Rapture?

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Rapture?

Postby Speculum » August 29th, 2009, 7:12 pm

I was thinking the other day about the Christian concept of rapture. As I understand it (and I may very well have it wrong), at a certain moment designated by God all those who have been admitted into the ranks will be seized and transported to Heaven. The rest will be left behind. A year or so ago, Anna and I watched part of a movie on television about this subject, and in it, those enlisted were literally lifted skyward out of their lives — whatever they were doing, whether driving a car, eating a meal, walking along a sidewalk, POOF! they were gone. Those left behind were aware of the absence of those gone; that is, moving cars with suddenly absent drivers crashed into trees, half-eaten meals are discovered left on the table, and so on.

I have read that the biblical basis for the concept of rapture is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – "And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air". I am not sure Paul meant those words as they have since been interpreted, but as I see it, the currently popular concept of rapture is not convincing. It is far too personal, too much "me not you", too personality-focused, too separative. As such, it becomes essentially an extension of the "I am me, and you aren't me" egoic reality.

Self-Realization, on the other hand, is about ego transcendence, annihilation of the egoic self. That fits the lesson at John 8:21 far more closely and neatly than the rapture concept. When the Gospel Teacher tells us “Where I am going, you cannot come”, he does not mean that we cannot come because we are excluded, as if heaven is a select club, but because there, in “heaven”, there is room only for one, the One, and as long as we believe we are “we”, we cannot go there. The separative egoic personality "I am me, and you aren't me" cannot go where the Gospels Teacher is.

Considering these matters the other day reminded me of a concept which occurred to me some years ago. Back then, I wondered why it was that there seem to be so few Self-Realized Teachers. To be sure, the spiritual path is difficult, but all the same, after millennia of human existence, millions even billions of persons on the planet, why is it, I wondered, that there are so few men and women like Buddha, Jesus, Nisargadatta, Ramakrishna, Rumi, and the like. Surely, there must have been more; but if so, who were they? Why don’t we know their names, their story?.

All the Teachings I am aware of seem to agree that when an average seeker reaches (if that’s the proper verb) Self-Realization, he or she realizes that he or she does not exist as a separate, separative, egoic personality. The “me” in the expression “I am me” is seen to be, and to have always been, an illusion. Knowing that, I wondered is it possible that what happens to the “average” seeker upon Self-Realization is that he or she literally ceases to exist and — and this is the crux — ceases to have ever existed. The annihilation of the "me" self is instant, permanent, and pervasive in all directions, spatial and temporal. That is, at Self-Realization they are gone POOF! every trace, every memory, everything related to his or her life, is wiped clean off the slate. It is quite literally as if he or she never ever existed at all..

Now, that idea raises two questions. First, if Self-Realization results in the complete annihilation and total disappearance of the Realizer, how do we explain the evident presence in our lives of Self-Realized Teachers, those like Buddha, Jesus, Nisargadatta, Ramakrishna, Rumi, and others? The answer is, they are Bodhisattvas, Teachers who have reached Buddhahood or Self-Realization, but chosen not to take the final step into nirvana until all the rest of us do so. They choose to remain behind in our presence to act as guides and teachers. Thus, we are aware of them because they will it so. And there are only a relative few of them (compared to the billions of humans who have lived and are living) because only a few are willing to make that Supreme Sacrifice.

The second question is, if Realizers (other than Bodhisattvas) are wiped clean off the face of the earth upon Self-Realization, not only they themselves but all memories and traces of their having been “here”, then what happens to those of us who may have known them or seen them or otherwise become aware of them while they were ordinary persons and "simply" seekers? How are our lives altered by their being “erased” from ever having existed, and therefore from our memory.

My answer to that is what I call “infinite spontaneous simultaneous realities”. What I mean by that term is precisely what it sounds like: An infinite number of spontaneous realities co-existing with one another simultaneously. Thus, everyone of us exists simultaneously in an infinite number of self-generated, spontaneous realities. In each of those realities, we are aware only of that one (except possibly in dreams?). That is, in my life in Reality A, I am consciously aware only of Reality A, in my life in Reality B I am consciously aware only of Reality B, and so on. I exist as "me" simultaneously in an infinite number of realities, but in each one of those infinite realities I am aware only of that one.

So, suppose that in one of my realities there is a person with whom I have been friends for decades, and who in adulthood achieves Self-Realization. In that instant, he or she ceases to exist as a separate and distinct person, both in the present and in the past. All traces of his or her separative egoic existence are erased. And with his disappearance, the reality in which he existed disappears, too, in its entirety. What happens to me?

And not only is the reality which I shared with that erstwhile person erased or annihilated, so are all the other realities in which that person appeared. What about all the other personalities who existed in those realities? What happens to them?

Simply this: The disappearance of the reality I shared with the erstwhile person now Self-Realized has no effect on “me”. As far as I am concerned, the disappearance of that reality, of “my” reality, is painless. I am not even aware of its happening. The personality I call “me” continues to exist untroubled, uninterrupted in an infinite number of other realities. The personality I call “me” is not even aware of the “loss” or disappearance of the reality shared with the erstwhile person now Realized. That reality is erased without a remaining trace; there is no awareness of its having happened, no memory of its ever having been, no impact whatsoever by its disappearance. It is, quite literally, as if it never was. And as for what I call "me", that continues to exist in an infinite number of other realities, until … Self-Realization appears there, too.

And, in the interim, I am never aware of the fact that my erstwhile friend in a shared never-having-existed reality achieved Self-Realization.

(I have posted this item also to TZF's Gazebo.)
"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust
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Re: Rapture?

Postby W4TVQ » August 29th, 2009, 11:19 pm

I've always felt that the thrust of the pre-millennialist "rapture" concept was, and is, what I read on a T-shirt not long ago: "God always liked me better than you."

Seriously, though, in a pre-modern cosmology, in which heaven is "up there," hell is "down there," and we are here in between, the "rapture" idea can work. But in terms of 21st century cosmology and of relativity, which blows the idea of both time and space quite away, it is simply an antiquated mythology. The wonder is that so many people still cling to the pre-modern cosmology and thus to all the mythology that goes with it.

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Re: Rapture?

Postby Speculum » August 30th, 2009, 2:06 pm

Over the years, Anna and I have encountered a basket of Gurus and Teachers and their groups. Our experience has been that generally speaking if you want to know what the Guru or Teacher has to say, go directly to him or her. The disciples and devotees seem not to be reliable sources in these instances, for they seem to have a tendency to put their own spin on things. In most cases, I expect it is unintentional. Sometimes it is because they simply do not understand their Teacher or Guru. For example, there are numerous instances in the Gospels in which the Teacher makes it clear that his guys are not getting it.

I have looked in the Gospels for the Teacher's own words on the subject of "rapture". Perhaps they are there, but I have not found them. It seems to me unlikely that the Teacher would have forgotten to mention it, or that the Gospels reporters would have neglected to record his mentioning it. Neither have I found anything like it in the Teachings of other Gurus and Teachers. So, I conclude that the source of the concept is other than the Gospels Teacher.

As for Paul's comment about it, as I wrote earlier, it is not clear to me that the currently popular conception of rapture is what Paul himself meant, and besides, Paul is not the Teacher but a devotee. The conceptual distance between those two words, "Teacher" (or "Guru") and "devotee" or "disciple" is immense. Teachers see (or See), disciples perceive. The former is im-mediate, the latter is "through a glass darkly". However well-intentioned a devotee may be, and I am sure in Paul's case, he is very much so, he cannot speak for the Teacher, only for himself.

That at least is my experience.
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Georg » September 1st, 2009, 7:03 pm

"How do we explain the evident presence in our lives of Self-Realized Teachers, those like Buddha, Jesus, Nisargadatta, Ramakrishna, Rumi."


Sorry for nitpicking here:
What do you mean by "evident presence"?

Of those teachers named, I have only "evident" presence of writings and tales ... is that "evident" enough?

Of living teachers (let's assume we find a self-realized one and could "prove" it - interesting side-question how to do that)
we have a bodily presence - at least for Nisargadatta I can say from some book that he would say that this presence is
not the important part and of neither importance is your existence as a seemingly separate person.

A master's answer to the question "Why do you think God is real" was:
Because at this very moment I see him more clearly than I see you.

That sounds like evidence :wink:

This kind of evidence is a non-separative one - at the moment Jesus or Buddha are evident that way they are not separate from you and insofar
they have "disappeared" being part of you or you being part of them - it doesn't matter.

So what disappears on Self-Realization - the physical body is still there but what disappears is the illusion of it being separate from the "world".
That thing called "world" is there, but there is no "me" and nothing belonging to that "me" in it.
As long as "you" remain in the illusion "you" will still see a separate person.

Regarding the question "Why does it seem like there are so few self-realized teachers?" -
I have two counter-questions:
How would one distinguish a self-realized person from the other people "from outside" ?
Why should a self-realized (non-)person start to teach ?

Second answer first: "He" never starts.
It is "you" - the seeker - invoking "him" as a "teacher" by choosing to be a "disciple".
There are as many teachers as "you" invoke (self-realized or not, it doesn't matter).
But it seems that the amount of questions is limited and therefore also the amount of answers in the form of teachers ?

And one cannot distinguish a self-realized person from the other people -
only a self-realized person could by not distinguishing any more.

(Cannot suppress the question what "I" am choosing "you" to be right now by posting here ... perhaps I should wipe it all out ... ha seems that somebody interested in stories and concepts pressed 'submit' before that happened).
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Speculum » September 3rd, 2009, 6:40 pm

at least for Nisargadatta I can say from some book that he would say that this presence is not the important part and of neither importance is your existence as a seemingly separate person. .... This kind of evidence is a non-separative one - at the moment Jesus or Buddha are evident that way they are not separate from you and insofar they have "disappeared" being part of you or you being part of them - it doesn't matter.


Precisely so. Speaking for myself, when reading Nisargadatta or Ibn 'Arabi and a few others, the words themselves are a presence, and it is felt. While the book is open, and I am reading from it, I change, and I can feel the change. Then, an hour later, the book back on a shelf, I resuming my "normal" routine, that feeling is gone. But when it is there, it is real.

So, it isn't the physical presence of the body, because clearly Nisargadatta's body is dead (although, of course, he would laugh at that comment). It is something else, something more.

Speaking for myself, I take that effect as evidence for me of being in the presence of a Self-Realized Teacher.

Such a Teacher would say to me that I should be able to get the same feeling reading any municipal telephone book, and of course he or she would be correct, because if God is Infinite, then all there is is Divine. But for me, there is still a difference between reading "I Am That" and reading the New York City telephone book, and the difference is palpable, perceptible.

Of course, as you suggest, I cannot recognize a Self-Realized Teacher because what I see is his or her apparent (to me) body and what I relate to is his or her apparent (to me) separate personality. That's what I see because that's where I "live as me".

Likewise, there is no way a fish can "recognize" anything dry, or even truly to understand what the word "dry" signifies, for a fish's reality is thoroughly wet, a "place" where dryness is totally absent. Even those fish who are caught by dry fishermen can only guess at what or who has caught them , and probably they will guess incorrectly because their guess will be formulated in "wet language", just as our understanding of Self-Realization and Self-Realized Teachers is formulated in our separative egoic language. Just as a fish's brain cannot wrap itself around dryness, neither can our brain wrap itself around the Infinite.

So what disappears on Self-Realization - the physical body is still there but what disappears is the illusion of it being separate from the "world".


That applies to those the East labels Bodhisattvas. That is, at Self-Realization they "choose" to maintain the body, even though as you say the illusion of their being a separate "person" is gone, precisely to be "here" to help "us" (those still living by the illusion).

My question is, Are there others who at Self-Realization choose NOT to maintain the body or the body's history, so that at Self-Realization they "disappear" and along with them everything related to them -- events, memories, etc. Gone without a trace.

Consider a dream. No matter how complex the dream scenario, no matter how numerous and various the characters appearing in the dream, no matter how apparently significant and relevant the events, when the dreamer awakens the dream ends. It ends for the dreamer, and it ends for all the personalities in the dreams. Nothing remains, not a trace. POOF! every bit of it is gone.

Could it be likewise for some Self-Realized ones? If not, why not?
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Speculum » September 7th, 2009, 11:51 am

A friend observed that my “Vanishing Realizer” theory is a bit too weird to be true.

Maybe. Unless life is, as so many of the Teachers suggest, simply a waking dream.

Thus, Nisargadatta, “You and your world are dream states”.

Let us not forget that, as I wrote in In The Beginning, we are told in Genesis, in the environment of Eden, that God put Adam in a “deep sleep” (in order to remove a rib from which to create Eve), but nowhere are we told when God awakened Adam from that sleep. To that, a common response is that it goes without saying that after creating Eve, God reawakened Adam; that is, we can interpret the story to include an awakening, add that event to the narrative ourselves. Well, considering how many times I have been warned not to “interpret” the Bible, that’s an unconvincing response.

And besides, Genesis is full of dizzying details. Nothing is left out. So, the question arises, is the absence of Adam’s awakening an error or intentional?

Is it that Adam is put to sleep in Genesis, and he remains asleep throughout the Old Testament. All of the famines, wars, love affairs, betrayals, journeys, encounters, discoveries, and so on, that occur between Genesis and Malachi, take place while Adam sleeps. In a word, it is a dreamscape. Adam’s reality, our reality, is all a dream. Again Nisargadatta, “You and your world are dream states”.

Until the Gospels. Jesus, the Self-Realized Teacher, is the awakened Adam.

So, to my friend who observed that my vanishing Realizer theory is a bit too weird to be true, I ask, Is anything too weird for a dream? In my experience, the only rule that applies to dreams is you have to be asleep. Beyond that, nothing seems to me to be too weird for dreams.
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Speculum » September 12th, 2009, 11:45 am

The last few days, pondering the issues raised in this thread, I have found myself looking about my life in the Maine woods, and wondering how it is possible that all I perceive and hear and experience can be “an illusion”, that I am “myself” an illusion.

Of course, I know the answer to that question. I have heard the Gurus, done the practices, read all the books, even written a couple myself, not to mention produced umpteen thousand bytes about it here and elsewhere on The Zoo Fence. But still, sometimes it does seem an extraordinary proposition, not to say presumption.

So, night before last, there appeared to me in a vivid dream, clear as crystal, a Teacher of some considerable renown who said to me two words. In the dream, it was evident I was to ingest these two words as a response to my wonderment.

The words are “neural fictionalization”.

In the Random House dictionary on my desk, “neural” is defined as “of or pertaining to the nervous system”; “nervous system” is defined as “The system of nerves and nerve centers in an animal or human, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves and ganglia”; and “fictionalization” as “to make into fiction, give a somewhat imaginative or fictional version of”.

Neural fictionalization.

Very cool.
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Re: Rapture?

Postby W4TVQ » September 13th, 2009, 4:15 pm

It's still a wonderment to me as well. I hear from so many sources, includng ACIM, the Buddha, assorted Eastern sages, etc., that what I am perceiving day by day is illusion, or, as you say, "neural fictionalization." And I am convinced that it is indeed just that.

But then the question is -- at least for the moment -- "So?" I must still deal with the day-to-day as if it were real. If I jump off a non-existent cliff, I will fall due to non-existent gravity and be ... dead. If I put my non-existent finger on a non-existent stove burner set to high heat, I will burn my finger and scream bloody murder.

Ruby Nelson (The Door of Everything) gives us a neat insight into this dilemma. All that we perceive, she writes, is indeed "the web of human sub-creation." Then she goes on to say,

To call the web of human sub-creation "appearances" is not to say that it is imaginary. Actually, it is real, painfully -- sometimes inhumanly -- real and active. Within this web of collective forces are included many experiences which have been accepted as the way life is -- wars, conflicts, violence, strife, and troubles in any form, poverty, disease, old age, the cycles of death and rebirth, the struggle of mankind to understand himself and his universe. Since such imperfections have generally been accepted without question, very few of my lost children have tried to find perfection by coming to realize that I have already given to each and every one a mind that knows all things and has all power, and a life force which cannot age since it is the essence of eternal youth.

And then she makes this statement, which is SO true: The human side of mind is very reluctant to unlearn the old and reach out for the new, even when the new is the very thing for which it has been yearning.

More than any other, that little book rescues me whenever I am floundering hopelessly in the miasma of metapysical dillemmas. If I ever win the lottery, I'l do an Oprah and buy copies of it for everybody in the world.

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Re: Rapture?

Postby Speculum » September 16th, 2009, 12:31 am

I must still deal with the day-to-day as if it were real.


The human side of mind is very reluctant to unlearn the old


A day or so ago, a TZFer wrote asking about some of the stuff in The Gazebo item that generated this thread. I wrote her much of what I have written here.

The Teachers tell us that the reality we live in (what each of us calls "my life") is a fiction in the same way that the dreams we experience while sleeping are a fiction. Both are extremely real, sometimes even frighteningly real, while they are occurring, but the question is, real to whom? The answer is, they are real to "me".

But here's the thing: The "me" to whom they are real is one of the characters in the dream or in "my life". That me is not an observer, not standing outside looking in, but intricately and inexorably inside. That me can never be outside "my life" looking in. And of course it is real to that me. As long as "my life" or any night-time dream continues, that "me" will continue, too, and experience all the activity as if it were real.

That "me" perceives "my life" as "mine". It does not want to be extricated from it. Likewise, it is impossible for that "me" to realize that "my life" is an illusion except as a proposition or a promise, an academic concept or a theological/metaphysical ideal. It cannot experience the Real because the Real by definition excludes the separative "me". ("Where I am going, you cannot come.") That's why "me" struggles against the spiritual process: the survival instinct!

The Boddhisattva concept posits a Self-Realized Teacher (like, say, the Gospels Teacher) who has transcended and dissolved the egoic "me" personality but who nonetheless is able still to perceive the dream and the illusory life but is not a part of either (as the Gospels Teacher put it so succinctly, "in the world but not of the world"), and to whom the illusionary character of both is readily apparent, just as, when we awaken from sleep, we know that our just-finished sleeping dream was not "real", however real it may have seemed at the time.

As seekers, it seems to me that our best choice is: first, to recognize that it is impossible for "me" to See What Is, second to continue our seeking nonetheless enthusiastically, and third, to trust Mother (God, the Teacher, Whatever) to remain Ever-Present. None of those protects us from burning our hand on a hot stove, but they do offer solace or at least acceptance. As I have said and written numerous times, in my own experience Mother is safe harbor.
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Re: Rapture?

Postby W4TVQ » September 16th, 2009, 6:56 pm

just as, when we awaken from sleep, we know that our just-finished sleeping dream was not "real", however real it may have seemed at the time.


I love how A Course In Miracles describes our awakenng from sleep, reminding us that one does not awaken a person abruptly from a nightmare, but carefully and gently; and that Mother awakens us from our little "nap" in thy physical realm the same way -- carefully, gently, so we do not become terrified and run away. Even awakening that way we may still momentarily be confused as to what perceptions we are experiencing are of reality and what perceptions are part of the dream we have just left.

In that same connection I constantly repeat (hopefully not just mindlessly) this ACIM prayer:

My name, O Father, is still known to you.
I have forgotten it, and do not know
where I am going, who I am or what it is I do.
Remind me Father, now,
for I am weary of the world I see.
Reveal what you would have me see instead.

I'm beginning to suspect that ACIM amy be "step three." Step 1 being the revelation of Yahweh to Abraham; Step 2 being the revelation of The One in and through Jesus of Nazareth; and Step 3 being ACIM. But that wold be applicable primarily to western culture. The wisdom revealed in the Upanishads and the Tao Te Ching is the same widsom. And so is the wisdom revealed in the Theory of Relativity and in Quantum Mechanics. Cool! Wherever you look, Mother is saying, "Here I am!"
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Georg » September 17th, 2009, 8:28 pm

So, to my friend who observed that my vanishing Realizer theory is a bit too weird to be true, I ask, Is anything too weird for a dream? In my experience, the only rule that applies to dreams is you have to be asleep. Beyond that, nothing seems to me to be too weird for dreams.


With "too weird" he probably meant it doesn't follow Occam's razor.
Occam's razor says that any theory should not be unnecessarily complex - the simpler explanation for something is the better one.
The problem is, if we are to communicate via language and logic (and there is nearly no other means to write in such a forum),
we have to follow Occam's razor ("Maybe it's not too weird for a dream - but then, if its beyond logic, can it be communicated?")
However, language and logic is so limited.
Wittgenstein formally deducted this in his Tractatus - and subsequently recommends "throw it away after reading it, because it's gotten useless".
And he really meant that, giving up philosophy from then on.

There is a few ways to use language but not fall short of it's limits:
- Poetry
- Zen style language
- Jokes
All of them escape the prison of logic - the first usually by avoiding it and staying descriptive, the second by leading it into the absurd, the third by denying it through introducing the unexpected as a surprise.

The "me" is the thing that constantly sets the target to the logic engine in our brain.
The essence of the "me" is that it will identify the next problem to be solved in order to achieve a better state and use the will to coordinate the body's action against it. This first hand seems very natural, but it isn't because "I" can't stop "being me" in this process anymore. By restricting myself to myself I will condamn myself to an endless series of problems (pain, guilt etc.) and subsequent solutions resulting in happiness which lasts only until immediately the next problem is identified.
This is life in illusion.
Getting out of illusion could be so simple - just forget yourself and let the next problem go and there will be freedom.

It's not all illusion - there is something real, but the "I" is immersing it all, constantly "objectizing" it as a potential source of problems.
E.g. the "physical world" is made physical by myself interpreting reality according to the laws of physics (which is not wrong, actually very very very helpful for the body, but we forget that in that sense the "physical world" is the result of a reduction and "take it for real").
All "objective reality" is an "objective" reduction!

Enough said (or rather: too much said again ;-).
Language & logic as used in this post always describes the limits of a prison (of which most of the people think it is the world ...).

Here I am standing again in front of that zoo fence. God, reality on the other side.
My self forgotten, the fence is gone and there is no other side and there is only god, reality.
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Speculum » September 21st, 2009, 12:04 am

In that same connection I constantly repeat (hopefully not just mindlessly) this ACIM prayer:

My name, O Father, is still known to you.
I have forgotten it, and do not know
where I am going, who I am or what it is I do.
Remind me Father, now,
for I am weary of the world I see.
Reveal what you would have me see instead.


I am sure you are not doing it mindlessly, but if it concerns you, try restructuring the sentences or alternating the lines, like "Although it is still known to you, Father, I have forgotten my name, and neither do I know who I am, what I do, or where I am going ... "

In my experience, that forces the mind to stay focused.

On the other hand, mantric repetition has its own strengths.

With "too weird" he probably meant it doesn't follow Occam's razor.
Occam's razor says that any theory should not be unnecessarily complex - the simpler explanation for something is the better one.


Actually, it is a she. But I agree, except ...

What could be simpler than equating our so-called waking life with our sleeping periods? We have no difficulty accepting the idea that when we awaken from sleep, the world of our dreams -- all the characters, all the events -- dissolves into nothingness (whatever precisely that is). There are no footprints, no marks, no telltale signs, and for most of us not even any memories after a few moments of being awake.

Why is it illogical or too complex Occam-wise to suggest that, upon "awakening" (Self-Realization) from our illusory waking life, the illusion of our apparent life likewise dissolves in its entirety -- no footprints, no remainders, no sawdust, no nothing.

And that some (called Bodhisattvas in the East) choose to maintain the illusion of their erstwhile waking life almost proves the point simply by being the exception to the rule.

There are people who are able intentionally to maintain conscious focus during their night-time dreams so that as they dream, they are aware they are dreaming, and they are able to control the flow and direction of their dreams. In a sense, they are "awake" and "asleep" simultaneously. Why is that simpler or more logical than the idea of Bodhisattvas (is there another word from another tradition or is that the only one?) who are simultaneously both Awake (Self-Realized) and also present in the illusion. Again, in the world, but not of the world.

It doesn't seem complex to me, although I grant you, my explanation of it is complex, even more complex than necessary.

Here I am standing again in front of that zoo fence. God, reality on the other side.
My self forgotten, the fence is gone and there is no other side and there is only god, reality.


Quite so.

How is it possible to stand on both sides of a fence at the same time? Remove the fence.

It's the Sacred Riddle, isn't it?
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Georg » September 21st, 2009, 8:13 pm

Why is it illogical or too complex Occam-wise to suggest that, upon "awakening" (Self-Realization) from our illusory waking life, the illusion of our apparent life likewise dissolves in its entirety -- no footprints, no remainders, no sawdust, no nothing.


This is not what I meant by "too complex" - yes, that happens, and if the "others" awoke, too (actually for the awakened one there are no others to awake anymore :-)), the same would happen to them.
But from the perspective of those who stay in the illusion of separativeness and subject-object logic thinking (and therefore still in the reach of Occam's law) -
if all that happened outside of apparent space & time, why assume that they notice any difference?
Or put it the other way: Logic will never find a miracle happening because all that it's going to do is deconstruct it.
They will continue to see "that person, that object" - and continue to ignore the "part" that awoke in the same fashion as they ignore oneness all the time.
If an overwhelming truth is being constantly ignored, is there any need for a theory that somebody disappears as part of awakening?

Or in the words of a master asked "Why do you think god exists?" - "Because right here and now I am seeing him more clearly than I am seeing you"
(But the asking still saw the master and not god - and not because the master intentionally moved himself into the illusion - who should have done that with the separative "me" not existing anymore except for God himself. And of course, the answer was all misleading, because the act of seeing involves subject and object which were left behind as part of the illusion. So the truth is not in the logic but in the "wordplay" - reality always expresses itself in words as a paradox.)

My own wordplay in the first part above seems a bit nonsensical after writing - getting into a distance, it looks like perfectionism driving some absurdedly logical deduction of no importance at all.

This is something that struck me very hard in my youth that - when reading what I had written a day or an hour before again - the distance made it painfully strange, all the feelings and thoughts were expressed on paper but myself I had changed already and was not the same person anymore. Not very astonishing given that the "I" is an illusion and not a constant at all. It's just I wanted to be loved at that time and could not identify the "object" to expose to another person's love. The big change in perspective came when finding out it's not about being loved but about unconditional love.

Peace,
Georg
"Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses" (Boethius)
Georg
 
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Re: Rapture?

Postby W4TVQ » September 28th, 2009, 2:55 pm

I think that, for now at least, the operative part of that prayer is

Remind me Father, now,
for I am weary of the world I see.
Reveal what you would have me see instead


That weariness at times is almost overwhelming. It seems epsecially so to me, having been through some brutal surgery, and now when I was hoping to recover, facing a new problem. Due to some combination of the drugs that have been prescribed for me, I can no longer enjoy food: everything i put in my mouth tastes the way dog poop smells. Needless to say, I am eating very little, surviving on supplements and however much Slim Fast I can get down.

So naturally, I have questions. Is there really a "god" who is involved in our lives, or does life just happen? Is some capricious "spirit" taking all the joy out of my life so I won't mind dying? I am "weary of the world I see" because the world I see stinks. It seems to me that if there were a personal god of some sort he would answer that prayer and "reveal what you would have me see instead."

Sorry to lay all that on anyone. Just need to vent it somewhere, somehow.
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley
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Re: Rapture?

Postby Georg » September 28th, 2009, 7:17 pm

Art,

barely dare I to offer these words as a comfort as there is a lot that can be misunderstood (and they're not comforting in the common sense),
nor do I feel myself in a position to give advice (like Job's friends who knew all the better - that was disgusting).

However I decided silence is perhaps not the better answer (and as I don't like the superficial would have been the only alternative):


Whatever life asks you to give up, give it up "for good" in the literal sense of the word.

This is the maxim I'm trying to act upon (though I have to admit that I'm far from doing it with consequence -
searching comfort in distraction is rather my common habit though I do know that this doesn't work out).

This can be utterly hard, especially if it comes to the basics.
But clinging to the truly or seemingly lost instead of giving it up doesn't make anything better (this is not meant cynically).
Actually the clinging makes for the hardness.

Furthermore, an unavoidable fact is that - seen from a personal perspective - life does not end good.
That is even harder to accept (causing ? - or being caused by ? - more clinging...)

But there is an experience I have made - and it's been confirmed that it is not an accidental one:
What I have truly given up aiming for comes back as a gift of life - not always in the expected manner, sometimes transformed.
And of course it comes back to a changed person.
Therefore the desire is fulfilled for somebody who has lost the desire.
May sound ironic at first glance, but it isn't at all - being free from desire, life creates pure joy.

Resurrection is - and there is no difference to enlightenment - surely the utmost extrapolation of this experience.
An experience that happens, but not anymore to a person that has completely given herself up -
but in analogy to the above observation regarding desire and joy - it's about some"thing" more "personal" than that person was.
An experience that I don't "have" - it cannot be possessed - rather one that strangely touched me and which I anticipate again in belief.
There may be little left from what seemed to be an extensive christian belief system to me earlier, but this is what it is.

The prayer expresses all of this very well...
and it's not by accident that the lord's prayer begins with the same words of acceptance (but note the order, reflecting the priorities!) -
"Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done".
"Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses" (Boethius)
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