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About blackfence

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  1. Ramana Maharshi's version of self-inquiry, without a doubt. Focusing on the fact that "I know that I am" and trying to locate where it comes from, while noticing that any object that you are aware of cannot be the source of that "I feeling" -- for example, the I cannot come from the head because you are aware of the head, and you cannot be what you are aware of.
  2. Swami Chinmayananda is always entertaining, but I really dislike the idea that we get what we deserve. It's quite unfair. I much prefer the idea that it is all god's will, but that we need not be touched by it for one second (indeed, we ARE never touched by it for one second) if we simply look deep into the "I" and find out who we are.
  3. The Evolution of a spiritual douche bag

    And what's your solution?
  4. It's an interesting question if, when someone follows the logic and 'experience' of non-duality/Brahman/Nirvana/the Tao all the way through... when the mind is therefore rendered silent -- when egoic desire is 'defeated' because the ego itself cannot stand in the face of the Truth -- how 'decision-making' and motivation works. This has long been a vexing question. I'd like to pose a hypothesis: that there are two kinds of decision-making. Let's call them the common-sense version and the spiritual version, which is highly counterintuitive and really anti-common-sense. The common-sense version examines normal human aims: health, well-being, happiness, peace in both the individual and society, etc. And it tries to figure out what the best means to those ends are, and attempts to execute on those means. It is fundamentally instrumental -- meaning that it's about accomplishing certain goals. The spiritual version is not really decision-making at all. In the mind's silence, we can say that something else manifests. In the space of absolute effortless and 100% relaxation, in that creative space, in that primordial soup, lightning flashes and something appears, though at unpredictable times and in unpredictable ways, but -- intelligently. So if we admit in this way that action still goes on even among and by the 'enlightened,' then the question is: upon what basis? The answer is: that the basis cannot be named. There can be no story, however complex or nuanced, however peaceful or 'good,' that accurately captures the enlightened one's conduct. As soon as one touches that question the mind again goes silent. One cannot have both the mind and not the mind. One cannot be the Tao and also the person. Both the Tao and the person -- that distinction -- disappear in the silence that is the real Tao. The Tao that can be named, isn't. So there is a wholly different way of going about things, one which avoids labels, names, goals, programs, categories, distinctions, and yet which acts intelligently, and yet in a way that cannot accurately be described or planned for. What description or planning happens itself is the result of these trans-rational indescribable forces. And the real kicker is, of course, that this is always true even for the so-called unenlightened minds... they are all of them in that mode alone. In the end, there is only a single version of decision-making. All the rest is imaginary.
  5. Greatest Daoist masters?

    Other than Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi, who are the greatest of all time? Any who lived in the 20th century? Any living now?
  6. The HOW and WHY of it all

    This just seems like yet another crass materialist philosopher. It seems to me that the pure physics notion of time is far less interesting than the mystery of time subjectively experienced.
  7. The HOW and WHY of it all

    They're actually quite different. The Rig Veda admits ignorance and looks at it struck with wonder... you were suggesting the question is incoherent and/or pointless.
  8. The HOW and WHY of it all

    The Rig Veda had this to say on the topic thousands of years ago:
  9. The HOW and WHY of it all

    I'm not familiar with her... I see that she's the Egyptian goddess of order... does she have something to do with paradox, too?
  10. The HOW and WHY of it all

    Why ask that?
  11. The HOW and WHY of it all

    Exactly... that's some of what excites me. There must be some realm that's not a normal realm. An Alice in Wonderland "place" where all the laws are "made," if you can use that word. In certain psychedelic experiences, I've asked this question about what the meaning of it all is and gotten the answers that: a) basically to know the answer to that you have to step out of "this game" -- you can't simultaneously be in the game and know how and why the game is created b) there is something about this question that IS the meaning of this game we are playing, that enables it at all. c) that there is something about the concept of repetition... it all being a repetition. And it all being "by design" -- an artistic object d) that it is all about images... "THIS IS WHY"--all the images in consciousness
  12. The HOW and WHY of it all

    You're assuming that the tools and machines of the workshop are anything like we can currently comprehend. Perhaps the gods work by logic and laws that are as different from our current notions of logic and law as humans' ideas are from ants, or perhaps bacteria. Perhaps in the gods' realm, it is possible for paradox to exist. Perhaps there are "not machine machines" and "up down black white" entities. And anyhow this line of reasoning, which I've seen many times before, really works hard to explain the question away. Everyone knows in their heart that this question exists, however much we'd like to reason it away.
  13. The HOW and WHY of it all

    All the eastern philosophies focus on the realization of one's true nature as, essentially, beyond the individual mind, and thus, beyond all questions of why. In my opinion, however, they don't answer the why question -- they "transcend" it. Is anyone else here actually curious about the why, though? Literally, looking around right now -- where does all this come from? Who invented "sound," for example... not a particular sound, but sound itself? Clearly however sound was invented, it must have been in a workshop outside of the mind. It must be outside of time and space. That workshop created the mind itself. What is the nature of that workshop? It creates all the specifics, all the particulars, from the largest to the smallest... but how does it do that and why??
  14. Flow, being "in the zone," wu wei, and samadhi

    So why does getting in the zone happen to athletes, performers, and other creative types -- often people who have never heard of dropping identification? There is a large psychological literature on certain conditions that seem to foster flow -- challenges poised at the right level to push someone's skills, but not too much. Clear goals and feedback. And so on. And being in the zone does seem to require prior training in the skill. It's not as if someone who's never played the piano, and who is not worrying about the past/future, suddenly can come up and play a Beethoven piano sonata without hesitation.
  15. Flow, being "in the zone," wu wei, and samadhi

    Very interesting! Do you think wu wei leads to a state of flow/the zone, though? How, to you, does one enter the zone? And how does it happen by chance? It seems to me that most well-trained athletes, performers, and so on all try to minimize excessive movements. The philosopher William James talked about how when a child first learns to play the piano, he plays with his whole body. Eventually, learned to use less and less of it, and then finally just the hands. And presumably a trained pianist uses just the parts of the hands that are most relevant for the musical passage. And again, how does samadhi relate to flow? Do you think one who attains samadhi gains automatic flow in everything?