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About asanerman

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    A dried up old human being full of life!

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Only to be competent in my reasonings

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  1. Hey, Rosebud! The word exist is from Latin existere/exsistere "to step out, stand forth, emerge, appear; exist, be" An inquiry into the "details of” existence is where “meanings” and definitions get in the way. (I'll come back to this.) A definition of the word pantheism is a doctrine that equates God or gods with the forces and laws of the universe. Alan Watts said, “What you [and I] are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.” Whether you listen to the spiritualist or not it does seems for many of us that we “sense”something deeper” than what we are (for the most part) not completely aware of being. More than a few have concluded that we are "the actuality of existence"-- "that" fabric and structure (or whatever one chooses to call it) of existence. After the excerpt from David A Bhadan’s book The Lazy Man’s Way To Enlightenment: What You’re Looking For Is What Is Looking, I’ve provide here, (as a way of explaining a function of words as “neutral pointers”) I want to address, a few thoughts concerning the nature of realizing the "fabric and structure of existence" for ourselves. “The heart of the matter here is simply (and effortlessly) recognizing what’s already so.” David A Bhadan: Inherent in the use of words to describe something lies a sense of separation. When I explain something, implied in that description is what it is not. Language divides and separates that which isn’t divided and separate. Labels descriptions and definitions are definitions are boundaries; they are mental divisions created in the mind [thinking], where in Reality there aren’t any. The mind’s function is to compartmentalize that which is boundless. …In describing anything, we’re simultaneously erecting a seeming boundary with it, and everything unlike it. We say, “Everything that doesn’t look like a bird or a tree isn’t a bird or a tree.” In order to communicate, convey and understand, language starts to take place early on. Babies learn different concepts like, “Momma,” “Dadda,” and “blankie.” However, the word “Momma” and “Dadda” aren’t actually Momma and Dadda. The word “blankie” isn’t the actual blanket. In their true purpose and function, words are meant to help translate the word to the actual, but we often forget the word can never be the thing. The description can never be the described. We’re all aware that it takes years to learn the various labels for existence, and that it takes even longer to put them all together in a cohesive way that makes sense for us. Words have no inherent meaning; they are simply sounds and symbols pointing to the variety of life’s happenings. For example, one happening is called “rain,” another is called “happiness” and another is called “believing.” In a different language, these three concepts would have no meaning at all to the translator. They’d be merely sounds signifying nothing at all. If you were Swahili, the words “rain,” “happiness” and “believing” would be total nonsense. The point is this: words have no basic meaning at all. Even words like “rain,” “happiness” and “believing” have no intrinsic meaning, even to those who understand English. We live in realms of linguistic fabrication, interpreting concepts based on familiar patterns of recognition from the past and what makes sense to us at the time. Similarly, the word “God,” “Truth” or “Reality” isn’t God, Truth or Reality. The word “God” isn’t God, is it? The word “Truth” isn’t the actual Truth, is it? The word “God” is such a highly charged word, with as many different meanings as there are those who utter the word. We maim and kill over the interpretation of “our” God. Do you think the word is the actual? If so, the next time you’re thirsty, go have a sip of the word “water” and see if it quenches your thirst. When you’re hiking in the woods and stop to camp out on a chilly night, try to warm up with the word “fire” and see if you get warm. When we mistake words for the actual, we unwittingly lie to ourselves. We deceive ourselves without ever realizing it — and we do it often. In a trance-like state, rarely do we question whether the words we use are anything but a fiction. Fictions are illusory and illusion hurts. Have you noticed? It’s plain and simple; words only point. … if it’s Truth or Reality we’re after, seeing through the limits of words and labels is requisite. Seeing the true function of language is requisite. Transcending the limits of language in order to see what’s actually happening in this, timeless moment - and not what the mind is telling us about what’s happening — is requisite. Mere words lay on the surface, yet point to something underneath. Hanging out at the surface, it never gets seep that the essence underneath is waiting to be discovered. Words barely scratch the surface, yet we spend a lifetime scratching at the surface, thinking we can arrive at the essence underneath. On the occasion we go below the surface, we allow for the opportunity for something to finally “click” — and we see what the word is pointing to. We notice the essence of a pointer — and that which it points to isn’t in the word. We can appreciate the pointer for what it is and notice that it’s in the accurate non-conceptual translation of the word, that which the word is pointing to. As the ancient Buddhist saying goes, “Concepts are like fingers pointing to the moon, so don’t mistake the finger for the moon itself.” We are wise not to get caught up looking at the finger and completely miss out on the brilliance of the moon. Whenever we find ourselves confused or in doubt, it’s a good indicator we’re stuck on the concept, instead of looking to where the concept is pointing. The heart of the matter here is simply (and effortlessly) recognizing what’s already so — and remembering what you really are, non-conceptually. You are prior to, and beyond the formation of words and concepts. (pp. 11 -14) A good friend of mine once said of enlightenment: Enlightenment is when the is no longer an argument with yourself, others and the world.” (p. 25). That definition (IMO) of enlightenment is only one way of “pointing a finger” to what the word enlighten means or represents. The truth for me is that no one gets enlightened, one just realizing what already is, and that what is, is enough. It’s like a coming home to the home you never departed. No belief, no seeking, no path, no waiting till it comes, no trips to Mecca. That's not to say that any of that may be help. It's to say that for me, at least, it isn't necessary. To self-realize, for me, is something like what I understand T. S. Eliot alludes in Little Gidding : “…And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.” An inquiry into the "details of” (the nature of, the essence of) what exists--that witch stands out, or emerges or appears to be that case-- I think (along with others) can be independent of any and all of the behaviors and attitudes that are associated with religion. Robert Wolfe has pointed out that “this is not an inquiry into the supposed existence (or non-existence) of a god or gods, but an investigation into the relationship (if any) between the self, that you [and I] are conscious of, and the ultimate [ordinary] reality in which you [and I] are conscious of .” existing--standing forth, emerging, appearing presently. “And this is a discovery which can be immediate and direct, without reliance on any religious propositions.” ~Living Nonduality: Enlightenment Teachings of Self-Realization [are mine] I understand the consequence of this “internal inquiry” to be self-realization, integrated, self-actualized awareness--undivided self, the break through "into" the senses of worthiness (self respect), the sense of efficacy (self-confidence), esteem. For what it worth, that’s my take on what could be termed as “G/god” or to use the Tillich’s term “Ultimate Concern“.
  2. Good luck with that, Raven! I’m not convinced that funguyrye has “split enough wood” or “lifted enough stones” to say what he means. Umm... is this the Gospel of Thomas? Yes. An interesting resource: http://www.utoronto.ca/religion/synopsis/meta-6gv.htm I just noticed that Paul quotes the Gospel of Thomas. 1 Cor 2:9 "But as it is written . . . " which means the Gospel of Thomas might predate Paul. If so, that might make it the original gospel. Original or not the Nag Hammadi Library seems less contaminated by the “authorities”.
  3. Good luck with that, Raven! I’m not convinced that funguyrye has “split enough wood” or “lifted enough stones” to say what he means. Umm... is this the Gospel of Thomas? ...Hasn't "chopped" enough wood or "carried" enough water, would sound less Thomas.
  4. The majority of my life has been about breaking the desire of “being enough”--coming to all my senses, experiencing that sense of self I call “myself.” For me it was like realizing that I was a separate entity and all that goes along with learning what is required in surviving and thriving, learning and figuring all that it takes to “make it” in life. And the time came (though I can’t say exactly when) that I longed to realize (desired to experience for myself) that “I” of which was “doing the looking,” the seeking. “What we’re looking for is what is looking.” ~David Bhodan) There was a point where I desired (longed to show up) for the “I” that animates my living, looking, being and doing. I suppose the time has to come (as the professor mentions) when one is “ready” for the inquiry into what it is that one is adequate and worthy of being, as well as, doing. “..What any desire really aims at, is a state of non-desire.” ~ Jean Klein Who can know how and when "that' is realized or how it is that we “dissolve” into that actuality? It’s not like I woke up one morning and realized that all that I’ve ever known has been what I am, like I am, where I am and have been all along. It took nothing less than everything that I have experienced, thought and done for that to occur and then to be realized. Individuation, integration, actualization by nature is developmental. Realizing that ordinary is extraordinary is ego’s (what we imaging or think ourselves to be) ultimate disappointment. There are multiple avenues leading to realized self, accessed (gain access to) self, self-assessment. “There is no value-judgment more important to a man [or a woman]--no factor more decisive in his [or her] psychological development and motivation--than the estimate he [or she] passes on him/herself].” ~Nathaniel Branden
  5. Good luck with that, Raven! I’m not convinced that funguyrye has “split enough wood” or “lifted enough stones” to say what he means.
  6. What we tend to forget or ignore is that subjectivity or interiority is a monologue of “presence” or “ attention.” The danger being, rather than liberating one it (introspection, meditation, contemplation) can merely “cement” one’s cultural embededness, thus (if one isn’t cautious) allowing social and cultural interests-- egotistical, patriarchal, sexist, ethnocentric, andocentric (placing male human beings or the masculine point of view at the center of one's view of the world and its culture and history)-- to ride undetected into one's awareness and then call that “awareness“ dharma or gospel.
  7. Apparently his (the man himself) followers got more than a little dualistically carried away with his non-dualistic notions turning them into a system of "belief about" --a theology that would "break societies and rebuild humanity with a new mindset.” Horrendous try but no cigar!
  8. I call some people "conventional" - its just what they are - you could also say they are normal, with really they are not. These are people who tow society's line and are the same at 55 as they were at 17. Deva, Here's a quote from page 6 of Integral Spiritualty by Ken Wilber (2006) that illusidates that notion. EGOCENTRIC, ETHNOCENTRIC, AND WORLDCENTRIC To show what is involved with levels or stages, let’s use a very simple model possessing only 3 of them. If we look at moral development, for example, we find that an infant at birth has not vet been socialized into the culture’s ethics and conventions; this is called the preconventional stage. It is also called egocentric, in that the infant’s awareness is largely self-absorbed. But as the young child begins to learn its culture’s rules and norms, it grows into the conventional stage of morals. This stage is also called ethnocentric, in that it centers on the child’s particular group, tribe, clan, or nation, and it therefore tends to exclude those not of one’s group. But at the next major stage of moral development, the postconventional stage, the individual’s identity expands once again, this time to include a care and concern for all peoples, regardless of race, color, sex, or creed, which is why this stage is also called worldcentric. Thus, moral development tends to move from “me” (egocentric) to “us” (ethnocentric) to “all of us” (worldcentric)—a good example of the unfolding stages of consciousness. Another way to picture these 3 stages is as body, mind, and spirit. Those words all have many valid meanings, but when used specifically to refer to stages, they mean: Stage 1, which is dominated by my gross physical reality, is the “body” stage (using body in its pical meaning of physical body). Since you are identified merely with the separate bodily organism and its survival drives, this is also the “me” stage. Stage 2 is the “mind” stage, where identity expands from the isolated gross body and starts to share relationships with many others, based perhaps on shared values, mutual interests, common ideals, or shared dreams. Because I can use the mind to take the role of others—to put myself in their shoes and feel what it is like to be them—mv identity expands from “me” to “us” (the move from egocentric to ethnocentric). With stage 3, my identity expands once again, this time from an idengral tity with “us” to an identity with “all of us” (the move from ethnocento tric to worldcentric). Here I begin to understand that, in addition to the wonderful diversity of humans and cultures, there are also similarities and shared commonalities. Discovering the commonwealth of all beings is the move from ethnocentric to worldcentric, and is “spiritual” in the sense of things common to all sentient beings. That is one way to view the unfolding from body to mind to spirit, where each of them is considered as a stage, wave, or level of unfolding care and consciousness, moving from egocentric to ethnocentric to world- centric. ...all that is required is an understanding that by “stages”we progressive and pernanent milestones along the evolutionary path of your own unfolding. Whether we talk stages of conciusness, stages of energy, stages of culture, stages of self realization, stages of moral development, and so on, we are talking of these important and fundamental rungs in the unfolding of your higher, deeper, wider potentials. [An intregal view] can dramatically increase your likelihood of success, whether that success be measured in terms of personal transformation, social change, excellence in business, care for others, or simple satisfaction in life. Much of what passes as conventional thought is tantamount to childish or asolessents notions caught in adult brains.. Nice talking to you again Deva!
  9. Azaria, I'm providing excerpts I’ve put together from Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision, edited by Roger Walsh, M.D, Ph.D. and Frances Vaughan, Ph.D., that have been helpful in my inquiry of self-realization, integration and actualization. I do so with the intent of encouraging you that there are avenues of inquiry worthy of your attention that are not bogged down in metaphysics, illusion, supernatural groping, magical thinking, etc. All things change, including ideas about development. Contrary to long-held assumptions, psychological development can continue throughout the lifespan. Motives, emotions, morality, cognition, life tasks, and the sense of identity are all capable of growth in adulthood. It is increasingly clear that conventional adulthood does not represent full psychological maturity. “Normality” is actually a form of arrested development. Abraham Maslow’s said, “What we call normality in psychology is really a psychopathology of the average, so undramatic and so widely spread that we don’t even notice it.” But if normality is a form of arrested development, then what arrests it? Retarding forces seem to operate within both individuals and society. Growth involves movement into the unknown and often requires surrendering familiar ways of being. Consequently, we tend to fear growth. The tragic result, as both psychologists and philosophers have recognized, is that we actually deny and defend against our greatness and potential. These metadefenses, as we might call them, have been described in many ways. The humanistic psychiatrist Erich Fromm viewed them as “mechanisms of escape,” while Maslow called their net effect “the Jonah complex.” after the biblical prophet Jonah who tried to escape his divine mission. The existential philosopher Kierkegaard described how we seek “tranquilization by the trivial,” while others speak of the “repression of the sublime.” The crucial point is that our transpersonal potentials do not remain undeveloped merely by accident; rather we actively defend against them. We stand midway between on our developmental and evolutionary trajectory to full human potential. (Plotinus) If we harbor undreamed-of possibilities, if normality is actually frozen development and if much of our individual, social and global distress reflects this frustrated development, the next question is how do we overcome these blocks and foster individual and thus collective maturation? Examples of advanced human development include Abraham Maslow’s metamotives, Lawrence Kohlberg’s postconventional moral thinking, and Ken Wilber’s postformal operational cognition. In addition, the world’s religious traditions offer maps of contemplative development. Another means of fostering development maturation through (trans) personal experience (i.e. experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond individual or personal (persona) to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, cosmos) is by seeking out what Abraham Maslow called a eupsychian environment, namely a sharing environment optimal for psychological development. Socially that means sharing the company of people who value transpersonal growth, who undertake practices to foster it and who provide an atmosphere of interpersonal safety that allows for defenselessness and experimentation. Having said that, one must be consciously aware that a full spectrum theory of development also has implications for understanding and treating psychopathology. Development can falter and pathology can result at any level of development. Diagnosis and treatment must therefore take this developmental fact of life into account. For example, there has been considerable confusion over the relative effects and merits of psychotherapy and meditation. Some have proposed meditation as a psychological and spiritual panacea. Meditation may however, be most effective for transpersonal levels of growth and less effective for people fixated at earlier stages of development. This makes sense when we remember that contemplative practices have traditionally been employed specifically as catalysts for transpersonal development. Indeed, a transpersonal developmental perspective allows us to recognize that the contemplative core of many religions offers road maps and techniques for inducing transpersonal growth. While it is sometimes said that diverse practices and traditions are just different roads up the same mountain, it is increasingly clear that various traditions, and groups within traditions, may aim for different developmental levels. Thus there are not only different types, but also different levels, of transpersonal experiences across traditions and/or disciplines. That is to say, that sensation, reason, contemplation disclose their own truths in their own fields of "reality" (realms). This poses a great problem for both religious and spiritual traditions and their clams of “insights into ultimate reality" where these trans-verbal (beyond words or speech) invariable get mixed up rational truth and empirical facts. And because (for example) revelation was confused with logic and with empirical fact and all three were presented as one truth, then two things happened: the philosophers came in and destroyed the empirical side…From that point on, spirituality in the West was dismantled and only philosophy and science remained. (Wilber) Hopefully this does further confuse things for you or cause you more anxiety!
  10. "Hello darkness my old friend"

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. asanerman


      florduh caused this tune to stick in my head:


      “Hello friends (walls), how'd things go for you today?


      Don't you miss her…?


      I'll bet you dread to spend another lonely night with me


      But lonely walls, I'll keep you company.”


    3. asanerman


      Here's Willy before pig tails.

      BTY I'm no country Music fan!

  11. asanerman


    Gilbert O'Sullivan - Alone Again Naturally with Lyrics - YouTube
  12. asanerman


    florduh, I'm convinced (from experience) that we are the only living species able to reject, sabotage and betray our only means of survival--our minds, our compassion (heart) and the health and the maturity of those that show up for us.
  13. asanerman


    You see what I mean perfectly, florduh. Authenticity is hard to ignore!
  14. asanerman


    End, You sound disenchanted. Welcome to life as it is. You do not have to listen to a word I about to say. If you pay no attention to what I say, at least pay attention to that sense of 'meaninglessness" I sense in your words and what it says about your sense of self worth and efficacy. IMO life is an amalgam of thought, emotion and behavior; an existential mode of being in one's own skin and in a material world. I'm not Buddhist yet that does not prevent me from "hearing in my gut" what Siddhartha Gautama was saying when I read the following: "He who experiences the unity of life sees his own self in all beings and all beings in his own self and looks on everything with an impartial eye." — Siddhartha Gautama Whether live is an illusion or not I still suffer my on acts of sabotage. That fact I cannot deny. At some point I have to allow myself the permission to drop the drama regardless of how others feel or think about how it is that I find what already exists within my person hood. Who I am is not up for grabs any longer. I've had enough of the sweet talk from both sides of the aisle, believer or unbeliever not withstanding. The time for my living is at hand. My path is the path I must peruse, My obligation is to verify and supplement any information I have concerning my living and action for it's authenticity and relevance. I have no excuse any longer not to trust my own judgment or discernment or my dissatisfaction or misery. I must de-side (decide) for myself. Walk the path. No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. — Siddhartha Gautama I'll lay a little of Lao Tzu on you this morning. Again you do not have to listen to a word of it. When you find the way others will find you. Passing by on the road they will be drawn to your door. The way that cannot be heard will be echoed in your voice. The way that cannot be seen will be reflected in your eyes. — Lao Tzu Peace, my friend.
  15. If a problem is fixable, there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no benefit in worrying whatsoever. ~Unknown

    1. Show previous comments  7 more
    2. asanerman


      In any ultimate sense life cannot be fixed, it's a moving target, terminal in the end.

    3. Deva


      Life is not fixable. First principal of the Dharma

    4. asanerman


      Yes, Deva. That is the hardest truth for me to "hear"

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