Message Boards Message Boards

Motivation and Results

Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening

Toggle
Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/26/19 5:12 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/25/19 6:12 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/19 12:46 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/26/19 6:59 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/19 8:08 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening terry 12/28/19 4:22 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/19 3:37 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening terry 12/30/19 1:28 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/20 10:15 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening T 12/29/19 6:53 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Chris Marti 12/26/19 8:15 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/26/19 8:26 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/19 8:43 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/26/19 9:32 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/19 10:07 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/19 10:08 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/26/19 10:22 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/27/19 5:25 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening terry 12/28/19 4:25 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Eric G 12/26/19 10:22 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Stirling Campbell 12/26/19 2:22 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/26/19 4:25 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Chris Marti 12/26/19 5:19 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening spatial 12/27/19 9:30 AM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Chris Marti 12/27/19 12:41 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening terry 12/28/19 5:28 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening terry 12/28/19 6:07 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Milo 12/27/19 5:03 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening terry 12/28/19 4:15 PM
RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening Griffin 12/28/19 6:00 PM
Some teachers, such as Kenneth Folk, describe awakening as a sort of "fundamental okayness" or "meta-okayness": "a grounded equanimity that is so robust that it can even allow for suffering, anger, and all negative states to arise". I will give examples of this view in the next post.

My question is...

In what way meta-okayness (awakening) subjectively feels better than ordinary state of being OK of an average person? Is the essential feeling of meta-okayness the same as the one of regular okayness? (But the meta-okayness feels much more intensive, has more "volume"/spaciousness, and doesn't depend on conditions.) I mean, both awakened and unawakened person could just say "I feel OK" - how to explan the difference?


Here I am just talking about what "feels good" about awakening (not about its insight mechanics, 3C). In other words, wisdom (insight into noself etc.) is not preferable just because it shows the truth, it is ultimately preferable because if feels good (better that delusion). In a parallel universe where insight into noself would bring only more suffering, awakening and fundamental wisdom would be worthless.

So, if we take a look just at the "feel good" aspect of awakening, how would you describe it to the average person? Is it the same feeling of "okayness" that everybody often has, just much more intense/clear and (meta)spacious? Would you also say that this "okayness" is the default property of the experience of human life itself (obscured by delusion), rather than some feeling than comes and goes within it?

Two quotes that illustrate the view that awakening is "fundamental okayness":
"Its ultimate manifestation is a kind of persistent well-being that is independent of external circumstances. At its essence, contemplative fitness is the art of being OK. And from the platform of being OK, the stage is set for the very best of humanity to emerge. When you are OK, an enormous amount of energy is freed up to find out what it means to be truly human. When you don’t have to work so hard to protect yourself, you have, perhaps for the first time, the luxury of considering the needs of others. It is from this stable place of equanimity and self-acceptance that we can learn to access levels of sensitivity, creativity, spontaneity, and empathy that we didn’t know existed."

(Kenneth Folk)

"And what does “seeing experience as process in real time” look like? Kenneth says that because we are constrained by our biology, it is counterproductive to make an enemy of negative emotions and states or to set a fantasy goal of eradicating them. He suggests that a more realistic and higher goal is what he calls “meta-okayness”- a grounded equanimity that is so robust that it can even allow for suffering, anger, and all negative states to arise.
I acknowledged that this description of awakening corresponds with the radical teaching that the highest realization freely coexists with all states of mind and emotion." 

(Terry Patten)


RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 12:46 AM as a reply to Griffin.
I didn't have any regular okayness before stream entry. There was always a nagging feeling that something wasn't right, even in the midst of happiness. Like "I should be happy - why am I not happy?!" and a feeling that I could never get close enough to a pleasant sensations because there was always a sense of separation, and a sense of it being pointless. 

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 6:59 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Wow, could you describe what is the situation now, after stream-entry?
(I suppose that you have felt some moments of okayness before SE, at least in your childhood.)

I will assume that now you do have some sense of (perhaps permanent) meta-okayness.

Now imagine an average dude chilling out on a beach, enyoing in a beautiful day. He is not aware of any discomfort at all. The question is: what is the difference between this okayness and post-SE okayness? Are those two qualitatively completely different feelings (qualias), or the difference is "just" quantitative (depth, intensity, spaciousness etc.)?

I really can't tell, because I never really felt okay before. Sorry. Happy, sure, but never in a peaceful way. There was always at least some low grade anxiety beneath the surface, often above the surface. "This feels good but is there really a point to it, ultimately?" "I will be so unhappy when this ends." "What if it never feels so good again?" "It used to feel so much better. Why doesn't it feel as good as it used to do?" "No matter how hard I try to get closer to that good sensation, it always feels like it slips away from me, like there is a wall between me and happiness." "Hey, this feels good, sure, but God I'm so bored!" 

 Are there people who really just feel okay on all levels without awakening? I mean, without numbing themselves to how they really feel? Not just on the surface? If so, how do they feel? What's the character of their okayness? Because I wouldn't know, and it's beyond my imagination. 

 Is the essential feeling of meta-okayness the same as the one of regular okayness? 

Yes.

You just get more of it - it's present almost all the time. The difference isn't in the feeling of being "ok" but in the reason for feeling ok. This is an "It's all just a movie" kind of thing because nothing lasts forever and really, it's all just a movie.

emoticon

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 8:26 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thank you Chris! This directly answers my question.

Sorry for not being of any more help. I was genuinely surprised by the question. I didn't mean to derail the thread. 

So there are people who genuinely are just... happy? Wow. I thought that was fiction. 

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 9:32 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hey, no worries, you didn't derail anything emoticon

I didn't mean to say that there are people who are happy all the time. But regular people can have moments when they feel OK, without being aware of any discomfort.

For the past few months, for example, my life has been generaly nice, due to psychotherapy and positive external changes. I do have some bad periods, but they are exceptions and don't define my life. I can't say that I am happy all the time, but most of the time I feel just OK, my mood is normal, relaxed. So, in a way, compared to the past, I could indeed say that at the moment I have a happy life. And I can easily imagine that there are people who are lucky and resilient enough to spend their entire lives in this way. (I an not awakened at all)

So, there are moments when I feel OK, without suffering (that I am aware of). So, I asked a question in order to make a comparison between my "ordinary" okayness and awakened "meta-okayness".

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 10:07 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Ah, good. 

I'm probably not representative. Maybe that wasn't even representative for me. I don't know. It just feels like this painful thorn in my heart has been taken away and instead there's a gentle wind blowing through me. It's still not stable, though. 

It's good to hear that you are generally happy. 

Your question makes sense. I was taken by surprise by my own surprise, sort of. 

May you be free from suffering
and the causes of suffering.
May you embrace happiness
and the causes of happiness.
May you abide in peace
free from self grasping.
May you attain the union of wisdom and compassion.

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 10:08 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I'd say that there used to be a hook in the happiness that's not there to the same extent now.

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 10:22 AM as a reply to Griffin.
I would be tempted to say there is a difference, perhaps subtle, perhaps not.

I would agree with Polly's assessment in the sense that before, even if I was having a really good moment of okayness, there was some kind of, at minimum, subconscious unsatisfactoriness.  The okayness was also to some degree a belief based okayness, kind of an assumption of okayness.  "Pressure's off, I can kick back".

I can also view it as similar, at some level, to how I experience it now, like Chris says, but for me I'd have to say I was never really comfortable in my own skin, and whatever that was, psychology, etc., it's hard for me to say that with that lurking in the background, that the previous okayness was really as deep.  We do habituate to the new norm, the new okayness, it becomes very ordinary, but I'll take this new okayness over my former okayness any day.

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 10:22 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Thank you for your kind words! May we all be free from suffering emoticon

Griffin:

Is the essential feeling of meta-okayness the same as the one of regular okayness?

The "OK-ness" of a typical person happens when there is little suffering because it is thought that conditions are satisfactory compared to expectations.

In the "awakened", sometimes there is still an "I" that is feeling or not feeling OK, but always the knowledge at various depths that there is really no "self" to be suffering.

In the case of stabilized "no-self" there is no "I", so no-one that is perceived to exist to be OK or not OK, or take what is happening seriously as a "problem" for their illusory selves.

The same phenoma could arise in all cases, and to some degree some of the same reactions occur.

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 4:25 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
In the case of stabilized "no-self" there is no "I", so no-one that is perceived to exist to be OK or not OK

There is no-one who is OK or not OK, but there IS the feeling of okayness or not-okayness, nonetheless emoticon

but always the knowledge at various depths that there is really no "self" to be suffering (...) or take what is happening seriously as a "problem" for their illusory selves.

In my view, this knowledge that there is no self is valuable and preferable only because it causes the feeling of meta-okayness - a deeper and unconditional kind of equanimity.

As I said before, IMHO, "wisdom (insight into noself etc.) is not preferable just because it shows the truth, it is ultimately preferable because if feels good (better that delusion). In a parallel universe where insight into noself would bring only more suffering, awakening and fundamental wisdom would be worthless."

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/26/19 5:19 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
In the case of stabilized "no-self" there is no "I", so no-one that is perceived to exist to be OK or not OK, or take what is happening seriously as a "problem" for their illusory selves.

There is generally an "I" lurking around. The difference is in how one perceives this "I". Most often and with most people, it's habitually acted from, from the Buddhist form of ignorance, because we think it's actually a permanent thing to protect and defend. We think it defines who we are in a meaningful way. Sometimes, and for some people, it's seen through as an impermanent "I" and not worthy of protecting and defending and is in fact is the source of much discomfort, pain, and suffering. In the seeing of this (and some other things), in the second example there is deeply satisfying and oft-felt okay-ness.

... said in the spirit of accuracy.

Griffin:
Hey, no worries, you didn't derail anything emoticon

I didn't mean to say that there are people who are happy all the time. But regular people can have moments when they feel OK, without being aware of any discomfort.

For the past few months, for example, my life has been generaly nice, due to psychotherapy and positive external changes. I do have some bad periods, but they are exceptions and don't define my life. I can't say that I am happy all the time, but most of the time I feel just OK, my mood is normal, relaxed. So, in a way, compared to the past, I could indeed say that at the moment I have a happy life. And I can easily imagine that there are people who are lucky and resilient enough to spend their entire lives in this way. (I an not awakened at all)

So, there are moments when I feel OK, without suffering (that I am aware of). So, I asked a question in order to make a comparison between my "ordinary" okayness and awakened "meta-okayness".
Thinking some more about this, it dawned on me that those rare occasions when I had a feeling that felt familiar and yet I couldn't place it, was probably okayness. Eventually I named that feeling "having the center inside myself". And yes, that's similar to what I feel rather often now, which is ironic, because now I know that there ultimately is no center. 

Heh, it sounds like I was a complete mess. 

This topic has been on my mind a lot lately.

"I feel OK" is a story we tell. Why and when do we tell it? Same thing with "I am not OK". Why and when do we tell that story? ("when" seems to me to be extremely important!)

I used to tell a particular story about how I'm not OK. This was back when I believed I was a person rather than a process. I don't tell that story anymore, but there are other "not OK" stories that I still tell.

I don't know if 4th path is the end of everything related to the self, but I suspect that it might be the end of "not OK" stories related to the self. I suspect this might be a result of clearing up the confusion between "feelings" and "stories" which motivates this whole question in the first place. I guess I'll have to wait to find out.

Chris, I'm curious to know your thoughts on this.

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/27/19 12:41 PM as a reply to spatial.
I don't know if 4th path is the end of everything related to the self, but I suspect that it might be the end of "not OK" stories related to the self. I suspect this might be a result of clearing up the confusion between "feelings" and "stories" which motivates this whole question in the first place. I guess I'll have to wait to find out.

Chris, I'm curious to know your thoughts on this.

Hiya, spatial.

I think you've got the gist of it. We are always okay, really, but we tell ourselves, convince ourselves, that we're not because "me." When the story of "me" is less compelling, or maybe not even there, then the stories about "me" fade away and without those we're okay despite what's going on within and around us.

I'll take a crack at it.

Regular Ok-ness: comes and goes in high dependence on specific outcomes of events in life and also for reasons that are vague and undiscerned. When these outcomes don't go the way you want, there is a chain reaction of negative mental/emotional states that you become deeply personally invested in yet are dimly, if at all, aware of the mechanics of. You are driving a car too fast on an icy road, overcorrecting wildly when you go out of control.

Meta Ok-ness of awakening: you have become fully aware of the mechanics that happen between an undesired outcome and the mental chain reaction that follows. You've investigated this chain and defanged its most fundamental underlying assumptions. Moreover, you've internalized these realizations to the point that they now become fundamental, like muscle memory, and that process gets undercut and collapses by default. When you hit the icy patch, you automatically take your foot off the gas and gently regain traction. Moreover still, these realizations build on each other and keep working up that chain, causing you not to take fundamentally flawed personalizing views of outcomes to begin with. You are able to integrate personalizing and depersonalized views of the world in a way that precludes wild swings in Ok-ness. i.e. you know to to drive at a reduced speed on icy roads.

Intermediate Ok-ness: you are somewhere between an intellectual grasp and a  deep, intuitive, muscle memory / habit. You know things are getting better, which pulls you forward in practice, but you also have failures, which tell you your work is not done. Ability to troubleshoot varies. You are in the stream but not on the far shore.

Edit: there is also a similar process for desired outcomes that do go the way you want and lead to attachment, with similar reasoning and process to be uncovered.

Edit 2: Understanding the 3 characteristics at an intuitive / habitual / karma level is both cause and effect (Hence the cyclical nature) of the advancement of practice.

Edit 3: An ability to repeatedly and reliably switch focus between the micro and macro aspects of practice is very important to progress IMHO.

Griffin:
Some teachers, such as Kenneth Folk, describe awakening as a sort of "fundamental okayness" or "meta-okayness": "a grounded equanimity that is so robust that it can even allow for suffering, anger, and all negative states to arise". I will give examples of this view in the next post.

My question is...

In what way meta-okayness (awakening) subjectively feels better than ordinary state of being OK of an average person? Is the essential feeling of meta-okayness the same as the one of regular okayness? (But the meta-okayness feels much more intensive, has more "volume"/spaciousness, and doesn't depend on conditions.) I mean, both awakened and unawakened person could just say "I feel OK" - how to explan the difference?


Here I am just talking about what "feels good" about awakening (not about its insight mechanics, 3C). In other words, wisdom (insight into noself etc.) is not preferable just because it shows the truth, it is ultimately preferable because if feels good (better that delusion). In a parallel universe where insight into noself would bring only more suffering, awakening and fundamental wisdom would be worthless.

So, if we take a look just at the "feel good" aspect of awakening, how would you describe it to the average person? Is it the same feeling of "okayness" that everybody often has, just much more intense/clear and (meta)spacious? Would you also say that this "okayness" is the default property of the experience of human life itself (obscured by delusion), rather than some feeling than comes and goes within it?

"ok, ok" - another example of a double positive meaning a negative...

when you quit smacking yourself with a hammer and burning yourself with hot coals, you feel ok...

every day is ok...

t

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/28/19 4:22 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I really can't tell, because I never really felt okay before. Sorry. Happy, sure, but never in a peaceful way. There was always at least some low grade anxiety beneath the surface, often above the surface. "This feels good but is there really a point to it, ultimately?" "I will be so unhappy when this ends." "What if it never feels so good again?" "It used to feel so much better. Why doesn't it feel as good as it used to do?" "No matter how hard I try to get closer to that good sensation, it always feels like it slips away from me, like there is a wall between me and happiness." "Hey, this feels good, sure, but God I'm so bored!" 

 Are there people who really just feel okay on all levels without awakening? I mean, without numbing themselves to how they really feel? Not just on the surface? If so, how do they feel? What's the character of their okayness? Because I wouldn't know, and it's beyond my imagination. 

aloha linda,

   Have you spent much time with down's syndrome people?

   I suspect that the more you wonder whether or not you are ok, the less ok you are.

terry

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/28/19 4:25 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
 Is the essential feeling of meta-okayness the same as the one of regular okayness? 

Yes.

You just get more of it - it's present almost all the time. The difference isn't in the feeling of being "ok" but in the reason for feeling ok. This is an "It's all just a movie" kind of thing because nothing lasts forever and really, it's all just a movie.

emoticon




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgzQuE1pR1w

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/28/19 5:28 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I don't know if 4th path is the end of everything related to the self, but I suspect that it might be the end of "not OK" stories related to the self. I suspect this might be a result of clearing up the confusion between "feelings" and "stories" which motivates this whole question in the first place. I guess I'll have to wait to find out.

Chris, I'm curious to know your thoughts on this.

Hiya, spatial.

I think you've got the gist of it. We are always okay, really, but we tell ourselves, convince ourselves, that we're not because "me." When the story of "me" is less compelling, or maybe not even there, then the stories about "me" fade away and without those we're okay despite what's going on within and around us.

aloha s & c,

   It isn't all about "me." Non-self refers to the self of "the other" as well.

   Once we deal with the "'not OK' stories" of those other than ourselves, the not-OK stories of our own start to lose sgnificance.

   If everyone is ok, the question of whether or not I am ok or you are ok is moot.

   In practice, people are so anxious to feel ok that they are willing to accept a lot of non-ok-ness among the rest of us sentient beings in pursuit of their own separate peace. The illusion of a separate little island of peace may persist for awhile but cannot be maintained. Samsara sucks us in.

   Dukkha essentially means "not ok." Perhaps it is the acceptance of not ok-ness in the whole of sentient life that makes us meta-ok.

terry



If Not For You
(George Harrison)

If not for you
Babe, I couldn't even find the door
I couldn't even see the floor
I'd be sad and blue, if not for you
If not for you
Babe, the night would see me wide awake
The day would surely have to break
It would not be new, if not for you
If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I'd be nowhere at all
I'd be lost, if not for you
If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn't hear a robin sing
I just wouldn't have a clue, if not for you
If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I'd be nowhere at all
I'd be lost, if not for you
If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn't hear a robin sing
I just wouldn't have a clue, if not for you
If not for you

Songwriters: Bob Dylan

I got into a discussion on another forum about whether "unawakened okayness" exists, because, according to the Dharma, all (unawakened) experience is pervaded by dukkha. I am copying one of my responses, which went into the interesting direction of questioning whether classical Buddhist promise about ending suffering (goal expressed in negative formulation) can easily cause misunderstanding for people who are learning about the Dharma for the first time, and who may develop unskillful types of motivation as a result:

In comparison to the awakened mind, ordinary mind is suffering. From the awakened point of view, all unawakened life is characterized by suffering. But from the ordinary point of view, you can be unawakened and have periods when you feel OK and happy, because the "fundamental suffering" is too subtle to even notice, and thus, irrelevant.

Now, where am I going with this? My hypothesis is that the traditional central Buddhist narrative about "ending suffering" (the goal of the practice) could be misleading when presenting Dharma to the general population. After hearing that promise, practitioners expect the removal of ordinary suffering, negative emotions, psychological stuff etc. But those things generally remain the same. What is gone is the fundamental suffering, that an ordinary person was not aware of, just like fish is not aware of the water. Awakening is, thus, not getting rid of the ordinary burdens of life, it is getting rid of the burden you were not aware of because you have carried it since the time you can't even remember. This relief is the meta-okayness, the meta-equanimity.

 So, this can be presented in negative terms (elimination of suffering), but maybe it's even better to define it in positive terms: a relief, meta-okayness, well-being, peace.

I am talking about terminology suitable for motivation and popularisation. When it comes to the details of the practice, negative Theravadin terminology may be more precise and useful. But I believe that the end goal is something that is better framed in a positive way: a improvement of the quality of experiencing life. I believe that parinirvana, the end-goal of total elimination (ending of rebirth, oblivion) has a mythological nature, and is not the real, pragmatic goal of the practice.

terry:
Chris Marti:
I don't know if 4th path is the end of everything related to the self, but I suspect that it might be the end of "not OK" stories related to the self. I suspect this might be a result of clearing up the confusion between "feelings" and "stories" which motivates this whole question in the first place. I guess I'll have to wait to find out.

Chris, I'm curious to know your thoughts on this.

Hiya, spatial.

I think you've got the gist of it. We are always okay, really, but we tell ourselves, convince ourselves, that we're not because "me." When the story of "me" is less compelling, or maybe not even there, then the stories about "me" fade away and without those we're okay despite what's going on within and around us.

aloha s & c,

   It isn't all about "me." Non-self refers to the self of "the other" as well.

   Once we deal with the "'not OK' stories" of those other than ourselves, the not-OK stories of our own start to lose sgnificance.

   If everyone is ok, the question of whether or not I am ok or you are ok is moot.

   In practice, people are so anxious to feel ok that they are willing to accept a lot of non-ok-ness among the rest of us sentient beings in pursuit of their own separate peace. The illusion of a separate little island of peace may persist for awhile but cannot be maintained. Samsara sucks us in.

   Dukkha essentially means "not ok." Perhaps it is the acceptance of not ok-ness in the whole of sentient life that makes us meta-ok.

terry




from "I and Thou," martin buber, pp 7-8:


If I face a human being as my Thou, and say the primary word I-Thou to him, he is not a thing among things, and does not consist of things.

This human being is not He or She, bounded from every other He and She, a specific point in space and time within the net of the world; nor is he a nature able to be experienced and described, a loose bundle of named qualities. But with no neighbour, and whole in himself, he is Thou and is the heavens. This does not mean that nothing exists except himself. But all else lives in his light. 

Just as the melody is not made up of notes nor the verse of words nor the statue of lines, but they must be tugged and dragged til their unity been scattered into these many pieces, so with the man to whom I say Thou. I can take out from him the colour of his hair, or of his speech, or of his goodness. I must continually do this. But each time I do it he ceases to be Thou.

And just as prayer is not in time but time in prayer, sacrifice not in space but space in sacrifice, and to reverse the relation is to abolish the reality, so with the man to whom I say Thou. I do not meet with at some time and place or other. I can set him in a particular time and place; I must continually do it: but I set only a He or a She, that is an It, no longer my Thou.

So long as the heaven of Thou is spread out over me the winds of causality cower at my heels, and the whirlpool of fate stays its course. I do not experience the man to whom I say Thou. But I take my stand in relation to him, in the sanctity of the primary word. Only when I step out of it do I experience him once more. In the act of experience Thou is far away.

Even if the man to whom I say Thou is not aware of it in the midst of his experience, yet relation may exist. For Thou is more than It realises. No deception penetrates here; here is the cradle of the Real Life.

I do not know the answer to this - but one can speculate wildly!!

Using your example, I think that the difference is very subtle, and yet both are really the same excepting the delusion providing a light veil. The way I see it in relationship to my (I'm not sure I have hit SE, but I absolutely have a different relationship to the world as a result of my practice) own experience is:
Now imagine an average dude chilling out on a beach, enyoing in a beautiful day. He is not aware of any discomfort at all. 

This ordinary man, even while comfortable, is very likely narrating something about his relationship to the world from a separate vantage point. Making the huge assumption he is not quietly second-guessing his choice of attire, whether his recent food choices contributed to the girth of his tum-tum and subsequent low-lying embarrassment, or who-knows-what... as the average, ordinary man often quietly does... then I posit that this person still has a lack of awareness of just how truly okay he is; and how okay that is. 

The latter individual is sitting on the beach feeling truly okay and being aware of being okay - also taking in the scene(s) as a pretty neat unfolding of life and possibly marveling at it. I think the awareness of truly and deeply being fundamentally okay with less delusion than the first guy can't be understated. 

terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I really can't tell, because I never really felt okay before. Sorry. Happy, sure, but never in a peaceful way. There was always at least some low grade anxiety beneath the surface, often above the surface. "This feels good but is there really a point to it, ultimately?" "I will be so unhappy when this ends." "What if it never feels so good again?" "It used to feel so much better. Why doesn't it feel as good as it used to do?" "No matter how hard I try to get closer to that good sensation, it always feels like it slips away from me, like there is a wall between me and happiness." "Hey, this feels good, sure, but God I'm so bored!" 

 Are there people who really just feel okay on all levels without awakening? I mean, without numbing themselves to how they really feel? Not just on the surface? If so, how do they feel? What's the character of their okayness? Because I wouldn't know, and it's beyond my imagination. 

aloha linda,

   Have you spent much time with down's syndrome people?

   I suspect that the more you wonder whether or not you are ok, the less ok you are.

terry
Hi!

Not much, but enough to understand your point.

I know. I preferred not to wonder about it, but people kept asking how I was, and being autistic, I felt that I had to provide an answer. Nowadays I know that there is no separate and continuous self there to feel anything, so I no longer feel that I'm being unauthentic if I say that I'm fine without thinking about it. 

RE: Difference between "regular okayness" and "meta-okayness" of Awakening
Answer
12/30/19 1:28 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I really can't tell, because I never really felt okay before. Sorry. Happy, sure, but never in a peaceful way. There was always at least some low grade anxiety beneath the surface, often above the surface. "This feels good but is there really a point to it, ultimately?" "I will be so unhappy when this ends." "What if it never feels so good again?" "It used to feel so much better. Why doesn't it feel as good as it used to do?" "No matter how hard I try to get closer to that good sensation, it always feels like it slips away from me, like there is a wall between me and happiness." "Hey, this feels good, sure, but God I'm so bored!" 

 Are there people who really just feel okay on all levels without awakening? I mean, without numbing themselves to how they really feel? Not just on the surface? If so, how do they feel? What's the character of their okayness? Because I wouldn't know, and it's beyond my imagination. 

aloha linda,

   Have you spent much time with down's syndrome people?

   I suspect that the more you wonder whether or not you are ok, the less ok you are.

terry
Hi!

Not much, but enough to understand your point.

I know. I preferred not to wonder about it, but people kept asking how I was, and being autistic, I felt that I had to provide an answer. Nowadays I know that there is no separate and continuous self there to feel anything, so I no longer feel that I'm being unauthentic if I say that I'm fine without thinking about it. 

aloha,

   I don't suppose you  are obliged to provide a straightforward answer to somone asking a formulaic question that really isn't a request for information or an expression of concern. One may respond "fine" with a whole palette of expression.

   I just generally can't resist taking people as though they meant everything they said. Out of respect, and hope, and because by taking people seriously they become more serious. Authenticity breeds authenticity, the nature of "teaching" and "learning." And every encounter is an opportunity.

terry

I eventually figured that out, but the feeling stuck, partly because of rigidness, I suppose, but mainly because there is a great need for authenticity. 

All those rites and rituals of neurotypical people... emoticon

I like the approach of seeing every encounter as an opportunity for sowing the seeds of authenticity.