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Re: What is the direct experience not what believe.....Kiki,

Postby eseward » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:24 pm

notanecho wrote:Tolle's followers speak of a direct experience of a Presence..but no one can speak of its qualities that supposedly descend in to one's Life.


More accurate to say words can't accurately convey the experience.

It is also easier to hear what's trying to be conveyed if one is actually listening. If attitudes block the hearing, with or without a realization of that fact, one may not hear much at all.
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Postby Ives » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:52 pm

Webwanderer wrote:Is there a Creator? There is no physical proof. (Other than the universe itself) That believed lack of physical proof then proves, conceptually at least, that there is no Intelligent Creator. But then how did the universe come to be out of nothing? Must it have been magic?

Such thinking is the dualistic argument in action. It keeps the experience of separation alive and well. Such argument demands that the world of form prove the existence of that which created it. It’s no different than a demand that a painting prove the existence of the artist who painted it. But who would argue that a painting has no creator simply because the artist is not visibly present?



Totally agree.

Even though I was a materialist in my teens and twenties, I now (at age 50) find materialism thoroughly lacking in sense. I have often thought that the materialist theory that the universe ‘just developed on its own’ is a little like throwing a ton of bricks into a hole in the ground and expecting the Taj Mahal to build itself… if you just keep doing it long enough!

It’s clear to me that there is Mind behind the physical form that we experience.

But why, oh why does the human mind have to turn that beautiful realisation into religious fundamentalism? “My God is better than your God!” “Our saviour is the only saviour and yours is a non-entity!” “Ours is the son of God and yours is not even the nephew of God!”
(Someone once complimented my mother on a small statue of the Buddha that she had in the hall of our house. I was horrified to hear her say: “Thanks. Not that I've any time for the Buddha”. Aargh!)

I suppose the answer goes back to our old friend, the ego. The religious fundamentalists are made to feel special, the chosen ones. By creating a distinction between believer and heathen, between the right church and the wrong church, between us and them, a slight psychological buffer is provided. A flimsy wall against the tide of pain.
Knock down the wall.
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Postby eseward » Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:02 am

Ives wrote:A flimsy wall against the tide of pain.


Nice post. :D
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Postby YUDoodat » Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:25 am

You make a great point, Ives. But can I ask you why you react so strongly against those whom you believe to be "religious fundamentalists"?

You see, I also am strongly repelled by religious fundamentalism when I encounter it. Does it automatically follow that anyone of a different belief system from mine is a R.F.? Certainly not. When I use that term to categorize someone else, or even whole groups in general, I use it as a pejorative term, and I mean to cast that person (or group) who believes differently than I do, in a negative light. This is how my ego attempts to prop itself up to stand a little stronger and a little taller among all the other ego mannequins. The truth is however, that whatever I most strongly react against is that which binds me in the strongest chains.

This brings me to a further point in my ruminations about Presence and spirituality. What makes me wariest of all about this business of Enlightenment/Presence/Being is the practically unlimited potential for pride that can creep in undetected like a cloud of carbon monoxide. Those who are affected by it are often never aware until it is too late. Pride is the most subtle, and therefore the most deadly of all human sins. The strange thing is, it often does little harm except to the person who is operating out of it. Most everyone else can see it far sooner than the one motivated by it.

This is perhaps the biggest reason I don't trust an all out journey to penetrate the very core of my inner "being". This overwhelming seduction of pride has in times past, torn my soul with such ferocity that I have abandoned my spiritual journey for years at a time for the fear of encountering that terrible beast in an even more subtle and powerful form the next time.

In Biblical typology, what cast Satan (the archetype of "evil" or "unconsciousness", if you prefer) out from the presence of God was the sin of pride.

"How thou art fallen from heaven, O Lucifer
(meaning 'Light Bearer'), son of the morning!
How art thou cut down to the ground, which
didst weaken the nations!

"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend
into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the
stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of
the congregation, in the sides of the north:

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the Most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,
to the sides of the pit."

Isaiah 14:12-15 KJV

If I could turn a corner here, something else just occurred to me which has been a question formulating itself in my mind. I'll try to give expression to it.

Within traditional Christianity, prayer to God and for others plays a very central role in the life of every Christ-follower. Jesus himself prayed, often withdrawing to a quiet corner to get away from the demands of the world and seek the Father (okay, Mother too if it suits your taste). And in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night he was betrayed by his disciples, it says how he cried out with great groanings and even sweat great drops of blood out of the intensity of his prayer, knowing what was shortly to befall him. He even said,

"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death:
tarry ye here, and watch with me.

"And he went a little farther, and fell on his face,
and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me:
nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."

Matthew 26: 38, 39 KJV

I find it a little troubling that I have not seen any references to prayer among any of the writings of Eckhart or here on this site. I refer here primarily to prayer for others. I can readily see how awareness itself can be considered a state of prayer. The New Testament even exhorts Christians to "Pray without ceasing". What, if any role does prayer for others play in the the awareness of Presence?
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Postby Ives » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:37 am

Thanks for your response, Eseward.

YUDoodat, I’m sorry if I seemed to be pointing the finger at fundamentalists and thereby implying that I am better than them. I was trying to get to the root, to the fundamentalist in all of us.
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Postby YUDoodat » Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:28 pm

Understood Ives. I figured that was the case. Nothing personal intended or received.
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Postby Webwanderer » Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:45 pm

YUDoodat wrote:
I find it a little troubling that I have not seen any references to prayer among any of the writings of Eckhart or here on this site. I refer here primarily to prayer for others. I can readily see how awareness itself can be considered a state of prayer. The New Testament even exhorts Christians to "Pray without ceasing". What, if any role does prayer for others play in the the awareness of Presence?


Prayer, as a term, tends to be more of a religious tenet than an exclusive method of communication with the Divine. Prayer also holds some negative baggage to one who genuinely seeks to accept life as it is, without the judgmental perspective of seeing a particular circumstance as wrong and needing to be different. There is a place for prayer, but it is so generally abused that a more meaningful term and approach to the Divine is preferred.

Prayer often sets the beseecher apart from the Creator, at least in concept, and that is counter productive to the aims of the non-dual approach to life. Non-dual, by its very definition, restores the oneness with the divine.

Don’t be overly concerned about the lack prayer discussion on a non-dual forum. When one is in harmony, or in attunement with the divine, it becomes clear that there is but one prayer worth praying, that is “Thy will be done”. Is that not the complete surrender to the flow of Life as it is? There is little mention of it because that attunement with Pure Awareness unfolds as a result of that very prayer held unceasingly, albeit wordlessly. It is doubtful that a genuine harmony with life could be recalled without the essence of that prayer being present.

If ego is present, it generally manifests as a conceptual belief that one’s desires are superior to life as it is. Ego is evident if one is seeking a different future because that one cannot accept the present.

I agree that religion has value. In many ways it has established the social norms that motivate helping the poor, and it gives authority and wide acceptance to of rules of behavior. The downside is the exclusivity trap. Religions such as Christianity, from an organizational prospective, demonstrate a kind of institutional egoic centrism, by claiming to be the only true way to know God. Worse, the claim is made that those non-believers who do not follow a particular path, as defined by church leaders, are condemned to eternal hell and damnation. How much more ego nonsense can there be?

For many, subjection to that type of conceptual absurdity is simply in the way of direct personal alignment with Divine Being. For those who genuinely experience that alignment, the concept of being “holier than thou” does not enter into consciousness. On the contrary, the sense is more of a kinship with all life that flows from the direct knowing that only One Life exists. Can ego come into play? Certainly it can, at the cost of losing that alignment. But it pales in comparison to the rampant egoism that flows from religious bigotry.

The non-dual approach to Divine recognition is fundamental to what Divine actually is, at least as far as words can describe in the world of form. That is Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience. Think and sense deeply into these attributes and it becomes clear that true separation from the Divine is not even possible. Many, it seems, have a fear of that direct experiential contact. Much of that fear is born of religious indoctrination, much just comes from the egos efforts to protect its conceptual existence.

Oops, out of time.
Best wishes, clear seeing. (My Prayer)
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Postby eseward » Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:56 pm

Webwanderer wrote:When one is in harmony, or in attunement with the divine, it becomes clear that there is but one prayer worth praying, that is “Thy will be done”.


Exactly.

YUDoodat, with all respect, most everyone has a concept of what prayer is, but I doubt that most everyone agrees on that concept. You might want to clarify what you mean by prayer, to avoid confusion. FWIW, according to my concept of prayer, I am (for the most part) praying without ceasing.
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Postby eseward » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:14 pm

YUDoodat wrote:This brings me to a further point in my ruminations about Presence and spirituality. What makes me wariest of all about this business of Enlightenment/Presence/Being is the practically unlimited potential for pride that can creep in undetected like a cloud of carbon monoxide...

This is perhaps the biggest reason I don't trust an all out journey to penetrate the very core of my inner "being". This overwhelming seduction of pride has in times past, torn my soul with such ferocity that I have abandoned my spiritual journey for years at a time for the fear of encountering that terrible beast in an even more subtle and powerful form the next time.


If I may comment: this would be cause for great concern if it was an accurate portrayal of the actual experience. Luckily, those who walk this pathway Eckhart describes discover along the way that the "self" that seeks prideful results is the same self that causes pain. The guy who hits his head repeatedly on the wall or sticks his finger in the electrical socket soon discovers that it feels so good when he stops, and we soon learn that some pathways, the ones that cause increasing pain and isolation, are not for us.
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Postby kiki » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:36 pm

This brings me to a further point in my ruminations about Presence and spirituality. What makes me wariest of all about this business of Enlightenment/Presence/Being is the practically unlimited potential for pride that can creep in undetected like a cloud of carbon monoxide. Those who are affected by it are often never aware until it is too late. Pride is the most subtle, and therefore the most deadly of all human sins.


Yup...gotta be on the watch at all times. And there are some who succumb to the fumes of the carbon monoxide (I really like how you put that), just as there are many in all religious/spiritual movements who do likewise. This is one of the most off-putting things when found in the context of religion/ spituality/ awakening. A "spiritualized" ego is one of the most stubborn egos to dissolve because its elevated view of itself gets so entrenched.

How to avoid it? Never believe that you've "made it". Believing anything puts you smack dab back in the middle of duality. On the other hand, while consciously in presence the capacity for believing anything dissolves - there is "no one" left standing who can formulate any belief.

This is perhaps the biggest reason I don't trust an all out journey to penetrate the very core of my inner "being". This overwhelming seduction of pride has in times past, torn my soul with such ferocity that I have abandoned my spiritual journey for years at a time for the fear of encountering that terrible beast in an even more subtle and powerful form the next time.


Or this lack of trust can be looked at like this: the last vestige of the egoic identity to hold onto the control which it finds so seductive, so powerful, and so essential for its own survival - a very effective strategy indeed. Ego's fear of annihilation (especially when seriously confronted with annihilation) will stimulate it to come up with all sorts of reasons not to let go, most very reasonable in the context of duality. But waking up isn't about remaining comfortable with the status quo, it's about damning the status quo in the name of a truth that won't let itself be denied, especially once a taste of it has been experienced.

I find it a little troubling that I have not seen any references to prayer among any of the writings of Eckhart or here on this site. I refer here primarily to prayer for others. I can readily see how awareness itself can be considered a state of prayer. The New Testament even exhorts Christians to "Pray without ceasing". What, if any role does prayer for others play in the the awareness of Presence?


Given your background it's not surprising this troubles you. Do you see how you are carrying expectations for how things should be, expectations that flow from a beloved belief system? Expectations of every kind are a denial of the present moment.

When you wake up in the morning do you lament for the dream characters that are now realized to be self-creations within the dream state? You now realize that they were actually coming from one consiousness - yours. Awakening is similar, for it is realized that all "others" are mental creations that exist only as thought forms, and that beneath and beyond this illusory patina lies the one consciousness. This doesn't mean compassion has dissolved too, because this compassion spontaneously expresses in various ways in how they relate and act toward others. Within this world of form spontaneous and compassionate conscious action trumps returning to a re-creation of dualism for the sake of "imagined others". One now acts, but without a heavy heart, without a yearning, and without an investment of energy in maintaining a separate identity. One acts as though "other" is himself, because it is seen that this is the case. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is one of the few bible quotes I remember - awakened action seems to be supportive of that quote.

On a personal note, it was this "praying" thing that most subtly troubled me. Somehow "praying" no longer felt like the "right" thing to do. Whenever "I" prayed I suddenly felt separate from everything else. I automatically created a distance between "me" and "god" and "others" that now felt alien. It took me a while to catch on to this and to let even prayer fall by the wayside. Did this leave me less compassionate, less loving? No - it increased those things.
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Postby YUDoodat » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:21 am

Wow!......

Great posts Webwanderer, eseward and kiki!

What you have said about pride and prayer makes alot of sense.

Yes, kiki, my "beloved belief system" as you put it, is ever with me. If that too is part of the ego, and therefore needs to die -- well let's just say that'll be about the last one to go. It's REALLY putting up a fight!

I love the verse in Proverbs that says:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.

Apparently this is referring to giving up even the things we think we know beyond the shadow of all doubt -- even those things that are most dear to our very soul.

And Jesus said:

He that loveth father or mother
more than me is not worthy of me:
and he that loveth son or daughter
more than me is not worthy of me.

And he that taketh not his cross,
and followeth after me,
is not worthy of me.

He that findeth his life shall lose it:
and he that loseth his life
for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 10:37-39 KJV

And Webwanderer, "Thy will be done", is one of my favorite prayers. It gets right to the root of everything.

Well, time to click out. I have some pressing matters to attend to, as well as much to consider throwing on the eternal bonfire. (Hey, I figure if something I really needed for life gets burned up, I'll receive it again. If I didn't need it in the first place - good riddance!)
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Postby kiki » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:45 am

Yes, kiki, my "beloved belief system" as you put it, is ever with me. If that too is part of the ego, and therefore needs to die -- well let's just say that'll be about the last one to go. It's REALLY putting up a fight!

When you become conscious of the distorting nature of any belief system in the moment it flexes its muscles then its underpinnings begin to dissolve. Then you start to see how pervasive its influence has been and how unconscious you have been until then.

Operating without any belief system leaves one wide open to whatever unfolds before you, revealing every event to be fresh, untarnished, and innocent. No longer does one have to reach into the baggage they've been toting in order to see how anything fits with previously held personal views. This alone is a great relief, being able to "put down" deeply ingrained ideas that have been unconsciously weighing you down.

And you're right, it's one of the last of ego's strongholds. Consider how frought with fear one is when one simply changes denominations within a particular faith, not to mention an even greater fear when changing religions entirely. In both cases, ego has something to hang its hat on. Now imagine what ego must face when confronted with the prospect of abandoning everything. It will put up a ferocious fight, employing every trick it can. "Who would I be without beliefs?" it cries. It will do most anything to avoid finding out.

What is the answer to the ego's dilemma? The answer lies in the discovery that the ego isn't even real to begin with, it's only imagined and stubbornly believed in. When sought it won't be found. Ego fears its demise, but doesn't know or believe that there will always be a place for it, that it will not vanish entirely. It doesn't want to take the risk of giving up, but truth itself demands that ego be found out for what it is. Only then will ego take its proper place within the world of form and no longer obscure the reality of what one actually is.
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Postby eseward » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:55 am

Beautiful post, kiki; I'm tempted to quote the whole thing. :)

kiki wrote:When you become conscious of the distorting nature of any belief system in the moment it flexes its muscles then its underpinnings begin to dissolve. Then you start to see how pervasive its influence has been and how unconscious you have been until then.


Exactly. The cost begins to become clear.
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Postby Ives » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:39 pm

I'm 'Losing My Religion'.

Only every five minutes.
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Postby Webwanderer » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:39 pm

Kiki,

An inspiring post throughout. I especially liked the way you said this:

Operating without any belief system leaves one wide open to whatever unfolds before you, revealing every event to be fresh, untarnished, and innocent.


From this perspective, life is always new. Even the same road one drives to work each day is a brand new experience each time it’s traveled. Each morning my favorite coffee cup seems unique, unlike any other time I’ve held it. How can boredom with life come into play when each moment holds this kind of freshness? It is the power that now holds, when unfettered with automated responses, to bring joy into everyday moments of life that the ego is so ready to label as mundane.
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