I like the Japanese Zen model of kensho/satori for the difference between transcendent experience and realization that doesn't come and go. I also agree with Andy that seeking done intellectually is seeking done unconsciously, and I've got the illusory path story to prove it. One afternoon 30 years ago I had a dorm room talk with a friend who'd gone on to major in Physics (mine was engineering). He was interested at the time in the topic of the Quantum Observer and said something to the effect "this changes everything and they shouldn't call it Physics anymore".runstrails wrote:This is a good point.Fore wrote: Realization of ones true nature is simply the first frution stage. Insights are only part of this first stage.
In the old day, students of Vedanta were first asked to develop qualifications such as dedication, discrimination, dispassion, karma yoga, bhakti etc.. and so when they achieved self-realization, those practices were already in place to deal with the unwieldy mind were already in place.
These days, self realization can come first, and may not necessarily mean moksha (freedom from suffering). The conditioning and old egoic tendencies can still be very strong.
Luckily, traditional vedanta provides the entire cosmology of awakening. Not only do you realize that you are the self (awareness). But you also understand the energies and the mind states (rajas, sattva and tamas) and how they work and how to balance them for a peaceful mind. Actually, it's kind of interesting--since it gives you something to do once the seeking is over!
Balancing the gunas to achieve a peaceful (sattvic) mind is a great way to occupy oneself in whatever one is doing in life. Following dharma, as you say, is essential to achieving a peaceful mind. And a peaceful mind is a great way to enjoy the bliss of self-realization.
And this feeling of moksha (freedom from suffering) can happen every day, again and again, even in the midst of the most trying circumstances, when the mind is focused on its true nature. When the focus is lost, then there can be suffering. But then the thought arises, "I am the self" and moksha is available again .
Stefano: "If a measurement requires an observer then it's not a purely physical process."
Me: "What? Nah, there's an apparatus with power plugs and metal and glass and the whole dealio is a physical process."
Stefano: "But how do you account for yourself in that loop? How do you explain the physicality of the observer?"
Me: "It's my physicality, right?"
Stefano got a look across his face that I'll never forget. He was processing something and knowing me, he knew that any more talk would be useless. He gave me his chess set as a parting gift on our last days together 'cause I always kicked his ass. He nodded slightly and said "oh, so you think of yourself as a physical process then?"
Me: "well, yeah, duh, what else would I be?"
And that rationalization was a salvage of my sense of identity based on myself as walking stardust in a real material world, but something didn't quite sit right after that. The identity poker game was on, and it was 99% unconscious for 20+ years. I dunno, if someone had hit me over the head with changlessness back then I can't say how I would have reacted.
On this issue of the necessity of a teacher, if I admit that my opinion about it might be rooted in arrogance and laziness, would you consider the possibility that yours might be based on a self-serving institutional bias? I mean traditional AV is all about exploring that old conditioning, right?
On the issue of the permanent end of suffering, I think that's a cool discussion, but one inference I draw from what Gangajii says here, it can often be a disservice to onlooker peeps who are only imagining what's being discussed.
How's the runnin' habit these days?