How can we know there's no death

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arel
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by arel » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:29 pm

randomguy wrote:
What is so lovely about Advaita at its core is it is not really a teaching or a set of explanations, it is a constant open invitation to see directly what you are. There is nothing in the messages of the true sages that suggests the existence of a knowing outside yourself of any importance.
I agree, the realization of the illusion of self as the body and it's personality is a huge step. This gives rise to many other insights it seems, including those about birth and death. I would say most "sages" talk about birth and death from the insights that start at realizing the mistakent identity and inquiring into the true identity. But I wouldn't discount the posibility of onset of the realization through certain experiences that might include near death experiences.
What I say is only my viewpoint.

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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:22 pm

What is so lovely about Advaita at its core is it is not really a teaching or a set of explanations, it is a constant open invitation to see directly what you are. There is nothing in the messages of the true sages that suggests the existence of a knowing outside yourself of any importance. See for yourself where that notion resides. Nor is there suggestions that you need to take steps to prepare for some other knowing or follow a practice to reach what you already are. As well there is nothing needed to be add up or figured out. Just an invitation to see what you are.
There is no opposition Randomguy, It's faithless knowing.

not just the 'seeing' directly what you are, but also the 'being' directly what you are - in stories of direct experiences of the knowing, in examples throughout our human history seems to have two pathways -creation misinterpreted and diminished by the head mind (in fear / ego of separateness - making enemy, obstacle, means to an end) or BEING it (in acceptance, enjoyment, enthusiasm).

The former in our human history seem to persecute - in their fear of separation and 'difference', the latter.

We are one, we are compassion at our source. You need not, but if you choose to, return to a pure awareness of a state of compassion - or the next time you feel pure compassion also be aware of its non-judgemental, all inclusive, everything does but does not matter - energy of pure and faithless and factless and reasonless knowing.

Love is the energy that powers creation.
Fear is the energy that inhibits it.


What we faithlessly know.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by randomguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:50 am

Arel wrote:I agree, the realization of the illusion of self as the body and it's personality is a huge step. This gives rise to many other insights it seems, including those about birth and death. I would say most "sages" talk about birth and death from the insights that start at realizing the mistakent identity and inquiring into the true identity. But I wouldn't discount the posibility of onset of the realization through certain experiences that might include near death experiences.
Possibly so, Arel. If I may share my experience with this. The insights you mention are from seeing with an absence of noise, noise being identification with form, primarily thought, identification which warps or narrows perspective through personalization. One thing seen clearly for example is the nature of thought, how it harmlessly comes and goes unowned in the observation of time. My interpretation of what you propose is an openness to a value of the content of an experience, a possible experience. Openness is great. However, you see right now what experience is, I mean experience itself. See what thought is and it's contents are put into perspective. It is a similar dynamic with experience. What is there to notice, the experience observed, or the possible experience? Where can the possible experience reside but in imaginative thought, the always temporary contents of which when its origins are explored can routinely seem somewhat less than worthy of holding to.
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by randomguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:52 am

Jen wrote:You need not, but if you choose to, return to a pure awareness of a state of compassion - or the next time you feel pure compassion also be aware of its non-judgemental, all inclusive, everything does but does not matter - energy of pure and faithless and factless and reasonless knowing.
I appreciate your compassion, Jen and your energetic view of life. I am really happy to consider what you say. Yet I also feel I must tell you that I do not ask for, nor want, nor feel that I need your guidance. Is this OK with you?
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by smiileyjen101 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:36 am

:wink: Every thing is okay with me and I apologise if I overstepped your boundary in my enthusiasm.

'you' (as a pronoun) was/is a hypothetical other or others.

Compassion already knows itself.

(hugs)
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by randomguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:13 am

(hugs back) :)
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by karmarider » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:53 am

As rachMiel had pointed out, this has been great debate to watch. Very passionate. A few scuffles--it's a forum after all. I don't have the debating skills which have been shown here, so I congratulate all of you. Often, I've wanted to say something, but then someone has already said something which has made me stop and reconsider.

My approach is that of direct experience. So I see where Ash and others like him are coming from. Direct experience has served me well, so I favor it. But I also cannot and don't want to deny that there are possibilities which I am not familiar with.

I see the direct-experience approach as a very humanistic and compassionate approach. It does not require any tests or beliefs or spiritual advancement. There are no axioms or capitalized words. No theories. Even the spiritually ubiquitous assumptions of one-consciousness or eternal consciousness can be and should be questioned. It's very comfortable with "I don't know." It does not exclude the heart or compassion or non-ordinary knowing or intuition. But it does question whether beliefs are motivated by knowing or by the ego's fear of oblivion.

I find Anita's Moorjani's testimony exciting not because she is part of a rarefied mystical club which has touched death and has been blessed with a special gift; but because of the much more exciting possibility that it might be the very ordinary and human and live power of her own mind which collapsed the fear in her and healed her.

Anyway, I've really enjoyed the passion and debating skills. Thanks!

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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:24 pm

karmarider wrote:I see the direct-experience approach as a very humanistic and compassionate approach. It does not require any tests or beliefs or spiritual advancement.
On the contrary, direct experience requires a near exclusive belief in the physical senses. And it completely discounts the experience of every other experiencer that ever had an experience. Even worse, insight is mostly discounted as well. In some ways this discussion is about a debate between exploratory imagination and self applied blindness. Direct experience is important, even critical, but it's not everything when it comes to evolution of consciousness.
It's very comfortable with "I don't know." It does not exclude the heart or compassion or non-ordinary knowing or intuition.
Another good issue. There is also another distinction that is active in this discussion. 'I don't know' is a healthy recognition. 'I can't know' is a belief in limitation that stifles the growth in understanding. And there has been considerable discounting of the value of feeling or intuiting as a legitimate path to greater understanding.
But it does question whether beliefs are motivated by knowing or by the ego's fear of oblivion.
A legitimate consideration. But fear is not the only motivator. For many, a stronger motivator is curiosity. Curiosity has been the motivator for exploration forever. It's what makes men (and women) overcome their fear and risk everything in favor of greater knowledge and experience. Once fear of death is overcome with knowledge and insight, curiosity becomes the prime factor in consideration of life's possibilities.

WW

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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by smiileyjen101 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:20 pm

:) I have been truly blessed by the honesty of this discussion, and by the forum at large, the free thinking, the sharing, the mis-understandings and rebalancing of them, the willingness of participants.

When I was courageous enough to first broach the personal knowledge / experience of these topics here in gentle urging resulting in the start of the 'Nde, clair abilities and synchronicity thread, a lovely soul, Quark, said they could appreciate the loneliness in such a journey that meets fears, and scares others. It cracked my heart wide open, in immense gratitude of the immensity of its understanding.

In reading Bronnie Ware's Top Five Regrets - she notes that loneliness is not a physical thing, you can be surrounded by people, loneliness is merely a desire to be understood in an environment. It's in that sense that Quark hit the nail on the head.

The awareness of evolution on all levels, many unknown and unseen - and yet felt and known are intrinsically equilibrium finding itself through us, and our experiences. I've been simultaneously finding the courage to be honest - honesty being the highest form of love, to be compassionate, compassion being the 'all' collapsed in equilibrium, balancing my own and others' heart minds and head minds trying to find the 'proof' some so desperately need before they will let go and fall into the equilibrium, being courageous because courage is (imho) what flows through us when we get ourselves out of the way.

It's not that I don't feel fear, it's accepting and knowing and recognising and balancing that fear is the 'personal' trying to protect its image of itself.

The willingness that comes from understanding that we are free to choose in every single moment whether or not to let life live through us - 'I would not presume to answer for you' is (again imho) universal across every dimension and sphere. This willingness, honesty, courage... I know it feels powerful, I know it can be scary and confusing when felt without understanding, and also know it's not personal - it flows through one (individually and collectively), not from one (individually and collectively).

The discussions here have helped me to understand the various perspectives from which these things are viewed and internalised and externalised. I try my best to provide the 'supporting evidence' from what is known collectively - which still doesn't mean accepted collectively.

There are many parts that I have struggled with and sought my own 'proof'. I am hopeful with the reintegration of sciences now that many from what was once considered 'separate' fields, are joining together and collaborating. Quantum physicists working with psychiatrists and electrical engineers to understand magnetic and other energy impacts on the physical, for instance.

I read yesterday that science will have to rethink much of its parameters with the results of the splitting of a photon and its parts independently moving in unison at distance - not in response to but in harmony with; and other experiments that have shown that ..(I'm not good enough at explaining this... but I 'get' it) future movement/action can alter the past. (Help Trails!!!!) It's happening in a situation I am involved in now, where events now are interacting with events of 25 years ago and the participants are aware - on some level of it. Please science, catch up!

Humanity's understanding is evolving rapidly with the break down of barriers to understanding - be that distance, beliefs, separation in 'fields', and even time as some now look to the ancient past to see again what was denied in the more relative present - the basis of our 'fact-based' understanding that which was intuitively known.

Every post, every contribution expands our collective knowledge and leaves a little trail of energy that goes off on its own path exponentially, and I am grateful.

Randomguy's honesty in this -
I am really happy to consider what you say. Yet I also feel I must tell you that I do not ask for, nor want, nor feel that I need your guidance. Is this OK with you?
accepted as the love that it is, pointed me to define
I apologise if I overstepped your boundary in my enthusiasm.
The universe does that too - give it an inch and it'll take a mile, that's why it makes you feel at times you want to pee your pants :wink: and sometimes bear it, allow it, and sometimes I have to close down a little and tell it to 'back off a minute, let me breathe - I'm human here'. But it actually doesn't 'back off' it keeps on keeping on without me, finding other pathways or coming round again.

I just insulate it a bit more for awhile in my own experiencing.

It also was very, very valuable for me to relook at this -
'you' (as a pronoun) was/is a hypothetical other or others.
.

I realised I use the personal 'you' 'me' in preference to 'one' - one might, to rewrite something from above that was 'too much', 'too personal', 'too directed and directive'...

One need not, but if one chooses to, return to a pure awareness of a state of compassion - or the next time onefeel(s) pure compassion also be aware of its non-judgemental, all inclusive, everything does but does not matter - energy of pure and faithless and factless and reasonless knowing.'

The weird thing in that ^ it brings it all into the present (tense) -dodododododo :lol:

And simultaneously going back along the pathways to my choice you v one... and seeing that at the time, very young, that I made that choice in my journey of understanding language, it was a segregation of 'classes' - only the rich toffs would use 'one might'... and 'one could' from my perspective at that time it seemed impersonal and pompous. In going to look at it in word use, I saw 'one' quite differently, I saw it as inclusive but not directive.

So, another thank you to Randomguy - all good can come from the courage to be honest, and I do sincerely appreciate it.
If I use 'one' inclusively from here on in, much like I've used 'equilibrium' with my new understanding of it, please understand it's not impersonal in the sense that I'm being pompous. It may indeed help in my not scaring folks so much.

I know I'm a word freak, forgive me, it's how we have collectively chosen to communicate in this dimension and I'm hypersensitively aware of the barriers that 'may' confuse us :wink:

Interestingly the language of the heart knows no words, and no barriers except fear.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by Rick » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:10 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
karmarider wrote:I see the direct-experience approach as a very humanistic and compassionate approach. It does not require any tests or beliefs or spiritual advancement.
On the contrary, direct experience requires a near exclusive belief in the physical senses. And it completely discounts the experience of every other experiencer that ever had an experience. Even worse, insight is mostly discounted as well. In some ways this discussion is about a debate between exploratory imagination and self applied blindness. Direct experience is important, even critical, but it's not everything when it comes to evolution of consciousness.
I'm not sure you really understand what direct experience/seeing is. The problem is that, as Tolle says, the Abrahamic way, which you espouse, is an egoic way, and the ego can never grasp what is beyond it. Not sure if it will help but here is a short video explanation of what the non-dual/Advaita expression "direct experience/seeing" is about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoMVtTD3IYA
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by karmarider » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:22 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
karmarider wrote:I see the direct-experience approach as a very humanistic and compassionate approach. It does not require any tests or beliefs or spiritual advancement.
On the contrary, direct experience requires a near exclusive belief in the physical senses. And it completely discounts the experience of every other experiencer that ever had an experience. Even worse, insight is mostly discounted as well. In some ways this discussion is about a debate between exploratory imagination and self applied blindness. Direct experience is important, even critical, but it's not everything when it comes to evolution of consciousness.
As I say later in the post direct experience includes non-ordinary knowing, intuition, heart-mind, compassion, and is free to use guidance from imagination and other people's experiences. And so what I mean by "direct experience" does not discount what you have pointed out. The critical difference is that it does not take beliefs outside of direct knowing.

What you call the evolution of consciousness I call being natural. We probably mean the same thing by that. If that's what we're doing, I've found it has been more about letting go of assumptions than it has about accumulating beliefs or inferences.

What I know from direct experience is very little: there is a sense of existence, the managing "I" in my thoughts does not exist, the basic problem with the human condition is the context of fear, there is no volition in the mind, and we do have the ability affect the entire context of our being through attention.

That's all I know from direct experience. I'm not sure I can prove this to anyone. But I know these things with a certainty which is different from the certainty of beliefs or inferences.

Even the spiritually ubiquitous beliefs that consciousness is outside of us, or there is one-consciousness, or that consciousness is eternal, are to me just repeatable assumptions, perhaps something to explore but they are not in my direct experience and I feel the belief in these are an obstacle.

But this direct experience does not negate human exploration. Every human endeavor is legitimate. The exploration of NDE is interesting. And I know very little about NDE but I did read Anita Moojani's testimony with great interest and what I get from it is not the inference that something lives on after death (I literally do not know that right now and I'm comfortable with that), but the possibility that the human mind is far more powerful and intuitive than we believe. This possibility I know from direct experience, as I've seen in my life that life works quite well when I follow the greatest excitement of intuition.

To say it briefly--I know it's too late to be brief--the critical part of direct experience is not the exclusions you mention. It's the questioning whether beliefs and inferences come from knowing or from fear.
It's very comfortable with "I don't know." It does not exclude the heart or compassion or non-ordinary knowing or intuition.
Another good issue. There is also another distinction that is active in this discussion. 'I don't know' is a healthy recognition. 'I can't know' is a belief in limitation that stifles the growth in understanding. And there has been considerable discounting of the value of feeling or intuiting as a legitimate path to greater understanding.
I agree.

I think that perhaps people see direct experience as something which is lacking in human intuition or feeling. I don't see it that way. What I recognize from direct experience is so very little, and perhaps the thought that there is so little we know to start with which is uncomfortable to some minds. But the way I see it, it actually opens up the infinity of possibilities. The times that I've been uncomfortable in my evolution are not the times I didn't know but the times when I held onto to particular expectations or beliefs or inferences.

In my experience, direct experience does not exclude feelings and intuition. Learning to use our feelings and intuition just naturally happens; it's what natural intelligence is inherently capable of, when fear goes.
But it does question whether beliefs are motivated by knowing or by the ego's fear of oblivion.
A legitimate consideration. But fear is not the only motivator. For many, a stronger motivator is curiosity. Curiosity has been the motivator for exploration forever. It's what makes men (and women) overcome their fear and risk everything in favor of greater knowledge and experience. Once fear of death is overcome with knowledge and insight, curiosity becomes the prime factor in consideration of life's possibilities.

WW
Yes, good point.

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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:18 am

Rick wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:
karmarider wrote:I see the direct-experience approach as a very humanistic and compassionate approach. It does not require any tests or beliefs or spiritual advancement.
On the contrary, direct experience requires a near exclusive belief in the physical senses. And it completely discounts the experience of every other experiencer that ever had an experience. Even worse, insight is mostly discounted as well. In some ways this discussion is about a debate between exploratory imagination and self applied blindness. Direct experience is important, even critical, but it's not everything when it comes to evolution of consciousness.
I'm not sure you really understand what direct experience/seeing is. The problem is that, as Tolle says, the Abrahamic way, which you espouse, is an egoic way, and the ego can never grasp what is beyond it. Not sure if it will help but here is a short video explanation of what the non-dual/Advaita expression "direct experience/seeing" is about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoMVtTD3IYA
I don't see ego as being a wholly detrimental perspective (it is rather ubiquitous), especially once one recognizes what ego is. In that recognition ego takes on a role that is played rather than an exclusive identity. And I don't disagree that Abraham speaks to egoic perspectives, but does so in a way that leads to clarity and alignment. That ego may not be able to grasp what is beyond it may or may not be true, but the point is that Abraham's teachings are effective pathways to transcend ego.

As to my characterization of direct experience in my post, it was intended to address a particular attachment that some have on bodily identification as the source of consciousness. I am more than appreciative of the answers I got from both you and KM. :D

WW

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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by Rick » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:34 am

Webwanderer wrote: the point is that Abraham's teachings are effective pathways to transcend ego.
Out of respect to you, I've done quite a bit of research into the Abraham thing, looking to see if I could see what you see. I've watched countless videos, purchased/read The Vortex and listened to the meditation CD. (Knowing what I know of hypnosis (I can do all the parlor tricks) I hear more than a little of that in the meditation instructions and other guidance BTW) Anyway, I have observed not one example of anyone transcending ego or having been pointed in that direction. Not one. But I am still, as always, open to being corrected if you wanted to show me any examples.
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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:07 am

That's interesting Rick, because I don't see anything else. There may be an issue here with the heavily negative judgment many here have about ego. It's thrown around like it's a disease that needs to be cured rather than a temporary perspective that makes for some interesting experiences.

If you find no value in the teachings of Abraham then my suggestion is to do whatever serves you best.

WW

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Re: How can we know there's no death

Post by Rick » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:17 pm

Webwanderer wrote:There may be an issue here with the heavily negative judgment many here have about ego. It's thrown around like it's a disease that needs to be cured rather than a temporary perspective that makes for some interesting experiences.
There is nothing temporary about the use of the ego for "interesting experiences" in the A-H teachings whatsoever. The striving, the wanting new things, new experiences and ever expansion never stops in that school of thinking.

Saying that the ego is thrown around here like some disease that needs to be cured is one way to characterize the Tolle/non-duality/Advaita view I suppose. But its more likely that many, like myself, came here because this IS a Tolle forum, and not an Abe forum. Most Tolle sympathizers agree with the idea that the ego is the major dysfunction in the human being, that it is a manifestation of the "original sin" that cast a man out of his garden of pure being, and is the root cause of all his sufferings.

It is not seen as a vehicle of expanding consciousness at all, but rather it is seen as a thick hard opaque shell that obscures recognition of ones True Self. Most have come here to find or speak about freedom from the tyranny of the egoic mind, not to revel in it as some kind of mechanism to get whatever one thinks positively about or wishes for.

Most of those who appreciate the Tolle message tend to agree with his statement that the "single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind". You encourage just the opposite of Tolle who also says "Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed" because he and others know it is wisdom that brought Solomon all the health, wealth and material possessions he couldn't possibly have dreamed of, and like-wise ensures we each have all we need and is good for us, rather than deliberate, egoic thinking of "good" thoughts for our needs.
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