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Arhattobe

Levels of self involvement, defilements & the measure of spiritual progress

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Within Buddhism, full and total enlightenment is the same as completely ridding yourself of avijia. Avijia = ignorance.

Ignorance isn’t removed all at once, however. It is shed step by step. Step by step our defilements & our impurities are purged from our systems. This purging eventually culminates and results in the dropping of the first fetter: the identity view - the immense self involvement and attachment one has to one’s personality, identity, body and mind. This is what the modern spiritual community calls non duality.

For those that enter non duality, however, it becomes abundantly clear that regardless of the dramatic loss of tension upon awakening, tension still remains. Ignorant actions, thoughts and behaviours still remain.

Traditionally, within the non dual community, such tension is easily dismissed as “mind stuff”. Yet why does such “mind stuff” still remain post awakening?

A lot of the same people also report growth and deepening. How can that be?

If ignorance is gone and one’s clarity complete, there should be no growth. If one has completely disidentified with the body mind organism one should not report such things. Yet not only do such things happen, but many teachers even talk about levels of enlightenment.

 

In this thread I will answer

 1 - why that is? 

2 - What the substance of the path is, pre and post awakening.

3 - how can one open one’s self to the substance of the path and shed one’s defilements, and achieve complete and total enlightenment.

 

Let’s start with number 1. Why is that?

The human being comes with some built in programming. We are programmed to survive, and we primarily rely on our intellect to do so while our intellect relies on its understanding.

The issue is, the world is a complete unknown. We can never understand the world. It is unpredictable, always changing, moving and way beyond our scope of understanding. This threatens our survival.

Once we feel threatened, we are now at odds with everything that threatens us (this also separates us from what threatens us.) The more threatened we feel the more at odds and separated we become. The more self involved we become.

Now let’s get back to the path. On the path, as we decrease our level of self involvement, we progress.

This is the case with people off the path as well. For example, a sociopath or a serial killer is completely self involved and doesn’t even see other people as human. This is why he can kill, maim and torture them.

At a certain point we hit a threshold and our level of self involvement results in the dropping of the first fetter. In non duality. Yet the subconscious and instinctual need to survive, our fears, traumas and control mechanisms are deeply ingrained in us.

This creates cognitive dissonance. Why, you might ask, do I still feel fear, anxiety, depression, joy, pettiness and all these human emotions even though I see clearly that I am not the body mind? Why do I still put others down and think of myself as primary even though I see that so on and so forth?

Because your seeing is surface deep. Only on the level of the conscious mind. You still fear, you still attempt to control on many levels within your subconscious and beyond.

These questions are often ignored and shut out by people in non duality for the drop in self involvement has resulted in a previously unimaginable peace that they do not want to question, that they do not want to rock.

So just as a religious person clings on to his god for comfort (and ultimately survival), the non dual man does so with void.

 

2 & 3 - what is the substance of the path pre and post awakening? & how to shed one’s defilements.

The substance of the path relates to clear seeing of three things within Buddhism. Three major facets of truth.

These three things are 1- Anicca 2- Anatta 3- Dukkha. The more clearly you see these three aspects of truth the less self involved you become, and the less self involved you become the more progress is had. This is true pre and post awakening. In fact, complete seeing of these truths on all levels of the mind (subconscious and beyond) without any cognitive dissonance left = full enlightenment.

Before I delve into these three facets of truth, however, let me talk a bit about truth itself. Truth is never not present. I don’t mean this in a non dual way, but the facts of life, if they are indeed facts of life, should be evident in every waking second of life itself. If you do not see it, you are simply turning away from it. By that logic if you do indeed want to see them, you should first reflect on what is making you not see such truths, and then reflect on the truths themselves.

Now, let’s define and then talk about the truths a little bit.

1 - Anicca. Anicca has two translations that I think capture its essence nicely. One is “one can not maintain anything to one’s satisfaction” while the other is “impermanence”.

2- Anatta. Anatta, popularly translated as no self, has another more nuanced translation that I personally think is superior: “the inability to control”. A self is merely a series of complex control mechanisms created in response to fear after all.

3 - Dukkha - suffering that can be stopped from arising. 

Why are these truths so important, you may ask?

Self involvement and ignorance are both a direct result of not seeing these truths clearly.

When we do not see the impermanent nature of the world, and our absolute inability to maintain anything to our satisfaction (Anicca), we attempt to control life’s circumstances. 

We exert our will onto the world (the opposite of Anatta) and then, when life shows us that it can not be controlled and pinned down and eternalised, Dukkha arises. Suffering arises.

Instead of constantly living through that loop of pain, the next time you feel pain, and the next time you suffer, reflect and ask yourself: in what way am I attempting to pin down reality? To eternalise it? In what way am I attempting to control life? In what way am I failing to recognise the absolute truths that are anicca and Anatta at this moment?

Then, by reflecting on and seeing these fundamentals of reality all around you, In death, decay, aging, and every second of our waking life, the clarity of them will increase further.

Bring your ignorance to the light by asking how you are failing to recognise these truths, then burn them slowly through constant reflection of these truths : )

That was a really long post. A lot to take in too I assume so sorry if it wasn’t too clear. If you have any questions regarding it, feel free to ask.

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really great posts, I like the way you translated the scriptures. 

I agree with this, 

it seems I was being unfair on buddha. It sounds like he did understand what absolute infinity is. 

Your truths are holistic. 

1) there was never a human being 

2) there was never anything 

3) an ignorance is that I can capture all of it. 

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@Arhattobe Great stuff. Thanks!

I basically agree with all that except that even if all fear and all attachment is eliminated, there will still remain many degrees of insight into the fundamental nature of reality.

My claim is this: you could remove all those defilements but still be missing important existential sights such as What is Love? Or What is God? etc.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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@Arhattobe Awesome and very helpful, thanks for not sitting by the pool ALL day. xD

@Leo Gura You know how if you truly still your mind, true creativity comes through? What is the difference between that true creativity and Love? Is one a force that drives the other, or are they one? Is it possible that some people act as frequency holders and that others are overwhelmed with the energy and drive to create and express love? 

 


My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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9 minutes ago, mandyjw said:

 

@Leo GuraWhat is the difference between that true creativity and Love? Is one a force that drives the other, or are they one?

In the end, everything is one.

Yes, you could equate Love and creativity. Creativity is a quality of Infinite Consciousness or Universal Mind -- which imagines all objects. Creativity is imagination. All creativity happens out of Love and for the sake of maximizing Love.

Creativity is not seperate from Creation itself. They are one.

The creativity you feel inside your mind is a tiny sliver of God's infnite creative capacity. God is literally using your mind to create through you. You are inspired by Spirit. You are In-spirit-ed. Your body is made out of spirit but your mind is also enspirited.

Creativity is infinite and unlimited, giving rise to the infnite world of finite forms.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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:x

I've been reading a lot about the path to enlightenment for creative people. Ultimately it is possible to complete both paths, it helps if you think of the infinity symbol being composed of two loops that are one. Where you start and what direction you must travel is determined by what gifts you were born with or what kind of mind you have. We all start out with some imbalance. The Secret of the Golden Flower, which I just finished today is the most well balanced meditation guide I've ever read for acknowledging the creativity that flows through the space of clear awareness without allowing it to take you too far into getting lost in experience. 

I think it really helps explain the differences we see in people's understanding and their unique preference for different practices. 

 


My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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@Leo Gura But when You let go of everything That binds You in Beleiving You are finite self. You become That Empty Universal mind. How to explain it. It feels like that me in this form with It's finite  mind gets re crystilized with all my even subtles beleifs. 

It Just become wierder and wierder. Am I the  greatest liar That is or I am the Truth. 

I am not allowed to give this idea away. Why Consciousness wants me at all? Why the fuck Alex is needed? 

Consciousness wants me exactly like this. Can't break the bind. 

Edited by zeroISinfinity

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@zeroISinfinity Yes, you become that empty universal mind, but that still doesn't mean you are fully conscious of how it works or even what it is.

For example, are you conscious right now of how Universal Mind is materializing your physical body? I'd guess not. This requires a radical degree of consciousness than even most awakened people do not have.

For example, I have become conscious of how I create every molecule in my own body. This realization has nothing to do with removing defilements.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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4 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

I have become conscious of how I create every molecule in my own body.

When u say molecule... Isn't that levels of distinctions down?

 

Do u just mean... Ur body. 

That you're consious in some way about how exactly Leo's body is being brought into "being" each moment and maintained?

 

And i presume it is beyond words... But in what way, if u can say, are you consious of it?

 

@Leo Gura


Love Is The Answer
www.instagram.com/ev3rSunny

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@Leo Gura

Universal Mind is Pure Love Pure infinite potential and I know when I am writing this, That This is me. So I am aware of totality of it. 

What is really wierd is That I Can have Complete access to it in this particular "pretend That I am devil"  state of Consciousness. 

With full surrender acceptance and Love your "bodilly edges" dissolve, your mind dissolves.You really feel yourself as Emptiness not as human self anymore. But after some time your mind gets re crystilized it feels as such. 

Why God wants me as ego self? I am not real at all. 

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@SoonHei Molecules are of course imaginary, but I (as God) am imagining them.

My body is materialized directly through God's Will. My body is the crystalized Will of God. You can become directly conscious of that. Since you are creating your body, otherwise you could not see it.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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@Leo Gura When You say God You mean Source of Consciousness. 

Just so People do not have misconception That ego self creates.

Yeah still need to become concious of this. 

What I have glimpse of is That What ever happens is What is Perfect for my ego self and creation as whole. 

State desires and allow Consciousness to re configure. 

Edited by zeroISinfinity

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What I am really having problem with is That my ego self is really humble and can't accept gift. Having such internal turmoil because of it. 

Forced to really deeply self reflect and question literally everything. 

Also this pressures me to have kinda big Selfless desires which Will bring high cost for That ego self. It really is big dillema. 

Will be torn apart without a question. 

Edited by zeroISinfinity

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I lived in a state of complete no-self for about two months. In that state, I wasn't the one looking through the eyes, there was no one looking at all. There was only the scene. It was complete bliss. I was/still am ignorant. I still have a lot of programming to undo. So, I would say that the levels of happiness that you can reach are completely irrelevant to your level of understanding. I would say that the more you understand, the harder it is for you to feel the bliss. Happiness is mostly dependent on surrendering/acceptance of the present moment. You don't need any special knowledge to do that, you just surrender and stop wanting to control/change/manipulate anything. I'm still not sure though, because my awakening started with a series of strong traumatic events that stroke the ego really hard that there was nothing else to do but to surrender. Suffering was key to my awakening.

Here's what I realised in that state:

  • Infinite beauty; I could look at a garbage can and see the beauty of it. Every "mundane" thing was beautiful. My heart was breaking everytime I looked at something for sometime. It was filled with love. I asked some people if they could see the same thing, and they couldn't. Now I can't either. I'm very disconnected right now.
  • Infinite divinity; I'm not sure it's very different from the former, but it's like everything and everyone is sacred and must be how they are. Nothing needs to be changed at all.
  • Infinite love; I don't wanna talk mystical nonsense or rational explanations, I'll just tell you that I got beaten up by a stranger and I could still feel the love for him. I felt petty for him as he had such a strong ego. The whole thing happened in like 10 seconds. I didn't know how to react, I responded to his attack at first with a punch to his face (old pattern), but then realised that there's no point in doing that, so I let go and let him do whatever he gotta do.
  • The true meaning of life; I was in a state of nihilism for a long time. However, one month into no-self, I realised the meaninglessness of meaninglessness, which was a very profound realisation.
  • Truth; although I would say there's still a lot more depth to it. I think it was just a surface level realisation. This realisation grows by the day, and I realise more facets of Truth every now and then.

All of this happened without any super understanding of reality. I would say that I now understand reality a lot more than before and I still don't feel the same. My lifestyle is very different now. Back then I was unemployed, I had no internet access almost at all. I stopped hanging out with anyone almost completely. I barely talked a few words a day. I used to meditate at least for 4-5 hours a day.

So, yeah, lifestyle is a very important factor I guess.

Edited by Truth Addict

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@Leo Gura I May only Guess That your desire is Selfless too and pretty much You are gathering angels but with What cause I do not know.

It is Good and Selfless that's for sure or You wouldn't have access to Absolute. 

Goodness for all. 

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23 minutes ago, zeroISinfinity said:

 

What I am really having problem with is That my ego self is really humble and can't accept gift. Having such internal turmoil because of it. 

 

Humbleness is a defense mechanism the ego uses for dealing with life’s unpredictability. Riding the waves is fully embracing self whatever may arise, transforming that of fear or resistance to maintain a state of allowance 

@Truth Addict I did not read all but wow cool

12 minutes ago, Truth Addict said:

Happiness is mostly dependent on surrendering/acceptance of the present moment.

Which is constantly affected by our beliefs, some of which need chang if Unaccepted 

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1 minute ago, DrewNows said:

Which is constantly affected by our beliefs, some of which need chang if Unaccepted 

Reality kicks beliefs' asses. That's what it did to mine :D

But yeah, if it gives you the luxury to choose, then why not?

Change what you can change, and accept what you can't.

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57 minutes ago, zeroISinfinity said:

When You say God You mean Source of Consciousness. 

If you have to ask "What do you mean by God?" you are not conscious of what God is.

Yes, God is Consciousness, but that doesn't mean you're conscious of God.

God is God and cannot be reduced to any other insight. God is not anything else but God. The insight of God is very distinctive. You'll know it only when you become it.

If you don't know what God is, just be honest with yourself that you don't know, rather than playing mind games.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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God is Love. That's What Consciousness is Pure infinite Limitless Love. 

No distinctions no separations. Literally. 

You get insight of existential Nature of Reality by becoming it. 

@DrewNows It really purifies your mind completely, no egotism, You get deeply humbled down to the core and You feel like filthy devil. These feeling later get lost by more entrance into "black hole". 

What is happening to me currently is That I do not have to enter black hole, I am starting to dissolve in midst of every Day life. But in all cases I get back as this particular idea. 

It's wierd. This become so wierd. 

Anyways love You guys. 

Answer to Leo, this probably means I am forced to embody this qualities as person too. Problem is That I was like that as person before and never turn Good. (in relative sense like it matters any way now) 

What Selfless idea for Good of all I Can Come up with and create it. Deep and big question. What would God using human vessel do? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

For example, are you conscious right now of how Universal Mind is materializing your physical body

A future video?

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