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Invisibleredtailedhawk
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The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda)
    #5386694 - 03/10/06 06:57 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Recently I noticed that all major religions - including practice described by Carlos Castaneda - share one comment element. They all see the sense of self (Ego, pride, vanity) as the worst enemy one has to face on the path of self-discovery, knowing God or enlightenment.

BUDDHISM

"Buddhism stresses the importance of shedding the ego, the sense of a self-identity. Pride is seen as not letting go of this sense of self. The Diamond Sutra explains that one cannot reach enlightenment without letting go of this sense of self and pride." --Diamond Sutra, Beliefnet

CHRISTIANITY

"According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind." --C.S. Lewis, Beliefnet


ISLAM

"Islam teaches that pride is what caused the downfall of Iblis, the devil in Islam, when he refused to obey God's commandment to prostrate himself before Adam.The Qur'an explains in several verses that Allah disapproves of arrogance. "And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster (Surah 31:18)," it states." --Qur'an, Beliefnet

CASTANEDA'S TEACHINGS

"Self-importance is the force generated by man's self-image. For this reason, the thrust of the warrior's way is to dethrone self-importance. And everything sorcerers do is toward accomplishing this goal." --Carlost Castaneda, Power of Silence

PRACTICAL POINT IN ALL THIS

This all sounds nice and philosophical and of no real importance to our everyday life's. That's what I thought about it anyway. Now this all changed recently. I've started to embark on the journey of healing by the use of psychedelic (transpersonal) psychotherapy, which is still practiced underground by numerous therapists and groups who follow the map and doctrine of famous psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, who has been doing this kind of work for more than three decades.

It is generally acceptable fact that during the course of this kind of therapy comes a point where one must face total ego annihilation (not just an experience of 'death' and going onto the afterlife). Grof explains this as follows:

"The ego death involves an experience of the destruction of everything that the subject is, possesses, or is attached to. Its essential characteristics are a sense of total annihilation on all imaginable levels, loss of all systems of relation and reference, and destruction of the objective world. In the final stages, the subjects have to face and confront experiences, situations and circumstances that are unacceptable or even unimaginable to them." --Grof, LSD Psychotherapy

Once this is faced and integrated, the individual is free from all pathologies such as anxieties, depressions, is constantly aware of the beauty all around him, feels incredible compassion for all fellow human beings, etc. What really dies in the process is the notion of frightened false self - the Ego that we have been identifying with our entire lives.

What Grof also noted in his work "Beyond the Brain" was that if one has closed-in on this experience but never fully went through it, funny things start to happen.

"It has happened on number of occasions that various dangerous events and circumstances started to accumulate in the lives of the subjects who in their LSD sessions were approaching the experience of ego death. And, conversely, they cleared up in an almost magical way when this process was completed. It seemed as if these individuals had to face, for some reason, the experience of annihilation, but they had the choice of doing so in a symbolic way in the inner world or facing it in reality." -Grof, Beyond the Brain

So it seems that Ego death can be faced while still 'alive' or at the latest by dying for real. The practical point I'm trying to make is that we will all face it at one time or another. We will all die. There is no way out of it. It seems that there isn't only darkness and oblivion into nothing when we die. We must first shed our skins.

People who are having the most problems with this process (in LSD psychotherapy anyway) are the ones who have developed a strong sense of self and who are full of pride. You can imagine the suffering one endures then when his ego is dissolving then. What's also interesting is what Bible has to say about punishment in Hell for those whose sin was pride: they ('re ego) will be broken on the wheel (before they enter haven).

So from the practical point of view, it is good to develop humility and loose the sense of self-importance and identification with the ego. Not only for those on the spiritual path and seeking more meaningful life, but for all of us who want the transition of death (symbolic or real) to be as painless as possible.

CASTANEDA - AGAIN

Now how does one go about doing that? Castaneda (Don Juan) goes on to say

"Self-importance is a monster that has three thousand heads. And one can face up to it and destroy it in any of three ways. The first way is to sever each head one at a time; the second is to reach that mysterious state of being called the place of no pity, which destroys self-importance by slowly starving it; and the third is to pay for the instantaneous annihilation of the three-thousand-headed monster with one's symbolic death. Consider yourself fortunate if you get the chance to choose. For it is the spirit that usually determines which way the sorcerer is to go, and it is the duty of the sorcerer to follow." --Castaneda, Power of Silence

I believe the 'symbolic death' can be understood as the final ego death in psychedelic psychotherapy, but how about the other ones? I would love to hear from different religion views or your personal experience on this. How to develop humbleness and slowly starve the sense of self and self-importance? What do you think would be the most practical way for any of these options?


--------------------

"Who are you who live in all these many forms? You're death that captures all. You too are the source of all that's gonna be born. You're glory, mercy, peace, truth. You give calm a spirit, understanding, courage, the contented heart."


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: redtailedhawk]
    #5386976 - 03/10/06 08:48 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

a strong belief that a separation exists between the body and the world, and possibly between the body and the self, sometimes extended to postulation of a separate soul beyond the self.
it is one thing, not 2,3 or 4.


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Offlineleery11
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5387177 - 03/10/06 09:56 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

you say ego dissolution is hardest for the prideful, but what of the fearful?

It seems like I should have had ego death the night I tripped out really bad on weed (really really bad) and I have the opportunity to do mescaline soon.

I'm reluctant to go into ego death or even approach it though....

you say you are undergoing psychedelic psychoterhapy..... on your own or have you found practitioners? If so you obviously couldn't divulge their identities but how do you go about finding such people? It is something that I could use a handle on.

so can you meditate into ego loss on a moderate psychedelic dose, such as by focusing on the heart chakra or something of the sorts?


--------------------
I am the MacDaddy of Heimlich County, I play it Straight Up Yo!

....I embrace my desire to feel the rhythm, to feel connected enough to step aside and weep like a widow, to feel inspired, to fathom the power, to witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain, to swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human......
Om Namah Shivaya, I tell you What!


Edited by leery11 (03/10/06 09:57 PM)


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: leery11]
    #5388450 - 03/11/06 09:55 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

you can meditate and so reconnect,
egoloss is not a goal
it is a temorary side effect.

i think we make such a big deal about it because we are territorial creatures, it trips up the person you are talking with

remember that carly simon song?
"you probably think this song is about you, don't you ? don't you?"

you're so vain
really you're naturally defensive/territorial.

the defensive quandry is something everyone relates to so the topic becomes ego instead of totality.


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Invisibleredtailedhawk
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: leery11]
    #5388608 - 03/11/06 11:21 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

leery11 said:you say ego dissolution is hardest for the prideful, but what of the fearful?




Well, we all face fear once we move out of our comfort zone. I have decided to go on this path exactly because I want to resolve my issues of anxiety and panic. And although the therapy of this kind is helpful, there is always fear present before and during the psychedelic experience and especially when the total ego death experience is being approached. I guess you just have to decide to keep on moving forwards, no matter what. But it is hard. There's no doubt about it.

Quote:

leery11 said: I'm reluctant to go into ego death or even approach it though.... you say you are undergoing psychedelic psychoterhapy..... on your own or have you found practitioners? If so you obviously couldn't divulge their identities but how do you go about finding such people? It is something that I could use a handle on.




The fact is that if one uses psychedelic over a period of time, in an inwards-directed way (lying down, eyes closed) one will eventually come to the point of ego death. You can afcourse use psychedelics indefinitely and never have this kind of experience if your awareness during trips is directed outwards - to the 'real' world.

If you're interested in psychedelic psychotherapy I suggest you start with the book 'LSD Psychotherapy' written by Stanislav Grof. A lot of therapists and students of Grof now use Holotrophic Breathwork (www.breathwork.com) in the same way as they used psychedelics in the old days with great success, so you may want to contact one to near you live. Also you may want to check out things like 'Santo Daime' church, Eleusis treatment center, MAPS.org, shamanic workshops and retreats, etc. You will find the people you seek there. I don't advise you to follow this path alone though. It's just too dangerous.


--------------------

"Who are you who live in all these many forms? You're death that captures all. You too are the source of all that's gonna be born. You're glory, mercy, peace, truth. You give calm a spirit, understanding, courage, the contented heart."


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Invisibleredtailedhawk
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5388618 - 03/11/06 11:25 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:a strong belief that a separation exists between the body and the world, and possibly between the body and the self, sometimes extended to postulation of a separate soul beyond the self. it is one thing, not 2,3 or 4




Yes, I agree. But I wonder how does one shed this illusion in practical terms. If I simply say and even convince myself that 'I am everything' I will not shed my ego, but grossly enlarge it, because there will still be a sense of 'I'.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: redtailedhawk]
    #5389559 - 03/11/06 05:42 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

The worst enemy mankind faces is "the sense of self"? BULLSHIT. Pride, Ego, and Vanity are NOT the worst enemy we face, and none of those are at all harmful in control which stems from intelligent thinking, rationality and awareness.

I'll tell you what the worst enemy of mankind is. The man [or should say masses] without a purpose - not a sadist, murderer, or dictator or people with "a sense of self". The fact is that Sadism, dictatorship or any form of evil is consequential of an evasion of reality - an evasion of one's failure to reason. The man without a purpose is the man who drifts at the mercy of random feelings or unidentified urges, and is capable of any evil because he is totally out of control of his own life.
In order to be in control of your life you have to have a purpose - a productive purpose.




--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #5389608 - 03/11/06 06:02 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

The fact is that Sadism, dictatorship or any form of evil is consequential of an evasion of reality - an evasion of one's failure to reason.

How did you come to this conclusion? I think its equally possible for a person to delude themself into total pascifism as it is total sadism. Evading reality can lead to many different extremist ends.

The man without a purpose is the man who drifts at the mercy of random feelings or unidentified urges, and is capable of any evil because he is totally out of control of his own life.

Simply having a purpose doesn't prevent you from performing terribly irrational acts that accomplish nothing more than spread suffering. Racists, religious zealots, Marxists and similar dogmatic revolutionary groups all have a clear purpose, yet are willing to perform 'evil' with a clear conscience. I'm much more worried about these purposeful people than some ideological drifters.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #5389723 - 03/11/06 06:41 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

How did you come to this conclusion?

Such evil behavior stems from ignorance, plain and simple.


Simply having a purpose doesn't prevent you from performing terribly irrational acts that accomplish nothing more than spread suffering.

Having a productive, purpose - productively achieving moral, rational values in accordance to a higher purpose - that is what I'm talking about. Being evil and sinister is rather counter-productive to mankind, is it not?


Racists, religious zealots, Marxists and similar dogmatic revolutionary groups all have a clear purpose, yet are willing to perform 'evil' with a clear conscience. I'm much more worried about these purposeful people than some ideological drifters.

But, without the ideological drifters, they would have no power, no pawns of evil. It is because of the philosophical laziness, i.e., the refusal or inability to think in these purpose-less people that racism [et al] is able to subsist. Only when people gain sufficient knowledge, do such evils vanish - much like the dark disappears in presence of light.



--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


Edited by SkorpivoMusterion (03/11/06 06:51 PM)


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: redtailedhawk]
    #5390188 - 03/11/06 09:36 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

my comment below
Quote:

redtailedhawk said:
Quote:

redgreenvines said:a strong belief that a separation exists between the body and the world, and possibly between the body and the self, sometimes extended to postulation of a separate soul beyond the self. it is one thing, not 2,3 or 4




Yes, I agree. But I wonder how does one shed this illusion in practical terms. If I simply say and even convince myself that 'I am everything' I will not shed my ego, but grossly enlarge it, because there will still be a sense of 'I'.




by regarding the contact between parts of the body (in various postures)and the world, eg floor and feet, chair and bum, mattress and back/or side & air and nose, air and lungs... food and....

by regarding mental contents and how they shift
by regarding conditioning and how memory operates

by regarding how attitude makes positive influences in mind
in body and in world.

this prescription has everything to do with separation and interface or connection... the shift of emphasis makes a difference


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: redtailedhawk]
    #5390328 - 03/11/06 10:35 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Private, soon the be Public, Enemy #1 is yourSelf.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: redtailedhawk]
    #5390412 - 03/11/06 11:17 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

They all see the sense of self (Ego, pride, vanity) as the worst enemy one has to face on the path of self-discovery, knowing God or enlightenment.

If the "sense of self", e.g. ego, is "The Worst Enemy", then whom is it that leads yourself to success in any endeavor? Someone or something that..isn't you? -=knocks on your skull=- Hello? Anybody home?

If the "sense of self" is one's greatest enemy, and their ultimate "spiritual" goal is to erase any sense of self-worth (pride), self-admiration [vanity], the sense of the "I" [ego], then whom shall they refer to when they say "I Love You" to their romantic partner? To whom shall they credit success in achieving goals? To whom shall they refer when evaluating directions to take in life? If there is no I, who makes mistakes and learns from them? How can one be benevolent and rational to others, when one cannot for themselves? How can one give from an empty cup? For one to be consistently and honestly benevolent to others, one must first know how to be benevolent to oneself. Ergo, one must be selfish. Yes, what an amazing concept.
If you cannot help but feel mischievous or guilty or "sinful" when reading such a statement, then recognize this for what it is: a sign that you've been fooled and brainwashed by the precise, blind evils that pose as "higher good", when in fact, it is a very destroyer of mankind.


If the people who ardently propagate the notion of such "self-sacrifice", answered all the above questions honestly with no guile, they would typically respond with collectivist answers or responses with altruist undertones. This collectivist mentality is but a very common one amongst religions, which is to say that collectivism ultimately stems from mysticism. This is because in reality, there is no Earthly reason why one should have to commit such self-suicide for the sake of others, and every Earthly reason why one should learn the virtue of selfishness, of individualism.



--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


Edited by SkorpivoMusterion (03/11/06 11:27 PM)


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #5390472 - 03/11/06 11:39 PM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

SkorpivoMusterion said:
They all see the sense of self (Ego, pride, vanity) as the worst enemy one has to face on the path of self-discovery, knowing God or enlightenment.

If the "sense of self", e.g. ego, is "The Worst Enemy", then whom is it that leads yourself to success in any endeavor? Someone or something that..isn't you? -=knocks on your skull=- Hello? Anybody home?

If the "sense of self" is one's greatest enemy, and their ultimate "spiritual" goal is to erase any sense of self-worth (pride), self-admiration [vanity], the sense of the "I" [ego], then whom shall they refer to when they say "I Love You" to their romantic partner? To whom shall they credit success in achieving goals? To whom shall they refer when evaluating directions to take in life? If there is no I, who makes mistakes and learns from them? How can one be benevolent and rational to others, when one cannot for themselves? How can one give from an empty cup? For one to be consistently and honestly benevolent to others, one must first know how to be benevolent to oneself. Ergo, one must be selfish. Yes, what an amazing concept.
If you cannot help but feel mischievous or guilty or "sinful" when reading such a statement, then recognize this for what it is: a sign that you've been fooled and brainwashed by the precise, blind evils that pose as "higher good", when in fact, it is a very destroyer of mankind.


If the people who ardently propagate the notion of such "self-sacrifice", answered all the above questions honestly with no guile, they would typically respond with collectivist answers or responses with altruist undertones. This collectivist mentality is but a very common one amongst religions, which is to say that collectivism ultimately stems from mysticism. This is because in reality, there is no Earthly reason why one should have to commit such self-suicide for the sake of others, and every Earthly reason why one should learn the virtue of selfishness, of individualism.






its not a sense of self thats the problem, it is a limited sense of self, a false sense of self that is not in accordance with reality.


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: Deviate]
    #5390614 - 03/12/06 12:57 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

align your Self with Your Truth and the nine planets which orbit your home.

sychronization is the k3y to being fr33 in this set plane of travel


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #5390798 - 03/12/06 02:44 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

SkorpivoMusterion said:
The worst enemy mankind faces is "the sense of self"?



Yes. The ego is a destructive force. Compassion is the result of overcoming the ego.


--------------------


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: Silversoul]
    #5390910 - 03/12/06 04:09 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

The ego is a destructive force.

Correction: The destructive ego is a destructive force. Ignorance and negligence is the source of destructiveness. Likewise, the constructive ego is a constructive force. Knowledge, reason and creativity is the source of constructiveness. Did it ever occur to you that there are living, actual people that actually have healthy, rational and self-actualizing egos and are actually benevolent, productive people?


Compassion is the result of overcoming the ego.

Compassion does not exist without one to be compassionate. Compassion may be the result of transcending the uncompassionate ego, but there is still an ego - the transcendental ego.

Deviate made much more sense - to reiterate what he said in other words - it's really ignorance and evasions of reality that is the issue - not the sense of self per se.




--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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Invisibleit stars saddam
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #5390912 - 03/12/06 04:12 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

No martyr dies without hope of a hero's funeral.


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Invisibleit stars saddam
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: Silversoul]
    #5390913 - 03/12/06 04:13 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Quote:

SkorpivoMusterion said:
The ego is a destructive force.




The ego is a survival mechanism.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: it stars saddam]
    #5390999 - 03/12/06 05:00 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Deviate said:
its not a sense of self thats the problem, it is a limited sense of self, a false sense of self that is not in accordance with reality.




Here, here! :thumbup:

The more we understand the nature of reality and our surroundings, the interactions we engage ourselves in, the more our sense of self develops. Our sense of self is not something to be overcome, it is not some great evil that traps us.

That said, the sense of self is still illusory, as it is not the self. It is certainly real, the mind's observations and "definitions" of who we are, but it is illusory in that it is a reflection of the self - not the self.

The development of our sense of self relates to that which we use to reflect the self. Is our mind using an unobstructed mirror to reflect the being of ourself in order to produce a sense, or perception, of who we are?

The problem is that the vast majority do not directly, openly perceive themselves and thus form an accurate sense of who they are. They operate with preconceived notions and definitions of who they are, and maintain these definition as though they were concrete, permanent (which is exactly the power that a survival mechanism gone hyper wants to attain).

Of course, the world, this reality, is constantly changing, as all aspects of the universe interact with each other as a gloriously emergent, mesh network. The more one realizes the nature of the universe and of their own experiences, the more one will identify with reality and its nature, and the less one will hold onto illusory defintions of themselves and of reality.

The more we directly perceive and experience in this very moment, the only moment in which we exist, the more developed our sense of self becomes. The more we understand, the more capable we are of conducting ourselves in a beneficial manner to ourselves, and thus our environment as well (as there is no true distinction between our environment/reality, and ourselves).

It is only by bringing awareness into our present experience of being the self that our mind's sense of self naturally develops. We experience ourselves before we form conceptions of who we are.

Thus, the worse "enemy" we are to address is ignorance. Knowing, understanding, realization will conquer this "enemy". I use quotations around the word as it amuses me that we would think through such oppositional terms. When I embark on learning a new song, I do not regard my previous state of not knowing that song as an enemy that must be vanquished. Our journey out of ignorance is a natural result of the fact that we are learning. Ignorance is not a force to be vanquished, and to focus on accomplishing such will be futile. Embrace realization and understanding.

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: The worst Enemy we face (according to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and even Castaneda) [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5391099 - 03/12/06 06:37 AM (15 years, 10 months ago)

What is more dangerous: Ignorance, or half-knowledge. I would strongly say the second one.
Are we ever able to have full knowledge about anything, or will we for ever be damned in half-knowledge ?


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Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
......................................................
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Acceptance is the absolute key - at that moment you gain freedom and you gain power and you gain courage'


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