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Rick Archer ~ Does Spiritual Development Have an End Point?
Monday, October 24, 2016 @ 7:00pm
Since its initiation in the fall of 2009, Rick Archer has since interviewed over 360 “spiritually awakening” people on his popular Buddha at the Gas Pump website (https://batgap.com). His interviewees range from the well-known to the unknown, come from a variety of backgrounds and traditions, and have featured many of the teachers that have been hosted by Open Circle.
Rick learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) at the age of 18, was trained by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a TM teacher, and served in that capacity for 25 years, teaching hundreds of people, lecturing around the world, helping to train other TM teachers, and serving at the international headquarters of the TM organization in Switzerland. He also earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vedic Studies from Maharishi International University. Rick is no longer associated with the TM organization, having become too eclectic and independent in his perspective to affiliate exclusively with any organization.
“Can knowledge of nonduality be systematically organized, tested, explained, and predicted? Science has not devised instruments capable of detecting the nondual nature of ultimate reality, but spiritual traditions discuss it extensively, and numerous followers of these traditions (and of no traditions) claim to have experienced it as their essential nature. This experience is commonly termed “awakening” or “enlightenment”.
Is there a “scientific” consensus among these people? Are they referring to the same thing? Is there just one awakening, or are there many degrees of it? Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian mystical traditions tend to assert the latter. If there are many degrees or stages of awakening, do they culminate in an ultimate stage we might term “enlightenment”, or is there no ultimate? When one’s essential nature has been clearly and abidingly realized, has one reached a terminus, or do refinement, clarification, and other facets of development continue?
If we see spiritual development as never-ending, will we be forever chasing the dangling carrot, or can we rest in our true nature, the seeking energy having dropped off, and yet acknowledge that compared with what might be possible, we are relative beginners?
Many spiritual teachers make statements such as “This is it. You are That which you are seeking. Realize this, and you are finished.” Is such advice helpful, or does it short-change spiritual aspirants?”