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Role of interpretation in Attainments

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Role of interpretation in Attainments Michael 10/2/17 5:53 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Michael 10/3/17 2:56 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments seth tapper 10/3/17 8:26 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Alesh Vyhnal 10/3/17 9:21 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Chris Marti 10/3/17 1:01 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Lars 10/3/17 2:59 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Chris Marti 10/3/17 5:20 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments shargrol 10/5/17 5:35 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Lars 10/5/17 3:18 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Daniel M. Ingram 10/4/17 12:28 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Michael 10/4/17 2:58 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Yilun Ong 10/4/17 2:34 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Daniel M. Ingram 10/4/17 2:49 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments shargrol 10/4/17 5:32 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Alesh Vyhnal 10/4/17 6:14 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Chris Marti 10/4/17 6:42 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Robin Woods 10/4/17 7:42 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Alesh Vyhnal 10/4/17 12:00 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Chris Marti 10/5/17 7:26 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments shargrol 10/5/17 6:09 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments shargrol 10/4/17 8:35 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Alesh Vyhnal 10/4/17 12:11 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments DeNada 10/5/17 10:20 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Alesh Vyhnal 10/4/17 11:59 AM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Yilun Ong 10/5/17 11:42 PM
RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments Alesh Vyhnal 10/6/17 5:25 AM
Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/2/17 5:53 AM
So let's say there is the brain of a baby. The brain sits in the dark. It gets Information through the senses. For instance seeing: The photoreceptive cells convert electromagnetic wave energy to an electric signal that travels via the optic nerve. So the brain basically just gets electric signals with no real inherent meaning. 
Now the brain interprets those signals. This interpretation can take many forms but most forms are somewhat coherent and there are many similarities because if the interpretations were too outlandish the organism couldn't survive.

What is the Ego in this scenario? The Ego is simple a specific interpretation of those signals. Interpretation always requires more than just sensory input, it also needs thinking and other intrinsic brain functionality.

Now the common interpretation says that there are things with permanent nature and that there is a constant self. When you meditate the brain adopts another interpretation, which is closer to the truth: All there is, are signals that have no inherent permanence and there is no center or self to this whole spectacle. 

Now what's interesting is this: There are all kinds of interpretations possible. I find it funny that bascially all people here on this forum have insights according to the dominant maps here (4 paths etc.). Now when you look at an Advaita-Forum the type of insights can be vastly different. 
So it is not just meditation and practice that influences the type of insight it is also what you read and rationally think is true. If you are the kind of guy who gets off on 10000 stages and experiences and you believe them deeply enough you might get them. You adjust your interpretation according to scripture.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/3/17 2:56 AM as a reply to Michael.
Hi Pawel.

Yes, I agree.

I personally haven't had most of the insights written about in this form yet. I only started to seriously meditate 117 days ago. I did however heavily dable into all kinds of Zen/Advaita/satsang literature before (not just reading it but obsessing about it).

Now what I find interesting is, that insights did came from that. As a specific example: I once got heavily into Ramesh Balsekar. He writes a lot about that there is no doer. So I got really into it and after being aware of this truth intellectually for a few months I had an according insight experience. It felt like falling into a void and after it I felt like there was no difference between the "reason" why my body moves and why the bodys of other people move. You could say I felt like a puppet but it was a pleasant experience. 

To a certain extent this insight is still with me but after I while I also realized that it wasn't complete and that Ego-structures once again resumed a controlling role.


So this insight was triggered by those ideas and because there was some truth to the ideas it was possible for it to not just be intellectual. 

The feeling I get is when I read this forum is that it works in a similar way. Meditating is of course a much better tool to uncover the truth than obsessing over a topic mentally. Still, the kinds of insights and experiences are also heavily influenced by the type of teaching and what you read about it.

I get the expression that ultimately it is of supreme importance to be honest with oneself whether the world view one has is truly grounded in truth or is is basically just a form of religious (in the original sense of the word) belief.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/3/17 8:26 AM as a reply to Michael.
What makes you think there is a ground truth?  Isnt that too just a human concept.   

In my experience, the project is essentially the same as deprogramming some one in a cult.  We each have a huge storehouse of delusional convictions about what is true and important and our role in it all.   Any method of dropping delusion takes one closer to being non delusonal. From a scientific materialist perspective a non delusional person knows that this all just IS and all narratives are nonsense.   Just accepting the simple truth that nothing is actually wrong anywhere and that there is nothing that actually needs to be done is enough to take one all the way to true level as per Pawel, I think.  Look at the world the way a rock would. 

You can go past scientific materialsm into the void, but you don't have to to be completely happy all the time.  To drop suffering as a pretty gross delusion.  



Meditation, inquiry, sex, dancing, music, snuggling and watching elephants are all good ways to let this sink in.   I like to attach the truth to Gravity.  If gravity exists, then everything is fine.  I really have faith in gravity,  so works for me. 

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/3/17 9:21 AM as a reply to Michael.
Michael:
I find it funny that bascially all people here on this forum have insights according to the dominant maps here (4 paths etc.). Now when you look at an Advaita-Forum the type of insights can be vastly different. 


I agree completely. Many people are just deluded, fool themselves or report "attainments" after they have read about them in a book. I think it is due to autosuggestion. 

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/3/17 1:01 PM as a reply to Alesh Vyhnal.
Yes, there's a lot of auto-suggestion going on but I suspect what you practice (tradition) and the way you practice (method) have some effect on what "results" you get, too. Zen folks get Zen results. Theravada folks get Theravada results. Maybe it's sort of like learning a language - if you study German it's not too surprising that you end up speaking German.


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RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/3/17 2:59 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Yes, there's a lot of auto-suggestion going on but I suspect what you practice (tradition) and the way you practice (method) have some effect on what "results" you get, too. Zen folks get Zen results. Theravada folks get Theravada results. Maybe it's sort of like learning a language - if you study German it's not too surprising that you end up speaking German.


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Sounds a lot like the way UFO experiences have been reported over the ages. In times with minimal technology they were desribed as angels or demons, with smoke and fire. Then as technology progressed they became chariots and other types of vehicles. Now that we have shiny metal technology people report shiny metal UFOs.

I think people are having essentially the same experiences/attainments, but the conceptual overlays that color those experiences cause them to seem a certain way to different people. The unfortunate part is when people argue with each other based on the overlays, not seeing the common experience underneath.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/3/17 5:20 PM as a reply to Lars.
In any case, it's all mind.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 12:28 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Curiously, I did Theravadan practice and got Vajrayana results that also make pretty good sense through a Vedanta lens most of the time as well, depending on how one interprets the lens, which is obviously the point of the thread. Anyway, good things to be discussing.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 2:34 AM as a reply to Alesh Vyhnal.
Alesh Vyhnal:
Michael:
I find it funny that bascially all people here on this forum have insights according to the dominant maps here (4 paths etc.). Now when you look at an Advaita-Forum the type of insights can be vastly different. 


I agree completely. Many people are just deluded, fool themselves or report "attainments" after they have read about them in a book. I think it is due to autosuggestion. 
I spent ~ 2 months (ordination 7/7/2017, no prior meditation experience) intensively in this practice but did not achieve a cessation, nor do I 'progress' according to the maps. See -> https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/6668994 , would you classify my identification with some of the 'progress' as being affected by autosuggestion? Some of the things I do not completely identify with e.g. Dark Night, I experience unpleasant sensations, they seem all over the place, does not really bother much, etc. I have bad moods but hey I had bad moods before practice so I cannot empirically say the 'dark night' caused my bad moods.

BUT I had an American guy that was here to learn Vipassana meditation and he supposedly (my amateur diagnosis) encountered A&P and 2 days later he was so ill (fever, headache, etc.) I had to send him to the hospital where the doctors found nothing wrong (blood+urine+? tests) with him. He has never read MCTB nor know what Vipassana is before, I gave him the warnings (yes Daniel, I agree warning is necessary) before he started meditating but he knows close to nothing about the maps (I did not want him to script and he agreed). So what else can it be other than the 'Dark Night'? Unless you are saying that I have attained some powers of cursing through warning someone about difficult times ahead or him scripting a verbal warning into making himself sick beyond anything in his life, there is more than 'some' truth in these ancient traditions. I tend to believe that these 'things' are real but not everyone experiences them the same way and I will continue experimenting them empirically. 

Also very interesting with regards to attainments -> are the changes really permanent or does one have to keep at it even post completion (e.g. 4th path)?

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 2:49 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I didn't know squat about the maps and had my mind totally blown as a monk on an old tape described in order with freakish levels of weird little details what I had just gone through in the previous 1.5 weeks or so on a retreat at MBMC in 1995. Anyway, it is also true the stages of insight have a wide range of presentation.

As to practice post arahatship, if you read the lives of the great disciples of the Buddha, in a book by the same name, they all kept practicing, not because the insight required maintenance, as they don't, but because samatha and the other disciplines were of continued benefit to the specifics of how their clearly-comprehended lives unfolded. The same holds true today.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 5:32 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Reply to conversation up thread...

Detailed maps definitely are more applicable to specific practices... but even so, there is so much similarity that I really don't find it hard to understand other traditions maps. It's the old saying "the priests argue, but the monks agree" -- as soon as you get into semantics it becomes endlessly debatable, but in terms of experiences, it's very easy to understand.

Take a totally different tradition - Kashmir Shaivism. People should still be able to recognize the progression of more and more subtle sense of self... basically going from conventional duality, to more of a witness consciousness, to more of a rarified consciousness (god consciousness, all objects as god/luminosity), and then a unity consciousness which is almost like the original duality consciousness yet something appreciated that wasn't appreciated before, that THIS IS IT. So very much the same arc of progress.

https://batgap.com/igor-kufayev-2/

Or as another fairly different model, Shingon, you can see the same trajectory over their 10 stages...

https://www.hokai.info/2011/12/ten-levels-of-mind/

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 6:14 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:


https://www.hokai.info/2011/12/ten-levels-of-mind/


Unfortunately I don't see any correspondence of this list to the list in MCTB. E.g., where is the "Dark Night" a.k.a. depression? The only similarity I see is that it is also some list of "gradual improvement".

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 6:42 AM as a reply to Alesh Vyhnal.
Mind sees what mind wants to see.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 7:42 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Does this mean that people who came up via Zen or Advaita don't get them Cosmic Pulse (best description I can come up with?)/Fruition thingammys when they close their eyes and try to go to sleep at night? 

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 8:35 AM as a reply to Alesh Vyhnal.
Alesh Vyhnal:
shargrol:


https://www.hokai.info/2011/12/ten-levels-of-mind/


Unfortunately I don't see any correspondence of this list to the list in MCTB. E.g., where is the "Dark Night" a.k.a. depression? The only similarity I see is that it is also some list of "gradual improvement".

Obviously none of these maps are going into detail. It takes some sense of the poetry of the language to understand what they are pointing to in each stage. For example the phrase "self seen as impermanent" in Stage 4 would likely be the first path dark night stuff.

Again, the point is not to get caught in the semantics and figure out the One Right Map, but to have our practice informed by the overall pattern. So for example, the historical buddha would never talk about the 10 minds maps using the references to the various schools because the various schools didn't exist. Does that mean the buddha didn't make it to Stage 10? emoticon The 10 minds map could only exist in a time when traditions were trying to reconcile all the philosophies of various traditions ---- but I'll bet that even within a tradition that in the Shingon map was pegged at stage 5 or 8 or whatever, there were plenty of people in that tradition who understood the last stage of "breaking through attachment to void". 

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 11:59 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
[quote=
]
BUT I had an American guy that was here to learn Vipassana meditation and he supposedly (my amateur diagnosis) encountered A&P and 2 days later he was so ill (fever, headache, etc.)....So what else can it be other than the 'Dark Night'? 







When I was a small child I had a porridge. The next day the chicken pox rash appeared. 

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 12:00 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Mind sees what mind wants to see.
Yes, it si true. I think it is also called wishful thinking.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 12:11 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol: For example the phrase "self seen as impermanent" in Stage 4 would likely be the first path dark night stuff.




As far as I understand the description of Dark night it seems to me that it most resembles a depressive disorder. Kenneth Folk also mentions hatred or anger. And this also appears in depression. J
ack Kornfield writes about a man who had a mania after a long meditation. He also writes about neurological symptoms that can occur. Leigh Brasington also warns that deep concentration can cause mania. So it is good to be prepared that something like this can happen.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/4/17 2:58 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
There was a study done in 2014: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102990

I
t indeed mentions different EEG/EKG responses regarding Theravadan and Vajrayana meditation techniques.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/5/17 7:26 AM as a reply to Alesh Vyhnal.
There may be a set of universal mediation results that everyone shares. I suspect there are based on the fact that we all share a common anatomy and senses/brain interface. That said, I really don't know. I can't assert with certainty that my practice experience, which closely mirrors the Theravada maps, is such because I expected that to happen or because it's endemic to being human and using Theravada meditation techniques. I can't say whether or not other traditions' practitioners have or don't have these same experiences and simply don't report them because they don't see them as practice related effects, or whatever. I just don't know.

I do believe that at a very high level there seem to be patterns and effects that advanced meditators report that are similar sounding from tradition to tradition, like non-dual perceptions and experiences, trance-like concentration states, and so on. These patterns seem to have some correlation to the amount of practice people have under their belt. But as I said before, mind is a serial interpreter of things. It seeks patterns and it seeks answers. I am thus skeptical of correlations and conclusions.

Signed,

Happily Uncertain

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/5/17 6:09 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I'm happy to notice the general correlations and patterns and to think it's neat and feel a warm fuzzy feeling about humanity. But yeah, I also notice how the mind seeks patterns and finds them, very dependent origination-ish-ly. This is probably what is at the heart of the buddhist caution about believing "views". 


Classic parable:
A man was walking alone down a forest path. The Devil and his assistant were following at a distance. The man bends over and picks up something. The Devil's assistant, horrified, exclaims, "Oh no, Master! The man has discovered Truth!" The Devil smiles and says, "Don't worry, I'll help him organize it."

emoticon

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/5/17 5:35 AM as a reply to Lars.
Lars:

Sounds a lot like the way UFO experiences have been reported over the ages. In times with minimal technology they were desribed as angels or demons, with smoke and fire. Then as technology progressed they became chariots and other types of vehicles. Now that we have shiny metal technology people report shiny metal UFOs.


!!! A belated thanks for this Lars, hillarious! emoticon

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/5/17 10:20 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:

.../

Take a totally different tradition - Kashmir Shaivism. People should still be able to recognize the progression of more and more subtle sense of self... basically going from conventional duality, to more of a witness consciousness, to more of a rarified consciousness (god consciousness, all objects as god/luminosity), and then a unity consciousness which is almost like the original duality consciousness yet something appreciated that wasn't appreciated before, that THIS IS IT. So very much the same arc of progress.

https://batgap.com/igor-kufayev-2/

/...


That's not the Kashmir Shaivist view. In fact, the interviewee states at the beginning of the interview that the interview is about his own view. So perhaps it's more accurate to view that as a map of Kufayevism?

You'll find an accurate (and practically useful map) in the opening verses of the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra.

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/5/17 3:18 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
!!! A belated thanks for this Lars, hillarious! emoticon


I totally didn't create a new view to help me understand the tendency of others to create views to help them understand their experience. No really. emoticon

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/5/17 11:42 PM as a reply to Alesh Vyhnal.
Alesh Vyhnal:
[quote=

BUT I had an American guy that was here to learn Vipassana meditation and he supposedly (my amateur diagnosis) encountered A&P and 2 days later he was so ill (fever, headache, etc.)....So what else can it be other than the 'Dark Night'? 

When I was a small child I had a porridge. The next day the chicken pox rash appeared.

My chain-smoking grant-aunt never believed smoking is bad for health, so she wasn't killed by it, she did however eat porridge the night before she passed away...

RE: Role of interpretation in Attainments
Answer
10/6/17 5:25 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Perhaps ergot contamination. ;)