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Tainan Mantis
12-19-2001, 11:17 PM
This question was inspired by Prana.
He mentioned that someone who had spent 10 years trying a motley of different exercises had wasted his time.

So what do you do in your MA training to help in the pursuit of your spiritual beliefs?

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 01:17 AM
I'll answer in more detail about myself when I have more time.

However, it is important to remember that Buddha spent longer than 10 years studying a mish mash of belief systems and ended up devising a very profound and often misunderstood system of thought. Time is never wasted unless an individual refuses to learn from his/her expereinces. Since time is ultimately an illusion or if you prefer, in terms of eternity, there is little difference between 10 years and 100 years, the waste is in the attitude that the effort was a waste. Effort is never a waste. There are merely longer paths and shorter paths. In an ulltimate sense neither is better nor worse than the other. It is the lessons learned from our expereinces that gives them value, not how long it took to learn the lesson.

No_Know
12-20-2001, 04:37 AM
"So what do you do in your MA training to help in the pursuit of your spiritual beliefs?"

Spiritual beliefs happen along with the things one does. Martial Art(s) training as with all eventsin ones life add to one's preceptions. These tailor one's spiritual beliefs, allow them to form, reform, develop. MA deals with responsibility of dealing with others relevant to Life and Death. You could get spiritual development from burning your tongue with coffee you didn't realize was so hot. This could happen here because you come to a realization. And the subconcious always relating might link that or something to do with that occurance to your understanding of (perception of) everything. MA is more directly related to things that test and relate to spiritual beliefs.

There isn't anything to do in MA training to help in spiritual beliefs besides train. You can try to find to find. Beliefs come with living. So live not Try to live.~ Development will occure.

TjD
12-20-2001, 05:42 AM
perhaps he was referring to the fact that union with a supreme conciousness is not enlightenment; at least not in the bhuddas teaching of the word


peace
travis

Cody
12-20-2001, 10:12 AM
I'd like to know how to get this thing to view a whole thread, not just the ending posts. Can someone help me with this?

Back on topic.
No_Know, I couldn't have said it better myself. You reminded me of a thing or two as well.

I do have misgivings, though about the sentence: "There isn't anything to do in MA training to help in spiritual beliefs besides train."
You are correct that beliefs come with living, with training (a specific kind of living), and that is doubly true if the mind is relatively independent. Yet, the foundation of some MA does have a belief system in the background. That might not make a difference in terms of the specific belief system you held to begin with, unless there is a conflict. There are some who feel that a belief system is part and parcel of the martial art.
The T'ai Chi symbol. People might choose to boil it down to body mechanics, but it is more than that, as you realize. It is one of duality of a complex nature.

While there is nothing inherently the matter with your statement, I think that there might be exceptions to it. It makes no difference whether the student chooses to avail themselves of the spiritual connections of a given martial art, or that of the teacher. By the very nature of the arts on a high level, the use of energy, there is a spiritual component, in my view, that might make one prone to having no beliefs except for the presence of energy which can be cultivated and plugged into (no one owns it), or to take on that on the belief system that fits it, or to continue in one's own as a separate matter. It is this last choice that gives most credence to what you have said in my view. It's not necessarily so, but it could be is how I see it.

As to the original questions.
I think it is possible to waste time by doing or considering things in a way by which nothing is gained and no progress is made. I know that not everyone will agree on what progress is. It is an individual thing really. However, cows chew their cud; humans don't. If, in all sincerity, one blindly works improperly (in a way that has no expected or unexpected benefits by virtue of its history and the current lack of results), time (finite life energy within one lifetime) has been wasted. The person might have been led to perform in that manner, or might be experimenting. However, past a certain point, I would call this a waste of time, and someone should stop the turntable.

In terms of spirituality. I would agree with No-Know that this comes with living, sometimes with the simplest of experiences. I also feel that experiences within the martial arts, in practice and being shown by the adept, can have a profound effect on one's spiritual nature. I had no deep beliefs to begin with. I am now an atheist, an iconoclast, knowing that I know nothing and realizing that no one is in control of these energies; some just have more access to them. This, along with another study I am involved in has fostered the beginnings of compassion and empathy which I had not thought possible in my heart. MA has greatly increased the amount of responsibility I take for who I am, which was substantial to begin with. In martial arts we learn that the human mind can be strong, but the mind and spirit are forces to be reckoned with on a completely different plane. This may or may not affect the beliefs one had or will adopt, but it will or should change one's relationship to mind and spirit in self and others, and possibly to beliefs in general.

Cody

TjD
12-20-2001, 10:46 AM
you said:

"I am now an atheist, an iconoclast, knowing that I know nothing and realizing that no one is in control of these energies; some just have more access to them"

so would you say its impossible to know anything?

or if it is possible, are you taking any steps to figure "something" out?

(i mean this in 100% total respect - anything that helps anyone become a better person is a good thing in my eyes. i'm just simply curious about this belief (or lack thereof) )

peace
travis

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 02:26 PM
I am afraid I have to disagree with much of what has been written so far.

Spiritual beliefs happen along with the things one does.

Spiritual beliefs do not just happen. They are taught, learned and accepted. Spiritual beliefs are frequently verified through one’s experiences, but they do not just happen because one performs certain actions. It is possible to gain spiritual insight through reflection on events that are occurring or have occurred. What one gains is not because of the event per se, but because of what the individual brings to the event, how they choose to view or interpret the event.

Martial Art(s) training as with all events in ones life add to one's perceptions. These tailor one's spiritual beliefs, allow them to form, reform, develop.

There is a possibility that M.A. training can teach one to perceive life from a different perspective. Indeed any experience can change one’s perspective. But again it is not the experience; it is what the individual brings to the experience that changes the perspective.

MA is more directly related to things that test and relate to spiritual beliefs.

No more and no less than any other event, activity or phenomena.

There isn't anything to do in MA training to help in spiritual beliefs besides train. You can try to find to find. Beliefs come with living. So live not Try to live.~ Development will occur.

This is absolutely inaccurate. Intense training can provide insights; however, the individual must have a spiritual foundation that motivates him to seek for the profound in mundane activities. He must be applying his spiritual knowledge and experiences to his training and search for the lessons in his training. Once again, insights don’t just occur on their own and of themselves, the individual must bring what is inside himself to his training and use training to explore himself.

Beliefs do not come with living. They do not fly into ones mind from without. They are taught and learned, accepted and rejected. Spiritual growth is dependent on effort by the individual. No amount of growth will occur if effort is not applied. The search for answers to life’s questions is what motivates spiritual growth. Without the desire to know we would not be motivated to search. Spiritual growth is gained through the acquisition of knowledge, introspection, application of knowledge and evaluation of the effects of the applied knowledge. Knowledge that is provided and accepted from another is not spiritual growth, it is blind following. Spiritual knowledge becomes yours when it is tested and proven in your own mind.

Development does not just occur. It comes from focused intention upon the desired result. Just living life does not provide anyone with spiritual development. If it did we would live in a spiritually focused world, which we clearly do not.

The T'ai Chi symbol. People might choose to boil it down to body mechanics, but it is more than that, as you realize. It is one of duality of a complex nature.

Here I am not nit-picking, just clarifying. The Tai Chi symbol is the Yin-Yang which predates Tai Chi by thousands of years. It is not a symbol signifying duality. It signifies a complex concept the basis of which is the mutually dependent and inherent oneness of apparent duality. Duality is an illusion. It is apparent from a specific perspective, but it is not the absolute. The inherent oneness of duality is one of the focuses of the Yin-Yang.

There are two main roots of spirituality in the M. A. One is the Buddhist/Taoist perspective which originated as exercises designed to harmonize the body and the spirit. The exercises developed into systems of self-defense through the course of time. These forms of M.A. started with a spiritual component and developed a martial component. Spiritual goals were the foundation of these styles.

The second root of spirituality of the M.A. originated from the warrior perspective. The purpose of a warrior is to destroy the enemy and if possible survive the battle/war intact. To accomplish this task the warrior class investigated means of enhancing tactical advantage. One can only train so much. Look at the difference in Olympic calibre athletics. The difference between winning and losing is frequently measured in 1/100’s of a second. The question became, “What can one do that goes beyond physical prowess to enhance ones tactical advantage?” The answer was in the mind. The warrior class began to introspect into the mind to discover what advantages could be gained. With introspection and metal development spiritual qualities became apparent and it was discovered that an advance spiritual perspective would enhance ones fighting ability and increase ones chances of survival. The warrior perspective sought to gain a tactical advantage and this led to spiritual involvement.

To the question, “So what do you do in your MA training to help in the pursuit of your spiritual beliefs?”

I would have to answer; it is more what I do with my spiritual training to help with my M.A. I had a strong spiritual component to my life long before I began M.A. training. Since M.A. is largely physical in the early stages of training, spiritual training is not that important to the process of learning defense. As one progresses, the spiritual aspect tends to take precedence over the physical. Of course this is a generalized comment. I knew one woman who began training in Aikido because she thought it was a religion and I have known individuals who added no spiritual component to their training. If one learns the spiritual component in accordance with the physical component as in some Tai Chi schools that is good, but it is actually quite rare in modern M.A. Extra-curricular study is frequently necessary. I meditate and study Zen and Taoism to assist me in my M.A., but as I stated previously I engaged in this type of practice prior to my M.A. training. The M.A. training that assists my spiritual training is the mental focus that I bring to my training. There are certain types of knowledge that can only be gained through years of focused training and performing actions 1000’s of times. The mental focus developed to perceive these finer details of knowledge can be applied to spiritual training as well.

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 02:27 PM
Cody,

I would be interested in learning your definitions of atheist and iconoclast. I am not convinced you understand these terms.

Nexus
12-20-2001, 02:51 PM
I started off feeling content before reading your post Scott and by the end of it I was hungry.

You don't need to understand black and white to see yin and yang. Is your reflection in the mirror yin or yang? Is a reflection of your reflection yin or yang? Your reflection "is", are you like your reflection or are you void and nothing? What is the reflection of void? Is the simple reflected as the complex? Does the answer to any of these questions reflect the question asked?

- Nexus

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 02:53 PM
What? LOL

mantis108
12-20-2001, 02:54 PM
IMHO, there is no simple answer to the question. The only thing that I can do to help myself is to practice. Having said that I would also like to share with you a story about Sun Luk Tong alledgely wrote the word practice in his palm as his final instruction (or rather his summary of his life's work.) Personally, I couldn't have agreed more one year or more since I read that story. The word practice didn't seem much a year ago (or years ago when I first heard my Sifu said the word) but now that I have further understanding of the meaning of the word, it makes literaly a world of difference for me.

Martial arts in most people's view are practiced for all sorts of reasons and/or for some sort of attainment. Nothing wrong with that because it helps regardless. But when the practice becomes a selfless act which is consistent in every sense to the teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism and/or Taoism, this practice transcend its original form. Furthermore, it acquires a "prayer" like quality that is beyond common understanding. Praying (the practice of Kung Fu)with selflessness that's true practice. That's what I do to help myself.

Namast

Mantis108

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 02:54 PM
Your reflection is Yin, the reflection of your reflection is Yin to the Yang of the first reflection.

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 03:02 PM
good one Mantis, I like it

mantis108
12-20-2001, 03:16 PM
Glad you like it, Scott. Thanks :D Yours is impressive as always.

Mantis108

Nexus
12-20-2001, 03:57 PM
"Don't become entangled and identified with the ten thousand things. You are not a thing like your reflection in the mirror. You are not an image. You are the original."

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 03:58 PM
OHHHHHHHHH!! Now I get it. Thanks, :)

Cody
12-20-2001, 04:30 PM
Scott R. Brown. Need more time to read and consider what you wrote. Will reply in some manner, even if it is to say I just plain don't know on some things. Might have to sleep on it. As for your lack of faith that I have a clue as to the definition of terms I am using to describe aspects of my nature:

An iconoclast is one who is opposed to religious use of images, or even advocating the destruction of said images. Another definition is one who attacks and would destroy widely held beliefs, accepted ideas.

In order to describe one's self with a word, not all definitions of said word need to be adhered to, just as in any other sort of definition and the varieties of situations covered. There is also the question of degree to which one will go or wants to go to achieve a given end or follow a way.

That said. Yes, I am an iconoclast. I do stand against many commonly held beliefs, accepted ideas, in many arenas. While I do not advocate chaos, and therefore am not an anarchist, I stand against or not in agreement, with much in this world. There are many ways I would like to see fall into dust, but I recognize that I have not the influence nor sufficient intelligence (practical smarts and a mind to hold historical perspective and push it into the future) to do this. My place in this world is neither safe nor fortunate, but I am here.

In terms of religious images. Well, images of many types serve a purpose, to focus the mind. There are icons, mantras, etc. Sometimes the temporary use of these are needed, but dependence on them does bother me. I would not seek to destroy another person's physical picture of "perfection." An idea behind that picture is something different though. And, that is where the iconoclastic nature is revealed in terms of what I am.

An atheist rejects all religious belief and denies the existence of God.
Again, that is me. I am not claiming to know, mind you. I am saying I do not believe, nor do I want to. I am not a questioning agnostic. I reject. I am living according to my reality, in which there is mystery for which I do not want what I regard as questionable solutions. I don't need that. I don't even think on certain things, as I believe them to be beyond knowledge at this point. I trust no one to know them either. I don't believe in a creator; or in worshipping anyone or anything. I have my own rules, very few, and bow in respect to a Master or to a homeless person with little education, in terms of their goodness, not their station. Prayer, for me, is a devout (meaning sincere and heartfelt) wish, to nothing, in no direction, but eventually turning inward.

That is my explanation.

TjD.
One perceives and knows. Knowledge can be intuitive. That is the hardest to defend. What makes one perception or knowledge more valid than another? Knowledge can come from experience which is not commonly shared. Again, a problem.
Of course it is possible to know. People can know how to knit a sweater, or how to move the body most efficiently, or how to do what seems to be the miraculous but is simply based on different knowledge. Knowledge is possible, up to a point.
There are things we define, but the definitions are descriptions. That is not enough for me. This is not knowledge of essence, only of apparent appearance which can be shaped by a mindset, or not.
Knowledge is a highly personal thing, based partially on perception, or on early programming (learning from example of the adults around us, at the very least), and/or on something else unknown. I am thinking on the connection of perception to knowledge, something I haven't turned my attention to lately. That accounts for the rambling. There is the burden of proof which cannot be fulfilled, not all the time, not in certain lofty questions. So, one knows what one knows, but what kind of knowledge it is is difficult to ascertain. There is a continuum here. It's not an all or nothing deal. Yet, from the tiniest to the largest, I don't think we have much knowledge, and that is probably fortunate.

The knowledge that goes beyond simple perception, is that the truth? For what many seek is not only knowledge per se, but the truth in knowledge. Lots of words can be used for this. I stay in the practical world, and don't think much on this in words.

No one knows 100%, but it is likely that we do have a degree of knowledge of many things. I guess that is one reason the scientific method came to be so trusted by so many. To be able to replicate a result with the same materials and methods, held a proof that something was known in some way. But, then, that does not imply that the reasons for something happening in the most fundamental sense are known. Frankly, it depends on how one's mind works and how nuts you want to go over this problem. lol.

I think you can take steps to figuring things out. There are subtle shifts in the heart mind and spirit. Can I make sense of it? No. I'm just going on and becoming myself. That is what I do. That is my responsibility.

Cody

Nexus
12-20-2001, 04:54 PM
Cody, I think you are onto something and you should definetely continue following your path. What you do is ok, and what others do is ok, so it is fine to maintain the foundation you have set for yourself and continually build upon ideas and grow from them.

In regards to replication...

Even the most advanced meditators cannot replicate an exact state of meditation willingly and confirm it as such nor would it serve any purpose in doing so.

- Nexus

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 05:22 PM
Cody,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Keep in mind that it is difficult to understand what someone writes without further explanation at times. We commonly use single terms in order to explain ourselves, but these terms frequently mean one thing to one person and something else to another. I have heard the term iconoclast mis-defined on numerous occasions and at times I have come across people who believe being an atheist means "No Personal God", but will believe in a lesser defined "Higher Power". You have explained yourself clearly and comprehensively.

I like what you have written in response to TjD I would add that what we accept as truth is based upon the foundational beliefs upon which we build our worldview. Change our foundational beliefs and we change our perceptiion and interpretaion of the Truth. A person who believes in a deity and one who does not can experience the same spiritual truth, but each will interpret and apply the experince according to their world view and thus potentially come to divergent conclusions.

No_Know
12-20-2001, 07:15 PM
"Spiritual beliefs happen along with the things one does.

Spiritual beliefs do not just happen. They are taught, learned and accepted. Spiritual beliefs are frequently verified through one’s experiences, but they do not just happen because one performs certain actions. It is possible to gain spiritual insight through reflection on events that are occurring or have occurred. What one gains is not because of the event per se, but because of what the individual brings to the event, how they choose to view or interpret the event."

happens along with what one does is not equal to, one performs certain actions. Reflection is the belief ( being challenged, confirmed, reaffirmed, disbelieved...). Spiritual beliefs happen at the same time you live--Spiritual beliefs happen along with the things oe does

"Martial Art(s) training as with all events in ones life add to one's perceptions. These tailor one's spiritual beliefs, allow them to form, reform, develop.

There is a possibility that M.A. training can teach one to perceive life from a different perspective. Indeed any experience can change one’s perspective. But again it is not the experience; it is what the individual brings to the experience that changes the perspective. "

"It," is what they get from the other experiences.

"MA is more directly related to things that test and relate to spiritual beliefs.

No more and no less than any other event, activity or phenomena. "

Looking at a cup of coffee...holding in your arms a person you mortally wounded. Scott R. Brown must state that these two things are no more and no less than each other in testing or relating to spiritual beliefs.

"There isn't anything to do in MA training to help in spiritual beliefs besides train. You can try to find to find. Beliefs come with living. So live not Try to live.~ Development will occur.

This is absolutely inaccurate. Intense training can provide insights; however, the individual must have a spiritual foundation that motivates him to seek for the profound in mundane activities. "

So you are stating that the profound is already there in the mundane.

"He must be applying his spiritual knowledge and experiences to his training and search for the lessons in his training."

Those would be the lessons that the training embodies.

" Once again, insights don’t just occur on their own and of themselves,"


At least theoretically, I did not mention "insights" in the stuff you started talking about.

"the individual must bring what is inside himself to his training and use training to explore himself. "

You're into your own agenda here. Holding-up my say as a front to get oout your would-like- to-says.~

"Beliefs do not come with living."

So, one does not have to be alive, to be able to believe.

" They do not fly into ones mind from without. "

Well, you're flying off the handle (again, the relevantness of your comment, basically, is not present, in what, on which, you are supposedly commenting~)

"They are taught and learned, accepted and rejected."

So, you're saying one does not have to be alive to be taught. You're saying, one does not have to have been alive to have learned.

" Spiritual growth is dependent on effort by the individual. No amount of growth will occur if effort is not applied."

I do not put any amount of effort in growing my hair nor my fingernails, yet they grow.

" The search for answers to life’s questions is what motivates spiritual growth."

Life has no questions. Life Is. People have questions. People have answers. Perhaps we search for ourselves. And while we might not ever Know ourselves, in searching, we might Find something to make living worthwhile.

" Without the desire to know we would not be motivated to search."

Searching is not necessarilly Required for living. It is an imposed upon habbit, perhaps.~

" Spiritual growth is gained through the acquisition of knowledge, introspection, application of knowledge and evaluation of the effects of the applied knowledge."

Do not eat from the tree of Knowledge-something like this somewhere in the Bible.

" Knowledge that is provided and accepted from another is not spiritual growth, it is blind following. "

En Arche ho logos...and the word was God. Humans didn't have word. It was passed on from God. So, Scott R. Brown, you say God is at least a poor source for information/ should be doubted and not necessarily trusted.

"Spiritual knowledge becomes yours when it is tested and proven in your own mind."

Discount passed learning... JKD for everyone.

"Development does not just occur. It comes from focused intention upon the desired result. Just living life does not provide anyone with spiritual development. If it did we would live in a spiritually focused world, which we clearly do not."

If spiritual belief is found in the Search, then your clarity is as Mississippi mud. -ish

prana
12-20-2001, 07:32 PM
Sorry I have missed out totally on this thread.

I am happy to see such an abundance of Zen-like minds gathering together. The teachings of BodhiDharma are excellent.

I am but a student, a practioner, and a walker to a path, albeit a different path that takes me destinationless destination. My faults and share of bad karma are the worst of all people that roam this board.

With regards to the iconoclast, I wish to hint at a possible level of Dharmakaya and Sambhoyakaya (I am sorry for using these words, but a quick GOOGLE search will reveal the meanings) involved. But on the Nirmanakaya level, it aids in the generation of Bodhicitta, and the wish to seek perfection.

Having said that, I understand these icons can be a hindrance to the path of Zen, and with that, I respect your belief, and wish attain great realisations on your path. I have my path and I have begun my steps, but as I said before, it is great to see the gathering of all the different teachings of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Scott R. Brown
12-20-2001, 07:42 PM
No_Know,

As is your tendency, you have taken a lot of space to say absolutely nothing. It would be more productive to think carefully about what you want to say and say it in a concise and comprehensive manner. Your attempts to sound profound only prove your lack of understanding. You have a lot of ideas flying around in your head. You have not been able to formulate them into any clear belief system as of yet. At least not one you can communicate in any clear fashion. I believe you have a great deal of potential if you can get past your need to sound profound. Your ideas are interesting but they are still in the formative stage. You need to focus on coalescing them into a cohesive system of thought. You are unable to communicate your ideas in an understandable manner. Think about your ideas carefully and write them out first. Re-write as needed. Start with a statement you accept as fact and give supporting comments. The common format is to give at least three supporting statements with illustrative narrative as necessary.

Your attempts to give constructive criticism of my comments are very inadequate. Please take one thought and criticize it. I will be happy to respond. This treatise of yours is so unclear and filled with stretches of imagination it is not worth my effort to respond as it is presented.

If you have questions related to my system of thought please feel free to ask specific questions and I will be happy to elaborate.

Nexus
12-20-2001, 08:23 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I truly have very little idea of what it is you are trying to say in your post No_Know. Some of it made sense, and some of it just seemed like a scattered response that had no point to it at all except to put words down.

I don't mean to sound belittling because I actually support someones attempt to learn from criticizing others as that is one form of learning. I must say though that if you are going to exercise that it would be useful to make it as clear as possible what it is you are trying to say. Profound meanings can be explained in simple verbages. I am not saying you are attached to sounding profound for we all have our own motivation for putting forth our ideas. What is important is that you "are" putting forth your ideas.

I have seen excellent posts from you in the past so I know you are capable of being clear and decise when you put forth the energy and effort in doing so.

It would be good to see some clarity in this thread.

- Nexus

TjD
12-21-2001, 06:21 AM
thanks cody, definately satisfied me there, except for one more question..

you said "you know nothing", and thats a phrase i hear floating around all the time by a lot of people, whats your "perception" of this? meaning, by saying you know nothing, what do you mean?

i do appreciate your response, and it sounds like your doing good things for yourself and others because of your belief system (or lack there of); so keep up the good work! the world could use more people like that

also, i have a personal thing im working on...

when looking at an apple i say to myself "oh! thats an apple"
ill call this a "perception", however, when i look at an apple; and dont say "oh! thats an apple", i feel that i can know the apple better, not thinking things about this particular apple that come from my past experiences with other apples, or other such previous "programmings" (to use your word)

now of course you can replace apple with whatever noun you see fit :)

anyhow, by not percieving things, one could say i can better experience the world i am in. however, i do recognize the value of spoken language to communicate ideas to other people (obviously or i wouldnt be here!)

what are your thoughts on this, or am i just spouting off random BS?
would you call this knowledge, the lack of it, or something else?


thanks
travis

ps. i'm definately glad to see this thread turn into some good interesting conversation, thanks everyone... if at the very least for keeping my day interesting :)

No_Know
12-21-2001, 06:59 AM
Scott R. Brown babbles--it's got information in it; uncunnected pieces that sound like something signicant as to the point of the post but actually aren't.

Scott R. Brown, I quoted one of your recent posts. Then I put a relevant comment. I repeated this several times. You say, that's difficult to follow.

Nexus, Scott R. Brown redircts the point away from what he has said, so I wrote to point out his wrongness in what he put down without using enough words to get twisted/redirected~. Note he didn't comment on even one thing in the body of my last post, even though he stated that taking one thought and criticize it.



"Beliefs do not come with living. "-Scott R. Brown

So one does not need to be alive to believe. Beliefs are things or a thing that a living person has. Only while alive does one have beliefs. Scott R. Brown basically says that, this is absolutely inaccurate. A sarcasm that might make sense here is, try believing while not alive.

Scott R. Brown
12-21-2001, 12:16 PM
No_Know,

I have been down this road with you before on other threads. You repeatedly use the logical fallacy of “attack the man”. This occurs when the person is attacked instead of the idea. If you would like to criticize the idea, fine do so, but leave personal attacks for yelling into your pillow. It reflects immaturity.

I have explained to you that you are not communicating your criticism in a coherent form. It is not the responsibility of the reader to understand the writer. It is the writer’s responsibility to make himself understandable. I am not going to wade through your incoherent attempt to criticize just to find the sentences that make sense. I am happy to answer clearly written and communicated criticism. Even though your last post is still not very coherent I will attempt to respond to what it seems you may be criticizing.

"Beliefs do not come with living.” Following is the full paragraph as I wrote it:

Beliefs do not come with living. They do not fly into ones mind from without. They are taught and learned, accepted and rejected. Spiritual growth is dependent on effort by the individual. No amount of growth will occur if effort is not applied. The search for answers to life’s questions is what motivates spiritual growth. Without the desire to know we would not be motivated to search. Spiritual growth is gained through the acquisition of knowledge, introspection, application of knowledge and evaluation of the effects of the applied knowledge. Knowledge that is provided and accepted from another is not spiritual growth, it is blind following. Spiritual knowledge becomes yours when it is tested and proven in your own mind.

If you will read the entire paragraph carefully I think you will find that it answers your attempt to criticize. In short, beliefs are learned and do not come to an individual out of the ether. They are a result of learning and introspection. They are not a result of living. Just living, without learning and thinking, will not provide an individual with anything but the most rudimentary beliefs, i.e. “fire is hot”, and “snow is cold”.

Here is the comment by you I was criticizing:

There isn't anything to do in MA training to help in spiritual beliefs besides train. You can try to find to find. Beliefs come with living. So live not Try to live.~ Development will occur.

The way I read this comment is that learning (beliefs) will occur of themselves as a result of merely living and this is inaccurate. Surely the simple knowledge of “fire is hot” and “snow is cold” requires very little thought, however we are discussing spiritual knowledge and this requires deep thought not simple thought. No major philosophical school or religious tradition was ever created out of “just living”. Development does not occur by just living life. It is part of the process of life, but life does not improve without intentioned growth. One must intend to grow and have a general direction of growth in mind. The individual must take active steps to learn and think about what they have learned. Information is not “yours” until you understand it apart from the aping of the words. Anyone can repeat words that sound profound, but understanding them and applying them correctly takes study, thought and practice.

No_Know
12-21-2001, 01:32 PM
"No major philosophical school or religious tradition was ever created out of “just living”. "

At least theoretically, no major philosophical school or religious tradition was ever created by anyone not alive~.

"Anyone can repeat words that sound profound, but understanding them and applying them correctly takes study, thought and practice."

Talking about yourself, again.

mantis108
12-21-2001, 02:13 PM
Reading the development of this thread sort of reminded me of a conversation I had with an achitect, an older English gentelman, who believes in Jesus (and in Jesus alone not the church). He reckons that Jesus is with God. All the amazing feast that Jesus did make him the only "being" that all men can and should follow because Jesus's power, according to this old gentelman, is God's power given by God THe Almighty Himself. His spirituality (note not religion which is confirming to him) is to follow Jesus's teaching as best he can. I have to stress this point really clear that according to him Jesus "is" real because Jesus HAS the POWER THAT IS GIVEN BY GOD AND JESUS HAS OR IS WITH THE POWER.

Why is it important for me to make this point clear?

Western religious believes (ie Jeudaism, Catholicism, Christianity and Islam) rooted deeply in the view that human can not and will not by any mean process devine powers. End of story. He who processes devine powers MUST BE GIVEN by special FAVOR and/or RELATIONSHIP to the Almighty. Jesus in many's eyes symbolize that. They believe the Jesus was born WITH devine power because GOD WILLED IT SO.

Eastern religious believes (ie. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) rooted deeply in asceticism, which might be the result of long tern agriculture economic based social structure. Epic stories of heroes acquiring supernatural powers through guided and unguided practices are reflections of these views. These reflections are consistent with practices of Yoga and martial arts. In short, orientals believe that human can and will transcend phsically, mentally and spiritually, their human "form" through ascetic oriented practices. Buddha's eight fold path is in essence an asetic practice in moderation. IT IS UP TO THE PERSON TO ACQUIRE THE DEVINE POWERS. Whether God(s) will it or not, a person has to be ready to recieved IT. God(s) will not or can not give power to a person who is untrained (ie Brahminism). This point is also strongly stressed with the Diamond sutra of Buddhism.

What is within? And what is without? How does that matter to you? What or who are you? To practice or not to practice? These are more pressing questions to be answered first then trying to relate to what is perceived to be cosmic. Just some thoughts.

Mantis108

Repulsive Monkey
12-22-2001, 03:58 PM
I would like to think that simplicity is the key. All I try to do is direct my Qi to open all channels, reverse breath for health, try and be good to all people, and try and practice every-second-Tao.

Cody
12-23-2001, 08:58 AM
to this fine discussion. not covering everything right not.
Sorry for delay.

Scott,

Re p.1 of Part 1 of this thread.
I realize that time can have a different look to it, especially during consideration of eternity, or even 1000 years by one who will live only 60 of them. To say time is an illusion and there is little difference between 10 and 100 years doesn't sit well with me. There is a difference to individuals or whole communities, unless they have been put in stasis for the millenium. And then, when they awake, will it be an illusion to find much unfamiliar? I often use the example of the Berlin Wall to show that time does make a difference; it makes a difference to those who wanted out before the Wall ceased to be a barrier, to those who died trying to get away.
That time might behave differently in areas of the cosmos, that perceptions of it can slow or quicken in the mind; that does not put time in the category of illusion, only as something poorly understood.

Re p.5 of Part 1.
I think that spiritual beliefs can just happen. It can be a simple as seeing one's self and others in a subordinate position in this life. This can happen during a tornado or by accidentally burning a fingertip with a flame. It doesn't have to be an intellectual interpretive event. It is something that causes one to look outside the self for causes of things that happen that you haven't brought about. It can be, and I believe was, a simple experience which needed nothing to be brought to it other than being human (for we speak of humanity here). It can happen from making associations between different happenings, especially when one is fairly constant, like the rising and setting of moon and sun. The fact that certain animals hunt at night, and other examples which might be even better. I allude to a simpler human mind in simpler times, before the organization of beliefs, before belief, the formation of a belief as in worshipping the sun.

I think that MA are more directly related, apparently so, to things that test and relate to spiritual beliefs because they ultimately relate closely to energy (cultivation and projection) and accomplishing via the unseen. The unseen is in the valley of spiritual beliefs if anything is.

Scott, I liked what you had to say about the warrior perspective on p.7 of Part 1. Hadn't found the words for it myself. Agree.

I am aware that the Yin-Yang symbol predated T'ai Chi. Frankly, I am not sure of this inherent oneness or apparent duality. I am not sure that the duality is The illusion. I just plain don't know. The day I experience the exact method, moment of transference of softness to hardness in an adept's body and it's outside effects; the day I experience this consciously, in terms of experiencing those energies (as two or one or many) in that way for myself, then I will have more to say on this topic. I have reason to believe on a couple of counts, that this way of thought is not where I want to go for an ultimate answer, or to be restricted by it. It is interesting to me though, re the practical example cited above. Understanding that each side contains some of the other. Philosophically, it is a most interesting symbol.

mantis108, (p.9 of Part 1), that "prayer" like quality. I know it. though, my way is more a further manifestation of self, rather than selflessness, which is not my aim. There is a sort of surrender, which some might extend into selflessness.

Tjd, (p.10 of Part 2), I like your questions! They are intelligent and to the point. I'm sorry that I ramble so, but if I tried to zero in right away, I couldn't think, much less write.
When I say I know nothing I mean that I do not see below the surface to causes or origins, or not far below the surface. Even when I do see further, it's not far enough, and it is never ultimate in nature or in terms of "origins." To give a very physical example. The table is solid. Yet, there is much space within the atomic structure within it, the atomic structure itself which gives forth the qualities we do perceive. We do not experience that. We have tools that can show it, and that is a special human ability, to extend our visual and auditory experiences to that degree. But, we don't experience it, except on a crude basis. Some things might feel harder than others, etc. (?)

You have come upon the barriers that language puts between us and our world. We experience something, but it might not be exactly as the word says; it might be more or less or different somehow. The word does not equal perception. It equals a description of the perception. It seeks to define, but the definition can change the original meaning, especially in terms of feelings.
Our fundamental perceptions are not based on words. The word is secondary. The word an overtake us, and can be used to persuade us that what we see is not what is. In using words to define something, we can lose something, part of our own experience.
The word is civilized or used to promote a higher view of ourselves as civilized beings, above the animals, of which we are part and parcel. It seems we have equipment to develop further in some directions than our furry friends, one being in language.

Language is a tool for communication. True. Language is not necessary for perception, which can be simply sensory in nature, or have a more complex nature (leading to associations which can affect the perceptive process).

Instead of "perception" I might use the phrase "verbal definition or description" for what you are talking about. They are very different, as you already know. You've got the right idea.
Cool post!

I'll be back.

Best to everyone,
Cody

Nexus
12-23-2001, 01:23 PM
Cody, you wrote:

I realize that time can have a different look to it, especially during consideration of eternity, or even 1000 years by one who will live only 60 of them. To say time is an illusion and there is little difference between 10 and 100 years doesn't sit well with me. There is a difference to individuals or whole communities, unless they have been put in stasis for the millenium. And then, when they awake, will it be an illusion to find much unfamiliar? I often use the example of the Berlin Wall to show that time does make a difference; it makes a difference to those who wanted out before the Wall ceased to be a barrier, to those who died trying to get away.

Time is indeed an illusion and this is not a concept easily understood. The reason it is not easily understood Cody is because we live in a 3 dimmensional world, which you pointed out using examples such as the Berlin Wall. Due to this fact, we view our world in three dimmensions, much like a shadow views its world in two dimmensions. Time is the fourth dimmension, and we know that in actuality all of "time" already exists in the fourth dimmension. This is why 10 years or 100 years is the same in the fourth dimmension, but to someone in the third dimmension, will only witness that time as a series of changes around themselves. The ego is what makes the distinction of time, just as you see yourself growing older and see yourself growing more mature (in some cases) as the years go by.

One of the concepts of meditation is that we are working ourselves towards the brink of seeing the world just slightly from the fourth dimmension. We are working ourselves in that direction by learning to live in the moment, and in that letting go of concepts such as past, present, future. Now in your example you said that a community or even an individual will experience the passing of time from 10 to 100 years. This in itself is true as these people are living in the third dimmension and of the third dimmension. This doesn't mean that because of this though, that the way they view the passing of time and changes is the way its actually happening, it is simply the way that they are familiar with it as they are perhaps not accumstomed to experiencing life through the fourth dimmension, much like a shadow is not accustomed to understanding length, width and height.

Either way, the point of understanding time to be an illusion comes from experiencing it in a way that is not familiar with the way someone living in and of the third dimmension would experience it. Having said this, this idea cannot be understood through words or intellectualizing, but only through practices such as meditation.

Through continuing meditative practices, many of these ideas become more clear, and we stop analyzing and intellectualizing about them and remain comfortable simply experiencing them, as it is easy enough to think too much and miss the entire point.

- Nexus

mantis108
12-23-2001, 02:17 PM
I found this piece on a different forum. Quite interesting... I don't know who the author is but very very thought provoking as you can see. Wasn't the first thing that God said according to the bible was "Let there be light?". Enjoy :)

"At the moment of conception, there is a light, an illuminated template in the shape, in our case, of a little human. There is a pressure on this light, and each particle/wave of light in the template, from the outside towards the inside. These light particle/waves are geometrically in the shape of donuts, like:
http://www.geom.umn.edu/~banchoff/script/b3d/hypertorus.html
and are called photons. Photons have no mass.

Due to the pressure on the hole, it closes, and inverts from the outside towards the inside, to the inside towards the outside, and the first SPHERES OF LIFE manifest into form.
These spheres multiply and divide around 12 pairs of meridians within the light template, which attract and repel the forming organs, tissue, glands, etc., to the proper place.
The process of birth is the process of crystalizing or slowing down light into mass.

All that is manifest, all that is perceive through the senses, even the huge spheres called planets, are a projection of light which has been slowed into form.

Now keep in mind, that Light, the 'real deal', is Still, like the fulcrum of a seesaw. Even scientist admit that clocks stop at, and mass cannot reach, the speed of light. Just ponder that for a moment,...why do clocks stop at, and mass cannot reach, the speed of light?

The reality of Light is, that from its point of view, it travels no distance in no time, and has no need for speed. We perceive Light upsidedown, just like the blowing wind, or a setting Sun. The Sun does not "set", it is us who are rotating, about 67,500 MPH, and as for the wind, I'm afraid the song is incorrect,...the wind sucks (check out the dynamics of low pressure). Likewise, Light does not move at 186K mps,...we move 186K mps slower than Stillness of Light. Light, the CauselessZeroNow of Life has not moved one inch in all eternity. Even the projection of light does not move, but only appears to move. This appearance of motion is the projection duplicating itself from point A to point B, not "moving" from point A to point B.

When you see a Star, like one of the Pleiades, you are not seeing the Pleiades as they are at the moment you are perceiving them; you are seeing an illumination from their past. In fact, any object you perceive is in the past, for all objects are projected light. Even the computer you are reading this from, or the desk it is on, may reach your senses in a split second, but it is nevertheless in the past, unless you are Being one with your computer, that is, simultaneously coming back into yourself as you go out, the reverse flow of foward motion, the way you become one with a flower (which I'll leave for another post).
In the illusion, this relative reality, we do not perceive the world that surrounds us, but the one which surrounded us.

Truth is not discovered in the 'past', but uncovered in the Now. The past are but conditions, and the future, an anticipation/hope of those conditions. Light though, is Unconditional. Light is in the ZeroNow. Light is realized as we let go of perceived conditions, and move closer and closer to the Causeless fulcrum upon which Duality's illusion effects its apparent motion.

Matter does not contain life; it simulates life by com-pressing projected light into form, and then ex-presses that form back into space, in an eternal pulse that seeks balance. Those who cling to a matter-based reality are not experiencing the world directly, but are viewing it from the past.

As for energy, there is no energy. What people call energy is the illusion of centripetal-centrifugal, yang-yin motion seeking balance,...which it never will,...for if yang-yin realized balance, they would no longer be yang-yin. Wholeness is not the union of opposites. As far as Light is concerned, opposites/duality does not exist. Its merely a projection, like the image on a theaters screen. Real Light is "Still" in the projector.

If one really wishes to understand Light, then stand for a moment in Light's shoes.

Let Light Be "

End of Quote

Mantis108

Cody
12-23-2001, 07:13 PM
approaches to the mysteries of life. Bits of a vision beyond the commonplace, are achieved by different processes. While I do not practice meditation as such, I consider my life a contemplative process; this began with intent in 1990. This life, this three dimensional life in which time is an integral part and plays a defining role, is not an illusion. Indeed, I am not aiming towards dissolution of ego, which I regard as a viable spiritual element.

If I were to examine dimensionality, I would approach via theoretical physics re what is seen and what is postulated from that. I would want to be able to read some raw data, not relying only on interpretation of it. I can't. I can't even get thru the interpretations. I don't have that sort of smarts. And, my mind couldn't hold the info. Drawbacks are obvious. One wonder is a liberation, not being weighed down by lots of data, simply because I can't remember or learn it to begin with. If these studies were possible for me, I would include insights derived in my practical experience of life, including MA. I don't consider this path intellectualizing, unless it becomes a continuous mind game, untried in any fashion in terms of use of mind to Do something. I think some analyzing is necessary.
So, I don't look at dimensionality as such. From a scientific point of view, the appearance of the fabric of existence, its physical form, time, can change depending on conditions, on depth of vision (for instance, seeing the physical via an electron microscope). This does not mean that appearance to naked eye is an illusion, only that it is not the whole of what is.

The fact that something can take on a subjective bent (such as the passage of time in certain situations as slower or faster) means that there is a more complicated story behind mind, time and other things. Not that what we see on the clock or in the mirror are illusions brought about by ego, EXCEPT in the sense that the image of our 3D world is misleading if one accepts it completely at face value as all that is.

However, I think your opinion seems to lean toward the primary definition of illusion: a false idea or conception; belief or opinion not in accord with the facts. You seem to have a set of "facts" based on meditative practice which put you at odds with the nature of reality as it presents itself on the surface. The fact is that the clock ticks; that people suffer over time; that civilizations rise and fall over time, as do mountains. While time, I've been told, doesn't adhere to the plainly seen strictly linear, that doesn't mean this linear aspect of time is an illusion, as in having no substance in fact, or that it doesn't require being dealt with on its own terms. Time is complex and changes under conditions, which can be described as an aspect of more than one dimension.
The experience of time is not an illusion; it is just variable.

While I have questions about time, especially related to precognition and possibilities of other lifetimes, I am not about to contemplate dimensionality. Dimensionality is a concept about which some things are known, mostly because of practical needs, and that is where I feel the foundation should be for me.

Given enough suggestion, data and "knowledge," the human mind can experience almost anything. Some experiences might indicate additional bases of existence. It appears that physicists have accepted the presence of a 4th dimension (which includes the notion of space-time as a fundamental aspect), along with considering the possibility of additional dimensions. Discounting what you see as 3D illusion sends up a flag for me because you deny a physical and mental reality as part of those insights.

Many of us have experienced in mind and deed what cannot be explained, what might not bear the burden of proof. Yet, these happenings or insights, might be entirely or partially valid (meaning what really did occur). I can't agree with your explanation of time and ego, but I do respect the sincerity of your work.

Cody

TjD
12-23-2001, 10:36 PM
thats definately an interesting read... however i seriously doubt it has any serious value

in his reference to the flower, im assuming hes talking about the buddha holding up a flower, and ananda being the only one to see it :)

the poster of that definately has created an interesting concept... but that is totally not in line with what the buddha taught imho; the bhudda taught about elimitating suffering and how to achieve this: through concentration, morality, and wisdom
(ie. four noble truths, the noble eightfold path, mindfulness)

i doubt complex theories about light coincide with these teachings, so if its enlightenment you seek; this probably isnt the way to look at it :)

however, im young and foolish - so if some wiser people would like to speak up and prove me wrong, im all for it

peace
travis

No_Know
12-23-2001, 11:21 PM
If you continue to look, you might find or notice that Buddha was more at enlightenment by means of suffering.

One must suffer to understand/grasp/realize. Some-such, perhaps.

Nexus
12-26-2001, 01:15 PM
Cody,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the post I wrote.

- Nexus

mantis108
12-26-2001, 02:08 PM
Dukha as a concept is quite meaningless and inconcievable for it to be a mandala. If it is understood as spatial-temporal enegry flux, perhaps would open more doors. Buddhism was based on Hinduism. Their practices have always been mind-body-spirit in one. Intellectually understand Buddhism, Hinduism and/or Taoism would not bring forth enlightenment.

Mantis108

Cody
12-26-2001, 03:14 PM
Thank you.
a good meeting of minds.

Cody

Scott R. Brown
01-05-2002, 01:14 AM
To All,

I am on vacation and have not been following this thread. I apologize for my lack of participation.

Cody,

I would recommend that you read Plato's "Allegory of the Cave". It will provide you with an interesting perspective on what we believe we know. Many of your conclusions, while commonly accepted as valid by the general society, are limited by your foundational beliefs that limit your perceptions and therefore your conclusions. Modern theorectical physics accepts time as an illusion as well as EVERY mystical tradition I am currently familiar with. The illusion of time is well defined and discussed in Hindu and Zen literature. Just because time and physical reality are an illusion does not negate the validity of experinces gained through these media. It is a matter of perception and how perceptions are interpreted.

I am still on vacation, so please forgive me if I am not prompt in my responses.

Cody
01-05-2002, 09:28 PM
Scott,

Up a bit I discussed definitions of the term "illusion" and how I felt it might fit here, and how I thought it was being used in another post.
I can't argue the blanket statements that are made cause I don't have the knowledge. But it seems to me that continued study of the space-time continuum, in order to better understand the nature of time, would point to trying to ascertain how the rules which appear to govern time under different conditions can be proven, and made to work for us re space travel and other practical uses. While time seems to have mindboggling facets, there is a practicalilty to it in the world we live in which will bite one on the a** if not attended to, respected.
I defined how time might be considered an illusion in terms of seeing it as we know it as the totality of what time is. If that is not the attitude, then, no, I would not see time as an illusion.

I'm not into reading philosophy now. I did that about 30 years ago, including Plato. There are certain questions I don't bother asking. And, as you know, I rather eschew belief systems. I'm not claiming to be able to answer the big questions, nor am I interested in being led along those lines. Actually, I don't give them much thought.

Sure perception is limited, for everyone. And perception is directed to a more or lesser degree in everyone, because of the nature of human development and where we seem to be. There is an immense amount of room for theorizing, experimentation, and for deception (purposeful or accidental). One could also see life a la "Dark City." I liked that movie. Not cause I believe as it says, but because it asks people to question what they are doing with their lives. Illusion figures prominently. Though, unless one is in a position to Know, it's a rather paranoid view of things.

My path is No_Path.

Cody