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Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?

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In buddha's day there was a cosmology in which everyone had their place. In a way his enlightenment, by showing there to be no personal self that takes part in the round of death and rebirth, negated that cosmological story.

Most people locate their own lives within a greater narrative story.

People who have awakened often say that the internal dialogue which maintains their biography has quietened down.

Does enightenment amount to a loss of personal story, and loss of anything in particular that a cosmology can apply to ?

Is enlightenment all about not being confined by words, in the end ?

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/25/19 4:50 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
That’s another interesting question from you. I believe it is related, but I’m not sure if it’s all about that. Also, there are people who are unable to tell stories about themselves who are as far as I understand not enlightened, and some of them suffer very tangibly.

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/25/19 5:57 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Who do you mean who would not be able to tell stories about themselves ?

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/25/19 6:02 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
People who have severe brain damage and therefore have lost their language, for instance. But of course I don’t know for sure whether they are enlightened or not.

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/25/19 6:13 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Hey Stickman2 , existence in the world implies a personal story. No matter how enlightened you get, you are located in a time and place, with relationships and history, a social context, needs (such as the four requisites), and desires (such as to help others, or act skilfully).

But pehaps you are describing parinibbana, when all that residual karma and sensory input ceases at death.  After that, I guess you don't have a personal story.  Although your loved one keep some kind of story of you going.

{edit} As for the myth component - that is at last seen for what it is, but remains part of your history.

:-) 

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/25/19 6:51 PM as a reply to curious.
I would say that there is not one personal story, but a number of different storylines that are dynamic and reconstructed and adapted in social interaction.

Sometimes we are trapped in certain stories. That’s what therapy is for.

Sometimes a story is negotiated and transformed into something we are not comfortable with.

Sometimes stories that we used to share with others are forgotten because the others are no longer around, and in new contexts these stories are no longer relevant or meaningful.

Sometimes due to some kind of brain damage we may have difficulties organizing a story and/or may have lost access to facts that make up the structure of it. Usually the emotional aspects and the main principles remain intact* even if facts are mixed up.

EDIT: These are all myths, of course, and seeing them as such reduces suffering. Still, yes, they remain part of one’s personal history and I think there is value in a person’s unique position because of the perspective it enables.

*) or rather, as intact as any memory is, that is, not at all. Memories are in constant flux for all of us.

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/25/19 6:52 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
In buddha's day there was a cosmology in which everyone had their place. In a way his enlightenment, by showing there to be no personal self that takes part in the round of death and rebirth, negated that cosmological story.

Most people locate their own lives within a greater narrative story.

People who have awakened often say that the internal dialogue which maintains their biography has quietened down.

Does enightenment amount to a loss of personal story, and loss of anything in particular that a cosmology can apply to ?

Is enlightenment all about not being confined by words, in the end ?


aloha sm2,

   Perhaps enlightenment amounts to a "loss" of personal history, by way of seeing it as entirely imaginary. Empty of any real meaning. Like the "personality" of a creature which has no personality, no self-nature. Zen refers us to the furry turtle and the horned hare.

   Perhaps even if one is only a little enlightened one can begin to perceive this. Perhaps if one is greatly enlightened there is no perceptor left to perceive its own imperceptibility.

   What is intrinsically empty doesn't need to be emptied out. No loss at all.

terry




from "complete poison blossoms from a thicket of thorn; the zen records of hakuin" by hakuin zenji:



"Shariputra, all things are empty appearances."

It's like he is rubbing his eyes to make himself see flowers in the air. If all things don't exist to begin with, what do we want with "empty appearances"? He is defecating and peeing all over a spotlessly clean yard.

   Earth and all its hills and streams are mere palaces of air,
   Heaven and earth are bogey bazaars atop the ocean waves.
   Pure lands and impure lands are like brushes of turtle fur,
   Nirvana and samsara, riding crops of hare horn.
 

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/26/19 7:23 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
People who have severe brain damage and therefore have lost their language, for instance. But of course I don’t know for sure whether they are enlightened or not.

Sometimes a severe stress or injury on the brain brings insight. Jill Bolte-Taylor's (she's on youtube) stroke shoved her through the A&P at least, and in her book used language that I was thinking of to describe my own (A&P) experience almost spot on.

Maybe in the annals of psychiatry there may be people who have lost language faculty and found freedom. At least, I wouldn't bet against it.

So maybe those who say that meditation is a return to (or more properly a reconnection with) an infantile state, before language develops a sense of self, have a point.

RE: Is enlightenment synonymous with loss of personal myth ?
Answer
3/26/19 9:31 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
I believe that injuries like that can bring great insight. One of my partners has brain damage and he is one of the wisest persons I have met. In my research I have also met people with dementia diseases that are on the top of my list as well. I just don’t think the injury per se is enough. It takes a lot of work.