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“If you are seeking, we know that you cannot see.”

 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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07 February 2018 20:23
 
unsmoked - 07 February 2018 06:58 PM

(Overheard in an art gallery during a Cy Twombly exhibition)  (Visitor speaking to Twombly):  “Are you an artist or a paint scribbler?”  https://www.wikiart.org/en/cy-twombly


I take this to mean one is already at peace when thrashing in the water, so ultimately it’s all of one essence anyhow. Thrash or float, you’re already floating either way!  wink


Anyways, I am curious if these quotes have personal experiential meaning to you, but if you prefer not to share that online, I understand.

 
 
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08 February 2018 11:57
 
NL. - 07 February 2018 08:23 PM
unsmoked - 07 February 2018 06:58 PM

(Overheard in an art gallery during a Cy Twombly exhibition)  (Visitor speaking to Twombly):  “Are you an artist or a paint scribbler?”  https://www.wikiart.org/en/cy-twombly


I take this to mean one is already at peace when thrashing in the water, so ultimately it’s all of one essence anyhow. Thrash or float, you’re already floating either way!  wink


Anyways, I am curious if these quotes have personal experiential meaning to you, but if you prefer not to share that online, I understand.

Are you serious when you say that you are at peace when you are not at peace?.  Yes, these quotes have personal experiential meaning for me.  The visitor at the Twombly exhibition was meant to illustrate that the visitor was saying to Twombly, “I don’t get it.  What is this stuff?”  Meanwhile, across the room two art students, were transfixed looking at “Untitled 1954.”

She:  “Oh my god.  Look at this!”

He:  “That school is ruining us!”

 
 
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08 February 2018 14:59
 
unsmoked - 08 February 2018 11:57 AM

Are you serious when you say that you are at peace when you are not at peace?

 


Mu!

 

Yes, these quotes have personal experiential meaning for me.


Ok, thanks. I’ve never heard you talk about ‘practice’ in personal terms, so I was curious. Again, this being the intrawebz, avoiding personal anecdote is understandable though, so I wasn’t sure if you like zen sayings in a poetic way or if they have experiential meaning to you, which is why I asked.

 
 
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09 February 2018 10:49
 
NL. - 08 February 2018 02:59 PM

I wasn’t sure if you like zen sayings in a poetic way or if they have experiential meaning to you, which is why I asked.

The old pond;
a frog jumps in -
the sound of water.  -  Basho

 
 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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09 February 2018 12:37
 
unsmoked - 09 February 2018 10:49 AM
NL. - 08 February 2018 02:59 PM

I wasn’t sure if you like zen sayings in a poetic way or if they have experiential meaning to you, which is why I asked.

The old pond;
a frog jumps in -
the sound of water.  -  Basho

“Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet, and I am you and what I see is me.” -Pink Floyd

 
 
sojourner
 
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09 February 2018 16:28
 
unsmoked - 09 February 2018 10:49 AM
NL. - 08 February 2018 02:59 PM

I wasn’t sure if you like zen sayings in a poetic way or if they have experiential meaning to you, which is why I asked.

The old pond;
a frog jumps in -
the sound of water.  -  Basho


Well, I’m glad that koans and poetry seem to resonate with you. It’s interesting to see how different aspects of the path and practices speak to different people. I remember reading once that the Dalai Lama’s practice consists of a great deal of analytical meditation, which I thought was quite interesting as Western minds tend to get so revved up in ‘thinking / analyzing’ mode that I typically see this aspect (actively analyzing via thought) very much downplayed in our culture, in favor of more sensate / mindfulness / meditation oriented approaches - probably with good reason, for the smartphone generation! It’s a rich tradition, for sure.

 
 
ubique13
 
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09 February 2018 17:26
 
NL. - 09 February 2018 04:28 PM
unsmoked - 09 February 2018 10:49 AM
NL. - 08 February 2018 02:59 PM

I wasn’t sure if you like zen sayings in a poetic way or if they have experiential meaning to you, which is why I asked.

The old pond;
a frog jumps in -
the sound of water.  -  Basho


Well, I’m glad that koans and poetry seem to resonate with you. It’s interesting to see how different aspects of the path and practices speak to different people. I remember reading once that the Dalai Lama’s practice consists of a great deal of analytical meditation, which I thought was quite interesting as Western minds tend to get so revved up in ‘thinking / analyzing’ mode that I typically see this aspect (actively analyzing via thought) very much downplayed in our culture, in favor of more sensate / mindfulness / meditation oriented approaches - probably with good reason, for the smartphone generation! It’s a rich tradition, for sure.

Without spoiling too much, the field of Neuroscience has advanced a substantial amount since whenever Sam Harris received his own credentials. Particularly as it pertains to the necessity of studying real Philosophy. There’s a reason that William James was the last serious religious philosopher of note. “God of the gaps” comes to mind.

 
 
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11 February 2018 11:46
 
ubique13 - 09 February 2018 05:26 PM

Without spoiling too much, the field of Neuroscience has advanced a substantial amount since whenever Sam Harris received his own credentials. Particularly as it pertains to the necessity of studying real Philosophy. There’s a reason that William James was the last serious religious philosopher of note. “God of the gaps” comes to mind.


I’m not sure what you mean by this - are you referring to Jame’s idea that religion is sort of justified depending on what it brings into your life?


If so, I do agree with this to a large degree, although once you get way out to the edges of logical conclusions I think you have to get into some metaphysical claims. Granted, some of those claims (i.e., the idea of some degree of ‘selflessness’,) don’t actually seem all that ‘out there’ once we have high tech machines and gadgets to look at the inner workings of human neurology - but they are empirical claims nonetheless. So I don’t think ‘the proof is in the pudding’ can be used 100% as a rationale (if this is what you were talking about,) but it’s certainly a significant factor.


I think this is why a variety of spiritual approaches is probably a good thing (although I think there’s also value in some degree of uniformity, as it allows for shared communities who will be familiar with various concepts and practices and such.) Zen is probably a good fit for unsmoked, for example, as he strikes me as a more earthy and down to earth individual to begin with. It can be a really bad fit for me, as in many places it fits in quite neatly with my profile of ‘attraction and aversion’. I am super happy to stare at the clouds whilst emptying my mind - the problem is that when I have to come inside and do paperwork, I have intense aversion to that. I am generally quite good about forgiving people for major transgressions on a sort of grand scale because I think in broad abstractions, but am often lost and clueless when it comes to resolving silly workplace gossip and disputes. I am happy to ponder koans about the deepest fabric of reality or try to watch a flower with ‘pure seeing’, but if you asked me to fix a leaky pipe I would look at you in disbelief and inform you that this is why God invented men. I’m kinda being tongue in cheek here, but in some ways I get that this is my relative profile of strengths and weaknesses.


So I can easily ‘look’ very zen, superficially, while actually just staying in bad habits of grasping at doing things I like and avoiding doing aversive things. For me it is, as unsmoked said earlier, about learning to be at peace while not being at peace (sort of the idea that ‘the ocean is still the ocean even when there are waves at the surface’ - that equanimity means finding a different way of perceiving unpleasantness even while recognizing it as unpleasant on some level.) For people who start from very practical, goal-oriented places, I think spirituality is often about being able to put that down a bit, and open to other things in one’s line of vision, rather than simply seeing a series of linear steps toward a desired endpoint. (We are all probably a blend of these traits to some extent - I can be very perfectionist and goal-oriented about specific things, but in general, I mean.) I think this is why a range of practices is helpful - as there is generally a ‘middle path’ in most areas, there are practices that can help to work with the mind when it’s too lax or too tight; when it’s too nihilistic or too concrete; too driven by aversion or too driven by attraction, and on and on.

 
 
ubique13
 
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11 February 2018 12:06
 
NL. - 11 February 2018 11:46 AM
ubique13 - 09 February 2018 05:26 PM

Without spoiling too much, the field of Neuroscience has advanced a substantial amount since whenever Sam Harris received his own credentials. Particularly as it pertains to the necessity of studying real Philosophy. There’s a reason that William James was the last serious religious philosopher of note. “God of the gaps” comes to mind.


I’m not sure what you mean by this - are you referring to Jame’s idea that religion is sort of justified depending on what it brings into your life?

No. I think William James is a joke who happened to pose the last relevant question regarding what religious devotion meant. There are no more religious philosophers because there is no such thing. Existential Phenomenology is about as far as Philosophy can reasonably be extended, near as I can tell, and it’s at that point where the most fluid connection to Neuroscience seems to be.

[Edit: As a thought experiment, try to imagine what pictographs humans would have used to communicate before there was written language]

[ Edited: 11 February 2018 12:13 by ubique13]
 
 
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11 February 2018 12:42
 

Q:  During the hubbub and vexations of everyday events, is it possible to notice when you are saving energy?

 
 
ubique13
 
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11 February 2018 12:45
 
unsmoked - 11 February 2018 12:42 PM

Q:  During the hubbub and vexations of everyday events, is it possible to notice when you are saving energy?

Nope. Gotta love the Observer Effect.

 
 
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11 February 2018 13:26
 
ubique13 - 11 February 2018 12:45 PM
unsmoked - 11 February 2018 12:42 PM

Q:  During the hubbub and vexations of everyday events, is it possible to notice when you are saving energy?

Nope. Gotta love the Observer Effect.

Zen master Wuzu said, “It is not permitted for a general to see great peace, but a general may establish great peace.”

(Wuzu quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Essence-Science-Shambhala-Editions/dp/1570625883#customerReviews

 
 
sojourner
 
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12 February 2018 21:38
 
unsmoked - 11 February 2018 12:42 PM

Q:  During the hubbub and vexations of everyday events, is it possible to notice when you are saving energy?


Hmm. Is saving energy important though?


Granted, it seems like a significant byproduct of ‘practice’. Aversion (or, identification with aversion, I suppose I should add if I’m being technical,) is exhausting. Attraction is exhausting. The opposite of being pulled around by attraction and aversion - something like love, or pure attention - is energizing, enthusiastic, curious. At least I think so. So yeah, I think saving energy is a byproduct, but maybe not a central tenet of practice. 


The problem is, as with all things, it’s so much easier said than done!

 
 
ubique13
 
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12 February 2018 21:47
 
NL. - 12 February 2018 09:38 PM
unsmoked - 11 February 2018 12:42 PM

Q:  During the hubbub and vexations of everyday events, is it possible to notice when you are saving energy?


Hmm. Is saving energy important though?


Granted, it seems like a significant byproduct of ‘practice’. Aversion (or, identification with aversion, I suppose I should add if I’m being technical,) is exhausting. Attraction is exhausting. The opposite of being pulled around by attraction and aversion - something like love, or pure attention - is energizing, enthusiastic, curious. At least I think so. So yeah, I think saving energy is a byproduct, but maybe not a central tenet of practice. 


The problem is, as with all things, it’s so much easier said than done!

It’s like this weird feeling of deja vu. Does choice exist? Do choices have consequences? What is Nihilism, anyway? shock

 
 
sojourner
 
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12 February 2018 22:07
 
ubique13 - 12 February 2018 09:47 PM

It’s like this weird feeling of deja vu. Does choice exist? Do choices have consequences? What is Nihilism, anyway? shock


Yeah, that’s always an irony of ‘practice’, I think - the idea that for enlightenment to truly exist, we must all already be enlightened (Otherwise, it would be a transient, changeable state, and therefore not really something worth ‘obtaining’. Or not obtaining. Or… ok you get this gist.)


Waves in the ocean trying really hard to understand that the ocean continues to exist at all times, waves aside!

 
 
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