The Dao Bums
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


1 Follower

About goldisheavy

  • Rank
    the smartest idiot

Recent Profile Visitors

10,106 profile views
  1. You don't gain anything from empowerments

    No one can empower you. When you understand this, that's called "empowerment." When you don't understand this, that's called "disempowerment."
  2. Malcolm Pees on The Tao Bums

    Cool, so Malcom doesn't believe in placing restrictions on texts! That's the only thing that really matters. He also happens to think someone has misunderstood a text, which is not at all surprising. People each understand texts they read subjectively, from the POV of their inner and outer circumstances. I personally don't think there is one correct understanding of any text, but instead I think there is a range of skillful interpretations, and the less skillful ones, all appearing on a continuum of interpretation and understanding. So it's not a sharp distinction of "you got it, and you didn't get it" and not "right/wrong." It's a continuum of skillfulness, subjective, and there is an entire range of skillfulness as opposed to a single point.

    How do you use this knowledge in day to day practice?
  4. What exactly is the mind and where is it located ?

    Nowhere. The mind cannot be located because location is itself is a cognition. Cognitions cannot and do not explain the context they arise from, but on the contrary, cognitions require context to be meaningful. So not only do cognitions not explain anything outside of themselves, but it's worse, because cognitions themselves need to be explained, and they depend on context for their own meanings. This context that cognitions depend on is a volitional formation of the mind. It's 100% immaterial. Technically things can't be said to have or not to have mind. Mind is not like an optional attachment to a vacuum cleaner. I'll put it this way. Does dryness have water or only wetness? What has water and what doesn't? Well, this is a confused question. Water has the property of wetness. It's silly to talk about wetness having and sometimes not having water. It's the same with the mind. Cognitions are to mind what wetness is to water. The mind is a greater context, whereas individual cognitions are specific, delineated, distinguishable events. So when you recognize the distance between the chair and a table, that's a cognition of distance. To experience this you need a mind. The mind as such is not an actual experience. Instead the mind experiences cognitions like thoughts, distances, hopes, fears, pressure (felt as weight, mass, inertia), expectations being fulfilled or frustrated, etc. Nothing that the mind experience is mind as such. Instead the mind experiences consequences of its own functioning, but never directly itself as an object. Similarly, no specific posture of my index finger is my index finger. If I hold my index finger in the shape of a hook, I cannot say, lo, this hook is what is my finger. That's nonsense. Likewise, when the mind undergoes any cognition whatsoever, whatsoever, without exception, that cognition is always optional the way a hooked finger is just one of millions of ways of presenting your finger to awareness. So no specific deformation of a finger is uniquely the finger to the exclusion of all else. Cognitions are like the deformations of mind, and none of them represent the mind. The brain as something experiencable is not representative of the mind, because it's just one of many possible deformations of the mind's experience. So the various states of mind are not closer to the mind or further away from it. In fact, the states of the mind cannot be related by distance to the mind at all. They can't be said to emerge from the mind, as if leaving the mind behind. They can't be said to stay in the mind, as if contained by some kind of membrane. States of mind don't stay and they don't leave. We just can't even talk about them in those terms if we want to be precise. This doesn't matter. Depending on how you consider things, your experience of life will change. That's what's important. What everything is or isn't is of no value at all. What's valuable is this: "What can I get away with?" That's something we need to investigate. If at the bottom of it all it turns out there is a series of infinitely descending turtles, who cares? The whole point of making the study of mind pivotal is precisely because we no longer want to think what is behind the mind, if anything. We give up on that idea for various reasons. What determines the solidity of particles? More particles?
  5. What exactly is the mind and where is it located ?

    It's not made of anything. I suppose I can say it's made of questions, hopes, fears, imagination, experience, etc. None of those are physical. If course not. If thought was physical, it would have weight, length, inertia, wavelength, etc. It's not physical.
  6. What exactly is the mind and where is it located ?

    Considerations are not physical things. An example of a physical thing is a chair. An example of a consideration is "I need to go bowling soon."
  7. It's impossible to know what is functional and what isn't. If you judge function by things like taking a shower, shaving in the morning for men, putting makeup on for women, going to work and maintaining a "respectable" career, having a home and paying for it, going to sleep every night, eating on time, etc... then you need to be aware that many sages were not functional in this way. A lot of the activity that we usually consider functional is the activity of maintaining a human body and the activity of maintaining one's reputation. Such things are necessary to live in the world of convention. Once you reject the world of convention, once you realize you no longer want to be human, your idea about what is functional and what is dysfunctional can and should change. Sometimes gradually. Sometimes drastically. Most people on our path don't want to be humans forever.
  8. From my own experience I've discovered that I needed a new way to find stability. Previously stability was assured in my mind by my willing and unbending tacit adherence to the idea that there really was an objective, solid, unchanging, eternal realm "out there", and that no matter what I thought or did, it would always be the same familiar place. This had comforting qualities. I actually believed I lived inside a Universe, and I thought that the Universe was a constant and real place outside of me where my human body was located, etc. Well now that belief system is on its way out. And so my previous source of stability (and familiarity) is gone with it. My new source of stability is my own will. I've done a lot of work on the nature of my own volition/intent. I've realized that my will has no starting or finishing point, and that its apparently vigorous activity is only vigorous from a very detailed perspective, but when taking a long view, it's very stable. I've realized that will is one unbroken flow without segmentation. I've realized that intent is layered, and this layering brings all kinds of complexity into how intent manifests. (An example of the layering would be playing a game where the will to play the game is one layer, and how you choose the individual moves inside the game is another layer. The layer of volition where you choose the moves will make no sense without the supporting layer of volition where you are committed to playing a game.) I realized the previous stability of the seemingly external and seemingly self-existent objective realm was actually a reflection of my own will's stability. What I experienced as the stability of the world was me disowning the function of my own volition, basically. So my new stability comes from trusting myself. I know I can always trust myself. I know my volition ultimately makes no mistakes. It always moves perfectly and it's always in a fulfilled state at the highest level of insight. This is something I've been learning to trust more and more. It's a completely inner, secret reliance. And there is a meditation that goes along with this. It is calm and effortless abiding in whatever situation I am in, while knowing my will is timeless and perfect, and I am always, always doing the right thing, because ultimately there is no external angle of viewing from which what I am doing can be corrected in an objective manner. When I abide in this way, I feel like my being pools itself together like a lake that's getting deeper and deeper. I feel my mind pooling and crystallizing itself in my body. All points of tension relax and go away. Anxiety goes away. Uncertainty and doubt go away. I experience nothing short of lordliness at this point, and a complete and total solitude -- I am alone. In this state I am alone. There is nothing and no one else. Oh how I used to fear being alone. How I used to fear not being known, not being seen, heard, understood, acknowledged. Especially being understood was a big craving for me. This is where my ability to explain things so well comes from! I want to be understood and I could not tolerate the idea that maybe I cannot be understood. The notion that I pass through time in perpetual obscurity, never understood, never known by anyone other than myself, that was truly a frightening notion. But actually it's only frightening from one perspective. From a different perspective it is a great source of power and peace.
  9. Thought experiment time: Let's say 5 people witness you doing something amazing and they all agree that something happened. Then for various reasons they die and you no longer repeat your prior deed. Once the 5 people who saw you do something amazing die, their power of testimony dies with them. What is the status of the deed at that point? Is it an illusion? Is it real even though all the people who could testify to it are now gone? Is your own memory of those 5 people agreeing that you've done something amazing itself the testimony required? Even assuming the 5 people each left their testimony in writing before they died, without them being alive to defend their written words from critics and doubters, what power will such testimony have? Won't that power wane with time? Even when consensus is widely shared it doesn't seem to have a lot of stability. For example, look what happened when classical physics got displaced by the quantum-relativistic physics. Classical physics is now more like a distant memory rather than something we consider real. Nobody thinks atoms are like billiard balls anymore. That's gone. But at one point everyone agreed that atoms were like tiny little balls. And now what? So even if many people agree your powers are "the real deal" so to speak, how reliable is that? Public opinion is not guaranteed to be constant. For whose (or for what) benefit is such testimony? Please don't get me wrong, I think involving other people into the world of greater possibility is a fun thing to do. I am all for it. I'm just saying that the issue of testimony and objectivity is not so clear cut once I think about it deeper. I've had a lucid dream once where I reached out my hand to another dream character, and by doing this I was able not only fly myself, but to have this dream character fly with me. In the context of that dream, that was basically objective proof of my flying ability. When I woke up, the character who could testify for me and my objective proof were gone. Even if you convince everyone on Earth that you have genuine psychic power, where will that crowd of people be once you die? Will these folks follow you to the next life and offer their testimony there too? I think that's doubtful.
  10. I think firstly there is a false dichotomy there: either your destination is the asylum, or you grow from it. Why not a situation where you spend a year in the asylum and grow from it? Why does it have to be one or the other? That said, I understand the nature of your question and I believe the difference between people who crumble and can't put themselves back together and those who outlast all difficulties is one of inner peace. The people who end up lasting have some reserves of inner peace which allows them to be resilient and which supports diamond-like resolve. It's hard to maintain diamond-like resolve to see a difficult stretch of practice to its next phase if one is constantly paranoid, frazzled, absentminded, scared, etc. I think all of us have felt fear. I have certainly felt insane fear compared to which fear of mere bodily death is but a joke. But what gets me through is that fear is not my defining characteristic. No matter how intense my fear, it is not able to overwhelm me, and I am always able to touch a core of peace deep in my inner being. This way it's hard for me to become discouraged or fragmented. But because I do feel fear it does mean sometimes I need to pull back and stop doing certain things. And maybe that's another thing. Maybe the people who crumbled with no hope in sight went too fast? Too much, too fast? Maybe this ability to pull back once in a while and take a breather is what keeps some of us going for the long haul. This is not a sprint. It's a marathon. Right?
  11. Exactly! But before you conquered your fear of death, you wouldn't even dare to practice something like that in earnest!
  12. I am sure that scene in X-men is not just invented from thin air. There must be real life inspiration behind it, because it's too realistic for lack of a better description. And remember the subsequent scene where the young Magneto can no longer duplicate his power? And so what does the camp commander do to unlock it? He shoots Magneto's mother to death, and this does it. My opinion is that when Magneto's mother was killed in front of him, something in Magneto died, and that something was the human aspect of himself. So in a way, Magneto was dead inside, because an important part of his identity was tied to his mother, and when she died, that part of him that was tied to his mother died as well. And in that moment of extreme duress Magneto didn't care about anything. I am sure he didn't care about reality or unreality, and that's when his power was unleashed for the second time. Why do we consider some situations to be extreme? I think the entire point of an extreme situation is when something very important to us is threatened. Isn't that in some important sense very similar to being on the brink of death?
  13. I can tell you from experience that my logical and mental abilities are at their peak when I am dreaming. At least as good as right now, but maybe even better sometimes.
  14. This being ready to die is actually a very, very important clue. You were able to let go of your limitations when you no longer cared whether you live or die. I don't think this is an accident at all. You'll be able to repeat your performance once you embrace death 100%.