Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Jim Smith 4/22/24 3:49 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Dream Walker 4/22/24 5:17 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Jim Smith 4/22/24 8:33 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? shargrol 4/22/24 5:35 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Jim Smith 4/22/24 6:19 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? shargrol 4/22/24 6:20 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Jim Smith 4/22/24 7:19 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Chris M 4/22/24 7:37 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Jim Smith 4/22/24 8:35 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Chris M 4/22/24 10:40 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? shargrol 4/22/24 8:30 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? shargrol 4/22/24 5:52 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Adi Vader 4/22/24 7:23 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Olivier S 4/22/24 11:06 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Martin 4/22/24 10:55 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Will G 4/22/24 1:36 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Todo 4/22/24 1:56 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Papa Che Dusko 4/22/24 5:56 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Todo 4/22/24 6:17 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Stirling Campbell 4/22/24 6:54 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Olivier S 4/22/24 7:07 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Stirling Campbell 4/23/24 11:04 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Olivier S 4/23/24 12:30 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Martin 4/22/24 8:22 PM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Jim Smith 4/24/24 12:33 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? Pawel K 4/24/24 3:10 AM
RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like? brian patrick 4/24/24 12:18 AM
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 3:49 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 3:30 AM

Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 1750 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Do you think this writer (below) is correctly describing enlightenment, is he describing what you are experiencing?

I am trying to figure out how to relate what I experience to experiences other people describe. It's like having two parts of a slide rule and I don't know where they line up correctly. When I ask a question it is not because I don't have an opinion on it, I ask questions because I want to know what other people think about the subject.

https://theconversation.org/what-is-enlightenment-no-i-mean-really-like-what-is-it/
“WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT, NO, I MEAN REALLY, LIKE WHAT IS IT?”

I am interested in if you think the whole article is right, but it's long, so if you just read part of it I'd still like to know if you think that part is right or wrong.

I am not claiming I agree with him - I am trying trying to figure out how other people define things.

But this part in particular I can relate to.
Imagine as clearly as you can that you enter a large house that you have never been in before. You feel strange and kind of scared, there is furniture and drapes but no people. You wander around feeling the creepiness of being alone in this big house. You go from room to room not knowing what you will find. You start to get nervous and a little fearful being alone in this big house. You wonder how long it has been empty like this. In time the sense of the bigness and emptiness of the house starts to weigh heavily o­n your nerves. Finally, when you can not stand it any longer a shocking realization occurs to you: you're not there either! o­nly the experience exists.
Is this like what you experience as being awakened? Do people experience this 24/7 after stream entry or does it come and go? Is it a feeling (that can come and go), or is it a knowing that you can never unknow? Does it lessen suffering? How?

(In my way of thinking, I called this feeling like you are in a movie. I never thought it was scary.)
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 5:17 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 5:17 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Jim Smith
Do you think this writer (below) is correctly describing enlightenment, is he describing what you are experiencing?

I am trying to figure out how to relate what I experience to experiences other people describe. It's like having two parts of a slide rule and I don't know where they line up correctly. When I ask a question it is not because I don't have an opinion on it, I ask questions because I want to know what other people think about the subject.

https://theconversation.org/what-is-enlightenment-no-i-mean-really-like-what-is-it/
“WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT, NO, I MEAN REALLY, LIKE WHAT IS IT?”

I am interested in if you think the whole article is right, but it's long, so if you just read part of it I'd still like to know if you think that part is right or wrong.

I am not claiming I agree with him - I am trying trying to figure out how other people define things.

But this part in particular I can relate to.
Imagine as clearly as you can that you enter a large house that you have never been in before. You feel strange and kind of scared, there is furniture and drapes but no people. You wander around feeling the creepiness of being alone in this big house. You go from room to room not knowing what you will find. You start to get nervous and a little fearful being alone in this big house. You wonder how long it has been empty like this. In time the sense of the bigness and emptiness of the house starts to weigh heavily o­n your nerves. Finally, when you can not stand it any longer a shocking realization occurs to you: you're not there either! o­nly the experience exists.
Is this like what you experience as being awakened? Do people experience this 24/7 after stream entry or does it come and go? Is it a feeling (that can come and go), or is it a knowing that you can never unknow? Does it lessen suffering? How?

(In my way of thinking, I called this feeling like you are in a movie. I never thought it was scary.)
Goodness, there is so much to try to unpack with your post. I would like to respond in a way we could relate. I am interested how you define things. Whi ch part did you like of the long post with many parts? Why or why not?
How do you define enlightenment? Is it different from others? What do people agree when defining awakening? Is that the way you know it? Is your opinion of it being permanent from your experience? How have you experienced suffering lessening, increasing or staying the same with what you have done and how was it done? To what extent?
I've not been in a feeling of a movie, what is that like? In what way? How was 'it' not scary?
If everone responded similar to your interesting post, what might you do with all the information?
How would you know what is useful? Qualitative or quantitative?
So many interesting questions,
Hopefully everyone will respond in the detailed way.
I do hope to find websites and ask the same questions.
~D
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 5:35 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 5:35 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 2523 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Jim Smith

But this part in particular I can relate to.
Imagine as clearly as you can that you enter a large house that you have never been in before. You feel strange and kind of scared, there is furniture and drapes but no people. You wander around feeling the creepiness of being alone in this big house. You go from room to room not knowing what you will find. You start to get nervous and a little fearful being alone in this big house. You wonder how long it has been empty like this. In time the sense of the bigness and emptiness of the house starts to weigh heavily o­n your nerves. Finally, when you can not stand it any longer a shocking realization occurs to you: you're not there either! o­nly the experience exists.
Is this like what you experience as being awakened? Do people experience this 24/7 after stream entry or does it come and go? Is it a feeling (that can come and go), or is it a knowing that you can never unknow? Does it lessen suffering? How?

(In my way of thinking, I called this feeling like you are in a movie. I never thought it was scary.)

Enlightenment is basic human sanity. A big part of being sane is realizing that you didn't have the problems that you thought you did. So this guy's metaphors are good at pointing out the general idea of "I was worried about this thing, I investigated it, and it turns out it wasn't the way I thought it was before I started investigating."

There is never going to be an easy and simple description, otherwise we would already know it and there would be no "my enlightenment is bigger and better than your enlightenment" battles. emoticon

One thing I'll mention is that the key thing with enlightenment/sanity is the absence of "ignoring/denial" of reality. For example, it is totally possible to be walking through the house and worried about how empty it is (in the metaphor above) but ignoring it and denying it by saying things like "I know the emptiness isn't a problem, I know my worries are silly, this expereince doesn't really count..."  But this is basically ignoring/denial of the worry. It's very similar to, but very different than not being worried.

The only reason I mention that is that many people try to rationalize their way to enlightenment without actually walking around the creepy house. emoticon  But you can "smell" the difference between people who just know "the right definition" and those people who have actually walked through the house.

Hope this is helpful in some way, definitely feel free to disregard.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 5:52 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 5:52 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 6:19 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 6:14 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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shargrol​​​​​​​

One thing I'll mention is that the key thing with enlightenment/sanity is the absence of "ignoring/denial" of reality. For example, it is totally possible to be walking through the house and worried about how empty it is (in the metaphor above) but ignoring it and denying it by saying things like "I know the emptiness isn't a problem, I know my worries are silly, this expereince doesn't really count..."  But this is basically ignoring/denial of the worry. It's very similar to, but very different than not being worried.



Okay but some people are interested in meditation because it helps them to cope with stress and to let go of attachments and aversions. And they are not looking for noself experiences, and when they have one they just think it is a weird brain state that doesn't mean anything and is not relevant to their wellbeing.

These people don't really take it seriously and would not be afriad, they don't consider it a superior (more correct) way to perceive reality. They think it is just an alternative to normal consciousness, both are different brain states, neither is TRUTH.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 6:20 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 6:20 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 2523 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
shargrol​​​​​​​

One thing I'll mention is that the key thing with enlightenment/sanity is the absence of "ignoring/denial" of reality. For example, it is totally possible to be walking through the house and worried about how empty it is (in the metaphor above) but ignoring it and denying it by saying things like "I know the emptiness isn't a problem, I know my worries are silly, this expereince doesn't really count..."  But this is basically ignoring/denial of the worry. It's very similar to, but very different than not being worried.



Okay but some people are interested in meditation because it helps them to cope with stress and to let go of attachments and aversions. And they are not looking for noself experiences, and when they have one they just think it is a weird brain state that doesn't mean anything and is not relevant to their wellbeing.

These people don't really take it seriously and would not be afriad, they don't consider it a superior (more correct) way to perceive reality. They think is just an alternative to normal consciousness, both are different brain states, neither is TRUTH.

I'm not sure I understand your main point here? Could you say more?
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:19 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:19 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 1750 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
shargrol
Jim Smith
shargrol​​​​​​​

One thing I'll mention is that the key thing with enlightenment/sanity is the absence of "ignoring/denial" of reality. For example, it is totally possible to be walking through the house and worried about how empty it is (in the metaphor above) but ignoring it and denying it by saying things like "I know the emptiness isn't a problem, I know my worries are silly, this expereince doesn't really count..."  But this is basically ignoring/denial of the worry. It's very similar to, but very different than not being worried.



Okay but some people are interested in meditation because it helps them to cope with stress and to let go of attachments and aversions. And they are not looking for noself experiences, and when they have one they just think it is a weird brain state that doesn't mean anything and is not relevant to their wellbeing.

These people don't really take it seriously and would not be afriad, they don't consider it a superior (more correct) way to perceive reality. They think is just an alternative to normal consciousness, both are different brain states, neither is TRUTH.

I'm not sure I understand your main point here? Could you say more?


There are some people who don't recognize awakening for what it is. They might be looking for a different kind of experience or they might have had many various unusual experiences over their life time and one more doesn't really catch their attention. Particularly if enlightenment is wrongly described by many people they might think it is different from what it really is and not recognize it.

https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/
When it happens suddenly and dramatically you’re in seventh heaven. It’s like after the first experience of love, you’ll never be the same. However, for most people who’ve studied with me it doesn’t happen that way. What does happen is that the person gradually works through the things that get in the way of enlightenment, but so gradually that they might not notice. What typically happens is that over a period of years, and indeed decades, within that person the craving, aversion, and unconsciousness—the mula kleshas (the fundamental “impurities”), get worked through. But because all this is happening gradually they’re acclimatizing as it’s occurring and they may not realize how far they’ve come.
They might want to know what everyone is talking about, and if they heard someone describe it they might be able to understand when it happened to them.

Then when they go on an internet forum they can speak from their own experience.
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:23 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:23 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Part of this article covers my view on what awakening is or isn't.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Arhatship/s/CRsRcwCOJ8
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:37 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:32 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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I'll be straightforward here:

I think meditating with the sole purpose of reducing stress and anxiety is just fine and can be an end unto itself. Yet that pursuit may one day lead to another way of being. So if that other way of being crops up one day to deny it is, well, kind of odd in my mind, especially when that's the reason most people engage in meditation. And what's even more odd is to say that folks who seek that other way of being are wrong to do so. I don't think that's what you intend, Jim, but there are times when it seems that you, though maybe inadvertently, do.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:30 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:30 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Jim Smith There are some people who don't recognize awakening for what it is. They might be looking for a different kind of experience or they might have had many various unusual experiences over their life time and one more doesn't really catch their attention. Particularly if enlightenment is wrongly described by many people they might think it is different from what it really is and not recognize it. https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/
When it happens suddenly and dramatically you’re in seventh heaven. It’s like after the first experience of love, you’ll never be the same. However, for most people who’ve studied with me it doesn’t happen that way. What does happen is that the person gradually works through the things that get in the way of enlightenment, but so gradually that they might not notice. What typically happens is that over a period of years, and indeed decades, within that person the craving, aversion, and unconsciousness—the mula kleshas (the fundamental “impurities”), get worked through. But because all this is happening gradually they’re acclimatizing as it’s occurring and they may not realize how far they’ve come.
They might want to know what everyone is talking about, and if they heard someone describe it they might be able to understand when it happened to them. Then when they go on an internet forum they can speak from their own experience.

I'm probably still not understanding, but I think what I'm hearing is that you are concerned that 1) there are people who are already awakened but don't realize it, and 2) these people need it clearly explained to them so that they can see they are already done, and 3) this would then allow people to talk about awakening in their own experience on internet forums?

I feel like I'm still missing something important... because Shinzen's article seems to emphasize that there is a lack of doubt that comes with enlightenment and no-self experiences are central to enlightenment. 

Enlightened people have three kinds of no-self experiences. In the first subjective elements of self simply don’t arise. Subjective space vanishes. As the process of enlightenment deepens you experience longer and longer durations during which little or no subjective activity needs to arise. In the second emotion in the body and visual thinking and verbal thinking all arise, perhaps even intensely, but because there is so much clarity and equanimity present you’re not caught in them. In the third the subjective elements arise and you do get caught in them but some part of you still knows this experience is a wave called body-mind, not a particle called self.In addition to seeing through sakkaya-ditthi, “self as thing-ness,” the earliest of the Buddhist formulations regarding enlightenment also talks about two additional factors. There’s vicikiccha, which means fundamental confusion or doubt. After you’ve had the experience of enlightenment you see how confused most people are about how their sense of self arises, and what the nature of suffering is. A lot of that fundamental confusion goes away for you.Then there’s silabbata-paramasa, which means ascribing more to morality and religious observances than they can deliver. A person’s spiritual development can evolve into strong ethics and morality, which is good, but there it stops. Or a person’s spiritual development includes participating in rituals and ceremonies such as going to church, making vows, and keeping the ritual observances. Again, all this is good. A person can evolve to that point, but they often get caught in “I’m keeping my nose clean and I’m going to church, so that’s it.” Thinking that’s all there is to spiritual life is a cul-de-sac in religion.At enlightenment, a person sees very clearly that although ethics and religious observances have their place and can certainly be important, there are aspects of the spiritual path that don’t get delivered by ethics and observances alone. Something else, seeing through the sakkaya-ditthi, is required for true spiritual maturity.We’re always talking about “I” as though it’s a substantive, a noun, a thing inside me. The conventions of language (subject versus object, and so forth) constantly reinforce a perception that there’s a solid thing called a self that’s fundamentally separate from others. That sense that there is a solid particle or entity called self goes away at enlightenment. Your fundamental confusion about things goes away. The ascribing of more to ethics and ceremonies than they can really deliver goes away. That’s the traditional Buddhist formulation of the three things that go away at enlightenment.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:33 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:33 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Dream Walker
...
Goodness, there is so much to try to unpack with your post. I would like to respond in a way we could relate. I am interested how you define things. Whi ch part did you like of the long post with many parts? Why or why not?
How do you define enlightenment? Is it different from others? What do people agree when defining awakening? Is that the way you know it? Is your opinion of it being permanent from your experience? How have you experienced suffering lessening, increasing or staying the same with what you have done and how was it done? To what extent?
I've not been in a feeling of a movie, what is that like? In what way? How was 'it' not scary?
If everone responded similar to your interesting post, what might you do with all the information?
How would you know what is useful? Qualitative or quantitative?
So many interesting questions,
Hopefully everyone will respond in the detailed way.
I do hope to find websites and ask the same questions.
~D


This is really amateurish, you ought to watch how the pro's do it and learn from them.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:35 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:35 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Chris M
I'll be straightforward here:

I think meditating with the sole purpose of reducing stress and anxiety is just fine and can be an end unto itself. Yet that pursuit may one day lead to another way of being. So if that other way of being crops up one day to deny it is, well, kind of odd in my mind, especially when that's the reason most people engage in meditation. And what's even more odd is to say that folks who seek that other way of being are wrong to do so. I don't think that's what you intend, Jim, but there are times when it seems that you, though maybe inadvertently, do.


I'm not seeing where the references to denial are coming from. If you think you can read my mind, you are hallucinating.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 10:40 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 10:23 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Jim, I'm just reading your comments.

I believe that in past exchanges with various people you have advocated that relaxation and reducing anxiety are the primary reasons to practice meditation. Not to awaken. And from reading your comments it's not a stretch to say that you're not interested in awakening as the goal of your practice, that you don't really understand what it is, and as now on this topic, can't get a handle on it from anyone that you feel can provide an adequate description of it.

Is that fair? I'm trying to understand, so I would appreciate your letting me know.
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 11:06 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 10:39 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Interesting new podcast with Willoughby Britton, which covers a lot of the points being discussed here. Goes into a lot of detail on many topics, including questionning the "single endpoint" idea, unpacking how inherent views and values are contained in particular meditation instructions/traditions/systems (echoing the recent discussion in Todo's log about what constitutes "practice" and whether reading, discussing, or psychedelics can be considered as practices leading to insights... which they can ...), discussing how people often end up unconsciously picking up and internelaizing value systems, beliefs and goals they did not initially want and then pursuing those instead of what they were initially looking for, etc., etc. 

Edit: My main critique here is that her perspective is extremely individualistic, i.e., all of this stuff is about "you" and what "you want" and you should follow your goals and what you think has value etc., and this seems like it will inevitably lead to deconstruction of all tradition and social fragmentation (which is arguably what has been going on in the west for the past few decades of globalization), and there is little reflection about the value (in fact I would say necessity) of collective worldviews, beliefs, practices, values, which is in fact the basic of the constitution of societies. The biggest question in my current life, actually, more than "what is enlightenment for ME", but rather "what is it for US?". Where does the value of "informed consent" and individual autonomy come from anyways? It implies a sort of ethical universality beneath the relativism. Anyways.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 10:55 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 10:55 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Some time ago (perhaps a few years) you posted something about the concept of "enlightenments." The basic thrust was that the variety of descriptions out there seems to point to a variety of different experiences. I thought that was a reasonable position. 

Consider that we cannot even get a clear answer to questions like "what is it like to be a man/woman?" "what is it like to be 12?" "what is it like to have depression?" "what is it like to believe in God?" "what is it like to be alive?" 

The best we can get is something along the lines of "these features tend to be present some of the time or most of the time for a period of at least xxx months/years." 

Another question, which might be easier to answer, is "what is it like to identify as enlightened?" A thing I notice among people who identify as enlightened is contrast. Enlightened people see a clear difference between experience before enlightenment and after enlightenment. For example, many contemporary enlightened people describe a great deal of suffering of the sort that falls under the descriptions of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, the sense that something is wrong, etc., and report that this kind of suffering is reduced or absent after enlightenment (Angelo Dellulo comes to mind). But the falling away of these sorts of problems would not be found in people who never had those problems in the first place and indeed those people tend to choose different markers to describe this contrast (Shinzen Young comes to mind). 

Yet another question is, why should anyone care? I think the two primary motivations are shopping and protecting. By shopping, I mean trying to pick the future state that one wants. I think that is completely legitimate. Protecting is more likely to become maladaptive. If people see themselves as on a path to a particular way of being (or already arrived there) it can become part of an identity that needs to be protected. People can be movitated to say that enlightenment has features A and B, because their experience has features A and B, or because a person they emulate reports features A and B. That is to say, for some people, in some circumstances, defining enlightenment can be a manifestation of identity view, or more generally clinging to views. 

I'm not sure where I am going with this but one thing that seems clear is that descriptions of enlightenment will be most useful to those who do not identify as enlightened and most likely to be detrimental to those who identify as partially enlightened. 
Will G, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 1:36 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 1:36 PM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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I mostly agree with the article you posted, although i feel like the empty house analogy is a bit obscure. The part just before about there just being 'paper' rather than steve looking at paper is clearer, if less evocative. And also, I wouldn't take the view he describes as an endpoint, more like anatta, or mctb 4th path. My favourite way of expressing it is that you've always been identical to experience. Hence why some people say you've always been enlightened, just not known it. Also where you get the expressions no-mind or no witness/awareness. The view of consciousness moves from being something that apprehends to something that just is, almost like a solid object on which a 4D (space+time) representation is inscribed. What had felt like knowing is substituted for something that just feels like being. 

Dogen said: "ordinary beings have no illumination in their consciousness, but Buddhas have no consciousness in their illumination" emoticon

I still have a practical view of meditation though. I think if it is oriented towards inquiry and insight then it's still the best tool for the job.
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 1:56 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 1:55 PM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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First of all, does anyone who reply has to be enlightened? Because I am not!

The Author says only experience exists & no experiencer.
*Sure.

The Author infers some far fetched stuff, negating randomness.
* That doesn't follow from the premise: absence of experiencer. Just saying.

Quote:
" Matter and form would never arise without consciousness. Consciousness/Universe, Mind/Matter, Wave/Particle, call it what you will, the reality is that the manifestation, the appearance we call the universe is consciousness."
* This is mumbo jumbo. & doesn't follow from the premise.

The Author does not agree with teachers who speak of the "witness".
No teacher worth his salt will talk of the witness as anything but an intermediary stage. An interesting stage but not the end of the story.

I got tired of reading here. Maybe the laziness of the awake!
I may get to read further & comment later.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 5:56 PM
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RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Did I say anything??
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 6:17 PM
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RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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Cryptic. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 6:54 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 6:38 PM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

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I am trying to figure out how to relate what I experience to experiences other people describe. It's like having two parts of a slide rule and I don't know where they line up correctly. When I ask a question it is not because I don't have an opinion on it, I ask questions because I want to know what other people think about the subject.


Hello Jim, hope this finds you well and happy. I don't post here often because "awakening" happened for me after 20+ years of Dzogchen rather than Theravada, and backtracking to try to see the nanas, disgust, and fruitions, etc. wasn't really very useful or helpful to me immediately afterward (or really now). What WAS mostly helpful about this place and Daniel's book was the logic and reassurance that I hadn't lost my shit in the moment that the center of my universe went toroid shaped, center-less, self-time-space-less, and somehow continued on as before for about 20 minutes as I drove my car in 2015, I think it was.

Many thanks to Shargrol and Chris, and a number of posters here for helping me to relax and bringing me down to earth with their answers to my posts and those of others. It has always appeared to me that there is an unspoken earthiness and "Chicken Soup" quality to Shargrol and Chris' and what they share here, vs. Daniel's more cool, logic-based, but also sometimes esoteric, or even supernatural shares. I appreciate both very much.

After lurking, then tentatively posting occasionally, someone said (I think) or read somewhere that "stream entry" was like becoming a freshman in high school - contgratulations, but still tons of work to be done. This was more true than I realized at the time. One of those important things is taking your new ability to see things in this new perspective and pushing it further open so that it eventually becomes your default way of seeing. I recognize myself from all those years ago in the quote you shared - the weirdness and alienness of this new way of seeing, but also this quality of shifting back and forth between emptiness and "self", and feeling like there was a witness. That definitely dissolves over time, as someone mentioned above.

For a number of years (the "high school" years!)I would review this statement from Daniel on this board over and over to check in with my progress:

Since the topic has come up so often and been so bandied about so many times by so many people, let me state here what I mean by 4th path, regardless of what anyone else means by it. It has the following qualities:

1) Utter centerlessness: no watcher, no sense of a watcher, no subtle watcher, no possibility of a watcher. This is immediately obvious just as color is to a man with good eyesight as the old saying goes. Thus, anything and everything simply and obviously manifest just where they are. No phenomena observe any others and never did or could.

2) Utter agencylessness: meaning no agency, no sense of doing, no sense of doer, no sense that there could be any agent or doer, no way to find anything that seems to be in control at all. Whatever effort or intent or anything like that that arises does so naturally, causally, inevitably, as it always actually did. This is immediately obvious, though not always the forefront of attention.

3) No cycles change or stages or states or anything else like that do anything to this direct comprehension of simple truths at all.

4) There is no deepening in it to do. The understanding stands on its own and holds up over cycles, moods, years, etc and doesn't change at all. I have nothing to add to my initial assessment of it from 9 years ago.

5) There is nothing subtle about it: anything and everything that arises exhibits these same qualities directly, clearly.

When I was third path, particularly late in it, those things that didn't exhibit these qualities were exceedingly subtle, and trying to find the gaps in the thing was exceedingly difficult and took years and many cycles. I had periods from weeks to months where it felt done and then some subtle exception would show up and I would realize I was wrong yet again, so this is natural and understandable, and if someone claims 4th as I define it here and later says they got it wrong, have sympathy for them, as this territory is not easy and can easily fool people, as it did me many, many times over about 5 years or so. However, 4th, as I term it, ended that and 9 years later that same thing holds, which is a very long time in this business.

There are other aspects that may be of value to discuss at some other time, but those are a great place to start for those who wish to claim this. If you truly have those, then perhaps we can talk about a few other points that are less central and essential.

Now, how there can still be affect (though quite modified in many ways) when there is centerlessness and agencylessness, this is a mystery to the AF kids and to me as well, and that brings me to my next point: there seems to be areas of development depending on what you look for and aim for that may arise independently, and not everything seems to come as a package necessarily. Those things are what I looked for really hard for about 7 years, and that is what I found. Now I find that the interest in the unraveling of what drives that residual affect is arising, and so that investigation happens on its own also.

Perhaps people will find this helpful in some way. - Daniel Ingram

https://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/2718243#_com_liferay_message_boards_web_portlet_MBPortlet_message_2718243


Some of these assertions felt disconcerting, or even worrying at the time. How would the things that I loved about my life be effected by these very alien sounding future changes? I can see how, before understanding this shift, I would have also found your gents statement uncomfortable:

Imagine as clearly as you can that you enter a large house that you have never been in before. You feel strange and kind of scared, there is furniture and drapes but no people. You wander around feeling the creepiness of being alone in this big house. You go from room to room not knowing what you will find. You start to get nervous and a little fearful being alone in this big house. You wonder how long it has been empty like this. In time the sense of the bigness and emptiness of the house starts to weigh heavily o­n your nerves. Finally, when you can not stand it any longer a shocking realization occurs to you: you're not there either! o­nly the experience exists.

Is this like what you experience as being awakened? Do people experience this 24/7 after stream entry or does it come and go? Is it a feeling (that can come and go), or is it a knowing that you can never unknow? Does it lessen suffering? How?

(In my way of thinking, I called this feeling like you are in a movie. I never thought it was scary.)

​​​​​​​I think I would have a feeling like that occasionally at first, but it is because my boddhicitta was impacted. emoticon When the mind becomes still I can still see this quality, but it isn't strange anymore, it is actually cool and reassuring, comforting and luxurious like a glass of cold water on a hot day. It is what is underneath the noise of the "ornaments of emptiness" - the one thing that is always present. It is ALWAYS known, yes. It lessens suffering because it is nirodha - the cessation. When there is just seeing the clarity and luminousity of emptiness you aren't disturbed by the whole circus of the world, or "you"... as I said, a cold glass of water on a hot day... the joy of just "beingness". 

If you will forgive me, Jim, I have noticed over the years I've seen your posts that you have a real love/fear relationship with this idea of awakening and enlightenment. A fascination, but also a fear about what it means. Feel free to correct me, and apologies if you believe I am wrong. In either case, what I will say is this: "My" experience in this moment matches Daniel's statement. I completely get what he means. The surprise for me, on checking my huge insight at the time against this litmus 6 or 7 years ago now is that the world didn't change, really, and that it isn't frightening at all, in fact quite the opposite.

After completing the path, I still lived in the same world, the same house, with the same wife and kids. The same job. This all LOOKED (and looks) the same. It didn't all become alien, and neither did I... mostly! emoticon

I'm sure there are more, but here are some things that aren't on Daniel's list, but pertain to ME here, right now:

Life experiences are MORE emotionally engaging (once I got a bitch slap from my teacher and started putting in the hard work to develop boddhicitta and everything started to open up even more quickly). I am more available, kinder, but don't walk around for days on end identified with my suffering, or anyone else's. I cry during commercials on television, or in thankfulness to the couch I have been sleeping on since I got the flu 3 days ago. I feel loved and thankful, moment to moment, by the kitchen appliances, the frog under the pot on the porch, and my car, and love them too when it occurs to me.

I see emptiness everywhere, and it is the basis everything seems to come from it... it is the primary thing TO see, and it looks just like this already does. The change in how the pattern of your "self" expressing in the world, and how space and time present take getting used to, but you realize that they ALWAYS looked like this, your thinking mind just filled in all of the gaps with bullshit. Your stories about the fear of enlightenment are probably that too - your "self" trying to prevents its fears of being marginalized or eliminated presenting themselves. There is a supernatural stillness, a silence, a flickering, a parallax, and more happening with sensation that is reassuring.

Yes, there is weird stuff, which I won't go into, but it came for me long after I was worried about things being uncomfortably strange. I haven't ever chatted to Daniel, but I suspect his magical successes started to arise some time after his "self" was completely dissolved. My stuff seems to be primarily around "beings" visiting at night, which I have encouraged, but am sure I could discourage if there was any kind of emergent intention to do so. I'd love to hear from anybody who has had similar experiences. I know Shinzen Young, for example has, as well as my teacher and some of her colleagues.

I'm sure there is more, but I am enjoying the brain addling effects of a 101 degree fever (though with incredible clarity!) so I'll stop for now. 
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:07 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 7:06 PM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 958 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
I seem to recall these two articles contain reports about presences at night and this type of stuff:

Sparby, T. (2022a). Rudolf Steiner and the ‘Guardian of the Threshold’, Part I. Steiner Studies3(3), 1–30. https://doi.org/10.12857/STS.951000340-12
Sparby, T. (2022b). Rudolf Steiner and the ‘Guardian of the Threshold’, Part II. Steiner Studies3(3), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.12857/STS.951000340-13
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:22 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 8:22 PM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 873 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
This was a beautiful post to read. Thank you, Stirling!
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Month ago at 4/23/24 11:04 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/23/24 11:04 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 632 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Olivier S
I seem to recall these two articles contain reports about presences at night and this type of stuff:

Sparby, T. (2022a). Rudolf Steiner and the ‘Guardian of the Threshold’, Part I. Steiner Studies3(3), 1–30. https://doi.org/10.12857/STS.951000340-12
Sparby, T. (2022b). Rudolf Steiner and the ‘Guardian of the Threshold’, Part II. Steiner Studies3(3), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.12857/STS.951000340-13


Thanks for these, Olivier. Seems like a topic of its own. There is lot there.

Martin, I'm glad my post connected. emoticon
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/23/24 12:30 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/23/24 12:30 PM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 958 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Looking up "sleep" in the first article I found this:

​​​​​​​Adler, Shelley: Sleep Paralysis. Night-Mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection. New Brunswick, NJ 2011.

And then, I think the second paper is much more directly related to the topic.
brian patrick, modified 1 Month ago at 4/24/24 12:18 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/24/24 12:18 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 65 Join Date: 10/31/23 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Do you think this writer (below) is correctly describing enlightenment, is he describing what you are experiencing? I am trying to figure out how to relate what I experience to experiences other people describe. It's like having two parts of a slide rule and I don't know where they line up correctly. When I ask a question it is not because I don't have an opinion on it, I ask questions because I want to know what other people think about the subject. https://theconversation.org/what-is-enlightenment-no-i-mean-really-like-what-is-it/ “WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT, NO, I MEAN REALLY, LIKE WHAT IS IT?” I am interested in if you think the whole article is right, but it's long, so if you just read part of it I'd still like to know if you think that part is right or wrong. I am not claiming I agree with him - I am trying trying to figure out how other people define things. But this part in particular I can relate to.
Imagine as clearly as you can that you enter a large house that you have never been in before. You feel strange and kind of scared, there is furniture and drapes but no people. You wander around feeling the creepiness of being alone in this big house. You go from room to room not knowing what you will find. You start to get nervous and a little fearful being alone in this big house. You wonder how long it has been empty like this. In time the sense of the bigness and emptiness of the house starts to weigh heavily o­n your nerves. Finally, when you can not stand it any longer a shocking realization occurs to you: you're not there either! o­nly the experience exists.
Is this like what you experience as being awakened? Do people experience this 24/7 after stream entry or does it come and go? Is it a feeling (that can come and go), or is it a knowing that you can never unknow? Does it lessen suffering? How? (In my way of thinking, I called this feeling like you are in a movie. I never thought it was scary.)
<br /><br />yeah that article sounds right. The part about the house I understood, but I wasnt often scared, although there were some scary experiences here and there. Mostly what there was was a certainty. Something had happened, the change was permanent.&nbsp;<br /><br />in a way I understand the house analogy because I had no words for what had happened and because it was sudden, no way to intelligently talk about it. Plus, there was a shit ton of bliss and energetics. I've taken to calling it the "calamity." There was a watcher for a while and that went away. There was this funny belief that some outside entity or force was driving my life and causing me to awaken. That went away too.&nbsp;<br /><br />there were tons of insights, little and big, subtle, and not so subtle.<br /><br />the last big insight was that I saw that the seeker was blocking the door. The one that wanted to know. The one that wanted to learn about this stuff. The one that wanted spiritual information. The one that thought if I can just put it all in order and understand the entire scope and process it will finish.<br /><br />the only problem with the article is it's a description of something that can't be described. There is no way to say it or think about it that will satisfy anyone. The "seeker" will want it too, and even think it will, but it won't. It's like explaining to someone the experience of eating an orange.<br />you can't. You have the experience to know what it is. You can talk about it until you're blue in the face and it might help different people at different times, but none of what you say will be IT.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/24/24 12:33 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/24/24 12:33 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 1750 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Stirling,

I don't know why anyone would think I am afraid of awakening. My advice to everyone is not to try to read people's mind over the internet or in any other fashion. Stick to what I write literally. Answer my questions, or criticize my reasoning, or ignore me. But trying to read my mind will probably reval more about you than about me because of the psychological phenomenon of projection. 

I have had various types of non-dual / no-self experiences. They didn't impress me much. They didn't awaken me, they didn't scare me. I thought they were a weird brain state caused by a lot of meditation. Like getting high on a recreational drug, but better because it's legal and doesn't make you puke your guts out like some entheogens do. But I didn't think those experiences were worth spending a lot of time trying to cultivate. This is very different from Daniel's reaction. But people are different. 

However I do have an interest in understanding how my own experiences compare to other people's experiences. That's why I ask a lot of questions I want to know what other people think and experience. 

​​​​​​​
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Pawel K, modified 1 Month ago at 4/24/24 3:10 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/24/24 3:10 AM

RE: Is this an accurate description of what enlightenment is like?

Posts: 1172 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Jim,

Have you considered you didn't attain what Daniel did?

There are many experiences or mind states that match most of the phenomenological descriptions but are missing the point entirely. Most self-proclaimed Arhats here didn't seem to have gotten the right memos and its not even only me thinking that. The most funny thing was that Daniel himself said that he thinks most people who claim 4th path on DhO are at most 2nd path - which was something I exactly thought must be the case after attaining 2nd path. I mean it was possible to fit experience near perfectly to all the descriptions - field of self perceiving sensations where they are, no observer or possibility of observer, bla bla bla. I mean it was obvious its not it yet but then again Daniel as far as I know never forbade anyone from reading him so...
... and neither did Mahasi Sayadaw - the very person who invented the methods used so should be the best reference for their results. Keen eye can still see certain differences - especially the type of glow he had but I guess its just a matter of lifestyle and the so called "maturation" - you don't get such type of glow without formless jhanas (I mean the real* ones), and to be more precise his was 5th so I might just as well consider him (when he was alive at least) to be 5th path.

Long story short - attainments can be confusing and misleading. I would even say if you don't think you surpassed everything anyone ever wrote about given path then don't claim it.

Also you say you got non-dual experiences...
...and which part of the experience proved to you doctrine of non-duality is correct?
Most people describe non-duality as experience without obviously fake sense of self overlay slapped on top of experiences. This is completely wrong and has nothing to do with non-duality and can be easily explained without it. Just like any non-dual experiences for that matter!

In the end it comes down to faith and acting according to it.
Subtle (or at times not so subtle) hints its real will happen when you are of... I would love to say "of pure heart" but mine certainly isn't so I guess it comes down to being ready for what non-duality has to show you. What it has to show you (or at least me) puts different light or spin on the whole Enlightenment thinggy and how if it was optimal for everyone to be unbound we would all be enlightened at all times**.

Which BTW your attitude might be all about. Maybe you do realize its not all as its being advertised and in that sense we are being lied to. In this case (and innumerable number of cases it wasn't it, non-duality) maybe better to just shift to basics like resolving issues your nervous system to not experience dukkha? Maybe even if - and this is a big if - if you know how to do that you'll have actual business with non-duality?

Just sayin...
Ni

*) Not many people know this (because surprise surprise not that many people actually attained 4th path) that there are actually 8 jhanas with the form. Infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness and neither perception nor non-perception are NOT formless jhanas. You describe formless jhanas at most by their faculty and not forms they make in mind. They don't have forms - hence they are called formless emoticon

**) In the supermundane experience of all experiences at all times we are all enlightened but that it besides the point ;)

ps. You say we cannot read you... but we can still write to you, can we? emoticon

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