Christopher Titmuss recent post on striving for liberation

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Daniel M Ingram, modified 1 Month ago at 6/12/24 1:03 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/12/24 1:03 PM

Christopher Titmuss recent post on striving for liberation

Posts: 3275 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I got this email from Christopher Titmuss' mailing list, really liked it, so posting it here. His perspective and take on things like this was so helpful to me back in the day. Here it is:



An email: "I strive too much towards Liberation." A response
CHRISTOPHER TITMUSS
JUN 12
 
I received this message from a person with more than 10 years of experience of connection with the teachings of Dharma and Advaita (Non-duality, a spiritual tradition of India). She raises an important concern about the impact of striving for liberation.We shared a WhatsApp call, and after I sent a response, which offered a summary of our exchange. I added much more text for this post below from our phone meeting and tweaked the text I sent her.
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Wisdom sheds light on the expanse.This is the email I received.I find myself ‘striving too much’ towards liberation.This is a recurrent pattern for me. Every couple of years, I find myself getting too focused on my “doing” related to the practices. Study of spiritual books and meditation are not an issue.The strong desire for liberation and the ‘wanting to make it happen’ create tension in the mind and spirit of the being. Can you help me here with some ideas and reflection?A ResponseI appreciated your email and your concern. ‘Desire, striving and wanting to make liberation happen’ gets in the way of liberation. The desire for liberation pushes liberation further away as a goal for achievement.We often have a conditioned tendency to try to get what we want, even with a noble endeavour. The word ‘practice’ can also become a subtle obstruction, making a gap between consciousness and the goal.At times, we might ‘feel’ close to the goal. Then, the dynamics of change occur. So the view arises that the goal seems far away. Doubts can easily appear when a big gap appears between where we are and liberation.Some spiritual teachers make the claim. “There is nothing to do. There is no goal to achieve. Everything is perfect already. It is only the wanting in your mind that has to be let go.”The nature of things is neither perfect nor imperfect. Let us not confine our view of such a polarity due to our state of mind.A practitioner might let go of the desire for liberation. Will the person suddenly feel liberated? Probably not. The conditioning arises so the desire moves onto a less significant object – unfulfilling, unsatisfying with no lasting significance.The practitioner might feel caught on the horns of a dilemma – trapped in problematic desire, letting it go and ending up inept in a mind state of passivity.Exploration of the emptiness (not caught up in) of desire and the emptiness of passivity matter. So one does not fall into struggle with this duality.You may well be ready to drop the metaphorical language of path and goal, even though it provides a useful and important sense of direction for a period for the practitioner.Your priority changes without converting the so-called Now or Being into the Goal.A significant change reveals itself in the freedom to explore. The wise view confirms a depth of understanding that liberates us from the bondage of duality. In these teachings, an intellectual understanding only shows a comprehension lacking the power to make any major difference to life.Examples of a Liberated Way of Seeing and KnowingThere is the freedom to practice and the freedom not to practice.There is the freedom to be and the freedom to respond/to act.There is the freedom to explore meditation, methods and techniques and the freedom to experience the formless - silence, stillness, love, spaciousness, happiness.There is the freedom to be alone and the freedom to be with others.Wisdom supports being and doing, action and stillness. This confirms a freedom to apply appropriate effort and the freedom abide and respond in effortless ways.Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking it is all about choice. We have spent decades in the delusion of believing we have freedom of choice. Look where this belief has got us.Look at the unhappy choices in the lives of people, in society and the public and private sector.  Look at the choices triggering destructive behaviour on Earth.There is the freedom to be and there is the freedom to engage – to bring love into this world.Liberation recognises and explores the challenges that come to our life and the life of others.On one side, we all share much in common, such as being made of the same stuff – elements and consciousness, birth, living and death. On the other side, we are different in conditioning, appearance, views and attitudes.The problematic state of mind finds itself stuck being for this and against that or indecisive. Unresolved and unclear patterns of greed, negativity and confusion intensify this duality.The awakened ones proclaim, “Liberation is in all directions.”Don't hesitate to send any reflections. Your years of connection with the Dharma, with Non-Duality, reveal liberating blessings. I can hear the wisdom in your voice with WhatsApp yesterday.Liberation is as close as trees are to wood. You will know through much dissolution of suffering and problematic life, contentment and expressions of love for the welfare of others, near and far.LoveChristopher
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 5:31 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 5:31 AM

RE: Christopher Titmuss recent post on striving for liberation

Posts: 1759 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Here is my standard response...Hope I'm not being to much of a jerk... emoticon emoticon emoticon
I find myself ‘striving too much’ towards liberation.
WTF is ‘striving too much’ ? Do you strive to little too? Explain
What is "Liberation" to you in plain words?
This is a recurrent pattern for me.
Great to know patterns...oh wait you didn't say you know whatever 'patterns' are, please explain.
Every couple of years, I find myself getting too focused on my “doing” related to the practices.
Couple of years? Then how long? Perhaps less than a Couple of whatevers? 
What is TOO focused?
Doing? vs not doing? explain what doing is.
The practices? Vague, unless it's known to the teacher.
Study of spiritual books and meditation are not an issue.
Oh, good to cross that off the list. Soooo, where is the issue happening?
The strong desire for liberation and the ‘wanting to make it happen’ create tension in the mind and spirit of the being. 
AH, tension, in your mind, what is that like? How long? Doing what? Where exactly? What other qualities?
I'm not gonna even ask about tension in your spirit of being.
Can you help me here with some ideas and reflection?
Ideas - Stop being vague - explain what the heck you are trying to say. With clarification comes clarity.
Reflection? I would recommend you start with 'flection' then RE it next.
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Sarcasm is intended but with humor emoticon emoticon emoticon
I appreciate the response portion by Titmuss but really, there is little to respond to specifically.
 Just my opinion,
~D
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 6:36 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 6:10 AM

RE: Christopher Titmuss recent post on striving for liberation

Posts: 2563 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
 Hmm, what does it mean if I find myself leaning more towards DreamWalker than Titmuss? 

My answer would be to get very VERY interested in the experience of striving itself. Liberation is found in a very direct experience of the raw energy of striving itself, right at the spot where it arises.

Look at it very closely and take your time...How do you know it's there? How can you tell? Is it always there? Where does it come from? Where does it go? What does it feel like? Does it stay the same, does it change? Is it a problem? How do you know it is a problem? Is it always a problem? What happens when it isn't a problem? Would other people think it's a problem? What other experiences does it remind you of? What does those associations mean? How do you know that's what it means? What if it never went away, what would that mean? What if it went away forever, what would that mean? Who would you be without the experience of striving? How do you know that? What would you be doing now if you were liberated? Why can't you do that now? Why do you want to do that? What if you were never liberated, how would that impact your life? Are you sure? Now go back and really look at what's there. Are all these meanings and problems in the actual sensations that make up the experience of striving? How do problems exist within a sensation? How do sensations get combined into a problem? What is it that knows? What is a problem? What is your mind? Take your time... look very closely right at the point of the arising of striving.


But that said, I really doubt this person is practicing well. This question feels like the kind of philosophical question a student asks a teacher to attempt to distract them from the more direct questions: how are you actually practicing, what are you actually doing, what is actually happening, because I'm pretty sure you bullshitting me about the frequency and quality of practice. emoticon  It's sort of like showing up at your piano teacher's house for your lesson and asking questions about composers to delay the point in time where you have to play the piece you were supposed to have been practicing all week. emoticon emoticon emoticon

 
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Not two, not one, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:39 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:39 PM

RE: Christopher Titmuss recent post on striving for liberation

Posts: 1047 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 7:16 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 7:15 PM

RE: Christopher Titmuss recent post on striving for liberation

Posts: 2926 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Aww emoticon your words indeed are poetry to my ears filled with earwax! emoticon Im deaf but I can hear!

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