Enlightenment in 3 quick and easy steps

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Fork, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    More failure.
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  3. Son Banned Banned

    I have obtained a partial form of Parinirvana. I was afraid to take on the full form. You can actually see from my words that I have changed. I did it by seeing the "I" for what it is within my mind. "Seeing" a formless, shapeless, beautiful void that is "me" at the core of "my" being.

    Refer to my post above.
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  5. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Maybe. Anyway, it doesn't matter. It's nothing to be proud of. It just means instead of just being an idiot, you've also realized you're an idiot.
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  7. Lakon Valued Senior Member

    Without exception, every person I have come across claiming enlightenment has suffered from;

    a) idiocy
    b) self aggrandizement
  8. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    ...and that ^ is what we refer to as judging and insulting people that you do not even know. :facepalm:
  9. Lakon Valued Senior Member

    No, that is what I referred to as those I've come across thus far - without exception.
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    'Parinirvana' is a word that appears to have been taken from the Buddhist tradition. Are you saying that you have attained the same state (if that's the right word) that Buddhists are speaking of?

    The prefix 'pari-' means 'complete'. So partial forms of Parinirvana seem to be self-contradictory. Complete Nirvana is traditionally described as what occurs when the residual karma (causation) that maintains the enlightened one's physical body in existence is exhausted. It's what occurs at what we think of as the enlightened one's death, in other words. That's why the Mahaparinibbana Sutta in the Pali canon describes the Buddha's death, among many other things (it's also kind of a summary of his teachings). That's contrasted with the kind of Nirvanic enlightenment that can occur during life, which basically consists of freedom from the defilements (kilesas). That's what happened to the Buddha under the bodhi tree.

    So you're saying that there still is some kind of metaphysical entity that corresponds to what you call 'I', and that this 'core' of your being has been revealed as "a formless, shapeless, beautiful void"?

    Assuming that you really did have an experience like this and aren't just talking, it sounds to me like a transitory experience of one of the higher jhanas, one of the 'formless' meditative states. But if you're still trying to identify the content of this meditative state as your true metaphysical self, then I'm not sure that I'd be too quick to equate the experience with enlightenment as the Buddhists understand it.

    That's the thing. It's easy enough to say that Buddhism is about getting rid of the 'illusion of the self'. Anyone who reads an elementary description of Buddhism in a religion textbook can repeat that. The real difficulties arise in trying to understand philosophically what the phrase means, and far more central to what Buddhism actually is, in realizing it at the deepest levels of one's psychological functioning. That's a very rare attainment indeed.
  11. Lakon Valued Senior Member

    I stand by what I said above, and add;

    Assume someone is convinced they are enlightened. I believe it would then be the height of stupidity and vanity to declare to the world 'I am enlightened'.

    And it would also indicate to me that he/she was very unenlightened.
  12. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    You have stated that you are not a Buddhist, you do not practice or understand Buddhism, yet you feel qualified to judge others practice and public statements? Why is this?

    The Buddha described himself as "enlightened" - do your statements apply to Siddhartha Gautama himself as well? Are you stating in your not-so-humble opinion that the Buddha was an "idiot"?

    I appears that you merely wish to insult and anger people that you do not know. If you substitute a racial term for the term "enlightened" you would finds yourself gone from here very quickly, so why do you believe it is acceptable to defame and disparage Buddhists here?

    A bigot by any other name is still a bigot. I think you are trying to stir up trouble here.

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  13. Lakon Valued Senior Member

    Interesting how you took my comments as being specific to Buddhism. Why is this ? In fact, they were not AT ALL meant to be specific to Buddhism. I am qualified at nothing. I was making an opinion. Notice my comments have much 'I believe' .. 'would indicate to me' .. These are my opinions. That's what discussion forums are about.

    Read my statements again. They are an expression of my observations and frustrations concerning MY experiences with people here on these forums, or elsewhere in my past, who claim to some enlightenment. An excellent case in point is the nearby thread with some 'guru' .. you know the one - you got involved in it as well. Abundant claims of 'enlightenment' but scant evidence of it - in fact, evidence of 'face' as you put it, though 'idiot' is a better description IMO.

    The Buddha ? I know absolutely nothing of him - this is PROOF that my comments were not at all with Buddhism in mind. But a quick summary I found' ..

    Buddha means “Awakened One”, someone who has awakened and sees things as they really are. According to AboutBuddha.org , a Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. Because he has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and has removed all obstructions from his mind, he knows everything of the past, present, and future, directly and simultaneously. Moreover, Buddha has great compassion which is completely impartial, embracing all living beings without discrimination.

    WOW .. thanks for bringing this to my attention. Did he tell others of everything future, or did he keep it to himself ? Any links to the Buddha's dissertation on everything (or even something .. anything) about the future ? I'd love to see this.

    Again, you read a post that wasn't there. I cannot speak about people I don't know. I maintain however, any person I've come across in real life, or in an internet forum who claims enlightenment has turned out to be an idiot IMO. I say this, because it has been true in MY experiences. What is difficult to understand about this, and why the need to draw unfounded inferences from it ?

    How about you ? Are you enlightened ? A bigot ? An idiot ? A blend of all three perhaps ? Many people are you know. Your overtones of anger, indignation, intolerance, hints of censure, etc, indicate you have some observable distance to go along your path of enlightenment (if that's what you are on) because they are not at all consistent with ..

    great compassion which is completely impartial, embracing all living beings without discrimination.

    So anyway, calm down , intone a prayer, clang a gong .. or something, and thanks for piquing my interest about the Buddha. Very interested to see what he had to say about 'everything about the future'. Also very interested to know how he reacted to critisism and dissent. With anger, indignation, inolerance, hints of censure, etc ? I hope not!

    Edit - last line 2nd last paragraph fixed.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  14. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Because usually when people speak of "enlightenment" they are referencing Buddhist thought, which is where that term originated.

    While "idiot" may seem more appropriate to you, it appears as insult to others. Insult requires no basis, can be purely emotional and can get one into trouble. "Attachment to face" is a classic Buddhist description of a person who is much more concerned about appearances than they are about substance. Buddhist thought goes towards simplicity, however and "attachment" is a pivotal concept in Buddhist practice, thus the term "attachment to face".

    This is your interpretation - AND judgement call (again), but it is not quite accurate. I do not wish a new member - like you, for example - to alienate other members or the site staff by unwittingly transgressing the site rules or by unknowingly insulting others here. Many of our members are ESL (use/speak English as a Second Language) and are as such unfamiliar with the nuances of written English language and the social ramifications of using particular terms of speech - like the word "idiot" for example. In common discourse it is more appropriate to address the argument rather than the person. We refer to the latter as an "ad hominum" ("at the man", literally) and do not allow its usage in scientific discourse as it is an invalid argument. "When you have no rational response, attack the speaker, personally."

    My point is/was that you are (perhaps unwittingly) insulting rather than discussing with the use of the term "idiot", specifically.

    If I answer your question "yes" than you have already proclaimed me an "idiot", at least as far as I can ascertain via your previous statements. If I answer "no" then you can say that I know not whereof I speak - n'est ces pas?

    However, I will answer you regardless of that 'catch 22'. As I told you when I first met you, I am a practicing Zen Buddhist (philosophy - NOT as religion). I have experienced satori - enlightenment - on many occasions so am able to convey my personal opinion on same.

    "Enlightenment" is a much bandied about term that it appears few actually understand. One can be enlightened by stepping on a tack barefoot or finally learning how to tie their shoelaces on their own. It does not necessitate some vast chasm opening beneath ones feet or a chorus of singing angels showering one with gold coins from above.

    I do not subscribe to the statements those fine folks make and do not endorse what they claim. We are to "live in the moment', "be here now", and "not attach to the past or the future". This is not congruent with the quoted statement.

    My practice is founded on the 4 noble truths (as I have quoted them to you several times now), a simple regimen and lifestyle.

    The 4 noble truths:

    1) Each of us has in our lives both pleasure and pain.

    2) Much of our pain is due to our choice of attachments.

    3) We can control our choice of attachments.

    4) Zen practice can help us to do that.

    Buddhist practice:

    1) Eat breakfast, greet your family warmly.

    2) Contact, engage and interact with your society. Help who you can as best you are able. Try to do a little something to help make the world better.

    3) The primary focus of Buddhism is enabling you to transform your own mind and thus to transform yourself. The primary tool to accomplish this is meditation. The practice of ethics and positive behavior enables us to grow spiritually.

    Much of the above is a practical distillation of the "eight - fold path".

    Very wordy statement, that. Yes, compassion is central to Buddhist practice. The Samurai's official 'religion' for some 700 years was Zen Buddhism. Why? Because it enabled them to die or be killed compassionately. Compassion does not mean that you do not swat a mosquito that bites you on the arm. To the contrary - if you are not able to practice compassion for yourself then you will not be able to practice compassion for anyone or anything else.

    I do not pray or clang gongs

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    am not upset and thus do not need to "calm down". I will continue to try to help you to become clear on these things as needed, however, and encourage you to seek a more compassionate - and less patronizing - state of mind.

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  15. Lakon Valued Senior Member


    Only if they are familiar with Buddhism I would think. Certainly not if they weren't.

    Is it ? The Old Testament has many references to enlightenment, even as far back as c.1450 BC, the period of the ancient Israelites, Moses, etc. Also the terms 'Messiah' (OT) 'Christ / Christos' (NT) etymologically traces back to 'the anointed one' - anointed for being enlightened.

    Also, in one of his Socratic dialogues ('The Cratylos' from memory) Plato makes fascinating references to 'our ancient enlightened forefathers' of some thousands of years before him.

    Also, I would doubt that much older religions, creeds, societies, etc, perhaps Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, never broached the concept of enlightenment.

    But anyway - moot points, unless you are making some strident claim that Buddhism is the provenance of enlightenment.

    Again, Buddhist .. centric I would say - relevant if you're into Buddhism. In my two cultures (Southern European and Anglo Saxon) 'attachment to face, two faced', and the like, are worse insults than 'idiot'. Try telling an Italian that he's 'ouna fatsa' and see where it gets you.

    That's rather precious of you Stroniphi. My comments were not designed to confuse ESL members. In fact, I've defended such members in the past and gone to some effort to clarify such confusion with others than might have arisen as a result of language difficulties. I would never take advantage of an ESL member though I note others have.

    a) My argument WAS that people who claim enlightenment are idiotic. More on this later.
    b) Thanks for telling me what 'ad hominum' means. I didn't know this

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    c) Please don't tell me that those who indulge in scientific discourse don't resort to ad hominum on the odd occasion.

    (Please mark my response well, and don't infer more from it than what I say).

    This is exactly where the confusion arises. Note, from etymonline.com ..

    Buddha (n.) 1680s, from Pali, literally "awakened, enlightened," past participle of budh "to awake, know, perceive," related to Sanskrit bodhati "is awake, observes, understands" (see bid). Title given by his adherents to the man who taught this path, Siddhartha Gautama, also known to them as Sakyamuni "Sage of the Sakyas" (his family clan), who lived in northern India 5c. B.C.E.

    .. so, we can have it both ways ? All the way down to stepping on a tack, or tying ones shoelaces ? It loses meaning, somewhat, doesn't it ? Becomes somewhat idiotic, wouldn't you think ? By those terms, I had a Buddhic moment this morning as I was wiping my bum on the toilet. I am not making tripe of this. You are basically saying that enlightenment can involve anything. OK, I agree. And given that most people can be, or perhaps ARE somewhat idiotic (except me, of course) it is not inaccurate to say those claiming enlightenment are idiots.

    Yes .. seems Buddhism is as multifarious as Christianity .. Judaism .. Islam .. the list goes on.

    Yes, and both are necessary to define the other. Pleasure without the comparison sensation of pain would be meaningless.

    As is much of our pleasure.

    Yes .. to some degree I suppose. I strive to ensure I attach to pleasurable, positive, life fulfilling things.

    Very good.

    I do it unerringly. And much more for my family.

    Yes, so long as my family, position / assets / well being / health / life / happiness, etc, aren't threatened by others who would form a society or clan to usurp mine. Should that happen, I would rise to the defence - perhaps even hire a band of practising Zen Buddhist mercenaries to kill my enemies for me .. compassionately, of course.

    This assumes that everyone needs transforming. You can transform to the extent that you miss out on life, you know, yet it is LIFE that is the best transformer.

    Absolutely. I'm all for ethics and positive behaviour. Positive behaviour enable me to achieve many good things, both spiritually and materially.

    Depends on the outside cover of your holy book, I suppose.

    Yes - I will keep this in mind when I need to hire some mercenaries. Kill. Compassionately. And preferably with a Zen Buddhist background.

    aka. Love thy neighbour as thyself .. got it

    You did sound rather upset earlier, but I'm glad we're over that.

    It's all good.
  16. Mazulu Banned Banned

    spidergoat, why is Fork an idiot? Look at what he said,
    It sounds like he experienced something just wonderful and very enjoyable. It's like you're telling someone that it's idiotic to feel happiness. That makes no sense.
  17. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    I wasn't being personal. Anyone seeking something which could not be closer should feel like a fool.
  18. Mazulu Banned Banned

    I don't understand???

    I was trying to make the point that bliss and forms of blissful happiness are quite valuable. I went to church this Sunday and it felt very peaceful, I was very happy and enjoyed the service. We sang the psalm "Count your blessings". I came across a poster with a picture of Aldous Huxley and there was a quote, something about how it was a sin to not believe in evidence... or something like that. Basically, I felt confronted by something that has bothered me for a while, that my spiritual experiences are not measurable in scientific terms. The poster really irritated me and I grumbled out loud about it. But during the service, I realized that the peace and the happiness I felt at church is measureable. It's measurable in the sense that being in church makes me very happy. By comparison, there are other things that I do that are a source of stress.

    Back to my point. It sounds like Fork had a very pleasureable experience. For lots of people, pleasureable experiences and happiness itself is hard to come by. I don't understand why we have to ridicule someone for sharing a joyful experience.
  19. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    I wasn't ridiculing anyone. You should know this is well within the tradition of zen, to ask hard questions and challenge each other to make better expressions of it. While I would not ridicule the pursuit of happiness, the pleasure of zen is like the pleasure of removing pain, it's not really pleasurable in itself, it's the absence or mitigation of something that was causing distress, namely, the self. You may find that most of our problems are point of view dependent.
  20. Mazulu Banned Banned

    I think spiritual and metaphysical experiences enhance the happiness of people's lives, even if the physics isn't behaving the way we want it to. I think it's more important to allow human beings to experience this sort of phenomena. There is still a lot about the cosmos that we don't understand, like where the big bang came from, the "recipe of consciousness", etc... I think that spiritual experiences and religions give meaning to a great many people. If God exists, then so it is... If it's a phenomena of nature, then it's probably vital to our existence as sentient biological creatures. Religious and spiritual experiences are healthy and they make people happy. Calling religious/spiritual experiences stupid or idiotic is like calling sexual pleasure stupid/idiotic.
  21. Lakon Valued Senior Member

    Hi Mazulu .. I really do not think spidergoat was calling yours or anyones religious / spiritual experiences stupid or idiotic. Nor was I, nor would I ever.

    Read his comment very carefully and think about it a good deal ..

    I wasn't being personal. Anyone seeking something which could not be closer should feel like a fool.
  22. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    In other words, you were irritated and grumbled about reality, but were happy in fantasy and delusion. And, the church made that all happen for you. It makes people unhappy with reality in favor of delusion.
  23. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Seems far more logical for people to face up and be happy with reality rather than denying it and wallowing in delusion. That just turns everyone into mindless zombies.

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