I feel a sermon coming on... can't help myself... spirit is moving me... reality must be praised... glory be! I'm happy to be your not-so-humble servant, Almighty Reality.
Fellow humans, stand strong for what is real. Believe this: a single grain of sand is more worthy of your worship than any holy book, any religious theology, any supernatural theorizing. You can feel that grain of sand, taste it, see it.
Where's God? Where's soul? Where's spirit? Where's angels, heaven, reincarnation, Buddha nature, enlightenment, or any other abstraction lacking concrete this-ness and that-ness?
Nowhere, reality worshipping brothers and sisters. Nowhere.
Well, let's make that somewhere... but barely. Because these ideas, these notions, these thoughts, they do exist. Absolutely, they do. But where they exist is solely in the unfounded belief systems of some Homo sapiens'.
Who are sapient, yet not all that smart.
And I include myself, Pastor Brian of this here Church of the Churchless, among those who have fallen away from faith in the only entity in the cosmos which deserves our worship, Almighty Reality. For I too once prayed at the false altar of religious bullshit.
Until I saw the light. The light of godless reality. To my credit, though, during those many years of religiosity I gave lots of talks, which in the organization I belonged to were called satsangs.
I'm proud to say that even back then Almighty Reality was starting to speak through me. For one of the most oft-repeated quotations that I cited in my talks came from a great sage, Philip K. Dick. May his words thrill your reality-seeking heart just as they have thrilled mine, time and time again.
It was always my hope, in writing novels and stories which asked the question "What is reality?", to someday get an answer. This was the hope of most of my readers, too. Years passed. I wrote over thirty novels and over a hundred stories, and still I could not figure out what was real.
One day a girl college student in Canada asked me to define reality for her, for a paper she was writing for her philosophy class. She wanted a one-sentence answer. I thought about it and finally said, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." That's all I could come up with. That was back in 1972. Since then I haven't been able to define reality any more lucidly.
Oh, I so love those words. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. Thirteen words. And two commas. Plus a period. What more do you need for a philosophy of life?
Hold a grain of sand in the palm of your hand. Close your eyes. Think to yourself, "I don't believe in you, grain of sand." Open your eyes. Ha-ha! The grain of sand is still there. Your belief in it or disbelief in it had zero effect on the grain's reality.
But what happens to God, the Devil, heaven, or any other supernatural entity you might believe in? When you stop believing in them, thinking about them, assuming their existence -- they do go away.
That's because they're not really real.
They're just a teeny-tiny bit real, as real as the dreams that pass through your mind while asleep, as real as the ideas that float through your consciousness while awake, as real as the neurochemical connections between the neurons in your brain which brought those imaginary supernatural notions into being -- which means that when you are no longer alive, your unfounded religious, spiritual, and mystical imaginings die with you.
And the grain of sand? It still exists. Because it is real, and any religious ideas you embrace are not.
Oh, I know how good it feels to hold onto religious beliefs. I clung to them myself for thirty-five years. But now I have seen the light, the light of Almighty Reality, the divinity that I sought in an imagined realm beyond the physical for so long, until it dawned on me to look right where I was standing.
On solid ground.
Where marvelous creatures great and small wordlessly sing the praises of what is real, because each of them, every one, from a grain of sand to a cluster of galaxies, is more worthy of reverence than any notion of a distant divinity promulgated by a religion.
I understand, though, how addictive the idea of God is, how seductive the fantasy that a supernatural Creator brought this world into being is. So to those who are unable to break the chains which bind you to religiosity, I offer this way of looking upon your Creator God:
He/She/It is not shy.
God would not be godly if the ultimate power hid away like a frightened bunny rabbit in the tall grasses of the cosmos. No, brothers and sisters, God stands tall, proud to reveal the divine nature in every atom of creation.
So religions tell you a lie. Gurus tell you a lie. Holy books tell you a lie. This lie is...
That God is to be found in a heavenly supernatural realm. Or in the dark silent recesses of your meditative psyche. Or after death, in some sort of resurrection, rebirth, or re-whatever that offers a second chance at knowing reality after you missed your chance in this life.
But this life is your chance. God is not hiding. God is not distant. God is not separate from creation. However, it does take a bit of work to identify the most godly aspect of God. Which is, the most really real reality:
That which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Thus even if you believe in God (I don't), the best way to worship Him/Her/It is to stop believing in what isn't real. What remains, grains of sand, trees, dogs, coffee, iPhones -- everything that doesn't require belief to maintain it in a state of demonstrable existence -- is God. Or God's creation.
Do not, repeat do not, falter in your embrace of reality. It's both the easiest thing to do, and the hardest. Easy, because reality doesn't hide. It dances right in front of you, waving its hands, screaming "Here I am, here I am!"
But we human beings, and only we human beings, because animals are smarter than us in this regard, have evolved a desire for religious fantasy. It's an unhealthy artifact of our evolutionary heritage, much as the desire for sweets and fats is, which made sense when we were scavengers on a savannah but not now, when so many people can barely fit in an airplane seat.
Religiosity turns us away from what is real. It pushes us into an addiction, a belief-addiction. We end up consuming empty reality-calories, abstract dogmas and theologies rather than the genuine healthy fare of the natural world.
Weed your garden. Walk in the park. Sip a glass of wine. Hug a loved one. Smile at a stranger. No beliefs required. There's an infinity of reality surrounding you in every direction. It's all yours, as soon as you turn away from the falsities of religion and have faith in the only thing that can support you.
What is real.
Yep, Dicky boy had a great imagination, and the statement he expressed is a fundamental belief in Realism - the idea that reality exists independently of whether our mind is able to perceive it or not.
How do you reconcile this with your belief in the apparently irreligeous budhist notion of 'emptiness' - that things have no independent existence, that "I" as well as everything else (reality) has no independent existence.
If there is no I, no things, or no thoughts - then space and time also cannot exist, since these are artificial constructs of our mind, which also does not exist. Since things, time and space do not exist, causation (cause-and-effect) cannot exist because there are no things to effect other things.
So even if emptiness means 'codependent arising', that things only arise or exist because they are 'caused' by other things - this cannot be, because there is no causation, nor things from which other things can arise.
Thus, in its most pure form, shorn of manmade interpretation, emptiness can only refer to a sort of pure awareness or Cosmic Mind or Tao, a whole-Mind, which is no-thing and hence empty and yet the source of everything.
Thus emptiness and budhism essential message relates to the idea of Idealism - that reality is not mind-independet, that reality is mind-dependent, that reality is Mind.
So which do you believe: the Realism of Dick or the Idealism of Budhism?
Posted by: George | October 14, 2012 at 09:08 AM
This was wonderfully written and very timely for me to have found and read it. I have been on a spiritual/political journey for the past few years, a journey that has taken me further away from my upbringing (mother) and the beliefs of all of my coworkers. With the exception of my girlfriend (who moved to Beaverton for OHSU) I am all alone on this life changing mission, but once in awhile I come across new information that helps me along the way, your blog being a new addition to the list. So in short, thank you for writing this, it was well appreciated.
P.S. Do you know who Joseph Atwill is? I just watched his documentary Caeser's Messiah, it was an impressive learning experience for me.
Posted by: Mick | October 14, 2012 at 09:21 AM
George, excellent question. I guess I believe in both, not finding an inherent contradiction between them. This stuff is hard to explain; I'll just give an outline of how I look at things for now.
-- Seemingly reality can be interdependent, i.e. "empty" in the Buddhist sense, yet also objectively existent. After all, if there is no independent foundation to the cosmos, then mind isn't that foundation.
-- The way I look on this mind-dependent reality attitude in Buddhism is that for us as humans, the universe doesn't exist for us unless we are conscious of it. That seems obvious and unarguable.
-- But I find it difficult to accept that after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, there was no universe until a human mind cognized it. That seems ridiculous. And out of touch with scientific observations. Plus, almost certainly there are alien beings in the universe, likely with very different minds/consciousness. Whose "mind" counts as making reality dependent on it?
-- I tend to look upon reality as having gradations. That's why I like to use terms like "really real reality." Everything we're aware of must be real in some sense, or we wouldn't be aware of it. A dream is real. A mirage is real. A fantasy is real. Question is, how real, compared to other real things?
-- This is where Dick's outlook makes sense to me. I suddenly have my color vision reversed and see a red light as green. My wife screams at me, "Don't go through the red light!" I believed the light was green, but that belief wasn't in accord with consensual human reality. Everybody else at the intersection with normal vision disagreed with my viewpoint. My belief was wrong. It wasn't in accord with reality.
-- Thus in my opinion Dick isn't saying that it is possible to know what reality is like independent of human consciousness. Rather, that some aspects of reality as known to humans are stable, universally recognized as being this way rather than that way when studied systematically and scientifically. Other aspects are very personal and subjective, what are commonly called "beliefs", viewpoints not supported by consensual evidence.
Posted by: Brian Hines | October 14, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Mick, glad you liked this post. I enjoyed writing it. It doesn't say everything I wanted to say on this theme, nor say it as well as I wished, but, hey, there's always another day in blogging, and life. Well, until there isn't.
Assume you're a fellow Oregonian. Lucky us. Or maybe just your girlfriend is. Way back I moved from San Jose to near-Beaverton (Raleigh Hills) to go to Portland State University. Then I worked at OHSU. Your comment brought back memories.
I'd never heard of Joseph Atwill. His book looks interesting. I'll add it to my Amazon wish list. Saw that he published it via Create Space, as I did with my book about a Greek philosopher, Plotinus. Good for him. I can easily believe that Jesus is a myth cooked up by Romans. Noted that reviews of the book are quite positive.
Posted by: Brian Hines | October 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM
The grain of sand and the grain of seed are both Real. But how are they different? What is in the seed that is not in the grain of sand?
Hold a seed in the palm of your hand and observe it. Describe its Reality; color, size, geometry, texture, smell. If this seed is planted and given light, water and air, it will grow into a complex plant.
Break open a seed, you will find not a plant. Nurture it and it will become a tree.
Break a grain of sand and you will only have tinier pieces of sand.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM
LIFE AND PHILOSOPHY DONT MATCH
Posted by: Mike Williams | October 14, 2012 at 02:58 PM
"With the exception of my girlfriend (who moved to Beaverton) I am all alone on this life changing mission"
That's what happens when they move to Beaverton.
Posted by: cc | October 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Hey Mike :)Hope you're having a Real good day.
Its my Real day today - Real sand, Real Seed (Dying in Las Vegas), Real Estate greed - They must be getting some sort of huge write-off or its a money laundering type cover - Who would want to live there anyway!
Poor trees. Let the entire COTC pray for them, if that's okay with Pastor Hines.
About Mind as Myth - What is Mind?
Smoking Baby Avatar in lieu of image.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Mike - do you have a contact link on Beas History page? I didn't see one.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 14, 2012 at 08:14 PM
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
---What is it, that absolutely never goes away? Never goes away, could be interpreted as an absolute permanant thing.
And, what was a grain of sand before the concept of grains and sand came about? Is this really what Reality is?
Posted by: Roger | October 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM
The Half-life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date -Samuel Arbesman
New insights from the science of science
Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and that Pluto was a planet. For decades, we were convinced that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing.
But it turns out there’s an order to the state of knowledge, an explanation for how we know what we know. Samuel Arbesman is an expert in the field of scientometrics—literally the science of science. Knowledge in most fields evolves systematically and predictably, and this evolution unfolds in a fascinating way that can have a powerful impact on our lives."
Edgar Cayce predicts that a new field of science will develop based on spiritual - occult phenomenon which will become measurable and practical.
experience. This science will focus on spiritual-phenomenon as having a material causation.
What Edgar said is interesting in light of the what is going on in the life of one called Parmahansa Nityananda. He is collaborating with US scientists in this.
Here are some links. Watch at your own risk. ;
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM
"Edgar Cayce predicts that a new field of science will develop based on spiritual - occult phenomenon which will become measurable and practical"
--Janya, would this just be another pseudo-science? Where would one find the measurable tangible? Is the spirit-occult phenomenon an intangible?
Posted by: Roger | October 15, 2012 at 11:52 AM
I don't know Roger.
Did you watch the link in my post? You could pick up some clues there.
Apparently, scientists are working on it.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM
".....budhist notion of 'emptiness' - that things have no independent existence, that "I" as well as everything else (reality) has no independent existence."
---what do you mean by no independent existence? A nonconceptual thing can have existence with or without mind.
---also, how did you conclude that nonduality is the same as idealism? Could you reference a wiki or other source?
Posted by: Roger | October 15, 2012 at 01:16 PM
There's no doubt that this particular Nityananda fellow is a blatant fraud. So you discredit your argument by any mention him, much less presenting him as being legit. And mysticism is generally not much more than mumbo-jumbo. Furthermore, it has been relatively obvious, for quite sometime, that Edgar Cayce was full of shit as well.
Posted by: tAo | October 15, 2012 at 01:34 PM
"Edgar Cayce was full of shit..."
No shit? Thoroughly debunked?
Posted by: cc | October 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
tAo, my dear,
I am not making ANY argument. I am merely reporting. And my report had to do with the discussion on Reality. I brought Nityananda up because apparently these people are levitating in the REAL world, on mattresses which appear to be pretty REAL. The videos don't seem to be doctored, or do they? Its Kundalini and its all in research mode now from what I am hearing and reading, maybe its always been that way,and I (maybe sensibly) have stayed away. But the people seem to be having fun and they sure appear genuine. Besides I didn't say he was legit, so you are casting an aspersion on me, which is clearly unfounded.
This does not appear to be mumbo-jumbo from the reports as well as from the you-tube videos. These people ARE levitating! And there are many videos where he clearly explains the various Siddhi phenomenon. What's the problem with that? He doesn't appear to be hiding anything.
If Edgar Cayce was the unsavory term you used, so be it. I am not an adherent of either of these people, so it personally does not matter to me.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 15, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Material causes as described by Aristotle,"A thing's material cause is the material of which it consists. (For a table, that might be wood; for a statue, that might be bronze or marble.)", and so when Edgar Caycee says that a science will come into being that will explore spiritual phenomenon ". . . as having a material causation", he is not taking a position, ie., he is not saying that this is the truth or not. He is simply reporting what he is seeing, intuiting.
In my opinion, he seems to be implying that the brain will be explored as the seat of spiritual phenomenon.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 15, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Brian, I question whether you have so much power over your beliefs that you can stop believing in a grain of sand when you hide it.
You mentioned Jan Westerhoff's book a short while ago: it seems that defining reality is a pretty difficult business.
In my view, a lot depends upon the capacity of the individual to understand or even just to perceive - what Schumacher called "adequatio". An advanced Qigong practitioner for example will have a different understanding of reality than your run-of -the-mill chap, because he has trained himself to perceive what most people normally cannot perceive. So one must not be too confident in one's ability to perceive reality.
Posted by: Malcolm | October 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Malcolm, that was my point in this post, your final sentence: "So one must not be too confident in one's ability to perceive reality."
It takes a bunch of "one's" to perceive reality. That's why science is so effective. Claims are checked, double-checked, evaluated, critiqued.
In everyday life, this means opening our minds to other perspectives. Which can be as simple as your spouse saying, "What do you think that sound is?" Or, "Do you see that deer hiding in the brush?"
I'm highly dubious of claims such as you mentioned: the whole "Zen" thing of people being able to perceive what other people supposedly can't, even though there is no consensual demonstrative evidence of such perceptions.
Heck, we all perceive reality differently. That isn't enlightenment; it's a fact. The hard part is figuring out which perceptions come closest to what can be called "objective" reality, which is universal rather than personal.
Posted by: Brian Hines | October 15, 2012 at 08:51 PM
"In everyday life, this means opening our minds to other perspectives."
Being this way is the real renunciation.
Its easy being self-centered. The Greater (self) is outside, in the external World - In the Sun, in the Moon, in the sky, in the dog, in the cat, other people, plants, in events, in life, in the sand and in the seeds. If this is what is meant by objective reality,it has just found one more friend.
As far as the "run of the mill chap', a good man or woman can carry on a higher life without any special occult training as I see it.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM
"apparently these people are levitating" --appearances are often deceiving.
"the people seem to be having fun and they sure appear genuine" -- are you really this gullible?
"This does not appear to be mumbo-jumbo" -- mysticism is mostly mumbo-jumbo. levitating is total rubbish.
"These people ARE levitating!" -- seriously? you must be smoking something.
"he clearly explains the various Siddhi phenomenon. What's the problem with that?" -- siddhis? ohh boy.
"I am not an adherent of either of these" -- if you say so.
Posted by: tAo | October 16, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Posted by: tAo | October 16, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Brian this is for you, something that might be of interest to you.
Posted by: Gaz | October 16, 2012 at 04:32 AM
You sound like an expert tAo.
To categorically deny ALL experience of ALL mystics, all ecstatics is clearly bias,one sidedness and shows disregard for truth.
What do you have to offer? You come in, make some mysterious, snide remarks and leave. What is it that you smoke? Why don't you show and tell? Gimme some links and references or your own reasoning for your stance. But wait, maybe you have explained your position and those posts are archived?
I am told that you are "enlightened", lets see proof. This fellow Nithyanada is out there in the open, explaining things, right or wrong as they may be. Lets hear you as well.
As for myself, I give everyone and everything the benefit of a doubt.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 08:37 AM
Mobbs doesn't get it either.
No one dies "briefly." Death is final. When doctors corroborate and say that the person was dying, they mean just that. An NDE is a Near Death Experience, it is not Death. Why Alexander persists in his folly, that he "died" is a mystery to me. But his NDE experiences were his very own. No one can take that from him. No one has a right to.
And to continue to equate lucid dreaming with a genuine NDE is sheer ignorance and absolute nonsense. Especially when it comes from people who haven't experienced either or neither.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 08:58 AM
Janya, you don't understand how both everyday life and the scientific method work. At least, your comments reflect this.
I say, "Janya, I can float in the air while I'm typing on my laptop. I'm doing this right now. I have other supernatural powers also. I can see what you're doing at this very moment from far away."
Prove me wrong, Janya. Prove me wrong. Remember, my experiences are mine, as you said. No one can take them from me. And I don't have to give them to anyone else.
I've said all I'm going to say about my supernatural powers. I'm not going to give you any further proof of them. YOU are the one who has to disprove them.
Come on, Janya. Show me your stuff. Show me that you're not smoking something (illicit). Prove that my mystical abilities aren't fraudulent. Do it!
You can't. And I don't really expect you to. I'm just showing you how ridiculous your own request to tAo, or anybody, to disprove the claims of people who purport to have had a supernatural experience are.
Knowing reality, by and large, is positive, not negative. It is based on something being there, not on something being absent. It is founded on evidence of existence, not on evidence of non-existence.
If I go through life demanding proof at every moment that invisible space aliens, or pink elephants, or saber toothed tigers aren't hiding behind a corner ready to manifest physically and jump on me, I'd drive myself crazy.
Which is exactly your position: crazy. Demanding proof that something doesn't exist, like proof that a comatose patient's vision of heaven wasn't real, is crazy.
Proof has to come from the person making the claim. Proof of a scientific discovery has to come from the researcher. I can't say "I've discovered how to travel faster than light; prove me wrong." It's up to me to show evidence how I do this.
You've got life backwards, Janya.
Posted by: Brian Hines | October 16, 2012 at 09:16 AM
BB, don't people generally share their life experiences? Why should those who have dreams, inner experiences, not share them? Aren't you sharing your thoughts? Of-course you are! Aren't thoughts an inner experience? I tell you BB,you cannot share your thoughts. Its not right that you share your thoughts.Your thoughts are your thoughts alone. Do away with this blog its got way too many thoughts in it.
". . .disprove the claims of people who purport to have had a supernatural experience are".
Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit - "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges."
BB, sadly, I think you are not in search of truth though you adamantly insist that you are.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Janya, you don't read this blog very clearly, or listen to people (like me) very clearly.
Of course people have dreams and talk about them. Those are subjective outputs of the brain. I had one last night that was very interesting.
But should you believe that my dream is a reality that you too should believe in? Of course not.
I'm a seeker of truth. But real truth, universal truth, truth that isn't just in a single person's mind. I already have that, because I have my own truth.
Listen to yourself. You say that everyone is entitled to their own thoughts, then you attempt to deny the validity of the thoughts that I share on this blog, and elsewhere.
Thoughts are one thing. Universal reality is another. Remember: "Reality is that which, when we stop believing in it, doesn't go away." When we stop believing, reality remains.
Posted by: Brian Hines | October 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Do they levitate after or before encounter with him-
first video the guru wanted to sex or at least trying to :
second video guru explains after the sex the bliss of it:
Posted by: Moongoes | October 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM
BB, my point is that people having their own inner experiences have a perfect right to share them. If some person or group or world view doesn't like what they are saying, they can express their thoughts as well. I don't deny you your thoughts. What I said about thoughts was merely to make the point that everyone has a perfect right to express their inner being,thoughts included. Clearly, its a matter of not encroaching on the other person's free will. People write books about all sorts of subjects that offend others. Should they all be stopped? Should an inquisition be held?
BB, perhaps you need to explain Universal Reality to me very very coherently. I don't like being at odds with you or anyone else for that matter. Can anyone fully know what "Universal Reality" is?
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Can you really call this stupid jumps, levitation
I thought people have better imagination of what levitation is.I think for me base jumpers are more interesting than this or maybe Crouching tiger hidden dragon or Superman or maybe stage diving
i would give this Nithyananda in front row on Motorhead or Sepultura concert
Posted by: Moongoes | October 16, 2012 at 10:44 AM
As a woman, I feel offended at your posting of the second video. Are you a misogynist by any chance?
About the first video, that fact that this type of behavior is going on is not wrong in itself. He doesn't claim to be a paragon of virtue and those women don't seem to be unwilling. He lays no requirement for moral behavior, those are side effects, he says. He says he is merely passing on his own brand of yoga techniques. His denial of these videos is what unclothes (ha ha) him.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM
So BB, you are seeking Universal thoughts that don't go away? Is the seed not a reality? Is the "idea" of the plant separate from the physical material seed? Of-course not! If I stop thinking about the "idea" of the plant in the material substance of the seed, will the seed if planted not grow into a plant? The "idea" of the plant is not real?
I totally understand the spirit of your argument, I just feel that you are not fully defining it for yourself. Once you do that, it will be blessing to everyone else.
p.s. You don't need to post this. I dunno, maybe discussing this separately in an email would be better. I don't want to be odds with you, like I said earlier.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Give me an example of where I haven't read a post clearly, so we have something concrete, otherwise it sounds like you are merely being accusatory. I completely understand what you have meant by subjective thoughts and subjective experiences.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Not sure I agree, Dick is simply saying that there is a reality that exists independently of our ability (or lack thereof) to perceive it. I don't think his statement has anything to say on the knowing or understanding reality - simply that it exists independently of our perception or knowledge thereof.
What seems more likely to me to be Dick's outlook is that once a perveiver or conscious being is introduced, that perveiver or being's knowledge of reality is limited to their perception thereof.
Our perception is limited to only see a small part of reality and sometimes it gets that part wrong.
Idealism suggests there are no objects and in fact no subject either - just pure awareness or Mind, that the grain does not exist in reality, it us a false perception by our own subjective mind, which is itself non-existent.
'Emptiness' in the original diamond sutra budhist sense, stripped of all later interpretations, seems to be wholly based on this view - that there are no objects, no Subject and no I, so all one is left with is emptiness void or pure budha nature.
You say to yanya, Knowing reality is based on something being there, not absent - but 'emptiness' is precisely defined by iabsence, not so?
Perhaps you need to reasses your last vestiges of spirityalty if consistency is to be adhered to?
Posted by: George | October 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Janya, above you said this about me: "I think you are not in search of truth though you adamantly insist that you are."
Those are fighting words. And totally incoherent words, given your other statements, which is why I said that you aren't reading either me clearly, or your own mind clearly.
I've been in search of truth my whole life. You don't know me. I could go on and on about my life story, beginning with my mother's search for truth, and what she taught me.
I don't appreciate your insult to my life, which includes fellow truth-seekers who I have loved and learned from. And yes, that includes the guru I loved and followed for some 35 years, doing so much truth-seeking and guru-service in the name of "sat" (truth), you wouldn't believe it.
So please don't lecture me about who I am and who I am not. You claim to embrace subjectivity, but you reject my own. This makes me think that you consider that you, and you alone, know what the truth is and how one seeks it. If so, please enlighten us.
You ask about universal truth. Pretty simple, Janya. It starts from truth that is apparent to more than one person. At least, that's how I see it. The more truth is evident to fellow humans, the more universal it is. For example...
The "heaven is real" vision discussed in other posts, along with "mystic visions" of many other kinds, is only evident to the person having the experience. That makes it a very non-universal truth. If there was demonstrable evidence of the universal'ness of the vision, that makes it a lot more universal.
I wrote a book called "Return to the One." I love the notion of "One." The cosmos does seems to be more unified the deeper we delve into it. So when we learn about universal laws, like the laws of nature known to modern science, we're getting closer to that One. When we focus on individual experiences, like dreams and visions, we're much farther from One.
My quest, as my mother's was, is to come closer to universal truth. I don't question that people have personal subjective experiences. I have them all the time, like we all do. What I question is when someone tries to claim that a personal experience points to something universal.
That's bullshit. We must challenge such assertions for the glory of One. I'll never stop doing that.
Posted by: Brian Hines | October 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Could "Emptiness" mean the absence of the concept of I, self, object, subject, etc. This doen't mean that there is non-existence of a no-thing or non-thing. A no-thing or a non-thing can have existence independent of mind. Within reality, all no-things or non-things have their presence. Emptiness, void, or any other dualistic wordage simply represents the nonconceptual, nondual awareness of non-things, etc. I don't see nonduality being any type of -ism.
The grain of sand exists in objectified reality. I've walked on a beach many times. Others here, have done the same.
Posted by: Roger | October 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM
quote Janya Barrish:
As a woman, I feel offended at your posting of the second video. Are you a misogynist by any chance?
Moon: That is a personal attack and insult coming from one who does not know how to joke and who does not obviously know Borat
And no i am physicaly and mentaly well and in great health and never had any trouble with women quite contrary.
Posted by: Moongoes | October 16, 2012 at 01:04 PM
How are you defining Universal truth. Is this a science verified truth?
Posted by: Roger | October 16, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I think that is exactly what 'emptiness' means - the absense of I, self, subject, object, thing, or grain of sand. If this worldview is correct, then all there is is what you call 'presence'. In other words, the grain of sand cannot exist according to this budhist worldview, neither does can it exist according to idealism or advaita nondualism. In fact, the experience and experiencer itself cannot exist, it is the absence of all things as u say, emptiness.
But you say the beach exists, and i agree it exists, and so does mr dick, regardless if you experience the beach, the grain of sand, the atomic constuents of a grain - or in fact whether any of these layers of reality are perceived or experienced at all.
imo Dick's point is that reality, i.e things like grains of sand, exist, regardless of whether you can perceive it or not.
Posted by: George | October 16, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The reason I said that I didn't think you were open to truth is because you come up so vehemently against a person's insight through their own inner experiences. If they are able to match their inner truth to outside truth, that is, a reality that many share, say a religious belief, to me that becomes an objective in a certain sense. To me there is some eternal truth, universal truth in most religions, even if its hidden, most of them eluding to the glory of One. I made that comment out of sorrow, not as an insult.
I have not ever insulted Charan Singh. NEVER. Read all my posts. I too am a Charan initiate and a sincere one, even though I have been totally confused and upset about Santh Math since I landed on your blog. I have been upset that initiates are not told up front that this is Kundalini Yoga. That the founders were involved with Siddhi acts of possessing their disciples etc. while the books advocate staying away from Siddhis etc.as obstacles on the path. I expressed my frustration at Gurinder ji only because from what I had heard on this blog and elsewhere on the internet. To say that the ONE is a metaphor, that Anami is merely a metaphor (a misnomer and wrong use of the word "metaphor") clearly demonstrates that the person claiming this is not a true teacher.
Which fellow truth seeker, other than Santh Math gurus are you referring to? I did not insult tAo. Go back and read the post. Note how he addressed me. I never insult anyone unless they insult me and my intelligence first and that too only to stay integrated as a human being.
Ok, that's a better explanation of universal truth than the other one. Birth and Death are universal truths, Heaven,to more than half the population on Earth is Real and true, therefore it is a Universal Truth, by your own definition.
Take the NDE tunnel and loving light experience. A high percentage of NDEs have that experience. NDEs are subsets of the population, is this truth not universal within the subset?
As far as the One is concerned, that is a Monist view. Islam believes in Allah as the One. Judaism believes in Jehovah, as the One, the Vedic view of the One is the
. . . Ekam Sat-Viprah Bahudha Vadanti. "The ONE BEING, the wise diversely speak of."
The tenth book of the Rig-Veda regards the highest conception of God both as the Impersonal and the Personal.
About Plotinus, and I know you are more informed about him having written that wonderful book nevertheless, this is what I know: Plotinus developed a cosmology that included the ONE, the Intelligence and the Soul. All existence emanates from the union of these three things. Plotinus does not say that creation comes out of nothingness. He said that the soul is made of the higher and the lower soul. The lower soul, the personality, the person living in the real world, he doesn't seem to pay much attention to, at least not in what I have read of him (I may be wrong),the challenges and problems associated with living in the world with one's personality are ignored, but instead speaks of a MYSTICAL doctrine of the soul merging with its higher part. To me true inner experiences are an example of the lower merging with the higher. The lower soul is enobled through profound inner experiences. So, to deny that we have a soul, defeats the purpose of becoming one with the ONE.
Profound personal experiences can ofcourse point to something universal, indeed they can. Its called revelation. The ONE can be known only through (a) Revelation (Ecstasy and Mystical Experiences (B) Reason (Thinking, Science; the Laws of Physics, Projective Geometry, Differential Calculus and such and more)
To me there is diversity in the ONE, how else can the entire creation be explained?
If I am addressed as a Dick, it is the failing of the person who addresses me as such, not mine. And you as the blog publisher, always have the option to not publish my posts.
I wish you well and I know you wish the same for me, no truth seeker would wish otherwise for another or for anyone else.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Moongoes - I take your posting that clip about women as a personal insult. Ok, I'll take it as a joke, take my words as a joke as well then.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 02:07 PM
"mo Dick's point is that reality, i.e things like grains of sand, exist, regardless of whether you can perceive it or not."
The point is that the "emptiness" ONLY exists for the individual practicing it. It is not a universal experience, therefore it is not Reality. When in your mind and thinking , however you do it George, concept and percept become one, you experience no separation, so the universe becomes empty for you. A subjective experience.Nothing universal about it. But ultimately, if you take it all to the level of the ONE, then that's a different story. Is everything an imagination of THE ONE. That is the question.
Posted by: Janya Barrish | October 16, 2012 at 02:17 PM
George said: "I think that is exactly what 'emptiness' means - the absense of I, self, subject, object, thing, or grain of sand."
--In my opinion, void or emptiness in Buddhism means absence of presence OR absence of I, self, subject, object, thing. This may seem too fine a distinction, but until the slightest shred of the conceptuality of dualistic divided mind dissolves, Void will not be apprehended.
This is not to imply that I possess this apprehension...or do not possess it, or anyone for that matter. How could "I" know it?
Posted by: tucson | October 16, 2012 at 02:35 PM
and so when Edgar Caycee says that a science will come into being that will explore spiritual phenomenon ". . . as having a material causation"
I happen to be a witness of that science and it is taking place at my home right now within the electronics that I use though not everyone seems to be able to see or hear it. Scientific research shows 9 out of 10 people experience extraordinary sound and vision as within real life with all the information present yet reproduced. Some don't see anything at all...and some experience moments of enlightenment exposed to it. Ain't that weired :)
Posted by: nietzsche | October 17, 2012 at 09:52 AM
I'm kinda bored today. I think I can become unbored if someone would could INSULT me. So, would someone write something that would insult me. Once insulted, I could then be part of the regular groupies here and thus be not bored.
So, help me with this......
Posted by: Roger | October 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Go back a million years ago, was that grain of sand conceptualized as a grain of sand? Grains of sand, surely were around a million years ago and had existence. However, no concept of sand, grain sizes, etc. were available. So, what was a grain of sand, one or two million years ago? Oh hell, go back a trillion years ago, what was that nonconceptualized grain of sand?
Posted by: Roger | October 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Roger, get over yourself. It's all about ME, ME, ME with you. Who gives a shit if you're bored today? Nobody. Get a life. Then maybe you won't be so bored.
But PLEASE, don't tell us about your life. Then WE'D all be bored and would start writing about how bored we are. Which would be fucking boring.
Geez, already I'm so bored with writing about how bored I am about your boredom, Roger. See what you've done...!!!! Jerk!
Posted by: Brian Hines | October 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM
LOL..........thanks Brian for the insulting comment, and the resulting unboring of me. You are a true friend.......
Posted by: Roger | October 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Yo Janya Barrish the link was not about women but Borat joking around you messed up big time it looks like you want to be offended and just looking around to find perfect circumstances to creat your own story. People here know that i am not insulter.
Posted by: Moongoes | October 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Tucson - yep exactly - I don't fully comprehend it, but you know what I'm trying to say.
Yanya - I don't believe in emptiness, I am discussing different ideas that have been presented on this website - I am your worst nightmare come true - the ultimate atheist trying to discover if there is anything at all to this witchety grub that you indulge in or simply hearsay to pretend you are privy to some special knowledge.
I will listen and read but as brian says, yoube gotta put up or shut up - great claims require great evidence, not less evidence
Posted by: George | October 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM
John McDonagh, PhD
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
October 10, 4:35 am
Myers’ rant and many of these comments reflect a total ignorance of empirical veridical (i.e., reports independently corroborated by medical monitors and eye witnesses) reports of events in operating rooms which near-death survivors reported. The events they reported (visual and auditory) occurred in the ER or OR while they were clinically dead (as verified by medical instruments). Conventional science cannot explain these phenomena. Visit http://www.iands.org. (International Assn. of Near-Death Studies is made up of scientists, medical professionals and experiencers) from a broad spectrum of cultures and degrees of skepticism. If you haven’t read the empirical studies, don’t waste our time pontificating your pre-conceived unexamined biases. Empiricism has been the hallmark of the Enlightenment. Too bad Myers is either too narrow-minded or lazy to look into empirical results and critique them before mouthing off.
October 10, 5:41 am
The title of this piece is somewhat ironic. You need to understand the nature of archetypes. You close yourself off to new input, because you’ve formed beliefs. If data conflicts with your beliefs, you make irrational arguments. Belief is illogical. Materialism is full of this kind of irrationality. The Christian fundamentalists and the “scientific” materialist skeptics are one in the same.
October 10, 11:13 am
The commenters here don’t seem to understand, or didn’t read the article. His neocortex was non-functional. He should not have even been capable of any perception- dreams hallucinations, nothing, much less hyper-reality with coherent experience. It’s interesting to say the least.
This is what holds science back. This dumb, ignorant dismissal of the not-yet-understood. You do know the nature of dogma, correct? Close-mindedness is particularly interesting pathology for people who often claim to be curious.
October 10, 11:21 am
And what is it about evolutionary biologists? Many of them seem to think they have some sort of monopoly on truth. The self-appointed high priests of our modern cultural paradigm.
Posted by: go back to go | October 17, 2012 at 04:33 PM
George, well said. you nailed it.
Janya, do put up or shut up.
religious beliefs and the ususal supernatural/paranormal bullshit just doesn't fly.
and cut out over-inellectualizing, and the insults as well.
besides, you're rather boring to Roger (and I suspect most everybody else too).
also, spare us all of your lengthy copy & pasting, and rubbish webpages. the folks here are quite capable of doing their own research, if they need to.
get out of your head, and into your heart.
(for best viewing, watch full screen)
Posted by: tAo | October 17, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Hello tAo my friend when you will come back to my mail i miss you man and still hardly wait for your story,thougths and if you remember that mail you said you have writen for me but saved it to your mailbox.I really do hope you are back,miss you,Moon
Posted by: Moongoes | October 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM