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Lucid living
#1
(08-23-2017, 02:04 PM)chuck Wrote: I realize for myself that the frequency of events like lucid dreaming or OBEs relate directly to the general state of what I could call my overall consciousness level. If I'm in a period of my life where I'm operating just above auto-pilot (like now) then these kind of events are very unlikely. But if I have an extended period where I'm applying concentration and meditation to living then they are much more likely. Why would one live one way rather than the other? Ease.

Chuck, I hope you don't mind I lifted this bit of a post you did in the lucid dreams thread to start this not-very-defined thread. I just really like what you wrote in this bit.

For several weeks there (maybe a few months), I was working on living in the now, and really getting into it and appreciating it. Now for the past 4 weeks or so, no matter what my intention is, I fall back into auto-pilot, muddy-concentrating and living. (Possibly being busy setting up this forum has been part of it.) I just find it fascinating, if frustrating, to see how for one relatively long-but-short period my "consciousness" can be set one way, and then at another in a very different way.

Which brings me to a huge metaphysical/spiritual question that I hope someone will answer for me. Wink

So spiritual way 1 is the way of seeking peace, acceptance/surrender, little striving and no-thinking (Eckhart Tolle, say). Spiritual way 2 is living in knowledge of your undestructible-eternal-powerful-higher-self-incarnate aware of how your beliefs create your reality and seeking to find greater self-realization and expansion, Experience, blissful living (Bashar, say).

Are these two things opposites? Do I have to choose one or the other? And if, like the Libra I am, I end up oscillating between one and the other, am I not sacrificing depth of experience and realization for superficial breadth? And can I do anything about it? And should I?
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#2
(09-05-2017, 04:45 AM)Ninshub Wrote: Chuck, I hope you don't mind I lifted this bit of a post you did in the lucid dreams thread to start this not-very-defined thread. I just really like what you wrote in this bit.

For several weeks there (maybe a few months), I was working on living in the now, and really getting into it and appreciating it. Now for the past 4 weeks or so, no matter what my intention is, I fall back into auto-pilot, muddy-concentrating and living. (Possibly being busy setting up this forum has been part of it.) I just find it fascinating, if frustrating, to see how for one relatively long-but-short period my "consciousness" can be set one way, and then at another in a very different way.

Which brings me to a huge metaphysical/spiritual question that I hope someone will answer for me. Wink

So spiritual way 1 is the way of seeking peace, acceptance/surrender, little striving and no-thinking (Eckhart Tolle, say). Spiritual way 2 is living in knowledge of your undestructible-eternal-powerful-higher-self-incarnate aware of how your beliefs create your reality and seeking to find greater self-realization and expansion, Experience, blissful living (Bashar, say).

Are these two things opposites? Do I have to choose one or the other? And if, like the Libra I am, I end up oscillating between one and the other, am I not sacrificing depth of experience and realization for superficial breadth? And can I do anything about it? And should I?
Really good stuff here Nins.

I'm walking on path #2 and it seems to work for me... Although I have no idea where the damn thing leads, and if enlightenment is right around the corner... : )
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#3
I think about this every day. I don't think either one is right or wrong, but they are certainly different.
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#4
(09-05-2017, 04:45 AM)Ninshub Wrote: Chuck, I hope you don't mind I lifted this bit of a post you did in the lucid dreams thread to start this not-very-defined thread. I just really like what you wrote in this bit.

For several weeks there (maybe a few months), I was working on living in the now, and really getting into it and appreciating it. Now for the past 4 weeks or so, no matter what my intention is, I fall back into auto-pilot, muddy-concentrating and living. (Possibly being busy setting up this forum has been part of it.) I just find it fascinating, if frustrating, to see how for one relatively long-but-short period my "consciousness" can be set one way, and then at another in a very different way.

Which brings me to a huge metaphysical/spiritual question that I hope someone will answer for me. Wink

So spiritual way 1 is the way of seeking peace, acceptance/surrender, little striving and no-thinking (Eckhart Tolle, say). Spiritual way 2 is living in knowledge of your undestructible-eternal-powerful-higher-self-incarnate aware of how your beliefs create your reality and seeking to find greater self-realization and expansion, Experience, blissful living (Bashar, say).

Are these two things opposites? Do I have to choose one or the other? And if, like the Libra I am, I end up oscillating between one and the other, am I not sacrificing depth of experience and realization for superficial breadth? And can I do anything about it? And should I?

Thank you for this post, Ian. My two cents: this need not be a dichotomy. One might seek peace at the same time as creating one's (peaceful) reality. One might accept and surrender that which cannot be changed whilst creating one's reality where one has the power to. One might abandon (excessive) thinking whilst not abandoning self-realisation and expansion.

Like you, I have had a period of expansion that has not lasted. Mine (yes, there was only one) occurred in the late nineties, when I was exploring the psycho-therapeutic paradigm of Transactional Analysis, at the same time as (very occasionally) indulging in the wacky weed. So much happened in my consciousness in those days that at one point I was ready to just walk out of my (rented) studio apartment and live as a transient - homeless and happy. But I didn't. That may have been my fatal mistake. Anyhow, there is so much to tell from that period that I have no hope of doing it justice in a limited post on a forum. I just wanted to say that: yes, you are not alone: others of us wonder about these sort of things too, and have periods of enhanced and then diminished consciousness.
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#5
(09-05-2017, 03:42 PM)chuck Wrote: I think about this every day.

That's so good to hear! In the sense that it makes me know I'm not the only screwed up guy here. Wink
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#6
(09-05-2017, 04:10 PM)Laird Wrote: Thank you for this post, Ian. My two cents: this need not be a dichotomy. One might seek peace at the same time as creating one's (peaceful) reality. One might accept and surrender that which cannot be changed whilst creating one's reality where one has the power to. One might abandon (excessive) thinking whilst not abandoning self-realisation and expansion.

Like you, I have had a period of expansion that has not lasted. Mine (yes, there was only one) occurred in the late nineties, when I was exploring the psycho-therapeutic paradigm of Transactional Analysis, at the same time as (very occasionally) indulging in the wacky weed. So much happened in my consciousness in those days that at one point I was ready to just walk out of my (rented) studio apartment and live as a transient - homeless and happy. But I didn't. That may have been my fatal mistake. Anyhow, there is so much to tell from that period that I have no hope of doing it justice in a limited post on a forum. I just wanted to say that: yes, you are not alone: others of us wonder about these sort of things too, and have periods of enhanced and then diminished consciousness.

That's terrific of you for sharing that, Laird. Thanks! Smile

After I posted (a little therapeutic), the sense did come over me that it need not necessarily be a complete dichotomy, although achieving that balance still feels like a bigger, uphill battle. (And yes, I know, maybe if I believe it isn't that hard, then the belief will shape the reality and it won't be.) I do want to continue working on the excessive thinking. But still it feels that if you want to be a true Zen practitioner or something like it, option 2 would get in the way.

I guess one thing that plays with me, listening to a lot of Tolle and Alan Watts, is that these guys are Zen or Zen-like, and the underlying belief - Tolle would not call it a belief, that's mental activity, but a knowing - is that consciousness is fundamental, but selves are illusory. But the extended consciousness phenomena evidence, which these guys obviously are or were not aware or (or interested it - that's legitimate, got no problem with it), points to individual consciousness persisting in some way(s). It seems that screw up the whole Vedanta or Zen thing.

I wonder how all those Buddhists (yes I know it's not all Buddhists who think this way) react when they get to the other side and it's not ego/self extinction. Do they continue meditating on the other side? Or because they are "enlightened", do they go to a plane where there IS next-to-no "self" or individual consciousness? It is a choice our Higher Self can make and we can either be an individual point of consciousness or melt into the oneness?
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#7
Good questions, Ian. I share your sentiments. I'm not sure what enlightenment as a transcendence of self even means when the rubber meets the road, nor what the self as an "illusion" means. Exactly how is an enlightened person different from a non-enlightened person in terms of "self"? Do they lose their personality? Apparently not. Isn't personality an aspect of self? So it would seem there is still a self there. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but then, I'm immersed in a Christian culture in which the personal is emphasised more.
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#8
(09-06-2017, 04:26 AM)Laird Wrote: Good questions, Ian. I share your sentiments. I'm not sure what enlightenment as a transcendence of self even means when the rubber meets the road, nor what the self as an "illusion" means. Exactly how is an enlightened person different from a non-enlightened person in terms of "self"? Do they lose their personality? Apparently not. Isn't personality an aspect of self? So it would seem there is still a self there. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but then, I'm immersed in a Christian culture in which the personal is emphasised more.
I'm not enough of an expert on these matters to know. For one thing, Enlightenment means different things according to different Eastern traditions. Some have an ego-purified Self, some not. Some, like some Indian ones, on more based on supposed knowledge of you really are (and/or are not), through introspection and other techniques, some are more about a practical experience of non-mind and not about introspection (Zen).

The self isn't always identified with the personality as a concept. I think it often means a metaphysical category, often, or something like it. Eckhart Tolle oftens defines enlightenment as freeing yourself from complete identification with your mind patterns and whatever gives you your identity (some partial identification is OK, as you continue living with your "personality", but if you are enlightened you alternate that with a true sense of living the present moment where you are not your mind - and know that mindless being is the greater, deeper part of you, unlike the personality that will die). Apologies to Eckhart if I'm getting some of this wrong. He says he's himself 80% of the time in Presence, 20% in the world (but always with presence in the background). He says 50/50 is very good for most people, 10 or 20% is already a vastly greater % than the great majority of people.

Eckhart Tolle's definition speaks to me, and he does seem to be perfectly enlightened according to his decision. He was interviewed by someone and responded to questions about that. He always resides in presence, meaning is never in "reactivity" (getting completely lost in thought or emotional reaction). He was interviewed by someone about that and he said one thing that does happens is that he'll occasionally have tears when an animal or a human is abused, but even at those times in the background is still stillness, a perspective that lets him know this is all a play of the various eternally shifting forms of the one fundamental consciousness. (I've got the video if ever you want to see it).
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