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"Gnothi Seauton"/Know Thyself/Self-Awareness

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posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp



My purpose in part is to end suffering. Suffering has a purpose of course and that is to end suffering.

Your purpose in life? I find some of your responses to be cryptic. I am not sure what you mean here. Suffering is part of the design of this experience, obviously. I doubt it will end anytime soon barring death and movement to another "game". A world designed for different styles of learning.


I had an interesting vision awhile ago on that matter. There is no winning and nothing to win. Competing for some ultimate victory is folly, fantasia. I wouldn't call enlightenment a goal, prize or anything tangible even if it there are tangible adjuncts.
I knew the word would bother you. The term is used by me as a goal yes. Precisely. We all win when we have graduated/know thyself. In whatever way we choose to do that. Some choose more suffering than others to accomplish the same goal. This is just my take on why we are here.



I could be misunderstanding. I think laying it on extra-thick out of fear that one may be like their mother can do more harm than good. At some point it can be smothering. I would always watch for feedback. I'm not saying anything is actually wrong in the field but rather making an acedemic point.
Affection and attention? Smothering? The field of mothering? Making an academic point on how I mother my children? Sounds like judgment to me.
You don't know my children or me. I suppose you should ask my children if I smother them. If I gave them too much affection. If you asked them if I did it perfectly I am sure they would say no. There is no academic field of mothering.



Not every parent is willing to do any such thing. Trust me on that one.
giving up self for your children is not what I believe one should do, but in being your true self you teach by example. I am not saying it is the "right" thing to do. I am saying it is a difficult thing to do when you take the "responsibility" too seriously. It is a difficult thing to balance.




A difference in chosen interpretations perhaps. If it weights you down rather than lifts you up, the lesson hasn't yet been learned. Sometimes the lesson is that the lesson is pointless and you're only hurting yourself by holding on.
I agree.

[edit on 11-9-2009 by seagrass]




posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 09:29 AM
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Many mystic schools and esoteric religious sects precisely emhasize contemplation. But it is a dogma, or a dead letter, not the living word. But it is not their fault, I guess it's as common mistake as false interpretation of evangelion.
The way I was understanding it, without ever studying it btw, is that you are to think freely without judgment of the thinking, just being aware of where your mind goes, and contemplating on perhaps why you thought those things? A dogma following his nose?


Thought, which has created wonderful technology and created so much misery, cannot lead to true understanding - first of all, because it takes so much time, we would be dead before we have realized great mysteries of life and death, universe and such. Real understanding is instantaneous.
I sometimes refer to it as "downloading". It is as if the info comes when you need it. Sometimes not. I get impatient when I feel I am missing key information. Sometimes I get frustrated because it feels like we aren't supposed to understand yet, just get glimpses of it.


Basically, what I wanted to say is the thing that I've learned just recently. To just observe, without judgment, without the pressure of changing oneself. This way, one gradually becomes aware of himself, his motives and underlying conceptions and prejudices. Due the understanding, the real intelligence to read between awakes.
Observing every thought and movement and motivation etc. It takes time as well to notice patterns and then what to make of them. Reading in between the lines of ourselves is difficult to do objectively. I believe that is why we focus on other peoples behavior.




That is exactly what I meant. Once one thinks he is aware, he is not. Because then the thinker again is I, which isn't objective.
I guess this is where we just observe. It is hard not to think about what you are observing.







[edit on 11-9-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 10:02 AM
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I have to say that one of the inherent issues that always crops up in these discussions is one of semantics. As our most efficient means of communication, writing is invaluable but also frustrating because of the imposed rigidity of definition. Words are symbols. Their meanings are fluid and conceptual. Nothing hard and fast about any of it. Simply put, we use words to describe words. When a symbol is used to interpret a symbol then everything must be symbolic and therefore interpretive.

Point of fact for me, there are 'goals'. These are markers of progress allowing us to define in some imprecise way where we've been, where we are and where we are going. Nothing to do with a finish line or winning, but rather to me a necessity of confidence. Living in a time/space based reality it is often integral to our maturing sense of awareness to understand in some way our position.

As for suffering, there is no end in my view. That is to say that in this reality there will always be circumstances that can be construed as less pleasant than others. True suffering is in denying the circumstantial value, ignoring them or attempting to evade them. I've found that facing them and moving through them allows them to fall away naturally. Even then I try not to suppose what lies ahead, whether or not I'll need at some point to 'refresh' myself in a lesson of circumstance, but rather to accept that if I need to, I have learned what I can to minimize the discomfort.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 
Thank you. You win!
Happy ATS one year birthday




posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 10:41 AM
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Mental Alchemy
Hermetic Principles

"THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental" — The Kybalion


"As above, so below; as below, so above". — The Kybalion


"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates." — The Kybalion


"Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates." — The Kybalion


"Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled". — The Kybalion


"Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognised; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law." — The Kybalion

"Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes." — The Kybalion
explanations here


care to discuss this in relation to knowing thyself?

[edit on 11-9-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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“The concept of equanimity [i.e., acceptance] is often confused with withdrawal, indifference, or hesitation, but this is a misunderstanding. Such states of disconnection are actually very subtle forms of aversion or hostility toward our experience. By contrast, equanimity is a state of complete openness. We’re fully connected to what’s going on, yet free of the exhausting, ceaseless grasping on to pleasure and pushing away of pain.” “Equanimity born of wise attention dawns when we recognize the naturalness of change. We recognize that there will inevitably be pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and disrepute. If we resist this fact of life or take it personally, we react in the same old ways – with grasping, hatred, fear and delusion [i.e., automatic responses]. When we understand that the vicissitudes of existence are natural, simply the way things are, we can open the mind, relax, and be balanced.” ~ Sharon Salzberg


Any thoughts?



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 11:12 AM
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Do you agree?

Lack of judgment=Acceptance

Noticing, recognizing, identifying beliefs, addressing the beliefs can occur without a thought process.

That one can accept a belief system completely. Completely neutral.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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how is it possible to ACCEPT duality if duality exists in all things?
How does one ACCEPT their own duality?
Accepting a belief system doesn't necessarily mean you are changing it. Except to say that it loses its energy or you aren't putting as much energy into it.

[edit on 11-9-2009 by seagrass]

[edit on 11-9-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 12:25 PM
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Know Then Thyself

by Alexander Pope

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of mankind is man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or beast;
In doubt his mind and body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks to little, or too much;
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself, abus'd or disabus'd;
Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
The glory, jest and riddle of the world.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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I like the Sharon Salzburg quote and wholly agree, finding the attitude of acceptance confused with indifference too often. Most of us are told from an early age that we must exercise choice, pass judgment and align our feelings in a particular direction. Those of us who refuse, in my case not out of anything other than a natural inclination in the way I see things, we are maligned, ridiculed, shamed and outcast.

But some will pardon me if I'd rather fix a problem, something that can only be done when one is honestly objective, rather than simply replace what's 'broken' with another part just as, or more, likely to break.

Choice is largely an illusion. I'm reminded of an episode of Penn & Teller's Bull****, a show which was it's own brand of bullcrap and not at all objective, but I digress. In the episode I'm remembering they served frozen and canned dinners as fine, expensive cuisine. Only one customer as I recall had any comment on the lack of quality. The rest raved. The point being, most people literally don't understand the choices they make on a level above the judgment of one choice being more prestigious, expensive, cultured, etc. than the other. The truth of the monetary value is irrelevant, only the perception that we get what we pay for. In that way, the customers who loved the food were likely better off.

This should also point out the fallacy of so-called choice as freedom and I'm reminded of a Roman (I believe) parable about a dog with two bones. First it sniffed one then the other and unable to decide ran in circles between the two until it died of starvation.

The only choices that matter are those which lie at the heart of survival.

And so I would also agree that acceptance=a lack of judgment. When the illusion of choice is minimized and some bitterly complain that what they receive isn't up to the quality they expect and desire, then the only option left is to do without. To eat or starve. And so the truth of what has true value is realized.

So leaving judgments we can muster the courage and fortitude to find joy where it exists truly: In the divine experience of existence.

[edit on 11/9/09 by TravelerintheDark]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
Your purpose in life? I find some of your responses to be cryptic. I am not sure what you mean here. Suffering is part of the design of this experience, obviously. I doubt it will end anytime soon barring death and movement to another "game". A world designed for different styles of learning.


In this realm of topics, cryptic is often unavoidable.

It's a consequence of our fall into polarities. Check out Adam and Eve, beginning with good and evil. The end of suffering can refer to ending my own and assiting others in the same. It is a death of sorts and so perfectly insane.


Affection and attention? Smothering? The field of mothering? Making an academic point on how I mother my children? Sounds like judgment to me.


LOL. "The field of smothering?"



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:18 PM
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to eat or starve. But there are many gray areas in between duality to experience. Mildly good food, excellent food, disgusting food.... These gray areas are part of illusion as well. What about having an abundance of choices. Lack of choices makes things fairly easy in some cases. What about the more complicated choices?



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp



.




LOL. "The field of smothering?"



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
Mental Alchemy
Hermetic Principles

care to discuss this in relation to knowing thyself?



The Kybalion? I like that little book. William Atkinson's involvement in all this is so underplayed while people like Crowley and Pike take the spotlight. I suppose he was speaking to the future instead of the (his) present.

I was watching a video of the Dalai Lama giving a talk in England about the Four Noble Truths. Towards the end of the first of four parts he answered some questions, one of which was, "What is the difference between self-realization and God realization?"

Both he and his translator sat talking to each other under their breath for 10 or 20 seconds, seemingly debating how to answer this unexpected query and HHDL answered, "I don't know."

Edit: Be more specific, no content change.

[edit on 9/11/2009 by EnlightenUp]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 

I suppose if all is one then there would be no difference.
I am not familiar with the characters you mention. I simply found the principles and thought they might apply.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:50 PM
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I was asked to apply the above to the concept of self-awareness more directly. I think it's only really possible to take a personal approach in doing so. I'll try not to be too effusive, but I find the subject terribly complex applying it simply to myself, let alone anyone else.

The way I found to deal with my inward self, the self that manifests all my outward behaviors, attitudes and demeanor was to apply at first a strict judgment, a system based on the question: Does it make me feel good about who I am?

I looked broadly for the answer, not relying singularly on one aspect, such as physically, but rather physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, psychically in an attempt to encompass my being rather than one element of it that I found easiest to relate to.

Some elements were an easy answer 'yes' in every area. Others faltered in one spot or another. Some simply failed completely. The ultimate question of how to cope came with those deepest, darkest seeds.

My own journey was long, encompassing many years and several phases. The first was finding the core where I laid out blame for my circumstances. I sought to forgive others. Beyond that I simply did my best to subdue the elements that remained. What I learned is that simply attempting to 'rip out' the bad stuff didn't work. Like weeds in a garden, any fraction of leftover root would only take hold again and regrow. To my chagrin I also found that there was almost always a piece I missed, buried too deep for me to reach in a singular effort.

The next phase was a battle. I've called it a 'demon' in the past, but it wasn't anything more supernatural than my own psyche. No less insidious or ugly, but far less powerful than it at times seemed. In fact I found that it was no more weak nor strong that the aspects of myself that I chose to accept at the time. It was after all me no matter how much I disavowed it.

The outcome of the fighting only weakened me to the point where I felt I had no choice left but to cease fighting. I simply didn't have the strength and so plunged into anxiety, depression and bouts with suicidal feelings, alcoholism, physical malaise and prescription drug abuse. Overcoming these issues in the end was partly a realization that I could exert as much effort to deny any urge as the impulse of the urge itself. Again, these things were I part of who I am, and so as strong or weak as I allowed them to be.

The phase I currently work through is loving acceptance of myself, one grown largely with the help of the dearest human being I've ever met. It is amazing how the love of another can strengthen the resolve to love one's own self. Though I don't want to create the misunderstanding that I see this shared love as a singular truth or point. The fact is it wouldn't have worked had I not worked so hard alone for so long.

Now I cease to pass judgment on myself, realizing that the only value, good or bad, is the value I apply. And so I seek to align those elements of darkness in myself to face the light. And I take pride in the journey both now and past.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
reply to post by EnlightenUp
 

I suppose if all is one then there would be no difference.
I am not familiar with the characters you mention. I simply found the principles and thought they might apply.


en.wikipedia.org...

The "Three Initiates" who authored The Kybalion chose to remain anonymous. As a result, a great deal of speculation has been made about who actually wrote the book.

The most common proposal is that The Kybalion was authored by William Walker Atkinson, either alone or with others. Atkinson was known to use many pseudonyms, and to self-publish his works. He was also the owner of the "Yogi Publication Society of Chicago", the publisher of The Kybalion.


Having read many other works of WWA, I have to say it sounds more like his style and pontification than anyone else.

See Albert Pike and Aleister Crowley too. Oh, lest I forget, Manley P. Hall. They seem to be the most prominently referenced.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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I didn't realize there were politics surrounding the principles. What do you think EUp? that is what I am interested in, not what they think.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 03:19 PM
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The all is mind part stumps me. I don't agree for some reason I can't put my finger on. I see brains floating around the universe. No light or energy or something like that is what I see the universe made up of. The creative energy has consciousness in my opinion, but not necessarily in the form of a mind. Maybe.



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
to eat or starve. But there are many gray areas in between duality to experience. Mildly good food, excellent food, disgusting food.... These gray areas are part of illusion as well. What about having an abundance of choices. Lack of choices makes things fairly easy in some cases. What about the more complicated choices?


I'm not sure the choices are ever that complicated. We term consequences as a result of action and are told to assume responsibility for them. But how far does that responsibility extend? How far is the line to the responsibility of others? It can be difficult.

I tend to view things as simply as possible because I find less complications to be beneficial if at all possible. And from there some choices come down simply to intent and benefit. If I know I have no intent to harm someone else through my actions and those actions are genuinely beneficial to myself, then the consequences of my actions to another are often the consequences of anothers own choices and not mine.

Reactions are always a choice.

My goal in life, in general, is to be as happy as possible while doing as little harm to others as can be managed. But that doesn't mean I won't make waves. We all make waves. Every action is a vibration, a wave of energy cast in the direction of intent. When those waves cause another to panic and flounder, I often choose to throw them whatever aid I can. But it's their choice to reach for it or not, to find whatever is available to keep them afloat or to simply remain calm and tread water until the turbulence subsides. But as real life demonstrates, you generally don't jump in the water to save someone who's drowning or you could be caught in their turbulence and drown with them. It happens to even the strongest swimmers.

As for an abundance of choices? I enjoy them. What else is there to do? Once we 'discover' that life is illusory many choose to stop there thinking there is no point to reach once we looked behind the curtain. I was there but soon realized that if it exists, it must have purpose. And so I derive what pleasure I can, fully aware of the illusion and therefore working to remain objective about the fluctuations.

Which is why I said in the previous post that the diners who enjoyed their faux gourmet meal were better off. They got what they paid for in a gratifying experience. The one who was 'smart' enough to see through the illusion and point it out didn't so much enjoy it. If it were me who discovered the ruse, I'd much rather enjoy my expensive Hungry Man entree and appreciate the full breadth of the experience and then walk out with a smile on my face and full stomach rather than have everyone know how clever and cultured I am and still be hungry.

[edit on 11/9/09 by TravelerintheDark]



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