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On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection

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On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/13/18 11:58 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection JP 6/13/18 1:56 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/13/18 10:47 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection JP 6/14/18 8:36 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/14/18 9:26 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection curious 6/13/18 2:25 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection lotb 6/13/18 2:38 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection shargrol 6/14/18 8:21 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Lars 6/15/18 12:19 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection shargrol 6/15/18 5:30 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Lars 6/15/18 6:14 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Chris Marti 6/15/18 7:23 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Lars 6/15/18 3:24 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Chris Marti 6/15/18 3:23 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Lars 6/15/18 3:50 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 7:28 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Chris Marti 6/15/18 7:29 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 12:31 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Chris Marti 6/15/18 2:50 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 3:45 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Chris Marti 6/15/18 3:55 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 4:22 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Chris Marti 6/15/18 5:46 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 5:49 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Chris Marti 6/15/18 5:56 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection shargrol 6/15/18 7:48 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 8:39 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection shargrol 6/16/18 6:13 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Andromeda 6/15/18 5:31 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 11:18 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Nick O 6/15/18 5:44 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/15/18 6:02 PM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Nick O 6/16/18 12:42 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection seth tapper 6/16/18 8:20 AM
RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection Nick O 6/16/18 9:47 AM
Under my bed, a monster lurks.
Some call it the void. 
I shine a light and hunt it down. 
It might consume me and all that I love. 
Cold and alone. 
Tired of the search. 
I crawl in with it and come to rest. 

forever  embraced. 

---------------------------
 
My mind used to flee from the idea that nothing had meaning or even intrinsic existence.  Reason lead me to see that I could not really know anything and that the mind is full of meaning structures that, upon inspection, always have delusional assumptions as the ground upon which they are built.    The rational mind, though, is not in any kind of control and this realization would arise and pass away as the mind entered and exited various narratives and took on the persona and meaning structures of the lead character in these narratives. 

The experience of contemplating real emptiness was, at first, one of inchoate dread.  All the myths and stories and regrets and desires and objects and people I love would be destroyed if I accepted it.  This is a pretty big stew of triggers for anxiety and avoidance so even letting the idea of real emptiness into consciousness occurred only on retreat and after long meditation sessions, when the mind became very quiet.  An even bigger hinderance than the fear, was the love and the bliss.  As my mind approached a view of real emptiness, it would let go of narratives that occluded its view of This as it is.  Suddenly, where fear and suffering and need had been, the mind became full of love and being and ease.  Having been conditioned since birth to feel like it was the "owner" of its consciousness and its contents, it clung to these states, took subconsious pride in entering them and had fear of losing that feeling and being plunged back into the storm of suffering. 
While the rational mind could think its way out of other narratives and identification, these feelings and states seemed supernatural and beyond analytic comprehension.  Instead of investigating them, the mind just wanted to dwell in them or to go even farther into the bliss.  The experience seemed the opposite of nihilism.  I used to say the universe is empty of meaning, but full of being.  Implicit in that view is still the idea that some mind state is better than another.  There was still a lot of identification with the Yogi self on the path to enlightenment, even if identification with other self myths was lessening. 

Every once in a while, the mind would enter what I call the Root state and would see that it is all nonsense.  That it is all love.  When this state arose, it felt supernatural, as if the mind were God and the could see everything clearly.  When not in the root state, the mind clung to that experience and tried all kinds of strategies to "get back there".  

The first insight that began to break this cycle was into apriori perfection.  If one contemplates the universe free of human meaning, it has no flaws. It is perfect just the way it is - whatever it is.  Before we skin existence with our own meaning constructs, it is perfect.  After we skin existence and create the reality we live in - it is still perfect, we are just delusionally pretending it isnt. 

The idea of a priori perfection was the doorway into really letting go of the idea of a self that was enmeshed in any kind of activity that had consequence, even getting enlightened or lessening my own or another's suffering.  I stopped surfing the roiling waves of the sea and began trying to be the ocean or thinking I was the ocean.  The mind was essentially dropping identification with a particularized self and strengthening identification with a universal self.  This universal self was the one that experienced love.  The goal of practice seemed to be to keep shedding particularized self myths until only the universal self remained. 

  A universal self that pervaded all space and time and exists as a boundaryless field of love became my metaphysical framework.   This too was a delusion.  The key insight of apriori perfection is really an insight into what isnt real and not what is.  

Absolute materialism - a rock is a rock and my mind is made of meat - became possible for the mind to accept because it seemed a ladder to this universal self and the fear of losing things or people had been vanquished.  Who doesnt want to be one with everything?  It is basically a view that lets go of everything and all selves but love, the lover and the beloved. 

I had  shifted my metaphysical context from an individual actor to a seperate but agencyless experiencer and sufferer to a universal lover and even to just love.  This seemed so true, the mind stopped investigating and became attached to the view as dogma.  Materialism came to the rescue.  From a materialist perspective, love is just a relaxed muscle.  Read that twice.

WARNING: NIHILISM approaching. 

All the wanting, imagining, chasing, being, abiding and feeling of love is just a nervous tick.   This is what true emptiness is and it is the end of the path.  Love itself is nonsense.  If one is firmly established in the insight of a priori perfection - the mind can accept this.  Even love is just a concept with boundaries that only serves to limit and constrain perfection.  Seeing this, the mind is free.  Nothing it does makes any difference and all disatisfaction is objectively delusional.   You do not get a merit badge for seeing this - no one cares and no magick powers arise or all seing eyes or anything.  You just get to stop pretending there is anything wrong or anything that needs to be done.  The stream of experience is void of meaning and the mind experiences itself as A universal self that pervaded all space and time and exists as a boundaryless field of love - but knows that even that is conceptual nonsense.

Materialism enables the mind to accept this even as it moves around and does stuff and delusional mind states come and go.  When confronted with some one throwing a rock at your head, you duck and when confronted by nature, you love.  Humans are just a natural phenomenon.  From a materialist perspective, these are just mind states that arise due to the laws of physics and there is no reason to prefer one over the other.  

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/13/18 1:56 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Hi Seth,

I'd like to share my own alternate mapping of what's going on in our subjective experience to what's going on in the body.  I don't think I'm nearly as far along the path as you, but it's been helpful to me for giving a framework for making sense of stuff.  Culadas's interpretation of the Abhidhamma mind-moment model has been a big influence on it.

I'm going to start off by assuming that our consciousness and subjective experience is a product of our brain and nervous system. I know there are alternative models of quantum consciousness, panpsychism, magick, spirit realms etc. -- but my best guess is that those are actually models of our subjective experience rather than the objective reality that's causing that subjective experience to arise.

So if we assume it's all happening in the nervous system, what can we infer from that?

- Absolutely everything we experience in consciousness corresponds to some nervous system activity.
- Neural activity is very brief, so individual sensations and everything we experience is very fleeting. 
- Sensations that occur in consciousness are routed to many more neurons than are actively projecting sensations themselves.Let's call these neurons the "audience".
- In response to either novel sensory data or as a reaction to past sensations, other neurons activate and a new sensation occurs in consciousness.
- The sense of any particular sensation or set of sensations being either the subject or object is just another sensation.
- Learning occurs when neurons in the "audience" observe what's going on and change their future behavior.

That's all fairly standard dharma theory.  And so many meditation discussions focus on both the sensations themselves and on the characteristics of how we experience. But I think that keeping the "audience" in mind is very helpful -- what's going on with all the neurons that are just watching and not projecting anything into consciousness?    I feel like sometimes in meditation there's a strong sense that those parts of our mind start noticing that they're listening without needing to say anything.  Of course that knowing is then another sensation.  I personally identify "emptiness" with this audience of perceiving neurons, as contrasted with "form" being the specific sensations currently in consciousness.  I say audience, but it's really more of an unseeable and unexperiable theater that our subjective experience is arising to.  

I know this sounds like just another subject-object duality, with the contents of consciousness being the object and the "audience" being the subject.  But the difference is that all the other subject-object dualities people are talking about are occurring within their subjective experience -- there's some sensations that they're experiencing as a subject or as an object.  

So how does learning and insight make sense in this kind of framework?  Learning is the adjustment process that the "audience" neurons go through in response to the sensations that they're experiencing.  The interesting thing is that the actual acts of adjustment and learning are actually unobservable/unexperienceable -- although noticing it taking place will subsequently give rise to the sensations that imply that learning is taking place.  Luckily for us, the "audience" is able to notice not just the sensations taking place, but also the qualities of how the sensations are arising as well as the sensations that aren't arising.  So when we're meditating, the "audience" neurons can notice not only the 3Cs of sensations, but they can even infer for themselves that they're not putting out a sensation.  So they can update their internal models to realize that not putting out sensations is completely fine, and is actually the default thing they're doing almost all the time. And insight is perfected when all the parts of the brain understand this.

What about agency and the cultivation of better mental states?  To the extent that we experience being an agent, that experience is pretty clearly built from a sequence of individual sensations -- and that sequence has a certain momentum and unavoidability to it.  "If this happens in the outside world, I'll need to do XYZ."  But when the sequence of sensations is experienced at a granular enough level, at each step it becomes obvious to the audience neurons that would normally kick off the next sensation in sequence that everything is still fine even if they don't.  When they don't, the normal sequence is disrupted and the "floor" becomes open for other parts of the "audience" to contribute appropriate reactions.  Having gaps in reactions provides real room for agency and freedom -- it's just that that agency and freedom belongs to the "audience".  And so "we" won't actually experience it in our subjective experience, since any sense of agency or freedom or whatnot is going to be just another sensation.   Better mind states and attitudes are cultivated similarly -- by the neurons in the "audience" comparing the results of skillful and unskillful states/attitudes, and changing their reactions over time.  The whole thing is a bit of a strange loop , where a sensation arises, the audience simultaneously perceives it, and then gives rise to sensations in reaction.  So even though if we look closely enough we don't experience being an agent/doer/controller, in a way it's "as if" we have real agency/free-will -- it's just that we'll never directly experience it.  

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/13/18 2:25 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Hey Seth - always love your poetry.  You should try haiku.  Also, just to be a buddhist geek, here is an extract from an essay by Bikkhu Bodhi (https://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha267.htm).  It looks to me like a pretty precise description of what you are saying.

"The Buddha then explains the method. The meditator enters into one of the four jhānas or the lower three formless attainments (the text takes up each in turn) and dissects it into its constituents: form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness in the case of the four jhānas; the same, but omitting form, for the three formless attainments.[34] He next contemplates these phenomena in eleven ways: as impermanent, suffering, a disease, a boil, a dart, misery, affliction, alien, disintegrating, empty, and non-self. Then, when his contemplation reaches maturity, he turns his mind away from these things and directs it to the deathless element (amata-dhātu), i.e., Nibbāna. 'If he is firm in this he reaches arahantship right on the spot, but if he holds back slightly due to attachment and delight in the Dhamma, then he eliminates the five lower fetters and becomes a spontaneous ariser, who attains final Nibbāna there (in a celestial realm) without ever returning from that world.' "

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/13/18 2:38 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Thanks for your continued outpouring, Seth.

It seems like your model is nearly a final draft; you convey a sense of doneness, or at least know how to finish the job (however close you are to that).

Given that, what's next or left to explore?  

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/13/18 10:47 PM as a reply to JP.
Hey JP, 

I enjoyed reading this and your brain has obviously have been walking down similiar paths to mine.  Getting into the nitty gritty is something I would like to do with you - but not tonight.  The two things that jumped out at me from your description are what seemed to me a subtle anthropomorphism of the audience in your writing, but not in the model.  Is that evidence that there is some subconscious identification with the audience as self? I dont know, but something to investigate.  I try to really stay away from that by thinking of it as a system of feedback loops with no agency or actors.  I find that my mind wants to fabricate beings and will subtlely substitute agents into situations where none exist.  

The other thing is the whole last paragraph about free will.  To me, it reads like you are clinging to that concept and mixing your metaphors illogically to make room for it in your model.  It might be a bad read on my part, I apologize if it is.  If not -   Why care if there is free will? What are you gonna do with it? In my own view, there is no such thing.  My brain is really a brain and it does what physics compells it to do.  

Thanks for sharing this. 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/14/18 8:36 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Hey JP, 

I enjoyed reading this and your brain has obviously have been walking down similiar paths to mine.  Getting into the nitty gritty is something I would like to do with you - but not tonight.  The two things that jumped out at me from your description are what seemed to me a subtle anthropomorphism of the audience in your writing, but not in the model.  Is that evidence that there is some subconscious identification with the audience as self? I dont know, but something to investigate.  I try to really stay away from that by thinking of it as a system of feedback loops with no agency or actors.  I find that my mind wants to fabricate beings and will subtlely substitute agents into situations where none exist.  

The other thing is the whole last paragraph about free will.  To me, it reads like you are clinging to that concept and mixing your metaphors illogically to make room for it in your model.  It might be a bad read on my part, I apologize if it is.  If not -   Why care if there is free will? What are you gonna do with it? In my own view, there is no such thing.  My brain is really a brain and it does what physics compells it to do.  

Thanks for sharing this. 

Thanks for the suggestions!  I'm still at the level of identifying with muscle tension in the head most of the time, since I've been taking a break from practice and think I'm still working on second path.  I'd love to be at the point of identifying subtly with the "audience" or for the free will stuff to matter  -- those sound like a better class of "problems" to have.

I included the stuff about free will/cultivation because there seems to be something important but elusive about why we're doing all of this meditation.  I'm really having a hard time articulating it, but I feel like I've had a few experiences where I've glimpsed "why" I was doing all of this, and it was quite different from the normal orientation of why we'd want to do something for ourselves.  I don't have regular access to that "why", and I also don't have a good way to articulate what seemed so important about it -- but this quote from the MCTB chapter A Clear Goal seems applicable:
Having a clear goal is absolutely fundamental to the practice in more ways than may be initially obvious. In fact, if you understood your actual reality right now clearly enough to get to the root of why you were doing all of this and where all this motion of mind comes from, you would be highly realized. You would penetrate to the heart of compassion and suffering, of ignorance and emptiness, and be finally free. 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/14/18 9:26 AM as a reply to JP.
I have been there! A few random thoughts: 

1.  Having a materialist framework for your mind I have found to be a very useful tool to let go of delusional beliefs.  That said, it only works if you really accept it as true (or truish).  If you make such a framework and then just revert back to one in which a super natural self is suffering it probably isnt that helpful.  Accepting that you are meat and that your subjective experience is constructed and empty is the only reason to mess with materialism.  Thinking that your are creating a model of what is in some way really happening is another delusion.  Even from a materialist perspective - atoms and space/time and stuff do not really exist as we conceive them.  The point, for me, is not to model reality, but to create a model that my mind can accept that has no agency, self or suffering in it.  When suffering does arise, the mind uses the model to see through it and return to being meat. 

2.  You say "I am working on 2nd path".  I really do not understand the path model and maps and stuff, so I cant comment, but I have been consistently urged by Vipassana pros to stop making frameworks and using the thinking mind and to just observe the mind stream in such precise detail that how the mind makes reality becomes apparent.  This seems like good advice, in Zen I think they would call it beginners mind.  Come to each moment with as few preconceived notions as possible.  How do you see your transgressive daliance with materialism fits into your theravadan efforts? Do they seem to support each other or do you find your mind thinking about materialism when it should be just noting or confused because various insights and subjective experiences make little sense in relation to each other? 

3. " I included the stuff about free will/cultivation because there seems to be something important but elusive about why we're doing all of this meditation. "  - This is a good opportunity to use materialism to kill off a persistent and multi drug resistant delusion.  From a materialist perspective - what is the important reason to be meditating?  If you find none, in what framework are you really operating if importance seems intuitively true?  My own experience has been that letting go of the intuition that all of this has some greater meaning and that my life has some purpose or mission was a critical step towards allowing emptiness to be the brain's model of reality - whether you call it materialism or mind or This.  In my view and as far as I can tell, shit is just happening for no reason and no one is in any control.   The crab  nebula is much larger than a human and it has no meaning to its movements.  Why do you imagine that your movements have meaning?  I imagined it because my subjective experience seemed to contain a deeper intuitive meaning map that overrode my rational mind.  I also was afraid of walking under ladders and opening umbrellas in doors and subconsiously thought picking up pennies would bring me luck.  For me, all of that intuitive truth turned out to be nonsense.  Once past it, the water is much warmer and calmer. 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/14/18 8:21 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Under my bed, a monster lurks.
Some call it the void. 
I shine a light and hunt it down. 
It might consume me and all that I love. 
Cold and alone. 
Tired of the search. 
I crawl in with it and come to rest. 

forever  embraced. 


Such an awesome poem.

For what it's worth, and it's not worth much, I get the sense from these posts of "sneaking a peak over the edge".

Yes everything you are saying is true. Yet what I see is that there is pre-conceptual existance which is completely uneffected by the domain of human emotions and striving and failure, there is human life of emotions and striving and failure, and then there is the trans-human domain of equanimity in the face of human emotions and strivings and failure. I totally believe that you have worked through soooo much of seeing through the fabricated nature of human drama, yet you keep going back to the prior domain of pre-human existance. 

In a way, this seems like the classic Ken Wilber pre-trans fallacy (e.g. http://www.integralworld.net/fallacy.html  --- but I admit this was just the first thing that appeared in google). There is a deep perception of the transcentent, yet the language the relating the conceptualization is rooted in this idea of a state that is >before< all the complications of human life. Meat, atoms, nerves, etc. 

Awakening is everything you are seeing but it is >all in< (as in the card game poker: "I'm all in") into meaning and suffering and humanity and emotion.... and then coming out the other side. ("trans" in the post-trans fallacy sense.) On the other side, meaning and suffering and humanity and emotion are not negated, but recognized as legitimate within their domain.

The reason I feel compelled to say this is that I have seen maybe 6 or so people on DhO, KennethFolkOnline, AwakeNetwork, etc. that have used similar language, said that they have cracked the code, everything is meaningless except some aspect of their philosophy (love, awareness, knowing, etc.) and then basically were in denial about actual human living was still impacting them with discomfort, suffering, loss, inadequacy, failure, dissatisfaction --- all the basic human stuff that everyone experiences.

Well, so anyway, I just wanted to point out that if there is an idea that the mechanical precision and non-emotional, non-meaning aspect of the world is the truth, the whole truth, the answer to suffering, then you are not allowed to ever bring in any meaning or value that isn't found in the material world, especially not love, even if you try to sneak it in as a relaxed muscle. If materialism is IT, you have to stop at relaxed muscle (and not even use the word relaxed, because that is not a material expression, it would have to be something expressed about  sarcomeres or something like that) and never mention the world love --- because as soon as you do, you are outside of materialism.

And really, when it comes down to it, YOU are simply not meat. You are not meat.

Just like this WORD you are understanding from my typing is not silicone, even though all of this is on a silicone chip computer.

You get my point? Yes, when you see how human drama and suffering is fabricated, it is clear how pointless it is. But that doesn't mean there isn't any meaning or value or discrimination that represents wisdom and development. Quite the opposite. In fact, implicit in the arguement is a sense of meaning and discrimination and wisdom. It's kind of funny when you think about it. Trying to argue for the greater truth of a pre-meaning world can only be done within the domain of a world that is dripping with meaning.

But it really doesn't matter, yet I had to say it.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 12:19 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Awakening is everything you are seeing but it is >all in< (as in the card game poker: "I'm all in") into meaning and suffering and humanity and emotion.... and then coming out the other side. ("trans" in the post-trans fallacy sense.) On the other side, meaning and suffering and humanity and emotion are not negated, but recognized as legitimate within their domain.


The ox herding pictures don't end with emptiness and unity etc, but with returning to the world.



Once you see the nature of experience, you see that everything is empty, but it's also very vividly just what it is. Suffering is just suffering, meaninglessness is just meaninglessness, fun is just fun, meaning is just meaning. The concept of meaninglessness or "meat" is no better than the concept of meaning.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 5:30 AM as a reply to Lars.
And yet it's important not to confuse the domains of "the nature of experience" and value/use of concepts.

So concepts all have the same mind-nature (empty and vivid), but that doesn't mean that certain concepts are more appropriate/useful than others in certain conditions. There are better >uses< of the concept of meaninglessness or the concept of meaning, depending on context.

So awakening is does have an aspect of  "oh, all experiences are fundamentally mind-nature" to it, but it doesn't then result in the conclusion "there is no value in discriminating the consequential nature of situation because its all good and all perfect". That would be a regression. Pretending that intelligence and wisdom doesn't exist is the root of a lot of spiritual bypassing and dysfunctional spiritual cults. 



 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 5:31 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Under my bed, a monster lurks.
Some call it the void. 
I shine a light and hunt it down. 
It might consume me and all that I love. 
Cold and alone. 
Tired of the search. 
I crawl in with it and come to rest. 

forever  embraced. 

---------------------------
 
  

Beautiful! I think this poem gets closer than anything you've written on meat and materialism. "Forever embraced" points at the fact that life is supersaturated with meaning, which is quite at odds with any notion of nihilism.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 6:14 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
So awakening is does have an aspect of  "oh, all experiences are fundamentally mind-nature" to it, but it doesn't then result in the conclusion "there is no value in discriminating the consequential nature of situation because its all good and all perfect". That would be a regression.


Of course, my point with the ox herding pictures was that after you recognize emptiness etc, you can quite joyfully leap back into the "real world" knowing its true nature. You're free to discriminate, even if you understand that discrimination is fundamentally illusory. You're free to attribute meaning to things when meaning is useful and recognize meaninglessness when that's useful, without being attached to either extreme. emoticon

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 7:23 AM as a reply to Lars.
Of course, my point with the ox herding pictures was that after you recognize emptiness etc, you can quite joyfully leap back into the "real world" knowing its true nature. You're free to discriminate, even if you understand that discrimination is fundamentally illusory. You're free to attribute meaning to things when meaning is useful and recognize meaninglessness when that's useful, without being attached to either extreme. emoticon

I would only add that this not a choice of where we exist but how to view existence - we are already and always firmly in both. We start from ignorance (not being able to see the emptiness), then we go through the stage shargrol described, where that is what we think is the real reality, and then one day we see those two are the same thing and can't be separated, just differently viewed.



RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 7:28 AM as a reply to Lars.
I am thinking about Shargol's other comments for a bit before I respond, but what you describe is closer to how it feels, except there is no sense of being free to do anything.  Mind states arise and the meat quivers.  I am not done yet though.  The mind and nervous system are still winding down, but I do keep sneaking peeks. 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 7:29 AM as a reply to shargrol.
So awakening is does have an aspect of  "oh, all experiences are fundamentally mind-nature" to it, but it doesn't then result in the conclusion "there is no value in discriminating the consequential nature of situation because its all good and all perfect". That would be a regression. Pretending that intelligence and wisdom doesn't exist is the root of a lot of spiritual bypassing and dysfunctional spiritual cults. 

+1

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 11:18 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
[quote=] I think this poem gets closer than anything you've written on meat and materialism. "Forever embraced" points at the fact that life is supersaturated with meaning, which is quite at odds with any notion of nihilism.


This is where materialism leads me, or more acurately, materialism has been a way for me to bring this insight into the consciousness while also enmeshed in Seth Tapper's ordinary life.  Forever embraced is a pretty blunt poetic view of what complete satisfaction feels like.  If it is all meat, what is there to be disatisfied about?  That said, even that is without meaning or intrinsic existence.  From a materialist view, even Nirvana is just a meaty mind state.  How free is that!  

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 12:31 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
seth tapper:
Under my bed, a monster lurks.
Some call it the void. 
I shine a light and hunt it down. 
It might consume me and all that I love. 
Cold and alone. 
Tired of the search. 
I crawl in with it and come to rest. 

forever  embraced. 


Such an awesome poem.
I finally figured out how to embed my text in a quote!  I claim an attainment! 

The poetry comes out on its own, I find it kind of on the nose and teenagery, but it does express something that is hard to put into expository writing. 
For what it's worth, and it's not worth much, I get the sense from these posts of "sneaking a peak over the edge".
I think I understand what you mean by this.  In my experience, my mind goes through various mind states for reasons beyond any being's control.  These mind states can be classified lots of ways, but some have more self identification and more delusion and others less.  What I call my vanguard mind is the mind state that arises that seems to be the least self identified and the most free of delusional beliefs about how much I am in control and how much is actually wrong or how much this mind stream has any meaning at all.  The states switch around  and right now I can reliably retain what i call root mind - where it is clear to me that this is all a fabrication and all the drama is nonsense. This mind is not 100% stable, I often have all kinds of other mind states arise, but the brain figures its way back to root over and over again.  It took a lot of practice to get this far! That said, it is not my vanguard mind. The vanguard is beyond my ability to put reliably into words, letting it fully into consciousness still seems like it would be too painful.  Perhaps complete release is a pointer.  When I write these notes to myself - which is what they all are - it occurs when insights that the mind has been masticating over in the subconsious - often for years - emerge fully into consciousness and the mind state sustains long enough to write it down.  I find that the act of writing and responding stabilizes the insight in the conscious mind and serves as a ladder back to a less delusional state of mind when I feel trapped in one. That doesnt happen very often - feeling trapped in suffering - but it used to be very common.  So if you think I am talking out of my ass about states I cannot sustain -that is one way of looking at it! 

Yes everything you are saying is true. Yet what I see is that there is pre-conceptual existance which is completely uneffected by the domain of human emotions and striving and failure, there is human life of emotions and striving and failure, and then there is the trans-human domain of equanimity in the face of human emotions and strivings and failure. I totally believe that you have worked through soooo much of seeing through the fabricated nature of human drama, yet you keep going back to the prior domain of pre-human existance. 

In a way, this seems like the classic Ken Wilber pre-trans fallacy (e.g. http://www.integralworld.net/fallacy.html  --- but I admit this was just the first thing that appeared in google). There is a deep perception of the transcentent, yet the language the relating the conceptualization is rooted in this idea of a state that is >before< all the complications of human life. Meat, atoms, nerves, etc. 
I am not quite sure I understand you here.  My view is that mind states arise.  To me it feels like russian nested dolls.  When a mind state arises that sees through a more delusional mind state - it feels truer.  It isnt, it is just a mindstate.  One way to experience this is to hold your breath with the intention to hold it for 5 minutes.  At first you feel rational and in control, then the mind is filled with fear and thoughts and pain and then you take a breath and have no control and then you are rational again and see that there really was no good reason not to keep holding your breath.   

When I am rational, I see that whatever This is, it isnt effected by stuff that passes through any ones mind.  This is I guess what you mean by pre-conceptual existence. I did spend a long time hung up on this - say God - as being the only thing real and the rest delusional.  I had experienced the Godhead directly and that sure seemed to be what the experience meant.  It gave me a lot of motivation to let go and be God.  I actually was able to see through that on retreat just before I started posting here when I read the last few chapters of Seeing That Frees.  Some how it clicked, that i was not doing anything useful and that being in some preconceptual state was not actually different than eating a hot dog. 

Then I think I split from your seeing.   You describe the existence of a human domain of emotions, striving and failure.  I know how my mind fabricates emotions, striving and the narratives that are pre-requisite for failure.  I just sat and watched it for 4 years.  I do not believe in it anymore.  In my mind, anyway, it is all completely empty nonsense. Self delusion.  These concepts only exist in what I call Type II mind states in which a particularized self is fabricated and reads the field of experience as a map of meaning.  At this point, my mind know Type II mind states are not real and exits them as soon as that realization hits consciousness (or probably just before, since usually things that seem like they occur in consciousness actually occur subconsiously first. )  If you did a scattergram of the mind states arising in my brain, Type II mind states would be less and less frequent over time and trending towards zero - though not there yet. 

Materialism offers a way to understand the way that mind states arise with out ascribing any particular importantce to one or the other.  You seem to have decided to not believe in God, but to believe in human suffering.  Why?  In my view, both are meat. Both are empty.   Both are imagined.  There is a need, in my mind, to have an answer to have a conceptual understanding of reality.  Is it the screen, or the film playing on the screen, etc.   Materialism gives me that conceptual understanding of reality, but points directly to emptiness- points to freedom, ultimately points to not giving a fuck.  To complete release. 



Awakening is everything you are seeing but it is >all in< (as in the card game poker: "I'm all in") into meaning and suffering and humanity and emotion.... and then coming out the other side. ("trans" in the post-trans fallacy sense.) On the other side, meaning and suffering and humanity and emotion are not negated, but recognized as legitimate within their domain.

Here I am not sure what you mean again.  Why hang onto to stuff that is nonsense?  All of my emotions arise due to environmental triggers. In meditation, I have not had them for years.  In daily life, for instance, I never get angry except in the moment when I might "lose my temper".  It is not that I am a saint, it is just that I spent a lot of time watching my mind and know I have no control and I assume no one else does either.  When Trump does some awful action, I get triggered and disgusted but  I do not ruminate on what an evil son of a bitch he is.  I know his father and privilige and good luck, fucked him up.  What are the human emotions and suffering that you view as "legitimate" ?  This isnt a spritual or high level metaphysical discussion, it just seems like common sense pop pyschology.   I agree that pushing away or down afflicitive emotions and suffering is not skilfful, but laughing  them off seems sensable to me. 


The reason I feel compelled to say this is that I have seen maybe 6 or so people on DhO, KennethFolkOnline, AwakeNetwork, etc. that have used similar language, said that they have cracked the code, everything is meaningless except some aspect of their philosophy (love, awareness, knowing, etc.) and then basically were in denial about actual human living was still impacting them with discomfort, suffering, loss, inadequacy, failure, dissatisfaction --- all the basic human stuff that everyone experiences.
In my experience, my mind goes through states I call the Root State (it is actually a class of states) in the root state, everything seems apparently perfect and all the drama of the human mind seems like nonsense.  In it, I feel fully enlightened. I have had months in which this state seemed persistent.  I imagine that many folks have root states arise and feel done and free of suffering. Always, some other mind state would eventually be triggered.   There would then be a lot of subconsious narrative making about what was happening and why and clinging and striving to the now unreachable root state. That felt like my true self.  Having gone from Type II mind states to the root a million times now, the mind can understand the how this occurs and isnt identified with root as the true self anymore - or not as much.  So I am pretty sure I am not in any kind of denial or spritual bypassing - it feels more like I have been dragged by a speed boat across the reef of my neuroses for 10,000 miles until it stopped hurting and I stopped reacting. 

Well, so anyway, I just wanted to point out that if there is an idea that the mechanical precision and non-emotional, non-meaning aspect of the world is the truth, the whole truth, the answer to suffering, then you are not allowed to ever bring in any meaning or value that isn't found in the material world, especially not love, even if you try to sneak it in as a relaxed muscle. If materialism is IT, you have to stop at relaxed muscle (and not even use the word relaxed, because that is not a material expression, it would have to be something expressed about  sarcomeres or something like that) and never mention the world love --- because as soon as you do, you are outside of materialism.
I agree with this.  First, I want to be clear that I do not think materialism is somehow true or the answer.  I also do not think that the matrialism that I am using has anything to do with the vanguard of scientific understanding.  It is just a metaphor that is easy for me to understand in many contexts and that has no room in it for meaning or agency.   As I say above, from a materialist view, love is a nervous twitch or really the lack of a nervous twitch.  It is effectively nihilism.  Losing love seemed like a bridge too far, but love is a concept in my mind and concepts are actually a definition of boundaries and letting go of the boundaries that I use to imagine love doesnt turn out to be a problem. 



And really, when it comes down to it, YOU are simply not meat. You are not meat.

Just like this WORD you are understanding from my typing is not silicone, even though all of this is on a silicone chip computer.

You get my point? Yes, when you see how human drama and suffering is fabricated, it is clear how pointless it is. But that doesn't mean there isn't any meaning or value or discrimination that represents wisdom and development. Quite the opposite. In fact, implicit in the arguement is a sense of meaning and discrimination and wisdom. It's kind of funny when you think about it. Trying to argue for the greater truth of a pre-meaning world can only be done within the domain of a world that is dripping with meaning.

But it really doesn't matter, yet I had to say it.

Here, I will turn the tables,  it seems like you are l hanging onto Humaness and a seperate self as if it has value in and of itself.  It feels like you looked over the edge and retreated to the safety of the old conditioned bevahiors and experiences.  Try being perfectly happy and saisfied all of the time, who can stop you? If you let it, your mind will be happy to do it.  If you let go of the idea of a seperate self completely, the mind will do it on its own. 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 2:50 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Here, I will turn the tables,  it seems like you are l hanging onto Humaness and a seperate self as if it has value in and of itself.  It feels like you looked over the edge and retreated to the safety of the old conditioned bevahiors and experiences.  Try being perfectly happy and saisfied all of the time, who can stop you? If you let it, your mind will be happy to do it.  If you let go of the idea of a seperate self completely, the mind will do it on its own. 


Here I will re-post something I posted a week or so ago:

When John Daido Loori was a monk at the Los Angeles Zen Center, he remarked one day to Maezumi Roshi: "I have resolved the question of life and death."

"Are you sure'?" replied Maezumi.

"Yes," replied Loori.

"Are you really sure?"

"Absolutely," 
Loori answered.

With that Maezumi threw himself violently upon Loori and began to strangle him. Gasping for breath, 
Loori struggled to escape, tried to push Maezumi off, but to no avail. Finally, he swung back his fist and struck his teacher, knocking him aside.

Maezurni rose to his feet and brushed himself off.

"Resolved the question of life and death, eh?" he l
aughed, and walked off.

Later Loori, still bearing the marks of his teacher's fingers on his throat, passed a senior monk, Genpo Sensei. On seeing the bruises, Genpo did a double take. "Told Roshi you'd resolved the question of life and death, did you?" he 
said and strode away laughing.

So in saying "I have resolved the question of life and death" it's clear that John Daido Loori had fallen into the trap of believing his relative existence wasn't "real." He thought it was meaningless. The terms "dead" and "alive" were just words to him, with nothing attached. He was free. Maezumi Roshi responds as only a Zen Master can, and in a meaningful way starts choking Loori so that he'll wake up out of that mistaken belief.

This is the same issue we have here. 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 3:24 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I would only add that this not a choice of where we exist but how to view existence - we are already and always firmly in both. We start from ignorance (not being able to see the emptiness), then we go through the stage shargrol described, where that is what we think is the real reality, and then one day we see those two are the same thing and can't be separated, just differently viewed.


I didn't mean to suggest they're seperate, which is why I put "real world" in quotes. A good point to clarify though.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 3:23 PM as a reply to Lars.
Gotcha, Lars. Thanks.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 3:45 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hey Chris, 

this is is why I keep pushing back when folks post apparently authoritative texts from other people , even the Budddha.   I read it, when you posted it last time , and I read it now - 180 degrees the other way.   As I read it,  the fact that the student resisted at all was a sign that he had not really seen through life and death, not that the student was right to resist and that human life is somehow intrinsically real or important.   When they nailed Christ to the cross, he didn't fight back.  If the Buddha came to your door begging and you tried to strangle him, what do you think he would do?  

In my own  experience, I could easily sit through the pain of being strangled- I have sat through much much worse.  I would fight back, because I am still afraid to die.  At some very deep primal level, I am still hanging onto a myth of some continuous self that would stop existing if I died.  If I was tied up and could not fight back, I think my mind would eventually find the root state and die happy, but who knows.  

The Buddha did not think there was any difference between being alive or dead and would not have cared at all if you strangled him.  He might have an instinctive fight or flight response- but he would have been laughing compassionately the whole time.   Think of the story about how he died, eating pork he knew to be poison.  He did not give a shit about his own life because he knew it to be empty, a piece of meat.  In my apparently not so humble opinion. 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 3:50 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Gotcha, Lars. Thanks.


I may have answered too soon lol, there was a little defensiveness/aversion when responding to your point, so there's likely something unresolved there after all.

"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form" is such a simple expression, but there may be some more "meat" to chew. Thanks for bringing that up. emoticon

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 3:55 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
 As I read it,  the fact that the student resisted at all was a sign that he had not really seen through life and death, not that the student was right to resist and that human life is somehow intrinsically real or important.  

I guess Loori should have let Maezumi strangle him 'til dead!  emoticon

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
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6/15/18 4:22 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
There is no should here, just what would a mind free of self identification do.  What would an eggplant or a hurricane do?  On what grounds do you find what you call Chris intrinsically different or more valuable than an eggplant a mountain or a galaxy ? 

Seriously, is your argument that while true that humans are not real separate beings - it is impossible for a human mind to accept that or is your argument that humans really are separate  beings and that my understanding that the self is a fabrication of the mind and empty is a form of spiritual bypassing and delusional ?  To me, it's seems like you switch back and forth between these too views.  What am I missing ?

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 5:44 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Hey Seth,

In my mind, I see two different "modes" of discussion on this forum. One is philisophical and the other, practical.  Some of the disagreements in the last few threads between you and others has been when people mistake your practical methods for processing reality as philisopical or even metaphysical assumptions. Sometimes you are vague about which mode you're in, but your consistent lambasting of meaning has me now reading your words strictly in the practical mode.  As you say, "Accepting that you are meat and that your subjective experience is constructed and empty is the only reason to mess with materialism." Looking at your posts in a practical light (method of practice), it all makes sense. Just meat. Not my cup of tea, but a fine strategy!

My question for you, however, addresses your beef with meaning (no meat pun intended). Perhaps it is my own ideal assumption, but I would assume that one who was on the verge of complete freedom wouldn't cling so adamantly against the idea of meaning, even if one saw through the emptiness of it. There would be no attachment to meaninglessness. I would imagine they would use it when useful as a tool (as you do in this forum). I know my impact driver is merely a concept, but it still drives the lags! Again, the issue here is that this very paragraph itself vaguely teeters between the philisophical and practical modes.  

This is a half-joking question but IF, hypothetically, you discovered absolute meaning in this universe somewhere down the road, would it bum you out? 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 5:46 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
What am I missing ?

The smiley at the end of my comment - I was having some fun   emoticon

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 5:49 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
What am I missing ?

The smiley at the end of my comment - I was having some fun   emoticon


I know, and I am clearly taking all this kind of seriously, but I really am confused about your argument.  Honestly, I am sufficiently convinced of my view that the motivation is probably more to help you than to be open minded about things myself, but if I am missing something, I really want to know.  Anyway, if this argument has gotten old for you, I do appreciate all the help you have given me so far! 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
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6/15/18 5:56 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
I wish you all the best, seth. May you find the perfection you seek.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 6:02 PM as a reply to Nick O.
[quote=]

This is a half-joking question but IF, hypothetically, you discovered absolute meaning in this universe somewhere down the road, would it bum you out? To the extent that this meaning suggested some flaw in existence that must be fixed, it would bum me out.  That said, I have searched for it far and wide and deeply into my mind and know that no such meaning can exist.  It is like being a racist - believing in intrinsic meaning requires a belief in difference and seperation where no difference or seperation exists. 

If you discovered absolute meaning in the universe, how would you know and what could it be? 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/15/18 7:48 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:


All of my emotions arise due to environmental triggers. In meditation, I have not had them for years. In daily life, for instance, I never get angry except in the moment when I might "lose my temper". It is not that I am a saint, it is just that I spent a lot of time watching my mind and know I have no control and I assume no one else does either. When Trump does some awful action, I get triggered and disgusted but I do not ruminate on what an evil son of a bitch he is.
Can you see the denial/bypassing in these statements?



I also do not think that the matrialism that I am using has anything to do with the vanguard of scientific understanding. It is just a metaphor that is easy for me to understand in many contexts and that has no room in it for meaning or agency.
Can you see that you both believe and don't believe what you are saying, so that it's pointless to really take what you are saying and debate it?



(I really do like the poem)

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
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6/15/18 8:39 PM as a reply to shargrol.
We seem to be ships passing in the night.  I feel like you dont understand what I am saying and you feel like I dont understand you.  Thanks for the feedback though! 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/16/18 12:42 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
When I walk into the forest, it seems to be beautiful for no reason. Everything in the universe from the stars in the sky to the waves on the sea appear to be randomly ordered. From simple observation of matter, it shouldn't make sense for there to be meaning.

But then I have experiences where there seems to be a very intelligent process wrapped up in it all that's beyond meaningless entropy. Life has unfolded from this point of view in a way that does not appear random or meaningless. As I struggle and fail to find a better way to describe this, I know deeply that we're all trying to point to the same thing but come at it from different angles as language can only be reduced so coarsely. Hell, how many subtlely different terminological expressions of the word "meaning" have been inferred?

I suppose what I mean by "meaning" in this instance, is a perfectly lawful running process of learning and becoming. Not random. Not pointless. Goalless, yet enthusiastic. Very alive! To this, you could say, "yes, a perfect process that has no meaning". And we could "mean" the same thing. And the circle would continue on and on and on.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
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6/16/18 6:13 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
We seem to be ships passing in the night.  I feel like you dont understand what I am saying and you feel like I dont understand you.  Thanks for the feedback though! 

Welcome and no worries! These conceptual conversations are always wrought with difficulty. It's so much easier to have practice conversations, like "I was on retreat and this and this happened and I felt this resistance" etc. Ultimately, although reading/study/verbalizing is all good, I feel like practice itself is the guide and if there is any confusion about one's mind, it's most direct to take a day or days off, keep a strict sit/walk schedule and see what happens. This practice stuff works just fine for illiterate folks in feudal societies, no internet conversations or ideas from molecular biology or sub-atomic physics are needed! emoticon  Even students of the same teacher wind up thinking and articulating this stuff differently.

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
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6/16/18 8:20 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
When I walk into the forest, it seems to be beautiful for no reason. Everything in the universe from the stars in the sky to the waves on the sea appear to be randomly ordered. From simple observation of matter, it shouldn't make sense for there to be meaning.
When you walk in the forest, do you feel that the lack of apparent meaning is actually a lack? Do you miss it? How about when looking at the milky way or a Golden Retriever ?  When you snuggle your teddy bear or stuffed Llama?  In my experience, satisfaction arises when I let go of narratives and meaning structures such and can just let it be. 
But then I have experiences where there seems to be a very intelligent process wrapped up in it all that's beyond meaningless entropy.
I spent many years battling this deep intuition that something larger was taking place.  This became particularly strong as I started having more and more seemingly out of the ordinary experiences and insights.  The hand of God seemed to be creating the conditions for these things to arise and all kinds of subconscious narratives about what it all means and what my role in it is began to bubble.  In my case, once I let them go once and for all - things started making a lot more sense and I could finally relax.  Not being in the grip of some cosmic progression or narrative is actually more pleasant than being an important piece of the trans dimensional puzzle, at leats in my case.  I was making all that stuff up.  Perhaps you are tapped into something that i could not see, but perhaps you are also hanging onto an intuition of meaning, change and progress where none exists.  From a materialist view, of course, its all nonsense.  The Universe started as an undifferentiated point and will end as an undifferentiated point and all the information we seem to be creating and processing will cease to exist. 

  
I suppose what I mean by "meaning" in this instance, is a perfectly lawful running process of learning and becoming. Not random. Not pointless. Goalless, yet enthusiastic. Very alive! To this, you could say, "yes, a perfect process that has no meaning". And we could "mean" the same thing. And the circle would continue on and on and on.
Why not just call it good and be happy the way it is?  What could anything possibly become?  How could you improve existence? 

In my own experience, all change is a function of shifting boundaries and all boundaries are concepts in my mind.  Concepts, in turn, are conditioned into me and have no intrinsic value or existence.  If I had a Dog, I could train it to understand and distinguish the command Sit.  Sit is not a feature of the natural universe, but something I made up (or was conditioned to understand and appreciate) and then conditioned it into my Dog.  We could spend a life together, me and my Dog, and the concept Sit might feature prominently in our interactions, but I would secretly be free to love the Dog just as much if neither of us understood the boundaries around the action we mutually now define as Sit.  Love is the fundamental motivation of the human mind and if you have enough love, complete satisfaction arises.  To be perfectly happy as a human, no meaning is necessary.  


From a materialist view, I can just let go of all the nervous tension and conditioned disatisfaction cause I'm meat without mission and the rest is my imagination.  

Does this make any sense? 

RE: On emptiness, nihilism, materialism and apriori perfection
Answer
6/16/18 9:47 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I spent many years battling this deep intuition that something larger was taking place.  This became particularly strong as I started having more and more seemingly out of the ordinary experiences and insights.  The hand of God seemed to be creating the conditions for these things to arise and all kinds of subconscious narratives about what it all means and what my role in it is began to bubble.  In my case, once I let them go once and for all - things started making a lot more sense and I could finally relax.  Not being in the grip of some cosmic progression or narrative is actually more pleasant than being an important piece of the trans dimensional puzzle, at leats in my case.  I was making all that stuff up.  Perhaps you are tapped into something that i could not see, but perhaps you are also hanging onto an intuition of meaning, change and progress where none exists.  From a materialist view, of course, its all nonsense.  The Universe started as an undifferentiated point and will end as an undifferentiated point and all the information we seem to be creating and processing will cease to exist.  

I've never had an issue with hanging, clinging to or battling with ideas or feelings of meaning or "cosmic progression" in this sense. It's just something observed passively and something that is felt more than conceptualized. Even if the forest appears meaningless with our concepts of order, it's felt there too. It's the feeling of being held in love by something. It's what makes fear laughable. It is perceived before a narrative can be applied and trying to conceptualize and communicate it, as you've seen me try, is impossible. This all just turns into dualistic role playing which is all we are doing in discussing these things. Maybe further down the path, I'll begin to feel things differently.