Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
G'day all,

Firstly, thanks to the mods for doing a subforum of this nature, not too dissimilar to my earlier suggestion. It is appreciated and I retract my criticisms.

In the past, I've tried making posts about Eastern philosophy, but failed to deliver a simple and digestible message. The true message is infinitely simple, so much so that no words are necessary and the pure state - whether you call it enlightenment, Buddha-nature or Kenshō - is already timeless, universal and omnipresent, therefore your own true nature here and now. It is non-dual, or singular, with no separate individuals.

Eaebc04d579243c0bb542a4b0411e5df

The apparent problem is a fictional sense of self we derive from a lifetime of conditioning. This gives rise to an idea of a 'me' that exists entirely as a complex structure of thoughts in the mind. This structure includes cultural ideas, opinions, beliefs and bodily identities such as gender and nationality. None of these were present during the innocent wonderment of early childhood, nor are they present in states of deep sleep, nor after the death of the body.

Therefore, the goal is to see the false self for what it is, and be liberated from the suffering caused by identifying with, and believing in our conditioned thought patterns. Various methods, like meditation, self-inquiry (i.e., exploring the question 'Who am I?'), watching thoughts as an observer and spending time with a teacher are all valid. Those who discover the ultimate nonexistence of the 'little me' commonly laugh uncontrollably. After a process of integration with practical life, they might appear to function normally even though they are having a completely different experience that is utterly indescribable to those still imprisoned in the grip of the mind.

Recently, in the midst of an attempted recovery, I have been studying the work of one doctor Angelo Delullo who has gone through the process himself and helped many others in awakening. In directly presenting this shift in consciousness as a possibility for you, we are skipping over thousands of years of rich Eastern culture and endless Sanskrit terminology to keep it relevant, direct and simple. I'd prefer to address your questions as they arise rather than write an endless essay here, so if this interest you, feel free to fire away.

 
Last edited:
R

rationaltake

Enlightened
Sep 28, 2021
1,855
I keep coming back to this post. The photo is ace. I wish I could watch the video but anything I used to enjoy is agony.

I always had an affinity for Buddhism. They used to say at the Buddhist Centre that I must have been Buddhist in a previous life. Though I did think this Centre might have been suspect. Anyway.

I wish I could sit in meditation again but it's agony. Not physical. Psychic. I understand suicide doesn't solve suffering. It's just all that's left for me.

Questions of the self interest me as I'm multiple.
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
I keep coming back to this post. The photo is ace. I wish I could watch the video but anything I used to enjoy is agony.
Thank you, I'm really glad someone got something out of it! Let me see if I can arrange another picture.

3640b33c439ab738c605ef8828995f4c

I have had people say to me that they have read classical scriptures, such as the Bhagavad Gita, and felt that they had already read it before. If you have this experience with any Buddhist literature, this could help confirm your suspicion. In any case, it isn't anything to worry about.

Your other question/comment is very pertinent to this forum. If you'll excuse the hypocrisy of me answering even though I'm commonly having exactly the same experience as you, we can proceed....

Suicidal Transformation 1: Kelly
I once watched, and can recommend, a detailed near-death experience report by a woman named Kelly. (Link) She committed suicide in her car and then had a substantial, transformative experience prior to returning. She was/is subsequently in an advanced state, along the lines of what I described in my earlier post. When looking back, she described her previously suicidal mode as caused by 'the story of Kelly'.

In other words, in the despair-ridden modus operandi, you will observe there is a lack of present-moment awareness (a.k.a. 'inhabiting the body'). You will see an ego identity that remains inflated through non-stop mental activity; endlessly retold stories of tragedy and a future anticipation of dread, all of which can be described as 'me'. Hence the 'me' is made up of thoughts only. The 'me' is like the string through the necklace, or the root of the weed. The whole show relies on the 'me' being believed without question. But if this sense of identity is actually looked at and viewed skeptically, even for a moment, you will start to see that there is another 'you' that exists no matter what the mind is doing. Even what we call emotional pain is, from that perspective, merely various pressures or energies that can be observed in the body without needing to be labelled or storified.

Suicidal Transformation 2: Eckhart Tolle
He had always been an unhappy individual, growing up in the ruins of post-WWII Germany. Even as a child, he felt comfort seeing towering scaffolding around the under-construction buildings, reasoning that he could use them to jump to his death at any time.

After many years of suffering, age 30, he awoke in the middle of the night in a state of absolute dread. The situation had become unbearable. A thought kept ringing in his mind, "I can't live with myself any longer," over and over. But then he suddenly looked at this thought, and wondered who is 'I' that he cannot live with, and who is the 'I' that cannot live with it? This spontaneous investigation led to a sudden experience of the Self; he described his 'unhappy me' as like an inflatable toy that suddenly deflated.

He then experienced all kinds of blissful states (note: instantaneous, permanent awakenings like this are very rare; most people have to practice for ages) and his book, the Power of Now, is the go-to of this genre. It is also freely available on YouTube in audiobook form. I hope these examples are helpful.

If anyone has read this far, you deserve another cat picture. haha

1e1d725f1208e135a39a7c8429d7576d
 
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
Zen buddhism always intruiged me. It seems to have some notable differences compared to other forms of buddhism and it has become quite popular, esspecially in the US I believe. That's how it looks to me at least, i could be entirely wrong here.

So I guess my questions are: is Zen buddhism really that different from other buddhist schools? And why does it seem to be so popular? Love the cat pictures btw!
 
  • Hugs
  • Like
Reactions: Pluto and whatevs
R

rationaltake

Enlightened
Sep 28, 2021
1,855
Thank you, I'm really glad someone got something out of it!
Thanks for more photos. An image of the Buddha reminds me of calm. Cats are part of it too.

I have read books by the Dalai Lama and a lot of his teachings seem like a familiar background to my existence.

The examples are helpful.

The 'me' is like the string through the necklace
That's an incredible image. I think of the string breaking and all the separate beads scattering everywhere.

I have hesitated to take part in this discussion as I am so very dark. In another universe I could follow the path but I'm cut off from it in this world. I get the impression the multiverse is not inconsistent with Buddhist ideas.

My experience shows me that whichever self I am is arbitrary. I am not attached to any particular self.

I am fragmented and this post reflects that.
 
whatevs

whatevs

Mining for copium in the weirdest places.
Jan 15, 2022
2,262
Thanks for more photos. An image of the Buddha reminds me of calm. Cats are part of it too.

I have read books by the Dalai Lama and a lot of his teachings seem like a familiar background to my existence.

The examples are helpful.


That's an incredible image. I think of the string breaking and all the separate beads scattering everywhere.

I have hesitated to take part in this discussion as I am so very dark. In another universe I could follow the path but I'm cut off from it in this world. I get the impression the multiverse is not inconsistent with Buddhist ideas.

My experience shows me that whichever self I am is arbitrary. I am not attached to any particular self.

I am fragmented and this post reflects that.
Even though we tread a crooked path we can straighten our walk as much as can. That is enough.

I personally could have become a murderer or similar. I haven't succeeded at meditating and becoming serene but at least I didn't plunge further into Hell/Samsara, as my karma/nature tried to pull me to.

And even if you kill yourself I believe everything you did selflessly will be counted or significant in some way.
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
So I guess my questions are: is Zen buddhism really that different from other buddhist schools? And why does it seem to be so popular? Love the cat pictures btw!
Each of the religions have branches for hardcore seekers who want the experience of liberation, as opposed to cultural traditions, communities, rules, rituals and long-winded scriptural studies. Zen Buddhism is the Buddhist version of this.

Zen emphasises time with a master and striving to achieve liberation. In the Hindu tradition, there is a very similar branch called Advaita Vedanta. There is also Christian mysticism, and Sufism is Islam. Many modern teachers, including the few I've mentioned thus far, are not affiliated with any tradition at all. There are even athiests on this path. You'll notice that all 'in the know' say pretty much exactly the same thing, which is the end of all religious debates.

Zen may be particularly resonant because the very word (Japanese, but with Chinese origins) has a popular connotation implying mental stillness, and of course it is not associated with all the warring and tribalism of the mainstream religions. I've recently bought a book called the Three Pillars of Zen which has been highly recommended. It apparently includes a series of awakening stories, which tend to be of immense practical value for seekers.

That's an incredible image. I think of the string breaking and all the separate beads scattering everywhere.
In most awakening stories, it seems like the right words at the right time trigger an inner explosion! It is a very promising sign that you are touched by it. I appreciate the feedback, too. I go into a different mode when this topic comes up. It takes me away from my awful mind, even if the actual awakening experience has yet to bestow itself upon me. So thank you for the replies. :)

I have hesitated to take part in this discussion as I am so very dark. In another universe I could follow the path but I'm cut off from it in this world. I get the impression the multiverse is not inconsistent with Buddhist ideas.
There is endless overlap between advanced scientific theories and Eastern wisdom. I've previously mentioned the example of Albert Einstein calling time an illusion. There are 'science and nonduality' conventions for people who are interested. But of course, it risks becoming a huge intellectual exercise when the actual value is in the awakening process itself.

As for feeling dark, I could say that I often feel the same way. Or I could say that an enlightened reply would go along the lines of: "No matter how big it may seem, the darkness exists only as thought. You are not the mind. Seek the source of the mind and the truth of yourself will be revealed." (etc., etc. Yes, I am a Ramana Maharshi fan.)

Even though we tread a crooked path we can straighten our walk as much as can. That is enough.
Yes, I believe the Buddha once told his followers, "Do your best."

In saying that, this perspective is radically different because it places people like us at a distinct advantage. The 'normies' will likely live materially productive, sheltered and pleasant lives, but would never have any motivation to pursue liberation. In the bigger picture, they aren't really getting very far. Hence it is people with tragic backgrounds who end up making the most progress and potentially attaining states of bliss.

I think that this explains various comments that Jesus made, such as "He who is first will be last and he who is last will be first", or "It is easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." ('Kingdom of heaven' is Jesus' terminology for the state of enlightenment; he suggested as much with "The kingdom of heaven is within you.")

The key is immersing yourself in this material until the false sense of self is drowned out - hopefully quickly, but most likely over a period of time with ups and downs all the while. For best results, have no competing agenda.

There's also a Reddit where there's a bit of community happening. I'm not a regular there but I did once download one of their nondual memes (below). https://www.reddit.com/r/nonduality/

280187864 1365210027317750 4313899450162083014 n
 
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
Each of the religions have branches for hardcore seekers who want the experience of liberation, as opposed to cultural traditions, communities, rules, rituals and long-winded scriptural studies. Zen Buddhism is the Buddhist version of this.

Zen emphasises time with a master and striving to achieve liberation. In the Hindu tradition, there is a very similar branch called Advaita Vedanta. There is also Christian mysticism, and Sufism is Islam. Many modern teachers, including the few I've mentioned thus far, are not affiliated with any tradition at all. There are even athiests on this path. You'll notice that all 'in the know' say pretty much exactly the same thing, which is the end of all religious debates.

Zen may be particularly resonant because the very word (Japanese, but with Chinese origins) has a popular connotation implying mental stillness, and of course it is not associated with all the warring and tribalism of the mainstream religions. I've recently bought a book called the Three Pillars of Zen which has been highly recommended. It apparently includes a series of awakening stories, which tend to be of immense practical value for seekers.


In most awakening stories, it seems like the right words at the right time trigger an inner explosion! It is a very promising sign that you are touched by it. I appreciate the feedback, too. I go into a different mode when this topic comes up. It takes me away from my awful mind, even if the actual awakening experience has yet to bestow itself upon me. So thank you for the replies. :)


There is endless overlap between advanced scientific theories and Eastern wisdom. I've previously mentioned the example of Albert Einstein calling time an illusion. There are 'science and nonduality' conventions for people who are interested. But of course, it risks becoming a huge intellectual exercise when the actual value is in the awakening process itself.

As for feeling dark, I could say that I often feel the same way. Or I could say that an enlightened reply would go along the lines of: "No matter how big it may seem, the darkness exists only as thought. You are not the mind. Seek the source of the mind and the truth of yourself will be revealed." (etc., etc. Yes, I am a Ramana Maharshi fan.)


Yes, I believe the Buddha once told his followers, "Do your best."

In saying that, this perspective is radically different because it places people like us at a distinct advantage. The 'normies' will likely live materially productive, sheltered and pleasant lives, but would never have any motivation to pursue liberation. In the bigger picture, they aren't really getting very far. Hence it is people with tragic backgrounds who end up making the most progress and potentially attaining states of bliss.

I think that this explains various comments that Jesus made, such as "He who is first will be last and he who is last will be first", or "It is easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." ('Kingdom of heaven' is Jesus' terminology for the state of enlightenment; he suggested as much with "The kingdom of heaven is within you.")

The key is immersing yourself in this material until the false sense of self is drowned out - hopefully quickly, but most likely over a period of time with ups and downs all the while. For best results, have no competing agenda.

There's also a Reddit where there's a bit of community happening. I'm not a regular there but I did once download one of their nondual memes (below). https://www.reddit.com/r/nonduality/

View attachment 93619
Thanks for the quick discourse on Zen.
Buddhism in general seems to be an already extremly straight forward path, with as little unnecessary doctrine/belief as possible. Knowing that Zen is an even more direct path (within buddhism) makes me want to learn even more about it.

It's also quite refreshing to see someone who shares the notion, that abrahamic mysticism and eastern traditions basically point to the same thing! I love learning about different traditions and how they are similar or distinct from each other. I know a bit about advaita and have heard of Ramana Maharshi (and his famous question: who am I?) as well. I am a novice when it comes to buddhism tho, so it's nice to have people to learn from. :)
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
Thanks all. We never used to be able to have discussions like this. But that was then.

Fa756df4fc39dea2fbe4cbf65a6ca0c1

I came up with a fun little exercise recently for anyone interested. It's aimed at breaking down our false sense of self through exposing it to scrutiny. The mind is always clamouring for a sense of control, out of fear for its survival, when it actually has none.

1) You have no name
Someone calls your name, you turn around. But isn't it obvious that that name you associate with was randomly made up by a parent long ago? "What should we call this child? Hmmm, maybe Pluto." It was made into a certificate by an imaginary organisation that we believe into existence, like Tinkerbell. So what is my real name? It is nothing, but without even the word nothing.

2) Your location is an absolute mystery
You know where you are right now, right? Sure, I'm in my bedroom. Where's that? In my house. Where's that? The state of Victoria. Where's that? Australia. Where's that? Earth.

Where's that? The Solar System. Where's that? The Milky Way. Where's that? The Universe.

Where's that? Umm, the Multiverse? Where's that? *surprised Pikachu*

3) The time is now
Our systems for measuring time are a mess of weirdness inherited from the Romans. Eg. the month of October was so named because it was the 8th month (Oct = 8, think octopus, octagon) before an extra two months were inserted at the start of the calendar year to make it the 10th!

Time does not exist. What appears as time - memory or anticipation - exists in the mind, as always trying to project your attention away from reality (here/now). A flower knows nothing of today's date or time.

The light from the nearest visible star takes over 4 years to arrive, so you see it as it was years ago. Most visible stars are dozens of light-years away, so you are seeing the 'past' before your body was even born. Even light from objects in the room take nanoseconds to reach your eye, so you only ever see the past. Yet you can only exist now.

4) Etc.
Follow this through, destroying every other example of purported knowledge and control until the ultimate conclusion is drawn that the mind knows nothing, and therefore is nothing. And yet something is real. Something is looking through your eyes. It doesn't need to meditate because it is silent already. What is it? Who are you really?
 
Last edited:
whatevs

whatevs

Mining for copium in the weirdest places.
Jan 15, 2022
2,262
I will take issue with the idea that might arise from the otherwise correct assertion that time isn't real, which can be failing to acknowledge that which made the idea of time necessary is not an illusion.

Decay certainly exists and is a constant in biological reality, perhaps in cosmological reality too (entropy). People devised the concept of time because we grow old and die. Cronos carries a scythe for a reason.

In that sense of a metric system for finitude time is as real as anything in our illusory and chameleonic world can be.
 
Last edited:
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
There must something like time (in the universe) because the universe works through causation.
A happens and causes B to react, which shows things happen continously after one another hence time. But the way we measure time isn't universal at all, it's centred around us. We decided to measure time in a way that suits our environment/planet and our biological system. In that way, our idea of time is quite arbitrary and not "real" in a sense. It's a construct built to help us live our day to day life.

So the exercise of Pluto applies. And imo, even if it didn't (from an objective perspective) as long as it helps us to progress spiritually it's good and valid. Because what is the universe after all, according to Vedanta or Buddhism? An appearance, void. So whatever helps us to get that conviction and brings us closer to this realisation is welcome.
 
Last edited:
whatevs

whatevs

Mining for copium in the weirdest places.
Jan 15, 2022
2,262
What is the universe after all, according to Vedanta or Buddhism? An appearance, void. So whatever helps us to get that conviction and brings us closer to this realisation is welcome.
I think Schopenhauer put it best, it's not that the world isn't real but that something that is ever changing isn't as real as that which never changes and is actually the foundation for the phenomenic, mutable, decaying world.

Basically a rephrasing of what Parmenides said but with the help of the "real" and "illusory" concepts.

For me what's useful is using an spectrum of reality. An example would be Dreams < Sociocultural mediated reality < Individualistic mediated reality < Actual reality (metaphysics). We go from almost completely illusory (since dreams still draw from real experiences and sentiments) to complete reality outside of the phenomenic world.
 
Last edited:
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
I think Schopenhauer put it best, it's not that the world isn't real but that something that is ever changing isn't as real as that which never changes and is actually the foundation for the phenomenic, mutable, decaying world.

Basically a rephrasing of what Parmenides said but with the help of the "real" and "illusory" concepts.
Exactly. In Advaita Vedanta, they often use the snake/rope example. It's a rope but it is mistaken as a snake. So the "snake" is nothing other than the rope. Similarly, there is the Nondual reality (which they call Brahman) which is mistaken as the universe full of multiplicity, because it appears to be like that. But there is nothing other than the Nondual, Brahman.

According to Advaita, the world is unreal in the sense that it is an appearence. But it is the Nondual only that is appearing as this Universe. Which is why this world (clearly seen) is nothing other than the Nondual.

I think in buddhism they openly say that the world is empty, they call it shunya or void. They don't really say what it is tho, they negate everything it is not. But someone here might know more about it.

Edit: There is a great channel on youtube "Vedanta Society of New York" which publishes Videos on... well Vedanta.

They have a great speaker "Swami Sarvapriyananda" from whom I learned basically everything. I can recommend his talks to anyone that is interested in Advaita Vedanta.

One of his talks on the Vedantic Self and the Buddhist Non Self:
 
Last edited:
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
A happens and causes B to react, which shows things happen continously after one another hence time.
For practical purposes, I have heard time defined as "a system for distinguishing identical events occurring at the same point in space." Definitely nifty for making appointments.

Scientific Time

A proper scientific definition of time is beyond me, but note that it is not a separate phenomenon to space. Einstein's general theory of relativity describes gravity as an upward acceleration effect caused by the fabric of space-time bending around objects with mass. Special relativity describes clocks running at different rates depending on the observer's velocity relative to another.

As a fourth dimension within multi-dimensional theories (string theory has 10+ dimensions), time is also a thing. But this merely means that all possible moments of past and future exist now, side by side yet inaccessible from our perspective. An analogy is a DVD movie, where you may watch it from start to finish, but the entire movie is on the disc the whole 'time'. But it's more complex when there are multiple possible futures, giving rise to additional dimensions beyond the four.

NDE Time
Source: https://near-death.com/time/
"Space and time are illusions that hold us to the physical realm; in the spirit realm, all is present simultaneously." (Beverly Brodsky)

"During an NDE, you can't tell if you were in that light for a minute of a day or a hundred years." (Jayne Smith)

"Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously." (Kimberly Clark-Sharp)

Causation
As for the issue of causation, I might share a contrarian perspective from Advaita teacher Sri Maharaj.
"In every event the entire universe is reflected. The ultimate cause is untraceable. The very idea of causation is only a way of thinking and speaking. We cannot imagine, uncaused emergence. This, however, does not prove the existence of causation." - Nisargadatta Maharaj
 
Last edited:
whatevs

whatevs

Mining for copium in the weirdest places.
Jan 15, 2022
2,262
We can't find/imagine the original cause of reality and yet our whole reasoning is based on cause and effect, which only fails at the beginning of the chain of events. This is pretty mind-blowing. With patience and unlimited time we could lay down almost all events and their causes, and conversely predict through our cause-effect wisdom which events would lead to which consequence in the future, which would prove once again that the causation paradigm is sound.

However, this paradigm seems impotent when it comes to pinning down or even imagining a starting cause, or the opposite, the idea that everything is governed by cause and effect but reality itself has always existed and has no cause, no beginning, no end. Even in this case I still would ask for a beginning of reality, as the chain of events is still valid and observable. But every event requires a catalyst, every cause has a cause behind.

Hey this the first video in many months I can listen to for more than 5 minutes without switching to something else. I did switch after 5:30 though, lol, but now going strong. It's very interesting and the guy provides a calm and intelligent delivery. I've been interested in Hinduism and Buddhism for a long time and this presentation speaks of both.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
Hey this the first video in many months I can listen to for more than 5 minutes without switching to something else. I did switch after 5:30 though, lol, but now going strong. It's very interesting and the guy provides a calm and intelligent delivery. I've been interested in Hinduism and Buddhism for a long time and this presentation speaks of both.

Thank you!

I am happy to be able to share it! I love learning about spirituality but was never really able to talk about it with like minded people. Also, thinking/speaking about it always puts me in a good mood, which is probably why I keep coming back to the thread as well.
 
Last edited:
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
One of his talks on the Vedantic Self and the Buddhist Non Self:
I have been watching your video and have particularly enjoyed the philosopher he quotes who holds no position on any debate, but disproves all other positions by systematically eliminating the four possible solutions. I normally shy away from philosophical discourse, but find this a powerful and practical approach. It also legitimises my total disinterest in pseudo-spiritual debates about whether there is a God, or which religion is right, that some others seem to find stimulating.

It reminds me of the double-slit experiment in quantum mechanics, in which a photon or electron passes through one or both slits. The four possibilities can all be eliminated (i.e., 1) it passing through the left slit, 2) the right slit, 3) both or 4) neither.).

Once the futility of the mind as an instrument of true knowledge is demonstrably clear, it naturally follows to enquire what is real in terms of immediate experience that is not the mind. If sustained, this self-enquiry is a state of availability for awakening. I forget who used the analogy of being like a piece of fruit on a tree that is so ripe that it is ready for the Supreme to walk by, pluck it and consume it at any time.
 
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
I have been watching your video and have particularly enjoyed the philosopher he quotes who holds no position on any debate, but disproves all other positions by systematically eliminating the four possible solutions. I normally shy away from philosophical discourse, but find this a powerful and practical approach. It also legitimises my total disinterest in pseudo-spiritual debates about whether there is a God, or which religion is right, that some others seem to find stimulating.

It reminds me of the double-slit experiment in quantum mechanics, in which a photon or electron passes through one or both slits. The four possibilities can all be eliminated (i.e., 1) it passing through the left slit, 2) the right slit, 3) both or 4) neither.).
I watched the video again yesterday and was a bit worried, because I noticed that it's more theoretical than I remembered.

On the one hand it has to be this way because the topic is quite complex
and it's a gold mine for people who are interested to learn more in depth about the concept of Self in both of these traditions.
It can definitely enrich yourself and help you to get a better understanding of your own or of another tradition.

On the other hand, it can give the false impression that this is what spirituality is all about. It is good to have and appreciate complex philosophical conversations but I agree with you when it comes to keeping it simple and practical.

But when I reflect on it now, I think it did an overall good job of presenting both aspects. It goes deep into philosophy but by doing so, it gives practical lessons as well, for example the one of the philosopher who demonstrated that everything said can be cut down. Or the parable of the burning house from the Buddha, which teaches that overcoming suffering should be the priority, not (unnecessarily) debating concepts that are irrelevant for the path.

I forget who used the analogy of being like a piece of fruit on a tree that is so ripe that it is ready for the Supreme to walk by, pluck it and consume it at any time.
I haven't heard of that one before but I find it quite interesting. The fruit could be equated to the mind and therefore the person, being "ripe"or prepared to realize the true nature of things, being the oneness of all existence.
 
Last edited:
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
I think in buddhism they openly say that the world is empty, they call it shunya or void. They don't really say what it is tho, they negate everything it is not. But someone here might know more about it.
Meant to reply to this.
In Mahayana Buddhism, a frequently cited sutra says: "Form is emptiness (śūnyatā), emptiness is form."

Again, conjures subatomic physics.
"A hydrogen atom is about 99.9999999999996% empty space. Put another way, if a hydrogen atom were the size of the earth, the proton at its center would be about 200 meters (600 feet) across."

But rather than developing an advanced world-view that incorporates this, the goal is being empty of arrogance, empty of intention, empty of desire, even empty of an identity as an individual self. Teachings are intended to guide the mature seeker into this state. It is not that oneness with everything needs to be achieved, but the internal experience of suffering due to a belief in a false self needs to be surrendered.

Or the parable of the burning house from the Buddha, which teaches that overcoming suffering should be the priority, not (unnecessarily) debating concepts that are irrelevant for the path.
I loved that parable, too. It validates the Zen-style approach of single-mindedly emphasising liberation rather becoming a member of a religious sect with a 'right' perspective to argue. There's a famous Eckhart Tolle quote: "There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right." The debates cited are rich in insight, yet risk seducing the seeker into a vast realm of intellectualism, as if some knowledge is needed to be the true Self (Brahman) that you already are.

The subtle point to grasp here is that accumulating knowledge and understanding gets one on a spiritual journey, then quickly becomes an actual hindrance. Angelo Dilullo has spoken of this as a common mistake.

 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: JustAFriendlyGuy
R

rationaltake

Enlightened
Sep 28, 2021
1,855
As for feeling dark, I could say that I often feel the same way. Or I could say that an enlightened reply would go along the lines of: "No matter how big it may seem, the darkness exists only as thought. You are not the mind. Seek the source of the mind and the truth of yourself will be revealed." (etc., etc. Yes, I am a Ramana Maharshi fan.)


Yes, I believe the Buddha once told his followers, "Do your best."

In saying that, this perspective is radically different because it places people like us at a distinct advantage. The 'normies' will likely live materially productive, sheltered and pleasant lives, but would never have any motivation to pursue liberation. In the bigger picture, they aren't really getting very far. Hence it is people with tragic backgrounds who end up making the most progress and potentially attaining states of bliss.

I think that this explains various comments that Jesus made, such as "He who is first will be last and he who is last will be first", or "It is easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." ('Kingdom of heaven' is Jesus' terminology for the state of enlightenment; he suggested as much with "The kingdom of heaven is within you.")
I found this very interesting.

I think in Buddist terms a human life is a rare opportunity to achieve enlightenment and reincarnation as a human is a result of good karma. The paradox is that a life of suffering is more likely to lead to enlightenment than a life of ease. Following logic rather than intuition it is therefore good karma to suffer in this life. Buddha himself left his life of ease to seek enlightenment.

The core message of Christianity is "Take up thy cross and follow me". I think this means self-annihilation not merely self-denial. Quite starkly it means killing the self.

I find Christianity and Buddhism mutually enlightening.

On a personal note I've pretty much accepted I won't find enlightenment in this incarnation. I know suicide is not an escape from suffering but I still hope to mitigate things by making the best death I can.
 
Last edited:
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
I loved that parable, too. It validates the Zen-style approach of single-mindedly emphasising liberation rather becoming a member of a religious sect with a 'right' perspective to argue. There's a famous Eckhart Tolle quote: "There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right." The debates cited are rich in insight, yet risk seducing the seeker into a vast realm of intellectualism, as if some knowledge is needed to be the true Self (Brahman) that you already are.
Exactly! I know that there are new age movements, who aim to mitigate such risks. I know only a bit about them, for example that they don't really affiliate themselves to any tradition but rather encompass teachings of many different ones. The goal seems to be, to create a more modern, straight forward and simple path to spiritual realization. That's how I understand them at least.

And I actually like the idea, the only thing that makes me a little skeptical to be honest, is their effectiveness or success rate.

When you go for a established tradition, it seems like you are on a safer path because of the following reason:

1.They have a lineage of reputable teachers
2. You can verify what a teacher says with their literature
3. There have been a lot of practisisoners going through that path and many have successfully achieved enlightenment

One example of such a tradition would be the one of the Dalai lama today.

Of course they have their disadvantages as well, they might not be as broad minded, include unnecessary customs, are quite old fashioned and can definetly be slow at times.

But their path seems to be reliable, in the sense that many of their practisioners have been successful in gaining enlightenment.

That is something I am personally not so sure of when it comes to the new age movements. I may just think that way because I don't know enough about them and they might actually be even more effective than the "old paths" why not.

It's just that they are so new, that the risk of getting stuck at a certain point and not progressing properly is higher. It has not been probed before.

And there is undoubtedly a lot to learn from the new age movements as well.
I think a lot of people would not have even started their spiritual journey, without having come across one of these movements.
It makes spiritual concepts, which are usually only accessible in a few books, available to everyone.

It's a great "Gateway Drug" to spirituality you could say.

That's how I see it at least.
 
Last edited:
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
The subtle point to grasp here is that accumulating knowledge and understanding gets one on a spiritual journey, then quickly becomes an actual hindrance. Angelo Dilullo has spoken of this as a common mistake.
I watched the whole video and found many points really useful. I can definetly see myself doing some of the mistakes he mentioned, thanks for sharing!

I think in Buddist terms a human life is a rare opportunity to achieve enlightenment and reincarnation as a human is a result of good karma. The paradox is that a life of suffering is more likely to lead to enlightenment than a life of ease. Following logic rather than intuition it is therefore good karma to suffer in this life. Buddha himself left his life of ease to seek enlightenment.

The core message of Christianity is "Take up thy cross and follow me". I think this means self-annihilation not merely self-denial. Quite starkly it means killing the self.

I find Christianity and Buddhism mutually enlightening.
I was thinking about this a few days ago, if the Buddha wasn't dissatisfied with life (because it is full of suffering) he wouldn't have gone to seek enlightenment. I agree completely with your view, that suffering seems to be beneficial when it comes to spirituality.

And Christianity is definetly a fascinating tradition, it's just that a lot of people interprete it in a narrow/fundamentalist way. But behind all of that you will find a lot of beautiful teachings and concepts, esspecially (but not only) in christian mysticism.

On a personal note I've pretty much accepted I won't find enlightenment in this incarnation. I know suicide is not an escape from suffering but I still hope to mitigate things by making the best death I can.
Who knows, as crazy as this world is, I believe everything is possible. I do hope everything works out for you, we are all in similar situations, in the end we can just do our best I guess. :)
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
But behind all of that you will find a lot of beautiful teachings and concepts, esspecially (but not only) in christian mysticism.
Many people focus on Jesus' teachings about forgiveness and care for others. ("Love your enemies," etc.) But if they incorporate the why, it would better fall into place. It's not about being a 'good person' to 'please God' and 'get to heaven'.

Recognising our oneness with others naturally leads to authentically loving interactions that would otherwise be unthinkable in the primitive modus operandi of the thought-identified state. And 'heaven' is the directly-known state of oneness, regardless of whether the body is dead or alive.

"That which you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."

"I and the Father [source] are one".

The conclusion is that Jesus' teachings are 100% identical to the way of Buddhism / Advaita Vedanta, except with terminology differences. And a history of perverse misinterpretation by religious/political institutions.

When you go for a established tradition, it seems like you are on a safer path because of the following reason:
Ramana Maharshi always encouraged people to continue following any practices or belief systems that they felt were working for them. He didn't preach about Self-inquiry unless someone reported that their existing methodology was going nowhere and came to him for advice. So I'll take that stance also.

New Age movements are indeed a good gateway. Many of them over-emphasise cherry-picked, feel-good elements of religious teachings while shying away from the repetitive hard work of ego-eroding practices. For example, positive-biased thinking is healthy for the body-mind, yet also analogous to trying to keep one side of a coin while discarding the opposite side. And manifesting more positive life circumstances is a band-aid solution due to impermanence. And yet, I have been influenced by them in bygone years, so shouldn't complain.

Following logic rather than intuition it is therefore good karma to suffer in this life.
Suffering is usually necessary to initiate a path. That includes people who have experienced unpleasant circumstances and want a genuine solution, but also those who have had perfectly good lives by Western standards - relationships, success, money - yet still feel something is missing. Philosophies like Catholicism that actually venerate suffering risk missing the point quite painfully, though.

Eckhart Tolle says, "Suffering is necessary until you realise it is unnecessary."

All this boils down to something very simple. The only purpose of this discussion is to give ourselves permission to let go of what we think we know. To trust that it's OK to relinquish our fear-based sense of control, cease trying to accumulate knowledge and be absorbed into pure reality via a suitable practice/teacher. Like so:

A4edc52bdf0f04a5fb33464f413f36d5
 
Last edited:
J

JustAFriendlyGuy

Member
Jun 23, 2021
42
Many people focus on Jesus' teachings about forgiveness and care for others. ("Love your enemies," etc.) But if they incorporate the why, it would better fall into place. It's not about being a 'good person' to 'please God' and 'get to heaven'.

Recognising our oneness with others naturally leads to authentically loving interactions that would otherwise be unthinkable in the primitive modus operandi of the thought-identified state. And 'heaven' is the directly-known state of oneness, regardless of whether the body is dead or alive.
I agree completely with you, many of his teachings seem to point to what the nondual traditions speak about. Morals and ethics come naturally from the concept of Oneness in Advaita but I wonder, on what Buddhists base their morals on? They are certainly some of the warmest and kindest people around but what is the motivating factor. If I were a Buddhist student and were to ask my teacher why I should be ethical, what would he say? Because they don't speak of "oneness" at least not openly i believe.

Ramana Maharshi always encouraged people to continue following any practices or belief systems that they felt were working for them. He didn't preach about Self-inquiry unless someone reported that their existing methodology was going nowhere and came to him for advice. So I'll take that stance also.

New Age movements are indeed a good gateway. Many of them over-emphasise cherry-picked, feel-good elements of religious teachings while shying away from the repetitive hard work of ego-eroding practices. For example, positive-biased thinking is healthy for the body-mind, yet also analogous to trying to keep one side of a coin while discarding the opposite side. And manifesting more positive life circumstances is a band-aid solution due to impermanence. And yet, I have been influenced by them in bygone years, so shouldn't complain.
You are right Pluto, it may have been a poor choice of words on my side. Of course every path has it's pros and cons but one size doesn't fit all, I agree completely.

We all have different personalities and tendencies according to which some paths will work better for us than others.
It's good to have an exchange tho, I am happy to have learnt things, I wouldn't have come across were it not for some of the new age movements.
I am planning to look into Eckhart Tolle as well, as I am genuinely interested to witness a modern case of spontaneous enlightenment. I think it is never bad to broaden your current understanding, after all following one path doesn't mean you have to dismiss everything else.
 
R

rationaltake

Enlightened
Sep 28, 2021
1,855
Suffering is usually necessary to initiate a path. That includes people who have experienced unpleasant circumstances and want a genuine solution, but also those who have had perfectly good lives by Western standards - relationships, success, money - yet still feel something is missing. Philosophies like Catholicism that actually venerate suffering risk missing the point quite painfully, though.

Eckhart Tolle says, "Suffering is necessary until you realise it is unnecessary."

All this boils down to something very simple. The only purpose of this discussion is to give ourselves permission to let go of what we think we know. To trust that it's OK to relinquish our fear-based sense of control, cease trying to accumulate knowledge and be absorbed into pure reality via a suitable practice/teacher. Like so:

View attachment 93895
I can see that venerating suffering is a detour from the main path.

I've also been thinking about the Buddhist middle way in relation to asceticism. Not having more than you can use but having enough to cover basic needs so that you aren't struggling to survive and can concentrate on the spiritual. It's practical.

I have OCD and I'm extreme. I've got rid of nearly everything and I actually don't have enough of some things.
 
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: whatevs and Pluto
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,308
Morals and ethics come naturally from the concept of Oneness in Advaita but I wonder, on what Buddhists base their morals on?
I'm fairly confident that the Buddhist morality is exactly what you described.

"Respect for all living things is an expression of Oneness. ...Mindfulness, the realization of the effect of our actions and appreciation of the present moment, is Oneness." (source)

"The teaching of Oneness in Mahayana Buddhism is one of the most important, and oft-misunderstood portions of the Dharma. If we understand it, then practices like compassion and loving-kindness naturally become part of our lives." (source)

Some anecdotes of Ramana Maharshi's life offer insights into how a master experiences this. He refused offerings of food unless everyone else in the hall were offered the same, saying that he is eating through all the mouths of all the people present. He also experienced physical pain when men were beating a mango tree outside to obtain its fruits. He was especially caring towards animals. His tendency to defend the underdog was remarkably similar to that of Jesus. To these people, oneness is far more than a religious theory.

You'll enjoy Eckhart Tolle a lot. He has helped millions. The only thing to be mindful (no pun intended) of is that when a teaching is aimed at the masses, it needs to be watered-down. For example, many people will enjoy teachings about 'making my life more peaceful,' as opposed to directly pursuing the ego death that he himself achieved. But at the very least, Eckhart is a wonderful gateway to the hardcore pursuit of awakening.

I've also been thinking about the Buddhist middle way in relation to asceticism. Not having more than you can use but having enough to cover basic needs so that you aren't struggling to survive and can concentrate on the spiritual. It's practical.
Agree completely. Minimalism becomes an artform rather than an exercise in subjecting ourselves to neglect. In modern times, a single electronic device can replace a dozen separate, bulky items that we used to have to contend with. Tidy aesthetics is good for mental health as well.