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Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?

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Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Zyndo Zyhion 3/22/14 6:00 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Eric M W 3/22/14 8:43 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Psi 3/22/14 11:01 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Zyndo Zyhion 3/28/14 3:20 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Ian And 3/23/14 3:27 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Zyndo Zyhion 3/28/14 3:38 AM
Ken Wilber, states, stages and enlightenment Rodrigo C 5/13/14 7:05 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Richard Zen 3/23/14 10:38 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? T DC 3/23/14 11:38 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Adam . . 3/23/14 10:02 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? T DC 3/23/14 11:18 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Adam . . 3/23/14 11:36 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? T DC 3/24/14 12:17 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? sawfoot _ 3/24/14 4:46 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Adam . . 3/24/14 8:55 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? T DC 3/24/14 1:13 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Adam . . 3/24/14 3:45 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? FM Cetin 3/25/14 3:00 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Be Free Now 3/25/14 3:24 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Nikolai . 3/25/14 5:58 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Be Free Now 3/25/14 7:02 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? FM Cetin 3/26/14 4:18 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? sawfoot _ 3/26/14 4:33 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Adam . . 3/26/14 3:04 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Zyndo Zyhion 3/28/14 3:51 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Daniel M. Ingram 3/29/14 1:41 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Eric M W 3/24/14 8:33 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Eric M W 3/24/14 8:38 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Adam . . 3/24/14 11:10 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Eric M W 3/25/14 7:53 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Zyndo Zyhion 3/28/14 4:11 AM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Eric M W 3/28/14 2:05 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Zyndo Zyhion 5/11/14 8:05 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Derek 5/16/14 1:34 PM
RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful? Zyndo Zyhion 5/18/14 7:08 AM
Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/22/14 6:00 PM
It seems to me the Ken Wilber's model of enlightenment as a state and not a stage continues to ring true. In the Hurricane Ranch talk with Daniel Ingram and friends, the boundary's of enlightenment and it associated vows, are questioned and discredited. We have a history of people like Chogyam Trungpa, Kalu Rinpoche and others that are challenged in their roles as teachers of states, to live up to perfect super human standards of enlightenment. These roles have failed throughout history.

I recently, had Daniel's Ingram's final Teacher come on to me, quite strongly. It was awkward as he is a traditional Monk who also advocates the purity of the Arhat, from a traditional Suttric Perspective.

I wonder even from a contemporary perspective, of enlightenment being the mastery of a state, how lonely and lustful does an Arhat get?

Thought, Contributions, should I be sharing this as I don't really wont to go into a long story, to justify the truth of my claim, should I just leave it and take down the thread?

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/22/14 8:43 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Neem Nyima:

I recently, had Daniel's Ingram's final Teacher come on to me, quite strongly. It was awkward as he is a traditional Monk who also advocates the purity of the Arhat, from a traditional Suttric Perspective.

I'm sorry but I'm a little confused-- who is Daniel's final Teacher?? emoticon

I wonder even from a contemporary perspective, of enlightenment being the mastery of a state, how lonely and lustful does an Arhat get?

I am not an arahat, not even close, not even a stream-enterer as a matter of fact... but from what I understand, arahatship is simply the elimination of the gap between "self" and "experience," ie no Watcher, no Agent, nothing like that, just a field doin' its thing, sensations unfolding according to the laws of cause and effect naturally and effortlessly. Sensations that can be labelled as "lonliness" and "lust" may still manifest in arahats but they are simply sensations, no center-point or self is involved at all.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/22/14 11:01 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
From what I undertand, the four stage model in Buddhism holds true. In a fully enlightened mind anger will not arise, where can it arise from? What is there to get angry about anyway? A stubbed toe pain sensation? There is no longer a self delusion concept for anger or greed to arise from. What mental formation has to exist to think it is lonely? Physiologically speaking, the human body still creates glandular excretions, which have cause and effect, pleasure sensations, etc, but... if there is no clinging or attachment , there would follow, no lust. Even a not fully enlightened being can use mindfulness to dismiss sednsations for what they are before the craving starts.

So, if one is attempting sexual misconduct, then it would follow that one would not be fully enlightened. But, hey, recognition, no blame, and change, humans.

Does not look as there is a dogma or super human standards, there just is a path and results.


Not claiming anything, just sayin'.

And, hey how ya been, anyway?

Metta


Sigh Fi

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/23/14 3:27 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Hi Neem,

I usually don't respond to threads like this. But because I respect you and your practice, I've made an exception.
Neem Nyima:
It seems to me the Ken Wilber's model of enlightenment as a state and not a stage continues to ring true.

While this may be true for Wilber, it is, however, not true for myself. From my understanding of the Dhamma, awakening is more a maturation of the mind than an impermanent state. But perhaps that's just me. While Mr. Wilber is very intellectually accomplished and a prolific writer, there seem to be areas of his personality that are deficient in one manner or another. 'Nuff said. (Possible disclaimer: I've never been very impressed with any of the ideas that Wilber has expressed. Just my personal opinion. That's not to say that he hasn't a very astute and inventive mind.)

Neem Nyima:

In the Hurricane Ranch talk with Daniel Ingram and friends, the boundary's of enlightenment and it(s) associated vows, are questioned and discredited.

We have a history of people like Chogyam Trungpa, Kalu Rinpoche and others that are challenged in their roles as teachers of states, to live up to perfect super human standards of enlightenment. These roles have failed throughout history.

I recently, had Daniel's Ingram's final Teacher come on to me, quite strongly. It was awkward as he is a traditional Monk who also advocates the purity of the Arhat, from a traditional Suttric Perspective.

I wonder even from a contemporary perspective, of enlightenment being the mastery of a state, how lonely and lustful does an Arhat get?

That action by the Teacher (depending upon the context, which has not been explained here) was quite inappropriate from a multitude of levels, and would seem to demonstrate an immature mind that has not learned restraint, and is still in the process of acquiring maturation.

Just because someone is able to achieve a basic awakening doesn't mean that they have had time to work on eliminating the asavas (sensual passion, states of being, the taking of views, and ignorance). Or perhaps, according to the definition that proclaims that arahants are no longer bothered by the asavas, perhaps the person is not an arahant. Whatever the case, one still has to deal with these underlying tendencies before he can truly be free of mental defilements. Anyone who still clings to sensual passion, to craving for being, to the taking of views, and to ignorance (or denial of any of these), still has some work to do (whether they think so or not).

The asavas, according to an explanation given by Ven. Analayo, are mental influxes (or more familiarly, underlying mental formations) which can "flow into and thereby influence the perceptual process. As with the underlying tendencies, this influence operates without conscious intention. The influxes arise owing to unwise attention (ayoniso manasikara) and to ignorance (avijja). To counteract and prevent the arising of the influxes is the central aim of the monastic training rules laid down by the Buddha, and their successful eradication (asavakkhaya) is a synonym for full awakening."

So, the question might be asked, can a person be awakened, but not fully awakened? I think so. I see no reason why this shouldn't be possible. This would explain the anomalies of the people you have mentioned above (I'm thinking of Trungpa primarily; am not that familiar of Kalu Rinpoche's exploits ). Trungpa has written some powerful passages that suggest a mature understanding of Gotama's Dhamma. I've been impressed with many of the things I've read of his. And yet many of his actions contradicted a mature understanding of these passages.

This, then, becomes a matter of personal choice as to what definition of "awakening" one wants to accept as one's own standard of awakening. Some people are more lax than others. I think we can agree on that. That doesn't mean that the person is any the less enlightened about the dangers of not being aware of anicca, dukkha, and anatta. For did not Gotama once utter: "Formerly and also now, I make known only suffering and the cessation of suffering." That's a pretty tall order for most people to accomplish in itself. And working on the asavas may just be icing on the cake. You think?

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/23/14 10:38 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
This is a problem with power. Power and access to people can create great temptations (serotonin). This is a problem in all systems where a human has to be responsible for others.

It's something that people have to watch out for in any hierarchy. (Business, Government, Teachers, etc).

The following book has helped me reduce my expectations with other people. I have a razor sharp awareness now of what people are doing.

Meet your happy chemicals

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/23/14 11:38 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Neem Nyima:
It seems to me the Ken Wilber's model of enlightenment as a state and not a stage continues to ring true. In the Hurricane Ranch talk with Daniel Ingram and friends, the boundary's of enlightenment and it associated vows, are questioned and discredited. We have a history of people like Chogyam Trungpa, Kalu Rinpoche and others that are challenged in their roles as teachers of states, to live up to perfect super human standards of enlightenment. These roles have failed throughout history.

I recently, had Daniel's Ingram's final Teacher come on to me, quite strongly. It was awkward as he is a traditional Monk who also advocates the purity of the Arhat, from a traditional Suttric Perspective.

I wonder even from a contemporary perspective, of enlightenment being the mastery of a state, how lonely and lustful does an Arhat get?

Thought, Contributions, should I be sharing this as I don't really wont to go into a long story, to justify the truth of my claim, should I just leave it and take down the thread?


As I have claimed elsewhere, I have fully completed the path of insight, overcome all dualistic confusion, and reached the state of complete enlightenment, the final stage. There are several things I want to address in response to your post: enlightenment being a state versus a stage, and the standards, or ideas we have regarding the behavior of enlightened individuals.

First, I just want to say that we need to be very clear in what we mean by enlightenment, and why we are on this path to begin with. It should be clear to any serious practitioner that the purpose of the path is not emotional perfection. Instead, the purpose of the path is to overcome our dualistic confusion. The reason we suffer is because we hold to the wrong belief that we are inherently existing individuals, separate from all else. This is what the path seeks to correct. If we are not clear about this, and we seek instead self-perfection, we have deviated from the true purpose of the path. Self perfection is extremely attractive, but it is not realistic. The path consists not of building ourselves up, or selectively stripping away our faults, but seeing through such conceptual delusion.

As for the stage versus state debate, stage implying final and lasting change, and state implying temporary experience, my position is 100% that enlightenment occurs in gradual stages until the end, all of which are lasting. Attainment of genuine insight is stable and lasting, as can only be attested by personal experience. So while this can be extensively debated, let me just state that enlightenment as I define it occurs in stable and lasting stages, and temporary 'state' experiences of non-duality are simply temporary meditative states. Experience of 'state' enlightenment experiences may help to provide valuable direction, but do not affect your mind in a lasting way, or overcome suffering. As the overcoming of suffering is the goal, clearly such states fall short.

Secondly, addressing emotional standards of enlightenment, I want to be clear how enlightenment fits into the broader picture of our emotional life. Ian brought up the idea that while this teacher may be somewhat enlightened, the reason he acted in such an inappropriate manner is that he is not fully enlightened*. However, as a fully enlightened individual, I can tell you that emotions do not cease upon enlightenment. I still get angry, jealous, sad, lustful, you name it... Enlightenment does not affect the spectrum of emotional experience.

(Edited for clarification) While this may be tempting to dismiss, as 'well, you're probably not actually fully enlightened', hear me out. From a metaphysical perspective, we are souls on looong spiritual journeys, with near infinite past incarnations, and likely near infinite more in the future. What's more, there are many other planes of existence outside our universe. Our experience here on Earth is one small part of the overall picture of spiritual development. Earth is unique however in that we exist in the delusion of separateness, which could be likened to a training program. Enlightenment is the end of this program, however it is not the end of soul/ spiritual development. The end of duality does not mean final perfection, but merely the accomplishing of a specific challenge. Thus our search for 'perfection' goes on.. To clarify, what exists after enlightenment, and might be called the 'soul', could be likened to our basic personality structure.

Hope this helps, and I didn't loose you with that last paragraph, ha.

*It may indeed be the case that he is not fully enlightened. Arhatship, or 4th path as defined on this board, is very much the beginning of the journey to full enlightenment. At 4th path, one has an extremely superficial understanding of emptiness. From 4th path to full enlightenment, one must come to understand that oneself is inseparable from emptiness, which is a long way to go.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/23/14 10:02 PM as a reply to T DC.
I still get angry, jealous, sad, lustful, you name it...


Do these emotions come out in your behavior and harm other people? Do these emotions harm you?

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/23/14 11:18 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
I still get angry, jealous, sad, lustful, you name it...


Do these emotions come out in your behavior and harm other people? Do these emotions harm you?


Well Adam, hopefully not. The point I'm making is that I may have overcome the delusion of separateness, but I'm still so far from perfect that there is effectively no difference between myself and unenlightened people.

Frankly, a belief in enlightened supremacy on my part would simply be arrogance, the same as anyone else believing that they are better than others. The point of enlightenment is realizing you are one with everything, which in practical terms means realizing that you and everyone else are just the same, and no one is any better or worse than anyone else. Sure, in the myraid situations of life, some perspectives may lead toward greater reconciliation, some toward greater divisiveness.. but this is just the facts, how things are. Ultimately, we all make decisions based on our current life perspective, which is constantly evolving, so everything that occurs produces growth. No one can claim to be fully growthed out, or perfect.

As I said above, life is a spiritual journey whether you're enlightened or not. While we all may strive to conquer our demons, such as 'negative' emotions, these are things which go deeper than, and are somewhat tangential to, the issue of our dualistic confusion.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/23/14 11:36 PM as a reply to T DC.
Well Adam, hopefully not.


You hope that they don't harm you and others? But do they? And if your hopes conflict with the reality then why not do something about it?

The point I'm making is that I may have overcome the delusion of separateness, but I'm still so far from perfect that there is effectively no difference between myself and unenlightened people.


ok

Frankly, a belief in enlightened supremacy on my part would simply be arrogance, the same as anyone else believing that they are better than others. The point of enlightenment is realizing you are one with everything, which in practical terms means realizing that you and everyone else are just the same, and no one is any better or worse than anyone else. Sure, in the myraid situations of life, some perspectives may lead toward greater reconciliation, some toward greater divisiveness.. but this is just the facts, how things are. Ultimately, we all make decisions based on our current life perspective, which is constantly evolving, so everything that occurs produces growth. No one can claim to be fully growthed out, or perfect.


Does it have to be a matter of being better/worse than others? Can't it just be the decision that things are better for me and everyone else without my disturbing emotions (any emotions that aren't based on contentment and enjoyment of things as they are)?

As I said above, life is a spiritual journey whether you're enlightened or not. While we all may strive to conquer our demons, such as 'negative' emotions, these are things which go deeper than, and are somewhat tangential to, the issue of our dualistic confusion.


This is true I think. For me inner peace + peace between myself and others is more valuable than overcoming dualistic confusion. You seem to have labeled the overcoming of dualistic confusion as "enlightenment" and emotional changes as not enlightenment, which is ok with me, as that is just a matter of how you choose to define the word "enlightenment." However you seem to talk of emotional changes as though they are way less important, which i can't agree with at all, but to each their own.

If you genuinely, just straight up don't value being free of emotional discontent and malice towards others, then I guess we just part ways here, and there is little else to say. I would only point out all the war, depression, suicide etc. on this planet (as well as subtler forms of the same in your own life, such as being bored, irritated, melancholic, anxious etc.) and ask whether you genuinely don't wish to find a way past all that to happiness. (I am assuming that you don't, or at least it is not a major concern of yours, because of the way you talk about emotional changes being largely irrelevant)

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 12:17 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:

As I said above, life is a spiritual journey whether you're enlightened or not. While we all may strive to conquer our demons, such as 'negative' emotions, these are things which go deeper than, and are somewhat tangential to, the issue of our dualistic confusion.


This is true I think. For me inner peace + peace between myself and others is more valuable than overcoming dualistic confusion. You seem to have labeled the overcoming of dualistic confusion as "enlightenment" and emotional changes as not enlightenment, which is ok with me, as that is just a matter of how you choose to define the word "enlightenment." However you seem to talk of emotional changes as though they are way less important, which i can't agree with at all, but to each their own.

If you genuinely, just straight up don't value being free of emotional discontent and malice towards others, then I guess we just part ways here, and there is little else to say. I would only point out all the war, depression, suicide etc. on this planet (as well as subtler forms of the same in your own life, such as being bored, irritated, melancholic, anxious etc.) and ask whether you genuinely don't wish to find a way past all that to happiness. (I am assuming that you don't, or at least it is not a major concern of yours, because of the way you talk about emotional changes being largely irrelevant)


Overcoming dualistic confusion is peace. It is final peace because you know you have done all you can, you have overcome all that need to be overcome. So many of our worries which cause us angst as just projections of our own minds, and to be enlightened is to see overcome these false projections. So much concern over needing to do this and create peace... are simply conceptual baggage's which are totally false and unnecessary to believe. To be enlightened is to have unshakable contact with compassion for self and other despite the arising of negative emotion and circumstance.

When we are confused about who and what we are, we do not truly have faith that the world is a benevolent place. We see so much evil around us, wars, famine,.., and we feel that it needs to be eradicated, that we need to fix the situation. Truly however, the universe, all of creation is a benevolent and loving. The core matter of all things is inseparable from unspeakable joy, or bliss. We don't need to fix the problems in the world, and frankly for the most part we can't. To work all your life in service of others, to put ceaseless effort into re-mediating a 'broken' situation is to turn a blind eye to the fundamental joy that is present always, from which none are ever truly separate. No situation is truly black, but always a mix of colors, the whole spectrum represented in even the harshest of circumstance.

The problem is truly that we do not see this. We do not see and feel the boundless joy in us and all around us all the time, irrespective of circumstance.

Adam . .:
Frankly, a belief in enlightened supremacy on my part would simply be arrogance, the same as anyone else believing that they are better than others. The point of enlightenment is realizing you are one with everything, which in practical terms means realizing that you and everyone else are just the same, and no one is any better or worse than anyone else. Sure, in the myraid situations of life, some perspectives may lead toward greater reconciliation, some toward greater divisiveness.. but this is just the facts, how things are. Ultimately, we all make decisions based on our current life perspective, which is constantly evolving, so everything that occurs produces growth. No one can claim to be fully growthed out, or perfect.


Does it have to be a matter of being better/worse than others? Can't it just be the decision that things are better for me and everyone else without my disturbing emotions (any emotions that aren't based on contentment and enjoyment of things as they are)?


Adam, of course it seems the situation would be better for everyone without disturbing emotions. I feel the pain of these emotions, and I too feel I would be better off without them. I agree with you. I was extremely bothered by my experience, I had a glimpse of enlightenment, and saw a better way. I struggled though the path, persevering because I wanted more than anything else to conquer my darkness. Never satisfied at any step, I pushed on until finality, until I could go no further. And now here is where I report to you.

Believe me friend, if I believed an end to the evils of the world possible I would strive for it. But I see that it is not to be. I am in the position of enlightened persons before me who reported back that things were actually fine, and there really wasn't much cause for alarm. And again, who could believe them? Clearly evils exist to be remedied.

Everyone exist in different life situations. If everyone were as enlightened and seemingly apathetic as myself, who would be the doctors that we need? Who would help the poor? Everyone has a unique life mission, and enlightenment is not in the cards for everybody, and need not be; to each his own, in his own time.

Emotional perfection cannot be done, and the greatest way to remedy the ills of the world is to overcome your own delusion so that you can act inline with the way things truly are. This helps people in a spiritual way, in a way that no material help can. When I die, I will be at peace, because I have done all I could, do you understand? Everyone gets sick, and some get treatment and get better. Everyone dies. Everyone has come to this life for different reasons, to learn different things, at different places on their spiritual journey. I cannot say what is best for anyone, and ultimately they will decide for themselves. All I can do is point to the truth of things, and thus act a reference of sorts. Sorry if I'm rambling..

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 4:46 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:


When we are confused about who and what we are, we do not truly have faith that the world is a benevolent place. We see so much evil around us, wars, famine,.., and we feel that it needs to be eradicated, that we need to fix the situation. Truly however, the universe, all of creation is a benevolent and loving. The core matter of all things is inseparable from unspeakable joy, or bliss. We don't need to fix the problems in the world, and frankly for the most part we can't. To work all your life in service of others, to put ceaseless effort into re-mediating a 'broken' situation is to turn a blind eye to the fundamental joy that is present always, from which none are ever truly separate. No situation is truly black, but always a mix of colors, the whole spectrum represented in even the harshest of circumstance.

Everyone exist in different life situations. If everyone were as enlightened and seemingly apathetic as myself, who would be the doctors that we need? Who would help the poor? Everyone has a unique life mission, and enlightenment is not in the cards for everybody, and need not be; to each his own, in his own time.



Thank goodness more people aren't enlightened!

What are your thoughts on the bodhisattva vow, T DC? I thought you were into Tibetan Buddhism, where Mahayana perspectives seem pretty important.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 8:55 AM as a reply to T DC.
I am only talking about one changing oneself, this is not about some mass movement or "fixing all the problems in the world".

Would you free yourself from disturbing emotions if you did think it were possible?

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 1:13 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Yes, sure I would free myself from afflicting emotions. Ha, they're painful.. However it is not to be. Again I want to say I made such great progress on the path due to strong motivation; strong motivation to be free from suffering driven by intense experience of suffering, such as pain over afflictive emotions.

However, if myself, at the end the path, say to you that afflicting emotions are not to be conquered, this can be interpreted several ways. I'm lying, I'm wrong.. However I truly am not wrong or lying. The way I wish for you to consider this is that if I, someone in your same situation, got to the end of suffering and saw emotional perfection to be a futile pursuit, yet was at peace, what does that tell you about enlightenment? Emotions, seemingly such a great issue, are just part of life upon enlightenment, an accepted part of life at that.

The path does not get rid of anything, it simply changes your perspective. It will not change your personality! However, better than that, it will allow you to know and accept yourself totally, beyond all doubt. That is the gift waiting for you. It is a different way to think about progression than emotional perfection, but it is much more realistic.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 3:45 PM as a reply to T DC.
However, if myself, at the end the path, say to you that afflicting emotions are not to be conquered


My path is the path to the end of discontentment, anger, frustration, uneasiness, fear, depression, melancholy etc. so you might be at the end of a path but not the end of the path.

Emotions, seemingly such a great issue, are just part of life upon enlightenment, an accepted part of life at that.


Emotions are also just an accepted part of life for 99.999% of human beings.

Also you keep talking about "emotional perfection" which sounds moralistic and based on lots of self-control or something like that. That's not really my path, my path is enjoying every moment come what may such that I have no need for self-control.

I think we are at an impasse here, you are completely firm in saying that changing yourself emotionally is not realistic and even not particularly desirable. I am saying it is possible and it is desirable (for example to avoid becoming "lonely and lustful" and acting inappropriately as in the OP). I guess we just have different opinions, and our conviction in them seems pretty firm so I don't know if much more can come from this conversation.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 8:33 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
I think the big cause of "controversy" with this topic is that there are two differing viewpoints in this forum.

Viewpoint #1-- Enlightenment means uprooting all the defilements, e.g. no more lust or craving for formless realms or anything like that. The suttic perspective.

Viewpoint #2-- Enlightenment doesn't eliminate anything, it is a change in perspective, emotions still manifest but there is no self to do the manifesting, "there is no suffering because there is no sufferer." This is the MCTB arahat, or perhaps it would be better to call it a Burmese arahat.

My personal opinion is that I ought not to form any opinions, that I should get to MCTB arahatship and see if I need to do anything from there. I am not an arahat. That said, I do have some thoughts...

There are many on this board who say that MCTB arahatship is actually just a sakadagami in the fetter model. I'm not sure where this comparison comes from, but not being very enlightened I don't really feel justified in commenting. Actualism is, apparently, the way to "finish" the process. However, isn't it odd that the Buddha gave four stages of enlightenment, and that vipassana practice (4 Foundations of Mindfulness, anapanasati, etc etc) prescribed in the suttas results in four distinct levels of reduction in self? It is quite a coincidence, and this ought to be considered when trying to compare the MCTB model with the fetter model.

Furthermore, with post-suttic texts like the Vishudimagga and the Abhidhamma, we find fairly detailed discussions of path moments and whatnot, including three moments before nibbana, the mind taking nibbana as an object, the three doors, and so on. All these things line up with the actual experience of vipassana mastery.

In other words, the four paths of the suttas have been studied and elucidated in great detail. The four paths of the suttas, the four paths of the Vishudimagga, the four paths of MCTB, and even some of the maps described in other traditions (e.g. Alchemy), all seem to line up.

And yet... MCTB arahats are just sakadagamis now? Why? Because of emotions?

Taking a look at the opposing viewpoint, that enlightenment involves elimination of specific emotions, we cannot help but run into Actualism. This is not a bad thing. Being mindful of one's emotions was recommended by the Buddha, and if I recall correctly, Dr. Ingram experimented with Actualism with positive results.

However, I do have some reservations. I realize I may be beating a dead horse here, but I feel that it is pertinent to the discussion.

First we have Richard, the "founder" of Actual Freedom. He claims to be free of any kind of affect, and others report something remarkable about his presence along these lines. And yet, he appears to manifest emotions in certain situations. His negative reaction towards the "spread" of Actualism on the DHO and his claim that Peter (who wrote most of the AF website?) was no longer Actually Free, are two examples. I'm certainly not saying that he's a bad guy, there has been far worse in Buddhist circles (I see Chogyam Trungpa's name up there somewhere), but it is a bit disconcerting when the man claims to be free of all affect.

But enough about the people, what about the practice? Unfortunately, I have never had a PCE, at least that I can remember, but they sound nice, and plenty of other folks have had them and can attest to their niceness. But temporary PCEs are hardly the goal-- permanent elimination of affect is the goal. Let's look at the practitioners who have done this.

...And there's a problem. There honestly don't seem to be any. A look through the past posts on this board indicate a pattern that seems to go along the lines of claiming actual freedom, renouncing the claim to actual freedom, and then disappearing from cyberspace. Tarin greco and Tommy M come to mind, though perhaps it was more personal and Actualism didn't play a big part.

It's not enough to turn me off completely from actual freedom, but it's enough to make me nervous.

Furthermore, there are other spiritual traditions with perfectly valid goals that more or less take the opposite path of actualism. I'm thinking of things like Western Magick, Vajrayana, shamanism, and occultism in general. For people in this boat, actualism would be a pretty poor choice, for obvious reasons.

There is another more complex dimension with regards to the above paragraph-- what if we have a psychic healer who chooses to pursue actualism and "loses" his power in the process? Is he selfish for doing this? Other people can no longer benefit from his abilities, but his own personal suffering is eliminated. In many ways it's like the old bodhisattva vow vs. getting enlightened debate, but this is a pretty heavy subject.

Actualism basically eliminates the axis of development regarding powers. I'm not sure if this is a wise decision, considering the powers can be used to help others.

I should go ahead and say that I have some personal experience with "the powers," and offer no further comment other than our materialistic society may not quite have it right. ;)

This post is turning out longer than I expected, so I will try to wrap it up, but before I do let's talk about MCTB arahatship again. At that level of attainment, there is no self, no Watcher, no Agent, no Perceiver, no Doer, nothing like that, just a field of sensations. Furthermore, there is no choice. Sensations unfold according to causality, there is no "self" making decisions or anything like that. Therefore, the decision to pursue actualism, at a high insight level, is not a decision at all, it is simply the inevitable unfolding of experience. Along these same lines, there is no self to have emotions.

I should also point out that Theravada has its own system for working with emotions called the Sublime Abodes.

What I'm getting at is, while actualism may be nice, arahatship is more ultimate, even perhaps the most ultimate realization one can have.

Daniel himself mentions this in his essay regarding his experiments with actualism:

That said, there are lots of aspects of things to develop, lots of ways to continue to grow, lots of things to work on, as that is just one axis of development, albeit a very fundamental one, perhaps the most fundamental one.

And so I have continued to grow and learn and this brain has continued to change and learn new things. None have changed anything about that fundamental insight in April 2003, and that is truly remarkable, given how much has gone on since then.


That whole section is great, Daniel talks about working on emotions while still being an arahat and how those things fit in.

In conclusion--

The MCTB view regarding Arahatship being a change in perspective, where emotions still manifest but are seen for what they are, lines up remarkably well with later commentaries on the suttas, and on this basis seems fairly sound.

The suttic or fetter view, which is closely tied with Actualism practice, doesn't seem to line up with reality, as there don't seem to be any persons that are free of emotions. There is an unsettling tendency of claiming actual freedom, renouncing that claim, then vanishing, at least off cyberspace.

All this said, we are all mature adults here, we can make our own decisions regarding practice, goals, and even interpreting suttas. If emotional freedom is what makes you happy, go for it! Never sell yourself short when it comes to enlightenment.

Again, I'm not an arahat, just a guy who has put a lot of thought into goals and practice, who has read some of the suttas and contemplated emotional models, and to a lesser extent has followed the political shitstorm surrounding Actual Freedom.

Peace,
E

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 8:38 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
Let me quickly add that I hate the term "MCTB arahat," but use it for the sake of clarity. The arahatship of MCTB is the selfsame arahatship of the Buddha as far as I can tell.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/24/14 11:10 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
There are a multitude of places where I disagree with you. I will focus on the disagreements regarding facts mostly.

First we have Richard, the "founder" of Actual Freedom. He claims to be free of any kind of affect, and others report something remarkable about his presence along these lines. And yet, he appears to manifest emotions in certain situations. His negative reaction towards the "spread" of Actualism on the DHO and his claim that Peter (who wrote most of the AF website?) was no longer Actually Free, are two examples. I'm certainly not saying that he's a bad guy, there has been far worse in Buddhist circles (I see Chogyam Trungpa's name up there somewhere), but it is a bit disconcerting when the man claims to be free of all affect.


Richard's "negative reaction" was clearly about what seemed to him to be misinterpretations of actualism. (which is pretty reasonable)

He doesn't claim that peter is no longer actually free that i know of. (please provide a source from the AFT homepage, as it stands, there are numerous references to peter's becoming actually free still there.)

...And there's a problem. There honestly don't seem to be any. A look through the past posts on this board indicate a pattern that seems to go along the lines of claiming actual freedom, renouncing the claim to actual freedom, and then disappearing from cyberspace.


I think those two cases are really, really different. Tarin said that he maintained his claim of being free of emotions but didn't see fit given a message Richard sent him to maintain that his freedom from malice and sorrow was "actual freedom." This is the reason that he stopped posting as he explains (not because his way of experiencing reality free from malice and sorrow changed).

Tarin:
this is not to say that i am renouncing my claim of being free of malice and sorrow (which is what all this has been about for me anyway); i am not. what i am indicating is that i no longer have sufficient confidence that what i mean by this claim and what i find it to entail and imply is similar enough to what richard means and what that entails and implies to state any kind of equivalence. accordingly, i no longer find it suitable to use the terms that richard has put to his experiences and observations to describe my experiences or observations. without doing so, however, i find that i cannot participate very meaningfully in the conversations concerning actual freedom (which is essentially whatever richard says it is); as i cannot be sufficiently certain that what i have in mind is closely coherent with what richard does, i rarely find it purposeful to present my thoughts on these topics. conversely, it seems more appropriate for me to retire from any statement or claim of authority or authoritative understanding on these matters, so that it is understood that any further thoughts i may present on an actual freedom and related topics are to be understood in light of this retirement.


Tommy said something completely different, that he renounced his claim to being free of emotions (he did this twice actually).

Also, Trent, Peter, Vineeto, Richard, Grant Brisset, Pamela, Grace, Tom (these last three from the AFT homepage) have never renounced their claim in any way as far as I know.

Sensations unfold according to causality, there is no "self" making decisions or anything like that. Therefore, the decision to pursue actualism, at a high insight level, is not a decision at all, it is simply the inevitable unfolding of experience. Along these same lines, there is no self to have emotions.


if that's enough for you, fine.

What I'm getting at is, while actualism may be nice, arahatship is more ultimate, even perhaps the most ultimate realization one can have.


if ultimateness is what your looking for then don't look to actualism in that case

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/25/14 3:00 AM as a reply to T DC.
I still get angry, jealous, sad, lustful, you name it...


I thought these were the mental "defilements" that are gotten rid of on the path to full enlightenment.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/25/14 3:24 AM as a reply to FM Cetin.
Friends,

I feel it is important to consider the following from http://www.beyondthenet.net/calm/nibbana19.htm:

"When no more firewood is added to a blazing fire, flames would subside and the logs of wood already burning go on smouldering as embers. After some time, they too get extinguished and become ashes. With regard to the arahant, too, we have to think in terms of this analogy. It can be taken as an illustration of the two Nibbàna elements. To the extent the living arahant is free from fresh graspings, lust, hate and delusions do not flare up. But so long as he has to bear the burden of this organic combination, this physical frame, the arahant has to experience certain afflictions and be receptive to likes and dislikes, pleasures and pains.

In spite of all that, mentally he has access to the experience of the extinguishment he has already won. It is in that sense that the arahant is said to be in the Nibbàna element with residual clinging in his everyday life, while taking in the objects of the five senses."

Also, during one of the last days of his 10-day courses in his evening discourse regarding the ten paramis, Goenkaji says something like (paraphrasing here): "If you want to be liberated, you have to keep filling your ten jars drop by drop. If you want to be a Buddha (or reach Full Enlightenment), the jars are too big. Otherwise, full liberation can come with smaller jars."

Just some food for thought.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/25/14 5:58 AM as a reply to Be Free Now.
Be Free Now:
Friends,

I feel it is important to consider the following from http://www.beyondthenet.net/calm/nibbana19.htm:



Peoples,

As one who has incessantly obsessed about what is what in the past, consider simply getting to what is being called "MCTB 4th path" and using that as a base for discussion instead of rampant speculation based on dogmatic leanings, faithfulness to whomever or whatever and whatever else is triggering the empty ponderings.

Get yourself a new baseline, a permanent shift in perceptual baseline, which stays likes so even post-honeymoon period, which gives one much more to play with, more stability to see cause and effect in play, and such incessant ponderings about what at the moment lays within the realm of locked-in-thought loops (belief) for most of you no doubt (which in hindsight probably can't be avoided, maybe 'stage' specific behaviour) will begin to seem silly, or simply not be seen to arise anymore.

"Post-MCTB 4th path" or whatever you want to title it, if so inclined, one can move in the direction of compoundings ceasing to compound. This compounding arises because of that. Well, what triggers the arising of that? This does. Ah! I see. Seeing this and that leads to this and that's cessation and all that follows this and that. If this compounding still arises, and one has simply established a relationship with it, whether based on notions of 'emptiness' or 'equanimity' or whatever, well, they are relationships, in otherwords, fabrications of mind. If that is your cup of tea....

In the end, each to his/her own. I don't think we can have it any other way.

Arahat shmarahat!

P.S. Bodhisattva Shmodhiratsva!

P.S.S. Getting it done VS locking in the the loops to condition this moment of experience, and the next...

Nick's current subject to change 2 cents.

Beeeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaap...........yyyyyyyyyy!

Edited as per usual.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/25/14 7:02 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Good post, Nikolai.

It's amazing how much time we can waste speculating about certain goals and ends, and what happens when this happens, when the best thing to do is practice doing nothing.

Speculating and choosing certain models over others just creates more tension and reaffirms the sense of self's need to become somebody better, in my experience.

To quote Ajahn Chah (more here):

"All states of mind, happy or unhappy, are called arom. Whatever they may be, never mind - we should constantly be reminding ourselves that ''this is uncertain.''

This is something people don't consider very much, that ''this is uncertain.'' Just this is the vital factor that will bring about wisdom. It's really important. In order to cease our coming and going and come to rest, we only need to say, ''This is uncertain.'' Sometimes we may be distraught over something to the point that tears are flowing; this is something not certain. When moods of desire or aversion come to us, we should just remind ourselves of this one thing. Whether standing, walking, sitting, or lying down, whatever appears is uncertain. Can't you do this? Keep it up no matter what happens. Give it a try. You don't need a lot - just this will work. This is something that brings wisdom.

The way I practise meditation is not very complicated - just this. This is what it all comes down to: ''it's uncertain.'' Everything meets at this point.

Don't keep track of the various instances of mental experience. When you sit there may be various conditions of mind appearing, seeing and knowing all manner of things, experiencing different states. Don't be keeping track of them, and don't get wrapped up in them. You only need to remind yourself that they're uncertain. That's enough. That's easy to do. It's simple. Then you can stop. Knowledge will come, but then don't make too much out of that or get attached to it.

Real investigation, investigation in the correct way, doesn't involve thinking. As soon as something contacts the eye, ear, nose, tongue, or body, it immediately takes place of its own. You don't have to pick up anything to look at - things just present themselves and investigation happens of its own. We talk about vitakka, ''initial thought.'' It means raising something up. What is vicāra, ''discursive thought''? It's investigation, seeing the planes of existence (bhūmi) that appear.

In the final analysis, the way of the Buddha flourishes through impermanence. It is always timely and relevant, whether in the time of the Buddha, in other times past, in the present age, or in the future. At all times, it is impermanence that rules. This is something you should meditate on.

The true and correct words of the sages will not lack mention of impermanence. This is the truth. If there is no mention of impermanence, it is not the speech of the wise. It is not the speech of the Buddha or the ariyas; it's called speech that does not accept the truth of existence.

All things have need of a way of release. Contemplation is not a matter of holding on and sticking to things. It's a matter of releasing. A mind that can't release phenomena is in a state of intoxication. In practice, it's important not to be intoxicated. When practice really seems to be good, don't be intoxicated by that good. If you're intoxicated by it, it becomes something harmful, and your practice is no longer correct. We do our best, but it's important not to become drunk on our efforts, otherwise we are out of harmony with Dhamma. This is the Buddha's advice. Even the good is not something to get intoxicated by. Be aware of this when it happens."


Be Happy!

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/25/14 7:53 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Hi Adam,

My daughter is being a pill this morning so I don't have time for a detailed response, but I wish to say this--

I have nothing major against the Actualism stuff or the AF Movement, I just have some reservations due to the political stuff that blew up on both sides of the debate. I came to the DHO because I am interested in Buddhism, and while some aspects of actualism can be made to sound very Buddhist, I feel it ultimately is outside the Theravada tradition. Thus, while the discussion surrounding emotions can be interesting, I largely regard actualist posts as a distraction. This is my own personal issue, I suppose.

The Sublime Abode teachings have been more than sufficient in addressing my needs for emotional balance and peace, and I have yet to even come close to mastering these teachings, so I look forward to what more Theravada has to offer in this regard.

A Course in Miracles, a Christian mystical text, also talks about dreams disappearing, perception becoming clean, the real world vs. the world of illusion, so it has a lot of very AF-like stuff. In fact if I had more time this could be an interesting discussion, since the book was around long before Richard was.

At any rate, when I get to arahatship I will re-evaluate my stance on these things, but for now I think I'm all set.

Peace,
E

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/26/14 4:18 AM as a reply to Be Free Now.
It's amazing how much time we can waste speculating about certain goals and ends, and what happens when this happens...


I get where this argument is coming from. But at the same time, it seems to me that the question of "does an arhat have emotions such as anger, jealousy etc" should be a basic question. I think there should be some sort of consensus on the issue. Simply so that we can say we know how these things work.

Of course it is possible that I'm entirely wrong.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/26/14 4:33 AM as a reply to FM Cetin.
Trial And Error:
It's amazing how much time we can waste speculating about certain goals and ends, and what happens when this happens...


I get where this argument is coming from. But at the same time, it seems to me that the question of "does an arhat have emotions such as anger, jealousy etc" should be a basic question. I think there should be some sort of consensus on the issue. Simply so that we can say we know how these things work.

Of course it is possible that I'm entirely wrong.


There is no such thing as a consensus here. But here is Daniel's take:

http://integrateddaniel.info/my-experiments-in-actualism/

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/26/14 3:04 PM as a reply to FM Cetin.
Speculation and "just practicing" probably have to be balanced. Too much speculation can mean getting stuck in constant worries about the best way to live, and never really giving any of those ways a fair chance. Too little speculation can mean pressing onward in a fruitless direction (this is probably the majority of human beings, never really questioning their basic ideas about how to live). I don't think there is any easy way out other than to experiment with too much and too little enough times to know how much is ideal.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/28/14 3:20 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi Phi:
What mental formation has to exist to think it is lonely? Physiologically speaking, the human body still creates glandular excretions, which have cause and effect, pleasure sensations, etc, but... if there is no clinging or attachment , there would follow, no lust. Even a not fully enlightened being can use mindfulness to dismiss sednsations for what they are before the craving starts.

So, if one is attempting sexual misconduct, then it would follow that one would not be fully enlightened. But, hey, recognition, no blame, and change, humans.

Does not look as there is a dogma or super human standards, there just is a path and results.


Yeah, I thought there might be body lust or biological attraction, but that the mind would be able to chose to act on that or not. So it does seem odd that a monk, who might be an Arhat would enquire into breaching their vows.
The approach wasn't unethical for a gay man, and he didn't breach his vows, besides maybe touching my hand with desire, which was tender and sensual.

But maybe he can manage his desires but he didn't want to?

Oh hello, too by the way, Psi Phi.

PS
I'm going into a one month retreat with him and saw him again today, I'm not overly worried about that though.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/28/14 3:38 AM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian And:
I usually don't respond to threads like this. But because I respect you and your practice, I've made an exception.

Thanks Ian, I'm hoping this site is not only intimate but having people who are open minded about what is enlightenment. Which was my motivation for putting this stuff up here.

"It seems to me the Ken Wilber's model of enlightenment as a state and not a stage continues to ring true."

While this may be true for Wilber, it is, however, not true for myself. From my understanding of the Dhamma, awakening is more a maturation of the mind than an impermanent state. But perhaps that's just me. While Mr. Wilber is very intellectually accomplished and a prolific writer, there seem to be areas of his personality that are deficient in one manner or another. 'Nuff said. (Possible disclaimer: I've never been very impressed with any of the ideas that Wilber has expressed. Just my personal opinion. That's not to say that he hasn't a very astute and inventive mind.)
Ken Wilber's map or notion of states, seems to be a good but limited way of framing notions of meditation attainment and ethical development. Though it has problems in that it doesn't represent permanent states, it still seems a useful map to use in certain contexts.

Just because someone is able to achieve a basic awakening doesn't mean that they have had time to work on eliminating the asavas (sensual passion, states of being, the taking of views, and ignorance). Or perhaps, according to the definition that proclaims that arahants are no longer bothered by the asavas, perhaps the person is not an arahant. Whatever the case, one still has to deal with these underlying tendencies before he can truly be free of mental defilements. Anyone who still clings to sensual passion, to craving for being, to the taking of views, and to ignorance (or denial of any of these), still has some work to do (whether they think so or not).

So, the question might be asked, can a person be awakened, but not fully awakened? I think so. I see no reason why this shouldn't be possible. This would explain the anomalies of the people you have mentioned above (I'm thinking of Trungpa primarily; am not that familiar of Kalu Rinpoche's exploits ). Trungpa has written some powerful passages that suggest a mature understanding of Gotama's Dhamma. I've been impressed with many of the things I've read of his. And yet many of his actions contradicted a mature understanding of these passages.


Yes that is the dilemma, how much of the traditional definitions should we take to heart and how much should we disregard? I didn't think I would be able to resolve this question but I had to ask it any way.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/28/14 3:51 AM as a reply to T DC.
Secondly, addressing emotional standards of enlightenment, I want to be clear how enlightenment fits into the broader picture of our emotional life. Ian brought up the idea that while this teacher may be somewhat enlightened, the reason he acted in such an inappropriate manner is that he is not fully enlightened*. However, as a fully enlightened individual, I can tell you that emotions do not cease upon enlightenment. I still get angry, jealous, sad, lustful, you name it... Enlightenment does not affect the spectrum of emotional experience.
(Edited for clarification) While this may be tempting to dismiss, as 'well, you're probably not actually fully enlightened', hear me out. From a metaphysical perspective, we are souls on looong spiritual journeys, with near infinite past incarnations, and likely near infinite more in the future. What's more, there are many other planes of existence outside our universe. Our experience here on Earth is one small part of the overall picture of spiritual development. Earth is unique however in that we exist in the delusion of separateness, which could be likened to a training program. Enlightenment is the end of this program, however it is not the end of soul/ spiritual development. The end of duality does not mean final perfection, but merely the accomplishing of a specific challenge. Thus our search for 'perfection' goes on.. To clarify, what exists after enlightenment, and might be called the 'soul', could be likened to our basic personality structure.


Thanks for your input TDC. I was thinking something of the sort but not so eloquently put. Thought you have attempted to explain this notion, I wonder if can be explained? If lust remains, but you can chose how and when you engage with it, then its perfectly reasonable that you might chose to want a sexual connection with someone.

It may indeed be the case that he is not fully enlightened. Arhatship, or 4th path as defined on this board, is very much the beginning of the journey to full enlightenment. At 4th path, one has an extremely superficial understanding of emptiness. From 4th path to full enlightenment, one must come to understand that oneself is inseparable from emptiness, which is a long way to go.

Neophytes like myself have to take so much on faith. At least I have been able to measure my development in relation to an insight and concentration map, and I have this confidence to rely on!

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/28/14 4:11 AM as a reply to Eric M W.
In conclusion--

The MCTB view regarding Arahatship being a change in perspective, where emotions still manifest but are seen for what they are, lines up remarkably well with later commentaries on the suttas, and on this basis seems fairly sound.

The suttic or fetter view, which is closely tied with Actualism practice, doesn't seem to line up with reality, as there don't seem to be any persons that are free of emotions. There is an unsettling tendency of claiming actual freedom, renouncing that claim, then vanishing, at least off cyberspace.

All this said, we are all mature adults here, we can make our own decisions regarding practice, goals, and even interpreting suttas. If emotional freedom is what makes you happy, go for it! Never sell yourself short when it comes to enlightenment.

Again, I'm not an arahat, just a guy who has put a lot of thought into goals and practice, who has read some of the suttas and contemplated emotional models, and to a lesser extent has followed the political shitstorm surrounding Actual Freedom.


Thanks Eric, you seemed to have got it for me in a long nut shell. I guess I wanted reaffirming, that it was quite possible that Sayadaw could still be an Arhat, and that thread of thoughts helped me to resolve my doubt, even though it hasn't given certainty. I had resolved, that even if he wasn't an Arhat he was a good teacher, but maybe at a lower path. But who's to know, though we may have more of a context for measuring this in the future.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/28/14 2:05 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
I think if you spend much time around enlightened teachers, it's pretty clear that they have issues and quirks like the rest of us, cases in point: Chogyam Trungpa, Mahasi Sayadaw, Crowley...

However, I think it is also clear that beings of high attainment also have a sort of peace about them that is hard to describe.

All this is talked about in MCTB fairly extensively... The big thing to ask yourself is "What are my personal beliefs and expectations about enlightenment in the Buddhist tradition?" And then compare those beliefs with how arahats actually are, or better yet, become an arahat yourself and go from there. emoticon

Check out these paragraphs from the section on the Action Models of enlightenment:

The list of highly enlightened individuals who have bitten the proverbial dust by putting themselves up on high, screwing up and then being exposed as actually being human is remarkably long, and the list of spiritual aspirants who have failed to draw the proper conclusions about reality from the failures of the enlightened is even longer. There are many schools of thought on this issue, and I will give them formal names here, though in reality they don’t think of themselves this way.

The Halfway Up the Mountain School essentially believes, “Those who screwed up and caused a scandal were only part-way up the mountain, only partially enlightened, as anyone who was really enlightened couldn’t possibly have done those terrible things.” While clearly some were only partially enlightened, or perhaps not enlightened at all in the technical sense, a number of those who screwed up clearly knew ultimate reality inside and out, and so this model misses many important points.

There is the Crazy Wisdom School that believes, “Enlightened beings transcend ordinary reality and with it ordinary morality, so that they are the natural manifestation of a Wisdom that seems crazy to us foolish mortals but is really a higher teaching in disguise!” While not entirely absurd, as there are many cultural aspects and societal rules that can seem a bit childish, artificial, unnecessary, unhelpful or naive in the face of realization, the Crazy Wisdom School provides too easy an excuse for plenty of behavior that has been and is just plain bad, irresponsible, stupid and needlessly destructive.

Then there is my school, for which I don’t have a catchy name, and it promotes the view that, “Enlightened beings are human, and unfortunately humans, enlightened or otherwise, all screw up sometimes. There is nothing special or profound about this.” In short, my school categorically rejects the specific lists and dogmas of the traditional Action Models in all forms, from the preposterous lists of the Theravada to the subtle sense that enlightened beings somehow are guaranteed to act perpetually in “enlightened” ways, whatever those are.

That said, the ability to see things as they are does allow for the possibility of more moderated responses to situations and emotions, as stated earlier. That is a very different sort of a concept from coming up with a list of things that an enlightened being never would or could do, and it certainly doesn’t mean they will necessarily act the way we think they will.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
3/29/14 1:41 AM as a reply to T DC.
@T DC: I am assuming, perhaps inaccurately, that the initial post refers to Sayadaw U Pandita, Jr., though I don't in any way consider him my final teacher, as I continue to learn a ton from lots of people every day, including many here. I know nothing of his sexual habits, so can't comment on those, but I can tell you something of my understanding of his understanding.

When the split is gone, talk of emptiness being separate from phenomena, or emptiness being joined with phenomena, or of any such thing is really missing something important. The phenomenal world speaks for itself, is itself, all the way through, being transient, empty of substantial nature, empty of any abiding self, empty of any observer or controller or doer in that felt, perceived, believed etc. sense. However, the whole point is causality. Causally things occur, on their own, dependent on conditions, naturally, effortlessly. That causality is some stuff, and it includes mammalian causality, which intrinsically involves sexuality and hormones and all sorts of other stuff. Those who imagine that eliminating misperception of duality will so totally rewrite the causality they now deeply understand just by perceiving it clearly at their baseline are in for a rude awakening, to make a perfectly appropriate pun.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
5/11/14 8:05 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
To those interested

In the upgrade we seem to have lost my former post. Where I retracted the phrase 'made a pass', because I thought it excessive.

I retracted it because I though the senario was unusual, I felt that I was jumping to conclusions and that Sayadaw is a rightious monk.

The event that lead my to jump to conclusions was a bit awkward and I initial refrained from sharing it because I was unsure how to interpret it at the time or that it would lead to excessive sepcualtion, but not speaking may have done the same?

I was visiting Sayadaw for Friday meditation and had arrived early, he invited me to sit down for breakfast. After conversing and discusssing themes of loneliness, as Sayadaw leads a more solitary life when in Australia. Sayadaw asked to read my palm, he pointed out that the pad of my thumb denotes lustful tendancies, and stroked my palm somewhat tenderly a few times. Some how in the thread of the conversation this lead to him asking to see my penis, I thought I had heard wrong and when I said nothing he repeat the question (sexual curiousity buddhist diagnosis; who knows?) he followed this up by asking if I was shy. To which I relpied it wouldn't be proper. Some people arrrived after that. But in the evening, I took him for a drive to the supermarket to recharge the phone. Later we continued the discusion around sexuality, over this conversation Sayadaw, was insistent to find out if I had ever had sexual relation with a man though I was taking about my experiences with women. Obviously these statements that I paraphrased were in the context of two 15 min converstations. In the morning and the evening.

I did a 30 day retreat two weeks after this with Sayadaw, and at the start of the retreat he had a bad back, so I game him three massages over four days. At one point when he got up, though we had removed his clothes while he was lying down and put him under towels, when he got up he had wrapped himself in the monasiticlion cloth. And when I looked at him to see if he was naked, he meantion proper dress, this made me more comfortable about the the stuff from before. And during the month he also made meantion of keeping the vowels of a monk, and beening on deaths door with malaria in the golden triangle, and consoling himself with the thought that he had kept his virtues and done good things in his life. This rang strongly true for me. There was also the classic reference to the ideas we have discussed in the above thread. Where Sariputtra Jumps like a monkey over a stream, to the chargrin of a a disciple and how this is because of his latent tendancies of having lived 500 lives as a monkey. Habitual beaviour or attractions still remain, in the Arhat and within us all. 

Overall I have, let go of my reaction to this stuff, I often, have put my foot in it with inappropriate words and am far from perfect, and I can easily indulge Sayadaw for one same such occurance. Maybe he was just teasing me to see how compliant I was who knows. And most importantly its perfectly natural to have sexual desires even though that is not allowed to be expressed in a monastic context.

So I hope this, does more to resolve the above drama that inflame it.

Sincerely Neem

Ken Wilber, states, stages and enlightenment
Answer
5/13/14 7:05 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Hi, Ian and Neem.

This is my first post, so I'm sorry if I'm bringing back a somewhat old thread. I'll talk here just about Wilber, that is what I can. In no way I'm implying anything about anyone else.
Ian And:
Hi Neem,

I usually don't respond to threads like this. But because I respect you and your practice, I've made an exception. 
Neem Nyima:
It seems to me the Ken Wilber's model of enlightenment as a state and not a stage continues to ring true.

While this may be true for Wilber, it is, however, not true for myself. From my understanding of the Dhamma, awakening is more a maturation of the mind than an impermanent state. But perhaps that's just me. While Mr. Wilber is very intellectually accomplished and a prolific writer, there seem to be areas of his personality that are deficient in one manner or another. 'Nuff said. (Possible disclaimer: I've never been very impressed with any of the ideas that Wilber has expressed. Just my personal opinion. That's not to say that he hasn't a very astute and inventive mind.) 

Just for the sake of clarification: Wilber does not think necessarily enlightenment is a state, at least not in a so straightforwad relation. I'll clarify that in a moment. He does differentiate states from stages, but the relationship he sees between those and enlightenment is a little more complicated. Besides, Wilber has changed his mind about some things during his career (they talk about 5 Wilber phases), so we have to be careful not to mix things. I think he is very very misunderstood, even by people who like him. 

To understand that we have to keep in mind what he's trying to do: integrate different knowledges, in this case mystical/contemplative teachings (mainly Eastern) with current psychological understandings (mainly Western). Developmental psychology talks about stages of development and how humans tend to grow through them. For a while in his carreer Wilber used to stack the contemplative descriptions (meditative "stages") on top of the psychological ones. In a sense, it's what a lot of us intuitively does, seeing spiritual practitioners as the top ones.

But after a while, he realized that it didn't work out, specially if you take into consideration empirical data. You have people at lots of different psychological stages having lots of different spiritual awakenings. So he differentiated what he called "states" (contemplatives) from "stages" (psychological). Then he and Allan Combs at what they called the "Wilber-Combs lattice" (see http://integrallife.com/integral-spotlights/integral-spotlight-adventures-wilber-combs-matrix for more info on that). 

Basically, what they did is to say that states are available to virtually anyone at almost any stage. You don't have to be psychologically developed to access a state. State include waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep, so even babies go through states. What differentiates a state from a stage is that states are exclusive, while stages are inclusive. That means that as a rule of thumb, if you are in a state, you aren't in other. If you are awake (in the mundane sense), you're not sleeping. If you are drunk, you are not sober. But for stages, that doesn't apply. That has to do with psychological structures, but the way to see it is similar to this: when you develop the ability to do algebra, you keep the ability to do arithmetic because the ability for algebra engulfs arithmetic, since arithmetic is a subcase of algebra.

I know, I know. But you have to develop the ability to enter different states. And the states tend to come in a sequence. And that is why Wilber started talking about state-stages and structure-stages. The main idea is the same, state-stages are exclusive, but tend to go in a certain sequence. Structure-stages are inclusive and also go in a certain sequence.

The thing is: the Wilber-Combs lattice is basically a way of saying that even though you may be able to access different state-stages (given the right conditions or training), you will interpret that experience by using whatever psychological structure-stage you have developed. But they reinforce each other. Recurrent access to different states, specially since they involve "letting go" of identifications, facilitate growth through stages. On the other hand, higher psychological development makes it easier to access different states, because your self-identify is wider (I'm glossing over some complex issues here).

So what about enlightenment? Well, it depends on what we are looking at. Wilber talks about horizontal and vertical enlightenment. 

By horizontal enlightenment he means the ability to non-dually seeing wharever phenomena is arising. In that sense, it is related to states and is partially equivalent to what most of contemplative lineages talk about. But notice that this is not the same as saying it doesn't involve maturation of insight. But it means that only because you have a non-dual view of reality, that doesn't mean much about what it is that you're seeing. So you might simply be non-dually seeing a "you" doing questionable things. As I said, these state-stages may lead you to develop psychologically since they loosen the grip of identification. But just as being 4th path won't turn you into an pianist or mathematician, it also won't immediately turn you into a nice person (unless, of course you by definition say that to be 4th path you have to be a nice person).

On the other hand, he talks about vertical enlightenment. Vertical enlightenment means you grow in structure-stages, so the phenomena that arises is the leading edge of human psychological development. In that sense, it becomes harder and harder to be a jerk, although not impossible (specially when dealing with shadows, unconscious psychological issues). And that is without touching the ideas of lines of development (like cognitive, moral, etc).

So when are you "fully enlightened", according to Wilber? He says that someone being "fully enlightened" is like being "fully educated", it doesn't mean much. What you have is some really elightened people (maybe way over our heads so we can't even know the difference) and others not so much. What he does talk about is turning temporary states into permanent traits, which is when you have enough access to the different states and enough development, then those things tend to stick more or less permanently. But that doesn't mean you stop maturing insight.

I've written too much already, so if anyone wants to know a little bit more:

http://vimeo.com/12324028
http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2008/10/bg-094-horizontal-and-vertical-enlightenment/

I can also try to answer questions, if interests.

Regards,

Rodrigo

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
5/16/14 1:34 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Neem Nyima:
It seems to me the Ken Wilber's model of enlightenment as a state and not a stage continues to ring true. In the Hurricane Ranch talk with Daniel Ingram and friends, the boundary's of enlightenment and it associated vows, are questioned and discredited. We have a history of people like Chogyam Trungpa, Kalu Rinpoche and others that are challenged in their roles as teachers of states, to live up to perfect super human standards of enlightenment. These roles have failed throughout history.

I recently, had Daniel's Ingram's final Teacher come on to me, quite strongly. It was awkward as he is a traditional Monk who also advocates the purity of the Arhat, from a traditional Suttric Perspective.

I wonder even from a contemporary perspective, of enlightenment being the mastery of a state, how lonely and lustful does an Arhat get?

Thought, Contributions, should I be sharing this as I don't really wont to go into a long story, to justify the truth of my claim, should I just leave it and take down the thread?


I also once had an experience of sly sexual advances toward me from a Theravada Buddhist monk. In this Asian country (which shall remain nameless), pubescent boys often become novice monks around the age of 15. Their sexuality isn't yet fully formed, and all of a sudden they're required to become celibate, while living among other young men in the same situation. It makes sense that this would distort their sexuality, to say nothing of their ability to form adult interpersonal relationships.

RE: Arhat: Lonely and Lustful?
Answer
5/18/14 7:08 AM as a reply to Derek.
Hey Derek

Yeah I have heard rumour about things like that. And where there are humans there is bound to be sexuality. It hard to know what actually goes on in the monasteries and how many monks live with indiscretion. Though Buddhism monastic Culture could be seen in the same light as the catholic church it is not. 
In Buddhist there is a a cultural precedent where large amounts of hungry & poor people might find safety and education. Also people with manageable mental illness too, that are sensitive, may find safety from the demand of life and its highly competitive stresses. i.e. Existential AngstSayadaw, wonders why I don't want to become a monk, and in a different time period I would. But in this one I have the Australian disability support pension (anxiety and depression), and I would lose my safety, of being able to hide from the world. Also I would have to live by the strict monastic rules. Though lately in post retreat blues after hitting continual and refined states of mind, life and all its compulsive attachments seem a heavily burdened freedom, a freedom to suffer more. The thing that is so hard for me about becoming a monk is the mono-cultural dogma of one buddhist view. I'm to much of an idealist or to attached to the self in my ideas, to want to monoculture my pluralist views. If I could keep my pension, I'd take the risk, and try to fit in, something I've never been able to do really. Next year, I'll start with asking to be a khappia, while I continue to study. Because this life is pleasure and pain, loss and gain praise and blame and infamy and fame. Life is difficult enough even for people who have everything, some even commit suicide who have all the comforts of being well liked, praised and much gain.

A modern monastic culture would be very attractive to me, but I suspect it will never form in the west.