The Yoga of the Philosophers

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Some techniques of breathing are supposed to make your head empty of thoughts that are bothering you too much (worrying etc.)
So instead of eating chocolate or drinking wine you can try something harmless and see the results yourself.

Many joggers are reporting of their heads getting empty because of the exercise.

Bad thoughts can be very stressful, and nightmares are even worse.
Nikolai
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

duszek wrote:Some techniques of breathing are supposed to make your head empty of thoughts that are bothering you too much (worrying etc.)
All these techniques are very interesting but thoughtlessness is not the goal of the spiritual path. Once you have insight into thought you could theoretically worry 24 hours a day and it wouldn't affect you in the slightest.

I say theoretically because in practice insight into the nature of thought comes with a detachment to thought - it is no longer viewed as significant. And when the significance of thought is reduced then so does the quantity of thinking.

The wise, spiritually mature person does indeed think less. Were they to describe their inner life then a vast reduction of thought would feature. But still we must not get caught up in the idea that not thinking is desirable - just because saints do it less. When you aim towards thoughtlessness, you try and escape and evade thought, and then you grow distrustful and fearful of it - which defeats the object, for to fear something is to make it more real.

Rather understand what thought is, what its nature really is. Then you can enjoy it and not be plagued by it. This will happen naturally and in its own time.

Nikolai
lancek4
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by lancek4 »

Nicoli your words are very clear.

What might you guys make of this:


There is no spiritual teacher, or maybe more correctly. There is no 'teaching' going on there.
The spiritual 'teacher' is a colloquialism of those who are 'not the teacher'. The teacher is just 'fully being'; the 'student' is just amazed at this and so figures he can learn what the teacher knows.
I propose: there is no learning of such spiritual-ness.
This is why you can say that those who are not interested in this learning are also just as OK, in that everyone is doing their kind of yog, encountering exactly their own dharma - if I have used the right terms.
Also, this last fact is why such ideas of reincarnation have arisen, as if the 'teacher' is a being who has already been through previoius incarnations such that they now are 'enlightened'.

I submit: there is no spiritual progress so much as learning.
The individual is always and at all times Being exactly what he 'be's'.

If there is such learning, then it is not spiritual, but is a mundane practice which proposes spirituality.

The terms used in our arena here, as nicoli you seems to point out, are ambiguous and more often mis-indicate what exactly it is the student is attempting to learn from the teacher. This is because of the methodology which inherently avoids the 'spiritual' message.

The problem is not so much 'ego'an again as nicoli points out, but rather 'self-centeredness'. The view or approach to living that is fixed upon managing and controling outcomes for the proposed interest of the individual.

Thus, these two individual situations, of above and this latter, reveal that they are mutually exclusive and cannnot be effectively communicated.
This such 'enlightenment' does not come from learning but just the reverse and opposite; it must simply occur.
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Nikolai

A spiritually mature person thinks less ... with his head perhaps ?
He has a higher level of awareness but less processing goes on in his head ?
Last edited by duszek on Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Typist
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

Hi again Nik, how's things in Finland?

I don't know. As we've discussed, I believe the enlightenment idea you are proposing is so out of reach for so many people, that it seems more helpful and practical to try instead to see how simple we can make this.

Here's a try....


Complications

When we're hungry, do we make it complicated? No, we go to the kitchen and get something to eat.

When we're tired, do we make it complicated? No, we go lie down and take a rest.

If we're breathing too hard, if our heart is racing, do we make it complicated? No, we take a break from exercising.

If we need to pee, do we make it complicated? No, we go find the nearest bathroom.

Thought is just another biological process of daily life. So why make it complicated? If we're feeling mentally stressed, why not just take a thinking break, and let our brain cool off?

Anybody can learn how to do this.


Permanence

Do we seek a permanent solution to hunger, or tiredness, or feeling the need to pee, or being out of breath?

No, we don't seek a permanent solution to these biological events. We're perfectly happy to manage these things day to day.

So why seek a permanent solution to thought issues? Why not be perfectly happy to manage thought day to day too?

Everybody can learn how to do this.


Be There Then

I believe the enlightenment story that the spiritual industry is selling just another fancy future trip.

You know, like the you can be rich pitch, or the you can be famous pitch, or the you can be popular pitch etc etc.

It's true that a small number of people will become rich. It's true a small number of people will become famous. Perhaps a small number will become enlightened as well, that seems possible, even likely.

It's equally true that the vast majority of people will never be any of these things.

Thus, the get rich, become famous, and be enlightened stories are irrelevant the vast majority of the time. Worse, these glamorous future trip stories very easily become yet one more thing distracting us from the wonderful thing all of already have.


Here And Now

Here and now is actually pretty neat, once we set aside all the past and future tripping, and pay attention to it. If we're willing to pay attention to what we've already got, there's really no big reason to go rushing off to somewhere else.

Paying attention to the here and now, appreciating that which we already have, is available through simple exercises just about anybody with an interest can easily learn.

Thus, there's no need to make it fancy, complicated, esoteric, and philosophical. There's no need to be really smart. There's no need to have a great teacher. There's no need for experts and authorities. There's no need for a great mystery to unravel.

There's no need to look forward to maybe someday. There's no need to spend years chasing it. There's no need to wait.

What we want is available now, if we we're willing to set aside the past and future, and take it now.


A Simple And Unpopular Teacher

Thus, I believe a good teacher might turn to the student and say...
Here's a simple exercise that should make you feel better. If you're interested, do it now. Otherwise, go away and stop bothering me.
A good teacher might pull the rug out from under all the glamorous future tripping right from the start. A good teacher might bring an abrupt halt to all the endless circling, circling, circling and present the student with a simple choice.

Do it.

Or don't.

Right now.
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

You need a beer ?

It could be a bad habit of numbing your mind if problems become too complex.

And if you are enlighted you say "no" to the desire for a beer and this desire like a whining 3-year-old goes away and leaves you in peace. And maybe even does not come at all the next day.

Why bad habit ?
Measure your blood pressure, remember what your physician was telling you last time you saw him, etc.
lancek4
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by lancek4 »

We do have a permanent solution to being tired, it is simple as you say: we sleep.

And to hunger: we have an economy so that I need not worry about going hungry: as a society, we have developed a permanent solution.

I am not seeking a tempoarary solution to life; life is the only eternity I have. I do not wish to everyday have to reinvent how I am going to deal with life. I have a permanent solution.

I am effective in living. I have shelter, family, food for them, etc.
This has only come about because I have found a permenant solution. No matter what life gives me, this permanant solkution remains intact.

I am not seeking a solution which addresses each element and aspect of life as a totally new thing.
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

An analogy:

the mind of an unenlighted is like a man running around and looking for the right door without much success

the mind of an enlighted is like a man walking calmly towards the right door

(door = solution, man walking or running = mind processing)
bus2bondi
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by bus2bondi »

:lol: no problem, no i don't wish for it to be deleted, but thank you for the apology and the offer.:) (the website was also a site that said something to the effect at the bottom of 'free resource' and there are free downloads, etc.) (so i'm thinking.. didn't need the citation anyway, but did it just incase)

well... back to what we were discussing.. i understand what Nikolai was talking about, and realize that he, nor anyone else participating in the thread meant it in the way of maths, however i still saw it in a mathematical sense as well. position A, position B and position C, are also mathematical in their own right.. and letters, symbols, etc.. are often used in math. and was used to model reality/realities.

i find that it is mathematical, although it wasn't meant to be.. and i think there is a member on this forum who actually has created a program related to this, that was meant to help people come to conclusions/accurate decision making in life/independent verification etc.. using math. i could be missing something, but i find that it is very similar to some of the content of this thread, although in a, for the most part, different form.

i even thought to myself, briefly, if this, is something that you would be into, because you are always wanting a practical way to achieve many of the things discussed here.

as for posting it in the math/logic section also, sure, that sounds like a great idea. thanks
Nikolai
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Duszek
duszek wrote:An analogy:

the mind of an unenlighted is like a man running around and looking for the right door without much success

the mind of an enlighted is like a man walking calmly towards the right door

(door = solution, man walking or running = mind processing)
I think the problem with this is that, from the spiritual perspective, the mind as processor is also a kind of analogy. So what you have provided is an analogy of an analogy!

Yes, we can imagine that the mind receives input, upon which it performs some kind of function, and perhaps producing output. But all this is just a story. The mind can also be seen to do nothing, just express reality moment after moment, one thing at a time. It is not separate to reality, but is reality in its entirety.

The mind as processor is the conventional view of the mind, and yet when this other perspective on mind is seen then the former cannot be wholly true anymore and so is taken as a kind of analogy.
duszek wrote:A spiritually mature person thinks less ... with his head perhaps ?
He has a higher level of awareness but less processing goes on in his head ?
I'm not even sure that it is appropriate to say that his awareness is higher, but perhaps is more focussed and so is more powerful. The spiritually mature person is not concerned with the big wide world out there but only on the time and place right here, right now. There is no scattering of attention - no doing one thing and thinking about something very different. They are therefore powerful in any given moment because they are so absorbed in it.

Nearly all people are the same in certain situations, each has a way in which they are particularly skilful. To have a talent for anything is to have a fragment of the power that is the hallmark of the saint. A professional football player is often no saint, but see them on the field doing what they do best and they are saintly - there is beauty and power, and they are naturally venerated by others because of it.

Best wishes, nikolai
Nikolai
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Typist,
Typist wrote:So why seek a permanent solution to thought issues? Why not be perfectly happy to manage thought day to day too?

Everybody can learn how to do this.
I'm not even sure they need to learn! When you look at people's behaviour you see a million different ways of managing thought: Fishing, dancing, having a glass of wine, walks in nature, watching TV, reading books...the list goes on and on. These are all effective at relaxing the mind, producing a sense of well-being and when you ask people the often cite them as that which makes their life worth living. I have no doubt that these are important ingredients for the life well lived and I thoroughly endorse them - temporary as they are.
Typist wrote:As we've discussed, I believe the enlightenment idea you are proposing is so out of reach for so many people, that it seems more helpful and practical to try instead to see how simple we can make this.
When you take any one activity from the above list you will find that the vast majority of people will fail to see the appeal. The person who finds nothing more relaxing than fishing by the river might be completely turned off by dancing in a nightclub, and by reading stories, and by all the rubbish on the tube.

I'm not trying to do anything other than discuss the spiritual merits of philosophy, with philosophically minded people. I wouldn't talk like this to just anybody, just as I wouldn't start yakking on about the complexities of learning Finnish grammar to anyone other than someone who i sense might be interested.

I completely agree that philosophical yoga is out of reach for many people in the same way that nightclub dancing might be out of reach to the old fisherman. But I think that here on this forum I am talking to exactly the kind of people who are likely to understand me. Not all will, but some perhaps
Typist wrote:Paying attention to the here and now, appreciating that which we already have, is available through simple exercises just about anybody with an interest can easily learn.
.

Yes I completely agree, but they have to have the interest. Not everyone can just learn to be present in the here and now, at will. I think the natural philosopher might find this notion particularly hard, as thought is their natural environment where they feel very comfortable. All this thinking doesn't make them more beyond hope, it just means that you might want to start from a different direction. Allow their native skills to drive them onward and upward.

Ulitmately, there is nothing incompatible with any of these separate approaches. In fact I think the danger lies in thinking that any one approach is better or more powerful than others.

In this thread I am trying to build on the passion for truth that people on this forum are demonstrating on a daily basis.

Best wishes, Nikolai
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Nikolai wrote:I'm not even sure that it is appropriate to say that his awareness is higher, but perhaps is more focussed and so is more powerful. The spiritually mature person is not concerned with the big wide world out there but only on the time and place right here, right now. There is no scattering of attention - no doing one thing and thinking about something very different. They are therefore powerful in any given moment because they are so absorbed in it.

Nearly all people are the same in certain situations, each has a way in which they are particularly skilful. To have a talent for anything is to have a fragment of the power that is the hallmark of the saint. A professional football player is often no saint, but see them on the field doing what they do best and they are saintly - there is beauty and power, and they are naturally venerated by others because of it.

Best wishes, nikolai
Thanks for your explanations, Nikolai.

I remember a scene from the film "Kundun" in which Dalai Lama is fleeing via the mountains towards India and a group of his supporters decide to stay and deter violently the persecuters chasing them. Before moving on as urged upon Dalai Lama looks back at them and sees them in the future, all bloody and dead.

So on one hand he focused on these people but on the other hand he allowed his mind to go into the future. He did not stay in the present moment of time.

Would this scene from the film support your view or would it be opposed to it ?

Best
duszek
Nikolai
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi lance - i think there is a great deal of insight in your post, I hope i do it justice!
lancek4 wrote:There is no spiritual teacher, or maybe more correctly. There is no 'teaching' going on there.
The spiritual 'teacher' is a colloquialism of those who are 'not the teacher'. The teacher is just 'fully being'; the 'student' is just amazed at this and so figures he can learn what the teacher knows.
Yes, what the teacher knows cannot be taught directly. The student wants to learn because they recognise the greatness of the teacher. Their ability to recognise the greatness is evidence of their own spiritual maturity. But all this is unconscious.

Consciously they are still wrapped up in the usual egocentric view of themselves in time and space. The teacher's teachings are an attempt to dispel this egocentric view so that their unconscious spiritual maturity can shine through. The teachers's teachings are not truths in themselves, even though the egocentric student might initially take them as such. The teacher's teachings are attempts to dispel the egocentric view by proposing a different non-egocentric view.

This is a dangerous phase because the non-egocentric view is hard to understand and requires much effort. When the student does understand they think they have spiritual truth, but this is an illusion and they must go further.

The truth is that neither the ego view nor the non-ego view capture the actual reality of life. When life is actually seen this is enlightenment, the student becomes equal to their teacher and is likely to become a teacher themselves.
lancek4 wrote:I propose: there is no learning of such spiritual-ness.
This is why you can say that those who are not interested in this learning are also just as OK, in that everyone is doing their kind of yog, encountering exactly their own dharma - if I have used the right terms.
We are all spiritually enlightened from the beginning. To the novice student all spiritual knowledge is there before them, but it is split between themselves as subject and their teacher as object. But the object/subject split is an illusion and always was. The student's teacher is their own understanding, masquerading as a teacher 'out there'. When this is understood as being the truth there is no need for the masquerade. The teacher is now a part of you and there is no longer any need for a teacher. A tipping point has been reached.

There are still traces of your ignorance, because your spiritual path is likely to have neglected certain areas, but these traces of ignorance now manifest in your life as students, your own students. To teach your students is to dispel traces of ignorance in yourself.

This is a very hard message and I apologise. I already alluded to the same process earlier in this thread when I talked about how an 'ignorant' person can only learn other perspectives through conflict with others. Those we argue with are our teachers, so to speak. As our wisdom grows we no longer need such teachers and we are able to generate alternative views from within, without conflict. What was outer in the form of opponents becomes inner. We can adopt other perspectives in time and space without the need for 'others' to show us them.
lancek4 wrote:I submit: there is no spiritual progress so much as learning.
The individual is always and at all times Being exactly what he 'be's'.
There is such a lot of understanding in this that I can barely add to it. This situation, i think, is only fully understood when one sees that heaven and earth are the same - that every situation, even seemingly ghastly ones, are ripe with spiritual meaning. There is just so much joy and relief when one is able to see the world this way. Even my little example above, where our 'opponent' is actually a form of spiritual teaching, means that in any situation there is something immensely positive to be discerned. When a person attacks us, calls us stupid, and we are ready to hear, accept and assimilate their opinion with gratitude! What a good state to be in?

Yes, there is no spiritual learning, but only the spiritually learned seem to know this!!
lancek4 wrote:The problem is not so much 'ego'an again as nicoli points out, but rather 'self-centeredness'. The view or approach to living that is fixed upon managing and controling outcomes for the proposed interest of the individual.
yes, and when we realise that the self is just an opinion we see no further need to indulge it and look after it. We can afford to put others before us because there is genuinely no sense of loss on our behalf - in fact there is everything to gain from doing so because others will respond with love and kindness if we are able to refrain from selfishness!
lancek4 wrote:This such 'enlightenment' does not come from learning but just the reverse and opposite; it must simply occur.
For all of us, it already has!! :D
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Nikolai wrote:
I think the problem with this is that, from the spiritual perspective, the mind as processor is also a kind of analogy. So what you have provided is an analogy of an analogy!

Yes, we can imagine that the mind receives input, upon which it performs some kind of function, and perhaps producing output. But all this is just a story. The mind can also be seen to do nothing, just express reality moment after moment, one thing at a time. It is not separate to reality, but is reality in its entirety.

The mind as processor is the conventional view of the mind, and yet when this other perspective on mind is seen then the former cannot be wholly true anymore and so is taken as a kind of analogy.
But if you need to take a decision ? Even a simple one: shall I turn left or right, the lights are red, so I should better wait, etc. Would it still be "reflecting reality" ?
Automatic or instinctive behaviour seems to require a bit of processing.
Nikolai
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi
duszek wrote:I remember a scene from the film "Kundun" in which Dalai Lama is fleeing via the mountains towards India and a group of his supporters decide to stay and deter violently the persecuters chasing them. Before moving on as urged upon Dalai Lama looks back at them and sees them in the future, all bloody and dead.

So on one hand he focused on these people but on the other hand he allowed his mind to go into the future. He did not stay in the present moment of time.

Would this scene from the film support your view or would it be opposed to it ?
I haven't seen the film, but is seems to show a good example of how thought works in a spiritually mature person. When he saw the bloody person, his mind did not 'go forward in time' - it stayed right here. But his mind right here was bloody people - that was his reality, and it was entire and perfect in itself. To the enlightned person there is no time, present past or future - there is running only, there is bloody people only, there is a heart throbbing with sadness...only.

This is the same for all of us, actually, although often not with the same vividity. All of us have images flash into our minds. Our error is thinking that they are images, and that they are in our minds. Reality is always the same. There is no distinction between mental image and real matter.

The more we understand this, the more thoughts and perceptions resemble each other. When we reduce matter from its 'real' status, and raise mental image from its 'mere mental image' status then the two start to work more effectively. Reality passes before us and we are wise and understanding. Like the Dalai Lama, we see with confidence and certainty that running back means bloody death.

Best wishes, Nikolai
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