The Yoga of the Philosophers

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Nikolai
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Typist,
Typist wrote:So the focus is kept on the experience itself, and the goal is simply to feel better. I feel this is a wise approach, which is widely applicable to very many people.

I enthusiastically believe in the healthy healing power of the experience itself.
Me too! Every single evening I devote an hour to meditation, and have done for years. But my meditation is not something to talk about, it's something to do.
Typist wrote:I also believe that most of what we think and say about the experience is a bunch of silly ego driven drivel, including my own many burpings on the subject.
Yes me too. I have experienced many things in deep meditation, things that for me are of great significance. But I don't really talk about the experience because I simply don't believe I can. I often recommend meditation to people, but as something to try for themselves. Meditation is its own teacher, and meditation can't be turned into a verbal teaching passed from one to another.
Typist wrote:However, the spiritual community that discusses enlightenment is not like that priest at all. It's all about "me and my enlightenment."
I still think you are falling into the egoism is bad trap. If it is through our egoistic desire that we gain enough joy not to have to be selfish any more, then that is an OK process.

I think I need to repeat that the spiritual path is not about losing our ego. It is about understanding that there is more to us than our ego.
Typist wrote:My comments are about the human condition. A fundamental shift in consciousness is not in the cards for the vast majority of us. Again, the example of the Olympic athlete comes to mind.
Maybe meditation is a better answer for the vast majority. I'm extremely open to that idea, and in different times and places I find myself advocating its practice.

But I am on a philosophy forum now, a place where people write emails to each other about ideas. Why would I keep talking meditation when it can't be talked about anyway?

All people are thinkers, to a greater or lesser extent. Philosophers are the athletes of thought, the real talents, and this forum is their gymnasium. I know what I discuss here is not at all realistic for most people, but it is realistic for many of the people who meet here.

It is admirable that you are so concerned for the others. But you wouldn't go to the Pete Sampras tennis academy and start saying 'it is a fact of the human condition that 99.9% will never serve as well as you are showing. Shouldn't we teach something a bit more attainable?'

I think there are two themes that keep showing up, and are probably best stuck to

1) You seem to think that thinking is a problem - something to free ourselves from, or perhaps 'turn down' in volume. I say that you are confusing a common spiritual teaching with the reality it tries to point to. This is why you seem so keen to get everyone meditating, whereas I find myself only advocating meditation to certain people.
2) You also seem to think egoism is some kind of negative state that needs to be shed. I say that we will never shed our egos, but we can complement it with a more rounded understanding of who we really are.

I feel like I'm having to steer you away from a 'this teaching is better/more practical than that teaching debate', when I don't recognise any conflict between the spiritual merits of thinking and meditation. However much I try to reassure you that I am all for teaching meditation (although not on a philosophy discussion board) you don't seem to hear me. i can't argue against meditation, I am 100% all for it, but you can't talk about it here.

The nature of ego and the nature of thought are, however, two big themes in philosophy, both east and west. Why not do what we are here to do - a little bit of philosophical yoga? If you find that prospect difficult, because it is to indulge shamelessly in what you think is so harmful then we will know it from your presence or your absence.

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

Post by Typist »

Hi again Nik!
Me too! Every single evening I devote an hour to meditation, and have done for years. But my meditation is not something to talk about, it's something to do.
I can vote for that. I generally don't talk about my experiences much either, as I'd rather the reader have their own experience than concern themselves with mine. My experience is of no value to them.
Meditation is its own teacher, and meditation can't be turned into a verbal teaching passed from one to another.
Right. We can alert our friends that food is available. We can point in the direction of where the food can be found. We can share recipes. But if the reader wants to eat, they have to do their own eating.
I still think you are falling into the egoism is bad trap.
In reading over my posts for the last year, do I really look like somebody who is on a holy jihad against egoism? I rather thought readers might have come to the opposite conclusion. :-)

I would put it this way.

Why do folks enter the spiritual journey? Because they are in pain. Why are they in pain? Because they spend way too much time thinking, thinking, thinking, mostly about themselves, building the illusion that they are separate from everything else.

If a patient who is suffering from alcoholism goes to the doctor, should the doctor give them a case of booze as the cure?

This is in effect what the spiritual industry does. It takes a person who is suffering from too much "me", and encourages them to focus even more on "me", my situation, my development, my enlightenment etc. That's why the spiritual industry is popular, it's like selling booze to alcoholics.

What are alternatives?

We've discussed the Christian concept of service, which I agree is a wise strategy of shifting the focus from "me" to somebody else.

Another alternative is to surrender all this "me" business to the silence. Not as a strategy for "me" to become this, or "me" to become that. But as an act of surrendering "me" to silence, one moment at a time.

This moment, surrender me, or not.

Next moment, surrender me, or not.

Following moment, surrender me, or not.

If we keep it this simple, we've taken away the conceptual fuel "me" might wish to use to build a big glorious ego mountain (ie. more division and more suffering).

My proposal is:

1) The silence itself is the only teacher/healer any of us need.

2) This silence is readily available by the simplest methods.

3) Everything else is circling, circling, circling the silence, instead of actually having it.

Thus, my posts tend to encourage the reader to stop circling the apple on the kitchen table, and pick it up and eat it instead. It's the simplest thing. If we're hungry, don't talk about the apple, eat it.
But I am on a philosophy forum now, a place where people write emails to each other about ideas.
Understood. We are on a philosophy forum, doing philosophy. I agree with this, and am joining you in the activity you have asked us to engage in. As you know, the process of philosophy involves challenging all proposals, and subjecting them to a close examination. And so, I am doing philosophy, challenging, examining.

What is very interesting about your writing is that you have suggested the philosopher should challenge philosophy itself, if I understand you correctly. And so, I am joining you in doing that too.
I know what I discuss here is not at all realistic for most people, but it is realistic for many of the people who meet here.
Ok, fair enough. Whatever the case may turn out to be, I'm happy you are here, and hope we will continue.
1) You seem to think that thinking is a problem - something to free ourselves from, or perhaps 'turn down' in volume.
Over thinking is a problem in the same way over eating is a problem. Thinking isn't bad. Eating isn't bad. Too much of either leads to problems, as does too little of either.

Our culture has developed an elaborate collection of diets for people suffering from over eating. I'm only suggesting we pay at least equal attention to over thinking. Because, as just one example, over thinking is the most likely cause of over eating.
I say that you are confusing a common spiritual teaching with the reality it tries to point to.
I'm saying the serious spiritual student who is hungry would set the recipe books aside, and get on with eating.

Spiritual teachings, teachers, experts and authorities are all unnecessary, as the silence itself is enough.

This tends to be an unpopular proposal, as it strips away all the glorious stuff the spiritual ego is craving,

And it removes any reason for further delay. We are brought face to face with the apple of silence, and we eat it right now, or we don't. There's nothing to endlessly circle, except a simple decision in each moment, silence or noise.
2) You also seem to think egoism is some kind of negative state that needs to be shed.


If we're suffering from too much ego, or alcohol, it's helpful to know how to take a break from either. Both ego and alcohol are fine in moderation.
2)I say that we will never shed our egos, but we can complement it with a more rounded understanding of who we really are.
Ok, I'm agreeable, please continue.
I feel like I'm having to steer you away from a 'this teaching is better/more practical than that teaching debate', when I don't recognise any conflict between the spiritual merits of thinking and meditation.
Welcome to philosophy, where everything gets challenged. :-)
However much I try to reassure you that I am all for teaching meditation (although not on a philosophy discussion board) you don't seem to hear me.
I hear you. But again, you have asked us to do philosophy. You have explicitly offered philosophy as our method. And so I am doing what you've asked us to do, philosophy. Thus, every proposal offered by anyone is challenged and examined, because that's what philosophers do.
The nature of ego and the nature of thought are, however, two big themes in philosophy, both east and west. Why not do what we are here to do - a little bit of philosophical yoga?
Again, I am doing exactly what you wish to do. You have suggested the philosopher challenge philosophy itself. I agree with this suggestion, find it to be most interesting and useful, and so am complying with your request.
Nikolai
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Typist - great post and I think we have so more interesting stuff to discuss.
Typist wrote:Why are they in pain? Because they spend way too much time thinking, thinking, thinking, mostly about themselves,
Thinking about oneself is not the cause of spiritual pain. Surprising statement? Well it happens to be valid, and I think your belief in thinking as cause of pain is the superstition that lies behind your crusade.

Thinking, in itself, is completely harmless. Thinking is as harmless as a wispy cloud in the sky, and thoughts are as real and as valid as clouds and trees and birds, and just as transient. To wage a campaign against thought is the same as trying to dismantle the sky, and equally as futile.

Until You realise, and I address your spiritual self here ("Typist#2!, you're on stage") - until You realise that Your thoughts are not separating You from anything you will not be able to understand them. This attempt to reduce them or escape them is as impossible as suddenly walking out one day and stepping out the universe.

Now it is true that I can't introduce you to Typist#2, you have to find him yourself. But in the meantime, if philosophical yoga can do anything it is at least remind you that your subject/object split is just an opinion, and that your beliefs about thought's divisiveness are just a corollary of this initial one-sided opinion.
Typist wrote:If a patient who is suffering from alcoholism goes to the doctor, should the doctor give them a case of booze as the cure?
Again, it is interesting that you should use a known toxin as an analogy for thought. Thought is only toxic to those ignorant of their true self. You clearly are still ignorant, but it is time for you to wake up to who you really are, and this will involve becoming reconciled to thought. Don't start whining, claiming that you're no Olympian. You are! Just listen to what I and, Lance and Sanjay are telling you.
Typist wrote:Another alternative is to surrender all this "me" business to the silence. Not as a strategy for "me" to become this, or "me" to become that. But as an act of surrendering "me" to silence, one moment at a time.
To surrender is to let things be. Let your thoughts be. Stop calling them bad names. Stop running away from them. Just let them be as they are and you might have a chance of understanding them.

By all means meditate. But don't think that meditation is in any way nearer, better or more spiritual than thinking.
Typist wrote:It's the simplest thing. If we're hungry, don't talk about the apple, eat it.
It's the simplest thing. If we're wondering about something, think about it.
Typist wrote:Over thinking is a problem in the same way over eating is a problem. Thinking isn't bad. Eating isn't bad. Too much of either leads to problems, as does too little of either.
None of these analogies work at all for the reality of thinking. This has got nothing to do with our behaviour, doing things in moderation. It is way beyond all of that. It is about opening your eyes and seeing what thought is. When you see what thought is you will know that it can't possibly be good or bad or anything like that. All your arguments stem from Typist#1, and the world he lives in. I'm now trying to get your second self to wake up! I'm talking to Typist#2 and the moment you understand me then both of you are awake.
Typist wrote:My proposal is:

1) The silence itself is the only teacher/healer any of us need.

2) This silence is readily available by the simplest methods.

3) Everything else is circling, circling, circling the silence, instead of actually having it.
You need to stop fetishising silence! Seriously! Until you realise that silence is no better or more healing than a crazy guy yelling in your ear you are never going to get the peace of mind you evidently want.

As I said before, silent meditation is a major part of my day. But if I ever started to entertain the notion that it is any more healing than my baby yelling at 3am then I know my peace of mind will be shattered.

Yes, meditation is what many people need. But you personally have had a belly full of it, you're completely attached to it and you are now running scared from all the thinking and the noise. Its time for Typist #2 to save you. I wish he could hear me!

Sorry to be so forceful - but sometimes you have to shout in order to be heard.

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

Post by Typist »

I think we have so more interesting stuff to discuss.
Agreed, you are a great discussion partner for me, and I thank you for being here. I know there are other places you could be, (the holy forest!) so thanks for choosing us.
Thinking about oneself is not the cause of spiritual pain. Surprising statement? Well it happens to be valid, and I think your belief in thinking as cause of pain is the superstition that lies behind your crusade.
Ok, good, let's go in to that together.
Thinking, in itself, is completely harmless. Thinking is as harmless as a wispy cloud in the sky, and thoughts are as real and as valid as clouds and trees and birds, and just as transient.
Hmm, is this wishful thinking? :-)

In fact, the internal arguments all of us have within ourselves, are a major source of distress for human beings.

We could try to unravel all the internal arguments, analyze them in detail, etc etc. This option is interesting, entertaining.

Or, we can decide to just stop arguing. This option is more decisive, more immediate, more serious.
To wage a campaign against thought is the same as trying to dismantle the sky, and equally as futile.
I'm not waging a campaign against thought. I'm waging a campaign that suggests that we might become more skilled at managing thought.

Philosophy suggests we manage the quality of our thought. We all agree on this.

I'm suggesting we manage the quantity of our thought as well. This is no more complicated or controversial than suggesting we manage both what we eat, AND how much we eat.

Why should we not manage thought, when we take it for granted that management of all of our other biological processes is necessary?
Until You realise, and I address your spiritual self here ("Typist#2!, you're on stage")
That's it, ok, feed my already huge ego, get your revenge, I know I deserve it. :-)
- until You realise that Your thoughts are not separating You from anything you will not be able to understand them. This attempt to reduce them or escape them is as impossible as suddenly walking out one day and stepping out the universe.
Managing our quantity of thought is very comparable to managing the quantity of food we eat. Ok, it does take practice, a bit of discipline, some seriousness, but other than that it's no big deal. It's absurd to say it's impossible.
Now it is true that I can't introduce you to Typist#2, you have to find him yourself. But in the meantime, if philosophical yoga can do anything it is at least remind you that your subject/object split is just an opinion, and that your beliefs about thought's divisiveness are just a corollary of this initial one-sided opinion.
I don't disagree. Now, if you will....

After you have pulled the rug out from under my opinions via the philosophical process...

And after I have pulled the rug out from under your opinions via the philosophical process...

Where do we wind up? A form of silence. Opinions may still be floating around in our mind, but now they are like clouds floating by, not matters of great importance, not a dramatic ego driven circus.

As I understand it, we are discussing various ways of reaching this place.

If I understand it, you are proposing a long road approach, which offers the promise of a permanent type solution somewhere down the road, which we could call enlightenment or something like that.

I am suggesting setting aside the idea of a permanent type solution that may or may not happen someday in the future, in favor of getting down to business right now.

I'm suggesting we set the possibility of enlightenment aside, leave it alone, forget about the mountain top, don't worry about that, and let the future take care of itself.

Instead, I suggest we focus on the very next step on the trail. Seriousness happens now.

Imho, once we have developed and refined the ability to focus on what's happening now, we'll stop worrying about what might or might not happen somewhere down the road.

Once the moment is enough, the future and past fade away naturally. As example....

Do we concern ourselves with the spiritual journey while we're in the middle of great sex? Or surfing a big wave? Or jumping out of an airplane? Or laughing at some comedian? Or swept away by a piece of music?

No, we don't. In those moments the spiritual journey is not of concern, because in those moments our contact with the reality of here and now is solid, and thus, enough.

My proposal is, the answer we seek is found now, not in the future somewhere.
Again, it is interesting that you should use a known toxin as an analogy for thought. Thought is only toxic to those ignorant of their true self.
And as we've discussed, 99% of everybody on earth is ignorant of their true self. :-) I'm trying to be practical and realistic.
You clearly are still ignorant, but it is time for you to wake up to who you really are, and this will involve becoming reconciled to thought.
Ah, I'm afraid not. At age 60, it's time to make peace with who and what we are, as we already are.

But, that said, I do recognize younger people need mountains to climb, and there is a time and place for everything.
Don't start whining, claiming that you're no Olympian.
You're denying me whining??? "Oh dear, you are ruthless!", he whined in to his keyboard.
You are! Just listen to what I and, Lance and Sanjay are telling you.
I am, whether I know I am or not, the typoholic blowhard who isn't such a great listener shot back. :-)
By all means meditate. But don't think that meditation is in any way nearer, better or more spiritual than thinking.
I'm not especially concerned with "spiritual", as Whatever It Is can likely manage it's affairs without my help.
I'm now trying to get your second self to wake up!
Ok, I understand. So, I ask you please, why? Why are we so compelled to always be on our way to someplace other than where we already are?

Millions of years of evolution have led to Typist #1, the unenlightened typoholic blowhard. Are you proposing you and I are wiser than this millions of years of evolution?

I could take your advice, and struggle onwards towards the mountain top, where I will supposedly meet Typist #2. I could do that.

Or...

I could say, Typist #1, enough. I could chose to make peace with where I already am, instead of charging down the road chasing a vision of what I MIGHT become.
You need to stop fetishising silence! Seriously!
Ha, ha! Try and make me! :-)
Until you realise that silence is no better or more healing than a crazy guy yelling in your ear you are never going to get the peace of mind you evidently want.
Peace of mind is found in embracing what is happening right now. Peace of mind comes in taking a break from the argument with reality, the "what is".
Yes, meditation is what many people need. But you personally have had a belly full of it, you're completely attached to it and you are now running scared from all the thinking and the noise. Its time for Typist #2 to save you. I wish he could hear me!
We see the evangelist preacher emerging now. :-) That's ok, I do that guy too.
Sorry to be so forceful - but sometimes you have to shout in order to be heard.
No sweat. Typist is my name, and forceful is my game. :-) Shout all you want, I don't mind.

Thanks again for the dialog, imho, we are a good team, each of us is bringing out the other's way of looking at this.
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Arising_uk
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Arising_uk »

Typist wrote:...
Millions of years of evolution have led to Typist #1, the unenlightened typoholic blowhard. Are you proposing you and I are wiser than this millions of years of evolution? ...
According to you its 60 years that have led you to this. The 'millions' of years have bugger all to do with it as we've not evolved for 'millions' of them and what did evolve was pretty much over and done with tens of thousands of years ago. Evolution has no 'progress' as its not a thing.
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Nikolai wrote:
duszek wrote: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.
You're still confusing the analogy of processing for the reality. Taking a decision is an excellent analogy for what really happens, but another excellent analogy is that there are no decisions to be made, no driving.

Automatic and instinctive behaviour are not automatic or instinctive behaviours, because there is no person behaving and no world 'out there' to interact with.

I know this is hard to grasp, its hard to get one's head round these analogies. But doing this is precisely the yoga that this thread is about. Learn to see the world as just fleeting scenes that arise and in the swiftest moment pass away. Life can always appear this way for those who have the eyes to see.

When you learn to see things this way there is no driving going on, just passing scenes, a road sign...vanished...a hand on a steering wheel...vanished...a 'memory' of our destination...vanished...a knee rising up from the clutch...vanished...a difficult exam at school...vanished...

Learn to see things this way and there are no decisions to be taken. Life unfolds by itself.

Sometimes in our wisdom we see this other analogy - that the car does not need to be driven. But then we go and ruin it all by calling it 'automatic processing', which is a reversion to the first analogy. There is no such thing as automatic processing because there is no difference between the driver and the car - there are just fleeting scenes of knees and steering wheels and a whole lot of other stuff.

Of course all this is just an analogy too - but only when we see this analogy will we see that 'processing' is also just an analogy. Then above these two analogies - the common one called duality and the rare one called unity - there is the truth and it is so simple you could laugh out loud I'm telling you!

Best wishes, nikolai
So do you mean that certain enlighted people do not have to make ANY decisions AT ALL ?
There are lots of situations in which you have to think hard about what to do, you need to choose the right way of conduct.
For example, two injured people are lying on the ground, shall I attend to the one´s injuries first or to the other´s injuries first ? An emergency doctor has to ask himself.

Or: someone wants something from you and you have to decide whether to react to it and how or whether to ignore it.

It´s good to be detached, if this is what you mean. But life can force you to take an active part in it. And doubts are normal and have to be considered.
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Nikolai and Typist

How about distinguishing between:

A. good thinking: reflecting calmly about the situation and trying honestly to come close to the truth

B. bad thinking: emotional or even aggressive brooding over what cannot be changed, imagining some arguments for justifying one´s own denial of the truth, remembering what other people did to us and planning for a revenge to get even with them, etc.

B. is also "thinking". And yet it should be stopped because it hurts you.

One can willfully engage in a good or a bad kind of thinking.
Typist
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

duszek wrote:One can willfully engage in a good or a bad kind of thinking.
Sounds good to me. Philosophy is about willfully engaging in quality thinking. Nikolai's approach is based in philosophy, and so he's trying to willfully engage in quality thinking too. When we're thinking, we should try to do quality thinking, it seems we all agree on that.

I believe it's helpful to consider thinking as just another biological function of the body, which of course it is. Looking at it this way removes all the confusing esoteric stuff.

Physical exercise is good for our body. But not all day long every day without end. We see this simply, it's obvious, common sense, we don't try to make it all complicated. It's interesting to note that muscle mass is actually built while we're resting, not while we're exercising.

Thinking is good for our mind. But not all day long every day without end. Overuse of any muscle or organ is unwise.

If we look at this simply, it's easy to see we are chronically thinking, thinking, thinking all the day long every day, just out of lazy habit. And the vast majority of time, it's not quality thinking, and we aren't really accomplishing anything. It's just internal chit-chat thinking, replaying the same silly stories over and over again.

This is a waste of a precious resource. If we're not using our mind for quality thinking at the moment, it's smarter to turn the thinking machine down or off. It's better to give it a rest, so that when the need for quality thinking arises again, we can engage it in refreshed, alert, sharp.

Again, this isn't some esoteric complicated philosophical spiritual thing etc etc, it's just common sense.

If we're not using our lawnmower right now, turn it off. Don't wear it out by running it all day long. Simple, ey?
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

How do you turn the thinking machine off, Typist ?
zinnat13
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by zinnat13 »

TO THE AUK-
Hi Auk,
I feel that I have myself clear enough there but, I am trying once again though I was addressing Nikolai not you in the post which you mistaken as addressed to you. I asked him to go through my posts there.
But, nevertheless…

Let me quote once again from my post.

All this happened many years back, when I start meditating. After some time it became a bit like habit for me and it is still intact. So, when I used to meditate, I found there are many such things in the mind which I do not know. While meditating, I often witnessed irrational and unconcerned thoughts.
It was bit like this- imagine that something important happened 3-4 days back like a heated argument with someone. Apparently, it is looking to me that I am done with it and it has no importance to me at this very moment. My mind is not recalling that event so that chapter is closed forever. But, when I start to meditate, and as the concentration increases, I am again seeing the thoughts regarding that incident. They are still very much alive there. I am trying to avoid them to concentrate on meditation but they are just refusing to leave.
This phenomenon unveiled to me a very important fact that, though I am not able to realize it normally but my mind is still discussing the issue in its loneliness. I am claiming that it is my mind so it should do what I want but it is not the case. It is not in total control of my will. If I do not want to recall that incident then who is that other entity which is overruling my will by dragging me back.
Standing at this very moment, I can clearly see that there are two entities fighting each other to take control of mind. One is my will and the second is who is originating those thoughts. I used to wonder that where the real “I” or “me” has gone.


Is my will is real myself or those thoughts are real myself?
Or the real myself is something else that is existed independently from the other two?


I am not talking about rocket science Auk. I think this phenomenon is easily conceivable. You are wrong in your perception that your mind follows your will.
In my opinion, the philosophy is nothing more than three questions; what is happening, how is happening and why is happening. But, ultimately, it depends on an individual whether he wants to go for the answers or not. And, that is what I tried to understand about myself; what, how and why.
Let me quote a very famous parable from Hindu mythology that illustrates the mechanism of our mind.

There was a father and a son. Father was a very learned and famous religious scholar so people from all over used to see him for guidance. The son thought that he should take advantage from his father and asked him the way to be immortal. Father said that there is no instant way for such things but the son insisted that you know the easy way but do not want to tell me. At last father gave up. He told some mantas (prayers) to his son and asked him to repeat those for 10 times. Father said that if you will be able to do it successfully, you will be immortal immediately but there is only one condition; the thought of a monkey should not come in your mind during repeating mantras. The son became very happy as he thought that it could not be easier than that. So, he sat down and started repeating mantas but immediately the monkey popped up in his mind. He tried for this during his whole life but did not succeed.


This parable is stating a very simple but by and large unacknowledged fact that there is something in our mind that is beyond our control.

Let me put it more simply.

Imagine that you are in your home with your son. He is playing with match sticks and somehow they lit and a corner of his shirt caught fire. Now, what will you do? You just rub or squeeze that corner immediately even if it hurt your hands.

Now, we can clearly see that our body obeys us. It follows the commands and it should do so because it is our body and we are owner of it. But, it is not the in the case of our mind as I mentioned in first two quotes. Now, the question arises; why is it so. If we are the owner of our mind then it should do exactly what we will. But, it refuses to do so. This phenomenon gives the impression that there is something there in the mind, which works independently from our will.

It is not that difficult to realize. I do not think it requires more than an hour. All we have to do is just lie down and close our eyes and start thinking seriously about anything. Let some time pass and we will find that our mind is not sticking to that very issue. No matter, how hard we try; it will refuse to obey and continue to roam in all directions. Leaving thinking aside, it is even difficult to lie down simply without opening the eyes without doing anything. Something in your mind will keep saying to you all the time to get up and open the eyes. It requires less time than writing a post here.

To know, what is inside our mind other than us is spirituality. Philosophy ends here because it uses both mind and thinking as a tool. So, now we need something else to examine the tools. If we have a substance, which weight is more than 1kg but less than 2kg, and we have only standard weights of 1 kg to measure with, then we cannot find its exact weight. We may have millions of standard 1kg weights, but all are useless. We need to have smaller standard weights than a kg to find the precise weight.

The same is about thinking. Thinking cannot be known by thinking. We have to lower our yardstick and the only other mean to examine our thinking is consciousness but it comes into play only when it is provoked. This provoking demands a certain level of concentration. When this level is breached, consciousness carries the mind on its shoulders and walks on the way to eternity. There are many ways to provoke the consciousness. All prayers, devotions, meditations etc are nothing but just different ways of provoking. One has to choose or find or invent according to his belief, bias, culture and even convenience. These ways are called religions. It does not matter at all which way we choose, because it does not cause any difference. The impact and the result will be the same.

So, it is all about concentration. Serious thinking also demands concentration. If one is very much concentrated in his thinking, then sometimes, his concentration becomes able to touch the periphery of the consciousness. Although, he will not be able to permeate, but can feel it for sure. This is the state of Einstein and Kant also. At this very point, one is able to see the thoughts manifesting and vanishing in his mind. So, one understands the difference between “him” and his thoughts. This state divides the existence of us between two different entities. One is mind/thoughts and other is who is seeing the thoughts. This is what I mean by seen and seer. Two more names I want to add in this list; Newton and Wittgenstein; as far as I understand, with my limited knowledge and resources. I do not like to include people like Socrates and Buddha in this list. Their state is beyond and I do want to mitigate their status.

To understand what I am trying to say, here is one more quote from thread ‘aphilosophy’.

The basic problem is that we want instant answers written somewhere or told by anyone, but it is a matter of experience, not just being informed about it. If mere information was enough then, just by reading the phrase “just be there” was quite enough to enable all of us to be Buddha. We spend hours, days, weeks, months and even years to know what the minds of others say; but not ready to know what our mind have to say as we consider it the wastage of time.
Let me put it in this way.
A father has two sons. When they become 10 years old, the father brings them a football and a book about the football. One chooses the book while the other goes for the boll. Another 10 years passed. In the meantime, former has read all the literature about the game. He knows each and everything; like history, great players, strategies, etc. but the second one is only interested in playing with his friends in the backyard. So, we have two entirely different kinds of personalities. We have a person who can discuss, give speeches and even write books about the game but he is not even able to kick the ball properly; while the second one do not know anything else but how to play with the ball on the ground.
Now, I want to ask a very simple question and that is; who has the knowledge of football.
The question will answer all by itself if put slight differently and that is; who is able to play football.
It is neither spirituality nor theism. I am in total agreement with the atheism that there is absolutely no need to have faith in God or any likewise entity but, at least, we should have faith in our mind because we all know that it is for real. What is the harm in giving it a chance? I think it deserves one.


THERE IS NO BODYMIND BUT THERE IS BODY AND MIND. WE DO NOT OWN OUR MIND BUT, ON THE CONTRARY, OUR MIND OWNS US.

It looks a bit oversaid but it is not. If we examine ourselves objectively, then we will find exactly the same. A smoker, drinker or drug addict knows for sure that all these things will harm him, but still he cannot refrain himself from the temptation. Why? We all have emotions; both good and bad ones. Every one of knows that anger, hate, jealously etc are bad for us, then why we are not able to through them out of our mind. Why they haunt us again and again? I am very much sure that no human on the earth would agree that he wants to be angry of frustrated but it still happens. Why? It is not the case that we do not want get rid of all this but we are just unable to do it. I challenge you to show me a single human on the earth who owns his mind. This is the very reason that I say that we cannot stop our mind from thinking even for a moment. It is beyond our control.

So, my dear friend, if you can still able to see your owner in the mirror, then it is OK. I have nothing more to say.

Your comment about Mohammad is not a philosophical one. You have made a much generalized statement viewing the fanatic version of Islam. If you want to understand the Islam and Mohammad, then you should look for Sufism as it represents the true essence of Islam.

There is a very renowned scholar in the name of IBN AL ARABI. There is too much about him on the net. You can find it easily. Other than this, you may have a look at this link.

http://bewley.virtualave.net/index.html

It is quite difficult to sum up Mohammad in a post but I just want to put a saying of him.
One of his followers asked him that how should a Muslim live his life.

He answered him that just like a traveler.

Let us see how a philosopher in you interprets this.

TO THE TYPIST-

You mentioned about an imaginary incident while driving.

I understood by all means what you are saying. The routine system of the mind breaks for a moment. But, it happens for such a small period of time, that we are not able to understand it properly because it is not a normal phenomenon. Although I am not sure but feel we do not experience this in double digit in our whole life. Furthermore, it happens in such circumstances, that we cannot pay attention to it and tend to forget what happened. If you recall that it is described as a phrase; heart comes to the mouth.

The man who invented this phrase was very near the target because something like that happens in reality. Actually, because the circumstances are unexpected and shocking, thus, for a moment, the level of concentration becomes extraordinarily high and the consciousness has been provoked; as I said above in my reply to AUK. If you have been through this moment earlier and recall it, then you will remember that in this moment, we feel a different kind of sensation through our body, as something is going out from it. It is something like a mild shivering and a feather touch on the body. This is the sign of movement of consciousness. I can understand this because this happens during the meditation also. Any person, who had experienced an OBE in reality, will tell you that he had felt the same. But, all this happens just for a moment and subsides before we realize it.

Yes, we can feel this stage during a particular state of mind, but, it has nothing to do with athought. On the contrary, this moment is the peak of thinking and concentration.

with love
sanjay
Typist
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

duszek wrote:How do you turn the thinking machine off, Typist ?
A Google search will reveal many different people offering many different suggestions in this regard.

It's perhaps helpful to recall that this subject has been under discussion for thousands of years, as long as philosophy, and thus there is a rich variety of techniques and approaches available. The best technique is the one that's best for you, so the idea is to explore and experiment until you find a method that suits you personally.

Here's a sampling of what works for me, offered with the understanding that this is my way, not "the way".

Nature is a huge asset for me. Taking a break from thought seems so much easier in the woods. We've got a great state park only a few miles up the road, and I make good use of it on a regular basis.

Lots of people report a similar experience, but lots isn't everybody, so I can't say how heading for the "holy forest" (Nikolai is going to scold me! :-) ) might work for any one reading this. Try it and see is the best I can suggest.

If the weather is right, I'll typically enter the woods at dawn or before, and not emerge again until just before dark. Point being, in my experience, if I spend enough time in the woods, the thought just falls off naturally, without any effort. Just being there is enough, for me.

But, sometimes we'd like to get on with things, and take some control over the process. In which case, the following exercise might be useful.

Start walking.

If your mind is all buzzed up, then your body may want to walk fast too. Ok, let your mind and body do whatever they want to do at first.

Watch what's happening. If you're pounding down the trail like you're late for an appointment, and thinking a million thoughts, watch that for awhile. Just watch.

When you're ready, start to gently apply the brakes. Consciously slow the pace of your walking a bit. Watch that for awhile.

Then take it down another notch. Slow the pace a bit more. Watch that pace for awhile.

Then take it down another notch. Slow the pace a bit more. Watch that pace for awhile.

Then take it down another notch. Slow the pace a bit more. Watch that pace for awhile.

And so on...

The point here is that body and mind are not two different things as the labeling mechanism of thought suggests. Mind and body are one thing, and we can affect the rate of thought by controlling the rate of body movement.

As the pace gets slower, the game become to walk as slowly as possible, without stopping. How slow can you walk? Try it and find out! It's not as easy as it sounds.

This process might take an hour or two, to unfold. Experiment, and see how it goes for you.

After some patient practice on more than one occasion, it might lead to this.

You might find that you're entirely content to stand in one place for an hour, just watching the wind blow by. Just watching, that's all. Not going anywhere physically, not going anywhere mentally either. Just being, here, now, is enough.

Once thought slows enough (a perfect stopping not necessary) you'll be content where ever you are, with no need to rush off to someplace else.

Of course, it's easier to be content in a beautiful place on a beautiful day, which is why I cheat, and go to the woods. :-)

This is my endlessly long entirely verbose thought saturated answer to your simple and elegant nine word question.
duszek
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Thanks, Typist, I will try your technique, maybe tomorrow. :D

How about slowing down typing ?
Would it also slow down thinking ?

Is perceiving nature in its beauty and feeling content and at peace with oneself not "thinking" ?
You switch to the sensual mode of existence and feel like a savage or natural man, but what your mind does is still thinking, it seems to me, you may have associations, you may remember similar experiences from long ago for instance.
lancek4
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by lancek4 »

Sometimes I am very relaxed and content when my thoughts are quickfireing.
Thundril
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Location: Cardiff

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Thundril »

Thought. Speed. Clarity. Consciousness of the moment. One gets in the way of the other?
Then there's THIS!
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Arising_uk
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Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Arising_uk »

Duszek,

You could try this for an interesting experience,

NLP - its simple

I'll be happy to answer any questions you have about the exercise, PM me if you prefer.
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