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Spiritual Reorientation 10: The Art of Life

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posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

and what ARE 'you'?

answer me that, and I will listen

be careful, you are close to contradicting yourself, in blanketing the entire spiritual experience of others as producing the same thing, rotten fruit in your eyes, close to being a fundamentalist in your own views and words. You say everyone is a prophet, but then you denounce those that have shared with us their experiences on their own path, and you cast it all away, with but a few fancy words, telling us how wrong they are in their own search. So you say, allow an experience, and then you say, but those experiences are wrong. ??? Shall we all follow your words? Oh mighty Aphorism? You are starting to sound like one of those who you denounce. What are YOU selling? I think you are trying to sell YOURSELF, on why it is that you yourself have not found it.

It is funny, because there is truth in there, in your words, but you dance around it, and you point fingers at others, but maybe it is YOU who has not found it, maybe it is YOU who does not fully understand... though you skirt around truth so carefully as not to step into it for fear of living another one's vision. This is fine, it is all fine.

You say those who look at transcendence are fools who miss the point of the bodily life, being here. I think you miss THEIR point. You say there is no joy for those who hear the words of John, Jesus, Buddha, etc. For all is forsaken, all is misery, all is suffering. You are a fool if you truly believe this. Do you even know what joy and happiness is? Unblemished happiness? It does not sit in any idea, but it sits in the freedom from all ideas. Away from Even the words of the 'prophets and holy men' even in YOUR words. All paths and doctrines are training wheels, a fully developed person is beyond any one doctrine, any one ideal, and understands that they are all struggles in trying to understand their own experiences.

We are but humans, a species born of evolution, trying to make sense of the world around us; bound by our limitations, by our ideas, by our own history and philosophies, by our senses, by our cognitive processes.

You know nothing of freedom, true freedom, you think it is found in following rules? You think it is found in an idea? You think it is found in stopping seeking? For one to stop anything there must be something to stop it. Life is happening, and what you see are the ripples in a pond, the waves in the ocean, the froth on the running river. Some are here, some are there, some seek, some do not. Some are ripe, some are new. There is no path for all, and there will never be a completely united front. It is just not the case for life, as life is just happening, an eternal cycle. This is why fundamentalist thinking will never work. The only way is acceptance of diversity, through compassion and through love.

Life IS a struggle, and if you cant see that, then you have cut yourself off from the world, within your own mind. Does that mean it is also not a beautiful garden of eden? Life is beauty, life is ugly, life is full, life is empty. All these notions are born from the human mind. Life just is, and any meaning put on ANYTHING is an idea thought of by a living being. So let it be. This is ignorance, being caught up in a love affair with our own views and perceptions of the world. I am right, they are wrong. You vs me. Whats the point? There is none, not one that is real anyways, all those are imaginary, temporary, passing away.

You attempt to speak for those that have found what you have not found, and you fall very short. You say that the good of men has only been found as separate from the body, from the dust. You do not even know my friend, do not know the treasure found in the wisdom of the wise. There is no this and that, stop muddying up the concepts. You speak with a fragmented perception. There is unity, and there is not. All is good, and none is good. But you won't understand these words, because you simply do not know, you still exist within the confines of your own ideas, and are too afraid to step outside of them.

Inquisition? You throw a lot into the same mix, the ignorant with the wise, no wonder the pot of food you offer stinks.

Living life for happiness is unethical? Be careful here again my friend, for you are speaking for those that are now gone, even I am humble enough to say that I cannot speak for them, and will not. But in my view and understanding of things, you are missing the mark by a large degree, and are putting your own thoughts and ideas upon the words spoken by others and casting them in your own light and shadows of your psyche.

When one speaks of the undying, the immortal, one is not speaking of living forever! In fact one understands that there is no being that lives forever, all passes. In this way, HERE NOW, we can learn to appreciate the uniqueness of our situation, to see the holiness in the most mundane. it is HERE AND NOW. Haven? Who cares, after life? who cares ! Life is here and now, and you share much more than you think with the truth, but there is something, a thorn in YOUR side which is sticking you.

Take what works for you, test the words and notions that enter your mind, see if they do good or bad. Keep the good, discard the bad. This is what all the truly wise have said. They said to not even trust what THEY were saying, but to take it upon yourself to test the value and merit of such things. If it brings your prosperity, happiness, keep it. Everyone is on their own path, and there is no pointing to be done by any one person in any one direction that is the correct way for all. Everyone faces their own struggles. Acceptance and compassion, an open heart and an open mind. Cooperation in allowing life to flourish, this is all there is to it. Doctrine, beliefs in the afterlife, belief in a god, those are all training wheels.

You see there is a path for the uninitiated, for the blind to follow, until they find their own inner light, their own inner wisdom, then when they grow wise and they stretch their wings to take flight, their path becomes like that of the birds in the sky, traceless.




posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 08:44 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

originally posted by: BlueMule
You are at a fork in the road. The path on your left has virtually nothing to do with mysticism, as you know it. The path on your right has everything to do with mysticism as you know it. Which path do you take?


You are right, but if you have studied and understand Buddhism well, you would see that Buddhism removes the need for either a Mystical (Acetic) or Materialistic (Hedonistic) path. There is another way - the Middle Path:

"Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. (What are the two?) There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.

Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (the Perfect One) has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata...? It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration."

The Middle Path to Happiness is the whole point of Buddhism.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

originally posted by: Aphorism
It's interesting to note that the Middle Way is sold as a path to Nirvana, but we can observe from the life of Siddartha that the Middle way was a philosophy of someone who lived life to the extremes. Living these extremes was the only way he could develop any insightful philosophy, including the idea of the Middle Way, which never would have developed if he didn't live life in the extreme paths, and thus extremes were necessary for his spiritual development.


Extremes are not necessary for following Buddhism, but were necessary for discovering the Path - my above post clarifies how core Middle Path teachings agree quite a lot with what you speak. I'm not Buddhist, but in chasing these "Mystical" extremes, I came to quite a number of conclusions (similar to yours). These conclusions required a lot of time to work out and led to a lot of delusion at first, but after experiencing and reflecting enough, I found Buddhism to be the most truthful spiritual tradition based on my experience.

I probably would have found the same path had I just chosen to follow Buddhism and not chase extreme experiences all those years...



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 09:21 PM
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a reply to: philosopheroftruth

you speak with much wisdom philosopher

I am not Buddhist as well, but it is quite vanilla as it comes to religions, and not much to get in the way of understanding of truth



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:52 PM
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originally posted by: preludefanguy
answer me that, and I will listen

Is the problem of doubt, doubt's problem?



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 12:08 AM
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originally posted by: philosopheroftruth
These conclusions required a lot of time to work out and led to a lot of delusion at first, but after experiencing and reflecting enough, I found Buddhism to be the most truthful spiritual tradition based on my experience.

I probably would have found the same path had I just chosen to follow Buddhism and not chase extreme experiences all those years...

It's pretty profound when you choose to accept yourself as you are, yeah?

What "middle path" truly exists which perfectly and unerringly and without fail connects to each and every aspect of all that could possibly exist? If we were to define "all that is" as "the middle" then the only way to be outside the middle path is to try to be something that doesn't exist... aka something that "you aren't".

The challenge of the self is "who you are" carries such a vast (infinite) array of expressions depending on the environment that to even try to define your "self" is absurd. There is always the condition/situation where one will cease to be as they've defined themselves to be.

We battle over the "most correct" way to be... despite there being no experience ever of any "most correct" that always applies.
edit on 26-7-2014 by GetOutOfMyLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 02:14 AM
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a reply to: preludefanguy


and what ARE 'you'?

answer me that, and I will listen


My avatar is Aphorism. I am a human being.

I admire your great series of words. It was inspiring to read and powerful. Reading it, I am witness to spirituality and the spirit. Someone has spoken ill of something you love, and now you defend it. But also, you understand my motive. Even now, people commit evil in the name of spirituality, and speak ill of the world, the senses and the body.

Do you ever wonder why every thing is impermanent, except for the idea of impermanence? Everything is fleeting except for the idea that everything is fleeting? Everything passes except for the idea that everything passes? Let’s let them live up to their truths.

But perhaps to your frustration, I have not denounced anyone’s experience. To do so would be to denounce them, for in my eyes, they are their experience, living, breathing experiences. They are stronger than any string of words anyone can put together. I have merely expressed my views, observations and insights. But alas, I present nothing to follow, “dancing around the truth” as you call it. To me, it is just dancing around.

I possess no truths. I only possess the ability to write about what I see and feel. This is it—a perspective, a body, a generator of language and meaning—the culmination of a being still in love with the world and the things in it. This is what I amount to, nothing of a god, a soul, a spirit, a mind or a consciousness about me. No special powers, no wisdom, no divinity, no holy ghost. I am mortal; I am flesh and blood.

From 26 letters I can create an infinite variety of songs and I can sing about what I love. I can sanctify and make holy what I wish. This is all I’m doing. If it bothers anyone, they might want to look in the mirror and ask themselves “Why? How can a string of words inflict pain upon me?”.

Unblemished happiness. Joy. True freedom. A playground. A lullaby. Sleep. What then?

Denounce words and ideas but here you are giving me words and ideas. Where is your silence in the wake of your freedom from words and ideas? Why do I always still hear the clamouring and chatter of those who say they are free from words and ideas? Do you still long for your cage? But what cage? What shackles? We have nothing to free ourselves from. We only have that which we run from and that which we run to to. But it is fading away, retirement and resignation to run from oneself. It is retreat. It is the raising of the white flag.

This world still needs you, friend. We owe it to the life of the future to correct the damage we’ve done. There will be no happiness found in this endeavour, no joy, no freedom. But we can be selfless enough. The spiritual doctrines up until now have been wrong, they’ve placed value, truth, and salvation in any world but this, and now we head towards a brick wall at an alarming pace. Spirituality is not a lozenge for a sore throat, or a bandaid for a small annoying scratch, it is transformative, and we can pull the divine, value and salvation back into this world, to what we can sense, feel, and the objects we interact with, and hence, the other beings we interact with, to “this and that”.


Life just is, and any meaning put on ANYTHING is an idea thought of by a living being. So let it be. This is ignorance, being caught up in a love affair with our own views and perceptions of the world. I am right, they are wrong. You vs me. Whats the point? There is none, not one that is real anyways, all those are imaginary, temporary, passing away.


What’s the point? Here you are making a point. You are right, I am wrong. You Vs. Me. Everything is imaginary, temporary and passing away but here you are persisting and powerful. You’re neither this or that but there you are. The exact opposite of “letting it be”. There’s no need to continually contradict ourselves any longer, friend. There is no need to be little around another’s words. Our susceptibility to belittlement is a flaw we rarely recognize in ourselves, and it is the kernel from which all hate grows. Words cannot render something into something else. We need not fear the words. Join me. Who’s to tell us we should not use them? So, here we are, expressing ourselves together, developing our own thoughts in concordance with another’s, no matter how foul it may seem. We are not against each other; we are working together. All of us here are expressing, challenging our doctrines, and making art of our spiritualities. This isn’t imaginary, temporary or passing away; if it is, then become temporary and pass away. This is development, growth and learning. This is imagination. This is an actual spiritual power: generating an idea and making it concrete. The ability to create and act. Affecting that which is around us. Movement. This will affect more than any esp, altered state, or any mind-stuff ever could.

My polemics about spirituality can only be a burden to those who see it as a burden. The burden is always theirs and they carry it. If the aphorisms do not contain a grain of truth in them then there is nothing to worry, and they turn out to be meaningless meanderings. But who knows? maybe they can be seen as a stepping stone. Bounce right over them. In the end I am simply an entertainer, a buffoon on the stage. It’s simply passing the time. And if “happiness” is what you seek, it might be found in not reading what I have to write.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 06:17 AM
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originally posted by: philosopheroftruth
a reply to: BlueMule

originally posted by: BlueMule
You are at a fork in the road. The path on your left has virtually nothing to do with mysticism, as you know it. The path on your right has everything to do with mysticism as you know it. Which path do you take?


You are right, but if you have studied and understand Buddhism well, you would see that Buddhism removes the need for either a Mystical (Acetic) or Materialistic (Hedonistic) path. There is another way - the Middle Path:


The untrodden way between the two ideas of mysticism you have in your head IS the middle way. You have your idea of a path that is free of mysticism. And you have your idea of a path that is corrupted by mysticism. Chose the undiscovered middle way between those paths, not dogma. The middle way is between your personal concepts, not in a book.

Mysticism is not synonymous with asceticism. Perhaps mysticism as YOU know it is, but not as I know it. Mysticism is simply the art of union with reality. Different artists have different styles, but reality is one. The way is one.

Do you know of the trikaya doctrine? The Buddha has three bodies, and yet is one. How can that be? Because identity is malleable. There is no permanent self. The you that you think you are is but one of the three bodies of the Buddha: the body that manifests in time and space. How well do you know your other two bodies? Have you discovered and integrated them into your idea of yourself? Or is the Sambhogakāya undiscovered? Has the Dharmakāya within you and without you winked at you yet? Thou art that.

Buddha-nature is our true self. It goes by different names in different cultures, and they all have their way to it. Mysticism is the art of uniting with it, not just the art of strict asceticism or fluffy New Age trappings.


edit on 589Saturday000000America/ChicagoJul000000SaturdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 06:40 AM
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originally posted by: Aphorism

But perhaps to your frustration, I have not denounced anyone’s experience.


If you tell me you have an experience of, say, making love to a beautiful woman, and I tell you that your orgasm was imaginary, I have denounced your experience. You might describe the hot date and the passion in flowery metaphor, but then I tell you that yes people often use metaphor to describe whats in their imagination, you might then feel offended.

The things that mystics describe with metaphor and poetry and science have no place in your philosophy of the body. So you have to interpret them in terms of something that does have a place: imagination. It has a place in your philosophy because it is within the realm of your own personal experience.

So you reduce genuine mystical experience to something that is not mystical experience - the imagination. In so doing, you denounce the experience and you offend this mystic. You must think the mystics of all ages are all idiots, to not be able to tell the difference between the imagination as you know it and reality as you know it.

So you sit there and you imagine making love to a beautiful woman. Can you tell the difference between your imaginary orgasm and a real act of passionate lovemaking? I should hope so. Now I'll take a page from your book and tell you that all your orgasms and all your lovers your whole life have been imaginary, Mr Virgin. Are you capable of imagining how that would that make you feel? That would require a degree of empathy, I think.


edit on 579SaturdayuAmerica/ChicagoJuluSaturdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 10:04 AM
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Through these threads you have posted Aph, it seems that you are growing. Saying things that were not said by you before, though they are quite significant.

It seems as though an underlying thread has been exposed and is being woven into a new kind of tapestry.

Would you mind sharing more of your experience of this? It could be very important.. but if nothing else, it should be fascinating! Feel free to do it through a PM, or here, or in a new thread, or not at all. As I am sure you are aware, the choice is yours.


I have been looking for some.. old friends for a very, very long time.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 12:51 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
The untrodden way between the two ideas of mysticism you have in your head IS the middle way. You have your idea of a path that is free of mysticism. And you have your idea of a path that is corrupted by mysticism. Chose the undiscovered middle way between those paths, not dogma. The middle way is between your personal concepts, not in a book.


That IS the Middle Path BlueMule and I never said it wasn't...

Maybe you misunderstand me, or maybe you completely understand, but that isn't my place to say. I am saying the exact same thing to you - get rid of your concepts if you want to actually understand the Buddhist truth.

All these doctrines you read so literally are just training wheels (you may "need" them and you may not). Mysticism is not synonymous with Asceticism, but Asceticism tells you to ignore your body here and only indulge in internal exploration (mortification of the physical self) which is a step away from "Mysticism". This is just more "Spiritual Materialism", BlueMule. if you are seeking experiences, you are lost according to Buddhist concepts (though it's not usually all that hard to find your way back).

Also, I don't think the Trikaya Doctrine means what you think it does. This would be like a person reading the story of Creation from Genesis and taking it literally. It's a way of explaining something - don't take it literally and keep studying instead of taking only what you want out of it (maybe you're not taking it literally, but then I miss your point).

My final quick word on the part about:


originally posted by: BlueMule
Buddha-nature is our true self. It goes by different names in different cultures, and they all have their way to it. Mysticism is the art of uniting with it, not just the art of strict asceticism or fluffy New Age trappings.


Study and reflect more! You are taking concepts from across the board and pretending that they are the same since doing so makes things easier to think about and makes everything make so much more sense. If they were all the same, about going into the same states, then why the big philosophical debates between Buddhists and Brahman Priests? Were they not all "uniting with it"? The answer is no. Hindu Priests saw the "Union with Brahman" as the ultimate goal, but Buddhism denies that. In Buddhism, these states are tools to calm the mind, bring peace, bring insight - not to gain magical powers to save the world with your thoughts. The world still needs helping, but it is the actual physical action of helping that actually does anything of worth...



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

A human being.

Yes, much evil has been committed in the name of religion and spirit, in the name of god; and continues to be done. It is the state of ignorance in the world. The misconstruing of words, the alteration of truth to fit a belief systems and someones earthly goals. It is indeed a very sad thing.

You possess a lot of truths. Truth is relative, what may be true to one, may not be for another, and it is like a net, it will only cast its case so far before it fails to bring in the phenomena happening in the eternal, or the other way around, we cannot see some truths because of our inherent limitations. So we work with what we have, this is a truth in itself.

You are a mighty spirit, but a spirit being, a human BE-ing. To say it is just flesh, it is much more, it is life. But do not sanctify the body, because that is to set it apart from the rest of creation. All that we see is holy. This is truly a golden ticket, the universes eyes and ears; it's skin and taste and smell. We evoke these things out of the universe, to see what eons of work has brought us, to enjoy, to further cultivate. In this way, we are the divine. There is no other place more worthy of our attention than where we currently find ourselves. But sometimes in order to understand that, we may need to venture far out, or deep within, to gain perspective.

When Jesus was asked where the kingdom of god was located, he didn't respond in saying in was in heaven, or anywhere else other than here, in the heart of man.

The type of happiness I speak of is not an elated happiness, it is more akin to a subtle contentment. This we can carry through any tribulation, because it is a deep well found within, that we can draw from cool refreshing water at any time, even in the hereafter. But this takes faith, this takes focus, this takes testing even in the face of the horrors that makes us turn and flee. So it takes courage.

We have to free ourselves from the beliefs which have become static, and a point of contention, a point of suffering created. We have to free ourselves from the relentless mind, if for anything, to gain perspective of the mind, for what it really is, an unwavering worker, a generator as you said. Does this mean that it is bad? Sure it can be, but it is here for a reason, however relative those are. But in this freedom, we gain the perspective of creation. The tireless worker, who creates and lets go and lets be, not holding on to any of its work, not expecting anything from it. The truth is, the idea of freedom itself is what creates the shackles we place on ourselves to begin with. You see, it is an idea, a belief. So step outside all ideas and beliefs, and what we can translate this back to in our experience, is true freedom, because in that there is a here and there.

I speak here because there is work to be done. I once had the idea that all is happening anyways, and all are on their own path anyways, whatever happiness and suffering that may bring, so what is the use in speaking up? I was wrong, there is use in doing, in being, in interaction. This is the bodhisattvas vow, to keep helping other beings until there is no more help to be done. I'll be silent when I'm dead. There are other ways to communicate than just with words and ideas, but this is what the human being thrives on. So here we are being.

I do not believe in completely resigning from the world, it is the world that brought me into being, and from it the experiences and understandings I've gained. Is it not the intention of the world to create such a thing for it itself to become a better place of understanding? Sure, some resign from it, that is their choice, and can be quite understandable, because there is a perspective of not coming back. But what about the rest? Depends on how much or how little you decide to hold on to. But we are born into it, and we die within it, so why not be part of it, at least in a way which helps to bring good things to fruition for all around, however a small part you may play.

But I am humble to know that I am only a messenger. Al that is becoming has always been, we are the brush dipped in all the colors, stroked against the canvas. Originality is only found in time, and time is illusory. Everything that will be, already exists in possibility. And you are right, we are the great part of the spirit that is building the connections between now and then. Quite powerful indeed. Though, one has to maintain a balance and realize that it still just a virtual expression of the eternal, whatever value in originality there is to be found is to be found by us for only for a moment in our brief passing through and limited perspective.

I respect your spirit Aphorism, and I see you in a different light now, I believe I am only beginning to understand the little that you have shown, you have quite a lot to offer. Much love, many blessings to you. Thank you for your words.
edit on 26-7-2014 by preludefanguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 02:40 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism

Feeling happy is not something I necessarily strive for. Perhaps I’m strange, but I choose to suffer also. Pain for me is the same as pleasure—me in the midst of my surroundings. Maybe I am absurdly sensual, but I need to feel as much as I can. Throwing myself at life and creativity necessarily leads me to that sort of suffering. It is a learning suffering. But then again, why be happy when you can be interesting?


As I described my own view on general happiness (that I experience as simply embracing the highs and the lows, the pleasure and the suffering) it can be said if you are weird I am too. In my particular view, an ability to appreciate those states can be handicapped, resulting in something that isn't based in a general love of life.

If you haven't that particular handicap, then perhaps spiritual practices are not needed by you.
I felt the need to reword that, because it seems you misunderstood what I wrote. Though I explained it earlier, I will reiterate- I came to that state of appreciation through a path of spirituality, myself.




Unfortunately I don’t have much of an early programming to report on.


I can't believe that. Everyone is programmed early in life. The amount of research that has proven this is overwhelming. We learn reflexes, reactions, behaviors, values, perceptions, very early in life.
If you are content with the way you were programmed, then perhaps you see no reason to do in depth analyzation of it. That's great. A lot of people feel the same. But not all.





Spirituality has been subverted a long time ago. It took the pagan gods and turned them into demons. It took sensuality and the body and turned them evil. It took life and turned it into guilt. It took our faith, our belief, and our value out of this world and imagined it into another one. It took merriment, joy and play and resigned them to a few days of the year. The worship of the living became the worship of the dead. Those who disagreed they burned at the stake, and a saint had her flayed alive with sea shells and broken tiles. The chandala could only drink and bathe in the dirty water found in the footprints of animals, and they were aloud to eat only onions and garlic, and the garbage of the brahmins. Countless women burned alive as witches. Intolerant Buddhists murdering muslims in the streets. Exceedingly rich gurus and godmen holding political and economic power. I will not join them.


Wait, in the OP, I got the idea you were talking about spirituality- NOT organized religion.
In my mind they do not necessarily go hand in hand. I feel a bit confused, as if you have changed your subject here!




But no, I have not tapped into any dark-side or negative state. I’ll be sure to keep my aura to a minimum.



I made no mention or reference to a dark side or negative state! The competative drive towards power is quite exhilerating for most men, and not at all experienced as "negative". I suggested you might be getting off on stirring others to oppose and verbally fence with you.
The comment above reinforces that perception- I don't speak in terms of negative as bad (if I use that word it will be in reference to Yin energy- feminine, physical, sensual, collective) , and my usage of the word "aura" was not used in reference to something magical- I use it as the word "intuition" is used- meaning the subconscious impressions and associations that attach to what we perceive. No magical "energy" involved.
I feel this is further provocation, and treating me like a mystical idiot into New Age movements. So I will step out of the conversation, yes, absolutely.


edit on 26-7-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 02:47 PM
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originally posted by: philosopheroftruth

originally posted by: BlueMule
The untrodden way between the two ideas of mysticism you have in your head IS the middle way. You have your idea of a path that is free of mysticism. And you have your idea of a path that is corrupted by mysticism. Chose the undiscovered middle way between those paths, not dogma. The middle way is between your personal concepts, not in a book.


That IS the Middle Path BlueMule and I never said it wasn't...

Maybe you misunderstand me, or maybe you completely understand, but that isn't my place to say. I am saying the exact same thing to you - get rid of your concepts if you want to actually understand the Buddhist truth.


I agree, get rid of concepts to understand the Buddhist truth. And not only the Buddhist truth. You have to get rid of concepts to understand the Christian truth too.

The Cloud of Unknowing

One can't take concepts 'into' the Cloud of Unknowing. Only love. It might seem to you that I am clinging to concepts. I'm not. I'm just using them like a finger pointing to the moon. It might seem to me that YOU are clinging to concepts. But maybe not. We are probably very different people.


All these doctrines you read so literally are just training wheels (you may "need" them and you may not). Mysticism is not synonymous with Asceticism, but Asceticism tells you to ignore your body here and only indulge in internal exploration (mortification of the physical self) which is a step away from "Mysticism". This is just more "Spiritual Materialism", BlueMule. if you are seeking experiences, you are lost according to Buddhist concepts (though it's not usually all that hard to find your way back).


I don't read any literally. The menu is not the meal, the map is not the territory. And yet, there is a meal to eat, there is a frontier to explore.


Study and reflect more! You are taking concepts from across the board and pretending that they are the same since doing so makes things easier to think about and makes everything make so much more sense. If they were all the same, about going into the same states, then why the big philosophical debates between Buddhists and Brahman Priests? Were they not all "uniting with it"? The answer is no.


They debate about names and concepts and interpretations.


Hindu Priests saw the "Union with Brahman" as the ultimate goal, but Buddhism denies that. In Buddhism, these states are tools to calm the mind, bring peace, bring insight - not to gain magical powers to save the world with your thoughts. The world still needs helping, but it is the actual physical action of helping that actually does anything of worth...


I would agree that psychic abilities can be a distraction and a temptation on the path. Sooner or later everyone on the path faces them, when they have reached a certain point in their development. In Tibet, it is considered taboo to admit you have them. People fear them, and power corrupts.


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posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 03:25 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

originally posted by: BlueMule
They debate about names and concepts and interpretations.

This is incorrect and shows a lack of understanding of what and why Buddhism is...

You said earlier:

originally posted by: BlueMule
Buddha-nature is our true self.

But this is the exact opposite of what Buddhism teaches! Buddhism rejects the idea of there being any base "true self" at all (from here):

"the Buddha said he could find no evidence for the existence of either the personal soul (atman) or its cosmic counterpart (brahman)"

There are many more places you can look for this, but that is the very basis for Buddhism, and believing that Hinduism teaches the same thing as Buddhism is only detrimental to yourself and your understanding. I do agree that Western Mysticism, Christian Mysticism, Shamanism, Hinduism, and many other traditions see the "Union with Brahman" experience as the ultimate union with God/The Universe/The "True" Self, but Buddhhists have been there as well but deny that it is "Union" with anything resembling a self at all. I have had the "Union" experience, as well as many other types of extraordinary experiences, but I agree with what Buddhism teaches about such things.
edit on 7/26/2014 by philosopheroftruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 04:03 PM
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a reply to: philosopheroftruth

I appreciate your concern and your expertise. But you just proved my point.

"the Buddha said he could find no evidence for the existence of either the personal soul (atman) or its cosmic counterpart (brahman)"

The above is a debate about words, concepts, names, maps, menus. Presumably, the Buddha entered the same state of mystical consciousness that another mystic has, a Hindu mystic, in an effort to verify his empirical claims of Atman and Brahman. Otherwise, where would he look for evidence? There is a lot of room in there for misunderstanding and error!

Cross-cultural mysticism can be a difficult thing. I would not judge the path of another mystic, especially a foreign mystic. And I won't let another mystic judge mine. The way takes different forms for everyone, even for people who don't realize they are on a path, like Aphorism. That's what makes it the way.

Neither of us knows what the other knows or has experienced. No two understandings of Buddhism are exactly alike, nor should they be.


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posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 04:34 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
...proved my point.

Which of course is the only reason we're here in the first place.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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originally posted by: philosopheroftruth

There are many more places you can look for this, but that is the very basis for Buddhism, and believing that Hinduism teaches the same thing as Buddhism is only detrimental to yourself and your understanding. I do agree that Western Mysticism, Christian Mysticism, Shamanism, Hinduism, and many other traditions see the "Union with Brahman" experience as the ultimate union with God/The Universe/The "True" Self, but Buddhhists have been there as well but deny that it is "Union" with anything resembling a self at all. I have had the "Union" experience, as well as many other types of extraordinary experiences, but I agree with what Buddhism teaches about such things.


I can see both sides of it. Self implies a not-self, so the idea of unity and unity itself are two different things. So words can't reach past dualism, they can only point.

The Dalai Lama has been working closely with Western scientists to understand what happens to a monk during meditation, and how they are able to do remarkable things with their minds. I agree with the Dalai Lama that the study of such "mystical" things is a good idea. People need to know how much the human mind is really capable of, imo.

I agree with the point Rumi is making in this poem:

Moses heard a shepherd on the road praying,
“God,
where are you? I want to help You, to fix Your shoes
and comb your hair. I want to wash Your clothes
and pick the lice off. I want to bring You milk,
to kiss Your little hands and feet when it’s time
for You to go to bed. I want to sweep Your room
and keep it neat. God, my sheep and my goats
are Yours. All I can say, remembering You,
is ayyyyyyy and ahhhhhhhh.”

Moses could stand it no longer.
“Who are you talking to?”

“The one who made us,
and made the earth and made the sky.”
“Don’t talk about shoes and socks with God!
And what’s this with Your little hands and feet?
Such blasphemous familiarity sounds like
you’re chatting with your uncles.
Only something that grows needs milk.
Only someone with feet needs shoes. Not God!
Even if you meant God’s human representatives,
as when God said, ‘I was sick, and you did not visit me,’
even then this tone would be foolish and irreverent.

Use appropriate terms. Fatima is a fine name
for a woman, but if you call a man Fatima,
it’s an insult. Body-and-birth language
are right for us on this side of the river,
but not for addressing the Origin,
not for Allah.”

The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and sighed
and wandered out into the desert.

A sudden revelation
came then to Moses. God’s voice:
You have separated Me
from one of my own. Did you come as a prophet to unite,
or to sever?
I have given each being a separate and unique way
of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge.
What seems wrong to you is right for him.
What is poison to one is honey to someone else.

Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship,
these mean nothing to Me.
I am apart from all that.
Ways of worshipping are not to be ranked as better
or worse than one another.
Hindus do Hindu things.
The Dravidian Muslims in India do what they do.
It’s all praise, and it’s all right.

It’s not Me that’s glorified in acts of worship.
It’s the worshippers! I don’t hear the words
They say. I look inside at the humility.
That broken-open lowliness is the Reality,
not the language! Forget phraseology.
I want burning, burning.
Be friends
with your burning. Burn up your thinking
and your forms of expression!
Moses,
those who pay attention to ways of behaving
and speaking are one sort.
Lovers who burn are another.”

Don’t impose a property tax
on a burned out village. Don’t scold the Lover.
The “wrong” way he talks is better than a hundred
“right” ways of others.
Inside the Kaaba
it doesn’t matter which direction you point
your prayer rug!
The ocean diver doesn’t need snowshoes!
The Love-Religion has no code or doctrine.
Only God.
So the ruby has nothing engraved on it!
It doesn’t need markings.
God began speaking
deeper mysteries to Moses. Vision and words,
which cannot be recorded here, poured into
and through him. He left himself and came back.
He went to eternity and came back here.
Many times this happened.
It’s foolish of me
to try and say this. If I did say it,
it would uproot our human intelligences.
It would shatter all writing pens.

Moses ran after the shepherd.
He followed the bewildered footprints,
in one place moving straight like a castle
across a chessboard. In another, sideways,
like a bishop.
Now surging like a wave cresting,
now sliding down like a fish,
with always his feet
making geomancy symbols in the sand,
recording his wandering state.

Moses finally caught up with him.
“I was wrong. God has revealed to me
that there are no rules for worship.
Say whatever
and however your loving tells you to. Your sweet blasphemy
is the truest devotion.
Through you a whole world is freed.
Loosen your tongue and don’t worry what comes out.
It’s all the light of the Spirit.”

The shepherd replied,
“Moses, Moses,
I’ve gone beyond even that.
You applied the whip and my horse shied and jumped
out of itself. The Divine Nature and my human nature
came together.
Bless your scolding hand and your arm.
I can’t say what has happened.
What I’m saying now
is not my real condition. It can’t be said.”

The shepherd grew quiet.

When you look in a mirror,
you see yourself, not the state of the mirror.
The fluteplayer puts breath into a flute,
and who makes the music? Not the flute.
The Fluteplayer!

Whenever you speak praise
or thanksgiving to God, it’s always like this
dear shepherd’s simplicity.
When you eventually see
through the veils to how things really are,
you will keep saying again
and again,
“This is certainly not like
we thought it was!”



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

This is all well and good, but it has no place in Buddhism other than being a place you might see during meditation practices. The Brahman state of mind, just like any other experience, will be a source of suffering if used as a refuge:

"The metaphysical basis of Buddhist thought—arising from the anatta doctrine—is such that the desire for the atman, for Brahman, for a theistic deity, all these are routes to dukkha rather than liberation."

-from here (same source from my last comment)

This is due to the clinging to this state as the "Final State" - any Buddhist knows that attachment to anything (including states of mind) lead to suffering. Instead, Buddhists tend to use tools such as the calming Samatha and insightful Vispassana meditations to gain insight into the true nature of reality but never cling to any of them - I would say that the Jhana meditations are close to the Brahman state, but different in the goal and depth (this is not the end goal of the practices, and there is no feeling or perception at the deepest levels unlike the bliss and love encountered in the earlier stages).

What I was saying earlier was that you talk of things (like Buddhism) like you have studied them when you obviously have not studied them enough. The whole point I was making about "Non-Self" was how core of a teaching it is in Buddhism and how you didn't even notice yourself making the obvious error of saying Buddhism, like everything else, is about finding the "True-Self", when it in reality is more about Anatta. This is one of the pieces of Right View on the Nobel Eightfold Path (from here):

"Anatta (Sanskrit anatman) or "non-Self" is used in the suttas both as a noun and as a predicative adjective to denote that phenomena are not, or are without, a self; to describe any and all composite, consubstantial, phenomenal and temporal things, from the macrocosmic to microcosmic, be it matter pertaining to the physical body or the cosmos at large, as well as any and all mental machinations, which are impermanent."

I'm not concerned by your lack of knowledge, but I would hope that you will read a bit more about what I say in my posts (as well as spend some time understanding the various traditions that exist) before replying. Buddhism is only about the cessation of suffering (in your own person as well as for other people) and nothing more - you can have your own interpretation, but at a certain point it becomes something else (your version of Buddhism looks a lot more like Hinduism thought) far removed from what you were (and everyone else is) talking about. The posts are getting close to being unfruitful, so I am going to leave this thread at this point. Hopefully my posts were of help to some!

I'll leave with this explanation of how many debates of this type go (this is for everyone on all sides, not just denial of Buddhism):

"The concept of ambiguous evasion or eel-wriggling (Pali: Amaravikkhepa) is introduced in the Brahmajala sutta. When hearing Buddhist teachings, the Buddha claims that people would react with four forms of ambiguous evasion:

Evasion out of fear or hatred of making false claims.
Evasion out of fear or hatred of attachment.
Evasion out of fear or hatred of debate.
Evasion out of fear or hatred of admitting ignorance.

In other words, when a person would hear the dharma, they would respond, "I don't know. Maybe it is true. Maybe it is not true. I can't say it's true because I don't know and I can't deny it's true because I don't know."

-from here



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 11:58 PM
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I suggest anyone in this thread read the book "The Power of Myth" by Bill Moyers and come back and reevaluate your statements if you're opposed to what Aphorism is saying.

Not only does it seem as though he's expanding upon Joseph Campbell's work, he's bringing a mighty refreshing perception, a somewhat(not to downplay you Aphorism) novel perspective on spirituality, mythology and metaphysics.

At no point, anywhere, did I see him denounce or bash anything. He very mildly CHALLENGED status quo comfortable belief structures and general spirituality.

If you're comfortable with your spirituality, you're either a Boddhisatva, have attained Nirvana recently or more than likely you're down right lazy with your individual spiritual pursuits.

Anyone who has became uneasy with Aphorism's OPs just learned a valuable lesson - you've got a lot of work to do, and you should be glad Aphorism showed you you have work to do.

Good post, Aphorism.
edit on 26-7-2014 by b3l13v3 because: (no reason given)



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