Is it possible to think your way into an attainment (past 1st)?

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Songtsan Crazyfox-Tiger Ali, modified 8 Years ago at 7/13/13 3:33 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 1:44 AM

Is it possible to think your way into an attainment (past 1st)?

Posts: 24 Join Date: 7/11/13 Recent Posts
Hello,

First post...this is really just me saying hello.

Supposedly, the center of consciousness in the brain is located in the thalamus. I know that describing what consciousness is from a mental point of use not the real thing, yet I'd still like to and understand how it works from a conceptual point of view. The thalamus is located about 4 to 5 inches inward from the third-eye area. It basically acts as a relay station. All the incoming information goes there in a kind of back and forth rapid energy cycling maneuver. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is from a scientific point of view, what exactly is that center of awareness? How does it work? Is it just energy? Is energy aware? Or is energy itself awareness? When we focus I assume that the focus is initiated from this point… Does anyone else think the center of focus, the center of 'I'ness is located within the brain or somewhere within the body? Or, is it perhaps on some alternate dimension, some level of inmaterial plane? A point of emptiness/awareness that is constantly filled with sensory/perception information? I know that this is the age-old conundrum that the Buddha refused to answer.

I'm trying to explain the center of consciousness from an intellectual/theoretical point of view. If anyone knows any biological explanations for it that would be awesome. I'm just seeing if someone can bump me a sand-grain of knowledge upwards.

Consciousness/center of consciousness is 'reflexive.' Is energy just becoming aware of itself? Is it just that energy is being fed back into itself, and that's where it becomes aware of itself?

If matter and energy are the same (meaning that matter is basically crystallized energy, or slowed-down energy), then it seems that there are really only two things in the universe: energy and space (… Or space/time if we incorporate movement). So yes, here we have Yin/Yang.

So is one side awareness and the other side the object that one is aware of?

Can awareness exists without something to be aware of? Or are they inexorably intertwined?

re·flex·ive (r -fl k s v)
adj.
1. Directed back on itself.
2. Grammar
a. Of, relating to, or being a verb having an identical subject and direct object, as dressed in the sentence She dressed herself.
b. Of, relating to, or being the pronoun used as the direct object of a reflexive verb, as herself in She dressed herself.
3. Of or relating to a reflex.
4. Elicited automatically; spontaneous

That brings me to the next question:

When we use our focusing ability, i.e. as in one-pointed meditation, it seems that what's happening is that the energy is basically being rapidly cycled and intensified between the thalamus and the area of the brain (mind-map/mind-palace/mind-matrix) that contains the object of our focus. For example, let's say I am focusing on a flower… It seems that somewhere in our neural net lies all the associated IS-ness of flower-ness, combined with the specific shape of the flower we're visualizing. So the way I view 'absorption' is that all the other parts of the brain that aren't necessary shut down, and basically only certain neural nets are activated in an intense bioelectrical/bliss-state. The flower, the watcher of the flower, and the act of watching the flower become one, almost in a holographic kind of way. Every square picometer of energy juice/stuff = flower-ness/bliss. So it seems that, although energy= bliss, something else is experiencing the bliss.

Can anyone describe what this something else is? How do we describe something that apparently has no form, cannot be measured, cannot be observed (although it is the observer), etc. etc.

I am not looking for experiential advice; I am basically looking for a scientific explanation of what that seemingly empty space of consciousness is… Or is it just that the thalamus is where consciousness lies?

Is this consciousness something beyond the matter/energy that makes up the thalamus?

Buddha says that there is no self and I agree, yet it seems that there is a Super-Self AKA 'Self' - which is basically awareness wherever it is at...

I guess the whole point of this post is how can we describe awareness from a conceptual point of view, i.e. in a scientific way, instead of just saying 'It is what it is,' 'Just this,' 'Suchness,' etc.

By the time I got down to this point I realize that I was basically trying to describe that which cannot be described, and can only be directly known - which is futile, and so this whole post is pointless lol... I swear I didn't plan this! haha...oh well, better luck next time.

Oh wait… Here is a question I've always been wondering about: is Nirvana itself just a perception attainment? Is there really a self that can go into Nirvana? Still that same age-old question I know.…

Sometimes I wonder if this whole meditation thing is all just about finding bliss in the end…

Is it all just about bliss?

When I say 'past 1st' in the title, I mean can you use a mental technique as a 'boat' to drop you off into a 2nd and onwards attainment, instead of seeking direct perception? I think it may almost be like a Zen koan in fashion. Mind stopper...
Jonathan Marks, modified 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:26 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:26 AM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 14 Join Date: 7/4/13 Recent Posts
Hey what's up, welcome to the DhO.

It sounds as if you're doing a lot of cognitive exercises, which is not really what the path to Nibbana is.

The path to nibbana is essentially a return to the norm, the mean, and the avoidance of extremes. You are right, there is thinking involved, in fact the first step is thought: one thinks, and then decides, after deciding one acts, then one continues to act (effort).

This can readily be described as: ditthi, sankappa, vaca-kamma-ajiva, and viriya. This whole path cycles in on itself, the basis of the entire path, is, as you rightly seem to think: a thought, or in my preferred terms: a perspective. With the correct perspective, I actually prefer the term standard or appropriate (for samma), one then begins to intend differently, then one's outward actions change (gradually), then one's mind begins to change (gradually).

The whole thing is gradual and takes time.

The reason I don't address your questions is actually because a lot of them can't be answered, they are cognitive loops and unfalsifiable hypotheses that generally speaking don't really help much.

In peace,

Jonathan
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Nikolai , modified 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:31 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:31 AM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Jonathan Marks:
Hey what's up, welcome to the DhO.

It sounds as if you're doing a lot of cognitive exercises, which is not really what the path to Nibbana is.

The path to nibbana is essentially a return to the norm, the mean, and the avoidance of extremes. You are right, there is thinking involved, in fact the first step is thought: one thinks, and then decides, after deciding one acts, then one continues to act (effort).

This can readily be described as: ditthi, sankappa, vaca-kamma-ajiva, and viriya. This whole path cycles in on itself, the basis of the entire path, is, as you rightly seem to think: a thought, or in my preferred terms: a perspective. With the correct perspective, I actually prefer the term standard or appropriate (for samma), one then begins to intend differently, then one's outward actions change (gradually), then one's mind begins to change (gradually).

The whole thing is gradual and takes time.

The reason I don't address your questions is actually because a lot of them can't be answered, they are cognitive loops and unfalsifiable hypotheses that generally speaking don't really help much.

In peace,

Jonathan


Hi jonathan,

Are you james yen? Be honest.
Jonathan Marks, modified 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:40 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:40 AM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 14 Join Date: 7/4/13 Recent Posts
Yep, it's me.

I actually wrote to Daniel in regards to my whole banning thing and it seems like he doesn't really want me around here. Which I can understand. Please ban me if it is your duty, although my DhO addiction will probably lead me to come back here. Plus I wasn't really trolling this time around, in fact I would argue I wasn't trolling at all.

In peace,

James Yen.

P.S:

I recently got into rap, Joey Bada$$ is pretty badass.
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Songtsan Crazyfox-Tiger Ali, modified 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:55 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 2:55 AM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 24 Join Date: 7/11/13 Recent Posts
What you say is true...I am in cognitive processes...but this is exactly where I want to be. I find my attainments through understanding things conceptually at this time. Knowledge is bliss to me. To know becomes my answer and my goal. I do also meditate fyi. I don't need any help in that area really. I wouldn't even be coming here if that was all I needed as I have all the techniques and understanding I need for many years to come. I just came to see if I could improve the quality (i.e. accuracy) of my mind fabrications. I am very close to leaving the world of the internet altogether, but there are a few questions that I am looking for answers to. The types of questions I came here to ask are:

1) How does shaktipat work? How does one develop the ability to give shaktipat? Why is it that men more often than women gain this ability?

2) What is the relationship between Kundalini and the Jinn? I see the hand of Shakti behind most spiritual occurrences in the world, as far back as thousands of years ago...I speak of the Jinn because I have yet to determine whether the Kundalini/Jinn are one or many.

3) What is the relationship between chi, prana, bioelectrical energy, etc. Are there really various forms? Or are these all the same?

4) How is chi stored in the dantien elixir fields? Is it kept in the nerve plexuses, or stored in some type of chemical format?

I define my path loosely as crazy wisdom/left-hand Tantra/Vajrayana/Sufi/Taoist/shamanistic - i.e. very individualized, and so I do not follow any specific tradition.
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Eric G, modified 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 8:33 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 8:33 AM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 133 Join Date: 5/6/10 Recent Posts
It appears like you've taken on a lot of beliefs about things from sources you presumably consider authoritative.

What if those sources aren't quite so solid as you might like to imagine, that these concepts you mention, rather than referring to some kind of concrete reality, are merely metaphors, just some words that certain people happened to come up with at a given time to express their personal experience of some very subtle sensations and perceptions, and that certain literal minded people later dogmatized these metaphors into a sense of concreteness. What if there aren't any answers. What is beyond concepts.
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Songtsan Crazyfox-Tiger Ali, modified 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 10:51 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 10:51 AM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 24 Join Date: 7/11/13 Recent Posts
Its true - all this mind stuff does not accurately reflect true reality - it is just a model. I took from the best sources I could find, and now they are in my head as thought constructs. Every word I speak is just a thought construct and is also from these same sources basically. The sources of course are everything that I have ever been taught/studied throughout my whole life. Where I am 'at' right now in the culmination of everything I have ever 'known' I hold to no particular source, yet have taken what I believe to be the best of the best and made it my false 'me' Beliefs are all transitory delusions - simply momentary perception attainments. I already know that they are not true reality - I remind myself of this daily, often many times per hour, yet it is very difficult to communicate over the internet without relying on them.

It is true that the answers I could come up with would always still be illusions, no matter how accurately they reflected true reality...that is my whole point - I am simply attempting to create an illusionary map that best reflects reality.
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 10:47 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/12/13 10:47 PM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 1414 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Songtsan Crazyfox-Tiger Ali:

It is true that the answers I could come up with would always still be illusions, no matter how accurately they reflected true reality...that is my whole point - I am simply attempting to create an illusionary map that best reflects reality.

Thomas Campbell has done an amazing job IMHO of explaining the big picture of reality in his book "My Big Toe".

I recommend it highly...it is too long but what the heck...800 pages later you have all of reality figured out.

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment? Understanding his model made it easy to get to 1st path for me with minimal meditation....but that's just me. No guarantees...

Good luck,
~D

His youtube presentation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxECb7zcQhQ

Web site
http://www.my-big-toe.com/

His model
http://wiki.my-big-toe.com/index.php/The_MBT_Model_Link_Page
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Songtsan Crazyfox-Tiger Ali, modified 8 Years ago at 7/13/13 3:29 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 7/13/13 3:29 AM

RE: Is it possible to think your way into an attainment?

Posts: 24 Join Date: 7/11/13 Recent Posts
Thanks that is good info...I have actually experienced 1st jhana a few times using thought construct techniques...I was thinking of later attainments and i should have specified. I will update.

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