A more practical approach

 

Here are two approaches to any teachings, and any pointers – and stories – in general.

One is to take them as right or wrong, and come from identification with stories and their views.

The other is to see them as tools only, and as any tool, apparently useful in some situations and used in a particular way, and less so in other situations and when used in other ways.

If I take them as right or wrong, I get caught up in having to prove my view and deny the validity of any contrasting views. There is tension. Discomfort. Sense of separation. Identification with a story and its view, and a sense of I with an other.

If I take them as tools, I am free to explore when and how each story may be helpful, and when they may be less so, and know that these are all questions. I cannot know, even if I tell myself that these stories come from a great deal of insight and experience.

And this goes for any teachings and pointers, no matter their source or how they appear in a conventional view… Highly regarded Buddhist masters. Advaita teachers with very simple pointers. New age philosophy. A question from a child. Insights from modern psychology. Crackpot theories about 2012. They are still tools, apparently helpful in some situations and when used in certain ways, and apparently less so otherwise. Although even when they are used in ways that seem – on the surface – less helpful, they still have their function.

When I explore these stories as tools, with some sincerity and curiosity, a rich landscape opens up. I may find the innocence in it. I may find the value in how these stories are used by others, and – equally interesting – how they may serve as helpful pointers for myself. I may find genuine appreciation for these stories, and for the many ways they are used. I may find I am doing exactly what I see in others, and that I relate to stories in exactly the way I see others relate to stories, although the particular stories may be different.

Some examples…

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Draft…

Quite basic, as so much here…

There are two approaches to any teachings, and any pointers – all stories – in general.

One is to take them as right or wrong, and come from a rigid view and identification with stories.

The other is to see them as tools only, and as any tool, useful in some situations and less so in other.

If I take them as right or wrong, I get caught up in the drama of having to prove my view and deny the validity of any contrasting views. There is tension. Discomfort. A sense of separation. Identification with a particular view, and a sense of an I with an other.

If I take them as tools, I am free to explore when and how each story may be helpful and less so, and know that these are all questions. No matter how much insight or experience I tell myself these stories of helpful and not come from, I really don’t know.

And this goes for any teachings and pointers, no matter their source or how they appear in a conventional view…. Highly regarded Buddhist masters. Advaita teachers with very simple pointers. New age philosophy. A question from a child. Insights from modern psychology. Crackpot theories about 2012. They are still tools, helpful in some ways and some situations and less so in other. Attaching to a fixed view on these pointers, and taking that view as true, prevents me from taking them seriously as tools. It closes down my view. I am stuck in what is familiar to me.

And exploring these pointers as tools, with some sincerity and curiosity, opens up a rich landscape. I may find the innocence in it. I may find the value in how they are used by others, and – equally interesting – how I may use them as pointers for myself. I may find genuine appreciation for them, as they are used by others and how I can use them as pointers for myself. I may find that I am doing exactly what I see in others and how they relate to these stories, and that I do the same only with different stories.

……………….

Initial outline…

  • two approaches
    • right/wrong, put down, etc.
      • rigid view, make right/wrong
      • a way of enhancing a sense of separate I, attaching to beliefs
    • or, as a tool, useful in some situations, less so in other
      • explore when, how etc.
      • + don’t know

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