Living the Questions with Sam Keen Part II
We are pleased to bring you this trascription preview of "Living the Questions" from best selling author Sam Keen. You can also listen to a free audio of this transcription below.
Are you always searching for the answers to live a more complete, satisfying life? Sam challenges us to ask the correct questions to create a more meaningful life. I remember for instance the time when after this, after divorce, and I'd been down so long seemed like up to me, as they said.
My therapist talked and said "I'm going to ask you to ask yourself this question". He asked me one of the most startling questions I've ever been asked. He said, "What is it that you like about suffering?" This son of a bitch, I was paying him a hundred dollars a week. Only a hundred dollars a week. It's three sessions for a hundred a week. You know how long ago that it's been?
Son of a bitch, I thought that he was sympathetic toward me and he was asking me what it was that I liked about suffering. And it rocked my boat. And everything turned around because I had to deal with what it was I liked about suffering, how I was using suffering.
The Prisoner of Chillon, Byron talks about being chained to this guy, chained to a post for 38 years. They finally let him go and he imagines him being let free and he says, "My very chains and I grew friends, so much a long communion tends to make us what we are. Alas, I regained my freedom with a sigh."
Suffering was the way that kept me chained to what was secure, painful but secure. Freedom was scary, especially if freedom felt good because for a Scot brought up in the Calvinist tradition, feeling good was a great threat.
Living the Questions with Sam Keen
Nowadays the whole topic of mythology is finally come in to its own. I started doing personal mythology seminars down here 21 years ago, and nobody had heard of mythology on the West Coast. I wrote a book and called it "Personal Mythology", and they wouldn't let me use the title. They said nobody would publish a book with the word mythology in the title. It came out as telling your story. We wanted to call it like the time I filled a bag of apples and climbed on a horse to ride off forever. Now it's redone as "Your Mythic Journey", 20 years later. Of course, Joseph Campbell has been right at the heart of that revival, and at the very heart of that has been the idea of the heroic journey. I think that's what's new in our generation, we brought back the notion that we each have a heroic journey to do.Each of us is on some kind of a quest. And then a life that isn't on some kind of a journey, and a quest, is going to be a life that's a not very interesting life.
Well, if you pick apart the idea of the heroic journey what you find out, I mean, I think that we have to de-mythologize the idea of the mythic journey, or the quest. Because after all, most of us aren't going to take off to, like Burton did, to look for the source of the Nile. The quest is not going to be physical, it's a metaphor. And if you look and you try to translate the metaphor what it really is about, it's about questions. A life of questing is a life of asking questions. And when I start out on a new quest, what's happening is I'm beginning to ask a new question about my life.
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The 10 Gates, Lessons from the Book "Nothing to It" with Brother Phap Hai
Today we are pleased to bring you part two of the transcription from The Ten Gates - Lessons from the book, Nothing to It with Brother Phap Hai. This is a twelve week course to help lead you on the road to spiritual and mental health.
Each of the teachings that we are exploring through this twelve week course is a tool for us to apply in our daily life. It's a lens through which we can contemplate and understand our own unique situation a little bit more deeply. They are not just concepts. In the beginning when we hear one of the teachings, we receive it on the intellectual level and that's great, that's a good beginning, but we need to always ask ourselves "how do I apply this to my own situation? Can I apply this? Can I use this?"
Each of the gates that we'll be exploring over the next twelve weeks are different frames through which we can view our situation. Some are going to be appropriate for us right now and some maybe later, or maybe not at all. But the important thing for us to ask is "How can I use this? How can I apply this? How can I bring this from the intellectual level of concept only, into experience?"
The Buddha offered so many different opportunities. There are the four establishments of mindfulness. There is a noble eight fold path. There are the four noble truths. And these twelve weeks are twelve different opportunities and twelve different invitations for us to apply these particular gates, these particular frames of reference, to our situation and see which ones help us to go just a little bit more deeply.
Let's take the example of nutriment that we used last week. We begin to use this contemplation in our daily life by beginning to bring awareness to edible food. This is the simplest. Edible food is right in front of us where it is easy to see. It is very concrete. Sense impressions and volition comes later when we develop the capacity to be fully present. We develop the capacity to be with what's there.
Telling Your Story Part Two with Sam Keen
We are pleased to bring you part two of this transcription from best selling author Sam Keen. You can also listen to a free audio of this transcription below.
Think about what happens when the average person dies by the end of their 30's or maybe their 40's. Life expectancy in Chad today is still between 38 and 42. So if you do that, then what you do is you're always living by the software that the tribe is plugged into. You don't have a chance to come around and say, "Well, wait a minute. Is this my story?" So the people in primitive societies who broke out of that pattern were the Shamans or Shapers. We have to get this language down.
They probably were actually Sha-women more frequently, although I think that the advantage of being in the one down position is that it gives you more insight into the society. You know that you aren't exactly the way they say you are. There are many disadvantages. So the Sha-man was a person who looked through and began to say, "You know, these aren't my stories." So they begin to see how crazy, or how mythic, their society was. Because to see how mythically we're living, to see how controlled we are by other people's stories, we have to take almost a trip out of our own skin. Indeed, one of the reasons that mythology is now of interest is because of the drug revolution. The drug revolution gave a lot of people an experience of getting outside of their own cultural sect.
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