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Spiritual Materialism -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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Transcending anything that exists on this earth, and the materialistically speaking, the spiritual search, and spiritual achievement, and spiritual enlightenment, and spiritual power, is regarded as one of the most highest thing, the greatest thing that mankind ever could achieve. That is true. Enlightenment is the highest thing that we could ever achieve: beyond being president, beyond being millionaire, beyond being whatever; great poet, great writer; whatever. The spiritual achievement is regarded as the most highest of thing, the greatest thing we could ever comprehend, and be able to become a powerful person, personality wise, and wisdom wise, and so forth. We all know that. We all acknowledge that. But at the same time we have a lot of problems with that. So presenting the teaching of spirituality properly, that you have to have very good understanding of basic sanity. And also you have to have a good understanding of basic materialism, spiritually. And we have a coined this word called "spiritual materialism". Spiritual materialism. That might speak to you something. The spiritually materialistic. That using the name of spirituality and egohood, trying to become greater person. A wise person. Which is very dangerous and very problematic. And it not only destroy you, but can destroy whole wisdom of humanity. And it is in fact Satanism. So we should think very carefully about that particular concern. We should discuss that particular situation very clearly, very openly to each other. And try and understand what that means. So that I hope that I would like to devote a certain part of my course, this first stage, for you to understand the meaning of spiritual materialism. We of course intellectualize the whole thing, and we could also identify with ourselves. But I feel that whatever we do, both of those possibilities are open. That we shouldn't kid ourselves around, by saying that the only thing we can do here is to get off the path. Now that you have boarded on the airplane of the Naropa Institute, let's turn on the engine, let's fly. Let us make ourselves into a cosmic transcendental airline. Let everybody be the passengers. Let's fly above the sun, and moon, and universe. It is very easy to say. Easy to say, but it is not difficult to do that, since everybody is sitting on the ground, sitting on the floor. Nobody can get an inch off the ground, if you want, physically and spiritually. Absolutely not. Maybe psychologically you think you are doing. But then that is another spiritual materialism. So I am sorry to be such ...a ... ordinary and down. But I think that particular approach is absolutely necessary, in order to build this particular journey which will take off the ground. Before we do that, we have to understand where we are. If you want to fly in airplane, you can't just fly. You have to make money. And you have to think how much that cost to buy a ticket. And then that's not enough. Then you have to go to the airport, you have to book your ticket. You have to find out your flight number, and what particular airline you are flying. And then you have to walk, and also you have to find out what gate number you are flying. And then you have to board into the airplane. You have to stub your cigarettes out. You have to walk. Check your baggage. And then also you have to find your seat number where you are sitting in. And then you have to fasten your seat belts, and put up your tray table and your seat back. You have to go through all those formalities. Otherwise you don't have a safe journey, as they say. The regarding the question of spiritual materialism. That self oriented pursuit. Which dedicated to pursuing a self, ego. To become oneself greater and powerful person. That if you use mantras, chantings, meditations, of all kinds. That you think you are going to get greater person, greater personality, greater individual, who could trod on the path. But on the other hand you could ignore the whole thing, just chant mantra beautifully. Ignore the whole thing, and not caring about ego or anything else, just as if you'd never heard of such thing. One can do that. But still it is spiritual materialism. That you are deceiving yourself. That there is enormous problems with that. So tonight I would like to introduce the basic notion, basic idea, as to what does mean spiritual materialism, from the point of view of ego orientation. That you wanted to achieve certain particular result, cause and effect. Because of practicing a certain way, that you get what you want. And then you can use it. As if that automatic rifle was presented to your three years old son. Who then can actually actualize the cowboy and Indians and could bang, bang, bang round. Actually you could hear the bang, bang, bang going. And you could appreciate that. "Gee isn’t it fantastic, I could actually do it. I don't have to fantasize myself on the television anymore. I could become the cowboy." Maybe we've been watching too much televisions, nationwide. And we got these ideas, sense of not knowing where the responsibility lies. Where the game lies, where the 'kick out' lies. That has become a tremendous problem. And we could sit down here and say that now if you sit down for three minutes and say a certain particular word, by saying so you are going to get enlightened. That is extremely cheap, unreasonable. That undermines human dignity, that human beings possess. Supposed to possess, some kind of intelligence as to develop some kind of critical attitude to what you are doing. And you are supposed to see through that. So that is the basic point where spiritual materialism could cut through, by your own self existing irony, critical attitude, to cutting through that kind of deception. And that is where the function of enlightenment lies. That you can't be all that deceptive. You can't be all that challenged. And you can't be all that gullible and coward. So that is where possibilities lies. Otherwise there is no point in talking about enlightenment, absolutely not. And we should've relied more trust in the computer, everything is mechanized. But since everything is not mechanized, everything is experiential. Therefore there is a strong possibility to fight back against such spiritual materialism. Which applies very, which is extremely important point that I would like to make. Is that that’s the key point. That there is the cynical attitude that exists within to us. That one wonders, "Should I give into my cynical attitude. Or maybe I should give in. Maybe I should go through the whole way." At this point it is absolutely necessary to understand basic spirituality, to go along with cynical attitude. Questioning everything. Not necessarily intellectual, logical, metaphysical way, but experientially. Trying to go along with that particular approach is extremely important. So that is the first step. As well as the first step for you to be a student here, to how to sharpen your intellect.

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 40 seconds
Year: 1974
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Views: 2,980
Posted by: hmaclaren on May 14, 2010

The Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Recorded at Naropa Institute, 1974 .
Copyright © 1994-2009 Shambhala International (Vajradhatu).

From Teachings Library this has video, audio and written teachings of the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche. Facebook . Biography . YouTube . The Chronicles of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche . 50 Best Quotes, Photos: Chögyam Trungpa, Buddhist meditation teacher.

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