No Self

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  1. Yes, his market is very much mainstream even though at times he covers advanced topics. He could serve as a solution for middle-aged nobodies trying to feel less miserable, a gateway to hardcore spirituality or a complete one-stop shop for enlightenment all by himself.
  2. Finally got around to watching this. Recommended. Some familiar faces from documentaries I watched many years ago. Thanks for sharing.
  3. 13.8 billion years: correct 25 years: correct 30 minutes: no, the third option should be the present moment only. Then it's just a question of perspective.
  4. Atheists don't necessarily claim that everything is an accident. Many make no claims of holding supreme knowledge, but merely stand in opposition to the harm and violence caused by the fairy tales of fundamentalist Abrahamic religions. Agnostics are being honest because truth is not knowable by the human mind. Discard the threats of afterlife punishment of the Abrahamic religions, as this is obviously appealing to primal fear rather than profound truth. There is still wisdom to be cherry-picked in the scriptures of these traditions. Leo's statement is true so long as it is interpreted correctly. When an ego thinks it is God, all hell breaks loose. When the Self is realised, eternal peace is your birthright. Be warned.
  5. Donald Trump's remarkably successful 2016 campaign emphasised anger and negativity; the very phrase MAGA implies that America is not great - surely an outrageous statement by a leader. The fact that he won is partly a reflection on his large-scale psychological manipulation (including unmoderated misinformation campaigns on social media), partly a reflection on systemic corruption like gerrymandering, but also suggests that he was more clued-in to how 'real' people outside of Obama's forced-optimism culture were feeling. In the latter respect, yes, the campaigning was better.
  6. Here's a thought. The same way that Mesopotamian has often argued that Iraq is an artificial state, perhaps the same is true of the United States to a lesser degree. Throughout its history, it has needed a common enemy to unite its people. In early times it was the British, (not to mention the conquered native peoples and Mexicans), then in the 20th century there was Japan/Nazi Germany, then the Soviet Union, while the 21st century seems to be pivoting away from select Muslim nations towards China. The implication is that without a common enemy, there could be no healthy collective ego. And the Trump era, as with the American Civil War, showed how readily the country will divide and war with itself. Rather than buying into the schoolyard antics of primitive geopolitics, perhaps we should unite in opposition to all human rights abuses, everywhere. The even more serious issue facing us in coming centuries is the environment, and the very notion of competing nation-states (which is obviously a man-made concept) is going to be irrelevant if we are to survive.
  7. Greetings! I've studied NDEs for many years and Howard Storm's testimony is a famous one. First rule of thumb, near-death studies should not focus excessively on any single report, as there are literally thousands available and it is important to watch for common themes such as life review, the great light, ancestor/angel communications, etc. NDEs containing hellacious references are pretty rare, but do happen. There was a new one just recently. Researcher Kevin Williams has gone into much detail referring to an assortment of experiences, including that of Howard Storm. Neale Donald Walsch, in his book Home With God, has explained hell in the afterlife as a creation of the mind that is too immature to realise that it is actually manifesting its own reality. The true Self is watching the drama from a detached place. I don't have much to say to all the sceptics here. As @Michal__ pointed out, experiences have been verified on numerous occasions, including overhearing conversations in other rooms while 'dead', visiting other locations and more. The research fits profoundly with high-level spiritual teachings. And trying to dismiss NDEs to fit it into a 'consciousness is all there is, therefore there's no experience after death' or whatever is just nonsense. Do research. In a very practical sense, there are numerous reports that a 'deceased' individual (obviously no one actually dies, only the body) in a distressing situation usually receives help if calling out to Jesus or God. It's happened many times. But be warned, this point is often used by fundamentalist Christian propaganda to prove that they have the one true religion, which is yet more bullshit to be wary of. Also in a practical sense, it is advisable to treat others as you would want to be treated. What we do to others, we do to ourselves, and ultimately experience from their point of view. But I'm going to leave it there before this turns into a mammoth post.
  8. The comparison will be valid when they have initiated a world war and executed millions of citizens on ethnic grounds. I can't even compare the CCP to the British Empire, as no modern nation-state has anywhere near the same level of bone-headed arrogance and cruelty. Nazi analogies - Wikipedia
  9. It is a sign of compassion to wish for less cruelty and madness in the world. It is a sign of ego to place one's self on moral high ground. Watch out for the trap.
  10. An individual spending too much time alone can run low on energy.
  11. Neale Donald Walsch once critiqued the word 'love', pointing out that we might say we 'love' banana splits, or might 'love' the people closest to us, even though there is an enormous qualitative difference between the two. Perhaps the word consciousness carries a similar flaw. From the perspective of Ramana, the is only one consciousness and all the rest involves people taking the unreal to be real. And yet the points made by others here are true from within the relative perspective also.
  12. One needs to be clear whether one's goal is attaining a fulfilling career, or realising the Self. If it's the latter, I see a lot more masters emerge from India than Scandinavia. Almost like there's a spiritual downside to being in a comfortable environment.
  13. Your point makes sense from a certain perspective, but the 'selfish' desire to escape suffering is usually just the first step in a process that ultimately ends with discovering one's true nature. The seeker, the 'selfish' one, itself becomes erased in the process and the Self is realised.
  14. School's goal is to make you into a good taxpayer, not a good person.
  15. The mind is a snake oil salesman. It starts with the not-OK feeling and then tries to sell you all sorts of false stories about yourself. Ultimately it is an energetic entity trying to grow. Without the identification with the mind, you will not be buying into it so much. You take all practical action that you need to with your life, but are detached from the mind's drama. Eckhart Tolle's work covers this topic in much more detail. Hope this helps.
  16. Vsauce is a wonderful contributor on YouTube. The school system generally turns learning into a dreaded chore (perhaps by design? to make us better drones?), so those of us who still like to learn later in life are rare, as are these great teachers.
  17. Reminds me of a famous quote by Sigmund Freud: "Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses." We humans like a bit of 'us versus them' and we wish that spirituality could be just like our competitive sports, politics and economic systems. All these systems attempt to be civilised versions of tribal battles. But of course, we deny our primitiveness! Christianity covers a spectrum ranging from the most mild-mannered congregations to the spectacles of the Westboro Baptist Church. The gentle ones rarely talk about hell, though it's usually still there in their belief systems. The one I knew as a child was definitely on the mild side, and it took many years for me to view it critically. I still envy the level of social support that members get just because they are able to integrate with the church beliefs. But alas, real truth has to be universal and about oneness, with no priest as a middleman. What a bummer.
  18. Even then, we are only allowed to hear a romanticised perspective. Sometimes parents regret having children, but are censored and tabooed by society from sharing their story, lest they be accused of not loving their children. This leads more people to go into it with naively optimistic expectations. It's a vicious circle and unfortunately it's hard to talk about it at all without sounding 'dark'. No doubt child-raising in a healthy community with high-consciousness individuals, ecological sensitivity and financial security is a wonderful thing for all concerned, but still quite rare.
  19. I'd just like to add, there are great things happening in the field of clean transportation. Already, EVs and solar power is viable for many people. Further innovations are still happening, like this partly solar-powered Dutch car that is supposed to enter production next year. And yes, there are dark forces conspiring against clean energy (the right-wing media and fossil fuel lobbyists in politics). The Trump administration reduced EV subsidies, discredited wind power, added taxation to most solar panels, put a guy in charge of the EPA who is a known EPA opponent, pulled out of the Paris Accord, reduced environmental regulations, promoted a wild conspiracy theory about climate change, etc. Australia is taxing EVs and car dealers are known to refuse to sell them, presumably because they require little maintenance. This is a war being fought in our time so be sure to pick a side.
  20. I'd say so, unfortunately. A good summary here:'s_water_fuel_cell
  21. Improvement of the situation is possible to some degree. Some teachings say that the personal sense of self - including story of the 'me' who is troubled by thoughts - is itself a thought. Can this be investigated?
  22. I see what you are asking. One area that I have researched extensively is near-death experiences. People not only continue to live without the body, but often report 360-degree vision, psychic communication without vocalisations, seeing a much larger colour spectrum than we know on Earth, feeling no discomfort standing in front of a light much brighter than the sun, rapidly processing vast quantities of information and so forth. The implication is that our sense organs and the brain are actually an enormous suppression and limitation compared to the soul's natural state, by design, whilst still enabling a range of experiences. The ambition of living the most Godlike life, like Jesus and other masters, is surely the highest purpose. But focusing directly on the brain could be very limiting, as it is just another body part by comparison. Integrating spiritual insights into your practical life will naturally result in a more peaceful, inspired and profound mental state, but this is merely a byproduct of knowing and being your true Self. Rupert Spira says that if spirituality were a 12-chapter book, awakening would happen at the end of chapter 1 and the remaining 11 chapters would be all about aligning our lives with what has been discovered.
  23. There's two ways of going with this, and I don't think either is universally right or wrong. A 'spiritual bypass' can be an attempt at an individual evading social/career/etc. issues and will often fail. OR, worrying about worldly success can be a complete waste of time since it will never bring the lasting fulfilment of realising the Self. Spiritual teachers usually emphasise realisation of the Self above all else. For example, Eckhart Tolle has said that 'the world cannot give you anything of lasting value', while Ramana Maharshi said, 'what is not permanent is not worth striving for'. Keep in mind that enlightenment is not just the cherry on top of all your career and relationship conquests. It's not just another trophy to boast about. Thinking otherwise is an enlightenment trap in itself.