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Thread: Is Enlightenment Delusional?

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    Is Enlightenment Delusional?

    Hardcore Zen's latest YouTube post is about how enlightenment can be seen as a mental delusion

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnnUaUWgTAo.

    A favorite topic of mine. As I was watching I began thinking that, even if some people are 'right' in their 'scientific' view of what happens as you meditate your way to insight, does it matter? What about the conclusion at the end?

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    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Hi, philg.

    It is probably not hard to discern the difference between a well developed psychotic and those known to be enlightened.

    There is a biblical saying which makes the difference clear: "You know the tree by its fruit."

    1. What an enlightened being teaches us actually works to the benefit of reducing our suffering, dissatisfaction, stress, pain and eliminates the need for rebirth. That is the nature of their fruit.

    2. What psychotics teach / advize / require of us usually leads to more suffering, stress, dissatisfaction, and all manner of hell realms for the living. Just stroll through any mental institution and you will be able to observe exactly what I said for yourself. Read the historical documentation of the effects laid down by maniacal and/or psychotic leaders and the reported evidence of how their intentional actions foisted massive suffering and hells upon humanity clearly and apparent. Nero and Caligula are just a few that come to mind. But there were far more whose mind's were filled with greed, the lust for power, and even thought of themselves as gods, who literally caused unimaginable suffering for both their enemies and their followers.

    No such abuse has ever been noted to have occurred due to the actions of Buddhas and Arahants, those we call enlightened.
    Last edited by Olderon; 27 Apr 18 at 20:26.

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    Did you watch the video, Ron ? What did you think about what Brad Warner said ?




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    Forums Member ancientbuddhism's Avatar
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    Assuming Enlightenment = Nibbāna, or as Warner put it “…this sort of quest for Buddhist whatever you call it…”.

    I agree that there can arise a great deal of delusion about what is experienced in classical Buddhist meditation. A person can read (or back-read) into their own practice from what is in the suttas or personal accounts of others and suffer all sorts of confusion. Yet if approached with the proper guidance meditation is the necessary and very accurate tool for seeing directly exactly how ones delusions arise, change and fall to arise into another.

    I had approached Buddhism through Zen over 30 years ago and was given very simple introductory instructions; just sit, don’t read books on Buddhism for 5 years. I wanted so much to get this that I followed those and engaged in a twice daily sitting practice around a work schedule. Sometime well after 5 years, when I was reading Buddhist material, I told my teacher that much of these resonated with what I had discovered in practice. I was then told that if I was to read books on Buddhism and meditation early on that one of two delusions could possibly occur; one, that I would be discouraged if the results of my practice did not meet some artificial expectation thusly ‘rolling-up-the-mat’ as it were, or worse that I would strongly identify with what I read and falsely infer that I had attainments I did not.

    On the bookshelf behind Warner is a book by P.K. Dick ‘A Scanner Darkly’ punning on a quote befitting this topic from 1 Corinthians 13:12

    “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

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    This interpretation is all the more interesting because Dr Jill Bolte Taylor is back in the news,

    https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/fashion/25brain.html .

    She's the one whose stroke affected the so-called 'god area' of the brain. As a Harvard neuroscientist she knows what happened, but still values the experience.

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    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Did you watch the video, Ron ? What did you think about what Brad Warner said ?



    Hi, Aloka:

    Tried to watch the video, but fell quickly asleep. "Zzzzzzzzzzz"...and (Snoring sounds)

    Did you notice how many times Brad used the word "I" ?

    My last response was directed to philg's post and not the video.

    My impression is that Brad seems to be attached to his opinions, which may inevitably result in suffering. ; )

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    Did you notice how many times Brad used the word "I" ?
    Not relevant to the topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    My impression is that Brad seems to be attached to his opinions, which may inevitably result in suffering.
    Lol, yet you didn't even bother to listen to the video and claim to have fallen asleep! (see quote below).


    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    Tried to watch the video, but fell quickly asleep. "Zzzzzzzzzzz"...and (Snoring sounds)

    Personally I quite like some of Brad Warner's videos and blog posts.

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    Forums Member ancientbuddhism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    My impression is that Brad seems to be attached to his opinions, which may inevitably result in suffering.
    I was a little piqued by that too, yet Warner did present well an important question that comes up in discussion fora ocasionally. I like how he gave the devil his due with reference to the email and put those doubts in there place as irrelevant where the opinions of the pedestrian reader meets with the experience of the practitioner.
    Last edited by ancientbuddhism; 28 Apr 18 at 13:10.

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    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    I thought he gave a well thought out answer to a series of very difficult questions. I didn’t necessarily agree with all his conclusions but I didn’t have any better to offer.

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    Forums Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    I enjoyed watching the video but I question whether awakening really consists in knowledge arising from some experience of a “deeper” reality. My current thinking is that any experience in meditation is of purely instrumental value insofar as it leads to the subsidence of greed, hate, and delusion (delusion being ignorance of the 4 noble truths and being under the influence of the 4 vipallasas). Of course, I haven’t had any experiences in meditation akin to what Brad was talking about so to that extent my current thinking is uninformed.

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