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My notion of truth

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 57 total)
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  • #391509
    Peter
    Participant

    To me ego is the identity one assigns to themselves. The concept me being my own entity separate from others comes from the ego. And I had mentioned earlier that I think the ego is there to protect us. Surely, life would be a lot easier if we let go of my understanding of ego because the number of things that matter would dramatically reduce. But at the same time, if I don’t have that ego wouldn’t it be hard to protect myself from others?

    In the first sentence you make the statement – “The ego is the identity” (ego = identity) You can how suffering might result. I am a athlete, my self of self, my identity is attached to my athletic ability. I break my leg and can no longer perform. Who am I? Ego experienced as identify is prone to Inflation (Feelings that we are better than we are. I am better than you because I am a better athlete) and Deflation (I am nothing because you are a better athlete then I).  Perhaps you notice how both inflation and deflation are measurements that separate us from the other. Not in the healthy way that would aid someone to learning to live in harmony with others and themselves. Nothing produces more conflict, tribalism, disharmony then when ego = identity and it feels threatened.

    How do I see ego? I picture ego as the part of ourselves that communicates experience. A tool we use to help one understand, learn, keep safe, become conscious…. I have an ego, it is useful, I am not my ego.

    My feeling is that in the East there is a tendency to negate the ego often resulting in a lack of energy to engage, while in the West a tendency toward over identifying with ego resulting in a need to dominate, consume, own…

    As you mentioned ego plays a important role in keeping one safe, the question might be then is how it does so? Ego as Identity? or Ego as container, communicator,  boundaries?

    I mentioned Jung’s statement – ‘It take a healthy ego to let go of ego’. Jung suggested that the first half of life task was to develop a healthy container (ego). A neither inflated nor deflated sense of self, healthy boundaries that was capable of providing for itself, family, society…) The second half of life task involves the paradox of separating oneself from others, which at the same time recognizes the other as/in themselves. Which naturally flows into compassion for ourselves and others. A drop in the ocean contains the ocean

    This was a lesson I also learned in dancing. When you start to take classes to learn the rhythms and rules. A waltz looks like this, a Cha Cha like this. Eventually the student will be told that to dance they must ‘forget‘ what they learned to dance. But not until they developed the ‘container’. To break the rules, one must know the rules. Forget is probably the wrong word as what happens is that the student learns to Trust what they learned, trust that the body knows (Body always knew how to dance, the student must work for that which the body already knows. Like the statue that already exists in the stone)

    Another story

    A man traveling along a path came to a great expanse of water. As he stood on the shore, he realized there were dangers and discomforts all about. But the other shore appeared safe and inviting. The man looked for a boat or a bridge and found neither. But with great effort he gathered grass, twigs and branches and tied them all together to make a simple raft. Relying on the raft to keep himself afloat, the man paddled with his hands and feet and reached the safety of the other shore. He could continue his journey on dry land.

    Now, what would he do with his makeshift raft? Would he drag it along with him or leave it behind? He would leave it, the Buddha said. Then the Buddha explained that the dharma is like a raft. It is useful for crossing over but not for holding onto….

    I agree with Tommy’s concern with the word ‘seek’  as we tend to see the world as we are not as it is, thier will be a tendency to find what we expect to find.

    Note however that Seek does not stand alone in the formula. The seeker seeks, knocks and waits.  Note how the knock (not passive) creates vibrations…. and puts into motion… as we wait the ripples pushing aside that which may cloud our vision, the water better able to reflect what is…..

    Here is a riddle for you. When does a seeker become a finder?

    #391537
    samy
    Participant

    Hi Peter

    The story makes what you see as ego very clear.

    Developing a healthy ego to eventually not needing the ego at all is an interesting idea.

    Your riddle – is a finder labelled as such after finding something, whereas a seeker is still looking for it?

    #391697
    Tommy
    Participant

    If one is open to love then is one seeking love? If one is open to love then will one find love?

    I use love as an example cause I find love to be real. Where as, hate or anger is not real. When hate or anger comes up, it comes at first as urges and then get supporting thoughts to bolster its stay in the mind and body. Love just is.  There is no need of thoughts to supports its stay in the mind. Is love desires or wants? Personally, I do not believe true love is. But, have seen many levels. Maybe I am just a wishful thinker.

    Note: Have not had much sleep lately. So please do not cross examine me upon these words I posts. Just a sleepy man.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Tommy.
    #391822
    Peter
    Participant

    If one is open to love then is one seeking love? If one is open to love then will one find love?

    In the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy –  a character named “Prak,” who “knows all that is true,” confirms that 42 is indeed The Answer to the Ultimate question – (The Ultimate question was What is 6 x 9 – which was the answer to the question What is the meaning of life 6 x 9 = 42),

    The joke goes:
    “What do you get if you multiply six by nine?”
    “Six by nine. Forty two.”
    “That’s it. That’s all there is.”
    “I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe”

    Of course thier is another possibility, that there is nothing wrong with the universe as it is but something wrong with our math (how we measure).

    I wonder if that is the same as our questions about Love? Love is often given as the answer as to the meaning of Life and or Love = Life…. What if Love = 42….  and all the messy parts of life, at some perspective is also always only Love?

    In the Hitchhiker Guide the problem wasn’t in the universe or the math but that if the Answer and The Ultimate Question was  known in the same universe, they would cancel each other out and take the Universe with them, to be replaced by something even more bizarre and that it may have already happened.

    I often wonder if their might not be some truth to that 🙂 There is a Buddhist thought that that for those who have completed their task, found thier question to thier answer… become no more….

    I’ve always like Five for Fighting’s song the Riddle

    There was a man back in ninety-five
    Whose heart ran out of summers
    But before he died, I asked him
    Wait, what’s the sense in life?
    Come over me, come over me?

    He said, son why you got to sing that tune?
    Catch a Dylan song or some eclipse of the moon?
    Let an angel swing and make you swoon
    Then you will see, you will see

    Then he said, here’s a riddle for you
    Find the answer, there’s a reason for the world
    You and I

    Picked up my kid from school today
    Did you learn anything?
    ‘Cause in the world today
    You can’t live in a castle far away
    Now talk to me, come talk to me

    He said, dad I’m big, but we’re smaller than small
    In the scheme of things, well we’re nothing at all
    Still every mother’s child sings a lonely song
    So play with me, come play with me

    And hey dad, here’s a riddle for you
    Find the answer, there’s a reason for the world
    You and I?

    I said, son for all I’ve told you
    When you get right down to the
    Reason for the world who am I?

    There are secrets that we still have left to find
    There have been mysteries from the beginning of time
    There are answers we’re not wise enough to see
    He said, you looking for a clue?
    I love you free

    The batter swings and the summer flies
    As I look into my angel’s eyes
    A song plays on while the moon is hiding over me
    Something comes over me

    I guess we’re big and I guess we’re small
    If you think about it man you know we got it all
    ‘Cause we’re all we got on this bouncing ball
    And I love you free, I love you freely

    Here’s a riddle for you
    Find the answer, there’s a reason for the world
    You and I

    I Love you free… and if I can love myself as I love others… I love me free…

     

    #391919
    Tommy
    Participant

    Monks would spend much of their time sitting in meditation. Thinking this is the way to enlightenment. Then to be enlightened, would remove them from suffering. Bodhidharma would take a roof tile and start to polish it. The monks asked him what he was doing. Answer was polishing roof tiles to become mirrors. One’s mind can not become enlightened. No more than one can polish a roof tile into mirror. The thinking reinforces the world we live in. Oops, sorry, rambling again.

    #392119
    Peter
    Participant

    Gautama sits under the tree and achieves enlightenment and in that moment is given a choice to remain in nirvana or return (as all hero’s must) to teach what cannot be taught. Gautama knew that most would relate to the teachings as if they were the destination mistaking the map for the  territory. (even as all of the teachings warn not to do that)
    I’ve often thought that such a paradox would be enough to boot one right out of nirvana and into frustration. Still the Buddha agrees to return and teach as a enlightened one and I wonder if this is why he laughs.

    I’ve also wondered about all those Zen stories where the Buddha teaches and someone hearing becomes immediately enlightened in that moment. I imagen this now enlightened person looking into the Buddha eyes to mark the moment – maybe the Buddha gives him a wink or some other form of recognition… but then the Buddha winks at everyone. I imagen this now enlightened person waking out of the temple, perhaps in a state of contentment, maybe even bliss and then stepping in dog poop.  I wonder if this person remains enlightened? I wonder if this is why the Buddha is so often depicted as laughing.

    “Before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters.” Dogen

    #392184
    Tommy
    Participant

    Buddha once related a story of a village of the blind. Rumors were that the next village would attack with elephants. Not knowing what an elephant was, they had someone bring them an elephant to discover what is an elephant. Three blind men went to discover what an elephant truly was. One man said it was like a big flap of cloth as he felt the ear of the elephant. And, another said it was like a rope as he felt the tail. The third man said it was like a heavy column as he felt the leg of the elephant. Enlightenment is like discovering an elephant. First glimpse, of the truth is not the whole truth. And enlightenment has many depths. Like shining a flash light into the deepest dark space. It only illuminates that which it shines upon. There is much to discover. Bliss is not the goal. Stepping into the dog poop is part of Karma when one is part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Sorry, think I read this somewhere??

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Tommy.
    #392491
    Tommy
    Participant

    The thinking is that when one becomes enlightened then one is in bliss. Doesn’t see the dog poop in front of him and steps into it. Rather that when one is enlightened, one is mindful and sees the dog poop. Then one can choose ones action of stepping forward. Into or around or over. The actions of enlightened ones are done with love and compassion. It is not done in a vacuum or even with urges. Hmm, spend too much time inside my head. It may be time to let go of this.

    Some friends thought the secret was to stop thoughts. Iron rod across the brain type of thinking. To open the mind’s eye is to transfer one’s awareness from thoughts to being conscious. Do not know where they are now. Maybe far ahead of me. I lack that ambition to see the end of the journey. I like the path I am travelling. Hey, did I read this also??

    #393771
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Tommy:

    I wish to read more from you. I followed your recent communication with another member, and I hope that it did not discourage you from posting again. It happens sometimes that a member will start threads not for the purpose of considering the input in replies received, but for the purpose of trapping members who sincerely try to help, using a thread as a spider web, if you will, and then proceeding to “prove” a point they, and even to abuse members and feel better for it.  Sad, isn’t it?

    anita

    #393782
    Tommy
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    You are so smart. And, you have helped many people here!! Sometimes, one needs to step back in order to see the whole picture. I see such oppositions as small steps to get past what there is in me that might have done the same. It is a way to work on myself. Believe me when I say that there is no arguing. One can not convince a person of something they wish not to listen to or not to believe in. I know that I can only change myself. Hopefully for the better. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

    Tommy

    #393792
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Tommy:

    You are welcome and thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately, I am not that smart. I am smarter than I used to be, that’s all. Hopefully, I will be smarter tomorrow than I am today.

    One cannot convince a person of something they wish not to listen to or not to believe in” – and therefore, one should stop trying to convince. I wasted decades of my life reaching out to a person (my mother) who never wished to listen to me. More recently, I reached out multiple times to a casual friend who similarly never wished to listen to me. When I realized this dynamic, I finally stopped reaching out to him and my policy now is that IF he reaches out to me, then I respond to the extent that matches his effort of reaching out to me.

    There is a strong, enduring thirst in me to be seen/ heard by those who won’t. I need to contain this thirst.

    I know that I can only change myself. Hopefully for the better” – same here, for the better!

    anita

    #393950
    Tommy
    Participant

    Last night, a got a pain in my lower right back. Not new to back pain, I tried to ignore it. 8 hours later, took my daughter to school. Came home and that is when the pain really kicked in. Nothing helped. Finally decided to go to the ER. Surprisingly, waiting there, the pain slowly went away. After 6 and a half hours of waiting and tests, turns out to be a kidney stone. 3mm. My notion of truth was pain and suffering are a great motivator. I realize I do not have a lot of time on this earth. And if there was anything to bring meaning to this life, I hope it would be to become more open minded, more mindful, help others, and be good to my family and friends. Buddha said something like this all that one is .. is a result of everything one has thought. Time to see the truth.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Tommy.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Tommy.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Tommy.
    #393968
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Tommy:

    I read that small kidney stones pass spontaneously through urination. I hope that it passed by now. There are teas and supplements advertised as “Herbal support for kidneys” and “stone breakers”- maybe these can help you?

    “Surprisingly, waiting there, the pain slowly went away” – if you went to the bathroom while waiting, maybe a kidney stone was passed and as a result the pain went away.

    My notion of truth was pain and suffering are a great motivator. I realize I do not have a lot of time on this earth. And if there was anything to bring meaning to this life, I hope it would be to become more open minded, more mindful, help others and be good to my family and friends” – wouldn’t it be a very good thing if all of us saw humanity as our family and friends; do no harm to no human, help any human we come across, if we detect a need, however we can, mindfully, open mindedly.

    Good to read from you again, and please, do post again at any time you want to post, reading from you is valuable to me.

    anita

    #394075
    Tommy
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    When the stone moves, it hurts. When there is no pressure on it, there is little to no pain. It is still there. 3mm is quite large. Doctor told me that a stone the size of 5mm can still pass naturally. Given meds to open passageway and pain meds. Going to use pain meds for sleep only. Doctor’s advice was to drink more water to help flush out the stone. And drinking more water in general helps to prevent stone formation.

    Tommy

    #394100
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Tommy:

    I understand now about the pain having to do with the stone moving. I didn’t know that a 3 mm kidney stone is quite large. But it is possible for a 5 mm stone to pass naturally, your doctor said. And here is one more reason to drink more water (I don’t like to drink water and I don’t drink enough): to prevent the formation of kidney stones.  Just the other day, someone told me that her doctor told her that drinking more water prevents some (minor, I am guessing) muscular injuries and pain. I wonder if drinking more water can help with your back pain.

    So, you are drinking more water and the next thing you expect to happen is… more pain as the stone moves and is passed? I hope to read from you soon that it passed and at least, this issue has been resolved!

    anita

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