"Within so vast a perspective, it can become as natural as breathing to take one's place in the human family, to do that for which one can respect oneself." — The Aquarian Almanac

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April 23, 2015 Theme for Contemplation:Titiksha- Renunciation and Endurance

“Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice.”

– William Shakespeare

“Patience, and shuffle the cards.”

– Miguel de Cervantes

April 24, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Titiksha- Renunciation and Endurance

“The highest perfection of freedom from action is attained through renunciation.“

— Shri Krishna

“‘Enduring patience is the greatest penance; long suffering is the highest nibbana’, so declare the buddhas.”

— Buddha

Here's a couple of good definitions of Titiksha.

"Titiksha (literally the desire to leave) is the bearing with indifference all opposites (such as pleasure and pain, heat and cold, &c.). Otherwise, it is the showing of forbearance to a person one is capable of punishing." from Mohini Chatterji's translation of Sankara's Atmanatma-viveka

"Endurance (titikshâ) is the bearing of all pains without rebelling against them, unconcerned and unlamenting." from Charles Johnston's translation of Sankara's Crest-Jewel of Wisdom.

That idea of forbearance towards someone you are capable of punishing seems to have a strong element of mercy in it, in addition to the obvious injunction to bear the opposites. I wonder how those two ideas go together.....

How about the capacity to let go?

I love the Cervantes quote,"Patience and shuffle the cards", it reminds me of the Judge idea of Higher Carelessness. Tamiko's letting go idea is a good one too but maybe we could add letting go of personal desires. It seems to me that duty is the key here.  The more we adhere to an ethic of duty the more we let go of what we want, or think we need for ourselves and look at the larger picture.

Thanks Grace. This raises a new approach in my mind. When we have the idea of endurance or forbearance, I suppose we need to ask right from the start: why is forbearance necessary? What in our human experience makes this virtue such an important thing to cultivate?

And maybe you've struck the nail on the head with "personal desires". That seems to, in some way, go to the heart of it.

So, in our daily lives, what is it that we're trying to endure?

It would seem that the sage's reply is: pain and pleasure, or the "opposites" in general.

If that's the case, then I suppose we need to ask: why is it necessary or important to endure pain and pleasure?

It seems to me that the mind often acts as a radio with an antenna.  There is a multitude of signals to pick up.  When we let down our guard (passivity), or perhaps due to past thoughts and desires (magnets), we pick up negative signals (unworthy or undesirable) thoughts we must "change the channel". This requires patience and forbearance don't you think?

Good points. Do you think that dealing with these "signals" requires other virtues in addition to patience/forbearance? I sometimes feel that patience is enough, to just allow ourselves to move through life without reacting to those "signals" we pick up. So in that sense we wouldn't be trying to change anything, but merely to "let it be", or "change the channel" as you say. But other times I feel that, in addition to patience/forbearance, we may need to apply some kind of will to change things: i.e. maybe instead of changing the channel in some instances, it's upon us to receive the unworthy/undesireable thoughts and somehow transmute them. But then I wonder, does this run counter to the idea of "indifference" that seems to always be included in the definition of forbearance/patience? What do you think?

April 25, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Titiksha- Renunciation and Endurance

“Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlinke.”

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“My time on earth is borrowed.”

— Nahuatl Shaman

April 26, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Titiksha- Renunciation and Endurance

“Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear.”

— Marcus Aurelius

“Thy Soul-gaze centre on the One Pure Light, the Light that is free from affection, and use thy golden key.”

— The Voice of the Silence

I hear that saying from Marcus Aurelius quite often. Most of the time people seem to take it as a kind of self-evident truth and it strikes me that way sometimes too. But I wonder... What about cases where people seem to buckle under the pressure of some intense stress? even to the point of "insanity". Or what about PTSD? It does seem that, at least some things are too much for us to bear... or too much, at least, for our personal self to bear.

What about the warnings given by HPB and others about those who take on chelaship, for instance, only to fail and fall into horribleness, seemingly consumed by the darkness that was unleashed within them when they applied sincerely to the vow of discipleship?

April 28, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Titiksha- Renunciation and Endurance

“When the blessed gods bring sorrows too to pass, even these he bears, against his will, with steadfast spirit.”

— Homer

“Courage is a sort of endurance of the soul.”

— Plato

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Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on April 29, 2016 at 7:57am

What is endurance of the soul?

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on April 30, 2016 at 10:44pm

Good question. I thought to add to it: what part of our constitution is it that endures or holds the power to endure? i.e. when Plato says "soul" here, what is he talking about?