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On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
I recently read a post by Naptaq that got me thinking:

I find even my spiritual progress, or lack thereof, hard to measure, because obviously you can't calibrate yourself. All I can honestly say is that I've done some progress (maybe) and that's it.

And then on:

That's so true - once a feeling is gone and enough time has passed, you don't consciously realize that your anxiety is smaller, ect..

And, man I couldn't agree more. However, I believe there are ways to approximate progress.

I've always been, or as far as I can remember, socially uncomfortable. Not to say: dead shy. So, naturally, improvement in this area became a priority early on. Spirituality later came in to help me improve in this area, here is the different perceived cause of my social shyness for the past year I've been working on it (and how long I've spent on each belief):

I can't stand loneliness (1 month?) > situational surrender [according to this or that situation that upset me] (2 months) > want sex too much (2 weeks) > want to be loved too much (2-3 months) > I don't like people (1+month) > If I talk to people I'll die (1+month)> my parents (2 weeks) > attachment to my mother (1 month) > Disgust with the human body (1 good month)> homosexuality (3 weeks) (shyed away from people because I didn't want to be found out for what I was, which is so far from what I want and deem respectable for myself, much less admirable) > desire to "belong" (up to now).

While this way to go is certainly specific to a certain kind of people, it is helpful in that it helps to realize how hard the truth is to see sometimes.

The pain of my homosexuality, in this case, could probably not be handled directly, so this is what I first had to go through in order to then deal with it. I guess I've been surrendering on the edges to indirectly empty the main stack that was my homosexuality. Next came up the realization that my homosexuality itself came from my desire to belong. My whole family has been my mother for a decade, so she was the only one to attach myself to to feel like belonging someplace. Attachment to the mother is known to lead to homosexuality as the son's heterosexuality becomes attached unconsciously to the mother (see Jung's mother complex of the son). The desire to belong is know what makes the most sense.

The road can be tortuous (1 year I've been dedicated to this), but it makes increasing sense. Each understanding includes and reaches beyond the last.

This also means being sure of one's progress can take some time.
Being focused on one thing (though not necessarily at the exclusion of all others) can be a good way to increase the likelihood of being able to acknowledge one's progress.

Freedom is the easiest thing to forget about, it's easy to forget how free I now am with people compared to one year ago. How much better I feel around them. Memory is selective and , sometimes, imagined, which makes the job all the harder. I don't know how to prevent oneself from it but by consistency of use of letting go to at least one fixed area of one's life.
Posted on: 2014/11/11 12:53
Re: On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
Reading back on the method of sticking to one thing and keeping with it, I think I may have to reconsider my advice.

I've recently picked up on situational surrender (like thinking back on a scene than happened during the day, or happened a couple of minutes ago)* and I've found it of great practicality and usefulness. I'm happier on a daily basis**.

**That being said, in my experience, this is always what happens when I pick up a new way of doing things spiritually.

So I guess this thread is too uninformed to be a any certain value. At best, there may be ideas to pick up and try out.

I'll try to keep with what I know better next time.

Keep up the good spiritual work!

*A method recommended by David R. Hawkins in the book Letting Go (p.327)
Posted on: 2014/11/25 13:43
Re: On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
I used to have a lot of social shyness or anxiety also, so I can relate. What I recently became aware of is that the seeming root of the shyness was the fear that the self-judge was going to hammer me after interacting socially with others. It would look at anything I did or said, regardless of how others responded, and point out what an idiot I'd made of myself. Over the past ten years, I've progressively let go of giving authority to that inner critic and as a result I currently have almost no social anxiety, on the contrary I am almost always relaxed in social settings.

Regarding spiritual progress, I've found the following Doc quote to be very useful.

“The ego was inherited as an ‘it’, and it is actually an impersonal ‘it’. The problem arises because one personalizes and identifies with it. That ‘it’ of the ego structure is not unique or individual, and it is relatively similar, with karmic variations, in everyone. What really varies from individual to individual is the degree to which one is enslaved by its programs. The degree of dominance is therefore determined by the extent to which one identifies with it. Inherently, it has no power, and the power to decline the ego’s programs increases exponentially as one progresses spiritually. That is the real meaning of the Scale of Consciousness.”

Dr. David R. Hawkins, I, Reality and Subjectivity, page 112
Posted on: 2014/12/12 20:22
Re: On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
Hey Russ, thanks for the suggestion for a trail to follow. It rings as true to my ears, but what I also know that what you don't know for yourself doesn't really make sense, whether it's true or not.

As far as I can see, and God only knows how low my eyesight can be, I just expect too much from people and myself.

I'm young - barely aiming for the mid-twenties - and in many ways still a kid. I just haven't been slapped by life enough so that my expectations and dreams are put back in perspective with the way things actually are.
Dreamers always suffer, because they wonder off way to far from reality. At least I do.

So that's how far I've gone. I just need to grow up.

[more details on this worldview] I expected girls to like me a lot, to have a dream job that'd be tailored to me, passions I'd be great at. Impressing girls with these and getting a lot of sex. You know... Be so comfortable around people I'd surprise myself with my freedom of speech. Have a loving family there to help me. All those childish things. I've been suffering because all those things are not. They do not exist. Anyway, you see my point.

From now on, the ideal of life for me is to have no expectations whatsoever. That too, shall probably pass ;) But it seems pretty great a goal from where I'm sittin'.[end of extra details]

Oh and, great quote by the way, thank you ever so much for that!
Posted on: 2014/12/18 19:39
Re: On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
HI LGA, I really like and agree with the second sentence from your post, "It rings as true to my ears, but what I also know that what you don't know for yourself doesn't really make sense, whether it's true or not."

I think that points out the difference between something making sense intellectually or even intuitively and how that is so very different from an actual personal confirmatory experience. Sometimes there are spontaneous "Ah Hah!"moments that reveal something that was right in front of your nose and yet not noticed. To me, such moments are priceless. Something I recall Dr. Hawkins once saying, to paraphrase, is that all of the significant spiritual advances in his life came in the form of a spontaneous realization. To me, that's when it becomes REAL, no longer something just read about and maybe believed.

Later in the post you wrote, "From now on, the ideal of life for me is to have no expectations whatsoever." Sounds like some excellent wisdom. Maybe what are called expectations can be changed to setting intentions without trying to control the outcome. Getting a feel for how to navigate through life and learning from that which is tried and doesn't work.

Here's what I find to be a very simple and yet profoundly useful quote from one of Doc's lectures.

"What we view as mistakes, really represent a success, because they demonstrate the outcome of a fallacy".

Dr. David R. Hawkins, August 2005, “Serenity” lecture, Sedona

I find that very helpful to shut up the inner voice that may try to tell us how dumb or messed up we are when we encounter an "unfavorable" or unintended outcome. So much of the crap handed down by the self judge is vaporized when it is recontextualized and seen differently.

Sounds to me like you're doing great. When I was in my mid-twenties (currently in my early 50s, hard to believe) I had zero or at least no apparent inclinations towards inner growth, just mostly that following my gonads thing you mentioned.

Take care and Merry Christmas.
Posted on: 2014/12/21 12:06
Re: On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
Thank you Russ for all this great post.

Wish you a merry Christmas too!

and ps: the serenity lecture quote blew me away
Posted on: 2014/12/22 10:16
Re: On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
I always enjoy reading posts by Russ. He's kind of an authoritative voice when it comes to Dr Hawkins material. He has clarified more than a few things for me. So have many others. Thank you!, all who remain.
God bless
Posted on: 2014/12/22 20:37
Re: On measuring progress [caveat: personal stuff inside]
Thanks BuD. And, glad you like that Serenity lecture quote, Letgoanon.

Doc once said something along the lines of we have to allow ourselves room to grow, room to evolve, and looking at our so-called "mistakes" in the way he mentioned really helps. As he also said on several occasions, we can say, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." To me, those are examples of being gentle and compassionate with oneself, which in my experience, is critical to actually getting free of our obstacles.

Here's a pertinent favorite quote.

"The soul is the author of its own fate by the exercise of its own choice and selection. Each gravitates to its own concordant dimension. Spiritual paradoxes may appear in response to spiritual choice; for example, the spiritual seeker wants love and joy but that intention triggers the surfacing of all that obstructs it and prevents its appearance. Those who dedicate themselves to peace and love automatically pull up from the unconscious all that is cruel, unloving, and hateful to be healed. This may bring about consternation until judgmentalism about it is replaced with compassion, and forgiveness takes its place. These were, after all, what had obstructed the love and joy, so one can be thankful that these deterrents have been brought up to be resolved by the spiritual tools available.

This process of spirituality, in which one works through the obstacles, may seem painful at times but it is only transitional. The mistakes now reappear but are resolvable and recontextualized from a higher understanding. This process is shortened and less painful if it is realized that habitual responses are not truly personal but are part and parcel of the inheritance of being human. All that we condemn within ourselves reveals itself in almost any television documentary about animal life. We see its origin, we see the lovability of the animals in their naïveté, and then we realize that these same motives arise in us from the same level of naïveté. When one accepts the structure and content of thought patterns along with their origins, one can see that they are predictable.

In reality, nothing thoughts say about oneself or others has any reality. All statements are fallacious and represent programming and positionalities. There are also positive statements about one’s worth, merit, or value that are equally based on fiction. The true Self is invisible and has no characteristics by which it can be judged. It has no describable qualities nor can it be the subject of any adjectives at all. The Self merely ‘is’ and is beyond verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. It does not even ‘do’ anything."

Hawkins, David R., I: Reality and Subjectivity, page 24-25

Merry Christmas folks!
Posted on: 2014/12/23 12:45
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