Reading a recent issue of New Scientist last night, I came across a brief mention of Bernard d'Espagnat winning this year's Templeton Prize for "arguing that quantum physics implies that reality must be partially unknowable, or 'veiled.'"
Sounded intriguing. And right up my interest alley, since I've done a lot of reading and writing about how quantum physics relates to mysticism and spirituality.
Here's a longer New Scientist piece about d'Espagnat's views (he's a physicist and philosopher of science). Excerpt:
So what is it, really, that is veiled? At times d'Espagnat calls it a Being or Independent Reality or even "a great, hypercosmic God". It is a holistic, non-material realm that lies outside of space and time, but upon which we impose the categories of space and time and localisation via the mysterious Kantian categories of our minds.
"Independent Reality plays, in a way, the role of God – or 'Substance' – of Spinoza," d'Espagnat writes. Einstein believed in Spinoza's God, which he equated with nature itself, but he always held this "God" to be entirely knowable. D'Espagnat's veiled God, on the other hand, is partially – but still fundamentally – unknowable. And for precisely this reason, it would be nonsensical to paint it with the figure of a personal God or attribute to it specific concerns or commandments.
The "veiled reality", then, can in no way help Christians or Muslims or Jews or anyone else rationalise their specific beliefs. The Templeton Foundation – despite being headed up by John Templeton Jr, an evangelical Christian – claims to afford no bias to any particular religion, and by awarding their prize to d'Espagnat, I think they've proven that to be true.
Absolutely. I don't see how assuming that reality is partially veiled from us offers any support to religiosity, since what is behind the veil is, obviously, unseen and unknown.
I've argued before, and will undoubtedly do so again, that science is incapable of grappling with the primal question of existence: Why does anything exist at all? And so is religion. Or mysticism. Or any attempt to know the unknowable.
Of course, this might not even be a real question. The "why" above presumes a creator, or reason. Yet existence may be simply a given, not to be reasoned about, never to be fathomed.
This seems to be close to what d'Espagnat is saying. I read the statement he gave on accepting the prize and agree with his basic stance (but not all of the particulars). See what you think.
Download D’Espagnat Statement
I like that he mentioned Plotinus, the subject of a book I wrote, "Return to the One." This long-dead Greek philosopher doesn't come in for much attention these days, though he should -- being one of the few truly non-religious mystics.
For indeed – and this is nothing else than the second consequence I just mentioned – this “ground of things,” this Real, quite obviously is not a thing. Clearly it is not imbedded in space, and presumably not in time either. Let us call it “Being” if you like. Or “the One,” following Plotinus. Since science cannot tell us anything about its nature, clearly it cannot tell us what its nature is not. And, similarly, it cannot rule out the possibility that also other forms of mind activity yield imprecise glimpses on it.
Note the "imprecise" and "glimpses." It's important to keep in mind that d'Espagnat is very much a supporter of science, and doesn't equate a partial intuitional unveiling of the One with the clarity scientific knowledge provides of the Many.
I do not claim for a moment that, just because he/she feels such an emotion, the listener to a Beethoven symphony or the beholder of Vermeer's View of Delft acquires a knowledge comparable in nature to scientific knowledge. Moreover, artistic emotions essentially imply the impression of a mysterious realm which we may merely catch a glimpse of. Manifest is the difference with science, which, within its domain proper, does really dispel mysteries.
A BBC news story listed five ways scientists look upon their field's relationship with religion. (1) The Atheist, (2) The Sceptic, (3) The Platonist, (4) The Believer, (5) The Pantheist.
Aside from The Believer, I've got a bit of each of the others in me. Which goes to show, as one would expect, that there's no single way to look upon the veiled mystery of ultimate reality.
Mystery is mystery. Why not leave it at that?
Some religious believers will seize upon d'Espagnat's views as justification for their dogmatism above divinity. However, they need to pay attention to what he said at the end of his acceptance speech. I find the last sentence to be a leap of faith, but the rest makes good sense.
Sure, it is not for a scientist such as me, who spent his whole life juggling with equations, to speak on spirituality. I stand outside the temple, so to speak. Still let me state once again that I feel myself deeply in accordance with the Templeton Foundation’s great, guiding idea that, even in this domain, science does shed light.
In my view it does so mainly by rendering unbelievable any intellectual construction – of whatever nature – claiming to yield access to the ultimate ground of things with the sole use of the simple, somewhat trivial notions everybody has. In particular, it reminds us that, even though images are needed, the letter kills, so that in this particular field science finally incites us to primarily resort to personal mental deepening.
Ultimately therefore its message there is not so very different from the one we get from the most beautiful and inspiring Romanesque cloisters. Of course I don't forget that in the world at large spirituality takes up many different forms and that some of them are quite definitely to be brushed aside, either because they went astray into fanaticism and apology of violence or just because they indoctrinate and overuse simplistic images of the type that stir up the crowds.
The worse, in that realm, verges the best. But the best exists. I consider I have sound reasons to believe in the ground of things I mentioned, lying beyond our ability at conceptualizing and which from time immemorial thinkers, less naive than was often thought, called “the Divine.” I like conceiving it to be infinitely lovable and am therefore convinced that those among our contemporaries who believe in a spiritual dimension of existence and live up to it are, when all is said, fully right.
This a little more interesting than all the other personalized twaddle about right vs wrong thats been postulated and promulgated in other instances all over this site.
becoming a tad more objective perhaps, who knows?
Posted by: ashy | March 25, 2009 at 02:21 PM
“The world is not comprehensible, but it is embraceable: through the embracing of one of its beings.” Martin Buber
Ah yes, "being". And we beings with self-consciousness are each, somehow, "an entity that has being, and that being is aware of its being". And despite our unknowing of what "being" ultimately is, despite the epistemological barriers (perhaps inherent barriers, ONTOLOGICAL barriers, if the Copenhagen view is correct), somehow we manage to "embrace" other being.
Hmmmm. Kind of like the Godel logical limitation on what we can know; except that somehow we DO know about that limitation, we have a "meta-framework" in our minds that is bigger than what Godel allows us.
Interestingly, it was a Buddhist quantum scientist, David Bohm, who thought that we might be able to dig deeper regarding quantum reality than the Copenhagenists would allow. Or at least Bohm allowed us to conceptualize "hidden variables" and deeper levels of reality-substrates, through the "implicate order" world-view.
'Mystery is mystery. Why not leave it at that?' Bohr would approve. Let the cat be dead and alive, super-positioned. You'd think that a Buddhist would also let it go at that. And yet, perhaps some Buddhists, through their deep mind states, do "embrace" being/reality, and observe quite reliably that there is more structure beyond what is currently our epistemological "mystery barrier" in quantum physics.
Bohm came up with some math concepts regarding quantum "sub structures" that are feasible, but not provable. (Not yet, anyway). They are generally not "embraced" (indeed) by physicists, but have never been finally discredited either.
Moral of story: maybe you can't give up. Maybe this ain't the end of the epistemological road. Maybe we're meant to keep searching, to discover and learn more, to develop deeper concepts and seek greater understandings. Maybe we haven't reached the epistemological "point Omega". Maybe we're not "the generation of destiny", as Jesus apocalyptically thought of his own movement.
Mystery is mystery, for sure. But thunder and lightening were once mystery; the passings of the seasons were mystery; the course of the stars were mystery. As the Kinks once sang, "for all we know, we might still have a ways to go".
Posted by: Jim G, Eternal Student | March 26, 2009 at 06:36 AM
Jim G, nicely said. I hadn't realized that Bohm was a Buddhist. But this makes sense. His notion of "hidden variables" is appealing to many (including me) since it connects the causality of everyday life with how the quantum world works.
I've been reading a book that relates quantum theory with Buddhism. This is a stumbling block for Buddhist-leaning scientists, how the notion of interconnected causes (karma) meshes with quantum causelessness and probabilities.
I like how Buddhists are so willing to admit problems relating science with their philosophy. Religions typically ignore such problems, or assume the religion is correct and science is wrong. Buddhists, by and large, do their best to flow with science.
Posted by: Brian | March 26, 2009 at 09:59 AM
yup Jim G, Eternal Student, pretty much spot on, those that give up still have some ways to go, and those that don't give up know they got some ways to go but they keep on trucking in spite of every reasonable objection thrown in their gauntlets path, something along the lines of the Buddhist ideal or synopsis that its the journey that is the discovery and not the end, or as Richard Alpert once tried putting it as 'be here now'.
For anyone to negate what the great Guatama Sidhartha proclaimed to have reached is tantamount to not being willing to negotiate the journey.
'I reached in experience the nirvana which is unborn, unrivaled, secure from attachment, undecaying and unstained. This condition is indeed reached by me which is deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, tranquil, excellent, beyond the reach of mere logic, subtle, and to be realized only by the wise'.
'It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell'.
or as Sri Ramana Maharshi would put it
'Mind is consciousness, which has limitations. We are originally unlimited and perfect. Later on we take on limitations and become the mind'.
'When the mind is left without anything to cling to, it becomes still'.
'The inquiry "who am I" turns the mind introvert and makes it calm'.
'There is no mind to control if you realize the self. The mind having vanished, the self shines forth. In the realized man, the mind may be active or inactive, the self remains for him'.
'When we turn the mind inwards, God manifests as the inner consciousness'.
'See who is the doubter, who is the thinker. It is the ego. Hold it; the other thoughts will die away - the ego will be left pure. See the source from where the ego arises and abide in it. That is pure consciousness'.
So in essence to understand the mystery behind the mystery is to know the self
How more simple can it possibly be. Simple to understand, simple to comprehend, but not at all very simple to DO.
The mind has become far too complicated and skeptical for its own good.
Posted by: ashy | March 26, 2009 at 10:11 AM
"How more simple can it possibly be. Simple to understand, simple to comprehend, but not at all very simple to DO."
--Perhaps the understanding is that it isn't something that is done? Find out who would do it and you will have the answer.
Posted by: tucson | March 26, 2009 at 11:25 AM
"When we turn the mind inwards, God manifests as the inner consciousness"
---who originated this statement? How would this manifestation come about? Is there such a realm, as an "inner" consciousness?
Posted by: Roger | March 26, 2009 at 11:52 AM
I agree with "Simple to understand, simple to comprehend, but not at all very simple to DO". And btw its good to see you are calming down more now. Perhaps it is good for us to be able to express our opinions instead of having them stuck inside us, probably helps to be able to think more clearly (or not to think too much), anyway we are mostly dealing with our own egos.
I send this little message with love,
Posted by: zenjen | March 26, 2009 at 07:16 PM
Quantum physics is a hard science based on empirical method, experiment and robust independent peer review. Instead spiritualism/mysticism is a personal belief in a higher tyranscental power, which is unprovable and based on faith (which some confuse with subjective personal knowledge or experience through meditation).
We can argue definitions until eternity, but thats the just of it, these concepts are irreconcilable, since the argument against materialists is that spiritual belief is beyond the material, beyond our observable senses or experiments or measurment, in a different transcental realm - and yet this blurred 'god of the gaps' thinking persists.
So the spiritualist often turn to leading philopsphers or scientists that hold such spirtual beliefs, but herein lies precisely the problem. To be a good scientist one needs to be a free thinker, starting from first principles and guarding against making tenous connections based on personal beliefs.
The first problem with this article is that the Templeton institute, who presents this award, has the agenda of reconciling science and the spiritual, which straightaway tells one something.
The next point is that Bernard d'Espagnat is an oldboy obviously coming to the end of it all and trying to look for some comfort. This is not unusual, the rational thought demise of the once pre-eminant philosopher anthony flew was similar.
Quantum Physics may indeed imply that reality must be partially unknowable, or veiled, but this provides no support for spiritual beliefs. Any scientist worth his salt knows that such is the seemingly infinite nature of the cosmos, there is always likely to be something uknowable.
Science constantly refines itself providing more accurate models of reality, but for precisely this reason its never claimed to have all the answers.
Posted by: Georgey | March 27, 2009 at 08:01 AM
I tawt I taw a puddy tat sipping on his Cabernet Sauvignon
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 09:46 AM
Posted by: zenjen | March 26, 2009 at 07:16 PM
I thank thee for your little message sent with love
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 09:48 AM
Georgey, I agree. Hope you didn't get a different impression from this post, other than my agreement. Yes, the Templeton Prize only is given to those who support the Templeton Foundation's tilt toward other-worldly spirituality.
People read a whole lot of unsupportable implications into quantum physics. Mystery and questions don't equal God. Like you said, there always will be something unknowable. We exist within, or as, existence. How could it be possible to ever fathom existence?
Posted by: Brian | March 27, 2009 at 10:20 AM
And some would say that spirituality is in fact the ultimate science, all other sciences lapping at its heels.
The cosmic building blocks supporting one another from foundation to the roof tops
How could one even begin to separate any of it one from the other.
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 10:25 AM
"Mind is consciousness, which has limitations. We are originally unlimited and perfect. Later on we take on limitations and become the mind"
---Who is the "we" as mentioned?
---How does One know that the "we" are originally unlimited and perfect?
---So, how much later, did the "we" take on limitations?
Posted by: Roger | March 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM
yours is a very interesting blog, read thru many of your articles on the Sant Mat stuff, which my scientific conditioning nevertheless find intriguing and your different experiences of it.
i'd be interested to know some personal stuff, but i understand if you dont want to reveal such truths:
- why and how did you turn to SM initially?
- why do you think you never had a spiritual exp despite 30 years of devoted meditation?
- do you believe such spiritual (transcental) experiences actually exist or that they are creations of our minds?
- these SM gurus might be fairly remarkable ppl, albeit with flaws, did you ever get the feeling you were in the presence of some sort of ultra-enlightened being?
- do you ever wonder if you would get back on the SM path?
Posted by: Georgey | March 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM
"So in essence to understand the mystery behind the mystery is to know the self"
---what happens when the mystery is in front of the mystery? Will the "know the self" still come about?
---why the need for an "essense" to understand?
Posted by: Roger | March 27, 2009 at 10:48 AM
Posted by: Roger | March 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM
well maybe you should be asking Brian these questions seeing as he already has written a thesis on Plotinus's Guide to God-Realization, Return to the One.
"Mind is consciousness, which has limitations. We are originally unlimited and perfect. Later on we take on limitations and become the mind"
One should ask the question who is the driver, the perfect or the imperfect, the Alpha or the Omega, the beginning or the end, the intellect, mind, or soul, the limited or the limitless.
Is time and space a reality or an illusion?
Again it would be ludicrous for the intellect to be answering such profound a question, it has no capacity by which to view the bigger picture, it is fundamentally flawed in its capability by which to stretch its frame of reference or its reasoning to 'experience' the One that Plotinus spoke about.
This I believe is precisely why true spiritual scientists do not in principle beat about the bush of incapacitated intellectual hypothesis and analysis, they simply get on with perfecting the experiment and 'experiencing' or tasting the nectar for themselves.
In so doing the answer is automatically answered, beyond any shadow of any doubt
Experience, or tasting of the nectar sure beats the endless hypothetical analysis of it hands down.
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 11:03 AM
I have always wondered what denotes the differing perceptions or perspectives between say the agnostic to the existentialist, to the atheist, to the quantum theorist, to the mechanical scientist, to the physicist, to the spiritual scientist
Do any of these individuals honestly believe themselves to be a breed of creation apart from another, can there ever be anything but the One.
So if it is all that emphatically immaculately simple, what on earth is all this quantum complicated conundrum all about?
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 11:20 AM
"When the mind is left without anything to cling to, it becomes still"
---when the mind clings to something, how does it do that? How does One know that "stillness" occurs, as a result?
---back to the clinging, is this ionic or covalant in nature?
Posted by: Roger | March 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM
"The inquiry "who am I" turns the mind introvert and makes it calm"
---So why does One need to be calm, or become calm, when inquiring, "who am I?"
---anything wrong with a little agitation, when inquiring?
Posted by: Roger | March 27, 2009 at 11:49 AM
Why should only a few be able to taste this nectar?
Sounds like many meditate rigorously and still do not reach such an awakened state or spiritual experience.
More importantly, is the person tasting the nectar merely experiencing an illusion created by the complex human brain?
People in solitary confinement (or through drugs or other states of consciousness) often experience allsorts of hallucinations. Surely the idea of a spiritual experience which relies on intensely focused concentration and a psyche predisposed to such a belief, might also result in such a halluciation or illusion.
Meditation might well induce an altered state of consciousness, which i find very interesting in itself, but is it in fact a 'more' or a 'less' enlightened state in terms of getting closer or further away from reality? That is, for all the euphoria that might be induced by the brain in such a state and the heightened personal experience it might bestow on such an individual tasting such nectar, is it in fact, closer or further away from ultimate reality?
You say we start off perfect and it is our mind (intellect) that distorts or limits our perception of reality, but is it not equally possible, that such a complex organ as the human brain is able create hallucinations which ppl truly believe to be real experience of knowledge in the form of some sort of spiritual awakening, but that this is in fact an artifical construct or illusion created by the mind, which is further removed from reality?
Mystics having such experiences claim their's is more than a mere belief or faith, that they actually 'know' the truth, but how can anyone know anything without percieving it in the first place? and the only way any sentient being is able to percieve anything is through a physical brain.
Posted by: Georgey | March 27, 2009 at 11:50 AM
Gnōthi Sauton, "Know thyself !"
The first philosophy (Metaphysics) is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. ...
And here we will have the science to study that which is just as that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which, just as a thing that is, it has. (Aristotle, 340BC)
The entire preoccupation of the physicist is with things that contain within themselves a principle of movement and rest. And to seek for this is to seek for the second kind of principle, that from which comes the beginning of the change. (Aristotle, 340BC)
Only recently (Wolff, 1986 - Haselhurst, 1997) has it been possible, with the discovery of the Metaphysics of Space and Motion and the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM), to unite these ideas with modern Physics, Philosophy and Metaphysics.
And let me first say that it is ironic that the main problem for human knowledge also came from the Ancient Greeks, with their conception of matter as discrete Atoms (Democritus, Lucretius).
Unfortunately, Physics took the path of the atomists (Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Lorentz) and this led to the creation of 'Forces / Fields' (generated by particles) to explain how matter interacted with other discrete matter at-a-distance in Space.
It is now clear that the discrete 'particle' conception of Matter cannot explain Reality, being founded on many separate & discrete things (how are they interconnected, how do 'particles generate fields'?) rather than one common thing (that necessarily causes and connects the many things).
The solution is simple and obvious once known. We must simply discard the 'particle' conception of matter and replace it with the Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter in Space. i.e.
From matter as 'particles' generating spherical 'fields' in 'space' and 'time' to matter as spherical waves in Space.
Thus Space is the One thing that exists (with the properties of a Wave Medium) which connects the many things that exist (Matter as Spherical Wave Motions of Space). It then becomes obvious that the Wave-Center of the Spherical Waves causes the 'particle' effect that we observe. And so we move from the Metaphysics of Space and Time (which further requires particles and forces - thus four separate things) to the Metaphysics of Space and Motion (where all things are interconnected by One thing, Space).
It seems that many people believe that Reality / Physics is too complex for them to possibly understand (and I suspect that Physicists enjoy this reputation as being the 'high priests' who comprehend such complex things).
In fact the opposite is true - Truth is ultimately simple because Truth comes from Reality (as Plato correctly realised) which must be founded on One thing. And there is nothing more simple than One Thing. (This explains why Philosophy is also known as the discovery of the obvious!)
When you read the quotes from Plato on Socrates you will also find his ideas to be very simple. This reflects his greatness as a philosopher, and partly explains why his work has endured for thousands of years. (The Greek Philosophers were also very wise, had a good understanding of this dynamic unity of reality, and at times were quite amusing.)
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 11:55 AM
thats a pretty damn interesting account of the development of metaphysics and modern physics esp if its not copied and pasted, albeit seeminly disjointed, there are some ideas to ponder, i will need to do that.
your point of physicists viewing themselves as high priests is a subjective one, no doubt there is some truth to the claim, but every discipline on the planet has their masters, including the mystical gurus or satgurus who seem to be unquestionably revered in MS.
while science may have some ultimate elegant unifying theory, the complex intricacies of science as espoused by einstein theory of relatively have very practical applications too, so they are not only useful, but closer to reality than what came before including newton, the ancient greeks and so on.
Posted by: Georgey | March 27, 2009 at 12:10 PM
Who am I?
Am I this body
Am I this intellect
Am I this mind
Am I who I think I am
So who is this being who is I?
the agitated intellect and unsettled mind cannot be sure, the image is far to blurred in the agitated mirror on the lake of perception.
Still the agitation absolutely, for the vision to become clear, then pierce this intellect and set the magnificent mind at rest to know who you truly are.
The science of stillness is absolute
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 12:11 PM
"This I believe is precisely why true spiritual scientists do not in principle beat about the bush of incapacitated intellectual hypothesis and analysis, they simply get on with perfecting the experiment and 'experiencing' or tasting the nectar for themselves. In so doing the answer is automatically answered, beyond any shadow of any doubt."
---Interesting statement. Never heard of a spiritual scientist. Nothing wrong or right, with such. So, is the science, the Science of the Soul?
---Interesting, that these spiritual scientist have no need for, intellectual hypothesis and analysis. Hopefully, the science can still remain.
---any published data, that describes the "experiment" or "experience," that automatically produces the nectar? Is the "nectar" a thing in itself?
Posted by: Roger | March 27, 2009 at 12:14 PM
sorry have to go
will try answer later Georgey and Roger
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 12:20 PM
Very profound questions both by Roger and by Georgey
Let us see if one can do them any justice.
The danger is always at the risk of becoming brandished a fundamentalist, but then what is new, as Socrates was poisoned, John the Baptist beheaded, Christ crucified, Shamas Tabriz flayed alive, Sarmad beheaded, simply for stating the unadulterated truth and being brandished a heretic by those doing the brandishing, the castigating status quo.
Let us consider the Hindu understanding of metaphysics, which perhaps some here might be keen to shun as mystical hogwash, but nevertheless let us consider it in some depth nevertheless.
Yoga - or Union - and what it aspires to activate and achieve.
YOGA OF SOUND
Nada Yoga is the ancient Yoga of Sound - both the inaudible and the audible.
"Seek the Sound that never ceases, seek the sun that never sets." Rumi
"The universe was manifested out of the Divine Sound; From It came into being the Light." Shamas-i-Tabriz
"The Sound is inside us. It is invisible. Wherever I look I find it." Guru Nanak
Nada Yoga consists of two words. The Word Yoga means Union with the Divine Source of All Life. As the Divine is living within All things, so it is that there are many Pathways to the Divine.
The major ones are named Siva Yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Mantra Yoga, whilst we also find many, many others including both Agni Yoga and Nada Yoga.
In a sense Nada Yoga could be seen as a branch of Mantra Yoga as both are concerned with Sound.
From the views of both the Hindu metaphysics of sound (which teaches that sound has a fourfold process) and the inclusive Tantric perspective, Nada Yoga could be said to incorporate and include all forms of Sound or Music.
However, in practice the Nada Yogi places his or her focus upon what is termed the anahata nada or the inaudible (or a more literal translation: 'unstruck') sound.
That is to say a sound that is not made as a result of two or more objects striking one another. It is, in fact, a sound not coming to the human ear from outside of the body but, rather, from within.
Like many other kinds of yoga, one does not need to be a devotee of this path in order to have the experience. Just as one needn't be a Bhakti before experiencing union heart-to-heart with the Supreme Being.
Because such experiences are rooted in Absolute reality, they are ever-present aspects of That Reality that can appear at any instant to any individual found to be providing the correct conditions suitable for receiving the experience.
Perhaps the above gives some little indication as to the 'apparent' authenticity and application that leads one to experiencing the Nectar within.
Again this is just simply second hand knowledge, just like any sojourner after any journey would inquire about the destination and the means by which to undertake the journey, those that decree the journey or the experience can only hint at its splendor, they cannot grant you the 'experience' nor the taste of the nectar first hand.
Once the steadfast decision has been taken to undertake the journey, then the obvious solution would be to purchase the ticket, board the train, and head off in the direction it is carrying one to, that is if you have satisfied your intellect to the point where the destination of the train is precisely where you were intending to go to from the outset.
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 05:10 PM
Yoga - or Union - and what it aspires to unite (not activate and achieve, poor choice of concept perhaps).
Posted by: ashy | March 27, 2009 at 05:15 PM
preachy preachy preachy
yawn yawn yawn
Posted by: sanatana dharma | March 27, 2009 at 07:52 PM
In Sant Mat the approach is dualistic. Diety is objectified as something to attain and there is a prescribed method to get "there" via diet, meditation, initiation, vows, perfect master, sound current, etc.
Diety, in Sant Mat, is somewhere other than where/what the disciple presently is. The disciple must vacate the body and GO TO higher regions in some other dimension of consciousness. God is not 'here', it is 'there' in Sant Mat.
In non-duality no action is possible to effect realization, because that which is 'real' in us is so already, always was and always will be. We can no more "become" real than we can become ourselves. We have no action to take to be what we are!
Do we have to realize we have a nose? We aren't the least concerned about whether we have a nose or not, but we are concerned about achieving Reality which is even more obvious than our nose because it underlies every thought and action we attribute to ourselves.
However, our noses appear to be objects of consciousness, while our Reality never could be, and so we cannot know our Reality objectively as we can objectively know our noses, but our Reality is nevertheless a certainty. It is the ultimate certainty, a certainty ever present that can never be objectivized in any circumstances but AS which, nevertheless, we can be conscious in each and every moment.
As what we are, we do not exist objectively. God does not exist as an object. If it realized itself, who would be doing the realizing? Another God?
So, for the eternal question 'Do you exist or not?' there is no answer.
It is not a question.
But it is!
A question is only such in relation to an answer.
Why is there no answer to this question?
Because it is based on false premises.
It assumes there is an I to exist or not to exist. But there is not an objective I in the first place, so how can there be a question about its positive or negative existence?
Well then, you only have to answer "I do not exist."!
Answering implies someone to exist.
So then you do exist!
That 'you' begs the same question.
I don't understand.
This which I am neither exists nor does not exist; I have neither, know neither, cannot be known to have or not to have either, positive or negative existence.
No such question as yours can arise.
Now you know. Go chop wood and carry water.
Posted by: tucson | March 27, 2009 at 09:30 PM
Everything below or outside of the One is dualistic,
everything in duality is dual.
this universe is by its very nature a dichotomy of opposites
so therefore to even try and consider Oneness from here is a false pretension
It is not about going 'anywhere', but about going within back towards the One back towards unity and beyond duality
Very simple to comprehend, not so easy to become, because it entails stilling the dualistic mind.
Sant Mat is by no means unique, every teaching since time immemorial has taught the identical same tenets and realities, whether it be Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Lao Tzu, every Sufi mystic that attained the still Oneness within, the journey as well as the attainment is identical, couched under differing precepts and portrayed through various lenses, terminology, language, or channels throughout differing moments in dualistic time.
So to talk about being here now, or whether you exist in unity or duality is a dichotomy of terms, because even to consider the question through the intellect is a dualistic approach.
There is only duality outside of the center, the trick is to become single, but then this is the age old trick of all time,
To Be still and know that I am God.
Posted by: ashy | March 28, 2009 at 02:04 AM
To chop wood or carry water is perhaps similar to stilling the mind, yet this too is purely a concept from this position of temporal subjective reasoning, who could be so sure to know anything at all.
Now we know neither or nothing, just as we did before, just as our knowledge was based on false premises of duality then so is it still incomplete now.
To preach or ponder, talk or debate about stillness, oneness, duality, existence, to be or not to be, who is the voyeur and who is the subject, is all about thrashing water and not milk, you will never get butter from the water.
This venue or medium by which to identify truth or reality is by its very nature a false irrational format, no amount of ponder or reason, debate or deduction will ever get anyone any closer to being who they are or even to who they might perceive themselves to be.
it could even be classified as an exercise in futility, but then to thrash the intellectual ego charged water might perhaps get some of us thinking we are perhaps achieving something, even though no substance will be as a result of it here.
Posted by: ashy | March 28, 2009 at 02:50 AM
"To preach or ponder, talk or debate about stillness, oneness, duality, existence, to be or not to be, who is the voyeur and who is the subject, is all about thrashing water and not milk, you will never get butter from the water."
---This is a blog. One can preach, ponder, talk or debate, all One chooses to. Talk is talk, comments are comments, nothing wrong with such. Again this is a blog.
---milk contains water, if One needs butter, then the water plays a role.
Posted by: Roger | March 28, 2009 at 07:40 AM
"This venue or medium by which to identify truth or reality is by its very nature a false irrational format, no amount of ponder or reason, debate or deduction will ever get anyone any closer to being who they are or even to who they might perceive themselves to be."
---Blogging is blogging. A false irrational format? Could blogging be other things too?
---So when did pondering, reasoning, debating, or deduction become so negative, as implied. Information found in a blog, is just information. What is this "truth identification" stuff?
---Who said, they are trying to get closer to themselves, while in this blogging format? Who is perceiving themselves to be?
Posted by: Roger | March 28, 2009 at 09:42 AM
Ashy wrote: "Everything below or outside of the One is dualistic,"
--How can anything be below or outside the One? A contradiction in terms, don't you think?
"everything in duality is dual."
--Perhaps duality is not a place but a way of perceiving.
"this universe is by its very nature a dichotomy of opposites"
--Again, this is only perception. Oneness is always present. What other place would oneness be? How could there be other than Oneness?
"so therefore to even try and consider Oneness from here is a false pretension"
--The false pretension is believing Oneness is somewhere else than here.
"It is not about going 'anywhere', but about going within back towards the One back towards unity and beyond duality"
--It is not about going anywhere! How would Oneness go back to itself? It is itself!
"Very simple to comprehend, not so easy to become, because it entails stilling the dualistic mind."
--No, very difficult to comprehend, easy to become because it is what we are. Is it difficult for a tree to become a tree? No one can still the mind because mind is what would do it. Who is this imaginary entity that would still the mind? Mind just goes its merry way.
"Sant Mat is by no means unique, every teaching since time immemorial has taught the identical same tenets and realities, whether it be Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Lao Tzu, every Sufi mystic that attained the still Oneness within, the journey as well as the attainment is identical, couched under differing precepts and portrayed through various lenses, terminology, language, or channels throughout differing moments in dualistic time."
--That is a false perception through the lens of Sant Mat. Buddhism, for example, is quite different and who knows what Christ taught, if there was a Christ to teach at all?
"So to talk about being here now, or whether you exist in unity or duality is a dichotomy of terms, because even to consider the question through the intellect is a dualistic approach."
--Talking about it is dichotomous, but this is a blog and we have to fill the comment boxes with something! Shall we just post links to pictures of a waterfall or a pet? However, words can guide the intellect to a point where apperception may occur.
"There is only duality outside of the center, the trick is to become single, but then this is the age old trick of all time,"
--That is the age old trick, that there is only duality outside of the center. But there is no outside or inside of the center. That's like talking about an upside down circle.
"To Be still and know that I am God."
--Just being is God and no one to know it.
Posted by: tucson | March 28, 2009 at 12:10 PM
tucson, nicely said. You hit on thoughts that I dimly felt, but hadn't consciously realized.
Yes, it's interesting that while Sant Mat claims to be the common denominator of all world mystical paths, and even religions, there is very little talk about how Sant Mat relates to Buddhism and Taoism.
Like you said, there isn't much in common between them. Also, my main Greek philosopher man, Plotinus, is more Buddhist/Taoist that Sant Mat'ist -- in that he doesn't posit the need for a savior or guru to realize the One.
As you observed, there is no place the One is not. So you can't miss it. Just requires a fresh way of seeing, not a traveling somewhere.
Posted by: Brian | March 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM
Yes Tucson said it well, for sure. That was a gem of a comment. And you can't realy say it any better than that, or much closer to the point than that anyway. Because beyond there lays the limit of words.
Posted by: tAo | March 28, 2009 at 05:09 PM
We wrangling about same concepts using different brushes to paint the same picture,
so what is the difference if Plotinus said it or Lau Tzu, or Socrates, or Confucius, or Gautama Buddha, or Guru Nanak, or Maulana Rumi, or Ramakrishna, or Tulsi Das, or Soami Ji
They are all hinting at exactly the same experience using different precepts and language and expression, all pointing to the same sign posts along the same highway.
Whats the point of keeping score as to who says it more poignantly to our limited frame of understanding.
It still reverts to the simple crux of the same issue, go inside and experience the elevated awakening for yourself, however those that believe they can traverse the layers and regions across the vast plains of cosmic consciousness unheralded, unassisted, and unprepared, they are either extremely brave, or extremely foolhardy, or else just extremely delusional.
Find a teacher, whoever grabs your fancy, and try deduce if he is qualified to take you to the highest realm, once the deduction is acceptably made, stick with him through thick and thin, because alone you have no means of exponential awareness to verify the voracity and qualification you may meet along your unfolding path to discovery.
Whats more there is far more to this unfolding than simply deducing by means of intellect whether it is feasibly possible or not.
The path to becoming or being single or at one with oneself is the same path as falling in love, it is and can only become fulfilled when one in fact loses oneself in love.
It is only by means of losing the ego, losing the identity, losing the clinging to the falsities of separateness, becoming the other being, when one has no desire to be dual or separate, when the entire enveloping consciousness is urging itself towards unity, in fact towards the death of the separation, only then when we can die to ourselves, when we can die to the thought or attachment of our separate identity, then we can in fact become alive in the exuberance of the unity of the One.
And for this we need an object or focal point of devotion, without love there can be no unity in fact, without losing ourselves to another we can never become whole, just like two lovers seeking the immersing of each others persona in blissful unity of expression of oneness, the act of becoming null and void, of becoming the other being, this is the easy or only path to becoming at one with Love, at one with God at one with the absolute elevated Self.
And for this we would need a kindling of the smoldering fire by one who holds the candle of love, no rocket science needed here, only Love.
Posted by: ashy | March 28, 2009 at 05:26 PM
My comment relative to all this banter about 'getting (back) to the One' or getting closer to the One', or some such nonsense:
There is no no one and nothing apart or separate from the so-called "One" - so there is no "getting closer TO the One". Anyway, about this matter Tucson said it best (and Brian and I both agree), and any of the other attempts are just so much farther off the target.
Then along comes Ashy (aka Catherine from South Africa) who says:
"what is the difference if Plotinus said it or Lau Tzu, or Socrates, or Confucius, or Gautama Buddha, or Guru Nanak, or Maulana Rumi, or Ramakrishna, or Tulsi Das, or Soami Ji. They are all hinting at exactly the same experience using different precepts and language and expression, all pointing to the same sign posts along the same highway.'
-- No, not so damn fast. The facty is that they are NOT "all hinting at exactly the same experience", and they are NOT "all pointing to the same sign posts along the same highway".
"It still reverts to the simple crux of the same issue"
-- It is NOT the "same issue".
"however those that believe they can traverse the layers and regions across the vast plains of cosmic consciousness unheralded, unassisted, and unprepared, they are either extremely brave, or extremely foolhardy, or else just extremely delusional."
-- You simply do not know what the hell you are talking about. You have not experienced. Because, if you had been "experienced", if you have had experience, then you would never say what you said above.
"Find a teacher, whoever grabs your fancy, and try deduce if he is qualified to take you to the highest realm, once the deduction is acceptably made, stick with him through thick and thin, because alone you have no means of exponential awareness to verify the voracity and qualification you may meet along your unfolding path to discovery."
-- This is the worst kind of blind dogmatic propaganda - it is ignorant garbage and lies. Not everyone needs a guru, and no genuine wise teacher would ever say: "alone you have no means of exponential awareness to verify the voracity and qualification you may meet along your unfolding path to discovery".
"The path to becoming or being single or at one with oneself"
-- Typical pseudo-spiritual yet meaningless mumbo-jumbo.
"It is only by means of losing the ego, losing the identity, losing the clinging to the falsities of separateness, becoming the other being, when one has no desire to be dual or separate, when the entire enveloping consciousness is urging itself towards unity, in fact towards the death of the separation, only then when we can die to ourselves, when we can die to the thought or attachment of our separate identity"
-- Just another larger pile of pseudo-mystical rubbish and mumbo-jumbo.
"And for this we need an object or focal point of devotion"
-- Don't say "we". Speak only for yourself. You mean that YOU NEED "an object or focal point of devotion".
"without losing ourselves to another we can never become whole"
-- You are full of crap. That statement is nothing but ignorant nonsense. Wholeness is prior, innate, and non-dual.
From the Upanishads:
Purnam adah, Purnam idam,
Purnat purnam udacyate,
Purnasya purnam adaya,
That is the Whole, This is the Whole,
From wholeness emerges wholeness,
Wholeness coming from wholeness,
Wholeness still remains.
" this is the easy or only path to becoming [...] at one with God at one with the absolute elevated Self."
-- "only path to becoming at one with God"? Do I smell that unmistakeable odor of fundamentalism again? Yes I do.
"we would need [...] one who holds the candle of love"
-- You are full of shit. That is a outright stinking lie. No one "holds" love. And especially not any particular individual either. The feeling of love is simply the absence of the illusion of separation. All beings are love in their core.
Posted by: tAo | March 28, 2009 at 06:30 PM
Ashy wrote: "We [are] wrangling about same concepts using different brushes to paint the same picture,"
--I don't think so. Your conceptual brush paints a different picture than mine.
"so what is the difference if Plotinus said it or Lau Tzu, or Socrates, or Confucius, or Gautama Buddha, or Guru Nanak, or Maulana Rumi, or Ramakrishna, or Tulsi Das, or Soami Ji"
--Big difference between Buddha, Lao Tzu and Soami Ji's teachings.
"They are all hinting at exactly the same experience using different precepts and language and expression, all pointing to the same sign posts along the same highway."
--Soami Ji says there is a highway. Buddha and Lao Tzu have no such highway to anywhere nor any signposts.
"Whats the point of keeping score as to who says it more poignantly to our limited frame of understanding."
--The point is that there is a big difference in subject/object relation and/or lack thereof in their teachings.
"It still reverts to the simple crux of the same issue, go inside and experience the elevated awakening for yourself,"
--In awareness, where is inside? Where is outside? Awareness is just awareness. There is no elevation of it, just its presence. That's it. The cockroach can say it too.
"however those that believe they can traverse the layers and regions across the vast plains of cosmic consciousness unheralded, unassisted, and unprepared, they are either extremely brave, or extremely foolhardy, or else just extremely delusional."
--These vast planes of consciousness are just ideas. If they do appear, then they are just phenomena passing in/through awareness. The same awareness is present now in our current circumstances as it would be if we were experiencing dweeps of hansas in Mansorovar. Sach Khand is present now or never. Who can guide us to where we already are? There is no peril in this or need of a guide or protector.
"Find a teacher, whoever grabs your fancy, and try deduce if he is qualified to take you to the highest realm,"
--How can one possibly determine that? Besides there is no 'where' to be taken to. This is it!!
"once the deduction is acceptably made, stick with him through thick and thin,"
--What if the 'thin' becomes so obvious that sticking with him is obviously unnecessary or redundant?
"because alone you have no means of exponential awareness to verify the voracity and qualification you may meet along your unfolding path to discovery."
--So how can you determine that the teacher is capable of this?
"Whats more there is far more to this unfolding than simply deducing by means of intellect whether it is feasibly possible or not."
--There is no unfolding, just recognition. No deducing is required.
"The path to becoming or being single or at one with oneself is the same path as falling in love, it is and can only become fulfilled when one in fact loses oneself in love."
--The path to here is non-existent. When one is one with oneself there is no one to know it and no one to love. Love just is.
"It is only by means of losing the ego, losing the identity, losing the clinging to the falsities of separateness,"
--No, it is the recognition that none of this was present in the first place. How can oneness lose anything?
"becoming the other being, when one has no desire to be dual or separate, when the entire enveloping consciousness is urging itself towards unity, in fact towards the death of the separation, only then when we can die to ourselves, when we can die to the thought or attachment of our separate identity, then we can in fact become alive in the exuberance of the unity of the One."
--There is no 'other' to become or 'self' to die to. These are just ideas of an eye trying to see itself.
"And for this we need an object or focal point of devotion,"
--All we need is to recognise there are no objects, never were or could be. "
"without love there can be no unity"
--There is no escaping love or unity. It is always the case.
"in fact, without losing ourselves to another"
--There is no 'other'.
"we can never become whole,"
--We never weren't.
"just like two lovers seeking the immersing of each others persona in blissful unity of expression of oneness, the act of becoming null and void, of becoming the other being, this is the easy or only path to becoming at one with Love, at one with God at one with the absolute elevated Self."
--Again there is no path to this very presence of what already is the case.
"And for this we would need a kindling of the smoldering fire by one who holds the candle of love, no rocket science needed here, only Love."
--You are the candle of Love.
Posted by: tucson | March 28, 2009 at 07:09 PM
Golly, tAo,I hope you don't think I'm Ashy. I'm far on the other side of the spectrum. Isn't that obvious. I am from South Africa. In fact, I have a theory. RSSB sant mat attracted a lot of South Africans and Americans at one stage. I think that people living in places in turmoil, supression, or with more recently pioneered history are most likely to be open to charismatic churches, new religions and cults. I am sure that Europeans form a very small percentage of these approaches, having more stable lifestyles.
Incidentally, thank-you for the previous pics of beautiful young women on beautiful motorbikes. One thing I like about Harleys, is that they are there to be openly admired and they sound great. Young women sometimes also have these qualities. Beautiful cars, buildings and scenery- what a balm. You may be fortunate to find yourself on a busy beach or street where you live; if you are, you will see some rather gorgeous non-stereotypical women over 50 there.
See, unlike Ashy, I think for myself and I do not believe in Bhakti Yoga towards one person. I also go along with the common Eastern practise where if one finds that a guru is not suitable, move on to another, or none at all. SSSShake it all off. I agree with Brian that the mindset and perception of a twenty-something is very different to the world experience of someone 20 or 30 years down the line.
I also think that just about everything is based on neediness. As a result, be a fundamentalist (but don't push it on others) if the alternative is that you might fall apart... and in the meantime wait til things are stable enough to look at alternatives.
So, can you see the difference tAo?!
Posted by: Catherine | March 28, 2009 at 11:32 PM
Agree with Ashy's opening point that the underlying principles of mystic belief appear the same, tho i would be interested to hear what Tucson and Tao consider to be fundamental differences.
The principles common to mystical beliefs appear to be:
1) the existence of a Divine formless force underlying everything.
2) each person has a true inner self, kernel or spark surrounded by egos or wills clouding their perceptions and ability to know thy inner self and the Divine.
3) using meditation to allow connection or alignment of the inner self with the Divine and thus experiencing direct knowledge of the Divine, rather than thru the intellect with its egos which is inherently limited.
4) our purpose is self knowledge of the inner self, to know who we are, to know thyself.
Taoism appears slightly different, but appears to still require man to know himself to align his/her will or ego with nature, and that this is best achieved by putting the mind into a still passive or meditative state unburdened by the intellect or thought.
As far as i know Taoism like Sant Mat and Bushism each also have their own religious scriptures, paths and tenets too.
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 03:55 AM
Religions or systems of belief are formulated not by the teachers of the systems but by their disciples, and usually after they have left the mortal coil.
Christianity was started by those disciples of Jesus of Nazareth after he was crucified and formulated much later by converters who had never met him, same with Mohammedanism or Buddhism or Taoism, or Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, or Jainism or Sufism.
What disciples tend to do is crystallize religious tenets into dogmas through lack of personal experience and create religious movements as a result of this. Sant Mat right now is perhaps standing on the threshold of becoming perhaps another movement or world religion, just as Sikhism which was started due to Guru Nanak's teachings and handed down through a succession of Guru's ending in the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh when the line or succession ended and the religion became encrusted into formulated dogma. Now all Sikhs revere the Guru Granth Sahib, the written teachings, as the ultimate expose and treatise to discovering God within, yet it is flawed with the same lack of insight that we face right here on this blog site.
Everybody is arguing and debating about finding Unity or Oneness or God, some say it IS, others say it is yet unrealized, others say we are removed from it through our lack or shrouded separation from its absolute knowledge.
So either we are at One or we are not. Either we would be self realized and absorbed in the Oneness in which case all this debate would be absolutely superfluous for then what is the reason for the arguments and chastising egocentric concerns about who realizes it and who does not.
It is easy perhaps for the unrealized intellect to argue that it is absorbed in Unity when in fact it is very far from such absorption. Reality and concept are very different perceptions and far removed one from the other.
We can all categorically agree that everything is One, you are One and I am One and the entire universe is One, yet we sit here on a blog site in duality and argue the case one against the other, so the Unity we espouse is fictional, hardly real, just a figment of our unrealized egocentric imagination of intellectual conceptualization.
Buddhism has some very lofty ideals and tenets, also very intellectually stimulating concepts to believe we are in Oneness as we speak, and yet we have not realized it. So we can carry water or chop wood till the cows come home, if we have yet not stilled our dualistic mind we are still at loggerheads with our lack of unity, we are still thrashing away in the world of causation and duality.
We can continue in this ever revolving circle of endless debate, we can continue to thrash around a blog site in absolute lack of unity, we can pretend for all we like how at peace and how at One we are, but the reality of the actuality is we are unrealized egocentric souls, arguing about our very existentialism, and not in any frame or reference anywhere near to concurring with the conflicting dualistic concepts.
So in truth we are not at One at all, we like to conceive and 'believe' we are, but we are so far removed from actual Union and Oneness it is almost painful in its expose.
And like has been said on here till infinitude, it will never be realized by this intellectual medium, not until all grand dissolution's of creation have come to pass will there ever become Oneness or Union through exercising the intellectual dualistic ego on an internet blog site.
So to be fair and truthful right here right now I would hasten to suggest that those espousing lack of fundamentalism, those 'believing' themselves to be more open minded and non judgmental and non fundamentalist, are in fact the greatest fundamentalists of them all, for their self idolizing, self centered figments of their self engrossed imagination 'believes' themselves to be already more enlightened and advanced than the next, when in actual truth of it they are very far from such non fundamental belief at all, they are themselves totally absorbed in the dualistic arrogance of self centered separateness, and not at One at all.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 06:15 AM
So to cap it all
If you smelling some shit around this place it has to be coming from your very own dualistic ass.
Unless we all are already at One then the shit is absolutely mutual by decree.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 06:45 AM
These dualistic fundamentalists in here are absolutely convinced that every teaching is unique and different, none of these teachers from Buddha through to Soami Ji concur or point to the same signposts along the same highway, and yet in the very same or next breath they smelling fundamental shit about how at One everybody is.
So which is it, are we all at One or are we all fundamentally so f'ng far removed from one another we are at total dualistic loggerheads?
Please make up your minds because your confusion is starting to stink like dualistic fundamentalist clap trap to me.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 06:56 AM
So you'd better be at ONE or else!!
sant mat acknowledges many paths, but only to the eye-centre, thereafter it is quite specific about being the only way through the regions under the guidance of a sant mat guru. No that's not showing all ways to be ONE is it? And it's the path that you follow isn't it?
As a note of trivia, there are 100 or so sant mat gurus, but if Westerners like sant mat, I highly recommend RSSB. The Ashram accomodation and food are great; the show is fabulous and Westerners are given special attention from the guru with afternoon satsangs. The journey to and from Beas is an experience all of it's own.
Posted by: Catherine | March 29, 2009 at 09:21 AM
Catherine, your first two paragraphs effectively demolished ashy's feeble and non-sensical attempts to decry fundamentalism and closed-mindedness through a series of fundamentalist, closed-minded comments. Thank you.
I can't resist adding my own thoughts, though.
ashy, I read your words, and try to understand what you're trying to communicate. But what comes through is anger, judgment, and intense intellectualization -- I keep getting the feeling that you are trying to say something to me and others who visit this blog, but you aren't able or willing to say it directly, from the heart.
You and I, and everyone else, are living in this world. Not in oneness. At the moment my wife is eating cereal. I hear her spoon clinking against the bowl. The clothes dryer is making other sounds downstairs. My fingers are typing away on my laptop's keyboard.
Of course I'm not in absolute unity. Who is? Was Jesus, Guru Nanak, Lao Tzu, Buddha? Are you? How could we exist, or do anything, or be anything in complete oneness?
Life is lived as it is, bodily and really, not abstractly. Religions would have us live in a fantasy world -- in concepts, imaginings, dogmas.
Again, I read what you have to say, and I can't connect your words with the world I'm in here and now. I don't mean this as a criticism. It's just my honest reaction to your comments today.
Sometimes I resonate with what you've said, on other days, but these frothings about people not being in oneness, when you aren't either, and no one could be and still be... what's up what that?
Posted by: Brian | March 29, 2009 at 10:13 AM
To the contrary you both read my post inaccurately.
I am in fact challenging those fundamental bloggers on here who refute that we are at present in duality.
It is not I but them that insist that there is only Oneness going on here, and I am suggesting quite the opposite, that until you have attained that state of unity stop bullshitting yourself and everyone else around you that you are in fact at Oneness.
And Catherine it sounds to me you have made some profound in depth studies of Sant Mat and what it espouses only to get the gist of the teachings entirely inaccurately.
If by virtue of this intellectual discussion we concur that there is but One path to realization as every true mystic would confirm, then there is only one pathway above the eye center, and it carries no dogmatic name or association with it, It is the One path as Plotinus, Socrates, Christ, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Shamas Tabriz, Maulana Rumi, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Tulsi Das, Soami Ji, and every other absolute true mystic would concur with, because the difference is that they know and have traversed those realms, whilst you and I have as yet not.
Otherwise you can rest assured we would not be arguing about it like dogs in a manger on here.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 11:27 AM
getting a bit confused by the meaning of 'duality' and 'oneness'.
is duality the concept of opposing balancing forces, good and evil, yin and yang, etc. Or is it the seperation between mind (thought) and matter (reality)? Or the seperation between the inner self (spark/soul) from the Divine underlying force?
As i understand it 'oneness' is the mystic (neoplatonic) goal of union with the Divine underlying force.
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 11:31 AM
i thought the mystical belief was that the unenlightened individual was in a dualistic state in having a inner self in conflict with the intellect (ego or will).
whereas oneness is the goal of uniting or retutning the spark or soul with the underlying absolute force, and this is suposedly achieved by meditation and supressing the intellect.
i thought most of the mystic beliefs had this in common, perhaps i misunderstand.
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 11:53 AM
georgey you are mostly exactly correct in what you assume, except all these Buddhist theorists in here are already convincing themselves that they are already enlightened, already at One with their absolute self and at One with the highest Universal consciousness that they have for some or other reason become separated from,
and this is why they find it so compelling to convince fundamentalists such as myself how absolutely at One they already are, right here on this dualistic blog site out here in the ephemeral world of make believe Oneness.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 12:18 PM
"..........except all these Buddhist theorists in here are already convincing themselves that they are already enlightened, already at One with their absolute self and at One with the highest Universal consciousness that they have for some or other reason become separated from,......"
---I don't have a problem with a dualistic blog and blogging.
---Never convinced myself, of being a Buddhist theorist or an Enlightened One.
---So what is this, "already at One with their absolute self and at One with the highest Universal consciousness" judgemental stuff?
---Well, the "universal consciousness" does have a nice ring to it.....lol....
Posted by: Roger | March 29, 2009 at 12:49 PM
It is not so much a case of suppressing the intellect, that is a misconception perhaps due to some terminology.
We need to use the means at our disposal i.e. the intellect to in fact piece itself, pierce the intellect into a higher frame of reference or aspect of visualization of truth. Intellect of itself cannot deduce truth it can only lead to the assumption of it and then must pass the mind on to higher aspects or attributes of itself to make the next more subtle appreciation or association with truth, in this way intellect is limited and should be laid to rest or overcome in order to utilize more exceptional states of visionary capacity to witness truth in its absolute naked reality.
Language at best is an honest lie and this is why we argue about what this mystic said vs what that mystic said and all these wrangling argumentative discussions surrounding what each mystic said two or three thousand years ago.
We have absolutely no yardstick to be measuring their state of consciousness or what in fact they were referring to when they spoke of Duality or Oneness. These essentially are but concepts from where we are sitting right here and now in this state of unenlightened reasoning or assumption where we broach the subject using our intellects, and only our intellects. We are not using any other means or vehicle of more subtle or more accurate a capacity by which to make our deductions, therefore we are limited by this reasoning intellect to make assumptions, which are in fact perhaps very far from the absolute truth.
True teachers will suggest to you that in order to unite the soul or separated individual spark with the Higher Self one should get the mind at rest, and once at rest attach it to a higher vibrational force which in turn can carry it to higher realms from where it once emanated itself.
Sant Mat teaches about the Anahad Shabd or unstruck melody or audible life stream, these Buddhists believe they do not need such a vehicle of transportation as they are already in enlightened states of unity with their higher self. I beg to argue to the contrary, that they are deluding themselves and all intellectually aspiring theorists along with them.
We like to make our sojourn towards realization a highly complex and complicated one when in fact it is extremely simple, only within its simplicity is the necessity that the mind needs to be stilled, and this is by design or by association with senses and conditioning over extended lengths of causation and effect, not so easy to achieve just in a jiffy, unless you are already born into this dualistic state of being at an absolute pure and perfect state of realized consciousness, which to all intents and purposes is never the case, else each and every individual born into this creation would be wondering around in absolute bliss and peace and oneness with themselves and all around them.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 12:50 PM
Are you against Buddhism or Taoism?
Taoism does sound slightly different.
It would be useful to see a brief comparison of Taoism, Buddhism and Sant Mat to see if perhaps its adherents have different perceptions of the terms 'dualistic' or 'oneness'.
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 12:51 PM
I am not against anything at all whatsoever, no form of higher aspiration should be frowned upon, except perhaps dogmatic theory.
I have taken argument against these so called enlightened theorists on here, the fact that they happen to be Buddhist is just by chance and has no bearing on the belief system of Buddhism. Next they will be telling me that Buddhism or their branch or treatise or teaching of it is not a belief system, but a state of being, yet they preach that they are already at One with themselves and the universe when in fact they are so far removed from such Oneness that their delusional theoretical state of intellectualism denotes the extent by which the arrogance of this assumption is prevalent, (it practically sticks out like an arrogant sore thumb for all to view and notice).
And this is likewise true of my own position right here, this is precisely why true teachers after spirituality do not encourage intellectually charged wrangling discussions of this nature across mediums of communication which are hardly accurate and only encourage egotism, and hardly much else.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 01:13 PM
"Intellect of itself cannot deduce truth it can only lead to the assumption of it and then must pass the mind on to higher aspects ..."
i guess it depends on whether you believe there are any absolute truths and if these should be qualified by subjective or objective means.
many ppl might claim to know the truth, but it remains that persons perception of the truth through a subjective physical human brain, which is complex, illusory and often prone to errors in perception.
objective truth on the other hand requires that subjective experience of the truth to be perceived and validated by others.
This is presently not possible, we cannot read another persons thoughts and we cannot confirm if those thoughts reflect reality or illusion. People claim allsorts of paranormal experiences like out-of-body and NDE experiences, but there is no scientic proof for any of these.
The best we can do is try and communicate our experiences to others, and our path for getting there. However, language is limited, but if one does not even try and communicate and question the experience or path with the intellect; then one needs to simply take on faith what the other person believed to be the Truth.
No-one should do that.
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 01:24 PM
This is exactly why intellectual reason and assumption cannot be relied upon to give absolute conclusion regarding truth or reality.
These concepts remain just that, concepts. They do not carry any iota of true resonance whatsoever until such time as the seeker or experimenter has actually tested and tasted the verity and authenticity of the truth or the reality for himself.
It is for any student after truth to test every possible tenet or principle of potential truth available to him, and then by intellectual reasonable deduction he can so to speak 'make a choice' as to whether he is willing to follow such tenets or teachings to their ultimate conclusion.
He would then need to follow the instructions or the tenets of the teaching or system to its absolute end goal, if he is a true student after absolute truth that is.
He may decide after 30 or so years of half hearted dedication and self centered approach that either the path is too steep or too tough to continue on, or else he may look for a cop out and revert back to intellectually stimulated philosophical wrangling all over again, but ultimately the proof IS in the pudding.
Unless we go the full distance, still the unsettled ravaged and fragmented mind to rest, catch hold of the vibrational energy or sound current that can transport the soul to higher realms of awareness and understanding, then we can continue to debate, negate, argue, consternate, gnash teeth, ridicule and deny for ever and a day, or perhaps we just go out and carry water or chop wood.
But we will never under such false notions of intellectually deduced unsatisfied reasoning arrive at a state of true knowing of the truth or the reality,
and will forever just go round and round and round and round again and again on here and in our deluded state of fictional Oneness, believing ourselves to be somewhat enlightened, yet knowing deep down in our gut, we are hardly enlightened at all whatsoever.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 01:44 PM
But i'm afraid you apply the use of intellect selectively.
For example, we do need the intellect to:
- understand even the most basic belief systems and paths for reaching enlightement.
- for being able to suss out a dangerous cult of horseshit disseminators from the real deal.
- for sussing out a meditation or Sant Mat guru who is suitable and not a fake.
- for learning to still the mind and for training itself to perceive the eternal sound.
Also, you state simplicity is needed not complexity, but surely the simplest perception is that provided by our senses in the physical realm, rather than having to develop complex mind control techniques to delve into higher realms.
Who knows if these higher realms even exist. You say they do, and that we need to experience them for ourselves to know.
But this is exactly the same rhetoric used by cults and religions worldwide, and its known as the power of suggestion. An idea is planted in a person's psyche and watered and fed until that person believes it to be the Truth.
Without objective means of validating these high realms or spiritual experiences, is it indeed healthy for anyone to embark on such a path?
So this is where the power of this blog comes into its own in facilitating an exchange of ideas, which allow someone like me to weigh up the information presented and to question it with my intellect, and based thereon to decide if i do want to press forward and what the risks are.
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 02:23 PM
If our superior intellect and ego is the problem why dont we see the great apes permanently seated in the lotus position?
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 02:30 PM
As I said I agree, you must use those means available to you at this juncture of consciousness by which to assess and deduce the verity or accuracy of a teaching, and that can only be by the use of our intellect from where we are presently approaching the concepts and issue.
Some here have refuted the need for a teacher, they reckon you can be or you are your own teacher.
Go to it I say, become the Einstein of the laboratory without the guidance of a teacher, even Richard Dawkins and Albert Einstein would have by necessity needed the guidance of a teacher to introduce them to the lofty ideas and depths of discovery in the realms of the sciences they were encountering.
I concur, you must by all means utilize your given attribute the intellect by which to determine and equate the authenticity of the teacher and his system.
However the ultimate ideal would be that once we have made the assessment and 'selected' (if we have the false perception that we do in fact have any free will at all to begin with whatsoever) the Guru or teaching, then that is the time to set the intellect aside, not before taking the step to initiation into a system of experience and discovery, but once the conclusive selective appreciation of the path is accepted by the intellect, then thereafter the ideal would be to follow that system and its tenets and teachings to the absolute ultimate end goal, which is to all intents and purposes designed towards Self and God realization.
If one is at the stage of checking the timetable, the destination of the train, the qualification of the driver, the safety standards of the vehicle, that is when we use every means and capacity of intellectual reason available to us and set the intellect and its reason to absolute task in determine all the factors.
However once we have made the assessment, taken the 'decision' to board the train, purchased the ticket and sat down in the carriage, then there is no more intellectual wrangling to undertake, the journey is now underway, and the train driver is in charge.
Take faith that you have now placed your intellectually reasoned faith in the hands of the driver and enjoy the journey with all the sights and picturesque views associated with it, and let the train take you on your journey at peace to your destination.
The intellect is now at rest and all questioning reason is set aside, the journey is now underway and the destination is in sight. Enjoy the ride.
Posted by: ashy | March 29, 2009 at 02:48 PM
yep i can buy that about masters or teachers in any discipline, but one wonder how patient these gurus are if there students are continuously testing and questioning them.
In that sort of relationship, not dissimilar from a psychotherpaist, there needs to be an enormous amount of trust when delving into the human mind, i am not sure i am capable of relinquishing that sort of control over our most valuable faculty, esp since i cannot believe anyone understands it that well.
Posted by: georgey | March 29, 2009 at 03:02 PM
To say reality is already the case is not to say "I am enlightened". Enlightenment is a myth perpetuated by non-objective source objectivising itself. The one that would be enlightened is a phantom.
Objects are only known as the result of reactions of the senses to a variety of stimuli.
These stimuli appear to come from sources external to the reagent apparatus, but there is no evidence of this apart from the reagent apparatus itself.
Objects, therefore, are only a surmise, for they have no demonstrable existence apart from the subject that cognises them.
Since the subject itself is not sensorially cognisable as an object, subject also is only a surmise.
Since the factual existence of neither subject nor object can be demonstrated, existence is no more than a conceptual assumption, which, metaphysically, is inacceptable.
There is, therefore, no valid evidence for the existence of a world external to the consciousness of sentient beings, which external world is therefore seen to be nothing but the cognisers of it, that is - sentient beings themselves.
But there can be no factual evidence for the existence of sentient beings, either as subject or as object, who therefore are merely a conceptual assumption on the part of the consciousness in which they are cognised.
It follows that 'consciousness' also can only be a conceptual assumption without demonstrable existence.
What, then, can this assumption of consciousness denote? This question can only be answered in metaphysical terms, according to which consciousness may be regarded as the manifested aspect of the unmanifested, which is the nearest it seems possible to go towards expressing in a concept that which by definition is inconceivable.
Why should this be so? It must be so, because conceptuality cannot have conceptuality for source, but only the non-conceptual, because that which objectively conceives must necessarily spring from the objectively non-existent, the manifested from non-manifestation, for conceptuality cannot conceive or objectify itself - just as an eye cannot see itself as an object.
Therefore consciousness can be described as pure non-conceptuality, which is 'pure' because unstained either by the conceptual or the non-conceptual, which implies that there is a total absence of both positive and negative conceptuality.
Not existing as an object, even conceptual, there can be no 'it', there is no 'thing' to bear a name, no subject is possible where no object is, and total absence of being is inevitably implied.
All we can do about this which we are , which to us must be objectified as 'it' in order that we may speak of it at all, is to regard 'it' as the noumenon of phenomena, but, since neither of these exists objectively, phenomenally regarded it may be understood as the ultimate absence from which all presence comes to appear.
But consciousness, or 'Mind', does not 'project'- the phenomenal universe: 'it' IS the phenomenal universe which is manifested as its self.
Metaphysics, relying on intuition or direct perception, says no more than this, and points out that no word, be it the Absolute, the Logos, God, or Tao, can be other than a concept which as such has no factual validity whatsoever.
This-Which-Is, then, which cannot be subject or object, which cannot be named or thought, and the realisation of which is the ultimate awakening, can only be indicated in such a phrase as that quoted above:
I am not, but the apparent universe is my self.
I only am as all beings.
I only exist as all appearances.
I am only experienced as all sentience.
I am only cognised as all knowing.
Only visible as all that is seen,
Every concept is a concept of what I am.
All that seems to be is my being,
For what I am is not any thing.
Being whatever is phenomenal,
Whatever can be conceived as appearing,
I who am conceiving cannot be conceived.
Since only I conceive,
How could I conceive what is conceiving?
What I am is what I conceive.
Is that not enough for me to be?
When could I have been born,
I who am the conceiver of time itself?
Where could I live,
I who conceive the space where all things extend?
How could I die,
I who conceive the birth, life, and death of all things,
I who, conceiving, cannot be conceived?
I am being, unaware of being,
But my being is all being,
I neither think nor feel nor do,
But your thinking, feeling, doing, is mine only.
I am life, but it is my objects that live,
For your living is my living.
Transcending all appearance,
I am immanent intrinsically,
For all that is-I am,
And I am no thing.
You and the cockroach as well
can say it too!
Posted by: tucson | March 29, 2009 at 03:03 PM
ashy, the big hole in your arguments is this: you assume that "enlightened beings" have existed who know more about ultimate (or metaphysical reality) than the rest of us do.
You cite Jesus, Buddha, Plotinus, Lao Tzu, others (including Sant Mat gurus, I assume, since this is your fundamental spiritual stance).
Yet there is no evidence that any of these people know what they claim to know. Or what others claim. Further, the teachings of these supposedly enlightened beings are very different from each other.
Plotinus, for example, saw no need for a master, savior, or guru, while the Sant Mat gurus obviously do. However, somehow you keep claiming that there is a common denominator to mysticism, whereas actually there isn't. (Maybe "look inside," but that's pretty damn vague.)
Here's the thing: you call out fellow commenters like tucson, tAo, and me as not knowing such and such, whereas you claim that so and so does know.
Yet you have no idea what anyone else knows, mystically, whether this be religious figures of the past or the blog commenters of the present.
You keep saying "X doesn't know; X isn't enlightened; X isn't in touch with oneness." But you don't know this. Just as you don't know that Jesus, Buddha, Plotinus, Lao Tzu, or Sant Mat gurus do know.
Guesses are just guesses. All you know is what you yourself know. You can't speak for anyone else when it comes to non-objective, non-demonstrable, non-provable reality.
Do you see what I'm saying? It's obvious to me, and likely to others who read your comments. It seems like you have a blind spot that is preventing you from seeing that your certainty lacks a foundation. Yet you keep presenting your ideas as if they were unarguable truths.
As others have been pointing out, all we do here is argue, discuss, explain, evaluate. There's no way to know what others know. I just ate a handful of pistachio kernels. You don't know what I tasted. Yet I can't call you an ignorant fool for not knowing this.
My inner experience is mine. Your inner experience is yours. When we accept this reality, a lot of useless arguing comes to an end, because there is no way to prove the truth or falsehood of a subjective experience -- which is what mysticism is concerned with.
All we can do is talk subjectively about our own experience, which includes how we experience other people's descriptions of their experiences. But to talk about objective metaphysical reality as you like to do -- this isn't possible.
Posted by: Brian | March 29, 2009 at 04:54 PM
My appreciation goes again to Tucson for a very fine clear explanation concerning the existential paradox.... and there is nothing I could add because his entire comment is impeccable and speaks for itself.
I most certainly agree with Brian too... especially where Brian says (to Ashy):
>> "you assume that "enlightened beings" have existed who know more about ultimate (or metaphysical reality) than the rest of us do. You cite Jesus, Buddha, Plotinus, Lao Tzu, others (including Sant Mat gurus, I assume, since this is your fundamental spiritual stance). Yet there is no evidence that any of these people know what they claim to know. Or what others claim."
>> "somehow you keep claiming that there is a common denominator to mysticism, whereas actually there isn't."
>> "you have no idea what anyone else knows, mystically, whether this be religious figures of the past or the blog commenters of the present." "Just as you don't know that Jesus, Buddha, Plotinus, Lao Tzu, or Sant Mat gurus do know."
>> "All you know is what you yourself know. You can't speak for anyone else when it comes to non-objective, non-demonstrable, non-provable reality."
>> "you have a blind spot that is preventing you from seeing that your certainty lacks a foundation. Yet you keep presenting your ideas as if they were unarguable truths."
>> "a lot of useless arguing comes to an end, because there is no way to prove the truth or falsehood of a subjective experience -- which is what mysticism is concerned with."
>> "All we can do is talk subjectively about our own experience [...] But to talk about objective metaphysical reality as you like to do -- this isn't possible."
-- Therefore, I too must agree with all of the above. Its realy quite funny to me what a hollow puffed-up little know-it-all Ashy has been, when in fact Ashy actually has relatively little or no knowledge or depth in the spectrum of eastern philosophy and mysticism compared to others like Brian and especially myself. If Ashy had wanted to play that kind of game, then Ashy should have come to the arena much better prepared and equiped.
But the problem is... no matter what, Ashy will never be able to compete with people like myself who have spent decades in India and the Himalayas imbued and immersed in dharma. Ashy is like a tiny little bird that has never been out of the confines of her cage, but still screetches and squawks as if she had flown with the eagles.
It is now quite apparent that Ashy thinks that it is somehow her job to repeatedly prattle Santmat/RS dogma to its critics. So its best to ignore such fools, and eventually they will go away due to lack of attention. And Ashy is here for one thing only... to get attention.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 12:25 AM
Dont think ashy is a 'her' agree with his take that there are basic fundamentals that appear to overlap with many eastern religious philosophies and mysticism.
Aldous Huxley felt the same way and called it the perennial philosophy. Not only that but Plotinus and the neoplatanic ideas overlap alot too. Then there's also Yung pscyhcological constructs of the mind, which have alot of overlap too.
I have stated what i understand those overlaps to be, which i believe to be fairly significant. If I am wrong, I would be grateful for those in the know to point out what these differences are.
Though it is true that some mystic beliefs appear to put more of an emphasis on a guru than not, it would seem any discipline has its masters who guide and teach, even science.
I do not believe Ashy is a Sant Mat fundamentalist and is probably more interested in mysticism as a whole; where he does seem more fundamentally inclined is the insistence on the subjective experience being knowledge of absolute truths and absolute reality, which I cannot see for the life of me as being objectively verifiable, even if i were to go ahead and have such a spirtiual experience and awakening.
Posted by: George | March 30, 2009 at 03:02 AM
I would like to dedicate this little poem to you
with a big thanks.
I am not I
I am this one
Walking beside me whom I do not see,
Whom at times I manage to visit,
And at other times I forget.
The one who remains silent when I talk,
The one who forgives,sweet,when I hate,
The one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
The one who will remain standing when I die
Juan Ramon Jimenez
All the best
Posted by: Obed | March 30, 2009 at 03:03 AM
"If by virtue of this intellectual discussion we concur that there is but One path to realization as every true mystic would confirm, then there is only one pathway above the eye center, and it carries no dogmatic name or association with it, It is the One path as Plotinus, Socrates, Christ, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Shamas Tabriz, Maulana Rumi, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Tulsi Das, Soami Ji, and every other absolute true mystic would concur with, because the difference is that they know and have traversed those realms, whilst you and I have as yet not."
---I wonder, did Satan ever transverse those realms too? Surely, Satan has an eye center. It is correct, Satan is a "true" devil?
---If all the above "true" mystics did, why not Satan. Who can say Satan did not?
---I know, sounds rather silly, however, I would agree, you and I have not.
Posted by: Roger | March 30, 2009 at 08:54 AM
OK I reckon I'm running out of rope here Brian.
Looks like you will just have to keep on harboring and pandering to these holier than thou type intellectual Buddhist Existentialists you got here as your baying audience.
They are seriously full of themselves, (well some of them are at least - like this goon tAo who reckons he is so far fetched, far out, far removed from planet Earth he's already touching cloud cuckoo land)
Arrogant idiots like this one got no space in their consciousness for any growth whatsoever, these fools reckon they've already arrived at their collective Nirvana's, right up their holier than thou existentialist backsides is where the center of this 'I am everything' universe they idolize is and where their sun shines from out of.
So to be frank, I run out of patience with this holy enlightened mutual admiration society you got going in here, better you just keep on slapping each other on the back as you concur about your emphatic reasoning that you are the centers of your own universes, and there is no hope whatsoever for any of you to grow because you are already IT.
Better I be off of here, because this endless cacophony of blowing trumpets is beginning to sound rather short of harmony, as it always will when volatile ego's try get one up on each other and proudly display their preened peacock feathers across cyberspace for all to notice.
Unfortunately for all the non judgmental open minded good you are trying to achieve over here, you actually are succeeding in quite the opposite, this is no place for true truth seekers, this is a place where the intellect and all its arrogant side kicks run rampant talking themselves into this vague existentialist falsified notion that only what they perceive is the truth because they are the centers of their own unenlightened universes.
Them and the cockroaches rule the earth, and heaven help anyone that wants to get the hell off it.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM
ashy, I think you -- or anyone -- benefits from engaging in open dialogue. You're frustrated because people aren't applauding your point of view.
Well, join the club: the Real World. Points of view get challenged, attacked, agreed with, embraced, ignored...whatever.
I'm clueless about lots of things. But one area I have a lot of experience with is discussing points of view. I did this professionally when I worked in the health planning/policy field. I took the lead in organizing town hall meetings all around Oregon where people discussed controversial and emotional ethical issues in health care.
Also, my wife and I organized a "Salon" discussion group over fifteen years ago, which still meets monthly. We practice the art of conversation. And being married to a psychotherapist has taught me a lot about how people communicate. Or, don't.
I'm sorry that you're frustrated with your communications here. I feel like you have a lot of good ideas and a rich fund of knowledge about things mystical, metaphysical, and philosophical.
If I may offer a suggestion... necessarily subjective, which you're free to accept or reject as you like.
I sense that you're looking for a specific outcome when you post your comments. This is understandable. We all prefer validation rather than skepticism or disagreement when we say something.
Like I've noted before, I can't count how many times I've written a blog post that I thought was brilliant, or said something in our discussion group that I thought was unarguably profound, and had it fall as flat as the communication pancake that it turned out to be.
So the attitude that I try to preserve, with decidedly mixed success, is: "I'll say what I want to say, not because it will change anyone else's mind, but because I feel like saying it." This centers my saying on me, and reduces my expectation that someone else needs to agree with it.
Your irritation toward other blog visitors seems to stem from your own expectation that they should agree with you more than they are doing. Well, none of us can control how others feel about what we do.
All we can do is what appears worthwhile doing, and leave it at that.
Posted by: Brian | March 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM
"Dont think ashy is a 'her'"
-- So what makes you "think" that? What evidence do you have to support your assumption, your opinion?
"[I] agree with his [Ashy] take that there are basic fundamentals that appear to overlap with many eastern religious philosophies and mysticism."
-- Well I don't agree at all. And just merely SAYING that "there are basic fundamentals that appear to overlap with many eastern religious philosophies and mysticism", does not make it so. If you are going to make this sort of claim, then be more specific. Provide some solid evidence and specific instances of so-called "basic fundamentals that appear to overlap". Because otherwise, such opinions on this are no better than Ashy's false interpretations or fabrications.
"Aldous Huxley felt the same way and called it the perennial philosophy."
-- The "Perennial Philosophy" that Huxley spoke of generally referred to the sanatana dharma (the timeless truth as revealed in the Upanishads, in Vedanta), and was not at all about saying that all philosophies are fundamentally identical, and that they are basically one and the same. That is not true, and it is not what Huxley was inferring.
"Then there's also Yung pscyhcological constructs of the mind, which have alot of overlap too."
-- But Carl Jung's theories have nothing to do with this (totally bogus) idea that Santmat is at the very core and common basis of all "eastern philosophies and mysticism".
"If I am wrong, I would be grateful for those in the know to point out what these differences are."
-- The differences are enormous and complex. To say what exactly the differences are would require literally volumes to explain... far more than could ever be contained in just a mere comment in a blog forum. And even just within the range of eastern (Indian origin) philosophy, there are a great many and deep differences, profound differences... and that is not to even mention compared with western philosophies and religion.
"Though it is true that some mystic beliefs appear to put more of an emphasis on a guru than not, it would seem any discipline has its masters who guide and teach, even science."
-- There is a huge difference between simple teachers of science, and mystic 'gurus' or so-called "masters" who are supposedly GIHF. If you can't see that difference, then therein lies the problem.
"I do not believe Ashy is a Sant Mat fundamentalist and is probably more interested in mysticism as a whole"
-- Then you simply have not been paying attention to the blatant fundamentlist dogma that Ashy writes and posts, and preaches here.
"where he [Ashy] does seem more fundamentally inclined is the insistence on the subjective experience being knowledge of absolute truths and absolute reality"
-- Yes, and that is one very significant flaw. This is the crux of the issue that these fundamentalist believers like Ashy turn into their blind faith dogma. And to understand this better, I suggest that you go study the subject of Memes.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 12:19 PM
No quite the contrary, I do not come here looking for applause, far from it in fact, I, like you, relish the freshly engrossed open minded debate that a site like this is supposed to engender and encourage without derogatory judgment.
There are quite a number of these honest and sincere genuine seekers after truth visiting here, but you have a small hard core of totally egocentric non-ambivalent individuals who reckon they are seriously further advanced in spirituality or advanced psychological reason than the rest of lowly humanity.
Its unfortunate that this type of hyped 'spiritual egotism' is in fact the most vain and conceited of all egotism to blight mans consciousness, and again I would be of the opinion that this is precisely why debate and discussion along these vague subjective and attitudinal lines are in many instances counter productive. They do not breed or promote harmony, love, equanimity and reason, but in fact quite the opposite.
This type of one-up-man-ship, dictatorial, judgmental (and dare I say it - fundamentalist) ego preening where all that is being projected is one individuals arrogance above another is hardly a medium or avenue for spiritual or even mental or moral growth, but could in fact be achieving almost the opposite reaction, a dichotomy and conflict of attitudes with no meeting ground of appreciation or assimilation whatsoever.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM
George may have 'evidence' that you know absolutely nothing of, so stick your over inflated arrogant preoccupation with yourself right where it belongs, right there where your center of your existentialist universe sun don't shine - that I'm afraid to have to tell you quite bluntly is where its going to probably fit best.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 12:57 PM
Looks like Ashy has become the center of attention amongst the fundamentalist bashers in here all of a sudden, shows just how a fundamentalist can get all these enlightened aloof type existentialist rationalists all hyped up ready to pull the crucifix from out of the closet.
So even if this fundamentalist didn't get you off your indoctrinated ego trip at least he got you yapping away with consternation about how damn 'evolved' you reckon you are. I got a wee little secret for you buddy boy, you no more 'evolved' or rational, or enlightened than Genghis Khan and his marauding hordes.
You still got some ways to go, only problem is you just don't know it.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 01:07 PM
Iust my opinion, ashy might be a 'her', but like you, my intuition leads me to believe that your slightly more agrressive confrontational approach is less likely to come from the fairer sex. I may be wrong.
Of course that sort of statement might open up a whole new can of worms with you american lot...lol.
I am able to respond in the same agressive manner, but i often prefer manners until that approach is no longer tennable. So i thankyou for your response, which is all i was asking for above.
Now if i might respond to your repost:
I have set my position out clearly in my earlier post at 'March 29, 2009 at 03:55 AM', in which there appear to be four fundamental principles that are the same or similar accross many mystic traditions. The perennial philopshy as it was termed by Leibniz and later Huxley (not insignificant names).
Huxley's book was, as its title suggested, specifically aimed at comparing ancient eastern philosophies and religions. I said nothing about 'all philosophies being the same'.
I am asking you to explain how for example you conisider Taoism and Buddhism or others to be signficantly different from these 4 priniples. I do think Taoism is different, but there are still some overlaps imo.
I said nothing about Sant Mat being the basis for anything (not sure where you got that from). My understanding is that Sant Mat is another mystic tradition (or path) that subscribes to these same four common perennial principles.
You tell me that the differences are far too numerous to list, but i have given you what i consider to be the 4 fundamentals, so all you need to do is pick 1 or 2 examples that are different, which should be realtively easy by your reasoning. As i say i think taoism is slightly different, but many of the mystic traditions have much overlap. This is not only Ashy's view.
I can see the difference Sant Mat gurus and master of science, and while you may know your eastern religions, i'm pretty sure i've forgotten more about science than you or anyone else on here will ever know. But that sort of 1-upmanship is pointless.
My point before all the brinkmanship rhetroic sets in, is simply that it is logical to assume that there are master in any discipline. Masters of science, masters of Sant Mat and masters of taoism.
As for my view of Ashy, it is my own and i have stated where i agree and also disagree with it. You have your own opinion, but your browbeating insistence on me disowning ashy's views wholly so that they align with yours, makes you the fundamentalist.
you seem a fairly forthright arrogant individual, which is fair enough, but please do me a favour and don't lecture me on memes or any other branch of science. thats an absolute joke. i am happy to engage with you on science, but please not no lectures from a pseudo-scientist.
i find this site interesting for its spiritual bent and more particularly coming from rational thinkers, but its the mystic and eastern philosophies where i defer to you, not on the science or western philosophy.
Posted by: george | March 30, 2009 at 01:09 PM
So sit back and watch this cookie crumble, Brian and all the evolved non prejudicial non fundamental rationalists in here, I'm about to prove exactly how fictitious all this highfalutin non judgmental dogma in here gets all shaken up.
Lets have our showdown, you in your corner and me in mine, how about it big deal egocentric Mr. know-it-all, you ready for an ideological, intellectual, hyper pseudo elevated consciousness war?
Or you gonna go running scared back up those Himalayas you got so enlightened and superficially elevated under?
You see how it all pans out in the end Brian, this is the forum for elevated, non judgmental, evolved, non denominational, unprejudiced truth seekers, far from it afraid to say, this is a forum for self centered, arrogant indoctrination and not too much further than that.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 01:26 PM
Still desperate for attention, Ashy writes:
"Brian [...] you will just have to keep on harboring and pandering to these holier than thou type intellectual Buddhist Existentialists [...] They are seriously full of themselves"
-- The only "holier than thou type" here is you Ashy. You exude "holier than thou"-ness. Just about all of the content of your posts have a "holier than thou" attitude behind them. And you are so "full" of yourself that you continue to ignore and remain closed-minded to anything and everything that others have said to you. You don't interact or converse or discuss with others here. All you do here is preach Santmat with a very fundamentalist vibe. You never respond to any of the people who have honestly tried to engage with you... and that includes Brian, Tucson, Roger, myself, and others.
"well some of them are at least - like this goon tAo who reckons he is so far fetched, far out, far removed from planet Earth"
-- Now clearly, that is a complete distortion of reality. I have never said or implied that I am "far out" or "removed from planet Earth" or anything of the sort. The person here who is obviously "removed from planet Earth" is YOU Ashy. You live in a very closed bubble of Santmat religious dogma and memes, and guru-cultism. And you are frustrated because basically no one is interested in buying into any of the dogma that you have bought into, and that you are preaching.
"Arrogant idiots like this one got no space in their consciousness for any growth"
-- You simply know nothing about my consciousness, about my spiritual state or growth, or about my sadhana. So to act as if you do, shows that YOU are the one who is the "idiot".
"these fools reckon they've already arrived at their collective Nirvana's"
-- I never "reckon"-ed or claimed any such thing. And I also don't subscribe to the myth (your myth) of so-called "enlightenment".
"is where the center of this 'I am everything' universe they idolize is"
-- Incorrect. I have never indicated or promoted (nor idolized) any such "'I am everything' universe". It seems that all you are capable of doing Ashy, is to contrive and fabricate completely bogus straw-men, and then attack these false straw images as if they are real, and where other people are at. Doing this sort of thing is quite dishonest of you. You are showing us what you are really up to.
"So to be frank, I run out of patience with this holy enlightened mutual admiration society you got going in here"
-- This is simply one man's blog which includes a small comment forum where people can discuss or debate related issues. There is no such "mutual admiration society". But it is very revealing about YOU, that you think and see things this way.
"and there is no hope whatsoever for any of you to grow because you are already IT."
-- That too is incorrect. I can't speak for others here, but that is not something that I have ever said or implied... and I don't remember anyone else saying that either.
"this endless cacophony of blowing trumpets is beginning to sound rather short of harmony"
-- You really should listen to how YOU sound Ashy. And just because others don't agree with you, does not make them "short of harmony".
"when volatile ego's try get one up on each other and proudly display their preened peacock feathers across cyberspace for all to notice"
-- Ashy, YOU are the one who is "proudly displaying" and preaching your Santmat dogma. YOU are the one who wants to be noticed. And YOU are the one who is trying to "one up" on others.
"this is no place for true truth seekers"
-- Ashy, you are the one who is not seeking "truth". You are the one who thinks that you have all the answers. You are the one preaching Santmat religious dogma. You are the one who claims that there is only one true mystic path to truth. YOU are the one who is not a "truth seeker" here. Everyone else is open and broad-minded except for you.
"this is a place where [...] talking themselves into this vague existentialist falsified notion that only what they perceive is the truth because they are the centers of their own unenlightened universes"
-- Wrong again. That is an outright lie. No one here has claimed "that only what they perceive is the truth", or that they "are the centers of their own [...] universes"
"Them and the cockroaches rule the earth, and heaven help anyone that wants to get the hell off it."
-- If you want to leave this earth, if you don't appreciate what this earth is for all creatures who live upon the earth, then you don't deserve it... and so be my guest and "get the hell off it". Good riddens to you. If you are so ignorant and stupid and foolish that don't appreciate the life that you have, then you just may lose it.
Which is why I say that certain aspects of Santmat make it a rather life-negative doctrine. And those who have been infected by this doctrine, this dogma, this meme, and who falsely think that they must escape their human life and the wonder that is the earth, are very sick and unfortunate.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 01:31 PM
ashy, I'm pretty much a "make love, not war" sort of guy. So I can't get behind your call for an ideological, intellectual, hyper pseudo elevated consciousness war.
That said, I'm all for an ideological, intellectual, hyper pseudo elevated consciousness discussion. Sounds like fun!
So as I've offered before, if you could email me what you wanted to discuss -- laying out the points that you think people here are missing, or wrong about -- I'd be pleased to form it into a blog post. Then folks could comment on it.
Only caveat: whatever you wrote should be substantially positive, rather than negative. Attacking other people's views is fine as a setup to presenting your own. But I'd like to know your own perspective about what reality is like, not why you think other people's views are wrong.
Posted by: Brian | March 30, 2009 at 01:50 PM
I agree with tAo. You want to "get off this earth" and go to some imagined land of peace and immeasurable bliss. This is the teaching of Sant Mat...Pind is a toilet and not our true home, right? As long as you want to go somewhere else you will never get there.
Please list the 4 fundamentals you mention. I was trying to find them for a comment.
Posted by: tucson | March 30, 2009 at 01:57 PM
"George may have 'evidence' that you know absolutely nothing of, so stick your [...] right where it belongs"
-- If George has some evidence, then let him present it. By all means, let's see it. Where is it?
And you can go stick THAT right up YOUR rude ass, Assy-face.
"Looks like Ashy has become the center of attention [...] in here all of a sudden'
-- Thanks, you just proved my point.
"I got a wee little secret for you buddy boy, you no more 'evolved' or rational, or enlightened than Genghis Khan and his marauding hordes."
-- Well I'm not your "buddy boy"... and you are showing us all just how much of a troll you really are.
"You still got some ways to go, only problem is you just don't know it."
-- Thats typically what all religious fundamentalists like you are say when they are cornered and nailed. I am just waiting for Brian to get really sick and tired of your shit and boot your ass out of here. You have been gradually making yourself more of an annoyance here, and your demeaning rhetoric and insinuations towards Brian and myself and other commenters, and your narrow-minded preaching of Santmat fundamentalism is simply not conducive to the intentions and purposes of this forum.
Do you really think that at this point anyone gives a shit about your warped opinions and your bitchy self-righteous attitude? You are nothing a damn friggin JOKE Ashy (aka Catherine). And you have yourself to blame for that.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 01:58 PM
Yip its true the guru's are exactly correct
to engage or try reach a means of understanding in an intellectually enshrined mode of communication across the internet is a feeble waste of resource, and an exercise in absolute futility, especially if it is of a spiritual nature, it carries absolutely zero advantage to anyone to discuss spirituality on a blog site, least of all the one doing the posting, he (read me) is in fact the biggest loser of all.
So its time I heeded the sensible injunction and stopped beating my head against thick ego enshrined brick walls, time I started listening to reason, because the ever revolving nonentity of consciousness around here is bound to get me far more flabbergasted and removed from reality than ever before.
I got an apology to make, no not to any of you self righteous sanctimonious ones here, but to those and the ones that really matter, those that really do have my best wishes and my spiritual improvement at heart, its them I got close to my conscience and consciousness, cause unlike the bulk of this society here, they are not a simple figment of my exasperated imagination, they are real people and real souls and real appreciative individuals who express love, this bunch of indoctrinated self centered sanctimonious goons over here have only their own self righteous arrogance to prove.
Wrong place for someone like me, the cold, heartless, soulless, intellectual, spiritually devoid halls of indoctrinated reason, are most definitely not the place this soul seeking aspirant needs to be.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 02:00 PM
Where you find this goon Brian, this imbecile that calls himself tAo, these the type nincompoop idiots you like to surround yourself with please be my guest.
Sorry man, I came, I saw, and I definitely did not conquer, (not that that was ever my intention whatsoever).
My real interest in coming here initially was that I used to actually revere you as a fully balanced and elevated thinker who could embrace both the mundane, the scientific and the spiritual aspects and aspirations in mans quest towards perfection.
I was somewhat disappointed to note that you had in fact turned your attention away from the introverted search for spiritual upliftment and that you had now started a venue or blog site for all disillusioned soul seekers who decry the existence of spirit or soul or elevated consciousness simply because it has not been measured by the inadequate devices of cold intellectual reason.
I understand your position and standpoint in this regard, and all I can honestly say is that you must pursue and follow this train of endeavor until your intellectuality or reason runs itself dry.
When your soul starts crying out for the sustenance and nectar your mind has tried to negate, then I sincerely believe you will make that turnaround, because the lure of love and the lure of light is fundamentally (yes there's that word again) far more attractive and compelling than this cold, heartless, dead, non compassionate illusion called reason and intellect.
I posted a little story about the deep sea fisherman and the marlin the other day, go read it again, I reckon you may find some resemblance and recognition there, because I, as you, and every individual that is even slightly aware that their being is in fact not lifeless or devoid of love, but is a spark of the divinity within, will understand that there really is no place like Home.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 02:47 PM
woah, i merely stated what i understood that there were 4 common principles to what Aldous huxley considered to be an ancient or 'perennial philsophy' that overlapped with many religions and eastern philsophies.
I am a materialist and consider Aldous Huxley to be a very good writer and an intellient man. Huxley's grandfather was 'Darwins bulldog', a keenly intellegient materialist and agnostic, in fact aldous came from an exceptionally rational family and yet entertained these mystic beliefs, so ashy is in exhaulted company in this regard. As i understand ashy is not saying SAnt Mat is The Path, but rather a path amongst many other mystic tradtions that allow one to achieve oneness.
I copy and paste from my earlier post and would be grateful to learn from the masters on eastern religions on this site how they believe the various mystic traditions differ from these:
"Agree with Ashy's opening point that the underlying principles of mystic belief appear the same, tho i would be interested to hear what Tucson and Tao consider to be fundamental differences.
The principles common to mystical beliefs appear to be:
1) the existence of a Divine formless force underlying everything.
2) each person has a true inner self, kernel or spark surrounded by egos or wills clouding their perceptions and ability to know thy inner self and the Divine.
3) using meditation to allow connection or alignment of the inner self with the Divine and thus experiencing direct knowledge of the Divine, rather than thru the intellect with its egos which is inherently limited.
4) our purpose is self knowledge of the inner self, to know who we are, to know thyself.
Taoism appears slightly different, but appears to still require man to know himself to align his/her will or ego with nature, and that this is best achieved by putting the mind into a still passive or meditative state unburdened by the intellect or thought.
As far as i know Taoism like Sant Mat and Bushism each also have their own religious scriptures, paths and tenets too."
Posted by: george | March 30, 2009 at 02:55 PM
ashy, you keep missing the obvious. Open your eyes and see. I've never wavered in my search for the truth -- which, so far as I can tell, also is the pursuit of those who visit this blog.
You keep assuming that because someone doesn't meditate, pray, accept lifestyle rules, follow a guru, or whatever, the way you do, then that person is leading a fraudulent, fake, misguided existence.
When I read about the lives and teachings of mystics, or mystic philosophers, what strikes me is how original each of them is. No copies allowed. Their descriptions of what they have experienced are wonderfully unique.
Yet you seem determined to force the boundless river of spirituality, inspiration, mystery, wonder -- whatever we want to call it -- into narrow banks of your own making.
Like I keep saying, what's right for you is right for you. But not for other people, unless they agree with you. All we're doing here is discussing various ways, approaches, meanderings, paths, non-paths, staying stills.
Really, you've hardly heard a word I or anyone else has been saying. I can tell from what you just said. Having a conversation entails listening just as much as talking. I think you're much better at talking than at listening.
Posted by: Brian | March 30, 2009 at 03:04 PM
Ashy decries intellect as some sort of barrier, and it is true that reason can only go so far. But it is also a tool.
Is it reasonable to believe that a magic guru with supernatural powers can simultaneously place an astral image of himself within millions of devotees and administer their karmas so that within four lifetimes they will not have to be reborn again? That only he has the power to guide the soul through perilous regions that are at the same time grand and splendorous beyond measure?
Where is the evidence of this power?
Where is the evidence of these regions?
Where is the evidence of this astral image within each and every disciple?
Where are these karmas?
Where is the evidence of these lifetimes?
Why four lifetimes? Why not three or ten?
Why only five regions? Why not a thousand, a million more?
How can the Infinite be limited by any number?
Where is the evidence of this soul that would have these lifetimes?
Where are the boundaries of this soul?
Why must one take a lifelong vow to never, ever eat an egg without risking irreparable damage to their salvation?
Who is the fool denying what reason screams out loud, who denies this very moment which is all that we have?
The Reality is right here, right now, or nowhere at all.
Posted by: tucson | March 30, 2009 at 03:07 PM
"my intuition leads me to believe that your slightly more agrressive confrontational approach is less likely to come from the fairer sex. I may be wrong.Of course that sort of statement might open up a whole new can of worms with you american lot...lol."
-- Huh? Just what have you got against Americans as opposed to other nationalities? There seems to be some sort of negative bias here on your part. I don't think thats very appropriate or useful in a forum like this.... even as a joke. No offence, but its lame to single out nationalities.
"I am able to respond in the same agressive manner, but i often prefer manners until that approach is no longer tennable."
-- In case you haven't noticed George, I use quite a bit of "manners" and restraint and more formality than other commenters. And I also think you are mistaking my candor and my no-bullshit directness for being an "aggressive manner". Aggressive is hardly the case.
"So i thankyou for your response, which is all i was asking for above."
-- Sure, no problem with that.
"I have set my position out clearly in my earlier post [...] The perennial philopshy as it was termed by Leibniz and later Huxley (not insignificant names)."
-- I am extremely familiar with Aldous Huxley. I happen to have known Laura Huxley personally. I am also quite familiar with Mircea Eliade, whom (if you are not familiar) you may find to be very helpful along these lines. If you really wish to understand this rather broad subject of comparative philosophy and religion, then it would be wise (even necessary) to study Eliade.
"I said nothing about 'all philosophies being the same'."
-- Perhaps, but my point was that you were clearly agreeing with and supporting Ashy, who in fact DID indeed say something to the effect of "all philosophies being the same". So the effect is more or less the same as if you said it. If you do not want to be interpreted that way, then you should not agree with people like Ashy who do say that.
"I am asking you to explain how for example you conisider Taoism and Buddhism or others to be signficantly different from these 4 priniples."
-- I don't know or say that they are necessarily different. So to clarify the matter, please re-state your "4 principles".
"I said nothing about Sant Mat being the basis for anything (not sure where you got that from)."
-- I got that from Ashy... and you specifially said that you "agree" with Ashy about that issue. So you may not have said that, but you agreed with Ashy. If you don't feel that way, then you should not have agreed with Ashy. I was only responding to that.
"My understanding is that Sant Mat is another mystic tradition (or path) that subscribes to these same four common perennial principles."
-- It may subscribe to those, but that still does not make buddhism, and taoism, and vedanta, and jainism, and shaivism, and vaishnavism, etc etc the same as Santmat... which is what people such as Ashy like to falsely attribute to Santmat.
"You tell me that the differences are far too numerous to list, but i have given you what i consider to be the 4 fundamentals,"
-- Yes, the differences are many and complex and would take volumes to adequately describe. But please re-state your 4 principles.
"As i say i think taoism is slightly different, but many of the mystic traditions have much overlap. This is not only Ashy's view."
-- This was not about some little "overlap". This was about the notion that all paths are in essence more or less identical.
"I can see the difference Sant Mat gurus and master of science, and while you may know your eastern religions, i'm pretty sure i've forgotten more about science than you or anyone else on here will ever know.But that sort of 1-upmanship is pointless. "
-- Meaning that you know (or once knew) a great deal about science? Maybe you do. But lets not get competitive and play "1-upmanship" about that. I myself have a post-grad degree in physics and advanced radio and electronic engineering, but so what? I don't claim to be any kind of knoweable expert in all fields of science... BUT (unlike Ashy) I DO know the value of reason and the orientation of the scientific method. I don't go around claiming that mere subjective supposed mystical experiences or the stories about so-called "saints" are somehow proof or are the truth.
"My point before all the brinkmanship rhetroic sets in"
-- Hey dude, lets get something straight here: YOU are the one who is playing that game, not I. So don't start trying to paint me into that bullshit picture. I rarely, if ever, toot my own horn. And the only times that I have said anything about myself was simply in defense of myself, when someone (like Ashy) deliberately attempted to distort who I am and where I am at. I am entiteled to defend myself. Beyond that, I don't assume any such airs. I am not your enemy, so don't try to use that strategy on me.
"is simply that it is logical to assume that there are master in any discipline. Masters of science, masters of Sant Mat and masters of taoism."
-- Well yes, there are those who are more expert in various fileds than others are. And so I understand what you mean. But I personally do not care for the term "master". It carries far too much baggage and hype. I do not like the master-disciple or master-slave connotations. I also do not at all believe in the Santmat term "master" or "sant", implying that the guru is more than just a teacher. It implies (the myth) that the guru is GIHF, is "God-realized" or is uniquely "enlightened" etc etc.
"As for my view of Ashy, it is my own [...] You have your own opinion, but your browbeating insistence on me disowning ashy's views wholly so that they align with yours, makes you the fundamentalist."
-- Bullshit. I don't 'insist' that you do any such thing, nor am I "browbeating" you aor anyone. For you to call me a "fundamentalist" is about as ignorant as you could get. You apparently are not at all familiar with who you are criticising and judging as "fundamentalist".... which now casts some serious doubt upon your perceptions. And this is also the exact game that Ashy plays (to distract from her own fundamentalism, by parroting and calling others fundamentalists). Don't think yo are going to paass that off on me George. I think everyone else here is getting rather weary of people like Ashy (and now you) pushing fundamentalist rhetoric. Brian called it (and Ashy) for what it is, and he was right. And that "fundamentalist" shoe is not mine, nor does it fit me. And for you to attempt to label me as such, indicates that your agenda here is not altogether honest.
"you seem a fairly forthright arrogant individual"
-- More bullshit. I am not "arrogant" at all. I have nothing to be "arrogant" about. You are confusing my directness and candor with arrogance. Ashy is an example of an arrogant poster. Posting tons of dogma and then ridiculing and demeaning anyone who does not submit to it or swallow it, is definitely arrogant.
"please do me a favour and don't lecture me on memes or any other branch of science."
-- I was not lecturing you. But as for discussing science, why not? Are memes or science off-limits for you? Seriously dude...what's your problem, what's your hang-up with discussing science? or memes?
"thats an absolute joke. i am happy to engage with you on science, but please not no lectures from a pseudo-scientist."
-- Oh I see what your problem is. You think that you are an expert in science compared to the rest of us, and that I am a "pseudo-scientist". I can see now that you are really (to put it bluntly) full of shit. You don't know diddley squat about my education or my knowledge in science. You are just another puffed-up self-righteous ass-wipe like Ashy. If you had any real intelligence or wisdom, you would know never to make such ignorant and derisive presumptions ("pseudo-scientist") about other people whom you do not know.
"its the mystic and eastern philosophies where i defer to you, not on the science or western philosophy"
-- And what makes you arrogantly think that you are so far more knowledgeable about science and western philosophy? Do you think you are the only one versed in science here? If you think that way, especially when you don't know who you are talking to or talking about, then you are really not a very smart scientist after all. You sound rather puffed-up and phony to me.
If you are so darn smart, scientifically speaking, then please indulge me a little by going and reading some of my scientific papers... and then come back and tell us all just how expert you are in science, and how stupid and ignorant I and all the rest of us pseudo-scientific type dim-wits are.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 04:16 PM
Jeez these scientists as are these fundamentalist existentialists are seriously way too far gone.
If anybody needs a guru to slap them right out of the self centered inflated arrogant opinion of themselves its this lot of grandiose aggrandized deluded illusionists.
They are at the tipping point of extreme fundamental arrogance, so far gone up their own inflated states of arrogant delusion, there is absolutely bugger all anyone can do about their dismal position of irreversibility.
The fundamental flaw of grandiose aggrandized egotism, too much learning is most definitely a bane and a serious disadvantage to anybody that has any aspirations of a spiritual nature.
Just imagine all that goddamn superfluous learning you got to unlearn all over again just to get back to base One.
I certainly do sympathize with these poor fools cause I reckon there is no way in hell they going to get anywhere near to where its at anytime soon, most definitely not in this lifetime at least anyway, maybe neither in the next, nor the next or the next.
Just way too much baggage they got strapped round their necks, a whole heap of learning weighing their poor over inflated minds and subsequently their souls down.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 04:53 PM
i have nothing against americans whatsoever, just a bit of humour to try and deflate a comment that might be taken the wrong way, obviously wasted.
it may be wise to study eliade and i am interested, but i thought i would ask your guys opinion before doing so, this is what a blog is primarily about, the exchange of different ideas and information. From your nick, Tao, i took it you were well versed in Taoism and wanted to hear your views on this with regards to these 4 princples.
i said which part of Ashy's post i agreed with and which part i disagreed with so i have no idea why you are importing Ashy's thoughts into mine.
as for the arrogance bit, you proceeded to try and make a point about gurus and science teachers that had nothing to do with my original point. nothing at all. You also posed your statement in such a way that if i did not agree with you i was apparently a fool. You then proceeded to give me an offhanded highanded remark suggesting i go and study memes.
Long forgotten. My comments on science were to put you back firmly in your place. I'm not going to go on about this, suffice to say my formal education trump yours quite easily so i feel no need to be talked down in the manner you attempted. In fact, your general bias and sweeping all-knowing generalistion and assumed superiority, are precisely what u accuse Ashy of - and u dont even see it, u bladdy idiot.
There was no call for this whatsoever, i asked you and tucson, politely and respectfully, for your take on eastern principles.
i have no interest in reading your scientific papers in the slightest. Instead i wanted your input on your mystical knowledge and taoism in particular, and i still have recieved nothing on this apart from arrogance, aggression, smarminess and one-upmanship (all for supposedly agreeing with a portion of what Ashy had to say).
my puffed-up responses were precisely in answer to your deigned superior f'cking intellect, since this seems the only way to communicate with such a completely arrogant arse. and writing this i now know why Ashy does the same. wtf is wrong with you? Best you keep to that Taoism i reckon. What an absolute arsehole.
Apologies Brian you seem like a very nice inidividual and i enjoyed your even posts and tolerance.
Posted by: George | March 30, 2009 at 05:01 PM
"this goon [...], this imbecile that calls himself tAo, these the type nincompoop idiots you like to surround yourself with"
-- Well Ashy, before you finally give up and leave us poor souls, this here "imbecile that calls himself tAo" would very much like for you to please go and read and study two short papers of mine titled "Categorical Analytic Meaning of Truth", and "Ruthless Compassion". (these are both PDF files)
You can find and read these by clicking on the following links:
The Categorical Analytic Meaning of Truth:
"you [Brian}] had in fact turned your attention away from the introverted search for spiritual upliftment and that you had now started a venue or blog site for all disillusioned soul seekers who decry the existence of spirit or soul or elevated consciousness"
-- Where do you get the terribly mistaken idea that the rest of us here are all "disillusioned soul seekers who decry the existence of spirit or soul or elevated consciousness" ??? No one here has ever denied the existence of "elevated consciousness", and some of us here (myself included) actually have a great deal of direct experience in "elevated consciousness". So where do you get this notion, this assumption that we reject "elevated consciousness"? This seems to be yet another artificial straw-man arguement of yours, which has no real basis in the actual experience or the outlook of other folks here. You are making judgements about other people that are not in accord with the way they themselves see things. Thats a rather bad habit which you should be aware of and try to avoid.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 05:08 PM
One more tick behind the theory that internet blogs do bugger all to get anyone anywhere near to spiritual upliftment, just another venue for blowing arrogant trumpets.
Now you know exactly why true teachers of spirituality do not encourage this type of superfluous egotistical debate.
They, the guru's, know exactly what they are about and this kind of deigning discredit gets nobody anywhere near to enlightenment, if anything exactly in the opposite direction.
Posted by: ashy | March 30, 2009 at 05:18 PM
"If anybody needs a guru to slap them right out of the self centered inflated arrogant opinion of themselves its this lot of grandiose aggrandized deluded illusionists."
-- For your information Ashy, I already have had a number of very notable, wise, and sagely gurus - many decades ago. I don't need them as gurus any more. In case it may means anything to you (unlikely), here are a few: The great sage Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Renowned Sufi Sheikh M.R. Muhaiyadheen, The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa (Rangjung Rigpe Dorje), Dudjom Rinpoche, Choegyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Sri Neem Karoli Baba Maharaj, Sri Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, Sri Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, and Sri Ananda Mayi Ma.
The fundamental flaw of grandiose aggrandized egotism, too much learning is most definitely a bane and a serious disadvantage to anybody that has any aspirations of a spiritual nature."
-- You desperately need to read and understand the John Galt speech in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged".
Text of John Galt speech:
Outline of John Galt speech:
Audio version of John Galt speech:
"Just imagine all that goddamn superfluous learning you got to unlearn all over again just to get back to base One."
-- You have absolutely no idea what you are babbling about.
"these poor fools cause I reckon there is no way in hell they going to get anywhere near to where its at"
-- Ashy, you are literally one of the most willfully blind and ignorant fools that I have ever come across. You're definitely a sick puppy. Its really rather pathetic and disgusting. I hope you soon get the rude awakening that you are headed towards. You are without a doubt one of the dumbest guru-cult goons to ever stumble your way onto this site.
"Just way too much baggage they got strapped round their necks [...] weighing their poor over inflated minds and subsequently their souls down."
-- You know nothing about the other folks in this forum. And YOU are the one who has all the "baggage" of religious cult dogma. You really ARE one of the all-time most unintelligent and mentally sick religious morons to ever comment in this site. Its sad that people like you actually exist. Do yourself and us all a big favor - just go back whereever you came from.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 06:22 PM
Addition: Also Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 06:27 PM
From your nick, Tao, i took it you were well versed in Taoism and wanted to hear your views on this with regards to these 4 princples."
-- Well its only just a "nick"... it does not imply what you think.
"as for the arrogance bit, you proceeded to try and make a point about gurus and science teachers that had nothing to do with my original point. nothing at all."
-- That is not true. Go read your comments.
"You also posed your statement in such a way that if i did not agree with you i was apparently a fool."
-- I did not imply that.
"You then proceeded to give me an offhanded highanded remark suggesting i go and study memes."
-- My suggestion was just that, a suggestion. Don't be so touchy.
"My comments on science were to put you back firmly in your place."
-- You have nothing with which to put me in my place. You're dreaming.
"suffice to say my formal education trump yours quite easily so i feel no need to be talked down in the manner you attempted."
-- Again, I did n ot "talk down" to you... and also your education does not "trump" mine. You know nothing about me or my education. So George, get a cle why don't you?
In fact, your general bias and sweeping all-knowing generalistion and assumed superiority"
-- Wrong. I have no such "bias" or "sweeping all-knowing genralisation(s)"
"u dont even see it, u bladdy idiot."
-- So is that why you resort to troll-text?
"There was no call for this whatsoever, i asked you and tucson, politely and respectfully, for your take on eastern principles."
-- And I have tried to answer you, and simply asked if you would please re-post your 4 principles. You are obviously very touchy.
"i have no interest in reading your scientific papers in the slightest."
-- Thats unfortunate for you. Then don't ask me to respond to your stuff. If you are so utterly closed-minded, then there is no point going further.
"i wanted your input on your mystical knowledge and taoism in particular, and i still have recieved nothing on this apart from arrogance, aggression, smarminess and one-upmanship"
-- That is not how I responded to you.
"my puffed-up responses were precisely in answer to your deigned superior f'cking intellect"
-- That is your crap, not mine.
"since this seems the only way to communicate with such a completely arrogant arse."
-- More crap.
"and writing this i now know why Ashy does the same. wtf is wrong with you?"
-- You have no idea about me whatsoever. Its your own reactionary attitude. Ashy is nothing more than a religious fundamentalist troll. And if you can't see that, then you aren't very bright. Like I said, don't be so uptight and sensitive. I was not criticising you. I was trying to address the subject that you brought up.
Posted by: tAo | March 30, 2009 at 06:56 PM
How very trite, picking off each point without any honesty whatsoever. It it true and i have read my comments.
This whole little spat is because of your personal differences with Ashy's whose opinion you seemingly cannot seem to stomach for some reason. Even if he's totally wrong and you are totally right (which is highly unlikely), your fundamenal zeal for attacking everything he says or anyone that agrees with him in any form, points to who the actual fundamentalist here is.
You are clearly a very arrogant individual who simply needs to be put firmly in his place and it will happen, and probably has happened repeatedly.
Do me a favour don't respond to me, what a loss.
My reactionary attitude was exactly deserved. I am not going to be walked over. I started off addressing you politely and with respect only to be belittled for seemingly supporting a part of what Ashy has to say.
But the worst of this whole thing, is the part that i agreed with Ashy about, is that not one of you supposed enlightened fellows had even the foggiest clue what he was trying to say. In fact you misunderstood him so completely and wantingly in your attempt to denigrate, that its amusing.
Ashy's basic point that I agree with was that there are many different paths to reach spiritual enlightement, not only Sant Mat, Sant mat being one of number of highways with its own signs to get to the destination.
Now I personally dunno if there is a destination, but the idea of many of the mstic believes sharing common principles is well known, as I have Huxley and Liebniz felt as much, so however great you think you are, Ashy happens to be in some pretty exhaulted company.
As for whether he is a troll or not, that is your opinion, no-one else needs to be press-ganged into accepting it for fear of incurring your sarky comments. I think you are a troll.
What certainly was not needed was your arrogant dismissal of these valid points he did raise. If this is what you consider a free thinker to be, or a free thinking forum, then you are the one who is not very bright.
Posted by: George | March 31, 2009 at 02:11 AM
Dare i state the obvious, there is no small amount of method in Ashy's apparent madness, the results are right here for all too see.
The reactions he illicits are of such variety and passion that one's gotta laugh at the sheer irony of it all.
he's leading you around by the nose, and you cant see the wood from the trees such is the amount he's shaken you up, you are simply unable to even recognise the valid points he makes, which is precisely his tiff with the intellect.
well played Mr Ashy, well played indeed.
Posted by: George | March 31, 2009 at 02:30 AM
Many people reading this blog will be applauding you. Your comments read like they come from the heart and that is of great significance.
George is absolutely spot on with the above comment: Posted by: George | March 31, 2009 at 02:30 AM
Posted by: zenjen | March 31, 2009 at 04:24 AM
You have made your point:
1) Santmat is a religion with its fundamental followers.
2)Its system are not only false, they,
3)Are meant to confuse and perpetuate the cult organisation.
4)And it changes these tactics through time going from Santmat 1.0 to 2.1
5) There are some unfortunate deluded satsangis that must re-educated regarding these truths...one of them being,
6)That all inner experience is subjective, different and do not necesserilt prove anything.
7) that like tuscon said :
But consciousness, or 'Mind', does not 'project'- the phenomenal universe: 'it' IS the phenomenal universe which is manifested as its self.
I do not disaggree with tuscon, it is the manifested mind. The same thing that that white liguid stuff is the cow manifested as itself. The same thing that brown smelly stuff come out of the hole on the bottom of the Human body; That brown stuff IS the phenomenal universe which is manifested as its self. Same with speech, same with breathing, seeing, thinking. No?
Ok. Tuscon, can you write a poem without the words: Nor, Either, yet, but, I and without questioning and anwering your self? Dont regard this as condesending, is just if you feel inspired or you have one already written, it would be nice to read it. I enjoy them.
So why dont you turn BRIAN, to mystical experiences themselves, through the years. http://www.near-death.com/
If all these people are delusional, then how do you know that some people dont want to be delusional? If you call already this subjective experience, you already locked yourself in your subjective experience. There have been real experiences, by people from many parts of the world, in many different times, in different cultures, that talk about IT, whatever that thing IS. Sure, it doesnt prove anything to those that have not had NDE, but doesnt prove somethinig?
As far as santmat politics are concerned the subject is run out and dry.
Do you want to mute everyone because you all have rejected santmat?
Check this abstract piece from someone from the NDE site: Is he delusional as well?
.........I asked the light, "What is going on here? Please, light, clarify yourself for me. I really want to know the reality of the situation."
I cannot really say the exact words, because it was sort of telepathy. The light responded. The information transferred to me was that your beliefs shape the kind of feedback you are getting before the light. If you were a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own stuff. You have a chance to look at it and examine it, but most people do not.
As the light revealed itself to me, I became aware that what I was really seeing was our Higher Self matrix. The only thing I can tell you is that it turned into a matrix, a mandala of human souls, and what I saw was that what we call our Higher Self in each of us is a matrix. It's also a conduit to the Source; each one of us comes directly, as a direct experience from the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being. It revealed itself to me in its truest energy form. The only way I can really describe it is that the being of the Higher Self is more like a conduit. It did not look like that, but it is a direct connection to the Source that each and every one of us has. We are directly connected to the Source.
Is it randomness? Put a monkey on a typewriter for ever and it may type Homer's Troy 100000000 in a row.
Another of homer's books was typed by another monkey randomly:
had been knifed with a stiletto that severed an artery above my liver. I remember looking up and seeing a light. I then looked down at my body and then I was confronted by at least two beings. They were human in appearance and they seemed to float in midair. I realized I was far above my body and not in any earthly space. The beings tried to keep me from going to the light. I don't know why, they just seemed terrified and didn't want me to go. But I did. I shot up like an arrow through what can only be described as a tunnel.
I saw the tunnel as a peripheral blur of stars and I saw a loving light before me. Then I stopped. I was there with this orb of glowing love and understanding. It didn't seem foreign to me. It was not frightening. It was totally assuring and there was no feeling of anything but my awe and the love and knowledge and wisdom that this orb projected. In size, it would be not like looking at the sun, but looking at the Earth when you are on it. It was immense and total, and its power was love.
I felt a presence next to me, a man, and he asked if I was ready for my life review. I said, "Yes."
All of this was not a verbal thing, but just a knowledge. Then I saw like a HO scale train set below, a city. I went to this city and I went through my life. I went through every moment and every feeling. I was not afraid as I was still in the light. I talked with the man about my life. But I do not remember any specifics.
The damn specifics...He aparantly "forgot" to take his fieldnote book to the other world.Trickster
Posted by: Kalimera | March 31, 2009 at 06:17 AM
"As the light revealed itself to me, I became aware that what I was really seeing was our Higher Self matrix. The only thing I can tell you is that it turned into a matrix, a mandala of human souls, and what I saw was that what we call our Higher Self in each of us is a matrix. It's also a conduit to the Source; each one of us comes directly, as a direct experience from the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being. It revealed itself to me in its truest energy form. The only way I can really describe it is that the being of the Higher Self is more like a conduit. It did not look like that, but it is a direct connection to the Source that each and every one of us has. We are directly connected to the Source."
---sounds like a piece from a romance novel.
---"our Higher Self matrix" Is this a female? I'm feeling romantic. Matrix, sounds totally kool.
---"the Source" What training manual did this come from?
---"It revealed itself to me in its truest energy form." Why doesn't it ever reveal itself in it's partially truest energy form?
No such thing as a gray area, in energy forms?
---Always, this talk about LIGHT. Would be nice to read some information about how DARKNESS reveals itself. Never know, might be something wonderous, within Darkness. Dark and light are just words, with various definitions.
Posted by: Roger | March 31, 2009 at 09:07 AM
Roger, I've always enjoyed your questions. They make me laugh and some already contain the answers.
Zenjen, no applause for the bogged down.
Obed, I loved the truthful poem.
George, well done for sticking it out with honest questions. You haven't had comment on the four points yet.
Jim G, thanks for your excellent comment on a very good post. Free-thinking intellectual discussions stimulated by the posts are best.
Posted by: Catherine | March 31, 2009 at 10:07 AM
A little comic relief, amongst the comment warfare, never hurts.
Posted by: Roger | March 31, 2009 at 10:40 AM
At the base of this site is not really the honest unquestioning sincere search for truth but really an axe that they trying to grind out about and regarding fundamentalism, they are so indoctrinated with this notion of rooting out any form of belief or inner realm experience as fictitious hogwash, that they have practically closed their very own consciousness down from evaluating or experiencing it.
They reckon they can actually think their way to Nirvana, or else perhaps with as much fundamentalist zeal they may be able to discredit any other systems of appreciable enlightenment, and hold the free thinking mind up as the new Valhalla or Guru consciousness, but they are in fact deluding no one but themselves.
There is no such thing as experiencing free thought with an unfree mind, no matter how fundamentally you like to bullshit yourself about it.
Posted by: ashy | March 31, 2009 at 02:04 PM