Message Boards Message Boards

Morality and Daily Life

Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman

Toggle
Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/15/15 12:51 AM
I know there are some Alan Chapman fans still here. This is from a collection of short essays titled The Future We Deserve put together by Vinay Gupta. Recent thread about him

The Future We Deserve
for purchase
Available in wiki format for free
Available in pdf format for free

Description:
The Future We Deserve is a collection of 100 essays from people of all walks of life discussing our world from amazingly different perspectives. Utopia or oblivion, plenty or famine, freedom or slavery? We do not know, but we do know that there is a vital thread of insight which emerges when people think together about what they really want, what matters most to them, and how we are all going to live in just a few years.

In The Future We Deserve, authors pick a single facet of the future, and discuss something close, personal and real to them. There's little time to extrapolate in 500 words, pieces are short, direct and powerful. What emerges from this practice is an immediate and visceral sense of the immensity of the forces which shape the future, and the diversity and complexity of the possibilities. Each potential future discussed is an island, and whether they are compatible with each-other in some wider scenario is not the point: rather, each possible, plausible future stakes out a new piece of the terrain. All of this could happen.

An amazingly dense read, The Future We Deserve will stay with you long, long after you read it. The authors regularly discuss the pieces in the book, and are still learning from each-other, and expanding their understanding.



Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman

The biggest contribution we can make to the world is to recognise that the deepest and most profound experience available to us - whether through recollection as a memory, as something unfolding for us in the present, or as something we wish to engage with in the future - is not something to cling to, cultivate as a permanent state, escape into or regard as a panacea, but something to learn from.

If we approach our inner lives with respect, then we must acknowledge a taxonomy of deep and profound experience, and therefore a correspondence in the depth of our opportunity to learn. To engage with the unfolding of deeper and more profound experience is to open the door to learning the most profound lessons of all. Not everyone does however, and we have seen this failure over the last three thousand years across the globe.

Should we compare and contrast a given current personal problem with that moment of profundity, we can see how our current approach to self, each other and life fails to account for a deeper consciousness of the Way Things Are, let alone reflect it in thought, word, emotion and deed.

To what extent are your problems due to a view of the world and a set of values based on assumption, speculation, hand-me-down bias and appearance, rather than on the (for some) fleeting insight into the nature of each and everyone one of us?

We each share the possibility of deep and profound experience; but how many of us are willing to understand it as best we can and learn from it?

We are each capable of pronouncing on the fundamental nature of reality; but are we also willing to consciously address our habits and behaviours in light of that data?

We can develop our morality and shape our personal lives to reflect the Truth; but to what extent do we examine the culture, society and infrastructure that we participate in and perpetuate?

The Future We Deserve is not one where every individual is enlightened, but one where everyone benefits from the lessons learned; it’s an emerging vision of a civilisation built on and informed by what it means to be a human being in the deepest and most profound ways, where our life long education system encourages exploration of our inner lives and the testing of our personal views against our own direct experience, where the inherent problems of a world view at odds with the world itself are recognised and consciously addressed in that same spirit of discovery, and where our organisation and infrastructure both locally and globally are no longer informed by a paranoid and fearful view of each other and reality.

I don't know what that looks like yet; but I suspect we'll need sunglasses.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/15/15 9:24 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I'm still a big fan of Alan Chapman, and glad to see he's still putting new stuff out there.

This is somewhat off topic, but I've been wondering if anyone knows if he's still doing teachings on an individual basis? I know he's led a few retreats in recent times, though they've been way out of my way and far above my budget.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/17/15 7:47 PM as a reply to Andrew B..
While I haven't skyped with Alan yet, I did contact him and at least he was open to doing a skype/teaching session in the future. I will say both him and Hokai seem to have low internet profiles, which is a shame because like myself I am a fan of them. I have Alan's and Duncan's old books. I might write an essay from one of thoses books if I get free time, although tbh I am so dammed lazy as of late so I dunno and I suspect his opinions have changed in the past few years so it might also be misleading as well.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/18/15 12:16 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
That's encouraging! I'm assuming the best way to contact him is via his retreat e-mail, if only because it's the most recent-looking way of contact I've come across.

I'm not as familiar with Hokai's teachings but I find myself cursorily intrigued by him whenever anything comes up.

I don't doubt his views have changed a lot since The Baptist's Head and Open Enlightenment. It would be interesting to see where he's at these days and what can be gleamed therefrom.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/18/15 3:17 PM as a reply to Andrew B..
> Here < is his current website.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/19/15 4:32 AM as a reply to -- Timus --.
I updated the DhO links page with that new link to him.

I have actually tried to get in touch with Alan a number of times over the past year by email and Skype, but he apparently isn't interested, as he hasn't responded. Too bad, really, as he has a sharp and interesting mind. I hope he is doing well. What is it about the dharma of The One that can so divide us?

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/19/15 8:14 AM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:
While I haven't skyped with Alan yet, I did contact him and at least he was open to doing a skype/teaching session in the future. I will say both him and Hokai seem to have low internet profiles, which is a shame because like myself I am a fan of them. I have Alan's and Duncan's old books. I might write an essay from one of thoses books if I get free time, although tbh I am so dammed lazy as of late so I dunno and I suspect his opinions have changed in the past few years so it might also be misleading as well.
What is it with the laziness thing? I also have lost just about all my initiative and just want to sit around a lot of the time. Partly it's this iPad thing, which has scattered my concentration (in both the mundane and the meditative sense). This might even be worth a new thread. If I can get the initiative to start one. 

ETA: sorry that this is a digression from OP.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/19/15 3:38 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Actually, that was what I was really getting at in my other thread Enlightenment and Consumerism and I've read you mentioning this (Even years ago?) from posts I've read where you talk about less, "I'm going to climb to the top of acadamia." type of ambition as you have meditated more.

My first initial thoughts are basically, what is wrong with being more modest and simple in lifestyle? As I think about it, I have a hard time imagining a sort of hyper ambitious default lifestyle in anyway being mass sustainable for 100,000 years. That in the context of facebook and strip malls, the modest lifestyle doesn't make sense. But in the context of a humanity that lasts thousands or millions of years into the future, I have a hard time imagining current lifestyles continuing as 'normal', not even out of some sort of appeasement to green movements, but simply it doesn't make sense anymore than an economy that soley exists based off of, say, art when automation replaces most jobs. That is, the entire contextual assumptions of lifestyles is wrong, and I don't have the intellectual framework to see what comes next.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/19/15 5:20 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
Thanks, FKA Ryan. I took a look at the thread on consumerism, and see what you mean. As for your recollection of my previous comments: Many people make big changes in their lives as a result of this practice. I know one man in midlife who got divorced and left his job. That sounds scary, but in both cases the time was right, for both his wife and himself, and I assume his employer. In my case, I first left behind two major commitments outside of work (church and music), and now am planning a phased retirement over the next three years, which means I will be finished with my career at 64. 

There's a thread on here about sickness and clearing blockages (thanks, bman). For a long time now my work has been pretty much making me sick. It is and has been a wonderful job, but I'm ready to be finished with it. I feel a lot of clarity around these decisions, and minimal drama. I don't quite know what I want to do instead, however; the truth is, for now my motivation is gone. So I will just sit back and wait for something to reveal itself. 

Sometimes my my lack of motivation feels like laziness. It also can be frustrating. Plus I have to say, I've picked up some bad habits. But all that is incidental. All is well.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/19/15 8:20 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
I'm now contributing to the derailment of my own thread. Anyway,

If I'm understanding you, Ryan, I think I have similar internal conflict.

David Chapman on Specialness
David Chapman on Ordinariness

(Chapman-Chapman, see I am on topic)

Also, Trungpa's Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism would probably be helpful.

I was reading something Taoist (iirc) awhile back and a phrase struck me and repeated in my head for a few days. Paraphrasing, "It's a master's pleasure to be ordinary". At the time, it opened something for me.

I certainly haven't worked through my own issues on these topics, but ^ might be resourceful for you or anyone else

edit:
following Chapman's articles in order from the above comes recommended. Confusion, Nobility, etc

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/30/15 9:45 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Found some more Alan while browsing through Vinay's files.

The link's direct to a 470MB file, so beware of that. Dunno if this was meant to be widely distributed, and I'm also not sure how solid Vinay's hosting is. I'll remove the link if requested by Vinay or Alan. Anyway,

why_not_gurus_alan_chapman.MP4

Topics of interest: untenability of guru model in the West, proper role of teacher, devotion as a vehicle

Vinay has some meditation talks of his own on his site here

I've watched the Pratchett mp4 and found it fascinating. Highly recommended. His approach seems similar to those around here, but some of his claims about enlightenment are more strong. His emphasis on the importance of death, death awareness, fear of death, etc seems underemphasized here. Reminds me of Jed McKenna

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/31/15 12:45 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I haven't seen Vinay give talks on meditation so I had to download it all, and Alan is also non-existent on the internet and although I have gotten an email response he is slower than me with emailing (I check my email like once in a few months, its bad! Or good?), so this is quite a find!  Thanks a ton.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/31/15 1:27 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
From the PDF in the link, a random page I scrolled to on the Ultraculture:

"One day in the early XIVth century a lone warrior dolphin (pod of one) named Prince Charming, the author of this narrative, whilst offering his amateur massage services to various non-insect-nymphs at the Astral Pulse Island wet bar, after taking one too many sips of goldschlager, suddenly blacked out and awoke floating on a bed of wasabi aioli and papaya-chili sourkraut in a giant conch-shell-shaped potato cheese pierogi at the Wooden Eagle, Hamtramick, Michigan’s Polish pleasure palace. He found in his pocket a notebook filled with love poetry, music notation (of an unknown Archaic Eastern Indo-European tablature) naughtynaughtynaughtynaughtynaughty charcoal sketches and a diary detailing sexual experimentation of increasing per-version. I, Prince Charming, had been initiated into the tantrik cult of MONICA DECHEN GYALMO. "

I believe this is where they say: Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/31/15 12:09 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I've skimmed around 50% of the Pratchett video, as I like ingesting bit by bit, and as expected from Vinay its interesting and dare say fun.

A lot to say, I might come back and periodically thought dump on that video but the first thing that came to mind was his talk on renunciation vs Tantric path, which aim to create different types of enlightened actors. David Chapman has probably the best way of putting it:

Renunciate paths have as their enlightened ideal The Saint.
Tantric paths have as their enlightedn ideal The Hero.

Personally, I've had too much exposure to anime that I naturally converge to the latter, seriously. Also, most people, even if they aren't gung-ho about practice fall into the latter model which is more lively, playful, in the mud kinda living that simultaneously respects the possibility of awakening, aka the Hero model. I know a lot of people here are really into particular Buddhist models and take renunciation very, very seriously, but as far as myself is concerned and I suspect the vast majority of the small minority who actually will do a modest to serious meditation practice they would both objectively benefit from a Hero framework more, and is what they wanted anyways, and civilization probably would too.

I've always felt there was a sort of awkwardness with the fact renunciation is largely about retreating from worldly affairs and yet I imagine that the primary constinuency of Pragmatic Dharma on average have no interest in actual reunnciate practice or attitudes.

RE: Deep Lessons by Alan Chapman
Answer
8/31/15 9:36 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
In a different talk Vinay defines tantra as the path of enlightened family raising. That makes sense for pre-birth-control culture.

http://files.howtolivewiki.com/

Look for "why_become_enlightened" parts 1 and 2 (and anything else you can dig up.. lot of files)

He talks about creativity as a fundamental aspect of the 'universe', and a major perk of enlightenment being conscious participation in that creativity. Fascinating. Uncommon talk in these parts, more common in Western magick and tantra in general

Agreed on the ideal of tantra (as I understand it) being more aligned with Western culture (as I understand it)