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Excerpts from Still the Mind

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libertygrl
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Posted 09/03/06 - 9:00 PM:
Subject: Excerpts from Still the Mind
by Alan Watts.

Consciousness does not illumine the lamp from which it shines, just as a flashlight doesn't shine on the battery that powers it. When you make a decision, does that come from somewhere other than you? No, it comes from the depths of you, of which you are not really aware. You encompass far more than anything you know about in a conscious way.

But we are so used to thinking of "I" as simply the center of consciousness, and the center of our will, that we ignore (or are ignorant of) most of ourselves. When you think of a particular person, what do you think of? Suppose I say, "Think of your uncle," or "Think of your mother." What instantly comes to mind is their face, because we are most accustomed to seeing photographs and images of faces. When we see images of the president, most often it is the president's face, the head and shoulders, and only occasionally is the whole body seen.

What do you think of when you think of a flower? In the same way, you think mostly of the blossom, sometimes of the stalk, and occasionally of the whole plant. But very rarely when we think of a flower do we think of the flower out in a field. We would say, "That's more than the flower. The flower is not the field." But is that so? Where would the flower be without the field?

I can say in words, "The flower grows in the field." In words I can chop the field off and say, "The flower grows," and the phrase will still make sense. However, it will not make sense in nature. If I take the field away from the flower, the flower cannot grow. The flower is connected with the field in a very deep way, and so in the same way a person is not just their head. The head has to go with the body, and the body has to go with a social and natural environment - but we never think of it in that way. We know it is all there, but it doesn't come to mind automatically.

[...]

We may not recognize ourselves because we think of ourselves as a chopped-off piece surrounded by our skin, and therefore we see ourselves in a rather impoverished way. And this form of perception is almost automatic. We think of ourselves as separate beings who stand alone and move through all sorts of different places but are cut off from the environment.

As a result we have an underlying feeling of alienation, of not really belonging in this universe, and we feel that we are being confronted by something that does not give a damn about us. It was here long before us, and will be here long after we are gone. We come into this world for a brief span as a little flash of consciousness between two eternal darknesses. Of course, during our lives all sorts of other things go on, but nevertheless the feeling that haunts almost everybody is that this "I" is an orphan, here on a visit, and we don't feel that we really belong here.

In the same way, what do you feel when you look out at those galaxies? If you go out into a desert or up in the mountains where the sky is clear, you see this colossal affair that you are involved in. It makes a lot of people feel very small, but it shouldn't. It should make you feel as big as it is, because it is all inseparably connected with what you call you.

This tremendous whirling of energy is exactly one and the same energy that is looking out of your eyes, that is running along inside your brain, that is breathing, and that makes noises when you talk. The whole energy of the universe is coming at you and through you, and you are that energy.
Yogi Bear
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Posted 11/15/06 - 1:20 AM:

The air breathes my lungs, the roads walks my feet, and the light sees my eyes. At least, that's one way to break things down.

Do you really go places, or does the world come to you? Much like the illusion of going places in a movie. You sit still, yet seem to go so many places.

To say I love you is to say I am one with you.

Every day for me is a trip out in the vast ocean, and occasionally in this massively large span of water, I come across someone who's also paddling in a boat. The odds are against it, but it happens sometimes. I treasure those rare moments.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/08/09 - 6:39 AM:

Alan Watts/libertygrl wrote:
In the same way, what do you feel when you look out at those galaxies? If you go out into a desert or up in the mountains where the sky is clear, you see this colossal affair that you are involved in. It makes a lot of people feel very small, but it shouldn't. It should make you feel as big as it is, because it is all inseparably connected with what you call you.


This 'feeling' or 'thinking',big/small,or whatever is very cause of duality and again this thinking is suggesting you that there is 'duality'.

In the absence of thought,there is no duality/separation.

In the presence of thought/feeling there is no union,no matter how big/unified you consider yourself to be,thought/feeling would consistently make you trapped in side the form. Thought is trap.


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Thinker13
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Posted 07/08/09 - 6:40 AM:

Thought is Maya.

Thought is the way of manifestation of Lila,or you can say Lila operates by way of Maya.


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libertygrl
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Posted 07/08/09 - 10:57 AM:

is thought necessary for science?
Thinker13
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Posted 07/08/09 - 12:06 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
is thought necessary for science?


Yes.

Why?

Science is knowledge.

knowledge is accumulated by thoughts.



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Sweet Candor
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Posted 07/09/09 - 9:24 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
is thought necessary for science?


Yes.

Why?

Science is knowledge.

knowledge is accumulated by thoughts.

People have knowledge of how to ride a bike; what do you think of when you ride a bike? Do you constantly think of how to adjust the bike? No; like Nike, you just do it.

Can we scientifically explain to a child how to ride a bike for the first time? No, and yet we have the knowledge.

Can we scientifically explore - through observation of our own experience - our true nature outside of thoughts? Yes, and we gain knowledge of our true nature in the same way we gain knowledge of how to ride a bike. Can we explain this knowledge in a scientific way to others? No.

So thought is not necessary for science - we can gain knowledge beyond thoughts.

Game over.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/20/09 - 1:59 AM:

Sweet Candor wrote:
People have knowledge of how to ride a bike; what do you think of when you ride a bike? Do you constantly think of how to adjust the bike? No; like Nike, you just do it.


Yes,that is also a 'science'.

Sweet Candor wrote:
Can we scientifically explain to a child how to ride a bike for the first time? No, and yet we have the knowledge.


Why not,it could be explained scientifically.

Sweet Candor wrote:
Can we scientifically explore - through observation of our own experience - our true nature outside of thoughts? Yes, and we gain knowledge of our true nature in the same way we gain knowledge of how to ride a bike. Can we explain this knowledge in a scientific way to others? No.


Not related,in any way to the original question of lib,though.wink

Sweet Candor wrote:
So thought is not necessary for science - we can gain knowledge beyond thoughts.


The' knowledge beyond thoughts' is a fudge! Knowledge is 'thought',otherwise how do you know?


Sweet Candor wrote:
Game over.


laughinglaughinglaughing

"I want to play a Game"


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smokinpristiformis
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Posted 07/20/09 - 2:25 AM:

Conscious thought is perhaps not entirely necessary for the 'learning by experimentation' part of science. Although it certainly helps a lot.

I think it's needed for what makes science science, though: structured, repeatable, measurable experimentation, and it's probably equally needed for that other important scientific process: The search for reason, cause, underlying patterns.

Maybe I'm wrong and all those things can be thought to less than lucid creatures. It would amaze me, though.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/25/09 - 2:11 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
Conscious thought is perhaps not entirely necessary for the 'learning by experimentation' part of science. Although it certainly helps a lot.


It is impossible to observe,record and learn without 'thought',though it need not be conscious thinking always.

smokinpristiformis wrote:
I think it's needed for what makes science science, though: structured, repeatable, measurable experimentation, and it's probably equally needed for that other important scientific process: The search for reason, cause, underlying patterns.


Perfectly so.



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rENOIR9
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Posted 08/18/09 - 8:56 PM:

smiling faceSTILL THE MIND..............MY SOUL REMEMBERS WHAT IT HAS DESIRED. IT IS IN OUR MEMORIES AND DREAMS, THAT WE AWAKEN THE SPIRIT AND DESIRE IT AGAIN.
Thinker13
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Posted 08/19/09 - 8:00 AM:

Who has seen the mind?

The soul?

Zum
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Posted 09/14/09 - 2:38 PM:

"Welcome to an evening under the breast of the Divine Mother. It's so graceful to share the journey. We've been on the journey a long time together. We've gone through a lot of stages. And just as in any journey, some people have dropped along the way, have had enough for this round. Others have been waiting for us to catch up. The journey passes through the seven valleys, the seven kingdoms, the chakras, the planes of consciousness, the degrees of faith. Often we only know we've been in a certain place when we pass beyond it, because when we're in it we don't have the perspective to know because we're only being. But as the journey progresses, less and less do you need to know. When the faith is strong enough it is sufficient just to be. It's a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It's a journey out of time, leaving behind every model we have had of who we think we are. It involves a transformation of our beings so that our thinking mind becomes our servant rather than our master. It's a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body, through identification with our psyche, on to an identification with our souls, then to an identification with God, and ultimately beyond identification. . ."

From Grist for the Mill by Ram Dass with Steven Levine
Paul
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Posted 09/17/09 - 1:51 AM:

Watts wrote:
Consciousness does not illumine the lamp from which it shines, just as a flashlight doesn't shine on the battery that powers it. When you make a decision, does that come from somewhere other than you? No, it comes from the depths of you, of which you are not really aware. You encompass far more than anything you know about in a conscious way.


I think it's a mistake to think of consciousness in terms of the observer/observed distinction (as atman observing thoughts, or as a "depths of self" observing thoughts). That dualism is part of the nature of thought, within consciousness -- we conceptualize things by splitting them into dualistic relations. It's an imposition which is normally useful but leads us to confusion on fundamental issues like consciousness. Consciousness, to me, is just a feedback network with no point of origin. Consciousness is the sum of its contents and no more, not something deeper -- nice as it would be to have something deeper.
Thinker13
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Posted 09/17/09 - 2:17 AM:

Paul wrote:


I think it's a mistake to think of consciousness in terms of the observer/observed distinction (as atman observing thoughts, or as a "depths of self" observing thoughts). That dualism is part of the nature of thought, within consciousness -- we conceptualize things by splitting them into dualistic relations. It's an imposition which is normally useful but leads us to confusion on fundamental issues like consciousness.



You are correct. Observer is observed. Perceiving itself is consciousness. Neither the perceiver nor the perceived are independent. They arise and subside in consciousness. This normally
useful imposition is used by assuming a drishta,an observer,a witness of thoughts,which is dispassionate,immovable.




Consciousness, to me, is just a feedback network with no point of origin. Consciousness is the sum of its contents and no more, not something deeper -- nice as it would be to have something deeper.



Indeed. Consciousness is ocean in which everything arises and subsides. There may be something deeper than consciousness though. Of
course,not the subject of consciousness and hence beyond discussion.



Thank you.
Zum
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Posted 09/20/09 - 10:04 AM:

Tao te Ching

Gia-Fu Feng translation

Thirty-one

Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them.

Therefore followers of Tao never use them.

The wise man prefers the left.

The man of war prefers the right.


Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools.

He uses them only when he has no choice.

Peace and quiet are dear to his heart,

And victory is no cause for rejoicing.

If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;

If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.


On happy occasions precedence is given to the left,

On sad occasions to the right.

In the army the general stands on the left,

The commander-in-chief on the right.

This means that war is conducted like a funeral.

When many people are being killed,

They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow,

That is why victory must be observed like a funeral.

Thinker13
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Posted 09/21/09 - 1:16 AM:

Excerpts From Tao Te Ching-42.

The Way bears sensation,
Sensation bears memory,
Sensation and memory bear abstraction,
And abstraction bears all the world;
Each thing in the world bears feeling and doing,
And, imbued with mind, harmony with the Way.

As others have taught, so do I teach,
"Who loses harmony opposes nature";
This is the root of my teaching.



The Way,Tao,Reality or 'awareness' bears 'consciousness',though it is not different from it. It is both immanent and transcendent. Consciousness bears memory or say is memory. Consciousness bears labelling,abstraction,naming. This 'abstraction' is what causes world to spring up in Tao,reality,in you. Each form is borne out of Tao and hence in harmony with Tao.




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