Free Will

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James
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Re: Free Will

Post by James » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:07 am

And I'll add: That is not to suggest that pretending or believing that we have control of our lives is wrong, apparently it is a necessary phase of life; it's just what life does, and it can be fun for awhile.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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great2be
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Re: Free Will

Post by great2be » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:39 am

runstrails wrote:
great2be wrote:I have yet to find a group of people or a forum where there is a culture of not repeating the teachings of another.
I disagree with this. I find that people on this forum have a wide variety of different teachings, different styles and different points of view (including yourself g2be!).
You missed my point, the central message in that post was, that as soon as one operates from belief then true enquiry and insight are impossible.
A great deal of the contents of most posts in this (and any other forum I've visited) are statements of belief, whether recognised as such or not.

What would you write if you only wrote from insight as it bubbled moment to moment?
They don't always agree with each other and I find that refreshing
Maybe that's because you enjoy debate, debate isn't enquiry.
(and learn a lot from it).
What do you mean by 'learn'? If it's accumulation of knowledge, then it's a hindrance to clarity. If you mean that the looking and listening generates insight, then that is truly a different matter.
Yet, for the most part there is respect, compassion and the understanding that most of us are at different parts of the journey.

Yes, this is mostly a polite forum
Our true nature is bliss (and consequently compassion).
Was this a concept when you wrote it? Did your posting emanate from bliss?
It's easy to differentiate the posts that come from a 'spiritualized ego' and those that come from a joyous and compassionate realization of the truth.
It's easy if you're clear, not if you're riddled with beliefs.
Why did you miss the meaning of my original post?
Thanks for being a forum member g2be--I do enjoy your posts.
All posts have the potential to generate insight in one not shackled by belief.

I write all this without a shred of malice :D
Do you see this?
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

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great2be
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Re: Free Will

Post by great2be » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:14 am

karmarider wrote:g2be, I actually agree with most of what you said. The stuff about "a truth repeated is a lie" is ironic, because everything you've said has already been said. And yet, it has validity.

it's only ironic to one who doesn't discriminate between repetition and insight.
I agree with most things you said with the notable exception of the over-wrought concern about others' level of awakening and shortcomings.
This is addressed above, and is directly related to the point that belief blocks insight. Because you had honestly stated your position in the interview, it allowed a clear example to be made.
I thank you for that.
Adyashanti and Mckenna speak to this much more skillfully than I can--it seems to be a curious quirk of the ego's enthrallment with awakening.
To speak of the 'ego' as an actor shows that there is confusion here..... I address this here http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... =10&t=7613
I leave that to the masters,
In the topics that we explore here, it is imperative (if truth is our concern) that we don't accept the word of another, no matter who they are.
but in service to "radical honesty" I can say I have experience with it. It can be observed. And let go of.
The behaviour of which you speak cannot be far away whilst there are any beliefs containing the 'I' thought.
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

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great2be
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Re: Free Will

Post by great2be » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:55 am

James wrote:As far as free will or not, I don't see it as an either or answer, both are true at the same time, it's one of those debates that has been going on for centuries.

Being versus Becoming, Ego vs. No Ego, Choice vs. No Choice (free will vs. no free will), Form vs. Emptiness, Doer vs. No Doer.
A salient question to ask is 'when and at what level?'
I'll illustrate what I mean.
at 10.01hrs mr x presses the submit icon on this website and his post is submitted.
mr x definitely has free will here.
at 10.02 mrs x says something cutting to x about spending so much time on online forums
mr x gets angry with his wife for telling him what to do.
mr x gets angry because he believes a concept which says something like "she has no right to tell me how to spend my time"
mr x can only believe this concept if he has not discovered the nature of concepts, or (even if he has discovered) that he doesn't see that he has this concept.
When this is the case, mr x has no free will with regard to getting angry.

Free will can only be applied to real world situations, case by case, moment by moment, it's not a philosophy.
it's one of those debates that has been going on for centuries.
There's no end to debate. Debate isn't insight.
The mind thinks it can't be both or all at the same time, because it's not logical.
It can't, this is the true meaning of non-duality!
It can't be dead and alive at the same time
It can't be wet and dry at the same time
It can't be connected and disconnected at the same time
It can't be true and false at the same time

It may appear so to those that don't see clearly enough, and this is how the illusion of duality is created.
But Life is paradoxically mysterious and embraces and displays as the entire infinite spectrum of potentiality, and possibilities.
There are no paradoxes in reality, only in concepts.
All paradoxes are word games not actual reflections of living reality.
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

karmarider
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Re: Free Will

Post by karmarider » Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:07 pm

One of my favorite sayings is Seng-Ts'an's "Do not seek Truth; only cease to cherish opinion." By opinion, he of course meant beliefs.

While awakening, at some point, we all have have this insight. We have the insight that it is not useful to cling to beliefs, not even spiritual ones. When we have this insight, it is quite liberating. Intelligence becomes free and easy.

The ego, however, is clever and it is able to co-opt any intention. Perhaps in its most diabolical turn, it can co-opt other people's beliefs, and call it an insight. When something is adapted as a belief, it does not have the liberating and easy energy of an insight. It has the jagged and feverish energy of dogma. "I get this, why don't other people get this, it's so easy." Adyashanti describes this "superhero" phase of awakening with humor and skill.

I found this energy early in myself--I feel fortunate, because one of my areas of resistance had been a high intellect, and I saw early that this is something I have to watch out for in myself. What can help us suss this out is to understand the Buddhist saying that whatever offends us in others, offends us because we are afraid of the same thing within us. If you can spot it, you got it. It can help to watch out for defensiveness, fist-thumping, and the need to be right. It can help particularly if we are on the look-out for the times when we need to filter everything that other people say through the inflexible filter of this "insight."

The biggest hint is when the laughter of the insight is absent.

Inquiry can only be inquiry when we turn it within ourselves and observe.
Last edited by karmarider on Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

James
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Re: Free Will

Post by James » Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:39 pm

Very eloquently said KR.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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Sighclone
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Re: Free Will

Post by Sighclone » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:52 pm

Beliefs are interesting. I think one of the strengths of most nondual teachings is that they emphasize that we should only believe what we directly experience. And suspend beliefs in things we may hear about or understand intellectually, but don't actually experience.

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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Webwanderer
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Re: Free Will

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:09 am

I would take that a step further Andy. Even direct experience is filtered through a lifetime of mental structuring. The world is filled with people who have had religious experiences that have set them against others who have had different religious experiences, or for that matter an atheistic awakening. Even beliefs built upon experience and insight can be skewed by existing mental structures. I see it as imperative, in order to grow in genuine clarity, to constantly review all perspectives we hold dear. The truth will remain, but we may find ourselves free of some sacred cows we did not recognize.

WW

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Sighclone
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Re: Free Will

Post by Sighclone » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:50 am

I absolutely agree. In my spiritual development, many beliefs have fallen, even during the last year. The last to fall was "the ego is bad." And Tim Freke helped with that. (The new book "The Shadow Effect" with sections by Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson and Debbie Ford reframes the ego, and it still comes out mostly bad.) Applying Byron Katie's "Loving What Is" to recognition of the ego ultimately encourages us to accept it as a key distraction and barrier, but not something to be policed eternally. As awakening occurs, the warning vibes of an ego eruption occur at a primal level and need not manifest but are quite naturally consumed and transmuted by Presence.

Or not. Maybe they sputter into momentary life. And in reflection are forgiven. The watchdog has deep lineage. Few of us have the luxury of decades of contemplation allowed for Ramana. We are householders. It is what it is.

But a continual review of our beliefs is surely important -- thanks for that reminder, WW. Hopefully our capacity to filter improves. "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine." :) .

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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great2be
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Re: Free Will

Post by great2be » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:42 am

Webwanderer wrote:I would take that a step further Andy........ Even beliefs built upon experience and insight can be skewed by existing mental structures

Getting closer and closer WW!
I would say, "even beliefs built upon experience smother the emergence of insight".
In this light I am unable to fully endorse the Buddha quote in my signature. I will change it shortly.
I see it as imperative in order to grow in genuine clarity to constantly review all perspectives we hold dear. The truth will remain, but we may find ourselves free of some sacred cows we did not recognize.
Take it a step further WW and live without a single concept!
Sighclone wrote:I absolutely agree. In my spiritual development, many beliefs have fallen, even during the last year. The last to fall was "the ego is bad."
That's a good start Andy. "Ego is bad" is what you yourself have in the past refered to as the 'second dart'.
Any resistance to an illusion is an added layer of illusion.
The first layer (illusion) is that ego exists at all.

The most important question is to see how any illusion can be created in the first place.
And as I suggested to WW above, live without a single concept and see if any illusion exists.

Hmmm sheds a new light on the quote "In the beginning was the word".
In the beginning was the concept, all illusion is born of that first concept.




PS the Buddha quote refered to above is
"Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true."
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

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Sighclone
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Re: Free Will

Post by Sighclone » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:08 am

Thank you for your refinement, karmarider, but I'm gonna stick with the oldest guy, Buddha hisself. Yes, I agree that concepts (formed by minds, of course) are entities unto themselves, the mind's way of adjusting the body to samsara. But concepts can also be beliefs.

Concepts, which can be beliefs:

"Freedom is better than slavery."
"I think, therefore I am."
"The ego veils the truth."
"My neighbor is a Nazi."
"The earth is flat."
"Socialism is superior to capitalism."
"There is a Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
"Samsara is/is not illusion."

Observations, which can be beliefs:

"Fire is hot and burns my hands."
"We seem to live longer if we form in groups to stave off the sabre-tooth tiger."
"The earth is round."
"I am."
"I feel freer and closer to reality after reading and practicing the lessons of Eckhart Tolle."

Some of those concepts and observations are interchangeable. Any of them can become beliefs. Beliefs tend to be transitory, which is to say that they should all, upon being stated be followed by the phrase "for now."

The 'second dart' is from "Buddha's Brain" and is a manifestaion of ego...an ego full of stories.

A life without beliefs, or at least implicit beliefs is impossible. When I lift my legs out of bed onto the floor, I demonstrate an implicit belief in the experience/concept of gravity...etc.

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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great2be
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Re: Free Will

Post by great2be » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:21 am

Sighclone wrote:The 'second dart' is from "Buddha's Brain" and is a manifestaion of ego...an ego full of stories.
'Ego' is an illusion, ideas about undiscovered illusions create an additional layer of illusion.
Most people have many many layers of illusion which are entangled, hence the difficulty they experience.
A life without beliefs, or at least implicit beliefs is impossible. When I lift my legs out of bed onto the floor, I demonstrate an implicit belief in the experience/concept of gravity...etc.
Of course, beliefs about the physical world are crucial if we are to be more functional than infants.

The beliefs I am refering to are beliefs about the non-physical arena.
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

karmarider
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Re: Free Will

Post by karmarider » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:42 am

Sighclone wrote:Thank you for your refinement, karmarider, ...
Wasn't me, dude.

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Re: Free Will

Post by Sighclone » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:56 pm

Sorry, kr - thanks, g2b!

If the ego is an illusion, then so is Freud's superego, all of Transactional Analysis, gestalt therapy, the sense of accomplishment, feelings of intimacy and the beauty of a sunset or a symphony. Or what am I missing here? Ego is just a label we apply to a collection of observed habits and memories. In fact it is kind of a place-holder and fall-guy for "the opposite of awakening." In that sense it is a concept, but a very useful one. I certainly recall ETs definition of the ego as a "false self created by unconscious identification with the mind," from PON. But it in itself as a concept (with content and structure) is not false. It creates a false self, yes. But it is the very real vehicle for that illusory self.

If we include as illusions the short list in my first sentence which also refers to a much broader range of experiences falling under the general label of "experiences of bliss," they are useful 'illusions' falling well within the manifested world we 'live' in.

Illusions usually refer to something false. But the ego is certainly something which we experience, at least as Eckhart pupils. For conditions and experiences which arise in samsara, I think it is more useful to say 'appearances.'

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: Free Will

Post by HermitLoon » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:26 pm

"Ego" is the conceptual sense of a sole and separate self, which then becomes the mental "story" of the relationship between all that occurs and that "self".
"Neti, Neti" (relaxing without knowing) is Peace.
Peace

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