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 Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did

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david.



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PostSubject: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:49 am

First topic message reminder :

Mokuan asked this in a recent thread. No one answered.

It is a question I have asked a lot...

It is for me a rather important question..

What are your experiences of this?

thank you
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chisanmichaelhughes



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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:25 am

Indeed the footsteps Mark and
Now, before me, the dead trees
become alive
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Howard



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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:37 pm

David's quote!
For me sense data is just beginners zazen. Its awareness data where the fun and games start. After all the subconscious is is not found in awareness through the senses. And the expansion of awareness both inwards and outwards is not really just 'senses', it is far more than that..... and unless we are willing to go in to where we hold in our subconcious we are never going to let go of who we think we are...  are we
?

My first thought in  reading your response was  "This guy's challenging my right to be the most pompus OBCC er ever" but then calmer delusions re asserted themselves.

You had a 50/50 chance of either interpreting sense data as  pertaining to only one of the five skandha's
or
to the sense gates themselves which is eye, ear, nose, tongue, body & mind.

Your choice of interpreting it in the most limited way possible as opposed to it's wider option does not bode well for you finding the answers that you seek.
Such a mentality actually supports one of the reasons why OBC members discourage doubt as a practice.

Doubt as the means of questioning what we might otherwise take for granted, is healthy.
but...
Doubt, when it imparts it's own color onto what ever one sees, is delusional.

Personally I think the answers you seek, like just about any Dharmic answer that any of us have ever found, was always staring us straight in the face.
The real answer is always more about why we were unable to see it.
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Stan Giko



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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:48 pm

Hi again David.....

" Hi Stan! Thank you for your kind words... I'm counting on your vote.."

No problem. kind words are my preference.  glad to hear that you`re my local UKIP candidate !
consider my vote to be in the bag....

 

"when all these people who have done zazen for 20, 30, 40 years are unable to come up with one experience of their own that shows any understanding whatsoever of transcending death. am I the only one who's had loads... "

Nope.  loads of us have had non dual experiences..epiphanies, satoris etc.  Nothing unusual there at all.  many people have had loads of such experiences.  Unfortunately , that`s where it ends for most...experiences.
All experiences are temporary by definition and by nature. They do not stay.  They are worth no more than the understanding they impart.  There is no such thing as a permanent experience but, most seekers think that enlightenment will be just such a thing and pant after it....the big one that ends it all.
They are so wonderful and fulfilling in the moment that, when they happen, the mind switches off and all attention is placed on the experiential pleasure of the moment....as in any sensual peak experience. when the experience ends, knowledge or understanding is missing as the mind had been switched off.  It needs to be kept on and inquiring through the experience.
Chances are you`ll have "loads" more of such experiences Dave but, have they freed you so far ?

                                             --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" 'Do you believe the buddha could see his previous lives as a progresssion?'

Of course!!! I have experienced 52 of my own as exactly that. All the 100's i have personally witnessed in others, and the thousands now recorded were felt the same way.. clue.. and this is my real experience, not some theory in the head. "

Your `OWN` past lives ?  what makes them your own ?  Your supposed previous body didn`t make your present body and your present body can`t make your next body.  The body dies and so does the mind.  Where in any of this is anything that can be said to be your own ?
and "real experience" is no more reliable than "some theory in the head".  Experience is only what you interpret it to be.
I would say that this is pretty common knowledge.  Experience is interpreted by your conditioning/ Vasanas and becomes your own personal reality only. Your own `reality` bubble.
The whole issue revolves around the world , beings present and past,  being actually Real.  From the standpoint of Awareness as your true identity, they are seen to be a projection of Ignorance . Not Real but an appearance which seems Real.
You said that the past lives were "felt" the same way.   Again, feelings are not reliable either.  they are subjective. 

If you think past lives are real then Death has to be Real too.  If Death is real,  how can you transcend it ?  It would not be Death if you could...which is o.k but,  you can`t have it both ways.  If you do, it shows that you see yourself as the `wrong`you`.  the small limited you.  It is identity confusion...a confidence issue really as all doubts havn`t been resolved.

I`m not denying that one can have past life experiences and I have too. many people have had them.  there are people who are sensitive to this sort of thing and pick up bits and pieces of the whole story without following any spiritual path.  there are people in India who seem to have a passed down method of being able to know intimate facts about yourself that nobody else could have known.   But so what ?   It hasn`t freed them and they are usually as dumb as a potato.  However, there is no one `person` who has full knowledge of all the karmas of all things.  there is no access to that total knowledge for the individual as the individual is inert and a piece of the total...an effect of Ignorance.  An effect can never control a cause.
Knowing bits of past lives  is just a sort of tiny chicken [banned term] knowledge compared to the intelligence of the total field.

                                               --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" And when I had my opening at 23 years old, the quote of the Buddha's above is extremely similar to what I experienced. As i let go I had a 'mystical' experience and 'saw' my past lives as a tiny part of a light filament that went back eons in time, and i saw the whole filament dissolve into the uncondiotional. What i dont understand is that none of you lot seem to have experienced anything like this, cos for me for the last 30 years it hasnt gone away and it is part of the core of my life."

Well, the experience has gone away Dave...all experiences without exception do.  What has stayed, I will venture to say is, the degree of understanding that you assimilated from that experience.  that understanding is what ..stands under you and provides a foundation of your being, whether complete or not.  If not, then the understanding is still indirect.  There is you and there is the understanding seen as something separate.  The whole work, if it can be called that, is in actualising the
knowledge and living it totally as your being .  It is being able to say `I am Awareness` and knowing what that means without any doubt....to the extent that all sense of being a Doer is gone and the Vasanas/ conditioning being rendered non binding.
The proof is in the pudding.  It`s all right talking the talk as per Trungpa, but you have to be able to walk the walk....and people are not fooled for very long.

I think you`ll find that  lots of people have experienced things like this but have little or no inclination to talk about it.  It`s usually just water under the bridge after a while.

                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" why is the liberation story necessary or relevant to liberation from suffering anyway?'

I did say "reincarnation" story and not liberation story earlier on Dave.  I still don`t see how the reincarnation story impacts on liberation from suffering though.

                                                   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" For me, because if one person has escaped then so can I. We need that belief to to walk the razer's edge and finally leap off. The path into where we hold, is full of childhood and past life terror, and fierce conditioning by our parents, based on their terror."

Finally "leap off" ?   Who`s going to do the leaping ?  from what and to where ?   If you are Awareness then Reality is seen as Non Dual...a partless whole.  It`s just another enlightenment myth we get stuck with.  usually from reading too many`spiritual`  books.
Admittedly, much suffering is often initiated in childhood years and that needs dealing with but sooner or later, that `inner child` has to be left behind so as to let the `inner adult` get a look in.

                                                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------       

" My experience of the spacious awareness is that it is full of unconditional love and wisdom, as the Buddha i think said. So it is not empty at all, in fact. "

I like it our Dave...bang on the money !  I would just leave out "it is full of".  That is indirect knowledge.  perhaps saying  "is nothing but"  would be better ?

                                                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" After all, the only reason not to say what actually happened to you to open, realise, etc is because you are too scared to be found out for who you really think you are."

Two ways of looking at this.  hard to be sure what you mean..... plus, there can be many reasons for not wanting to say "what actually happened to you to open, realize etc ".  There`s no compulsion for anyone to say anything about their realizations really, is there ?  Who actually in the wider scheme of things cares one way or the other.

The false teachers/ gurus will always open their big mouths and sooner or later be seen for who they are.
That part of ourselves defined as who we `think` we are is the Ego.  It`s never going to go away because it believes it is the Doer who acts in the world so as to enjoy the result of it`s actions.  It will never do anything to endanger it`s existence.
When the Doer performs actions/karma and gets a desired result, it sees it`self as an enjoyer.  there is no joy in removing itself so, it will again, never do so. The Ego will twist anything to it`s own ends including false enlightenment, humility,mindfulness, surrender and try to co-opt it.   The rebirth story is particularly juicy for it as being reborn after death fits in perfectly with it`s chief desire.  Can you be sure that following the reincarnation `path` will not just keep you in an endless quest for endless past births ?
I don`t recall the Buddha ever saying anywhere that having a `mystical` experience was a prerequisite for Liberation.
Nor having past life experiences.
If he followed his past lives to their origin, what was his first one ?  What would have been the cause for it if there were no previous Vasanas/ conditioning ?         Most of all, what was his identity before his first life ?

As a final answer to your question I would say, for the person who has found peace, why would he/she want to talk about it particularly ?  That person would be fulness , peace and love personified.  whole and complete with no sense of lacking.  Who would that person want to talk to about his true identity when he sees all others as Non Separate from himself ?
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Stan Giko



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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:28 pm

Hey Howard.....

I like your " The real answer is always more about why we were unable to see it."

It`s the same as `the answer`s in the question`.   Clarify the question and you have your answer.
Trouble is, we live in the twilight world of Duality where nothing is ever distinct, definite or finite.
Always another question following a previous answer.
Questions,  Answers.    Chicken,  Egg....
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Howard



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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:01 pm

Hey Stan
I thought your answers were commendably compassionate.

I like your " The real answer is always more about why we were unable to see it."

It`s the same as `the answer`s in the question`.   Clarify the question and you have your answer.
Trouble is, we live in the twilight world of Duality where nothing is ever distinct, definite or finite.
Always another question following a previous answer.
Questions,  Answers.    Chicken,  Egg....


An epiphanot, an unlightening or another nonversation to snack upon.

If the question exists as the questioner and the questioner exists as that question,
who really wants the answer to show up and obliterate everything.
or...
as you are really pointing out, the question only gets resolved along with our own duality.
or
Duality/Smuality..just call a dream a dream.
or
your Questions/Answers/Chicken or Egg......always going on, always becoming.
or
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:15 pm

Hey, hey Howard.....

" An epiphanot, an unlightening or another nonversation to snack upon.


If the question exists as the questioner and the questioner exists as that question,
who really wants the answer to show up and obliterate everything. "
                
Listen up grasshopper,   The question is the Questioner but.....the Questioner is never
the Question.  The Questioner can know the Question but the Question cannot know
the Questioner.  Only the Questioner is sentient and is not dependent on the Question.
It can choose to be a questioner or not a questioner.  It is free and resolves the " IF" of
your question.

                                ----------------------------------------------------------

" or...
as you are really pointing out, the question only gets resolved along with our own duality."

Yes, because it`s a seeming Duality, a concept held in the mind, and not a Real Duality.
All appearances not withstanding of course ...............

                                ------------------------------------------------------------

" or
Duality/Smuality..just call a dream a dream."

The Truth, the whole truth and anything else that works as expounded by `She who must
be obeyed`.....the receiver of the Ironside Transmission line.
No Dream = No Duality.

                                 -------------------------------------------------------------
" or
your Questions/Answers/Chicken or Egg......always going on, always becoming."

Going on from Where to Where ?  To become What ?  Who is going.....All Duality and
Delusion.

I think you were a Rinzai practitioner in your past life Howard !  I leave you this gatha....

Cluck, Cluck, .....Plop !
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:45 pm

Howard wrote:
Personally I think the answers you seek, like just about any Dharmic answer that any of us have ever found, was always staring us straight in the face. 
The real answer is always more about why we were unable to see it.

Howard, how true, how true. All those cussed koans and ninty percent are just about what is staring us in the face. Personally I'm not a great fan of kensho's they seem all to often to lead to 'Enlightenment', with a capital 'E'. Just another form of self aggrandising magic to grasp after and delude ourselves with, and I've got enough excuses for doing that without adding any more. Life is imperfect and so are we, and of course the reverse of that coin is  just as true, life is perfect and so are we  - at least I definitely am as I keep trying to convince the wife.
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:16 am

Hi Mark,

I really liked your  "  life is perfect and so are we  - at least I definitely am as I keep trying to convince the wife."



God bless our dear wives...the `ego-O-meters` of our self esteem !    Perhaps the Buddha should
have had a wife ?  A certain image comes to mind from Monty Python....." He`s not the Buddha, he`s a very naughty boy ! "     Haha......ahem.

I`m not a great fan of kensho`s too.  I have never read where the Buddha said that a kensho was some sort of requirement or pre-requisite to Understanding.  They`re experiences after all and pass. Having passed, they can leave the experiencer panting for more, for years if not permanently and lead one far away from peace of mind.
O.k, they can also impart some understanding and inspiration but they don`t permanently `close the sale` so to speak.   They`re worth no more than the self understanding that can be gleaned from them.

As for those red sashes worn by the monks at Shasta that denote that they have had ` authenticated` kenshos......well, what can one say ?  The world is very `Status` conscious and highly invested in it due to the general feeling of inadequacy that is prevalent.   Nothing changes in the `Spiritual` world.  In fact, it`s a whole degree worse.
Millions of people have had kenshos, epiphanies, insights into their nature etc. Usually without looking for the said kenshos.  still as dumb as a loaf of bread.  At least they don`t get red sashes foisted onto them to prolong their stay in Ignorance.

There is one big fly in the ointment here though.....   Buddhism is based on the enlightenment `experience` of the Buddha.  The big one.  the permanent one...apparently.
The Buddhas experience may have workd for the Buddha but we are not him.  we`re not going to have his experience.  What was he meditating on anyway ?  according to Jiyu, his meditation was  getting him nowhere until he reverted to the "backward flowing" method that came naturally in his youth when watching a ploghman working a field.
How on earth did the `backward` flowing part get involved ?  The Buddha never mentioned it.
In fact, I don`t recall the Buddha saying that one had to do a formal sitting meditation either but, I suppose that will really go against some people`s investment in the idea of being a `meditator`.

As David said, after30 or 40 years of meditating, have most people found what they were looking
for ?   It doesn`t look like it to me.  In fact I would say that for most people, meditation is used for stress management with temporary results.  Getting over stressed ?  do a bit of sitting...wash and repeat.  the spiritual version of smoking a cigarette.  Does anything substantially change ?
In fact is the whole darn thing worth the trouble and heartache ?   I would say no but, with one proviso and that being that one doesn`t mind suffering.     Chicken and egg situation.

I hope you`re keeping well and healthy, mark.

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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:02 am

@Stan



God bless our dear wives...the `ego-O-meters` of our self esteem !    Perhaps the Buddha should
have had a wife ?


Well he did, didn't he?  Apparently he lost the benefit of her feedback though when Yashodhara joined the order of bhikkhunis :-)  We'll never know what's been edited out of the history though.  Maybe she had words with him from time to time?


I`m not a great fan of kensho`s too.  O.k, they can also impart some understanding and inspiration but they don`t permanently `close the sale` so to speak.   They`re worth no more than the self understanding that can be gleaned from them.

Kensho is a thorny matter.  It is a conundrum to attempt to talk about something that occurs in our absence, but which we somehow remember and are marked/changed by.  I used the think that the monk pointing at the moon was being clever, but maybe he was at a loss for what to say?  Wrong if you speak, wrong if you don't...

As for those red sashes worn by the monks at Shasta that denote that they have had ` authenticated` kenshos......well, what can one say ?  The world is very `Status` conscious and highly invested in it due to the general feeling of inadequacy that is prevalent. 

I expect you will remember JK talking about using greed positively.  The sashes were just another example of her motivating people by feeding their need for recognition, etc.  Did it do more or less harm than good?  In my case it did more harm.

There is one big fly in the ointment here though.....   Buddhism is based on the enlightenment `experience` of the Buddha.  The big one.  the permanent one...apparently.

Yeah, the Buddha's Enlightenment story.  After 2500 years it has become enshrined as a glorious piece of performance art.  I have no doubt it happened and also no doubt that I know virtually nothing about the Buddha as a person, so can't place his experience in the context of his life.  What matters is that story was part of what motivated me to become a seeker and so served its purpose.

Nice to see you out and about Stan sunny
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:29 pm

@ Stan & Isan & mstrathern
Nice dance.


It is amazing what a meal can be made of the spiritual crumbs snagged by the ego/ identity or selfish self

And yet, at least in my daily world, the only place I tend to hear conversations about kensho's are right here.


What is a tribe, or a Buddhist school, or a web site, without something to give it's members some specialness to delineate themselves from the other rabble?   Kenshos & past life Safaris are Us?   The truth, the whole truth and whatever maintains control?   I do wonder what a tribe that fosters no separation between self and other, might look like? Perhaps this is where a rhinoceros sutra comes to play?


I have no issue with Kensho's provided they are truly understood and represented to be as subject to the 4 NT, 8 FP & DO as anything else on the Buddhist path and are not held up as some spiritual currency.
Any patchwork of Buddhist clothing that represents anything besides functionality & renunciation, seems like an ornamentation that simply speaks more of worldly cares than spiritual ones.


I do think that the idea of using greed positively is largely unskillful. Not just because it requires an unrealistic application of consistently skillful means to keep it from eventually becoming harmful but because it also reflects a lack of understanding that the meditation practice can better address greed by simply not feeding it, rather than trying to direct it towards a healthier diet.


Some of this very thread actually displays what the consequences of that "trying to use greed positively", can look like when taken beyond the range of the skillful means needed to have it remain harmless.
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:10 am

Hey Isan,

" Nice to see you out and about Stan "

Yeah thanks Isan.  My dear wife is getting out and about after her car accident which
means less chores for me.  It seems a wife`s work is never done !   No building work
on the chapel at the moment.   caught up with all chores.  Sun`s shining...nothing on
the t.v,  I thought.... I know, i`ll see what`s happening at the good old OBCC !
I see that you`re still on patrol.  :-)


" Kensho is a thorny matter.  It is a conundrum to attempt to talk about something that occurs in our absence, but which we somehow remember and are marked/changed by.  I used the think that the monk pointing at the moon was being clever, but maybe he was at a loss for what to say?  Wrong if you speak, wrong if you don't.. "

Well, some folks definitely think it`s  "wrong if you speak" around here...I wonder why that can be ?
Not sure we`re exactly "absent" when those darn kensho`s occur...it`s not as if you can miss them
is it ?  Still, I think I know what you mean.
Maybe that monk said..."where`d it go ?  I had it a minute ago ! "
Kensho`s,  mystical experiences,..... i`d rather have a new guitar any time.  even an amplifier Ha ha....


" I expect you will remember JK talking about using greed positively.  The sashes were just another example of her motivating people by feeding their need for recognition, etc.  Did it do more or less harm than good?  In my case it did more harm. "

Yes I remember.  I remember thinking how wrong I thought that was.  Whatever next ?  using Hate
and Delusion positively ?  or Sex ?  You can`t `use` Greed.  Greed uses you.  I`m surprised that
they didn`t use various colored sashes to denote big kenshos from little kenshos. You just don`t
get this kensho sashes in any other school of Buddhism....for a very good reason.
 
I think Howard  really nailed it with  his  " because it also reflects a lack of understanding that the meditation practice can better address greed by simply not feeding it, rather than trying to direct it towards a healthier diet."



"I know virtually nothing about the Buddha as a person, so can't place his experience in the context of his life.  What matters is that story was part of what motivated me to become a seeker and so served its purpose."

I agree.   It`s changing the seeker into a finder that`s the awkward part.
Hey..... I found a great kensho song. maybe it could be used for handing out the red sashes ceremony ?
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:41 am

@Stan

My dear wife is getting out and about after her car accident which means less chores for me.  I thought.... I know, i`ll see what`s happening at the good old OBCC !I see that you`re still on patrol.  :-)


Well, I'm sorry to hear there was a car accident, but it sounds like she came through OK.  And yes, on patrol here as always...

Well, some folks definitely think it`s  "wrong if you speak" around here...I wonder why that can be ?Not sure we`re exactly "absent" when those darn kensho`s occur...it`s not as if you can miss them is it ?  Still, I think I know what you mean.Maybe that monk said..."where`d it go ?  I had it a minute ago ! "Kensho`s,  mystical experiences,..... i`d rather have a new guitar any time.  even an amplifier Ha ha....

To be clear I didn't mean wrong for speaking.  I meant wrong in the sense that no matter what is said it can only be a pointing and inevitably it creates misunderstandings.  Yet teachers speak and do their best.  And by the way, how are the new guitar and amp coming along?

 I`m surprised that they didn`t use various colored sashes to denote big kenshos from little kenshos.  I think Howard really nailed it with  his  " because it also reflects a lack of understanding that the meditation practice can better address greed by simply not feeding it, rather than trying to direct it towards a healthier diet."

Well, people weren't given different color sashes, but some did have better kenshos than others (OMG).  And as for Howard he is the Zafu Pilot.

I agree.   It`s changing the seeker into a finder that`s the awkward part.Hey..... I found a great kensho song. maybe it could be used for handing out the red sashes ceremony ?

"On A Clear Day You Can See Forever".  I like it, and appropriately its done by the Peddlers sunny


Last edited by Isan on Fri May 01, 2015 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Fri May 01, 2015 7:18 am

Hi Isan,

" To be clear I didn't mean wrong for speaking.  I meant wrong in the sense that no matter what is said it can only be a pointing and inevitably it create misunderstandings.  Yet teachers speak and do their best.  And by the way, how are the new guitar and amp coming along? "

Yeah, I know what you meant about "wrong for speaking" Isan...wasn`t referring to that.
Which new guitar ?    Ha ha...only joking but yes, the last one...for the fingerstyle stuff.  It`s actually coming along nicely considering i`ve not had time for regular practice.  Maybe yet another New guitar might make things go better ? ....ahem..
Alas, the new amp is still in it`s box.....just not had the time.  Just sooo busy when you`re happily retired !

And that song...they used it on that series `Breaking Bad`  (excellent but heavy). again, appropriate by being played by the Peddlers.  Excellent old British combo of course !

I hope you`re enjoying the Californian sunshine...unlike our weather.  I think i`ll get a ton of bottled water and emigrate...not that I think that the grass is greener on the other side Ha ha .....
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon May 11, 2015 6:14 pm

Hi Stan. I also have guitars and amplifiers..... 


'All experiences are temporary by definition and by nature. They do not stay.  They are worth no more than the understanding they impart.  There is no such thing as a permanent experience'

I want to say of course there is such a thing as a permanent experience. The buddha talked about nothing else really.

Kenshos for me aren't really experiences that pass. They are  more opening my eyes then closing them. 

When i 'opened' when I was 23, my eyes opened and never closed again. So it was very different from other kenshos, not so flash-bang. Here's the funny thing. My eyes are still closed. But open eyes me can see that.

Another thing with all this. My eyes open is really 3 things, love compassion and wisdom. Love is listening, compassion is feeling you as me, wisdom is the spacious knowing everything is perfect and fine as is here and now. 

Eyes closed me lives in fear. eyes open me is spacious and kind.


Eyes closed me doesnt trust eyes open me at all. Eyes open me knows that and understands.

Part of eyes closed me is 16 years old in a 1st world war trench the past 3-4 weeks. This 'me' is terrified of dying, terrified of the carnage everywhere, terrified by the terror in everyone around me, and totally alone, loveless and hopeless. and about to be killed in a brutally violent way.

Eyes open me listens wide open, is totally with 16 year old me in an intimate spacious way, and knows that 16 year old me in the trench is totally safe. That all is perfect as is.

16 year old me suffers. Eyes open me knows there is no suffering. And sits with the 16 year old me.


16 year old me is in total panic desperation for a way out. Eyes open me knows that it is totally ok for 16 year old me to unfold, to let go. 

Eyes open knows there is no 8 fold path. there is no 4 noble truths, no morals, no ethics, no separation, no time.

As the Buddha said, talk is cheap, and that we can experience it for ourselves. And of course we can experience it for ourselves. I have and do and will. And if I can, I can assure you anyone can...
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue May 12, 2015 11:38 am

Hi David,
I saw your post this morning before I went out and have just returned.  It`s been a long day so,
if you don`t mind, i`ll get back to you tomorrow with a reply.
It`s nice to see that you`re into the guitars and amps....you`re not alone here in that respect.
naming no names..... :-)  it proves you have great wisdom BUT, if you bought one of those fancy Apple watches,  cancel that last statement  Ha ha..  c`mon, `fess up !
Catch you tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue May 12, 2015 4:42 pm

Hi Stan. 

I cannot say how many guitars and amps I have, because my materialist alter ego needs keeping under control... suffice it to say i stroke them all daily.

And one of the most amazing results of my years of intense spiritual ebay practice has been to develop a healthy rejection complex to all things apple.

I await your words of wisdom, which will hopefully improve my guitar playing....
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue May 12, 2015 9:07 pm

David, I always love reading your posted comments because of the astonishing honesty and deep insight you convey.

My own experience in this life, and in past life memories that I have experienced, do not entail the same level of trauma that you describe.

My trauma is somewhat more subtle--yet, I would say, the same in nature.

My conclusion (to make a quantum leap to what I have concluded after some 40 years of practice as a meditator and designer):

Is that we have all inherited a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of reality, the way it works, and the requirements for achieving survival and success, which traces back a good 6,000 to 10,000 years, to the advent of empire, and its dynamic of war-for-conquest to dominate and exploit the many to profit the few.

I would propose that this dynamic and its root misunderstanding--that survival and success require an adversarial competitive struggle to "win" against others and nature itself--now permeates our cultural, social, economic, technological, and political institutions.

This fundamental, collective, unconsciously inherited, misunderstanding of the nature of reality and the way it works, when acted on, always seems to create at least partial failure--and can become deeply traumatizing.

My own past life experience is that this dynamic appears to lie at the crux of it all.

It may be that your own experience with your mother, and in the trenches of WWI, may have something to do with this.

If so, then the resolution might have something to do with your awake self, guiding your traumatized self, back into an understanding of our collectively inherited context--a context which might possibly lie at the root of the trauma that both you and your mother may have experienced.

At any rate, just a few thoughts, and with all best wishes...
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 13, 2015 5:08 pm

Hi again David,

Been out all day again and finaly back.  Had a nice cup of Redbush tea with a slice of lemon and all
is well with the world.  Curious what guitars you`ve got !  and yes, I agree with you, all things Apple are a bit of a pain in the A**.  I like the computers but, the whole culture they promote....right down to Steve Jobs` zen vibe, just turns me off.  What the hey.

As you`ve addressed your post largely to myself, I am happy to reply and, like Kozan, rather enjoy your fearless posts and am happy to reply to them.  Where else can we indulge in such strange talk ......without the danger of the men in white coats coming to take us away ?

Unfortunately, you`ve disturbed the sequence and flow of my cups of tea.  Sooo, I will reply but have now taken out my red crayon as I go through what you`ve had to say !   :-)

I said previously.... " 'All experiences are temporary by definition and by nature. They do not stay.  They are worth no more than the understanding they impart.  There is no such thing as a permanent experience"

You replied,
" I want to say of course there is such a thing as a permanent experience. The buddha talked about nothing else really.
Kenshos for me aren't really experiences that pass. They are  more opening my eyes then closing
them. "


O.k, despite the dictionary definition of experience,  your knowing that every experience has a start, abiding and an end, and the Buddha saying that everything in the world is impermanent, you are saying that there is such a thing as a permanent experience.  You go on to equate kensho as a permanent experience and say that the gist of the Buddha`s teaching concerned an experience of Enlightenment as being permanent.  Nothing to back this up ?

point 1. All experiences are dualistic because they are time and space based.  where is the experience just prior to a kensho experience ?  were you not there to see the beginning of a kensho experience ?  were you not there in the middle...knowing it was happening ?  I would suggest you were there at the end as well...otherwise, how or when could a new experience start ?
I don`t think you are going to tell me that all other experiences have stopped since a kensho experience ?  The only thing that stayed the same and didn`t disappear is you...the permanent element as Awareness of all experiences.

I would say that the only permanent part of ANY experience is the knowledge it brings...indeed if it brings any at all.  Often as not, Kenshos and any other experience just bring confusion to the experiencer if he or she cannot extract the knowledge element. 
If the knowledge of a kensho is that you are Awareness,...ordinary Awareness, whole and complete, unchangeable,non-experiencing and unborn and self experiencing then you will have gained full self knowledge and only that part is permanent.
Why, because knowledge is not time based and cannot be negated.  You can`t `un-know` something. Your self included.

I believe that you are confusing whatever your level of self knowledge is with your experience of what arose in your mind during that experience.  Full knowledge almost never occurs during an epiphany as the experience is usually sublime  (or terrifying ) and the mind nearly always trades objectivity and dispassion for blissful experience and switches off.  It`s nothing unusual in that sense.  Almost all seekers expect Enlightenment....the BIG experience, to be a permanent experience but it`s a fantasy.

It`s wishful, unexamined thinking supported often by reading too many spiritual books.  There`s not going to be an orgasm in every pore of the body nor the explosion of a thousand suns.  An experience so strong that it will be the one that ends them all.....it`s all just spiritual porno.

There is NO access to self knowledge via the senses because the senses only connect to objects and...You are not an object !  you are the subject....you know, the one that always gets forgotten when the "little me" takes centre stage ?  As the Buddha said, there is no separate self in objects.
The mind is one of the senses and that too cannot locate you...Awareness.  Awareness locates and knows the mind and not the other way around.
As all experiences occur in the mind, they cannot be permanent because the mind itself is not permanent.  Where is there a place for experience to remain permanent ?
Anyway, how can an impermanent being contain something permanent.  If there was such a thing as a permanent individual being, maybe, but alas....there is no such thing.

" When i 'opened' when I was 23, my eyes opened and never closed again. So it was very different
from other kenshos, not so flash-bang. Here's the funny thing. My eyes are still closed. But open
eyes me can see that."

Yes, they never "closed again" because that aspect was the knowledge aspect...not dependent on time nor place.
It was different from "other kenshos" because knowledge has nothing to do with "flash Bang"...that is the `Experience` element.  knowledge removes "flash Bang" to reveal Truth.... nothing flash bang about it.  Kenshos are not a pre-requisite nor a requirement.  If your mind is in a clear state, they tend to happen...or they don`t.  Nowhere does the Buddha say that one has to have kenshos.
"My eyes are still closed but open eyes me can see that."
I know what you mean but you are still seeing a separation between the two "me"s.  Only one is Real and the other is an Appearance in  `Me-Awareness`.  one more step....
Who is the seer of the two `me`s  ?

"  Another thing with all this. My eyes open is really 3 things, love compassion and wisdom. Love is
listening, compassion is feeling you as me, wisdom is the spacious knowing everything is perfect
and fine as is here and now. "

These things are true but "eyes open"...Real me/Awareness is not one or more things as such. Love, compassion and Listening are an interpretation by the small Me.  Awareness is non acting as it sees nothing as separate from itself and there is nothing to act on or with.   Love, compassion and wisdom are synonyms for Awareness.  The statement is made by the little me that knows it is non separate from the Eyes open me...Awareness.  It is not known here whether little me has total confidence of self knowledge or not.  it can talk the talk but, can it walk the walk ?   Is the knowledge fully assimilated without doubts.  If not, it will flip now and then and confuse itself with the `little me`.
Now Eyes open.....now eyes shut.  confusing self knowledge with experiences .  True freedom is freedom from experiences.

" Eyes closed me lives in fear. "   
If `eyes closed me` lives in fear, are YOU living in fear ?  Or are You the knower of "eyes closed me, living in fear" ?
Why identify with Eyes closed me ?  It has nothing to do with you.  It is just an object appearing in You...Awareness.  It is you because everything in Awareness can only be made out of Awareness BUT, You are not it !  You know `it` but it cant know you.  It is insentient and in a different order of Reality. Nothing is sentient/Aware except you.  It`s like a mother is much more than a mother.  She can be a daughter at the same time. a sister, an artist, a republican...any number of identities, none of which define who she really is.  "eyes closed me living in fear" is just a concept that wants it`s bluff calling.  Yes, I know...not easy to be fearless but you don`t have to keep repeating the exercise once it`s done.

" Eyes closed me doesn`t trust eyes open me at all. Eyes open me knows that and understands."

Well yes but, there is never a problem for `Eyes open` because it sees no other.  It is non Dual Awareness but, how does that help `Eyes shut` me?  the little me that thinks i`m limited, small, afraid and distrustful ?  Freedom is not only freedom FROM the little self by knowing you are the unlimited Self.   It is also freedom FOR the limited self so it can live happily and at peace in the `Apparent` world !
The only way to do this is to take a stand in Awareness...AS Awareness.  Every time a thought, feeling, desire, sensation etc arises that supports the little self, it has to be investigated to see if it`s true.  It never is and this checking up has to be done 24/7 whether you know that you`re limitless free Awareness or not, until ALL doubts dry up completely.  It`s work but it has to be done.
You can wake up to your true nature having done most or all of the work beforehand OR you can complete the work of Doubt removal afterwards.  There is no option for not doing the work though.

Ignorance / Delusion is hard wired and built up little by little.  it has to be removed in the same way as it is hugely intelligent and expert at fooling us.  The swinging from small me to big me and back again has to be removed, once and for all.

Every time some doubt causes a ripple...or Tsunami, in the mind, you can ask.....who is the knower of this ?  Is it Awareness...the Real me ?  is it the small fearful me ? or..is it the me that knows of the Real me ?  The knower of the Real me is the position of standing in Awareness but NOT standing AS Awareness.  It is indirect knowledge and Not Direct knowledge which is....I am Awareness.
Using these three discriminations all the time, eventually removes the confusion between Awareness as an identity and Awareness seen as an object that experiences.

Another examination could be seeing if Binding Vasanas were still in place. In other words, is your conditioning causing you to act automatically and against your better judgment.
Is there still a sense of `Doership` ongoing ?  Do you think that you are causing actions that give results initiated by you ?  This is rather than knowing that although you can initiate actions, you have virtually no control over the results of your actions ?  The totality of the whole karma field does that.
This knowledge takes all of the stress away from the `small me`...the ego, who thinks he is the Doer.
Apart from that, nothing will work if the correct lifestyle is not in place.  That is one of honesty and following a dharmic lifestyle leading to a peaceful mind.  If the mind is agitated, then meditation and other forms of training will not go beyond being a holding operation...stress management.
Nothing wrong with that but, if you`re going for freedom, it`s not enough.

" Eyes open knows there is no 8 fold path. there is no 4 noble truths, no morals, no ethics, no

separation, no time."

Well yes, as per the Diamond Sutra BUT, for who ?  This ONLY applies to the one who knows he is Pure Awareness.  Eyes Open Me.  It certainly doesn`t apply to the small me.  The Eyes open me...the true self doesn`t need this teaching as it knows all as self and cannot harm others because for it, there are no others.  All is one.

It`s a very precarious teaching as it is easy to apply to the small self which then harms others, and says "You cannot in truth be harmed....what you see as harm is due to your illusion".
The problem here of course is who is being addressed when told there are "no morals and no ethics" ?  It is always the `small me" being addressed by another "small me" who is doing the hurting and trying to deflect the blame.  It is Enlightenment sickness writ large.

I have addressed your points David by saying what directly comes to mind as I go through them.
Only you can know if you are fully doubt free as to your true nature or not....and are able to live the truth of your being. Nobody else can really know although, your actions can provide a strong pointer to you and others. same for us all of course.
Can someone who knows their true nature have doubts ?  Certainly and it doesn`t prove that they don`t know who they are.
This is because ignorance is so deep rooted, it doesn`t disappear all at once.  There is still a momentum to previously initiated karmas that have to, and will fructify.  If you bang your head on a brick wall for a long time, it doesn`t stop hurting immediately just because you stop banging it.
However, the karma that fructifies should no longer be seen as yours and if it`s not added to, it will dry up.  Until it does, it`s best to try and keep quiet about it as your friends will still see the same oddball and think nothing has changed.  As advised by previous teachers, it`s best to go sit alone for ten years until everything is fully assimilated and keep shtum. or...keep a clear calm mind and never cease from inquiry till all doubts fall out of consciousness.


" As the Buddha said, talk is cheap, and that we can experience it for ourselves. And of course we
can experience it for ourselves."

What exactly is "IT" ? and who is saying this ?  I`ll leave you to your own answer.

It`s been fun talking to you David.  As for me, it`s been a long day again...what with being retired and all.....  My dear wife wanted a shopping experience. I just like to buy stuff and go home.
Did I [banned term] ?  nah.... I knew it would pass even if `small me` didn`t like it...bless it`s pointed little head.
Don`t forget about the geetars !   :-)

















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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 14, 2015 7:01 am

I thought I would add this excerpt from the Diamond Sutra to add some context to what has just been discussed...... and the way it has been discussed.  The last paragraph in particular is the most relevant one, in this case.

Subhuti said to the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, does your (own) attainment of Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) mean that you have not gained anything whatsoever?'

The Buddha replied: 'Just so, Subhuti, just so, I have not gained even the least Dharma from Supreme enlightenment, and this is called Supreme Enlightenment. Furthermore, Subhuti, this Dharma is universal and impartial; wherefore it is called Supreme Enlightenment.

The practice of all good virtues (Dharmas), free from attachment to an ego, a personality, a being and a life, will result in the attainment of Supreme Enlightenment.

Subhuti. the so-called good virtues (Dharmas), the Tathagata says, are not good, but are (expediently) called good virtues. 'Subhuti, if (on the one hand) a man, in his practice of charity (dana) gives away the seven treasures piled up in a heap as great as all the Mounts Sumeru in the Universe put together, and (on the other hand) another man receives, holds (in mind) reads and recites even a four-line stanza of this Prajna-paramita Sutra, and expounds it to others, the merit resulting from the former's dana will not be worth one-hundredth, one-thousandth, one-ten-thousandth and one-hundred thousandth part of that obtained by the latter, as no conceivable comparison can be made between the two.

'Subhuti, what do you think? You should not say the Tathagata has this thought (in His mind): "I should liberate living beings." Subhuti, you should not think so. Why? Because there are really no living beings whom the Tathagata can liberate. If there were, the Tathagata would hold (the concept of) an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Subhuti, (when) the Tathagata speaks of an ego, there is in reality no ego, although common men think so. Subhuti, the Tathagata says common men are not, but are (expediently) called, common men.


There is only one position from which such a statement can be made from and that is one`s true identity.   RM Jiyu called it the `third` position and is the one that a teacher should stand in when teaching.  It`s a pity that for her, it was a position that is separate from her normally perceived one.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sat May 16, 2015 5:45 pm

There will now be a brief guitar interlude....

Hi Stan. After years of forum reading, ebay trawling and guitar stoking, I have:
 
a Faith electro-acoustic, 
3 1995 MIM strats all with gorgeous necks and different and very interesting pups in. I love all of them equally.
a MIJ Encore tele, 
A 1973'ish  Ibanez 2335 MIJ lawsuit 175 copy just set up, about to be put up for sale
Fender jaguar MIC
2 Ibanez blazers. Lovely MIJ guitars, underated
Yamaha AEX500
Fender squier jaguar short scale bass. Cheap and rather good, but soon to be replaced....

Amps
Vox AC30 CCH  head & cab. Hee Hee hee Hee Hee
Laney VC50 comb - has fender channel & marshall channel. Does both very well. Lovely
Laney VC30 comb. Yummy
Homemade tweed copy valve head. 
Torres 15W valve combo. Really nice

I also have 3 keyboards, a very very good baby grand piano, an old pearl export drum kit & a PA system that I use for jams.

The major comment that i have after writing this is that if I had spent the time it took getting all the above  just playing my 1st guitar, i would be one hell of a guitarist by now! I have to admit this sums up my entire life :-l

I am not quite up to gigging standard in guitar playing, but have been working at it for a couple of years and am getting there...

My piano playing is far better, and while I havent, i could slum it as a pianist with a little work.

And I absolutely LOVE playing guitar and piano. 

what you got?
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sat May 16, 2015 5:51 pm

Ps as you can see i'm totally spiritually realised, not subject to the world like ordinary people, and have transcended materialistic craving... 

I say to myself every night 'Tho I search ebay I am free of all cravings I do not press buy it now unless its a total bargain'
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 17, 2015 2:29 pm

Hi David,
I`ve seen your posts and will get back to you as soon as I can. I`ve got a big project going that`s taking up most of my time at the moment, and i`m struggling.
I`m also more guitar rich than playing skills rich due to a past life dominated by business.  All work and not enough fun type of thing until I packed that life up.
I`ll give a short run down of my gear present and past....couple of hundred guitars and approx forty amps on my return.   Used to buy them when business was good and sell when it was bad.
Surprised to see that Torres on your list.....rare exotic amp.  I sold mine to a guy in Lincs.  Is that where you got yours from ?  I know he ebayed it......
Anyway, enjoyed your post.  Keep well and i`ll catch you later.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 17, 2015 4:13 pm

Hi Friends,
I seldom peek at the forum, and generally feel I should not write, sish-disturber that I am; and won't have time to see it through if I do stir something up...
Still, I could not resist, so telegraphic style - David, what your wrote, is close to my heart - I would just add (what is obvious to everybody anyway), that the closed-eyes me and the open-eyes me is, of course, one and the same fellow. And, true, you can't lose that knowledge, once you have it, but it can get kinda obscured, if never totally lost, because you already know. And knowing what you now know - and can't un-know - kind of changes your experience of the world and everything. This is not unusual, since what we already know colours our new experiences.

Hi, Howard, my old sparring partner...What is 'seriously meditate'? I like Bill Picard's (via my good friend Michael), zazen does itself, or sg like that, don't have time to look it up. Zazen is ordinary, in my books, the most ordinary thing; and ordinary is maybe the best. Knowledge is also ordinary, because it is only discovery of what is. It does not add anything to the 'discoverer' since he can't be ever more that what he already is. So to assign all that status to kenshos and stuff, or to meditation for that matter, training, the whole sheband, is just silly, and sometimes even pernicious.

I have very little time these days, since my dearest 87-year old David has a few health issues which keep me busy; and I am trying to conquer my bad habit of staying up late, since lack of sleep, I am told, is the worst thing for diabetes 2 which I am supposed to have.

Love to everybody,
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 17, 2015 11:54 pm

@Ol'ga
Really lovely to see you bearing it all again.

Thank you for asking me what I mean by "seriously meditate", even if I had to cycle back through endless posts to find that phrase again?

I think to seriously meditate just describes a willingness to be open to whatever arises whether it challenges our sense of identity/ego/selfish self or not
as opposed to a meditation where one allows one's identity, ego or the selfish self, to moderate whatever arises to avoid any uncomfortable challenges to the status quo.

An important distinction to make for it explains how long term meditating practitioners can still behave as if they don't actually meditate.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon May 18, 2015 12:46 pm

Hey David, back again.

Confession time. As I mentioned, I did a quick think about how many guitars i`ve had and gave up at around 200. as mentioned, when business was good I bought....could spend 5k a pop at peak times.
Had loads of les pauls including vintage, firebirds...really liked those but neck heavy. SGs, 335s, L5s
and other Guild top of the line archtops, Strats...never much cared for them except for boutique versions. didn`t bother with teles nor acoustics. must have had about 7 or 8 prs`s. Tom Andersens,
Heritage electrics & archtops, patrick james Eccle archtop...best guitar I ever had, D`aquisto,
D`angelico, Hofner archtop...excellent, assorted Ibanezes including 2 G.Benson ltd edition archtops.
4 vigiers...excellent electrics plus a bunch of luthier made guitars & cheapies that I can`t recall now.

I`ve had most amps you could think of.  I never did get good use out of them because they didn`t
sound their best if not wound up and my dear wife thought my electrics were loud even if I didn`t
plug them in !  Had to have soundproofed rooms in the end.

I never really had more than an hour or two`s playing at a time as business had become a time
devouring treadmill. Too many deadlines, too much staff.  Had all the goodies in life but in the end,
it just caused misery...had to step off...which we did.  sold up everything having made a nice pile
and just went abroad and bought an old hunting lodge in a beautiful mountain area.  after 5 years,
that worked it`s magic...changed life totally and returned home when Maggi`s mum died in our care.
Also...got really bored with forever going uphill or downhill...never on level ground !   Longed for
gentle rolling hills to suit my present state of mind, & bought a Wesleyan chapel in the lincolnshire
wolds...still not quite finished the conversion. should be done by winter.

Now got an Ibanez AF151 archtop...great moderately priced guitar. took off the fancy goldware and
replaced with Ebony tailpiece & finger plate...matches the ebony `board nicely.
Also got an Eastman T184 which is a solid carved version of a 335 with slightly smaller body.  great
guitar with lovely warm woody tones...winds up well too...
Plus,..a new departure for me, a couple of nylon string guitars...I love them..the different softer
feel of the strings, warm vibrant tones.  One`s a classical and the other has a cutaway plus p/up.

One day, when the house is done, i`ll get rid of them and buy my last two specials whilst i`m still
on the `right side of the grass`. that should see me out.
Would I want that many guitars again ?  No, not really. Having that many was really down to being
really unhappy with my then lifestyle and compensating for it with possessions.  I still love them but
unless I win the lottery, i`ll never have more than a few.  I much prefer to play the buggers now !
I`ve still not taken my new amp out of the box and it must have stood there for six months or so !
I don`t feel too bad about it because my friend Isan...last I heard...still hadn`t taken his new looper
out of it`s box as well..Ha ha...   at least he`s a decent player though !

So that`s it for the geetars...don`t get me started on cars  Lol.....

Catch you later.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon May 18, 2015 4:20 pm

It's silly that I'm writing on two threads, since I have only one thing to say, really.

Howard, you really warmed my heart with your welcome, and thank you for clarifying your term ' seriously meditate'. It makes sense to me. I'd just like to add, perhaps quite unnecessarily, - well, love yourself, brother...I am not saying this because I think you don't and should...not for me to say such things. It's just that the world is so full of self-dissatisfaction, even self-hate, and, I find, going after the 'ego' is so very much barking up the wrong tree.
You can even love that ego, too, as it is basically only a product of a misunderstanding, or, its 'mother', ignorance; and ignorance is normal, inevitable, - until it goes. And, as we all know, even when it does go, it leaves behind its offspring, the ego, for a good long while....I find, the ego is such a funny little guy, really.

I hope I don't sound as though I fancy myself to be some kind of a teacher, because I am not one, having no qualifications for it whatsoever. I am just thinking aloud.

Kozan, I have to re-read your post, so I can be fair in my comments (which are itching to see the light of the day), but, if I may, I'll just respond to your

Is that we have all inherited a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of reality, the way it works, and the requirements for achieving survival and success, which traces back a good 6,000 to 10,000 years, to the advent of empire, and its dynamic of war-for-conquest to dominate and exploit the many to profit the few.

Well, I'd just say that ignorance is beginingless.

Have to run.

Love, O.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue May 19, 2015 9:50 am

Stan Giko wrote:

Confession time. As I mentioned, I did a quick think about how many guitars i`ve had and gave up at around 200. as mentioned, when business was good I bought....could spend 5k a pop at peak times.
Had loads of les pauls including vintage, firebirds...really liked those but neck heavy. SGs, 335s, L5s
and other Guild top of the line archtops, Strats...never much cared for them except for boutique versions. didn`t bother with teles nor acoustics. must have had about 7 or 8 prs`s. Tom Andersens,
Heritage electrics & archtops, patrick james Eccle archtop...best guitar I ever had, D`aquisto,
D`angelico, Hofner archtop...excellent, assorted Ibanezes including 2 G.Benson ltd edition archtops.
4 vigiers...excellent electrics plus a bunch of luthier made guitars & cheapies that I can`t recall now.

I`ve had most amps you could think of.  I never did get good use out of them because they didn`t
sound their best if not wound up and my dear wife thought my electrics were loud even if I didn`t
plug them in !  Had to have soundproofed rooms in the end.

I`ve still not taken my new amp out of the box and it must have stood there for six months or so !
I don`t feel too bad about it because my friend Isan...last I heard...still hadn`t taken his new looper
out of it`s box as well..Ha ha...   at least he`s a decent player though !


Hey Stan, this is the first time I've heard the full rundown of your former guitar collection.  Man, you were serious :-)  I have a whopping total of three electrics and one acoustic.  That's partly due to space constraints, but also to not wanting my wife to declare me bonkers LOL (she was starting to wonder out loud when the third Axe arrived).  As for my looper pedal I'll have you know that I have taken it out of box - more than once - it's just that after fiddling with it for a bit I put it back in the box!  It's too dang complicated.  I also have this thing about playing all of the guitars - you know so I'm not accused of favoritism - so having more than three would start to seem like a chore. 

@Olga, nice to see your bear personage again :-)  Yes, love thyself.  Self-hate abounds in the world and it is perhaps the real root of evil.  After 65 years I feel like I'm finally cutting the ego some slack and I find myself being to kinder to everyone else as well.  I like what you said about assigning status to kenshos, etc, as just silly, and sometimes even pernicious.  That was certainly the problem at Shasta Abbey and why I had to toss the whole pretentious enterprise.  Can anyone come to appreciate their ordinariness in such a theatrical environment?

I'm finishing a reread of Siddhartha at the moment.  I read it first as a teenager and it's been a pleasure to revisit it after so many years.  I feel that Hesse expressed the journey as well as words can.  Well worth the read, and it's free :-)


Last edited by Isan on Wed May 20, 2015 8:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 20, 2015 1:55 am

Isan,
I was so happy to read your

@Olga, nice to see your bear personage again :-)  Yes, love thyself.  Self-hate abounds in the world and it is perhaps the real root of evil.  After 65 years I feel like I'm finally cutting the ego a break and I find myself being to kinder to everyone else as well.  I like what you said about assigning status to kenshos, etc, as just silly, and sometimes even pernicious.  That was certainly the problem at Shasta Abbey and why I had to toss the whole pretentious enterprise.  Can anyone come to appreciate their ordinariness in such a theatrical environment?


It's awfully late, and I got the summons...But later I'd like to say a few words about the whole thing, the ego bit, and yes, the pretentiousness of it all. What a fitting description!
Love, O (still, the same bear if a human disguise)
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 20, 2015 8:38 am

Stan, your guitar journey has been immense! You have owned some beautiful guitars. And to not be able to wind an amp up is serious hungry ghost syndrome! I am not a les paul man, but other than that, wow! 

I have owned 5 335's of various brands including a baeutiful japanese Tokai, and a beautiful 1970's japan Yamaha 339 copy. I have owned 5 archtops, of which my favorite by far was a Hofner Vice President. The neck was too thick for me but i still kept it for a few years... The Ibanez I am selling is also a beautiful guitar.

I have also owned another 30-40 guitars I guess. I've tended to trawl along the lower price point guitars looking for hidden gems..

Hi Isan. Good to see that the guitar playing meditating community is at least 3!
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 20, 2015 8:59 am

Hi Kozan. Thank you for your response to me. 

I think you have said before your thoughts on historical causes of human behaviour and suffering. On one level they may seem a bit too generalised and distant past to relate to 'my' personal suffering, but I am inclined to agree that it feels like there is a stream of human "collective unconscious" that seems to have been doing the same things through civilisation. Survival and winning.... and today it is still a basis for society and relationships.


"If so, then the resolution might have something to do with your awake self, guiding your traumatized self, back into an understanding of our collectively inherited context--a context which might possibly lie at the root of the trauma that both you and your mother may have experienced."

That is in essence what I find myself doing. While at the same time allowing the root cause of the 'personal experience' stream into awareness and allowed/loved. The personal and the collective.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 20, 2015 9:01 am

Hi Stan. Thank you for all you have written in reply to me. It is much appreciated. I have not yet had a chance to read it all enough & let it sink in. I shall reply when time allows... writing about guitars is far easier....
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 20, 2015 10:59 am

Hi David, i`d like to continue this discussion if I may.....

Ooops, i`ve just seen your new post having formulated the one below for you.  you said just now, .......

"Thank you for all you have written in reply to me. It is much appreciated. I have not yet had a chance to read it all enough & let it sink in. I shall reply when time allows... writing about guitars is far easier...."

Yes it is, and i`ll not complicate things by writing long posts in reply to you.....for a bit, anyway !  Next one will have to be about guitars.  :-)




" Hi all. Strangely I agree with everything said...
This thing of it being awareness is so simple, and a perfect explanation of it. I would add one extra word.. Spacious. It is in spacious awareness that the miracle of life lies."


Yes, it`s very simple but it is extraordinarily difficult to Accept !  why, because of a lifetime or indeed lifetimes of living in Ignorance of our true nature.  This has become so hard wired and deep rooted that we have come to believe that ignorance is actually knowledge and act from that standpoint..

You rightly say that you are Awareness but, what is your definition of Awareness ?
How many Awarenesses are there ?  Surely Awareness is simply that by which you know what you know ?  Awareness has no Attributes....no form, feelings, thoughts or sense perceptions.
It is simply the Seer or knower of all of those.  including spaciousness which is purely a Dualistic term...a concept in fact.

 

" The funny thing is how complicated some people make it.
I guess the complicated bit that i tend to focus on is the layers of subconscious holding and
conditioning that keep me from it."

Ha ha... no offence but I reckon you do...on and off....
Does Awareness keep it`self from it`self by focusing on conditioning ?
No....wrong self.




"When I let go of ego/somebody/subconscious me as who I am, and find myself floating in/as
spacious awareness itself it feels like this.."

Who is this "I" you refer to ?  You imply that it is Awareness/You BUT...then `find yourself floating in/as Spacious Awareness.  Again, how many Awarenesses are there ?
This is the language of Action and not Identity.   Awareness doesn`t `let go`, find it`self or have feelings. It is completely free of them all.  Reality being Non-Dual, there is no `Other`.




" Like I'm home, like I've found the place I've always been searching for
I am loved, totally and unconditionally, better than the best hug ever
That all is perfect as is, a wonderful alive relaxedness
That in this awareness all the deepest questions I had are answered
All my fear is no more
That if my body was to die now in any way it all it would be quite perfect
A relaxed intensity of being totally connected to my senses. Everything i see shimmers, everything I hear is an exquisite explosion as beautiful as the most beautiful music, physical sensations are totataly connected.
The same as taking LSD. I habitually am in 1-tab land, and in sitting and doing movement practice "


Well, I guarantee you one thing, if you take LSD long enough, you will receive your appointment with the mother of all `bad trips`sooner or later.  Every up has it`s down and vice versa.
All the above mentioned is experiential.  Awareness doesn`t feel like it`s taking `trips` nor does it have a body nor have perceptions.  All of that belongs to the mind and admittedly, the difference between mind and Awareness is very subtle and very prone to confusion between the two.  THAT...is the crux of the problem !




" When someone I am with opens their heart to me I feel it intensely. When someone cries I am with them intimately and spaciously all at once.
It allows me to feel energy, and the flow of energy between people in the most connected and intimate way.
Its where the love is. In fact its the only place where the love is."


And everywhere else, is where Love is not ?                    Awareness and Love are the same thing....experientialy, Awareness is love because it is sentient, self knowing.  It also sees no other than itself as Awareness.  Reality is Non-Dual.  Love is everywhere because there is no other place in Reality.  Where are you not , as You/ Awareness ?  What is separate from you ?





" The feeling of Suffering is now felt and realised as just emotions, fear, grief, loneliness, hurt,
unloved. And emotions are felt as as absolutely OK and absolutely safe. Part of the perfection of the here and now.
A feeling of inherent wisdom of the ages
A feeling of timelessness, a kind of transcendence of time.
A constant smile. At the utterly perfect sillyness of it all. Ram dass calls it the cosmic giggle.
Totally ordinary. This seems to contradict all the above, but it doesn't :-)"


Yes, this is knowledge.  The knower standing `IN` Awareness.


"These are some of how it feels to me.
So my big issue with myself is if it is so wonderful, amazing, exquisite...
Why do I spend so much time every day trying to be somewhere else!!!!
I blame my parents


This is because of the knower standing IN Awareness but, not AS Awareness.  There`s a big difference. Now you`ve got it and whoops, now you`ve lost it although you know IT exists.  It`s the flipping from Direct knowledge ( I am whole, complete, actionless , Non Dual, self illuminating, ORDINARY Awareness )  to  Indirect Knowledge.... ` I am the limited, incomplete Experiencer that knows Awareness exists.

It is a perfectly normal and `good` state because the mind has to have doubts as to what is Real and what is Unreal...though it doesn`t necessarily feel that `good` !  The mind resolves all doubts by flipping between the Real and Unreal and comparing them via inquiry into them.
Contrary to some teachings Doubt ( pending the outcome of inquiry ), is absolutely essential even though doubts disturb the mind.  It would seem perverse that the mind would want to hang on to doubts but it does...it needs to understand them so they can be resolved.  It`s like keeping your friends close BUT you`re enemies closer still.  Without the disturbing aspect of doubt, it would never be removed because who wants to be disturbed and limited ?



We all have to do the `work` until all doubts about our true nature are 100% negated.
Whenever there is a doubt/disturbance...who is having this doubt ?  there are three options only.
Is it Awareness ?  ( Never).  Is it the perceived individual/ego we think we are ?  or is it the individual who knows Awareness ?  This constant practice eventually pretty much kills all doubts once and for all.  Obviously various Teachers and Teachings can be immensely useful ...or not, depending on who or what you bump into.

Much of what you have described could be called `Liberation`.  Liberation however, is not Absolute Knowledge.  why, because liberation is for the `apparent` individual who lives in the `apparent` world.   There is no liberation for for Awareness/You because you were never not liberated.
Just knowing that `I am non-dual, actionless, whole and complete Awareness will not TOTALLY solve the problem on it`s own.     Without knowledge of what the `Apparent` world is as well, one will not have total (doubt free ) knowledge.  It is knowledge of the `Apparent Reality as well as `Absolute Reality`that is needed.

It`s the knowledge of Self and Other AND how they relate to each other.  ( the knowledge that there is no other...non duality..  and how it relates to the fact that there is nothing other than Awareness. )

This is why the average current western teachings don`t produce `enlightenment`.  They produce Experiences.





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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 20, 2015 2:40 pm

Oops, I just whiped out a chunk of my message. Silly daffer.

Stan, good stuff.

Some of my reflections - on my favourite 'topic'.

By the way, the photo is a few years old. I've grown quite some jowls lately. I am cute - that's true! And good for you that you see it, so enjoy, ha ha ha. But don't be deceived. I always keep my rolling pin handy. "Zen of rolling pin wielding", you know that one, no?

Now on to my favourite topic (FV). I'll use some - very few - Vedanta terms, because they are handy. If I start proselytizing, get out your rolling pin.

My FV, then, has to do with this. There is a term satyam, known to many of you. It means the real, Truth - and truth (both - nice). And then there is mithya - that which has no reality of its own - it depends on something else for its reality. It also tends to come and go. It is frequently MIStranslated as 'the unreal', 'illusory'. (You may have heard - The world is unreal; time is unreal', etc.) This causes endless problems.

Mithya is the world; your body and mind; your parents; dharma, sangha, precepts; nazism; kensho; all experiences, sacred and profane; understanding and ignorance; Buddhism, Vedanta; time; enfin, the whole shebang.

If awareness is satyam, then mind, obviously, is mithya. Thoughts come and go. So does memory. It depends on awarness for its reality. But what's the distinction between the two? Stan says it's subtle. Is it?

Words are tricky. But that's all we have. I don't think that in this endeavour, experience teaches much. I mean the 'sacred' one. It may give one a hint. But we have hints all over the place. We all have beautiful experiences of beauty, love, spaciousness, freedom, unspeakable gratitude...or a glass of water when you are terribly thirsty. There is liberation, - all the limitations, and irks and pain, all fears, are just not there. There is only you, free, full, whole.

And you want to go back to that place. That makes you a samsari - what we all are; thirsting and hunting for that wholeness...or spaciousness.

I don't want to knock the 'sacred' experience. It's beautiful, and, well, sacred to us. Thank God for it. But it's useful to see it for what it is - a glimpse of ourselves, whole and beautiful. And we conclude that that 'beautiful us' depend on something particular...becoming a monk; training; sincerity, purity; or just a glass of good English (or Slovak) beer.

I say that setting up hierarchies of these experiences of freedom is misleading. It is a pain in the neck. It throws you right back to samsara, right where you were already. It may be a detour. There is no danger, of course, because you are the great one, anyway. But why run around in circles, and ultimately maybe be miserable, thirsty - maybe even more thirsty than we were before, because now the standard is so much higher.

Now for my fave topic - in the next post, if I may.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 20, 2015 4:06 pm

Alright, then.
There is a standard simile in Vedanta. It's my favourite one - I sometimes bristle at similes, being a devotee of logic. Similes, obviously, hold true only so far.
But this one I like. The wave is nothing but water. Water is in and through the wave. And the wave can't ever be away from the water.

Where there is mithya there is satyam. Truth is in and through samsara. It's in and through my mind.  

Where there is the wave (of the simile - water wave) - there is water. You touch the wave, you touch water. Do you need to smooth out the wave, eradicate it, so that it becomes water? Does it have to do anything to become water? The water is wet, it's its nature. The wave is wet, the wave is nothing but water. Nice.

Going back to my previous post - the sketchy list of things mithya. There is one fellow that belongs on that list. 
MR EGO!  
HIM!!  The scandalous one, the single impediment to freedom, to enlightenment, the one who must be subdued.
(Sometimes they call him the small-letter-self, too, or the selfish-self.)

But he is mithya. He can't do anything TO satyam. Satyam is in and through him (alright, HER, if you insist). And YOU are satyam. You are the truth, and there ain't nottin you can do about it.

This is my favourite topic. You are awareness.
And you are the little guy. The silly, frightened, pathetic, puffed-up guy, carrying your beat-up psychology around, like Sisyphos his stone.

I have my baggage. It's surely obvious in my posts. And so? I doubt one can ever fully outgrow it. My guess is that most of it will be still there the day we pack it in. My approach is - learn to love it. Be compassionate. To yourself. To you, the small guy that you are, in your perception, so long as this is so.

If I am Awareness, I am also love. I know me, I love me.
If I am Awareness, but don't know that fact, and think I am this little person, I still love me! You know? In fact everybody does. If we hate ourselves, it's only because we think something in ourselves stands in our way; that something makes the love of ourselves illegitimate, guilty, even despicable. This is what we get taught, all over the place. Remember Roshi's admonition, Don't be complacent!? It was never explained what complacency is. So one (meaning, 'me') supplied the meaning, and any time I felt OK about myself, out came the whip. Bad, bad, stop it now! (Until I saw through the pernicious fallacy of it, and started accepting myself, and started recognizing my love for myself, and slowly started to have the courage, in the beginning, to see it is in fact legit...)

[I know that Roshi also talked about the sense of inadequacy - how it is mistaken. She used to say "Body has its rights" (but it was still dirty, and, remember? "Sex is a dirty necessity"). Poor Roshi. Poor all those desciples of hers. I still think, though, that Roshi did not invent the whip. She was just good at wielding it. A pity.]

As for the 'ego'. It/he/she is such an inventive fellow. You have to hand it to him, maybe even admire him for it. It's a tremendous skill the ego displays every minute. So he is a product of ignorance....he is EQUALLY a product of that LEGITIMATE love of oneself.

This is my favourite topic.
I love little kids. You tell them -  'you are so fast on that bike; you look so lovely in that hat.' And they blossom. Kids are to be loved. You are to be loved. And the ego, who is me (!), (while I think that she is all me, and I am nothing but her, not knowing I am in fact big), that ego/me who must fence, and even cheat at times, the swollen little guy, ego, is to be loved also. Condemning it is a mistake; I think, a bad mistake. It is only because we at times, unwittingly, suspend this condemnation, that in that little moment the truth sneaks in. Thank God for that little chink in the armour, that chink in the walls that the condemnation forms around us. One of the gifts, I was taught, that we were given (together with the air we breath, memory, etc., all of it), is forgetting, 'apohanam', ability to forget, to suspend our error, to suspend for a while our self-condemnation. For a bit, and then we take up our burden again.

I gotta go, which is a dmn good thing!
I get so enthusiastic, can't help it. All is well with the world.
Take care.
O
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 21, 2015 2:49 am

Hey Isan,

" I have a whopping total of three electrics and one acoustic.  That's partly due to space constraints, but also to not wanting my wife to declare me bonkers LOL (she was starting to wonder out loud when the third Axe arrived) "


At this point, I usually ask my wife how many pairs of shoe`s she`s got.  Usually does the trick despite backchat such as `you always change the subject` etc     doesn`t faze me....



"As for my looper pedal I'll have you know that I have taken it out of box - more than once - it's just that after fiddling with it for a bit I put it back in the box!  It's too dang complicated."


o.k....you`ve taken it out of the box twice.   should have gone for the BOSS version man !


" I also have this thing about playing all of the guitars - you know so I'm not accused of favoritism - so having more than three would start to seem like a chore. "


Ha ha ... yeah, let me know if that one works for you bro`.  breath holding not  ;-)
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 21, 2015 1:50 pm

Hi Olga,

"Some of my reflections - on my favourite 'topic'."

Some thoughts on your reflections Ist post if I may....


"By the way, the photo is a few years old. I've grown quite some jowls lately. I am cute - that's true! And good for you that you see it, so enjoy, ha ha ha. But don't be deceived. I always keep my rolling pin handy. "Zen of rolling pin wielding", you know that one, no?"

Er, no.  I`ll ask my wife...maybe she knows.  No conferring, mind !


"Now on to my favourite topic (FV). I'll use some - very few - Vedanta terms, because they are handy. If I start proselytizing, get out your rolling pin.
My FV, then, has to do with this. There is a term satyam, known to many of you. It means the real, Truth - and truth (both - nice). And then there is mithya - that which has no reality of its own - it depends on something else for its reality. It also tends to come and go. It is frequently MIStranslated as 'the unreal', 'illusory'. (You may have heard - The world is unreal; time is unreal', etc.) This causes endless problems."

It might help to highlight a few terms here as there is a difference between `it exists` and `it is real`.
The two are not the same.
Only something that never changes can said to be Real. You wouldn`t want your wages to turn into something else or it would be just mickey mouse money.  The real can be depended on always to never change.  ie The Truth is always the Truth. You/Awareness are always you/Awareness. You are never `not here`.
Everything that changes is not Real by that definition as it is impermanent BUT it can be said to exist.
You cannot experience something that doesn`t exist.  So there is the Real and the `Apparently` Real.


" Mithya is the world; your body and mind; your parents; dharma, sangha, precepts; nazism; kensho; all experiences, sacred and profane; understanding and ignorance; Buddhism, Vedanta; time; enfin, the whole shebang.
If awareness is satyam, then mind, obviously, is mithya. Thoughts come and go. So does memory. It depends on awarness for its reality. But what's the distinction between the two? Stan says it's subtle. Is it? "


To be clear, the Real and Not Real are as distinct as night and day. Everything happens in the mind but mind is known to Awareness.  The distinction between mind and Awareness can be said to be subtle for the limited individual who has the dull mind of the samsari.
To compound this, when the mind is clear....it is never totally clear...it reflects Awareness clearly.
To distinguish between Awareness and it`s clear reflection in the mind is an even more subtle
distinction. The work of discrimination progresses through ever finer `Apparent veils` until Awareness stands alone.....not that it ever didn`t,  it`s just that ignorance is being removed as a progression starting with the coarse and going through ever finer `Apparent` obstructions.


"Words are tricky. But that's all we have. I don't think that in this endeavour, experience teaches much. I mean the 'sacred' one. It may give one a hint. But we have hints all over the place. We all have beautiful experiences of beauty, love, spaciousness, freedom, unspeakable gratitude...or a glass of water when you are terribly thirsty. There is liberation, - all the limitations, and irks and pain, all fears, are just not there. There is only you, free, full, whole.
And you want to go back to that place. That makes you a samsari - what we all are; thirsting and hunting for that wholeness...or spaciousness."


Thirsting, Craving, Desire......the standpoint of  I am lacking, needing. I am limited, not Full and
Complete.  I am small and need things to complete me.   Pure Ignorance in action !



"I don't want to knock the 'sacred' experience. It's beautiful, and, well, sacred to us. Thank God for it. But it's useful to see it for what it is - a glimpse of ourselves, whole and beautiful. And we conclude that that 'beautiful us' depend on something particular...becoming a monk; training; sincerity, purity; or just a glass of good English (or Slovak) beer."


Yes, it is beautiful and can be inspiring but it is only a reflection in a pure mind.  We can`t `really` get a "glimpse of ourselves" to be strictly true.  Why, because we are the glimpser.  Awareness can never be seen because it is the Seer...the subject, and never an object.  The irony for the small self is that it thinks it has awoken BUT, it has only awoken to another dream.  The whole thing has been an Experience but the Experiencer remains unknown.  The Ego has survived the Epiphany and is now getting busy owning it.  bummer.....



"I say that setting up hierarchies of these experiences of freedom is misleading. It is a pain in the neck. It throws you right back to samsara, right where you were already. It may be a detour. There is no danger, of course, because you are the great one, anyway. But why run around in circles, and ultimately maybe be miserable, thirsty - maybe even more thirsty than we were before, because now the standard is so much higher."



Amen to that Ol`ga !   The only point I would like to make here is that " There is no danger, of course, because you are the great one, anyway. "  is a teaching that has to be used with great care.
Sure, You/Awareness can never be hurt but the buggers that do the hurting, never aim at the "Great One", do they ?  they always aim it at the little One that knows darn well it can get hurt.
" Oh, if you`re hurt, that`s just your Ego that`s hurt....I havn`t got one !  Yeah right....getting an Ego bashing from one who`s never had their own Ego properly bashed out of existence !   We`ve all seen it.  It`s so funny, I nearly laughed....

I`ll join you on your second post later if I may..... chow time.







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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 21, 2015 5:12 pm

Dear Stan,
I'm doing quite the wrong thing responding, because I have to go...not to Glasgow, but about my duties. But please, pretty please, may I just say a few things?

The thing is this. If there is Awareness, if there is such a thing as a small self, then, to quote my Latvian colleague, "Vot about me?"
I hear this from many quarters - even from some Vedantins, who really should know better. 
I heard someone say that 'the mind usurps the status (or some such word) of the Real Self; or the small self does similar mischief.

I am clearly the subject. This is obvious, and I don't see how that could be denied. And then there is the world, including my mind (which has parts, and is in time). If I am, indeed Awareness, then how can I be mistaken? Iow, is Awareness the locus of ignorance? Oh, some say, the small self, or the mind, is the locus of ignorance. But the small self is the product of ignorance!

And, still, vot about me? Which am I, the A or the small self?
Well, you have to bring in the maya, the weird one.

The small self is but a notion. It is not the knower, the subject. (It is 'jada', insentient, ultimately).

Somehow, strangely, I, Awareness (which I must be, otherwise I'll forever be bound), take myself for a little, limited, hungry, frightened me. I AM, that cannot be disputed. But what is my nature - THAT is the crux of it.

There is Awareness (since we settled on that term), and there is, as though, the rest of it. And there, as though, error resulting from the as though ignorance.

Now, I have heard about A being 'mirrored' in the mind, which must be pure. I have difficulty with that. How can A be mirrored? And how does mind differ from a stone? (oh, Vedantins talk about suksma sarira, the subtle body, etc, but I don't find it useful).

So how do I fix the conundrums, (based, largely, or maybe essentially, on what I was shown)?

I am A, because if weren't, I could not be a knower - and hence would not have any problem anyway.
And I am the little guy, the ego, the small self.
I don't know if the mind must be pure to reflect A. It is not away from the A (A is the one with no other). Awareness is always there and never sleeps. You are it (otherwise you'd have to BECOME it, to solve your problem...and then you could un-become it).

Now, to see clearly that you are the Awareness itself, where do you come to know it? Well, in the mind, where else. I can't see it in my elbow. (I don't buy 'beyond the mind'). And the mind has to have certain qualification to see it - maybe background, maybe someone to show you, and maybe certain relaxedness, certain freedom, to see it. Maybe certain lack, at least relative lack, of self-condemnation, so you acknowledge that you wonderful, you are it. Maybe you need certain luck, or good karma, if there is such a thing.

I have to run!
O
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 21, 2015 6:18 pm

Hi again Olga , thinking along with you some more.....
and uh oh, I see you`ve just posted again.  anyway, here we go. I`m not trying to argue with you
by the way...

"The wave is nothing but water. Water is in and through the wave. And the wave can't ever be away from the water.
Where there is mithya there is satyam. Truth is in and through samsara. It's in and through my mind. 
Where there is the wave (of the simile - water wave) - there is water. You touch the wave, you touch water. Do you need to smooth out the wave, eradicate it, so that it becomes water? Does it have to do anything to become water? The water is wet, it's its nature. The wave is wet, the wave is nothing but water. Nice."


Yes, I like that one too. it`s been around for quite a while now and most people in the `spiritual
game` have heard it.  Most people think it shows the relationship of the ocean to the wave.
ie.. The wave is the ocean and the ocean is the wave.....All is one, as the wave is never apart from
the ocean.
The limitation with that analogy is that the ocean does not need a wave for it`s existence.  There
can be the ocean without waves.....Sattya.     Or with.   It is The Real. That which does not change.
So the waves are Mithya..... The Apparent reality.  That which changes.
So, what is the connection ?  as you said, both Ocean and wave are only water at their essence.
One sip will tell you that it is water....you don`t have to drink the seven seas.
The relationship between the ocean and wave / Sattya and Mithya/ The Real and the Apparent
is that they are non separate/ Non Dual.  The water is the essence of ocean and wave as Awareness is the same essence for what is Real and what is apparent.  There is nothing other than
Awareness.  just agreeing and expanding on what you were saying....




" Going back to my previous post - the sketchy list of things mithya. There is one fellow that belongs on that list.    MR EGO!     HIM!!      The scandalous one, the single impediment to freedom, to enlightenment, the one who must be subdued.
(Sometimes they call him the small-letter-self, too, or the selfish-self.)
But he is mithya. He can't do anything TO satyam. Satyam is in and through him (alright, HER, if you insist). And YOU are satyam. You are the truth, and there ain't nottin you can do about it."


Not really clear on why you say the Ego is the " single impediment to freedom, to enlightenment, the one who must be subdued." having said that the Ego is only The Apparent Reality ?

The ego, one’s sense of being an apparent individual person, is not actually the problem. Suffering only ensues from the circumstances of one’s life when one believes that the apparent person is both real and one’s true identity. When you understand that you are whole, complete, perfect, pure, limitless, attributeless awareness and that as such no apparent object or experience can enhance, diminish or otherwise affect your essential nature in any way or to any degree whatsoever, then you are free.  It`s Sattya and Mithya again...the Real and the Apparently Real.

Through the instrument of the mind-body-sense mechanism that constitutes the apparent individual person one seems to be, one will still encounter the ups and downs that characterize the drama of life within the context of the apparent dualistic reality. However, while the EXPERIENCE of pain and pleasure persists, suffering ceases once and for all.
One’s association with the mind-body-sense complex therefore don`t need and, for that matter should not, be eradicated – self-realization, after all, does not equate with dissociative identity disorder or death – but one’s identification with it should be negated through the assimilation of self-knowledge.
If the Ego is known, it is an object in Awareness and not you....hence freedom FROM the Individual
as well as freedom FOR the Individual.


" This is my favourite topic. You are awareness.
And you are the little guy. The silly, frightened, pathetic, puffed-up guy, carrying your beat-up psychology around, like Sisyphos his stone."


I know what you mean but, I think your language is not strictly accurate about one point.
"You are the little guy".  Not really, it`s the other way round.  I would say rather...`The little guy is you but, you are not the little guy.  He is an object in Awareness but you/Awareness are not an object for him. He is completelly insentient.  He can`t know you.  You are more than him and can stand alone (As Awareness) without him.  He is in a different order of Reality....an object.  Sattya and Mithya again.
" you are not he, he is all of you. "  ....... most excellent mirror samadhi.
If you were the little guy, you really would be in the object and there would be no way out of the
predicament.  maybe you were tired because you didn`t say this below...
 


" I know that Roshi also talked about the sense of inadequacy - how it is mistaken. She used to say "Body has its rights" (but it was still dirty, and, remember? "Sex is a dirty necessity"). Poor Roshi. Poor all those desciples of hers. I still think, though, that Roshi did not invent the whip. She was just good at wielding it. A pity."


The body`s just a meat tube and has no rights BUT deserves our full gratitude and appreciation as
it is the vehicle by which the individual lives in the apparent world...and what a beautiful `Apparent`
world it is.  This life is so beautiful and beguiling....nobody wants to leave it.  can we not see it,
touch it, feel it ?  It must be Real....surely ?      Beautiful, Intelligent Ignorance !
Yes, poor Roshi...."sex is a dirty necessity".  Who is saying this ?  certainly not the self/ Awareness !
Virtue and guilt are incestuous bedfellows...can`t have one without the other.  you can only seek
virtue if you think you are unvirtuous, unworthy and small.  I recall her saying that you can learn all
there is to sex by watching dogs do it in the street.  what can you say ?  didn`t she know that there`s nothing that you can`t do lovingly ?  it really is sad.
I agree with you Ol`ga.  Roshi didn`t invent the whip.  she herself got whipped and passed on that
particular line of Ignorance believing it to be something Real.  She got the worst whipping of all and
I believe it led to her demise in the end.


"This is my favourite topic.
I love little kids. You tell them -  'you are so fast on that bike; you look so lovely in that hat.' And they blossom. Kids are to be loved. You are to be loved. And the ego, who is me !,  ( hooray, Right way
round after all ! )      (while I think that she is all me, and I am nothing but her, not knowing I am in fact big), that ego/me who must fence, and even cheat at times, the swollen little guy, ego, is to be loved also. Condemning it is a mistake; I think, a bad mistake. It is only because we at times, unwittingly, suspend this condemnation, that in that little moment the truth sneaks in."

Ignorance only covers a tiny spec of Awareness, not all of it.  It`s like a tiny stone in your shoe....
..sooner or later you`ve got to get it out !

"Thank God for that little chink in the armour, that chink in the walls that the condemnation forms around us. One of the gifts, I was taught, that we were given (together with the air we breath, memory, etc., all of it), is forgetting, 'apohanam', ability to forget, to suspend our error, to suspend for a while our self-condemnation. For a bit, and then we take up our burden again."

Ha ha..the belief that we are bound.  Pure Ignorance in action...again.  It`s so deep rooted !

I gotta go, which is a dmn good thing!
I get so enthusiastic, can't help it. All is well with the world.

Love of Truth...can`t beat it !   Don`t study too much late at night dear Ol`ga or you`ll get that odd feeling when you go to sleep...... like someone`s left the lights on.  Too much clarity.... Sattva,
Ha ha ....good night.  :-)
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 21, 2015 10:03 pm

Dahlink Stan,
You  say:
Not really clear on why you say the Ego is the " single impediment to freedom, to enlightenment, the one who must be subdued." having said that the Ego is only The Apparent Reality,

I'm sorry, I should've put it in quotes, showing that that ego is believed to be the impediment (you can find it here, on the forum, too), but not by me, not by me, never! I don't even use the term EGO if I can help it, since it is such a loaded term, and it means different things in different contexts.
The individuality remains, even when one knows what's what. But whether one knows, or not, The Fact is the same. Oh man! That's the beauty of it.

It's so blinking difficult to communicate this way - one can't show the tone, the grin, the tongue in cheek. I don't even like the telephone, let alone this medium. But what can you do.

No, Stanislaw, we're not arguing. At most we're debating; but frequently we're just agreeing.

Now I simply MUST go and feed my darling here, or he'll faint of starvation, fall and hit his head, and.....oh dear, what consequences, sheer horror to contemplate!

hugz,
O

The post didn't go through; we've supped, listened to our Beethoven (going through his chamber music, with multiple recordings - today it was Op. 18, no.6 with Alban Berg SQ [not very good, Suske was far better, and I liked Talich, too, David didn't much]. This quartet is really great, and has a breathtaking 4th movement.
I don't know if you're into classical music. As for guitar, my roommate once babysat somebody's guitar when I was in Toronto inbetween my monastery stays, and I was allowed to play it - got as far as Pete Seger's Little boxes on the hillside, hahaha.
I won't write until I have read everything carefully, if I have to tie my hands behind my back.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Fri May 22, 2015 4:33 am

and dahling Olen`ka,

" I'm sorry, I should've put it in quotes, showing that that ego is believed to be the impediment (you can find it here, on the forum, too), but not by me, not by me, never! I don't even use the term EGO if I can help it, since it is such a loaded term, and it means different things in different contexts."

I kind of thought it would be something like that.  These days, it feels like I use quotes or that word
`apparently`, .... constantly.  but then, as far as i`m concerned, everything in the world is only Apparent.  hmmm....there`s another one...I tend to use the Capital letter at the beginning of a word as well !
It`s not that in my supreme enlightened state..ahem..that the world has disappeared of course. I just know it for the mirage ( oasis in the desert) that it is and don`t try to obtain water where there isn`t any.  it`s a case of enjoying the show but not losing oneself in it....you know what I mean...


" No, Stanislaw, we're not arguing. At most we're debating; but frequently we're just agreeing."

Ol`ga please   you can call me Stasiu now dahling !  Ha ha....  No, we`re not arguing and indeed, mostly agreeing.  :-)


" I won't write until I have read everything carefully, if I have to tie my hands behind my back."

Hey...no hurry.  I won`t reply so quickly in future or not at all.  I remember you said..." I get so enthusiastic, can't help it."  I know what you mean.  knowledge rises up on it`s own as a responce and requires the release of being expressed, as it were.  when that happens, joy or bliss fills the mind.  and hey, we`re all bliss bunnies really !  You know that saying of course,  "There is no greater purifier than knowledge."

" if i have to tie my hands behind my back."      you really shouldn`t have told me that.  i`m not a Bear baiter by nature but...if you get that rolling pin out, i might have to send you a long reply.
and then where will you be....what with your hands tied behind your back ?

Did you ever hear that story about how Mozart was always late getting up ? drove his mother nuts having to forever shout up to him to come down for breakfast ?
Well, she hit upon a cunning plan one day.  She would go to the piano and play a scale but stop short just before the last note. and repeated the process again and again until Mozart came running down and crashed out the last note....he just couldn`t stand the lack of resolution of the scale.
It seems that it never took more than two or three notes after that.....

Yes, I do like classical music when in that mood.  I prefer Flamenco because I love all things guitar and Flamenco involves a lot of improvisation. I love the freedom involved in that.
" Seger's Little boxes on the hillside,"...  Oy...painful. what a waste of a guitar. so tacky...or was it ticky ?  Ha ha .....

Catch you later...big hugs.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Tue May 26, 2015 6:46 pm

Howard says, The world is a dream;
Stan says, it's a mirage!

Ol'ga says...Wha?
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 3:26 am

it's a  projection of the mind
but one that plays by very definite rules
as you find out when you try and walk through a wall
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 5:14 am

Ol`ga,
Apparent mirage dahling...apparent  Ha ha..     err..prefer the avatar  :-)

tufsoft,
Who`s mind ?  we all see the same wall....
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 5:45 am

we all have the same mind
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 6:57 am

So who created the universe ?  Did you or I create a "wall"...mountains, trees, oceans, bodies ?
they`re not our `personal` projections.

I`m not necessarily disagreeing with your last statement.  it just depends on what you mean by mind.

Are you the mind ?  if so, how do you know ? 
If "we all have the same mind"  ...who is "we" ?
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 11:36 am

@Ol'ga
Howard says, The world is a dream.


Sounds like my kind of hubris.

I think saying something is a bubble in a stream, a phantasm, a dream, is usually just pointing out that nothing is as controllable or predictable as our identity would like it to be.

I tend to only mention it to counteract a distortion of myopic analysis, where ones sight lines become obstructed by one's own navel lint.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 12:53 pm

My very own buncha dahlinks,
I won't be able to respond properly at the moment, please forgive me.

Only a few 'scraps'. Yes, Stan, your story about Mozart illustrates exactly my sense of irresistible urgency, when something needs to be clarified.

Last night I was looking for a picture of a lady with the rolling pin, but instead found the above picture; then needed to concoct a script for it - hence my last post. The rolling pin would be meant for you, S - not because I disagree with your term of 'apparent', but because, as far as I know, you did not define the term. In fact, I think it is a misleading term. Unless you clearly explain what you mean. You may have done that somewhere else on the forum - I haven't read it all, and probably won't have time to do so.

Please understand, anyone, that we may argue at times - in my case, passionately. But I don't think we're after each other, want to get the better of each other. That's why the lady with the rolling pin is a good image for me, because it brings in humour. We need that badly! - there was much too little of it at Shasta, for example, and 'spiritual' quest commonly suffers from that lack.

HOWARD,
We all have hubris - in my case plenty of it. It is, though, difficult to discern when it is hubris that speaks, and when it is that urgency to get things right. You and I have different vocabulary; maybe we have also a different approach to some fundamental matters. Maybe at times, one of us is right and the other one is not, why not.
I would like to respond to quite a few posts you've written, but alas, I doubt I'll have time. So I can do so only here and there, sketchily, and so inadequately. But I think often of your posts and find them very helpful in prodding me to try to be more clear in sorting out what's what.

All for now...I hate to have to go, but there it is.
Much love, O
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 1:01 pm

Stan



There’s a quote in James Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” where a Jesuit priest tries to inspire him with a proper dread of the torments of eternal [banned term].
 
Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness, and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of air. And imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all. Yet at the end of that immense stretch time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of all those billions and trillions of years eternity would have scarcely begun. And if that mountain rose again after it had been carried all away again grain by grain, and if it so rose and sank as many times as there are stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales upon fish, hairs upon animals – at the end of all those innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasurably vast mountain not even one single instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time, there mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would have scarcely begun.
 
Much as I deprecate frightening children with Hellfire, I can’t help feeling there’s something of a genuine religious feeling in the invocation of these humungous numbers, the kind of feeling that science has produced for us in the last half century or so.
 
I’m no expert on string theory, and I’m not sure if I believe in it anyway (in fact there’s a good book I can recommend called “Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law” by Peter Woit, who argues that the whole thing is a dead end), but it does produce similar number to Joyce’s Jesuit priest. String theorists estimate that the number of possible equations for the vacuum state is something of the order of 10500 up. That is a very large number, considering that there are estimated to be something in the order of 1080 or 1090 elementary particles in the visible universe. To get it in perspective, if there were a whole universe packed inside every particle in our universe, and another whole universe packed inside every particle in all those universes, there would still not be as many particles in all those universes as there are possible states of the vacuum (i.e. possible starting states for a “big bang” type of event). So, that’s a very large number. But large as it is, it can still be written on one side of A4 paper, it’s just “1” with 500 zeros after it.  However, in 2009 two physicists at Stanford University, Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin, wrote a paper arguing that given that number of possible states of the vacuum, the number of possible universes that could actually emerge from an inflationary event was much larger, of the order of 10^1010,000,000. Well, you can write 10500 on one side of A4 but you cannot write 10^1010,000,000 anywhere in this universe. Even if you wrote a zero on every neutron, proton and electron in the universe you would still only have written an insignificant fraction of this number. Even Joyce’s Jesuit priest would probably be scratching his head.
 
When scientists are presented with such humungous numbers they typically decided there must be something wrong with their reasoning and they try another track. But really, there’s no reason why the ground of all being should not be infinite, it would be just as logical to assume that we arise from a void of infinite possibility as to assume that the void would be limited in some way. Why should it be? There are many huge numbers that arise in science. I read somewhere that if the mass of the electron was different by one part in fifty million life could not exist. Maybe there are an infinite number of universes and we just happen to see this one because we can live in it?
 
Problem is, when you start talking about multiple universes, where do you put them? Before? Besides? After? But it’s not at all sure that time and space are anything other than properties of our own universe, in fact Kant thought (and pretty obviously Parmenides before him), that time and space are perceptual categories. We know that on the sub-atomic level non-local interactions can occur which seemingly bypass space. And what about time? It has some meaning to physicists as something directional, but in ordinary parlance it really means duration. We think the universe is old because we trace it back for 14 billion years, but that only has meaning for us because we know a human lives for 70 years and that in a year we will have to get out of bed 365 times, that we will have to harvest our crops once and sow them once, and that in 18 years if we are lucky our kids will fly the nest. Now suppose a universe without us in it, would it exist at all? Wouldn’t it arise and vanish in an instant, since there was nobody watching to measure time?
 
SO when I say we all have the same mind I mean we all share the same set of superstitions about mind, matter and energy, ultimately about existence. They may be the best set of superstitions mankind has ever had, they are certainly the most powerful as we can see from the success of the A-bomb, computers, space flight and a thousand other things (though whether we are making good use of them is another matter). But they are still superstitions. We actually have no idea what the universe is and why it puts us here, or why we put it there, and in fact the very success of our modern superstitions is a curse on us because it makes it much harder to grasp the fact that our existence is, deeply and fundamentally, ungraspable.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed May 27, 2015 10:11 pm

tufsoft, you write

...the very success of our modern superstitions is a curse on us because it makes it much harder to grasp the fact that our existence is, deeply and fundamentally, ungraspable.

Our existence is the only thing that is known directly and can't be negated.
O


Last edited by Ol'ga on Wed May 27, 2015 10:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : changing italics for clearity)
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 28, 2015 3:26 am

Quote :
Our existence is the only thing that is known directly and can't be negated.
I agree, maybe I didn't explain myself clearly enough, what I mean is that the reasons for our existence are ungraspable.

The division of experience into mind, matter, matter, energy, etc, is a relatively new thing in human history, most probably humans existed for thousands of years without those conceptions, believing that the world was controlled by spirits and gods. Now we have people who say that consciousness will soon be explained by science, but to say that is to fall completely into the trap of believing that the visible universe is something external and fixed and has nothing to do with us. That's what I'm arguing against, because I believe that in some way the universe depends on us for its existence just as much as we depend on it. Ultimately Parmenides was probably right, that we and "it" are part of one thing which is bigger than both of us, but how we get to know that "One" is the mystery. If the universe did start from a single fluctuation, then at what point did someone produce a knife and dissect it into disparate elements? Maybe it's just that we've lost the ability to see the wholeness of it.


These things that live on departure
understand when you praise them: fleeting, they look for
rescue through something in us, the most fleeting of all.
Want us to change them entirely, within our invisible hearts,
into – oh, endlessly – into ourselves! Whosoever we are.
  -- Rilke
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 28, 2015 1:32 pm

Hi Ol`ga,

Just a few thoughts on what you addressed to me....

"Last night I was looking for a picture of a lady with the rolling pin, but instead found the above picture; then needed to concoct a script for it - hence my last post. The rolling pin would be meant for you, S - not because I disagree with your term of 'apparent', but because, as far as I know, you did not define the term. In fact, I think it is a misleading term. Unless you clearly explain what you mean. You may have done that somewhere else on the forum - I haven't read it all, and probably won't have time to do so."

I guess you`ve put me into a bit of a `catch 22` situation Ol`ga  Ha ha ...
O.k, I don`t think it`s misleading....so i`ll define it.

There is what is Real...that which never changes...you.  Sattya to you.
What does it mean `to be Real` ?  .....something that can be relied upon to stay as it is.
for example, as Mark said once, " the truth is the truth is the truth ".  I think that this `something that never changes" is the fundamental attribute of what is Real.

Whatever changes cannot of itself be Real by the above definition.  something that changes has
no permanent self.  Although something that changes is not Real, it can be said to exist.
Why, because we can experience it.  We experience change and everything in the world is
subject to change...as per Buddhism 101.
`What is Real` and `What exists` are not therefore the same thing.

In Reality, there are only two categories... You / Awareness  and objects to you. everything is an
object to you..bricks, trees, thoughts, relationships, beliefs etc, everything.
In Duality we see the objects as separate from us  ....that tree is over there...etc  BUT, despite
appearances, virtually all objects are non separate from us.... appearances to the contrary !

This is just down to the way perception works when we self identify with the Body/ mind.
All objects are known through the senses in the mind and the mind is known by Awareness/You.
So really everything is made out of Awareness and therefore is Awareness......as you know of course.

Because  Reality in Duality is experienced as separation from the self but really isn`t, it can`t be
said to be Unreal. Nor can it be said to be Real as it is an object...insentient.  It can only be Apparently Real but in fact is not.   It is just an Appearance and it`s Reality is only `Apparent`.
The `Apparent` is just a misperception in the mind and there is only one reality.
The `Apparent`  is just another word for Mithya that you are familiar with.


"Please understand, anyone, that we may argue at times - in my case, passionately. But I don't think we're after each other, want to get the better of each other."

Perfectly understood Ol`ga....no stress...no mind games...none.


"That's why the lady with the rolling pin is a good image for me, because it brings in humour. We need that badly! - there was much too little of it at Shasta, for example, and 'spiritual' quest commonly suffers from that lack."

Absolutely old girl.  Humour....5th Noble Truth no less !
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Hi tufsoft,
sorry I couldn`t get back to you yesterday...had a rare evening out on the town.  Thanks for such
a fulsome response to me.  I must admit though....halfway through, `I thought... I prefer that `immortals take to this one...much shorter  Ha ha....
Anyway, i`d like to give you an adequate reply here to some of the things you said.


" Now suppose a universe without us in it, would it exist at all? Wouldn’t it arise and vanish in an instant, since there was nobody watching to measure time? "

This is an unanswerable question because it has nothing to do with reality.  It is about concepts
and belongs to the world of philosophy where ultimately, nothing is answered.  All the answers
being only opinions of the people who hold them and they all belong in dualistic thinking.

There is no answer in duality as every question answered, gives rise to another question from the
preceding answer.  This being due to everything `in the world` being subject to constant change.
Anything that has only a temporary existence cannot said to be Real and as such, is only a
temporary Appearance...which is experiencable though.

Nobody has ever seen a `Universe`, nor are they going to.   It`s purely a concept held in the mind.
This whole line of talk only makes sense from the standpoint of an `apparent` individual who is he
or her self just an effect of a perceived cause.....the Universe and thinks it is Real.
A cause is always subtler than an effect so,  the effect ( the individual) can never resolve the cause.
There is no way at all out of this conundrum whilst one self identifies with the body/mind....the
individual.   For the same reason, there is no answer to `why` .
For Awareness, Reality is Non Dual and there is no other `outside` of itself.  The Universe does not
exist and there is no question.  Questions only belong to minds that see themselves as separate
and limited, which causes the limitation of suffering.  Nobody wants to be limited and if they do,
they seek answers as to how to get rid of suffering.



" So when I say we all have the same mind I mean we all share the same set of superstitions about mind, matter and energy, ultimately about existence."

Actually, we don`t  "All"  share the "same set of superstitions....existence" .



" they are certainly the most powerful as we can see from the success of the A-bomb, computers, space flight and a thousand other things .... But they are still superstitions."

The laws of science are not based on superstition.  the whole universe is nothing if not a mass of
laws which are scientifically verifiable.  physical laws, psychological laws, moral laws, etc and we
suffer if we go against them...as your hitting a brick wall mentioned earlier, for the physical laws.
If this were not so, science would not be possible.


" We actually have no idea what the universe is and why it puts us here, or why we put it there"

Why not look at this another way ? we can discover all the things that the Universe isn`t ,through
a scientific inquiry, and what will that leave ?

We can use the discoveries of the sciences and a scientific inquiry into the unexamined logic
behind our experiences to come to an understanding of what or who we are AND the nature of
our environment...complete with the knowledge of our relationship to it.
All the objects that constitute sense impressions have both an experiential outer content and an
inner core of meaning....otherwise all experiences would be pointless and we wouldn`t be able
to function in the apparent world.  there wouldn`t even be a reason for getting out of bed.

If we don`t leave out the investigation of the knower of all experiences/the world, we can come to
a complete knowledge of ourselves and our surroundings.  It has to be done as a rigorous science
with a methodology that works and this precludes philosophy and All aspects of religion that rely
purely on faith.


" it makes it much harder to grasp the fact that our existence is, deeply and fundamentally, ungraspable."

Well yes, it is ungraspable because existence viewed as an object, is forever changeing and so
is the one who thinks he views existence.  nothing at all stable to be found.....bad news.
There`s only one way out, again and that is by taking the platform of Awareness,... standing as
Awareness.


" maybe I didn't explain myself clearly enough, what I mean is that the reasons for our existence are ungraspable."

Same again.


" The division of experience into mind, matter, matter, energy, etc, is a relatively new thing in human history, most probably humans existed for thousands of years without those conceptions, believing that the world was controlled by spirits and gods "

This is a VERY broad generalisation and is not strictly true.  certainly within the Indian continent,
going back at least 5-6,000 years and probably more, there has been a comprehensive and
scientifically orientated knowledge base concerning the science of Awareness and why it is non
separate from the world.  It goes into minute detail and is logic based teaching that can be verified
by anyone to their own satisfaction if they are prepared to do a disciplined Inquiry.
This is The Vedanta teaching which arose from ancient vedic culture and gave birth to the teaching
of Non Duality.

Buddhism was an off shoot which arose over 2,500 years ago when the vedic culture became
corrupted...as per the eternal cycle...and the brahmins started selling favours, the caste system
became hereditary etc and the people felt abused.  The Buddha was the big spiritual guy of this
time and although he tampered with the teachings of vedanta, it`s heart of Non Duality was retained.

To my best knowledge, Vedanta is the only teaching that has not changed in any way and remains
as a methodology for complete self knowledge.  Self and world.

Likewise in ancient China, there was also the non dual teachings of Taoism.  The ` Immortals`
sounds like a pretty far out and cranky concept BUT, if you consider that as Awareness...your real
self, you are unborn, then the immortal concept takes on a different complexion as if you are unborn, then you are not subject to death.  It`s a pretty fractured and incomplete teaching now as
far as I can see. almost lost in the mists of time.

Even Christianity has it`s vestiges of Non Duality but those teachings are very scant and not enough
to be a teaching in that respect.


"I believe that in some way the universe depends on us for its existence just as much as we depend on it."     and....
"Maybe it's just that we've lost the ability to see the wholeness of it."

Well, I think you`ve come to the crux of the matter there mr tufsoft....or can I call you tuf ?  ha ha ....
Anyway, I think we can`t come to total self knowledge without understanding that inter-dependence
of "Us"  and  " the Universe ".   This is where Buddhist knowledge on this aspect is lost temporarily
or permanently....or never existed.  much to it`s loss.  It`s all very well maintaining a `noble silence`
on the subject but frankly....if that REALLY is the case, it amounts to denial.

"Maybe it's just that we've lost the ability to see the wholeness of it."    Yes...`Beginningless Ignorance` .  Ignorance of our self nature.  Ignorance can`t be studied as it isn`t a thing.  It`s simply ..` Not Knowing`.
But what of this mutual interdependence between `Us` and the `Universe` you mentioned tufsoft ?

It makes no sense in the world of duality. How can the Universe depend on Us ?  don`t we believe
that the universe made us and therefore we are dependent on it ?  We infer a starting point to the
Universe and think we are `in it`.  But do we see it because it`s there ?  or  Is it there because we
see it ?  The first option is that of Duality and the second is of Non Duality.
If Reality is Non Dual...which it is, then nothing can exist outside of Awareness so, Awareness is
Unlimited in every way. 

If that is the case, then Awareness must have the power to not know itself, to be Ignorant of it`s own limitless nature.  rather like God having the power to create a mountain  so high that he can`t climb it.
But, this doesn`t make sense either and yet, we seem to not know who we are, even though we
are Awareness !   There has to be a power within Awareness that is able to fool Awareness into
not knowing itself or........ Awareness is not limitless, which is not the case.

This power of deception has to be able to cover reality by denial and also by projection ( which you
mentioned) as you can`t have one without the other.  If you project, then you have to deny what is,
and...if you conceal-deny,... you have to project.   If these two were the only aspects of this power
of delusion, there would never be an escape from our unseen conditioning.  we would be forever
trapped in our `dark side`.
Because Awareness really isn`t limited, there is a third aspect which is Clarity / essence/ self knowingness.  In the world of Duality, these three condition our ideas of ourselves constantly and
we tend to believe the conditioning as `ours`.  We own it when we believe we are conditioned.

If our minds are projecting...agitated, restless, overactive, we cannot maintain long term contemplation or inquiry into our nature.  It is the same with cloaking or denial.  the mind is too dull and heavy/coarse to turn inwards.   Only a clear / purified mind is capable of constant inquiry.
so, we always need to make peace of mind our priority wherever possible.

Awareness can`t actually create anything and so can`t create a world. And yet we have a `world`.
Awareness, with the power of delusion creates the world by projection of pure total intelligence
and at this point, no creatures or things exist.  It is only when the aspects of denial and/or projection
appear that the world is created including all objects and beings.  They are all insentient as they
are all `projected` out of Ignorance.  It is as if Awareness has it`s own macrocosmic daydream and
as it`s intelligence is total, it`s dream world is the total of everything that can be and is totally beautiful and deceptive in appearance.  It is all in potential until denial/ projection take place.  As above...
so below and vice versa.  In a daydream, one is never totally lost in it.  one always feels oneself to be in the background.
 
As there is no Real Creator of the world it can be said to be it`s own creator and maker of the world
at the same time.  Like a spider and it`s web. it uses it`s own intelligence to make the web and yet,
the web is not separate from it. it can draw it within itself when it wants to and create another web.

The world is the same as the creator....God, the total of all karmas, the field of creation, call it what
one will but it is really just our surroundings and we have to interact with them skillfully so as to be
happy in this world.

The individual and The Field, God etc are just diminishing or expanding versions of the one Individual ....microcosmic and macrocosmic.  We have all been and done everything imagineable in the endless play of the three aspects of delusion.

The creator is conscious of all objects and sentient beings.  The Individual  is conscious of it`s body and environment.   The Creator does not depend on the Individual even though the Individual depends on the Creator.
In what way is the Creator dependent ?  The creator depends on Awareness. Without Awareness, 
the Creator can`t create.  So the Creator is a dependent factor...... the Individual depends on the Creator and the Creator depends on consciousness / Awareness.
BUT,......
The Creator depends on The Individual too !  Why ?

Because the Creation has no meaning without the Individual ! can you imagine a creation without Individuals ?  maybe, but that is in the world of imagination alone.
What`s Creation ?  Awareness and just matter.....it has no meaning.  in fact, the Creator and the Individual are just co-dependent factors like the chicken and the egg.

The individual is creating Karma owing to it`s ignorance but it cannot deliver the fruits of it`s actions.
There has to be another factor that`s delivering the results of the actions.....that`s the Creator.
So the Creator depends on the Individual`s  Ignorance to deliver the results of the actions.
So... is the Creator Real...no.     is the Individual Real... No !  They`re both dependent on each other.
They`re the same...but different.  they are both in Delusion/ Ignorance.
The Creator and the Created are both mutually interdependent.  it makes no sense to talk about
a creation without creatures !
The Creator creates a world so that creatures can work out their karmas....how could they work them out
without a `material world` ?
The whole idea of the Creator/ God etc and the individual is just Delusion .  (Mithya / Maya.)

This teaching is necessary to get us out of the idea that we are controlled by this `big daddy` called God / The Creator.  For people who want to remain small, it gives them the perfect excuse....oh,  God / the Creator`s doing everything. But the Creator is only facilitating the working out of Karma !

If the Individual is supplying the cause and the Creator is supplying the Effect,  then the Individual is Creating !
Both are Creating !!  The Individual is just not creating the Total but the Creator is creating the total AND delivering the results of the Individual`s actions.  The power of Delusion is in both the Creator and  the Individual .  There is no first..or bigger or smaller....or why.    It`s mutual co-dependence.
It means what ?  One is free of Both !!!

Until then, it`s all just one big drama because the mind asks why, and we`re a bunch of drama
queens vain enough to think it`s about us.  It`s not, it`s about the total...and the knower of the Total.
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tufsoft



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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 28, 2015 2:45 pm

Hi Stan,

Yes you can call me Tuf, if if it makes you happy.

I'm not suggesting that science (which is a method) is superstition. But from the discoveries of science a set of superstitions is distilled in the general consciousness, and this version which we use as an everyday rough working version is just as tendentious as belief in God or spirits or re-incarnation or any of the things that people previously believed in but now mostly think of as outdated. There is a kind of hubris involved in this, we think we have the answers now which our forebears didn't have. But actually real scientists never think they have all the answers, there are any number of quotes from real scientists which indicate that their powers of "negative capability" are just as powerful as those of the poets, for instance Einstein's quote that I mentioned elsewhere:

To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms— this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness.


or again

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

or the famous quote from JBS Haldane

my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.

These were top scientists, I think you have to agree, but they were not trapped by the superstition that everything has been explained, and it is this superstition that everything is explicable which is the source of a lot of the distress and depression of modern man.

How do we deal with this problem? That's all I'm asking. Science in itself doesn't help, at least, not unless we have the time and training to go into it quite deeply and to start to appreciate the boundaries where uncertainty has been relocated. But going back to primitive forms of religion doesn't help either.

This is the problem which I hoped Zen would solve, when I was young, and which I now don't feel it is solving, and I'm not sure why that is, but I think it's because it has been commandeered by the orientalists who have hauled all the baggage of the past into it. Perhaps I am wrong.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 28, 2015 4:16 pm

Stan wrote to tufsoft:

Hi tufsoft,

sorry I couldn`t get back to you yesterday...had a rare evening out on the town.  Thanks for such

a fulsome response to me.




Friends, please....this is an appeal to you.
For the most part you are native speakers of English. Please don't mutilate it.

FULSOME means: cloying, excessive, disgusting by excess (of flattery, servility, exaggerated affection) [The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English; my terribly beat-up copy is 1984 reprint of the 7th edition]

It would be better to set up a new thread for this. But I would be the only contributor, probably.

So I take the advantage of your reading this thread already.

Another culprit, (if you're still reading), is:
BEMUSED, used commonly as amused, whereas BEMUSED means stupefied, confused, befuddled.

I've also seen the word 'lowly' used, while clearly intended to mean 'low' - when a senator was describing Bill Clinton's behaviour (re Lewinsky). LOWLY means humble, modest.

And expressions, such as
THIS BEGS A QUESTION, intended to mean 'This raises a question'. The former is a technical term in logic, still used (i.e. not obsolete), having to do with a circular argument.

The misuse of ENORMITY (by Obama no less) is prevalent on this continent, but probably also in UK by now.

My personal pet peave is "As much as" as in "As much as I would love to come, I can't today" - should be "Much as I would ..." (there is no comparison there. Please compare "I like you AS MUCH AS your brother.")

My English is imperfect - I am well aware of it. But I have a great respect for language as such, and, mithya though it is, I try to keep it clean.

I have never met Anne, but I do hope that she will back me up on this.

O

Stan,

Re 'apparent', as a rendering of 'mithya': after I've done the dishes...if there is still time. That discussion requires great care. I think to see oneself as awareness is fairly easy. To see clearly what mithya, the multiplicity is ... - in my experience it requires a lot of maturing. Because mithya is beautiful, lovable, all that, since, you know, sattyam is in and through it - as they say, it is weft and warp of it all. To see this, over and over, means a lot of, oh, living perhaps?, loving?, loving even if it breaks one's heart? ...and, well, fun?
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu May 28, 2015 5:07 pm

Hi again tufsoft,

"These were top scientists, I think you have to agree, but they were not trapped by the superstition that everything has been explained, and it is this superstition that everything is explicable which is the source of a lot of the distress and depression of modern man. "

To be honest, I don`t know of anyone...scientist, man of religion, anyone at all who thinks that everything has been explained or is explicable.  most people are just not interested anyway.  they are simply ruled by conditioning which outpictures as their fears and desires.

Scientist are one of the worst of people for wanting an explanation for existence.  They are almost to a man completely a prisoner of their methodology which is based on perception and inference of objects alone.  it`s the same with philosophy and religion.
The scientists are not interested in self knowledge and leave themselves out of the equation in the quest for knowledge and understanding....quite an irony which is obviously lost on them as they are the major part of the answer.

Even if the scientists discover that everything is consciousness/ Awareness....which they are getting close to, it won`t make any difference because they don`t know what it means. They are attached to their epistomology ; the senses.
They don`t know that existence is Awareness.  They think that Consciousness/ Awareness is something they have and not what they are.

Consciousness is the only thing in reality that does not need proof. Did anybody ever tell you that you are conscious or that you exist? Nobody told you this because it is obvious. You – consciousness – know the brain but the brain does not know you. Did your brain ever communicate with you? If you are identified with the body-mind you will think it does.


"How do we deal with this problem? That's all I'm asking. Science in itself doesn't help, at least, not unless we have the time and training to go into it quite deeply and to start to appreciate the boundaries where uncertainty has been relocated. "

Well yes...what`s wrong with that ?  you said it.   If zen doesn`t work....try something, some methodology that conforms with your own suggestion.  Try a more scientifically based methodology than zen.  It`s just a case of what that may be.  I think that by and large, you answered your own question.
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