Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/9/24 3:48 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/9/24 4:24 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/9/24 4:19 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/9/24 5:29 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/9/24 4:27 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/9/24 8:01 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/9/24 8:18 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/10/24 5:24 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/10/24 8:05 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/10/24 11:13 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Griffin 1/10/24 3:49 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/10/24 5:28 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? shargrol 1/9/24 5:55 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/9/24 7:53 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/10/24 8:41 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Adi Vader 1/10/24 10:23 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Adi Vader 1/10/24 10:25 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Papa Che Dusko 1/10/24 12:03 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/10/24 1:08 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? kettu 1/10/24 2:11 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/10/24 2:25 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/10/24 2:31 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/10/24 3:15 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/10/24 3:31 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/10/24 10:22 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Papa Che Dusko 1/10/24 12:13 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Papa Che Dusko 1/10/24 12:14 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/10/24 12:30 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/10/24 1:08 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Martin 1/10/24 1:48 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? shargrol 1/11/24 6:56 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/11/24 8:24 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/11/24 1:02 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/11/24 12:10 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/11/24 1:00 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/11/24 1:50 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Martin 1/11/24 2:18 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/12/24 8:47 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/12/24 9:03 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/12/24 10:34 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/12/24 9:15 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/12/24 10:33 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/12/24 10:44 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Chris M 1/12/24 10:52 AM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Andrew S 1/12/24 12:41 PM
RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states? Papa Che Dusko 1/12/24 6:20 AM
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 3:48 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 3:47 PM

Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
I was reading this article about someone on the mctb 4th path who attained nirodha sampatti. In it he writes that consciousness is not fundamental and that all concsiousness experience is fundamentally negative and the only perfectly valenced state is non-existence. In another interview he goes on to state that there are no positive experiences, anything we call positive is just an anti pheonomena where there is less suffering. Therefore complete unconsciousness like in NS is the ideal state becase there is no suffering.

I find this rather depressing and pessimistic and it's giving me an existential crisis. Can anyone who has experienced cessation or nirodha samapatti tell me what they think?
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 4:24 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 4:08 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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That kind of argument, even though it may be metaphysically accurate, ignores the reality of human existence. While we are alive we have all manner of positive and negative experiences. We should honor and celebrate that!

Secondly, the author is not using language I'd use to describe the situation. I'd say that all conscious experience involves some level of dissatisfaction. That dissatisfaction can be called suffering. But again, that's how experience is structured and it's also what being human is made of. We get love, happiness, anger and sadness. I wouldn't prefer cessation or nirodha over any of that. Thank you to the universe those are temporary - impermanent. I can wait for death to bring me no-valence nonconsciouness.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 4:19 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 4:19 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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yep, reading that article put me in a state of extreme nihilism. To be frank I am still a beginner at meditation and was not even a buddhist before I read the article. I used to be a love and light/ cosmic concsiousness/ optimistic kinda guy but now I'm in a state of complete despair. I didn't help that I was in the middle of a kundalini awakening.  It just sounds like annihilationism to me. Like whats the difference between that and dying?
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 4:27 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 4:27 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Three ways to eliminate suffering completely:

cessation
nirodha
death

Everything else is consciousness and human experience. Like I said, celebrate it! 
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 5:29 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 5:29 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Chris M:
That kind of argument, even though it may be metaphysically accurate, ignores the reality of human existence. While we are alive we have all manner of positive and negative experiences. We should honor and celebrate that! Secondly, the author is not using language I'd use to describe the situation. I'd say that all conscious experience involves some level of dissatisfaction. That dissatisfaction can be called suffering. But again, that's how experience is structured and it's also what being human is made of. We get love, happiness, anger and sadness. I wouldn't prefer cessation or nirodha over any of that. Thank you to the universe those are temporary - impermanent. I can wait for death to bring me no-valence nonconsciouness.


Interesting. One of the things that really messed me up is the idea that non existence is preferable to existence. Like I know there is suffering in my life but most of the time it's pretty alright. There might be a bit of dissatisfaction but there is happiness as well so its mostly worth it. It's hard to fall in love with someone when you know it would be better if they had never been born.
shargrol, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 5:55 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 5:55 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Non-existance isn't preferrable to existance... because there is nothing there to be "preferring" if there is truly non-existance. This is really an important point to get deeply, otherwise nilhism seems right. Non-existance isn't relief or relaxation or quiet joy -- it's non-existance, which isn't any form of existance at all.

Probably the best way to understand practical buddhism is that we all experience positive, negative, and neutral states in life. This is just useful information. Where suffering happens it is because we have an additional emotional or existential reaction: we experience positive states and get greedy and want to keep it (suffering!), we experience negative states and want to push it away (suffering!), we experience neutral states and we get bored and indifferent (suffering!). 

So really the point is to learn how to have direct and intimate experiences without needlessly having cravings, aversions, and indifference when things happen to be positive, negative, or neutral.  Another way to say it is the  enlightenment experience is the experience of life without greed, aversion, or indifference. 

Best wishes for your practice!!
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 7:53 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 7:53 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Non-existance isn't preferrable to existance... because there is nothing there to be "preferring" if there is truly non-existance. This is really an important point to get deeply, otherwise nilhism seems right. Non-existance isn't relief or relaxation or quiet joy -- it's non-existance, which isn't any form of existance at all.
Yes which is why the article kinda disturbed me because he states that it means that existence is fundamentally negative going to zero which is cessation. The author says things like '"Ultimately, I still come down on: lights out unconsciousness tops everything. Getting all beings to Parinirvana would objectively be preferable for all beings rather than keeping the play going" which sounds like something a comic book supervillain would say...
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 8:01 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 8:01 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Three ways to eliminate suffering completely:

cessation
nirodha
death

Everything else is consciousness and human experience. Like I said, celebrate it! 
I don't understand though, how can I celebrate human experience if it is objectively worse than literally not existing?
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 8:18 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/24 8:18 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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I don't understand though, how can I celebrate human experience if it is objectively worse than literally not existing?

It seems to me your instinct is screaming the opposite to you. Listen to your instinct. The alternative is depressing and very misguided.
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Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 3:49 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 3:49 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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We can celebrate both life and death! Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 5:24 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 5:23 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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It seems to me your instinct is screaming the opposite to you. Listen to your instinct. The alternative is depressing and very misguided.
How is it depressing and misguided if it is metaphysically true? Is a positive state like love just negative but less so which makes it seem positive in comparison?
I'll admit my instinct is screaming that it is wrong but it could just be attatchment and wishful thinking.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 5:28 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 5:28 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Griffin
We can celebrate both life and death! Both have advantages and disadvantages.
What can the advantages of life be if it is fundamentally negatively valenced if and no positively valenced states exist?
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 8:05 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 7:58 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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How is it depressing and misguided if it is metaphysically true? Is a positive state like love just negative but less so which makes it seem positive in comparison?

Assuming you're asking a serious question...

We don't live our lives in the realm that the author of the piece you read presents. We live in this universe, this realm, within which we are living human beings, aware and conscious virtually 100% of the time. While it's metaphysically true that human experience is comprised of various levels of dissatisfaction, within that lies the entirety of human existence. Unless you plan to spend the rest of your life in cessation or nirodha, or unless you plan to die sometime soon, you're stuck here in this realm with the rest of us.

The Buddha would have laughed at the notion (and then would have derided it) that it's better to be dead or to have no experience whatsoever than to live. Think about the Four Noble Truths - were they taught by the Buddha so that followers would want to extinguish themselves? No, they're meant to show us to a place where we fully understand and accept what it is to be human, and then learn how to reduce our level of suffering so we can live better as opposed to not living at all.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 8:41 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 8:26 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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I went to this author's website and here's how he explains his teaching:

...a philosophy graduate and meditation teacher who attained MCTB 4th Path on 21st May 2021, resulting in monumental freedom from suffering. It is my wish to help others realise this same peace of mind and well-being independent of conditions.

​​​​​​​Funny, no mention of preferring non-existence to life, peace of mind, and well-being. I wonder which version of things he believes - or could it be that you are misunderstanding the nature and deeper meaning of the piece of his that you read?

emoticon

BTW - he does say he prefers states of what he calls "no valence" to anything else (he mentions preferring death), but it appears he hasn't yet left this world. To be honest, he's a 26-year-old who's enthusiastic about his practice but he's just fucking nuts in the way he expresses his understanding of the teachings and the interpretation of his experiences.

My shorthand view of what I just read - it's fun to talk this way among your philosophy pals but it's a really stupid, nihilistic way to live as a human being.

My two cents. Take it or leave it.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 10:22 AM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Well you can only enjoy peace and quiet if occasionally there is a bit of a ruckus 
Adi Vader, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 10:23 AM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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If the author has indeed attained nirodha sampatti then he just simply has extremely weird mental models and languaging.

OP:

Discard this author's philosophy and adopt his practice. The practice that gave him the attainment. Once you yourself attain nirodha sampatti all of this doubt of eternalism versus nihilism etc is seen to be silly.
Adi Vader, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 10:25 AM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Focus on dukkha and dukkha nirodha. Suffering and the end of suffering in this very life. Holding this as the goal, and objective, the philosophizing is really nothing but a distraction.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 11:13 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 11:13 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Chris M
How is it depressing and misguided if it is metaphysically true? Is a positive state like love just negative but less so which makes it seem positive in comparison?

Assuming you're asking a serious question...

We don't live our lives in the realm that the author of the piece you read presents. We live in this universe, this realm, within which we are living human beings, aware and conscious virtually 100% of the time. While it's metaphysically true that human experience is comprised of various levels of dissatisfaction, within that lies the entirety of human existence. Unless you plan to spend the rest of your life in cessation or nirodha, or unless you plan to die sometime soon, you're stuck here in this realm with the rest of us.
My question was pretty serious.

I don't really mind the dissatisfaction. As long as there is something positive that outweighs the dissatisfaction. But if literally nothing positive exists and all so called happiness is just absence of this dissatisfaction then thats a bit depressing.

I do appreciate the answers by the way. They have been really helpful. emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 12:03 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 12:03 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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"Discard this author's philosophy and adopt his practice. The practice that gave him the attainment. Once you yourself attain nirodha sampatti all of this doubt of eternalism versus nihilism etc is seen to be silly."

I'm not sure you need NS to see all views as ... views. Impermanent, unsatisfactory and not-self. Including the view of eternalism vs nihilism. 

Maybe some folks need that NS as some folks need SE to enter the stream while others just go direct surpassing all the paths. 

​​​​​​​Rules are for fools. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 12:13 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Experience arises ... it's arisen ... mountains with snow tops ... dream-like ... woman with a Tibetan face smiling at me .., as if im a tiny baby in her arms ... feeling of love and care ... and I get a special hat ... image of hundreds of monks with shaved heads ... as if they are sitting in front of me ... feeling of great joy ... there is an image of a monk sitting in a forest ... there is a tiger approaching him ... about to attack him ... they stare into each other's eyes ... I feel as if im both that monk and that tiger ... who am I ? ... 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 12:14 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Oh will you just shut up! 


​​​​​​​"ok friend" 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 12:30 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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You know, after reading the medium article, it reminds me of how Daniel talks about how a lot of anagamis get obsessed with the fact that they've stumbled onto this super cool and amazing thing (usually Rigpa) and they think it is the end of the spiritual path, and while often times they think they've finished up everything they still get super into all the different spiritual traditions, deep knowledge, etc.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 1:08 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 1:08 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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... it reminds me of how Daniel talks about how a lot of anagamis get obsessed with the fact that they've stumbled onto this super cool and amazing thing (usually Rigpa) and they think it is the end of the spiritual path, and while often times they think they've finished up everything they still get super into all the different spiritual traditions, deep knowledge, etc.

Bingo! 
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 1:08 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 1:08 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Chris M
I went to this author's website and here's how he explains his teaching:

...a philosophy graduate and meditation teacher who attained MCTB 4th Path on 21st May 2021, resulting in monumental freedom from suffering. It is my wish to help others realise this same peace of mind and well-being independent of conditions.

​​​​​​​Funny, no mention of preferring non-existence to life, peace of mind, and well-being. I wonder which version of things he believes - or could it be that you are misunderstanding the nature and deeper meaning of the piece of his that you read?

emoticon

BTW - he does say he prefers states of what he calls "no valence" to anything else (he mentions preferring death), but it appears he hasn't yet left this world. To be honest, he's a 26-year-old who's enthusiastic about his practice but he's just fucking nuts in the way he expresses his understanding of the teachings and the interpretation of his experiences.

My shorthand view of what I just read - it's fun to talk this way among your philosophy pals but it's a really stupid, nihilistic way to live as a human being.

My two cents. Take it or leave it.
Fair enough. He seems to have a degree in philosophy and phenomenology and does research at the EPRC which studies consciousness. would that give him more authority to speak about these experiences?
Martin, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 1:48 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Buddhism focuses on dukkha (distress/unhappiness/suffering/dissatisfaction) and the end of dukkha. Don't get so freaked out about the first part that you ignore the second part. 
kettu, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 2:11 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Andrew, you asked Chris if certain education would give a mentioned author authority to speak about certain experiences. I just want to say, please reconsider if that possible authority would make it necessary for you to give his speech authority over your mental state, well-being or general feeling and attitude towards the mystery of (your)life. Thanks. 
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 2:25 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 2:25 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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I guess a better question would be would a degree and research in phenomenology potentially help or bias his view?
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 2:31 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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also tbh, its already affected my wellbeing to a ridicuous degree.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 3:15 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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No.

Degrees in philosophy and contributing to nonprofits like the EPRC don't confer expertise in this arena. You have to give yourself the authority and permission to figure things out for yourself. No other person can do that for you. No education, no organization. It's yours, and only yours, to do.

Also, it's not normal for this article and interview to hold the power over you that it seems to have. Maybe you can find a good therapist to help you work through how to avoid giving up your own common sense and judgment this easily.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 3:31 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/10/24 3:31 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Chris M
No.

Degrees in philosophy and contributing to nonprofits like the EPRC don't confer expertise in this arena. You have to give yourself the authority and permission to figure things out for yourself. No other person can do that for you. No education, no organization. It's yours, and only yours, to do.

Also, it's not normal for this article and interview to hold the power over you that it seems to have. Maybe you can find a good therapist to help you work through how to avoid giving up your own common sense and judgment this easily.
Fair enough. I am in the middle of a kundalini awakening so all my neurotic thought patterns are amplified to the max, hence the extreme existential despair. Although your comments have definitely made me feel better. So thank you.
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shargrol, modified 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 6:56 AM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Yeah, that can be tough. Hopefully you're learning that the best path forward during these kinds of spiritual/existential emergencies is to find ways to really relax, chill out, let things settle, not make any big changes in our philosophy or life... Most spiritual awakenings are a lot of drama but with no real substance --- it's a bit humbling to see that, which is why there is such a temptation to make everything into a Big Deal.

There can be a lot of difficult feelings/emotions/thoughts during big changes, but you need to stay on guard for the ego wanting to figure it all out and/or decide that everything is depressingly awful or everything is manically awesome. The drama of spiritual/existential stuff can be sooo seductive. (I'm not trying to be mean. I've definitely experienced all of this myself and probably made all the wrong decisions at the time. emoticon )

Don't join any cults! emoticon  

Best wishes!!
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 8:24 AM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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Shargrol, as he always does, gives you some great advice and counsel.

Keep in mind, too, that metaphysical/philosophical discussions don't advance your practice or your view of the world and your life anywhere near as much as an effective practice does,
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 12:10 PM
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RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

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shargrol
Yeah, that can be tough. Hopefully you're learning that the best path forward during these kinds of spiritual/existential emergencies is to find ways to really relax, chill out, let things settle, not make any big changes in our philosophy or life... Most spiritual awakenings are a lot of drama but with no real substance --- it's a bit humbling to see that, which is why there is such a temptation to make everything into a Big Deal.

There can be a lot of difficult feelings/emotions/thoughts during big changes, but you need to stay on guard for the ego wanting to figure it all out and/or decide that everything is depressingly awful or everything is manically awesome. The drama of spiritual/existential stuff can be sooo seductive. (I'm not trying to be mean. I've definitely experienced all of this myself and probably made all the wrong decisions at the time. emoticon )
Yeah what you are saying describes my situation pretty accurately. My kundalini awakening has definitely amplified my neurotic thinking patterns to a ridiculous degree. The existential stiff is the absolute worst. As for not making changes to my philosophy or life, it's a bit late for that.

My problem is that kundalini or whatever you call it, has amplified my intrusive thoughts and little fears to comical degrees. When I first read the article by accident it gave me intense anxiety and I stopped reading. The problem was that there would always be this nagging fear at the back of my mind. So I would try and get rid of this fear by trying to disprove what this guy is saying and reading more into it.Like looking for reasons why he might be wrong. However the more I did that, the more right the arguments felt which just amplified my existential dread more. I even messaged the guy about it and he was really nice about the whole thing telling me to trust my own judgement. But that made it even worse because he just seemed more wise and knowlegeable.

The existential dread from this and other things that I worry about has led to some moments where I was getting suidical thoughts and being paralysed with fear of said thoughts  (don't worry it's not as bad now). There was a point a few days ago where It was so intense and I just wanted to be done with it all and I kind of just gave up and let go of everything. At that moment all my fabrications, preconcieved notions about reality, philosophy, identity, wants, etc, all just kind of dissolved and i realised that I didn't know shit and everything that I thought before was just stupid ego games and wishful thinking, clinging to an idea that life was good and spirituality was real. Once I gave up on that I actually felt very peaceful, like a weight had been lifted off my chest. Only problem was that my entire sense of self and ideas of the world were gone and I almost felt like a zombie. When I tried recreate my sense of self and ideas, I felt more normal but it just gives me the same existential dread. I can't go back to my old beliefs and fabrications anymore. There's still the fear that existence is as depressing as the article says and it's hard to really think about anything else. Yes I am letting it consume my life and overriding my common sense but I don't even trust my own common sense anymore. I'm not a particulatly advanced meditator either so I can't exactly verify anything for myself.

I really do appreciate the answers though. Sorry if my neurosis is annoying you. I know I'm definitely making it into a big deal but I can't exacly help it. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 1:00 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 12:59 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 5236 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Have you thought of taking a break from reading about it, posting about it, making it your number one concern? Take a long walk. Read a book unrelated to spirituality. Go visit friends. See a good movie. My experience was that focusing solely on my practice when it was difficult was the wrong thing to do. Distraction and focusing on some positive experiences worked better.

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Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 1:02 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 1:02 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Chris M
Shargrol, as he always does, gives you some great advice and counsel.

Keep in mind, too, that metaphysical/philosophical discussions don't advance your practice or your view of the world and your life anywhere near as much as an effective practice does,
problem is that I'm still a beginner meditator going through kundalini awakening. I was recommended by multiple kundalini therapists to stop all spiritual practice since it makes the energy more intense.

I was also not really a therevada/mctb practitioner. I was more doing energy work and vajrayana stuff which I don't think produces the same insights. The discussions have actually helped me feel a lot better and I would like to keep discussing if it doesn't bother you too much. I know I sound neurotic and I probably am so I am sorry.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 1:50 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 1:50 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
I have indeed tried doing that. But If i am enjoying something, I can't help but think about the idea that enjoyment is just an illusion and suffering is just being reduced. It's constantly on my mind really. That being said i do see how constantly fixating on it can be detrimental. I guess I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Unfortunately kundalini means that I'm always somewhat aware of this topic. Your insights have really helped me a lot and at least temporarily mde me feel better hence why I keep asking annoying questions...

I guess I am clinging to the idea that existence is worth it somehow? Like I don't mind that every experience has varying levels of dissatsisfaction. I don't even care about eliminating suffering completely. As long as there is something objectively positive at least that makes the experience preferable to not existing. Am I looking at it wrong? Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse.
Martin, modified 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 2:18 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/11/24 2:18 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 847 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Andrew, I had a kundalini awakening that included a lot of fear at times. I also, at a different time, interpreted the existence of suffering as implying that there was nothing good about life. So I have a lot of empathy for your situation.

Chris is right to suggest changing activities. Exercise, in particular, can be very helpful. Intense cardio exercise like running, riding a bike, swimming, etc., is often best. Dealing with kundalini, getting physically tired helped a lot. But any kind of movement, including walking and yoga helped. Eating heavy foods also helped. Comedy movies are good. Friends are good, especially those who don't have any interest in spirituality. Your body and your mind will process this stuff and then you will feel better.

There are two common reasons for which people make efforts at spiritual development. One is to stop feeling bad. That gets talked about a lot. The other is to experience the incredible beauty and joy that comes about. You are asking if things can be positive or better than nothing. Yes. In fact, experience can be so positive that words fail. Also, suffering can, as we often see in art, be beautiful and life-affirming. This is standard stuff. There is great joy out there!

I strongly recommend following Chris's advice. If you do that, and find yourself caught up in complicated philosophical thoughts, that's OK. That's how the mind is supposed to work: things that we think about persist for a while before they fade. You can just notice the thoughts and take them as reminders that you indeed to keep busy with normal healthy life activities. Give it a few weeks.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 6:20 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 6:18 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Its hard to get out of quicksand! The more you wiggle the faster you sink. You also cant go to visit a friend or go for a walk. You are in quicksand remember! Or a sense of being in quicksand. 

So what to do?

Be very still and breathe very gently as even that action can make sinking into quicksand faster. Feel the quicksand pressing against your skin. Its holding you in place and kind of keeping you safe ... if ... you stop wiggling and fighting out of it! emoticon So you start to feel grateful for the quicksand keeping you in one position, safe from sinking into it. Thats your new home. emoticon Its not that bad ... as long I dont fidget in it. This includes the mental chasing of waterfalls. 

So ... breathing calmly, feeling the skin sensations of the quicksand pressing into it, gently observing the mind narrative chasing waterfalls and being ok with this new quicksand-home. 

You might wake up suddenly realizing all this was just a dream, a sense of stuff being a certain way emoticon But! Until then ... stop wiggling, stop fidgeting... watch the mind's chasing of waterfalls with the peripheral vision, gently, with acceptance.


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Or just follow the advice given above! emoticon 

best wishes! 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 8:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 8:47 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 5236 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
As long as there is something objectively positive at least that makes the experience preferable to not existing. Am I looking at it wrong? Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse.

Being alive is objectively far better than not being alive. This seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? Again, I suggest you find a good therapist to talk to about your reaction to the idea that you might have nothing to live for. It's close enough to suicidal ideation that I'm honestly concerned.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 9:03 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 9:03 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 374 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Being alive is objectively far better than not being alive. This seems pretty obvious, doesn't it?
Well, let me grab my shovel, and I'll meet you at the graveyard. Then we can do a proper survey!
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 9:15 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 9:15 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Being alive is objectively far better than not being alive. This seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? Again, I suggest you find a good therapist to talk to about your reaction to the idea that you might have nothing to live for. It's close enough to suicidal ideation that I'm honestly concerned.
Please don't be concerned. I'm feeling better than I was before and I've kind of made peace with idea so that it doesn't bother me as much even though it's super pessimistic. My existential dread is has gone from 11/10 to about a solid 3/10. I'm in a weird state during kundalini where I'm questioning my entire reality so things that seem obvious no longer are. Appreciate the concern though and I appreciate the answers.

I also feel intuitively that there is stuff to live for. or at least most of me does. It's more just the logic at this point. 
I still don't really understand the objectively better part from a logical perspective. Maybe my perspective is wrong? It certainly feels like I'm missing something.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:33 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:33 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 5236 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Until your kundalini issues are resolved, I think it best for you to just be. You're really not in a place where evaluating an existential issue makes much sense.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:34 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:34 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 5236 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Well, let me grab my shovel, and I'll meet you at the graveyard. Then we can do a proper survey!

Yes - let's ask them. Maybe we'll find a zombie or two.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:44 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:44 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Fair enough. Thanks for the answers. I don't think they will be resolved for a long time though. I do understand where you are coming from that I shouldn't be thinking about this. I guess I was looking for something that would answer all my questions but maybe you are right. If you do have any more insights though about my thinking process, i would love to hear them but if not, thats ok.

I'm gonna go get a cheeseburger and watch a movie...
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:52 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 10:51 AM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 5236 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Good for you seeing a movie and eating a cheeseburger!

One of the earliest insights new meditators have goes like this:

I can't control what comes to my mind. It is full of all kinds of thoughts, some great, some useful, some odd, some terrifying.

The result of that insight is usually to begin the process of relaxing about this unalterable fact and then practicing letting one's mind do what it does without obsessing over it. Obsessing just feeds its energy, causing spirals and spirals of negative thoughts.
Andrew S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 12:41 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/12/24 12:41 PM

RE: Does cessation and nirodha samapatti mean there are no positive states?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 1/9/24 Recent Posts
Yep i do feel like i was feeding the negative energy.

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