Clarity is a word that resonates with me right now. It is something that I haven't had for many years and I am extremely "desperate" to get it back, if I ever really had it to begin with.
I am inspired to write about this upon having watched a video that I happened onto by a Kung Fu Master named Shi Heng Yi.
I take notes on the things I watch so I can refer to them later, and the clarity with which he spoke with was quite ... well ... "Clear!"
In the video he talks about the ...
5 Hindrances to Clarity
Really, they are both "Hindrances" and "Symptoms". So really, if you ask me, it is a diagnosis of "illness" as much as it is a list of barriers.
Here they are:
- Sensual Desires.
- Those impulses that reach you through sight, sound, taste, touch, smell...your five senses.
- The desire for these sensual experiences can make you want to stay in that state of desire
- It can cause obsessions, addictions, and habits.
- They can control you and take you away from your goals and aspirations.
- Ill Will
- Negative Emotions
- Ill will is basically being in a bad mood, angry, or frustrated.
- Aversion, rejection, disturbing
- whatever it is it makes life and unpleasant journey
- Letting go of this is all important if you ever hope to have clarity.
- Dullness of Mind - Heaviness of Body
- A state of depression
- Feeling of Imprisonment - of being locked up in a cell.
- Everything you try to do seems very difficult.
- How do you get out?
- This too becomes a habit.
- State of an unsettled mind.
- Inability to stay in the present moment and place.
- The past and the future dominates your mind.
- The "Monkey Mind".
- There is no time for clarity if your mind is always in the past or future.
- Skeptical Doubt
- Indecisiveness, uncertainty, confusion.
- Lost in thoughts like...
- Can I do this?
- Is this the right path?
- What will others say about it, about me?
- What if? What if this? What if that?
- The mind can no longer synchronize with your actions.
- You get disconnected from the goals you once set for yourself.
- Doubt will cause you to STOP, rather than to move on closer to your goals.
I've got to say that these hit me like a freight train. Why?
Because I have ALL of these symptoms and have had them for years.
What to do about these hindrances?
Prevent these hindrances from arising.
Yeah, well, the problem with that is, these arose in me because I was unaware of them so they established themselves before I knew I had them.
So then the question becomes...How do I rid myself of them? After all, knowing the symptoms is useless unless you can cure the disease.
Each "Hindrance/Symptom is a DARK CLOUD in your mind."
Simply remember this one thing...
Let it " R A I N "
- Accept, Acknowledge and Allow
Recognize your state of mind. Identify the symptoms.
Accept, Acknowledge and allow things and people to be the way they are. You have no control over things outside your realm of influence. You can't change the world, you can only change you.
Investigate means to ask questions, as if you are working as a detective.
- Why did it come up?
- What is going to be the consequence if I let this persist?
Non-identification with the symptoms.
- I am not my mind.
- I am not my body.
- I am not my emotions.
But...observe these things in you and know that you are not these things are, but you carry them with you. The trick is to let them go, put them down, lighten the load.
"All of our lifetimes, lives, are too unique to copy the past of someone else."
To bring meaning and value into your life you need to learn to "Master Yourself" and don't let hindrances stop you.
Shame and Guilt and Western Cultural Religious Persecution of the Spirit
"Shame is the number one cause of our psychological problems." Brene Brown
I think the reason why I am so demonstrative in my criticism of the western religious teaching philosophies is because it is all about sin, punishment, and guilt. It is the idea of being a "bad" person that will go to hell unless they get saved by their God. Warnings, scolding, wrath of God is like living in a minefield throughout your life. You try to live freely, but you have to always be careful not to step on one of life's booby traps and so you are always careful, always afraid, always intimidated. It is actually criminal. No wonder everyone is so screwed up. How can you be free when your every step is like walking on ice?
The eastern philosophies deal with the same shortcomings we all have in life as a natural part of being human. You aren't "Bad" because of these things, but "Normal". It doesn't mean that it is good for you to have these things in your life, you still need to work on them of course, but you don't have to beat yourself up and feel shame and guilt for it and have to crawl to a benevolent God for mercy or he'll blow your head off, curse you, or just send you to hell forever.
Not only does God pass judgement in the western religions but the people like to do that too. We are always being judged by people who like to think they have the right to throw stones. Thus the merry go round of misery becomes systemic in the western world. To me it is insanity.
The western religious cults are a recipe for mental illness. Now, having said that, I don't think Jesus was like this at all. But, who ever listened and did what he says? Not many. What is the saying, "God may forgive you, but I won't." We do this to others, and we do this to ourselves.
This is why I find the teachings in eastern religions like Buddhism to be much healthier in just about every way.
My challenge is to once again start climbing again to rid myself of the clouds that darken my life. To learn to Master Myself and not let the diseased world enter into my being anymore. Keep it clean, sharp, and strong.