A discussion community revolving around Eckhart Tolle but not limited to him
Onceler wrote:Borris, I've read your posts with interest. Both the content of what you're saying, and my own personal reaction to it. I was quite keen on enlightenment most of my life, but now have little to no interest. I'm not sure what I thought enlightenment entailed, other than the end of suffering. What you describe doesn't even sound desirable......gaining enlightenment moments before it kills you, erasing karma, forcing oneself to obsess over food, etc. It honestly sounds more like a burden and a curse.
Oddly, I have found that I quite like the effects of karma and my humble human life. I'm quite satisfied with the way things are. I enjoy the pain and the pleasure, the laughing and crying, the drama and the stillness. The flow of life doesn't touch me, yet touches me deeply. Most of my life I wanted to escape, I wanted salvation from my life. Now I simply want my life the way it is. It gets more interesting by the day.
..I've come to the conclusion that enlightenment (as I often hear and read about it) is a myth
..but the idea that the body-mind-personality can, in effect, become free of causality (karma!) and reach a state of perfection is, in my opinion a projection
What is not beside the point is the easy and simple inquiry that anyone can do to see their essential nature and get rid of fear in their lives (and the desire for salvation). I believe if more people did this it would have a huge impact on the state of the world and fear motivated behavior like greed, conflict, and other forms of neurosis and unconscious would greatly diminish.....but I have no evidence for it, only my own experience.
Outside of this kind of systematic evaluation, spiritual systems stray into the liminal area of myth, hearsay, and (some) con jobs, preying on the pain and vulnerability as a result of suffering in their followers
I have deep respect and love for the ancient wisdom teachings, et. al, but if they are so powerful, why aren't more people transformed by them?
borris83 wrote:Onceler wrote: The world is not going to get help simply by doing social service or charity; It might help some people but thats not the final answer. If each and every individual begins a journey towards ending his own suffering, only then the world can be saved. That is why enlightenment is stressed so much, because once a human being is realized he is also able to help other people to find their own true self and help to end their suffering as well.
borris83 wrote: Robx,
I used to wonder if it could be a myth. But I would never come to a conclusion that enlightenment is a myth. I just prefer to say "I don't know" and at the same time be open to what the scriptures say.Perhaps it is not a myth, how would you know..
By saying it as a myth, we are rejecting the claim of Upanishads, Brahmasutras and all authentic Buddhish and Jainist scriptures. There has been detailed documentation about how karma works and how one can dissolve the karma in various ways.
If you read more about the life of Ramana Maharishi and Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, it might clear up a lot of things for you.
borris83 wrote:..but the idea that the body-mind-personality can, in effect, become free of causality (karma!) and reach a state of perfection is, in my opinion a projection
I wouldn't say that it is a state of perfection, it is a complete destruction. That is why Buddha put everything in a negative way. There is a term in Buddhism called "Sunyata" which can be said as the nature of enlightenment. That word simply means "emptiness"..
borris83 wrote:The mind that we are trying to use to understand enlightenment is influenced by our karmic structure right now. The way it is right now, mind can never understand what enlightenment is. It can only bring up an idea about enlightenment and then come to a conclusion that, that idea is a myth.
borris83 wrote:Also, causality is a very loose translation of Karma. It is not that after enlightenment a body/mind is not going to be bound by cause and effect anymore. That cannot be true. Because everything that we know as physical and everything that we can directly observe by mind or through five senses are bound by causality.
Karma can be rather said as a reason why there is life in a certain body. The reason why we are alive is because of Karma.After the death of a body,the particular karmic structure which was working through that body always tries to find a new body so that it can work through its dissolution. So, if I am dead right now, my body and mind will die but the karmic structure, which can be imagined as a bundle of energy waves, is not destroyed. It has its own tendency to find a suitable womb to start its action again. This cycle of births and deaths for a particular karmic structure, which is called 'Samsara', ends only in Moksha. After that the karmic structure simply dissolves and becomes no more, so that consciousness or being which was shining through that karmic structure is all that remains.
Another translation for Karma is 'action'. Karma is what produces action in a living organism. Whatever a person does, including mental action and involuntary actions, has its roots in his karmic structure. So, when the karma completely dissolves there is no question of action. That is why many people die at the time of moksha.
But there are tricks to keep the body alive after moksha. Those tricks are used just to make sure that there is a tiny bit of karmic structure left to function in this world. It can be consciously created and maintained. The only purpose of doing this is to help others towards awakening or enlightenment . This is only done by people who initially had a desire to help other people towards liberation. Those people have been called in many names: an avatar, a guru, a Bodhisattva etc.
This might not make sense to the mind and think that it is absurd. But people who wrote Upanishads and other scriptures didn't really care what the minds of people thought, because they clearly knew that the only way out of suffering and bondage is liberation or moksha.
Experience does not go away. You still experience pain and suffering (same as bliss and happiness), but it is impersonal and you don't mind it; even if you prefer one over the other based on your intellect and true nature. Just don't be attached it.
I've read enough for several lifetimes. Probably too much.
I don't wish to appear unfriendly or difficult but in my view I don't think it healthy to rely on spiritual authority when talking about this stuff. I think it much better to talk from experience (which may well include referencing a teacher or book at times.) The point being is that we don't need to know the details of someone's background or the books they've read in order to intuit whether or not they speak from a place of authenticity, discernment and honesty.
There's a point in these discussions where my eyes go crossed......my eyes just crossed.
borris83 wrote:I don't wish to appear unfriendly or difficult but in my view I don't think it healthy to rely on spiritual authority when talking about this stuff. I think it much better to talk from experience (which may well include referencing a teacher or book at times.) The point being is that we don't need to know the details of someone's background or the books they've read in order to intuit whether or not they speak from a place of authenticity, discernment and honesty.
Yes, I agree.. I like the Buddha's idea of following our own light. I always choose to be skeptical and take anything that is told by a spiritual authority as a hypothesis or clue and not as a belief or conclusion . My approach is very scientific and I dont rely on the scriptures alone. But I do use them to look at things from different perspectives. That is how I have fun. I was just curious and interested to know about the books you have read or any realized people you have met. I didn't ask you that to confirm if you speak from a place of authenticity, discernment and honesty.
And earlier in the thread you did post that Osho critique (rant) against Nisargadatta which was essentially just that.
WAS OSHO RAJNEESH SELF-REALIZED ? I couldn’t resist saying a few words about my first guru, Osho Rajneesh, and considering he is was so famous, I thought to begin with a new topic. You ask if he had a case of Enlightenment Sickness. Definitely not! He was terminally ill with Enlightenment Sickness, to the extent that Isvara delivered him a miserable premature death. It was as if his whole mind was taken up by it. Possibly he suffered from a large infection of inadequacy which developed the abnormal auto-immune response we call E.S.
Whether he was Self-Realized or not, nobody knows. I heard Ramji saying a few times that it takes a Jnani to know a Jnani. But what that statement really means is that it takes a Liberated person to know another.
Self-knowledge and Moksha are not the same. A liberated person is for sure self-realized, because there is no liberation without self-knowledge, meaning to say that, regardless of one’s spiritual temperament, eventually, only by knowledge the self can be realized. But a self-realized person is not necessarily liberated.
Moksha = Freedom or liberation from the tyranny of one’s bindings vasanas. A person who is established as Awareness is a discriminating person, i.e. he/she enjoys the fruit of self-knowledge which is Moksha. The fruit of self-knowledge is the result of a gradual and effortless but constant exercise of the discriminating power that allows the Jivamukta to say ‘no’ to any adharmic vasana that may still surface.
Liberation or Moksha can be observed in one’s thoughts, words, and actions. That’s how many fake swamis are able to impress the ignorant with the simple trick of withdrawing from action, and speech. What goes on in their minds, only Isvara knows!
A Liberated person behaves naturally and ordinarily, but in a certain way that his/her sense of freedom transpires, it can be noticed by others, specially by another self-actualized/liberated person. He/she does not crave for, or fear from anything in the world, much less if it is not in harmony with Dharma.
Self-realization or self-knowledge, on the other hand is the clear vision or direct seeing which produces the indubious knowledge; I am the Light of Consciousness, and everything is IT. Although it represents the most important turn in one’s life, it is still just the begin as far as moksha or liberation is concerned.
Nididhyasana, the constant application of self-knowledge will gradually dry up the remaining vasanas popping up in the conscious mind of the self-realized. The degree of one’s karmic vasana load, and how much purification was processed before self-realization, will determine the timing for self-knowledge to fructify as Moksha.
In the modern spiritual world we find innumerable self-realized teachers (without a teaching), being fully operated by their ignorance; adharmic vasanas seeking for expression, which manifest as compulsive likes and dislikes. Osho Rajneesh was an extreme example of such an individual.
In retrospect, my ten years’ association with him allows me to say that he was definitely, not Liberated or Self-actualized. As far as Osho being Self-realized… only Isvara knows. My devotional love for him had somehow blinded me at the time. But even before he left his body I had already developed that sense; I need another teacher.
That was when Isvara presented me with some of the books of Nisargadatta Maharaj, the teacher (without a proper teaching), with lots of experiential confusing statements who has inspired me the most until I was graced with self-realization and later on with Vedanta.
Oshos’ teachings were entry level, kindergarten, mostly based on meditations and psychological and sociological insights. His spiritual teachings were a soup made of very little knowledge diluted by much of his own experiential notions of enlightenment, i.e. ignorance. He was a rebel by nature and against everything… opposed to all traditions, including the one that could have brought true liberation into his life.
He was definitely, wiser and smarter than all of us, but was he self-realized? A book can be written on this topic, but it is not really worth it. I heard Ramji saying that Osho was the guru who has caused most damage in the modern spiritual world with his vision of ‘Zorba the Buddha’, a model which combines the attitude of wildly seeking all pleasures of life, with some therapies and a couple of hours of daily meditations. How hilarious!
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