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Enlightened at age four ?

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Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
5/28/12 8:13 PM
Hi,

I don't know how to start my little story but here's some things. I remember when I was young and living in Sri Lanka, I had a mind blowing experience. I don't quite remember how it went. But since then I have always felt different from others, and yet longed to be like them. I've always had this confusion that I could be like other people, and at the same time wondered why I felt so fake and couldn't be like them. I have this patch of "energy" on my face that feels like a face "on my face", and to be more precise it appears to be a false self that is somehow nested in my skin, this energy is a also present in every part of my body that expresses itself, like an echo. I saw somewhere on your site that you had to cry a lot to become enlightened. When that happened to me it felt like my skull was split opened I think, and suddenly my suffering had stopped, (but a few seconds later I realized I was not myself anymore, wanted to cry about it but couldn't and that says everything about me). I have this idea in my head that I had almost resolved all my problems in my life since I was that way, i.e. I could feel what others are and could see myself from outside (because the outside of people seems to be extremely "real" to me and I long for that realness). So I may be able to feel "from outside", and feel "my self", but this self is fake, but you can't say anything about it! I always play in my mind and stupidly try to make myself believe that it is real. I can't help myself from imitating others, it is the first characteristic of this fakeness. It is how I focus, it's like in-built in my mind that when I'm focusing on myself, I imitate. My question is : Is there an alternative to not feeling this fake and annoying self, (and yet I appreciate this fake self, it is all I have) ? This may be absurd to you, but I am living contradiction, I don't want to be enlightened I just want to be what I see when I see other people. I'm also writing this to know what I am, am I enlightened ?
Basically I have a lot of skin experiences of heat, likeable enough but sometimes terrifying and extremely painful. I also have this kind of bond with "the universe" where the patch of energy is located in my body, but at other places on my body it feels like a "night" in my body : I can't perceive it, it is a remnant of my skin when I had a self before my experience in Sri Lanka..
I know some people don't like to hear that but I think depersonalization (at least my depersonalization) is like a step away from enlightenment. Not so long ago I try to revert back to having a self when I manipulated energy in my body, but It felt extremely painful, it was like too much pressure in my head (I thought I would die if I did that). I just don't want to be a blob of nothing.

Juan Solo

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
5/28/12 7:44 PM as a reply to Juan Solo.
Juan Solo:
My question is : Is there an alternative to not feeling this fake and annoying self, (and yet I appreciate this fake self, it is all I have) ? This may be absurd to you, but I am living contradiction, I don't want to be enlightened I just want to be what I see when I see other people.


Sorry, pretty much everybody is faking it, just like you. You just have an unusually high degree of awareness/attention to the matter. It is possible to stop feeling like this, in fact everybody does, frequently. However, developing the capacities necessary for stabilizing that experience takes most people some time and effort. Do you meditate?

Juan Solo:
...am I enlightened ?


No.

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
5/29/12 10:38 AM as a reply to Juan Solo.
A lot of mind blowing experiences fall under the category of 4th Nana, Knowledge of Arising and Passing of phenomena. You can check the wiki on this site for a full explanation. It's typical for these experiences to be followed by a paradoxical sense of enlightenment and alienation. These feelings may be painful and difficult for a long time. Check the wiki for Dark Night Yogi. Or, better yet, read MCTB

The usual prescription for your dilemma is to practice Vipassana to further develop the insights you stumbled on as a child.

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
7/3/12 11:56 PM as a reply to Juan Solo.
It is so hard to be taken seriously. I am going to explain more thoroughly (keep in mind that english is not my mother tongue). Okay, I tried to reverse back from my current state (of possible enlightenment egolessness, not ultimate non-being though) and felt more and more selfish and was disgusted by this selfishness. It felt like I was becoming more and more important. I usually don't think I'm important even to myself. Also, from the point of view of sensations, it felt like my being, or body, was being crushed by some force; the center point of the force was around my nose. And I was becoming more and more ignorant, of myself, of others, like a child actually.

What was that ? Is that just a state of total anti-enlightenement, ignorance ? ( It was definitely rather pre-ontological compared to my usual state, as in, in that state, I knew nothing about anything pertaining to the self). Or was it just, like, being a person, non-enlightened. I am really curious to know.

Also I kind of remember actually in what state I was in before my crisis. It was like viewing the world from a little actor point of view, centeredness. Right now as I am, I am rather viewing the myself from a bigger point of view. It is like if perceptions were widened by a field of consciousness and I am no longer viewing the world from inside to outside, but rather from outside to inside.

I experienced many - many - different states, and emotions were no part of them, if maybe you think I a "simple" non enlighetened person (I wouldn't use that term myself). As I imagine what some call AF, I feel it is maybe like timelessness, featurelessness, absoluteness of the sense of the field through which perceptions of the world exist.
I have personally felt a moment of great pain where I could feel that some kind of perceptions were being violently moved through my body and my perceptions of the universe was also violently shaken, and at the same time my consciousness was literally vanishing. I know this a road to somewhere, it is it like a bumpy road to AF, or just becoming unconscious ?

If you are enlightened, please answer one, or both questions if you can.

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
7/4/12 9:34 AM as a reply to Juan Solo.
Did you get a diagnosis of depersonalisation from a psychiatrist? I didn't read much about it but maybe you will find Suzanne Segal writings interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanne_Segal

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
7/4/12 8:22 PM as a reply to Juan Solo.
Juan, the problem here is that no one is enlightened although Florian indicated that he felt like he was "finished", so maybe shoot him a message.

Your sincerity is coming through to me. I feel it.

With a name like Juan, maybe you'll grok with this book: http://thetoltecpath.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/nagual.pdf

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/10/12 12:35 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Note: I am quite conflicted right now, please don't mind the lack of meaning or clarity in my words.

Ok, update since the last errr, months that I started this thread, this is what happened:

-Confusion,
(1 week later)
-Hey I'm not enlightened after all !
(the day after)
-More confusion,
...
-Complicated theories concerning sensations, in resume: one can see that there are two forces that create sensations, one that is downwards, one that is upwards, and the two clash in my body more particularly on my nose and eyes and jaw.
....
-Confusion
...
-I forgot, but damn was I right and interesting myself.
....
Tonight
-To myself: "so I guess my mind likes to create mysteries and destroy them the day after, this is why I'm going nowhere, wait, does this mean I should start from somewhere, a certain position, and steadily evolve from that position ?
...
-More rambling in my head
....
-So to do that I shouldn't avoid choices, stick with them, be consistent, act etc, and Finally. Wait, the more I chose to follow a certain course of action the more my upward and downward sensation (the one that creates phantom images of self on the body), synchronize like they should and the more my breathing is free, this is good but... and I'm suffering from this free breathing, emotions are arising, then I realize that, this is making me so ignorant and stubborn, this is making a non enlightened self that I wasn't since age 4. (The actual effects of this are: my usual body numbness disappears, I start to feel the skin of my body to begin with my feet, I am constricting my self with sensations, reducing the aura of awareness around my body).
Conclusion: the more I try to act a certain way and stick to my thoughts, stick to ideas, the more I am controlling myself according to these thoughts and ideas. So why would I want to be like that ?

I don't know.

Am I enlightened, I feel outside the boundaries of my body all the time, the scenery of the world.
...
I think I am anyways.

But I'm not happy, but that's another story.

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/10/12 10:53 AM as a reply to Juan Solo.
Juan, I think that the fact that you are noticing these changes in you (mood changes, behavior changes, etc) is a sign of progress itself, that is, your awareness is growing further.

Currently I'm reading Right Mindfulness (can be found here http://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html ), which have been very helpful to me, especially the concept of ardency on the path. It may be helpful to you too.

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/10/12 7:53 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Juan, the problem here is that no one is enlightened although Florian indicated that he felt like he was "finished"

Sigh -- just when I think I'm getting the hand of terminology. I thought arhats were enlightened, no? Aren't Daniel, Kenneth Folk, etc therefore enlightened? Or do you mean to say that no one is "fully" enlightened?

In general, what *are* the differences among "enlightened", "fully enlightened", "an ar*h*t", and whatever Floran means by "finished"?

And which of those, or something else, was Siddhartha Gautama?

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/11/12 1:21 AM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
C C C:
Juan, the problem here is that no one is enlightened although Florian indicated that he felt like he was "finished"

Sigh -- just when I think I'm getting the hand of terminology. I thought arhats were enlightened, no? Aren't Daniel, Kenneth Folk, etc therefore enlightened? Or do you mean to say that no one is "fully" enlightened?

In general, what *are* the differences among "enlightened", "fully enlightened", "an ar*h*t", and whatever Floran means by "finished"?

And which of those, or something else, was Siddhartha Gautama?


Everyone has differing opinions and views and beliefs on what 'enlightened' means, what 'fully enlightened' means? etc. CCC and Florian's version is just another version and any version I have talked of are just more versions. If a serious reduction and/or end to mental stress is your cup of tea, you are in a good place and the techniques and approaches talked of here with links to elsewhere will lead you in that direction in my experience. Forget about which version of 'arahat' is correct, and go for the end result you wish to achieve/live in this lifetime. The end of all mental stress? Seeing through the illusion of whatever? The end of all sense of being? The end of whatever? To be a bodhisattva? Etc.

Optimise the qualities and abilities to achieve whatever you wish to achieve and go for it. You wont get much agreement from everybody on what ancient terms matches what ongoing experience here at the DhO, regardless of what MCTB lays out. But you do have yogis who talk of massive reductions in mental stress, new baselines that lead to more peace, and personality changes, more positive ways of interacting with the field of experience. If someone asked me if I was 'enlightened', I would have to ask them what their version of 'enlightenment' was. If it doesn't match my ongoing experience, then I am not 'enlightened' to their standard/view/conceptual overlay/belief. Same for other 'claimants' who don't match whatever conceptual overlay one holds. Enlightened schmightened. Go for at least a massive reduction and/or the end of all mental stress. I do think that is a very real result for all people who are inclined in that direction. If you wish to call that result itself 'enlightened', it will just be another version of that concept. Concept schmoncept. Massive reductions and/or end of all mental stress, yes!

Edit: And I 'felt finished' more than 2 years ago at what I considered MCTB 4th path. But I've had a few more baselines shifts that trump that 'attainment'.

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/11/12 2:45 AM as a reply to Robert McLune.
Robert McLune:
C C C:
Juan, the problem here is that no one is enlightened although Florian indicated that he felt like he was "finished"

Sigh -- just when I think I'm getting the hand of terminology. I thought arhats were enlightened, no? Aren't Daniel, Kenneth Folk, etc therefore enlightened? Or do you mean to say that no one is "fully" enlightened?

In general, what *are* the differences among "enlightened", "fully enlightened", "an ar*h*t", and whatever Floran means by "finished"?

And which of those, or something else, was Siddhartha Gautama?


What C C C alludes to is my claim that the seeking is gone, the seeker is gone, in a sense, and what is sought for is, in a sense, gone. The search is over. I no longer feel incomplete with reference to anything, rather, I feel whole. The seeker - that which would look at things from a seemingly special vantage point, looking for something to make it whole, and always saying, "no, not this...", is gone or rather, it resumed its proper station, no longer claiming to be something it can't be (a self, a safe haven, etc). The sought-for, that sense of lack, is gone in the sense that everything it was standing for was already there.

If you look around the DhO, especially older posts, you might find references to "insight disease". An internet search will probably yield better results than the built-in search here on DhO: "site:dharmaoverground.org insight disease" Anyway, this insight disease was "cured", and that's the claim C C C refers to.

As to degrees of enlightenment: heh. I just posted a longish text in the "Maps" section, Report: Dark Kamma Results (a.k.a. Trials) / Heart Release, where I'm describing shifts in experience which seem to be only very loosely related to the curing of insight disease or the end of seeking. Nikolai has already mentioned similar experiences.

If I may give you a bit of advice (and you are by no means required to do anything with it or accept it): explore your own experience, don't limit yourself to exploring old texts or religious or spiritual ideals only. Granted, those texts and ideals are part of your experience, and can be worthwhile objects for research: but they don't exhaust what you can and do experience, not by a long shot. Wanting to "do it right" is a good motivation. It has this "near enemy" of becoming confused over just what exactly that means before even starting to "do it". Keep the "many paths up the mountain" and "blind men and the Elephant" similes in mind, and if anyone tries to scare you by saying that not all paths (or only one) actually leads up the mountain, remember that he's likely talking about his own experience, where indeed he took exactly the right path, and is just committing the fallacy of turning a description (of his own experience) into a prescription (for everybody else's experience).

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/11/12 8:56 AM as a reply to Juan Solo.
Juan Solo:
It is so hard to be taken seriously... If you are enlightened, please answer one, or both questions if you can.


Hey Juan, I'm sorry if I gave the impression I wasn't taking you seriously. I do! And I certainly didn't mean to claim enlightenment by posting on your thread. I do feel that my comment from the spring is consistent with the model that is widely practiced here, which as Florian says, is not the only path up the mountain. It does have the advantage of providing clear guidance when you're having bizarre and confusing experiences.

How do you practice?

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/11/12 12:54 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

If I may give you a bit of advice (and you are by no means required to do anything with it or accept it): explore your own experience, don't limit yourself to exploring old texts or religious or spiritual ideals only.

It's good advice. Nick and others regularly say the same.

I think for certain people (I'm one), tending towards the more scientifically trained, the intellect has to take them a certain distance before they understand that the intellect can't, or at least can't necessarily, take them the *whole* distance. It's probably down to an unspoken assumption that if something is non-sense (i.e. cannot be stated clearly and analyzed logically and *objectively*) then it is nonsense (i.e. false). Some people may be able to get past that just based on faith (for want of a better word), but as I say many cannot.

For those who can't, there's probably fruitful preliminary study in areas like Wittgenstein and Goedel, and also in the non-realist interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. If one can approach those with a sufficiently open mind -- and it may start closed and only open with time -- then eventually one can establish enough humility in one's thinking that the reaction to Buddhist philosophy moves from "That's just fluff and nonsense" through, "Hmm, I'm not sure about that, but I'll keep reading" to "OK, time to buy a zafu!"

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
10/24/12 11:24 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
Hi,

Actually I don't practice. I heard about Buddhism and meditation as the path to enlightenment last year.

I'm pretty sure the only thing I can do now is release my tension around my nose and between my eyes. It's a remnant of my self when I was 4 years old. I'm still clinging to it, because I feel I should be closed about certain things.

Tonight I realized I may be enlightened because when I release this tension, the no self feeling really becomes obvious.

I don't know why but I think that I personally can't live without being enlightened. When I was 4, I had better perception about other people than myself. I actually couldn't, simply couldn't perceive myself, like I had some kind of psychic disorder. So I had a big crisis, a panic attack one day, and I kind of clenched my sensation and jaw really tight, and like I said it opened a large patch of insight on my skull, and I started to feel the universe around me and my body becoming numb. It took me like 1-2 minutes and it was done.

Now I'm still clinging to have a certain facade of self only to show it to others, so that I may feel wanted. Because I think that it is possible to still want a self just so people can enjoy the self that you have, that may be like an acceptable form of compassion, but at the same time the self greed comes into place.

Thinking about it, I feel that I may have been born without some kind of in-between state between consciousness and unconsciousness that may act as private place where you can feel your emotions. I need to make my emotions visible from outside to actually notice them. Because I don't have a certain space where I can be aware of my emotions. That's interesting, but I doubt people will understand. I think I became enlightened to join the people in the world I perceived outside of me.

Juan Solo

RE: Enlightened at age four ?
Answer
12/30/12 5:45 PM as a reply to Juan Solo.
Do the enlightened ever have anything to complain about? Are discomforts or dissatisfactions even observed at that level of consciousness? Does the self continue to change at that point? Part of me recoils at the very thought of a permanent state of being. I wonder if such a thing can be. Thankfully belief in enlightenment is not a prerequisite to walking the path toward it. Certainly however I have seen how belief in one's enlightenment (end of the road nothing left for me to learn here) can be a serious impediment.

Certainly Juan, you had a profound spiritual experience which has pushed you seemingly all of your life toward to explore inward. Find a practice that suits your temperament and jump in!