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Meaning Spectra 2 (Struggle-Effort-Striving)

Date: 11 April 2010
Category: Uncategorized

For over 35 years I have been studying a remarkable spiritual teaching called Agni Yoga (see http://www.agniyoga.org), which itself will be the subject of a future blog. There is in this teaching a strong emphasis on the term STRIVING.

The 3 words for me provide a deep clue to their individual meanings. They all inhabit an emphasis on the use of the will to engage with action.

However, although all of the folk I speak to seem to interpret them differently, there emerges for me a spectrum of ease, running from struggle which implies more internal or external opposition to overcome, to effort which feels to me like less opposition, to striving which, particularly in Agni Yoga, implies either a more joyful will, or more a transcending of the opposition often implicit in the idea of the use of will.

There is a very fine but critically important line to draw between joyful and selfless action on the one hand, and a more stressful impulse on the other. I don’t know about you but I’m always on the lookout to find a more joyous pathway through the day, and using one’s willpower, essential I feel, is a double-edged sword.

Too much will and the deeper currents of energy are not available. Insufficient will and things simply do not happen, or not as successfully.

But that wave, surfing the will-love wave so as to combine joy and action, now there’s a thesis worthy of a university assignment. Its not even simply a balance, because over time both love and will power are essential to enhance in tandem.

For me there have been giant revelations coming throughout the last 5 years particularly. Allowing has become a big word in my life.

I feel that the deeper insights come through stepping back, there’s more joy in the soul’s reservoir if I’m not so over-engaged in who I appear to be, and teachings of Byron Katie and my dear friend Pamela Wilson have helped me enormously to see what a huge scope all of us still have to allow a deeper effulgence to inform and inhabit our understanding, our expression and our capacity to serve others deeply.

So – I would love to hear how you understand this beautiful spectrum, and how you understand the variation of ┬ámeaning across the spectrum. The touchstone of variation is perhaps the degree of joy involved.

At the apex of good experience there seems to be a hair’s breadth between love and will, and they seem to me ultimately one when we have understood both. Also whether creative tension signifies striving and perhaps stressful tension signifies struggle.

How do we move more towards joy in our actions, how do we understand adjusting our energy field to permit a deeper striving and allowing, and how do we deal with the sometimes uncomfortable clinging or turbulence that can result from sensitivity or momentous work?

And moreover how does meaning spectra appeal to you as a way to get behind verbal or text communication?

1 Response to Meaning Spectra 2 (Struggle-Effort-Striving)

  • Howard Roberts says:


    One of the strongest motivations of our will is how individual consciousness can extend itself to other living beings. We are locked into ego-games, boundaries, personal habits, genetic aspects, and the constructs of our own language and perceptive skills. So accepting the effect of the will of another or the will of groups and organizations, or rejecting them is conditioned by our struggle with identity.
    This struggle is the everyday survival tactic of fortifying the illusory image of who we think we are.
    You hit the nail on the head when you defined struggle as a result of stressful tension.
    The Myth of Sisyphus is an apt description of the mechanical, repetitive,and reactive process of this struggle.
    But effort, if it is based on building other-awareness and positive accomplishment for a higher goal, can activate love and compassion.
    The integrated and holistic evolution of conscious efforts is striving.
    It is immersed in the path of enlightenment for all living beings, by the aspiration to develop our consciousness to alleviate their suffering.

    Let me try to answer your questions:
    How do we move towards joy in our actions ?
    By moving away from, pride, arrogance, anger, folly, lust, selfishness,etc, by striving for joy for the other.
    How do we understand adjusting our energy field to permit a deeper striving and allowing ?
    By realizing it is not ‘our’ energy field.
    How do we deal with the sometimes uncomfortable clinging or turbulence that can result from sensitivity or momentous work ?
    The attaching strands of interaction can become the silver thread of higher striving, that uses the conduit of the turbulent energies to awaken us.
    How does meaning spectra appeal to me as a way to get behind verbal or text communication ?
    I have difficulty answering this question because I can’t detach the elements of the spectra, from the natural flow of phenomena.
    If the spectra is organic-the separation of communicator from text or speech-will be the result of creative distance or cold objectivity.
    As your hands move along the spectra of the keys on the piano does the meaning of the process break up into disconnected octaves, or is the music just the imparting of one miraculous and undefinable wave ?

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