Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Oct 24, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
"Since we started talking about this, I've tried it many times, and I have no luck. It is difficult indeed, and I recommend everyone try it. Just sit down, close your eyes, and try to empty your head. I can't stop thinking. At least I have a taste of what Largo and MikeL are trying to do. It isn't easy, as they have said."

How does intentionly trying to pay attention to what you are doing and experiencing moment to moment(Zen style meditation) have anything to do with trying to empty your head of thinking? I sincerely doubt that is what MikeL and Largo are trying to do.

Trying to do that is like trying learn how to rock climb with snowshoes on because someone told you that is what everybody else does.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 24, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
I'm not sure what JL and MikeL do. They have said many times that you need a guide or mentor or teacher.

For me, that is all academic. If they can prove that there is a soul which outlives the death of the body, then that would be an earth shattering discovery. Mainly because there is no physical evidence of this happening. Only allegories and old tales.

I have been thinking about something for JL and MikeL:

If, during your studies and mental voyaging, have you ever noticed anything that your instructor says is incorrect? Meaning, is this venture a rigid road with only one path that has been proven for a couple of thousand years, or do you make discoveries along the way that you came up with independently.

Notice that I don't toss JL and MikeL into any sort of religious category. They are flexing their mental muscles, and it has nothing to do with myth, or so I think.

I've always been interested in Buddhism for that reason: It requires no belief in a deity or magic. It is all there inside of your head.

As for their dismissive remarks about the meat brain, I'm going to finally get to see my good friend who just had the massive stroke. He is paralyzed on one side and has aphasia (inability to speak). I have another friend with aphasia, and his brain re-wired itself after his speech center was destroyed. He can talk quite well now. He doesn't have slurred speech or anything like that. He just can't find words to fit ideas.

This has me wondering if stroke victims no longer think in words. I often think in words. I'll ask the guy who had his stroke seven years ago.

They are all there inside that head. They just can't find words. Written OR spoken. It has been fascinating to watch him recover.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 24, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 24, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
Other forms:

"In his sleep he could hear the horses stepping among the rocks and he could hear them drink from the shallow pools in the dark where the rocks lay smooth and rectilinear as the stones of ancient ruins and the water from their muzzles dripped and rang like water dripping in a well and in his sleep he dreamt of horses and the horses in his dream moved gravely among the tilted stones like horses come upon an antique site where some ordering of the world had failed and if anything had been written on the stones the weathers had taken it away again and the horses were wary and moved with great circumspection carrying in their blood as they did the recollection of this and other places where horses once had been and would be again. Finally what he saw in his dream was that the order in the horse's heart was more durable for it was written in a place where no rain could erase it."

MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 24, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
. . . have you ever noticed anything that your instructor says is incorrect?

Yes. They all lie, but that's in an absolute sense.

If you are asking about pointing, not really. Everything is a metaphor; everyone finds their own way; every realization is an inside job.

Largo or Werner would be better at this than I.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 24, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
In my opinion and in my experience, there is only one destination but a million roads to get there. That's why there are so many paths. I'm probably involved in the least popular - Zen. Each different path fits a person's psychological makeup, some better than others.

In the end, what we are all after without knowing it is the dissolution of the "I" and then practicing living in that space where there is all of the normal things going on but minus our attachment to the organizing "self" which seems to be experiencing reality. The problem is that this self is almost certainly an evolved psychological component that in some way aided our survival. Our egos are hooked into self if they are not entirely the self. And that's the rub. We have survival hooked into defending our self and so giving it up even for brief moments is vastly counterintuitive, and can never be accomplished at the level of the ego, which will always defend its right to be in charge.

And yet many if not most of us have some inchoate, vague inner hankering to get past our own selves in some way or another, to seek and come to know something larger than our own conditioning. We can go the route of nihilism and existential shrinkage by contrasting the self to the magnitude of the universe and time and end up with a tiny self, shamed into insignificance. But this is simply the flip side of narcissism, and our bond to self, though negative, still rules.

Some even go so far as to place virtue to clinging to a self smashed to insignificance by mortality, time and space, as though this was a kind of existence valor, facing our death and so forth. But this is still being ""bound by self" as they say, and you're no better off than before, while believing yourself courageous.

Others try addictions, porn, spending, climbing, God - anything to escape our limitations. None ever work, yet the basic impulse, to escape self, even through shame and insignificance, is still valid. The main problem is the ego cannot arrange its own escape, nor can a God that is "out there."

That's where the practice comes in. And it's a slippery slope every second of every day.

JL

WBraun

climber
Oct 24, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Not all paths lead to the same place ......

It's impossible to escape from the "self" ....

The ego is the self (individuality).

It's impossible to get rid of individuality.

Merging into the oneness and trying to lose ones individuality is suicide.

Can't be done ultimately anyways although many many try, (nihilism, zero).
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 24, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
Merging into the oneness and trying to lose ones individuality is suicide (Duck)


A point well taken.

Why the desperation to escape from one's self?
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 24, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
Three different views from three different schools. Take your pick--if you're interested. (And there's far more than these three.)

If you drop out of the religious / spiritual veins of practice, you could just as easily find yourself attracted to music, painting, science, martial arts, business, photography, metal working, taxidermy, baking, climbing and any other endeavor that allows you to lose yourself into moment of raw experience. It is then that you can find what and who you are. There's no need to find deities or Gods, principles or laws of the universe, or interpretations of this or that. What you are--all that you really are--is what you get. And it is more than more than enough. It's like a kiss on the cheek from a child at night--perfect!

Find out who and what you are, and everything else is easy, natural, and wonderful.
WBraun

climber
Oct 24, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
There's no need to find deities or Gods, principles or laws of the universe, or interpretations of this or that.

We're talking about the ego the self, individuality, and nihilism.

The next thing the Zen masters mind runs amok and starts talking about religion.

The ego, the self, individuality, and nihilism.

Why are you still carrying religion in your mind?



jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 24, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
. . . yet the basic impulse, to escape self, even through shame and insignificance, is still valid (JL)

I see a big difference in "losing one's self" in an exciting and ultimately pleasing experience like climbing and "escaping one's self" by using drugs, porn, Zen, etc. In one case you relax your ego, indulge it even. In the other you shun it as a devilish illusion, keeping you from merging with the universe.

And then there is all that lies between . . .

Mike's version is more palatable.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 24, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
All these arguments drift away like morning fog, however, when compared to the ultimate question of reality: Who is Red John?


go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Oct 25, 2013 - 07:06am PT
My wife said wouldn't it be funny if Red John was Van Pelt? NAW it wouldn't!
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Oct 25, 2013 - 07:17am PT
I wonder what the characters in "The Grapes of Wrath" would make of all this talk of 'finding one's self' through hobbies, or sitting around thinking about 'nothing'.

You guys are hilarious.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Oct 25, 2013 - 07:39am PT
God created us for Himself, why would you want to escape...

Matthew 5:15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

...come as you are!
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 25, 2013 - 07:49am PT
Why are you still carrying religion in your mind?

Yeah, thanks. I get drawn into such things here. Dumb.

why would you want to escape... ...come as you are!

And this, too.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 25, 2013 - 09:52am PT
see a big difference in "losing one's self" in an exciting and ultimately pleasing experience like climbing and "escaping one's self" by using drugs, porn, Zen, etc. In one case you relax your ego, indulge it even. In the other you shun it as a devilish illusion, keeping you from merging with the universe


Hey John, this is a common misconception. Zen is first and foremost an exercise of detaching from mental content, especially the superego, or Inner Critic, which is the part of the ego structure that would consider itself a "devilish illusion." So long as this is going on, one is operating from the ego itself. From a position of raw awareness, there is no hierarchy of this or that being better or worse than anything else. Things simply are, in all of their diversity. Such a radical acceptance or openness would have no preference with "merging with the universe" as opposed to aggressive impulses. Only the ego wants things this or that way. No preference - that is the position. Put differently, it's an attitude of: Bring it on. One makes no effort to block or direct the flow of experience. Once you do, who is directing? The ego.

JL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 25, 2013 - 11:39am PT
I had thought it was Robert Kirkland, the Homeland agent, but that seems unlikely now. Almost hate to see this ongoing mystery solved!


One makes no effort to block or direct the flow of experience (JL)

This sounds a little dangerous, John! How would this relate to climbing?
But thanks for your very literate reply.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 25, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
Stars - in some ways really scary... in other ways... fascinating... incredible... jawdropping...
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Oct 25, 2013 - 03:06pm PT
Zen is first and foremost an exercise of detaching from mental content, especially the superego, or Inner Critic, which is the part of the ego structure that would consider itself a "devilish illusion."



A Buddhist monk from the Linh-Mu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam, burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon, Vietnam, on June 11, 1963. His name was Thich Quang Duc. Witnesses say that Thich Quang Duc and two fellow monks arrived at the intersection by car, Thich Quang Duc was seen getting out of the car, seating himself in the traditional lotus position and the accompanying monks helped him pour gasoline over himself. He ignited the gasoline by lighting a match and burned to death in a matter of minutes. David Halberstam, of the New York Times wrote

“I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think…. As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

Thich Quang Duc had been preparing himself for several weeks. Preparations included meditation and explaining his motivation in letters to members of the Buddhist community as well as to the government of South Vietnam. In the letters he described his need to bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time.

Before the self-immolation, the South Vietnamese Buddhists had made requests to the Diem regime, asking it to: Lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag; Grant Buddhism the same rights as Catholicism; Stop detaining Buddhists; Give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion; and Pay fair compensations to the victim's families and punish those responsible for their deaths. When these requests were not addressed by the Deim regime, Thich Quang Duc carried out his self-immolation. Unfortunately the self-immolation received little attention from religious scholars.

Following his death, Thich Quang Duc was cremated and legend has it that his heart would not burn. As a result, his heart is considered Holy and is in the custody of the Reserve Bank of Vietnam.





I'd like to know more of this "devilish illusion".
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