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What if.. enlightenment is always lost

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posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 10:00 PM
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So a monk, or a person even attains enlightenment. They live in it for a while, but eventually they lose it. They know darn well they have lost it, and really, they sort of know how. But they never get it back. After attaining, they are back to normal middle ground. They now realize truly that middle ground is the truth. Because they realize that under their discipline, enlightenment was not hard to find. It was the most easy thing to accomplish because it did not rely on material gain, time itself, or religious dogma. It truly did not sit within the boundaries and limitations of typical accomplishment. Having attained it, and losing it, they realize that everything is just "grasping at the wind." The current Dalai Lama comes to mind, he is so carefree and even claims he is not enlightened.

I don't mean to be a heretic or something, but this is ATS, and I thought this theory should be shared. It's new at least to me.




posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 10:41 PM
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Well, let us redefine the words we use than.

"Enlightenment" would then be called "Arrogance".

And "middle-ground" can now be called "enlightenment". If you will.



Works for me!



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 11:37 PM
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Originally posted by Novise
So a monk, or a person even attains enlightenment. They live in it for a while, but eventually they lose it. They know darn well they have lost it, and really, they sort of know how. But they never get it back. After attaining, they are back to normal middle ground. They now realize truly that middle ground is the truth. Because they realize that under their discipline, enlightenment was not hard to find. It was the most easy thing to accomplish because it did not rely on material gain, time itself, or religious dogma. It truly did not sit within the boundaries and limitations of typical accomplishment. Having attained it, and losing it, they realize that everything is just "grasping at the wind." The current Dalai Lama comes to mind, he is so carefree and even claims he is not enlightened.

I don't mean to be a heretic or something, but this is ATS, and I thought this theory should be shared. It's new at least to me.


exactly



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 05:28 AM
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First of all, unless you have experienced enlightenment it is a bit much to speculate on what it is or is not, let alone what it is to lose it. It is a multifaceted thing, in the first place. It isn't come by easily. It is always done consciously, though the path there may begin rather accidentally.

As for "losing" it, as implied above, it isn't lost. It simply moves beyond to something beyond enlightenment in the sense that is known to the common man. It moves to a state of non-duality. In essence, that means that everything is done with a broader understanding and comprehension of reality than is available to your Average Joe. So what looks like irresponsible, thoughtless, insincere, etc., behavior to the unenlightened is in fact a result of this non-dualistic awareness. It is purely down to the intent behind the act/thought/what-have-you. It's not a return to a place of "un-enlightenment". You don't become "dis-enlightened". lol

I suspect I will have to explain this further, but it's not easy to put into words that do the concept justice.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 05:39 AM
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Enlightenment is lost when it is expressed. It's not something we can share directly, as it is understanding rather than literal.

So if someone is to lose their enlightenment, then it is because they have attached themselves to a single expression(like a religion) and have started to put more into the expression than the understandings being expressed themselves.

They have turned themselves into authority figures, with an expression that should be "accepted", and as a result understanding is thrown out the window.

It's a result of our communication limitations. You express understanding, people without understanding attack your expression. You end up defending the expression itself and you forget it is the understanding, not the expression of it that is important to begin with.

If we were able to just directly give each other the understandings themselves, then I would bet such things wouldn't happen.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 06:44 AM
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Losing enlightenment is kind of the point of gaining it in the first place. Tied to the concept of impermanence, enlightenment is fleeting and formless. Like water. What shape does water have? If you pour it into a bowl, it'll be bowl shaped. Toss that bowl in the air and it will be droplet and splash shaped. As it evaporates it becomes the shape of the atmosphere.

Enlightenment is like water, it has no form or definition and even using the term itself to define it is only putting it into an enlightenment shaped container. If you're aware in the present tense of your "enlightenment" then you're probably just telling yourself.


The reason why, since the beginning of the concept in writing and practice, that no words can define it, is that by defining what just "is" you're setting limits. Words are limits, and to achieve beyond the imposed restrictions of them you must abandon not only the words, but the "form" of the concept behind the words.

Like nothing. You can say the absence of any state of being is nothing, but by declaring it as nothing, you recognize it as an entity itself, everything else that is not nothing becomes the container for nothing, and you end up with an "everything else shaped" block of absence, and nothing ends up having form and boundaries. The realization of this concept that leads one towards enlightenment is important because it exposes the truly free mind, where there is no everything, no nothing, but only one thing, which is our awareness.

Thus the detachment of only one thing is required. No need to let go of a myriad of vast everything and nothing mixed together, or to pick out the everything from the nothing.

And as far as claimed enlightenment, for one to speak up and announce that oneself is enlightened is pure delusion. For oneself to even make the claim of enlightenment is putting "it" in your enlightenment shaped container.

The path. One day a monk decided after many years of seeing a distant mountaintop from the temple grounds, that he will visit the distant peak. He walked across the valley, through rain, through sun, through darkness. Through rivers, and forests, through hills and plains, the monk wandered. Through rocks, and through the sky, moving upwards, he suddenly finds to his surprise that there is no more upwards, and the place left to go is back the way he had came. As quickly as the monk arrived at the peak, the monk turned around and took one step downhill, and became "enlightened".

"It" is fleeting, it's seemingly intangible, for wherever you look, for whatever "it" you grasp for eludes your grasp. One hand clapping.

Try this, take your right index fingertip and use it to touch your right index fingertip. Those who have yet to walk the path will say nonsense, that it's not possible.

Those who THINK they're enlightened will expend energy trying to meditate on touching the fingertip, and say that it's possible but it requires discipline, concentration, meditation, and mastery.

Those who have truly attained will laugh and say nonsense, it's not possible to commit an act of touching one's own finger, because the "enlightened" one realizes that there is no way NOT to touch the finger.

That's one hand clapping, the only thing that changes is one's awareness, and to hear the sound of one hand clap one merely has to realize that the sound of one hand clapping is eternal, ceaseless, and all encompassing. So much that we forget what it sounds like, and block it out of our awareness.

Or, you could say that the final step to "it" is realizing that you need to abandon and cast off your enlightenment itself in order to complete it.

Ever heard how the wise souls claim "I know nothing!"? It's the opposite of not knowing anything. Taken in the literal sense, it's kind of an "inside joke" and a play on words. Never will one claim "I don't know anything" as the uninitiated and as yet unaware will seem to believe that's what is meant, but here's the punchline: Knowing nothing means literally, KNOWING the THING that is NOTHING, in other words, total detachment. VERY few of those who tread the path understand, and i suspect even a few arrogant "masters" don't understand that. To put it in layman terms, it would be having knowledge of what is defined as nothing, that the recognition of that brings awareness full circle.

Be mindful, and you can one day "know nothing".

[edit on 7/29/2009 by DezertSkies]

[edit on 7/29/2009 by DezertSkies]



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by CosmicEgg
 


I post in response to you, but I'm adding my thoughts as well. I am pretty sure we all know the disclaimers involved when discussing enlightenment. This forum is a lot of questions and answers. Sometimes asking the question differently yields a new light on the answer. That's all I aim to do in my posts. One of my favorite professors always said, "Ask the right questions."

Speculation is just that. If we didn't speculate unless we were sages and knowing, well you couldn't have the JFK speculation. Nobody would be allowed to say anything unless they were sitting in the car with him as he was shot.

I made this post in a pretty down moment, my attitude towards all of it shifted, and I figured I should capture it before I was back to my old self. I know I've learned from the answers answered here, from a different angle. It's always good to pick the mind of the posters here and good to see their answers. This thread really isn't going to get at the meaning of everything, but should help us more specifically tackle to situation of enlightenment when it is lost, and it can be...

Nothing lasts forever even enlightenment as written in answer by DezertSkies, he talks of it as fleeting, impermanent. And I'm very glad to see Badmedia's thoughts as well. I liked Muzzleflash's take on this as well, and your's too of course, it is good to stay grounded and keep things in check. Wouldn't mind if Jonah expounded some more though, lol.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 06:31 PM
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Enlightenment is not something that you find, anymore than it's something that you lose.

Sidhartha himself said, "Once enlightenment is obtained, nothing changes."

You still have to feed yourself and those dependent on you. You have to pay your bills and you you have to live your life.

I understand the Dalai Lama's claim to not be enlightened, for I'm in the same boat. The more I learn the more I realize I don't know, which in a perverse way means the more I learn the dumber I get. At the rate I'm learning I'll be a blathering idiot in no time at all. If I'm not already.

The surest road to eventual enlightenment is to not worry about it.

This is just my humble opinion,

wupy



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by mrwupy
Enlightenment is not something that you find, anymore than it's something that you lose.


I can see how that applies to conciousness. And while I can see how Enlightenment is not something you actively or with effort find or lose, I can understand that it is something that can be attained. A state that a person can be in.

No matter how it is arrived at, whether you tried or not, or claimed ownership or whatever. A person can be said to be enlightened and a person can be said to not be.

I do however, get the feeling that the Dalai Lama has experienced enlightenment at some point in his life.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Novise

I do however, get the feeling that the Dalai Lama has experienced enlightenment at some point in his life.


A great man would never claim to be a great man, nor would he need to. People know it the moment he walks into the room.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by DezertSkies
Try this, take your right index fingertip and use it to touch your right index fingertip. Those who have yet to walk the path will say nonsense, that it's not possible.

Those who THINK they're enlightened will expend energy trying to meditate on touching the fingertip, and say that it's possible but it requires discipline, concentration, meditation, and mastery.

Those who have truly attained will laugh and say nonsense, it's not possible to commit an act of touching one's own finger, because the "enlightened" one realizes that there is no way NOT to touch the finger.


Does that mean I'm enlightened? I mean, you totally scammed my allegory there bud.


www.abovetopsecret.com...

I was just thinking can my hand hold itself? No, it cannot I say. Then I think, but it is holding itself, so perfectly now. It is itself.


Nah, um, who knows. It's just strange to see people say similar things about the path. Even though I've pretty much ignored anything dogmatic, weird synchronicities emerge out of the chaos.


Be mindful, and you can one day "know nothing".


I have only one more thing to say in this post. Moo!




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