Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 27, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
Meditation shouldn't be an escape from some "thing". It should be a face to face duel between the mind and the soul. Quietly controlled. Isn't that what Buddha taught?


Not exactly.

I cannot overstate this: The biggest barrier to understanding any of the subjective stuff mentioned on this thread is that Maike, Jan and I are approaching the issue from an experiential angle FIRST. That is, you do the pracice, for many years, and later you search for words that approximate the terrain in a symbolic way. The other method, if you can call it one, is to try and reckon the terrain BEFORE you have the experiential quotient. That task is basically impossible - we can easily see why. And so you end up with people believing that "detaching" is an attempt to "escape" from something. Think of detaching here in the psychological way that kids individuate away from their parents. They break enmeshment and start to develop no longer fused to any particular person, place of thing.

Put diferently, the motto is to movie neither toward nor away from anything, developing an MO where you have no preference, so when the untoward happens, you can hang in the pocket without dashing off. Like everything else, no one does this perfectly, but being willing to try and live this way goes a long ways in doing so.

I hope to get some time to look over Mike's references this weekend.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 27, 2013 - 03:45pm PT
. . . arguing that a focus on Being is an illegitimate and useless topic of discussion in our contemporary age of analytical mental-rationalism. An interest in Being is becoming impossible to talk about, and apparently silly

I am in complete agreement with this. A discursive approach to "being" is absurd. One might as well be counting those angels on the head of a pin.

As for Base's comments about risk, over fifty years ago when I was working on the Thimble with a young airman spotting me, an older couple parked nearby, and the woman asked the husband, "what are they doing?" His reply, "They're teenagers out looking for a thrill."


;>)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 27, 2013 - 06:11pm PT
BASE:

If ever you can stay right in the pocket with the tsunami of experience, and the right-now of it all, and at the same time detach from it completely, where, exactly, do you find yourself?

Short answer (per my experience): the so-called "pure land," the unborn, the no-thing. This is our fundamental nature. Empty. Nothing. As Mike was saying, you can't get to the bottom of this (or anythng else) because there is no "this" there. All things continuously issue from not a goddam thing at all. Nothing.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 27, 2013 - 08:33pm PT
All things continuously issue from not a goddam thing at all. Nothing



0 = ∞


;>(
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 27, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
The term "experience" that a yogi might use refers to something different than your mother's use of the word "experience" when she talked about what it was like having a baby (a very intense event, I imagine).

I don't think spiritual "experience" is exactly the right word. No word really is. ("Oh, God, . . . there he goes again.")

Experience, as it is usually used, refers to something that people can describe and can think about. Walking on the wrong side of town and getting held up at gun point is an experience that people can describe and think about. So is having a baby, or climbing a mountain, or doing anything in the world. So is having a dream, or having an imaginary conversation with Karl Marx, or being afraid of the bogeyman in the interior world we call our minds.

Without interpretations or sensory inputs, what is pure subjectivity, noticing noticing, being aware of awareness, pristine awareness without elaboration? Not heightened senses, not intense experiences--just experience, just the awareness of equal phenomena that are non-repeating displays of infinitely creative and energetic mind. Like watching a movie without any meaning showing up. Just observing reality, the lila, a play put on by actors who are acting out their roles for their own amusement.

You, on the other hand, are neutral, yet completely involved beyond any sense of control, you being you, not being able to help yourself being you. Sitting in the allegory of the cave, watching the display, aware that it's just a play being put on by mind. Just pixels.

"Experience?" Hmmm, not quite. More like infinitely creative, spontaneous, unified, empty subjectivity.

THAT experience. Just experience as experience. No attachment, no aversions, no obscurations, nothing that blocks the view of pure subjectivity. No observer, nothing observed, just observation.

A little tough to get it into words. Impossible, really.


The other experience--the kind that everyone talks about in almost every instance--is a prime example of a mythological structure of consciousness. (Myth is the basis and expression for religion.) Our current era of consciousness is the mental-rational structure of consciousness. When people are making or analyzing scientific models, that's the typical indication of mental-rational representation, conceptualization, and manipulation.

"Experience collectors" (people who seek out "fateful action" situations) are operating primarily in a mythological consciousness, where stories and images are expressing consciousness. (If we were completely mental-rational analytical conceptual thinkers, there would be no need for stories or to refer to experiences.)

None of us are living completely in one structure of consciousness or another. We live in all of them simultaneously. We live in our instincts, in our emotions, in our stories and our experiences, and in our mental-rational conceptualizations. Striking out at myth or emotions or instincts or even conceptualizations is silly and false, when all of us are engaged in all of them regularly.

If there is a new structure of consciousness that's emerging these days, it's a recognition of them all equally and simultaneously.

I think what Largo has been attempting to point to (he and I haven't really talked much about it though) is what lies at the origin of all of those structures of consciousness. Below all consciousness is awareness, a pristine awareness, which is all there really is anyway. Those other structures of consciousness (yes, many just projections) I just discussed above are veils (even though they serve a process of unfoldment of Being).
MH2

climber
Jul 28, 2013 - 01:30am PT
Let's get down to cases, here, which are all there really is, anyway.


http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/241532
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 28, 2013 - 05:46pm PT
For one thing, you should do it in real life just to know what it is like.

Here's the rubric: real life. Where is it? Which is it? What should I make of it?

I rouse this morning at 5:11 am to find the cat sleeping on my chest. I open my eyes and feel the early morning illuminate the trees from gray to green. My wife snores gently, and the room is quiet as an empty church. Is this real life?

I feel a bullet slip through between tibia and fibia on Feburary 3, 1968 in a little village outside of Bien Hoa. This after another bulletl disarmed me and got me hiding in a haystack. My 19-year life flashes before my eyes, and it's way too short. Everything is deathly quiet. I'm sure I'll die. Everything is crystal clear. Is this real life?

I have a couple beers after a long run, and the air around me is palpable. Friends talk, but I hardly hear them. Motes of dust freeze in time. Is this real life?

A student challenges me directly in the hallway for being a racial bigot. I failed her. At first I am stunned. Then I get Really Angry at her and recount the data and the evaluation. Is this real life?

A few weeks after we've started a new business, hired eight people, and put everything we own and our parents' net value on the line, my wife walks in and tells me she wants a divorce. I feel no ground under my feet. I'm dizzy from the exposure. Is this real life?

The radiation and chemo is making me into a zombie. I don't want to talk to anyone, I can only watch the food channel, and I look forward to the next round of percocets and medical marijuana. I feel seasick 24X7 for 8 weeks. I'm choking on my own thick saliva. I'm not caring about anything anymore. I can see how people could just let go of living. Is this real life?

I look at my hands right now, and they look foreign to me. What am I doing? Why am I spending the time to write? What does any of this matter to anyone? Is this real life?

My wife just walked by, stopped here at the table, bent over and said, "give me a kiss." I said, "how come?" She says nothing, and just kisses me. (How cool is that?) Is this real life?

Real life is happening all the time. It comes in different qualities, intensities, and with different meanings. It's real. You can't turn any of it off. You can't get outside of any of it. Not even with suicide, I suspect. It's the just the dimensions of it that shifts. Intensity? Well, that depends how much you're paying attention to it. In its most quiet and still moment, it is indescribable, ungraspable, undecipherable, indeterminate, open, spontaneous, and somehow singular. I don't get any of it. It's becoming a complete mystery to me. I'm becoming detached, yet I find I REALLY like people more and more, not matter how silly or jerky they are. Is this real life?


Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 28, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
MikeL:

Your recent posts have been kick- ass, my friend.

I can only watch the food channel

Me too.
My favorite all-time chef is Jacque Pepin.
MH2

climber
Jul 28, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
Is this real life?


Only if it gets on film or TV. Promising material, though.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 28, 2013 - 08:42pm PT
Very impressive, MikeL. Some of the best on this thread.


;>)
pa

climber
Jul 28, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
MikeL,
thank you...once again.
jstan

climber
Jul 29, 2013 - 01:55am PT
MikeL:

Because of your post above, I am going to stop saying what I have been saying about you.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 29, 2013 - 08:08am PT
Students achieving Oneness will move on to Twoness. - Woody Allen
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 29, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Hey, Ward;

I hope you're not going through treatment right now.

M.

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

Thx, & cheers.

"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends."
(Walt Whitman)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 29, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
I hope you're not going through treatment right now.

Oh no. Apparently I'm good .( knock on wood)
The closest I've been to a doctor recently is my climbing partner, who is a physician.

In fact we are going a- climbin' this Thurs. up at Holcomb Pinnacles near Big Bear Lake.
Beautiful locale. I have just hit on the idea of swimming in the lake, which we pass on the way out. High of 80 degrees up there now. 7500 elevation.
Everyone needs a good swimin' hole from time to time.

Holcomb



Big bear lake

go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jul 29, 2013 - 05:45pm PT
It is Beginning! — II
Mathew 28, John 20

Pastor Greg Laurie says we can access God's power to overcome the temptations in our lives. He says it's the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Listen for seven important things we need to know about the Resurrection.

http://www.harvest.org/radio/listen/2013-07-29.html?autoplay=1

http://www.harvest.org/pdf/gregs-notes-a-new-beginning-teaching-outlines_23/it-is-beginning-_1654.pdf

...why you need the grace of our Lord simply put!
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 30, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neuroscientists-dalai-lama-swap-insights-meditation

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
From introspection, we are all familiar with the mental clutter, the chatter that makes up our daily life. It is a rapid fire of free associations, of jumping from one image, speech fragment or memory to the next. Late-night lucubrations are particularly prone to such erratic zigzagging. Focusing on a single line of argument or thought requires deliberate, laborious and conscious effort from which we flee. We prefer to be distracted by external stimuli, conversations, radio, television or newspapers. Desperate not to be left alone within our mind, to avoid having to think, we turn to our constant electronic companions to check for incoming messages.

From Cintune's link above: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neuroscientists-dalai-lama-swap-insights-meditation

This is an essentially negative appraisal of that day to day thinking we all engage in.
The author makes no attempt to separate garden-variety frenetic distraction from ordinary thinking and minute to minute consciousness and perception.

The first part in the last line in the above quote is pretty much the unenlightened boilerplate blurb on the matter, and should be familiar to readers of this thread.

Up thread quite a ways I included several posts in which I linked the nature, pace, and rhythm of ordinary mental activity to the mandates of biological survival in a harsh and uncompromising world of tooth and claw.
I emphasized the utter immediate futility and ineffectiveness of navel gazing as a means to either procure food , appraise the ever-changing landscape ,or as a defense against bloodthirsty predators.

Moreover, I have recently considered the hypothetical possibility, as yet unproven , that those forms of experience commonly referred to here as non- discursive -- actually may even be subliminally and psychologically erosive of ordinary consciousness and the clear survival advantage that it confers.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 30, 2013 - 07:30pm PT
Moreover, I have recently considered the hypothetical possibility, as yet unproven , that those forms of experience commonly referred to here as non- discursive -- actually may even be subliminally and psychologically erosive of ordinary consciousness and the clear survival advantage that it confers.


Perhaps you could let us know what you mean by "ordinary consciousness," being as speccific as you can per focus, awareness, attention, and thought management. As is, your ideas are couched in such vague language it's hard for me to understand what you are saying. Or, it sounds like you are suggesting that if we are faced with a tough and immediate threat on, say a run-out climb, that non-discursive expeditions can "erode" our ability to respond in kind.

I guess I'm most curious to learn what actual experiences you have had that would lead you to the above conclusions.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 30, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
This isn't the first time I've wished that David Attenborough would overdub narration on this thread.
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