Hey man! Post those links so I can check them out!
Hey man! Post those links so I can check them out!
Scrap, Chabad has hundreds of articles and on that particular day I probably read two dozen. If you remember the titles it would help but this is what I think I posted.
I hope that's right.
Damn bro, I'm totally flaking! I'll get on this Monday and give you my thoughts. Check out the "Attn: SCRAPPER" thread by Fudomyo if you want. ;)
TTT! Give me a little feedback man!
OK. Got some free time today and went to the sites. I'll post the site I read and my thoughts on it. http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=82696I like this one!This darkness is no more antagonistic to light than shade is to sunlight, or sleep is to waking. While it may not contain wisdom, it is far from stupid. Though it may not be good, there is no evil within it.This speaks directly to our notion of duality and thinking that one is "bad" while the other is "good". Looking at it from a conceptual point of view, one cannot exist without the other. What is light without comparison to darkness? Conceptually, we are unable to realize this...one side of the coin defines the other but they "both" make up the coin. This darkness of which I speak has no negative qualities such as sadness, fear or despair, though sadness, fear and despair may be gateways to this darkness; just as this darkness may be a gateway to sadness, fear and despair. But once we discover that darkness is every bit as good as light, though of a very different quality, this need not be so.Again, this speaks to us about seeing through the duality of life that we cling to as "real". We take certain beliefs and, if they coincide with what we believe is correct, use them to bolster our conception of the world. "Things" like black and white (good and evil) are conceptions of the mind and I think this paragraph guides us to see through them. Imagine this darkness not as the absence of light, but as a thing unto itself. Stuff of a different consistency than light. For a different purpose, but a purpose all its own.Existence is abstraction. The nervous system is bombarded with stimuli and it abstracts only a finite amount to create the "world" that is perceived. According to concepts, dark is the absence of light but that is impossible to conceptualize. Each "thing" is defined not only by "its own" characteristics, but they the "things" that it is NOT. This darkness surrounds you, awaits you, offers itself to you. It is what allows you to be; it is material from which you can create the world.The darkness of which I speak is the playground of the imagination, of creativity, of your deepest self.It is your friend, an ally that is willing to be whatever you wish or need it to be. Sometimes it becomes things you'd rather it not, but which you need it to be from a part of yourself deeper than the self that thinks it knows what you need.This "darkness" is that from which everything arises. It is always present and needs no "path" to be "realized". Awareness of "what is" requires no effort, it simply happens. Sometimes it becomes things you'd rather it not, but which you need it to be from a part of yourself deeper than the self that thinks it knows what you need.The self that is taken to be "me" is an illusion and does not exist outside of Consciousness. Imagine seeing your shadow and telling everyone it's "me". This may sound silly but it's no sillier than believing a mental construct is who you are. That "self" you take yourself to be is not who you are. Children know this darkness well. From it, they create monsters and angels when alone in a darkened room. They create from it companions for the times when they are alone and cannot stand to be alone. Some children, those who are alone too often and for too long, create whole worlds, populated and sculpted, in which they live and find their place. Some children create from this darkness a world in which they find the love that does not exist in the world of light, or safety from the danger that daylight brings, or peace from a house too chaotic and violent than their developing selves can tolerate. Adults do this, too.CONT
Our entire lives are fantasy based on memories, expectations, desires, etc. The "darkness" from which all this arises (including the concept of "me") can be called Consciousness, Awareness, God, etc. In darkness, feelings and fears release and take form. From darkness, the self creates a reality now external to itself with which it can come to terms on terms that within the world of light are weighted too heavily against it.I bolded the phrase about creating an external reality for a reason. The reality that is created is not external, or seperate, from the true self. It appears external and seperate because we believe that "I" am a mental construct/abstraction. This abstraction MUST omit certain details, and, if we believe we are that abstraction, there is a feeling of seperation between "me" and Totality. This is simply another mental construct that has nothing to do with "reality". Without darkness, how could you know love if your daylight world contained no love? Where would you find refuge from hate, if darkness did not allow space for your visions of paradise? On what could you envision the future, if darkness left no untrod landscape for the unknown? Into which space could you project your creativity, if darkness left no room for the as yet uncreated?Again, pointing to the natural dualism of thought. Abstractions are created by comparing "one" to that which is "not-one". These are merely mental constructs and in no way dictate Reality.Without light -- without the moment in which the light in our room goes on and we see the chair as chair and not as monster, the lamp as lamp and not as angel, the other as other and not simply the projection of our desire and need, the world as world and not only the figment of our imagination -- we would be so uncontained and without limits as to be without ability to survive our own creation.This talks about clinging to one side of dualism while claiming that the "other side" doesn't exist. The Buddha made a similar analogy when he said "a man sees a snake in the rope. Only when the rope is seen as a rope, and not a snake, will you be "free". Something along the lines of "see the true as true and the false as false". And without a world to benefit from our singularity, what purpose would there be for us to be at all?Does there have to be a "purpose"? Ask yourself this question, not from the assumption that there is an individual entity seperate from God, but from the perspective that ALL is God. I'll read the others later. Gimme your thoughts!SCRAP (CONT)
Hmm... I read it as the need for balance. We need both the light (real world) and darkness (mental construct world). Without the darkness, the light would blind us, terrorize us and without the light, the darkness would overtake us and we would become lost in its grip. That is not to say one requires a lot of darkness or a lot of light- the trick is to kill the ego and cleave to G-d, then one know's the truth. But the real question is how? One needs to explore both paths before they reach the mountain- don't they? How can I know how far reality will take me when I havn't journeyed inside, and vice versa? When we reach mesirus nefesh, (lit. total self-sacrifice for G-d) (it means you lit. kill the person you are and listen only to the will of G-d), we can turn the inner eye back and see the path we walked, but until then- how do we know? Some people cleave through prayer and meditation in far away places, others by visiting the sick and needy- neither path is superior, all lead to G-d.
I'll post on this later today or tomorrow. ;)the trick is to kill the ego and cleave to G-d, then one know's the truth. But the real question is how?The conceptual object cannot "do" anything. This is the biggest error in misconception. If the illusory "I" is a mirage, that "I" cannot "do" anything. Think about that and I'll get back to you. ;)SCRAP
It can't but I can think it I can. If I perceive my thought self as doing something, then it does it, without any real world consequence.
The "thought self" is a useful social function but not who/what you are. Whatever image that thought self is YOU ARE WHAT IS PERCEIVING IT.
Ask yourself "If I can be no mental image, who am I?"
I am sure that if I project no thought self, then I could be diagnosed with some kind of mental disorder.
Keep in mind, if perception is reality- it implies:
1- The Self is either malleable (what I tell myself I am) or not (the construct program). Or, a scarier conclusion, they are both the self and one can not exist without the other.
2- If perception/belief is reality then if enough people believe in aliens, atlantis, G-d, angels, the Devil, etc. evidence will be found because the mind will find a suitable pattern given the evidence and the theory. The facts will fit the theory, no matter what theory is chosen.
3- By changing perception, we change reality. If we are convinced we have enough money and CONSTANTLY reinforce this neurologically, it will become a behavior/habit/trait (I use these words loosesly as I am not in psychology and do not know which one is the proper term) and we will have integrated into our selevs and believe it.
4- When we condition ourselves to believe something, at this point the nervous system has BUILT a new set of nervous connections. Every new skill you learn, every new behavior you have builds a new connection in your CNS. If you do not use it regularly, it can decay but never completely degrade. Therefore, every time we alter our perception/belief we are physically forcing two neurons to connect! Our BELEIFS have a tangible, measurable, quantitative effect on the PHYISCAL world! I am not sure what that implies, but it must mean something!
Given all that, we can not deny the power of the thought-self.
Keep in mind, if perception is reality- it implies:Is it REALITY? Your point of view is definitely useful for everyday life, but is what you think really what is happening or WHAT IS?1- The Self is either malleable (what I tell myself I am) or not (the construct program). Or, a scarier conclusion, they are both the self and one can not exist without the other.The notion of thought-self is a construct of past experiences and those experiences are abstractions of events based on beliefs, thoughts, etc. 2- If perception/belief is reality then if enough people believe in aliens, atlantis, G-d, angels, the Devil, etc. evidence will be found because the mind will find a suitable pattern given the evidence and the theory. The facts will fit the theory, no matter what theory is chosen.Don't we see this every day with people claiming certain events prove the existence of their chosen diety? 3- By changing perception, we change reality. If we are convinced we have enough money and CONSTANTLY reinforce this neurologically, it will become a behavior/habit/trait (I use these words loosesly as I am not in psychology and do not know which one is the proper term) and we will have integrated into our selevs and believe it.The ULTIMATE REALITY (God, Consciousness, etc) is unchanged by our perceptions. If you are convinced you have enough money and keep your spending habits within your limits then, YES, you will have "enough money". How you see the world is merely a reflection of your own beliefs but these thoughts are not "reality". 4- When we condition ourselves to believe something, at this point the nervous system has BUILT a new set of nervous connections. Every new skill you learn, every new behavior you have builds a new connection in your CNS.This is correct, including the ability to differentiate between "self" and "not self". While these neurological patterns are useful for social function, they are not REAL. If you do not use it regularly, it can decay but never completely degrade. Therefore, every time we alter our perception/belief we are physically forcing two neurons to connect! Our BELEIFS have a tangible, measurable, quantitative effect on the PHYISCAL world! I am not sure what that implies, but it must mean something!It does mean something. Abstracting is a normal mental process but it does not equal REALITY. The symbol is not the thing it represents!Given all that, we can not deny the power of the thought-self.The thought-self has no more power than any other thought, fantasy, or mental contstruct. A lifetime of habitual thinking makes us believe it does. SCRAPAgain: If you are the AWARENESS of that mental image, you simply CANNOT be that mental image. If this is the case, WHAT ARE YOU?
A child of G-d.
The ultimate reality is G-d. It is our mission to cleave to Him. I do not deny this. I wonder though if you can remove your mental construct self from your real self. We have all experienced this in "flow-state" but under normal conditions few people have.
Hmm.. Yes, there is an ultimate reality, it is G-d existing the universe. We are all His children. Our mission is to cleave to Him, destroy the self and make this world holy.
The thought self is merely an interface between reality (G-d existing the universe) and ourselves. If it did not exist, we would all be vessels for Him already. So while the construct self needs to be removed, it does need to be destroyed.
Also, can I ask you some qs on Taoism if you know anything?