The Vanity of Enlightenment

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posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by Wang Tang
Infidel: You claim to know more than you know, and this is a result of your excessive ego. Your ego is bigger than everyone else in this thread although your intelligence is not.



Oh right, here's my egotistical thread explaining synchronicity!

www.abovetopsecret.com...




posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 11:32 PM
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I recommend you go back and read through the whole thread, front to end. When you reach the end, you will understand everything better, especially yourself. It's always interesting to remove yourself from the conversation and go back and read your posts as just another person posting.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by Wang Tang
I recommend you go back and read through the whole thread, front to end. When you reach the end, you will understand everything better, especially yourself. It's always interesting to remove yourself from the conversation and go back and read your posts as just another person posting.


Was it that hard of a question?
edit on 11-2-2013 by 1nf1del because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 



The problem here, is that Enlightenment isn't a knowing, or what you do/don't know. Its a direct experience of the Absolute nature of reality prior to knowing


I know I'm being semantically inclined here, but I mentioned in the OP the derivation of 'enlightenment' from the eastern philosophical concept of 'bodhi' (knowing, understanding, intelligence, the state apparently necessary for one to produce the Four Noble Truths),' which is also derived and associated with the Japanese term 'satori' (namely experience) in zen buddhism. So I think you're correct to point to the experience as the key to what we consider the ideal approach to the idea of enlightenment—that path we take to achieve it. I think it is the path and not the destination that you and I are both valuing here. We know there is no end to the path, no absolute understanding, no omniscience, but this never ending ceaseless path.

Saying that, to experience the nature of reality is simple, and practiced day in and day out by anyone living. That experience is called life.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 12:29 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I often get told I'm not in tune spiritually and am therefore destined to never be on the same spiritual level as these kind-hearted folk. They think that because I don't practice what they practice, I will never be on par with their ideas.

Why do you care what those people think or say?

Why do you give them attention?

Why did I know this was either you or NorEaster before even opening?

Whose vanity is of concern in here?

edit on 12-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I am pretty sure that I am clear on the distinction that you are trying to make in your OP, LesMis. But I am not so sure it is all that cut and dry or that simple.

If you are saying that the western conception of enlightenment is a distortion of eastern enlightenment, and more specifically having to do with a distortion of terms like Satori, then I would like to add something to the mix.

Zen Buddhism, as it is commonly conceived of in the west, that is, primarily America and Britain, is largely the result of Alan Watts publishing books on his fanciful version of Zen starting only in 1936. That's only 77 years of digesting what 'enlightenment' might mean in the 'west'.

Then Philip Kapleau came along in 1965 and tried to straighten the whole mess out with his book Three Pillars of Zen, it was mostly too late, but still, that is only 48 years since that information patch was applied.

It's a train wreck, I know, listening to people talk about how they are enlightened, but what intrigues me even more is that they continue to beat their noggins against this eastern stuff when there is just no real cultural basis for even really understanding it. It's like that thing they say about doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.

There is a western form of enlightenment, but since Ancient Greece it has usually been a bloody, gory thing involving possible death, dismemberment, poisoning and or tribal alienation, so I think folks go for the other stuff.

I dunno.
edit on 12-2-2013 by Bybyots because:




posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 




I know I'm being semantically inclined here, but I mentioned in the OP the derivation of 'enlightenment' from the eastern philosophical concept of 'bodhi' (knowing, understanding, intelligence, the state apparently necessary for one to produce the Four Noble Truths),' which is also derived and associated with the Japanese term 'satori' (namely experience) in zen buddhism. So I think you're correct to point to the experience as the key to what we consider the ideal approach to the idea of enlightenment—that path we take to achieve it. I think it is the path and not the destination that you and I are both valuing here. We know there is no end to the path, no absolute understanding, no omniscience, but this never ending ceaseless path.

we are in agreement with the above!



Saying that, to experience the nature of reality is simple, and practiced day in and day out by anyone living. That experience is called life.

Though through dark filters, this life be lived.

Life, the way lived by majority, is in illusion based ignorance. Not saying it in a condescending manner, just as cleanly and boldly as possible according to eastern philosophies of various sorts.

The Ego/Mind complex distorts, creates fantasy and delusion. Add to that the animalist instincts of the flesh to fight, eat, and screw everything in its circumference due to raging hormones.

Can We Be Free, if Reason is a Slave of the Passions?

We are slaves to the ego and the multitude of Passions therein. I'm afraid its not so cut & dry. However, if I was to explain experiencing the Absolute Nature of reality, it would be as if one is intrinsically united to it, yet nowhere to be found, ......with a view unobstructed by that "stuff" which obstructs the majority of other people's views.

The experience itself is clearly different than the everyday basic subjectivity



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 12:41 AM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


Indeed. You are of a keen enough psychological eye to speak a truth here. And I cannot deny it nor am I afraid to admit it. In fact, I've admitted it many times already.

But perhaps you can refute any of my arguments? And why does my thread strike a chord with you? I am looking for refutation of my arguments. My heart wants me to be proven wrong.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 12:50 AM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 




Why did I know this was either you or NorEaster before even opening?


Because I always take the negative view? Personally, I do it to get under peoples skin and push buttons. Sometimes it brings out the best in people. The result is I usually get attacked by emotion, which gives much insight into who I'm arguing with.

I don't think NorEaster would beat around the bush as much as I do.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 12:59 AM
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The ego drives many to do strange strange things, i also lump all religion
into this same category, while they do have books to lead them in their
"path" they also must buy into the idea that they are "chosen" to be saved
or to go to heaven, IE that they are more special than a non believer, which
is also why you see the sense of entitlement, their idea of being oppressed
reflects this greatly, to them being oppressed in many instances is not
being allowed to force their views on others.

To me its actually a very simple fix, allow yourself to question everything and
do not simply accept what you are told as fact before you at the very least
practice due diligence to investigate the aspects of the claim first.
I always use this example: If belief matters then if someone told you that
jumping off of a cliff would not harm you and you believe it, does that mean
you would test it by jumping? To me the claim of enlightenment is the same,
you can tell me all day that you are but unless you can show me how that
makes you any different or grants you any special knowledge that no one
else posses your still just asking me to make a jump with no proof that
i will indeed be justified in doing so.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


A man was awarded a badge of humility but was stripped of it for accepting it.

Mutually opposed concepts.
Badges and humility...enlightenment(wisdom) and knowledge.

As we know more we know less...as we learn the only thing we can truly know is nothing.

I think of enlightenment as more of a "process" much like evolution...its dynamic and liquid in form..ever changing always adapting and learning and then questioning that learning forever experiencing and entertaining different perspectives/opinions/stances in the hopes of a glimpse at the "bigger picture". Of course this is assuming there is a "bigger picture).

to be "Evolved"...to be "Enlightened"...its hard to say in that sense...as it implies an "arrival" at a destination...and there is no end to those roads...so no one is "evolved" or "enlightened"....they can only be in the process of them...

I could be completely full of it though...maybe there is a pinnacle of enlightenment or evolution from which one could go...no further...

I chose not to perceive it that way though.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 01:17 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Indeed. You are of a keen enough psychological eye to speak a truth here. And I cannot deny it nor am I afraid to admit it. In fact, I've admitted it many times already.

So why the concern for it in others?


But perhaps you can refute any of my arguments?

Why would I want to do that? You seem fine to me. There is vanity in "enlightenment" because vanity is possible.


And why does my thread strike a chord with you?

Same reason varieties of hot tea and game design principles strike a chord with me. I "dig" the subject matter.



I am looking for refutation of my arguments. My heart wants me to be proven wrong.

Do people argue about "walking" or "the variety of walks"?
edit on 12-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 01:34 AM
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Whatever the word "enlightenment" represents, it is not arrived at directly but is coincidental to any search. The way I see it, it is the crossing the border of the known into the unknown and probably leads then into the unknowable. Therefore it is not a search for knowledge or the realisation of any knowledge. But it could happen as a result of the search for knowledge or some "supreme" knowledge and the secret desire to be distinguished as someone who possesses some sort of power unknown or unpossessed by the masses. But this could happen only through discovering the limitations of desiring such a goal. It is human to seek power, that is part of the animal inheritance of human/animal biology. Perhaps seeing the difficulty or futility of attaining physical power one shifts one's focus to attaining metaphysical powers.

One may seek a road that one hopes will lead to "liberation" (the other associate of the word enlightenment) When it is realised that human nature and the human mind are intrinsically robotic and predictable and repetitive.

One may attempt to seek one's original nature when it is realised that everything that we are is conditioned and copied and unoriginal, even our bodies are borrowed for our mothers and fathers and the same with their bodies and peculiarities. Some may put a lot of effort and diligence into this search, others may not bother by accepting the proposition that we are simply sophisticated animals who appear briefly on this planet, progressively grow old and decay. Of course this is the obvious understanding.

Mention the word "enlightenment", especially on ATS and the hordes of disciples of Dawkins and B.F. Skinner appear on the hilltops, seated on warhorses with lances at the ready. In their own words, they become "butt-hurt."

Who has said that they are "enlightened" anyway? Did Gautum Buddha actually claim he was enlightened?

I do feel (intuit) that His story is very significant in answering the O.P.'s questions. He set out directly in search of something concrete and followed others who professed to possess something transcending the limitations of the human condition. But in the end he had become exhausted through denial and indulgence and almost drowned in a shallow river he was so weak. It was at that point something unexpected happened something that was not the result of any cause, but in spite of them - enlightenment found him!

The significant part of his story is that Siddhartha did not embark on such a quest out of any inferiority complex or lust for secret powers, he was already a prince, soon to become a king of one of the greatest provinces in ancient India.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 01:36 AM
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Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion
Why did I know this was either you or NorEaster before even opening?


Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Because I always take the negative view? Personally, I do it to get under peoples skin and push buttons.

Is that retaliatory or preemptive?


Sometimes it brings out the best in people. The result is I usually get attacked by emotion, which gives much insight into who I'm arguing with.

Is that insight valuable? For what?
edit on 12-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 04:22 AM
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You cannot follow another's thoughts or path to enlightenment as that will create a "you" and an "I" but those are both necessary on the way there, we are born enlightened with all the wonders and mysticism of the universe before our eyes when we know nothing, merely a vessel of observance that grasps everything of how its universe works.

Slowly we forget these things in pursuit of carnal desires and only slowly do we regress to enlightenment as we grow old and seize to function, if only done passively it depends on the individuals experiences in his life to which he will have been forced to self-reflect, if self-reflection is done actively it will depend on both the individuals experiences and his self-initiated reflection thus making the process faster and more effective.
Of course there not only these extremes and infinite continuum of possible states in between depending on how much of either you do.

Some no doubt experience the same self-reflecting thought through living in the outside world and truly experiencing it as those who travel the infinite expanses of the inside world, as they are the one and the same, sharing the same space. My way is traveling both and I still consider I and You to exist with a We at the end of the tunnel. Fundamentally just one and the same, a human, I don't see why we do anything that brings harm to another and why we don't just love each other as we do ourselves and that is what I consider the We in life.

This is my current self-image of vanity, self-importance I suppose, I hope it doesn't offend You.
edit on 12/2/2013 by Konoyaro because: minor corrections
edit on 12/2/2013 by Konoyaro because: added last line



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 04:48 AM
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This is what ATS is about or used to be about. Civil and frank discussions on things that really matter. I have to say after reading the posts I am left as confused as after listening to the recent Alan Watts lectures I have recently purchased.


The whole concept of enlightenment, in the eastern philosophical sense is confusing, yet it seems, some new agers think they have cracked it and found that enlightenment that has eluded so many.

I doubt the truly enlightened would come on to a conspiracy website to brag about it. In a game of spiritual one upmanship,

edit on 12-2-2013 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 04:55 AM
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edit on 12-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 05:20 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Haha, that was a nice short speech, loved it and it made my day. He sounds like a very nice and reasoned person, too bad he has past on, but his legacy remains for inspiration.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 05:25 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

Wise words. I do admit my thread is rooted in my own vanity and the assumptions about enlightenment I hold. To deny so would be folly and dishonest. But perhaps that is the difference between myself—someone who would be considered 'unenlightened' because I no longer engage in the self-proclaimed paths to enlightenment—and those that consider themselves and express themselves as enlightened. I no longer have that desire to be their ideal—someone who is enlightened—so therefore I must, by default, be unenlightened or not worthy of enlightenment.

If calling me unenlightened furthers their spirituality in some manner, or helps to justify it, then they as enlightened individuals must admit that they are doing so, but often don't, because they refuse to admit their vanity. Honesty doesn't seem to be a method in the path to enlightenment.



To be aware of one's own ego, such as being aware of one's possible vanity, means the ego is on the way to being nullified, and again as I said above is no longer ego but an old conditioned thought pattern.

I think the issue is in your definition of "enlightened" as stated in your OP. You have equated it with knowledge, full comprehension of life (or your sources have provided this definition).

From what I have learned and experienced, enlightenment is inner peace. Consider the earth if every human were to achieve inner peace - no wars, no fighting, no ego, less sickness of the mind and body, more cooperation - pretty much as close to heaven on earth or utopia as one could get.

What does complete knowledge get you though? More ego? Does complete knowledge equate with heaven on earth as described above? If not, then what use is complete and full knowledge?

So for me, awareness and minimization of the ego, and presence in every moment of your life is enlightenment. That can be achieved this moment by every human being on the planet.

edit on 12-2-2013 by PlanetXisHERE because: s



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Let's skip the foreplay and get to the heart of the matter: what makes you think you'd recognize enlightenment if you saw it? Maybe you don't believe in it because you don't know what enlightenment is. You can't say it doesn't exist if you don't know what is supposed to exist.

Because what you just described as enlightenment, is not enlightenment. You say you've gone through all these efforts to find it, but there's a number of reasons why that may not have worked. You did it for the wrong reasons, you didn't recognize it, you failed to understand due to deep rooted psychological factors, you secretly didn't WANT to...enlightenment comes from inside more than from the outside. You have to cooperate with yourself. Strangely enough, I could see your subconscious giving your problems on principle.

That alone would hinder the process. As I said, it's a perspective. But you have to choose to see it and accept it for what it is. It doesn't make you any better or worse than other people, but it can bring you peace of mind. And that's why a lot of people seek enlightenment - it shows them a perspective, a window, that allows them to see a side of things that goes, "Oh! It's like that...okay, I understand now. I can go peacefully now." There is nothing vain about seeking peace of mind, just as there is nothing vain about wanting freedom. You wish to enjoy life, to understand the world around you, and that is your right. If you must go the extra distance to understand that which causes distress, that is your right also. Even if you only learn why it causes YOU distress, and learn to make peace with that.

That's what enlightenment is to me, personally. Finding a perspective which grants you the understanding to coexist harmoniously with elements that would otherwise cause you distress. It's different with everyone, but that's another facet of it. I can't explain it completely, because I'm only one person with one particular understanding of it. And I'm okay with that.
edit on 12-2-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)





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