ardacigin

Why Talent Is Overrated in Spirituality (Shinzen Young Case Study)

269 posts in this topic

8 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Past lives are a good explanation here.

Isn't past lives environmental factors - but over lifetimes haha?

If the differences is explained through past lives, then the individual still put in heaps of effort and time, just in his past life. 

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I’ve got a friend who says she’s always been oriented backwards from most people. She was always oriented toward perceiving nondually and had to put effort in learning duality. Stuff like creating a character within a timeline and relating to people and things with a clear sense of separation. She’s noticed many people these days struggling to understand and experience nonduality (and even take drugs to do so). This seems odd to her since for her nonduality is more natural and she has to work toward duality. Just being in her presence elevates my resonance by about 20 ug of lsd.

It may seem like a spiritual gift, yet it’s also seemed to cause a lot of practical difficulties in her life.

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12 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

Isn't past lives environmental factors - but over lifetimes haha?

If the differences is explained through past lives, then the individual still put in heaps of effort and time, just in his past life. 

Yes, but it explains things better because over 50 lives a lot of difference between people can accumulate. It shows you that there may be levels of development or consciousness that you simply won't realistically be able to reach in one life.

For example, wouldn't it be valuable to know that it took the Buddha 50 lives to reach his level whereas you're on life #3 right now? So, like, don't beat yourself up if you can't actualize his results.

And even so genetics and physiology are still a factor. You have to account for why humans are more conscious than kangaroos and worms.

There must be a spectrum of spiritual ability which goes from worms to lizards to kangaroos to chimps to humans and far beyond. Humans cannot be at the top. Not even close! There must exist much more conscious beings than humans.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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1 minute ago, Serotoninluv said:

I’ve got a friend who says she’s always been oriented backwards from most people. She was always oriented toward perceiving nondually and had to put effort in learning duality. Stuff like creating a character within a timeline and relating to people and things with a clear sense of separation. She’s noticed many people these days struggling to understand and experience nonduality (and even take drugs to do so), since for her it’s natural and she has to work toward duality.

It may seem like a spiritual gift, yet it’s also seemed to cause a lot of practical difficulties in her life.

This idea that spirituality is a born gift really goes against my experience.

I've been through periods of my life where I was very spiritually attuned, and periods where I was less attuned then a drunkard. These periods did not go linearly. Infact they went cyclic!

The difference between whether I got lots of mystical insights and was interested, and whether I didn't was 100% determined by the organisation of my mind. It was determined by how many dysfunctions I had and how many beliefs I had. It was also determined by whether I was watching Leo's videos or not! It was determined by whether I was fighting with my parents, or we were happy. If I was spiritually gifted, I would be having mystical insights no matter the environment or dysfunctions. Likewise for when I wasn't. I have experienced, and have been as a small self, both deeply spiritually gifted, and spiritually illiterate. And that's in the same life, heck in the same month!

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15 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

If I was spiritually gifted, I would be having mystical insights no matter the environment or dysfunctions.

Why?

You have to consider than even with your difficulties you might still be way ahead of most people on the planet.

Just because you struggle with learning calculus doesn't mean you don't have a massive leg up on a donkey trying to learn calculus.

Being talented or gifted doesn't mean life is easy. Probelms and challenges are always relative, so no matter how capable you are you will face challenges which will bend you to your limit.

A donkey can carry 1000 lbs on his back before it breaks, you cannot. The donkey has you beat there. The donkey might look at you struggling to carry 200 lbs and laugh to himself, "What a whim!" But if you put 2000 lbs on the donkey his back will break. So the donkey is not free of struggle. Donkeys get more loaded up because they are expected to carry more than humans.

If you observe nature carefully you will see that every physiological structure has its strengths, weaknessess, and breaking points. That is the nature of form. Every form has its limits.

Form also always comes at the cost of flexibility. The more formed you are, the less flexible you are. Only God itself has infinite flexibility.

Think of an object which is infinitely flexible. That's God! Ta-da! Notice, it must have no form.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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@electroBeam Perhaps you are particularly in tune with your environment.

Someone immersed in a spiritual setting and community may naturally resonate and have mystical experiences. The same person may later get into a relationship with a narcissist and naturally resonate with that and enter some unhealthy psychological dynamics. 

It would seem natural talents would interact with environment since they are closely related (and both within the same whole).

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29 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

This idea that spirituality is a born gift really goes against my experience.

I've been through periods of my life where I was very spiritually attuned, and periods where I was less attuned then a drunkard. These periods did not go linearly. Infact they went cyclic!

The difference between whether I got lots of mystical insights and was interested, and whether I didn't was 100% determined by the organisation of my mind. It was determined by how many dysfunctions I had and how many beliefs I had. It was also determined by whether I was watching Leo's videos or not! It was determined by whether I was fighting with my parents, or we were happy. If I was spiritually gifted, I would be having mystical insights no matter the environment or dysfunctions. Likewise for when I wasn't. I have experienced, and have been as a small self, both deeply spiritually gifted, and spiritually illiterate. And that's in the same life, heck in the same month!

It sounds like your notion of talent isn't very nuanced. A talent especially in rate over baseline often needs to be carefully nurtured to maximize its potential. Not all talent potentials are the same either. Some go much further than others. A talent doesn't necessarily mean environment can't hold it back from maximizing. If I had a talent to play piano id never know unless I was given the opportunity to grow it. It must be exercised to show its rate. Baseline talent often only takes you so far. Rarely does it bring you next to the finish line. 

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

You have to consider than even with your difficulties you might still be way ahead of most people on the planet.

Just because you struggle with learning calculus doesn't mean you don't have a massive leg up on a donkey trying to learn calculus.

Leo, I understand this argument. It makes total sense. But when it comes to spiritual attunement and awakening, we are not talking about different species. What you extrapolate from the calculus example makes sense in the context of a donkey and a human's ability to learn math. Obviously, there are different. You can't find even one donkey who can do calculus. But within human beings, there is a vast degree of success in awakening.

And when it comes to human beings, there are a lot of people who can both train and get awakening. (This is not less than 1% of seekers. In fact, the majority). And people who train less (or none) and still get there due to spiritual talent. (This seems to be more in minority).

Saying that spiritual talent is the secret sauce and its lack severely limits your capacity, rate and ability for awakening and then saying that training and environment is only a thin veneer is a mistaken statement in my opinion. Don't only look at spiritual attainment from the perspective of deep psychedelic insights. 

Those? Maybe, talent matters a lot. But take it a step back.

How much talent is required for concentrating on an object continuously for 60 seconds straight? Very little. This is a skill you develop.

The silent mind? A result of more practice.

Self enquiry success? For majority of the people, the result of practice, some amount of momentary attunement and luck. 

By saying this sort of a thing, you also discourage people from trying. This is perfectly doable by almost ANYONE who practices diligently and patiently.

This is what I meant by Shinzen Young's case study. Even if he is not the most enlightened guy in the world, his beginning point is really inspirational. And don't underestimate his achievements from that shaky foundation.

His insight into perception and sensory experience is problematic, sure! But he can do 4 hours of SDS sits weeks in a row. And that was decades ago. He had stream entry only 4 years into the training. The permanent deal. Someone can easily say this is because he was spiritually talented but I don't think brushing off training is the correct mindset here. This guy was was only a little different from your average Joe prior to zen training.

Consider how awake he would be if he flipped burgers at McDonald's vs living in a monastery meditating 10+ hours a day. How can you downplay training and environment so much?

Human beings have similar brains. Not perfectly similar but mostly similar. It is not like a donkey's and human's brain. If humans who train their minds get awakening and progress, so can 'most' people. Not everyone, maybe. But most people will make it work as long as they stick to it. 

Otherwise, this absurdly turns into a victim mentality.

Edited by ardacigin

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3 minutes ago, ardacigin said:

Otherwise, this absurdly turns into a victim mentality.

Limiting-beliefs turn up in the darndest places don't they?

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5 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

And it has to be this way. Otherwise half the people on the planet would be awake, but less than 0.0001% are. So you need some explanation for why that is. The explanation cannot just be that they're lazy or uninformed.

More than 0.0001% of the population is awake, about 0.1 to 1%. Of course to various degrees.

Leo, you seem to believe that genetics plays a huge role and is a big limiting factor for people when it comes to spirituality but not when it comes to sexuality, getting woman, you know "the black pill" guys?

So if even on high doses of psychedelics you're still limited, how then can you say you've experienced Ultimate Reality? If this is true, humans will never discover the Ultimate Reality simply because they haven't evolved to discover the truth.

Also, how can you know if Shinzen Young and other advanced meditators haven't experienced (at least as a temporary state) all the depths of awakening you talk about? I know that some people are very nihilistic and don't get so excited as you do, they simply have a totally different personality than you and no matter how amazing thing they will experience it will always seem dull when they talk about it. How an individual reacts and what conclusions he draws from the experience of God varies quite a bit.


Equanimity, Stillness, Non-Reactivity, Cessation, Emptiness, Void, Disenchantment, Nothingness

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Love, Joy, Infinite Goodness, Intelligence, Consciousness, Beauty, God, The Absolute, Divine Nature, Grace

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Keyhole said:

I think that people who want to be special try to make light of it because they secretly want it, and admitting that ain't kosher - and if they can minimize someone else with it, then they don't feel "ordinary" - not realizing that such things often have a double edged sword anyways - and that there are many avenues for excellence.  

From my perspective,  its the complete opposite. I think its ridiculous that you aren't using your full potential. All these people that say that being special and all are basically limiting their own self. I subscribe to one philosophy and that is anything is possible. What this means, is that this exact claim you have now, will be seen as bullshit in many years time . So logically, its better to plan for this gap, rather than limiting yourself. Which itself makes you have to say that such a limiting-belief is stupid and just taking the moral high ground. By trying to feel "ordinary" in "ordinary". I've done it before, i've limited myself for other people. However, i just don't see the point of doing this. Because if i create my own reality, and i genuinely think i'm the best person in the world. Then why do i have to limit my own potential to serve others self-serving biasis. Such an example would be 

"its wrong to say your the smartest person in the world" , on who's authority? collective authority? 

lol please don't make me laugh, the truth is the truth and that's relative to you for everyone. Making this statment claim no more right then wrong. 

To me, every single person should say this to themselves and genuinely believe it. And the reason is, because YOU GENUINELY don't know what someone can do if they've been given the right resources and help. 

its so counter-intutive. THat people are regressing the whole of society and humanity at large by telling them such silly things like they are not the best person in the world. 

but smartest was just an example / subjective. I mean something to any of you that really makes you think, yeah i am the best. Best lover, best friend, best actor, best scientist, best manager 

This is part of the magic of stage teal, all limiting beliefs fall, because everything is based in magic instead of materialism. The same limitations do not apply, because how do you limit magic? when its formless. The answer is you can't and therefore by logical inference. Its impossible to put limitations on others, however evolution will continue and limitations will be placed on it. But that's probably in like 500 years time lol

to put things simply : being ordinary is something an extraordinary/ special person will bullshit themselves about to meet the standards of others. that is actually the humble position to take to say your special. Your being humble to yourself, because you know how detrimental it is to yourself, if you don't do it. 

Which the irony is every human being, you realise this right? every individual human is special and extraordinary. 

 

Edited by Aakash

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7 hours ago, electroBeam said:

This idea that spirituality is a born gift really goes against my experience.

You wouldn't know what spiritually gifted is unless you had a ground for comparison.

Maybe you're actually quite gifted to begin with and someone else wouldn't have had your spiritual experiences if he were under the exact same conditions.

For instance I've always assumed that anyone is able to change as much as a do or take personnal development as seriously as I do, and actually get what they want - but the more I talk to people the more I feel gifted because they seem to be stuck for no particular reason. It just doesn't click. 

I've had a personality type extremely oriented towards accomplishement and also a strong belief in anything being possible which already was the case even when I had zero personnal development work.

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Want to get enlightened. 

Remove all energy invested in Maya. 

Comes from Source so return it there. 

As @Nahm said One creates appearance of two. It does that so with illusion inside Awareness with you and world. Where you think you are aware of the world. Awareness is still One. 

For enlightenment appearance of senses has to go. That's your biggest fear admitt it, face it. 

You will die as person and awareness anyway so why keep holdind onto it. Gave your death before death. 

Meditation is the Way. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Only reason why you don't get enlightened has nothing to do with genetics, Past life and other crap. 

You only have timeless now. 

True reason why you don't "achieve" it is because you want to gain something from it. 

Anything which is against True Nature of God is exactly what is preventing you. 

So dilemma is want to stay devil or finally accept your True Nature and say goodbye to charade called life? 

Edited by zeroISinfinity

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I believe that there is something going on with the entire evolution of the Earth and that it's much easier to awaken spontaneously and quickly now. Some traditions and methods were appropriate for their time. All of us have past lives yet none of us specifically have past lives, the phenomenon is a symptom of duality collapsing on itself. All those "lives" were paving the way. If you're here reading on this forum you probably don't have to worry about your talent level. The more that awaken the easier it is for everyone else. 

3 minutes ago, zeroISinfinity said:

 

So dilemma is want to stay devil and finally accept your True Nature and say goodbye to charade called life? 

If only letting go was easy but you have to embrace and let go of at the same time. "You say goodbye and I say hello, hello hello, I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello." 


Light on Earth The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.” - Rumi

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Discovering Truth Just for Truth sake Will get you there. You have to be honest about it. 

And yes it requires huge egoic cost and requires you to be God like as person too. Maya is for devils not Angels. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@zeroISinfinity

 ROCK ON! Love you man

in hindsight, what can we learn? 

Never put divine knowledge into the hands of the prince of hell  

Edited by Aakash

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8 minutes ago, zeroISinfinity said:

Discovering Truth Just for Truth sake Will get you there. You have to be honest about it. 

And yes it requires huge egoic cost and requires you to be God like as person too. Maya is for devils not Angels. 

 

I will never be enlightened. You will never get enlightened. We are enlightened. 


Light on Earth The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.” - Rumi

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@Faceless has Best conceptual teachings here on the issue.

@Leo Gura basiclly gave you almost complete absolute perspective.

So what else do you need to philosophese about. 

Meditation. You can only get enlightened by yourself. Nobody Will do it for you. 

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Sigh... We gave you life. Yet you boys keep thinking you can go all maverick on your own and that the world will fall away around you, in the vehicle that Earth gave birth to. Mother Earth and the Angel of Light think not. Pay us your dues and we'll let you take the glory, we're giving like that. 

@Faceless never prescribed mediation. You needed Nahm, and Leo, and Faceless and everyone and everything that you are one with to be who you are because they are you. 


Light on Earth The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.” - Rumi

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