Saturday, March 31, 2007

Enlightenment On the Night Shift

A few days ago Dan wrote the following to me on this site: "btw, minus 3 million zen points for trying to say that you're enlightened without actually saying it."

I didn't respond to it then because, quite frankly, I didn't know how to respond to it. It led to what follows below.

Enlightenment.......being enlightened..... are terms bandied about a lot in the spiritual game. They may, in fact, be the foundation of the spiritual game. Without them, how many would be drawn to play?

Do you want to look closely at it, at the underlying assumptions, perhaps unconscious beliefs, that go into an acceptance of enlightenment as something one can attain, as a way that one can be? Many do not. The belief is too fragile, essential, crucial. However, if you do want to inquire into it, consider...

What is "enlightenment"?

What does it look like?

Is it possible to tell, for absolute sure, that another is enlightened?

If yes, what is such a conclusion based upon? What would be your "evidence"?

Does one know when one is, oneself, enlightened?

And, again, what are the criteria one would use to say "yes, I'm enlightened"? How would one behave if knew one's self to be enlightened?

Or..............is enlightenment, like much in spirituality, a myth, a more sophisticated version of trying to get to heaven? Myths are powerful communication tools and so they're very useful in building and maintaining organizations and the whole material aspect of spiritual training (translation: dollars).

And if you say, "Well, I know some dirt poor spiritual teachers who babble about enlightenment and they're not gaining financial recompense from it," .... it would be well to consider that there are other forms of compensation that a teacher may derive: ego satisfaction, lots of adoring followers, status (not monetary but ideational), a sense of purpose, position, etc.

And it could also be that the individuals who claim enlightenment are sincere: they may have spent so much time in and around these myths that they have become absorbed by them and genuinely believe them to be fact. But does that make enlightenment real? Don't you need to find out for yourself?

If one is sincerely engaging in spiritual inquiry, it really behooves you to ask: what is an "enlightened" state? Is it real?

10 Comments:

At March 31, 2007, Blogger MikeDoe said...

"Is it possible to tell, for absolute sure, that another is enlightened?"

Various texts say that Buddhas/enlightened people can recognise each other. I think that is reasonable and accurate. An analogy would be sighted people in the kingdom of the blind would be able to spot anyone who is not blind - they behave differently.

Absolute - no. There is no point going Buddha-spotting. If you have an idea of what you are looking for you wont find it.

I would say that when your practice (for want of a better word) has reached beyond a certain point so that you can see yourself clearly and honestly - meaning that you have few delusions that you are unaware of then you will be able to see others more clearly and you will be able to recognise when you see someone who is more awake than yourself. There will also be the reverse recognition that they will know that they have been 'spotted'. No words need be said.

"If yes, what is such a conclusion based upon? What would be your "evidence"?"
Evidence is subjective and empirical and so problemantic.
I think it would be reaonsable to say that someone who is awake is in some way different to someone who is dozing or asleep. That difference strikes a note of dischord - a subtle feeling that they are in some way different. In some way other. Different in a way that leaves you at a loss to extrapolate how you could become like them.

"Does one know when one is, oneself, enlightened?"
To know with certainty is to be in a place of duality. The existence of duality - I am this, I am not that is the clue that you are not there.

"And, again, what are the criteria one would use to say "yes, I'm enlightened"? "
What would be the use of such a question? Do you ask "Am I alive?" Surely the question would answer itself by the lack of relevance or desire for the question? Maybe you could get a certificate?

The practice of meditation and in particular mindfulness/vipassana or similar techniques is the method by which one learns how to waken from the dream even though one does not believe that one is in a dream.

"How would one behave if knew one's self to be enlightened?"

How would one behave if one was alive? How would one behave if tomorrow you were getting married? How would one behave if tomorrow you are going to die?

You would behave in any way that you damn well please. However that behaviour would be arising from a different place and would result in what might be considered to be a more compassionate and loving way on average. It is a bit pointless as a question.

How would one behave if you were pregnant? The answer would provide itself.

Maybe what you are looking for is some sort of roadmap? Maybe you want to know if you will still be OK? A bird is pushed out of the nest when young. At some point between the nest and the ground the bird learns whether or not it can fly. Either way it is pretty committed to finidng out. Either way, when the answer is found it is final. There is no doubt "Can I fly?" Likewise "I cannot fly" reveals itself in the warm embrace of the ground.

There is a fundamental issue with all of these questions. The teacher you want you cannot find. Once you can find the teacher you want there is no longer the need for the teacher.

Of course my answers to your questions may or may not be accurate. If you knew what an accurate answer looked like you would not need to ask the questions.

From your previous posts (over the last few years) it is clear that you have a burning desire to 'know' and to 'prove' things and many of your statements that you make are statements of belief rather than fact which are fiercely defended. If you knew them as statements of fact the need for such a defence would be pointless.

All such beliefs in the way that the world should be or is get in the way of experiencing the world as it is. Such beliefs prevent you from waking up since holding onto them closes down avenues that you might otherwise explore. If you believe that monsters lie down certain alleyways you will not go and test those beliefs.

 
At March 31, 2007, Blogger endofthedream said...

Of course my answers to your questions may or may not be accurate.

That's a good place to start.


I think it would be reaonsable to say that someone who is awake is in some way different to someone who is dozing or asleep. That difference strikes a note of dischord - a subtle feeling that they are in some way different.

Strikes a note where? In whom? In the person who is awake or the person who is with the awake person?


In some way other. Different in a way that leaves you at a loss to extrapolate how you could become like them.

And yet individuals react differently to those labeled as "awake." One person feels a deep connection, or pull, or resonance toward the person. Another doesn't feel anything, perhaps thinks the other is a nice enough person but...no bells ring, there is no sense that the other is anything special. I no of NO ONE from whom there is evoked a universal response or yea or nay.

And the reason is that the "awake" person only exists in the viewer's mind's eye, not in reality. When we look at another, that is the act of creating the other, and that other is created according to the script we are, the innate conditioning-in-the-moment. As two bodymind mechanisms have different conditionings, each creates another in its own manner.

And it's the same with everything. No book, movie, event is a single, stable thing. Take a dozen people to a comedy and you will get a dozen stories about how good, bad, or mediocre the comedy was. There is no single, immutable comedy. It is created when the viewer sees it. In the absence of the viewer there is no comedy (or awake one).


Maybe what you are looking for is some sort of roadmap?

No. One needs a road map only if one is lost.


Maybe you want to know if you will still be OK?

OK? OK or not OK in what sense? How is one not OK?


You would behave in any way that you damn well please.


Well, then everyone is awake. :-)) I know of no one who does not ultimately behave as he/she damn well pleases.


However that behaviour would be arising from a different place

Ahhhh....now we're getting to it. What is this different place? How is it different?


and would result in what might be considered to be a more compassionate and loving way on average.

So if a person behaves more compassionate and loving than the average person, then that person is "awake" or "enlightened"? (I would simply say that the person is behaving compassionately and lovingly and also realize that this is based on my personal standards and it might not match yours or anyone else's.) Is there some universal yardstick that is used to measure "average" vs. "above-average" compassion?


There is a fundamental issue with all of these questions.

Yes. Absolutely. It is curiosity. It is an unwillingness to base my life on what "various texts say." These.......questions.......are founded on an open inquiry into areas that are not often questioned, that are taken as fact and not examined closely.


The teacher you want you cannot find. Once you can find the teacher you want there is no longer the need for the teacher.

......the teacher I want???, Are you addressing me, personally, directly, or is this some generalized spiritual statement? Yes, there was time that I was desperately looking for a teacher. That time is not now. So if you're being metaphorical, fine. If you're referring to me, specifically, you're off base, mate, and you might want to explore where you got that idea from.


I would say that when your practice (for want of a better word) has reached beyond a certain point so that you can see yourself clearly and honestly - meaning that you have few delusions that you are unaware of...To know with certainty is to be in a place of duality. The existence of duality - I am this, I am not that is the clue that you are not there.

Your first statement above is dualistic: a "you" who sees "yourself." Or a "you" that "has few delusions." That's dualism matey.

And in a sense I would not disagree with you: being awake may simply mean that there is a frequent recognition that there is delusion operating, that what is thought (or believed) to be so, is simply not so. Just an awareness of that confusion could be described as being awake.

An analogy: watching the dude on a stage saw a woman in half. Despite the screams and terror and apparent separating of the top of her body from the body, there is also an awareness that it is not actually so, despite the fact that it is thought/seen to be so. Perhaps that is why many humans are tickled, amused, entertained by visual illusions? Could it be a recognition on some level (by nearly all people) of the primary illusion?


From your previous posts (over the last few years) it is clear that you have a burning desire to 'know' and to 'prove' things and many of your statements that you make are statements of belief rather than fact which are fiercely defended. If you knew them as statements of fact the need for such a defence would be pointless.


Ahhhh....now we get down to the personal. It's touching being so well-known by another, having another see so clearly what I think. I appreciate your insights into what my motivations are.

Well, as any comments, responses, or explanations that I might offer are to be seen as a defence, then it's pointless to respond to your comment. Your mind is already made up.


All such beliefs in the way that the world should be or is get in the way of experiencing the world as it is.

FYI: The above is a statement of belief. ;-)


Such beliefs prevent you from waking up since holding onto them closes down avenues that you might otherwise explore.


The above is also a belief. It is not a statement of fact.

 
At April 01, 2007, Blogger MikeDoe said...

"And the reason is that the "awake" person only exists in the viewer's mind's eye, not in reality. When we look at another, that is the act of creating the other, and that other is created according to the script we are, the innate conditioning-in-the-moment...."
That is part of the truth it is not the whole truth. Outside in the garden is a tabby cat. Part of the cat is a construction of my mind. The other part of the cat has an inherrent existence. I am willing to bet (unless cat shit is also a figment of my imagination) that the thing that I call a Tabby Cat has some inherrent existence outside of my mind's projections.


"No. One needs a road map only if one is lost."
You ask a lot of questions about foreign lands.

"OK? OK or not OK in what sense? How is one not OK?"


"However that behaviour would be arising from a different place. Ahhhh....now we're getting to it. What is this different place? How is it different?"
It's well documented. It's typically called Egolessness. More specificially it's the absence of any sort of rigid identiy associated with the sense of 'I'/'Not-I'. Other texts refer perhaps more accurately to say that awake people do not have an ego and also are not egoless.

"So if a person behaves more compassionate and loving than the average person, then that person is "awake" or "enlightened"? (I would simply say that the person is behaving compassionately and lovingly and also realize that this is based on my personal standards and it might not match yours or anyone else's.) Is there some universal yardstick that is used to measure "average" vs. "above-average" compassion?"

Of course not. I can hold my breath underwater but that does not make me a fish. There is no yardstick such a thing would be nuts. Perhaps it would be simpler to say that a self-concept of 'I'/'Not-I' leads to certain behavioural characteristics and the substantaive absence of such a concept might lead (on average) to slightly different behaviours. Much of this interaction is driven in fact by our own sense of self and our projected sense of the other. Different mixes would produce different questions and answers.


"Yes. Absolutely. It is curiosity. It is an unwillingness to base my life on what "various texts say." These.......questions.......are founded on an open inquiry into areas that are not often questioned, that are taken as fact and not examined closely."
That is a given. The problem is that not all questions can be answered intellectually. Some questions can only be answered experientially. "Can I swim" canot be answered by intellectual investigation. To answer some questions it is necessary to do things in such a way as the answer to the question may or may not be revealed. Meditation in one form or another would answer many of your questions in a way that is non-intellectual. However in order to do that it would require you to meditate in a way that does not fit into a rigid description of what meditation is. Karen has given a reasonable description. Unfortunately goal-directed meditation will not work. Meditation is goal-less by definition!!

"......the teacher I want???, Are you addressing me, personally, directly, or is this some generalized spiritual statement? Yes, there was time that I was desperately looking for a teacher. That time is not now. So if you're being metaphorical, fine. If you're referring to me, specifically, you're off base, mate, and you might want to explore where you got that idea from."
I am more or less being metaphorical. You are not literally looking for a teacher. However you are looking for answers to your questions. You want intellectual proof and certainty for something that does not fit into such a pattern. Nagarjuna is a good place to start if you have not read him.

"Your first statement above is dualistic: a "you" who sees "yourself." Or a "you" that "has few delusions." That's dualism matey. "
For arguments sake let's just say that they are words of convenience. If Non-duality exists it must also incorporate duality since Non-duality/Duality is also itself a dualism. I/You could be dualism or it could be convenience. I have no memory of the words that I see as monickered with 'endofthedream' being typed by myself. The words do not look like words that I might type. For convenience I assume that therefore the words have been created by another. For convenience I have designated that other 'You'.

"Could it be a recognition on some level (by nearly all people) of the primary illusion?"
How many delusions do you hold that you are not aware of? Is the thought "I am aware of all my delusions?" not also a delusion? If you cannot be aware of all your delusions - since delusions exist for a reason would not the minimal state of awareness be one in which one is not certain if one has no delusions left. This of course is not really different from ordinary existence. You can clear out the basement but if it is dark you cannot be certain that junk might still be in a corner somewhere.

"Ahhhh....now we get down to the personal. It's touching being so well-known by another, having another see so clearly what I think. I appreciate your insights into what my motivations are...
"

Sarcasm? I don't have any insights into your motiviation. Your style of Q&A is often perceived by myself and sometimes others as aggressive or combatitive - "on a mission". A style can indicate a place of origin.

"Well, as any comments, responses, or explanations that I might offer are to be seen as a defence, then it's pointless to respond to your comment. Your mind is already made up."
Is it?


"All such beliefs in the way that the world should be or is get in the way of experiencing the world as it is.

FYI: The above is a statement of belief. ;-)"


Is it? Is your contra-statement a statement of belief? Could both statements also be facts? The difference between a belief and a fact is fundamentally that a belief is untested/untestable. A fact has been tested and proven by an experiment where the intent was to disprove the fact.

"Such beliefs prevent you from waking up since holding onto them closes down avenues that you might otherwise explore."
Is it?

"The above is also a belief. It is not a statement of fact. "
Is it?

Nagarjuna in his closing paragraphs says roughly "I pay homage to Guatamana whose method leads to the relinquishing of all views.

Just for clarity with these word games of ours since one of your answers hinted. I am not going to make or allude any claims about myself in any direction. Such a thing would be pointless in some many ways not least of which is that any statements by myself could well be delusional and could well be unprovable especially in this medium. In addition such statements have no point or value. To say "I am..." is of course to preclude "I am not....". To say "I am...." is also in fact a belief since it posits an "I" and it posits a characteristic that "I" has. Both concepts are flawed.

I'd still strongly suggest to you that the answers to your question lie on the cushion-or-functional-equivalent.

 
At April 01, 2007, Blogger Dan said...

"Maybe what you are looking for is some sort of roadmap?"

"No. One needs a road map only if one is lost."


you're doing it again. that's minus another two million i'm afraid.



"Nagarjuna in his closing paragraphs says roughly "I pay homage to Guatamana whose method leads to the relinquishing of all views."

that made me laugh. I thought it said 'guantanamo' when i first read it. the thought of nagarjuna attributing his learning to guantanamo bay. lol

 
At April 01, 2007, Blogger endofthedream said...

Hi Mikedoe,

In response to my comment about "external" existence outside of thought, you wrote...

"That is part of the truth it is not the whole truth. Outside in the garden is a tabby cat. Part of the cat is a construction of my mind. The other part of the cat has an inherrent existence. I am willing to bet (unless cat shit is also a figment of my imagination) that the thing that I call a Tabby Cat has some inherrent existence outside of my mind's projections."


What I see is that all we know is known via thought, and that would include the cat shit too. Perhaps the Tabby (and you) have some inherent existence beyond the thoughts that arise here. All I'm saying is I can't know that. Even the sqiggles that appear on the pc screen. Do I take them as "evidence" that there is some person in the UK (or somewhere) typing these words that I see? What I take them as is a construction of thought. And yes, even given that, I am still constrained to act, behave as if there is an inherent existence outside of thought.

In response to my:

"However that behaviour would be arising from a different place. Ahhhh....now we're getting to it. What is this different place? How is it different?"

You wrote:

"It's well documented. It's typically called Egolessness. More specificially it's the absence of any sort of rigid identiy associated with the sense of 'I'/'Not-I'. Other texts refer perhaps more accurately to say that awake people do not have an ego and also are not egoless."

I wouldn't say "egoless" since it is not possible to function in the phenomenal world (duality) without some sense of identity (is that what you point to as "ego"...there are many definitions). There is, at all times, an operating sense of me-not me, of this and that (unless one is not sane). Differentiation is essential (as is discriminative thought), otherwise we would end up putting shit in our mouths instead of broccoli. :-) But your inclusion of "rigid" sounds more like it.


Perhaps it would be simpler to say that a self-concept of 'I'/'Not-I' leads to certain behavioural characteristics and the substantaive absence of such a concept might lead (on average) to slightly different behaviours. Much of this interaction is driven in fact by our own sense of self and our projected sense of the other. Different mixes would produce different questions and answers.

Nice. The on-going balance and tension between 'I/Not-I'...that fits for me. And yes, I would say it is the attachment to the sense of self that is the issue, not an inherent sense of self which I hold to be useful and effective for navigating through phenomenality.

In response to my:

These.......questions.......are founded on an open inquiry into areas that are not often questioned, that are taken as fact and not examined closely...It is curiosity. It is an unwillingness to base my life on what "various texts say."

You wrote:

That is a given. The problem is that not all questions can be answered intellectually.

Yes. But one can't come to that conclusion until the questions are raised, explored, both in thought and non-thought.


Some questions can only be answered experientially.

I will again suggest that the answer that is known, is known in thought. That everything is happening in thought, as far as we "know." There is no purpose to this knowing. It is simply a recognition of where "it" all occurs.



"Can I swim" canot be answered by intellectual investigation.

Except in certain cases.

I am more or less being metaphorical. You are not literally looking for a teacher. However you are looking for answers to your questions.

No. I'm not. That is your addition to this dialogue. They were meant to stimulate conversation. To provoke if you will.


You want intellectual proof and certainty for something that does not fit into such a pattern.

Again, this is your contribution. It is not what is happening. If you can't see that this is simply a thought you hold, then that's how it is.


Nagarjuna is a good place to start if you have not read him.

I found Nagarjuna to be excellent.

If Non-duality exists it must also incorporate duality since Non-duality/Duality is also itself a dualism.

Yes. In this relative world, duality is the name-of-the-game. Because the relative world is a world born of thought, a mechanism which divides and separates.

I/You could be dualism or it could be convenience. I have no memory of the words that I see as monickered with 'endofthedream' being typed by myself. The words do not look like words that I might type. For convenience I assume that therefore the words have been created by another. For convenience I have designated that other 'You'.

Right. That is what I was saying about the inescapable need to function as if there is another, "out there." All the while holding the understanding that there is not "out there," that all there is is thought arising at any moment, generating me and not-me, the ten thousand things, the apparently real, relative world.


How many delusions do you hold that you are not aware of? Is the thought "I am aware of all my delusions?" not also a delusion? If you cannot be aware of all your delusions - since delusions exist for a reason

I don't know why delusions exist. Must there be a reason?


would not the minimal state of awareness be one in which one is not certain if one has no delusions left.

Buddhas are those who are aware that there are delusions, are awake to their own delusions, and, as you say, are willing to allow that there may be others they don't know about. They also see how painful it is to play the game without realizing what we're doing.

This of course is not really different from ordinary existence.

I disagree (if I understand what you mean by "ordinary existence"). In ordinary existence there is not a whiff of awareness that there is delusion. There is a full-fledged belief and acceptance that what thought says is true, is true.

You can clear out the basement but if it is dark you cannot be certain that junk might still be in a corner somewhere.

Nice analogy.

I don't have any insights into your motiviation. Your style of Q&A is often perceived by myself and sometimes others as aggressive or combatitive - "on a mission". A style can indicate a place of origin.

And I don't doubt that this is so. For you. It is not what is so for me. You may be misreading passion and exuberance of aggression and combativeness. A mission? No. There is no mission.




"All such beliefs in the way that the world should be or is get in the way of experiencing the world as it is."

I would say that it is necessary, for survival if nothing else, to hold some thoughts about the way the world is. [For example, a thought of gravity being part of the way the world is will prevent one from stepping off a ten-story building.] It is also helpful to keep in mind that they are just thoughts and they could be emended at any time given further evidence.


The difference between a belief and a fact is fundamentally that a belief is untested/untestable. A fact has been tested and proven by an experiment where the intent was to disprove the fact.

I like this. And, as you point out above, some things do lend themselves to verification in this manner. Only by talking about it, as it is done here, does it become clear what can and can not be tested for a factual basis (as opposed to belief).


"Such beliefs prevent you from waking up since holding onto them closes down avenues that you might otherwise explore."

I questioned this as a belief because I don't think anyone knows how waking up happens and if that is the case, then what prevents it cannot be declared as fact either. There are clearly some methods that have historical weight behind them, but there are other "cases" where no method was used, waking up just...happened. Clearly a transformation in the "normal" way of thinking HAS TO occur. But what provokes that, what prepares for that, ... I think there are no definitive, guaranteed paths. One is drawn to whatever path one is drawn to. It's not in one's control.



Nagarjuna in his closing paragraphs says roughly "I pay homage to Guatamana whose method leads to the relinquishing of all views."

No disagreement. It's simply that Guatamana's method cannot be separated from the dozens or scores of other methods that were transversed prior to his "final" method. They too went into the rough mix that "got it" under the Bodhi tree.


To say "I am...." is also in fact a belief since it posits an "I" and it posits a characteristic that "I" has. Both concepts are flawed.

Yes. Ditto here.


Previously, you wrote: "From your previous posts (over the last few years) it is clear that you have a burning desire to 'know' and to 'prove' things."

That person is not this person.


I'd still strongly suggest to you that the answers to your question lie on the cushion-or-functional-equivalent.



Thank you for this dialogue. I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions or prescriptions to offer you, Mikedoe, other than, be well. I appreciate your writing.

 
At April 01, 2007, Blogger MikeDoe said...

Not too much to say in response.


Some questions can only be answered experientially.

"I will again suggest that the answer that is known, is known in thought. That everything is happening in thought, as far as we "know." There is no purpose to this knowing."

That is true but not entirely accurate. There are thoughts that involve words - cognitive and there are thoughts that do not involve words. Thoughts that involve words restrict the understanding into terms which can be defined and are inherrently restrictive. The nature of the questions here are limited to words.


"No. I'm not. That is your addition to this dialogue. They were meant to stimulate conversation. To provoke if you will."

That may or may not be true. Why do you feel the need to stimulate conversation? What is not said by the silence?

"
Me:You want intellectual proof and certainty for something that does not fit into such a pattern.

Again, this is your contribution. It is not what is happening. If you can't see that this is simply a thought you hold, then that's how it is."

That is my interpretation based on my perception. Would we have the same dialogue about what an orgasm is or would we instead agree that the best understanding of an orgasm is in fact experential?

"
Right. That is what I was saying about the inescapable need to function as if there is another, "out there." All the while holding the understanding that there is not "out there," that all there is is thought arising at any moment, generating me and not-me, the ten thousand things, the apparently real, relative world."

There is no need for such an understanding. Such an understanding does not impact on action. If I believe that you have a separate inherrent existence or behave as if you do then that will tend to lead to one set of behaviour. If I believe that all sensory input arise internally and that the external world has no inherrent existence then I may as well just sit in a chair.


"I don't know why delusions exist. Must there be a reason?"
Of course! A delusion exists in order that you can choose not to see some aspect of reality that you are unwilling to accept. They are functional adaptations. A well documented one is that your long-term partner will be seen by you to be more attractive than is the case. Your mental image of her/his physicality will be more positive than is actually the case. This adaptation engenders more loyalty than would otherwise be the case.


"I disagree (if I understand what you mean by "ordinary existence"). In ordinary existence there is not a whiff of awareness that there is delusion. There is a full-fledged belief and acceptance that what thought says is true, is true."
I am not sure that is other than the exceptional case.

"And I don't doubt that this is so. For you. It is not what is so for me. You may be misreading passion and exuberance of aggression and combativeness. A mission? No. There is no mission."
Hmmm. Go on, use the'M' word. I know you want to. Go on, say 'Mirror' ;-)


I would say that it is necessary, for survival if nothing else, to hold some thoughts about the way the world is.
Yes. But that set of thoughts is actually minimal. It is useful for me to believe that there will be no powercut overnight because failing to believe that would require me to buy a different alarm clock.


"(1) I questioned this as a belief because I don't think anyone knows how waking up happens and if that is the case, then what prevents it cannot be declared as fact either.... (2) I think there are no definitive, guaranteed paths. (3) One is drawn to whatever path one is drawn to.... It's not in one's control."

(1) Is a belief. It posits that of 6 billion people on this planet and how ever many billions in the past that 'waking up' is some magical thing that no-one has ever understood. The alternative hypothesis would be that some people have either in the past or in the present understood such a thing. Such people may or may not have documented such a thing and such documents may or may not have been recgonised as such.

(2) Yes, I agree.

(3) I'm tempted to agree and disagree. I think Dependent Origin is probably the most accurate answer.


"Previously, you wrote: "From your previous posts (over the last few years) it is clear that you have a burning desire to 'know' and to 'prove' things."

That person is not this person. "

That is factually correct but the person who exists today has their origins in the person who existed yesterday. It is convenient to say that the two are the same person even if they are not.


"Thank you for this dialogue. I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions or prescriptions to offer you, Mikedoe, other than, be well. ... "

I think you do have some. Some of your comments suggest as much (or more precisely my interpretation of your comments...)

I do wonder if this dialog is answering any questions for you regardless of whether or not the questions were asked as questions or as a way of stimulating a debate which in some way you felt for some reason was required....

 
At April 01, 2007, Blogger me said...

Egad you guys write a lot. I wish I had the time to read it all. Since I don't forgive if anything I say here is redundant:

my 2 cents -

everyone is already enlightened.

Some people don't know or understand this.
Some people do.

But knowing & understanding it are different than feeling it - and when the feeling is combined with wisdom (which it doesn't necessarily have to be) we end up with someone other folks tend to call "enlightened".

I know I'm enlightened. I don't really feel it though and I'm not very wise. Big whoop.

 
At April 01, 2007, Blogger Jinzang said...

Enlightenment is the ending of ignorance. It's possible and achievable and when you've met someone who's achieved it, there's really no doubt that you've met someone special. The first person I met like the was a Zen priest I met in college, Seikan Hasegawa. Since then there have been many others, including my own teacher, Khenpo Karthar.

You throw up a lot of clouds of verbiage, just like an octopus squirts ink in order to escape. Maybe you should take this verse from the Dhamapadda to heart. "Better than a speech of a thousand senseless words is a single word of sense, which hearing, a man becomes silent."

 
At April 02, 2007, Blogger endofthedream said...

Maybe you should take this verse from the Dhamapadda to heart. "Better than a speech of a thousand senseless words is a single word of sense, which hearing, a man becomes silent."


Silence may be the purest medium
For the transmission of truth.
But it makes for
Damned short blog entries
And awful dinner parties. :-))

 
At April 07, 2007, Blogger jundo cohen said...

Hello,

I hope it is okay if pass this on.

Gassho, Jundo

______________________________________________________

ANNOUNCEMENT

We would like announce that the doors are 'officially' open on our ONLINE ZENDO & SANGHA, and our VIDEO-BLOG. We also soon will begin LIVE online-video broadcasts of weekly Zazen sittings, talks and multi-day Sesshin :

treeleafzen.blogspot.com/

The website, blog and broadcast sittings are meant for people who cannot travel to sit and be with others, perhaps due to health concerns, or not driving at night, having to take care of kids, or their living in a place without a Sangha close by. Our Zazen sittings and Sangha will always be close by.

For now, we have recorded Zazen sittings and talks, such as this "Sit-a-long Zazen":

treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2007/04/sit-long-zazen.html

We also have online and Ipod-ready Zazen timers . Although our online Sangha is meant mainly for people who cannot travel far from home, we hope anyone and everyone will feel free to use and download our timers and broadcast sittings. They are our gift to everyone who finds them helpful (for example, who might wish to use the Ipod/Mp3 version for some Zazen at work).

www.treeleaf.org/meditation.html

We are a Soto Zen Sangha in the lineage of Gudo Wafu Nishijima, with teacher Jundo Cohen (who resides in Ibaraki, Japan and, sometimes, Florida with wife and son). Our focus is on a very down-to-earth, 'Just Sitting' Zazen practice (not much for ceremonies, statues, beads, costumes or other bells and whistles).

www.treeleaf.org/aboutus.html

We hope to establish a true community, and questions or comments can be sent to Jundo at any time, or posted on the blog or community forum (www.treeleaf.org/meeting.html).

If you know anyone who, due to health concerns or the like, cannot commute to sit with others, please introduce them to our site.

Like life and the universe, it is all Free! Everyone is always welcome, and there is no being "far away."

Gassho, Treeleaf Zendo

www.treeleaf.org

 

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