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May 09, 2008

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The problem with all such discussions is we have our own perspective and just because someone else 'knows' something, does not mean they do. They might want to know it and their perception is clouded by their desire. Prayers that are answered are like that because were they or was it coincidence? I think we each, in the end, have to work this out for ourselves.

I am not afraid of life ending (suffering worries me more) and it's not because I know for sure what happens. I do think, assuming our 'awareness' doesn't end with bodily death, that it'll be interesting to find out what really does come next.

Although I am okay with it being dust to dust, I don't believe that is the case. Between my regressions, experiences of friends with past life memories, coincidences in my own life, books I have read, my grandchildren's stories when they were too young to know what they were supposed to know, I believe reincarnation is the answer for what happens. Reincarnation (and that does not have to mean the exact Hindu, Buddhist or New Age views of it) gives us the greatest possible reason to make this life as effective as we can because if we do have to come back, we will literally reap what we have been sowing. But I don't 'know' that reincarnation is true.

I think of all the beliefs out there, the one that would scare me the most to believe was true would be what fundamentalist christians believe. It would mean the god of this earth was something I would rather not believe he/she is. It however has not been my personal experience with the spiritual realm; and so I don't think they are right.. but as you said.. there is a truth out there. We just don't know what it is for sure while we are living here.

Some say that truth is relative and whatever each person believes will be true for them. It's like that movie "What Dreams may Come" with Robin Williams and well worth watching if someone is artistic and interested in spiritual 'what-ifs'. I don't believe that though. I believe there is a truth. I just can't prove what it is right now :)

Brian,

A few comments about your post...

Brian writes: "You can't have "right" without "wrong." So if what you say is absolutely 100% certain, no doubt about it – that can't be true."

-- Not exactly, it just means that your certainty may or may not prove to be true.

Brian writes: "Yin requires yang. ... Truth depends on falsity."

-- Again, not exactly. I woud say that whatever, whichever, IS actually true... then that makes the rest of the options false. Except of course in cases where there are several things that are true.

Brian writes: "Karl Popper made falsifiability the cornerstone of what distinguishes a scientific theory."

-- OK... maybe he has a point... maybe he doesn't.

Brian writes: "I echoed his ideas in "If a religion can't be wrong, it surely is."

-- Isn't it rather that... if someone SAYS that some religion cannot be wrong, then they THEY are wrong (because the reigion many or may not be wrong, but we don't really know if its wrong or right).

Brian writes: "Sure, something may be real, yet improvable or indescribable."

-- I agree, but I think you must have meant "un-proveable"?

Brian writes: "Existence, for example. "What is, is." That statement ... doesn't mean anything."

-- It doesn't mean anything, but mainly because in order to be able to say it, there must necessarily be existence.

Brian writes: "Similarly, much religious or metaphysical dogma can't be wrong because words are used in a way that defy falsification."

-- I assume that you must mean that they SAY that "it can't be wrong".

Brian writes: "As I noted before, Eastern philosophies and religions are as prone to this as Western ones are."

-- Yes, of course.

Brian writes: "Whenever I run up against words that can't be wrong, I start to lose interest in them – since they can't be right."

-- You mean when someone SAYS that the words or the ideas they are saying can't be wrong. The words or ideas may be right or they may be wrong... but SAYING that they can ONNY be right... then that is what is wrong.

Brian writes: "Recently there's been quite a bit of discussion on this blog about awareness. This can be another example of a word that doesn't mean anything, yet can seem deeply meaningful."

-- Yes this CAN be an example, all depending on how it is used. But I would not say that is is ALWAYS meaningless. Now this actually brings up a point which I meant to mention before:

And this is basically about awareness, and how I view awareness...

I do NOT KNOW what "awareness" is. I do not even know if I actually have awareness.

Just try to define awareness and see where it gets you. Good luck. So I don't know what awareness is, nor do I know if it is anything like it seems to be.

Sure, we can say awareness is consciousness... but then what is "consciousness"? Same problem. So I don't know.

I do know this: My apparent (to me) or perceived existence, is tied to my being what we call "aware" of it. But again, what IS this thing we call "aware"? I don't know.

But I also do know this: Things, events, life, people, and so on... is all happening. Something, something we generally call 'life' and the universe, is happening and is existing... meaning that we say we 'perceive' it to be happening.

But what is this happening? And what is this space where everything is apparently happening? Is this space "awareness"? That's what we say it is. But again, what IS awareness? And how do we know that there even is such a thing as "awareness"?

Like I said, all we kbow is that things seem to be happening. All during the course of our lives, something is happening. But are we really "aware"? Really? I don't know.

Maybe there is no such thing as awareness. Maybe all things are just happening and give the appearance or the illusion of there being awareness.

Maybe there is no actual thing as "awareness" at all. Maybe it's all just happening by itself, like some kind of dream without any dreamer. Maybe awareness is just part of the illusion of a reality, when in fact there is no awareness, nor is anyone actually "aware". Maybe it's just all just an mirage, an illusion that this thing we call "awareness" or "consciousness" actually exists at all.

Again, all we really know is what is happening in the moment. Is that "awareness"? I don't know. I only use the term awareness for lack of a better way to describe the space where existence is happening, is perceived. But "perceived" by whom? I don't know.

I only really know one thing: I am absolutely un-certain of anything.

Brian writes: "These are realities – awareness, existence, life. But they're not truths, not in any sort of scientific, logical, or evidentiary sense, because there is no untruth to which they can be contrasted."

-- There may be no opposite to compare or contrast to, but things like awareness and existence and life, are not not-true because of that. They are just words, but they refer to something which we all experience directly. We don't need to prove they exist by contrast. But like I said... what is awareness, existence, life? I don't know. They are just words, ideas, which refer to what is happening - to our experience of this 'happening'.

"Don't get me wrong: there's nothing more interesting to me than awareness, existence, and life. ... It's just that when I hear talk of "awareness never ends" it strikes me as no different in kind from "Jesus saves." Namely, a belief that can't be tested. At least, not in this life"

-- I agree. But just so you know... I never say, and I have never said (at least that I can remember), that "awareness never ends". I would not make such an assertion of certainty (if I did, then I retract it). Because I do NOT know. I only know, or I have an experience, that I am 'aware' now. And that I have had or been aware from the beginning of this life. Will this apparent "awareness" continue without end? I really don't know. Actually, I cannot know. No one can know for sure. They may believe, but they don't KNOW for sure, with certainty. Thats because "never ends" (ie: forever) is always and forever beyond the here and now, so we can never know or have eternal certainty.

"While I have a fondness for philosophies that assure me life is just fine exactly the way it is, and I don't need to do anything about it, I'm skeptical about whether there's any meaning to these assurances"

-- I am one of those who says that "life is just fine the way it is", BUT... I do NOT say that as an kind of "assurance" or as meaningful to or for others. It is meaningful to me, because that is my own conclusion born out of a lifetime of experience and contemplation. But it is NOT an "assurance" to you or to anyone else. I don't care whether you believe it or not. In fact, I would advise against any such belief. This is something which can only be known or felt or realized or concluded by oneself alone, and not any kind of philosophy.

"I also have heard that the world appears just the same to an enlightened sage as an unenlightened fool. So why not remain a fool if there's no way to tell the difference?"

-- There may be no difference. Or... there may be a vast difference that is simply not visible or apparent to the one who has not experienced both. A fool does not know if there is a difference, but a sage knows if there is a difference. But if there is a difference, then what is the difference? THAT is the question. But if there is a difference, perhaps there is no one remaining who can know the answer.

"In the end, there could well be no beginning and no end."

-- To me, it does not matter. I am not concerned with the beginning or the end. All I know is that I am apparently existing here now. So I just have to take it from here. I don't know how I got here, and I don't know whether I will continue to exist, or not continue to exist. And there is really nothing that I can do about that. So I just deal with what I do know, which is is that I am existing right here and right now.

"I'd be just as happy if metaphysical propositions could be proven to be true, rather than capable of being shown to be false. Sort of seems like the same difference to me..."

-- I too agree about the metaphysical propositions... but I don't see a need to prove that I am aware, that I exist, etc. I have ceased to look for any meaning in spiritual and metaphysical propositions. It holds no interest for me. All I really know is that I am aware (or at least that I appear to be aware) here and now.

For me, anything beyond that is all in the realm of all those unprovable propositions and theories and beliefs that you mentioned. All of that stuff is at best nothing more than mere mental speculation, which is all immediately rendered pointless and futile by the transitory nature of moment to moment existence.


Here is what I have found to be true. Stay with it and see if it elicits any clarity or leaves you scratching your head:

Presence is no thing: Absence is all.
Presence is appearance: Absence is the Source of everything.
Presence is what is not: Absence is what is.
For phenomenal absence is noumenal presence.
What I am is phenomenally absent: it is the phenomenal absence of My presence.
Every time I say 'I' Absence is speaking via presence.
I am Absolute Absence..absence of presence and of positivity.
Absolute Absence is absence of me.. of all my phenomenality.
So, I am the absence of my self and the presence of absence.
What I am is the absence of everything I appear to be and can think that I am.
What I am is the absence of all presence.We must be our own absence in order to manifest a spontaneous non-volitional presence.

We must be 'absent' in order that 'present' may be, but where we are and when we are is neither present nor absent, and what we are is neither presence nor absence, but the mutual negation of both. That is to say that neither concept is applicable, nor is any pronoun. Why? Because all words signify what is objective, and what we are has no objective quality and so cannot be objectified at all. Our knowable presence or absence can only be an objective, and so phenomenal, presence or absence, and therefore cannot be what we are. Noumenally, then, what we are is neither, but phenomenally regarded it can be conceived as the one or the other, but not both. By definition it must be absent, but it can be presence as appearance.

Huh? Say what? OK, here it is laid out in plain english..

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN OBJECTIVE BEING.

That is the only absolute truth there could ever be. Why? Because from that alone can perfect understanding arise. Nor is any other apprehension needed, because all comprehension lies therein.

The perfect understanding of that is perfect understanding itself. And that is because only non-objectivity itself can know it.

Ther is nothing more to be said, and ultimately nothing but that need ever have been said.

Knowing that, the rest is known.

The supposed or apparent mystery is due to the objective inexistence of pure non-objectivity which is the Buddha-nature, because objectivity is only conceptual and non-objectivity is incompatible with any degree of positivity. Hence, the expedience of the negative way.

So many people searching..searching for what? A self? But there isn't one! No such 'thing' exists, has ever existed, or ever could exist.

Why? Because it would need another to find the one. They are searching for themselves and how could anyone find himself?

It is This which is looking for Itself when we look for It, and we cannot find It because It is This which we are. And..objectively It is not here.

That is all there is in it.
That is the Big Joke.
And why it is a big joke!
And why there is nothing more
to be said.

P.S. These words may have meant very little to you. That I know well. In which case please accept my appologies. However, I also know that they could mean a very great deal indeed. In that case please do me the honor of accepting them.

God: "The universe is I and I am no 'where' to be found."

That's it.

My impression of this particular peeve is that Brian is assuming that intellectual laziness is defensible.

In our era, we know that advertizers sell the "sizzle not the steak" because that works to short circuit responses in consumers.

The tautology is a tool used in literary forensics in order to dismiss logical propositions. This tool was turned into a weapon in the late 19th century.

Many new readers are not as critical of the text they read, and will take the written word over the spoken as authoritative.

So the tautology most properly takes the full form: "It is what it is, until (or unless) it is not."

The weaponized version of the tautology drops the logical opposition, and purports to convey a limit. While emotionally appealing, it is laziness that allows the these statements to continue.

I am not a full bore mystic, and when I utter non-sequiters, my family simply rolls their collective and several eyes. "God is love," is a truncated tautology, and Eckhart could use this as a logical equation to jar his divinity students into thought: he was not selling greeting cards.

Consciousness is all, or it is not all: now we know that the author of that book had a proposition to explore, and didn't want to extend the length of the book by 50% in an examination of the propositions converse.

Which book, or post, or comment will be true? Per tucson, prior, you have dug into this book to find truth, and it is absent! Truth is everywhere.

Or truth is not everywhere.

Literary forensics, like an acrobatics show, is very middle-ages entertainment. Cirque de Soleil!

"The tautology is a tool used in literary forensics in order to dismiss logical propositions. This tool was turned into a weapon in the late 19th century."

---What was the weapon?

Rain,

"I believe reincarnation is the answer for what happens. Reincarnation (and that does not have to mean the exact Hindu, Buddhist or New Age views of it) gives us the greatest possible reason to make this life as effective as we can because if we do have to come back, we will literally reap what we have been sowing. But I don't 'know' that reincarnation is true."

---what is your understanding, as to what the meaning or origin of reincarnation is, that lies beyond Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Age views? Your above statement, sounds interesting.

tAo, nice comment. I better understand what you mean (or don't mean) by "awareness." And I resonate with what you said (or didn't say).

My basic point, which I made poorly in this post, because it's so tough to talk about what can't be talked about, is something like this:

We're all after truth, supposedly. (Well, most of us, at least.) We assume there is untruth that has to be shunned, discarded, risen above.

Yet most of us also are after oneness, love, unity, ultimacy. And in that, where is the room for two things: truth and untruth?

So this search, this craving, this intense desire for the capital "T" truth -- it could be the illusion that we're trying to escape.

Not an original idea, by no means. Mystics and philosophers of every variety have said that what we're looking for is so close to us, we can't see it.

I'm just starting to see what I can't see in a different light. Or so it seems. And that seeing was reflected, imperfectly, in this post.

[Tucson, just read your comment -- after writing this. So will add a "ditto." Good points. Again, what I'm seeing, albeit imperfectly, because my vision is so clouded, is along the lines of what you talked about.

We're addicted to the objective, because we believe it's what we really want and need. But we ignore the fact that our being, our essence, our everything, is necessarily "subjective."

Putting that word in quotes, because it's another example of a word that has no opposite, so doesn't really mean anything. Point to something that doesn't exist in "subjective" awareness/consciousness.

The finger points at nothing, as you said.]

P.S. to tAo, re. "improvable," I follow the great God Microsoft Word spell checker. As it commands, I obey (usually). I had "unprovable" and red squiggly lines under the word wouldn't go away until I acceded to Word's commandment to click on "improvable."

"The universe is I and I am no 'where' to be found."

NICE GRASSHOPPER!

I AM THERE WHEN I AM NOT THERE.

"YOU MAY NOW 'LEAVE' THE TEMPLE!"

YOU ARE VERY, VERY, FUNNY, MASTER

"YES, GRASSHOPPER, I THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE THE JOKE!"

LETS HAVE A CUP OF TEA MASTER.

"I WOULD LIKE THAT GRASSHOPPER."

> if you hold to a metaphysical, spiritual,
> or religious belief, what would it take
> for you to admit, "I'm wrong"?

Zen style is to not hold anything. That means perceiving any sort of belief in the same way as we would a medicine, or a tool. We don't ask of, say, an antibiotic, "Is it True? Is it Right?" Rather, we ask what it does. We have a disease, we try to take the right medicine, and we see if it cures.

We don't ask of a hammer or saw whether it's True or Right. We apply it to the task at hand, and see what the results are.

Just so with ANY belief. We can already perceive Truth (the sky is blue, sugar is sweet, etc) without necessity of believing in anything. We're free to use a belief or idea in our efforts to remove suffering; using words and ideas is a different matter from holding words and ideas.

Say someone is attached to accummulating material possessions. An idea like "Everything is Truth, God, Awareness" could very well be effective medicine to remove this type of desire/suffering. On the other hand, if someone is attached to thinking and ideas, then "Everything is God" would be awful, merely giving him one more idea to hold.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Stuart, you still cite a falsifiability criterion: removal of desire/suffering. Or a similar task.

So the question still remains -- what would it take for a Zen practitioner to say, "This practice is wrong; it doesn't work."

I assume that if the practitioner practiced diligently, doing what he/she was supposed to, and didn't get the intended results, that would falsify Zen for him/her.

Otherwise, we'd be left in the old religious game: if you had believed more, or had better karma, or whatever, you would have gotten the results.

I don't see Zen as being exceptional or different in this regard. It's another spiritual practice, and should be tested in the same fashion as other practices. If this doesn't happen, it's just another faith based religion.

No tea for Ram Singh..

"I AM THERE WHEN I AM NOT THERE."

He is no 'where' at all.

The master sent him back to his sweeping.

My thoughts on reincarnation are just that no religion might have the truth of what it is. Being reborn in a new body with a soul that goes on could be true and none of the existing theories on what it means or how it works would have to necessarily also be true.

When I did regressions (one summer over 9 years ago now), my stories did seem to have a karmic connection that you could see how things were learned and used, how it applied to the next time; but I can't prove those stories (experienced under deep meditations) were anything but allegorical ways to help me see things about my life. I will say that for all the stories i have heard where everybody has these fantastic past life stories or was Cleopatra, mine were very ordinary people and many of them ended less than happily. My impression was that reincarnation wouldn't be for the fun of it but rather for the development of a soul to be all it could be through experiences that one lifetime alone could not have taught.

Having read many religious takes on reincarnation, I don't know what the truth of it would be... nor whether there even is a spiral of life that is lived again and again. I have known a lot of people who do know though... or so they believe.

Do not seek the truth...

... just drop your opinions.


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Brian wrote...
> I assume that if the practitioner
> practiced diligently, doing what he/she
> was supposed to, and didn't get the
> intended results, that would falsify Zen
> for him/her.

Here's the fundamental point: what results do you want? What is it that you're trying to get? For what, for who?

If you never take a break from chasing after desired results, then you never have a moment to examine, question, and inquire into your own desires.

> I don't see Zen as being exceptional or
> different in this regard. It's another
> spiritual practice, and should be tested
> in the same fashion as other practices.

Taking a clear look at "What do I want?" is a point, and it's got nothing to do with holding opinions about "Zen" or "religion" or anything else.

When you talk about "testing," I understand you to mean: "Does this practice get me the results I want?" In all sorts of different contexts, we're already familiar with the experience of striving after what we want, and what it's like to get or to not get. After becoming sufficiently exhausted from "I want to get something," a deeper and different questioning may appear, a simple "What is this??"

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Rain,

You mentioned, in your above comment;

"When I did regressions (one summer over 9 years ago now), my stories did seem to have a karmic connection that you could see how things were learned and used, how it applied to the next time; but I can't prove those stories (experienced under deep meditations) were anything but allegorical ways to help me see things about my life."

---What do you mean by, "Regressions?"
If this area is of a private nature, feel free to say so. I'm curious as to what regressions are.
Thanks,
Roger

"The master sent him back to his sweeping."

No, the Master sent me back to make WAVES -- in the little pond you paddle around in.

Did you "Bob" up and down?

Did the above cause you to swallow an excessive amount of water?

If you knew when to keep your mouth closed -- this wouldn't happen.

We wouldn’t want you to drown in your little pond -- would we?


RAM SINGH said:

"No, the Master sent me back to make WAVES -- in the little pond you paddle around in."

-- Ahh Hah! Gotcha! Now we finally have a confession, a direct admission of Ram Singhs's real agenda here... as well as the agenda of his so-called "Master".

He says and admits that his "Master sent" him here "to make WAVES" -- otherwise known as sent here 'to make trouble' and to harass ex-satsangis.

Ram Singh hopes to cause us "to swallow an excessive amount of water"... otherwise known as swallowing his GOOFY GURU GARBAGE.

Ram Singh says that he wants us to quote: "keep your mouth closed".

What a pathetic moron Ram Singh is. And yet amazingy, Ram Singh SUCKS even when his mouth is closed. How about that!

And btw Ram Singh, don't forget to go "drown" yourself in YOUR OWN stagnant "pond"... otherwise known as YOUR SHITTY GURU-CULT SEWER AND CESSPOOL.

My buddy Marcel is a friggin saint compared to an asshole like Ram Singh. And where the hell is that darn Marcel when we really need him? He's probably over on the other side dancing with the stars.

Hey Marcel... it's time to PARTY dude! We got a mission for ya! We need a Kalifornia medium to peform some kick-ass exocisms on Ram Singh who's possessed by the nefarious spirit of his demonic-guru. So get off that psychic cell-phone Bro, and break out one of your rare vintage Ouija boards. We is goin psychic surfin down that ole Pacific Coast Highway astral pipeline.


OK, I'm in, but I'm driving. I don't trust you behind the wheel.

Marcel,

Hey Marcel my man! You can be the driver if you prefer. And come to think of it, you had better bring the Magic Shroom-mobile stretch limo.

And don't forget that Pabst Blue Ribbon casket full of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer!!!

And I'll bring old man Mescalito. I also called my buddy Ryan Bingham down in Austin, and he said he would come and furnish the tunes for us. http://www.binghammusic.com http://www.losthighwayrecords.com/artist/default.aspx?aid=257

And hopefuly Brian and his lady will do some genuine Tango dancing on the head of a pin for us.

Everybody is welcome to come, but be sure to bring along a few Vegas strippers and hookers and some Vino Veritas.

And Marcel, while you're at it, would you kindy ring up my old deceased friend Hunter S. Thompson on the psychic-medium hot-line, and tell him to rendezvous at Venice Beach before sundown... and tell him to bring some Acapulco Gold, some Blotter, and a case of Toltec Tequila.... oh yeah, and a bag of illegal fireworks. That oughta do it.

Remember that I'm counting on you Marcel. I'm not that young White Rabbit that I used to be. Pick me up at the LA airport - I'll be taking the last Jefferson Starship out of San Francisco. And don't be late Bro.


"Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Though I know that evenin's empire has returned into sand,
Vanished from my hand,
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping.
My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet,
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship,
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip,
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin'.
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go under it.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Though you might hear laughin', spinnin', swingin' madly across the sun,
It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin'.
And if you hear vague traces of skippin' reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it's just a ragged clown behind,
I wouldn't pay it any mind, it's just a shadow you're
Seein' that he's chasing.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you. "


RAM SINGH wrote:

"No, the Master sent me back to make WAVES in the little pond you paddle around in."

--Please explain what you mean by "the little pond", and since you believe I am paddling in the little pond I assume you believe you paddle in a larger one. What pond would that be? Why would your perspective from that pond cause you to take such apparent offense to my view from the little one?

"If you knew when to keep your mouth closed -- this wouldn't happen."

--What happened? If you mean that your post would somehow disturb or chastise me, you are mistaken. Bring it on RAM SINGH!! My mouth is still open.


I like Dylan, or the Peter, Paul & Mariah Carrey version if you prefer, but I'm in the mood for Jump Around by House of Pain...

Pack it up, pack it in
Let me begin
I came to win
Battle me that's a sin
I won't tear the sack up
Punk you'd better back up
Try and play the role and the whole crew will act up
Get up, stand up, come on!
Come on, throw your hands up
If you've got the feeling jump across the ceiling
Muggs is a funk fest, someone's talking junk
Yo, I'll bust em in the eye
And then I'll take the punks home
Feel it, funk it
Amps it are junking
And I got more rhymes than there's cops that are dunking
Donuts shop
Sure 'nuff I got props from the kids on the Hill
Plus my mom and my pops

[Chorus]

I came to get down [2x]
So get out your seats and jump around
Jump around [3x]
Jump up Jump up and get down.
Jump [17x]
I'll serve your ass like John MacEnroe
If your girl steps up, I'm smacking the ho
Word to your moms I came to drop bombs
I got more rhymes than the bible's got psalms
And just like the Prodigal Son I've returned
Anyone stepping to me you'll get burned
Cause I got lyrics and you ain't got none
So if you come to battle bring a shotgun
But if you do you're a fool, cause I duel to the death
Try and step to me you'll take your last breath
I gots the skill, come get your fill
Cause when I shoot ta give, I shoot to kill

[Chorus]

I'm the cream of the crop, I rise to the top
I never eat a pig cause a pig is a cop
Or better yet a terminator
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger
Try'n to play me out like as if my name was Sega
But I ain't going out like no punk bitch
Get used to one style and you know I might switch
It up up and around, then buck buck you down
Put out your head then you wake up in the Dawn of the Dead
I'm coming to get ya, coming to get ya
Spitting out lyrics homie I'll wet ya

[Chorus]
Jump [32x]

Dear Bob,

You write:

“Please explain what you mean by ‘the little pond’ and since you believe I am paddling in the little pond I assume you believe you paddle in a larger one.

What pond would that be?”

Well, as you know ‘little’ and ‘large’ are relative words.

A little pond to you may be a very large pond to another.

The ‘little’ pond is the pond of words.

At best words are fingers pointing at the moon.

The larger pond is the WORD of words.

The moon itself -- so to speak.

That WORD is the True Guru and Master.

I think we discussed this the last time we conversed.

Namely, that after initiation one doesn't have to chase the outside Guru as HE is where He always was -- inside.

Also -- since there is no intrinsic difference between the Disciple and the Master -- why not contact the WORD and become Master yourself?

Of course there may be small obstacles.

Lets call them dogs barking at the moon.

… And of course the smaller the dog the more of a clamor it makes.

Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep!

… And if one loses patients and gives it a kick, than it’s whining will be heard -- far and wide!

So it’s probably better to just ignore the mean little things -- lest YOU be accused of "harassment" … rather amusing, if you think about it.

By the way, I thought it was obvious that I liked your first post.

Your "no tea for Ram Singh" response seemed a little off the wall -- so I took a glove off.

I had just come back from a rather emotionally trying funeral for my nephew -- who had been in a comma for six months before succumbing to death -- so perhaps I over reacted to your post.

It was hard to see the suffering of his parents, relatives, and friends.

... So there you are.

Regarding Ram Singh's comments:

Tucson asked Ram Singh:

“Please explain what you mean by ‘the little pond’ ... What pond would that be?”

-- But Ram Singh evaded this simple question by focusing on "little" instead of the question "what pond". He then says that "the little pond is the pond of words". But Ram Singh himself uses words, and yet rather hypocritically says that words are merely "fingers pointing at the moon". So which is it?

Ram Singh then says that "the larger pond is the WORD of words". The "WORD of words"??? What kind of nonsense rubbish is that? What is Ram Singh talking about? What "WORD"? Let's see it, and let's hear it.

Then Ram Singh even says that it's "the moon itself", and that "that WORD is the True Guru and Master". What kind of rubbish is this? And how could a mere "WORD" ever be a "Guru and Master"??? Ram Singh's statements sound rather cryptic, not to mention a bit mentally deranged as well.

Ram Singh then says: "one doesn't have to chase the outside Guru as HE is where He always was -- inside.

-- And just where is "inside"? Inside of what? Where "inside" is this so-called "Guru" or "HE"? What kind of meaningless pseudo-mystic mumbo-jumbo is this?

Ram Singh then makes another contradictory statement: "...since there is no intrinsic difference between the Disciple and the Master -- why not contact the WORD and become Master".

-- If, as Ram Singh says, there really is no difference between disciple and master, then there would be NO NEED to "contact the WORD", or to contact anything, or any need to "become Master".

Ram Singh then goes on to say something else about "dogs barking at the moon" & "the smaller the dog the more of a clamor it makes". Apparently he considers himself to be superior, and considers other human beings who question his ideas and beliefs about mysticism as being merely "small barking dogs".

Ram Singh then goes on to advocate the kicking of dogs. He says: "...give it a kick, than it’s whining will be heard -- far and wide". Then he says: "it’s probably better to just ignore the mean little things ... rather amusing, if you think about it." Ram Singh clearly sounds like he has an sick attitude problem related to the mistreatment of animals and violence, as that as somehow being "amusing".

It would really help if Mr Ram Singh would simply put his cards on the table (spiritually speaking)... instead of 'beating around the bush' and playing evasive word games.


Ram Singh,

First, my condolences for the passing of your relative and the sadness in your family.

You seem to be into a game of one-upmanship via cryptic remarks. Like tAo suggested, why not simply lay your Sant Mat cards on the table?

Here are my cards. When I say things like Truth is not any sort of "thing" or "object" or "the universe is I and I am not" these are verbal representations of intuitions and not the intuition itself. In that way the words always fall short, but sometimes it may inspire the reader's own intuition or apperception to see what is true for them.

In any event, sometimes in attempting to put into words the memories of intuitions I have had brings them to "life" for me. Hence, the presence of such writings by me on this blog. I save them and sometimes laugh at how lame they sound when I read them days, weeks, or months later. They're almost embarrassing. A small number I appreciate very much and a few of those have been appreciated by others here. That's all there is to it.

Another subject I comment on is Sant Mat which is of interest to me because I am completely versed in Sant Mat theology having spent more than two decades involved with that quasi religio-cult beginning in the late 60's. I know you will take offense with that description, but that is the conclusion I have come to. It is not a personal attack, but it may be taken that way because it violates what one believes to be true, the spiritual foundation of one's life. So, why not just explain in plain English any evidence you have that what you believe (Sant Mat dogma) is true? I think you will find that impossible. You just believe it and that's it.

When you speak of the WORD I know you are referring to the Logos, Shabd or Nam which is the creative, sustaining, underlying power, force or consciousness of the Universe. The true form of the Master is Shabd in Sant Mat, but that is also true of everything else by the very definition of the WORD.

You said: "The larger pond is the WORD of words. The moon itself -- so to speak. That WORD is the True Guru and Master."

In other words, you are saying the Master is God. You see, I have no need to objectify Truth (God if you like) in the form of a Master who leads me to it. I can't be lead to the truth I already AM, or to say it without the personal pronoun...this presence that IS which is always the case. It can't be seen because it is THIS which is seeing and THIS is no 'thing' at all. How could it be? It's really very simple. This which would find Truth is the Truth. As I have said since I started commenting on this blog...It is like a dog chasing it's tail, or the old cliche', The eye can't see itself.

You said: "By the way, I thought it was obvious that I liked your first post."

--Lacking the nuance of facial expression and vocal tone, one is often misunderstood in writing. This goes both ways. My response was a further clarification rather than a defensive retort.

You said: "Namely, that after initiation one doesn't have to chase the outside Guru as HE is where He always was -- inside."

--Location is purely conceptual without any factual existence. No matter where you go, here you are. There is no dimension or location. Turn a balloon inside out and the same air is present. How can anything be initiated into what it already is, what is already the case? It is like the satsangi believes the Master has given them a seat on a rocket-ship to some wonderous location that turns out to be the launching pad.

You said: "Also -- since there is no intrinsic difference between the Disciple and the Master -- why not contact the WORD and become Master yourself?"

--Whatever the Master is..I AM. Anyone can say it..Ram Singh, Joe Blow, a cat, the cackling hen. Join the crowd keeping in mind that the unfindable is all that we are, and the unfindable is the found.

There is no self and no other. Only renounce the error of conceptual thought processes and your nature will exhibit its pristine purity, it's unfathomable depth. There has never been an object or a subject to perceive it. There has never been any "thing" at all.


You write:

"There is no self and no other."

No problem

"Only renounce(who would there be to do the renouncing?) the error of conceptual thought processes" and your (who?) nature (what?) will exhibit its (IT?) pristine purity, it's (WHO?) unfathomable depth.(what has depth?)There has never been an object or a subject to perceive it (what is "it" ... NATURE?... PURITY?) There has never been any "thing" at all.(OH, I SEE: no "thing" only a "it" a "nature" a "whatever")

I'll never use the words "self" "Soul" "Word" "inner"
ever again.

YOUR words say it so much better.

From now on its "nature" "pristine" "purity" and "depth"

OK, you win, I tried.

The ironic thing is that I actually know what you are talking about.

Yes, strictly speaking you already ARE God, Master, Soul, or whatever word you want to use, and yes, ANYONE can say it.

The problem is the statement "I am God" is still incorrect.

The reality is that there IS no "I" only ... pick a card, ANY card... get it?

Whatever word "I" use will fall short.

Lets put it this way.

How would you explain what it's like to be intoxicated to someone who has never been intoxicated?

Or how would you explain what it's like -- the experience -- of being intensely in love, to a child?

How would you lay your cards on the table?

You know that some day the child is going to have the same experience.

And when he does he will be the one to tell you about it!

Now I'm not trying to be "one-up" as that itself would be proof that I don't know what I'm talking about.

As far as I'm concerned we are all the same.

Forget "Santmat" or whatever you think the word means.

Let it go.

If you don't like the term Shabid or Word then use any word you wish or no word at all -- who cares?

You want to say "essential Nature" be my guest!

Call "IT" the TAO if you like.

All I am saying is that the great "oneness" (insert any word that you like) can be experienced.

And yes, I think a more "advanced" (insert a word here)whatever, can assist us to drop our preconceived(conceptualized thoughts) ideas and realize our "essential" "nature"

After dropping all these pebbles in the little pond I have the feeling we are back where we started from.

Maybe this will help:

"The Tao has no form nor substance -- yet it sustains Heaven and Earth.

Tao has no name -- yet it is the animating force that gives life to all beings.

Because it is so mystical and powerful, there really is no proper word to represent it." (Master Lao-Tze)

I've been trying to indicate the Tao all along, I just used different words.

Lao-Tze lays the cards out for me.

You may substitute holy Name, Shabid, Nameless Name, Great Spirit, or whatever word you prefer in place of Tao, the meaning remains the same.

Thanks for the well wishes.

I got to go to bed now.

Maybe we can talk or not talk later.

Good night!


This is an interesting exchange!

Tuscon and Ram Singh,

you guys are exactly on the SAME PAGE with the exception of RAM SINGH laying claim to an advanced soul asisting a less advanced soul being possible. Advanced means less conceptual (and other) coverings.

But you guys otherwise are on the exact same page.

Ram Singh wrote:

"Only renounce(who would there be to do the renouncing?) the error of conceptual thought processes" and your (who?) nature(what?) will exhibit its (IT?) pristine purity, it's (WHO?) unfathomable depth.(what has depth?)There has never been an object or a subject to perceive it (what is "it" ... NATURE?... PURITY?) There has never been any "thing" at all.(OH, I SEE: no "thing" only a "it" a "nature" a "whatever")

--Please. This is simple. We have to use some sort of terminology to have a discussion. Words such as "it", "Truth", "Purity", "Renounce", "I", "me", "you", any pronoun, are just indicators of THIS to which no such terminology actually applies. Taking my words literally is not my intent. It is the "spirit" of the words, or what is implied between the lines that is what I'm getting at (even "at" is misleading). You know very well that terminology is relative by its very nature, but it is the only tool we have on this blog. The most truthful and accurate thing I could say would be to leave a blank page. Maybe this is why sages are often silent. I have gone through this before. Please, let's not parse words. Give me a break, a little poetic license, and try to "hear" what I am saying. It is like you are deliberately nit-picking to gain some sort of intellectual advantage.

You said: "OK, you win, I tried."

I'm not trying to win anything. I'm just trying to clarify what I am trying to communicate. If I am clearly understood, that would be a victory.

You said: "The problem is the statement "I am God" is still incorrect."

--Yes, it is. Here is a hypothetical discussion:

Q- What are objects?

A- Objects are I. The whole sensorially perceptible, knowable and imaginable universe is I.

Q- So you are the universe?

A- Not at all. The universe is 'I'. God is not the universe. The universe is God.

Q- What is the difference?

A- In physics, none: in metaphysics-absolute difference, the difference between subject and object. The universe is not the subject of God.

Q- Then the universe is both God and you?

A- Certainly not: it may be both God and 'I'.

Q- So you are God?

A- Not at all: 'God' is an object, your concept, and so are 'you'. As for me, this-which-I-am is not any thing at all.

Q- Then nor is God?

A- Every concept is a 'thing', but, as such, is not. Neither 'God' nor 'I' is as an object.

Q- You say that the universe is you. How do you know that?

A- I said the universe is I. You can say it, every bug, every animal can say it. What else is there that it could be. Where else is there for it to be? Movement, space and time are only concepts. There can only be 'I' and I am not, no matter who says it.

Q- Then why are the animals, you and I different?

A- We are not different. We only appear to be different. Noumenally we are one. As phenomena, as one another's objects, we sensorially perceive and mentally interpret one another as the dog, bug, you and I. But as what we are, we are not.

Q- So we are not, either phenomenally or noumenally?

A- Phenomenally we are as entities, noumenally we are not as concepts which also are objects. What we are is not entity or concept nor objectivity of any kind. Therefore, we cannot either think or say that we are any 'thing' because that is what we are not.

Q- Then we can't know our selves at all?

A- We can't 'know' ourselves at all because we are not any 'thing' to be known. We can only BE ourselves.

Q- And how is that to be done?

A- It is not to be done. It is. Everything is as it is.

You said: "All I am saying is that the great "oneness" (insert any word that you like) can be experienced."

--Now, in light of the above discussion... "Who' would experience it? Enlightenment is not an experience or any sort of thing at all that can be experienced by any identified entity. I will never be enlightened, nor will 'you'.

The rest of what you said seems about right to me...I could addresss a few of the remaining passages, but I'm tired so I'm going for a bike ride after checking out the July silver contract.


Tucson,

"Noumenally we are one. As phenomena, as one another's objects, we sensorially perceive and mentally interpret one another as the dog, bug, you and I. But as what we are, we are not."

---The One, that noumenally we are. Is this One, the no-thing? Is the One, an undescribeable?

I'm trying to get my terminology in order.
Thanks for any added comment. Again, no big deal, just an excerise in words. Nothing more.

Tucson,

"We can only BE ourselves."

---The "ourselves." Is this the phenomenal entity that we perceive that we are?

Roger inquired: "The One, that noumenally we are. Is this One, the no-thing? Is the One, an undescribeable?"

--Noumenon, the unmanifest absolute, aka Void, etc. is not even one, it is indescribable. In the intuitive instant when there is no subject or object, then it is understood.

I said: "We can only BE ourselves.

To which Roger inquired: "The "ourselves." Is this the phenomenal entity that we perceive that we are?"

--an utterly misleading statement on my part. Leave out the 'we' and the 'ourselves. Then throw out the 'can only' and then finally get rid of 'BE' because 'BE' implies an entity to BE.

There. A blank page. Now I'm satisfied.

Correction:

Ram Singh said: "The problem is the statement "I am God" is still incorrect."

--to which I said: "Yes, it is."

I more clearly could have simply said, "Agreed.", and then continued with the dialogue.

Intense intellectual analysis will only take us to the point where we realize it is a futile exercise. Yet, somehow I hope it will take us to the precipice from which we are flung into the vastness.

I think the root of most misunderstandings is the following:

You said: "All I am saying is that the great "oneness" (insert any word that you like) can be experienced."
--Now, in light of the above discussion... "Who' would experience it? Enlightenment is not an experience or any sort of thing at all that can be experienced by any identified entity. I will never be enlightened, nor will 'you'.

It is not clear what Tucson is denying here despite the light of his discussion with himself is supposed to bring. And that is understandable since we are referring to very ambiguous realities with inconvenient words here. Unfortunately, once we try to go for the ‘spirit’ of the words and bypass the semantic it is still difficult to square Tucson denial with the following two passages attributed to Bankei.

“The master, frustrated in his attempts to resolve the feeling of doubt which weighed so heavily on his mind, became deeply disheartened. Signs of serious illness appeared. He began to cough up bloody bits of sputem. He grew steadily worse, until death seemed imminent. He said to himself, “Everyone has to die. I’m not concerned about that. My regret is dying with the great matter I’ve been struggling with all these years, since I was a small boy, still unresolved.” His eyes flushed with hot tears. His breast heaved violently. It seemed his ribs would burst. Then, just at that moment, awakening came to him - like a bottom falling out of a bucket. Immediately, his health began to return, but still he was unable to express what he had realized. Then, one day, in the early hours of the morning, the scent of plum blossoms carried to him in the morning air reached his nostrils. At that instant, all attachments and obstacles were swept from his mind once and for all. The doubts that had been plaguing him ceased to exist.”

“When it comes to the truth I uncovered when I was twenty-six and living in retreat at the village of Nonaka in Ako in Harima - the truth for which I went to see Dosha and obtained his confirmation - so far as the truth is concerned, between that time and this, from beginning to end, there hasn't been a shred of difference. However, so far as penetrating the great truth of Buddhism with the perfect clarity of the Dharma Eye and realizing absolute freedom, between the time I met Dosha and today, there's all the difference of heaven and earth!”

Norman Waddell, trans., The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei 1622-1693 (San Francisco, CA: North Point Press, 1984)

Bankei is well aware that “there is nothing to do”, i.e. “so far as the truth is concerned, between that time and this, from beginning to end, there hasn't been a shred of difference”

And yet, he is not afraid—and actually knows the mistake associated with not doing so—to go one step further. “However, so far as penetrating the great truth of Buddhism with the perfect clarity of the Dharma Eye and realizing absolute freedom, between the time I met Dosha and today, there's all the difference of heaven and earth!”

That sounds to me like a mind that has experienced something—whatever that his and even if it is never the ‘whole of it. A definite change did occur: there is the before and after of doubts … Bankei does not mind to refer to ‘awakening’. The thing is that this ambiguity—with a singularity of awakening occurring and involving somehow the mind of human being—can be found as well in the work of Meister Eckhart:
“Do you know if your child [Eckhart’s metaphor for awakening in this sermon] and if it is denuded, that is, if you have become the Son of God? As long as you have sorrow in your heart … your child is not born.”
“To know the Father we must be the Son … what constitutes a man as Son most of all is equanimity.”

Or Spinoza,
“This, therefore, may the more rightly and truly be called Rebirth, because, as we shall show, an eternal and immutable constancy**1 comes only this from Love and Union.” (short treatise section 2 chapter 22) (He latter offers a more mature articulation in the Ethics)
**1 Constancy of the mind

And Niz: He likes the metaphor of a explosion clearly distinguishing between a before and after with respect to its own existence.

And many others (Dogen, Hakuin, etc.).

Again, it is difficult to square these observations with the following narrative written by Tucson:
“A- We can't 'know' ourselves at all because we are not any 'thing' to be known. We can only BE ourselves.
Q- And how is that to be done?
A- It is not to be done. It is. Everything is as it is.”

Reality is reality! The subject is not object … What a shocker! All the aforementioned historical figures call for something more than the intellectual recognition that “reality is reality”!

Among many, there are two issues I would like to emphasize:

As Bankei and others allude to it is misleading and incorrect to call ‘awakening’ an experience. But it also as misleading and incorrect to say that is not ‘involving’ experience.

A second issue is that many people will confuse these absolute singularities with experiences of Samadhi: temporary loss of the self or experiences of infinite openness and unity, etc. In the Zen tradition Samadhi and Satori refer to two different actualities—and they are easily confused. What could be the difference? Let’s take Tucson’s beach narrative or the most recent one for instance:

“Let's just say I was at the beach (it could just as easily have been in a shopping mall) and this realization came over me. It was all perfectly clear in an instant, a. I call it the undifferentiated state. It is just a recognition of how things are. It was so simple! Then I thought, "OH, This is it! Wow!" I got excited and instead of BEING this realization I started to think ABOUT it. The 'I' returned and tried to grasp it. At this point IT became an object and I became the subject experiencing it and lo and behold there was tucson again up to his old tricks and the recogniton ceased to be dynamic and alive, but rather a memory”

“we are flung into the vastness”

Those are (bad and artificial) evocations of samadhi experiences—if they are pointing to anything at all. Awakening refers to a reality that does not involve anything that can eventually be ‘sucked under’ (as Hakuin would say) by reflexive thinking or anything else for that matter. Nothing can make anything vanish because there nothing to vanish in the first place. What kind of Oneness or eternity (thoughtless instant that could have been millions of years) is that if it can be defeated so easily by a thought!!!!! :)

And so what happened for the aforementioned historical figures was a radical ‘turnaround’ (call it Rebirth, Birth of the Son , Explosion or the falling of the ripped fruit, etc.) beyond their particular mind but which had a definite impact on the dynamics informing the unfolding of their minds. Some dynamics of knowing (which includes thoughts) have changed forever—though they might not be consciously experienced and recognized immediately by some layers of the mind. As Bankei makes clear, there an aftermath endless unfolding of changes for a particular mind … and there is clear before and after. Niz has never denied that for instance. A popular expression is that thoughts are simply ‘without hindrance’, or call it equanimity like Eckhart or constancy of the mind like Spinoza. And these changes of dynamics are experienced by a self-conscious presence—after all Bankei and the others spoke about it! So again, there is no need for Bankei or us for that matter to deny anything: nothing changes and everything changes.
Also we should not try to make anything unnecessary from these guys. They were quite ordinary in many ways when not either or almost persecuted (Spinoza and Echkart). They lived an ordinary life and shit happened ...


As Roger’s questions illustrate well when you are very skittish with words and speak only about the absolute—which cannot be really spoken of after all—it is very difficult for someone to understand what is meant. To talk about the relative to simply affirm that is relative, or appearance, or phenomenon, that which is an object, etc. without ever going further, is tantamount to a tautology known by all. You asked: "Who' would experience it? Is it not obvious!?

Again, it is not clear what Tucson is denying here: “ I will never be enlightened, nor will 'you'.” And don’t worry, I have heard that stuff many times from different people and get the ‘spirit(s)’ of it. Your narratives are common and well known after all. And someone should not conclude that because someone rejects them as incomplete and misleading that the spirit is not ‘understood’.

The Elephant is well-read and makes some interesting points and observations. I hear a lot about this Spinoza dude and Meister Eckhart. Maybe I should get around to reading some of their stuff one of these days, just so I know where people are coming from. I read something by Niz once, but I found his way of expression kind of laborious. For me anyway. One book I like is by Robert Adams "Silence of the Heart". He was influenced by Ramana Maharshi.

The Elephant: "It is not clear what Tucson is denying here despite the light of his discussion with himself is supposed to bring."

--It's not 'supposed' to bring anything. If it does, fine.

I think the Elephant would like a dramatic event accompanied by perpetual ecstacy. This may occur, but such states are just passing phenomena like everything else.

The perception of an awakened person is identical to our own. It's thinking that messes us up. There is no end to analysis which is useful only to a point. Then it becomes a barrier. You can't force understanding to occur via an act of will or thought process. The brilliant intellectual has no particular advantage except perhaps sometimes the ability to recognize superstition and dogma. But there are many brilliant superstitious dogmatists. There is no way to explain reality. There is no sure way to explain someone to recognition of it, although some remark may be a catalyst. One might try to explain what reality might be like, but it is not 'like' anything. It's inconceivable, but we already see it. The real problem is trying to hold on to it because there is nothing static about it. Whatever you cling to, let it go and let it just be THIS.

I think in Zen they call ecstatic experiences "Kensho", but enlightenment is not an ecstatic or blissful state. There may be times when we are struck by a sudden clarity but it is not a perpetual ride down the yellow brick road clicking our heels. It is perhaps a lightening of the load. No longer the illusory burden and responsibility of an individual self. The old fellow crops up all the time, but it is seen as a passing phenomena like everything else.

It's not like you say, "OK, I'm enlightened, now what?" like it is some kind of thing in time. There is no after enlightenment. It is more of a continuous unfoldment. I think the main thing you get is that there was never any 'you' to have enlightenment in the first place. There is not any particular thing about it you can hold on to and give it a name or description. One thing that is seen is that nothing persists. Even THIS that I speak of is transitory without substance. Nothing holds still. It's always now, but even now is illusory because it is gone before you know it.

the Elephant: "What kind of Oneness or eternity (thoughtless instant that could have been millions of years) is that if it can be defeated so easily by a thought!!!!! :)"

--I don't know, but that is exactly what happens all the time. There is nothing wrong with right now unless you think about it says Sailor Bob (a Niz type guy).

the Elephant: The subject is not object … What a shocker! All the aforementioned historical figures call for something more than the intellectual recognition that “reality is reality”!

--Well, despite the sarcasm, it is as simple as that. It's too simple for smart people so they miss it. "It's got to be more than that!?" Nope.

the Elephant: "To talk about the relative to simply affirm that is relative, or appearance, or phenomenon, that which is an object, etc. without ever going further, is tantamount to a tautology known by all. You asked: "Who' would experience it? Is it not obvious!?"

--In my view it is all about being reminded of the obvious. It is not a thing that can be 'known' by all or anyone, but we experience it every moment without recognizing it. Your glasses are on your nose, silly!

Finally the Elephant says: "Again, it is not clear what Tucson is denying here: “ I will never be enlightened, nor will 'you'.” And don’t worry, I have heard that stuff many times from different people and get the ‘spirit(s)’ of it. Your narratives are common and well known after all. And someone should not conclude that because someone rejects them as incomplete and misleading that the spirit is not ‘understood’."

--I'm not convinved that you do, but if so, Good!!

and good night.

"I think the Elephant would like a dramatic event accompanied by perpetual ecstacy. This may occur, but such states are just passing phenomena like everything else."

Actually, you are quite mistaken; and I tried to warn readers about such narratives in my previous post. 'perpetual ecstacy'! A naive caricature that perhaps aims at discrediting on the cheap whatever I wrote. “This may occur, but such states are just passing phenomena like everything else” You really need to go beyond and be more flexible with your rigid reflexive and conceptual categorizations: experience/(not-experience), immutable/fleeting, etc. It seems to hinder you capacity to be open to and consider different narratives. Or is it simple unwillingness to do so? As I said I am well aware of all the descriptions and narratives you make. Go to the bottom of them and you may realize that their inflexibility is only something you impose upon yourself.

The equanimity of Eckhart or Spinoza's 'acquiescentia' are no 'perpetual ecstacy', or fleeting states. The nature of their reality is ambiguous; and so they can only be discussed with a mind that considers a logic of the ambiguity so to speak. As your latest post I have shown, if you try to understand them with an unfortunate conceptual rigidity, you are quickly stuck with caricatures and end up distorting what these man have shared with us.
It is because it so simple that it is a little more complicated than that. You are welcome to refuse to make the effort to understand what others have to say and instead squeeze what they shared into your own narratives.

Sailor Bob may have sat in front of Niz but Sailor Bob is no Niz (you know what I mean). Sailor Bob deludes himself and the crew around him (simply check this guy; http://charliehayes36.tripod.com/correspondence.html; quite sad). As for Tony Parson and so many others, he is a naive being mistaking and selling naivety wrapped as simplicity. And they are a lot of folks that are just too happy to buy into it.

As I have said before the simplicity you tried to evoke—and that is reminiscent of Sailor’s crap—in the rest of your post is only a certain naivety that you feel quite comfortable to entertain. That is ok. It is fine (Your glasses are on your nose, silly) … until it is not (“I'm getting sick of this crap”, Tucson May 09 2008) …

Warning: there was a screw up
the link above does not work because of the character ";"
http://charliehayes36.tripod.com/correspondence.html

Tucson,

Are there just many different defintions for Noumenon?

--The noumenon (plural: noumena) classically refers to an object of human inquiry, understanding or cognition. It is an object as it is in itself independent of the mind. This is from Wikipia.

The term is generally used in contrast with, or in relation to, "phenomenon" which refers to appearances, or objects of the senses. A phenomenon is that which is perceived; A noumenon is the actual object that emits the phenomenon in question.

Are you defining the word differently?
I'm not trying to get lost in the words and definitions. The terminology is interesting. Nothing more.


"You really need to go beyond and be more flexible with your rigid reflexive and conceptual categorizations:"

--You may need me to do so because you are frustrated that you do not see. Besides, all categorizations and concepts are rigid and inflexible compared to what is being attempted to be understood.

"It seems to hinder you capacity to be open to and consider different narratives."

--Why? Narratives are just narratives. More gunk for the mind to wade through. I have no need for more narratives although I may enjoy them, or not.

"Go to the bottom of them and you may realize that their inflexibility is only something you impose upon yourself."

--I think the inflexibility you perceive is your own.

"if you try to understand them with an unfortunate conceptual rigidity, you are quickly stuck with caricatures and end up distorting what these man have shared with us."

--No, I'm just trying to cut through all the crap.

"It is because it so simple that it is a little more complicated than that."

--I still say it is simple. The error is making it complicated via endless intellectual exercise and judgemental analysis based on preconceived notions of how one believes it should be.

"Sailor Bob may have sat in front of Niz but Sailor Bob is no Niz (you know what I mean"

--and Niz is no Sailor Bob!! Actually, I know little about SB other than the title of one of his books which I liked (the title, not the contents so much). Whatever his defects or strenghts, reality is where you recognize it whether you're reading a profound sutra by a respected sage or a comic book about Daffy Duck.

"As for Tony Parson and so many others, he is a naive being mistaking and selling naivety wrapped as simplicity."

--That is your judgement and opinion about him...your prejudiced opinion of what an "enlightened" person should say or act like. But how would you know if you aren't one? And even then, how would you know? We're all as different in our manifestation as snowflakes. As for what he really understands, only he knows that, not you or I.

"As I have said before the simplicity you tried to evoke—and that is reminiscent of Sailor’s crap—in the rest of your post is only a certain naivety that you feel quite comfortable to entertain."

--Why would you prefer to make it complicated if it isn't? No amount of adroit intellection takes us any closer than we already are. I am flattered that such an erudite person as yourself would even concern themselves with the "crap" I have written.

It is ironic that the more we study and fill ouselves with ideas and concepts about how IT should be, what IT is, or how one might express IT, the further away from understanding this takes us.


Roger inquired: "The noumenon (plural: noumena) classically refers to an object of human inquiry, understanding or cognition. It is an object as it is in itself independent of the mind. This is from Wikipia...Are you defining the word differently?"

--Dictionaries don't get it, understandably, at least not what I mean by the word.

What 'noumenality' represents neither is nor is not. It is necessarily incognizable, because it is devoid of objective quality. It is like a mirror with no images in it. It is what we are absolutely, whether unmanifest or in apparent manifestation.


The 'apparent manifestation' would be the phenomenonal realm that we play our role in?
This role, we play, is what we have trained ourselves at, or have been trained by others.

I would wonder, is there an absolute empirical realm? Is there such a realm, beyond the mind, that One could absolutely know and understand?

Again, no big deal, just something to blab about.

Why do you keep blabbering on and caricaturing erudition and intellectualism? My posts were never about such things and never about intellectuality. My point was about what some spiritual figures shared with us; what they pointed to as some would say. And some of the tensions that I have illustrated earlier between what you point to and what they have pointed to: I did not create the tensions existing between yours and their narratives AND (mostly importantly) what they are pointing to (but you are welcome to believe otherwise). But you keep avoiding the topic and get stuck in your own fantasies about the nature, necessity or not, etc. of intellectual knowledge. Intellectual endeavor is contingent to what has been pointed to by Spinoza and Eckhart for instance. And that is why there is such thing as ‘Bhakti’ in Hinduism, or Ramana Maharshi’s ‘surrendering’ beside self-inquiry, or the fourteenth chapter of Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise. ‘Heavy’ intellectual endeavor and memorization can be useful but quite often become a hindrance, no question or contest about it. ‘Awakening’ has nothing to do with intellectuality—but does not deny it either. I never argued otherwise. So I really don’t understand your motivation to shuffle that in our discussion and keep bringing that up. You try to read me and what I write, and the quotes I present, through the fact that I know some stuff and can quote; you are simply missing the point. Go back and look at what I wrote and you may realize that you are making a big fuzz about what is irrelevant and an issue that I never raised; I simply quoted a few guys for goodness sake! Take a long breath and get over it :)

When I contrasted what you wrote and what others wrote I was not trying to ‘complicate things’—though you may feel that way; I did not create the tensions existing between yours and their narratives AND (most importantly) what they are pointing to (but you are welcome to believe otherwise). I raised an issue that you have yet to address directly (instead of focusing on a straw man of your own creation: some kind of story about a rampant and intransigent intellectualism that I would be guilty of in some alternate universe …)

Once again, you go for a ‘Dr. Phil like’ investigation. Frustrations? I know it is convenient story for you to tell yourself! But I am having fun with our exchange … how could it be otherwise: do you really believe that, as opposed to almost everybody else, I seek suffering instead of joy and pleasure!? Lets’ assume for the fun of it that profound frustrations compel my action(s). Then we can ask ourselves why, if I am as frustrated and miserable as you believe, would I keep coming back, instigate and reply to posts (a pattern that would only perpetuate my misery) that are not helping me but detrimental to my person because of your disengaged and glib attitude and posts. Why would I engage into a behavior that leads me to perpetuate, and even arouse, my suffering? Why would I no try to seek help somewhere else instead of repeating the same harmful actions? May be I am really stupid and have not realized yet that such actions are not working for me … Or may be I am not aware of it (self-deception)!? But then how can I discuss it the way I am right now if I am unaware of it? It does not make much sense. But again, you are welcome to entertain any fantasy you wish.

Or may be I am aware of it but I can’t help myself?
“But experience teaches all too plainly that men have nothing less in their power than their tongue, and can do nothing less than moderate their desires.” (Spinoza: The Ethics Proposition 2 Part 3).

But what would that mean? (i.e. that I am frustrated and suffering and I can’t help it despite all your words and advices of wisdom) If that would be true (not the excerpt but me being unable to moderate my actions in this particular case), then this incapacity to moderate my desires poses, as many have realized, a problem for your usual bits of wisdom (see above), which are tantamount to being told to drop desires or beliefs, and just to abide in ‘ever-fresh’ instant, no make a fuzz about it, stop being intellectual, reality is reality and it is it …This incapacity points to a key issue that is not addressed by such narratives. So, in a sense, if you are right, you are wrong.

Don’t worry about my happiness, or lack of it! When I will cease to have fun with our exchanges I will cease to instigate them and move to something else. As you said yourself, some stuff in life is not that complicated …

If you prefer to entertain fantasies instead of sincerely looking at what is shared here, you are welcome to do so. Can you imagine what it would be like if everybody would be inclined LIKE YOU to ‘Dr. Philisize’ their discussant(s)? Anyone could then make wild guesses about why you make such a big deal about a ‘straw man’ issue—at the great expense of what was really written.

Or why do you have the occasional but unique on this board (no one else does it) habit of finishing your post with informing us about what you will do after writing the post; somehow (coincidence?) it is always articulating a very ‘lay back’ and ‘ordinary’ activity associated with our daily life. The most recent was “but I'm tired so I'm going for a bike ride after checking out the July silver contract …” (and you can go back and read your previous posts over the years you will observe the occasional pattern I have described) Maybe it is completely innocuous to your personality … What do I know!? The only thing I know however is that when I grew up a kid who needed to inform others that (s)he was cool was not cool at all!

Or the frustrations you keep attributing to me, would they be yours by any chance—at least according to your own psycho-pop truthiness you keep using.

And so on …

Tucson: “The error is making it complicated via endless intellectual exercise and judgemental analysis based on preconceived notions of how one believes it should be.”

My parents-in-laws’ dog is very attached to them; so when they leave for work he will cry (dog style) and be extremely agitated for a quite a long time. He/it has a pretty good ‘idea’ about ‘what should be’ (parents-in-law being with it/him) but ‘is not’ (damn! They are not with me). But somehow, because it is a dog, it does not pass intellectual judgments or hold (conceptual) beliefs as we do. And yet he suffers in a way that cannot be reduced to or discounted as pure physical pain (Beside my parents-in-law nothing in his environment has changed). If you believe that imaginational suffering, and ‘error’ as you and Sailor Bob put it, are purely the results of high-level functions and dynamics of the mind than, as I said before, you are naïve. If you believe that mankind’s predicament (seeking endlessly for the impossible in money, sex, spirituality, etc.) depends only on these functions of the mind—and thus depends on simply ‘dropping them’—then again you are being superficial and don’t understand yourself or others as much as you REFLEXIVELY THINK. No doubt, these unique functions allow for this predicament to be expressed in ways that are unique to human beings but they are not the FUNDAMETNAL cause of it—though they will more than often enhance its dynamics and expressions and thus contribute to make things worse (so you can say there are causal relationships as well). Unfortunately, some people, may be because they don’t like to complicate things (is this attitude based on a belief or not?), will confuse these unique expressions (symptoms) with the ‘whole’, and sometimes the origin, of the predicament. As I wrote earlier, Spinoza and Eckhart, as well as Dogen, Hakuin, Albert Low, etc. dug deeper than that. Someone may be tempted to reply that there is no way for me to be sure about what is really going on in the dog’s ‘presence’ so to speak. That is correct but that does not entail that my guesses or observations are not (up to a certain and natural level of error) correct. That is because the same argument would apply to his/her observation: there would be no way for that person to directly disprove or invalidate what I affirm. It is then for indirect inference to support or not different hypotheses. And a purely solipsistic attitude is unsustainable from that standpoint and contradicted by our own actions. Nevertheless, that issue, though important, would require more than a few sentences.

You are welcome to reflect at me every judgment call I made here; but without ever supporting what you throw back at me, you are not really contributing much to anything … but again if that is your interest you are welcome to do so.

P.S. I surely hope for you and your family that you have a better track record at predicting stocks and derivatives than reading my psyche or sticking with the central issues of my posts instead straw man ones :)

Dear the Elephant:

This is getting way too complicated and personal. You have presented so much material that it would take me half a day to address the various issues you have raised in a manner commensurate to the effort you took to write it. So, my appologies for not taking the plunge, and then having more misunderstandings and issues raised as a result.

One thing I got and possibly the crux of what you are struggling with above is suffering. I will present something about that although at this moment I am under no illusion that it will assuage anything.

*****************************

Who is there to suffer?
Only an object could suffer.
I am not an object, no object could be I, and there is no I-object nor I-subject, both of which would then be objects.
Therefore I cannot suffer.

But there appears to be suffering, and its opposite, pleasure. They are indeed experienced, but still are only appearance. By whom, by what, are they experienced?

They are apparently experienced by means of an identification of what I am with what I am not, or if you prefer, by what we are not, illusorily identified with what we are.

What we are does not know pain or pleasure. What we are does not, as such, know anything, for in neither case is there an objective entity to suffer experience.

Whatever sensations of intensity may appear in the dream of manifestation are effects of causes in a time sequence, and apart from the time sequence they are not either as a cause or effect.

There is no one to suffer. We appear to suffer as a result of our illusory identification with a phenomenal object.

What we are is invulnerable and cannot be bound by suffering.

"Forget all thoughts and abide as That which is everything from the experiential point of view and nothing from the absolute point of view, existence-consciousness-bliss, always tranquil, with nothing separate from It, the self-existent being, and with the conviction that you are That be always happy."

--from the Heart of the Ribhu Gita

Tuscon and the Elephant,

If I may join the discussion...

I do think this is an interesting debate, so for clarity's sake, if I could summarize...

Elephant, to my mind, has pointed out what he (I am assuming "he") sees as a contradiction between the presentation of Tuscon's oneness narative and the oneness narratives of other folks generally recognized to be "spiritually aware." The fact or notion that there "is nothing to do or nothing that can be done" can lead to many differing attitudes and assumptions, and it is this point that is at the crux of the debate. For example, a bhakti stance is a relationship of helplessness as well, but one that recognizes feelings of intense longing and a desire for union, while Tuscon's stance seems to write off all perceivable effort to long for union (for example in meditation) as only ego-reinforcing. Just because one takes action, such as meditation, does not mean one assumes that one can "do anything" to change the situation. If I may be blunt, I think that while all forms may be passing phenomena in awareness, there, in the stance of some, like Parsons, may be, though I can not say for sure, an avoidance of some phenomena, such as the perceived phenomena of "longing" for lack of a better word.

Adam wrote; "while Tuscon's stance seems to write off all perceivable effort to long for union (for example in meditation) as only ego-reinforcing."

--If there is a liking for meditation. Why not? I think it is good to do adopt an attitude that puts you more conscious in the moment, but it need not be anything in particular. It can be done walking, working or riding a horse. It need not be a formal procedure, but it can be. I sit on the deck which has an expansive view and do nothing in particular except be there. Sometimes it's quiet, sometimes there is activity or noise. It all just passes like the thoughts. Sometimes thoughts are absent. It is not something 'I' choose.

I think longing just reinforces the feeling of tension, separation and duality..there is something I don't have and I want it so, so much that I am doing this process (avoiding egg whites or some exotic asana) to get it...me-it, me-it, me-it, ad infinitum. I love Krsna, I love Jesus, I love Guru Beyondananda rather than just being Krsna, Jesus or Beyondananda, but if longing is there, so be it. That's the way it is.

What you want is present. What you want is what is wanting it. Just be quiet for its own sake and just melt into the moment and whatever happens, happens. There is nothing you can do about it. At some point it is recognized there is no 'you' to do anything about it. That is liberation.

On the flip side, I can see where Bhakti might bring you to the same recognition. Via intense absorbtion in the beloved the sense of 'I' drops. So, do what you find yourself doing. That's the only way it can be anyway.

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