The Vanity of Enlightenment

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posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
Have you been spying on me practicing my rhetorical skills?


Much of my philosophy has been developed using just such a method.

Well since all any of us are *really* talking to and hearing are our individual perceptions of other people, not the actual other people... our perceptions are the brick wall we're "playing off of".

Even if someone changes their portion of the wall, if we don't perceive it we'll keep playing as if the wall hasn't changed and get increasingly confused as to why the ball doesn't bounce back the way we expect.

I gotta be careful... I get sucked into metaphor land waaaaay too easy. I'm an addict, haha.

EDIT: I could probably rewrite that to be entirely first person... as the fundamental truth is "I" can't verify that "you" aren't all one collectively aware single being with no illusion of division just pretending to be different posters who can see perfectly clearly into "my" mind and "I" am the only one playing off my own perceptions.
edit on 18-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
Maybe you could tell me what you believe is the 'very particular experience' that the Buddhist view as enlightenment.


I've already done this on page 17 of the thread. I'm sorry but I have other things to do. I'm not going over it again just for you.



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 06:34 PM
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Originally posted by InTheLight

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


starting explaining your experience then, details. Give us some of your real life situations which resulted in your beliefs being stripped away. Dont be shy little candle.

I will not waste pearls on swine.

Mathew 7:6
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."
edit on 18-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


That quote may be a tad harsh for some on this thread.

I think this one is more befitting the movement of this thread at this particular stage:



You also need to be true to yourself. It is fine to listen to other people's advice, but ultimately, you are the only one who walks in your shoes. Make sure they fit and are comfortable. Listen to your heart, and try not to let the ego take control. Do what makes your heart sing. By doing both, your light will shine. When it shines, it positively affects everyone around you........including yourself.




Thank you for speaking for me.
I wrote the post I wrote and I stand by it.
One day you will understand why I posted it as a reply. It was not for 'some' on this thread - just the one I replied to.
edit on 18-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by InTheLight
 


Thank you for posting that. "Pearls before swine" is an arrogant and degrading sentiment that only the most blinded of men would think to speak. The better phrase, in my opinion, would express understanding of ignorance and compassion for fear and a willingness to share a perspective when the ignorant party feels it is ready to listen.

That, in my view, is the most beneficial way to say "What I have to say is probably not what you should hear right now".



Mathew must have been arrogant and blind too.
edit on 18-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



Maybe you could tell me what you believe is the 'very particular experience' that the Buddhist view as enlightenment.


Your post wasn't directed at me, but I just thought I'd throw in that just because you aren't familiar with it, doesn't make it unreal. You aren't the sole source of understanding in this world, nor are you the only one capable of it. If you don't like it, maybe it's because you're stuck on one channel. Just a disclaimer.
edit on 18-2-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)


I did not say it was unreal. I am asking for more information on the very particular experience the Buddhist have.



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 06:45 PM
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I see there are those who like to speak for others. They assume that they know better.
It's so vain.



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by InTheLight

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


starting explaining your experience then, details. Give us some of your real life situations which resulted in your beliefs being stripped away. Dont be shy little candle.

I will not waste pearls on swine.

Mathew 7:6
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."
edit on 18-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


That quote may be a tad harsh for some on this thread.

I think this one is more befitting the movement of this thread at this particular stage:



You also need to be true to yourself. It is fine to listen to other people's advice, but ultimately, you are the only one who walks in your shoes. Make sure they fit and are comfortable. Listen to your heart, and try not to let the ego take control. Do what makes your heart sing. By doing both, your light will shine. When it shines, it positively affects everyone around you........including yourself.




Thank you for speaking for me.
I wrote the post I wrote and I stand by it.
One day you will understand why I posted it as a reply. It was not for 'some' on this thread - just the one I replied to.
edit on 18-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


I was not speaking for you, I was speaking to you and others who start their wise words with a backhanded slap.
edit on 18-2-2013 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



I see there are those who like to speak for others. They assume that they know better.
It's so vain.


You have apparently failed to see where that second sentence constitutes as speaking for others. Additionally, it constitutes an assumption on your part. You aren't impressing anyone with your quarter-machine wisdom and fortune cookie one-liners.

I've seen better anecdotes on bathroom stalls.



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 08:14 PM
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Since this thread is all about sharing alternative viewpoints:
"Yes Enlightenment is a Selfish Search"

Yes, it is. And the most selfish. There is nothing like it, it is incomparably selfish. And one has to be selfish, there is no other way to be. And all the teachings that go on telling you not to be selfish have not helped; rather, they have distracted your being, they have made you unnatural.

So you create a duality, a conflict, and whatsoever you say on the surface deep down you go on denying it – and you know it well because how can you deceive yourself.’ The surface says one thing, the depth goes on broadcasting just the opposite.
edit on 18-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: Beautiful timing!




posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 08:22 PM
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The ancient Masters were profound and subtle. Their wisdom was unfathomable. There is no way to describe it; all we can describe is their appearance.
They were careful as someone crossing an iced-over stream.
Alert as a warrior in enemy territory.
Courteous as a guest.
Fluid as melting ice.
Shapable as a block of wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Clear as a glass of water.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15

Enlightenment isn't vain. Anyone truly on a path to enlightenment is naturally self-effacing. The vanity in people by definition shows them to be unenlightened. Truly enlightened people are rare, so rare I'd posit there have only been a handful on Earth in all of history and even they can be brought into question. The practice is fraught with opportunities to back-slap oneself for undertaking the effort or to place oneself on a pedestal, but that doesn't mean that individual failure negates the premise.

Please don't throw genuine cultured consciousness out with the blowhards and the holier-than-thous.
edit on 18-2-2013 by guanyu because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


Would you be inclined to agree with this Ergo?

I would. What I interpret from Osho's wisdom is the Nietzschean idea of becoming what one is, the fall into Nihilism (Osho's emptiness, nothingness) and the subsequent spiritual realization of one's own power.

Nihilism is an often poorly discussed subject as it has brought about spiritually-weak monsters (Hitler), but those with the spiritual strength, at least according to Nietzsche, would come out of it a self-realized work of art.

I think the similarities between Nietzsche's overman and Buddha's tales of his own awakening are quite similar.

Here's a good lecture on Nietzsche's nihilism if you have the time. The similarities are there, but I don't think Nietzsche stopped searching.










posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Would you be inclined to agree with this Ergo?

I would.

There are things Osho says that are totally discordant for me... but on this point I am in relative harmony.

I've spoken to it somewhat gently and sometimes indirectly via posts like this and this and this. With the last in particular being one that AfterInfinity perceived I was saying something negative about him rather than genuinely rejoicing in what I perceived as an unintended but still wise statement he made that I'm comfortable admitting applies equally to myself.

Whatever humility and selflessness I do provide still comes from a selfish perspective since I truly do see you... me... the chair I'm sitting on... as "me" at the same time as being able to hold the perception of "me" as the individual. Everything I do is selfish. Including squabbling about valid applications of the word vanity along with squabbling about allowing a word like vanity to have any meaning at all!


All that said... the form of selfishness and the fall into "give up on all of it" does appear to result in an... as far as those caught in only perceiving a duality can see... unselfish behavior. But even when I'm at my most altruistic and unselfish as far as those around me see... I know inside I'm being utterly selfish.
edit on 18-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I think the similarities between Nietzsche's overman and Buddha's tales of his own awakening are quite similar.

There are very few (if any) seeker's stories/realizations... regardless of how "far" they got... that I don't see extensive overlaps and similarities. Most of the major differences coming from cultural and language limitations where the underlying stripped down heart of the experience and "understanding" are quite related.

If I had a "goal" here on ATS it's to constantly strip the loaded nature of our communication which sustains barriers to understanding and to reveal the underlying "thing in itself" being described as best I/we can.
edit on 18-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 




I would. What I interpret from Osho's wisdom is the Nietzschean idea of becoming what one is, the fall into Nihilism (Osho's emptiness, nothingness) and the subsequent spiritual realization of one's own power.


In my own opinion, I think we as a species are the very embodiment of imagination and creation. All of history shows us this. Without our capacity for imagination and creations, all of our works of literature and art, every fantastic monument, every revolutionary movement would not exist. Everything that has made us who we are today, from the invention of the wheel to the equality of man. Like Martin Luther King, it all started with a dream, and those dreams became reality.

We are imagination, and that is what gives us power. I don't know if that's what Nietzche believed, but maybe he should have considered it.



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion
If I had a "goal" here on ATS it's to constantly strip the loaded nature of our communication creating barriers to understanding between "us"... to try to reveal the underlying "thing in itself" being described as best I can.


A lofty goal considering the constant assault on our ability to communicate from the top at all times.

Think of all the neologisms of our era, the two most egregious being the redefinition of the word terro rist and the invention of the concept of WMDs. Words nonexistent in colloquial conversation before the advent of neoconservatism.

I share your dream and I recommend you check out Xun Tzu's philosophy on "the rectification of names." Fascinating stuff, the manipulation of language, and oddly enough, jared lee loughner's primary area of interest...
edit on 18-2-2013 by guanyu because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 




All that said... the form of selfishness and the fall into "give up an all of it" does appear to result in an... as far as those caught in only perceiving a duality... unselfish behavior. But even when I'm at my most altruistic and unselfish as far as those around me see... I know inside I'm being utterly selfish.


I agree. Great words.

This is the kind of self-honesty that is needed in philosophy, something that I don't see often enough among the poetic platitudes here in the philosophy corner of ATS.



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 



If I had a "goal" here on ATS it's to constantly strip the loaded nature of our communication which sustains barriers to understanding and to reveal the underlying "thing in itself" being described as best I/we can.


That's the beauty of it in my eyes, we are paradoxically talking about the same things differently. It shows us how much we know, but also how little means we have to express it.



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 




That's the beauty of it in my eyes, we are paradoxically talking about the same things differently. It shows us how much we know, but also how little means we have to express it.


Like I've been saying - we keep shoving these ideas inside of little boxes. That's what they are...feelings, impressions, pure colors that we have to apply numbers to in order to communicate. You could think of it has a series of 1's and 0's that are used to generate an image of a beautiful sunset. In order to convey that image, you have to break it down into an alternate medium that shares none of the beauty and none of the wonder. That's what language does.

And so, in order to convey these awesome ideas about enlightenment, we use different algorithms and different codes in order to translate what each of us is thinking and feeling. These values, these numbers and codes, mean something different to each of us, so they won't always translate the same. But once you apply the conversion formulas, you find out that this gallon equals those four quarts. And that's when you realize that even though we're all speaking a different language, so to speak, we're all talking about the same thing.

We use different shades of rough code to translate the same little chunk of imagination, the same explicit beauty. The Babylon conundrum, I guess you could call it. All explicit knowledge requires explicit translation, and all translation is imperfect.

edit on 18-2-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 




In my own opinion, I think we as a species are the very embodiment of imagination and creation. All of history shows us this. Without our capacity for imagination and creations, all of our works of literature and art, every fantastic monument, every revolutionary movement would not exist. Everything that has made us who we are today, from the invention of the wheel to the equality of man. Like Martin Luther King, it all started with a dream, and those dreams became reality.

We are imagination, and that is what gives us power. I don't know if that's what Nietzche believed, but maybe he should have considered it.


Nietzsche detested all ideals and sought to repudiate them, but I think merely to show that none are infallible, including his own. He does a good job in my mind.

If you have any interest in philosophy, he must be read, in fact he should be studied. He has influenced every significant philosopher up until today.

This is a good audiobook and reading of Beyond Good and Evil. It's a good taste of his views. If you get bored you should take a listen, or better yet read Kaufman's translations of Nietzsche's work (for the footnotes). Although he can't always be agreed with (his views on women are tough to swallow) I've never seen so many profound ideas come out of one mockingly shrewd person. Good philosophy is difficult to find after reading him. He'll change your life.

Youtube stolen copy of Beyond Good and Evil



posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 




That's the beauty of it in my eyes, we are paradoxically talking about the same things differently. It shows us how much we know, but also how little means we have to express it.


Like I've been saying - we keep shoving these ideas inside of little boxes. That's what they are...feelings, impressions, pure colors that we have to apply numbers to in order to communicate. You could think of it has a series of 1's and 0's that are used to generate an image of a beautiful sunset. In order to convey that image, you have to break it down into an alternate medium that shares none of the beauty and none of the wonder. That's what language does.

And so, in order to convey these awesome ideas about enlightenment, we use different algorithms and different codes in order to translate what each of us is thinking and feeling. These values, these numbers and codes, mean something different to each of us, so they won't always translate the same. But once you apply the conversion formulas, you find out that this gallon equals those four quarts. And that's when you realize that even though we're all speaking a different language, so to speak, we're all talking about the same thing.

We use different shades of rough code to translate the same little chunk of imagination, the same explicit beauty. The Babylon conundrum, I guess you could call it. All explicit knowledge requires explicit translation, and all translation is imperfect.

edit on 18-2-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)


Of course. That's also why it's so much fun to argue.





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