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Delusion & Illusion
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7/28/14 4:24 AM
I hope by posting in this part of the forum I'm not risking offending anyone as those who would be offended would not read this part of the forum.

MCBT has been very influential is asking what I'm really looking for. It is a bit circular in some ways as someone who is not awakened cannot understand what being awakened is like but they will decide to try and become awakened based on some idea of what awakening is like. I guess in the end we have some fuzzy half baked ideas about enlightenment and that is the best we can do to either be motivated to pursue it or not.

I suspect that the ego is a huge part of why many people get onto the spiritual path. There is something deep inside of use that wants to be unique, outstanding, hold some secret. Some cults are an example of tapping into those needs very effectively.

If we all had a non-dual view of the world and someone found a way of uncovering a dual view of the world and it was difficult to rach that understanding then I suspect a minority of people would invest to discover the "truth" of the dual view.

I'm not saying that there is no value in the pursuit of a different perception of the world - there clearly is. I'm just wondering if it is reasonable to make any claim that a non-dual view is more real or truthful than a dual view. I think there is an underlying assumption by many people that the non-dual view is the "truth". It does not seem to help explain things like quantum effects - which would indicate there are other more complete views out there. 

Without a non-dual view we can make very good claims as to why morality is a wise choice. We can assume many peole who led a very "good life" did not have a non-dual view of the world.

One of the key insights of the non-dual view seems to be a deep realization that there is no object named self. I've really struggled with this as I just don't see how the dual view of the world can coherently claim there is an object named self either. In the dual view of the world the self is clealry not independent. Ken Wilber's Theory of Everything with four quadrants representing various perspectives seems relevant. The non-dual view seems like a thorough explanation of the individual subjective, the dual view an individual objective view. This still leaves out two quadrants from Wilber's model. It seems both the non-dual and dual can be used to reason similar conclusions as to those other quadrants - I've not heard of insights into those quadrants by those who would be enlightened.

I can see this thread risks to go in random directions emoticon

I'd be interested in focusing on a central issue - the notion of self. We all use the term "I" and those who are enlightened still use that term too - can I have another scoop of ice-cream etc. From a non-dual perspective it might be tempting to think that anyone else who uses the term self is referring to an object that exists. If that is the case they should ask the dualist to point out the self. Certainly many people have not been asked to point it out or have not thought about it so they may reply "my body, my brain etc" but I suspect most dualists who have thought through the question would answer that there is no object named self, that self is a concept useful for functioning in the world. For example there is no object called time either but we use the concept.

From a dualist point of view we are all interconnected - simple concepts like the "butterfly effect" claim that. From a dualist point of view the self concept includes genetics, environment, education, society, technology, subjective experience etc. Of course there are dualists who may not have that notion of self but I suspect more due to a lack of education than a lack of insight from the dualist view point.

I can see the non-dualist may say ah yes but you have not experienced non-self and that is true if it means experiencing the world as non-dual. But if it means behaving in the world as if there is only non-self then I think many dualists do that - though not all the time. Then again the experiences shared on this forum would indicate that an enlightened one does not behave in accordance with non-self all the time either.

So I'm wondering if the benefits of enlightenment are more associated with the progress along the path rather than the end point when what has to be done is done.

I can see how someone who is not enlightened wants that secret - a bit like behaving well before christmas day. I can see how someone with a strong calling to "find the truth" may pursue the spiritual path - until it's end I hope for them. I can also see why someone who is not worried about it does not need to start worrying. It is more confusing being somewhere in the middle.

This line of thinking got me more interested in the practices in regards to morality. By starting this topic I hope someone will point out the problems in my reasoninng - using right speech if I'm really lucky emoticon

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/28/14 5:24 AM as a reply to Mark.
I think you are wasting your time. All these questions drop away as soon as you get some insight into the 3 characteristics.

There is a reason why it's called truth though:
When you get insight, this means that you discover some aspect of your experience which you overlooked before.
Then, it seems to be quite obvious, and you start to wonder how you could have not noticed it before.

If you want to call it truth probably depends on your temper, character, culture, or whatever philosophy of truth you have subscribed to.
(I like to call it 'fixing a bug', which is just as arbitrary, but much less popular and maybe a bit misleading.)

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/28/14 5:51 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
I think you are wasting your time. All these questions drop away as soon as you get some insight into the 3 characteristics.

There is a reason why it's called truth though:
When you get insight, this means that you discover some aspect of your experience which you overlooked before.
Then, it seems to be quite obvious, and you start to wonder how you could have not noticed it before.

If you want to call it truth probably depends on your temper, character, culture, or whatever philosophy of truth you have subscribed to.
(I like to call it 'fixing a bug', which is just as arbitrary, but much less popular and maybe a bit misleading.)

Morality is something enlightened people still need to keep progressing in and I think that is at the heart of my question. So I don't believe these questions drop away.  

The 3Cs are also evident from a dualist point of view. Obviously not experienced in the same way.

I don't particularly want to call it truth, I'm implying that is a bit of an overstatement. If you are not familiar with Wilber's work then it's highly recommended (by Daniel too I think). Viewing the spiritual path from that perspective seems to point out some missing pieces of the puzzle.

You seem to be supporting the idea that it is mainly about "fixing a bug" in how one experiences the world. That can certainly be a big deal. But I'm not sure it should be the biggest deal. There are plenty of morality bugs that might deserve more urgent attention.

In any case thanks for wasting your time with me emoticon

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/28/14 8:45 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
I'm not saying that there is no value in the pursuit of a different perception of the world - there clearly is. I'm just wondering if it is reasonable to make any claim that a non-dual view is more real or truthful than a dual view. I think there is an underlying assumption by many people that the non-dual view is the "truth". It does not seem to help explain things like quantum effects - which would indicate there are other more complete views out there. 

Hi Mark,

I think Daniel touches on that topic eloquently in his recent BATGP interview. As far as I understand, enlightenment does not tell you anything about the relative truths of the world (or at least not as much as we sometimes wished for). But it tells you how they come into being and how they are interrelated and -dependent.

I think another pointer to an answer can be found in this excellent Stephen Batchelor talk on dependent arising. According to the buddha consciousness and every perceiving, seperating, dissecting and naming that arises with it (of which "quantum physics" ist just one example) is no seperate entity but is dependent on all other arisings. It simply does not exist in and of itself - I guess that's what's called "empty". At least that's what I imagine it to be like.

In the above linked interview Daniel says something like: there's an end to the spiritual path but no end to the understanding and perception of our day to day (relative) reality.

I hope I'm not missing the point or misquoting someone...

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/28/14 9:34 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Andreas Thef:
Mark:
I'm not saying that there is no value in the pursuit of a different perception of the world - there clearly is. I'm just wondering if it is reasonable to make any claim that a non-dual view is more real or truthful than a dual view. I think there is an underlying assumption by many people that the non-dual view is the "truth". It does not seem to help explain things like quantum effects - which would indicate there are other more complete views out there. 

Hi Mark,

I think Daniel touches on that topic eloquently in his recent BATGP interview. As far as I understand, enlightenment does not tell you anything about the relative truths of the world (or at least not as much as we sometimes wished for). But it tells you how they come into being and how they are interrelated and -dependent.

I think another pointer to an answer can be found in this excellent Stephen Batchelor talk on dependent arising. According to the buddha consciousness and every perceiving, seperating, dissecting and naming that arises with it (of which "quantum physics" ist just one example) is no seperate entity but is dependent on all other arisings. It simply does not exist in and of itself - I guess that's what's called "empty". At least that's what I imagine it to be like.

In the above linked interview Daniel says something like: there's an end to the spiritual path but no end to the understanding and perception of our day to day (relative) reality.

I hope I'm not missing the point or misquoting someone...

Hi Andreas,

Thanks for the links! The link to SB talk is not working but I could grab the URL. Both are a bit long to look at now but I will take a look.

It would be interesting to have a quantum physicist who is enlightened dumb this down for mere mortels emoticon One of the weird things about quantum physics seems to be that it starts to play with time e.g. an observation in the future can change an event in the past. From the little I've seen the non-dual view does not have too much to say about time. There is the notion of endless reincarnations and the possibility to go back and observe them, I wonder if the Buddha understood evolution but decided not to mention it.

I don't want to fall into the trap of using quantum physics to validate some particular view. I raised it as an example of something that might indicate a non-dual perspective is still holding on to assumptions like the dual world view. But I'm already well out of my depth.

There is this idea that after an A&P event you could be pretty much on a roller coaster ride - the exit being enlightenment. Daniel's advice about trying to manage the timing of the Dark Night led to my current line of thought. I was thinking well maybe it would be wise to manage the A&P also i.e. get on some solid moral ground before taking the ride.
 
Daniel's spiritual journey began very young (15 years old I think) and he did not seem to have a choice to engage in it or not. His book is full of great advice to help other people who did not have a choice (and those who choose to) get through the experience with less collatoral damage. The book is obviously not just that but I felt that was a strong motivation for Daniel which helps make for the unique style of the book.

Those who are enlightened certainly don't say it was a waste of time. But then again they have a massive amount invested in it too. That sort of life choice may not leave space for regrets (a little like having children). The objective points we can discuss are how did that path help them in this lifetime. Then we could look at the benefits and ask if there are other ways of achieving the same benefits and whether those other paths are more or less effective.

If I'm honest with myself I think the "end of suffering" is a strong motivation. That is not a very glorious objective, rooted in the ego as it is. This forum has raised a lot of questions because it spells out that enlightenment does not equal end of suffering.

Rather than investing enormous effort in achieving a non-dual view that same effort may be more wisely invested in morality. That is the question I guess. Of course one does not exclude the other but I think the perspective may change the priorities for practice.
 

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/28/14 2:35 PM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Andreas Thef:
Mark:
I'm not saying that there is no value in the pursuit of a different perception of the world - there clearly is. I'm just wondering if it is reasonable to make any claim that a non-dual view is more real or truthful than a dual view. I think there is an underlying assumption by many people that the non-dual view is the "truth". It does not seem to help explain things like quantum effects - which would indicate there are other more complete views out there. 

Hi Mark,

I think Daniel touches on that topic eloquently in his recent BATGP interview. As far as I understand, enlightenment does not tell you anything about the relative truths of the world (or at least not as much as we sometimes wished for). But it tells you how they come into being and how they are interrelated and -dependent.

I think another pointer to an answer can be found in this excellent Stephen Batchelor talk on dependent arising. According to the buddha consciousness and every perceiving, seperating, dissecting and naming that arises with it (of which "quantum physics" ist just one example) is no seperate entity but is dependent on all other arisings. It simply does not exist in and of itself - I guess that's what's called "empty". At least that's what I imagine it to be like.

In the above linked interview Daniel says something like: there's an end to the spiritual path but no end to the understanding and perception of our day to day (relative) reality.

I hope I'm not missing the point or misquoting someone...

Hi Andreas,

That interview with Daniel is really good - his laughter is contageous. It was a long interview but worth watching - a lesson in right speech in some ways too, as they pretty much politely disagree on everything emoticon

To answer my question - Daniel does a good job of selling the non-dual view as much more comfortable. The idea of the perception/awareness being with the object is fascinating.

I think you are referring to how Daniel states the non-dual understanding of the world does not keep evolving after 4th path. But the other streams of development e.g. depth of jhanas or interpersonal skills which have endless potential for exploration/refinement.

I'd be interested to hear about the development of the mundane and the supramundane in some type of harmony (or not). It is a big topic for the layperson, much less for a monk. Developing and balancing those aspects would be very interesting to hear about.

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/29/14 1:14 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark=:
. I'm just wondering if it is reasonable to make any claim that a non-dual view is more real or truthful than a dual view. I think there is an underlying assumption by many people that the non-dual view is the "truth". It does not seem to help explain things like quantum effects - which would indicate there are other more complete views out there. 



Realization is not just a view, it is something experential.  Deep realization involves experentially seening the unreality of all relative phenomenon, without positing any sort of ultimate reality. 

All views and concepts are a subset of relative phenomenon, so ultimately untrue.

Functionally there are still views that are more or less useful for doing things or expalinging other relativistic phenomenon.

In so far as a view is useful it can be said to be funcationally 'true'.

When it comes to ending suffering a view of emptiness and annata is useful.
If you want to launch a rocket to the moon, then other truths maybe useful. 
If you want to charm your sweetheart, then there are some other views still.
If you want to be a chess player, then there is a difference set of useful views.
etc...

We can have a very wide diversity of views, and can develop the skill to adopt an appropriate mode in a given circumstance.

There is no need for one theory of everything, since all theorys are ultimately untrue. But rather it is possible to have the diversity of views and views on how they fit together.

Sorry if this is confusing, can elaborate a bit more if there is interest. 

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/29/14 2:23 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
(D Z) Dhru Val:
Mark=:
. I'm just wondering if it is reasonable to make any claim that a non-dual view is more real or truthful than a dual view. I think there is an underlying assumption by many people that the non-dual view is the "truth". It does not seem to help explain things like quantum effects - which would indicate there are other more complete views out there. 



Realization is not just a view, it is something experential.  Deep realization involves experentially seening the unreality of all relative phenomenon, without positing any sort of ultimate reality. 

All views and concepts are a subset of relative phenomenon, so ultimately untrue.

Functionally there are still views that are more or less useful for doing things or expalinging other relativistic phenomenon.

In so far as a view is useful it can be said to be funcationally 'true'.

When it comes to ending suffering a view of emptiness and annata is useful.
If you want to launch a rocket to the moon, then other truths maybe useful. 
If you want to charm your sweetheart, then there are some other views still.
If you want to be a chess player, then there is a difference set of useful views.
etc...

We can have a very wide diversity of views, and can develop the skill to adopt an appropriate mode in a given circumstance.

There is no need for one theory of everything, since all theorys are ultimately untrue. But rather it is possible to have the diversity of views and views on how they fit together.

Sorry if this is confusing, can elaborate a bit more if there is interest. 

Hi Dhru,

That makes sense thanks. I do think there are many people who believe the non-dual view is giving some "ultimate truth". It seems neither of us would agree with that. I don't really need to worry about those other people either I guess emoticon

I agree that there is a huge difference between an intellectual understanding of something and an experience of the same thing. The intellectual understanding is perhaps useful for prioritizing things e.g. is it worth learning to drive a car now or investing the money in something else.

It makes sense to me that a non-dual view is more appropriate for not suffering an attachment. At the same time I guess people have got to that point through a dual view too but that is probably out of the scope of this thread.

I have the impression that the non-dual view is permanent for Daniel i.e. he can't go back to a dual view.

I think there is a desire to find encompasing views, for example Daniel would like to do that for spiritual maps I think. Ken Wilber has made a fine effort to do that for "everything". Wilber's view is a bit like a meta-view it would help understand apsects that are missing from particular views. You are right we have a diversity of views whether encompassing views exist or not.

I can see that the maps can be worth exploring for their own sake. The path can also be a way out of a miserable situation for some people. I'm certainly fascinated by exploring experience through meditation. I'm also a bit wary of focusing on that as the most effective way to reduce suffering . I have the impression the Buddhist teachings miss some key points for the lay person. For example not understanding evolution, the interdependence of technology, culture and the individual. I'm coming more to a conclusion that the path is one aspect that deserves to be developed but within a framework of engagement with the world.

There is something a little unsettling about making the end of personal suffering the ultimate goal.

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/29/14 5:16 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:


There is something a little unsettling about making the end of personal suffering the ultimate goal.


Why? What is it?

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/29/14 6:17 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
Mark:


There is something a little unsettling about making the end of personal suffering the ultimate goal.


Why? What is it?

It could be denying our interdependence. That while there is suffering you are part of it by inaction or action.

The way I understand the end of suffering is more related to the end of the second dart - rather than absolute end of suffering. Which leaves the question of what to do after reaching that goal. Which means the end of suffering as the ultimate goal is not the right one.

On another point, the non-dual view does not leave room for "self" but the behavior of enlightened people indicates there is still an ego at work. I guess the non-dual view means the ego still manifests but is not experienced in the same way as a dual view. Daniel speaks of there being no free will. But I'm not sure what his take on intentions are.

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
7/30/14 10:19 AM as a reply to Mark.
Personally, I was never very interested in enlightenment until very recently when I had a set of experiences that showed me I didn't have to live in such a negative state of consiousness all the time.  Naturally, this put me at odds with the whole idea of "truth" and anatta and self.  I didn't give two damns what I was, I just wanted to go back to feeling better haha.  I'm starting to see the links between the teachings and my experiences, though.  At this point in time, I think the benefits are related to understandings about experience.  Once the novelty wears off and you keep seeing how the good states come and go in spite of your practice, it becomes clear that there's something you aren't quite seeing clearly.  It's tempting to think of meditation as being similar to, say, playing the piano - where you just need to do it enough and then it becomes effortless and you're in a state of nirvana all the time - but really it seems to work where sometimes it seems completely effortless, and other times impossible.  When it's effortless you wonder how you ever had problems, and when it's hard you wonder how you ever got anywhere.  Concentration practice works more like playing the piano, and while that's a very important part, it seems like effortlessness comes from seeing a specific aspect of experience rather than training up some kind of control of experience.  In fact, efforlessness comes from letting go, and that's not something you can control very well.  Instead, seeing through the negative emotional states into "truth" seems to allow it to happen instantly.  This truth is purely experiential, though.  Buddhism will never explain any facts about the universe, it just points out the key to an effortless living experience.  It's not "do I exist or not?", it's more "what can I control?" which buddhism says is nothing in particular.  This, I think, leads to the realization that there is nothing in the middle of experience "directing traffic", only the cloud of experience itself.  This lack of a physical center creates a more clear experience because there is nothing extra added to the sensations, and the clarity results in equanimity - seeing everything as equal.  This equanimity is the goal, to me.  Some people are after truth, so them might stop practicing once they find convincing evidence of "no self", but the whole point of seeing it is, i think, to apply it to all of experience until the concept of effort is removed completely.

I'm still a newb, though, and I change my mind every week about things, so don't take any of this too seriously - just my 2 cents...

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
8/8/14 10:56 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Personally, I was never very interested in enlightenment until very recently when I had a set of experiences that showed me I didn't have to live in such a negative state of consiousness all the time.  Naturally, this put me at odds with the whole idea of "truth" and anatta and self.  I didn't give two damns what I was, I just wanted to go back to feeling better haha.  I'm starting to see the links between the teachings and my experiences, though.  At this point in time, I think the benefits are related to understandings about experience.  Once the novelty wears off and you keep seeing how the good states come and go in spite of your practice, it becomes clear that there's something you aren't quite seeing clearly.  It's tempting to think of meditation as being similar to, say, playing the piano - where you just need to do it enough and then it becomes effortless and you're in a state of nirvana all the time - but really it seems to work where sometimes it seems completely effortless, and other times impossible.  When it's effortless you wonder how you ever had problems, and when it's hard you wonder how you ever got anywhere.  Concentration practice works more like playing the piano, and while that's a very important part, it seems like effortlessness comes from seeing a specific aspect of experience rather than training up some kind of control of experience.  In fact, efforlessness comes from letting go, and that's not something you can control very well.  Instead, seeing through the negative emotional states into "truth" seems to allow it to happen instantly.  This truth is purely experiential, though.  Buddhism will never explain any facts about the universe, it just points out the key to an effortless living experience.  It's not "do I exist or not?", it's more "what can I control?" which buddhism says is nothing in particular.  This, I think, leads to the realization that there is nothing in the middle of experience "directing traffic", only the cloud of experience itself.  This lack of a physical center creates a more clear experience because there is nothing extra added to the sensations, and the clarity results in equanimity - seeing everything as equal.  This equanimity is the goal, to me.  Some people are after truth, so them might stop practicing once they find convincing evidence of "no self", but the whole point of seeing it is, i think, to apply it to all of experience until the concept of effort is removed completely.

I'm still a newb, though, and I change my mind every week about things, so don't take any of this too seriously - just my 2 cents...

Hi Not Tao,

Sorry for the slow reply. I did read your message some time ago but needed to find time for a considred response. 

I buy the idea that subjective truths are going to be relative. Relative to human experience. There seems to be a tendency for spiritual practitioners to leap to universal truths, for example monism. There are many experiences that seem to be purely subjective but are sometimes discussed as if they are objective e.g. OBE, past lives etc. In some ways it seems awakening is exchanging one set of illusions for another. But those who have made the leap seem to say the new set is much improved!

That meditation takes people on a path through uncontrollable disturbing experiences is something I was suprised (and disappointed!) to discover. The dualist perspective assumes that the self is going to be in control of the process - we are "just" going to remove dukkha. But it seems there is a very uncomfortable period where the self is there sometimes (experiencing things that might be best descrived as psychodelic or psychotic states) and not there at other times. This Dark Night typically seems to last several years but could last over a decade - I really see Daniel's point about meditation needing a warning label! http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2013/12/bg-302-mental-illness-dark-night/

I wonder if some of the intense insight practices that seem to allow rapid progress toward a dualist perspective are missing some of the aspects of the Buddhist teachings (gradual training, morality, insight potentially after concentration skills etc). The podcast above touches on this.

Thanks for your message.


 

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
8/8/14 12:07 PM as a reply to Mark.

"That meditation takes people on a path through uncontrollable disturbing experiences is something I was suprised (and disappointed!) to discover. The dualist perspective assumes that the self is going to be in control of the process - we are "just" going to remove dukkha. But it seems there is a very uncomfortable period where the self is there sometimes (experiencing things that might be best descrived as psychodelic or psychotic states) and not there at other times. This Dark Night typically seems to last several years but could last over a decade - I really see Daniel's point about meditation needing a warning label! http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2013/12/bg-302-mental-illness-dark-night/

I wonder if some of the intense insight practices that seem to allow rapid progress toward a dualist perspective are missing some of the aspects of the Buddhist teachings (gradual training, morality, insight potentially after concentration skills etc). The podcast above touches on this.

Thanks for your message."


 
I suspect that much of the problem with 'just trying to remove dukkha' is that although  part of us is saying that, another part of us is clinging to aspects of dukkha.  I see that a lot and have certainly been guilty of it myself, the idea that you can kind of live with one foot on one side and the other foot on the other side and somehow get all the things you like from both sides and none of the bad things.  Like people might want to keep all the things and  habits they like in the majority of their day the same and then think they can sit on the mat for a bit and become enlightened without drastically changing their attitude in the rest of their life.  But it doesn't work that way, enlightenment is not just about the mat, it's about your whole life and everything you think and do every second of the day.  Cling to your old life and habits too much and you are going to have a hard time and yet I think most of us do tend to cling to at least some of it! 

There is a weird thing about zen or Buddhism or whatever you want to call it that I am sure many have noticed and I've seen it mentioned and that is if you try too hard, then it seems to backfire. It's like holding a butterfly, too much grip and you squish it.  Maybe it's because fixating and trying to control rigid outcomes does not allow enough wiggle room for millions of factors that our conscious minds do not consider when deciding on desired fixed outcomes in the first place.  Perhaps that is why it seems to work better to relax and kind of surf along perhaps having a general goal and working towards it in general but not being too rigid and not fixating too much on every little specific, instead just paying attention to the current balance and situation. 

Anyway, it's often said to 'let go,' but at least for myself I've found that in order to do that, it helps a lot to learn about myself well enough to have a decent understanding of what I am clinging to in the first place and often it is subtle little things like desires for specific outcomes or lifestyles.  If you notice your clinging, that can help to lessen it and take some of the power out of it.  But I've never seen anyone that has no preferences at all, does not care about outcome at all.  Even if you give charity to someone, trim a rose bush, or hike in the desert, you  are probably hoping to help someone, make the bush healthier or whatever.  Is it possible to even get off the couch and do anything without some hopes for outcome?  Even as you put your foot on the floor, you are probably hoping with some part of you that you won't step on a tack as you put your foot down.  I am not sure it is to have zero goals and still do anything.  Maybe the goal is more like to understand the desires better and loosen the grip of attachment enough to no longer be rigid about it.  When you are less tied down, you feel lighter. 

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
11/9/14 2:35 AM as a reply to Mark.
Delusion and Illusion are two English words... You can blame those who define them.

What you perceive is a sort of illusion, what you think it is, is your delusion. And both of them are a part of your ego; thats you, I.
It will be easier if you are able to detach your ego in practice.

Words can only go so far, experience can better define.
Thus the more labels you have, the likelihood of confusion is higher. Keep practicing. And through self reflection, you can see it for yourself.

And thinking too much will stray you from what actually is; similar to asking the question, "What is around a bin?"

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
11/9/14 10:11 AM as a reply to Mark.
Hi Mark,

I didn't see your reply before.  I just wanted to say that you should take the whole ide of a dark night with a grain of salt.  Daniel is the only person I've ever seen who talks about cycling and implies guaranteed periods of psychosis.  Meditation can turn ugly, sure, but the main cause of that is doing things "unskillfully" - like concetrating or ruminating on negative mindstates.

I've only experienced one or two periods of negativity that I could point to being linked to meditation, and they were both avoidable in hindsight if I had just taken a break rather than trying to force things.

If you are worried about negativity, then it's a good idea to practice concentration and apply it skillfully in everyday life.  If you feel like you are ruminating on a negative mindstate, you can use concentration to move yourself out of it and save it for another time to examine.

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
11/23/14 9:23 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Thx Not Tao. I'm still working on the concentration!

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
11/23/14 10:04 AM as a reply to Mark.
I should note that I've done a complete about-face from my previous opinion.  Letting go is the key, but it's something that's very possible to "do" actively, and it's actually not so difficult to do! If you're interested, I started a thread about it (the "silver bullet for actualism" thread).

RE: Delusion & Illusion
Answer
11/23/14 3:25 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Would love to hear aobut it. I've read one article recently which focused on the letting go in concentration, the theory being that if you are living a "good" life then you will naturally reach a concentrated state because there will not be negative distractions. It sounded to me like taking a concentrative practice and turning it into an insight practice.  There is no doubt a lot of overlap there. I suspect that in the past the insight practices were built on solid concentration skills - the buddha seemed to have pushed things to an absolute extreme before the "middle way". Anyway keen to hear your take on it. I suspect that letting go becomes essential after establishing a solid basis. It is hard for experienced meditators to remember what a monkey mind is like!