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#283998 - 09/11/06 08:01 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Tend to agree. It is a term mired in a historic/social and religious/philosophical context. Puts a secular humanist in a bind...to aspire or not to aspire?

Quote:

maybe 'seeking' enlightenment is old-school...maybe people in the future could live moraly sound, without the need of imaginary constructs? a built-in moral compass would be a nice thing to evolve.




A serendipitous e-mail from a friend this morning:

"To start from the self and try to understand all things is delusion.
To let the self be awakened by all things is enlightenment. "-- Dogen



My thoughts? There is no enlightenment without spirituality.


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#283999 - 09/11/06 12:06 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Then, of course, you have to define spirituality.

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#284000 - 09/11/06 12:11 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
"puts a secular humanist into a bind" ?

only if they limit their definition to:
Quote:

There is no enlightenment without spirituality.




spirituality is just a path. Intellectuality could be just as strong of a path. Then theres the cumulative generational awareness over eons - some call it evolutionary enlightenment.

draw a line between the awareness of being afraid of the unknown to the awareness of understanding and no longer fearing - and that becomes the trend of Human enlightenment.

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#284001 - 09/11/06 12:27 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I think the 'intellectual' path could be compared to the 'sutric' way.

But 'the path' is not 'the thing'.

Quote:

spirituality is just a path. Intellectuality could be just as strong of a path.





Recently, I've come to think of enlightenment as a 'de-volving'.

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#284002 - 09/11/06 12:51 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
If devolving is the deconstruction of the individual into star dust, then one can accept that your life is nothing but organic material and chemical processes and water.

Then, where is the individual to consider these things? We could just as well be flotsam in some cosmic, drainage ditch (not to say we aren't ) , but then the consideration is moot.

I much rather at least be aware of the stench and left frowning than be a vegetable smiling in the ditch saying it doesn't matter.

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#284003 - 09/11/06 01:35 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: butterfly]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
The difference is awareness...not in a process that applies to humans and vegetables; a difference in nature...of sentience.

I'm no cabbagehead.

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#284004 - 09/11/06 02:42 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
A “cabbagehead” was not something I considered you at all. On the other hand, it seems that many folk seek “nothingness” as a way to enlightenment which excludes the conscious direction of the self and thereby lifts this sense of being (or lack thereof) to an aspiration.

To be nothing, is not something (pun intended) I would generally accept. I can see my lot in life, but despite its lack of mattering on a cosmic scale, I still live and love and see life as an adventure for MOI to study and “live” in. It is from “my” perspective that I have to start and then can glance surreptitiously at others-- and generally either sympathize or empathize with them…and in some cases, plain dislike. But to whatever end this little travel of “me” goes, it starts at a point of origin which can only be looked as individual.

To deconstruct further seems to be an exercise in futility to see if we are all shorn from some larger understanding, small beacons of consciousness that are unaware of our “real” interconnected form. Because in the end, it may matter little.

Either things are, or they aren’t---and sometimes those things that are not are considered to exist simply because there is no way to disprove them since we believe, not because you can disinterestedly discern them.

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#284005 - 09/11/06 03:06 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: butterfly]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Aren't there times when the loss of the perception of 'me' is desirable?

Quote:

To be nothing, is not something (pun intended) I would generally accept... But to whatever end this little travel of “me” goes, it starts at a point of origin which can only be looked as individual.



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#284006 - 09/11/06 03:22 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Well, I think there might be a slight twist to the term of "perception."

When in a moment of awe, looking at the sunset for instance; or when doing a martial art movement that is instinctive and which seems to come from an automatic reaction to stimulii; or when watching a good movie or reading a good book and losing the "self" in the activity at hand--these are all good.

But, it is in that ability of concetration that the brain, and thus the individual self, can produce this sensation. This is hyper-concentration, self-hypnosis, whatever you want to name it. But I don't distinguish this from the individual, nor do I overlay this sense of "lacking self" as anything outside the individual or connected with a greater cosmological awareness.

It is simply me (or you) in the moment and has no other outstanding quality. And can be appreciated just as it is, without piquing any other awareness of that fact.

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#284007 - 09/11/06 03:26 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: butterfly]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
So...for some there really is nothing to pursue.

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