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Rapidly changing value-system

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Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 1/26/19 2:25 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 1/26/19 7:10 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 1/26/19 12:32 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 1/26/19 3:04 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Anna L 1/26/19 5:24 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 1/26/19 8:35 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Anna L 1/27/19 1:08 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 1/27/19 6:38 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system ivory 1/26/19 12:49 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 1/27/19 1:51 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system ivory 1/27/19 8:42 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system JP 1/28/19 8:40 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Nick O 1/27/19 4:51 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 1/28/19 7:47 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system J C 1/28/19 9:04 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 1/28/19 9:50 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Anna L 1/29/19 4:20 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Nick O 1/29/19 7:41 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 1/29/19 9:19 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Nick O 1/29/19 5:03 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 1/30/19 5:42 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Nick O 1/30/19 11:47 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 1/30/19 5:21 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 1/30/19 6:25 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 1/30/19 7:50 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system J C 1/29/19 12:52 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system ivory 1/29/19 4:19 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system charon 1/30/19 3:00 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Anna L 1/30/19 3:11 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Nick O 1/30/19 8:13 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/30/19 5:59 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 2/2/19 10:20 PM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 2/3/19 5:44 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 2/5/19 5:01 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system shargrol 2/5/19 5:36 AM
RE: Rapidly changing value-system Chris André 2/5/19 7:10 AM
Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/26/19 2:25 AM
Anyone else experiencing this?

It is pretty strange, but my mind feels like a computer that is changing operating system several times a week. I get into these obsessions, lately it has been chess, snowboarding and guitar. And with any of these pursuits I totally take on the identity of an aspiring chess-player, or someone really aspiring to take the sport of snowboarding far (even though it was 5 years since last time I did it and now I'm 35 years old). And even though I continue to meditate through most of these kicks, it is like I loose sight of what the Dharma actually is to me. And then at some point I "wake up" again and realize what a trip I have gone on, and I re-establish the Dharma and prescence/mindfulness as my nr. 1 priority.

It probably is pretty normal, hadn't it been for the fact that I've been meditating for 16-17 years pretty intensly, and when I have a groove going with my meditation I feel like a Zen Master walking around radiating presence from every pore of my being, but then I loose the groove and suddenly I'm on some intense mental day-dreaming snowboard kick (which also leads to me pursuing this thing in real life and temporarily trying to build a life around this activity) or some other kick.

It is like my identity can take so many sudden and rapid shifts where I'm just totally immersed in whatever kind of identity I take on at that particular time, until finally I realize, yet again, that I need to re-establish the cultivation of presence as my nr. 1.

Even though I'm not a traditional buddhist, if I should phrase this in a buddhist way, perhaps it is only a matter of making sure that my refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha really is commited and not half-heartedly and easily swayed by other random impulses. Still it is so strange that this phenomena still is so strong.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/26/19 7:10 AM as a reply to Chris André.
From a practical/practice point of view, this is where the teachings on rebirth are very interesting. It does seem like we can have many rebirths throughout the day when we buy into one particular desire/quest/context after another after another...

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/26/19 12:32 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Yes!

Totally what happens. I'm "reborn," again and again, in many different worlds.

I don't think it should be any problems having hobbies next to the enlightenment-project, but it is that intense identity-building process around these hobbies that is the problem.

A friend of mine told me it is like I make a religion out of everything I do. Lots of temporary religions.

What I feel is lacking is a continous connection to my deepest purpose - which is the enlightenment-project - so that every moment can be a training aimed in this direction, even when I'm doing "mundane stuff."

I think there is a lot of attachment here as well. When I experience something cool I want to freeze it in time as an identity or a world that I want to permanently inhabit, but of course the nature of reality is not like that...

So constantly I keep on searching for such a permanent world to inhabit, while my deepest core value (that I often loose touch with) is to see the three characteristics of any world.

I also think the fact that I get quite some energy and inspiration out of my meditation practice often gives fuel to these worlds. If you think about The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, where Energy is one of them, it is like this energy that my practice generates is often hijacked by this world-generating process, instead of re-invested into the practice as a cause for seeing through the illusion of these worlds.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/26/19 12:49 PM as a reply to Chris André.
You may want to check out spiral dynamics. It explains how our values change as we progress through life and what those values actuallly are. What you described are consistent with the stage orange value system. Check out the "essence" section to get a feel for the stages.

http://spiraldynamicsintegral.nl/en/orange/
http://spiraldynamicsintegral.nl/en/green/
http://spiraldynamicsintegral.nl/en/yellow/
http://spiraldynamicsintegral.nl/en/turquoise/

The colors go from beige, to purple, to red, to blue, to orange, to green, to yellow, to turquoise.

Ken Wilbur's integral theory is based on spiral dynamics.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/26/19 3:04 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Chris André:
Yes!

Totally what happens. I'm "reborn," again and again, in many different worlds.

I don't think it should be any problems having hobbies next to the enlightenment-project, but it is that intense identity-building process around these hobbies that is the problem.


Ugh, I'm very familiar with that dynamic! emoticon

I got a lot of mileage out of using the 6 realms teaching to help me see what was really driving the identity-buiilding process. I suspect you would like it. It's well described in Ken McLeods "Wake up to your life" and there is good stuff scattered on his website: http://unfetteredmind.org/?s=six+realms

Six realms is one of my most favorite teachings.  [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra_(Buddhism)#Realms_of_rebirth]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra_(Buddhism)#Realms_of_rebirth

Basically we get reborn in Hell Realm to "oppose", Hungry Ghost Realm to "Take", Animal Realm to "survive", Human Realm to "enjoy", Titan Realm to "achieve", and God Realm to "maintain". I suspect you might have a lot of "Titan" tendency (or maybe I'm just projecting! emoticon)

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/26/19 5:24 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Chris André:
Yes!

Totally what happens. I'm "reborn," again and again, in many different worlds.

I don't think it should be any problems having hobbies next to the enlightenment-project, but it is that intense identity-building process around these hobbies that is the problem.


Ugh, I'm very familiar with that dynamic! emoticon

I got a lot of mileage out of using the 6 realms teaching to help me see what was really driving the identity-buiilding process. I suspect you would like it. It's well described in Ken McLeods "Wake up to your life" and there is good stuff scattered on his website: http://unfetteredmind.org/?s=six+realms

Six realms is one of my most favorite teachings.  [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra_(Buddhism)#Realms_of_rebirth]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra_(Buddhism)#Realms_of_rebirth

Basically we get reborn in Hell Realm to "oppose", Hungry Ghost Realm to "Take", Animal Realm to "survive", Human Realm to "enjoy", Titan Realm to "achieve", and God Realm to "maintain". I suspect you might have a lot of "Titan" tendency (or maybe I'm just projecting! emoticon)

Interesting timing as I am also currently using 6 realms model as a useful way to monitor and maintain awareness of state fluctuations across the day/week! Thanks for sharing the link. 

And Chris, yes, I also relate. I tend to think of it as becoming "embedded" in a state. I used to only notice when it was unpleasant (e.g. in a rumination spiral), but now I am aware of doing this in pleasant states too (e.g. flow). A teacher recently mentioned the 6 realms as a useful model for observing this and for bringing myself back to the "human state" - where I can best practice meditation. I find it really helpful! 

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/26/19 8:35 PM as a reply to Anna L.
FWIW, a while ago I put some very very high-level notes on different 6 realms teachings here (Trungpa, McLeod, AroTer)

http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/shargrol/253

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/27/19 1:08 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thank you! That's awesome. Your presentation of the Folk/Ingram model is very clear and helpful - it's nice to see it laid out that way. 

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/27/19 6:38 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Thank you! That's awesome. Your presentation of the Folk/Ingram model is very clear and helpful - it's nice to see it laid out that way. 

Those summaries of the nanas come from Daniel's "handouts" at the bottom of this page:

http://integrateddaniel.info/book/

There's a lot of good, condensed info -- definitely worth checking out!

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/27/19 1:51 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Thank you, all! :-) This is really great help!

Yes, I totally get "embedded" in flow-states. I guess that one is trickier than unpleansant states because it is more desirable to be in flow-states, but when I have milked the flow-state for all that is was worth there usually comes as backlash where my obsession turns into disgust, so the dynamic as a whole is pretty unpleasant.

I've been having a kick on Leo Gura's teachings lately, and I have noticed that he is very into Spiral Dynamics, so I will check out what that is about.

And I will totally start to apply the teachings on the 6 realms!

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/27/19 4:51 PM as a reply to Chris André.
I've noticed at certain points on the path that I can easily slip into obsessions that turn out to be unhealthy. Most recently it was politics. I found myself spending hours upon hours trudging through articles, videos and podcasts until it became apparent that I was getting nowhere, helping no one and causing myself suffering the process. Lots of opinions and negativity with virtually no answers. Still recovering and making my way out of that rabbit hole... The obsessions you mention seem much more wholesome emoticon 

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/27/19 8:42 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Chris André:
I've been having a kick on Leo Gura's teachings lately, and I have noticed that he is very into Spiral Dynamics, so I will check out what that is about.
Cool. I started listening to his stuff just recently. Some of it is very cool. I'm not sure I trust him 100% but there is definitely some value there.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/28/19 8:40 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Sometimes I find it helpful to keep in mind that these little identity-building projects may spring up from an attempt to protect ourselves from experiencing something more difficult.  For example, a few months back I got really into educating myself about fashion and rebuilding my wardrobe.  Some aspects of it were genuinely interesting and helpful, but there was also an attempt to make it into "the thing" that would mean I wouldn't have to genuinely experience shame.  So I try to keep in mind that there's usually a reason that these projects are kicking off, and I try to notice what events seem to trigger getting back into the project, like feeling embarassed and then immediately but "unrelatedly" going to shop for clothes.  I've also found that envying someone else's life can be a powerful trigger for getting underway with copying one of their activities.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/28/19 7:47 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Hmmm....... Really great comments from everybody in this thread. It makes me think some more about what is up with my life these days.

Seems like underneath these obsessions there is just still a lot of Dark Night. Like I just lash out in all kinds of directions in order to try to get away from this existential pain.

I feel that my life in a sense is utterly without direction. Well, I accidentally ended up in a job that I happend to like, but still there is no clear path for me in anything related to living a life in this physical form.

Are everybody like this? Most people just happen to solidfy some kind of functional identity around something that they can attach themselves to and settle down with that for as long as this impermanent world will allow them to?

But if they should happen to cross the A&P they will end up shattered and in pieces?

Seems like the only clear path I have is being a yogi, and everything else just happens pretty much by accident.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/28/19 9:04 PM as a reply to Chris André.
A couple things stand out to me.

First, you introduced this post by saying "rapidly changing value system," but it doesn't appear to me that your actual values have changed, just your interests. In fact, it seems remarkably consistent the way you build an identity around your interests.

So it might be worth looking at your actual values. Interests are just one way of getting to values - for instance, if you value development of physical skill, there are many approaches there and many different methods to develop many different physical skills.

And second, this kind of identity stuff is a big part of the path. It's worth looking at what exactly is going on when you take these interests and build an identity out of them. What comes up when you try to detach your identity from your interests (in other words, when you examine the Characteristic of no-self as it applies to thoughts and mental constructions around these interests)?

Or what if you tried on the identity of being a person with many and variable interests?

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/28/19 9:50 PM as a reply to J C.
Hmmm, I think you're right. My value-system is consistent. And also I've been fascinated with these interests, and dabbled in them, for as long as I can remember, so my interests are also consistent. What is the problem then? Getting obsessed I think. And the underlying Dark Night stuff that I think I try to escape by going into these obsessions.

Some kind of self-judgement for being spread out on so many various things is also part of the problem. I could have just been a "happy dabbler" in many different things, and then at the end of the day go home and do my meditation, but I'm not a "happy dabbler," there is some kind of stress around this whole thing that I don't quite understand.

What do I have to face when I'm not in a groove with any of these obsessions? Boredom, dark night stuff, the frightening nakedness of bare existence, and sometimes a few short-lived blessed moments of peaceful equanimity in various forms, feelings of loving-kindness, and some jhanic stuff.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/29/19 4:20 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Chris André:
Hmmm, I think you're right. My value-system is consistent. And also I've been fascinated with these interests, and dabbled in them, for as long as I can remember, so my interests are also consistent. What is the problem then? Getting obsessed I think. And the underlying Dark Night stuff that I think I try to escape by going into these obsessions.

Some kind of self-judgement for being spread out on so many various things is also part of the problem. I could have just been a "happy dabbler" in many different things, and then at the end of the day go home and do my meditation, but I'm not a "happy dabbler," there is some kind of stress around this whole thing that I don't quite understand.

What do I have to face when I'm not in a groove with any of these obsessions? Boredom, dark night stuff, the frightening nakedness of bare existence, and sometimes a few short-lived blessed moments of peaceful equanimity in various forms, feelings of loving-kindness, and some jhanic stuff.
Nice insights. I am enjoying this thread emoticon 

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/29/19 7:41 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Chris André:

Some kind of self-judgement for being spread out on so many various things is also part of the problem. I could have just been a "happy dabbler" in many different things, and then at the end of the day go home and do my meditation, but I'm not a "happy dabbler," there is some kind of stress around this whole thing that I don't quite understand.
I can relate on the self-judgement. Whenever I get "off track", the core problem seems to stem from some self-disatisfaction or even self-loathing. Getting sucked into politics seems to be a reaction to feeling intellectually inferior* to others, possibly due to having close friends deep in academia when I was young. At the time, after a childhood of bullying and alienation, I couldn't help but view academic institutions as oppressive. As a result, I didn't get far in college. emoticon

EDIT: Changed intellectually inadequate to inferior. An insight just clicked. I'm facing a deep-seated inferiority complex. Explains quite a bit. I feel so grateful for this place to jot stuff out and make discoveries such as this.   

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/29/19 9:19 AM as a reply to Nick O.
FWIW, Inferiority is classic titan rebirth. The sense of repressed inferiority and overt ambition. 

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/29/19 12:52 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Chris André:
Hmmm, I think you're right. My value-system is consistent. And also I've been fascinated with these interests, and dabbled in them, for as long as I can remember, so my interests are also consistent. What is the problem then? Getting obsessed I think. And the underlying Dark Night stuff that I think I try to escape by going into these obsessions.

Some kind of self-judgement for being spread out on so many various things is also part of the problem. I could have just been a "happy dabbler" in many different things, and then at the end of the day go home and do my meditation, but I'm not a "happy dabbler," there is some kind of stress around this whole thing that I don't quite understand.

I went through something similar - for me it was the stress of identity questions. The question "who am I?" seems really key here.

Identity is definitely something worth looking closely at.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/29/19 4:19 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Chris André:
What is the problem then? Getting obsessed I think.

there is some kind of stress around this whole thing that I don't quite understand.

What do I have to face when I'm not in a groove with any of these obsessions?
Wow man, sounds exactly like what I'm going through. I tend to obsess over hobbies. It used to be jiu-jitsu, then surfing, and now it's making music. I think I feel that I'd be inadequate and that life would be meaningless if I didn't master something. For now, I'm keeping an eye on it. I'm still going to invest my free time playing around with music, but I'm going to try to be present with whatever emotions that arise when I start to obsess or feel stressed. I also plan on spending more time with friends to just focus on love and simple pleasures.

Drawing from spiral dynamics, orange is about accomplishment (obsession), green is often about social justice (another type of obsession), and yellow is about being radically open minded and flexible. Each stage includes the previous but only the healthy aspects of it. So yellow would be very capable (healthy orange), would value community and equality (healthy green), but would also be more flexible and less inclined to make an identity out of either.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/29/19 5:03 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
FWIW, Inferiority is classic titan rebirth. The sense of repressed inferiority and overt ambition. 

Thanks Shargrol. Do you mind elaborating?

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/30/19 3:00 AM as a reply to Chris André.

As another person who has found this thread very timely practise-wise (this has been an ongoing 'bump' over the years) and who can indentify with most of the comments, I'd like to add some more thoughts. 

While I’m certain some of the intensity that gets created around these hobbies/interests comes from insecurities and deep identity forming processes, they can also come from a place of deep love and intuitive creation (different from the former drives, but still somehow interlinked or acting as fertile seeds for desire to latch onto and grow).
 
As humans with limited time, should we also not be investing in those things that bring us joy and happiness, develop skills and ways of ‘being’? Perhaps the trick is to use wisdom to see which hobbies and interests come from more positive motivations, and then develop in a manner that isn’t harmful to us or those around us?
 
The politics comment was also interesting as I have found myself similarly getting involved and then retreating for the same reasons. But, there seems to be an inherent contradiction with how meditation is often touted to be a hope for the future, but how many people tend to prefer ‘retreating’ from the difficulties engaged social interaction create; meditation may well be the best hope for people to ‘see’ the fears and BS motivations that both drive individuals and societies, but surely there needs to be an aspect to time dedicated to critical thinking, examination of the politics and ideologies we happen to find ourselves inescapably a part of.
 
Just because some of our drives come from stories/identity building processes/places of suffering or conducive to suffering, does that mean they are not helpful/useful?
 
Thanks again for everyone’s comments, even if the above doesn’t make sense, it’s actually helped me by trying to articulate some of the thoughts this topic brings up.          

 


RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/30/19 3:11 AM as a reply to charon.


You write:

charon
 
“The politics comment was also interesting as I have found myself similarly getting involved and then retreating for the same reasons. But, there seems to be an inherent contradiction with how meditation is often touted to be a hope for the future, but how many people tend to prefer ‘retreating’ from the difficulties engaged social interaction create; meditation may well be the best hope for people to ‘see’ the fears and BS motivations that both drive individuals and societies, but surely there needs to be an aspect to time dedicated to critical thinking, examination of the politics and ideologies we happen to find ourselves inescapably a part of.”

Yes, after observing some people who have gotten seriously into practice I find this tendency to “retreat” to be accurate. With others there is a period of retreat, followed by a “re-entry” into society and an engagement/activism regarding social/environmental issues. 

It will be interesting to observe how it plays out with the current generation of meditators!

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/30/19 5:42 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
shargrol:
FWIW, Inferiority is classic titan rebirth. The sense of repressed inferiority and overt ambition. 

Thanks Shargrol. Do you mind elaborating?


Oh, just that in the 6 realms teaching when we are driven by a sense of inferiority and ambition, we get reborn into the titan realm.

Sorry about going on about 6 realms, but it's such an elegant framework that helps simplify all of the variety of ways we develop a particular sense of self and then reinforce that sense of self through patterned reactions. 

The practice itself is all about imagining that you are being reborn into each of the realms and imagining how the body would feel and how we react. So in the hell realm we imagine being filled with rage/anger (hot hell) and violently striking out at anything that makes us angry, only to have those reactions cause us more harm. The classic example is imagining being born into a field of sharp thorns, hating all the thorns that poke into our body, and then running through the field and striking out at the thorns --- this pattern of anger, rage, and violence just causes the poor hell being to feel more pain. It's important in this practice to really imagine what it would be like to be such a creature. But here's the trick: because we've imagined/visualized/felt all of this pattern, we now know how it feels in our body -- this is the key trick! -- and so the next time we feel anger building up within us, our mind remembers "oh that was what that hell realm felt like, I better not wildly lash out at things". One last thing that is done is you imagine you are the budha visiting the hell realm. The buddha teaches hell beings by
emphasizing the cooling effect of patience and forgiveness. Buddha is depicted carrying a cooling vial of water and a mirror, showing the need to recognize unwanted emotions. But you don't do this part of the practice until you really connect with the untempered feelings of hate and rage and violence of hell --- because that's what needs to be seen clearly.

For the titan realm it is even more interesting. Asuras (Titans) are powerful and jealous gods. They are strong, smart, sneaky, charismatic... but they are driven by a sense of inferiority compared to the Devas (or the higher god realm). Devas are the movie stars and billionares and celebrities, everything is wonderful and perfect. Titans are many times more powerful than humans and could become enlightened faster than any human... but they jealous of the Gods and keep wanting to become "more". They want to learn esoteric subjects, develop elite skills, learn sophisticated ways of doing things... always striving. And that sense of inferiority and striving is what ALWAYS pushes a titan beyond their limits. They will always keep striving until what they are doing fails. They will build thier business too fast (trying to become a Deva billionaire) and the business will collapse. They will try to wage war but will over-extend their army and be destroyed. They will try to develop incredible physical strength but will try to lift too much and cripple their body, They will try to learn the most esoteric dharma and fry their body and brain. emoticon So the practice is to imagine this happening over countless lifetimes. A little tickle of inferiority, a sense of power, an act of ambition, a sense of going to far, and then having everything collapse. Again and again and again for an eternity. Once again, this allows us to connect with the body feeling of inferiority and blind ambition, and so when these little tickles of a urge show up in our experience a little warning bell goes off: look out! We're heading for a Titan rebirth.  In the end, we complete the practice by imaing ourselves being a buddha to the TItans. A buddha teaches titans/asuras by emphasizing moral restraint and discipline. Buddha is depicted as a sword carrying warrior (which the titans can understand and respect).

One of these days, I need to write up all my notes... but frankly, searching out the 6 realms teaching is enough, there is a lot of good stuff that can be found by googling. It's a great practice which develops a very sensitive awareness for all the ways we get trapped in samsara. And this is all the stuff that needs to be clearly seen to awaken.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/30/19 5:59 AM as a reply to charon.
charon:

The politics comment was also interesting as I have found myself similarly getting involved and then retreating for the same reasons. But, there seems to be an inherent contradiction with how meditation is often touted to be a hope for the future, but how many people tend to prefer ‘retreating’ from the difficulties engaged social interaction create; meditation may well be the best hope for people to ‘see’ the fears and BS motivations that both drive individuals and societies, but surely there needs to be an aspect to time dedicated to critical thinking, examination of the politics and ideologies we happen to find ourselves inescapably a part of.
 
Just because some of our drives come from stories/identity building processes/places of suffering or conducive to suffering, does that mean they are not helpful/useful?

If you all forgive me for getting involved in this discussion as someone who has not yet reached stream entry, I would just like to express my appreciation for this reflection. I think it is really important, and maybe that’s where morality training comes in. If we truly wish to make the world a better place, we (or you who are awakened) can’t all retreat from dealing with political issues and the suffering that is going on in the world due to oppression and selfishness. I think that the bases for identity processes in many cases are useful, even if the identification itself causes suffering, because they are positions based on a diverse range of human experiences. Diversity is a good thing. It gives a richness of perspectives. Conflicts often arise due to lack of perspectives, I think.

Maybe that is what the rapidly changing personal investments are about, at least partly? Adding of more perspectives?

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
1/30/19 11:47 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
For the titan realm it is even more interesting. Asuras (Titans) are powerful and jealous gods. They are strong, smart, sneaky, charismatic... but they are driven by a sense of inferiority compared to the Devas (or the higher god realm). Devas are the movie stars and billionares and celebrities, everything is wonderful and perfect. Titans are many times more powerful than humans and could become enlightened faster than any human... but they jealous of the Gods and keep wanting to become "more". They want to learn esoteric subjects, develop elite skills, learn sophisticated ways of doing things... always striving. And that sense of inferiority and striving is what ALWAYS pushes a titan beyond their limits. They will always keep striving until what they are doing fails. They will build thier business too fast (trying to become a Deva billionaire) and the business will collapse. They will try to wage war but will over-extend their army and be destroyed. They will try to develop incredible physical strength but will try to lift too much and cripple their body, They will try to learn the most esoteric dharma and fry their body and brain. emoticon So the practice is to imagine this happening over countless lifetimes. A little tickle of inferiority, a sense of power, an act of ambition, a sense of going to far, and then having everything collapse. Again and again and again for an eternity. Once again, this allows us to connect with the body feeling of inferiority and blind ambition, and so when these little tickles of a urge show up in our experience a little warning bell goes off: look out! We're heading for a Titan rebirth.  In the end, we complete the practice by imaing ourselves being a buddha to the TItans. A buddha teaches titans/asuras by emphasizing moral restraint and discipline. Buddha is depicted as a sword carrying warrior (which the titans can understand and respect).




Thanks for spelling this out. The web search for "titan rebirth" only retreived the DC comic series emoticon...

I can relate much of my feelings and actions to this titan archetype. Very helpful. Thank you. 

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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1/30/19 5:21 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:

For the titan realm it is even more interesting. Asuras (Titans) are powerful and jealous gods. They are strong, smart, sneaky, charismatic... but they are driven by a sense of inferiority compared to the Devas (or the higher god realm). Devas are the movie stars and billionares and celebrities, everything is wonderful and perfect. Titans are many times more powerful than humans and could become enlightened faster than any human... but they jealous of the Gods and keep wanting to become "more". They want to learn esoteric subjects, develop elite skills, learn sophisticated ways of doing things... always striving. And that sense of inferiority and striving is what ALWAYS pushes a titan beyond their limits. They will always keep striving until what they are doing fails. They will build thier business too fast (trying to become a Deva billionaire) and the business will collapse. They will try to wage war but will over-extend their army and be destroyed. They will try to develop incredible physical strength but will try to lift too much and cripple their body, They will try to learn the most esoteric dharma and fry their body and brain. emoticon So the practice is to imagine this happening over countless lifetimes. A little tickle of inferiority, a sense of power, an act of ambition, a sense of going to far, and then having everything collapse. Again and again and again for an eternity. Once again, this allows us to connect with the body feeling of inferiority and blind ambition, and so when these little tickles of a urge show up in our experience a little warning bell goes off: look out! We're heading for a Titan rebirth.  In the end, we complete the practice by imaing ourselves being a buddha to the TItans. A buddha teaches titans/asuras by emphasizing moral restraint and discipline. Buddha is depicted as a sword carrying warrior (which the titans can understand and respect).

Hahhhaha..... That totally sounds like me ;-D

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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1/30/19 6:25 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Yeah, I've done some time being reborn as a titan, that's why I can describe it so well! emoticon

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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1/30/19 7:50 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Yeah, I've done some time being reborn as a titan, that's why I can describe it so well! emoticon

Most fun framework I've heard so far in understanding these psychological "rebirths."

Just ordered Ken McLeod's book and Trancending Madness by Trungpa.

I'm an absurd character, suddenly having art exhibitons, or a stand-up show making 150 laugh, or some other temporarily social/creative "super powers" manifesting un-expectedly, but then I get sucked into some absurd drama and retreat back into my yogi cave to heal and scheme for my next attempt to take over town ;-D

Got to get these cycles more in balance :-)

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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1/30/19 8:13 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:


You write:

charon
 
“The politics comment was also interesting as I have found myself similarly getting involved and then retreating for the same reasons. But, there seems to be an inherent contradiction with how meditation is often touted to be a hope for the future, but how many people tend to prefer ‘retreating’ from the difficulties engaged social interaction create; meditation may well be the best hope for people to ‘see’ the fears and BS motivations that both drive individuals and societies, but surely there needs to be an aspect to time dedicated to critical thinking, examination of the politics and ideologies we happen to find ourselves inescapably a part of.”

Yes, after observing some people who have gotten seriously into practice I find this tendency to “retreat” to be accurate. With others there is a period of retreat, followed by a “re-entry” into society and an engagement/activism regarding social/environmental issues. 

It will be interesting to observe how it plays out with the current generation of meditators!

I hesitate to digress further into politics (there are plenty forums for that!) but I feel it's best to continuously ask ourselves if our politcal ideas, opinions and actions are helpful rather than virtuous. Here in the U.S., we see a whole lot of people making a whole lot of noise and fighting for moral high ground that's leading to belligerent finger pointing, call-out culture and tribalism. The culture war has escalated to the point where everyone is shouting and no one can hear. My recent dabble in politics lead me to see these same problems manifesting in myself which lead me to retreat. Until I can find a point of disciplined "re-entry" strictly through selfless compassion, I only see myself fanning the flames. In the meantime, I see myself doing more good for the world by starting slow, practicing dilligently, loving myself and those around me.      

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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2/2/19 10:20 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Again, I just want to say I very much appreciate all the different perspectives I've been getting on this thing in this thread. I've been building up momentum in my meditation-practice again, and today some of jhanas, especially the 4th one, was available again, and when my mind is centered like that none of these problems seems like any issue, so whenever I get sucked into stuff like this it is clearly a problem of wallowing around in lots of different mind-made scenarios. I still believe I have 2nd path, and after the initial honeymoon that came with stream-entry there has been so much wallowing around in dark night stuff  (except for a few brief glimpses of clearity) that I forget how beneficial it is to bring my mind into a state of concentration. I think that if I could get some jhana mastery going that that would take my pratice to a new level - like getting the inner structure of my being more into completeness. This whole thing feels like trimming down a bush in the garden so that it looks nice and healthy, and when I neglect it for too long lots of wild and crazy branches starts to grow in all kinds of directions.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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2/3/19 5:44 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Just to give some encouraging words: your original post is a very advanced thing to notice. The transition from initial mindfulness to advanced understanding of emptiness is the goal in the middle paths. In first/second path, it is all about noticing how individual sensations, urges, emotions, and thoughts are not self and come and go. But the middle and later stage of the path is all about seeing how conceptual frameworks (views) are not self (empty) of a permanent truth, that they arise as hypotheses and come and go. 

Making progress requires samadhi/relaxation/concentration, of course, but it also involves these kinds of insights into the mind. And these insights into the mind tend to come when we are at ease, relaxed, and centered. Notice how both reinforce each other.

Best wishes for your practice. Consistent daily practice will keep the garden bush nice and healthy! emoticon

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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2/5/19 5:01 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Just to give some encouraging words: your original post is a very advanced thing to notice. The transition from initial mindfulness to advanced understanding of emptiness is the goal in the middle paths. In first/second path, it is all about noticing how individual sensations, urges, emotions, and thoughts are not self and come and go. But the middle and later stage of the path is all about seeing how conceptual frameworks (views) are not self (empty) of a permanent truth, that they arise as hypotheses and come and go. 

Making progress requires samadhi/relaxation/concentration, of course, but it also involves these kinds of insights into the mind. And these insights into the mind tend to come when we are at ease, relaxed, and centered. Notice how both reinforce each other.

Best wishes for your practice. Consistent daily practice will keep the garden bush nice and healthy! emoticon



Thank you!!! :-)

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
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2/5/19 5:36 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Here's an interesting post I stumbled on this AM, six realms and "how _not_ to meditate"

http://unfetteredmind.org/six-ways-not-to-approach-meditation/

I post this just as another idea how the basic framework of 6 realms can really help tease apart how our stuck views/identities tend to be hidden in plain sight.

RE: Rapidly changing value-system
Answer
2/5/19 7:10 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Here's an interesting post I stumbled on this AM, six realms and "how _not_ to meditate"

http://unfetteredmind.org/six-ways-not-to-approach-meditation/

I post this just as another idea how the basic framework of 6 realms can really help tease apart how our stuck views/identities tend to be hidden in plain sight.


Great stuff! I like these 6 realms teachings more and more. That book you recommended arrived yesterday as well :-)