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About minusmode

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  1. The Term Enlightenment

    Um..."indescribable?" lol I'll definitely give that a read. I so prefer stuff I can read online...not only is it free, but I can make it large print if I want and save myself my usual reading headache!
  2. The Term Enlightenment

    Good stuff! Thank you! Reality can be so refreshing in a world where everything gets so over-marketed! I agree that it's the over-pedistalized models more than anything else that make it such a difficult, and, in a way, dangerous subject to discuss. It might pop peoples balloons to hear that, enlightened or not, a person still has to be a human being, but the helium is bound to go out of them sooner or later anyway. The balloons I mean.
  3. Alan Watts - Teachings and limitations of a man

    I think you have some preconceptions about the profound understanding. I think his writing is more about what is true than necessarily what promotes healthy living. Knowing that your friends are all as much part of you as your own skin, for instance doesn't always make a person sociable...it just removes all the need for proximity that people under the illusion of separation have. I would read a book or two with an open mind, then decide if he's full of crap.
  4. Got Ego?

    Good thread on an interesting topic. The paragraph factor doesn't bother me. i have a firefox add-on that blows stuff up as big as i need it to be to read it easily. I think it might be possible for a person to function normally without feelings of being a separate self, but the person, it seems to me would have to have spent years reconditioning their thinking so that the mental processes would no longer manufacture the separation hallucination. They would have to learn to replace their system of cognitions so that space, for example, would be seen as invisible self instead of some kind of nonexistence. But those basic cognitions are pretty well hardwired; it's something you spent a lifetime learning (however long that may be) and they don't change over night if they change at all. The mind is very complex and i definitely think the ego should not be seen as just a dispensable piece of luggage that can be permanently retired. i even think you can be enlightened and still have a self-concept of sorts...(not to get political, but if you know you are everyone, wouldn't you feel embarrassed about being George Bush?)
  5. The Term Enlightenment

    Um.....I'm a little confused. i wasn't knocking southpark, if that's what you mean. I agree that it's hysterical. Terrorists? huh?
  6. The Term Enlightenment

    Ladies and gentlemen, not only am i successfully bringing sexy back, but i am also fully full of crap. That being said.. "Overall, I'm not saying for the real wise beings to sit aside and do nothing, just for them to not go around announcing to the world they are. Let other people give the title, let other people regard one as enlightened." I think this is good advice regarding anything to do with having wisdom or virtue. Enlightenment means many things to many people though. To some it might mean being able to heal the sick, walk on water and emanate light and blissful vibes all over the place. To me it means just being aware that separation is a lie. So to me, saying that i have experienced enlightenment is like saying that i have had a realization---and we all have realizations, so to me, i'm not really claiming any superiority. But others who have the mighty venerable master definition of the word, to them i am claiming godlike status and to be believed i should have to spend all my time bestowing wisdom and miracles...not posting opinions on the internet or watching TV or any other frivolous activity. Since the fact is that, for better or worse, i don't give a crap, i say what i like and let people think what they like. Pretense can hide in silence too. However i try to manipulate people's opinion about me, and for whatever reason i do it, it's the whole me thing and the more i'm into the me thing the further from enlightenment i get. "It is absurd to claim to be enlightened. As if there were a graduation from ignorance at any one point. The Tao is unknowable and it can't really be described in words, only experienced." This is true--which is the big reason for me why i will never say "i am enlightened". On a good day i can greatly weaken the experience of being a separate self to the point where i feel great relief, but my mind and it's thoughts about this "me" hallucination threatens that experience all the time because thought, like language, is based on the premise of separation being a reality and as long as my attention is focused on those thoughts, i am experiencing being a separate self. If only there could be a graduation that would settle it once and for all, but i tend to think that the best i can hope for is that the more i return to that state of weakened sense of self (i call it minusmode, because i really don't know that it's full blown enlightenment--even by my less grandiose definition ) the easier it will get to return, over and over. If people ever started calling me an enlightened master, for any reason, i will try to make sure they all get to see a picture of me in leather bondage getting a spanking to put on their altars.
  7. The Term Enlightenment

    What good is being enlightened if you can't lord it over people? (joke) Seriously though, I don't understand how it got to be such a lofty title....or..lofty....whatever it is. Someone who's "enlightened" is someone who knows something. So what? Sure that something is a good thing to know, but how does knowing it make you superior to someone else? And even if it did make you superior, who would you (in reality) be superior to? Yourself. Hey look at me everyone! I'm superior to myself!
  8. The Term Enlightenment

    Absolutely not! That's far beneath an enlightened person. Enlightened people spend their time in constructive ways like smoking pot and watching re-runs of "southpark". Actually though, enlightened people do everything everywhere at once all the time. So do You, but you won't realize it till you are enlightened.
  9. The Law of Karma Thread

    Could you explain? I do have an open mind about perceiving things outside the normal range of perception, though something like the law of karma seems unknowable by any means I can imagine. Also I am unfamiliar with the term "cultivate" as I have seen it used here the last couple days. Is that a term for spiritual development? One thing I am sure you're right about----this will be a long thread.
  10. The Law of Karma Thread

    I want to believe that the universe is just-----like a wise judge, but I can't choose the universe I believe in. Whatever universe seems most likely is the universe I am forced by my rational mind to believe in and one that so closely resembles the human conception of justice looks to me like a human invention unless I can somehow conceive of such a universe evolving through the same sort of process not requiring the direction of a human mind that I seem to have evolved out of. That's not to say that the universe has to be completely without human attributes, after all, we are evidence of the human attributes of the universe. But to believe that the LAWS GOVERNING the universe are so constructed as to form the exact kind of system of justice that we humans would invent were we in charge seems just too close to the mythology of exoteric religion to be credible to me. My rational mind tells me if it looks like a human invention, it is a human invention. I'm not completely closed to any concept of karma at all. For instance I can see how we might all be fated to living in whatever world we help create. But a world in which it is all cut and dried----such and such an action results in such and such a payback for each individual invariably----that world, in my mind, could only come about in the universe of religious mythology. There is a principle that is not justice per se but which does even things out quite a bit. The relativity of our experience which dictates infallibly that we can only know suffering to the degree to which we know pleasure. But that doesn't give you the satisfaction of knowing absolutely that the dirty bastard who took your parking spot will get his taken exactly the same way or that giving one up for someone will insure a parking spot for you in the future. Never the less, I try to treat others as I would myself because in reality there are no others. There is only myself and if I hurt someone else I am hurting myself even though I don't feel the pain in the body I use to do it with. And maybe in some way that is hidden my connection with the rest of the universe is karma of some kind, but exactly how seems to be beyond anyones ability to know. Sorry if that muddies the water, but to my way of seeing it, it was already muddy in the sense of being beyond human understanding.
  11. The Term Enlightenment

    I don't have a problem with the word it's self, it's just that holy of holies mystique it has aquired. If I recall correctly (like that ever happens!) the Buddha coined the phrase to describe the physical feeling he had when he experienced it. Since the thing I remember about when I first experienced it was the feeling of being 20 pounds lighter, I can relate. But in so many places if you use the E word it's like blasphemy or something because it has been put on such a high pedestal, people have it in their minds that ordinary people who don't devote half their lives to it's "attainment" can never hope to "attain" it. Sure some people do have to do that to experience it, but if that is the preconception to begin with, it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Kind of like first time sex being so built up in a young man's mind that when it finally happens he's too nervous to get anything to work. Make anything too sacred and it becomes inaccessible. But I'm sure any word will have the potential preconceptions.
  12. Man Love

    Great quote. Definitely salient. That's why I like Lao Tze as much as Lao Tzu...always makes sense to me.
  13. Overwhelmed

    My preferred state of awareness (which I call minusmode) is such a state of disorientation. When I get too "out of sorts" I shift into minusmode and just let my thoughts and perceptions just wash over me and stop putting energy into them until it all turns into transparent background noise and then there is no separate me... there just is. Then there is plusmode--the thinking me trying to live in this , as you say "civilized" world of so much stuff and trying to keep my sanity amid all the cultural neurosis and overbusiness of society. That's mostly what I study the TTC for as a guide to being in the world without being led by it. I'm not too sure about the dichotomy between spontaneous discovery and intellectual understanding. Life is a process that involves both. The problem, I think is the tendency to mistake the intellectual understanding for real understanding. Don't knock the boat, just be able to get off it once you're across the river--so to speak. I meditated for years seeking enlightenment but never caught a glimpse until I was reading an Alan Watts book and at some point the intellectual understanding turned into an actual experience and I felt like I was floating for weeks afterward. But then I found that to make that experience a part of my life I needed to learn to shift out of the intellectual mode since everything my mind thought it knew about reality was wrong and as long as I stayed in that mode it would be constantly manufacturing that false reality for me to be deceived by. I kept thinking I could reconfigure my cognitions and learn an enlightened way to think that would keep me from being sucked back into illusion, but brains aren't like computer disks that you can reformat. So now I have minusmode and plusmode. I think the reason I'm into Taoism though is that the "mystical" insight is only part of the journey--there is also being able to live in harmony with the laws and forces---- and that, I think, is a job that demands every part of one's self--including the intellect. I think the spontaneous discovery occurs when the understanding is carried through the thinking rational to the feeling non rational part of ones self and thats where mere understanding actually becomes learning. Like in martial arts, you can watch someone demonstrate the technique and you can't learn it without doing that, but it isn't untill you make that technique "second nature" that you acquire the reflexes necessary to implement it effectively. Of course theres the unlearning the old way that has to occur as well---learning to keep the eyes open to better ward a punch for example instead of flinching which keeps you fighting blind. Learning a Taoist approach to an aggressor might involve unlearning the martial response of counter-attack before you can learn the response of gaining advantage by yielding. But unlearning old responses takes a concerted effort. It rarely happens spontaneously.
  14. Overwhelmed

    Thanks. I copied your book referrals and will look for them, though the Alan Watts I have read already. Yeah, I'm sure the TTC is hardly the whole enchilada, but it's more than a feast to me!
  15. Man Love

    I'm completely unfamiliar with what you folks are talking about as far as the mechanics of yin and yang in sexual cultivation, but speaking as a bisexual who is just starting to learn about Taoism in general, my thoughts are that nature has an innate tendency toward balance that it would take a lot more than two men having butt sex to upset in some way. As for energy leakage resulting from it, I just have a feeling there would be more energy waisted worrying about something like that than from the leakage. Reading through this thread, I started more and more envisioning this fragile and precarious world in which the natural order is threatened at every turn and the Tao is a helpless victim of evil man's decadence. Very different from the world I see when I read the Tao Te Ching. But I guess I tend to feel towards a lot of Taoism with regard to the writings attributed to Lao Tsu the same way I feel about most of Christianity with regard to the sayings of Jesus. Someone had some good ideas and then a lot of people started throwing their two cents in and today we have a few diamonds buried under a huge pile of pennies. I realize that I'm saying this about very time honored traditions of knowledge held sacred by millions for thousands of years, but it's just gotta make sense to me or I can't buy it. Then again I'm human and being such I am biased. I love butt sex! And I'm still here!