What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
SeekerOfWisdom
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What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:30 pm

How do you personally view 'enlightenment'? What does it mean to you? How would you describe it?

If everyone gave different answers, is only one correct?

Or do you think it is meaningless, referring to nothing, as Alex might perceive it?



I would start by saying that these words are very nearly useless, they are nothing more than an attempt at a conceptual reflection of experience. Pointing to a reality which you already know.
My own answer is that enlightenment is to be aware of the reality of existence as it is, as opposed to imagining what it is and creating false distinctions/boundaries. That is, to end clinging in all its forms, which includes attachment to transient conceptualizations or preconceived identities.

This comes hand in hand with not clinging to false ideas such as that of free will- there is the awareness that passing thoughts/actions are not personally devised or chosen by any 'individual'. These are known to be fleeting uncontrolled experiences.

Where in the past one would see distinct self-existing objects and people, or a 'self', or 'my thoughts' (in this way holding to 'identity')
when non-attached one sees only impermanent formations (What is actually there).


The blinding trait of egotism that I perceive is a constant craving for sensual distractions/entertainments. It seems others are unable to cease these diversions, they are restless and so 'boredom' becomes its own little unbearable hell.
In the same way a loud noise distracts ones attention, unending sensory amusements effectively obscure awareness.

In the end, eyes are now opened, one is aware, the experience of the objective world is known to be a manifestation of the mind, craving is gone, desire is gone, attachment is gone. An end to delusion and suffering.

More than anything, impermanence, impermanence, impermanence. Clinging to that which is impermanent (all formations) is ignorance.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:21 pm

A light burning so bright that others start to see more clearly when they're around.

Dennis Mahar
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dennis Mahar » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:12 pm

most decidedly an experience of enchantment,
charmed.
blessing.

one can be enchanted by a person, idea, institution or thing,
to experience enchantment in nothing in particular.
some days are diamonds.

SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:28 pm

....And I thought my answer was too general and inaccurate.

deceit
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by deceit » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:03 pm

Dogs act more enlightened then most humans.

Smelling the flowers, piss or shit. To them it's all the same and they take delight in all smells and sensations.

They also aren't afraid to act on their impulses.

Enlightenment does not imply happiness or bliss. Which i think some people pedestal the whole concept thinking its some sort of Western Idyllic-Nirvana all day 24 / 7. But its definitely a very whole hearted understand of Everything.

A gift given to you to yourself by yourself.

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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dennis Mahar » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:16 pm

I thought this would surely turn into a blue.
ah well, the trap was set.

SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:26 pm

What do you mean by "turn into a blue"?

And yeah deceit you can't help but wonder about animals can you.

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Alex Jacob
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Alex Jacob » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:28 pm

There is a very real confusion, rife through all the pages of this forum, and among everyone who embraces the term, as to what in fact is being given a 'special value'. Some refer to it as a result of embracing a certain way of embracing conceptual models which they, strangely, define as embracing no model at all. The basis of the major strain here is that a certain process of 'rational' thinking or (re) ordering of thinking brings one to a way of thinking or seeing that is described as 'ultimate'. The errors seem to begin at that point and they center around an idea that this 'ultimate state' enables one and justifies one in declaring a universal and unchanging 'truth'.

It should not have to be pointed out that there are dozens of different definitions of 'enlightened' and they are all context-dependent.

The definition offered by Diebert is compelling but insofar as it is limited. It says little more than that, comparatively, a clear thinker, or a person with 'clear energy' or 'clear emotions', will tend to influence other people toward that possibility. It is certainly a tenable, and quite safe, definition. The problem with it is that it says little about understructure and what in fact is becoming 'bright'. A very charismatic personality (and who can define charismatic charm? or locate the source of its power?) could have all the same effect, and toward very bad ends.

I reject the notion of 'sage' and 'enlightened master' simply because these definitions, in the end, completely fall apart. It seems self-evident to me.

What I find 'interesting' (which is to say troubling) is how confused and muddled people seem to become when they embrace the concept and especially when they see it as applying to themselves. It reminds me of a child, a little girl, dressing up in some sort of gossamer and imagining herself 'transformed'.

As you might guess I see the notion of 'enlightenment' as functioning very negatively---that means with almost no redeeming feature---in the Founders. A whole group of secondary (and tertiary) problems issue forth from the primary problem in my view. The 'dysfunction' I describe stems from this.
Ni ange, ni bête

SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:38 pm

Yes, and you manage to see it that way despite the fact that you still can't grasp it or attempt aphilosophical approach to your rejection of it.

If you need some sort of evidence as to your own lack of awareness, and abundance of attachment, watch how you won't stop clinging to sensory amusements for the next week. Not even for 10 minutes.

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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dennis Mahar » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:39 pm

Mostly your questions are rhetorical Johnno meaning you've already decided what the answer is and then any sucker who falls in to the trap you set gets a belting.
There's no rigid designation.
It's a subjective experience.
freedom of expression.

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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:44 pm

Clearly I've already put my answer. Yet others love to point out how everyone else is lacking their wisdom, I only wanted to see what's agreed upon as being "enlightenment". (while knowing there would be instant disagreement from jup and such, only attesting to the usefulness of the inquiry)

SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:47 pm

I don't mind playing along with the official kind of lollydadling some so badly desire every now and then.

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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dennis Mahar » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:52 pm

Christ, Alex is polishing up the same old turd day in day out.
tell him turds are for flushing.

SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:53 pm

Lol, Alex, turds are for flushing.

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Alex Jacob
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Alex Jacob » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:15 am

A small meditation on 'turds':
Carl Jung and the Cathedral

One summer day when Carl Jung was a 12 year old schoolboy in Basel, Switzerland, he fell to admiring the cathedral in the town square. In his autobiography called “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” he recalls his train of thought:

The sky was gloriously blue, the day one of radiant sunshine. The roof of the cathedral glittered, the sun sparkling from the new, brightly glazed tiles. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the sight, and thought: “the world is beautiful and the church is beautiful, and God made all this and sits above it far away in the blue sky on a golden throne and …” Here came a great hole in my thoughts, and a choking sensation. I felt numbed, and knew only: “Don’t go on thinking now! Something terrible is coming…”

He was completely panicked and dared not finish the thought. He agonized over it for days, having trouble sleeping and feeling tormented, trying so hard to not finish the thought. In the middle of the night of the third day, he finally decided that “It must be thought out before hand.” So he went through a long process of thinking why he should not think “that thought”. His rationalized reasoning went on for three pages! Now remember, this is a 12 year old boy. Carl finally decided it would be okay with God for him to finish, saying “Obviously, God also desires me to show courage. If that is so and I go through with it, then He will give me His grace and illumination.”

Jung continues, “I gathered all my courage as though I were about to leap forthwith into hell-fire, and let the thought come. I saw before me the cathedral, the blue sky, God sits on His golden throne, high above the world — and from under the throne an enormous turd falls upon the sparkling new roof, shatters it, and breaks the walls of the cathedral asunder.”

Even as a boy, Jung found the scatalogical image redemptive. “I felt an enormous, indescribable relief. Instead of the expected damnation, grace had come upon me… I wept for happiness and gratitude.”

From the start, Jung understood this newfound connection to the deity to be different in kind from anything he’d been offered by his own church. Jung’s father was a Protestant minister but one, we gather from Jung, for whom the church had become lifeless. As a child he thought his father was reliable but powerless, and after his epiphany, he says, “a great many things I had not understood became clear to me. That was what my father had not understood, I thought; he had failed to experience the will of God, had opposed it for the best reasons and out of the deepest faith. And that is why he had never experienced the miracle of grace.”

– Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World with some adaptations.

Hyde also points out in this chapter that “dirt is always a by-product of order”. My take is that if our gods are too clean, too orderly, they cannot lend us any creative energy, and our lives become too sterile, too orderly. By placing the gods high above us, not allowing them access into our lives or us access into theirs, we limit our own creativity. You have to get a little dirty and messy to truly feel the divine. Make your rituals too sterile, too structured, and they bring no spirituality into your life. Make your home too sterile, too orderly, and it becomes a place where you can’t relax and enjoy life itself. If you’re afraid to get messy, it’s hard to really make interesting art. If you’re afraid of your life getting messy, it’s hard to care about other people and be willing to get involved in their problems.
Ni ange, ni bête

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Alex Jacob
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Alex Jacob » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:23 am

John-Seeker wrote:Yes, and you manage to see it that way despite the fact that you still can't grasp it or attempt a philosophical approach to your rejection of it.
Since no clear definition of 'enlightenment' is ever offered, and since no person is or can be produced of whom it can be asserted is '100% enlightened', it does not seem to me to be a responsible or debatable term. How would you construct a 'philosophical' argument against a term that is totally subjective, ever-changing depending on who is holding it? You certainly could speak of 'enlightened attitude' (etc.) but that would always occur in a relational conversation: you would have to define initially what is being described as 'enlightened'.
Ni ange, ni bête

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:51 am

Alex Jacob wrote:
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:A light burning so bright that others start to see more clearly when they're around.
The definition offered by Diebert is compelling but insofar as it is limited. It says little more than that, comparatively, a clear thinker, or a person with 'clear energy' or 'clear emotions', will tend to influence other people toward that possibility. It is certainly a tenable, and quite safe, definition. The problem with it is that it says little about understructure and what in fact is becoming 'bright'. A very charismatic personality (and who can define charismatic charm? or locate the source of its power?) could have all the same effect, and toward very bad ends.
It's true, personalities generally do not burn bright enough, they'd qualify more as shadow in this game. My definition tried to introduce a more trans-personal view. There are no people with "clear energies", as these supposed people are always embedded as personalities in the whole circumstance, entourage and particular history which is just as part of the clarity which is taking place in that context. The ones still looking for sages or speculating about them are still nothing but rebels without a clue.

Tenver-
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Tenver- » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:07 am

To become one. With all, perhaps.

Dennis Mahar
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dennis Mahar » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:37 am

live in your own box.
don't require your box to live in.

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Dan Rowden
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dan Rowden » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:59 am

Alex Jacob wrote:Since no clear definition of 'enlightenment' is ever offered...
That is a lie. Would you like me to produce the multitude of times that David and I have defined it for people on this forum? Meh, what good would that do anyway...

And another thing: 3 people can define enlightenment with different language and still point to the same reality. Do you imagine, for example, that every Xian theologian through the centuries has defined and explained "revelation" in exactly the same way? Given they have not, are you asserting that only one of them can be expressing a legitimate view? (I'm using "revelation" as an example, not as a Xian equivalent to enlightenment.)

Oh, and another, other thing: when you say "clear" you ought really qualify that as "not clear to me".

SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:32 am

Alex, it's experience based, that's like saying epiphanies don't exist because descriptions aren't the same, they are only a reflection of an experience. And there is more than plenty that is agreed upon with "enlightenment" that you could address, such as non-attachment. Yet that is experience based too, and you are clueless, hence why you refuse to speak about what you reject.

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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dennis Mahar » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:01 am

He thinks there's a Forum Box in 'dire straits'.
In urgent need of renovation.

He's trying to get the NASDAQ listed company 'Western Philosophical Traditions Inc' signed up on an exclusive contract for an interior decoration project.

laugh-a-minute.

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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:30 am

Dennis Mahar wrote: There's no rigid designation.
It's a subjective experience.
freedom of expression.

How then would you describe your subjective experience?

A description that reflects what you actually experience would be preferred to one that tries to explain what it is derived from such as 'the end of discriminating', etc.

No one has really given an answer so I'd like to hear what you are actually aware of, what's changed?

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Alex Jacob
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Alex Jacob » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:55 am

Dan wrote:That is a lie. Would you like me to produce the multitude of times that David and I have defined it for people on this forum? Meh, what good would that do anyway...

And another thing: 3 people can define enlightenment with different language and still point to the same reality. Do you imagine, for example, that every Xian theologian through the centuries has defined and explained "revelation" in exactly the same way? Given they have not, are you asserting that only one of them can be expressing a legitimate view? (I'm using "revelation" as an example, not as a Xian equivalent to enlightenment.)

Oh, and another, other thing: when you say "clear" you ought really qualify that as "not clear to me".
Okay: 'Not clear to me' but I did assume that your message gets through to others. It would be appreciated if you would---without getting obsessive about it---link to one of the descriptions of enlightenment that you think is representational or precise. True, these descriptions, and the state of mind described, has never struck me as a 'real thing', but oddly enough I have had, and I think many writing here have had, certain experiences where 'enlightenment' has been presented as a possibility. Be that as it may I just got by first supply of Razon-Eze® which is said to enable 'constant, continuous, linear episodes of sheer reasoning' for up to 14 hours! It is a 30 day supply so let's see what can be made of it.
Ni ange, ni bête

Dennis Mahar
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Re: What does"enlightenment" mean to you?

Post by Dennis Mahar » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:22 pm

If 'I' had the opportunity seeker,

If it was the case that 'I' walked past Harry's Tour World and LIFE was available as a 'fantastic adventure holiday'.

'I' wouldn't buy the package.

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