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Topic: Is Buddhism/spirituality and things involving the ego or lack of ego healthy?

Nietzsche started this discussion 6.5 years ago #184

I'm very much in the middle of my "finding oneself" stage of life.. and I've come across a lot of spirituality over the last few years.

What I'm wondering is, do you think that the philosophies and resulting ways of life that involve the watering down of the ego are healthy from the perspective of western mental-health? Is it damaging to supress the ego too much? Do we not need a bit of ego to be happy? Is it wise to avoid emotional attachment for fear of ultimate suffering?

To put it another way, would western psychology deem some/any such things to be defense mechanisms of some sort? unhealthy ones? or are they simply a viable way of life?

dr-robert joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 27 minutes later[^] [v] #0

First "find yourself," ie. find out what you are as a unique and ordinary human person. Once you have done that, develop your ego so that it becomes a useful vehicle for exploring the world, moving around safely, obtaining the things you think you want and need, etc. Then and only then should you think about dropping the ego.

To put this another way, you have to have something before you can drop it.

OK?

Bookshelf joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Drop the ego? Is that like.... Trying to supress the sex drive or something. Obviously I have no idea what you're talking about.

What is it to be egoless? I probably lack the right vocabulary to talk about this sort of stuff, so I'm interested.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well, Bookshelf, "dropping" the ego is a kind of shorthand for the enjoyment of a state of awareness which is not centered on on what I want, what I fear, who I think "I" am, etc. Since this is an experience, not a concept, there really is no vocabulary which is adequate to express it, any more than you could explain to a color-blind person what red looks like. Probably "dropping" is the wrong word to use, because if ego thought that it was able to "drop" itself, that would simply be another way of defining itself as the do-er of things, thus, not dropping anything, but strengthening itself all the more.

Instead of any "dropping," I would prefer to put it that ego strives constantly to maintain a basic duality between itself and the rest of the universe, whereas there is a non-dualistic perception which apprehends everything as intimately connected, and actually all of a piece, so that any separation between ones "self" and the universe is understood as a kind of delusion. This experience of merger with the "all" is like a joke, you either get it and laugh, or you don't get it, and have to ask to have it explained to you. Then, if someone tries to "explain" it to you, you may "get it" on a conceptual level, but you won't laugh.

To comment a bit further upon the original post: yes, seeking a so-called "egoless" state could very well be a defense mechanism, but it does not have to be. It could be that one suspects that ego-centricity carries with it a heavy burden of fear, anxiety, and a constant striving/comparing which is not necessary to living. Then, having suspected that, one might begin to see things differently.

When I say "see things differently," I mean noticing that there is something in "me" which was there when I was very young, and is still there now, and which has remained essentially unchanged regardless of whatever experiences have occurred to me in the meantime. That something is "awareness" or "presence," and it has a flavor or feeling very different from ego. This noticing has nothing to do with suppressing anything, by the way--quite the opposite, I would say.

This cannot be debated. It is, as I said, like a joke: you either get it or you don't.

Be well.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Anonymous G joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

I made a post on the old forum as "Richard Miller" about possibly having a personality disorder. I got the reply that I probably don't have a personality disorder because I acknowledge that I have multiple personalities but I should still seek a professional. When I read this topic I thought that it's possible that I'm lacking my ego. I don't feel connected to anything I do or say. Whenever I am mocked, talked to or shouted at I feel like it's another person listening. Whenever I'm talking it feels like it's another person speaking in my stead. I don't think I have a real desire to do anything. The only thing I even remotely pay attention to in my actions is trying to do good - something I usually fail at - but only because of something I don't even quite understand. I think it's because I used to want to do that.
Maybe that's lack of ego. It could be something else entirely, too. This all started quite recently and I rather liked feeling connected to things. If I do lack ego then I don't recommend trying to suppress yours, all you'll have left is clinging to your old personality. But like I said, I don't necessarily lack ego. I could be mixing it up with something else.

(Edited 19 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 8 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Anon G--

The state that you say you are in does not sound like anything healthy. Without knowing you personally I would not make a diagnosis, but your description contains elements of what is called "depersonalization," which is most definitely not akin to any experience of awakening to the "greater self" (quotation marks because words fail when trying to evoke this state). I highly recommend an interview and evaluation with a psychologist as soon as possible.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 9 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr, how would what you described be different than what Anon G described? And what makes one healthy and the other not? And is it possible to have more than one ego?

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 12 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

As I was explaining to the OP, first one should develop a sense of self which is serviceable for accomplishing the basics in life. That is normal mental health. If there are difficulties in achieving that, help might be required, such as the kind of help one can get in psychotherapy, and one should seek that help. Then, when one already has an ego which functions more or less usefully, if one wishes to embark on some kind offor want of a better word"spiritual" quest, that would be taking things in the right order.

On the other hand, if one simply finds himself or herself adrift without a firm sense of self, this is not a healthy situation, and should not be confused with having "dropped" or "transcended" the ego. Often, unfortunately, people in that kind of confused condition get involved with religion, and/or "spirituality," and begin to imagine, delusionally, that their lack of a firm center or their feelings of being outside of "normal reality" are actually religious or spiritual experiences. This is what I was addressing in reply to "Richard Miller."

To look at it from another angle, the person living in attunement with non-duality still has access to an ego, and the ego is used when necessary in the ordinary world of earning a livelihood, complying with laws, etc., but no longer functions as the focus or center of the experience called "myself." For such a person, that "myself," is something entirely mysterious and completely unfathomable--something that egoic intelligence could never even begin to understand, and so that person does not even try to understand "life" at all, but simply lives, going with the flow, so to speak, allowing things to be revealed from moment to moment without any need to make sense of things, to be right in an argument, to be in control, or to have desires fulfilled. All of that has ceased to matter.

In that state, the ego has not been "dropped" or "transcended," but is simply one point in a vast universe of information.

I do not know what it would mean to have more than one ego, so I cannot reply to that part of your question.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 27 minutes later, 12 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks Dr. The selfless compassionate person vs the ? kind of person. They all seem to be playing with the same "parts". I could be mistaken though. Am I?

(Edited 41 minutes later.)

Anonymous G joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 8 hours later, 21 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Anon G--
>
> The state that you say you are in does not sound like anything healthy. Without knowing you personally I would not make a diagnosis, but your description contains elements of what is called "depersonalization," which is most definitely not akin to any experience of awakening to the "greater self" (quotation marks because words fail when trying to evoke this state). I highly recommend an interview and evaluation with a psychologist as soon as possible.

Thank you for the reply. I've already considered that I may be suffering from depersonalization, but I didn't dare try to diagnose myself. I just thought depersonalization may also mean you lack ego. Well, at least we cleared that up!

Out of interest, what is the difference between psychosis and depersonalization? I never really found a proper answer to that.

(Edited 4 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 22 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Psychosis is a general term for a loss of contact with consensual reality--for example, hearing or seeing things which are not there, which is called hallucination, or believing in false ideas about who one is or what is taking place in the environment, which is called delusion. Psychosis is not an illness per se, but rather a set of symptoms which may result from either mental illness (schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder), or from a physical cause (stroke, brain tumor, drug and alcohol intoxication).

Depersonalization is a derangement in the process of self-awareness which manifests as a feeling of detachment from ones body or mental processes. One may feel as if going through the motions of life without really experiencing anything, or as if living in a movie or a dream. Most of us feel that way occasionally, but if such feelings are routine or persistent, depersonalization is considered a disorder which requires treatment. Like psychosis, depersonalization is not an illness in itself, but rather a symptom which could result from drug intoxication, severe anxiety, panic attack, depression, or bipolar disorder, or, depersonalization may arise as a defense mechanism against unacceptable trauma such as torture or childhood physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

Although psychosis and depersonalization may share some of the same proximate causesbipolar disorder, for example, or drug intoxicationthey are not the same thing. While depersonalization involves a disturbance in the perception of "selfhood," the sufferer still maintains contact with consensual reality, and is able to distinguish between his or her internal perceptions and the reality of the outside world, or between "reality," and fantasy. In psychosis, that ability to make that distinction cannot be maintained.

In the experience called "spiritual awakening," or "satori," one may also see the ordinary view of "reality" as a kind of dream or shared delusion, and I know that was the point of your original question: why is depersonalization not the same as seeing the emptiness of ego? The difference is that the spiritually awakened person does not feel as if he or she is living in a dream or disconnected from the body as happens in depersonalization, but that the habitual way of regarding ones egoones ambitions, desires, fears, etc.and the egos of others as "selves" has been a dream, and now one has awakened from that dream.

anonymous joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 12 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert,
I have a ego which is working as you said is healthy. I am living a productive and relatively happy life. I have a good career, friends, and a family, and I support my family, including loving my wife and children, but I do know that there must be something more than this. I have heard and read a lot about spiritual awakening, and now you have said it involves seeing the ego as being empty. I really do not understand that. How do I go about seeing the ego as being empty? What will happen if I do? Do you believe in meditation or any of the other practices which some people recommend? What do you recommend?
Thank you.

Nietzsche (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 8 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert, does the typical "spiritual awakening" or dropping of the ego mean divorcing any meaningful relationship with the ego? Am I right in thinking that you can't love from the perspective of the ego AND from the perspective of "oneness"? Either you are at one with the universe.. and in a state of enlightened bliss and acceptance or you remain attached to the ego and rely on its perceived value to be happy, but not the two together?

and am I right in thinking that Buddhists etc. see the enlightened existence as being vastly more sublime and joyous than the ego existence, because joy through the ego is ultimately fleeting and futile whereas enlightenment transcends the changes endured during a life time?

(Edited 9 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 13 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

As I tried to say earlier, the phrase "dropping the ego" only serves to confuse, because that is not what happens. In the ordinary process of awakening, nothing is dropped, and no one does any dropping.

When an infant emerges from the womb, at first it remains completely merged with its mother, just as it was prior to birth when still connected by the umbilical cord. When it begins nursing at the breast, it does not imagine, and has no way of knowing, that it has an existence apart from its mother. In other words, the world of the newborn is unitary--there is no sense of self and other. Gradually, as the infant becomes aware that it has a body of its own, the total merger with mother ends, and so begins that child's experience of oneself as somehow separate from the rest of the world. This is the birth of the ego, a completely normal, natural, and necessary process.

As the child develops, she finds that she (or he) has likes and dislikes, fears and desires, and that she has ways of seeking what she wants and avoiding what she dislikes or fears. This seeking and avoiding, coupled with the innate instinct of self-preservation of the body (which seems to be universal, at least in the higher animals), produces the basic structure we call "ego." In other words, ego is a naturally occurring formation, identified with one particular human body, which seeks what it desires, avoids what it fears or dislikes, and focuses always on self-preservation—not just preservation of the body, which was the innate instinctual drive, but now upon preservation of itself, the ego.

This last point is important. When one flinches away from a perceived danger, this is not ego, but instinct. No fear is involved, just an automatic process which humans share with other animals such as the donkeys which live outside my office. But ego is based upon fear: fear that I will fail to obtain what I desire, fear that I will be unable to avoid something unpleasant, fear that I will be shown up or defeated by some other ego, etc. Ego, in other words, involves itself in a constant struggle, a never-ending exertion, to exist, to obtain, to avoid, to survive, and to prevail.

That said, l will try to reply to the questions. One sees ego as being empty when something which is not ego becomes apparent—either suddenly, or gradually—and when that something "outshines" ego. Not that ego disappears, butat least during that moment of awakeningego ceases to be a central focus of "myself," and is seen for what it is, a structure which arose automatically, and is based entirely upon fear, desire, and aversion. This does not mean "divorcing any meaningful relationship with the ego." Quite the opposite in fact. Finally "I" have a real relationship with ego—real because I begin to see ego for what it is: something akin to a suit of clothes which I can use to move about and to survive in the ordinary world, but which I can remove whenever it is convenient and possible to be naked.

Once I have gotten a taste of what you, Nietzsche, are calling "enlightened bliss and acceptance," then "I" have no more need for any egoic happiness whatsoever. In fact, I have no more need for happiness of any kind, or anything else for that matter. Need ends entirely, and the present moment is what it is—quite beyond judgment of happy/unhappy, good/bad, or any other duality.

In that condition, each moment simply is what it is and cannot be any different. Ego still desires happiness, safety, self-importance, survival, "God,"--all the things it always desired, and always will desire. But each one of those desires now is seen for what it is, always was, and always will be: one component of a kind of delusion or dream from which one is awakening, and from which one continues to awaken moment by moment. Ego still can be used when needed, but "I," which is not ego, any more than I am my suit of clothes, have no real stake in preserving anything, gaining anything, winning anything, or being anything in particular, including being "enlightened." As Popeye used to say in the old comic strip, "I yam what I yam."

Existence in such a state is not necessarily joyous. It simply is what it is, and the "changes endured during a lifetime" are part of that—just not all of it. I am sorry that no words I am able conjure up can explain what I mean by that.

Anon G, my teacher recommended non-judgmental self-observation as a practice, and now I recommend it to you. Simply regard yourself and your life as factually as possible without "taking sides" either in your favor or against yourself. Stop defending and/or criticizing your opinons and beliefs. Stop judging the opinions and beliefs of others. (Just let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin. She can't help it, any more than you can help being the way you are.) If possible, stop having opinions and beliefs altogether, and simply try to see things as they are from moment to moment. When a particular moment or juncture seems particularly challenging, and ego sings its siren song of "choice, option, power, influence, good, better, best," just say the magic words:

"In this moment, everything is as it is, and cannot be any different."

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 7 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Maybe this is completely inappropriate and if so I apologize but Dr you seem to talk about this with some authority as if you have lived and are living it yourself. But you can't "Just let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin. She can't help it, any more than you can help being the way you are." I understand that nobody is perfect but this seems to be a flaw in the design.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 48 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, Jennifer, of course I understand that point of view. And referring to such an obvious idiot is my idea of a joke in a sense. In fact, if you are on facebook, you can have a look at my post there called, "That idiot Sarah Palin."

But Anon G and Nietzsche were asking seriously about seeing beyond ego, and I simply pointed out that as long as we find ways of feeling superior (or inferior, for that matter) by means of making judgments, we continue to strengthen the delusion that "Sarah" is one "self"a defective one, in your opinionand "I" am another--a superior one, as you imagine. This is the essence of the ego duality: constant comparison, and the (mistaken) idea that the ego is the totality of the self. I totally understand that p.o.v., having lived it for years. Now I do not have to live that way any more.

Since I was asked directly, I merely pointed out that there is another way entirely of seeing the "self" and the world: no judgment, no comparison, no superiority, no inferiority. Simple as that. This is not a question of authority at all, but of experience. As the Rastas in Jamaica like to say, "Who feels it knows it."

BTW, I heard nothing at all inappropriate in your comment.

Be well,
RS

Nietzsche (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dr. Robert... if the enlightened (or whatever you wanna call it) person is above/free from judgement then how do they decide how to guide their ego when they choose to use it as you say to get about in life? If desire and value lose their appeal then "who" are you? I mean... I'm aware that spiritualists will claim that they are nothing in the sense of having no ego but everything in the sense of being the universe itself... but what drives you in life if you get to that point? Does one simply flip a coin and assign a Daliah Lama-esque life to heads and a life of stationery meditation to the other?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

These are the kinds of questions you will have to answer for yourself. Words only go so far.

Be well.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I must have spent a good 10-15 years studying theology, obsessing over it really. I think it would be a hell of an experience speaking with the Dalai Lama about the questions I have about life.

Hexi joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 5 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I would bet you anything that it would be disappointing, to say the least.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 59 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I dunno.. he's how old? I mean he's an old man. He's got like at least 50 years to my 10-15 and has spent his whole life learning this stuff. He could probably answer question in a second that would take me hours of contemplation. And his answers would probably take me years to really understand. Nah... the Dalai Lama is one of the few people who has my absolute respect. I mean, he doesn't just talk about it.. he lives it... which is something that even at my best is seriously flawed.

(Edited 15 minutes later.)

Nietzsche (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> These are the kinds of questions you will have to answer for yourself. Words only go so far.
>
> Be well.

Forgive me for probing further... but what exactly does that mean? How can it be beyond words? Are you saying that you don't actually know or that you know but can't break it down? There always seems to be a sort of wall with spirituality where everything gets vague and unexplainable. I'm not saying that I don't believe you... but it is not reassuring when people reply with a "if you have to ask then you'll never know" kind of answer.

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 51 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ok then, explain an abstarct painting to a blind person and why it is impressive.

(Edited 20 seconds later.)

Nietzsche (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 8 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Ok then, explain an abstarct painting to a blind person and why it is impressive.

That's surely different. Logic and rationality are not beyond blind people. I don't understand how a perspective can't be translated into words. In my mind, if you can't put it into words then you can't process it in your head either. "Just knowing" is so vague. If the "knowing" is a rational understanding then it can be put into words. If it's some kind of abstract "feeling" then... well i don't know what then.

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Let's try something simpler then. Put into words the colour blue and explain what it looks like to someone who was born blind. Surely you know what blue looks like, should be easy right? Explain that to a person who has never seen any colours at all.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 7 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Nietzsche... I think it might get to a point where it gets hard to describe because there is a point where all these paradoxes come into play. Where life is backwards. For instance what you thought was very complicated turns out to be extremely simple. Things seem to contradict itself but when looked at from the right perspective makes perfect sense. You have to be able to submit your mind to knowing that you know nothing so you can be teachable.

(Edited 6 minutes later.)

Nietzsche (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 12 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Let's try something simpler then. Put into words the colour blue and explain what it looks like to someone who was born blind. Surely you know what blue looks like, should be easy right? Explain that to a person who has never seen any colours at all.

I'm familiar with the impossibility of being able to describe colours.... but what sense are "enlightened" people using that I don't have? I am not blind and Dr. Robert isn't talking about a colour. Are you implying some kind of duality? I need to develop my pineal gland?

Nietzsche (OP) double-posted this 6.5 years ago, 4 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Nietzsche... I think it might get to a point where it gets hard to describe because there is a point where all these paradoxes come into play. Where life is backwards. For instance what you thought was very complicated turns out to be extremely simple. Things seem to contradict itself but when looked at from the right perspective makes perfect sense. You have to be able to submit your mind to knowing that you know nothing so you can be teachable.

It always comes down to paradox and vagueness though. How exactly do spiritual teachers teach if they can't describe their perspective? Why is it so hard to document? Are you enlightened when you simply learn to stop asking what enlightenment is? that last point actually sounds pretty viable... but if so, why can't people just say that? why must there be some kind of unknown voyage that has to be undertaken, at the end of which you can't put into words?

Nietzsche (OP) triple-posted this 6.5 years ago, 8 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

in other words, why does wisdom/knowledge have to be unravelled over time? is it beyond people to explain their findings? I understand that maybe it takes time to fully comprehend what has been said... but that doesn't stop people from saying.

Perhaps enlightenment is just a feeling and therefore can't be explained in words? but if it's just a feeling then surely it is a balance of chemicals in the brain rather than a rational understanding of the world and our place within.

I've taken ecstasy once before and in that moment I really felt like i'd "arrived". At the time I did just "know"... but the "know" was simply an overwhelming feeling of peace and love.. not really a thoughtful understanding... just a perfect calm with myself. Maybe that is a glimpse of enlightenement... but then I can put that into words.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 7 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

People have been able to put these things into words. If they didn't then nobody would be able to learn it. There are tons of books on the subject. You actually have to read them though. I can't think of a specific thing off the top of my head cause its been a while and I kinda just dropped everything but I can try to say it like this. Say there is a sentence you read. You look around you and see that your life is not like the sentence described so how can it be true. And so you fight it. Then you take yourself out of the perspective and read the sentence again and it looks completely different. Then not only has the sentence changed but the world has changed. Then you realize that the only thing you did was complicate the words. I don't know...

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 13 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

It's not a matter of sense but perspective, but that perspective can never truly be conveyed with words to someone who lacks the proper perception attained with the perspective you get from accumulated knowledge and understanding. "Tis so much to be a king, that he only is so by being so." Forgot where i read that from.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 45 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Just to add real quick I am nowhere near "enlightened". There was one time I thought I was but learned very quickly that I didn't know shit.

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 9 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Just to add real quick I am nowhere near "enlightened". There was one time I thought I was but learned very quickly that I didn't know shit.

Oh me neither, atleast not to my knowledge. I've never even wanted to search for such things. Being a judgemental asshole who trusts no-one and nothing at face value and expects to be let down at every turn serves me far too well. The fact is thought that i'm right about people and their motives far more often than not. I'm just trying to explain how a concept that you lack the knowledge and understanding to understand can be hard to explain.

Dragontongue joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I like Nietzsche's questions. I haven't been posting because he keeps asking the things I'm going to ask! :)
In any case, I don't see the point in becoming 'enlightened'. Why would you want to end up without any real desires or preferences of your own? "Hello, I'm a human doormat. The fact that you are stepping on me is something that cannot be changed. I am neither happy nor unhappy about it. I don't even need to be happy anymore. Just living is good enough for me!" Bleh. What a worthless existence that would be. Although you wouldn't care, because you wouldn't be making value judgements anymore.... "Oh, there's a war going on and people are dying. My sister is getting married on Tuesday. Look over there, that man is about to be hit by a car. What actions could I possibly take to improve this shared delusion? Oh but wait, I can't improve anything because everything just is and can't be 'better' or 'worse' than it is now. I suppose I could use the value system of this delusion, but what would be the point?"

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

ROFL!!!

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 3 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Indeed. We are creatures of wants, needs and want nots. Gouging your eyes out makes colours meaningless but that doesn't mean they don't exist, you just blind yourself to them. I may be totally wrong but detaching yourself from the shades of life is as much an 'englightnenment' as covering your ears because they music is too loud and it makes you sick.

(Edited 35 minutes later.)

FamFav5 joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 17 hours later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Wow! You all couldn't have made the doc's point about the ego being based on fear if you'd been trying, but I know you weren't.

Nietzsche, do you really imagine that everything can be put into words (" I don't understand how a perspective can't be translated into words. In my mind, if you can't put it into words then you can't process it in your head either.")?

Jennifer, tell me this. If you got an interview with the Dalai Lama and could ask him anything at all, but just one question, what would it be?

Dragon, does the doc really seem like a human doormat? Maybe you are missing something here.

Hexi, you think awakening to a bigger picture of who or what one is is like gouging out your eyes?

The doc made every attempt to put words onto that which cannot be said ("The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao" first verse of Tao Te Ching), but you all don't even want to understand. Just bicker.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 4 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Fam, Is this a test? I dunno... it's not gonna happen and I'm not into that stuff anymore and I try to think about it as little as possible. I got caught up in the moment here.. oops. It would take me some time to get back into that "frame of mind" cause I regressed almost completely but I think it would have to do with boundaries for the individual and how much "giving" is to much and maybe a question having to do with pain on the majority of humanity kinda scale and the choices for the whole. I might ask about physical pain. I dont think I could pick just one and I'm sure I could find answers for those kinds of things myself if I looked for it so no point bothering the man about that. To be honest I would probably just watch every move he made and studied him. Despite what you may think I did get very deep into it.. for me.. and some of it I still hold on to. Could you imagine the person I was before if this is a bit of an improvement?

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 28 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

No Fam, you clearly missed my point ENTIRELY. Understanding the bigger picture is worthless if you lose sight of the smaller one. If knowing the bigger picture would bring answers, we would have heard about it by now. Also, what a convenient quote you have there. "I know the secrets of the universe and the meaning of everything but i can't tell you, you have to waste your life instead of living it to find it, preferrably by serving me and my friends." The truth isn't out there, the universe has no greater meaning; it's all here, right now. That is what i can believe in, not some promises of 'enlightenment' by people who waste their life looking for it. I'll happily stay ignorant, i have no need to look further for meaning in things.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 45 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

As much as I like the Dalai Lama I still think Yoda is way cooler.

Nietzsche (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Fam, I hope you're not under the impression that I look down upon spirituality or concepts regarding the ego... because I don't. However, it is frustrating that such topics tend to be so vague.

With regards to the sentence you quoted.... I don't see how an enlightened person is not able to put their perspective into words. If they had an extra sense of some kind... or if I was blind and they were experiencing colours.. then I could understand, but they do not (as far as I'm aware) have an extra sense.

To put it another way, if an enlightened person can't explain, in words, to themselves, what they are seeing.. then how can they have any special perspective? If they can explain it in words then why not explain it to others?

Anonymous G joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Psychosis is a general term for a loss of contact with consensual reality--for example, hearing or seeing things which are not there, which is called hallucination, or believing in false ideas about who one is or what is taking place in the environment, which is called delusion. Psychosis is not an illness per se, but rather a set of symptoms which may result from either mental illness (schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder), or from a physical cause (stroke, brain tumor, drug and alcohol intoxication).
>
> Depersonalization is a derangement in the process of self-awareness which manifests as a feeling of detachment from ones body or mental processes. One may feel as if going through the motions of life without really experiencing anything, or as if living in a movie or a dream. Most of us feel that way occasionally, but if such feelings are routine or persistent, depersonalization is considered a disorder which requires treatment. Like psychosis, depersonalization is not an illness in itself, but rather a symptom which could result from drug intoxication, severe anxiety, panic attack, depression, or bipolar disorder, or, depersonalization may arise as a defense mechanism against unacceptable trauma such as torture or childhood physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
>
> Although psychosis and depersonalization may share some of the same proximate causesbipolar disorder, for example, or drug intoxicationthey are not the same thing. While depersonalization involves a disturbance in the perception of "selfhood," the sufferer still maintains contact with consensual reality, and is able to distinguish between his or her internal perceptions and the reality of the outside world, or between "reality," and fantasy. In psychosis, that ability to make that distinction cannot be maintained.
>
> In the experience called "spiritual awakening," or "satori," one may also see the ordinary view of "reality" as a kind of dream or shared delusion, and I know that was the point of your original question: why is depersonalization not the same as seeing the emptiness of ego? The difference is that the spiritually awakened person does not feel as if he or she is living in a dream or disconnected from the body as happens in depersonalization, but that the habitual way of regarding ones egoones ambitions, desires, fears, etc.and the egos of others as "selves" has been a dream, and now one has awakened from that dream.

Thank you for the answer. I've a few more questions, if you - and the others here - don't mind. I quit college about a year ago and have lived in isolation for a year now. I'm using my computer pretty much the whole time and I live with my parents. I know it's not healthy, by the way. Anyway my question is as follows: do you think isolation and over-use of computer could be something that causes depersonalization and possibly derealization? I'm currently receiving medical care for acute psychosis and schizophrenia, but I get no counselling. I also don't think the medication is helping at all. Actually I think it may make me worse, but I take the pills anyway. I thought I may bring depersonalization up the next time I talk to my doctor. I went to a doctor specialized in psychosis and he said I didn't have psychosis, yet afterwards when I mentioned that I believe in spirits and said that astral projection could help my illness I was diagnosed with psychosis, by someone else this time. (Astral projection has scientific evidence but I won't go too much into that now.)

You mentioned panic attacks being connected to depersonalization. I think I've experienced a few. For example I thought I was losing myself at some point and that something terrible would happen. I told my parents about it but as usual they ignored everything I said. So I called the emergency line and after that my doctors. Another time I suddenly felt like something would happen if I went to sleep so I was awake for two days talking to some people over the Internet. I called the emergency line then, too, and since they ignored me I told them I'd kill myself and they told me they'd call me back. So I waited for an hour and since nobody called back I went to sleep. I felt better in the morning. I also suffered from anxiety before the whole thing started.

Ps. I'd ask these questions from my doctor but the last time I asked him about depression and psychosis he just told me it's too complicated to explain. I think he also believes that whatever I hear could harm me or that I'm too simple to understand. Not that I blame him, of course! It could even be true, who knows.

Pss. The reason you're sure that enlightened people don't have answers to life is because you don't have them. You can't accept the fact that some people are smarter than you. Rather you can't accept that you are wrong.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 14 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I really like that Pss. And also.. I kinda have to go with Hexi on some of this stuff cause in the end its about living your life, isn't it? I mean, nobody knows or can even begin to fathom the depths of what we're talking about. The only thing we can do is live our lives the best we can and accept others as they do the same. But what do I know..

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Dragontongue replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Dragon, does the doc really seem like a human doormat? Maybe you are missing something here.

Oh no, he really doesn't. But are you suggesting it would be a bad thing if he were?

FamFav5 replied with this 6.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Not just yours, but all of your comments were coming from the perspective that the ego is the all and everything. I have met Dr. Saltzman, and he teaches that the ego is a necessary and useful tool, but not the all and everything. I think he tried to share that here, but was met with a lot of nonsense which so obviously was based on fear. I am not as far along as the doc, but I have had some breakthroughs in which I experienced states of being in which my personal ego was not all and everything. Of course, you have no particular reason to believe me, but I will tell you that you don't become a doormat, you haven't gouged your eyes out, and you cannot explain that place in words, because words, maybe except for some great poetry or mystical writings, are the language of the ego. That language is the language of either/or. Either you are a solid ego or you are a doormat. Either you can explain your experience in words, or your experience isn't real. Either you are the one and only Dalai Lama, or your understanding is less than fully valid and it would be much better to ask the Dalai Lama instead of trying to understand the doc. The doc tried his best to reply to the original question, but all of you demeaned what he was trying to do in one way or another. I was sorry to see it. I immediately thought pearls before swine. Not that you are swine, but you know what I mean. You were all so anxious to try to shoot holes in what he was saying. If you had put that same effort into trying to stretch your horizons a bit, you might have understood what he was saying. It's pretty unusual really that someone like him is willing to carrying on this kind of conversation anyway asking nothing in return. I would think you would be more respectful of it. That's all I mean.

Nietzsche (OP) replied with this 6.5 years ago, 17 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Not just yours, but all of your comments were coming from the perspective that the ego is the all and everything. I have met Dr. Saltzman, and he teaches that the ego is a necessary and useful tool, but not the all and everything. I think he tried to share that here, but was met with a lot of nonsense which so obviously was based on fear. I am not as far along as the doc, but I have had some breakthroughs in which I experienced states of being in which my personal ego was not all and everything. Of course, you have no particular reason to believe me, but I will tell you that you don't become a doormat, you haven't gouged your eyes out, and you cannot explain that place in words, because words, maybe except for some great poetry or mystical writings, are the language of the ego. That language is the language of either/or. Either you are a solid ego or you are a doormat. Either you can explain your experience in words, or your experience isn't real. Either you are the one and only Dalai Lama, or your understanding is less than fully valid and it would be much better to ask the Dalai Lama instead of trying to understand the doc. The doc tried his best to reply to the original question, but all of you demeaned what he was trying to do in one way or another. I was sorry to see it. I immediately thought pearls before swine. Not that you are swine, but you know what I mean. You were all so anxious to try to shoot holes in what he was saying. If you had put that same effort into trying to stretch your horizons a bit, you might have understood what he was saying. It's pretty unusual really that someone like him is willing to carrying on this kind of conversation anyway asking nothing in return. I would think you would be more respectful of it. That's all I mean.

I havent been disrespectful towards Dr. Robert. I'm genuinely interested in such things. I've meditated over 20 times, been to spiritual classes, studied yoga, experienced huge changes of consciousness through drug use (mushrooms and ecstasy) and spent many hours in introspection. I still think that it's reasonable to push someone for more insight into their perspective on life. I'm not going to assume that enlightenement actually exists... neither will I assume that it doesn't exist.... until I've researched more. My questions related to how a person lives and guides their life while not relying on the ego for guidance... I don't see why someone couldn't attempt to explain that.

Nietzsche (OP) double-posted this 6.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

and just because we don't understand him... doesn't mean that we are not trying hard enough...

EDIT: in fact, I have been asking for explanations so that I may be able to understand.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Dragontongue replied with this 6.5 years ago, 33 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> you don't become a doormat,
Why not become a doormat? If everyone in the world were a doormat (e.g. 'use me if you like, I don't mind'), wouldn't the world be a more pleasant place? No wars, for one thing. I grant we mightn't make as much progress, since we would have no reason to be dissatisfied with the present state of advancement, but hey.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> the language of the ego. That language is the language of either/or. Either you are a solid ego or you are a doormat.
Well, if you
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> have no more need for happiness of any kind, or anything else for that matter. Need ends entirely, and the present moment is what it is—quite beyond judgment of happy/unhappy, good/bad, or any other duality.
and you
> Stop defending and/or criticizing your opinons and beliefs.
> When a particular moment or juncture seems particularly challenging, and ego sings its siren song of "choice, option, power, influence, good, better, best," just say the magic words:
>
> "In this moment, everything is as it is, and cannot be any different."
then why would you bother preventing people from making you their doormat? Seriously, why should you bother? I know the doc says that ego still can be used when needed, but since
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> "I," which is not ego, any more than I am my suit of clothes, have no real stake in preserving anything, gaining anything, winning anything, or being anything in particular, including being "enlightened."
when, exactly, would the ego be needed? When would anything be needed?
Maybe that's a pretty good deal, having nothing be important anymore. But me, I'll pass. I'd rather (for example) put up with being unhappy now and then than move into a state where happiness is unimportant.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> You were all so anxious to try to shoot holes in what he was saying. If you had put that same effort into trying to stretch your horizons a bit, you might have understood what he was saying. It's pretty unusual really that someone like him is willing to carrying on this kind of conversation anyway asking nothing in return. I would think you would be more respectful of it. That's all I mean.
Oh well, we may have wounded his ego a bit, but I'm sure he doesn't mind our lack of proper respect.
In any case, what makes you think we're not trying to understand it? I know pointing out what I see as flaws in someone else's argument and then getting their feedback really helps me, at least, understand what they're saying. I did sit back and try to figure it out myself for a good long time, but I wasn't getting anywhere with it, so.... Won't you help me out a bit, instead of letting your ego be hurt on behalf of Dr. Robert's ego?

Sifter joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 26 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

maybe it was the WoW talk that drove him away.

*JOKES*

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Fam is an arrogant sob and no better off than the rest of us..

Edit: I wonder what his ego is afraid of in this conversation... I mean we all were wrong before he even jumped in... You can learn a lot from a dummy!

(Edited 24 minutes later.)

Ailonna joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

^^^ LOL!

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 4 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hey Fam.. lets say we are all looking at this from a perspective of fear. So what? Does that make it wrong or inferior to your perspective? Or does it make OUR perspective superior because we choose to maintain a healthy degree of skepticism and because we have to search for the courage within ourselves to move forward despite our fear? I mean come the fuck on! We're human! And if you really believe that we are all looking at this from the perspective of fear then what you are doing is kicking a person when they are already down (pearls before swine?) so you can feel superior. How "enlightened" is that? Personally, I think you're full of shit. Two can play at that game. The only real difference between me and you is that I'm not pretending to be something that I'm not or that I know something that I don't. I've already established that I'm a sick bitch so where the fuck are you coming from?

(Edited 7 hours later.)

Anonymous G joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 day later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

There's no need to be rude. I'm sure FamFav5 didn't mean to insult you, nor did you mean to insult the doctor. Perhaps lack of ego means something you can use at will when necessary. The way I understand it, you can forgive people when you need to and you can choose to do the right thing instead of doing the just thing. This is just the way I understand it, though. And it's most likely incorrect!

Ps. I don't know anything and thus I can't know that I don't know anything. All I can do is assume.
Pss. I demand justice!

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 18 minutes later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I'm just callin him out... his words and actions don't match up and he's trying to intimidate with his "wisdom"... lol Gimme a break!

And I think Fam had every intention of insulting us. That's not something you do by accident. lol

(Edited 34 minutes later.)

Chef joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I firmly believe that nothing should be firmly believed.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 14 hours later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hello, all--

I have been away from my computer and so I am just reading all this for the first time.

To begin with, Anon G, sorry you have had to wait. It must have felt a bit like waiting for the hotline people who dropped the ball like that. You need more help than you have been getting. Online advice is not sufficient, and no one should be taking psychiatric drugs without ongoing counseling. Please try to find the help you need. And keep trying, keep insisting, until you get it.

As for the rest of this thread: my words about how the ego and its fear of non-existence blinds us to the realities of our true nature as human beings arose because I was asked very direct questions about this, and simply felt compelled to reply honestly and directly. I was not my intention to try to convince anyone of anything, or to make anyone feel threatened. I am sorry that my speaking about these matters seems to have created a somewhat nasty controversy. I certainly did not intended that anyone try to adopt my perspective since each of us must live by our own lights without imitation.

Fam, you should know better than to be comparing, and I am the last person you know who needs defending.

Be well.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 day later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

I'm starting to think that the Hokie Pokie really IS what its all about.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 6 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

That's not too far off the mark, Jennifer.

Arthur joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 days later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Doctor--

I would like to study this with you. Do you receive people who don't come for psychotherapy but to learn seeing beyond the ego? Please let me know. I can travel to see you.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 day later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hello, Arthur--

I cannot encourage you to travel a long distance in order to consult me on that basis. I only very rarely step outside of the boundaries of traditional psychotherapy to get into any (for want of a better term) "spiritual teaching." I do not mean to imply that psychotherapy is not about the spirit--often it is, but you seem to be asking directly that I try to teach you something which really cannot be taught unless the person seeking the knowledge is already prepared to receive it, and unless a very good and special kind of match exists between teacher and seeker. How would either you or I be able to assume such a match without having met even once? I would not like you to travel all the way to see me, and then have to leave disappointed, which I must say is very likely what would occur.

Here is an idea: suppose you write an essay for me about your previous experiences with all of this, and what you would hope to learn from me. Send it to me privately via the email address on my website, and I will read it and get back to you.

Be well.

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hey doc, you should start a cult. There's some serious zealotry going on here from time to time. :)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, that can come up whenever someone tries to speak seriously about so-called "spirituality," but what is the alternative: pretend nothing exists beyond an "oh, I am so bored, life is empty so no use looking for anything, all we can do is just waste time until we die version of life?

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 15 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

That depends, doesn't it? Do you want to look at things objectively or do you want to lie to yourself and cling to delusions of something greater because your ego can't handle how meaningless and insignificant you, and every else, truly is. It's not mutually exclusive with a fun and full life though, why do you think that?

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 35 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

You call it a delusion. On what basis do you say that? And none of this has anything to do with fun.

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 6 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

When those that seek something have no evidence of it, those that claim to know it have no proof of it and those that value it have nothing to show for it, i call it a delusion. It has plenty to do with fun, life is a joke and some get it while others don't.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

"No reason to get excited", the thief he kindly spoke
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late".

-----from "All Along The Watchtower" by Bob Dylan

Life is a joke, and that's it, right Hexi? And you are just so sure. I call that a totally closed mind. What do you call it?

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 33 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

No, that's not it at all. You misunderstand me. Life is a joke played on us by the universe. It's my point of view but, am i sure i'm somehow right? That would be absurd, no one knows and most likely, never will. All we can do is go by how we see things and adjust our view based on experience which i obviously lack. Today i think that life is indeed a ride in an amusement park and all we can do is either accept and go with it or resist it and be miserable. Should i make wild claims to know something more? To have some deeper understanding just to appear wise? All i can do is say what i think and continue to adjust my views as i get more years under my belt. What i refuse to do, however, is cling to something someone else is trying to sell me with nothing to back it up. I don't agree with your point of view today, it's nothing personal.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 44 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Good reply, Hexi. I always considered skepticism my strongest ally, and I still do, so congrats on embodying that asset and standing up for yourself and the need to come to ones own conclusions. I think you know from having read a lot of my stuff that I never ask anyone or expect anyone either to believe me without evidence or to follow me.

One important caveat: skepticism is wonderful, but cynicism is poison. You don't seem confused about the difference, but some of the regulars out here do seem to miss that making that vital distinction.

Dragontongue replied with this 6.5 years ago, 4 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Skeptics question things, while cynics refuse to believe things... right?

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 25 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think I would qualify as a cynic because I am very closed minded about the whole thing. Skeptics are a bit more open minded but require a bit more proof.

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 5 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

In most cases, cynic is what an optimist calls a realist but, at the heart of every true cynic lies a disappointed romantic.

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
A skeptic is person who never accepts ideas just because some authority has put them forth (the priest, the doctor, the professor, etc.) or because they are accepted by large numbers of people (God, life after death, etc.). When presented with an idea, the skeptic asks, "What is your evidence for that?" If sufficient evidence is offered, the skeptic then accepts the idea provisionally--accepts it, that is, as a working hypothesis until some other contrary evidence might emerge.

In other words, the skeptic keeps an open mind, and is always prepared to discard one belief or idea if a better one comes along. In fact, the best kind of skeptic loves being proven wrong because that means that he or she has a new basis for an improved view of reality. To say this another way, the skeptic is the kind of person who never stops learning.

Skepticism was the stance advocated by the Buddha who is said to have advised, "Take nothing on faith or because some authority has said it. Believe only that which you have tested and proved for yourself."

The word "cynic" originally referred to a group of ancient Greek philosophers who advocated the doctrine that virtue is the only good and that the essence of virtue is self-control, but now that old meaning has changed. These days, cynicism means believing the worst of human nature and motives. For example, a cynic might sneer at the idea that someone could offer help to another for purely altruistic reasons, as has happened on the old forum, and perhaps on this one too (WhiteWolf).

Cynics often believe that they are simply skeptical, but the difference is readily apparent, at least from my perspective. My experience as a psychotherapist has indicated to me that cynicism often, if not always, is a defense mechanism which arises originally because one has been hurt somehow, and now protects against any further hurt by closing off to the idea that any beauty, love, or deep meaning can exist for real within the human experience.

(Edited 26 minutes later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 4 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

The only thing real is pain. The most beautiful things are built on sorrow. The greatest motivator? Fear. Not everyone can understand "love" but we all know pain. It's the one thing that can be perfected and indulged. It's the only thing truly universal. ... Its the only thing you cannot run from...

(Edited 58 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 6.5 years ago, 5 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Awww, someone needs a hug. ;)

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

:D You gonna give me one Hexi?

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes, Jennifer, this is cynicism: "If I cannot understand something, it is not real. If I personally cannot feel something, it does not exist."

A skeptic might say, "I have never felt joy, so I don't know if it really exists. What is your evidence?" But that person, the skeptic, would be open to listening to the evidence and considering it. The cynic, on the other hand, is not asking, but simply clinging to her point of view, defending it, and arguing for it, which actually impedes any possible intellectual or emotional evolution: "Only pain is real."

Perhaps you are only playing around and showing off, but even so, our jokes do speak volumes. If you mean it seriously, this is a deeply cynicaland therefore terribly confusedview of the human situation. As I wrote before, I see this depth of cynicism as a defense against being further hurt (Hexi says as much with "you need a hug"), and I advise you to try to get some help in healing the original wounds instead of continuing to cling to a defensive strategy (cynicism, drug addiction) which is so costly and so relatively ineffective.

Be well

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 10 hours later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

Of course I'm deluded and confused. Anyone paying attention would be able to see that. I've made it a point not to hide it. That doesn't negate my statement, though. I cannot say that there is nothing at all to love and joy. That would be like a blind kind of stupidity wouldn't it? But, Dr, even the 4 noble truths start out with pain and try to teach how to run from it using all forms of "defense mechanisms" (If you remember that nothing is really yours you will never lose it?). Pain will still find you, over and over, until you accept it. Love won't do that. Joy won't. So instead of running from it why not revel in it?

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6

"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

It doesn't matter if you believe in an actual god or devil or just the archetypes and psychology... it's still true. Fullness and emptyness, darkness and light.

Your joke about Sarah Palin spoke volumes about you. :)

(Edited 4 hours later.)

Jennifer double-posted this 6.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

Don't be a cynic yourself Dr and don't knock it tell you try it. Decadence is heavenly. :)

(Edited 7 hours later.)

jaundice joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 47 minutes later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

wtf do you mean?

Bookshelf joined in and replied with this 6.5 years ago, 15 hours later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

She means embrace hedonism, yellow eyes.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 11 minutes later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

lol There's a word for everything isn't there?

(Edited 11 minutes later.)

jaundice replied with this 6.5 years ago, 21 hours later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

jennifer
I dont understand why you keep arguing with the doc. Everything he said seems true and very clear. I wonder if you really want to umderstand any of this or if you just want to win a fight with him(in your imagination).

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 9 minutes later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

keep arguing? I think I've only even acknowledged his existence maybe 3 times the whole time I've been here which for me is quite a lot On further reflection it seems to be more than 3.. hmm.. progress?

(Edited 11 hours later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.5 years ago, 6 hours later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

No problem at all on my end, Jennifer. You are completely welcome here, and free to question anything I say as much as you like.

jaundice, my wise old friend, Bill Gersh, used to say: "You get what you get when you get it." If you get me, fine. If Jennifer doesn't, that's fine too.

Jennifer replied with this 6.5 years ago, 4 hours later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

btw.. in my "imagination" he's already died half a million times half a million ways...

Jennifer double-posted this 6.5 years ago, 22 hours later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

"The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness."
Kazantzakis, Nikos
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[upload]

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