Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Chakra Superstar » Sun May 20, 2018 11:39 pm

gib wrote:What does experience do to teach us about the self, Chakra? Most answers I've seen to this question say that the self is the constant that holds sway throughout the whole flurry of experiences. But then again, many would say that the self doesn't exist. David Hume, for example, would have us believe that there is no self, just the whole bundle of experiences we go into and come out of. Maybe that is the constant. Maybe the self is just the flow of experience.


Part 2: The intellectual stuff:

If "philosophy is just a by-product of misunderstanding language" as Wittgenstein said, then it’s 1000 times more applicable to metaphysics. The proverbial silent master is silent for a reason; that’s where Truth is (metaphorically speaking). Any genuine guru/teacher will tell you the more he/she says, the deeper into the mind the student goes and the further away from the Truth he gets. That goes for everything here as well.

If you clarify what 'self' they’re referring to, then both views could be correct. The big Self (capital ‘S’) is one’s essence. Some may call it God within, spirit, Buddha/Christ consciousness etc. The little self (small ‘s’) is the false self/self-image/ego -- aka Joe, the Democrat and plumber with a wife, two kids, a dog and a mortgage. If we use the actor/character metaphor again, the big Self is the actor and the little self is the character he plays.

The big Self would be that which, in your words: “is the constant that holds sway throughout the whole flurry of experiences”. It is the eternal Witness. The little self is that which the ancient masters (and Hume) say doesn’t exist.

Animals don’t have a little self (aka an ego, self-image or self-identity). They act according to their genes and conditioning, that's all. There’s no mental story that goes with it. When genes and conditioning urge humans to act, however, our theories about cause and effect (along with the semantics of language) compel us to attribute actions to an actor, feelings to a feeler and thinking to a thinker. To do this, we create images of ourselves in our head (self-images) and then credit that image with all of our thinking, feeling and actions. For the most part, we do this unconsciously by the programming of language.

He’s an example: Someone may say “Jack is growing his hair” but that’s not true. Jack is not doing anything. Hair is growing; that’s all. Why is Jack (the self-image) given credit for something his body is doing automatically? Similarly, we say things like “Jill hurt her leg” but that’s not true either. Jill didn’t smash up her leg with a hammer; her body fell down the hill and a leg broke.

The false-image/ego/identity is just an amorphous, collage of mental images and personal stories one collects over time. This holographic mental self-image needs to be reenergized continually to give the appearance of something real and we do that by our neurotic obsessive-compulsive thinking. Directly or indirectly, every thought we have is used to refresh the image we have of ourselves and stop it from fading away. Every thought or feeling somehow refers to ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’ and even when it’s about others, it indirectly relates back to the false image by linking to ‘my’ beliefs or ‘our’ opinions.

This is why masters prescribe meditation and silence. This is why they point to the ‘here and now’... presence... the pool of stillness in which one can peer into and catch his own reflection.

A well known Zen verse says: “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." Notice it doesn’t say “I” chop wood and “I” carry water. There’s no personhood, no false self-image, no ego, no identity, no story and no actor present; just a body acting and a mind silently observing.

PS: I really liked your last sentence, gib: "Maybe the self is just the flow of experience."
If you meant the big Self then it sounds spot on to me. No things, forms or nouns; just verbing.

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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Dan~ » Sun May 20, 2018 11:57 pm

The false-image/ego/identity is just an amorphous, collage of mental images and personal stories one collects over time. This holographic mental self-image needs to be reenergized continually to give the appearance of something real and we do that by our neurotic obsessive-compulsive thinking. Directly or indirectly, every thought we have is used to refresh the image we have of ourselves and stop it from fading away. Every thought or feeling somehow refers to ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’ and even when it’s about others, it indirectly relates back to the false image by linking to ‘my’ beliefs or ‘our’ opinions.

I was talking with a guy online that was only able to do 5 minutes of meditation a day.
He could barely focus. I think it was in many ways genetic.
What if enlightenment was at least partially genetic?

Also i dont want to talk sh-t about ego because ego saves a lot of people too.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Mon May 21, 2018 8:21 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Ahh. You’re interested in the theory - the philosophy of self; I was referring to the experience of Self. That’s the point I was trying to make: there comes a time in our search where we have to put the intellect aside and explore consciousness through consciousness itself.


Ok, fair enough. But I had to jump into this conversation somehow. ;)

Chakra Superstar wrote:What are we seeking? Some will say knowledge and others, meaning, but I don’t think that’s really what’s driving us to seek. I think we’re seeking the EXPERIENCE of being fully alive... fully conscious human beings. We ARE human beings. We know the human part of the term too well but what about the being part? The god consciousness part?


Yes. You might even say that the human part of us is seeking whatever evolution designed us to seek: food, shelter, love, and maybe even knowledge and meaning. But the god part of us is just that part that is an extension of the universe itself. What drives that part of us to seek is the laws of nature themselves. And as a pantheist, I believe the laws of nature are what drive the universe (and all parts therein) to continue experiencing.

Chakra Superstar wrote:What I learned – beginning with those early AP’s – was that we are consciousness and like love, the best way to learn about consciousness (the Self) is through direct experience. So I didn't come away with information about how many levels there are or how each one operates. I'm not sure if that's even possible because it's so amorphous and so much overlaps, but I'll try to clarify your questions about 'self' in the next post.


I anticipate your response.

Chakra Superstar wrote:If "philosophy is just a by-product of misunderstanding language" as Wittgenstein said, then it’s 1000 times more applicable to metaphysics. The proverbial silent master is silent for a reason; that’s where Truth is (metaphorically speaking). Any genuine guru/teacher will tell you the more he/she says, the deeper into the mind the student goes and the further away from the Truth he gets. That goes for everything here as well.


I hear what you're saying, but I think truth is just whatever we make up. I think the deeper into the mind the student goes, the closer he comes to his own truth (or that of the master if he's just a intellectual receptical). But you did say "metaphorically speaking," didn't you? There is a "metaphorical" truth that can only be heard in silence.

Chakra Superstar wrote:If you clarify what 'self' they’re referring to, then both views could be correct. The big Self (capital ‘S’) is one’s essence. Some may call it God within, spirit, Buddha/Christ consciousness etc. The little self (small ‘s’) is the false self/self-image/ego -- aka Joe, the Democrat and plumber with a wife, two kids, a dog and a mortgage. If we use the actor/character metaphor again, the big Self is the actor and the little self is the character he plays.


There's many ways to conceive of the self. I always like to bring things back to basics. I always ask: what is the self to the average Joe? And I think: it's whoever Joe sees when he looks in the mirror. This reminds me that there is always an intricately connected physical aspect to the self, the body. If someone says, "Who did this?" and you say, "It was me," you point to yourself--that is, you reference your body.

You say that the big Self is one's essence. And this works with the self-qua-body (though maybe not in the way you intend). Essences are typically projections of our concepts of things. The essence of my coffee mug is given to my coffee mug from my projecting the concept of my coffee mug from my mind. I see it, I recognize it as "my coffee mug"--that is, I project my concept of it onto my visual image of it. The process is no different for Joe looking at his reflection in the mirror. He projects his concept of "himself" onto the image of himself that he sees. This, for him, becomes his essence.

I think the revealing of the big Self underneath the small self comes from our ability (more easily exersized by some than others) to push aside all the peripheral aspects of our self-concept (that my name is Joe, that I am a construction worker, that I am a father, etc.) and still recognize a 'self' when we look in the mirror--that is, that despite how we do away with all the peripheral aspects of ourselves, we still can't help but to recognize a "person" there, even if it's just a blank canvas.

Chakra Superstar wrote:The big Self would be that which, in your words: “is the constant that holds sway throughout the whole flurry of experiences”. It is the eternal Witness. The little self is that which the ancient masters (and Hume) say doesn’t exist.


I'm even skeptical that the big Self exists (at least in term of how I'm interpreting you); I'm used to thinking of everything as projections of experience. Whatever this constant that holds sway throughout the flux of experience, I think at best it recurs than actually holds sway. As a concept, it can't just remain in the mind at all times. Therefore, as a projection of experience (a concept in this case), it recurs rather than just stays constant through time. Every time I think about myself, the same concept comes to mind, the same name. It's the same way that matter seems to persist through time. A rock, for example, seems to be a constant, but it is really a network of billions of atoms all going through flux--the electrons buzzing around the nucleus, and the protons and neutrons in the nucleus themselves fluctuating as waves--but maintained in a system that repeats and reinforces its prior states--recurrence--and the overall effect on a macroscopic level is a virtual constant, a rock.

Chakra Superstar wrote:Animals don’t have a little self (aka an ego, self-image or self-identity). They act according to their genes and conditioning, that's all. There’s no mental story that goes with it. When genes and conditioning urge humans to act, however, our theories about cause and effect (along with the semantics of language) compel us to attribute actions to an actor, feelings to a feeler and thinking to a thinker. To do this, we create images of ourselves in our head (self-images) and then credit that image with all of our thinking, feeling and actions. For the most part, we do this unconsciously by the programming of language.


Well, I think this again has to do with the body. Attributing a cause to an effect usually involves identifying an object which caused the effect. Because of the body's intricate connection to our concept of self, we easily find an object to call the "actor" or "feeler" or "thinker"--the cause of the acting, feeling, or thinking.

Chakra Superstar wrote:He’s an example: Someone may say “Jack is growing his hair” but that’s not true. Jack is not doing anything. Hair is growing; that’s all. Why is Jack (the self-image) given credit for something his body is doing automatically? Similarly, we say things like “Jill hurt her leg” but that’s not true either. Jill didn’t smash up her leg with a hammer; her body fell down the hill and a leg broke.


I suppose, but again, I think we identify Jack and Jill with their bodies (at least partially).

Chakra Superstar wrote:The false-image/ego/identity is just an amorphous, collage of mental images and personal stories one collects over time. This holographic mental self-image needs to be reenergized continually to give the appearance of something real and we do that by our neurotic obsessive-compulsive thinking. Directly or indirectly, every thought we have is used to refresh the image we have of ourselves and stop it from fading away. Every thought or feeling somehow refers to ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’ and even when it’s about others, it indirectly relates back to the false image by linking to ‘my’ beliefs or ‘our’ opinions.


This is true. To express a thought or a feeling, we must say "I think..." or "I feel..." The dread of our self-concept fading away is an interesting topic that one might want to bring up with someone like iambiguous (or not want to if you've had the experience :lol: ).

Chakra Superstar wrote:This is why masters prescribe meditation and silence. This is why they point to the ‘here and now’... presence... the pool of stillness in which one can peer into and catch his own reflection.


This would be a new concept of 'self' from what I've been talking about. Since I don't know it that well, I wonder whether it can even be called a self. I mean, I can imagine just having experience--a state in which there is no projection of self of any kind, just whatever's there in the moment--are we calling pure experience a form of 'self'?

Chakra Superstar wrote:PS: I really liked your last sentence, gib: "Maybe the self is just the flow of experience."
If you meant the big Self then it sounds spot on to me. No things, forms or nouns; just verbing.


Well, that's sort of what I was getting at, except that to call this a 'self' seems more like a need to hang onto a label than anything else; but really, I would think all that exists is just whatever's being experienced in that flow. Unless we actually start thinking about the self during the flow of experience, I think there would just be 'stuff' (i.e. whatever's being experienced).

Dan~ wrote:I was talking with a guy online that was only able to do 5 minutes of meditation a day.
He could barely focus. I think it was in many ways genetic.
What if enlightenment was at least partially genetic?


I'd be really disappointed if the path to enlightenment was limited only to meditation for long periods of time. I know what you mean, though. In my past attempts at meditation, I started with 15 minutes. Then it got reduced to 10 minutes. Then 5. I reeeally can't focus that long. I've got ADD (or so they say). That's why someone wrote a book about meditation for the ADD mind (I forget the title).

Dan~ wrote:Also i dont want to talk sh-t about ego because ego saves a lot of people too.


It's what we're born with. It's how we've survived. Though the devoted Buddhist might ask: what's wrong with death?
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Chakra Superstar » Mon May 21, 2018 9:08 am

Here's a man without a self

https://i.imgur.com/jiF83t5.mp4
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Mon May 21, 2018 9:12 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Here's a man without a self

https://i.imgur.com/jiF83t5.mp4
.


That's freaky. ;) :lol:
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Chakra Superstar » Mon May 21, 2018 8:47 pm

This is why I didn’t want to get into any metaphysical philosophies. They just go around and around and around and go nowhere. I happen to think the Advaita/Non-Duality philosophy of Self is the closest that comes to my experience but all philosophies are just mind games and the Advaita masters are the first to agree. As they say: the finger pointing to the moon is not the moon. Even if the pointing is incredibly accurate, it's still not the moon.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to believe anything just to understand what is being said (i.e. the pointing). Once understood, then it can be accepted as a temporary understanding or rejected completely but it must be understood first. That's the same for every philosophy; it must be understood first.

Ultimately, all metaphysical philosophies will be rejected because nothing remains except one’s realization. Like a map that got you from A to B. There’s no longer any need to keep it. I’ll leave it at that and bale out. Good luck with your AP, gib. Thanks for playing. :D


"To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self" Dogen
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Tue May 22, 2018 5:41 am

Very sorry if I put you off, Chakra, that was not my intention. I wholeheartedly agree that philosophy and "theory-build" is a game (played with others and with one's self). I just find the game fun to play. I like getting into philosophical arguments with people and hashing out the logic of the ideas we convey to each other. I guess I'm a bit of a logophile.

If it's any consolation, I sometimes like to think of philosophy as meditating on one's thoughts. If the "unspoken" truth can only be apprehended in states of quiet meditation, then this to me is equivalent of finding truth in the experience of our sensory perceptions. This leads me to wonder whether the "truth" can also be found in some of our other "inner" experiences, like emotion or thought--that it can be apprehended by meditating, not on the world out there, but the world "in here". I find that when I try meditating on my thoughts, focusing on concepts and ideas themselves, I can describe them based on how they feel to me. This turns out to just be an analysis on the meaning of my thoughts, which in turn leads to arguments, conclusions, implications, and ultimately other thoughts. In effect, what this means to me is that philosophy is just the art of describing one's thoughts (how they feel) and thereby uncovering the logical structure of thought.

Again, sorry for putting you off. I always do enjoy conversations with you, Chakra.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Pandora » Tue May 22, 2018 7:26 am

I think what this thread is missing is a soundtrack.



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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue May 22, 2018 8:06 am

gib wrote:I'd be really disappointed if the path to enlightenment was limited only to meditation for long periods of time. I know what you mean, though. In my past attempts at meditation, I started with 15 minutes. Then it got reduced to 10 minutes. Then 5. I reeeally can't focus that long. I've got ADD (or so they say). That's why someone wrote a book about meditation for the ADD mind (I forget the title).

Dan~ wrote:Also i dont want to talk sh-t about ego because ego saves a lot of people too.


It's what we're born with. It's how we've survived. Though the devoted Buddhist might ask: what's wrong with death?
We might ask the Buddhist, What's wrong with the ego? What's wrong with my feelings when I fear or dislike death? IOW why do you seem so judgmental when you take the position of making others the judgmental ones? (you being the hypothetical Buddhist, not you Gib)
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Wed May 23, 2018 3:33 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:We might ask the Buddhist, What's wrong with the ego? What's wrong with my feelings when I fear or dislike death? IOW why do you seem so judgmental when you take the position of making others the judgmental ones? (you being the hypothetical Buddhist, not you Gib)


Ultimately, the true Buddhist answer to all these questions ought to always be: nothing.

However, Buddhists are biased from the start (this is one of the aspects of Buddhism I've always thought makes it inconsistent): the Buddhist has a goal--to achieve peace of mind and enlightenment. Whatever contributes to that is "good", whatever doesn't is "bad". It is the one attachment he needs to cling to just to be a Buddhist. He will answer your question about ego with: the ego prevents you from achieving inner peace and enlightenment.

However, I'm being unfair. I think most Buddhists would most likely recognize the inconsistency in this answer, and might just answer "nothing" instead. But I think the Buddhist will always be inclined to speak about the ego as something to be done away with rather than something to cling to... simply because they're human too and want peace and enlightenment just as much as anyone else.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed May 23, 2018 6:43 am

Ultimately, the true Buddhist answer to all these questions ought to always be: nothing.
Sure. When presentedwith the issue in the abstract or at a meta-level, they know the 'right' answer, but what their behavior, focus, emotional reactions, and the implications of how they interact and even their texts tell us indirectly is that desire is bad, emotions are bad, fear is bad, not being 'in control' is bad, etc. Any system or organization or person has official policies and often these sound great, when in fact the way that system or individual functions gives off a set of messages that may not be so great or may contradict the official visions and policies. I am not talking about exceptions or specific individual hypocrites. I am talking about as a rule. Buddhism does judge, has a sense of good and bad, and any setting or individual will give off these judgments.

However, Buddhists are biased from the start (this is one of the aspects of Buddhism I've always thought makes it inconsistent): the Buddhist has a goal--to achieve peace of mind and enlightenment. Whatever contributes to that is "good", whatever doesn't is "bad". It is the one attachment he needs to cling to just to be a Buddhist. He will answer your question about ego with: the ego prevents you from achieving inner peace and enlightenment.

However, I'm being unfair. I think most Buddhists would most likely recognize the inconsistency in this answer, and might just answer "nothing" instead. But I think the Buddhist will always be inclined to speak about the ego as something to be done away with rather than something to cling to... simply because they're human too and want peace and enlightenment just as much as anyone else.
[/quote]I don't want their version of enlightenment. There is this idea that there is this one state and the various mystics, gurus, masters, are all heading toward that one via different tools. I don't think this is the case. For me once they get done paring the self down, they do manage to experience certain amazing things WITH WHAT IS LEFT.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Ierrellus » Wed May 23, 2018 1:53 pm

"The face that faces faces that we face" (Eliot)is a necessary POV for getting anything done. It is problematic as ego only when it forgets that it is an integral part of a larger whole, a plenitude of faces in which each deserves life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We forget we are part of an ecosystem at our own peril. As is true in most religions enlightenment is translated as selfish. It's always what do I get out of it? Will I get Hell? Nirvana? Oblivion? Ego sillyness!
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Arcturus Descending » Wed May 23, 2018 2:50 pm

gib,


But I think the Buddhist will always be inclined to speak about the ego as something to be done away with rather than something to cling to... simply because they're human too and want peace and enlightenment just as much as anyone else.


Here you are simply speaking of hubris, correct?
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Wed May 23, 2018 2:55 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Here you are simply speaking of hubris, correct?


I never speak hubris, Arc, but sometimes Buddhists do. :lol:
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed May 23, 2018 4:19 pm

gib wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:We might ask the Buddhist, What's wrong with the ego? What's wrong with my feelings when I fear or dislike death? IOW why do you seem so judgmental when you take the position of making others the judgmental ones? (you being the hypothetical Buddhist, not you Gib)


Ultimately, the true Buddhist answer to all these questions ought to always be: nothing.

Would it not rather be "it ties you to the wheel of suffering"?

However, Buddhists are biased from the start (this is one of the aspects of Buddhism I've always thought makes it inconsistent): the Buddhist has a goal--to achieve peace of mind and enlightenment. Whatever contributes to that is "good", whatever doesn't is "bad". It is the one attachment he needs to cling to just to be a Buddhist. He will answer your question about ego with: the ego prevents you from achieving inner peace and enlightenment.

Oh so thats what you said, yes.
Why then the "ought"?

Good observation about the Buddhist attachment to non-attachment, which is compulsive enough to cause a whole new wheel of suffering into being.

However, I'm being unfair. I think most Buddhists would most likely recognize the inconsistency in this answer, and might just answer "nothing" instead. But I think the Buddhist will always be inclined to speak about the ego as something to be done away with rather than something to cling to... simply because they're human too and want peace and enlightenment just as much as anyone else.

It seems to be that Siddharta was rather egotistical when he sat down below the tree and said fuck you all to his family. I think it is egoic to aim for personal liberation. And I find most Buddhists radically egoistical in pursuit of the same not-caring independence.

In the West, the ego is the agent of morality. Morality and indifference aren't compatible. Thats not an argument for morality or against indifference, or egoism. Just an observation.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri May 25, 2018 2:57 pm

Fixed Cross,

I think it is egoic to aim for personal liberation


Why?
By personal liberation, do you mean the capacity to feel "free" and "autonomous"?
Think about the person who does not have this inner experience?
How does that person affect others?

Why would that be a negative, why would it be selfish?
Do you think that that would take away from a person's sense of inter-connectedness?

Why does ego (not hubris) also have such a bad name? Without it, how could we possibly survive?

As someone above said, even trying to detach from ego is an attachment or a desire in itself.
If ego evolved as part of the conscious mind, why would we choose to do away with something which is important for the survival of the species?
Would it even be possible to do away with something which is so ingrained within us and necessary?

Without "true" ego, how could the human mind perform this balancing feat?

balance.jpg
balance.jpg (3.41 KiB) Viewed 3640 times


That is where we would want our ego to take us, no? We help it find its rightful place ~ we do not want try to do away with it.

How do we discover true value and meaning in particular things without that landscape which is the sense of self and identity?
How do we share our selves with others if we are always trying to do away with this important aspect of our being?
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“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Fixed Cross » Fri May 25, 2018 4:13 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Fixed Cross,

I think it is egoic to aim for personal liberation


Why?
By personal liberation, do you mean the capacity to feel "free" and "autonomous"?

I mean the liberation from the wheel of suffering.

Think about the person who does not have this inner experience?
How does that person affect others?

I am sure someones feelings of freedom and autonomy don't come from release from the wheel of suffering.
Meaning I am no Buddhist. I don't share Buddhas convictions or aims at all.

Why would that be a negative, why would it be selfish?
Do you think that that would take away from a person's sense of inter-connectedness?

I think Buddhism produces people who victimize their environment in the belief that it is justified to stand aside from the worlds suffering.
Buddhism is like the antithesis to Christian ethos of empathy, to which I feel a it more connected, as it is at least not as cowardly.

Why does ego (not hubris) also have such a bad name? Without it, how could we possibly survive?

Its too broad of a term.
I consider the ego necessary and thus good at heart, but only good if it is proud and overt - which doesn't mean it can't be modest in expression.
But the ego tends to be sickly and wounded. Thats what most therapists would call the ego - ones egoic wounds.

As someone above said, even trying to detach from ego is an attachment or a desire in itself.

Yes, exactly. Could it have been me who said that?

If ego evolved as part of the conscious mind, why would we choose to do away with something which is important for the survival of the species?
Would it even be possible to do away with something which is so ingrained within us and necessary?

No, I don't think it would.
Thus the conundrum; I think it is egoic to want to do away with the burden of the ego.

Without "true" ego, how could the human mind perform this balancing feat?

Indeed. My honest assessment, based on twenty years of experience with such cases, is that the loss of ego amounts directly in psychosis.
The two are the same. Psychosis is the fracturing of the ego, of the sense of being an autonomous entity.

balance.jpg


That is where we would want our ego to take us, no? We help it find its rightful place ~ we do not want try to do away with it.

Agreed.

How do we discover true value and meaning in particular things without that landscape which is the sense of self and identity?
How do we share our selves with others if we are always trying to do away with this important aspect of our being?

Yes. It is impossible to share ourselves with the whole entire cosmos. It is egoic narcissism that makes Buddhists think that what they experience is "the great all". It is just their calmed nerves.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Fri May 25, 2018 8:48 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:It is egoic narcissism that makes Buddhists think that what they experience is "the great all". It is just their calmed nerves.


Yes, I think this is a very important point. I'm always one for demythologizing religion. Demythologizing results in recognizing where a religion's strengths lie and where its weaknesses lie, what aspects of it are real and what aspects are ungrounded dogma. I think what the Buddhists have stumbled upon is a way of life and a set of practices that result in a calmer mind that is more able to handle the challenges and adversities of life. And this has been proven by many studies, including ones that involve brain scans (there is a noticeable difference between the brain activity of the Buddhist while in a state of meditation vs. less practiced individuals). But this easily has a psychological explanation. Personally, I think it's just Maslow's state of self-actualization. The thing about natural explanations is that they are never absolute. The devout Buddhist would like to say his methods bring him absolute peace and enlightenment, that he is completely detached from the material pleasures of the world, that it works for everyone, that they can maintain this state through any kind of adversity. But the psychological explanation only says that it works most of the time, that it's possible to fall of the horse sometimes, that it isn't perfect, that it may not work for everyone (those with ADD for example are better off using different methods than meditation). And there's nothing wrong with that. It's okay that one maintains an attachment to the Buddhist practices and beliefs--if they work as a psychological tool to bring one peace of mind and better coping skills for dealing with challenges and adversity, then it's probably a good attachment to have; that one would insist on having no attachments is unnecessary.

Fixed Cross wrote:I think Buddhism produces people who victimize their environment in the belief that it is justified to stand aside from the worlds suffering.


I agree that the Buddhist path isn't always an ethical path. I don't know if I agree with you on this specific point (that Buddhists are just standing back from the world's suffering) but I've considered this: to disengage one's self from all worldly attachments might *sometimes* mean abandoning one's family and loved ones. Those who choose to live out the rest of their lives in a monastery, for example, would have to leave their spouse and children (if they have them), and I'm not so sure that's ethical. The Buddhist path only promises enlightenment at the end, but it is not a "thou shalt".

Fixed Cross wrote:
Arcturus Descending wrote:As someone above said, even trying to detach from ego is an attachment or a desire in itself.


Yes, exactly. Could it have been me who said that?


Nope, it was me. (You even commented on it.)

Fixed Cross wrote:No, I don't think it would.
Thus the conundrum; I think it is egoic to want to do away with the burden of the ego.


I think it might be possible, just as it's possible to remove one's liver or kidneys, but just like removing one's liver or kidneys, one runs the risk of compromising their health (although these operations are usually done to improve one's health--for example, liver damage due to alcohol abuse--but it does come at a cost). However, like I said earlier, the Buddhist tends to devalue any attachments to the world, to this life, so if the dissolution of the ego puts one's survival at risk, they may not even care.

On the other hand, I can see the Buddhist retort: by dissolving the ego, one becomes better at taking on the challenges and adversities of life, including staying alive itself. I can see this being the case if modern day life has corrupted the ego--a sickly wounded ego like you say--and drawn us away from the state of ego from long ago. If a species best fits its environment right at its dawn, then we best fit our environment 200,000 years ago (when they say human being, in the modern form, first evolved). Maybe back then we had a "healthy" ego, and what the Buddhist practice does is not to dissolve the ego but to return the ego to the state it was in during those prehistoric times.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat May 26, 2018 9:02 am

gib wrote:Yes, I think this is a very important point. I'm always one for demythologizing religion. Demythologizing results in recognizing where a religion's strengths lie and where its weaknesses lie, what aspects of it are real and what aspects are ungrounded dogma. I think what the Buddhists have stumbled upon is a way of life and a set of practices that result in a calmer mind that is more able to handle the challenges and adversities of life. And this has been proven by many studies, including ones that involve brain scans (there is a noticeable difference between the brain activity of the Buddhist while in a state of meditation vs. less practiced individuals).
Do they however take it too far, going beyond finding a good resting state of consciousness, to a detachment from the world? Better, I should phrase it, is this really good for me, given my values, which include being engaged in the world and wanting it to be more X than Y, and wanting to be a creator, through various art forms, and wanting to be expressive and intimately involved with others as an authentic self not a void that is good at not getting upset? It might be the goal of some, but is it everyone's goal?

The Buddhist path only promises enlightenment at the end, but it is not a "thou shalt".
They don't have a thou shalt in the Christian coversion violence sort of way, but they do think that one must, in the end, follow this path and give up the ego, detach from desires and that Karma will force you to do this in the end. That is might be a specific choice suiting specific people, rather than a sign of being more highly evolved is something not really considered in Buddhism. So you will still end up being judged and vibed.

On the other hand, I can see the Buddhist retort: by dissolving the ego, one becomes better at taking on the challenges and adversities of life, including staying alive itself. I can see this being the case if modern day life has corrupted the ego--a sickly wounded ego like you say--and drawn us away from the state of ego from long ago. If a species best fits its environment right at its dawn, then we best fit our environment 200,000 years ago (when they say human being, in the modern form, first evolved). Maybe back then we had a "healthy" ego, and what the Buddhist practice does is not to dissolve the ego but to return the ego to the state it was in during those prehistoric times.
I don't see any basis in scripture or practices to indicate this. The meditative states they seek are not ones stone age humans were likely to have achieved.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Sat May 26, 2018 4:19 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Better, I should phrase it, is this really good for me, given my values, which include being engaged in the world and wanting it to be more X than Y...


One's values will always drive one to choose the lifestyle that those values perscribe. If your values perscribe a life of engagement in the world and with people, then those go against a set of values that perscribe a life of withdrawal from the world and people. I would say the latter are bad for your values, but I don't know about bad for you (<-- there, we'd have to define what it means for something to be "good" for you or "bad" for you). Values always act as blinders. You can't really tell what's "objectively" good for you or bad for you outside your values. Your values will always perscribe "good" or "bad" for you regardless of whether they really are good or bad for you.

And keep in mind, we're talking about a set of values, not Buddhists per se. Some Buddhist would follow the path of withdrawal from the world and people, but many others will not. The Mahayana Buddhists, for example, practice charitable engagement in the world as a response to the "universal compassion" that the Buddhist practice as a whole supposedly nurtures. I think most Buddhists would disagree that withdrawal from the world is required to achieve peace of mind and enlightenment (it's just easier).

But ultimately, I think you're right. There is no "ought" when it comes to the Buddhist way of life. It's just offered as a path one can choose to take, and the promise is that enlightenment awaits them at the end.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:They don't have a thou shalt in the Christian coversion violence sort of way, but they do think that one must, in the end, follow this path and give up the ego, detach from desires and that Karma will force you to do this in the end. That is might be a specific choice suiting specific people, rather than a sign of being more highly evolved is something not really considered in Buddhism. So you will still end up being judged and vibed.


I think this comes from the human side of the Buddhists. Humans will judge. They will assess right and wrong. As for the Buddhist doctrine, however, I don't think it emphasizing any moral imperative when it comes to the path towards enlightenment.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't see any basis in scripture or practices to indicate this. The meditative states they seek are not ones stone age humans were likely to have achieved.


Of course it's not in scripture. Buddhism arrived on the scene two and a half millennia ago. They had no knowledge of "primitive man" back then, or anything about humanities pre-history. The practice of meditation, once you learn to go deep enough, is supposed to bring you to states of consciousness well beyond what human beings are typically used to. But the overall effect of cultivating a peaceful mind and being enlightened is supposed to be an after effect of meditation, or the state of mind you maintain between meditation sessions (you know, going about your daily life). <-- It's that state which I'm suggesting might be closer to primitive man. It just requires meditation in today's world in order to get back to it.

Buddhists wouldn't necessarily describe it that way because Buddhists are religious. They don't interpret their practice or experiences in terms of "primitive man". I'm only interpreting it this way because I'm demythologizing it.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun May 27, 2018 6:54 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Better, I should phrase it, is this really good for me, given my values, which include being engaged in the world and wanting it to be more X than Y...


One's values will always drive one to choose the lifestyle that those values perscribe. If your values perscribe a life of engagement in the world and with people, then those go against a set of values that perscribe a life of withdrawal from the world and people. I would say the latter are bad for your values, but I don't know about bad for you (<-- there, we'd have to define what it means for something to be "good" for you or "bad" for you). Values always act as blinders. You can't really tell what's "objectively" good for you or bad for you outside your values. Your values will always perscribe "good" or "bad" for you regardless of whether they really are good or bad for you.
It's not withdrawel from the world, one cannot do that. Even the hermit must relate to his cave or hut and food and nature or his or her civilized 'hut' and what's there. That's still world. The withdrawel in Buddhism is from themselves, from their own limbic systems, from expressing themselves and loving the whole thing. From strving from desire in this world. They take themselves out, leaving only this sliver of neocortex noticing present.

And keep in mind, we're talking about a set of values, not Buddhists per se. Some Buddhist would follow the path of withdrawal from the world and people, but many others will not. The Mahayana Buddhists, for example, practice charitable engagement in the world as a response to the "universal compassion" that the Buddhist practice as a whole supposedly nurtures. I think most Buddhists would disagree that withdrawal from the world is required to achieve peace of mind and enlightenment (it's just easier).
But they are not truly engaged with it. It is a set of passing forms to them, something not to attach to. And yes, I am glad that some do nice things for suffering others.

But ultimately, I think you're right. There is no "ought" when it comes to the Buddhist way of life. It's just offered as a path one can choose to take, and the promise is that enlightenment awaits them at the end.
Once one has judged and pared off those parts of the self considered evil, in the Buddhist sense of the term.

I think this comes from the human side of the Buddhists. Humans will judge. They will assess right and wrong. As for the Buddhist doctrine, however, I don't think it emphasizing any moral imperative when it comes to the path towards enlightenment.
It is built into doctrine to judge desire and emotions. This leads to its presence in the human participants.


Of course it's not in scripture. Buddhism arrived on the scene two and a half millennia ago. They had no knowledge of "primitive man" back then, or anything about humanities pre-history. The practice of meditation, once you learn to go deep enough, is supposed to bring you to states of consciousness well beyond what human beings are typically used to. But the overall effect of cultivating a peaceful mind and being enlightened is supposed to be an after effect of meditation, or the state of mind you maintain between meditation sessions (you know, going about your daily life). <-- It's that state which I'm suggesting might be closer to primitive man. It just requires meditation in today's world in order to get back to it.
[/quote]I didn't mean that we should find references to CRoMagnon minds in Buddhist scripture, I meant that I see nothing to indicate in Scripture the kind of minds neolithic people would have had. I do get that they were not stuck in their cellphones and likely less enamoured of BS conversations of abstractions. But they were hardly meditators, certainly functioned from very clear subject object splits and did not function out of judgments that desire was problematic as a rule.

And to try to turn this back to at least indirectly related to the thread, I notice that in the OP chakra seems to think one must let go of the ego to experience OBE's and/or will let go of the ego if one has these. This is simply not true. There are old ideas about the self and what is bad in it, that come through Buddhism and other systems, and they have not, in general helped us.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby gib » Mon May 28, 2018 5:30 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:It's not withdrawel from the world, one cannot do that. Even the hermit must relate to his cave or hut and food and nature or his or her civilized 'hut' and what's there.


In this case, withdrawal means from civilization or the social world.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:The withdrawel in Buddhism is from themselves, from their own limbic systems, from expressing themselves and loving the whole thing. From strving from desire in this world. They take themselves out, leaving only this sliver of neocortex noticing present.


Whatever Buddhists are withdrawing from, it's not the limbic system. If anything, the limbic system gets better expressed due to the silencing of the neocortex. The neocortex is the 'programmable' part of the brain, the part of the brain loaded with all our cultural values and beliefs, our codes of conduct and proper social ediquette (at least, certain parts of the neocortex). By turning that off once in a while, the Buddhists gets to know themselves better--the true self, the animal self which is closer to the limbic system.

This exercise, that of silencing the neocortex during states of meditation, is not a permanent state the Buddhist tries to maintain throughout his life; it simply exercises the skill of being able to turn on/off all the crap that's loaded onto the brain from one's culture, turning it on/off more easily than other people. It's not the practice of getting rid of any part of the self, but rather to gain control over it.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:But they are not truly engaged with it. It is a set of passing forms to them, something not to attach to. And yes, I am glad that some do nice things for suffering others.


There's a difference between being engaged and being attached, about as much of a difference as that between having a drink and being an alcoholic.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:It is built into doctrine to judge desire and emotions. This leads to its presence in the human participants.


Do you have any evidence for this? Any passages from scripture?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I didn't mean that we should find references to CRoMagnon minds in Buddhist scripture, I meant that I see nothing to indicate in Scripture the kind of minds neolithic people would have had. Why would you? I do get that they were not stuck in their cellphones and likely less enamoured of BS conversations of abstractions. But they were hardly meditators, certainly functioned from very clear subject object splits and did not function out of judgments that desire was problematic as a rule.


Again, meditation wasn't required back then. The only reason Buddhists meditate now is to get themselves out of the frame of mind that modern day society puts us in.

As a demythology, I don't see why primitive man needs to disolve the subject/object split (not that you or I would know whether or not they perceived a split). And to understand that desire is problematic is about as necessary as understanding that alcohol is bad for you if you live in an environment in which alcohol doesn't exist. I'm not saying primitive man never experienced desire, or that desire didn't attach him to certain worldly pleasures, just that as a demythologization, it's not that unthinkable that the desires of primitive man were relatively simple and not too difficult to satisfy--and therefore desire didn't stand out as a candidate for the root cause of man's suffering.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:And to try to turn this back to at least indirectly related to the thread, I notice that in the OP chakra seems to think one must let go of the ego to experience OBE's and/or will let go of the ego if one has these. Geez, I hope not. This is simply not true. There are old ideas about the self and what is bad in it, that come through Buddhism and other systems, and they have not, in general helped us.


It is clear in Buddhism that the Buddhist way of life cannot help you unless you actually practice it. It isn't like a new medicine that is handed over to you on a silver platter. How many of us really practice the Buddhist method with reasonable and honest effort?
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon May 28, 2018 10:55 pm

gib wrote:Whatever Buddhists are withdrawing from, it's not the limbic system. If anything, the limbic system gets better expressed due to the silencing of the neocortex. The neocortex is the 'programmable' part of the brain, the part of the brain loaded with all our cultural values and beliefs, our codes of conduct and proper social ediquette (at least, certain parts of the neocortex). By turning that off once in a while, the Buddhists gets to know themselves better--the true self, the animal self which is closer to the limbic system.
I disagree. Buddhist and Buddhist communities require the disengagement of emotions from expression and the disidentification from emotions. And if you express a range of emotions, you will find yourself under social pressures. The injunctions against desire are even more explicit. Yes, certain functions of the neocortex are also disidentified with, but the neocortex, for example sensory perception and control and focus. It is a top down control system - as are many religions, but very much focused on learning not to embody and express emotions.

This exercise, that of silencing the neocortex during states of meditation, is not a permanent state the Buddhist tries to maintain throughout his life; it simply exercises the skill of being able to turn on/off all the crap that's loaded onto the brain from one's culture, turning it on/off more easily than other people. It's not the practice of getting rid of any part of the self, but rather to gain control over it.
Of course many buddhists just do the disidentification and suppression mainly in meditation, but the goals is to do this all the time. Moving around in mindfulness, disidentified with emotions and thoughts (the latter not all that the neorcotex is) and controlling expression. You get good at that the emotional body does not develop and it does not participate in the life of the individual.

There's a difference between being engaged and being attached, about as much of a difference as that between having a drink and being an alcoholic.
They are attached to not identifying and expressing emotions. Try going in to one of these communities and temples and being a passionate, emotionally expressive person. You will find that they judge and have a dualism at the heart of their supposed non-judgemental acceptance, and it will not be pleasant, even if they behave 'calmly.'
Do you have any evidence for this? Any passages from scripture?
Desire is considered the root of suffering. As far as emotions, I do not know if scripture directly leads to practice. I can only say that practice is universal. I have been to Buddhist organizations all over the West and East, and it's a rule. These guys are not like, say, shamans or druids or pagans, for example.

Again, meditation wasn't required back then. The only reason Buddhists meditate now is to get themselves out of the frame of mind that modern day society puts us in.
Modern society? It has been the rule in many rural Eastern societies for a couple of thousand years. IOW people living off the land either in hunter or fishing type sustenance groups or farmers. It is meant as a universal cure for the ailment of being human.

As a demythology, I don't see why primitive man needs to disolve the subject/object split (not that you or I would know whether or not they perceived a split). And to understand that desire is problematic is about as necessary as understanding that alcohol is bad for you if you live in an environment in which alcohol doesn't exist. I'm not saying primitive man never experienced desire, or that desire didn't attach him to certain worldly pleasures, just that as a demythologization, it's not that unthinkable that the desires of primitive man were relatively simple and not too difficult to satisfy--and therefore desire didn't stand out as a candidate for the root cause of man's suffering.
Neolithics very directly accepted his or her desires and passions. And we can see this in hunter gatherer societies also that survived up until contact with Europe and anthropologists. The seeing desire as problematic would be alien to them. Their religions were often quite expressive and interactions tended to be quite passionate, especially with other tribes or groups.


It is clear in Buddhism that the Buddhist way of life cannot help you unless you actually practice it. It isn't like a new medicine that is handed over to you on a silver platter. How many of us really practice the Buddhist method with reasonable and honest effort?
I did, for years. Good discipline. It did not help me, except to the extent that I learned what I do not want and what I do not want to disidentify with. I understand and have sympathy for their fear of emotions, especially the deep, cut off ones that people generally avoid and do not even realize are their. I would guess they noticed these emotions, deep in their, and decided the best thing to do was suppress, disidentify, control emotional and physical expression, and that the full self could not be enlightened, so they labeled certain parts obstacles, not the buddha (though always also the Buddha). But despite my sympathy I don't like that path or set of paths. And they are not honest about what they do. Many teachers and masters will say that we should accept our emotions, but they tend not to mean the so called negative ones, and they certainly to not mean expressing them. Observe them. It's like if you say you accept your kids, but you do not let them make noise or move with passion. It's ain't love, and in the end it ain't compassion.

And just as you think one cannot judge it in the negative if one has actually practiced it, one cannot judge it in the positive either. I do think many people do not want their full emotional presence - I mean just look at how much we distract and medicate our emotions away - and if they choose that path, then they are choosing what they want and that is the right choice for them.

But it's not my.

I want my limbic system fully integrated and expressive, not compassionately watched through a telescope while holding a single position for hours, perhaps even having someone hit you with a stick if your back is not straight enough - the for Zen fans. Of course Zen is just one branch and I doubt many do that anymore especially in the West. But really, I like the honesty of that version. That is what is happening inside anyway.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Fixed Cross » Tue May 29, 2018 11:01 am

Fantastic posts. Thanks for a great read.
You've described my own very extensive experience with Buddhism and Buddhists flawlessly.
Buddhists are ultimately emotionally lobotomized and are very boring and judgmental semi-humans.
And indeed of all this, Zen is the only version that is clean in an important sense, as it is honest and therefore ultimately allows the practitioner some autonomy in what he regulates.

Or rather, Zen is the least micromanaging form of Buddhist "acceptance" - it is truly ready to accept a lot, as long as it can suffer silence.

Western people that meditate and call themselves "mindful" are the very worst sociopaths I ve personally known.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Re: Astral Projection, OBE’s and other spooky things.

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu May 31, 2018 9:09 am

Fixed Cross wrote:Western people that meditate and call themselves "mindful" are the very worst sociopaths I ve personally known.

I haven't met many who describe themselves that way, but I see mindfulness EVERYFUCKINGWHERE. Cherry picking pieces of religions and making every fucking worker do this so that they don't mind their work so much, being more detached from it. I mean, fuck with some jobs, I get it: anything to reduce the boring, stressfilled meaningless shit. I get that. But the way people say the word - like we are talking about magic fairy dust that is also certified by science makes me nauseous. Anti-political solutions that make the individual responsible for tolerating BS. Similar to the utter fascination with cognitive-behavioral solutions to the human situation. That is shallow, reorienting mental apps, to get you back in there, with no new self-knowledge and nothing to get at the profundity of being alive. Though CBTs are coming out of Western mind hacks, it comes down to the same kind of shit for me.

I am no fan of Buddhism, obviously, but at least certain practitioners take it seriously and it fits their values and they put some work into it. I don't like it but I can respect their commitmentment and holistic approach. But this, hey, let's take this one trick since it seems to make people complain less, one trick pony garbage...

Ugh.
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