Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 13301 - 13320 of total 22344 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
Ur bolstering "will" or the ego.

It's only your materialistic, scientific mind that makes it seem impossible.



*Nice shots though! Is that on Intersection?
Note; the sky is phenomenal right now in JTree!
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
What are the goals here? Is the resulting state some sort of ineffable consequence? How are lives changed or enhanced by the process? Why do it?

Sure hope this gets a straight answer.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 11, 2013 - 07:02am PT
What are the goals here? Is the resulting state some sort of ineffable consequence? How are lives changed or enhanced by the process? Why do it?

Good question and one that I ask myself often, simultaneously knowing such questions are one of the major distractions from the path.

In the beginning I did it for the same reasons I took up rock climbing or travel or anthropology - for the challenge and adventure of it all.

I also had a strong incentive since the people I lived among in the Himalayas were so involved in meditation and many other interesting practices and phenomenon. I felt there must be something there, given the unusual experiences I had with them, and the quality of the people so engaged.

Soon after I started meditating, I had the first of many extraordinary internal experiences which began as very similar to some of those I had experienced on peyote. I heard sounds and saw lights and experienced what is written about in esoteric texts. I realized that the colors and forms of many religious symbols, art and architecture, originated from these internal visionary experiences.

The next stage was encountering the ghosts and demons of my own unconscious, a veritable cess pool given my childhood. These were accompanied by extraordinary surges of energy. I gradually came to terms with these early experiences and forgave the people involved. One day I experienced the most powerful phenomenon of all which involved light and what felt like electricity.

After that I was at a new level. I realized that enlightenment was a relative term. Every new level or stage involves a form of enlightenment until the final one whenever that is. Afterwards, I held no animosity toward anyone, and I could think of anything that had happened to me without emotion other than compassion, for the ignorance of all involved. Karma shedding.

I continued on but became less focussed on myself and more on other people and their problems and on community service. I experienced another stage which involved going through a symbolic portal and another and then the portal itself faded away, and I understood there is no single focus to head for, all is light, all is sacred. This is another recognized stage on the path.

I continued to engage in intensive practices from two different religious traditions. One day in the midst of a multi-week intensive, I was walking on an isolated beach and had an experience in which my verbal, discursive brain was completely shut down and I spent an hour and a half walking up and down the beach, unable to have a single thought in words, yet totally aware and united to everything. I felt my consciousness had been united to the universal consciousness or that I had experientially just realized it for the first time, having stripped all the verbal accumulation away. Primordial mind.

Since then I have tried to make daily life a meditation, but often get pulled back into the turmoil of the phenomenal world. My experiences have outgrown my wisdom and ability to live out my insights from day to day. I have realized that at one level, you never go back to where you were before and at another level, a superficial level, you can sure appear to do that, especially to yourself.

Lately I have begun feeling that it is time to do some more intensive meditation - that I have been on this plateau long enough. When I get through my retirement transition and move from Japan back to America finished, that is the next step. Perhaps it is just an instinctive self protection from the material marketplace.

How many more stages and understandings are there? I have no idea. I always have room for improvement as a person and I have seen from others that one can help others at an energetic level rather than a verbal one, if advanced enough. I would guess that's the direction forward. Not much is written about this stage. It is assumed one will have a teacher although that teacher can be an internal one.

I ponder if my experience at the beach was the no- thing- ness that largo talks about, or just a preliminary. In any case it needs stabilization.

Bottom line, I did it for the adventure, I got pulled along into more of the same, I got relief from a lot of afflictive emotions and became a happier person, I opened up my world view and freed myself from being a victim, I became more sensitive to the needs of others and more compassionate and helpful. I have a purpose I didn't have before and I have found something far more challenging than the intellectual and professional world, at the same time my mind is freer to see intellectual connections now and be creative.

I'm sure there are more reasons to pursue this path but those are the ones I've found so far.

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 11, 2013 - 11:42am PT
What I question is the incentive or attraction of reducing one's self to *nothingness* through a disciplined program. What are the goals here? Is the resulting state some sort of ineffable consequence? How are lives changed or enhanced by the process? Why do it?

Jan provides an excellent response if it can be understood.

Any real question will resolve itself. There is never an answer. There is just the question. When one fully or completely understands a question, it vanishes.

Nothingness is really not the right word. I don't think there is a right word for what's getting pointed at.

Let's say that you've been alive for a few thousand years, or more. You've been through a lot; you've seen most everything there is to see in life. How would you see living? Would you see everything in it concretely and seriously, or would you see things as transitory, as unfoldings, as being a little empty of substance? Roger Ebert recently passed away, and I wonder how he saw movies the thousands that he viewed? A woman of a large family sees life more gently than people who have had no children. A health worker who sees death and dying daily in a hospice cannot help but see life more softly. These are all examples of seeing life in a more relaxed fashion, as melodramas--even in the most horrific situations. They are like shadows, like reflections in a mirror, like skyrockets in the sky. Pfftttt, things are here, and then they are gone. Even their traces vanish.

I'd say that the goal is to have no goals. Eschew intentions to engineer consequences. Align with the universe. Realize who and what you are.

I don't mean to be flippant or to challenge what appears to be everyday common sense, but why do anything at all, John? In the long run, you'll be dead, no one will remember anything that you did or achieved, and the so-called universe will go on as if nothing whatsoever had changed. What IS worth doing? Maybe nothing. Just relax and be who and what you are. Strip away everything extraneous, superfluous, and elaborate, and what you are left with is Being. What's that? Why, I'd say that's everything.


Jan said that a teacher can be an internal one. If you are learning, then *something* is teaching you. If you ask yourself the most challenging questions and with experience those questions are resolving themselves during your lifetime, then you've found your teacher.

MH2

climber
Apr 11, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
It is a privilege to be given a connection to the minds of others. Thanks Jan and MikeL.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 11, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Bottom line, I did it for the adventure,

Best answer ever.



And some news items that might be of interest:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829124.200-stone-tools-helped-shape-human-hands.html

http://io9.com/scientists-succeed-in-objectively-measuring-pain-472456061
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 11, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
Excellent responses, Jan and Mike. Thank you.

;>)
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 11, 2013 - 03:10pm PT
Jan, That was very Special indeed!

Oh how i wish i could resonate my feelings through words..
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 11, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
I feel that the brilliance of Jan's response is in showing that the "process," though it rambles along with it's own direction, inevitably requires that we encounter ever deepening levels of ourselves, right on through the basement of our unconscious, and that this process is more of a winnowing away, of becoming nothing, than the travels of a mind who accomplishes something. We return to simple forms like air, water and light - not perfectly, and never entirely in this life, but, as they say, we are willing to accept spiritual progress - with all of it's ups and downs - rather than spiritual perfection.

JL
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 11, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
More than a century of intensive, well-funded research has failed to pin down memory traces in brains. There may be a simple reason for this: the hypothetical traces do not exist. However long or hard researchers look for them they may never find them. Instead, memories may depend on resonance from an organism's own past. The brain may be more like a television set than a hard-drive recorder. What you see on TV depends on the resonant tuning of the set to invisible fields. No one can find out today what programs you watched yesterday by analyzing the wires and transistors in your TV set for traces of yesterday's programs.

Edit: So the question is, are you all tangled up in the machinery, or can you step back from it into native awareness?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 11, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
I would like to point out that meditation is not the only way to have these insights, but it is the fastest path. Clearly other people on this thread have arrived at many similar insights through discursive thinking, some through selfless service such as rescue work, and others perhaps through the path of personal love. A truly balanced person would approach the inner self through all these paths.

I believe psychoanalysis at its best can do most of what meditation can, but all too often discursive minds get hung up in verbalizing how and why they are afflicted, but unable to summon the internal energy to get beyond those afflictions.

Likewise religion at its best is supposed to be an aid to internal growth but all too often the discursive mind gets stuck on self righteous dogma and rules at the individual level and power trips at the institutional one.

As a cautionary note, the path of meditation in addition to providing fast progress is also said to be a dangerous path, particularly if one has a background of trauma. Eastern teachers have learned that many Westerners need therapy and maybe even therapeutic drugs first, before they can confront the unconscious and its pent up energies as directly as meditation does. Some will never be ready in this lifetime.

The real help of a guru in my experience, comes from their ability to calm ferocious unconscious energies which have arisen prematurely. This is done purely at the energetic level. My own guru through the early difficult stages was Japanese and spoke no English while I spoke only about 25 words of Japanese. This spared me endless hours of fruitless discussion and definitely hastened the process.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:29am PT
Credit: TomCochrane
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 10:40am PT
Discursive:

1. passing aimlessly from one subject to another; digressive; rambling.

2. proceeding by reasoning or argument rather than intuition.

When you guys rattle off on the discursive mind, which of the two definitions are you talking about? Both can apply to me, at times.

Synonyms

1. wandering, long-winded, prolix.

The synonym applies to many of us. I assume that you are discussing reasoning and argument, and attacking that. I say that we are all like that to some degree.

Hey. I was at a full day technical conference on shale reservoirs yesterday, and after the lunch break three of us were waiting at the elevator to go back up to the conference room, which is on the top floor of the coolest hotel in town. When the elevator comes down, Dog the Bounty Hunter walks out. We three go into the elevator and after a few seconds all look at each other trying to figure out the guy's name. Then a younger woman knew who he was.

I'm taller than he is, but man does he have a WWE Mullet.

I just found why he was in town:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50144571n
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:25am PT
I have had many experiences. I'm always up to something.

The best experiences of all tend to happen quickly, over a couple of minutes or so, max.

A really intense experience is cool. An example, but not the only one is from jumping off something big, like El Cap or Halfdome. There are different types of BASE jumps, and the majority of them are pretty short. If you have ever seen a video of somebody jumping and tossing their pilot chute 1 second after exit, well, those jumps are kind of lame in my mind. The best ones by far are the ten second or more freefall jumps.

A description: I am all geared up and we are ready to go. Usually I am with friends, but I rampaged Yosemite mostly by myself for most of a year.

Before the jump, even if it is pretty routine and safe, like El Cap (assuming that you know what you are doing), I would get all nervous and hyped up. Sometimes I would be terrified during my first twenty or so jumps.

Anyway, when your foot kicks off of the edge, a flood of experience flows over you. You don't think, you just do. Time dilates, and the whole freefall seems to last much longer than it really is. The feeling comes so fast that I liken it to an orgasm, although they are quite different.

You become hyper-aware. You don't think in terms of words in your mind. The experience envelops you, and it is pretty wild.

I've had similar experiences. I was charged by a very angry grizzly bear once, who had been laying on a caribou kill. I dropped my pack and brought up my shotgun but didn't shoot as it stopped about twenty feet away and then circled me. Then he smelled me, let out a big woof! and went up the hill and sat down. I walked over and saw the caribou and realized that that was no bluff charge. It was for real.

I didn't move one inch. I stood there rock steady through the whole thing. Running or freaking out will get you mauled.

I guess that the best description is that these are moments of total clarity. Total clarity, once you have felt it, can suck you in.

Other friends would tend to shut down and go stupid. We see this with jump students at drop zones. I would take people for tandems and they wouldn't remember a damn thing.

Those experiences are right there at the front in my memory. I can remember everything.

Sure, these are contrived experiences, but the result is the same. What sucks about jumping is that after a while it isn't too scary and becomes almost routine. I would still get the clarity on high jumps. 1600 foot antennas at night are pretty wild, and can be quite safe if the wind is in your favor.

If I could bottle that up and sell it, I would rule the world.
WBraun

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:34am PT
You blew it big time, Base.

When you met "Dog, the Bounty hunter" in the elevator you should sized him up real good with eyeballs and then said:

"Hey there's a dog in the elevator off his leash"
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:49am PT
We used to have a saying:

"If you think, you stink."

What that meant was that the act of thinking slowed your response down way too much and you would be meat some day. You had to know every possible bad thing that could happen, and react properly without thinking on jumps.

I can't count the number of jumps that I didn't do. If the wind wasn't right or for some other reason. You do your due diligence before you jump.

On the other end of the expression you have big walls, which can be scary, but are much slower. The experience is more like going to war seems like. Long and drawn out.

I could feel the clarity when soloing sometimes. You know what I'm talking about if you get on a string of routes that you know like the back of your hand. Sometimes we would do this with strings of buddies, soloing route after route after route. I never got into trouble when soloing.

That is the thing about rock climbing. Relatively speaking, it isn't all that dangerous. Even on some hugely run out route, you know what you are getting into unless it is an FA. I did few FA's. I did do some first solo ascents.

You know how you can get all caught up in the movement. I assume it is what people call "flow." Experience really starts when you stop thinking.

If you think, you stink.
Psilocyborg

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:49am PT
"oh great, someone didn't clean up after their dog!"
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:54am PT
No lie. The elevator opened and he took off walking through the lobby at top speed.

I would have preferred it to be Al Franken, but you can't decide these things.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
The brain may be more like a television set than a hard-drive recorder.

Wonderful metaphor.

rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
"thinking can get you more stinking than drinking" A friend who was a sufi told me that once.
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