Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can't Have Too Much Inspiration

Preparing for the upcoming “Resistance” email class I’ve been re-reading the previous session. This activity in conjunction with participating in a variety of retreats has rekindled a concern I want to draw our attention to.

The phrase we use most often to distinguish the illusory ego “self” from the animating principle is egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate (often referred to as EKC.) In its unabbreviated form it’s a bit of a mind and tongue tangler, but clarifying when we break it down to its components.

If we accept the premise that we are the sum total of everything that has produced us, we suspect we did not arrive in this incarnation free of “predispositions and tendencies.” (All parents will agree that no two of their children arrived alike; each appeared with a unique temperament and affect.) When those karmic inclinations encountered current life circumstances—family, culture, society, time, and place—we began a series of adjustments that resulted in a complex of processes we have learned to think of as a constant, consistent, fairly unchanging entity known as “I.”

Believing that construction, that conglomeration of processes, to be real and true, “I” works hard to be “who” “I” am and how “I” should be. Maintaining a belief in a consistent “I” is dependent on looking to the same body of information for confirmation that what “I” experiences is real and true. The source of that information is a mind that has been conditioned to believe certain content and reject all other content.

The guarantee that “I” looks to conditioned mind and nowhere else for information resides in a system of “self” hate that punishes every infraction, large or small, “real” or imaginary. “You will, you won’t, you must, you should, you shouldn’t, that’s right, that’s wrong, you’re good if, you’re bad when…” On and on it goes monitoring, judging, assessing, comparing, punishing—controlling.

For those of us working hard to wake up and end suffering it is essential to devote ourselves ceaselessly to navigating the obstacle course of fabrications and ploys egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate uses to trap us in its small, artificial world. 

The ploy I want to reveal here is the acronym EKC. My first objection is that people capitalize those letters. Capital letters are an interesting subject larger than the scope of this message, but suffice it to say I’m discouraged from capitalizing Monastery while other, in my opinion, far less worthy words are readily capitalized. Next is my concern that self-hate is left out of the equation, it has been dropped from the acronym.

But here’s my real concern: When we fall into a habit of using acronyms it’s a quick trip to losing sight of the meaning of the words that point to the object. This is exactly the trap we’ve fallen into with “I.” We have become so accustomed to that nefarious acronym, we’re completely unaware that we have no idea what it means.

Now, I realize in an email class you get a maximum of 50 words for your response and it’s unfair to ask you to add an extra four words. So, here’s my request: Please make it ekc/sh (lower case) and always say the full words to yourself when you write the letters, increasing your chances of not losing sight of just what we’re up against in our journey toward liberation.

Oh, and to sign up for the class, if you haven’t already, please go to:

In gassho,