Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Basics: Purifying Competition!

I started learning about "mysticism" when I was in middle school, and naturally, I first got to know about Islamic mysticism and sufism (Molavi, Shams, ...). Very simplistically, the emphasis of this school is on love (the fourth basic elements in the previous post).
In high school I found out about Taoism, again very simplistically, as a doctrine with emphasis on harmony and indifference, or death in the four basics.
Later (undergraduate years in Sharif) I learned about Zen, which focuses on living in now, or essentially the randomness basics.
All in all, these sounded very natural and complementary and all pointed at a direction against competitiveness, the desire to be better than others, as the source of stress and a detriment to spirituality, etc.
Lately, I grew more suspicious of this structure, or point of view. A critical point was when I started "Kyudo", ironically, as a Zen practice. Ultimately, a few weeks ago I confronted with something (I will tell the story in the next post) that revealed to me the importance of competition as "THE" main source of purity and focus. It may sound contradictory: how can competition be critical in (spiritual) development? But think of simple evidence in life, most importantly the whole "evolution" principle. Without competition, things stagnate and die within ...

4 comments:

  1. Taoism in high school? wow! impressive. Waiting for the rest of the series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i have to sit down and read all your posts whenever i get to.
    i personally decided to take bits and pieces of all, the bits and pieces that made more sense to me but i like your critical look.

    so i am waiting for the rest of it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Arash,

    That is actually a bad sign ... high school is the time to have girl friend, play sports, dream about future and have fun :)

    Dear Golabi

    Thanks for your interest, I agree with you that at the end we take bits and pieces and tailor it to our needs ...

    peace

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, given the situation our generation has faced, I have recently become comfortable with the fact that my life is upside down compared to general population.
    There might have been things I should have done during middle school, high school, and college.
    I never had a chance and I was doing things that I should be doing now. Now, I have opportunities to do the things I should have done then. Why not? There might be some underlying fear in me from what people might say: "You're too old for this and that", but I don't give a damn anymore!

    ReplyDelete

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