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Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:36 pm
by Tara
It's rather a sadistic thought to wish that your loved ones will still be alive somewhere after death. I don't want to think that my loved ones who have died are wandering around in unknown places, lost and feeling pain, like they are doing sometimes when you dream of them.

Where did we get this idea that people live in realms after death? Probably from our dreams. But what can we really know as true or useful from dreams? I would think very little. And to base our ideas of life around fleeting phantasms doesn't seem wise to me.

The primary realization in life seems to be this: all ideas are man-made; therefore, we are free to adopt good ideas, and abandon bad ones. There is nothing holy about the ideas that come to us from the past; rather, they seem to me most unholy in fact. I would as soon abandon them all, and start all over, designing our life free of the evils of the past.

Since we have no proof that life exists beyond death, why should we believe it as true, especially since it leads to sadistic, painful, crazy thoughts? Before we know it, we'll start thinking we need to contact our loved ones after they die, and go to a seance. That is definitely crazy. Better to think that the pain of life ceases at death, and get on with life as life tells us it should be. As in providing ourselves with plenty of food, shelter, companionship, and other useful things that don't harm the planet.

It seems to me that intelligence comes from one place and one place only, and it isn't the realm of imagination or yearning or desire; it comes from nature. Only real things can speak to you. All imagination is a dead end.

Re: Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:58 pm
by Tara
Breathing has a lot of power. When you meditate on your breath going in and out, other thoughts disappear, because they aren't real, while your breath is real. That's why breath has power. Real things always have power over unreal things. We can pretend that the real doesn't exist, and assert our right to believe, but that's a fool's game, and nature will soon let you know that you need to start paying attention to what's real.

Anyway, the point is that if you want to get rid of worrying, stupid, harassing thoughts, just focus on your breath; they won't be able to compete. You don't have to do it forever, just enough to calm down and maybe go to sleep, or make love.

Re: Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:43 am
by Tara
It's rather ridiculous to think of India as any kind of spiritual leader when they still have a caste system, which is another form of slavery, and child labor in the most dangerous of occupations: mining. This absolutely should not be allowed. The world community should refuse to let India sit at the table of any meeting of civilized nations until they rid themselves forever of these barbaric practices.

-- India's Childhood in the "Pits": A Report on the Impacts of Mining on Children in India, by Dhaatri Resource Centre for Women and Children -- Samata HAQ: Centre for Child Rights

Re: Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:47 am
by Tara
We dream of both the living and the dead, and other people as well that we’ve never met in real life before. But when we dream of our loved ones who are still alive, whether the dream is happy or sad or somewhere inbetween, when we wake up, we think “Oh, that was just a dream – forget about it!” We don’t think, “Oh, this loved one who is still alive is wandering somewhere in the bardo. How very, very sad." But when we dream of our loved ones who have died, we give those dreams extra significance, because of the sorrow and concern we feel for these dead loved ones. And it is then that we think, “Oh, how sad that this loved one who has died is wandering in unknown realms.”

So by making the comparison, we can see that it is just our sorrow that has produced this particular feeling that our loved ones are still alive somewhere after death. And that’s our mind, our emotions, and our body producing that perhaps wrong understanding.

You can only come to two conclusions when you compare your reactions to these two different kinds of dreams: either EVERYONE is wandering in unknown, strange, lonely realms, or else NOBODY is. Personally, I tend towards the first conclusion, but even if it were true, that we are all wandering in spaces unknown, how would that help us in real life to get what we need to live well? Personally, I hate what turns out to be mere philosophical speculation. My husband asserts that this kind of understanding could be very useful for perhaps producing art, or wanting to get out of bed every morning, or helping us find "meaning" in life.

Personally, it does nothing for me. I've seen what happens when people go off on a crazy idea: it just never seems to end. And before you know it, the idea has completely eclipsed reality, and we are all starving to death.

Re: Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:25 pm
by Tara
Gravity is the strongest force in the universe. Gravity is proof that Nihilism as a philosophy is complete bullshit. Whatever is exploded into particles is preserved, and gathered together again into gravity to explode again into form and matter. Even when galaxies explode, and turn into fragmentary forms, the fragmentary forms hold together. Holding together is the rule. Even when you can't see the matter, it's there, as dark matter.

Why Did Buddha Tell His Disciples Not to Record His Teachings In Writing?

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:11 am
by Admin
Everybody knows that Buddha told his disciples not to write his teachings down. But people gloss over it. They’re like -- why get in the way of a good thing? We have Buddhist literature. We enjoy it. We’re obsessed with it. Why should we bother ourselves with the fact that Buddha said he’d rather no such thing exist? Just go ahead in marinate in this forbidden pleasure, telling yourself that, but for the written record, you’d have no way of thinking about Buddhism at all.

See how troublesome this question is? Perhaps you were right to ignore it. If you’re beginning to think that, it’s not too late to turn back. Stalwart seekers, stay with me.

Why did the Buddha tell his disciples not to record his teachings? One of the most obvious possibilities took a long time to conceive, because I was too reverent. Maybe he was illiterate, like the Ch’an Sixth Patriarch, Hui Neng. If so, he wouldn’t want people to write his doctrine down, as they might misrepresent his teachings, and he wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at the writing. His teaching would get away from him. That is actually my favorite real-world explanation. But there may have been more reasons for the no-writing injunction.

Requiring his students to remember his teachings by oral repetition would have been natural, since the Vedas were passed on in that way from one Brahmin generation to the next, and Buddha was born a Brahmin. Thus, he may have wanted his teachings to receive equal dignity with the Vedas. “While the Vedas have also been passed down in written form, their principal authority abides in orality: the power of the mantras is realized only when they are chanted out loud.”[1] We think, “Wow, why would he want to subject his words to the impermanence of human memory?” He might have thought quite differently, more along the lines of, “My disciples will recite my words and make them a part of themselves in this way. When they record my understanding in their mind, it becomes part of them. When all of the people who recollect my doctrine in this way are gone, then my doctrine will be gone, and it will not matter if some record of what I said remains in books.”

Another thing about writing is that it generates possessions – books -- and voluntary poverty was Buddha’s way of life. He seemed to understand that for every possession, there is a price to be paid, and gradually, as your possessions increase, you pay a greater and greater price in freedom. When he abdicated his throne and left behind his kingdom, it was as if he were escaping from prison. He is portrayed with a begging bowl because he had declared his independence from the nine to five world. When he begged, he was relating with the world humbly, placing himself at the lowest level of human society, and he did that because his dignity was independent of how anyone saw him. A person who is pursuing that radical agenda of freedom doesn’t want to be generating baggage, and books are baggage.

Words pass from one mind to another, and replicate the speaker’s experience in the listener’s mind. The passage is more or less successful, the replica is more or less accurate, depending as the communication is clear. For someone to comprehend precisely what they have been told means that they can explain it in their own words to another. It is like one candle taking flame from another. The flame is then precisely the same, and it can be passed on to another candle. In this way, understanding can pass from mind to mind, and an entire roomful of people can light up with a unified comprehension, as each one grasps what is being said.

Buddha was no doubt able to tell when people understood his meaning. I suspect that he wasn’t interested in any communication that fell short of accurately communicating his meaning. A miss is as good as a mile, when the goal is perfect comprehension, and for the Buddha, nothing else would do. He didn’t leave his kingdom behind to make compromises with reality, with other people, or with his message. I suspect he wanted to see the glimmer of comprehension in the eyes of his listeners – the brightening of the intellect as the important idea is grasped. I suspect that he trusted that fire would pass forth from his mind to other minds, and they would keep passing it along in that reliable, genuine way, and having a lot of books around to record some authoritative sayings wouldn’t help that process at all.

[1] Hinduism Vedic Oral Tradition, Finnian M.M. Gerety ... 8-0184.xml

Re: Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:24 am
by Tara
I don’t agree with anything Charles said above. I don’t think the Buddha was illiterate: I assume that if anyone knew how to read, he did, being a prince, and getting what was surely the best education that could be got. And I don’t assume that he was a narcissist who only cared about seeing the reflection of “his own teachings” in the faces and minds of his “disciples.” That doesn’t go with the story we’ve heard, where the Buddha was hesitant to even say anything, and spent his time running away from everyone, and was reluctant to make any doctrinal rules.

I have always assumed that the reason he didn’t want anything written down was because he could foresee the codification of authority through the means of writing, and he had no respect for authority, and neither do I. And what he wanted to give us instead was the radical freedom to think our own thoughts, just as he thought his own thoughts. I seriously don’t think that hating authority as he did, that he then wanted to assume authority over “his teachings.”

Writing is all about making bullshit eternal, especially in the realm of philosophy and religion -– I’m not talking about science. Anyone can see that. No philosophical or religious idea from the past is worth preserving. Anything that our ancestors “knew,” we can know better in the light of present scientific knowledge.

But what we get instead, with all of these books, is people putting themselves up on a pedestal, higher than everyone else, and pretending to know the secrets of the universe. They are nothing but a bunch of ignorant fools, and I have no respect for them whatsoever. In fact, the rule in my book is: You call yourself a guru, you're nothing but a con artist, trying to sow ignorance in the minds of the faithfool.

Re: Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:05 pm
by Admin
I agree with Tara's analysis. It's really far more convincing than my own, which is rather tinged with sanctimony.


Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:06 pm
by Admin
Might Be So

This road leads to the river.
At the river is the Boatman who takes you
To the Other Shore.

The road is stretchy, like a rubber band.
It shortens and lengthens as it wills.

No one wants to meet the Boatman, because
Although there are tales told
There is no reliable evidence of the Other Shore.

But of the Boatman, there is plenty of evidence,
In the vast throng of absent ones,
An inconceivable horde
Who stamped this dirt, breathed this air,
Grew and waxed under the sun and moon,
And returned again to earth and silence.

Perhaps we are human because
We imagine a Boatman, a boat, the Other Shore,
Because we imagine abiding without end,
Continuing our dance interminably.
All plainly ridiculous propositions,
Yet hope abides.

To be is to be cloudlike,
Composed of particles,
Composed of particles.

Die before you die, they say, and live forever.
But none of the eternal have returned, to this day.
They forget where they came from, I suppose,
Or can’t find the way.

Rush the Boatman, some say,
Take control of the boat,
Sail it your own way.
But the road is stretchy.
He is never there, no matter how fast you march.
Until all at once, there he is,
Beckoning you aboard.

Hopes that torment--
To live forever?
Life’s a dance of flames soon to expire.
To discern a life beyond the body’s death?
This is only prescient yearning,
Nostalgia for a present sure to pass.

What we can’t avoid
Is to abide here,
To experience the moments we’re given.

Must we fret and strut our weary hour upon the stage?
Or can we experience without flinching or ancitipating,
Peacefully abiding, as Buddha liked to say?

That stretchy road to the river
Might stretch less
Might disappear
Might turn into a big field
Might have the sun shining above it
Might have cows in the meadow
Might be a house in the meadow
Might be a woman there
Might be supper on the table
Might be kids in the barn, playing in the hay
Might be so
Might be so

Re: Random Spiritual Thoughts

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 9:36 pm
by Tara
The more I dream, the more I suspect that we live in a crazy, wild universe where our minds inhabit practically infinite spaces. I suspect our minds are eternal.

I wonder, do plants dream? If not, then why do plants cause us to dream?

But I can see hide nor hair of God anywhere. All I see are individual consciousnesses everywhere. People doing people things, animals doing animal things.

All these people today who bag on individualities, and stress group behavior, what are they really up to except political control?

Still, I don't see why we can't consider this a personal matter, and leave it to our own musings and wonderings, while in real life, we concern ourselves with real life things.

Why be obsessed in real life with unknown realms?

Is there time enough for that outside of dreams?