Author Topic: Where does the enlightenment come from?  (Read 728 times)

Offline bahman

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Where does the enlightenment come from?
« on: May 09, 2017, 01:58:26 pm »
 I am sure that you all experience these phenomena: You are thinking about a problem and could not find a answer for it. Later, the answer just pops up into your conscious mind. The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it. The answer is the subconscious mind. The created answer however is based on what we have experienced and learnt. Therefore the answer could be wrong if what we have learnt is wrong. I think that your subconscious mind is still working when your are meditating. Therefore enlightenment could be wrong if we accept the fact that its source is subconscious mind.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 02:11:35 pm by bahman »

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 03:46:14 pm »
I am sure that you all experience these phenomena: You are thinking about a problem and could not find a answer for it. Later, the answer just pops up into your conscious mind. The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it.

I thought it came from San Diego.  :smack:

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 11:05:30 pm »
Therefore the answer could be wrong if what we have learnt is wrong. I think that your subconscious mind is still working when your are meditating. Therefore enlightenment could be wrong if we accept the fact that its source is subconscious mind.
An enlightenment experience can't be wrong as there's nothing to be wrong about. It's an instance of seeing things as they really are and is unmistakable. Other instances of insight are not like this and can be mistaken.
“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 VincentRJ

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 01:25:41 am »
I am sure that you all experience these phenomena: You are thinking about a problem and could not find a answer for it. Later, the answer just pops up into your conscious mind. The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it. The answer is the subconscious mind. The created answer however is based on what we have experienced and learnt. Therefore the answer could be wrong if what we have learnt is wrong. I think that your subconscious mind is still working when your are meditating. Therefore enlightenment could be wrong if we accept the fact that its source is subconscious mind.

The subconscious contains the motivations and sources for much of our bad behaviour, uncontrollable behaviour, greed and sexual tendencies, so it is reasonable to presume that these subconscious processes would be revealed to someone who had seriously embarked upon a path towards a greater understanding of the human condition through practices of asceticism and meditation.

One interesting aspect of the Buddha's life, which I find quite fascinating, is his period of continuous fasting for a very long period, hoping that it would culminate in his enlightenment.

According to the story in the Pali Canon, he became so gaunt and emaciated that he realised if he were to continue fasting he would die without achieving enlightenment, so he began to eat again, which resulted in some of his followers deserting him.

It was some time after this event that Gautama achieved enlightenment whilst sitting under the Bodhi tree. However, as a result of this experience of extreme fasting, Gautama formulated the the concept of 'moderation'. Even today, Buddhist monks are encouraged to eat no more than one meal a day before noon. This effectively means that monks should fast for about 23 hours per day.

Now, let's consider what modern science has to say about the benefits of fasting. In general, when the body is free from the 'work' of digesting food, it is able to fix any emerging medical problems, such as the beginning of cancerous growths.

After just a moderately long period of fasting, say around 5 days, the body consumes as food, all the defunct white bloods cells. When one begins eating again, the body regenerates those inactive white blood cells that were consumed, and one has a strengthened immune system as a result.

However, perhaps particularly relevant to the situation of the Buddha, is the discovery that during prolonged periods of fasting the body generates new brain cells in the interests of survival. If the body is starving, a natural response is to make the mind more alert in order to detect any possible food sources.

So here's my hypothesis. After long periods of serious fasting, the Buddha's clarity of thought became enhanced as a result of the creation of additional brain cells. When he began eating again, in moderation, his immune system would have been strengthened due to the replacement of defunct white blood cells with fully functioning cells.

New brain cells take a while before they become fully functioning with the additional connections, or synapses that are required.
With a strengthened immune system and a large increase in the number of brain cells, or neurons, he was eventually able to achieve enlightenment.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2128695-hungry-stomach-hormone-promotes-growth-of-new-brain-cells/

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 12:19:08 pm »
...The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it.


There is something called "intuition", which I personally define as the sum total of experience, & education.  My wife and I watch Jeopardy daily and she has the ability to make educated guesses, which she defines as information arising out of what she calls "the black box".

Quote
  "The answer is the subconscious mind. The created answer however is based on what we have experienced and learnt." 


Yes.  That pretty much agrees with my perspective regarding this issue. 

Quote
  Therefore the answer could be wrong if what we have learnt is wrong.


Yep!  Agreed .  This happens to me a lot when watching Jeopardy.

Quote
  I think that your subconscious mind is still working when your are meditating. Therefore enlightenment could be wrong if we accept the fact that its source is subconscious mind.


Suppose you don't accept that notion? 
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline bahman

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 12:25:11 pm »
I am sure that you all experience these phenomena: You are thinking about a problem and could not find a answer for it. Later, the answer just pops up into your conscious mind. The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it.

I thought it came from San Diego.  :smack:

 :D

Offline bahman

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 12:26:01 pm »
I am sure that you all experience these phenomena: You are thinking about a problem and could not find a answer for it. Later, the answer just pops up into your conscious mind. The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it.

I thought it came from San Diego.  :smack:

 :D

Offline bahman

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 12:29:17 pm »
Therefore the answer could be wrong if what we have learnt is wrong. I think that your subconscious mind is still working when your are meditating. Therefore enlightenment could be wrong if we accept the fact that its source is subconscious mind.
An enlightenment experience can't be wrong as there's nothing to be wrong about. It's an instance of seeing things as they really are and is unmistakable. Other instances of insight are not like this and can be mistaken.

 I am arguing that enlightenment is a construct of mind therefore it could be wrong. Do you have an answer to title?

Offline bahman

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 12:32:22 pm »
I am sure that you all experience these phenomena: You are thinking about a problem and could not find a answer for it. Later, the answer just pops up into your conscious mind. The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it. The answer is the subconscious mind. The created answer however is based on what we have experienced and learnt. Therefore the answer could be wrong if what we have learnt is wrong. I think that your subconscious mind is still working when your are meditating. Therefore enlightenment could be wrong if we accept the fact that its source is subconscious mind.

The subconscious contains the motivations and sources for much of our bad behaviour, uncontrollable behaviour, greed and sexual tendencies, so it is reasonable to presume that these subconscious processes would be revealed to someone who had seriously embarked upon a path towards a greater understanding of the human condition through practices of asceticism and meditation.

One interesting aspect of the Buddha's life, which I find quite fascinating, is his period of continuous fasting for a very long period, hoping that it would culminate in his enlightenment.

According to the story in the Pali Canon, he became so gaunt and emaciated that he realised if he were to continue fasting he would die without achieving enlightenment, so he began to eat again, which resulted in some of his followers deserting him.

It was some time after this event that Gautama achieved enlightenment whilst sitting under the Bodhi tree. However, as a result of this experience of extreme fasting, Gautama formulated the the concept of 'moderation'. Even today, Buddhist monks are encouraged to eat no more than one meal a day before noon. This effectively means that monks should fast for about 23 hours per day.

Now, let's consider what modern science has to say about the benefits of fasting. In general, when the body is free from the 'work' of digesting food, it is able to fix any emerging medical problems, such as the beginning of cancerous growths.

After just a moderately long period of fasting, say around 5 days, the body consumes as food, all the defunct white bloods cells. When one begins eating again, the body regenerates those inactive white blood cells that were consumed, and one has a strengthened immune system as a result.

However, perhaps particularly relevant to the situation of the Buddha, is the discovery that during prolonged periods of fasting the body generates new brain cells in the interests of survival. If the body is starving, a natural response is to make the mind more alert in order to detect any possible food sources.

So here's my hypothesis. After long periods of serious fasting, the Buddha's clarity of thought became enhanced as a result of the creation of additional brain cells. When he began eating again, in moderation, his immune system would have been strengthened due to the replacement of defunct white blood cells with fully functioning cells.

New brain cells take a while before they become fully functioning with the additional connections, or synapses that are required.
With a strengthened immune system and a large increase in the number of brain cells, or neurons, he was eventually able to achieve enlightenment.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2128695-hungry-stomach-hormone-promotes-growth-of-new-brain-cells/

 Interesting.

Offline bahman

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 12:40:00 pm »
...The question is where does the answer come from if you are not consciously thinking about it.


There is something called "intuition", which I personally define as the sum total of experience, & education.  My wife and I watch Jeopardy daily and she has the ability to make educated guesses, which she defines as information arising out of what she calls "the black box".

Quote
  "The answer is the subconscious mind. The created answer however is based on what we have experienced and learnt." 


Yes.  That pretty much agrees with my perspective regarding this issue. 

Quote
  Therefore the answer could be wrong if what we have learnt is wrong.


Yep!  Agreed .  This happens to me a lot when watching Jeopardy.

Quote
  I think that your subconscious mind is still working when your are meditating. Therefore enlightenment could be wrong if we accept the fact that its source is subconscious mind.


Suppose you don't accept that notion? 


 Do you have an answer to the title?

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 11:44:56 pm »
You can't keep asking for answers 'to the title' when people have answered your question. I guess you are trying to push for a view that enlightenment can be wrong if you think it comes from your head. This is a misunderstanding of enlightenment, which is an instance when you get to see things as they really are. When you do that it is unmistakable and unshakable. What is up for grabs is the aftermath, when people try to tell you what you saw and what it means, or those fleeting instances of insight before enlightenment, when much the same thing can happen.

Enlightenment is not a thing floating out there, waiting to descend on someone meditating in the right way. It happens when you meditate to change your brain, so that it can interpret reality in the right way, to see things as they are. The trick is to do it in a way that works for you as an individual, since all our brains have a different starting point.
“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 bahman

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2017, 09:37:47 am »
You can't keep asking for answers 'to the title' when people have answered your question. I guess you are trying to push for a view that enlightenment can be wrong if you think it comes from your head. This is a misunderstanding of enlightenment, which is an instance when you get to see things as they really are. When you do that it is unmistakable and unshakable. What is up for grabs is the aftermath, when people try to tell you what you saw and what it means, or those fleeting instances of insight before enlightenment, when much the same thing can happen.

Enlightenment is not a thing floating out there, waiting to descend on someone meditating in the right way. It happens when you meditate to change your brain, so that it can interpret reality in the right way, to see things as they are. The trick is to do it in a way that works for you as an individual, since all our brains have a different starting point.

 So how do things look? What is the truth/reality?

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2017, 12:06:15 pm »
 :smack:
“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 Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2017, 12:54:02 pm »
Quote
bahman:  "Do you have an answer to the title?"


So, to paraphrase in restatement of the thread's title with only a slight variation for grammatical purposes, and in homage of Shakespear:  "From whence cometh enlightenment?"

"Enlightenment" defined:

There are these seven factors leading to enlightement as taught by The Buddha:
Quote
To the Venerable Maha Cunda thus seated, the Blessed One said:

"O Cunda, let the factors of enlightenment occur to your mind."

"These seven factors of enlightenment, bhante (Ven. Sir), are well expounded and are cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana. What are the seven?

i. "Mindfulness, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One, and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

ii. "Investigation of the Dhamma, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iii. "Persevering effort, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iv. "Rapture, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

v. "Calm, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vi. "Concentration, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vii. "Equanimity, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One, and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

These seven factors of enlightenment, bhante, are well expounded and cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana."

"Most assuredly Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment. Most assuredly, Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment."

Thus said the Venerable Maha Cunda, and the Master approved of it. Then the Blessed One recovered from his affliction, and thus disappeared his affliction.


source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.016.piya.html






What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Where does the enlightenment come from?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2017, 02:01:11 am »
Thanks Ron, was getting a headache  :wink1:
“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

 


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