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Flag wonderment December 4, 2007 2:19 PM EST
We've talked a lot recently about ego and all that term may or may not mean. Beyond that, I thought perhaps we could discuss some of the more subtle ways that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives.

It seems that above all else our deepest desire is to exist. We see ourselves as separate. Even though we read or hear talk of our fundamental unity and interconnectedness, and intellectually it sounds good, we still see ourselves as "apart from" - as "me" here, the rest of the world "there". And although we may have realized the true nature of reality experientially, the need to exist as a separate self dies hard and slowly. The habits of a lifetime take time to be seen and dissolved.

So how do we see this need to "exist", to keep the "ego" alive, continue to manifest in us? A recent example for me was seeing myself judging the judger. I'm very good at it and unless I'm paying attention I don't even realize when I'm doing it.

For me practice/life is about presence and a big part of that is seeing how I continually want to reinforce my need to exist as a separate self, which is exactly what takes me out of the present moment.
Flag Mt_man December 4, 2007 11:16 PM EST
One thing that doesn't help is society's assaults on peoples' needs.

If you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which is depicted as a pyramid, you can see all sorts of needs that are assaulted by our competitive, dog eat dog, look out for number one economy/culture.

Top Tier:  Self Actualization:
morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts.

2nd Tier:  Esteem:
self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others

*** Students living in lower income areas have less achievement in part because their classrooms progress at slower paces.  This does not help esteem or achievement any for those at the low end of the unlevel playing field.  Our selfish and greedy culture doesn't give a rats tail apparently since we are OK with spending a trillion dollars on a war of whim rather than on boosting the education budget.  Ironically, most Christians vote for the very politicians who get the priorities wrong, and certainly way out of sync with what Jesus would do with a budget.  How can such a lie exist within America's largest religion?  ***

3rd Tier:  Love/Belonging
friendship, family, sexual intimacy

*** Divorce can cut into this tier quite a bit.  Losing your job in organizations of all sizes, most notably large corporations, can result in moving around a lot, which can force people to start over with this tier. ***

4th Tier:  Safety
security of body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of the family, of health, of property

*** The greedy / cut throat nature of corporations and any employers for that matter, leaves much to be desired in terms of concern for others' safety needs.  The obvious one is security of employment, but also pensions, and of moral business executives.  For children, security of the family is assaulted within half of all families since the divorce rate is 50 percent.  The cost of housing is going up in some places beyond the reach of affordability, which is an assault on the security of property.  In some cases, the chemicals that are used in foods - take Aspartame for example, pass FDA approval only because of political pressure (in Aspartame's case, Ronald Reagan and Dick Cheney who worked for the company who makes the stuff, and he was Reagan's aid), clearly assault our health.   This goes hand in hand with corporate greed again. ***

5th Tier:  breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion

From Wikipedia: 

*** The first four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called "deficiency needs": the individual does not feel anything if they are met, but feels anxious if they are not met.

*** This anxiousness is obviously a large source of blocking. ***

Growth needs
Though the deficiency needs may be seen as "basic", and can be met and neutralized (i.e. they stop being motivators in one's life), self-actualization and transcendence are "being" or "growth needs", i.e. they are enduring motivations or drivers of behavior.

Cognitive needs
Maslow believed that humans have the need to increase their intelligence and thereby chase knowledge. Cognitive needs is the expression of the natural human need to learn, explore, discover and create to get a better understanding of the world around them.

*** Too bad Bush had to cut the education budget so he could not go so far into debt with his personal war. ***

Aesthetic needs
Based on Maslow's beliefs, it is stated in the hierarchy that humans need beautiful imagery or something new and aesthetically pleasing to continue up towards Self-Actualization. Humans need to refresh themselves in the presence and beauty of nature while carefully absorbing and observing their surroundings to extract the beauty that the world has to offer.

*** There isn't much beauty in the inner cities.  Our society essentially doesn't care about the lower income folks stuck in the inner cities.  If it did, we'd see a lot more park land within our inner cities. ***

Self-actualization
Self-actualization--a concept Maslow attributed to Kurt Goldstein, a mentor to Maslow--is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities and to strive to be the best they can.

Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:

They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them.
They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions.
They are creative.
They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives.
They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life.
They have a system of morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority.
They have discernment and are able to view all things in an objective manner.
In short, self-actualization is reaching one's fullest potential.

According to Maslow, the tendencies of self-actualizing people are as follows:

1. Awareness

efficient perception of reality
freshness of appreciation
peak experiences
ethical awareness

2. Honesty

philosophical sense of humor
social interest
deep interpersonal relationships
democratic character structure

3. Freedom

need for solitude
autonomous, independent
creativity, originality
spontaneous

4. Trust

problem centered
acceptance of self, others, nature
resistance to enculturation - identity with humanity

Self-transcendence
Maslow later divided the top of the triangle to add self-transcendence which is also sometimes referred to as spiritual needs. Spiritual Needs are a little different from other needs, accessible from many levels.

Maslow believes that we should study and cultivate peak experiences as a way of providing a route to achieve personal growth, integration, and fulfillment. Individuals most likely to have peak experiences are self-actualizing, mature, healthy, and self-fulfilled. All individuals are capable of peak experiences. Those who do not have them somehow suppress or deny them.

Maslow originally found the occurrence of peak experiences in individuals who were self-actualizing, but later found that peak experiences happened to non-actualizers as well but not as often:

I have recently found it more and more useful to differentiate between two kinds of self-actualizing people, those who were clearly healthy, but with little or no experiences of transcendence, and those in whom transcendent experiencing was important and even central… It is unfortunate that I can no longer be theoretically neat at this level. I find not only self-actualizing persons who transcend, but also non-healthy people, non-self-actualizers who have important transcendent experiences. It seems to me that I have found some degree of transcendence in many people other than self-actualizing ones as I have defined this term.

In 1969, Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof and Anthony Sutich were the initiators behind the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.
Flag strange_err December 5, 2007 12:12 AM EST
I think the biggest things that keep me feeling seperate from other people are anger and fear... when other people are suffering, I don't want to identify with them because I don't want to suffer like that and/or I think they "deserve" to suffer... and when people are happy, I don't want to identify with them because I'm afraid that I won't get my own wishes and/or I feel jealous and resentful that they are happy. The cunning and subtlety of these emotional responses in me is truly baffling.

~mark
Flag eputkonen December 5, 2007 9:34 AM EST
"that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives. "

It is that...right there...that keeps the ego alive.

Until you have directly realized (experienced in a way) who/what you really are...the ego will continue to be problematic and fool you.

Who/what you really are is Ultimate Reality - there is no need to shine in or through...you are That.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Flag Dionysis10 December 5, 2007 10:34 AM EST
This morning in my meditation after many thoughts pulled me here and there through yesterday and today I said wait.
I don't want to be thinking about all this stuff while I'm trying to find ultimate reality, joy and happiness.
It was when I realized that I could get off the chains of memories, schemes and fantasies that I found myself experiencing happiness.

I had taken control of my meditation.
When I found myself being carried away by another train of thought to anxiety Ville, I simply got off and took a breath and soon wasn't being carried off.  I was spending more quality time simply "issing" with my mind in the present reality, not replaying the drama that was yesterday.

I don’t know if this part of me that decided to get off the thought chain is what I would call ego but it is a part of my mind that can take control and I think this is good.

Simply being my self is the internal place from where I am truly free to relate with everything, subtle and great, unique and in oneness. Be happy
Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 2:23 PM EST

strange_err wrote:

I think the biggest things that keep me feeling seperate from other people are anger and fear... when other people are suffering, I don't want to identify with them because I don't want to suffer like that and/or I think they "deserve" to suffer... and when people are happy, I don't want to identify with them because I'm afraid that I won't get my own wishes and/or I feel jealous and resentful that they are happy. The cunning and subtlety of these emotional responses in me is truly baffling.

~mark



Hi Mark, I think just being aware enough to recognize these kinds of fears that rise up in us is so valuable. Being "baffled" by our reactions is what causes us to keep looking, to go deeper, to get to the root of what keeps us feeling separate.

Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 2:23 PM EST

strange_err wrote:

I think the biggest things that keep me feeling seperate from other people are anger and fear... when other people are suffering, I don't want to identify with them because I don't want to suffer like that and/or I think they "deserve" to suffer... and when people are happy, I don't want to identify with them because I'm afraid that I won't get my own wishes and/or I feel jealous and resentful that they are happy. The cunning and subtlety of these emotional responses in me is truly baffling.

~mark



Hi Mark, I think just being aware enough to recognize these kinds of fears that rise up in us is so valuable. Being "baffled" by our reactions is what causes us to keep looking, to go deeper, to get to the root of what keeps us feeling separate.

Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 2:38 PM EST

eputkonen wrote:

"that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives. "

It is that...right there...that keeps the ego alive.

Until you have directly realized (experienced in a way) who/what you really are...the ego will continue to be problematic and fool you.

Who/what you really are is Ultimate Reality - there is no need to shine in or through...you are That.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org



Hi Eric, Yes, we are indeed That. We shine as That. Sometimes clearly and sometimes not so clearly but That we always are.

Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 2:38 PM EST

eputkonen wrote:

"that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives. "

It is that...right there...that keeps the ego alive.

Until you have directly realized (experienced in a way) who/what you really are...the ego will continue to be problematic and fool you.

Who/what you really are is Ultimate Reality - there is no need to shine in or through...you are That.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org



Hi Eric, Yes, we are indeed That. We shine as That. Sometimes clearly and sometimes not so clearly but That we always are.

Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 2:49 PM EST

Dionysis10 wrote:

This morning in my meditation after many thoughts pulled me here and there through yesterday and today I said wait.
I don't want to be thinking about all this stuff while I'm trying to find ultimate reality, joy and happiness.
It was when I realized that I could get off the chains of memories, schemes and fantasies that I found myself experiencing happiness.

I had taken control of my meditation.
When I found myself being carried away by another train of thought to anxiety Ville, I simply got off and took a breath and soon wasn't being carried off. I was spending more quality time simply "issing" with my mind in the present reality, not replaying the drama that was yesterday.

I don’t know if this part of me that decided to get off the thought chain is what I would call ego but it is a part of my mind that can take control and I think this is good.

Simply being my self is the internal place from where I am truly free to relate with everything, subtle and great, unique and in oneness. Be happy



Hi Dionysis, I too think we are the only ones that can realize, and drop, our "thought chains" and come back to the present moment. 

What better in this life than to be our authentic self manifesting right here, right now?

Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 2:49 PM EST

Dionysis10 wrote:

This morning in my meditation after many thoughts pulled me here and there through yesterday and today I said wait.
I don't want to be thinking about all this stuff while I'm trying to find ultimate reality, joy and happiness.
It was when I realized that I could get off the chains of memories, schemes and fantasies that I found myself experiencing happiness.

I had taken control of my meditation.
When I found myself being carried away by another train of thought to anxiety Ville, I simply got off and took a breath and soon wasn't being carried off. I was spending more quality time simply "issing" with my mind in the present reality, not replaying the drama that was yesterday.

I don’t know if this part of me that decided to get off the thought chain is what I would call ego but it is a part of my mind that can take control and I think this is good.

Simply being my self is the internal place from where I am truly free to relate with everything, subtle and great, unique and in oneness. Be happy



Hi Dionysis, I too think we are the only ones that can realize, and drop, our "thought chains" and come back to the present moment. 

What better in this life than to be our authentic self manifesting right here, right now?

Flag stardustpilgrim December 5, 2007 3:57 PM EST
[QUOTE=Dionysis10;117266]This morning in my meditation after many thoughts pulled me here and there through yesterday and today I said wait.
I don't want to be thinking about all this stuff while I'm trying to find ultimate reality, joy and happiness.
It was when I realized that I could get off the chains of memories, schemes and fantasies that I found myself experiencing happiness.

I had taken control of my meditation.
When I found myself being carried away by another train of thought to anxiety Ville, I simply got off and took a breath and soon wasn't being carried off.  I was spending more quality time simply "issing" with my mind in the present reality, not replaying the drama that was yesterday.

I don’t know if this part of me that decided to get off the thought chain is what I would call ego but it is a part of my mind that can take control and I think this is good.
[/QUOTE]

This is an easy one. The "thought chain" is ego. The part of the mind that wants to stop all these random thoughts is a deeper part of your being.
sdp
Flag eputkonen December 5, 2007 3:58 PM EST
[QUOTE=wonderment;117878]Hi Eric, Yes, we are indeed That. We shine as That.[/QUOTE]

Is that direct experience/realization...or something you believe that someone else told you about?

[QUOTE=wonderment;117878]Sometimes clearly and sometimes not so clearly but That we always are.[/QUOTE]

That is separation and ego. 
That which you are is never more or less clear.  What you said is from the standpoint of something other than That.

As long as you believe it is something that shines through you...more or less clearly...you are saying you are not That.  What is being identified with is the channel/vessel that is shined through.

There is no true or higher self.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 5:19 PM EST

eputkonen wrote:

Is that direct experience/realization...or something you believe that someone else told you about?



Hi Eric, yes, that is direct experience/realization.

That is separation and ego.
That which you are is never more or less clear. What you said is from the standpoint of something other than That.



True. That which I am is not more or less clear. It simply is, always was, and always will be. Every thing is That.

I very often get caught up in my mind. When I'm lost in thought I am no longer experiencing life directly, being life. When I'm not here - one with the flow, as the flow itself, to me, I'm not seeing clearly.

As long as you believe it is something that shines through you...more or less clearly...you are saying you are not That. What is being identified with is the channel/vessel that is shined through.

There is no true or higher self.



I very much agree. The way I phrased the original sentence was not good or accurate. It does imply there is something "higher" or separate or outside of Me. The only thing that separates me is ego. And fine job it so often continues to do.

Flag eputkonen December 5, 2007 5:41 PM EST
[QUOTE=wonderment;118327]Hi Eric, yes, that is direct experience/realization.


True. That which I am is not more or less clear. It simply is, always was, and always will be. Every thing is That.

I very often get caught up in my mind. When I'm lost in thought I am no longer experiencing life directly, being life. When I'm not here - one with the flow, as the flow itself, to me, I'm not seeing clearly.


I very much agree. The way I phrased the original sentence was not good or accurate. It does imply there is something "higher" or separate or outside of Me. The only thing that separates me is ego. And fine job it so often continues to do.[/QUOTE]


"The only thing that separates me is ego. And fine job it so often continues to do."

Why believe the mind or ego at all?  If you did not believe it, it would not fool you.

Is there a problem at all?

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Flag strange_err December 5, 2007 8:30 PM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;118395]Why believe the mind or ego at all?  If you did not believe it, it would not fool you.[/QUOTE]

I think the reason that I oftentimes still believe my ego is that I sometimes have a great deal of difficulty seperating out what my ego is telling me to do and what actually is Reality. So often, the things my ego says and does appear real to me, and I lack the needed power in and of myself to sort this out - which is where reliance upon God comes in for me.

~mark
Flag wonderment December 5, 2007 9:34 PM EST

eputkonen wrote:

"The only thing that separates me is ego. And fine job it so often continues to do."

Why believe the mind or ego at all? If you did not believe it, it would not fool you.

Is there a problem at all?

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org



Hi Eric.  It's not a question of believing the ego. It's a matter of realizing when I'm caught up in it and letting go. Staying open and seeing how I get hung up and then letting go has been an ongoing process of heightening awareness that, as yet, is no where near effortless for me.

I look at waking up as a mere beginning. My conditioned habits of a lifetime didn't just disappear. I think it's an ongoing process and it takes as long as it takes for what we have come to understand, and what we actually do in our day to day lives - how we manifest that understanding, to harmonize.

In my experience thus far I relate very much to the Zen teaching that talks of taming the ox/ego after the initial awakening experience: "I seize him with a great and terrific struggle, his great will and power are inexhaustible." John Daido Loori Roshi and Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery says of this process: "This is a tremendous and all pervasive struggle, when you are beginning to bring the habits developed over a lifetime into accord with your emerging understanding. This is the start of the actualization of your insights. And it continues forever. Realization followed by actualization, insight becoming action."

Flag Flowupstream December 5, 2007 11:42 PM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;118395]

Why believe the mind or ego at all?  If you did not believe it, it would not fool you.

Is there a problem at all?

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org[/QUOTE]

Excellent point Eric, "Is there a problem at all?"
So often people think they have to "do" something with ego. It is ONLY ego that thinks so. When we see it for what it is, a simple function of mind, it doesn't obscure our view of reality at all and cannot command our attention.

kip
Flag stardustpilgrim December 6, 2007 10:41 AM EST
[QUOTE=wonderment;118982]Hi Eric.  It's not a question of believing the ego. It's a matter of realizing when I'm caught up in it and letting go. Staying open and seeing how I get hung up and then letting go has been an ongoing process of heightening awareness that, as yet, is no where near effortless for me.

I look at waking up as a mere beginning. My conditioned habits of a lifetime didn't just disappear. I think it's an ongoing process and it takes as long as it takes for what we have come to understand, and what we actually do in our day to day lives - how we manifest that understanding, to harmonize.

In my experience thus far I relate very much to the Zen teaching that talks of taming the ox/ego after the initial awakening experience: "I seize him with a great and terrific struggle, his great will and power are inexhaustible." John Daido Loori Roshi and Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery says of this process: "This is a tremendous and all pervasive struggle, when you are beginning to bring the habits developed over a lifetime into accord with your emerging understanding. This is the start of the actualization of your insights. And it continues forever. Realization followed by actualization, insight becoming action."[/QUOTE]

Thanks for this wonderment. This is dead on right. I consider open honesty of exactly where we are, of more value than a conceptual paradigm. I think if one can't see this movement you have described, (or have seen it), then ego has you buried.

After many years of this struggle, when I'm stuck in ego (we can just call that sleep), I actually don't even exist.  I only exist when awareness is present.
sdp
Flag eputkonen December 6, 2007 12:17 PM EST
[QUOTE=wonderment;118982]Hi Eric.  It's not a question of believing the ego. It's a matter of realizing when I'm caught up in it and letting go. Staying open and seeing how I get hung up and then letting go has been an ongoing process of heightening awareness that, as yet, is no where near effortless for me.
[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=strange_err;118750]I think the reason that I oftentimes still believe my ego is that I sometimes have a great deal of difficulty seperating out what my ego is telling me to do and what actually is Reality. So often, the things my ego says and does appear real to me, and I lack the needed power in and of myself to sort this out - which is where reliance upon God comes in for me.[/QUOTE]

My point is that if you truly realize who/what you really are...the mind/ego is seen for the phantasm it is.  Once this happens, the mind/ego never really fools you again.  When you start finding things problematic, being caught up with past or future, etc, etc...you recognize it is the mind/ego and it is laughed off.  And as little attention is paid to it antics, it quiets down of its own accord quickly.

Both of you talk and hint at a struggle with the ego.  Who is having the struggle - the mind (the ego) of course.  It is the mind having a problem with the mind.  This is a mentally made up trap the mind has fallen into.  The mind is trapped by the mind...and the mind is trying to fight the mind to get out. 

The phantasm of mind/ego can do nothing when it is recognized as a phantasm.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Flag RaymondSigrist December 6, 2007 12:47 PM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;120283]My point is that if you truly realize who/what you really are...the mind/ego is seen for the phantasm it is.  Once this happens, the mind/ego never really fools you again.  http://www.awaken2life.org[/QUOTE]

Here's something I am interested in Eric.  In the world of my experience the ego appears to always be able to come up with another trick.  One of its tricks is that it it tells me: it will never be able to fool me again.

Now what I am interested in is the following:  I am able to accept your report without question.  I am able to entertain that in the world of your experience, what you say is quite likely true.

But what I am most interested is whether or not you think the world of my experience can possibly be different from yours.  Are you able to imagine something different, and if not why not?.  Would it be that you really know the truth with absolute certainty?  Or would it be ego at work?   

I truly do not know the answers to these questions.  And I find no need to know.   I find mystical ecstasy works best when I assume I don't know.  But I am quite more interested in the world of your experience.

ciao,
raymond
Flag wonderment December 6, 2007 12:50 PM EST
This is so good because I can very much relate to and agree with everything you guys: Eric, Kip and Sdp are saying. There really is no problem. There never was. But the ego still wants to live, phantom though it is. So it's the ongoing "seeing through" that for me still takes practice. It's seeing when my mind is at work and consciously letting go. I find all it takes to do that is to be aware enough to ask: "Who's angry?", "Who's afraid?", "Who's threatened?", Who's happy?", "Who's sad?". . . Then the problem is always solved because it becomes so clear that there really is no problem. From the ground of being there is never a problem.

So that seeing and releasing is simply not seamless and automatic for me. My ego fights for life every day even though I know that, in every way, all is well. Have others managed to forgot and transcend the self entirely? Maybe so. Who’s to say?
Flag stardustpilgrim December 6, 2007 1:15 PM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;120283]My point is that if you truly realize who/what you really are...the mind/ego is seen for the phantasm it is.  Once this happens, the mind/ego never really fools you again.  When you start finding things problematic, being caught up with past or future, etc, etc...you recognize it is the mind/ego and it is laughed off.  And as little attention is paid to it antics, it quiets down of its own accord quickly.

Both of you talk and hint at a struggle with the ego.  Who is having the struggle - the mind (the ego) of course.  It is the mind having a problem with the mind.  This is a mentally made up trap the mind has fallen into.  The mind is trapped by the mind...and the mind is trying to fight the mind to get out. 

The phantasm of mind/ego can do nothing when it is recognized as a phantasm.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org[/QUOTE]

You're equating mind with ego? Not so. Ego is (certain specific) contents of the mind. Mind functions quite nicely, without ego. The struggle is between two aspects of mind? Not so (not that two aspects of the mind can't struggle with one another). The struggle was described nicely by wonderment. The struggle is: will awareness seperate out so that it can see ego, or will ego totally absorb (take) all one's awareness.

Ego isn't a phantasm. It's a pattern of energy connected to the very structure of the brain. To really get rid of ego (or not have ego maintain control), the pathways of energy in the physical brain, via synaptic structure, have to actually be altered. THIS, IS THE VERY STRUGGLE wonderment DESCRIBES. You disolve these energy patterns by actually SEEING the activity of ego. I'm not saying you haven't gone through this process. But I'm saying it has to be gone through.

If these patterns aren't disolved, they perpetuate themselves (as well as being passed along to others, especially our children) through a sort of egoic DNA (the whole karma deal). I think in Hinduism they're call the three gunas. 

When they can nail you to a cross and you can forgive those driving in the nails, I'll believe you have conquered ego (not directed personally).

You are what you think, feel and do.  In other words, what you think, feel and do is an expression of your level of being.
sdp
Flag stardustpilgrim December 6, 2007 1:24 PM EST
[QUOTE=wonderment;120366]This is so good because I can very much relate to and agree with everything you guys: Eric, Kip and Sdp are saying. There really is no problem. There never was. But the ego still wants to live, phantom though it is. So it's the ongoing "seeing through" that for me still takes practice. It's seeing when my mind is at work and consciously letting go. I find all it takes to do that is to be aware enough to ask: "Who's angry?", "Who's afraid?", "Who's threatened?", Who's happy?", "Who's sad?". . . Then the problem is always solved because it becomes so clear that there really is no problem. From the ground of being there is never a problem.

So that seeing and releasing is simply not seamless and automatic for me. My ego fights for life every day even though I know that, in every way, all is well. Have others managed to forgot and transcend the self entirely? Maybe so. Who’s to say? [/QUOTE]

That's beautiful wonderment........ IMhO.......
sdp
Flag eputkonen December 6, 2007 2:12 PM EST
[QUOTE=RaymondSigrist;120355]But what I am most interested is whether or not you think the world of my experience can possibly be different from yours.  Are you able to imagine something different, and if not why not?.  Would it be that you really know the truth with absolute certainty?  Or would it be ego at work?[/QUOTE]

Experiences vary...but what I am pointing at (ultimately, at root) is beyond experience and the same.

Different experiences are due to different filters of mind and ego - let go of mind and ego and the same thing is seen.  There is only one (no other), it is the filters that are different.
Flag strange_err December 6, 2007 7:40 PM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;120283]The phantasm of mind/ego can do nothing when it is recognized as a phantasm.[/QUOTE]

That's an interesting idea, sort of like that one movie "A Brilliant Mind" where John Nash has really conceded to his innermost self that he is schizophrenic so he is able to develop enough skepticism about his experiences that he is no longer tricked by his hallucinations and delusions. That's kind of similar to my experience, except I don't seem to have gotten the same degree of release that you have yet.

That's neat that you've gotten so free on a permanent basis. I've noticed that for myself, the main way that my ego still fools me is by telling me that I can keeping coasting along on the spiritual experiences of yesterday or last week or whatever... then it just slides right in and starts doing its thing while I'm congratulating myself on how spiritual I've been. It's pretty ridiculous, and it's proven on several occasions that it seems to believe that it can kill me and live on. Totally nuts!

~mark
Flag RaymondSigrist December 7, 2007 10:53 AM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;120632]Experiences vary...but what I am pointing at (ultimately, at root) is beyond experience and the same.

Different experiences are due to different filters of mind and ego - let go of mind and ego and the same thing is seen.  There is only one (no other), it is the filters that are different.[/QUOTE]

Hi Eric

      I find this a very good topic because there is so much disagreement over it.  And for me the form and the manner in which the disagreement is expressed,  is just as interesting as the topic itself.  I will start a new thread with some quotations and other material that I think apply.  But before doing that I would like to correctly understand your position.

       Would your report to us be the following?:  You have no ego, and that state of affairs is permanent.  Or perhaps more precisely: You have no illusion of there being an ego, and that state of affairs is permanent.

love,
raymond
Flag RaymondSigrist December 7, 2007 10:53 AM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;120632]Experiences vary...but what I am pointing at (ultimately, at root) is beyond experience and the same.

Different experiences are due to different filters of mind and ego - let go of mind and ego and the same thing is seen.  There is only one (no other), it is the filters that are different.[/QUOTE]

Hi Eric

      I find this a very good topic because there is so much disagreement over it.  And for me the form and the manner in which the disagreement is expressed,  is just as interesting as the topic itself.  I will start a new thread with some quotations and other material that I think apply.  But before doing that I would like to correctly understand your position.

       Would your report to us be the following?:  You have no ego, and that state of affairs is permanent.  Or perhaps more precisely: You have no illusion of there being an ego, and that state of affairs is permanent.

love,
raymond
Flag eputkonen December 7, 2007 4:51 PM EST
[QUOTE=RaymondSigrist;122878]Would your report to us be the following?:  You have no ego, and that state of affairs is permanent.  Or perhaps more precisely: You have no illusion of there being an ego, and that state of affairs is permanent.[/QUOTE]

No, there is some ego.  If there was no ego (what-so-ever) you would not respond when someone calls out the name that you were given.  A little ego is helpful in just interacting with the world.  The key point is not being fooled by the ego by seeing it for what it is - an illusion or phantasm (even illusions may have a purpose although they are not technically real, per se).  As a side effect, the ego is diminished greatly and becomes a servant.

I find the ego/mind continues to diminish as understanding deepens.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
Flag Flowupstream December 7, 2007 7:55 PM EST
Ego remains unchanged, yet what my friend Arjuna Ardaugh calls "Translucent" in his book "Translucent Revolution". We all have glimpses of reality through gaps in ego. In being awake ego still functions as it always did but reality can be seen through ego without distortion. Ego is there (as much as illusion can be) but seen for what it is.

And Eric is absolutely correct. It is only ego which responds to verbal cues. As a servant, Ego is the vehicle through which reality interacts.

kip
Flag Mt_man December 8, 2007 12:18 AM EST
[QUOTE=flowupstream;124119]Ego remains unchanged, yet ... "Translucent"...  In being awake ego still functions as it always did but reality can be seen through ego without distortion...  kip[/QUOTE]

When I've gotten a shortage of sleep, I am more creative and I feel more in touch with God.  I would guess you could say that a shortage of sleep (at least for folks prone to hypomanic tendencies who have bipolar disorder, I don't know about the rest of you) makes the ego more translucent?
Flag Flowupstream December 8, 2007 7:48 AM EST
Really? For me the opposite is true. Since it is ego which responds to physical needs then hunger, illness or sleep deprevation make ego more active in me, often to the point of being believable.

kip
Flag Dionysis10 December 8, 2007 10:09 AM EST
The uncontrolled ego is problematic. My goal in meditation is to free myself.  I find that the ego holds onto concepts, inferiorities superiorities and rivalries, each affecting a different emotional response.

I find in my meditation by being able to identify these concepts and letting them go frees me from their emotional attachments. In this way, by identifying and letting go, I myself am taking control of my ego and freeing myself and when my self is free I can truly commune and relate with God.
Flag Mt_man December 8, 2007 12:34 PM EST
[QUOTE=flowupstream;124762]Really? For me the opposite is true. Since it is ego which responds to physical needs then hunger, illness or sleep deprevation make ego more active in me, often to the point of being believable.

kip[/QUOTE]

Yes it is the case for me.  If it isn't the case for you, then you probably aren't prone to hypomania, so at least you can rest assured knowing your brain is firing on all cylinders.  : )  It may or may not be the entire day.  It is similar to being slightly drunk.  Some people say they are punch drunk when they get a shortage of sleep.  Sort of like that but different when you are bipolar.  I think the logical side of the brain gives up out of knowing it is not going to function very well.  So the creative side takes charge.  The words just show up out of the blue without effort, and very good, flowing words.  Since I know my memory is worse now, and since it happens without effort, those words must be coming from the Source I would guess.  So I think creativity is largely just "letting go."

I probably am technically experiencing some slight hypo manic symptoms when this happens.  But maybe that is what mania is.
Flag strange_err December 8, 2007 1:26 PM EST
Yeah it's something kind of funny that I've noticed, right after life/my ego have delivered me a particularly thorough beat-down, the "gaps" in ego seem to get just a little bigger. I definitely experience that same thing with a certain degree of sleep deprivation, although for me it can definitely go too far to where my judgement gets kind of impaired (but not in a good way!) Then I'll wind up doing all sorts of weird stuff while congratulating myself on how "smart" and/or "spiritual" I'm being. So sleep deprivation generally winds up being a dead end street for me.

~mark
Flag orca007 December 9, 2007 3:52 PM EST
Interesting perspectives, everyone.

IMO, the ego isn't really the enemy or a bad thing. I find that often there's a tendency in spirituality to want to destroy one's ego, as if it were in the way of personal growth. Sometimes it's as if the ego is seen as the obstacle to being evolved or whatever. Ditto the mind. I tend to disagree, as I think it's just a matter of having a healthy ego. Not trying to lose one's ego or dodge it or hide it away. After all, we can't function without an ego, since it was given to us to do some important functions. So it's not like we can really destroy it,  since that would be destroying an important part of you.

I feel it's about keeping the ego healthy, so it does not run amock.  A healthy ego knows an inner sense of "I am enough." (Good enough, smart enough, etc). It's when it's weak (ie, "I am not enough, not smart enough, good enough, etc") that it causes problems. That's when it rears its head and makes issues.

Hopefully, with a healthy ego, life would feel like less kneejerk reacting to everything, and more about active engagement and responding to life.

My .02.
Flag Dionysis10 December 10, 2007 11:27 AM EST
Hi Eric, I think I've had something similar to a "shining through" experience.

In my morning meditation I am fortunate enough to often experience joy. The joy then dissipates into the day.
Flag RaymondSigrist December 12, 2007 10:34 AM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;123800]No, there is some ego.  If there was no ego (what-so-ever) you would not respond when someone calls out the name that you were given.  A little ego is helpful in just interacting with the world.  The key point is not being fooled by the ego by seeing it for what it is - an illusion or phantasm (even illusions may have a purpose although they are not technically real, per se).  As a side effect, the ego is diminished greatly and becomes a servant.

I find the ego/mind continues to diminish as understanding deepens.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the candid answer Eric. 

re: "The key point is not being fooled by the ego"

How does one come to have the ability not to be fooled?   Is it strictly through something like "grace?"

ciao,
raymond
Flag Dionysis10 December 13, 2007 8:21 AM EST
We perceive some people as better worse then or equal to ourselves. How we feel these different people is inferiority, superiority or rivalry. We can feel angry about being inferior or feel admiration toward the superior person. Most of our anxiety comes from wrong belief about who we are. We are hard wired to seek happiness. If your feeling is not making you happy it is not a true feeling. Not being fooled is a matter of intelligence rather than grace. If our ego is leading to unhappiness we can determine it is fooling us. I think we may have a true or a false ego.
Flag Aehollings December 16, 2007 1:14 AM EST
The light is fundamentally not blocked.  We just don't see or know it.  We might assume we do, but this is our imagination asserting itself.  For the mystic the problem is having a direct gnosis with the light, seeing it distinguished from the carnal body which it animates (it is the light of life in the Gospel of John).  If there is any question of ego it lies with asocial individualism which is the foundation of our present economic system that has sanctified avarice, conspicuous consumption (i.e., status seeking), and thrill seeking.  I think those who are here, are heads above asocial individualism.  How to get in touch with this animative light is the most pressing matter. It is one of life and death.
Flag Dionysis10 December 16, 2007 9:32 AM EST
"  If there is any question of ego it lies with asocial individualism which is the foundation of our present economic system that has sanctified avarice, conspicuous consumption (i.e., status seeking), and thrill seeking. "

Good point. It seems we are dominated by false values in our modern society and in seeking to fulfill, we become asocial individuals or false people.  The result is we have a lot of angry resentful unhappy people in our culture. What I have been practicing is identifying avarice's consumption's and thrill seeking's influence but not following it. By letting go, not having give and take with it, I am not controled by it's conditioned desires. I have in effect created a space where my true ego can exist communing and relating with internal values like truth compassion graditude and joy, instead of the external things.
Flag Dionysis10 December 16, 2007 9:32 AM EST
"  If there is any question of ego it lies with asocial individualism which is the foundation of our present economic system that has sanctified avarice, conspicuous consumption (i.e., status seeking), and thrill seeking. "

Good point. It seems we are dominated by false values in our modern society and in seeking to fulfill, we become asocial individuals or false people.  The result is we have a lot of angry resentful unhappy people in our culture. What I have been practicing is identifying avarice's consumption's and thrill seeking's influence but not following it. By letting go, not having give and take with it, I am not controled by it's conditioned desires. I have in effect created a space where my true ego can exist communing and relating with internal values like truth compassion graditude and joy, instead of the external things.
Flag Mt_man December 16, 2007 2:31 PM EST
[QUOTE=Dionysis10;142979]I have in effect created a space where my true ego can exist communing and relating with internal values like truth compassion graditude and joy, instead of the external things.[/QUOTE]

Did you see the recent video rental movie "The Ultimate Gift?"  http://www.theultimategift.com  .  That would be an example of what you mention above, even if you were loaded with money.

And it is what capitalism (and capitalists) could be as it's (their) highest (truest) possibility.
Flag eputkonen December 17, 2007 7:20 PM EST
[QUOTE=RaymondSigrist;133893]Thanks for the candid answer Eric. 

re: "The key point is not being fooled by the ego"

How does one come to have the ability not to be fooled?   Is it strictly through something like "grace?"[/QUOTE]

It is like grace.  Grace is something given by God or comes of its own accord (not someting due to your own efforts) - likewise, there is nothing you can directly do to not be fooled by the ego.  Who would do the action?...the ego, of course.

Self inquiry often works well.  Looking at the "I" and "me" - is it really who/what you are?
Who are you?  What are you?
Delve deeply into the self...if you know who/what you really are, the ego can not fool you.  It is when we identify with the ego and the life story that problems arise.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Flag Dionysis10 December 19, 2007 6:57 PM EST
No, haven't seen the movie, but I'm gonna rent it, I think I'll like it.
Flag RaymondSigrist December 20, 2007 9:04 AM EST
Hi Eric

You say: "there is nothing you can directly do to not be fooled by the ego.  Who would do the action?...the ego, of course."

You say: "Delve deeply into the self.if you know who/what you really are, the ego can not fool you."

It seems to me that delving is doing, but maybe not.

My practice is different from yours.  I cultivate the subordination of the ego, not its elimination.  In other words I directly do something about the ego.

If you think I (my ego) am deceiving myself, that is okay with me, my ego is not strong enough to make me claim that I am right and you are wrong.

love,
raymond
Flag stardustpilgrim December 20, 2007 11:11 AM EST
[QUOTE=RaymondSigrist;152746]Hi Eric

You say: "there is nothing you can directly do to not be fooled by the ego.  Who would do the action?...the ego, of course."

You say: "Delve deeply into the self.if you know who/what you really are, the ego can not fool you."

It seems to me that delving is doing, but maybe not.

My practice is different from yours.  I cultivate the subordination of the ego, not its elimination.  In other words I directly do something about the ego.

If you think I (my ego) am deceiving myself, that is okay with me, my ego is not strong enough to make me claim that I am right and you are wrong.

love,
raymond[/QUOTE]

While reading this, I just had another image of what ego is like, and what's on the 'other side' of ego. The barrier of ego is like a two-way mirror. On one side is ego in the 'interrogation room'. Ego looks in the mirror and sees only itself, and not beyond. But there is a part of our being that can objectively see ego. There is the watcher (witness) on the other side of the mirror. Ego can only see subjectively, but the witness can see objectively...........and this seeing is the means of transformation.

Ego can exist only on 'its' side of the mirror, but the witness is not so limited.

Ego wants to maintain control. The witness cares only to see. This is called not-doing, also wu wei. "When nothing is done, nothing is left undone". Lao Tzu.
sdp
Flag stardustpilgrim December 20, 2007 11:11 AM EST
[QUOTE=RaymondSigrist;152746]Hi Eric

You say: "there is nothing you can directly do to not be fooled by the ego.  Who would do the action?...the ego, of course."

You say: "Delve deeply into the self.if you know who/what you really are, the ego can not fool you."

It seems to me that delving is doing, but maybe not.

My practice is different from yours.  I cultivate the subordination of the ego, not its elimination.  In other words I directly do something about the ego.

If you think I (my ego) am deceiving myself, that is okay with me, my ego is not strong enough to make me claim that I am right and you are wrong.

love,
raymond[/QUOTE]

While reading this, I just had another image of what ego is like, and what's on the 'other side' of ego. The barrier of ego is like a two-way mirror. On one side is ego in the 'interrogation room'. Ego looks in the mirror and sees only itself, and not beyond. But there is a part of our being that can objectively see ego. There is the watcher (witness) on the other side of the mirror. Ego can only see subjectively, but the witness can see objectively...........and this seeing is the means of transformation.

Ego can exist only on 'its' side of the mirror, but the witness is not so limited.

Ego wants to maintain control. The witness cares only to see. This is called not-doing, also wu wei. "When nothing is done, nothing is left undone". Lao Tzu.
sdp
Flag eputkonen December 20, 2007 1:07 PM EST
Raymond,

“It seems to me that delving is doing, but maybe not.”

It is a doing (I suppose), but the doing is to look at the doer.  Just looking…deeply.  Awareness is our nature.  Is being aware a doing…I suppose you could argue it.  I would say it is not a doing…for we have no choice to be aware or not – we are awareness.

“My practice is different from yours. I cultivate the subordination of the ego, not its elimination. In other words I directly do something about the ego.”

You may end up doing that forever and never succeeding.  The “I” that cultivates the subordination is the ego.  So the ego is subordinating the ego.

“If you think I (my ego) am deceiving myself, that is okay with me, my ego is not strong enough to make me claim that I am right and you are wrong.”

No, your ego gets more of a boost being the kind of person that does not claim that you are right and I am wrong.  The kind of person that subordinates the ego.  I would rather you see the illusionary nature of the ego…and just never be fooled by it again.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Flag stardustpilgrim December 21, 2007 11:46 AM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;153336]Raymond,

“It seems to me that delving is doing, but maybe not.”

It is a doing (I suppose), but the doing is to look at the doer.  Just looking…deeply.  Awareness is our nature.  Is being aware a doing…I suppose you could argue it.  I would say it is not a doing…for we have no choice to be aware or not – we are awareness.

“My practice is different from yours. I cultivate the subordination of the ego, not its elimination. In other words I directly do something about the ego.”

You may end up doing that forever and never succeeding.  The “I” that cultivates the subordination is the ego.  So the ego is subordinating the ego.

“If you think I (my ego) am deceiving myself, that is okay with me, my ego is not strong enough to make me claim that I am right and you are wrong.”

No, your ego gets more of a boost being the kind of person that does not claim that you are right and I am wrong.  The kind of person that subordinates the ego.  I would rather you see the illusionary nature of the ego…and just never be fooled by it again.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org[/QUOTE]

Eric, I think Raymond is way ahead of you (I can say that ?he wouldn't).

...............................................................................

And, ego isn't illusionary. ............This is why Jesus asked us to do the many things he did. ..........To show that ego is VERY real. (If a man asked you to go one mile, go two. Turn the other cheek. Forgive those that persecute you. Love your enemies. Ego CAN'T do these things (just a few among other things asked).

It is only by acknowledging the power of ego (seeing ego) that you can eventually go beyond ego (not saying you haven't).
sdp
Flag RaymondSigrist December 21, 2007 4:43 PM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;153336]You may end up doing that forever and never succeeding. The “I” that cultivates the subordination is the ego. So the ego is subordinating the ego.

http://www.awaken2life.org[/QUOTE]

Hi Eric

      Thank you again for being candid.  I will get back to you next week. 

Here is what interests me---  So far you have indicated that you understand the ego problem much better than I do.  And you have implied that it is not because of your ego that you make that claim.  I think that is plausible and look forward to continuing later this year.

love,
raymond
Flag eputkonen December 21, 2007 7:07 PM EST
[QUOTE=stardustpilgrim;155635]Eric, I think Raymond is way ahead of you (I can say that ?he wouldn't).

...............................................................................

And, ego isn't illusionary. ............This is why Jesus asked us to do the many things he did. ..........To show that ego is VERY real. (If a man asked you to go one mile, go two. Turn the other cheek. Forgive those that persecute you. Love your enemies. Ego CAN'T do these things (just a few among other things asked).

It is only by acknowledging the power of ego (seeing ego) that you can eventually go beyond ego (not saying you haven't).
sdp[/QUOTE]

No, the ego can't (I agree)...and until you see the illusory nature of the ego - you will only be faking it with the ego.  The ego really has no power...that is part of the deception by the ego.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
Flag eputkonen December 21, 2007 7:23 PM EST
[QUOTE=RaymondSigrist;156473]Hi Eric

      Thank you again for being candid.  I will get back to you next week. 

Here is what interests me---  So far you have indicated that you understand the ego problem much better than I do.  And you have implied that it is not because of your ego that you make that claim.  I think that is plausible and look forward to continuing later this year.

love,
raymond[/QUOTE]


What I have indicated is I don't see the ego as problematic as it is no more than a mirage (only a problem when taken seriously).

But hope your holidays are good, Raymond.  I will be out of town and will check back later as well.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
http://www.awaken2life.org
Flag Flowupstream December 22, 2007 12:29 PM EST
[QUOTE=eputkonen;156824]No, the ego can't (I agree)...and until you see the illusory nature of the ego - you will only be faking it with the ego.  The ego really has no power...that is part of the deception by the ego.

Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=stardustpilgrim;155635]Eric, I think Raymond is way ahead of you (I can say that ?he wouldn't).

...............................................................................

And, ego isn't illusionary. ............This is why Jesus asked us to do the many things he did. ..........To show that ego is VERY real. (If a man asked you to go one mile, go two. Turn the other cheek. Forgive those that persecute you. Love your enemies. Ego CAN'T do these things (just a few among other things asked).

It is only by acknowledging the power of ego (seeing ego) that you can eventually go beyond ego (not saying you haven't).
sdp[/QUOTE]
Ego certianly can, and does, do these things whenever it can use them to fool you into thinking it has been "controlled". But what would be doing the controlling? It is a function of ego, and ego alone, to deal with "problems" and if ego is seen as a problem then ego will try to fool you into thinking it has been mastered.

I've been having a lengthy conversation on this same topic elsewhere and a friend e-mailed me this quote;
The Sanskrit word 'Advaita' points to that which cannot be spoken of and exposes the fallacy of the idea that there is something called a 'seeker' that has to attain something else called 'oneness'. The simplicity of this message is directly threatening to the apparent seeker. It is rejected by the guru mind which searches for states to lay claim to ... stillness, silence, bliss or awareness arise within the hypnotic dream of separation and then drop away again like sand through the fingers.
But Being is the one and only constant that never comes and never goes away. Because it is nothing and everything it cannot be gained or lost, given or received, approached or avoided.
The seeing of these words, the hearing of sounds, sensations in the body, feelings, thoughts ... the very stuff of boundless aliveness, is the essence of Being ... indefinable, unknowable, beyond description and yet filling every part of existence.
This clear and simple message speaks of a revolutionary perception where all traditional ideas, and even contemporary teachings of becoming something better or different, collapse. Its illumination is in the energetic, vibrant aliveness that is implicit in the wonder and liberation of simply Being.
It requires no effort and demands no standards. Being timeless, there is no path and no debt to pay. When this is heard and confusion is no more, the contraction of struggling to 'get something' falls away, and the one constant boundless energy of being aliveness is celebrated as all there is.
Tony Parsons - November 2007

I don't know Tony Parsons ( http://theopensecret.com/ ) but I completely agree with his simple but clear expression of reality.
kip
Flag Dionysis10 December 25, 2007 6:26 AM EST
Yep what TP says is a good definition of reality. It’s a mature worldview. We are all created to grow to maturity.  " The seeing of these words, the hearing of sounds, sensations in the body, feelings, thoughts ... the very stuff of boundless aliveness, is the essence of Being ... indefinable, unknowable, beyond description and yet filling every part of existence."
Yet many of us have concepts that retard our growth delaying even blocking us from this awareness. Concepts such as vanity pride arrogance or conceits for one example separate us from true being. The spiritual path is a path of growth, but has obstacles in the way.  The immature mind seems to need to grasp at these for a definition of who it is, jumping to a conclusion, closing the open mind, and blocking spiritual growth toward a greater awareness of it’s true being.
Flag Nico1089 December 28, 2007 9:40 AM EST
hi--since the ego is such a great part of our individual mind, discernment of it's actions is better understood by the friend.--nicolo
Flag stardustpilgrim December 28, 2007 12:15 PM EST
[QUOTE=nico1089;169511]hi--since the ego is such a great part of our individual mind, discernment of it's actions is better understood by the friend.--nicolo[/QUOTE]

Very true, and it would take a very special friend to be able to tell you the truth.

Good to hear from you nicolo!!!!
sdp
Flag Mt_man December 30, 2007 2:04 AM EST
[QUOTE=flowupstream;158626]I don't know Tony Parsons ( http://theopensecret.com/ ) but I completely agree with his simple but clear expression of reality.[/QUOTE]

I read his two pages on his web site, and it is the same sort of mind boggling stuff that I got in Landmark Education seminars.  I don't mean to proselytize Landmark, but Tony's stuff seems to parallel or explain Landmark quite a bit, if not to the T.

At the end of my first seminar, the seminar leader said something like we were given nothing out of the course, but saying it humorously and with a smile, which confounded me.  I have read critics of Landmark compare it to "the emperor's new clothes" -- where they think participants are essentially ripped off (since they get "nothing" out of the course.")

But nothing is what Tony is talking about.  It's a good explanation of what I experienced at the Landmark courses because no meditation was done, although we did sit in chairs for several hours a day (13 hours or so I'd say.  But over 16 hours with some breaks.)  It is surprising the second wind you get when you are aware for that many hours.  And even aware while sitting in uncomfortable chairs.

But what's the bottom line here?  Meditation is not recommended?  How do you "just be?"  Maybe I need to take a refresher course at Landmark, as it's been 10 years or so.  : ) 

I liked the part on Tony's web site regarding getting "stripped of our illusions" or something to that affect, which I think is what Landmark does as well.  Leaving the already whole and complete human being to just be.

But Landmark speak uses a lot of "who are you being?" questioning and being as being a possibility, (which I think is in contrast to being a truth.)  And our possibilities can be new ones whenever we choose.  Perhaps because if we are trying to be a truth, this is striving for something rather than already being that something.

This sort of logic can drive you nuts.  I'd like to read Tony's book(s) though, perhaps by the time you got to the end of the book, it would make sense in terms of applying it to our daily lives.

It could be that taking Landmark courses are the striving for something that Tony talks about.  But you end up surprised as they are different from any course you've taken, as you don't take notes, you just listen and everyone "gets it."  I think you are left to just be at the end of the courses and the closer it gets to the end of the courses.  But it doesn't last forever.  Hopefully you are changed somewhat in terms of being able to just be.  What I'm wondering is if Tony has to do anything to get back into "the zone," or if he's reached a permanent residency there.  And have his readers reached permanent residency?  Because even though such a residency is a striving, it is a residing in a presence and being.  And I am wondering if his readers magically end up there for good or if they never get there or if they get there for 24 hours.  It says on his web site anyone can call him and ask questions about the stuff on his web site for free, so maybe I'll ask these questions and call him.  He is in the UK.

Because Tony mentions that the simple state of being is a very alive and energetic space.  So it is a destination whether he admits it or not.  It's just that we don't have to do anything to get there, supposedly.  With Landmark, you have to sit in a chair in a room full of a hundred other folks for 3 or 4 days straight, with some breaks and some sleep.  Is it possible to think our way into this energetic and alive state of mind?

Doesn't Religious Science proclaim "we are the hands of God doing, the mind of God knowing, and the heart of God loving" or something to that effect Kip?  Then I guess you could also say we are the spirit of God being?
Flag Mt_man December 30, 2007 4:02 AM EST
I wikipedia'd "truth" due to reading/responding to another thread on New Thought on truth, and then found the link to a page on Heidegger and another link from there to Sarte.

And I remember now that Heidegger is very lardmarkish.

So if you like Tony, you'll like Heidegger and Sartre probably, and probably also Landmark.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_and_ … l_Ontology
Flag pilahawaiian January 1, 2008 4:28 PM EST
It's the world is what's Blocking God Children from Seeing the Holy Image of God within.

If you do the Holy Teachings of Jesus, and get the world out of God's Holy Temple, God will return to his Holy Temple and Hang his Holy Image so you can SEE it anytime you like.

That's not all, God will Sing his Holy Praises to you within 24/7 with his Holy Voice.

And God don't stop their, after looking at his Holy Image within, and you open your eyes, and look around You as the son of God can see and walk in the Kingdom on Earth. How if the Kingdom on Earth is not JUST like the Kingdom in Heaven you took the wrong path.
Flag Bearsky January 3, 2008 9:15 PM EST
"I thought perhaps we could discuss some of the more subtle ways that we block the light of Ultimate Reality from shining in and through us in our everyday lives. "
-----------------------------
In my confused state I'm surprised to learn that Ultimate Reality doesn't shine equally in, and through, all things...the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful!  Dennis
Flag pilahawaiian January 5, 2008 2:42 PM EST
The Light is Blocked from within.
Flag Bearsky January 5, 2008 3:52 PM EST
Within and without, good and bad, god and and me....where there are two where is the one?  Dennis
Flag Nico1089 January 6, 2008 11:05 PM EST
hi--they are all one except for the two between "god and and me".
yes, reality shines thru it all. the light isn't blocked. it is, in fact, ultimately unblockable.--nicolo
Flag Nico1089 January 6, 2008 11:05 PM EST
hi--they are all one except for the two between "god and and me".
yes, reality shines thru it all. the light isn't blocked. it is, in fact, ultimately unblockable.--nicolo
Flag Dionysis10 January 7, 2008 12:25 PM EST
Hi, picking up on the God and me question, God and me are two when we don't have a relationship, we are one when they are relating.

Let me try to explain what I mean. When I begin to meditate my mind is filled with all sorts of thoughts, but after some time my mind relaxes and I spiritually sense a benevolent spiritual reality accompanied and I begin to feel a physical sense of well being.

My sense of well being is connected to this spiritual reality and I always find this spirituality reality present beyond my own concerns. 

When I have give and take with this reality I experience a sense of oneness with it.  In a Taoist sort of way, this spiritual reality is always there, but only when I can embrace it do I sense the oneness. I choose to relate.

My belief is that since everybody can relate with this spiritual reality, we call by many names, maybe unbeknownst to us but nevertheless every praying person is spiritually bound together in this reality. Where there are two there are many, but where there is one there are all.
Dio
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