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Enlightenment. What is it and how do we know when we have achieved it?

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posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 03:33 PM
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Here is some of Alan Watts work, very good recommendation

Zen - The best of Alan Watts

If you like Eckhart you should like Alan Watts


Edit: Link fixed

[edit on 18-1-2009 by psycho81]




posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by psycho81
Here is some of Alan Watts work, very good recommendation

Zen - The best of Alan Watts

If you like Eckhart you should like Alan Watts


Then I shall love him!

Even today I was reading the Power of Now for the third time, each time I learn something new.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
However, I do not believe the body can be made to violate natural laws, for instance if I shoot a Yogi repeatedly in the head, I expect that Yogi will, in fact, die.


I would expect so too. I doubt that it would be considered adequate defence in a court of law either.


Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
I have also met people who practice Prahna, who effectively do not eat a single morsel, at all, with no detriment to their overall health and well-being.


No offense, but other than self-reporting, how do you know this is the case? There are a few instances known of people who claimed they did not eat, but under controlled circumstances this was not borne out.

en.wikipedia.org...



I perhaps work on different parametres (and no offence taken), if someone tells me something and I have no other reason to believe that they may be a liar, then I believe them. After all, why not? Are they doing anyone any harm (I exclude anyone who is asking for money or followers from that obviously). It is possible, that due to lack of food, those people reach such a hallucinatory state that they go out and eat a five course dinner every eight weeks without even knowing it, I don't know, but I would in general choose to trust the word of an individual talking about their own practices and or experiences. It is not for me to reason the how, why, when and if, of each individuals reality, and certainly not my place to judge (lest I too be judged).

I also feel that care should be taken in assuming that controlled conditions can always prove 'truth' in such matters. How many times do we see such tests conducted and a determination that the results were inconclusive. We have not as yet perfected our knowledge of all that is 'natural', the sciences are fluid, open to interpretation and in some cases nursed like any other belief system. I think that it was Alexander Shulgin who said that the big bang for example, requires at least 3 miracles to have first occured. Just because we have not yet found the means to explain something does not mean that an explanation does not exist, and just because we have explained something does not mean that that explanation cannot change with new discovery.

I once interviewed a Professor Emeritus of Engineering, an elderly, stuffy looking sort of chap, very none descript, upper middle class and with the dullest voice I ever heard, who told me that he had seen things that would 'make me sit back in my chair'. He went on to recount his out of body experiences and the findings of his research into the paranormal. I may have been incredulous, but I never for a moment thought that he didn't completely believe that those experiences were real. And, surely if in his mind they are real, then they are real. Simply because I have no experiences of my own to confirm his reality of those events does not make them any less of reality in his mind, and therefore it was hardly my place to impose my rationale or reality on him. He seemed happy enough, so why not?

Not everything can be proved or for that matter disproved, that I suppose is the nature of faith. If that individual is not forcing a viewpoint on me, or trying to recruit me to a particular faith, then I see no harm in having faith that that person is telling the truth. Whatever gets you through the night I say.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 07:47 PM
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One that possesses the Character and Nature of Christ is One that is Enlightened.

Humility, Meekness, Patience are Divine Virtues. When they are established in One's Heart to bring Glory to the Lord, then One is enlightened.

Enlightenment is never about exhalting "me" or "I" or "Self", it is always about Glorifying the Father and the Son.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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I think I can imagine what its like, well I meditate on a regular basic, and like for a couple of days every month and a half, something honestly just switches on. My thoughts become soo much clearer, and I seem to be able to understand my own thoughts, and things around me so much more during this time.

Its also like my thoughts sometimes are coming from else where.

But I normally find I achieve this like higher thinking, when I'm like in touch with my life, and the things that are important to me, which makes me happy.

I want to be a games designer so being creative is really important, but it helps during this time because my ideas come together so much better.

I dont know what it is, or like completely how I achieve it. Its not like a super human kinda of perception however its defiantly hightened to quite a degree, you dont have to believe me, I'm just being honest.

Get back to me if you want to say something.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by John Matrix
 


Hahaha...The universe is not human hearted. Those virtues are useful sacrifices in the quest for "enlightenment" but nothing more.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:39 AM
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Originally posted by KilgoreTrout

I perhaps work on different parametres (and no offence taken), if someone tells me something and I have no other reason to believe that they may be a liar, then I believe them.


I think we do operate on different parameters then.
I dont know if it is a matter of you are more trusting, and I less, or you more faithful and I less, I think in part it is that I am curious. If someone makes a claim to me my motive in going out to check is not because I am assuming they are a liar, but rather that it piques my curiosity. I want to know if that can be the case. If one could live on prana alone, I would think that such a spiritual soul would be falling all over themselves to have science measure it, and learn more about the process, to help prove it. Why? Because over 800,000,000 human beings live on the brink of starvation in our world. Imagine being able to be part of a process that could eliminate hunger from the world. End the slaughter of animals. Etc. Etc.

So, when I hear a claim like that, I look to see what it happening with it. Has anyone offered themselves for study to help alleviate suffering in the world? If so, how has the study gone? Unfortunately in this case, I had already had some exposure to what science has to say about the people who make these claims that have somehow been isolated and observed. And, when isolated so they cannot sneak food, nor have food sneaked to them, their bodies act exactly the same way as everyone elses when deprived of food and water.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
After all, why not? Are they doing anyone any harm (I exclude anyone who is asking for money or followers from that obviously).


Well, if you looked at the link I posted,

en.wikipedia.org...

A couple of people died when trying to practice that belief in faith. So, I do think that deliberately lying about things that can cause harm to another if they act on faith is a problem. If I were to tell children that I can fly if I jump off a high building, I am endangering them. Even if I do not specifically encourage them to jump off a high building. They might believe me and test it.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
It is not for me to reason the how, why, when and if, of each individuals reality, and certainly not my place to judge (lest I too be judged).


There is a difference between judging them by saying they are bad, awful, evil people for lying, and judging their word by considering whether or not they are truthful. You enjoy history. Do you care for facts? Or is any historical claim sufficient for you? Are the holocaust deniers and affirmers equally correct? Did people die? Or is it all a lie? I think you do care for the truth. At least as much of the truth as we can know materially.

One fact is that humans lie. Not a judgment, that humans who lie are evil, but a statement, humans lie. Another fact about humans, humans prefer to believe what suits them rather than what does not. If a statement feels good to us, makes us happy, satisfies, we are much less likely to check the facts than if the statement opposes us, makes us angry, or creates dissatisfaction in us. Most of us, maybe all of us, selectively care about truth. We prefer evidence that proves our existing beliefs and we dislike evidence that contradicts them.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
I also feel that care should be taken in assuming that controlled conditions can always prove 'truth' in such matters. How many times do we see such tests conducted and a determination that the results were inconclusive.


And, how many times do we see tests and the results are conclusive? Science can rule things out. But it cannot make positive claims about causation. If someone who claimed they needed no food or water submitted to observation in tightly controlled circumstances and began to waste away rather than thrive, we can rule out the possibility that that person can survive without food. If that person should go merrily along and thrive without food, what we may not be able to do is say why or how. We can rule out much more easily than we can prove causation. In the latter case, we would be ruling out fraud.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
And, surely if in his mind they are real, then they are real. Simply because I have no experiences of my own to confirm his reality of those events does not make them any less of reality in his mind, and therefore it was hardly my place to impose my rationale or reality on him. He seemed happy enough, so why not?


In terms of what someone sees in the mind, or not, there is a large body of philosophy that would take up ten threads to go over in terms of what makes something real. However, for those of us in bodies, we act very concretely as if material things are real. Mental visions aside. If I shoot the yogi as in the other thread, and in court say, "Well in my mind it was a water pistol, utterly harmless, and my reality is as good as anyones." How far would that get me? We can say what we want, but we judge material physcial facts by material physical evidence.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
If that individual is not forcing a viewpoint on me, or trying to recruit me to a particular faith, then I see no harm in having faith that that person is telling the truth.


Say you originally believed opposite what they were telling you. You believe that humans will die if they do not eat or drink. If you believed that, how could you also believe they were telling you the truth if they told you they did not? If you believe one, do you not have to disbelieve the other? Or are you saying that the truth is both? They both do have to eat AND they do not have to eat?

The only way I can see that you could believe what someone said without it influencing your own viewpoint is if you already believed what they are now affirming. If you didnt know at all, you had no opinion or belief, and you had faith they were telling the truth, their statement would influence your belief. And, if you previously believed the opposite, but in light of what they tell you, you have faith in them and believe they are telling the truth, again, your belief has been influenced.

There are things we as yet cannot measure, ideas, the content of dreams, thoughts, but there are things that it is really difficult to argue soundly that we cannot measure. Weights, height, volume, etc. Testing to see if a human can survive without food is relatively clear cut and simple. If they could, we might have difficulty figuring out HOW they did it, but we could tell if they could or could not.



[edit on 19-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by SS,Naga
 


"Now, I am about to leave you to your thread of enlightenment. I suggest you read my last post until, maybe, perhaps, it sinks in, and is no longer 'intellectualization.' No other way I can present it, because it can only be understood, or 'discovered,' as a personal experience"

Thank you for all your posts. They made me think which is always a good thing. You have a unique energy and style and it would be a boring place if we all said and thought the same things.

Sorry you feel you have to leave the thread, your welcome back anytime.

now dare I say it.....I feel its become over used in days of late....oh well who cares.... much love and light to you!

Miss Green



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


I am admittedly far too trusting, and it does get me into trouble from time to time, but it also reaps enormous rewards now and again too. I do not though think that it is a matter of trust in this case, more a matter of ‘what difference does it make to me?’. I certainly would never even consider the fact that the practice of prana could alleviate world hunger, several hours of meditation a day is beyond the ability of most people, let alone those who live in abject poverty, and it take years of training and self-discipline before the need for food is completely eradicated (allegedly). I do not equate such activities and practices as necessarily spiritual either, that depends entirely upon the individual, just as I do not consider myself at all spiritual. It would be naïve of me to believe that such practices could eradicate the slaughter of animals, for food maybe, but vegetarianism could do that. The vast majority of meat is a by-product of the requirement for hide, we would therefore need to do away with our shoes, hand bags and upholstery first.

I think it is perhaps more to do with where our interests lie than in the way we look at things. I was certainly not wishing to imply that I was in anyway I am not curious, as I have no intention of practicing such activities, I cannot manage five minutes meditation let alone five hours, so would consider that level of metabolic control beyond my reasonable means. I should also state that I have only be told of going without food, not water. I do not know of any instances of individuals surviving for more than a few days without water. There are survival stories of individuals without training, going up to 23 weeks without food, though it is recognised by most health professionals that 8 weeks is the standard. If one can alter the metabolic rate to slow the heart, breathing etc, then surely if they reach such a level of control that they can maintain that state permenantly (though I would presume they would have to have a fairly stress free life, I cannot imagine that in myself), then surely it is possible to extend that 8 week period considerably longer. Additionally, as the food that we consume is converted to energy, is it not at least feasible that we could use the energy that surrounds us and consume that more directly, if we believed in our ability to do so. I think a lot depends upon self-belief in such cases. Whether it is probable, I still see it as possible.

Facts in themselves are relative to experience and social conditioning, facts are inherently subjective, as is the study of them. If someone is brought up to believe that history is only what we are presented with by others then that understanding will always have limitations. If someone has limited access to information then their understanding and perception of new information will be based on that limited perception. Even with documented ‘facts’, it must be considered what the documenters priorities and preferences are. Do they have anything to hide? Are they highlighting the crimes of others in order to conceal their own for example?

Therefore it is not the denial of the holocaust that overly concern me, it is more the opening up of the discussion by sharing the information that I have that motivates me. History is merely a tool by which to look at the development of the present, for me at least, not an end in itself. History for me is not something that has passed, it is a living, breathing continuity of events that aids in our understanding of who we are and how we came to be here. And, by understanding that pathway, we can seek to overcome the oppression that many, many people live with. Without knowing the means by which our oppressors have captured us, how are we ever to overcome those oppressors?

Therefore, I may study, Christianity, islam and judiasm, but only because I view them a tools of oppression, not because I see them as spiritual. I am interested in only finding the inconsistencies and patterns of behaviour that shape the way in which those systems control. Therefore, while I understand why you may wish to understand whether prana is a reality, I see no harm or interest there, as it is the pathway of the individual, not a group mentality. The more individualistic a persons belief system, in my opinion, the less harmful it is to the collective.

A persons choice to attempt to live by Prana, should only affect that person, it is not something that I would support or condone being offered as lessons to others. If others, sheepishly think that it seems like a good idea, and simply stop eating, then sadly, I see some Darwinian balance if they find themselves somewhat the worse for wear as a result.

I would say that knowledge should be something that is constantly built upon, I certainly gain no pleasure from reading about the holocaust, but I do gain some understanding of the extremes of human nature and feel that enables me to better understand why events like that can and do occur. I am interested in what motivates others to inflict suffering, as I am motivated to end suffering, or at least attempt to contribute to the end of suffering, I see no benefit to simply reading material that makes me feel good. I am therefore much more likely to pursue a subject that angers, opposes or creates dissatisfaction in me. I wish to understand that that is different to me not to reinforce that which I already know about myself.

We should also be discerning about which battles are worth fighting. In my opinion, for my own sake, I see no need to investigate people who are happily ensconced in their own little bubble minding their own business, there are far more causes to investigate. If someone is essentially not doing anyone else any harm I leave well alone. It is a matter of relativity. I would much rather expend that energy on investigating those that profit from faith, and really I think that is what you are saying too. If that individual says they can survive without food, then fine, if they are lying are they doing so for personal gain, if not then leave them to it, no skin off my nose. There is little to be gained from pursuing a line of enquiry that only serves to institute my perspective of being right and them wrong. Sure if I thought it would end world hunger then yes I would, but I don’t honestly believe that would be feasible. Finding a way to end wars on the other hand is feasible. In my opinion.

Most experience is relative. It is relative to you, to me, to them, to the laws under which we live, all human in construct and definition. The natural laws though are by no means fully understood or definitively quantified, there is still plenty of room for maneoveur. That we have lost much of that knowledge through the process of latinisation is clearly apparent. While something may not be probable, that does not necessarily mean that it is not possible and our ancient history at times points to that. Scientific discovery would never have progressed to the point that we are at today if great minds had not considered the impossible after eliminating the probable. So while I do not believe in the practice of prana sufficiently to take it up myself, or to dedicate the time and effort required to even begin considering it, I do not think that it falls outside of the parameters of what I consider possible. There have and always will be I presume behaviours and occurrences that fall outside the bounds of that which can easily be explained.

In an attempt to justify this somewhat off-topic digression from the OP, is it not simply the fact that the way in which we interpret enlightenment that makes it so inexplicable? That although common themes exist and a similarity of awareness may occur, the way in which that experience or knowledge affects us, is completely dependent upon the individual, that it is inherently subjective depending upon our frame of reference. For some it may be the awareness that nature can be controlled and harnessed and for others a reaffirmation of long held beliefs. Relativity exists in all things and by knowing ourselves, we must also seek to look beyond the conditioning that has proceeded that experience and or knowing. We are after all the sum of all our parts.

For me the acquisition of knowledge is pointless if it cannot be shared, and I am drawn to others willing to do the same, as your very good self knows. That enlightenment is often talked of in tongues, or so it may seem to me, is not necessarily the point, that it is talked about at all has enabled me to consider it a possibility, one, spiritual void that I am, I was previously somewhat unaware of. For me much of that knowledge has been less of a revelation and more of an ‘oh that’, but one which I prefer to describe as a crazy, mad, joy, for as a secularist, I have gained far more than I could possibly have ever imagined and it has placed a spring in my step that I never had before. I don’t, as yet, consider myself to be in any way enlightened, but for now, the mere possibility is adequate for me and the ability that that gives me to recognise that in others. The greater our understanding of each other, our differences and sameness, the greater our ability to rise above current conditions in the world at large and work together to forge a better future.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by Sam Cerulean
I think I can imagine what its like, well I meditate on a regular basic, and like for a couple of days every month and a half, something honestly just switches on. My thoughts become soo much clearer, and I seem to be able to understand my own thoughts, and things around me so much more during this time.





Yes your right, we can meditate for hours and hours but its usually an odd moment that happens maybe only once a month that shows us great clarity and meaning.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 07:54 AM
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Ok let’s look at the question of the thread again and ask ourselves what enlightenment is NOT.

From my own experiences in short, take it any way you please I’m not here to prove I am right and you wrong. I am past them immature games, I am sure past my ego wanting to be right, I sense so much confusion in this thread and people are putting their self through mental torture.

Analyzing

Here we have pages of analyzing information, constantly adding to our “Book Collection” analyzing but never discovering. Opinions and views flying back and forth with very little insight, there is information but not Insight. We all quote from masters and gurus but they only point the way, very little analyzing is needed. Do you think the Yogis went on their retreats to analyze everything they had been taught. Have you ever had an “Aha” moment in your life; well that’s Insight not “Analysis” When something clicks it’s because you stopped the analyzing, when something clicks it comes through Insight.

Wrong Idea of Love

So many people speak of Love like its some sacred thing we have to find then hold onto, love is simply the light trying to get through the window, but the window is cluttered up “Obstructed” by things you have become attached to. Things you don’t want to let go of because you “think” you find love in them. This also includes people you think you love and who are attached to. Do you love them because you find a sense of self in them, do you love them because you feel more fulfilled and happy. It’s very hard to get this point across without sounding like I am insulting anyone (I am not insulting anyone)
Drop the clinging and you will be love, drop the attachments and you will be love.

Happiness

This really is the same as above, attachments in people or possessions either material or though forms. So many people say “I want to be happy” they failed when they started to seek it in some outside content, instead they should remove the things what are stopping them being happiness. Happiness is always found in the present moment, never in the future, and certainly not in the past.

Back onto enlightenment

Remember my opening post on page 1; this is the “Aha” moment I was talking about, Away from analyzing.


Before we discuss this, let me tell you a story. Somebody once asked,
"What is enlightenment like? What is awakening like?" It's like the tramp
in London who was settling in for the night. He'd hardly been able to get
a crust of bread to eat. Then he reaches this embankment on the river
Thames. There was a slight drizzle, so he huddled in his old tattered
cloak. He was about to go to sleep when suddenly a chauffeur-driven
Rolls-Royce pulls up. Out of the car steps a beautiful young lady who says
to him, "My poor man, are you planning on spending the night here on this
embankment?" And the tramp says, "Yes." She says, "I won't have it. You're
coming to my house and you're going to spend a comfortable night and you're
going to get a good dinner." She insists on his getting into the car.
Well, they ride out of London and get to a place where she has a sprawling
mansion with large grounds. They are ushered in by the butler, to whom she
says, "James, please make sure he's put in the servants' quarters and
treated well." Which is what James does. The young lady had undressed and
was about to go to bed when she suddenly remembers her guest for the night.
So she slips something on and pads along the corridor to the servants'
quarters. She sees a little chink of light from the room where the tramp
was put up. She taps lightly at the door, opens it, and finds the man
awake. She says, "What's the trouble, my good man, didn't you get a good
meal?" He said, "Never had a better meal in my life, lady." "Are you warm
enough?" He says, "Yes, lovely warm bed." Then she says, "Maybe you need
a little company. Why don't you move over a bit." And she comes closer to
him and he moves over and falls right into the Thames.


The feeling of love, peace and happiness all came from within, he never left the Thames, when he fell into the Thames that was his “Aha” moment it did not need analyzing, it was like a light shining in on the darkness.

ATS member SS,Naga was being a little crude (I totally understand) as sometimes its only the shock tactic that works (If only we had a Gong we could strike every few pages), sometimes it’s the only way to stop the analyzing and get more “Aha” moments. We do indeed need to wake-up, stop the compulsive thinking and living in our minds. Step outside and observer, take a walk in nature and uncluttered your mind, maybe then you will get more insight.

We have been suffering for some time now, it’s time to use that suffering to find peace.

Love to you all

P81



[edit on 19-1-2009 by psycho81]



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by psycho81
 


Good post.

SS.Naga was trying to shock us

Shock us with what? I was not shocked, just confussed with so much information, he gave so much information I lost track.

Why do we need to be shocked anyway? Shocked into what?

I get the rest of your post but Im at work so cant reply as well as Id like, but its a good post. Thanks.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 08:15 AM
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reply to post by Mr Green
 


Shock as in "Snap out of the dream we are living in" out of our mind (compulsive thinking) and into insight. Awareness is not Analyzing

Hehe I did make it sound like "Walking up behind you with a scary mask on going "AHA" AHA" "Im Alan Partridge"



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by psycho81
reply to post by Mr Green
 


Shock as in "Snap out of the dream we are living in" out of our mind (compulsive thinking) and into insight. Awareness is not Analyzing

Hehe I did make it sound like "Walking up behind you with a scary mask on going "AHA" AHA" "Im Alan Partridge"



but he was definatly with the mind thing wasnt he
God is light, light is mind he said.

I totally understand about snapping out of the mind, I took his ideas to be we ARE mind, consciousness IS mind. I see us NOT as mind.

I could be wrong...but I took it this way. Everythng IS mind.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by KilgoreTrout

If one can alter the metabolic rate to slow the heart, breathing etc, then surely if they reach such a level of control that they can maintain that state permenantly (though I would presume they would have to have a fairly stress free life, I cannot imagine that in myself), then surely it is possible to extend that 8 week period considerably longer.


When people go without food for 8 weeks, it is not without consequence. It may be without death, but the body is not going without sustenance, it is slowly consuming itself. That cutoff is the point where one can consume ones own tissue without consuming the organs that are essential for remaining alive. Without dying. (Maybe, some do die sooner) You burn fat, then muscle and organ tissue. When the body turns to the only thing it has left, its own organs, permanent damage and death will eventually follow. The exact time in which this will occur is individual, the fact that it will happen is not.



Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
Facts in themselves are relative to experience and social conditioning, facts are inherently subjective, as is the study of them.


Some "facts" are more relative than others. Gravity, for instance, effects all people and things on Earth equally. Death is a fact for every living organism.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
And, by understanding that pathway, we can seek to overcome the oppression that many, many people live with. Without knowing the means by which our oppressors have captured us, how are we ever to overcome those oppressors?

Therefore, I may study, Christianity, islam and judiasm, but only because I view them a tools of oppression, not because I see them as spiritual. I am interested in only finding the inconsistencies and patterns of behaviour that shape the way in which those systems control. Therefore, while I understand why you may wish to understand whether prana is a reality, I see no harm or interest there, as it is the pathway of the individual, not a group mentality.


And what have you come up with in regard to how religions become tools of oppression? As I see it, generally, there is some one, some central figure who realizes an "enlightened" state, and then afterward, the memory of that person, (often after the direct remembrance of that person has faded somewhat,) is embellished by others with miraculous tales of supernatural powers, superhuman states, etc., that can also be yours if only you believe.

Things are added that appeal not to the part of a human that CAN become enlightened,(their consciousness) but to their ego. (mental processes and thinking) Appeal to the ego of another is the quickest route to wealth and power. Obscuring a miraculous claim in the mists of time circumvents the ability of the faithful to satisfy their natural curiosity. They cannot, in those cases, use the part of themselves that can become enlightened, (their own conscious awareness in the moment) to discern. Throwing a claim into the realm of faith or belief is throwing a claim to the ego or mind while holding it safely out of reach of conscious intelligence in the moment.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
A persons choice to attempt to live by Prana, should only affect that person, it is not something that I would support or condone being offered as lessons to others. If others, sheepishly think that it seems like a good idea, and simply stop eating, then sadly, I see some Darwinian balance if they find themselves somewhat the worse for wear as a result.


If one could and does choose to "live on Prana alone" what is ones motivation for telling others? For announcing that "fact?" When one begins proclaiming to others, it is no longer personal is it? Does one proclaim special powers to have others look at one differently? To elevate oneself in the opinion of others? To gain the pretense of having a "secret" that if the other were worthy might be shared? Simply because you yourself did not pursue that secret does not mean that that person is not hoping for followers, for attention, and aggrandizement. The study of charlatanism and scams themselves is fascinating. A stage hypnotist, for instance, is watching his/her audience to see whom among the crowd are susceptible, those are the ones who are chosen for the tricks, not the skeptics who are non-responsive to the suggestions thrown out.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
I would much rather expend that energy on investigating those that profit from faith, and really I think that is what you are saying too.


I just recognize a spectrum of "profit." From the guru with hundreds of thousands of followers, and expensive cars and homes, to the neighborhood guru who makes little money if any but who needs the currency of "specialness" and who get high on the awe and respect of those around them. There is no difference between the two as I see it, save one is a mogul and the other less successful. The moguls often start from such humble beginnings, but get more adept with their art as they go along. As with any business, there are many who never reach the "big time." And, for me it is not a matter of being "right." I dont care one bit if one can or cannot live on Prana. If I had to choose, I would rather we could, because as I say the potential for eliminating hunger and starvation live there. I am not going into it with an assumption and then only seeking facts to support it, I am seeking the truth to the degree we can know it. Whatever that is.


Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
Scientific discovery would never have progressed to the point that we are at today if great minds had not considered the impossible after eliminating the probable.


Agreed, I do not just pooh pooh a claim and refuse to look. I do look. I looked to see if people were known to have consumed lethal doses of poison and lived, and I looked to see how reputable the claims of living off Prana alone were. The claims simply arent borne out. Science also was hindered in "latinization" by the insistence of some that faith should prevent secular inquiry. No good scientist enters into experiment or observation assuming the answer. You look, and see what really is. If it isnt what you wanted, oh well, you adjust your belief to it, not the data to support your belief.




Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
In an attempt to justify this somewhat off-topic digression from the OP, is it not simply the fact that the way in which we interpret enlightenment that makes it so inexplicable?


I would say in part the reason "enlightenment" is interpreted in such "inexplicable" ways is because it is littered with false claims. One of the things I did after my own experience was to begin to read the spiritual texts, to see if it were in any way similar. And, it was. But not to the whole of the texts. There seemed to be a "core" message, that most likely did come from the enlightened person, and then there were the remnants of many other traditions, beliefs, embellishments, ritual, etc. all loaded on top of it.





Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
The greater our understanding of each other, our differences and sameness, the greater our ability to rise above current conditions in the world at large and work together to forge a better future.


I would add the greater our understanding of our self to the list, but I agree. Which is why I feel it is important to suss out, (if not publicly than for ones own understanding) when a person is telling an untruth about their differences and samenesses. How can we use that method, of greater understanding of each other and self, if we do not actually seek to know the difference between a lie about the difference or sameness and the truth. (To the degree that is humanly possible.)



[edit on 19-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 02:41 PM
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So many people speak of Love like its some sacred thing we have to find then hold onto, love is simply the light trying to get through the window, but the window is cluttered up “Obstructed” by things you have become attached to. Things you don’t want to let go of because you “think” you find love in them. This also includes people you think you love and who are attached to. Do you love them because you find a sense of self in them, do you love them because you feel more fulfilled and happy. It’s very hard to get this point across without sounding like I am insulting anyone (I am not insulting anyone)


Heres my veiw of love.

If i had lived my life in your shoes i would be just like you. Causality has brought you to every moment through its perfection. In this infinite fractal of life everything is where it is supposed to be and we are all now what was ment to be. True love never requires you to ask forgivness.. it just wants you to understand why you have already been forgivin.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 

I completely agree. Some people say it is impossible to love everyone, but it really isn't, because we are all one, we are humanity, everything we do is an effect of something else. Some people say if you love everyone then you diminish the quality of love, but you really don't. Love is just empathy. There are two types of love though, there is the kind of love (that is universal, understanding that we are all equals, empathy) which is the opposite of fear, which is inside one person's mind and lacks understanding, and then there is the kind of love that you benefit from, like you loved that new movie that came out, you just really liked it alot, which is the opposite of hate and dislike.

[edit on 19-1-2009 by cancerian42]



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by John Matrix

Humility, Meekness, Patience are Divine Virtues.


With this I agree. They are often so hard to achieve in todays society. We are expected to rush around at 300 miles an hour achieving 6 things at once, yet in the middle of this we are to find patience? We are lucky if we can find these things you list. I expect far less of myself these days. I used to get annoyed unless Id achieved many things in one day, I didnt see this was affecting me spiritually and mentally. Now I am much more relaxed, I set myself far less goals for one day, I only set myself things that can be achieved. This way leaves the way open to be more patient rather than manic. I look back at how I used to rush around, why? why did I do that? I actually achieved far less than I do now!



posted on Jan, 20 2009 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by John Matrix

Humility, Meekness, Patience are Divine Virtues.


Why do you need meekness when you have patience and humility.

Is meekness a virtue?



posted on Jan, 20 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by psycho81


Shock as in "Snap out of the dream we are living in" out of our mind (compulsive thinking) and into insight. Awareness is not Analyzing



I agree with Mr Green. It seemed to me that SSNaga was not trying to snap people out of mind, or thinking, but rather INTO it.

And as for those who go on retreat for years and years, I wonder what is the point? Meditation was designed for a purpose. It had a very mundane "goal." It was not an end in itself. Sitting for 50 years seems to me that that person has a very, very stubborn and strong mind. It does not indicate to me that person is more enlightened. It is simply polishing a brick hoping for a mirror as in this Zen tale;

www.buddhistdoor.com...


And I DO like to analyze. Not to become "enlightened." My own experience came seemingly out of the blue. However, after the fact, I became curious as to "why?" I knew I had done nothing to "deserve" it as far as many of the religious are concerned. I had not studied, sat in meditation, prayed, lived on bread and water, etc. etc. What I learned through analysis is that it is not a matter of deserving. It is not a matter of earning. Enlightenment is the natural state of all "selves" or consciousnesses, and it is only blocked by the assumption that the mind IS you. "YOU" who you really are, is already enlightened. "You" are "enlightenment" itself, pure aware intelligence without thought. Your mind can never become enlightened. It IS thought.

I analyze because I wanted to know how the process actually DID work. What were the conditions in my life at that time that allowed the light to come on. And then, I began to look through the various traditions that are written, to see HOW the other "methods" prescribed by the masters actually were intended to work. Some hit you over the head, (much like your falling the the Thames story) some had you build towers, some had you sit in meditation. They ways in which different masters asked their students to behave actually varied widely, but the destination they were trying to get them to reach was the same. Their own consciousness before thought.

It was, as you suggest, a state of "realizing" intuitively, the ineffectiveness of trying. It was to bring the mind to surrender, so Consciousness itself can shine through.

However, even this "giving up" needs be seen, not intellectualized. If you are thinking, "ok I give up. I give up! Enlightenment come now, I have given up!" It is only your mind itself that can think such a thing. You would be stuck in a more subtle level of mind, not freed from it. The only freedom from the mind is to see it, and to see that it is not YOU.

Getting hit over the head works because it shocks you into looking carefully at the moment, NOW, to see what just happened and mind shuts up for a second. Sitting in meditation can work because over time when trying to silence the mind you may notice you are the watcher of mind, not mind itself. Building towers and tearing them down can work because you exhaust yourself physically and mentally and fall down in despair and mentally surrender. There is a method to the madness, but the method itself is not important enough to "worship." It is a means to an end only, prescribed by a master who knew their student personally, and felt they could see what that student needed to tip them over.



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