2011.05.30 01:00 - About believing in enlightenment

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Wester Kiranov. The comments are by Wester Kiranov.

    When I came in, Hokon Cazalet and Pema Pera were already having a nice talk. Pema had to leave soon after, but Hokon stayed, Bertram Jacobus came in, and we had a lovely talk about enlightenment, among other things. eggsalad Ormstein came in too, but stayed quiet.

    Pema Pera: hi Hokon!
    Pema Pera: How's life?
    Hokon Cazalet: objectively, going well
    Pema Pera: and subjectively?
    Hokon Cazalet: subjectively, a mix
    Pema Pera: :)
    Hokon Cazalet: getting moods of happy, then deep crumminess
    Hokon Cazalet: but currently, im happy =)
    Hokon Cazalet: how bout you"?
    Pema Pera: if you don't feel too bad, it's sometimes fun to watch your own moods, like watching the weather . . . just to see what is blowing, and blowing over :)
    Hokon Cazalet: i do that sometimes, to help me deal with stuff
    Pema Pera: oh, I'm fine, happy to be alive and enjoying every day!
    Hokon Cazalet: Yaaaaayyyyyyyy!
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Pema Pera: one thing I like to do is watching confusion in myself
    Hokon Cazalet: sometimes ive done that and found rather suprising things
    Pema Pera: sometimes it's possible to be quite clear in watching confusion
    Pema Pera: such as?
    Hokon Cazalet: yeah that is possivle
    Hokon Cazalet: like seeing overwelhming anxiety, that is rapid and such, see it slow down for a moment and recognize its the same kind of anxiety one feels when they doublecheck say, if they locked their door or not
    Hokon Cazalet: made me realize my anxiety fits are nothing magical or such, but very mundane
    Pema Pera: yes, time is so interesting, and so malleable!
    Hokon Cazalet: yup =)
    Hokon Cazalet: hi wester
    Pema Pera: ah, yes, indeed -- we like to make them into Very Special Problems, but they are not always like that :-)
    Pema Pera: hi Wester!
    Wester Kiranov: hi pema, hokon
    Pema Pera: you're very punctual!
    Wester Kiranov: thanks
    Pema Pera: actually, I just popped in to say hallo -- have to leave in five minutes
    Hokon Cazalet: yeah, once anxiety was demystified for me, its become easier to deal with it, and also label it a malfunction of my brain
    Pema Pera: have a 5:15 pm appointment, but just enough time to say hi
    Hokon Cazalet: aw
    Hokon Cazalet: thats ok
    Hokon Cazalet: i gotta head to bed myself
    Wester Kiranov: nice to have you here anyway
    Hokon Cazalet: yup =)
    Pema Pera: ah, interesting -- how did the brain labeling help?
    Hokon Cazalet: oh, instead of viewing it as some mythical/dramatic thing, viewing it as a simple malfunction of my mind (or brain), it lets me go "oh ok, this alarm system is just going wacky again"
    Pema Pera: ah, yes, I can see how that can be helpful !
    Hokon Cazalet: instead of being overwelhmed and getting lost in it, i can categorize it, deal with it, and let it be
    Hokon Cazalet: =)
    Hokon Cazalet: just shove it into a neat box hehe
    Pema Pera: and perhaps it is not so different from what some cultures used to do, seeing it as external bad spirits temporally highjacking our consciousness -- the result may be similar, blaming it on something else (brain vs. bad spirits)?
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Hokon Cazalet: yup thats true
    Hokon Cazalet: although seeing it as mechanical makes it even more distant i think
    Hokon Cazalet: although a bit scary too, cant reason with bad chemicals
    Pema Pera: yeah, but a spirit could be banned, I guess, in that framework, though you can't ban your brain :-)
    Pema Pera: yes
    Hokon Cazalet: though in my case, my own reason got hijacked so
    Hokon Cazalet: hehe
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Pema Pera: just watching is often a good first step, in any case :-)
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Hokon Cazalet: it is
    Pema Pera: daring to feel what's going on, as a second step
    Hokon Cazalet: reason can easily serve the mess instead of fixing it
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Pema Pera: and finding some calm in the eye of the storm
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Pema Pera: oh yes, reason can have many masks :-)
    Hokon Cazalet: hehe
    Pema Pera: well, have to go, sorry -- but great conversation in such a short time!
    Hokon Cazalet: well its a good tool/function, but is empty by itself (kant), so can serve many things
    Hokon Cazalet: awww
    Wester Kiranov: hi bert, bye pema
    Pema Pera: hi & bye Bert!
    Hokon Cazalet: byebyes, nice chatting =)
    Hokon Cazalet: hi bertram
    Bertram Jacobus: hi hokon and wester
    Bertram Jacobus: why was pema so short here - only 6 minutes ? :o)
    Hokon Cazalet: he had a appointment
    Hokon Cazalet: had to meet someone in rl
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe - so nevertheless 6 minutes time for here and us ? ;-)
    Wester Kiranov: better than nothing anyway
    Hokon Cazalet: hehe
    Hokon Cazalet: well maybe he isnt dressed or something
    Bertram Jacobus: but ... is here not also rl ?
    Hokon Cazalet: it is, but its more laid back here
    Hokon Cazalet: he doesnt need to be here for a job
    Hokon Cazalet: i figure his rl thing was part of his work
    Bertram Jacobus: ah yes. in a way, yes ...
    Bertram Jacobus: we figure so much ...
    Hokon Cazalet: or somethin he set up a while ago, so couldnt back out of
    Wester Kiranov: sometimes it is nice to make distinctions, just don't believe they are essentail
    Hokon Cazalet: yeah
    Hokon Cazalet: thats very important
    Hokon Cazalet: we often think we have found an essence, when really, we havent
    Bertram Jacobus: sorry : i have to do a restart. my computer makes funny things ...
    Hokon Cazalet: aw
    Hokon Cazalet: okies
    Wester Kiranov: cu
    Bertram Jacobus: ty - i´ll be back
    Wester Kiranov: wb bert
    Bertram Jacobus: ty wester :-)
    Hokon Cazalet: =)
    Bertram Jacobus: :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: so - how is your life ladies ? "all fine" ?
    Hokon Cazalet: mine is good atm
    Bertram Jacobus: very nice ...
    Hokon Cazalet: working alot = +$$
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe. nice view / perspective
    Wester Kiranov: i'm ok too
    Hokon Cazalet: hehe
    Bertram Jacobus: always look on the bright side of life ! (?) :-)
    Hokon Cazalet: hehe least for now =)
    Bertram Jacobus: yeah - you mean the ups and downs ?
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Hokon Cazalet: mentally
    Bertram Jacobus: :-))
    Bertram Jacobus: yes
    Hokon Cazalet: objectively, my life hasnt changed much, but subjectively im going up/down
    Bertram Jacobus: i understood. and am happy that i did
    Bertram Jacobus: interesting ... my life changes a lot and the ups and downs are there as well ;-)
    Hokon Cazalet: =)
    Bertram Jacobus: but really astonishing, how much our mental constitution (so to say) influences life (!) ...
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Wester Kiranov: yes
    Bertram Jacobus: do you believe or even more : perhaps know, that rsp. whether there is enlightenment ?
    Hokon Cazalet: what is rsp. mean?
    Bertram Jacobus: sorry - was a german expression i fear - that should be "or related to" (in this case : related to : believe)
    Bertram Jacobus: let me write the sentence again - i mix up now some things ... *blush a bit*
    Hokon Cazalet: hehe thats ok =P
    Bertram Jacobus: do you believe that enlightenment exists or even more : know it ?
    Bertram Jacobus: ty ... *still a bit embarrassed* ...
    Hokon Cazalet: aw its ok
    Hokon Cazalet: hiya eggsalad
    Bertram Jacobus: hey eggie ! ;-)
    Hokon Cazalet feels hungry
    Wester Kiranov: I believe that those people we call enlightened may see something more of "things" that I see just a glimpse of"
    Hokon Cazalet: ok to answer your question . . .
    Wester Kiranov: hi eggsalad
    eggsalad Ormstein: hi westy
    Bertram Jacobus: nice answer wester - and still interested in the answer hokon will give
    Wester Kiranov: but i do not want to make a thing out of enlightenment
    Hokon Cazalet: i believe enlightenment is possible (though i like wester's answer quite a bit), though im not sure what it is like, so without knowing what it even is, hard for me to say if i know it is real or not
    Bertram Jacobus: i find it important to understand "believe" : i understand it as "thinking something as possible" and NOT "thinking something for real, right or wrong" (!) ...
    Hokon Cazalet: oh ok thats what you mean by the word, ok
    Bertram Jacobus: i think, both meanings are used ...
    Wester Kiranov: ty for clarifying bert
    Bertram Jacobus: which meaning has that word for you ?
    Hokon Cazalet: belief = holding something as true
    Bertram Jacobus: wow
    Hokon Cazalet: though i recognize my definition is a more obscure use
    Bertram Jacobus: how can you do that ? because you don´t know then, right ?
    Wester Kiranov: i think it means believing something as true as well, although i sometimes use berts version too
    Hokon Cazalet: for me knowledge = true belief - holding something as true that actually is true (ok this definition has problems, but its what i use in general cases)
    Bertram Jacobus: i ask because i don´t feel able to use it in that other way - (taking something as right or wrong) ...
    Hokon Cazalet: its ok, its merely words, they are up for defining and redefining
    Hokon Cazalet: though if you get obscure like me, you run the risk of nobody knowing what you mean =P
    Bertram Jacobus: ty for your words, both
    Hokon Cazalet: yw =)
    eggsalad Ormstein: once again, PaB is way over my head. Sorry
    Hokon Cazalet: aw
    Hokon Cazalet: i have a sort of vauge view on enlightenment though b/c i tend not to dwell on it a lot
    Hokon Cazalet: not to say its unimportant, just a concept/thing i havent pondered on a lot yet
    Wester Kiranov: i do feel that by pondering enlightenment, there is a danger that you make it into this faraway thing to be reached
    Wester Kiranov: and it is not a thing
    Wester Kiranov: and it is neither far away nor near
    Hokon Cazalet: yeah there is that issue
    Bertram Jacobus: the tibetan buddhists often teach it was so far away ...
    Bertram Jacobus: and i don´t like that at all
    Wester Kiranov: why do you feel that way about the tibetan buddhists in particular?
    Bertram Jacobus: i hear a lot of teachings which are like i said. it´s not a feeling, it´s experience - but may be it´s only one special tradition ... which i mostly heared ... (dhagpo kagyu mandala with gendune rinpoche as the man who brought that to europe on demand of the 16th karmapa) ...
    Bertram Jacobus: they often stress that would take still many lives ...
    Wester Kiranov: but then, if you are a buddhist, you believe there are more lives to come anyway
    Wester Kiranov: and they also say things like: the main pointy of any spiritual practyice is to step out of the bureaucarcy of ego (trungpa)
    Bertram Jacobus: no. i´m not a real buddhist. i´m close to many teachings, yes. but i don´t believe, as i said before. not in karma and being reincarnated. the teachers say, that would be ok. the buddha said : do only take what you understand by yourself ...
    Wester Kiranov: that does not look that far away
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe. yes. no :-)
    Hokon Cazalet: well if you dont believe in reincarnation, its infinitely far away
    Hokon Cazalet: (well not infinite, but beyond our reach)
    Wester Kiranov: but it is beyond our reach as the beings that we are anyway
    Wester Kiranov: enlightenment cannot be reached by ourselves as long as we think we are separate beings
    Wester Kiranov: i think it is not necessary to believe in literal reincarnation to be able to go beyond these selves
    Bertram Jacobus: agree
    Bertram Jacobus: and i "like to" leave now - sry : first life calls ...
    Hokon Cazalet: aw okies
    Hokon Cazalet: see ya soon
    Wester Kiranov: bye then bert
    Bertram Jacobus: and i ty very much for the grat talk
    Wester Kiranov: nice having you here
    Hokon Cazalet: Weeee! ^.^
    Bertram Jacobus: may all beings be happy pls
    Bertram Jacobus: :-))
    Wester Kiranov: :-)
    Hokon Cazalet: mind if i ask, are you buddhist yourself?
    Wester Kiranov: I used to call myself a buddhist but i'm not that sure now
    Wester Kiranov: i think the idea of karma makes a lot of sense
    Hokon Cazalet: ok
    Wester Kiranov: not sure ab out reincarnation
    Hokon Cazalet: my mom is a buddhist =)
    Hokon Cazalet: ok
    Wester Kiranov: and what about you?
    Hokon Cazalet: im not myself, wasnt raised as one by my mom (though my sister has become buddhist in recent years), i have sort of a neoplatonic spiritual-sense
    Wester Kiranov: neoplatonic - what do you mean by that?
    Hokon Cazalet: but im always curious to find other buddhists, somewhat cuz i like the religion, but also just to see what varaints are out there besides the version my mom follows =)
    Wester Kiranov: so, what version does your mom follow?
    Hokon Cazalet: zen buddhism
    Wester Kiranov: ah
    Hokon Cazalet: neoplatonism's spiritual/religious aspects is the main aim of life is to re-cognize our unity with the Source or One through contemplation, for me i see contemplation as a spiritual activity
    Wester Kiranov: how do you contemplate? how does that differ from thinking, for instance?
    Hokon Cazalet: though im more wanting to mimic a divine intelligence (Nous), not really return back to the One
    Wester Kiranov: are there any writers/thinkers that you particularly resonate with?
    Hokon Cazalet: well thinking i find to be a very vauge term, covers too many things, i differentiate between reflecting and reasoning: reasoning is discursive thought, ratio, measuring, categorizing etc, while reflecting is a free-play of the intellect, spectating upon things or oneself
    Hokon Cazalet: sort of finding beauty in things i guess
    Wester Kiranov: appreciating the presence of appearance? ;-)
    Hokon Cazalet: writers? i like edmund husserl's writings, though he wasnt a neoplatonist, i see his work as great material to sort of revive neoplatonic ideas though; hehe yup
    Hokon Cazalet: merely gaze upon the presence of an appearance or phenomenon, and appreciating it
    Hokon Cazalet: i havent really found any neoplatonic writers i can read though, i wanna read plotinus' stuff (~260AD), but its hard to read, i got a crappy translation i think
    Hokon Cazalet: plotinus is the guy who started neoplatonism in ancient greece
    Wester Kiranov: translations can be real problem
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Hokon Cazalet: esp from stuff that old
    Wester Kiranov: also because it's always not just the language but also culture a text is embedded in
    Hokon Cazalet: yup
    Wester Kiranov: they take different things for granted
    Hokon Cazalet: i imeditately noticed some differences reading just a few pages of text
    Hokon Cazalet: tyup
    Hokon Cazalet: i may need to learn more about ancient greek culture, to grasp it better
    Hokon Cazalet: you said earlier "I used to call myself a buddhist but i'm not that sure now" - what has made you unsure?
    Wester Kiranov: when i had just discovered buddhism, i thought it was The Answer, that they understood it all whereas other religions and atheists did not
    Hokon Cazalet: ok
    Wester Kiranov: now i feel they all have a part of the picture, even if buddhists possibly have a bigger part
    Hokon Cazalet: ok =)
    Wester Kiranov: and calling myself a buddhist closes me off from other approaches too much
    Hokon Cazalet: oh ok, i can understand that
    Hokon Cazalet: thats something thats true of me also, after many years of looking about, while i'll say my spiritual path is neoplatonic, there's quite a bit of neoplatonic thought i find wrong or dubious, so i can sympathize with what your saying
    Hokon Cazalet: (or incomplete)
    Wester Kiranov: but it is getting a bit late, I have to go soon
    Wester Kiranov: Thank you for a lovely conversation
    Wester Kiranov: namaste
    Hokon Cazalet: =)
    Wester Kiranov: ;-)
    Hokon Cazalet waves

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