To Understand Spiritually

buddhaSometimes understanding of the physical and psychological elements and processes involved in a painful situation is not enough to correct the situation, or to prevent the situation from occurring. In such cases it may be helpful to ask questions designed to uncover the greater or deeper context in which the situation has arisen. Understanding a situation from the broadest possible viewpoint I call To Understand Spiritually.

What I consider broad understanding may not be what you consider broad understanding. To the materialist, the broadest possible understanding of a situation may be accomplished by considering the theoretical, philosophical, ethical, moral, historical, or cultural influences on the situation. To the religiously inclined person, the broadest possible understanding may involve exploring the karmic, energic, metaphysical, mythic, or divine influences on the situation.

I consider both approaches useful as long as the seeker of understanding maintains an open mind during the search. Some of us become so attached to a particular way of looking at the world that we become blind to certain truths. It is all too easy to dismiss elements of a situation when they appear to challenge one’s belief systems.

It is vital to bear in mind that the purpose of understanding my painful situation is so that I can take steps to relieve the suffering my situation is causing me. This may seem obvious, but I have found that in many cases, despite years of suffering over a situation of force, threat, or blame, I find that I resist taking the steps necessary to change my situation. Sometimes my resistance is connected to fear of failure or fear of punishment should I succeed in changing my situation (threat). Sometimes my resistance is connected to belief that I do not deserve for my suffering to be relieved (blame). In such cases, I must recognize and accept my resistance with the intention of learning from it, just as I had to do when I began raising myself from control, force, threat, and blame in the first place.

By continuously cultivating an attitude of willingness to accept and learn from reality, I keep my heart open to positive change. And this enables me to attain an even more creative level of consciousness, the level of consciousness that I call To Give.

NEXT: To Give.

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