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Somehow, Cleveland has survived, with her gray banner unfurled -- the banner of Archangelsk and Detroit, of Kharkov and Liverpool -- the banner of men and women who would settle the most ignominious parts of the earth, and there, with the hubris born neither of faith nor ideology but biology and longing, bring into the world their whimpering replacements.

Gary Shteyngart

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Sunday, August 29th, 2010

🦋 The Hard Way

This is not to say that the point of the hard way is that we must be heroic. The attitude of "heroism" is based upon the assumption that we are bad, impure, that we are not worthy, are not ready for spiritual understanding. We must reform ourselves, be different from what we are. For instance, if we are middle class Americans, we must give up our jobs or drop our of college, move out of our suburban homes, let our hair grow, perhaps try drugs. If we are hippies, we must give up drugs, cut our hair short, throw away our torn jeans. We think that we are special, that we are turning away from temptation. We become vegetarians and we become this and that. There are so many things to become. We think our path is spiritual because it is literally against the flow of what we used to be, but it is merely the way of false heroism, and the only one who is heroic in this way is ego.

-- Chögyam Trungpa,
Cutting through Spiritual Materialism

posted afternoon of August 29th, 2010: Respond
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Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

🦋 Identification with the text

We must approach spirituality with a hard kind of intelligence. If we go to hear a teacher speak, we should not allow ourselves to be carried away by his reputation and charisma, but we should properly experience each word of his lecture or each aspect of the meditation technique being taught. We must make a clear and intelligent relationship with the teachings and the man teaching.
I guess part of my project in reading Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism is to identify reading novels as a form of spiritual experience. I expect there is a lot of "spiritual materialism" bound up in my desire to draw this equivalency. Trungpa's notion of "properly experienc[ing] every word of his lecture" sounds to me like what I am trying to do with the books I read -- this is the filter through which I am experiencing his book.

posted evening of May 27th, 2009: Respond
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Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

🦋 Surrendering

Generally, we find it very difficult to give out and surrender our raw and rugged qualities of ego. Although we may hate ourselves, at the same time we find our self-hatred a kind of occupation. In spite of the fact that we may dislike what we are and find that self-condemnation painful, still we cannot give it up completely.
In the last few days I have been toying with re-reading Trungpa's Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism -- I'm very taken with some of his phrasings and would love to be able to identify with this text... So far I am not able to get past the self-reflective (and "materialistic") attitude that opening this book inspires in me.

posted evening of May 26th, 2009: Respond

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