You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
I am very interested in this exchange. I have been reading about Buddhism a lot lately and they mention the “illusion of dualism” quite often. Sometimes it makes sense to me but it’s also confusing since we are obviously individuals, a lot of whom are run by their egos(which do the separating) without even realizing it.
I like what you say in your last paragraph. We really need more manly men who openly embody feminine traits (and pull it off) in our society. Role models. Because I don’t see aggressive females pulling it off any time soon. They are met with too much resistance even from the female population.
Manimal: Then what is this so called true being, is this something seperate from the five skandhas, the different drives we have?
Also, even though this world is relatively seen an illusion, ultimately it is just as unlimited as your so called soul. Samsara IS nirvana. There is no seperation.
@Renee: but isn’t believing in this and practicing it consistently giving an “I” to where there is none?
Yes, but there is no other way. There is no truth, and no insight to be gained, it’s not teleological, no goal to be gained. There is only continual self overcoming, so you can em-body truth. That your whole be-ing expresses truth as it is.
Believing in anything at all is forming a Self in which to believe, yes?
Yes. The alternative is nihilism. But there is both passive and active nihilism. Passive is rejecting life with it, active is for the strong, nihilism of nihilism (emptiness is empty if you will). Completely affirming life while knowing it has no meaning. Which can only happen if the whole body is in harmony again, that mind knows it place and the Great Self, that which thinks the ego, uses all drives spontaneously.
Which is why when grasping at Zen it disappears?
Yes, grasping is the will to truth. You think you gained something, something true. Which immediately puts a boundary on total spontaneity.
As there is nothing to grasp and no one to do the grasping?
So you need to first master all drives, have an extremely strong will. This is a second nature you need to learn. At one point you will do this without exertion, it becomes first nature. There won;t be any grasping anymore.
Or in a way from this practice am I losing a little more of my Self to my Higher Self, to where all of these beliefs and this meditation will melt into my very being?
Well, you become stronger and stronger untill you can handle the truth. If you can’t handle it, the digestion of it won’t work. So yes. :)
Or I suppose describing the individual is an “illusion” works better than that it doesn’t exist. We can feel that we as individuals exist because we are only experiencing individual realities. Individual realities exist. Individual journeys exist, but at our core, we all remain the same.
Yes and no, the illusion that you exist is a evolutionary advantage. If you were able to think in terms of causality, time and self/other you had a better chance of survival, this creating more ofspring. But to overcome this, to reach you full potential, you need to question all basic assumptions. That of self, time, space, every other limit you can conceive of. The problem is, if you are not strong enough or if you think the mind is the master of your being you will go crazy or you will stay in the labyrinth.
Evolution filtered out everything that doesn’t work for survival, so we have a basic drive for error. It’s not this, it’s not that. But this is not affirmation, we can never say this is true because we experience it. So our drive for error must change into a drive for truth. This leads to extreme skepticism, or nihilism (in thought). And to overcome this you need active nihilism, true acceptance of momentary being, unitary body/mind where thoughts are just relative tools for aspiring to the Superman, or being enlightened. Just like any other sensation. You can’t say pain is more true than pleasure or vice versa. Same with thoughts.
If you really want to thread this path, you need ruthless truth to yourself, investigating every small weakness and resistance you have. Keep meditating, working out and living healthy (the ‘higher’ you are the harder you’ll fall). And never stop writing. Also, definitely keep on reading Zen, and maybe also the three metamorphoses from Nietzsche (Camel to Lion to Child). etc.
Sorry, I wrote it quick without editing, I don;t have much time now, have to write a few papers and edit my new piece for HE, but feel free again to ask for elaboration.
Train the powers of focusing on subtleties through Shamatha and thoughts will begin to manifest themselves to the observer during Vispassana. Train in letting go of perception through Vispassana and your Shamatha meditation will be more immersing and therefore more beneficial. These two forms are a feedback loop. Just like Male and Female.
As the Zen Buddhist would say, “Once you speak of something, you’ve missed the mark.” You know truth when you know it, and you’ll never be able to tell a soul..Or else everyone would be telling their brother and his friend.
It’s all good talk. It was interesting reading all you guy’s arguments and the subject of god does relate to the thread. I was wondering, if god is supposedly be this all mighty being, than is god the same thing as the larger organism that we all are part of? Or is god supposedly the one who rule all including the larger organism? It would be crazy to think if our universe is the tiny cells in god’s “body” and that we all serve a small role.
Your example Manimal is fundamentally flawed. Please explain to me the following questions:
If I breathe in, when does the oxygen become me?
When I go to the toilet, do I lose a part of myself? What if I lose a hand? Am I still the same individual?
If this individual is doing the thinking and acting the acts, why can’t I stop thinking and control the passions at my whim?
It’s funny that you mention the example you did. People DO move in very identical patterns. Most of them are pure chaos and at war with themselves, I am one of them. Ofcourse it is way too complicated for our thoughts, but surely, you must have experienced this in meditation? Not too long ago you claimed knowledge of the oneness of body and mind, how can you claim something else entirely right now?
How would it look like if there was no time? Exactly, just the same as it would look right now. How would it look like if there was no self? Exactly, same as now.
Words are symbols. But once you start believing that you created another wall in the labyrinth again. So one way to think about it is through Nagarjuna’s great philosophical treatise for Mahayana Buddhism, the middle way. The tetralemma says:
Is everything self existent? No
Is everything not self existent? No
Is it both self existent and not self existent? No
Is it neither self existent nor not self existent? No
A, not A, both A and not A, and neither A nor not A.
Females have more chemical reactions in the brain, whereas men have more electrical reactions in the brain. The end result is basically, guys are more rational and girls more intuitive. Obviously this is just in general and changes from individual to individual.
Chemical reactions= feeling
Electrical = reasoning
I just stumbled upon this conversation in google search and wanted to throw in my own two cents.
Ray Butler has it right when he makes the “Men in Black” comparison. If we are going to consider that we are an organism inside of a larger organism, then we should consider if the organism we are inside of is part of an even larger organism… and so on and so forth.
This seems completely logical, because as science progresses we are finding out how infinitely vast the Universe is and how vast and infinite each one of our individual bodies are. So, it would seem as if all life is balanced right in the middle.
I think the more important question to ask is whether or not we will ever be able to establish some kind of harmonious communication with that which we perceive as being larger than us, and that which we perceive as being inside of us. If we could do that, then our understanding of the Universe and our role in it would grow exponentially.