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Is it really that Hard?

Discussion in 'Dharmic Religions DIR' started by Brahman, May 24, 2009.

  1. Brahman

    Brahman Paramatman

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    For thousands of years the concept of Enlightenment has been around. And it seems that people make it look like it takes eons to attain. Buddha even said, to become fully enlightened you must be a bodhisattva for 3 eons, or Kalpa. But this seems wrong to me to even place time in the equation. So does it take long, is it hard, and is it attainable

    Does it take long, well it takes as long as you say it to take. There are people throughout history who have had sudden enlightenment. That means that they just suddenly dropped the mind and attained the cosmic consciousness. Ramana Maharshi just dropped on the floor thinkning he was gonna die, and got up from the floor enlightened. so i think we need to get this time limit off our minds and just do whats needed.

    Is it hard, not as much as we would think. Even Osho once said that enlightenment isnt some great attainment that is huge. one enightened master said at the moment of enlightenment, " i want a cup of tea". and why is this, they have dropped the Ego. if you drop the Ego, nothing is earth shattering, and nothing is great. Enlightened ones only appear great to us because we have egos and want to attain that. we think, o it would be so great to attain that state! but once you get there, you dont think that.

    is it attainable, YES!


    and i know that there are some who will dissagree with me and say that it is hard and it does take along time to attain. but keep in mind the self fullfilling prophecy. once you say its hard, it becomes hard, and once you say it will take a long time, it will.


    thanks!
     
    #1 Brahman, May 24, 2009
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
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  2. 3.14

    3.14 Well-Known Member

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    Do you belief that the road to true wisdom is experiance?
     
  3. Brahman

    Brahman Paramatman

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    Not, nessicarily. i can learn from others experiances. im not as old as you think i am, but i analyze others issues and learn from them, so im wiser then my age says i am. so you dont have to experiance the problem to learn what wisdom it hold for you. i can look at two people arguing and see the suffering is holds. i dont have to experiance it head to head to understand that. but there are other situations where you should experiance them head to head to get the full meaning. so there are two sides. it depends on the situation though. it all lies in analysis and contemplation.

    there are 3 ways to attain transcendent wisdom. Experiance, analysis, and contemplation. But not all of these are needed in every situation.
     
  4. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    If this interests you, Japanese Buddhism has been searching for the ways to more rapid, more universal, if not instantaneous enlightenment for millennia.
     
  5. Brahman

    Brahman Paramatman

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    i have looked in to it and most of it is great! i have looked at Zen and all other kinds of Buddhism.

    By the ways, i really like your signature.
     
  6. nameless

    nameless The Creator

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    It is said that gaining enlightment without the help of enlightened master is almost impossible. So it can be assumed that it needs many number of lifetime and much hardwork. Out of many millions, one person can sometimes can succeed in that.
    It also includes unbearable sufferings during these periods.

    Once anyone become enlightened, he is capable to giveaway his spiritual power to his disciples, thus they too becomes enlightened and these enlightened disciples do the same, they too gives away spiritual energy to their disciples, this method is more easier and take less time than the other, and this is the one followed in the schools of Hinduism and Buddhism.
     
  7. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Hi Brahman, hope you don't mind my asking this question, but your posts appear to be written in a way that suggests to me that you believe yourself to be enlightened and thus speak with authority on the subject, or am I mistaken in my impression?
     
  8. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    Enlightenment is like your shadow. As long as you desire enlightenment you will only succeed in pushing it away. It isn't so hard to grasp, but it is also not the simplest thing either. Though it can be spontaneous, to reunite with it does takes practice. Like many things, when one learns to still the mind and gently move away from thoughts a whole different sense of being emerges. In time, this timeless endeavor does become effortless.

    :bounce

    This is a very astute observation, Brahman. It does make living in the material world endlessly amusing however.

    This is correct because most think of Enlightenment as a goal or an end, where in fact it is merely the token that makes what follows possible. It is fascinating how many people talk about enlightenment but very few mention what comes after and I would suggest that enlightenment itself is merely the tip of a far larger iceberg.

    *nods in agreement*


    Well, I am on record as saying that if you see me on a street corner please do not try to kill me as that will only tick me off. The reason why it is deemed to be hard is to employ the various teachers throughout the ages who didn't have a very good grasp of what they taught. Their methods can be very hard and take a very long time to produce results. I doubt Buddha would be much impressed with many teachers alive today teaching in his name.

    The thing that people need to try to accept is that they are already enlightened, if only they could learn to stop and sense the magic in each moment our world would be a better place.
     
  9. methylatedghosts

    methylatedghosts Can't brain. Has dumb.

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    In that "I (I am) want xxx" produces the want for xxx.
    or "I (I am) desire yyy" produces the desire for yyy

    ;)
     
  10. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Dear YmirGF, hope you don't mind my asking, but the quote above is very suggestive through association with the well known Buddhist koan, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him", that you believe yourself to be enlightened, or am I mistaken?

    People generally are not yet sufficiently developed to be near ready for the acceptance that their personal ego will never be enlightened and that the concept of Enlightenment represents an eternal principle beyond all human comprehension. The mortal mind can't ever know the underlying unity of Existence for it has a dualistic foundation to its perceptive functioning. This is all quite natural and the way it is meant to be for people in and of the material world.

    Now it is my understanding that what the buddha koan above is meant to highlight is the duplicitous nature of this mortal mind. While the spiritual student/aspirant understands the error of the ego self and the necessity of sacrificing (killing) it in order to for enlightenment to be realized, the same mortal mind really only transfers its self-identity with the glamor of the world to the concept of enlightenment/buddhahood/etc., and instead thereby continues to live in delusion. Therefore as students grow and unfold towards the 'light', the sacrifice of ego identity with all concepts (no matter how lofty an ideal they are) must continue until naught else but the One Eternal Truth prevails. Hence..if you meet the Buddha (you may substitute the concept of Brahman, Jesus Christ, etc., as appropriate for the religion) on the road, kill him!

    BTW, the metaphorical concept "kill the Buddha" reminds me of something that Bodhidharma taught..here is excerpt from the 'Bloodstream Sermon' that attempts to convey the essential permanent nature of Buddha enlightenment and the error of the nature of those who presume to be enlightened due to experiencing temporary periods of a still mind.

    A buddha doesn't do good or evil. A buddha isn't energetic or lazy. A buddha is someone who does nothing, someone who can't even focus his mind on a buddha. A buddha isn't a buddha. Don't think about buddhas. If you don't see what I'm talking about, you will never know your own mind.

    People who don't see their nature and imagine they can practice thoughtlessness all the time are liars and fools. They fall into endless space. They're like drunks. They can't tell good from evil. If you intend to cultivate such a practice, you have to see your nature before you can put an end to rational thought. To attain enlightenment without seeing your nature is impossible.
     
  11. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    Ha-ha. The only thing I said was if you see me on the street corner, don't try to kill me. :cool: I am too old and cagey to admit to anything beyond being an anomaly.


    Evidently enlightenment isn't so far beyond human comprehension otherwise we wouldn't be discussing it would we.


    Ah, but what you do not realize is that which gives rise to the human mind. It would appear that you see barriers where I see none; save only the ones created by the mortal self in time.


    Try to appreciate that I once followed this approach, Bendy. It seemed to be the only perfectly obvious path to take. All the great masters said so, so it had to be right.


    But... then... a funny thing happened on the way to Nirvana and I have never looked at reality the same since. That funny thing was grasping the concept of multidimensional awareness (in a multidimensional reality) - of being aware of more than one aspect of consciousness at the same time. In a sense, this is the ability to straddle more than two viewpoints simultaneously.

    I understand the concept better than you might think, Bendy. The concept of the annihilation of the ego is one that I no longer subscribe to. It is not a healthy idea, psychologically speaking, imho, at least and should be buried in the rubbish of misunderstanding that the concept arose from long ago.


    In my view, Buddha understood that what he perceived would not be understood by his followers and decided to give them an idea that would force them to put aside their entrenched viewpoints of self. Rather than attempt to label something that defies labels he opted to take the approach that the ego must be forsaken. I interpret this to mean that it is our current concept of self or self image that needs to be forsaken as it is inadequate. What I suspect what he actually meant was that our existing concepts of ego are what need to be annihilated and that was not meant literally, as is currently understood.

    For example, if you experienced nothingness or the void, how would you know you have experienced it? Riddle me that and we can discuss this further. "You" are not present in the nothingness, so how would "you" remember the event?

    Multidimensional being sidesteps this quite neatly, Bendy, as the individual resides firmly in several camps simultaneously. If enlightenment is an eternal quality, then part of your psyche is already enlightened.

    But hey, I don't pretend to be right and appreciate that I could be quite wrong. I always try to allow for the simple fact that I am not seeing something clearly.
     
    #11 YmirGF, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  12. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Hi YmirGF, someone once said that time does not exist and its illusion is merely one of constantly changing perspectives upon the One that is All.

    Only when mind can see its own inherent limited nature will it naturally unfold at its own pace towards the light of the One that is All.

    Nothing is annihilated at enlightenment, the dew drop just merges with the ocean, and where there was an illusion in time of a seperate apparent self, there is really only timeless Self

    Non-enlightenment is not to be considered right or wrong, it is just that for the moment, mortal mind conceptualizations obscures the inner enlightenment.

    Enlightenment is beyond duality, it is neither hard nor easy, nor is it right or wrong.
    :)
     
  13. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    It is very easy to make claims that cannot be verified by any reasonable means, Ben D.

    This incorrectly assumes that "the mind" is the self. It isn't, it is an attribute of consciousness.

    This is precisely why I say befriend the ego, rather than dropping it, like a hot potato. When the ego is reassured it doesn't mind letting the larger identity shine through from time to time. If this "dropping of the ego" is done in a non-threatening way then much can be accomplished.

    That is why I say that the individual is already enlightened. Thanks for making my point. In this way, enlightenment isn't something to strive for, rather it is simply allowing a natural expression.

    Evidently.


    Frankly, Ben, I don't think we are all that far apart in our viewpoints, but there are some subtle, but important, differences.
     
  14. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Hi YmirGF, that's fine, thank you for your reply.
     
  15. Brahman

    Brahman Paramatman

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    Its all in how you see me, ben d. if you say i am, good. if you say im not, good. if I were to say i was enlightened I think that i would be saying a bit too much. I dont think its something to go out and speak about. I AM Consciousness and thats all i can say. I dont speak with authority because i have no authority. I am just here to tell what i have found hoping it will benefit everyone.

    Thank you for reading.
     
  16. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Hi Brahman, have no preference as to whether one is enlightened or not, nor whether it is easy or hard, thank you for your reply.

    Don't understand how telling people what you have found will help everyone, but it is my understanding that in a way beyond words, to realize enlightenment is to be liberated from the 'wheel' of mortal life and death.
     
  17. Functionless

    Functionless Nothing

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    I would guess that enlightenment is as hard as it needs to be, which is as hard as you make it, and nothing more.
     
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  18. autonomous1one1

    autonomous1one1 Well-Known Member
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    Greetings my friends. One cannot help but explore this topic more to see where there is agreement.

    At the outset, there seems to be agreement that Enlightenment 'is attainable.' Could it not be added that the length of time taken is totally dependent on the individual; that is, degree of dedication, focus, current status of being, perhaps resources available, etc? The time can be shorter than most think. Ben, if memory serves, the author of the book that you posted on elsewhere and that is linked below wrote that he experienced the realization after three months of dedicated pursuit for understanding.

    Ben, what is the reason that you asked the question - are you Enlightened? Could we all agree that Brahman gave the reasonable answer? One never knows what is in the questioner so the answer has to come from there.

    Can we agree on some clear keys that define Enlightenment? Let one make an offering for discussion from:
    History of Mysticism: The Unchanging Testament
    by Swami Abhayananda (Free copy at: Spiritual Teaching Courses, Workshops and Intensives in Perth, Western Australia ) Abhayananda wrote "...'mystic,' one who has experienced his identity with God....." Can we agree that there is the same in Enlightenment (mystic and Enlightened closely the same)- being has realized identity with God? There is a shift in identity, a new sense of Self. The finite ego is transcended but the Enlightened One can express either view - Enlightened or finite.

    'Thoroughly Enlightened' can mean more. The experienced union with the Absolute, although remembered and acted upon forever, can be lost temporarily in the sense of Self (Self realization), but there are some who maintain this sense of Self 24/7. Yes, through lucid dreaming and through 'deep sleep' awareness is maintained. Anyone here agree with this?

    Hope someone is still here.

     
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  19. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Greetings Autonomous1one, thanks for your post, some interesting points raised.

    IMO, there is a distinct difference between having the first experience of realization of the non--duality and that of being enlightened in the mystical sense, the first raindrops may herald a storm but in themselves are not a storm.

    Swami Abhayananda is writing books about other's mysticism for the benifit of the readers, he is not attempting to convey directly understanding the keys to Truth. To engage in a verbal discussion about enlightenment may be interesting, perhaps even intellectually rewarding, but still the truth remains forever on the other side of conceptual descriptions, anecdotal experiences, and authoritive statements.

    The purpose was to gain understanding of his words and statements by determining where they were originating, from the transcendent within or from the conceptual mind, or a bit of both, and which is which etc.?
    In the west, the word 'enlightened' is used to indicate brilliance of mind and it is common to hear of someone who is consistantly coming up with brilliant insights in whatever field of interest their expertise lies, to be called enlightened by their peers and followers, but IMO the concept of enlightenment in the religious sense is meant to convey something altogether different.

    True enlightenment can't be conveyed to another through words as is done in teacher - student relationships in educational institutions, it really is an inner revelation from cosmic source. When the cosmic souce (Alpha) is revealed to any one of its temporal expressions (disciples), it is a case of a realization that the cosmic source being sought is in fact also the cosmic expression that was seeking, and when the apparent separation between the two disappears, there is ony one,...the Alpha (cosmic source) and the Omega (cosmic expression) are united.




    Have probably covered my present understanding of these points in the prceding, but to reiterate, yes, a mystic is one who practices religion with the goal of realizing union with God which will ultimately involve temporal experiences of a merged identity with the cosmic oneness.

    IMO however, the concept of enlightenment implies buddhahood, or christhood, which concepts means the transcedence of mortal existence.
    It is not a shift in identity, a new sense of Self as you put it, but rather a merging of the dewdrop back into the ocean from whence it originated. Nothing new is gained with enlightenment, only the realization of what was, is, and always will be.

    THIS which is seeking is THAT which is sought, and THAT which is sought is THIS which is seeking, all else is bondage. If I recall correctly, from the referenced book, one of the mystics puts it like this,..."God only reveals God to God through the medium of God".

    One last point on the issue concerning one who is enlightened being able to express either view, enlightened or finite. Yes, IMO Jesus and Siddartha Gautama no doubt would have carried on the essential mundane talk expedient for functioning as a mortal in this world, but what was expressed in their avatar role as Christ or Buddha did not come from the person of Jesus or Siddartha Gautama, but from the transcendent (Father - Source). Please understand that terms like Christ and Buddha are concepts that imply perpetuity which does not apply to transient phenomena like material bodies, their egos, or their names.
     
  20. autonomous1one1

    autonomous1one1 Well-Known Member
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    Greetings Ben. Thank you for taking the time to give us such an insightful response with such great points and conceptualizations. Your 'present understanding' has rewarded you with wondrous being and clarity of expression. Every point resonates well with my 'present understanding' as well.

    One additional question related to the OP: Most feel that one must prepare the self for Enlightenment but that actually, Enlighenment is not under one's control. As many a mystic has said, it is by the 'Grace of God.' Do you have a view on this?


    Great points, each, Ben, as well as your other comments that are not shown. Although your point about transcendence is understood, one hopes that at some future time in another thread (not wanting to derail this one) you will join me in discussing the use of the expression 'shift in identity.' Such discussion probably would be conducted most appropriately in the Mysticism forum. In the meantime, a review of The History of Mysticism which is fraught with language about the identity realization will be used to surface some wording for your reaction. It might be just that wording from the 'transcendent' would never use this expression while wording from the 'temporal expression' to other 'temporal expression' does. :)

    Best Wishes,
    a..1
     
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