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Aniihya
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08 Jan 2016, 6:20 pm

Is enlightenment real? Do you completely understand reality? Do you view yourself as enlightened? Is compassion as necessary as enlightenment?



kraftiekortie
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08 Jan 2016, 6:47 pm

I believe some people are more "enlightened" than others--but I don't believe in a Buddhist-like Nirvana-Enlightenment.

I believe it is essential to understand what is in front of you (and all around you, too!) It's better to be a little pragmatic than a lot foolish and oblivious.

I don't believe I "completely" understand reality--though I seek to understand my reality, and others' realities, as much as possible.

I believe compassion is necessary--it could lead to a more "enlightened" state.

Knowing the "truth," no matter what that might be, at any given moment, is essential.



Aniihya
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08 Jan 2016, 7:18 pm

Why don't you believe in Buddhist nirvana? How do you know the way perceive reality is correct?



kraftiekortie
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08 Jan 2016, 7:21 pm

I'm not 100% sure it's "correct." One can never be "sure."

But my "faith" tells me that my subjective impressions, combined with the subjective impressions of others, yields a pretty objective, "nearly correct' impression.

My faith is in my agnostic atheism.



Aniihya
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08 Jan 2016, 7:26 pm

How can you be sure that one can never be sure when you deny certainty?



kraftiekortie
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08 Jan 2016, 7:34 pm

That's the whole point....I can never be wholly "sure.'

But I'm usually quite "sure" that whatever impressions I have are mostly correct. I feel warmer, usually, in the sun than the shade. I believe turquoise is slightly blue, though others might think it's slightly on the green side.

It's impossible to believe in Absolutes when dealing with subjective experience.



Hopper
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08 Jan 2016, 7:43 pm

Aniihya wrote:
Is enlightenment real?


This is the Buddhist sort of enlightenment? I must admit, it's one of a fair few things that I am 'allergic' to, that I meet with a weary roll of my eyes. Not particularly mature, but I hope my being aware of this goes some way to compensating. Hopefully there'll be someone more sympathetic to and knowledgeable of this to give more fruitful answers.

So. I don't think it is real, in that I don't think it gives one a 'closer' or 'truer' relation to 'reality' than someone who is unenlightened.

But I believe that someone may pursue and go through 'enlightenment', and that to them it is very real. If they feel 'enlightened' compared to their previous understanding and perception, more power to their elbow.

Quote:
Do you completely understand reality?


It quite depends what one means by 'reality', and indeed 'understand' and 'completely'. Though I would say that it is not a given that reality is understandable, completely or otherwise. Nor is it a given that humans are capable of understanding reality, completely or otherwise.

My reality is what I experience and what I think and what I think of what I experience. I don't think I fully understand it, or even that I could. My experience is pluralistic, and so I see reality as pluralistic. Of my reality, there is always something more to be thought or felt, new connections to be made, new perspectives to take.

To think that I am going to 'completely understand' it brings to mind the image of the man whose hat is blown to the ground and, every time he stoops to pick it up, only manages to kick it further down the street.

Quote:
Do you view yourself as enlightened?


No. But I don't think I can be.

Quote:
Is compassion as necessary as enlightenment?


Compassion is to be much commended.


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shlaifu
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08 Jan 2016, 8:10 pm

Buddhist enlightenment looks great, but I tend to imagine a world full of enlightened beings, being whisked away by measles.

I think, enlightenment like that is great for the individual experiencing it, but flat affect and non-attachment alone won't lead to inventions and making the impossible a reality. It needs passion and devotion for some things, and a fair amount of disrespect for what IS, in favour of what can be.

Buddhist enlightenment sounds like coping-strategy. It is, I think, a valuable concept.


Personally, I'm not enlightened.
I'd rather be obsessed to the point of self-harm with something, to have the feeling of purpose. I know that that is a flawed concept, but so much more interesting.
Also, I don't partake in samsara, and I have no use for a nirwana (except for the music).
When I die, it will be, to me, like before I was born. -there just won'tbe any "I" - so nothing to worry about.


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08 Jan 2016, 8:14 pm

shlaifu wrote:
I'd rather be obsessed to the point of self-harm with something, to have the feeling of purpose. I know that that is a flawed concept, but so much more interesting.

I used to be the same exact way - it's great to feel that drive until about the time your mind and emotions start cannibalizing themselves; ie. when you hit a thick wall of dissonance between what you can do and want to do. That's when it gets dangerous and that's when you have to take it back a notch for both safety and sanity.


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mookestink
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08 Jan 2016, 8:17 pm

Aniihya wrote:
Is enlightenment real?
It's possible to reduce bias significantly. Whether someone is completely able to filter out all delusions? I haven't seen it, but I don't think I'd find many enlightened people sitting around on an internet forum. Unless they know something I don't. :)

Aniihya wrote:
Do you completely understand reality?
No, but nothing says that I have to remain attached to all my illogical thoughts and desires.

Aniihya wrote:
Do you view yourself as enlightened?
I view myself as a bodhisattva. Not enlightened, but able to talk sensibly about it. I believe, if nothing else, that if I met a Buddha I'd be able to recognize him or her. I would also be able to recognize it in myself.

Aniihya wrote:
Is compassion as necessary as enlightenment?
Yes. Treat everyone with the same courtesy that you treat yourself. Be willing to take compassion seriously: don't sugar-coat truths, even if you think someone can't handle it.



Aristophanes
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08 Jan 2016, 8:32 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Buddhist enlightenment looks great, but I tend to imagine a world full of enlightened beings, being whisked away by measles.

I think, enlightenment like that is great for the individual experiencing it, but flat affect and non-attachment alone won't lead to inventions and making the impossible a reality. It needs passion and devotion for some things, and a fair amount of disrespect for what IS, in favour of what can be.

If it becomes reality it was never impossible, merely hard to achieve. An enlightened person would claim that when one is satisfied they have no need to search any longer, thus invention is not only unnecessary but could actually be harmful.



shlaifu
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08 Jan 2016, 8:45 pm

Aristophanes wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
Buddhist enlightenment looks great, but I tend to imagine a world full of enlightened beings, being whisked away by measles.

I think, enlightenment like that is great for the individual experiencing it, but flat affect and non-attachment alone won't lead to inventions and making the impossible a reality. It needs passion and devotion for some things, and a fair amount of disrespect for what IS, in favour of what can be.

If it becomes reality it was never impossible, merely hard to achieve. An enlightened person would claim that when one is satisfied they have no need to search any longer, thus invention is not only unnecessary but could actually be harmful.


Agreed. So who decides when it is enough?
You could be satisfied with a lifespan of 40 years. You could be satisfied with knowing thatoms cam be split, but stop there.
Our you can build giant particle smashers and use the properties of light itself to record music.

Is it possible enlightenment is a view of reality that allows you to deal with all the blows of fate, but still keep your dissatisfaction that keeps you investogating further and further?
Or is enlightenment more of a state of comfortable numbness?


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Aristophanes
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08 Jan 2016, 9:52 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
Buddhist enlightenment looks great, but I tend to imagine a world full of enlightened beings, being whisked away by measles.

I think, enlightenment like that is great for the individual experiencing it, but flat affect and non-attachment alone won't lead to inventions and making the impossible a reality. It needs passion and devotion for some things, and a fair amount of disrespect for what IS, in favour of what can be.

If it becomes reality it was never impossible, merely hard to achieve. An enlightened person would claim that when one is satisfied they have no need to search any longer, thus invention is not only unnecessary but could actually be harmful.


Agreed. So who decides when it is enough?
You could be satisfied with a lifespan of 40 years. You could be satisfied with knowing thatoms cam be split, but stop there.
Our you can build giant particle smashers and use the properties of light itself to record music.

Is it possible enlightenment is a view of reality that allows you to deal with all the blows of fate, but still keep your dissatisfaction that keeps you investogating further and further?
Or is enlightenment more of a state of comfortable numbness?

Or we could say, splitting an atom is merely a first step, further down the line we come to a string, the sub-atomic particle of which all others are comprised. It is merely a vibration with multiple different resonating frequencies. One fundamental object that through its wide variations creates the heavens, the earth, and all living things. Everything at it's core is this one object, therefore we are all the same, we are all one. Everything built above this level is merely a triviality to pull one away from being one with the universe and thus content. Why the need to smash particles to make music when one can merely close their eyes, meditate, and let the music of being fill the soul? This is clarity; numbness is ignoring that song. When one is numb to the sound they are discontent, they are anxious, they are insecure and so they search for answers as to why they feel so discontent. They may make great objects, further sciences, and conquer nations in search of that feeling but they will never find it because it's not found externally, it's found within.

To Aniihya's question: "Is compassion as necessary as elightenment?" I would say they are one and the same. An enlightened person understands the fundamental sameness in all things and thus can't help but feel compassion since compassion for another is love for one's self.

I am merely a tourist, I suffer from the same maladies as anyone else, but I work at understanding. Perhaps a truly enlightened person will chime in and answer it better than I. Chances are the enlightened person doesn't have a need for the internet though, and I'd put 10$ down that they're not American, lol.



mookestink
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08 Jan 2016, 10:33 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Is it possible enlightenment is a view of reality that allows you to deal with all the blows of fate, but still keep your dissatisfaction that keeps you investogating further and further?
Enlightenment is the absence of delusion and attachments, and hence it is the end of suffering. This includes attachments to the self. There is no outside. There is no inside. Everything is one.
shlaifu wrote:
Or is enlightenment more of a state of comfortable numbness?
Those aren't the only two options. Enlightenment comes with the momentum to continue what one was doing before. The quest for enlightenment is a journey to build good habits, good thoughts, good emotions, good conduct. It is a highly logical process.



ZenDen
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10 Jan 2016, 1:26 pm

Aristophanes wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
Buddhist enlightenment looks great, but I tend to imagine a world full of enlightened beings, being whisked away by measles.

I think, enlightenment like that is great for the individual experiencing it, but flat affect and non-attachment alone won't lead to inventions and making the impossible a reality. It needs passion and devotion for some things, and a fair amount of disrespect for what IS, in favour of what can be.

If it becomes reality it was never impossible, merely hard to achieve. An enlightened person would claim that when one is satisfied they have no need to search any longer, thus invention is not only unnecessary but could actually be harmful.


Agreed. So who decides when it is enough?
You could be satisfied with a lifespan of 40 years. You could be satisfied with knowing thatoms cam be split, but stop there.
Our you can build giant particle smashers and use the properties of light itself to record music.

Is it possible enlightenment is a view of reality that allows you to deal with all the blows of fate, but still keep your dissatisfaction that keeps you investogating further and further?
Or is enlightenment more of a state of comfortable numbness?

Or we could say, splitting an atom is merely a first step, further down the line we come to a string, the sub-atomic particle of which all others are comprised. It is merely a vibration with multiple different resonating frequencies. One fundamental object that through its wide variations creates the heavens, the earth, and all living things. Everything at it's core is this one object, therefore we are all the same, we are all one. Everything built above this level is merely a triviality to pull one away from being one with the universe and thus content. Why the need to smash particles to make music when one can merely close their eyes, meditate, and let the music of being fill the soul? This is clarity; numbness is ignoring that song. When one is numb to the sound they are discontent, they are anxious, they are insecure and so they search for answers as to why they feel so discontent. They may make great objects, further sciences, and conquer nations in search of that feeling but they will never find it because it's not found externally, it's found within.

To Aniihya's question: "Is compassion as necessary as elightenment?" I would say they are one and the same. An enlightened person understands the fundamental sameness in all things and thus can't help but feel compassion since compassion for another is love for one's self.

I am merely a tourist, I suffer from the same maladies as anyone else, but I work at understanding. Perhaps a truly enlightened person will chime in and answer it better than I. Chances are the enlightened person doesn't have a need for the internet though, and I'd put 10$ down that they're not American, lol.


You said:
"I am merely a tourist, I suffer from the same maladies as anyone else, but I work at understanding. Perhaps a truly enlightened person will chime in and answer it better than I. Chances are the enlightened person doesn't have a need for the internet though, and I'd put 10$ down that they're not American, lol."[/quote]

On the various Buddhist forums I've occasionally participated in I've never heard anyone claim to be enlightened, including those who've practiced for many years, or even any Teachers. Being enlightened isn't like having a great idea pop into your head about how the world works.

Enlightenment is something someone may achieve after years of diligent study, generally not "lay persons" who are normal hard working people such as you and I.