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My shot at explaining what enlightenment is

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by Edwin, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. M L K

    M L K Member

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    However inadequate words must be, that was beautifully expressed, Midnight.
    Thank you. m
     
  2. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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    Hi Olmate,
    The journey is infinite in potential and only when we stop is appears to be finite. We are the evolution of life as it unfolds in front of us.

    Thank you for that :)

    P.S. Midnight, excellent post.

    Love,
    Ramai
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Or maybe as it unfolds inside of us ;)
     
  4. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Hi Maria,

    You know, the idea of the moment-by-moment unfolding of life is a really important point. I know some get tied up in knots on whether this is creation or evolution. In my mind they are the same thing. I am currently doing a course on evolutionary Christian mysticism.

    There is a wonderful story about a French geophysicist by the name of Xavier Le Pichon. He was one of the first scientists to discover tectonic plates and took a submersible 2 miles down under the ocean to examine fault lines. He had this experience where he was so deeply immersed in his research about fault lines and tectonic shifts that he completely ignored the suffering on the planet. He didn’t want to do that, so he left his research and went to work with Sister Teresa in Calcutta. He made a promise to dying babies in his arms that he would never again abandon them.

    So he left his scientific endeavor and went to live with Jean Vanier in a L’Arche community —they lived with mentally challenged people—and Jean Vanier said, “That’s great; come and live with us. But go back to your science. We need you doing your science. It’s great science.”

    So, out of the integration of his experiences of suffering, compassion, and his work with tectonic plates, he developed a “theology of fragility.” What he realized was that, while the shifting of the plates create tsunamis and earthquakes—which we regard as terrible—they are actually a source of life. They bring forth a tremendous vitality: all the water, all the nutrients come forth in a geological sense. So it’s a revitalization of Earth. But these benefits emerge from points of fragility—from the cracks on the Earth surface. In the same way, he said that suffering’s evolutionary purpose is to evoke in us—because he equated the suffering with the fragile places in the human realm: those who suffer experience a kind of fragility, these fault lines. So when we’re exposed to this fragility in others, it evokes in us an empathic response.

    So it was the first time that I started to look at the cross, the Christian symbol of suffering, and say, okay, there’s a cosmological purpose of the cross. We contemplate the suffering of Christ as an embodiment of all the suffering that has ever gone on cosmologically in the human species and the other-than-human species. And it evokes in us an empathic response, an evolutionary impulse to evolve along the empathic line of intelligence.

    Sorry for the long story, but like lots of your wonderful comments, they create a spark.

    Nothing but the best…

    Don
     
  5. M L K

    M L K Member

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    fragility

    Many thanks for the introduction to Xavier Le Pichon, Don. And what an evocative phrase XLP has given us in "theology of fragility."

    Here is a link to a recent interview with him that was conducted by Krista Tippett, host of the radio program On Being. The segment is entitled "Fragility and the Evolution of Our Humanity."

    Fragility and the Evolution of Our Humanity [Being from APM]

    Warm regards, Margaret
     
  6. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Thanks Margaret. Isn't it an amazing age in which we live where we can pretty much in an instant bring up any information we seek?

    Nothing but the best...

    Don
     
  7. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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    Hi Edwin,
    I agree. As it unfolds in our "univerself".;)

    Love,
    Ramai
     
  8. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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    Hi Olmate,
    So, that's how the journey continues. No stop until there is complete extinction of suffering.

    Love,
    Ramai
     
  9. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    I like that one :)
     
  10. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Some excellent posts in this thread, so just thought I'd give it a bump up :D
     
  11. Gooseone

    Gooseone New Member

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    I guess i can contribute something to this thread, although the ways in which i arrived at this forum stem from the sense that i am still missing something.
    I have never cared much for anything "spiritual" in my life yet there has always been an inherent curiosity about the grander scheme of things.
    Early on in my life things happened which made me doubt that these so called "adults" knew what they were doing and it made me wary to accept anything which defied logic.
    I have been through some changes concerning my daily living habitat and that made me realise i wasn't actually somebody, i was just adapting to my environment.
    Not much of daily existence has ever made sense to me and you could describe me as somewhat introverted. Also it was obvious due to certain experiences that the reality we usually deal with was not a complete picture.
    Through puberty i got the sense that i did not want to take part in the rat race yet i saw no viable alternative to do so, the cognitive dissonance ever present had been relieved through the use of stimulants for a time, yet that nagging feeling of irrelevance when trying to "fit in" never left.
    ( I mention this because, although i have never been "spiritual" so to speak, the whole of my life seems crucial to leading up to certain realisations.)
    At one point in the winter of 2008 i was watching a video lecture of Nassim Haramein, and although it could be qualified as pseudoscience, my whole body was resonating/vibrating with it. It made a personal point that "something" was out there. I went on searching the interwebs and went through a bunch of conspiracy/new age forums and in doing so i was lucky that i had already grown to be highly critical and in seeming possesion of a decent functioning "bullshit detector".
    This went on for a year and at one point things seemed very futile.
    At work and in daily socializing there was a profound sense of something missing and my quest for truth had ended up with for the most part some hazy mumbo jumbo from a bunch of spiritual ego's.
    In an ordinary workday as a drywall plasterer i was quite fed up and frustrated by the illogical planning which made it too crowded to do my job properly. A radio station played with (to me) terrible music and at least 5 other construction workers were obstructing my functioning (my take on it)
    and most of them were happily singing along in this obviously faked sense of enjoyment. (Although they probably had themselves convinced, in the sense that most people do such things to cope with the blandness of life.)
    Throughout my life i have never been able to deal with frustration well and it has ended many times in me kicking stuff in a fit of rage. At the age of 29 this emotion could be dealt with in a normal adult fashion, yet at times this emotional sensation still had the ability to provoke quite a response...this was one of those instances.
    I went like "pop" and i was observing my thoughts from the outside.
    The radio had faded to the background and all the other construction workers were looking at me like something happened, yet they had no idea what it was.
    My mind was running like mad trying to make sense of the situation, and i felt fortunate that i was not caught up in them so much any more.
    I was flooded with insights into how my life had come to this point and these insights were/are usually applicable to humankind as a whole.
    I had no preconceived idea of what had happened and my mind frantically searched for explanations, again taking refuge in what i could find on the interwebs.
    I would not call this event "a sudden enlightenment", yet my life so far can be clearly distinguished into a "before and after" this occurrence.
    Although i can still be compulsively caught up in the tendencies of my own mind and still seek relieve from it every now and then, it is impossible to let that be of influence to any interaction with my so called outside environment. the grander scheme of things is always clear in the background and the loss of focus i create for myself is only due to my efforts to explain it logically through language.
    Now, three years later, i have researched/read a lot of stuff and the distinctions between things are becoming a bit more clear.
    I seem to have lost interest in most daily interactions and that is due to the concept that i seem to have an ability/curse/siddhi to see through what most people around me are doing in their interactions.I.e. fooling themselves.
    I have no intention to play such games yet i also have no intention to point out what people are doing to themselves unless asked to do so.
    Although i enjoy my opportunity of existence, most daily interactions seem
    just kind off "offputting" in the sense that playing is not fun when it's forced.
    this concept also applies to my personal hobbies/interest somewhat.
    From what i have figured out, this "event" which seems to have occurred for me is nothing more than something which in my view, is something which is just a natural capacity of a human being, the "observer" mode.
    I see it as a natural ability ingrained into human beings' consciousness.
    this consciousness is still individual, yet there is awareness of this
    "personalised consciousness".
    And "that" is what everything we can perceive actually springs from, and by experiencing, we tend to create an illusion that anything can actually be apart from "it".In this creation, which for a human could be translated to the
    "I am" principle is as much a part of it seeing nothing can be outside of it.
    (One could imagine thought or certain experiences as a solid object within.)
    My being and my mind are aware it is un-knowable yet i have a longing to integrate with "that" again while at the same time there is nothing apart from
    "it". This is the final concept where i am banging my head against because i seem to have created the idea that "enlightenment" is a full integration with
    "that" while still having an human experience, which is highly contradictionary.
    I have no ability any more to consciously persue a set goal, yet when i read about "samadhi" where the mind no longer is any hindrance it seems to provoke a craving because the highlights of my experience are those when i let everything be as it is, yet my social conditioning prevents me from lingering in that state. I seem to function best with just a little distraction happening around me. Yet the concept of me sustaining myself in an environment which creates this social conditioning within creates a paradox which has created the urge to seek for relieve from it.
    This urge has made me type in "staying in the now" in my google bar after i watched an Eckhart Tolle clip which made me came across this forum in which i noticed Edwin living in Alkmaar. (i live in Koedijk which is practically the same city.)Which in turn made me look up his most recent topic which has ended up with me posting all of the above.
    Funny how these "things" work ;)
    If anything, enlightenment, if it indeed exists is not a concept to which one should strive, it is being honest with oneself which makes it so that there can be noticing of the wonder of what we call a "human experience".
     

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