Archive for Enlightenment

Forever real

Posted in Asceticism, Buddhism, love, Magick, martial arts, meditation, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by wizardsmoke

What’s the best thing to do with your time? To become real. But what does that even mean?

Well, as my friend pointed out, it’s the process of making the story you tell yourself — the idealized you, a tangible reality, where there is no delay or separation between your perception of self and the objective self that interacts with the world around oneself. This is the real goal of studying and practicing magic, martial arts, or a religion. They all have different means of achieving this, stimulating different paths of awareness through the body or the mind, but they aim to get to this point. A crappy curriculum of path is one that does not actually have this in the syllabus.

But just because the aforementioned methods are ways of reaching this, they are no guarantee. Most folks practicing these things are floating around helplessly just like anyone doing anything in this world. Plus, what is the ultimate point of enlightenment, or total cessation of attachments and cravings? Well, there is no point in the tangible sense, because it is the place where points are dissolved entirely. And I think I heard Ajahn Brahm say, enlightenment is actually very boring.

When people create the causes for enlightenment, as they describe in Buddhism, by laying down good karma — a good rhythm, to attaining nirvana in this life or the next, they are effectively embedding the rhythm toward that experience or dissolution of enlightenment into the intrinsic fabric of their being and mental developments. Thus the desire becomes inherent to the self-clinging being taking birth and the enlightenment is no longer such a blatant desire. If the drive toward enlightenment is buried deeply enough and forgotten (made automatic), one begins to simply manifest it, now and forever. It will sneak up on you, create an innate moral quality, guide you from beyond your intellect.

Desire is blatant and therefore must be sublimated to the subconscious to really become effective in one’s life. If one can burn out the desire for enlightenment by going in the right direction towards that experience, they are creating good causes. They are pushing enlightenment into their mind until they manifest it fully. But it has to happen subtly — big enlightenment experiences are usually the stuff ambitious crackpots or intermediate students. You don’t go to heaven, you grow into heaven, to borrow a phrase from the old-school New-Ager, Edgar Cayce. Enlightenment comes to you throughout your whole life, like the expanding, full-on deafening roar of water crashing toward you through a tunnel. Every kind of understanding happens like this, until we’re floating in the water, which is our experience made reality.

Nothing

Posted in Beauty, Happiness, love, Reality Bites, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Each being has a fundamental impulse to have the world spinning beneath their feet, moving with their desires. But the world is spinning no matter what happens, for nobody in particular. The world spins because all it is doing, in a cosmic sense, is coming together and then coming apart — just like that. It’s really quite crazy that even the most phenomenal things are as simple as that. So no matter how slow we move, culture and the world hurdles forward, ever-changing. No time to think in this maelstrom! The more you think, the less you understand. And as you think less, as you go deeper into pure existence, experience, emotion, whatever it is that we all are going through — it starts to feel like your protective skin (both physically and mentally) has been ripped off. But then beneath that you find it’s so melancholy, warm, sad and beautiful.

I wonder if maybe this whole universe is a broad, shallow experience at the bottom, you know — because all phenomena are inherently empty of self, and furthermore, substance. But then, sometimes the most shallow or fleeting things are the most profoundly deep. To give a basic example: upon first glance, artists and creatively driven individuals seem to do a lot less for society than philanthropists or charitable organizations. But in truth, artists touch everyone on such a broad, sweeping, deep level, which further influences and inspires the way people live. In many similar cases, the more shallow something seems on the surface, the wider its grasp of influence.

And so it is with the universe, and all the fabrics of this existence. No matter how hard we try to absorb ourselves in our desires, in our passions, thirsts, needs, obsessions, loves and drives — they always go into overdrive, short-circuit, blow out, fail to satisfy. And so I have to ask, what happens if we short-circuit our samsaric experience? What if we wake up and realize nothing ever satisfies, ever? It seems like a major attachment to existence is the desire for satisfaction, or contentment. Which is an insanely selfish passion. What is existence like without passion, without individualism and human understanding? Whether or not it’s liberation, it seems to be beyond human understanding. Parinibbana, and so forth.

There are no cosmic guarantees to be handed down from above, but that is perhaps a good thing. Because it means that no one can give you orders, or the straight answer on how things are going to end up, or what you should do. You can’t just follow orders and be a disciple and expect to gain anything. You’ve gotta see it for yourself.

Wishful Warrior

Posted in Buddhism, Fighting, martial arts, Mysticism, Reality Bites, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2008 by wizardsmoke

This whole ideal of Budo, that martial arts practice brings enlightenment — what is it referring to? What is enlightenment via martial arts? Well, provided it actually exists I’ll say it could be one of three things:

  1. Achievement of an adept, deeply intuitive level of martial skill in which one’s psyche has assimilated into the nature of physical combat and such movements (the complete naturalization of one’s being with one’s practice)
  2. Deep awareness of what the martial arts actually are and overcoming any romantic delusions about them, as well as transcending the notion of fear, especially with regards to physical threats
  3. Total, full-blown Nirvana/Nibbana, in which all ignorance and illusion is dispelled

Number one, if I were to dissect that, I’d say it could refer to any practice in which one completely dedicates themselves. Like that tacky book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” — practicing one thing can lead to a deeper awareness of everything. Practicing a musical instrument one’s whole life leads to a complete intuitive awareness of the music, which transcends any technical knowledge — just look at the training regimen of Indian classical musicians or Japanese Bunraku puppeteers. It’s nothing new — way old Chinese and Greek philosophy.

In such cases it seems like the individual becomes a holy patron of the tradition or idea in question; one becomes like a god of music, war, love, etc. through diligent one-pointed mastery of the subject. Many adept martial artists then fall into the camp of simply being elite killing machines. Is this enlightened? Not in any traditional religious sense. Ha! But what does that mean? Not much.

As for possibility number two, I am reminded of William Blake’s famous phrase: “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” Or as Spare would say, by exhausting our desire or obsession with something we come to realize what it actually means to us. After years of practice, one learns how important or useless the martial arts they practice actually are. And in realizing the ultimate potential or value of something, it becomes easier or natural to relinquish.

But here the situation can only apply to people who are initially obsessed with violence or fear violence. They’re people who want to be involved in it or get over their fear of it. In the modern population, the majority of people don’t care enough about violence to pursue martial arts. Almost everyone would be going against their natural tendencies or interests, even though violence is always floating around in our heads; (like sex) we know it’s not functional to obsess over it.

And also, it seems like a cop-out to say a person is enlightened because they’re so good at inflicting violence that they no longer perceive it as a threat from others. This is more like an arms race or a typical tough-guy routine. It’s easy not to fight when no one else stands a chance against you.

In the last scenario, which just generalizes that full-blown enlightenment is achieved through martial arts, I would say it is a questionable association because so many terrible people have become efficient martial artists and did not achieve enlightenment, while a lot of people have become enlightened who never had anything to do with martial arts or violence. If people become enlightened through the martial arts, it’s possible that they were going to become so anyway and they happened to spend their time doing these things.

Man, I’m asking a lot of dumb questions here. Basically, most martial artists are not any more enlightened (in the cosmic sense) than anyone else. Martial artists are just on top of some of the subtlest aspects of the physical and athletic experience.

More to come…

Painkillers (+ Love)

Posted in Beauty, Drug Abuse, Happiness, love, Mysticism, The Arts, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2008 by wizardsmoke

I am routinely amazed by the utter incompetence with which people recognize artistic and emotional depth. My guess — no! intuitive reasoning, is that all people feel the same emotional sensibilities but have different poetic capacities for experiencing them. So a person with lousy taste in music does not need particularly good music to satisfy their emotional needs (or maybe they don’t care about music, but whatever — adding that variable to the discussion just makes things complicated).

For me, the best music that I have found makes me feel like I’m on some opiate-type painkiller. You know the drill — total basking in the emotional depths of ecstasy and melancholy simultaneously, with complete tolerance and compassion for all creatures and situations in existence. Everyone, absolutely anyone, who takes painkillers will feel this way under their influence… and yet when the same emotions are evoked by music, art, literature, social interactions, etc. many people will either consciously attempt to suppress them or dismiss them as completely cheesy, saccharine, trite and so forth. Whyyyy is that?!?!?!

As soon as I perceive a piece of art, a person, a location, a picture, anything, I’ll sense the energy coming from it. It’s the most basic thing a human being does. I guess the ecstasy I describe as emanating from some really great, “virtuous” music is similar to the cliche description that most people adhere to when they mention that they get a “natural high” from meditative practices. That natural high is pretty good: a cross between psychedelics and opiates. Absolutely fantastic. But it takes so much work to maintain! Not that I mind, but…

I once read a Kurt Vonnegut interview where he points out that Freud’s famous comment about how religion is “the opiate of the masses” would be better translated as “the aspirin of the masses”. I agree with that general notion, that religions are just medicines for headaches. It just makes the headaches tolerable, it doesn’t necessarily delude the person. But then again, what if religious practices bring the opiate-induced pleasure I was describing? Then maybe Freud was right. But I wouldn’t have expected him to have any understanding of that…

Show me what is real

Posted in Mysticism, Occult, Philosophy, Religion, society, Stayin' Alive, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Although there is probably nothing outside of the universe itself, the material/physical universe is not the only game in town. I’m not an athiest or Bright/”Naturalist” since I don’t subscribe to a strict materialistic view of existence.

Science is pretty popular as the methodology to explain unknown phenomena. But it’s just an academic method of recording data and experiments. To me, science does not actually prove anything beyond a cold, stale collection of data; science just accumulates data used to expand upon human lines of reasoning. And what is reason but an argument for one’s desires? Human reason generally seeks to influence people.

As some religious proponents have mentioned (contrary to what it looks like, I am not “religious”) if scientific analysis says something is true or factual and I don’t understand the explanation but am simply told to accept it as fact, this is no different from accepting religious gospel I don’t understand. Believing in things on blind faith is pretty useless. The only truth is direct experience. Transmission is a form of direct experience.

The only truth is experience –> transmissions can only be made in person, in the flesh, as experiences –> ultimately, enlightenment is self-realized, not transmitted

Which makes sense. All the great mystics and saints and demons and wizards have pointed out: reality must be realized by oneself. I can only show you the door, you have to open it, blah blah. Like the Buddha’s “Alone in the universe I am exalted” idea, for if one is alone in the universe, how can one’s perceptions rely on anyone else’s interpretation of life? Why are people so afraid to trust their own perceptions of reality?

Austin Spare wrote about how all desires and realizations must be done and achieved through flesh — that flesh is reality. And Musashi talked of how true understanding of martial arts and violence could only be learned through direct experience and transmission. Buddha said don’t believe something just because someone told you it’s true — try it for yourself. It is all the same idea: live in your body, live out your ideas, experiment with deep philosophies in your actual life, not just as thoughtful meditations. When people sit around and make speculations about things they don’t do, when they don’t actually go out and experience those things for themselves, they become worthless people. A person has to throw themselves into their experiences to understand life in any worthwhile capacity.

Rungs of Violence

Posted in Buddhism, Cults, Fighting, martial arts, Reality Bites, Uncategorized, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2008 by wizardsmoke

I’ve noticed that a lot of young men waste their time trying to be tough. Yet obsession with fighting and toughness and all that junk is actually holding you back from moving up (or surviving) in modern society. All the time spent learning to fight, all the nightly training — how much better would it be to simply learn some lucrative skill? A rhetorical question, because it would be much better.

Yet those folks who are not inherently aggressive psycho assholes, how could they possibly expect to climb over the mountain of bodies that leads to the ivory tower of success? No, it takes an aggressive character to do that. So those of us who are naturally less aggressive might need some direct exposure violence in order to co-exist with the turbulence caused by ambitious egos. Or to meet our social needs.

At our (MA) school, the sparring situation is a purposefully intense experience. We do a month or so every year of extremely intense, full-contact fighting. To some degree, the most violence me and my classmates will ever experience happens in that class. And compared to other schools we’ve seen or invited to train with us, our training is pretty rough. So it makes me think that this isn’t even just training for a violent confrontation, but that our training itself is a violent confrontation. It isn’t training for the real thing, but it actually is the real thing.* And while that seems insane initially, like we’re just some stupid fight club (and maybe we are!), that’s how all skills should be practiced.

With practicing this stuff, I’ve come to be somewhat skeptical of romantic ideas about martial enlightenment, Budo and so forth. The whole imagery of the valiant samurai and so forth — it’s mostly a romantic fantasy. It’s like talking about policemen or military men romantically. They’re just doing their job and a lot of the time it sucks and they’re just as weak and easily corrupted as any other group of humans. While some people may happen to become “enlightened” by martial arts practice, the martial arts are so easily and constantly perverted by aggressive macho nonsense. You could even say that’s what has propagated the arts. And so it makes me wonder whether I’m not just another nutcase who secretly loves the lifestyle.

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* Yes, I know all about how martial arts don’t prepare you for the street and how it’s a foolish mistake to think the dojo/dojang/daoshang is at all like a real-life confrontation. I’m only illustrating that we take training seriously.

Born to be wild

Posted in Beauty, Fighting, love, Mysticism, Philosophy, Reality Bites, Relationships, sex, sex and violence, society, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Sometimes I think sex is a total scam. This whole element of “physical attraction”. Yeah, there’s something fishy about it. The same with violence too. I don’t know about it. It’s very fishy. Why is it so alluring?

Okay, rhetorical question: I know why “scientifically” — that it’s nature’s drive to self-sustain, impulses to create offspring, survival, etc. And I also recognize that nature makes the finest sense pleasures so strong that every physical existence is forcibly drawn in a gravitational pull to partake of it. That’s why self-replication, self-reflection is incredibly pleasurable. To continue the species, the ego has to be convinced of its own individual importance, which is accomplished by this sexual desire — we descend into total egomania via our lust — sorry, love. Hence it seems the twin manifestation of sex and violence is the tree or river of life itself, and all other experiences and life flourishes are the branches and streams that sprout from it.

But on a physical level, I’d say sex and violence are manifestations of ripping change and the exploding, expanding/contracting movement of the universe. Like, we’re standing in the midst of a mind-boggling explosion, but we’re so small it seems to be happening in slow motion. So sex and violence are these mediums through which the exploding molecules shed their skin.

If size is an issue in perceiving time, do you think bugs perceive everything incredibly slowly? Let’s say a bug lives six weeks — it probably feels like a whole century to them. No surprise, since all windows of time are just little temporary avatar blips in the eternal transmigratory lineage. Size/age/virility is a big factor to perceptions of time. Kids seem to perceive time incredibly slowly, probably because they’re shedding and regenerating cells so insanely fast. Thus everything whizzes by an old person. Yeah, I think one’s perception of time is possibly related to one’s rate of bodily regeneration.

Or is perception of time exclusively a mental construct? We all know time moves according to our perception of it. But this is because when you’re enjoying yourself, time ceases to exist. You are living in the infinite realm of love! And when time passes slowly, it’s because we’re analyzing it and dwelling in those uncomfortable thought-worlds, which are in themselves eternities. Strange how that is, huh? Dwelling on a thought is an eternity in itself, but not concentrating on anything is a direct perception of eternity.

Then there are those clinchers of sex and violence. Absorption in anger, hate, lust, love — they totally warp your perception of time again! That’s what I don’t get about sexual desire. It’s so endless, mind-bending and yet so disappointing. If we took the hinges off of the door to sexual desire, if there were no limitations to its power, it would explode and consume itself endlessly. So I feel like all existence is this dangerous build-up to sexual climax, this insane violence.

I used to wonder, when people in past civilizations — Ancient Rome, Ancient China — were castrated for insolence in court or were made eunichs, what did that do to their outlook on life? Most of us who have sexual urges will cling to them desperately, say how we want to have kids, don’t want to let go of our lustful attachments. But if they just disappeared — if they stopped functioning — how would that make us feel? We’d still have emotions and so forth, but no more sex drive. The average person would be pretty bored, at least in a society that endlessly markets to one’s sex drive. So I wonder if total liberation isn’t totally boring too, haha.

Anyway, nature must really have the hots for itself.