Cultivating a taste for reality

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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:42 pm

My take is that perfection is in the system and not the manifestation - although as a result of the system the manifestation is its own type of perfection albeit often painful and undesired. Trial and error, or experiment and feedback in a limited reality promotes evolution of consciousness and being. The perfection is in the system. To say that horrible things that happen are perfect as they are remains true when seen in the larger context of the exploration of effects. Of course the old saw about when one is up to one's ass in alligators, remembering the idea was to drain the swamp comes to mind. The perception of perfection can get a little muddy.

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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Rob X » Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:23 pm

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Most recently this was a member of this forum. I'm not sure if bringing others into conversations like this without checking with them is appropriate or not...they haven't been on for a little bit so I can't check with them directly. Aside from that I spoke to Francis Bennett via Skype a couple of times. He asked me specifically not to talk about our conversations publicly so, again, I'm unsure if it's appropriate to talk about this. I haven't read his books but they would be a good place to go for an opinion that he is comfortable in expressing publicly.


I understand your caution. Though I think I know who you are referring to - perhaps he'll join in and give us a first hand account of his experiences beyond vibration.

EnterZenFromThere wrote:I don't see a difference between your definition and mine.


Okay. Perhaps I misunderstood.

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Rob: "The very act of experiencing implies an interaction, shift or exchange of some kind. I would classify that movement as subtle vibration"

I agree. The way it was described took this into consideration - sort of - this can't be explained and then an explanation as to why.

Rob: "Okay. What I was getting at is how can something be encountered, known, registered, remembered and reported without subtle movement of some kind."

That's a good point.


Yes, it's quite a central consideration.


EnterZenFromThere wrote: *shrug* :shock:


I see. :D
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Rob X » Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:37 pm

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Rob: "That very illumination that nothing is needed, that everything is already perfect as it is, is itself a glimpse of the great perfection of existence. It's an existential realisation."

This doesn't sound like Self Realisation to me. Sounds more like a spiritual trap. Perceiving the absence of any need to advance. Though it could also be a great stepping stone to greater clarity. There are lots of examples of people like this. Tony Parsons seems like a good example. He seems like quite a sad and bitter character to me.


Well I think that 'Self' is an unnecessary addition here. Defining Self realisation is a whole other topic - which I would guess that the contributors to this thread might have different ideas on.

But a realisation it surely is. Neo advaita didn't invent this idea. It can be found in most nondual traditions: Zen, Advaita, Taoism and Dzogchen.

From the widest possible perspective ALL that arises IS the perfect expression of a mysterious Source (call it Absolute if you like) and this includes your striving or non-striving - nothing is excluded.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Enlightened2B » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:03 pm

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Nisargadatta speaks in the same way. Saying he never sleeps because he is awake. Or rather, he is always aware/awake. Harri Aalto has been like this most of his life. Unlike Francis, he is like this even under anaesthesia. Our mutual friend also mentioned this rather briefly in the other thread.]


When someone says they are aware/awake during deep sleep, I take them to mean the "they" as their ultimate nature in an absolute sense. Any individual claiming to recall details of a dreamless experience, or to be aware of dreamless sleep,is once again back into sensory/vibration. Point Being that I, Rob and Jen have made, in order to "realize" an absolute experience, would require an absence of sensory and an absence of anything, whether physical or non physical to claim the experience happened. The absence of sensory, meaning the inability to recall an experience as there is no "experience" to recall which happens to everyone during dreamless anesthesia sleep might be more indicative of an absolute with no sensory. There would be no individual to know that an experience happened. No sensory, no mind. And no experience. Just Being. But any experiential claim of "recognition of no-mind" is already back into mind as mind is that which recalls. That goes especially for our mutual friend on this forum who was able to recall his experience quite well.

Point is that the Absolute is already everything and to claim an experience less/vibration less/sensory less experience is already.....another experience.

Yet the even bigger point....how does the absence of an experience equate to a form of "absolute"? None of us know for sure what happens in deep sleep because there is no mind active to know!

These are just concepts. Nisargadatta had some good points. I read the "pointers" book two years ago, but his notion of deep sleep is the same as taught in traditional Vedanta which I studied for a time. I don't take any of these sages including the Buddha to be any more enlightened than the most profound NDE's. I will bet that many of those who wrote the Upanishads and such had incredibly profound experiences (likely non physical) but who can say that any experienced an "absolute, sensory less" state of sorts since it's all being interpreted by you.

You're right that neo-advaita folks like Tony parsons likely are basing their teachings off of limited physical realizations while many in new age area do chase after experiences. But true enlightenment that you are referring to is just your own interpretation of another's experience. A sensory less Absolute (if it does exist) would not be possibly to be known by the mind.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Onceler » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:51 pm

EnterZenFromThere wrote:.

People who meet my own interpretation of self-realisation are extremely rare. I'd say 95-99% of people who claim self-realisation are not self-realised.


What about the percentage among the people who make no claims? I suspect, but have no way of knowing, that there are many realized people out there that make no claim and their realization may have no bearing or relation to the way we talk about it here. I think there are many ways, layers, to be awake and realized. It might take a subtle eye to spot someone living life seamlessly, fully integrated with reality. Or however one defines realization. They may not even know it.

Just a thought.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:46 pm

Thats a good point Onceler. Harri Aalto was like that. In his first Batgap interview he talks about how confused he was when he went on a retreat and heard people talking about bliss and oneness. He didn't understand what they were talking about. Then, suddenly, his own connection with Self suddenly diminished and he was overcome with the unpleasant sense of disconnection for the first time in his life - the sense of disconnection most of us spend our entire lives within. His connection returned in a few minutes but it gave him an understanding of how different he is to other people.

He only started talking about his experiences last year - so, for 50+ years, he's been walking around just living his life.

Who knows how many there are. I guess it doesn't really matter. My experience is all I experience. It's fun to hypothesise about alternate perspectives, but my experience is my focus.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby tod » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:46 am

Hi E2B :)

Enlightened2B wrote:When someone says they are aware/awake during deep sleep, I take them to mean the "they" as their ultimate nature in an absolute sense.


Ok, but 'their nature', of whatever sort, is only in the content of thought, unless by 'their nature' you mean actual experience.

Any individual claiming to recall details of a dreamless experience, or to be aware of dreamless sleep,is once again back into sensory/vibration.


Or back into thought (vibration).

Point Being that I, Rob and Jen have made, in order to "realize" an absolute experience, would require an absence of sensory and an absence of anything, whether physical or non physical to claim the experience happened.


To claim any experience happened requires 'entering thought', as that is where all experience is claimed to happen.

The absence of sensory, meaning the inability to recall an experience as there is no "experience" to recall which happens to everyone during dreamless anesthesia sleep might be more indicative of an absolute with no sensory.


The experience OF anything, including no experience, only happens in thought; is only thought to happen.

This does not mean there is no experience. It means that experience is direct, actual, ‘in the moment’, undeniable whilst happening.

There would be no individual to know that an experience happened. No sensory, no mind. And no experience. Just Being.


Yes, except there is experience; consciousness is present. Thought calls it un conscious.

But any experiential claim of "recognition of no-mind" is already back into mind as mind is that which recalls.


Yes, back into the content of thought.

Point is that the Absolute is already everything and to claim an experience less/vibration less/sensory less experience is already.....another experience.


'The Absolute' is a thought that is supposed (thought) to be 'beyond thought'. But you as actual experience are already 'beyond thought'. IOW, actual experience is not in (the content of) thought.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:06 am

E2B: There would be no individual to know that an experience happened. No sensory, no mind. And no experience. Just Being.

tod: Yes, except there is experience; consciousness is present. Thought calls it un conscious.


While it might seem likely on some level that consciousness or whatever you want to call it, is present, during deep sleep, to me, experience equals perception of some proportion (even non physical perception in the greater awareness of multiple perspectives simultaneously, which is still...an experience) and there is nothing to sense or perceive in deep sleep at all, because there is no mind/thought active. Therefore, I don't know if it is or is not an experience because I don't know what Deep Sleep actually is nor will I pretend to know. Logical reasoning which is often seen in non-duality, claims that even a 'no experience=experience" ( the claim that I know I was present because I did not dream). I feel that's kind of a limited conclusion based off of limited human logical reasoning. I do think Being or Awareness is present, because presence is always present, but not for the reasoning necessarily mentioned above. Deep Sleep can be many of a number of things, including a recharging of the body/mind, but most that are likely far beyond my own limited comprehension at this time.

I only used the example of Deep Sleep, as a reference to what this concept of 'Sensoryless Absolute' that EnterZen was referring to, might be like.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Baba Bozo » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:35 pm

Enlightened2B wrote:Two waves hanging out together. One wave realizes it's merely water, while the other wave, believes itself to be a separate being. Ultimately, both waves are still water, but one wave has not awoken to that realization yet. Both still home though.


Nice, I've always liked the ocean wave analogy myself, having grown up on the beach. Your well put analogy can help direct our attention to the wave that has not awoken, that is, us.

It's perhaps helpful to recall that billions of years of evolution, or if one prefers some higher intelligence, have designed reality so that the experience of separateness is the defining characteristic of all life.

So perhaps we might be a bit wary of investing too much effort in to resisting the "asleep" state, given that it's unlikely we are wiser than evolution or God. It seems that accepting "what is" should probably involve an enthusiastic embrace of the experience of separateness, and all the joys and dramas contained therein.

It may be helpful to reflect that:

1) The experience of separateness arises from the inherently divisive nature of thought itself, and...

2) Thought is essential to human life.

Thus, it's not possible to "awaken" and "see the light" in a permanent way, because we are required as humans to return to thought again and again and again. Every time we return to thought we will again be subject to it's inherently divisive nature.

It's a common error to think that the problem exists at the level of the content of thought, and thus a bad idea (we are separate) can be replaced with a better idea (we are one) and then all will be well.

This doesn't work because the experience of separateness arises from a more fundamental level than the content of thought, it arises from the inherently divisive nature of the medium of thought.

Once this is seen the quest for the correct philosophy will begin to melt away, because all philosophies are made of thought and are thus subject to the inherently divisive properties of that information medium.

Why does Tolle feel the need for money, power and fame? It's because as a human being he requires thought to function, and every time he returns to thought he again experiences himself as separate, a little man desperately struggling to be a big man, because to be big is to feel safer in this vast reality we tiny creatures inhabit.

If it's true that the experience of separateness arises from the nature of thought itself, then we can take breaks from that experience, but we can never conquer it. Seeing this brings an end to paths, evolving, developing, growing, changing and all the other becoming trips.

Let's refer to a simple example from day to day life.

Some time today we will become physically hungry. And so we will eat some food. We experience hunger, and we fix it, temporarily. We don't argue with the fact that we will have to eat repeatedly all throughout our life. We don't make a silly demand that there be some kind of food which will end hunger forever.

When it comes to food, sex, sleep and all the other functions of the body, we are very sensible, realistic. Let's continue this sanity in to the realm of thought, which is just another mechanical function of the human body.

Psychic hunger arises when we've spent too much time in the experience of separateness. This hunger can be met by taking a break from thought.

And then we must return to thought, the experience of separateness, and all the joys and dramas which arise from that experience.

Awakening is like an apple, an eternally temporary solution.

Let's be happy that we have the apple.

Let's eat it when we get hungry.

And let's stop demanding more. Demanding more than a temporary solution to our hunger, physical or psychic, is a rejection of the "what is" created by some process far larger than we.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Enlightened2B » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:15 pm

I like your posts Fartman. Very clear and I very much agree with much you say.

It's perhaps helpful to recall that billions of years of evolution, or if one prefers some higher intelligence, have designed reality so that the experience of separateness is the defining characteristic of all life.


Can't be anymore clear than the part in bold above. That's why it's all about perception. Perceiving life from the perspective that reality is designed this way for growth and evolution can bring a lot more appreciation and clarity to the challenging experiences we experience. This perspective has helped me much in my own life.

The idea being that getting identified with thought, (not thought itself that creates separation, but identification with thought enhances separation) often brings us back into a more limited perspective. It's not black and white to me. Meaning, Ego or no ego. The term ego, to me, is just a reference to the intentionally limited aspect that experiences itself as an apparent separate entity for a temporary experience. The more limited our perspectives, while in humanness, the more ego we identify with. The less limited (the more we allow and align with Being), the less limited we become. Of course, human experience is always limited to some degree, and there is simply no way to transcend that in a human body alone. That's the beauty of this realm of existence. Self Realization can come in many ways as Onceler points out above. True Enlightenment (seeing the bigger picture available) is likely not available to us while in human bodies and for a greater purpose.

I can say from my own experience (you mention the beach), when I'm in nature or meditating or on the beach, and I simply allow my experience to be, that means, whatever arises, simply to be as it is, including "negative' thoughts, etc, there is no separation between me and anything else. Yes, there is most certainly still an 'I AM', but that 'I AM' is connected to/with everything else in my experience. It's the same 'I AM'. Everything merely just is. It's just one Energetic Connection.Of course, it's more of a felt sense of Oneness. When thoughts start gaining power of me again (which they do of course), that Oneness seems lost.

But, I accept that this is the human experience. Ebbs and Flows. Trying more so these days to be less identified with mind than I used to by practicing meditation and allowing my experience to be as much as possible, but inevitably conditioning arises and so be it. Human experience is a learning ground for our own growth and evolution by working with vibration (experience) in learning who we truly are. Yet, permanent shifts sound more like an idealistic concept of Enlightenment. Nobody lives thought free, nor would you want to as that is inevitably defeating the purpose of the human experience.
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby rachMiel » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:28 pm

Rob X wrote:
EnterZenFromThere wrote:From the widest possible perspective ALL that arises IS the perfect expression of a mysterious Source

Ka-ching! I'd say all of us here agree with this. (With the exception perhaps of Ashley?) So let us not forget that in the midst of our little disagreements about the details. :-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Baba Bozo » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:38 pm

Enlightened2B wrote: I can say from my own experience (you mention the beach), when I'm in nature or meditating or on the beach, and I simply allow my experience to be, that means, whatever arises, simply to be as it is, including "negative' thoughts, etc, there is no separation between me and anything else.


I suspect we've all had this experience or we wouldn't be here. And I have to agree nature does seem a very receptive place to have such experience.

We might observe what happens after these experiences. We think to ourselves, "that was great!" and that inspiring experience becomes a point of comparison with our ordinary daily life experience which tends to be less inspiring on average.

It's kind of like taking a drug, the non-drug state of mind now comes to feel a little more dull, because after the drug experience it is now being compared to the state of higher stimulation. As our normal life comes to seem a bit more dull, the urge to re-stimulate may increase, leading to an unhealthy escalating pattern sometimes called addiction.

The urge to stimulate, either through drugs or meditation or other means is really a rejection of our ordinary mundane day to day human life. It's a way of saying that our ordinary thought dominated experience which comes so naturally isn't good enough. Seeking these experiences can be a way of pushing away the boredom which may be our greatest teacher.

I'm not against the experiences you speak of. But perhaps they should come with a warning label?

As with a drug the more powerful these experiences are, the more inspiring, elevating and stimulating they may be, the more danger they present. It's very easy for them to become vehicles for rejection of what is most of the time our normal mundane day to day human lives, which are typically dominated by thought.

We're human. It's not our fault. :-)

We're going to experience a dizzying circular sequence of joy and pain and then before you know it we'll drop dead and the circus will be over. So whatever troubles we may experience along the way, each life ever created over billions of years comes with a 100% iron clad guarantee that those troubles are very temporary.

Point being, this larger system we are a part of has already provided a pretty excellent solution to every possible problem, and there really isn't much for us to do other than try to relax once in awhile and enjoy the ride. Too often we think we are the bus driver, when really we are just a passenger on the bus, and we are thus free to look out the window and enjoy the view as it so quickly passes by.

If there is no big problem, no big solution is required.

Imagine a movie in which all the characters were perfect.

Now THAT would be boring! :-)
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Rob X » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:34 pm

Baba Bozo wrote:It may be helpful to reflect that:

1) The experience of separateness arises from the inherently divisive nature of thought itself, and...

2) Thought is essential to human life.

Thus, it's not possible to "awaken" and "see the light" in a permanent way, because we are required as humans to return to thought again and again and again. Every time we return to thought we will again be subject to it's inherently divisive nature.

It's a common error to think that the problem exists at the level of the content of thought, and thus a bad idea (we are separate) can be replaced with a better idea (we are one) and then all will be well.

This doesn't work because the experience of separateness arises from a more fundamental level than the content of thought, it arises from the inherently divisive nature of the medium of thought.

Once this is seen the quest for the correct philosophy will begin to melt away, because all philosophies are made of thought and are thus subject to the inherently divisive properties of that information medium.


I'm enjoying reading your posts Mr Bozo.

The term 'separation' as used in the nondual traditions refers to a sense of separation from the Ground of Being/the Absolute/the Cosmos etc. But here's the thing, no one has ever experienced separation - they experience a sense of separation.

Let me explain. To experience separation would entail actually being separate from the Universe/Absolute. Yet nothing is or ever was separate from, independent of, other than, an expression, effect or product of the Universe/Absolute.

What we experience is a sense of separation - and this illusion occurs because the Universe presents itself as distinction, variation and differentiation at every turn. Reinforced by our conditioning and language from a very early age, we mistake this seamless presentation of differentiation for a collection of fixed, enduring, independent objects. But there are no such things. If we pay special attention we might grasp that there is simply this… and now this…. expressing and modulating as the apparently separate forms of experience. When we are present with what is happening as it is happening it is possible to get the visceral sense 'ah… this that is occurring… is simply the seamless play of the universe… '.

So the question is, can we see through this conditioned, language/thought based delusion while still utilising the divisive properties of thought? Yes we can, what we cannot see through (apart from in rarefied forms of Dhyana) is distinction and differentiation - we're not meant to - we need to be able to stop at red lights and not eat rusty nails or pee in the wardrobe. Yet we can see through our utterly conditioned notion that we are somehow separate from the Totality because it amounts to a (admittedly persistent) belief - a belief that can be abandoned.

(Of course, as noted in other threads, in order to see through separation in the first place, a degree of freedom from the distracting and belief enforcing nature of narrative may be required.)

Baba Bozo wrote:It's perhaps helpful to recall that billions of years of evolution, or if one prefers some higher intelligence, have designed reality so that the experience of separateness is the defining characteristic of all life.

So perhaps we might be a bit wary of investing too much effort in to resisting the "asleep" state, given that it's unlikely we are wiser than evolution or God.


Yeah… and if men were meant to fly, God would have given them wings. :D
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Baba Bozo » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:05 pm

I'm enjoying reading your posts Mr Bozo.


His Most Bombastic Blabber Of Nerdy Words is enjoying your enjoyment, thank you.

What we experience is a sense of separation - and this illusion occurs because the Universe presents itself as distinction, variation and differentiation at every turn.


I agree it is just an experience of division, and not the reality.

And I kindly suggest a simple explanation of this experience. Thought, the information medium we are made of, is divisive in nature. And so everywhere we look, we see division. It's no more complicated than putting on pink tinted sunglasses, and then everything we observe appears to be pink. That is, it's just a simple mechanical issue, which requires no grand esoteric explanation far beyond the ability of humans etc.

Reinforced by our conditioning and language from a very early age, we mistake this seamless presentation of differentiation for a collection of fixed, enduring, independent objects.


Yes, everyone around us is wearing the same pink tinted sunglasses as we, and so a group consensus has developed that all of reality is pink.

If we pay special attention we might grasp that there is simply this… and now this….


And at the moment we introduce concepts like "we" and "me" we are back in to the division. We should notice this, we should grasp that, we should evolve, change, develop, transform etc. A wonderful and quite compelling story, except that as you have wisely pointed out, there is no "we".

So the question is, can we see through this conditioned, language/thought based delusion while still utilising the divisive properties of thought?


Yes, that is the question, and the answer is no. As soon as we say "I have seen through the delusion" we are yet again back in the dream of separation.

Thought is like a lawnmower, it is a very useful tool, but we shouldn't expect to be able to cut the grass without making any noise. A the moment we think about thoughtlessness, the lawnmower is making it's usual racket.

Yet we can see through our utterly conditioned notion that we are somehow separate from the Totality


We can see through it intellectually, entertaining at best. We can experience it, until the moment we try to think about what we've experienced.

Yeah… and if men were meant to fly, God would have given them wings. :D


Yes, that's it. As humans we are rich beyond the wildest dreams of all other known species, and being rich comes with a big price tag. There's no free lunch as the saying goes.

If we want to sleep in a warm bed on clean sheets while our deer friends lie awake all night in the freezing rain, hour after hour after hour, we should expect a bill for the privilege.

We could stop being whiny complainers, and just pay the bill, and be happy we can. :-)
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Re: Cultivating a taste for reality

Postby Rob X » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:25 pm

At any one time we already experience the world as a single shifting whole and as a collection of fragmented parts. (There is growing evidence that these two modes of experience are attributed to the way the hemispheres of the brain process the world.) Yet we tend to live our lives (at this point in history) in a left hemisphere dominant mode where we "step out of the flow of experience" and focus on fragmented, conceptualised parts in isolation.

Occasionally we 'relax' into a condition (right hemisphere?) where we catch an extended glimpse of the 'gestalt', the shifting whole.

The 'we' and the 'me' and the 'you' and the birds and cars and trees... are modulations (effects, expressions, patterns etc.) of this (for want of a phrase) Ground of Being or gestalt.

Of course this can be simply known intellectually - but as we pay special attention in the present moment, a visceral sense of this gestalt can arise. The delusion of separation has no traction in this condition yet differentiation and distinction are still present. Thought can arise here and simply be seen as part of the landscape (admittedly, there is the danger that narrative will give rise to a return of the delusion of separation.)
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