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#284048 - 09/12/06 09:32 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I work 3 minutes away from 'the barn'.
good class tonight...we went over parts of Sanseiru. where were you?

on topic:
we all justify our own thoughts...whether we are aware of it or not. that makes us hypocrites.

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#284049 - 09/13/06 06:59 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
So if thoughts can be justified, perhaps the first thing to do is go beyond thinking?

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#284050 - 09/13/06 08:03 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
awareness and acceptance of it. (as oppossed to denial).

we use and rely on the human construct of logic everyday, it's built-in and subconscience - we have evolved (or were gifted, if people prefer) a hard-wiring for it....to deny that we do so, is taking one step away from seeing things for what they are.

cutting down trees were mentioned...not allowing yourself to see the emotion tied in with thoughts of that subject, blinds a person to see the full picture, past and present. Often, we envision an 'ideal' and compare it to our emotional view, and come up with an opinion.

If no tree cutting ever took place, there would be no farming or settlement...both of which are notions we take for granted when we eat vegetables grown on those farms.

The amount of tree forests cleared for farmland for the vegetables we eat far exceed whats been taken from the rainforests...yet we are only concerned with the changes we perceive during our lifetime....we deny the past...we accept vegetable production but are against producing lumber. emotion based perception also denies us of seeing the fact that more tree forests are planted now than in the past - also advances in technology allowing the most efficient use of wood harvesting, etc.

denial works both ways. someone who is FOR wood harvesting could be blind to replenishing sufficiently, thereby eventually using up the entire resource. entire civilizations have collapsed from such lack of foresight - particularly islanders. Easter Island's ancient inhabitors suffered that fate. Their emotional bias blinded them to see what they were doing.

what all this means, is an example (or lesson) in the advancement of awareness. gradual and widespread 'enlightenment'.

The biggest threat we have faced in the past and into the future is ourselves. our level of awareness is key, not only as individuals, but as a species.

I think 'enlightenment' can not only be looked at from an individual's inward growth pov, but also a gradual and very long-term, hard-rewiring of humans. evolve a 'third-eye' so to speak.

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#284051 - 09/13/06 09:42 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: Ed_Morris]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
My words aren't conveying the correct meaning.

Here's my final Point: It's all in your Mind.

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#284052 - 09/13/06 10:34 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Parable of the Arrow

A man approached Buddha and wanted to have all his philosophical questions answered before he would practice.

In response, the Buddha said, 'It is as if a man had been wounded by a poisoned arrow and when attended to by a physician were to say, "I will not allow you to remove this arrow until I have learned the caste, the age, the occupation, the birthplace, and the motivation of the person who wounded me." That man would die before having learned all this. In exactly the same way, anyone who would say, "I will not follow a teaching until all the truths of the world have been explained" - that person would die before knowing.'

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#284053 - 09/13/06 01:50 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
All in the mind is perhaps correct. However, we have to consider our everyday existence and wend our way through this landscape. This means our compass and guide is logic. One can imagine eating dirt and thinking it is an apple pie, but “less filling” comes to mind.

If everything is illusory, then it still would not matter. We are here and the rock that hits you in the head is real enough. I think the rational mind and logic is what must be looked at as the primary tool to shine a light into the darkness of misunderstanding, otherwise we have witchcraft and magic and the Wiccans to contend with, as well as a spiritual overlay on present reality that comes from various religions and philosophies.

Can they all be right? Sure, if the answer is that it comes from the mind. However, existence can only be measured in the here and now, and regardless of what one may think or imbue this existence with, it still comes down to an ability to measure and “see” it. With that “seeing” comes the responsibility that others can do the same and come up with the same result. Look at how many people believe in ghosts or visiting aliens without “hard” documented proof and you get my point. People will see and believe whatever they want, but it will affect them and not others. Unless, of course, they act on internal visions that direct their actions outward.

So, if a person says a color is green and another says it is red? Who is correct? One can get a consensus, but perhaps this is insufficient. Or one can go to a color yard stick and assign temperature coefficients to different spectral ranges and voila you get a verifiable, repeatable test of what color is actually being presented.

Logic is a tool, but that’s why we have air conditioning, medicine, and longer better lives…instead of living in cave and wondering where our next meal is coming from and being able to think about more philosophical things….since modern convenience now allows this.

-B

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#284054 - 09/13/06 02:28 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Perhaps only the enlightened have the ability to debate this. Otherwise, it is just words...debate, and logic and unenlightened.

Quote:

Is sudden enlightenment really sudden? Is gradual enlightenment really gradual?
The post in the karate forum about "one punch, one kill" brought up a point of contemplation for me.
The two philosophies on this subject are parallel to the two schools of Zen thought. Some say we train for a one-hit kill, that is technique which is like a lightning bolt that achieves victory in an instant. Others don't believe that is possible, they see their techniques more like a flowing river which gradually wears away the opposition by constantly applying pressure. The schools of Zen are the same. One says that enlightenment comes like a lightning bolt, with a single word or action or thought everything is blown away. The other says constant effort is required to wear away attachments and defilements little by little, revealing the pure state.

But really, in martial arts, a single hit is never really a single hit. A punch that kills is the product of the thousands or millions of punches that have been thrown before it. Can the sudden school be called sudden, when the suddenness is the product of time and effort? Can the gradual school be called gradual when a single experience can wipe away lifetimes of karmic attachments?

Maybe the point is that time is an illusion. Immediate and gradual, a single event or all the events in past, present, and future...they come down to the same place, which is the only place where enlightenment can occur.

What's the difference between hitting one enemy many times and hitting many enemies once? Who are these enemies we're fighting? What are all these defilements we're supposed to wipe away?

Completely Gone...



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#284055 - 09/13/06 02:33 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: butterfly]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
So Brad, I should just wait a bit more for new diet chocolate flavored Enlightenment, now with more fiber?

I love science.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#284056 - 09/13/06 03:52 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: MattJ]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Matt,

Yep! And the other point I would make, which many do not consider, is that "science" is the malleable consideration here.

With science, the more you know and the more evidence you collect...perhaps theories and anaylsis change, but they are provable.

One the other hand, with a religious dogma involved...either things are or they aren't with no concession outside the strictures being presented (provable or not).



-B

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#284057 - 09/13/06 04:00 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: butterfly]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
It is difficult to keep religion out of this...isn't it? Perhaps my fault...as 'spirituality' = 'religion' to some but not to me. Let's take it out of the mix.

Science depends on repeatable results. Legions of zennists have said 'sit and experience and it works'. Doesn't that make the process of enlightenment scientific?

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