Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Truth Seeker, modified 8 Days ago.

Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 15 Join Date: 2/27/21 Recent Posts
If you read my log you will notice I back pedaled a bit and am back at conceptualization instead of going through with jhana practice. But hey, i understand and acknowledge this fault but it also allows me to create stronger belief and faith which when after i expand on the original question below maybe you will see the importance of that very action.

I don't recall the exact path of logic hoops i used to get here, but here I am. Would it be correct to state an A and P event occurs once you believe in a single truth enough that encompasses infinity? For Buddhists it is believing in expanding awareness through sensation. For Christians it is believing in the God of the old testament. Then once belief is formed you continue to increase the length you can reside within a Truth without changing until you follow it through to th4 other side of cessation. You willingly makeself cease to exist to know the end. Buddhist is the 3 universal truths. Christians it is following Jesus to the kingdom of Heaven to be with God. I'm not as familiar with Hinduism but i think for it is falling a personal diety to join with Brahman. Dream walkers it is believing in the dream and then forming a dream that can wrap around present reality that you can accept fully. And so forth...


Does this makes sense at all? Is it resonating with any of you? Or am i so far into conceptualization that im getting lost? To me this makes so much SENSE but i have been doing this for so long it doesn't suprise me that it would. If this is the case then I know the clear path forward finally that i can follow with a breeze to my step 
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Ben V., modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 351 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
I see Buddhism, esp. in its Theravada form, as intensely focused on pragmatism regarding the question of suffering rather than focused on the question of what is Truth. It is not that the latter is entirely ignored, but sort of relegated to a secondary seat, often addressed only inso far as it clarifies the first issue.

For example, the questions addressed are:

What is suffering/unsatisfactoriness?

How is suffering/unsatisfactoriness manufactured?

What needs to happen for suffering/unsatisfactoriness to cease?

What is the method that needs to be applied to make it cease?

And there you have it, the Four Noble Truths about suffering/unsatisfactoriness and its end. The core of what Buddha-Dharma is about.

If I remember correctly from my sutta studies long ago, the Buddha also said that these are the questions that are wise/fruitful to ask, and not questions about metaphysical truth or philosophy about what truth is. 

Sometimes when I get a ''I wanna know what the deep Truths of life are'' trip I find more satisfaction in reading Vedanta material, which talks about the absolute reality, 'Brahman'', which shares some characterisitics with how the Buddha described Nibbana + more things such as how Brahman is the soure of all things, and all things are made of it, how the purpose of life is to realize and return to this source, etc. But at some point I get frustrated when I ask ''how are we to practice'' questions, which brings me back to dear old Buddha-Dharma. 
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Stefan R, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 70 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
I've been thinking about this question for a while, so I'll just put up what I think on the issue from a purely pragmatic/psycho-spiritual wellbeing perspective. I'm obviously highly influenced by the Buddha's teachings. Still, I take my cues from wherever people are looking to peacefully abide in the mystery of life (Some notable examples are: Carl Gustav Jung, Carl Rogers, Robert A. Johnson, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius, and Martin Seligman). 

With all that being said, here's my take on the thing. I'm relatively new to meditation, but I've been thinking and unwittingly meditating on these issues for nearly my entire adult life. 

We're born into a confusing, ambiguous, and terrifying world. And we spend our lives trying to find "the answer" to that riddle to try and quench that irresistible underlying need for something to be just "it". Call this existential dread, the feeling, Dukkha, whatever. You see this all the time with people; buying into the newest fads and trends, finding a label to stick onto themselves, saying "this is good" and "that is bad". Most of it is like rearranging chairs on the Titanic. Just as an aside: there are some wholesome and unwholesome phenomena, but 99.95% of what concerns most people is just the aforementioned Titanic-seat-rearrangement. 

There's no real hard satisfying truth to cling to at all. Nothing in the "outside" world anyways. Our mind basically convinced itself that there's an outside and an inside. Or in other words, it forgets that it is part of reality. Shocking truth: reality does not, and will not, conform to expectations. The shocking-er truth: the mind is part of reality too. It is kind of obvious when you think about it, but we're deluded to this fact or ignorant of it. 

Everything is just a sensation, and there's no real end to the sensations occurring as they are in a fundamentally inescapable yet impenetrable moment. We forget this too. Again, it goes back to Titanic-seat-rearrangement; one day you'll die. And this gift of life, whatever it was, may have been squandered on not being here. But it is understandable; knowing that you're going to die and that life is unexpected means we want to leave a legacy, carve out a place in time or space that is truly "ours". And we do this carving in the mind itself; the idea that there is an unchangeable and persistent "me" in this being. And we do the carving the world, by being mean to people to assert some fictional control over things, we do it by hoarding things, and we do it by pretending to ignore others in need/suffering by denying their very humanity, or pretending "that couldn't happen to me". 

At the end of it all, we realise the "truth" to rest in was right before our eyes. It's just this, as it is, no exceptions. This is the "truth" of it all (as far as I have ascertained thus far, more advanced people might have deeper insights). It's not really a truth though, nor is it really a perspective, nor a ground to rest on. Because it's all changing, and it's entirely of mind-reality (or reality-mind). It's just been a game of the mind playing: "prove to me that I exist" and just going on in circles, and circles, ignoring what was really happening or being at the core of it all. [Technical meditation spiel aside here: my hypothesis is that "cessations" are basically the mind dis-identifying with the very sensation of identifying with itself (the ultimate dualistic illusion) by seeing one of the 3Cs clearly, thus realising the paradox of its own self-sustained imprisonment; it is both a part of reality and generating the very reality it seemingly participates in]

And tomorrow we might die, and the lights will be shut out. But at least you participated in the mystery of it all. And that was enough. And maybe because you realised how tough life can be, how short things last, and how we all experience a constructed reality based on our minds, you decided to help someone. Or maybe you said something nice. Or perhaps you smiled at the person walking by on the street. Or you wrote a book. Who knows. But you didn't do it because it was a legacy to leave, or something you could plant your flag on saying "mine!" but just because it was the right thing to do because life is a mystery and nothing will ever "unlock" it or help you to understand it better than by just being in it every moment. 

I could go into a whole social psychology rant here about how basically all of our cognitive biases (confirmation, fundamental attribution, third-person bias, etc.) are all based on the fundamental truth of this mystery; we basically aggrandise ourselves at the expense of others to carve out territory. But I'll leave that for later, maybe. 

I hope this non-answer answer gives you something to think about! emoticon
George S, modified 3 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 1629 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Stefan R
Our mind basically convinced itself that there's an outside and an inside. Or in other words, it forgets that it is part of reality.

​​​​​​​I really like this take on dualism. Also the bit about carving out a niche for ourselves in our own mind. emoticon
Truth Seeker, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 15 Join Date: 2/27/21 Recent Posts
Ben and Stefan,

After analyzing your responses and going back over my original post, I am going to re-phrase as I feel I failed translating what I wanted to. Note, after doing this, it all seems frustratingly simple and obvious, yet is also screams at me extreme complexity if you dive into the details.

Question: Is our objective to "rest" (non-action, wu-wei, don't fabricate, resting point - The Great Learning) in the Present utilizing Belief/Faith?

The core of the instight I feel I had last night is Belief. In this instance, Belief is Faith in continuity. Something that lets you surrender "control" and be one with everything around you. Depending on what resonsantes with your current ego/past experience, you choose pragmatism of Buddhism, following in Jesus footsteps and accepting suffering knowing Death is not the end, etc.

Uncertain: Then if that's true, A&P event happens once you have a strong enough Belief where you give up enough control to spark a significant enough change in experience, which then re-enforces Belief. At that point the high must recede and go back to the resting point where you need to have faith and allow that to occur without attempting to chagne direction or stop the process through clinging.
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Stefan R, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 70 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
Question: Is our objective to "rest" (non-action, wu-wei, don't fabricate, resting point - The Great Learning) in the Present utilizing Belief/Faith?
I do think my original comment answered this. But I'll go at it way more simply.

The belief or faith you develop in meditation is that everything will be as it is, always, no exceptions. And it's the most liberating and beautiful thing I've ever had the pleasure of knowing without a doubt. But it is not faith like religious faith; I didn't light candles to a deity and hoped it'd be fixed or based my faith on hearsay. I did work, and continue to. That is the source of faith; it is better understood as confidence. When you practice a skill you gain faith in your ability to execute said skill, known as confidence. Once you see certain things in meditation you gain faith or confidence and know that the moment as it is is all there is, and it's just a sensation.a

So yeah, there's faith, but in what is already there, and seeing it clearly. ​​​​​​​Everything else is purely speculative. Anything else is just hoping for something better or fearing something worse.
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Ben V., modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 351 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Ah! I see. I totally did not understand the question in this way at first. Hope I get it this time around. 

From a sutta perspective, your question makes me think of how the Buddha distinguished two type of followers: Faith-followers and Dhamma-followers. You can google it up...

So-called ''Hinduism'' (I have some issue using that term but won't go into that) also talks of Bhakti yogi followers (those who are more into surrender, faith, devotion, and the like) vs Raja yogis (those who focus on meditation) vs Jnana yogis (those who are more into insightfully exploring the truth). All of these can also be combined in one individual, and perhaps one or the other predominating at different time or phases of the practice.

IMHO, resting in the present using faith is one valid way to practice. Sometimes when I practice I muster-up a sense of faith that everything that arises in me is always held in Awareness, or in the 'Unconditioned' This does help to move into more equanimity. But to say this is our objective (abiding in the present with faith), I'm not sure. It might be, or might be just one valid way to approach practice.

As for the A&P, I don't know for sure what the answer is, but it seems from reading past posts and MCTB that it has been said that it's indeed possible to get an A&P event by using strong belief that helps relinquishing control. But again, that may be just one valid way. 
There are those who are not so faith-inclined but curious about the nature of their experience and while closely investigating each moment-to-moment sensations, will penetrate to the subtler aspects of experience, seeing how it vibrates quickly = A&P.

After reading your last post, a hypogthesis came to my mind: People who have A&Ps that include powerful ecstatic visions, mind-blowing bliss, etc, may be those that approach practice with a strong sense of faith and surrender. And those that have A&Ps that don't involve mind-blowing ecstasies may be those who approach practice with a more inquisitive mind.

I could be wrong here.
Truth Seeker, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 15 Join Date: 2/27/21 Recent Posts
Thank you, Ben. What you said gave me several things to further investigate and dig into (two types of followers, the different Yogas, etc.). While I knew about the different type of Yogas, I typically always ignored the others and focused more of learning about Raja Yoga since it seemed that resonanted with me most. That will now change. 

While I have yet to experience an A&P event, I have a feeling your hypothesis is right. When pondering on Faith there have been a couple moments in the past where I felt if I really let go and accept then I would raise into the air, suspended, and become enveloped with extreme bliss/ecstasy (started feeling pleasant sensations rising). Due to ignorance, I stopped and took back "control". Then again, maybe I am misinterpreting past experience and am totally off. The main thing I have learned through all the conceptualization I've done is that truth is only truth until it is not. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 659 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Getting to any form of truth is not objective of this community or any dharma or buddhist community.
It is all dogmatic bullshit just like with relgions.
Truth Seeker, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 15 Join Date: 2/27/21 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta,

I'm not quite sure how to respond to your reply. I went through a range of emotions and possible counter-points. Based on how you phrased your response, it seems you may have some resentment towards religions outside of your own, but then again I don't know you so I may be off base. The main essense of this post revolves around Belief/Faith as I further disussed with Ben.

However, what you say doesn't make sense to me. How do you counter Ignorance?
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Ni Nurta, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

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Ignorance in yourself is countered when you do not take what you know as dogma that needs you to protect it but that needs you to destroy it.
Ignorance in people I have absolutely no idea. I still hope someone will show me as they did most of the things I know. Cause people know stuff, many people, random people, cat people, all sorts of people. This still needs to be synthesized in to coherent model and models need to be verified and all the work need to be put in to making it usable but otherwise knowledge you get from everywhere. If you know that every single being, even speck of dust, can teach you and that you can teach it, then you know ignorance is not the enemy which is undefeatable. If you start excluding your teachers and think you are worthless as a teacher then those are the signs of ignorance defeating you.

This won't gonna happen in dogmatic community though, defeating ignorance. There is already too much ignorance in these. That is why people go to caves to meditate to get to the bottom of it and go to shanghas to have their brain washed. You can try but ignorance will always regrow faster than you can remove it and you cannot remove too much at once. Simply not doable. Also people do not join these for the truth but because they feel bad but won't want to know too much in order to make themselves feel better because they feel what they will realize because they already know it and instead will want something to happen that will make them not experience negative results of their wrong actions.

God itself was not able to explain that some things are both good and bad and those are best avoided but people still have to try them and will waste eternity trying to figure out why they cannot separate good from the bad in these despite there being whole creation with good things to enjoy. The forbidden fruit will draw them in like some kind of bug that secretes sweet scents just to eat them. And they will at extreme cases waste their whole lives just to get this secret recipe to be able to taste only good, not the bad of rotten forbidden fruit. That is not seeking truth, that is just ignorance in its fullest form. I am with the God on this one, consume the good, leave the bad and do not fall for good+bad variety and always learn stuff so that you are ahead of the potential issues.
 
Truth Seeker, modified 6 Days ago.

RE: Is our objective to rest within a Truth?

Posts: 15 Join Date: 2/27/21 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta and Stefan,

At first, yesterday, I agreed and disagreed to your replies but couldn't quite put it into words. I then had another "conceptualization session" and had a deeper realization that has given me an entirely new perspective on everything (path of insight, other religions and how they chart their own path to attain "freedom", etc.). I will need to reflect on this for a couple days, play around with the data, to see where I stand after going over everything.

​​​​​​​Thank you for your responses as it played a role in this shift!

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