Looking for a book

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almon
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:26 pm

Looking for a book

Post by almon »

Hello everyone,

I'm new here and I'm not sure I've picked the right place to ask my question, please re-direct me to correct sub-forum if needed.

Need suggestions on any literature/articles about Buddhism going wrong in someones life.

I've heard that if someone gets close to enlightenment but something goes wrong there that it can really mess up an individuals ego and therefore life.

Any ideas, suggestions and clues on where to look for info about it are welcomed.
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PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3967
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Looking for a book

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Buddhism is supposed to mess with your ego.

I think you may have some misinformation, the concept of being “really close to enlightenment” is sort of like saying, “almost awakened from a dream”. If the dream becomes a nightmare, it’s not because someone tried to wake you up.
It doesn’t really make sense in a buddhist context. If it’s like almost about to sneeze, I don’t think that’s how enlightened realization works.

Dharma practice is a gradual process. It’s like medical school. If someone doesn’t understand the basics, rushes out and buys sharp surgical tools, then yeah, that’s not going to go too well for them. If a person thinks “Buddha says everything is just an illusion” and then tries to fly from the roof of a building, first of all that’s ego at work, and secondly, they don’t really have even a basic understanding. Since that’s the case, even if there were such a thing as “almost enlightened” such a person wouldn’t be there yet.

However, there is a history of questionable teachers and organizations, and following a path that takes one in the wrong direction would result in the types of problems that you may be referring to.

Here is a list of controversial teachers and groups:

http://viewonbuddhism.org/controversy-c ... nable.html
Be kind.
avatamsaka3
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:11 am

Re: Looking for a book

Post by avatamsaka3 »

I've heard that if someone gets close to enlightenment but something goes wrong there that it can really mess up an individuals ego and therefore life.
Are you saying that you got close to enlightenment? If so, what led you to that conclusion? What do you mean by "something that goes wrong"? What went wrong?

As far as messing up ego & life, you'll have to be more specific. It may be beneficial or not in terms of practice.

Have you spoken with a monk or experienced practitioner about all this? If so, what did they say?
almon
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:26 pm

Re: Looking for a book

Post by almon »

Are you saying that you got close to enlightenment?
I'm not saying that. I'm asking if anyone here knows of literature on that subject.
almon
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:26 pm

Re: Looking for a book

Post by almon »

I think you may have some misinformation, the concept of being “really close to enlightenment” is sort of like saying, “almost awakened from a dream”. If the dream becomes a nightmare, it’s not because someone tried to wake you up.
It doesn’t really make sense in a buddhist context. If it’s like almost about to sneeze, I don’t think that’s how enlightened realization works.
Well, I do remember coming across a quote from someone that going deeper into meditation is something like walking a ladder and the higher you go, the narrower it gets and therefore making a wrong move high up is easier. I don't remember the exact quote but hoping I made it clear what it said.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Looking for a book

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Looking at the path to realization in a linear way, like going from point A to point B seems really strange to me.
Be kind.
cjdevries
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:06 pm

Re: Looking for a book

Post by cjdevries »

Yes, spiritual practice can go wrong, probably in part because we all have different karma. For example, one person may have cultivated discipline in the past and has accumulated a lot of merit, so they are able to attain meditative stability; but they lack humanity and integration. Spiritual ego is tough to overcome for many people. When I started on the meditation path, my godfather told me to beware of the spiritual ego. It wasn't until several years later that I really knew what he was talking about because my ego had become so over-inflated; it happened so subtlely too. I went from a humble student to know it all in a few years. I think that's when a lot of the problems come for people; when the spiritual ego becomes strong; it's so difficult because it can happen even when you are being aware of it; sometimes we have very little control over the spiritual ego. It takes a genuinely concerted effort to lessen it (I still haven't figured out how to overcome it, but obviously the Buddhas figured it out). Higher level practitioners also have greater spiritual responsibilities in general and have more influence of the world around them, so they have to be even more careful of their actions than an average person. Perhaps this is what you were talking about. If they haven't integrated their higher level attainments with their personal lives and ego, it can happen that the spiritual ego takes control and they run into problems. However, people with the right merit and/or conditions may not run into these problems; perhaps they have overcome this spiritual test in a past life.
"For the zen student, every weed is a treasure." -Suzuki Roshi
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh
"Waking up, or awakening, is not a matter of working on our issues. It is a matter of waking up from the dream in which those issues seem real." -Jeru Kabbal
almon
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:26 pm

Re: Looking for a book

Post by almon »

cjdevries wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:19 pm Yes, spiritual practice can go wrong, probably in part because we all have different karma. For example, one person may have cultivated discipline in the past and has accumulated a lot of merit, so they are able to attain meditative stability; but they lack humanity and integration. Spiritual ego is tough to overcome for many people. When I started on the meditation path, my godfather told me to beware of the spiritual ego. It wasn't until several years later that I really knew what he was talking about because my ego had become so over-inflated; it happened so subtlely too. I went from a humble student to know it all in a few years. I think that's when a lot of the problems come for people; when the spiritual ego becomes strong; it's so difficult because it can happen even when you are being aware of it; sometimes we have very little control over the spiritual ego. It takes a genuinely concerted effort to lessen it (I still haven't figured out how to overcome it, but obviously the Buddhas figured it out). Higher level practitioners also have greater spiritual responsibilities in general and have more influence of the world around them, so they have to be even more careful of their actions than an average person. Perhaps this is what you were talking about. If they haven't integrated their higher level attainments with their personal lives and ego, it can happen that the spiritual ego takes control and they run into problems. However, people with the right merit and/or conditions may not run into these problems; perhaps they have overcome this spiritual test in a past life.
Thank you for this answer, that is very helpful.
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