Erlend K

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About Erlend K

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  1. Thanks for the reply, @Joseph Maynor Sorry for my late response. I meant to come back to you, but had a quite busy week and forgot about it. At first your notion of "Enlightenment" stroke me as slightly contrived, but after some reflection, I came to appreciate it. it. I like it's process- and present-moment orientation. The only issue I have with appropriation of the term is its inherent multivalency. In it's most pueril conceptualization, «Enlightenment» is the escapist fantasy of achieving everlasting euphoric bliss In it's most fatuous conceptualization «Enlightenment» is merely the smug pet name of every «new age»-dupes' 'mystical' experiences. In, perhaps a more innocuous conceptualization, «There are no enlightened beings, only enlightened action". If you decide to stick to the term «Enlightenment», you are now forced to repeatedly make explicit this definition as «Locating and embodying Existential Truth.». Elsewise, you will continually invite misreadings of what you are trying to communicate. What are your thoughts about this?
  2. The question asked was "What is truth" (with a lower case "t")? The essence of "Truth", with a Capital "T" is an entirely different question. I agree that we should be careful with Western philosophical notions of truth. Not cynical or dismissive, but careful. Just like we should be careful with Eastern, mystical and 'new-age' notions of Truth. What's right in front of us is mere appearances - the proverbial shadows on the cave wall. The wise approach would be (as your last paragraph seems to suggest you agree on) - adopting a Socratic stance, knowing that we don't know what "Truth" is. From there we can open-mindedly cull glimpses of Truth from the multitude of available sources, mindfully resisting the temptation of labeling whatever seems true at our current stage of insight "The Truth". Not throwing out the proverbial babies of either western or eastern philosophy, but accepting that we might never fully grasp the essence of "Truth" - Yet keep looking.
  3. I wonder how you got the impression that I'm a hedonist. As my previous posts in this tread should make clear, I'm a buddhist, i.e. I practice the middle path between hedonism and ascetisism. If I interpret this quote correctly, you are not actually asserting an equalization of Truth and joy, but rather that nonresistance of truth inevitable gives way to joy. If so, that sounds easier to swallow for me.
  4. Hi @Torkys I have a few questions relating to your post. 1. How do you conceptualize "the Unshakable"? When I google this term I'm led to the christian apologetic book "The Unshakable Truth". Are you refering to the concept it outlines? 2. Could you offer a few concrete tips on how one would go about "basing one's psychology on the Unshakable"? 3. What would it mean for Truth and Joy to be equivalent? This equalization seems unpalapaple to me, but I'm open minded about learning why it seems true for you.
  5. Hi @Quanty! I would appreciate an elaboration on this. What do you mean by "Kundalini centering depiction"? I am not familiar with this concept. As far as I am aware Sotapanna has nothing to do with kundalini. "Kundalini awakening" implies about the same as "insight into arising and passing away" which is a major landmark on the path towards sotapanna, not with sotapanna itself.
  6. That's a tough question. There is a multitude of options for piercing deeper and transmuting consiousness. The optimal permutation of the contemplative path depends on your individual dispensations and willingness to gamble with your mental health in order to speed up the process. One respectable answer is that the best practice is the one you will actually be able to stick to in the long turn. "Dry" Vipassana, whether of the Mahasi or Goenka variety, is the touchstone for the expedient, but slightly perilous paths. Particularly in lenghty retreats "Dry" Vipassana reliably invoke transformative insights, but includes some risk of mental issues and notoriously appalling "Dark Nights Of The Soul". Psychadelics reliably invoke mystical experiences that may or may not be transformative. My contention is that tho psychadelics may incite some initial progress, they are ultimately a puerile dead end on the contemplative path, if alowed to substitute for dilligent practice. Proselytization of Maharshi-inspired Self-Inquiry is endemic on this forum, but I consider myself unqualified to make and insightful comment on this approach. My own practice is a more balanced approach. My preference is working on the introspective, bodily, moral and intelectual planes simultaniously. My practices are: Introspective ("wet" samatha-vipassana combined with psychodynamic therapy); Bodily (weightlifting and yin yoga); Moral (Perform a chosen number of random acts of kindness per week); Intellectual (reading and discursive contemplation). This is not the most efficacious path, but in all likelihood a salubrious one, and a good fit for my dispensations.
  7. I think Sutta Pitaka contains the Pali Canon's sole reference to the four stages of awakening. This map is, of course, further elaborated in the Visudhimaga. I am unfamiliar with "Perceiving the Bull". Is this a dharma concept?
  8. The colloquial meaning of "True" is something like "in accordance with my experience of reality". This is obviously a grossly facile concetualization. What "Truth" means, in a strict sense, has been a central point of contention among philosophers for millenia, for good reason. "Truth" seems to to be one of those truely acaleptic concepts, without any plausible consensus-conceptualization. A few uncontroversial (and insipid) statements about truth: Some pedantic teutologies like "Every apple is an apple" and "1 = 1" seems incontestably true. A cartesian contention of the type "subjective experiences exists" seems incontestably true. Then there's socially constructed, definitional truths of the type "two" is defined as "the sum of one pluss one" => It is true that "1 + 1 = 2" within the context of this edifice. Organons like the laws of logic are mostly assumed to be true, but are occationally challenged. Any deeper/more interesting claims about truth thruth tends to be fraught with speculative assumptions, contrived definitions poorly maping onto the concept of "Truth" or just plain old sophistry.
  9. Kudos to you, @Viking, for staying true to your own experience, instead of reflexively clinging to the new-age edifice of the thaumaturgical wonders of the Now. I only partly skimmed through this thread, but didn't see a lot of insightful responses. Mostly mindless platitudes about how you must have missed the true essense or greatness of the present moment. I suspect this is mostly a way of signaling spiritual capital/ status. Comming form a Buddhist perspective, the experience you describe is precisely the purpose of present moment awareness. That is, recognition of the first noble truth: Life in samsara is a continous string of near-infitesimal, unsatisfactory 'present moments of time'. Complete, vivid attention to experience, reveals the degree of unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) contained in every single one of these moments. In our everyday life we don't always notice this quality of experience. Our minds instinctively seeks distractions from the dukkha of the now. The more mindfulness one is, the clearer the everpresent dukkha becomes. Despite new-age hearsay, the present moment dosn't hold any deep, sublime, secrets. So, why stay in the present moment at all? Becourse only full integration of the insight of dukkha can free us from the distress stemming from clinging/attachment to fleeting sensations. Ideology (including religion) can have powerful placibo effects: If your ideology deeply convince that a mental illness is caused by demons, an exorcism might heal you; If your ideology (f.i. some new-age schlock) deeply convince you that "the precent moment is wonderful" it can create an illution of this being true. If you sit with the present moment just like it is, not projecting illutions of trancendance and wonder upon it, you will notice the everpresent unsatisfactoriness characterising every moment of samsara.
  10. Hi @Joseph Maynor! First of all, I have to admit I also feel a bit squeamish about the term 'Spiritual': I intuit something slightly fatuous about it. My prefered quasi-synonyme is 'Contemplative', tho it only covers a minor sub-set of what is covered by the term 'Spiritual'. Can you (or anyone else, for that mather) suggest an alternative way of talking about that which is typically alluded to by 'Spiritual'? The concept "Spiritual Bypassing" on the other hand is a very useful one. It referes to a very spesific and insidious form of neurocis that anyone with an interest in Spirituality/Mysticism/Contemplation/Thaumaturgy etc. are predisposed for. Arming ourselves with the concept of "Spiritual Bypassing" makes us less susceptible to this risk. Mere awareness of our predisposition of this neurocis should be an impetus to be on the lookout for it's signs. This makes it easier to recoginze our own spiritual bypassing, empowering us to snap out of it. I believe most of us occasionally, and to varying degree, fall victim to spiritual bypassing. I know I do.. About your contention about the difficulty of judging rival paths. First of all: Obviously, no claims about someones optimal path can be uttered with absolutely certainty. This is merely an instance of the tautology "No statements whatsoever can be absolutely certain". This is, however, no reason to shun incisive evaluation some paths likelihood of being beneficial/detrimental. Sometimes rival paths are hard to judge, but often a path is astronomically more likely to be beneficial than it's rivals.
  11. Care to expand upon this? Wouldn't you agree that the only place the phenomenological representation of this object can appear is in awareness, and that awareness itself is knowable (as meta-cognitive awarness)?
  12. By "non-objective" you mean subjective? If so: Yes, language is obviously unable to perfectly capture a subjective experience. That is pretty mutch a tautology. However, this dosn't render our choise of words arbitrary. Certain formulations surpass their rivals in serving as pointers to the ineffable. I recognize the significance of the problem with getting caught up in the proverbial finger. This is exactly what I allude to. The words selected for directing someones gaze towards the moon affects the odds of them actually raising their gaze, figuring out what is pointed at. My oppinion is that certain anthropomorphised platitudes like "The Watcher" tends to obfuscate what is pointed at.
  13. You might not exacly "go back to your old ways". Some change might have occured, but nothing as radical as perpetual bliss. I don't know much about Sadhguru, so I cannot answer your first question. All I know is that he's a savvy businessman and a charismatic, entertaining speaker. I don't know anything about his emotional health tho. If he occasionally suffers, it probably wouldn't be rational for him to admit it anyway. I assume that would be bad for business. When you are in the business of selling fantasies of emotional perfection, you need to uphold a certain image.
  14. Im not 100%"sure I understand your question then. Of course you will get upset and suffer. No, you will not live in a state of perpetual bliss.
  15. There is no sutch thing as a permanent mood/feeling. If you change your lifestyle your moods will change as well. Self development is like brushing your teeth or taking a shower - you have to keep doong it day after day, year after year. It dosn't mather if I dedicate a whole year to brushing my teeth. My teeth will not become permanently clean. I still have to brush them next year and every year for the rest of my life.