Thread: Lose your enlightment

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    Forums Member BlueFaky's Avatar
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    Lose your enlightment

    Hello board long time no see.

    Have you ever noticed than loosing something, like an object you like a lot, or losing money, or failing in your job does not only hurts a lot. It also helps to deconstruct this heavy ego=pride=personality concept we've all inherited?

    Am I just trying to find ways to digest my last big mistake or have you also felt like any bad lost/fail helps you deconstruct yourself and get closer to enlightment?

    Thanks

    Ps : this is not about encouraging people to throw all their belongings away. If what I'm talking about above is true, it only works when it happens accidently. If you do it on purpose it's gonna get wrapped by your ego and will lose any spiritual value.

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    Welcome back Blue Faky!


    Its really good to see you again, I've sent you a personal message (PM) but you might not have seen it yet.

    Its also worth noting that there are probably some extra forums or sub-forums on the website since your last visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFaky
    Have you ever noticed than loosing something, like an object you like a lot, or losing money, or failing in your job does not only hurts a lot. It also helps to deconstruct this heavy ego=pride=personality concept we've all inherited?

    Am I just trying to find ways to digest my last big mistake or have you also felt like any bad lost/fail helps you deconstruct yourself and get closer to enlightenment?
    I agree that different experiences in life can definately help us reflect about our attitudes to other people, towards life in general and our own ego - and thus contribute towards a more peaceful existence. However, I think think that the practice of meditation also plays a very important part on the path.

    Maybe other members will share their thoughts about this too.

    With metta,

    Aloka

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    Hi BlueFaky. You didn't mention what happens when you lose your hatred for someone or lose your ability to hurt someone or lose your ability to be unemployed. We can lose the bad stuff as well as the good. You certainly need to lose everything if you mean in the sense of letting go of attachment. You can let go of attachment to the idea, for example, that you can be identified by your job, by the things you have around you and the people you know. The Buddha wanted us to let go of everything like this, and then let go of the nothing to cling to which is left. When you let go of everything and the nothing, you get back to having everything, just in a different way.

    I read a lot about 'ego' on the internet, but it doesn't really exist so you cant get wrapped in it, or lose it or whatever, although it can be useful in some disciplines like psychoanalysis, "the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity." In this sense you can't be without an ego because you would not be able to interact with the world. in philosophy it is, "(in metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject". Here we might get closer to those instances of insight where conscious thought evaporates, but that is fleeting, and we are back to conscious thought.

    If ego becomes 'wrong sense of self' then I agree that we can change how we see ourselves and the world, but I think that it is the result of years of deliberate effort such as meditation and reflecting about your place on the path. You deliberately reconstruct yourself to be the kind of person you want to be, although along the way a lot of what happens arises by itself. You deliberately practice so that it arises in its own time, maybe even 'accidentally'.

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    Moderator justusryans's Avatar
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    Hello BlueFakey, welcome back to the board. I guess nobody likes to fail at something. Does it really have to be such a failure though; if you catch the failure and experience the positive stuff from learning from experience.

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    Forums Member BlueFaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    Hi BlueFaky. You didn't mention what happens when you lose your hatred for someone or lose your ability to hurt someone or lose your ability to be unemployed. We can lose the bad stuff as well as the good. You certainly need to lose everything if you mean in the sense of letting go of attachment. You can let go of attachment to the idea, for example, that you can be identified by your job, by the things you have around you and the people you know. The Buddha wanted us to let go of everything like this, and then let go of the nothing to cling to which is left. When you let go of everything and the nothing, you get back to having everything, just in a different way.

    I read a lot about 'ego' on the internet, but it doesn't really exist so you cant get wrapped in it, or lose it or whatever, although it can be useful in some disciplines like psychoanalysis, "the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity." In this sense you can't be without an ego because you would not be able to interact with the world. in philosophy it is, "(in metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject". Here we might get closer to those instances of insight where conscious thought evaporates, but that is fleeting, and we are back to conscious thought.

    If ego becomes 'wrong sense of self' then I agree that we can change how we see ourselves and the world, but I think that it is the result of years of deliberate effort such as meditation and reflecting about your place on the path. You deliberately reconstruct yourself to be the kind of person you want to be, although along the way a lot of what happens arises by itself. You deliberately practice so that it arises in its own time, maybe even 'accidentally'.
    Hi PhilG

    Thank you for your answer.

    You seem to be pretty attached to Freud's 'ego and id' scheme so I will stick to it.
    You know Freud said that the interest of psychoanalysis is to make the patient talk about his suffering so he can make memories and feelings rise up from his unconscious, which is located below the ego border in the Freud scheme. These memories when they rise up from below are immediately perceived by the upper higher ego, and the ego right between the two acts in mediation of that permanent up/down interacting. When the proportions of rising memories from the unconscious below equals the perceptions of the upper higher ego, the ego in between has a chance to breathe, clearly sees what the pain is made of, then the components of the suffering are deconstructing and fading away. The more you clear the unconscious, the less you feed the ego. This is how you can deconstruct it. By feeding off the structure he relies on : unconscious/ego/higher ego.

    The person who can do that starts to feel lighter, happier, and she/he is much more in touch with the present moment.
    The occidental culture and his adoration for the 'cult of personality/social status/pride/fame' is leading us to believe without the ego you cannot interact with the world but the Buddha has taught us otherwise. When you finally get you ego down, the outside world is no longer submitted to this unconscious/ego/higher ego structure. Things are just reflecting in your mind without any mental processing. You have reached what Theravada people call 'The great mirror wisdom'. You no longer feel like you are an individual. You realize you are part of an ensemble : you are everything outside of you. This is what you described as 'being rich again in another way' you are so content and in harmony with everything that you no longer fear death.

    Back to my post subject : 'have you ever felt than loosing/failing something helps you to deconstruct concepts', I guess I should start by giving my definition of a concept.

    In order to avoid this convesation go all over the place, I will start with a very simple example, I mean a fresh, virgin mind, like a baby mind.

    Just like your stomach can suffer if you give it too many different foods at the same time because it will not be able to separate/digest them, the baby mind can suffer when things happen too fast and get kind of 'stuck together' because of a lack of 'mental digestion/breathing'.

    For instance, a baby reaches for things around him, touching them, smelling them, earing them, tasting them, like a virgin mind discovering the world. Until the day he realises than doing something special with the things around him gives him more pleasure than just touching, smelling etc. For instance whe he hears his mother congratulating him more than usual because he's succesfully fit a 'plastic star' in the 'star shaped opening' of a baby playing device. His mind will link together the star with the playing device and the sound of his mother over-congratulating voice. This will be the birth of the very first concept in the baby mind : The plastic star.

    The plastic star is no longer a plastic star, it is also the sound of her over-congratulating mother voice, and the feeling of the pleasure he had from hearing his mom congratulating him a little bit more than she usually does. From that day this baby will try to make this situation happen again and over again in order to refind his pleasure. This is the very first brick of the personality this baby is going to build from now on. It will then remains in his mind, until the day he his mature/lucid enough to contemplate the star episode and sees clearly the structure of it. He will then realize the components of this concepts are sticking together because one of them is excessive and casts shadow on others (the sound of the mother voice congratulating more than usual) and then the concept components are detaching and fading away.

    Contemplating while meditation is one way of getting rid of concepts, but if you're practicing, you probably noticed than sometimes concepts can fall appart by themselves, without meditating. This can happen when you are forced to re-live/go through the circumstances of the original formation of a concept, for instance when you are losing/failing something. Let's say the baby from my former example gets older, he's found a way to fit many stars in many devices, it makes a lot of money and makes him very happy. Everytime his boss congratulates him, his unconscious gets in touch with the memory of his congratulating mother voice and makes him feel like he had great control over his life. Until the day he fails in one professional project, and the final component of his conditioned joy : the voice of his boss congratulating him is nowhere to be heard. Then his mind is forced to wonder 'why I am disapointed here, what missing component do I need to feel as happy as usual, and he feels a brutal call back and forced trip in his childhood memories.

    He has a chance to understand his happyness has always been conditioned by the sound of a congratulating person. Ignorance is finally beaten, and this conceptual tiring mechanism that has been leading his life finally lose its power on him. He finally reaches the third noble truth, the end of suffering, and he has another chance to stay on the noble path for good.

    This is basically what i was trying to explain when I said losing/failing can sometimes helps deconstruct this heavy ego=pride=personality we've all inheritedd. Because this equation is nothing but a big structure of painful concepts.

    Everytime I've tried to explain this to people the same argument comes up :
    They say 'ok you are telling me than studying Buddhism in like studying yourself and studying yourself is like forgetting about yourself right ?' Then I say 'Yes' and they say 'but if you forget about yourself , you will be nothing more than a living dead, how can you keep interacting with the world and assume your responsabilities in that condition ?'

    I think necessity is the answer to that. Necessity is the reason why you will still interact with the world when you're unlighted. Since you have reached 'The great mirror' wisdom, you care for the rest of the world as much as you care for yourself, and since you have the ability to see the pain everybody is suffering from, you know it is necessary to help them get rid of it. Your new responsability is to go ahead, meet as many people as you can, and teach them the Dharma for the rest of your life, just like Buddha and Jesus did.

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    Thanks for that response, BlueFaky. You have expanded well on your initial post and it's a topic worth teasing out like this. I'm not into Freud as I think his work gets oversimplified and it takes a lot of study to get into his terminology, although he is misquoted quite widely. Losing something certainly helps change your relationship with yourself and the world, especially if you are a Buddhist and can turn it into something positive as you suggest. Losing losing part of your self, or identity, getting rid of concepts and so on, can certainly be turned into a positive.

    I particularly like when you say, "Things are just reflecting in your mind without any mental processing. You have reached what Theravada people call 'The great mirror wisdom'. You no longer feel like you are an individual. You realize you are part of an ensemble : you are everything outside of you. This is what you described as 'being rich again in another way' you are so content and in harmony with everything that you no longer fear death." as the culmination of your Buddhist practice.

    Your definition of concepts helped me understand your initial post, and how meditation plays a part, but not the only part as it rolls over into everyday life as the deconstruction of the self continues. People do indeed misunderstand the process when outside of Buddhism. You don't forget your self but change your relationship with it, at least from my point of view. As your relationship with your self changes, so too does your relationship with the world. And so too arising the compassion element, where you want to help others do the same to ease their suffering too.

    Is my interpretation useful? Let me know if you want to discuss this or other issues.

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    Forums Member BlueFaky's Avatar
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    Hi Philg :)

    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    X
    Is my interpretation useful? Let me know if you want to discuss this or other issues.
    Ho I think you interpretation is brilliant and a guy like me (a 1000 lifes away from enlightment) should not be talking about this anyway.

    You don't forget yourself but change your relationship with it, at least from my point of view.
    My point of view about one's perception of himself is that as long as there is perception, there is illusion.

    This illusion is a big structure of concepts (emotions linked with memories linked with sounds linked with images...) flashing in the back of your conscience so fast you don't even see it unless you start praticing meditation (Buddhist contemplating meditation not Wellness clubs meditation). When you see it, you realize it's power is so strong you get intimidated (not to say scared) and you're tempted to surrender and find comfort in some Nietzche ideas like 'I am what I am, let's embrace it and make it even stronger by following my instincts'.

    Like I said above, forgetting about yourself doesn't mean becoming unactive and irresponsible. It believe a Buddha is way more in touch with his mind and body than a normal person. Because there are no mental formations acting as barriers between his mind and body. A Buddha succesfuly got free from who he was before enlightment but he doesn't forget the mind and the body. On the contraire his body and mind awareness is way better than a person who is still endarkened by the great 'I'.

    It's like these Thich Nhat Hanh words:

    “Please, when you breathe in, do not make an effort of breathing in. You just allow yourself to breathe in. Even if you don’t breathe in it will breathe in by itself. So don’t say, “My breath, come, so that I tell you how to do.” Don’t try to force anything, don’t try to intervene, just allow the breathing in to take place…." https://hackspirit.com/thich-nhat-ha...resent-moment/

    When Thay teaches << don’t say, “My breath, come, so that I tell you how to do'' >> he is trying to help people forget about themselves for a second and let the body be the body so hopefuly one day the great 'I' doesnt act as a barrier anymore between the mind and the body.

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    Hi BlueFaky. You sound like you are on the right track, and who knows how close people are to enlightenment? Perception is illusion and insight helps you to understand it. You then get to live your life knowing about them, which is a big step up from people still living in illusion and not knowing. One of my core meditations is mindfulness of breathing, so I'm with you on that one. The important thing is to keep talking.

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