overcome by bliss

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    For me, theosophy is a mind pursuit, it is not very useful for arriving at truth because it goes on feeding ego - you think this person is very intelligent so you go on accepting and reading more and more of the work. You will not arrive at anything through this pursuit though, you will just go on acquiring more knowledge. Unitarian Universalism is closer simply because it does not uphold any scripture and invites you to investigate for yourself, it isn't telling you how things are at all. At the same time, it teaches much about morality and this is the trap all faiths get into. It cannot be authentic virtue unless it comes from your inner being, otherwise it is just something you feel obligated to do.

    It is not that I do not permit something of afterlife, and I am not sure where you have gathered that I reject all views on the matter. It is simply that I have not died yet, for me it is not interesting to speculate on what will happen when I die - I know ultimately I will cease to be something distinct from the whole, I know I am part of the source and have not been separate ever. I do not know if this means I will be reborn or whether there is a heaven waiting for me after death - I simply do not value such speculation at all. For me, rebirth is a clinging to this world, you want to return because you fear whatever else may happen - you are comfortable here. In heaven, I see nothing but a catering to greed, you will get everything you ever wanted - ego enjoys knowing that all this hard work will pay off in the future. Of course, hell is the alternative, something to make you fearful if you disobey. I am more about the now, and right now I am very much alive.

    For me, group-think is EXTREMELY dangerous, but I have said nothing about avoiding communities. Communities are much different to groups, a community is a team of individuals, a group is something more ugly, in groups you are expected to all agree on something in particular - you are not permitted individuality. I have no problem with discussing religious topics - that is why I am on an interfaith forum - but what I have a problem with is that often religious study circles are about drawing a particular conclusion... it is more about ensuring the whole group is thinking alike. There will be an authority there most often, and the others are driven towards his way of thinking...

    You might think what I do here is not dissimilar to this, but there is a huge difference. I have no bias about the devices used, I simply say that all devices - all streams - lead to the same ocean and try to create discussion from the ocean. If you are too much distracted by the pretty scenery either side of your particular stream, I might try to stop you from fighting the current and continue your journey but that is all. For me, the streams are too limited, and you can go back and check out the scenery once you have visited the ocean - all will be much more beautiful then anyway.
     
  2. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    I agree with living in the "right now". But if you do not have a specific belief in an afterlife like Buddhism (rebirth) or Hinduism (rebirth/Heaven), or Abrahamic faiths (Heaven), what is the point of pursuing enlightenment? At the end of your time on this earth in this mortal body, what is the real difference between a life lived in bodhi; or a life lived in hedonism; or a life lived as a simple peasant who has faith in their God but never questions their religion?

    You have stated in earlier posts that you do not engage in any leisure activities. Aristotle valued leisure and play (he made a distinction between the two, I think your "leisure" is more like his definition of "play") as components of an ideal life, and argues that the highest goal in life is eudaimonia, roughly translated as a "doing and living well" or "happy lifetime". Aristotle's eudaimonia encompasses many aspects of life; including philosophy, politics, reason, civility, friends, family, intellectually-stimulating work, etc. Aristotle argued for life action, applying one's excellence and virture; not just pursuit of knowing.

    Epicurus on the other hand argued for maximizing pleasure; "doing and living well" to him was a form of hedonism.

    In the end, which is the higher goal: a person who has pursued enlightenment at the exclusion of other aspects of life, or the hedonist (maximize pleasure), or the happy peasant? Why is enlightenment a higher goal than eudaimonia if there is no afterlife or deity?
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Iowaguy, I like ya, nothing against ya, but I always find this line of questioning completely ridiculous.

    Fact is none of us knows right? I don't know what will happen, odds are high according to everything we do know that this is it. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That is the best of our science, the rest is conjecture, hope, wishes, mythology...???

    But life as I see it is its own reward. I didn't try to raise two good kids because I don't want to come back as a beetle or because I wish to avoid hell....while if that is the coin the thought is there. But moreover because I discovered reality...

    Bliss exists, without drugs. Because the hedonistic life is costly, in relationships, in turmoil, in ups and downs, you can only due so many drugs, go to so many shows, live with so many nymphs till it all becomes mundane and you are constantly seeking a bigger thrill or simply go off the deep end to discover sanity....or maybe I just have a weak constitution.

    Now there is a societal norm, and living within that societal norm makes life soooo much more easy....so much more blissful. A monogamous life without concen about lying and sneaking around....exudes more peace. Again, if you are in a swinging relationship.....tis another story, till one decides to stop swinging as somehow jealousy ensues. And despite what movies portray there is no honor among theives and always having to be packing, and always knowing the other drugged out wackos are packing too, and that somewhere nearby there is more firepower than you and your boys can pull out in a few seconds....it isn't a good lifestyle.

    The rewards are found in life itself....not only are we not punished for our sins but by them....we are not rewarded for our deeds, but by them.

    Sooooooo hoping this thread can return to bliss...
     
  4. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Hi Wil, didn't mean to derail your thread or drag it down from bliss, just throwing out some food for thought, and challenging Lunitik's "one with the essence" spiritual goal as not the only way to pursue life.

    As far as doing good for the sake of good, many people don't see the world as you do. I know several people that try to do good because they're scared of going to hell. And some people that believe in reincarnation try to do good so they're not reincarnated in an inferior state or as an animal. So yes, the belief in an afterlife can and does shape a person's actions in this present moment. Their actions might be driven by the carrot or the stick. So talking about an afterlife in the scope of bliss makes sense to me.

    Some philosophers such as Epicurus have argued for hedonism (maximizing pleasure) as the ultimate. He might argue that bliss is pleasure. Other philosophers such as Aristotle have argued that eudaimonia is the ultimate goal in life. He might argue that bliss is eudaimonia.

    I agree that drugs aren't the way to go, I'm not advocating for that. Nor swinging relationships. But hedonism is one extreme that is useful to consider when debating paths in life, so I don't think it's taboo to throw it into a debate.

    Some people don't know the difference between pleasure and happiness. Personally, I'm all for choosing long-term happiness over pleasure; it took me many years and some hard personal lessons to really learn the difference between the two.

    I agree with you that "we not punished for our sins but by them....we are not rewarded for our deeds, but by them." That is how I think of heaven and hell: on this earth; of our own creation. As you have said, we create our own bliss. And bliss for one person might take a different form than bliss for another...

    Depends which society you're born into... Born into the lowest caste system might not seem so blissful? On the other hand maybe it's easier to find bliss in that situation without the societal pressure to "succeed" in life?
     
  5. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Enlightenment is an experience during life, I have always been intrigued by such matters because from an early age it always seemed like there had to be something in it - else why is the whole world trying to achieve it? Something like 85% of all humans on this planet proclaim a particular faith!

    My whole pursuit has been about not choosing, I didn't want to go into one at the expense of another - every religion is valuable to millions around the world. This gave a sort of tunnel vision to everything, I wanted to know what is similar in them all, and I simply ignored everything that is different - the stories about various events and what have you. This led me to many devices for arriving at that culmination, so I started experimenting.

    Really, my whole motivation was about curiosity, nothing more. Of course now it is far deeper, but originally I just wanted to know why the whole world was so committed to this thing I was utterly ignorant of. I was not born into a religious household, I was never told what to believe - this provided me with a great freedom in my original studies, I was free from conclusions from the start.

    You are mistaken, I just got back from playing soccer for instance. For me, all of life is one big play, everything about it is utterly fun for me. This is why I say the religious person should be authentic, they should not have pre-requisites going in or pay attention to any demands that a faith organization dictates. You must understand that you are perfect as you are, there is no need to change, only your perspective needs changing - and that is a by-product, not something ego need pursue.

    This has made teaching very difficult, most atheists for instance think that religiousness is something depressing, that they will have to sacrifice fun if they are to delve into the topic. It is truly disgusting to me what the organizations have done in the name of religion - they simply repress everyone, take advantage of their ignorance and insecurity. This is not holistic, you are dividing the man more and more when the real work is to put him back together - society has already been splitting him since birth.

    You seem to be inquiring again into a duality... again I simply say: be authentic, just grow in awareness. Everything you do now, simply be more aware in it. Perhaps this will lead to hedonistic, pleasurable activities, what is wrong in it? If you do not go into it, you will be kicking yourself the rest of the day and will probably dream about it that night - if you are religious, you might even continuously praise yourself for it the rest of the day, it has still become an obsession. It is foolishness to try to split man like this and call it religion - again, religion means to re-bind.

    What is important is being aware, then what can you do that is harmful? You will be more considerate, you will find pleasure in more intelligent ways - I do not mean that the activities will differ, you will simply perform them in a different way. Laws are good because most of society is unaware, unconscious like zombies walking around. If you grow your consciousness you will automatically act with love - you no longer need to remember laws or morals, you understand what they are trying to cause.

    A person that has lived authentically and gone into all that life has to offer deeply - there is no "goal" higher than this. I will say though, enlightenment is the most pleasurable thing a human can experience. It is as though the ordinary orgasm's potency has been refined in each cell, and they are all exploding simultaneously. Tantra calls it Mahamudra - literally "great orgasm".

    Of course, setting this as your goal will not permit it to occur, enlightenment cannot be a goal. That is why this is never really discussed, because if you think enlightenment is something amazing you will pursue it in a wrong way. Now ego wants to feel what is described, it is willing to work as hard as it has to if it means knowing that feeling. You can use that actually, because eventually you will figure out it is doing nothing at all and it can be your backdrop for utter let-go. I do not recommend this, but it is always that the deeper your totality in pursuit, the deeper the experience when you let go - why not let this be the motivation behind that contrast?
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    While I could say that if you read biographies or folks that have had epiphanies, amazing things occur when you seemingly have nothing. That I myself have had some wonderful moments when in what is deemed as poverty, can say that much of my being was created with lessons learned while a bum (they didn't call it homeless then). But I think I have a better point, one that will strike more close to home, one that will indicate you already know the answer....at this point in time I'd like to point out a quote from someone in another thread...
     
  7. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Question for Thomas:

    If Christianity is not dualistic, who do Christians pray to?
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    God.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    hee hee, he shoots he scores.
     
  10. Kenneth

    Kenneth New Member

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    Hi! Will

    It is more than a month since you wrote this post. Any good news about your employment?

    We may say so many things about bliss... but true bliss; for all ordinary people like me is when we get what we really wish.

    There may be a few others who have gone beyond normal human nature and become totally unattached to the pains of day to day life. They are like the stars to remind that life can be lived like that and is possible but it is very difficult to reach. But one day we will be like those stars and go even further ...

    May be the bliss that we feel like the one you felt are glimpses of the "heavenly bliss" we all would experience. They direct us to stay calm and be positive and to make us understand that God is holding us in his hands and that everything that is happening is his dance and that in his dance we will never fall.
     
  11. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Are you sure about that Kenneth? That has not been my experience.

    I am much happier now, not getting what I really wished for throughout life, than I would be otherwise. Many times (in my ignorance) I have wished for things that would have brought me pleasure, but not long-term happiness. Long-term happiness, IMHO, is not something that is dependent on getting what you wish for.

    Wow, if I would have got what I was wishing for when I was 16, 21, 25, 30, 35 years of age, etc; what a different space I would be in. You might say the same thing 10 or 20 years from now...

    Even though I don't believe in a "God" that pulls strings from up above, I really like the lyrics to Garth Brook's song:

    "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
    Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
    That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
    Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers"

    IG
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I think it isn't really of getting what we wish for but accepting what we have. If you aren't appreciative of what you've got you won't be appreciative of what you get is quite often true.

    No, no job, gainfully unemployed, working busily at what was a side business.

    I hear ya...


    I love the one...G!d answers all our prayers, sometimes the answer it 'no'.
     
  13. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Definitely better than Merlot.

    As a child I do pray to my parents. As a parent I pray to my children. My parents do still pray to me, and my children pray to me sometimes more than I can afford. I likewise pray to my spouse, strangers, friends, employees, and customers too. I confess that I don't pray to enemies as often as I should. The typical prayer is a question, a request, but sometimes just a statement of intention or wish.

    If I sometimes pray to parents, and sometimes to children, am I dualistic?
    If I sometimes pray to a friend, and sometimes to an enemy, am I dualistic?
    If I sometimes answer a prayer with yes, and I sometimes answer with no, am I dualistic?

    Being dualistic sounds like a good quality.
     
  14. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    So it is dualistic... thanks for clearing that up.
     
  15. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    The word "to" makes it dualistic, in non-duality you are that, you are talking to yourself. It is difficult to communicate at the lower planes of course without some level of dual conception, but it is not the highest truth. Why though will you need to pray, simply thinking it, desiring it will cause it to happen. The object is simply not necessary...

    Yes, though, you are VERY dualistic, our whole disagreement is essentually dualism vs non-dualism. You are stuck on the lowest plane and experience life there, you are utterly closed to the ramifications of anything higher. You will probably not know it until the day you die, it is perfectly good.

    (we all know it then)
     
  16. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    When you think you can read my mind, let me know and I'll put you to the test. So far you have been really missing in this regard.

    I do witness that God is dualistic, giving to both people who are being good, and to people who are being evil.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Lunitik — that's the most purile argument I've seen you put up yet.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I'da thought you'da saw that trap from a mile away...

    Like Ramtha's claim that Jesus was talking to them when he referred to the Father...
     
  19. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Nope, walked right into it ... Some people have the strangest notions of 'enlightenment', don't they?

    God bless,

    Thomas
     

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