I don't get Buddhism (2)

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I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Tue May 12, 2020 11:47 pm

Gib wrote:I don't get Buddhism. And I'm bothered by it. I feel like I get something as outrageous as Christianity better than I get Buddhism. Christianity has some pretty outrageous claims, yet I feel like I understand it more than I understand Buddhism... and I don't even believe in Christianity. I get science too. Science I can believe in more, and it too has some pretty outrageous claims, yet it's 1000 times more clear to me than the far simpler picture of Buddhism.

I'm not sure why Buddhism bothers me so much. I've chocked it up to this: it seems to offer the best, most convincing, hope of man's salvation, and that it is within his grasp here in this life, yet this state of salvation is so far away and so incomprehensible that it's more like a tease than a life raft. At least with Christianity, it's easy: you just surrender your soul to Jesus Christ and trust that God will take care of everything in the afterlife; or if you don't believe in all that, at least you're not taunted by the possibility. And science doesn't taunt and tease the way Buddhism does either. It's a straight shooter, no obscurity about what it takes to get things done or to improve your life. It really leaves it up to you to decide what you want to do with your life, how you want to fix it. But Buddhism teases you. It shows you its sages, these men who have gone before you, how happy they are, how fulfilled, and it tells you: this could be you... but it lays before you a path that, for all you know, goes nowhere, and you're left wondering: how did you become so happy, so fulfilled? It boasts clarity, but only clarity to the enlightened, and mysticism to those in the dark.

To me, Buddhism teases like a "get rich quick" ad campaign. You don't doubt that the guy in the infomercial had a way of getting rich, but you know if you take the path he's offering, you still only stand a chance of 1 in a million of getting to where he is.

As you can probably tell, I'm having a hard time trying to articulate what I want to say. I do have other things to say, but I don't feel like typing it all out here. I think I'll just start with this. In a nutshell, I'm sick and tired of Buddhism continually knocking at my door saying "I am the way." I keep wanting to tell it: "No, you're just another religion; why can't you be just another religion?" But it's persuasive in a way that no other religion or science is.


I love this post. It’s honest and refreshing

Image

I’d like to put in my two cents but as the original thread has been hijacked, I’ll fork this into a new one and stick to the OP.

PLEASE DON'T HIJACK THIS THREAD.

I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.

The following posts are going to be quite random and hopefully, quite simple because I don't want to overly complicate things. This is a bit of an experiment for me so let's see if it works....
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed May 13, 2020 12:06 am

Most people don’t ‘get’ Advaita/Buddhism because it’s counter intuitive.

Advaita/Buddhism is like a Chinese thumb trap; the more you try to pull your thumbs out of the bamboo cylinder, the tighter the bamboo wraps around them.

The way to get out of the trap is to do the opposite of what you would expect -- i.e. rather than pull your thumbs outward, you push your thumbs inward and the bamboo releases its grip.

IOW, you can’t understand Advaita/Buddhism via the intellect. The intellect (egoic mind) is the thumb trap. The more you strain to understand it, the more you'll become trapped and just go around and around and around.

Advaita/Buddhism can only be understood experientially. The intellect plays a part in the preparatory stage but must be abandoned if you wish to go further.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed May 13, 2020 1:00 am

Most of the intellectual stuff we need to know is about correcting false notions. In that respect, the intellect is very useful but it's NOT useful in creating new notions, new concepts and new ideas.

For instance, the person/ego/self which wants to become Enlightened, is not that which will become Enlightened.
Enlightenment is the absence of self.
That's the definition. It’s nothing more than that.
You (the self) doesn't get anything and you (the self) doesn't arrive anywhere.
You (the self) doesn't exist and when this is experientially realized, it's called Enlightenment.

The irony is that the self wants to experience its own absence.
This is why it might seem like a 'get rich quick' scheme that promises something great but never seems to deliver.

Think of it like this: your dream character (the one that slays dragons and saves the pretty princesses) never wakes up in the morning no matter how much you may want to during the dream. What actually happens is the imaginary dream character vanishes and you find yourself in the position of the dreamer.

The Enlightened master realizes something similar but on a higher conscious plane. The Enlightened masters is just a lucid dreamer who hasn't quite left the dream. He/she remains to show us how we can become lucid dreamers.



to be continued...
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 13, 2020 7:01 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.
..

I don't seem to be able to reconcile 'advaita' as generally understood, with Buddhism.

The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical reality of the universe, Brahman.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta


Meanwhile;

In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.


Thus "advaita" and Buddhism are not similar, since Buddhism do not believe in the likes of Atman nor Brahman the highest metaphysical reality of the universe.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed May 13, 2020 7:24 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Chakra Superstar wrote:I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.
..

I don't seem to be able to reconcile 'advaita' as generally understood, with Buddhism.

The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical reality of the universe, Brahman.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta


Meanwhile;

In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.


Thus "advaita" and Buddhism are not similar, since Buddhism do not believe in the likes of Atman nor Brahman the highest metaphysical reality of the universe.
Your both generalizing, but there are absolutely many strains in Buddhism that belief something utterly parallel, though they use different words. In fact descriptoins of the experiences are striking in their parallel stages, timing, and predictability in relation to practices. Buddhism came out of Hinduism, the practices are actually extremely similar. A Westerner atheist seeing the name of a deity brings a huge set of baggage and assumptions. And then you get discussions where people with little experience think they can use deduction about things they know little aobut.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 13, 2020 7:52 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
Chakra Superstar wrote:I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.
..

I don't seem to be able to reconcile 'advaita' as generally understood, with Buddhism.

The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical reality of the universe, Brahman.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta


Meanwhile;

In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.


Thus "advaita" and Buddhism are not similar, since Buddhism do not believe in the likes of Atman nor Brahman the highest metaphysical reality of the universe.
Your both generalizing, but there are absolutely many strains in Buddhism that belief something utterly parallel, though they use different words. In fact descriptoins of the experiences are striking in their parallel stages, timing, and predictability in relation to practices. Buddhism came out of Hinduism, the practices are actually extremely similar. A Westerner atheist seeing the name of a deity brings a huge set of baggage and assumptions. And then you get discussions where people with little experience think they can use deduction about things they know little aobut.

Yes there are many sects of Buddhism and various forms of practices.

Buddhism and Hinduism has many similarities but what I presented above are the core principles which are different.
There is no compromise with the core principles.

Buddhism and Hinduism have common origins in the Ganges culture of northern India during the "second urbanisation" around 500 BCE.[1] They have shared parallel beliefs that have existed side by side, but also pronounced differences.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_Hinduism


The Buddha went through a string of gurus of of Hinduism [Vedas based] and found none to his satisfaction and he finally found a method of his own which is distinctively different from Hinduism [Vedas] in terms of its core principles, e.g. anatman versus atman as presented above.
However Buddhism has more similarities with Jainism where both are non-theistic.

Since the emergence of Buddhism from 500BCE, the Buddhists had been seriously debating with Hinduism [Vedantists] till now in terms of their core principles.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Thu May 14, 2020 2:33 am

Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.

I specifically asked that people NOT hijack this thread because I wanted to address Gib’s post on a practical level and prevent it from deteriorating into a bunch of dick-fighting posts like Gib's original thread.

Prismatic, I didn’t suggest Advaita and Buddhism were similar in every respect so posting definitions is irrelevant. As I said in the op, I wanted to extend the focus from Buddhism to encompass similar practices because the crux of their message – Enlightenment – is the same for all. I wanted to focus on Gib’s issues about the practical aspects of Enlightenment – not argue about theories, definitions, historic developments or creeds.

I had a lot to say about this that I haven’t seen posted here before, but you’re just going to jump in and argue about some other irrelevant point and others are going to jump in and argue back, so I’ll leave you to it. It was an experiment after all and unfortunately, it just didn’t work. :cry:

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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 14, 2020 7:46 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.

I specifically asked that people NOT hijack this thread because I wanted to address Gib’s post on a practical level and prevent it from deteriorating into a bunch of dick-fighting posts like Gib's original thread.

Prismatic, I didn’t suggest Advaita and Buddhism were similar in every respect so posting definitions is irrelevant. As I said in the op, I wanted to extend the focus from Buddhism to encompass similar practices because the crux of their message – Enlightenment – is the same for all. I wanted to focus on Gib’s issues about the practical aspects of Enlightenment – not argue about theories, definitions, historic developments or creeds.

I had a lot to say about this that I haven’t seen posted here before, but you’re just going to jump in and argue about some other irrelevant point and others are going to jump in and argue back, so I’ll leave you to it. It was an experiment after all and unfortunately, it just didn’t work. :cry:

.

I believe the grounding truth is very critical.
"Enlightenment – is the same for all" is false.

If your presentation is solid, true and sound, I would not have bothered at all.

The approach to "enlightenment" within Buddhism is significantly different from Vedanta [Hinduism] and other religions like the Abrahamics [salvation].

Since you are addressing to Gib [apparently uncertain of Buddhism], I believe she should be exposed to the truth and alternative views rather than you forcing views into her.
This sharing of views is after all the purpose of this philosophy forum which is not to promote one person's propaganda.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby phoneutria » Thu May 14, 2020 1:13 pm

Yeah but you could copy his post into the other thread where there is already a discussion going, and leave this one alone as requested by the op, you twat.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri May 15, 2020 10:22 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.
My apologies. I will not make any more off subject posts in this thread.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby gib » Sat May 16, 2020 8:26 am

Woaw, a sequal!!! I seem to have returned to ILP at just the right time. How's everybody enjoying COVID?! :romance-grouphug:

Shakra, your posts are as much appreciated as you appreciate mine. I get out of them quite the same as what you got out of mine: refreshing honesty.

Still tho, they are intellectual responses, which, as you said, are less than satisfactory. But what else can you do?

I've always found the dream metaphor to be the best for what, I gather, Buddhism teaches. It's the only thing that makes some modicum of sense.

But according to the dream metaphor, nothing that happens in the dream is to be trusted--it's all dreamt up anyway--and this includes everything Buddhism has to teach. It's all together possible that when I wake up, I will say: "Can you believe I had a dream that there was this religion called 'Buddhism'"? It seems to also suggest that what wakes one up is not to be found in the dream, or in anything one does in the dream, but something in the waking world--a proverbial alarm clock, for example--almost as though something pulls one into enlightenment without even having to ask. So much for the eight-fold path. When I become enlightened, then I will know what brought me there.

I think this nicely wraps up why Buddhism strikes me as such a tease--because while it beacons me to believe there is such a state as enlightenment, the very concept entails that I've just dreamt it up.

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.


What exactly was the experiment? What were you hoping for?

We could just ignore all the hijackers, couldn't we? Discuss around them? Or did you not even want a discussion?

Prismatic567 wrote:Since you are addressing to Gib [apparently uncertain of Buddhism], I believe she should be exposed to the truth and alternative views rather than you forcing views into her.


Don't worry about me, Prismatic. I'm not the kind of girl who needs to be shown the truth amongst alternative views. I much prefer coming to my own truth and contributing my own alternative views to discussions like this.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 16, 2020 6:12 pm

Welcome back gib! I had begun to think that imagining you would post on the topic you started was like waiting for Godot!
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 16, 2020 7:12 pm

It's one thing to entertain the notion you don't exist, it's another thing entirely to believe in it.
You can only get the, cremation of care so to speak if you actually believe you don't exist.
While I believe I do exist (at least in some sense, in another there's no stark, if any division between you and everyone/thing else, just as there's no stark, if any division between say your arm and your hand, the notion of self, like all notions, is sort of a psychosocial construct), sometimes I imagine what it would feel like to believe I don't, and it feels good, for if you don't exist, you don't have to worry about what happens to you, or anyone else for that matter, you can just mesh with everything.
I also think it's sort of a false dichotomy, like you can loosen your sense of self/other, without abandoning it altogether.
Just loosening it can give you some piece of mind.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby gib » Sat May 16, 2020 7:14 pm

felix dakat wrote:Welcome back gib! I had begun to think that imagining you would post on the topic you started was like waiting for Godot!


Meh, what can I say. I got bored. I returned to this topic only because I felt like posting something last night and I found I don't get Buddhism (Part 2). I was like 'Hey!' and I had to post.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 16, 2020 7:30 pm

gib wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Welcome back gib! I had begun to think that imagining you would post on the topic you started was like waiting for Godot!


Meh, what can I say. I got bored. I returned to this topic only because I felt like posting something last night and I found I don't get Buddhism (Part 2). I was like 'Hey!' and I had to post.

We don't determine our interests, they determine us.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 16, 2020 7:53 pm

The point of Western Spirituality (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) tends to be to hold onto your sense of self/other even more tightly (I'm me, you're you and God is God, I have an immortal soul (and body) and so do you), the point of Eastern Spirituality (Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism) is to let go of your sense of self/other.
But both are united in that whether you exist, and are immortal, or whether you don't exist, and all is one, you can't be harmed, you can only be harmed if you exist, and are mortal, which leads to existential angst, despair and trying to create subjective meaning out of objective meaninglessness, which's modern Europe's contribution to man's quest for meaning.
Spirituality is the opposite of Existentiality.


For me, spirituality is about transcending our mortality/finitude.
There's different ways to do this.
One is by believing you're (a) God.
Another is by believing (a) God is looking out for you.

And another is by believing all people, places and properties are essentially one and interdependent, like your head is not separate from your neck, your neck is not separate from your torso.
In the same way, you're not separate from the sky above, nor the earth below.
If you're part or a feature of the cosmos, and the cosmos is immortal/infinite, then by extension, so are you.
This is monism (atman is brahman, Hinduism).
There's different forms of monism: theistic, idealistic, naturalistic, dialectical...

Yet another is by believing you don't exist, or nothing can be objectively said about you, not that you exist, nor that you do not exist, for everything is dynamic, ephemeral and in flux, infinitely divisible, ontologically impure.
This is nihilism, Cratylism or anatman, Buddhism.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Sun May 24, 2020 12:48 am

gib wrote:Woaw, a sequal!!! I seem to have returned to ILP at just the right time. How's everybody enjoying COVID?! :romance-grouphug:

Ha!! I take it the ‘sequal’ is a code joke? If so, it was going to be MySQL.

Don’t get me started on the COVID-1984. It’s ironic that the mask is the symbol of this authoritarian take-over and repression… and it’s only just started...

What's interesting is that there's a burst of spiritual awareness that I haven't seen since the 60's. It's far more sophisticated than it was 50 years ago and when the economic pyramid collapses, the millions of people who have been holding it up, will be forced to find a better way. It won't be fun but we've shown we won't change unless we're forced to change. So be it.


gib wrote:Chakra, your posts are as much appreciated as you appreciate mine. I get out of them quite the same as what you got out of mine: refreshing honesty.

Still tho, they are intellectual responses, which, as you said, are less than satisfactory. But what else can you do?

The intellect is fine so long as we’re undoing misconceptions and not building new ones.

The Hindus have a saying about using a thorn to remove a thorn -- i.e. use the intellect to remove the blocks created by the intellect -- then throw both thorns away.

In the early stages, we often need metaphors and word salads but, in the end, a serious explorer will go beyond the intellectual mind trap and explore Consciousness through Consciousness, directly. This is what thousands of masters over thousands of years have all been pointing to.

"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me;
my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love."
- Meister Eckhart

"What you’re looking for is what is looking." ― St. Francis of Assisi

We're like the guy wearing glasses who turns the house upside down searching for his glasses all the time not noticing he's looking through them.

The "I" or eye, or looking, or glasses, all refer to Consciousness. Consciousness is so close, so subtle, so intimate, we constantly overlook it because we're looking for a 'thing' and we're looking for that thing outside ourselves. This is the sort of intellectual stuff we need to know.

“I have lived on the lip of insanity,
wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door
It opens.
I've been knocking from the inside.”

― Rumi

gib wrote:I've always found the dream metaphor to be the best for what, I gather, Buddhism teaches. It's the only thing that makes some modicum of sense.

The dream metaphor is a great metaphor for a number of reasons but the best reason is because it posits that Enlightenment is just the process of waking up – becoming more conscious. Remove the dream/illusion and what remains is Reality.

When Buddha was asked if he was a god, a demigod, a saint, an angel, a mystic or several other exotic Hindu beings he replied ‘no’ to each of them.
When asked, ‘Then what are you?’ He said “I am Awake’

It's that simple. It's the mind that makes everything so complicated.

gib wrote:But according to the dream metaphor, nothing that happens in the dream is to be trusted--it's all dreamt up anyway--and this includes everything Buddhism has to teach. It's all together possible that when I wake up, I will say: "Can you believe I had a dream that there was this religion called 'Buddhism'"? It seems to also suggest that what wakes one up is not to be found in the dream, or in anything one does in the dream, but something in the waking world--a proverbial alarm clock, for example--almost as though something pulls one into enlightenment without even having to ask. So much for the eight-fold path. When I become enlightened, then I will know what brought me there.

I think this nicely wraps up why Buddhism strikes me as such a tease--because while it beacons me to believe there is such a state as enlightenment, the very concept entails that I've just dreamt it up.

Nice insight, Gib.

In Absolute terms, that’s correct – it’s all bullshit. EVERYTHING!!!! There is no Enlightenment. There’s absolutely nothing to attain and no 'self' to attain it but this is all correct from the timeless Absolute perspective. Before time, there is no reincarnation, no karma, no birth and death samsara cycle etc.

In the relative sphere -- this universe -- time and space exist as do various processes of Awakening. They are real, but they're not Reality.

"It is not important that something be done,
but it’s extremely important that you do it. "
- Krishnamurti ?

I haven't answered this well. I'll have to think about a better way to put it because it's a very good point you make.

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.
gib wrote:What exactly was the experiment? What were you hoping for?

We could just ignore all the hijackers, couldn't we? Discuss around them? Or did you not even want a discussion?


I was hoping to make a series of short posts about things people rarely bring up when talking about Enlightenment.

I wanted to get some of the main issues posted BEFORE opening it up for discussion but it didn't work out. Not a problem. I’m a bit of a fatalist. I prefer to go where the flow is taking me.

I enjoy your insights and questions, gib, but my available time has become too fragmented to post consistently so I'll stick to the hit-and-run posts.
Hope all's well in your world.
.

PS: Thanks Phon and Karpel :)
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Tue May 26, 2020 1:28 am

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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby gib » Sun May 31, 2020 3:15 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:
gib wrote:Woaw, a sequal!!! I seem to have returned to ILP at just the right time. How's everybody enjoying COVID?! :romance-grouphug:

Ha!! I take it the ‘sequal’ is a code joke? If so, it was going to be MySQL.


Not really a code joke, but that's a good code joke.

Chakra Superstar wrote:Don’t get me started on the COVID-1984. It’s ironic that the mask is the symbol of this authoritarian take-over and repression… and it’s only just started...


Where are you? California?

Chakra Superstar wrote:What's interesting is that there's a burst of spiritual awareness that I haven't seen since the 60's. It's far more sophisticated than it was 50 years ago and when the economic pyramid collapses, the millions of people who have been holding it up, will be forced to find a better way. It won't be fun but we've shown we won't change unless we're forced to change. So be it.


I'm sure. With millions of people with nothing better to do than to stay home and smoke pot, it's not surprising you get a spiritual awakening.

Chakra Superstar wrote:The intellect is fine so long as we’re undoing misconceptions and not building new ones.

The Hindus have a saying about using a thorn to remove a thorn -- i.e. use the intellect to remove the blocks created by the intellect -- then throw both thorns away.

In the early stages, we often need metaphors and word salads but, in the end, a serious explorer will go beyond the intellectual mind trap and explore Consciousness through Consciousness, directly. This is what thousands of masters over thousands of years have all been pointing to.

"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me;
my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love."
- Meister Eckhart

"What you’re looking for is what is looking." ― St. Francis of Assisi

We're like the guy wearing glasses who turns the house upside down searching for his glasses all the time not noticing he's looking through them.

The "I" or eye, or looking, or glasses, all refer to Consciousness. Consciousness is so close, so subtle, so intimate, we constantly overlook it because we're looking for a 'thing' and we're looking for that thing outside ourselves. This is the sort of intellectual stuff we need to know.


This resonates well with me. I call this "objectification". The mind can't help but to objectify the concepts of its contemplation. It turns it into an object--sometimes abstract, sometimes immaterial--but an object nonetheless. This is important in order to center its focus. It becomes the objective, the target towards which it aims.

It doesn't mean we literally believe abstract things are really objects--we still say "yeah, I know it's just an abstraction"--but keeping this in mind doesn't always prevent us from falling into some of the traps of objectification. I believe Plato's concept of the forms is a result of taking objectification too seriously. I believe the idea of the soul--the idea that it can leave the body and float to heaven after death, like smoke or a misty vapor--is the result of objectification gone awry.

The mistake most philosophers and scientists make when they objectify consciousness is to imagine it is a phenomenon like all other natural phenomenon; more precisely, that it can be treated like a third-person entity. But consciousness only exists as a first-person entity--as "me". <-- From that perspective, the only way to come to an understand of consciousness is like you said: to stop intellectualizing it and just experience it. Consciousness is essentially everything around you--your experiences and perceptions which, if you quiet your mind and focus on them in the moment, are indistinguishable from the world. Taken to its logical conclusion, consciousness just is the world (solipsism?).

But then this is where you can get really tangled up in intellectual knots--if you think about it too deeply, the logic of this leads to all sorts of absurd and paradoxical conclusions--which is why they say the intellect is not suited to understand consciousness in its essential form. Having said this, I've tried. I wrote a 3 volume book attempting to sort out all these knots, and I think successfully. However, it remains intellectual--an intellectual contraption as Biggy would say--and doesn't really count as enlightenment (you need drugs for that :D).

Chakra Superstar wrote:The dream metaphor is a great metaphor for a number of reasons but the best reason is because it posits that Enlightenment is just the process of waking up – becoming more conscious. Remove the dream/illusion and what remains is Reality.


Do you think there are aspects of the world as we experience it that we are awake to? And the process of becoming more conscious will wipe away some aspect but preserve others? For example, here in Calgary, I get a nice view of the mountains out West. Would a Buddhist tell me the mountains are fake? Or would I still believe the mountains exist even if I were enlightened?

In that sense, it isn't quite like a dream. In the dream, everything you experience is illusory--the entire world you are immersed in is a hallucination--but as a metaphor, the dream analogy is still a good one.

Chakra Superstar wrote:
gib wrote:I think this nicely wraps up why Buddhism strikes me as such a tease--because while it beacons me to believe there is such a state as enlightenment, the very concept entails that I've just dreamt it up.

Nice insight, Gib.

In Absolute terms, that’s correct – it’s all bullshit. EVERYTHING!!!! There is no Enlightenment. There’s absolutely nothing to attain and no 'self' to attain it but this is all correct from the timeless Absolute perspective. Before time, there is no reincarnation, no karma, no birth and death samsara cycle etc.

In the relative sphere -- this universe -- time and space exist as do various processes of Awakening. They are real, but they're not Reality.


I think I can only conceptualize the relative sphere. The absolute sphere, as you put it, is beyond my comprehension. So as a being of the relative sphere, I'd have to say enlightenment is real--but still in a skeptical light.

The concept of real but not Reality also resonates with me somewhat. I came up with a metaphor once about a man who lived all his life in the jungle. For all he knows, the entire world is one big jungle. Everywhere he travels, it's just more jungle--jungle stretching out forever. He knows nothings about deserts, snow and ice, oceans, planes and savannas, etc. So Reality isn't what he thinks it is. But nevertheless, the reality he does know--the jungle--is real. This kinda ties into my question about whether some aspects are real but others not. Could it be that some things which I currently take to be real remain real when I become enlightened--like the mountains, like the sofa I'm sitting on, like this computer--just like the jungle remains real even after the jungle dweller becomes enlightened to the much vaster range of different environments the real world consists of?

Chakra Superstar wrote:I enjoy your insights and questions, gib, but my available time has become too fragmented to post consistently so I'll stick to the hit-and-run posts.
Hope all's well in your world.


My world is getting better like the stock market gets better--lots of ups and downs that I can't control, but generally, over the long run, on an upward trend.

Hit-and-runs are fine with me. I'm not frequenting ILP as often as I used to, so hit-and-runs might be the only way for us to have a conversation.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:09 pm

"I'm sure. With millions of people with nothing better to do than to stay home and smoke pot, it's not surprising you get a spiritual awakening."

yes man.
always the praxis.

insanity is just a societal pressure.
sanity is absence of bad work.


Chakra, Im interested to learn this Advaita term. Where did it originate and which are its first sources?

I learned Zen pretty much as you say it, by letting go through pushing deep into my emotions and self first, and then suddenly withdrawing.
You can even compare it to doing 50 pushups in order to get relaxed; deep relaxation and synchronization of the nadi's to balance the energy system so as for consciousness to escape its torrents, is the whole reason for the existence of Shaolin kung fu. Healthy transfer of energy. Tantra without the sex, which allows for much more detached and pristine silences.

Tantric heaven is the merger of selves and a current of ecstasy, but being-nor-nonbeing is the full release of all the "muscles" that hold together the experience of identity, all the emotional and nervous and intellectual strings are released, fall to the ground like dusted-out cobwebs. What remains is such pure glory that one minute of it suffices to illuminate a whole year.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:11 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:Chakra, Im interested to learn this Advaita term. Where did it originate and which are its first sources?

The earliest sources can be found in the Advaita Vedanta (Vedas) and the Upanishads. They predate Buddhism by about 500-1,000 years.

Advaita means ‘non-dual’ or ‘not two’. I used the term Advaita as a way to broaden the discussion from a particular, limited brand of Enlightenment (Bodhi).

Advaita is not a stand-alone philosophy but more of an underlying basis that many spiritual teachings including Buddhism, Zen and Taoism are based upon, so you’ll find Advaita throughout most non-dual religions and philosophies.

In simplistic terms, Western spirituality is built upon the belief that there are two worlds: the mind (spirit) and matter; while Advaita/Non-duality state there’s only one Reality: Brahman (Impersonal Principle/'God') and Atman (Self) are one in the same. Over time, Buddhists took on a lot of Hindu beliefs which is why I like going back to Advaita, Zen, Tao and the like.

FTR: I'm not pushing any beliefs here. I personally don't 'believe' anything. I think some ideas explain Reality better than others but ultimately I agree with the Advaita crowd who say the only Absolute Truth (as apposed to relative ‘truth’) that exists in this semi-conscious, dream realm is the Truth that states what we are not; any truth that claims to know what we are, is just part of the illusion. This goes back to what Gib said about everything in this dream-world being part of the dream. It's also why I said the Enlightened Ones are lucid dreamers -- dream entities, like us, who are just more Awake. They, and their 'truths', are part of the dream. There's nothing sinister about that, it's all part of the lila, the divine play.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:37 pm

gib wrote:
Chakra Superstar wrote:
gib wrote:Woaw, a sequal!!! I seem to have returned to ILP at just the right time. How's everybody enjoying COVID?! :romance-grouphug:

Ha!! I take it the ‘sequal’ is a code joke? If so, it was going to be MySQL.


Not really a code joke, but that's a good code joke.

Oh, LOL. The way you spelled ‘sequal’ made me think it was a code joke. OK, moving right along….

gib wrote:
Chakra Superstar wrote:Don’t get me started on the COVID-1984. It’s ironic that the mask is the symbol of this authoritarian take-over and repression… and it’s only just started...


Where are you? California?

Um, no. California is going to be one of the worst places I’d want to be in when this coup d'etat moves into gear over this coming year and onward.

I moved from Sydney (Australia) to a coastal country town a decade ago because I saw this world-wide, technocratic fascism closing in and I didn’t want to get caught in a big city when it finally snapped shut. Anyhoo, that’s for another forum..

gib wrote:
Chakra Superstar wrote:What's interesting is that there's a burst of spiritual awareness that I haven't seen since the 60's. It's far more sophisticated than it was 50 years ago and when the economic pyramid collapses, the millions of people who have been holding it up, will be forced to find a better way. It won't be fun but we've shown we won't change unless we're forced to change. So be it.


I'm sure. With millions of people with nothing better to do than to stay home and smoke pot, it's not surprising you get a spiritual awakening.

Well that’s not my idea of Awakening LOL.

I’m talking about the proliferation of spiritual knowledge that was once only available if you had a guru and after a decade or so, the guru thought you were worthy enough. Today this knowledge is everywhere -- in books and on the net -- which is why a lot of traditionalists are pissed. They say the people receiving this knowledge aren't ready for and either don't understand it or they distort it so it can be understood. It's not about the words; it's about the individual realization that lies behind the words.

There's also a lot of real and virtual communities springing up which is encouraging. As the world becomes more oppressive and technocratic, there's an opposite trend that's pulling some people out of the control grid and back to the earth, humanity and spirituality.


EDIT: Gib, I'll respond to the other parts a bit later.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:12 am

gib wrote: I think I can only conceptualize the relative sphere. The absolute sphere, as you put it, is beyond my comprehension. So as a being of the relative sphere, I'd have to say enlightenment is real--but still in a skeptical light.

Fair enough. The mind cannot conceive that which created it; that which comes after cannot know that which comes before.

It's the egoic mind that blocks Consciousness and reduces it to consciousness (little 'c') so if the egoic mind blocks Consciousness, how could the mind know Consciousness?

It’s like a child trying to see if the fridge light goes out when he closes the fridge door. Each time he opens the fridge to check, he finds the light is on. His very actions prevent him from finding out. There must be different way of knowing.

The mind is like a window; the cleaner the window, the more light shines through. Religions and metaphysical philosophies are like stained-glass windows. No doubt, they can be very beautiful but they’re man-made images that block natural light and fresh air. Unlike the window metaphor however, Conscious Light doesn’t come from the outside, but rather from the inside. God is not an object; God is the subject.

When the mind is as clear and as transparent as glass, unimpeded Conscious Light pours outward from deep within. That is En-Lightenment – that is being full of Light, full of Consciousness.

Enlightenment is having a naked mind and an exposed heart. The Enlightened being is simply one who has returned to his original innocence.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby gib » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:03 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Oh, LOL. The way you spelled ‘sequal’ made me think it was a code joke. OK, moving right along….


Oh, I guess that just means I'm a bad speller. Maybe it comes from looking at SQL all day. Ha!

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that’s not my idea of Awakening LOL.


Ha! Of course not. I meant it as a joke, obviously, but it does conjure up some serious thoughts. I've always wondered for example, if "spiritual awakening" means just one thing or could it mean many different things? Like stepping outside your zone of familiarity and into a "higher" reality--you could end up anywhere in that higher reality--like stepping outside a circle, you could end up on the north side or the south side--diametrically opposite places--perhaps with wildly different things to see. There's also a contrast between "spiritual awakening" as a deeper consciousness of the true nature of reality and "spiritual awakening" as being touched by spiritual entities--like someone who has been contacted by dead people; they aren't much more enlightened or insightful than most ordinary people but they now have this connection to the spiritual world.

And do drugs really awaken you spiritually? I don't think the things one experiences while on drugs necessarily count as a spiritual awakening--I don't think the Buddha just became high in his moment of enlightenment--but I think having a variety of experiences of your own modes consciousness can give you a deeper understanding of your mind and consciousness in general--like looking at a mountain from different angles--which I think can count as a form of spiritual awakening.

Chakra Superstar wrote:They say the people receiving this knowledge aren't ready for and either don't understand it or they distort it so it can be understood.


They're probably right.

Chakra Superstar wrote:It's the egoic mind that blocks Consciousness and reduces it to consciousness (little 'c') so if the egoic mind blocks Consciousness, how could the mind know Consciousness?


That about sums me up, probably. I've got an ego. Not in the sense that I'm full of myself but that I've got no less of an ego than anybody else. I don't know how I could not. Ego is a natural part of our being. I cannot imagine an effective way to just put it aside.

Chakra Superstar wrote:The mind is like a window; the cleaner the window, the more light shines through. Religions and metaphysical philosophies are like stained-glass windows. No doubt, they can be very beautiful but they’re man-made images that block natural light and fresh air. Unlike the window metaphor however, Conscious Light doesn’t come from the outside, but rather from the inside. God is not an object; God is the subject.


It's very interesting that you put it that way. It reminds me of my own concepts of the window-to-reality model of consciousness and the system-of-experiences model of consciousness. The window-to-reality model pictures consciousness as a featureless window through which reality simply passes through unvarnished--essentially, naive realism--whereas the system-of-experiences model pictures consciousness as a collection of experiences (or qualia) working together as a system--your stained glass window being an excellent example--the idea being that regardless of what lies beyond it in any kind of "real world", the system of experiences we are having project reality for us. In one model, reality comes into consciousness. In the other, reality comes out of consciousness.

I've effectively rejected the window-to-reality model of conscious and believe only that reality is a projection of our experiences (idealism 101). Maybe this is why I have so much trouble understanding the light of consciousness.
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In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Dan~ » Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:58 pm

and believe only that reality is a projection of our experiences (idealism 101).


The mind is living multi dimensional energy.

Reality is a kind of multi dimensional energy also.

The mind and the world are different configurations of the same basis.
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