Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

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arel
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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by arel » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:01 pm

Does Enlightenment make you Invincible
That's a cool question. Yes it makes you invincible. You realize that what you are is this presence, this present moment, that in its essence you never change no matter what, and this REAL "you" or "I", is what I am. So yes this knowledge and the feeling of it makes one be able to say - "I'm invincible". There is joy and suffering, but I never change and stay as I am always.

And "enlightenment" is not some high achievement, no matter how grand it sounds. The grandness of it is a misconception taken on by all the talk about it. It's ordinary realization that what you are is different from what you thought you were. This knowledge is quite surprising and hidden out in the open.
What I say is only my viewpoint.

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sloth
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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by sloth » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:08 pm

arel wrote:There is joy and suffering, but I never change and stay as I am always.
That's a scary thought, I wouldn't want to live forever.

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Onceler
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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by Onceler » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:07 pm

arel wrote:
And "enlightenment" is not some high achievement, no matter how grand it sounds. The grandness of it is a misconception taken on by all the talk about it. It's ordinary realization that what you are is different from what you thought you were. This knowledge is quite surprising and hidden out in the open.
Nice! This is what I am coming to realize.....
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by runstrails » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:35 pm

Nice post. arel! Totally resonates with me :D. It's so simple and so obvious. Nothing changes and yet everything does. The cliches do make sense afterall :lol:.
Sloth wrote:
That's a scary thought, I wouldn't want to live forever.
Sloth, you (sloth) don't live forever. The body dies, the mind dies, the personality (that constitutes sloth--the human) will eventually perish. But realizing your true nature or what you 'truly are' is self-realization and once you realize that you know you that you are indeed invincible (immortal).

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:15 am

Sloth said: sometimes pain is far too great for us to bear but sometimes we also make 'mountains out of molehills' and thereby we suffer unnecessarily.

Jen said:
^ is this necessary - does this thinking that sometime pain is far too great for us to bear - is this necessary?
^ is this true? is it a universal truth, an ingrained societal perspective or wisdom of personal experience? Is it true?
^ is this kind - is this notion that sometimes pain is far too great for us to bear... is this kind to suggest or expect that our back was not made for our burdens, that we are less than the experiences we encounter. Is this kind to self, is this what love and compassion would tell you, or is this what fear and ego would have you think?

Is it necessary, is it true, is it kind?
Sloth said:
It depends what you mean by necessary. I would certainly suggest that it is an inevitability, however, that some pains will cause us to suffer. Perhaps this is of no fault of our own - the physical world is greater than we mortals, or perhaps it is simply because we are volatile in the choices we make - we will eventually slip up and our egotistic nature will return once again.

So if you are questioning whether it is necessary to believe this, then I would suggest that it is, after all if we believe we are invincible to suffering this will not help us on our quest to avoid it. One will become arrogant in the face of danger - 'I can overcome this car that is about to run me over'.
Sloth can you see that the first assumption - "that sometimes pain is far too great for us to bear"
is not actually true, its a dramatisation of a perceived response to pain.
Absolutely pain can be intense physical agony, absolutely.

But like all things we only experience - in reality - one moment at a time, and this notion of pain that is too great to bear is in a way a collective imagining outside of this moment.

Therefore why do you think it is necessary to believe that it is true?

Did you also notice you've inter-changed physical pain and emotional suffering after defining them as separate earlier - being hit by a car absolutely will likely create pain, but the suffering is dependent upon how we feel about being hit by a car, how we feel about any pain and how we make the journey between expectation and reality.

Saying 'some pains will cause us to suffer' is very different in resonance of acceptance to 'sometimes pain is far too great for us to bear.' It is in these nuances that being aware of the thoughts that we entertain wakes us up a bit.
Sloth said: There are no universal truths, or at least none that I know of - it is beyond my cognition to comment - and no philosopher has ever accepted the argumentum ad populum as valid. I would say that experience suggests it to be true.
Maybe I've misunderstood what you meant for surely if by experience you've encountered pain too great to bear... how is it that you are here? Surely if it was too great for you to bear it would have killed you?


Inevitably, if one is telling them self something that is not necessary, not true and not kind they will be creating their own suffering.
Jen said: expectation is not real.

Sloth said: What do you mean?
Expectations are in the unmanifested, imaginings, it's a pre-supposing. I've used an example that say you're driving and the driver in front of you indicates that they're turning right - you have a valid expectation by social agreement that they will turn right. If however they don't turn right the expectation was unfounded - it was never real in terms of manifest, it was a pre-supposing. Now once you realise (real-ise) the situation that the car in front is not turning right you make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the reality. It's absolutely true that some folks would want to, and do, hold onto the expectation, start ranting at the driver in the car in front, get them self all upset and angry because ----WHATEVER --- happened in the car in front was outside of their expectation. In reality though indicating is a courtesy, and yes imposed by laws as a communication system between road users, but its fallible, it's imperfect and often we have- no idea --- but are willing to judge --- what's going on in the other car, even to attributing personality traits, parental status and masses of untrue judgements on the person driving. This may then be used as the excuse to kick the dog or beat the wife when one gets home, or to 'hate' etc All of this from an unfounded, unmanifested expectation being at distance to reality.

Our expectations may be understandable, but they are not real.
In terms of grief the journey between expectations and reality are many, multitudes. We no sooner reconcile one expectation with the reality and another that we held arises, the journey may be peaceful and considered or it may involve all the ranting and judgements and suffering as in the simple example above.

Which is why is it necessary? 'is it true?' is it kind? is helpful.
Jen said: And yes 'people' may have resistance to something occurring that they don't expect, but when they realise the sky doesn't fall in it allows them to move from 'assuming' possibly to enquiring, possibly to understanding and possibly to adopting.

Sloth said: Could it ever be fine and socially acceptable to rejoice at the death of a loved one?
I believe it could be fine in certain circumstances, in fact I led three cheers for Elisabeth Kubler Ross when she finally passed out of her body, her fully knowing that she was and fully impatient to go having finally fulfilled all she needed to here. I guess a big part of that was that she does not consider physical death the end of her journey, and having been 'trapped' in her words in a stroke affected body that limited her, she sad once that she felt like she was on an airplane stuck on the tarmac for seven years, waiting to either take off or get off the plane and she could do neither, so yes, when she knowingly and willingly left her body, we did rejoice for her - with her, in absolute love and compassion. Is she missed? absolutely, do people grieve for her, absolutely - but thanks to her they understand grief a little more and do not fear it.

It would be wise to understand whose 'version' of 'rejoice' are you employing, and whose rejoicing are you judging, and what is 'socially acceptable' if not a projection outside of the experience itself in the moment?

Now, that's not to say that sadness wouldn't figure in there too, or compassion, or sensitivity or the emotions of loss, they do, and that's okay too.

Most people would suggest that compassion presupposes some kind of ornate attachment to the one you love, that were you to lose that person you would feel a great sense of despairing. Not just because of the loss of the object of your desire but out of loyalty and respect.
hmmm I would be wary of loyalty and respect that oversteps its boundaries projecting onto another.

Who are these 'most people' - is that a call to validity for something that does not necessarily stand up on its own?
'some kind of ornate attachment' sounds kinda cute - it still wouldn't trump reality of separate physical identities and experiences.

The 'despairing' is actually self centred and self focussed but using the 'other' as the means of expressing those emotions in the distance between expectation and reality. eg this should not have happened to 'my' xyz. My xyz should have been here etc etc
Sloth said: So I speak of 'people' that believe in this and that but the reality is that there is always a reason for believing in such and such. It is still very much a subjective belief, one's morality but the reasons that inform those beliefs may be subject to rigorous debate. The point is that if you truly loved someone, all notions of right and wrong aside, it would be beyond your power not to suffer.
So you go from accepting subjectivity to ignoring it and claiming to know what would be beyond another's power.. hmm. Even if you were to apply that to yourself it would not be true, it would not be necessary and it would not be kind, let alone to direct it elsewhere.

I have truly loved (many) and grieved for many but not beyond my ability and not beyond my capacity for pain and not without elements of rejoicing with the truth. One moment may be pain, one moment may be joy. Through experience one learns the road between expectation and reality, one learns what helps, what hinders, what prolongs suffering and what alleviates it. Putting it 'out there' and saying its too hard, is not facing your own reality.

Does it hurt? Absolutely! but only for one moment at a time and much as I used to argue against this... your back was made for your burden.
Sloth said: If being upset is more in line with their own moral code, perhaps it will relieve their own conscience to disprove of the way others conduct their lives. We could be talking about judging someone who is not grieving properly but we could also be talking about judging someone who is a mass murderer or paedophile. Does being upset then change anything? And yet, people who experience compassion seem to care about these things and people that violate their principles will cause them pain and upset, suffering, even. (But then so do people who are overly judgemental and disapproving but for the wrong reasons).
How can one relieve oneself of something that one is creating?

Who says how grieving is to be done 'properly'? Through grieving (like through everything) we learn what helps, what hurts more, what creates more suffering and what alleviates suffering. There is no 'pass mark' on grieving. (hehehehe I'd just about get a High Distinction if there were, albeit many would likely disapprove :lol: )


Different is not wrong. It's just different.

It is wise to understand that one's own perspective is just one of many, not really holding any more weight than we give it.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by Enlightened2B » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:11 am

But surely most people already do realise this, so why even bother to mention it/write a book about it? And also how does realising this alleviate suffering? What does it change precisely? Surely I am now 'enlightened' because I realise that my true essence is awareness and yet I don't feel different in the slightest.
No, this is wrong. Most people absolutely do NOT realize this. Most people are under the impression that their bodies/minds/personality are what they are. Sloth, who are you? Are you Sloth? Or are you something that KNOWS Sloth? There's quite a huge difference. You indicate that you "realize" your true essence, yet you say this means nothing to you which is quite puzzling. I question what essence you are referring to. Are you awareness or are you Sloth?
Agreed, except I would not say objects appear within the essence of subjectivity but that they appear outside of subjectivity and they are then perceived/known.
How can they be outside of what you are? You ARE the subject. You're the one that perceives EVERYTHING.
There is a saying in Buddhism that one cannot get to the essence of enlightenment with words, words are just used like 'a finger pointing to the moon [enlightenment]'.
Exactly which is why most teachers will not tell you HOW. They will merely point to what they are referencing.

I thought it was when the mind identifies with the thoughts and feelings?
The appearance of the body takes place in WHAT you are. The mind is where thoughts/feelings/body/personality all stem from. Identification with all of that creates "ego". It's when Sloth accidentally perceives himself/herself to be "Sloth" rather than EXISTENCE/Awareness. Sloth does not exist outside of what you really are. Sloth is a creation of memories/thoughts/beliefs over the entire perceived lifetime to create this "personality". What else can Sloth possibly be? That personality does not have an identity of its own and essentially does not really exist outside of your TRUE existence. The only real TRUTH is the existence that you are.
It's theoretically possible but most likely untrue.
Well, that all depends. Untrue based on what? This was in reference the physical reality being an illusion. I accidentally cut off the rest of the quote.
I don't know that thoughts have gaps. I tend to verbalise most of my thoughts, forming words and sentences, some of them nonsense sentences, in my mind. But I think that when I am not verbalising them I will most likely be experience an emotion or a bodily sensation. And the mind will barely have any time to contemplate this 'gap' before another thought enters. Indeed thinking about the gap is a thought in itself.
It's not thinking. It's AWARENESS that there IS a gap. You've just acknowledged it in the highlighted bold above. Of course thoughts have gaps. How is one thought known from another? You can't possibly BE the thoughts since they are known. If there were no gaps, you would essentially BECOME those thoughts. Being able to see the gaps means that you cannot possibly be your mind.
Not necessarily. I might have perceived a wave but it in actuality, it was something else - a giant whale that drifted ashore. Maybe it was just a dream and never happened in the first place.
That's a very good point above. The same could be VERY much said for this physical reality we seem to live in.
It is not known (by any particular individual) to have happened but it may have never the less happened but outside of subjective experience. I am certain that many things do indeed happen outside of our subjective experience, although I cannot specify those things for obvious reasons.
Are you "certain"? How can you be certain that ANYTHING exists outside of a conscious observer? When I say conscious observer, I am not referring to someone actually standing there watching it. Let me give you an example....two examples actually.

1) A major tidal wave occurs and there is no observer (person, animal, etc) there to actually "see" it. However, it impacts a local family who feel the after effects of it. Is it known? Yes. Even thought it wasn't "viewed", it is known because the tidal wave produced an effect on a conscious observer. Therefore, while the wave itself might not have been "witnessed". It is known to "be" due to the effect of the wave on the local family.

2) A major tidal wave occurs and there is not a single conscious observer (human or animal) anywhere on this island to observe it. Is it known? No. because there was never a conscious observer to perceive it and allow it to be known.

If a tree falls in an empty region with no wildlife or people anywhere in sight to see it, did it happen? One might say possibly. However, is it KNOWN as a TRUTH? Of course not. The only thing we can say for sure as a TRUTH is what actually IS. This laptop I am typing on is part of the NOW and as a result is part of TRUTH. What is going on under my radiator right now is NOT a truth because there is no conscious observer there right now.

Look into the "double slit experiment" from Quantum Physics.

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by sloth » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:38 pm

Enlightened wrote: Most people are under the impression that their bodies/minds/personality are what they are.
Well, if someone had told me before I read Tolle or any other spiritual practitioner that I am not my body/mind/personality but I am that which is aware of the experience of my body/mind/personality I would have most likely have believed them - and I also believe this now. But I would feel no different for knowing this and would probably wonder what the purpose of telling me this was apart from to sound deep and philosophical.

'I am nothing.'

'I am awareness.'

'I am that empty space that observes thoughts and feelings.'

Ok, but what does that even mean? I cannot help it if it has no meaning to me apart from the face value of it. It is like an audience that understands the literal punchline of a joke but fails to relate to that comedians sense of humour, or a man that can see a painting for what it is - a tree with some grass but does not fully appreciate the piece as a work of art.

People recommend all sorts of meditation techniques to be more present: count ten deep breaths and then go back to the beginning; focus on a loved one, etc. How can I be sure that they are not just simply lying to me and that there is no enlightenment?
How can they be outside of what you are? You ARE the subject. You're the one that perceives EVERYTHING.
I only perceive things that already are, and as I have suggested, those things may exist [outside of my consciousness] differently to the way I perceive them. Do other minds only exist within me, the subject? I thought other minds were subjects just as much as me...?
Sloth is a creation of memories/thoughts/beliefs over the entire perceived lifetime to create this "personality".
But it is those memories/thoughts/beliefs of Sloth that are my most immediate experience. I have no experience of anything else apart from the trees I see when I go to a park, that bookshelf in my bedroom. And then it is still through the constructed identity of Sloth that I see these things, I can't think what other glasses I would be able to see the world through.

So when you say, most people think they are their minds/personalities/whatever, well that is because most people cannot possibly conceive what else they could be. What else is there? It's not helpful when we are told, nothing, because then we come to the logical conclusion that, well there is nothing else so I must be my mind/personality/body. It's the most readily available explanation, the only one we can comprehend.
Well, that all depends. Untrue based on what? This was in reference the physical reality being an illusion.
I am saying that experience leads me to the conclusion that the physical realm exists, primarily based on what I said before:

'It seems to me that I did not invent the laws of physics which govern the world I have supposedly imagined because I, the great inventor, have no knowledge of these laws. Nor can I predict what is going to happen [when I experience it] and yet it was I that [supposedly] determined it to happen. It is either that this is not the case, or [sarcasm] the great I - the master mind that invented the universe around me - has deceived myself that I am not the inventor and everything that has come to be is a mystery, a logical impossibility [end sarcasm].

Either way we cannot know for certain. It is rational belief that leads me to the conclusion that it is not so ... experience of the physical realm leads me to the conclusion that the physical realm exists.'

Rational or justified belief is when you have a reason to believe in something as opposed to irrational/unjustified belief. I'm saying I have plenty of reasons to believe in an outside world. Of course it is not known to me, but believed in rationally. It is more likely it exists than that it doesn't.
Of course thoughts have gaps. How is one thought known from another?
For me, thoughts will lead on to another, so it is just one continuous line of thoughts, I never really interpret any 'gaps' as such, just one long string of thoughts. I cannot conceive of anything inside my head that is not a thought.
If there were no gaps, you would essentially BECOME those thoughts.
That is what it seems to me.
Not necessarily. I might have perceived a wave but it in actuality, it was something else - a giant whale that drifted ashore. Maybe it was just a dream and never happened in the first place.
That's a very good point above. The same could be VERY much said for this physical reality we seem to live in.
Except that I would simply differentiate again from the world in it's perceived state (which is believed in, rationally or irrationally) and the world in it's actual state (which is not known but most likely exists, as I will demonstrate).

I believe there is a wave, but actually, it is a whale. Either way, I do not know. I also do not know if I know, nor do I know this, nor this. So I assume that my belief is knowledge and hold rational belief as my gospel.
Are you "certain"? How can you be certain that ANYTHING exists outside of a conscious observer?
I can't be certain of anything whatsoever.

But I would say that since rational belief leads me to the conclusion that waves land on this shore and other shores I have been to, rational belief also leads me to the conclusion that they probably land on many more shores if not every shore, without my needing to experience them.

The universe is either infinite or else it is like a box expanding into nothingness which makes no sense. If something is happening in my part of the universe, then since the universe is infinite, things are probably happening outside my part of the universe without my experience: waves landing on a desert island, asterisks and meteors, shooting stars, exploding stars, black holes, the formation of new galaxies, etc., etc. This is what rational belief tells me but not knowledge, no.

However, you cannot say 'well only my part of the universe is the universe' because that is all I experience' because you do not know that to be so either. And is your universe like a box expanding into nothingness as well? If you take a walk in the park is that the expansion of the universe from where you were sitting in your living room to where you are now in the park? Is it the same universe changing?

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sloth
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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by sloth » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:56 pm

Jen wrote:Absolutely pain can be intense physical agony, absolutely.

But like all things we only experience - in reality - one moment at a time, and this notion of pain that is too great to bear is in a way a collective imagining outside of this moment.
What does the bold part mean?

When I say 'pain is sometimes too great for us to carry the burden', I don't mean that it will kill us (although some indeed will do) but that they will cause us suffering.

Experience (see my interaction with Enlightened) leads me to the belief that even the most well-rounded human being will suffer. Somebody who leads an active lifestyle, fulfilling career with friends, family and love life will suffer because life has too many unpredictable circumstances to throw at you. Even if they deal with all the stressful situations of life 'mindfully' - by which I mean they act confidently in that which they can change and accept that which they cannot change - there will still be times they will suffer.

I'm quite sure I suffer at times when I am bored, there is nothing on TV or I am annoyed with a friend. This will be in spite telling myself to be mindful, accept that which I cannot/do not need to change, act to change that which I can when necessary, telling myself I am not the thought that experiences boredom but consciousness that receives that thought, etc. It is in spite of all this that I will suffer, even if it is only mild.

And if I were to be hung, drawn and quartered I am sure I would experience immense suffering. Can you really guarantee me that a so-called mindful person would not? That they would feel just pain and no suffering?

Death is another thing that brings about a kind of paradoxical suffering, because we suffer knowing we will die but suffer at thought of living for ever. The death and life instinct are at odds with each other. It's a lose lose situation, you just have to try and forget about it, that means not accepting what is.
Did you also notice you've inter-changed physical pain and emotional suffering after defining them as separate earlier
What I was getting at was that if we believe we believe we are immune to suffering, we become arrogant in the face of pain. This is because to avoid pain, we must wish it were not so - which means we must suffer, or suffer temporarily - because why would one act to remove pain unless they wished it were not so? I say 'arrogant' because while you may believe you are immune to suffering, you in fact are not, and pain will usually trigger suffering. Thus, you will not act to avoid pain and you will still suffer and this will be out of arrogance for believing you are immune to pain.

And even if you did not mind pain and never suffered, surely you would be totally apathetic to the point you would not just act regardless of whether you hurt yourself but you would act regardless of any moral code you ever had and harm innocent people. Your actions would be totally random, erratic, careless and amoral, like a hurricane that does not think twice about who or what it will demolish in it's path.

Is it best to be reflective or think not and do only what is now, in the moment. Surely animals live only in the moment, that is why they cannot speak, think logically or act human.

And there are all sorts of paradoxes about thinking not of past or future, since what is appropriate in the moment depends upon

* what you have learned in the past.
* what the consequences will be in the future.

And consequences always manifest themselves in the future and we can only ever apply what we have learned in the past. We cannot simultaneous learn, act and experience the consequences in the present.
Maybe I've misunderstood what you meant for surely if by experience you've encountered pain too great to bear... how is it that you are here? Surely if it was too great for you to bear it would have killed you?
I have experienced pain that would cause me suffering despite living a comfortable life and I believe this to be true of everyone. I cannot see how it could not be true. A man who experiences life without suffering must surely be in heaven.
Expectations are in the unmanifested, imaginings, it's a pre-supposing. I've used an example that say you're driving and the driver in front of you indicates that they're turning right - you have a valid expectation by social agreement that they will turn right. If however they don't turn right the expectation was unfounded - it was never real in terms of manifest, it was a pre-supposing. Now once you realise (real-ise) the situation that the car in front is not turning right you make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the reality. It's absolutely true that some folks would want to, and do, hold onto the expectation, start ranting at the driver in the car in front, get them self all upset and angry because ----WHATEVER --- happened in the car in front was outside of their expectation.
Let's say the driver acts 'mindfully' and 'accepts' their expectation was unfounded. They adjust to the situation (which must be the case then that they do not like and are being caused to suffer by the present situation) and manage to resolve it that way. I would say that they have acted optimally and minimised suffering in response to a minor inconvenience and that had they become angry and raged they would have suffered more. But nonetheless, they still suffer, because they 'wished that the situation were not so' and acted to change that.
I believe it could be fine in certain circumstances, in fact I led three cheers for Elisabeth Kubler Ross when she finally passed out of her body
Ok then, would you not simultaneously suffer for the loss of a loved one out of the loyalty and compassion you feel for that individual? And would you seriously take the 'no suffering' mantra to an extreme of rejoicing if say, the individual died an extremely painful death? Would you celebrate someone's death with a bottle of champagne as theydied a long, arduous death after a long battle against cancer? Sure you'd be relieved their pain was ended, but the process of dying is not something to rejoice, surely?
hmmm I would be wary of loyalty and respect that oversteps its boundaries projecting onto another
...
'some kind of ornate attachment' sounds kinda cute - it still wouldn't trump reality of separate physical identities and experiences.
What does this mean?
Who are these 'most people' - is that a call to validity for something that does not necessarily stand up on its own?
I'm referring to the social context that predefines ethics, it's perfectly valid in its own right and something that has evolved based on the collective wisdom of a great many people over a great many years. Put simply, people will often have a reason for holding a given belief, I am elaborating on the reasons why a person might have a reason for believing that someone who was truly in love would suffer for that reason. So the argument is not solely dependent upon the social context, or abstractions like 'a person', 'most people', etc.
The 'despairing' is actually self centred and self focussed but using the 'other' as the means of expressing those emotions in the distance between expectation and reality.
Self-interested but not necessarily selfish. Everything a person does is self-interested.

Action is purposive behaviour, that is means applied to an end, that is to say men act with the belief their actions will improve their current condition. They cannot act for any other reason and thus it is the only manner in which action occurs.
eg this should not have happened to 'my' xyz. My xyz should have been here etc etc
Or perhaps, 'I feel bad not to grieve properly, it is better for my conscience that I grieve'.
So I speak of 'people' that believe in this and that but the reality is that there is always a reason for believing in such and such. It is still very much a subjective belief, one's morality but the reasons that inform those beliefs may be subject to rigorous debate. The point is that if you truly loved someone, all notions of right and wrong aside, it would be beyond your power not to suffer.
So you go from accepting subjectivity to ignoring it and claiming to know what would be beyond another's power.. hmm.
To be more astute, I say that moral beliefs are subjective while truths and falsities are not. A moral belief is not the kind of thing that could be true or false.
true...necessary...kind
I don't really know where necessary and kind becomes relevant. What is true has nothing to do with these matters.
Does it hurt? Absolutely! but only for one moment at a time and much as I used to argue against this... your back was made for your burden.
Do you think a terminally ill cancer patient who wants a lethal injection believes their back was made for their burden? The notion is absurd! If only it were so!

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:31 am

Jen said: ...we only experience - in reality - one moment at a time, and this notion of pain that is too great to bear is in a way a collective imagining outside of this moment.

Sloth asked: What does the bold part mean?
It means that we layer reality (what is) with imaginings of what a thing 'might' mean, 'might' lead to, 'might' say about ourselves or another, 'might' stem from.. etc etc etc and we hold those things as if real, but they aren't real. They are projections outside of this moment, and/or judgements outside of our actual experience.

An MRI experiment was being done to map the pathways and activations of different brain centres while the participant was carrying out a complex hand-eye task. The Dalai Lama was present and enthralled by watching the experiment and the 'lighting up' of different brain centres. Aware that our thoughts are also 'form' and 'matter' he asked if the participant could do the exercise again, only this time only think through the task. There was all sorts of discussion about how 'action' is different to thinking etc etc he said in effect, humour me. They did and the 'result' was exactly the same as doing the task. All the same energy flows, all the same areas of the brain lighting up etc etc

So if one projects outside of the present moment and the 'what is' of reality and 'believes' and 'thinks' them self into projections and judgements outside of 'what is' then yes one will 'experience' the energies of suffering as if they are real. Suffering 'feels' and 'feeds' powerlessness. Again it has more to do with stepping outside of what is real now, and/or stepping outside of one's actual ability to respond (response ability).

BUT... and big BUT.. the stimuli for the suffering can be imagining - false emotions appearing real --- or, fear rather than actual powerlessness. Real stimuli creating biological harm and discord here and now is experienced as pain.

One cannot accurately imaginatively recreate 'pain' - one can describe it in terms of comparing it to other experiences eg appendicitis and kidney pain might be similar but different, or a migraine is worse than a toothache, that sort of thing, but that is all personal totally personal recall without the actual stimuli.

Suffering on the other hand, because it is a creation of the imagination can and is recreated in the mind and replayed at will, consciously or unconsciously.

Does that make sense?
Can you now apply these 'differences' to the situations you've used as examples? Which ones of them are real, which of them are projections outside of the here and now, or personal ability to respond to the stimuli?
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:14 am

Sloth said: Death is another thing that brings about a kind of paradoxical suffering, because we suffer knowing we will die but suffer at thought of living for ever. The death and life instinct are at odds with each other. It's a lose lose situation, you just have to try and forget about it, that means not accepting what is.
That is a personal perception, overlaid with projections. With awareness and willingness to respond to that which 'is' these sufferings are a choice, not a necessity.

Every moment is full of all possibilities, absolutely every possible choice is possible by awareness and willingness to respond and further create that which is.

I love life - my understanding of love, borrowed from Don Miguel Ruiz, is 'the equilibrium of gratitude and generosity'. (Yum!!)
I do not fear death - in whatever moment - it is what it is.

The notion of your back was made for your burden, we need to look at the presupposing of suffering outside of what actually is 'your burden'. When folks pity others and use external examples of suffering they are missing the reality of the fullness of a moment that is 'yours' in experience in which there are not singularly selected external perspectives, there is only the fullness of all possibilities.

If you have not held a loved one in their dying moments you cannot 'imagine' the power or intensity of love present - the gratitude and generosity, the beauty - the perfection of the equilibrium of every thing leading perfectly to 'this' moment, with all possibilities exploding, all the possible intense emotions expressing and being experienced. Similar to pain one cannot replicate it in a moment outside of itself, one can try to describe it, but to describe it to one who has not experienced it is like trying to describe a toothache to one who has never experienced one. It's a mere shadow of the actual experience. Such a description will be overlaid with the perspectives, awareness and capacity and willingness of the other person.

Try to describe an orgasm to someone who has never experienced one, further more, recognise that no one is going to have your particular experience of this particular orgasm (orgasm is a good example, it literally means 'the little death'). Now, if you were a person who has never experienced an orgasm and you heard someone's shadow description of it - could you possibly understand all the pleasure and the pain, the agony and the ecstasy, the self and selflessness contained in the moment/s of it?

In purity, this moment, every moment, is all of those things.

Becoming aware does not imply or require becoming arrogant - in fact its the reverse, one becomes aware that one's perspective is merely one perspective and that all perspectives are merely perspectives by awareness, capacity and willingness.

Becoming aware does not imply or require becoming apathetic - in fact its the reverse, one becomes more responsive to what is, more aware of the possibilities more aware of the power and possibilities rather than powerlessness and impotency in every moment.

Becoming aware does not imply or require becoming immune to suffering - in fact its the reverse, one becomes more attuned to suffering and more compassionate and empathetic.
Sloth: Surely animals live only in the moment, that is why they cannot speak, think logically or act human.
You must not have had the experiences with animals that I've been blessed to enjoy - or maybe this is awareness, capacity and willingness to recognise what is personal perspective. I share a home, and pretty much share this world with species not human and would never assume that I could judge and label and confine, by my standards, their experience or capacity and willingness in experiencing this world. We all 'speak' volumes in different languages and different ways, I happen to live with a Princess parrot who does speak English with absolute logic and imagination and ego and creativity - but I would love, honour, cherish and respect him even if he didn't speak in my language. Our methods of communication and behaviours have evolved through agreements in our societies - other species are just as capable and intelligent to also respond to what is .. and for my own view, some behave better than humans in terms of cooperation.

For examples of this google things like research into plant communication and organisation, bacteria communication and organisation, check out Alex the African Grey Parrot, and maybe read his behavioural scientist friend's book Alex and me.

Just because something is outside of one's experience does not make it non-existent.

This is what waking up requires.

Sloth said: Let's say the driver acts 'mindfully' and 'accepts' their expectation was unfounded. They adjust to the situation (which must be the case then that they do not like and are being caused to suffer by the present situation) and manage to resolve it that way. I would say that they have acted optimally and minimised suffering in response to a minor inconvenience and that had they become angry and raged they would have suffered more. But nonetheless, they still suffer, because they 'wished that the situation were not so' and acted to change that.
At what point would a person start to 'wish' about something that never was? Would that 'wish' ever have any substance in reality, or only be imaginings?

Let's say the driver responds in awareness of 'what is', no suffering.
Jen said: I believe it could be fine in certain circumstances, in fact I led three cheers for Elisabeth Kubler Ross when she finally passed out of her body

Sloth said: Ok then, would you not simultaneously suffer for the loss of a loved one out of the loyalty and compassion you feel for that individual? And would you seriously take the 'no suffering' mantra to an extreme of rejoicing if say, the individual died an extremely painful death? Would you celebrate someone's death with a bottle of champagne as they died a long, arduous death after a long battle against cancer? Sure you'd be relieved their pain was ended, but the process of dying is not something to rejoice, surely?
What is it within your imagining that layers things like bottles of champagne over the incredible beauty and purity of a moment shared in total acceptance of what is, in love - in gratitude and generosity, in compassion and empathy, rather than fear and arrogance and imagining and rejection of that reality?

To be fair, if you have not been called and willing and able to be present at such a moment it is impossible for you to project into it.

I would simply say that I accept pain as real, emotions as responses to stimuli and I respond with gratitude and generosity in the present moment. That the death of a loved one is nothing to fear, that life is nothing to fear. In the moment you will have all that you require to respond to that which is. That is what 'your back was made for your burden' means, it doesn't mean that your back was made to carry or shoulder or judge others' burdens, nor that your back will break under the reality of life in this moment (of course its figurative).

We do in reality only live it one moment at a time and every moment has everything in it that we could possibly require in order to respond to it.
Jen said: I would be wary of loyalty and respect that oversteps its boundaries projecting onto another
...
'some kind of ornate attachment' sounds kinda cute - it still wouldn't trump reality of separate physical identities and experiences.

Sloth said: What does this mean?
It means what it says, if I were experiencing thoughts and emotions that overstep their boundaries, projecting onto another or outside of 'now' about what 'should' be, rather than what 'is' I would recognise that I had stepped out of responding to, interacting with, what is and into judging and projecting in imagination. To name this under the banners of loyalty and respect, is kind of like skewing compassion and pity, they are two totally different expressions of energy in motion.

In awareness one responds with willingness and with capacity to what is, rather than standing apart from it, imagining and judging.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by Enlightened2B » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:46 am

sloth wrote:
Enlightened wrote: Most people are under the impression that their bodies/minds/personality are what they are.
Well, if someone had told me before I read Tolle or any other spiritual practitioner that I am not my body/mind/personality but I am that which is aware of the experience of my body/mind/personality I would have most likely have believed them - and I also believe this now. But I would feel no different for knowing this and would probably wonder what the purpose of telling me this was apart from to sound deep and philosophical.

'I am nothing.'

'I am awareness.'

'I am that empty space that observes thoughts and feelings.'

Ok, but what does that even mean? I cannot help it if it has no meaning to me apart from the face value of it. It is like an audience that understands the literal punchline of a joke but fails to relate to that comedians sense of humour, or a man that can see a painting for what it is - a tree with some grass but does not fully appreciate the piece as a work of art.

People recommend all sorts of meditation techniques to be more present: count ten deep breaths and then go back to the beginning; focus on a loved one, etc. How can I be sure that they are not just simply lying to me and that there is no enlightenment?
How can they be outside of what you are? You ARE the subject. You're the one that perceives EVERYTHING.
I only perceive things that already are, and as I have suggested, those things may exist [outside of my consciousness] differently to the way I perceive them. Do other minds only exist within me, the subject? I thought other minds were subjects just as much as me...?
Sloth is a creation of memories/thoughts/beliefs over the entire perceived lifetime to create this "personality".
But it is those memories/thoughts/beliefs of Sloth that are my most immediate experience. I have no experience of anything else apart from the trees I see when I go to a park, that bookshelf in my bedroom. And then it is still through the constructed identity of Sloth that I see these things, I can't think what other glasses I would be able to see the world through.

So when you say, most people think they are their minds/personalities/whatever, well that is because most people cannot possibly conceive what else they could be. What else is there? It's not helpful when we are told, nothing, because then we come to the logical conclusion that, well there is nothing else so I must be my mind/personality/body. It's the most readily available explanation, the only one we can comprehend.
Well, that all depends. Untrue based on what? This was in reference the physical reality being an illusion.
I am saying that experience leads me to the conclusion that the physical realm exists, primarily based on what I said before:

'It seems to me that I did not invent the laws of physics which govern the world I have supposedly imagined because I, the great inventor, have no knowledge of these laws. Nor can I predict what is going to happen [when I experience it] and yet it was I that [supposedly] determined it to happen. It is either that this is not the case, or [sarcasm] the great I - the master mind that invented the universe around me - has deceived myself that I am not the inventor and everything that has come to be is a mystery, a logical impossibility [end sarcasm].

Either way we cannot know for certain. It is rational belief that leads me to the conclusion that it is not so ... experience of the physical realm leads me to the conclusion that the physical realm exists.'

Rational or justified belief is when you have a reason to believe in something as opposed to irrational/unjustified belief. I'm saying I have plenty of reasons to believe in an outside world. Of course it is not known to me, but believed in rationally. It is more likely it exists than that it doesn't.
Of course thoughts have gaps. How is one thought known from another?
For me, thoughts will lead on to another, so it is just one continuous line of thoughts, I never really interpret any 'gaps' as such, just one long string of thoughts. I cannot conceive of anything inside my head that is not a thought.
If there were no gaps, you would essentially BECOME those thoughts.
That is what it seems to me.
Not necessarily. I might have perceived a wave but it in actuality, it was something else - a giant whale that drifted ashore. Maybe it was just a dream and never happened in the first place.
That's a very good point above. The same could be VERY much said for this physical reality we seem to live in.
Except that I would simply differentiate again from the world in it's perceived state (which is believed in, rationally or irrationally) and the world in it's actual state (which is not known but most likely exists, as I will demonstrate).

I believe there is a wave, but actually, it is a whale. Either way, I do not know. I also do not know if I know, nor do I know this, nor this. So I assume that my belief is knowledge and hold rational belief as my gospel.
Are you "certain"? How can you be certain that ANYTHING exists outside of a conscious observer?
I can't be certain of anything whatsoever.

But I would say that since rational belief leads me to the conclusion that waves land on this shore and other shores I have been to, rational belief also leads me to the conclusion that they probably land on many more shores if not every shore, without my needing to experience them.

The universe is either infinite or else it is like a box expanding into nothingness which makes no sense. If something is happening in my part of the universe, then since the universe is infinite, things are probably happening outside my part of the universe without my experience: waves landing on a desert island, asterisks and meteors, shooting stars, exploding stars, black holes, the formation of new galaxies, etc., etc. This is what rational belief tells me but not knowledge, no.

However, you cannot say 'well only my part of the universe is the universe' because that is all I experience' because you do not know that to be so either. And is your universe like a box expanding into nothingness as well? If you take a walk in the park is that the expansion of the universe from where you were sitting in your living room to where you are now in the park? Is it the same universe changing?
Just wrote you a well thought out long response and apparently waited too long as my post got eaten by the site :x

It's ok. It's better that I summarize anyway. Quickly.

Meditation. Ignore ALL advice that is given to you as meditation is simply about ALLOWING whatever is to be as is. A great recommendation for you is to read "Meditation, Now or Never" by Steve Hagan. It's probably the best pure "meditation" book out there. It's a very small, yet incredibly effective little book that doesn't beat around the bush and is incredible SIMPLE and direct on what NOW and meditation ultimately mean on a deeper level. I would HIGHLY suggest you read this book.

Quick meditation:

Sit in any kind of pose as long as it promotes being awake rather than falling asleep. Eyes open or closed. If open, faced towards the floor or a blank wall to prevent the mind from attaching to objects. Then, just literally.....allow whatever is to be. If thoughts come up? Good. Allow them. Don't label. Don't judge. Don't identify. Don't attach. Just literally ALLOW and notice them. Emotions arising? Just allow it and witness it. Don't label it. Literally....feel the physical sensation of the emotion in the body and allow it to be there fully even if it's uncomfortable, but don't label it as good or bad. Sounds occurring? Allow them to be there fully and witness them. No matter how loud they are. Sensations in the body? Allow it. It's all part of what is happening NOW. You are the WITNESS to ALL of these things happening.

Do you see what meditation actually is? Meditation is not about DOING, but rather about BEING. It's a training process to get you in touch with what you truly are....which is...the NOW. There are no goals with meditation. There is no real TECHNIQUE. It's simply about allowing whatever is....to simply....just....be....as....is. Enlightenment is merely a shift in perspective when you realize what NOW is. There is no SECRET behind it. No magic. No anything.

Eckhart Tolle's message is not about us becoming robots. It teaches that if something CAN be changed for the better, then yes.....we should change it. However, if it is something OUT of our control, then we literally accept it as it is because it's part of the NOW which is essentially US. He's teaches us how to overcome suffering. Suffering occurs when we try to control something we have NO control over. It occurs when we RESIST what IS instead of ACCEPTING what is.

Example 1) I am sitting in this movie theater and the man next to me smells terrible. I have the choice of getting up and moving to another seat if I choose.

Example 2) I am waiting on line at the DMV (department of motor vehicles). The line is incredibly long to get my license renewed. I can choose to complain, whine about it and "wish" that I wasn't there which creates suffering OR I can simply ACCEPT that this is what's happening right NOW and I have no control over the situation. Therefore, I might as well make peace with it. That's true love right there.

I recommend you look into this self inquiry exercise which is a great exercise for you to actually REALIZE the self without acknowledging it because someone else is telling you. From your posts, it seems that my words are being lost in concepts which is only going to make things more difficult. It's all about direct realization which YOU have to experience first hand. You seem to have the conceptual understanding down very well. However, you are still assuming yourself to be a human body living in a human world which is NOT Tolle's message even though you indicate that you understand that you are "awareness". You are still seeing things in terms of 'separation' and "duality" as per your first post. This is a great exercise below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1k1290DXuQ

I would also suggest this link as an introduction to some of the Quantum Physics behind much of this stuff which might give you a better idea into some of the perspectives thrown around on this board. I highly recommend it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d4ugppcRUE

I can only suggest these things for you, but cannot force you to look into them. The choice is yours. Meditation when done correctly is a great tool. No expectations, no goals. Just being with what is and allowing whatever is....to be.

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by Enlightened2B » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:23 am

Great stuff in this thread by Jen. Wow. Really powerful. Just read all of it now.

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by sloth » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:54 pm

Enlightened wrote:Just wrote you a well thought out long response and apparently waited too long as my post got eaten by the site
That is terribly annoying when it happens. I try to remember to press Ctrl+A then Ctrl+C before I submit my post.

Thank you for the suggestions and meditation advice. I have actually been practicing for over a year now, on and off, admittedly.
I recommend you look into this self inquiry exercise which is a great exercise for you to actually REALIZE the self without acknowledging it because someone else is telling you. From your posts, it seems that my words are being lost in concepts which is only going to make things more difficult.
I see: understanding the face value or literal meaning of something is not the same as understanding. When I see a tin of beans, I read on the tin that there are beans inside but I don't know what that means until I see the beans, eat the beans.

Similarly, I recognise that my mind is an artificial construct (a social construct, even), that my true essence is awareness but I do not entirely know what this means.

I would only ask what it is you mean by 'concept'.

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by sloth » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:18 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:
I wonder where you get this stuff from, it is not from Tolle.
It means that we layer reality (what is) with imaginings of what a thing 'might' mean, 'might' lead to, 'might' say about ourselves or another, 'might' stem from.. etc etc etc and we hold those things as if real, but they aren't real. They are projections outside of this moment, and/or judgements outside of our actual experience.
Let's say a guard is defending his camp and is on the look out for enemy spies that might infiltrate the camp. He hears a rustle in the bushes, this could be a fox, an enemy spy, simply an apple that has dropped from a tree. If I have understood you correctly, the things they could be are projections outside of this moment. However the correct thing to do would be to check the bush, or maybe position another guard on the lookout nearby in case it is a trick - a clever ruse to distract the guards attention so that the spies may pass by unnoticed. In fact, there is no 'correct' thing to do because of all the possible things the rustle in the bush could be: he might look behind the bush to find he is met by the jaws of a hungry wolf, or some sort of enemy trap. Anything could happen.

So what you are saying is that none of these things are real in so far as they have yet to be realised. But yet you would most likely agree with me that the guard is required to respond and yet it is something imaginary that he is responding? In fact is it correct to assume that these projections are imaginary? They could be imaginary, they could be entirely real. I would say that they are neither imaginary nor real, they are 'could-be's'.

So back to the context, it is from what I have experienced from myself and others that leads me to the conclusion that sometimes pain causes suffering. I don't see how this is a projection outside of this moment, or a collective imagining or however it is you would describe it.
So if one projects outside of the present moment and the 'what is' of reality and 'believes' and 'thinks' them self into projections and judgements outside of 'what is' then yes one will 'experience' the energies of suffering as if they are real
But here you don't distinguish between belief, rational belief and knowledge. For instance, the guard could have good reason to believe one of his projections are real, what then? Is he suffering?
I love life - my understanding of love, borrowed from Don Miguel Ruiz, is 'the equilibrium of gratitude and generosity'
I don't know, we are not always as generous as we should be to our loved ones. At times, we even take our loved ones for granted. But it seems we still love them nonetheless, sometimes it can take a personal loss to realise that.
The notion of your back was made for your burden, we need to look at the presupposing of suffering outside of what actually is 'your burden'. When folks pity others and use external examples of suffering they are missing the reality of the fullness of a moment that is 'yours' in experience in which there are not singularly selected external perspectives, there is only the fullness of all possibilities.
I do not understand this.
Becoming aware does not imply or require becoming arrogant - in fact its the reverse, one becomes aware that one's perspective is merely one perspective and that all perspectives are merely perspectives by awareness, capacity and willingness.

Becoming aware does not imply or require becoming apathetic - in fact its the reverse, one becomes more responsive to what is, more aware of the possibilities more aware of the power and possibilities rather than powerlessness and impotency in every moment.

Becoming aware does not imply or require becoming immune to suffering - in fact its the reverse, one becomes more attuned to suffering and more compassionate and empathetic.
So why do Tolle and others say that living in the present moment is a full immersion in pain, pleasure and everything that is now but an end to suffering? Surely it is a full immersion of the suffering that is now also?
You must not have had the experiences with animals that I've been blessed to enjoy
Actually I have two Labradors and while I love them dearly, I know how easy it is for people to anthromorphise pets. I see them as feeling emotion, pain and suffering as do I, but I do not see them as having a logical mind as humans do. I believe it is because while my mind is burdened with thoughts and recognition of a past and future, animals solely live in the present.
At what point would a person start to 'wish' about something that never was?
But the situation is so: the driver in front has failed to turn left despite indicating that they would do so and now the driver behind must adjust to the situation. This is because they wish that it were not so.
What is it within your imagining that layers things like bottles of champagne over the incredible beauty and purity of a moment shared in total acceptance of what is, in love - in gratitude and generosity, in compassion and empathy, rather than fear and arrogance and imagining and rejection of that reality?
Well actually, what you were talking about reminded me of an Alan Watts video in which he says that death should not be grieved and mourned, rather the family of the passing away should celebrate with them, the beginning of something new and wonderful (death), a passing away into the next world. Rather than cry at the bedside of a loved one, they should open up a bottle of champagne and celebrate with them to make death easier, etc., etc.

Anyway, I was not necessarily passing judgement on this view, maybe there is some truth to it. My only point is that, surely if you loved someone you would possess a kind of loyalty towards them. And surely that loyalty would demand of you that it is 'right and proper' not just for you to grieve, but for you to suffer also. You can be happy and rejoice their life, their passing away into a new world at the same time, I do not say this should not be so. It's just that the way I see it, and I cannot project, as you yourself suggest, the death of a loved one would bring about a mixture of emotions, suffering would surely be one of them.
That is what 'your back was made for your burden' means, it doesn't mean that your back was made to carry or shoulder or judge others' burdens, nor that your back will break under the reality of life in this moment (of course its figurative).
I'm still sceptical, I believe that 'your back will break', so to speak, if an emotional or physical pain so great overwhelmed you and caused suffering. Could you really not suffer if you knew your child had been molested and killed or something awful had happened? I just cannot see how it could be so that the back will never break. Of course, one day, the burdens of life will indeed be too great, and then we shall die.
It means what it says, if I were experiencing thoughts and emotions that overstep their boundaries, projecting onto another or outside of 'now' about what 'should' be, rather than what 'is' I would recognise that I had stepped out of responding to, interacting with, what is and into judging and projecting in imagination. To name this under the banners of loyalty and respect, is kind of like skewing compassion and pity, they are two totally different expressions of energy in motion.

In awareness one responds with willingness and with capacity to what is, rather than standing apart from it, imagining and judging.
I don't know that it is about projecting what 'should be'. I am just saying that love presupposes loyalty as well as compassion and thus we suffer out of loyalty as well as the loss of the object of our desire. It is in this way that when I say 'love will cause one to suffer', it is not a normative statement, I am just describing what is.

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Re: Does Enlightenment make you Invincible

Post by Enlightened2B » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:39 pm

I see: understanding the face value or literal meaning of something is not the same as understanding. When I see a tin of beans, I read on the tin that there are beans inside but I don't know what that means until I see the beans, eat the beans.
Yes. Exactly.
Similarly, I recognise that my mind is an artificial construct (a social construct, even), that my true essence is awareness but I do not entirely know what this means.
I would only ask what it is you mean by 'concept'.
Conceptual understanding is a way to understand something through the mind and only through the mind. You read a book. You get the message. It makes perfect sense. You try to "practice" what the message is teaching, but it's tough to apply to your own life because it becomes more of a 'belief". When I first read "A New Earth" (which was my first Tolle book), I had a conceptual understanding of the book. I understood what he was referring to when he spoke of "ego", when he spoke of "now". The reason I understood this was because I had been meditating previously since 2007. I had read many books on meditation previously and delved into the works of Jon Kabbat Zinn. Everything made sense to me as far as "living in the present". Yet, I continued suffering because I did not know how to apply his teachings to my own life. I kept thinking to myself.....ok, I have to practice "being in the present moment". This was the basis for mindfulness for me for so many years. Learning to "be in the present moment". However, it was not until about 9 months after I initially read the book and 6 years of meditation practice, where I finally realized that it's not about "living in the present moment". It's that you ARE the present moment. That shift in perspective is literally EVERYTHING.

But, if I may use Jen's post as an example:

Jen says-"It means that we layer reality (what is) with imaginings of what a thing 'might' mean, 'might' lead to, 'might' say about ourselves or another, 'might' stem from.. etc etc etc and we hold those things as if real, but they aren't real. They are projections outside of this moment, and/or judgements outside of our actual experience"-end of Jen's quote

What she is saying there is very powerful. She's implying that when there are thoughts about something that is essentially outside of what is happening right now, you can either choose to believe those thoughts or see those thoughts as they are. Therefore, if you think "what if, what if, what if", and you start identifying with that, you are essentially creating your own false reality based on those thoughts alone. That is essentially how you will go about interpreting the world....based on that. The point being that the only thing that IS, is the fact that those thoughts are literally taking place right now. Those thoughts in and of themselves do not have any meaning which you can only see if you allow those thoughts to be there without clinging on to them as if they held 'truths'. Those thoughts do NOT hold any "truths". The only "truth" is that you exist, right here, right now. Everything WITHIN this thing called.....NOW....is a truth. Anything else is NOT a truth. They are merely projections of OUTSIDE of this moment and the only thing you truly are is.....THIS MOMENT.

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