Re: Between Worth and Worthless
Posted by ButchO on 5/17/2011, 8:15 am, in reply to "Re: Between Worth and Worthless"
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: --Previous Message--
: gar & josef & any others that might
: want to chime in,
: Here's the thing. For me at least.
: We can become attached to being unattached.
: Self only has meaning in relationship with
: other. Day is meaningless without night.
: Much like a dog or a cat chasing after its
: own tail we are the underlying unity of
: existence searching for the underlying unity
: of existence.
: Mountains are mountains again.
: Subject and object are two valid ways of
: looking at the same underlying reality so
: long as neither perspective excludes the
: No man is an island, but he is a peninsula.
: Women too. Maybe even moreso.
: ButchO, we can't become attached to
: non-attachment; if we're attached, we're not
: "The humblest monk in the monastery and
: proud of it" is the same thing; proud
: of it, he isn't humble at all.
: These fall in the realm of spiritual
: materialism, ego contaminating the work,
: playing games with it.
: In sincere cultivation and practice the most
: integral factor is gut-level self-honesty,
: recognizing and facing our self-delusion and
: putting it aside, choosing reality. No games
: here. No tricky stuff. No fluff.
: Ti Dao, embodying Dao. Cultivating a pure
: heart. Too much trouble and an unappealing
: path to dilettantes and dabblers.
: The Warrior Sage:
: There's a sweet peace and clarity in that.
My point was that we can be attached to something without knowing it. Attached to some bit of habitual reactive conditioning that we are unaware of. Thus it behooves us to be ever humble. To have compassion on ourselves, as well as others.
The Buddha said that our problem is suffering. Not pain, suffering. That is, pain is a natural part of life. But our tendency is to run from anything that causes us pain thus separating us from our experience. Or at least trying to. And in this attempt to separate ourselves from our experience we set ourselves up for suffering. Suffering is not a natural part of life. Suffering is man made. Dogs do not suffer. They experience pain. They experience emotions. But they do not suffer for suffering is a conceptual experience.
Suffering is all in the mind. If we fail to let go of our pain, pain comes and goes, we suffer needlessly. We are going to experience pain. We are going to die. When we accept this fact we are able to live freer lives. Liberated from the angst of imagined separation.
The need to find meaning in or from our suffering only exacerbates the issue. Such a notion amounts to wanting to make sense out of something that is real by making it unreal. Our pain becomes a phantom that stalks us. And so in defense we become numb, cut off from our experience we are alienated even further from ourselves. We start looking around for something to bring us relief. Boos, sex, drugs, philosophy, rituals, dogmas, whatever. We apply our imagination to our imagination. And so we become lost in a labyrinth or our own making. Such is the state of man.
Lost. Separated from our experience of pain by thinking it so we start to become separated from all of our experience. Now separate and alone we turn to all sorts of artificial means of connection. We have separation anxiety. Fear rules our lives. Fear of pain, fear of being alone, fear of a lack of meaning, fear of death, fear, fear, fear. So we load our guns. Our actual as well as our metaphorical guns. No one is going to hurt me, I won't let them in. I will isolate myself, encapsulate myself in a hard shell, I will become a very strong ego to stem the tides of my experiences. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death my ego will protect me. I will run from pain and pursue pleasure. In the middle of the world I will become a castaway. I will cut myself off from all pain and suffering. I will become an existentialist. A stoic. An iron-man. Cutoff from our pain and suffering, we are cutoff from being human as well. Cutoff from ourselves.
I don't think many of us do these things to ourselves intentionally. Some people may simply be insane. Most of us are simply unaware of what we are doing to ourselves, and each other. Most of us are asleep as it were. Lost in a dream of for the most part self-imposed tribulations. But we don't have to be.
We can choose to take the red pill of meditation. But most don't. Most choose to continue the dream, the nightmare of separation, perhaps simply because we don't know any better. But deep down, I think we all know. But we are afraid. Afraid that reality will be even more painful than we can imagine. Sorry state indeed. Suffering by default.