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I find the concept of Enlightenment problematic

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posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 08:34 PM
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I'm a conservative. I don't want all this "change". I love the world as it is.


Why doesn't that surprise me? The world has so many horrific problems I don't see how you can be a good person and NOT want to change it.




posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

Buddha himself notes that if one chooses to disagree with his teachings, then one is entitled to, I believe it is in the introduction of one of his books, accepting, that he himself might not either be correct.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 02:08 AM
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Often times, my "mind" or thoughts is/are "switched off" and in that state, I really just experience myself as a set of eyes in a head. If I were to describe where I feel myself to be, I feel my entire body, I feel what is my soul occupying a place just below my heart. When my thoughts are "on" then I am inside my thoughts, as opposed to just feeling like I have a skull with a brain inside it.

I just see the mind as another point of focus for one's attention, sometimes you can hear thoughts and recall memories, this is the function of the mind.

In terms of my "ego" I find it simple to see it as a "program" - a set of voice patterns and behavioural characteristics.

"Enlightenment" is seen as the "end goal" - as if, there is nothing further for us to do or to achieve once we have attained it, and that is one of the reasons why I feel discouraged by the concept.

I would rather have a mind and thoughts, and even have an "ego" or experience "suffering" then be in some permanent kind of trance. I feel as if our mind and thoughts are there for a reason, we were born with them, and they have a purpose. To look down upon thoughts, and the physical senses, in a way, is denying the way in which we are naturally programmed.

Further, look at the physical word, look at life and look at how intricate it is, somehow we are supposed to "transcend" it and call it an "illusion", call it "suffering" - there is something fundamentally wrong with that.


edit on 27-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 04:28 AM
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a reply to: SystemResistor




To look down upon thoughts, and the physical senses, in a way, is denying the way in which we are naturally programmed.


I think that is the whole problem SR. We appear to be automatons, programmed, we believe that we have control of our life and destiny but this is only an illusion. The machine takes over and we ride through a dull existence, asleep. We have not awoken to the reality of our true nature. Sometimes we get a glimpse of this reality when we have a peak experience or look at a wonderful piece of art ( Especially Van Gogh IMHO ). Anyone who has had a peak experience can confirm just what an incredible experience it is. You just want to remain in that state forever. Then when you come back to normality ( normal programming ) you come back with a bang, you know you have lost something so stunningly valuable.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 04:34 AM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

I am with you on this. I do not feel escapism to be a particular "enlightened" state.

On the other hand, to be fair, I think that it might be helpful for people to learn how to find those states in a temporary way, to give them an internal space to rest, re-energize, and be able to come back stronger to face the challenges of this world more effectively.

I find it is eventually even possible to preserve that state simultaneously while engaging in the world of physicality, though that take perhaps time to develop.

I consider that the extreme of trying to remain in that state all the time (rejecting individuation and physicality) is about as productive or beneficial as the opposite extreme- rejecting completely all internal states of spiritual "bliss" en bloc.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 04:38 AM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

SystemR: "Enlightenment is to detach oneself from the physical senses, because, being attached to them, grounds one in the physical world, the impermanant physical world that is an "illusion". What is real, is of couse, "one" where one is all that is, and one is not focused on thier personal desires."

You seem to be stating what enlightenment is, but I assume you are not, so you should not be speculating on what it is, or saying it is such and such. I would not say, "Enlightenment is to detach oneself from the physical senses". There is more to the path of enlightenment. In traditional Buddhism, there is what is called the Eightfold path, it has many aspects to the practice.

en.wikipedia.org...

One aspect of this Eightfold path is 'right view'. Right view is a view free from speculation, and other wrong views; a view that is in accord with reality, with the truth. You can call it understanding or wisdom. This is one aspect that is required. This is obtained through 'objective' observation / investigation of realities (incl. the nature of your being) and development of discernment/concentration.

There is also 'right action' and conduct (included in that is right livelihood). Living in a way that is harmless/blameless. You can say it is synonymous to a good (or right) disposition.

----

SystemR:" Firslty, what is wrong with reincarnating on Earth?
1) Lets say that I've only got one lifetime to live, for whatever reason, there is going to be no reincarnation for me, no ascention to the spiritual plane, just this lifetime. When I look at my life, what do I really have to complain about? Earth is beautiful is it not, I have so many friends, family, and there are so many interesting things to do. If I get come back again (reincarnate) of course I would, and of course I will have learnt many lessons. Think about it, reincarnating on Earth indefinitely, that means that I will always be able to come back here and enjoy life."

In life there is enjoyment, but there is also suffering. The Buddhas view is not only from the momentary perspective of life when everything is good. It is from the perspective of an entire life span, or untold life spans, greater than if you took all the bones from the dead corpses of all those lives, would pile up greater than the largest mountain range. One moment life is good and one is happy, and at other moments there can be loneliness, grief, depression, fear, etc. All things are impermanent and in a state of change and all beings experience old age, disease, and death. I am not saying life is not worthy for these reasons, but these are some reasons the Buddha mentions.

---

SystemR:"Secondly, what is wrong with the physical senses?
2) The goal is to be detached from the physical senses,"

I would not say that is the goal (from Buddhist perspective). The goal is to be free from suffering.

---

SystemR: "Thridly, is living in a continuous state of bliss a constructive thing?

3) The state of "bliss" is supposedly a permanant sensation, when one is in this state, they no-longer need to be preoccupied with reality, they can sit in this state eternally.."

Again, we do not know what Nibbana is. Some say it is extinction, some say it is another state of existence. The bliss you refer to is experienced in the jhanas, (before nibbana) of which there are different levels, and in the higher jhanas, that bliss fades and is no longer experienced. ... but these are only stories in books. These stories are not important. What is important is the practice, and whether it improves your state of being.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: SystemResistor

"Enlightenment" is seen as the "end goal" - as if, there is nothing further for us to do or to achieve once we have attained it, and that is one of the reasons why I feel discouraged by the concept.
Enlightenment maybe seen as an 'end goal' but really it is the end of the illusion of being separate. There will be nothing left for you to do because the realization of wholeness is the realization that all is just happening and there is no one actually doing anything - this is already the case but is not realized.



I would rather have a mind and thoughts, and even have an "ego" or experience "suffering" then be in some permanent kind of trance. I feel as if our mind and thoughts are there for a reason, we were born with them, and they have a purpose. To look down upon thoughts, and the physical senses, in a way, is denying the way in which we are naturally programmed.
The idea that liberation makes one walk around in a trance comes from where? When the mind is chatting away it is usually trying to solve a problem, a problem it has created in a story about what is not actually happening, what tends to happen is that we become lost in thought and do not see and hear what is going on 'around' us. When there is a lack of interest in the thoughts because they are not being bought into they may become less and less and there is more seeing and hearing of what is really going on - there seems to be a larger awareness, less trance like because one is seeing and hearing and not lost in thought.
Thoughts appear out of thin air, no one can stop thought from happening but what thought speaks is often believed - it speaks about the past and future and about what it 'thinks' is happening but thought cannot see and hear what is actually happening. You are the witness of thought happening - you are seeing and hearing all that arises. Thought speaks about a person (the character you 'think' you are) in time and space but you are always here and now and everything seen and heard appears in the here and now.


Further, look at the physical word, look at life and look at how intricate it is, somehow we are supposed to "transcend" it and call it an "illusion", call it "suffering" - there is something fundamentally wrong with that.


Look at the physical world, see what is appearing, it is intricate, it is infinite. What is 'actually appearing' is IT, who says you must transcend it?
The end of suffering which occurs with enlightenment happens because it is found that there is no one 'inside' to suffer. It is the individual that suffers from the feeling of lack so is on a wheel of fear and desire.
When wholeness is realized (finding that nothing is separate) then it is found that 'all that is' is right here so there is no need to look outside this (as it found that there is no inside or outside to what there is).

The separate self seeks to complete itself by looking outside itself. Seek for that which is seeking.

edit on 27-10-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

The funniest part about enlightenment is how illogical it is.

How does one know he is enlightened? Is there some finish line one steps over, or is there a cosmic judge who mediates this process and decrees "Yes; you are enlightened"? No. It has always been self-proclaimed.

Do you want to know how to become enlightened? Just call yourself enlightened. That is how every enlightened individual has done it so far.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 01:12 PM
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Enlightenments a b/tch & ignorance is bliss.

Please for the love of god, stop voting.

web.photodex.com...
edit on 27-10-2014 by Eunuchorn because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 01:26 PM
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originally posted by: Visitor2012
a reply to: Serdgiam

The whole point of seeking is to find the ultimate. For many people, the ultimate discovery would be the self, liberation and end of suffering. Since you already are the self, and it's a matter of transcending mind and thought to recognize and abide in what already IS. For this, a path is not needed. This is the only concept of 'enlightenment' I refer to.


Yes, but all have their own view. I simply speak my own, as do you. None of which are less valid than another, in my opinion, but most tend to be more interested in asserting authority than are interested in viewing "this" through a diversity of lenses.

I see that a path is inevitable and unavoidable, and has as much to do with any perspective of 'enlightenment' as it doesn't. Focusing on 'no path' exclusively can be just as much of a trap as trying to find the right one. Its just jumping from one duality to another, never escaping it despite the perspective otherwise. Right path, wrong path, both paths, and neither all have their place. "No path" is, itself, a path.


Paths that deal with energy work, kundalini and many other practices which generate phenomena, I feel has nothing to do with liberation. You can work with your energy until you can virtually feel yourself connected to the entire universe, yet you don't remain in this state. And when it's all said and done, the self is not discovered there and the question 'but who am I?' remains.


I also like to specifically include OBE. But to say they have *nothing* to do with "liberation" also suggests they are wrong, and that another certain method/lack of method is the right one. What is needed is everywhere and nowhere. On all paths and none. Though, for me personally, they became a massive distraction. When we seek, it automatically states that we do not have what we are looking for, or else we would not be seeking. With things like enlightenment, happiness, contentment, etc. it can become a habit where we can become so used to looking, that we can't tell when we have found it.


That's why I spoke against experience chasing, which is another word for mysticism, shamanism, OBE's, astral projection and channeling, all of which I have done for many years. Because ultimately, the self, which IS free, beyond form, WHOLE, pure, fresh, ever-present, un-changing and immortal, can not be discovered through these. Most seekers want to be mystics but only sages are liberated.


For myself, I would be inclined to agree. For some, however, the experiences obtained by such methods may be the exact catalyst needed to see what has always been there. To make absolute statements suggests that there are places of seperation and duality where "this" does not exist. Also directly implying that there is a right path, and it isn't in "that" direction.

If something is beyond form, but also incapable of form, then it seems it is dualistic inherently. Some beliefs suggest there is an element to our existence that not only goes "beyond" form, but is also form itself and I am inclined to agree. If that is the case, then path or no path, right or wrong methods, and other subjectivities are all viable. Due to the impact of the human experience on the equation though, I would say that there are some which have more glue.


There's a story some where about a guy who spends his whole life knocking on a door. Waiting for it to open and let him in. When he's about to die, it finally opens and it's an opening to the outside. So I said, enlightenment is already at the starting point of all paths. Paradoxically, the most direct path, is a pathless one.


Yes, no path technically means non-existence, which certainly lends itself well to an omniscient perspective.. but only if the perspective is just as capable of seeing paths. Else, it is inherently resigned to either/or, this/that, no path/path, or simply duality. Paradoxically, non-existence viewed through non-duality (an oxymoron itself), actually has form and presence. At least as much as it doesn't.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 05:11 PM
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originally posted by: SystemResistor
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Buddha himself notes that if one chooses to disagree with his teachings, then one is entitled to, I believe it is in the introduction of one of his books, accepting, that he himself might not either be correct.



Or perhaps he was respecting the freedom of others to disagree and seek an alternate means of understanding.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 08:01 PM
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Is enlightenment the problem or is it your thinking that it's a problem creating the illusion that a problem exists? Concepts are illusionary, even the concept of enlightenment.

When one glances at the sky they tend to focus on the clouds completely overlooking the background in which allows one to perceive their very form. If one sees the sky for its clouds one is perceiving incorrectly. If one were to see no clouds or sky at all one would be experiencing enlightenment.



posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 08:14 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: SystemResistor

The funniest part about enlightenment is how illogical it is.

How does one know he is enlightened? Is there some finish line one steps over, or is there a cosmic judge who mediates this process and decrees "Yes; you are enlightened"? No. It has always been self-proclaimed.

Do you want to know how to become enlightened? Just call yourself enlightened. That is how every enlightened individual has done it so far.



Logic is a process of the mind, enlightenment occurs when one becomes capable of seeing beyond the illusionary mind.

If someone proclaims enlightenment they are not enlightened because it is not a title to proclaim nor any type of attainment for that matter. Enlightenment occurs to one who sees past all illusion and resides in the stillness of the moment.

Be your being without giving yourself to the impulses of the mind and body, reside your conscious awareness not in the past nor future but in the present now.

No thing exists in and of itself, all is form and formless dancing in unison to the beat of eternal existence.
edit on 27-10-2014 by EviLCHiMP because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 12:09 AM
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From what I have seen/listened to about attaining enlightenment, thoughts appear to be one of the key "problems" in its attainment. So, what is exactly the problem with thoughts? I can think about a beautiful flower, or I can think of a car accident, thoughts are of all natures, and from what I can understand, it is the cessation of all thought that is required for one to experience the enlightened state.

I do not really understand why thoughts are painted in distasteful light. If one's mind was filled with thoughts, and they were mostly good thoughts, then I do not see why such an individual would want to cease thinking or detach himself from his thoughts.

Just because some thoughts are negative or pestering, does not mean that all thoughts are the problem.

If all simply "is" and is complete, then, why would one need to even attain such a state in the first place?

Are we divided into two groups, enlightened and non-enlightened, supreme "bliss" or continued "suffering" - is that not simply heaven and hell, an implicit dualism in the enlightenment doctrine?
edit on 28-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 12:28 AM
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I realise that enlightenment is a state of awareness, however, regardless of whether or not this state exists, I am dealing with the concept itself.

If the concept is flawed, then enlightenment could be just another altered state of consciousness, amongst the many states of consciousness that we are capable of experiencing, no more special or important than any other state.
edit on 28-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 01:10 AM
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a reply to: SystemResistor
Enlightenment cannot be attained - there is only the light but there seems to be something separate seeking it.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: EviLCHiMP


Logic is a process of the mind, enlightenment occurs when one becomes capable of seeing beyond the illusionary mind.

If someone proclaims enlightenment they are not enlightened because it is not a title to proclaim nor any type of attainment for that matter. Enlightenment occurs to one who sees past all illusion and resides in the stillness of the moment.

Be your being without giving yourself to the impulses of the mind and body, reside your conscious awareness not in the past nor future but in the present now.

No thing exists in and of itself, all is form and formless dancing in unison to the beat of eternal existence.


Logic isn’t necessarily a process. It is the art of establishing valid relationships among logical entities. It is systematic understanding; thinking without contradiction; non-contradictory identification of logical entities. It is a method and a tool of thought. With logic, ones utilize his tools rather than denounces them (himself) as “illusory” so that they may be swept under some carpet.

We always reside in the moment. We cannot do otherwise. “Conscious awareness” cannot reside anywhere else. By limiting the ability to reason about past and future, one limits himself. Castrating abilities and faculties diminishes wisdom, never enhances it.

If enlightenment is the silencing of abilities for the sake of accomplishing base animal awareness, then a full-frontal lobotomy is the key to enlightenment, and those in vegetative states and comas, more enlightened than you or I.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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originally posted by: SystemResistor
Firslty, what is wrong with reincarnating on Earth?

First thing that comes to mind is that we are stuck in a physical decaying body that is severely limited in ability. Who wants to be here in an organic human body when we could instead be exploring different realms and learning great truths.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

I am not your traditional "enlightened" person if you chose to call it this. What I can comment on is that split between physical/corpreal/material vs. spiritual. I do not believe that there is a permanent "bliss" but rather a "bliss" that comes with knowing that the material world view is just that--material--and does not, unless one chooses to allow it--effect their spiritual self. Its in this knowledge that a person can navigate the physical material world events and laws with an understanding that freewill is about which side to cling to. Chose the material world, and you are guided and dictated to by the material senses. Chose spiritual path and nothing effects you as it once did. This is not to say that even those who may call themselves "enlightened" won't from time to time partake in pleasure of the physical, but that ultimately their decisions and focus are geared toward the spiritual where the material world is just a tool to let their light shine from within.

Of course it would be easier for the "enlightened" ones, and those that doubt, if they could just turn into "light-beings" so that you could see just how enlightened they really are. But, the material and physical laws do not work this way. All I can recommend is turning inside yourself, examining your motivations for everything in life, looking at whether you are being the person you desire to be, whether you live a lie or live truthfully. Opinions will vary by those that look at you in judgment of your intentions, but you are the only person in charge of the decisions you make.

If you wish, "enlightenment" could be referred to as a person who knows themselves so well that the inner part of them reflects outwardly, and they are consciously aware of the power over the world they hold. Because a person aware of themselves, cannot be misled, manipulated, nor controlled. I speculate that most people on this forum are at the very least dabbling with this process, and in time it will grow out of them if they remain true to themselves.



posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 11:08 PM
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a reply to: Jainine

When we dream, we can do the same thing, if you are familiar with astral projection, it is the ability to walk outside of your body and explore other realms. There are so many things we can do in a body, first of all we can feel and we can think, and we can enjoy what life has to offer. As a spirit, we can no-longer do such things, and perhaps the real reason of why we "reincarnate" is because we can't wait to get back into a body and enjoy life all over again.

Such is a positive reason for reincarnation, that involves a choice. The enlightenment paradigm assumes that we are "trapped" and that we generally "suffer" and that we have no choice but to reincarnate if we are "un-enlightened".


edit on 28-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



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