Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/24/23 8:38 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Martin 11/23/23 8:33 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Dream Walker 11/24/23 2:08 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/24/23 8:49 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/24/23 4:38 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/24/23 3:02 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/25/23 3:12 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/25/23 4:31 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/25/23 4:31 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/25/23 9:46 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/25/23 3:18 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/24/23 7:47 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/25/23 3:21 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Papa Che Dusko 11/25/23 12:13 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/25/23 3:24 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/25/23 12:36 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/25/23 3:47 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/25/23 4:19 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/26/23 1:20 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/26/23 8:10 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/26/23 12:20 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/26/23 8:31 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/26/23 11:07 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/27/23 1:51 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Papa Che Dusko 11/27/23 1:14 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/25/23 3:54 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/25/23 4:02 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/26/23 1:44 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/26/23 5:26 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/25/23 4:00 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Papa Che Dusko 11/26/23 12:18 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/26/23 5:41 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/26/23 1:55 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/26/23 5:44 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/26/23 2:26 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/26/23 6:47 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/27/23 11:57 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/27/23 5:12 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/27/23 2:32 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/27/23 5:21 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/27/23 5:32 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/27/23 6:31 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 11/27/23 8:29 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 4:09 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 3:27 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/27/23 9:09 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Jim Smith 11/27/23 9:25 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 4:00 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/28/23 8:13 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 11/28/23 8:44 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 7:35 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 4:00 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 7:48 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 11:18 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Papa Che Dusko 11/28/23 1:30 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 4:02 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 4:25 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path shargrol 11/28/23 5:37 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 12:34 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 6:34 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 6:51 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 4:25 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/28/23 8:24 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 12:01 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Adi Vader 11/28/23 9:11 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Olivier S 11/28/23 9:44 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Adi Vader 11/28/23 10:03 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 5:02 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Adi Vader 11/28/23 10:23 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 12:29 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 4:51 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/28/23 1:21 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 6:11 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/28/23 6:28 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 8:17 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/28/23 8:42 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/30/23 2:44 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/28/23 11:01 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/29/23 8:01 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/30/23 2:18 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/30/23 8:11 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/30/23 8:26 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/1/23 3:04 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 12/1/23 7:25 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 12/1/23 8:34 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 12/1/23 8:37 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 12/1/23 8:50 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 12/2/23 12:49 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 4:30 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 4:40 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/28/23 5:10 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path shargrol 11/29/23 6:22 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/29/23 8:07 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/1/23 3:54 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path shargrol 12/1/23 5:30 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 12/1/23 6:30 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/30/23 3:06 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path shargrol 11/29/23 8:34 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 11/29/23 8:39 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/30/23 3:07 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 11/29/23 4:11 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 11/29/23 8:46 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/30/23 2:37 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path shargrol 11/30/23 9:04 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/1/23 3:27 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/30/23 2:53 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/1/23 3:40 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/30/23 3:57 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 11/30/23 6:52 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 11/30/23 7:58 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/1/23 5:44 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Bahiya Baby 12/1/23 6:40 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Papa Che Dusko 12/1/23 3:55 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/1/23 3:31 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Papa Che Dusko 12/2/23 3:40 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 4:07 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 12/1/23 8:57 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/11/23 1:24 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 12/11/23 7:57 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 12/1/23 6:47 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 5:08 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path shargrol 12/1/23 6:52 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Chris M 12/1/23 7:06 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/1/23 7:09 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 11:43 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Not two, not one 12/11/23 2:29 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 5:17 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/2/23 11:25 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/2/23 2:33 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path J W 12/3/23 6:43 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/3/23 7:02 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Papa Che Dusko 12/3/23 11:58 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 11:20 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 5:18 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path J W 12/4/23 12:35 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 5:20 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path J W 12/4/23 3:12 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Adi Vader 12/4/23 10:14 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/10/23 5:34 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path terry 12/11/23 12:02 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path J W 12/11/23 7:42 PM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path Ni Nurta 12/12/23 12:58 AM
RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path J W 12/12/23 3:52 AM
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 8:38 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/23/23 4:03 PM

Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1038 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
I don’t like to claim 4th path as it seems discordant with the understanding of the world I now have, and it is part of a frame of reference that I no longer have occasion to use. However, talking with a friend (you know who you are!) has prompted me to reflect a little on my phenomenological experience, and I thought that I should share that with the DhO because this is what we are all about, right? :-)

Although I might claim to fully understand the dharma through direct knowledge, my understanding has continued to evolve through ongoing reflection (vipassana) of my lived experience. So there are some subtle aspects that continue to reveal themselves. 

One of these is understanding the relativity of frames of reference. For a while, I regarded some ways of existing as subtly more correct – or concordant with the truth of the dharma. However, over time I came to realize that this too was a frame of reference, and in fact there is no anchor whatsoever (yay!). I had already seen that living in Rigpa or merging Atman and Brahman were absorptions in the God realm rather than being simple human states, but eventually I realized that an empty equanimity is also a kind of arbitrary state. This is all just six realms stuff really, and the ongoing interplay between form and emptiness, but it has taken a little while to fully grok it and live it. So now I niether bind to nor avoid any of the six realms, nor really distinguish between form and emptiness (there is just existence).

I also live as a householder, and the householder life has ‘fetters’ (chosen and beloved). This choice engages the limbic system and draws one into the emotional trials and tribulations of the world. Those trials are part of the human experience, they don’t obvioulsy stick in a psychological maner although they do have an impact on more subtle physical and energetic systems. Conversely knowing the dharma enables me to choose to live with joy in my householder life and other connections. It is better than ever now, really really great. Just awesome. Of course with ups and downs because that is the human experience. But I see that the monastic life has fetters too! They are more rarefied but they are still there, and denying them will of course just feed psychological suppression that pops out as some kind of ego extension (doctrinal wars spring to mind). For example, refusing to claim attainments is a fetter. I can understand wandering total renunciates as those choosing to reject all fetters – but even that rejection is a fetter!  This is all in the dharma clearly stated – those who finish the holy life still have to deal with the residue remaining until death and the break up of the body. At that point there are no more fetters, just the rippling ongoing influence of the life that was lived.

So if it is not about absorption in a god-like state, and not about avoidance of all fetters, what then?  One clear candidate is non-dual expansion. My default baseline is an utterly non-dual expanded state with no verbal formations and a content flowing equanimity - I guess you could call it kind of mild Rigpa. But sometimes I may become contracted, or emotional, or whatever. Not much, but not never. And there is ongoing cycling through the stages of insight. Although expansion is the default, I observe it coming and going as a mental object as noted in the greater discourse on mindfulness. Maintaining it constantly beyond normal cycling or choosing to deepen by shutting down adjacent mental activity is an absoprtion, a practice, an effort.

However, there is one thing that has been completely unshakeable with zero effort since that final path moment, and has never wavered at all, no matter the stage of the cycle or the trials and tribulations of life. And that is centerlessness.  Everything else comes and goes a bit, but the centerlessness is totally stable through everything. As Shinzen says, there is no conceit of a central ‘I’ there. There is no center. That concept simply no longer applies. And perhaps associated with that, there is what seems to be complete control over my karma, in terms of the formation of new psychological triggers.

It's all in the suttas really, the rooting up of ignorance leading to the cessation of rebirth and the ending of karma. Rebirth being the stacatto intermittent creation of the central ‘me’ and associated feelings. I have also been lucky enough to vipassanize that moment of rebirth, so I have a sense of exactly what it feels like and why it arises. But that is a something for another post.

Anyway, I thought some people might be interested, and I would love to hear how this phenomenological experience accords with that of others.

With love

Malcolm
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 11/23/23 8:33 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/23/23 8:33 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 725 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for posting this.
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 2:08 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 2:08 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1643 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Congratulations on getting what you got.
It does not end with your description.
There is more, time will test where you are.
Without a center can evolve to objects not referencing to you.
Rigpa is a good goal. 
Hold the highest standards, it is worthy to overachieve.
Good luck,
​​​​​​​~D
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 8:49 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 8:49 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 5084 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Hello, Malcolm.

First, I fixed the font in your post. I suspect you copied the text in from a text editor of one kind or another. This copy process often brings with it hidden formatting commands that cause the text of the post of DhO to take on a very small size. It was so small that my old person's eyes couldn't read it easily. I hope you don't mind the change I made.

Second, in response to your request for comparisons, in my experience the biggest alterations were:

1. Lasting centerlessness
2. No hierarchy to experience - all experiences are on the same plane, with no exceptions
3. An immediate and lasting reaction - "Now I get the cosmic joke." (I can explain further if interested)
4. The seeking is what stood in the way of the finding

Congrats on the change in your experience!
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 3:02 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 3:02 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Not two, not one


With love

Malcolm


aloha malcolm!

   Any time one ventures into the discursive realm with a spiritual self assessment, one has lost one's grip on the cliff edge and plunged into free fall.

   One then goes splat! "All and all can only fall with a crashing but meaningless blow." (dylan)
  
 It's like the news, which is olds, yesterday's news. It's like a photograph, a moment frozen in time, and the raft already down river before the pen even breaks.

   Of course I can readily relate to what you have said. Even so, the lines below all generated the "lol" response. Of course, amusement is my baseline state. 


 For example, refusing to claim attainments is a fetter.
  
 
"Attainments." Seriously? Are you a child, playing with toys? Seeing through a glass darkly?

We are all thus come. In rejecting attainments we attain. In the absence of views we attain right view, which is another way of saying there is no correct or incorrect, no right or wrong no two and no one. In the acceptance of isness isness becomes notisness. If you understand what I am saying you are missing the point.


I can understand wandering total renunciates as those choosing to reject all fetters – but even that rejection is a fetter! 


   There aren't any total renunciates, and iff there were they wouldn't be buddhists. The more total the renunciation, the greater the degree of absurdity.  OCD. Try deconstruct renunciation, means to swear off, to say no. Discursive commitments of questionable and tainted veracity. 


As Shinzen says, there is no conceit of a central ‘I’ there. There is no center. 

  Sez who?

If you think the harmony
Is a little dark and out of key
You're correct
There's nobody there
And I told you there's no one there

~george harrison


The conceit of a central "I" is one thing and having a center is something else. There is the discursive nominal conceptual grasping intellectual idea of a center, the I that one would like to deal with, I on I so to speak, mano a mano, and then there is the actual knower who shadows everything in our consciousness and inferentially everything else as well, and beyond things into before things and after things and non things.


It's all in the suttas really, the rooting up of ignorance leading to the cessation of rebirth and the ending of karma. 


It's all poetry once elvis left the building, but while this line expresses truth, in the context of you ending karma in your life it seems open to question.

The idea that one could end karma is rather like the legislature repealing the law of gravity. Readily asserted but hardly possible on its face. 

The law of cause and effect, bra. Reminds me of one of my favorite koans, #2 on the top fifty (mumonkan), hyakujo's fox. These foxes, you know, they identify with their rhetoric, their "attainments," and down the primrose path to the holy land they go.

Might say centerlessness is a fetter, doubly so if clung to. Just another verbal claim. 

I mean, really bra, how could one experience centerlessness? Yip yip fox talk.

Am I wrong?  (toothy grin)




CASE 2: Hyakujô and the Fox


Case:

Whenever master Hyakujô delivered a sermon, an old man was always there listening with
the monks. When they left, he left too. One day, however, he remained behind. The master
asked him, “What man are you, standing in front of me?” The man replied, “Indeed, I am not
a man. In the past, in the time of Kashyapa Buddha, I lived on this mountain as a priest. On
one occasion a monk asked me, 'Does a perfectly enlightened person fall under the law of
cause and effect or not?' I answered, 'He does not.' Because of this answer, I fell into the state
of a fox for 500 lives. Now, I beg you, Master, please say a turning word on my behalf and
release me from the body of a fox.” Then he asked, “Does a perfectly enlightened person fall
under the law of cause and effect or not?” The master answered, “The law of cause and effect
cannot be obscured.” Upon hearing this, the old man immediately became deeply enlightened.
Making his bow, he said, “I have now been released from the old fox and will be behind the
mountain. I dare to make a request of the Master. Please perform my funeral as you would for
a deceased priest.” The master had Inô strike the anvil with a gavel and announce to the
monks that after the meal there would be a funeral service for a deceased priest. The monks
wondered, saying, “All are healthy. No one is sick in the infirmary. What's this all about?”
After the meal, the master led the monks to the foot of a rock behind the mountain and with his staff
poked out the dead body of a fox. He then performed the ceremony of cremation.

That evening the master ascended the rostrum in the hall and told the monks the story.
Ôbaku thereupon asked, “The man of old missed the turning word and fell to the state of a fox
for 500 lives. Suppose every time he answered he made no mistakes, what would happen
then?” The master said, “Just come nearer and I'll tell you.” Ôbaku then went up to the
master and slapped him. The master clapped his hands and, laughing aloud, said, “I thought
the barbarian's beard was red, but here is a barbarian with a red beard!”


Mumon's Commentary:

Not falling under the law of cause and effect - for what reason had he fallen into the state of a
fox? The law of cause and effect cannot be obscured - for what reason has he been released
from a fox's body? If in regard to this you have the one eye, then you will understand that the
former Hyakujô enjoyed 500 lives of grace as a fox.



Verse:

Not falling, not obscuring,
Two faces, one die.
Not obscuring, not falling,
A thousands mistakes, ten thousand mistakes. 


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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 4:31 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 4:11 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1624 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Malcolm,

Can you describe what the other paths are like?

​​​​​​​Or is there a link to an explanation you recommend?

Thanks
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 4:38 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 4:37 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Chris M

"Now I get the cosmic joke." (I can explain further if interested) 




​​​​​​​do tell...



from finnegan's wake, james joyce...

​​​​​​​Shun the Punman!: safely and soundly soccered that fenemine Parish Poser, (how dare he!) umprumptu rightoway hames, much to his thanks, gratiasagam, to all the wrong donatrices, biss Drinkbattle’s Dingy Dwellings where (for like your true venuson Esau he was dovetimid as the dears at Bottome) he shat in (zoo), like the muddy goalbind who he was (dun), the chassetitties belles conclaiming: You and your gift of your gaft of your garbage abaht our Farvver! and gaingridando: Hon! Verg! Nau! Putor! Skam! Schams! Shames!

And so it all ended. Artha kama dharma moksa. Ask Kavya for the kay. And so everybody heard their plaint and all listened to their plause. The letter! The litter! And the soother the bitther! Of eyebrow pencilled, by lipstipple penned. Borrowing a word and begging the question and stealing tinder and slipping like soap.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 7:47 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/24/23 7:47 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 5084 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The joke is that there's nowhere to go. Nothing to chase. Nothing new to find. What we seek so single-mindedly for so long was always right here, right now. I chased for years and woke up in my own front yard, where I had been all my life.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 12:13 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 12:13 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2639 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
The joke is that This will never be anything else than what it is.

Empty myriad stuff-fluff. 
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 4:31 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 4:31 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1624 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Malcolm,

And with 4th path (and any of the other paths you care to comment on) is it a realization that you see once and that is all you have to do, or is it something you have to perfect or stabilize with meditation, and if the latter do you have to continue to meditate daily to maintain it?

Thanks
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 9:46 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 9:46 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 5084 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'm not Malcolm but I'll add this - paths mark permanent changes that can't be undone.
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 12:36 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1038 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Oh, so many things to engage with.  First, thanks for the fix Chris!

Dream Walker "Without a center can evolve to objects not referencing to you" would you care to share a little more? :-)

Second, Aloha Terry, I see you!  :-). Are you here for the 5 minute argument or the 10 minute argument?  If it's the 10 minute argument that'll be another five dollars please.  But how can we argue when we agree?  One frame of reference often seems a little absurd to another, yet words are fixed while different audiences dance among the possible meanings. So to pick on one point, yes the description I ascribe to the suttas of the end of karma is a mundane idea and easily ripped up by less mundane frames of reference. But you might notice I also said with reference to myself ... "there is what seems to be complete control over my karma, in terms of the formation of new psychological triggers."  Subly different.

Jim, I'll try to answer but you ask for a book!! ... For me, it was like this:

The road to first: passion, curiosity, commitment.
First path: (leaving aside the path moment and review), not self, astonishment, lightness, freedom. Access to bliss. A completely profound life changing insight. Also, the first taste of the cosmic joke. I remember thinking, no wonder Zen masters are always laughing at their students! (This is of course my thought, not necessarily an accurate empirical desription - I'm sure Zen masters are really very serious...)

The road to second: rinse and repeat.
Second path: (almost identical path moment but a rather different review), deeper (!) not self, astonishment, wonder, void, determination. Access to the control room that runs our not-selves.

The road to third: the one fortunate attachment, let's strip down this engine and clean every component, and put it back together, while enjoying the ride. Let's peel back all the layers of the onion. Oh my god yet another layer! Will it ever end? Many different practices. Lots of weird experiences and insight moments primarily related to non-duality, emptiness, and the contruction of reality.
Semi-third path: Discover a new perceptual sense, the sense of space, overlaid with a joyous contentment. Have a mini post-review absorbed in the sense of space for a couple of weeks, very like Eckhart Tolle's description of his review, but much much shorter. This is quite an upgrade.
Third path: Rigpa pops out deep and intense during more or less all waking hours, and I stay COMPLETELY absorbed in it for three of four weeks. I don't have it during sleep, and it takes 10 seconds to consciously establish in the morning, and it pauses when I contract to form words in conversations with people. At the end it attenuates as I lose interest, or find it slightly unsatisfatory, much like finding one jhana slightly unsatisfactory before moving to the next. It's just another fetter, really. One nice aspect is that I can then recognise that I had had glimpses of Rigpa in the past, and in retrospect could have worked with those more. A missed opportunity from an early age.

The road to fourth. The cosmic joke returns in force! I can't believe how stupid I have been. It's absolutely ludicrous (see Chris's point 4). WIth help I move to non-meditation and the natural mind pops out, and I make a huge effort to root out the last bit. Nothing happens ....  then *pop*.  I have an encounter with a roaming cow that day, so I am very careful about that.

So going back to your question Jim, I think there are core outcomes in response to the path moments and these are permanent, as Chris says.  But there are insights that unfold or deepen with time because you don't actually have to perfect everything to get a path moment, just enough. So the things not yet dealt with may unfold a little more, and of course we are living beings so our existence and understanding will continue to evolve. To quote Bob Dylan "he not busy being born is busy dying".

And some of the things we can do with meditation may be more easily accessible if you are "match fit". As with any sport if you train you can perform better. But meditation is not required to maintain and develop the key insights ... although ... what is meditation?  In some ways, with higher paths, life becomes meditation as you are so much more mindful of the construction of your reality. So let's say formal practice on the cushion is not required to maintain and develop the key insights. 

To continue the engine metaphor - having been blown away by discovering this amazing lime green 1957 Ford Thunderbird in my garden shed, and the recognition that this completely changes my frame of reference about what is possible and not being stuck here in the daily grind, and having stripped down the car to get the engine humming, fixed the steering, learned all the controls, polished it up, made it gleaming and capable, added some sick flaming exhausts and plush upholstery, I'm now happy just to let it sit in the garage or occasionally run it down to the market for some milk and bread. I don't really like to drive it at more than 25 mph.

Aloha!

Malcolm
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 3:12 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
I don't know if I am enlightened or if I am living five hundred lives as a fox...

(and I don't care!)
​​​​​​​



“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”
― Zhuangzi, 
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 3:18 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
I'm not Malcolm but I'll add this - paths mark permanent changes that can't be undone.


like climate change...

business as usual = extinction
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 3:21 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
The joke is that there's nowhere to go. Nothing to chase. Nothing new to find. What we seek so single-mindedly for so long was always right here, right now. I chased for years and woke up in my own front yard, where I had been all my life.


When my grand daughter was two I could tell her the same joke over and over and she would laugh full bodied over and over until I tired of the game.

​​​​​​​Beginner's mind.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 3:24 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Papa Che Dusko
The joke is that This will never be anything else than what it is.

Empty myriad stuff-fluff. 


   And so, saving people = telling jokes.

​​​​​​​Laughter leaves one smiling.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 3:47 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one


Aloha Terry, I see you!  :-). Are you here for the 5 minute argument or the 10 minute argument? 
If it's the 10 minute argument that'll be another five dollars please. 


ah, ante up!

five will get you ten the odds are we could argue until the cows come home...

but perhaps we should stick to the punch lines...


"there is what seems to be complete control over my karma, in terms of the formation of new psychological triggers." 



I hate to be less mundane, but "complete control" impies a controller...



 there are insights that unfold or deepen with time because you don't actually have to perfect everything to get a path moment, just enough. So the things not yet dealt with may unfold a little more, and of course we are living beings so our existence and understanding will continue to evolve. To quote Bob Dylan "he not busy being born is busy dying".


At some point I would like to embark on an explanation of how insight works, in respect to apartment house living, where "one man's ceiling is another man's floor" (paul simon)  

(punchlines only now)


So let's say formal practice on the cushion is not required to maintain and develop the key insights. 



   Perhaps when your insights become more mature you will rethink this proposition...

(just jokes, old son)


To continue the engine metaphor - having been blown away by discovering this amazing lime green 1957 Ford Thunderbird in my garden shed, and the recognition that this completely changes my frame of reference about what is possible and not being stuck here in the daily grind, and having stripped down the car to get the engine humming, fixed the steering, learned all the controls, polished it up, made it gleaming and capable, added some sick flaming exhausts and plush upholstery, I'm now happy just to let it sit in the garage or occasionally run it down to the market for some milk and bread. I don't really like to drive it at more than 25 mph.


now me I'm always crashing into things (off road) and while my body scabs over and heals the truck has been accumulating dings...2007 toyota tacoma, peel paint scabby fenders homemade wooden bumper but excellent tires and it just passed inspection though they told me if they dmv actually looks at the pictures they may require some work...

Aloha!


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nui loa


Malcolm
​​​​​​​

terry
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 3:54 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 327 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Howdy! 

Thanks for posting, it's inspiring to read. I'm very curious how going so deep down the path has changed how you related to all the many people in your lay life who are more ordinary. Like I imagine you have a very different experience of everything (strong timelessness, no attachment/center of experience, stronger ease of being, etc) vs your friends, family, and maybe partner who are still being blown around by the worldly winds. How do you still connect with people and have a meaningful existence when your mind operates on such a different level?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 4:00 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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now if one of you venerables could explain centerlessness to this child I could die happy...
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 4:02 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Geoffrey B
Howdy! 

Thanks for posting, it's inspiring to read. I'm very curious how going so deep down the path has changed how you related to all the many people in your lay life who are more ordinary. Like I imagine you have a very different experience of everything (strong timelessness, no attachment/center of experience, stronger ease of being, etc) vs your friends, family, and maybe partner who are still being blown around by the worldly winds. How do you still connect with people and have a meaningful existence when your mind operates on such a different level?


lolololol

​​​​​​​I love it!
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/25/23 4:19 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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HI Malcolm,

Thank you for your reply.

I am also wondering how you knew you reached the next path moment.  Did you know what the realization would be and when it happened you recognized your experience matched your expectation to some extent?

Also, I have seen an explanation of how freedom from identity-view (1st fetter) ends doubt about the teachings (3rd fetter) as well as ends attachment to rites and rituals (2nd fetter, interpreted as practicing because you see how it works rather than because someone told you it works).

Do you think the other traditional stages of the fetter model have any basis?

​​​​​​​Thanks
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 12:18 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Show me the "center" Terry! Where is it? 

Also, for those opposed , show me the "centerlessness"! Where is it? 

I think we ought to involve "reactive patterns" into this discussion about timelessness and center less. Unless you tell me reactive patterns cease "permanently" after 4th path. 

How do these experiences relate to the "center" and the "centerlessness". And how to "time" and "timelessness"? 

Do I now wait in a long queue without the sense of self/centerlessness, but still bored to death in a timeless sense? 

Also Terry, how can you be certain there are people "out there" needing saving? Or a planet "out there" needing saving? 
When I say "out there" I mean how can you get out of your experience bubble to verify that the myriad beings and planet are indeed there? These could well be but projections. Or they could be real indeed. I don't know. 
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 1:20 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Jim, happy to offer my perspective.  No gaurantee of relevance to anybody else!

1st - Yes, it was obvious and exactly what was described in MCTB, except I didn't notice a time gap in fruition. Otherwise, it was absoluately textbook, although I got it through Jnana yoga rather than vipassana.  BANG!  

2nd - No, I thought it was just a super-powerful post-first path fruitiion achieved through applying another practice, I even thought "wow, I did it again", but it was quite disorienting so I didn't associate it with a path moment until later.  But it was another BANG, as opposed to post-path fruition and bliss wave.

3rd - Many people seem to expect this to be like 1 & 2, but it wasn't for me.  It seemed an ongoing set of endless micro (or even macro insights), except when I finished up the path there was a big cessation of snakharas and opening of perception and I knew I was just about, but not yet completely done.  FAR OUT MAN, ITS ALL JUST RIGHT THERE ...

4th - Different again. I had advice so knew what to expect, and that is what happened.  A LITTLE SHIMMER IN REALITY AND THAT WAS THAT.

As for the fetters - yes stream entry performed exactly as advertised on the first three fetters for me, except that instead of losing attachment to rites and rituals, I lost aversion!  But that aversion was cut off in an instant as the other two fetters were also lost at the path moment.  I think the fourth and fifth fetter are misinterpreted in the traditional texts, in my view they are actually psychological grapsing and aversion (not lust and hate), these were definitely significantly weakened and then later massively attenuated. The last five fetters also went during the final process of waking up.  Lusting for material existence (e.g. form jhanas), immaterial existence (e.g. non-form jhanas and non-duality), and conceit (I'm so enlighteeeeneeed ....) are the traps that lay in wait for those who are over proud of their achievements (you can see terry setting these traps for us up the thread!  lol). They go completely when you fully wake up. I still have a bit of restlessness which seems to be a physical thing (my kids tell me I'm ADD, but who knows), and some minor transient grasping and aversion as I live as a householder and this is just part of our biology, and the residue of karma remaining  - but it just arises and passes by without sticking.  The point is, we are still human, right?

Hope this helps.  You will likely get a complety different answer from someone else.

Malcolm
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 1:44 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Geoffrey, I'm glad it is useful, or at least entertaining! 

I don't agree that my mind operates at a different level.  In my view, all our minds operate at the same level, simply experiencing the present moment. There are many other differences between us but they are all trivial compared the extraordinary grace of experiencing existence. It doesn't matter whether you are rich or poor; white, black, brown or red; awake or striving; educated or not; influential or ignored - you are ALIVE.  

So I am just the same as anybody else, and of no more value, and probably of less value. To be in the presence of any other person is an amazing privilege. Existence is amazing, and people are part of existence!

The only difference for me is that my afflictions have ceased, my effluents have ended. I have taken the cure. That probably helps people around me as I stop emitting negative behavior that triggers them (we are all interdependent).  And with knowledge (as opposed to ignorance), it is hard not to be compassionate as you can see so clearly how challenging behaviour arises from unhappiness rather than genuine hostility.

But the path does take you on an emotional rollercoaster, and you have to deconstruct and rebuild your entire system, including emotions, so you need to be ready to perservere and act with respect and ethical practice during the more difficult times.  But keep going and everything comes out the other end better than before. You come back to the place you left, but much much happier and more content.  And that has to be good for those around you, those whom you choose to love, right?

Malcolm 
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 1:55 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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terry
now if one of you venerables could explain centerlessness to this child I could die happy...

If you closely examine the center, really grok it, see it clearly. Then it is the opposite of that.  Hang on, or is the mirror image?  No, on second thoughts, it's the attenuation.  Hmnn, then again maybe it's the same thing, but in green instead of red? No, I know, I know!  Its the inverion of the centre to be present at all points on the horizon simultaneously?  Oh, or was it all points in between, one after another, but really really fast at the shannon limit of 41 hertz?  Or if you have six foxes, it is the middle one.  Dang, this stuff is so hard!  If only you could order centrelessness on Ali Express.  Help us terry, help us!  :-) 
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 8:10 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
Jim, happy to offer my perspective.  No gaurantee of relevance to anybody else!

...
I still have a bit of restlessness which seems to be a physical thing (my kids tell me I'm ADD, but who knows), and some minor transient grasping and aversion as I live as a householder and this is just part of our biology, and the residue of karma remaining  - but it just arises and passes by without sticking.  The point is, we are still human, right?

Hope this helps.  You will likely get a complety different answer from someone else.

Malcolm


I know the answers might be different from different people, that's why I ask, otherwise I could believe what I read in one book.

I often see people with ADD asking on-line how they can make progress with meditation because they find it so hard to concentrate. Do you have any advice I can pass on when I see this come up?

Thanks
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 12:20 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Jim, I don't hold myself out as a meditation teacher either. :-). But seeing as you ask, The Mind Illuminated worked for me in building concentration. Or the shorter(longer?) answer would be:

1. It is supposed to be difficult. You are learning a skill that you don't have, so don't expect it to be easy.

2. Help yourself by setting up environmental reinforcers, like a meditation chair, or a time of day, or a particular item of clothing, or a point in your routine. Slowly build up psychological triggers to reinforce your mediation practice.

3. Cut back on alcohol as it has a subtly agitating effect.

4. If you are sitting, learn to sit on your seat bones with the spine properly erect and the pelvis tilted forward rather than back. Without this it is very hard to achieve much. It is fine to use cushions and a comfy chair to reduce the effort of maintaining this correct upright posture.

5. To build concentration meditate for one full hour a day for 90 consecutive days, no matter how hard or unsatisfactory. You must repeatedly exhaust your attentional mechanisms to make real progress. Don't worry it will get easier over time.

6. Meditate on a small point like the tip of the nose. When your mind wanders (or you nod off), and you notice this and bring attention back, reward yourself mentally. "Ah! I noticed mind wandering,  Yay!  That is what I am here to do. I just made progress" 

7. Once you get to the point of being able to notice concentration dropping before the mind starts to wander, combat this by expanding the point of focus (e.g. to the sensations of the whole body, or some interemediate point such as the rising and falling of the torso with breathing), and then contracting the point of focus back to the tip of the nose once your concentration strengthens again.

8. Support this with some free practice on emotions off the cushion. Up to three times a the day, try to notice when you have an emotional reaction and observe what caused it, how it comes and goes, how it is a phenomena subtly separate from yourself, and how it only becomes discombobulating if you wallow in it instead of watching it go by like a passing car. (I use the word dicombobulating to capture the effects of 'postiive' as well as 'negative' emotions.)

You know all this though, right?  :-)

Feel free to reproduce as needed if it turns out to be useful. No attrbution required.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 2:26 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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terry
now if one of you venerables could explain centerlessness to this child I could die happy...


​​​​​​​

ttc/feng

Five

Heaven and Earth are impartial;
They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The wise are impartial;
They see the people as straw dogs.

The space between heaven and Earth is like a bellows.
The shape changes but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More words count less.
Hold fast to the center.

 
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 5:26 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one

So I am just the same as anybody else, 

The only difference for me is that my afflictions have ceased, my effluents have ended. 

 And with knowledge (as opposed to ignorance), it is hard not to be compassionate as you can see so clearly how challenging behaviour arises from unhappiness rather than genuine hostility.


you have to deconstruct and rebuild your entire system, including emotions, so you need to be ready to perservere and act with respect and ethical practice during the more difficult times.  But keep going and everything comes out the other end better than before. You come back to the place you left, but much much happier and more content.  And that has to be good for those around you, those whom you choose to love, right?

Malcolm 


   I don't think "challenging behaviour" is a result of hostility or unhappiness. It is a leveling process, we all seek equlibrium, which socially means equality. It isn't goods which make a society happy, but the degree of equality. The poor are happier than the rich, being more equal, despite deprivation and resentment of the elites.

   The reason I like islam more than xtianity is because the character depicted as jesus pretends to be god, whereas muhammed claimed only "I am but a man like yourselves, to whom it has been revealed that your god is one god." (Quran 18 110)

   I'm reminded of a bit that lenny bruce used to do about missionaries bringing the truth to the heathen. The missionary gets off a big ship wearing fine clothes and approaches the natives. One looks up into his corpse like white face and tries to process this talk of the god man. On his knees he fingers the fine vestments and says to the preacher, "you...god?" The presbyterian parson says to him in his soft scottish burr, "well, I'm not god, but, uh...mmm...heh heh."


   How can you say you have no afflictions when I am right here? As for effluents, well, I suppose some people's don't stink, eh? So we can ignore them, insofar as they don't. Or burn incense, that always fills the air with smoke.

   
   As for rebuilding the house in three days, it's a messianic claim. Rebuild to what plan? And he who isn't busy building is busy tearing down, there is no end to it. Thre is no static achievement, no hill you can climb you can't roll back down.

   It's a fool's errand besides. "if you seek to take the executioner's place you will only cut yourself." and "If you want to hew out an ax handle the model is not far from you."

  No map, no desitination, no traveller. No permanence, no end to suffering, no attainment that outlasts the moment. One sees the stars from the gutter. The entire moon is reflected in a dew drop, but the dewdrop is not exalted thereby, and there is no end to the dew.

   No mundanity, no sacredness.


  It is accepted generally that being happier and more content is good for others. But it is equivalent to saying all our children should be above average. Or that continued growth in gdp is a good thing. In actuality, saving truths are often uncomfortable and destabilizing.

   Or challenging.




figs from thistles
(edna st vincent millay)


first fig

My candle burns at both ends;
   It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
   It gives a lovely light!


second fig

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 5:41 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Papa Che Dusko
Show me the "center" Terry! Where is it? 
 


Also Terry, how can you be certain there are people "out there" needing saving? Or a planet "out there" needing saving? 
When I say "out there" I mean how can you get out of your experience bubble to verify that the myriad beings and planet are indeed there? These could well be but projections. Or they could be real indeed. I don't know. 


The center is right here, bra. Wherever you are. "As long as I am in this world, I am the light of the world."

"I am that I am" describes the Name that cannot be uttered.

We all know it. Perhaps like a black hole it could be called both a center geometrically and centerless in actuality. But that is wordplay.

My question was about the phenomenology of centerlessness. I think it a flower of air. Whereas, the center is right here, always.



​​​​​​​As for saving beings, you are right, bra, there is only being and no plurality. The one pearl. I am saving myself for lack of anything better to do. Waiting out my time. I can't get out of my experience bubble because I am its center. And the closer you get to the edge, the more you are back at the center. It's a whirlpool. Learn to surf.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 5:44 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
terry
now if one of you venerables could explain centerlessness to this child I could die happy...

If you closely examine the center, really grok it, see it clearly. Then it is the opposite of that.  Hang on, or is the mirror image?  No, on second thoughts, it's the attenuation.  Hmnn, then again maybe it's the same thing, but in green instead of red? No, I know, I know!  Its the inverion of the centre to be present at all points on the horizon simultaneously?  Oh, or was it all points in between, one after another, but really really fast at the shannon limit of 41 hertz?  Or if you have six foxes, it is the middle one.  Dang, this stuff is so hard!  If only you could order centrelessness on Ali Express.  Help us terry, help us!  :-) 


bullseye!
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 6:47 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 5084 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The detailed investigations of vipassana and the writ-large revelations of Zen.

The beauty of realization, from the microscopic to the macroscopic.

Not two.

Complimtary.

Holding in mind both, and neither.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 8:31 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Not two, not one
Jim, I don't hold myself out as a meditation teacher either. :-). But seeing as you ask, The Mind Illuminated worked for me in building concentration. Or the shorter(longer?) answer would be:

1. It is supposed to be difficult. You are learning a skill that you don't have, so don't expect it to be easy.

2. Help yourself by setting up environmental reinforcers, like a meditation chair, or a time of day, or a particular item of clothing, or a point in your routine. Slowly build up psychological triggers to reinforce your mediation practice.

3. Cut back on alcohol as it has a subtly agitating effect.

4. If you are sitting, learn to sit on your seat bones with the spine properly erect and the pelvis tilted forward rather than back. Without this it is very hard to achieve much. It is fine to use cushions and a comfy chair to reduce the effort of maintaining this correct upright posture.

5. To build concentration meditate for one full hour a day for 90 consecutive days, no matter how hard or unsatisfactory. You must repeatedly exhaust your attentional mechanisms to make real progress. Don't worry it will get easier over time.

6. Meditate on a small point like the tip of the nose. When your mind wanders (or you nod off), and you notice this and bring attention back, reward yourself mentally. "Ah! I noticed mind wandering,  Yay!  That is what I am here to do. I just made progress" 

7. Once you get to the point of being able to notice concentration dropping before the mind starts to wander, combat this by expanding the point of focus (e.g. to the sensations of the whole body, or some interemediate point such as the rising and falling of the torso with breathing), and then contracting the point of focus back to the tip of the nose once your concentration strengthens again.

8. Support this with some free practice on emotions off the cushion. Up to three times a the day, try to notice when you have an emotional reaction and observe what caused it, how it comes and goes, how it is a phenomena subtly separate from yourself, and how it only becomes discombobulating if you wallow in it instead of watching it go by like a passing car. (I use the word dicombobulating to capture the effects of 'postiive' as well as 'negative' emotions.)

You know all this though, right?  :-)

Feel free to reproduce as needed if it turns out to be useful. No attrbution required.




At the risk of being a harpie and a pest I'll just point out that you might be overthinking it, that encouraging people to sit comfortably and stay awake for a definite period of time is enough to allow the organism to self-organize the simple practice of sitting comfortably at length. Repeating how simple and direct it is as necessary for encouragement.

And once more I'll repeat (and then hold my peace for awhile) that by continuing discursive explanation and attempts to understand in a global way the nature of the whole encompassing one-and-all is similar to banging one's head against the wall. It does feel good when you stop. Almost like rebirth, or an end to suffering.

The practice of discursive explanation is like curlling the beard and waxing the mustache. The sufis speak of a man who grew a beard so large people didn't know which was the head and which was the beard.

No one is more lonely than the man everyone knows to be someone whom he is not. Better a poor villager than a king.

"Thus the sage wears rough clothing and carries the jewel next to his heart."



If, my brother, discursive is what you recognize, let me tip you to my continued use of representational language. This is not merely metaphorical, it is higher truth. So to speak. Like, art; poetry. Mimesis.

I'm making a point over an over I'm not sure you are getting. Sometimes the least thing can make it click.

​​​​​​​
On the other hand, we could have explained the difference between knowing "as a cobbler knows his last" or a musician his instrument, and "knowing" names and relationships between names more or less independent of actualities. "Techne" vs "technique."



from "walter benjamin and art" edited by andrew benjamin:

Heidegger's critique of the 'thetic' act of representation (Vor-stellen) returned in his theory of the Ge-Stell, the monstrous technological construct that captured the essence of modernity. No text more so that 'The Question Concerning Technology' (1953) definitively described the all-pervasive presence of inauthentic technology in Western modes of thinking, building, and dwelling. Here, Heidegger once and for all sought to delineate Technik (techne) from das Technische, the merely technological. The latter's essence consisted in a mode of negative collecting, encompassed by the Ge-Stell, through which reality and nature were subjected to far-reaching states of alienation. Insofar as it reduced nature to the lifeless collection of mere objects or to a 'standing reserve' (Bestand), modern technology engaged in the activity of Bestellen (ordering something to be delivered), which was far removed from the authentic act of creation: the Herstellen (poiesis) of poetry. Implicitly using Greek energeia as a backdrop, Heidegger distinguished between authentic and inauthentic 'work', that is, between the artwork (Kunstwerk) and the power plant (Kraftwerk), or the potentially destructive proliferation of technology. Taking as his privileged example the Rhine river, he noted how the hydraulic plant had reduced the stream to being the mere deliverer of electrical energy, while Holderlin's Rhine poem disclosed an original techne, a form of non-objectifying knowing or know-how that was essentially poetic. 'Techne belongs to the bringing-forth, to poiesis; it is something poetic'. Techne here emerged in all its shining glory, as an act of disclosure (Entbergen), bringing humans into the proximity of Truth, aletheia. In keeping with the manifold, ambiguous nature of the Greek aletheia, however, the revelation (Entbergung, Lichtung) of truth simultaneously came about through dissimulation or veiling (Verbergung, Versagen, Verstellen). Modernity essentially engaged in an inauthentic mode of disclosure, set at a standstill in the fixedness of technology's construct (Gestell). As a defective technological construction, the Gestell expressed the Western subject's hybristic need for the activity of Stellen (literally 'positing'), enacted in its own 'self-positing' and in the positing of objects (Gegenstand vs. thing). Inauthentic technology could not be farther removed from the workings of the artwork, the poiesis (Her-vor-bringen) of truth. In many ways, 'The Question Concerning Technology' thus amplified the founding theses of the 1935 artwork essay. Revising Plato's negative valuation of the arts and of poetry's relation to philosophy, Heidegger dismissed the erroneous belief that poetry (the essence of art) amounted to a mimetic 'lie' rather than to the setting-to-work of Truth.
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/26/23 11:07 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Dear terry, I do get it my friend.  We are speaking from different frames of reference and different methods but for the same topic and the same goal.  Seeing as you have done me the honor of speaking in Malcolm in reply, let me return the favour and speak to you in terry. 

Malcolm came to terry and said "Master I am having trouble concentrating, what should I do". terry said nothing but picked up his bamboo walking stick and struck Malcolm across the thigh.  "Ow!" said Malcolm and went away.  After a while he came back and said "Master, can you guide me on the right path to Moksha". terry picked up his walking stick and raised it but Malcolm left quickly.  The next day Malcolm crept into the hall while terry was napping, picked up his walking stick and struck terry on the buttocks.  "Ow!" said terry and then rolled over and went back to sleep.  After two more days, Malcolm came in and said nothing but offered terry a cup of tea, and sat down beside him.  "About time" said terry, and handed Malcolm the stick.  And Malcolm gained insight.

After sitting for an hour Malcolm turned to terry and said:

I had a fine ship
The sails were taut
And I heard the foam hiss
As we heeled towards the edge
But the world is round
And the ship takes us nowhere
Except where we already are

"Great," said terry.  "You take over, I'm off for a holiday."
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 1:14 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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"3. Cut back on alcohol as it has a subtly agitating effect. "

Oh stop it! emoticon Has just a fine effect! The trick is to drink in gulps rather than sipping!!! emoticon 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 11:57 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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One more question, Malcom, how would you say in retrospect it feels after finishing each path (in terms of like how big a shift it was)? Like did stream entry get you 25% there, then sakagami another 25%, agami 25%, arhant 25%? Or did some paths feel more important?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 1:51 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one 

After sitting for an hour Malcolm turned to terry and said: I had a fine ship The sails were taut And I heard the foam hiss As we heeled towards the edge But the world is round And the ship takes us nowhere Except where we already are




from the rime of the ancient mariner, coleridge...


The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.





back to speaking in malcolm...

   Control = dominance. Mastery. Using techniques to control nature blinds one to reality, drains the mystery from things.

   All things have their individual truth, their haqq as ibn arabi would say. We have a debt to our causes, a responsibility to honor the truth of every object in our universe. Animate or inanimate. Things have their essences which are hidden from us, each thing has its occult side, its mystery. We need to wonder at this mystery in all things at all times to be in a correct relationship with the world.

   And yet, we are a tool-using species, man the man-ipulator. Entering on a realm "where the hand of man never set foot" (mcluhan). We tend to see all things as tools to implement the will of man, or as resources held in reserve, as though the world were assembled for our use alone. To dominate, "one ring to rule them all, and in  the darkness bind them." 

   So, it isn't about mastery and domination, but about letting go and grokking the mystery, the ongoing revelation of hiddenness in evey object, and the call to honor their truths. 

   The essence of technology, the means to our ends, the media of our messages, is enframement (to heidegger). You mentioned framing before as though I were using it against you, but it is the tendency of the technical to frame things in terms of what their techniques are designed to produce. Contentment,for example, or whatever desirable goal you imagine is worth tooling up for.

   We in essence are our tools. Everything you can think of is an extension of the human body or senses. This technical grandeur becomes an end in itself, a world in itself, outside of nature and superior to it.

   This is profoundly delusional and is going to kill us all and destroy all our tools plus the rest of nature in short order. A bfd.


   We are not riding in a ship, bra, we are the ship. You are the world. Responsible to its haqqs. Having a haqq of your own.




As a silversmith I am particularly fond of the following work...

https://www.philtech.michaelreno.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/HeideggerTheQuestionConcerningTechnology.pdf
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 2:32 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Malcolm,

Thanks for answering my questions. I've been looking at what you wrote and I'm kind of left feeling like I asked the wrong question or maybe I'm missed something, but I am wondering what the specific realizations for each path were. How did your understanding or perception change after each path moment.

Thanks,
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 5:12 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Geoffrey, fortunately, by the end, none of them were important at all.
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 5:21 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Jim, each time the world changed, and also stayed exactly the same.
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 5:32 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
Jim, each time the world changed, and also stayed exactly the same.


Is there a reason you are not saying what changed?
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Jim Smith
Not two, not one
Jim, each time the world changed, and also stayed exactly the same.

Is there a reason you are not saying what changed?

What makes you think I am not saying what changed?  Maybe you are expecting a different kind of answer?  Perhaps it would be helpful to read what Uncle Sid said, and consider whether that provides any answers.  If Sid doesn't provide you with the answers you seek, how can I do better?

Where neither water nor yet earth
Nor fire nor air gain a foothold,
There gleam no stars, no sun sheds light,
There shines no moon, yet there no darkness reigns.


When a sage, a brahman, has come to know this
For himself through his own wisdom,
Then he is freed from form and formless.
Freed from pleasure and from pain.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 8:29 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Given that the premise for your making this post was to offer a reflection on the phenomenology of the attainment you claim. And given that Jim is asking for some deeper clarification on your experience of said attainment... Quoting scripture at him seems a little in bad taste.  

Lets not forget the cultural context of this particular forum. 
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 9:09 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
Jim Smith
Not two, not one
Jim, each time the world changed, and also stayed exactly the same.

Is there a reason you are not saying what changed?

What makes you think I am not saying what changed?  Maybe you are expecting a different kind of answer?  Perhaps it would be helpful to read what Uncle Sid said, and consider whether that provides any answers.  If Sid doesn't provide you with the answers you seek, how can I do better?

Where neither water nor yet earth
Nor fire nor air gain a foothold,
There gleam no stars, no sun sheds light,
There shines no moon, yet there no darkness reigns.


When a sage, a brahman, has come to know this
For himself through his own wisdom,
Then he is freed from form and formless.
Freed from pleasure and from pain.

Malcolm,
​​​​​​​
I thought you might say something more about what changed because others have and I'm interested in different people's experiences.

Thanks
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 11/27/23 9:25 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Jim Smith
Not two, not one
Jim Smith
Not two, not one
Jim, each time the world changed, and also stayed exactly the same.

Is there a reason you are not saying what changed?

What makes you think I am not saying what changed?  Maybe you are expecting a different kind of answer?  Perhaps it would be helpful to read what Uncle Sid said, and consider whether that provides any answers.  If Sid doesn't provide you with the answers you seek, how can I do better?

Where neither water nor yet earth
Nor fire nor air gain a foothold,
There gleam no stars, no sun sheds light,
There shines no moon, yet there no darkness reigns.


When a sage, a brahman, has come to know this
For himself through his own wisdom,
Then he is freed from form and formless.
Freed from pleasure and from pain.

Malcolm,
​​​​​​​
I thought you might say something more about what changed because others have and I'm interested in different people's experiences.

Thanks


For example
https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html
...
Stage 1: The Experience of “I AM”
...
Stage 2: The Experience of “I AM Everything”
...
Stage 3: Entering Into a State of Nothingness
...
Stage 4: Presence as Mirror Bright Clarity
...
Stage 5: No Mirror Reflecting
...
Stage 6: The Nature of Presence is Empty
...
Stage 7: Presence is Spontaneously Perfected
...
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 1:30 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I think I can smell something ... snif snif ... Malcolm's feet and his farts smell of rosemary and sage! I think HE is indeed enlightened!!! Rejoice oh you that are fallen to the 6 realms of existence! Rejoice as thy shall thou be ours for the sake of all those that shall be free from clinging! 


emoticon 
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:00 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Hi Jim, communication is a strange thing.  Often the subtext is more powerful that the overt text.  So my apologies if you thought I was flippant or disrespectful, but I was actually trying to communicate. To me, most of the answers you sought were in the thread one way or another already.  So if you were seeing them differently than me, I thought it might be helpful to try a different form of communication, with the apparent contradiction that is not really a contradiction.

There is always a danger with words that we become focused too much on them, and neglect the other forms of communication, and other senses. Words can then become dry and devoid of meaning, without us remembering to feel, and love, and laugh, and touch, and intuit, and project ourselves into the space around us. Arguments then become like zombies, having an apparent form of something meaningful, but no real meat or life.  Circling around those kinds of arguments produces nothing.

So why do words fail?  Our language is limited by the capacity of working memory and our inherent grammar.  But these do not nearly resemble the complex construction of self and reality revealed by the dharma.  Instead of a relatively linear set of simply constructed sentences, the dharma is more like a multidimensional manifold in hillbert space.  That is, something that could possibly be accurately mathematically described, but cannot easily be translated into logial argument  because of the all the complexities, interdepencies and subtleties of meaning. Thus poetry or metaphor often does better, as it contains more shades of meaning than prose - it has higher bandwidth.  Intuition also has higher bandwidth.  In fact, to really appreciate the world, you need to engage all the senses - all your bandwidth - and find new ways of knowing that are less limited.  This is not just woo-woo.  Mathematicians have knowledge of things like hillbert space objects that they understand and can use to predict and calculate, but cannot put into words because words are insufficient to describe the complexity of the phenomena involved.  

So I don't think more classifications or more descriptions is going to be helpful at this point. What is actually needed is an appreciation of the richenss and complexity of the entire human experience. The dharma is tough, and will never really be understood without engaging all six-sense consciosness instead of thinking a simplistic grammar can sufficiently contain a complex construct.  I was trying to tell you that in a short form. Now I have tried the long form, but I fear I will still just get the question "yes but please describe what it felt like".  It felt like mind. It didn't feel like words.  Except, if words are illuminated by an appreciation of the full range of conscious human experience, they become animated and rich and meaningful, and no long a dry and dusty vortex..

Also, I admire the work of awakeningtoreality, and think there is a lot of good in those classifications.  But they still don't quite speak to me, yet I don't have a replacement.  All I can offer is what I have offered.

With love

Malcolm
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Papa Che Dusko
I think I can smell something ... snif snif ... Malcolm's feet and his farts smell of rosemary and sage! I think HE is indeed enlightened!!! Rejoice oh you that are fallen to the 6 realms of existence! Rejoice as thy shall thou be ours for the sake of all those that shall be free from clinging! 


emoticon 

To paraphrase an excellent observation from a musician - The dharma is like farts.  Your own is ok, but everybody else's stinks.
emoticonemoticonemoticon
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:09 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Bahiya Baby
Given that the premise for your making this post was to offer a reflection on the phenomenology of the attainment you claim. And given that Jim is asking for some deeper clarification on your experience of said attainment... Quoting scripture at him seems a little in bad taste.  

Lets not forget the cultural context of this particular forum. 

Hey Bahiya Baby, speaking of cultural context, you did know that quote was from the Bahiya sutta, right? emoticon

But here is the almost EXACTLY the same thing, except with a pinch more non-duality added to the emptiness. Here is one piece that to me is as plain as the nose on your face. But the whole song is worth contemplation.

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can't remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La la la la la la...
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 5:37 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Oh no, Malcom is now quoting scripture and song lyrics like Terry! emoticon 

​​​​​​​
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 8:13 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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So I don't think more classifications or more descriptions is going to be helpful at this point. What is actually needed is an appreciation of the richenss and complexity of the entire human experience. The dharma is tough, and will never really be understood without engaging all six-sense consciosness instead of thinking a simplistic grammar can sufficiently contain a complex construct.  I was trying to tell you that in a short form. Now I have tried the long form, but I fear I will still just get the question "yes but please describe what it felt like".  It felt like mind. It didn't feel like words.  Except, if words are illuminated by an appreciation of the full range of conscious human experience, they become animated and rich and meaningful, and no long a dry and dusty vortex.

I support this wholeheartedly. The human condition is a complex, chaotic web of influences and outcomes. There is poetry, wonder, beauty, fear, angst, and anger in the pursuit and the fruits of the dharma. Step-by-step language descriptions aren't sufficient. We need to be able to see the beauty and wonder that surrounds us and to communicate that in the best way we can - even if that's to point to something other than a dry list. To describe the wonder we need to use language that approximates the massive scope of our experience.

Free Malcolm!

​​​​​​​emoticon

Edit & ​​​​​​​food for thought.: I think it's appropriate to choose a communication that best suits the situation. Sometimes that's the kind of descriptive phenomenology that delves into the minute, moment-to-moment nature of experience. Sometimes that's taking ten steps back and pointing to an appreciation for the larger context in which we also exist. In this thread, Malcolm has been criticized for doing both.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 8:24 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Maybe we've been going about this all wrong. Malcolm, can you show us via interpretive dance?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 8:44 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Edit & ​​​​​​​food for thought.: I think it's appropriate to choose a communication that best suits the situation. Sometimes that's the kind of descriptive phenomenology that delves into the minute, moment-to-moment nature of experience. Sometimes that's taking ten steps back and pointing to an appreciation for the larger context in which we also exist. In this thread, Malcolm has been criticized for doing both.

That's fair, I can accept that. 
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 9:11 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Hello Malcolm

Thanks for sharing and starting an interesting discussion. I will share my experience in case it adds any value to the conversation.

1. I have never understood 'perceptual models'. Sometimes due to my lack of understanding, which could be semantical or it could be a lack of experiential overlap, my criticism of percetual change models comes out a bit harshly. Because I literally dont have any permanent changes in perception. Like ... none! emoticon emoticon So in conversation with atleast some people who would consider themselves to be western prag dharma, I feel a complete disconnect on phenomenology or direct personal experience while on the other hand I feel kinship regarding attitude, mindset, goal orientation etc.

2. I have never taken any interest in having a centre, having no centre, feeling dualistic, feeling non-dualistic, having the arrow of attention fully formed, or having a broad spacious awareness. Never taken an interest ... in the sense ... never see any value other than instrumental value. I see these as various configs of awareness that are possible and that I have practiced in my journey in order to create constructed setups, or grounding structures. The whole purpose was to see that none of these structures contain any element that is reliable, none of these structures contain any element that can be 'owned' and to expect any reliability in any of these structures or trying to lay a claim of ownership on any of these strcutures leads to stark naked terror, abject misery, extreme disgust and a desperate need to experience something else

3. My walking around experience is free of fear misery disgust and desperation ... and any and every possible mix or flavour. Yet I remain fully capable of living life exactly the way I lived it before I ever started. I am capable of forming friendships and alliances, being loyal and being adversarial. Being very very kind and very very wrathful as a situation may demand. Through out all of this the only change from before that I see and that I get to keep is a low grade relaxation response. Earlier I was always slightly stressed and now I am always slightly relaxed. My heart is always settled, my body is always slightly tingly and pleasant, and my mind remains sharp and calculating. My natural inclination is towards friendship, generosity, taking joy in people's success, wanting to contribute to the extent reasonable and skillful to help somebody else. And in the middle of that I remain capable of pushing agendas. As long as those agendas are wholesome, I can push them very energetically. A rose in one hand and a baseball bat in the other emoticon emoticon

4. I know that this is my last life. The samsaric rebirth is ended. The spiritual journey has been completed. I know ... experientially what these words mean.
Olivier S, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 9:44 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Hi Adi,

Additional questions if I may — and in fact, I'd be interested to hear Malcolm's, Terry's, Chris's answers to these as well — because I sometimes wonder about the role age plays in all this. 

How old are you? 

How old were you when you got that sense of doneness and subsequent "enduring relaxation"?

Where would you say you are in terms of the various phases of the householder's life and life projects ?

Same question but at the time where you got that sense of doneness etc. ?

​​​​​​​Thanks.

Best emoticon

​​​​​​​Olivier
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 10:03 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Hi

I am 43 years old.

I started practicing in 2016 at the age of 36. I got Arhat attainment at the end of 2020 or maybe the beginning of 2021 - I dont recall exactly. I was 40 years old at the time.

I have a family. Aged parents, a wife, two kids - 13 and 10. I have a window of opportunity to create wealth and leave behind an inheritance for my two kids which I am currently working on.

In the process of working on and concluding this project I have made sacrifices in terms of career and money and I intend to make up for it in the time I have left.

I hope this helps emoticon
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 12:01 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Geoffrey B
Maybe we've been going about this all wrong. Malcolm, can you show us via interpretive dance?
Great idea!  Except the dance is already there around you, waiting to be interpreted.  emoticon
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 12:29 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Thanks Chris, I don't mind being criticised, but I always appreciate the richness of your contributions. Lucky we are not all the same or life would be boring! And thanks Adi, that's great to read and to compare similarities and differences.

Olivier: I practiced in some mild undirected ways as a teenager, spent my adult life including energy breathing exercises in my physical routine, but then only started serious directed pratice at the start of 2016. Stream entry was September 2016 and fourth path 22 March 2019.  So three years, but it seemed like longer, I have to say. It was a thirty to forty hour a week project all that time, but I managed to integrate it with the other things I was doing without having to disengage from work or family (or at least that is MY perception).

I was 55 in early 2019, and am 60 now. I'm married with three kids. In 2016 two kids were still at home and both my wife and I were also fully engaged with major professional endeavours. Now in 2023 we are empty nesters but still extremely busy professionally. My principal career projects are all complete at this point, although they were not in 2019.  While I remain very busy, my preference would be to spend much more time just sitting and dwelling in the senses. However, I choose to stay professionally engaged to give back to my work community, and to keep earning money that provides for my family and their future. This is of course just a summary from my perspective this morning - ask another day and I might give another answer emoticon

I hope terry shares. His story is really beautfiul.
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 12:34 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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shargrol:
Oh no, Malcom is now quoting scripture and song lyrics like Terry! emoticon  ​​​​​​​


It's a slippery slope.  He's coming for you next!
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 1:21 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Olivier, I started practicing Zen in the mid-1990's, in my late forties. I switched to Vipassana in 2006 after reading Theravada material; MCTB, the writings of Ajahn Amaro, and listening to many Christopher Titmuss podcasts. I managed to get stream entry pretty quickly after switching, but I'm not sure why. During this time, my wife and I were raising four children and very, very busy with our careers.

It was early May 2010 when I crossed 4th path. I was 53 (my birthday is in August). I'm 67 now. The same lifestyle applies to this time frame, although our children were either in high school or college with the oldest being just out of college and working full-time.

I'm retired but I do volunteer consulting for local nonprofit organizations. Giving back, as Malcolm said, is important to me.

I remain fascinated by the differences between Zen and Vipassana because, for me, these led to different experiences, the former being focused on the non-dual of Mahayana practice and the latter being focused on investigating our moment-to-moment mind experiences.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 3:27 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
Bahiya Baby
Given that the premise for your making this post was to offer a reflection on the phenomenology of the attainment you claim. And given that Jim is asking for some deeper clarification on your experience of said attainment... Quoting scripture at him seems a little in bad taste.  

Lets not forget the cultural context of this particular forum. 

Hey Bahiya Baby, speaking of cultural context, you did know that quote was from the Bahiya sutta, right? emoticon

But here is the almost EXACTLY the same thing, except with a pinch more non-duality added to the emptiness. Here is one piece that to me is as plain as the nose on your face. But the whole song is worth contemplation.

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can't remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La la la la la la...


god bless america...
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:00 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
Hi Jim, communication is a strange thing.  Often the subtext is more powerful that the overt text.  So my apologies if you thought I was flippant or disrespectful, but I was actually trying to communicate. To me, most of the answers you sought were in the thread one way or another already.  So if you were seeing them differently than me, I thought it might be helpful to try a different form of communication, with the apparent contradiction that is not really a contradiction.

There is always a danger with words that we become focused too much on them, and neglect the other forms of communication, and other senses. Words can then become dry and devoid of meaning, without us remembering to feel, and love, and laugh, and touch, and intuit, and project ourselves into the space around us. Arguments then become like zombies, having an apparent form of something meaningful, but no real meat or life.  Circling around those kinds of arguments produces nothing.

So why do words fail?  Our language is limited by the capacity of working memory and our inherent grammar.  But these do not nearly resemble the complex construction of self and reality revealed by the dharma.  Instead of a relatively linear set of simply constructed sentences, the dharma is more like a multidimensional manifold in hillbert space.  That is, something that could possibly be accurately mathematically described, but cannot easily be translated into logial argument  because of the all the complexities, interdepencies and subtleties of meaning. Thus poetry or metaphor often does better, as it contains more shades of meaning than prose - it has higher bandwidth.  Intuition also has higher bandwidth.  In fact, to really appreciate the world, you need to engage all the senses - all your bandwidth - and find new ways of knowing that are less limited.  This is not just woo-woo.  Mathematicians have knowledge of things like hillbert space objects that they understand and can use to predict and calculate, but cannot put into words because words are insufficient to describe the complexity of the phenomena involved.  

So I don't think more classifications or more descriptions is going to be helpful at this point. What is actually needed is an appreciation of the richenss and complexity of the entire human experience. The dharma is tough, and will never really be understood without engaging all six-sense consciosness instead of thinking a simplistic grammar can sufficiently contain a complex construct.  I was trying to tell you that in a short form. Now I have tried the long form, but I fear I will still just get the question "yes but please describe what it felt like".  It felt like mind. It didn't feel like words.  Except, if words are illuminated by an appreciation of the full range of conscious human experience, they become animated and rich and meaningful, and no long a dry and dusty vortex..

Also, I admire the work of awakeningtoreality, and think there is a lot of good in those classifications.  But they still don't quite speak to me, yet I don't have a replacement.  All I can offer is what I have offered.

With love

Malcolm




   Very nuanced for prose (malcom speak).
(wink)

Aletheia, the greek word for truth comes from lethe, the mythical river whose water put one to sleep, the root of lethal. So a-letheia is not being asleep, that is, being awake, or maybe woke. Truth is discovery, becoming aware, waking to the reality, the haqq, of an object, a dharma.

   Unfortunately the horse will not be harnessed. The world ocean is the world desert, very little of its life overground.

   Has it been nine days already?

   The horse that is a horse is not the true horse. Which brings us again to language, so essential to prosody. 



So why do words fail?  Our language is limited by the capacity of working memory and our inherent grammar.  But these do not nearly resemble the complex construction of self and reality revealed by the dharma.


   
The limitations of language are what make it what it is, its form. it's why we are on the same page, the same cultural context and tecnological paradigms shape our communication. Rock and roll, philosophy, movies, "idle chatter."

   The dharma is more like aletheia than it is true in the sense of the prevailing correspondence theory, the reductive and self referential "snow is white if and only if snow is white." The alienation and nihilism of the technological paradigm ("culture follows the means of production" - marx) have reduced our perception of all objects to that of tools or resources, means of expanding ego, the will to power, the will to mastery. Pre-industrial cultures took nuance and ambiguity more in stride, while we suffer from the fallacy of the excluded middle.

   Nonetheless, in the end dharma is all about language. Language, as rumi points out, allows us to know a friend. Language is endlessly complex, more possibilities than there are dust particles in the universe. If all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean ˹were ink˺, refilled by seven other oceans, the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (quran 31 27)

   Language is the source of complexity. All the constructions of self are in language alone. 

   Thus meditation. Indispensible source of peace and aletheia.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:25 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
Papa Che Dusko
I think I can smell something ... snif snif ... Malcolm's feet and his farts smell of rosemary and sage! I think HE is indeed enlightened!!! Rejoice oh you that are fallen to the 6 realms of existence! Rejoice as thy shall thou be ours for the sake of all those that shall be free from clinging! 


emoticon 


To paraphrase an excellent observation from a musician - The dharma is like farts.  Your own is ok, but everybody else's stinks.
emoticonemoticonemoticon


In the light of aletheia we find the truth of the dharma:

he who smelt it, dealt it...
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:25 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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butr shargrol
Oh no, Malcom is now quoting scripture and song lyrics like Terry! emoticon 

​​​​​​​


but can he dance like me?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:30 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Adi Vader:
 

4. I know that this is my last life. The samsaric rebirth is ended. The spiritual journey has been completed. I know ... experientially what these words mean.



I love homophones, especially the totally opposite ones that create ambiguity. Like "know" and "no."

​​​​​​​For example I quoted finnegan's wake and joyce's word "chassetitties" is a homophone for "chastities."
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:40 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Hi Adi,

Additional questions if I may — and in fact, I'd be interested to hear Malcolm's, Terry's, Chris's answers to these as well — because I sometimes wonder about the role age plays in all this. 

How old are you? 



older than god

I was with woody guthrie organizing the apple picker's union in the garden of eden...

christ was a corporal then

god's dog was only a puppy



How old were you when you got that sense of doneness and subsequent "enduring relaxation"?


   
you must be referring to the sense of undoneness and enduring disequilibrium...

I was born crying and haven't stopped since...

cry myself to laughter...

laugh myself to death...


Where would you say you are in terms of the various phases of the householder's life and life projects ?
​​​​​​​

one of these days I'll get the hang of it...


Same question but at the time where you got that sense of doneness etc. ?


it was the roasting, as I recall it, that led to being done (as in turn em over, they're done)


​​​​​​​Thanks.

(grin)


Best emoticon

​​​​​​​Olivier


terry
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 4:51 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one

I hope terry shares. His story is really beautfiul.


Ah, bra, I share all the time. My life now is so rich that it has no independent history or point at which it breaks off from the life of the world.

I reveal myself in stories which serve as prose metaphors but are simply literal facticity. All of my life is a story the telling of which is part of the story. When the story of the past is rooted in the present it becomes true now. Otherwise it is distancing oneself from reality in self assessment. The image is of the zen student hanging by his teeth over a cliff who must speak. The expression must necessarily be indirect, abstracted.


Let me return the invitation: who wants to know?

​​​​​​​Who is it who thus comes?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 5:02 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Adi Vader
I got Arhat attainment

Arhat attainment, eh...

What is that, in non-technical language?

​​​​​​​Is it a good thing?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 5:10 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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(sigh)


74

still married after 55 years together

two boys, one wildly successful and the other actually happy

two hanai daughters, beauty and cutie, who are my delights

an active business as silversmith and lapidary

former vampire

​​​​​​​no spiritual attainments or significant history with paths of any number
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 6:11 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M

I'm retired but I do volunteer consulting for local nonprofit organizations. Giving back, as Malcolm said, is important to me.

I remain fascinated by the differences between Zen and Vipassana because, for me, these led to different experiences, the former being focused on the non-dual of Mahayana practice and the latter being focused on investigating our moment-to-moment mind experiences.

Me, I make em pay. Give and take.

samatha and vipassana are complementary, like karma and pratityasamutpada...

zen partakes of both



   I spoke of insight as being one man's floor and another man's ceiling. At the time we were speaking of "he who isn't busy being born is busy dying." One view of this line is that there are two paths one can choose, the life-affirming and the death-affirming. Open the book and read it or close the book and burn it. That's the ceiling, the highest one can reach, to affirm life, to choose the good and the true. On the other hand, the line refers to being born and dying as continuous, perhaps simultaneous. Life has two aspects always present. This is the floor.

   Hui neng spoke of prajna (wisdom) as the sun and insight as the moon. Insight is the dualistic knowledge of the good and the true. Wisdom sees everything as true.

  I was looking for a quote from spinoza where he says something like, "To god all things are good and true, but to man some are good and some are not." I didn't find it but found these, I thought relating to the subject:





“The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.”
― Spinoza

“Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.”
― Baruch Spinoza, Ethics


“In so far as the mind sees things in their eternal aspect, it participates in eternity.”
― Baruch de Spinoza, Spinoza in der europäischen Geistesgeschichte


“A free man thinks of nothing less than of death, and his wisdom is a meditation, not on death, but on life.”
― Baruch de Spinoza


“Happiness is not the reward of virtue, but is virtue itself; nor do we delight in happiness because we restrain from our lusts; but on the contrary, because we delight in it, therefore we are able to restrain them.”
― Benedict de Spinoza Spinoza, Ethics


“The more you struggle to live, the less you live. Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing. Instead, surrender to what is real within you, for that alone is sure.”
― Baruch Spinoza


“I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion.”
― Baruch Spinoza


“Peace is not the absence of war, but a virtue based on strength of character.”
― Baruch Spinoza


“A passion ceases to be a passion as soon as we form a clear idea of it.”
― Baruch Spinoza


“The intellectual love of the mind towards God is that very love of God whereby God loves himself”
― Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 6:28 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Hey, I got a ten Spinoza quote reply from terry!

And terry, "make 'em pay" ?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 6:34 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
shargrol Oh no, Malcom is now quoting scripture and song lyrics like Terry! emoticon  ​​​​​​​


It's a slippery slope.  He's coming for you next!


(toothy grin)
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 6:51 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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terry
Not two, not one
shargrol Oh no, Malcom is now quoting scripture and song lyrics like Terry! emoticon  ​​​​​​​


It's a slippery slope.  He's coming for you next!



afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, I say
as long as you are not content, I am content




“They do not understand how, while being at variance, it is in agreement with itself. There is a back-turning connection, like that of a bow or lyre” (frag. 51)
~heraclitus


​​​​​​​a bow gains its power by drawing opposites together...

("bow" and "life" are both spelled bio in greek)
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 7:35 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Malcolm has been criticized for doing both.





   Strawmen have been criticized. Malcolm is intact.

​​​​​​​Not one, not two.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 7:48 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one

I don't think more classifications or more descriptions is going to be helpful at this point. What is actually needed is an appreciation of the richenss and complexity of the entire human experience. The dharma is tough, and will never really be understood without engaging all six-sense consciosness instead of thinking a simplistic grammar can sufficiently contain a complex construct.  I was trying to tell you that in a short form. Now I have tried the long form, but I fear I will still just get the question "yes but please describe what it felt like".  It felt like mind. It didn't feel like words.  Except, if words are illuminated by an appreciation of the full range of conscious human experience, they become animated and rich and meaningful, and no long a dry and dusty vortex..



Yes, but please describe what it felt like.


It is the word, de-scribe. Write it out, after the fact, in a linear progression, an appreciation of the timeless infinite abyss. Reduce to a sketch of a copy an incomparable work of art.

What makes us brothers in art is that we keep trying to square the circle, to approach ever closer to some revelation, knowing it is futile but one day hoping to catch the great golden carp with our net of giant meshes.

Zen specializes in "transmission" and has made wonderful attempts to construct the spiritual perpetual motion machine, but in the end we all figure it out for ourselves. Our tangled webs deceive no one and aren't meant to.

The sword of discrimination cuts the gordian not. Or knot.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 8:17 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
Hey, I got a ten Spinoza quote reply from terry!

And terry, "make 'em pay" ?


As opposed to giving back, reflecting that no one ever gave me anything.

I give things away all the time, I have fruit trees which I planted 25 years ago that (some) bear heavily, oranges, tangerines, limes, lychee, star fruit, avocados, mountain apples, mangos, lilikoi, bananas, papayas, macnuts, mulberries...to name a few. My neighbors supply us similarly. One tends to prioritize giving fruit to people who give you fruit, or who you owe favors, and customers, then on to the general public if there is any left.

I used tp consider myself a communist with a small "c" because I lived in a commune, but now I sell jewelry at farmer's markets and craft fairs and work alongside artists and farmers and with truly kind and gentle beings. And tourists, who are generally cheerful, being on vacation. A capitalist with a small "c." I do custom orders, repairs and conduct a multitude of small exchanges of goods for currency. I buy materials and supplies, I build facilities and employ dear ones in my operations. Everyone is appropriately compensated. Everyone does their share.

My wife takes it pretty easy these days but back in the day she outworked me by such a large factor the scale will never be balanced this side of my next life.

Nothing is free. We pay for everything we get. So live simply and get by on little.



Plato once told diogenes that if he could learn how to please the higher ups he wouldn't have to eat lentils all the time. Diogenes replied that if plato could learn how to eat lentils, he wouldn't have to please the higher ups.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 8:42 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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As opposed to giving back, reflecting that no one ever gave me anything.

Oh, I get paid, just not with goods or currency. The payment I get is aiding volunteer health organizations to help those in need of a new kidney, cancer treatments, or something medically necessary but otherwise unavailable to them.
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 10:23 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Highly recommend, can't say why emoticon
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M Hey, I got a ten Spinoza quote reply from terry!


This just pure favouritism. Teacher's pet! 

And it gets worse, I get grief for saying  "each time the world changed, and also stayed exactly the same" but when terry retails the same insight from heraclitus "They do not understand how, while being at variance, it is in agreement with itself." he just seems wise and admirable.

​​​​​​​You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game ...
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/28/23 11:18 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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"What makes us brothers in art is that we keep trying to square the circle, to approach ever closer to some revelation, knowing it is futile but one day hoping to catch the great golden carp with our net of giant meshes."

Amen brother  emoticon
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 6:22 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I think part of the challenge here is: what language can be used to describe basic sanity? Or increasing levels of maturity/sanity? It's the same challenge in psychology. In a way, it's easier to describe experience in terms of degree of pathology or fetters, because that's the way of pointing out the insane ways we misinterpret and overcompensate for what we seem to be experiencing.

But it also does a diservice to the actual nature of the human heart/mind because pathologies and fetters also have their protective and developmental aspects. They aren't just "bad stuff to get rid of". For example, eventually desire for formed and unformed jhana needs to be dropped as a fetter... but awakening also goes better when one has a basic literacy with jhana states. Same thing in psychology, eventually we need to question and soften our ego defenses... but only after developing a sense of appropriate personal autonomy and boundaries. 

There is also a language challenge. "Phenomenology" and "Perceptual" can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from simply talking about discrete mind objects (thoughts, emotions, urges, and sensations) or can also include things like like purely technical skills like "perfect pitch" "color vision acutity" "depth perception" "spatial relations" "agility/coordination" "emotional intelligence" "leadership acumen" as well as more cognative development like the various maps of "psychological stages/worldviews" with their associated "subjective perspective" and things like that. So people can COMPLETELY talk past each other if they don't really dive into what is meant by "phenomenology" or "perceptual"...

If I was to simply describe the nature of the paths, I would say it is a body-mind development where the organism goes through changes that rewire a lot of the basic human identity/survival instincts...

1st path - deeply accepting the completely conditional nature of self and how it arises and passess and arises and passes. The idea of a personal death is a lot less scary. 
2nd path - deeply accepting the lack of control over meditation progress, yet the importance of intention and intuition for things to develop/work out well. Momentary uncertainty is a lot less scary. At this point you feel like a very skilled meditator.
3rd path - deeply accepting the tautological empty-yet-vivid nature of everything, and along with that an grudging realization that pretty much all psychological defense mechanisms, even attention/mindfulness itself, are contrived. This stage feels like a very deep purification (or a loss, for some people) and basically feels "done" because what else can we "do"? It seems like it should be 4th path, but after a while we realize we're still seeking...
4th path - deeply accepting that we didn't have the problem we thought we had, yet seeing how all the "problems" were necessary for development, and life goes on. A profound insight into how clinging and the belief that "my problem is I have an absence" are sort of themes to the whole journey. Burning all your dharma books as useless nonsense is optional at this stage. emoticon

But all of this is so very conceptual. That's why personal practice/practice logs are the best thing about this website. It's very easy to "think about" dharma and meditation, but it's a totally different thing to live it. The "path" really consists of whatever the person needs to go through, you could say that the confusions and the mistakes ARE the path. Retreats are powerful not because you make lots of progress in avoiding problems, but because you get confronted with all of your confusions and insanities and problems in a very direct way -- and then you are forced to deal with them. emoticon

Although I believe that the general progression above is universal, everyone comes with their own set of problems and biases and so what they need to focus on, how they practice, and the insights they need to gain are always going to be very personal. When experienced meditators give advice, they do so from the perspective of generally seeing the way the individual is either clinging to a false certainty or avoiding a real problem --- which is very universal -- and so they can kinda nudge people back onto their own path. But they can never "teach" meditation, it really has to be "learned" directly through the person's own practice. No amount of reading or abstract thinking will do it. 

The burning of this post is also optional. emoticon
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 8:01 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game ...

A movie with no actors, no plot, and lasts until the cosmos disappears. The great production values will have to suffice.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 8:07 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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The burning of this post is also optional. emoticon


Welcome to the shit show. I'll get my lawn chair, a beer, and some popcorn.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 8:34 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I'll grab my shit stick.

Shit stick - Wikipedia
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 8:39 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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To that, all I can say is "Ouch!"
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 4:11 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 4:11 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
back to setting malcolm free...


"The destining of revealing" is the collection of paradigms which dictates in advance what we can think about what is. That is, the "enframing," the already existing all-encompassing world of technological exploitations and human centeredness that bounds our thinking. "The environment" can only be thought of in ways that accord with what it is possible to communicate. As much as each of us is an island, we are all "a part of the continent, a piece of the main." The enframing in which we engage does not involve a fixed framework, but is a dynamic activity in which we actively participate.

This enframing reveals human beings as resources to be exploited or as users, consumers, workers, voters, immigrants, refugees, prisoners, hostages, host organisms and other passive collectives. Breaking out of these categories requires a certain mental agility. A stepping back, making a clearing, seeing what is from more original and even primordial perspectives, being as "industrial disease" is an aspect of modernity.

We wait for everyman. We wait for rumi's "earthquake that frees the prisoners."

Howsomever, we can always try to square the circle, and make ever closer approximations to truth, as we wait.

(ah...the golden carp...net meshes bigger than the world)




from the question concerning technology by martin heidegger


Always the unconcealment of that which is goes upon a way
of revealing. Always the destining of revealing holds complete
sway over man. But that destining is never a fate that compels.
For man becomes truly free only insofar as he belongs to the
realm of destining and so becomes one who listens and hears
[Horender], and not one who is simply constrained to obey
[Horiger].

The essence of freedom is originally not connected with the
will or even with the causality of human willing.

Freedom governs the open in the sense of the cleared and
lighted up, i.e., of the revealed. It is to the happening of revealing,
i.e., of truth, that freedom stands in the closest and most
intimate kinship. All revealing belongs within a harboring and a
concealing. But that which frees - the mystery - is concealed and
always concealing itself. All revealing comes out of the open,
goes into the open, and brings into the open. The freedom of
the open consists neither in unfettered arbitrariness nor in the
constraint of mere laws. Freedom is that which conceals in a way
that opens to light, in whose clearing there shimmers that veil
that covers what comes to presence of all truth and lets the veil
appear as what veils. Freedom is the realm of the destining that
at any given time starts a revealing upon its way. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 8:46 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 8:46 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 363 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Back to "What changed"

It's helpful and often reassuring to hear these accounts. What I often find most meaningful is the little personal touches. 

From Adi's post "My heart is always settled, my body is always slightly tingly and pleasant, and my mind remains sharp and calculating."

I could pull more examples from things some of you had said, but fundamentally, I just want to point out that it's these really personal, really tangible and perhaps even idiosyncratic things that help. It's reassuring and I suppose a little inspiring and the degree to which it can be communicated free of dharma lingo makes it really human. There's an authenticity to the way its communicated that rings true in my nervous system.

I appreciate that. 
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:18 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:13 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Not two, not one
Chris M Hey, I got a ten Spinoza quote reply from terry!


This just pure favouritism. Teacher's pet! 

And it gets worse, I get grief for saying  "each time the world changed, and also stayed exactly the same" but when terry retails the same insight from heraclitus "They do not understand how, while being at variance, it is in agreement with itself." he just seems wise and admirable.

​​​​​​​You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game ...


shut up and deal...

and heraclitus was talking about the tension of opposites, the power of juxtaposing oppositions to create powerful images of harmony in strife, the ultimate insight...

like the opposition between a cherried out tee bird babied slowly down the block, and a versatile old 4wd beater whose favorite activity is taking dirt road corners at speed via a four wheel drift...did you know that under the right conditions a 4wd pickup can be made to hydroplane over rocks of a certain size?



   I don't in fact necessarily agree with all the quotes from spinoza, he's a bt rational and prosey for me, but it is part of my project here to reveal how much   philosophy from previous centuries and millennia still inform our worldviews. Often taken for granted and not fully understood, accepted in a kind of shorthand that opens up when studied and interpreted. (hermeneutics)

 Pragmatic dharma partakes more of accumulated modernity in practice than it does ancient wisdom, and what ancient wisdom we do batt around came roundabout rather than from the buddha's mouth. Often the sutta parsers gain more depth of insight than those who measure brainwaves and the like. Spinoza's rationalistic attack on conventional religion ("the refuge of ignorance") still resonates today. All through the medieval period religion and reason were creatively juxtaposed, but modernly nietzsche's madman who proclaimed "god is dead" is our modern physicist and techno guru.

   So, chris, I'm thinking that knowing how influential thinkers in former times created, invented or advanced the cultural norms that we think with today can help us see through these norms and think for ourselves. The problem, of course, is that we already think we are thinking for ourselves, we think we have free will, that we are already free. We are conditioned, and within the conditioning we are most free when we are constantly awakening to the shortcomings of accepted wisdom.

“Men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of the causes by which they are determined.”
― Spinoza

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying
~ dylan



   And malcolm, I appreciate the elegance of your prose a great deal. Don't let me discourage you. Forget about being admired and thought wise, child's toys. NIetzsche points out that  a person will swell with pride even if they are praised for something entirely by mistake. The  taoists recommend avoiding praise as assiduously as one avoids blame, them being equal afflictions.

  If people think I'm wise and admirable, I'll have to spill the wine. Diogenes spat in the face of a rich man one time, saying that his house was so nice there was no where else to spit. Another time some boys were making fun of him at a dinner, calling him "dog" and throwing bones at him. He got up, lifted his leg and pissed on them.


from the rubaiyyat of omar khayyam

XCIII
Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my credit in this World much wrong:
Have drowned my Glory in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.


XCV
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honour--Well,
I wonder often what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the stuff they sell.


   Anyhow, brother, trust me when I say I'm not trying to throw shade on anyone, only to stimulate dialog which helps me personally mine the roots of the figures of speech that shape our thinking. The frontier of art and prismatic knowing  is the only hope of progress. And hopefully my friend(s) find the process amusing as I do.

   I'm old anyhow, no need to feel competitve with me. When I played games with my sons I was always gratified when their skills allowed them to beat me. Unlike my own father, who after the first time I beat him at chess refused to ever play me again. I think he was pissed at me after I offered to spot him a bishop if he'd play me again.


   Besides, I am willing to admit that attainments are part of the game as you guys play it, it is a regular thing with rules and customs and a lot of stuff I don't know and likely will never know. I appreciate you all for letting me play in your sandbox even if I haven't read the book.



"You have to forget about what other people say, when you're supposed to die, or when you're supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven."

-Jimi Hendrix.


"Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music."

-Jimi Hendrix.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:44 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:44 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
As opposed to giving back, reflecting that no one ever gave me anything.

Oh, I get paid, just not with goods or currency. The payment I get is aiding volunteer health organizations to help those in need of a new kidney, cancer treatments, or something medically necessary but otherwise unavailable to them.


There are so many people on my short list who are getting my help that organizations get short shrift.  That is why I make folks pay. You have to be in business to make money any more.

Helping people with medical necessities is very buddhist though. Admirable, I'm sure, and wise.

Speaking of capitalism, new kidneys and payment, the new ruler of argentina campaigned on a promise to legalize the trade in human organs. I wonder if people will be able to buy a liver? The first eye transplamt occurred recently, but it doesn't look good. Maybe you'll be able to get penis upgrades.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 3:06 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 3:06 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
shargrol:


If I was to simply describe the nature of the paths, I would say it is a body-mind development where the organism goes through changes that rewire a lot of the basic human identity/survival instincts... 





From a biological standpoint, I don't think any instincts are rewired, or that human identity is a matter of instinct.

Accepting the role of instinct and the understanding that we are animals integrated with nature as a whole can be set aside if one believes that nature can be "rewired" in accordance with cultural practices. This leads to problems when nature insists on its due.

Thanks though for explaining the one two three four of paths. People talk about them and I have wondered.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 3:07 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 3:07 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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shargrol
I'll grab my shit stick.

Shit stick - Wikipedia


make sure you grab it by the right end...
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 8:11 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 8:06 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 5084 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
So, chris, I'm thinking that knowing how influential thinkers in former times created, invented or advanced the cultural norms that we think with today can help us see through these norms and think for ourselves. The problem, of course, is that we already think we are thinking for ourselves, we think we have free will, that we are already free. We are conditioned, and within the conditioning we are most free when we are constantly awakening to the shortcomings of accepted wisdom.

Yeah. My undergrad degree is in political philosophy (accompanied by statistics and some math), so I'm aware of how much our current thinking is influenced by those who thought before. I'm currently reading a fun and interesting book that I'd highly recommend to anyone interested in this called "The Dawn of Everything." The authors' (Graeber & Wengrow) thesis is how our current thinking about humanity's rise has been tainted by - previous thinking about humanity's rise. Turns out the previous thinking is based on dubious assumptions, half-truths, and wishes that it were so. Of course, being the son of a scientist also makes me think that having a factual basis for thinking about the human realm could benefit from the methods science uses to form less, um, opinionated hypotheses. If only. Yes, the shortcomings of conventional wisdom.

None of us truly think for ourselves. We're products of our education, years of personal experience, our upbringing, our choices, and prejudices. Conditioned.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 8:26 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 8:23 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 5084 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Anyhow, brother, trust me when I say I'm not trying to throw shade on anyone, only to stimulate dialog which helps me personally mine the roots of the figures of speech that shape our thinking. The frontier of art and prismatic knowing  is the only hope of progress. And hopefully my friend(s) find the process amusing as I do.

...

​​​​​​​Besides, I am willing to admit that attainments are part of the game as you guys play it, it is a regular thing with rules and customs and a lot of stuff I don't know and likely will never know. I appreciate you all for letting me play in your sandbox even if I haven't read the book.

To be honest, terry, you can get a bit preachy as you go about this dialog simulation project, but I believe you mean well. God knows I have my own conversational faults. Also, it wouldn't be all that hard (assuming you're motivated) to learn just enough about vipassana, Theravada, and pragmatic dharma to be informed about it. Then you could be stimulating and criticize us from a base of knowledge. Or we can keep on as we are - crashing our worldviews into each other and seeing what pops out. Kind of like the metaphysical version of a particle collider.

emoticon
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 9:04 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 9:04 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2291 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
I think it's only fair for Terry to read MCTB since he's given us so much to read in the past. emoticon
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:37 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:37 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 327 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I will also second what Bahyia said - y'all are very inspiring
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:53 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 2:53 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1038 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Nah, I'm all good terry, but thanks for your consideration.  I'm just trying to add some more humour to the moment, searching for the little cracks in the dialogue to let more light in   But I am also enjoying the reverse take over that now has you writing fluent Malcolm ... emoticon

And Jim, Bahiya Baby, Geoffrey, if you want to ask any questions again I'll try to do a little better in reply.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 3:57 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 3:57 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 327 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So in the original post you talked a bit about the 6 realms and rigpa (and from what I've read on here, rigpa seems like a thing to "worry" about on 3rd path?). I've heard Shangrol talk about how chakras and stuff manifest post SE, and I myself have had a kundalini awakening and a third eye opening (ish?) on my way to high EQ. When it comes to the various spiritual systems and "high watermark" experiences, do you A. get where they are coming from? B. Does practice/development really kinda seem to have this ordering that you see in MCTB (of like theravada -> mahmudra/tantra -> something simple)?
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 6:52 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 6:05 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Geoffrey B
So in the original post you talked a bit about the 6 realms and rigpa (and from what I've read on here, rigpa seems like a thing to "worry" about on 3rd path?). I've heard Shangrol talk about how chakras and stuff manifest post SE, and I myself have had a kundalini awakening and a third eye opening (ish?) on my way to high EQ. When it comes to the various spiritual systems and "high watermark" experiences, do you A. get where they are coming from? B. Does practice/development really kinda seem to have this ordering that you see in MCTB (of like theravada -> mahmudra/tantra -> something simple)?

Ok, buckle up, I'll do my best.  But first I have to give you some caveats.

First, a word about context. When LLMs like GPT4 encode a conversation, they will look up each word in a dictionary of say 40,000 words and encode it with numbers to represent its meaning. But it is not one number, or even 10 numbers.  It could be as many as 500 numbers to capture all the shades of meaning of a single word in a particular context, including relationships to other words, to the sentence, and so on.  Meditative experiences are similarly complex in their shades of meaning and the context in which they occur.  So the same words can be genuinely true for one person and genuinely false for another, not only in terms of the context of the words, but also in terms of the context of the experiences they describe.  And yet obviously there are commonalities that we share and that enable commnication, otherwise we would live incommunicado in a primordial soup of experience and that clearly is not the case. Further we can "... read to know that we are not alone" - that others are having genuinely similiar experiences to us.  However, these complexities mean that what I write is not as simple as being true or false, but instead is an attempt to commucate the complexities of experiences that I am having or can recall.  Other people may have subtly different complexities, subtly different experiences, or subtly different words.  So please treat everything as *approximately* relevant to your own observations and decoding of your own past or hoped for future experiences.

Second, when we communicate meaning, we rely on words and often find the words of others useful.  But sometimes these words can affect how we remember the experience, and sometimes they do not exactly match the experience.  Yet, choosing your own words instead of using those of others might also succeed in obscuring meaning. This also applies to the use of taxonomy and theories of meditation.  We have to navigate by making skilful choices that illuminate our experiences; and yet, to some extent our experiences do not stay independent of the words we use to describe them, due to the way the mind works.  That is why I like to use the words, taxonomies and theories of the Budhha (Uncle Sid - 'cos he's just a guy right?).  In my view the intellectual achievement revealed in the Suttas is one of (if not the most) extraordinary achievements of human science.  I feel that if I am playing in that playground I am tapping in to very well documented experiences that are common to a wide range of different kinds of people.  Also, while I characterise the suttas as containing science, I do not object to (non-fundamentalist) religious approaches as they are just another metaphor system seeking to communicate core truths that we can observe for ourselves about our own human experiences.

So, do I get where these high watermark experiences are coming from and do they have the same kind of ordering seen in MCTB?  Yes, sort of.  I am constantly trying to catch the great golden carp in my net of giant meshes, relating my observations to prior knowledge, including both the suttas and neurobiology, and to many many other things.  I have reached conclusions that I can put into words, but to some extent they are hypotheses and they contain shades of meaning that may not be relevant to everyone.  But let me try.

Pre A&P.  This was so long ago I can't remember what it was like.  I had clearly passed the A&P in adolescence.

Dark night and cycling.  I observe this frequently and it still happens, as Daniel says in MCTB.  I am not convinced all the dukkha nanas present precisely as described in MCTB and in precisely that order, but it is pretty close. As an aside, on my way to fourth, I spontaneously went backwards through that part of the path of insight at one point, from equanimity down to A&P, in the space of a few minutes.  Funnily enough, in the suttas Uncle Sid oftens runs through various aspects of the dharma forwards then backwards - not just the jhanas, but other things too.  I also constantly observe (and accurately predict) that if you push from equinimity into too much ecstasy, you effectively are restarting at the A&P.  The more the ecstasy, the bigger the hangover in the dark night.

First path. From reading and from my own experiences, this follows from a completely intense focus that quitens all mental competition, combined with mental and perceptual exhaustion, tipping your brain into completely fresh perspective - experiencing the truth of the dharma and the three marks of existence for yourself, in an instant.  The resulting amazement and surprise makes your neurology plastic somehow, and the change cascades through your brain and you cannot unsee what you have seen.  You are forever changed.  This is how it differs from a peak experience - those just feel good or are a glimpse of what is to come instead of permanently rewiring your brain.  But an early path is flash of lightning - you will stay absorbed in it for a few weeks and it is good to extend this to burn in the neurological changes.  But the absorption will fade and unless you are reasonably thoroughly purified, normal life will grow back in a little, and you will see there is more to do.

Second path.  The same.  Maybe requiring some different kind of practice?  Certainly I achieved it with a different pratice on the same object.  I am not a good guide to this as I fell into the pit of the void at second path and that colours my observataions.  Both my first and second path experiences were not-self whereas the dominant approach on DhO is impermanence, so this may also affect the contextual relevance of my observations.  For an example of a path moment through suffering (the other mark of existence), read Eckhart Tolle.  But certainly I agree that at this point it is as if you have been given the instruction manual and access to the control room.  You feel you can control who you are and how you react and what states manifest, but you also start on this long process that you have to accept is just going to go at its own rate, because you can't quite see what has to be done and your subconscious, the dharmas, the ever-revealed successive layers of stuff are just going to have to come in their own time.

Third path. Yes, for me as implied above (following Second path) this was a very long process of purification.  I more or less went back to the start (without losing the prior insights) and ironically without intending to more or less precisely followed the route described in the Anapanasati and Satipatthana Suttas.  First body, then emotions, then mind, then dharma (construction of reality, as I see it).  On this Theravadan route you need to purfiy body, emotions and mind before you can purify your construction of reality and get to end of Third path.  That last purification involves changes to the operations of the sense organs as well as the processing of sensory data, and will also likely require some delving into nonduality and emptiness and other even weirder stuff. And it is iterative - each bit of progress may reveal more stuff to be purified in the body or emotions and you have to go back and fix that up. 

My achievement of third path was then again exactly according to the Suttas. After much preparatory work I fell quite ill with some bug picked up in the tropics, and I lay in bed for three days and meditating on bodily sensations *constantly*, even while sleeping. At the end of that time I felt a whole lot of contractions simply evaporate and not long after (maybe with a few more practices, can't quite remember now) what I call Rigpa popped out. This is what the Satipatthana Sutta says; stay mindful for NOT seven years, NOT seven months, NOT seven weeks, but JUST seven days and you will get to arhat or if there is still a little bit of clinging, to anagami (third path). That's what I got, but actually it only needed 72 continuous hours - although I had done a LOT of other work first.

One additional point on Anapansati (body/emotions/mind/dharms).  From this frame of reference, you can see different traditions have different starting points!  If you are starting with breath meditation, you are starting on body.  Kundalini is clearly right there in emotions.  Vipassana starts at impermanence (part of dharma). Tibetan non-dual practices would require a bit of doctrinal argument to allocate as I believe 'cessation' means something different in this context, and they are arguably starting at a mix of cessation (dharma), liberation (mind), and dispassion (dharma).  But it doesn't really matter - wherever you start, you somehow have to purify every other dimension, to at least some extent, to free yourself enough from the chains of dependent origination to let new insights arise.  The chain of dependent originiation is the process of activating and reinforcing biological, neurobiological, and psychological triggers in a way that make us like puppets on a string, and Uncle Sid described it precisely.  Unless we purify everything at once, we inevitably go through some kind of iterative progressive set of stages (such as Theravadan paths or Tibetan Bhumis) as we constantly circle back to purify new things revealed by the last bit of progress. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO PURIFY EVERYTHING - only enough. Trying to achieve perfect purification is a dangerous trap.
 
Now Rigpa.  Maybe Tibetan practitioners would disagree with my use of this term.  So let me explain my phenomenal experience at the end of third path. My overt awareness of myself disappeared into a king of magical vivid absoprtion in the presence of the whole field of perceptions all at once.  It was like a non-dual experience, but somehow wasn't.  You could call it being in a field of awareness, but it wasn't that either.  It was more like being struck by the wonder of the extraordinary vivid beauty of the world, except there was no one to be struck.  Experience just WAS, and while the vivid beauty was completely compelling it also didn't really matter.  It felt like the end of the path of insight except I also knew that it wasn't.  The Tibetan description of dwelling in the ground of being is the most accurate I can come up with.  Like many experiences of path moments, it seemed to have some kind of feedback loop that kept it going at extraordinary intensity for a few weeks, and then I slowly lost interest.  Perhaps this was because I had finished the required rewiring and the feedback loop then became attenuated.  This experience that I call Rigpa is still completely accessible but requires some preparation or temporary lifestyle choices to achieve the intensity I had after the path moment.  But it remains a constant background.

It is like living constantly in the wonderous beauty of the grace of god, the incredible privilege of having an experience of the world.

The Tibetans say you can get glimpses of Rigpa at any stage, and the key is to make them more frequent and then eventually continuous. Some schools say you then go beyond Rigpa, which is how I would characterise my own experience.  But once I had experienced it at path, I realised I had glimpses earlier in life, and it can be quite accesible to many people on an occasional basis, and I probably should have tried to work with it.  But as I note above, I would not expect this to have been that much of a shortcut, as nothing fully sticks until you have unravelled the whole chain of dependent origination.

So my experience was that the ordering was incredibly similar to MCTB, but with a few wrinkles that may reflect that I was a not-self rather than an impermance practitioner.  But to get to the end of the path, my opinion is that you must have to have some kind of MCTB cessation path moment, whether you notice it our not, and you must massively purify yourself, in terms of unravelling dependent origination so you are no longer a slave to your triggers, and you must rewire your perceptual system both in terms of the sense organs and the sense consciounesses (cortices) so you can choose how you wish to see the world.  Related to the rewiring of sense consciousnesses and mind are the required experiences of nonduality and emptiness, which MCTB covers a little but not in the kind of detail as it does impermanence.  Anyway, if you do all that, then you are ready for the last bit, which is simultaneously absurdly easy and absurdly hard (for different reasons obviously), and which many practitioners never get to, becase hey those formless realms (and I would include Rigpa here) are just toooo coool and I am soooo goood at them looook at meee I'm soooo elighteneeeed.  emoticon

A final note on the Suttas - although the translations sometimes get munted by the translators own lack of knowledge, excessive fear or clinging to dogma, if you experience it for yourself you can see what must have originally been said.  Hence, the triple jewell of the Buddha who came up with this stuff, the dharma as it is recorded in the suttas, and the ones who understand the noble eightfold path through direct experience and so can act as guides.

With love (and some exhaustion now - that was an effort!)

Malcolm

*copyedited for clarity, and with some regret as some of typos offered lovely shades of meaning!
  
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 7:58 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 7:58 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 363 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Wow! 

I find the points you make about impermanence and the DhO very interesting. I don't necessarily agree but I get what you're saying. After reading MCTB and for my first few paths I was definitely leaning heavily on impermanence and suffering. I would say I discovered emptiness after doing a very deep dive on no-self and letting the fruits of that exploration integrate with the other characteristics. 

Rigpa is a weird term and I never fully understood it. I always got the feeling there were lots of transient states one could point to and say "This is rigpa" yet never actually be correct. I don't try to find it in my experience if that makes sense and often my eyes glaze over a bit when I read it emoticon

​​​​​​​thanks for sharing that.  
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 3:55 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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"Diogenes spat in the face of a rich man one time, saying that his house was so nice there was no where else to spit. Another time some boys were making fun of him at a dinner, calling him "dog" and throwing bones at him. He got up, lifted his leg and pissed on them." - quoted Terry. 

emoticon lol emoticon 
I will now go make me some salty popcorn and pop up a can of beer! 

Cheers and thanks for the laugh! Great thread this one! emoticon 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 5:44 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Wow indeed! First off, thank you so much for your detailed response. I'm probably the most early on person in this thread, so I'm the most in the dark. I'm definitely twiddling my thumbs a bit, thinking "arent I using all three characteristics? is there one that's more prevalent than other? When the pros say emptiness are they just talking about what things feel like when they 'flip over to the other side'?"

But anyway - I've already found the path up to EQ to be life change and deeply rewarding, and hearing personal recounts like yours it does dial my curiosity and faith up to 11 in ways few other things can. Like things have already been so deep, but it's still early days, which is a good sign.

I'll bite on the suttas. I've always been hesitant to read them - I'm ex-mormon and after diving into how the sausage was made with the bible and Book of Mormon, I have a bit of reluctance with holy books. But enough people (you, Daniel, Delson, etc) speak so highly of them. What translators would you recommend? What's a good way to get into them? Start with specific ones or just front-to-back it?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 6:40 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I've said elsewhere there were certain points where I found exploring each of the individual characteristics in deep detail was quite fruitful for my practice, but particularly deepening my understanding of no-self really shifted things for me. 

I personally don't have the technical lingo to explain what emptiness is but my best attempt would be: For me it had something to do with the shift from identification with everything, big mind, I am all this - to identification with nothing, not-self, I am none of this.

It was like there was all this effort being put into investigating the three characteristics and as emptiness grew into my experience the three C's just automatically started knowing themselves and it was particularly obvious that phenomena were just obviously not self. Until there was a big shift and after that what remains is a subtle identification with emptiness. This I’m still exploring, I've been told I need to see the emptiness of emptiness... I haven't seen it yet but I'll be sure to look again. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 8:57 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Anyway, if you do all that, then you are ready for the last bit, which is simultaneously absurdly easy and absurdly hard (for different reasons, obviously), and which many practitioners never get to, becase hey those formless realms (and I would include Rigpa here) are just toooo coool and I am soooo goood at them looook at meee I'm soooo elighteneeeed. 

Channeling terry (quoting one whose shoulders we stand on):

Before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters;
after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer
mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment,
mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters.

​​​​​​​               
- Dogen
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 3:04 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
Anyhow, brother, trust me when I say I'm not trying to throw shade on anyone, only to stimulate dialog which helps me personally mine the roots of the figures of speech that shape our thinking. The frontier of art and prismatic knowing  is the only hope of progress. And hopefully my friend(s) find the process amusing as I do.

...

​​​​​​​Besides, I am willing to admit that attainments are part of the game as you guys play it, it is a regular thing with rules and customs and a lot of stuff I don't know and likely will never know. I appreciate you all for letting me play in your sandbox even if I haven't read the book.

To be honest, terry, you can get a bit preachy as you go about this dialog simulation project, but I believe you mean well. God knows I have my own conversational faults. Also, it wouldn't be all that hard (assuming you're motivated) to learn just enough about vipassana, Theravada, and pragmatic dharma to be informed about it. Then you could be stimulating and criticize us from a base of knowledge. Or we can keep on as we are - crashing our worldviews into each other and seeing what pops out. Kind of like the metaphysical version of a particle collider.

emoticon


   I suppose quoting scripture can make a person sound preachy to a person of your background. Someone else might object to the song lyrics. Or the jokes. Or the poetry. Or my general attitude. Or simply my individuality, my lack of conventionality. Plato described diogenes as "socrates gone mad."

   The sense that I am engaging in criticism of individuals or groups ("us")  is a view that I don't share, categorically. People identify with their opinions and take disagreements personally. Sadly. So I get retaliation I do not deserve, having never offended. A general feeling of discomfort at exposure to uncomfortable truths (jokes, mostly) often is responded to as some sort of attack. You recognize, my motivation is not to diminish people's egos, though demolishing them altogether is always possible.

   I know a bit about vipassana, and about theravada, and have spent years hanging out with you guys. I suspect if I haven't yet learned what you might expect me to know by now you will have to step it up. If it matters to you. I'm equal.

   I enjoy challenges and am dedicated to truth, so to me all this is just fun. II'm sorry if people get upset their sacred cows (and derived authority) are gored but if I knew full well those cows were sacred they would still be fair game. It's a gory business. It is in respect that I assume that all our ideas submit willing to truth and debate. No shibboleths, no golden calves. I'm happy to step aside if unappreciated.

   Some things are so abstract from the actually phenomena they purport to explain that my poor simple brain can't retain them. I'm uncatechizable.

   We all have our limitations.

Sorry.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 3:27 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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shargrol
I think it's only fair for Terry to read MCTB since he's given us so much to read in the past. emoticon


Years ago, before I encountered this group, I listened to the audiobook, up to chapter three. Then after I started posting here, I tried again and again got to chapter three, where body parts and mind entities were having a "humorous" conversation intended to symbolize something or other.  As a lover of literature I was unable to continue. If this is mastery, well, I knew I wasn't interested in mastery in any case.

Not that I would presume to criticize.

The ideas in the book were familiar enough. 

Did I miss anything, do ya think?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 3:31 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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people who live in dog houses don't throw bones...
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 3:40 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Not two, not one
Nah, I'm all good terry, but thanks for your consideration.  I'm just trying to add some more humour to the moment, searching for the little cracks in the dialogue to let more light in   But I am also enjoying the reverse take over that now has you writing fluent Malcolm ... emoticon




from rumi, discourses, trans arberry:
​​​​​​​

Is it not said that the Water of Life must be found in darkness? This darkness surrounds the saints, in whose being we find that Eternal Spring. The Water of Life is hidden in their darkness. If you turn from darkness and run away from it, how can the Water of Life ever reach you?  

Don’t you think if you wanted to learn sodomy from sodomites, or harlotry from harlots, you could never learn anything without putting up with a thousand disagreeable things, beatings and the thwarting of your desires? This is the only way you could attain your goal. Then how do you expect to attain the eternal and everlasting source of life, which is the station of the prophets and saints, without anything disagreeable or without any sacrifice? How could this ever happen? 
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 3:54 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
The burning of this post is also optional. emoticon


Welcome to the shit show. I'll get my lawn chair, a beer, and some popcorn.




this sort of comment is known philosophically as "poisoning the well" - a technique used when avoiding engagement with the actual ideas but still managing to negate them...

​​​​​​​the "smelt it, dealt it" phenomenon...
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 5:30 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 5:30 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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terry
Chris M
The burning of this post is also optional. emoticon


Welcome to the shit show. I'll get my lawn chair, a beer, and some popcorn.




this sort of comment is known philosophically as "poisoning the well" - a technique used when avoiding engagement with the actual ideas but still managing to negate them...

the "smelt it, dealt it" phenomenon...

Actually it's just two dharma friends in Chicago giving each other a hard time. emoticon 

There is a lot of good content in MCTB that you missed, it really is worth reading. Maybe the models of the stages of awakening might be interesting to you: 37. Models of the Stages of Awakening – MCTB.org
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 6:30 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Actually it's just two dharma friends in Chicago giving each other a hard time. emoticon 

That comment was a mistake on my part. Mea culpa. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 6:47 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Years ago, before I encountered this group, I listened to the audiobook, up to chapter three. Then after I started posting here, I tried again and again got to chapter three, where body parts and mind entities were having a "humorous" conversation intended to symbolize something or other.  As a lover of literature I was unable to continue. If this is mastery, well, I knew I wasn't interested in mastery in any case.

Not that I would presume to criticize.
​​​​​​​
Just to help me understand, terry, do you recall the subject of that chapter? I'd like to re-read the part that twice made you stop, so.... help?
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 6:52 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I recognize the description of it: 8. The Three Trainings Revisited – MCTB.org
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 7:06 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Ah, thanks. I'm assuming terry will weigh in and validate. MCTB isn't great literature, is it? But then it's not supposed to be. It's written in Daniel Ingram's voice, which takes some getting used to.  Still, it does a good job of describing the path of insight and provides a lot of useful information. 

The offending section is a "play" with these three characters in a bar: insight, concentration, and morality. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 7:09 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I mean, I found myself more vested in the thoughts and story of Daniel Igram than Anna Karenina. But I do have a dog in this fight.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 7:25 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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The sense that I am engaging in criticism of individuals or groups ("us")  is a view that I don't share, categorically. People identify with their opinions and take disagreements personally. Sadly. So I get retaliation I do not deserve, having never offended. A general feeling of discomfort at exposure to uncomfortable truths (jokes, mostly) often is responded to as some sort of attack. You recognize, my motivation is not to diminish people's egos, though demolishing them altogether is always possible.

As Michael Corleone said to Sonny Corleone in The Godfather

"It's not personal Sonny, it's just business."
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 8:34 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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"It is difficult to explain—so much so that I am tempted to omit it altogether. Yet I think it would be easy if only you were as young as once you were.

An infant in its crib does not at first know that there is a distinction between its body and the wood that surrounds it or the rags upon which it lies. Or rather, its body seems as alien as all the rest. It discovers a foot and marvels to find so odd a thing a part of itself.

So with me. I had seen the star; and seeing it —immensely remote though it was—had known it a region of myself, absurd as the baby’s foot, mysterious as his genius is to one who has only just discovered it. I do not mean that my consciousness, or any consciousness, rested in the star; at that time, at least, it did not. Yet I was aware of existence at two points, like a man who stands waist deep in the sea, so that wave and wind are alike to him in that both are something less than the whole, the totality of his environment." - Severian The Torturer.

I can appreciate great literature myself but this needn't interfere with my appreciation for great dharma. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 8:37 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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“The first beginnings of wisdom...is to ask questions but never to answer any.” - Flann
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 8:50 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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And of course elsewhere in the tome the author gives an incredible discourse on impermanence. 

' Your talk,' I said, ' is surely the handiwork of wisdom because not one word of it do I understand.'
' Did you never study atomics when you were a lad?' asked the Sergeant, giving me a look of great inquiry and surprise.
' No,' I answered.
' That is a very serious defalcation,' he said, ' but all the same I will tell you the size of it. Everything is composed of small particles of itself and they are flying around in concentric circles and arcs and segments and innumerable other geometrical figures too numerous to mention collectively, never standing still or resting but spinning away and darting hither and thither and back again, all the time on the go. These diminutive gentlemen are called
atoms. Do you follow me intelligently?'
​​​​​​​' Yes.'
[...]
' Now take a sheep,' the Sergeant said. ' What is a sheep only millions of little bits of sheepness whirling around and doing intricate convolutions inside the sheep? What else is it but that?'
' That would be bound to make the beast dizzy,' I observed, ' especially if the whirling was going on inside the head as well.'
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/2/23 11:25 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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from a joker to a thief...


all along the watchtower
(bob dylan)

[Verse 1]
"There must be some way out of here"
Said the joker to the thief
"There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my herb
None of them along the line
Know what any of it is worth"

[Verse 2]
"No reason to get excited"
The thief, he kindly spoke
"There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour is getting late"

[Verse 3]
All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants too
Outside, in the distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
The wind began to howl
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/2/23 12:49 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Will you understand what I'm going to tell you? ... No, you're not going to be able to understand it. ... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.

- Richard Feynman
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/2/23 2:33 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 12/2/23 3:40 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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terry
people who live in dog houses don't throw bones...


"it was a bad day for the fox!"  https://youtube.com/shorts/mg7IuLoiH_4?si=LhwuLSA1L3FIBX8I
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 6:43 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I can't believe I read this entire thread

Congrats to Malcolm 
emoticon

(edit; okay actually to be honest I skipped a lot of it)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 7:02 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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J W
I can't believe I read this entire thread

Congrats to Malcolm 
emoticon

(edit; okay actually to be honest I skipped a lot of it)


Same here. Giggles.

Thankyou Malcolm!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 11:58 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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As long you didn't skip mine we are still friends! emoticon 


​​​​​​​p.s. its ok if you have skipped terry's hour long quotes! (hide) emoticon emoticon 
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 12:35 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Of course not! Hehe
emoticon

i think what Terry is pointing out to us with his extensive quoting is actually the third noble truth- in this case the 'exhaustion' ;) of attention, reminding us return to the present moment of our life experience, and our practice, rather than get stuck in endless online discourse

By spending such time laboriously crafting so many thoughtful words, he saves us of that suffering by taking it upon himself, a true bodhisattva. 

did I get it right? emoticon

(spelling, my bad)
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 3:12 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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I hope it's clear I'm just pulling a leg...

I mean seriously, good work and cool that things are possible and achievable and can be talked about plainly (some places at least). Even if they don't always need to be.

So, arhat, 4th path, whatever you might call it... now what?
Keep going I hope, and heartfully?


peace
John
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 10:14 AM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Sir ... Terry

​​​​​​​Lots of talking .... is there any action behind the talking? emoticon emoticon
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 4:07 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Papa Che Dusko
terry
people who live in dog houses don't throw bones...


"it was a bad day for the fox!"  https://youtube.com/shorts/mg7IuLoiH_4?si=LhwuLSA1L3FIBX8I

500 lives, bra...
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 5:08 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
Years ago, before I encountered this group, I listened to the audiobook, up to chapter three. Then after I started posting here, I tried again and again got to chapter three, where body parts and mind entities were having a "humorous" conversation intended to symbolize something or other.  As a lover of literature I was unable to continue. If this is mastery, well, I knew I wasn't interested in mastery in any case.

Not that I would presume to criticize.
​​​​​​​
Just to help me understand, terry, do you recall the subject of that chapter? I'd like to re-read the part that twice made you stop, so.... help?


How could I refuse a cry for help...

   As I recall it was chapter three but it was long ago and far away.

How many books on buddhism does one need to read? At least when books were books you could start a fire, or wipe your ass. Besides, I read or listen to an enormous quantity of books, most of them extremely well written and usually on topics I want to know more about.

Of course, I read my favorite books over and over too. I hate to have to say over and over there is no judgment here and I am completely indifferent to the staus of anyone's ego.  If I get a little put off at ad hominem attacks it is because they are so tiresomely distracting, so evidently off topic and counter productive. As my daddy used to say about the elevator business after forty years, "It isn't the ups and downs that bother you, it's the jerks."

It's discouraging to be immersed in ideas and be suddenly informed by authority that everything you say stinks likes farts and is preachy shit. It doesn't seem like any of that was part of the conversation, which to my mind had been going well, at least I was having fun and felt that I fully respected my interlocutors.



When hui neng was an illiterate he would ask people to read him bits of scripture so he could explain to them what they meant.

He knew dharma like a cobbler knows his last, like a musician her instrument. Intimately, as a real phenomenon, interactively, flowing, growing. waxing and waning. Not yesterday, not from books.



You mentioned centerlessness, spoke of it as a good thing and as one of your attaiments, as I recall.
We were talking about the phenomenolgy of it and instead of telling us "what it feels like" you guys ducked the question. Perhaps my goad of saying iit was "a flower of air" was going to far. 

I can't actually know what you or malcolm mean by centerlessness but I can assay a description from my own conceptions, rather than simply leave the notion dead in the water.


I took being centered as obvious, each of us has a mind which takes sensory inputs and integrates them into a single worldview, which we must perforce acknowledge as centered even if we cannot directly perceive this center. It comes down to "I am that I am" the undeniable facticity of consciousness, the very locus of all phenomenology. And phenomenologically we then deal with "centerlessness" as an "object" in consciousness that can be bracketed as such.

"Centered"can be opposed, dialectically, by its opposite. Our center, we can readily perceive, is not the only center. We have relationships with all perceivable objects, and some of these objects are subjects as well. These subjects have centers of their own and these centers perceive our centers also as subjects. The constant communication of ideas between subjects creates a decentered "they" to which our subject constantly defers. We can only say what is acceptable, understandable; we can only think it. Our whole conceptual existence and all of our ideas are informed by this collective interaction and sharing of culture. Like the internet, this living breathing global culture has no center. Indra's net has no center.

As individuals we are nodes on a centerless web of shifting rising falling appearing disappearing identities all of gossamer none worth attaching to. 

As individuals we can only be happy and free when all beings are happy and free. (Deny if you like.) The bodhisattva way. So our individual happiness and freedom is that of all sentient being. Our individual karma is the karma of all being. Karma is centerless, as all being is centerless.

This is trascendentalism, the copernican revolution that recenters the universe from all revolving around our earth, to all planets collectively makng their orbits around a single sun. We decenter the ego and locate it diffusely in the collective well being of all that is, the one pearl which encompasses all sentience in all places.

It is well known that in baboon troops males will sacrifice their own lives to protect the young of the troop. In proprtion to the degree of rlationship, yes, but the average baboon troop possesses more genetic diversity that the entire human race. Point being that nature is not selfish, not seeking indivitual fulfillment. Nature in its concealment is decentered and is us. Individually we are nature unconcealed.

Sentience itself is centerless. Everywhere you look the universe is looking back. Stare into the abyss and the abyss stares into you. The same eye with which I see god, god sees me.

The buddha didn't talk about this, but he knew.

So yea, centerlessness is the antidote to being centered. And being centered is the antidote to being centerless.



A citizen of athens pointed out to diogenes that he had been sentenced to exile from his home polis of sinope, and he replied, "and I sentenced them to stay home."



   
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 5:17 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M
Ah, thanks. I'm assuming terry will weigh in and validate. MCTB isn't great literature, is it? But then it's not supposed to be. It's written in Daniel Ingram's voice, which takes some getting used to.  Still, it does a good job of describing the path of insight and provides a lot of useful information. 

The offending section is a "play" with these three characters in a bar: insight, concentration, and morality. 



yeah, that was it, three characters in a bar...

leave the comedy to the comedians, eh?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 5:18 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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J W
I can't believe I read this entire thread

Congrats to Malcolm 
emoticon

(edit; okay actually to be honest I skipped a lot of it)

  well I hope you read the good parts...
(I skipped some too)
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 5:20 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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J W
Of course not! Hehe
emoticon

i think what Terry is pointing out to us with his extensive quoting is actually the third noble truth- in this case the 'exhaustion' ;) of attention, reminding us return to the present moment of our life experience, and our practice, rather than get stuck in endless online discourse

By spending such time laboriously crafting so many thoughtful words, he saves us of that suffering by taking it upon himself, a true bodhisattva. 

did I get it right? emoticon

(spelling, my bad)


close enough...


I don't actually craft anything bra, it just bubbles up like that and off it goes...

​​​​​​​even the quotes often spring out of nowhere...
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 5:34 PM
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RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Adi Vader
Sir ... Terry

​​​​​​​Lots of talking .... is there any action behind the talking? emoticon emoticon


the talking is the least of it...

the work is all...

and poetry is action too


I quoted a poem on mapping mappo that was written by a guy who was just killed along with eleven of his family members in gaza...

The last time israel bombed gaza they ran out of targets to their dismay because they still had bombs and shells to expend. This time around they have infected every cell phone in gaza with ai spyware and they called up the poet identified theselves as israeli intelligence and told him they know where he was sheltering and that he had better move. He was at a school for whatever safety that offered but decided on their advice to leave, went to his sisters and he and her extended family and his were all killed. The ai program generates targets infinitely, just going down the list of journalists, poets, aid workers etc and knows them better than they know themselves, using this info to target them and their families. Their cell phones  are their whole lives as a journalist and poet, their connection to the world, their computers, their research, their literature. They can't do without them but they are all infected and compromised and their very lifelines are used to target them and everyone they know and care about.


so you tell me, is there any action behind the talking?
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 11:20 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 11:20 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
As long you didn't skip mine we are still friends! emoticon 


​​​​​​​p.s. its ok if you have skipped terry's hour long quotes! (hide) emoticon emoticon 


apparently I am not actually communicating with anyone...

certainly everyone is encouraged to feel free to ignore anything I have said or will say...

especially lengthy quotes which I cut and paste...

I think my words can be reliably counted upon to dry up by simply ignoring them...

it would be kinder than the abuse...


shun the punman
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 11:43 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 11:43 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Geoffrey B
I mean, I found myself more vested in the thoughts and story of Daniel Igram than Anna Karenina. But I do have a dog in this fight.


Anna karenina was a great work of literature. Timeless and unique. Like an old master. Read it twice. Probably the most accessible of tolstoy's novels. Though I have extensively quoted on this forum from the death of ivan ilyich. Much in that one for the meditator.

I've never had a problem with dan and neither have either of us ever criticized the other. I've always felt welcome here by dan, at least. Or at least not unwelcome. If I read the book I might criticize it, but since I haven't, it's all good. Dharma. I'm down with that.

I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm only here for the light. And air, if any.

Ironically I was thanking chris and all for their tolerance and acceptance over the years of my unconventional style and now this rather unifrom rejection and piling on.

Of course, it is not my style that is objectionable, nor even the ideas. My lack of respect for authority grates on those who have dogs in their fights. Stuff to protect.

Sobering. Sadly.
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 12:02 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 12:02 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
from:

Ch'an Master Teh Ch'eng The Boat Monk at Hua Ting
In: Ch'an and Zen Teaching, Series One
by Lu K'uan Yü (Charles Luk)
Rider & Co., London, 1960, pp. 123-128.


MASTER TEH CH'ENG arrived at Hua Ting in the Hsiu Chou district.

He sailed a small boat, adjusted himself to circumstances and passed his days in receiving visitors from the four quarters. At the time, as no one knew of his erudition, he was called the Boat Monk.

One day, he stopped by the river bank and sat idle in his boat. An
official (who was passing) asked him: 'What does the Venerable Sir do?'

The master held up his paddle, saying: 'Do you understand this?'

The oflicial replied: 'I do not.'

​​​​​​​The master said: 'I have been rowing and stirring the clear water, but a golden fish is rarely found.'
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terry, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 1:24 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 1:24 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

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Chris M


Channeling terry (quoting one whose shoulders we stand on):

Before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters;
after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer
mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment,
mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters.

​​​​​​​               
- Dogen



https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321342409_When_Mountains_Cease_to_be_Mountains_An_Interreligious_Meditation_on_the_Sanctification_of_Desire
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Not two, not one, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 2:29 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 2:29 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1038 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Hang in there terry, some people only have a little dust in their eyes.  And the great golden carp struggles to avoid being caught.  
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 7:57 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 7:57 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 5084 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Thus, the spiritual path leads us through the darkness but does not leave us in the darkness. We return to the world of named particulars: Rivers are once again rivers and mountains once again mountains. ​​​​​​​

Yet everything has changed.
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 7:42 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 7:42 PM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 662 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
This...
Doesn't change a thing
Changes everything

Know what I mean?
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 12/12/23 12:58 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/12/23 12:58 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 1070 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
J W
This...
Doesn't change a thing
Changes everything

Know what I mean?
Is it coffee?
Please say its coffee!!!1

Otherwise if not then some people here say there is some super obvious this to discover that makes all the difference... is it the same this?
Personally I do not have it. When I ask my intruition what it might be my neurons conjure image of a dog with protective cone... they also tell me there is some not even cosmic but very 'pragmatic' joke in there somewhere ;)
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 12/12/23 3:52 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/12/23 3:52 AM

RE: Some reflections on the phenomenology I experience with 4th Path

Posts: 662 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
It's not coffee.....
​​​​​​​ but it is warm

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