The Yoga of the Philosophers

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

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duszek
Posts: 2280
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Location: Thin Air

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by duszek »

Arising

I do the Walk of Power and Grace all the time .... :mrgreen:
I can hardly think of anything to add ....

The outcome I set myself was: do the exercise and collect feedback for Arising.
Are there better outcomes one should try ? (what to answer to X on the forum X, what to say to X next time one sees X, what to cook for supper, is it better to go to lecture A or B)

I tried to hear everything: cars passing in the distance, human voices (and what they said), birds, noises, shuffles ...

I wear no glasses and see the world like an impressionist painting, that is I need to guess a lot.

When a piece of music takes possession of my mind it keeps running in my head for days or weeks. I have no registered music and no device to make registered music sound.

What now, Master ?
Nikolai
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Finland

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Dear Typist and all,
On a philosophy forum, we are unlikely to allow cake and eat it too regulations. We will probably be unwilling to accept things on faith, and engage in philosophy, both, at the same time. Thus, I am asking for some clarity from you regarding what we are doing here.
You made lots of excellent points that are well summed up in the above. The fact is I can't prove logically what I have discovered beyond philosophy. That is the key weakness of this yoga, and indeed any yoga. You kind of have to take my word for it. I agree that some philosophers will have an allergic reaction to this - even though all thought is faith-based anyway. It is therefore their illusion that causes the reaction - but only I know that and telling them isn't enough.

In my opening few posts I identified the philosophers passion for truth with a religious yearning. So in the one sense i can applaud that their scepticism is turned against me. I only hope that one day they become true ohilosophers and learn to reject even their scepticism!
In my faith based opinion, Whatever It Is we are really looking for is embedded in the fabric of physical reality. Imho, the more closely we examine physical reality, the more likely we are to encounter this Whatever It Is. The main thing that distracts us from such a close examination is thought, that is, the universe of abstractions we rule over within our minds.
I love this description, I really do! But I would just like to tweak it a tiny bit and say: 'whatever it is we are looking for is embedded in the fabric of physical and mental reality

Our thoughts are a legitimate product of this universe too!

A little bit more tweaking...

'The main thing that distracts us from such a close examination is the belief that our thoughts occur 'in here' and distracts us from what is going on 'out there. There is no 'in here' and 'out there'!

Thoughts in themselves are fine, it is the notion that they are thoughts that is the problem!
Ok, "thought is indistinquishable from perception" is a good theory to examine, please continue with that.
The key to seeing this is the notion of impermanence Everything, whether thoughts, perceptions feelings, sensations - everything erupts into consciousness and then passes away. Everything arises in awareness, persists for the briefest moment and then gives way to the next thing. Everything that can possibly be experienced behaves in this fashion.

A thought comes and goes. Likewise a feeling comes and goes. A perception arises and is then eradicated by the next thing - whether thought, feeling, perception.

So at this level everything behaves in an identical fashion. They all come, endure for the briefest moment and are then replaced. On thing after another.

But even though this similarity is the case, we go on to do something rather strange. We imagine that some things are annihilated when they are replaced (eg thoughts), but other things continue to exist (perceptions).

This makes us think that some things are imaginary because they only exist fleetingly, and that some things are real and our in fact independently existing content of thoughts and perceptions. So the tree with dollar notes on it is imaginary and fleeting, but the tree with pine cones is real and is in fact content of perception rather than something that exists in itself (like the thought).

Actually, in terms of actual experience - everything arises and passes in the same fashion. But in our ignorance we think that some things are real and independently existing and some things are fleeting and exist only subjectively. This distinction is ultimately completely groundless because everything arises and passes in the same way, but we make the distinction nevertheless.

If we are diligent in seeing the way in which everything arises and then passes away, we will quickly appreciate that a thought and a perception is the same thing - lets call them 'flashes'. And when a thought and perception is the same thing then there is no imaginary things and no real things - only all these flashes. And then there is no subjective fancy and no objective reality - only these flashes.

If we devote our time to trying to reduce thought in favour of the physical fabric of reality then we will never gain the necessary insight. By assuming the reality of the thought/reality distinction we will never learn to see how the thought reality distinction is the same as the subject/object distinction, and all of them together are the barrier to spiritual understanding.

Only when we become reconciled to thought and acknowledge its legitimate place in the universe will we be in a position to dismantle thought as being different to a perception as well as the notion of separation the concept of thought entails.

Now many people can follow this argument and suddenly stop in their tracks. But if the subjective / object distinction is an illusion then who is it that realises this?

This is a very typical response. But in fact the question is incorrectly put. The term 'who realises this' belongs to the illusory view of things where there are still subjects and objects. So the question cannot be answered because only the ignorant would wonder such a thing. Some teachers will try and answer but are careful to do so in such a way that the subject/object illusion is not further perpetuated e.g "all of us realise this at the same time", or "no-one realises this - it is empty".

If you chew on this idea for a while it will suddenly become very clear and you will experience great relief. The world and my self and all the worries that come are only here because I have bought into a one-sided worldview - a world or separate subjects and objects. But alongside this opinion there is an equally legitimate view whereby all the separation is an illusion - and all there is is the arising and the passing away of everything.

There is a huge amount to go through here, the consequences of the viewpoint I have expounded here and absolutely immense and properly turn the world upside down - but in a good way!

Best wishes, Nikolai
zinnat13
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:30 pm
Location: India

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by zinnat13 »

Hi typist,

I wish that if I were able to reply so promptly.

Yes, I am seeing that you understand me as well. I think we are basically agreed up to here, but only with one exception.

You said-Well, the question was, who has the knowledge of football. A person playing football may have knowledge, or not.

This was my whole point. The first one does not have any knowledge, because he has not gone through the experience of playing. He is only informed about what others have been said. He does not have the ability to check the theories. The second one has the complete knowledge of football. It is entirely different thing that, whether he is able to explain it or not, but still he has the perfect understanding of the issue. Yes, he may be unaware of other’s thoughts about the issue, but still, this fact cannot mitigate his understanding of the issue. A skill or understanding cannot be taught by books or debates. One has to go through the real experience to earn it.

Although you perfectly described it when you said-

Yes, there is a big difference between knowledge about apples, and experience eating apples. Books about sex are not sex. The word is not the thing it points to, etc.

I think that we can now move on to the next question; What are we? I know that we differ here as you said many times that you are a thought or typist. But I want you to ask once again because this is the main point of the whole discussion.

What is the definition of “you” according to you; the thought, the mind or something else?

With love,
sanjay
Typist
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 am

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

Hi again Nik,
The fact is I can't prove logically what I have discovered beyond philosophy.
How about this? It might help if we attempt to simplify the discussion a bit.

I propose the spiritual quest is motivated by psychological pain. As example, when we are having great sex, laughing at a comedian, or otherwise fully and happily engaged in life, we generally don't concern ourselves with the spiritual quest in those moments.

So, we experience psychological pain and then we wonder, is there a solution to this distress? The concept of "enlightenment" generally refers to some kind of permanent solution to the problem.

So it should be possible to test whether enlightenment exists, at least to some degree. We can take the self declared enlightened person, and say, put them in jail. We can observe their reaction. Do they fall victim to despair? Or does a healthy psychological state seem to maintain itself independently of outside circumstances?

We could further test by say, having enlightenment experts teach Jnana Yoga to a group of leading philosophy professors from around the world. And then we could subject the philosophy professors to various stresses, to see how well the teaching worked.

If we were to redefine enlightenment so as to not mean some kind of permanent solution to psychological pain, I'd guess most students will then ask, "So what's the point then?"

Generally speaking, enlightenment experts do not subject themselves to publicly observable stress, but often live quite sheltered lives, surrounded by adoring supporters etc. Just about anybody could appear enlightened in such circumstances, even me! There may be exceptions however, if we wish to include people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King etc.

Point being, if our focus is practical rather than merely theoretical, it seems we could use philosophy, reason, evidence etc to shed further light on enlightenment.
You kind of have to take my word for it.
How about Osho, should we take his word for it too? Surely you see the problem here.
I agree that some philosophers will have an allergic reaction to this - even though all thought is faith-based anyway.
Having an allergic reaction to unproved assertions is of course what philosophy is. But I do hear your point, perhaps we don't take this allergic reaction far enough.
In my opening few posts I identified the philosophers passion for truth with a religious yearning. So in the one sense i can applaud that their scepticism is turned against me. I only hope that one day they become true philosophers and learn to reject even their scepticism!
One way to inspire such rejection might be to prove the benefits of such rejection in real world repeatable experiments. If you can demonstrate that enlightenment allows you to get dates with Diane Lane, suddenly my urge to quibble with anything you say starts to melt away, and I begin to focus on the challenge in earnest! :-)

Seriously, why should we want to become enlightened? Demonstrate the benefits in a convincing way, and your audience will expand.
I love this description, I really do! But I would just like to tweak it a tiny bit and say: 'whatever it is we are looking for is embedded in the fabric of physical and mental reality Our thoughts are a legitimate product of this universe too!
Ok, I can vote for this. I do agree, it's our mental reality that we care about. I don't love the holy forest for itself, I love it for how it makes me feel. If the holy forest were to make me feel bad, I'd redirect my search elsewhere.
'The main thing that distracts us from such a close examination is the belief that our thoughts occur 'in here' and distracts us from what is going on 'out there. There is no 'in here' and 'out there'! Thoughts in themselves are fine, it is the notion that they are thoughts that is the problem!
Can we compare books about sex (thought) to actual sex (reality)? It's not that books about sex aren't useful. But if we spend 95% of our time focused on the books instead of the real thing, our life is poorer, as books are a highly diluted version of the real thing. Ok?

I'm proposing that we spend 95% of our time as human beings focused on mental symbols, instead of the reality the symbols are pointing to. Thus, we are psychologically hungry all the time. Thus, we go looking for solutions. We go looking for solutions somewhere in the future, not realizing that what we're looking for, reality, exists only now.

Why read the sex book for years, hoping to get laid someday, when we could instead jump in to bed right now? Sooner or later we will have to jump in to bed, and when we do, the time will be now. We already have a now in our possession, this now. Why wait for another one?

I propose the spiritual journey thing is an elaborate excuse to put off until some vague maybe someday tomorrow, what we could do today.
The key to seeing this is the notion of impermanence Everything, whether thoughts, perceptions feelings, sensations - everything erupts into consciousness and then passes away. Everything arises in awareness, persists for the briefest moment and then gives way to the next thing. Everything that can possibly be experienced behaves in this fashion.
Ok, that makes sense.
A thought comes and goes. Likewise a feeling comes and goes. A perception arises and is then eradicated by the next thing - whether thought, feeling, perception.
Ok, got it.
But even though this similarity is the case, we go on to do something rather strange. We imagine that some things are annihilated when they are replaced (eg thoughts), but other things continue to exist (perceptions).
Need help with this part.
This makes us think that some things are imaginary because they only exist fleetingly, and that some things are real and our in fact independently existing content of thoughts and perceptions. So the tree with dollar notes on it is imaginary and fleeting, but the tree with pine cones is real and is in fact content of perception rather than something that exists in itself (like the thought).
Need help with this too. The tree with pine cones exists only in our mind, as just another passing impression?
Actually, in terms of actual experience - everything arises and passes in the same fashion. But in our ignorance we think that some things are real and independently existing and some things are fleeting and exist only subjectively. This distinction is ultimately completely groundless because everything arises and passes in the same way, but we make the distinction nevertheless.
Ok, we seem to be zeroing in on your premise, but we're likely going to need to hear it explained in a variety of ways. I suggest backing off on the abstract concepts, and trying to rephrase with specific concrete examples. As example perhaps, why does the pine tree in my front yard not exist, if that is your premise.
If we devote our time to trying to reduce thought in favour of the physical fabric of reality then we will never gain the necessary insight.
If we devote sufficient time to managing thought, we will have no need of the insight. :-) Again, I propose making this as simple and as practical as possible.

As members of the affluent developed world, readers here have access to a steady supply of healthy food. Thus, we are not obsessed with food, as it is not a problem for us.

Likewise, if we have access to a steady supply of fulfilling psychological experiences, we won't be obsessed with psychological development.

To me, the relevant question is, what are the simplest, most direct, immediate, and widely available ways to provide ourselves with a reliable supply of what it is we actually want, fulfilling psychological experiences.

As example, imagine for a moment that science were to develop a perfectly healthy pill that reliably and safely delivers fulfilling psychological experiences. In such a case, interest in the spiritual quest would dry up all around the world. In fact, I predict this is just what will someday happen.
If you chew on this idea for a while it will suddenly become very clear and you will experience great relief. The world and my self and all the worries that come are only here because I have bought into a one-sided worldview - a world or separate subjects and objects. But alongside this opinion there is an equally legitimate view whereby all the separation is an illusion - and all there is is the arising and the passing away of everything.
Ok, although you are very articulate in a grand abstract sort of way, to me, the challenge now is to do a translation in other more accessible language. As example, we could say the very wisest things in Chinese, but if nobody here understands Chinese, we won't have accomplished much.

This is just one vote, that's all. I suggest the next step in your presentation might be an effort to make the abstract more specific, more concrete.
Typist
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 am

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

Hi again Sanjay,
This was my whole point.
Honestly, here's how I read your point. You see me as a clever articulate person who doesn't have real experience with whatever understanding you are referring to. If this is your point, I agree it could indeed be true.
A skill or understanding cannot be taught by books or debates. One has to go through the real experience to earn it.
If it is true that the understandings we are referencing can not be taught by typed words and debates, then we've just declared the process we are engaged in as invalid. I don't object to such a proposal, but suggest we continue anyway, simply because it's fun.
Yes, there is a big difference between knowledge about apples, and experience eating apples. Books about sex are not sex. The word is not the thing it points to, etc.
If you should really agree with this, then you have just pulled the rug out from under whatever philosophy or conclusions you might wish to share with us. No, not just other people's conclusions, yours as well. Philosophy and conclusions are words, symbols, abstractions. Books about apples, not the actual apple.

If it's the real apple we want, we would stop typing now, and refocus our attention on the real world.

We can do this now, right now, nobody is stopping us. We don't need years of philosophy to eat the apple, we need only pick it up and take a bite. Reality happens now, and now is always available. There's no need to wait.
I think that we can now move on to the next question; What are we? I know that we differ here as you said many times that you are a thought or typist. But I want you to ask once again because this is the main point of the whole discussion.What is the definition of “you” according to you; the thought, the mind or something else?
The "who am I" question is of course a central one. Hmmm.....

Philosophically, in the abstract, I see and agree that "I" don't really exist. If everything is one, there is no "me" which is separate.

However, in the real world, this abstract insight seems to be of practical value to an extremely limited number of people.

As example, I've had online conversations with what seems hundreds of people who have said, "Yes, all is one, you must see this!" And then as soon as I begin to insult them with snarky remarks, they collapse in to an emotional reaction. That is, just like me, they don't really see that "all is one" either.

For whatever little it may be worth, this is my gift, my natural talent. I am an expert at being annoying.

I've yet to meet a single "enlightened" person who can withstand the full force of the annoyance hurricanes I can produce. Thus, I reason that enlightenment is largely a pleasing bed time fantasy story. I say "largely" because I haven't met everyone on earth, and so can not generalize to everybody on earth.

The question for me is...

Should I take public statements literally, and attempt to rip away pleasing bed time fantasy stories, as posters state they wish to do?

Or, should I be more mature, and more realistic, and realize that all of us, me included, need our pleasing bed time fantasy stories, whatever we may say on the matter?

Religion is infused with illusion and delusion for a very good reason, we need it. Perhaps true spirituality is embracing this reality of the human condition, hopefully with a sense of humor? You know, the joke is on us, but c'mon, let's get in on the laugh, as it's a pretty funny joke.
zinnat13
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:30 pm
Location: India

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by zinnat13 »

Hi Auk,

My friend, I am sorry to say but it is looking to me that you are trying to concentrate on too many issues at one time, thus, you are just having a “flying look” on them, instead of completely going through. If you do not feel offended, then I would like to advice you, very sincerely, honestly and humbly, to slow down your pace. It will be proved more fruitful for sure. I am not saying this in angry or annoying state of mind but just consider it as an advice from a friend or well-wisher.

You mentioned about hath yoga and said that it has nothing to do with NLP.
This is not the problem with you only but generally with the whole west. There are exceptions only, which have the clear understanding of yoga.

Hindu philosophy proposes four types of yoga; HATH YOGA, KARM YOGA OR RAJ YOGA, BHAKTI YOGA, GYAN YOGA OR JANA YOGA

The word “hath” means to do anything with such a force that is beyond a normal capacity. It also represents unreasonable desire for any such thing, which is neither justified nor can be fulfilled in normal circumstances. So, hath yoga covers all types of physical and mental practices, which lay emphasis on any kind of extraordinary stress; either physical or mental. Hence, keeping eyes forcefully open or fixing the gaze on anything for longer times is hath yoga for sure.

Let us discuss a bit about NLP.

http://www.forum.nlpdevelopment.org.uk/ ... opic=410.0

I am quoting from the above mentioned link, which you provided-

The third component is the key to the entire process. It is a way of using the eyes, of using vision in a different way to that which constitutes the norm. In everyday usage the eyes tend to employ foveal vision - the aspect of our vision where we focus upon specifics, and out of these, build and maintain our perceptual model 0f the world. A certain amount of peripheral vision is employed in seeing, yet it is minimal.

Peripheral vision is opened by:
1) Gently resting the gaze upon a distant fixed point.
2) Without moving the eyes, become aware of what is above, below and to the left and right.
We effectively open the eyes in such a way as to saturate the rods and cones upon the surface of the eye with information from the world. The result of this influx of information is saturation of the conscious mind, which can only process a limited amount of information simultaneously. The conscious mind checks out, as it were. What arises is communication of this information in the direction of the second Attention. This is evidenced by the state of utilising see / feel neurological circuitry which cuts in dircetly as a result of the process.
Having arrived at this state, it can be noted that with all the components deeply and congruently in place, the cessation of internal dialogue is effectively the cessation of the conscious process of maintaining our model of the world. It is as if we experience the world through new eyes.

Format
1) Whilst walking, rest your gaze gently on the horizon point.
2) Without moving the eyes, become aware of what is present in your peripheral vision, above you, beneath you, to your right and left.
3) Continue this until the state deepens and settles.
4) Again briefly recall the outcome, then set it aside.


http://www.brahmakumaris.com/rajayoga-m ... t-now.html

The above mentioned link is the official site of BRAHMKUMARI school of thought. Here is a quote from this page-

Make an appointment with yourself for 10 or 20 minutes each morning or evening.
• Find a quiet place and relax. Soft music, though not a necessity, can create an appropriate atmosphere. Sit comfortably upright on the floor or in a chair.
• Keep your eyes open and, without staring, gently rest them on a chosen point somewhere in front of your room.
• Gently withdraw your attention from all sights and sounds. Become the observer of your own thoughts.
• Don't try to stop thinking, just be the observer, not judging or being carried away by your own thoughts.
• Gradually they will slow down and you will begin to feel more peaceful. Create one thought for yourself, about yourself for example, "I am a peaceful soul." Hold that thought on the screen of your mind; visualize yourself as being peaceful, quiet and still.
• Stay as long as you can in the awareness of this thought. Do not try to fight off or suppress other thoughts or memories that may come to distract you. Just watch them pass by and return to your created thought, "I am a peaceful soul."
• Now think of the Supreme Soul, who is the ocean of peace, bliss, love and so on. Soul receives all these virtues from Him.
• Acknowledge and appreciate the positive feelings and other positive thoughts, which may spring directly from this thought.
• Be stable in these feelings for a few minutes. Be aware of unrelated thoughts. Finish your meditation by closing your eyes for a few moments and creating complete silence in your mind.


Any one of us can see that they are saying the same thing, though Brhamkumari adds some more feeling components to it. NLP says that, fix your gaze first, then looks for the other objects, those are present in peripheral vision; while Brhamkumari says that, fix your gaze first, then looks for the thoughts around. Not even Brhamkumari, but many other schools are using this method also since ages.

Although I consider myself illiterate in comparison to the other members, as far as
philosophy is concerned, but, I am very much informed about the meditation stuff, because it is the subject of my interest since long.

Let me tell you one more interesting thing. Even the Brhamkumari mission does not invent this practice. This is very old practice in Hindu mythologies and it is called TRATAK. Its roots go far deep and back, to the time of sages in Vedic period, even centuries before Christ. You may find something more on the net if you want.

For your help and confirmation, I am mentioning two links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tratak
http://soulcurrymagazine.com/sc/tratak- ... emory.html

The basic concept of all this to improve the concentration by fixing the eyes to a certain point and it helps. It is also a type of mediation. We can do the same with close eyes. All we have to do is to imagine anything with close eyes, then concentrate on it. NLP or Tratak suggests trying to look for other things around, while keeping the gaze fixed at one point. On the other hand, the traditional meditation suggests having a look for the other thoughts around, while concentrating on the main aim. Hence, the methodology is the same.

You mentioned about Schopenhauer. I do not have any idea about him, but, as you mentioned, so I go through his Wikipedia page. He is looking very much influence with the Hindu mythologies for sure. Yes, my definition of “will” is near to his version, but not exactly the same. And this was what I want to highlight.

Our mind is covers much more space than we realize generally. Normally we confuse our “will” with the whole anatomy of our mind. Will is what we want to do in the first place. But it does not succeed always. Our mind does not follow our “will” or “wish” in each and every case.

You said-

I think it because of a false understanding of how the bodymind works. What you describe above is exactly the will acting and 'mind' pretty much does not exist in the sense you wish. We are not the 'owner' of our body, we are our body, that it can control itself is the point of being a self-conscious sensing Body.
What 'us' is there that can be 'owned' by this 'mind'? No body, no mind.
I am the 'owner' seeing itself in the mirror.


I asked you simple questions; why a smoker is not able to quit smoking, even knowing that it will harm him? Why you get angry again and again, even knowing that it will serve no purpose?

If you are owner of your body or you are bodymind and you are your body, that it control itself the point of being self-conscious sensing body, then answer those above mentioned questions, using your perspective.
And, please, do not tell me that you have no more anger in you as you became enlightened by overnight.

I said in my last post-
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.

And you replied-
From my NLP point of view, a straight bit of manipulation to achieve an outcome that was thought positive by the instigator. Personally, a cheap approach."What would being immortal do for you?", "What do you mean by "immortal"?", "What would being "immortal be for you?", "How would you know when you were immortal?", would be preferred approaches to such a request.

I fail to understand what you mean. If you look it once again, you will find that I am not talking about immorality. I was talking about mind; that how it refuses to obey our will, using the example of the monkey.

You said-
I tend to think that once metaphors enter the conversation philosophy is on the out.
Auk, you are forgetting that the whole language is metaphor for feelings. On the contrary, parables are easier to conceive than a long and complicated text.

Auk, I must tell you that though I do have “cultural” or rather “behavioral” baggage but I do not have any thinking or perceptual bias at all. I always narrate what I felt and cogitated in my own capacity; otherwise I mention very categorically that I read it somewhere. I always try to be neutral as much as possible, when I put my thinking cap on.

With love,
sanjay
Nikolai
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Finland

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Typist,
Typist wrote:Point being, if our focus is practical rather than merely theoretical, it seems we could use philosophy, reason, evidence etc to shed further light on enlightenment.
Yes, this would be very interesting of course, as a kind of anthropological study and I'm sure it would be possible. Obviously this exercise would be about yogis rather than a yoga itself, but, that said, it could also dispel some of the scepticism that surrounds this stuff.
Typist wrote:How about Osho, should we take his word for it too? Surely you see the problem here.
Its interesting what talking to you has made me think about this obedience thing. All our arguments are based on some faith or other, there is always some premise which we must assume and cannot doubt. At least the student at the feet of their guru is no longer in some kind of denial about this - they are bringing into full consciousness what for the average philosopher is still unconscious.

When said I require people to blindly accept the framework, I still mean that. But by being philosophers and by being present on this site there is the de facto acceptance anyway, through their very actions.
Typist wrote:Demonstrate the benefits in a convincing way, and your audience will expand.
Its like what Jesus said: 'by your fruits you will be known'. This is presumably why he had to do all the miracles!

I can't demonstrate the benefits on this forum, all I can do is recount them - which sounds,, and feels, rather hollow.
Typist wrote:I'm proposing that we spend 95% of our time as human beings focused on mental symbols, instead of the reality the symbols are pointing to.
And I'm saying that we don't (this is the other side of the argument). There is no mental, there is no physical - what you call 'mental' is not a symbol but the thing in itself, and the physical reality is the thing in itself too.

Just to make crystal clear. I'm not saying you are wrong in what you say, I am saying that you are failing to account for the other view on things. This is the same as thinking that a mug is intrinsically right-handed only rather than seeing it from the other perspective (that is is also left-handed).
Typist wrote:Sooner or later we will have to jump in to bed, and when we do, the time will be now. We already have a now in our possession, this now. Why wait for another one?
Exactly! So stop thinking your thoughts aren't it. Stop thinking they get in the way. For that brief moment they are the thing, the real deal - stop thinking that they are symbols that get in the way of something better. Tragically, you've put the sex manual down, you've got the real life Diane Lane naked in bed with you - and suddenly you get the insane notion that she's some kind of imposter!
Typist wrote:Need help with this too. The tree with pine cones exists only in our mind, as just another passing impression?
The pine comes and goes in the exact same way as the tree with dollars. They behave in exactly the same way. Don't worry about notions like mind, its too abstract. Just focus on what arises and passes away. The dollar tree arises, and gives way to the pine tree, which gives way to the spaghetti monster....one flash after another.
Typist wrote:As example perhaps, why does the pine tree in my front yard not exist, if that is your premise.
It really really does exists, but only as a brief flash of awareness and only in that moment. But when the spaghetti monster comes in its place the spaghetti monster really does exist and the pine tree in your yard has been annihilated forever.

As you've probably gathered, from this perspective, what we used to call a 'thought' and a 'perception' are actually the same thing. They come and go in exactly the same way and there is no more reason to think the pine tree any more real than the dollar tree. In fact, the terms real and unreal no longer gain purchase. Everything just is. The monster and the pine tree are just examples of this isness that never goes away.

What is so staggering about this perspective is its empirical validity. This is why this perspective, called idealism, dominated western philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries. After all when you are looking into your fridge, thinking about lunch, how do we know that the tree in the front yard exists in that moment, out of awareness. Yes, we can go to the front yard and look for it, but that doesn't prove that it was there when you looked in the fridge. It is perfectly rational to remain sceptical about the existence of everything except what is right here and now in my awareness - whatever it is.
If we devote sufficient time to managing thought, we will have no need of the insight.
No but you would have to live alone on a remote mountain devoting your life to meditation. With the insight you can come and go as you please 'fondling the women and drinking with the wine-bibbers'.
Typist wrote:Ok, although you are very articulate in a grand abstract sort of way, to me, the challenge now is to do a translation in other more accessible language.
I'm not claiming this is easy, but I am claiming that you, Typist,, can do it. You demonstrate your talent and suitability with every sentence you type.
Typist wrote:I suggest the next step in your presentation might be an effort to make the abstract more specific, more concrete.
If you've understood me so far, you will understand how this request can't be fulfilled, sorry!

Best wishes, Nikolai
Typist
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 am

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

Hello Nikolai in Finland!
Typist wrote:Point being, if our focus is practical rather than merely theoretical, it seems we could use philosophy, reason, evidence etc to shed further light on enlightenment.
Nikolai wrote:Yes, this would be very interesting of course, as a kind of anthropological study and I'm sure it would be possible.
Yes, if a man claimed to be able to bend spoons with his mind, the philosopher would ask him to please bend a few spoons in front of an audience of observers, so we could confirm the claim.

In regards to enlightenment, it seems reasonable for the philosopher to ask, why hasn't such a study been done? Or, if it has been done, why don't we know about it?

If a group of people could demonstrate that their psychological state was no longer dependent upon outside circumstance, it seems that would be quite a compelling story that would be shared widely.

What we seem to have instead is a variety of people making a collection of rather vague claims, few of which have actually been tested by independent credible testing experts.

I am aware of at least one exception. One study tracked the brain waves of many regular people who reported they were experiencing happiness. That is, a base line was established. Then they hooked a Buddhist monk up to their testing devices, and compared his brain waves to the average, and his happiness ratings were through the roof.

Here is a link to the fellow they tested.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthieu_Ricard

The point here is that science has far more credibility with most of the public than any particular religion. Thus, if the enlightened should wish to share their skills with a wider audience, it seems logical that science might be the language they would use. This seems particularly appropriate to those who wish to teach enlightenment through a philosophical form of yoga.

The Buddhists seem open to a cooperative merger of their religion and science, which is great. Most other enlightenment teachers seem to prefer instead grand speeches, personal authority, faith, etc, ie. the more purely religious approach.
Obviously this exercise would be about yogis rather than a yoga itself, but, that said, it could also dispel some of the scepticism that surrounds this stuff.
Such a study would be about the yoga itself, if we could not find any yogis who passed the test. And, the opposite is true, if we did develop evidence of yogis who could pass the test.
Its interesting what talking to you has made me think about this obedience thing. All our arguments are based on some faith or other, there is always some premise which we must assume and cannot doubt.


It might be helpful if you could develop a list of specific examples here.
At least the student at the feet of their guru is no longer in some kind of denial about this - they are bringing into full consciousness what for the average philosopher is still unconscious.
That's an interesting point, agreed. I do agree there is something appealingly honest about such a surrender. And surrender as a general concept seems important.

I would however propose that surrendering to any human being is foolishness, particularly given how many gurus clearly have a screw loose.

Surely we can choose a more qualified authority, such as reality. How about surrendering to a pine cone? This seems a more promising endeavor.
When said I require people to blindly accept the framework, I still mean that. But by being philosophers and by being present on this site there is the de facto acceptance anyway, through their very actions.
As you say, we have accepted philosophy as our method, for the purposes of this forum, and this thread. Our own action confirms this, we agree.

But you seem to want more than that. Maybe, perhaps you can clarify. It seems you may wish we might blindly accept not just the method, but your conclusions too. That is, if I'm seeing this accurately, we seem to be dancing on a boundary between philosophy and religion.

If this is true, I don't object, but as philosophers, it seems we should attempt to be clear about what we're doing.
I can't demonstrate the benefits on this forum, all I can do is recount them - which sounds,, and feels, rather hollow.
Well, I'm not requesting this, nor should you be required to participate, but it is technically possible that all forum members could heap abuse upon any particular member for months.

I agree such a test would not be perfect, due to the limitations of this medium. I also agree it would be better to do such testing in a more controlled environment. It may be pointless to run any test if we can't get wide agreement in advance that a test has credibility.
And I'm saying that we don't (this is the other side of the argument). There is no mental, there is no physical - what you call 'mental' is not a symbol but the thing in itself, and the physical reality is the thing in itself too.
Well, it is of course true that thoughts are physical reality too. But you seem to be making a larger more ambitious point. Are you saying that my holy forest does not exist outside of my mind?
Just to make crystal clear. I'm not saying you are wrong in what you say, I am saying that you are failing to account for the other view on things. This is the same as thinking that a mug is intrinsically right-handed only rather than seeing it from the other perspective (that is is also left-handed).
Yes, this point seems fundamental to your perspective. Would it be consistent with your view to say neither of our perspectives are either right or wrong, and that our entire discussion is based an illusion of division?

As you see it, are both of us are trying to conceptually divide off a section of the whole, and claim that particular section to be superior, when in fact nothing can be superior or inferior, as everything is one?

If I am not stating your view correctly, please clarify. What I'm trying to do is to translate your view in to various different wordings, both to see if I get it, and to make it more accessible.
Exactly! So stop thinking your thoughts aren't it. Stop thinking they get in the way. For that brief moment they are the thing, the real deal - stop thinking that they are symbols that get in the way of something better.
A few things...

First, you are doing a good job of identifying my own religion, which I agree is as faith based as any other. To use simple language, I am a nature worshiper, and worship nature in much the same way others might worship Jesus. Everybody needs something to believe in, and I have made my choice, probably due to the historical circumstances of my life (grew up first next to a farm, and then a block from the beach).

Second, you are doing what I always do, blindly assuming that the reader wishes for their religion to be undermined, simply because they've said so by joining a philosophy forum. This is more me pleading guilty of a long standing pattern of taking people literally, than it is any accusation of you.

I really don't mind your assault upon my nature religion, but you know, if you should get struck by lightening, well, just saying, these things happen. And yes, I'm joking! :-)
Tragically, you've put the sex manual down, you've got the real life Diane Lane naked in bed with you - and suddenly you get the insane notion that she's some kind of imposter!
Anybody in bed with me claiming to be Diane Lane would most certainly be an imposter! But I don't mind, so long as they do a good job of it. And don't even get me started about Diane Lane naked in the holy forest, as that would surely be more than I could handle at my advancing age. Oh dear, now I'm not going to be able to think about anything else the rest of the day. :-) Please visit my new site: philosophical-porn.com
Typist wrote:As example perhaps, why does the pine tree in my front yard not exist, if that is your premise.
Nikolai wrote:It really really does exists, but only as a brief flash of awareness and only in that moment.
Nikolai wrote:This is why this perspective, called idealism, dominated western philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries. After all when you are looking into your fridge, thinking about lunch, how do we know that the tree in the front yard exists in that moment, out of awareness.
Because my neighbor is video taping the tree in the front yard, while I look for Diane Lane in my refrigerator. There's a reason why idealism no longer dominates western culture, it got replaced by common sense. I dunno, this seems a pretty weak argument.

However, it's also true that purely scientific endeavors like quantum mechanics are turning common sense on it's head.
Yes, we can go to the front yard and look for it, but that doesn't prove that it was there when you looked in the fridge. It is perfectly rational to remain sceptical about the existence of everything except what is right here and now in my awareness - whatever it is.
It's only perfectly rational if we can develop some evidence that the pine tree does not exist while my focus is on pictures of Diane Lane.
Typist wrote:If we devote sufficient time to managing thought, we will have no need of the insight.
No but you would have to live alone on a remote mountain devoting your life to meditation.
We need only accept the reality that human beings are imperfect. If we accept being imperfect, if we embrace it and enjoy it, we no longer need to chase perfection.

All becoming agendas, such as the quest to become rich, famous, powerful, enlightened etc etc, are all based on rejection.

Of course this rejection is part of our imperfection, and we can accept and embrace this too. So, I'm not suggesting we must stop climbing the glorious mountain, if that is what we feel compelled to do.

Instead, I'm suggesting that as philosophers, we try to see clearly what we are doing and why.

I propose that we are climbing the glorious mountain, because we are unwilling to embrace and fully enjoy the nice little ordinary meadow at the foot of the mountain, which we already have. If we would first master enjoyment of the little meadow, we would discover we have no need to climb the mountain.

That is, climbing the glorious mountain is an escape from the job of embracing what is, right now. It is a retreat in to the future.
I'm not claiming this is easy, but I am claiming that you, Typist,, can do it.
Ah, even if true, we should first establish why I should do it.
You demonstrate your talent and suitability with every sentence you type.
With every sentence I type, I demonstrate a talent for typing sentences, for, I am the Typist! :-)
zinnat13
Posts: 120
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Location: India

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by zinnat13 »

Hi typist and Nikolai,

Typist,

This time you got me wrong.

Yes, I see you an articulate person but with some kind of experience. I am not able to judge the experience because we never discussed it.

I can conceive perfectly what you mean my athought and aphilosophy. I can feel what you mean by going in the woods by dawn and be there. And, my friend, believe me or not, I can completely visualize what is the your meaning of “be here now”; though it is possible that I may not express it precisely because of my limited knowledge of English language.

Let me clear myself. I may have a difference of opinion with you about the analysis of the notion of “be here now”; but not about the experience and feeling of that. I can live that moment, riding on the text, which is written by you and even not written by you. That feeling is as true for me as you. I think you are quite capable of understand, what I am saying.

As we discussed earlier, that the perfect expression requires all three components; Understanding, thoughts and communication skill. I know from my experience, that only writing skill is not competent enough to deal that issue, which is on the table right now. So, throw this notion out of your mind, that your reflection in my mind is made of words only. In the very way, which both you and Nikolai express yourselves, is entirely impossible without understanding and for this, one must has some sort of experience.

Furthermore, I must tell you that whatever I said or shall say is entirely dependent of my personal experiences and conclusions. All of this was felt and thought by me and in person. It is almost like sequel for me to talk about all this stuff, not the prequel; as I am analyzing and narrating after the experience, what I felt. I am not trying to speculate the event, although there may me some portion of speculation in the analysis of that. I am trying to get that speculative portion of analysis examined by you and Nikolai.

Even anticipating the risk of severe criticism, I would like to propose that philosophy does not live in any such castle, which is made of books only. The castle of philosophy is very much made of bricks and mortar like any other building, but, it will have a big library for sure. We have to feel anything in the first place and then only we would become able to comment on it. Conclusions, comments, cogitations, perceptions, etc may be right or wrong. Hence, they are the matter of discussion and even negotiation also.

Let me put an imaginary situation first to clear myself.

Let us assume that we have invented time machine and during testing, accidentally, a human from past, say about 1000 years ago, is transmitted here. Reaching here, even now in the machine, he sees one of us putting the light on as it was night. In the meantime, machine transmits him back to his time.

Now, let us try to visualize his explanation of light to his world. He will say that a man goes near the wall, a slight sound was heard by me and suddenly a child of SUN GOD appeared at the wall. My goodness, humans have enslaved Gods.

This is exactly what happens when we try to predict phenomenon like ultimate. This is what I mean by prequel and sequel. We have to let the event happen first; first we have to experience, only then we will able to comment on the event in proper way. As we see, in our imaginary situation, that sometimes even experiences are not enough to draw a proper conclusion.

To me, philosophy is just an analysis; hence it could and should be done only after the event, not prior to it; if we want to let it remain honest. Yes, there may be some predictions but, they seem to fit in the logical framework.

All “ifs” and “buts” should be reserved for analysis only, not for the experience. An 8-10 year child neither can conceive the feeling of sex, nor would able to discuss it; no matter how many books he would read about it. This is what, which I would like to call the knowledge. In my opinion, it is as simple as that.

But, when I try to visualize in second person about a person, who learned philosophy in formal way, then I can clearly feel his uneasiness for what I am proposing. Simply because he sees this notion as; all books are useless for philosophy and it is quite a hard pill to digest. But, this is not my true intention. Books have their relevance for sure but up to the extent of examination of one’s cogitations only; as they narrate what others think about the same issue. Philosophy is almost a skill or art. One cannot borrow it from someone else. It has to be earned. And there is only one way of earning it; we have to go through the experience by visualizing it. The visualization should be so intense that it must give the experience of almost going through the real event. Then we have to think hard about it from different angles and draw cogitations. Books come into play now, as they tell us about the cogitations of others, as we can compare our version from others and find out the right one.

Yes, we can be inspired by some ideology. I do not see anything wrong in it but, then one must have the conviction to claim it as his openly.

Although, I have read a lot of religious and different school’s texts, but I find myself uncomfortable expressing in their tone. It is far easier for me to write as I feel and think, even if it looks a bit naïve.

Nikolai,
I can understand when you say that it is not possible to proof what you experience.
But, my friend, this is what we should try, sincerely and honestly. Perhaps, this will be the real YOGA OF THE PHILOSOPHERS.

I am in complete agreement with typist that the burden of proof is on philosophy, not on science. Science has proofed itself and the onus is on philosophy or spirituality to proof that they have any relevance or utility to the real world.

Whether we like it or not, the time of philosophy of science has been gone a long time ago. Philosophy has mitigated its own status too much in comparison to science as it is unable to contribute anything significant to the mankind after Kant. Now, in this world, if philosophy wants to survive on its own feet, then it should create the era of the science of philosophy.

Typist,
You did not answer me clearly that; how would you like to define typist; a thought, mind of something else.
I do not have any issue, If you like to hear from me first.

with love,
sanjay
Typist
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 am

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

Hi again Sanjay,
In the very way, which both you and Nikolai express yourselves, is entirely impossible without understanding and for this, one must has some sort of experience.
Yes, if I understand you correctly, I agree. If readers wish for this thread to make any sense, the most productive thing they can do is not read, but experiment with their own experience. Readers who won't do this will likely become either bored or frustrated.
We have to feel anything in the first place and then only we would become able to comment on it.
Maybe. If I declare that I am serene, that should be easy enough to you to test, whether you have experienced serenity or not.
Now, let us try to visualize his explanation of light to his world. He will say that a man goes near the wall, a slight sound was heard by me and suddenly a child of SUN GOD appeared at the wall. My goodness, humans have enslaved Gods.
Good parable, you have a knack for them.
This is exactly what happens when we try to predict phenomenon like ultimate.
Are you saying we are not qualified to comment on something we might call "enlightenment" until we have experienced it ourselves?
To me, philosophy is just an analysis; hence it could and should be done only after the event, not prior to it; if we want to let it remain honest.
I do see your point, and it does have it's merits. However, you seem to be assuming an event has taken place. As philosophers, I don't believe we should just assume that, but attempt to test the proposal by some method or another.

If you are suggesting we should believe in events we haven't experienced ourselves based on faith, then we have moved from philosophy to religion.
An 8-10 year child neither can conceive the feeling of sex, nor would able to discuss it; no matter how many books he would read about it. This is what, which I would like to call the knowledge. In my opinion, it is as simple as that.
Another good example. To continue with your example, in this case, we have yet to demonstrate that "sex" actually exists.
Although, I have read a lot of religious and different school’s texts, but I find myself uncomfortable expressing in their tone. It is far easier for me to write as I feel and think, even if it looks a bit naïve.
You're doing great, please continue. Please understand, you're doing far better in a second language than most of us are doing in our first language.
Now, in this world, if philosophy wants to survive on its own feet, then it should create the era of the science of philosophy.
I like this, the "science of philosophy", a great phrase. Yes, it is philosophers who are always going about evidence and proof, so let them offer some themselves.
You did not answer me clearly that; how would you like to define typist; a thought, mind of something else.
Ok, fair enough. I would like to define Typist in the normal man in the street way. Typist is a human being, a person, with a wife, thoughts, body parts etc.
Nikolai
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Finland

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Typist in Florida,
Typist wrote:What we seem to have instead is a variety of people making a collection of rather vague claims, few of which have actually been tested by independent credible testing experts.
I think we're developing a problem here. It might be of interest to conduct experiments on those claiming to be enlightened, as psychology or anthropology. Further we could empirically verify certain skills that these saints claim to have - this again would be perfectly legitimate and does in fact go on.

But to actually test for enlightenment would mean that you are equating the state with one of its mere (testable) physical manifestations. This would be quite inappropriate. Enlightenment is a state of being that completely transcends any particular manifestation. You cannot test for enlightenment itself, but you may well test for some of the fruits of it - so long as you don't conflate the two things.

Unfortunately, until a person has tasted enlightenment for themselves it must remain something to believe in. If you don't agree with this then you can't have tasted enlightenment.
Typist wrote:The point here is that science has far more credibility with most of the public than any particular religion.
Well it might but this is irrelevant. Neither the narratives of science nor the narratives of religion can account for the enlightened individual and we should not pretend that science can do it better just because it has more credibility with the people.
Typist wrote:Its interesting what talking to you has made me think about this obedience thing. All our arguments are based on some faith or other, there is always some premise which we must assume and cannot doubt.


It might be helpful if you could develop a list of specific examples here.
For example, pretty much all philosophy assumes the subject/object split - that we are subjects finding out about knowledge 'out there'. I showed in my last posts how this is mere assumption, as that there is another equally plausible view. Perhaps you could think of something you cansider to be true and I'll show you where your assumptions come to play.
Typist wrote:Well, I'm not requesting this, nor should you be required to participate, but it is technically possible that all forum members could heap abuse upon any particular member for months.
And if they snap then they are not enlightened?? Unfortunately an enlightened person might still snap if snapping were required. Hopefully you see the dangers of assuming in advance what you think enlightenment is.
Typist wrote:As you see it, are both of us are trying to conceptually divide off a section of the whole, and claim that particular section to be superior, when in fact nothing can be superior or inferior, as everything is one?
Yes, idealism is one section, your native realism is another. But its only if I show you idealism, and its validity, that you will be able to see that your realism is just a section, only a half-truth. Until this point you were blindly assuming your realism to be the whole and only truth.

For me, Nikolai, this is a very hazardous enterprise because there is the danger that you might take me for an idealist. And because idealism is only a half-truth itself, whose faults you see clearly, you will discount what I am trying to say without discounting your own realism.

Or, you might accept what I say hook, line and sinker and find yourself becoming an idealist and completely abandoning all that was true in your realism. This would be equally disastrous!

I am not anything, realist or idealist, but if people take me for one then they will never understand what I say.
Typist wrote:Second, you are doing what I always do, blindly assuming that the reader wishes for their religion to be undermined, simply because they've said so by joining a philosophy forum.
Don't worry I realise this all too well. But in the end you just say it anyway. If they don't like it that much they'll simply stop talking.
Typist wrote:If we would first master enjoyment of the little meadow, we would discover we have no need to climb the mountain.
And our thoughts are the gorgeous little flowers that bejewel the meadow, yet last only for a moment. They meadow is only lost if we focus too much on the flowers. Lets enjoy all the meadow, every last bit of it, but not attach to any single bit of it.

Best wishes, Nikolai
Last edited by Nikolai on Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nikolai
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Finland

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Sanjay,
zinnat13 wrote:I can understand when you say that it is not possible to proof what you experience.
But, my friend, this is what we should try, sincerely and honestly. Perhaps, this will be the real YOGA OF THE PHILOSOPHERS.
I am trying sincerely and honestly. All this stuff about idealism and realism is very boring and seems very far removed from what I would like to share directly. It actually appears ridiculous to even repeat it. But boring and ridiculous as it is, it is the path that I took, I am repeating the intellectual journey that I took myself. It was the path of a philosopher, and when it ended I stopped being a philosopher.
zinnat13 wrote:I am in complete agreement with typist that the burden of proof is on philosophy, not on science. Science has proofed itself and the onus is on philosophy or spirituality to proof that they have any relevance or utility to the real world.
What I call the path of the philosopher is actually the path of the thinker in general. I am not referring to that artificial subject 'philosophy' that was separated since Kant from religion and science. Science, philosophy and religion are identical disciplines. The one thing that we thinkers could perhaps do is dispel the notion that there is any difference between any of them.

Conceptualisation is conceptualisation, it doesn't matter whether you call it science, philosophy, theology or any blend of these.

You talk about science's utility in the world. I'm not sure what you mean here, but perhaps it has something to do with technology? All I would say is that technology is a practical feature of human society that can be translated into religious, scientific or philosophical language. But I await clarification on what you meant here.
zinnat13 wrote:Philosophy has mitigated its own status too much in comparison to science as it is unable to contribute anything significant to the mankind after Kant.
For philosophy to regain its status it has to go back to how it was for millenia across the world. It has to stop trying to be its own discipline but recognise that philosophy is science, theology and philosophy combined. Thinkers have plenty more to offer mankind, so long as they are able to transcend their own narrow professions.

In fact I am going to start by rebranding this thread The Yoga of the Thinkers!

best wishes, Nikolai
Typist
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 am

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

Hi Nik,
But to actually test for enlightenment would mean that you are equating the state with one of its mere (testable) physical manifestations.

This would be quite inappropriate. Enlightenment is a state of being that completely transcends any particular manifestation. You cannot test for enlightenment itself, but you may well test for some of the fruits of it - so long as you don't conflate the two things.


Hmm... I propose that readers are interested only in the fruits of enlightenment. If enlightenment teachers are unwilling or unable to provide some evidence that such fruits exist, then logically, there's really no reason to engage in communication on the topic.

Further, it's not so much the inability, as it is a clear unwillingness to pursue such evidence that undermines the teaching.
Unfortunately, until a person has tasted enlightenment for themselves it must remain something to believe in.


In other words, we are doing religion here, not philosophy. This is not Yoga Of The Philosophers, but Yoga Of The Believers. You like philosophy, so long as it can be used to advance your presentation. If philosophy starts to become inconvenient to your point of view, then we get the "you couldn't possibly understand, therefore you must have faith" perspective.

I have no objection to religion, but I do object to this lack of clarity being labeled philosophy. If you can set aside the claim to philosophy, and rebrand your ideas as religion, then I withdraw the challenge.
Neither the narratives of science nor the narratives of religion can account for the enlightened individual and we should not pretend that science can do it better just because it has more credibility with the people.
If neither faith nor reason can approach the subject of enlightenment, then the subject of enlightenment is best left alone, as there is no way to productively communicate on the topic.
And if they snap then they are not enlightened?? Unfortunately an enlightened person might still snap if snapping were required. Hopefully you see the dangers of assuming in advance what you think enlightenment is.
Hopefully you will see that you are being so hopelessly vague that I'm now beginning to assume enlightenment is a state of hopeless vagueness.

What I see so far is this. You used to have some story about yourself, and didn't like that story. So you've invented a new story about yourself, as the enlightened person, which is most likely a more glamorous story than the previous story.

Now you are selling the new story to us, in order to build the credibility of the story within yourself.

To engage us in the story, you are vaguely promising us something wonderful, which you decline to submit to any kind of testing, not just as a matter of valid personal privacy, but as a general principle.

So, the question for me, and perhaps other readers becomes...

Should we take you literally regarding your stated desire to do philosophy? Should we do philosophy, and attempt to shake your story?

Or...

Should we respect that all of us need our stories, and that the logical, realistic, mature and friendly thing to do is to allow each other to enjoy our favorite stories in peace?
I am not anything, realist or idealist, but if people take me for one then they will never understand what I say.
Ok, I get this part, and understand your point. You are selling a detachment from any point of view, not the rightness of any particular point of view.

But, I'm not buying it. I think you've just adopted the detachment point of view as the one correct view, which you now place in a superior position to other views. Same process as always, but a different position than before.
And our thoughts are the gorgeous little flowers that bejewel the meadow, yet last only for a moment. They meadow is only lost if we focus too much on the flowers. Lets enjoy all the meadow, every last bit of it, but not attach to any single bit of it.
We aren't supposed to attach to the meadow, the thing we do have right now.

But we are supposed to attach to the mountain top, the thing we don't have, the thing that likely doesn't even exist, the fantasy phantom of the future.

The meadow is real. The meadow is now. I choose the meadow, and leave the mountain top to you.
Nikolai
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Finland

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Typist,

I've got an afternoon slot so a more prompt reply for a change!
I propose that readers are interested only in the fruits of enlightenment. If enlightenment teachers are unwilling or unable to provide some evidence that such fruits exist, then logically, there's really no reason to engage in communication on the topic.
How can the saint show people their sheer divine rapture? People must infer it from their infinite number of ways in which it manifests - the fruits. All I am saying is that none of these fruits, taken alone is THE thing, just a manifestation of it.
Typist wrote:Further, it's not so much the inability, as it is a clear unwillingness to pursue such evidence that undermines the teaching.
My caution is wise. The fact is that all of the fruits of enlightenment, from the joy to the supernatural gifts are displayed from some people or other at some time or other. We have all done things that are truly saintly, and many of us have experienced the rapture if only briefly. But we would be wrong to equate this with the stable and conscious state that is enlightenment. If we do make the equation we would be duped by any spoon-bender around.
Typist wrote:In other words, we are doing religion here, not philosophy. This is not Yoga Of The Philosophers, but Yoga Of The Believers.
I have already addressed this. We are doing both religion and philosophy - and the argument is that they are the same thing. Faith lies behind all our theories. Faith is the common denominator between philosophy and religion.
Typist wrote:If you can set aside the claim to philosophy, and rebrand your ideas as religion, then I withdraw the challenge.
I think the brand 'philosophical yoga' encapsulates both the rational and faith-based dimensions. Examine any intellectual system, from geometry through mathematics, science, religion and philosophy and you will find a single or set of axioms that form the foundation. These are the faith-based foundations upon which rational argument rests. If it is easier, I'll ask you again to provide me with any truth of your choosing and I will show you which are the axioms.
Typist wrote:If neither faith nor reason can approach the subject of enlightenment, then the subject of enlightenment is best left alone, as there is no way to productively communicate on the topic.
Perhaps this was me being unclear. I said neither religion or science can account for enlightenment. By religion I meant the various theological schemes that go under that name, rather than the faith itself. Faith in enlightenment is crucial, not least because it suggests the removal of faith in other things.
Typist wrote:What I see so far is this. You used to have some story about yourself, and didn't like that story. So you've invented a new story about yourself, as the enlightened person, which is most likely a more glamorous story than the previous story.
I do understand how this might seem like the more plausible explanation for who I am, and I am powerless to change your mind. All you can do is read my words and make your own mind up.
Typist wrote:To engage us in the story, you are vaguely promising us something wonderful, which you decline to submit to any kind of testing, not just as a matter of valid personal privacy, but as a general principle.
For me the most conspicuous fruit is the deep inner peace that my philosophical path has produced. I can only talk about it to you, but I think were we to meet in the flesh it is possible that you might sense it.

The most conspicuous fruit I can communicate on a philosophy forum is all the words I have typed. You might say that by making it public I am putting it to the test. But yes, all this philosophy is not the thing that I have gained and is so is only one of the fruits - the one most appropriate to this place.
Typist wrote:Should we take you literally regarding your stated desire to do philosophy? Should we do philosophy, and attempt to shake your story?

Or...

Should we respect that all of us need our stories, and that the logical, realistic, mature and friendly thing to do is to allow each other to enjoy our favorite stories in peace?
Perhaps you shouldn't worry about me, don't concern yourself with what I have or haven't attained - after all its got nothing to do with you. I'm happy to answer questions, but the best thing would be to let me show you your own illusions - for example, as we have with this 'thought is inherently divisive' thing. If you don't want to do that, and if you want to leave me in peace (with my favourite story) - feel free!
Typist wrote:But, I'm not buying it. I think you've just adopted the detachment point of view as the one correct view, which you now place in a superior position to other views. Same process as always, but a different position than before.
Brilliant! You have seen that my philosophical detachment is also attachment!

This is a triumph!

But now you need to see some of your own attachments. That is the work of the philosophers. That is their yoga.

I am not attached to anything. Not this yoga. Not anything.

Is this statement attachment or non-attachment?

Only faith will tell you the answer.

Best wishes, Nikolai
Typist
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 am

Re: The Yoga of the Philosophers

Post by Typist »

Hi again Nik,
How can the saint show people their sheer divine rapture? People must infer it from their infinite number of ways in which it manifests - the fruits. All I am saying is that none of these fruits, taken alone is THE thing, just a manifestation of it.
Let's take an example, say, Martin Luther King. The power of his faith was easy to see, both because his faith was strong, AND he put his faith to test in public every day, in a way that was easy for others to see and understand.

Martin Luther King provided clear, objective and testable evidence of the power of his religion. He didn't retreat in to vagueness, and ask us to take his word on faith. He marched the streets, faced the police dogs, went to jail, and risked his life.

King wished to reach a broader audience, so he provided evidence in a form the broader audience could access. Not rarified abstract theories, but concrete real world examples of his state of mind.

Point being, my suggestion is that if you wish to discuss enlightenment in the context of a philosophy community, you might base your approach on those things that philosophers are interested in, like evidence, testable tangible facts etc.

However, if you wished instead to discuss enlightenment in the context of say, a new age community, the rules of engagement are entirely different. I believe your approach would fit quite well there.
We have all done things that are truly saintly, and many of us have experienced the rapture if only briefly. But we would be wrong to equate this with the stable and conscious state that is enlightenment. If we do make the equation we would be duped by any spoon-bender around.
If a stable state of X is the definition, then the stability of the fruits of that state should be demonstrated. Dodging and weaving just isn't going to cut it.
I have already addressed this. We are doing both religion and philosophy - and the argument is that they are the same thing. Faith lies behind all our theories. Faith is the common denominator between philosophy and religion.
But surely you can see you've come to the wrong place if your goal is to change conclusions by use of faith. I'm not saying faith is wrong, only that it's a poor tool of choice in this particular environment.
Faith in enlightenment is crucial, not least because it suggests the removal of faith in other things.
Ok then, I leave you to the illogical job of trying to sell faith to a forum full of philosophers. I do admire the scope of your ambition. :-)
Perhaps you shouldn't worry about me, don't concern yourself with what I have or haven't attained - after all its got nothing to do with you.
Right, I agree with this. It's not important that your personal business be the evidence, but just evidence of some kind or another.
Brilliant! You have seen that my philosophical detachment is also attachment! This is a triumph!
It is rather, just common sense.
But now you need to see some of your own attachments. That is the work of the philosophers. That is their yoga.
You've yet to make the case for the logic of rejecting who, what and where we already are. You assume the value of a becoming agenda, without first laying the proper foundation.
I am not attached to anything. Not this yoga. Not anything. Is this statement attachment or non-attachment?
I'm not qualified to say, but honestly, my current guess is highly articulate and sophisticated self delusion.

And now, I'm off to spend this holiday in the holy forest with the holy wife! :-) I will return shortly in a state of temporary sanity, and will hopefully have something new and better to contribute then.

Until then, have a good one!
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