Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:07am PT
Happiness is a code word?

Depending upon who you talk to, it seems to be.

Some folks are going to say it's biological markers or serotonin levels (neurobiologists), economic material wealth (economists), gross national happiness (not GNP), meaning in life, living a democratic life, the contentment of work (Karma yoga) or living a life of virtue (Socrates), utility levels (Bentham's utilitarianism), some form of intoxication (Confucius), the beatific vision of God (Aquinas), freedom from suffering or an experience of loving kindness and compassion (Buddhists), engagement (Seligman), flow (Csikszentmihalyi), accomplishments (Mazlow, Campbell), amusement, etc.

Everyone gets to pick their own idea of happiness. Happiness is an ambiguous idea, and words are placeholders of not only those different ideas but also to people's worldviews of reality they believe they are living in. Anyway you slice it, happiness is a subjective state of being that arises out of one's sense of reality.

So then, what's core? Why, a pure state of subjective being itself, without limitations, without context, without objectives, without objects, without definition. Just being. Nothing more (there's that word again)--because there can be nothing less.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:27am PT
The material body is the source of all misery ........


That's starts a bifurcation. One makes what seems like a minor distinction about some object, and before one realizes it, there arise opposites (like night and day, like misery and happiness, like objective and subjective). Polarities ("heads" and "tails" are part and parcel) seem like reasonably inchoate articulations of unity, but strong opposites create unnecessary and confusing dualities.

"Body and mind are correlated with misery and happiness?" Would you go for that?
MH2

climber
Apr 25, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
One makes what seems like a minor distinction about some object, and before one realizes it, there arise opposites (like night and day,


I like to live in the early morning when the dew is on the grass and the light is growing.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 25, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
I believe that I understand what was described as no-thing.

Just sit for a little while and try not to think. It is very difficult to do. I am talking about thoughts that appear as words, that chattering background noise that we all do on a constant basis.

So I tried to do this, and it is very difficult. I had to close my eyes and really concentrate on not concentrating, if that makes any sense. That, I suppose is the beginning of thought, or one end of a spectrum, which is what I have been saying for months.

Just take five minutes and try to not think about ANYTHING. I couldn't do it for very long at all.

The point of this needs to be pointed out now. I think it is a fair and honest question.

I would have to say that the most distinct case of no-thing is a general anesthetic. You wake up and think that only a second has passed. What has your noggin been doing for that time?
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Apr 25, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
You can probably do that for as long as you can hold your breath. You're trying to prevent your brain from functioning normally, it should be hard. In fact, your brain is multitasking all the time, with many simultaneous thoughts in the subconscious that you're not aware of. Proof is that when you can't remember something, like someone's name, hours later it will come to you, even though you had no idea your subconsious had been working on it all along.

No doubt you could get yourself into a weird mental state if you stopped conscious thoughts for a long time. So would holding your breath. I'm skeptical that it leads to enlightenment, "being here now" etc. The way to learn about the world, and about yourself, is to think.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 25, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Perhaps the quest for no-thing is like the sequence 1/n approaching 0. It never really gets there. Some people may have enhanced abilities in this endeavor. For example, for JL its like 1/(n*n). Still no ultimate cigar.


;>)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 25, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
Perhaps the quest for no-thing is like the sequence 1/n approaching 0. It never really gets there. Some people may have enhanced abilities in this endeavor. For example, for JL its like 1/(n*n). Still no ultimate cigar.


;>)


The main thing is that BASE is actually trying. The questions and observations that he raised are issues that many traditions have dealt with very comprehensibly for going on 2,500 years.

First point of interest is that attempting to shut off the mind is counterproductive and doesn't work. The trick is to disidentify with mental constructs, especially those with words attached. It's easiest to do with your eyes open. Eyes closed floods your mind with Alpha waves and is dream inducing. The idea is to stay crystal clear and sharp. You can start evaluating the experience after practicing for say ten years.

And John is right IME. Sometimes you can grasp quite a lot of the stogie but not all. As they say, the goal is spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 25, 2013 - 06:23pm PT
I typed that into my calculator and it blew up.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
I look forward to this one...
Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey (2014)

An Ann Druyan produced sequel to Sagan's Cosmos (1980). Neil deGrasse Tyson to present.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmos:_A_Space-Time_Odyssey

This was first day of filming.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
No doubt you could get yourself into a weird mental state if you stopped conscious thoughts for a long time. So would holding your breath. I'm skeptical that it leads to enlightenment, "being here now" etc. The way to learn about the world, and about yourself, is to think.

I'm amazed that this view is still held 150 years after Freud rediscovered the unconscious (it was never lost in the East). The way to understand yourself is to look at your oldest memories and deepest emotions and those are not stored in the thinking, verbal part of your brain. There's a reason that both meditation schools and psychologists emphasize looking at one's dreams which come from the non verbal, symbolic part of the brain.

It's true that one way to understand the world and yourself is to think. However, a deeper way to understand both, is to access the deeper non verbal levels of your mind. That is done in silence. The first gives knowledge, while the deeper look if pursued long enough, gives wisdom.

Sleep enables us to store long term memories and refresh both body and mind. Thinking of nothing during meditation is even more efficient, but you'll never know unless you try it for some time.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 25, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
The way to learn about the world, and about yourself, is to think.

This statement is the wildest speculation, presented as a known fact. That's why it is disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 25, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
Yeah, or maybe it's just....





Obvious.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Apr 25, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
Largo said

This statement is the wildest speculation, presented as a known fact. That's why it is disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst.


well then the assumption is the opposite is then true

that the best way to learn about the world and yourself is NOT TO THINK

as in, a blank mind, with eyes open

what exactly is then "learned" by not thinking, at all, for a period of time?

or is this one of those things that everyone else gets and is lost on me?

WBraun

climber
Apr 25, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
True meditation is to purify the mind from material contamination.

All the senses must be purified too.

Then one enters their original state.

Not that one stops thinking.

Stopping thinking can never be done.

But purified clear thinking can.

The gross materialists never understand due to their material contaminated minds.

This is why they are "Mental Speculators"

Their minds are always filled with nonsense ......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 25, 2013 - 10:16pm PT
well then the assumption is the opposite is then true

No. That's called all or nothing thinking, otherwise known as a thought distortion.

that the best way to learn about the world and yourself is NOT TO THINK

as in, a blank mind, with eyes open


What is your experience with maintaining a "blank mind?" What is it, in your experience? What makes you curious about it?

what exactly is then "learned" by not thinking, at all, for a period of time?

Nobody can tell you that since it varies radically person to person. But a lazy approach of merely noodling the question will yield no results. Try doing the simple things BASE suggested and tell us what you find. 50 to 1 you won't bother - but I'd love to be surprised.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:45pm PT
Enlightenment is just a concept. Don't look for altered states. They don't abide.

"Being" is meditation, a non-meditation.

The only thing you learn about at any time, anywhere, in any situation . . . is yourself. Silence is the great teaching.

What do you learn? You learn there are no tenets of belief to buy into, there are no devotions or faith conditions to revelation, there are no rituals to interpret or structures to understand. Simply experience here and now. In the here and now there's no progress, no personal growth, no maturity, no evolution, no meditation, no discipline, nothing to do, no place to go, nothing to discriminate, nothing that feeds prejudice or bias, no one or no thing to change, no controller, and no control. The here and now is free-form display. It is natural perfection seen by a wide open mind, directly and nakedly.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 26, 2013 - 01:08am PT
Mike has just done a fine job of pointing towards the realm of presence, from which we derive the term, human being.

JL
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Apr 26, 2013 - 01:29am PT
__True meditation is to purify the mind from material contamination.

All the senses must be purified too.

Then one enters their original state.

Not that one stops thinking.

Stopping thinking can never be done.

But purified clear thinking can.

The gross materialists never understand due to their material contaminated minds.

This is why they are "Mental Speculators"

Their minds are always filled with nonsense ......__
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Apr 26, 2013 - 01:36am PT
__True meditation is to purify the mind from material contamination.

All the senses must be purified too.

Then one enters their original state.

Not that one stops thinking.

Stopping thinking can never be done.

But purified clear thinking can.

The gross materialists never understand due to their material contaminated minds.

This is why they are "Mental Speculators"

Their minds are always filled with nonsense ......__
Quote Here

Crazy 'ole Werner kinda gets it! I really hate all the purist, buddhist, hindu crap, but the afterlife and the maker are there. Likes spokes ona wheel, religion goes round and round. Each spoke is a faith.....all lead to a "hub".
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 26, 2013 - 10:46am PT
I really hate

That doesn't fly well in this thread. Please go away or be a very good listener.
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