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November 04, 2009


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'This is it' is fairly close to a perfect realization, you also need to carry it with you through every act so a close ones death, a bad day and a walk in the park.

We're not going to get any other now and it seems that religions will have people waste this entire 70 years of it in the egotistical hope of some other it to follow.

Perfecting how you see it is the only work to be done in my eyes. To avoid "Ah this it is great!" followed by ah "Hmm, This it is very miserable indeed" - That would be the reason to choose to work, not on the it, not on the now, but the ability to hold true to this view in all things.

It is a fine perspective.

Why does this term “this is it” postulated here so frequently sound so self-congratulatory, so smug and indeed in some ways very selfish? Is it because of the way it is expressed here and the way everyone else on this wavelength rushes to agree with how marvellously intelligent you all are with your scientific viewpoints to back you up with your theory of so called “reality”? Science has only scratched at the surface of physical reality and you all seem to bow down to these scientists as if they are indeed gods. Science has become the new religion for some - but not all scientists (according to these intellectual science worshipers), some are relegated to the area of pseudo science and yet these are the very scientists who are making the groundbreaking discoveries in connection with consciousness and what “it” really is.

Michael Jackson was a very programmed individual, addicted to drugs and other types of abusive behaviour and it’s very sad that so many people have been conditioned by the media to idolise these so called icons.

It seems that most of the “this is it” people just simply want to be happy, enjoy their lives, enjoy having a wonderful intellect and being so clever, with a little bonding with nature thrown in, and this is not what Zen and the Tao teach.

I wonder if this story will move you, or has the god of science made you too sceptical and cynical… this is a folk-story about someone who knew PURE love and how to live IN THE NOW from ‘Upside-Down Zen’ by Susan Murphy:

"Hakuin (a Buddhist monk) was living in a small hut outside a village, dependent on village alms to sustain his fiercely intense practice. He was startled one day by a sudden loud and angry knocking at his door. He rose from meditation and opened it to a furious woman who had dragged along her reluctant daughter, and who thrust forward a newborn baby. ‘Here!’ she said. ‘She’s told us everything. We know it’s your baby. You look after it, you imposter monk!” What should he do? Hakuin opened his arms to the baby. To take the baby was to take on a mantle of shame as a monk, and also the burden of looking after a tiny baby (while also maintaining, as best he could, his unswerving practice). He simply said, ‘Oh, is that so?’ and took the baby.

Was this an ironic question? We hear it with ears tuned to irony, but don’t miss the wonder in his voice, and also no doubt the heaviness of heart. But Hakuin received the baby with the freshness of no-mind, no-views, just wonder and wondering.

Life no doubt grew very, very complicated. Somehow he managed as one has to manage, as every new parent can attest to. The basis for this is not duty but love. Hakuin duly fell in love with this baby – the baby sees to this as a matter of its own survival. Months passed, then there was another loud knocking at the door. It was the angry woman again. This time she held her own arms out for the baby in Hakuin’s arms. ‘She’s told us everything. We know it’s not your baby. It was the boy at the fishmarket. Give us back the baby!’

‘Oh, is that so?’ said Hakuin once more, and with his heart both relieved and breaking, he handed the baby back."

Jen, every time I hear that Hakuin story I think, wouldn't it have been easier if he'd simply said "that isn't my baby" right from the start? This would have taken four words, the same as "Oh, is that so?" But saved a lot of complications.

I don't share your antipathy toward Michael Jackson. Have you seen this movie? Like I said, Jackson comes across as very likable. And of course, hugely talented. I felt inspired by "This Is It." Jackson was into environmentalism and had a great song/video in his planned show about destruction of rain forests.

I also don't understand why science gets such a bad rap. It teaches us things about the universe, about reality, which we then can incorporate into our personal philosophy of life any way we want to: ignore the facts, embrace them, question them, whatever. Where's the problem with that?

Brian, if he had said, "that isn't my baby", there would have been a huge row, the village people would probably have risen up against him. I think his wisdom was in just accepting whatever life put in his way, in other words, his “Oh, is that so” was another way of expressing “this is it” because that was the way he lived his life, unselfishly accepting whatever he experienced with patience and love.

As for science… I recommend the following video link, which is a “scientific” (some may disagree) view of consciousness:

“Physicist and consciousness researcher, Thomas Campbell, Discusses the nature of reality in terms of consciousness -- this video logically and scientifically explains the normal and the paranormal, mind and matter, physics and metaphysics, philosophy and theology.”


I have to agree with Jen about Jackson.

Sadly, Michael Jackson was a very flawed person. He had been cronically addicted to narcotic pain meds for more than a decade. He was narcissitic to the extreme, spending his wealth on repeated facial plastic surgery.

He never matured into manhood or adulthood, hence his perverse obsession and complusion towards surrounding himself with young boys.

His supposed charisma was simply a a result of maybe 40 percent media hype, 30 percent good choreography and management, 20 percent glamor & money, and 5 percent illusion and 5 percent talent.

And just because he seemed to be "a nice guy" doesn't hold much if any weight. He literally wasted hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars, in spite of the heart-sickening fact that millions of human beings (and children) are dying - sick and diseased, malnourished, and literally starving to death every single minute - all the while M.J. would go spend millions at a shot in places like Las Vegas, buying expensive decorative artifacts, statues, gilded mirrors and such, in his insatiable material urge and absurd pretense of royalty. He did not give very much of his money to the poor or to charity... he spent it on ridiculous and unnecessary excess and gifts for himself and his other filthy rich friends.

He died before his time mainly because of his lack of common sense, self-discipline, and poor mental health... which direcly precipated his foolish demand and use of a very risky and dangerous sleep medication outside of a hospital setting. In the end, it was his own stupidity, excess, and recklessness that killed him.

Anyone who fails to see this is a stupid sucker who has been conned and fooled by the media hype and the illusion of Hollywood glamour. Its funny how some people can be so blinded.

I also agree with Jen about Hakuin and Jackson. I think 'this life' is pretty much spot on in his analysis about Jackson. This is not to say that "Billie Jean" is not on my all time favorite pop song list.

I am not equating Jackson to
Ted Bundy, the serial killer, except in the sense that seriously ill and perverse individuals can still exhibit positive qualities that mask their abberations. Despite brutally murdering and raping as many as 160 or so women Bundy was said to be intelligent, charming and likable.

this life and Pelvis, here's the way I see Jackson and the "This Is It" movie: there are different ways of seeing. More than two, for sure, but here's a couple of them.

(1) See something or someone in terms of its history, what it has been up to now.

(2) See something or someone freshly in the present moment, as if with new eyes untainted by memories.

These are both valid ways of seeing. Just different. Reviews of the movie, both from movie critics and movie viewers, reflect this.

Some people talk about Jackson's past, his drug use, his plastic surgeries, his weirdness, his childlikeness.

Some people talk about how he comes across in the film, and how "This Is It" made them feel as they were watching it. This is what I focused on, because I resonate with the here and now "This is it" philosophy.

As I watched the movie, I surrendered preconceptions about Michael Jackson. I just absorbed what I saw of him. Which was quite different from many of my preconceptions.

So I gained a fresh view of him. Sure, this has to be melded with what I know of his history, his past. But a person is more than their history.

If we always look upon people as we have known them in the past, we run the risk of missing out on fresh perceptions and insights into them.

Jen, Hakuin's response was fine. My point was that there are other equally fine ways of responding. One gripe I have with Zen literature is that it elevates the sayings of supposedly enlightened Zen masters into a religious-like sphere.

Koan study for example. The student doesn't "pass" the koan until his or her response is accepted by the Zen master as genuine or authentic. Which assumes that the Zen master is able to distinguish between authentic and inauthentic. I prefer Taoists, who are considerably more egalitarian and hang loose.

Thanks for the video link. I watched the first 9 minutes of the lecture. I'm sure the guy makes some interesting points. I disagreed, though, with his oft-heard but erroneous claim that scientists discount subjectivity.

I've read a whole lot of science books, and attended quite a few lectures by prominent scientists. I've never heard any scientist say that subjectivity isn't real, or that it isn't important. So this made me suspicious of the speaker.

I wish people like him would simply present their purported fresh insights into reality without presuming that other scientists have a horribly narrow-minded view of consciousness and subjectivity. He's wrong about that. Science just focuses on studying what can be studied objectively, which is objective reality.

I doubt that Campbell could come up with a single instance of a noted scientist saying "subjectivity does not exist" or "subjectivity is not important." So why did he claim this is the position of science?

this life, you're wrong about Jackson's generosity. He reportedly gave more than $500 million to charity, and was a pioneer in celebrity fund-raising efforts. See:

Brian, I’m disappointed that you only watched 9mins of Thomas Campbell, but I do thank you for that.

I will have to listen again to what he said about scientists discounting subjectivity. I would think this has probably been his personal experience with other scientists.

I really resonate with his “theory of everything”, this was when I had my own “this is it” realization about consciousness.

Jen, I've also watched most of the second installment. I might take a look at more, but so far I'm not taken by Campbell. In episode 2 he lost me with his assumption that physical reality is a tiny, tiny fraction of total reality -- which includes supernatural stuff, I gather, and a whole lot of non-physical consciousness.

It looks to me like Campbell is someone who is using pseudo-science to further his metaphysical beliefs. Nothing wrong with that; I've done it myself. He just doesn't seem very persuasive, from what I've seen so far. I might give him another watch, though.

Brian, great to hear you have watched more!

I’m going to watch the videos again with your comments in mind. It does take time to get through them all and I previously did it in a few sittings.


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