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Dungeness
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...do you speak from your own personal experience? No, I only parrot what I've heard from various RSSB sources. But, hang around by the shore long enough and, even blind, you can enjoy the sea breeze.
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...do you speak from your own personal experience? No, I only parrot what I've heard from various RSSB sources. But, hang around by the shore long enough and, even blind, you can enjoy the sea breeze.
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When you dive in, then you can tell anyone what happened, through the filter of the brain. But you have a life outside of it now. Right, I'm still driving there... probably more helpful to talk about that wonderful scent of the sea.
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When you dive in, then you can tell anyone what happened, through the filter of the brain. But you have a life outside of it now. Right, I'm still driving there... probably more helpful to talk about that wonderful scent of the sea.
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Nevertheless, understanding, when it does arrive, remains a wholly cognitive process. There is no getting around that. I'd be deluding myself if I imagined that just because I meditate, my understanding is any different than the understanding of those who don't meditate. Transcendent "knowing" though is different altogether. It can't be pigeonholed into a cognitive framework. The meditative practice will improve cognitive focus and create more equanimity but that's not its ultimate goal. Rather it's to break free from mental filters and limits entirely. Meditation in pursuit of knowledge becomes a threshold to experiencing what is beyond time and space, not just a practice to supercharge the intellect while remaining bound within it. The mystics characterize what they experience only as "not this, not this".
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I think people would have followed him to Guyana if he led them there. Rumors ensued... Blakely splintered off with her own following as Puri did... No, I don't think any splintering occurred in Puri's case. Who knows with out the requisite experience within. What's clear though is he speaks of mysticism as a disciple of Great Master only. He often jests that he doesn't even have the look of a PLM. In many ways his role resembles that of Lionel Metz many years ago. He just gives talks on the spiritual path as seva. The "soul-drop" concept is misleading in my view, as if the soul is in one place and the ocean in another. There cannot be drop or ocean because there is no drop that is not ocean nor any ocean that is not drop. Yep, I agree. That's Ishwar's point really. We are the ocean. We just contracted our awareness until we think we're only a "drop". P.S. Lots of rumors surfaced about Great Master in the early days too. The scandal mongers suggested that some hanky panky was going on with those three devoted "Bibi's" who were always around him.
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It seems to me we already aren't here as such. That is, what we call 'me' is conceptual only. What is there about 'me', a mere figment of imagination, that would have subsequent or previous lifetimes? If Shabd (Word) is that which manifests creation and is, in fact, that which manifestation is, then that is all there is. What else is there? What could be outside of or other than what it is? How can I establish a connection to that which 'I' already am? You doubt the time-honored "soul drop" theory...? :) Although I can't pretend to understand it in its totality, Ishwar Puri's view always resonated with me: "You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the whole ocean in the drop. When we are here we think we are separated. You are not separated. I gave a talk in 1963 in a church and a person got up and said if it is so bad to be here, `Why did we leave our home anyway?' And my abrupt answer without thinking was, `We never left.' We only left the awareness of it. This journey isn't travel, we don't go anywhere, we just get back our awareness of who we are, where we are, who our real self is."
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But that damn voice in my head, BURNER ON!, had been so clear and distinct. And it had appeared all on its own, since I hadn't been thinking about anything related to my breakfast when the alert popped into my mind. I have a theory. Bear with me. Before the red hot glowing orb appeared you said you were idly listening to the radio likely not thinking about much of anything except the latest Trump escapade. That's when a strong, unseen gust began to buffet the windmills of your mind and the mechanical governor kicked in to prevent damage from the over-spinning blades. Just call it the Trumpian wind phenomenon. The smooth working neural channels in the mind began to heat up. The governor had to rescue its synapses from damage. But how? Ah, cook up some doubt and fear about a mundane event. Play the distraction game. All of it happens in the blink of an eye while you listen innocently to things "outside yourself". The only antidote is mindfulness. Examine what enters your mind. Note the often subtle currents of anger, disdain, and, yes, even the odd demonic image coursing through your brain. Save yourself before the sheriff has to shut you down.
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Now, I want to ask one question to everyone on this blog, do we really have a single person who is initiated and have managed to reach at least to the first region (shasradal kamal)? Although not under our control, mystics assert dream states often reach and draw inspiration from the first region or astral realm. There's a fascinating survey of ten discoveries and art, that were attributed to insights gained in dreams. They include those of Einstein, Ramanujan, Mary Shelley, Paul McCartney, Neils Bohr, etc. http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/10-dreams-that-changed-the-course-of-human-history.html Again according to the mystic those who go higher gain realization about who they are and ultimately can reach their true home.
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I'm simply pointing out the obvious: that a major appeal of religions is the reassurance they offer about death being not an end to existence, but the beginning of another form of life. I think that's truer of religion than mysticim. The appeal and raison d'etre of the latter is to not wait for death. Trust only what you can experience and verify now while you're alive. Peek behind the curtain of dogma...before karma runs you over. ~
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After all the average bod spends nearly a third of their life ‘asleep’ - why not endeavour to develop ‘awareness’ while in the dream/sleep state particularly if one is meditating also in the waking state? Awareness through all states will surely point to knowledge regarding the illusory nature of the ‘self’? or as someone described most humans as ‘asleep in the world of duality’ As I understand it, awareness through all states is the mystic's goal. Rather than devolving to a lowered state of consciousness, however, the mystic starts the meditative discipline from the wakeful state. They ascend to the super conscious state gradually from that initial stage. Dreams can generate brief intuitive flashes, but there're mostly blurred or incomplete and may be deceptive. Importantly, they're not under your control and can't be reproduced. Even in so called lucid dreaming. A lucid dreamer for instance may have an inkling that he's dreaming. He doesn't like the way the dream's narrative is progressing and so he threatens his co- dreamers "with waking up" if they don't agree to his plot changes. They gasp and meekly agree and so he goes on dreaming. Only when the lucid subject wakes up does he realize the "others" were part of the dream and he's been tricking himself
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Previewing your Comment "* So, did Hillary's lies bother you *" IMO Trump's rank far higher on the "liar, liar, pants on fire" index. They're mostly 5-alarm too: "Obama wasn't born in the US", "that sicko 'O' was wiretapping me", "I saw thousands of Muslims in Jersey City cheering as the Towers came down", "Hey, that doesn't sound like my voice on the Access Hollywood tape", "Stormy, er, Ms. Clifford, is lying...". etc. So many lies... Of course, we all embellish a little (or alot) for dramatic effect, or perhaps we mis-hear or mis-interpret or, even at times, are mis-informed, or just plain deluded but plow right ahead. Yet most feel a bit unsettled when they sense they should be reaching for a fire hose. , A little voice whispers to us and we at least throw in a qualification or disclaimer, especially when we're really not sure at all. We hear our better angels and admit we were wrong when a correction comes. At our best, we apologize and laugh at ourselves for the lapse... instead of doubling down, or deflecting, or blaming someone else. I'm not sure Trump ever does that... or if he's capable of it any more.
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Brian, thanks for the clarification. I withdraw some of my vitriol. But, Magid does dismiss the idea of a "separate, inner ethereal existance" as fantasy. He conflates centuries of mystical literature and evidence with all ilks of religion based escapism. He even waxes psychiatric that this may be rooted in a fear of death, or aching knees, or a "wandering mind". I think, as a good scientist, he should remain agnostic. Freedom may be just another word for dropping quick judgments. [damn, I miss Janis]
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"Be careful what you wish for. Only when our hopes are completely smashed will we be free. It's not the 'freedom we started out looking for at all" This is the worst kind of nonsense. Your mind generates thoughts, and desires 24x7. They well up from the unconscious and many of them remain completely submerged. You will never ferret all of them out. No matter how many are "smashed", new ones will emerge. "Be careful what you wish for" is a punchline, not a mantra for banishing them. It is a path of despair. You can't nullify, out maneuver, or wish thoughts away with the intellect. Magid opines: "this body, this body, this moment is all we have, is all there is". This moment and mindfullness are in the right direction. That's the path of discovery. Only a fool asserts "that's all there is".
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Citing Magid: "...but right here in the very moment, regardless of its content. This is the most basic spiritual insight that we can have. This moment is it! What we've desperately been seeking is already here." Spence said: "This moment isn't actually it. We are actually living in the past. The idea "let's live in the present" would require a complete disconnection with our past conditioning." I agree. The mystics say we do live in the past. Shockingly, in fact, all events have already happened and been choreographed in a single timeless moment. Of course, it doesn't seem that way. We have a past, present, and future, right? Everybody knows that. But, "present" is totally elusive. The moment we think of it, it's gone, slipped our of our grasp into past. Future? Thoughts create it. We have only to anticipate, hope, or fear to get a notional sense that it's coming but hasn't happened yet. It's our preamble to pretend what's actually is in the past is in the future. We live totally in the past. Clear as mud? :) But Magid's suggestion does resonate with me in a way. Awareness of the "now" ("this moment") is an important step on the inner journey. You eavesdrop on your mind's thoughts. You learn their power and relentlessness. How they overwhelm, deceive, bully us. You realize we've lost our way because of mind's ascendancy over us. If someone says "just live in the present", whether it's a psychoanalyst, a blogger, or commenter, they almost haven't done it themselves. Paraphrasing a great mystic: "Mind cannot be taken away from its routine course in spite of one's best effort in a day, a month, or a year. It is a life-long struggle. Those who undergone this struggle, or who are engaged in it, understand what it is to conquer the mind... What would a 40 dollar yoga course do for such a mind?" (or reading dozens of books, or even a session with a shrink)." In my opinion, the mystic path offers a better approach. You take a leap of faith with a teacher who helps you follow this difficult path. You experience and verify at every step. Slowly, carefully, usually over many decades, you regain what was lost to a formidable enemy
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So it sure seems like existence must always have existed. Otherwise, how could anything exist, including God? This leads to a strong argument against God: if religious believers say that God has existed eternally, this means that existence has existed eternally. It seems to me the flaw in positing that existence has always been there is that God (or "Totality" to give it less of a religious flavor) encapsulates all of it - time, space, seen and unseen, existence and non-existence, even creation itself. Trying to grapple with the overarching possibility of God or totality though is terra infirma. Eyes glaze over. It's stuff that can't be apprehended or measured or described to others. So instead we put God and existence itself in their separate corners and let them duke it out for the crown. They're combatants in the mental realm which is the only one we understand. There we can't escape notions of "now", "then", "here", "there", and all the myriads of opposites that our mental dualism requires. Those who may have experienced transcendent realities can't referee these boxing matches either. They'll just tell a story or suggest a metaphor to hint at what's outside the ring. However, they can offer a meditative path to to experience it directly. Because, without experience, it becomes a fairy tale.
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For that wet must withdraw completely from body, sensations and thoughts. You can't stop the brain from thinking. But you can slow it down long enough to step off this train for a while, through the tenth gate. Spence, thank you. I'm blown away by your clarity and insights. The only alternate imagery that resonates with me is Ishwar Puri's on mind and its relentless "train" of thought: "Mind does several things, but one thing it does all the time, which is its heartbeat, is thinking. It must think all the time. If it stops thinking it will die. It's like the body's heart. The heart must beat for this body to get the proper circulation to live. Similarly the mind must think to be alive." "Therefore the mind thinks continuously whether you're awake, or sleeping, walking, talking, doing anything--the mind is thinking." [ So you can quote Ishwar when anyone tells you to "stop thinking" :) Also he emphasizes withdrawal of attention rather than focusing: "Therefore withdrawal of attention within yourself is the secret for for all answers to all questions. If you want to withdraw attention, you must learn how to withdraw and not to project." "We are used to focusing attention, which is a projection of attention away from yourself. You can never focus attention on anything except by moving away from yourself. Therefore if you want to be where you are, you don't focus attention, you don't project your attention. You withdraw it! " "For that we must withdraw completely from body, sensations and thoughts." [ I'm sure Dhyan is exempt from "Thou shalt not focus" though since its magic draws you inside rather than out. ]
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Of course, at some point a negative way has to result in something positive if the way is deemed successful by a God-seeker, or the Via Negativa would be virtually identical to atheism -- since atheists consider that God doesn't exist, which is a perfect negativity. In my opinion, it misses the mark to frame the search in that kind of dualism. Of course, we stumble with any descriptive words in trying to talk about something you must have direct experience with to make sense of. Both the wannabe mystic and devout atheist merrily paddle along in the same leaky boat. We parse conceptual notions or practices, try to grasp how to say it, but wind up straitjacketing the words as "good' and bad", "negative or positive.", ... As I understand it, a successful search in the end usually means the searcher just has to remain still and observe. Words and attributions fall away. The mystics can only say God is, "Not this, not this".
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Love, or the illusion of it, is my entire meaning in life. The realization that true altruism doesn't exist, that emotions are biologically wired into us for survival, and no relationship we form will survive death, is breaking me down. I don't need to believe humans are special or the last evolution (we're clearly not), but I'm afraid to believe in absolutely nothing. I can only suggest, whether viewed through the lens of atheism or mysticism or something else, the feeling of connection should extend to each moment of life. Nothing should be suppressed, shunned, replaced, or sublimated mentally. If fear that love is an illusion or that we'll wind up believing in absolutely nothing comes, it's important to accept it. To establish rapprochement. To arrive at our own answer, not someone else's. So, the message (if there is one) in my opinion is to seek a philosophy that you can validate on your own. That addresses each doubt and fear we have. That provides a way to accept, look at, and embrace what is. Each second of it. And never accepts solutions that don't want to deal with the dark corners of life, or that only work part of the time. Fears, feelings, thoughts that arise should be be resolvable in the moment rather than ignored, diminished, explained away, or denied. For me, the struggle is to do just that. Be there every moment. Keep seeking. The best way, again in my opinion, is to look within, and not outside. To reject ritual or faith that can't be validated experientially. That includes any belief that has no answers for some things or sweeps 'em under the carpet in a "whack-a-mole" kinda way. Or one that assures us answers will come later. Just keep doing it our way. Nothing substitutes for experience and validation within.
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Hi Jen, Hope I didn't upset you... I was just on a rant.
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Blind faith is following, listening to, copying, believing in anyone else. Its the same as seeking for answers in this world, with our brains and in our meditation. That's a very expansive view of blind faith. I think most think of it more narrowly as a rigid, continuing belief without corroborating evidence. But, I'd agree in the beginning there must be a minimal faith to do virtually anything, a certain trust that the risk is worth it - whether it's starting school, taking medication to heal, entering a new job, or even having confidence in ourself. We won't know until this body has died. Will we wake up then? How can we know what happens after death because we are still in this physical form. People who have inner mystical experiences are still in their body. I have had OBE's and looked down and can see myself but its just my mind projecting. I think life is easier when we stop trying to figure it out. That's the whole premise of mysticism though-- that we don't have to physically die to see what happens after death. We can wake up before we die. When we reach the highest stage, we become aware of all levels of reality while still in the physical body. And you don't have to "figure it out". It's all a matter of our attention. At least in the beginning. Then, I afraid it does get fuzzier because the mystic insists only love and devotion will pull us at a certain level. At least mystics assure us we don't have to rely on our notoriously untrustworthy intellect at all to get there. And the best part is part is we don't have to wait till we croak physically. Whew! "All men in this world are prisoners waiting for death, except for a few rare ones whose bodies are in prison but whose life is lived amidst the stars."" Jalaluddin Rumi
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expounding on what's knowable and what isn't... None of us on this forum would do that of course ;)
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Why should I believe things what others tell? Even the Master?? --Exactly. How does anyone know who knows anything about matters of Eternal Truth, Absolute Reality, God or Eternity? Saying you know doesn't mean you know. Saying you know doesn't mean anything. Even if you do know, how does anyone know you know or that you even know what you think you know or that there is anything that could possibly be known in the first place? But, rather than dogmatizing about what they "know" (or expounding on what's knowable and what isn't), mystics speak only of what they have experienced within and suggest a method to see for yourself. Ishwar Puri, echoing Great Master, relates: I will never suggest to anybody to try something that has not worked for me. Even if it's good. I don't believe in hearsay. I don't believe in a second person's opinion. Nor should you. You should not say, "Because he said, I believe it." That's not good enough. That's blind faith.
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I've always opted to rip off fruit/veg bundling tape and "liberate" exactly the number I needed. Never yet been shamed by some grocer explaining "I shouldn't do that". My alibi was pre-planned: "Oh, I'm sorry... didn't know." [However, leaving the ends taped is supposed to inhibit bananas from ripening too quickly. Dunno] Recently, I was delighted by my coop's enlightened response to this problem. Next to "banana jail", they had a small area set aside with lots of "onesies" and the sign "Pick me, I'm single!"
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For example, we humans are highly social animals. We're always wondering what other people are saying about us, how much they know about us, and such. So it is an easy leap to imagine that a supernatural being is doing the same, as in the familiar Santa Claus song Ah, Santa's "List". I think that's an accurate picture of our entire life. The "List" overhangs because we're afraid most of the time. Angst never lets up . What if a friend betrays me? How many "Likes" am I getting? Do I look/sound too weird? What if the roof leaks again? When am I gonna die? All of us become "religious" at some point to try to cope. We do good deeds hoping it'll protect us from "bad" things coming our way, we hang on to "step on a crack, break your Mother's back" kind of superstitions, ... or we distract ourselves toys, or relish various rituals and "dog whistles" - both the church/unchurched. But mostly we hide from ourselves. We look outside for answers. The mystic doesn't want that monkey on his back. So, he searches inside himself to confront his fear, to understand it, to subdue it. Most importantly, he doesn't chatter about it as I'm doing. He/she begins searching and keeps on. He's headed the right way..
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