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mewtwo

All roads lead to rome so why so different?

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Not all roads lead to Rome. Some lead to mountain villages and stop, or to other continents entirely. The point is that there are different paths leading to different levels/worlds/dimensions/densities with some or lots of overlap on the paths, but not enough to say its all the same thing. Maybe the real answer is a non-starter because our human congnitive facilities as is are not equipped to handle it, except in a very reductionist way.

(jus' my opinion)

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This thread really makes me think of this:

 

 

cheshire_cat.jpg

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.

"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.

"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.

"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

(Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

Edited by More_Pie_Guy
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I think a practical example might be useful. How about "right posture"?

 

How do you arrive at "right posture"? What does it even mean?

 

Is it "straight"? But the spine itself isn't straight.

 

And how would I arrive at "straight", anyway? Do I force the muscles of my back, until the appearance of straight is achieved? But that just adds new contraction onto whatever old habits I already had, all for the sake of appearance. It doesn't bring me to any functional health; it's just fixing one error with another error.

 

The body itself does not care about aesthetic issues like "straight". It only cares about ease and freedom. Ease and freedom are not to be found by forcing solutions on the body; quite the opposite.

 

The body is like a mobile of self-balancing parts. If my leg shifts this way, then the other parts of my body counter-shift, automatically, creating an easy, efficient, and highly mobile system.

 

The mobile is knocked out of efficiency when some connecting tissue is too bound, and consequently, others become too slack. Therefore, re-finding efficiency is about surrendering the bound tissue (yin), and enlivening the slack tissue (yang).

 

The system is unable to balance itself out precisely because of the interference of the concept of "right" (the kernel of each habit). Once I "know" the "right way" to walk, sit, stand, etc., then I automatically exclude all the other ways. What this does is create the bound tissue (right) and the slack tissue (wrong).

 

But none of the tissue is wrong, and no way of moving or standing is wrong. All that stuff is aesthetics, only; appearance, rather than health.

 

What is efficient and effective is having a free, energized, activated and aware body. And my body is already evolved to do that, and to grow into its own efficiency and balance. It knows how to find freedom, better than all the concepts in the world. I just have to learn how to humble myself before my body, and start listening.

 

How different, then, is the human psyche? Hasn't that also evolved into a self-balancing system? And if I force a "right" on the system, will I not be creating more bound areas, and hence also more slack areas? Every "truth" is also a blinder.

 

Why rely on concepts, when the organism that I was born with, already has within it the talent to find ease and efficiency? Shouldn't I see my body and my brain as my teachers, my path? The solution is contained within the problem; my suffering is my roadmap to my healing.

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To the "you don't need to do anything, because you are already there and enlightened" folks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.interactivebuddha.com/bullshit.shtml

 

 

 

-Daniel Ingram

 

Yes I like his stuff. Found it somewhat harsh a while back but he does have some excellent points to make. I think there's maybe some digging into it to be done. I hadn't understood that the "you're already enlightened" people were actually saying that any given person has realized it. Maybe they were then?

 

Anyway, I read it to say quite the contrary, that if a given person hasn't realized "it", then what's preventing them from realizing "it" is, well, themselves. And if you, yourself, do not want "it" then I guess no amount of anything will push you towards it - and I'd actually digress and suggest that in that case, you'd start doing all kinds of things to get away from "it" - go in as many different directions as you can to avoid "it"...

 

So I gotta ask, why would any being, when faced with the opportunity to reach "enlightenment" NOT jump at that opportunity? It's not like this stuff isn't lying around all over the place. It's ALL over the place, especially in places where people hang around looking for it.

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So I gotta ask, why would any being, when faced with the opportunity to reach "enlightenment" NOT jump at that opportunity? It's not like this stuff isn't lying around all over the place. It's ALL over the place, especially in places where people hang around looking for it.

I think it's because the "being" is exactly what is in the way.

The "being" can do nothing to attain it.

Perhaps it is just an accident.

Like the Buddhists say, it could take many, many lifetimes, or an instant.

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I'll get back to you on this.

 

Aaron

Edited by Twinner

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Yes I like his stuff. Found it somewhat harsh a while back but he does have some excellent points to make. I think there's maybe some digging into it to be done. I hadn't understood that the "you're already enlightened" people were actually saying that any given person has realized it. Maybe they were then?

 

Anyway, I read it to say quite the contrary, that if a given person hasn't realized "it", then what's preventing them from realizing "it" is, well, themselves. And if you, yourself, do not want "it" then I guess no amount of anything will push you towards it - and I'd actually digress and suggest that in that case, you'd start doing all kinds of things to get away from "it" - go in as many different directions as you can to avoid "it"...

 

So I gotta ask, why would any being, when faced with the opportunity to reach "enlightenment" NOT jump at that opportunity? It's not like this stuff isn't lying around all over the place. It's ALL over the place, especially in places where people hang around looking for it.

As Fo-yan said, "If you seek, how is that different from pursuing sound and form? And if you do not seek, how are you different from earth, wood and stone? You must learn to seek without seeking."

 

That leaves us with the question, "How?" :):blink:

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Along comes Mazu, another Zen guy, who says, "The Way does not require cultivation --- just don't pollute it. What is pollution? As long as you have fluctuating mind fabricating artificialities and contrivances, all of this is pollution. If you want to understand the Way directly, your everyday, natural mind is the Way. What i mean by everyday, natural mind is the mind without artificiality, without subjective judgements, without grasping or rejection."

Edited by CowTao

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There are a lot of end goals for practices and a lot of practices, I think we need to look for masters, schools and systems that have accomplished what we seek to achieve and learn from them, to me that makes the most sense.

 

Total agreement with that.

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Along comes Mazu, another Zen guy, who says, "The Way does not require cultivation --- just don't pollute it...."

[Takes a deep breath in agreement.] :D

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Along comes Mazu, another Zen guy, who says, "The Way does not require cultivation --- just don't pollute it. What is pollution? As long as you have fluctuating mind fabricating artificialities and contrivances, all of this is pollution. If you want to understand the Way directly, your everyday, natural mind is the Way. What i mean by everyday, natural mind is the mind without artificiality, without subjective judgements, without grasping or rejection."

 

I guess you just answered your own "how" question Mr Cow :-)

 

Still, IME, until you've caught yourself doing any of these things (and I argue there's a very distinct movement/contraction that goes with to start it off until I catch it) it might not be obvious. I like to visualize it as my various brains (or brain areas) kicking in. There's one really stupid one in there somewhere. :) I'm not sure what to do about its development...

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As Fo-yan said, "If you seek, how is that different from pursuing sound and form? And if you do not seek, how are you different from earth, wood and stone? You must learn to seek without seeking."

 

That leaves us with the question, "How?" :):blink:

Awareness - to be aware of everything that is going on in you and around you.

You do not have to do anything. You do not have to seek anything.

And yet you are open to everything.

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Awareness - to be aware of everything that is going on in you and around you.

You do not have to do anything. You do not have to seek anything.

And yet you are open to everything.

When you do Taiji, assuming you are pretty good at it, you forget yourself, yes? There is no doing by you, the form does itself, thru you. Of course, someone looking at you will go, "Hey, there's Steve, see how awesome he moves!" So it appears that there is this guy called Steve doing this beautifully awesome set of movements, but you, you yourself, cannot know where the movement takes you. When you act consciously to observe what you are doing, what happens? Odds are you will fumble and stumble, or overdo something. This is seeking.

 

Giving up and giving in to the form, complete and utter surrender to the dynamic flow, without expectation, without fear or self-consciousness, losing the 'self' in the process, this is the pinnacle, the ultimate path of 'non-seeking'. The seeker drops away, yet 'you' are still here!

 

There is no 'self' present to open to anything. Everything is already open... but 'you' and 'I' can never see this. Only when we get so good at forgetting this conscious self, to experience total open-ness without ideating the experiencer, that all is done, and yet, in reality, there is no 'one' to do anything - all is done. We simply allow it... or not.

Edited by CowTao
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When you do Taiji, assuming you are pretty good at it, you forget yourself, yes? There is no doing by you, the form does itself, thru you. Of course, someone looking at you will go, "Hey, there's Steve, see how awesome he moves!" So it appears that there is this guy called Steve doing this beautifully awesome set of movements, but you, you yourself, cannot know where the movement takes you. When you act consciously to observe what you are doing, what happens? Odds are you will fumble and stumble, or overdo something. This is seeking.

 

Giving up and giving in to the form, complete and utter surrender to the dynamic flow, without expectation, without fear or self-consciousness, losing the 'self' in the process, this is the pinnacle, the ultimate path of 'non-seeking'. The seeker drops away, yet 'you' are still here!

 

There is no 'self' present to open to anything. Everything is already open... but 'you' and 'I' can never see this. Only when we get so good at forgetting this conscious self, to experience total open-ness without ideating the experiencer, that all is done, and yet, in reality, there is no 'one' to do anything - all is done. We simply allow it... or not.

How would we ever know if "you" or "I" were no longer present as witness?

Who would be there to know?

I respect the direction your heading and I've spent many hours with Vedantic inquiry.

 

I think that as long as we are alive we are aware. Or let me say, where there is life there is awareness. There are senses, there is thought, there is presence or consciousness, or whatever you want to call it. I certainly agree that the "I" behind it all is illusory. It's just another one of the thoughts that stakes a claim as the thinker and conspires with the senses and process of thought to create the illusion of a "me."

 

Nevertheless, absent the "me" there remains thought and sight and smell and touch and so on and so there is awareness.

Allowing "ourselves" to disappear into that awareness is no different than the process you are describing of allowing ourselves to disappear into Taiji or anything else. And disappearing into awareness encompasses all possible experience - movement, non-movement, thought, non-thought, sight, sound, and so on. In fact, this is an exercise I've used with my Taiji class from time to time. Having everyone simply stand and be and talk them through a guided meditation of surrendering to awareness. I find it to be the easiest way to disappear.

 

So I sort of think we're saying the same thing.

Awareness does not have to be the action of anyone but it remains nonetheless, until we die.

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How would we ever know if "you" or "I" were no longer present as witness?

Who would be there to know?

I respect the direction your heading and I've spent many hours with Vedantic inquiry.

 

I think that as long as we are alive we are aware. Or let me say, where there is life there is awareness. There are senses, there is thought, there is presence or consciousness, or whatever you want to call it. I certainly agree that the "I" behind it all is illusory. It's just another one of the thoughts that stakes a claim as the thinker and conspires with the senses and process of thought to create the illusion of a "me."

 

Nevertheless, absent the "me" there remains thought and sight and smell and touch and so on and so there is awareness.

Allowing "ourselves" to disappear into that awareness is no different than the process you are describing of allowing ourselves to disappear into Taiji or anything else. And disappearing into awareness encompasses all possible experience - movement, non-movement, thought, non-thought, sight, sound, and so on. In fact, this is an exercise I've used with my Taiji class from time to time. Having everyone simply stand and be and talk them through a guided meditation of surrendering to awareness. I find it to be the easiest way to disappear.

 

So I sort of think we're saying the same thing.

Awareness does not have to be the action of anyone but it remains nonetheless, until we die.

Yes, you could say we are sort of saying the same thing.

 

Although i sense that there are many people who are often caught unawares when it comes to stuff, even everyday stuff...

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I really dont want this thread to become a fight or anything like that i am hoping for some understanding.

 

Basicaly in the past here i have come across people telling me i am doing stuff wrong and also that other people are doing stuff wrong. or that they have a different theory and that theres is correct. One example i can recall is that someone said that john chang does not have a dantien but an upper and lower field, when someone else said he had a dantien. or something like that i cant really remeber. But anyways why not try and instead of telling people there way is wrong guide them and say you can do that or this. Only tell them it is wrong if they are going to cause harm to themselves. Cause really who is to say that one way is correct or is not correct.

 

I knew a guy up at job corps who said i am not here to judge only to observe.

 

thanks

 

 

 

I don't think that all roads leads to Rome.

 

And on this I am in open disagreement not just with most people in this forum but also with many of my teachers, Bruce included.

 

first of all not all tradition have the same concept of salvation. A christian saint, a zen awakened, a taoist immortal are not the same thing.

 

Now you could say that this is because they are not arrived, but this is a logical fallacy. If you say that the zen enlightened after reaching enlightenment needs to continue you are essentially saying that "zen" does not lead to Rome. But that zen+christianity is needed. But some of the premises in Christianity are simply wrong, false, not accepted in Buddhism. SO now the poor guy needs to develop his own version of Christianity. Something which in different times would have led him to be burned at the stake.

 

 

So this is my first claim:

not all tradition lead to the same place, and taking one tradition as a continuation after another is not an acceptable interpretation of the phrase "all roads".

 

Also some traditions are incomplete. Like some martial arts school. They know what they know, the might have lost some. Still what they teach is valid. SO a meditation school might be able to teach you how to reach a sense of fulfillment. Or feeling one with nature. Or releasing past trauma. Expecting each meditation school to be able to teach all, is just an expectations begging to go unfulfilled.

 

So some meditation school will teach some things that others will not.

 

Then we have the issue of side track. While you have a school, that is teaching something that is valid. There are also many wring turns. Things that will make you lose a lot of time. Or just make put you in danger. You can lose your life, health, friends, mental health, and so on. Or just make you addicted to the wrong thing.

 

And this also applies at the school level. Not only some schools teach different things, but they also can be more or less fast, and more or less safe. Usually there is a compromise that needs to be find between safety and speed. Schools that are faster are usually less safe. And schools that are safer might need more time. Hopefully a school that is both unsafe and slow will go extinct, while a school that is both fast and safe will achieve so much that the others would get extinguished. Evolution at the level of meditative traditions.

 

So we have different schools. With different aims. With different arrival points. With different speed and different level of safety.

 

So much for all roads leading to Rome.

 

I think a more serious point of view would be to look historically where did the idea that all traditions were equivalent came from. In the middle ages no one thought so. And if all roads lead to Rome, why would "the Christ" needed to come and "complete the law", if the law was already leading to a road that was leading to Rome.

 

I have been looking back and trying to find out where this idea came from, but could not go very far. Gandhi was a great proponent of it. He said he was a Muslim and an Indu and a Christian. I kind of remember that I could go back to William James, but that's about it.

 

Can someone point out to previous thinkers who suggested it?

 

Btw, I am going to Rome this week end!

 

And, Marblehead, the fact of ROme being such a hub, means that you have roads going radially in all directions. So you will hardly find indications for other places, but indications for one of those roads. Like

 

AURELIA

---------->

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first of all not all tradition have the same concept of salvation. A christian saint, a zen awakened, a taoist immortal are not the same thing.

Earlier, in ancient time, all tradition had the same goal - achieving Immortal levels. So, a Buddha in Buddhism and an Immortal in Taoism - the same, different only words.

 

Also some traditions are incomplete. Like some martial arts school. They know what they know, the might have lost some. Still what they teach is valid. SO a meditation school might be able to teach you how to reach a sense of fulfillment. Or feeling one with nature. Or releasing past trauma. Expecting each meditation school to be able to teach all, is just an expectations begging to go unfulfilled.

So some meditation school will teach some things that others will not.

Yes, over time, all traditions went into decline and a lot of things had lost. And was lost the most important method - improving in the Tao (the methods Ming).

In Taoism from the neydan remained qigong, Buddhism remained pointless sitting meditation, a yoga- assan in every fitness center ...

Also remain rituals and philosophy, do not help in a perfection in the Tao.

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Earlier, in ancient time, all tradition had the same goal - achieving Immortal levels. So, a Buddha in Buddhism and an Immortal in Taoism - the same, different only words.

 

 

oh, really, I see

and your sources are...

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When you do Taiji, assuming you are pretty good at it, you forget yourself, yes? There is no doing by you, the form does itself, thru you. Of course, someone looking at you will go, "Hey, there's Steve, see how awesome he moves!" So it appears that there is this guy called Steve doing this beautifully awesome set of movements, but you, you yourself, cannot know where the movement takes you. When you act consciously to observe what you are doing, what happens? Odds are you will fumble and stumble, or overdo something. This is seeking.

 

Giving up and giving in to the form, complete and utter surrender to the dynamic flow, without expectation, without fear or self-consciousness, losing the 'self' in the process, this is the pinnacle, the ultimate path of 'non-seeking'. The seeker drops away, yet 'you' are still here!

 

There is no 'self' present to open to anything. Everything is already open... but 'you' and 'I' can never see this. Only when we get so good at forgetting this conscious self, to experience total open-ness without ideating the experiencer, that all is done, and yet, in reality, there is no 'one' to do anything - all is done. We simply allow it... or not.

This is excellent, CowTao, thanks for sharing.

 

I think there is an argument to be made, within this realization, for starting with no form at all.

 

Maybe this is the problem, too with "all roads lead to Rome". Well, not all traditions achieve the same thing, if you're interested in traditions and achievement. But yes, I think all human beings have the capacity, within them, to find their own way to freedom.

 

We all have built into us, our own road map to growth, joy, and freedom. It cannot be (successfully) put into words or into form, because it is merely an awareness.

 

So rather than following a tradition or a form, we can also follow our inner guidance. In fact, eventually, to be free, I have to follow my own guidance. Otherwise, I am always living someone else's form, someone else's concepts.

 

The qi gong that arises, spontaneously, from my body, may look like no one else's qi gong. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't work. My experience is that the less I try to force specificity, and the more I'm willing to just follow the path that awareness carves out in front of me, the more freedom I am able to find, and the less suffering and fighting arise within me.

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And, Marblehead, the fact of ROme being such a hub, means that you have roads going radially in all directions. So you will hardly find indications for other places, but indications for one of those roads. Like

 

AURELIA

---------->

 

Neat. Once I determined which way I needed to go I realized that I was driving on the Appia Way. That was cool as it wasn't in my plans as something to see.

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Hello Mewtwo,

 

You had noble intentions and I can see that. I'm sure others do as well. The problem is that, even if you can see that all roads lead to Rome, it doesn't necessarily mean others will.

 

I like to look at this metaphor in a spiritual context like this, regardless of what practice you choose, if you are intent on reaching Rome, then you will. The problem is Rome is many things to many people and not all people can agree. My argument is that if someone is telling you the truth with unwavering loyalty to that truth, then there is no way of convincing them otherwise, in fact they will most likely feel very threatened by what they view as an attack on truth and oppose you by all means necessary.

 

No one needs to argue with someone else. For me it's very easy to understand what you're pointing out. For those that can't, just let them go and be happy that at least you have the compassion and insight to understand it.

 

Aaron

 

edit- I was in Job Corps too. Quite a different world. When I got there I was the only one in my dorm that wasn't court mandated (no lie.) I lived with hardcore gang bangers and criminals for over a year and it really wisened me up to how the world works. First thing I learned is that you get respect by earning it, it's not a given right. The second thing I learned was how to live on a forty dollar stipend every month.

Edited by Twinner

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Twinner mabye you could make a post about your experiences there. cause i would love to here that. Cause the job corps i went to was the one in south dakota. not that many court mandated people there if any. What year did you go? i graduated about a year ago. yeah the money was funny i always thought your not in prison, then i would ask myself why are they paying me prison wages 50 cents an hour. But it was good times.

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