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An email to Jed Mckenna

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An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/2/13 11:12 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna sawfoot _ 10/3/13 2:59 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Pål S. 10/3/13 4:11 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/3/13 9:04 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna (D Z) Dhru Val 10/3/13 9:24 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/3/13 10:11 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Nikolai . 10/3/13 11:23 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/3/13 11:38 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna T DC 10/4/13 12:17 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 12:27 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna T DC 10/4/13 12:50 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 1:06 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Nikolai . 10/4/13 1:32 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna sawfoot _ 10/4/13 4:26 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 10:05 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 10:22 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna sawfoot _ 10/4/13 12:50 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna James Yen 10/4/13 1:45 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 11:07 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 9:17 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 10:14 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 11:34 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 11:54 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 12:07 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 1:14 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 1:45 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 3:47 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 4:21 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 5:12 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 5:45 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 6:01 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 6:41 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna This Good Self 10/6/13 8:28 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 8:59 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna This Good Self 10/6/13 10:55 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/8/13 6:49 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Change A. 10/4/13 9:21 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 11:30 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Change A. 10/5/13 7:31 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/5/13 4:21 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 11:40 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Change A. 10/4/13 7:08 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 8:22 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna This Good Self 10/6/13 2:51 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Nikolai . 10/5/13 10:05 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 12:04 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna This Good Self 10/6/13 3:01 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/6/13 11:36 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna (D Z) Dhru Val 10/4/13 9:36 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/4/13 11:32 PM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna (D Z) Dhru Val 10/5/13 12:28 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna sawfoot _ 10/5/13 4:50 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna Adam . . 10/5/13 11:28 AM
RE: An email to Jed Mckenna katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/13 7:22 AM
An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/2/13 11:12 PM
Here is an email I just wrote to Jed Mckenna a spiritual teacher who seems like the only person I have read who clearly describes an event similar to what happened to me a month ago which has totally re-oriented/destroyed my spiritual practice. If anyone is curious about that event feel free to look through these posts:

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4659888


http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4680247

Dear Jed,

I can relate very well to what you said about being motivated for awakening by discontent at living a lie. One day about a month ago, after years of Buddhist meditation I realized that I didn't really know if this was going to work out, I didn't know what the end of suffering was or if I would ever achieve it or if there really was such a thing. I also didn't know if this type of meditation or that type of meditation was the way to that goal.

I had given that goal a special importance, decided that it was the point of my life and pushed everything to the side for it. I had long suppressed any doubt about whether it was a real possibility or about whether it ought to be pursued.

Now for the last month, life has looked really strange without this huge, shining light to guide me, without this endgame, without this "happily ever after." It has been oscillating between scary, depressing, and joyful. What is weird is that there has been a lack of any single truth or belief running through it, everything is up for grabs now world-views are formed and abolished on a day by day basis. Lots of emotional intensity and cathartic experiences. All right on par with your version of what real awakening is like, yay me (is what I think on some days).

Here's a problem though. Which is that what if there really is a literal "happily ever after." What if there is a way to re-orient my mind such that it does not suffer ever again (and lets say that life is eternal through rebirth or nirvana, that raises the stakes infinitely). Would that be worth pursuing? Here in this place where I don't know, I am frozen. If I say "it's not possible" then I feel like I am living a sort of lie, a fear-based way of hardening myself and moving on, I really don't know if it is possible or not. If I say "It is possible and I'm gonna get it" it still feels like living a lie because maybe it is not possible, it feels like fearfully taking the easy way out, I could just live like that up till the day I am on my death bed and then just say "maybe next life." Both ways of thinking feel like escapes because both entail repressing a doubt and enforcing an assumption, a delusion.

If I stay in the middle and just say "I don't know" then I end up in a strange space. Sometimes I try and resolve the "don't know" by saying that if I don't know i might as well just go for nirvana because what have I got to lose..? Sometimes I try and resolve it by arguing that it doesn't matter whether I experience eternal happiness or eternal suffering. I argue to myself that the observer of reality gets used to pleasure or pain as equals, and that if there at some point is no observer then it doesn't matter whether there is pleasure or pain because who would care. This resolution seems forced as well. Everything that would resolve this place of total lack of direction feels forced, including the idea that I should stay in this place because that is the way to "true awakening." Every single thing I could possibly do including standing still feels like forced bullshit! LOL!

Any advice?

Sincerely,
Adam

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/3/13 2:59 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
So in my summary: you were a true believer, then had a crisis of faith and became an atheist. But now you have become an agnostic, and are torn between wanting to become a true believer again but knowing deep down that its bullshit.

It seems to me like you want to give up any notions of nirvana and awakening and eternal happiness or eternal suffering, and take each day at comes. Have you talked to any (soto) zen teachers? As this would seem like a good avenue to pursue.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/3/13 4:11 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
[quote=Adam . . (1/25/13)]I feel like what I should do now is something like just be happy not as a practice, no goal, I can't "practice" things anymore, they never work. Hard to explain what I mean by this. Application of a "technique" just feels like an incredible burden perhaps what is required is a 'lifestyle' approach (practice is taken as the goal itself, i.e. you do it because it is pleasant) but I can turn that into a "technique" I have to work at pretty easily.http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3944123

Also: The Yogi Toolbox: The Lifestyle Approach

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/3/13 9:04 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
It's funny, this afternoon and evening I am feeling really overjoyed. The basic idea i.e. nothing matters, nothing worth seeking is still the same. Yet I feel really good now. I think the difference comes from some sort of triumphant narrative, I started to think to myself that "now I am really getting enlightened" and so I started feeling really good. I don't particularly have a preference between the state of feeling bad and just focusing on "nothing matters, nothing is going to get better" vs. the state of feeling good and thinking "now i've got it, nothing matters."

Truly they seem equal, I still can't find motivation to seek anything at all. Well, okay maybe there is some preference still but I am not to concerned about that or anything. I am just going to keep taking it as it comes. I guess the fact that my feeling state shifted so much indicates some dishonesty, some degree of caring about enlightenment vs. not enlightenment no matter how many times I have said that i don't care. Thinking about that, I kind of want to go back to the depressed state because then it should be more clear where I still am valuing and caring about things. Ah maybe I should investigate this new ideal of not valuing anything! Is there any value in a mind that doesn't value things? Maybe this whole thing is a sign of being to uncomfortable with the meaninglessness and copping out into a new enlightenment belief system. I don't know!

lol

?!?!?! sorry I guess I will just post this to keep documenting what is goin on with me in case anyone cares, goin on a month of feeling like I am crazy.

If there is any overriding theme here it is to question the moments of happiness and see what new belief system I bought into, and then to consciously increase the depression and fear as they arise. Kind of counterintuitive.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/3/13 9:24 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Thinking about that, I kind of want to go back to the depressed state because then it should be more clear where I still am valuing and caring about things. Ah maybe I should investigate this new ideal of not valuing anything! Is there any value in a mind that doesn't value things? Maybe this whole thing is a sign of being to uncomfortable with the meaninglessness and copping out into a new enlightenment belief system. I don't know!


You have been released from one extreme view, but now are clinging to nihilism.

Do you drink coffee ?

How many spoons of sugar do you like in it ? Do you prefer sweetner instead ?

Cream or Milk ?

All concepts are equally untrue, but still have value relative to each other in very pragmatic and functional way. Enlightenment is not about having no preferences per se, more about not clinging to preferences.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/3/13 10:11 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Actually I don't want to get enlightened... That is just not relevant to me. I literally don't care what anyone has said about what enlightenment or freedom is. I don't care if it is an extreme view or whatever else. To the extent that I find that I care about these things I feel somewhat sick.

I am sort of interested in whether it's true though. What is this value that concepts have relative to each other? Why should I care about this pragmatic whatever? Why should I care about functioning?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/3/13 11:23 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
Actually I don't want to get enlightened... That is just not relevant to me. I literally don't care what anyone has said about what enlightenment or freedom is. I don't care if it is an extreme view or whatever else. To the extent that I find that I care about these things I feel somewhat sick.

I am sort of interested in whether it's true though. What is this value that concepts have relative to each other? Why should I care about this pragmatic whatever? Why should I care about functioning?


What is relevant to you?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/3/13 11:38 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
nick that is just what I ask myself. actually it seems clear to me that this question is everyone's first question but they avoid it like the plague... or some version of it like "why should I do anything" or "why should I get out of bed in the morning?"

I don't have any answer at all which is weird considering that I am out of bed. my mind shies away from that inquiry right now.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 12:17 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
nick that is just what I ask myself. actually it seems clear to me that this question is everyone's first question but they avoid it like the plague... or some version of it like "why should I do anything" or "why should I get out of bed in the morning?"

I don't have any answer at all which is weird considering that I am out of bed. my mind shies away from that inquiry right now.

Sounds like you're in denial of something. Why are you on this existential quest? Why are you asking these questions? Why do you care if enlightenment is or is not relevant to you? Seriously, what is your motivation?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 12:27 AM as a reply to T DC.
Why are you on this existential quest? Why are you asking these questions? Why do you care if enlightenment is or is not relevant to you?


I ask myself those too!

And it does seem like I am in denial of something considering that I am doing all these things without an answer to that first question of "why do anything?"

The thing is that question is stronger than me and in my experience I will eventually be forced to face it. That has been the pattern over and over again throughout my life and to me it seems like it is the pattern of everyone's life. Everyone is going in the same direction in the same way that people swimming in a powerful river are. Some swimmers might make mighty efforts to go upstream but in the end they will get tired and come back to the "why do anything?"

Also, why should I not be in denial?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 12:50 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
in the end they will get tired and come back to the "why do anything?"

Also, why should I not be in denial?


Ha, the ultimate life question, 'why do anything?' ha, seems pretty accurate.

Why not be in denial? It doesn't seem to be a healthy way to live your life, it seems to be better to face your issues. There's not really a why, it's just how it is. If you are starving, you can question why you need food in the first place, but eventually you are going to die if you don't eat. Why does it matter if you die? Well, it doesn't really, but it may matter some to you personally.

Frankly, in my experience, meditation doesn't really address the question 'why', it really just helps with 'how', so to speak. How things are, versus why they are.

I don't think anyone really knows why things are. What is the great cosmic purpose? No idea.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 1:06 AM as a reply to T DC.
but it may matter some to you personally


wait wait wait. so it might matter to one but it doesn't really matter, and this is a good reason to care about it? isn't that a delusion? caring about something that doesn't matter?

as for how vs. why: spirituality is all about the "how" of ending suffering but it ignores the why. more accurately it assumes the why, it takes up a purpose then moves on to how to achieve that purpose without ever really investigating the purpose.

what spirituality (i don't know if this is true of all "spirituality") is doing is looking at some experiences, objectifying them and separating yourself from them, and calling them good, then figuring out how to make every single moment totally suffused with that good, right? or perhaps taking some experiences, objectifying them and calling them bad, then figuring out how to make them be totally absent in every single moment. The end of suffering and unconditional happiness?

some say it is the fundamental question of life, that it is so necessary to ask "how do I end suffering." what I think is so funny is that for it to be labeled useful and necessary they have to have engaged in a great deal of "doublethink." they pretend that there wasn't a question before it: "what is useful, what should i do in life." really they just answered that without a second thought and decided that "what I should do" is end suffering. they created a problem and doublethunk there way into believing it was there in the first place, why? out of fear of having no purpose to strive for I guess, no one to become.

really being honest with yourself (i.e. not escaping that initial question of "what should i do?") leaves one in depression. so if you want to classify my practice, call it "the practice of depression."

what is weird is that I am ecstatic at the moment. !!! I probably won't be in a day or two and that doesn't bother me so much, in fact I am kind of leaning that way intentionally. weird.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 1:32 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:


I don't have any answer at all which is weird considering that I am out of bed. my mind shies away from that inquiry right now.


Perhaps simply allowing for there to be no answer at all may be required. It reminds me of what my mum used to tell me when I'd be at my wits end about why the f@&k I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my life (still don't know).

"Perhaps that is just where you are meant to be at the moment"

I hated it but in hindsight it would act as some trigger for simply accepting my predicament. Sometimes what is relevant is the fact that nothing is relevant. I'd simply sit with it, inhabit it, shuffle my mum's Osho zen cards in hope they'd my answer, but nothing I did brought what I wanted until I simply said f@&k it, I give up. In those moments I felt like it was the only thing that brought relief. But I had to go through the angst of wtf first.



Nick

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 4:26 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Adam,

It is not clear that you want a solution, but here I go again anyway: the time tested solution to the problem of nihilism in (at least in Mahayana) Buddhism is compassion, and the understanding of the difference between conventional reality (where you can find meaning) and ultimate reality (where no meaning exists and asking "why" questions are absurd).

And if you need an antidote to the fuckedupness of pragmatic dharma, try soto zen. Joko Beck's books are a good place to start.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 7:08 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
nick that is just what I ask myself. actually it seems clear to me that this question is everyone's first question but they avoid it like the plague... or some version of it like "why should I do anything" or "why should I get out of bed in the morning?"

I don't have any answer at all which is weird considering that I am out of bed. my mind shies away from that inquiry right now.


Everyone gets out of bed or does something rather than nothing because the fear of death is greater than the fear of suffering of doing something/getting out of bed and facing life. It might be that the suffering puts someone in bed but then eventually that person faces the prospect of dying which is even greater than the comparatively miniscule suffering of life, so the suffering of life is a better situation and this makes that person to get out of bed and do something.

If someone comes face to face with the fear of death, then other fears (of life) are nothing compared to it, and hence the suffering of life may not amount to anything.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 10:05 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai
Perhaps simply allowing for there to be no answer at all may be required.


I still can't do that. "Required"?? required for what? For enlightenment? For the end of suffering? For moving along in life? All of that is based on an "answer" already assumed. See what I'm saying? There's just no solution (yet) including the solution of accepting that there is no solution. Do you see how this is an escape? A way to gloss over that fundamental question? (albeit the most sneaky way)

sawfoot
Adam,

It is not clear that you want a solution, but here I go again anyway: the time tested solution to the problem of nihilism in (at least in Mahayana) Buddhism is compassion, and the understanding of the difference between conventional reality (where you can find meaning) and ultimate reality (where no meaning exists and asking "why" questions are absurd).

And if you need an antidote to the fuckedupness of pragmatic dharma, try soto zen. Joko Beck's books are a good place to start.


Thank you but I thought what was fairly clear is that i am not looking for a solution, not to the extent that a solution assumes an un-investigated answer to the "why" questions.

I can't even find meaning in conventional reality, conventionally there is suffering and conventionally suffering is bad. Why should I care about these conventional notions? Why should I act on them?

I have read Joko Beck's books and I liked them. But they don't really do anything for me here. Why should I polish the mirror or see that there is no mirror? No reason to do any of that.

change
Everyone gets out of bed or does something rather than nothing because the fear of death is greater than the fear of suffering of doing something/getting out of bed and facing life. It might be that the suffering puts someone in bed but then eventually that person faces the prospect of dying which is even greater than the comparatively miniscule suffering of life, so the suffering of life is a better situation and this makes that person to get out of bed and do something.

If someone comes face to face with the fear of death, then other fears (of life) are nothing compared to it, and hence the suffering of life may not amount to anything.


This doesn't really relate to my question (though maybe it wasn't intended to). This is about why people (including me) do get out of bed but I am interesting in why I should get out of bed. I don't find there to be too much suffering in getting up and doing stuff, it's just that I don't have a reason to, and something in me suddenly is unavoidably interested in a reason.

I am going to keep investigating "whys" guys. It's not that I am sorry if it is annoying, it is just that over time it has become really clear that anything other than investigating "whys" just is the scenic route to investigating "whys". It keeps coming back to that for me and now I am just stuck at that question and can't get very far with ignoring it as I have in the past. I am just too conscious of ignoring it and something just pokes me really hard until I go back to investigating it.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 10:22 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Here's a thought that might help get you guys off my ass ;) just kidding I have been having fun and am really being sincere in these inquiries.

Maybe when there is 100% no reason to get out of bed there will no longer be a sense of self.. I sure doubt that if such a thing is possible it would occur through creating a goal of enlightenment or no-self or no-suffering.

Now the fact that I am thinking about that possibility indicates that there is a great deal more depression and fear ahead. If I am still creating a goal and thinking there is something valuable to achieve then (sometime in the future) I am going to inevitably turn the "Why" onto that new goal, which is going to be even more scary and depressing than anything that has came before because now I am totally devoted to that single perspective so it will be even more like i am dying and then even more like i am dead during the questioning process of it.

The thing is that this "why" totally has a life of its own and I can't really speed it up, only slow it down. In fact trying to speed it up would be slowing it down. In fact trying not to speed it up would be slowing it down. There's just nothing I or anyone can do to affect it. Either it is in the forefront of the mind because one is tired of fighting it and it works inevitably on every goal and intention or it is still kept down through defense mechanisms and denial. If this is what enlightenment is then it is 100% out of anyone's control.

The fact that I have all of these views and goals as I said indicates that I am basically being totally dishonest right at this moment with everything I am saying. It indicates I have created a goal and am not questioning it, oh well. Maybe you get what I am saying so I will stop talking in circles. In fact it kind of pains me to post this because I am embarrassed how obvious it will be that I am engaging in this doublethink. Delusion is some subtle stuff. Ok I will make myself hit the save button!

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 12:50 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Another solution: stop being so selfish!?

So in the Tibetan model (as I understand it), you train in compassion along with emptiness. They link together but compassion is essential. It is the path.

And so by the time your world is shaken by emptiness you have already conditioned your mind to adopting a baseline attitude to operate in the service of others. You train yourself out of selfishness, so that you no longer are driven to the "why does it matter ( TO ME!)" line of thinking, and you avoid the nihilism. So where you are now may reflect a problem that can happen with a more pragmatic dharma/Therevadan style path, I don't know. Perhaps it is too late!

Maybe a better starting point might be rather than why should I reduce my own suffering, instead: why should I strive to reduce the suffering of others.

You might not ever be able to come up with a "good" or satisfactory answer to either of those questions (I don't think I have), but your cat who is waiting to be fed in the morning doesn't care if you haven't (AKA conventional reality...).

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 1:45 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
This is exactly what is happening to Adam:

He is being subject to postmodern relativism. In essence he is unable to discern what is real and not real, what is worth pursuing and not worth pursuing, because... why do anything? What is the value in anything over another thing when all things are relative? What is the purpose?

Adam is attempting to look for a LOGICAL reason, to do something. But no such thing exists.

Adrift in a sea without any reference point, Adam is unable to make a first step towards anything useful. Because... even the notion of usefulness is relative to him.

This is why I prefer theism, because theism provides a reference point and a basis for truth.

As a general aside: Modern culture for some reason, and I don't know why, decided to throw away nearly all the hard-won social and spiritual wisdom of the past ages (our ancestor's wisdom), in FAVOR of the notion that OUR rationality and OUR experience can dictate what the truth is.

This is absurd, tradition is necessary for progress, there needs to be questioning of tradition IF it is necessary, but simply abandoning the traditions of the past, for their own sake, is a warped decision that will result in catastrophe (as a heuristic).

Peace.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 9:21 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
This is about why people (including me) do get out of bed but I am interesting in why I should get out of bed. I don't find there to be too much suffering in getting up and doing stuff, it's just that I don't have a reason to, and something in me suddenly is unavoidably interested in a reason.

I am going to keep investigating "whys" guys.


There is no reason to get out of bed.

Adam . .:
Maybe when there is 100% no reason to get out of bed there will no longer be a sense of self.. I sure doubt that if such a thing is possible it would occur through creating a goal of enlightenment or no-self or no-suffering.


But when you are in bed, try to think of the reason for staying in bed.

There is no reason to do anything which includes both staying in bed or getting out of bed.

So just do nothing. But when you are thinking about all this, you are doing a lot. So stop doing anything.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 9:36 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
Actually I don't want to get enlightened... That is just not relevant to me. I literally don't care what anyone has said about what enlightenment or freedom is. I don't care if it is an extreme view or whatever else. To the extent that I find that I care about these things I feel somewhat sick.

I am sort of interested in whether it's true though. What is this value that concepts have relative to each other? Why should I care about this pragmatic whatever? Why should I care about functioning?
Adam . .:

I am sort of interested in whether it's true though. What is this value that concepts have relative to each other? Why should I care about this pragmatic whatever? Why should I care about functioning?


To understand this requires a change in your relationship with concepts.

You are asking "why I should care" ?

This suggests a delusional mental model of reality operating in the background, where it is assumed that concepts can provide you with an absolute truth or reason to truly care.

You are never going to find any concept or thing that is the Truth in its own right. Because it has never existed to begin with.

When you stop looking for truth in concepts, you will still find that the. eg in terms of medical knowledge used to cure diseases, musical appreciation, kindness to others, funny cat videos etc are valuable.

Unblocked by paranoia and fear, you can participate more fully in the cosmic dance.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 11:07 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:

You might not ever be able to come up with a "good" or satisfactory answer to either of those questions (I don't think I have)


Oh I think you did answer them. Your answers were apparently that you should do stuff to avoid being selfish, do stuff to come into alignment with the "tibetan model", and do stuff to help your cat. You might not have investigated those answers but you do have them it seems. When i investigate them they seem insubstantial so therein lies my inability to follow that stuff.

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James:

I basically agree with what your saying. Except that it doesn't seem like something I've chosen, more like a gravity. Any value/belief that can be questioned will eventually be questioned whether religious or whatever else. At least that has been the case all my life, lately it just happens very quickly after adopting new values/beliefs rather than after they have run their course for a few months or a year.

Also you imply that I should look for a "reference point and a basis for truth" but why?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/4/13 11:40 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
I used to have similar questions which totally sent me into some kind of depression/despair.


I did too, then i resolved them and they came back pretty quickly, then I resolved them and they came back, then I resolved them for like 2 years (with buddhist meditation and seeking the end of suffering) and now they are back.

It keeps coming back? Sounds like there may be something important in there. Maybe there's something in you which is yet undiscovered but which is closely related to this question? What is it that makes you ask the question about why? Is there anything else in you which is 'near' or somehow related to the question and which might be wanted to be heard as well?


I actually really like these questions. I guess what makes me ask the question is self-interest, i.e. I want to know what is valuable so that I can pursue it.

If you ask yourself the question, do you feel that answering it would solve everything? If you assumed that you had the answer, what would change within you?


I think if I answered this question of what is valuable and what is worth pursuing then I would pursue it. It wouldn't really "solve everything" actually it would create a problem in the world to be solved, because there is something good that I should pursue. If I assumed I had the answer then it would basically be the same as having the answer. It would give me something to pursue and I would pursue it.

Why is it that this question is so important for you? If you found something you wanted to do regardless of why, then would the question about 'why' matter to you more, less or equal?


The question is so important to me because if there is something good out there then I need to pursue it, self-interest. If I found something to do regardless of why? How on earth could I want to do something if that something was not perceived to be worth doing? Why seek something without value?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 11:30 PM as a reply to Change A..
There is no reason to get out of bed.


agreed

But when you are in bed, try to think of the reason for staying in bed.

There is no reason to do anything which includes both staying in bed or getting out of bed.

So just do nothing. But when you are thinking about all this, you are doing a lot. So stop doing anything.


Perhaps this will happen to me one day. Right now though I see no reason to try to make it happen. There is no value in that thing happening so why should I pursue it?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/4/13 11:32 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Unblocked by paranoia and fear, you can participate more fully in the cosmic dance.


not interested. good luck with achieving this. (i assume you see yourself as trying to achieve it)

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/5/13 12:28 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
Unblocked by paranoia and fear, you can participate more fully in the cosmic dance.


not interested. good luck with achieving this. (i assume you see yourself as trying to achieve it)


Dancing is fun, its not an achievement.

But in any event I genuinely hope you find whatever it is that you want.

And hope share it with us when you do, because I would be interested in reading your take.

emoticon

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/5/13 4:50 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Adam . .:
sawfoot _:

You might not ever be able to come up with a "good" or satisfactory answer to either of those questions (I don't think I have)


Oh I think you did answer them. Your answers were apparently that you should do stuff to avoid being selfish, do stuff to come into alignment with the "tibetan model", and do stuff to help your cat. You might not have investigated those answers but you do have them it seems. When i investigate them they seem insubstantial so therein lies my inability to follow that stuff.


Yeah, they are answers but not good or satisfactory ones. So I have to accept they are "good enough" and get on with it since I can't escape living in conventional reality and being subject to the human condition, while deep down (or even on the surface) knowing that there is no good basis for those answers.

Have you seen this blog?
"Wavering nihilism is the defiant determination not to get fooled again. Having been swindled over and over by eternalism, the nihilist stance refuses to acknowledge even the most obvious manifestations of meaningfulness—lest they, too, turn out to be illusory."
http://meaningness.com/emotional-dynamics-of-nihilism

On that analysis you need to move from the arguing/depression phase into the acceptance phase.

edit:

of course you don't need to do anything at all

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/5/13 7:31 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
Perhaps this will happen to me one day. Right now though I see no reason to try to make it happen. There is no value in that thing happening so why should I pursue it?


What is the reason for you doing what you are doing right now? What is the value in it?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/5/13 11:28 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
of course you don't need to do anything at all


ok

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/5/13 4:21 PM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
Adam . .:
Perhaps this will happen to me one day. Right now though I see no reason to try to make it happen. There is no value in that thing happening so why should I pursue it?


What is the reason for you doing what you are doing right now? What is the value in it?


none

(and if you want to know why i do these things anyway I suppose the cause is fear and denial)

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 2:51 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Hi Adam,

Seeking = craving and clinging, potentially causing great suffering.

I'm happy you've seen through this idea that seeking enlightenment is a good thing. Seeking can only cause suffering. "The seeker" is an egoic identity; just another mask it wears.

We should never work hard at anything. Working hard implies lack, so if you work hard at enlightenment, your subconscious gets the idea that it is always out of reach and far away. You will dig yourself into a hole of suffering this way.

Adyashanti's work would appeal to you, if you haven't seen it already. He is a true teacher. He won't make you work or strive. He won't suggest you cause yourself to suffer.


RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/5/13 10:05 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Hi Adam,

Seeking = striving = craving in full effect. Craving, clinging and strong desire are ugly and they cause great suffering.

I'm happy you've seen through this idea that seeking enlightenment is a good thing. Seeking can only cause suffering. "The seeker" is an egoic identity; just another mask it wears.

We should never work hard at anything. Working hard implies lack, so if you work hard at enlightenment, your subconscious gets the idea that it is always out of reach and far away. You will dig yourself into a hole of suffering this way.

Adyashanti's work would appeal to you, if you haven't seen it already. He is a true teacher. He won't make you work or strive. He won't suggest you cause yourself to suffer.


So possible counter claims from the Buddha and Ananda, his best mate. Then again, if Adyashanti is your cup of tea, go for it. But I don't think Adam wants any help anymore though i'm not sure why he keeps posting about this lack of a need for advice.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.015.than.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an02/an02.005.than.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.020.than.html

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 12:04 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
ccc yea I know adyashanti. like nick said though I am not looking for a new teacher or anything though. (I am also not interested in the achievement of stopping seeking behavior)

nick I will stop posting here once I finish up the lingering conversations with people on this thread. I agree that I haven't been particularly receptive to advice but as I've explained I just don't agree with the advice I've been getting. perhaps I will have something more to say at some point, not for now, I've made my point.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 3:01 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
ccc yea I know adyashanti. like nick said though I am not looking for a new teacher or anything though. (I am also not interested in the achievement of stopping seeking behavior)

nick I will stop posting here once I finish up the lingering conversations with people on this thread. I agree that I haven't been particularly receptive to advice but as I've explained I just don't agree with the advice I've been getting. perhaps I will have something more to say at some point, not for now, I've made my point.


ok. I'd like to see this thread continue.

I'm not really sure what's going on, but I feel like there's something that might be quite useful.

You want to know why you should get out of bed (or do anything); is this the crux of the thread?

The statement "I am also not interested in the achievement of stopping seeking behavior" is a form of surrender, isn't it? Surrender is useful, in that it makes you suffer less, yes?

Active surrender would be something like: "I'm going to let go of this and that". To me that is still work, still desire-infested.
Passive surrender would be something like "I honestly can't be fucked with anything any more, not even letting go". A real letting go.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 7:22 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Hi Adam,

I was reading through some of your posts since April this morning, Adam. Quick question: are you doing anything to anchor the mind, basically some sort of focus training? This could be sensate mindfulness, kasina, jogging and the breath...fishing maybe. I don't know.

I'm asking because I like this thread and can relate to it, wonder if your mind may be getting tired of discursiveness and is motivating you to take up focus-training, which is just like going to the gym for bicep development...

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 8:22 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
Actually I don't want to get enlightened... That is just not relevant to me. I literally don't care what anyone has said about what enlightenment or freedom is. I don't care if it is an extreme view or whatever else. To the extent that I find that I care about these things I feel somewhat sick.

I am sort of interested in whether it's true though. What is this value that concepts have relative to each other? Why should I care about this pragmatic whatever? Why should I care about functioning?
Gotcha on the sick point.

So, yeah, how does a guy train to and run a marathon backwards juggling (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tJ7eW6TKKM) and another guy make strandbeasts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSKyHmjyrkA), some girls wake to be Malala (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJP06ux6xTU)...I mean how much gosh-golly time did this take: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc0PoWfPzmI&list=TL2ZEwTQpiQvDYyQeAIW1uvtf4lwciVoxS Valuable? Who woke up to do this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqnquUC6OwI And, this lady's got some good questions, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHqG3dDVRss. Insistent! Persistent! Focused...

So focus training starts sometimes with trying to placate and please the mind from internal phenomena, to move mind from getting external pleasures to getting internal pleasure --- and then it translates back towards external, but in giving (dana) attention versus seeking to get pleasure-- "Ask not what phenomena can do for you. Ask what can you do for phenomena?" Then there is pleasure. Sometimes beauty, discovery, beyond one's mind, dependent on one's own effort, study, attention. Paaaaatience... sustained effort. What is valuable, as you say?

What is worthwhile? If there is no passion for anything, it's okay. That's pretty common, and it is also a symptom for a brain that wants to be jiggered, that wants to be tickled, does not want to focus closely and discover in focus-- to give its focusing capacity to anything but itself and awaiting to be tickled.


What do you think? Maybe I'm waaaaaaay off, A..
(The acapella answer is...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc)?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 9:17 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
Here's a thought that might help get you guys off my ass ;) just kidding I have been having fun and am really being sincere in these inquiries.

Maybe when there is 100% no reason to get out of bed there will no longer be a sense of self.. I sure doubt that if such a thing is possible it would occur through creating a goal of enlightenment or no-self or no-suffering.

Now the fact that I am thinking about that possibility indicates that there is a great deal more depression and fear ahead. If I am still creating a goal and thinking there is something valuable to achieve then (sometime in the future) I am going to inevitably turn the "Why" onto that new goal, which is going to be even more scary and depressing than anything that has came before because now I am totally devoted to that single perspective so it will be even more like i am dying and then even more like i am dead during the questioning process of it.

The thing is that this "why" totally has a life of its own and I can't really speed it up, only slow it down. In fact trying to speed it up would be slowing it down. In fact trying not to speed it up would be slowing it down. There's just nothing I or anyone can do to affect it. Either it is in the forefront of the mind because one is tired of fighting it and it works inevitably on every goal and intention or it is still kept down through defense mechanisms and denial. If this is what enlightenment is then it is 100% out of anyone's control.

The fact that I have all of these views and goals as I said indicates that I am basically being totally dishonest right at this moment with everything I am saying. It indicates I have created a goal and am not questioning it, oh well. Maybe you get what I am saying so I will stop talking in circles. In fact it kind of pains me to post this because I am embarrassed how obvious it will be that I am engaging in this doublethink. Delusion is some subtle stuff. Ok I will make myself hit the save button!

Okay, Adam, now that I've blasted you with "solutions" (booo) to which you were aware (hopefully, you are aware of the dana/giving aspect of attention), I just want to say the laying in bed experiment you have is exactly what anyone sitting on the cushion/chair learning meditation will eventually come to: What the hell am I doing? (get up and move around) and then later in practice the question is, like yours, "Why do I do anything at all?" The first answer that arises is usually pain or the need to relieve one's bowels or falling over asleep. The later, the question emerges, "Okay, I'm alive. What's worth doing?" Seems that's where you are.

I enjoy your threads, the investigation. I'm glad we've been posting here for a few years (blush...) It's good to read you. Maybe we need a reunion ;)

Okay, lastly up thread you wrote:
what spirituality (i don't know if this is true of all "spirituality") is doing is looking at some experiences, objectifying them and separating yourself from them, and calling them good, then figuring out how to make every single moment totally suffused with that good, right? or perhaps taking some experiences, objectifying them and calling them bad, then figuring out how to make them be totally absent in every single moment. The end of suffering and unconditional happiness?
Gah. no.

What did you think of your Ashin Ottama video, Ashin Ottama, saying mindfulness triggers mental release (the dreaded "e" word)? Did you spend several weeks intent on such practice sincerely with friendly perseverance?

And, yes, to reiterate up-thread are you exercising? Eating too many sugars per exercise? These can color the person, so to speak.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 10:14 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
And (you better still be reading, Adam.. I've read so many of your long posts! ;) )

This is how the progress goes: we start by sitting 'cause someone who looks happy, wise and calm says, "Meditation will help" or something like that.

Then, one sits long enough and thinks, "This is nuts. Now I'm really miserable. I'll stop meditating."

Then one does some more life, gets up mental Sh*ts Creek again and goes back to sitting in deep earnestness.

Then samadhi comes on. Calm, calm, calm abiding. "Why am I doing anything?" Impulsiveness abated!

Then that passes, but a person still wonders, "Why am I doing anything?"

Then a person realizes, "I'm not gonna die here, so I gotta do stuff. What's worth doing?"

Then it becomes sincerely, "How to do stuff?" Like, Phillip Petit said of walking between the Twin Towers on a tight rope: he wanted to give the people something beautiful. Uh, that's one way of "how to..." I knit something for someone; similar idea..


So "How to do do stuff" is the samadhi of sati***, doing Jack Kornfelds laundry (you wish, Jack!), doing work, doing humour, beauty, grief... ah, you write it, Adam. It's a good read when you write.

None of these is trivial. As you noted, (in my own words) one investigates for value in each and in the self creating/seeking value.

__________
***Very, very hard 'cause there's always this brain tending to co-opt things for self-pleasure (the chalupa jhanas?) before just being there, mindful, generously giving suffusive attention (And this comes down to metta, singular friendliness).

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 11:36 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Surrender is useful, in that it makes you suffer less, yes?


Only if you have decided to go on a mission to end suffering, only if you place importance on suffering.

Imagine yourself in your 5 billionth year of only experiencing pleasure without any pain (if that is your goal).

Good luck with your passive letting go project. (i assume you see yourself as trying to passively let go)

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 11:34 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
What did you think of your Ashin Ottama video, Ashin Ottama, saying mindfulness triggers mental release (the dreaded "e" word)? Did you spend several weeks intent on such practice sincerely with friendly perseverance?

And, yes, to reiterate up-thread are you exercising? Eating too many sugars per exercise? These can color the person, so to speak.


I sure did spend several weeks intent on such practice sincerely with friendly perseverance. I am afraid that I don't know if I am eating too many sugars per exercise and I am also afraid that I don't care what color i am! racist!

I'm not gonna die here, so I gotta do stuff. What's worth doing?


Yes I guess this is where I am at, this prejudice I have against dying is something pretty weird when I think about it.

How to do stuff?


Yeh but how does one answer the what's worth doing question honestly? I can't give a dishonest answer like giving the people something beautiful. Can't do it, i've tried.

What's your answer if you don't mind me asking? And are you sure? And if you're not sure then why do you keep pursuing it?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 11:54 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Yes I guess this is where I am at, this prejudice I have against dying is something pretty weird when I think about it.
That made me laugh. I did go into the way back machine and re-read your "Why not just die?" thread.

Yeh but how does one answer the what's worth doing question honestly? I can't give a dishonest answer like giving the people something beautiful. Can't do it, i've tried.
Totally, I get this. And then if one sets out with "do beauty" in mind, some pretentious *bluh* results.


What's your answer if you don't mind me asking? And are you sure? And if you're not sure then why do you keep pursuing it?
You mean to "How to do stuff?"

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 12:07 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
You mean to "How to do stuff?"


To 'what's worth doing.'

You said:
Then a person realizes, "I'm not gonna die here, so I gotta do stuff. What's worth doing?" Then it becomes sincerely, "How to do stuff?"


For me that doesn't happen until the "what's worth doing" is answered.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 1:14 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
You mean to "How to do stuff?"


To 'what's worth doing.'

You said:
Then a person realizes, "I'm not gonna die here, so I gotta do stuff. What's worth doing?" Then it becomes sincerely, "How to do stuff?"


For me that doesn't happen until the "what's worth doing" is answered.


Okay. Okay, okay. I was really hoping you wanted my recipe for chalupa jhanas...


What's worth doing...
There are so many ways to answer this question.

But the place to start is cause-and-effect, if you can practically buy into the idea that effects tend to bear some correlation to their causes.***

So right now you "don't know" what's worth doing. So you have a "don't know" cause and it's going to keep giving "don't know" results... like, being here tapping out this thread (which thread I like, like many of your threads, affectively gushing).

So if you want to know "what's worth doing" you have to go get yourself some "know".

Otherwise it's all cycles of ratiocination (my new big word).

This canuck did a one week job thing: http://www.oneweekjob.com/documentary/ (Sorry, DhO Canuks, that should be bilingual, Canuques)

You could do something like this, just dedicate each week from tomorrowy till January 1 to something that interests you. But a person can't fart around on this; one really has to put in effort and sincerity to do this. Shoot, it took me two hours to read four pages of Badiou's crazy logic book a few weeks ago. Worth it 'cause it took me effort, true will, and I still remember his nutty points...

What do you think, A?


__________
***And we haven't even talked about how your mind is conditioned. Like, if you do this experiment every day after a 20-minute exerting jog, your results will be so different. The conditions will be diff-er-ent. The causes diff-er-ent, the results thus conditioned. I'd add the jog, btw, or something like that. Then we could talk about "the conditioned" and the "unconditioned" maybe? Hmm... not sure. I have till Jan1 to figure that out, right? ;)


****If you have no ideas, you can buy a book. Nader has a new book on 17 ways to help the coming years be better and so does an IMF economist... you could take up one of those ideas a week, just dig the heck in.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 1:45 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
There are so many ways to answer this question.


And as far as I can tell you didn't. Then again your posts are very indirect, and while they never fail to make me chuckle, I usually can't really be sure what you are saying.

So if you want to know "what's worth doing" you have to go get yourself some "know".


For me it's not a problem of finding "know" just of finding a "know" that doesn't fall down and shatter with the slightest investigation. I could try and stop investigating (again) but that has always been a losing battle in my experience and now I just can't muster up the strength to fight it again. I just don't have enough motivation to try out new "knows". I am ok with this (at this moment) even if no one else is.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 3:47 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
[editing, hold on]

...

And as far as I can tell you didn't. Then again your posts are very indirect, and while they never fail to make me chuckle, I usually can't really be sure what you are saying
Okay. So let's get this.

For me it's not a problem of finding "know" just of finding a "know" that doesn't fall down and shatter with the slightest investigation. I could try and stop investigating (again) but that has always been a losing battle in my experience and now I just can't muster up the strength to fight it again. I just don't have enough motivation to try out new "knows". I am ok with this (at this moment) even if no one else is.
No, I'm okay with this. Yes, in a buddhist frame, this is knowing obviously impermanence. Yeah?

I do get that chasing new "knows" can be just weird and deflating after seeing the impermanence of things, like exasperatedly picking from some lists of "what to do?" "What do people do now?"


So starting over...
You're alive, and wondering what's worth doing, if anything.

So when you want to know what is worth doing, do you mean in terms of practice (like the buddhist meditation you've been doing, I guess) or activity in life?

I get the impression that it's both (is a) the practice of meditation worth doing and is b) life outside of bed worth doing?) in that the practice is really one activity in life except that it holds the expectation/assurance from others that buddhist meditation can somehow cause other activities in life to be better or somehow be enlightened?

So to re-cap all "knows" to-date shatter under your investigation; they don't hold up.
So "knows" are impermanent, but "don't know" is as you say:
If I stay in the middle and just say "I don't know" then I end up in a strange space. Sometimes I try and resolve the "don't know" by saying that if I don't know i might as well just go for nirvana because what have I got to lose..? Sometimes I try and resolve it by arguing that it doesn't matter whether I experience eternal happiness or eternal suffering. I argue to myself that the observer of reality gets used to pleasure or pain as equals, and that if there at some point is no observer then it doesn't matter whether there is pleasure or pain because who would care. This resolution seems forced as well.



How not to be frozen due to both "not knowing" and so far your finding that what is known is not stable, not reliable ?
Then if things are impermanent, they are not worth your time/doing/attention/study?
And what is the cause of worth?


And I'm not asking for/looking for a foregone conclusion. I think your consideration in your letter to Jed that "this might not work" (buddhist meditation) is excellent, doubting it, knowing that you doubt it. At the same time, you're clearly investigating what is doubted --- is the practice of meditation/self-study worthwhile? On some base(s) that's what has worth here at this moment, motivating the thread and respondents.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 4:21 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
On some base(s) that's what has worth here at this moment, motivating the thread and respondents.


Yes, but when i investigate, that "worth" too dissolves.

How not to be frozen due to both "not knowing" and so far your finding that what is known is not stable, not reliable ?


I am ok with the frozen for now i think.

And what is the cause of worth?


imagination?

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 5:12 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
You:
I am ok with the frozen for now i think.

Me:
And what is the cause of worth?



imagination?


Yeah, I'm absolutely with you on imagination.. but I'd call it "by-product creativity". So maybe we're viewing this differently?

Worth involves something about re-payment or payment; and deciding up front "Will this repay me?" That's okay. I have work and I need it to repay me something to "keep the wolf at the door", so to speak.

But, in the bigger context of being, realizing that if one is basically not being aggressed and has shelter and water and food and has exhausted the "knows" and the big salary/status jobs/degrees/partners/other cravings (or can just understand the long lists of "knows" and how they ultimately aim to sate the same place and thus something has to be seen about all new "knows", that they are empty, as you see), then what next? What to do? What's a satisfying use of life/time? What repays the effort of doing? What cause to put in motion and for what effect? Now what is worthwhile reliably?

In really experiencing impermanence -- not just intellectually, but feeling it to the point of that frozen state you mention --- then there's growing and acute attentiveness to phenomena (self, others, objects) and one's own reactions and initiating actions: one can start to really see how prior to this "freeze" stress was created by endlessly chasing impulses for gratifying events/"worthy" doing/being, how one creates or augments stresses in not knowing how one is seeking these events as if they really had something permanently and reliably worthwhile, and how stressful impulses start getting less and less traction in terms of taking action more time is taken considering "What to do here? With this? Anything to do? So "frozen" is also a form of heedfulness and care born of knowledge of emptiness exactly as you're writing about it, imo.

And in that new frozen behaviour there is one part "don't know" and one part "(starting to) know closely things and myself as the observer/interactor". In here arises more and more often by-product creativity: unexpected, often extraordinary stuff that can't be foreseen, but which arises from the causal elements: care and observation, care to observe and consider before acting, if at all.

That, to me, is "worth" learning. It speaks for itself. So worth still happens, but the source is now reliable.


Does that make sense?

I'm very curious about your thoughts. There are no buddhist or theistic conclusions here. Just personal experiments, considerations.

[edits for typos, hopefully clarity]

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
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10/6/13 5:45 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
the ONLY reason I am replying is because you said that you are very curious about my thoughts. Right now I am not very curious about my thoughts and it is taking quite an effort to figure out what you are saying and what my thoughts are on it. I am starting to think that you are just going way beyond what I am capable of comprehending and keeping together. These things you describe are really complex to me and trying to understand is a strain.

then there's growing and acute attentiveness to phenomena (self, others, objects) and one's own reactions and initiating actions:


I guess this is indeed happening but that is only a memory-based analysis really. Like looking back at things I remember thinking today and seeing that they correspond to some degree with what you are saying. There is noticing and understanding but no policing, plenty of dirty terrible things come up in my mind or out of my mouth and by no means do I give a damn, if anything I prefer that to the compassionate shit. And I can't stress enough how true it is that this is not a conscious effort.

So "frozen" is also a form of heedfulness and care born of knowledge of emptiness exactly as you're writing about it, imo.


Whatever, you could be right but I really don't have any use or interest in analysis of my behavior and thoughts.

That, to me, is "worth" learning.


Here I disagree completely. I am not doing this, it is not something worthwhile. If it stopped I wouldn't give half a crap. It is just a totally selfish impure unrighteous question which comes to mind "why should I care about this" and it stops me in my tracks try as I might to pretend like I have a reason. This is just one form of self-interest, a desire for tangible benefit, overpowering another, some sort of self-preservation.

So worth still happens, but the source is now reliable.


I guess I won't be able to convince you that there is not any worth here. All there is is denial of that lack of worth. I don't see anything reliable here either.

Just personal experiments, considerations.


I am not experimenting and I have no more hypotheses. It's funny how hypotheses and experiments and conclusions only come from a desire for answers that could be used to bolster one's pre-existing belief-framework. If there is no ideas and answers and conclusions then who gives a shit about all the various questions you could ask, they serve no purpose, human beings don't care about truth, just security.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/6/13 6:01 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Here I disagree completely. I am not doing this, it is not something worthwhile. If it stopped I wouldn't give half a crap. It is just a totally selfish impure unrighteous question which comes to mind "why should I care about this" and it stops me in my tracks try as I might to pretend like I have a reason. This is just one form of self-interest, a desire for tangible benefit, overpowering another, some sort of self-preservation.
Okay. if the freezing stopped and the inquiry stopped you wouldn't care, right? I can see that. Really, who cares: You're going to do something tonight and tomorrow etc. The question comes, the question will go. Might be useful, might not. You're writing about it, reaching out through it (Jed, the DhO). Do you know why?

I am not experimenting and I have no more hypotheses. It's funny how hypotheses and experiments and conclusions only come from a desire for answers that could be used to bolster one's pre-existing belief-framework.
Absolutely. But I'm not interested in shoe-horning you into my experience. But I'm curious about what you're experiencing and so your replies clarify that.

If there is no ideas and answers and conclusions then who gives a shit about all the various questions you could ask, they serve no purpose, human beings don't care about truth, just security.
You've got a point there, but you're making it sweeping where it cannot be. A lot of humans do some stuff that is not about their security.

There is noticing and understanding but no policing, plenty of dirty terrible things come up in my mind or out of my mouth and by no means do I give a damn, if anything I prefer that to the compassionate shit. And I can't stress enough how true it is that this is not a conscious effort.
Well, so this is the way you act at the moment and you have no say over it? No sense that you get something gratifying from it?


___________
These things you describe are really complex to me and trying to understand is a strain.
This is important. Sometimes these day-long intense threads need some air, a break.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/6/13 6:41 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
This is important. Sometimes these day-long intense threads need some air, a break.


ok lets take a break, my replies are feeling more conscious and less honest.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/6/13 8:28 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
I'm still reading. You're just depressed aren't you? Certainly unhappy.

When I'm depressed, I am full of questions and hate and blame. Then I take pill x and strangely all the questions (such as "why do anything"), just disappear. The pill makes the uncomfortable question of "why" just disappear. The other thing that the pill does it it makes me stop reading spiritual books and websites. The impulse to do that just simply disappears.

If instead of pills you did self-compassion or self-kindness meditation, some say that is equivalent of taking pill x. I'm not so sure on this, but there is solid research somewhere, apparently.

Would you admit that you're uncomfortable?

Do you like hanging out with other people? Do you like people in general? Because I've noticed that socially well-connected people don't have such existential angst. Just doesn't even arise.

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/6/13 8:59 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
I'm still reading. You're just depressed aren't you? Certainly unhappy.


Right when I started this thread I was more on the depression side, 1 day into the thread i moved into something which was definitely joy which persisted till last night. Today I have been crossing the line towards depression. I am excited for the turn towards depression which i expect to happen more tonight and tomorrow because I think it will show me what I have been valuing that has given me some sense of purpose the last few days. In a sense it is getting harder to tell which is which because there is little preference.

When I'm depressed, I am full of questions and hate and blame.


I have not noticed hate and blame, but definitely questioning.

Would you admit that you're uncomfortable?


Yes.

Do you like hanging out with other people? Do you like people in general?


I have been wanting to hang out with people less and it feels like I am more distant from them but I have been judging them and disliking them less.

Because I've noticed that socially well-connected people don't have such existential angst. Just doesn't even arise.


I don't care to be honest.

Ok I am done posting for a while bye!

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/6/13 10:55 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:


Would you admit that you're uncomfortable?


Yes.

Because I've noticed that socially well-connected people don't have such existential angst. Just doesn't even arise.


I don't care to be honest.


I mention an observation about connected people not feeling this discomfort that you feel. I proposed this as a way of reducing or eliminating your discomfort. You say you don't care, and I believe this. I believe that you're not interested in solutions or help. I'm not lying.

But it is possible to resist help out of self-loathing. If there's a very deep self-loathing in effect, help must be rejected. To accept help would imply that 1) you're worthy of help and 2) you're worthy of feeling comfort, and if there's self-loathing then .... well, you can see the clash there.

By saying this, I'm not implying that my suggestions are really all that good. They might be useless suggestions. That's not really the point. I and others have suggested things and the most noticeable part of your response is a very flat affect and rejection of everything. Of course you're within your rights to do this, and I don't mind whether you do reject my suggestions, I'm just saying...

RE: An email to Jed Mckenna
Answer
10/8/13 6:49 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
This is important. Sometimes these day-long intense threads need some air, a break.


ok lets take a break, my replies are feeling more conscious and less honest.

Hi Adam,

Looking back on your more recent posts, it seems like you're getting upswings from your practice as well as downswings. That seems very natural and common to me. At some point a person is no longer motivated to really contribute to the mental downswings --- the same as at one point earlier a person is no longer motivated to keep believing systems, but must investigate and see for themselves, like you're doing --- and one can become way more motivated to self-correct equanimously through diet, exercise, sleep, cultivating good relationships/good relating. The mind and brain need one's own consistent bit-by-bit will and directingas they are often products of habits, the cause indicates the effect over and over again.

Those are my two cents. Best wishes.