Disinterestedness

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Lucylu
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Lucylu »

I expect some of the more abstract/ 'spiritual' ideas which we find hard to express come from our more intuitive right side of the brain, and our powers of deduction and verbal reasoning come from our logical left hemisphere. So, any work or practice which attempts to tune in to our primal feelings but yet remain alert and responsive to the 'outside world' must depend on the way in which the two hemispheres communicate and build bonds.

I do find the practice of non attachment lovely at first, but then after a few days, really, really dull!!! (No hope for world peace here then!). And the people who preach these strict spiritual practices are usually so rich they don't actually have to worry about doing anything anyway! Even Thich Nhat Hanh lives rent free, funded by donations! Perhaps if we learnt the practice of mindfulness from our early years things would be different, but that may be wishful thinking.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts". -Bertrand Russell
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Hereandnow
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Hereandnow »

I think one has to be a little crazy to have a foot in the door in the first place. Nothing thicker than a knife's edge separates enlightenment from lunacy, I like to say.
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Sy Borg
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Re: Disinterestedness

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Lucylu wrote:I do find the practice of non attachment lovely at first, but then after a few days, really, really dull!!! (No hope for world peace here then!). And the people who preach these strict spiritual practices are usually so rich they don't actually have to worry about doing anything anyway!
Exactly. It's respite, a relief. However, the lack of stimulation gets boring fast and the longer it goes the more worldly skills you lose. One can only meditate on a pebble for so long before one's world becomes as small as a pebble. There's probably plenty of time when one is old and frail for living in a small world.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.
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Present awareness
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Present awareness »

The peace you find at the top of a mountain, is the peace you take there with you. There is no escaping the present moment. Wherever you go, there you are.

Mindfulness is the art of absorbing as much of the present moment as possible, whether sitting quietly by oneself or shopping in a busy mall.

Detached awareness can be demonstrated using your own vision. Sit quietly in a room and focus your eyes on an object directly in front of you. Now, without moving your eyes, look at the room using you peripheral vision. There is a lot of the room that you may see without directly looking at it. The object you are looking at, is your attached awareness and everything else in the room that you see, is you detached awareness. It works the same with sound. If you are listening to someone talk, that is your attached awareness, whereas the sound of the traffic or the plane overhead is your detached awareness.

Mindfulness, is simply paying more attention to your detached awareness. It may be easier to do it in the solitude of a retreat, but it can be very fascinating when done in a busy crowded mall. It is an opening up of awareness in everyday life, not a running away from your problems.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.
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Lucylu
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Lucylu »

Hereandnow wrote:I think one has to be a little crazy to have a foot in the door in the first place. Nothing thicker than a knife's edge separates enlightenment from lunacy, I like to say.
I prefer the term 'special', thank you! Hehe!

I think its fair to say that some of the population find it perhaps more difficult to cope with modern day living than others. These people may be more easily drawn in to cults (and dare I say religion), addiction or crime and be seen as a drain on society as a whole. Labelling these people as 'lazy' or 'crazy' and telling them to snap out of it clearly doesn't work though. Also, its fair to say, that at some point in all (even the most well adjusted) lives we may find it difficult to cope, due to depression of some kind brought on by grief, divorce, old age, stress, social anxiety, physical illness etc.

I just feel that there isn't a lot of secular language in the area of thoughts and emotions and the complexities of how these interact. How do we describe how it feels to be us and whether we are happy? How do we describe the difference between our thoughts, feelings, senses, our intuition and the sense of self that all of these create together? I agree the term 'enlightenment' has spiritual connotations, but I don't think mindfulness does. I've been reading the work of Daniel Siegel lately, a psychiatrist who coined the term 'mindsight', for the above reason. He wrote the book 'The whole-brained child' and as it says on the tin, it describes ways in which parents can help children develop all parts of their brains and not become led or caught up by their emotions or thoughts. I just think it makes good sense to teach children these things early on, so that they can cope with problems more easily later on and enjoy more healthy relationships and lives. Its about emotional education really, without having to call on the more external, top-down, moral guidance of the Bible etc.
Greta wrote:Exactly. It's respite, a relief. However, the lack of stimulation gets boring fast and the longer it goes the more worldly skills you lose. One can only meditate on a pebble for so long before one's world becomes as small as a pebble. There's probably plenty of time when one is old and frail for living in a small world.
Well, I would call it exercise more than respite. Mindfulness, as Present Awareness said, is more like a mental exercise rather than an obsession or addiction to the 'high' of faith. Perhaps that high is brought on by oxytocin, I don't know, but there does seem to be the perception that if we can become enlightened, we can become a different person and be freed from our pain, which is obviously not a healthy reality to chase. Its certainly big business selling that high. We may as well just inject heroine! Much cheaper.

What I'm trying to do now, just as I might aim to do 30 minutes of exercise a day to keep my physical body healthy, is to aim to do 10 minutes a day of mindful 'meditation' (I use that word lightly, as, again, there really isn't another word for the practice of exercising your awareness). I definitely think it makes me calmer and I don't feel that I am aiming to get lost in it. As Present Awareness said, its not about cutting oneself off from our sensations and our 'selves', it is more about learning to quietly watching and 'play' with them, so that we can learn to understand and 'control' them rather than being swept away by them (not 'control' as such, more accept and deal with).
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts". -Bertrand Russell
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Hereandnow
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Hereandnow »

Lucylu wrote: I prefer the term 'special', thank you! Hehe!

I think its fair to say that some of the population find it perhaps more difficult to cope with modern day living than others. These people may be more easily drawn in to cults (and dare I say religion), addiction or crime and be seen as a drain on society as a whole. Labelling these people as 'lazy' or 'crazy' and telling them to snap out of it clearly doesn't work though. Also, its fair to say, that at some point in all (even the most well adjusted) lives we may find it difficult to cope, due to depression of some kind brought on by grief, divorce, old age, stress, social anxiety, physical illness etc.

I just feel that there isn't a lot of secular language in the area of thoughts and emotions and the complexities of how these interact. How do we describe how it feels to be us and whether we are happy? How do we describe the difference between our thoughts, feelings, senses, our intuition and the sense of self that all of these create together? I agree the term 'enlightenment' has spiritual connotations, but I don't think mindfulness does. I've been reading the work of Daniel Siegel lately, a psychiatrist who coined the term 'mindsight', for the above reason. He wrote the book 'The whole-brained child' and as it says on the tin, it describes ways in which parents can help children develop all parts of their brains and not become led or caught up by their emotions or thoughts. I just think it makes good sense to teach children these things early on, so that they can cope with problems more easily later on and enjoy more healthy relationships and lives. Its about emotional education really, without having to call on the more external, top-down, moral guidance of the Bible etc.!
I think it's important not to be a dogmatic personality, referring to the "top down" approach you mention. Dogmatic people are often very bright, even too bright, for once they have internalized something, it sticks and stays. The American surgeon turned politician Ben Carson comes to mind (and conservatism in general): absolutely brilliant, but fixated on a set of religious beliefs that simply will not quit---he's a Seventh Day Adventist!

Dogmatic personalities are plenty "mindful" but unmovable, and I would hazard parsecs away from spiritual.

Sensitive people are the most gifted, for their experiences can be so powerful, if cutting and unbearable; but also sublime, if they learn how to interpret, which has a lot to do with learning how not to interpret. But what is it to live life fully if not to live it with emotional intensity and nuance?

As to children, teaching them that they actually are emotional beings up front, now that is something I would like to see. To be mindful that life is joyful and aesthetically rapturous rather than just viscerally victorious: I think this is what we want to evolve into. Not a popular notion.

-- Updated October 16th, 2015, 9:00 am to add the following --
Present Awareness:

The peace you find at the top of a mountain, is the peace you take there with you. There is no escaping the present moment. Wherever you go, there you are.

Always gratifying to see that there are people who can think like this. I am not against progress and I am as part the collective consumer community, but I never tool these to be the be all and end all. Wittgenstein told us to shut up about things that cannot be said, and invited, for me, into a world of the real. We spend, in our living and breathing, little time with the real since language filling social space is such a priority. But the real! Emerson wrote this a century and a half ago:

To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.

See his "Nature": http://www.emersoncentral.com/nature1.htm
Belinda
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Belinda »

Present Awareness:

The peace you find at the top of a mountain, is the peace you take there with you. There is no escaping the present moment. Wherever you go, there you are.
Yes, and there is no need really to go into special bodily positions or do special rituals to be disinterested about vague or irrelevant goals. It's possible and restful to concentrate upon whatever mundane task one is doing at any time. Washing dishes. Caligraphy. Colouring-in of printed patterns. Natural dance.

Nobody can do philosophy whilst in a state of disinterestedness . Philosophy focuses upon things and ideas which aren't there in the room.
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Wyrdskein
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Wyrdskein »

Mindfulness is something I've been doing all my life without realising it. It seems it now has a name.
Belinda
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Belinda »

Wyrdskein wrote:Mindfulness is something I've been doing all my life without realising it. It seems it now has a name.
Young children do it spontaneously and some people never lose the ability. :)
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Present awareness
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Present awareness »

Non attachment, includes non attachment to the practice of non attachment. Everything remain the same, whether one is attached to it or not.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.
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Burning ghost
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Re: Disinterestedness

Post by Burning ghost »

Aesthetic, to Kant, meant something akin to critique of taste.

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