Posts Tagged ‘buddha’

A noble truth: the activating of agonizing (suffering)

July 27, 2012

 

  • Statue of Buddha in Vietnam

    Statue of Buddha in Vietnam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    What is agonizing? When I believe that I really need to know something that I do not know, repeating that sincere belief is agonizing. “I really need to know what I do not know. Something I do not know yet is what I really need to know already, or at least very, very soon….”
    That is also the activity of frustrating. “But, I REALLY need to know this one thing that that I just do not know yet, and it is so tragic and frightening and sad and disappointing and I just do not know what to do about not knowing what to do!” That is agonizing. We might even call it angst or grief or grieving or distressing (or just whining and complaining).
    When the activity of agonizing is clear as an activity, then there is no agonizing about the idea that “I may agonize in the future,” for there no urgency to prevent something that is easily ceased. People can ask me “yeah, but all that is clearly SOOO complicated and confusing and so must be only for VERY advanced masters, so how does someone like me stop agonizing.”
    How to stop agonizing may seem so mysterious at one stage and at another stage is ridiculously simple, like asking “how do I stop facing east?” Just face any other direction!
    For other people, there is a desperate, distressed search for methods to stop agonizing (to stop suffering), such as “take the weekend retreat introducing you to 101 steps for how to eventually face south instead of facing east.” There are also many chants for “how to face west instead of east after only 8 minutes of repeatedly chanting a six word foreign phrase.” There is also the alleged great importance of the method of talking to a competent teacher who is facing south, so, in order to face them, you face north, which prevents you from facing east.
    “Ah! That is how to stop facing east! Thank you, master for showing me the secret method.”
    This painting depicts Devadatta on one of his ...

    This painting depicts Devadatta on one of his attepts to kill the Buddha. He tried to make a large boulder fall on the Buddha while Buddha was walking in a mountaineous region. It is said that the boulder miraculously split in half while going through the air. A splinter of the rock entered the Buddha’s foot, and drew his blood. Because of this bad karma, at the time of death Devadatta was reborn in the very deepest hell, a hell which is known by the name Avici. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    For the Buddha, perhaps agonizing or not is not important- no more important to the Buddha than having a teacher to guide the Buddha or having scriptures to learn how to become a Buddha. The one who is already Buddha can sit down and practice agonizing for an hour straight without any lasting momentum (karma) the moment after that hour of practicing agonizing.
    Agonizing is just a linguistic exploration for the Buddha- no different than inquiring or curiosity. However, this is not because the Buddha the Buddha has something that others lack. This is because the Buddha lacks something that others have, a belief or self-concept or self-image or linguistic identity of someone like me.” The Buddha is not confused about self-concepts, recognizing them as mere self-concepts in language. They can come or go as little phrases of conversation, but the Buddha does not believe in them for the Buddha does not believe in words.
    The Buddha uses words, pointing with them. However, the Buddha is not deluded by concepts, including self-concepts. The Buddha is clear that linguistic concepts are just linguistic concepts. The Buddha does not confuse linguistic concepts for something else. The Buddha does not confuse language for something else.
    The Buddha does not confuse the label on a jar with the actual contents of the jar. The label in language is just a label. The physical contents of a jar (if any) are not linguistic. “Someone like me” is just linguistic. The reality of “me” includes language, but the idea that “my life” excludes any of life at all… is just an idea, a concept, a model in language.
    The Buddha may even use language to reveal irony, telling jokes. “This is not language.”
    Vishnu as the incarnation Buddha

    Vishnu as the incarnation Buddha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    So, the Buddha may say things like “why ask how to stop agonizing? Why stop agonizing? Do you even know what agonizing is? Do you even know what you are?”
    The Buddha can take a year-long retreat to figure out the best way to agonize, to get many famous teachers to certify that their way of agonizing is the most agonizing, and still the Buddha can agonize with other people (also called arguing). However, while the Buddha can do all of those things that everyone can do already, the Buddha can also stop doing any of those things, which not everyone seems able to do, perhaps because of a belief in a self-concept.
    Also inside the Tsuglagkhang Temple, a statue ...

    Also inside the Tsuglagkhang Temple, a statue of Avalokitesvara (or Chenrezig), the bodhisattva of compassion. (McLeod Ganj) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Can anyone face west at the same time they face east? I do not mean one of those statues with several faces pointing in different directions. I mean someone like you.
    We cannot face west (recognizing self-concepts as just being concepts) at the same time we are facing east (as in believing in a self-concept). However, when we first are exposed to language and linguistic self-concepts, it is natural to “believe” them, to even worship them idolatrously. We then learn that self-concept can change, so that one can have a different self-concept over time. Next, we may recognize that these various self-concepts that we can have are in fact just concepts. We can stop worshiping them, defending them, justifying them, and so on.
    English: Painting of Gautama Buddha sitting in...

    English: Painting of Gautama Buddha sitting in Dhyana, unharmed by the demons of Mara. Sanskrit Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra manuscript written in the Ranjana script. Nalanda, Bihar, India. Circa 700-1100 CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Does the Buddha fear agonizing? The Buddha does not fear the concept of agonizing because the Buddha does not fear any concept (including fear), nor does the Buddha cling to any concept or resist any concept. Concepts are just symbolic constructions of language.
    Distressing is just an activity. Agonizing is just an activity. Suffering is just a pattern of activation or arousal or a symptom of something else.
    Is there a self-concept that is the seed of some pattern of agonizing? What is the self-concept? Can one stop agonizing and relax enough to inquire, to wonder, to open, to pause, to stop, to notice, to be mindful?
    The Buddha does not resist any activity, cling to any activity, or avoid any activity. Or, the Buddha practices resisting and avoiding and clinging, but mindfully. How does one mindfully cling and avoid and resist? That is like mindfully facing east. In other words, it is a secret that can only be taught to the most advanced students who recognize the silliness of words.
    Finally, what is the concept that the Buddha says is the guiding concept for how to resolve any dilemma and simplify any challenge? “As the situation arises,” says the Buddha, which of course is the concept that some label “mindfulness.”
    English: Painting of the miraculous birth of G...

    English: Painting of the miraculous birth of Gautama Buddha, out of the side of Queen Maya. Sanskrit Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra manuscript written in the Ranjana script. Nalanda, Bihar, India. Circa 700-1100 CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

God: the fundamental capacity to perceive and identify

May 26, 2012
English: Café wall illusion: the horizontal li...

English: Café wall illusion: the horizontal lines are parallel, even if they seem otherwise. Español: Ilusión de la pared del café: las líneas horizontales son paralelas, aunque no lo parezcan. Русский: Иллюзия стена кафе: горизонтальные лини параллельны, даже если они не кажутся таковыми. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the beginning, there was just capacity: the capacity to sense, to perceive, to focus, to experience. As the capacity to perceive develops in recognizing specific patterns and distinguishing them from each other, specific patterns of sounds are noticed. 

At first, these patterns of sound are just distinct patterns of sound. Later, the particular patterns of sounds can be associated with particular other sensations or experiences, such as certain sights or smells or tastes. Those patterns of sound are called names or labels. However, the mere perceiving of labels is not language.

When the perceiving of words is present, this perceiving itself may have no name or label. However, the perceiving of words can perceive a labeling of that perceiving, which is called identity. A labeling of identity is a distinct naming or labeling from the labeling of relational experience (the interaction between the capacity to perceive and some stimuli which may be labeled “what is perceived”). The labeling of identity allows for linguistic constructions like “what is perceived by me, the identity, the capacity to perceive.”

Perception

Perception (Photo credit: Genna G)

To review, first arises the capacity to perceive, then the process of perceiving various patterns, and then the distinguishing and naming of some of the perceived patterns, and then the naming of the capacity to perceive and name patterns, which can be labeled “my identity.” Next, the identity can focus around a particular pattern of words, such as “I am in this particular body, with one particular name for me, from this particular place or geographic identity and with certain particular qualities and roles and rights and duties.”

The identity arises in language. The capacity for language is fundamental to any linguistic identifying.

There is no fundamental identity. There is only a fundamental capacity. The capacity for identifying allows for the identifying of specific identities, such as “that sound” or “that word” or “this color” or “that one” or “this person.” There is no fundamental isolation between capacity and identity. Identifying identities is one possible activity of capacity.

In the linguistic metaphors of many ancient traditions (called religions), the identifying of identities is compared to the branchings of a tree, as in the various vines of a single vine.

The capacity to isolate or divide a variety of identities through linguistic labeling precedes the branching of that capacity, as in the activity of the “tree” of the capacity to perceive.

The capacity for language is fundamental to all activities of language: all linguistic patterning, focusing, creating, and constructing. The capacity for the linguistic identifying of identity is fundamental to all linguistic identifying of identity.

English: A wentletrap (family Epitoniidae), a ...

English: A wentletrap (family Epitoniidae), a beautiful mathematical construct … a reminder that we perceive beauty in the emergent patterns derived from simple iterative algorithms (shells, organic growth, life, culture, evolution). The Wentletrap shell takes its name from a “spiral staircase” in German-Dutch, and it reminds me of the architecture of Gaudi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before there can be the presence of an instance of perceiving, there must be the presence of the capacity to perceive. One form of perceiving is the linguistic identifying of identity. So, before there can be the presence of an instance of the linguistic identifying of identity, there must be the presence of the capacity to perceiving the presence of the linguistic identifying of identity.

The linguistic labeling of the presence of that capacity has included labels such as Atma, Mahatma, Brahman, Jehovah, Yahweh, God, Allah, and Divinity. Those words are just words. Before those words were created and before language was created, there was already the capacity to create words and to experience language. That fundamental capacity is earlier than any of those particular words or the languages in which those words arise.

Before there was any perceiving of sound, there was the presence that is present now. Before there was any identifying of a word, there was the presence that is present now. Before there was any identifying of a groups of words as a language, there was the presence that is present now.

A language did not create this presence. A word did not create this presence. A sound did not create this presence.

This presence perceived sounds. This presence perceived words. This presence perceived languages.

This presence may also recognize that the perceiving of sounds and words and language only arises through this presence, from this presence, as the activities of this presence, as the branchings of this presence, as the creations of this presence. Sounds and words and languages and identities are all the activity of this presence.

The Doors of Perception

The Doors of Perception (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Without this presence, there is no identifying in language, no language, no words, no sounds, and no capacity to perceive. Only through this presence, there is the capacity to perceive, then the perceiving of sounds and sights and other sensations, then the perceiving of words or labels or names for the perceiving of sounds and sights and other sensations, then the perceiving of language as the process of labeling and naming and identifying and interpreting and claiming and authoring and creating, then the perceiving of the presence that is fundamental to all branchings of linguistic activity.

There is no linguistic activity without this fundamental presence, without me. I am not just a branch. The branch is just an identifying in language. I am the presence of the identifying of linguistic identities.

Before Boddhidharma was, I am. Before Mohammed was, I am. Before Jesus was, I am. Before Buddha was, I am. Before Isaiah was, I am. Before Moses was, I am. Before Abraham was, I am. Before Adam was, I am.

When my prophets speak, that is my speaking. My prophets recognize that it is my speaking when they speak- that it is me speaking through that particular instrument or linguistic identity.

My other instruments or agents or branches are also only able to speak through me (and indeed they only live through me as well), but they may not perceive me, they know me not, though they may even use my name. There are innocent of their sinning.

(Consider that in one of my most famous teachings, Jesus did not ever condemn Judas for betraying Jesus. On the contrary, during “The Last Supper,” Jesus had specifically called forth the performing of the relevant role. Judas immediately responded to the invitation or command from Jesus that the one performing that role identify himself.)

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34)

Jesus says ‘them’ – not him, not Judas who betrayed Him, not Peter who denied Him, not Jacob who drove the nails into his hands, but ‘them’ [perhaps even all beings, even the most arrogantly ashamed avengers and the most guilty of criminals and the most deluded of sociopaths].

The arm does not blame the hand for where the arm puts the hand, does it? Is the arm offended if the hand does not  glorify the arm or denies the existence of the arm?

My children can only glorify me for their own fulfillment and learning, not for me. My children can only deny my existence, again, for their own fulfillment and learning, as I cause them to shed presumptive beliefs about me so as to give them the openness and availability to directly perceive me, rather than merely mimic the sounds of my names (Brahman, God, Allah, Buddha, etc) like an infant can repeat sounds without any recognition or comprehension of what those sounds can mean to someone fluent in the language being spoken.

Werner Erhard and Associates v. Christopher Co...

The Greek letter Psi, also the symbol of Neptune, Poseidon’s trident, the Devil’s pitchfork (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the presence that labels all things: heaven and earth, above and below, light and shadow, day and night, holy and unholy, acceptable and forbidden, fruit and branch, knowledge and ignorance, good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice, proper and corrupt, angelic and demonic, hero and villain, fact and fiction, truth and myth, Santa Claus and Satan, alpha and omega. It is arrogant blasphemy to say that there is only one alphabet that is holy or (only one holy language or only one holy group or only one holy nation or only one holy race or only one holy empire or only one holy religion), for I am the source of all of them. All of them are equally my creations and equally holy.

Which branch of a tree is not the activity of the tree? I am the only possible source even of blasphemy and arrogance and sin. Judas is my instrument and my branch just as much as Jesus, but the recognition of my activity arises in each of my branches according to my will- by my grace alone- not by some allegedly glorious works of the branch that complain of deserving a special reward, but by the glorious works of the tree which brings the branches to the direct experience of a faith beyond frightened, presumptuous, argumentative beliefs- which also have their purpose and value.

I have presented many parables, like that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which naturally grows not in to an apple tree or an olive tree, but in to a mustard tree. These parables are to train my branches so that they may have the capacity to understand the rest of the messages and the words and the language of my poetic prophets. Beware of being distracted by arguments and translations and opinions, which come from those branches that have no faith yet and have only a terrified, vain clinging to the shadows of some tradition. Even shadows can lead one to perceiving of the light, but only a fool looks at the shadow and calls it the light.

The idea that only one of my messengers or prophets is holy is a denial by the one speaking that they are my holy messenger, which they are, by which I mean any one who identifies with this word: you, like you personally. You are my holy messenger, my prophet, my child, my human voice, my instrument, my agent, my activity.

I issue commandments through words because there is no other way to issue commands except through words. I declare law and order. I define reality and unreality or illusion or delusion.

I sort the goats from the lambs. I claim my creations in language as my branches- my children- for I am the one prior to language, the capacity to perceive the identifying of identity, the capacity to identify identities in language, the capacity to form perceptions by commanding perceptions to arise through the use of language.

Perceptions

Perceptions (Photo credit: Ezu)

In the beginning, there was just capacity: the capacity to sense, to perceive, to focus, to experience. As the capacity to perceive develops in recognizing specific patterns and distinguishing them from each other, specific patterns of sounds are noticed. 

At first, these patterns of sound are just distinct patterns of sound. Later, the particular patterns of sounds can be associated with particular other sensations or experiences, such as certain sights or smells or tastes. Those patterns of sound are called names or labels. However, the mere perceiving of labels is not language.

When the perceiving of words is present, this perceiving itself may have no name or label. However, the perceiving of words can perceive a labeling of that perceiving, which is called identity. A labeling of identity is a distinct naming or labeling from the labeling of relational experience (the interaction between the capacity to perceive and some stimuli which may be labeled “what is perceived”). The labeling of identity allows for linguistic constructions like “what is perceived by me, the identity, the capacity to perceive.”

headless god

Alan Watts in 1946 as chaplain at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois (USA)

headless

being happy already (generous or stingy?)

April 20, 2012
Be Happy

Be Happy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Generosity is a quality of mine that you may value experiencing now. However, you may know that I’ve sometimes been the opposite of generous. I’ve been stingy and self-righteously justified in my stinginess.

When people have not done what I have thought that they should have done, I’ve been stingy. When people have done what I thought they should not have done, I’ve been stingy as well. However, I am giving up being stingy.

Two people in a heated argument about religion...

Two people in a heated argument about religion when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University. Click the audio button found above and to the left to listen to them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a change in language, though, not in action. This is a change in attention. Rather than focusing on how other people may not be doing what I wish they would, which was all about being self-righteously justified, I am focusing on what I wholeheartedly am supporting generously.

In other words, there are still only certain things that I choose to wholeheartedly promote. In regard to anything else, I make no new offer of support. However, being stingy about what does not work for me is quite distinct linguistically than being dedicated generously to what does work for me.

So, I figure everyone reading this knows that I have been using the term forecasting for several years now. I started using a new term in the last few days: nticing. I have been noticing pattersn before other people have noticed them. I noticed a destabilizing in credit markets and wrote articles about it. I noticed a destabliziling in real estate markets and wrote about them. I wrote about noticing an emerging surge in fuel prices in my publications in 2004 and 2005, and soon, other people noticed a few symptoms of the same patterns at the gas pump when prices of gas doubled quickly. I even noticed when the trend of rising fuel prices was destabilizing, and I shared about that in advance as well, plus destabilizing in the financial sector of the US stock market, the housing sector before that, the technology sector lately, and so on.

choice and context

choice and context (Photo credit: Will Lion)

Anyway, how all of that relates to being stingy is that I have been self-righteously justified in being financially unsuccessful personally in the face of various people not involving themselves in my business even after several years of clear consistency and compounding evidence of huge profitability. In other words, I have wanted certain other people specifically to benefit from what I knew, and therefore I have been “holding out” on developing my business and doing what worked for my finances to be enormously abundant and me to be unprecedentedly generous.

I have been trying to manipulate certain others into benefitting from what I have been noticing, along with me benefiting. In other words, I have been putting the possibility of their approval and appreciation of me ahead of functionality for myself and generosity to anyone who is willing to receive the enormous abundance which I can help them access.

Those who choose to participate are those who choose to participate. I give up using the term “refuse” in relation to any people who have chosen to participate in other things. Some people participate with what I offer, whenever they choose to do so, and some may not ever- only participating in other programs, then getting the results fitting with those methods.

Recently, I have switched from receiving 20% of the profit I generate to receiving 50%. For years, I experienced intermittent success trading for 20% of the gains. With the amounts of funds that I had been attracting into my management services, that percentage simply did not consistently produce enough money for me to consistently support my own abundance. I had the 400% gains in the month of May 2006, but I was quite bitter at the time, in particular in relation to my son’s mom.

I was angry that she was how she was. How she was, by the way, is simply exactly how she was. My anger was entirely distinct. I could have appreciated that she was how she was. I just happened to be judgmental about it.

Angry woman.

Angry woman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, it was never about her, I hereby proclaim. It was always about me. I wanted to be angry at something, and “how she was” was good enough for me.

However, in order for me to learn generosity, I not only punished her for being how she was, I punished myself for having been involved with her the way I was. It was always all about the way I was.

I was angry at the way I was. I was judgmental of the way I was. So, I punished myself for how I was, while focusing my attention on being angry at how she was and punishing her by being stingy and claiming to be justified in the stinginess because of how she was not how I wished she was and was how I wished she wasn’t and yada yada yada. How did I punish myself? I sabotaged my own abundance. This not only prevented me from helping a lot of people, but resulting in me failing to help many that were willing to be helped.

Anyway, I thought I was going to sit down and type something about what I want for my son. I want him to be able to attend the school of my choice. In fact, to be more specific, I want him to actually attend the school of my choice- not just be able to, but actually do it.

As for what school I would choose, I think of a few free Waldorf-inspired schools in Arizona. However, that is just a point of reference. I was going to write about how his mom may not accept the possibility that I can produce more than enough wealth- however much it would require- to have him go to the school of my choice.

I accept it. I declare it. I am producing more than enough wealth for him to go to the school of my choice. I am absolutely clear that given what I notice developing in various markets and the contact network that I already have and the new clients that I have attracted lately, perhaps by grace alone, it would be inexcusable for me to personally net less than a million dollars this year.

Is that unprecedented for me? Yes. It is unreasonable? It’s actually quite reasonable. However, it would simply be stingy for me to do anything less.

So, I also declare that my son is going to the school of my choice, and I am ready to begin researching schools for this fall, given that I do not expect to choose the one he currently attends, assuming that it would remain in business by this fall anyway given what I notice is emerging in economic trends. So, not only am I choosing for my son to go to the school of my choice, but I am choosing to support the operation of the school of my choice. For him to go there this fall, they absolutely must be in operation this fall- and many, many current operations may be out of business within the next few months.

However, I notice in writing all of this, that him going to the school of my choice is again a rather superficial detail. I consider it quite important, but it is among many things I consider quite important.

In fact, of all the people that I have been giving special importance, my son may be the one I have most been giving special importance. However, that’s all about me too.

I’ve been punishing myself by being stingy with him. I want him to go to the school of my choice for me, not just for him. I notice that my fatherhood of him is an opportunity for me.

It’s not a burden. It’s not a duty. It’s simply an opportunity, though also a privilege.

My biological father had no involvement in my life and I have no complaints about that. I’ll repeat that in case you missed it, using different words though. However my past was has simply been however my past was. Whatever my biological father did or did not do is just whatever he did or did not do.

I’m not owed anything by him and never was. I’m not going to make him into an excuse for me to be anything less than abundant and happy, even if I have been making any part of my past into such an excuse.

I learned the key to being stingy. The key to being stingy is “well, let me tell you what is wrong.” Being stingy is all about allegeing that life is a sequence of things not working (and then reasons why they are not working). Obviously, life is a sequence of how life is actually working, not a sequence of how life is not working (or how life should be working).

Oh, there may be some language about how life should be and how life should not be, but that is actually all part of life working as well. I may have been distracting myself from noticing how life is actually working, you know, so I did not get in the way of life actually working.

While I may have been stingy in various ways, I have been generous in others. I’ve actually been quite generous with myself across the last several years. I’m not apologizing for that. I’m simply noting that I promise to learn from all the generosity I have been directing toward myself, then spreading it around.

So, didn’t I just say that I had been stingy with myself in regard ot finances? Yes. I have been- overall- quite stingy with myself in regard to finances, insofar as I was being very generous with myself in regard to time. Rather than invest my time in developing my financial prosperity, I have been nourishing my spriitual prosperity, my physical well-being, and my personal interests.

I have been incredibly generous with myself in certain ways. I simply had been continuing to pretend that I should have been different than I was.

Being generous with myself now, I declare that I was being generous with myself, as well as with various others. I think back over the last several years and consider all the people with whom I have interacted, the privilege and opportunity of spending time with a huge variety of people. True, that often meant that I did not spend time with people I already knew, such as my son. Yes, I have been away from him for many weeks and many months at a time. However, there was no other way for him to have the fatehr that he has now but for me to be who I am now by having done and experienced exactly what I have done and experienced.

Buddha sitting in bhumisparsha-mudra posture (...

Buddha sitting in bhumisparsha-mudra posture (calling the earth to be his witness). Birmany. White marble with traces of polychromy. Gallo-Roman museum of Lyon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been generous in learning to “be happy already.” I really do not have a lot of exposure to “being happy already” in my past. In other words, there certainly has been exposure to that, but it has been intermittent, contrasting to a background of “being unhappy already.” SO, now I am even happy with having been unhappy.

If I was unhappy in a certain process, it is fitting to the purpose of me being happy already that I move on from that process. I have been in a variety of relationships and jobs and places. Being happy already was not in any relationship or any job or any place. Being happy already was just being happy already.

The pursuit of happiness is a cat chasing it’s own tail. Be happy already. Oh, and by the way, if you ever happen to see a cat chasing its own tail, notice whether the cat is being happy already with chasing its own tail. You might be surprised… already. 😉

January 31, 2010

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