LastThursday

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  1. What is this "book" thing you speak of? @Schahin this is a very interesting question you raise. I think some people may think that the idea of seeing a black cat as having a particular meaning is ridiculous. You can lead life perfectly well without putting meaning into black cats. It's just a cat, and it's black. But I wouldn't dismiss it entirely. The world is awash with symbolism. From advertising to news, language, rational thought, science, mathematics and so on. Human beings are defined by the symbols they use and meanings they attach to them, they will even die for them. To recognise or be aware of anything at all in the world, it needs to be turned into a symbolic representation by you. The representation is then slotted into a web of interlinked symbols, which allows you to attach "meaning" and "context" to the symbol. A symbol is ALWAYS a simplification and generalisation of part of reality. This is why symbolic thinking (e.g. science), can never equate to reality. It is possible to experience reality in a non-symbolic way (i.e. non-duality), but realisation of that is difficult to say the least. I do think that there are subtle undertones to the way symbols pop-up in day to day life. People talk about synchronicities and Law of Attraction (forced synchronicity). After all, what exactly is generating all the symbols in the first place? The answer is: the same thing that is generating reality.
  2. Discovery and exploration, for the sake of it, nothing else. If I become an enlightened god living in a dream in the process, then that's just a bonus.
  3. @SerpaeTetra expand into all corners of yourself, even the dark ones, it's the only way to be light and at one with yourself. And... don't judge me.
  4. I feel like this about 9 to 5 in the office. I know which hell I'd prefer. A giant stupid society or a giant stupid mind?
  5. @xthebentnecklady you are quite right - you're definitely perceiving something. But perception can't be reality (see optical illusions). It's just a matter of viewpoint. Maybe light is falling onto your retinas from distant stars. Maybe you're staring into the mind of God. Maybe you're God staring at itself. The thing is, either reality is solid and unbreakable, or it's pure imagination. It's a binary choice, there's no middle ground. It can't be mostly solid, but a little bit imagination. Once you start having any doubt whatsoever, there's only one conclusion: it's all pure imagination. Next time you are away from your parents (maybe now), think about what they're doing right now. Is that really what they're doing? Or is it your imagination? Don't they just become a figment of your imagination when they're not there?
  6. Until you've actually slapped Leo in the face, its not real. Maybe Leo's computer generated, who knows? 99% of what you call 'reality' is in your mind - it's all ideas, concepts, potentialities, inferences, what ifs, circular reasoning, rationalisation, extrapolation, guesswork, mind reading, speculation, filling the blanks and so on. Just look at some optical illusions. Change blindness is a good one. The real question is how do you know the difference between 'reality' and your 'mind'? Where does one begin and the other end?
  7. Try not to think sequentially. If you prefer, you are living/have lived/will live all lives (and things) right now. Your death (and new lives) is just the other side of now, in no time at all it will happen.
  8. @Eonwe5 that's sounds really stressful and unpleasant. I think awareness and time are going to help you. Notice how you only feel the stress response when you have thoughts about your ex-flatmates. Before you have the thought, there's no stress. You won't be able to stop having thoughts about your past situation, but you can consciously choose how to respond to them. Try some of the following things: Tell yourself: "It's over. This situation is no longer happening to me. It's passed. I no longer have to worry about it." Try taking some slow deep breaths, until the stress subsides a bit. Try not to think any more about it, don't ruminate. Find an activity or task that requires your full attention. Distraction is good sometimes. Do physical exercise, as when you're stressed, your body is naturally ready for fight or flight. Personally, I would advise against "introspection" and "what-ifs" and running scenarios in your mind, or "talking it through" - all this will just trigger you further and not allow you to disconnect from the stressful thoughts. In time, your mind-body will realise the threat is over and will adjust accordingly. If you can get your mail redirected so you don't have to come into contact with your ex-flatmates then do it.
  9. What is a value? It appears to be a verby-noun describing some generalised activity which you think you cherish in some way. So for example: Love: The idea of giving love to others or receiving it. Truth: The idea of finding things which are true in the world, or always telling the truth. Courage: The idea of not showing weakness in dangerous or uncertain situations. So they are in fact very broad and devoid of content. Empty vessels if you like, that you can fill with any situation you like (where's the romance eh?). Notice that 'low integrity', 'laziness' and 'lying' are also just values - that are maybe higher in priority than you want them to be. The danger is in confusing the act with the value. Any action doesn't really have any inherent meaning in itself, instead you cast your net of 'values' over it and interpret yourself through this net. You then give yourself a pat on the back when your situation strongly aligns with a particular value (e.g. you have interpreted a situation as being Courageous). When you get the stimulus of having met one of your values, you naturally want to find yourself in more situations that trigger that in future - you seek them out or manufacture situations to suit the value. Principles are just the application of your values - casting the net. In the end it's really about building a compelling character in a story of yourself that makes you feel positive and so, motivated to act.
  10. If you answer every question in some of the following ways, then I think you're on your way: 1. It depends... 2. Maybe yes, maybe no, because... 3. But what about this thing, and that thing, and this other thing....? 4. Yes yes, there is a God, but... 5. If you change that thing, then that will affect that thing, which affects that... 6. There's not too many people in the world: it's a question of resource management, education, raising people out of poverty, raising humanity's consciousness... 7. How could I ever be racist? I'm related to every human being on this earth. 8. The world is an intricately connected whole, like a living organism, mess around with one part and you affect everything else. 9. Maybe it is a giant living organism....? 10. It's counterintuitive, but look at it this way... 11. I think it's like this, it seems like a useful model, but I am happy to be proven wrong. 12. All my models are useful to me, but it's not reality itself. 13. What do I mean by 'reality itself'? Hmm... And on and on.
  11. @Joseph Maynor that's right. Paradoxically being future oriented and chasing potential can also be a distraction in itself. Distraction from what? Being: savouring the perfection of the present moment.
  12. Distraction itself serves a purpose - maybe it stops the suffering of facing reality (yourself) head on. Maybe distration is also more 'playful' and less serious than reality. And so on. It has survival value. I guess the distraction is only a problem because the clock is always ticking away the seconds towards your death. And, you could be facing reality head on instead and removing the suffering altogether.
  13. Is spirituality a system?
  14. @Surfingthewave ha! Groundhog Day for me, without the comedy or explosions. I'm praying for Inception tomorrow. Still, if you're going to start trying on a different ego every day, then that's a step in the right direction.
  15. But that is a still a problem of mind reading and its sister ability: empathy. The failure is that in being truly honest you are not necessarily empathising with the recipient. If the honesty doesn't fit with the mindset of the recipient, then this can cause misunderstanding and friction. This is why it's so difficult to be your authentic self rather than a people pleaser. But if you really are interested in helping others, then you have to take the middle ground and put some sugar in your medicine. Even better, only give the medicine to those that want it.