Chattering Mind

“If we do not step out of spiritual materialism, if we in fact practice it, then we may eventually find ourselves possessed of a huge collection of spiritual paths. We may feel these spiritual collections to be very precious. We have studied so much. We may have studied Western philosophy or Oriental philosophy, practiced yoga or perhaps have studied under dozens of great masters.

“We have achieved and we have learned… And yet, having gone through all this, there is still something to give up. It is extremely mysterious! How could this happen? Impossible! But unfortunately it is so. Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of the ego’s display, part of the grandiose quality of ego. We display them to the world and, in so doing, reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure, as ‘spiritual’ people.

“But we have simply created a shop, an antique shop… Before we filled our shop with so many things the room was beautiful: white-washed walls and a very simple floor with a bright lamp burning in the ceiling. There was one object of art in the middle of the room and it was beautiful…But we were not satisfied and we thought, ‘Since this one object makes my room so beautiful, if I get more antiques, my room will be even more beautiful.’ So we began to collect, and the end result was chaos.”

Chögyam Trungpa’s “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism,” (Shambhala Publications, 1973).

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