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Buddhism How Buddha Talks About Shabad (Divine Light And Sound)?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by vipkolon, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. vipkolon

    vipkolon
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    In the early stages of the Buddha’s spiritual research, he applied various methods to control his mind including austerities and fasting. But it was only when he adopted the right course of meditation that his eye of wisdom opened and light appeared. After this experience, says the Buddha, he remained securely on the path:

    By inconceivable good karmas,
    I have rid myself of delusions
    And have achieved various lights.

    By all kinds of [virtuous] practices,
    I abide securely in the Buddha’s path. (Quoted from Maharatnakuta Sutras, in A Treasury of Mhayana Sutras, tr. The Buddhist Association of United States, p. 192)

    The Buddha refers to the experience of light while describing a Brahmin what he experienced at the time of enlightenment:

    In the last watch of the night, Brahmin, I attained the third true knowledge; Ignorance is destroyed, wisdom is arisen; darkness is dispelled and light is arisen. (Majjhima Nikaya i, p. 23)

    Speaking of the emergence of light during the time of the Buddha’s meditation, the Lotus Sutra (Saddharmapundarika) says:

    His body was motionless and his mind had reached perfect tranquillity. And as soon as the Lord had entered upon his meditation, there fell a great rain of divine flowers.....And at that moment there issued a ray of light from within the point between the eyebrows (Hindus call it Shiva Netra) of the Lord. It extended over eighteen hundred thousand Buddha fields.....so that all those Buddha-field appeared wholly illuminated by its radiance. (Saddharmapundarika, 1 prose).

    Then, indicating the marvellous state of the Buddha’s enlightenment, marked by splendorous light and sound, the Lalitavistara says:

    All the universe were illuminated by a splendorous light......They became resonant, greatly resonant and resonant around, and a divine sound resounded majestically, and resounded all around. (Lalitvistara, 22 prose, tr. Shanti Bhikshu Shastri, p. 663)

    The Lotus sutra also gives an account of the Buddha’s enlightenment in terms of resounding music:

    Now, monks, while the Lord was just on the summit of the terrace of enlightenment, the gods of paradise prepared for him a magnificent royal throne....and no sooner had the Lord occupied the seat of enlightenment then the Brahmakayika gods scattered a rain of flowers all around the seat of enlightenment....and the divine drums of God sounded... and the celestial musical instruments were played ceaselessly. (Sadd 7, prose, p. 156-157)

    The Buddha’s enlightenment marked the turning point in his life. Having become a veritable fountain of wisdom and endowed with boundless compassion, he undertook the journey with a mission to impart the same wisdom to humanity. When he was on his way to Benaras (Varansi or Kashi) to begin rotating the wheel of Dharma – to deliver the first discourse on the Dharma for the first time – he met the ascetic named Upaka, who enquired of the Buddha about his mission. At this the Buddha replied:

    I shall go to Benaras,
    And having gone there to the city of Kashi,
    I shall kindle the incomparable light,
    For people lost in blindness.
    And I shall beat the drum of deathlessness
    For people devoid of shabd [inner sound]. ((Lalitvistara, 22 prose, tr. Shanti Bhikshu Shastri, p. 770)

    It is worth mentioning here tha Hindu’s Upnishads also talk of that same shabad (Anhat Naad) with divine light and sound in the inner regions.

    Gurbaani also talks of Shabad having light and sound in the inner regions.
     
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  3. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    vipkolon ji thanks for your post.

    I think we need to be careful talking about other religions as you seem to indicate the following in your post,


    • Miracles and visualizations of grandeur
    • Linkages and indirect glrification of Hinduism which eventually went on a crusade to destroy Buddhism in the following excerpt and I quote,
    Hopefully Confused ji will set the record straight as I do not believe anyone understands Buddhism better than him at spn.

    Metta.

     
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  4. vipkolon

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    Dear Ambarsaria ji,

    What has been mentioned in my article refers to internal experiences of Lord Buddha during meditation. Similar internal experiences have been narrated in Upnishad and by various saints including the Gurbani ? Are you referring to the internal experiences of saints as miracles or visualization of grandeur ? Gurbani thoroughly explains the internal experiences related with Shabad as the soul traverses various spiritual regions and also talks about Divine light and glory. As far as orthodox practices of Hinduism are concerned, it happens with every religion with time. As religion goes old, misinterpretation and orthodoxies grow but that does not mean that saints do not come in that religion. Saints have come also in Hinduism and expressed the same esoteric truth. My attempt is to show that saints come in all religions and express the same spiritual truth. Guru Nanak himself says that the Divine Word existed since the beginning of this world and saints have come since the beginning of this world in all four Yugas. Sikhism is just 500 year old while world has started long time back.
     
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  5. Ambarsaria

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    vipkolon ji we all earn by referring to specific Gurbani as Sikhs.

    Please cite Gurbani and express in your own words what you understand of the citation.

    We can all learn from each other that way.

    Regards.
     
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  6. Seeker9

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    Dear Vipkolon JI
    An interesting thread

    Re what Brother Ambarsaria Ji has asked of you, I would offer the following:

    BUt earlier you said:

    The latter quote is very much referring to external supernatural phenomena

    It is the fact that it is 500 years old that makes Sikhism stand out

    Also, to follow your reasoning, (just to illustrate the point) it could be argued that Sikhism is the most up to date version of the timeless message of the saints you refer to

    :)
     
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  7. muddymick

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    Hello Seeker, with respect, you suggest a contradiction in this post due to it alluding to internal experience and external phenomena. As you may be aware when one is immersed in samadhi (absorption) especially at deeper levels (more refined states of consciousness) inner and outer, self and other often cease to exist as quantitative or qualitative points of reference. Therefore all though both forms of label ;in or out, internal external etc; are utilised they cease to have the same qualifying meaning. As we are speaking of non-dual experience such considerations cease have merit. Although some Buddhists may believe the sutras/suttas talk of actual physical phenomena many more would say (as would I) they a metaphorical in so much as they describe (often in overly flowery prose) the psycho-spiritual realisations of one who has attained levels of awareness where duality no longer exists (that is not to say these states are always continuous or a door one walks through and never returns to ones delusions and dualistic experience, unless one attains Buddhahood, Moksha etc)
    Also with respect to both you and Sikhi, I fail to understand you logic vis-a-vis "Sikhism is the most up to date version of the timeless message of the saints you refer to" because it is 500 years old? could you please illuminate me :happysingh:
     
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  8. Luckysingh

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    I'm not too sure about the metaphorical as such, because many will confirm that they are physical and 'real' !!
    I think the op is linking the similarity between Buddha's experiences and the anhad shabad that can be heard at a higher level of avastha.
     
  9. muddymick

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    Could you be more specific as to what you mean by physical and real. As pain either emotional or physical is both experienced by the body and the mind yet they are not witnessed directly by others? What ingredients do you suggest are necessary for what you categorise as physical and real?
    If you are suggesting that "many will confirm" the many in question is Buddhists. I am afraid you are incorrect Both Theravadin and Mahayana scholars would suggest that they are not to be taken from a literalist standpoint. If you are suggesting that it is the common everyday 'Buddhists' who have this belief then would that not constitute a argumentum ad populum and therefore be fallacious?
    Do you think there is a similarity or comparable experience between Buddhist experience and Sikhs relating to anhad shabad at higher levels of avastha? Could you please explain what consitutes anhad shabad that can be heard at a higher level of avastha and what are the circumstances/mechanics that induce such? Many thanks for you patience!
     
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  10. spnadmin

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    For both study of comparative religion and for study of non-ordinary realities within religions - what a great question - if for its focus alone. Has me not just thinking but wanting to think about it.

    muddymick ji -- How do you answer the question?

    Also though Seeker9 can speak for himself, by "up to date" I believe he meant most recent historical time period, as Sikhism is only about 500 years old.
     
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    #9 spnadmin, Jun 25, 2013
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  11. muddymick

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    How do I answer the question? Inadequately I suspect. which is why I asked quite genuinely what constitutes such 'higher states' in the Sikhi path and what is the methodology (mechanics) By exploring that relationship with Shabad I was hoping to find a common language to explore the question.

    Although Sikhism is only 500 years old how it is expressed did not come to being out of a vacuum. It is expressed linguistically and ritually/symbolically through a continuum (as obviously both how we express ourselves is formed to some extent by our linguistic formulas it is also affected/formed by our societal paradigms). Although Sikhism is very distinct that is only a form, an expression, and methodology or mechanics if you will to realise non-dual awareness and therefore unity/intrinsic being in all creation of Waheguru (God, Buddha etc etc) If one accepts this I suppose we could call Sikhism a vehicle given by the Guru's to take us to God. I think this non-duality is expressed most succinctly in the Mul Mantar.

    I suppose a logically following question would be if one attains/realises (or is even on the path to attaining) non-dual awareness and becomes a conscious expression of what Guru Nanak Dev Ji alludes to in these words. Would he be a Sikh? Would he be following the Guru's? Regardless of what form of vehicle (methodology or mechanics employed to elicit such a change in awareness) he chooses to take, if he is on the path to such realisation would he not be intrinsically part of the Guru's continuum or lineage?

    I suppose in short I am trying to say dismissing the realisations of Lord Buddha (or in fact other sages and saints) as non comparable or lesser or different may be exceedingly problematic. They may be expressing the self same 'universal truths' that the Guru's expounded just wrapped up in different symbolism, different language and coming from slightly different societal paradigms (a different vehicle if you will) If this is the case what is being dismissed is also Sikhi just dressed differently. :happysingh:
     
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  12. Tejwant Singh

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    Muddynick ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Welcome to the forum.

    In order for me to participate in this conversation in any level which I would love to, I would need some clarifications from you if you do not mind. Thanks in advance for the indulgence.

    Could you possibly put this in a lay man terms and simplify what you mean so we can talk about it?

    What is this higher level of avastha and how does one gauge it and who does it in what manners? In other words, who is its judge?

    Once again, what is heard at the higher level by whom and what are the circumstances/mechanics that induce such in Buddhism?

    How does it play for the betterment in our lives today?

    Is there any proof what Buddha said? Who wrote what he said? Did he? If not, then who did it and when and how it can be proven that those were his thoughts?

    Lastly, how does it matter if a religion is 500 years old or 5000?

    Isn't it more important how we can relate to it today and reap its benefits if there are any?

    If not, then it is a uselessly futile exercise in any aspect.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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    #11 Tejwant Singh, Jun 26, 2013
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  13. muddymick

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    Hi Tejwant Ji

    regarding your first question I was refuting the previous posters assertion that Buddhist scholars accept the supernatural phenomena in the Sutras/suttas as describing mundanely observable phenomena. That is much of that described is in metaphor and allusion regarding the psychological and spiritual experiences of Lord Buddha on his journey to 'enlightenment' or non-dual unity with creation. Please excuse my clumsy turn of phrase here!
    Although many Buddhists throughout the world may believe that these scriptures describe actual events,such a belief does not give the argument any more weight. Just like many Hindus are at odds with their dharma due to ignorance, lack of education or bad education and superstitious upbringing. Or just like many Sikhs misunderstanding or being mislead by cultural norms (the adherence to caste may be one for some) it does not make those Buddhists or Hindus or Sikhs representative of the true Dharma of their faith.
    A argumentum ad populum is one that says the majority view is necessarily representative or correct. I think it is fallacious (a fallacy) because just like most people many years ago used to think in the west that the world was flat...it did not make it so!

    In relation to your second question with respect I asked regarding anhad shabad at higher levels of avastha? Because this was postulated by another poster and as I am neither Sikh nor conversant with the Sikh Dharma I needed a more educated illumination to do the subject as much justice as I could with my limited knowledge.

    In relation to your question regarding the veracity (truthful exposition of Lord Buddhas words) of the Sutras. The Pali Cannon was written down approx 500 years after his death. However the Mahayana sutras have been written in many instances later. So in terms of a written historical document the veracity is questionable.
    In terms of whether what is written is in fact true to his teachings and in accord with his experiences that is another matter. As Buddhism is a first and foremost a practical path (those that are Buddhist by belief and not action are like men that claim to be astronauts who never leave the ground....just a empty title) the alleged words of the Buddha (historic) and saints and sages are verifiable by their effects. If practised they are either in accord with liberation, enlightenment or they are not. If they accord with and lead to liberation. I think it is irrelevant whether a Historical Buddha uttered them at all! Because by their very nature they describe his path and the path he prescribed.
    Of course it is a much deeper question and I would love to give it more time however I do not want to bore you to tears. That said very strict tests of these sutras was, has and more importantly are applied daily. Lord Buddha himself said (or is alleged to have said) do not believe what I say...test it out, try it, see if it is true.

    In relation to the age of Sikhism, I agree with you it matters not one Jot. Whether a diamond is discovered a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago or today changes it not one Jot! it's essential nature is the same regardless!

    I also agree that it is how WE relate to it and how WE reap it's benefits that are most important!:)
     
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  14. muddymick

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    Sorry I forgot to say that please do not read my words as disrespectful to Hinduism, Sikhism or any other faith or it's adherents. I was merely trying to contextualise how we should not judge the paths by their adherents misapplication or misrepresentation. :peacesignkaur:
     
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  15. Harry Haller

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    Muddymickji

    If I may put in my two penth

    My own interpretation of Sikhism does not allow for any supernatural phenomena period. It does not allow for any higher state of being, nor any spiritual experiences. Although I respect others search for enlightenment, it does not interest me at all.

    I like this, I sense you are a practical and pragmatic person, I like to think I am too.

    There are many words people use, moksha, non duality, liberation, enlightenment, I prefer to keep things simple, (not in any way a reflection on your good self), in that I am merely looking to be happy and content, to stop the screaming in my head if you will, to conquer and control the five thieves, to that end, the way forward for me, quite simply is to find out what the truth is, and live it.

    for myself I would say it is how we relate to it and we and others reap it's benefits :)
     
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  16. muddymick

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    Thanks Harry Ji
    I suppose we always come to this point in any real discussion. Where we have to aknowledge that the terms of reference we use (or in fact the words) have different meanings for many of us.
    When you say your "interpretation of Sikhism does not allow for any supernatural phenomena period. It does not allow for any higher state of being, nor any spiritual experiences" I respect what you are telling me and also thank you for sharing this perspective. However I think the crux of the matter therefore must be what do you mean by supernatural or spiritual?
    As you may be aware many scientists are exploring what may have appeared to be supernatural phenomena 'psychic' events say. They are finding biochemical, and even electro-magnetic markers that indicate a much more natural explanation. As an explanation have a look at the Biologist Dr Rupert sheldrake's work http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Papers/papers/morphic/morphic_intro.html
    Or the explanation of altered states from a psychiatric or psychological perspective with Dr Stanislov Grof and other 'mind' professionals who explain and explore the 'spiritual experiences' within a modern scientific framework (transpersonal psychology)
    I suppose in short what I am trying to say is that what we know (or suspect we know) about the demarcation between natural and supernatural may be limited by our very narrow perspective. That line may be more rightly labelled what is currently explainable by us and that which we can not explain (as oppossed to loaded terms like natural and supernatural).
    In that sense I concur that my universe has no place for the supernatural, as I think nature encapsulates all creation and it's multifarious expressions many of which we neither understand nor can we explain. However empty superstition, ritual and magical thinking are another thing entirely and to me are neither compatible with nature nor with truth and therfore neither Sikh nor Buddhist.
    I apologise if my use of such loaded terms as Moksha or Enlightenment cause obfuscation instead of clarity. Again I suppose in any real discussion we have to agree to terms of reference (what we actually mean by words and an agreement on those terms) otherwise we are often misleading and misinterpreting each others meanings and intent.
    I like your refernce to the five thieves and presume you refer to what is often termed in Buddhism as the five Skandhas (klesas)? If this is the case could you explain how inthe Sikhi way one cuts of these attachments/thieves to enable a life that is expressed more by freedom and happiness?
    In my last statement the use of WE in capitals was meant to indicate a non demarcation between self and others.

    Kind regards
     
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  17. Harry Haller

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    Mickji

    Allow me to explain, my background is not one of study or prayer, it is the love of the base elements of life, I have had visions, and I have spoken to the supernatural, however, it has been done under the influence of a cocktail of drugs (did you know that pink elephants smell of grapefruit?), I may be wrong, but I feel that one can wrestle ones state of mind using meditation and inward thoughts to achieve a similar state to drugs, thus, for me, all spiritual or supernatural states are states that are artificially induced either through substance abuse or mental gymnastics.

    I like this, we are singing from the same song sheet here

    I cannot speak for Sikhi, only my own interpretation of Sikhi, however, I think Platos Chariot sums it up for me.

    http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/03/04/what-is-a-man-the-allegory-of-the-chariot/

    Although I have no belief in reincarnation, the above link gives the basic meaning, the dark horse, to me represents the thieves, I do not believe they are there to be vanquished, they are there to be mastered, in fact, I think Metallica made the point well in the song 'master of puppets'.

    You know the solution to being muddy? get a decent 4x4 lol lol lol
     
  18. chazSingh

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    Re: How Buddha talks about Shabad (Divine light and sound) ?

    I like this description a lot,

    Often in deep meditation the boundary of what is 'real' and what isnt, the boundary of inner or outer, the boundary of physical and non-physical seam to disappear.

    things just 'are', and whilst in deep meditation the thought doesn't even come to mind of labelling the experience...it just 'is'.

    it's only when you return to dualistic nature, that the mind starts to ask a millions questions, what was that, was it this, was it that, how, when, why etc etc etc...

    Just my thoughts, nothing more.... :)
     
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  19. muddymick

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    Harry Ji
    "I may be wrong, but I feel that one can wrestle ones state of mind using meditation and inward thoughts to achieve a similar state to drugs, thus, for me, all spiritual or supernatural states are states that are artificially induced either through substance abuse or mental gymnastics" Interesting perspective however I like you have tried many drugs (in my past and no longer) and I have meditated for some considerable time.

    I have at no time found meditative states to be similar to drugs! Even certain deep absorptions in Jhana, with deep bliss are very different indeed to the effects of either drugs or any artificially induced states

    Certainly Buddhist meditation is mind observing mind (no wrestling just observation) there is nothing artificial and no states are induced. No mental gymnastics are employed. I wonder where you got contrary information regarding this?

    It would appear that you have been misled as to what Buddhist meditation is. I would be quite happy to explain some basic meditations, that you could try.

    "I do not believe they are there to be vanquished, they are there to be mastered"
    It would be interesting to hear how you would suggest the five thieves can be mastered?
    Surely (and forgive me if I am wrong here) In the Sikhi path the 5 are neither mastered nor destroyed.
    When Haumai/Ahanka is reduced (or ceases to function) the five have no base to arise from. As they can only arise from the delusional dual mind that identifies self and other.

    I would be interested to hear how you would diminish Haumai/Ahanka without the use of 'meditation' or spiritual exercise?

    Kind Regards :winkingsingh:
     
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  20. Harry Haller

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    We obviously had different dealers lol lol lol , ok, do you find such a state addictive, do you find yourself wishing you could spend all your time in such a state, do you find such a state preferable to real life?

    just from my own experiences, I find by toggling switches in my head, I can alter entire personalities, create personalities, and combined with a meditative state, I find I can reach similar experiences to drug induced ones, maybe I am doing it wrong :)

    thank you :peacesign:

    .

    As I said earlier, I speak only for my own interpretation of Sikhism. I personally feel the five thieves are also vital to our survival, destroyed, they would take away huge swathes of personality that is needed to survive in life, and it is living life that, to me, is central to Sikhism. I have a problem with anger for instance, I find it hard to get angry, it causes me a lot of problems, I am rubbish at arguing for instance, especially heated arguments, I back down and try and create peace, but often I will lose out. It is not a question of 'standing up', more a case of valuing a peaceful state of mind, and the willingness to take a lose to preserve that. If you could harness the five thieves, make them work for you, make them carry you, if you could own them, and whip them into submission, now thats something I find interesting.

    knowledge, understanding and wisdom. I want to understand myself, to know myself, to know what makes me tick, to know what makes the world tick, to heighten my perception, to know that in any given situation there is a universally true way to handle things, to know that truth, and to be able to live by it.

    I struggle, but each day I get a bit closer, I move in cycles, but each day the cycle makes a bit more sense, each day the circle gets a bit smaller, the screaming gets a bit more bearable.
     
  21. muddymick

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    Hello HarryJi.
    "ok, do you find such a state addictive" No.

    "do you find yourself wishing you could spend all your time in such a state" No.

    "do you find such a state preferable to real life?
    What do you mean?
    Preferable to real life?
    Don't you think feelings are real?
    If you do not think emotions are real why do you wish to master them?
    I personally think that what goes on in my mind is my real life!


    "I personally feel the five thieves are also vital to our survival, destroyed, they would take away huge swathes of personality that is needed to survive in life" Could you please explain how greed is necessary for our survival?
    In fact HarryJI could you explain how any of the five are necessary to survival...Kam (lust), Krodh (rage), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment) and Ahankar (ego)

    When you indicate that wisdom and knowledge can dimminish Ahanka/Haumai I concur However how do you propose to understand yourself without examining the mind that consititutes the you?
    You suggest you want to heighten perception (heightened perception is an altered state) you said earlier you had no interest in altered states! Could you explain this anomly please?
    What is the real world? and why are feeling, emotions etc not of it?

    "I have a problem with anger for instance, I find it hard to get angry, it causes me a lot of problems, I am rubbish at arguing for instance, especially heated arguments, I back down and try and create peace, but often I will lose out."
    With respect HarryJi you will most probably find that is due to Ahankar. When the roots of the 5 are severed or suspended one does not cease to function. Quite the contrary one functions not only with more freedom and happiness but with greater equinimity. One is more likely to survive without them not less.

    :happysingh:
     
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