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Buddhism Reality, Truth and Developing the Wisdom to Enlightenment.

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Archived_member14, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Archived_member14

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    This discussion is primarily, to prove that what the Buddha enlightened to and taught is unique, not seen and taught by any other religion or philosophy. In the process it should also become clear why there is no place for the concept of God / creator in his teachings.

    Reality, what is it and why the need to know and develop understanding about it?
    Realities are two, mental phenomena and physical phenomena.
    Mental phenomena are that which when arisen, must experience something. Physical phenomena do not experience anything. These two make up our moment to moment experience from birth to death.

    Why the need to develop an understanding about them? Because not understand reality and instead mistaking what is not real and existing for real and existing, that there is much clinging and the mental suffering that comes with such clinging. More importantly, it is because of this clinging that one continues to be reborn to experience the suffering, the kind that is inherent in conditioned existence and which is behind the phenomena of birth, old age, sickness and death. From this it can be seen, that so long as the ignorance continues, one remains caught in the cycle of existence. To develop understanding about reality / realities is therefore a meaningful pursuit, otherwise life becomes completely meaningless.

    Any comments, Vouthon ji, Bhagat ji, Ambarsaria ji, anyone?
    I would have liked to say more, but last night due to backache, I got only two hours of sleep and don't feel too good right now. Anyway, I think this is enough to start.
     
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  3. prakash.s.bagga

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    It is only the GURMATi thinking which can develop the wisdom
    leading to enlightenment.
    GURMATi thinking is ultimately a grace of the CREATOR-GuR.

    Prakash.s.Bagga
     
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  4. Ambarsaria

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    Confused you thanks for starting the thread. I have some basic question to clarify in my own mind so I may understand your thesis.
     
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    #3 Ambarsaria, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  5. Luckysingh

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    Everything is only real whilst it is happening with 'time'.
    The moment of 'now' is real and what happened in the past is not real anymore because it's only our memories that tell us what happened and when.

    What keeps everything real is the 'time' itself as this is what is used as marker points for birth and death.
     
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  6. prakash.s.bagga

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    From Gurbanee one should learn how to live in Present Real Time.
    One can give a thinking on this Sabad as
    Page 630
    ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਆਗੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ॥ ਪਾਛੇ ਆਨਦੁ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਕੀਤਾ ॥ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰਿ ਬਣਤ ਬਣਾਈ ॥ ਫਿਰਿ ਡੋਲਤ ਕਤਹੂ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੧॥ ਸਾਚੇ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਸਭ ਜੀਅ ਤੇਰੇ ਦਇਆਲਾ ॥ ਅਪਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਕਰਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲਾ ॥ ਅਚਰਜੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥ ਨਿਤ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈ ॥੨॥੨੩॥੮੭॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 630}

    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
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  7. Archived_member14

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    Ambarsaria ji,


    Allow me to respond to your question by elaborating further on what I was pointing at.
    Our life as we know it consists of experiences through the five senses namely, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, and the mind, as in thinking. Seeing experiences visible object, hearing experiences sound, touching experiences heat and so on. The visible object, sound, heat, smell, etc. are examples of physical phenomena. While seeing and hearing are mental realities which when arisen must experience their corresponding objects, visible object and sound do not experience anything.

    Also there are experiences such as feeling, attention, attachment, perception, anger, kindness, compassion, conceit and so on. These, like seeing, hearing and thinking are mental realities, but they are distinguished from them in that while the latter are types of consciousness, these are mental factors which accompany the consciousness.

    From the above we can infer that all there exists as part of our experience come down to being, one, mental phenomena and two, physical phenomena.

    To be “conscious” is a conventional observation involving the idea of someone or some animal being conscious. “Sub-conscious” is a concept used in psychology which reflects failure to understand the nature of consciousness and mental factors. “Unconscious” is again based on conventional observation, such as that of a person or animal not responding to stimuli. These are not the kind of observation and conclusion drawn by wisdom.

    They are known only because there is consciousness of them. How did you read me as suggesting that they are not experienced? What I said was that the physical phenomena do not themselves experience anything.


    No. I am trying to point out the fact that there exist two basic kinds of realities, one mental and the other physical.


    Yes, once clinging is eradicated, there is no more rebirth. The very first instance of consciousness following the moment of birth is rooted in attachment / clinging.


    Birth is a mental phenomenon, although all mental phenomena arise on a material base.


    Where did I suggest that mental phenomena are unreal? I think that you have misread my comments.


    I hope it has become a little clearer now.
     
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  8. Archived_member14

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    Luckysingh ji,


    Time is a concept, not a reality. Indeed time comes to be conceived of due to the very fact that consciousness rise and fall away in succession. In other words, if realities were not what they are, rising and falling away, there'd be no idea about time.
     
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  9. Ambarsaria

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    Confused ji thanks for your post. I have one comment.
    Confused ji I don't believe that time is the only such parameter in our lives. If there were no shades of light we will not see darkness, if there were no levels of bitterness we will never taste sweet, if there were no changes in sound we will never hear anything. In Engineering detector systems this is called "differential decoding" or fundamentally "differential analysis" and in mathematics "differential calculus". Namely it is the change which causes the creation and recognition of information.

    Confused ji in this sense everything is a concept. Sound is a concept, sight is a concept, smell is a concept, touch is a concept and taste is a concept. We live in the realm of concepts. Whether one is enlightened, clinging to maya, clinging to mental realities, it makes no difference in living baseline.

    Hence your distinction between mental realities versus a recognition of physical detection, recognition, etc., is all but artificial just as the time citation you made. It is all differential and relative.

    Any comments where I am going wrong!


    Regards.
     
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  10. BhagatSingh

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    Rafi - Waqt Se Din Aur Raat - Waqt [1965] - YouTube

    :interestedmunda:
    Food for thought.

    This is half way to realizing who we are. Once we realize every bit of information we pick up is conceptual thus less real than reality, then we can know what is there that is not conceptual that will be the Ultimate Reality.
     
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  11. Luckysingh

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    If time is a concept, then the reality itself must be.
    I was trying to confirm and highlight that what we actually interpret as 'real' is what is happening in the time of 'now'. Because yesterday is no longer a reality, you can remember most of it but you can't re-live and recall every single thought and action by the second.- Because it is no longer a 'reality'.
    This is what I was hoping you would understand.
    It's what we make real that seems real, and that itself is dictated by being in the present time.

    Time is not a concept because what makes the reality from every moment from birth to death is running on the parameter of time itself.
    However, your consciousness is NOT governed by time and it does not run on this same parameter. Therefore, it is just a concept for your consciousness just like all other phenomena.
    If you think this is not so, then please explain.
     
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    #10 Luckysingh, Nov 17, 2012
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  12. Ambarsaria

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    Folks if we have loftier motive to seek the ultimate truths about the creator and God or lack thereof we need to be cognizance of some basic stuff,


    • Creation will continue with or without our enlightenment or human species
    • Our so called enlightenment can quickly go out of context if we get caught in the weeds of wordsmithing
    • Humans are hardly a predominant survivable species even on earth
      • Life existed way before humans and will do so long after humans
    • True enlightenment has to be holistic
      • if it is just centric to human ideas of salvation, etc., it may be far removed from the ultimate truth espoused in Sikhism as the infinite and perhaps it is a sobering reminder to us all

    I wonder if one can't see, hear, taste, smell, feel whether such has the clearest vision of creation. A rock on Mars or the moon comes to mind. Not a flippant comment but some food for thought.


    Regards. peacesign
     
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    #11 Ambarsaria, Nov 17, 2012
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  13. Luckysingh

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    I think it may be helpful to clarify the differences between the above, so that everyone can understand on the same level.
    Do the mental and physical phenomena correlate with each other to better explain reality ?
     
  14. Archived_member14

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    Ambarsaria ji,


    The process of comparison is the function of the thinking process where memory is involved. Such thinking in fact comprises countless moments of consciousness, even though it does appear to take place instantly. If you can accept that there is a difference between different experiences, why can’t you imagine that when each experience arises, that their particular characteristic can be known for what it is? When your hand contacts fire, do you believe that the thinking refers back to a past experience of cold in order that the particular experience is made known? Yes, there are degrees of heat and cold, but what wisdom understands is the one kind of element, the “fire element”, and this is the same regardless of whether it is fire or ice that is being touched. It is that which can be experienced by tactile consciousness.


    The idea of change already implies that there is a constant which changes. But I think even science will say that one moment of heat detected involve a set of fundamental particles that are different from those of another moment. Yet heat is heat, isn't it?


    Sound of a bell is a concept, or one which has been judged as loud or soft, so are sound from here or there, inside or outside. This is because at this point it is thinking about the sound and not the hearing itself. When hearing, just as it is with the fire element above, the sound heard is one kind of physical element. At the moment that it is experienced, there is no idea about loud or soft, or from which direction it has come from, let alone that it is the sound of a flute or human voice.

    How can you come to a conclusion that all experiences are of concepts? Can there be a sense of anything at all if there was no reality? If all was concept, then your reading this message must be *exactly* like a dream! But the waking state is different from a dream to the extent that, in a dream there are no experiences through the senses. You don't wake up because your hand gets burnt in the dream, but if your hand gets burnt now, the area burnt will cause much pain and very real, for some time to come.

    Yes we do live in the world of concepts, as it were, in a dream. But this is only because there is ignorance and wrong understanding, where concepts are taken for reality. Once realties are distinguished from concepts however, and we begin to have some direct understanding, those moments are akin to the eye opening briefly. The reason why the enlightened are considered “awake” is because they come to experience the realities and no more take concepts for real / live in the world of concepts.


    Indeed clinging starts off with very real objects such as visible object and sound before there can be attachment to concepts such as particular color or musical tone. If you deny that there is any reality at any time, then you have no reason to expect anyone to take any of your expression seriously, in the same way that the communication between any two persons within a dream is considered meaningless.


    Yes, if it were all concepts, then one concept is not more worthy of consideration than any other. But it isn't all concepts, because if it were, you’d not have written your message while having expectation at every turn, that I read it, understand the point being made, and will at another time, respond to it. So much wouldn't go on just for one simple act.

    Ps: I will not be able to write anything more for at least one or two days. Other responses will therefore have to wait.

     
  15. Archived_member15

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    Hmm...that actually is a most interesting perspective to look at it from, brother Ambarsaria ji. mundahug

    In her unitative experience with the Creator, Catherine of Genoa writes that:

    I think that this is about as close as is humanely possible to the kind of vision of reality which you speak of above. She lost all sense of "touch", "sight", "feeling", "speech" and knew neither "loss" or pain. She just was, pure being.

    This is what Angelus Silesius described using not a rock like you but a "rose":


    Angelus Silesius compares the rose (die Rose in Gernan) with the human person (die Seele), suggesting that the latter should also leap beyond the search for "reasons", beyond the "why" of beings. The rose doesn't see itself, nor is it in any way affected by our seeing of it. This stands for non-objectifying thinking.

    The person who is able to live without a why has no need to justify his existence; he simply appreciates his being alive. To live "without a why" is to live and love as God lives and loves. When a person lives without a why and simply lives out of the ground of his being and acts out of God's will, such a person is able to find God in all things and situations.

    Eckhart said the same thing earlier on:


    On the other hand....

    God is as close to a rock as he is us to us. We do not have "more of" God, than a rock does, he is equally in both it and we. However we are aware of God's presence in us - or at least are capable of being aware of the Creator's closeness to us - whereas a rock isn't because it is inanimate and without any conciousness.

    Thus Eckhart says:


    So I think that we have a few lessons to learn from rocks and roses, in that these un-concious objects simply exist, just "are", although we are more 'blessed' in that we have the ability to be aware of God's presence whereas they do not.

    In essence though, we should try to be at least a little like the rose which Angelus Silesius spoke of, "without [a] why", just "being". That is truly a clear vision of creation.
     
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  16. Archived_member14

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    Bhagat ji,


    You want to communicate to others about the existence of reality while admitting that all that is experienced are unreal concepts? On what basis should anyone take this seriously? But of course, there are those who like you, fancy the notion of the existence of something deep and underlying, as yet unknown / hidden from sight, but that which can through some prescribed practice, be known.

    You deny the very real experiences now, but this is only when caught up in philosophy. Because were it not that these experiences are in fact being taken seriously at some point, you'd not be reading this message or for the matter, doing anything at all in the course of your daily life while expecting some effect from what you do. But when it comes to cherished beliefs, you just throw common sense out the window.
     
  17. Archived_member14

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    Luckysingh ji,


    “Now” is defined by the particular reality being experienced. But because this experience falls away and is succeeded by another one, and another one, when thinking arises to think about what has just happened, is there a concept of time. Without thinking about what has just been experienced, there would be no sense of time. The reality being experienced itself rises and falls away, this however is not known by thinking, but by wisdom / insight.


    Making real is not real of course. Thinking thinks about the past, the future as well as the present, none of which is a reality. But the thinking itself is real, and this can be understood as such when wisdom arises.


    Try this experiment. Close your eyes and open it again. Are there not the experience of seeing and the visible object which is seen? Does not the sense of time (including any idea about “now”) come after that initial experience?


    You've got it the other way round. A concept is based on memory of past experience, and past means time. The feeling that is felt now for example, this can be known without any label / thinking about it.
     
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  18. Archived_member14

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    Ambarsaria ji,

    I am waiting for your response to my other message, but since you have not done so yet, I'm responding to this one. Perhaps this will incite a response.


    But why the idea of “creation” to begin with? Why the attention moves around this and that and then the curiosity as to where it all came from / created by whom?

    Yes, no need to think about enlightenment, but should not the urgency then be to understand the experience “now” instead of getting lost in stories about this and that?


    From where I stand, creation and creator are the ultimate thought proliferation, and it is this that should give you pause, not the verbalizing associated with the study of our moment to moment experiences.


    Regardless, you are caught up in the story of creation.
    Insignificant are conditioned phenomena and this is because they fall away the moment they arise. Developing an understanding about these is therefore the only way to detachment and dealing with conceit / ego. Making a comparison, no matter as big or as small, is an instance of conceit and therefore only feeds it. Today you think the human being is insignificant, tomorrow he will be great, this is just a game 'self' plays.


    Enlightenment is first and foremost, coming to know / understand. If you want to say something about it, this must therefore be what enlightenment comes to know / understand. What the effects of enlightenment are is only secondary.

    Holism is a notion held by those with no understanding about the nature of the different mental phenomena, particularly that of “self-view”. Parts belonging to wholes are just concepts spun by self-view .


    A glimpse into the extent of one's own ignorance turns the attentions in the direction of better understanding one's own mind, away from ideas about the world out there, one conceived of by force of the very ignorance and attachments still existing and very much in control. If there is any humility, it is this and not in the idea that humans are insignificant. After all, does not the latter perception then turn the attention towards an attempt to identify with the so called, Creator? If this is not ego identification, what is it?


    Are you trying to make the point that because one can’t see the rock on mars, this shows that our faculties are limited and therefore nothing when compared to the vastness of creation? Of course seeing is limited and won’t arise if there are no conditions for it, which include the eye and visible object coming into range and contacting the eye. So not only the rock on mars, but you will unlikely ever see the back of your own neck.

    All the faculties are limited and the thinking which makes sense of the experiences through these faculties must therefore also limited. So why give so much importance to the imaginings such as that of the concept of Creator? Would not this have been within the limits of the sense faculties and because these are not understood for what they are, is the result in fact, of ignorance?

    But actually the limit of these experience is not about the range, but the functions. For example, eye consciousness can only experience visible object and can't experience say, sound. Likewise, hearing cannot think and thinking cannot hear. While looking in the direction of the stars or the computer screen, it does not matter at all if the vision is blur. it would be most valuable however, if wisdom arose and understood visible object as visible object or seeing as seeing.

    Yes, the eye, ear, nose etc., visible object, fire element, earth element and so on, feeling, perception, thinking, attachment, conceit, and even kindness, compassion and wisdom itself, these are all insignificant. But this is not because it stands in contrast to the “idea” of creation, but because of their very conditioned nature. Creation is just an idea, and that very thinking / idea is likewise, insignificant. But not only, because while wisdom also rises and falls away, it however puts one on the right track towards “right knowledge”. Creator / creation on the other hand, are “wrong knowledge”, and this can’t ultimately, lead to any good.
     
  19. chazSingh

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    if i touch something Hot, and i scream out "fu** me, that is hot" ... its hot compared to what? so we need to have something to compare it too to develop a deeper understanding of what something is? right? otherwise Hot is just Hot....infact why call it Hot...why call it anything? if theres nothing to compare it to? if only hot existed...why do i even need to think about it...why contemplate it? but we have Cold to compare it with...so now i appreciate what Hot is...i understand it better....i sit and contemplate the two experiences...how they feel, what effect they had on me...which i prefer?






    I can appreciate what loud is even more when i also experience what a soft sound is...otheriwse what is loud? why do i even need to question what loud is...or what is loud, if only the one experience existed...surely i will appreciate and understand somethign more if i experience the opposite of it...
    if only loud existed (a single level of loudness) then you'd have to take it for what it is...you can't complain about it...the mere act of comlaining is knowing that something opposite exists...right?

    its the same in standard of living...some people say their 'glass is half empty' because they fail to see what they already have...it's become a single experience for them like Hot....then all of a sudden they lose the things they had and by having the experience of loss they understand and apreciate more what they had before...they begin to 'see' what they had. they now have something to compare to....now they've become more aware....more wise...

    this person is wiser for having the experience of gain and loss....rather than just the experience of gain.

    in the same way i feel that when we experience the opposite to god through the creation, we develop a greater understanding of Him, a deeper understanding, an greater appreciation of Him....something we could never know to the same degree if there wasnt the 'opposite experience' to be had.

    just my thoughts at this moment. i'm sure they'll change as i delve deeper into my Simran.

    god Bless
     
  20. BhagatSingh

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    When did I deny them? In fact, I am saying we should study them and study the one who is studying them, only when you can get away from concepts can you know what is real now.

    Take them seriously! But do not become engrossed in them for they are not as real as that which they represent.
     
  21. Archived_member14

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    Chazsingh ji,


    No.
    Understanding is not thinking. What you point at is something babies and also animals know. This kind of knowledge has nothing to do with wisdom. It is simply thinking about the experience and comparing with past experiences. It is concept, and like all concepts it is unreal and therefore gives out the impression of lasting in time. Any idea about impermanence etc. applied to things being hot or cold, would be simply more concepts, nothing to do with the development of understanding.

    But when it comes to knowing the fire element as fire element, at that moment, not only the particular characteristic is understood for what it is, but also the impermanence, insubstantiality and non-self nature. To understand all that goes on as mere elements is the point of the development of understanding. What you suggest not only involve the perception of “things”, but also qualities are attributed to those things. And this is the exact opposite of what the development of understanding should result in.


    You think about it in order to be able to function and continue to function; otherwise you may end up harming yourself over and over again. But yes, no need to contemplate, i.e. try to understand it. Since this would only be thinking and not the wisdom which sees into the characteristic of the reality “now”. Understanding does not involve comparing.


    All such thinking rather than wisdom and detachment, is associated with ignorance and attachment.


    What is the difference between your knowledge regarding something being loud and that of an infant?


    What you need to understand in addition to the fire element, is the touching consciousness itself and also the mind element which thinks, the feeling, perception and the aversion and ignorance which conditions any complaining. These are the objects of the development of wisdom / insight. Complaining rather than be indication of right knowledge, shows where the attachment and ignorance is.

    Not only loud exists, but all intensities of sound. But knowing which is loud as compared to which is not the function of wisdom.


    Conditioned response, not wisdom.


    Of course, once you take these two, creator and creation, for real, giving values to one is giving value to the other. And you are suggesting that the opposite of creator is creation?....
     

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