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Immortality

 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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21 September 2016 19:39
 
unsmoked - 21 September 2016 11:50 AM

In another lifetime, when my youngest son was about 2, he was standing on a chair by the sink looking down at the wash basin where he was supposed to be washing his hands.  After a long pause with nothing happening his mother said, “What is it son?”  (pause, then slow reply, without moving)  “Bubbles.”

I went over and looked.  Sunlight was coming in the window.  He was looking at the rainbow hues on the tiny bubbles, and watching them wink out one by one.  We didn’t tell him to get on with the task at hand at hand.


Ha ha, I had a very similar experience with an autistic child who was spitting (at first I thought at me, then I realized simply through a shaft of sunlight) to see the small glimmers of rainbow. I think this is a good example of the type of perspective that can get lost later in life, although I maintain that there is much value to knowledge, discernment, and education as well.


You know, I heard this line in an Orianthi cover today that kind of highlighted for me why Buddhism (Zen especially, I think, since it’s so intellectual) sometimes inclines my mind in the wrong direction. I’ll follow the Twitter feeds of various bigwigs in the Buddhism world, and it bothered me that Jack Kornfield keeps tweeting “Nothing is worth holding on to”. I’m sure that means something different in his paradigm, but to me, when you invoke the word ‘worth’, it is only a logical step or two (if that) away from saying “everything is worthless” (which raises the question of why I’d be listening to a Buddhist teacher anyhow, if they’re worthless too.) Anyways, the line in the song was “In your world, I have no meaning”. And I think secularized Buddhism can easily lead to this mindset (“Everything’s fleeting, here then gone, don’t get too attached homey, la la la la la!”). I realize my fascination with reading NDEs is super morbid (it’s the Irish in me, can’t help it,) but it is a hobby of mine, and this all reminded me of a quote about connection from one NDE I read about:


But worse was my growing sense of complete aloneness. Even hearing the brunt of someone’s anger, however unpleasant, is a form of tangible connection. But in this empty world, where no connections could be made, the solitude was terrifying.


(The experience for the NDE-er gets happier from there, fortunately.) But the thing is, to me this all leads to the idea that the God I believe in and try to know and love does not think that nothing is worth holding on to, including me. The God I believe in holds on to every hair on my head, every millisecond of every day through all of time. And I actually don’t think this is at all incompatible with Buddhism, just that my more western mind has difficulty processing Buddhist ideas without getting nihilistic and yet has a hard time with the literalistic (vs. philosophical) parts of Christianity. So I am some sort of philosophical spirituality mutt, but I suppose that’s not the worst thing - somewhere or other - I honed in on a sense of what I’m ‘aiming for’ (God or whatever else you want to call it), and I know when my mind is being inclined towards or away from it. So the fact that this sense appeared at all is a really cool thing, I think.

[ Edited: 21 September 2016 19:47 by sojourner]
 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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27 October 2016 09:55
 
unsmoked - 19 September 2016 09:57 AM
hannahtoo - 14 September 2016 11:49 AM

“There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.” -  J. Robert Oppenheimer

NL:
...if these little kids are so great at solving complex problems in physics, why is there no empirical evidence that little kids actually, you know, do that? Where’s the list of discoveries in physics made by toddlers?

Exactly; well said.
Of course, kids’ out-of-the-box utterances can trigger adults to consider new perspectives.  The idea of “out-of-the-box” is that our standard education and cultural training sets limits on our thinking.  Still, Oppenheimer obviously is using hyperbola.

I know what you both mean about Oppenheimer’s remark.  Still, it might be more than hyperbole.

http://time.com/4529444/how-thinking-like-a-kid-can-spur-creativity/

from this article:  “We live in an ocean of judgment—”you’re not famous enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not thin enough.” The weight of these appraisals, from others and from ourselves, can prevent us from looking at the world like a child might, as a place of wonder and new possibilities. This, in turn, keeps us from accessing the state of mind that stands at the root of creativity: playfulness.”

 

[ Edited: 27 October 2016 10:07 by unsmoked]
 
 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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27 October 2016 22:26
 
unsmoked - 27 October 2016 09:55 AM

http://time.com/4529444/how-thinking-like-a-kid-can-spur-creativity/

from this article:  “We live in an ocean of judgment—”you’re not famous enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not thin enough.” The weight of these appraisals, from others and from ourselves, can prevent us from looking at the world like a child might, as a place of wonder and new possibilities. This, in turn, keeps us from accessing the state of mind that stands at the root of creativity: playfulness.”

 

“The lunatic, the lover and the poet” smile


I agree that there is a lot of value in the “mind wide open” states that allow for creativity and learning - lantern awareness, apophenia, low latent inhibition and so on. When overhearing bits of foreign languages one can imagine how important the ability to notice and connect far-flung background noise must be in development. (You find the process kicking in subconsciously - noticing that mothers often say something like “Manyana!” [Mañana? Not sure why they’d be saying ‘tomorrow’ that often though) repeatedly to children in stores. French people say “parfois” (which I noticed I think because it sounds like “parfait”] all the time and say what sounds like “mon-a-moo” [I think mon amour] seemingly at random, from chats to Manu Chao songs. Russian people like to shout “Myesta!” which translates roughly to “Dog! Do not eat the therapist!”)


When you think of the extraordinary amount of auditory patterning that goes into learning, it’s no wonder we come equipped with these skills. I think the tricky thing is that these same skills can become assets or liabilities (think “A Beautiful Mind”) in adults, and are not something you can easily switch on and off like a switch, at least not without a lot of training I assume. I do think it’s a very interesting topic though and possibly an area where we could learn to ‘train our brains’.

[ Edited: 27 October 2016 22:30 by sojourner]
 
 
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