UnbornTao

Playing With Perspectives

471 posts in this topic

The purpose of this journal is to share perspectives on life, personal empowerment and reality, to increase personal clarity, and to improve my communication skills both in English and in general. I'll also add a bit of humour here and there.

My hope is that the content here is insightful and inspiring, albeit short, and that it helps you consider new things.

Edited by UnbornTao

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The pursuit of pleasure is itself a form of suffering.

It is based on the sense that your experience is not OK as it is right now.

Edited by UnbornTao

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“If you want to be happy, be.” - Leo Tolstoy.

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Meaning is invented and applied, never inherent. 

Perceiving things as they relate to you, you may as well conclude or infer that meaning is found in them. However, contemplate anything (an object, feeling, thought) for itself. What something is transcends meaning. For a tree, what is its meaning?

Being is prior to meaning.

That something is invented doesn’t undermine its function, value nor influence. It just means that meaning isn’t existential — it isn’t ultimately true.

Edited by UnbornTao

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In evaluating “spiritual” teachers.

Are they:

  • honest, clear, straightforward?
  • authentic and coming from personal experience, or just pretending and putting on an act?
  • communicating in other to facilitate others' understanding, or looking to entertain and to be believed tacitly?

This should remove most candidates.

Many charlatans are engaged in spiritual talk. Whether you like and agree with what they say or whether it sounds good is irrelevant.

Don’t confuse charisma, smartness, social status, confidence or eloquence with direct consciousness and skill.

Edited by UnbornTao

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Either do something to change it or stop complaining.

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Openness without groundedness — you become airy-fairy, pretentious, superficial, unable to commit.

Groundedness without openness — you become closed-minded, unwilling to question and to entertain different possibilities.

Edited by UnbornTao

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“Why are you unhappy?

Because 99% of what you think, and of what you do

is for yourself — and there isn’t one.”

— Wei Wu Wei.

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Once beliefs are realized to be conceptual constructs, you may be tempted to take them as invalid or useless.

Although they're not existentially true but a thought about what’s assumed to be true, one's character, mind and behavior are still influenced by them.

Another strategy, rather than trying to get rid of them, is changing your relationship towards them.

Beliefs can be held as one is aware of their invented nature.

Some pieces of advice: hold them as tools. Notice they are not true. Keep the positive, empowering ones and toss out the toxic, ineffective ones. Lastly, watch out for the possibility of falling into beliefs as if they are true.

Edited by UnbornTao

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Radical openness must be balanced with groundedness, otherwise you’ll lose your grip on reality. 

Remember to pay attention to your breathing. Relax, feel your body. Be grounded, solid. What are you experiencing right now? Try to get in touch with that. Exercise. Do mechanical, physical work. And rest.

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Ramblings on honesty

Honesty is about the truth. Clearly, it serves whatever is true, not yourself. Honesty as a practice demands continuously moving in the direction of what's true. What you want is mostly going to be inconsistent with what the principle demands, so your self may resist following through. That's where the power of the principle resides. If you commit to it, it must transform you.

Spiritual people take on all kind of doctrines and cosmologies. Honesty is taken for granted and at worst ignored. If you want a profound practice that will kick your ass, that's the one. Use honesty as a spiritual practice. 

———

If you don't know the truth, how honest can you be?

Self-honesty is primary. Before demanding it from others, make sure that you're being as rock-bottom honest with yourself as possible.

When we consider that the fundamental concern of a self is survival, we can see how truth is delegated to second place and is distorted in order to meet one's self-agenda. At that point, "truth" stops being about pursuing what is and becomes a manipulation that serves you -- a phenomenon also called corruption.

———

Honesty is like a fire that extinguishes all your lies, phoniness, confusion, manipulations, and pretension. When your practice deepens, remaining honest can be scary at times as you may be attached to a lot of false "stuff" that was a dear part of yourself. You have to let them go.

———

Honesty simplifies your expression. Direct language is used. You are tasked to carefully observe your experience and then describe it objectively: red car, hurt, concept, computer, manipulation, communication. No distortion is added on your part. The principle has to be applied to everything else.

Find out what's true and express it as it is. That's the challenge.

When we are kids, we are naturally open, sensitive and innocent. As adults, many of us dismiss transparency as innocent, childish and a weakness as it shows yourself as open, vulnerable. We learn to lie in sophisticated ways. Openness, however, may in fact be a positive trait after all, contrary to our culturally-shared assumption. Being open increases intimacy, empowers learning, and allows for increased clarity and sensitivity.

Edited by UnbornTao

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“Our life-transformation is in exact proportion to the amount of truth we can take without running away.”

— Vernon Howard.

To the degree you let honesty rule your life is the degree it will transform you.

Edited by UnbornTao

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The more consciousness, the less fear.

Edited by UnbornTao

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Openness demands identifying one's own assumptions and beliefs and setting them aside for the purpose of contemplation, which is honestly and genuinely seeking out the truth of some matter for yourself.

Be open to the possibility that the following may be assumptions:

  • Self
  • Mind
  • Reality
  • Others
  • Meaning
  • Emotions
  • Space
  • Time
  • Experience
  • Perception
  • Objects (objective reality)

By assumptions, it is meant a conceptual construction, something invented or adopted by you, not existentially true.

Start questioning what those elements above are.

Edited by UnbornTao

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When not-knowing is the case, which is always, beliefs are invented and adopted in order to cover up one's fundamental ignorance on the matter.

Doing so makes us feel better, at least temporarily, even with the nagging sense it might be a pretension. But despite our best attempts to the contrary, in our experience we still don't know the most fundamental things, no matter how fervently we latch onto a thought (belief).

Edited by UnbornTao

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An assumption is held as real, it isn't recognized to be an assumption but appears as "reality" for you. It is held in such a way that it isn't recognized as something that's assumed by you.

---

Assumptions are unrecognized, "hidden" beliefs.

They are held as reality and are more challenging to cognize than beliefs. As with the eyes, their function is to observe from them, not to look at them – you operate from assumptions.

"Reality" for us is most likely a set of existential assumptions that we've come to believe and now are attached to due to cultural programming.

Edited by UnbornTao

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What's the difference between being abstract and being free by collapsing (removing) distinctions?

Edited by UnbornTao

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New learning is useful, but so is unlearning what is untrue and ineffective. 

Balance the subtle dynamic between addition and subtraction.

Clarify an obscure matter so that its essence is left open, pristine, lucid, without interference, just to be seen.

Edited by UnbornTao

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Are temporary things easily achievable in contrast to the perennial, atemporal or timeless?

What's instantly achievable is often temporary. The longer the time horizon, the harder it is to get. 

Good things require development over time:

  • Gratification vs satisfaction
  • Pleasure vs happiness
  • Distraction vs focus
  • Indulgence vs patience
Edited by UnbornTao

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Pursuing happiness is an assessment of unhappiness. The search itself is based on its lack.

Stop pursuing happiness. Be happy instead.

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