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 meaning 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?