I posted a meme on my Facebook page the other day. It said the following: Not Breathing is not an option. Improper grammar for certain: yet, the veracity of the statement applies to esoteric practices and to daily life. The statement caused a tiff betwixt two members of a FB group to which I belong. It became (more) apparent that religio-spiritual disputations abound everywhere, even in arenas that one would not imagine they would show up. It was sad that someone, with an axe to grind, in my opinion, wanted to one-up my simple statement. Instead, they could have posted their own views concerning breath, or breath suspension, on their own page. In such instances, it is best to eschew the mental masturbating over (those) views that are beyond the intended thrust of a point being made.
Spiritual one-upmanship involves an individual projecting their views on how something must be approached in ‘the right way’, (according to a specific doctrine) onto someone else. The fact that this exists within each (spiritual) system is amusingly sad. Typically amusing is it’s existence across the spectrum of different faith paths. This tendency to want to disagree on what is religio-spirituality ‘kosher’ is one more reason to question humanity’s capacity to take its existence into the next millennium. Disagreements on what is right versus establishing a consensus viewpoint are the seeds of unnecessary divisions: divisions that can scale up and become deleterious to harmonious existence.
These types of instances / interactions can be disheartening for a new spiritual seeker. Those who honestly want to efficaciously pursue an inner relationship with GOD, the SOURCE, etcetera (use whatever term is most fitting) could possibly be waylaid. The diversion from the spiritual path could be a result of open disagreement on dogmatic adherence to a ‘specific way’ of doing (observing prescribed customs) between those who are ‘established in the path’. Intra-group disputations can be carried out in a private setting. In that way any doubt and apprehension among neophyte seekers would be mitigated.
The meme was mostly well received but on one sight, that caters to followers of the Buddhist path, one person felt the need to point out that (there are) higher level practices which forgo the breath. Although true, I emphasized the importance of experiencing and cultivating full breath before beginning and reach those higher levels of practice which lead to breath suspension. This person then engaged in a tit for tat with one of the other group members. These two went back and forth on various points and interpretation of Buddhist canon regarding breathing and higher level practices. The intent of the post was to express the importance of establishing ‘awareness of (one’s) breath’. The discussions of higher level practice could have been better served elsewhere.
The most beneficial thing would be the coming together and being accepting of the commonalities that (do) bind us. The insignificance of those items (counted as being different) tend to be blown out of proportion in relation to the overall desire for Oneness. The human proclivities of scrutinizing those things that are different abound in all sections of humanity. This is repeatedly evidenced by individuals who want to hold steadfastly to a personal ‘point of view’. There are items that cannot be disputed; i.e. how to use a wrench, how to ride a bicycle, how to boil an egg, how to do a heavy squat and the like. Points of view, conversely, tend to be personal. The effectiveness of applying it for one person may not automatically be transferred over to someone else. The sign of maturity would be to accept that reality, truth or points of view can be grossly or minimally fluid; even within a framework of doctrine.