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April 17, 2020

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How can the world possibly make sense to us when we’re at ground level. I mean, we’re in the forest and can only see the trees. Because everything is interconnected in this world and we can’t see the chain of events that would play into something like the butterfly effect (I often feel that’s more of an analogy, but maybe it’s actual science 🤷🏻‍♀️).

Maybe the world does make sense on some level but our individual worlds don’t allow us to see it from where we’re at. Either way, sometimes I’m like, who cares. The only way I can help the world around me is by being a better person. It starts with you. It starts with me. And that change is the most powerful thing any single person can do.

I could be told a million reasons why there’s so much suffering in this world. But it will never make sense to me. However, when I find myself about to spiral into a sense of hopelessness and despair after seeing yet another ASPCA commercial I stop myself and say I don’t have the power to fix everything that’s broken, I can’t save every animal or the starving people in the world—especially here in America where it makes no sense at all. But I can do my part.

Personally, I often wonder if there wasn’t suffering in this world would humans even care whether it made sense or not?

"How can the world possibly make sense to us when we’re at ground level."

That's the first thing I was thinking, too. We can only observe this whole thing from inside one tiny part of it, not from above. Maybe there's an order to it all that, even if we could see it, would be too complex to fit into our limits of reason and would be perceived as nonsense and chaos anyway.

Having not read the book I have no idea what the author says, but it seems from the review that he, like all religious thinkers, believes and needs that there is some side door to knowing more. People keep talking about these magical super perceptions, but they're not providing much evidence.

It's nice to know there is something bigger than us to live for. Something more, something other, that we gain access to within ourselves by contemplating a mystery. Beyond toil, beyond pleasure. It's there and inside us is the connection. Because we are already part of it. Yet when we try to intellectualize, at best we only get a fragment, a single, monoscopic view. Intuitively we know there is more, and this guides us to gather more monoscopic views. But that will never suffice to understand the whole. Still, it can be pursued in an instant. And while we cannot contain it, box it, pacjage or intellectually, it can capture us, and we can digest at least a small meal of it. To seek the experience of bliss and wholeness, integration and harmony within ourselves, that is a goal we can make some progress on, if that is our endeavor.

Intellect or brains have limited insight or capacity to seek a reason or motive behind the creation of the World which we have been made part of naturally and we are bound to complete our sojourn here whether it is boring or interests us. I find myself a helpless creature caged in a body and guided by the circumstances and my reactions to same each moment. I can only think and think but can not reverse a moment gone past or could hardly make out exactly what went wrong billions and billions of years ago.

Mystics have no direct answers but they vow to solve it as most of us know, being exers or faihfuls of RSSB path by loving meditation and with that self realisation and later God realisation.

As you know this path has its own challenges for which to some a lifetime may not be sufficient to overcome same.Hope and belief pulls us through this life in the meanwhile while resting in Master's lap always.

I have just finished my second reading of Steve Hagen's book 'Why the World Doesn't Seem to make Sense'. I find it quite hard in places mostly because I'm crap at maths and physics, but generally I get what he is about.

Re your comment on 'Pure awareness or bare perception doesn't exist.' and 'We're always aware of something, not of awareness itself'. Its more apt to say we're always conscious of something – as consciousness is its contents – i.e. information and knowledge accessed through thought and memory. Hagen is saying that when we initially see (or sense something), that is pure perception or awareness but seconds (or micro seconds) later thought and memory – our conscious content – arrives to (as Hagen says) make a story of it. In other words we invest the perceived object with our own conditioned representation of what we believe we see or how we have been taught or habitually trained ourselves to see – we conceptualise what is perceived (reality) according to our level of understanding.

This is what Hagen means by the 'Real Thing' – seeing before concepts arrive. Basically this is what Taoist and Zen or Chan Buddhism aims at through meditation. Apparently, when Buddhism arrived in China it intermingled with Taoism and became Chan Buddhism. Later in Japan it became Zen. Taoism is often taught in the West as an atheist or agnostic philosophy, but in China and Taiwan particularly, Taoism still functions like any conventional religion, and not like an abstract philosophy of life.

Some Taoists' teach that enlightenment is the spiritual goal of Taoism.  Achieving this state is also referred to as becoming a Complete, True or Real Human. And, The True Reality, outside of the picture in your head we are calling Social Mind, is the Tao or the TAO MIND (with big letters to indicate that it is the True Reality).

Saying that, for me, Hagen's book can be complicated. I'd rather refer to his book 'Buddhism is Not What You Think – a nice play on words.

I think this is relevant. It’s hilarious. The Universe App. Instant meaning to life. 😂

https://youtu.be/VmGo0O21dTE

@ Hagen is saying that when we initially see (or sense something), that is pure
@ perception or awareness but seconds (or micro seconds) later thought and
@ memory – our conscious content – arrives to (as Hagen says) make a story of it.

I think the mystic would counter you don't even have to see or sense
anything initially. The conditioning of conscious content has already
fashioned the event in its own image and it was all accessory to the
experience. The ways we perceive events of life and our thinking and
reactions to them was also baked into the drama.

Pure awareness already "knows". It constructed all events in a timeless
moment for an experiential roller coaster ride through duality. There are
even a few experiences consciousness sets up to remind us of our deep
pull to look inside, maybe a profound sense of wonder at it all, an
elevating friendship or love for someone ... a sudden overwhelming
gratitude or.... maybe it's just feeling like a stranger in a strange land.

That pull to understand itself is proof of pure awareness. Whether it's
called a search for "totality of consciousness" or God, or just a desire to
be mindful of all that goes on within us , we're on a journey to find
something lost and reclaim it. Something inside us that will never be
found outside.

Hi Mediator
You wrote
"As you know this path has its own challenges for which to some a lifetime may not be sufficient to overcome same."

In those moments, few or frequent, when we have that bliss, time ceases to exist. This entire life becomes just a grain, a fragment. One tiny colored dot on a page of thousands which form a beautiful picture of our true form. And that picture only one larger area of dots surrounded by a much greater canvas of trillions more forming a larger picture of our family, the creations.

Enough if those moments and birth and death becomes extremely inconsequential, of little importance. It is in that oneness that you don't care very much about the fragment, because it isn't you any more than your hair. And death no different than getting your regular hair cut. You are merged in the whole, and that is your natural place. A life of meditation is a life connecting to that, the tiny laptop connecting to the net. If you were to go into your laptop and enter the net, become the cloud, it hardly matters when one laptop turns off or wears out.

And no, we don't understand all the dots individually. All this churning doesn't need to make sense at all. It doesn't even need considering.

The life of meditation is the life of cleaning out the ports and reconnecting, getting the transmitter working, and then discovering again it's a transporter..

One of my all time favorite books is ‘As a Man Thinketh’. It was written about a century ago by James Allen.

It takes just a few hours to read it but is written in an almost magical way. It illustrates how how everything around us is made up of thought. That’s essentially what is says... we largely create the world around us. No action occurs without thought. Nothing is created without thought. And no single thought is powerless. The only way everything could be predestined is if we humans don’t actually have control over our thoughts. And if that’s the case then why care about anything.

But I believe thoughts are things. Perhaps that’s the meaning to life—learning how to control our thoughts.

@ The only way everything could be predestined is if we humans don’t actually
@ control over our thoughts. And if that’s the case then why care about anything.

Unfortunately, there is predestination including the thoughts that
come. We may not control their coming but I think we reclaim
power just by observing them. By mindfulness.

Unseen they have an outsized influence. Then we are in a battle
without seeing the enemy... often without an inkling who it is either.
We are truly hors de combat.

As a master said. "We eat poison and cry... and then do the same
thing again." But once seen, the fog can lift. The impulse to try
one tiny bite may overwhelm you but you can take a smidge less
next time, or just resist a moment longer before digging in, or
visualize strongly the cramps endured. One day the poison loses
its charm.

The thoughts are predestined. But the light we can shed on them
isn't. Then one day we realize our essential separation: we aren't our
thoughts. We are consciousness itself. And nothing is more powerful.

I’m not an Aquarian. It’s very difficult for me to feel like I have all the answers which is why I’m so open to different perspectives. I’m a Libran (on one hand, but then on the other hand...) so life is a continuous search for answers. This word doesn’t make sense to me. My life doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe the lesson is to keep growing and not get discouraged by all the inexplicable things in life.

Are you a Sensor or an Intuitive?

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2015/08/12/are-you-a-sensor-or-an-intuitive-how-to-find-out/

– Sensors tend to be practical and down-to-earth.

– Intuitives tend to be imaginative and innovative.


– Sensors focus more on the present (today, this week) or the past than the future.

– Intuitives focus more on the future than the present or the past.


– Sensors prefer to talk about what is happening or has happened. They are more concerned with the details, and will have more descriptive or literal details in their conversation.

– Intuitives prefer to talk about what things “mean” or symbolize. They are more concerned with the overall big picture, and can gloss over a lot of the sensory details.


– Sensors prefer to speak literally.

– Intuitives prefer to speak metaphorically.


– Sensors will get bored more quickly talking about theoretical or abstract concepts.

– Intuitives will get bored more quickly talking about day-to-day, practical topics.


– Sensors like to “do” things. They aren’t likely to sit and just think or daydream. They’re more likely to be working on a project, playing a game, watching a movie, cleaning, building, always “doing”.

– Intuitives like to analyze. They want to think, reflect, study, experiment, innovate. They can be action oriented, but that action almost always lines up with their future-oriented vision.


– Sensors tend to think, speak and do things in a linear fashion. A leads to B which leads to C.

– Intuitives like to start a story or project with the “big picture” in mind, and then fill in with details as necessary.

As far as how these two types get along, sensors may really enjoy intuitives, and vice versa. We can all get along and appreciate each other, but there usually is a tendency for us to see each other in a light that is clouded by our own preferences.

The impulse to try
one tiny bite may overwhelm you but you can take a smidge less
next time, or just resist a moment longer before digging in, or
visualize strongly the cramps endured. One day the poison loses
its charm.

@Dungeness

That’s just it, if everything is predestined then next time you can’t decide (emphasize decide) to “take a smidge less”. In fact if everything I’ve ever thought or said or done is predestined then every single reaction I’ve had in my entire life was predestined. Every attitude I’ve had was predestined. Every choice I’ve ever made whether in thought or action was predestined. This means you don’t even have the choice to look at your situation differently or change your attitude or perspective about you see things.

Don’t you everything-is-destiny people get it? One teensy tiny change in thought or attitude from just one single person throws EVERYTHING in the grand scheme of predestination off course.

This a math problem.

@zenjen

Clearly, I’m an intuitive. An intuitive with a very strong appreciation for the Butterfly Effect theory.

The only way I could possibly accept the idea of fate or destiny is if there’s an Adjustment Bureau (and there very well might be). Even so, it would still imply free will—a certain amount of free will. And any amount of free will is enough to change things to such a degree that you might never be reincarnated or you might be reincarnated another 10 lives.

Think about that, if what you say and do and think can determine whether your reincarnated as a human being or not, think about what a MASSIVE ripple in time that creates. Just think about it.

It’s like Back to the Future (everyone who believes in predestination please watch that movie like 100 times), the tiniest change changers everything forever.

I’m as passionate about the fact that there is absolutely no way everything is predestined as Brian is about atheism.

Personally, I believe in a higher power—some sort of consciousness that connects us all in some way (like a mushroom colony) but to say we have no free will at all and that the tiniest of minutiae is predetermined, is to defy the laws of mathematics.

I believe in math. Intuitives believe in math in a big way.

I should emphasize probabilities. Probabilities. Intuitives are guided by probabilities.

Sonia.
Having no free will is not something to be unduly worried about, in fact, its quite liberating to know that we are not separate, isolated beings operating outside the laws of nature – and physics – we are not this special. To have such a thing as free will we need to posses an internal agent completely separate from our physical brain/body. Religion calls this agent a soul; for the rest of us we automatically believe in or assume a separate self. Through self inquiry neither soul or self can be found, only assumed.

We do though make choices. Such choices are derived from the dictates of our culture and education – and to this effect are not free. Seeing clearly how these choices arise is extremely important in our dealings with and understanding of the world – and ourselves.

The theme of Hagen's book, indeed the whole gist of his book(s) are, from a Zen perspective pointing out that our usual beliefs of who/what we are is founded on the false assumption that we are separate, autonomous beings. Conceiving the world in this way is why (invariably) the world doesn't seem to make sense.

Interesting post ZenJen!
I am absolutely more of an Intuitive..
I had to learn also a bit of the Sensor,but did maybe not work out..
Now in old age it's not so important to be also a Sensor while I actually can't be..
Now after 70..one can be as a dreamer as one possibly is.
I am a Libra too.
So I can listen to lots of sides,and not ''knowing 'what is the good one.
Even now in this Corona time.
To do vaccine forinstance..I just do not know what is the best to do.
We have not now to choose..
It's good for me to just live in the here and now..And just see feel and do what feels right..
So is how I live..
Do my best and leave the rest to God..
;0)

@ That’s just it, if everything is predestined then next time you can’t decide
@ (emphasize decide) to “take a smidge less”. In fact if everything I’ve ever
@ thought or said or done is predestined then every single reaction I’ve had in
@ my entire life was predestined. Every attitude I’ve had was predestined.

That's right! Consciousness set up a roller coast ride through duality for
some cheap thrills. It had to be scary or it would resemble one eternal
afternoon of tea and cookies with Aunty. To make the experience more
authentic you have the experience of "free will". Nice touch, eh.

So, when you slip and spill the tea on Aunty's new carpet, you apologize
profusely and look contrite. You're thinking "Uh oh, I need to be more
careful next time and I really should offer to have the carpet cleaned
too. [A little later...] Nah, accidents happen." Then a few months later
your bratty niece spills Kool-aid on your carpet. Accident?

See, you dodged a rhetorical carpet cleaning bullet and then caught
one a few months later. Thrills and chills. Highs and lows. All seeming
to be a case of the results of your own choices. Karma running over
your dogma.

Wasn't that a great drama? No, don't answer yet. You really must
wait until you peek behind the curtain to see the levers being pulled.

@Turan,

I’m not worried about having no free will. I was just trying to convey that I think it’s an absurd idea.

Alan Watts - Beyond separateness - (14:18)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvtKS97RXoc

"The myth of the universe - life as we experience it is a big act and behind this big act is the player and the player or the self is You.

Only... You are playing hide and seek since that is essentially the game thats going on... deliberately forgetting who you are or what you really are... is that your essential self is the Universe, the ground of being..."

@Dungeness

You never fail to entertain me. I hope you are a writer by profession—would be a terrible waste of talent if you’re not.

That said, if I have no free will then I think I’ll go out for some drinks and drive home when I start to feel tipsy. Oh wait, all the bars and restaurants are closed. Damn. I’d have to sit in my car and drink till I get a buzz but that’s just not the same. It’s kinda sad actually. But it would be part of the divine plan if I did. And if I don’t it will be part of the divine plan as well.

Tune in tomorrow to see if I got pulled over driving home from drinking in the parking lot of the liquor store, or if I just stayed home and stayed sober. One never knows what might happen next. All I know is it’s out of my hands.

@ Tune in tomorrow to see if I got pulled over driving home from drinking in
@ the parking lot of the liquor store, or if I just stayed home and stayed sober.
@ One never knows what might happen next. All I know is it’s out of my hands.

Actually... what's worse is that the decision and planning was
in your hands in that timeless singularity when you were one
with the "totality of consciousness". Individuated "souls", who
forget their essence is totality, are now just part of a prank.

They're playing a little joke on themselves. Acting dumb...
especially when they're at fault. What is it Mom always said to
rub salt into wounds... oh yes. "Dear, you have only yourself to
blame."

Another galling thing is that you can't say "Alright, I'm taking
my marbles and going home. You won't have me to kick
around anymore." On the way home, you'll decide "I sure as
hell need a drink" and stop in a bar. See, you're using your
"free will" again. You're still in the game!

But that's alright. You are 'totality' after all. Mom didn't raise
any idiots. One fine day, you're tired of the game. Maybe it
was right after that smart-mouth cop pulled you over for a
breathalyzer test.

You wanna understand more. See what levers are being
pulled behind the curtain. You wanna get off the thrill ride,
quit kvetching, take a dose of mindfulness, and exit the
stage.

Oh, and on the way home, be sure to thank your Mom.

Free will is indeed a very ''wonder''full something..
We make choices which are not? our's??
In fact the Creator and we are he same..but from here we have limmited insights.
If one is aware of the higher power what drives us..trough mindfullness and meditation,
then there is a one pointed awarenes what drives us..and one can be aware of.

Well, right now all I care about is that my limited free will allowed me to do my own hair (since all the salons are closed due to being “non-essential”). I tried a few new products and now my hair color is calico. I kinda like it though... I have an affinity for weirdness.

Apparently, it wasn’t part of the divine plan for me to drink so I soberly sabotaged my hair.

I thought some more about free will vs non free will and I’m beginning to believe it’s part of the divine order that I feel so compelled to comment on this blog daily. It dawned on me that there are very few things I show that sort of commitment to... very unlike me, believe it or not.

;0) Sonia..
A bit weird is just...funny :)
I like that too otherwise it's to boring..

I know,my English is not fantastic..
I feel sorry for that fact..
But it is what it is..
Hope you people do'nt mind too much.
;0(

Spiritual Gems

Predestination versus free will:

A will is free only so long as it has not acted. Once it acts, then that very act becomes binding on it. The second time it acts, it does not act as free will, but as a “calculating will” for it carries the experience of the first act with it. And a calculating will is not a free will but a limited will. The very creations, or acts of a free will, work as limiting factors upon it and guide it in its future activity. So the more actions one performs, the more his will is guided and thus limited. And this is real predestination.

There is thus no antagonism between predestination, fate, karma, and free will. We were free at one time. We acted, and then our acts became binding upon us. They curtailed our initial freedom. They now act upon us as unavoidable fate. Since our experiences have become complex and varied, these experiences now appear in us as joys and fears, hopes and desires, each of which, in its turn, moulds or fashions our reason and intellect.

Intellect, reason, and feeling, being what they have been fashioned to be, now determine our actions and make us choose the predestined course. Thus the acts of one life determine the framework of the next life. Like farmers, we are now living on the crop we gathered last, while we are preparing the soil and putting in the seed of the new crop. Although we must undergo our fate, there being no escape from it, yet all is not lost if we use the little freedom we have in such a manner as to lead to our ultimate rescue.

Intellect, reason, and feeling, being what they have been fashioned to be, now determine our actions and make us choose the predestined course. Thus the acts of one life determine the framework of the next life. Like farmers, we are now living on the crop we gathered last, while we are preparing the soil and putting in the seed of the new crop. Although we must undergo our fate, there being no escape from it, yet all is not lost if we use the little freedom we have in such a manner as to lead to our ultimate rescue.
Posted by: zenjen | April 22, 2020 at 10:12 PM

Thanks, Jen. 🙂

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