Forums > Social Discussion > Existance.... Necessary? or a choice?

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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Location: Brisbane, Australia

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Posted:Hey there humans... enjoying '08?
IN ADVANCE i'd like to apologise for the length of this, i hope you guys can bother getting through it all.

lately i've been pondering on something you've probably all gone over once or twice before, that is the need for existance. i know that the topic is impossible to resolve (so far in our advancement), so i shall put forth my reasoning, and hope you all have some constructive input.

i understand the process of how we got here (or the basics as explained by todays science)(i hope we all agree on the big bang theory), but i am puzzled as to our purpose.
my most sensible conclusion is that life is utterly random (there was no concious decision for things to occur), and chance (things really just kinda fell into place through time and energy), so really our only purpose is to make things comfortable for ourselves until the universe tears itself apart.
i believe that life is unecessary (at very least to the individual), so i dont really take life all that seriously, im more or less here for personal enjoyment.

thats where the choice falls into play, because with my applied logic (although possibly amazingly flawed), i can only see an instinctual/atomic drive to survive... even for those microscopic single celled oganisms that grew into us in the first place.

ALTHOUGH, my question towards my above statements would be; "then why would there be the capacity to exist if there was no point in existance"? i guess you guys could maybe help me out on that too.

maybe i will make no sense to anyone, but hopefully you guys will figure out what im trying to say and respond. good luck smile

p.s. if you'd like me to explain any parts of this post in more detail, feel free to ask, as i feel i have left alot to be imagined, and already known through study of evoltion of the universe.

PEACE OUT! hug2


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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Total posts: 33
Posted:Dear Doc, thanks for your input.

I totally agree, i had felt that this concept had to be added to this thread, yet i wouldnt have been able to construct is as well as you did, so thanks again.
i only have thing that i think can be added to this.

our current set of 5 senses is all that we are capable of utilising to understand and control our surroundings, and unless we evolve (or mutate?) extra senses this is all humanity can hope to use. therefore to us, this is as real as it gets. this is our narrowed down version of reality, but seeing that we are only a fragment of the universe... is it only our desire to control and know everything that makes us wish to absorb more? do we want to be gods, or atleast know what it is to be gods?


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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Total posts: 33
Posted:hey Rouge Dragon... thanks 4 the link.

i didnt know about this study method before, its fascinating! maybe this code will explain some important (At least to us) questions we have been asking for along time... or maybe its just our genetics way of protecting us from radical mutation... i dont know, and im sure until we have mapped atleast a decent portion of these introns, i dont feel anyone can claim anything. but i know that i will definantly be keeping my eye out for any information released to the public on this subject.

i appreciate you adding this link, you have given me a new topic of interest! biggrin


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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Posted:To 87wt2gxq7

all i can say is that was entertaining... i neither agree or object to the topic, and i dont think anyone can yet.

thankx


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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Total posts: 33
Posted:il correct that... substitute "can yet", with "should yet"

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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Posted:Stone, that is probably the best concept that we should follow until we know more...

here's to remaining blissfully unaware in the meantime beerchug

if only...


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:Let me be bold and straightforward: Existence is a necessary choice.

Q: "why?"
A: "foolish question... why not?"
Q: "well it hurts and is packed with suffering!"
A: "if it hurts it means it's still alive and suffering is a concept. You never ever had fun in your life? Never laughed about a joke? Never felt the warmth of a hug, tasted the sweetness of a kiss? Experienced the shelter of a warm home in winter, the love of a dear person? You can't just peel the cherries of the whipped cream topping, hence you don't have to eat the ceramic plate along with the cake. Pain is there to remind you of the joy there is in the little things."
Q: "but what for?"
A: "that's a much smarter question, how 'bout: 'just for the heck of it?' Supposedly not good enough for an answer...

Let me ask you in reverse: Is it that your existence is providing you with enough capabilities to sustain yourself and more time than you need? Is it that your existence gives you the chance you elevate your self over the mere process of survival and care for topics that say ppl from the stone age never even dreamt of?

I can't talk about YOU and what YOUR existence is about, this you can only answer for your self, other than that you may want to either join the military or Scientology, they will provide you with answers to questions you have never asked."


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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BAS231187
GOLD Member since Nov 2006

BAS231187

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Posted:Heres is a thought for you.



A lot of people are defining our existence by what we can sense.



The salvia trip I had by most peoples definition, wasnt real. (I was really just lying in my room staring at the roof) I hadnt really fallen in to another universe. But I could still use all my senses to define the new universe. my eyes showed patterns that expanded when I touched them, I felt how smooth they were, my balance said I was falling, my ears heard my voice as I let out a genuine wow! of amazement.



I genuinely believed all that was real for the 5 or so minutes that I was heavily intoxicated. Id forgotten what was real (hence no past or future) and so wasnt able to just dismiss this universe as being drug induced. I just existed in this very small universe with no real purpose. Hence on coming back to this universe I maintained the thought that it had no purpose.



But here is the main point of this post: if it wasnt for the fact I "woke up"(matrix esk) from my trip, what would stop it from being real.



Quote from Albert Einstein

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."



If my trip had been more persistent/permanent, is it reality??? if i woke up from this universe in to another one, would this one not have been reality ???



hehe getting your own universe is such a cool experience. meditate

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BAS231187
GOLD Member since Nov 2006

BAS231187

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Posted: Written by: FireTom


A: "that's a much smarter question, how 'bout: 'just for the heck of it?' Supposedly not good enough for an answer... "



haha that is my answer every time some one asks me why i jumped out of a fully functioning aircraft


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:beerchug cheers

 Written by:

The salvia trip I had by most peoples definition, wasnt real.



Well, Id have to agree wink

Here is another Albert Einstein quote:

 Written by:

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty, Albert Einstein



If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Posted:Mr. FireTom, you have made my day. thankyou for your 'bold and straighforward' approach in responding to the main topic... you have enforced my opinion, along with others i am sure, on the 'choice' we are all making being a part of this realm. thankx hug2

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isol8ed
SILVER Member since Jan 2008

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Posted:BAS231187, stop rubbing it in about the lack of salvia over here ubblol it sucks... i am intrigued by this "isolation" experience it seems to have on some people (from what ive heard). how well do you retain your memories of the "trip"? are they vivid, or more like waking after a big night?

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isol8ed
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Posted:this albert gentleman you speak of sounds like a smart man, i could be wrong though... wink that is a powerful quote

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FireTom


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Posted:forget my mumbling, I'm sending garbled messages out every now and them.



Is existence necessary to experience the unnecessary to finally return to the essential?



Remember flirting with someone just for no obvious reasons? Life might just be like that and perhaps this is not the first universe of all (as much as it might not be the last one). Hence it's the only one that matters now (by that serving well as an analogy to life and reincarnation).



If we'd already be happy with ourselves alone, our existence wouldn't be necessary to prove us that we can be... ?



Asking "why" can be a little helper to determine the "what for" but it's oriented backwards... I'm still pondering upon which question would specify the "here and now".... ? Any idea? [/edit]



wink


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:I think given our evolved faculties, the point of our existence is to bring order out of chaos. Additionally, I think only people living in extremely comfortable (probably too comfortable) countries could actually think life is meaningless (ie you dont care about anything) so doing whatever you want is actually your purpose.



if a drug hallucination isn't real, you must also think a computer program isnt real. Both are just patterns of meaning existing in a matrix of circuits.



the hallucination might not have been particularly functional from an evolutionary perspective (or indeed it could have played a fundamental role in the development of consciousness...) but thats different.



"am I real?"



Ask that kind of question to a zen monk and receive a friendly slap in the face in response.



"does that hurt?"



maybe a more relevant related question could be;



"Is being completely selfish and indulgent actually wrong?"

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FireTom


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Posted:ubbidea wow that's the answer I was looking for, Josh ubblol

So simple... shrug embrace Zen hug

wink


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Hi Pyro,



I think you may be confusing meaning in life with creating wealth in life.



Im not sure that many people take advantage of their evolved faculties, as opposed to evolved wealth, seeing as the world is still in a state of chaos and war. Which, to me seems to indicate that we are still living an un-evolved life, rather than an evolved life. Un-evolved being completely selfish and indulgent.



Id suggest we place far to much emphasis on making meaning out of life, as we seem to attach some kind of made up meaning to every thing we do. From a Buddhist perspective, its only when you understand that life is empty and meaningless that you can move on. Thats one reason why Buddha rejected the notion of supreme beings. Like, we had to make a meaning out of life so we made up all powerful supreme beings to give meaning to out lives. Which, according to Buddhism, is a red herring.



Id suggest that some hallucinogens can give us a healthy kick of self-realsiation. However, a hallucination is a sensory experience, that does not exist outside the mind. So, in that respect we are still prisoners of the mind.





cheers juggle


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:BTW, Fire Tom,



congratulations on finding the answer you were looking for;



embrace Zen (Buddhism).





cheers smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

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Posted:yes - meaning exists in the mind, however I don't think its accurate to say that as it only exists in the realm of the mind that it is unimportant. Our thoughts lead to actions, and our actions have impacts on our environment.



For example, do you think that if George Bush had different ideas/ values the un-evolved chaotic world we live in would be the same? Or to an even greater extent, imagine if we could impart on the entireity of human kind a stronger level of empathy - would the world we live in continue to be un-evolved.



Perhaps the buddhists are on about inherent meaning? ie nothing has inherent meaning?



PS please define evolved weath vs evolved meaning

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FireTom


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Posted:[*sigh*]

How do you know about a Buddhists perspective, if yourself ain't no Buddhist? umm

If you're so much focussed on war and chaos that it dominates your perception, maybe you should inquire within your own mind, where this focus or valuation comes from. BTW how much chaos and war is prevalent in Melbourne to provoke this? Last time I visited it seemed like a pretty organised and peaceful place to me - either it has drastically changed, or you have been undertaken some travelling that slipped my attention.

I side you and Buddha on "supreme beings", hence "life is empty and meaningless"... does this statement apply to your life? Man, I would need some volunteers over here....


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Pryo, for some people thoughts lead to actions, but for most of us our thoughts are just thoughts. To quote an old proverb A ton of thought, is worth an ounce of action. To quote a newer proverb Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).



George Bush didnt have different ideas. The people of American voted in George Bush because he represented the opinion of America at the time. And, they voted him in for a second term in office. Not much empathy there.



I agree with what you say about empathy. A stronger level of empathy will lead to an evolved world. But thats the crux. How do we increase the level of empathy? You are right in that we have to overcome our programming (matrix of circuits), in this case our primitive survival programming. However, I think it takes more than a silver bullet.



So, what are your suggestions to increasing empathy?



You are probably right on inherent meaning. Life has no meaning, so make up stories to give our lives meaning. Once we understand that, then we can move on and develop our evolved faculties.



I think I misunderstood what you were saying about people living in wealthy countries. I suppose what I was getting at is many see evolving wealth as giving meaning to their lives.



Hope that makes sense smile











Fire Tom, you dont have to be Buddhist (become a Mitra or whatever) to understand Buddhism. Thats the beauty of Buddhism.



People are often quoting Zen. I think it has something to do with them seeing something in Zen philosophy, that isnt available in western religions. So, I dont see your problem with looking to Buddhism for answers.



Words are very powerful. You said you found the answer in Zen, then I believe you. Now you say something else, I believe you. Though, this can be difficult to follow, as you seem full of contradictions.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stone
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Posted:And Fire Tom, as far as the war and chaos that it dominates my perception goes. I suggest u look up the Bali Bombing!

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


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Posted:Dude, I planned to go prior and have been to Bali 2 weeks after the first bombing and a week after the second, what are you specifically referring to? I met loads of ppl who lost friends and family and who themselves narrowly escaped the bombing... what are you specifically referring to, by mentioning this? I also have been to Thailand and India after the Tsunami and met ppl who lost their friends and family in this tragedy... what are you referring to?



Do you live an ascetics life? You ever did? If no, how can you speak about a "Buddhists perspective"? It's like a guy talking about pregnancy... I didn't, so I can't talk about it.



As a matter of fact most "Buddhists" I met are throwing out "smartass comments" and specifically of some kind they never experienced themselves, but only got told or read about. I can't call it "wisdom" nor "knowledge" nor "giving advice" - I can only call it "phrase milling" wink



You sense some contradictions in my approaches, I would say you're right. And what's your trouble with contradictions? Never contradicted your self? To me, life is full of contradictions, maybe contradiction is the start and the very foundation of the universe and life... ever thought about it this way? On a sidenote: I overcame duality by embracing it.



I feel deeply sorry that for the past weeks we're in opposition to each other, but maybe this opposition leads to very fruitful discussions and discourses, which others can benefit from...



Would you accept that different ppl have a different purpose in life? Thus if everybody would just sit and meditate all day every day, we would all die from dehydration and starvation? Chop wood, carry water...



Why actively manipulate the level of empathy? Why forcing it? Would you say that suffering increases the level of empathy or would it be diminished?



You don't accept the world and life as it is, so how can you expect the world and life to accept you the way you are? You focus on the world and see chaos and war, others focus on the world and see perfect order and love... The truth must be somewhere in the middle, wouldn't you agree?



To me "why" = past, "what for" = future. Which question refers to the "present"?


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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

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Posted: Written by: FireTom


The truth must be somewhere in the middle, wouldn't you agree?


hug Thank you, lets use what buddhism can/has taught us in all things, not just opinion wink

On the actual topic is existence necessary or a choice I see this as two questions really so I'll answer separately.

Existence on a universal scale is certinly not a choice, but I don't think necessary cuts it either, for now it is merely mandatory.

On an individual scale it entirely depends on the individual concerned. Where do you define your own purpose? How do you define purpose? I find simply existing and experiencing everything my little corner of existence has to throw at me is my purpose. And I like it. I can see how some people wouldn't be content with that, and needless to say everyone finds purpose in one thing or another, and I hope everyone enjoys theirs as much as I do.

Necessary or a choice?
Existence in its entirity is necessary, how we use it on a human scale is the choice.
smile


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Stout
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Stout

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Posted: Written by: FireTom


As a matter of fact most "Buddhists" I met are throwing out "smartass comments" and specifically of some kind they never experienced themselves, but only got told or read about. I can't call it "wisdom" nor "knowledge" nor "giving advice" - I can only call it "phrase milling" wink




This has been my experience with Buddhists too. In fact it's even led to me forming the opinion that even Buddhists don't really understand Buddhism. Every time I ask a Buddhist to either explain Buddhism or even a certain aspect of Buddhism that they feel attracted to, I'm either met with esoteric gibberish or a kind of evasion that leads me to believe that the person expressing the Buddhism doesn't really get it.

IMO...Stone is an exception to the case. Stone the way you talk Buddhism makes perfect sense,, to me at least. Take skilled/unskilled as an example. I read your explanation of this concept and walk away thinking...Well duh ? of course, isn't it obvious ? Yet I've never heard anyone, even my now ex-Buddhist buddy, the guy who used to spend a month in an Ashram in India every year talk about Buddhism in this way and I've talked to him about this quite a bit. FYI, he now rejects Buddhism as "just a label" and then gets all evasive again.

Stone...did you mentioned the Bali bombings as an example of unskilled behaviour based on belief ? If so, I agree, belief is responsible for most of the unskilled behaviour on the planet today. That and the ego saying I WANT..I WANT ! It's those two factors, the ego and belief, that give us countless examples of the sort of general weirdness that stand in the way of our species ever forming the kind of societies that we all idealise. ( well, most of us anyway )

We're all pretty much on the same page here on HoP, kinda leftish, but with the insight into what being really left is all about, and just how annoying it really is.

One thing I can't understand about on this thread is the definition of existence. Do you mean as life forms? As in why isn't this planet just a dead rock like the Mars ?

Is it an inquiry into the proverbial question "why are we here?" implying that there might be some "higher purpose" desired by some "higher entity" who has concerns over our thoughts and actions as humans.

BurdaA...good question How do you define purpose? especially in a secular context. This whole idea of enjoying life as being a purpose is really just egotism wrapped up in semi spiritual lingo, really. BTW, I'm saying that as an atheist and I'm as guilty of egotism as anybody else.


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Thanks Stout, positive feedback is as refreshing as a summer breeze. Good points on existence. Ive been taking the higher purpose approach. I think our purpose in life is to reach our full potential as human beings. I think I got the higher purpose ideal from my Christian upbringing, though somewhere along the way I lost faith in higher beings.



The alternative theory on purpose in life seems to come from the hedonist (psychological egoism) school, which is attractive. So, I was wondering where did this drive for a higher purpose came from in the first place. Why not just enjoy life as it is?



Now this is a bit off-topic, but as BAS and Pyro have already mentioned entheogens. I thought Id make a contribution on this theme. I was watching a SBS doco on TV last night called Tribe. The program was about the use of Iboga in ritual initiation into the Babanga tribe in Africa. It was a good 2 day ceremony, complete with fire dancers. During the initiation process the subject (commentator) explored memories, experienced loss of ego and got to understand the consequences of his past actions, especially on the people around him. Iboga is sometimes referred to as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the bible. While I was taught the eating of the tree caused the fall of humankind, others (Gnostics) see the serpent as a liberator of humanity, and the tree being a guide for the enlightenment of humankind. Something to think about.





I brought up the Bali bombing because Fire Tom asked about the chaos and war is my part of the world. The Bali bombing was very close to home for Australians, and many Australians were killed by the bombs. Perhaps this is not a good analogy, but at the time some commentators compared it to a mini 9/11. I agree with the cause being unskilled behaviour based on belief. But I think the unskilled behaviour also comes from the west, as terrorism seems to be driven by hate, anger and frustration.





Fire Tom, we all have different purposes in life, but many (not all) seem to be seeking purpose in life. I dont think its about everybody sitting around meditating all day every day, but if everybody meditated everyday, say for 30 minutes. Then for sure, the world would be a better place. By meditation, I mean mindfulness meditation and Metta (generating loving kindness).



Cheers smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


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Posted:What Bali taught me is that there is as much uncertain about these bombings as is about 9/11 and about the uncertainty of life, plus throwing the question at me: Is life governed by chance or by justice?

As every individual has their talents, why not actively helping ppl to find out which these strengths are and ways how to develop them? I agree fully when you say: If all ppl would meditate 30 minutes a day, the world would be a better place. But you'll never be able to make it mandatory, it has to come from within.

Only recently I had a student, who just resented to any approach I took teaching her Poi. She repeatedly said that she'd hate herself and would be unable to learn this. She's been the worst student I ever had in terms of simply not doing anything I told her to. Finally I asked her about her relationship to her dad and that's when it suddenly all fell into place. She'll most likely not be able to receive tuition (from a male teacher) until she removes her resentment against (a male teacher doing) it.

I dunno about "the full potential of mankind" and most likely it's simply the carrot in front of the donkeys nose, pulling the "Mahayana"... very often on top of this "big chariot" gurus and masters are sitting, smiling at existence (and why shouldn't they? I might do the same in their position)... they do know that they get spared the longest, even if they'd be the root cause of suffering. Which is what "practicable psychology" is all about: a "skilled way" to bamboozle others and get what you want (i.e. "how to make friends and influence people")

Master: "Go and save mankind."
Scholar: "But Master, I need to learn much more to do that, let me complete my studies and I will."
Master: "In the meantime bring me a butter croissant and a cappuccino."

You ask the highly impossible favour, only to then ask what you really want.

Pilgrim: "I will climb this big big mountain of knowledge and wisdom to reach enlightenment."
Wise old man: "But you have far too much material possessions on you, the way is steep and dangerous. You will stumble and fall, or you will get exhausted half way and you'll have to turn around without reaching the peak."
Pilgrim: "You're right, may I leave them with you then?"

I suggest you undertake some travel in India (the origin of Buddhism) to understand the mechanics of it's religions (not that it's very much different with other religions). Of course everybody wants to live on the sunny side, less want to learn the skills to get there, few finally reach their destination and most of those only realize that they've "been there already".

So I suggest whenever it's about a "higher purpose" one should ask who directly benefits from it. Same with tragedies like the ones mentioned.

The world is in chaos (even without any human contributing to it), it's dark night. I'm sitting in my car (body), driving on the highway (life) when another car approaches, headbeams on... The more I glance at it's lights, the less I see my own track.

I have the primary focus on my own light and slowly polish my own lamps, that's all I can rally do in life.

Instead of setting another highly unlikely goal, one could start utilizing the space presently available... Brings me back to address my question:

Which question refers to the present?


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Thanks for you advice Fire Tom. I have thought about going to India, and perhaps after reading about your humerous accounts I will. I studied western Buddhism for about a year and a half. Which was great, no dogma no crap. Then I found out there was an integrity issue with their leader.

I agree, actively helping people to develop their strengths is an excellent idea, and perhaps we need more of that type of thinking in our education systems. Though, as a good teacher, you observed that resentment from the past, and not your education technique, was holding your student back. So to me, personal development is dealing with the issues that are holding us back. For some, there is a need to resolve these issues before they can develop their true potential and skills.

Im not suggesting we make meditation mandatory, because as you say, it has to come from within. So the better example we set for others in life, then the more people will see something in it for themselves. I know, I dont always practice what I preach wink

I like the humour in your cynicism, and for sure I have never experienced anything like seeing the "Mahayana"... very often on top of this "big chariot" gurus and masters are sitting, smiling at existence getting pulled around by donkeys while eating croissants and drinking coffee. Its a very funny description. Though, Id suggest they lack integrity if they are the root cause of suffering, and are probably not as smart as they think.

Who benefits from perusing a higher purpose in life? I do Fire Tom. Im not against paying for education. Ive paid for tennis coaching and Ive paid for life coaching. I dont have a problem with that. Though, as you say, there are plenty of scammers out there.

So my question is are you speaking from your observations of these scammers or are you speaking from your personal experience of having undertaken personal development? Because there is a lot of difference. Who is to say that the Pilgrim who leaves his goods with the Master has not made the right decision and reaches his goal? Bty, that story reminds me of the Eye of the Camel parable in the bible.

As far a driving at nigh goes, dont look at the lights of oncoming cars as they will blind you. Instead, look to the side of the road. I used to polish my own lights, but the biggest breakthrough Ive had in life was to become coachable.

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Which question refers to the present?



That depends. Is the present you are living into your past of your future? If you are living into your past then things will remain as they are. For example, your Poi student will be living into her past until she learns how to deal with that past situation and move on. Then she will be living into her future, and will reach her full potential with Poi or whatever she wants to do.

smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Stone...I'll say hedonism's attractive too although after a while it looses it's gloss, at least it did for me. I figure the whole higher purpose arises among those following self directed spiritual paths out of a fear of acknowledging that "this is it"

There's a certain amount of appeal...Ok a great deal of appeal, in believing that something, anything is going to happen to "you" in what amounts to your perspective on the afterlife, be it ascending to the stars and being one with the universe or being reborn as a dolphin.

And if you couple that idea, with the belief that one's mental/emotional/spiritual musings have a direct effect on the material world ( The Secret ) then one can naturally conclude that there's something out there, and it MUST have a plan for you.

I'm fairly new to the whole iboga issue, but I do know this guy from another board who did a trip ( haha ) to Africa to experience what iboga could "teach him" and swears by his experience. Story here

Unskilled behaviour in the west??...but of course. there's unskilled absolutely everywhere. I've even been known to indulge in it myself, but only against those who really deserve it, like telemarketers and Scientology recruiters. wink


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Stout, Id still call the people on self-directed spiritual paths hedonists. Call it, psychological egoism if you like, its all about me. To me, being reborn a dolphin is just the ego talking. There is no rebirth, and no understanding of the true self.



I used to have that feeling that there must be a plan for me. These days, Im more inclined to think we create our own future. Its been a while since I watched the Secret. My recollection is that the Secret was about empowering people. I think many people watch the Secret and think it is just about creating wealth. From my understanding, it was more about helping people realize their true potential. Then you can create wealth or get the relationship of your dreams or what ever. Id suggest the secret of the Secret is ontology.



Ive done some mycology, and I love stories about enthogens. Ask me about St Anthonys Fire some time. I think the weekend warrior in the story got what he paid for, and you cant buy enlightenment. The guy in Tribe story lived with the forest people for over a month before they considered instantiation him.



Its good you only get into those that really deserver it .lol.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by: Stone

Id still call the people on self-directed spiritual paths hedonists



this would include ALL prophets, Zoroaster, Aaron, Mose, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed...

ALL spiritual paths started with the first step, one self-directed individual. I'm afraid I have to say, you seem not to see the forest, because of all the trees.

Wealth still is a synonym for "successful spirituality at work". It might be erroneous but very common - others have proven that being a saint, wearing nice garments and living in a beautiful house don't necessarily contradict each other. It's a choice... and as every choice, it's necessary.

wink


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the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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