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There is no oblivion

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There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 12:57 AM
There is no oblivion.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 1:13 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
There is no oblivion.


Care to elaborate?

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 1:33 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
There is no oblivion.

Good question [edit: it's not a question, so "Raise good questions"]. After a quick search (see below), it looks like the English word (from Latin via French) means roughly (in Latin verb) 'to forget', and English noun 'forgotten' -- looks like the opposite of 'sati' ('mindfulness'), as least in the sense in most of Theravadan tradition as to its close relationship to 'memory,' to 'keeping in mind.' (As one probably recalls, a modernist interpretation is "bare awareness", very popular, one could say dominant in the West, and valiantly championed by Ven. Analayo in the newer old guard.)

So rephrasing: There is no forgottenness.  Maybe 'There is' implies a sense of awareness because whatever the predicate is (what's on the other side of the 'is') is there in consciousness. I don't know... that gets s/w twisted.

BUT, is this brought up in reference to recent mentions of 'oblivion' by a certain teacher who equates it with Nibbana?

Actually very interesting -- I've never heard / read it discussed whether or not sati ceases when in touch with Nibbana. For instance, jhana (the hard, real flavor) is said to transverse levels of increasing stillness, up to the 8th ayatana (immaterial 'base') which is the last stop before cessation, and sati is in full force throughout jhana. That's what makes it potentially so valuable, as distinct from trance-like or hypnotic mental processes. And traditional sources seem to say that Nibbana can be in some sense directly known.

If I had access, I'd ask Then-Geof.  Or, maybe Sujato, who's more active / available in the internet. Maybe it's worth a try with Kenneth Folk, who, sometimes, waxes authoritative about things Theravadan -- I mean about the sati angle; we already know his opinions on Nibbana.

 - - -

A couple of takes on the meaning and etymology.

1)
Origin
ob·liv·i·onəˈblivēən/noun noun: oblivion
  1. 1. the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening."they drank themselves into oblivion"
    synonyms:unconsciousness, insensibility, a stupor, stupefaction, senselessness;Morea coma, a blackout;literarythe waters of Lethe"they drank themselves into oblivion"
    antonyms:consciousness
    • the state of being forgotten, especially by the public."his name will fade into oblivion"
    • extinction."only our armed forces stood between us and oblivion"
      synonyms:obscurity, limbo, anonymity, nonexistence, nothingness, neglect, disregard "luckily, he was able to rescue that design from oblivion"
      antonyms:fame
  2. 2. Lawhistoricalamnesty or pardon.
late Middle English: via Old French from Latin oblivio(n-), from oblivisci ‘forget.’


2)
WordNet 3.6
  • n obliviontotal forgetfulness "he sought the great oblivion of sleep"
  • n oblivion the state of being disregarded or forgotten

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 1:51 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Care to elaborate?


There is no end as there was no beginning.  Oblivion has never been.  I literally mean there is no oblivion.  It is an illusion.  Atheists say God doesn't exist and at death there is oblivion, but never question whether their holiest of holy's is real - oblivion itself.  Those who have had cessations, are they not impermanent?  Are you not still here reading this?

If there is no oblivion then how could consciousness be created by only the brain?
If there is no oblivion then how could there not be rebirth?
If there is no oblivion then how could we come from oblivion and return to oblivion?
If there is no oblivion then how could there be either existence or non-existence?

Don't the Buddha's teachings start to make a lot more sense?

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 3:46 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
To say that there is oblivion and sentience is to create yet another false duality.  "I am This (oblivion) and everything else is out there because I don't like it and want nothing to do with it."  There is only sentience, there has always only been sentience.  There is nothing else.  Literally there is nothing else, not even oblivion.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 3:59 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this thread

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 4:31 AM as a reply to John M..
Certainly.

The question can be put something like this: is there something unique to spiritual / meditative insights that permits one to "get outside" subjective, first-person experience and reveal what the world is really like?


Absolutely.  The problem with this is that believing in oblivion is akin to putting a bag over your head.  You will never see the absolute truth of things when you think you're separate from everything in a state of obliviousness.  This is obvious, but nobody seems to think about it for some reason.

Put differently: do spiritual / meditative insights constitute a kind of privileged ontological knowledge?


The paths described here don't, especially if you are working within a reductionist-materialist framework and believe in oblivion.  It is not necessary if you're just aiming for just mctb 4th path.  However, it can only take you so far and no further and that is what I've been trying to explain here.  The notion that the Buddha was just some ordinary MCTB 4th pather is ludicrous.

There seems to be a clear and demonstrable difference between what is the case and what we know or can know to be the case. Do certain meditative insights transcend these limitations and provide direct access to a kind of perfected epistemology (read: omniscience). If so, how can one be certain of it? Note that the problem seems inherently circular.


Yes.  I know because it's been witnessed in another person.  I know it is real because I've verified it for myself.

If no to all or any of the above, what does this suggest about the general pursuit of spirituality and Buddhism in particular? Are more skeptical, reasoned approaches themselves intractably belief-based? Do they simultaneously reduce spirituality to a kind of aimless and resigned endeavour, where the very best outcome one can hope for is to massage the relative quality of (inescapably) subjective experience and to more peaceably co-exist with the fundamental unknown? Further, are such frank and (presumably) honest assessments of the practical limitations of spiritual development in line with our actual motives and expectations as practitioners?


There is no unknown.  All is known.  Omniscience is very real.

Practical limitations are a good thing up to a point as it limits the imagination of the personal self, creating sanity and stability.  The methods of Kenneth for attaining paths is unparalled.  He is a truly gifted teacher, but he is incorrect on certain aspects of higher reality that are not necessary for obtaining paths.  If you are MCTB 3-4th path or higher, you are limiting your potential by sticking around on this forum and not pursuing other avenues.  The materialist dogma here is just too pervasive as I have explained.  

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 4:55 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
The problem with this is that believing in oblivion is akin to putting a bag over your head.

As regards oblivion, I simply don't care. What I am interested in is the assertion that meditative insight can lead to metaphysical knowledge and the extent to which such claims can possibly be verified.

I'd like to pin you down as to what, precisely, you mean by omniscience, as that seems to be the crux of your claim. Help me to understand your perspective as clearly as possible.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 4:55 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
I would also like to point out that Kenneth is correct that all sensations "have the same ontological status" as any other.  There is no phenomenal "primordial awareness."  That is true, but that does not translate to "there is only oblivion" and none of this "stuff" is real.  That is a false inference.  The "stuff" is real, oblivion is not.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 5:03 AM as a reply to John M..
I'd like to pin you down as to what, precisely, you mean by omniscience, as that seems to be the crux of your claim. Help me to understand your perspective as clearly as possible.


Everyone knows what omniscience means.  Why is it important?  If you practice well and follow the instructions then you can see for yourself in your body, in your thoughts, in your actions, in your environment. I cannot describe it, it cannot be described, it is something to be experienced.  There are no separations, if you see that you are not separate from anything else, then you will see.  If you see yourself as separate you will not.  It is a lot of work for most people, so practice long and diligently and you will eventually see as all eventually do.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 5:19 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
I would also like to point out that Kenneth is correct that all sensations "have the same ontological status" as any other.  There is no phenomenal "primordial awareness."  That is true, but that does not translate to "there is only oblivion" and none of this "stuff" is real.  That is a false inference.  The "stuff" is real, oblivion is not.



Why is stuff?

Regards,
C

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 5:24 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Everyone knows what omniscience means. Why is it important?  

It's important because I'd like to be absolutely certain we're on the same page and discussing the same claim. For the record I take "omniscient" to mean something like possessing unlimited understanding or knowledge. Would you agree?

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 6:05 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
If you have access to omniscient beings then ask them how to make warp engine.

Bit of an aside, but have you seen the EmDrive stuff? Apparently it's been producing thrust in a vacuum these days, though no one is entirely certain how the bloody thing works (or appears to work) to begin with.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 8:31 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
To Pawel: about math knowledge and Ramanujan

http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog/sadhguru/spot/doorway-to-the-beyond/

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 8:46 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
When I say there is no oblivion I mean there is no permanent oblivion.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 5:13 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Trying to convince few people in DhO is hardly worthy task for someone who have access to unlimited knowledge.


Wasn't trying to convince people there is omniscience,  Was trying to convince people there is no oblivion. Translation of knowledge toward enlightenment is the worthiest task of all.  

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 5:26 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
Trying to convince few people in DhO is hardly worthy task for someone who have access to unlimited knowledge.


Wasn't trying to convince people there is omniscience,  Was trying to convince people there is no oblivion. Translation of knowledge toward enlightenment is the worthiest task of all.  


Hi Tom Tom,

Could you perhaps talk about a way of practicing or something one could do in their practice that could shed light on what you are trying to convince us of? For many it belongs within the realm of 'belief', a flow of thought on repeat. How can one shift it to it not being a locked in thought loop?

 What is something we could do to condition a result that affirms what you have stated?

Nick

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 7:27 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Thanks Nikolai. Good question. Both oblivion and no oblivion may seem unverifiable.  The only way to tell would be trying not believing in oblivion on for size and seeing what happens, what synchronicities occur, what patterns in experience display that it is true.  How much more in tune with truth and insight into your day-to-day experience is there that wasn't there before?  Does it seem that you are becoming more aware and cognizant of the truth or falsity of future possibilities and propositions? Does it seem that your body and mind is more in tune with saying and knowing truth than before? Suddenly you might find you know certain truths about your experience that you didn't know before.  Gradually one taps into direct knowledge and knowing.  The less one craves existence and non-existence (the more paths attained), the easier this will be.

It is worth considering that the Buddha may have had little concept of oblivion growing up in a culture where rebirth and an eternal atman/soul was taken as truth.  Where is there room for the concept of oblivion in that?  There were small groupings of materialist philosphers, but they were the minority and the Buddha was aware of the concept, but definitely didn't default to it the way we do on this forum..

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 6:17 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
One way to think of this process is clue hunting.  Look for clues in experience itself until you have gathered up enough evidence to know for yourself.

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 7:30 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but let me clarify... Are you trying to say that nothing that has ever lived could ever die? ("die" meaning be annihilated)

RE: There is no oblivion
Answer
2/11/15 7:44 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
I forked a thread to ask about what we should do about omniscience etc

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5676305