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Re: Enlightenment Myths

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  • Papajeff
    Faithe, Try as I might to come up with a gracious reply to your nonsense ...it was not found possible for me. Rather than let sarcasm and insult prevail, my
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 24, 2010
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      Faithe,

      Try as I might to come up
      with a gracious reply to
      your "nonsense"...it was
      not found possible for me.

      Rather than let sarcasm and
      insult prevail, my choice
      is this simple acknowledgment:

      Enjoy your mundane life.

      Jeff

      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "tarah513" <faithearden@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hi Jeff.
      >
      > Thank you for this post. I now add a little of my own nonsense to what
      > you offer.
      >
      >
      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Papajeff" <jeff@>
      > wrote:
      > <snip>
      >
      >
      > > Response to Myth #1: If
      > > you kill the ego, you have
      > > no self to enjoy the Realized
      > > Self in the material world.
      > > The ego must be silenced and
      > > sent to a corner for a time
      > > out, but enlightenment brings
      > > the ego instant relief of not
      > > having to be "on" 24/7 and
      > > presents the startled ego with
      > > a new playmate - a new Captain
      > > of The Ship (of consciousness) -
      > > who dispels the ego's fear
      > > and doubt...and as they say
      > > in advertising - much, much more.
      > >
      > > But the ego lives on as a
      > > tenured resident of this
      > > temporal life. And some would
      > > say, plots mutiny once again,
      > > after a while. Meditation can
      > > be a good crimestopper. But
      > > that's another story.
      > >
      >
      > Faithe:
      >
      > To attempt to kill or not to kill the ego...is there any difference
      > here?
      >
      >
      > > Response to Myth #2: The is
      > > trickier. It is a matter of
      > > timing. All 'teachers' who
      > > parrot the "You must not seek"
      > > admonishment eventually, if they
      > > go on long enough, replace
      > > the word seek with a synonym
      > > of some sort (like: inquire,
      > > for instance). And their personal
      > > stories ALWAYS have some reference
      > > to seeking (a rose by any other
      > > name). It is true that absolute
      > > surrender opens the door, but...
      > >
      > > seeking ALWAYS precedes the
      > > point of surrender. We don't
      > > need anything else to perpetuate
      > > the feeling of separation - we
      > > were already socially coerced
      > > into it before any thought of
      > > seeking occurred to us. And
      > > we don't come to feel the intuitive
      > > stirring at some point in our
      > > lives, and immediately flop down
      > > in complete and absolute surrender.
      > >
      > > It is only after a time of seeking,
      > > listening, reading, questioning,
      > > sitting in meditation, sitting
      > > in satsang, pleading for
      > > deliverance from despair and such
      > > (and for some, this goes on for
      > > a very long time - and for
      > > others, no time is long enough
      > > in their present lifetime) that
      > > the seeking gives way to utter
      > > surrender - and with grace,
      > > enlightenment.
      > >
      > > Effort precedes grace.
      >
      > Faithe:
      >
      > Is there any difference between the "teacher" and the "seeker". Is not
      > the "teacher" just another person that is seeking to change another
      > whether it be through repeating "lofty messages with hidden meaning" or
      > encouragement through offering comforting words to make one feel good
      > themselves?
      >
      > Could it be that the "teacher" is actually the "ultimate seeker" -
      > seeking others in order to keep their own beliefs afloat within
      > themselves?
      >
      >
      > >
      > > Response to Myth #3: Much like
      > > Myth #2, all professed 'teachers'
      > > who parrot the "We're already
      > > all enlightened" line eventually,
      > > if they are authentically (or
      > > poetically) enlightened, and
      > > go on long enough, relate
      > > personal stories that ALWAYS
      > > have some reference to their
      > > awakening/realization/shift
      > > in perspective, ...
      > >
      > > at a specific point in time.
      > > Otherwise, they wouldn't have
      > > anything to say - negation or
      > > propagation - about enlightenment.
      > >
      > > To parrot this,"We're
      > > already all enlightened," pat
      > > phrase is to discourage the
      > > sincere seeker (who must one
      > > day surrender utterly if they
      > > ever hope to experience
      > > enlightenment).
      > >
      > > My 3-Myths worth.
      > >
      > > Jeff
      >
      > Faithe:
      >
      > Is there is any purpose to having or not having this "enlightenment"?
      > Does it really, really make any difference? Is there any difference in
      > this concept of enlightenment or for instance reading a great novel and
      > feeling sooooooooo good afterwards...even if just for a fraction of
      > time? At least one can clearly remember the novel!!!
      >
      > It amazes me what the human mind can conjure up to make itself feel like
      > there is some great spiritual achievement to attain. It's similar to
      > dying...as I approach (in fact if I take a hard, cold analytical look,
      > realize I am not approaching but am in it) my elderly years and look
      > back on my life, I ponder upon the "worth" of my life. I worked hard,
      > have a family, garden, repair my home, have my animals. played with
      > religion, spirituality, non-duality (which is just another fancy name
      > for religion), yoga, sports, meditation...and now, so what? Would I
      > change any of it? Nope, not one bit. I have tasted this mundane life. I
      > have learned much. The most important thing learned is that no one has
      > the answers to "all that IS", and I best spend what little time I have
      > left working on understanding more on the mundane and less on the
      > spiritual to which one can only imagine answers, answers depending on
      > the current status of the mundane life surrounding one.
      >
      > Imagine what could be accomplished on the mundane level if the illusive
      > spiritual could be understand for what it is.
      >
      > Thanks again, Jeff.
      >
      > Faithe
      >
      >
      > PS: Hello Bob, it has been a LONG, LONG time! Glad to see you are OK
      > and that this meditation work project of yours receives such high
      > acclaim.
      >
    • tarah513
      Ahhh Jeff... Your reply was VERY gracious, indeed. How could you possibly think otherwise. You are very kind. Faithe ... what ...
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 24, 2010
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        Ahhh Jeff...

        Your reply was VERY gracious, indeed. How could you possibly think
        otherwise.

        You are very kind.

        Faithe


        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Papajeff" <jeff@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Faithe,
        >
        > Try as I might to come up
        > with a gracious reply to
        > your "nonsense"...it was
        > not found possible for me.
        >
        > Rather than let sarcasm and
        > insult prevail, my choice
        > is this simple acknowledgment:
        >
        > Enjoy your mundane life.
        >
        > Jeff
        >
        > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "tarah513"
        faithearden@ wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi Jeff.
        > >
        > > Thank you for this post. I now add a little of my own nonsense to
        what
        > > you offer.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Papajeff"
        <jeff@>
      • westwindwood2003
        ... My experience is if you try to kill the ego, it just pops up more strongly, but if one goes with not trying to kill the ego then suffering continues. ...
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 24, 2010
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          Comments on your comments, see below:

          --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "tarah513" <faithearden@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi Jeff.
          >
          > Thank you for this post. I now add a little of my own nonsense to what
          > you offer.
          >
          >
          > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Papajeff" <jeff@>
          > wrote:
          > <snip>
          >
          >
          > > Response to Myth #1: If
          > > you kill the ego, you have
          > > no self to enjoy the Realized
          > > Self in the material world.
          > > The ego must be silenced and
          > > sent to a corner for a time
          > > out, but enlightenment brings
          > > the ego instant relief of not
          > > having to be "on" 24/7 and
          > > presents the startled ego with
          > > a new playmate - a new Captain
          > > of The Ship (of consciousness) -
          > > who dispels the ego's fear
          > > and doubt...and as they say
          > > in advertising - much, much more.
          > >
          > > But the ego lives on as a
          > > tenured resident of this
          > > temporal life. And some would
          > > say, plots mutiny once again,
          > > after a while. Meditation can
          > > be a good crimestopper. But
          > > that's another story.
          > >
          >
          > Faithe:
          >
          > To attempt to kill or not to kill the ego...is there any difference
          > here?
          >

          My experience is if you try to kill the ego, it just pops up more strongly, but if one goes with not trying to kill the ego then suffering continues.

          >
          > > Response to Myth #2: The is
          > > trickier. It is a matter of
          > > timing. All 'teachers' who
          > > parrot the "You must not seek"
          > > admonishment eventually, if they
          > > go on long enough, replace
          > > the word seek with a synonym
          > > of some sort (like: inquire,
          > > for instance). And their personal
          > > stories ALWAYS have some reference
          > > to seeking (a rose by any other
          > > name). It is true that absolute
          > > surrender opens the door, but...
          > >
          > > seeking ALWAYS precedes the
          > > point of surrender. We don't
          > > need anything else to perpetuate
          > > the feeling of separation - we
          > > were already socially coerced
          > > into it before any thought of
          > > seeking occurred to us. And
          > > we don't come to feel the intuitive
          > > stirring at some point in our
          > > lives, and immediately flop down
          > > in complete and absolute surrender.
          > >
          > > It is only after a time of seeking,
          > > listening, reading, questioning,
          > > sitting in meditation, sitting
          > > in satsang, pleading for
          > > deliverance from despair and such
          > > (and for some, this goes on for
          > > a very long time - and for
          > > others, no time is long enough
          > > in their present lifetime) that
          > > the seeking gives way to utter
          > > surrender - and with grace,
          > > enlightenment.
          > >
          > > Effort precedes grace.
          >
          > Faithe:
          >
          > Is there any difference between the "teacher" and the "seeker". Is not
          > the "teacher" just another person that is seeking to change another
          > whether it be through repeating "lofty messages with hidden meaning" or
          > encouragement through offering comforting words to make one feel good
          > themselves?
          >
          > Could it be that the "teacher" is actually the "ultimate seeker" -
          > seeking others in order to keep their own beliefs afloat within
          > themselves?
          >

          My experience from the 1970s was the seekers were more evolved than the teachers. The teachers were in it for the power and money. However, I did find one teacher after I had meditated for 45 minutes per day on average for twenty-two years who had some real guidance for me at a crucial time.

          >
          > >
          > > Response to Myth #3: Much like
          > > Myth #2, all professed 'teachers'
          > > who parrot the "We're already
          > > all enlightened" line eventually,
          > > if they are authentically (or
          > > poetically) enlightened, and
          > > go on long enough, relate
          > > personal stories that ALWAYS
          > > have some reference to their
          > > awakening/realization/shift
          > > in perspective, ...
          > >
          > > at a specific point in time.
          > > Otherwise, they wouldn't have
          > > anything to say - negation or
          > > propagation - about enlightenment.
          > >
          > > To parrot this,"We're
          > > already all enlightened," pat
          > > phrase is to discourage the
          > > sincere seeker (who must one
          > > day surrender utterly if they
          > > ever hope to experience
          > > enlightenment).
          > >
          > > My 3-Myths worth.
          > >
          > > Jeff
          >
          > Faithe:
          >
          > Is there is any purpose to having or not having this "enlightenment"?
          > Does it really, really make any difference? Is there any difference in
          > this concept of enlightenment or for instance reading a great novel and
          > feeling sooooooooo good afterwards...even if just for a fraction of
          > time? At least one can clearly remember the novel!!!
          >
          > It amazes me what the human mind can conjure up to make itself feel like
          > there is some great spiritual achievement to attain. It's similar to
          > dying...as I approach (in fact if I take a hard, cold analytical look,
          > realize I am not approaching but am in it) my elderly years and look
          > back on my life, I ponder upon the "worth" of my life. I worked hard,
          > have a family, garden, repair my home, have my animals. played with
          > religion, spirituality, non-duality (which is just another fancy name
          > for religion), yoga, sports, meditation...and now, so what? Would I
          > change any of it? Nope, not one bit. I have tasted this mundane life. I
          > have learned much. The most important thing learned is that no one has
          > the answers to "all that IS", and I best spend what little time I have
          > left working on understanding more on the mundane and less on the
          > spiritual to which one can only imagine answers, answers depending on
          > the current status of the mundane life surrounding one.
          >
          > Imagine what could be accomplished on the mundane level if the illusive
          > spiritual could be understand for what it is.

          Well, the vast majority of people in India would agree with you completely, that the spiritual path is not for them, too hard to do at this time so why bother even thinking about it. Perhaps some other life time, maybe. This path is not something I can recommend to anyone, friend or foe. For me though, it is the most important thing in my life by far, the whole 40 years starting since I was 30. You are content so stay the course.

          >
          > Thanks again, Jeff.
          >
          > Faithe
          >
          >
          > PS: Hello Bob, it has been a LONG, LONG time! Glad to see you are OK
          > and that this meditation work project of yours receives such high
          > acclaim.
          >
        • tarah513
          Hello West... Thanks for your insight. Comments below. ... strongly, but if one goes with not trying to kill the ego then suffering continues. ... Faithe:
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 24, 2010
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            Hello West...

            Thanks for your insight. Comments below.


            > > Faithe:
            > >
            > > To attempt to kill or not to kill the ego...is there any difference
            > > here?
            > >
            >
            > My experience is if you try to kill the ego, it just pops up more
            strongly, but if one goes with not trying to kill the ego then suffering
            continues.
            >
            Faithe:

            Could you please give me an example of the "suffering" which you say
            incurs when one does not try to kill the ego.

            > > Is there any difference between the "teacher" and the "seeker". Is
            not
            > > the "teacher" just another person that is seeking to change another
            > > whether it be through repeating "lofty messages with hidden meaning"
            or
            > > encouragement through offering comforting words to make one feel
            good
            > > themselves?
            > >
            > > Could it be that the "teacher" is actually the "ultimate seeker" -
            > > seeking others in order to keep their own beliefs afloat within
            > > themselves?
            > >
            >
            > My experience from the 1970s was the seekers were more evolved than
            the teachers. The teachers were in it for the power and money. However,
            I did find one teacher after I had meditated for 45 minutes per day on
            average for twenty-two years who had some real guidance for me at a
            crucial time.

            Faithe:

            The term "more evolved" eludes me. Could you give me a description of
            one who is "more evolved"? Who is it that gets to determine whether one
            is "more evolved" than others?

            Is one who is "more evolved" able to write and speak better than others?
            Or, to be "more evolved" must one travel to the hills and live a life
            alone experimenting with one's belly button?

            >
            > Well, the vast majority of people in India would agree with you
            completely, that the spiritual path is not for them, too hard to do at
            this time so why bother even thinking about it. Perhaps some other life
            time, maybe. This path is not something I can recommend to anyone,
            friend or foe. For me though, it is the most important thing in my life
            by far, the whole 40 years starting since I was 30. You are content so
            stay the course.


            Faithe:

            The spiritual path is harder than living the mundane life? I beg to
            differ with you. My experience finds that those seeking spirituality are
            attempting to escape mundane life.

            Is there a thing --- an essence, if you will, that can really be
            identified as "spiritual"? Can it be that "spiritual" is a mind mirage
            as opposed to an optical mirage?

            You comment that I am content, so I should stay the course. That is not
            it at all. Basically, I am NOT content to run away from learning the
            hard lessons of the mundane life by jumping into a spiritual fantasy.

            Why is this quest for "spirituality" so important to you...I am musing
            here...just a rhetorical question.

            So different, we are. That is just the way it is. I respect your quest
            for a spiritual life...I just question what it is that makes you think
            it is so difficult.
          • westwindwood2003
            ... The Buddhists have suffering down to a science. Just put the words Buddhist & suffering in Google. To be specific in my own experience about suffering that
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 25, 2010
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              Faithe:

              >Could you please give me an example of the "suffering" which you say incurs when one does not try to kill the ego.

              The Buddhists have suffering down to a science. Just put the words Buddhist & suffering in Google. To be specific in my own experience about suffering that occurs when one does not try to kill the ego, it's not that one should try to suppress the ego because of guilt. With suppression one cannot look at what needs working on. What happens is that the ego becomes less and eventually dissolves, or burns to inert ash because a meditator decides to take up the discipline needed to change the personality. As for a personal example of suffering, when I first took up meditation, I found that I had a strong desire to be dominant with my wife. The wisdom I got from meditation was to always give way to her, which was a very hard thing for me to do, but I did and that desire eventually went away. I always got a consistent answer about this with offering it up, and it did not hurt her. She died of cancer some years later, and my second wife, who came from a very abusive prior relationship tried to be very dominant with me. It took a long time, but she eventually learned to trust me. I must have really had some karma around this issue because it was very hard for me to deal with.


              Faithe:

              >The term "more evolved" eludes me. Could you give me a description of one who is "more evolved"? Who is it that gets to determine whether one is "more evolved" than others?

              When I said more evolved, I meant that in looking at my own personality I find I am much more contented with my life, that I relate better to others. This is my own perception of myself; however, to give a more general answer, you should look at the opening of the Bhagavad Gita with commentary by Swami Chidbhavananda where the forces of good and evil are apposed to each other. There are some very good comparisons made between good and evil. If you want descriptions of people who are highly evolved, then read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Finally I should say that of course you cannot just look at someone and determine if they are enlightened. For that, you need to be enlightened and then you can compare the experience to see if it is the same.

              Faithe:
              >Is one who is "more evolved" able to write and speak better than others? Or, to be "more evolved" must one travel to the hills and live a life alone experimenting with one's belly button?

              Obviously people differ in their ability to talk and write, and I am well aware that there are people who have the same experiences I have had that can describe the process better than I. Like any other specialty, the person who has studied and experienced a specialty can of course expound on it better than one who has not actually done so. For instance I would not go to an instructor to learn to fly an airplane if that person had never been at the controls of an airplane. And, experience is not everything as some people just have the patience and ability to describe how something is done better than others with the same technical ability. As for living the life of a hermit, my own experience is that if I am not around others, the stimulation I need to bring up the issues I have to work on is not there and I go sort of inert after a few weeks. I cannot speak for a person who has resolved all ego issues for themselves. For that take a look at Saint John of the Cross' book "Dark Night of the Soul". Dark night refers to the fact that the burning ego issues have gone out, not that one is having a hard time of it. In that situation in Dark Night of the Soul a person would then evolve towards God's nature and perhaps a solitary endeavor would be appropriate I guess, but I am sure a person could continue to live a social life if they wanted to. As for watching ones belly button, I find I much prefer watching my breath. I find belly button gazing too stressful on the muscles, but maybe I should not criticize Hatha Yoga as I do not know that much about it (or maybe it's not even Hatha Yoga, I don't know much about belly button experimenting).


              Faithe:

              >The spiritual path is harder than living the mundane life? I beg to differ with you. My experience finds that those seeking spirituality are attempting to escape mundane life. Is there a thing --- an essence, if you will, that can really be identified as "spiritual"? Can it be that "spiritual" is a mind mirage as opposed to an optical mirage? You comment that I am content, so I should stay the course. That is not it at all. Basically, I am NOT content to run away from learning the hard lessons of the mundane life by jumping into a spiritual fantasy. Why is this quest for "spirituality" so important to you...I am musing here...just a rhetorical question.

              I cannot speak for your acquaintances, and whether they are trying to escape the mundane life; however, for myself, I am a householder and I find incorporating spirituality with the mundane is the way to go. I have chosen the spiritual path imbedded within the mundane because I prefer it, because my life is better for it. As for "spiritual essence", this is where it gets difficult to talk about because I believe you are referring to "enlightenment" and the pat answer for that is it cannot be described; however, if you will accept a Christian term for it, then it would be the Holy Spirit, but that is not defined either as near as I can tell.

              Faithe:

              >So different, we are. That is just the way it is. I respect your quest for a spiritual life...I just question what it is that makes you think it is so difficult.

              Well, I just meant that the ego wants to stay with what it knows, even if one makes the same mistake over and over again. Also, I agree that it takes many kinds of people to make the World go round.
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