Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Any scientific research on enlightenment? Jesse Cooper Levy 5/21/12 6:34 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Coyote 5/22/12 9:35 PM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Simon T. 5/22/12 10:29 PM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Bailey . 5/22/12 10:41 PM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Tarver  5/22/12 11:07 PM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? (D Z) Dhru Val 5/23/12 12:30 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Omega Point 7/15/12 8:42 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Adam . . 7/15/12 9:47 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Omega Point 7/20/12 1:33 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Adam . . 7/28/12 8:29 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Omega Point 11/21/12 9:46 PM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Robert McLune 11/22/12 12:10 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? End in Sight 7/21/12 9:48 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Omega Point 8/18/12 2:31 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Robert McLune 11/22/12 12:15 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? . Jake . 7/15/12 4:21 PM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? Omega Point 7/20/12 5:28 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? James Phillip Turpin 6/20/13 2:46 AM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? (D Z) Dhru Val 6/20/13 10:43 PM
RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment? James Phillip Turpin 6/21/13 1:25 AM
Jesse Cooper Levy, modified 10 Years ago at 5/21/12 6:34 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/21/12 6:34 AM

Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/4/12 Recent Posts
Hello All,

I just got back from my second retreat, and was feeling very doubtful about getting on this path. I started to think about how little I actually know about this enlightenment thing.

I only really know one or two authors who claim to have done it.
One only REALLY said "highly recommended, can't tell you why"
and I can hardly find even scientific DEBATE on the issue.

I'm really looking for anyone else who talks about it, having achieved it or studied it academically. The further away from this tradition the better. I'm not setting a hard limit on people jumping in with their own experience and feedback here but I'm really just interested in the anybody else of it.

Thank you all!
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Coyote, modified 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 9:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 9:35 PM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 9 Join Date: 3/22/12 Recent Posts
I've trawled Pubmed and Springerlink for papers on meditation but found only passing mentions of enlightenment. There is a large body of published work, but most papers focus on cardiovascular side effects, physiologic metrics, subjective measures of well-being, or fMRI studies of questionable methodology. A minority discuss jhana and altered states of consciousness.

For science to debate or even just begin to study something, it must first define the thing. What, exactly, is enlightenment and how does one measure it?
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Simon T, modified 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 10:29 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 10:26 PM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 383 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
In term of scientific research, the works of Jeffery Martin promise to be interesting.

http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2011/07/bg-225-the-end-of-self-referencing/

http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2011/07/bg-224-the-study-of-non-symbolic-consciousness/

Also,if you want to hear a nice discussion between Arahant, listen to the discussion at Hurricane Ranch:

http://www.interactivebuddha.com/podcasts.shtml
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Bailey , modified 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 10:41 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 10:41 PM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 267 Join Date: 7/14/11 Recent Posts
Richie Davidson at UW Madison is famous for his meditation research and its effects on the brain
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Tarver , modified 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 11:07 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/22/12 11:07 PM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
Shinzen has a a few words to say about this topic; 14 CD's worth in fact.
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(D Z) Dhru Val, modified 10 Years ago at 5/23/12 12:30 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 5/23/12 12:30 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
Jesse Cooper Levy:
Hello All,

I just got back from my second retreat, and was feeling very doubtful about getting on this path. I started to think about how little I actually know about this enlightenment thing.

I only really know one or two authors who claim to have done it.
One only REALLY said "highly recommended, can't tell you why"
and I can hardly find even scientific DEBATE on the issue.

I'm really looking for anyone else who talks about it, having achieved it or studied it academically. The further away from this tradition the better. I'm not setting a hard limit on people jumping in with their own experience and feedback here but I'm really just interested in the anybody else of it.

Thank you all!


http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.ca/2011/12/why-isnt-there-brain-test-for-awakening.html

Generally scientific studies will not use the term 'enlightnement'. But rather something more quantifiable eg length of time that someone has been practicing meditation.
Omega Point, modified 10 Years ago at 7/15/12 8:42 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/15/12 8:42 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 39 Join Date: 7/14/12 Recent Posts
To add to the astute answers provided by the others already: Neurobiology hasn't been doing a great job communicating with the physics field and they premise their explanations on materialist assumptions. Rather than quantum immateriality.

- For those of you who think quantum is only for the tiny, we already have the technological capacity to put viruses into superposition, there is absolutely no theoretical upper limit to quantum effects in terms of scale of emergence (all arguments against quantum effects in higher scales of emergence or in environments conducive to life have been completely debunked in the last 6 years). This is such a big deal that many in physics crowds see classical mechanics being completely replaced in the next ten years with a fully quantum/digital model. -

Quantum immateriality has a lot of interesting implications, from those that are nearly inherent to the axiom, such as quantum gravity to the new branches which are too young to even be called fields like quantum evolution. Even more so when you include holography and digital physics.

Further, this brings into focus ontologies pointed out by the advanced schools of Buddhism. So in essence, physics is moving further and further in a direction where it agrees rather directly with Buddhism, such as the agreement that form is empty. This is critical as embracing only the lower schools doesn't jive with what physics is saying. The lower schools do not properly speak of co-emergence, emptiness, non-locality etc. Further they are based on a certain false premises that are not logically tenable, like that things exist by definition or simplistic notions of productive causality or in some cases the false dichotomy of samsara/nirvana etc etc etc. There are some on this website that really seem to focus only on 12,000 out of the 600,000 suttas,sutras,shastras,tantras,sadhanas that exist. This baffles me as it seems they are taking on faith information that was passed down orally for hundreds of years (and therefor privy to error of mouth/memory) after the buddha had been dead, before finally being written down in an attempt to stop the various speculative groups and their varying views (therefor politically motivated) as somehow more 'authentic' then the schools that reject a politically influenced tradition in favor of rigorous logic.
A wonderful example of how the coalescence between science and Buddhism requires the higher schools is that the following would not be true without them:
5 similar steps in the intellectual history of Buddhism and physics.
1. Transition from the paradigm of substance to the paradigm of causality
2.Replacement of productive causality by law-like successions
3.Transition from causal and law-like successions to co-emergence.
4.Criticism of ontological view of co-emergence and claim that co-emergence itself is relative to the cognitive act that posits it. ("co-emergence co-emerges")
5. Silent return to contemplative practices , or the agnostic return to the practices of experimental science.


To wrap up setting the stage via quantum theory/quantum gravity/digital physics etc
-No such thing as matter
-Space and time and energy are emergent phenomena, they are not fundamental, come from a quantum gravity state. Identical with the conception of suchness, where no information is present, yet all information/illusion emerges from it.
-Requires a monist understanding of reality where everything is information itself.
-Measurement is entanglement
-Considering the monism and a whole slew of other reasons, consciousness should be able to collapse wave-functions.
-The universe has a self-collapsing wave-function which is tautologically identical to a mind.
-We live in an illusion, a literal simulation almost certainly.
-The universe is highly likely to be a self-designing quantum computer
-The total energy state of the universe is actually 0, nearly guaranteeing that we are in a virtual simulation.
-The universe can produce extropy at will.

For the sake of time, this up and coming physicist with his masters in QM makes these great videos to very briefly and simply sum up some of these points. He is a gnostic with neoplatonist tendencies who is rather sharp.


-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfa9gEJGnfE&feature=plcp

-Verifying the verification principle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ags_M3ILszo&feature=plcp



-A Panexperientialist Metaphysics (Yogachara inter-subjective hallucination)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MRQf17luiM&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzfj4R52Q6I&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJmT15fDJ5Y&feature=plcp

-"Well the thing is that the realists premises are in essence stolen. You can't use immaterial evidence to argue to a material conclusion." Johanan Raatz

"Qualia as such does exist but only in form of neural firing so it is completely describable."

"A material neuron lives in my garage..." Johanan Raatz

"Qualia arises from groups of neuronal cell..."


"Do you remember "Mary the color scientist?" One can learn everything there is to know about neurons and permeability of ions and still not know what red is like. The reason for this is that redness is not physical information." Johanan Raatz

"No mystery"


"You're right, the mystery goes away when you just eliminate matter." Johanan Raatz

A Material Dragon Lives in My Garage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6TsoBiJWlc&feature=context-chv
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NP4QmrbBww&feature=plcp
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NP4QmrbBww&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TS6c_tX6E8&feature=plcp

-Universal Orch-Or pt 1 and 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj8UdHuP5l8&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee2jtmhyO8Q&feature=plcp


-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC50549/
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CtaxhlqM4M&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9WVt44cvZg&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjlEi4uebms&feature=plcp
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cKj3kx4NTY&feature=plcp


-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xKUass7G8w&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qiLLrmyqTM&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLo-ZvUoTsA&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rogYt5o1aFQ&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crzgOuUtvrg&feature=context-chv


-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqSd3HT_vvc&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ciWYGvpGII&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4txvWSV6BK0&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swl0Pl4rURo&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLvAxyzOIs0&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apVMVm-xHCM&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3a4Hwdn0vY&feature=plcp

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKZYHBGIopo&feature=plcp


Beyond this, I have just returned from a 13 month retreat after being captivated by how visionary logic can lead to the same conclusions as physics has. I 100% believe that suffering can be completely overcome. I can't see how the state of physics prevents some of the more extreme claims by the higher buddhist schools. ex. mahaparinirvana and buddha-fields. The symmetry is so amazing, to the degree that I have been working on making testable predictions applying coherence theory to meditation with rather interesting results thus far.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 7/15/12 9:47 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/15/12 9:47 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Omega - what do you mean by the samsara/nirvana dichotomy and how do you define suffering when you say it can be 100% overcome?
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Jake , modified 10 Years ago at 7/15/12 4:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/15/12 4:13 PM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Have you read any of Herbert Guenther's later work on translating/explicating dzogchen? In particular "From reductionism to creativity: Dzogchen and the new sciences of mind"? I enjoy the way he weaves phenomenology, heidegger, advanced physics, math, symmetry/topography, general systems theory, cognitive science, process thinking, and so on into a highly coherent translation paradigm for Dzogchen in the final sections of this work. The earlier sections are devoted to a presentation of the history of buddhist schools *, in which he makes many of the same points you made above.

The upshot is the in my opinion very worth hearing out claim that heretofore Buddhist material of all schools has been translated by western languages informed by Medieval Western religious vocabularies and/or 19th century secularist (early reductionistic materialist scientistic) vocabularies but that until the developments of the various kinds of vocabularies I mention above, which Guenther utilizes to such profound poetic and pragmatic effect, western languages had no way to really translate the Dzogchen phenomonology/cosmology/ontology.

Now, don't get me wrong, a straightforward meditation manual doesn't really require this kind of precision nor do ancient Tibetan manuals utilize the specialized theoretical vocabularies anyhow. Mostly in my opinion the value of the technical vocabularies is in 1) conceptualizing subtle distinctions that may be relevant at particular junctures in practice and 2) describing and reflecting on the broader implications and deeper significance of that which is revealed in practice in a coherent way.

* In case it isn't obvious, this history is being presented from a Dzogchen perspective. But this makes it interesting (regardless of any ultimate validity of that perspective) in that Dzogchen thinkers had many critiques of earlier formulations of Buddhist theory that parallel the critiques that 21st century science and philosophy is leveling at the past two thousand years of Western intellectual/pragmatic history.

ETA: relevant to the thread topic in that 'scientific research' exists within the shifting sands of philosophical backgrounds that many scientists (or published scientific works anyhow) don't seem too conscious of. A lot of this stuff is really up for grabs right now, and it is easy to miss because either way-- no matter how conscious of the philosophical backgrounds that inform the broader trends of research and articulation of theories and formulation of hypotheses-- 'research' can be conducted and can yield practical (technological, i.e.) results (even in the utter absence of sensitivity to the view directing the research). I think this is analagous to the way in which following meditation instructions of whatever kind will tend to yield replicable 'results' in terms of producing particular experiences or revealing particular truths about experiencing; however, such meditation 'research' is always occurring within the context of some kind of 'view' whether conceptual or existential which conditions the way in which significance is found in the experiences and insights which arise. One can have a very precise practice which reveals very profound truths or actualities of the nature of experiencing, and yet different views will lead to differences in significance attributed to these discoveries and hence differently direct further 'research'.
Omega Point, modified 10 Years ago at 7/20/12 1:33 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/20/12 1:33 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 39 Join Date: 7/14/12 Recent Posts
Adam,
Keeping in mind that I was referring to my implicit knowledge of the subject. To have a fuller grasp of what I am referring to one needs to understand the historical progression of philosophic thought in relation to this subject and others, which unfortunately I do not have the time to completely draw out for you. The points of divergence existed before the early schools wrote anything down, so there have been several layers of progression both in practice and in writing that increase the complexity quite much. I will do what I can with the time I have to give you a simplistic understanding. Also keep in mind that many project in relation to the early texts and inaccurately take them to be directly from Gautama.

As referred to before, early prevailing thinking was that things existed by definition and further that definition was actually established in relation to said 'things'. The claims continue to say that by definition samsara and nirvana are two different things, and which the differences are truly established. This is further enforced by sayings such that nirvana is 'outside' of mundane existence. An example of one that can reinforce false conceptualizations:
"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support (mental object). This, just this, is the end of stress."

Considering the neutral equanimous suchness referred to in the above quote leads one to cease experiencing perception, the question was how was Gautama maintaining deep security and lack of suffering when interacting in samsara? There must be a way to integrate or Gautama wouldn't be liberated when was teaching, eating, begging.

Emptiness pervades samsara/nirvana, they are non-dual and have the nature of suchness. Labels and definitions in relation to nirvana/samsara differentials are not established and do not truly exist. This does not mean that the actual nature is ethically neutral but that is a different discussion.

Even 'bare' senate has the nature of emptiness, meaning all one can experiences are mental and bodily fabrications. All the fabrications are empty and thus have the deep nature of suchness (emptiness of emptiness, therefor extrinsically empty)This means suffering is an emerging illusion and isn't something that has to be gotten rid of, it is something that actually never could truly exist to begin with. It is said that Gautama said that our true nature doesn't have the capacity for suffering. As in relation to emptiness, pain is nirvana, pain can emerge without suffering, as well as the fabrication of pain can be ceased all together for whatever reason if one wanted to.

The fabrication co-emerges; when concentration is brought into the fray, one can cease, insert, or change the content of the fabrication. One can cease fabrications from occurring; one can generate fabrications with no content or stuffed with what content one wants. As all perception/feeling etc are empty and arise with the same principle.

This is why the higher schools say you are superior being once one realizes the practical use of emptiness and sees emptiness directly with the subtle mind. As the logic of conventional emptiness brings itself to it's endpoint, one sees that one can build a fabrication paradise before one dies. Both with maturing all arising senate and properly stuffing the content one wants and ceasing the fabrications one doesn't want. Therefor all can be perturbed into a variety of nirvanic fabrications. This is how one becomes a yogi of illusion.

This is why one starts heat yoga. As the heat lays the foundation in many ways to gain complete mastery over one's fabrications. I will be writing some guide sometime soon that goes into some detail concerning how one progresses using heat coupled with a few other advanced practices and the goals and some of the reasoning etc.

Hope the majority of this finds you in clarity.
Omega Point, modified 10 Years ago at 7/20/12 5:28 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/20/12 5:28 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 39 Join Date: 7/14/12 Recent Posts
Thanks so much for spending the time you did.

I have not heard of this man but I surely will read through this material, it sounds like an absolutely delightful information vector.

I couldn't agree more. Before much needed technical jargon, the knowledge gap emerging with translation and transliteration was so wide the western philosophical movement (let alone the scientific movement) considered much of the traditions as nothing but 'incoherent mysticism'. Finally after many decades, the movements are starting to reconcile this error.

I agree, in general terms of meditation manuals it isn't needed. As a knowledge applicable in fleet-footed debate was required in public proof before the advanced schools would dispense the advanced tantric/dzogchen manuals. Rehashing the ontological or subtle logical proofs wasn't needed. You correctly point out that there is the exception when it specifically applies to certain critical moments where a comprehension might be required to adequately navigate. An example beyond manuals being when in dream yoga when the dream dissolves into blackness. One will enter a spacious blackness but face the perception of the blackness being an "other". One usually experiences free-falling. Hindu contemplatives considered this a pointless vacuous void as they would remain at this stage. While in correspondence debate Buddhists revealed to them that by perceiving non-self (different then no-self, otherwise known as "non-non-self"), one transcends the subject-object dichotomy and gains this intuitive all-encompassing n-space body where one naturally emanates fabrications as one pleases.

Lastly, your point is insightful. Our inquires emerge with our views. In the physics lab we see the universe responding to how we ask our questions, which depends solely on our view. If we don't know the right question or how to phrase it on one hand, then we can't expect to even be able to discern a response. Though physics deals with much larger philosophic questions as part of the work, many other fields on the other hand have not adapted the view that a general view is needed but rather a working specificity in a closed relation of sorts to itself. Which can lead to an incoherent working picture, but this is why there are philosophers of science and why there were contemplatives devoted to drawing corollaries and distinctions between the various "working specificities"
These both clearly apply to meditative inquiry and the progression thereof as well. Which is why though results in some respect will occur regardless of view, to get "right" results or better yet results that "matter" or that are "useful" one needs the "right" view.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 7/28/12 8:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/21/12 9:35 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
A week after writing this I don't really have the same questions at all the only ones still standing seem totally unimportant now. I do want to ask this though: are what I once thought to be irreducible aspects of consciousness like colors eventually reduced to the same singular suchness such that everything experienced aside from that one uniform substance is fabricated?


Hope the majority of this finds you in clarity.


maybe... but in case i seem to totally miss the point it was out of misunderstanding, not being facetious ;)

Keeping in mind that I was referring to my implicit knowledge of the subject. To have a fuller grasp of what I am referring to one needs to understand the historical progression of philosophic thought in relation to this subject and others, which unfortunately I do not have the time to completely draw out for you. The points of divergence existed before the early schools wrote anything down, so there have been several layers of progression both in practice and in writing that increase the complexity quite much. I will do what I can with the time I have to give you a simplistic understanding. Also keep in mind that many project in relation to the early texts and inaccurately take them to be directly from Gautama.


Ok, and I'll also keep in mind that you are bringing in lots of new stuff to this forum and are being engaged in conversation left and right.

Considering the neutral equanimous suchness referred to in the above quote leads one to cease experiencing perception, the question was how was Gautama maintaining deep security and lack of suffering when interacting in samsara? There must be a way to integrate or Gautama wouldn't be liberated when was teaching, eating, begging.


Well, the deathless is attained for an arahant, so desire can no longer arise, thus he is unbound. He is unbound regardless of the shape the aggregates are taking. Nibbana seems to be less a place or thing in the pali canon, more of a state of being (though it isn't properly a state, non-state, neither state nor non-state, both state and non-state). Do you think that pali canon quote is referring to nibbana or the deathless? It seems that perhaps what is referred to by "that dimension" is the deathless, the attainment of which causes nibbana to be the case for the being who attains it.

So his liberation is maintained due to his contact with the unborn and undying aspect of consciousness, not through understanding that suffering doesn't exist.

Emptiness pervades samsara/nirvana, they are non-dual and have the nature of suchness. Labels and definitions in relation to nirvana/samsara differentials are not established and do not truly exist. This does not mean that the actual nature is ethically neutral but that is a different discussion.


Nibbana isn't an object, the question of empty/not empty doesnt seem to apply doesn't seem to apply to it. The metaphor of nibbana is of a flame that has gone out, a flame that is unbound to any fuel. Not a noun, but an adjective describing an arahant. Were you referring to the deathless aspect of consciousness by "nirvana" here? Can you explain how something unfabricated and indivisible could be empty? Maybe i don't understand emptiness, and i have no idea what you are referring to by "emptiness of emptiness."

This means suffering is an emerging illusion and isn't something that has to be gotten rid of, it is something that actually never could truly exist to begin with. It is said that Gautama said that our true nature doesn't have the capacity for suffering. As in relation to emptiness, pain is nirvana, pain can emerge without suffering, as well as the fabrication of pain can be ceased all together for whatever reason if one wanted to.


Indeed, it doesn't have to be gotten rid of, it is just that we have a desire to get rid of it and no reason to resist that desire, why is it being an illusion relevant to the question of getting rid of it? Also, I don't understand how it is an illusion, or even how any experience can be said to be empty. Even though physical pain is a mental fabrication, the experience of that fabrication exists, and it is disagreeable, thus it is suffering. I guess i didn't actually *respond* to your point here, but hopefully understanding how i understand this you can help clarify.

so: What is meant by the emptiness of an experience (rather than a concept) and why it would matter that suffering was an illusion (in reference to whether it's causes should be abandoned) and is the nirvana/samsara dichotomy based on the idea that nibbana is some kind of place or thing?

I should also inform you of my original intent with my two questions, for a while in this community everyone were satisfied with the existence of I-making because they could be clearly aware of the process and knew that I-making wasn't itself an actual self, this belief is quite common in western buddhism. The main thing actual freedom brought here was a couple of people who ended I-making and could tell us how great not fabricating a self was. My original suspicion of the "nirvana/samsara dichotomy" was that it was a similar excuse not to end some aspect of suffering based on a metaphysical position, I gather from your other posts that you wouldn't support keeping I-making around, how are these two situations not analogous? If suffering is something that can't even exist why do i need to meditate?

confused, but I hope that at least you saw my understanding of these things, even if I didn't understand well enough to answer in a relevant way.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 7/21/12 9:48 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/21/12 9:40 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

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Omega Point:
This means suffering is an emerging illusion and isn't something that has to be gotten rid of, it is something that actually never could truly exist to begin with.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.017.than.html:
"Master Gotama, is stress self-made?"

"Don't say that, Kassapa."

"Then is it other-made?"

"Don't say that, Kassapa."

"Then is it both self-made and other-made?"

"Don't say that, Kassapa."

"Then is it the case that stress, being neither self-made nor other-made, arises spontaneously?"

"Don't say that, Kassapa."

"Then does stress not exist?"

"It's not the case, Kassapa, that stress does not exist. Stress does exist."


EDIT: I quoted this sutta to clarify that, insofar as the Pali texts are an accurate record of what the the historical figure Gotama said or taught, that your statements concerning what he said or taught with respect to suffering are questionable.
Omega Point, modified 9 Years ago at 8/18/12 2:31 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/18/12 2:31 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 39 Join Date: 7/14/12 Recent Posts
Thanks for taking the time. I have been out of town and busier than a bee.

End in Sight:

EDIT: I quoted this sutta to clarify that, insofar as the Pali texts are an accurate record of what the the historical figure Gotama said or taught, that your statements concerning what he said or taught with respect to suffering are questionable.


Unfortunately this reflects a lack of determination concerning one's reading comprehension. As that quote you posted reflects nothing of the sparse statements concerning what Gautama supposedly said. As little of my response directly dealt with an iteration of a lower school (nor from an iteration). Some was an analysis; some was stressing how easy confusion could be caused with the way certain points were presented in the pali texts. This eludes you based off your post. You were responding to analysis but conflating it with iteration. All particulars I have gone out of my way to attribute to Gautama are to be found in the pali texts.

The reason the pali texts (like so many religious traditions; dramatic consolidation occurs through inscribing the hear-say) were written down was primarily due to so many groups forming with very different points of view. Arguments had formed around what Gautama actually did and didn't say. Including one that deemphasized arhatship in favor of a more bodhisattva centric presentation. Here I am not referring to how to interpret what he said, but literally arguments dealing with what he supposedly even said to begin with. Not surprising since we are talking about a several hundred year game of telephone. It is rather certain there was a Gautama as there are various non-buddhist texts predating the pali, such as clan treatise referring to things like 'Gautama the monk; the dark magician who had discovered a hidden magic and was using it to steal others' disciples'.

Further, arguments formed around how to deal with the many contradictions arising in each of the varied accounts of his teachings. Which were to be taken literal and which were provisional?

After a specific representation of what Gautama supposedly taught was written down (the pali texts) the same issue arouse (how to reconcile internal contradictions) causing another series of splintering, post-consolidation. The historical validity of this specific account is almost certainly in question (it is said it takes 7 months to even recite it all) most historians who specialize in this specific area are convinced many of the places mentioned are completely made up (ex. vulture peak). We are stuck at the very least arguing ranges of accuracy! If the places are made up, the qualifications of whoever is being taught in any specific circumstance can't properly be discerned. The texts provide little in of themselves to determine the answers to the consistency problems.

So the question is again, which teachings are literal and which are provisional? When was a modified account given depending on Gautama's read of whatever person(s) he is teaching at that point, suiting that particular? Which were absolute and which were circumstantial? Again how does one deal with the internal contradictions?

This was such a large issue it most likely caused the abhidharma, as another consolidation seemed to necessitate itself.

All of this culminates in the need to have logic and extreme discipline rain supreme over taking any specific text literally. Analysis in this case seems to side with the sutta you invoked being provisional and not absolute.

Nor does that sutta conflict with anything I said. Suffering can exist but not truly exist. Example, many contemporaries would say a dream exists but doesn't truly exist. A rainbow exists but doesn't truly exist. Darkness exists but doesn't truly exist, it is due to an absence. Similarly suffering doesn't truly exist it is due to an absence of habituated wisdom. Motivational tendencies/habitual ignorance.

Withal, suffering is never fully/truly established as such. Similar to how when a wave-function collapses it never fully/truly collapses. Simply put, whenever any fabrication co-emerges, though one may respond to it as if suffering were appearing, that same fabrication is subtly indetermined (in flux); in reality can be considered effectively 'established' as bliss, divinity, security, nirvana etc. Recognition and habituation of such recognition leads to these fabrications that used to be 'suffering' co-emerging 'instead' as the 'bliss of being alive' or what have you. In other words, simply through this recognition the fabrication is tuned.


There are progressively deeper followings that assume a greater complexity, considering the prior difficulties, they shall stay resting.

Please excuse for any redundancy; organizational coherence is secondary to haste as I have much work to do.
Omega Point, modified 9 Years ago at 11/21/12 9:46 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 11/21/12 9:46 PM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 39 Join Date: 7/14/12 Recent Posts
I will write in haste as much unexpected work has been thrust upon me over the past few weeks as I prepare to leave. Excuse redundancy etc.

Considering the thread,


Enjoy putting it into perspective.
- http://scaleofuniverse.com/
http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/stars/ -


Physics over the last 80 years has eaten & consolidated more and more of what used to be philosophy, this trend has increased sharply over the last several decades and even sharper over the last. Quantum mechanics/theory, especially in terms of technology, has built the modern world; don't make a similar mistake like Einstein in underestimating it.
Logic rejects all dualisms, a singular model must explain consciousness type phenomena and non. Both types of standard monisms should be rejected. A neutral monism of information (quantum information theory) should be considered as it is most in line with the evidence and considered fact by most physicists. 'Matter' is quantum foam derived from 'platonic' wave-functions. The body is literally the foam of a wave. The type of imminently emergent causal structure pointed to is the same (understanding causality is one of the single most critical aspects of understanding reality, yet so many in the modern world spend so little time understanding it; know that one will have a trivial and false understanding of reality until one catches up intellectually with physics & buddhism concerning notions of imminent co-emergence).

"Understand that the body
Is merely the foam of a wave,
The shadow of a shadow."
-Buddha
--Dhammapada.

Holographic principle is accepted as fact by most physicists, it will remain undefeated until we can build particle accelerators larger than our solar system. Meaning it's time to get used to the idea of a more 'fundamental' generally two-dimensional order of reality with in-between boundary states. Then consider that local & non-local realisms have been experimentally debunked! That measurement/entanglement literally means not only that everything in the universe is connected, but all is actually 'one' (or zero) yet subtly escaping holism. When coupled with quantum information theory there is no escaping that all information/reality is virtual and is being run on some type of self-designing quantum computer (in physics circles, not accepting the universe as a self-designing quantum computer is the equivalent of believing in pseudoscience like flat-earthism). From the software's perspective, it's being run 'on a'/'from a' zero-state type 'nothingness' of wave-functions (somewhat neo-taoist as some of the madhyamaka sub-traditions and inspired traditions). Like being run 'from' a platonic realm of sorts! Neo-platonism meets emptiness, meaning all possibly applicable variants and relations are informationlessly 'encoded' as ontologically real superpositions/possibilities. Not existing inherently as they exist only in regards to the immanent co-emergence of the corresponding information (the world of appearance) and not substantively or generally immutably themselves (thus in no conflict with the buddhist refutations of hindu 'platonic' arguments). A detailed post-experiential analysis of bardo yoga (the subtlest level), enforces the notion of this specific type of neoplatonic/neotao/transnominalist -like operation.
Again, literally no information concerning the empty wave-functions themselves or the empty world of wave-functions, yet they are still ontologically 'real'. Until a wave-function collapse occurs (99% of collapses are actually subtle illusions, true collapse equals a type of black hole) there is zero information of this digital process or related to this digital process.

Now consider the 'delayed choice quantum eraser' experiments and the only logical solution to explain it's experimental outcome. Assimilation and conclusion being that retrocausality is real. The present selects from many possible past histories that are in superposition. The past can be retro-actively erased. Particles don't exist beyond being observed/measured, the apparitions of particles are merely programmed to appear as if they will be there when not observed. The universe tries so hard to appear solid/material that we have experimentally observed it erasing the immediate past history for this reason. It covers up the fact that it's been tricked into revealing there is no information rendering relating to materiality when it isn't presently being observed. There are built in programs that are able to recognize when the simulation has been duped, and they can literally undo the past to correct the simulation error. In one experiment for example, an observing mechanism is activated when a wave has already passed the slits as it's making the interference pattern. Upon recognizing this, the universe undoes the past related to the interference pattern and undoes the past related to passing through the slits and further, imbeds information, as if particles had passed through the slit the whole time (considering faster than light information transfer is impossible, the past being retroactively erased is the only plausible solution).

Therefor things only appear material and solid but in fact are less material and solid than the virtual ground that software characters run on in a video game. I say less so because the generic notion of software on a computer entails a more fundamental, more material, hardware that is running it. While in the case of the universe, the more 'fundamental', the more immaterial. Beyond, quantum biology since around 2007 has really started integrating with neuroscience (as with all life sciences, quantum processes are being found everywhere in nature). From mind dependent tunneling in the brain to gamma synchrony forcing the requirement of a quantum consciousness explanatory model.

Considering quantum consciousness notions are required to explain consciousness (with cultural lag this will take a while to sink in to the pop-thinking), the 'subtlest level of mind' (more precisely, the subtle awareness that transcends even the mind) is certainly quantum mechanical in nature. The 'subtle level of mind', less subtle than the aforementioned, is quantum mechanical but conditioned considerably by classical operation; the only working theories of free-will require this level to be quantum mechanical.

Francisco Varela:
"These subtle levels of consciousness appear to Western eyes as a form of dualism and are quickly dismissed... It is important to note that these levels of subtle mind are not theoretical; instead, they are delineated rather precisely on the basis of actual experience, and they merit respectful attention by anybody who claims to rely on empirical science... An understanding of these levels of subtle mind requires a sustained, disciplined, and well-informed meditation practice. In a sense, these phenomena are open only to those who are willing to carry out the experiments, as it were. That some form of special training is needed for firsthand experience of new realms of phenomena is not surprising....But in traditional science, such phenomena remains hidden from view, since most scientists still avoid any disciplined study of their own experience, whether through meditation or other introspective methods. Fortunately, contemporary discourse on the science of consciousness increasingly relies on experiential evidence, and some scientists are beginning to be more flexible in their attitude toward the firsthand investigation of consciousness."

Remember, academic buddhism demands it be able to integrate it's truths with whatever state the acedemic/philosophic-complex of the world is in. Fortunately since genius buddhist logicians such as Nagarjuna discovered a variant of quantum logic, it will have a much easier time in the academic community than most laypeople would expect (as it has had a much easier time than any religion, to the degree of having decades worth of dialogue with science, both learning from one another. Further, in it's basics, buddhism has it's appeals to physicists, Gotama stressed the entropic nature of the world.

"Venerable cosmos, cosmos it is called, what is the meaning of cosmos?"
Gotama replied "Monk, breaking up it is, disintegrating it is, therefore, it is called the cosmos"

With scientific complexity going up, the scientific literacy amongst adult laypeople populations can inversely trail behind and dip lower. There is a real chance the present intellectual class divide will perpetuate itself further. With it there will be a disconnect between the academically/scientifically trained contemplatives and the laypeople contemplatives. Unfortunately it will mean a likelihood that buddhism & many of it's fine points will be rejected more often amongst non-technical laypeople due to false biases concerning the ontologically implied reality they project, 'from the eyes of science' (properly called scientism).

When one takes quantum information theories, orch-or and decoherence theory, naturally following math & logic dictates and predicts the differences between the temporary suppression of the environmental decoherence of a system (self-collapsing wave function) due to concentration (measuring) and actual decoupling of the system from environmental decoherence. Decoherence theory dictates that a system participate in certain types of self-measurment that tune the system away from environmental decoherence and eventually decouple (liberate) the system from environmental decoherence all together. Another being the observance of a functional-phenomena in the bardo trances that behaves in symmetry with our understanding of quantum harmonic-oscillators. Over time, dozens and dozens of these self-revealing observables have shown. This has guided my practice greatly and has caused a deep appreciation and deeper understanding of academic Buddhism. As entire ontologies rather symmetrical to academic Buddhism can be drawn with only little philosophy and the rest solely from physics/math.

Get used to the trend of mathematics & quantum mechanics becoming part of liberation and contemplative thinking in the academic world. For example, amongst Cornell's online library, there are already papers out by varying physicists across the world combining nirodha-samapatti/cessation of perception, quantum spin-states & the universal-wave function, meditation, sleep, etc.
Math related to how a mind wave-function goes into the nirodha, how it collapses into the universal wave-function (this isn't my work). One paper speculates that considering the universal wave-function (increasingly often considered not merely a mind, but a 'mind' plus more) contains all wave-functions (in fact all other wave-functions are illusions) related to all, that understanding the differing types of nirodha might seriously allow an individual mind to acquire a lot more information than it would be otherwise privy too, to the degree that an individual mind might be able to directly experience omniscience or literally an intuition of omniscience.
Further considering the holographic paradigm, if we can gain access to any of that extra information, there really might be ways to mathematically, from experience, and/or further, extrapolate/pontificate with seriously high accuracy concerning much/most of the information we didn't actually directly acquire. An omniscience principle is already being invoked at the cutting edge (cultural lag is roughly 5-30 years depending on topic complexity and cultural friction) of theoretical/mathematic work. Technology (such as types of quantum computers) most likely will be able to harness this capacity to varying degrees.
Omniscience (to which the universal wave-function is omniscient and all is entangled through it/contained within it) has been an essential applicable principle for quantum information processing and our foundation for building quantum computers now for some time.


As the heart sutra says that form, perception, consciousness, mind, vision, etc. is emptiness and emptiness is form, perception, consciousness, mind, vision, etc.; yet in emptiness there is no form, perception, consciousness, mind, vision, etc.
Many thinkers well informed of modern physics, consider nibbana ontologically similar/identical to the implicate/explicate order (before this mind). This mind considers this rather worthy and goes further, as specializing in quantum gravity.
One can think of a bubble. Just as beneath the surface of the bubble, there is 'informationlessness'. The 2-d surface catches, maintains, & 'emanates' information (in the form of light etc) almost 'three dimensionally' (though actually an illusion/distortion).
Quantum gravity can be conventionally represented as bubble-like. When information falls 'into' a black hole, it collapses into a 2-d state and remains completely intact along the surface of the black hole, never going 'beneath the surface'. Black holes can reverse this function and project the 2-d surface information into a 3-d state, a mirage-like hologram state. The phenomenal universe tautologically functions this way, and all appears to be emanating from a black hole of sorts. Beneath the surface of this 'black hole' is informationless yet 'containing' the 'hard-coded' immaterial structure.

All wave-functions are actually 'located' beneath the surface, including self-collapsing wave-functions ('individual' minds) and the universal self-collapsing wave-function. Which fits with advanced contemplative thinking and implies itself that 'everything's' nature is actually of nirodha/extinction/emptiness and can't actually be stained. Further that the nature of karma/causality is singleness.

Further Orch-OR explains the same & proper relationship between individual self-collapsing wave-function (mind-streams) and the universal wave-function as implied by the relevant advanced schools. That is, that the individual self-collapsing wave-functions are subtly illusions and all are thinking with the universal-mind of sorts. At the subtlest levels, the world of sentience doesn't exist, all being the absolute, the unborn buddhic mind/awareness.


Alan Wallace: The belief that there is an objective physical reality that can finally be represented by one and only one theory is a metaphysical assumption [...]

Consider Godel's insights into self-referring logical systems, Penrose's insights into how Godel's work as well as his own implies that the mind is curiously and wonderfully strange and cannot be contained by a logical system and can necessarily transcend it if the system is trusted and logically sound (and transcends algorithmic computation and is thus quantum), and Nagarjuna's insights into the limits of self-referring logic, how the mind transcends logic, how the highest states of knowledge & wisdom are trans-conceptual etc. All models, systems, teachings, etc are merely expedients & conventional.



----

Sir & all,
Keep in mind, that emptiness is a complex subject and has many orders of understanding, usually being studied for years. Humorously (though true) & in reference to memetics one could say, 'one does not simply understand sunyata'.
Further, keep in mind the rhetorical question.


Adam . .:
are what I once thought to be irreducible aspects of consciousness like colors eventually reduced to the same singular suchness such that everything experienced aside from that one uniform substance is fabricated?


Ignoring possible semantic issues concerning 'consciousness'...
One could still axiomatically postulate the ontological irreducibility of colors with some degree of arguable favorability. 'Irreducible aspects of consciousness' on the other hand is a tangential particular amongst the ways the irreducibility of colors could possibly be framed (i.e. neoplatonic/neo-taoist variants). Reductionism is generally antithetical to co-emergence. Academic contemplative thinking and physics considers reductionism conventional at best.

Suchness ontologically transcends consciousness. Awareness transcends consciousness. Withal, visual consciousness can be cleared/dissolved, thus colors/forms phenomenologically collapse (into varying suchnesses from nirodhas to high degrees of non-duality states etc). Ontologically, suchness is a non-thing, not a 'one uniform substance' (yet not a non-non-thing). Suchness (more technical jargon used for further parsing but for the sake of conversation), both ontologically & phenomenologically, contains no information itself, yet all information/phenomena is yielded and ordered from it. ALL information/phenomena is fabrication.



Adam . .:
maybe... but in case i seem to totally miss the point it was out of misunderstanding,[...]


Points, implicit and not, relevant and not, what will be noted and not, seem to have missed the past-being resembling you.
I should iterate not to conflate conversation particulars pertaining to the varying schools/sub-schools and their diverging interpretations/representations of the early teachings, it's texts, and it's details with conversation particulars pertaining to au courant impressions/views of the truth concerning such early teachings, it's texts, and it's details.

Further, remember the interconnection of false notions and/or ambiguity (they inform one another). For example, the early schools' paradigm of substance radically informed notions of nibbana & causality/dependent origination. Same with the notion of existing by definition. Another example being theravada's belief in no bardo. Or it's constant confusion and inconsistent use of the terms 'fully enlightened' 'fully enlightened one(s)'. Old theravada's belief that atoms have spatial dimension. The belief that the world was real and emptiness applied to person-only. The belief that dependent-origination applied to person-only. Etc.
Gotama didn't speak pali, similar though the language may have been, similar issues common to transliteration likely influenced the resulting texts.

When one assimilates knowledge beyond a singular tradition, one must understand the interrelated yet non-identical varying arrangements in how particular terms are normatively used and functional. One must strike a balance between priority due to logical coherence/demand and maintaining the greatest number of functioning terms. Also one must remember the graduated cross-pollination over time and the degree to which each tradition and local sub-traditions are influenced by such. Well over 90% of all schools/sub-schools encouraged near-daily-to-daily debate (while maintaining differing information exchange rates with other buddhist & non-buddhist monks/yogis/philosophers). What were they debating if any particular sub-school actually represented solely static positions? This is how nearly all new schools formed. For example, analyzing the Thai therevada tantra traditions versus modern therevada traditons (therevada/abidharmist tantra shouldn't come as a surprise or seem outrageously exotic, as 'mount meru' is subtly referring to the spinal cord, the 4 continents being the limbs, etc;). Modern therevada traditions with old therevada traditions. Etc.

Thus the whole of buddhist knowledge is most accurately viewed as an emergence-complex verging more on the side of a dynamic unity than cut and dry, separate traditions. Example, scholarship argues with favorability that Nagarjuna cannot be properly labeled mahayanan when considering temporality and the state of the emergence (he was an extremely thorough student of the early texts). Meaning to have any context worth noting, we need a very full knowledge of the growth of the traditions and the changing use of language and subtle evolution of views in between the named and defined traditions and their differences. Ultimately seeing the usefulness yet illusion or non-actuality of 'separate traditions' (this is historically prime and the view of many academic/wisdom schools/traditions).

Further, don't strip the ontological implications from the analysis, as this appears to strip the context of the teachings & especially the subtlest intended meanings.
Lastly, remember that Shakyamuni didn't walk the path of the hearers. It was 'do as I say, not necessarily as I have done' (to the hearers).

Adam . .:
Do you think that pali canon quote is referring to nibbana or the deathless? It seems that perhaps what is referred to by "that dimension" is the deathless, the attainment of which causes nibbana to be the case for the being who attains it.


There is only so much reason to refer directly to the 'the deathless' as 'that dimension', but in specific sequential comparison with the specifically mentioned absorptions (the compared dimensions) there is less.
Further are you sure the deathless causes nibbana? As some say they are the same. Specifically what type of causality are you speaking of when you say this? Is the deathless conditioned, if so, how? Nibbana is called the dimension of the deathless (in this case not 'caused by').
Beyond, the deathless is closely associated with stream-entry, and in the early texts, it is directly stated "one has attained the deathless" upon stream-entry. Do you think the deathless is the 'diamond-like samadhi' of the 4th jhana that has the cessation of defilements as it's result? As the diamond-like samadhi is directly associated with a type of nirodha called path of abandoning/irresistible path (a type of 'thought/mind-moment'; suchness). Is the deathless associated with the knowledge of destruction or the knowledge of non-arising? Is the deathless a constantly dawned state or a state that dawns then recedes shortly afterwards?

Please remember that 'dimension' can be 'base' or 'sphere'. Often referring to the jhanas in varying ways, such as the '8 liberations/emancipations', the 8th being nirodha-samapatti.
"Now, when a monk attains these eight emancipations in forward order, in reverse order, in forward and reverse order, when he attains them and emerges from them wherever he wants, however he wants, and for as long as he wants, when through the ending of the mental fermentations he enters and remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release and discernment-release, having directly known it and realized it in the here and now, he is said to be a monk released in both ways. [...]"
When the jhanas are emphasized by Shakyamuni, he doesn't stop at the 'dimension of neither of perception nor non-perception' but advises to look into what he also rediscovered, the 'cessation of feelings & perceptions' (nirodha-samapatti, a type of suchness;).
Remember, generally the jhanas/dhyanas are represented with a strong emphasis on overcoming the senses and the phenomenal world/summit of existence all together. An example being progress into the second jhana, it is considered adept once it is consistently devoid of seeing, hearing, touch & other senses, save mental consciousness (much of the modern contemplative world appears intent & content on setting the bar lower).
Another example being when Shakyamuni advised that arahants, while abiding outside in a thunderstorm and while next to a road with loud traveling merchants and their load-bearing animals, should have faculties perfected to the degree where one is completely capable of going beyond the senses and disallowing any information or knowledge related to the above events to penetrate. So one should be able to will on command a sort of disciplined obliviousness, where one has no knowledge of being rained on, having dirt thrown in one's face. Having no knowledge of the on-goings of loud sounds or any phantasmagoria of sight etc.

This is critical in the bardo, as with mere subtle non-conceptuality, visual phenomena etc can still arise (remember, early on samsara was often referred to as the phenomenal world) based off karmic traces. Though if one allows awareness to turn into itself, suchnesses including the mentioned samapatti cease phenomena. To transcend the summit of existence, nirodha-samapatti is required (and it's sub-variants under the same name as well as other suchnesses). One should be able to end his/her existence at will.


Considering the mentioning of 'earth, water, fire, air', it's arguable there is a comparison between the 4th jhana & above with the cessation. As the earth kasina, the water kasina, the fire kasina & the air kasina are all generally realized from the 4th jhana. Further evidence found in 'having no support/no mental object', as this particular samapatti is commonly known to be 'deliverance of object/mental-object'. Some might argue a specific reference to uddhamsota-akanitthagami, the circumstance where a person climbs the summit of existence and there attains parinirvana (through the aforementioned samapatti).
Withal, there is a close relationship between nibbana and nirodha-samapatti, as nirodha-samapatti & it's calm bodily deliverance afterglow is extremely similar to nibbana. There are accounts of monks becoming arahant upon reaching nirodha-samapatti. Such as one of the chief disciples of Shakyamuni. This samapatti works on removing subtle defilements related to 'perception nor non-perception' etc. It is said one is a candidate for arahant during such a samapatti, as it has the power to break latent defilements.
<Aside, any anagamin who experiences the cessation, also called the absorption of extinction, and didn't transition despite the candidacy for arahant, is called a bodily witness, which is considered a distinct fruit.
There is also an unnamed modern possibility using entheogens as support, where one can experience the cessation without even have been on the path prior to the beginning of the entheogenic experience. Even more anomalous, I have witnessed a person of lower faculties, devoid of any path prior, achieve beyond the visionary state into cessation, and then proceed to oscillate between cessation and the visionary aspect of the insight cycles.
Meaning, however uncommon and under unusual circumstances, that nirodha-samapatti can be achieved by lower than anagamin. Also a stream of extremely rapid oscillation between nirodha and phenomena appears only to be possible with the aforementioned support.>


Adam . .:
Well, the deathless is attained for an arahant, so desire can no longer arise, thus he is unbound. He is unbound regardless of the shape the aggregates are taking.


This is somewhat circular. Aside from this, how does the deathless have power over desire? Are you saying desire would be impossible to generate even with an arahant of very high faculties? Are you saying arahants could not imagine and simulate in their minds someone with desire? What with the feelings of desire, the memories of desire, the 'taste' and all other associated with desire? Arahants still have karmic imprints, and the knowledge of former defilements, indicating clearly the potential to imagine and simulate...how is this different from fabricating desire?

Further, unbinding (especially as you have defined) is in fundamental opposition to the aggregates. The six sense sphere and 'consciousness without feature' don't partake in one another. In fact, the aggregate of consciousness is stopped. As it collapses when ignorance, karmic traces/momentum, or name & form are ceased (temporarily for non-matured contemplatives)...due to this ceasing of consciousness, name & form don't arise in the immediate. Considering this, what do you mean by the shape of the aggregates? Are you referring to 'non-manifestive consciousness' and the loosely used term 'aggregate' when you really mean not?

Do you share theravada's general avoidance concerning explaining arahant's post bodily-death experience (they generally say it is something that is impossible to know)? This of course violates the Buddha's assertions of 'the all' & ending rebirth & the various supernormal eyes. Further it appears to violate the school's own assertion of the permanence of nibbana (it generally equates nibbana with ultimate reality).


"Monks, that dimension should be known where the eye stops and the perception of form fades. That dimension should be known where the ear stops and the perception of sound fades... where the nose stops and the perception of aroma fades... where the tongue stops and the perception of flavor fades... where the body stops and the perception of tactile sensation fades... where the intellect stops and the perception of idea/phenomenon fades: That dimension should be known."

-Thanissaro, considers this section to be about the deathless. Is this state consistent to your mind concerning the deathless, where vision stops etc? It can be argued the state itself is in fact a or several types of temporary nirodha/extinction as already discussed. <note: Beyond, Thanissaro generally appears to conflate the state itself and the post-dawning knowledge. His readings and contextual assumptions reflect this bias.>

Moreover, I reject parts of your premise based on principle and observation, both historically and modern (as many thinkers and schools have) Both intro and extrospective.
Arahants can have passions arise in dreams. To the point of having outward emissions. They only eliminate primary and secondary dissonant mental states. Often argued and considered correct that there is no suffering related to said passions/emissions for immovable arahants; no impurities related to suffering. Arahants still have residues while buddhahood generally has no residues.

Further, most of the contemplative community rejects (including this mind) Theravada's claim that arahants are infallible and have no delusion whatsoever. Not surprising, as agenda's to conflate and bring together, knowingly and not, the state of arahant with that of tathagata have been noted coming from this school/sub-schools. Some go further and say this attempted conflation is evident in the texts themselves, not surprising considering the already known-to-be-present political intention behind & related to the inscription process.

The states of buddhahood are increasingly close to full omniscience until the complete dharmakaya, where full omniscience is birthed (literally the rarest attainment concerning all of contemplation). To be arahant, one only requires a handful of knowledge-leaves. To be buddha, one's knowledge must be forest-like. Arahants are shown to be completely lacking in true unexcelled knowledge when compared to the family of buddhas. If this is the case, how can an arahant be said to be unbound from delusion? If he isn't unbound from delusion, his 'unbinding' by virtue of no arising desire (or through dispassion or disgust) is only pseudo-unbinding or the 'delusion of liberation' when considering beyond mere personal-suffering.
Also consider that arahants don't fully overcome duality, as with the knowledge derived from high degrees of non-duality, one is naturally compelled towards the effortless activities of buddhas(and rather high level bodhisattvas). Arahant activity is conditioned and caused by effort, often subtle. Lastly, arahant activity & deed isn't in symmetry with the buddhas. As arahants generally don't fully perceive that the present faculties are of the 'world's' alone. It is said that one does not neglect the duties of a buddha if one actually has an absence of confusion. Arahants are shown to be completely lacking in true unexcelled conduct when compared to the family of buddhas.

Shantideva:
"Is there need for lengthy explanation?
Childish beings look out for themselves.
Buddhas labor for the good of others:
See the difference that divides them!"

Khyentse:
"When we think of all these beings suffering helplessly, we cannot help but feel tremendous compassion for them. Compassion by itself however, is not enough; they need actual help. But as long as our minds are still limited by attachment, just giving them food, clothing, money, or simple affection, however vital this may be, will only bring them a limited and temporary happiness, we must fist transform ourselves."


Adam . .:
Nibbana seems to be less a place or thing in the pali canon, more of a state of being (though it isn't properly a state, non-state, neither state nor non-state, both state and non-state).



Can you describe why nibbana isn't properly both state and non-state? What would properly be a 'state and non-state'? If there is properly a state and non-state, is that intrinsically or absolutely different than nibbana? You say that nibbana on one hand is a state of being, yet it is unfabricated and indivisible, and yet merely an adjective describing an arahant. How is a state of being an adjective and not also mental 'place'? As it can be described, however vaguely, phenomenologically...

How is nibbana not a mental construct? Especially if it isn't of any of the aggregates or of non-manifestive consciousness, or are you positing an additional aspect of the person? Concerning the three-fold division of the 8-fold path, nibbana/liberation is considered wisdom and not conduct nor concentration (thus not a 'state of being of sorts').

Is nibbana to be defined as the ending to all arising suffering?
Does nibbana have brain correlates? Does the deathless have brain correlates? Does this not obligate a form of contextual/ontological analysis? Is nibbana real or an illusion? Many of the early schools consider nibbana ultimate reality. Is it more real or less real than samsara? More real than the phenomenal world? Is it out of or part of the phenomenal world? Is it merely 'in our heads' or does it exist 'beyond the brain'? Do you believe it is basically just brain chemistry, if this is the case nibbana must be illusion/hallucination no? If nibbana is just in the mind, nibbana must be illusion/hallucination no?

Modern neuroscience demands everything experienced is hallucination, how does nibbana escape this? Or is nibbana not experienced? If the stain to be cleaned was merely a mental projection, then isn't the process of cleaning and the result an illusion? If the stain to be cleaned was merely a mental projection, then the mind transcends nibbana no? Does the mind contain nibbana? Is mind's inherent nature nibbana? Or does nibbana condition the mind? Relate to mind's inherent nature?
The mind cannot be touched by nibbana no? Is the duality between nibbana and samsara conventional or absolute? Think of the bodhisattvas who conquers their suffering by level five yet at level six transcend to interacting face to face with samsara & nibbana yet remaining non-abiding and non-established in either.

When one engages in analysis towards impermanence & dependent-origination one sees all phenomena are empty of essential or actual character/identity. Therefor suffering is not intrinsic or inherently related to-or-in any situation/circumstance. Therefor how can nibbana be anything but illusion? As how can one be unbound from something that was never truly? Has nibbana changed anything's true state? Is the intrinsic nature of all unrelated to nibbana?
To iterate, if suffering untouches the inherent or actual, related to any circumstance, what sense does to it make to say nibbana touches that same inherent or actual? Meticulously cleaning something that can't be stained?


Moving on, please remember there are many types of arahants, immovable arahants and movable. Movable arahants don't produce/attain the knowledge of non-arising. Sometimes an arahant is referred to as a person who is on the way to abandoning a subtle category of defilements pertaining to the summit of existence. Beyond this & referring from those categories of immovable and movable, there are arahants who either upon being arahant or post-arahantship upon strengthening the faculties, can end their existence at will (can enter and hold the nirodha-samapatti suchness at will).
The arahant of immovable nature, having sharp faculties by nature, whether distracted or not, does not regress from their state of happiness (might or might not be one-who-can-end-their-existence-at-will). Also a type of arahant who has very sharp faculties, can achieve parinibbana and siddhis without having to perfect or even master the faculties (and often not). This type of person should avoid arahantship until at least mastering compassion and bodhicitta, preferably should walk bodhisattva/tantric path (mastering the arts & sciences is part of various bodhisattva paths), as this person is capable of carrying the load of many others and should not neglect this responsibility.
Withal, it is somewhat common for something which isn't perfect emancipation to be mistaken for the actual 'stream-winning' immovable arahantship.
There is also the arahant of regressive nature, having weak faculties by nature, whether or not distracted, whether or not intent, often through negligence, in this life regresses from their state of happiness (this is debated, as some say this is a somewhat common delusion of arahantship found in weaker individuals). Much less debated being the arahant of guarded nature, having weak faculties by nature, regresses from their state of happiness if distracted, but does not regress if not. Another being of intent nature, having weak faculties by nature, regresses from their state if not intent, but upon being intent does not regress. Etc.

Beyond this, again, please remember that the entire phenomenal/informational world itself was commonly associated with samsara, often directly considered samsara. With nibbana being 'beyond' the phenomenal world, leading to questions of what arahants experience post bodily death. Again, this ontological ambiguity was further reenforced by the early schools paradigms of substance and existing by definition etc. Nibbana and samsara were defined as diametrically opposed, often represented as mutually incompatible.

Though if liberation is maintained while interacting in the phenomenal world, then there clearly is a non-dual ontological interrelationship going beyond defined diametric opposition.
Some early schools refer to nibbana as an element. To such a degree that by time of the abhidharmists, it had lead to the rather positive dharma-theory. This didn't come out of nowhere, it was consolidated as a somewhat mainstream view at the time due to this notion being so pervasive to begin with.

No academic buddhist, on the other hand, simply considers nibbana a 'thing' or a 'place'. Some would say there is no samsara and there is no nibbana. At the same time, they generally would not over reduce and conclude with a notion of merely a 'state of being of sorts'. By virtue of nibbana obviously having some sort of ontological 'relationship' with death & samsara, one would have to say at the very least a state of being of sorts with direct ontological implications.


Adam . .:
So his liberation is maintained due to his contact with the unborn and undying aspect of consciousness, not through understanding that suffering doesn't exist.



How can one say that a liberation is maintained? How could liberation require a support? How do you reconcile your assertion with the Buddha saying that the fetters are uprooted when one "knows and sees" as non-self? Or that "nibbana is the supreme emptiness". Or that Gotama taught that "whenever one sees emptiness, then one finds contentment in nibbana".

Ajahn Buddhadasa:
"It is this emptiness that is the single highest teaching of the Buddha, so much so that in the Samyutta Nikaya the Buddha says that there are no words spoken by the Tathagata that are not concerned with sunnata. He says in that sutta that the most profound teaching is that which deals with emptiness, any other subject is superficial. Only the teaching of sunnata is so profound that there must be a Tathagata enlightened in the world for it to be taught.
In another section of the Samyutta Nikaya the Buddha says that emptiness is the dhamma that is always of the most benefit and support to lay people."

Some might argue that 'contact with the unborn' is functionally equivalent in every relevant way (concerning the absence of suffering) to 'understanding that suffering doesn't exist'. Can one demonstrate a relevant difference?
If there is no 'his' or 'mine' related to the undying aspect of consciousness, how can there be 'his' contact with it? Further, how can one have 'contact' with the 'unborn'?
Further is this the (normative) aggregate of consciousness? If so, why isn't this aspect present prior to liberation? If it is present, how is it covered and hidden if it is unborn? If it isn't the aggregate of consciousness, then it is consciousness without feature, the non-objectified, in which case how can there be any aspect to it?

Beyond this, knowledge/wisdom of emptiness & the illusory nature of phenomena is in fact a path to completely going beyond all spheres of suffering. Correctly viewing ignorance as an active misengagement with reality. Thus in this path, the knowledge of nibbana & nibbana itself is found in a/the moment.


Adam . .:
Nibbana isn't an object, the question of empty/not empty doesnt seem to apply doesn't seem to apply to it. The metaphor of nibbana is of a flame that has gone out, a flame that is unbound to any fuel. Not a noun, but an adjective describing an arahant. Were you referring to the deathless aspect of consciousness by "nirvana" here?


Do you consider the perfect aspect to be the dependent aspect free from the imaginary aspect? Or do you consider the perfect aspect free from both?
If nibbana isn't properly a state, non-state, neither state nor non-state, both state and non-state, then have you not defined nibbana as empty? As thoughts, tendencies, feelings, sensations, impulses, consciousness, knowledge, and perceptions are considered empty (and are not considered objects). Can you explain why the prerequisite of 'object' is required for emptiness to apply? Where do you get the impression that emptiness applies to objects only?
Partially the reason some early notions of nibbana are associated merely with 'the deathless aspect of consciousness' is due to limiting their understanding of emptiness to merely the person. Do you consider a dhatu an object? Can one point to a single example of 'something' outside of that in question (nibbana) that isn't properly a, non-a, neither a nor non-a, both a and non-a that emptiness wouldn't apply to?

All explanations, examples, metaphors etc related to nibbana are conventional and not absolute. The metaphor you point to does not conflict in any way. The notion that nibbana is an adjective solely describing an arahant should be rejected when tracking and securing unexcelled knowledge. The nature of nibbana/emptiness can be shown by and found in all existences. Often nibbana is the referred to as the supreme emptiness as the Buddha said 'nibbana is the supreme emptiness, nibbana is the supreme happiness'.
"Whatever can be conceptualized is therefore relative, and whatever is relative is Sunya, empty. Since absolute inconceivable truth is also Sunya, Sunyata or the void is shared by both Samsara and Nirvana. Ultimately, Nirvana truly realized is Samsara properly understood."
-Prodigy & Trailblazer, Nagarjuna

When dependent-origination, impermanence, & emptiness are applied to reality (unlike the majority of early traditions) instead of just the person, one sees the truth Grandmaster Nagarjuna is pointing to. Indicating that there is more than one road to nibbana. The 'liberation "maintained" by virtue of one's connection with deathless aspect of consciousness' is put aside in favor of 'liberation by virtue of realizing/tuning to/turning to the natural perfection of reality'.


As an aside, and considering your invocation of the metaphor. Consider:
"It's impossible, young man, there is no way that a fire could burn in dependence on having relinquished a sustenance of grass & timber, aside from a feat of psychic power..."

Does this imply that arahants of high faculties (those that achieve supernormal abilities) are able to spark the passions? Being able to fabricate to a middle degree is considered a supernormal ability. Further being able to, through resolve, continue rebirth even if otherwise would not is considered a supernormal ability. Is this passage also subtly and indirectly referring to controlled rebirth?

Further:
"Just as a fire, Vaccha, burns with sustenance, and not without sustenance, even so I declare the rebirth of one who has sustenance, and not of one without sustenance.

But, Venerable Gotama, at the moment a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, what do you say is its sustenance then?

Vaccha, when a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, I say that it is wind-sustained. The wind, Vaccha, is its sustenance at that time.

And at the moment when a being sets this body aside and has not yet attained another body, what do you say is its sustenance then?

Actually, Vaccha, when a being sets this body aside and has not yet attained another body, I say that it is craving-sustained. Craving, Vaccha, is its sustenance at that time."


Gotama and Nagarjuna are not at odds at all. Gotama appears to be clear on the actual concerning rebirth. Indicating an ontological symmetry to what Nagarjuna is saying. Which shouldn't be surprising as again Nagarjuna was one of the early texts/traditions absolute best and brightest students.


Adam . .:
Can you explain how something unfabricated and indivisible could be empty? Maybe i don't understand emptiness, and i have no idea what you are referring to by "emptiness of emptiness."


How is nibbana unfabricated and indivisible, beyond a mere mental construct? Are you imbuing qualities onto 'something', quantifying qualities concerning 'something'? If not then it is merely a mental construct and purposeless to speak of it as unfabricated and indivisible.
Emptiness is generally considered the absolute nature of all.
Emptiness applies to everything & everything not. It applies to all information/phenomena as well as the absolute. To the unborn and the illusion of the born. You say nibbana is a 'state of being of sorts' yet claim it's 'unfabricated and indivisible', are you saying it has intrinsic existence, nature, character? If not, then by definition nibbana is empty. If so, then explain how a 'state' of unfabricated/indivisible intrinsic 'being' can be experienced more than one way. As it's said that what arahants find to be nibbana, others find painful.
The early texts speak of an unwholesome 8 fold path opposed to the wholesome. Saying the path consists of evil view, evil intention, evil speech, evil action, evil livelihood, evil effort, evil mindfulness, evil samadhi. A path leading to what though? Evil knowledge and evil liberation. There is no reason to think that liberation from suffering is inaccessible from this evil path. Not only hinted at through the continued use of the term path in relation to the inverse of the wholesome 8-fold path; further, neuroscience demands evil nibbana be a reality if any nibbana is.
Thus, how can nibbana have intrinsic existence, nature, character? If nibbana did have any of these intrinsic qualities, how is it accessible and not forever alone? How does the realm of dependent origination interact with a realm that is defined as being mutually exclusive? If there is interaction, how are they separate realms? If they are not separate realms then how is nibbana immutable? As interaction is modification. Further, how can nibbana be immutable if the aggregates change or are they outside of the aggregates? If the changing aggregates have no interaction with nibbana, required by nibbana being immutable, how is it even a 'state of being of sorts' or anything more than a mental construct? If nibbana isn't immutable then how can it have intrinsic existence, nature, character?


Emptiness is a rather complex subject with various orders of dispute. Sometimes linguistic and others ontological, phenomenological etc. Often being confused, such as the false ontological trichotomy in the face of the absolute concerning empty of other, empty of self, two-fold emptiness, rather than discussing the subtle differences in mental posture these three entail. To such a degree that academic buddhology (with it's many modern issues) has now grown to open an entire sub-field that one can PHD in, related to emptiness's most intensive student and foundation for the vast majority of buddhism, Nagarjunaism. Thus I will answer in the spirit of general buddhist scholasticism.

Emptiness takes on different meanings in different contexts, speaking of them outside of context is difficult. Further, translating and transliteration often leads to complexification and further obstacles. Emptiness relates to states of awareness, to statements about reality, to linguistics, to being the object of meditation, even ethics etc.

Often all 'somethings', fabricated or not, indivisible or not, are considered empty. There are orders of understanding concerning emptiness, as with most buddhist knowledge, becoming more subtle. There are the outer, inner, secret, and inner most secret categories concerning emptiness. From non-existentent emptiness, absolute emptiness, to extrinsic emptiness.
Differing views with varying representations leaning more towards, substantialism, subjectivism, holism, instrumentalism, or Nagarjuna's subtle critique and transcendence of these. As he realized the cosmos is merely systems of abstract "objects" that function in a dichotomous, binary, information processing (one [true] zero [false]) type of way (this is most accurate way to deal with quantum mechanics and quantum theory).

Many traditions agreed on the emptiness concerning a denial of the ultimate reality of all external objects and viewpoints (generally, such as madhyamaka and yogacara traditions). While these same traditions disagree on the ultimate reality of the mind. Many (yogacara) consider achieving a complete destruction of subject-object dichotomy as a higher/truer emptiness than others consider. Through focus on intensive meditation and the mind.
Madhyamaka is generally focused on realizing deeper and deeper levels of emptiness primarily through wisdom and analysis, then utilizing the wisdom and analysis born from direct realizations. Much of madhyamaka is ultimately interested in quantifying the conditions for absolute/transcendental intuition.

Further, Asanga spoke of emptiness (beyond agreeing with emptiness directly corresponding to dependent-origination) as 'the non-being of subject-object and the being of that non-being' (not referring to identity or self-grasping). Much of madhyamaka criticizes this (consider Nagarjuna's tantra, there are direct references to the 'buddha-matrix').
Later versions of yogacara distinguished between being empty and emptiness itself. Further traditions like various zen and huayan emphasized more positive aspects of emptiness. Huayan considered tathagata and emptiness as merely differing ways (soteriological/practical & ontological/epistemological) to relay the same absolute. Many traditions and sub-traditions like some zen, emphasized post-negation leftovers and the eternally pure actuality of buddha nature.

Various Chinese & Japanese schools emphasized the potential aspect of emptiness itself. While in contrast, other Chinese and Japanese schools held views similar to many earlier Indian thinkers, where emptiness was considered identical with name & form etc. In this case though an additional emphasis was placed on affirming the phenomenal world and the 'perfect fusion of the world of phenomena with emptiness itself' (the absolute); an affirmation not shared by the most of the early Indian thinkers.
Other Chinese traditions emphasize the interconnectedness of particulars, viewing the world as a macro-expression of emptiness. Thus coming to a position where the emptiness of the world is at the same time a subtly unchanging fullness (not in opposition to emptiness, but a deeper order of emptiness).

Later sub-traditions radically reemphasized the emptiness of the phenomenal world with the notion of emptiness being identical with form. Leading to a renunciation of the renunciation of phenomena. The notion emerged that we are living in a subtle pure-land, as all is emptiness and emptiness is form. Thus the universe isn't merely an emanation deriving from the shadow of the ultimate, but is the form of the buddha directly. Thus there is nothing to renounce as in reality all non-purity is an illusion, suffering and everything that appears as despicable is divine and serves a subtle & skillful pure purpose.
Remember ignorance/suffering is a primary cause for enlightenment & the family of buddhas. The purpose is to fully gain knowledge of suffering and good/evil etc in order to transcend them. The being that has fully known and transcended suffering/ignorance/evil etc, is surely superior to a being who remains never touched by suffering/evil, the knowledges and transcendences (very similar to the christian gnosticism's 'new man' and their view of the purpose of evil/ignorance/suffering).

In this view, everything is the absolute & the purpose for the evils/sufferings is to promote sentience self-perfection. To the degree of being/running your own universe, as to set up your own conditions for beings to perfect themselves. As with no ignorance, there is no drive for sentience to turn to self-perfection (similar to notions in extinct classical esoteric mormonism, of all things; as an aside, claiming that the first enlightened person ever was a human who merged with the primal to become god, and is now striving to create the conditions to expedite our self-growth so we may all raise our level of exaltation to 'his').
With no evil & suffering, there is no drive for sentience to go beyond self-purposed perfection. As obviously the highest perfection isn't merely achieving a personal paradise, but to become compassion/wisdom itself and carry the weight of increasing numbers (again eventually trillions of beings via running a universe).

Later, many traditions like much of zen emphasized emptiness in terms of meditation, deemphasizing logic and analysis beyond soteriological. It is incorrect to say generally zen and chan rejected language, rituals, and concepts to the same degree or beyond what madhyamaka generally did. Both chan and zen then still grew a large textual tradition, linguistic-logic, and strict rituals. During this process, emptiness became considered 'pure potentiality by which all arises' by many in these traditions. Later viewing emptiness as a positive fullness yet a creative nothingness. Etc. Know this to be but a smudge of the development of emptiness. Tibet had a similar and often subtler development of emptiness that spans the entire gambit of what has been mentioned and more.


The emptiness of emptiness refers to a number of things, one being an absorption state taking one of the gates of deliverance as their object (sunyatasunyatasamadhi). Or taking 'what remains after negation' as the object. Others being analytic/insight meditations rather dependent on the tradition.
Further, varying knowledge and wisdom traditions queried into the exact status of emptiness, was the intrinsic nature of everything emptiness? Or is imminent co-emergent causality such that everything is empty of any intrinsic nature, including the intrinsic nature of being empty (leading to a whole host of debates, questions etc)? Subtle thinking & argumentation surrounding this particular emptiness of emptiness lead some as mentioned above to a more 'positive' or 'potentiality' based views of the emptiness/imminent causality and it's extremely subtle character.
Other traditions use the term emptiness of emptiness to refer to relinquishing views of emptiness so the absolute emptiness state may dawn, as well as referring to the associated problems that can arise from taking emptiness as object (generally relative to liberation). Other uses of emptiness of emptiness include references concerning extrinsic emptiness, non-self, suchness etc (differently depending on sub-tradition).


Adam . .:
Indeed, it doesn't have to be gotten rid of, it is just that we have a desire to get rid of it and no reason to resist that desire


When one realizes/sees the nature of mind, one is emancipated from trying to acquire/reach nibbana and reject samsara.
Unexcelled compassion is born from disciplined emanation of suffering. Thus unexcelled bodhicitta as well. There are natural purities related to suffering that provide benefit all the way to grandmaster-level contemplation/behavior.
There are many methods to bring a complete end to personal suffering, there are many lists hidden and in plain view amongst the many texts/mantras. Such as compassion as the path. Where one directs constant mindfulness of others' suffering, this reduces and eventually removes all personal-related suffering in the moment. This conditions the mind to respond as to end the perceived suffering of another (utilizing the natural purity of aversion). This is considered one of the perfect enlightenments because it goes beyond the false distinction between samsara, 'death, the cycles of rebirth, karma, suffering' & nibbana, 'the final state beyond suffering, the uprooting and extinguishing of individual consciousness and the desires'.
No single nature yet with no distinction, "nibbana", "samsara". Due to the recognition of emptiness, one sees only the one dimension, 'not this dimension and that dimension'. Emptiness allows the transcendence from the wrong view of my/other self. The separation between others falls away.

Being under the spell of that desire to rid a personal illusory self of it's suffering, one commits the effort & resolve to oneself. How is this not a particular kind of selfishness? Considering a causality-chain of mid-length, nibbana has ignorance as one of it's causes. The closer one gets to nibbana and prior to this the 'knowledge of selflessness', how can one put one's own suffering above all others? How could one say that one actually understands selflessness? How is preferential treatment of the self concerning the ridding of suffering not a corruption of insight? Isn't it better for one to spend that same time & effort on another's nibbana? As if one person can achieve, being benefited by your effort then why isn't this enough (compared to grandiose prioritization of self-interested effort & self-nibbana)? Instead of spending/dividing the time for a single other and oneself, why not two others instead? Isn't two other people achieving nibbana a much greater fruit from one's effort? Etc...etc. Instead of abiding contemplative practice for oneself, why not wisdom/knowledge training as to more skillfully lead others?
Even before one achieves direct insight to practical emptiness with subtle mind, one is able to guide beings to nibbana by maturing and eventually perfecting wisdom. Upon the subtle-minded direct insight, one can also completely lead others on the subtle points concerning attaining established nibbana through acquired and practical knowledge alone (without having to enter nibbana).


Matthieu Ricard:
"Experience shows that selfishness prohibits positive inner transformation. Such transformation can only come about through altruism. [...]
Compassion without action is indeed hypocritical; it brings cold comfort to those who suffer. [...]
Any happiness we feel that ignores others' unhappiness can only ever be a pale imitation of happiness. [...]
Various texts dealing with the Buddhist contemplative life state that anyone who retires to a hermitage in the mountains just to escape from the problems of daily life is no better than the birds and the beasts that spend all their lives in remote places. Such renouncement brings us not an inch nearer enlightenment. [...]
One of Buddhism's fundamental practices is to think of others as being as important as yourself, to put yourself in their place, and finally to give them more importance than yourself."

Adam . .:
why is it being an illusion relevant to the question of getting rid of it?


The fact that suffering is an illusion is relevant to the question of getting rid of it because the knowledge of the illusory or further, empty nature of suffering are paths that are completely capable of providing a complete transcendence of suffering. Keep in mind, the brain is constantly trying to figure out what is and isn't there, real, relevant etc and responds to input concerning the reality or unreality of any phenomena. Hallucinations become reified or deemphasized and effectively derealized. This is critical as the brain can become fully convinced that suffering isn't real and adjusts accordingly. Or more subtly, the brain can adjust accordingly to becoming fully convinced that suffering isn't real for one and yet that it is effectively real for others.

Using this knowledge as a path also allows one (if one wishes) to go beyond the renunciation of suffering, keeping reflexive control over suffering for the sake of exploring & mastering the depths of the heart (it's walking a tightrope as generally at this level of mastery, one doesn't fall from liberation but occasionally falls from the capacity to spark suffering.

One can also use the knowledge to walk tantric paths related to turning the mind towards martyrdom, cultivating a subtle but great reactionary compassionate bliss in response to all suffering, without rejecting suffering but detaching from it and using it as fuel. Beginning by cultivating a reactionary joy and eagerly embracing the suffering, craving/yearning for more with the thought "better me than any other" "especially better me than others who don't know or deeply fathom the emptiness of suffering" etc then ruminating rapidly on other beings' experiences of suffering that are far greater (and how much worse it is for them considering they consider suffering etc real and substantive), who are living in far worse circumstance etc. In this path one also begins eating a daily bland meal (up to only bland food), while eating one mindfully cultivates appreciation while ruminating on the unfortunate (or both fortunate & unfortunate) circumstances of others (such as many of the poor in Haiti, where they literally eat dirt "cookies"). Being truly in touch with the world is being aware of the constant river of tears. Every moment the mind loses awareness of this, it can be said one has lost touch with the reality of sentience and again has returned to the delusion of self-experience.

Adam . .:
Also, I don't understand how it is an illusion, or even how any experience can be said to be empty.


To iterate, suffering is an illusion because no circumstance has suffering intrinsically related to it or inherently as it's character/identity. Even pain. Someone outside of any contemplative path, aged well or on their deathbed might tell you that broken bones or heartache are actually representative of the subtly beautiful bliss of being alive.
Nothing labeled as suffering has ever been truly established as suffering. If suffering was real, established, and not illusion it would be intrinsic and unchanging. If it wasn't illusion, then any being who would be subject to suffering, would suffer constantly from beginning to end. There would be no escape from suffering and thus no nibbana. Neuroscience authoritatively says that suffering is not established and is hallucination.
It could never be anything more than a non-representative hallucination, a reified phantom of mind; requiring ignorance as well as name & form objectification.

Likewise,
experience is generally considered empty as it too is devoid of intrinsic character. Basically, anything can happen (and be made to happen) in that virtual space we call experience. Like suffering, experience isn't established. It too is hallucination. Many aspects under the umbrella of 'experience' are more persistent hallucinations than suffering, but nonetheless illusion/hallucination they remain. Some aspects fall under the category of non-existent emptiness like suffering, while others don't. The suffering one has in a dream, non-existent emptiness applies to, while not so when it comes to the awareness present in the same dream.

Adam . .:
Even though physical pain is a mental fabrication, the experience of that fabrication exists, and it is disagreeable, thus it is suffering.


I reject the premise that pain is intrinsically disagreeable. The fabrication doesn't truly exist, for it isn't established as anything, let alone pain. To iterate, not only is the fabrication not established as suffering, it also isn't established as pain.

In the mid-teens, fifteen, this mind began responding to an intuition that the knowledge of overcoming pain was of some sort of value. I began putting cigarettes out on the body as well as using a taser gun and pepper spray a few times. Without direct knowledge of emptiness and devoid of any path, this mind saw that by focusing face-to-face, not only was the cigarette and taser pain bearable, but could be even converted to pleasure or a raw/bare/stripped sensation. At that time pepper-spray could be dealt with but there was still a decent portion of discomfort, more related to the constant belching/dry-heaving phenomena (and the associated respiratory issue; pepper-spray is much more a respiratory irritant than even an eye irritant in my experience) then the whole face (including ears) being ablaze.
Many years later & many years ago, after becoming a non-path and after having mastered to some degree the experiential integration of the knowledge of emptiness, this mind tried again with a few types of chili/pepper juices and CS tear gas. Even in these more extreme situations, pain isn't intrinsic and pleasure etc can be brought forth considering the pain isn't established.
Rejoice, as the emptiness of fabrication/experience is so!


Adam . .:
so: What is meant by the emptiness of an experience (rather than a concept)


By 'rather than a concept', I am assuming you are referring to valid cognition statements such as 'experience would be unchanging if real' (& not empty; dependent co-origination is required for change). The many aforementioned points reference practical aspects of the emptiness of experience.

Another practical aspect of the 'emptiness of an experience' is found with increasing application in advanced posturing. From meditative heat to fully commanding what arises out of the superposition at the sense doors. The fact that the default state of awareness can be changed to an exalted state of bliss.
Another of the many examples would be the attainment of the state of little resistance often caused from breathless jhana or ki meditations (relying on the emptiness of tension, the natural perfection of). The state is composed of drastically lower experienced muscle resistance and perception of being extremely light-weight. More directly and another example, when one learns to manipulate the rlung system directly, one can target the mid-to-lower chest and directly increase or decrease the experience of body weight. One can imprint constant jubilant hyper-lightness, where it is like one will blow away from a puff of air. When one is speaking of any of these or more, one is speaking of the emptiness of experience.

If one thinks a full buddha is bound to a perception or to seeing the world a specific way, one is reducing the state of a buddha to the state of a deva or hearer. A full buddha or awareness-holder can visually see anything as anything, can hear anything as anything etc. Buddhas do not awake to a find non-dream, they awaken to find the dream-summit of lucidity and potentiality. There is no ultimate, real, and preset non-dream to escape to. This is the emptiness of experience. Therefor it is also referring to achievements such as mahaparinirvana etc. If experience were not empty on the subtlest level, then the practices related to controlling & emanating phenomena like vision would be impossible.

This subtlety is lost to course contemplatives who are bound by karmic traces to perceive a persistent, seemingly substantive hallucination. For average contemplatives only practicing for the sake of their own liberation, the emptiness of experience generally matters only in terms of removing suffering. Though if one merely reaches liberation from course & subtle suffering, do not project that the vision etc works the same as a full buddha/awareness-holder.
In other words, if one is unable to see a dog as a human, a human as a gorilla or skeleton etc, then one has not yet come close to the subtlest emptiness of experience. Let alone actually accomplished & stabilized it (thus one absolutely still has karmic traces). If one cannot reach even minor distortions in one's experience, vajra hairs, basic 2-d lattices and symbols, etc then one has not even begun exposing the mind to the platonic superpositions/emptiness of experience available.


Adam . .:
and why it would matter that suffering was an illusion (in reference to whether it's causes should be abandoned)


Beyond iterating, such as how the knowledge of the illusion/emptiness of suffering is a meta-path to end it. It matters, pertaining to it's causes being abandoned, that suffering is an illusion as it (especially when coupled with emptiness knowledge) leads to the understanding that the causes need not be necessarily abandoned. As those causes can either be passively used (standard and long bodhisattva paths) or actively stroked (tantric/awareness-holder paths) to use the powerful associated causal forces to end suffering and further.

Adam . .:
and is the nirvana/samsara dichotomy based on the idea that nibbana is some kind of place or thing?


One generally can only get away with considering nibbana a place or thing to the degree (equal or lessor) one gets away with considering samsara a place or thing...unless one is referring to "nibbana" as 'that which is left after the negation: there is no samsara, there is no nibbana' (and specifically under the notion that the perfected aspect is the dependent aspect free from the imaginative; as if the perfected is free from both, then this doesn't apply).


Adam . .:
for a while in this community everyone were satisfied with the existence of I-making because they could be clearly aware of the process and knew that I-making wasn't itself an actual self,


I-making has several orders of depth & understanding;
I generally reject the idea that the community is "clearly" aware of the I-making process and truly "knows" the process isn't an actual self, based off what this mind has observed of the community. The 'subtle identities transmuted or born of the partial knowledge of identitylessness' is different then the 'knowledge of identitylessness'. Just as an appearance of a conclusion is different from drawing an actual conclusion. Very similar to how 'identity of identitylessness' is different than 'identitylessness'.
Rather generally, the 'identity born of the partial knowledge of identitylessness' will have more karmic traces and will be further away from liberation than the 'identity of identitylessness' (if non-disordered, contemplative based identities of identitylessness only, as disordered identities of identitylessness include some forms of borderline personality disorder for example).

I-making at the subtlest level is generally out of bounds for experience, only those who have become acutely aware of the rlung system can begin to experientially discern it. Generally arahants end I-making without ever being clearly or directly aware of the process itself. The permanent cessation of the fabrication of the self is integral to arahant enlightenment.
If one is fully convinced one is arahant and fabricating like this still occurs, then either one is a victim of the delusion of liberation (due to walking a crooked or incomplete path) or one has weak-faculties by nature and is a movable and thus incomplete arahant. These "arahants", depending on their type, will fall from their state for varying reasons. When fallen they can tremble and thus they are not nibbana-ed. When death dawns, one is also likely to tremble & be in a fallen state and possibly enter the bardo in this state; depending on the type/that yogi's traces, either one will become immovable or one will have a one of the many thousand rebirth outcomes for an anagamin (never-returner).

Adam . .:
this belief is quite common in western buddhism.


Western buddhism is generally like a dirty mirror. Further, it is still in an immature state. The dharma, both west and east, is in a predictable dark-age. It entered into the new stage around 60 years ago. The majority of lineages are broken, lamaism is often more of a problem then it is helpful. Few monks and yogis realize well. Generally just a handful of (mostly) non-lineage bodhisattvas, who are blessed by many buddhas & awareness-holders, usually will accomplish very well and will be able to draw many correlatives and progress the dharma to continue benefiting the sentience (with smaller and smaller returns).
The growth of technology directly corresponds to large clusters of sentience living increasingly demi-god lives (much of the culture is envy and greed based of various orders, a great many first-world persons have nearly unlimited access to pseudopleasure etc), with the associated obstacles to liberation (much of mahayana rejects humans and demi-gods being of actually different categories, but rather different degrees of path-obstacles etc).

The yogi Dharma Sangha is an example, as he has engendered hope, discipline, and resolve to many thousands by his discipline and resolve. The Dalia lama is an example of some kind, an example of a special type of bodhisattva who has mostly given up self-development & and embraced large & burdensome responsibilities in order to naturally & spontaneously partake in the imminent causality of the dark-age. He is essentially a page-turner who assisted in making sure Tibetan buddhism made an imprint in the west. More importantly, he nearly single-handedly initiated a huge portion of this stage by getting western academia (over thirty years of effort) scientifically interested in advanced contemplative claims and certain orders of buddhist knowledge. He overcame western arrogance in academia and the view that it was merely another dogmatic religion.


Bartlett said "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." This is generally true of buddhist futurists when cogitating & envisaging the sections and lengths of the dark-ages and the macro-maturation of sentience amongst dynamic world-systems. The exponential growth of information exchange rates have greatly increased rates of types of causality that have significance for larger and larger clusters of sentience or 'significant casualty'. Unless seriously dramatic unforeseen circumstances occur, technological complexity rates will continue. Technological singularity will likely occur between 2070-2100 (parts of the mind are quantum, it could only happen as early as 2030 if the mind was purely algorithmic). This likely will be the actual next stage in the degeneration of the dharma. With experiential simulations, neuronal/experiential modification likely to an extremely significant degree etc. However, truly meaningful modification of the wave-function pertaining to the quantum aspects of mind/awareness won't be technologically feasible for a long, long time or possibly never; in other words, one could live in an increasingly modifiable partial or full simulation state for over seventy thousand years, but no matter what, actual liberation lasting post-death (even if it means to the 'end' of the universe, as the universal wave-function/quantum gravity will still 'be') likely won't ever be technologically feasible to induce directly. As the universal-wave function naturally acts as the arbitrator of this and all wave-function actual-states, and thus would have to be "convinced" to allow this exception...thus if there is the possibility, technologically speaking, it involves reprogramming reality itself to various degrees and it is likely thousands to millions of years out of the collective reach of humanity.
Similarly, the length of time needed for human lifespan to increase rapidly will also be much shorter then predicted due to the exponential function. Etc.


Adam . .:
The main thing actual freedom brought here was a couple of people who ended I-making and could tell us how great not fabricating a self was.


I generally reject the idea that I-making has been ended in relation to 'actual freedom'. When anything close to an academic ruler is brought into the fray, one sees that the progenitor, who claims to be an example of the result, appears in no way to have accomplished the actual end of I-making (most certainly at the subtlest level, but likely even at the subtle level). Not only from his extremely grandiose claims in relation to great people of historical past, but from witness accounts of the progenitor obviously suffering at the hand of the process he claims to have overcome. Generally he and the others are the victims of the identity of identitylessness and have attained delusion in respect to their accomplishments. The identity of identitylessness is generally foul and deceptive & has increasingly subtle and unhelpful manifestations. As it can take more and more extreme circumstances for any indirect signs of the process to show themselves.
In the worst scenario in relation to the identity of identitylessness, it takes the full dawning of the bardo or death itself to show indirect signs. In the bardos, even the subtle rationalization process related to framing "flesh and blood body", will often show itself as a corruption and part of a subtle identity. Generally these individuals will subtly tremble, stress, and grasp when death is dawning. They reify their incorrect view of an affect & it's associated dichotomies/trichotomies and it being equivalent to the I-making process itself into a faux path and thus a faux liberation.
It is as practical and as sensible as other pseudoscientific religions/traditions, that provide types of comfort in exchange for hyper-simplistic (and proportionally incorrect) views that invoke naive realism etc.
It isn't an issue of absolute versus conventional, it is an issue of poorer conventional views having an adverse influence on one seizing anywhere close to the full potential. A view influences what is observed; there is no observing without perturbing the observed. Searching for or being mindful of observables influences what observables show themselves. AF is somewhat worse as it's dressed up in a degree of scientism and often masquerades as humble investigation while frequently rejecting academic standards & ethics (not just with it's progenitor, but several of it's proponents across the web).

Adam . .:
My original suspicion of the "nirvana/samsara dichotomy" was that it was a similar excuse not to end some aspect of suffering based on a metaphysical position,


On the contrary, it developmentally contributed to opening new avenues to suffering's end.
If by metaphysical in general, you mean 'beyond natural law', then absolutely not. Buddhist ethos, no matter what sub-tradition, rejects supernaturalism in favor of quantifying aspects of natural law that it deems 'useful' (depending on it's focus, from removing suffering to transcendental wisdom). The only time it knowingly embraces non-natural law (though definitely not supernaturalism) is when invoking the 'doctrine of skillful means', where simplification (and thus inaccuracy) is used to expedite progress along a specific tangent, or on a macro-scale with less sophisticated/subtle traditions appealing to and progressing persons of weak-faculties or those maintaining various attachments like religious-like belief to false views. AF, in it's very best and only appropriate form, can be classified under this doctrine. Further, if a person where to be irrationally attached to a blatantly false anti-scientific view such as atoms having spatial dimension, to the degree of foolishly rejecting practicing/studying a tradition that didn't agree, then the classical and dead notions of old theravada thinkers continues to serve a legitimate purpose in appeasing the fool until the time arises (if it comes) to transcend to a more coherent, scientifically valid, and subtler tradition/line-of-thinkers. This adaptively applies to the vast majority of major and minor ontological, epistemological, and soteriological positions & tangents.

If by metaphysics you mean 'the philosophical concern with explaining what is there and what it's like', then the discussions of suffering, it's ending, and the relevant causal structure fall under this umbrella.

Is practicing for self-liberation also an excuse not to end an aspect of suffering, namely other-suffering? Habituated metaphysical positions represented by the non-proportional division of effort concerning all aspects of suffering (the vast majority of time spent on self-suffering when it is only a billionth of the suffering). If one practices a path (such as several bodhisattva bhumi paths) where effort is proportionally split amongst all aspects of suffering, a personal-nibbana eventually occurs, though in no way is it (or needs to be) a sought after goal. The knowledge of emptiness or intense compassion (or whatever meta-path one is following) is deepened for others benefit yet still provides personal fruit.
There are diverging views as to the subtlest sufferings, including being bound to experience itself or any experiential particulars. Obviously influencing what is perceived as required to truly transcend said sufferings.


Adam . .:
I gather from your other posts that you wouldn't support keeping I-making around,


I wouldn't support keeping I-making around to any degree of causing or relating to unwanted suffering. For arahant paths and most personal-nirvana paths, I-making is generally ceased & not merely slowed down or put under control.
On the other hand, of the many paths utilizing natural perfections, some allow I-making completely under reflexive control. A small few perfect the I-making directly, as it is empty and can be fuel for higher perfections.
In both these circumstances, there is still personal freedom from suffering. This is the critical point, if one is still having the subtle sufferings while retaining I-making, and one isn't able to bring I-making completely into nirvana with no traces from past flawed I-making, then one needs seriously consider following the traditional arahant notion of completely ceasing it. It is likely a contributing factor to the subtle unpleasantness and should be abandoned.

It is tragic when someone is under the spell of the identity of identitylessness and/or identity of liberation and then upon the dawning of death, traces culminate in an unexpected I-maker grasping and misery ensues.

The I-maker natural perfection meta-path might be understood with Dogen's
"To study and learn the way of the Buddha is to study and learn your own self. To study and learn your own self is to forget yourself. To forget yourself is to be enlightened by the myriad things of the universe. To be enlightened by the myriad things of the universe is to let go of your own body and mind as well as the body and mind of others. The enlightenment attained thus comes to rest, and though it appears to have stopped it precisely continues on.
I came to realize clearly, that mind is mountains, rivers, the great wide earth, the sun, the moon, the stars."

As Habito points out,
"The passages quoted above give us a glimpse into Dogen's inner world, revealing his vision of what constitutes this true Self. In short, this true Self is manifested as one sees through the illusory barrier dividing "my" self from the rest of the universe. The term "myriad things of the universe," literally, "the ten thousand elements," refers to things immediately at hand - such as trees and rocks, rivers and mountains, animals, human beings - as well as those beyond immediate sensation, such as the sun, the moon, the stars, and all that there is. The character translated here as "enlightened" ("by the myriad things of the universe"), sho-seraruru, can be also translated as "authenticated," "made real," "proved," or "awakened."
And this true Self comes to be awakened, the passage suggests, as one lets go of that notion which divides, on one level, my "body" versus my "mind," and on a further level, "my body and mind" versus "other people’s body and mind." In other words, awakening, enlightenment, the manifestation of the true Self, involves an overcoming of this separation. This overcoming enables me to identify with my neighbor, with every sentient being as well, seeing in these the very manifestation of who "I" am.
This identification with every sentient being is what grounds a mode of being characterized by a deeply-felt sense of kinship and compassion, identifying with the joys and sorrows of every sentient being, when I see them as they really are - namely, as my own true Self.
Further, one is able to exclaim, as the second passage puts forth, that "mind is no other than mountains and rivers, the great Earth, the sun, the moon, the stars." The term translated as "mind" here is kokoro in Japanese, and refers not just to the intellect, but to the core of one’s being, a synonym thus for the true Self. A more direct translation would be: "I am (no other than) the mountains and rivers, the sun, the moon, the stars." The awakening to who I am, my true identity - my sense of kinship - does not limit itself to the human level, nor to the level of the sentient, for that matter, but extends to all things as well."


To iterate, this type of I-making, if perfected, causes no suffering, is joyous and conditions the brain towards viewing others on an even (or greater) keel and leads to the seeking and acquisition of perfection beyond mere personal-liberation. I advise & support perfection in this way, yet reject using these notions while not achieving or actively pursuing perfection. Or worse, when these notions lead to a type of subtle & corrupt self-permission to not achieve the rather necessary safeguarding perfections.
For those of weak to mid faculties seeking personal-liberation, it's generally advised to pursue non-I-making meta-paths.

The bardo reinforces this, as entry and presence with I-making is generally stressful unless one of various meta-path strategies is invoked. Such as relying on forced positive visions by virtue of many positive seeds, elevating the mind. Such as the subtle natural perfection where one is harmoniously (no substantiation etc) identifying with all aspects of the bardo.

Adam . .:
how are these two situations not analogous? If suffering is something that can't even exist why do i need to meditate?


Without being too inordinate & superfluous, they are not analogous because of different orders of understanding & accuracy. On one hand there is often a reification of view, only a few to speak in it's name, often not achieving beyond severing subtle I-making; reaching delusions of liberation and identities of identitylessness (such as it's progenitor). On the other hand there are views established from peer-reviewed effort and principles, stretching over hundreds of thousands contemplatives across history and culture; reaching and rooting out the subtlest rlung level of I-making. On one hand a progenitor (representing the result) who in a grandiose fashion denounces all other progenitors while spending most of his time as a retired hermit (and who has been observed while in a fallen state). On the other hand a progenitor, who is often noted as one of single most influential persons in history, spent decades being a political and social activist. It is said about Gotama, that his face & forehead was never creased as his muscles were never anything but fully relaxed.

One is a dirty mirror, the other is much cleaner.

Adam . .:
If suffering is something that can't even exist why do i need to meditate?


One wouldn't need to meditate if of a certain knowledge/wisdom threshold. One uses meditation to habituate knowledge/wisdom. Just as in a dream, one's suffering drops inversely to one's knowledge of lucidity; if this knowledge can't be maintained, concentration is used to help solidify it. In this case, lack of concentration is a disorder. It is like the trembleless state of a child upon gaining the knowledge that there really isn't anything under the bed. If one is referring to meditation in the broader sense, including mere directed analytic thought and evaluation, then one uses meditation to gain the knowledge/wisdom of the truth of the emptiness of suffering. Again achieving a doubt-free, imprinted and deep logical conclusion, rather than an appearance of a conclusion. Assisting the brain greatly in sorting out what is & isn't and will follow accordingly.
For those following paths meant to carry the weight of others, meditation is used to stabilize and engender whatever perfections are needed to assist others, well beyond personal-nibbana. Such as stabilizing greater and greater states of intellectual discernment and raw-cognitive power.

It is something that cannot truly exist, there are countless things that appear that don't truly exist. A mirage, dream content, a rainbow, the faux appearance of a wave-function collapse due to environmental decoherence, a phantom of mind, a reified label. Darkness doesn't truly exist, it is the absence of light. Likewise, suffering doesn't truly exist, it is the absence of wisdom.


---
At this point, there should be enough food for thought to go around for everyone.

“A great darkness is dispelled by a small light, and a small
darkness is dispelled by a great light.”
Robert McLune, modified 9 Years ago at 11/22/12 12:10 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 11/22/12 12:10 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 255 Join Date: 9/8/12 Recent Posts
Omega Point:
I will write in haste ...

Wow. Longest post *ever*. I finally feel terse. Thanks, you made my day ;-)
Robert McLune, modified 9 Years ago at 11/22/12 12:15 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 11/22/12 12:15 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 255 Join Date: 9/8/12 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
Omega - what do you mean ...

You had me at "mean".
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James Phillip Turpin, modified 9 Years ago at 6/20/13 2:46 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/20/13 2:46 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 21 Join Date: 6/16/13 Recent Posts
I suggest reading chapter 7 of _The_End_of_Faith_ by Sam Harris, as an example of how even of the leaders of "New Atheism" considers there to be great value in Buddhism, even if he can't quite bring himself to phrase it that way. OK, technically all he does is approve of non-self or non-duality, and mysticism rather than religion, and there are other post-Buddhist religions that cover those bases. But given a choice between a religion/mysticism that covers the Three Characteristics, versus a religion/mysticism that only covers one of the Three Characteristics, I'd say that Buddhism gets you 3 times the return on your investment.
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(D Z) Dhru Val, modified 9 Years ago at 6/20/13 10:43 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/20/13 10:43 PM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
James Phillip Turpin:
I suggest reading chapter 7 of _The_End_of_Faith_ by Sam Harris, as an example of how even of the leaders of "New Atheism" considers there to be great value in Buddhism, even if he can't quite bring himself to phrase it that way. OK, technically all he does is approve of non-self or non-duality, and mysticism rather than religion, and there are other post-Buddhist religions that cover those bases. But given a choice between a religion/mysticism that covers the Three Characteristics, versus a religion/mysticism that only covers one of the Three Characteristics, I'd say that Buddhism gets you 3 times the return on your investment.


Sam Harris puts a lot of subtle and not so subtle hints about enlightenment in his writings.

I would gues he is quite highly attained, just based on his writings.
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James Phillip Turpin, modified 9 Years ago at 6/21/13 1:25 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/21/13 1:25 AM

RE: Any scientific research on enlightenment?

Posts: 21 Join Date: 6/16/13 Recent Posts
D Z:
James Phillip Turpin:
I suggest reading chapter 7 of _The_End_of_Faith_ by Sam Harris, as an example of how even of the leaders of "New Atheism" considers there to be great value in Buddhism, even if he can't quite bring himself to phrase it that way. OK, technically all he does is approve of non-self or non-duality, and mysticism rather than religion, and there are other post-Buddhist religions that cover those bases. But given a choice between a religion/mysticism that covers the Three Characteristics, versus a religion/mysticism that only covers one of the Three Characteristics, I'd say that Buddhism gets you 3 times the return on your investment.


Sam Harris puts a lot of subtle and not so subtle hints about enlightenment in his writings.

I would gues he is quite highly attained, just based on his writings.


A secular instruction in Vipassana seems to be his ideal form of meditation instruction.

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