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August 29, 2021


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Really fascinating concept to contemplate. 🤔

I guess in a sense the idea that we have no free will relieves us of the burden of guilt. But it also has the ability to make us feel powerless. Maybe there’s a happy medium somewhere.

I agree with the many aspects of Buddhist philosophy. Like deep states of meditation, psychedelics open the mind to new levels of perception.

ACIM is more Buddhist than anything even though a lot of people assume it’s Christian based. It says that you are truly free of guilt in the present moment and there’s nothing more to achieve than that. But you have free will to decide whether you want to live in the present or not. And that choice doesn’t require any physical action at all, it’s just a state of mind. However, it takes work to keep that state of mind.

Or, better put, it takes practice to maintain that state of mind. A lot of practice. Exercising your choice of focus is the key. Yet in our distraction driven world, it’s incredibly easy to lose focus.

Worry less. Focus more. (It raises dopamine levels in the brain. 🙂)

There are no sins, no karmas in the present.

>>My view, which isn't at all original, is that evolution adapted us to an illusion of ego/self because this aided in our survival as early humans.<<

He /she

What are they?
Just linguistic indicators of action in time and space.
They do not indicate a doer, or the doing

“This was an intriguing movie, though not super-entertaining. The acting was good, but not exceptional. What I distinctly remember was a shocking twist. (…) Sam is a clone. (...) The foundation of his existence was shaken to the core. (...)”

……….My general thoughts around this: If some such (or similar) revelation should end up being entirely shattering and entirely traumatic, and subsequently gets us to make a very fundamental change to how we lead our live, in that case I'd say we’re probably leading our lives wrong. If we discover tomorrow that, for instance, rather than the race we’d always imagined ourselves as belonging to, actually we were adopted and in fact born to wholly different parents and are of a wholly different race and/or that our actual biological parents subscribed to some wholly outlandish religion, then, while obviously that kind of news would be a big deal for anybody, but still, if that means our entire way of life thus far is somehow negated, so that a fundamentally different kind of life suggests itself after that realization, then we’d probably been living a life that was far too narrow and limited. For that matter, if we literally discover we’re clones, and if somehow that makes a lie of our entire life as we’ve lived it so far, then too we’re probably living it wrong, a narrow limited life.

In other words, while small details are a different matter, but as far as the big picture and the essence of it, it makes sense to lead one’s life in a manner that is, in the broadest sense of the term, cosmopolitan. That is, it seems blinkered, and limited, and narrow, to lead a life that is wholly (or even primarily) predicated on incidental details like one’s race and ethnicity, one’s nation, one’s religion, one’s class, one’s sex and gender, one's political affiliation, et cetera.

Food for thought, thanks Brian. None of this is some well established principle or philosophy that I deliberately live my life by --- at least not so far --- just thoughts that came up on reading this post of yours.

Theistic religion is fair game to critique. As you point out, accepting Jesus as a personal savior can be seen as a theological add-on to our consciousness. All the other claims of theistic religion are likewise fair game to doubt.

But why then accept the claims of non-theistic religions such as Buddhism? That is, why accept that enlightenment is a possibility?

When I say "enlightenment," I'm not referring to a philosophical position, or to a momentary satori as you describe here. Most of us have had those brief experiences. I'm referring to a permanent fundamental revision of human consciousness that is literally what the Buddhist texts tell us it is.

Why have faith that enlightenment is a possibility at all? As atheist Buddhist Steven Batchelor noted, who do we know who (we know) is enlightened? Where are the people with no-self?

I bring this up because of a realization I had long ago about the spiritual marketplace. If we don't know of anyone who has realized the spiritual path, then what are our odds of getting to the 4th plane above Sach Khand, leaving our body at will, having a pow-wow with Krishna, etc.

Enlightenment is like all the other spiritual goods. Sounds fantastic, but somehow is always just out of everyone's grasp. And those who claim to have secured it sooner or later are revealed to be acting in ways that confirm they're still quite moored to their bodies and minds.

A realization that we are all clones is nothing new. These bodies are models, perhaps a couple million variations in the catalog. And the same ones tend to be stamped out over and over millenia after millenia with remarkable similarity.

Our thoughts were pre-scripted eons ago.

Now, as to enlightenment. That is simply learning, and from what we learrn, we see from a higher perspective of greater understanding. Enlightenment is within everyone's reach. It is your next step.

Everyone raises their consciousness by learning. And they can reduce their consciousness by forgetting.

Strong emotions can get in the way of rational thinking. Anything that calms our thinking opens the door to higher cognitive functioning. Hence meditation practice as a tool for enlightenment.

Understanding our limited and fallible condition, we naturally seek to rise above it.

Learning takes many forms. The most immediate is to stop and look around. To see what is really happening around and within us. For that, the habit of observation is very helpful. To observe, we focus on the objective of observation, putting aside all other unrelated thoughts. Less thinking, more seeing. Hence meditation practice.

It seems that 'elightenment' or 'awakening' has historically taken on a somewhat romantic image over the centuries. Much of the literature of Chan (Zen) and Taoism for example points to the ordinariness of such experiences with phrases such as 'This is it' and 'Just this'. They indicate that this reality is always with us, we are in it and of it. Stephen Batchelor coined the phrase 'The Everyday Sublime' emphasizing this fact.

In Buddhism, the basic message is 'To study Buddhism is to study the self' and revealing it to be simply an aspect of the mind structure. From this mind/self-structure we view the world not as it is but from our particular set of concepts. In fact, we hardly experience the world around us, we just experience our thoughts about it.

From this scenario, there is nothing special about 'enlightenment', it's just experiencing what is presented to our body/brain organism before it is overlain by our thoughts and concepts. Of course, it takes a degree of 'self study' to see the huge grip that mind, self and thought has over us.


Truth is like a sledge hammer. It is not heard by the ego-mind without reaction, even apoplexy. Usually, one runs away from Truth. Check out Neo's reaction when the truth of the Matrix is revealed to him by Morpheus:


Great flick! Many truths were conveyed in a format that people adore - cinema.

In the end, only Love and Soul remain.

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