer had in mind when he wrote "We are complete in Christ" and not as though we have already arrived when he wrote of the resurrection " Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ (present tense)" This to me, speaking of the resurrection/transformation that is complete and perfect Now but that appears in the concept of time empowered by this knowledge and realization.

 

And again in the statement "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: " (is come - present tense) Perhaps this is what is referred to as the second coming that is in time as a process but is empowered in the present by its inward realization. However, this is not as the present fundamental church envisioned so is understandably not widely accepted? Perhaps because it is a mystery?

 

Joseph

 

edited 9/29/09 10:58am

 

Thanks for your thoughts about that! I do feel some directional movement ever toward closer intimacy with God. So to me it is probably just the illusion of a journey, but it works for me as a metaphor.

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