Are You Truly a Progressive Mind?

By: Zoe Samuel

Are You Truly a Progressive Mind?
Image: Tim Robberts/DigitalVision/GettyImages

About This Quiz

To achieve a truly progressive mind takes work. No matter what your spiritual paradigm, a progressive mind is the pinnacle of human achievement. To some, it involved the constant, disciplined alignment of chakras (the body's spiritual energy centers) either through fasting, meditation, or all of the above. In some traditions, it's about tapping into the Akashic Record; the shared knowledge of all human thought that buzzes under the surface of every conscious mind.

Possessing a truly progressive mind need not involve clairvoyance or telepathy, but can take the form of a deep and abiding peace, permeating every aspect of being. Truly enlightened people are said to practically glow with stillness, the "background radiation" of a deep well of enlightenment.

How you achieve a progressive mind is entirely between you and your chosen spiritual tradition. If your traditions lead you to a place of stillness where your mind can truly comprehend itself, you don't need to hike to a mountaintop to meet a guru. If your current path does not bring you the peace you crave, perhaps there is a practice or journey that will lead you to understanding. First, you must know where you stand, and to do this, you have come to us.

We have come up with a quiz that will tell you if you have a truly progressive mind. The question is, will you take it?

When you hear bad news about your job, what is your immediate reaction?
This is not the end.
"Stay calm!"
Oh, no.
Panic!

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How many days of the week do you set aside time just to meditate?
None. A full day is overkill.
Seven, if possible.
Two is what I prefer.
One is more than sufficient.

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Do you surround yourself with positivity?
Always, though negativity must not be avoided, merely put into context.
I do my best to.
I do, at home.
Nope.

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How disciplined are you about your sleep schedule?
Mostly, but one is only human.
Like a drill sergeant.
I stay up late quite often.
I'm very sleep deprived.

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Have you ever gone on a journey, not knowing your destination?
Every day of life is just that.
A few times. It was fun!
I like the sound of that!
That sounds like being kidnapped!

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Do you worry that the world somehow has it in for you?
No. The world is without intention.
Less than I used to.
Quite a lot of the time, if I'm honest.
Of course it does!

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How much value do you place on the things you own?
Little beyond their utility.
I try to throw things away whenever possible.
I only truly value the sentimental things.
A lot. I love my stuff! I worked hard to afford it.

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What blessing are you most thankful for?
Life
My health
My family
My house

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What is the most important lesson you learned from your teacher?
That my teacher did not have all the answers.
That the sutras are like a finger pointing to the moon: you will have to find the moon on your own one day, and it won't be in the same place.
That mindfulness will really make a difference in one's life if you let it.
That it's best to charge up front for a month, in case students drop out after only one class.

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What form of meditation do you think is best?
None are best. All are adequate.
One that can be done without movement, for enlightenment does not favor the able-bodied.
Physical movement is key since physical movement is qi.
Chanting. Definitely the coolest.

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What intervention is capable of penetrating your meditative consciousness?
All things penetrate it. We only choose to let some of them affect us.
Physical pain
Nearby thunder
My phone ringing

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What is the lesson common to all spiritual traditions?
We are not the center of the universe, and yet we are all the center of the universe.
We are all children of the same god.
We are all ash and dust in the end.
We're all willing to pay people who claim to know something about enlightenment.

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How many spiritual roads must one walk before one finds Nirvana?
There is only one road, though there are many maps.
It depends upon which road one begins.
One must see things from at least three points of view in order to triangulate a location.
As many as there are free classes, one's spouse drags one to at The Learning Annex.

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Are you able to forgive yourself for violating your Dharma (Karmic laws)?
Forgiveness is not the right word, for the universe never holds us in contempt.
Forgiveness must begin with oneself.
One cannot forgive oneself, as one has offended the universe.
Talk to my lawyer.

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Are you concerned with eschatology (prophecies of The End Times)?
The beginning and the end of the universe happen within us at all times.
The end of the world is the beginning of the next one.
We are all facing our own ends, and can learn how to do so with dignity.
I won't be around for that.

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What matters most?
Integrity
Stillness
Concentration
Money

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How long must one sit before one can tap into one's qi?
One taps into one's qi every moment one is alive.
I need at least a minute.
An hour at least
I don't know if I even believe in qi, outside of Scrabble.

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What is the sound of one hand clapping?
It is the sound of a hand smacking you in the face.
The sound of nothing, for when you listen for what is not there, that is all you hear.
I don't know.
A very annoying Zen koan.

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What is the purpose of ritual?
To put the mind into a place of rhythms, not choices
To ensure continuity of practices
To create a culture around a belief
To sell uniforms

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What does your diet consist of?
Healthy flora to ward off disease, and animal proteins to make the animal body I inhabit strong enough to live.
All veggies, and none that are picked while alive.
100% veggies and fruit, to heal Mother Earth.
I'm all paleo, man.

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What does it mean to become enlightened?
There is no single place of enlightenment. It is knowing that you do not know everything, that you do not know what you do not know, and that is fine.
I can only imagine.
I hope to find out some day.
To be able to sell out stadiums and sell lots of books

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What is the purpose of human life?
Merely to be, like everything else
To be present
To reproduce
To find contentment

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Have you used any psychotropic substances to find your inner eye?
Yes, but only to the point of knowledge, and no further
Many times, each time a little deeper into my own mind
No, that's not my thing.
More times than I can keep track of. Like this one time, at Burning Man...

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Have you ever gone on an ascetic retreat?
I have, but in retrospect, it wasn't necessary.
Several times
I'm thinking of it.
I did once. I was dragged there by the person I was dating. There was no alcohol. None.

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In what fabric do you feel the most comfortable?
I feel most comfortable in my own, human skin.
All fabrics are a cage.
Linen feels most free to me.
Something in a flattering cut, like a muumuu.

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What modern device can assist in achieving a progressive mind?
Many can, but none are necessary.
Anything that plays sound.
A tone generator
A VR setup

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Who is most likely to stand in the way of your movement to a truly progressive mind?
Myself
My employer
My creditors
My friends

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How far from enlightenment do you think you are?
It is not the destination, but the journey.
I think I may find it in this lifetime.
I feel I am many years away from it, perhaps more than two lifetimes.
I'll get it next week.

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What modern device can hinder your efforts to cultivate a progressive mind?
One's smartphone
One's computer
One's television
One's microwave

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What sound does the universe make?
All sounds, which are more than human hearing can articulate.
"Ohm"
Bang
Um... my mantra?

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You Got:

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