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Featured In Your Noble and Esteemed Opinion, What is "Enlightenment"?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    It's a fiction or maybe an oxymoron, IMO. Either way, I see it as a useless concept.

    If we take "enlightenment" to describe a sort of spiritual, supernatural or mystical knowledge, and knowledge to be justified true belief, then it doesn't exist.

    The "spiritual, supernatural or mystical" part is the problem: these terms describe the unfalsifiable, and therefore they're useless as justifications for a position.

    If knowledge is justified, then it's based on something not spiritual... and therefore wouldn't count as "enlightenment." If it's based on something spiritual, then it's not justified... and therefore wouldn't count as "enlightenment" either.
     
  2. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    Years ago I read "Three Pillars of Zen" which has descriptions of enlightenment experiences and notes about levels and the problem with "one-sided" experiences. The book is online and Part 2 contains various experiences https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/KapleauPillars.pdf Here's some paragraphs from that section

    ...Imperceptibly my mind had slipped into a state of unearthly clarity and awareness. I knelt, and I knew I knew. Gently he began to question me: "What is the age of God? Give me Mu ! Show me Mu at the railway station!" Now my inner vision was completely in focus and I responded without hesitation to all his tests, after which the roshi, my husband, who interpreted, and I all laughed joyfully together, and I exclaimed: "It's all so simple!"

    Slowly my focus changed: "I'm dead! There's nothing to call me! There never was a me! It's an allegory, a mental image, a pattern upon which nothing was ever modeled." I grew dizzy with delight. Solid objects appeared as shadows, and everything my eyes fell upon was radiantly beautiful.

    These words can only hint at what was vividly revealed to me in the days that followed:

    1) The world as apprehended by the senses is the least true (in the sense of complete) , the least dynamic (in the sense of the eternal movement), and the least important in a vast "geometry of existence" of unspeakable profundity, whose rate of vibration, whose intensity and subtlety are beyond verbal description.

    2) Words are cumbersome and primitive-almost useless in trying to suggest the true multi-dimensional workings of an indescribably vast complex of dynamic force, to contact which one must abandon one's normal level of consciousness.
     
  3. Geoff-Allen

    Geoff-Allen Resident megalomaniac

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    Enlightenment simply means freedom from all emotional negativity. No more anger. No more frustration. No more jealousy. No more despair. No more hatred or animosity. No more anxiety or worry.

    Sounds wonderful - and the best news is that we all have the same potential to become enlightened - hard as that might be to believe!

    If you are really curious, I highly recommend "The Power of Now". Here's a page that may give you a taste -

    The Power of Now

    All the best!
     
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  4. Vee

    Vee Active Member
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    Something I only have after the second coffee each morning. That's when things start making some sense :D
     
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  5. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Exactly. Answer: your view of it.
     
  6. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    What is this about enlightenment? Is it like drinking a can of 7-Up the UN-cola, crisp and clean no caffeine, never had it never will?
     
  7. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Enlightenment is the total cessation of the mind or the thoughts and emotions it produces unconsciously and incessantly due to desire in the form of cravings and aversions. Hence it is called as no-mind in Buddhism. What remains is undistracted blissful Awareness or pure consciousness.

    In such a state one can think at will for practical matters, and cease thinking at will easily without getting blindly identified with the thinking and emoting process as the unenlightened one does, leading to suffering.
     
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  8. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Zen proverb: before enlightenment, cut and stack wood. After enlightenment, cut and stack wood.
     
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  9. Electra

    Electra l'attendue

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    [​IMG] *giggles*
     
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  10. Electra

    Electra l'attendue

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    that sounds boring, lol...
     
  11. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    @ajay0 has given the best definition possibly of anyone in this thread. I don't know how far along the path of Dharmic practice he/she is, but I wouldn't be able to word it that well.
     
  12. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Yup.
     
  13. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    A couple of pints and a belly laugh
     
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  14. Gerry

    Gerry Well-Known Member

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    I am not noble, nor esteemed, but I will give it a shot.
    I must agree with Jerome Gellman, because of my personal experience.
    The psyche must be transformed. How it is transformed I don’t think I know the specifics. However, a person should be very open minded to external ideas and new knowledge. A person should be seeking.
    It’s my opinion that religious knowledge most likely will hinder this enlightenment. But should the enlightenment occur, the scriptures would then make perfect and logical sense.

    Regarding the bonus question, I cannot see any reason why the enlightened one would not speak the absolute truth. (Since I believe the enlightened one understands truth more deeply)
     
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  15. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I think that's not only an accurate insight, but a very important one. Thanks!
     
  16. Gerry

    Gerry Well-Known Member

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    You’re welcome.
    It just comes from my experience.
     
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