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The Vanity of Enlightenment

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posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



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.


I don't know what enlightenment is. I've argued that no one does. I had to refer to the dictionary.



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.


There are many possible reasons why I didn't find enlightenment in my searches, any of yours could be correct, but you failed to mention that it could be because there may be no such thing as enlightenment. Don't worry, many who are overly sympathetic to the word do so. Nonetheless I'm glad to hear you're an authority on the subject.



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.


As I've mentioned many times already. The path isn't in question here. What's in question is why one would choose or rather feign himself to be enlightened, labelled enlightened, or more educated in enlightenment as you did in your post.



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.


Oh so you're not an authority on the subject. Although I don't need to hear another opinion on what enlightenment is, I would like to hear your opinion as to why you believe you are authoritative enough to educate me on enlightenment? Why does the authoritative, "I'm more spiritual than you" mentality run rampant when it comes to this topic? This is what I'm asking here. My initial answer was vanity, mostly because I thought it was too rude to say stupidity.


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




posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 08:56 AM
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reply to post by Konoyaro
 


Wise words, thanks for the input.



This is my current self-image of vanity, self-importance I suppose, I hope it doesn't offend You.


Not at all. Realizing it is, in my opinion, one of the most honest things one can do. Honesty is a rarity in todays world.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 



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.

I think this is where our opinions part ways. I believe it is the ego that leads us away from the passions of the flesh and keeps us in check. It's created society, morality, honor—costumes under which our true nature hide. Like you said, it creates fantasy and delusion to distort the truth. Perhaps our definition of ego is different.




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.

I suppose it is extremely difficult to explain to those who haven't experienced the experience you've had. Whether it's enlightenment you've experienced isn't clear enough to agree with you, but I don't think you're being dishonest.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

I don't know what enlightenment is. I've argued that no one does. I had to refer to the dictionary.


No one needs to.

It isn't knowledge or virtue, such as humility, that produces enlightenment. A precise definition won't help. A perfect argument won't help one way or the other. All the virtue in the world won't force it. All the vice in the world won't stop it.


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



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 



No one needs to.

It isn't knowledge or virtue, such as humility, that produces enlightenment. A precise definition won't help. A perfect argument won't help. All the virtue in the world won't help.


Yet the etymology of the concepts leads back to the Buddhist and sanskrit versions of understanding, knowledge, or awareness. If enlightenment isn't knowledge, then you are saying Buddha never became enlightened. Maybe the true meaning of bodhi or nirvana or satori or samadhi are all lost when translated and shoe-horned into one western umbrella concept of enlightenment.

But I agree with you. No one needs to understand enlightenment.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by BlueMule
 



No one needs to.

It isn't knowledge or virtue, such as humility, that produces enlightenment. A precise definition won't help. A perfect argument won't help. All the virtue in the world won't help.


Yet the etymology of the concepts leads back to the Buddhist and sanskrit versions of understanding, knowledge, or awareness. If enlightenment isn't knowledge, then you are saying Buddha never became enlightened. Maybe the true meaning of bodhi or nirvana or satori or samadhi are all lost when translated and shoe-horned into one western umbrella concept of enlightenment.

But I agree with you. No one needs to understand enlightenment.


Let me try to put it like this. At the risk of sounding trite.

When Thomas Anderson was trying to know what the Matrix is, all he had was a feeling. He didn't know what it is. Did that lack of knowledge prevent him from taking the red pill? Nope.

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." -Morpheus

Let go of all your concepts about everything, all your definitions, all your ideas, all your knowledge, all your social conditioning and binaries... and learn to dance in the heart of paradox.

Just let go, and set the physiological stage for it to happen by practicing a disciple such as yoga, and then get out of your own way. Let the non-ego aspects of the psyche give you the red pill. The ego-self is not in charge. You don't have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

You have the capacity for it. Just let go.


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



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


... That was one hell of a thread, good job man



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 



Let me try to put it like this. At the risk of sounding trite.

When Thomas Anderson was trying to know what the Matrix is, all he had was a feeling. He didn't know what it is. Did that lack of knowledge prevent him from taking the red pill? Nope.

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." -Morpheus

Let go of all your concepts about everything, all your definitions, all your ideas, all your knowledge, all your social conditioning and binaries... and learn to dance in the heart of paradox.

Just let go, and set the physiological stage for it to happen by practicing a disciple such as yoga, and then get out of your own way. Let the non-ego aspects of the psyche give you the red pill. The ego-self is not in charge. You don't have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

You have the capacity for it. Just let go.


I have. I was ascetic, I did yoga, I killed my ego, I meditated, I've had mystical experiences through fasting, drugs, meditation, mantras etc. etc. etc. Years and years of it. I once let go. Where did I fall? Only in my mind. What did I learn? Only my mind. What did I experience? Only my mind—more illusions—every single time. I thought doing away with illusion was one of the goals of enlightenment. So maybe I'm still subconsciously after enlightenment to this day.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I do not think that in order to be enlightened one must know everything.

Being enlightened might be towards know any subject, any obstacle, or any truth.
You could be enlightened about the traditions about the Hebrew religion.

I see enlightening myself as desiring to be enlightened spiritually, and as it happens it never ends, because I am constantly learning things about myself and about God. Enlightenment is like one of those moments when you understand something where you had not before. Light has to be shed on things unknown, things which you may say are in the darkness.

Just like things I did not know about myself, or things I that I learned of other people, or even of spiritual concepts which are always less tangible.

When you learned, or thought of, or read, about that which you wrote of the truth enlightened you about the some tendencies of men.

Never will we know everything, but the Holy Spirit which is in us will teach us all, and it will always be like that, and our own spirits will have no end.

We ourselves are only a piece of the whole, and when we seek enlightenment we seek to be completed, but we seem to only be united or more deeply rooted, just a bit more.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by backcase
 


Good words. Nicely put as always.

Does there happen to be any Christian version of enlightenment? Perhaps it can be compared to revelation? Or is enlightenment not used as it goes against Christ's teachings?



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Where did I fall? Only in my mind. What did I learn? Only my mind. What did I experience? Only my mind—more illusions—every single time.

So take the hint!


Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I don't know what enlightenment is. I've argued that no one does. I had to refer to the dictionary.

Ahhh... the dictionary and language... those subsets of ourselves that we somehow expect to successfully communicate existence.

Nobody knows what "horse" is except the meaning we invest into it which is temporary and just a rough "marker" for a time and people. As evidenced by "horse" being both a sport with a basketball and an animal... it is indicative that the word is meaningless yet a horse continues to be a horse and people continue to play horse and yell themselves hoarse. We don't need a dictionary to experience/know/play "ho(a)rse".
edit on 12-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by backcase
 


Good words. Nicely put as always.

Does there happen to be any Christian version of enlightenment? Perhaps it can be compared to revelation? Or is enlightenment not used as it goes against Christ's teachings?




Enlightenment is not opposed in Christian teachings, in fact the search for wisdom is inspired. The Book of Wisdom is about King Solomon and how he sought from the beginning to be united with wisdom. The teachings of Christ in the new testament want to show us where to find enlightenment, and when we find it we realize that the fountain is inexhaustible and they choose to drink freely from it.

"On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." 7:37

The thirst we have is the thirst of our souls to be completed. As a Christian I believe that enlightenment is seeking to be favored by Christ and become united to the Holy Spirit. But in order to do that The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit must have Their perfect work in us before we can be a suitable spirit to be bethrothed to The Lord our God.

"And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:4



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I thought doing away with illusion was one of the goals of enlightenment. So maybe I'm still subconsciously after enlightenment to this day.

Why do you care what other's goals were/are? Why give their goals credibility? What were/are your goals?



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 



Why do you care what other's goals were/are? Why give their goals credibility? What were/are your goals?


I only care that others care about their goals.

I'm not sure I'm giving credibility to anything, except perhaps my own thoughts. I'm only a critic here.

My goal with this thread is to show that we often value things that are illusory, unsubstantiated, invisible, supersensual and non-existent, let alone anything that has value. They are often only words and ideas that point to nothing but the one who holds on to them.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Oh so you're not an authority on the subject. Although I don't need to hear another opinion on what enlightenment is, I would like to hear your opinion as to why you believe you are authoritative enough to educate me on enlightenment? Why does the authoritative, "I'm more spiritual than you" mentality run rampant when it comes to this topic? This is what I'm asking here. My initial answer was vanity, mostly because I thought it was too rude to say stupidity.


I never said I was educating. I'm telling you my opinion. You stated your opinion, and I responded with why I think you're wrong. Lack of comprehension does not automatically mean "stupid". It simply means math, or literature, or biology...is not your forte.

Maybe you find it easier to work with your hands than your brain. Or maybe your brain makes easier connections in some areas than others. I am saying that just because you personally can't figure it out, doesn't mean there isn't a completely worthwhile answer somewhere. And I guess that just depends on your values. Everyone has different values, which is what I was trying to say before. You have yours, and I have mine.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


From what I understand, true enlightenment is not knowledge, but understanding. Without understanding, knowledge has no purpose. You can rattle off Shakespeare and have not a damn clue what he was talking about. You can recite the theory of relativity and not be able to explain to a five year old the finer points of multiverse theory. Knowing is not understanding. I know my given name, but I don't understand why I was given it or where it came from historically.





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



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by BlueMule
 



No one needs to.

It isn't knowledge or virtue, such as humility, that produces enlightenment. A precise definition won't help. A perfect argument won't help. All the virtue in the world won't help.


Yet the etymology of the concepts leads back to the Buddhist and sanskrit versions of understanding, knowledge, or awareness. If enlightenment isn't knowledge, then you are saying Buddha never became enlightened. Maybe the true meaning of bodhi or nirvana or satori or samadhi are all lost when translated and shoe-horned into one western umbrella concept of enlightenment.

But I agree with you. No one needs to understand enlightenment.


I think you are confusing earthly knowledge with universal knowledge, they are not the same, earthly knowledge will not tell you why you are here or where you are going when you die, only universal knowledge will give you those answers, universal knowledge is not something you can teach to somebody else, you can only help them tap into that knowledge!



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by BlueMule


"Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." -Morpheus



Les Mis, take this quote and apply it to what I said above!



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I thought doing away with illusion was one of the goals of enlightenment. So maybe I'm still subconsciously after enlightenment to this day.


You are.

But you didn't let go of the illusion/real dichotomy. It's false. So it trapped you.

Wise/foolish
Rational/irrational
Real/illusionary
Inner/outer
Humble/vain
Right/wrong
Fact/lie
True/false

Let go of them all. Seek them out wherever they lurk in your life, and let them go.


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



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by BlueMule
 



Let me try to put it like this. At the risk of sounding trite.

When Thomas Anderson was trying to know what the Matrix is, all he had was a feeling. He didn't know what it is. Did that lack of knowledge prevent him from taking the red pill? Nope.

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." -Morpheus

Let go of all your concepts about everything, all your definitions, all your ideas, all your knowledge, all your social conditioning and binaries... and learn to dance in the heart of paradox.

Just let go, and set the physiological stage for it to happen by practicing a disciple such as yoga, and then get out of your own way. Let the non-ego aspects of the psyche give you the red pill. The ego-self is not in charge. You don't have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

You have the capacity for it. Just let go.


I have. I was ascetic, I did yoga, I killed my ego, I meditated, I've had mystical experiences through fasting, drugs, meditation, mantras etc. etc. etc. Years and years of it. I once let go. Where did I fall? Only in my mind. What did I learn? Only my mind. What did I experience? Only my mind—more illusions—every single time. I thought doing away with illusion was one of the goals of enlightenment. So maybe I'm still subconsciously after enlightenment to this day.



You have the wrong concept of enlightenment and were looking for something that wasn't there in the first place, you CANNOT force enlightenment, you have to find it, not look for it! I don't know if this will make sense to you, I have a hard time articulating with word symbols!



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