Eric Putkonen

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by eputkonen » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:51 pm

Hi Andy,

Wise words. I really don't care for these sorts of questions - what is your meaning of Awakening, what was your enlightenment experience, etc...these tend to be the most common questions on internet forums, but it does not allow to me speak on what I would like to say. I much prefer in-person satsang with people (I am not sure how well personal email works yet...still experimenting...over the phone might be better). I prefer just speaking with people who wish to wake up...we work from their experience and I point at the Self and mental blocks.

All this argument about is it gradual, is it permanent, etc...is pointless. I was asked to define my terms and so I did...if people disagree, fine, but I do not wish to argue about it. Unless one sees it for oneself, there is no way to convince that one...and if you did succeed in convincing that one, you did that one a disservice because he or she simply believes you - it is not that one's direct experience.
Sighclone wrote:It is very hard for egoic people to hear modesty and unconditional love in a person who announces that he/she is enlightened.
I know this all too well. But that is why it is done...to perhaps change the stigma and reaction we have about such a statement by first making it visible.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by +Jim+ » Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:40 pm

This does raise interesting questions....
How best can a forum such as this facilitate awakening?
What place does the quoting of others have in the context of awakening?
Does anyone have real burning issues that can be addressed on a (this) forum?
:?:
Intellectual understanding is totally inadequate for meeting daily life.
It's like attempting to nourish yourself on the memory of yesterday's lunch!


http://simplyenlightening.wordpress.com/about/

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by domokato » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:29 pm

Jim, I've been thinking about these things myself. A lot of this thread has been argument over definitions. Eckhart says words are just pointers. Eric is wise to realize it is useless to get wrapped up in them.

I think this forum is for helping people who want to awaken, and for people who are already awakened to enjoy each other's company - if only in text :).
+Jim+ wrote:How best can a forum such as this facilitate awakening?
There are many ways, I suppose. I feel I'm helping just by answering questions people have or providing guidance if requested.
+Jim+ wrote:What place does the quoting of others have in the context of awakening?
It allows us to take words straight from the mouth of awakened people instead of paraphrasing them - which may cause it to lose or change meaning in the process. On the other hand, paraphrasing might be more clear if people wouldn't understand (or would be likely to misunderstand) the terminology in the quote or if there is terminology that you know a specific person would understand. But quoting has its place.
+Jim+ wrote:Does anyone have real burning issues that can be addressed on a (this) forum?
I think so. The issue may not always be able to be solved on the forum, but we might be able to point you in the right direction with a book to read or a video to watch or something at least :)
~housecat

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by Webwanderer » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:37 pm

Eric, of course you were under no requirement to answer questions, and I apologize if my inquiries caused you any concern or distracted you from more interesting issues. However when someone makes statements intended to affect another's understanding, the definitions behind those words is no small matter. How do we communicate in a forum such as this if one member makes statements based on definitions unclear (and possibly misunderstood) to other readers? Clearing the air on what is intended is necessary for useful conversation. Ultimately I feel our discussion was not fruitless, as I got some value (imagined or not) out of it. Maybe some others did also.

That said I will take what I can from our conversation and move on.

WW

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by eputkonen » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:49 am

I know I was under no requirement, but you have asked about my definitions a couple times now so I thought I would answer you.

You can not affect another’s understanding through statements and words. If I (for made up example) did not know what love was as having never experienced it, there is little you could say to get me to understand...I would have to experience it to fully understand what you are trying to say. Just like a butterfly could tell a caterpillar about what it is to be a butterfly, but the first thought the past caterpillar/now butterfly has after emerging for the cocoon is “I never thought it would be like this.”

Really...it is not about what is said. It is a pointing at an experience the other must have for himself or herself to truly understand. A finger pointing at the moon, you could say.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

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enlightenment/ awakening

Post by EvB » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:06 am

A helpful way to describe the word enlightenment is that it is simply a state of no thought. That completely demystifies and doesn't allow for falling into the trap of thinking that enlightenment is something special, a state that we hope to achieve in the future, or some unattainable state which has been embellished through colorful stories of enlightened experiences. When you are completely present and your mind is silent, you are enlightened.

Being awake on the other hand has to do with the degree of Presence you bring to all aspects of your life in the world. It requires living your life grounded in the present moment, having mastery of, or moving in the direction of becoming a master of your mind/ego, and being able to express yourself in the world as a free, empowered and loving being. Ultimately living an awakened life comes down to the level of commitment you have to making Presence the number one priority in your life.

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Re: enlightenment/ awakening

Post by eputkonen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:20 am

I agree enlightenment is not something special, but it is more than a state of no thought. You can be completely present and the mind be silent, and yet not know who and what you really are...and still be fooled by the ego. I've experienced times of no thought since I was a child - I called it zoning out at that time. It did not change the fundamental understanding of self and the world.

Also, enlightenment does not come and go...and you can not live in the world with a mind forever silent with no thought ever. You couldn't buy groceries in advance as you could not plan what you might eat in the future...instead you would just feel hungry and go look for whatever you could find or make at the moment. These periods of thought returning does not mean you lost enlightenment...and regain it when the mind is silent again.

Being awake means no longer being hypnotized by the ego and falling for the mirage/illusion. Being awake and enlightened are equivocul terms for me...also Liberation, Moksha, Self-Realization, etc.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by Sighclone » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:10 am

Eric - very funny and poignant image about the not buying groceries and discovering "hey, I'm hungry now...why didn't I think of that...yes...groceries...I'll go buy some now." And then going to the store and only buying enough for that one meal!!! Enlightened? I rather think not. :)

Namaste, 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: Eric Putkonen

Post by domokato » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:07 am

Eric, very interesting views. Eckhart only considers it unenlightened when you are identified with mind/ego. So, you can still use your mind while staying enlightened (awake). However, the moment you identify with the mind, you are no longer enlightened. Ego/mind identification is not my primary state, but I do drop back into mind/ego identification every once in a while, and at those moments I would not call myself enlightened. That's my definition anyway. Yours sounds just as good!
~housecat

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by eputkonen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:27 pm

domokato wrote:Eric, very interesting views. Eckhart only considers it unenlightened when you are identified with mind/ego. So, you can still use your mind while staying enlightened (awake). However, the moment you identify with the mind, you are no longer enlightened. Ego/mind identification is not my primary state, but I do drop back into mind/ego identification every once in a while, and at those moments I would not call myself enlightened. That's my definition anyway. Yours sounds just as good!
Yes, you can still use your mind after enlightenment/awakening - but enlightenment/awakening is no longer being identified with the mind/ego because you see through the mind/ego. It is not simply not being identified for a short time...it is no longer being fooled (which means suffering, fear, worry, etc, etc).

Ego/mind does not really fool me anymore, but I have dropped into brief times of mind/ego identification once in a while (varying degrees, if you want to be absolute about it). Usually those moments (of starting to doze off, so to speak) are what keeps me awake. I quickly see through it and laugh at myself. Those brief times have never caused me suffering, fear, worry, etc. As such, those brief times do not concern me nor make me question if I am awake or not (thus renewing the search and the need to get somewhere or something else). I see clearly there is nothing else and nowhere else to go...and the ego will diminish more (of its own accord) over time.

To see through and recognize a mirage means not being fooled by it (which causes suffering, etc). But if you encounter a mirage and for a moment you think it is water and then realize it is a mirage, it does not mean that the mirage still fools you...you saw through it quick enough. And in time, without trying or doing anything, those moments become less frequent and then nonexistant.

I warn people not to become too black & white and say that if there is any moments at all, no matter how brief, then it is not enlightenment...the world is not digital...it is analog. When you stop spinning a wheel, it does not stop immediately...it slows and stops on its own.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by EvB » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:47 am

I know what your are saying, here. However; The only way you can access the truths that you are speaking of is through Presence. The simple act of becoming present and remembering to be present is what facilitates the deeper levels of Presence to arise, where truths about the self are revealed. The superficial level of Presence that I am referring to as, "Enlightenment" may be a much lesser degree of Presence than you experience regular basis; But it is still Presence. The reason that I am saying that the definition I have presented for enlightenment is more helpful is that it makes enlightenment available to everyone. Leonard, Eckhart Tolle, and I assume you (correct me if I'm wrong) had awakening experiences producing a drastic and instantaneous shift in consciousness into the awakened state, which has stayed with you. Although the truth may be apparent to you and you now have the vantage point to witness your ego from Presence and easily catch its tricks, many people on the path of awakening have substantial obstacles to remaining present for extended periods of time. For most of us, awakening is a gradual process. We must make a gradual shift from living at the level of mind/ego to living as awakened Presence. For us, myself included, catching the ego's tricks is not always so easy because the ego is extremely clever and still has a strong hold. There is not enough separation between knowing the self as awakened Presence and the ego. So we must gradually become more present and become aware of the ego's ways of pulling us out of the present moment. Many people also have repressed feelings and unresolved childhood traumas which keep them locked in a painful past which make it difficult for them to remain present. You are in an enlightened state when your mind is fully silent, although this does not mean you are fully awake if you can be easily pulled out of Presence.

I'm curious what you think the difference is between being present and having a silent mind and being enlightened. How do we become enlightened? Also I want you to know that I appreciate that you are here in this forum and your willingness to reflect upon things from your perspective.

Thanks,
Evan
eputkonen wrote:I agree enlightenment is not something special, but it is more than a state of no thought. You can be completely present and the mind be silent, and yet not know who and what you really are...and still be fooled by the ego. I've experienced times of no thought since I was a child - I called it zoning out at that time. It did not change the fundamental understanding of self and the world.

A
Last edited by EvB on Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by James » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:21 am

EveB
That was very well said. I know you were addressing Eric, If you don't mind I would like to add something to the discussion

You said:
The simple act of becoming present and remembering to be present is what facilitates the deeper levels of Presence to arise, where truths about the self are revealed.
This is a helpful practice. One of the major hang ups though, and I have experienced it first hand with this approach; there is is still a sense of a little me that can become present or produces Presence through concentration on the present moment. Thus can become more awake by "trying". Which actually can perpetuate the sense of self (with a small "s"), and the sense of separation. A lot of this is a language barrier issue, Eckhart and others trying to describe Presence in words as best they can, trying to give pointers; the finger pointing at the moon, but not the moon itself.

What might be helpful is a suggestion Adyashanti gave in his live radio show from Nov. 6, 2008, titled "Pure Presence", (it is available to purchase as an archived download on his site.) Adya speaks about this very subject of trying to be more present, and suggests rather noticing the Presence that already is, that is living as your life and mine... That is conscious... That sense of "I AM". I exist here and Now. That is the one thing we know for certain... I AM, I exist. Not as a person but as a spiritual Being, the same spiritual Being that expresses itself as you, Eric, and everyone else. It only appears separate by forms we perceive. Acknowledging that Presence that Is, leads to quick Realization of what we are.

J.
"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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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by Sighclone » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:08 am

James -

How fresh! You say:
That sense of "I AM". I exist here and Now. That is the one thing we know for certain... I AM, I exist. Not as a person but as a spiritual Being, the same spiritual Being that expresses itself as you, Eric, and everyone else. It only appears separate by forms we perceive. Acknowledging that Presence that Is, leads to quick Realization of what we are.
After my first big (non-abiding) shift, this phrase came to me: "I am the human expression of self-realized consciousness known as Andy."

Of course there was/is large need for further growth, but that little sentence I wrote in March...it's validating to see it in a slightly different form from you, today.

Namaste, 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: Eric Putkonen

Post by eputkonen » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:35 am

EvB wrote:I'm curious what you think the difference is between being present and having a silent mind and being enlightened. How do we become enlightened?
A silent mind occurs when we cease referring to past and future...and get out of our heads - from mental observation to feeling experience. This is not different from being present...this is the secret of learning to being present. Both of these can occur without realizing who/what you are...and thus still being fooled by the ego and the maya of the world. Enlightenment, as I said before, is a deep realization of who/what you are and thus no longer being fooled by the ego (and thus suffering, worrying, fearing, etc, etc).

It seems silly to water down the term ‘enlightenment’ for the sake of making it more readily available to everyone. That is like saying there are not enough doctors, so we should just hand out medical doctorate degrees after high school (not that they have to understand more)...thus making doctorate degrees more available to all. This does not help...it is a disservice to those who now think they have it. Making it more available? The only thing more available is the ability to use the term enlightened in reference to themselves. There is no deeper understanding created by making it more available this way.

What I am talking about is available to everyone (not by lowering the bar, so to speak)...anyone even interested in this topic and reading this forum is ready for enlightenment this lifetime (at most)...many could Awaken before New Years.

How? Inquire into who and what you really are. It comes down to realizing you are not the mirage called ego. Presence alone is not usually enough...though Presence is required to properly inquire.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

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Re: Eric Putkonen

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:09 pm

I agree with Eric on this point. Presence awareness and silence of mind are the conditions required for awakening to occur, but it is not necessarily actual awakening. Awakening is a shift in perspective from ego identity, that sense of a separate me, to realization that "I Am" refers to awareness itself. Though undefinable by nature, it is most recognized as cognizant spaciousness that is merely focused in physical form. Ego is the belief that the form, with its structure of beliefs and attachments, represents the true identity.

One may be present and silent in ego perspective, but awakening is that shift that occurs in the recognition of one's true nature.

WW

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