1. Hmmm . . .
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    03 Apr '07 22:401 edit
    Sometimes, it seems to me that “I don’t know” is a perfectly reasonably answer—especially in the face of questions about things that may, in fact, transcend our cognitive abilities (which does not mean they have to do with the supernatural). Or—just the fact that we can imagine something, or think we can, does not mean that we really know what we’re talking about.

    In spiritual matters, “I don’t know” seems to be a sign of weakness to some people—as are phrases such as “I think,” or “this is how I see it”. How could anyone who was enlightened not “know”? Know everything?

    A Zen master was once asked: “What happens when we die?”

    He replied: “I don’t know.”

    “But—you’re a Zen master; you’re supposed to be enlightened! How can you not know?”

    “Yes, I’m a Zen master. But I’m not a dead Zen master....”

    And yet, when someone says, “I know that I have an immortal soul”—does that “I know” add anything to the statement? Are they trying to assure themselves? Or us? “I know that I have a nose.” What does the “I know” add to any putatively factual statement? Does it mean that no evidence need be presented? If I don’t know whether or not I have a nose, what evidence could convince me? Looking in the mirror? But, if I cannot trust the sensation of having a nose—why should I trust more my sensation of seeing my nose? If I didn't already know that I had an immortal soul, why should I trust a book that tells me so?

    But—if I have a vision of Krishna, a powerful, mind-blowing “real” vision—how can I tell for sure it’s not a powerful psychological phenomenon. (Because it’s not Jesus? Or Buddha?) How can I say “I know” it’s real?

    “I know” the Bible is the “word of God.” Yes? Am I to take that “I know” as meaning anything?

    In Zen, such visions, etc., are generally to be disregarded as makyo: bedeviling illusions of the mind. Zen favors clear awareness.

    Maybe I should try this “I know” thing, since merely to say “I think” makes me seem unenlightened—

    In the end, I know that there is only One, the All-without-another, of which I am, and to which I will return. I know that there is a natural state of mind (or condition of consciousness, or way of being aware—nothing fancy) in which there is no mental anguish or suffering at all, only a natural sense of harmony and okay-ness and coherence with the world (well, I actually do know that...).

    Wow, that felt good. How do I know? I give that rascal Lao Tzu’s answer: Like this!
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    04 Apr '07 00:19
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Sometimes, it seems to me that “I don’t know” is a perfectly reasonably answer—especially in the face of questions about things that may, in fact, transcend our cognitive abilities (which does not mean they have to do with the supernatural). Or—just the fact that we can imagine something, or think we can, does not mean that we really know what we’re talking ...[text shortened]...
    Wow, that felt good. How do I know? I give that rascal Lao Tzu’s answer: Like this!
    Then how about this- I am going to live forever with God! 😏
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    04 Apr '07 01:271 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Sometimes, it seems to me that “I don’t know” is a perfectly reasonably answer—especially in the face of questions about things that may, in fact, transcend our cognitive abilities (which does not mean they have to do with the supernatural). Or—just the fact that we can imagine something, or think we can, does not mean that we really know what we’re talking
    Wow, that felt good. How do I know? I give that rascal Lao Tzu’s answer: Like this!
    There is nothing wrong with saying I dont' know....that is if you really do not know. Having said that, how do you think Christ would have answered the question of what will happen to him when he dies? For that matter, how would his disciples have answered that question?
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    04 Apr '07 01:35
    Originally posted by whodey
    There is nothing wrong with saying I dont' know....that is if you really do not know. Having said that, how do you think Christ would have answered the question of what will happen to him when he dies? For that matter, how would his disciples have answered that question?
    Well we know some of the disciples got the hell out of Dodge. And at least one was so in the "I don't know" zone, that he insisted on a "hands on" experience.
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    04 Apr '07 02:20
    Originally posted by josephw
    Then how about this- I am going to live forever with God! 😏
    Heretic! How could you think such a thing? Do you think your so important!

    Edit: Lets hope for our sakes that the answer is yes. 😛
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    04 Apr '07 12:41
    Originally posted by whodey
    Heretic! How could you think such a thing? Do you think your so important!

    Edit: Lets hope for our sakes that the answer is yes. 😛
    Have you ever heard of eternal security? Christ died for me. I have received the gift of eternal life. I WILL live forever with God!

    Ephesians 1:12-14
    That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
    Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    If you don't know that you have eternal life, then you probably don't! And if you think it isn't possible to know until you die, then I would venture to say that you must be a Catholic.
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    04 Apr '07 12:56
    Originally posted by vistesd
    “I know” the Bible is the “word of God.” Yes? Am I to take that “I know” as meaning anything?
    I am not entirely sure what you are saying. Is this related:
    Why do Christians constantly need to reassure themselves of obvious facts such as going around saying things like "God is great"?
    Surely the "I know" bit is similar reassurance due to lingering doubt?
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    04 Apr '07 14:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am not entirely sure what you are saying. Is this related:
    Why do Christians constantly need to reassure themselves of obvious facts such as going around saying things like "God is great"?
    Surely the "I know" bit is similar reassurance due to lingering doubt?
    Partly, perhaps. I’m feeling my way with this a bit.

    But it’s more about how when one says, “I don’t know”, it’s as if they’ve lost something—and I’m speaking particularly to metaphysical matters here, or spiritual ones. Those “in the know” sometimes seem to see that “I don’t know” as some kind of defeat, when in fact, the person who says “I don’t know” may well be onto something...

    The Zen master: can someone who doesn’t “know” what happens when we die be enlightened? Might he perhaps be more enlightened than one who says “I know”? Can that “I don’t know” indicate knowing the difference between what is metaphysically knowable to us, and what is not?

    There seems to be in religion a notion that one must know all such things. That certainty is a requirement.
    _______________________________

    Some one says: “Shiva exists.”

    Someone else says: “I believe that Shiva exists.”

    Someone else says: “I know that Shiva exists.”

    Now, would the first person make that statement seriously if they didn’t believe it? Would actually saying “I believe” (or “I know” ) add anything?

    Or does that “I believe” uttered by the second person simply indicate that one has concluded something is so without being certain of it. Perhaps such a person is making that statement on the basis of what they take to be a preponderance of evidence, but not sufficient evidence to remove all reasonable doubt.

    The third person adds the words “I know.” Does the addition of those words carry any weight? Perhaps it is a matter of reassurance, precisely because they don’t want it to be thought that they “don’t know” (perhaps they don’t even want to think that themselves).
    ________________________________

    Another spin—

    What is sometimes called samadhi, what I sometimes call clear-mind, what Nakagawa Soen roshi simply called present mind—Seung Sahn roshi calls don’t-know mind...
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    04 Apr '07 18:563 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Partly, perhaps. I’m feeling my way with this a bit.

    But it’s more about how when one says, “I don’t know”, it’s as if they’ve lost something—and I’m speaking particularly to metaphysical matters here, or spiritual ones. Those “in the know” sometimes seem to see that “I don’t ...[text shortened]... i simply called present mind—Seung Sahn roshi calls don’t-know mind...
    I see "Shiva exists" and "I know Shiva exists" as saying the same thing with the latter having additional emphasis. I see "I believe" as acknowledgement that the statement may not be true.

    As for not being able to say "I don't know" or "I believe", I see this as being rooted in pride. It seems to be an affliction suffered by theists and atheists alike. That that both sides could get to where they see that they're two sides of the same coin.

    I believe clear-mind occurs when one has temporarily stepped away from the self. Hopefully with understanding it would become their normal state.
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    04 Apr '07 19:37
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I believe clear-mind occurs when one has temporarily stepped away from the self. Hopefully with understanding it would become their normal state.
    Does scientology have anything worthwhile to offer? I don't know--should I try?
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    04 Apr '07 19:42
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Does scientology have anything worthwhile to offer? I don't know--should I try?
    There's a Church of Scientology right down the street from campus. I feel like checking it out. I want to know what all the Hubbard hubbub is about.
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    04 Apr '07 19:53
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Does scientology have anything worthwhile to offer? I don't know--should I try?
    I don't know anything about it either. Does "clear-mind" have an association with scientology? I just referenced it in response to a question. Maybe I should have put it in quotes.
  13. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    04 Apr '07 19:55
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I don't know anything about it either. Does "clear-mind" have an association with scientology? I just referenced it in response to a question. Maybe I should have put it in quotes.
    Becoming "clear" is a goal of scientology. I'm not too sure what it means.
  14. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    04 Apr '07 19:56
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    There's a Church of Scientology right down the street from campus. I feel like checking it out. I want to know what all the Hubbard hubbub is about.
    The most unlikely people claim that it taught them very valuable things--up to a point, and then they left.
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    04 Apr '07 20:04
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Becoming "clear" is a goal of scientology. I'm not too sure what it means.
    Not the way I use it, however--at least that's my conclusion after once having read Dianetics.
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