'Different' From Day One.....

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:15 pm

Looking back through my life with a clear, still, and guilt-free mind, I can now clearly see that I was different from the people who were all around me from the very beginning. Or at least from my earliest memories. Though it took me a very long time and a whole lot of soul-searching, reflection, and change in order to come to understand this difference and the reason for it. Following are two reflections on his youth by Sam Keen which closely mirror my same feelings and similar experiences as a child, which he's better able to put into words than I am. Running across other people's personal experiences and reflections like these over the years was very helpful in my own radical transformation and re-awakening to self-understanding and fullness of human being.

"Where does my story, or yours begin? When I trace the roots of my being, at what point do I distinguish netween 'my' self and the soil in which I was planted? When can I first say 'I am'?.....I could begin with the birth of self-consciousness. One day, when I was nine years old, I was walking down Court Street in Maryville, Tennessee. Near the bottom of the hill, fifteen feet away from an apple tree, on a part of the sidewalk that was smooth enough for skating, I knew suddenly and with blinding clarity that I was different than my parents, my brothers and sisters, and my playmates. Self-consciousness descended on me like a hawk. In a sense, I might date the origin of my self from this moment.....But my consciousness was swaddled in a cradle made by nature and culture long before I knew myself to be a person apart from others. I was neither father, mother, nor architect of my own being. No self-made man. I grew like a seed in humus that was composted of the residue of generations. A nexus of communication of the living and dead wove the tissue of my mind and body. My individuality was born from a web of life too intricate to unravel. Thinking back on the context that created me, I can only conclude that I must start my story with this affirmation: I was loved therefore I am. As Martin Buber put it, "In the beginning there was relationship." (Sam Keen)

"Even as a child, I knew myself to be different from and more than the oughts, images, and ideals I agreed to in order to win the love of my parents and the respect of my peers. The insatiable senses and the promiscuous imagination are never satisfied by the monogamy of the persona. Some restless, unnamable energy pushed me out of the garden of childhood, led me into becoming a rebel." (Sam Keen)
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:59 pm

"I have been looking for the door to enlightenment as long as I remember - from my very childhood.....I never could find any way to communicate with the children of my own age. To me they looked stupid, doing all kinds of idiotic things. I never joined any football team, volleyball team, hockey team. Of course they all thought me crazy. And as far as I was concerned, as I grew I started looking at the whole world as crazy." (Osho - 'Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic')
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Blair » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:58 pm

Well the bible sure isn't the answer, nor is new-age gibberish.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:58 pm

Sam Keen wrote: I knew suddenly and with blinding clarity that I was different than my parents, my brothers and sisters, and my playmates. Self-consciousness descended on me like a hawk. In a sense, I might date the origin of my self from this moment.....

He was nine years old? It's something I've heard telling people before and it reminded me of something mentioned in de field of development psychology. The psychologist Dolph Kohnstamm in his book "I Am I: Sudden Flashes of Self-awareness in Childhood" has explored it with some depth, here's part of the book.

It seems to me the development can happen in gradual fashion or caused by some "build-up": a sudden leap into a different self-organised state of thought and (self-)experiencing. This development itself is not extraordinary but does actually indicate a timely development of ego or separateness. Strong individuals who develop into sharp thinkers, mystics or anyone daring to stand apart (because they can't help really!) might have some stronger experiences than normal but my point is that the break-through itself is part of human development and should be carefully guarded against the need to make it into something too special.

One could wonder however how many people might miss the development entirely and how they would continue to function or the troubles they might cause.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:57 pm

prince wrote:Well the bible sure isn't the answer, nor is new-age gibberish.

I agree in spite of the fact that I can still get caught up in competitive scripture-thumpin'. Which even though it may be well-intentioned often contains some subtle ego stroking or reinforcement on my part and overall is of little, if any, real value in the awakening of others.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:09 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote: The psychologist Dolph Kohnstamm in his book "I Am I: Sudden Flashes of Self-awareness in Childhood" has explored it with some depth.

Thanks for pointing this out Diebert. I think we need more books and discussion of this sort. I'm going to thoroughly examine the chapters you posted and get back later.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:19 pm

"I have always suffered only from the 'multitude'.....At an absurdly early age, the age of seven, I knew that no human words would ever reach me: has anyone ever seen me sad on that account?" (Nietzsche - 'Ecce Homo')
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Blair » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:14 am

Bob Michael wrote:if any, real value in the awakening of others.


Never mind the "awakening of others".. Do you want to be just a well-meaning, blundering blowhard like Kelly Jones?
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:44 am

prince wrote:Never mind the "awakening of others".. Do you want to be just a well-meaning, blundering blowhard like Kelly Jones?

No.....'well-meaning'(ness) without having wisdom and a long and wide been there - done that list in life is the great human problem. Actually I really think I have what it takes for the task. The big problem is finding some salvageable or radically transformable human beings and then keeping them on the straight and narrow path.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby cousinbasil » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:49 am

Diebert wrote:It seems to me the development can happen in gradual fashion or caused by some "build-up": a sudden leap into a different self-organised state of thought and (self-)experiencing. This development itself is not extraordinary but does actually indicate a timely development of ego or separateness. Strong individuals who develop into sharp thinkers, mystics or anyone daring to stand apart (because they can't help really!) might have some stronger experiences than normal but my point is that the break-through itself is part of human development and should be carefully guarded against the need to make it into something too special.
I think this is a very important point you have made here, Diebert. It is special in the sense that it is what we are talking about, but I agree that the experience we are talking about is common to many people. The "build up" you mention is key; the development happens in a gradual fashion as a matter of course, if it does not, there occurs the "build up," meaning the development eventually happens abruptly.

The point being that just because one person may not experience these "breakthroughs" does not mean that person is failing to develop. Am I correct in inferring this to be your point? If I am, I agree with it.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:58 am

"Ever since I was twelve, I had been preoccupied with the question of the meaning of human existence, and whether all human values were pure self-delusion. No doubt this feeling was intensified by my dislike of the vague, brainless, cowlike drifting of the people around me." (Colin Wilson - 'The Outsider')
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:00 pm

'ENLIGHTENMENT' - a return to the "bright", the "natural state".

"From my earliest experience of life I have enjoyed a condition that I would call the "bright". As a baby I remember crawling around inquisitively with an incredible sense of joy, light, and freedom in the middle of my head that was bathed in energies freely moving down from above, up, around and down through my body and my heart. It was an expanding sphere of joy from the heart. And I was a radiant form, a source of energy, bliss, and light. I was the power of reality, a direct enjoyment and communication. I was the Heart, who lightens the mind and all things. I was the same as everyone and everything, except it became clear that others were unaware of the thing itself."

"Even as a little child I recognized it and knew it, and it was really not a matter of anything else. That awareness, that conscious enjoyment and space centered in the midst of the heart is the "bright". Very early in life I conceived a purpose in the "bright". It was to restore humor. Throughout my life I have been moved to find and communicate the fundamental source of humor to others.....Thus, my life has been an adventure of the knowledge and unfoldment of the "bright", which I have know to be the form of reality."

"The "bright" had seemed to fade in adolescence, but it had only become latent in the heart while I followed my adventure from the viewpoint of the mind. The heart had been my only teacher, and it continually broke through in various revelations until I returned to it, became it, and rose again as the "bright"."

".....my first twenty years were the gradual undermining of this certain existence by all the ordinary and traditional means of life."

"The first form of meditation enjoyed in my life was the "bright" of my childhood. It is also the ultimate one. But the "bright" of my childhood was not fitted to understanding. It was not supported by real consciousness. I perceived it, but I could not control it. And at last it disappeared against my wishes. Thus, I became devoted to a path of seeking, but it was aided by my earliest intuition of reality, the "bright". I was required to pursue the faculty of my own consciousness. And I needed to understand before I could finally create, sustain, and control the "bright", the Form of Reality."

(Franklin Jones [Adi Da etc.] - 'The Knee of Listening')
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more from guru Franklin Jones

Postby sdgreco » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:42 am

I seek no perfection at all, and therefore I am no perturbed by the imperfect. I point only to radical consciousness or reality.

This moment is the moment of reality, of union, of truth. The only truth is radical truth. Even the moment of self-indulgence, of avoidance, of separativeness is the moment of reality. Nothing needs to be done to it or you for it to be so. Nothing needs to be accomplished, purified, undone for it to be so. Nothing needs to be avoided, transcended or found for it to be so. This is the greatness of truth, of understanding, for it disarms all fear, all circumstance, all dilemma. It is always already the case.


*now, now, here's something that's immediately appealing, and has a ring of truth to it as well, but quite in contrast to house philosophy, isn't it.

oh well, who really knows...
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Re: more from guru Franklin Jones

Postby Bob Michael » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:35 pm

sdgreco wrote:*now, now, here's something that's immediately appealing, and has a ring of truth to it as well, but quite in contrast to house philosophy, isn't it......oh well, who really knows...

I'm inclined to think the original "house philosophy" ("Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment") has gotten lost in the shuffle of egos, many of which appear to be hopelessly bound up in, and unknowingly acting out of, deep-seated resentments.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:14 pm

"Another remarkable event of my childhood at the age of eight which I remember more vividly occurred one day as I walked along a road in Srinagar in early spring on my way to the house of our religious precepter. The sky was overcast and the road was muddy, which made walking difficult. All at once, with the speed of lightening, a sudden question, never thought of before, shot across my mind. I stood stockstill in the middle of the road confronted within to the depths of my being with the insistent inquiry, 'What am I?', coupled with the pressing interrogation from everything from without, 'What does all this mean?' My whole being as well as the world around me appeared to have assumed the aspect of an everlasting inquiry, an insistent, unanswerable interrogation, which struck me dumb and helpless, groping for a reply with all my strength until my head swam and the surrounding objects began to whirl and dance around me. I felt giddy and confused, hardly able to restrain myself from falling on the slimy road in a faint. Steadying myself, I proceeded on my way, my childish mind in a ferment over the incident of which, at that age, I could not in the least understand the significance." (Gopi Krishna - 'Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man')
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Blair » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:46 pm

it took you a month to come up with that ass, and it isn't even your words..
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:07 pm

Blair wrote:It took you a month to come up with that ass, and it isn't even your words.

It's been freely and joyfully given, my friend. Along with hope that it may help open someone's mind and heart up to radical change.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Blair » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:15 pm

Radical change, like believing in drivel like Kundalini and thinking that reality is an 'everlasting enquiry'?

Aha. Ahahaha.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby jupiviv » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:36 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Sam Keen wrote: I knew suddenly and with blinding clarity that I was different than my parents, my brothers and sisters, and my playmates. Self-consciousness descended on me like a hawk. In a sense, I might date the origin of my self from this moment.....

He was nine years old? It's something I've heard telling people before and it reminded me of something mentioned in de field of development psychology. The psychologist Dolph Kohnstamm in his book "I Am I: Sudden Flashes of Self-awareness in Childhood" has explored it with some depth, here's part of the book.


I read the link, and I can't really understand what he's on about. I can't recall any flashes of self-awareness, but I have a very clear memory of experiences from my childhood - both of the sad and the happy ones. I guess I always knew that I was an individual, at least as far as I remember(and I have memories dating back probably to my 4th year, or even my 2nd or 3rd), so there weren't any "flashes". In fact, how can one recall anything from one's life at all if one weren't an individual, i.e, oneself, at the time?

The people who have these sudden flashes are probably less conscious, because they have less memories, which is why they occur as "sudden flashes." A person with significant consciousness can see his life, and experiences, as an unbroken whole, even though he may not remember every "detail" of it. Actually, "detail" doesn't even mean anything in this context. That is why the "detailed" memories of people, who mention their age, the date, and other details which are not essential to the content of the memory itself, seem suspicious to me. Women do this most often, e.g, they'll say that they received a card from someone on their __th birthday, which was __ in colour and had a smiley face at the upper left hand corner of its back, etc.

It seems to me the development can happen in gradual fashion or caused by some "build-up": a sudden leap into a different self-organised state of thought and (self-)experiencing.


I don't think the latter can happen, and people who say it does are either not analysing the situation properly, or lying. All development of genuine consciousness is gradual. However, different people have different ideas of consciousness, and people like mystics and "philosophers", interpret a particular emotion-stimulating experience as consciousness itself.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Bob Michael » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:41 pm

Blair wrote:Radical change, like believing in drivel like Kundalini and thinking that reality is an 'everlasting enquiry'? Aha. Ahahaha.

It's not so much "that reality is an everlasting inquiry", though I do find that experiencing a radical change or shift in consciousness and making the return to the natural human state and learning to harmoniously and productively fit into "reality" is a never ending adventure or process. One which is accomplished only by a very, very few people. And simply because a person must be built for such an undertaking and so very few people are due to the fallen condition of man.

'Kundalini' is a term I use rather loosely as over the many years, like so many things of a religious or spiritual nature, it has become bastardized and drug into mud by the "human, all-too-human" element to the point whereby for most part it's become a meaningless, non-understood, and exploited concept or idea. Though it its pure and adulterated form it certainly has some merit to it. In any case I do find that a genuine rebirth or awakening experience (or whatever name may be given to it) is absolutely necessary in order to come to, or at least begin to make the journey towards, fullness and completeness of authentic human being and living.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby cousinbasil » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:30 am

Diebert wrote:It seems to me the development can happen in gradual fashion or caused by some "build-up": a sudden leap into a different self-organised state of thought and (self-)experiencing.

jupiviv wrote:I don't think the latter can happen, and people who say it does are either not analysing the situation properly, or lying. All development of genuine consciousness is gradual. However, different people have different ideas of consciousness, and people like mystics and "philosophers", interpret a particular emotion-stimulating experience as consciousness itself.

Jupiviv, I think you are mistaken about this. Trust me I would not agree with Diebert unless I was absolutely positive he was correct, which fortunately is rarely enough. This happens to be one such instance. The person who reports sudden "breakthroughs" is neither lying nor mis-analyzing the facts. The reports themselves often sound "mystical": but that is because such an experience suddenly reshapes foundations and entire ranges of comprehension, much like an inner earthquake. And it is precisely because of this "build-up," which is nothing more than a prolonged period of stagnation in which no inner growth has occurred. Inner growth is as natural as the outer growth of the physical body. Like external development, it can be retarded through neglect, malnourishment, or abuse. The world at large conspires to present just such a scenario to most people. That is, inner development - growth of a spiritual nature - finds itself often ignored, or at best, receiving lower priority than physical nourishment. And we all know that the world does not automatically grant physical nourishment to all its inhabitants, either.

Obviously in many if not most cases, inner development levels off before reaching true potential, just as historically human beings fell short of their modern-day external stature due to less abundant and less complete nutrients being available.

In those cases where periods of spiritual impoverishment are followed by sudden inrush of spiritual "nourishment," the internal growth-spurt feels like nothing else, and attempts to convey what it is like can be misconstrued as "emotional" or dismissed as "mystical." Or worse, evidence of madness.

Often, the first thing one does if one experiences a sudden (instead of "natural," continuous) growth is to seek out others in such a chrysalis stage in order to be there in a protective capacity at the (re)birth. It is almost instinctual in its predictability.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby jupiviv » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:14 am

cousinbasil wrote:The reports themselves often sound "mystical": but that is because such an experience suddenly reshapes foundations and entire ranges of comprehension, much like an inner earthquake.


Well, that's the point. Consciousness - at least, how I define it - is not something that can arise in isolated instances of spiritual ecstasy. We either realise our consciousness in the whole of our life, i.e, all of our experiences, or we don't realise our consciousness at all. When we become truly conscious of ourselves, then all of our experiences - even the ones we would otherwise consider mundane and inconsequential - gain a meaning, and a value, which they did not previously have.

In the case of an isolated "sudden flash" incident, only that incident itself is considered important, and the person ends up trying to achieve that state of mind again and again, sometimes succeeding(or thinking that he has), and sometimes failing. All the other experiences of his life, which do not seem similar to that one, gain only secondary importance to him. One also has to consider the fact that when a person recalls an experience from his childhood, he may be adding something to that experience, based on his present mental state, that isn't really there.

Experiences like the ones noted by the OP make us joyful, but they are not consciousness. Consciousness may include joyful experiences, but it would also include many other experiences.
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Re: 'Different' From Day One.....

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:33 am

By the way, the discussion and my remark was about certain specific experiences of children 9 years old and younger.

What are sometimes loosely called "Kundalini experiences" seem real enough. It's most often not "mystical" or "ecstasy": we're talking about a whole range of sudden sensations and manifestations which are seem partly medical, physical, partly psychological, and can follow for example certain meditations or inquiries. It doesn't have to be a good sign always and imagination can easily go wild with it. Perhaps the whole phenomenon is a result of clearing up the nervous system a bit. But as with the whole "Siddhi" topic, it's very easy to misinterpet and get fooled by the "miraculous". It's often not what it seems...
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