Is enlightening this depressing?

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Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by premiumphoto » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:47 am

http://www.angelfire.com/realm/bodhisattva/muzika.html

This is someone's enlightening experience. It was rather depressing and I wonder if his experience goes with Eckhart's teachings? Why would someone aspire to this?

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:01 pm

premiumphoto wrote:http://www.angelfire.com/realm/bodhisattva/muzika.html

This is someone's enlightening experience. It was rather depressing and I wonder if his experience goes with Eckhart's teachings? Why would someone aspire to this?
To ask if "enlightening is depressing" bears the fruit of its own misunderstanding. Can truth be depressing? Sure it can - from the perspective of an ego that has vested interests in its own version of reality. But as our essense is none other than Source itself can depression be other than just one possible experience among an infinity of possibilities?

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by premiumphoto » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:39 pm

I'm wondering if this experience noted above is in keeping with Eckhart's teachings. I find ET liberating and peaceful. I find this "enlightenment" experience sad and nothing to aspire to. I think a psychologist would read this persons experience and conclude he was quite insane.

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by Sighclone » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:14 am

Very interesting post by Edward Muzika. Perhaps Eckhart would agree with all of it. Perhaps what Eckhart wrote about is the gentle introduction to the blow-out mindless nothingness of Muzika. Recall that Muzika's shift in the shower took a few months to settle into the transcendant depersonalized bliss he later discusses. Moreover, it appears from Muzika that his inital shift was an irreversible slippery slope into the utter vacuum of his final pargraph. Eckhart's audience is the vast unconscious general public. He may well be in intimate contact with Being, but he also spent ten years as a multi-lingual comparative literature scholar. The guy can write. And he is writing for us. He may well have skipped all the descriptions of illusion and gone right to the bliss. On purpose.

When Muzika says that "nothing ever happened", if you are centered in the immediate NOW, that statement is true, because in the now there is no time, and those events are not in the now and so do not exist. If they happened in "the past", that is not a concept which exists in the pure rarified experience of the instantaneous, timeless NOW.

Tell that to the IRS when they ask for last year's tax return. Maybe we all have this disease called "the illusion of reality." At least we all agree to some of the basic fundamentals of it: time, space, matter and energy. When I first read about quantum mechanics about 40 years ago, I was grateful that wavefunctions all collapse into reductionist Newtonian form. I was grateful that when I dropped my car keys that the mathematically provable real chance they would land on Mars was actually very very small.

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: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by kiki » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:47 am

I was grateful that when I dropped my car keys that the mathematically provable real chance they would land on Mars was actually very very small.
LOL - thanks for providing me the best laugh of the day. :lol: As for Muzika's "depressing" and "sad" enlightenment, I didn't get that impression at all. Only from a mental viewpoint could such a conclusion be reached.
"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: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by premiumphoto » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:19 am

From the recently posted new NPR enterview with ET, he says he believes in "God". He believes in God as "other." The elightening experience linked above seems to conclude that there is only vast nothingness. There is no "other". If this is true, how is vast nothingness meaningful? Why should one care about the suffering of others because it is all illusion and karmic cause and effect? Are there enlightened people who have another job besides spiritual teacher? Are you saying that ET is enlightenment for the masses and is intentionally holding back?

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by Sighclone » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:15 am

Good questions, pmp.

1) re the interview, if you mean this one, with Krista Tippett:

http://download.publicradio.org/podcast ... -tolle.mp3

which is the 90-minute unedited version, I have listened to it and did not hear a reference to God as 'other.' Could you send the link? However, in PON he does say God is "...something or someone outside you..." (p.14). But he goes on to say that is why he does not use that word "God."

2) Muzika's vast nothingness also included incredible bliss. Eckhart says that enlightenment is "your natural state of felt oneness with Being." and also "If there isn't an emanation of love and joy, complete presence and openness toward all beings, then it is not enlightenment." (PON p. 162)

3) I believe there is knowledge that Eckhart has which he has chosen not to share at this time. If that means he has "dumbed down" his message, then yes, that is my opinion...he has tried to write something that the masses can understand.

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: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by premiumphoto » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:04 am

Yes it is that interview. It was at the end that she asked him about God. He clearly believes in some concept of God. And the context was clear he meant something other than him. He did not say something like "God is us." Or "God is a mental construct." I'm not sure why ET would be holding back. My wife could not even make it through the introduction in PON. This doesn't strike me as a book for the masses. ET even mentions that you are ready for it or you will think it is a bunch of nonsense. Yes, it sold a bazillion copies because Oprah put her stamp of approval on it (and ANE). It just seems to me if life is nothing but illusion and reality consists of a sea of nothingness, then that would not motivate me to even get off the couch!

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by Onceler » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:15 pm

Yeah, but is the couch real?

My take on this is that these experiences are so far out of my realm of reality that they are the stuff of fantasy. It is not that I don't believe them, they just have no relevance to my personal experience of reality. I am not going to worry about nothingness when I cannot even grasp somethingness.

Non-dual teachings and the practice of awareness helps me loosen my grip on the joystick of life and to look around and take a deep breath. It has never taken away energy to do what I have needed to do. In fact the opposite is true.

I believe, but have not basis for this belief, that my consciousness will change so gradually that my outer reality will shift as my inner reality shifts so that if I do end up on a couch, this will not contradict with my responsibilities in my outer reality.

Besides, the fantasy of the couch has a certain appeal, no?
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by Sighclone » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:58 pm

pmp -

Please do not think we are dismissing your question. Particularly the one about nothingness and meanginglessness. Several threads in the last year have ground away on this. It's a reasonable question.

I think onceler's comments are right on. We only experience anything from our level of awareness. I care about my family. I care about my finances and employment. I care about my front yard. I care about my community and my country. I can read Mr. Muzika's experience and some of the writings from Ramana and Nisargadatta and the Heart Sutra. But the immeasurable empty vastness of nothingness and all else being illusion is not something I do or can experience. I can understand them, intellectually, to whatever my ability is, and maybe someday they will all make perfect sense experientially. If so, on that day, in that shower, I'll bet I still care about my family. Just as they are...perceived as illusion or not. Because, having reached the highest level of deep Brahman Consciousness, I will still contain all my earlier perspectives. Ramana spent time with his mother near the end of her life, caring for her.

The conception of the possibility of a time when all is illusion does not keep me from further growth, interest, study, satsang, meditation or golf. That cognitive prospect is not a sufficient deterrent. But it may be for you. If so, drop it all and find other things to do. Why bang your head against something you reject? Or do you think you can debunk Eckhart and about 50 others with a whimper about vast nothingness? What is your real motive here? My guess is that your ego is threatened. Mine was, trust me. I railed and rallied for 20 years as a conservative Christian. But Christian dogma did not hold up to inquiry. Nonduality does.

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: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by premiumphoto » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:05 pm

I understand what you are saying Andy. Actually I do hope my ego is more than threatened. I would like for it to fall away completely! I don't think I can debunk Eckhart. Nor would I want to. Vast nothingness is far more preferrable to burning in hell because you picked the wrong religion. I am the blind man trying to understand color. It occurs to me that "Space... the final frontier." Is more profound than I thought!

Don

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by Onceler » Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:08 am

There is nothing like Bryron Katie to bring you back to earth, even at her most ephemeral, A Thousand Names for Joy, her outlook is practical and to the point.

I don't think that we can imagine life without the smoke and mirrors, but Katie is as close as I get to a peek in the door. She simply does what needs to be done. She talks a lot about washing the dishes and taking care of business. When she gets the thought to do something, she usually does it without delay. There is no ego involved.

Or as Yoda said: Try not, do or do not, there is no try.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by ginkgo » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:39 am

ET says in PON that Buddha says that enlightenment is "the end of suffering." :)
The following are quotes from Muzika on that page:
"Briefly, I felt FEAR."

"All this became temporarily quite depressing."

"One day I called Robert in despair and said, 'I'm depressed! I am not real; nothing is real!' "

I would call this a realization. He describes feeling suffering. People can have hundreds of realizations. This guy was in touch with a wise, subtle part of the ego or mind, which thinks that it is more than it is. In fact it is just like the question on this forum about The Secret. To someone who has never heard of this theory, they may think, "this is the answer."

So someone can hear this wise part of the mind, that thinks that it is more than it is, and think that this guy is enlightened. He is just like Jesus Christ, Buddha or Eckhart Tolle. My advice is to trust what you feel. If you do not like it, then avoid it. Many practices and teachings enable people to get in touch with subtle, wise parts of the mind. That is why there are so many spiritual teachers out there like Adi Da (this guy says that he is better than Jesus and Buddha combined), Andrew Cohen- who was enlightened but then created a magazine to explore what it is since he was confused, L Ron Hubbard (now dead), Ken Wilbur, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra and many more.

In fact this is why I created a webpage about what is enlightenment. See Recommended Links on this forum. I start out by saying that I am not enlightened, but that I know exactly what enlightenment is and why. To describe it differently, take every nice feeling you have ever felt. Then take every nice feeling that anyone has ever felt. Then combine them so that they all intersect and imagine feeling that for a moment. Enlightenment is feeling that all of the time but a description does not come close to what it really is.

Muzika says that he is feeling no mind but then goes on to discusss the mind a lot. I think it was Shakespeare who said "Thou does protest too strongly." In fact in the spiritual community, saying that you are enlightened is the best way to praise your own ego. My ego is more enlightened than your ego! The ego can say "I have no ego. That is why I am so great."

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by ginkgo » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:57 am

I do not understand how Adams went from age 14 to age 18 in less than a year. "His spiritual advisor was Robert Adams, who is said to have experienced Awakening at age 14 without any major spiritual training or background. Within a year of his experience, Adams, at age 18, was walking through the gates of the ashram of the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi."

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Re: Is enlightening this depressing?

Post by premiumphoto » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:01 am

Great points Ginkgo. Actually, before I read Eckhart, I was looking around for someone who was a humble (defined as seeing yourself as you really are) spiritual teacher. Andrew Cohen, L Ron Hubbard, Ken Wilbur, Wayne Dyer, and to a lesser extent Deepak Chopra all seemed to me to have huge egos. Where is the line between judging and making important observations? I settled for awhile with Peter Ragnar a http://www.peterragnar.com but then needed something different. Found Eckhart. Now I just want to grow in the space he has created for me. I have listened to Bryron Katie but find a very different viewpoint from ET.

BK- "Fear is the opposite of love."
ET- "Love has no opposite."

To me this is huge.

Don

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