Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
"When Thou saist, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Psalm 27:8

It seems like everywhere I look these days, someone is saying that all this "seeking" stuff, all this spiritual practice--- everything we do on DhO, basically--- is unnecessary in the light of The Way It Is, and that without a self, who's to seek, and what's to find? One funny thing about this is that almost invariably the people saying it are some of the finest practioners we know, people whose our practice lasted decades before they started talking like this. I saw a thing about "The Cosmic Joke" recently, with Kenneth Folke and Michael Taft sitting around laughing together in a collegial way about how long they had busted their asses pointlessly before they Got the Joke, that there was never anything to find, because there was never anyone to look.

 Is this really what "advanced" people should be telling beginners, now that they're cashed in on 30 years of hard labor reprogramming their mallalian brain waves and rooting out their illusions, and are enjoying a sense of fullness and ease? Is this what we want to be telling people in the Dark Night?

And so, with all the compassion, listening, clarification, passion for truth, and intelligence I can muster, I do here most mildly and respectfully and collegially call Bullshit.

agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 1883 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:
"When Thou saist, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Psalm 27:8

It seems like everywhere I look these days, someone is saying that all this "seeking" stuff, all this spiritual practice--- everything we do on DhO, basically--- is unnecessary in the light of The Way It Is, and that without a self, who's to seek, and what's to find? One funny thing about this is that almost invariably the people saying it are some of the finest practioners we know, people whose our practice lasted decades before they started talking like this. I saw a thing about "The Cosmic Joke" recently, with Kenneth Folke and Michael Taft sitting around laughing together in a collegial way about how long they had busted their asses pointlessly before they Got the Joke, that there was never anything to find, because there was never anyone to look.

 Is this really what "advanced" people should be telling beginners, now that they're cashed in on 30 years of hard labor reprogramming their mallalian brain waves and rooting out their illusions, and are enjoying a sense of fullness and ease? Is this what we want to be telling people in the Dark Night?

And so, with all the compassion, listening, clarification, passion for truth, and intelligence I can muster, I do here most mildly and respectfully and collegially call Bullshit.


There's a strong selection bias at play here. You don't tend to hear about the nobodies who just "get the joke" and move on like nothing happened (which is indeed what happened). It's the big name longtime seekers/teachers who tend to have a public profile and following, hence when they "get the joke" everybody hears about it and goes WTF.

Which naturally leads to the question ... if they get the joke then why do they continue promoting the idea that it was their particular brand of practice which helped them to get the joke? I can think of three reasons, but maybe there are more ...

1) Their livelihoods depend in some way on the dharma or their practice and so it would be massively inconvenient to let everyone apart from their close buddies know about the joke.

2) They are not particularly axed to keep promoting their practice, but they have students and followers who feel that the practice is helping them and will lead to Enlightenment, so it might seem cruel or unnecessary to let them know about the joke.

3) They got the joke but then forgot the joke and started believing again that it was their practice which delivered the goods, hence they are honest (if forgetful) in their continuing to promote the practice.

I realize the irony and downright sheer ingratitude of raising these points on a generously supported forum dedicated to hardcore practice, so I should probably STFU. The only thing I can say in my defense is that sometimes it might be "pragmatic" to consider the bigger picture ...
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
Do these outlines insinuate one making a decision to engage in these things or is it just previously conditioned aspects of personality that aren't wiped out? I ask because, unless I totally misunderstand there is nobody making decisions. There are strictly stimuli and reactions, sometimes in the vein of "selfing."

Additionally - the first one strikes me as still holding on to self view in relationship to self-preservation and self-vs-other of those in on the joke and those not.

The other seems compassionate, if potentially misguided (from what I hear you say). 

The last, kind of negates the idea that once seen, it cannot be unseen. 

I don't discount anything you're saying. I'm digesting and investigating. 

agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 1883 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
T:
Do these outlines insinuate one making a decision to engage in these things or is it just previously conditioned aspects of personality that aren't wiped out? I ask because, unless I totally misunderstand there is nobody making decisions. There are strictly stimuli and reactions, sometimes in the vein of "selfing."

Conditioning is still operating even if it's seen not to be operating for anyone!

Additionally - the first one strikes me as still holding on to self view in relationship to self-preservation and self-vs-other of those in on the joke and those not.

Just because you are "enlightened", doesn't mean you have to starve! Maybe practically speaking it is the only realistic option. There's a long tradition of spiritual masters disclosing "the joke", although it tends to sound more funny coming from someone who's been dead for hundreds of years rather than a living teacher who has paying students who are suffering and think it's due to their not being enlightened. In my opinion, if a spiritual teacher doesn't joke about being enlightened at all then that's a red flag indicating they take themselves too seriously and probably have another agenda at play.

The most likely explanation is that they are teaching jhana or some other beneficial practice or doing "spiritual counseling", with the implicit or explicit suggestion that it leads to enlightenment. If they get "the joke" then they know that this suggestion is disingenuous, but hey what the hell it doesn't seem like it's actually hurting anybody right? Personally I think that's a bait-and-switch which encourages people to think that enlightenment is something valuable and difficult to attain, which ultimately leads to more suffering.

The other seems compassionate, if potentially misguided (from what I hear you say).

Yeah it's telling people what they want to hear in order to avoid offending them, which seems harmless but actually perpetuates their suffering. I think it's called the "mushroom culture" (keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit)

The last, kind of negates the idea that once seen, it cannot be unseen. 

Well liberation is unconditional, so anything can happen (and what can happen will happen given enough time!)
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
agnostic:
Tim Farrington:
"When Thou saist, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Psalm 27:8

It seems like everywhere I look these days, someone is saying that all this "seeking" stuff, all this spiritual practice--- everything we do on DhO, basically--- is unnecessary in the light of The Way It Is, and that without a self, who's to seek, and what's to find? One funny thing about this is that almost invariably the people saying it are some of the finest practioners we know, people whose our practice lasted decades before they started talking like this. I saw a thing about "The Cosmic Joke" recently, with Kenneth Folke and Michael Taft sitting around laughing together in a collegial way about how long they had busted their asses pointlessly before they Got the Joke, that there was never anything to find, because there was never anyone to look.

 Is this really what "advanced" people should be telling beginners, now that they're cashed in on 30 years of hard labor reprogramming their mallalian brain waves and rooting out their illusions, and are enjoying a sense of fullness and ease? Is this what we want to be telling people in the Dark Night?

And so, with all the compassion, listening, clarification, passion for truth, and intelligence I can muster, I do here most mildly and respectfully and collegially call Bullshit.


There's a strong selection bias at play here. You don't tend to hear about the nobodies who just "get the joke" and move on like nothing happened (which is indeed what happened). It's the big name longtime seekers/teachers who tend to have a public profile and following, hence when they "get the joke" everybody hears about it and goes WTF.

Which naturally leads to the question ... if they get the joke then why do they continue promoting the idea that it was their particular brand of practice which helped them to get the joke? I can think of three reasons, but maybe there are more ...

1) Their livelihoods depend in some way on the dharma or their practice and so it would be massively inconvenient to let everyone apart from their close buddies know about the joke.

2) They are not particularly axed to keep promoting their practice, but they have students and followers who feel that the practice is helping them and will lead to Enlightenment, so it might seem cruel or unnecessary to let them know about the joke.

3) They got the joke but then forgot the joke and started believing again that it was their practice which delivered the goods, hence they are honest (if forgetful) in their continuing to promote the practice.

I realize the irony and downright sheer ingratitude of raising these points on a generously supported forum dedicated to hardcore practice, so I should probably STFU. The only thing I can say in my defense is that sometimes it might be "pragmatic" to consider the bigger picture ...

I am playing according to my best understanding of the spirit and letter of DhO forum rules and asking you to please keep the entire thread in this seed of our our conversation together for Context, Context, Context, by using "reply-all" when replying--- not just agnostic, but anyone else who wants to chime in on this particlar sub-thread.

There's a strong selection bias at play here. You don't tend to hear about the nobodies who just "get the joke" and move on like nothing happened (which is indeed what happened). It's the big name longtime seekers/teachers who tend to have a public profile and following, hence when they "get the joke" everybody hears about it and goes WTF.


Who on earth do you think you are, claiming to be a "nobody," when you are actually "Roger the Dodger," who according to recent t-shirts, is being proclaimed by certain sectarians to be "The One"?

Which naturally leads to the question ... if they get the joke then why do they continue promoting the idea that it was their particular brand of practice which helped them to get the joke?


I am not sure it would be ethical of me, nor a proper use of this forum, to attack certain "big name seeker/teachers", and leave a "nobody" like you unscathed, you [epithet, foul and physically unlikely, deleted, as per DhO forum rules and guidelines]?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 1981 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I like what Adyashanti once said and I will paraphrase this;
"We all have to dance our dance" meaning there is this something we call Myself that is dancing the dance and we as meditators watch this dancer and the dancing and then at one point this dancer gets so fucking tired of all this pointless dancing that it gives up and then the meditator-dancer is no more. Dancing continues without them Not-Two.

HA! emoticon emoticon 
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Steph S, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:
"When Thou saist, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Psalm 27:8

It seems like everywhere I look these days, someone is saying that all this "seeking" stuff, all this spiritual practice--- everything we do on DhO, basically--- is unnecessary in the light of The Way It Is, and that without a self, who's to seek, and what's to find? 



 Is this really what "advanced" people should be telling beginners, now that they're cashed in on 30 years of hard labor reprogramming their mallalian brain waves and rooting out their illusions, and are enjoying a sense of fullness and ease? Is this what we want to be telling people in the Dark Nightt?


I'd really hope people aren't telling this "just stop seeking" stuff to beginners. And I don't know that I've seen people telling this to beginners here. Personally, I think the seeking is part of the drive that propels one to practice. The sheer determination that comes from that seeking can help people through immensely long periods where it seems like not much is happening, and/or really difficult periods of practice. I've used that seeking basically this entire time to get me off my ass. There have been prolonged periods where I stopped practicing altogether or practiced very sporadically (as in, multiple years), and that seeking is what has brought me back to practicing consistently time and time again. I think it's part and parcel of the path. It's some inbuilt thing we don't even have control over. I'm a huge fucking fan of it.

What I do think is that the "stop seeking" advice might work for people who are very late stage in the game, where possibly the main thing holding them back is that seeking... like if/when that seeking is one of the last ditch things to see through. I feel like I see the "stop seeking" advice given to people who are presumed to be late 3rd path. Whether or not those people actually are late 3rd path, I don't actually know because how would I be able to predict that? Maybe there are makers in people's practice that warrant giving that advice, that the advice givers see that others don't. Like if they recognize a series of really obvious markers from that point in their own practice, is my guess.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Thy Face, Lord, will I seek.

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:

I saw a thing about "The Cosmic Joke" recently, with Kenneth Folke and Michael Taft sitting around laughing together in a collegial way about how long they had busted their asses pointlessly before they Got the Joke, that there was never anything to find, because there was never anyone to look.

What Folk and Taft are likely talking about (not that I have heard this particular recording) is precisely what the Buddha and teachers of the perennial wisdom have talked about again and again - the "self" is merely a belief. The idea of an enlightened "person" is impossible. Is it something to be telling people? Why not? They aren't anything like the first that have. It could easily be what wakes someone up. If you are a hardcore Wizard of Oz believer, could someone telling you that if you look behind the curtain you might shatter that illusion be worthwhile? Will it work for you? Who knows. If you think some other path or lecture is more helpful, listen to that.

Is this really what "advanced" people should be telling beginners, now that they're cashed in on 30 years of hard labor reprogramming their mallalian brain waves and rooting out their illusions, and are enjoying a sense of fullness and ease? Is this what we want to be telling people in the Dark Night?

Can we add the Buddha to the list of "advanced" people?

"Bhikkhus, form is not-self." - Buddha

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.059.nymo.html

The whole thing is there. What about:

Shariputra,
all dharmas are marked with emptiness;
they do not appear or disappear,
are not tainted or pure,
do not increase or decrease.
Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.
No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
no object of mind;
no realm of eyes
and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.
No ignorance and also no extinction of it,
and so forth until no old age and death
and also no extinction of them.
No suffering, no origination,
no stopping, no path, no cognition,
also no attainment with nothing to attain.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58d013bbe58c6272b30dad0b/t/59b04a9fd55b41f0f333b554/1504725663797/Heart-Sutra-in-English-text1.pdf

If you read this really carefully it points precisely at what Folk and Taft are alluding to. This is a practice dedicated to seeing through an illusion, as all non-dual paths are. Clinging to path, attainment... self... seeking.... IS the suffering.

-

As someone from the Dzogchen tradition, I regularly heard that:

• Enlightenment can happen in this lifetime.

• Enlightenment can happen in any moment, and anything could precipitate it.

• Do not be attached to ideas of progress or attainment, but practice only wholeheartedly.

I personally think this is good advice. If there is clinging to something, whether it is who is president, fear of the current epidemic, or how much time you have practiced without attainment, it is ALWAYS an invitation to investigate. How do the 3 Characteristics apply to what we are clinging or averse to? How are you resisting the reality of how things are? What cherished ideas are you holding on to and attempting to reify?

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