The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by kiki » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:39 am

Good luck with your recovery, Andy! I was just thinking about you and wondering if you have gotten any biking in lately; probably not.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by Sighclone » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:16 am

kiki - I've replied in the IC.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by AwakeTheCat » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:04 am

kiki wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:17 am
In doing this the ego's fear of losing its perceived throne and life diminished - ego didn't actually "die" because it was seen never to have "lived" to begin with. That meant ego could come and go, but no longer would it be the troublesome factor it once was when it was believed to be and identified as me. It remains just at hand to be a useful tool in dealings with others.
kiki - I'm re-reading this because it is helping me. I am working through the tentacles. There sure are a lot of them. Some of them I could just drop, others won't be "dropped," in which case I just observed until I feel the pressure dissolving or letting it be till next time. I'll keep working.

Question. What did you mean by your last line? You are saying the ego is useful tool in dealing with others. Can you expand?

Thanks!

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by kiki » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:10 am

What did you mean by your last line? You are saying the ego is useful tool in dealing with others. Can you expand?
When we go about our daily lives we often interact with others, and in so doing we present to them the persona that they've been accustomed to seeing - in other words, to them we are what we've always been. They may know us as a neighbor, so we respond as their neighbor; they may know us as a teacher, so we respond as a teacher; they may know us as a family member, so we respond as a family member; whatever role we play in their lives we respond in the appropriate way in relation to that role.

Nothing's different from their personal perspective of egoic identification, but from our perspective of impersonal consciousness we know we are only temporarily playing a specific role appropriate to our current "audience", while inside we are consciously aware of what's beneath all roles, namely, consciousness/awareness/true nature. In this way the ego/mind functions in the world sort of like a tool to perform tasks and going about the business of living in the world. When our name is called we respond primarily out of conditioning to that even though we deeply know/realize that isn't who we actually are because we've become accustomed to living from and abiding in the deeper reality of our being.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by Mahrokh » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:24 am

Hi I'm sorry to interupt
Im new her, how can I make a topic?

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:33 pm

Mahrokh wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:24 am
Hi I'm sorry to interupt
Im new her, how can I make a topic?
You can't make a topic from within another topic. Go to a general heading in which you wish to post a topic and click the bar at the top left that says 'New Topic'.

Welcome to the forum.

WW

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:31 pm

AwakeTheCat wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:04 am
Question. What did you mean by your last line? You are saying the ego is useful tool in dealing with others. Can you expand?
Kiki sets a very high bar when it comes to ego, and does so quite lucidly. My sense is this: In order to be totally free of ego one must be free of all identifications. That's tough. Those identifiers after all, are the substance of ego. Identifications are very subtle things. Almost every 'I am', followed by a noun is an identifier that goes into the structure of ego. 'I am'... a man, or a woman, attorney, dog catcher, black, white, oriental, tall short, even human. All are elements of ego. There are other elements as well. 'I' love this or hate that. Any time there is an emotional attachment to some thing or condition, it is an element of ego. When it comes right down to it, beliefs of any kind, conscious or unconscious, are the foundation of ego.

From my own experience I have not ever become free of beliefs. How do you not believe in gravity? I've found ego maintenance to be more productive. It's easier for me to choose my beliefs/truths than to completely eliminate them. I often wonder if the 'no me' or 'no self' is yet another belief/identification and an ego state itself.

I still see identifiers for what they are - beliefs or thought constructs - but I get more conscious say in what they are and thus influence my life experience. Of course some can be eliminated, or at least weakened, but many are so subtle that they are hard to recognize. So from my standpoint, while we may not be able to be completely free from ego, we may move to where we are not owned by it - our own beliefs. We can choose much of who we are. We are the creators of ego, and thus of our own unique perspective in this human experience. The exploration of possibilities in experience is tied to the lens through which we view it. Ego is that lens.

Here's a good litmus test for the existence of ego: If you ever have a negative emotion, it is born of ego. The elements of that emotion can remain hidden from our conscious mind for a long time until it's triggered by whatever it is it relates to.

WW

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by Sighclone » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:17 pm

When we go about our daily lives we often interact with others, and in so doing we present to them the persona that they've been accustomed to seeing - in other words, to them we are what we've always been. They may know us as a neighbor, so we respond as their neighbor; they may know us as a teacher, so we respond as a teacher; they may know us as a family member, so we respond as a family member; whatever role we play in their lives we respond in the appropriate way in relation to that role.

Nothing's different from their personal perspective of egoic identification, but from our perspective of impersonal consciousness we know we are only temporarily playing a specific role appropriate to our current "audience", while inside we are consciously aware of what's beneath all roles, namely, consciousness/awareness/true nature. In this way the ego/mind functions in the world sort of like a tool to perform tasks and going about the business of living in the world. When our name is called we respond primarily out of conditioning to that even though we deeply know/realize that isn't who we actually are because we've become accustomed to living from and abiding in the deeper reality of our being.
All this is eminently true, well said, kiki. The only thing I would add is that there is not a mechanical two-step cognitive procedure to "presenting a persona." When our neighbor says "Hi, how's it going?" we don't go through the process of saying "whoops, here is my neighbor, so now I do persona number 602 which is "be a neighbor-person to Larry." There is an autopilot feature to the ego that kicks in as the role requires. That said, however, some autopilot responses may have been dysfunctional but controlling before an awareness of Presence. My experience is that the old reflex will arise, but falls away if it is powerfully egoic, which is what WW says in his last paragraph.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by AwakeTheCat » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:26 pm

kiki wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:10 am
When we go about our daily lives we often interact with others, and in so doing we present to them the persona that they've been accustomed to seeing - in other words, to them we are what we've always been. They may know us as a neighbor, so we respond as their neighbor; they may know us as a teacher, so we respond as a teacher; they may know us as a family member, so we respond as a family member; whatever role we play in their lives we respond in the appropriate way in relation to that role.

Nothing's different from their personal perspective of egoic identification, but from our perspective of impersonal consciousness we know we are only temporarily playing a specific role appropriate to our current "audience", while inside we are consciously aware of what's beneath all roles, namely, consciousness/awareness/true nature. In this way the ego/mind functions in the world sort of like a tool to perform tasks and going about the business of living in the world. When our name is called we respond primarily out of conditioning to that even though we deeply know/realize that isn't who we actually are because we've become accustomed to living from and abiding in the deeper reality of our being.
Kiki - I think I get what you are saying. There are times when it is hard for me to settle into presence/awareness. For example, when I'm drunk. I can still be "aware" for a moment, but it slips away very quickly. Under normal circumstances, when I'm not really stressed out, I can usually call up presence by asking myself to sense my own presence. I close my eyes, scan myself internally, become aware of the breath, and very quickly I can be the witnessing presence. Where I have not gotten to, but it seems like what you are referring to, is a sense of presence that is constant. I think ET calls it being rooted in oneself. Because your awareness of presence is constant, you are more identified with that as who you are. However, just pure presence does not allow us to function in the physical world. So when you participate in the physical world, you put on your ego to interact with other human beings. And I think this is where language fails us a bit.

Just like the concept of time, there are really three types of time: timelessness, clock time, and psychological time. Timelessness is the Now and the eternal at the same time, which denotes the truth of who we are. Clock time allows us to function and do practical things on earth. Psychological time is where the dysfunction comes in where we get attached, where we retell our stories, where we project the future in good or bad ways, etc. Psychological time is the where the dysfunctional ego takes over.

Likewise, the ego, I deduce could more or less be divided into the same three types, respectively: nonexistent, functional, and dysfunctional ego. For the most part when we and ET talks about how the ego is making things hard for us, it's in the realm of dysfunctional ego/psychological time.

What you refer to about using the ego as a tool, it seems to me that it would belong to the functional ego/clock time realm. Here, your presence is high enough that you are aware of who you are. Everything that comes with the existence of ego is put on easily and shed off easily. Like Webwanderer pointed out, when there is ego, there are beliefs and "I am's" that necessarily has to come into play. And since we cannot function on earth without ego. The best to handle it is to be in the world and not of the world. The ego then becomes cloth. You can put it on, and take it off. You don't mistake the cloth for who you are, but you do wear cloth when you go out the door, because you have to. The ego is a tool just as your clothing is a tool.

Have I understood you correctly?

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by kiki » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:04 pm

Your understanding is very solid. My only clarification is this: There is no decision I make to "put on the ego" for whatever the situation requires; it just happens on its own. I'm in the world and whatever the requirement is for me to respond appropriately to the situation happens automatically. Also, I don't have to make a decision to drop the ego when it isn't necessary, it just happens on its own.

I think this happens organically as you become more and more stabilized in presence over the course of clock time. In the beginning there were conscious realizations that, "Oh, I don't need to be thinking or responding egoically to this right now, so I'll let relax and let it all go," until I just began to rest in/as presence all the time.

So, stabilization in presence was just a just a matter of clock time for me as I became more and more cognizant of the ever present consciousness that I am. Even in activities where ego is involved there is the cognizance of the underlying presence. I can sense/feel/cognize presence during waves of emotion, thoughts and all sensations and even during severe physical pain. It was largely an organic process once I realized just what presence was.

The bottom line is this: You seem to grasp this quite well; now, let it unfold as it will for you. This is your unique journey, and how it all happens for you is anyone's guess, but it sounds like things are unfolding beautifully for you.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by AwakeTheCat » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:53 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:31 pm
Kiki sets a very high bar when it comes to ego, and does so quite lucidly. My sense is this: In order to be totally free of ego one must be free of all identifications. That's tough. Those identifiers after all, are the substance of ego. Identifications are very subtle things. Almost every 'I am', followed by a noun is an identifier that goes into the structure of ego. 'I am'... a man, or a woman, attorney, dog catcher, black, white, oriental, tall short, even human. All are elements of ego. There are other elements as well. 'I' love this or hate that. Any time there is an emotional attachment to some thing or condition, it is an element of ego. When it comes right down to it, beliefs of any kind, conscious or unconscious, are the foundation of ego.

From my own experience I have not ever become free of beliefs. How do you not believe in gravity? I've found ego maintenance to be more productive. It's easier for me to choose my beliefs/truths than to completely eliminate them. I often wonder if the 'no me' or 'no self' is yet another belief/identification and an ego state itself.

I still see identifiers for what they are - beliefs or thought constructs - but I get more conscious say in what they are and thus influence my life experience. Of course some can be eliminated, or at least weakened, but many are so subtle that they are hard to recognize. So from my standpoint, while we may not be able to be completely free from ego, we may move to where we are not owned by it - our own beliefs. We can choose much of who we are. We are the creators of ego, and thus of our own unique perspective in this human experience. The exploration of possibilities in experience is tied to the lens through which we view it. Ego is that lens.

Here's a good litmus test for the existence of ego: If you ever have a negative emotion, it is born of ego. The elements of that emotion can remain hidden from our conscious mind for a long time until it's triggered by whatever it is it relates to.
Hi WW, good to make your acquaintance. I love that meditating dog "ego" by the way. Mine would be a meditating cat. :)

So a few things I want to respond to. I have been meditating on this topic of ego all weekend after I read yours, Kiki's and Andy's response. And it occurred to me that in our talk of spirituality, oftentimes we represent the physical into only duality. Good, bad. Yes, no. Black, white. It's easier for explaining things but it is not always complete. Meanwhile, in spiritual teachings, there's a tendency to teach in a "impractical" manner that doesn't always meet the coping required on earth. To me, no matter how high a spiritual aspiration is, I am currently experiencing earth, and thus it is important to interpret the spiritual teachings to how I can best to apply it to functioning well on earth.

When ET says that he is without ego, I think he narrowly defines ego as the dysfunctional ego alone. Meanwhile, the fact that he lives and teaches on earth, he by definition has an ego. For example, him being a spiritual teacher, that's an identifier. He may not be attached to that identifier, but when he sits on a stage and espouses ideas that he's come to realize as true, he is expressing them through the identifier as a teacher. The difference between this ego and an ego that wants to pit half of citizens of a country against the other half comes down to the attachment level, or lack of awareness level, and other factors needed for each of us to become a more awakened creature.

As you pointed out, you've found that you could not be free of beliefs. That if we were to take a careful look at the definition of ego, it is a mental structure that attempts to provide order. It does that through locking down identifiers, for example gravity. Where it gets messy is when we move away from the identifiers that serve us to the imaginings that do not. Also, as each identifier is more alike an assumption than a proven fact, each identifier is also subject to revision as needed.

That's what I am gathering from you. That as long as you do "ego maintenance", as long as your ego is not dysfunctional, "we may move to where we are not owned by it - our own beliefs. We can choose much of who we are. We are the creators of ego, and thus of our own unique perspective in this human experience. The exploration of possibilities in experience is tied to the lens through which we view it. Ego is that lens."

The bottomline is to have enough presence in ourselves and to be rooted in that presence enough that the ego is a window for physical manifestation. And that's where things like LoA comes in. But everything, EVERYTHING, works better, when the fundamental truth of who we are is first truly seen and realized. Then life becomes a playground. One in which we are both the creator and the accepting responder.

Take LoA for example. There seems to be two school of thoughts here. One is, LoA is about using your beliefs and attention as tools to physical manifestation. Another thought simply advocates on maximizing your presence, and then the best thing will naturally happen. That's more ET's take.

My take on it is, the two are really saying the same thing as long as the pre-qualifier is embodying presence. That is, if you have enough presence in you, you naturally are rooted in yourself. What you want naturally is aligned with what life/consciousness wants from you. From there, the little you go about creating the mental structure needed to manifest such wants. We then call these things "callings" and "intuitions." They are manifested in the physical world, but they are aligned with who you are. They cause no problems because they are born of no problems. Where LoA goes awry is if you are cut off from presence by the ego, then the little you mistakes the source of the desire. So you go about creating arbitrary desires that can never satisfy you or the consciousness that we are vessels to express.

OK, I've rambled on too long. All this is to say, I agree with the idea that the ego is needed to function in the world. But we do need to get skillful at maintaining it so that the ego is only functional, or as kiki put it, as a tool.

Again, glad to make your acquaintance and looking forward to feedback and exchanges. Appreciate the support as I continue to go forward in my own evolution.

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by AwakeTheCat » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:57 pm

kiki wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:04 pm
Your understanding is very solid. My only clarification is this: There is no decision I make to "put on the ego" for whatever the situation requires; it just happens on its own. I'm in the world and whatever the requirement is for me to respond appropriately to the situation happens automatically. Also, I don't have to make a decision to drop the ego when it isn't necessary, it just happens on its own.

I think this happens organically as you become more and more stabilized in presence over the course of clock time. In the beginning there were conscious realizations that, "Oh, I don't need to be thinking or responding egoically to this right now, so I'll let relax and let it all go," until I just began to rest in/as presence all the time.

So, stabilization in presence was just a just a matter of clock time for me as I became more and more cognizant of the ever present consciousness that I am. Even in activities where ego is involved there is the cognizance of the underlying presence. I can sense/feel/cognize presence during waves of emotion, thoughts and all sensations and even during severe physical pain. It was largely an organic process once I realized just what presence was.

The bottom line is this: You seem to grasp this quite well; now, let it unfold as it will for you. This is your unique journey, and how it all happens for you is anyone's guess, but it sounds like things are unfolding beautifully for you.
Thank you, Kiki. You are truly a pleasure to speak with. Thank you most genuinely. I grasp all this right now. I will come back when I hit my next boundary and need more prodding. :)

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by kiki » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:01 pm

I just want to say, AwakeTheCat, that I thoroughly enjoy your "ramblings".
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by AwakeTheCat » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:10 pm

Sighclone wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:17 pm
All this is eminently true, well said, kiki. The only thing I would add is that there is not a mechanical two-step cognitive procedure to "presenting a persona." When our neighbor says "Hi, how's it going?" we don't go through the process of saying "whoops, here is my neighbor, so now I do persona number 602 which is "be a neighbor-person to Larry."
Haha... Andy, you are a riot. Personally, I always preferred persona 603 for neighbor Larry. ;)
Sighclone wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:17 pm
...That said, however, some autopilot responses may have been dysfunctional but controlling before an awareness of Presence. My experience is that the old reflex will arise, but falls away if it is powerfully egoic, which is what WW says in his last paragraph.
That is a very interesting point. I will watch for that. I definitely notice that in myself and others. Some dysfunctional responses are so automatic, I stare at it with my awareness in utter confusion. At the moment, I am working on the bigger pain points. I figure it's like cleaning house. You start with the big things like vacuuming and straightening things out first before you think about how to order the books on your shelf. And secretly, I'm hoping as I work through the bigger egoic dysfunctions, some of the smaller dysfunctions will fade away on their own. ;)

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Re: The Paradox of Wanting Nirvana

Post by Sighclone » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:23 am

ATC -

You mentioned earlier about gradual awakening. In his latest book, "Soul Story," Tim Freke talks briefly about the possibility that awakening is more common and easier now, due to the increasing number of people who are there or moving towards it. Freke re-introduces the concept of the soul, in a very creative way - I'm only half-way through it, but recommend it highly.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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