If You Saw Broken Glass On The Ground, Would You Move It Or Leave It?

by josephkerr 12 replies
Nobody wants to answer "leave it" in a public forum, unless they're hoping to get brownie points for honesty (or humor!). But I'm continually surprised by how often the answer, when nobody's looking (or it's assumed nobody's looking) turns out to be "leave it".

Metaphorically speaking, there's a huge piece of broken glass threatening the feet of everybody walking this self-help path. And I don't see many educators in the community concerned with moving it aside so their students don't get hurt by it.

And it's this: no one on this planet can really promise you an outcome which depends on a transformation that has to happen inside of you.

For example, let's take a common promise made in the internet marketing community. That there is X system that will deliver you the result of making money from home, or some other convenient way which is preferable to however you make money now. We'll leave it at that for the sake of simplicity, though it's worth mentioning that usually these promises are a little more complex in that they also allude to making money in much greater amounts than you make it now, and in ways that will make life more enjoyable.

But what does it really mean... what's the deeper underlying meaning behind this promise? That there is some place to get to that's better than where you are right now.

The truth is, nobody can promise you that.

Here's why: YOU, not the guru, not the teacher, not the street-wise entrepreneur with years of experience and honed selling chops... YOU are at the center of your experience.

Even if (and in some cases it's a big if) the latest course on money making were able to deliver you atypical results and put you in exactly the picture in your mind's eye of where you wanted to be... you'll very soon find that the experience of doing is not at all the same as the experience of longing for.

And what I mean by that is *playing* a game is a much different experience than what it seems like to play the game from the spectator's point of view.

To a young impressionable man, the ideas of glory, of athleticism, of prestige associated with combat can be overwhelmingly influential. But to actually don combat fatigues and fly to a foreign nation with the intent of killing or putting yourself in situations where you could be killed is absolutely something else (and much less appealing). I'm a Marine speaking from experience, in case that matters to anybody.

In exactly the same way... to hold money or prestige or "true happiness" and "freedom" out in front of someone as a promise that making purchase of some course or taking up some form of discipline will deliver is in the most fundamental sense misleading.

Why? For the same reason you can't bite your own teeth (it's your teeth that do the biting) or touch the tip of this finger *with* the tip of this finger. What these promises aim at is a transformation of the nature of your experience.

For example, to take the unhappy man and make him happy.

But you have no tool to transform your self BUT your self. It's like trying to run away from your own legs. You can't because it is your legs that DO the running. Every step you take down that road is a faster and more pronounced proof of the futility of the endeavor.

Is this fatalism? Not upon close inspection. Because while I am saying in a very real sense it's futile to beat your head against a wall in hopes of transformation, it is that very attitude of dropping it altogether that allows you to wake up and smell the roses.

Unless you experience real, fundamental transformation of consciousness... acquiring more money, more wealth, "more" anything will only exaggerate your unsatisfactory inner workings.

And that sort of experience has nothing at all to do with gain or loss. It is completely independent of and inaccessible from the point of view of any system of symbols, which include money, fame, ego, superficial definitions of happiness to include a state of emotional high, or what have you.

It is *only* available here and now. Anyone who tells you that happiness can be "attained" is lying to you. You are being misled. Because the very idea of attainment distracts you from where you are here and now. And it is only in this very moment that any experience whatsoever is possible.

Does that mean to say that those who make these sorts of promises are evil? Not at all. I have no doubt that the teachers in these communities, whether it be self-help, or money-making, or whatever are mostly well-intentioned people trying to help others get a nice piece of the pie.

But all that is working on a level that is fundamentally ignorant of the deeper truths I'm talking about here. It should be noted I'm not disputing or attacking the intentions, characters or beliefs of any of these teachers or educators. Rather, I'm concerned with what's going on at deeper levels and so there are different criteria for evaluation.

I'm not concerned with whether X teacher can deliver Y result. I'm concerned with whether Y result is at all worth the trouble. Or whether or not there's something underlying the whole game to begin with that ought to be intelligently explored.

And even more than that, I'm concerned with the process of alert, awake intelligent consciousness. Because the man who's got a sharp, clear, alert, awake mind won't need to have his opinions fed to him at all. He'll be able to see straight away the reality of any and every situation.
#mind warriors #broken #glass #ground #leave #move
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      The truth is, nobody can promise you that.

      Here's why: YOU, not the guru, not the teacher, not the street-wise entrepreneur with years of experience and honed selling chops... YOU are at the center of your experience.
      In your post, you say that no one is moving this "broken glass" out of the newbie's path but I will respectfully disagree with you on that, at least within this community. There are a good number of us who consistently state that all results from ANY system or method depend on the person themselves.

      Unfortunately, I've seen many be told this by several people in one thread, who go on to grab the quick rich promise anyway. Perhaps the self-help area is the same - you can move the glass off the path, but what are you supposed to do if the newbie switches paths to keep up with it?

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  • Profile picture of the author eshopgeek
    I would move it. Why? Because it would be the best decision based on all the divisions of life of which there are eight. That's how you should always approach a decision. Is it good for the most, largest, the majority. Taking the glass example, let's say I don't move it and tomorrow I drive over it and get a flat tire. I've harmed myself. Or perhaps my two year old son comes along and steps on it, I've now harmed him by not moving it. Or maybe a bike race is held there the next day and 20 bikers ride through and get flat tires on their bikes. I've harmed an entire group of people now. Perhaps a dog comes along and steps on it and cuts his foot. Taking this to a larger scale, (which we can clearly see in our world today) if I don't set a good example by cleaning up the glass, so my children follow suit and don't clean up the glass as their children follow and before you know it our world is full of broken glass. The analogy here is of course recycling.

    But I think you get the idea. One piece of broken glass probably doesn't ruin the world, but magnify that. It takes each person doing what he knows is the right thing to do to keep things going smoothly. As soon as someone comes along and says I don't care about that piece of glass the next person will follow suit. And before you know it, we have polluted our home to the point of real danger. So now, not just me, my child, my dog, my group, but the entire population of earth could be harmed. You see how this spirals out?

    Moral: Pick up the broken glass and you set a good example for anyone who might be watching which has a trickle-down effect.
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    • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
      Tina, Thank you for your reply.

      I didn't say that nobody was moving it, I said I'm surprised by how often it's ignored.

      It is important to me that precise understanding is happening when my posts are read. I'm very specific with my language and I choose my words carefully so I'm not misunderstood.

      Also, I appreciate respect and manners, thanks for being polite in your post.

      In the interest of correct understanding, the rest of your reply tells me that the point wasn't entirely received. I'm not concerned with results. I'm concerned with the reality that underlies the hunger for results.

      I don't mean to say that anyone offering a system of self-help ought to give a fair warning to their students about being hard workers or about being responsible for what they get "out of" life.

      Whether or not the student achieves the results any person is promising is irrelevant to the point of view I'm sharing here.

      What is important is that the individual wakes up to his or her own reality. It is up to each person to work our their own happiness and if it's the genuine article, it will be completely independent of results or circumstance. Nobody can give you anything that will help you insofar as that specific transformation is concerned.

      So why am I yammering then if there's nothing helpful to be said? For the same reason you share good news with your friends, and in that spirit, for the same reasons musicians play music.

      I enjoy liberation and would like to share my particular experience with others who are interested in finding and enjoying it for themselves.

      Eshopgeek, I enjoyed your reply and appreciate your understanding and compassion. A million internets to you my friend.

      "Be happy." -S.N. Goenka
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  • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
    Sometimes getting our feet cut is the only way they can become calloused to the point where they cannot be cut anymore. Sometimes the only way an individual will learn that get quick schemes don't work is to get burned by a few of them. Same goes with self help and any other endeavor humans set forth to accomplish. Life is painful but that pain has a purpose. It's to train us. The more we are trained in this manner the stronger and happier we become. Life is too short as it is. Robbing someone of the pain associated with growth just because we do not have the stomach to witness is just downright selfish.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      And I don't see many educators in the community concerned with moving it aside so their students don't get hurt by it.
      Joseph, my apologies if I made it sound like I didn't agree with the premise of your post, because I completely agree with your main point (as I understood it). I firmly believe that we are responsible for our own happiness, inner peace, self growth and success. Whether it be a spiritual awakening or the lightbulb moment that propels us towards business success, it must begin within our own minds, hearts and spirits.

      What I was responding to in my earlier post was the line quoted above. Taking it in the context of this community, as you did in your post, I believe my response to be correct. I should say my post reflects my views on it.

      I was just saying that sometimes the "educators" are "concerned with moving it aside" but the students don't seem to follow the guidance.

      Hope that clarified what I was trying to convey with my earlier post

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      • Profile picture of the author josephkerr

        Oh! Thank you. Yes I agree, and I'm glad you said something. It can be very frustrating from a teacher's point of view to watch a student relinquish responsibility and stay trapped.
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  • Profile picture of the author josephkerr
    Thank you for your reply Matt.

    (I'm assuming that's your name, if not please correct me.)

    Let us look at the statement that was made and explore what it means. Can we rob anyone of their pain? What would it mean to do so? If I see broken glass on the ground and leave it I'm inviting the next traveler on the road to get hurt. I'm inviting the possibility of a fellow human being or any creature with feet sensitive to glass to suffer when I could have made a difference. And a compassionate mind can't allow me to do this. Becoming callous and desensitized to your surroundings is not the same as growth, and making this call for others through negligence is not compassion.

    If I have a baby child and she's crawling around the kitchen, and a glass breaks, I wouldn't let her keep crawling in order to toughen her up. And if you have true compassion, real deep down compassion for your fellow human beings, this attitude is the same for everyone (not just your own precious child). If you were over at my house and a glass broke I would warn you and clean it up before you stepped on it.

    I spent five years in the Marine Corps. I've very familiar with how subversive and seductive the idea of "earning your keep", "pain is only weakness leaving the body", and all that tough guy stuff is. But upon close inspection you will find that it is a lot of hot air at the root of which is overwhelming insecurity.

    Which leads us to the next part of the statement. The pain associated with growth. Is pain associated with growth? Does pain have a purpose? To have a purpose is to have an intent. But pain itself has no intent, it is an experience. This is a trap of language and specifically the English language that really has nothing much to do with the reality of what's going on.

    Pain is just... this hurting. Whether it has a purpose or not is up to the person reflecting on the experience of pain. And in that very reflecting lies the truth of the matter. Because how do we interpret and give meaning to our reflections? Certainly not as the pain is real, as it is happening. It is in our memory, which is influenced by our ideas, our beliefs, the images we and our culture operate under (which are each in and of themselves departures from reality as just so). So you see this is all the result of a lot of arbitrary hypnotization. What game you're playing in life, the role you decide on and perpetuate every day will decide what purpose, what meaning pain and every other phenomena have for you.

    But what I'm talking about fundamentally is dehypnotization. Experiencing reality as just so. It is only from that point of departure you can begin to see things clearly. And from that point of view there is no individual self to perpetuate. How can I be selfish if there is no self? Further, how can I rob anyone of their experience? At this level, to say things like that is non-sense. I hope you understand.

    If you're operating under the sort of beliefs that people ought to suffer for things, often called "earning", that there is somewhere to get to in life that is better than here, and that some day you'll "make it" somehow... then what you're saying makes a certain amount of sense.

    But those beliefs are all borne out of a very limited and perverse awareness of life that can only lead to the continued suffering of the individual and so the society the individuals make up. In realty, there is no self to "have" things, whether they be cars, houses, land or in the more abstract sense the idealist is concerned with, "growth" or "maturity" or what have you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Your circling thoughts confuse me.

    In one instant you are talking about removing the potential source of pain as compassionate and appropriate.

    In the next instant you are stating: "In realty, there is no self to "have" things, whether they be cars, houses, land or in the more abstract sense the idealist is concerned with, "growth" or "maturity" or what have you."

    If there is no self to "have" things, then there is no "self" to have pain.

    The reality is quite simple. By choosing to remove the source of pain you change another person's experience. By choosing to allow them to feel the pain, you also change their experience. Their choice of how to interpret the experience in either situation is not your decision or your responsibility (Unless you choose it is, as in the case of children.) It is their path, their choices, their life. They can seek advice and step around the glass, clean up the glass, or they can choose to step on the glass repeatedly.

    Personally, I clean up the glass when I can, step around it when I can not, and choose not to drop any glasses on the floor as I pass through.
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  • Profile picture of the author hockeyroom28
    When I lived in a college town, broken glass was literally everywhere around parking areas. If I saw it in the path of a good parking spot or exit, I'd move it for myself and for the other drivers that constantly go through the area. If it's not in a terrible spot, I'll be honest - I wouldn't touch it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    I would rather pick it up and put them in the corner. Who knows someone will step on that and you saw the moment he/she step on it. It would certainly be a very inhumane act on my part. Our actions really speaks up for what we are made of.
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    • Profile picture of the author josephkerr

      I agree. Reality is simple.

      Sorry to confuse you.
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