How and if to proceed

m kallman, modified 9 Years ago.

How and if to proceed

Posts: 6 Join Date: 12/9/11 Recent Posts
Hi all,

I would really appreciate someone else's take on my general situation and how to proceed.

A quick browse-through of this forum suggests that I'm asking a boilerplate question. It might however be the case that some slight variation in the surrounding conditions would lead to a different answer, so please forgive me for asking.


Problem
I'm stuck in an intellectual/psychological quicksand.

Due to various reasons, experiences and following inquiry, I have since a number of years back reached a point of no return. What I mean by that is that I have asked the question "what is this?" in one way or another a bit too sincerely, to the point where it brings into question everything else, and that it is impossible to stop asking it. That is to say, I have become fundamentally dissatisfied with the mundane (career, relationships, ...); although I still pursue a career and have a relationship, but the modus operandi of which now seem shallow and superficial. The needle's been put to the balloon, if you will.

I know this is regarded as a positive thing by some (traditions), as it is what will give you drive to go on. Or it can destroy you, especially in the absence of guidance (a teacher), misconceptions about the teachings, etc. The latter is exactly what is going on right now.

The question carries much weight. But my spirits are increasingly weighed down by my inability to solve it (or to stop asking). This could of course be basic grasping and aversion, or some other basic flaw of the human condition. I know this is the point (to wrestle the reasoning mind to self-collapse), but the whole thing is starting to loop back onto itself and is creating somewhat of a paradoxical brainfuck (pardon my language), creating massive amounts of anxiety.


Question
Is it safe/sane to proceed on my own; and if so, how? (My intuition says to re-focus on concentration)


Background
Philosophical incline since teens. Avid ex-user of psychedelics. Started looking into religion, spiritualism, etc. at age 19 (now 26). Mostly familiar and comfortable with Theravada, Zen (minus the Mahayana aspect), Hellenistic Greek philosophy (in particular Phyrronism). Interested in getting to the point - don't care much for the vehicle it comes in. Mostly self-study, with a focus on theory (early on), vipassana (later), and contemplation/general inquiry (throughout, now).


Thank you for lending your time and attention!
thumbnail
Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed (Answer)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hey A.I.

Welcome to the DhO.

A quick browse-through of this forum suggests that I'm asking a boilerplate question. It might however be the case that some slight variation in the surrounding conditions would lead to a different answer, so please forgive me for asking.

Ask whatever you want to know, don't worry about asking the same questions that have been asked before, sometimes it takes a slightly different way of phrasing the answer for it become clearer and we all come at this from various angles. Either way, don't apologize for asking questions. ; )

Due to various reasons, experiences and following inquiry, I have since a number of years back reached a point of no return. What I mean by that is that I have asked the question "what is this?" in one way or another a bit too sincerely, to the point where it brings into question everything else, and that it is impossible to stop asking it. That is to say, I have become fundamentally dissatisfied with the mundane (career, relationships, ...); although I still pursue a career and have a relationship, but the modus operandi of which now seem shallow and superficial. The needle's been put to the balloon, if you will.

I'm sure this description will be familiar to a lot more people than just you and I, there's a lot of us on here who've made their way through various stages of the awakening process while also leading a pretty normal life.

It's possible to maintain this normality and get on with your life while keeping a solid practice. It's also completely normal to encounter this same sense of dissatisfaction with the mundane world so hopefully knowing this, and more importantly knowing that there's a way to put an end to it, will encourage you to keep on going and investigating this impermanent and luminous reality as it is.

I know this is regarded as a positive thing by some (traditions), as it is what will give you drive to go on. Or it can destroy you, especially in the absence of guidance (a teacher), misconceptions about the teachings, etc. The latter is exactly what is going on right now.

A process of breaking down and stripping back is common to most meditative traditions, it goes by many names and can be found in the experiences of most modern teachers, yogis and seekers. Something to remember is that this is more of a destruction of what wasn't true in the first place, followed by a rebuilding on a fresh foundation of wisdom. It doesn't just happen once, it can happen again and again but it will always be followed by a chance to rebuild and to move on with a fresher, more clear and fun life compared to what's gone before it.

It won't destroy "you", the "you" that you think will be destroyed never existed in the first place anyway and so there is nothing to be lost except the suffering caused by not seeing this clearly enough.

You don't need a teacher, this can be done by yourself with good advice from those who've walked the path before you, and understanding what lies at the roots of the teachings, in this case the Dhamma, comes through direct experience. It helps a lot to have people who know the way there to point stuff out to you, but the bulk of this needs to be done by yourself. The good thing about this is that you've joined up to a site full of practitioners and teachers from various traditions with various levels of mastery who are focused on open, practical discussion of meditation practice and will not bullshit you, hide stuff in obscure symbolic terms or blow smoke up your arse. The majority of us on here are committed to serious practice, honest advice and technique.

Is it safe/sane to proceed on my own; and if so, how? (My intuition says to re-focus on concentration)

Yes, it is safe and sane. Going by the way you talk about how things have gone in the past and the way you describe things right now, you sounds like a pretty together, sensible and intelligent person.

How to progress? It depends on what you're looking for, although I'm assuming that you're looking for enlightenment. There's a lot of ways to get there, some are more effective for some people than others but if you can tell us a bit more about what you're doing in your current practice then it'll be easier to suggest a few things.

If you're looking to get back into concentration then I'd suggest checking out some of the threads by a yogi on here called "End In Sight", he's doing some really interesting investigation into the original suttas and how "jhana" works as opposed to the concentration practices many of us have pursued over the years. I'll link to a few sites on concentration stuff which may be of use to you at the end.

I reckon that at present you're what is generally known as a "dark night yogi" which is someone who gets stuck in the (potentially) difficult periods encountered through spiritual practices, but this means that you're in a great situation to push forwards as this stage isn't a kick in the arse away from the first path of enlightenment. It's completely and utterly normal to feel the way you're feeling at this stage, but take it as an encouragement (which I know seems easier said than done) as it's indicative of progress.

Tell us a bit more about what you're aiming for.

Best of luck with everything, but I think that finding this site at this time your development could prove to be hugely beneficial based on my own experience.

The Hamilton Project - Candle Flame Kasina
Leigh Brasington - Jhanas
Dhammasukha
anthropomorphic inquirer, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 6 Join Date: 12/9/11 Recent Posts
Thank you for taking time to reply to my question, Tommy. What you say feels very reassuring and makes a lot of sense. I realize that my background might be somewhat mixed, and have taken some time to go through the wiki on this site, in order to get a bit more familiar with the conceptual framework that seems to be in use here. Likewise I will try to be as neutral as possible in reference of terms and concepts, or provide links where appropriate. I've also started reading Daniel Ingram's book.

You are asking for a bit more of information on my background, current practice and aims, and I will do my best to help you help me here.

Firstly, I would like to make a correction: vipassana above should be anapanasati (brain damage...) - I have not explicitly practised vipassana as per traditional (theravadin) meaning.


The Dark Night, Progress of Insight

Regarding what you say about the Dark Night; the Progress of Insight as put together and presented here is unfamiliar to me, although its constituents are not.

I can relate strongly to the first two steps, Mind & Body, and Cause & Effect (to a lesser degree), as this is part of my perception outside of meditation. That is to say, on a non-intellectual level; it is a persistent mode of perception. Whether or not this is correct and desirable, I don't know. This does not, however, imply a freedom from the phenomena experienced, much like a car will have a big impact on you if you found yourself in its path when crossing the street (pun intended), even though that car inherently is not you.

The Three Characteristics step is somewhat less familiar. I have an intellectual understanding of these, as they are indeed core teachings, but have not fully realized them (i.e. they are not part of my normal perception or direct experience). This holds true especially for no-self/anatta, given the realization of which would most likely mean that we would not be having this conversation. ;)

As for the Arising and Passing away, reading the description on the wiki lead to a bit of an aha! moment. It correlates strongly with an event which occurred perhaps 4-5 years ago, which was dissimilar to any other experience previous to or following that event, especially in a sober and non-meditative state. I am extremely wary of confirmation bias, or in fact paying much attention to these things at all, as many teachings in the Zen tradition (which is what mainly constitutes my practical framework), instructs the meditator to not attach to any such experience or phenomena (called makyo). Still, I will give a condensed recount of this event, in case it might be helpful.

Having laid down on the couch to "chill out" for no particular reason, I found myself drifting lower down the scale of consciousness, as happens when one is falling asleep. I did, however, retain awareness. After an unknown amount of time having passed, I found myself in a state of mind which I don't know how to describe. It was very ambient, content and concept-less, with no sensation of the body, mind or self. Like an empty space more or less stripped of phenomena and perception, if you will. Awareness was very much present, however. Take note that this happened spontaneously and without intention or direction.

The only other thing I can recount is what brought me out of this state. There was a point, not spatial or visual or some-such, just a point, or perhaps focus of awareness. If it had been there all the time or had arisen later on, and at which point I became aware of it, I can't tell. This point somehow exploded, like the cracking of a nut or the fission of an atom. This was an incredibly powerful event, like someone had fired a 155mm naval cannon in the same room, immediately jolting me back to being awake. For the following three days I had an enormous amount of energy, clarity and focus, and an intense sense of well-being, with no need to eat or sleep. This then gradually settled, has not happened again and I have not pursued it.


Current practice and aims

Looking at it one way, my practice has derailed, as during the last 1-2 years I have not sat in formal meditation a lot. Looking at it another way, I have become completely absorbed by the question What is this? (this is a device known as a koan in the Zen tradition). By that I mean, it has become part of my fabric to such an extent that even consciously and actively resisting inquiry still does not do away with it. It is becoming more and more pronounced, as is my inability to crack the nut, which is starting to drive me insane.

Simultaneously, I have analysed a lot of philosophies, practices, frameworks, concepts and so on, and have reached a point of surrender. A Don't know state of mind. The problem here is that it is on an intellectual level, and not realized in direct experience. It is also in conflict with the above. Well... at which point either nut is cracked, I suspect that this is where you will end up, anyway. (This don't know type of mind particularly emphasized in Zen and Pyrronism).

I have since long abandoned the pursuit or even idea of enlightenment. It seems absurd to strive for something which I have no idea of what it is, and that is per definition undefinable such that it can be directly realised (paradoxes abound, today!). But there's no going back now. I cannot possibly return to my previous modus operandi. However, some unfortunate by-products of society and modern life, such as the prospect of say starvation and other unpleasantries, tend to get in the middle of things and mess it up.

My sole wish is to resolve the question What is this? Call that resolution whatever you want. I have no idea; I am absolutely clueless. Literally.

The question is if this current approach will plunge me into psychosis or not. Maybe it is wise to re-focus on concentration, so as to both gain some stability but also increase the capacity for inquiry, as it is seemingly not sufficient, or perhaps even misapplied altogether. A return to formal sittings (in addition) might also be a good idea.

Please let me know what you think.
thumbnail
katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Ok: I see you have answered Tommy with more detail. Useful!

Looking at it one way, my practice has derailed, as during the last 1-2 years I have not sat in formal meditation a lot. Looking at it another way, I have become completely absorbed by the question What is this? (this is a device known as a koan in the Zen tradition). By that I mean, it has become part of my fabric to such an extent that even consciously and actively resisting inquiry still does not do away with it. It is becoming more and more pronounced, as is my inability to crack the nut, which is starting to drive me insane.
...
My sole wish is to resolve the question What is this? Call that resolution whatever you want. I have no idea; I am absolutely clueless. Literally.
So, at this moment, "What is this?" is you going insane and having a sole wish to resolve. Why are you going insane, why do you wish to resolve?

[Edit: This can be considered in formal sittings (as you note you are already considering).]
anthropomorphic inquirer, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 6 Join Date: 12/9/11 Recent Posts
Hi Katy! Thank you for putting your time and effort into providing feedback.

Just to make sure we are on the same page, I would like to clarify something. I do not attach any value to any tradition or philosophy per se. That is to say, I consider the Dharma (in the teachings/traditions sense) and its equivalents to be nothing but skillful means. I am not (any longer) looking for a model of the universe to subscribe to, but am only really interested in the nature of reality in the most direct sense.

As such I tend to discard aspects of many things that I do not find useful in this pursuit; and also not pose a requirement that something must necessarily convey the truth and all of the truth. It is on this basis that I've found Zen to be appealing in its practical and pragmatic approach (technique), but also to discard the Mahayana aspect of it (ritual, dogma, "world view"), such as for an example the Bodhisattva concept. This is not to say this is not useful to, or right for, others, but I personally find it to be unnecessary noise that gets in the way of asking the real, hard question. Likewise, this is where I regard Pyrronism to not be any different from Buddhism (it's sole focus is on no-mind), although it could be considered a limited subset of it. I'm just looking for the tools.

You have managed to nail it on the head, really, when you speak of avoidance. I try to extrapolate this onto the entirety of practice. That is, avoiding detours in trying to get to the point.

You might also be right when you speak of nihilism. My early interpretation of buddhist philosophy, such as of impermanence, was severely misguided (actually, any interpretation of this is probably misguided), and it might have stuck with me subconsciously. I still appreciate my partner, and am fortunate enough to have have a passion for what I do professionally. But this just "isn't it".

My reason for asking the question "What is this?" is probably a compound of many causes. I cannot give you an exact answer. It is a bit like the drive to find water after you have been out in the sun for a few days. This is the only thing that, deep down, I feel really matters. I'm being driven bonkers simply because I cannot resolve the question. (Side note: this is a very similar type of anxiety experienced when the ego is being dismantled and broken down when using psychedelic drugs)
thumbnail
katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
As such I tend to discard aspects of many things that I do not find useful in this pursuit; and also not pose a requirement that something must necessarily convey the truth and all of the truth. It is on this basis that I've found Zen to be appealing in its practical and pragmatic approach (technique), but also to discard the Mahayana aspect of it (ritual, dogma, "world view"), such as for an example the Bodhisattva concept. This is not to say this is not useful to, or right for, others, but I personally find it to be unnecessary noise that gets in the way of asking the real, hard question.
Ok I understand. Anyway, it can be useful and beneficial to steer clear of metta and the like if one currently has no sense of it or an aversion to it, for whatever reason.

Likewise, this is where I regard Pyrronism to not be any different from Buddhism (it's sole focus is on no-mind)
Could you explain what you mean by "no-mind", so that I may understand your understanding on this?

This is the only thing that, deep down, I feel really matters. I'm being driven bonkers simply because I cannot resolve the question.
I understand. I very much understand the ramping up compulsion of "What is this?" That you are nearly going nuts, yet express apparent composure for certain stable aspects of your life, seems very good. It is from this peaking desire and dissatisfaction that one can form pure intention and focus and sustained, quality effort.

So, pointing to you again, "What is this?" is currently driving "you" bonkers because "you" cannot resolve the question.

If you sit for some time in open awareness (determine the amount of time, set a timer, then stay the course), what is the first thought/feeling/story that you produce which interrupts open awareness? When the alarm goes off, what is the last thought/feeling/story that you produced which interrupted open awareness?
anthropomorphic inquirer, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 6 Join Date: 12/9/11 Recent Posts
katy steger:

Could you explain what you mean by "no-mind", so that I may understand your understanding on this?

Perhaps by indirect reference: the complete arrest of judgement; dissolution of beliefs and (pre)conceptions; detachment from phenomena; "don't know".

I understand. I very much understand the ramping up compulsion of "What is this?" That you are nearly going nuts, yet express apparent composure for certain stable aspects of your life, seems very good. It is from this peaking desire and dissatisfaction that one can form pure intention and focus and sustained, quality effort.

Yes, this makes a lot of sense. I guess I am slightly worried that I might not be using the most appropriate and skillful approach. I am actually really unstable, but due to previous experience with psychedelics I've learned to maintain some superficial "control" or "cool" during adverse mental conditions. I'm not sure if this is to be considered a good thing or a bad thing in this case?

So, pointing to you again, "What is this?" is currently driving "you" bonkers because "you" cannot resolve the question.

If "I" resolve this question, then please hit me in the head really hard! ;) Of course, you are right, the whole point of asking is to dismantle the "I".

If you sit for some time in open awareness (determine the amount of time, set a timer, then stay the course), what is the first thought/feeling/story that you produce which interrupts open awareness? When the alarm goes off, what is the last thought/feeling/story that you produced which interrupted open awareness?

I'll let you know in a bit!


Thanks. emoticon
thumbnail
katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Yes, this makes a lot of sense. I guess I am slightly worried that I might not be using the most appropriate and skillful approach. I am actually really unstable, but due to previous experience with psychedelics I've learned to maintain some superficial "control" or "cool" during adverse mental conditions. I'm not sure if this is to be considered a good thing or a bad thing in this case?
(Here I would just like to caution that it could very much help you (and cause no-fixed-anxiety) if you had sincere kindness for self and mind.)

[edit: typos]
[further edited to get to the point]
thumbnail
katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi anthropomorphic inquirer,

Background
Philosophical incline since teens. Avid ex-user of psychedelics. Started looking into religion, spiritualism, etc. at age 19 (now 26). Mostly familiar and comfortable with Theravada, Zen (minus the Mahayana aspect), Hellenistic Greek philosophy (in particular Phyrronism). Interested in getting to the point - don't care much for the vehicle it comes in. Mostly self-study, with a focus on theory (early on), vipassana (later), and contemplation/general inquiry (throughout, now).
You noted having a zen practice "minus the Mahayana aspect"; what aspect are you excepting?

If your'e most comfortable in Phyhrronism, then it is going to be very hard to "[get] to the point".

But I can relate to your point: "[wrestling] the reasoning mind to self-collapse".

So, I'll reply from a largely buddhist practice, which began in zen.

Problem
I'm stuck in an intellectual/psychological quicksand.

Due to various reasons, experiences and following inquiry, I have since a number of years back reached a point of no return.
I just read in another thread an analogy for meditation: like a snake in a bamboo pole, the way out is to continue forward.

What I mean by that is that I have asked the question "what is this?" in one way or another a bit too sincerely, to the point where it brings into question everything else, and that it is impossible to stop asking it. That is to say, I have become fundamentally dissatisfied with the mundane (career, relationships, ...); although I still pursue a career and have a relationship, but the modus operandi of which now seem shallow and superficial. The needle's been put to the balloon, if you will.

I know this is regarded as a positive thing by some (traditions), as it is what will give you drive to go on. Or it can destroy you, especially in the absence of guidance (a teacher), misconceptions about the teachings, etc. The latter is exactly what is going on right now.

The question carries much weight. But my spirits are increasingly weighed down by my inability to solve it (or to stop asking). This could of course be basic grasping and aversion, or some other basic flaw of the human condition. I know this is the point (to wrestle the reasoning mind to self-collapse), but the whole thing is starting to loop back onto itself and is creating somewhat of a paradoxical brainfuck (pardon my language), creating massive amounts of anxiety.
Not knowing your practice, if you have a meditative practice, then here is a three-seals interpretation:

If you started meditation in a buddhist tradition, then you likely repeated a phrase like "may the merit of this practice benefit all sentient beings" or "I vow to save all sentient beings." Keep this in mind for a moment. (Zen is a Mahayana tradition and includes this aspiration due to its founder Bodhidharma, so it would be interesting to know what you've excluded from Zen.)

Back to the question weighing on you (in terms of the buddhist seals): even where "what is this?" is answered with a correct understanding, if the understanding is not developed/applied in every moment, then the failure to develop/apply the understanding in every moment can easily result in dissatisfaction. This is like: if I have water, yet do not drink it, then I will deteriorate.

Logically, a buddhist answer to "What is this?" understands impermanence ("anicca"), that all phenomena are changing and lack fixed or substrate nature, including the impermanent phenomena of one's own self ("anatta"), where the "self" (in my definition) is the realm over which one perceives personal agency, e.g., my ability to wiggle my toes and to direct thoughts and to feel feelings as well as autonomic entitlements such as breathing and heart beats.

Sometimes - even as a result of having a logical grasp of anicca and applying it in every moment, the experience of actuality's impermanence may overwhelm a person with the knowledge of insubstantiality (lack of substance/essential substrate), and nihilism or pre-nihilism may result. Do nihilism or being overwhelmed by insubstantiality describe what you mean when you write, "I still pursue a career and have a relationship, but the modus operandi of which now seem shallow and superficial. The needle's been put to the balloon"?

If so, in a buddhist model, one can focus the practice towards understanding no-fixed-self (anatta). If there is a strong sense of fixed self, then it is naturally strange to have a fixed self eternally touring an impermanent universe. (It may be useful to orient towards practices that understand a fixed heaven if you have a conviction in a fixed self. I would also recommend you look at actualism, but its sensuousness may be at odds with your Pyrrhonism, not to mention its many words may cause you more intellectual quicksand, tho it may appeal to you (or further distract and postpone your anxious mind)).

Question
Is it safe/sane to proceed on my own; and if so, how? (My intuition says to re-focus on concentration)

Concentration meditation is useful in as much as it helps you train the mind on its objects. It can become a distraction, an avoidance habit to temporarily occupy a restless mind. This is like: if I don't want to study, I clean. If I don't want to clean, I exercise...I justify avoidance of what needs to be done with some "noble" or "commendable" diversion. Nevertheless, concentration is often considered a pre-requisite to insight meditation, and this makes sense: train the mind to pay attention on and know its working via simple things, before asking it to tackle itself, body, emotions, cravings, etc.

(That said, you can still make time to concentrate and develop your insights into every moment practice (and this every moment practice can reveal (in)utility and maturation of a particular insight.)

If you understand impermanence (anicca), including the impermanence of self as no-fixed-self (anatta), and suffering/dissatisfaction (dukkha), then I would recommend applying and developing those in your life at every moment...especially in the context of the beginner's vow: may the merit of the practice benefit all sentient beings. The four immeasurables are natural consequences of practice even if they are not the practice.



What do you think?
thumbnail
Andrew Jones, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
katy steger:


"may the merit of this practice benefit all sentient beings" or "I vow to save all sentient beings." Keep this in mind for a moment.



I would second that this. If you wish the nut to crack, 'what this is' to become apparent with the greatest expediency, then the foundation of you practice needs to be based in 'unselfishness'. The sooner this is your prime motivation, the sooner the rest can fall into place.

It will also quickly reveal what keeps the nut in place. (hint- 'you'.)

regards
anthropomorphic inquirer, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 6 Join Date: 12/9/11 Recent Posts
Thanks, Andrew.

Although your advice might be sound, I have deliberately kept away from this as for me, personally, it only seems to reinforce the image of self. Maybe I'm just a thick-headed bugger that more of needs a freight train to hit me right through the head, haha. ;)
C C C, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
The question: "What is this?" has no answer. Stop trying to force one. Life has no answer, no meaning and no purpose.

Adyashanti says: "Mother Mary didn’t figure it out. Buddha didn’t figure it out. Ramana didn’t figure it out. None of them figured it out. They just became That".

Stop figuring. Your figuring is your ego trying to make sense of Life.

McKenna says: "What could be more devastating to the ego than the contemplation of meaninglessness and insignificance? Of nothingness? Of no-self?" See where he's going with this? You fear letting go of your intellect. Secretly, you believe your intellect can work it out, crack the nut. It can't.

Intellectual discourse is so highly favoured in the dho. Just have a a look at any thread and you will see intellects striving to understand, and to make sense of it all. It's pathetic. The dho is full of sciencey intellects trying to scientize what can't be scientized. And they will continue to do so. Maya compels them. Letting go of the intellect is frightening.

Phyrronism!!! Come on now, admit it. You threw that in because you thought it sounded good.
thumbnail
Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Intellectual discourse is so highly favoured in the dho. Just have a a look at any thread and you will see intellects striving to understand, and to make sense of it all. It's pathetic. The dho is full of sciencey itellects trying to scientize what can't be scientized. And they will continue to do so. Maya compels them. Letting go of the intellect is frightening.

Since it's obviously so pathetic to one as enlightened and advanced as yourself, why bother your arse wasting your time posting?
C C C, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
I took a vow to the great Buddha to help all pathetic sciencey sentient beings. emoticon

Letting go of the intellect is frightening only if you pride yourself on it. There's a heck of a lot of intellectual pride in the dho.

I also have things which hold my ego intact. I don't want to let go of them either. I also want to be 'more' rather than 'less'.
thumbnail
Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
C C C:
There's a heck of a lot of intellectual pride in the dho.



Types of Pride. Good to check oneself now and then.


1. Charity pride: You're too proud to accept help or charity even when you're having tough times.

2. Physical pride: We pass the beautiful woman who wears an arrogant, supercilious expression that says, "You're lucky I'm not charging you money to simply look at me, loser."

3. Stubborn pride: You won't back down on a position even though you know you're wrong because you're too proud.

4. Vindication pride: George Costanza hates his girlfriend but he refuses to break up with her because he wants everyone who accuses him of being too immature to be in a relationship to believe otherwise. Of course, his stupidity proves their point.

5. Perfectionist pride: You throw away a chocolate cake you made for your family because it doesn't meet your high standards.

6. No excuses pride: You always deliver top quality product and performance on time and you are never late. Nor do you ever disappoint people because you have pride in your honor and integrity.

7. Indignation pride (adapted from Louis C.K.): These are people who see themselves as victims because they operate on the stupid belief that NOTHING BAD IS SUPPOSED TO EVER HAPPEN TO THEM. Their dinner reservation might be late; their airplane departure might be late; their dry cleaning might not be ready. Whatever it is, they always have the same response: "THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? YOU WILL BE HEARING FROM MY ATTORNEYS!"

8. Intellectual pride: You believe you are intellectually superior to the human race and because you are superior you do not have to comform to the same moral principles as the rest of the world. In fact, your noncomformity, your moral lapses and moral depravity, prove your superiority.

Intellectual pride is always the mask of the emotionally wounded, the people who have a grudge or a chip on their shoulder. They wear their pride as an excuse so they don't have to grow up and have moral accountability and adult responsibilities like the rest of us.

Intellectual pride is a childish position. It is the position of emotional retardation.

Intellectual pride cuts us off from the rest of the human race.

Intellectual pride cuts off our empathy.

Intellectual pride results in solipsism, extreme self-centeredeness, and as such its final destination is insanity.

Taken from here: http://herculodge.typepad.com/herculodge/2011/07/the-8-types-of-pride.html
anthropomorphic inquirer, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 6 Join Date: 12/9/11 Recent Posts
Thank you for your concern, CCC.

I am well aware of what I am doing. What I am unsure of is whether my current direction and velocity is to be deemed as positive (the nut is about to dent or crack), or negative (full-blown psychosis, spending X amount of time at a ward). This might not be immediately clear to someone who is in that position. Hence reaching out for advice from someone whom might have already been through the same point or experience.

As for Pyrronism - 84000 gates.
C C C, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: How and if to proceed

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
anthropomorphic inquirer:
Thank you for your concern, CCC.

I am well aware of what I am doing. What I am unsure of is whether my current direction and velocity is to be deemed as positive (the nut is about to dent or crack), or negative (full-blown psychosis, spending X amount of time at a ward). This might not be immediately clear to someone who is in that position. Hence reaching out for advice from someone whom might have already been through the same point or experience.

As for Pyrronism - 84000 gates.


Eckhart Tolle reckons he made it through that way. Why not shoot him an email? He might find some time to reply if he is not too busy with all his marketing and merchandising commitments!

McKenna ditto, but I've heard he doesn't answer emails.