Discussion Areas > Spirituality

Why seek enlightenment?

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Mind_Bender:

--- Quote ---1. Why should anyone seek enlightenment?"
--- End quote ---

Why do we sleep? I think enlightenment, whether it is spiritual (returning to the Source of This) or scientific (advancing technology for evolution's sake) is because we are hardwired to know more about ourselves, relationships, and environments on a personal and social/cultural level. Seeking the light of knowledge and experience so we can help others find their light in the darkness of trying times.


--- Quote ---2. How would enlightenment improve one's life, afterlife, or the ability to be of service to others?
--- End quote ---

By knowing all we can about ourselves and our impact on one another through our thoughts, words, and gestures (actions) we are better equipped with the tools necessary to take action to prevent or solve problems whether they be emotional, magical, or altruistic.


--- Quote ---3. How would it be more noble to spend hours in meditation seeking enlightenment, rather than spending this time making the world a better place?
--- End quote ---

There have been studies that group meditation has the effect of 'raising the vibration' of a place, be it a building or city, and impacting the living creatures within a certain radius. By 'raising vibration' I mean a connection of consciousness to create calm and peace. On a solitary level, meditation helps relieve stress and brings insight from your soul to your conscious faculties that you can take with you into the social environments. Your dedication to seek enlightenment balances your emotions, builds loving communication between your various selves and this is seen in your attitudes and actions when around other people. I would say meditation is not a way to seek enlightenment as much as a way to experience it in those brief moments of Void or complete and unconditional love, and when such perceptions are acted upon in the mundane realm, you are also experiencing enlightenment.


--- Quote ---4. Since we're here, why not enjoy the things which can only be enjoyed here, and let us enjoy the spiritual worlds after death?
--- End quote ---

Some would consider that a form of enlightenment in itself as a form of non-attachment from spiritual desires. Personally, I think the the more magical experience we attain here on the physical plane helps us strengthen our spiritual self which will help us face our hidden demons on the other side - whether they be in the form of trauma's, demonic consciousness', blocked energies, et cetera. Magic gives us the tools to get ready for what is to come on the spiritual plane, and whether our magic is meditation, energy work, psi, prayer, ritual, or a combination, we are given a choice in our physical incarnation whether or not it is our time to crystallize our consciousness and transcend to a new level of incarnation through magic or to just remain mundane and let fate (ebb and flow) decide for us.

Rationalist:
Thanks to both of you for your insightful answers. However, a couple of things still aren't perfectly clear to me, so if it isn't too much of a bother... :biggrin:


--- Quote from: Shinichi on October 25, 2015, 06:19:48 AM ---My pursuit for Self-Realization has only made me a more honorable and empathetic person. I do not easily lose my temper, I listen to people better, I learn things more easily, and I am not bogged down by unconscious self-sabotage as much as I used to be. When I want to learn or do something, I just do it.

--- End quote ---

All of these things sound to be very good and useful. But, as step 2 of IIH and the various commentaries (Veos, Rawn Clark) suggest, it is possible to go after these things directly. Your fundamental development paper suggest this as well. So why do many people try to awaken the kundalini in pursuit of enlightenment? How does it help?


--- Quote from: Shinichi on October 25, 2015, 06:19:48 AM ---NDE's are very different for different people. Some people experience nothing, some have fully conscious OBE's, and some people dream during them.

--- End quote ---

I think that the term NDE usually implies that the person in question has experienced at least something, so that would be either an OBE or a dream. Also, quite a few people report such experiences:


--- Quote from: IANDS ---Depending on how restrictively the NDE is defined, studies have indicated that between 12% and 40% of people who go through a near-death episode will later say they had an NDE. It is clear that in the United States alone at least several million people have had NDEs.

--- End quote ---
taken from https://iands.org/about-ndes.html

So, considering that millions of people are probably not enlightened, is this not evidence that enlightenment is not necessary to remain conscious after death?


--- Quote from: Shinichi on October 25, 2015, 06:19:48 AM ---Bardon approaches it in a similar way, with more detail if you wish to read the IIH. Elemental Equipoise reaches its peak when you cultivate Volition, Intellect, Sentience, and Character, each of these represented by an Element. When the corresponding Element is refined to a high grade of purity particularly in the mental body, and these are all in harmony with each other, you experience "the magicians enlightenment." Which is much like what Sadguru touched on with his story of the four Yogis.

--- End quote ---

Would it be fair to say that:

* Jnana Yoga = fire,
* Bhakti Yoga = water,
* Karma Yoga = earth,
* Kriya Yoga = air?


--- Quote from: Mind_Bender on October 26, 2015, 02:17:23 PM ---By knowing all we can about ourselves and our impact on one another through our thoughts, words, and gestures (actions) we are better equipped with the tools necessary to take action to prevent or solve problems whether they be emotional, magical, or altruistic.

--- End quote ---

I agree that knowing yourself can be useful. But how would energy work, or psi, or prayer, or ritual help in obtaining such self-knowledge?


--- Quote from: Mind_Bender on October 26, 2015, 02:17:23 PM ---Magic gives us the tools to get ready for what is to come on the spiritual plane, and whether our magic is meditation, energy work, psi, prayer, ritual, or a combination, we are given a choice in our physical incarnation whether or not it is our time to crystallize our consciousness and transcend to a new level of incarnation through magic or to just remain mundane and let fate (ebb and flow) decide for us.

--- End quote ---

On one hand, it makes sense. On the other hand, do we have any evidence that this is the case? For example, do people who practice these kinds of things report more pleasant NDE's, or just more NDE's in general?

Mind_Bender:

--- Quote from: Rationalist on October 29, 2015, 05:13:57 PM ---
--- Quote from: Mind_Bender on October 26, 2015, 02:17:23 PM ---By knowing all we can about ourselves and our impact on one another through our thoughts, words, and gestures (actions) we are better equipped with the tools necessary to take action to prevent or solve problems whether they be emotional, magical, or altruistic.

--- End quote ---

I agree that knowing yourself can be useful. But how would energy work, or psi, or prayer, or ritual help in obtaining such self-knowledge?
--- End quote ---

Energy work and psi helps by teaching us to be more aware of the subtle natures of our internal needs of physical, emotional, and psychological well being, and fine tuning our intuition and psychic perceptions that helps us be aware of other peoples and nature's subtle aspects, helping us read into situations and build a deeper understanding of the mysteries of life. It is a way to become more aware of and in control of the lesser worked with realms of human consciousness and life.

Prayer and ritual help us to understand what it is like to feel complete love for a divine aspect, letting go of our need to be in control of everything. Prayer is humbling and loving, ritual is empowering and embracing.


--- Quote from: Rationalist on October 29, 2015, 05:13:57 PM ---
--- Quote from: Mind_Bender on October 26, 2015, 02:17:23 PM ---Magic gives us the tools to get ready for what is to come on the spiritual plane, and whether our magic is meditation, energy work, psi, prayer, ritual, or a combination, we are given a choice in our physical incarnation whether or not it is our time to crystallize our consciousness and transcend to a new level of incarnation through magic or to just remain mundane and let fate (ebb and flow) decide for us.

--- End quote ---

On one hand, it makes sense. On the other hand, do we have any evidence that this is the case? For example, do people who practice these kinds of things report more pleasant NDE's, or just more NDE's in general?

--- End quote ---

I am not sure about the NDE aspect, I have never cared much for the study. The closest evidence I can see are in the lineages of ancient teachings that are found in India, Tibet, and China.

Shinichi:

--- Quote from: Rationalist on October 29, 2015, 05:13:57 PM ---Thanks to both of you for your insightful answers. However, a couple of things still aren't perfectly clear to me, so if it isn't too much of a bother... :biggrin:


--- Quote from: Shinichi on October 25, 2015, 06:19:48 AM ---My pursuit for Self-Realization has only made me a more honorable and empathetic person. I do not easily lose my temper, I listen to people better, I learn things more easily, and I am not bogged down by unconscious self-sabotage as much as I used to be. When I want to learn or do something, I just do it.

--- End quote ---

All of these things sound to be very good and useful. But, as step 2 of IIH and the various commentaries (Veos, Rawn Clark) suggest, it is possible to go after these things directly. Your fundamental development paper suggest this as well. So why do many people try to awaken the kundalini in pursuit of enlightenment? How does it help?
--- End quote ---

Direct kundalini yoga isn't the only way to achieve samadhi, and most sages will recognize this. It does help some because it is a very natural process that can be worked through simply, and so it is a very clear route to the destination if you learn how to read such maps properly. But, other than that, it really isn't necessary. I don't practice kundalini yoga or try to awaken it, and I can do quite a lot just fine.


--- Quote from: Rationalist on October 29, 2015, 05:13:57 PM ---
--- Quote from: Shinichi on October 25, 2015, 06:19:48 AM ---NDE's are very different for different people. Some people experience nothing, some have fully conscious OBE's, and some people dream during them.

--- End quote ---

I think that the term NDE usually implies that the person in question has experienced at least something, so that would be either an OBE or a dream. Also, quite a few people report such experiences:


--- Quote from: IANDS ---Depending on how restrictively the NDE is defined, studies have indicated that between 12% and 40% of people who go through a near-death episode will later say they had an NDE. It is clear that in the United States alone at least several million people have had NDEs.

--- End quote ---
taken from https://iands.org/about-ndes.html

So, considering that millions of people are probably not enlightened, is this not evidence that enlightenment is not necessary to remain conscious after death?
--- End quote ---

It does not prove that one remains conscious after death in so much as it proves that consciousness is something independent from the physical body, in a "you are not your brain" sort of way. What happens at and after death is something different for most people.


--- Quote from: Rationalist on October 29, 2015, 05:13:57 PM ---
--- Quote from: Shinichi on October 25, 2015, 06:19:48 AM ---Bardon approaches it in a similar way, with more detail if you wish to read the IIH. Elemental Equipoise reaches its peak when you cultivate Volition, Intellect, Sentience, and Character, each of these represented by an Element. When the corresponding Element is refined to a high grade of purity particularly in the mental body, and these are all in harmony with each other, you experience "the magicians enlightenment." Which is much like what Sadguru touched on with his story of the four Yogis.

--- End quote ---

Would it be fair to say that:

* Jnana Yoga = fire,
* Bhakti Yoga = water,
* Karma Yoga = earth,
* Kriya Yoga = air?
--- End quote ---

Jnana is the Air Path, Bhakti and Kriya I would both put as part of the Water Path because they are considerably more easy going than Hatha and Raja Yoga, which are part of the Fire Path. I'm not sure about Karma Yoga being of the Earth, but I would say Asana Yoga (what most people do today, just the postures alone) is, since it focuses primarily on the body.

There are many Yogas that can be categorized in the Four Paths, but I tend to think that is a little different from what Bardon talks about. You can also watch the Four Parts of The Mind video by Sadguru, and he talks about things in a similar context as Bardon, but the things Sadguru considers the "primary" four parts are a little different from Bardon's. Perhaps from the difference between mysticism and magick.



~:Shin:~

Sadrielle:
1.) Why should anyone seek enlightenment? To echo Shinichi: because the urge is there. If there isn't one, then it'd be a pointless endeavor.

2.) How would enlightenment improve one's life, afterlife, or the ability to be of service to others? This is simply my experience, but since becoming interested in this whole enlightenment thing, I've had increased appreciation for a great many things I would never notice had I not taken the time to learn how to notice them. I'm not sure if I've helped another living soul yet with what little I've gleaned, but the awareness extends to my interactions with others, and it shapes with how I interact with them. On a personal and social level, it's helped me better deal with my over zealous Christian mother and my sister, who is her little protege, in a loving peaceful way.  Where once there were fights and hurt feelings, there is now understanding. 

3.) How would it be more noble to spend hours in meditation seeking enlightenment, rather than spending this time making the world a better place? I think this bears defining of what you feel is actively making the world a better place. Peaceful protesting? Service to those less fortunate through volunteer work? Third world country volunteering? Missionary work? Donations to fundraisers that go to a good cause? Working mundane jobs to fund those donations? Working and being a good, contributing tax payer to the local government, who then sends that money into social programs and healthcare systems? Tithing to religious sects, so that they in turn can spread the word and fund missionary work?

It also considers what you mean by spending hours--let's say you spend an hour a day in meditation; are you still capable of getting your work done within the day? Are you socializing with your family, contributing your part? Then an hour doesn't seem like a big deal, but adds up to quite a sum of hours at the end of the year. Or are you speaking extreme cases where people go for weeks on their own little spiritual journey? Either way, if that hour a day, or a concentrated amount of time gives you the inspiration and motivation you need to create good in the world in any significant way you're capable of, then it's well justified. If it gives you the compassion to give to those who are in need, if it gives the ability to answer questions from personal experience and contribute to another's growth, even if it gives you just a little bit of quiet in your mind so that you can rewind and be more affable and loving to those who love you in return and even those who don't, then it's justified.

4.) Since we're here, why not enjoy the things which can only be enjoyed here, and let us enjoy the spiritual worlds after death? I think this question and my answers are closely tied in with the first and second; for people who choose to pursue enlightenment, it's because they want to. It's because they find joy in it. I find that enlightenment is not about enriching the afterlife, but this life we have in the here and now.  I think it helps you to better understand the other things you enjoy, why you enjoy them, and how to find even more fulfilling pursuits.

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