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I find the concept of Enlightenment problematic

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posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 11:25 PM
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a reply to: ExPostFacto

I can offer you an alternate model - Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs":

Starting from the base:

1) Physiological - Food, water, warmth, rest
2) Safety - Security, safety
3) Love/belonging - Intimate relationships, friends
4) Esteem - Prestige and feeling of confidence
5) Self-Actualisation - Attaining ones full potential including creative activities.

From this view point, we can see where most people fit in, self-actualisation being the goal, to be what you truly want to be.

For example, the poor and starving would be at the lowest level because they cannot satisfy their physiological needs, the average person might still suffer from low self-esteem and depression, and those at the top have realised themselves as what they want to be, similar to what you have explained as being enlightenment.

It makes no presumptions about reincarnation.


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posted on Oct, 28 2014 @ 11:59 PM
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In the fundamental sense, we cannot observe ourselves because we are the facet of observation itself. To dwell in a state of "bliss" is simply just another state of awareness that cancels/detaches itself from the physical senses, resulting in a sense of sensual uniformity that some would be led to believe is the ultimate state of existence.



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 12:43 AM
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Yikes you have so much misinformation in the OP SystemResistor. The goal of final enlightenment (paranirvana) is to escape causality or the chain of becoming due to karmic cause and effect.

The problem with attachment is it can be fuel for karma. So lets look at this chain of causality... because you have 6 senses, you have contact between eye and object, ear and sound etc. you can either find this contact good, bad, or neutral. If you find the contact neutral or are non affected then there is no karma, if you find the contact bad you will experience pain try to avoid it get others to avoid it etc etc creating a lot of stress surrounding this contact... are you in the present moment during this crusade? or are you living in a past experience? Even if you don't like the contact, you are still attached to it... much like a rodent with only it's tail caught in a mousetrap. Let's look at what happens if you deem the contact pleasant... you will then crave this experience, want to extend this experience through grasping for more of it; like an addict after an addicting drug. This can be just as stressful as cause pain and suffering as if it were a bad experience.

Of course this experience, deemed good or bad is a duality and the outcome the same, hating it or loving it is stressful because we try to keep the avoidance of it or the pleasure of it in a permanent state. This is where the problem lay... everything is impermanent, the whole universe is in a state of entropy and change there is nothing you can hold onto that will stay is it is... your body is shedding and replicating 1000's of cells this very moment, everything is decaying on the particle level all mountains will eventually wear to a grain of sand.

Impermanence is a law of nature, trying to hold onto something and keep it in a permanent state is stressful and goes against this law of nature... that car being polished on the weekends under a cover in a garage for 20 years can be gone in an instant from a house fire, earth quake, roof collapsing etc etc. and all that stress and struggle for those 20 years wasted in an instant by going against this natural law.

The most common argument is thinking non attachment means non enjoyment. This is not the case at all, you can enjoy something as it arises, and as it is present all you want to, the problem is grasping and clinging after it once it has passed. You are no longer content because of this craving, you start thinking about where it went, how to get it back etc etc. what has happened in this midst of this craving after what has passed? You have been missing what has arisen in it's place, you are no longer present and aware or mindful of what is arising and passing around you are you? You step on the cat or dogs tail, you leave your car headlights on etc etc because you are day dreaming and not awake.

When the Buddha first emerged from the grove, someone noticed his calm abiding presence and peaceful aura and asked him what he was. He simply replied, I am awake.

Bliss is nothing more than the result of a relaxed unattached mind calmly abiding in the present moment, it is not the goal just the fruit of practice, and yes it feels spectacular... the problem then in practice is to let go of this now past feeling that felt better than any experience you have yet to feel including any high from a drug. Of course, not free yet you will grasp after that wanting it again and it will not arise. So you go back to practice and study and try and try. Yet it will not come because impermanence is still a concept and not an integrated experience. That bliss is gone it will never arise again no matter what you do to get it back. When you finally let go from that arising of bliss from understanding impermanence, you will experience bliss once again. Chase it again? It will not come. Bliss A and Bliss B are two different experiences, they arose and they went away... chasing Bliss A prevents Bliss B from occurring, because Bliss A no longer exists.

When you've finally transformed the concept of impermanence to understanding there arises non attachment from the understanding that all things are like this. Both sides of the sword of duality cuts, good and bad. Being mindful of where the mind is, where it's going, and what it's doing is practice. The mind follows the senses it chases after itself, and consciousness blinded by all this display chases right along behind it in ignorance, right into the maelstrom. well there is no reason you have to chase and enamored by the minds contents, it is what it is, thoughts arise and they pass you can act or them or not from intention these thoughts build. This intention is very pregnant with karma and whether the intention is good or bad or neutral once carried out becomes the cause for whatever effects that follow.

So instead of consciousness chasing the mind where ever and all over hill and dale where it wants to go, use consciousness to place it just like using the reigns on a horse, the steering wheel in a car. This is known as one pointedness it leads to great concentration and insight and eventually to samadhi or bliss and is the basis of most every meditation... focus on the breath is a form of this consciously placing the mind where you want it to be, instead of chasing it blindly through the brier patch and judging whatever and where ever it took you as good or bad... then you say oh bad naughty mind for taking me here or there or indulge in the craving it had you chase down because you wanted more.

Our conscious awareness does not think, it is more of a witness to where the mind goes like a flag waving in the wind, it can be thought of as will, it can be strong or weak based on how much it follows the mind as it tries to indulge and avoid its way through life. Placing the mind with the conscious will makes it strong and firm where the mind can move but consciousness does not notice and there is quiescence or the apparent absence of thought, but it really is at that point the consciousness is just filtering out thought... it is there if you shift awareness to it, but it is filled with the manure experience and will chatter on and on about past present and future etc etc. that is of no use until you put it to use.

Meditations such as thinking sweeping sweeping etc etc are to help the meditator consciously realize that the body can sweep without the mind being involved... the hand can scratch an itch without you thinking to raise the arm can it not? Once setting the body to task sweeping is there any use for the mind chattering away? No just sight to see the sweeping, touch to hold the broom, and ears to hear the bristles play it's music across the surface. If you involve the mind in this process, you are no longer sweeping... but taking trips to the store, thinking about that argument or any other innumerable things there are to think about. Well, you have just cheated yourself from actually sweeping now haven't you? How many times have you swept but not swept? This realization is beyond duality... you have but you haven't.

Understand?



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 01:29 AM
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Using a conventional frame of reference to relate to these things is pointless, there's no explaining or rationalizing it without experiencing it.

There's several traditions ingeniously crafted over thousands of years to help one advance along this path, they might differ in details but they all contain the same core truths. They're remarkably detailed and they're all designed for the express purpose of spiritual progress, practice and experience is the only way, being intellectual about it can only take you so far.
Practicing cultivation will reveal the truth in successive layers, but it is a hard road, many uncomfortable truths, yet it is also a thing of wonder and beauty, that is how I see it.

It is my own private adventure that could rival any fantasy story, it fills me with awe, purpose, happiness and contentment, there's always something new on the horizon.. and the best part is, being quite young I have only just begun the journey in earnest.

I hope you find what you seek.

Namo Amituofo



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 01:37 AM
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originally posted by: SystemResistor
a reply to: taoistguy

The idea behind enlightenment is that you cease to incarnate into a body, and assumedly, you become a spirit. If there is no real difference between being in one form or another, then what wrong with remaining physical?



Where does a flame go once there is no fuel left to fuel it? This is what occurs on death in a fully enlightened being... it is the same as the flame with no more fuel or nibbana/nirvana.

Unless as an enlightened being decide purposefully through conscious intention to build karma to reincarnate... such as a Bodhisattva in the Mahayana tradition does, out of compassion for other beings trapped in the dualistic ignorance that brings pain and suffering over and over and over in an unceasing cycle of pleasure and pain, gain and loss.

Reincarnation will happen, as long as there is fuel left to burn. The eye is aflame, the ear is aflame, the nose is aflame, the tongue is aflame, the body is aflame. The mind experiencing the eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body aflame also becomes inflamed on the log of experience that these senses come into contact with that is the nature of samasara fortunately it is like everything else impermanent.



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 04:09 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

I have a different name for the state of being that you have described, I call it "auto-pilot" - especially at work, I just watch myself working and doing things, even when I speak it is as if my "voice" can speak all on its own. Sometimes I do make predetermined choices, and this requires me to actively think. I do not really have any strong feelings of envy or jealousy, and I am quite happy with what I have. If I were to suddenly be on my own without any money, I don't think it would cause me much distress as I would simply solider-on. When it comes to my state of being, there is just a stable, almost vacuous "state" that I experience - I would not call it "bliss" however.

My mind itself is incredibly complex, and when I do think, I can think of the most extraordinary things. I don't think that I want to give up thinking actively, or making choices. And I do see purpose in my life to achieve things only possible with making choices and engaging my thoughts.

What I find to be the most dissatisfactory with the concept of enlightenment, is that many think that it is the final goal, as if, there is nothing more to do or to achieve. The soul/spirit is an incredibly complex thing, I work on my spiritual vessel like one would program a computer or work on a car, and when it comes to my mind, you could say that I have an entire "world" within me, that I explore through dreaming.

I can still "switch to manual" when in autopilot - I would not like to be permanently in a state of non-volition.


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posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 04:14 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

I have determined karma and free-will to be a system, where our choices are constrained according to a program of options. If our choices are against or hinder or affect the choices of other parties, we experience the diametric opposite reaction to our own actions and resultant alterations to our choice-sets.

In this respect, the scope of karma is only in relation to actions determined by the application of free-will.

It is important to realise that making a choice requires one to think and plan introspectively, and when it comes to free-will, it is a pre-programed choice-set bound in a system of equilibrium that is co-dependent with other parties that also have a subscription to the program.

Choices that we make naturally only affect ourselves, however, when it comes to free-will, our choices affect the outcomes for others and incur karma.

The "real world" is where our actions do not have predictable reactions, where there is chaos and uncertainty and a lack of governance or control - an issue that itself led to the creation of programs such as free-will - granting people a sense of security.
edit on 29-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 06:19 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope

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.




Maybe some guru can start a movement offering lobotomies? Instant enlightenment! Wahoo!

The problem would be in herding the members to follow, but I guess you could use a cattle prod....



posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 04:54 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

Nah just put people in sports jerseys and have free beer at the stadium day.



posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 06:57 AM
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originally posted by: SystemResistor
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

I have determined karma and free-will to be a system, where our choices are constrained according to a program of options. If our choices are against or hinder or affect the choices of other parties, we experience the diametric opposite reaction to our own actions and resultant alterations to our choice-sets.


If this were the case then kama would be an equal and opposite reaction, it is not like and eye for and eye tooth for tooth Newtonian law on the surface. If it were then if you chopped down a tree the tree would chop you down. Perhaps it does in other ways as in the smell of wood burning causes cell decay, and cell by cell the wood is taking a chop as these cells fall away just like each piece of saw dust did as it cut into it? Is we accept that then it does work in such a way. But following the chain of kama so closely as everything is passing across the senses would be akin to having omnipotence. The buddha said this was an impossibility, but he also said don't take everything he said on belief or faith alone experience it... so of course that didn't mean he was saying you shouldn't try to follow all kama as is is arising and passing in your presence, he was just relaying his experience when trying,

Sure you could take his word for it and have a rote experience from faith. Or you can try it just like he did, would your experience be the same as his? That leaves the possibility that maybe not, maybe your experience will be able to follow it and experience omnipotence, but if your experience is the same and you cannot follow then you have a oneness of experience... from this is the boon of equal understanding and knowledge of that experience, on rote faith that would not be the experience it does not try and would only receive an exultation from being so enamored by his presence and words, in blind faith... yes master as you wish master... there is indeed no free will in such an instance because one has given up their choice to try. The exact same as there is no real comprehension in rote learning, Faith is rote, it is not standing on equal ground of experience. How much of our reality is rote? and how much of it is direct experience?

We have been told a lot of things we have no direct experience of, and much of this knowledge we have accepted as ours without proof, without a proof science rejects it from reality but for this to be human reality there must be trust in the source of information to believe this information and accept it or not. Belief causes an opinion that may differ from another's belief, this leads to conflict... then when science is added and its tested to be fact or fiction, this adds a 3rd argument one could say ok well i dont know but I trust science so I'll take this fact as a belief... and the other could say I dont trust science completely Ill keep my own beliefs thanks... then the first side says thats stubborn, and the other says thats my right as a free willed human being I can believe what ever I want to believe whether you agree with it or not.

Science picked up an advocate, the same as the belief being held by the other person was picked up from somewhere else, either from tradition or claimed direct experience otherwise than what science and its new advocate state, like some one saying they are enlightened and some one else saying oh the hell you are not... lol how would person two know or not person one was or not unless they know what enlightenment was for themselves? OP your first reply to me in the post before the quoted text above was written in... was a very enlightening read as it seems we have shared very much the same experience in our own way and it was not that far apart from each other.


In this respect, the scope of karma is only in relation to actions determined by the application of free-will.It is important to realise that making a choice requires one to think and plan introspectively, and when it comes to free-will, it is a pre-programed choice-set bound in a system of equilibrium that is co-dependent with other parties that also have a subscription to the program.

Choices that we make naturally only affect ourselves, however, when it comes to free-will, our choices affect the outcomes for others and incur karma.

The "real world" is where our actions do not have predictable reactions, where there is chaos and uncertainty and a lack of governance or control - an issue that itself led to the creation of programs such as free-will - granting people a sense of security.


Well when there is a created law governing action, free will is lessened not increased, you must then abide by another's will instead of your own. When left to the law of nature... its food chain. dog eat dog, survival of the fittest. so to have a functioning society, we agree to a laws that us and others must abide by to be part of the group... and then we peer pressure others to abide with social norms.

Claiming a boundary is an invisible fence be it county, state, or country... we are all born on the same planet is it fair that we are confined at birth within those walls without a choice? We are born as a slave to whatever the will of the society is we were born into's ideologies are like it or not.. you cant just leave it, you have to go through their laws to do that :p Plus, you're a baby.

So free will within the law of the land is more accurate, then add religion... more law less free will but these are self imposed laws on top of the other laws you have no choice over unless you choose to break the law. Then if you do break it and someone notices... oh! time for your punishment, you say: by who's authority? they say: well, my authority... that was given to me by someone else, to call you naughty; and get you punished, for doing what you wanted to do... slave remember? Get with the program. you: Oh, you're quite right i'm sorry, I had a bit if free thinking and... well one thing led to another, and well... those thoughts and actions had mutual consent, and well... they had carnal relations together... and whelp, you caught us; thoughts and actions, having fun together enjoying ourselves, doing what we wanted to do. Even when it harmed no one cart me off... cause you think its fundamentally wrong, no matter if I think it is right or not for me. But then they say: well I am responsible for you. and you say: who made you my brothers keeper? They say: Well... those imaginary lines in the dirt over there we are both imprisoned by little monkey.

Did you follow all of that kama? did you follow all of reality around you at the same time as reading the above? did you notice the sounds around you? of the causes and actions of these sounds? did you follow all of those actions kama as it was arising and drifting out to become effects? Or did awareness shift in and out? on whatever was most prominent to get your attention? If I throw on pebble in a still pond you can see the ripples spread with no other interaction and follow it pretty well, throw 41 rocks in a still pond can you follow all the ripples out and their interactions upon one another at the same time? With all of these karmic interactions flying around from a multitude of sources, how can you avoid or minimize their effects? you choose the experience you want to have and then try to have it creating more.



posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 11:26 PM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

If we all totally accept reality and do things that we also accept being done to ourselves, then there would be no karma - as I believe that choices that go against the prior condition are given to us by the system of free-will.

With no karma, and no free-will, all our actions are natural and spontaneous. In that sense, without it, there are no consequences that are directly linked to our actions because our actions are not born of pre-programmed choices or discreet moments in time.

If we were to be "free" then we would effectively live in alternate strands of time, with different versions of ourselves experiencing different things - I think that we are on the "wheel of karma" because our reality only lets us all exist in the same time.

In that sense, I am accepting that the reality we live in is "programmed" and that it serves the purpose of maintaining a linear stream of time, where choices made will affect all because all are in the same time, and they must come back in such a way that equilibrium is maintained within the programs parameters. I am also saying that it is unnatural for it to be this way, and that the "real world" is non-linear and full of potential and uncertainty. Efforts to control this uncertainty has resulted in the programmed reality that we are in, however, the price to pay is a lack of potential for different events to arise, instead of old events recycling themselves over again and "returning". Thus, if throw a stone in a pond, the ripples that I see, are different ripples to those that somebody else would see, because we are not grounded in the same time.

I believe that they call it "4D" where there "is no good and no bad". I simply call it the "real world" and the world that we experience is an artificially managed domain.

In the real world, full of potential, we can easily obtain our desires and we can be free to act without incurring and "debt". The condition is simply leaving or escaping the controlled reality, as opposed to enlightenment.
edit on 30-10-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

That is fine to view it from that perspective. I think the point of it all is shedding the culture, religious, political, etc. programming and viewing things with a focus toward uplifting the spiritual side of you. Truth isn't a rule or law, a cultural expectation, it is within you. You find truth by looking in yourself to your very core, analyzing your motivations, and with that making the outside reflect your internal. I wouldn't get wrapped up with defining this, many have, and just like religions there are many versions that claim to be the way. When a person is speaking and acting from the heart, very little if anything will deter their plight.



posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 08:21 PM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

It is my humble opinion, based on what you described, that you are that label you dread. You are "enlightened" and in that "enlightened" state you realize that "enlightenment" as used by many is too incomplete to describe your direction in life. Indeed, it is, and I would agree. It is merely a label to describe something abstract. Insufficient as it is, I cannot think of a better label, except to describe it as Consciously Aware and even that is lacking in scope.

You described the concept of "auto-pilot." I get this entirely. Push onward, because you are right. The state of being enlightened is equivalent to what the Christians describe as being "born-again." Once you reach it you see the world with a different viewpoint, and there is no going back having shed all the doctrine and programming of the world, you walk in a spiritual form of yourself throughout life. But the journey has just begun at that point...enlightenment is not the end.
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posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 01:17 AM
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a reply to: SystemResistor

It has always sounded like another form of the "grace" the Puritans believed in to me.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 01:26 AM
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I could write pages on supreme disillusionment as for enlightenment its bs you can get a very good idea of what the truth is not,but for the complete truth you have to be a watcher or fallen angel to be completely in on the joke.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 02:43 AM
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I can approach it hypothetically - if we are all one, if the truth is absolute, whether or nor we realise this truth as "enlightenment" is irrelevant, because the truth is inescapable.

What is the difference between realising it and not? It appears to be just another state of mind that results.

In a dark sense, to accept that desires cause suffering, to accept that reincarnation is part of an ongoing imprisonment, is to assume that we can't have what we want, and, that being in a physical body, is, essentially, pointless...

I see it as a state of mind, novel in itself, however, just another state - I don't personally believe it has implications upon our future as souls, or its assertions about the nature of suffering.

If you were to ask me what causes suffering, then I would say that suffering prevents us from following through with self-destructive acts - pain prevents us from damaging our bodies, and suffering on the emotional level also prevents us from engaging in behaviours that are harmful to our souls.

If you were to ask me about the truth of existence, then, I would tell you, that it is the very fact that we can choose, that allows us each to derive our own sense of purpose - if you see your purpose as the attainment of enlightenment, then of course you may, but there are many other reasons to continue to exist.
edit on 2-11-2014 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 04:18 AM
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originally posted by: SystemResistor

In a dark sense, to accept that desires cause suffering, to accept that reincarnation is part of an ongoing imprisonment, is to assume that we can't have what we want, and, that being in a physical body, is, essentially, pointless...

It is not desire which causes suffering - desire and fear are the suffering. You cannot have what you want unless you realize there is only what is here now.........you will be seeking (wanting) what you don't have, wanting what you don't have is suffering, wanting other than there is, is suffering.
A wise man once said 'The problem with the individual is that he wants what he does not have and does not want what he does have. all he needs do is turn it around........Want what you have and don't want what you don't have'.




If you were to ask me what causes suffering, then I would say that suffering prevents us from following through with self-destructive acts - pain prevents us from damaging our bodies, and suffering on the emotional level also prevents us from engaging in behaviours that are harmful to our souls.

If you were to ask me about the truth of existence, then, I would tell you, that it is the very fact that we can choose, that allows us each to derive our own sense of purpose - if you see your purpose as the attainment of enlightenment, then of course you may, but if you can, please note that I disagree.

The suffering happens because their is a belief in 'your separate soul' - you fear that if you do not do it right and are not good enough that you will continue to suffer, that 'your soul' can be damaged. So you continue to seek a way that is right - you think you can choose to do it right or wrong and that there is a good way and a bad way.
To seek to attain 'enlightenment' one is still seeking - it is seen as 'something' (concept) that can be got.
Enlightenment is realizing that there is nothing to get and nowhere to go. The individual will never understand that there is nothing because the individual lives in the dream of separation - it thinks it is a thing that comes and goes and while it is here it knows other things.
Really what you are never comes or goes...............when this is known for sure you will never fear for 'your soul' again.
edit on 2-11-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 04:35 AM
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What you are actually is beyond words, but it would be not untrue to say you are nothing whatsoever other than pure, infinite, disembodied consciousness/intelligence; a field of miraculous infinite light; God dreaming itself; an infinite point of pure potential; or the infinite implications of nothing whatsoever.

The immediate presentation of this unspeakable actuality is the field of your experience, which is an instantaineously appearing virtual field of Radiant Presence as apparent qualities. This is the actuality of which every/ and any/ thing that you think exists consists. This is inclusive and complete; nothing whatever other than this field exists. In short, the entirety of Reality is the "bubble" of YOUR experience, the field of Radiant Presence, which alone exists.

This is the totality of Reality. This is not theoretical, but is actually, immediately real; always the case right here right now.
theopendoorway.org...



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 04:43 AM
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I think "enlightenment" is being able to see reality through the manufactured one. It's also being able to "see" others attempting to walk the same path. It's recognizing that no matter how enlightened you've become, ego reminds you that you're human still.



posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 05:10 AM
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a reply to: Rosinitiate
The 'manufactured' reality is constructed out of ideas and words - concepts. But what is there really?
What is actual?
Words describe objects in time and space but look now at what there is.
And then look to see what is seeing in this moment?

Can the seer and the seen ever be separate?




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