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Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/24/18 11:20 AM
If it's all just a cosmic joke:
 1) Why bother?
 2) Is it funny?

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/24/18 12:36 PM as a reply to P A.
1) Because I can't stop bothering.
2) Not as long as I'm the butt of it.

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/24/18 4:19 PM as a reply to P A.
It's a real knee slapper.

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/24/18 6:26 PM as a reply to P A.
It’s very funny. 

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/24/18 7:12 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Ha. Ha.


It's funny, but it has a certain.... je ne sais quoi...

Black comedy.

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/24/18 9:15 PM as a reply to P A.
If I'm at the butt end of the joke, I can either join the party or sulk in a corner. The former is very appealing when you compare the choices... emoticon

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/24/18 9:18 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
We’re all the butt of the joke.

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/25/18 4:53 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
But in all seriousness, listening to Kenneth Folk and Michael Taft talking about this on Deconstructing Yourself is rather uninspiring. If the punchline is being aware that an itchy nose was just an itchy nose all along, then I already get it and I'm sure I can find more worthwhile projects to devote my time to. 

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/25/18 7:00 AM as a reply to P A.
Wouldn't it be amazing to experience an itchy nose as just an itchy nose, experience as just experience, without the heavy load of "self" and "mine" added on to it?
Seems like a worthwhile project emoticon

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/25/18 8:44 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
Wouldn't it be amazing to experience an itchy nose as just an itchy nose, experience as just experience, without the heavy load of "self" and "mine" added on to it?
Seems like a worthwhile project emoticon


No, I'm more ambitious than that. Again, to paraphrase Kenneth Folk: it's all very well having pleasant mystical states until you get kicked in the balls.

It's really only being kicked in the balls that I have a problem with and if the Cosmic Joke is that life is as much of a ball-ache after enlightenment as it was before, then the Joke is on all of us for devoting any energy to this stuff in the first place.

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/25/18 11:53 AM as a reply to P A.
It's really only being kicked in the balls that I have a problem with and if the Cosmic Joke is that life is as much of a ball-ache after enlightenment as it was before, then the Joke is on all of us for devoting any energy to this stuff in the first place.

Consider that after awakening you'll still get kicked in the balls but you'll know so much about how that process works and feels that you'll easily move on to the next thing. "Oh, there's that shitty ball kicking again. Now what?"

It's a joke because you can laugh at it.


RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/25/18 5:24 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
It's a joke because you can laugh at it.


Mel Brooks once said: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

Perhaps enlightenment/equanimity is just being able to see the comedy even when WE fall into the open sewer (or get kicked in the balls). emoticon

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/26/18 7:11 AM as a reply to Lars.
I've had an inkling that if enlightenment is funny, death must be hilarious.

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/27/18 3:14 AM as a reply to P A.
Ed C.:

It's really only being kicked in the balls that I have a problem with and if the Cosmic Joke is that life is as much of a ball-ache after enlightenment as it was before, then the Joke is on all of us for devoting any energy to this stuff in the first place.


My experience has been that pursuing this goal has definately lead to life being less of a ball-ache. But it's more subtle than simply being blissed out and not experiencing any punches from life.Yes it's still hard, yes I cry if people close to me die. But there is an element to all of that that makes it worth while and bearable, even pleasant, actually. My mother passed away recently and while I was grieving it never felt like it was too much to handle and now after the thing I feel actually happy about the whole experience. There is a strong sense of acceptance on the things you cannot change which feels good. I contrast this to some friends I know. I see their struggle and I see how I've avoided being pulled into the shit they are going through, because they have not had insight on to the workings of their mind. It's frightening to see just how much they can suffer due to their own delusions...

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/27/18 7:08 PM as a reply to P A.
I also had a similiar reaction when reading about Daniel Ingram suffering with lyme (I think?) disease. Even post-4th path, there was still extreme suffering to be found.

It was pretty disheartening, at first, and made me question the foundations of my movation. Why did I even do this shit, If I'll never get rid of this suffering for as long as I breathe?

The only real 'answer' that I've found, to keep on living in the face of that fact,  is that, while life may be a shit show, there are people out there that may need my help at some point or another. Even If I kill myself right now, I still leave behind a world full of troubles and suffering that I have still not made better in any way,shape or form.

So, I'll keep bearing the suffering and the injuries, because I now firmly believe it's my duty, as a human being, to at least do a few good deeds before being snuffed out.

And, enlightenment will likely at least reduce the 'excess' suffering a little, I guess.

Anyway, that's just my particular answer, to that conundrum, that I've found for myself, perhaps you'll find a different one(or none at all.)

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/28/18 6:54 AM as a reply to D..
 ... while life may be a shit show, there are people out there that may need my help at some point or another.

The Mahayana Bodhisattva vow - nice.

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/28/18 7:32 AM as a reply to D..
I'm elated that you found the truth and joy in altruism, D. When I am not suffering with the 'I' to be enlightened where it is clear that all the unnecessary suffering comes from the I/me/mine, I find great joy in helping others where the I/me/mine is lost for those precious few moments. The connection - can't put a finger on it, seems to be an integral part of a human being? Perhaps we are learning to suffer less so that we can take more for others? Another cosmic joke this seems to be... What the heck are we really up to? Hahaha

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
3/30/18 9:05 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
Wouldn't it be amazing to experience an itchy nose as just an itchy nose, experience as just experience, without the heavy load of "self" and "mine" added on to it?
Seems like a worthwhile project emoticon


aloha ben,

   
  I've been thinking once again about the subject-object relationship. Clearly they arise together, the subject and the experience of objects: if something is happening, it must be happening to "me."

   The dhamma teaches that objects arise from ignorance. Ignorance of the fact that the universe is already perfect and cannot be improved by any contrivance of ours. Thinking arises when our desires need mediation or are frustrated. Objects in view represent what we want, or the means to obtain what we want. In all cases, a subject is invented to be "subject" to desires and perceptions, to the five skandhas.

   If you eliminate desire (the result of ignorance), you eliminate objects; without objects there are no thoughts, and no subject of thought or desire. Without desire, experience continues without an experiencer... then we say, 'wow, I just had a wonderful experience about not being an experiencer' and we are grasping at life once again, dissatisfied and ever ready to be deceived that somehow the next thing we try will help us get "there" (anything to fill the empty space we ironically are trying to embrace as empty, and which actually doesn't exist without objects to occupy it). By seeing that the self, the subject, is created by viewing the objects of desire, we can diminish the conditions for the arising of such objects, and thereby diminish the delusion of individual self. (In short, avoid temptation.) An individual self is pointedly at odds with the spiritual Self, such conflict being the source of all unhappiness. The objects of desire create greed, hatred and delusion; the more so the more we are attached to what we feel belongs to us (vs them). Generosity, selfless love and insight are the antitodes; aka the bv's - use them and they will not fail.  

   A "worthwhile" project indeed, to just drop it - the heavy load of desire (self) which is always misconceived. See through the emergence of objects and return to the natural state, the "uncarved block," the true human being as natural to the human environment as deer, fish and birds are to theirs. Seth pointed out recently that once we have eliminated misconceptions, only love is left, as we can't want to be rid of it too. (However much a misconception love may be as well, I might add.) Love may be experienced (perceived) as relationships, and not as objects (of desire). We  (as a society - not picking on anyone personally) constantly reify and quantize experience so as to cram more productivity into our days, in order to compete more effectively with our fellows for stuff we don't need or even want - because we are conditioned that way. We may want to de-reify and de-quantize; perceive relationships and qualities in preference to quick and inaccurate judgments that get us by and on to the next moment, though always behind and feeling guilty about it. Wanting to want less, to do with less, is a giant step out of the delusory games and into the clarity of on-going balance with life.

   As for jokes, there's the one about heaven and hell: heaven is an american salary, an english house, a chinese cook, and a japanese wife; hell is a chinese salary, a japanese house, an english cook, and I forget the last one...   heheh...


terry

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
4/1/18 1:46 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
Wouldn't it be amazing to experience an itchy nose as just an itchy nose, experience as just experience, without the heavy load of "self" and "mine" added on to it?
Seems like a worthwhile project emoticon


aloha ben,

   I was reading this morning joanna macy's "world as lover, world as self," and found this, p75-76:


quote:

*who is knowing?*


   Reality appears to be so organized that consciousness of it is hampered to the extent that the distinctions between knower and known are reified. Who then, is knowing? It is no entity that we can isolate, for as soon as it is distinguished, it is the known, not the knower. Unable to locate an agent, we are driven, in the last resort, to accord that function to the universe itself, which appears to be organized in ways that enable it to observe and know itself.

   In early Buddhist teachings, the mental distortions that obscure to us the nature of our being in the world are viewed in a merciless light. At the same time, the idea that we can eradicate and break free of them is proclaimed. Not only is this possibility affirmed, but the methods are set forth by which it can be achieved.

   In vipassana training, this is done by directing attention not to the things we see, but to how we see them - the co-dependently arising nature of feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. Thus can be gained the "eye of wisdom," that dissolves the hatred and greed we project upon the world. The knower, seeing with "the eye of wisdom," does not seek to extricate herself from the objects of her knowing, so much as to free them from the fabrications she imposes on them. As the object of knowing seems to disappear in the experience of cessation of perception, so now, with insight practice, the subject also seems to evaporate.

        "Then, Bahiya, thus you must train yourself: in the seen, there will be just the seen; in the heard, there will be just the heard; in the         sensed, just the sensed; in the known, just the known. That is how, Bahiya, you must train yourself. Now, when, Bahiya, in the seen will be just the seen; in the heard, just the heard; in the sensed, just the sensed; in the known, just the known, then, Bahiya...you will not be in it. And, when, Bahiya, you will not be in it, then Bahiya, you will not be 'here' nor 'there' nor 'midway-between.' This itself is the end of suffering." (Udana 8). 

   Both the "what" that is known and the "who" that is the knower are elusive. Neither can be fixed or pinpointed as static, self-existent entities. Shifting and dancing out of reach as we seek to grasp them, they suggest that there is not knower or known so much as "just knowing."

unquote


terry

RE: Cosmic Joke
Answer
4/1/18 4:45 PM as a reply to D..
Enlightenment is a permanent end to suffering.  None at all.   I enter states when meditating where it is apparent that suffering is just a mental/nervous system construct and the mind stops producing it.  Really, the mind stops labeling stuff it used to label as suffering as suffering. It is that simple.  I am trying to maintain that state all the time, but so far my mind keeps reverting to old habits.