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December 17, 2007

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Too much is too much - overmore than enough.
When you drink too much you get drunk, so it figures that if you think too much, you get thunk. I've been thunk a plenty in my time, and it sort of smothers the finer faculties. So nowadays I avoid too much, and enjoy thinking in moderation. But Brian, you may be able to hold your think better than I can.

Men of thought are not men of action and vice versa. Nothing wrong in thinking too much, only if it does not affect your action.

Brian, Is it the quantity of our thoughts or the quality of our thoughts?

I like to visit your blog first thing in the morning because it wakes me up and vectors my thinking in a positive direction that gives my daily thoughts more quality.

Since we cannot avoid thinking it is better to think thoughts that direct us toward positive actions. Thoughts that are more pleasant and uplifting.

Dear Churchless,
Thought is a product of instrumentation which the surat utilizes to gather experience/knowledge; it is not the real self for thought is always dual. Yet, how many of us completely identify with thought and base our whole existence upon its criticality?

Albert, your comment reflects Advaita, Yoga, and other mystic teachings. I understand how you could think the way you do, because that way of thinking is appealing to me also.

The question is: do you have any other basis, other than thinking, for your conviction that a non-dual state of consciousness is possible? In other words, that it's possible to be conscious without any contents of consciousness?

If so, how would you know this? What part of you would be aware of being in a non-dual state if you truly were in a non-dual state?

Do you see what I mean? Lots of people talk about oneness, of how duality isn't real. But I never hear anyone describe what a genuinely non-dual state of oneness is like.

You implied that you don't base your existence on duality. So what do you base it on? What is this alternative like? I'm curious about this state of unity without any duality, which must not include an awareness of unity -- since an awareness of unity would be different from unity.

I like playing with words. What I'm wondering is whether your comment is any more than word play also. I suspect you're just like me, a word player, but as always, I could be wrong.

"What part of you would be aware of being in a non-dual state if you truly were in a non-dual state?"

--The non-dualists would say no part because in a non-dual state there is no you to have a part that would be aware of itself. There is just being and no one to be it. Think of it as just being rather than someone being. In pure perceiving there is no thing seen since there is no thing that sees.

"But I never hear anyone describe what a genuinely non-dual state of oneness is like."

How about..

www.empty-universe.com/prajnaparamita/heartsutra.htm

albert,

You said: "Thought is a product of instrumentation which the surat utilizes to gather experience/knowledge"

-- What kind of nonsense is that? Thought is all based upon ahamkara, the process of identification that is the false ego. Thought a "product" of or related to ahamkara, not "instrumentation". All thought simply exists like waves (vritti) upon the ocean of awareness. Thought does not "gather experience/knowledge". Experience is related to sense perception, not thought. And where did you come up with this "surat" concept? ... probably from sant mat dogma? So what do you mean by "surat"? Surat ususally refers to the idea of a supposed soul... but "surat" aka 'soul' is just an idea born out of ignorance. There is no "surat". And the impersonal true Self or Atman does not "gather experience/knowledge". Experience and knowledge is merely sense perception, intellect and memory. You are apparently caught up in the dualistic dogma of sant mat, rather than presenting any fresh meaningful insight.

"it is not the real self"

-- Then in your view, what is "the real self"?

"for thought is always dual."

-- Thought is not "dual", thought is same as mind... it is a myth. Duality is the presumption that there is such a thing as "surat", and it is based in the sense of a separate identity which is ahamkara or false-ego.

"Yet, how many of us completely identify with thought and base our whole existence upon its criticality?"

-- Well apparently you do.


Brian, like yourself I too have withstood being told I think too much. No way. How much thinking can a brain generate in a lifetime? Not enough.Just a minute amount. I think I exist, I think when I shall not exist (no more thoughts). And what is thinking? It's using one's intelligence contingent upon who and what we are, the summation of our life's experiences, querying, analysing, sifting through inconclusive evidence, never reaching endings, hideously aware of life's brevity, and "enjoying" our ability to think, think, think and more think - believing unconsciously - without logic - we will get to a no-think state where everything will be revealed once and for all. Being a pessimistic existentialist by nature I realise well we are condemned to be free, free to think. That's all there is. But my brain is but one of 6 billion and my incessant thinking from another perspective is, no doubt, absurd.

On another matter I was in L.A. again last month (breaking up the journey home to New Zealand) after attending a wedding at Rosslyn Chapel, Edinburgh, and thought of you up there in Salem. I send you heartfelt greetings.

You are so sane. Thanks for your existence.

It is anyhow not good to tell a genuine thinker that he/she thinks too much,imo.
You are very right in saying everyone thinks the whole day.You are a freethinker a philosopher,so...???That is nice and fun,as you tell and let know,that you do..think..,also do meditation and tai chi=time out from thinking....
Satsangi's can be a sort of stuck in their dogma,and when you are thinking free,it maybe scares them at times,that is my experience with some...

Dear Brian,

I wonder why the one who calls himself tAo (and/or tao) did not castigate you for your words like he did to albert.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert,

You asked Brian why I "did not castigate" him for his words.

The answer is simple... It is because I did not disagree or find any fault with any of what Brian had written. So whay would I need to "castigate" Brian? Therefore, I don't see what your point is. So what is your point? Because what I wrote to Albert was not castigation at all but simply only reasonanble critical thinking on my part, and it also had nothing to do with what Brian had said in his blog entry. So whay are you attempting to twist it into something different?

Therefore, quite contrary to your faulty intimation Robert, here are quite a number of examples of what Brian wrote that I actually DO very much happen to agree with:

Brian wrote:

"When religious types decry thinking, what they really object to is questioning."

"Because I don't know anyone, religious or not, who doesn't think. It's part of being human."

"But when someone like me thinks about whether a certain spiritual or religious practice makes sense, then this is Bad thinking!"

"Actually, I'm pretty sure the difference between me and those who say that I think too much isn't in the quantity of our respective thoughts." -- [ Yes I agree Brian, its not because you or I think or even how much we think, but rather because we engage in critical thinking about other people's beliefs and sacred cows, and so they regard that as taboo. ]

"I'm not nearly as attached to my thoughts as I used to be. Especially religio-spiritual-philosophic thoughts. If they point me in a different direction that feels right and makes sense, I change course."

"it's more than a little strange that those who tell me I think too much are decidedly reluctant to let go of their own thinking."


BRIAN,

I HAD SUBMITTED A BENIGN COMMENT (see below), BUT IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY REJECTED AND NOT POSTED, AND THE FOLLOWING AUTOMATIC MESSAGE WAS GIVEN AS THE REASON:

"We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam. It has been held for review by the blog's author."

AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED. AND IT CLEARLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL CONTENT OF MY COMMENTS, BECAUSE I TESTED IT WITH ANOTHER VERY SHORT VERY POSITIVE COMMENT AND THE SAME THING HAPPENED.

SO IF MY COMMENTS ARE NOW GOING TO BE AUTOMATICALLY CENSORED AND REJECTED FOR NO APPARENT REASON, THEN I NO LONGER FEEL COMFORTABLE HERE AND WILL NOT BE COMMENTING ON THIS BLOG ANYMORE.

---------------------------------------

Robert,

You asked Brian why I "did not castigate" him for his words.

The answer is simple... It is because I did not disagree or find any fault with any of what Brian had written. So whay would I need to "castigate" Brian? Therefore, I don't see what your point is. So what is your point? Because what I wrote to Albert was not castigation at all but simply only reasonanble critical thinking on my part, and it also had nothing to do with what Brian had said in his blog entry. So whay are you attempting to twist it into something different?

Therefore, quite contrary to your faulty intimation Robert, here are quite a number of examples of what Brian wrote that I actually DO very much happen to agree with:

Brian wrote:

"When religious types decry thinking, what they really object to is questioning."

"Because I don't know anyone, religious or not, who doesn't think. It's part of being human."

"But when someone like me thinks about whether a certain spiritual or religious practice makes sense, then this is Bad thinking!"

"Actually, I'm pretty sure the difference between me and those who say that I think too much isn't in the quantity of our respective thoughts." -- [ Yes I agree Brian, its not because you or I think or even how much we think, but rather because we engage in critical thinking about other people's beliefs and sacred cows, and so they regard that as taboo. ]

"I'm not nearly as attached to my thoughts as I used to be. Especially religio-spiritual-philosophic thoughts. If they point me in a different direction that feels right and makes sense, I change course."

"it's more than a little strange that those who tell me I think too much are decidedly reluctant to let go of their own thinking."


BRIAN,

I HAD SUBMITTED A BENIGN COMMENT (see below), BUT IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY REJECTED AND NOT POSTED, AND THE FOLLOWING AUTOMATIC MESSAGE WAS GIVEN AS THE REASON:

"We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam. It has been held for review by the blog's author."

AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED. AND IT CLEARLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL CONTENT OF MY COMMENTS, BECAUSE I TESTED IT WITH ANOTHER VERY SHORT VERY POSITIVE COMMENT AND THE SAME THING HAPPENED.

SO IF MY COMMENTS ARE NOW GOING TO BE AUTOMATICALLY CENSORED AND REJECTED FOR NO APPARENT REASON, THEN I NO LONGER FEEL COMFORTABLE HERE AND WILL NOT BE COMMENTING ON THIS BLOG ANYMORE.

---------------------------------------

Robert,

You asked Brian why I "did not castigate" him for his words.

The answer is simple... It is because I did not disagree or find any fault with any of what Brian had written. So whay would I need to "castigate" Brian? Therefore, I don't see what your point is. So what is your point? Because what I wrote to Albert was not castigation at all but simply only reasonanble critical thinking on my part, and it also had nothing to do with what Brian had said in his blog entry. So whay are you attempting to twist it into something different?

Therefore, quite contrary to your faulty intimation Robert, here are quite a number of examples of what Brian wrote that I actually DO very much happen to agree with:

Brian wrote:

"When religious types decry thinking, what they really object to is questioning."

"Because I don't know anyone, religious or not, who doesn't think. It's part of being human."

"But when someone like me thinks about whether a certain spiritual or religious practice makes sense, then this is Bad thinking!"

"Actually, I'm pretty sure the difference between me and those who say that I think too much isn't in the quantity of our respective thoughts." -- [ Yes I agree Brian, its not because you or I think or even how much we think, but rather because we engage in critical thinking about other people's beliefs and sacred cows, and so they regard that as taboo. ]

"I'm not nearly as attached to my thoughts as I used to be. Especially religio-spiritual-philosophic thoughts. If they point me in a different direction that feels right and makes sense, I change course."

"it's more than a little strange that those who tell me I think too much are decidedly reluctant to let go of their own thinking."


BRIAN,

IF YOU DO NOT LIKE MY COMMENTS, OR YOU ARE GOING TO AUTOMATICALLY SCREEN THEM OUT, THEN JUST BE UP FRONT ABOUT IT AND SAY THAT YOU DO NOT CARE FOR MY COMMENTS, AND I WILL GLADLY REFRAIN FROM POSTING ANY FURTHER COMMENTS ON YOUR BLOG. I JUST DON'T APPRECIATE BEING CENSORED FROM THE GET-GO.


Regarding the "censoring" of comments, I didn't have anything to do with this. It was TypePad's fault, the service that hosts this blog. See:
http://everything.typepad.com/blog/2007/12/spam-service-up.html

TypePad recently made its spam check more aggressive. Overly so, obviously.

I'd rarely gotten spam comments after requiring the verification check where you have to type in some letters to verify that you aren't a spam "robot."

So it never dawned on me that genuine comments might be getting filtered until I read a notice from TypePad recently.

Anyway, I found eight comments in a "spam" section and published them. I believe most were related to this post -- forgot to check this more closely before moving them to the "active" category.

I apologize, on behalf of TypePad, for any confusion this has caused. Again, it wasn't me censoring the comments.

Brian,

Thinking is way up there in my book, even if I'm not always the best of thinkers. Nothing wrong with meditation, but I myself experience just as much awareness using my free time studying philosophy. There's room for both logic and contemplation (and action, once in a while!). There's need for both; yin and yang, etc.

I'm familiar with Christian contemplative writings warning against logic and cogitation. And yes, I also suspect an ulterior motive behind these, despite the grain of truth in them. I've also read Islamic contemplative writings saying same. What's good for the Christian goose is good for the Moslem gander.

But IMHO, the worst offender is Buddhism, with its doctrine of annihilation of self. I would agree that "self" is over-rated; but to sweep it aside in favor of unquestioning refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha sounds not unlike some Vatican bull commending the faithful to put their critical facilities in neutral and rely entirely upon the Magistrum as guided by the Spirit.

If you see the Dharma on the road, pick it up, read it, and say "OK, I'll consider it; as much as I'll consider the Quran, the Bible, the Gnostics, Socrates, etc. And at the end of the day, I'll decide. Me, my SELF, and I."

Happy holidays.

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