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Mardale
24 Aug 12, 22:02
Hi

my name is Neil, I live in Cumbria, England.

Always interested in spiritual investigations and in Buddhism. A recent major bereavement has stimulated this again. For me, the various 'religions' are different ways up the mountain. The mountain, I suspect, is a matter of human evolution or transformation, achieved through the transformation of consciousness. We've got to the point where we have these sophisticated individualised consciousnesses, and our task now is to transcend this. Or not. We may be at a critical point, where if we don't rise above, we have the potential to become a bit of a monstrosity. Well, look around you. Maybe we are already a monstrosity, a kind of supercharged ape laying waste to the world!

I think perhaps that though we might have evolved to the current point in a kind of automatic way through natural selection and all that, the next step involves an act of will, of right effort. Perhaps that is what these individualised consciousnesses we call selves, or egos, are in fact for. Maybe we wouldn't be able to take the next step without being self-aware. Maybe the poiunt of the ego is that it can transcend itself by an act of will - maybe that's the spiritual path?

One issue I have with religious teachings is that they seem to be somewhat negative in their portrayal of the world and the self. I can see that this is motivational, based on the imperative to make people realise the urgency of the need to transcend. But for me the world and the ego and all that are neither good nor bad - they are just here. The self is a stage we may be able to move on up from, but it has its place, like the early part of a spaceship that gets jettisoned when the rocket gets to a certain height. I now know better than I did when I was a child but I don't regard my child-self as evil, it's just a stage I had to go through.

I think humanity is at a kind of crucial stage: we can't go back to being beasts who are just part of the natural world we have risen out of. But then it's so very hard to follow the path of spirituality. Meanwhile we are restless, lost, neither ape nor angel, a kind of adolescent creature. Maybe we are so troubled because we are not meant to abide in this state - maybe we are meant to strive for something better.

Sorry for all that pompous drivel! That's all it is, mere portentous words. This seems like an interesting place with some sensible as well as learned people. For me, I am looking for something natural, simple, quiet, real and compassionate. I think there is all that in Buddhist ways, alongside a lot of complex ritual and accretions as in any tradition.

For me what resonates is that old story of the man with an arrow in him. The thing is, to get the arrow out.

Like, we are going to die. What do we do about it? Here we are, in this beautiful and terrible world. What are we going to do about that? Now.

Once again, sorry for all this drivel!

Aloka
24 Aug 12, 22:13
Hello Neil,

Welcome to BWB !

With kind wishes

Aloka ;D

woodscooter
25 Aug 12, 10:31
Hi Mardale

Welcome to Buddhism Without Boundaries


Woodscooter

fivebells
26 Aug 12, 19:04
Nice to meet you, Neil.


I am looking for something natural, simple, quiet, real and compassionate. I think there is all that in Buddhist ways, alongside a lot of complex ritual and accretions as in any tradition.

For me what resonates is that old story of the man with an arrow in him. The thing is, to get the arrow out.

Like, we are going to die. What do we do about it? Here we are, in this beautiful and terrible world. What are we going to do about that? Now.!

What are you doing about it, out of curiosity?

Mardale
26 Aug 12, 20:24
Nice to meet you, Neil.



What are you doing about it, out of curiosity?

Mainly wondering if there is anything we can do, I suppose. I recently watched my mother die and that has made me think I ought to do something. But what?

I don't mean lots of deep thinking, creative writing, walking in the mountains, trying to live a decent life. I mean, is there anything more you can do?

I don't have any answers whatever to the great indigestible facts of life, like death. How can a person be here, and then gone? Is that like one of your Zen koans? Can death be an opportunity? Can we use all the energy and the massive conundrum of death to empower us to do something?

Who knows?

Aloka
26 Aug 12, 20:32
How can a person be here, and then gone? Is that like one of your Zen koans? Can death be an opportunity? Can we use all the energy and the massive conundrum of death to empower us to do something?


Hi Neil,

If you would like to start a new topic about this, please feel free to do so in one of our main forums . (This welcome forum is mainly just for new members to introduce themselves )

Hope you enjoy the website.

with kind wishes,

Aloka

PS

I was born in Cumbria.

Mardale
26 Aug 12, 20:37
Thanks, I immediately thought that's what I should have done!

Aloka
26 Aug 12, 21:42
Post from Fivebells moved to "Death" topic:

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?3243-Death&p=51809#post51809