Author Topic: Why seek enlightenment?  (Read 4710 times)

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October 22, 2015, 05:58:36 AM
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Rationalist

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Hello everyone.

So I'm an occasional lurker on these forums, and wanted to ask this question to all of you who seek enlightenment.

Let us, for the purposes of this thread, assume three things:
1. reincarnation is real, although everyone may not agree on the details
2. there is some time between incarnations, with some level of consciousness
3. enlightenment is reconnecting with this pre-birth consciousness

So, assuming these things to be true, I have a couple of questions:

1. Why should anyone seek enlightenment?
2. How would enlightenment improve one's life, afterlife, or the ability to be of service to others?
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?
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 hope someone can enlighten me :)

October 22, 2015, 10:39:15 AM
Reply #1

Shinichi

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1. Why should anyone seek enlightenment?

Because they want to. If you don't want to do something, there's no point in doing it.  :P

As for why you should want to, well. That's something very personal to everyone. Some people one to escape the suffering of the physical world. Some people want to become "whole" again, to put it one way. Some people chase the ecstatic bliss of the deeper meditations. Some people don't have a clue, and just go along for the ride. It's a very personal thing, and there aren't really any right or wrong reasons.

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

Self-Realization allows you to better understand not only yourself, but other people. This not only makes your personal life richer, but it also makes you better equipped to help others, because you tend to have a better perspective on the nature of many things, and so you can better counsel someone in regards to those things.

As for the afterlife, well. Self-Realized people tend to retain their conscious awareness after the first death, which allows them to continue being themselves in the Otherworld until the second death.

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?

It's a "charity begins at home" thing. Spending a lot of time refining yourself does not directly make the world better, but by bettering yourself first, you are better equipped to make the world a better place.

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?

One should always be grounded in the matters of mundane life while alive. But, given that we are more than our flesh, there is value in becoming a whole person while we are here. To enjoy both the physical and spiritual worlds while alive. Not everyone has an interest in this, understandably. But that is why mystics and magicians go this route. We are folk who live in the in-between, a living bridge between Heaven and Earth.

For me, in particular, it's not like I spend hours chasing just enlightenment or anything. I'm simply conscious of the spiritual world, and it is conscious of me, and that is just my life. I was pretty much born this way. The training only helps me make sense of it all.  :P



~:Shin:~
~:Completed the 2013 Qi Gong Study Group:~

"There is no such thing as Impossible, it's merely a matter of understanding the mechanisms by which the Will can be made manifest into an objective reality." -- The Wise.

October 23, 2015, 04:39:37 PM
Reply #2

Shinichi

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~:Completed the 2013 Qi Gong Study Group:~

"There is no such thing as Impossible, it's merely a matter of understanding the mechanisms by which the Will can be made manifest into an objective reality." -- The Wise.

October 25, 2015, 04:54:43 AM
Reply #3

Rationalist

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Wait a minute. So I'm not the only person on this forum who likes Sadhguru? :eek:

Because they want to. If you don't want to do something, there's no point in doing it.  :P

 :biggrin:
I'm just trying to find out what benefits it brings to help me decide if I'm interested in it, and if so, how much time do I want to devote to it.

Self-Realization allows you to better understand not only yourself, but other people. This not only makes your personal life richer, but it also makes you better equipped to help others, because you tend to have a better perspective on the nature of many things, and so you can better counsel someone in regards to those things.

I can understand the general principle, but could you perhaps give a specific example of this?

As for the afterlife, well. Self-Realized people tend to retain their conscious awareness after the first death, which allows them to continue being themselves in the Otherworld until the second death.

Okay, that may be true. But, is it necessary to achieve self-realization to retain conscious awareness after the first death (I'm assuming that this is physical death)? What about NDE's? Aren't they evidence that it isn't necessary?

Also, what is the second death? Is there any good web site, book, or a forum post which explains this? Preferably something short without lots of symbolism?

It's a "charity begins at home" thing. Spending a lot of time refining yourself does not directly make the world better, but by bettering yourself first, you are better equipped to make the world a better place.

I understand and agree. I'm just trying to decide how far to go with this.

...

Concerning the first Sadhguru video, I believe he's arguing that most people should not strive for enlightenment, but just reach a certain point, and then become enlightened at the moment of death. Is this correct? And what is this certain point that results in enlightenment at the moment of death?

Concerning the second Sadhguru video, he's saying that if you cultivate your body, mind, emotions and energy to their peak possibility, then "an absolutely wonderful flower blossoms within you".  And this is enlightenment, correct? If so, why wouldn't it result in you leaving the body, as he was talking about in the last video?

Thank you for your answers, by the way!

October 25, 2015, 06:19:48 AM
Reply #4

Shinichi

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Wait a minute. So I'm not the only person on this forum who likes Sadhguru? :eek:

Nope. :P

I can understand the general principle, but could you perhaps give a specific example of this?

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. And when I find myself in a situation where it is difficult to think about solutions, such as counseling situations where one must tread carefully, I can either Invoke my Higher Self or let it speak through my intuition so that I am able to give words that are from a higher part of myself. I do this last one quite often in forum posts and such too, because at this point it's very easy to let my HS speak through me and give advice. Most of my unique insights and a great deal of what I say comes directly from speaking and writing this way, connected to my HS. I haven't quite reached that union point yet, the "proper" self-realized state that most call enlightenment, but I'm close enough that I can do this much.

Okay, that may be true. But, is it necessary to achieve self-realization to retain conscious awareness after the first death (I'm assuming that this is physical death)? What about NDE's? Aren't they evidence that it isn't necessary?

NDE's are very different for different people. Some people experience nothing, some have fully conscious OBE's, and some people dream during them.

Also, what is the second death? Is there any good web site, book, or a forum post which explains this? Preferably something short without lots of symbolism?

The second death is the death of the part of you that functions in the afterlife. The first death is the death of the body, the second death is the death of the soul and previous personality. It occurs right before reincarnation.

Concerning the first Sadhguru video, I believe he's arguing that most people should not strive for enlightenment, but just reach a certain point, and then become enlightened at the moment of death. Is this correct? And what is this certain point that results in enlightenment at the moment of death?

The opposite. Not everyone who dies reaches enlightenment suddenly, but when someone experiences enlightenment for the first time they usually die. Because when your consciousness expands to encompass a great part of the cosmos, it is very hard to muster up the volition to compress all that back into the tiny shell of the human meat suit. Some people simply choose not to, let go of their flesh entirely, and so the body dies while they go on to do other things.

Concerning the second Sadhguru video, he's saying that if you cultivate your body, mind, emotions and energy to their peak possibility, then "an absolutely wonderful flower blossoms within you".  And this is enlightenment, correct? If so, why wouldn't it result in you leaving the body, as he was talking about in the last video?

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.



~:Shin:~
~:Completed the 2013 Qi Gong Study Group:~

"There is no such thing as Impossible, it's merely a matter of understanding the mechanisms by which the Will can be made manifest into an objective reality." -- The Wise.

October 26, 2015, 02:17:23 PM
Reply #5

Mind_Bender

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1. Why should anyone seek enlightenment?"

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?

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?

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?

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.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

October 29, 2015, 05:13:57 PM
Reply #6

Rationalist

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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:

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.

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?

NDE's are very different for different people. Some people experience nothing, some have fully conscious OBE's, and some people dream during them.

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.
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?

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.

Would it be fair to say that:

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

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.

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?

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.

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?

October 29, 2015, 08:19:23 PM
Reply #7

Mind_Bender

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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.

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?

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.

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.

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?

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.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

November 03, 2015, 11:20:51 AM
Reply #8

Shinichi

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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:

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.

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?

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.

NDE's are very different for different people. Some people experience nothing, some have fully conscious OBE's, and some people dream during them.

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.
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?

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.

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.

Would it be fair to say that:

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

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:~
~:Completed the 2013 Qi Gong Study Group:~

"There is no such thing as Impossible, it's merely a matter of understanding the mechanisms by which the Will can be made manifest into an objective reality." -- The Wise.

November 03, 2015, 04:52:02 PM
Reply #9

Sadrielle

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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.

November 10, 2015, 04:02:41 AM
Reply #10

Rationalist

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Thanks to everyone for your insightful answers. Based on this thread, as well as talking to some people, and a lot of my own thinking and journaling over several months, I have decided to give up on trying to reach enlightenment and instead try going after the many benefits of it directly. Especially the personality and character improvements. I suspect that a direct path to these things will be more efficient than simply letting it be a side-effect of trying to achieve a goal I don't care about.

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.

Many of these NDE descriptions sound a lot like conscious OBE's. That said, I think it might a a little impolite to argue this with too much zeal when I'm the one asking the question :biggrin:

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?

Almost all of these things can be good, expect perhaps the last one. That would very much depend on the sect. Another big way to contribute to the world would be to carefully choose what one does for a living. So, for example, if one has the option to work for an evil, irresponsible company which exploits people, destroys the environment, or tries to sue everyone for stupid things, versus a good company which cares for the environment, contributes back to society, etc., then it would be better to work for the second company. Of course, many people do not have the luxury of choosing among a great variety of places to work at, and it gets a little complicated when the evil company offers a bigger paycheck, and the person in question has a family which depends on them. So, I wouldn't want to be a moralist and judge people for where they work (unless they are doing something really unethical), but if a person has that choice, I think it's good to consider it.

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.

I agree, although I think that one should be a little careful with the more extreme cases. I mean, there's nothing inherently wrong with going on spiritual journeys for several weeks. It's just that, if a person wants to be a true seeker, they might want to be honest with themselves, and approximate how much of it truly helps them function better in the world, and how much of it is simply because they want to. There's of course nothing wrong with either, and it's great that many people now live in societies where this is possible :)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 04:08:21 AM by Rationalist »

December 18, 2015, 07:03:45 AM
Reply #11

sulphurcrest

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Seeking enlightenment is just about improving yourself as an individual.

Look at the eye for example, you can look around without noticing the eye and perhaps without a mirror you might not notice you have eyes, except when a piece if dust gets in your eye and you cant see anymore, it hurts and clouds your vision.

Like wise you may not notice that you have kidneys or a spleen until something is wrong with it.

Like these things you should not notice that you have a conscious existence unless you want to, float like a cloud through the sky, that's more like being one with the Dao than being enlightened, but they are used interchangeably at times.

Once I was sitting with a group and a Buddhist Nun and somebody asked her how to achieve enlightenment and she said "You know I used to be very angry with people at the temple, and then one day I thought to myself 'why be angry?' and from then on I was much nicer."

Then there is Osamu Tezuka's (creator of astro boy) portrayal of enlightenment being the constant search for enlightenment in his comic 'Buddha'.

You also make a lot of assumptions, maybe enlightenment is making the world a better place.

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

Most forms of enlightenment involve the concept of self dissolving so there is nothing to enjoy the spiritual worlds after death, because you realize you are just the product of environment and biology, but you can sort of keep going up that ladder back to the beginning of time to realize we are all one thing, not desperate things.

January 31, 2016, 02:33:19 AM
Reply #12

Lakshmi

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I have often wondered particularly about your question 4.

Many philosophies portray the physical world as a sort of trap. Philip K. Dick (yeah, I know he was a science fiction writer, but apparently many took his spiritual philosophies very seriously) proposed that we were living in an illusion created by an evil false god, and our journey is to find our way back to the real God. There are lots of variants on this theme, coming from lots of different cultures, from contemporary US (eg ACIM) to aboriginal Australian mythology to variants of Buddhism and Hinduism (for example) thousands of years old.

Depressing stuff (going back to ones like Philip K Dick and ACIM) and doesn't pass my logic filters (although, people who believe in these philosophies would say that my logic filters are a product of my ego, which has a vested interest in clinging on to the physical, however painful it might be; and, in a similar fashion, people who go for an "evil false god" approach would probably say that is a delusion that is integral with the illusion)

That kind of stuff though, it just smacks of making stuff up because you can't come up with any more plausible alternatives. This is why I like Buddhism, because of the emphasis on experiencing (or trying to experience) the truth of things for yourself.

Personally, I don't know the answers to your questions. And so for me, a spiritual quest is partly to explore what I can know, to try to make sense of existence (acknowledging this desire to make sense may be a "trap of the ego" or whatever), and to use this knowledge to have the most fulfilling physical and emotional experience that I can have in the here and now.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 02:39:52 AM by Lakshmi »

January 31, 2016, 03:49:22 AM
Reply #13

Lakshmi

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Further thoughts on the above (having addressed your question 4, i felt compelled to go back to question 1 :) )

It also depends on how you define enlightenment. How do you define enlightment? Over the years I've discovered that different people have wildly different definitions - by some definitions, enlightment is relatively easy to attain (and I can even give you the process); by others, it is an unending spiritual question that can never truly be attained until the universe ceases to exist (which some philosophies pinpoint as the ultimate goal, this physical world being a nasty brutish illusion etc etc)

and surprisingly, some people have no idea what they mean when they say "enlightment". They want to be enlightened, but when asked what they means they falter. Some would go further to defend this, and claim that the ego (which I gather is the persona which enables us to navigate this physical existence) cannot possibly comprehend what it means to be enlightened, and the very act of "seeking" is an ego pursuit, which is by definition doomed to failure.

Arguments like the above seem like the Ouroboros to me - a way of trying to explain what you don't understand, in a way that will ultimately eat itself.

I found a simple dictionary definition recently that I like: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/enlightenment
"Enlightenment is education or awareness that brings change" - which sounds aligned to some definitions of Magick, but is not one I've specifically come across outside of a dictionary. I suppose one could equally argue that there is incorrect education that brings change (sometimes negative, sometimes positive despite the shaky origins), and then one might quibble over the kind of change (spiritual? Emotional? Physical?) - so I suppose that definition might need some qualifications - but I like it as a starting point.

Still, I'm curious (I'm always curious :) ) - what do you define as enlightment?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 05:53:35 AM by Lakshmi »

February 01, 2016, 08:36:04 PM
Reply #14

Koujiryuu

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Quote from: Zen koan
If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.


Quote from: U.G. Krishnamurti
     I am not out to liberate anybody. You have to liberate yourself, and you are unable to do that. What I have to say will not do it. I am only interested in describing this state, in clearing away the occultation and mystification in which those people in the 'holy business' have shrouded the whole thing. Maybe I can convince you not to waste a lot of time and energy, looking for a state which does not exist except in your imagination.

____________

    Get this straight, this is your state I am describing, your natural state, not my state or the state of a God-realized man or a mutant or any such thing. This is your natural state, but what prevents what is there from expressing itself in its own way is your reaching out for something, trying to be something other than what you are.

____________

    You can never understand this; you can only experience this in terms of your past experience. This is outside the realm of experience. The natural state is acausal: it just happens. No communication is possible, and none necessary. The only thing that is real to you is the way you are functioning; it is an act of futility to relate my description to the way you are functioning. When you stop all this comparison, what is there is your natural state. Then you will not listen to anybody.

____________

This state is a physical condition of your being. It is not some kind of psychological mutation. It is not a state of mind into which you can fall one day, and out of it the next day. You can't imagine the extent to which, as you are now, thought pervades and interferes with the functioning of every cell in your body. Coming into your natural state will blast every cell, every gland, every nerve. It is a chemical change. An alchemy of some sort takes place. But this state has nothing to do with the experiences of chemical drugs such as LSD. Those are experiences; this is not.

______________

Does such a thing as enlightenment exist? To me what does exist is a purely physical process; there is nothing mystical or spiritual about it. If I close the eyes, some light penetrates through the eyelids. If I cover the eyelids, there is still light inside. There seems to be some kind of a hole in the forehead, which doesn't show, but through which something penetrates. In India that light is golden; in Europe it is blue. There is also some kind of light penetration through the back of the neck. It's as if there is a hole running through between those spots in front and back of the skull. There is nothing inside but this light. If you cover those points, there is complete, total darkness. This light doesn't do anything or help the body to function in any way; it's just there.

From
http://www.well.com/user/jct/mystiq2.htm

And now a quote from me:

"The secret of the universe is that there is no secret.

The secret of the Dao is that there is no Dao."

There is no such thing as enlightenment. And anyone claiming to be enlightened shouldn't be teaching anything.

There's my contribution; I hope you find it useful.

Namaste.
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