Inquiry: That’s a poor, small, and limited life

That’s a poor, small and limited life.

When folks exclude views, approaches, ways of looking at and experiencing the world. Specifically, when spiritual practitioners exclude tools and approaches just because they don’t fit their narrow and limited/limiting views – usually created from what they have been told by their teachers and traditions. And also when teachers limit themselves and the(ir image of) the world in that way.

  1. True?
    Yes, sometimes feels true. I can find stories that support it. I can easily find others who agree.
  2. Sure?
    No. Just an opinion.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I tell myself I am right. I go into stories of how they are wrong and I am right.
      • For instance, one Buddhist blogger responded in an excluding way to a comment which seemed to come from a more Advaita perspective. I tell myself it seems almost comically limited, especially since it seems so obvious how they both really talk about the same, just with slightly different strategies, and that it all depends more on how those strategies are applied.
      • Someone who awakened out of the blue, without the benefit of being trained in a tradition, seems especially excluding of anything that doesn’t fit into his limited experience and views. Again, I tell myself he is wrong and that he would have softened and broadened his views if he had been trained in a genuine and more rich tradition.
      • Some folks at my local center sometimes seem to limit themselves to the (inevitably limited) views and tools presented by the teachers there. Also, the mission of the center is to show how the insights of mystics and of modern science are compatible, but they focus only on the very small (quantum physics) and not also the very large (the universe story), both of which seem equally important to me. If anything, the universe story is far richer since it invites in an open heart, a wider – all inclusive – circle of us, clear and practical ethical guidelines, and a shift into Big Mind.
      • The main teacher of the bodywork I am doing (Gurdijeff inspired) has an immense depth and richness at the centaur/soul levels, but mentally blocks himself off from the Big Mind/Ground level. He talks about it at length and longingly in an abstract way, at the same time uses tools that cannot go there and dismisses tools that can (such as sitting practice and self-inquiry), and so tells his students that it is impossible, don’t even think about it.
    • I experience separation. That I don’t quite belong. That there must be a more inclusive community out there, and I am missing out of it.
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Curious. Receptive. Still noticing how certain stories limit views and actions for others and myself, but with more of a friendly curiosity.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • That’s not a poor, small, and limited life.
      • No. Their life is as rich as life is, inherently. Life is infinitely and amazingly rich, no matter how it unfolds.
      • Also, by limiting their views and actions they get focus, depth and richness in that way. It focuses the beam.
      • And by limited views and actions in that way, they create drama for themselves – and sometimes others – and there is a deep and fertile richness there.
    • This is a poor, small, and limited life.
      • Yes, that is more true. When I believe the initial story, I exclude them and their exclusion, so I make my own life poor, small, and limited. I am the one who lives such a confined life, when I exclude their exclusion. When I make it wrong in an absolute sense, instead of finding curiosity about it and how it is valid and even a good thing.
    • This is not a poor, small, and limited life.
      • No, this is life too, with the inherent richness of any life, any experience.
    • My thoughts lives a poor, small, and limited life.
      • Yes, they do when they are taken as true. When any of them is taken as true, it limit thoughts, views, options, actions.


– when they exclude …. (whatever it may be, in any area of life – the human side, universe story, body-centered practices, or reverse)
– for me, when I exclude them – their views and actions

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