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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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Join date : 2012-07-29

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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Stan Giko



Posts : 354
Join date : 2011-06-08

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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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 5:20 pm

Hi Ol`ga,

Easy with that rolling pin already ! 

A second Dictionary version of fulsome is...."of large size or quantity ; generous or abundant. "  ok ?

" 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?"

Personally for me, not really.    chuck in the "fun" though.  I think that you`re a bit of a romantic at heart.  :-)
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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 10:43 pm

Hi Stan,
You write:
A second Dictionary version of fulsome is...."of large size or quantity ; generous or abundant. "  ok ?

hmm...possibly a shift in meaning. Some sources consider the use of fulsome as full or abundant to be problematic. I would concur with that, partly because the meaning of fulsome as unctious, cloying, etc. is probably unknown to most. 

What I see around me is great impoverishment of the language. Pity.

I wish that, for my part, my English were better. When I read my own contributions here, I often spot mistakes in the use of article (mainly zero article); and often I express myself clumsily.
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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 11:10 pm

Ol'ga, I too love the precise use of language!

And yet--I don't think that language lends itself very well to being used "precisely".

I think that language is always slippery and ever changing.

(The French seem to have established a cultural obsession around this point in an effort to preserve some ideal form of "French" language.)

I think that we have an innate ability to understand the complexity of language which far exceeds the ability of a language to keep up with itself.

(As always, I'm loving this conversation!)

Of course, most of all, I'm loving the ongoing discussion of Awareness itself...


Last edited by Kozan on Thu May 28, 2015 11:53 pm; 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   Thu May 28, 2015 11:44 pm

Tufsoft, I think that you have put your finger on a very intriguing question.

As I would put it, it might be expressed as: "What is the nature of Reality?"

Stan makes the excellent point that "reality"--that which is "real", as defined by classical Greek philosophy--is that which is unchanging.

This is good as far as it goes--and yet, as Stan points out, this doesn't mean that manifested existence doesn't exist!

Accordingly, I think that it might be useful to expand the scope of the word "reality" to include EVERYTHING in a purely nondual sense.

And perhaps, to use the classical Buddhist terms used in Tozan's 5 Ranks, aka the Goi Theory: the Eternal-Absolute-Real---and the Apparent-Manifested-Transient.

Also, just to mention, Tufsoft, I love your website--and may I/we call you Ben?
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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   Fri May 29, 2015 2:43 am

Stan wrote:
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.

I completely agree with that. The example I always use to someone who says science is going to explain consciousness is "first let them explain blue". You can say a lot about blue, you can say what wavelength of light looks blue or what chemicals can be used to dye a shirt blue. but you cannot explain "blue". It is a primary experience. 

kozan wrote:
Also, just to mention, Tufsoft, I love your website--and may I/we call you Ben?

Yes of course, that's my name. The reason I don't post under my actual name is that there are several people called Ben Thompson including a writer who writes completely different kinds of things than I do, and I don't want my posts to come up when people are searching for him (he probably wants that even less than me!). My name has always been a click away on this forum and in any case googling "tufsoft" brings up my website and a lot of other details, so I don't think of myself as posting anonymously, in fact quite the reverse. I think the only thing that can't be discovered is where I live, because I don't want lunatics turning up on my doorstep.

Lunatics only by arrangement!
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Fri May 29, 2015 7:30 pm

Olga I have to disagree with you about the impovrishment of language. Languages are one of the most plastic yet long lasting of human artefacts. The Oxford English Dictionary, a reasonably authoritive source, lists each year new words, phrases and senses that it deems have entered the English language in the previous twelve months. Usually this amounts to ove 500 entries. Now these may not be words that I have at my fingertips but then I'm an old fogy. However hardly impoverishment, where would we be without modern coinages like blog or forum. I fear the 'impoverishment of language', like the 'today's youth is going to the dogs' are examples of cliches that don't hold up. (And cliche, with its sister stereotype, is a perfect example of a relatively modern word that has completely morphed its meaning in its short history.

Language changes for all sorts of reasons as the world and our view of the world changes and we want/need to describe new 'realities'. Of course the underlying nature of the world does not change and it is in a funny way the very ebb and flow of meaning in language that points beyond our words to the underlying, fundamentally indescribable but totally prosaic nature of reality.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Fri May 29, 2015 9:12 pm

Mark, well said, and I fully agree!

And yet, of course, I can't help but agree with Ol'ga's earlier point as well!

Perhaps the challenge comes down to how we acknowledge and negotiate language-meaning change?
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Fri May 29, 2015 9:28 pm

Ben, thanks for your response!

I too had concluded that "Tufsoft" was easy to find from an internet search (having done so myself), and therefore I was not concerned about posting your first name.

I also appreciate your further explanation--since it answers the mystery question about why you would not use your otherwise anonymous name--Ben--and yet choose to use your public name--Tufsoft!

By not using your last name together with your first, you remain invisible to an internet search. A one time only event may also remain largely invisible.

(Also, I, Mark, Isan, or Lise can edit your previous comment to remove your last name, if you wish.)
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Fri May 29, 2015 10:27 pm

Hi Mark,
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the subject of impoverishment of language.
I would think that people who mainly read twitter, and hardly anything else, do miss out on much colour and nuance that language may provide.
Certainly there are new words that came into existence in modern times, and more are being created.  Even if I would have to do a lot of research to be able to defend my claim in the court of law, my very strong impression is that much more has been lost than gained, however.
Btw, 'forum' has been around a good long while, even though it has acquired some new meanings.

Have to go, hubby is feeling faint...measure BP, HR, - such is our reality.
But I have him still!
Love,
O
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sat May 30, 2015 3:45 am

Kozan wrote:
I too had concluded that "Tufsoft" was easy to find from an internet search (having done so myself), and therefore I was not concerned about posting your first name.

Also, the website address has always been in my profile, I signed in with my real  name in the introductions thread, and albertfuller wrote my name further up in this thread. So I am not really hiding!

You might like this story, one of the most enjoyable things I did in China was to play the 8th Earl of Elgin who burned the Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan). Recently there was a program on BBC radio about the burning of YMY and they interviewed the current Lord Elgin (now over 90) who said that the Chinese workers in Faslane came and raided his fields for medicinal plants, thus getting revenege for the burning of YMY. I wrote to Lord Elgin and told him I had played his illustrious ancestor, he wrote back and told me the the 8th Earl of Elgin had got on very well with the Emperor's brother, Prince Kung, and that he still had some of Prince Kung's wine bottled in his cellar.


Mark wrote:
Language changes for all sorts of reasons

There's a difference between using language in new ways and using it wrong. If I say "anonymous" when I mean "unanimous", that's just wrong, it has nothing to do with the development of language and if the listener guesses the meaning, it's only through luck. However, a word like "google" entering the language as a verb, which annoys some people, nevertheless is still a real word with a definite meaning. One that particularly annoys me is when UK journalists write "obligated" - this is a facet of dialectical creep from one side of the pond to another. But I know what it means.

My impression was that Ol'ga was complaining about fuzzy use of language and not the acquisition of new words and meanings.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sat May 30, 2015 12:32 pm

Thank you, Ben, very much!

You also write:
One that particularly annoys me is when UK journalists write "obligated" - this is a facet of dialectical creep from one side of the pond to another.


I think this is rather a facet of illiteracy creep. You also come across 'orientate', even 'conversate', and of course, 'burglarize' (burgle), and hence 'burglarization'.


Last edited by Ol'ga on Sat May 30, 2015 1:48 pm; 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   Sat May 30, 2015 1:45 pm

Hi Mark - I should not have started this.

You say
Language changes for all sorts of reasons as the world and our view of the world changes and we want/need to describe new 'realities'.

That is quite true. But it does not explain why the meaning of the word 'fulsome', for example, would have to change to mean 'full', when 'full' is a perfectly good word....and why the meaning of 'fulsome'  (until recently =cloying, etc) should all but disappear (as it does, you know). Likewise, one sees 'begin' being replaced by 'commence' (unnecessarily), and 'expect' by 'anticipate' (wrongly, half the time - since anticipate in fact means 'expect and prepare for'.)
This kind of change, as I have seen it time and time again, is fueled by certain pseudo-sophistication, pretension, I think. It may start with the Time Magazine, and then spreads ...

When an inquiry was conducted of the dealings of our former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the investigator said sg like: "You did not give a fulsome account of your activities, Sir", and BM replied, "I did give a fulsome account of my activities!". JHC!

@tufsoft
I have no quarrel with the use of 'google' as a verb, but I would dispute the use of 'impact' as a verb, and 'liaise' is an abomination. You may have come across these - I have, and am still scarred by it!

@Kozan
You say:

I think that language is always slippery and ever changing.

Well, that is true....but we should still try (or maybe try all the more!) to acquaint ourselves with meanings of words, as they are used - and to some degree, codified. Stan himself recognizes the authority of dictionaries, as you can clearly see in his response to my post re 'fulsome'.
And, you know, even though the 2d law of thermodynamics re increasing entropy governs this Universe, I still should try (as I do, and fail), to prevent my kitchen descend into utter chaos.

Further you say

(The French seem to have established a cultural obsession around this point in an effort to preserve some ideal form of "French" language.)
I think that they probably go too far, as I've seen. In that case, though, part of the motivation for their policing of the French language has sg to do with power. The French also have a history of rather ghastly treatment of their linguistic minorities (Breton, Basque, Gascon); as for the French in Quebec, well.....What do you think about goldfish, anyway?


I'd just like to say one last thing, and then perhaps hold my peace. Endangered languages, such as Slovak (a thousand years under Hungarian domination - linguistically vicious), at some point needed codification/unification in order to survive. This, as well as my young years (I won't go there), perhaps partly explain why I consider certain precision in language use important. And, of course, I love colour and richness that language has. You might say that English is not endangered - but I'd say, it IS, in fact; perhaps it's the price to pay for its having become the lingua franca over the good part of the world. (I mourn the demise of the oblique case of 'who', and the use of subjunctive, etc....I do call these developments to constitue impoverishment).

This woman talks too much.

Alam anena vacanena!

Enough.
Love,

O
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sat May 30, 2015 3:21 pm

Ben,
At this point, i thought i`d better make clear that I meant ` generous or abundant` when using the
word fulsome !    That`s it`s original meaning and i`m of the age when it was it`s common usage.
Fascinating website by the way and love your wit.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sat May 30, 2015 8:57 pm

Olga my point is that languages evolve. A dictionary is at best a picture of the recent past. We constantly bend and morph language to our needs and to my mind if I were to say anything about language it would have to be that language is a tool. We make use of language for a number purposes but principally to convey meaning, and present usages reflect present meanings. To bemoan the impoverishment of language is to bemoan the impoverishment of meaning as our usage of is a mirror if imperfect of our present time. Impoverished times musts needs have impoverished language, as richer times must have richer language, and so it will necessarily mirror the imprecision and  inadequacy of our thought. But conversely it is also true that language can be the straight-jacket of our thought, and all to often thought is the straight-jacket of our mind. It is also a glorious and evolving monument to our shared humanity. An expression of us as community rather than individual. I love it all, but I too mourn the passing of some meanings and words. When I was young I used to love the word 'queer' but then it became a pejorative epithet for homosexual. I like too 'listly' which is lost and gone in the mists of time and now reduced only to a negative form in 'listless'.
 
Still that's all just what I think. Surely though if you understand the meaning of what is said in a new usage of a word then it is only an impoverishment if it denies the possibility of some other older meaning. Ah, dear me, time to buy another soapbox I fear!
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 31, 2015 1:13 am

Ben, Ol'ga, Stan, and Mark--I love your thoughts here!

Stan, I hope that my thoughts about using the concept of "reality" as an overarching nondual bridge between the Relative and the Absolute did not appear to contradict your insightful and methodical use of the "real" to uncover the "relative"!

As you know, I fully agree with what you are saying.

My interest in this issue lies in the question of how we articulate this fundamental question. What is the nature of Reality? I think this is a quest that everyone shares (however unconscious it may be for many).

The advantage of the term "reality", I think, is that it avoids the implicit reductionism that tends to be inherent in the words "existence" (and "universe")--as well as words that refer to the unmanifested side--Buddha Nature, Awareness, the Unborn...

Awareness, of course (as a word), has the overwhelming advantage of anchoring the discussion in everyday reality and direct experience. 

In short, it seems to me that the word "reality" could be a useful word for simultaneously raising the question, and encompassing both the relative and the absolute--(through careful definition!).

Your thoughts, and everyone's thoughts, greatly appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 31, 2015 9:12 am

Mark,

Quote :
Ah, dear me, time to buy another soapbox I fear!

Ah, dear me, soapbox .....all expressions of a mainly bygone age Ha ha.....  you`re right, language does indeed evolve.  As you say...

Quote :
We make use of language for a number purposes but principally to convey meaning,

Absolutely.... words have two meanings.  the ostensible..superficial or surface meaning and, the actual, implied real meaning.  The whole point of communication by words is to follow the implied true meaning or sensible communication wouldn`t be possible so yes, Nr1 use of language is to convey meaning.
Having said that, I see where Ol`ga`s coming from.  The corruption AND change of language makes communication prone to misunderstanding...apart from being just annoying !
My personal pet peeve is when ...usually the `yoof` of today would say... " I could OF told you about that"  instead of "have" told you about that.  I could despair if I knew how to !


Quote :
But conversely it is also true that language can be the straight-jacket of our thought, and all to often thought is the straight-jacket of our mind.

"Thought is the straight jacket-jacket of our mind".  Brilliant...isn`t it just !  I would say that in practical terms, we are what we think. we`re just thought through...prisoners of our conditioning.  I`m going to save that one for my little black book....as you used to say :-)

Quote :
When I was young I used to love the word 'queer' but then it became a pejorative epithet for homosexual.

I used to like the term `poofter` but now it`s `gay`  Ha ha ....  not really sure why there`s a term at all really.  We are as we are.  language chases on and now I hear kids saying things like "Oh, that`s so Gay dad" when father buys his new shirt thinking it`s fashionable. So, I guess Gay will have to move on to another word sometime.

Quote :
Surely though if you understand the meaning of what is said in a new usage of a word then it is only an impoverishment if it denies the possibility of some other older meaning.

Yeah, I guess we`ll just have to take the quirks of language as the pin pricks of life...of which there are many !

May I ask about your current state of health Mark ? got my fingers crossed for you.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 31, 2015 9:13 am

Hi Steve,

I`d love to get back to you a bit later on....
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 31, 2015 2:52 pm

Stan, thanks. I look forward to your thoughts...and, no hurry!
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 31, 2015 7:09 pm

Stan, thanks for the kind words. As to my health, I'm fine. Fully recovered from the ordeal of 15 hours surgery, though they don't sign you off after cancer surgery for two years, so another year to go. Of course they don't completly sign you off for five years, after that it's your fault if you die! On a sadder note, Mike Lesser, who some here will know, has lung cancer and has been given nine to eighteen months. His typically robust response was 'I wondered what the f*** I was doing all those years just sitting. Now I know. Best deal I ever bought into.'

Kozan, I agree with you a great thread, but then Mummy Bear was always great at stiring us of our buts, and also gently cuffing us when we got our facts wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Sun May 31, 2015 10:42 pm

Mark, you wrote:

Kozan, I agree with you a great thread, but then Mummy Bear was always great at stiring us of our buts, and also gently cuffing us when we got our facts wrong.

Mark, Ol'ga is, indeed. Thank goodness!
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:38 am

Good God, Mark, 15 hour operation! You must have gone through an awful lot of pain while healing. Poor Mark. I hope it doesn't hurt anymore and that it's over and done. I'll send my best thoughts your way.

As for the Mummy Bear, if you remember the photo - she has her paws full just trying to stay bearly out water. She doesn't even THINK of stirring anybody off any butts, nonono never, not she.

Much love,
Keep well,
O
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:51 am

I expect you all know the story about the Indian guru who taught his young disciple that all earthly things were illusory appearances and mere emanations of an ultimate truth. The young lad took all this to heart, so imagine his dismay when he returned to the village one day to find it was being attacked by elephants and to see his guru running for his life.
“Teacher, teacher”, the young lad said, “if all things are illusion, why do you run?”
“FOOL!” roared his guru, as he sprinted past, “I only appear to run!”
 
I cannot find any historical record of Parmenides ever being chased by an elephant, but his teaching sounds quite similar to that of this Indian guru. Parmenides said that the visible world is an illusion and the only reality was a shadowy entity which he called “The One”. He claimed to have seen it in a dream, and at times described it as rather like a sphere. But he clearly didn’t conceive it as a sphere, for he claimed it was single and indivisible, having no size and therefore not to be measured, and having no age or duration and therefore not existing in time. It is sometimes said that Parmenides regarded “nature” as fixed and unchangeable (in contrast to, say, Heraclitus who believed all things to be in a state of flux), but I don’t think that’s the right interpretation. I think it’s quite possible to envisage the flux that Heraclitus described as an emergent property of the One as postulated by Parmenides.
 
In any case, what Parmenides described has truly confused generations of thinkers who followed him, and Plato’s dialogue “The Parmenides” is one of the least well understood of the Platonic dialogues. Everyone has their own interpretation, and reading it is a bit like reading the Prajnaparamita, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
 
Of course if you met a crusty at a party and they made statements such as Parmenides makes you would probably conclude they had chewed a bit too much of the magic mush and leave it at that, but Parmenides was greatly admired by the Greeks, Socrates was supposed, as a young man, to have visited him on the island of Elea and claimed to have learned a great deal from him. So in a sense he could be regarded as the source of Platonism. Perhaps the metaphor of emerging from the shadows of the cave into the light of truth could be an alternative version of the teaching of Parmenides? It seems so to me, anyway.
 
Fast forward to the modern age and it seems as though the ideas of modern physics share a lot in common with the idea of Parmenides. Some of Einstein’s ideas about time seemed to reflect those of Parmenides (to the extent that Karl Popper called Einstein “Parmenides”). Aside from his ideas of time, though, don’t those wonderful Einstein quotations that I’ve posted more than once on this board seem to echo Parmenides?
 
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
 
It seems to me that Einstein’s position here is fully congruent with that of Parmenides. But of course both men are trying to describe the indescribable. They are taking language up to the boundaries of what language can do, and probably beyond. All the same I feel sure that in the case of an elephant attack Einstein would be happy to lead the retreat.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:23 am

Hi Steve,

Back again with some thoughts on some of your comments...

" Of course, most of all, I'm loving the ongoing discussion of Awareness itself... "

But of course...it`s the cherry on top of the cake.  :-)


"As I would put it, it might be expressed as: "What is the nature of Reality?"
Stan makes the excellent point that "reality"--that which is "real", as defined by classical Greek philosophy--is that which is unchanging.
This is good as far as it goes--and yet, as Stan points out, this doesn't mean that manifested existence doesn't exist!"

I don`t know about greek philosophy but the definition of Real as unchanging, has been common in India going back at least 5,000 years and is a key definition in Vedic culture / knowledge.  It is fundamental to Advaita Vedanta.
So what is Real, What is Reality ?
Every visible, mortal, perishable individual has an inner core or essence which is immortal, unchanging,
imperishable and invisible. This core or essence is called the ( non separate )  self. It is what is real. Everything else, the experiences and objects that present themselves to you, the inner core, is apparently real.  There is nothing other than you and what appears to you.  You, Awareness are the subject and everything else is just objects and naturally, you, the subject, cannot be the object.

The real and the apparently real are connected in an particular way. How they relate to each
other can be explained by the following example......
You directly experience a table. It is visible, solid, tangible and weighty. It seems quite obvious.
But if you think about it for a minute you will realize that you are not experiencing a table at all.
Why? Because you are actually experiencing only wood. The wood is solid, tangible and
weighty, not the table. The table has no physicality, no attributes. It is a misconception to think
you are experiencing a table. The table exists in name only, not in actuality.

The word “table” exists to identify wood in a particular form. But the name does not belong to the
wood. It belongs to the mind that sees the wood in the form of a table. The table is only a thought
that depends on the experienced wood. Wood is one but the possible names and forms of wood
are many. The apparent table borrows its existence from the wood, the real substance. It does not
stand alone but depends on the wood for its existence.

You – limitless, non-dual, ever-present, ordinary awareness/consciousness – are the “wood” of
everything that is experienced. You are existence itself. Every tangible and intangible object
borrows its existence from you, limitless consciousness.

If you put your hand flat on the table and concentrate, can you feel where your hand ends and the table begins ? can you feel where they join ?  Is there some distinct `joining zone` ?
There really isn`t and furthermore, it`s the same for all of the senses !  There is no object that is really separate from the subject even though there appears to be if we take ourselves to be the body.

So when one see an object, gross or subtle, one should understand that one is only seeing
existence/consciousness. Existence/consciousness is you, the essence of everything. So all
objects are just you. And since you are existence/consciousness you are free of every object,
including the objects nearest to you, your body and mind. This understanding is variously called
liberation, enlightenment and freedom. It is not an experience. It is knowledge extracted from
experience by inquiry....it`s not something most of us have gotten `round to` normally.

If you think that existence and consciousness are two different things, try to separate one from the
other. It is impossible; they are two words that refer to you. It is your direct experience that you are
only one being. You always exist and you are always Aware. If this is true for everyone, then
it is the essence of everyone, not an incidental attribute of some aspect of one`s being like the
body. Therefore there is only one “person” here, not many....and we are all him/her.  Names and forms are many but the consciousness/ Awareness on which they depend – you – is one.
It`s the `All is one` we`re familiar with.   The `All is different is the other side of the coin.
More later.

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:16 pm

Yes, Stan, right you are.



The funny thing is that you (meaning one) may see something clearly, think you expressed it clearly, and you aren't getting through.
Well, it may have something to do with the listener (e.g. not interested), or the speaker, of course...such as me. It is the speaker's job to know when to speak, and when not to. I haven't learnt that sense of relaxation , but honestly, what's the hurry?
In my case, the thing to do is, see the sense of urgency in me, see if it is valid; and see why there is the need (a la Mozart in your story, Stan, of his Ma getting him get out of bed)  to make the other person see.

I used to be a tutor, of maths and English, and I was a very patient and relaxed teacher. But you should see me when I am trying to make my hubby see something, - something that is soooo obvious, something that he as a very intelligent person should readily see. And that stops him from seeing anything, the manner I adopt. And I get all red in the face, my voice gets screechy, or hoarse, or I lose it altogether.

So, if I get your back up....hmm,  perhaps (only perhaps!) it has sg to do with my manner. Oh, this is not contrition (if it is, it should be between me and myself) - I am just looking at the thing a bit.


Now, about inquiry, as a methodology for looking into the nature of reality, myself, the world. I find it works - at least it works for  me. But there is a certain distrust around of anything that may seem 'intellectual'. I can understand that. There are lots of people around that spout away, repeat what someone else, some great personage, said, and turn it into a doctrine, often missing the whole point of it. That is a pity - it obviously does more harm than good.

I think I'd just say, better relax - and O, how about you start!

As for various doctrines - well, every dogma has its day! (Abe Rotstein, UofT, - I think it's priceless).

Much love, and other somersaults,
O
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:21 pm

Hi Steve,

Back again with some more thoughts on your comments...

" I tend to think that unquestioning, culturally conditioned BUY IN--is the problem."

I agree.  it`s on the microcosmic level of the apparent Individual.  It is the Ignorance of self knowledge for the Individual.  It is what the Individual is `buying in` to.
BUT... who created the Ignorance for the first and following Individuals to buy into anyway.
The Individuals didn`t create it. If they had done, it would mean that they knew that they are Limitless to start with AND...had the power to remove that knowledge.... and knowledge is that which can`t be negated.  You can`t unknow something.

There has to be another factor involved.  something hidden from us that we can only infer it`s existence of by seeing the results of it`s actions.  The Individuals act and perform karma but have no control as to the results of the actions.  It is in the hands of some greater force that not only gives the results of karmas but maintains the whole field of existence of our environment.
If it were not so, we would always have the results of our karmas that WE want but, it plainly isn`t so.
There needs to be some sort of Creator or Creating Force.

Pure awareness itself is not the Creator. Due to its limitless, attribute-less nature, pure awareness is incapable of doing, acting, creating. Because it is limitless, awareness has no boundaries by which it can be distinguished as separate from anything else. In other words, it is all-pervasive. It is the whole, and thus it has no arena in which to act, no background against which movement or change, which is the defining characteristic of action, could be measured; no components or parts with which it could act; no “other” to whom it might respond; and, due to its perfect fullness, no desire to acquire or achieve anything that would motivate it to act.

What’s more, the term “creation” is a misnomer. “Creation” implies that something new has come into being. For instance, when a potter fashions a pot out of clay, he has created a pot. Actually, however, nothing new has been created. The clay that formerly sat in the form of a lump now stands in the form of a pot. In this way something new has seemingly come into being, but actually the clay has simply assumed a particular form that serves a function and is referred to by a name. In this sense nothing new has been created, no essential substance has been brought into existence that was not already existent.

Similarly, given the fact that the fabric of reality is non-dual awareness, nothing new is brought into being when awareness, under the conditioning influence of Delusion, appears to be something it’s not, the entire array of objective phenomena, both subtle and gross, that comprise the apparent reality, the “inner” and “outer” worlds of experience. Actually, all objects exist initially in a dormant or unmanifest state in the macrocosmic Unconscious and then are projected “outward” into the Mind and  body where they assume experienceable form. So, it is more appropriate to speak of the appearance of the universe as a “manifestation” rather than a “creation.”
I think this ties in quite neatly with your " Eternal-Absolute-Real---and the Apparent-Manifested-Transient." of Tozan`s five ranks.  perhaps add "The unmanifest to the first group.

In any case, The field of existence,Total of all karmas or "God", is the name given to the force that “creates” and controls the apparent reality or manifest universe, and Delusion is the name given to the Agency of misperception, that enables it to do so.  The power of Delusion occupies a very odd and unique position in Reality as it neither exists nor doesn`t exist.  The "Weird one" as  Ol`ga called it.
It is simply `Not Knowing`.  Beginningless Macrocosmic Ignorance.  Furthermore, as it`s a power in Awareness, it is Eternal.  Microcosmic Ignorance, that of the Individual can be brought to an end by the removal of Ignorance of the Individual....tempted to say `thank God`....

I`ll try and finish off tomorrow night about your " I think that language and concepts are primarily a collective process. Many of us may have a realization which does not become easily expressed until the necessary language and knowledge base is sufficiently well recognized at a collective level. As I've opined before, it seems to me that the recognition of awareness itself has been inherent in Buddhist teaching from the beginning--but only directly articulated more recently in Buddhist and Advaita Vedanta teaching.)

Getting late and i`m tiring....off out most of the day tomorrow. I really enjoy what you have to say Steve.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:28 pm

Ol`ga dahling !

Here I am , off to bed and i`ve just seen all the fun things you`ve posted.
I`ll catch you tomorrow night...i`ve got a long drive and a busy day ahead of me.  got to get my beauty sleep....the [banned term] five elements are knackered, as we say in the trade  Ha ha .....

" I think I'd just say, better relax - and O, how about you start! "

Relax is good.  Believe me or believe me not, if I relax any more, I`ll fall over !

Big hug and good night to you Ol`ga.  :-)
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:45 pm

Hi Ol`ga,  back again....

You said,


" It is the speaker's job to know when to speak, and when not to. I haven't learnt that sense of relaxation , but honestly, what's the hurry?
In my case, the thing to do is, see the sense of urgency in me, see if it is valid; and see why there is the need (a la Mozart in your story, Stan, of his Ma getting him get out of bed)  to make the other person see."

Actually Ol`ga, I didn`t intend the Mozart story to highlight what you are referring to...or only partially.

I think there`s more to that "making the other person see" than enthusiasm or even hurry to convert the other person to one`s way of thinking.

If we`re talking about our "favourite topic", we`re basically talking about knowledge and how it works out or clarifies in our minds.  We are lovers of knowledge as we know how freeing it is.
Proper use of words can express and share knowledge.....and the joy it brings with the `other` person because it is self knowledge and we are all the same in that respect. 
As we have only words with which to express the knowledge, we have to be scrupulously careful in making our words convey their intended meaning .  As we all know, this isn`t always easy and is sometimes darn tricky.  The mind has to be clear or clarified whilst contemplating on the intended meaning of our words and it is sometimes tempting to just give up on the effort.

At the same time, if the meaning can be captured whilst the iron is hot....the meaning being clear,...one needs to get the message out before the moment is lost.   If the meaning is very clear, then it is quite easy to do without stress or hurry.
So there is a bit of a mental conflict going on .  Clarify the mind and capture the message, or just give up on the idea.....  All this whilst knowing clearly that purifying the mind through contemplation is a superb practice !  Nothing purifies the mind like knowledge/ Understanding and it can`t really be rushed......as you mentioned.

So, I really respect your effort to convey your meanings with great care and precision.  It is a willing work that takes effort but it is a labour of love as we are lovers of the Truth. I bow to your willingness to do this `work` and am grateful for it. I love it.




"I used to be a tutor, of maths and English, and I was a very patient and relaxed teacher. But you should see me when I am trying to make my hubby see something, - something that is soooo obvious, something that he as a very intelligent person should readily see. And that stops him from seeing anything, the manner I adopt. And I get all red in the face, my voice gets screechy, or hoarse, or I lose it altogether."

Well, at least you know that you do that and that you would rather not.  Everything is perfect in a perfect world without problems and stresses and it`s not a perfect world of course. I know you would hate to be hurtful to your dear hubby and he surely makes allowances.
" And I get all red in the face, my voice gets screechy, or hoarse, or I lose it altogether."
Reminds you of anyone ?  funny old life.  everything needs laying to rest eventually.




"So, if I get your back up....hmm,  perhaps (only perhaps!) it has sg to do with my manner."

S`ok....you don`t get my back up.  I know it`s just a woman thing.                 Ha ha....only jokin`.  (perhaps! )


 "Oh, this is not contrition (if it is, it should be between me and myself) - I am just looking at the thing a bit."

Yeah....can`t beat "looking".


"Now, about inquiry, as a methodology for looking into the nature of reality, myself, the world. I find it works - at least it works for  me."

Ha ha...you`re kidding right ? Inquiry ?  How else could we tell the Real from the Unreal ?
Look, doubt, inquire, resolve...rinse & repeat.

 

"But there is a certain distrust around of anything that may seem 'intellectual'. I can understand that. There are lots of people around that spout away, repeat what someone else, some great personage, said, and turn it into a doctrine, often missing the whole point of it. That is a pity - it obviously does more harm than good."

True enough.  there`s plenty of that about. always has been and always will be.  It could be a lot worse. did you ever hear of a certain Mr Cohen ?  the ultimate ego basher who never had his own ego bashed.  made the worst excesses at Shasta seem like a vacation in Hawaii.
By the same token, there should be a certain distrust of any teaching that touts enlightenment to be an experience. beyond the mind or transcending the mind or ego.  As the Buddha said, we should be `as lamps unto ourselves`.  The teachers who are `so not here` are the worst kind of all.  they ask you to surrender to them and leave Reason outside of the door.
What could possibly go wrong !  Ha ha .....


"Much love, and other somersaults,"

Much love to you too Ol`ga.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:14 pm

Hi Steve,
Sorry I couldn`t get back to you sooner.  You said earlier....

" I think that language and concepts are primarily a collective process. Many of us may have a realization which does not become easily expressed until the necessary language and knowledge base is sufficiently well recognized at a collective level."

Yes, I think that`s true.  Part of the problem here is , what do you mean exactly by the term..."Realization" ?  What is realized ?  A realization is an experience and so it is by nature impermanent.  Although the experience may not last, the person who had the experience may have been able to `capture` the knowledge contained in it. 

If the knowledge is complete, then it would be for the experiencer,.... `I am whole and complete. I am unborn, self aware needing no other verification outside of myself, (self luminous), non experiencing Awareness.  This is unlikely to have come with a comprehensive train of thoughts to that effect in the immediate moment but that would be the essence of it.  It certainly takes time to be assimilated but the mind will straight away start to bring the knowledge into manifestation. it will start to purify without effort because knowledge is not memory dependent ( can you forget yourself ?) and cannot be negated.  As we are talking about self knowledge, when are you not you ? can you remove yourself out of the whole equation ?
If the understanding is not total straight away....which is by far the norm, the mind can realize it`s own nature by even just a few words if it is highly prepared or `ripe`.  A realization is not essential as knowledge is not dependent on experiences but understanding and that comes via inguiry and contemplation.....often unrecognised and naturaly in some people.
Either way, the mind will not rest until the very last doubt of it`s nature is removed.

It`s possible for this to happen in meditation but meditation is not `designed` for the attainment of self knowledge as the (non separate) self was always self aware.  It is designed to purify the mind and turn it inwards so as it can contemplate on the nature of it`self.
However, if self inquiry takes place at the moment of Realization, the self is realized by default and it is a very undramatic and subtle shift in Awareness.  easy to miss the full implications.

‘In meditation, the meditator is making an enquiry in the inner world. The Self is the one who’s watching the meditation. Meditation is creating the conditions where it’s easier to discriminate the Self from the objects appearing in the Self. As per Jiyu`s sitting under a bridge and watching the cars go bye.
Liberation is understanding the difference between the Self and the objects.

In meditation, one doesn`t  have physical objects to worry about. one only has subtle objects to worry about. When we’re meditating one can ‘see’ or ‘feel’ or ‘hear’ the Silence, which is an object You can know it.

One sees the sounds coming into the Silence and disappearing out of the Silence; one can see the thoughts coming in the Silence and out of the Silence. If one has an important experience, then one`ll feel emotions generated out of that experience appearing in the Silence and disappearing out of the Silence again.

So we have two objects in meditation. we have the Silence and the mental activity appearing in it. And there’s a third factor there too!     The third factor is Me, the Witness of the Silence. If one sees or experiences or knows Silence, one can’t be Silence because `you can’t be what you see`.

In meditation, there are these three factors all the time. Meditation is sitting still and sorting out how the Silence is known. Where do I fit into this scenario? Who or what am I?

If you’re the one sitting in Silence, you are not free because the Silence is bigger than you. It encompasses you. But  ask who sees the Silence encompassing me? Who sees my body sitting in the Silence?

It’s recognition of that awareness as yourself that is freedom .
That’s why one can gain freedom in meditation, assuming that one`s looking for the Witness and you’re not looking for a particular experience.
If one`s looking for a particular experience in meditation, one will miss the one who’s witnessing the experience, the one who is always free of the experience !

No matter what experience you have externally or internally, you precede and survive every experience.
A particular experience appears and is witnessed by you; it stays for a while…witnessed by you…and then it declines and disappears, but do you disappear when the experience goes?
No.
You just remain as the Witness and the next experience appears, persists and declines. So the awareness that’s constantly there, the Knower, the Witness, the Seer…that’s me. Identify with it and one is free because it is limitless. It’s permanent, never goes or comes. By contemplating on this, you  get the freedom that comes with the knowledge of who I am.
It`s `the same when you`re extroverted and running around in the world but you won’t notice it there. It is easy in meditation by comparison.

From the individual`s  point of view, meditation is a direct means of burning the vasanas, ameliorating one`s  negative tendencies (conditioning), because holding onto the Silence, which is the Self reflecting in a pure, meditative, mind, and you forego the vasanas..compulsions, which keeps them from connecting the senses to the objects.  if they are not fed/ indulged, they slowly wither and die off.



"As I've opined before, it seems to me that the recognition of awareness itself has been inherent in Buddhist teaching from the beginning--but only directly articulated more recently in Buddhist and Advaita Vedanta teaching.)"

Well....more widely articulated at least.  The knowledge has been available and unchanged in the teachings of vedanta for over 5,000 years.  It`s main problem was that it hasn`t been taught in english until recently and is generally identified with Hinduism which does not travel at all well to western culture....it`s just too radical a difference.  There is a very definite logic behind the Indian symbolism which is all a coded and imbedded teaching of non duality.
It has always been a science about Awareness from the start and is not a religion.  It is a methodology for removing the ignorance of our true nature and from the very start, the teaching says that you are Awareness.  That`s a major difference with current Buddhism.  It goes on to teach just what that means.

Certainly the Buddha was enlightened but i`m not sure so many of his followers were over time.
It`s ironic that the multitudinous and at that point confusing symbols of the self that he tried to get rid of, were later morphed into countless Buddhas, Boddhisatvas and such like.  I`m a bit of a sucker still, in being a bit of an optimist.  I`m still hoping further lost Buddhist teachings will be found and translated to fill out the Buddhist teachings.

I`m adding below an interchange between a vedanta teacher and an inquirer as I think you may find it interesting.

http://shiningworld.com/site/satsang/index.php?r=site/sendPdf&id=2174
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:50 pm

Stan, thanks for your reply--and my perennial apology for my often delayed reply!

To respond to just one of your (many excellent) thoughts:

"Yes, I think that`s true.  Part of the problem here is , what do you mean exactly by the term..."Realization" ?  What is realized ?  A realization is an experience and so it is by nature impermanent."

From a nondual perspective, Awareness itself transcends manifested existence--while giving rise to manifested existence.

I would say that experience of transcendent awareness--kensho--occurs within time ONLY because it occurs within the framework of a separate self-construct, in which awareness remains identified AS a separate self.

When awareness re-identifies AS Awareness--WITH a separate-self human mind-body--there is no longer a problem...

I would propose that AS Awareness--Awareness can and does "experience" Awareness continually...


In other words, as Awareness itself, we are not limited to just "knowing" awareness through knowledge. We have full access to knowing awareness through direct experience--NOT as an "object" or an "event" in time and space--but as WHAT WE ARE.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:14 am

Stan wrote:
A realization is an experience and so it is by nature impermanent.

Not really, a realization is a realization, an experience is an experience. If I realize I am Jewish that is not an experience and that realization will not fade. It may be tied up with an experience, I may be everjoyed, I may be deeply dismayed, or I may be quite indifferent, but the realization itself is not the experience.

There was a whole thread about this about a week ago, which started off with an essay by a Tibetan gentleman who made this distinction.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:44 am

Hi Ben,
You said...

"Not really, a realization is a realization, an experience is an experience"

Can you have a Realization without an experience ?
If so, how so ?     I think I should have left it here :-)

I think not, otherwise, how would you know it ?
A realization and an experience both happen in time.  There has to be an experiencer and something experienced and, the two need to come together. the result we call an experience.
The very same can be said with a realization, as you said.  But are they two different things ?

You can say `I realize I am Jewish` and, you can also say, `I experience myself to be Jewish`.  what`s the difference ?     They are both just knowledge.

When Steve was talking about "A Realization" he was talking about self knowledge (kensho) and not object knowledge.  The two are not the same.  Self knowledge, IF.. it is complete, is permanent because the self is permanent and memory does not play a part in that.  It can`t be negated because you can`t negate yourself as an object. just trying to think of one`s self as an object is an exercise in futility because there is always a witness to every object.

Object knowledge or relative knowledge as per duality, isn`t  usable for self knowledge because you are never an object.

It only works for objects and gives relative knowledge which is not permanent.
You can indeed forget you are Jewish.....you can forget who you are.  You can convert to Christianity and then that knowledge will not only fade, it will be completely gone !
Is temporary knowledge Real knowledge at all ?

Why would you ever need to "realize i am jewish" ?  It`s just another way of saying "I know i`m Jewish".
Experience without the knowledge it conveys has virtually no meaning. they are part and parcel of each other and every experience has a beginning and an end.

I think what we are really saying is that there is a difference between knowledge and experience.  my point being that if you guide yourself by your experiences alone...which most people do, then you always stand on uncertain ground.  I still maintain that knowledge and experience are two sides of one coin.  the experience is temporary but the knowledge it conveys isn`t...IF.. it`s self knowledge.  There`s no safe ground in the shifting sands of temporary or worldly knowledge and that`s where experience and realization occur. where else ?

I did participate on the thread concerning the Rinpoche`s article and voiced my disagreement with some of what he wrote, giving my reasoning....i think you answered it.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:04 am

Mark,

So glad to hear that you`re on the right side of things healthwise !

sorry to hear of Mike Lesser`s news.

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Mike Lesser, who some here will know, has lung cancer and has been given nine to eighteen months. His typically robust response was 'I wondered what the f*** I was doing all those years just sitting. Now I know. Best deal I ever bought into.'

What a great thing to be able to say !
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:45 am

I think the point is, my realizing I'm Jewish won't wear off, but probably a kensho will. So maybe calling "kensho" a "realization" is just a lazy use of the word, and one should be satisfied with calling it an experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:52 am

from a different perspective, my own....

I know i`m not Polish, British or any other `ish.  it really has nothing to do with me.
I know who I am, and that`s knowledge....hard and fast.
and yes, i`ve forgotten kenshos.  they both inspired and confused me.  glad to be rid
of all that stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone out there know what happens when you die? I really wish I did   Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:56 am

Steve,
No apologies...please.  you`re pretty quick on the reply button. quicker than I am, I think.

Quote :
From a nondual perspective, Awareness itself transcends manifested existence--while giving rise to manifested existence.

If you`d have missed out that "from a non dual perspective" qualifier, I would have said that you had strayed off track.  why, because Awareness doesn`t transcend anything. from it`s `point of view, there isn`t anything to transcend as there is nothing else.  Reality being non dual.
It`s all about perspectives ...which one you `stand in`.  The real or the apparent and of course, if you`re standing in the Real, then it has to be AS the Real.....Awareness.

That "giving rise to manifested existence" is really tricky.
What does giving rise mean ?  Does Awareness give rise to anything...does it need to ?  If it did, it could only be more Awareness.
How can Awareness create ?  it is only that by which we know what we know.
And yet you`re right.....the manifested existence...exists !  we can experience it. 
Awareness doesn`t have the ability to perceive and experience objects because of it`s limitless non-dual nature but it `magically` (with the appearance of Ignorance/ technical word Maya) produces a mirror-like lens  or apparatus of the individual`s mind, which is capable of experiencing Maya/ Ignorance`s creation.

This being so, the Individual being only an insentient reflective apparatus ...just like our moon in relation to the sun, how can the Individuals reflective apparatus/ the mind, realize it`s own nature as the `sunlight` ?
The individual cannot recognise it`s nature as the sunlight because it isn`t conscious/ Aware.

The only possible explanation as to what happens in self-realization is that Awareness itself realizes it`s own `sunlight` through the apparent mirror like property of the individual`s mind.  therefore, Awareness becomes capable to indirectly perceive and experience the apparent creation AND retain the knowledge of it`s true non-dual nature.
All that is left to know is that you are Awareness first and foremost, and an apparent Individual second.

Going back to your "from a non dual perspective" statement, I think that you`re working from a good place.  Awareness has no location and everything can be viewed as though from different platforms or points of view.   There are a few ways of looking at it....
From the point of view of Awareness.
From the point of view of Ignorance. ( the apparent creator and creation )
from the level of Macrocosmic Vasanas or the Creator`s ignorance which are the motivators of Desire and Action.
From the level of the mind. (fears and Desires )
and...
From the level of Action.

As the Creation is a result of Ignorance, it isn`t actually temporal or causal.  It`s a projection which means it happens all at once.
We just give a concession to the idea of time and causation in order to explain things to the self that thinks it is an individual so as to rid it of it`s Ignorance of it`s nature.  The darn eternal `why` never goes away without self knowledge being in place...not that there`s a `place` of course !

The purpose of all the teachings is not for the understanding of creation but to just reveal the true self. having said that, one can`t fully understand the self without understanding the nature of the creation.

Quote :
I would say that experience of transcendent awareness--kensho--occurs within time ONLY because it occurs within the framework of a separate self-construct, in which awareness remains identified AS a separate self.

Yes...can`t fault what you said there Steve !  If I was a teacher..which i`m not, and I had my red crayon out, i`d just have to put it down again.. Ha ha.... I like to try and pick up on Ignorance and doubts as it`s an exercise that helps purify my `individual`s mind but, no joy for me here....
I don`t think you need the "only" but i`m quibbling now.
Awareness always seems to remain as an apparent object to the Ego/Individual until the subtle shift in Awareness happens when the ego/individual is no longer thought to be the seer of Awareness. It now becomes an object IN Awareness instead of the subject which is how it always has been.  The `world` just gets tipped the right way up.

Quote :
When awareness re-identifies AS Awareness--WITH a separate-self human mind-body--there is no longer a problem...

Yes, this is the Individual realizing it`s true nature as Awareness as mentioned earlier.  There never was a problem from the platform of Awareness.

Quote :
I would propose that AS Awareness--Awareness can and does "experience" Awareness continually...

Yep, I second that !  Awareness is non-dual.  It sees no other. furthermore, everything that is projected on to Awareness is only Awareness also.  Only Awareness is sentient and self knowing.
That "continually" is a dualistic word.  Strictly speaking, you don`t need it and it subtly implies that there could be a time or possibility when Awareness does not experience itself.

Quote :
In other words, as Awareness itself, we are not limited to just "knowing" awareness through knowledge. We have full access to knowing awareness through direct experience--NOT as an "object" or an "event" in time and space--but as WHAT WE ARE.

Phew...that was a bit shaky until you got to... " Not as an "object" or an "event" in time and space.... but as WHAT WE ARE.
Yes, that is saying  "I am Awareness" period.  Awareness..you..are self knowing.  you don`t need anyone to tell you that you exist and Awareness is another word for Existence.  There is no such thing as Awareness without Existence nor Existence without Awareness.

Someone could say .... well actually, a stone can exist without being Aware.  But really it doesn`t have an existence of it`s own.  it doesn`t know it exists but it exists.  Well yes, but for whom then ?  It could be only for the apparent Individual which is also insentient !  insentient objects in an insentient Individual...where`s the Reality in that ?  It could work if one were a stone but hey, we`re not a stone !  Ha ha ......

We all have the pieces of the jigsaw in our hands...the puzzle is how to put them all together to get the full vision of non duality ?  It needs a teaching to match and fortunately, there is one.

Thanks for the workout Steve.  Don`t hurry back !      Ha ha just joking ;-)
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