Attainment and behavior

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Tom Carr, modified 10 Years ago.

Attainment and behavior

Posts: 130 Join Date: 2/17/10 Recent Posts
In the Vedanta tradition, which comes out of the teaching of RamaKrishna and Vivekenanda, they say that the only measure of spiritual experience or attainment is how it changes your behavior.

Do you agree of disagree with this?

If you agree, even partially, what changes in your behavior have you noticee connected with your attainment?
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Tom Carr, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Attainment and behavior

Posts: 130 Join Date: 2/17/10 Recent Posts
No thoughts on this? I'm surprised. It seems pretty important.

OK, I'll start.

I think I smile more and am friendlier. I can still be unintentionally rude at times.

I am not a totally saintly giving person but I am a little more generous.

I now understand why there was no response to the original question. It is hard to talk about this.
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tom moylan, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Attainment and behavior

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
Tom Carr:
No thoughts on this? I'm surprised. It seems pretty important.

OK, I'll start.

I think I smile more and am friendlier. I can still be unintentionally rude at times.

I am not a totally saintly giving person but I am a little more generous.

I now understand why there was no response to the original question. It is hard to talk about this.


hi tom,
from the viewpoint of one who believe he has no attainments (paths) i could take your points and call them my own. i am convinced, however, that there is a level of degree, or perhaps depth, of these positive changes, post-path which is remarkable. i can only suppose however from what some of the "attained" have written about their own experience post-path.

btw (by the way) AF stands for Actual Freedom, not perhaps the context in which you were posing the question. be well.

tom
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Attainment and behavior

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Tom Carr:
In the Vedanta tradition, which comes out of the teaching of RamaKrishna and Vivekenanda, they say that the only measure of spiritual experience or attainment is how it changes your behavior.

Do you agree of disagree with this?


I think doing that is kind of like judging how well off somebody is by how much they spend. While it's true that richer people tend to spend more money than poorer people, not everybody who spends a lot is well off - they might just be spending beyond their means. Likewise, while having certain insights might change your behavior, not everybody who acts in the way someone with certain insights does has those insights.

This presupposes that what actually distinguishes level of attainment is insight into the nature of reality, not behavior.

That being said, the only noticeable thing, from somebody else's point of view, is behavior.

It depends what your goal is. What's the reason you ask the question? If it's as a way to orient your practice, then I think it is not the best way - just like spending money won't necessarily make you richer, behaving a certain way won't necessarily lead to attainment.

If it's to determine whether somebody is attained, then I enjoy the DhO/KFD approach: there are maps to awakening, certain stages are marked by certain things, certain things become impossible at certain stages, so, based on how somebody describes their experience, you can get a good idea of where they are at, if you know what to look for.

Tom Carr:
If you agree, even partially, what changes in your behavior have you noticee connected with your attainment?


i would say the changes have been mostly internal, for me. i get less attached to things, it seems... i dnno, this question might best be answered by people who interact with me. anyone noticed any changes in my posting patterns over the past year? hehe...
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Tom Carr, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Attainment and behavior

Posts: 130 Join Date: 2/17/10 Recent Posts
I enjoy the DhO/KFD approach: there are maps to awakening, certain stages are marked by certain things, certain things become impossible at certain stages,


What things become impossible at what stages? That is what I am really curious about. That is very concrete and observable.

What's the reason you ask the question?


Great question. I think it is partially because I am curious about how accurate these maps are. It is much easier to observe and report on behavior than on internal states. If there is a direct relationship, that is one more valuable tool in understanding this whole process.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Attainment and behavior

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Tom Carr:
I enjoy the DhO/KFD approach: there are maps to awakening, certain stages are marked by certain things, certain things become impossible at certain stages,


What things become impossible at what stages? That is what I am really curious about. That is very concrete and observable.


the big one that comes to mind is that the entire affective faculty vanishes upon AF. thus it is impossible to experience any emotion, mood, affective feeling, etc... impossible to be moody, angry, pissed, annoyed, bored, resentful, etc... so, if you see anybody exhibiting an emotion, no matter how subtle that is, or writes about their experience in a way that includes those things, regardless of how little they affect the person, they are not AF.

but, the behavior or writing of someone who is AF can certainly seem to be affective, emotionally charged, hostile, etc... (this is true more so in writing than in person, I think)... which is why it's always a tricky business figuring out whether it's impossible for someone to not be hostile or malicious just by looking at their words, especially when their words challenge your beliefs.

face to face, it might be difficult too.. maybe they make a negative comment, like "damn it's cold, let's go inside". is there emotion behind those words? for some people, maybe, for others, maybe not.

but i think the accuracy of at least the map in MCTB, and the map to AF, is evidenced more by the amount of people that undertake those practices and get the results the maps talk about. the scientific method and all that. it does seem that we all share a common brain structure that allows Enlightenment and AF to happen.
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Tom Carr, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Attainment and behavior

Posts: 130 Join Date: 2/17/10 Recent Posts
I am not up on all the abbreviations used here. What is AF?

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