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Thinking with eyes closed


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Author Topic: Thinking with eyes closed  (Read 99 times)
ding dong
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« on: Dec 15, 2016 12:37 am »

« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2016 12:38 am by ding dong » Report Spam   Logged
mccoy
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 15, 2016 10:21 pm »

Well, that statement might be a tautology.

If those people are thinking about God, that fits the definition for meditation: concentration focused upon the thought of God.

If they are thinking about something else, they clearly are not meditating. They might be concentrating though.

My bottom line: Sam harris' statement is too generic.
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 16, 2016 04:27 am »

I don't actually differentiate much between thinking about god and thinking about anything else, like a shoe. Only things can be thought of, and God is not a thing. He is the thing...ker. Not the seen, but the seer. As far as I'm concerned, all thoughts block god - even thoughts about god. God, being unknowable, can't really be thought about. All we can think about are our own ideas, uplifting as they may be.

In fact, I doubt if I even believe in god at all. I am as close to an atheist as you can be without being one, because I recognize mysticism. I think this god guy may be the final delusion - the last to go.

God seems very probably just a bigger, larger, all powerful ego-projection. If there is no ego, there's probably no godo. Rather than god creating us, we have created him. Perhaps he should worship us?



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« Reply #3 on: Dec 16, 2016 04:40 am »

I'm not saying that we're god. I'm just saying that us and God have never been seen in the same room.
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Steve Hydonus
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 17, 2016 08:47 pm »

I'm not saying that we're god. I'm just saying that us and God have never been seen in the same room.

We all define God differently. We all have our own conceptions and experiences of what we call God. That makes a lot of room for tolerance and even more room for understanding.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 18, 2016 09:38 am »

Brock, Raja Yoga conceptualized an entity with precise characteristic and called it God.

Such a conceptualization is prone to focusing. Such a focusing is called meditation, in the science of Raja Yoga.

As to the concept of God as a projection of the ego, that's an hypothesis which is not founded on correct philosophical reasoning, since by definition God is not a projection of our ego, rather our ego is the individualized soul which is a projection of God.

The above are the definitions of the metaphysical conceptual framework. You cannot define God as you wish, unless you create your own metaphysical framework, give it rules and definitions, propose it.

These are the rules of discussions on metaphysics, otherwise chaos would ensue.

Anyway, I got your drift, what is called God according to you is a delusional aspect created by our mind. That would be an atheistic concept, one which Dawkins wrote books about, unless you allow some deistic+agnostic approach where there is a supernatural intelligence which we cannot identify with other definitions of God nor ever hope to know, but then you should define it somehow.

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« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 2016 01:14 pm »

Sitting on my bed one morning, I fell into a deep reverie. "What is behind the darkness of closed eyes?" This probing thought came powerfully into my mind. An immense flash of light at once manifested to my inner gaze. Divine shapes of saints, sitting in meditation posture in mountain caves, formed like miniature cinema pictures on the large screen of radiance within my forehead.

"Who are you?" I spoke aloud.

"We are the Himalayan yogis." The celestial response is difficult to describe; my heart was thrilled.

"Ah, I long to go to the Himalayas and becomes like you!"

The vision vanished, but the silvery beams expanded in ever-widening circles to infinity.

"What is this wondrous glow?"

"I am Ishwara.* I am Light." The Voice was as murmuring clouds.

Autobiography of a Yogi

Now, as wonderful as this indeed sounds, it is clearly something like a dream or hallucination. His eyes are presumably closed but his mind is still quite active - registering auditory stimuli, visions, and flashes of light, engaging in conversation.

But of even greater interest to our discussion about God is the fact that he refers to Ishwara, which is the Hindu version of what westerners typically think of as God, i.e., a personage of some kind.

Oddly enough, a few lines later, Yogananda writes this:

Out of the slow dwindling of my divine ecstacy, I salvaged a permanent legacy of inspiration to seek God. "He is eternal, ever new Joy!" This memory persisted long after the day of rapture.

Autobiography of a Yogi, Italics added by me.

So it is not quite clear how we are to distinquish between Ishwara and God. God is eternal, ever new joy, according to Yogananda here. But Ishwara is not eternal. Consider Sri Ramana Maharshi's statement here:

Q: You say that even the highest God is still only an idea. Does that mean that there is no God?

A: No, there is an Iswara.

Q: Does he exist in any particular place or form?

A: If the individual is a form, even Self, the source, who is the Lord, will also appear to be a form. If one is not a form, since there then cannot be knowledge of other things, will that statement that God has a form be correct? God assumes any form imagined by the devotee through repeating thinking in prolonged meditation. Though he thus assumes endless names, the real formless consciousness alone is God.

Be As You Are

Again we are faced with a similar bit of confusion. Ishwara exists and is God, but not really. This peculiarity of explanation may highlight a big difference between eastern and western thought; not to mention the limitation of thought to comprehend mysticism in the final sense. The idea of changing definitions, however, is something that I believe western thinkers would generally have trouble wrapping their heads around. It seems God keeps jumping around; one minute he's this, the next minute he's that, and so on.

Consider this statement by David Godman, a widely recognized scholar of Sri Ramana's teachings.

 

On a lower level he spoke about Iswara, the Hindu name for the supreme personal God. he said that Iswara exists as a real entitiy only so long as one imagines that one is an individual person. When individuality persists there is a God who supervises the activities of the universe; in the absence of individuality Iswara is non-existent.

Be As You Are

It's not hard to see why someone might throw their hands up in exasperation at all of this.

Interestingly, you mentioned that the ego is a reflection of God, not the other way around. I think this is a notable point because I have heard it said so often by mystics and sages, like Ramana Maharshi. So, it seems in some way fundamental. Yet, as I have just pointed out, we aren't very clear on what God is to begin with.

Finally, to wrap up.
 "Know yourself before you seek to decide about the nature of God and the world." - Sri Ramana MaharshiBe As You Are

So, basically, it seems to me that according to this strand of Hindu mysticism, we can conclude that God is more or less a conceptual placeholder for something that can't really be understood by the intellect - a mysterious insight that can apparently only be had, not understood. Buddha, for example, laid no importance on God. And that makes a lot of sense to me.

« Last Edit: Dec 18, 2016 01:19 pm by ding dong » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 18, 2016 02:12 pm »

Brock, the confusion is only apparently there, maybe we still are geared to reason in terms of Western categorizations.

The outstanding feature of hinduism is that the concept of God is so wide to encompass any possible metaphysical subset of the wider 'GOD' superset, if we want to reason in mathematical terms.

So once we state that God is an uncreated supernatural intelligence or power behind space and time, from there we have, in the hindu view, the amplest freedom. Hinduism is transcendentistic and immanentistic, is polytheistic and monotheistic, is deistic and is pheticistic, can even accomodate agnosticism.

I myself do not have clear all aspects of hindu divinities but that's a dispensable knowledge. God is the uncreated creator of universe and we can suit him, it, her, to our wildest imagination-derived model. If we have enough power of concentration and devotion God will oblige us and manifest in the subset we wish.

I cannot agree upon your latest sentence. We have been given the power to understand God, and fully realized masters understand him/her because they identified with him her in the objective, beyond-subjectivity metaphysical state of Samhadi.

Lesser states of intuitive or intellectual realization imply but a partial knowledge of God, bestowed by the power of deduction and intellectual reasoning.
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 20, 2016 06:15 pm »

I am not always sure about the point Brock is trying to make or even if he is trying to make a point. It seems as though Brock is alluding to something without actually saying what he means. (See reply #6 Dec.18) I do not see why God cannot be ever new joy and Ishwara can come and go. Babaji did the same in the autobiography and Sri Yukteswar explained his meetings with him and that he did leave unexpectedly. Masters are not obliged to be with us every second. Until we are fully realized we are not ever new joy every second. Experiences we have while we have our eyes open are clearly like a dream as well. We actually can have clearer experiences that are less dream like with eyes closed then open. These experiences are longer lasting and can have much more influence on us then those we have in the material world...Which are often here today gone tomorrow.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 21, 2016 10:36 am »

Steve, I believe that many of brock's remarks are driven by phylosophical skepticism. I am sure that in former incarnations brock studied at the schools of Phyrro of Elis, Sextus Empiricus, Carneades and Arcesilaus. All of'em!

From wiki

Quote
In philosophical skepticism, pyrrhonism is a position that refrains from making truth claims. A philosophical skeptic does not claim that truth is impossible (which itself would be a truth claim), instead it recommends "suspending belief". The term is commonly used to describe philosophies which are similar to philosophical skepticism, such as academic skepticism, an ancient variant of Platonism that claimed knowledge of truth was impossible. Empiricism is a closely related, but not identical, philosophy to philosophical skepticism. Empiricists claim empiricism is a pragmatic compromise between philosophical skepticism and nomothetic science; philosophical skepticism is in turn sometimes referred to as "radical empiricism."


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« Reply #10 on: Dec 25, 2016 10:11 pm »



It's quite a step for us to really be aware, to really be mindful of what is going on in our heads. It is a major step to doing something about it. It is a major step in watching how our attitudes and thoughts influence our behavior. In that sense it is an important part of meditation practice. Every time we wander off into thought and bring our mind back to practice we are strengthening our practice and becoming more focused. It is not till we recognize just how much our mind and thoughts are out of control that we find time and effort to reorient that process.
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