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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, 30 2009 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by midicon
 


What are these real truths?

please list them and explain.




posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by ExamineAllViews
 

The concept of enlightenment is an illusion!If it were true then there would be no 'one' to experience it!It is a trick of words,another 'pack of cards' that falls flat at the mere hint of decent enquiry.Tony de Mello says "all is well" in truth all is not well, take a look around you.Buddha retreated into himself when faced with sufferng and came up with what 'non attachment' pretty obvious really!We must face up to this reality 'as it is' and seek wisdom not enlightenment.Self observation is the key to wisdom.Do not strive 'or not strive' for enlightenment Wake up!

First of all a concept cannot be an illusion, because it is a concept, a thought, all in one's head, there are no illusions in theories and thoughts, illusions only exist in beliefs, that's why they are so tricky.
Second of all what is your concept of enlightenment?



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 04:57 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 
I repeat 'being clever with words does not equal wisdom'. Should I list some simple truths? Being 'simple' they should not require explanation!
The concept of enlightenment is like 'time travel' it can only lead to paradox!
One can neither 'find oneself' nor 'lose oneself! One cannot embrace life by running away from it! We are always living in the 'now' past and future are merely illusion! One cannot describe something by saying what it is not! If words cannot convey something what is the point in talking about it! Talk is cheap! Reincarnation is just somebody's idea that 'caught on'! Religion is just myth and superstition 'dressed up! Spirituality is just a word! need I go on? I repeat Wake up!



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by Wertdagf
 
I repeat 'being clever with words does not equal wisdom'. Should I list some simple truths? Being 'simple' they should not require explanation!
The concept of enlightenment is like 'time travel' it can only lead to paradox!
One can neither 'find oneself' nor 'lose oneself! One cannot embrace life by running away from it! We are always living in the 'now' past and future are merely illusion! One cannot describe something by saying what it is not! If words cannot convey something what is the point in talking about it! Talk is cheap! Reincarnation is just somebody's idea that 'caught on'! Religion is just myth and superstition 'dressed up! Spirituality is just a word! need I go on? I repeat Wake up!


How is the past an illusion? Doesnt it define our present situation in the world?

Where have i lead you to believe that i promote spirituality or religion?



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 05:32 PM
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reply to post by cancerian42
 
Of course one can conceive of something that turns out to be illusory! and you do not have to believe in something to have illusions about it! This is playing with words. I said 'the concept of enlightenment is an illusion' Should I have said "the idea of enlightenment'! Also everything starts in ones head does it not? Wake up! You know even the great Krishnamurti despaired at not getting his 'message' across does this mean he was flawed? The pursuit of enlightenment is like a dog chasing his tail! He may be having fun but he's getting nowhere! In seeking enlightenment we may of course gain 'insight ' or 'wisdom' but see it for what it is. Self observation is the key! Thankyou for your comments.



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by cancerian42
 
Of course one can conceive of something that turns out to be illusory!

And that makes the concept itself illusory as well? You can have concepts of the nonexistent, but that does not mean that the concepts are illusions.

and you do not have to believe in something to have illusions about it!

Do you know what an illusion is?

This is playing with words. I said 'the concept of enlightenment is an illusion' Should I have said "the idea of enlightenment'!

That would be false as well. Ideas are not illusions.

Also everything starts in ones head does it not? Wake up! You know even the great Krishnamurti despaired at not getting his 'message' across does this mean he was flawed? The pursuit of enlightenment is like a dog chasing his tail! He may be having fun but he's getting nowhere! In seeking enlightenment we may of course gain 'insight ' or 'wisdom' but see it for what it is. Self observation is the key! Thankyou for your comments.
Everything starting from one's head, I guess we could say so in a very idealistic manner, but we know nothing besides our existence here and our experiences. Am I asleep? Who is the great Krishnamurti and what does he have to do with anything? Also can you please give me your idea of what enlightenment is? Thank you also.

[edit on 30-1-2009 by cancerian42]



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 
Of course the past is an illusion it is gone! and it has not only gone but our memory of it is 'tainted' can't you see this? You say the past defines our present situation in the world it's this 'idea' that holds us back! You did not lead me to believe that you promote spirituality or religion I apologise if I gave you that idea. I was merely writing thoughts that came into my head! I do appreciate you comments etc.



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 06:33 PM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by ExamineAllViews
 

The concept of enlightenment is an illusion!If it were true then there would be no 'one' to experience it!It is a trick of words,another 'pack of cards' that falls flat at the mere hint of decent enquiry.Tony de Mello says "all is well" in truth all is not well, take a look around you.Buddha retreated into himself when faced with sufferng and came up with what 'non attachment' pretty obvious really!We must face up to this reality 'as it is' and seek wisdom not enlightenment.Self observation is the key to wisdom.Do not strive 'or not strive' for enlightenment Wake up!


What actually are you saying here? The concept of enlightenment is an illusion? A trick of words? Please explain this as I have overcome many a test recently by being in the now. Non attachment and suffering? You need to put this into simple language.

What is wisdom? how does wisdom differ from enlightenment. Yes I agree self observation IS THE KEY but only in the now. How can I possibly learn from myself in the future in a scenario that has not even happened? Wake up? How is this to be done by wisdom? Wisdom can only be achieved in our now, surely?

Welcome to the thread .

[edit on 30-1-2009 by Mr Green]



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 07:11 PM
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reply to post by cancerian42
 
It is easy to fall into the trap of endlessly defining words when plain speaking would suffice.I'm sure what I am saying is perfectly obvious.If you say to a man in the street 'now think properly' he would know exactly what you mean but don't say that to a philosopher! you'll be there forever.It is not idealistic to say everything begins in one's head where else would it start?No I don't think your asleep, it was an unfortunate choice of words perhaps.My 'concept' of enlightenment is that there is no such thing really and what people are pursuing or"not pursuing!" is an unattainable goal.That is this idea of non self merely 'being' awareness or attention or whatever! Or should I say 'that which words cannot convey' I do not say this lightly and I say Wake up because you are caught up in an endless cycle of words!Krishnamurti was a revered and 'enlightened' teacher(there's that word again) who died in 1986 .He travelled the world giving many lectures,talks etc on enlightenment,wrote many books and there is now a Krishnamurti Foundation in America.



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by Mr Green
 
Mr Green, is being in the now equal to enlightenment?Why are you being tested?What have you had to overcome? I suppose being in the 'now' is easy to define as it is self explanatory but enlightenment may mean different things to different people.I meant perhaps in the Buddhist sense.Will this require more definition?Buddha sat under the bo tree and meditated upon all the suffering he saw around him.He 'realised' this was caused by attachment to 'impermanent' things, hence non attachment=non suffering.I can't put it any simpler!Wisdom I suppose is knowledge used wisely! Enlightenment is a 'state' of non self perhaps, where there is just attention and awareness. This is surely different from the 'now' or should we compare Echart tolle to Buddha?I did not say anything about the future other than any concept of the future is illusory.Self observation is indeed the key and how could it be anywhere else but in the now! The past is gone and the future is merely it's reflection.Do you understand this? Thankyou for your welcome



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 08:15 PM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by cancerian42
 
It is easy to fall into the trap of endlessly defining words when plain speaking would suffice.I'm sure what I am saying is perfectly obvious.If you say to a man in the street 'now think properly' he would know exactly what you mean but don't say that to a philosopher!

I think I speak pretty plainly, but I do like to understand other people's perspective's so that I might gain something from their views and I like to share my views as well.
Also, I don't think I would know exactly what someone meant if they came up to me in the street and told me to think properly-it would be a little weird. (sorry, I just think you need a better example)

It is not idealistic to say everything begins in one's head where else would it start?

Sorry if I am being to literal when I say everything is in which one's head? Is it all in my head, your head, God's head. (I prefer the latter but not literally in a head) If everything is in your head then I guess I am just a figment of your imagination. I say that is not so, but you may want it to be so, because that would mean you are the God of reality.

That is this idea of non self merely 'being' awareness or attention or whatever! Or should I say 'that which words cannot convey' I do not say this lightly and I say Wake up because you are caught up in an endless cycle of words!Krishnamurti was a revered and 'enlightened' teacher(there's that word again) who died in 1986 .He travelled the world giving many lectures,talks etc on enlightenment,wrote many books and there is now a Krishnamurti Foundation in America.
I think I am caught up in words and all kinds of symbols that speak to my subconscious, but I, myself, am not consciously aware of. I am bombarded with them, everywhere I turn, because that is how the mind works, with symbols that convey messages. Perhaps that has a lot to do with enlightenment.
What is the non-self, the absence of the ego?
How is it not possible? Please explain.



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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Everything is an illusion.

Or more rightly Empty, that is empty of any inherent and unchanging nature or reality.

Whatever is changes, no matter how long it takes it will change.

Therefore how we see things, or even have concepts, beliefs faith of knowing will change as you grow in that, towards it more, away from it more, gain more experiential experience to validate it or refute it.

The emptiness of all we perceive is where the illusion is.

We see things as fixed, meaningful, and therefore get attached for and to them.

Even the heartbreak we fell, a concept, when we loose a loved one changes, is therefore Empty in essence of one unchanging un-refutal constant and definate thing.

This is the illusion we live in.

Even enlightenment is empty, so said the Buddha.

A goal of many on the path of Buddhism is to remain in this illusory realm until all other beings are also enlightened, even when we reach enlightenment ourselves.

But when all beings do eventually become enlightened, well then enlightenment will no longer as a fixed, seperate state or thing be, it will cease to exist.

How can there be a term for enlightenment, a never ending truth to it, when all beings are there, and there is nothing to compare it to?

It will just be all will be that, so it wont then be enlightenment, it will just be how all beings are, the term and label and understanding of it until just before the final being reaches that state will all then be meaningless, as there will be nothing to guide there, all will be there, no more reincarnation.

Enlightenment will cease to exist it just is.

This is the illusory nature of how we experience the world, life, spirituality.

If even Enlightenment and Nirvana then by the logical reasoning above can be shown to be inherent of any true, real non changing part or truth surely everything is illusion then and always changing.... well I missed out a couple of things.

Everything does change, thoughts, energy into matter, and mountains into sand, ignorance to enlightenment.... but but, the three things that do not change and can never do are the following.

Absolute truth as opposed to the relative truth of even thinking Nirvana is non illusiory, very few absolute truths exist, they are

We all that is illusiory, these never ending changes of matter from one form to another, birth death, nirvana, ignorance light dark ad infinitum, all are the ONE changing there is the one, the connectedness the whole, all that is is one thing and we are in an illusion within it.

Reach enlightenment and you become or rather see the one. Even then when enlightenment as mentioned ceases to be real as all are, all those beings experiences will be of the one looking at the one, all.

All will still exist, it changes yes but all, one everything is not empty, the building blocks, the cosmic mind is there, the illusion is to see any part of it as fixed and unchanging, except that IT IS.

I am That, I am as god said to moses. Even when That becomes

We are One, we are there is still the we, the measurements and illusions of seperation have gone, but this experience then is still part of all.

Also basic tenets are not empty. Good can never become bad, as in not a thought or feeling, a good action can never ever be repaid or experienced by ALL/ONE God whatever your flavor as bad. And likewise Bad can never ever be experienced as Good.

Then there is also LOVE. This is not empty, (unconditional) cannot change, even when all beings become enlightened Love will still be non empty as enlightened is LOVE, the term and reference of enlightenment will cease to have any permanent basis, will become defunct, but LOVE will not as LOVE is really the ALL/ONE cosmic mind. Which always will be even if it changes.

LOVE is always non illusory even when there is nothing to measure it against if all beings are in a state of unconditional LOVE, as this is the truth behind the illusion anyhow, how things really are, without the LOVE of the ONE/GOD we wouldn't exist, LOVE is the GOD/ONE at its deepest core, the underlying nature of all, the web that holds it all together and makes th stars spin the sky even.

The Buddha/Christ nature and potential in all of us that the illusion hides, obscures. Even when all is LOVE it still is as opposed to enlightened, as it is that GOD/ONE in which everything changes except that one principle or absolute truth.

We live in the dream of god. When you become enlightened it is just like lucid dreaming and creating dream based on the principles of such GOD and breaking free from the repetative nightmare of the illusion or permanence of anything besides this one fact LOVE.


Simple really, but profound. Leave the intellectualising, deep meta physics and focus on the only unchanging solid island in the river of life if you want to sunbath and bask in Gods light, LOVE or you may get swept downstream and dashed on the rocks or loose your way. The island is there right infront of us, why explore the rest of the river?

Kind Regards,

Elf



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by MischeviousElf
 

Your words are attractive and nice but ultimately say nothing about nothing! Most of what you say can easily be refuted if not all of it! Then we are back on the merry-go-round of words! can nobody see this? I stand on my first statement ' the concept of enlightenment is illusion'.It is self supporting! and surely should not require explanation.Thankyou for your 'insights'



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 04:28 AM
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May I say here to everyone who has responded to my initial statement that I perhaps should have been more 'humble' in my approach. I am new to this and may have come across in the wrong way. Would it be more clear if I had said ' any concept of enlightenment is an illusion' ? Does this small change make a difference ? I am no self knower merely a self observer and I can easily see how even simple words can lead to an endless circle of definitions where the original thread is lost. We all of course live in the 'now' where else can we be. By way of a little diversion may I enquire what you think of this statement ' the self can only be observed through relationship' ? I would much prefer opinions or insights rather than definitions of words which ends up getting us nowhere.Thanks again for your patience and your kind responses.



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 04:37 AM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by Mr Green
 
Mr Green, is being in the now equal to enlightenment?Why are you being tested?What have you had to overcome?



Thank you for asking.

I do not wish to go over this again on threads as its a can of worms, but they have been very difficult tests. Why am I tested? Why is anybody tested? To learn I guess, to learn.

Does being in the now equal enlightenment? Yes I think it does because our now is all we have, it is everything and once we learn to totally live in our now our outlook on life drastically alters.



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by ExamineAllViews
 

!We must face up to this reality 'as it is' and seek wisdom not enlightenment.Self observation is the key to wisdom.Do not strive 'or not strive' for enlightenment Wake up!


Your words above describe to me exactly what living in the now is!

Face up to our reality...yes our reality is NOW. I have no reality yesterday and I have no reality tomorrow.

Self observation....again become the watcher of your own mind. See how it constantly trys to take you away from your now. Its endless thoughts and chatter about the past and future.

Do not strive for enlightenment...exactly for to strive for something means its in your future and enlightenment can not be found in the future.



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 06:02 AM
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Originally posted by midicon
Would it be more clear if I had said ' any concept of enlightenment is an illusion' ? Does this small change make a difference ? I am no self knower merely a self observer and I can easily see how even simple words can lead to an endless circle of definitions


You say MischeviousElf was talking about nothing, and you say it can even be refuted. All words are meaningless. People give them meaning. Think of how you first learned language. No one could really teach you, but yourself, because you couldn't possibly speak intelligently with anyone else if you don't know any languages. So how do you know for every word you say, someone else doesn't have a completely different concept associated with that same word? Or even just a slightly different flavor or perspective on that word? It could make all the difference between your world, and theirs; between an obvious statement of truth and something that just doesn't make sense to you.

Especially when talking about concepts that are philosophical/esoteric/mystical/etc... the words we use, and the concepts we associate with those words, become fuzzier and fuzzier from person to person.

Here's an example: God.

I have no doubt that everyone posting here has a completely different outlook on that one simple, three-letter word. Immensely differing outlooks, probably from that there is no such thing, to using it to describe something transcendental that is truly unnameable, to having to go to a special building once or twice a week to honor it so it won't send you to a fiery pit for eternity. Each person could justify his or her position to themselves, but not necessarily to anyone else. And who knows what is actually going through anyone's head when they are talking about stuff like "God," because words are so limited. And meaningless.

The only things that are "true," that "really" "exist," are the shapes, forms, colors, geometries that things take. There is a certain stability and repetition to the universe despite all the constant change, and these patterns are what people are trying to slap names on. These patterns are literally everything. You can express these eternal forms through systems of logic or math, philosophies, Jungian archetypes, works of art, or even admire them and consider them as true immortal gods, all depending on your perspective, background, etc., none of them right or wrong just as the words themselves cannot be right or wrong. Some languages have 7 or 8 specific names for shades of colors that we would just all call "blue" in English. Who's more correct? There is no difference. Language is a lot of nonsense.

You might be starting to understand why many deeply spiritual people take vows of silence. I'm getting a headache myself.


This page plays off of a William S. Burroughs quote ("Language is a virus from outer space") and conveys exactly the same thing I am here, in very different words: acjournal.org...

Just another example of things changing, but really staying the same. Just look past the words themselves to the state of mind from which they came, if you can piece it together to your satisfaction.


By way of a little diversion may I enquire what you think of this statement ' the self can only be observed through relationship' ?


Not always true, but almost. There are other modes of consciousness that are seldom heard of and even less understood in our part of the world. MischeviousElf was getting at this when he was referencing "I am That." There are "mystical" states of consciousness that are described as union between the viewer and the object being viewed. And truly, these are one. The "object" is really just organized sensory stimulation in your brain (neurons firing), and the sensation of being "the viewer" is... organized sensory stimulation in your brain (neurons firing). This state of mind is sought in meditation in the East, and realizing it can come as a distinct shock.

From the same page linked above:


"There is no longer subject-object, but a 'yawning gap' between the one and the other and, in the gap, the subject, the object are dissolved; there is passage, communication, but not from one to the other: the one and the other have lost their separate existence"



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 
Most of what you say is true and is so obvious that it did not require saying.Language is of course necessary for communication.With a little 'tweaking' and plain speaking it is not so hard to find common ground.Look again at this statement 'the self can only be observed through relationship' Thankyou for responding.



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by cancerian42
 
Let's look at this simply. You have brought up the terms 'subconscious' and 'symbols'. Perhaps we can come at this from a 'Jungian' viewpoint.Jung says that the ego is only a small part of the self and as a result of this the self is always seeking wholeness. This is achieved by the assimilation and integration of its unconscious parts. He calls this process 'individuation' and this is accomplished through the practice of 'active imagination'He calls the result of this self-realisation and this is indeed 'the treasure hard to attain'.On the other hand we have the concept of non-self where enlightenment is achieved by self surrender or death of the self.I repeat enlightenment cannot be attained! Thankyou for your input.



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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Originally posted by MischeviousElf
Everything is an illusion.

Or more rightly Empty, that is empty of any inherent and unchanging nature or reality.

Everything is not illusion just because it is constantly changing. Let's take ice cream for example. When heat is applied it melts, but does that mean that the ice cream was an illusion just because it has changed? Is it an illusion that you exist? You are part of everything, so you must be an illusion according to your first statement. Change does not mean illusion.




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