Thin line nihilism / Zen

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cloud
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Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by cloud » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:24 pm

It seems that people have to have some reason to start in their own search for a 'meaning in life'. When we read eckhart's and various others teachings we end up following a path, but ultimately at the end have to take on the experience into our own lives. The challenge becomes apparent when we take the teachings conceptually without any kind of self inquiry. I can imagine this happens very often with other people, as it did with me.

Is there a big difference between Nihilism and Zen ? Is it only when we conceptualize a teaching from the point of the individual that the final answer would result in Nihilism (the complete opposite in what is searched for).

In zen they teach that there is meaning in nothing and everything, but the meaning in 'everything' can't be understood by the mind.

My question is how would someone bridge the gap between the feeling that nothing has a meaning to understanding that the search for the meaning only becomes apparent because we are not satisfied with life? Or is it just more simple for someone like eckhart to say the meaning is to be in the NOW.


Quick Nihilism definition:
Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

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dijmart
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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by dijmart » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:05 pm

cloud wrote:My question is how would someone bridge the gap between the feeling that nothing has a meaning to understanding that the search for the meaning only becomes apparent because we are not satisfied with life? Or is it just more simple for someone like eckhart to say the meaning is to be in the NOW.
Here's the way I see it:

Absolute view- Nothing has meaning ultimately, it's all just consciousness playing.

Unconsciousness/Ego- Search for meaning, because your not satisfied and probably never will be.

Living Consciously/Awake- If there's meaning, it is in the NOW, BE the NOW...NOW. :lol:
Last edited by dijmart on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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epiphany55
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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by epiphany55 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:29 pm

dijmart wrote:Living Consciously/Awake- If there's meaning, it is in the NOW, BE the NOW...NOW. :lol:
I'm busy right now, I'll do it later. :shock:

Upon my realization that there is no objective meaning to life, subjective meaning lost a lot of its validity. In fact, I often use the objective as an aid for presence, because to lose meaning means to lose attachment (what's the point in attaching to anything if nothing has meaning?). Without attachment, the ego mind shuts down and I can just be. I can still only do this for moments at a time, before subjective meaning (the meaning I have given things and people) overwhelms the objective truth. I liken it to wilfully forgetting that one day you will die. It serves a purpose that I see as linked to survival.

To think objectively all the time, given the undeniable truth that there is no inherent meaning, would surely lead to complete indifference to survival, hedonism, self destruction.

When I'm ready to work or involve myself in social relationships, it's important therefore that I sink back into the subjective. It is a strangely desirable form of double-think, without which I would see no reason to work, form relationships or care about my or other's health and well being.

Subjective meaning = survival + baggage

Objective meaninglessness = freedom

A careful compromise between the two seems apparent in my life.
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.

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dijmart
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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by dijmart » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:08 am

epiphany55 wrote:
dijmart wrote:Living Consciously/Awake- If there's meaning, it is in the NOW, BE the NOW...NOW. :lol:
I'm busy right now, I'll do it later. :shock:
Good one! :lol:

Sorry, but I must say I find that I have difficulty following what your trying to say, because you use objective/subjective? As soon as I think I know what you mean, then I think you're trying to say something else?...maybe I'm having a dumb moment...Duhhhhh...LOL
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epiphany55
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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by epiphany55 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:00 am

dijmart wrote:Sorry, but I must say I find that I have difficulty following what your trying to say, because you use objective/subjective? As soon as I think I know what you mean, then I think you're trying to say something else?...maybe I'm having a dumb moment...Duhhhhh...LOL
No problem, I am not the most articulate person! I was basically saying that once I realised the objective truth (that there is no inherent meaning to life), any subjective meaning I gave life became primarily as a means of survival and for work and social conveniences. Only when basking in the indifference of the objective truth do I truly feel present and free. But I also get nothing done!
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.

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dijmart
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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by dijmart » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:30 am

I would try to get away from writing objective/subjective when composing. Perhaps, instead, write descriptors of what you mean or people are going to misunderstand you. I looked up "objective truth" and found at least 3 different types of meanings/definitions.
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peas
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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by peas » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:25 am

The reason for our search for meaning must be thrown away. It was reason based on unconsciousness. It served its purpose. Pay no further attention to it.

epiphany55
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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by epiphany55 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:13 pm

dijmart wrote:I would try to get away from writing objective/subjective when composing. Perhaps, instead, write descriptors of what you mean or people are going to misunderstand you. I looked up "objective truth" and found at least 3 different types of meanings/definitions.
:?: Perhaps I've just got used to using these terms to distinguish how humans perceive truth (subjective) and the actual truth (objective). I thought this was a widely understood distinction.
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.

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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by runstrails » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:21 pm

epiphany wrote: No problem, I am not the most articulate person! I was basically saying that once I realised the objective truth (that there is no inherent meaning to life), any subjective meaning I gave life became primarily as a means of survival and for work and social conveniences. Only when basking in the indifference of the objective truth do I truly feel present and free. But I also get nothing done!
Makes sense to me.
dijmart wrote: Absolute view- Nothing has meaning ultimately, it's all just consciousness playing.

Unconsciousness/Ego- Search for meaning, because your not satisfied and probably never will be.

Living Consciously/Awake- If there's meaning, it is in the NOW, BE the NOW...NOW. :lol:
Nice summary.

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Re: Thin line nihilism / Zen

Post by Sighclone » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:48 pm

Is there a big difference between Nihilism and Zen ? Is it only when we conceptualize a teaching from the point of the individual that the final answer would result in Nihilism (the complete opposite in what is searched for).
Zen enlightenment and discussions of The Void are less anthropomorphic than the Intelligence implied in Brahman (the Advaita Vedantic tradition.) There is no discussion of diety in Zen. And it has, generally speaking a much "drier" feel to it. However, there is some animation in the Zen concept of "Suchness," which, for me, is a word that adds vitality to the Emptiness, and to all Form. In my stillness, the Void is both nothing, and the infinite, pregnant capacity for everything. Also, there is a "bliss" (ananda) not implied in the Zen tradition which is more common in Vedanta. Adi Shankara was the primary early writer on Advaita and wrote many essays in about 650 CE, comparing Buddhism with Advaita, preferring, of course the latter.

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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