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"Enlightenment" or some seriously warped thought patterns?

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posted on May, 24 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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Alright, I know a lot of you here don't like me. Yeah, I'm not as spiritual as you guys, I don't know nothin' about buddhism or the third eye or qi-gong or anything like that. I'll admit that much. I meditate, but not because I'm trying to get enlightened, but because it takes a load off my mind. I don't even believe in enlightenment.
Why?

Well, let me ask a few questions to get this discussion started...

What IS enlightenment? How do you KNOW when you're enlightened? What HAPPENS when you're enlightened? What are the BENEFITS of enlightenment? What knowledge is gained from enlightenment? Why is enlightenment beneficial to people? Can enlightenment be just a chemical impulse that DOESN'T have any mystical or spiritual forces behind it? Does enlightenment just FEEL like enlightenment?

You don't have to answer them all, really. You can pick and choose which ones you want to answer. But...

I have experienced a lot of chemical highs in my day. I can relate to the feeling of 'knowing' something that is utterly inexplainable and unfathomable. It's impossible to put into words, the thoughts that are gathered when such a 'revelation' is had. It's as if you're not thinking in your mother tongue anymore, and you are thinking pure thoughts, thoughts that have no words or meaning attached to them, but thoughts that explain and make you understand.
So I understand that if people spontaneously or through meditation get this feeling, they feel enlightened. But does that make it so? I do not think so. I think that when this happens people are changed, because they have finally understood something that they have been trying to get an answer to their whole entire lives, but once they have understood it, they realize that it is impossible to put into words, thoughts that are wordless.

As you can tell, I am very biased in my opinion, for I am not spiritual. I do not believe that we have a true purpose in life, but neither do I believe that we have no purpose. We make a purpose, and some of us stick with it, some of us change it, but in the end we all die, and we all make our impact on the Universe. I have many interests in science, and I know only a little about neuro-chemistry. I do know, however, that a large array of chemicals are released naturally by the brain that..., well, that would, quite frankly, drive a person insane if released in proper quantities. Some of you may already know what I'm talking about. Dimethyl-tryptamine, aka '___', otherwise known as "The Spirit Molecule" or "The God Molecule". This is far from the only 'trippy' chemical released by the brain, and there are several survival mechanisms for the conscious process to continue. Opiates dull mental and physical pain. Opiate receptors are a key to that. There are chemicals that also speed up the mental and physical processes, there are chemicals which alter it.

However, the answer doesn't, I believe, lie only with the chemicals but WHERE in the brain they happen, and the interesting thing about the brain, is a property called "neuro-plasticity". This means that what happens in one part of the brain, can, in actuality, happen in ANY part of the brain. What one part of the brain can do, any part of the brain can do. I am not sure of the extent of neuro-plasticity, e.g. the hypothalamus or the pineal gland.

To conclude - is it possible, then, that 'enlightenment' is just a warped thought pattern? I mean, is it possible that either by accident or on purpose, people take advantage of the property of neuro-plasticity and quite literally 'change' their brain?

Please, if you can help it, try to argue this logically and not from what your research has shown you about buddhist chakras and chikras and yins and yangs. that sort of argument isn't appropriate for this topic and if you can help it- make it easy for non-spiritual people such as myself to understand.




posted on May, 24 2010 @ 09:39 AM
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to start, your post was logical, clear, concise and very well-presented. I really only want to give my input on your conclusion. I am of the opinion that your context surrounding the importance of thoughts themselves is...inaccurate (i couldn't think of a more specific word). So what if 'enlightenment' or any relatively outlandish thought is nothing more than 'a warped thought process?' people place so little importance on our very thoughts actions and feelings in terms of how they directly affect our universe. I don't really want to get into an conversation about my personal beliefs and conclusions or how I came to them; but I believe, I believe so strongly to the point that it's knowledge, that if you think and act and feel positive, positive things will happen to you. I started a while ago with this mode of thinking and in the recent few months it has paid off on different scales. I suppose i could try to prove some of this to you, but the only way you would truly be able to understand is to live my life OR life as I do. I used to feel empty lacking and just generally forlorn; now I am literally in love with life.

and now someone else


the futility of the point your trying to come to can be proven by the fact that both the definitions of 'warped' and 'thought' could be disputed by someone with a different perspective on the subject.

this is an absurdly personal experience. it's a little scary but ****ing awesome all at the same time.




posted on May, 24 2010 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by LususNaturae
 



What IS enlightenment? How do you KNOW when you're enlightened? What HAPPENS when you're enlightened? What are the BENEFITS of enlightenment? What knowledge is gained from enlightenment? Why is enlightenment beneficial to people? Can enlightenment be just a chemical impulse that DOESN'T have any mystical or spiritual forces behind it? Does enlightenment just FEEL like enlightenment?


I don't know, but is there a difference between enlightenment or an awakening or a spiritual experience?

I had this euphoric spiritual awakening many years ago that lasted for several months, then a dark night of the soul,

It was like something you cannot experience in its full intensity ever again, every once and a while I get a glimpse, but is it beneficial to me or humanity, I don't know.





[edit on 093131p://bMonday2010 by Stormdancer777]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by LususNaturae
 





I think that when this happens people are changed, because they have finally understood something that they have been trying to get an answer to their whole entire lives, but once they have understood it, they realize that it is impossible to put into words, thoughts that are wordless.


I never got any answers, just more questions, The only thing I guess I could take away from the experience was a inner knowing I cannot express in words, of the magnificence of the universe and creation and our odd role in the drama.



However, the answer doesn't, I believe, lie only with the chemicals but WHERE in the brain they happen, and the interesting thing about the brain, is a property called "neuro-plasticity". This means that what happens in one part of the brain, can, in actuality, happen in ANY part of the brain. What one part of the brain can do, any part of the brain can do. I am not sure of the extent of neuro-plasticity, e.g. the hypothalamus or the pineal gland.


There is no reason to not believe we were hardwired to reach break throughs.

[edit on 093131p://bMonday2010 by Stormdancer777]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:25 AM
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Thank you for your replies.

After reading your posts, I realized that, as Csquared said, both 'warped' and 'thoughts' most definitely are subjective. I have wondered before what is a thought. I know of no definite answer, as a thought cannot simply be a chemical impulse, because, as far as I know, one atom of a pure element is the same as another atom of the same element in pretty much every way. So if that was the case we would all think exactly the same.
I suppose, I'm just not 'enlightened' yet, haha.

I guess the real reason for this topic is, for those who claim they have been 'awakened' or 'enlightened' - what makes you say this or claim this? Because most of these people are the very same people who talk about buddhism as if it were a science, and that would then mean, that they were seeking enlightenment, and these people are often the very same people who will tell you you cannot find enlightenment if you seek it...

it's all very strange to me, that people can speak like this, and then not confirm their own enlightenment...



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:30 AM
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I prefer enlightenment because trough understanding, darkness is replaced with light.
So that makes enlightenment the best chosen word, but it is not very special or something.
Everyone will have had an experience of enlightenment in life.
Will it be beneficial for humankind? yes because it can bring light in this world that is in darkness.

Like you i don't care about buddhism, the third eye or chakra/kundalini, they are just accumulated knowledge, teachings, a path to follow and laid out by the teacher.
For understanding one does not need a path, one does not even need knowledge, but virtue in life.
And if one follows, it only makes him second hand and repeating something which is dead.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:34 AM
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I see. So by 'enlightenment' one really means to get rid of ignorance? Wouldn't 'open mindedness' work just as well?
I think I understand a little bit better now, what 'enlightenment' really means. I'm thinking that it means to get rid of your rose-coloured lenses, to abolish living in a one-world-view mindset, and to be open and receptive of whats happening around, to not pick-and-choose what you notice, or what you want to notice. Am I getting close?



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by LususNaturae
 


i an other tread i put the question,' if we had no memory, would we think?'

Because i see thoughts as fragments of our knowledge, knowledge being a memory which we can recall.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:41 AM
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I think it might be the other way around too, no?
If we had no thoughts we wouldn't have any memories.
Because there have been cases of people who literally had no memory, or a very very short memory, who could still think.

I think memory is more of a learning thing than a thinking thing. But, it could be memory is directly related to thinking, but then we would know nothing a priori.

Edit: Changed "no" to "know".

[edit on 24-5-2010 by LususNaturae]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by LususNaturae
Thank you for your replies.

After reading your posts, I realized that, as Csquared said, both 'warped' and 'thoughts' most definitely are subjective. I have wondered before what is a thought. I know of no definite answer, as a thought cannot simply be a chemical impulse, because, as far as I know, one atom of a pure element is the same as another atom of the same element in pretty much every way. So if that was the case we would all think exactly the same.
I suppose, I'm just not 'enlightened' yet, haha.

I guess the real reason for this topic is, for those who claim they have been 'awakened' or 'enlightened' - what makes you say this or claim this? Because most of these people are the very same people who talk about buddhism as if it were a science, and that would then mean, that they were seeking enlightenment, and these people are often the very same people who will tell you you cannot find enlightenment if you seek it...

it's all very strange to me, that people can speak like this, and then not confirm their own enlightenment...


I don't claim to be enlightened, I have just had some interesting experiences,




I have wondered before what is a thought.


OH yes that is the real question, thoughts and consciousness.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Oh no, don't get me wrong. I didn't mean to imply that I thought that you in particular were 'enlightened'. I just mean 'those people' and I'm sure you know who I'm talking about.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by LususNaturae
 


Yes you are
Looking with background, which is the knowledge we have is taking away a clear vieuw.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by LususNaturae
I see. So by 'enlightenment' one really means to get rid of ignorance? Wouldn't 'open mindedness' work just as well?
I think I understand a little bit better now, what 'enlightenment' really means. I'm thinking that it means to get rid of your rose-coloured lenses, to abolish living in a one-world-view mindset, and to be open and receptive of whats happening around, to not pick-and-choose what you notice, or what you want to notice. Am I getting close?


I know many spiritual people that look at the world through rose colored glasses.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by LususNaturae
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Oh no, don't get me wrong. I didn't mean to imply that I thought that you in particular were 'enlightened'. I just mean 'those people' and I'm sure you know who I'm talking about.


LOL yes I know what you are talking about.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by LususNaturae
 


The spiritual journey is one alone to take. It is a personal journey to understand the deeper meaning to life and our existance.

But as you had already admitted that you are biased, and from your thread title, it is NOT a discussion on Enlightenment that you seek, but only a validation that what you perceived with your 5 senses is your truth, and reality.

With those 5 senses that you hold dear, it becomes only a stumbling block for yourself to reach out to deeper conciousness. You prefer to believe that such conciousness is only natural chemical reactions within you and are delusions to you, for your senses refused to acknowledge what you simply cannot see, touch, taste, hear or smell.

Thus you remain grounded and the presumed 'meditation' you go into is nothing more than a breathing exercise. Nothing wrong with it, as long as you find comfort and solace with it.

I did say it is a personal journey, and no matter how credible others can present their views to you, your mental block will never comprehend nor will accept.

Other views that counter yours are simply 'seriously warped thought patterns' to you. Look around here on polarised ATS and you will see what I mean, if you did not realized your own error or intentions.

If you truly seek enlightenment, it will have to come from your own free will, to want it and to seek for it, the way we all seek for knowledge over the years, by learning and comprehending from credible resources and sources and cross referencing with all of them to discern better, but with an open mind, through logic and reason, and not with a mentally blocked mind.

Peace.

[edit on 24-5-2010 by SeekerofTruth101]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by SeekerofTruth101
 


I think one must honor where every soul is on their life's journey.

Because we learn from the positive and the negative aspects of life.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 10:57 AM
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I tend to agree. I have also always been a logical, non-magical thinker. From my own experience with a certain popular green herb, I found that my "realizations" essentially fit in with my worldview.

I became more aware of my unconscious and could "see" the way my thoughts were formed. Almost as if they just appeared, like somewhere deep in the brain's functioning is a "thought pump" that produces "raw" thoughts, to which you then apply the layers upon layers of training over the years to put into words and concepts (causing an experience of the thoughts from the pump "bubbling to the surface" of consciousness). Under intoxication these "higher" functions are subdued and you experience the raw thoughts themselves, often gaining some interesting insights that you then find difficult to put into words.

But I don't see humans ever achieving some sort of heaven-like "absolute enlightenment" that blows your mind and makes you happy forever. I think that is a pipe dream concocted by wishful thinking. The fact is, our bodies and minds are essentially designed for chronic unhappiness. Humans act to improve their lot, meaning action is spurred by discontentment. A permanently content person is a permanently non-acting person, who will of course quickly remove himself from the gene pool. Only chronically unhappy people survive and reproduce, and we are their offspring, doomed to an unsatisfactory life ("dukkha" as the Buddhists call it).

Ain't a whole lot more to it than that. It doesn't answer the big questions like what's the deal with consciousness, but it does a better job of explaining why things are the way they are than any other metaphysical doctrine I've ever heard. I think it is unaccepted by most people because it is an inherently pessimistic doctrine. But that doesn't necessarily make it untrue.


[edit on 24-5-2010 by NewlyAwakened]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by SeekerofTruth101
 


Thank you for your input. Yes, I admitted to being biased, however, I do, in actuality, want a discussion on enlightenment. Perhaps my wording was not the best. By 'warped' I did not mean 'insane', I meant, literally, warped, as in, you're not thinking in the same places that you used to think.
Yes, my meditations are just breathing exercises. As I said, I do not meditate for any spiritual value, just to calm my mind, slow down a little, take it all in rather than being so focused on one thing, appreciate my surroundings, get into a happier mood, uplift myself. I have a few times experienced some weird feelings, but I do not seek those feelings.

You presume much, seekeroftruth, and I feel that perhaps you too, have a mental block. I do not mean it as offensive, just as I'm sure you did not mean any offense to me as you said it. I'm just relaying my thoughts into text. Don't blame me, blame my consciousness.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 





A permanently content person is a permanently non-acting person, who will of course quickly remove himself from the gene pool.



That's a good point, I often wondered if I could spend my days in prayer or meditation tucked away in some monastery, I could be blissful too,

as long as they don't have flagellation in any form,



[edit on 113131p://bMonday2010 by Stormdancer777]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 11:03 AM
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Firstly i must say that you are on the right path, and for those who are enlightened to tell you otherwise, are only doing so to fuel you in that quest.
Think of it as some reverse psychology.
Enlightenment comes differently for everyone. Think of enlightenment as the understanding of oneself, and the world that you live in, everyone will experience this differently and at different times of there life.
IMHO Enlightenment is just gaining control over those thoughts, all the challenges we face in our life are for a reason they are are tests, part of our path.... Energy is real, everything has an energy, our challenge is to learn to have EQUILIBRIUM over negativity and positivity... not balance... having balance would mean being part of negativity or positivity.... equilibrium over ...both is to dominate them and be immune to negativity....

However everybody wants to get enlightened but nobody wants to change there mindset. Doing so is the first step, but in order to do you must understand, and thats to understand oneself. Remember enlightenment is focused more on yourself, as wisdom is focused on experiencing from outside of yourself, and simply acquiring new wisdom and understandings is to enhance or expand your awareness giving you a broader perspective and thus enlightenment.
I have to say that not all enlightened people are "perfect" as some believe, they are humans and they do make mistakes also. So try not to generalize a mistake that most often a lot of people make.
There is so much more i could write down and remember from various things iv read and experienced but that's all for now, more people will share wisdom hehe

just my 2 cents


Take care and i wish you luck in your journey.




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