1. Joined
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    13 Oct '07 21:201 edit
    This post is in response to accusations in other posts of people not being "enlightened" or blind to the truth. So this thread is about which of us are enlightened and which are not. So have at it, who here considers themselves enlightened? Why or why not?
  2. Standard memberknightmeister
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    13 Oct '07 21:31
    Originally posted by whodey
    This post is in response to accusations in other posts of people not being "enlightened" or blind to the truth. So this thread is about which of us are enlightened and which are not. So have at it, who here considers themselves enlightened? Why or why not?
    Doesn't the whole idea of becoming enlightened imply that our natural human state is that of "living in darkness"? If so does this not support the Christian view? Becoming enlightened must mean something or something has shed some light on you?
  3. Joined
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    13 Oct '07 21:37
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Doesn't the whole idea of becoming enlightened imply that our natural human state is that of "living in darkness"? If so does this not support the Christian view? Becoming enlightened must mean something or something has shed some light on you?
    From the Christian view perhaps. However, what of the atheist view? What of the Muslim view etc, etc? Is'nt the claim of enlightenment simply a claim of having or knowing the truth as where others do not? Is it nothing more than a nice way to say, "I am right and you are wrong?" The nice thing about Christ is that nearly all agree that he was enlightened in some respect. People simply differ on what his message was really all about or if it fits their world view.
  4. Joined
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    13 Oct '07 22:04
    Originally posted by whodey
    This post is in response to accusations in other posts of people not being "enlightened" or blind to the truth. So this thread is about which of us are enlightened and which are not. So have at it, who here considers themselves enlightened? Why or why not?
    what about "if ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise"?

    Many people would rather be happy than enlightened.
  5. Joined
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    13 Oct '07 23:59
    Originally posted by whodey
    This post is in response to accusations in other posts of people not being "enlightened" or blind to the truth. So this thread is about which of us are enlightened and which are not. So have at it, who here considers themselves enlightened? Why or why not?
    I am enlightened.
    God told me so.
  6. Subscriberduecer
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    14 Oct '07 01:501 edit
    the buddist perspective is that enlightenment comes in flashes of deeper understanding. They believe that all of us carry that potential for perfect a perfect clarity or understanding within us, and it is up to the individual to endeavor to unlock that life condition.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Oct '07 02:131 edit
    Originally posted by duecer
    the buddist perspective is that enlightenment comes in flashes of deeper understanding. They believe that all of us carry that potential for perfect a perfect clarity or understanding within us, and it is up to the individual to endeavor to unlock that life condition.
    Well put.

    This seems not a bad explanation—

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satori

    —except that some would dispute the notion that satori necessarily means a permanent state (especially if that implies one that does not require any further nurturing and vigilance). Some Zen masters have spoken of having more than one satori (the great Rinzai master Hakuin roshi had several, of varying degrees), and in this sense the word “epiphany” might be applicable.

    I dislike the word “enlightenment,” since people seem to assume that it represents some position of knowing all truth, or having achieved some sort of existential perfection in life. Or that the so-called “enlightened” represent some kind of elite. “All sentient beings have Buddha-nature.”

    Some would say that the mental quality that you wonderfully referred to as “clarity” is our natural condition, that has become clouded by illusion, cultural conditioning, habitual conceptualization, etc. I tend to see it that way, as long as one also takes account of neurological and psychological development through childhood. In that sense, your word "unlock" is apropos: the Zen masters continually say there is nothing to attain, since "it" is already there and only needs to be realized.
  8. Joined
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    14 Oct '07 02:51
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Or that the so-called “enlightened” represent some kind of elite.
    There is an air of elitism in the notion of being "enlightened", no? In fact, I cannot picture Christ going around saying that he was "enlightened" and claiming that others were not as "enlightened" as he was. In a way it seems as though one is bragging on themselves with an air of self-righteousness attached to it. It simply seems to contradict his humble nature in my opinion. Then again, we do see Christ claiming to be the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through him. However, I do not see this as bragging as much as I do it being a matter of fact.
  9. Joined
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    14 Oct '07 02:52
    Originally posted by serigado
    I am enlightened.
    God told me so.
    Congradulations. Now would you like to share?
  10. Joined
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    14 Oct '07 02:58
    Originally posted by vistesd


    I dislike the word “enlightenment,” since people seem to assume that it represents some position of knowing all truth, or having achieved some sort of existential perfection in life.
    I would agree. It is impossible to know ALL truth. It is also impossible to achieve perfection in this world because we are imperfect beings. However, I point to Christ as being who is the only one who is the source of ALL truth. Therefore, if I am right then it would behoove us to listen to him with a humble heart.
  11. Joined
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    14 Oct '07 03:03
    Originally posted by snowinscotland
    what about "if ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise"?

    Many people would rather be happy than enlightened.
    Biblically there is some truth in what you say.

    Ecclesiastes 1:18 "For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increases knowledge increases sorrows."
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Oct '07 03:14
    Originally posted by whodey
    There is an air of elitism in the notion of being "enlightened", no? In fact, I cannot picture Christ going around saying that he was "enlightened" and claiming that others were not as "enlightened" as he was. In a way it seems as though one is bragging on themselves with an air of self-righteousness attached to it. It simply seems to contradict his humble ...[text shortened]... gh him. However, I do not see this as bragging as much as I do it being a matter of fact.
    There might be “an air of elitism” in claiming to “be enlightened.” Again, it is a word I dislike. And the way you seem to be using it is exactly why.

    But, if you look at duecer’s post, to claim to have come to some understanding is no more elitist than claiming to have some knowledge of mathematics—or a particular religion. Does someone who has learned how to swim have to keep it a secret (at least from those who have not yet learned) in order to not be elitist?

    Also, there is nothing in my post about “bragging”—and nothing to brag about. One could say that the Zen masters simply awoke from an amnesia in which they had forgotten how to swim (in this metaphor, all people would be born with the natural ability to swim), and then said to others: “Try doing it this way.”
  13. Joined
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    14 Oct '07 03:30
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There might be “an air of elitism” in claiming to “be enlightened.” Again, it is a word I dislike. And the way you seem to be using it is exactly why.

    But, if you look at duecer’s post, to claim to have come to some understanding is no more elitist than claiming to have some knowledge of mathematics—or a particular religion. Does someone who has learn ...[text shortened]... ld be born with the natural ability to swim), and then said to others: “Try doing it this way.”
    How do you discern illusion from reality? Perhaps this "awakening" is the ultimate illusion?
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Oct '07 04:091 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    How do you discern illusion from reality? Perhaps this "awakening" is the ultimate illusion?
    Have you ever experienced—or can you at least imagine—being awake and consciously aware, but without having a thought in your head? No thinking at all. Being aware of your body and your surroundings, sensations and perceptions, but without naming anything (“Ah, there’s a—what’s it called? A mockingbird.” ) or thinking thoughts about it (“I don’t like mockingbirds, because...” or “There must—or must not—be a god in all this...” ).

    And then you become aware when you’re thinking thoughts. Thinking is a natural activity, just like walking. But because you are able to walk does not mean that you have to keep continually walking all your waking moments. When you’re walking, you can be aware that you’re walking, and watch where you’re walking when you need to so that you do not step into a groundhog hole and break your leg. Similarly with thinking. Similarly with emotions (with the possible exception of what might be understood as emotional content in the immediate survival response).

    Then you realize that your thoughts are not who you are, but something that you do—including, and this is the kicker, all the thoughts you think about yourself: the whole thought-complex you name “I”. What people normally call “I” is simply the product of their activity of thinking about themselves, and identifying themselves with that thinking—and what others think about them as well, and what they have learned from others to think about themselves.

    [Before I write on this again, I have to remember to ask my wife—who has some training in this—how that “I-thought complex” tracks in childhood development.]

    You are essentially prior to that fabricated “I-complex.” You are the one who fabricates it (with help from parents, culture, etc.). It may be well-built and useful, and the very act of fabricating our “somebody-self-construct” is a natural activity of our particular consciousness—but it is not you, no matter how much people pretend to themselves and each other that that is the case. And that pretending is largely unconscious, almost like post-hypnotic suggestion.

    I cannot describe that you for you. You have to discover that for yourself. Any attempt at description is just more thoughts—even to call it something like “Buddha-nature” is just another thought, another name. I can only tell you what it is not, to the best of my limited ability.

    I said “discover,” but that’s just a way of talking. “What you’re looking for is what you’re looking with...” (Take that as a kind of koan.) You can simply realize it. And then you will also understand why any attempt to describe it will always miss the mark.

    And if you realize “it”, you are unlikely to go around saying silly things like, “Now I’m enlightened.” And if you do, a Zen master would likely say, “ ‘Who’ is this ‘I’ that thinks ‘it’s’ enlightened?!”

    __________________________________

    Illusion is just seeing reality in a one-sided way. Seeing the trees but not the forest (or vice versa). Thinking there can be an identifiable figure without a ground. Affirming the many, but denying the whole; affirming the whole, but denying the manyness of its manifestations. Thinking that you are just the content of your “I-thoughts”; denying the natural, useful role of that “somebody-self-construct”—thinking either that it’s immutable or that it serves no purpose. Etc., etc.
  15. Joined
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    14 Oct '07 04:18
    Originally posted by vistesd

    Also, there is nothing in my post about “bragging”—and nothing to brag about. One could say that the Zen masters simply awoke from an amnesia in which they had forgotten how to swim (in this metaphor, all people would be born with the natural ability to swim), and then said to others: “Try doing it this way.”[/b]
    But what if one thinks one is swimming when in reality they are not?
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