The last in my series on transformation falls into a unique category called receiving help. J.G. Bennett delineated this as the fourth source. How do we actually receive? What is defined as help? We have to put ourselves in the pathway of help; whether that is help from above, help from colleagues and friends, help by striving to evolve into elevated consciousness. We cannot receive help if we don’t think we deserve it. Putting ourselves in the pathway requires knowing how to ask and how to receive. We may only sit and pray when we are desperate, when life has … [read more]
The third source of transformation according to John G. Bennett is sacrifice. Sacrifice is a misunderstood concept, to say the least, and perhaps is more easily understood by doing it. There is a reason the idea and act of sacrifice comes after learning and struggle. It requires more from us. We come to know what we can bear and when we bear something, great rewards ensue. We cannot, however, approach sacrifice with the idea of reward in mind for then it is no longer a sacrifice. The very definition of sacrifice is deliberately releasing attachment without any expectations. The other … [read more]
Right effort and the power of struggle is the second source of transformation in John Bennett’s book, Transformation. There are countless writings on right effort from the Zoroastrian tradition to Buddhist teachings. We all struggle with something, but much of that is avoidable, if we learn the deeper meaning of right effort. To intentionally struggle with our own negative states is the path, but this gets completely misunderstood. This article is an attempt to clarify the meaning of conscious labor and intentional suffering. We are familiar with the saying no pain, no gain, but many frown upon this in the … [read more]
Removing our armor can take a lifetime, but it doesn’t have to if we learn how to become vulnerable to our grief.
The second force can be understood in terms of opposition, struggle, intentional suffering, and is experienced as a phenomenon that pushes against an affirming or active force. It may be implemented by us in the form of work on oneself or it can come from the outside in the form of conscious shocks. There are always two opposing forces, often unnoticed by most unless the resistance is so strong that to have something come to fruition, one must push beyond normal efforts. To study the effects of these laws within us enables an awareness of a third force which serves … [read more]
Many of you may be following the awareness school adventures of our new land, seeing posts about the permaculture experts helping us and all that we are up to. Many stories and deeper insights have emerged from this summer, especially from my time alone. My “vision quest” was not at all what one imagines a traditional vision quest to be or any other myriad iterations of that term. For instance: I sleep in a glamping tent. I don’t fast. I don’t remain in one spot until a messenger has come to me. My vision quest is a journey inward, a … [read more]