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July 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm #304029
Hi Nothing. (from nothing comes all things)
You ask some really good questions.
“All I teach is suffering and the end of suffering.” – “Life is suffering” – yet the Buddha was not arguing for the end of life or, in my opinion, the disengagement from Life though for some that is a path. (most of us are not called to be monks or hermits but to engage with life)
In general: We see life as we are (karma) not as it is. As we become more conscious – “enlightened” – the opposites fade and we experience Life as it is, which is as we are. Life is a wonder; we are a wonder which includes suffering. We say Yes to life and engage fully with it, Joyful suffering… Have you noticed that the experiences that becomes deeply meaningfully because they are bitter sweet. The experience of pain and suffering transformed…. Which yes, raises many more questions.
I am not a Buddhist so the following may be off the mark but maybe it will help.
The purpose of the various practice of Buddhism is greater awareness. Consciousness arises from the tension we experience when confronted with opposites. We don’t become conscious of the experience of cold without having the experience of hot.
Perhaps the first confrontation we all experience is the knowledge of good and evil which is different from knowledge of what is good and what is evil. Knowledge “of” is not the same as knowing “what is” so we suffer. What I experience as good one minute is in the next experienced as bad. What I experience as good you might experience as bad. How can that be? How can one thing be at the same time both? Not Two?
We “awaken” to the problem of opposites, becoming conscious through struggle. In general, we experience struggle as suffering so you might say that the price of consciousness is suffering or, the price of life is suffering.
When we look to nature, we become conscious of the fact that Life lives off Life. Life requires the sacrifice of Life. Our life comes at the cost of life and the tendency is to repress that truth = we suffer. I would argue that the question behind all religions is in my opinion how are we to respond that truth. Yes, No, or We can Fix it. Interestingly most religions can be interpreted in any of these ways.
If we answer No, that Life should not be, get me off this ride. We dissolve the ego, no ego no suffering because there is nothing that can be touched. Begs the question, what is the ego and what role does it play in consciousness? Many interpret the goal of Buddhism this way.
If we answer life was good, but we broke it so must fix it. Well, I suspect you know that just creates allot of suffering although it’s a good way to experience suffering as meaning and purpose.
If we answer Yes, we enter into the flow or life as it is, that we are one, intimately part of Life, its wonder and suffering. We Suffer however our relationship to suffering changes and becomes not suffering.
I would argue that the Buddha, as was Christ, were showing the path to say Yes to Life As It Is. Each moment of life a moment of “birth – death – resurrection/reincarnation” – not opposites but intimately connected and interwoven that we are to enter into freely.
Which brings us back to the problem of opposites, suffering, consciousness and ‘enlightenment’. As we awaken, we realize that opposites are illusions of our own making. Not that the experiences aren’t real but that they aren’t separate, aren’t opposites. Good and Bad exist together as one, as the All is one. Joy and suffering are not opposites but are one as the All is one. This is a different kind of consciousness and being.
- Objective consciousness: Object and Subject or separate. This is our relationship to the outer world where “real” equals those things we experience through our 5 senses.
- Subjective consciousness: Object and Subject or separate. This is our relationship to the inner world, how we feel and think about what our senses reveal to us.
- “Dream” consciousness: Both Object and Subject arise from the self. You are both Object and Subject. The division between Object and Subject disappear. Object and Subject no longer opposites.
- Consciousness enveloped by unconscious: conscious of the unconscious…. Add silence and you have the sound of “one hand clapping” the sound of the Universe, the sound of Life, ‘Oum’.
So, what am I saying?
As we engage in the practice we will eventually be confronted with the problem of opposites. As we practice, contemplate and meditate and allow the levels of consciousness to arise (cycle) the opposites of object and subject merge and the experience of opposites dissolves. As the opposites dissolves the questions of good and evil, joy and suffering dissolve and so our relationship to Life and relation to ego transforms to something that is transparent to the transcendent . In other words, beyond the limitation of words. We return to where we started but see it for the first time.July 18, 2019 at 1:36 pm #303829
I think, like many you might have a incorrect understand the concept of Karma.
Most people equate the word with idea of justice. Karma is not justice, which is a man-made concept that does not exist in nature. Karma is not a looming punishment or form of retribution. It is not meant to scare or threaten you with bad consequences for your ill-intended actions. Neither does it reward you with a winning lottery ticket a week after you helped an old lady cross the road. There is no such thing as “Instant Karma”.
The Buddha explained karma as “this arises, that becomes.” Alan Watts translates Karma as “The interdependent origination of all the forms and phases of life.”
Some explain Karma as being a kind of cause and affect or translate it the word to mean action. Kicking a stone and breaking your toe is a kind of karma. The broken toe is not a punishment but a consequence of the flow life that is not personal. It gets more complicated as karma relates to the life, death, life cycle, the cycles of life, Life AS IT IS…
With regards to reincarnation (which from one perspective occurs within every breath you take) Ones ‘Karma’ shapes what a person is capable of seeing and experiencing… being reborn into.
“Karma” shapes a person level of awareness. We tend to see what we expect to see or more often what we fear to see. We can’t easily change/influence what we can’t see… so we repeat = suffering… Which is where all the various Buddhist practices come in. To end the cycle of karma, we need to ‘awake’ and become conscious, so that we might ‘see’ (experience) life as it is. Fully entering into the flow of life, detached yet engaged… joyful suffering… which is a very difficult paradox to hold.
July 15, 2019 at 10:49 am #303421
- This reply was modified 3 days, 11 hours ago by Peter.
Its not just woman who find themselves in the same situation. I fear I am also a member of the club.
My mother once warned that the older a person gets without entering a committed relationship the less likely they will. Her theory being that entering into such relationships required a level of innocents, blind ‘faith’ and ability to leap into the unknown. The wide-eyed wonder of youth.
I wonder sometimes if she was right. I know as I have gotten older taking a leap of faith has become much harder. To be candid its been so long that I wouldn’t know where to start. As INTJ I think to much and trust myself to little… so, in my case I am getting in my own why.
I agree with Valora though. I think for people like us we need to meet that person who is patient and that won’t panic when asked to move slow so that we might create that safe place.July 8, 2019 at 12:43 pm #302441
I wonder if we stay in relationships that aren’t healthy because its just easier. We remain in conflict to avoid conflict.
“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.” ― <span class=”authorOrTitle”>Krishnamurti</span>
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” ― <span class=”authorOrTitle”>Patrick Overton,</span>
I personally go by the three strike rule – if after the third breakup – makeup attempt fails, that it. No more contact. Zero. If your going back time and time again, or worse keeping the door open, just so you can slam it shut again… it isn’t about Love.July 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm #302023
The anxiety about not wanting to have such dreams could be reinforcing the dream.
From what I understand about dream interpretation the dreamer is both the object and subject of the dreams contents – As such characters in a dream are created by the dreamer as a symbol or metaphor that the dreamer subconscious is attempting bringing whatever is being symbolized to the surface. The theory is that if you make that conscious the dreams will stop.
A place to start is to write down all the associations that come to mind when you think of your experience with your Ex. Its possible that the experience of your Ex represents a unconscious aspect of relationship (in general). What is it you learned about yourself through the experience? Are you hanging on to anything? Anger, fear, resentment?? Have you forgiven yourself (we often unconsciously blame ourselves just for having taken the chance with someone, even when we haven’t don’t anything wrong)
Once you have done the work instead of fearing the dream before you go to sleep ask that your dreams show you what it is you need to ‘awake’ to, to learn. If you can re-enter the dream and make it lucid and try to shape the dream to a conclusion to you liking.July 4, 2019 at 8:06 am #301973
My own experience with the concept of ‘passion’ is that their is so much noise concerning the subject that the search for passion turns out to be one of the things getting in the way of the experience of feeling passionate about what you do.
In the end Passion isn’t something you find, its something you allow yourself to experience, what every you end up doing. Even exploring the “everything” you find interesting can be PassionJuly 2, 2019 at 2:04 pm #301849
I got really offended because I am extremely self-conscious about my looks.
I’ve always like what the Stoic’s had to say about ‘taking offence’ – An offense is up to your interpretation that requires you to choose… A child calling you ugly says more about them then you… Choosing to be offended on the other hand is all about you.
When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as theirs, or near it, in which case you have to excuse them. Or your sense of good and evil may differ from theirs. In which case they’re misguided and deserve your compassion. – Marcus Aurelius
My experience, life is much calmer choosing not to be offended. That said its important understand that having healthy boundaries is important and protecting those boundaries and taking offence are not connected. Having healthy boundaries is sitting down with the child that called you ugly and letting him/her know that it was not acceptable. You don’t need to be offended to stand up for yourself.
Also, because this is something you are actively working on (Which by that way you should give yourself a lot of credit for… well done for not only wanting better but working to do better!) The “Universe” is going to give you a lot of opportunity to face your fears. In this case the child calling you ugly could be seen as a opportunity to help you see where you’re at as well as the opportunity to teach them. One day, if you keep working on it, someone will push your buttons, call you names and it won’t have any affect on your sense of self.
July 2, 2019 at 1:32 pm #301843
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Peter.
My understanding is Kundalini is a concept describing the stages of consciousness an eastern mystic might work through.
In western language Kundalini is made up of 7 levels of increased awareness. Level 1 – Id, Level 2 – will to pleasure, Level 3 – will to power, Level 4 – Individuation (pulling back one’s projections, integration of the shadblow, becoming), Level 5 – Will to power transformed to self responsibility, Level 6 – will to pleasure transformed to Universal Love, we are one, Level 7 – conscious of the unconscious (beyond words)
Jung argued that it was dangerous for a western mind to engage in eastern disciplines as it was unlikely the western mind could properly relate to Eastern myth and imagery. He also argued that there was danger of psychosis for someone to engage in the practices who didn’t have a strong and healthy sense of self/ego. (It takes as strong and healthy ego to let go of ego) There is a reason why the traditions insist that those interested in such a pursuit find a teacher and don’t do it alone…
I agree with Jung. Physiologically there is little benefit for most people working beyond the ‘heart chakra’ (level 4). Without the proper guidance the experiences beyond that are likely to end in depression or worse.
My feeling after reading you posts about the Kundalini is that much of your suffering comes from objectifying the idea of ‘G_d’ and Kundalini as a ‘thing’ that exists as you might imagine an alien being existing. My advice for what it is worth is for you to take your own advice and forget about religion, prayer and G_d and perhaps Instead focus your attention and being your best self. You don’t need religion or ‘G_d’ for that. Let it go, let G_d go… the anger you feel is not healthy for youJune 28, 2019 at 12:36 pm #301267
Jealousy isn’t something someone does to us, its something we do to ourselves. In some sense we choose such experiences so a path to healing involves taking responsibility and asking yourself why you spend so much time comparing yourself to others…. what value does this experience have for you? Does it allow you to stay stuck?
All Emotions serve a purpose and I suspect jealousy points to areas in our lives that we need in to integrate. By either letting go or setting goals.
“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”
“In the hero stories, the call to go on a journey takes the form of a loss, an error, a wound, an unexplainable longing, or a sense of a mission. When any of these happens to us, we are being summoned to make a transition. It will always mean leaving something behind,…The paradox here is that loss is a path to gain.” ― David Richo, How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration
Your awareness to the problem of Jealousy is a door to self discovery. It has served its purpose, so you can let it go. I know easier said then done… or is it….
A place to start might be a practice of mindfulness. When you become jealous of someone’s beauty, the issue is not their beauty but that you don’t feel beautiful. Begs the question of what is beauty? How do we measure such a thing? As a species we love to measure and label, but the reality is we suck at it. A authentic practice of mindfulness will eventually lead to jumping off this judgment and measuring ‘train’.
We work for that which no work is required. Accept yourself as you are as you challenge your self to grow, to do better as you learn better, without labels or unnecessary judgment. Who can ask more of themselves or others?June 27, 2019 at 7:20 am #301033
I think I am just going through an existential/midlife crisis right now where I’m trying to figure out what’s really important in my life…
That’s a good place to start. From personal experience be careful of analysis paralysis. discovering what is in important in life requires both being and doing the trick I think is to be very mindful of the judgments and labels we measure ourselves by as we work on ourselves.
You use the words inner peace… What would inner peace look like to you?June 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm #299209
I totally relate to the problem of not being able to envision the road ahead as I approach the final third of life. The problem as I experience it comes from a place of isolation.
I suspect the solution lies in service, engaging life by joining groups that help others. Everything I’ve read points in that direction however I tell myself maybe when I retire. …
I guess I’m not being much help here… I can tell you that you’re not alone in feeling as you do. So many of those I meet that live alone and are approaching retirement are in the same place. I’m convinced the solution involves finding and engaging in community. However, the problem is that the longer you live alone the more difficult it is to push oneself out of the comfort zone and engage/create community.
If you find away I’d be interested in hearing what you did. The only advice I do have is to avoid creating labels and identifying the self with those labels. ie. The label of wasted life = I am a waist… which is likely attached to misunderstanding of concepts of meaning and purpose that one imagines others are living out. They aren’t… at least not in the ways we imagine they are. Meaning and purpose are not something we create and hold on to forever, but a something experienced in a moment. For example a moment with a friend or child can be filled with purpose and meaning. The truth we give life meaning, life does not give us meaning, so every moment is meaning and purpose we only fail to notice most of the time. I think because we make the assumption that meaning and purpose must be grand and recognized as being such… by others…June 14, 2019 at 7:20 am #299125
To be upfront the cell phone I own was made in the 1990’s. It only use is to make calls and I only turn it on when I’m calling out. To be frank I don’t want to be called or texted when I’m out with other people, shopping, out for a walk…. so my feeling on the matter of texting are biased. I understand its use to make arrangements, or reminders., general stuff of life stuff but as a enriching form of communication… Its not for me. Not to say it cant be done.June 13, 2019 at 2:40 pm #299039
Its sounds like you may have connected these past experiences with your sense of self. Its important to remember that You are not your thoughts or you actions, past or present.
With regards to Guilt and Shame: guilt is the feeling that you’ve done something bad, while shame is the feeling that you are bad. While you work through your past its important to recognize that some shame is deserved however most shame we feel and hold onto is undeserved.
Based on what I read I suspect the shame you feel and are holding onto is undeserved. You were a confused and young and if there was something that required ‘making right’ and forgiveness it seams you have been forgiven. The next step then is for you to forgive yourself and let it go.
I like what Lewis Smedes had to say about Shame (recommend his book Shame and Grace)
“Shame is heavy; Grace is light…. Shame says that because I am flawed I am unacceptable. Grace says that though I am flawed I am cherished. “
“The lightness of grace does not lift all the sandbags that drag the spirit down. It lightens life by removing one very dead weight in particular—the weight of anxiety about being an unacceptable person. It extracts the internal threat of healthy shame. It gives us courage to track down the sources of unhealthy shame, see it for the undeserved pain it is, and take steps to purge our lives of it completely. It sets loose the lightest feeling of life; being accepted; totally, unreservedly accepted…” – Lewis Smedes
June 13, 2019 at 10:24 am #298945
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Peter.
I personally wouldn’t use texting for emotional conversations, to easy to read into a statement. So IMO all text conversatons should be dull and boring.
Think how much nicer our world might be if the President didn’t user Texting to communicate with. Then his intention is to confuse and keep everyone off balance and texting is great for that 🙂June 12, 2019 at 2:57 pm #298727
I know I need to move on, practice self-compassion. I just don’t know how to do it?
Quite frankly you start by starting. That may sound trite however if your like me, you will spend a lot of time on how without actually doing. Its great method of procrastination. If I don’t know how, exactly how, I don’t have to start and better yet I get to stay grumpy.
If I’m doing that, that usually means I haven’t allowed myself to fully mourn the loss yet. Do you have someone that could help you possess everything your feeling?