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    Thread: Enlightenment... with honours

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      EnT
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      Enlightenment... with honours

      I was reading Phion's interesting thread "Is suffering necessary for enlightenment?" and the responses made me think about "enlightenment" itself.

      Many people treat enlightenment like some kind of qualification you can obtain. Of course, everyone would scoff at the notion of 'enlightenment as a qualification' but the way most ppl talk about it, it sounds like something you achieve:
      Enlightenment is: knowing yourself, loving yourself, loving the world, the absence of suffering, etc. In fact, we can generalise it as "enlightenment is... [an enduring goal one slowly advances on and (if we're lucky/hardworking) achieves.]"

      I see at least 3 problems with this:
      1. I doubt any human has ever stood in any kind of permanent relation to anything (no one is always anything); give the Buddha a 9 to 5 job, a wife and a couple of kids and let's see how 'enlightened' he is then...
      2. It inevitably implies something like a ranking system which seems weird to me; what does it mean to be 'half enlightened' or 'closer to enlightenment than someone else'?
      3. I think few ppl would ever dream of actually calling themselves enlightened, no matter how much meditation/reflection/whatever they do, so is it even a real thing or just an ambiguous metaphysical/religious concept with no substance?

      I don't see any way of avoiding these problems so I think we should scrap the whole thing. Instead, if we mean someone knows herself well, then that's what we say. If we mean someone is in a state of harmony (at the moment), then we say that. We shouldn't try and force an absolute value (enlightenment level 5... with honours!) where it doesn't belong.

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      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by EnT View Post
      give the Buddha a 9 to 5 job, a wife and a couple of kids and let's see how 'enlightened' he is then...
      I think you have a point there.
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      There certainly is a misconception regarding enlightenment propagated by the egos of gurus and eastern masters over the last several thousand years.

      But you can't exactly replace the phrasing for something that exists beyond words. Enlightenment, nirvana, etc, are words meant to describe something that is impossible to describe with words. Finding new words will not solve this problem. It will always be a problem regarding translating something. Translators are Traitors.

      I do, however, favor changing the phrasing so we're no longer connoting a permanent state of mind, as though enlightenment is achieved and then that's it, you're past the finish line. I'd also like to get away from describing people as enlightened. Enlightenment remains relevant as a concept but it's got a lot of misconceptions attached.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-27-2013 at 07:51 PM.
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      I'm gonna give you a short and vague answer in an attempt to sound sagely.

      "Those who have not awakened are deluded about enlightenment. Those who are awakened are enlightened about delusion."
      Rawr!

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      EnT
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      But you can't exactly replace the phrasing for something that exists beyond words. Enlightenment, nirvana, etc, are words meant to describe something that is impossible to describe with words.
      That's another aspect that I am kind of railing against - "The Tao that can be talked about is not the Tao" - concepts like this are so vague and empty that they end up being literally meaningless not to mention making ppl like me suspicious.

      I really think we can describe any experience if we divest it of religious/metaphysical trappings so I'm not just suggesting changing terms but changing the way we think about the whole thing - from a mystical/spiritual/metaphysical "I was one with the universe" to a more grounded "Hmmm I felt really peaceful while meditating this morning". Why do we need to glorify our experiences as if we were tapping into the source of all being or aligning with our inner Buddhic nature? Perhaps a pleasant experience is just a pleasant experience... and I maintain that it's far more useful and meaningful to talk about it as such.

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      Lol - we can call it Enlightenment Lite! Less Calories, Still Same Great taste!

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      Quote Originally Posted by EnT View Post
      That's another aspect that I am kind of railing against - "The Tao that can be talked about is not the Tao" - concepts like this are so vague and empty that they end up being literally meaningless not to mention making ppl like me suspicious.

      I really think we can describe any experience if we divest it of religious/metaphysical trappings so I'm not just suggesting changing terms but changing the way we think about the whole thing - from a mystical/spiritual/metaphysical "I was one with the universe" to a more grounded "Hmmm I felt really peaceful while meditating this morning". Why do we need to glorify our experiences as if we were tapping into the source of all being or aligning with our inner Buddhic nature? Perhaps a pleasant experience is just a pleasant experience... and I maintain that it's far more useful and meaningful to talk about it as such.
      There is something very simple which sets "enlightenment" apart from pleasantness. In fact, joy is not the point in enlightenment, peace is. There are many ways to describe the tao but they are all merely signposts which is why so much eastern doctrine begins by explaining that it's not accurately describing the truth. One could say it is to dwell in peace, or to be in connection with the part of yourself that is unconditionally okay. Whatever words you use to describe it, it's going to be interpreted incorrectly.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-28-2013 at 02:35 AM.

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      i prefer the term "awakening"

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      I know nothing about Taoism and very little about Buddhism, but I have read all the Castaneda books, and I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

      When good old Don Juan talks about the Tonal and the Nagual (equating basically with the familiar human world and the world of socery) he says that when you talk about the nagual you are only talking about an idea of it, and that idea is no more than a ridiculous tiny piece of the full immeasurable mystery of the real nagual, which no person can ever hope to understand. And that made me think about the conscious and unconscious minds. They're not exactly what he's talking about, but it's something close, and it makes a very good corollary to help us understand. You can't know the contents of the unconscious. By definition. If you become aware of something unconscious then it's already become conscious, so like a soap bubble the actual unconscious, always dynamic and elusive, has slipped again from your grasp. You can talk abstractly about 'the unconscious', but you're just talking about the idea of it - you cannot really go exploring in your own unconscious. Well, I suppose you can take an expedition through it, but it remains a dark and mysterious continent, you can at best only bring out artifacts into the light. You can anever grasp that which is far greater than you - a vast unknowable ocean in which you (your conscious mind) is a small focused island. It's sort of like trying to see the back of your own head. Not a reflection or picture of it, but the actual thing. Good luck!

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      Quote Originally Posted by EnT View Post
      I was reading Phion's interesting thread "Is suffering necessary for enlightenment?" and the responses made me think about "enlightenment" itself.

      Many people treat enlightenment like some kind of qualification you can obtain. Of course, everyone would scoff at the notion of 'enlightenment as a qualification' but the way most ppl talk about it, it sounds like something you achieve:
      Enlightenment is: knowing yourself, loving yourself, loving the world, the absence of suffering, etc. In fact, we can generalise it as "enlightenment is... [an enduring goal one slowly advances on and (if we're lucky/hardworking) achieves.]"

      I see at least 3 problems with this:
      1. I doubt any human has ever stood in any kind of permanent relation to anything (no one is always anything); give the Buddha a 9 to 5 job, a wife and a couple of kids and let's see how 'enlightened' he is then...
      2. It inevitably implies something like a ranking system which seems weird to me; what does it mean to be 'half enlightened' or 'closer to enlightenment than someone else'?
      3. I think few ppl would ever dream of actually calling themselves enlightened, no matter how much meditation/reflection/whatever they do, so is it even a real thing or just an ambiguous metaphysical/religious concept with no substance?

      I don't see any way of avoiding these problems so I think we should scrap the whole thing. Instead, if we mean someone knows herself well, then that's what we say. If we mean someone is in a state of harmony (at the moment), then we say that. We shouldn't try and force an absolute value (enlightenment level 5... with honours!) where it doesn't belong.
      Enlightenment is not a permanent state one achieves, it is a way of describing an experience that is associated with a certain kind of clarity of mind which comes from a lack of resistance to what is at that moment. One can work to sustain this kind of mind, but that is foolish because work is striving to achieve something other than what is, which creates conflict, resistance to what is at the moment. However it is possible, through meditation(meaning letting the mind settle, letting impermanent conditioning fall away) to increase ones capacity to live from this state of mind. One stays in it longer, not because of one's effort, but because of an understanding of the way the mind works. This understanding allows one to see the way in which we use our minds to create our own suffering about things through the way we relate to them. When one can do this, and when one has become sufficiently familiar with suffering, one can become aware, wake up to the fact that one is suffering, analyze what about the way one is relating to the situation is causing suffering and modify this behavior. When one goes deep enough this is not really a choice but becomes a sort of automatic response.

      Someone once said "there are strictly speaking no enlightened people, only enlightened activity." And non-activity, if you like. Meditation may seem like just sitting there idly, but it is not.

      If that doesn't answer your specific questions let me know and I can address them individually if you'd like.
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      I think enlightenment can be understood by analogy to evolution. What is evolution? It is a natural process. It seems to "move forward" but toward no end. We can describe its causes and effects. We can map out a particular species as having a "path of evolution." And in casual language, we assign purpose and meaning to evolution, like "birds evolved to fly."

      But evolution doesn't have inherit purpose or meaning. Evolution doesn't have a plan or an end. Birds didn't "evolve to fly." Instead, species evolved, some of them developed the ability to fly, and, in retrospect, we labeled them "birds." It's a bunch of labels that our mind can understand. It's a scientific model to describe a process that we observe. And with more scientific inquiry, we refine the model. We say that the process moves toward fitness, but "fitness" is also a subjective and contextual model. Fitness is a relative measure, not absolute. Fitness is characterized by plateaus of equilibrium rather than absolute highs. So we will never arrive at the "end" or "purpose" of evolution. Evolution just is what it is, a natural process.

      Enlightenment is similar. In casual language, we conceptualize it as an "end" or a "goal." That's an easy way to introduce the idea to the newcomers. But enlightenment is really a process. (Recall that the word Tao means "way"). The process is natural and not fully within our understanding. All we know is that enlightenment has something to do with moving toward a state of being that is liberated from suffering, but without end. "State of being", "liberated", and "suffering" are also words that have subjective and contextual meaning equal to "fitness." It's characterized by equilibriums rather than absolutes. This is a difficult concept to understand, so we start with simpler, incomplete models to educate newcomers. Eventually, you need to let go of these introductory models and unlearn common sense. That is why Buddhism uses cryptic language, koans, and challenging tasks like meditation. The point is to open your mind up to possibilities outside the common conceptual model. To dissolve the strongly held beliefs of common sense and naive models.
      Last edited by sisyphus; 02-28-2013 at 05:01 AM.
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      "give the Buddha a 9 to 5 job, a wife and a couple of kids and let's see how 'enlightened' he is then... "

      He had a wife and son! Actually its part of the problem why enlightenment has become such a muddied word, religion got involved

      According to history, buddha was a rich prince/king with a beautiful young wife and new born. He then abandons his young family for his quest to end all suffering. He abandons his family - for his quest to end all suffering. Were I his wife, I'd be really really really pissed off.

      Buddha leaves his family because he was afraid the bond he would have with them would be too great to allow him to complete his mission. In todays context we call that being selfish. Did he reach enlightenment because he had rid himself the attachment of his family? No.

      Buddha would quest for years and years..and years..and years...and years.....The man was obsessed - he had a passion. He went so far as to nearly starve his own body. PUNISH THE HUMAN FORM. Then he realizes, this ain't working (hes hungry)!! He eats food and meditates under a tree and the rest his history.

      After reaching enlightenment an amazing thing happens - Buddha helps to form the sangha. A super close knit supportive community! Well in another culture, in another tongue, that's family. Buddhas later actions is refreshingly different than his early extreme (unnecessary) actions.

      See the problem with "enlightenment" are the religions that deify the awakened ones, making their every action since conception holy without flaw. And confusing everyone what enlightenment is all about. Followers all around the world will justify buddha abandoning his family saying "he had to leave his family to reach enlightenment!" or "it was right for him to do so for the greater mission for all mankind!"

      Not only is that bs, it completely misses the point. First, buddhas great mission doesn't save humanity. I mean buddha himself practically teaches 'dude, I can't end your suffering'. His great mission is only great, because people pass on the lessons.

      Instead of deifying buddhas life as a perfect example, we should recognize the ironies in his life brought on by ego. Until he sat under that tree, his every action beforehand - from leaving his family to starving his body - were unnecessary. And that's the whole point in retelling buddhas story: That it was a necessarily-unnecessary quest!



      So going back to the op, if people think enlightenment is some sort of qualification- then they didn't pay attentions to buddhas necessary-unecessary quest. It still wouldn't be fair to speak of enlightenment with casual words though.

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      Hmmm, really interesting replies. I feel a (I hope) brief summary coming on...

      Let's see - we're pretty much all on the same page in thinking that enlightenment is a continuous, non-permanent process and sisyphus' analogy of 'liberated' in an enlightened framework with 'fitness' in an evolutionary one captures that well. The 'goal' (using that term loosely) of this process then is StonedApe's, to increase ones capacity to live from a state of mind characterised by a lack of resistance and freedom from suffering. Of course no one lives in this state all the time, we all find ourselves in situations which upset our balance at times, however some of us (more practiced or perhaps just in a more peaceful environment, i.e. monks; no work, no screaming kids, no bills to pay, etc) can maintain it for longer and at times when others fail to. If this is a fair summary then it is exactly what I was pushing for; a demystified, down-to-earth and therefore meaningful way of thinking about a process the word 'enlightenment' fails to do justice to (and one which in fact, can't be reduced to a single word without opening the door wide for misinterpretation).

      Btw - I totally agree with you juroara that religions deify people (just one of their many problems) but I'm not sure how you get from 'enlightenment is not a qualification' to it can't be spoken of casually. Didn't we get a pretty good 'casual', i.e. non-mystical/mysterious, reduction above?

      Quote of the thread for me so far - "There are strictly speaking no enlightened people, only enlightened activity."

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      You have certainly ascertained Enlightenment Lite, if that was your goal. Just because something is ineffable doesn't make it mystical, though. Maybe it does, but big fucking whoop. Life is mysterious, holy shit.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-28-2013 at 04:17 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by EnT View Post
      Btw - I totally agree with you juroara that religions deify people (just one of their many problems) but I'm not sure how you get from 'enlightenment is not a qualification' to it can't be spoken of casually. Didn't we get a pretty good 'casual', i.e. non-mystical/mysterious, reduction above?
      Because enlightenment isn't an intellectual argument. You can't read a book on enlightenment and think that because you intellectually understand it that it means you are now enlightened. I'm not trying to mystify it, its just the reality of something you're supposed to experience/know/are first hand vs an intellectual idea.

      Imagine hearing the words in your head "I exist!". Now - know that you exist. The latter is a wordless experience. And unless something knows that it exists there aren't any words you can use in the universe to make it know it does. Enlightenment works like that. We can talk about it, but the more we talk the more we create concepts, and the more concepts we create the more we involve the ego. The more we get further and further away from the simple wordless truth.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Alucinor XIII View Post
      I'm gonna give you a short and vague answer in an attempt to sound sagely.

      "Those who have not awakened are deluded about enlightenment. Those who are awakened are enlightened about delusion."
      You could literally go to the Deepak Chopra quote generator, post a thread full of quotes, and all the new-agers on this forum would click "like" with the fiercest quickness.
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      You don't seem to think of "new-agers" very highly.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Enlightenment is nothing other than seeing things as they really are. But the word is a noun, it should be a verb. Because it is a flow that you can be in, or it is a continuous process.
      The reason that everything sounds so vague when talking about it is because there is nothing really to say that would be true. Like try to say what lucid dreaming is like, it will sound vague.
      "Lucid dreaming is knowing that it is a dream" The same could be said about enlightenment. Some of the vague-sounding statements sound vague because we don't take it literally enough. Like if this were a dream and you weren't lucid, and me as a dream character came up to you and told you that "This is a dream" you might say "Oh, so is this some Eastern Philosophy that you believe?" That is not a literal understanding of what was said. And then of course people have all kinds of delusional ideas of what enlightenment is. Some people think it is being a god-man, and that one is aware of every particle and is omniscient, etc. This is because of unscrupulous gurus. That is why I like the Buddhists, they have more scuples.

      But enlightenment is not mystical at all. There is nothing that mystical about it. In fact, enlightenment doesn't change anything. For example, in a lucid dream what difference does it make to the dream or any of the other dream characters if you become lucid but still have no control over the dream? Enlightenment is seeing things as they really are, seeing that there is nobody inside this body controlling it and thinking thoughts and doing anything, the body does what it is programmed and conditioned to do. But it doesn't change anything. The body still does what it always did after enlightenment. The biggest difference is that there is no stress whatsoever. And it has nothing to do with religion or new-age or paranormal or magical thinking. In fact, all these things need to be emptied out of the mind. I don't know one enlightened person who believes in unicorns, for instance.

      Enlightened people are just people like you and me. Even the guru idols. That being said, people shouldn't hold them up to such high standards. Most followers of gurus become scandalized if they hear that their guru had a sexual experience. They are just people. And there are more of them around then you might think.

      The whole heirarchy thing like stages of enlightenment is simply like someone has a satori (a transient experience of enlightenment). This is like somebody who becomes lucid for the first time, gets all excited and wakes up. But after the satori, the clouds start thinning of their own. Once one realizes that one is just a dream character in one's mind, that is the first stage of enlightenment. It is called "stream entry". They still have a personality that has negative emotions, they can get mad, they can get scared, or insecure, etc.... but they know that it is all a dream, but they don't have the control yet to embody that. It is called "selfing." There are habits, etc. that need to unwind. But they do unwind when it is seen that there is no soul or self or anything like that to continue them. Some traditions split it into 18 levels of enlightenment or only 4 levels or only 1 level. It is all arbitrary. But what happens eventually is that the lucidity is constant and instantaneous and continuous. Then when there are no more habitual grooves of behavior in the brain, one will never lose it or fall off the wave one is surfing. A kind of 'crystallization' happens and one is said to be a Buddha. It is interesting to know that the Buddha was not an occultist, or a new age person, or a theist, or anything. He tried all that and found out it was all bullshit so he dropped it all. There is nothing theist about enlightenment.

      Before the Buddha became the Buddha he couldn't achieve enlightenment with a family and being a prince because that is a full time job, like you said. He had to leave them. He became enlightened then he came back and his wife asked him "What did you gain?" He said "Nothing". She said "What did you lose?" he said "Nothing." She asked "Did you realize anything or gain anything that you couldn't have here with me?" and he said "No." But he didn't stay with her even after that! Maybe she found somebody else or something because he left and went and taught until he was 90 years old when somebody mistakenly fed him some poisonous mushrooms. He layed down on his right side with his head resting in his right palm and he died with a smile on his face. His last words were "This is the end of me, be a lamp unto yourselves."

      So we shouldn't mystify enlightenment, it is just being lucid in the daytime as well as the night-time.
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      ^^ that sounds too boring. i was hoping that with enlightenment i would be able to walk on water, cast spells on people, or shoot lightening out of my hands. something cool like that.
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      yeah, it isn't liberation of the self, it is liberation from the self. But it kind of makes even the most ordinary of moments seem miraculous that it is all happening out of nothing, a giant dream with no dreamer, all self-sufficient operating automatically in infinite complexity or simplicity whichever way you look at it, and nobody is going to die or be reincarnated or life after death because there is nobody alive now. Existence goes on forever. The void needs no reliance. I have heard one guy, Jed McKenna, describing it thus: It is like becoming a vampire. You have to die to everything you know, then your body and mind live on "undead". Then you have new senses that you have to learn to work with. It is like the void lives through you and that void is described with inadequate words like "peace, bliss, love, awareness" but you look and that void is nowhere. It doesn't exist. There is no such thing as a nothing. So the one thing you know for sure is the complete paradox of existence/non-existence. You realize that the truth is beyond such concepts as existence/non-existence, real and unreal, etc... This is what the Buddha meant by emptiness. Emptiness is form and form is emptiness. Every moment is complete fulfillment and satisfying like melting into a hot-tub, relaxing, just grooving the ever-present miraculously self-existing moment. It is what everyone wants when they seek pleasure. All the moments you are happiest you have been experiencing this no-self. All peak experiences of joy, all orgasms, all sports "being in the zone", all adrenaline highs, etc. even all drugs and perversions, all searches for truth, all seeking love, power, etc. Everybody is trying to center in and tune into the truth.
      Last edited by Dannon Oneironaut; 03-06-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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      there were many times in my life where i thought i was in the process of awakening, or thought i wanted to wake up, only to realize i was just deceiving myself the whole time. what makes you so sure you are not deceiving yourself about being enlighten?
      Last edited by tropicalbreeze; 03-06-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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      Well, it is like being lucid in a dream. Lucidity levels vary but it is always growing out of old patterns.
      In a lucid dream, you "know" you are lucid. There is no question. There is no doubt.
      It is called 'gnosis' or direct knowledge.

      The way we are deceived is by our conceptual talkative mind, our ideas, our beliefs, etc. The way to bypass this is to use the scientific method of meditation: direct experience. Direct experience means seeing how this experience in this moment appears. This is the one thing we KNOW for sure, that in this moment there is an experience. We don't carry our mind into this, we look in this atomic moment, without memory, without words, and just see what we know for sure. Then we deconstruct experience. What makes up an experience? If we look, we see that it is sensations and awareness. This much we know for sure. Thoughts appear to us as well, but those are a kind of sensation. The contents of thoughts is a story about what we are directly perceiving. For example: you see a sensation of a flower. In that instant is direct experience. Then the thoughts come in. That also is direct experience. Our attention shifts from the sensation of the flower to the sensations of the thoughts about the flower. If we believe the contents of the thought, what the thought is telling us, we get hypnotized and are not seeing reality anymore. Does this makes sense? Our thoughts may say "Oh this is a rose. I have seen lots of those." And then you are off in a dream world.

      But with our scientific method of direct experience we see that everything is a transient sensation, including the sense of self, the body, the world, etc.... If we really stick to the one thing we know for sure. The one thing we know.

      What is this one thing, the only thing, that we can know for absolute sure? That there is awareness of an experience. That cannot be denied, that is not a delusion. Then we deconstruct the self. We never look for ourself because we just assume it is self-evident. It is so obvious. lol. But if we actually look, in direct experience, there is nothing mystical about this, if we just look, we see that the only thing the sense of self is is a thought or a sensation. LOL! That is ALL it is! A thought or a sensation is not aware. There is awareness OF a thought, or a sensation. So are we awareness or the sensation that we are aware of? Hmmmm.... Well, sensations come and go. When you are not thinking a thought of self, it isn't there. If you are looking at a beautiful sunrise over the mountains and you are lost in the moment admiring the scenery, you are not thinking of the self, you have no self-thought. It is just a flickering thought!

      So we might think that we are this awareness! But if we look in direct experience, we cannot locate it, it appears to be everywhere and nowhere and both or neither but neither both nor neither at the same time. If we think we can perceive awareness, if we think awareness can be aware of itself, we find that it is only aware of a subtle sensation. This is important. Is there anything you can be aware of that is not a sensation? Someone asked "Silence?". If you have sat in silence you will notice that there is a sound to silence. A ringing or a hiss or a soft anti-sound that is actually a sensation. Silence is a sensation. Darkness? Darkness is a sensation. That is why the biggest delusion people who meditate do is cultivate a vast spacious transcendent awareness behind their eyes. They are cultivating a thought. It is their ego trying to simulate and claim enlightenment based off of what it imagines it to be! lol.

      So in direct experience, meditating on subtler subtler levels of sensations, we find that if we cease all sensations, awareness ceases also! Everybody already knows that if we lose awareness we also lose sensations. So the two are actually one thing. Awareness is a quality of sensations like wetness is a quality of water. So we realize that we are not awareness. So we are not any sensation or thought and we are not awareness. We realize that we are a dream character and everything we thought we were is part of this display of experience.

      So we look at this present moment in direct experience. We see that the past is merely memories and the future is just hopes and fears of what is to come. Right now is all that exists. Right now is reality. This moment right here right now is how reality is presenting itself right now. We never wander into delusion by leaving this atomic moment of instant awareness. This awareness/sensation experience is happening ONLY NOW! It is one with it. So as long as there is NOW there is experience. So really tuning into NOW and looking at it in direct experience, you will find that whatever you look at in this instant awareness you are looking at reality, and there is no self that is looking at it. How small is the present moment as it passes? How many moments can fit into a second? Is there a smallest moment? If now is all that exists and it is infinitely small, is it a singularity of no dimensions? Now is experience but it is intangible like the present moment. Or is the present a big spacious timeless arena and the passage of time is an illusion based on the movement of transient perceptions? Time is trippy.


      You see, thoughts are not aware. Reality is aware. The one thing we know for sure is the reality of this experience right now. Everything in this experience is aware like water is wet. It is a lucid dream. It feels like one to. My body feels just like a thought and no more or less real than anything else. But most importantly, there is no self to be deluded. Sure the words I say can fall short, or be the wrong choice of words, and everything goes on as before, the dream continues, I have a sense of self and a personality that is residual 'self-image', but I see it as empty. It still acts up though and I lose lucidity at times.

      I really would like to de-mystify the whole thing as well. There is nothing occult about it, nothing mystical about it, or religious, or etc.... I am basically an atheist... and I know that the whole enchilada is a paradoxical miraculous mystery, and I don't know how or why this is, but I see it cannot be any other way for some reason. I basically go from one moment to the next being how reality is presenting itself at the moment. If at moments my personality is acting up I can see lucidly that "yes there is my personality acting up again, being full of shit or arrogant." That is how reality is presenting itself in that moment. It is just karma unwinding so that ego can fall off, but I rarely lose lucidity in such moments. I am a very arrogant person, so it will take a while for that to wind down...

      Enlightened people are human, and have desires like everyone else. You know that zen quote: "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." ?
      I like to say "Before enlightenment: eat, shit, fuck. After enlightenment: eat, shit, fuck."

      So after you pass through the gate and become lucid, you see that it has always been a dream. Nothing has changed. There never was a self living this life. This world has never been "real". You see that nobody existed to become enlightened, nobody was liberated. There was no gate. There is no such thing as enlightenment. Hmmmm. That is the contradictory paradox again. Nonduality is always a paradox because both dualities are unified within it.

      This is not a delusion, because it is GNOSIS. It is pure knowing. It is non-dual knowing. There is no object to the knowing, and no subject either. It isn't that "I" know, or that I know "something". That quote "All I know is that I know nothing." points to this truth. This is not delusion. Go into this gnosis and it opens up. Dive right into the gnosis. It becomes what the buddhists call "The omniscience of the Buddha." But that makes it sound way toooo mystical.

      Another thing is that all the energy that is bound up in individuality is liberated and it is something akin to orgasm, agape, total fulfillment of all desire to love and be loved, the body tingles like in a lucid dream, and everything shimmers with the luminosity of emptiness, emanating rainbow halos. So individuality feels like a contraction of the universal awareness. It feels like a tension or a knot. So I know that I am not in delusion because I am not suffering at all and I am totally non-dual and integrated into a unity with the universe. There is no disharmony, unless my residual self-image is acting up. When that unwinds that will be the higher stages of enlightenment.
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    23. #23
      Hungry Dannon Oneironaut's Avatar
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      We might think that we are a thinker of thoughts. The self is the one who thinks thoughts. But if we look in direct experience, thoughts come by themselves, and we don't know what they will be. In direct experience, do you know what your next thought will be? We see that a thought appears, and then a thought "I thought this". But can a thought think? Can you choose your next thought?

      Maybe we are the one who has freewill, who makes choices. So we investigate with direct experience. Here is an experiment: Sit with eyes closed with your hands on your knees. Count to three and wait until the count of three to decide to lift either your left hand or your right hand. Observe the decision making process. You might find that you are honestly not the one making a choice. It is all cause and effect, stimulus response. You will probably try to trick yourself by trying to chose the opposite in order to prove that you have freewill. It is a good experiment!

      Some more experiments about the nature of sensations: In direct experience close your eyes and touch the rug or carpet. Is there a self that is feeling the carpet or is there just an experience of fuzziness? Doesn't it feel like your finger becomes fuzzy? Does it become the carpet? Dip it in water. Isn't there just a sensation of wetness in direct experience? Does your finger become water? The self is a thought. Is there any evidence that a self exists? If I asked you to look for the Santa Claus, would you wonder where to look? Or would you know that there is no evidence for Santa Claus and therefor know it is useless to look for him? What if there was nobody experiencing this world right now, there is just the experience? Use the direct experience to investigate every sensation of a self. When you find that ask yourself: "Who is it that is aware of this sensation?" A sensation of self in the heart? When somebody asks you to point to yourself, do you point to your heart? Dive in to that sensation. Unite with it. If it is the self, how can you be observing it? Unite with that sensation in order to investigate it. Find out what it is.

      The answer is nobody. But don't take my word for it. Not at all. Test it out for yourself. Find out for yourself. Become lucid!
      Direct experience itself is reality, now is there any other kind of experience? All experience is direct experience! We might think that there is some secret that is hidden or veiled from direct experience, like our true nature. But you know what your true nature is. You know who you are and who you have been as a child. Your essence hasn't changed. It is the essence of intelligent emptiness. How the thought of the self really makes us not lucid, thinking that we are these dream characters! We are intelligent lucid emptiness! We all know that. What is before your first memory? What is your original face? What is it that "wakes up" when you become lucid in a dream? It is the same timeless lucid emptiness that has always been unchanging. And it is closer to you than your nose. It isn't behind your mind or anything. Look for it. Where is it? It is the one looking. How big is it> How small is it? What are its dimensions? Exactly where is it? Where is its center? Where is its source? It is nowhere and everywhere! It is the void. The void is living through you. Become lucid! This is a dream! Lol. It is so obvious. There is no difference between an enlightened person and an ordinary person. We all are the Buddha. This void that is living through you is the Buddha. Buddha means "awakened one". There is only this one. There is only the Buddha and it is looking out your eyes, closer than your nose. It isn't that we are all parts of a bigger awareness. Each one of us is the center of the whole dream. This is all happening to that Buddha who is reading this sentence right now. The center of the universe.

      Sit face to face with somebody and in direct experience see where your awareness and her awareness begin and end. Look into each other's eyes. Isn't that the same awareness you see in her eyes that is this void living through you? Isn't it empty? Is the emptiness in one vase different than the emptiness in another vase? What if the vases crumble away? Is the emptiness effected? In direct experience, has this lucid emptiness ever changed locations or moved or went anywhere? Or was there only sensations of changing locations because the environment implied moving?

      The one thing we know is that lucid emptiness is timelessly existing effortlessly. Everything else is sensory input. If you just relax and be what you always known you have been, without thinking, in this instant present awareness, and abide and rest in that, aren't you lucid? Isn't there lucid dream sensations in your body? Look at how everyone you have ever wanted to love or wanted to love you is this same lucid emptiness that you are. It has always been your true nature and lucidity that you wanted to unite and merge with. So do it now! Unite with this effortless lucid emptiness. Unite with the lucid sensations. There is nobody to be separate from those sensations. Those sensations arise and return back to emptiness like a shooting star appears in the sky and disappears back into the sky. Nothing is separate. There is no inner world behind the eyes that is separate from the outside world, the inner sky is not separate from the outer sky. The lucid emptiness inside your body is not different than the lucid emptiness outside your body, it is one non-dual experience. A dream with no dreamer! You are me and I am you! LOL!!! It is the biggest fucking joke in history! Man you have a great sense of humor!
      Last edited by Dannon Oneironaut; 03-07-2013 at 04:51 AM.
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    24. #24
      Hungry Dannon Oneironaut's Avatar
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      So the OP could also equally be about Lucid Dreaming.

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      Well i guess any form of what you call enlightment is something so personal that forces you to not talk about it.
      My guesses as more somebody claims to have it as less he truly has it.
      Except of course men like christ who talked about it and then of course got crossed.
      Which leads again to silence.
      So don't worry so much.

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