Purification of the mind requires consciously processing words, actions, and attitudes in minute detail and on a subtle level. This requires sharp observational skills. Though it may seem “over-analytical,” it is necessary in order to thoroughly live with heart and remain true to what is important. Initially it takes a lot of conscious effort to do anything at a more precise level, including the tasks of observing things and being in integrity. With practice the level of precision becomes second nature.
Self-righteousness-- “for me, but not for thee.” I can be self-righteous but you can't. This subtle attitude is all too common. Is there any way to avoid this and also succeed? Certainly the opposite, self-scrutiny, is dysfunctional. When running on technical terrain, if the mind constantly doubts the body then the body can be expected to fail. I trip far more often when commanding myself to, “Go faster,” or doubting my techniques, than when I do not scrutinize the operation of my body like so.
What is the solution to seeing all things for what they really are and sharing that information without violating your own integrity of being? Is the solution to simply observe and then deliver the facts in a straightforward manner, taking care not to feign nor perpetuate emotion?
Consider the following two quotes:
Be a rebel against the perfunctory, the orthodox, the traditional, even the secure, the safe, the satisfactory, the conforming. It takes courage with a blend of so-called stupidity to burn one's bridges. I would hazard a guess that all great men at some time in their careers, burnt their bridges, said Good-bye to what looked to others sane and sensible. It is true that not many will not pay the price. It would be awful if everyone wanted to stand on the summit of Everest at one and the same time! But many can, if they rebel against mediocrity and complacency. -Percy Cerutty, Success in Sport and Life
I do not believe our lives need be made miserable by isolating ourselves too much from the customs of our country, even in the matter of food. What is called for is some intelligent discrimination. There is never any need to offend the susceptibilities of a kind host by not accepting, and consuming, some item of diet that ordinarily we would not consume.
Nature can make amends for almost any or all indiscretions as long as such indiscretions are not habitual. Also, it is not proper to vaunt one's peculiarities publicly, nor are we called upon to proselytize our neighbor. If we are asked why we do certain things, a serious inquiry justifies a serious reply. Otherwise it is for the teacher, and lecturer, to advance public ideas on these matters of food and conduct. The athlete will be too busy developing themselves to worry overmuch about the habits and conduct of his contemporaries. -Percy Cerutty
The quotes are apparently contradictory to one another, though spoken by the same man. Seeing this contradiction reinforced my belief that everyone has some kind of excuse in some regard or another, and everyone is sub-par in some way. Noticing this pattern in multiple people contributed to my adoption of the ideals of purity, perfection, and completeness.
It should go without saying that I am concerned with purity and perfection not only in behavior but also in attitude. Various attitudes are capable of seeing a contradiction between the two quotes. All of those attitudes might have a correct point, but are they also aligned with purity and perfection? Will holding those attitudes produce within me negative emotions and, furthermore, bespeak ugliness?
To be clear, I will quote the passages which contradict one another. From Quote 1: Be a rebel against the perfunctory, the orthodox, the traditional, even the secure, the safe, the satisfactory, the conforming. ...I would hazard a guess that all great men at some time in their careers, burnt their bridges, said Good-bye to what looked to others sane and sensible. ... Many can, if they rebel against mediocrity and complacency. Quote 2: There is never any need to offend the susceptibilities of a kind host by not accepting, and consuming, some item of diet that ordinarily we would not consume. ...Also, it is not proper to vaunt one's peculiarities publicly, nor are we called upon to proselytize our neighbor.
Consider different attitudes towards the given contradiction. For starters, I can feel it is tempting and normal to describe the contradiction with annoyance. I do not wish to experience annoyance, however. It feels unpleasant within me, and I can tell it is not healthy.
Some of my annoyance arises from the fact that I expect most people to agree with Cerutty's second quote. I expect them to gush about “reasonableness, ” “living a little,” “not appearing rude,” and all kinds of things which I regard as pretentious, valueless, and moreover, not aligned with purity. I expect them to find me “extreme” or “militant” for my disagreement. If I say I genuinely do not want to eat “normal” foods anyway, then they will just find me “weird” and give the usual dumbfounded frown. Perhaps they will even robustly assert that they do not see a contradiction between the two quotes. Thereby they become self-righteous in their attitude. If I also am in mine, then we have two self-righteous parties which are at odds with each other. This is a condition which can and often does lead to violence, which on a large scale means war or oppression. When people are self-righteous they become predisposed to justifying violence against those who are at odds with their righteous position. I am not trying to engage in any kind of violence, be it physical, psychological, or moral. It makes sense, then, to identify the conditions which lead to violence and then avoid creating those conditions.
Is it pure to regard the attitude in the second quote as “pretentious”? My gut feeling is “No.” Calling a thing “pretentious” might be a mere expression of righteousness and does not really get to the substance of the matter. The accusation of “valueless” might not work well either, since obviously the people who agree with the quote find value in its stance, even though I do not. The result is that calling it “valueless” will not communicate anything of worth to the other party. On the other hand, saying that the quote's stance is “not aligned with purity” at least communicates why I disagree with it. Still, is this sufficient? Is it necessary? Is it on point?
Staying on Point
What even is the point here-- to communicate why I disagree with the stance in Quote 2, to solely point out that Quote 1 and Quote 2 contradict each other, or to explain what exactly that contradiction is? Any one of those three tasks can easily turn to undesired attitudes including self-righteousness. If I think about what others are thinking, then it takes a bit of gall to even point out that the quotes are contradictory.
Completeness demands that I do at least recognize the contradiction. Completeness also contributes to another ideal, Transparency, which means sharing any significant information (which includes explaining what is significant about it). The idea is that through purity, perfection, and completeness, I will be able to articulate significant information in a clear manner which stays on point and creates a big, coherent, and ultimately complete picture of life, both in concrete detail and in concept. Any and all self-expression must be aligned with that goal.
So, what would be the correct way to present the matter of the quotes? All I've discussed so far is the potential to be annoyed with it and the reason for that being potential conflict with others. I have not really gotten to how to go about the entire manner nor have I answered to satisfaction how I should deal with the conflict with others. I did at least display the exact statements which give rise to the contradiction.
To solve this matter I must go back to the original intention of why I wanted to discuss the quotes in the first place. The original intention was to point out that a contradiction exists in the words of one man, explain the contradiction between his two quotes, use that contradiction as evidence for the idea that everyone is compromised and imperfect somehow, and finally explain how noticing this pattern led me to adopt the ideals of purity, perfection, and completeness (and to likewise value consistency and integrity). The question then is, do I even need to discuss my stance on Quote 2? I think I should do that to help make my point, which is the aforementioned pattern and ideals.
As I said, I did at least display the exact statements which give rise to the contradiction. The next task, then, is to explain the contradiction. The thing is, it's not just these two quotes that are contradictory: almost everything else the man ever said contradicts Quote 2. While pointing out a person contradicting himself does lend credence to my point that everyone compromises somehow, Quote 1 is not the greatest basis on which to do that. I shall explain.
It would be disingenuous of me to use Quote 1 to reinforce my disagreement with Quote 2. I know Cerutty has statements which do a better job of expressing his idealism and, by extension, illuminating the self-contradiction in Quote 2. To make my point regarding imperfection and lack of integrity I must demonstrate that Cerutty was an idealistic man- the Spiritual man- and that he compromised on the matter discussed in Quote 2 (i.e. social eating).
Why exactly does Quote 1 not display idealism well? It can be valuable to rebel against mediocrity and complacency, but not necessarily against the other things listed per se. It is untraditional to drink bleach, for example, and doing that just for the sake of “rebellion” will, indeed, nourish no values other than sheer rebellion. On that point, while rebellion is sometimes needed, rebellion in itself will not necessarily keep one on track to the valuable. Making a point of rebellion will, more often than not, lead one to miss the point.
Compared to Quote 1, the following is a genuine example of Cerutty's idealism:
No ambitious person: no person who has set his sights on some goal above the average or normal attainment: no dedicated person: no one willing to work, and anxious to achieve, ever considers the 'way' he has determined upon: the path he is resolved to travel: the work and suffering he sees ahead of him, and which he encounters, ever thinks of all, or any of this as a—Sacrifice.
It is only the mediocre, half-cocked, the spectator, or the playboy who 'assumes' that a sacrifice is being made: has been made: must be made.
His “Stotan Creed” is also an example of his finer idealism. Here is the opening:
A Stotan is one who hardens, strengthens and toughens…the mind & body by consistent habits and regular exercises, which are consciously and irrevocably made part of the life plan of the individual, as well as consciously determining that the mind will be cultivated upon such abstractions as purity, beauty and logic. Erudition, in as complete a degree as possible shall be the lifelong aim: Truth, in relation to all aspects of life, the unending search.
And the closing:
Also, having embarked upon the Stotan Way of Life, like the Spartans, one must go through with it to the end. There is no giving up throughout life. The first pre-requisite for a Stotan is tenacity. The next is to understand that his loyalties are towards making the most of the material that is his, to the expansion, or at least the manifestation of the Life Force, and a constant identification of himself with his Life Force through his Way of Life.
To live this Way of Life is hard. It is not for weaklings. It is the Way that is travelled by all the truly great ones. It requires strenuous effort of body and mind.
I would rather omit an explanation of why these quotes are more ascended in their idealism than Quote 1. Hopefully I have provided enough information that you can see why. I will at least clarify that the following is the strongest sentence: The next is to understand that his loyalties are towards making the most of the material that is his, to the expansion, or at least the manifestation of the Life Force, and a constant identification of himself with his Life Force through his Way of Life. Identification with the life-force is a solid, positive ideal which keeps one on track to what matters most in life (i.e. being in integrity with what you are destined to be) – certainly much more so than rebellion for its own sake.
Now I will go back to explaining the contradiction in as pure a way as possible, free of personal annoyance this time.
The stance in Quote 2 encourages being untrue to oneself for the sake of something unimportant. The instruction is to attempt to unite with people along lines which are frivolous and not genuine. Asking people to sacrifice their health for social cohesion is not in the highest interest of life.
How'd I do? Decently, though I see how it could be more pure. I think I should replace “unimportant” and “frivolous” with more substantial descriptive terms.. It also might be more accurate to say “not in the highest interest of their lives,” though I would like to think the highest interest of life in general is at hand, too. I could also tailor my statement to the quotes being contradicted, for example by replacing, “not in the highest interest of life,” with, “anathema to identification with the Life Force.” Now, I typically do not think in terms of “the Life Force,” so would it be disingenuous of me to say that? We have several options here. One is that, since I do understand the term, perhaps I would find it useful to adopt. In that case the correction can remain as-is. Otherwise I ought to clarify what it means to me.
Note that to get to the point I did not
I have to admit that I do not have the full context of any of the quotes. At least the Stotan Creed stands on its own. However, to fully do justice to this topic I feel I should know the place (e.g. book, speech) in which each quote was said, when it was said, and what else was said before or after it. It would be best not only to compare when each quote was said, to consider whether a change in viewpoint might have occurred, but also to know as much about the man as possible and see what ideas he actually lived in line with.
For the purposes of this article as well as ascension in general, I will not expand on this for this specific example.
Yes, this is a very precise and particular matter. It is essential to understand purposeful discussion so that you can see ulterior motives, discern the point, and always remain in integrity. In pure communication unnecessary conflicts and negative emotions will be avoided. Moreover, reality is precise, so it should be known and interacted with to precision.
It would not be incorrect to say that this article covers the proper use of logic and making clean, substantial arguments. If I had set out with the goal of only talking about those things, however, I probably would have failed in the task. It is deep ideals regarding what one wants to be that unlock the full breadth of detail and ability in life. Trying to make a point for the sake of appearing “smart” or educating “the people” (i.e., secretly, people whose behavior you wish to change) will inevitably lead to falling short. The genuine desire to be pure and the openness to effective ways of achieving that enabled me to be dedicated and thorough in my task.
It is possible there will be multiple other articles by the same name so that I can both practice and achieve purifying further and discuss significant matters in the process. I will append some other name to the title like “Part Two” or the specific topic discussed (e.g. “Purifying Further: Previous Articles”).
In due time it will be beneficial to set down clear definitions of terms such as God, life, perfection, the original perfection of life, divine order, and completeness. It shall be a definitive glossary-- of what, if there must be a title, is yet to be seen. The glossary of: Life's perfection, the worldview of completeness, the spiritual conception of life-- we shall see. Clearly defining and organizing all information is essential to presenting a clear and complete picture.
https://livingthestotanlife.blogspot.com/2014/08/cerutty-says-be-rebel.html Quote 1. Success in Sport and Life, 1967.
http://amazingracersbook.com/percy-cerutty/ Stotan Creed