Musings

When I lie down in bed or I’m relaxing with friends, I find it useful to remember that hierarchies of values become utterly meaningless over the span of eternity, and also in the face of cosmic annihilation.

But I find it imperative to impose them while I’m engaged in activity, so that I have solid waypoints to chart a course to my goals.

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12 thoughts on “Musings

  1. Most people have a mistaken notion of Nirvana. The goal was to remove “I” from the wheel of suffering. Surely he had to deal with his earthly body and life, but it seems that he spent little time with logic, and tried to dispel logical thinking which interfered with enlightenment. Aren’t koans puzzles to distract and confound logic? Also, he seemed to focus being a source for others who had not traveled his path to both extremes to the middle. What advantage did his perspective have in a world he knew was transient?

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    • Are you talking about Buddha? If enlightenment is a state of nondual perception, wouldn’t that by necessity include logic? I think I get your point, though—using logic alone is not enough. But if you subscribe to the notion that Musashi was enlightened, he said, “in emptiness there is good but no evil. Wisdom exists, logic exists, the Way exists. Mind is empty.” I think I got that right, but I’m not sure. The way I view logic is as a game; inductive and deductive reasoning are necessary to navigate the world. That seems self-evident. However, even by scientific deduction, where there are regions of sufficient density where time does not exist, (as was apparently the case when the universe was sufficiently small), causality did not exist, which means logic did not exist. Koans seem useful to clue one into a transcendental state, but the true transcendence to me would mean that one would also acknowledge human limitations and work accordingly with them, or as it is put more succinctly, “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” I also like: “Enlightenment is the ultimate disappointment,” which operates off the premise that if we’re part of an unlimited being that voluntarily limited itself so it could experience the joy of rediscovering its own omnipotence, so driving yourself crazy over returning to the natural state of omnipotence is a disappointment, because it’s going to happen anyway, and it’s an illusion that it isn’t occurring already. I believe the “middle way” is often confused with moderation. I think it actually references a state of nonindividuality that allows the solidified consciousness (the illusion of self) to become whatever it needs to be, which would induce harmony, which would induce bliss without cause. It doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding extremes, in my opinion.

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      • It seems clear you focus on refining your approach to living in ways that satisfy you. Very unusual today in a non-thinking culture.

        Musashi attained through survival, but did nothing to reduce suffering or expand compassion. As a fighter, he thoughtfully planned, trained, and practiced how to perceive his opponents’ habits and attitudes to defeat them. He practiced until no thought was required.

        Each fight won showed him more, and allowed him to progress as a warrior. It is not moderation to not meet every blow with a blow, but to know when to advance and when to remain and when to withdraw.

        Hi attitude towards religion was, “Respect the gods and Buddha, but do not depend on them.”

        As to Nirvana, reincarnation, Buddha saw, is proof one did not learn how to be compassionate and not suffer through attachment. Enlightenment was a state of being that would not be reincarnated, hence getting off the wheel. That was “achieving” Nirvana. The “middle way” was not ascetic(self deprivation) or extravagant (self-indulgent,) It did not value material things, attachment to the feelings of others, or rely on magic. If one expects enlightenment to be anything, finding nothing would be disappointing.

        He lived all those alternatives and found the place of nothing “in between” human weaknesses through meditation. It cannot be described or defined, as it is a state of being that must be found and experienced for oneself. Certainly, I have not aspired to that pursuit.

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      • My personal opinion is that the middle way means maintaining balance through effectiveness, by examining context. In buddha’s context, asceticism didn’t help him meditate, yet there is a man in the UK who participated in a doctor-monitored fast for over a year in order to combat obesity. Material things can be navigated by effectiveness as well; instead of being attached to the ideals they represent, then one can simply see them as useful or not useful. I’m not personally a fan of glorifying Buddha or stating that his philosophy is better than others, and I think if he was truly in a nondual mindstate, he would say that this is fine, because I’m going to die soon enough anyway, haha! My philosophy is I’ll work with what’s in front of me and follow the clues I’m given. Because who knows if there is such a thing as reincarnation? Who knows if the universe wasn’t created a second ago, all evidence of a past intact? 🙂

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  2. Of course, variations on Nirvana are many, including a mind “Undefiled by lust and emotional impurities, unclouded by any dualistic perceptions, this superior mind is indeed the supreme nirvana.” which sounds a bit like what you describe. Beyond Nirvana is Buddha-hood.

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    • Possibly possibly. According to the texts, anyway. After I’d meditated for years I tried a heroic dose of DMT and realized if there is anything more ecstatic than that then I’m not really interested in it. In fact, the ecstasy on the DMT was so intense that I haven’t done it since (two years now), and I realized that if I’m an unlimited being that incarnated into a limited form, then I did it to enjoy and explore my limitations. 🙂

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      • Ahh. The subjective bliss, in an otherwise static environment, showed you your potential for enjoying your life. Enlightenment must be scary.

        BTW: I think meditation has no one purpose. Each person has complex needs that meditation might serve.

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      • I agree. If nothing else, meditation has been proven to have tangible physical benefits, from what I understand. I’m not sure if Enlightenment would be scary…now that I think on it, it must not be anything, as it’s a nondual state of mind, from what I understand. But ironically, I think when someone chases it, they immerse themselves in a dualistic mindset and deny themselves from it. If I ever “attain” it, I think it’ll be because I completely forget what it means, and just go about my days without thinking about it at all, haha!

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    • I agree! However, I think the “hippie’s dilemma” (my phrase) can be mistakenly extracted from that truth. Consistently being inactive invites disaster, as we are locked into forms that require a certain amount of action.

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  3. this is a core understanding in quantum physics. the observer, by observing, changes the observed.
    There is no judgment on whether or not the change is beneficial, detrimental, or random neutral.

    An example is a man observing a woman in a bar. If she notices, she changes to be who she wants to be for strangers. If she does not notice, the advancing clock and a few drinks change the perception of the observer;)

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