The Zen Mind
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The Zen Mind

2005, Religion  -   273 Comments
Ratings: 7.81/10 from 53 users.

The Zen MindZen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism. The Japanese word Zen is derived from the Chinese word Chán, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyana, which means meditation or meditative state.

Zen emphasizes experiential prajna in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct realization through meditation and dharma practice.

The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahayana thought, including the Prajnaparamita literature and the teachings of the Yogacara and Tathagatagarbha schools.

The emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism was first documented in China in the 7th century CE. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, and east to Korea and Japan. As a matter of tradition, the establishment of Zen is credited to the South Indian prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma, who came to China to teach a special transmission outside scriptures, not founded on words or letters.

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273 Comments / User Reviews

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  2. @AntiTheist666

    I have enjoyed this exchange immensely. It’s caused me to reflect and revisit other segments of time. The topics, though random, reveal an evolution of the subject in discussion. Moving back from Zen and the Tao to Tibetan Buddhism and Yoga/Hindu interpretations back to Zoroaster (note Zoroaster may go back to a pre-Egyptian era) at the time Indo-Iranian split bringing us to the Platonists, the Hermetic and Christian expressions, the Semitics and then the Egyptian or Sumerian expressions (it’s arguable which of the last two were first) and finally the Animists and their Shamans. That covers the Organic back through the Drama and the beginnings of the Constructionists in Worldviews.

    European philosophers of the Constructionists view being less than satisfied intersect near the Hindu and Buddhist views and modern Psychology has its roots. That’s quite a ride.

    All have their meditations. All have both physical and mental types. All meditations have the same theater. All the metaphysics use symbols from within their cultures but all point to a mind state. All have levels describing mind states. All have an idea as to the final state, the same state with different labels. It’s like a map of the same city but each road has a number of names. It’s no wonder why the exit is hard to find!!

    A playful thought….. (I’ll have to work on a bit)

    A (sort of) formula comes to mind. V is a function of R and M where R is resistance (physical or mental - of malleable properties). M is momentum (physical or mental energy - at some [to be discovered] velocity). V is vibration (the manifestation that composes the illusion).

    1. @Philio

      The feeling is mutual my good friend.

      “That covers the Organic back through the Drama and the beginnings of the Constructionists in Worldviews.”

      What a sentence, so beautiful and true. Kent Van Cleave came to mind, have you read anything of his and would you describe yourself as a functionalist?

      I love the idea of a symbolic city/road map which includes translations and directions; you could encompass it all in a Giant ring road ala M25 around London. When you’ve finished it I would love to hear more. A Gazillion business ideas came to mind.

      Anyway, back to meditation.

      “Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup”

      I had to deal with real fear of mine today, a trip to the dreaded dentist for root canal treatment and a filling. I had already delayed the appointment for one week because of this fear which also included a worry that I might lose this back tooth. Oh god I’m such a vain baby! I wonder if you have heard the expression “sick to the back teeth” in the USA? Well I pondered on what might have been the origin of this and its links with wisdom teeth. I then tried to think of how I could deal with this fear and decided I would try something different this time at the dentists.

      Normally when I’m in that awful chair I pick a point in the background and intensely focus on it, this rarely works and is nearly always a very unpleasant experience. Today, I closed my eyes and thought about the striking of a gong, one long deep note, a bottom E on a guitar I thought. I then tweaked it to a top E, then a scale, doh ray me fah so la ti, while I quickly thought of Julie Andrews I wondered if I could describe the universe in seven notes?

      I thought maybe the lowest notes could be dark energy/matter CMB and the highest a photon? Middle C? I wondered if that would be humanity or Iron and possibly a metaphor for wisdom? Well the appointment quickly passed without hitch or distress and my tooth has been saved. It’s like you say some theatres require different meditations. V is a function/vibration? I (sort of) know what you mean. You could build this formula into your map, I like the word resistance, it has a rebellious ring to it.

    2. @Antitheist666 (This will be two parts. I’m going to step out on a limb here.)

      Re: Kent Van Cleave – As I read through some of his work it
      is obvious that he has chosen a path (a strict materialist describing himself as a functionalist) that eliminates any detours away from his main thesis. I’m having an unmistakable sense of Déjà vu as I read him. In part it
      may be that I’ve read him before and in part it’s most definitely a path I’ve taken before. He either is or is about to enter the same realms as Nietzsche, Jung and others. I
      wish him a safe journey but my guess that he will never take the plunge. [While reading him @oQ’s “pi” example kept coming to mind.]

      I was going to give you a warning a few comments back about a place you may have visited or will soon arrive that is (or may be) very troubling. It deals with the conjunction or nullification of opposites. This will happen when you finally must vomit out the “Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”, put simply, bias or judgment. Van Cleave does describe this in his way but can’t resist the temptation to return to the vomit, bias. Intellectual understanding is an ego’s trip. It rarely exhibits transformation.

      He may be simply rejecting a part of the equation or attempting to understand a particular type of aesthetics
      through logic. You must enter the center of a deep pool of water to learn to swim while chancing drowning.

      That said I’m enjoying the read through his various essays but reject his primary assumption. And no, it’s not his disbelief in magic. So to answer your question, I would say that I’m a “functionalist” that knows I exist in a “subsystem” yet very aware of a greater system, a supra-mundane
      place of freedom. That would be like a fish that knows it lives in the ocean or an organ that knows it part of an organism. (Some say that’s impossible.) I don’t see “that consciousness results from basically reflex reverberations in portions of the nervous system”. That would be assesment. I’ve seen it as being a part of all where a separation occurs and then a rejoining with only echoes remaining. The brain can only query the echoes.

      He equates “subjectivity” with “bias” yet he remains biased. Here is the warning I was speaking of in the beginning, being in nothing is momentary and disconcerting.

      It is possible to reduce (even eliminate) bias. I prefer to use the word “Quale” rather than subjective. There is no bias in the word. Quale, even when assessed physically, is without bias. If you jumped into a pool of water after sunning for awhile the quale of the water would be simply cold. The body’s response is the shock that rivets your attention. There is no assessment here, simply a shock and poof you’re awake. The rest follows later.

      This remains true even if you considered, prior to jumping in, that it might be uncomfortable. If your daughter, as a child, were on a blanket beside you and saw you jump in, how long would she consider the temperature of the water prior to joining in the fun?? Her quale would be the same less the concern of the assessment BUT she is rewarded prior to the act. She would carry the reward from the blanket through the air and into the pool. The word joy comes to mind! There were no “biases” to “transcend” just her being in her ultimate and true nature. There is no good or bad, no true or false, no value conflict just being in joy!

    3. Caution, crazy metaphor storm ahead.

      (I wonder where that came from ;-)

      Thanks Philio I’m having wonderful time swimming about in your post still and obviously the thought of any reply to you hasn’t entered my head yet. So this is just an a note to say that I’m not quite ready to let myself drown just yet but i don’t think i’m far away from it.

      As good as KVC is - imho he still plain wrong about so much, free will being the first thing that comes to mind. I’m sure you will see right through him and how he contradicts himself but he makes many good points to. I’m also sure you will see where some of “his” ideas came from ;-) His Valens/Valance theory made me cringe but I’m a sucker for a confident writing style and he reminds me of Schopenhauer a little. Did you read him say “I can explain everything” Hmmm, maybe KVC didn’t read “The Vanity of Existence” but I’m sure you have? What about the legendary D.E. Wittkower have you read or HEARD anything of his? His readings of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer are some of the most delicious things I have EVER heard and I have heard a multitude of beautiful things.

      Hang on minute... I’m beginning to feel sick...

      Gotta go

      I think a glorious noontide awaits in high pukedom. A
      voluminous vomitorium that echoes the ring of truth and I’m spewing so much bile, bilge and bluster that I’m beginning to drown in my own sea of sickness. Not long to go though, just a few gallons more and it will all be over...but what comes before the question of what happens next?

    4. Gday mate,

      One could say your a sucker for all writing.
      You have read some of my attempts ,,,,lol

    5. G’day cobber

      Oh no I wouldn’t say all writing, I can barely read wot i
      would describe as ugly and I don’t just mean wrods. Your style has an irresistible charm and often leaves me with a smile on my face. Cheers mate.

    6. Gday mate,

      I'm trying to improve my writing skills, as saying things orally is without doubt a lot easier than writng them.

      I have learnt that people are alot more sensitive to the written word. My therory on that, is our body language plays a bigger part in our communication than we would except in most cases. I've had run ins with a few on line, yet face to face the verbal stoush may have had a more positive outcome for all concerned.

    7. Good on yer mate for trying to improve your writing skills. The main thing is to get your point across and you seem to have no problem in that. I had to look up what stoush meant though. Lol. And you’re write about Body Language playing a huge but often disregarded part in verbal communication; it’s a fascinating and very revealing subject. There’s a doc here about it that I keep meaning to try but I’m sure I’ll catch it before long, thanks for the reminder.

    8. G'day mate,

      Have got a lot going on at this present time as my eldest boy(24) has a brain tumour, that we only found out about last Saturday/Sunday. So my time on the net has been consumed with trying to gain more knowledge on my boy's medical condition. Let me tell you I've learnt there are plenty of reasons to be confident in medical science.

    9. Bugger, that's cr*p news, hope all goes as well as possible mate. :(

    10. I’m so sorry to hear about your eldest son’s brain tumour. Keep strong and determined my friend, your son, like others have done, can make a complete recovery from this. Fate deals some crappy hands sometimes but it doesn’t mean they’re not winning hands, its how you play them. Best wishes to you and your family.

    11. G'day mate,

      Thank you & docoman for your thoughts and kind words.
      My boy has a grade 2 astrocytoma brain tumour, it's a malignant tumour. However it appears from the little research I've done through treatments, he could be OK but I stress that only my personal opinion. If he is anything like he's old man he'll be a stubourn pr*ck and fight this all the way.

    12. @ jackmax & docoman

      Hey you guys how are things? It’s not like either of you to be away so long. I know you’ve both got a lot on your plates right now and hope that all is as well as it can be. I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you and hope you’re back here soon. I’m facing a few major health problems myself but find that meditation and some Zen philosophy helps a lot. Also my home town is currently buried under mountains of snow and it’s sooooo cold that I need some Aussie sunshine in my life.

    13. G'day 6's,
      I'm still here mate, I was download limited the last week or so, back now. :) I haven't seen much of jackmax for awhile either, I hope all is going ok with him and his son.
      Damn, I didn't know you're having health problems:( I hope it comes good for you mate. If you could handle the flight, and if you make it past the 'Corby' baggage handlers here ;) you could probably use some sunshine mate. (I've never met a Pom that couldn't ;) Remember to bring your thongs, you'll want to wear them over here. ;)

      I haven't even seen any snow for about 10 years now. :( It's about 2:30am here and around 22 C outside. That's cold enough for me. :)
      I've been feeling better the last few weeks thanks mate. I tried getting up to view the sun coming up as oQ suggested earlier to me, it only lasted a little while till I was sick for a couple of days and insomnia moved my sleep/wake hours again. :( There was the motivation to get outside and do something, and sunrise is a nice time of the day. It makes me want to go fishing though :)
      I also tried the suggestion from you and Philio about 'mind traveling' in one of my aquariums. It was ok and an interesting exercise, it ended up reminding me of maintenance I had to do in there. :) There's always more jobs that need doing.
      I quite enjoyed another suggestion of 'reviewing' some of my travels, and remembered a couple of things I hadn't thought of in a long time.
      I find it hard to make my mind 'shut up' and not get unwanted dialog going, I'm not much use at meditation it seems. I can do my pain control thing most times, out of necessity mostly though.

      I've had a look a couple times for anything written by Nietzsche, no luck so far. Must be in such high demand no one around here will relinquish their copy. :) I heard about another book shop near me I want to have a look in, see if they're hiding Friedrich anywhere.

    14. Good morning doco, glad to hear your ok mate. Lol, thongs eh...for my feet right? I know what you mean about jobs that need doing, I’m not saying I can multi task but I like to have a lot on and feel I work better under pressure. 22 C and you say that’s cold!!! OMG It’s been below freezing here for at least a week here and the forecast is for it to continue until mid April, which is strange as british summertime begins at the end of this month.

      I also know what you mean about trying get your mind to “shut up”, It’s not easy but it can be done with a little practice, short mantras can help and they don’t have to have trad words either although many have
      particular rhythms. I find being focused and determined helps, keep it simple, if it goes wrong keep going back until it becomes second nature.

      I’m very pleased to hear that you’re trying to get hold of some of Nietzsche’s works and hope you get your hands on something soon. Books are best I feel but all of his stuff is freely available on the net. I recommend you try “Twilight of the Idols” translated by A.M. Ludovici. Or listen to it beautifully read at LibriVox dot org. You can download it for nothing as an mp3 file.

      I hope things go well for you, that Q fever sounds like a tough SOB to get over. Did I read somewhere that you are a smoker? You know that’s a no no of course. I shouldn’t do it either but I’m an addict and have given up giving up. I roll my own and get through about 20 a day. I also enjoy the occasional spliff now and then but it has to be the really strong stuff. I like my beer that way to but that’s not good for me either. What’s your favourite way of chilling out mate?

    15. Heyya mate, below freezing for over a week? Bugger that, you'd have to put your beer in the fridge to keep it warm! Good 'cuddling weather' I used to tell my missus. ;) Yeah it's supposed to be your summer coming up, our cricket team is coming over your way soon. I've never seen a cricket game delayed because of snow, that'd be interesting. You're going to kick our a$$ I think, I'm sad to say. :(
      Yeah, thongs for your feet. The 'classy' pubs require footwear. ;) lol.
      I prefer reading something I want to concentrate on in print, my mind absorbs written word better then verbal. I'll find and read some Nietzsche eventually, you've planted an interest in my mind. Thanks for the links mate, if this other shop near me hasn't got anything I'll have to look online.

      I like my scotch, I blame my Scottish ancestry :) I self medicated for years with pot, used to grow my own until the police here said that's not a good idea and rapped me on the knuckles for it. I've been known to have a smoke from time to time still, not regular like I used to though. (another reason the Corby's can get stuffed in my mind, they decided to make money out of it) Yeah, I'm a smoker too, roll my own as well. I decided to quit once, did for 6 months, then started again. Haven't decided to stop since, even though I probably should. :)

      I enjoy a smoke and a couple drinks, watch something interesting on TDF (most TV is crap these days) to relax. I've got a veggie patch going, and I find aquariums very soothing after a few minutes (assuming I don't spot a problem). Right now I have 8 tanks running, with another 12 or so on the sidelines. I'm in the process of setting up a new breeding rack and am currently growing out some young breeding colonies. I've bred and sold a few fish and shrimp now, assuming my health allows it I'm expanding and going to do more. There is quite a 'retail' market here through facebook I've discovered. I've moved away from the native Rainbow fish for more 'sellable' Cichlids. If you google 'african cichlids' and go to images, they're the types I've mostly got now. It keeps me busy, stops me going nuts more then I already have....hopefully ;)

      I'm hanging out to go metal detecting, I haven't dug a nugget for a few years now. :( It's a fun feeling finding gold, I enjoy the going bush part of it as well. I've got a spot I've researched that I want to check out, but it's quite remote and hard country, there's lots of fossils there too apparently, and some old aboriginal cave paintings I've read. I've got to get more healthy then I currently am to go there though, I'd like at least a month there. A year or 2 and I'll get there, it'd be a good spot to read some Nietzsche, I could run with his cave idea maybe ;)

    16. Cheers doco, your post makes me want to come and visit you even more. I’d love to share wee dram and a fat one with you out in wilds one day as the sun goes down. I like so many of the things you described except cricket perhaps. I don’t dislike it but I’ve never been much of fan and couldn’t tell you anything about the current state of affairs, maybe you could convert me ;-) It sounds like you have an impressive aquarium set up there to; those African Cichlids are gorgeous looking creatures and I think it’s good to have beautiful things around you. Good luck with the breeding.

      I know this is going to sound hollow coming from a smoker but you really should stop smoking!!! There’s no probably about it. Do your doggedly determined thing and quit, the long term health benefits are major for you with your condition. Have you researched this?

      Do I detect a bit of Zen Philosopher in you with your love of the natural peaceful world? And do you mean Plato’s cave idea?

      Meditate on this.

      Breathe in. Breathe out.

      Breathe in. Breathe out.

      Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems ;-)

    17. G'day 6's
      Mate book your flight as it would be my great pleasure to meet you. I'm sure Doocoman and myself could arrange something to make your trip a truely unforgetable experience. It's coming to our winter in a few weeks which is still warmer than your summer so all you would have to pack is shorts, Tshirts and a pair of thongs (for your feet). I'm sure that between the both of us we could show you more of Oz than most tourist see. Do you like camping and the bush (forest)?

      I know Docoman enjoys the bush and the outback as i do. If your up for it I'll cook up a native feed for ya, goanna, kangaroo and bardy grubs, followed by our native drop Bundy rum to warm you heart.

      I noticed that your not a cricket fan which is understandable being a POM. I dont think I would follow any sport if we Aussies were no good at it, but we dont have that problem, as there is not much in the sporting arena that we aren't good at. eg; rugby league, cricket and rugby union to name but a few.

      I concur with docomans assesment of our cuurent cricket team, however I believe that our biggest problem is our current cricket board more than the player themselves. I would say that I enjoy rugby league more than cricket as our national competion has just started for another year. I'm assuming Docoman follows league as well and no doubt being a Queenslander he would support the Brisbane Broncos. and if I'm right he's team will get a football leason tonight as Melbourne Storm will make them look second rate.

    18. G’day jackmax

      Yeah man that sounds great; I love outdoor stuff and would really like to enjoy a few billion of those bubbles of nothing with you. I will be over there sometime for sure. Maybe next year with a little luck.

      I must be quite alien to you Aussies becoz I don’t like
      sports that much, I especially detest uK soccer. It’s not the game itself I dislike it’s the typical players, fans and media circus that make me sick. Rugby is not my thing either but I do like a bit of gridiron now and then. Tennis is probably my favourite. Backhand, forehand, backhand, forehand – juice. Now that’s something I’m quite good at.

      I hope the best team wins in your rivalry with doco, you are both really good sports.

    19. I would rather watch paint dry than watch tennis. I agree with your thoughts on UK soccer but I'd add all soccer to my list, I enjoy rugby league and most other contact sports, in my younger days I enjoyed boxing.
      Melbourne Storm beat Brisbane Broncos tonight and I will be letting Docoman know that his team is second rate compared with the Storm. Sport has always played a big part of my life. As with most country kids over here our only social interaction involved being a part of your local football and cricket teams. otherwise it was working on the farm from day light to dark. I was raised on a race horse stud so any chance I got to get away from those nags was taken gladly.
      The little bubbles of nothing are always more enjoyable when shared good friends in my opinion and I'm sure between the three of us we will make the bubbles of nothing into something quite memorable for all concerned. Do you like fishing mate ?

    20. I used to like boxing and even fought for the school and club but went right off it few years later; I can still polish off a chocolate box in one round though. I’ve gone fishing with friends a few times and quite enjoyed it but it had little to do with catching fish and more to do with the crack and the surroundings. Btw crack doesn’t mean cocaine it’s the atmos of the banter. So the Storm blew away the Broncos, are they your major rivals?

      Ok if you wanna talk about a real man’s sport, what about pool. I hereby throw down my glove!!! I suppose my favourite sports are god bashing and religion mauling, I used to like politician savaging but that got boring. Got any interest in philosophy dude, I think we should try to be on topic occasionally.

    21. My desire and passion for learning has opened the door for my interest in philosophy, however I think that my true understanding of it has long way to go before I could say with any confidence that I fully comprehend the true meaning.
      I believe that without the bases of philosophy the advancements we have today may not have been achieved.

      Pool and darts is the only two games that the Poms have any chance of beating us Aussie at (only if we having a bad day As an amateur boxer I made the national commonwealth games selection trials, but sports politics prevented me from competing at the games. I went pro after that and six week before competing for my first national title I had a severe motor bike accident and lost the partial use of my left hand and could no longer clench my fist, hence the end of my fight career.

      I understood your line about crack as I have a few Irish friends.
      I find it very amusing that over time so many words have been used out of there contents to discribe other things, eg; Fag use to mean a cigarette now it means a homosexual male, Gay use to mean happy, the list is endless yet also ever evolving.

      I haven't got my head around all the abbrevations that now appear in everyday writtings.

      Every team wants to beat the Storm as they have beem the bench mark of the competion since joining the league in '98, prior to that the Bronco's would have been the most consistant team in the comp. Most non Storm supporters will make up excuses on why they are so strong, but at the end of the day it comes down to we are better than them.

    22. Storm mongrels are good :( Haha, good game mate. Get ya's next time :)

      FIGJAM is one that all Storm players/supporters should know. ;) And if anyone ever wants a 2nd opinion about Storm.. just ask you twice. :) lol

      Bugger about your bike accident and injury mate. Not a lefty too are ya? That'd make it hard if you are, wiping your chin after talking about Storm comes to mind ;) Haha. I'm not bitter, just a sore loser is all. lol.

      I'm the same as you regarding philosophy, I don't know much about it but am interested in learning, this old dog is still looking to learn some new tricks.

    23. It's funny you ask that as most people wouldn't consider that as the majority of people are right handed, and yes I am left handed. I was extremely lucky to keep it as The doctors where going to cut it off at the wrist, but my girlfriend at the time told them that I'm left handed and if I woke up with out it I would kill some one. (had an agression problem back

      Your right about wiping yourself, learning how to wipe your bum with your opposit hand takes alot more effort than one would amagine. I'm now at the stage that my only disability is other people, most people don't even realise until it pointed out to them as I still have all my fingers although they don't all work.

      Losing would come as second nature to non Storm supporter I would assume. It was a good game and they gave us a bit of a scare the result was never in doubt in my opinion. We have three of the best player in the world in key position, I could go on for hours giving the storm the wrap they deserve but this is not the forum too.

      I only have limited knowledge of philosophy however the more I learn about it the more it interest me.

      I agree with you about this doco, yet it was enough to wet my appitite to explore this subject further.
      My 4 1/2 year old son tells me how bad smoking is all the time and it's hard to argue with a child especially when you know their right.

    24. I bet the doctors thought that was a handy bit of information to know. ;) Lol, I was actually imagining the difficulty I'd have hurting my right hand and then trying to wipe my a$$ with my left. The devil is in the details. :) Damn, you must have hurt it properly. As long as your important fingers still work ;)

      'A meat-worker accidentally cut off a finger. He rang his girlfriend from the hospital and said, "I cut off a finger." She replied, "ohh, the whole finger?" He said, "No, the one next to it." ' ;)

    25. It's a pity this is only a preview, I wouldn't mind watching the whole doco. I don't know much about their philosophies but am interested.
      I could have got it wrong, didn't Nietzsche live in a cave for a little while? (It may have been his alter-ego I'm mixed up with, before he pronounced 'God is dead')

      You're right, there is no 'probably' about quitting smoking for health reasons. I haven't really researched into it, but it's fairly well plastered on advertising here about the health problems it causes. I have to want to quit, and right now I don't want to enough. That's pretty slack I know, but that's where I'm at, at the moment.

      I was asked a question a few years ago that made me stop and think a bit. It was, "what do you want most in this world". After some decent thought, my answer was 'personal peace'.
      In this preview when they were talking about the cloud and the mountain, or the leaf on the stream, it made some sense to me. I think humans have a tendency to forget that we're an animal too and are part of a system that is interdependent on other parts.

      Going fishing or bush 'grounds' me, reminds me what I am and where I fit into the system. That all the cement, the money and much of what we do is not what it's all about really. That's mostly human BS add-ons, and to me that's not where I find any peace.

      I do with things like watching fish or being in my food garden as the sun is coming up. I don't have kids myself but I love my nephews and nieces and seeing them healthy and happy is more satisfying then words can express. Those sorts of things make me feel real, which gives me some peace, if that makes any sense. :)
      I don't know enough about Zen to know if it's along their lines of thinking or not, it's just how it feels for me.

    26. @docoman & jackmax

      The sound of one hand clapping?


      The research I mentioned was specifically gut related stuff. The impact of smoking on the guts is not well understood by the general public but it is dramatic, check it out. When I was asked "What do you want most in this world?” I answered that I wanted to get well. I still didn’t stop. I’ll stop preaching about this forevermore as I can’t follow my own advice. I’m consoled that I had no choice in it anyway?

      Yeah Zarathustra lived in a cave at times with his eagle and his snake and Nietzsche sometimes described his accommodation as cave like but cave idea usually relates to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. If you tie this to his “Myth of the Metals” you can begin to see his some of his philosophy and how it can be used and misused. Christianity stole/adopted much from Plato, especially the idea of the soul.

      One the most read books in the world with a deep
      philosophical content is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig. I highly recommend it to both of you. The follow up to it “Lila” is pretty good to, both are easy to understand and cover a lot of stuff. They are good reads in their own write even if you’re not keen on philosophy.

      Boys o boys did I laugh when I looked up what FIGJAM meant I’ll be sure to spread a little on my toast in the morning. I’ll also to serve it up sweetly to a couple of blowhards I know.

      *Lights a Fag*

    27. I was at our local library the other day and seen "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", but i was so preoccupied with another subject that I never pick it up, however I will be there on Tuesday to sign it out.

      I don't have a bike at the moment as I just sold my Fatboy. I found it quite funny that you didn't know what FIGJAM meant, but then I've often been told us Aussies have a unique take on the english language.

      Another term we use quite often is DILLIGAF which is an Aussie philosophy in a manner of speaking.

      Do you follow the sport of kings at all?

      As I mentioned earlier my family have been in the horse racing industry all my life, with some success. My father owned a quarter share in a horse call Kiwi when it won the Melbourne Cup in the mid eighties.

      I must admit the sport of god bashing and religion mauling has provided me with a lot of enjoyment lately, but so has f*ck wit slaying.

    28. Wow, I remember that horse winning the Cup. Big red horse wasn't it? Ahh, the good old days, when an Aussie could own a Kiwi. :)
      (settle down any NZ readers, I'm joking about the horse)

      A Fatboy, you're a Harley man. You noisy, lucky bast@rd :) I had one check my sphincter a few hours ago on the highway, snuck up beside me then gave it a handful and 'barked' past while I was watching a truck the other side. The mongrel got me good. :)

      I wonder if he's read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. That bike sounded nice, once my heart restarted.

    29. @jackmax & docoman

      ZMM is not really about Zen or Motorcycles though they do feature in it. It’s the story of a road trip by a man with lots of deep questions. His estranged son and a couple of friends go along for the ride. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but parts of it are more than heartbreaking. I’m somehow sure you’ll both like it though. Please let me know what you think.

      Sports are just not my thing, horse racing and the betting on it leave me cold and mystified but I don’t dislike it. I’m sure I could get into horse riding. There is a “winning is everything “mentality in so much sport that the ole fashioned maxim of “It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game” seems forgotten. For me it’s the most important thing.

      National identity, patriotism and convicts. I said I might
      appear alien to you earlier about sports, how about this. I have no national pride; I see the country of my birth as just a fluke of nature and could not sing a national anthem just because i was born there. My interest in philosophy and Zen in particular has led me away from the olde ideas of self and ego. Did you know that the root of the word persona means theatrical mask? All the world’s a stage...or maybe a prison?

      DILLIGAF. Lol. When faced with situations where this kind of response is required I often reply in my most plummy voice that they are confusing me with someone who gives a sh1t.

    30. Zen and motorcycles is a curious mix. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have a look for it. Most of my riding has been farm work related, I haven't gone riding for years now. I drive a Holden, so could use some extra help keeping it on the road. :)
      I'm very ignorant concerning philosophy, I've just been looking up what the Myth of the Metals is. An interesting idea the short description I read. I've read Plato's Cave before, I think it was after reading something on TDF I looked it up.

      Hmm, I bet if we went with jackmax to a game he'd clap with one hand... against the opposing supporters head in front of him. :)

      I wasn't aware of smoking linked to gut problems. None of my doctors have mentioned that (that I remember), they all told me to quit though. I'll check it out, thanks mate. (doesn't surprise me though, I often have to pry out anything more then a basic answer from Dr.s, they usually don't like saying they don't know)

      My brother was a heavy smoker and quit a couple of years ago. He said he realised that the urge to smoke was mostly psychological (the idea of loosing something we think we need keeps us smoking), any physical cravings he felt were because of the smoke he'd had earlier and will pass relatively quickly after stopping. Seems to have worked for him, he'll sit here and chat with me for hours while I smoke away, he's not fussed by it. I do need to consider stopping for good. I don't feel it's preaching mate, you're welcome to speak your mind.
      For me to quit smoking I need to want to. I either quit, or don't quit, if I say 'I'm trying to quit' I've already lost before I start. I don't want to enough yet is my problem. When I want to, and I make the decision to, I'll stop.
      I used to think I was hooked on pot, I ended up stopping completely for a couple years, partly to prove to myself I could. I enjoy a puff, and it has it's medical applications for me, but I can take it or leave it now and don't smoke regular like I once did. (obviously I chose to smoke again sometimes, I'd killed the imagined demons I had.) The addiction was mostly 'in my head', a false belief more then a fact. I found it much easier to stop then I had anticipated. Although it was very helpful through some harder times a few years back, it's not the crutch for me now I used to think it was.
      I take other prescription medications more now though, and have to watch them closely as they're very addictive. I can see why many people get hooked on prescription pain killers. I've had valium (a good muscle relaxant) at times for 15 or so years, and pain killers/opiates for about the last 4, and am not addicted, because I usually use them after it's too hard or tiring to deal with it mentally, and any time I feel their addictive pull I don't take any for awhile, break it before it gets harder. Tobacco is harder then them for me, it's on or off, there's no in between.

      A bit of FIGJAM now and then is healthy. :) I'd like to see you and jackmax have a game of pool. You'd better 'beat him like a red-headed step child', as us convicts love reminding our ex-wardens when we win something. ;)

    31. G'day mate,
      I'm also still here, I've been a little busy the last week or so, but hoping things will slow down shortly. My sons doing fine at the moment, but I'm sure that he will have his ups and downs over the next few months or so.
      Bugger mate its no good about your health and I hope that everything turns out OK for you.
      You could come over during our winter and it still be warmer than your summer...:)

    32. Howdy doody dude.

      I’m glad that your son is doing well, that fighting spirit
      of yours and his will help in the battles ahead. I’m doing ok at the mo as well thanks.

    33. Hey 666...writing skills?...frenchy girl noticed you write "And you are *write* about Body Language".
      I had to say it.

    34. Hi oQ

      It was nice of you to point that out but it wasn’t a
      spelling mistake, it was more of hint really. Lots of my posts contain deliberately misspelled wrods, it’s silly I know but I’m just a kid playing catch out the grammar police. Witch you’re much too nice to be one of.

    35. I new it was deliberate. But it steel took me today's to mustard up the courage to send yew this silly little gag, sense even a Miss Placed, comma almost causes me physical discomfort.
      HELP ME!

      Do you sit pose a quick snort of 'Jabberwocky' might do the trick?

    36. Roflmfo. Nothin rong with a ood speling errer, suk it up, hardin up and say wot u thinc mate. Sory if they maek u uncumfourtable.
      WTF is Jabberwocky, I've never tryed that? Is that the drinc they sirved on star wars? :)

    37. WTF is Jabberwocky

      Lol! Folks have been asking that for about 150 years now.

      Best to take it straight down, in one quick shot, without asking too many questions.

    38. Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves

      Make of it what you will but this Language Game we play is a deceptive old witch for sure. Don’t get me wrongy but I feel your pain also at my own textual ugghlyness. A coma hear, a period there, a dashing italic sentence every now and then, it doesn’t really matter - but it absolutely has to look write!

      Jabba Wonga he no Jedi

      One way of slaying this particular demon is to laugh in his face every now and then, let rip your anti grammer policeman and bring on the badly splet grafeety

      So yeah, I recommend a good snort of Jabberwock Juice on a daily basis, even though getting them in the blender is a devil of a job. Sit Pose, I liked that, very clever, but meditation is anything but noncesense. Don’t Panic! The guide is at hand, let yourself go, dive in, drowning is the best bit.

    39. G'day mate, how's it going over there, thawed out yet? :)

      Qui audet adipiscitur

      You know the translation is worn by some people still today? Those people that work hard to wear that.

      I was sharing some nothings with a supposedly bad tempered mate of mine (he isn't really, he is a good bloke in real life). This mate in his past earned the right to wear that translation, and a sandy coloured head wear sometimes with it on it. If you ever feel like you need a laugh and are in a Grumpy mood, ask about walking across a parade ground while drunk and not seeing the RSM approaching. ;)
      A laugh often resets the 'Zen' feeling. :)

      I haven't found Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance yet. Got my eye open for it.

      Edit- I should have said RSM's.. plural. :)

    40. G’day mate, things are good thanks, we’re finally getting some better weather at last. What about you dude, how are tricks on your side of the world? I’m so pleased you got to meet Snow White’s most charming companion, did you know each other from previous service?

      That’s quite a badge of courage your mate wears and he has every right to be proud of himself, give him a good slap on the back from me dude. Lol.

      Resetting the Zen feeling with laughter you say, it sounds like good medicine to me and I was immediately reminded of this quote by Virginia Woolf, it’s a favourite of mine when I find I’m taking myself and the world too seriously.

      “That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to
      perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.”

      Keep looking for the book, I predict you’ll love it.

    41. Warm days, nights are cooling off, winter is coming. :( I'll be buying a drink or three in the near future, ANZAC day is the 25th. Our biggest remembrance day for our service men and women. My b'day a couple days later too :) No, I didn't serve, I've been ill since 21, I considered the air force in high school but life pushed me into traveling overseas before coming home and getting sick. What he says I have every reason to believe and some things I know to be true, a rare thing in a virtual environment like this. Thought you'd like to know. :) Relationships come and go, which means in-laws do too. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers, a number of nephews and nieces and a great nephew now. (I maintain I've always been a great uncle ;) One nephew of mine is 4 nearly 5.. Doesn't mean people can't be friends despite situations if done with integrity, which isn't a problem.

      I'm waiting for someone I know that said he saw the book, talkin' sh!t like he usually does probably though. ;) I asked at a small local 2nd hand book shop, they hadn't heard of it. :(

    42. Not exactly on the Zen mind conversation, but along some that was said the other day about cricket and Aussie humor. One of the funny signs (not meant in any racial way this joke btw) I recall seeing at the cricket (the crowd bring sheets with signs painted on them and hang over the rails), our Captain was Ricky Ponting, the visiting Indian team's was Anil Kumble.
      The sign read;
      Aussies love Ricky
      Indians love Anil

    43. G'day 6's

      How you going mate, I'm extremely proud of my military service even though it starting to feel like a life time ago now.
      Laughter has always been my best Zen. At some stage I will tell you about some of my run ins with RSM's and the likes. I'm sure some mite appeal to sense of humour..
      I have a copy of the book waiting for me to pick up tomorrow when I head into the library and pay my late fees.

    44. Aloha Jackmax

      Yeah mate you passed a test that very few could and have every write to be proud. I’m so chuffed that you’ll get your hands on this gem of a book soon and I’m looking forward to your opinion of it. There is quite a lot about “Quality” of writing in it that might help your previously stated goal.

    45. Did you know RSM is the only correct spelling of god in the military

    46. That's what I heard apparently. :)

    47. @Antitheist666

      Those last ramblings where done while reading (going out on a limb). The filter was turned off. There were a few salient points but nothing we haven’t discussed before.

      Ref: Van Cleave’s “a Revolution in Philosophy”. He begins with a statement about a Revolutionary Paradigm Shift. Many people today speak of “The Shift” or “Universal Enlightenment” through some
      frequency shifts over the earth (modern day term for a Pentecost). There is one coming and most likely not the shift hoped for. Paradigm shifts move in many directions. The momentum is in the desire of the masses. The discussion below will provide some “pointers” to why. A paradigm is an accepted norm, concept or pattern. Put the emphasis on the word accepted (rational or irrational).

      Van Cleave steps off from a specific worldview. The most telling is his statement “that consciousness results from basically reflex reverberations in portions of the nervous system”. This states that consciousness is a subsystem of the body and terminates with the death of the body. This is a belief just as much as “consciousness is the essence of being of which the body is the subsystem”. This is positional. To be quite blunt I couldn’t care less about
      someone’s belief. There is however some very poignant consequences contained within each.

      Those two statements in parenthesis are the crux of the debate and the expression of a positional view as to the value of life. Please note I did not say human life alone. A human being, demonstrably, has two natures. One is defiantly animal with all the animal traits and that is proven in all too many ways every day around the world. (Think instinctive behavior.)
      Mother Nature is a bitch and she has no mercy when her Natural laws are violated. (By the way his valence idea must consider the irrational as an unknown cause. That’s the fly in the soup.)

      The second nature revolves around our higher cognitive functions, all of them and the individuation of consciousness, I am, I know that I am and I know this individual expression is temporary. This is the being that asks the questions how, who, what, and why am I?

      The word “evolution” has been applied to encompass Cosmic Evolution: The origin of time, space and matter, by the Big Bang, Chemical Evolution: The origin of higher elements from hydrogen, Stellar
      and Planetary Evolution: The origin of stars and planets, Organic Evolution: The origin of Life,
      Macro-Evolution: The changing from one kind of species to another kind of species and Micro-Evolution: The variation within kinds of species.

      It’s the current answer to how, who, what and why I am. This is not a protest against evolution. I’m well versed in the concept and its evolution (remember evolution is an idea label). Although it’s backed-up
      by empirical data (for some parts) it is our modern day myth (in some parts). I use the word “some” because the tree representation of the process so meticulously mapped is a concept and all parts of the tree are not connected by data. Some parts are only “logically” connected (the myth parts and myths change with knowledge).

      To wrap this up, the guy is clever and intelligent but biased. I could state that he is an “Evolutionary
      Mystic”. To bring the Zen Mind topic back into the discussion but it’s Yin and no Yang and therefore Unbalanced. There is only one Fish contained within the Circle.

      On his web page there were two unexplored items out of three to do’s: Survival of the Whichest: evolutionary
      theory having important answers for social questions and Metaphysical Functionalism: providing a deeper understanding of why evolutionary theory can't be ignored by philosophers (without serious nsequences) are not yet addressed (for 13 years).

      He has completed an abstract for Metaethical Functionalism: providing the most complete exposition of his views in a single paper. (Yes it does but lacks the forethought of implications.)

      The topics that should draw the most concern from the home page are two questions and three abstract paper topics. Brackets are mine.

      Can ethics really be naturalized? (Yes but can they be universal?)

      What's the proven meaning of life? (His explanation excludes the existence of an antonymous Self and has repercussions all over the next three items. This would be problematic even if this position were to be true. Consider the fallout.)

      Decision theory and rationality

      Political theory

      And even eugenics! (OMG – add to that genetic
      engineering. Chimeras!! Wait they already exist as sheep growing human tissue. Maybe all the Myths real are true.)

    48. AntiTheist666

      The good new is that
      our ego carriers are recreated in every now of consciousness. Change in inevitable.

    49. What??? Another imposter rears its beautiful head... I love it and hate it already!

    50. Ego carriers? Interesting, it sounds like it could play a part in that map of yours.

      I like the avatar a lot. There is something in the eyes
      of that image that fascinates me? If you don’t mind please tell me about your choice, I think it’s apt and suits you well.

      “Ecstasies and Resignations are the lot of the
      mystic once stripped bare. There is a process unavoidable that which when resisted persists as due fare.”

      Could you flesh this out a little more please

      Sorry to keep asking so much but what can a poor boy

    51. @Antitheist666

      The avatar is a composite, part Philosopher “The Eyes of the Knower” part Hermetic “The Unfinished Work (pyramid)”, Gnostic, (equilateral triangle), part Vision and a mix of Eastern and Western traditions (Third Eye), a clear single image. There is also a Dali
      painting wrapped in there "The Mysterious Lips that Appeared on the Back of my Nurse" within which are two almost unnoticed “Shadows” ala C G Jung’s “Shadow”. As stated before, “only a clear lens transmits true or real color (quale)”.

      )Search for or recall pictures of Lawrence of Arabia.) In a very conscious dream I was wandering about (in a desert of course) where I was confronted with an figure that looked like Lawrence in full desert attire but the image was from mid-chest up with swath of the head dress covering the nose and lower parts of
      the face.

      The right hand was extended with eyes fixed on me in a hailing gesture. The image began aging very quickly, especially around the eyes. It then began to fade just as quickly toward the horizon seemingly beckoning. Coalesced, those images speak volumes (to yours truly anyway).

      Ref: The single eye within the equilateral triangle. All properties are equal lateral lines, interior and exterior angles yield a still center. All forces are equally distributed across the base. (My head is adding dimensions and motion with the properties that follow. I’m not going to go there.) (Metaphors and more coming)

      “Ecstasies and Resignations” Ecstasies vary in energy. Some times they build up like walking on a carpet in leather shoes during dry winter heat. This can result in a small discharge that snaps when grounded just barely noticed or, with a “longer commute” a much larger charge, loudly cracking
      and possibly a reaction in the “clothing” “opposite” the discharge point startling the “charge carrier”.

      Resignations are always choices when one knows their carrying a charge. There is always some type of sensation associated with carrying a charge hair clinging to a comb or brush, clothes clinging or “other signs” somehow sensed. (Mild to intense anxiety, depression, trepidation, anticipation or even exuberance) Electrical shock actually calms the nerves.

      An oblivious charge carrier may only get a mild
      sense of relief after the discharge and continue in oblivion. The know-er makes choices, avoid contact with a ground, a “door” perhaps or find a “similar charge” but unless somehow grounded the charge remains. Yet another will go ahead and grab the “grounded door”, open it, take the pain and proceed.

      Has there been communication?

    52. Read red wine.

      Thanks again for such delightfully detailed answers, I’m drinking them up and savouring them deeply but wonder whether my palate is refined enough to appreciate the quality. Your last post has left me a little *******? <-Sorry, I can’t think of an apt wrod hear. (Not a bad thing) Disturbed, though close, is still a million ways away. I was pleased however when looking through the images of Lawrence of Arabia to be reminded of the first time I saw Peter O’Toole
      in the movie. I was a young boy and loved the film but more importantly to me was how much I loved Peter’s face and voice. The eyes have it and need no ugly make up. I was to go back to that same cinema to see him and Katharine Hepburn in one of my favourite films– The Lion in Winter. I admired Katharine so much that I was to later name my daughter after her.

      “This can result in a small discharge that snaps when grounded just barely noticed or, with a “longer commute” a much larger charge, loudly cracking and possibly a reaction in the “clothing” “opposite” the discharge point startling the “charge carrier”.

      My ex wife and I both experienced lots of this in the first few weeks of arriving in Johannesburg. Car doors, tin cans and even handshakes and kisses would often produce a shock. I know you were talking metaphorically but I feel I’m not getting all of it? I’m not sure what you mean by know-er? Is this so shocking that you have to ask if there has been communication? I can only speak for myself and say yes, contact has been made, spaarks have been observed, it’s just a matter of interpretation now. I might even call it communion as much as communication. Care for a wafer?

    53. @AntiTheist666:disqus

      The Doc "Inner and Outer Worlds" puts many of our topics of conversation into a documentary. I was actually surprised just how many. You might find it interesting and surprising too.

    54. As i was watching "Inner and Outer Worlds" last night, i thought of your conversation with @AntiTheist666...even had the idea of suggesting the doc.
      I see i didn't need to.

    55. oQ

      You Sir are observant as always but that is expected. In places it was quite amusing to hear the same terms and phrases. Some of the background music set me a bit on edge as it seemed a prelude to New Age distortions. Then I heard the "Pange Lingua" in Gregorian Chant, some Egyptian themes and sensed the universal theme i.e. no bias.

      Good to hear from you..

    56. @oQ:disqus

      OOPS, I visited your web site and it's gorgeous. Please excuse the gender biased Sir.

    57. Thanks for that, I have already watched the first part which I enjoyed immensely, I hope to catch the rest later this evening.

    58. I really enjoyed the Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds doc, it was quite amazing how many topics and people that we have chatted about were in it. It was almost like it was made to order...the power of the imagination eh?

      I have added several yoga exercises into my daily fitness regime via my Wii Balance Board, The Palm Tree is really good for my spine and boy do I feel the universe flow through me when I pull this off well. There is also a “Zen” Stillness exercise that is harder to achieve than one might think but it’s good to practice. The upshot of all this is that my meditation sessions seem to have been improved. I’m stiller, quieter and probably breathing better. I’m also sleeping better as I’m waking earlier and feeling more refreshed. The slight downside is that I don’t seem
      to recall any dreams lately.

      I have to face two investigative surgeries (biopsies) tomorrow, one in each of the most sacred and sensitive areas known to man. We have talked about fear before and this is a helluva big one for me. I’m not at all scared of the surgery, nor do I fear the outcome, what will be, will be. What scares the pants off me though is waking up during the procedure, this has happened to me twice and on the last occasion the experience was horrific. This time I mentioned it to the doctor doing the pre – op assessment and he was kind enough to make a note to the anaesthetist about it.

      I was thinking about all the tough challenges I have faced and overcome in my life and for once I sort of congratulated myself at being hard. You are hard in body and mind I told myself, oh that’s good thing I thought? What’s the price of it I asked? How does this affect anti- me? Oh that’s your deep sensitivity he replied. This double edged sword cuts both ways, the harder you become the deeper you get cut.

    59. Hello my dear friend, I hope you are well and life is good.
      I’m so sorry that I disappeared without warning many moons ago, this is not the place to explain but I want you know that my reasons were not trivial. I often think about you and the chats we had about so many subjects, for me they were enjoyable, enlightening and uplifting, in short I was inspired by you.

      I recall you talking about Jung and how he said that things that repeat themselves or seem too coincidental may be signposts to the psyche, he had a term for it but it escapes me at the moment...

      Yesterday I was admiring images of Michelangelo’s
      Prisoners/Slaves and I was reminded of Blake’s Laocoon print that you kindly led me to. You posed a question along the lines of who is the captive here. Then earlier today I was looking at Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova and was reminded of The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, another image etched on my mind by you.

      So if it is a signpost, I think it goes like this > envelopment
      > constraint > strength >emergence > deadly conflict > wholeness > ecstasy. Or in other words, I am the captive prisoner slave and need to fight to the death to reach nirvana. Or maybe I should stop trying to find meaning everywhere. I’ll leave you with this from Blake’s Laocoon.

      “Art can never exist without Naked Beauty display'd.”

      Talking about things unfinished

      “The Eternal Body of Man is in the Imagination...”

    60. Well there you are! I was in England last September. I stayed at the Strand for three days while touring London with my wife and daughter, later visits were Ireland and Scotland.

      I attempted a few posts to you prior to the trip. I thought we could get together and have a pint or two.

      The Jungian word you’re looking for is “Synchronicities”. Strict rationalists continually try to explain them away. They prefer signs over symbols unless the symbol is in some type of equation. I’d rather just enjoy serendipities and synchronicities. They bring a smile to my being.

      Speaking of synchronicities, I had a bout (or am having one) similar to the one you had a while back that caused you some concern. Forty-three IMRT treatments and four injections later everything looks great. Post treatment effects are very tolerable and in three months I should be back to normal. The golf handicap has suffered though and the number dances per evening out is a bit limited.

      Back to synchronicities, I found that the doctor and two of his staff have similar interests to what we've discussed here at length. There was a weekly consultation after each week’s treatment. Each one went the same way, thirty seconds concerning the treatment and twenty minutes on meditation. Now he wants to collaborate. I’ll find out how April 3rd.

      That said,

      “Or in other words, I am the captive prisoner slave and need to fight to the death to reach nirvana. Or maybe I should stop trying to find meaning everywhere.”

      Just relax and enjoy the journey, and you will. Individual meaning has its own way of catching your attention. It’s sometimes like a child feeling ignored, sometimes like an insect approaching your eye out of the field of focus and others like walking into a closed door in the dark.

      When it hits the meaning will be obvious, like stopping what you’re doing and getting down to eye-level with the child, a brush of the hand
      at the insect or turning on the light and opening the door.

      Search for three graphics, the Egyptian weighing of the Heart (the one with the seven small globes going up the center staff and the crocodile’s head intersecting above the third globe), a Caduceus and a “ida and pingala nadis” imposed on a monk. Set them side by side on a word sheet and see what they have in common. Are you looking at three things or one? Where is the path of least resistance?

    61. Hi Philio, you bring a smile to my being. Maybe I’m being overdramatic here but it was a tragedy that I missed the opportunity to meet up with you. I would cross Heaven and Earth for that. Was it your first visit and what did you make of the uK?

      I’m saddened to hear of your IMRT but pleased to know that it went well. I wish you a speedy and complete recovery and I’m confident that you will cope with this as well as you cope in the other deadly conflicts of life. I’m not out of the woods yet but the treatments aren’t as intense as yours, I’m coping pretty well with but feel like I’m dying of something else, underachievement, dissatisfaction, and lack of good intercourse - or even more importantly - basic nookie. Now that was overdramatic! There’s a lot of truth in it though.

      My interpretation of the synchronicity I have been experiencing lately looks positive but it’s not, rather than trying to reach nirvana, I just want to escape hell. I really should know better but I feel I should be doing something else, I don’t know what though. I feel radical change is needed and I am scared of it, I fear it will come anyway. I am much too cosy, weak and defeatist to even attempt anything worth achieving these days. I really have nothing to complain about and much to be cheerful about so why do i feel so blue, such a small blue thing.

      Thanks for the encouraging words and pointers, I’ll be checking them out soon and I will be back to you to chew them over.

    62. @AntiTheist666:disqus - A few more pointers

      All of those Symbols were generated from one circa 2500BCE+/-. The ancient seven sphered cosmos,moon orbit to Saturn orbit or alpha to omega. From there to Jacob's ladder to the Sumerian Libation Cup, (the guards of the Tree of Life), to Thoth scale ----> Chakras. All the same method and message.

      The middle path of Gautama Buddha is the path through the center. The first three Chakras are are the last last three intermediate mind states of the Bardo Thodol before rebirth into the world of pain and suffering. Why go there?

      Look for pure awareness. Do not direct it (or shine it) on any object. When awareness shines on an object it becomes conscious. We call that interaction mind.

      "The mind is the slayer of the real, the slayer must be slain."

      The message is to only recognize the distractions if you must but never be moved (to participate i.e., (not struck) and immediately return to the stillness, pure awareness without objects..

      All intrusions are the construct of your own mind so never fear, thoughts, voices or visions. Give them no attention.

      The more you practice the easier it is. Deign to be different from the 99% and get past the Solar Plexus. You're obviously generating the energy. Use it. A bath in the Heart Chakra is well worth it.

      Pax et Bonum

    63. Sorry for the delay in replying but I wanted to put into practice some of the meditating techniques you mentioned and compose a reply worthy of your kindness. I don’t how you do it but you always manage to say the right thing or point me in the direction to it. Thanks, I had forgotten how refreshing it can be. I did exactly as you suggested with the images and couldn’t help notice the similarity to your own avatar, it has more meaning to me now. May I ask if there’s any reasoning behind your screen name? I have been undisciplined and haven’t treated my meditations with respect for far too long, I’m more a disciple of chaos than of peace and goodness these days.

      However, your encouraging wrods and i mages have worked a treat and beaten my black and blueness away, golden horizons seem near - like the delicious runny yokes of my poached eggs this morning. In my meditations I realised once again that I could forgive myself for being a striving and failing human being, as long I’m learning from it. And if fail again next time - I want to fail harder but better.

      Peace of the Soul, ha, maybe Twilight of the Idols is Peace for the Soul, said Nietzsche mocking and contradicting himself. Cyclic synchronicities come to mind again as I recall some of our first conversations about him. Just a few days ago I was contemplating what he said in Beyond good and Evil about philosophy being a spiritual will to power, the will to causa sui, he calls philosophers that “other” order of saints. I wondered what form this spirituality might take for a strictly rational hard determinist? Is spirituality compatible or even possible in the hardest and most determined will to power? I didn’t get very far... I thought of you and your “Road Map” for free spirits.

      Just before I fell asleep last night I held an image in my mind that was captivating in a way that I have never experienced before. It was so pleasant and so rich in detail that I admired it for a while ...I smiled at my powers of imagination. I was impressed with my ability to hold it for as long as I did under the circumstances, before I fell asleep it spoke to said...isn’t this nice... look what you have created...this is your can come here anytime...

      I feel sure that my vivid imaginations and refreshing sleep were the result of the calm I achieved from meditating earlier.

    64. AntiTheist666 -

      The screen name Philio is a typo. It should have been Phileo but once you hit post it’s permanent. The standard translation of Phileo is brotherly love but the way it is
      normally translated is tradition speaking and an error.

      In Greek there are four words for love eros, storge, phileo and agape. Eros is immoral and this needs no further explanation. Storgeo is the natural affection
      between parents and children, a duty-driven love for family, tolerance, familiarity, or love for one's enemies. Normally agape is used in conjunction with love for one’s enemies. If that is the way it’s understood the usage of agape in the Gospels is totally missed.

      Phileo is amoral and conditional. Once the condition dissolves, as in no longer finding satisfaction, so does Phileo. (Think marriages gone badly.)

      It was meant to be a word play on the avatar. Phileo is very often the last “recognition”
      having an unconscious cause because it seems so correct and good! The meaning of the word play was betrayed by the middle finger or my right hand, I instead of E.

      The three words, éros, storge, phileo, require “objects”.

      Agape is another misunderstood word using the term unconditional as an excuse. Today it used as an ego salve to explain a parent’s love for a child they have failed to discipline (never exercising agape) or the love that remains for an abusive mate (masochism). Both usages are in error.

      The single eye within the equilateral triangle is the state where all properties are equal,
      the lateral lines, interior and exterior angles yield a still center. All forces are equally distributed across the base as in “not struck” or “not moved”. What remains is agape, the immovable state of being. This is variously expressed as the “union of opposites”
      or “balance as in the Thoth Scale”.

      The effect of united opposites is zero in math, physics and psychology. When the conscious actions meet their unconscious cause what have you? That’s the power of recognitions.

      Eros, storge and phileo are a rather good way to explain the first three Chakras. When objects cease to exist (the light of awareness is not diverted) what remains is agape, the heart Chakra. The rest is falling action through continued exercise, practice. Be not moved.

      By the way, the recognitions during meditation may take a while to merge with the daily walk but they will. How long depends on the one taking the walk. After all it is a journey.

    65. Thanks for your lovely words and once again you’ve moved me to think about being unmoved. Your explanations paint a more detailed picture of you and your outlook on life, it’s a life affirming and life enriching picture that I look at and stand agape. I see where you’re coming from and it fits entirely with your old screen name Aristotle, who goes into great detail about it in his “Nicomachean Ethics”. Yes I knew the old meanings of these words and their biblical context but hearing them from you puts them in a new light, and perhaps without knowing you’ve possibly answered a question that I posed earlier. Which was “...maybe I should stop trying to find meaning everywhere.”

      Your wrods spelt it out loud and clear “Eros is immoral and this needs no further explanation.”

      This screamed at me, forget philosophy and just get laid. Morality is the enemy of nature after all, and for me Eros needs examining in greater and deeper detail. I’m reminded of Plato’s “Symposium” and “The Phaedrus” where love in its various forms and meanings are discussed at length. He says that though Eros means physical love it can transcend into appreciation of the beauty within the person or even beauty itself. I feel that Eros is the greatest form of ecstasy and with it comes the greatest sorrow. Your mention of
      united opposites reminds me of Nietzsche talking about antithesis of values being a perspective and maybe a frog perspective at that. I was going to leave you with one of his aphorisms relating to the subject of ecstasy but after much looking online I can’t find the right translation. It’s from Twilight of the Idols > Skirmishes in a war with the age > Aphorism 8, but it MUST be the Kaufman translation; the others are poor and worthless in comparison.

      It’s a beautiful day here today and the forecast for the next few days is scorchio, so I’m off on a walk with a view to meditate outdoors for the first time in years.

      P.S. I’ve just seen your last post and don’t think it was poorly worded at all, not sure if I get the idea though, you will be a better judge of that.

      EDIT.OOPS. I meant the Anthony M. Ludovici translation; Kaufman and Hollingdale’s are pants in comparison.

    66. @antitheist666
      Humm, animal nature…. Animals react via instinct and are driven by situations, seasons and hormonal response to pheromones.

      In species Homosapiens pheromones are replaced by two sources, unconscious mental drives and conscious mental drives. The terms in theoretical psychology are Id,
      the unconscious and the Ego, partially subconscious and others hopefully

      Your summation of the quote is true, “That a quest to SEEK perfection will fail because
      it’s already here - it’s just our minds we need to adjust.” There is a BUT. The seeking is done in stillness of mind. The action happens in this way: attempt to quiet the mind, momentarily recognize the distraction and then return to stillness. Repeat as necessary.

      The exercise is recognizing and returning. It’s training the mind through exercise. Nietzsche says from Thus Spoke Zarathustra at the moment of the shortest shadow, in which “One becomes Two.” This is where the greater figure (the ubermensch) that always was but forced out of perception appears to the lesser (the ape man) with a force of revelation.

      The hopelessly lesser will always attempt to drag the greater down to his level and his situation remains as “no transcendence therefore no transfiguration”. A lesser that has grown to recognize the long expected friend, the greater who always was and is now perceived “to lead captivity captive” and seize hold of the one who had kept him captive and lead the ape man into a greater life. “What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under.”

      With Nietzsche this is a moment of deadly peril. His vision of the Tightrope Walker reveals the danger of a “tightrope walking attitude”. There is a parable for the Shevtashvatara Upanishad - Universal Self and the Individual Soul - mantra 6 & 7:

      “Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, are perched on a branch of the same tree. One of them tastes the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the
      other, tasting neither, calmly looks on.”

      “On the same tree, the individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity
      with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the other as the Lord worshipped by all and His glory, he becomes free from grief.”

      My friend, learn to calmly look on…. Philio

    67. @Philio:disqus

      Yum yum, perhaps the best from you yet. Ah what great moments of revelation, what synchro niceties, what wonderful gifts your golden words bring. Pax et Bonum, Pax et Lux. Again your wrods hit home like the stick of truth, they beat me senseless, they blind me, they leave a lasting impression and I love them. I cannot thank you enough for your kindness.

      “Leading captivity captive” This gives my musings on Michelangelo’s Prisoners/Slaves and Blake’s Laocoon a greater richness that I didn’t think was possible. Who is the Crucified One here? I’ve called you a Zen Master in the past but now I’d like to trumpet with the name Saviour - now I never thought I’d say that!? You reach out and touch faith...

      I hear what you’re saying about seeking, a kind of seeking without seeking. Letting things come into ones vision or mind’s eye without judgement and allowing them to leave without sorrow or gladness. An appreciation of the quiet stillness, of nothing as something.

      The mantras and the Nietzsche quote were just the medicine I needed. I have at times forgotten to celebrate my going under and have berated myself for having a devilishly chaotic nature, I will remember this the next time I meet the dark destroyer. This is also from the great Prophet.

      "I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.”

      Thank God for that ;)

    68. @AntiTheist666:disqus

      Teachers and Saviors……

      Universally there are no Teachers and spiritually no Saviors other than the
      Recognized Friend. Each is only a presenter
      or a presentation. The boon is that of
      opportunity, motives aside. The boon can
      be rejected or graciously accepted by “A lesser that has grown to recognize the
      long expected friend…” The “long
      expected friend” will work out the details.
      It’s only a question of how long the lesser must be “dragged” along the
      path until the two walk together in agreement. Recognition of the Greater is one illumination on the path of many. Unity is the ultimate goal.

      There are two paths one with two natures of “friend?”. One path is creations of the mind. The “uber” is not. Ref: Bardo Thodol’s
      “peaceful and wrathful spirits”.

      Remember “Nietzsche Wept”. Hopefully and I believe it was for him a release like deep and extended exhale. Breathe deeply and exalt in the long exhale. Got to stop here I’m waxing poetic…

      Had to do an edit. My daughter just posted the following on her FB page.

      "Your greatest self has been waiting your whole life; don't make it any longer."

      Something must by in sync...

    69. May this interjection be at it's place, a little grabbing of attention, may the motive be the same, 'cause this conversation grabs 'mine'. Undermine towards the silence, but let a fool play it's game. Have these virtual confines awakened, or are it still words?
      Unity is the ultimate goal...willingly or determined, towards silence, moving creation with an ultimate goal? Let a fool play it's game? Your greatest self, to yours but not 'mine', there's no 'me' no 'you'? Have these virtual confines awakened...? Again and again, wait no longer.

    70. @disqus_4Q0DyNe2Ip:disqus
      You're just a little hard to follow but I think I'm reading with agreement.
      No need to worry about interjections. Your welcomed to drop in anytime.

    71. Yes, a bit hard to follow, sorry about that, it was a bit of a freestyle inspiration of the moment :) Seems like i'm having a bit of trouble right now about what the train of thought was at that moment :/

    72. Trains of thought come in symbols and when you're viewing the symbol's meta data translation into serial data can be problematic.
      Have you ever written a page that you personally have a hard time following. I have!!

    73. Have i ever? Surely :) An exercise i do often, just write and let it flow. But what do you mean with a symbol's meta data? Different aspects of a symbol?

    74. The language of the mind isn't words. We have to assemble pictures, emotions, memories and etc. into a meaningful data stream we call language. It's a process within the mind view, identify and communicate (to your self) and to others. Language is just another form of art. The mind is the artist.

    75. ah, i see, translating into words, or a single form.

    76. P.S. That artist has multiple personalities, sometimes a bit schizo mask after mask.

    77. ah yes, how to create without a mask?

    78. Intriguing and quite poetic, please expand.

    79. Thanks, Well, about the fools game and the silence, it can be understood as silence being the zen state of mind, awareness, stilness,...and the fools game as a train of thought, where does it lead? Perhaps you already did understand that?
      About the virtual confines, clearly that's this place, letters on a screen, but why did i mention that...i'll have to reflect on that...

    80. Thanks, I sorta knew what you meant but wanted to be sure. I’m an easily fooled fool who loves to play silly games, especially with trains of thought. Much of what we’ve been chatting about is to do with escaping confines so it’s all good. Reflect on having a bit of a Zen Poet in you.

    81. Of course, foolishness is not meant to be negative, it's just a word to describe a dynamic, a bit like the fool in a deck of tarot cards. Archetypes, how do we understand them?
      But what would the world be without a fool? As mentioned before: All that we are is the result of what we have thought...
      A zen poet in me? Thanks, but ah, there's no me, just a few letters on this screen :)

    82. LOL. A few letters on a screen you say. But what CAUSED the letters to appear ;) Yeah the archaic meaning of The Fool in Tarot is anything but foolish.

    83. The cause? Who knows? Prime mover? :P

    84. Dragged along the path kicking and screaming, playing the fool and acting the goat, crying like a baby when it doesn’t get its own way, yep, that’s me, but I do have my moments.

      I looked up the Shevtashvatara Upanishad - Universal Self and the Individual Soul. Mantra 1 caught my eye; many of the others are an expansion of the same theme.

      “He, the One and Undifferentiated, who by the manifold application of His powers produces, in the beginning, different objects for a hidden purpose and, in the end, withdraws the universe into Himself, is indeed the self-luminous. May He endow us with clear intellect!”

      It made me think of what you said some time ago on this thread.

      The Mind-Doctrine is central to Buddhist teaching, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts." Zen is one expression of that teaching, the “embodiment” of mental and spiritual balance toward ultimate liberation.

      The words Liberation through Unity seem to summa up what we have been chatting about recently.

      Thanks for sharing your daughters quote, it’s a corker.

      I’d like to share this with you but rather than leave a link would you please search for –

      BBC A 13 year old eagle huntress in

      The images are breathtaking and also relate to what we have been discussing.

      Wax on whichever way you like my friend, see if you can polish this turd and make it shine like a dancing star.

    85. @AntiTheist666:disqus
      Sorry I can't polish anything. I'll just provide a rag and a jar of Brasso. The rest of the job is yours.
      Saw the pictures WOW. By the way I've seen that girl but in another incarnation!

    86. The rest of the jobbie is mine. LMAO. Oh that was delicious.

      I’m glad you liked the pictures; I perhaps understated it when I said they were breathtaking. So much rich detail in there. Nature in beautiful harmony. Please tell of seeing that amazing girl before?

    87. Oh my, so many freed spirits wrapped in flesh. Granted the vision of their eyes widen in the joy of release the mind is overwhelmed in a stream of visions each personified.
      The apex was being a part of raising one and watching her expand her vision on her own.

    88. Thankyou, that’s an incredibly deep and beautiful answer, I might need a week to think about it, to let it sink in and mature. There was something so joyful and at one with nature in that girls face.

    89. @Philio

      I don’t know why I’m choosing (if there is such a thing) to tell you this but it seems important to me even after thinking about it for a few days. It’s nothing really but it was quite a curious moment and I wondered if maybe like before you could shine your light on it. Just a few days ago I was alone in bed reading, relaxed but not quite ready for sleeping when out of a the blue I felt a single gentle nudge on my left arm, as if a partner had done it to get attention, like, look at this, or hey I’m here. What’s more is it did feel like a loving tap and felt real enough for me to look to my left. I gasped but quickly thought it’s just a spasm you fool and then smiled and felt a bit silly. However, though I’m not qualified I do have extensive first class training in physiology, abnormal physiology, psychology and psychiatry. This ‘nudge’ on my on my arm did not feel like any spasm I have ever felt before and bore very little resemblance to the traditional understanding of them.

      It was still on my mind about the next day, I thought about how easy it would be for someone to think it was a ghost or something to be scared of. How do you explain a loving nudge on the arm, it doesn’t seem possible. Why should this tiny moment seem so important to me? While I was meditating later I heard a strange but kind voice that said, it’s a sign, and it’s a sign that says you’re on the right path, keep going, you are loved, it was 100% positive. No clue of which way to go, or if there was a destination was given unfortunately. After this session I wondered what you would make of it but thought it was all too easily explained and too trivial to trouble you with. I’m like a dog with bone though and couldn’t resist asking. It’s in this surety of the message while meditating that makes me wonder if I haven’t missed something, the very thing I should be paying attention to, the thing that I can’t see at the moment.

      And with the rising and the setting of the sun this was 2nd day. Will you rise on the 3rd My Divine One?

    90. That’s interesting. I use to set consciousness cues to notify me when I was dreaming. The results were very interesting and sometimes mundane, other times not. Now I only pay attention to those that cue themselves. One way of stating why is that they have greater energy naturally. You’ll have to use the basic definition of energy here as “momentum or force to do work”. Understand that emotions in many forms from subtle to dire are all examples. They range from the primitive to those higher which are often more subtle.

      Somnambular experiences not only occur during sleep but also when there is less random “noise” from synapses firing awake, asleep or any state in-between. The state can be caused by any natural or purposeful alpha or deeper states through various REM states purposefully caused or not. Read meditation active or passive. They emote for both the subconscious or unconscious
      stimulation. The unconscious are more interesting and more illusive.

      I've recently had two that were very short and at first seemed disconnected. Here is one. I was walking with a dark haired brown eyed beauty that I knew some time ago. She never ages. The focus was on her face. Her look on her face was longing and her eyes were tearful. The only words I spoke in surprise
      were, “Are you still here?” End of dream.

      This caught my attention. The second caused real guilt because I was unable to render assistance in a vehicle crash. The guilt is still apparent by the way. It’s a little more subtle but remains and it is motivational. I have yet to determine where to apply that energy and that may be
      somewhere I’m refusing to go. Sooner hopefully than later I’m going to deal with both of these.

      I don’t know how well read you are concerning C. G. Jung but he is the best Western source concerning this type of material. This, both your experience and mine, is pure Anima, Animus symbolism. He points out in his Red Book, Liber Novus, that:

      “If you are boys, your God is a woman. If
      you are women, your God is a boy. If you are men, your God is a maiden. The God is where you are not. So: it is wise that one has a God; this serves for your perfection.”

      Liber Novus is a kind of dream diary split
      between dreams and waking reflection and by the way it is the source of his psychological works.

      Both he and Campbell state emphatically that
      “My God is not your God”. The corollary
      is my symbol representations are not your symbol representations. As in you would not recognize nor be moved by my dark haired browned eyed beauty. Your Anima is yours alone.

      Encounters can occur during active
      imagination types of meditation, daydreaming and expressing one self in any art form sketches, music, prose and poetry are some.
      To save space and time do a Google search on - CG Jung "Natural transformation (individuation)". The fourth item down will be “The Collected Works of CG Jung: Complete Digital Addition” Paragraph 234 h. will be highlighted. Read it to the end of this particular topic. His explanation would be better than yours truly.

      I wish I’d known the complete work was on

      My advice would be to pursue that tap on the shoulder.

    91. I’m sorry about the late reply but an unexpected trip to hospital last week has curtailed my activity somewhat. It seems a little ironic that I was previously talking about a loving nudge on the arm and am now nursing a nasty black eye from a vicious sucker punch. A ‘primitive’ lesson learnt - the hard and painful way.

      Thanks for sharing those two examples of wakeful/dream states, they’re very interesting and help me understand what kind of person you are. That they involve beauty and tearful longing is no surprise but the feelings of guilt are. I see you’re not using this feeling in the ‘trad’ negative way, quite the opposite, but I can’t help feeling that guilt is either the wrong word or that you have maybe misinterpreted your own feelings. That’s quite a bold statement from me and was brought about by you saying that it may be somewhere you’re refusing to go. I’d be most interested to hear what you think when you eventually deal with them.

      I’ve read Jung’s Red Book and totally agree about Anima/Animus representations, some of my most vivid ‘dream’ experiences involve a beautiful female and deep, deep longing. Yet they are not of the ‘trad’ sexual or adoration type. I feel that you are at the highest stages of development in these fields and are a wise and helpful guide to understanding oneself.

      I googled - CG Jung "Natural transformation
      (individuation)" but the forth item was

      Jung, Carl G. - Volume 9.1. The Archetypes of the Collective Unconsciousness:-

      000234 Psychological aspects of the mother archetype. 4. Positive aspects of the mother-complex.

      1. The mother.

      In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 9, Part 1. 2nd ed., Princeton

      University Press, 1968. 451 p. (p. 92-94).

      The importance of the archetypes in man's relationship to the world is emphasized; they are seen to express man's highest values, which would be lost in the unconscious if not for their projection onto the external environment.

      I’m not sure if this is the item you meant?

      A direct search for - Collected Works of CG Jung: Complete Digital Addition brought me back to the Red Book.

      234 I LIBER PRIMUS fol. ii(v)/iii(r)

      yourself. It is with you all the time and demands fulfillment. If you pretend to be blind and dumb to this demand, you feign being blind and deaf to yourself. This way you will never reach the knowledge of the heart. The knowledge of your heart is how your heart is. From a cunning heart you will know cunning. From a good heart you will know goodness.

      Again I’m not sure if this is the item you meant?

      I know what you mean about Liber Novus being a dream diary and the source of his psychological works. In reflection it seems like it could also be called a mindful meditation manual or a guide to transcendental travels.

      For now I’ll leave you this from Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

      “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

      This also is covered in the marvellous doc Waking Life here at TDF.

    92. @Antitheist666

      I hope you’re doing better. It seems I used two different browsers for that search. With Chrome it was the 6th & 7th article down – Natural Transformations in Vol. 9, Part 1, paragraph 234 h. Sorry for the miss-lead. By the way Re: pursue that tap on the shoulder was not meant physically! Pain is usually a great teacher. The whole section “Concerning Rebirth” is an informing read. There is a possibility that it was a synchronicity?

      That book I’ve been writing (over again) has a whole section (currently being reworked) on “Natural Transformations”. The emphasis is on “natural” without
      predetermined goals, nuances of foreign languages or imagined states. One of the big obstructions is languages followed closely by expectations. Subtleties are realm of the poet. Here you are the

      The section of Liber Primus is very good and very instructive for an ear that can hear. There aren't many who have a copy of that book. It’s a bit expensive but physically beautiful book.

      Guilt – The definition of energy is “force or momentum to do work”. It doesn't matter what the “pretext” happens to be as in solar, angular, hydro or emotional and etc. It is simply an energy source. Negative or positive is just a difference in configuration. From a neutral or ground position either will cause work when applied. And the force doubles without a ground or neutral position. There’s a metaphor tangle for you.

      That personal lesson came long ago after a major rage dump while alone screaming at the air. Damn good thing no one was in ear shot. It’s really amazing when opposite energy levels go to zero. Then there is only one path, Sushumna or middle path and there is one of those magical foreign words.

      Refusing to go there solution: To my “surprise” I have been. Let’s put it this way: When you understand that part of your path is to assist others tending their gardens, you must remember to tend your
      own. I've been a bit lax putting off my morning time. Midday or evening just isn't the same. It’s that simple and I know better. So - mea culpa mea maxima culpa. Dealing with them is called growth.

    93. @Philio

      Thankyou my friend, I’m fine, I made a mistake and it was my fault. I learned something the hard way but have taken the positives out the situation and am now stronger and better for it. I’ll find the Natural Transformations sections you mentioned and get back to you when I’ve given them some thought.

      Synchronicity? The punch in the eye or the wrong sections with 234 in the title? Here’s an odd one for you. T.S. Eliot – This is the way the world ends. Not with bang but a whimper. And a Sci-Fi book I’m currently reading called “The Soul Consortium”. I’m halfway through and enjoying it immensely, it was recommended by @Pysmythe and it’s in this spirit of friendship that I’m
      recommending it to you. The Eliot quote has been cropping up in many places over the years and its here again in this book, but this time something made me think “aha”, not sure what it is though. You can get the first few chapters for free as a sample at ITunes. It’s full of deeply philosophical questions about life, the universe and everything but the ones about identity are especially juicy. Please tell more of your own book, it sounds engagingly poetic. And your metaphor tangle was perfectly explained and has given much food for thought.

      You’ve mentioned so many interesting things that I want chat about but I have to dash off and wash some pigs; I especially want to know what do mean by putting off your morning time? I’ll be back soon. In the meantime don’t forget to tender your own garden as tenderly as you do others ;)

    94. @Antithesist666

      The time of first awakening and I mean “first awakening” is an interesting mind state not quite asleep and not quite awake. I used to regularly break the morning into two entirely different forms of practice. This split practice is not recommended for a neophyte. The risk is another trip around the wheel or
      opening the wrong door. The neophyte should stick to the main practice and learn to focus as in “not struck”.

      The main practice, “Sitting Zen”, doesn't require this waking mind state and can be done later that morning or that day. The objective is pure silence, no counting,
      no objects and no subjects. It’s focusing awareness on the void alone. When exiting the practice I (attempt) to maintain focus while moving on into the day, moving meditation. It actually becomes automatic and sometimes annoyingly so.

      When too many distractions intrude and too many could be one that’s strong or persistent that informs me that focus is split for some reason and its time tor revert to another approach. Counting breaths is one; focus on
      a single mundane object is another. Then there is that other practice.

      The distractions may be personal like those two dreams or involve a conversation with someone. You've been the culprit on a few occasions. One of the doctors that were treating me was the most recent. Generally it’s a cue to dig a little deeper and digging deeper is a task for that time of first
      awakening, morning or after a nap.

      Keep in mind that meditation is in essence “recognitions”. In stillness, it is of the void, in dream the content of the dream or visions during the day. Expand your understanding of the word vision. In the mind they are all visions whether moving pictures, still symbols or words. They interject as a whole and cue a response hence the distraction.

      That early somnambular state is rather good for Active Imagination, the other practice. You begin with stillness mediation and then introduce the content as it was presented. Singular focus is needed here. Introduce the content as often as necessary. Allow it to move of it self. Have no mind of your own and no intent simply watch and recognize.

      This is one case of the “One becoming Two” sometimes more. If there is a prompt of some type to engage, do so, if not don’t. It can turn into a conversation or just a show of different fascists of the vision however presented, words, pictures or other symbols.

      For the simply curious or neophyte this could become a playpen, a waste of time and for the unstable a danger as in a depth psychiatry without a doctor.

    95. @Philio harmonic

      I’d just like to say I’m struck by how well you orchestrate your words and how deeply they reverberate. Thankyou maestro I’m hugely grateful. I've read a fair bit about that stage of not quite awake or asleep and recognise how important it is, especially if one seeks communication, or so I’ve heard from the other side. I’ve practiced many times but with only limited success, mostly falling asleep but a few times experiencing lucid dreaming that had a symbology that I’m yet to understand even after some research. It makes me wonder if I could ever accept a bald truth even if it were to smash me in the face. Maybe I should try a morning session?

      I hear what you’re saying about focus techniques and have used the ones you mentioned many times. The focus on the breath and my own simple mantra being used most often. To focus the visual part of my mind I often start with a small but perfectly formed white pearl on big black velvet cushion. Or a golf ball on a lush green, this is how I set myself to mu or neutral.

      I wouldn’t call myself a neophyte nor an adept, more of a Fool making his way round the wheel many times, going through the same wrong doors many times, sometimes trying ones hand at being a magician and enjoying the show. I’m honoured and delighted to have been a distracting conversation on occasion and of course something similar has happened likewise, I never considered them a distraction though, quite the opposite.

      I experienced night terrors for the first time a few years ago and was shocked at my state of horror, I felt like my calm unafraid waking persona was a fraud. I would wake up feeling petrified but most worryingly I felt paralysed or feeling like great weights or chains were holding me down. I felt like such a baby. They stopped as suddenly as they began and it wasn’t until sometime later that I discovered how common they are.

      I’m hoping you meant different facets of the vision Mein Fuhrer.

      I still couldn’t find that Natural Transformations para 234h at the 6th or 7th article down, I could only find options to buy the whole thing or the parts I showed you previously?

      Did you ever get around to watching Waking Life? Also if you get a chance checkout “A Perverts Guide Ideology” featuring Slavoj Zizek and some of my favourite film clips, it’s a hoot but also full of unusual and thought provoking views, I think you’d like it.

    96. Those six paragraphs I've just referred you to kept this pragmatic mystic busy for quite some time. This rebel found that they formed the crux of a long Quest. I sincerely hope they help.

    97. Dear Philio, I hope you’re well. I was thinking about you on the morning of the 3rd and if it’s possible for a strictly rational hard determinist, was wishing you all the very best. Sometimes the trials of life are exceptionally hard. Sometimes they are soft and forgiving, but they all come with a potential for learning. You more than anyone knows this and I’m sure that whatever obstacles life puts in your way, you can rise above them all and soar like the Golden Eagle you are.

      I cannot remember where I read it but I do remember a Buddhist saying that goes along the lines of – That a quest to SEEK perfection will fail because it’s already here - it’s just our minds we need to adjust. Does it have to be this way, of course it does. Do these words have to follow in a precise order, of course they do. Everything is as it should and can only be – perfect. Must there be an even balance in perception or would you want to TIP the scales? Only you can be a judge of that.

      Your wrods and my recent meditations have brought much calm to this strictly rational yet troubled soul. Voices from a dream say to me you cannot go further yet, they say I’m not ready and have much to learn. They say I’m not humble enough and this heaven will be denied until I learn humility and express gratitude for my existence, this is my sin, this is why I suffer.

      It’s a long and winding road with many backward steps but I feel I am learning, I’ve kicked the habit and shed my all too human skin, this is the olde slough. I go dancing in...we go dancing in...

      Sorry to bang on about Nietzsche but I found this quote from an old post of yours.

      “It is in our wild nature that we best recover from our un-nature, our spirituality. . . .

      Twilight of the Idols.

      This is the Anthony M. Ludovici translation

      'A man recovers best from his exceptional nature - his intellectuality - by giving his animal instincts a chance.'

      It may be just me and my particular tastes but I think it is far superior, as is his whole translation compared to others.

    98. @AntiTheist666:disqus

      Sorry I worded that last post poorly but I'm sure you got the idea.

    99. Oh my, I should have checked out those images before replying. If I have the right ones then I see what you mean about them being the same, especially if you invert the Caduceus. When you ask what is the path of least resistance, I’m tempted to say the oral sphincter to the anal sphincter but hopefully I’m not that base. Like the base of a pyramid. Straight down or straight up I’m not sure where the path is, least of all where the resistance is, I probably wouldn’t recognize it if it bit me on the nose anyway. What do they have in common? Animals? A vertical line? The Pyramid shape? A pupose? Healing? Death?

      We’ve chatted about the scales of Thoth before and it continues to haunt me, I see it as the ultimate judgement, the day I’m found wanting, a lightweight, a fraud, a decadent.Strange for a strict rationalist wouldn't you say.

      I will meditate on this and get back to you soon.

  3. Your conversation reminds me of the movie My Diner With Andre, same subject of life but totally different use of words.
    Reminds me also of an interesting tennis match where the ball flows from one court to the other with a perfect hit as if there were no net.

    1. @oQ - I thought this doc was in limbo, quiet. (the site not you)

    2. @oQ

      Thanks for such a wonderful compliment and really good metaphor. It has a certain Zen quality to it. I haven’t seen My Dinner with Andre... was it in a diner? ;-) I will make an effort to see it soon. You described a “perfect hit”. Trying to achieve a Zen mind is a quest for perfection.

    3. My diner with Andre is an alright movie, but at the time it came out it was outstanding. There certainly was great potential to make it any converstation...the maker chose that one. I like the actor Andre...he embodies the role like a shoe on a foot.
      Perfect hit meaning, where ever the ball ends at least it stays in the court.

  4. @Philio

    Unringing the bell and unasking the question.

    This party animal was at huge and fairly riotous party many years ago when I went out into the garden for some fresh air. As I walked away from the house I was surprised to see a group of approx 20 people in a rough circle around 2 Buddhist monks. I didn’t join them, I just observed for a while, enjoying the contrast of environments. There was a bonfire burning at the far end of the garden.

    From what had been going on in the house I thought that the people might be a bit of a handful for the monks and quite a test for them but was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved they were. (Apart from a few almost rude questions - though there was a grinning devil on my shoulder also.) As I looked from the house to garden I thought this looks a bit surreal, it was like Dante’s Inferno meets Stonehenge, although I was undoubtedly squiffy at the time I thought was in control. I distinctly remember thinking keep your ears open you might learn something. The Party inside the house had been completely forgotten.

    I kid you not; I swear to god, there seemed to be a golden light around this Buddhists face. His assured stance and confident smile lit the place up. As I listened I was impressed with his quick, courteous, thoughtful and to the point answers. This was in the face of some extremely banal questions, I felt embarrassed for them but the monks were serene in their confidence. I listened for some time and joined them when most of the others had left. I hadn’t learnt anything yet. Or so I thought at the time.

    About 6 of us chatted for hours about various philosophical subjects. While from the onset trying to keep an open mind to their Buddhist views my stance was - convince me. Party animal Ego man is my best side and you’re telling me to give it up? Well we didn’t resolve anything and as you’ll have no doubt guessed I wasn’t convinced. As we were leaving the one of the monks mentioned that I’d asked a lot of questions and enquired if I had learnt anything? I was polite and said yes. I thought so he said with that knowing smile. Sometimes more can be learnt when one removes questions and just consider answers. He said it’s the healthier alternative to seeking truth as our questions can become a cross to bear or a shield to hide behind. With that he left and I stood there quite puzzled as to what he meant. It felt like he had seen right through me... I pondered on that for quite some time before I understood that what the monk said was true.

    Sorry for the ramble, I hope you understand what I’m trying to say, you see through me also it seems.

    1. I wouldn’t say the monk saw through you. He saw what you don’t see. That would be you. He acted in the acknowlment of the soul(god) in you by the soul (god) in him. You know Nemaste but in action rather than word.

    2. Thankyou, I completely understand. When I wrote “saw right through me” part of me wanted to write that I felt pierced by what he said but thought that was over dramatic, it was how I felt though.

  5. Now I’m laughing. You parroted much of what I just wrote. I get a bang out of synchronicity.

    1. @Philio

      “Now I’m laughing. You parroted much of what I just wrote. I get a bang out of synchronicity.”

      Ha ha, I’m doing it again! You know what they say about imitation? I too enjoy a good synchromosh every now and then; it’s all part of the grand dance. Sorry about that I’ll try to be a bit more original in future.

      I did enjoy your Arthurian analogy it made me think of a book my mother gave to me called “Enemy of God” by Bernard Cornwell. A good read and the best of trilogy if you like that kind of thing.

      I was also interested in what you said about recording yourself while sleeping and will give at try. I already use a sleep cycle alarm app on my iphone that gives a fair amount of sleep data (I’m terrible) but waking is much more bearable experience using it. I recommend it to everyone. Thanks again for repeating the point about making notes after meditative experiences. I’m sad to report that I haven’t done this after saying that I would. I’m sorry. I’ll just say I intend to in future.

      “The only difference is intent.”

      I hear you. Attention to intention is powerful combination.

      “The ONLY intent is to stop the mind’s wayward indulgences”

      Waaayward indulgences. Hmmm. I have been so bad in recent years. I’m now a physical wreck as well as a mental one. How long before the shock effect wears off? Not long? Too soon perhaps?

      I’ll venture here that many of my problems can attributed to my ill disciplined and indulgent lifestyle. Now that’s a horror movie!

    2. @AntiTheist666

      “How long before the shock effect wears off? Not long? Too soon perhaps?”

      That question and your mention of rereading the novel “Siddhartha” triggered a few things. If you remove the religious and cultural trappings from Siddhartha it posits two pertinent themes, one esoteric and one exoteric.

      The exoteric is, from one view, everyone’s story. Siddhartha lives and is raised in a tradition with high expectations. He desires and is obsessed with the promised prize. The cultural and/or religious promises fail to meet those expectations and he becomes disillusioned. He then rebels. Remaining steadfast to his obsession, he ventures into the world of the wandering ascetics. His obsession remains unfulfilled. As an ascetic he achieves a type of freedom and with that freedom pride. The pride disarms him and physical beauty attracts him and creates a new obsession. He doesn’t realize that’s it’s actually the same one transformed.

      This next rebellion is a slow cooker. The beauty is a courtesan for hire. Her price is emersion in the world of materialism. He attains the wealth and position then through them the beauty all to be disillusioned once more. This time the rebellion is crushing and he is totally used up.

      He RETURNS TO THE RIVER and the (hidden) saint. His obsessions are dissolved and he joins the ferryman to assume the humble life of a ferryman’s helper transporting souls across the river. He is still working for his daily bread (expand that statement) but with a different perspective. With the departure of the hidden saint he becomes A FERRYMAN, an enlightened, carrying the passengers to “The Yonder Shore”.

      So in answer to your question is either not long or too soon but in every case never and I’m assuming you mean a transforming shock. This is up to the individual. Apparently Siddhartha had all of them. How is the energy applied? Rebellion is one of the choices. I'm personally very familiar with that choice. Here is the physics explanation for never, energy in neither created or destroyed. It only changes form!! I’m going to cut this off for now but there is more in the next post.

  6. @Philio

    Zen and the Art of MoFo Maintenance.

    The slayer or dark destroyer as I call him may be the toughest of all demons to kill/chains to break. Your words remind me of what Pirsig said in ZMM. That the Buddha you find in the temple high amongst the mountains is the same one that you carried up there from the valley below. The same is true for demons.

    Do we need enmity? What comes before the question? I try to claim I’ve ditched the selfish ego and yet so much evidence points to me still clinging to it. I might have indulged myself here in the past with a little personal condemnation but now I smile at my frustrated hypocrisy and move on.

    No experience is ever wasted, there is always something new to learn. Our quest for understanding is a long hard road and we may never reach our destination but it’s all about the journey, including all the wrong turns, dead ends and breakdowns. Every now and then though you meet a fellow traveller who illuminates the way and makes the journey all the more enjoyable. Until the next time my well travelled friend, adieu.

  7. @AntiTheist666

    “The problem I have (amongst many) is I don’t feel worthy of such concern.”

    Your comments are deeply appreciated. Take this statement to heart; there are none that are unworthy!! We are all in the same boat but perceive it as our own personal vessel. Think on this….. The concern exhibited toward you benefits me through you. We, you see, are all one. (Give and it will be given unto you is not just a platitude. It matters not who said it.)

    You did cause me to read over prior posts and there is not much left to be stated only, possibly, further explanation. I am encouraged (believe it or not) by your post. The sense of your tension is apparent. That is not an undesired state. That tension is raw energy. See if the following is of any help.

    As you proceed through each personal chapter, the simple recognition of each state is a small release. See each release is like a “trickle charge”. IF left alone each little charge of energy accumulates and build in potential. When the accumulative energy of the “releases” equals the energy of the “cause”, the cause is nullified. This is how the “Slayer is Slain”. It is, so to speak, the physics of it. Involvement, in any form, will use up that trickle charge.

    It works like a sneeze. First there is a tickle in the nose. The tickle becomes stronger until its stimulus provokes an autonomic reaction. What happens when you try to stop a sneeze? That energy has to go somewhere. It’s best to just let it out and save your ear drums possible harm.

    This is exactly how Kundalini Yoga works. With each meditation the energy has the possibility of building within the coils of the snake (Kundalini). When the proper state occurs (notice I didn’t say is achieved) the head of the snake passes through each succeeding Chakra without obstruction.

    A bit of a hammering may result from some on this site with this next statement. Here is a little known (or admitted) factoid. Most Western practitioners never get beyond the first three Chakras, Muladhara (Life), Swadhisthana (Order) and Manipuri (Wisdom). It is just believed to be so because the ego wants to achieve. The need for achievement is the biggest ploy in every system. Just do and accept what you see.

    With a little thought, similarities are found in all systems. For Kabbalah the loci are Malkuth (where the coils rest in a zero energy state), the next three are Yesod (life or sexual energy, unites the other two), Hod (the most telling translation is submission) and Netzah (translation into action).

    A repetitive cycle will continue in these loci until there is balance. The cycle is, the encounter, recognize balance and ascend or involvement and participation followed by repetition within some part of the cycle.
    In Yoga it is Anahata ("unhurt" "un-struck [like a bell]" or "unbeaten” [like a drum]) and in Kabbalah it is Tiphereth (Beauty - It does not adjudicate contrasts and turn everything gray; rather, beauty integrates both black and white into a picture of depth).

    They are statements of balance. So how will you know when a break through occurs? I can’t remember where I came across this but “Nothing is left to you at that moment but to burst out into a loud laugh”. This still happens to me on occasion and is thoroughly enjoyable. It could also be a simple chuckle by you at you. The little chuckle is a little realization. There is another that catches you by surprise to a depth I can’t describe other than you are thoroughly overwhelmed.

    Resist personal condemnation. You’re doing just fine. Here is a secret for you. Think of what you judge as your worst habitual trait. Firstly, notice the term habitual. It denotes a subconscious or unconscious drive. Its primary property is (emotional) energy. Energy in any form is neither “good nor bad”. This may be a little difficult to wrap your head around but your worst habit may in essence be your best trait. It is simply a matter of application and point of view.

    From a neutral position both energy poles have potential, +X on one pole then –X on the other. When measured (observed), one to the other, they double in potential. The polar difference happens when leads of the measuring device are switched!!!!! You just so happen to be the measuring device.

    1. @Philio

      Wow, you really astonish me with your in depth knowledge of so many subjects, I‘m tempted to call you a Zen Master but don’t feel it would do you justice. So just take a bow when I say you are remarkably kind and wise human being. Ok, I think I got all you had to say in your last post and have taken it on board enthusiastically. I feel now that rather than fearing the bulkheads blowing I might even look forward to it happening. Just to prove a point perhaps?

      I’ll take a look at Kundalini yoga soon; I vaguely remember reading somewhere many years ago about the snake and its journey through the chakras. That when it reaches the head /crown a type of enlightenment is achieved? And that the snake can be distracted in the root chakra and the host might experience the fire of Kundalini, a sort of sexual frenzy or obsession that you can get trapped in? I remember at the time feeling a little guilty because I thought I would fail at that point. I thought of this again when I reread “Siddhartha” recently.

      I did notice when you said occurring rather than achieving, do you mean that to try is to actually block the path? Or that all conditions need be in perfect balance? Or does it just happen?

      Of course you’re right about energy not being good or bad. And right again about employing a positive perspective when things aren’t working out. Thankfully I can and do laugh out loud at myself and this ridiculous/farcical world I live in. I surprised myself recently when reading a letter that would normally exasperate me I just laughed, an astonished laugh for sure but I caught the moment and thought I should do this more often, of course this is easier said than done.

      What a positive message your final paragraph is and it’s entirely fitting that I charge you for it ;-)

      Talk to you soon.

    2. @AntiTheist666 (Pardon the ramble)

      “That when it reaches the head /crown a type of enlightenment is achieved?” This happens as you pass through each block or Chakra. There are the little chuckles when recognizing little blocks and robust for the larger ones.

      “I did notice when you said occurring rather than achieving” Consider what you are attempting to accomplish, gaining control over the mind’s propensity to wander. (Almost) Every technique begins with breath control. At first it serves to relax and later as a focal point to return to when distracted. Rhythmic controlled breathing is a gateway to altered states. (If you record yourself while sleeping you will notice a natural breathing rhythm.) The state simply occurs.

      While in that state, basically relaxed, the brain wants stimulus. (Consider the mind as a marriage between an observer and a presenter. Consider the observer as being the seat of consciousness. Much of this is point of view.) Whatever stimulus is presented from the subconscious or unconscious the mind will chase like a domineering cheating spouse in a bar full of agreeable partners. In this case the observer goes along for the ride and therefore is a slave. A divorce is in order here. (The romance era in medieval myth is full of examples, Lancelot the pure [virgin] Knight, Arthur the wronged King and Guinevere the Paramour and many more. The actors are all symbols.)

      This will continue until the attribute of consciousness becomes aware that it’s being used. Here there are a few choices, one being to reestablish control. It’s a contest of wills. This is an important point. The ONLY intent is to stop the mind’s wayward indulgences. It’s a question of which partner is in control. Establishing control is an exercise very similar to a physical exercise.

      When beginning physical exercises mussels are first injured and then strengthened through healing and continued exercise. Another simile would martial artists that continually practice striking hard objects to promote bone burses. Each strike injures the bone. The bone naturally heals and is strengthened. It’s the nature of the process.

      The observer has already “seen” the act and the players. The whole play is recorded in “short term” memory and may quickly disappear. (I used to make entries in a diary at the end of a meditation.) The question is how many times the scenarios must be played out until the observer catches on. (That diary I mentioned is data for directed meditation.)

      Imagination is not often mentioned as such in the various systems but it is very important. I’m doing a meditation while writing this. Your question is the object of my meditation. With that held as the focus, the mind complies as a TOOL and presents ideas. Here is the last presentation: How many times must you watch a horror movie before the shock effect wares off?

      And the examples continue but with insight. The shock effects centered in the subconscious ware off quickly and those from the unconscious remain until the source is uncovered. The effect is like turning on a light in a dark room----illumination. Consciousness is the light and meditation is the search. Light illuminates. That is its nature. So to answer your question, illumination just happens. You simply have to execute a disciplined search and observe. What the symbols depict as achievements are of no concern. It’s all about the continuing journey. Someone who proclaims mastery simply hasn’t.

      There are two distinct approaches that can be joined. The first is the intellectual, basically rote memory, continual education. The next is imagination, fantasy. Every prominent thinker uses both. The first that comes to mind is Einstein and his thought experiments. His mind took a ride on a beam of light and in essence “lived or experienced” the journey. Intellectual knowledge becomes Gnosis, experienced knowledge. The only difference is intent.

  8. the little things keep the big things fed...
    " It turns out that roughly 70% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 25%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Universe. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn't be called "normal" matter at all, since it is such a small fraction of the Universe."
    Copied from Nasa Astrophysics page

    It is almost accepted that there is dark matter and dark energy surrounding us, the cosmological scientific world is willing to say yes and is also willing to unite in trying to figure what exactly is dark matter, dark energy.

    As an individual, i have accepted a long time ago that my reality is composed of mainly dark matter and dark energy and that my body is only a very small percentage of who i am. Why would that not be for personal reality but ok for universal reality?

    What is possible for the micro must be possible for the macro? Especially if someone says so, lives so, embodies so, and explores so...many are.
    The be a zen mind means to connect to dark forces (not meaning negative but hidden) within.

  9. A friend of mine and i used to accompany each other on what we called "Journeys".
    It would start with one of us with eyes closed, sitting or laying down. I will describe as if i was the person being taken.
    ...I would first imagine myself next to a tree in front of a river. I would let the noise of the river be present, i would see the surrounding, i would feel and smell the air. I would walk towards the river, touch the water and then cross the river. From there i would let my imagination take me on a journey... i would describe what i saw in a few phrases and then my friend would take me further on, describing what he saw with a few phrases and then alternating back and forth between the two of us. There was no limitation of body mouvement, no limitation of situation as in a dream. We would travel with our mind until i was returned to the tree, sometimes a journey could last 30 minutes.
    It was always a superb feeling upon return.

    1. Az, what a wonderful situation, Anima, Animus sharing. The possibilities are boundless. Not many are so lucky. Most rarely link their own “Journeys” let alone couple them with another’s. I’m intrigued by the possibility of “the opposites” sharing perspectives. I’d wager you discovered a new set of internal eyes, fresh perspective.

  10. Arrived. Post in reply for your arrival

    1. @Philio

      I’ve not watched this yet but will give it a bash (lol) later. I like what Pirsig had to say about this and have a few experiences I can relate to, somehow I feel sure you have a few things in mind also, self experiments, lol, I can hardly contain myself. Buddha, Fat Bast@rd or did he know a thing or three? Sooner or...

      The Meditative One

    2. Here is an opening, the Zen Mind, Transcendent Mind and the Beatific Vision are already yours. You just have to learn to (metaphor warning) see it.

    3. @Philio


      I’d like to say a few things about this doc but I can’t... this is a three and half minute intro that looks and sounds Fab but it just ends there. An intro and an outro all in one. Such a shame, I like a bit of buddha on my Toast in the Mourning.

      "You just have to learn to (metaphor warning) see it."

      I see what you’re saying. I sea monstrous mountains of mixed metaphors ahead also. Oh those dizzying highs and lows, oh those stupendous Visions. But alas I fear you’re right, i’m not wholly Seeing it? I suspect my isight is impaired and is somewhat responsible for my terrible lack of Balance and Dodgy Dancing?

      From the off i would like to say that i feel my knowledge of Eastern Culture and Buddhism is terribly lacking but i’m always prepared to learn. So off we go with the basics The Zen Mind, The Transcendent Mind and The Godlike Vision. The achievement of these states of mind are easier to come to for some than others. How many can really manage a transcendent mind, not many i think?

      I would like to ask about your thoughts on meditation, pro and con? Specifically how long is Bad for you? I have pushed this very far and have at times forgotten i was alive, during some dark days i would think of it as a most passive attempt at suicide, and during crazy days i would dare myself to go “out there” for as long as possible, dangerously long. (Laughing in the Face of it though)

      The Stupid One

    4. First there are no cons to meditation. It’s all a question of how and when. As to how long, you are going to be surprised. Every time the word Zen pops up I see a blind folded Shinto archer “being one” with his weapon and the target. Zen easily moves from the sublime to the mundane. I am neither a proponent nor an opponent concerning Zen. It is simply a method as are all the other discipline methods.

      The best choice is found in the mundane daily rituals we all perform. We are already “One” with them. The archer is a very good metaphor but so is a woman knitting while in conversation. So is driving a car, peddling a bike, ironing or riding a motor cycle (Pirseg). All are “distractions” that enable anyone to experience the bifurcation of the psyche and turn the parts into tools of understanding. These two parts can, if permitted, give birth to a third thing.

      This will have to be approached in parts and here is the first part. “No one is stupid only ill-informed.” Stupidity is a choice and often an [emotional] choice. This part can be a difficult or an easy discipline. Here you can test yourself. Are you able to do as Nietzsche has described so well:

      “In the same way the very seeing of another vista, the very wishing to see another vista, is no little training and preparation of the intellect for its eternal "Objectivity" - objectivity being understood not as "contemplation without interest" (for that is inconceivable and nonsensical), but as the ability to have the pros and cons in one's power and to switch them on and off, so as to get to know how to utilize, for the advancement of knowledge, the difference in the perspective and in the emotional interpretations.”

      Naturally being as described in that quote is a good thing (but often a self deception). Learning to be that way is a much higher achievement and this is where the ax goes to the root of the tree.

    5. “First there are no cons to meditation.”

      I feel this is mostly but not completely true. I spent too much time at it. I’m talking deep meditation and not just the Zen mind in the moment. I’ve learnt from this and try to achieve a more harmonious balance between meditation and physical activity. Off Piste here a little, for me, sometimes, the Zen mind can come into effect without any instigation and I’m nearly always pleasantly surprised. (Does being aware of it collapse or devalue it?) When this happens I usually, passively drink it up. And sometimes I cling to it, just loving the beautiful simple symmetry and colours.

      When getting into a meditative state if often see an “image” before my eyes, I don’t “believe” I cause this image to come, it just appears, I love this moment. Time and Meaning are gone, the experience is all there is. I wonder if anyone who has tried meditation also experiences this. I see deep lusciously lustrous rich blackness (this i feel is my home) and in the centre of my view is a most beautiful blue oblate spheroid almost like a reticule with a few small straight lines at the edges. Is this just my imagination, runnin away with mwah? Pwobably.

      I still have my personal anecdote about consciousness, NDE and OBE to share yet, not to mention (lol) my remote viewing experiences and experiments with mind altering substances. Am I lucky to be alive, you bet, but not in the Ole Fashioned Way. I have different dance nowadays. I am LOST in music and strut my stuff in my own bastardized ballet, though it’s more Ugly Duckling than Swan Lake.

      I think I need to sharpen my axe and start chopping down a few trees so I can see some wood! Lol.

      The Lumberjack One

    6. (Does being aware of it collapse or devalue it?) The simple answer is no. What you do with the content can and may. You are in a really good place in your journey. Obviously transcendence has not escaped your practice. Appearances (of individuals) and all manifestations of transcendence are encounters. You have to learn to follow these encounters. Expand the realm and follow the myth being presented to you. It’s yours.

      (Metaphor warning) Just sitting under a Bodhi Tree using mental or vocal mantras has it place. You do however achieve the same transitions every day in many ways.

      From the Hindu Chandoga Upanishad Chapter 3-2. Wisdom is where you find it….

      "Those of his fellows who belong to him here and those who are dead and whatever else there is which he wishes for and does not obtain—he finds all that by going in there (i.e. into his own Self). For there, indeed, lie those true desires of his, covered by what is false. "As people who do not know the spot where a treasure of gold has been hidden somewhere in the earth, walk over it again and again without finding it, so all these creatures day after day go into the World of Brahman and yet do not find it, because they are carried away by untruth.”

      There are active and passive methods. In either case a follow up is required. I have to take particular care here so as not to influence any personal meditative perceptions or encounters. They are yours and yours alone. The objective is to present forms, examples without (personal) content. The content must be yours.

      A label of the source of this content is up to you and is as you understand it. This source, however, has its own language. That language is symbolism. None of this symbolism can be found translated in any book. My only reference will be to some form of conscious, subconscious and unconscious apprehension.

      I’ve mentioned mundane forms. While spending inordinate amounts of time driving between various locations, the vehicle and I had become a unity. It and I performed as one (if you drive, my fervent wish is so do you). Sounds, vibrations, performance, fuel levels, traffic semaphores, directional signs and steering to include emergency avoidance are all monitored and preformed SUBCONSCIOUSLY. Consciousness comes while in process.

      There was always a problem to solve at the end of the journey. The problem was already a solid concept needing a solution. I was driving from Pittsburgh Pa to Mt Vernon NY a 209 mile trip. I had mulled over approaches, imagined various solutions from both the client’s perspective and mine. I arrived at a workable solution just before a sign stated, Mars 2 miles.

      The last thing I consciously remember was passing the Mars exit. For the rest of the trip (180 miles) there is no recall. A single thought morphed into a transcendent encounter lasting until the “Welcome to New York” sign popped into conscious perception. I don’t necessarily recommend this method but I still us it every day during a 20 minute commute. The triggers are random..

      I’ve learned to carry a voice recorder to make verbal notes. If you don’t the results disappear back into the unconscious. I later transcribe them into a segmented journal. The process started during the commute continues during transcription. The label is “alpha” to “theta” state transitions”. That’s one process. The second label is “theta” to “delta” state transitions, a whole other process.

    7. Oh dear, I was afraid of this, that one day I might have to come clean, own up and put my dracs on the table... I want you to know how much I appreciate your kind and wise words. I say this because i don’t feel worthy of your consideration, I feel you have found more solace, comfort, wisdom and happiness than i. I am a wreck, you should perhaps walk away and not look back, I wouldn’t blame you one bit.

      Your Travelling analogy sits with me just fine, been there, done that, a ridiculous and sometimes dangerous amount of times. The Upanishad Chapter was a breath of sweet and true air.

      “so all these creatures day after day go into the World of Brahman and yet do not find it, because they are carried away by untruth.”

      This hurts, i feel sure i’m one of them. I feel lost, i feel i’ve missed something, i am a waster, a spoiler, a know nothing punk who doesn’t know what to do except cynically sneer at everything, it all hurts, why do i suffer from dissatisfaction and disappointment, why do i want to scream, is the next stage insanity?

      “The label is “alpha” to “theta” state transitions”. That’s one process. The second label is “theta” to “delta” state transitions, a whole other process.”

      Would you please add some info to the second label?

      The Low One

    8. “I wonder if anyone who has tried meditation also experiences this. I see deep lusciously lustrous rich blackness (this I feel is my home)” – No duplicity or metaphor here. Yes, at some point the dark void usually appears. (Unless all that is sought after is entertainment?)

      Look at it as one half of a whole. Further it is not your home; see it as a door or portal. If this were your first encounter, I’d suggest that you follow it to the bottom. (To) That “beautiful blue oblate spheroid”, I would fly straight to and through it. (You are in a domain where you can do anything. No need to tarry. Just continue watching)

      What you are describing there is straight out of the “Bardo Thodol” ("liberation through hearing in the intermediate state". If you haven’t read it you may want to do so. A good synopsis will do. In this case you have to be both the suggestive speaker and the observant traveler. (Since you are not on your death bed you can freely investigate all the Bardos but only for a short time.)

      However there is a conspiracy afoot to prevent lucidity. In every form there is a trickster, a silent conspirator, a stealthy opponent that rationalizes all. See it as a game.

      The easiest example is the silent thinker suggests that you will remember the content of your experience. After all you’ve seen it so vividly. It was so logical. You will remember it all. If you fall for it, you have been had. Even if the content was not from the unconscious but from the subconscious you will find the barrier between the two semi-permeable. If you don’t somehow make notes, YOU WILL LOOSE IT. It dissolves back into the unconscious. Exceptions are rare.

      I am trying to tell you bluntly to write your experiences down quickly for your own use. This is an important step. It does three things, causes a new theta state, generates new insights and creates subliminal suggestions as cues. (and by the way there are practical benefits.)

      Further all of what we have been doing is for me an active meditation. As I search for examples, I’m given more. That’s the way it works and it’s a good thing. One sword sharpens another.

      Theta to delta – There are two modes and both involve “active imagination”. Something may have riveted my attention during the day, a little like a koan or I may want to continue a theme right where it left off.

      Two in the past were a product of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra and Jung’s Seven Sermons to the Dead. I had already discovered their method but could I enter their world? I would grab on to a scene, relax (alpha) and act them out mentally (theta) and continue until the scene progressed on its own (delta). Was it their world? I have no idea but it produced content OF ITS OWN.

      If you think about that for a moment, what is accomplished? I have readied the stage for a performance. I naturally lucid dream, not always but they now happen with little or no effort. Consciousness cues or reality checks have been in place for quite some time. The challenge here is to make notations without waking my mate.

    9. “One sword sharpens another.
      Theta to delta – There are two modes and both involve “active imagination”.

      Thanks so much for that, I needed a spark.

      Duplicitous? Guilty :-( I plead mitigation, I don’t know what I’m afraid of but I’m scared. I think I’m scared of hurting other people, though not in a physical sense. There! I’m virtually naked is there anything else you’d like to strip me of?

      “Bardo Thodol” - I didn’t recognise it as that but know some already, I will go over some of it again because it keeps cropping up, very weird, I have read some of the Egyptian version as well, I have an iPhone app of it, it’s very beautiful.

      As for the Blackness and (this i feel is my home). I meant in the sense that this is where I’m from rather than this is where I live. It had a cosy womb like place of birth feel about it, and a reassuring sense of belonging that included a very natural feel that I would return there for eternity one day, and in this moment of realization I was comforted, peaceful and not fazed at all, I remember thinking aha... it was something to look forward too. Odd I thought later.

      Oops..Confessions, I gave up mantras within months of taking up meditation and have never gone back to them. I can get into the desired state without them. On taking Notes... An old girlfriend swore that writing about her dreams made her experience richer, though not lucid. I rarely take notes on anything but I might now as you recommend it so highly. Worst of all in terms of confessions though is that I have severely curtailed my meditations to the level of a quick afternoon nap once or twice a week. From past experience I didn’t think there was anywhere else to go, save for insanity? Or was I scared, Fooled by myself perhaps.

      Anyway, it seems I have even more to share with you than I thought but for the mo I need to gather my thoughts, I have been slumbering as well as lumbering and need to move out of this pit that I have been wallowing in for some time. A reawakening perhaps?

      Axes, Swords? What next? Lances?

      “Words are like weapons they wound sometimes” – Cher

      Not saying anything at all can also be wounding. WW1? for the third time ;-)

      The Naked One

    10. “Lances” - The first image I get is Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. I do however appreciate the alternative description much more, Transverberation of Saint Teresa. It says more.

      “Bardo Thodol”… keeps popping up, weird – Jung would call that a synchronicity, the unconscious beckoning through seemingly random occurrences. That’s a cue or clue? If you can get past the so called “mems” it’s a journey through the “Underworld” of myth or The Unconscious of psychology and analysis.

      Questioning sanity (and other statements in prior posts) – There’s good company there. Jung and Nietzsche are only two of many examples. The only one that succumbed was Nietzsche but he had an incurable physical/neurological disorder. All the other examples were prolific writers in their fields even more so after their confrontations. There is a youth in me that grew up on the streets. I’ve overcome his verbalization methods. They would turn an old street walker’s face red.

      When the trickster takes on his guise I’ve “heard” “m….. f….., are you nutz?” clear as a bell. There are other guises in there, a nun, a priest, a rabbi and an old man. I have the most fun with the rabbi and the old man. Knowing the source is the first step in getting past them.

      WWI – I used to read my daughter stories from The Chronicles of Narnia (CS Lewis) and The Lord of the Rings. My precocious little darling would interject with “Daddy why” followed where did “some thing” come from? That led to the prequel “There and Back Again” or “The Hobbit” (JRR Tolkien). Daddy had his own “why” questions. That led to research and biographies. Other than the aforementioned there were Kipling, Doyel, Lawrence and Hemmingway to name a few. All had WWI in common.

      The Tolkien – Lewis – Jung – Freud connections where apparent. The extent of the symbolism shared by the first three (others also) and missing in Freud was, for me, glaring. Three were combatants one was not, Freud. It’s brutal reality vs. mental ascension. They are joined in the first three, absent in the last.

      It’s like a scene from the movie “Hombre”. The societal marginalized half-breed played by Paul Newman while leaving the cringing, duplicitous and fear motivated group to face the threat below, responds to a woman’s query with, “I know what you want from me lady”. With the threat removed and the death of the half-breed, all but one from the now safe group continues to marginalize the warrior that won their freedom. The theme rings a familiar bell.

    11. “Bardo Thodol” I will use this name from now on.

      "liberation through hearing in the intermediate state"

      I have experience of some of what it and you say. I think I Left in a state of confusion and did not follow it through. The “thing” on my left seemed interested in me but was also mocking. I wondered if it was me? The “thing” to my right was just silent, an observer, completely impartial. I will go back there again and try to figure this out.

      Sadly, I am being dragged out of here kicking and screaming to a House of ill repute very soon, so I’ll catch up with you later. Thanks once again for your kindness.

    12. @Philio

      I’m sorry about the recent pause in correspondence, hectic schedules are kicking in and I’m going to be very busy for the next week or two. I want you to know that I am keen to continue this thread if you are? I have almost finished a reply about my first experience of remote viewing but feel uncomfortable about posting something that some will see as crackpot stuff, Lol , I’m still a sucker for vanity, I ‘m not making a case for it, I’m just describing my experience.

      “If you can get past the so called “mems” it’s a journey through the “Underworld” of myth or The Unconscious of psychology and analysis”

      Could you tell me what “mems” are please and if poss expand what you mean here?

      Thanks for the WWI info; I see what you mean now. The Hombre analogy was also spot on, I recognised it in the movie the first time I saw it. I think it bothers some hombres but not me; people can marginalize me all they like, I won’t even hold it against them. But then again I’ve never been in the military and could understand how many feel let down by the country they fought for.

    13. At this point in the thread, i think if they (meaning some) were going to mock you, it would already have been done. I see (so far) the page is clear of arrows, so expose your water balloons. Some (meaning a few) are enjoying the colourful board.

    14. First, it’s a spelling error. It should read “memes” (Dawkins). As I am using the word they would be are “folk portrayals” of universal “elementary ideas” found in every civilization and communicated through word of mouth, myth and ledged. Dawkins would call them “cultural memes”.

      I always attempt to separate them from the elementary ideas because they are biased through culture i.e., Perseus to Odysseus to Hercules to Jesus (decent and return from Hades or Hell), Osiris to Jesus (Immaculate Conception) and etc. All are stories pertaining to the journey of the Psyche and the Self.

      Hombre experience – One week out of a combat area and walking through Los Angeles Airport in my Class “A’s” was one too many for me.

    15. Inevitably remote viewing is a type of meditation. Your intent is what ever it is. A lot of “stuff” goes on in there. What might be described as my Bardos have many white lights to go toward with a place to sky, swim and fish and its all set in a 1950’s evening city street scene. Who knows where those lit doorways lead, a remote view or another dimension? At least a remote view can be tested for accuracy. And by the way, governments have tried it.

    16. Thanks for the expanded explanation. Re RV Yes I know what you mean, but several events happened when I was very young (8ish) and had no knowledge of meditation, I have never mentioned it to anyone before and it seems strange to talk of now. I knew about the gov stuff and saw a doc about it recently that tried to check it out. I'm sceptical and yet I had my own experience of it, it's all weird!

    17. They are the most interesting. I had one at the end of summer, my last free summer before starting school. It’s still clear as crystal. It just happened.

      As in all such experiences, purposeful or otherwise, the average individual really has no idea what to do with or how to approach them. Usually what they do is search for meaning in a dream book, some type of symbol dictionary or asks another clueless individual. They will go everywhere except where they should. It’s their content from their unconscious and they never do self analysis.

    18. Yes, same for me, clear as crystal. What I’m perhaps not being clear about is that I experienced RV through OBE whilst asleep. Even though I was a child, I knew it was significant, there was also a sense of guilt about it - it seemed unfair that I should have such an advantage. Just to add to the strangeness within a year or so I would adopt an almost anti spiritual stance along with my rapidly becoming atheist views, I dismissed what happened as an exceptionally vivid dream. I would not go back to this for almost ten years.

    19. Ok Kincaid let’s see where we can go with this. Just some bare a$$ed skinny dipping for the sake of causing a few ripples.

      Meditation, remote viewing and OBE

      The memory of one of many strange mental experiences I had as a child has been coming back to me lately, your fault of course. Lol. I have a younger brother who is 18 months younger than I, when he was about 6ish and I 8ish we used to stay at my Grandmothers quite often. During these occasions the strangest thing happened several times after going to bed.

      I was asleep, (or was I?) Then I was aware of being remote, not like a dream at all, I was this remote thing, this silent eye, that I could not see... but it saw for me. I could not hear a thing either; the silence had a most eerie quality that I have never forgotten. It felt like I was a fairly large cannonball but of course I couldn’t see myself, this ball, hovering just a few inches above the ground moved very slowly and deliberately, I wasn’t sure I was controlling its movements? (It was me and wasn’t me?) This ball moved in the most smooth and consistent fashion, almost impossibly steady.

      Well... from the side of the bed “we” just proceeded through the bedroom door onto the landing and all the time in this low level Silent viewpoint. Down the stairs and into the kitchen, it was here I realised how low I was as I easily glided beneath a chair. Out of the kitchen down the hall to the living room door. It’s closed, while all this is going on I feel that I might be invisible, I might have also thought I was dreaming. This being my first experience I thought that this world might not have any people in it, it was just too quiet.

      I think the door presented a problem on that first occasion, I did not know if there were people on the other side and I wasn’t sure that I was invisible, I feel sure that I wondered what time it was in this “world”, yes there were many doubts during this experience. Weirdly... I was sure I could just move through the door at will... I chose not to, I just looked around the hallway and cloakroom, everything was perfectly normal, yet this low level view gave everything a whole new and fascinating perspective, the coats and scarves hanging down seemed to have gained more detail, the fabric and the fibre stood out more.

      The only other thing I remember of that experience is checking out other items in the hall, a very ordinary glass cabinet took on the appearance of a massive shop window and I spent some time being fascinated by some very ordinary objects inside, the memory fades, that particular episode was over but I was to have several more as equally vivid experiences.

      The next time it happened I went through the door. None of my childhood experiences like this were ever “planned” or I felt “instigated” by myself, they just happened. I was in my late teens when I began to get into meditation and could then expand this to much greater effect.

    20. I had a younger brother also. “Irish twins” was the family joke. This type of dreaming in children is quite the norm up to a cut-off age that’s variable. For some they are night terrors, or nightmares for others pleasant experiences.

      Intent or no intent is a tricky question. You were familiar and comfortable in Grandma’s home yet it wasn’t your normal bed. More than likely your sleep wasn’t as deep (not quite a delta state). It’s probably a good guess that you would have rather not been in bed and would have rather been about and exploring so that’s what you did. (I hated a 7:00 bed time in the summer. It was still light out!) The bottom line is that you were free to explore and “free” is the most important clue, shaking off the shackles. At some time the waking restrictions were lifted and there was no further need for the freedom in the dream state.

      There is a much greater point in this next statement. At a very early age we have this ability of total unbiased and unabridged freedom only possible in the mind and we give it up for such small rewards. In essence it’s giving up our inheritance for a bowl of pottage.

    21. Thanks, well said, yes I got it completely. Sometimes when I reflect I think I had a half decent mind until the age of 11, and then it seems I unlearned an awful lot. Nietzsche’s “Man is something to Overcome” has never seemed more apt.

    22. @Philio

      “In essence it’s giving up our inheritance for a bowl of pottage.”

      Please Sir, I want more!

      Do you have any recipes for something a little tastier? Something to help the medicine go down.

    23. @TheBlessedHeretic

      “Please Sir, I want more!
      Do you have any recipes for something a little tastier? Something to help the medicine go down.”

      Could you be a little more specific? It’s a big subject.

    24. Here is an attempt.

      In response to the story of Mary, the 25th century neurophysiologist “The Knowledge Argument”,

      Erwin Schrödinger (the Physicist, “his cat in the box”) had this counter-materialist take: "The sensation of color cannot be accounted for by the physicist's objective picture of light-waves. Could the physiologist account for it, if he had fuller knowledge than he has of the processes in the retina and the nervous processes set up by them in the optical nerve bundles and in the brain? I do not think so."

      There is a gorilla in the room. Neither side has a clue. They can only wonder and wander about an answer. And I think that is absolutely wonderful, being clueless!! This cluelessness is a mental ascension aside form any knowledge attained. It’s the realm of the explorer. I’ll give an example at the end of this.

      Another gorilla in the room has to do with the “Schrödinger’s Cat” example, the cat cannot apprehend or comprehend anything “outside the box” and Schrödinger cannot apprehend or comprehend anything “inside the box”. Each situation posited is a “subset” of a greater “whole”. A subset cannot determine a reality outside it self. They can “intuit” but never determine the absolute reality. IF THEY STATE A REALITY THEY CANNOT EXPERIENCE “FIRST PERSON” AS A TRUTH, THEY CLOSE THE DOOR ANY OTHER POSSIBILITY.

      Re: Recent Documentary “Atheism and Critical Thinking”. If you listen very closely to the speaker he sounds very balanced and open. He is not. He, very coyly and logically, states his position. There is, what seems to be, an unavoidable logic trap woven into his arguments. It’s the one I just stated about “Schrödinger’s Cat”. His logic predetermines his position. It irrevocably states his personal determination. It’s his “belief”. That is all well and good. It is his choice. See it for what it is. Marcus Aurelious – “Of each thing ask, what is it, what is its nature is.” Further if you agree or disagree with him, you experience an emotional response. Both feed an Ego but with apposing energy. It’s an Ego thing.

      In reference to your OBE’s, your Ego wanted to explore and so did your Unconscious. They were in agreement!! That is the nature of your unconscious, its essence, exploration and agreement!!

      The nature of the Ego is similar but it has needs all based in observed physical reality. It builds its world brick by brick until it “senses” its needs fulfilled. In absolute reality, this sureness and security are illusionary. They can disappear in a heart beat, literally. It then develops wants. Wants become needs. Now add them to the whole.

      Each brick builds a new limit in the subconscious. Sooner or later it becomes the silent gatekeeper or thinker locking out other possibilities and may add emotional energy to strengthen the gates. There is no need to accept or reject either. The only need is to KNOW or discover that you control the gatekeeper and it not you.

      From “And a River Runs through It”, “I am haunted by waters” (and old hardwood forests). (I know the peace of the desert.) “And a river runs through it.”

      I know the highways and the well worn paths to each stream and river I have visited in many corners of the US and Canada.

      Through exploration there are topographies of each location resting in my subconscious (memory). The dangers also rest there. I can recall each path and each pocket of water holding a possible prize. I am equipped physically and mentally to handle the unforeseen, mountain lions and bears and snakes oh my!!

      If a path is blocked and my “obcession” is to visit plentiful waters, I rest for a moment and recall the topography (subconscious). The unconscious reveals other unknown pathways to a destination somewhere leading to an unknown portion of the waters (creativity). (And, by the way, the journey is presented to the conscious mind in images.) If the subconscious says no to a path out of fears, hardships or the sureness of a prize, two things are possible. I can reject the unknown, the new paths and new waters disappear back into their origin. I will remember none of them.

      If this pattern continues and I always reject the unknown (unconscious), it will agree and with increasing regularity cease to present it’s contents. If I reject the suggestions of the subconscious, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, and choose an unknown path, new and increased experiences become part of the prize. Additionally, all will be remembered.

      Was any of that clear or was there too much metaphor?

    25. @Philio

      Kind Sir, that was delicious. Thankyou so much. I have thought about what you have said for a few days and have still yet to compose a proper reply but hope to post something appropriate soon. I am nourished by your words and energised to change, unblock and “unobcess” = nice one ;-)

      I have so much on in my clueless state, please bear with me; I hope to have more time to correspond soon. What do you think of a back to basics approach to healthy living?

    26. as clear as the water of a river with a few grains of sand, chips of wood, bugs and you know little things.
      I enjoy reading you and reading the ones that read you with openess.

    27. Isn't that what rivers do? How broing they would be with no sand for the toes, chips of wood to watch as they navigate the slicks and eddies. The bugs walk on and hover over water and the little things keep the big things fed,,, don't they?

    28. I agree. Good to see you still here mate. :)

    29. Thanks for sharing, @ AntiTheist666 and Philio, you're helping me a great deal as well, though my attempts at meditation have until now come to nothing, apart from relaxation. I'll stick with my uneducated ability to reason a little longer. :
      I'll continue reading your string of comments from here but seeing it is very late again and I'm no longer clearminded from weariness, I have to stop for now.

    30. @Giacomo della Svezia

      “Thanks for sharing, @ AntiTheist666 and Philio,”

      You are welcome Giacomo; I hope you continue practice meditation. It can be a perfect foil to this crazy world we live in; looking inwards is often a grounding experience but can also have the fantasy aspect of your wildest dreams.

    31. @Myth Understood

      “but can also have the fantasy aspect of your wildest dreams.” Take care just what you turn into stone!!

      Keep a governor on certain types of fantasy. They can and do reset your journey back to the start gate. It is the warning in the Bardo Thodol, becoming “involved” in the fantasies. The Bardo interprets the lovers as attractions for distraction causing reincarnation in to the world of suffering. Extend that to mean all ego desires.

      The idea is moderation. Once may do no harm but repetition is a trap of the “Trickster” (that’s your subconscious). This is why neurophysiologists claim that they can read your mind and state that you have no “free will”. You want your will to be free and unpredictable so that you can truly choose.

      The object is to “silence the noise of that silent thinker”. That is done by nullifying or de-energizing the opposites, stripping them of emotional (attractive) energy.

      Some Buddhist philosophy: “The mind is the slayer of the real.” “The slayer must be slain” is the corollary.

      The mind has (at minimum) three properties, intellect, intuition and memory. The observer is consciousness. Two properties can be understood as opposites, intellect and intuition. The real is what the Hindus call “Maya” or illusion, the assumed truth or fact.

      It’s the Architect spoken of by the Buddha. All waking observed “reality” is a construct of data (signals) presented through the five senses to the mind. The mind constructs the “solid holographic” stuff that comprises our reality, our world.

      This world of objective reality can never be grasped in what we experience as “Now”. What you see, touch, taste, smell or hear is at minimum 0.25 seconds past, the blink of an eye. When measured against the processing speed of the brain 0.25 seconds is a very long time.

      As an example, the images projected on the retina are two dimensional pictures focused upside down on the curved surface of the retina. The information and manipulation necessary to “see” it as a hologram is encoded within the image. The experienced reality of the image is a process of the full visual cortex. There is no elevated consciousness necessary to process the information. Every animal with an eye or eyes process this information transparently. It’s just old data.

      As consciousness rises, various level of intellect (forms stored in memory) decodes the hologram as a recognized object. Once recognized, the object (or idea) is chiseled in “Stone”. If the object is not recognizable the subconscious continues its work. The intellect can be fooled by illusions optical or otherwise.

      The “first cause” is the intuition. Believe it or not it does precede the physical cause. (Research that one for yourself.) It cues up the subconscious. It is the “searcher”. When in subliminal agreement with the Ego, the response is “I know”, no further search is initiated. You then carry out the action. Predetermination causes the illusion true or false. Curiosity and skepticism are good things.

      The subconscious must be forced (by ambivalence or rejection in some form) to continue the search. It will then tap the unconscious (the world of undifferentiated forms) to produce other choices. (The other choices are or can be the source of your own myth especially when personified. All are personal symbols for your understanding. Translate them yourself. Use the intellect to flip them around in every way you can imagine. Don’t ask anyone else to assist you!)

      The Myths are instructive here, actually very instructive for slaying the real.

      Odysseus, men are turned into pigs by Circe because they were greedy and impolite. She drugged them to turn them into pigs. They were also captured by the Cyclops and only released by tricking the Cyclops and blinding its single eye. (The single eye is a repeated metaphor through out many myths.)

      Hercules fought the Hydra and each head he decapitated turned into two (ego creations), an endless battle freezing him in place. He had to enlist the aid of his nephew Iolaus who would cauterize the neck of each severed head. Deciphering what Iolaus symbolizes is not obvious. Have fun.

      Perseus must trick the three Graeae, "grey ones" (grey matter), out of their shared EYE to find the location of the Stygian Nymphs to locate his winged shoes (freedom) and the location of their sister Medusa whose head full of snakes (like the Hydra) would turn a man to stone if he looked on her gaze. Perseus, armed with Ageis, the shield of Zeus, whose mirror finish allowed Perseus to observe her reflected image to locate and decapitate her.

      Now slay the slayer and achieve a Zen Mind.

    32. @Myth Understood

      “but can also have the fantasy aspect of your wildest dreams.” Take care just what you turn into stone!!

      Keep a governor on certain types of fantasy. They can and do reset your journey back to the start gate. It is the warning in the Bardo Thodol, becoming “involved” in the fantasies. The Bardo interprets the lovers as attractions for distraction causing reincarnation in to the world of suffering. Extend that to mean all ego desires. The idea is moderation. Once may do no harm but repetition is a trap of the “Trickster” (that’s your subconscious). This is why neurophysiologists claim that they can read your mind and state that you have no “free will”. You want your will to be free and unpredictable so that you can truly choose.

      The object is to “silence the noise of that silent thinker”. That is done by nullifying or de-energizing the opposites, stripping them of emotional (attractive) energy.

      Some Buddhist philosophy: “The mind is the slayer of the real.” “The slayer must be slain” is the corollary.

      The mind has (at minimum) three properties, intellect, intuition and memory. The observer is consciousness. Two properties can be understood as opposites, intellect and intuition. The real is what the Hindus call “Maya” or illusion, the assumed truth or fact.

      It’s the Architect spoken of by the Buddha. All waking observed “reality” is a construct of data (signals) presented through the five senses to the mind. The mind constructs the “solid holographic” stuff that comprises our observed world. This world of objective reality can never be grasped in what we experience as “Now”. What you see, touch, taste, smell or hear is at minimum 0.25 seconds past, the blink of an eye. When measured against the processing speed of the brain 0.25 seconds is a very long time.

      As an example, the images projected on the retina are two dimensional pictures focused upside down on the curved surface of the retina. The information and manipulation necessary to “see” it as a hologram is encoded within the image. The experienced reality of the image is a process of the full visual cortex. There is no elevated consciousness necessary to process the information. Every animal with an eye or eyes process this information transparently. It’s just old data.

      As consciousness rises, various level of intellect (forms stored in memory) decodes the hologram as a recognized object. Once recognized, the object (or idea) is chiseled in “Stone”. If the object is not recognizable the subconscious continues its work. The intellect can be fooled by illusions optical or otherwise.

      The “first cause” is the intuition. Believe it or not it does precede the physical cause. (Research that one for yourself.) It cues up the subconscious. It is the “searcher”. When in subliminal agreement with the Ego, the response is “I know”, no further search is initiated. You then carry out the action. Predetermination causes the illusion true or false. Curiosity and skepticism are good things.

      The subconscious must be forced (by ambivalence or rejection in some form) to continue the search. It will then tap the unconscious (the world of undifferentiated forms) to produce other choices. (The other choices are or can be the source of your own myth especially when personified. All are personal symbols for your understanding. Translate them yourself. Use the intellect to flip them around in every way you can imagine. Don’t ask anyone else to assist you!)

      The Myths are instructive here, actually very instructive for slaying the real.

      Odysseus’ men are turned into pigs by Circe because they were greedy and impolite. She drugged them to turn them into pigs. They were also captured by the Cyclops and only released by tricking the Cyclops and blinding its single eye. (The single eye is a repeated metaphor through out myths.)

      Hercules fought the Hydra and each head he decapitated turned into two (ego creations), an endless battle freezing him in place. He had to enlist the aid of his nephew Iolaus who would cauterize the neck of each severed head. Deciphering what Iolaus symbolizes is not obvious. Have fun.

      Perseus must trick the three Graeae, "grey ones" (grey matter), out of their shared EYE to find the location of the Stygian Nymphs to locate his winged shoes (freedom) and the location of their sister Medusa whose head full of snakes (like the Hydra) would turn a man to stone if he looked on her gaze. Perseus, armed with Ageis, the shield of Zeus, whose mirror finish allowed Perseus to observe her reflected image to locate and decapitate her.

      All that remains is to slay the slayer.

    33. @Philio

      I'd very much like your reaction on these statements, just to get my own thoughts straight.

      - Isn't having a free will dependent of nothing more than having the awareness (or consciousness) of the choices we have?

      "The mind has (at minimum) three properties, intellect, intuition and memory. The observer is consciousness. Two properties can be understood as opposites, intellect and intuition."
      - From my experience I'd say: intellect is the power of conscious thinking, intuition is subconscious (or is it unconscious?) logic, and memory is a tool used especially by the latter. My conclusion would be that there doesn't have to be a contradiction.
      You also stated: "The “first cause” is the intuition. Believe it or not it does precede the physical cause."
      - I have the impression you think of intuition as what someone called 'the ring of truth', which I would still define as subconscious logic or thinking (which is reactive, not initial).
      You obviously must have another definition for the word intuition, but which is not clear to me, and I'm very curious to get a more detailed version.

      The intellect can also be used, at least as I interpret it, to see through the illusions, created by our senses, we only need to 'sit back' to see things more clearly, or maybe this is using another mental faculty.
      In other words I'm getting confused, not to say a little weary, with so many definitions concerning the mind, intellect, consciousness, etcetera.

      I never interpreted the mythological stories the way you did here. A real eyeopener.
      I'm getting more curious as I read more comments you posted. Thanks again. : )

    34. @Giacomo (Is this any help?)

      Sorry about the wait. I’ve had some surgery on my eyes. Both are complete but my right eye is covered at the moment resting from surgery. I’ll respond to your second question first. The answers should fold together and form a complete idea.

      Starting from “My experience”: What is Intellect? There is a type of marriage between consciousness and intuition. The two operate transparently as one. Transparently means below conscious perception. Your senses constantly receive information, all the information picked up by the five senses. You are only conscious of the portion on which you focus.

      At this moment your attention is on this writing. Your visual cortex is presenting the alphabetic symbols you your brain. They are not INFORMATION. They must be translated into INFORMATION for understanding. This procedure is again transparent or subconscious. You are unaware of this procedure. As you begin to grasp the idea being presented, you may be able to finish the sentence or entire paragraph before you complete hearing or reading either or both. Your INTELLECT BELIEVES that it understands. You in essence are predicting the future through your intuition.

      Here your intuition has predicted an outcome and if your intellect has agreed with that outcome you then complete the idea. Have you ever been in a conversation where you had to wait patiently for the speaker to complete an explanation that you have already understood? You may have been able to complete their last two or more sentences possibly better than they. That’s one experience. See it as intuitional and intellectual agreement.

      There is more. Shift your focus to the right and to the left. Now shift you focus mentally to your feet, to your buttocks, to your ears, to your nose and to the small of your back in sequence. All of those SIGNALS and much more have been there all the while being presented to your subconscious. I would state that they were undifferentiated until you focused your attention on them. The possibility of more information always presents itself. We only have to focus on them.

      When the speaker or writer surprises you by finishing the idea in a way differently than you did, you become conflicted. If his conclusion makes perfect sense to you, now two explanations exist, yours and his. Your consciousness has the possibility of being expanded.

      Notice I used the word “possibility”. When you heard the other idea something internal was triggered. It, more than likely, was an emotion. If you were excited by the new explanation, your knowledge was expanded. If the explanation conflicted with a deeply held belief and you reject it out of hand, nothing changes and the new concept takes its place being pushed back into the undifferentiated area of the subconscious. You simply ignore it or suppress it. This suppressed information enters the unconscious (the shadow of psychology, the place of the opposites).

      This can be understood as elevating consciousness through increasing knowledge and deepening understanding. The only thing lacking is personal experience. There are many ways to achieve that.

      I used the word “signals” above. That is what all that undifferentiated information is. I used the word predictive also. In this case it means before your brain has enough information for you to be conscious of the stimulus.

      Physicist Fred Alan Wolf gives a different type of description of this in his video “Dr. Quantum - The Real Self behind the Ego”. Also see related documents on the subject within the TDF and Keen Talks libraries. TED also has docs on the subject.

      To address your first question: What we call “Free Will” and intellect is steered or controlled by subconscious and unconscious factors. Among them is the lack of information, personal prejudices (beliefs), and instinctive behaviors to name a few.

      I don’t hold with imprimaturs from any brotherhoods. Question everything!! Be an “unprejudiced” skeptic!! It’s your mind. Read everything. Explore your own myth within. Silence the ego. Silence the silent thinker and do so with care but do it.

      More on myth: Joseph Campbell was a preeminent scholar on the subject and has left us a huge library on myth. I attempted to locate some links of the full PBS documentary “The Power of Myth” and the series put out by the Joseph Campbell Foundation “Mythos I, II and III”. I was unable to locate them in full. You may have better luck. They are available through the foundation and torrents.

      Metaphor warning: There is a vast portion of valley land in a kingdom that if irrigated would provide a dependable source of food and water for a population that had little. There is a river that always flows near by but a mountain range blocks the way to the land.

      There are two engineers in this particular kingdom. One engineer would dig a wide path through the mountain range in the way then use the debris to dam up the river and change its course. The project would need massive amounts of manpower and time but would eventually irrigate the valley.

      The other engineer studied the river and the path of the mountain range and saw that a moderately sized jetty protruding at an angle into the river would divert water into a channel at the base of the mountain. The channel would follow the base of the range and produce its own channel through erosion and dig its own way into the valley using much less labor. The river course would be preserved and the erosion would add top soil and nutrients to the land. Flood waters would flow over the jetty and prevent them from flooding the land in flood season. The new channel would allow boats to travel to the river and down stream to sell their excess produce.

      Which one is of a Zen Mind?

    35. "I would state that they were undifferentiated until you focused your attention on them. The possibility of more information always presents itself. We only have to focus on them."
      "I don’t hold with imprimaturs from any brotherhoods. Question everything!! Be an “unprejudiced” skeptic!! It’s your mind. Read everything. Explore your own myth within. Silence the ego. Silence the silent thinker and do so with care but do it."
      and the little jetty story...

      all of which i enjoyed very much!

    36. @Giacomo

      Instead of reading my diatribe, watch the series, “Through the Wormhole Mysteries Of The Subconscious”.

      It explains the subconscious and many of its properties. It leans heavily to a rationalist perspective but does present a wider range of possibilities. It’s almost a balanced view.

      That should clear things up for you.


    37. @Philio

      No excuses necessary, your "diatribe" was well worth waiting for, if only for the trouble you took, which is highly appreciated. I have to read it again a couple of times before I can really measure its full meaning.
      I hope sincerely that your eyes are recovering well from the surgery.

      The connection I have at the place I'm staying for my holiday is not good enough for any streaming video, so I have to be patient till I'm back home. I have quite a list of must-see documentaries on this site to start with (If you are reading this, thank you very much, Vlatko).

      I understand signals from the senses and the attention one gives to them, and the information they are processed into.
      The experience of having to wait for someone to finish what I have already understood is very familiar (actually, finishing sentences of others is a habit I should try to get rid of). I always ascribed this ability to emphathy. Reading your answer, I assume empathy and intuition may be closely related.
      I'm reminded of 'K?an' by what you wrote about conflicting ideas.

      Where you write "Your consciousness has the possibility of being expanded", do you mean 'your insight has the possibility to grow'? In that case I'm confusing consciousness with 'mindfulness' (if that's the right term for what I'm thinking of).

      An "unprejudiced skeptic" is what I try to be, in other words: a 'critical thinker' (have to watch the documentary 'Atheism and critical thinking' again, though: there was something I disagreed with).

      I think I know the answer to the question at the end of your comment.

      I feel I'm still struggling in the river, where I'd like to get at the river side.

    38. @oQ – Thanks, the response is much appreciated.

      @Giacomo della Svezia – I haven’t seen this clearly since I was a teenager. I’m experiencing a new “Qualia” with colors. (Def - essential quality: a property of something, e.g. its feel or appearance, rather than the thing itself.) It is the subjective experience not the rational assessment.

      [Get above the river, as far above it as you can.] I hope that I’ve established that thinking, empathy, intuition and all other such processes are brain functions, some instinctive and some learned. The subconscious brain is a phenomenon and is both an untapped resource and a barrier.

      It can be understood as a background program that is always running, gathering signals and queues from memory for processing and identification. It has been programmed by your life process “in toto”. It is both a known pattern seeker and a presenter where established views are assembled into what we call (personal) reality. It is also a program that can also be intentionally or subliminally reprogrammed (by you or others).

      Terms can drive one to distraction. I would say mindfulness is a conscious process, a type of meditation and a good one. Consciousness is metaphorically your “single eye” of the mind, the observer. When unimpeded, its focus can be shifted through an act “free will”. The less noise there is from the subconscious, the broader the vision.

      Here is a 'K?an' for you as an example. From where you are sitting, look at each of the corners of the room you are sitting in, above and below. While focusing on each corner mentally reverse the view. See yourself sitting at your computer from the prospective of that corner. When you have finished, attempt to see all of those perspectives in a single vision.

      You will find the first task rather easy to accomplish. It’s a simple act of the imagination. You’ll find you can sketch a reasonable semblance of each view.

      The second task will prove much more difficult. After your attempt, first ask why? Then try again and notice the process of your attempts. All those views exist in the same place at the same time. What is impeding the total vision? I’ll just call it a prejudice of the subconscious (Medusa).

      Notice how easily your consciousness is able to grasp the idea or the concept. An observable reality is present from each view and you can prove by placing a mirror placed in each corner. Would it be possible to capture all those images in one reflection? That little exercise can trigger some rather interesting experiences awake or asleep if you spend some concentration (meditation) time on it.

      We are individual units of consciousness but what is consciousness? No one “knows” but fight tooth and nail over the CONCEPT. Why?? It becomes a member measuring contest, pointless. You are what you choose, public masks aside.

      For the rationalist it’s an illusion, a process within the brain. So that is what it is for them and most are happy with that. Those that want more evidences search new discoveries within the sciences to accumulate support for their assumption. Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for the sciences. A discipline of one of the sciences is what kept me and mine housed, clothed and feed.

      Freudian and similar psychologies are a natural rationalist match. These forms of psychology and the psychiatric methods have proven beneficial for many patients. It is a rationalist approach and it usually works. It does however blur the differences between the subconscious and the unconscious. Its practices are a good beginning for the topic we are discussing. He describes the sources and reasons for Freudian slips and the root of suppressed memories. His exploration of the subconscious (and his description of the unconscious), are furthered in his “The Interpretation of Dreams”.

      In all cases the “unconscious” is better understood as the unknown, never published in our physical or electronic libraries. It would be the realm of unsolved equations, theories yet unproven or simply what ever is unknown. It’s the journey of science and the scientific method to apprehend and codify new knowledge in the objective world. No one creates a discovery. A discovery is a find and of something that already exists. If it doesn’t exist, it can’t be proven. It is of no matter how well thought out the theory might be. To become known it must be experienced through experiment and documentation.

      Those that assume that consciousness is more than an illusion and/or extends beyond the brain pursue the subjective side of the question but as a single individual conscious entity. What most forget is that, to a point, it has the similar rules to those of science.

      It’s an individual journey of discovery. The experiments are individual as is (or should be) the documentation of the process(es) used and the experience(s) attained. This is the Jungian psychological model which has also proven successful and beneficial to psychiatry and its patients. Jung’s model gives a process that uses the subjective to explore the “unknown” or the unconscious. He labeled it the “Transcendent Function”. It’s accomplished through the “Union of Opposites” (slaying Medusa). It is very much like Zen in it’s harmony of opposites. The symbol often used is that of Pisces in various forms. The sum of equal negatives and equal positives is zero in all cases, meaning stripped of energy.

      Jung adds to Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams” through a process called “Active Imagination”. This is where a theme that has been somehow brought to conscious attention can be introduced into a meditation or dream. There must be a free flow permitted of what ever interrupts the meditation. When used to prep a dream resist the urge to control or guide the story. Just observe and don’t get involved. A journal or history must be kept.

      This process seems to violate the “stillness” idea but it allows one to follow something to its source. When the source is discovered it’s like turning a light on in a dark dormitory of misbehaving youth. When caught they settle down. The result is stillness.

    39. @Philio

      Thank you for your answer.
      I had a long day and couldn't see myself from more than one view point simultaneously, but I actively imagine looking at myself from a distance (or from outside) rather often.

      The subconscious has proven to be a very useful brain function to me.
      I think however there's only one reality and that is 'here and now', if one can reach stillness, if only for a short time. Thought is just fog that troubles our clear view of it.

      I recently read that experiments have shown that (especially children's) memories can be changed rather easily. So much for the reliability of memory. At the same time this is just one example that shows how much we can still learn from science.

      Consciousness is, speaking from personal experience, something that cannot disappear, therefore it's probably not a brain function. It must have been the same thought that Descartes had when he invented his famous dictum "Cogito, ergo sum", I just ventured one step further, I suppose.
      Based on the assumption that consciousness is not an illusion and does not disappear, I even go a little further and say that probably the idea that we are separate beings will ultimately turn out to be illusory.
      If this assumption is right, then all conscious beings are connected.
      If there's some truth in these ideas, then they are not inventions, but discoveries.

      A long time ago, I wanted to write down my dreams a few times, but I woke up without any remembrance of dreams too often, so I gave up the idea. I will give it another try.

    40. There are two conscious (or lucid) dreaming techniques that will prove helpful. When following a meditation subject within a theta state or a dream it may prove helpful to plant Mnemonic cues to trigger consciousness and aid in remembrances. The two techniques mentioned below, WILD and MILD, work sort of hand in glove aiding each other. Just remember to write down as much of the dream or meditation in as much detail as you can remember. It’s a memory queue and aid. Memory will improve with practice. A web search of the following will provide instructions.

      (MILD) Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams and (WILD) Wake Induced Lucid Dream

      Do not get caught up in fantasies. You are working at shattering your illusions in much the same way as the characters of the myths. Each of us has emotional triggers within. When one triggers it’s a “heads up”. See it as a traffic signal with a countdown timer before the light changes red. You can witness the change and its cause just by using this type of metaphor. Use the methods to explore the opposite side of that trigger.

    41. Thank you very much again for your advice. I will start today and see how far I can get.

      What I forgot to mention is that some years ago I discovered something that might help me with this. When going to sleep, there is a level of consciousness I sink into, in which memories of past dreams (sometimes even very old ones) spontaneously may come into my head. I have sometimes tried to hold on to this state of consciousness, but the mental 'action' often brings me back to the waking state. If I don't act on it, it soon passes and I fall asleep.
      Have you experienced this and if so do you know a way to make it last longer?

    42. Yes I have, everyone does.

      Waking into consciousness is not a problem just try to remember not to move or open your eyes. This tends to signal the body that it’s time to wake up. There is a technique, wake and back to sleep, that is used when conscious dreaming escapes you. Just use the wild method to re-enter the dream. You can learn to link dreams in this way. (It like writing the next chapter in a play or story.)
      Muse over the symbols and actors that you have written down and learn your personal symbols to help interpret what your unconscious is projecting. This is done while awake. This part can be very interesting, personally.

    43. On achieving the Zen mind.

      Dear Philio,

      Please forgive my sudden disappearance some months back. god... such Events!

      Thankyou so much for your words of wisdom regarding governors, slayers and Greek myth. Once again you seem to hone in with laser like accuracy and hit the target precisely. The thing I used call an “I” was humbled and surprisingly - deeply wounded by your words. I don’t know if you meant it to be so hard hitting but I do feel sure you meant it in a good way. The problem I have (amongst many) is i don’t feel worthy of such concern. The governor left the building many lifetimes ago... the slayer has been running amok with gay abandon ever since.

      What can a poor boy do...? Can Pandora be put back in the box? I don’t think so; the slayer has survived my various assassination attempts, I now see him as an eternal demon that destroys the whole world when I feel low. Sometimes I scream at him to bring it on, give me your worst/best I cry, he laughs, that is still to come he replies menacingly.

      Thank god I don’t exist; otherwise I’d be ashamed of my self.

      And here lies the problem. There is no peace for the wicked and no wicked for the peaceful, which all amounts to the same thing.

      Nilhists have nothing to be proud of.

      But you my wise one do. Many thanks once again, your words have had a profound effect on me, I won’t forget them.

    44. A P.S - Sometimes when you look into a dark pool the pool looks back!

    45. What would dangerously long be? Did you looked at the time, sat, got up (after a long time) and look at the time again? Or was there a long pre-meditation and a long post-meditation? How did you meditate? Have you ever tried to meditate in a mirror?

    46. Hi there O Powerful One.

      Excess Power is Proof of Power said Nietzsche... Oops wrong thread.

      So many questions in one little paragraph let’s see what I can do for answers. This is when I was Deadly Serious about it. Firstly, there are no working clocks in my house; my wristwatch has had the same time displayed for years.

      I would plan to meditate, for me it worked best starting in the early afternoon. As soon as I start, always eyes closed, I would forget time. During the Long periods of doing this I would only be vaguely aware of time passing when I returned to normal consciousness and could go back to the Zen mind very quickly.

      The stupid and dangerous parts came when I decided I would try to examine what pain was, muscle cramps and the need to urinate get very painful after 24 hrs. Strangely during these states I could get quite dispassionate about my well being.

      No I’ve never tried to meditate in a mirror but I have done it in the middle of making a cup of tea. Tell me more about the woman in the mirror?

    47. When i was very young (5 or so), i used to look at myself in the mirror from about 10 inches away. I would stare straight in my eyes for a while until my face would turn into a seed, one eye in the middle of an oval shape (), it would scare the hell out of me and i would quickly get out of the bathroom in fear. The metamorphose from my regular face to the oval was the scarriest part.
      Later in life i started experimenting with it. Do it for 10 minutes, you'll see what i mean, do it for 5 yrs almost every day you'll feel what i mean (but you may not!).
      I have this tiny little oval mirror in my purse, i use it to meditate myself out of anything disturbing....and yes i have communicated with others through it....but i am the only one to know that about them and i....lately with my dad while he was in the hospital after a heart attack.
      Spiritually, we will our life into our own direction, where we go wrong is when we want/need/expect others to agree and see it the same way.

  11. empty mind as often as you remember to do so; breathe.

  12. AHAHAHAHAHA Vlatko I couldn't stop laughing about the cat, thanks for reminding me of that one! One of the most amazing introductions I could have asked for to Zen was reading some of the works of Victor Sogen Hori in first year religion studies. He explains that tradition in Zen is the continuous rediscovery of tradition. It made completely no sense to me for the longest time, until it clicked ... the tradition is efficiency in living and in discovering the true nature of the self, and so the tradition must be continuous rediscovered. Anyway ... I can't do the topic justice here, but the cat shows how important the zen tradition is and just how easily it can be lost :)

    For the record ... getting hit with a stick (referred to as keisaku or kyosaku ... literally 'warning stick') while meditating sounds bad, but it really is not as bad it is sounds. In Soto Zen you will only be struck as requested, but Rinzai are the buggers you have to look out for! They will wack you one if you look sleepy :D Honestly tho, they target the muscle area between the shoulders, and most schools do not use the stinging sticks anymore. Its like a mild charlie horse thump to wake you up and keep you attentive and vigilant in your practice. Just as some commenters above mentioned getting sleepy while breath counting ... so it was that monks decided tea and hitting each other with sticks was a good discipline hah :D

    Re: lotus position that is just not possible for me :( But I am not the first and there are workarounds.

    Anyway this docu is not working at the moment :/

  13. Lotus position is very comfortable once you get used to it. I almost laughed when they said it "may hurt". Got a yoga book from a library under 18 and I got so comfy with it that I have fallen asleep in full lotus with my chest laid on my legs. Right now I'm sitting half and go back and forth with legs all day. The only problem is that it makes sitting in chairs awkward once you get used to doing it all the time. Being straight legged is now uncomfortable to me and in office meetings or in cubes I bring my legs up even in those chairs lol So, don't get used to it or you'll be hooked too.

    There is a weird position you can get good rest in if you like the feeling of this even in sleep and I've found myself waking up or tossing in it. Start to lay on your belly, keep your left leg straight and your right leg on a knee. Drop all the way down keeping the left leg straight, then position your right leg under you across to your left thigh, foot base right about where your hips are but in that crease and on the belly flat. Tada - very comfy to sleep. Don't know if it's an existing position but sure feels natural if you sit lotus often.

  14. Beautiful and soothing, with good insights and a peaceful atmosphere

  15. Yes Vlatko, for me, this reflects the beginning and development of many religions that are entrenched in dogma. The original message is lost to a preoccupation with the stories and ideas originally created to convey and comprehend the incomprehensible.

    "Ask of those who have attained God; all speak the same word ... All the enlightened have left one message; ... it is only those in the midst of their journey who hold diverse opinions." - Dadu

    Thank you for creating this wonderful website, by the way.

  16. @silkop: You seem to be making judgements about something that your comments reveal you actually know

    little about.

    You say: "This system of thought prompts you to proactively seek meaning in contexts where no meaning is


    This, however, is quite the opposite of Zen philosophy. For Zen, words and meaning are the very things that stand in the way of our 'original nature'. The Zen and Chan traditions have long argued that book learning, and holding too much to the scriptures, are obstacles to awakening. In fact, one of Chan's most highly regarded patriarch's, Hui Neng, was famously illiterate.

    This is why Koan's are completely non-sensical. They have no logical meaning, for the very fact that they are intended to disrupt and break through the conditioned, rational/logical mind. The experience of awakening is not something that can be thought about, it can only be realised once our attachment to thought, as a means of mediating our experience of reality, has stopped, leaving only a direct experience of reality, inasmuch as our senses can allow. How can there be room for creation of meaning here? If we were to say that true nature is like the sun, words, thoughts, meaning, beliefs, are like the clouds that obscure it.

    Hui Neng was often questioned how to attain awakening, and he would reply, "stop dwelling on what is good or bad, right or wrong, and see now your original face before your mother and father were born!" When we divide reality into separate phenomena, we then apply positive and negative (and sometimes neutral) attributes to those different phenomena, and in doing so we begin to create meaning. We are creating a mind-made model of reality, with which we become occupied, yet this model is nothing but a shadow of the truth.

    Our notions of 'self' and 'other', of 'self' in relation to the rest of reality, are the result of this habitual process. It is only once we have dropped these deeply ingrained ideas that our 'true self' (to use your own words), and its true relationship with the rest of reality, is revealed.

    And it is the very fact that these patterns of thought and behaviour are so deeply ingrained that Zen monks, as you describe it, "chant in strange languages, hold your hands together, walk in circles, sit in Lotos position, imagine things." These are simply methods that have been discovered, over thousand of years of experiment and practice, to have been effective in achieving the process awakening. Just as the laborious process of pumping iron has been discovered to build muscle, or that applying heat to a flask filled with water eventually turns it into a gas. To overcome such ingrained habit requires a disciplined, concerted effort and these are the methods that these particular groups of people in the East have found useful.

    That is not to say that these methods are the only way to attain awakening, just as there are many different ways to boil water (kettle, bunsen burner, microwave etc.), all of which work well. Many different traditions (particularly their mystic sects) across the world have also found different ways to achieve the same process, whether through prayer (christianity), dance (sufi), drumming (native American), yoga (hindu), Qi Gong (daoism), tantric sex etc. On the surface, these practices might look different, but the underlying process is the same, just as the underlying process of boiling water, whether via kettle or microwave, involves the transformation of energy. These diverse methods of awakening are fundamentally about mental discipline and concentration. They are different forms of meditation, which aid in breaking through the conditioned preoccupation with meaning and concept, to a direct experience of the present moment - and ultimately this leads, not to feeling nice and fluffy, but to freedom. Ultimate freedom.

    If you found freedom beyond anything you have ever felt in your life, would you not also try to tell others how to find it? How you found it?

    1. @river,

      You've reminded me of one beautiful Zen story: Ritual Cat

      When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, a cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. One day the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice.

      Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

  17. Silkop has some potent views that I really like. The way I see it, these monks philosophy is just another take in the unsolvable riddle that Life is…if you like their flavor, go ahead, get hammered on the back while sitting with your eyes closed & be happy…why not?

  18. Beautiful!!! Very nice!!! Thank you for sharing...

  19. @ Reasons voice

    Thanks for your concern, I did develope an infection. I had a temp of 101 and felt horrible. I went to the hospital and we have it under control. Thanks again to you and everyone that has expressed concern and given advise, you guys are great.

  20. maybe the pope should try this.... been a catholic for many a year and as an alter boy with no trouble from their minority that do perpetrate , I have excused myself from religion and look at the more important things in life now like having a balance and understanding and allowing myself to live with out the stress.Yes this can work, you cant say till you try...

  21. @ez2b12: Been busy last few days. Sory to hear about the bike wreck. Definately keep an eye on it and watch you other health. A burn site is a free pass into you for infection so if ya feel run down get to a doc. Hearing yer from the SE US explains alot as to your stance on religion they are a bit much down there.
    @WP88: Zen is nothing like most other religions as it is one of self-actualization and introspection. For the purpose of a documentary of course the visited more central worship locations like monesteries. However most practicers do so in their own home with no chanting or bells. Just simple meditation.

  22. @ Jans

    Excuse us for having a conversation, geesh!! I guess this is a place to remark about the documentary so we are off topic, sorry. In our defense it did start out being about the documentary, we just drifted. Any way I'll relinquish the floor to you now Jan, take it away.

    @ Silkop

    Thanks for the conversation, very interesting stuff. You sound like you are doing well and enjoying yourself, good luck. I have every confidence things will be fine for me.

  23. @silkop @ez2b12.. just get a room already! :P

  24. @WP88
    “The religion of the future should transcend a personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description… If ever there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.” – Einstein.

  25. @ez2b12

    Generally speaking, getting to know the right (read: older, wealthy and influential) people and making yourself useful to them is a good way to advance economically, if you can avoid getting exploited in the process. What's exciting about today's world is that perhaps for the first time in history in certain types of (white-collar) jobs it is possible to "meet" those people without even travelling too much, sell oneself globally and to effectively telework.

    Educational degrees matter, but connections, skills and initiative matter more. For example, I came to Germany from Eastern Europe (lower-middle class white-collar family). I knew noone here (though I spoke German well, which has always been sort of hobby of mine... as a kid I got inspired by Hitler's speeches hehe). I was able to finance my studies and more by teleworking as a programmer for a US headhunter. This opportunity I found with no references through web surfing. Back then it was the golden era of dot-coms and every cheap promising programmer was getting hired (unlike today). I then joined a German research institute (excellent grades helped a lot), my chief motivation being to keep myself from being kicked out to my (poorer) home country, but also to advance in status. I failed (no PhD for me), but in the meantime my homeland joined the EU, so I decided to get back into freelancing (now all legal and just as enjoyable as before). Currently I'm earning some very respectable income working from home for a local (German) utility company. Directly reporting to my former co-worker (who does happen to have a PhD, hmm). The guy who signed the contract is a neighbor and friend of a professor who is a big fish at my former employer.

    There's plenty of work, so I'm even trying to outsource some, but it's difficult because getting it out of your brain is almost as time-intensive as doing it yourself. And the subcontractors I've found so far failed to impress me. The point is I'd be happy to employ and help someone from a poor foreign country move up the ladder. So I'm sort trying to reinforce my own theory of social advancement, like those people who helped me before (I guess).

    I also notice that my early career has been more driven by circumstances and luck than by any sort of planning ahead. This is actually quite cruel: as a young person from a lower class family you typically get no useful career advice from your family or peers whatsoever. If you aren't lucky enough to do research on your own, move yourself into different environments, discover different attitudes and markets, you will end up in the same unfavorable social situation as your parents. This is why I expressed surprise by your reference to being "poor" because it seems to me that you are already past that isolation stage, and success is now more likely to follow.

    To bring this comment back on topic, I must note that the ancient Zen philosophy doesn't seem to directly address anything of the above. Instead it seems to tell you that those things don't matter. So I second your previous remark that "looking for your true self" - by sitting around and thinking about answers to silly koans - is a pastime for spoiled people, a perverse luxury even. However, I imagine there are also many not-so-well-off people who will become attracted to such philosophies or ideologies and get persuaded that their foremost problem in life is not "making a buck". But in reality even a Zen monk enjoys his selfless meditations better in a nice garden surronded by friends and without a hungry stomach. I suspect he might even prefer the occasional "back-breaking" sidewalk-polishing run from an oh-so-comfortable 8 hour day at the office (or working in the field, for that matter).

  26. I don't see why Zen gets a free pass, its foolish superstition just like Christianity but many clever people fall to its charms, don't be fooled by it, science is the only truth.

  27. @ Sahota

    Thanks, thats a nice thing to say. I'm curiose about a lot of people on here as well. We seem to get people from vastly different cultures and back grounds on this site. It makes things more interesting and gives people like me a chance to see something different, as I can't afford travel. Maybe thats one reason I love this site so much, besides the great documentaries I mean. Vlatko really provides a valuable place of learning where people can make positive connections. And its all free, even better. Hats off to Vlatko once more.

  28. @ ez2b12- nice to hear from you about your background, when you got nice comments on almost all of the documentaries from someone then you always want to know about the person behind that name

  29. Very perceptive, I had wreck about three years ago and broke my back in two places. I came from a under educated and under employed family though, no money to speak of. Where I live though, the rural southeast US, this isnt poor. A measure of wealth in this area is property ownership, we own sixty acres. So even though we didn't have money we did have resources, and were never truly considered poor. Now that I can't work like I used to, I've gone back to college by way of a pell grant from the government.

    I shouldn't say I am poor I suppose, it is not fair to those that truly are in this area. If you measure my income against the rest of the US I would be under the poverty level. If you measure it against the surrounding area only, I barely get into the middle class. Poor is a state of mind sort of though, and in that regard I am wealthy. I have always refused to let such things define me, of course that is easier for me than say someone in an inner city area of true poverty- due to their lack of choices and resources. I do think like poor people do in a lot of ways though, it is just the accepted way of thinking where I am from. We are simple people generally, blue collar types.

    I am considered to be educated and different simply because I have a college degree already and am an atheist. Needless to say I am not very popular around here, mostly due to the atheist thing. I have found however, by working with a lot of charity organizations in this area, that you are welcome no matter what when you come bearing free food. I like the simple no nonsense ways around here, just could do without the predjudice and religiouse intolerance. The job market is pathetic as well but that's a different conversation all on its own. In short this place has it charms, but is horribly ignorant and behind the times.

  30. ez2b12, you seem to be "doing it right" then, except for the motorcycle stuff. Maybe you need to read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" ;-)

    Given such a healthy attitude, I wonder why you claim to be "poor". I don't mean richness of spiritual life either. Most "poor" people I had contact with appeared to have some striking biases in their perception of reality (drug abusers, religees, leftists, worker-ants, mothers of multi-child families etc.), so I sort of came to conclusion that it's more difficult for a critical thinking person to become poor. With the exception of being victim to severe illness or disability, of course.

  31. @ Reasons Voice

    You said: "I wish they would prescribe Zen to kids instead of riddalin."

    If it would work I would definetly agree. My friend put his daughter on riddalin and she acts like someone on a meth trip or something. All spaced out and picking up rocks in the front yard, when I come by yesterday. I asked what she was doing and she was like, "I don't know I'm bored." I know this may seem normal but if you could have seen her eyes, you would know what I mean. She looked just like these people that are all spaced out on meth and looking for stuff on the ground or floor. I've seen it many times, not proud of it but I used to hang with a bad crowd. Luckily when I called my friends attention to it he said he was taking her off the stuff because she had been acting really geeked up since she started taking it.

    He maid the point, and I agree, that he would rather her act up and have to teach her at home becuase she cant seem to get it at school, than to have her hi at eleven years old.

    I would like to say more but I just had a motorcycle wreck like an hour ago, burnt my leg really bad on the exhaust. I was going fairly slow on a bike that had been sitting up for like fifteen years, we just got it running. Any way the chain came off and locked the rear wheel, naturally the bike turned sideways and I lost it. I think I am going to have to get this seen about, all the skins coming off- yuck. It hurts too bad to concentrate (Took almost thirty minutes to post this.) I gotta run, talk to yall when I get better.

  32. The cincept of "finding your true self" is a simplification. What you hope to acheive is finding your center, which is simple finding your inner peace where no mask is required. As EZ said he found himself long ago. Day to day however we all must suck it up and go with the flow of life. Meditation is about letting that go. Don't rule out the whacks with the stick. To outside eyes it appears shocking but in reality it is not. It truely is like acupuncture when done right it just snaps your focus back. Many cultures have incorporated this into relaxation ritual, for example Russian bath houses and Turkish bath houses will provide birch roda or reeds respectively for thrashing on the skin. Also Norwegian hot springs users will step out of the water and dive into the snow. It is all physiological not mumbo jumbo. The mind and body enter a relaxed state the sudden shock is to maintain awareness so you dont slip into sleep.
    I wish they would prescribe Zen to kids instead of riddalin.

  33. After reading my post I can see exactly why you thought I was saying I was doing the whole "Zen" thing or something. Let me just say again, I am just into the meditation. I have insomnia and this is a perfect way to fall asleep. I don't want to misrepresent myself so i am clearing it up. I have posted many times on this site that i am not into religion, even though i don't think this is a religion. But it is a little to mystical for me. I think I may have already made that clear in the above post but, I'm just making sure. The tacky line at the end was to someone that had told me "I was doing it wrong" meant to be sarcasm, but didn't work to well I suppose. It was a line out of the movie, changed a bit.

    The falling to sleep is still working every night so far, even though I do wake up every two hours like clock work. Does anyone know why I do this, Achem do you know what could cause this? Its been going on for months, every two hours or so i wake up completely. Have trouble going back to sleep most of the time. Even if I get eight hours like this it feels like four. I think you said one time you used to be a paramedic, thats why I ask.

  34. As far as sounding like any other religion, what I saw didn't. I didn't hear a word about original sin, sin at all, a guilt trip about seomeone dying for me, pursecution of non belief, guilt for sexual orientation, having to pray to some saint/preist/diety to get results. I personally think it was a long way from any religion I know, but I only know of a few so maybe you speak of pagan stuff- I am not well versed in it so I wouldn't know if it is simular or not.

    I don't really get it though, I'll say that. maybe others that live under different conditions need to "find themselves". Poor people are generally born knowing exactly who they are. It may not be pretty or what they want, but they know who they are. I'm poor so maybe thats why i don't get it.

    The chanting thing I think is about certain tones having some effect through some frequency or something. Anyway I would feel silly doing it and it has never done anything for me. I have this program that plays binaural tones, I think they are trying to achieve this. I listened one time to a bunch of Buddhist people all chanting and it created a sort of stereo harmonic so to speak.It was all in this wild bass frequency and you could feel it inside your chest.It was neat but it never made me feel much different. I'm just not made for this mysticism stuff. But like I said I'll still got something out of it, peace and quite and sleep.

  35. I don't know about giving anyone any donations or anything, but the meditation is nice. Thats all I care about. I doubt I let someone smack with a stick either, but the meditation is nice, I enjoy it. I don't really know what they mean when they talk about "finding your trueself" I think already know who that is- But the meditaion goes great with other activities I am into so, thats what I'm in it for.

    I got to "know" my self for the first time at about twelve, and we're still going out- (insert drum roll) if you know what i mean.

  36. What I see here are some nuggets of truth about brain physiology buried under a huge pile of ritual, confused thinking and "cultural/traditional" mumbo-jumbo. This system of thought prompts you to proactively seek meaning in contexts where no meaning is necessary, and as such is very close to other religions, despite lacking deities. If you throw away all the "profound" parts and babble, what remains is a rather trivial set of conclusions about human nature.

    Yes, thinking calmly about stuff might help you sleep better, stay relaxed and healthy. Yes, depriving yourself from stimuli for a while does change your brain waves and feels nice. And yes, few people seem to think about stuff in such a manner without getting distracted by the ever present emotions and short-term desires.

    The "news" is that to achieve these benefits you don't have to give up your worldview, chant in strange languages, hold your hands together, walk in circles, sit in Lotos position, imagine things, offer donations to senile monks and all that. If you find the decorations enjoyable, it's your choice, but why not be honest and refrain from making a fuss about it (unlike those Buddhist monks presented in this doc). There is something rather hypocritical about the Zen folks advising one to "seek your true self" while adding "and here's our recommended (TM) way to do it" in the very next breath.

  37. @ larsomat

    I got what I wanted out of it, some peace and eventually some good sleep. I realize the point is to bring your thoughts to a singularity in which you find your true self. Before I could do that I had to have some rest. I think this gives you what ever you need at that time, if you truly let yourself go into it.

    I am going to try and continue my journey through Zen, even though it is somewhat against my nature to get into mysticism. I can't explain it, it just feels right. Thank you again Vlatko- I think I may have found my way. Oh and Larsomat, all is forgiven no hard feelings here. I wish you the same peace that I have found, may the stream carry you always.

  38. I could not see anything in what ez said that proves he is doing it wrong, Master Miyagi . I tried it, within 30 minutes I could not count to 10 breaths one time in the way they teach, no exaggeration.

    Just different states of mind in the works, falling asleep or absent-mined, in the end it just proves one is messed up. Practice makes perfect, that is even what they said in the doc.

    Good doc., explained a lot things I did not get before.

  39. I spent about four hours in a Soto Zen temple here in Nagoya last November meditating, chanting, and having lunch with the monks. It was a great experience. I was a little nervous during the meditation because I didn't want to get whacked, but I must have done something right during the 40 minute meditation session since I escaped unharmed;). If you have a chance to visit a temple and meditate I highly recommend it. It is very different experience from sitting at home and meditating in your living room.

  40. Thank you

  41. if you fall asleep, you're doing it wrong...

  42. Every time i try and watch this I fall asleep, a testament to just how relaxing and peaceful this is. The last time I put myself in the "Lotus Position" and tried to follow all the instructions they gave, next thing I know I am waking up like an hour and a half or so later.

    Luckily I somehow managed to get in the right position as to not wake up with a horrible cramp or a stiff back. This stuff really works, well it is very relaxing anyway. I needed that badly. I have been burning the candle at both ends what with college and taking care of my dad and all. Thanks Vlatko, a cheap cure for stress and insomnia. You guys should do yourself a favor and not only watch this but give it a try sometime. Doesn't seem this should even be called a "religion" to me, more like a lifestyle choice.

  43. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing !!

  44. Beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing!

  45. Really enjoyed watching this. Float with the river. Don't swim upstream.

  46. Excellent! The doc was simplistic and tranquil, just what a doc. about Zen should be. Truely an inspired faith. One based on introspection and self discovery to acheive oneness with the self and the world we inhabit.