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Enlightenment

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posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by ypperst

Enlightenment does not exist.



And yet, for thousands of years, contemplatives have claimed to find extraordinary depths of psychological well-being while spending vast stretches of time in total isolation. It seems to me that, as rational people, whether we call ourselves "atheists" or not, we have a choice to make in how we view this whole enterprise. Either the contemplative literature is a mere catalogue of religious delusion, deliberate fraud, and psychopathology, or people have been having interesting and even normative experiences under the name of "spirituality" and "mysticism" for millennia.

Now let me just assert, on the basis of my own study and experience, that there is no question in my mind that people have improved their emotional lives, and their self-understanding, and their ethical intuitions, and have even had important insights about the nature of subjectivity itself through a variety of traditional practices like meditation.

Leaving aside all the metaphysics and mythology and mumbo jumbo, what contemplatives and mystics over the millennia claim to have discovered is that there is an alternative to merely living at the mercy of the next neurotic thought that comes careening into consciousness. There is an alternative to being continuously spellbound by the conversation we are having with ourselves.

Most us think that if a person is walking down the street talking to himself—that is, not able to censor himself in front of other people—he's probably mentally ill. But if we talk to ourselves all day long silently—thinking, thinking, thinking, rehearsing prior conversations, thinking about what we said, what we didn't say, what we should have said, jabbering on to ourselves about what we hope is going to happen, what just happened, what almost happened, what should have happened, what may yet happen—but we just know enough to just keep this conversation private, this is perfectly normal. This is perfectly compatible with sanity. Well, this is not what the experience of millions of contemplatives suggests.

Of course, I am by no means denying the importance of thinking. There is no question that linguistic thought is indispensable for us. It is, in large part, what makes us human. It is the fabric of almost all culture and every social relationship. Needless to say, it is the basis of all science. And it is surely responsible for much rudimentary cognition—for integrating beliefs, planning, explicit learning, moral reasoning, and many other mental capacities. Even talking to oneself out loud may occasionally serve a useful function.

From the point of view of our contemplative traditions, however—to boil them all down to a cartoon version, that ignores the rather esoteric disputes among them—our habitual identification with discursive thought, our failure moment to moment to recognize thoughts as thoughts, is a primary source of human suffering. And when a person breaks this spell, an extraordinary kind of relief is available.

But the problem with a contemplative claim of this sort is that you can't borrow someone else's contemplative tools to test it. The problem is that to test such a claim—indeed, to even appreciate how distracted we tend to be in the first place, we have to build our own contemplative tools. Imagine where astronomy would be if everyone had to build his own telescope before he could even begin to see if astronomy was a legitimate enterprise. It wouldn't make the sky any less worthy of investigation, but it would make it immensely more difficult for us to establish astronomy as a science.

To judge the empirical claims of contemplatives, you have to build your own telescope.

Judging their metaphysical claims is another matter: many of these can be dismissed as bad science or bad philosophy by merely thinking about them. But to judge whether certain experiences are possible—and if possible, desirable—we have to be able to use our attention in the requisite ways. We have to be able to break our identification with discursive thought, if only for a few moments. This can take a tremendous amount of work. And it is not work that our culture knows much about.

One problem with atheism as a category of thought, is that it seems more or less synonymous with not being interested in what someone like the Buddha or Jesus may have actually experienced. In fact, many atheists reject such experiences out of hand, as either impossible, or if possible, not worth wanting. Another common mistake is to imagine that such experiences are necessarily equivalent to states of mind with which many of us are already familiar—the feeling of scientific awe, or ordinary states of aesthetic appreciation, artistic inspiration, etc.


Source: Sam Harris - The Problem with Atheism




posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:04 AM
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reply to post by The X
 



Would you be able to tell if someone who said they were, was or was not Enlightened?.
How would you deduce if they were being truthful?, Just because a person says they are, does not mean they are not.


I praised the OP for his humility. Humility is an important part of enlightenment, don't you agree?



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:08 AM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


That all depends on your definition of 'enlightenment'.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



That all depends on your definition of 'enlightenment'.


What is your definition of "enlightenment" if it does not include the humility that comes from the transcendence of ego?



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by The X
 



Would you be able to tell if someone who said they were, was or was not Enlightened?.
How would you deduce if they were being truthful?, Just because a person says they are, does not mean they are not.


I praised the OP for his humility. Humility is an important part of enlightenment, don't you agree?


I absolutely agree, The last person on earth it is said, will be a Buddhist, in his humility and practice, he will help the last person leave a world of suffering, leaving himself to be the last to suffer, before leaving himself.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


The problem with atheist?

Hmm, I would rather think that religion is a problem.

If I ask you, what a good person is, can you tell me?

Do you think a good person, is someone who believe in god, meditate 3 times a day, and just going around in their own world doing nothing really?

Don't get me wrong, I do love meditation. But for me its merely a stress relief, not something I get to see other worlds with. (if you do, thats just because your brain stops getting so much air, because of slow breathing)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by ypperst
reply to post by BlueMule
 


I asked you, if you need to do all the things you posted, to be a good person.

You really believe that?


No, you don't need to do all those things to be a good person.

I posted them because you seem to think people are trying to gain enlightenment "without doing anything", when for all you know they may have been doing stuff like I posted all of their lives, in addition to doing the things you posted such as helping another person who is stuck because of his car. I think perhaps you are making unwarranted assumptions.

But hey, knock yourself out. I'm not judging you.

edit on 7-7-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by The X


I absolutely agree, The last person on earth it is said, will be a Buddhist, in his humility and practice, he will help the last person leave a world of suffering, leaving himself to be the last to suffer, before leaving himself.


That, is what I call a good person.

A person willing to give everything, to another fellow human.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


You have defined your definition of 'enlightenment' as transending the ego. I then would agree, however this cannot be achieved by just being nice to people and things, first one has to realize that one is not separate. Humility comes after the realization, humility is not a prescription to achieve enlightenment. Humility is a symptom of enlightenment.
edit on 7-7-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by DJW001
 


That all depends on your definition of 'enlightenment'.


It is a feeling and does not really have a definition, the understanding that you, the person next to you, the universe we stand in, are all one and the same thing, is the closest you can come to a definition of "Universal" enlightenment.
Spiritual enlightenment, a process of meditation and inner contemplation allowing you to discover the seeds of God planted within, and the formation and bursting of the flower of life (the 972 petaled lotus) into your metaphsyical spirit self.
The understanding of God consciousness is within all of us, and, with seeking can be manifested as a personal revelation of great intensity, leaving no doubt that their is a spiritual lifeforce to which we are literally bound.

From personal experience, those are my definitions of Universal, and, personal "Enlightenment", they are one and the same thing, as everything is, but, having the Universal sense of enlightenment, created the conditions through which i managed to open the "flower of life" the crown chakra, and saw that what i thought was the truth, actually, is the truth.
There is a God consciousness in all of us.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by The X
 


Beautifully said.
You know you know.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by ypperst
 


to OP:

How are you saying all of this so "matter-of-factly"? You don't know, none of us know what actually happens in the metaphysical world. It's all speculation, both sides of the argument. I understand your point, that you believe people need to change themselves to change the world, but in all honesty, I think that your view of the ascended people and what we all go through is extremely skewed. You don't know what it is like, without experiencing it, I can understand how you would be afraid and unaccepting of it.

Enlightement isn't about us sitting around waiting for some magical cosmic blast to change the human consciousness, it is about the soul, the human experience, nature, love, feelings, inner-peace, knowing yourself, knowing your place in the universe, etc.

Do you know what it is like to be able to feel the ENTIRE human suffering when you listen to the wind? No, you don't, and I can tell that from your posts. So, since you haven't experienced it, I truely feel that you have no place to judge others on what we feel is true in our hearts.

I wish you well on your journey in life, and hope you see the light one-day, for it is amazing.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by The X
 


Further to that, all things are true. Your truth is as true as mine. The only difference is perspective. Understanding this fundamentally is compassion. This comes with remembering, or "imagining" all the various scenarios that could bring a person to the place where they sit at their perspective. Respect, understanding, compassion, forbearance, faith, truth - all part of enlightenment. Every person or event you witness is evidence of perspective. They are perspectives of you. That oneness is obvious. There can be no going back to duality.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by The X

Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by The X
 



Would you be able to tell if someone who said they were, was or was not Enlightened?.
How would you deduce if they were being truthful?, Just because a person says they are, does not mean they are not.


I praised the OP for his humility. Humility is an important part of enlightenment, don't you agree?


I absolutely agree, The last person on earth it is said, will be a Buddhist, in his humility and practice, he will help the last person leave a world of suffering, leaving himself to be the last to suffer, before leaving himself.


The true buddha knows that there are no 'other people' so he by realizing the truth has set all others free of suffering. He knows the only suffering there is is his own and when he searches for himself he finds himself absent.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:32 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



You have defined your definition of 'enlightenment' as transending the ego. I then would agree, however this cannot be achieved by just being nice to people and things, first one has to realize that one is not separate. Humility comes after the realization, humility is not a prescription to achieve enlightenment. Humility is a symptom of enlightenment.


But most spiritual traditions agree that one must practice humility and compassion as part of the process.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



You have defined your definition of 'enlightenment' as transending the ego. I then would agree, however this cannot be achieved by just being nice to people and things, first one has to realize that one is not separate. Humility comes after the realization, humility is not a prescription to achieve enlightenment. Humility is a symptom of enlightenment.


But most spiritual traditions agree that one must practice humility and compassion as part of the process.


Traditions are believed to be prescriptions but they are descriptions of what is found.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:35 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



Traditions are believed to be prescriptions but they are descriptions of what is found.


Until you experience it for yourself you are just making noises.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by ypperst
reply to post by BlueMule
 


The problem with atheist?

Hmm, I would rather think that religion is a problem.

If I ask you, what a good person is, can you tell me?

Do you think a good person, is someone who believe in god, meditate 3 times a day, and just going around in their own world doing nothing really?

Don't get me wrong, I do love meditation. But for me its merely a stress relief, not something I get to see other worlds with. (if you do, thats just because your brain stops getting so much air, because of slow breathing)


ok, ill help you here, your meditation is not just about slow breathing, it is about breathing properly.
When we are babies we breathe correctly, as we get older our breathing becomes disordered.
As babies we breathe by the action of the diaphragm, it is automatic, you push your stomach out, you breathe in, you relax and you automatically pull your stomach in, and you breathe out.
As we get older we move our breathing to our chest and forget the natural way to breathe.
We heave our chests and rib cage, and this fills out lungs, this takes more effort.

the idea of the breathing with meditation is to create a feeling, something that can be felt in the stomach.
Imagine a water wheel, The water pours onto it and it spins.
Now imagine a wheel in your stomach, concentrate on your breathing, your natural no effort breathing, push your belly out, and feel the air that rushes in working on the wheel making it spin.
Breathe in a steady and controlled manner, when you breathe out, continue to feel the wheel "freewheeling" until you breathe in again and you make it spin again.

Your chakras are spinning wheels inside your body, it is easiest to find the chakra in your belly first using this method, by becoming accustomed to "Feeling" something spinning in your stomach, you are conditioning your mind to feel the spinning of your chakra.

Also maintain a happy sense of self discovery about the process, YOU WAN'T to know, approach it with this frame of mind, relax and let it happen.
Visualise the wheel, and above all look for the sense of it spinning within you, feel it.

If anyone tries this and finds that it is working (It will work if you try), u2u me and ill tell you the rest.

edit on 7-7-2012 by The X because: (no reason given)
edit on 7-7-2012 by The X because: (no reason given)
edit on 7-7-2012 by The X because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


How would you know whether i am or not?
Would you be able to tell if someone who said they were, was or was not Enlightened?
How would you deduce if they were being truthful?
edit on 7-7-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by ypperst

If I ask you, what a good person is, can you tell me?


As opposed to what? A bad person?

If you tell me what good and bad are, I'll tell you what a good person and a bad person is. A good person does good things. A bad person does bad things. It's a pair of opposites you have there. I don't think in terms of pairs of opposites. I think in terms of unity of opposites. Everyone has good and bad in them, everyone has male and female in them, everyone has left and right in them, everyone has everything and everyone in them. All is within all. I don't go around judging people as good or bad.

"Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
each other
doesn't make any sense."

-Rumi

edit on 7-7-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)





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