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InvisibleRavus
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Is Enlightenment Universal?
    #8796613 - 08/19/08 05:02 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

While many Westerners seem to try to understand enlightenment, especially in the New Age movement, associating it perhaps with the "third eye" or the crown chakra, or with being able to burn oneself alive while showing no emotion, but what really is enlightenment? Is it something that is espoused by few or many, and how many people actually understand it?

If anyone understood it, it was certainly the Awakened One, Siddhartha, whose words I would use a basis to understand the amount of insight gained by others. Though different cultures may express ultimate reality with language that can be understood only by others in their culture, the Buddha himself expressed enlightenment at times in a way that almost all beings would be able to comprehend.

In the Nibbana or Nirvana Sutra of the Tipitaka, accounts of the written words of the Buddha, we find perhaps the best explanation of what enlightenment really is.

"Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta Wood at Anathapindika's monastery. On that occasion the Lord was instructing, rousing, inspiring, and gladdening the bhikkhus with a Dhamma talk connected with Nibbana, and those bhikkhus, being receptive and attentive and concentrating the whole mind, were intent on listening to Dhamma.

Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:
There is, bhikkhus, that base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.01.irel.html

Enlightenment is, as the Buddha said, beyond all conceptions of the human mind. It is not infinite light, or infinite wisdom, or infinite consciousness, like the consciousness we may imagine to be the consciousness of God. The Buddha says that one cannot attach him or herself to the idea of a divine self, such as a God with traits, so this is why Buddhism is not considered a religion that believes in God. But really, what is the Buddha saying about enlightenment?

In fact, enlightenment in Buddhism is the same as the deathless self in Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, or the mystical conceptions of Allah in Islamic Sufism. It cannot be known by the senses or the mind, or perceived by the thoughts, and anything that one thinks of it, it is is always beyond that.

In the Upanishads of mystical Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, which preaches knowledge of the deathless self within all beings as the path to enlightenment, it actually speaks very similar to the original words of the Buddha in stating how the deathless self is beyond all conceptions.

"The Self is one. Unmoving, it moves swifter than thought. The senses do not overtake it, for always it goes before. Remaining still, it outstrips all that run. Without the Self, there is no life.

To the ignorant the Self appears to move–yet it moves not. From the ignorant it is far distant–yet it is near. It is within all, and it is without all.

He who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, hates none.

To the illumined soul, the Self is all. For him who sees everywhere oneness, how can there be delusion or grief?

The Self is everywhere. Bright is he, bodiless, without scar of imperfection, without bone, without flesh, pure, untouched by evil. The Seer, the Thinker, the One who is above all, the Self-Existent—he it is that has established perfect order among objects and beings from beginningless time."
http://www.atmajyoti.org/up_isha_upanishad_text.asp

Well, certainly such a thing couldn't be thought of as constrained or universal anyway, so I will say that enlightenment is not universal, but neither is it anywhere in particular. Even the Buddha was just a person, and what he used were just words, so even to say to that it is the base that consists of neither perception nor non-perception describes nothing of ultimate reality unless you are already there.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflinePsilocybinMike
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Ravus]
    #8796628 - 08/19/08 05:04 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:


Enlightenment is, as the Buddha said, beyond all conceptions of the human mind. It is not infinite light, or infinite wisdom, or infinite consciousness, like the consciousness we may imagine to be the consciousness of God. The Buddha says that one cannot attach him or herself to the idea of a divine self, such as a God with traits, so this is why Buddhism is not considered a religion that believes in God. But really, what is the Buddha saying about enlightenment?

In fact, enlightenment in Buddhism is the same as the deathless self in Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, or the mystical conceptions of Allah in Islamic Sufism. It cannot be known by the senses or the mind, or perceived by the thoughts, and anything that one thinks of it, it is is always beyond that.




I just tripped last night on 3 hits of Lucy. That makes a lot of sense to me right now.


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


baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVZBTAYm3rw


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Invisibledblaney
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Ravus]
    #8796830 - 08/19/08 05:45 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
In fact, enlightenment in Buddhism is the same as the deathless self in Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, or the mystical conceptions of Allah in Islamic Sufism. It cannot be known by the senses or the mind, or perceived by the thoughts, and anything that one thinks of it, it is is always beyond that.




Granted that my understanding of Advaita and Sufism is limited, I'm pretty sure that both belief systems posit that the 'deathless self' or 'Allah' are eternal. Whereas in Buddhism, the extreme of eternalism is refuted.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Offlinenumonkei
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: dblaney]
    #8797003 - 08/19/08 06:08 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

dblaney
Whereas in Buddhism, the extreme of eternalism is refuted.





What do you mean by that? Eternalism as an entity? Bhuddism is clear in support eternalism, just not necessarily of the ego sort, more of the Whole. Unless I've misunderstood my books on Zen and Bhuddism, would you mind elaborating a bit on what you mean?



~Monk


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: dblaney]
    #8797340 - 08/19/08 07:07 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

dblaney said:
Quote:

Ravus said:
In fact, enlightenment in Buddhism is the same as the deathless self in Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, or the mystical conceptions of Allah in Islamic Sufism. It cannot be known by the senses or the mind, or perceived by the thoughts, and anything that one thinks of it, it is is always beyond that.




Granted that my understanding of Advaita and Sufism is limited, I'm pretty sure that both belief systems posit that the 'deathless self' or 'Allah' are eternal. Whereas in Buddhism, the extreme of eternalism is refuted.




You are correct that Allah and the deathless self are seen as eternal, though eternity is really just a concept that does not describe ultimate reality. To understand what the Buddha's viewpoint on this would be, we must examine his original words from the Tipitaka.

The Buddha said never to attach yourself to any form, consciousness, notion or sense of self. Whether that sense of self is the self of God, man, the universe, eternity, the soul, or whatever other sense of self your mind creates, this is not enlightenment. Enlightenment is entirely beyond attachments.

So really, the concept of eternity becomes an attachment to some mystics, impeding their attainment of the ultimate goal which is non-attainment when there remains no self left to attain it.

As the Buddha said,

"Then there is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma assumes about form: 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.'

"He assumes about feeling: 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.'

"He assumes about perception: 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.'

"He assumes about fabrications: 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.'

"He assumes about what seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.'

"He assumes about the view-position — 'This cosmos is the self. After death this I will be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just like that for an eternity': 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, he is not agitated over what is not present."

So really, the Buddha does not say enlightenment is not eternal, but rather that we cannot become attached a supposedly eternal self, for enlightenment is beyond all conceptions, all attachments and all identities with a self, whether that self be temporary or eternal.

In my mind, this does not contradict the view of the deathless self in Vedantic mysticism or meditation on the incomparable nature of Allah in mystical Sufism, as in all cases the goal is entirely beyond.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflineLion
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Ravus]
    #8797646 - 08/19/08 08:14 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Cool posts!


--------------------
“Strengthened by contemplation and study,
I will not fear my passions like a coward.
My body I will give to pleasures,
to diversions that I’ve dreamed of,
to the most daring erotic desires,
to the lustful impulses of my blood, without
any fear at all, for whenever I will—
and I will have the will, strengthened
as I’ll be with contemplation and study—
at the crucial moments I’ll recover
my spirit as was before: ascetic.”


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Offlineburgatory
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Lion]
    #8797713 - 08/19/08 08:27 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

This is a good description.

"Enlightenment", in my understanding, is the movement towards what is intended and away from what's destructive, treadmill, pointless, stupid.

It is achieved by returning to the natural state of yourself, and getting away from that mad mass outside.


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

Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence — for he has the perfected eye to see. There is no separateness. Thus, just as the way of social participation may lead in the end to a realization of the All in the individual, so that of exile brings the hero to the Self in all.

joseph campbell


For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

jesus


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Offlinenumonkei
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: burgatory]
    #8797736 - 08/19/08 08:33 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Enlightenment, in my understanding, is movement toward universal acceptance of all that is, and acceptance of all that isn't.

While simultaneously disregarding the 'Dukah', (negative unnecessary emotion/thought), (sp?)

And, of course,
Quote:

burgatory said:
It is achieved by returning to the natural state of yourself, and getting away from that mad mass outside.




:teleport::teleport::teleport: :coleman:

Right?


~Monk


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OfflineExplosiveMango
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: numonkei]
    #8799032 - 08/20/08 01:24 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

I believe enlightenment is strengthening the connection of the senses to the thoughts, all the while within the light of belief.

I find enlightenment to be hard to place practically, and an idea who's successful illustration often requires some metaphor.


--------------------
Know your self.
Know your substance.
Know your source.

The most distorted perspective possible is the perspective that yours is not distorted.


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Invisibledblaney
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: numonkei]
    #8799092 - 08/20/08 01:53 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

numonkei said:
Quote:

dblaney
Whereas in Buddhism, the extreme of eternalism is refuted.





What do you mean by that? Eternalism as an entity? Bhuddism is clear in support eternalism, just not necessarily of the ego sort, more of the Whole. Unless I've misunderstood my books on Zen and Bhuddism, would you mind elaborating a bit on what you mean?



~Monk




Some schools of Buddhism do subscribe to eternalism, it's true. But when asked by Malunkyaputta whether the self or universe is eternal, the Buddha remained silent, just as he did when Malunkyaputta asked whether the self/universe is non-eternal.

So, looking back to the original Buddhist, there was no assertion of eternalism.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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OfflineDiddyds
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: ExplosiveMango]
    #8799098 - 08/20/08 01:56 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

this is what i think it means to be enlightened....during my experience with EGO DEATH i realized and SAW<----this is no joke just how much we(as in u and me) are like the very dog u have at your house(i think this is were the quote ignorance is bliss came from)...being enlightened i also think means to know yourself...knowing just how connected u are to this world and how amazingly SMALL u are...how we live in the now and how people dont understand they are the gods they have been looking for..!!!! ..u are..yes u!!!! when u truly know what I'm talking about u will feel at ease with yourself...i believe anyone can experience ego death they just have to be willing to let go of their beliefs all together...which might be the hardest part...i believe in being enlightened very much.

and plz excuse the improper spelling/grammer in this sentence.


Edited by Diddyds (08/20/08 03:12 AM)


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OfflineDiddyds
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Diddyds]
    #8799108 - 08/20/08 02:02 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

being enlightened..its not somthing u accquire its somthing u REALIZE about yourself....u feel/see it in your very being...............


Edited by Diddyds (08/20/08 10:39 AM)


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OfflineDiddyds
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Diddyds]
    #8799142 - 08/20/08 02:21 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

yea


Edited by Diddyds (08/20/08 03:07 AM)


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OfflineDiaboleros
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Diddyds]
    #8799816 - 08/20/08 08:52 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah I think you're right, enlightenment is knowing yourself.

Knowledge of the self is the beginning of all wisdom. I think it was Plato who said this.

The more you get to know yourself to more enlightened you are it seems.


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OfflineDiddyds
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Diaboleros]
    #8800052 - 08/20/08 10:36 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

yes and knowing yourself can show u just how beautiful life is.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Ravus]
    #8800060 - 08/20/08 10:39 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

If anyone understood it, it was certainly the Awakened One, Siddhartha,

If he was enlightened, IMO, he understood the basic psychology of rational emotive behavior which his statement about attachment and suffering shows evidence of. So enlightenment is understanding how to be happy in this lifetime.

He who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, hates none.


Does this include women?;)


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineDiddyds
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Icelander]
    #8800196 - 08/20/08 11:15 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Well seeing with the third eye would be anything from pleasant, it would scare you because your ego would go out the flipping window. everything that you have come to believed is just a belief, THE SIMS is a perfect example of how we are living and what the third eye would be like if u looked through it, I'm not sure if u would be ready for that kinda reality.


Edited by Diddyds (08/20/08 11:17 AM)


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Icelander]
    #8800323 - 08/20/08 11:52 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
He who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, hates none.


Does this include women?;)




I sure hope not, otherwise there are many human beings who will never know the deathless self.

That is, actually, already the case, so maybe it does include those mutants with no Y chromosomes at all.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Ravus]
    #8800617 - 08/20/08 01:22 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

We hate that which we fear.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineExplosiveMango
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Re: Is Enlightenment Universal? [Re: Icelander]
    #8800779 - 08/20/08 02:10 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

Don't put it that way.

I am trying to learn from fear.

Can't I just fear what you hate?


--------------------
Know your self.
Know your substance.
Know your source.

The most distorted perspective possible is the perspective that yours is not distorted.


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