Exaggerated Yang

I recently read a few pages in Andrew Cohen’s Living Enlightenment – Ken Wilber’s foreword and the first (brief) chapter.

Exaggerated yang

There is something in there, in what both of them write, which not only does not quite match my own experiences but also triggers something in me. And I can easily create a story around it, making their approach appear as an exaggerated yang approach to spirituality, and involving a certain arrogance as well.

They say… Awakening is not for sissies. Nice teachers only reinforces the idea of I in their students. The process of awakening is brutal and requires a brutal approach.

And I say… This more brutal approach is a substitute for skillful means. When we don’t have the skillful means, we try to use brute force instead. And pushing triggers a pushing back, increased resistance, rather than a melting away of beliefs – including that in the idea of I.

Accuracy, not brutality

I can see something that appears true for me in their words.

There is a certain brutal – or rather, finetuned and accurate – honesty and sincerity involved in the process. And I also see that the approach used to aid people to awakening does not need to add to the pain already inherent in the process.

Instead of a sledgehammer, we can use microsurgery.

Precision and unraveling

There are several approaches which use the precision of the microsurgery approach, and does so in an often lighthearted way.

In my own experience, the Big Mind Process, Byron Katie inquiries, and the deekshas, are only three examples of these approaches – each one not adding to the inherent pain in the process, and yet leading people straight into the realization of selflessness.

For instance, the Byron Katie inquiry process starts with a stressful thought and often ends in laughter. And seeing this over and over, we actually end up looking forward to the next stressful belief coming up, because we know how to inquire into and find peace with it through seeing more clearly what is real to us. Eventually, we see that the sense of I merely comes from a belief in the idea of I, and this too fades and falls away.


So my beliefs are They should not use such an exaggerated yang approach and they should not be so brutal – because it is not neccesary in aiding people to awakening, it adds to the pain already inherent in the process, it is merely a substitute for more skillful means, and so on.

And I can see the turnarounds here…

I should not use such an exaggerated yang approach, as I do when I attack their approach mentally. I go into it in battle, in full armor, ready to fight to the bitter end.

I should not be so brutal, as I am when I mentally cut down their approach as I do.

I am seeing in them what is happening in myself, at the moment I have those beliefs about their approach.

And I also notice how doing such an abbreviated BK inquiry leaves something out. I know how much is in there when I more fully dig into it, through the four questions and some of the many subquestions, and I don’t want to cheat myself by leaving it out. There is a deliciousness in exploring it more fully.

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