Mason Riggle

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About Mason Riggle

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  1. The first problem here lies in the question 'how do we transcend duality?', because 'we' implies 'separateness' from 'something other than we', which is another duality. 'we' (or 'I' or 'you') can't transcend duality, so long as there is a 'we'. 'non-dual' means 1. No separation. Success and Failure are just stories (imaginary dualities). How can you know what a cup is in 'non-dual' terms? You can't. The 'cup' only exists as duality (something that is separate and 'described')- that which is the cup, and that which is 'not the cup'. Reality is 'non-dual'... but you can not experience 'non-dual' reality, because for there to be a 'you' separate from 'that which is not you', there is duality. Reality can only be 'known' or 'experienced' or 'described' or 'created' or 'seem like something, rather than nothing/everything' as duality.
  2. Paradox- A paradox, also known as an antinomy, is a logically self-contradictory statement or a statement that runs contrary to one's expectation. It is a statement that, despite apparently valid reasoning from true premises, leads to a seemingly self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion. "This statement is false" is a paradoxical statement. If it's true, it's false. If it's false, it's true. One real life example is the paradox of 'self'. We might for example, say something like, 'there is no self'. When we look for the "I" that we feel like we are, we can reliably not find one. There is no 'self' that resides inside you somewhere. But when we ask, 'who is it that knows there is no self', or 'who is it that can look for a self and not find one?', we are entered into a paradox. This paradox is often turned on it's face, to become 'I am everything' or 'I am God', usually with the realization that there is a 'self', it's just not a separate 'self', and the paradox goes away. In your examples, I would refer to those as 'dualities', rather than paradoxes. What can be noticed about dualities, is that they are typically defined relative to each other. Light is just 'not dark', success is just 'not failure', life is just 'not death'. Recognizing that these 'dualities' are not actually 'two different things', but rather, a way to describe '1 thing' using relative (and often dual) terms, is a path towards transcending the dualities. I like the example of thinking about reality as a coffee cup, but imagine that all there is, is the coffee cup (there is nothing else). Now imagine trying to explain the coffee cup to someone without anything to compare it to. There is nothing that is 'not the coffee cup' which we can reference to describe it. But, through 'duality', we can describe it.. it has an inside and an outside. It's light in color, rather than dark. It's hard, rather than soft. Notice here that we could not describe the coffee cup just in terms of 'the inside of the cup' without any notion of what 'the outside of a coffee cup' is. Reality, which is 'infinite', can only 'seem like something' (it can't be described, even to itself), through 'duality'. Reality has to 'pretend' some arbitrary 'limits' or 'descriptions' or 'dualities', to 'know' itself. For Reality to 'seem like some finite something' (this vs that), it has to pretend it's not an infinite everything (1 thing).
  3. A few things to consider: 1- Pleasure and Suffering are defined relative to each other. What is 'pleasurable'? It's that which is not 'suffering'. What is 'suffering'? It's that which is not pleasurable. We are really talking about the same thing. (Is 'up' anything other than 'the opposite of down'?) 2- Desiring Pleasure and Avoiding Suffering are also the same thing. 3- You always do exactly what you desire to do. (you desire that which you desire to desire, and avoid that which you desire to avoid.. both are 'what you desire to do') Consider the idea that you wouldn't even want to be happy, if 'being happy' wasn't already what you desired. If you desire to 'help others to suffer less', that is still selfish, because that is what YOU desired to do. 4- You are something that is happening, like a lightning bolt following the path of least resistance. Does the lightning take the 'easiest' path, or the 'least hard' path? Same thing. You always follow the path of your greatest desire, and not the path of 'that which you don't desire, or desire less'. Even if you do something you think you don't want to do (I don't want to go to work), recognize that you couldn't 'do what you think you don't want to do' unless you wanted to do that (I desire financial stability more than I don't want to go to work). It's hedonism all the way down.
  4. I never have to try to 'be myself'.. I always just AM myself, without trying (whether 'I' = 'some individual locus of attention' or 'I' = 'Everything/God', doesn't matter). There's nothing for 'me' to do, except 'be myself', and I'm always doing that, effortlessly.
  5. @BlackPhil Sure.. no reason not to put it out there.
  6. This thread reminds me of something stupid/profound one of my old bosses used to say every time we had to unload a delivery truck and got to the last thing to be unloaded. - "We should have started with this one, we'd be done already."
  7. Leo is Leo.. the same way a chair is a chair. You might as well ask why your chair has no grace... that's just not how chairs are. A chair's purpose is to be a chair. Leo's purpose is to be Leo. Don't look for a chair when you're feeling thirsty, and then wonder why the chair does not quench your thirst. Forget about Leo. "It's like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!" - Bruce Lee
  8. To get a better grasp of the problem with understanding what's going on here, let's change your analogy a bit.. Let's say you are dreaming that you are playing a video game and asking the characters in your dream some question on some specific goal in that game... if you are asking the characters in your dream about how your dream world functions, it might not be too far fetched for those dream characters to assume you're still asleep.
  9. @Kalo "..and they were alleging mostly that I was a Materialist, and that I'm somehow dogmatically opposed to the idea that mind might play some role in defining reality, or parts of it.. but that's just not true..." - Sam Harris
  10. "There's a real problem with the word [God], because it shields the genuinely divisive doctrines and believers from criticism. If the God of the 25 percent is incredibly valuable, which it is; and it's actually worth realizing, which it is; and it's something we can talk about rationally, which it is; then calling it 'God' prevents you from criticizing all the divisive nonsense that comes with religion." - Sam Harris "Believing in transcendence is not the same thing as believing that you'll get virgins in paradise if you blow yourself up" - Sam Harris
  11. I guess we can debate the meaning of the word 'death'. Haha this assumes annihilation is obliteration. What if it's something else?
  12. "Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which can not exist when I do?" - Epicurus
  13. @Someone here it's as real/unreal as the person you are asking your question to. Imagine being in a dream, and asking another character within your dream how they know you're going to wake up. If you did this, it would mean you are still dreaming, and not yet awake.
  14. Suspension of disbelief, sometimes called willing suspension of disbelief, is the intentional avoidance of critical thinking or logic in examining something surreal, such as a work of speculative fiction, in order to believe it for the sake of enjoyment. (We do this all the time when we watch fiction movies or TV.. we suspend our disbelief in things like zombies or vampires or aliens, because it would ruin the fun if we didn't). At some level you enjoy being scared of death. It's like watching a scary movie, just so you can feel afraid. Sometimes, when a movie is 'too scary', you may even be tempted to turn the movie off, or perhaps just look around the room to remind yourself that it's only a movie, and that there's nothing to fear... you may even laugh at how scared you made yourself by intentionally pretending it was real.