Although, you are categorising her, as “higher”.
But yes, I agree that it is better to try to see past mental categorisations, whether positive or negative, but investigate ideas for ourselves independent of our personal conceptions of their source.
What is so wrong about admitting her understanding as far greater than mine?
Perhaps my point was not clear. In my opinion, it is better to suspend personal judgment in order to assess things with clarity of mind. Information should be investigated by virtue of itself, instead of judging them only with reference to our a priori
opinions of its source.
I simply think that it is feasible that somebody may exist that has a deeper insight than you currently have. Hypothetically, this person may not deny your experiences or current conclusions; just see them from a different perspective. However, as they would nevertheless disagree with you, you would therefore class them as “lower” to you as a result. However, in this hypothetical case, this would be an error.
With this in mind, it is possible that having the attitude that any differing viewpoint to your own is due to ignorance may, ironically, actually prevent you from being open to certain things in the future, should this be the case.
So, surely it is much more humble and useful not to assume this line of thinking, but instead simply investigate without judgment in all cases.
If you agree, then it is strange that you choose to act in contrast to this.
If we agree with one action, but do another, this is surely not helpful if we wish to rid ourselves of disharmony.
I've discovered cosmology and am invited to verify it as it exists in me as part of personally coming to grips with the human condition.
Yes, I realise this is what you believe.
I feel only that you should try to understand that this method and these ideas are not sufficient for others, like myself. This is because I seek “truth”, where I am defining truth as something that is both undoubtable and unchanging. Your method cannot provide this.
Your process of verification depends entirely on your experience. As with all subjective experiences, they are both doubtable and transient. Therefore, they cannot ascertain truth, nor represent anything that isn’t constantly changing – if we are using the definition of truth as something both undoubtable (or simply “known”) and constant.
So, in order to find something persisting and undoubtable (i.e. truth), experiences and what you call “verifying cosmology” is of no value in this regard.
Of course I may be wrong but what is wrong with verifying a hypothesis even though it is a minority view?
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is not what you are doing.
You often redefine words as you see fit – such as “verify”, “cosmology”, “empiricism”, “objective” and so on.
This choice of action, to use words already in circulation to refer to different things than they usually mean, create problems when you ask questions such as this, which implies that verifying a hypothesis in the normal sense has anything to do with “verifying cosmology”. The two notions are not really related.
Your definition of verification, which is effectively whether or not you “feel” something to be true, is not the same process that is called verification in all other instances.
In your process, nothing is being tested, no instruments are being used, no data pool is being collected, no comparative studies are being done, no repeated experiments exist, no variables nor constants are being isolated, no novel predications are being made, no independent verification is attempted, no publicly accessible aspects are involved in any way and no mechanism to remove personal biases, prejudices or external influences are in place.
of these things must be necessarily covered in what is otherwise normally defined as “objectively and empirically verifying a hypothesis”. It may be argued that you cover a few of these things; however, all are required.
Your concept of verification basically means that you have a belief, X, you observe the world’s behaviour, Y, and you feel that belief X accounts for behaviour Y. This is fine, and may be correct, but has nothing to do with empiricism, verification or any of that, even though you are using these terms. There is much more to empiricism, objectivity and verification than just induction (see the above list).
These are simply how these words, terms and practises are defined, independently of our opinions about them. You are free to research all of these things for yourself, of course.
In any case, you choose to continue to call it “verification”. So, it creates problems when you say, “but what is wrong with verifying…being objective…testing a hypothesis…” etc. There is nothing wrong with these things, but they aren’t what you are doing, you are just calling them these things.
There is only something “wrong” with your current method if your aim is to establish truth, above all else. If this is your aim, then this method would be of extremely limited value. If these hypotheses are correct, we should be able to verify them in (all) other ways.
However, all other ways do not verify, but often falsify, them. Someone seeking truth, noting this, would surely find this all very suspect.
You may choice to accept this or reject it and continue to claim that the scientific community is conspiring against you personally because they are offended by your beliefs. Whichever choice you make, the primary problem will remain.
This is simply that if, hypothetically, all your beliefs and ideas were false, you would have absolutely no way of knowing this.
In other words, hypothetically, if in reality, everything you are claiming is false, all your results and “verifications” would be exactly
the same. This is the difference between, and what is “wrong” with, you method compared with other methods. Whether you are absolutely right, or absolutely wrong, your results and conclusions would be exactly the same. This is really the essence of why your method is very problematic.
Buddha may offer a minority insulting view as to the human condition but even though people may be insulted and believe they are god, if person is attracted to Buddhism they will seek to verify it.
Yes – however, the two cases are completely different.
Firstly, the Buddha urged people not to cling to nor verify through their experience, which he claimed was transient and without substance (“sunya”). Your interpretation of your subjective experience, however, is the basis for everything you believe. So you part ways very early.
Secondly, many of those ideas that the Buddha expressed that are scientific hypotheses have been tested, and have been verified (e.g. interdependence, impermanence, lack of persisting essence in all things etc.). However, the ideas that you express that are scientific hypotheses have also been tested, but falsified.
Of course, you feel that this is because scientists and other seekers are insulted by your minority view and that a possibly proverbial devil has persuaded them to make all of this up. Perhaps, but this is a third difference. When you encounter problems, you choose to “shoot the messenger”, so to speak. The Buddha, however, responded to questioning by reasoning and presenting evidence to the questioner. He also encouraged questioning, while you claim that those who question you do so to a "horned companion". This is not related to what is meant by the process of verification.
Hence, “verification” to the Buddha and your definition of “verification” are simply too different to be compared meaningfully. So, really, there is no resemblance between the two views.
I detect a hint of disdain towards those who “believe they are god” (although I am sure you stated you were a Panentheist?). Presumably, based on your philosophy, you would consider the notion of one who believes they are god as arrogant or otherwise presumptive. Consider the thoughts of Rumi, who was commenting on the Sufi mystic Mansur al-Hallaj’s proclamation, “I am god”:
“People imagine that it is a presumptive claim, whereas it is really a presumptive claim to say "I am the slave of God"; and "I am God" is an expression of great humility. The man who says "I am the slave of God" affirms two existences, his own and God's, but he that says "I am God" has made himself non-existent and has given himself up and says "I am God," that is, "I am naught, He is all; there is no being but God's." This is the extreme of humility and self-abasement.”
Was Rumi also a man with an understanding “far greater” than yourself?
Behold this painted body, a body full of wounds, put together, diseased, and full of many thoughts in which there is neither permanence nor stability. This body is worn out, a nest of diseases and very frail. This heap of corruption breaks in pieces, life indeed ends in death. What delight is there for him who sees these white bones like gourds cast away in the autumn? Of the bones a citadel is made, plastered over with flesh and blood, and in it dwell old age and death, pride and deceit. (Dhammapada 147-150)
Some will say Buddha never went to Harvard so doesn't understand what we've come to know as to the greatness of man. But suppose Buddha and Simone are right as to the wretchedness of the human condition and people as a whole resist being open to the experience of it at the cost of collective mutual suffering, then what?
Then, as I believe the Buddha would suggest, we must not become attached to things that are going to rot, decay and fade away. Attaching to something constant, within something impermanent, is literally attaching to something that doesn’t exist – like a hand trying to grab smoke. What you may not have noted is that experience is included in this.
Contrary to the Buddha’s words, you are looking to find something stable and permanent from experience, whether objective or subjective, and verify various claims through it i.e. attain something else stable and permanent, namely truth. However, the Buddha is saying that we must not become attached to the transient aspects of reality, such as experience, as they bring only suffering.
So, it does not seem you have fully comprehended his words here.
If you would not consider me closed because of this, then you cannot fairly consider me closed if I do not constantly consider the virgin births in various cultures.
You say this because you don't discriminate between fantasy and a miracle. A flying teapot is one thing and the virgin birth is another. I cannot explain the theory and mathematics of a flying teapot but I can with the virgin birth making it a possibility. So for me we can experience either fantasy or a miracle. The question then is how to become able to discriminate between them.
If there is no reason why one should discriminate between the two, then one should not be expected to. There are actually more reasons to consider a flying teapot, as it doesn’t violate any laws of physics or biology, than to consider the virgin birth, as it violates many. So the argument doesn’t make too much sense.
That you can imagine a possible situation where said phenomena could arise, does not mean anything unless you can first prove why that situation would or is arising. Otherwise, there is nothing conceivable that could not be explained in this way.
So, to again place the problem onto others rather than reflecting on its source is not helpful. If you (or anyone) can provide any reason why something like this should be considered, then we will be happy to consider it. Until then, the question is not how to discriminate between them, but why we should at all.
Objective thought is vertical affirmation so has no denying side. Pure affirmation is timeless and exists in NOW. That is why consciousness is so difficult to appreciate. We try to do so from dualistic associative thought which is in time and cannot be done.
Another perspective is that all thought is dualistic, and associative.
The first thought, the primary thought, is “I am”. It is even necessary for thinking itself, as in, “I am thinking”.
By virtue of “I am”, the thought, “I am not” arises by relation. In order for, “I am” to exist at all, “I am not” must exist, and vice versa.
“Objective thought [as] vertical affirmation” is also dualistic. By it existing, “subjective thought [as] horizontal negation” must exist, even if it is only as its negation.
The very fact that thought takes places, necessarily creates somewhere where thought is not taking place (duality) and they exist precisely in relation to one another (association).
Hence, duality is necessary as long as there is thinking at all, therefore, all thought is dualistic, and associative.
I would claim that when people talk of “the ending of subjective thought”, they are not talking about a new kind of thought process. I think this is an important point, and why we should resist speculating or intellectualising about what they mean, but try to investigate it ourselves.
Associative thought is reactive consciousness. It doesn't require self awareness but only the ability to react. Human beings are capable of a quality of consciousness that can affirm our lower reactive nature and at the same time allow what is observing to be in turn observed by higher more inclusive consciousness. It is like a tree being observed by the inclusiveness of the forest which in turn is recognized by the inclusiveness of the land mass. Of course this is not conscious but I'm trying to describe what I mean by consciousness being defined as a level of inclusion.
Sure, this inclusivity of consciousness is what I was referring to earlier. I would claim that that the next part of this process is to identify the constant, the thing that is the same in all layers of inclusivity, rather than take the increasing levels to be the end purpose of this process.
There is no denial in this. The experience of levels of reality is pure affirmation. Denial begins when we are in our more common states and our horned companion helps us to dualistically interpret vertical affirmation.
So, the only reason people ever question you is because satan (whether symbolic or otherwise) persuaded them to do it.
I’m gonna go ahead and suggest that you might want to, just maybe, have a bit more of a think about that one.
Yet, to me, the most important question is the one you are not asking: who actually is it that seeks this harmony?
Initially it is a facet of our personality. However the results of these efforts can serve to nourish our inner life or the unique essence we are born with allowing it to grow. then our questions deepen and evolve.
I am sure your questions are much deeper and more evolved than mine. You’ll just have to try your best to humour me for now if that’s okay.
So, we have arrived at an answer: it is a facet of our personality.
Remember, our aim is self-knowledge. Immediately then, from our answer we know it is not the self. The self is the subject; “a facet of our personality” is an object.
We know that, simply because we observe
this “facet of our personality”, that it is not us, but an object of mind: a thought.
So, for you, as you state above, your next question is: what is the best way to do the bidding of a thought?
I would argue that doing the bidding of a thought is not virtuous. Instead, I would claim that we must go deeper into the investigation.
For me then, the question would become: who is the one who observes this thought? rather than your question of how best to appease it.
Hence, the very act of trying to create harmony creates further disharmony.
That is not what I am suggesting. we can consciously strive for presence or the foundation that makes inner harmony possible.
I know this is not what you are suggesting.
It is the very act of striving for harmony that creates disharmony.
When you strive for one state of things, X, as oppose to another state of things, not-X, you are creating disharmony.
There is necessarily disharmony between X and not-X. Harmony would be when they are not in conflict. They are in conflict. Therefore, there is not harmony.
So, there is no logical way that you can create harmony by creating more disharmony.
We can see then that, whatever you do, you will only create more conflict, disharmony and imbalance. This is why Buddhists call this the wheel of Samsara – it is circular, cyclical, a loop. You cannot get out of it from within it, this is the whole point. The more energy you direct towards it simply pushes it round faster.
The wheel of samsara exists for us because of our blind reaction and the tendency towards imagination and escapism to take the place of consciousness assuring that the wheel continues.
Reaction – this is the key word.
This striving is a reaction to what you assess as a disharmonious situation.
So, you reaction is the direct effect of a disharmonious state
, which is the cause.
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
You entire striving is caused by conflict. It is an action that is a re
action, or what is called “karma” in Indian philosophy. This process of successive reaction is called the “wheel of karma”. This is not coincidence, but named because it is “karma” that drives the “wheel”. As long as you are reacting, the wheel keeps turning. You are reacting, therefore, your wheel keeps turning.
As you acknowledge: you are a disharmonious being, acting as a response to disharmony, with disharmony as a means, thinking you will achieve harmony. Do you see what is wrong with this equation?
The chaos of our lower nature – where does this arise? In our experience, i.e., consciousness.
Our lower nature consists of three primary divisions: head, heart, and body. If we were balanced, head consciousness would rule and emotion would provide the force for the will necessary for the body to serve the head.
The chaos of our lower nature taken as a whole has instead allowed the body to rule, the emotions to be caught up in desire as opposed to will and all sorts of self justification including the dominance of pride and vanity over genuine self knowledge, and reactive associative thought that though uselful in its place, denies the consciousness necessary for "presence."
What I am trying to point out is just that all of this arises in your awareness.
According to you, presence comes and goes, balance comes and goes, chaos comes and goes and so on. Okay, that is all fine.
We are seeking self-knowledge. Knowledge of the self – which is the one thing that cannot be lost, even if it is not known. So all these things, that come and go, are not the self, which cannot come and go. Do you understand what I mean by this? You cannot lose yourself, wherever you
So anything that is coming and going, anything that arises and ceases, is not the self. The self cannot be something that arises. So, if somebody is seeking self-knowledge, the nature of how certain things come and go are not of any value.
What is more is that if somebody seeks stability in something that is coming and going, and thus is unstable by nature, then they are going to be very disappointed.
All of these are ideas about things that come and go, and the ideas themselves are things that come and go. You have an abundance of these ideas and you believe that this is an achievement. Okay. But, for someone seeking self-knowledge, and balance or harmony, more things coming and going are not of any use.
Remember what the Buddha said in the quote you posted above – “Behold this painted body, a body full of wounds, put together, diseased, and full of many thoughts in which there is neither permanence nor stability.
” (My bold).
So, do you see that all of these thoughts and ideas, which are impermanent, and the things that they are about, which are impermanent, is precisely what the Buddha is saying we must disregard, and precisely what you were earlier equating with man’s wretchedness?
As above, I believe that the priority is not to speculate on the how, but first and foremost assess the who and the why. If we do not know to whom a problem refers, and we do not know why it has arisen, we cannot know how to solve it.
I agree. Both questions are answered for me through cosmology and the distinction between man's mechanical necessity and potential for becoming a conscious necessity. It is up to me to verify it through self knowledge.
If that is what you believe, then fair enough. Some men seek answers, while some men seek something else. Just another one of those differences between us. I am not as interested in knowledge of objects, but only in knowledge of the subject, the self. So, my aim is not to acquire answers, but to rid myself of them.