Dear Members of the UK & NA Forums,
Looking at the most recent emails, but specifically those from the UK Forum, I feel it is important that I give some overall and general guidance.
The most vociferous one amongst you has been told by more than one member to shut up! LOL! But it is not so much a question of having to shut-up. It is instead a question of taking the time to REFLECT upon and then to ABSORB the guidance given. This is the only way in which we can really learn.
Yet this guidance is for ALL of you! Please take the time to READ properly, without defensiveness, and without always wanting to prove yourselves right, or prove whatever point it is you are wanting to make. As I have pointed out before, what difference does it make who is right and who is wrong? The ONLY important thing is to co-operate intelligently towards uncovering new knowledge, most importantly, about YOURSELVES! With respect to this, look at it like this:
If I know for a fact that I am right, meaning that I know from EXPERIENCE that my knowledge is correct, but someone decides to challenge me on my point of view, because of the fact that our two views stem from differences in knowledge, I would be a fool not to stand firm in my knowledge. But the question is, how to do this?
As a warrior I am ALWAYS willing to be open. Why? Simply because I want to LEARN; I want to gain more personal power. If I am only ever wanting to prove to everyone around me that my knowledge is superior to theirs I will learn nothing new about MYSELF!!! Therefore I LISTEN to the other person with every fibre of my being AND I look at that person in terms of being a MIRROR for me. I can afford to do this and not feel inadequate, or attacked, or defensive, or uncertain, BECAUSE I have enough BELIEF in myself and my knowledge not to be brought off-balance by what the other person is pointing out or saying to me. By doing this I not only listen to the face value of what the other person is trying to say, but I try with everything I've got to grasp what lies BEYOND the face value of the words. In this way I can and do hear CLEARLY.
This is not always easy to do, especially not when being criticised or receiving negative feedback. And yet if I am wanting to learn then I HAVE to remain open and defenseless. If, after having listened fully and without all that internal chatter that comes about because of wanting to be defensive, I find that there is value in what the other person has said to me, then I would be an utter fool not to take on board what has been said to me. But if, on the other hand, I find that the other person has nothing of value to offer me I have two options open to me. If that person is of no concern to me I will decide in the moment whether or not there is anything to be gained from pointing out to that person his/her folly. But in doing so there is no need for me to have to prove to that person that I AM right. I will simply state my case and leave it at that. In other words, such a battle is not worth my while to fight.
However, if I care about that person, I will attempt to guide that person towards achieving his/her OWN clarity on the issue at hand, but at the same time taking CARE to express to that person my genuine willingness to co-operate with him/her towards both of us gaining from the interaction. In this respect I will ONLY become firm, or fierce, for that matter, IF it is clear that the other person is NOT wanting to listen, and is only acting in defence of his/her view of the world. But if I am forced to become ruthless I do so only because I genuinely care enough about that person not to allow him/her to keep on indulging in folly that is clearly doing him/her no good. In other words, my ruthlessness is not because I am wanting to prove myself right. My ruthlessness is an attempt to help the other person break out of their view of the world, no matter what it takes. This is the true meaning of unconditional love.
With respect to all of the above, I am sure most of you know the old story of the nine men encountering an elephant in the dark. Each one of these men discover a different part of the elephant's anatomy and each one describes to the others what it is he feels he has found. Needless to say, all nine of them believe they have found something completely different to what the others have found. Yet none of them realise that they are all merely describing a particular aspect of the ONE elephant. Also, BECAUSE they have felt only one part they never do realise that if all the parts are put together they have an elephant on their hands!!!
Finally, realise that there is absolutely no point in getting guidance but never doing anything with it.
Now I have to address our same friend again! Sorry, Friend, I am NOT singling you out! But you DO love to put yourself in the limelight, don't you?! LMAO! Now about smoking dope. Yes, I am forever pointing out that the Warrior's Path is not a path of denial, but by the same token it is a path of self-respect and self-discipline. Therefore if there is something that you enjoy and it does not interfere with your progress upon the Warrior's Path, then you are free to enjoy it, but without indulging in it. Having a hangover in the morning is most definitely indulging!!! And X is right, inflicting the results of your indulgence upon others is not only being disrespectful to them, but also to yourself.
Nevertheless, if what you enjoy is detrimental to your progress upon the Warrior's Path, then you must CHOOSE which is more important to you - becoming a warrior, or enjoying your whim? Dope does nothing to enhance clarity and is therefore most definitely not something the warrior uses.
With warm regards,