How should awakened persons act?

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runstrails
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How should awakened persons act?

Post by runstrails » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:02 pm

Seems to me that a lot of threads, (e.g., free-will, LoA, others) have an undercurrent that has to do with expected behavior after awakening. OK, I understand that there is no awakened 'person' per say, just oneness waking up in form. Is any particular behavior expected from those in whose form awakening/enlightenment has occurred. Are they expected to be particularly compassionate, loving etc..

I guess, what I am asking is to what extent can awakening and (prior) conditioning co-exist?
That is, your conditioning clearly defines the daily 'choices' you make at the human level. But if you have realized 'being/source'--are these choices necessarily different from before? If the 'human' is not particularly compassionate or loving, can they have truly realized 'being'? Or is it just 'mind' coming in to provide yet more judgements about awakening.

For example, could a ruthless wall street type have achieved self realization and yet continue in his/her job (where ruthless, self-serving actions are necessary to survive)?
Thanks!

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by runstrails » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:51 pm

Here are some relevant quotes from Osho on the topic of Arhats (enlightened beings in Buddhism)
The arhata is someone who makes every effort to become enlightened and once he is enlightened he completely forgets about those who are still groping in the dark. He has no concern with others. It is enough for him to become enlightened. In fact, according to the arhatas, even the great idea of compassion is nothing but again another kind of attachment.
The arhata insists that nobody can help anybody else at all. The very idea of helping others is based on wrong foundations. You can help only yourself. It may occur to the ordinary mind that the arhata is very selfish. But if you look without any prejudice, perhaps he also has something immensely important to declare to the world: Even helping the other is an interference in his life, in his lifestyle, in his destiny, in his future. Hence, arhatas don't believe in any compassion. Compassion to them is another beautiful desire to keep you tethered to the world of attachments. It is another name -- beautiful, but still just a name for a desiring mind.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by karmarider » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:20 am

When Arjuna fell down at Krishna’s dusty feet at the epic Mahabharata battle of Kurukshetra, he could not see how he could slay his own relatives. This was too much.

Krishna showed him his universal form and told him he must fight.

I had always wondered how it is that the divine or awakened Krishna was promoting violence, and not just violence, but the most despicable kind of violence–the violence of killing your own brethren.

Of course, what he was really telling Arjuna is that he must slay his attachments.

When we're awakening, we want to bring the person along with us. We have particular notions about how the person should be. The person should be spiritual, spiritually knowledgeable, compassionate, honest, humble, balanced, in a high state of awareness.
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Rick
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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by Rick » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:25 am

Hey RT,

Here is another Osho quote showing an additional side of the story.

"Buddha accepts and respects the way of the Arhata -- but he also knows there are people who have immense compassion and when they become enlightened, their first longing is to share their joy, to share their truth. Compassion is their way. They also have some profound truth. These people are called bodhisattvas. They provoke and invite others to the same experience. And they wait on this shore as long as possible to help all seekers who are ready to move on the path, and who just need a guide; they need a helping hand.

The bodhisattva can postpone his going to the further shore out of compassion for blind people groping in darkness. Buddha had such a comprehensive and vast perception that he accepted both -- that this is simply the nature of a few people to be arhatas, and it is also simply the nature of a few other people to be bodhisattvas. And this is the standpoint of Gautam Buddha, that such is the case, nothing can be done about it -- an arhata will be an arhata and a bodhisattva will be a bodhisattva.

Their natures have different destinies, although they reach to the same goal finally. But after reaching the goal there is a parting of the ways. The arhatas don't stay on this shore even for a single moment. They are tired, they have been long enough in this wheel of Samsara, moving through birth and death millions of times. It has already been too much. They are bored and they don't want to stay even a single minute more. Their boat has arrived, and immediately they start moving towards the further shore. This is their suchness.

And there are bodhisattvas who can tell the boatman, "Wait, there is no hurry. I have lingered on this shore long enough -- in misery, in suffering, in anguish, in agony. Now all that has disappeared. I am in absolute bliss, silence and peace, and I don't see that there is anything more on the other shore. So as long as I can manage, I will be here to help people."

Gautam Buddha is certainly one of those people who can see the truth even in contradictions. He accepts both without making anybody feel lower or higher. But bodhisattvas call their path -- against the path of the arhatas -- Mahayana, "the great vehicle," the great ship. The other is just a small boat. Poor fellows, they simply go alone. And there has been a continuous conflict for twenty-five centuries after Gautam Buddha, between these two different approaches."
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by karmarider » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:31 am

runstrails wrote:For example, could a ruthless wall street type have achieved self realization and yet continue in his/her job (where ruthless, self-serving actions are necessary to survive)?
I suppose a fully awakened being can answer this.

From my experience, I would say no. I say this because it is difficult for me to operate in the corporate world now. I don't want to be around the egoic energies which swirl around me.

We also want to bring along the notion that awakening means an improved life in the relative world. Herman Melville, I think was awakened, and he had seemingly unhappy external life. He probably didn't mind. Anthony de Mello tells a story of an awakened being he met who was a riksha-puller in Calcutta. That's a particularly difficult life. Or, maybe those guys just hadn't heard about the loa, hehe.
Last edited by karmarider on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by runstrails » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:39 am

Hi Rick,
I totally agree with Osho that the compassion that Buddha (and Jesus and similar teachers) had was sublime and really makes them stand out among enlightened ones. No question about it. They were selfless and served humanity in immeasurable ways.
This makes the contrast between the bodhisatvas and arhats so stark. The arhats are selfish. Yet, the arhats are not any less enlightened.
If we use the same analogy to the modern world...
..... can one continue to be successful in a modern career (wall street or corporate law or politics or academia or whatever) that requires some level of selfishness and yet remain enlightened? Can 'business as usual' and awakening co-exist? If one has realized "bliss" as Osho says, then can one just go about life with old conditioned patterns. Can awakening be compartmentalized or does it permeate and perhaps alter every aspect of life (as many teachings will have us believe).

Kr,
As always, a though provoking post. If all attachments are slayed then there can be nothing judgmental about yourself or others.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by karmarider » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:40 am

runstrails wrote:...But if you have realized 'being/source'--are these choices necessarily different from before? If the 'human' is not particularly compassionate or loving, can they have truly realized 'being'?
I don't see why not. ET, Ramana, etc were not overflowing with compassion when they awakened. Some people would say ET is not compassionate now, because he continues to charge for his work, when he already has abundant money.

Good topic, RT.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by runstrails » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:07 am

karmarider wrote:
I don't see why not. ET, Ramana, etc were not overflowing with compassion when they awakened. Some people would say ET is not compassionate now, because he continues to charge for his work, when he already has abundant money
This makes sense to me. If we want to take teachers as an example, to my mind, ET and Osho are enlightened. ET is a very savvy businessman and as any one in the business world knows you have to be somewhat ruthless to have a successful business. Similarly Osho's behavior was completely nuts (perhaps even 'amoral') by society's standards (BTW, I'm not interested in any Osho stories or controversy here, just using it as an example). On the other hand, Buddha and Jesus had different paths of renunciation and service. But all 4 were/are enlightened. So its possible that your conditioning carries on just as before even after enlightenment. You're inclined to this route or that. You have no choice one could say :wink:

Or it could be how much weight you put on the illusion (maya). If you take it seriously then you might be more drawn to compassion and helping others get liberated (a la Buddha) but if you think its a lark then you might be drawn to being entertained by it--not giving it too much weight at all (perhaps like Osho?/maybe ET?). I recall in PON where ET talks about how when he was listening to a woman who was wrapped up in her stories (clearly she was suffering), he felt like laughing since he found her whole story so ludicrous. Of course, she felt bad when he did that and later he figured out how to help her. Even when you listen to him on his videos he has such a light touch, its hard to imagine he takes any of this too seriously at all.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by karmarider » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:22 am

runstrails wrote:This makes sense to me. If we want to take teachers as an example, to my mind, ET and Osho are enlightened. ET is a very savvy businessman and as any one in the business world knows you have to be somewhat ruthless to have a successful business. Similarly Osho's behavior was completely nuts (perhaps even 'amoral') by society's standards (BTW, I'm not interested in any Osho stories or controversy here, just using it as an example). On the other hand, Buddha and Jesus had different paths of renunciation and service. But all 4 were/are enlightened. So its possible that your conditioning carries on just as before even after enlightenment. You're inclined to this route or that. You have no choice one could say :wink:
hehe, the free will thing again!

I agree. Perhaps it's not just conditioning, perhaps it's the freedom to play any way you want to.
runstrails wrote:Or it could be how much weight you put on the illusion (maya). If you take it seriously then you might be more drawn to compassion and helping others get liberated (a la Buddha) but if you think its a lark then you might be drawn to being entertained by it--not giving it too much weight at all (perhaps like Osho?/maybe ET?).
Jed Mckenna says that he doesn't see the unawakened as "victims". So perhaps it's that--that everything is allowed.
runstrails wrote:I recall in PON where ET talks about how when he was listening to a woman who was wrapped up in her stories (clearly she was suffering), he felt like laughing since he found her whole story so ludicrous. Of course, she felt bad when he did that and later he figured out how to help her. Even when you listen to him on his videos he has such a light touch, its hard to imagine he takes any of this too seriously at all.
A woman was complaining to me about her problems with her fiance. I found myself smiling. Not at her, but at the memory of my stories. So, yeah I agree, the enlightened probably find the whole thing amusing.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by Rick » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:35 am

I agree with you both. I would add that the only "rule" to any particular manifestation of Enlightenment is that the Enlightenment conforms to Love Itself. If it is possible to be a manifestation of Love AND a ruthless Wall Street mogul, then let it be so.
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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:01 am

Interesting thread RT.

In the presence of HH Dalai Lama I 'felt' he was awakened and wondered about this question - what do/would/could we expect from such a person?

You might recall I mused that he appears to take the responsibilities of his 'role' very seriously, but didn't at all take the 'role' personally seriously.

Another person that I thought to be awakened I'd known a long time ago, he seemed to float on air in persona, and was capable of astounding honesty, that also seemed impersonal. It did seem to lack compassion and sensitivity at times, it was just absolute clarity.

Some would take offence at his honesty, others call him arrogant, whereas I was more - wow! (wonder oh wonder - what do I think/feel about that? how does he do that? and what brought him to this state?).
Years later I contacted him and told him the influence he had been like a spiritual big brother serendiptiously turning up in my life when I most needed that sort of an influence. He laughed at me (knowing him the laughing would have been impersonally).

He told me he actually suffers from clinical depression and through those earlier years was resisting it and using some mind altering drugs.

I had no idea. But it actually didn't change my view of his 'awakeness'. He also said that he thinks those with depression see the world more clearly, rather than dressing it up in imaginings.

When I'd been weighing up others' views of his 'arrogance' it seemed to fit the criteria of being one who thought their opinion was the only 'right' one, rather than being proud, haughty, overbearing etc In this sense yes, he did display conviction of his opinions, but in fairness.. he usually was right. (in fact I can't really think of an example when he wasn't). It was just that this honesty in his appraisal of anything absolutely cut the guts out of any egoic falsities. Those who usually tried to bring him down, criticising him for this 'arrogance' were often trying to maintain the falsity of a situation. Those who tried to stop his opinions influencing me I realise now didn't have my best interests at heart. He however didn't give a rat's tail what I did with his opinions, he was just stating them, not trying to influence anyone else with them.

Is 'ruthless' just uncompromisingly honest?

Eg: at the end of HH Dalai Lama's visit many who may have 'wanted' him to be more personally attached to his role may have been shocked to hear him saying to people if they wanted to keep their problems that was up to them, he was off to Perth and not taking them with him and other such things.

Seeing anyone as a 'victim' I think is limiting and disrespectful in itself, so I'd agree with Jed McKenna on that.

Also, compassion (in the way it's been used regarding ET still charging for his services) - for me compassion is not self-less - or devaluing of self in order to help another, it's hmmmm might need more thought. Compassion for me melts the boundaries of emotional linking, not necessarily physical linking - assisting someone to find ways to help themself is often far more compassionate than fixing their problems for them.
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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by suraj » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:16 am

I understand where the question is coming from, but the moment we demand "how should" from reality, it has a way of defying it.
Should an awakened person disengage from the world?
Should an awakened person indulge in sexual impropriety?
Should an awakened person behave reasonably with the people around him?
Should an awakened person be free of all karmas and sanskaras?
Should an awakened person be free of all physical diseases?
Should an awakened person be in money-making business?

Whichever way you answer the above questions, there would exceptions in real world awakened beings.
Ultimately the only rule that consciousness follows is no rule. It's a paradox but true. It's not what "should be" but it is.
I AM

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by runstrails » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:42 am

Great post, Suraj. Thanks for the timely reminder that it's not what should be, but simply what it is. The former is 'mental concepts' and the latter is simply reality. I really needed to hear that today :D

Jen, I enjoyed your post. I have often wondered to about Dalai Lama and his (previous) role as political head of Tibet and how he dealt with all the egoic political stuff.

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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:53 am

RT said: I have often wondered to about Dalai Lama and his (previous) role as political head of Tibet and how he dealt with all the egoic political stuff.
hmm knew I should have been paying more attention when he was speaking about it :wink:
He was saying, (as I recall) that the earlier Dalai Lama incarnations were not the political leaders of Tibet, but it became necessary when corruption entered politics. Now it is less necessary and he feels the time is right that Tibet should have its own political system to be taken seriously by the rest of the world without distraction of their cultural and religious practices.

My 'sense' of him is that he is well able to step back and see issues from multiple sides, honestly and generously. I notice that he doesn't make an 'enemy' of China, merely continues to state the 'facts' as he sees them, even if they are at odds with the political lines. I notice the same in leaders like Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, interestingly also a Buddhist.

What I also find interesting in this arena is how other political leaders relate with them, whether they 'officially' recognise them - as say Canada does Aung San Suu Kyi, or if they do it on a 'personal' or 'spiritual' level so as not to upset the political agendas, hedging their bets a little. The difference (for me) is very telling. I like to keep abreast of politics around the world, but on the human level, if that makes sense.

I was a little awe-struck by Obama's 'the audacity of hope' speech, but it seems there is far more 'audacity' in honesty. But possibly when you have 'nothing to lose' it's maybe easier to be 'that' honest.

In Aun San Suu Kyi's famous speech "Freedom From Fear" she says "It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."

So it's understandable she's a huge favourite of mine. She also speaks of revolutions being of the spirit, not of the mind, and the courage required to stay the path.

I love this bit - and it speaks volumes (imho) of those with the spirit to stay the path
"Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions, courage that could be described as "grace under pressure" — grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure."
So maybe the 'thing' that could be misinterpreted as 'arrogance' or 'ruthless' is this 'grace under pressure' (?)
Her full speech can be found here - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Aung_San_S ... .281991.29

and after her speech are quotes from others about her, mentions of other Nobel Peace Prize recipients, many I would suggest who are also likely very awakened, but audacious in their 'truth' - Desmond Tutu, Jose Ramos-Horta - who I've also had the immense privilege to listen to in person, be awed and inspired by, laugh with.. and yes, his audacity is also as graceful and irreverant of fear as both HH Dalai Lama and Suu Kyi.

Maybe this is an ingredient or by-product of awakeness?

For more of the complexities HH Dalai Lama faces with his political decision is outlined in this article from the Wall Street Journal, which of course doesn't 'bow' so much to the philosophies involved.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 50586.html
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Re: How should awakened persons act?

Post by hanss » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:19 am

Rick wrote:Hey RT,

Here is another Osho quote showing an additional side of the story.

"Buddha accepts and respects the way of the Arhata -- but he also knows there are people who have immense compassion and when they become enlightened, their first longing is to share their joy, to share their truth. Compassion is their way. They also have some profound truth. These people are called bodhisattvas. They provoke and invite others to the same experience. And they wait on this shore as long as possible to help all seekers who are ready to move on the path, and who just need a guide; they need a helping hand.

The bodhisattva can postpone his going to the further shore out of compassion for blind people groping in darkness. Buddha had such a comprehensive and vast perception that he accepted both -- that this is simply the nature of a few people to be arhatas, and it is also simply the nature of a few other people to be bodhisattvas. And this is the standpoint of Gautam Buddha, that such is the case, nothing can be done about it -- an arhata will be an arhata and a bodhisattva will be a bodhisattva.

Their natures have different destinies, although they reach to the same goal finally. But after reaching the goal there is a parting of the ways. The arhatas don't stay on this shore even for a single moment. They are tired, they have been long enough in this wheel of Samsara, moving through birth and death millions of times. It has already been too much. They are bored and they don't want to stay even a single minute more. Their boat has arrived, and immediately they start moving towards the further shore. This is their suchness.

And there are bodhisattvas who can tell the boatman, "Wait, there is no hurry. I have lingered on this shore long enough -- in misery, in suffering, in anguish, in agony. Now all that has disappeared. I am in absolute bliss, silence and peace, and I don't see that there is anything more on the other shore. So as long as I can manage, I will be here to help people."

Gautam Buddha is certainly one of those people who can see the truth even in contradictions. He accepts both without making anybody feel lower or higher. But bodhisattvas call their path -- against the path of the arhatas -- Mahayana, "the great vehicle," the great ship. The other is just a small boat. Poor fellows, they simply go alone. And there has been a continuous conflict for twenty-five centuries after Gautam Buddha, between these two different approaches."
I don't buy this Arhata-Bodhisattva-stuff. Maybe nice reading and good for some teaching, but imo it's not different from the usual categorizing that the mind loves. City-people and country-folk. Evil people and kind people and so on. I believe that "every manifested form" has an unique expression. More awake, more genuin expression.
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
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