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May 26, 2024


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I like your ‘What if’s’ list Brian. I’ll quickly throw in Joan Tollifson’s home page entitled 'The Simplicity of Just This'. I have a few comments in mind regarding your three ‘I wonder’ points to add later. Off for a walk now.

'The Simplicity of Just This’.

We habitually search for special experiences, for certainty and something to grasp. But in holding on to nothing at all, there is immense openness and freedom.

Experience is ever-changing while never departing from the immediacy of here-now. It is infinitely varied but can never actually be divided up or pulled apart. There is no boundary between inside and outside. A person is like a waving of the ocean—an ever-changing movement inseparable from the whole.

Thought labels, divides, categorizes, interprets and seemingly concretizes this seamless, boundless, centerless, inconceivable flow of experience, creating the illusion of an apparently separate self in an apparently solid world. This phantom self is supposedly authoring our thoughts and making our choices. But none of this holds up to scrutiny.

Our urges, desires, impulses, interests, preferences, abilities, talents, thoughts and actions emerge unbidden. Nothing could be other than exactly how it is in this moment. Seeing this is the freedom to be as we are and for everything to be as it is.

What is offered here invites firsthand exploration and direct discovery, not belief or dogma. It points to the simplicity of being what we cannot not be, this one bottomless moment, right here, right now. There is no finish-line, no formula, no method, nowhere to go, only this ever-fresh aliveness, just as it is.

@ Brian “Some forms of Zen Buddhism embrace the possibility of a sudden enlightenment or realization that overturns existing worldviews.”

Some schools in Chan Buddhism taught sudden or gradual enlightenment. Today I have come across the term silent illumination which I believe is the western equivalent. Sudden enlightenment and silent illumination sound quite dramatic but my understanding is that such experiences do not involve some stupendous state, more to do with the realisation that our extraordinary mind – the mind of thought, knowledge and information – becomes quiescent enough for the realisation that such a mind is the source of our vexations, or in Buddhist terms, our suffering.

The ’mind’ that remains is the mind that basically is reflected in Brian’s three ‘what if’s’

I would like though to add my own what if. What if consciousness is ‘no thing’ in particular but just the brains awareness of things (information and experiences, similar to what J. Krishnamurti used to call contents.) Though I understand the term we use ‘state of consciousness’ as being an almost universal way to describe this phenomenon. Rather, I would prefer to see the conscious experience as one of the brains' mental attributes enabling reflection and planning (memory and projection) to just, well, survive.

The construct of a separate self emerging from within the collection of the brain’s data and accumulated knowledge would explain how we come to believe in such a persistent self. Yes, as Brian ‘What if’s’ propose, it would all be a great weight ‘off our minds’

"What if, I wonder, it was possible to attain a state of consciousness where all of the apparent problems of life, all those things we wish were different from how they actually are, were seen to be just fine, unable to be anything other than their current state?..

..Too good to be true? Absolutely not. This is both scientific truth and spiritual truth, so long as "spiritual" is understood to mean a deep understanding of life, not anything supernatural."

Posted by: Brian Hines in Free will, Meaning of life, Reality | May 26, 2024 at 10:13 PM

This seems like an epiphany but..



The way you're using this word. It gives you some wiggle room at def. meaning #4:


Which could mean; deep understanding or one's inner emotional feelings. But, in some parts of the world it also can mean - an alcoholic beverage.



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