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Why our insights ultimately fail us, and our need to figure out everything

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by Midnight, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Hey everyone, I wrote this a few days ago in a moment of inspiration, and I figured that I would share. My goal is not to make anyone try to drop one set of beliefs and grab on to a new one, but possibly showing you why the logical mind cannot grasp so many things, and why the answers we seek for our questions are not necessary for clarity. Language plays its part in all of this, but it's function is to chop things up and placed them in fixed locations, which is great for physical applications in the world, but cannot help us define our aliveness, and life itself...

    Again, feel free to use what you feel useful, and just drop what confuses you about this. However, be wary of what resonates with you becoming a fixed perspective to base your life on.


    "If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is. Infinite." - William Blake

    People who find the need to intellectualize everything they come across are usually the most depressed/depressing people i've met/seen/read about. I've been lucky to experience first hand why that is. To have a seemingly unwavering need to be able to piece everything I know together logically, into something I can explain...contain...can take a lot out of a person. Especially when more and more, he realizes that his insights into life are ultimately destined to fail.

    I have tried for what seems like forever to box life up into a few words. To figure everything out and use that to live life. But life doesn't need you to intellectually explain it in order for it to be lived. Life is such a dynamic and diverse thing, that to rest on fixed perspectives of it can only limit what it is.

    Which is why any insight we have ultimately leaves us.

    This used to be such a heart-wrenching experience. Something would bother me for days or weeks. I would spend 95% of my time trying to wrap my head around it. I reminded myself of many things I had read over and over again. I hoped to come to some sort of conclusion with it, and have it stop bothering me...Cue the "insight".

    We've all had our experiences with these, and our names for them may differ. But ultimately, I'm speaking of those moments where a thought pops into your head that suddenly makes things seem so clear, and now whatever was bothering you doesn't bother you anymore.

    It will last for a while, and then it seems to suddenly stop having the same effect. No longer does it all feel peaceful, now it feels forceful.

    Why does this keep happening? When will I come across the ultimate insight that will allow me to be happy forever? Is it in finding the "self"? Is it in finding out what "reality" is? Do I have to realize that everything is an "illusion"?

    And so the questions continue.

    Only recently have I realized this: The only purpose an insight serves is to drop whatever it is that was bothering you. That's it. It allows you to relax your tendency to frequently focus on whatever you perceive to be a bother. We attribute the peace and joy an insight brings to being the insight itself. The words, and whatever they may be pointing to.

    So the peace and joy came from letting go of whatever thought was being focused on. But when we attribute the source of that to being the insight itself, what often happens is that we, instead of dropping the previous thought, we focus on another one...that being the insight. It turns into a belief, and then loses any power it had, because the power was not in the words, but relaxing our tendency to need the words.

    This works out to our advantage, because now we don't need to "wait" for enlightenment, or an insight to hit us. Because enlightenment is simply relaxing. Relaxing all of these things. Relaxing our concepts. Not getting rid of, just relaxing. When you look at it that way, does it seem so special now? [Trick question, it is and it isn't ;)]

    If you can relax all these things now, you find that you are naturally where you've been seeking to be. At peace and without questions. To be without questions is to be clear. You may not have all the answers, but through not knowing, there is a knowing that all of it is okay, all of it works in some unimaginable, amazing way. Yet to also define whatever it is when concepts are dropped, becomes a concept itself. So really, just relax all of these things. Our reflex to try and analyze and define things may kick in periodically, but we relax into that as well.

    So now, I've found I no longer need to search for answers to be clear. Which is amazing, because the thoughts in my head had become so irrelevant, so unnecessary for what I was ultimately looking for in the first place, which is peace of mind. It's also extra useless when you realize that you forget most of the insights you've had anyway...so if it all gets forgotten, why bother in the first place? Haha

    Yeah, all the spiritual concepts helped, and if I never experienced any of them, my mind would find it harder to just rest, but in the end, they are all meant to be dropped. To drop them means to not turn them into a belief to live by, not to forget it ever happened. You can't figure out life with one single belief or concept because life isn't any of those, yet it is all of those, because they all happen in life. No longer do you have to rest in fixed perspectives, which can at first seem like they offer clarity, and security...but wait until you come across an idea that conflicts with it.

    The beginning of this post may have made it seem like i've rejected the left brain and all it's splendor, but that is not the case. I'm only pointing out that you can't find solidity through thought, because thought comes and goes. To use logic to try and reason your way to happiness is one form of control, and if you're trying to control, you're fighting with life, which is the definition of suffering. Logic is a spectacular tool, but is only one form of intelligence. In embracing the not-knowing, a knowing arises that cannot be accurately described in words.

    -Midnight
     
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    :)

    To paint a picture of an apple is not to paint an apple itself. To believe the picture of the apple is really an apple is to be misguided. The picture of the apple simple allows us to get a sense of what the apple is in some context, and allow us to share that with others, but only the apple itself will ever BE the apple. We cannot force the picture of the apple upon others and tell them "this is what the apple IS", we can only share it and let them find their own understanding of the apple within the picture, with the possibility they will experience an apple for themselves.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  3. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Midnight,
    For someone so young you really have seen the truth of this thing we call life. :)

    We search for life’s answers everywhere. We thought the answers maybe in the future, so we sought it there. We thought the answers maybe in our past endeavours, so we sought it there. Perhaps we personally suffered with depression, anxiety or some other emotional or psychological issue. Maybe we have experienced conflict with others or painful violent episodes, or guilt ridden relationships. Perhaps we looked in careers, material success, self-help programs, drugs, alcohol, meditation, prayer, belief systems or somewhere else for relief of some kind.

    For some of us, life has been fine. No breakdowns. No hardships. We may have even experienced some degree of contentment or even moments of real freedom. Yet even those of us who have had pretty good lives often carry an on-going and worrying sense that an important piece of life seems somehow just out of reach.

    And then something simple happens, an insight or a glimpse that’s not only shows us the truth but halts the seeking, yes, we may falter or we may give in to the egoic mind and go back to seeking through stories, philosophies and religions. But once started it will always be there. Somewhere there is a choice, stop seeking and realise the truth or just carry on and keep the ego happily creating and solving problems, seeking answers to questions that do not need answering.

    If we chose to stop seeking and we establish that thought is not the problem. Suffering, seeking, and conflict do not come from thought. They come from the belief in separation. It dawns on you that thoughts are not actually pointing to separate objects at all. They are only referring to themselves. There are no separate objects. In seeing this, thoughts are seen to flow freely within awareness, seamlessly floating by. Every thought is allowed to come and go freely and uninterruptedly within the space-like awareness that we are. As we start to see that these thoughts are transparent, like the awareness to which they appear, the notion that they are pointing to separate things is seen through. The separation is not real. In seeing through the trick of a created separation, all thoughts are allowed, including your story, my story, and all other stories, philosophies, politics, religions... etc. They are all inseparable appearances within awareness, seamlessly flowing in and out of view.

    We find that, in every moment in which we are thinking, a conceptual reality is offering itself. It is appearing within the awareness that is our true identity. We find no need to ultimately escape any conceptual reality. We find ourselves perfectly comfortable with this life, no matter what thought is happening precisely because we see that thought is temporary. In that seeing, there is a genuine freedom to think without identifying with whatever arises.


    Peace :)
     
  4. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Karmoh and Giles! Awesome to see you both still posting :)

    Giles - Yeah totally! The painting of the apple, while an expression of the apple, is not really the apple. And yet, the title, apple is not the apple either. Yet none of these things are separate from the apple. It's strange to describe, because I feel as if I go back and forth a lot, but the great thing is it doesn't really need to be grasped with words :D

    Karmoh - Thanks! Great way to sum up what I was saying without typing a giant wall of text, lol.

    You know, it's pretty incredible looking back at when I first found non-duality teachings. I had never really thought about separation before, and before thinking about that concept like I did, I did not feel it very strongly at all. It wasn't until I felt what I conceptualized as oneness, that it's polar opposite in thought..."separation"...was really truly believed in.

    So before the belief in separation arose, you could say that one is naturally living in oneness. Because the belief in separation is something you have to hold on to and give energy to. It was born, and so it will eventually die.

    It's been a great relief to stop trying to chase words around anymore :)
     
  5. MetaCognition

    MetaCognition Member

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    What about the fun in believing in both non-duality and duality? Or is that just an insight we can forget about later ;)
     
  6. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Hi MetaCognition...

    Must say I'm with you on this one. I love the duality of life; bask in it, really. Of course I realize there is "ultimately" a quite different truth. But I live, day-to-day, in a world of duality. The other truth is bigger and certainly "more true" -- but also purely theoretical, from down here on Planet Earth.

    The example I always use is good and evil. Quite clearly, they both exist in our world. And we all contribute, in healthy measure, to their existence. No sense denying it. All we can do is try to make our contribution on the "plus" side of the ledger.

    Yet ultimately, of course, evil does not exist. There is only good.

    That's a wonderful realization, and does make an absolutely crucial difference in the way we view our lives. But, faced daily with undeniable evil here in the physical world...

    Well, knowing a larger truth doesn't stop bullets, as far as I'm aware.
     
  7. brozen

    brozen Member

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    @Bryan
    This reminded me of the Matrix when Neo becomes enlightened and stops bullets with his mind, haha.
    The larger truth may not physically stop bullets but it can prevent the 'need' for them.

    It is a difficult problem though.
    Living by non-dualism means you can't add to the creation of good or evil.
    Living by dualism means you can live to work for good, but by doing so allow evil to exist.
    But living by non-dualism in a world with dualists(sp?), seems to be a bit of a mess.

    It seems the only way to get rid of all evil is for everyone to accept that there is no evil.
    Those bullets will only exist if you allow them to exist, in saying that, maybe the larger truth is the only thing that can stop the bullets.

    (haven't slept in 30hours so might be a lack of logic to that, ahah but sounds good to me.)

    PEACE
     
  8. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Brozen wrote:

    "Living by non-dualism means you can't add to the creation of good or evil.
    Living by dualism means you can live to work for good, but by doing so allow evil to exist.
    But living by non-dualism in a world with dualists(sp?), seems to be a bit of a mess."

    Hi Brozen...

    In all fairness, I doubt very much that we have any choice in this matter. Living "by non-dualism" is not an option in a dualistic world. It is, after all, what it is. Sure, we all have a hand in creating it, and can all influence it to some extent. But we are not gods. We live where we live. We are physical beings, in a physical world.

    God, if he exists, obviously IS a god. In His world, there is no dualism, and that is the ultimate reality. No evil exists.

    But, down here on Planet Earth...no choice, I'm afraid. Especially here in the Philippines. It kind of breaks down like this: they shoot; I duck.
     
  9. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Of course, I absolutely adore the seeming separations and the uniqueness and variety of life. Believing in both and neither is where it's at, haha. :D

    I'm just saying, someone may have an insight that more or less says... "Duality is included within nonduality"...What happens then is that they drop the tension they held on to. They end up where they were before they started holding on to said idea.

    And then we all move on with our lives :p
     
  10. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    I would beg to differ. :D

    Ultimately, evil does not exists, and neither does good. They are both judgmental constructs of the ego mind.

    :rolleyes:

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  11. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    No need to beg, Giles. You are very welcome to differ. As, indeed, am I.

    Good and evil just "judgmental constructs"? Hmmm. Well, sitting in a closed room, or here on a forum, I suppose we can posit whatever theories we like.

    In the world I inhabit, however, people do really terrible things. And really wonderful things, too. Their actions are real, not "constructs". As are the consequences...very real, often very nasty, and sometimes fatal.

    :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  12. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Bryan,

    Is Nature in all it's glory ultimately evil? Or ultimately good? Or is there just nature doing what it does, seamlessly moving onward.

    Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Floods, these kill thousands each year.
    As humans are we part of the cycle of nature or separate?

    There is an old saying "The world is you and you are the World"

    "You may preach non-violence all your life and all the time be sowing the seeds of violence" J. Krishnamurti

    Peace :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  13. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Recipe for the Life Enchilada with Beans

    An interesting mix of all of life’s elements…

    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add base ingredients starting with despair, shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger and pride. Cook until browned.

    Prepare ingredients for the tortilla – courage, willingness, acceptance, reason and love. Heat until the desired texture is obtained.

    Cut cooked base ingredients into slices. Place a tablespoon of beans on the tortilla with sliced base ingredients. Roll up tightly and place on a lined baking tray. Spoon a salsa comprising joy, ecstasy, peace and bliss.
    Sprinkle with self realization and add enlightenment to taste.

    Chef's recommendation: eat the whole enchilada.

    Olmate
     
  14. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Hi Karmoh...

    Thanks for asking an easy question. We don't get many of those here.

    "Is Nature in all it's glory ultimately evil? Or ultimately good?"

    Good in almost every conceivable way -- with a few hiccups (floods, storms, etc.) which have existed for millions of years, and really have nothing to do with humans.

    Not fun when you get caught in a hurricane, or live beside a volcano. Still, the answer is a slam-dunk:

    Ultimately good. Ultimately wonderful, in fact!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  15. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Midnight,

    Great orginal post, a real good read - thankyou.

    :)
     

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