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A spiritual question: In the cycle of life of being and becoming…are the two the same thing on some level?

If so can you explain?

I have always thought that Being is true Self while Becoming is the nature of ego.

http://www.youtube.com/user/burtharding#p/search/10/wD5Wl1Nc6kg

http://www.youtube.com/user/burtharding#p/search/14/DKV0RSlUcUE

I love watching Burt’s videos…they always resonate deep within. However, I do feel a little confused about this.
Thank you Okei for inspiring this question ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, no thumbs down from me…all of your answers are appreciated!

16 Comments

  • Hello and how are you?

    I am by no means an expert on being or becoming, but this question struck a familiar chord with me.

    In /Zen Mind, Beginners Mind/ Suzuki addresses this point, which has been made by many Zen Masters including the patriarch of Japanese Zen, Dogen:

    Suzuki says, “”It is kind of mystery that for people who have no experience of enlightenment, enlightenment is something wonderful. But if they attain it, it is nothing. But yet it is not nothing. Do you understand? For a mother with children, having children is nothing special. That is zazen. So, if you continue this practice, more and more you will acquire something – nothing special, but nevertheless something. You may say “universal nature” or “Buddha nature” or “enlightenment.” You may call it by many names, but for the person who has it, it is nothing, and it is something.”

    Zen Master Dogen says, “Zazen is not “step-by-step meditation”. Rather it is simply the easy and pleasant practice of a Buddha, the realization of the Buddha’s Wisdom. The Truth appears, there being no delusion. If you understand this, you are completely free, like a dragon that has obtained water or a tiger that reclines on a mountain. The supreme Law will then appear of itself, and you will be free of weariness and confusion.”

    And

    “Thinking that practice and enlightenment are not one is no more than a view that is outside the Way. In buddha-dharma [i.e. Buddhism], practice and enlightenment are one and the same. Because it is the practice of enlightenment, a beginner’s wholehearted practice of the Way is exactly the totality of original enlightenment. For this reason, in conveying the essential attitude for practice, it is taught not to wait for enlightenment outside practice.”

  • The spiritual path leads us to our goal, which is to find our true self.
    But at each state, or step our actual self is what we feel ourselves at that moment.
    Our reality is determined by our true direct inner sensation of the world at any given moment, “The judge has only what his eyes see”.
    So whatever we feel at a given stage, that is our “self” at that moment, but each state already contains in itself the next stage, our “becoming” which state illuminates at us, drawing us towards it.
    Our “ego” (selfish reception), or our “negative self” gives us the fuel to progress towards the next level, by inverting it to “good” (selfless giving). When we have done it we are ready to step on the next level, by increasing the “ego” first then inverting it again, and so on until we reach the final state where all our “ego” has been corrected.
    I hope it is not too complicated, and you find it helpful, all the best.

  • No. I don’t think so.

    Being is who you are now. It’s living in the moment, not longing for yesterday or worrying about tomorrow.

    Becoming is what we strive to be – whether it’s good for us or not. Generally, we strive for the material things.

    My theory is, the more you “be’ the quicker you ‘become,.’ and what you ‘become’ through ‘being’ (rather than striving) is what you need to become, rather than what you want to become.

  • You can look at it from a different angle to get a better understanding. We are eternal energy beings that can manifest our own heaven and hell, called life. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The past and the future do not exist, there is only a transient moment of now.

    Practicing Shaman… quantum physics rocks

  • From my perspective, aspect of it is yes being and becoming, like soul and spirit entwine within the body. Your spirit-soul is the energy, the light, the aura, or countenances that display the feelings and emotions of the soul. You are who you are, and when the body dies, you still are who you are without the body. The temporary body we live in is just another journey.
    I guess there’s many aspects ways of understanding this, hope this makes sense to you.
    I understand Burt’s view to a point.

  • Unfortunately I do not have the time at this moment to dedicate to watching the attached videos. I will make a point to do so soon. Please forgive me for answering so abruptly despite my small window to respond.

    It is simple, your question and it is very insightful of you to ask.

    Being is. Simple as that. Once we are open to the divinity within us all and Truth is surrendered to, all that is left is TO BE what we have always been… Be.

    Becoming is perception and belief that we must become that which we desire. It is true that desire derives from ego, yes. However ego is not Truth, nor does it surrender to it. The perception of ego is that we are stained, unworthy and pathetic, so undeserving. We, as humanity, fail to see the beauty and necessity of the dance that is what we call Life. Love is ours and Life is the means in which it exists and expresses itself.

    Life is, Love is, Truth is, God is therefore… I AM – the Light. And so are all of you.

    Blessings

  • Maybe it’s got to do with the fact that outside of the Earth plane there is no such thing as time as we know it.
    Being, as a noun, means existing, but being, as an adjective means present time, (which sound the same to me, but I didn’t write the dictionary so maybe I need a new one) where as becoming, as an adjective, means you’re not there yet.

  • Yes, our spiritual journey is not a journey at all, but a realization of what we are. I like the buddhist term “awakening” (bodhi) it seems much more fitting.

    “We are on a journey of becoming that which we already are. That is the impossible paradox of our lives”

    –Leonard Jacobson

    Peace and love ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for introducing me to Burt Harding! I hadn’t heard of him before.

    So to summarize the video as I understood it, Being is realizing that we are energy, like the stillness at the centre of a rotating wheel, as you say true Self without ego, like a child whose reactions are purely of the body and not of the ego, never grasping to any emotion but living in the moment, the serenity of the now. Becoming on the other hand is the introduction of time, trying to be better, striving towards our goals, the extremity of the wheel, movement, action, creativity, ego. But if we can realize this becoming as a state of being, as the spinning wheel is a result of the energy from its peaceful centre, so we can have this creative becoming from a state of stillness.

    I would add that…

    Being is the image of a monk meditating in the mountains. Becoming is the person who wants to be a celebrity, or who wants to be someone. But even the monk in merely being is building up inner powers which are making him become, but one who becomes, who succeeds in being someone might not have the foundations of being and as you say might still feel unsatisfied as the ego looks for something to fill the void.

    Being is that feeling of being in the zone, of full alertness, of being fully alive, and feeling good as the Nina Simone song goes (“sun in the sky you know how I feel…”) Being is the seed. Becoming on the other hand is the sweet fruit of the growing plant. It is possible to become without being, to taste the fruit without planting the seed, but this will usually not be long-lasting.

    So, yes, it seems we should focus on being after all, and the state of becoming will manifest. The state of being before becoming has manifested is what I imagine people describe as an “aura” about people, a state of potential waiting to “become”.

    Thanks for helping me probe deeper. I’m shamefully focused on the becoming myself and disappointing myself severely as a result. It’s so much easier to put one’s finger on becoming. Being is so illusory and difficult. But maybe being often needs that desire for becoming to drive it, like Buddha is said to have desired to become enlightened and the becoming acts as the focus of our intent for the arrow of our being. The desire for the fruit encourages the discipline to plough and sow the field, and as the saying goes, you reap what you sow.

  • On some level yes, becoming arises out of profound creativity (Female or Goddess principle) Who or what knows this? The profound presence (Male principle or God). As you can see this profound creativity has been covered over for thousands of years by the ones fearful of the power of the Goddess, of Kundalini the Serpent power. Then there are those that say everything is one, all is contained within yourself but looking at it like that can be life denying, for life to be confirmed there needs to be intercourse or Yoga between the God and Goddess, a blissful practice of joining. We all make love or intercourse when we notice the beauty and scent of a flower or feel the caress of a warm breeze upon our skin, we have the choice to make more love or to negate the love that already exists but do to the perversion of religion few are aware of this fact..

  • In my opinion I think Being and Becoming are essentially the same thing, but it’s probably a different view than Harding’s. I think existence precedes essence and so that we determine our own Being EACH MOMENT by Becoming (in such a way that the Becoming is nearly synonymous with Being). I don’t believe we have an immutable Self, so there is no essence or “Being” that we are born with, and there is no Becoming process that helps us understand our “true” Being. The Becoming just is the Being; the process is our essence; the “I” or the “Self” is defined by our actions and thoughts, and those change from moment to moment.

    I think my opinion is probably radically different from Harding’s, though I didn’t watch the whole video (I only watched a few minutes of the first one), but I think he teaches some variant of Hindu/Vedanta philosophy which teaches that there is an immutable Self (the Atman/Brahman). I lean more towards Buddhism and Existentialism.

    Don’t know if that made any sense at all…

  • I can’t watch the videos at work. However, I think Being is what you truly are, and becoming is the process to that. Becoming is actually realizing because we already are Being, but our experience is contradictory to this, so we think we must become.

  • Being is the state of existence; becoming is an evolutionary transitory phase, continually in flux on a momentary basis.

  • Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it. … Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory.

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