Author Topic: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves  (Read 1311 times)

Offline Arkena

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Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« on: September 23, 2018, 10:51:08 am »
Reposting from another site as not getting any replies there:

I have noticed that when we see a spider or hear a scary noise ...the fear comes from a reaction from our senses that have associated pleasant and unpleasant things or from a reaction in our minds...the spider isnt by nature scary...the fear comes from within us.

Hence our perception works to see the spider as scary or to see the person we hate as the problem but its just not true.
 
I dont mean to deny the existence of fear its just that freeing ourselves of fear is found within us. You cannot free yourself of fear when you perceive it outside yourself eg: that you would be happy if you moved away from that hated neighbour etc...

 
So the outer world we perceive is a reflection of our inner world and not just objectively true...ie that spiders are inherently scary etc.
 

Is there a name for this understanding or insight?

 

Offline Chaz

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 11:55:15 am »
Reposting from another site as not getting any replies there:

I have noticed that when we see a spider or hear a scary noise ...the fear comes from a reaction from our senses that have associated pleasant and unpleasant things or from a reaction in our minds...the spider isnt by nature scary...the fear comes from within us.

Hence our perception works to see the spider as scary or to see the person we hate as the problem but its just not true.
 
I dont mean to deny the existence of fear its just that freeing ourselves of fear is found within us. You cannot free yourself of fear when you perceive it outside yourself eg: that you would be happy if you moved away from that hated neighbour etc...

 
So the outer world we perceive is a reflection of our inner world and not just objectively true...ie that spiders are inherently scary etc.
 

Is there a name for this understanding or insight?

Yes, in an ultimate sense, there is no fear.  There isn't any "spider", either.

If you're just getting into the 4NT, then you're long way, from understanding, the emptiness of things like that.


That said, it's not our "perceptions" either.

It's the habitual patterns of thought that arise when we see or percieve a "spider".  Some folks will be habitually terrified or revolted.  Other's will be curious, perhaps even joyful.  Yet there will be others that are ambivalent.  It's all good, but they are still habitual patterns.

This is what your meditation practice can reveal - those habitual patterns.  So be mindfull of your Vipassana lessons, and develop a solid, regular practice.  I wouldn't about too much else for now.  Pay attaention and take note of the thoughts you have.  Recognize them as thoughts and let them go.

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 02:46:37 pm »
I have noticed that when we see a spider or hear a scary noise ...the fear comes from a reaction from our senses that have associated pleasant and unpleasant things or from a reaction in our minds...the spider isnt by nature scary...the fear comes from within us.

There are three basic defilements: greed, hatred & delusion. Fear is a form of delusion. These defilement are called "underlying tendencies" in Buddhism; or more scientifically, "survival instincts". They alert the mind to danger that might exist in the unknown.

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Hence our perception works to see the spider as scary or to see the person we hate as the problem but its just not true.

A baby child may not see a spider as scary but as adults we see a spider as scary because we know it is true that a spider may be dangerous. Why do you say it is "not true" when in reality it is true that spiders should be feared?

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I dont mean to deny the existence of fear its just that freeing ourselves of fear is found within us. You cannot free yourself of fear when you perceive it outside yourself eg: that you would be happy if you moved away from that hated neighbour etc...

Such fear is destroyed when the view of self is destroyed; when the survival instinct is destroyed. The above comment about "free yourself from fear" is wrong. The self will always have fear. What is freed from fear is "the mind" rather than "yourself".
 
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So the outer world we perceive is a reflection of our inner world and not just objectively true...ie that spiders are inherently scary etc.


From the viewpoint of the will to live, spiders are scary, because many spiders are poisonous. But from the viewpoint of the void selfless mind, spiders are not scary.

The question is unrelated to anything "objective". The question is a subjective question about self or not-self; craving to live or no craving.

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Is there a name for this understanding or insight?

The insight that frees the mind from fear is called "anatta" or "sunnata"; where there is no more "birth" or "death". This means there is no self that fears death.

 :namaste:

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 02:31:01 am »
Reposting from another site as not getting any replies there:

I have noticed that when we see a spider or hear a scary noise ...the fear comes from a reaction from our senses that have associated pleasant and unpleasant things or from a reaction in our minds...the spider isnt by nature scary...the fear comes from within us.

Hence our perception works to see the spider as scary or to see the person we hate as the problem but its just not true.
 
I dont mean to deny the existence of fear its just that freeing ourselves of fear is found within us. You cannot free yourself of fear when you perceive it outside yourself eg: that you would be happy if you moved away from that hated neighbour etc...

 
So the outer world we perceive is a reflection of our inner world and not just objectively true...ie that spiders are inherently scary etc.
 

Is there a name for this understanding or insight?
It also comes from millions of years of evolution. The fast movements of a spider are instinctively worrisome, more like a reflex action when we move our hands away. Combine this with our ability to make decisions based on internal constructions of what may be happening around us and there is plenty of opportunity to have views of the world which might not necessarily reflect any 'objective' truth. It's no wonder that we have trouble working on seeing things in a different way. We not only have to 'unlearn' but also to come to terms with our own inherent possibilities for misinterpretation.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Arkena

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 08:52:28 am »

Yes, in an ultimate sense, there is no fear.  There isn't any "spider", either.

If you're just getting into the 4NT, then you're long way, from understanding, the emptiness of things like that.


That said, it's not our "perceptions" either.

It's the habitual patterns of thought that arise when we see or percieve a "spider".  Some folks will be habitually terrified or revolted.  Other's will be curious, perhaps even joyful.  Yet there will be others that are ambivalent.  It's all good, but they are still habitual patterns.

This is what your meditation practice can reveal - those habitual patterns.  So be mindfull of your Vipassana lessons, and develop a solid, regular practice.  I wouldn't about too much else for now.  Pay attaention and take note of the thoughts you have.  Recognize them as thoughts and let them go.

Yeah I am a long way from understanding other stuff like that. Ty for your advice regarding the vipassana lessons, will starting on the 29th of this month.

VisuddhiRaptor Ty for your long reply, very interesting and illuminating!
I appreciate the effort you put into it, as for your question:

Hence our perception works to see the spider as scary or to see the person we hate as the problem but its just not true.

A baby child may not see a spider as scary but as adults we see a spider as scary because we know it is true that a spider may be dangerous. Why do you say it is "not true" when in reality it is true that spiders should be feared?

I was more referring to harmless spiders like house spiders that give me the hebee geebies lol...hence they shouldnt be feared.

"But from the viewpoint of the void selfless mind, spiders are not scary."
Purely from my experience of meditation i understand what you are getting at here which surprises me as seems quite a deep thing to say.
Like when you have ideas about who you are etc a part of the mind gets activated vs when you have pure awareness and just are...one is non self (the concept of a who you are, the self) vs the
void selfless mind. Its a very subtle thing i think only via meditation can be clearly seen.

Ty stillpointdancer :)

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2018, 01:10:46 am »
Such fear is destroyed when the view of self is destroyed; when the survival instinct is destroyed.

So you are trying to equate a psychological view to an evolutionary instinct?  Hmm. 
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 04:49:09 am »
Such fear is destroyed when the view of self is destroyed; when the survival instinct is destroyed.

So you are trying to equate a psychological view to an evolutionary instinct?  Hmm.

I think the Buddhist concept here is that ideally one should free oneself from the dictates of evolutionary instincts. These include the sexual instinct which is essential for procreation, and the fear and flight reactions to perceptions of danger.

I can imagine that any Buddhist monk, who had reached a reasonable degree of enlightenment, would not flee from a snake he had observed, when walking with great mindfulness along a path in the forest,

Observing the snake, smoothly slivering across his path, he would feel no animosity nor fear. He would mindfully step to one side, in order not to trample on the snake, and would probably take some delight and feel some wonder in the snake's remarkably smooth and fluid movements.

Likewise, if a Buddhist monk were meditating in the forest and a Lion were to approach him, he would not jump up and flee, like the average run-of-the-mill person. He would continue to sit quietly, and stare the Lion in the face, without fear.

Lions are used to their prey fleeing in terror. They would probably not attack a potential prey who showed no fear, because such behaviour would not instinctively fit the Lion's understanding of an edible prey.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 06:26:42 am »
I think the Buddhist concept here is that ideally one should free oneself from the dictates of evolutionary instincts.

Yes, these are some of the "habitual patterns" I was talking about.  They can be "hereditary", too.  It's called karma.

I love this anecdote:  A student asked Trungpa Rinpoche, "in the context of rebirth, what is "reborn"?"  Trungpa answered "Our bad habits."

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These include the sexual instinct which is essential for procreation, and the fear and flight reactions to perceptions of danger.

Yes, that pesky sex drive sure is troublesome.  Especially in high school.  You're giving a presentation in history class about the Battle of Verdun. You're demonstrating the loss of life in the battle by grabbing handfuls of 1/76 scale Airfix miniature soldiers  from a big pile and throwing them in a waste basket  and there is no lectern and all of a sudden, BOOM, you've got this raging boner and the whole class can see it. Hormones. Karma sux.






« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 08:34:55 am by IdleChater »

Offline Arkena

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 12:09:10 pm »
How is a hereditary pattern that is learnt classified as karma, please elaborate ?

Also i have suffered much in my life through a high sex drive i could not fulfil...i was able to satisfy it for a while with various girls and at another time in a long term relationship but i sadly equate a high sex drive with suffering and frustration these days...
Makes me understand all those sexually obsessed males who crave only one thing and dont care how they get it....pushes people to such cold hearted actions.

Im guessing this desire inflamed beyond sense would classify as a defilement ?

Offline Chaz

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 01:52:49 pm »
How is a hereditary pattern that is learnt classified as karma, please elaborate ?

Any volitional action gives rise to karma.

IYAM, in the context of this discussion, hereditary and habitual patterns are the same thing.   both are caused by and give rise to karma.  Our karma drives birth.  So, in a sense, we "inherit" a certain amount of karma and create more as we go along.



Quote
Also i have suffered much in my life through a high sex drive i could not fulfil...i was able to satisfy it for a while with various girls and at another time in a long term relationship but i sadly equate a high sex drive with suffering and frustration these days...
Makes me understand all those sexually obsessed males who crave only one thing and dont care how they get it....pushes people to such cold hearted actions.

That's not karma so much as physiology.  Your suffering is caused by habitual patterns of thought and action in response to that physiology.  You can't change what your body is doing but with time and practice you can alter your habitual patterns.  This is where meditation comes in - it calms the mind.

The physiology isn't what drives people to cold-hearted sexual actions.  Having a cold heart is what causes it, not an active sex drive.  Being a sociopath has a lot more to do with that than hormones.

Offline dadio

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 08:40:11 pm »
Likewise, if a Buddhist monk were meditating in the forest and a Lion were to approach him, he would not jump up and flee, like the average run-of-the-mill person. He would continue to sit quietly, and stare the Lion in the face, without fear.

Lions are used to their prey fleeing in terror. They would probably not attack a potential prey who showed no fear, because such behaviour would not instinctively fit the Lion's understanding of an edible prey.

I'm not a lion expert but I do like cats. If the lion is anything like a cat, there is a chance the lion is curious and tap the monk just to play with him. I wounder what the monk will do next...

To my opinion... "if a Buddhist monk were meditating in the forest and a Lion were to approach him", he mindfully watches the fear get born inside his mind, he watches the fear grow, he understands that the fear is a construct of his mind. He lets go of his fear. No he is able to chose wisely the right action. If it is running, he will run...

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2018, 10:19:41 pm »
I was more referring to harmless spiders like house spiders that give me the hebee geebies lol...hence they shouldnt be feared.

Oh. In this case, there is no need to realise not-self. Instead, you should simply constantly reflect to yourself: "These harmless spiders should not be feared". When hebee geebies arise, you should constantly reflect: "These hebee geebies are not necessary". Sit in meditation posture observing the spider until the hebee geebies are subdued.

Best wishes.  :pray:

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 02:32:06 am »
I hope people are not taking any of this 'sit down with a lion, ignore a poisonous snake' stuff literally. Of course, for some animals the instinctive 'fight or flight' reaction will cause them to attack. If you threaten them, they may also attack. The key here is that if you go where there are dangerous things, be mindful of how to deal with them. Some of these quotes are clearly allegorical, dealing with feelings which arise within, rather than dealing with the realities of dangerous critters.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Arkena

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 03:28:26 am »
action and internal feelings are quite separate...a wise man might run if needed...a run of the mill man will run whatever the wise course of action...

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Our worlds are reflections of ourselves
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 05:50:28 am »
I hope people are not taking any of this 'sit down with a lion, ignore a poisonous snake' stuff literally. Of course, for some animals the instinctive 'fight or flight' reaction will cause them to attack. If you threaten them, they may also attack. The key here is that if you go where there are dangerous things, be mindful of how to deal with them. Some of these quotes are clearly allegorical, dealing with feelings which arise within, rather than dealing with the realities of dangerous critters.

Yes, of course. I wouldn't recommend ignoring a potentially dangerous situation involving poisonous creatures or powerful predators, such as lions.

As a Buddhist, one should always be mindful and aware of each step, and aware of one's immediate surroundings when walking, unlike the average person who stares at his/her iPhone whilst walking, which sometimes results in serious accidents.

I live in Australia, a land with many varieties of poisonous snakes, so I'm familiar with the wide-spread prevalence of snake phobia, or more precisely, Ophidiophobia.

However, personally, I have found that snakes in general, whether poisonous or not, are not a threat when one is aware of their presence and one keeps calm, and usually not even a threat when one is not aware of their presence and almost treads on them. They usually do their best to get out of your way. 


 


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