I am completely with you. Another kind of analogy - imagine if you are a highly paranoid individual. As a result, you see enemies everywhere. Your experience of life is that your environment is hostile and you constantly expect to be attacked.
Say you receive successful treatment. As a result, you see that your hostility and defensiveness was actually a result of a delusion. So you're living in the same world, but at the same time it is actually quite different. 'All my fears melted away', and so on.
We construe the world a certain way due to our attitudes. Obviously we are not generally paranoid - that was just an exagerration for the sake of making a point. However it might be the case that we have many hidden assumptions about 'the way things are' which continually affect the way we construe reality.
In some ways, spiritual experiences are like 'recovery from delusion'. Certainly, in Buddhist philosophy, it is understood that the normal human outlook is deluded because of underlying egotism, of which we are unaware. So an experience of awakening in Buddhism might show you that the ego is actually insubstantial (this might be hard to take, even if it is easy to say). So thereafter, your attitude to reality might be completely different, even if the so-called 'objective facts' you are dealing with are completely the same.
But isn't this an ego in it's most extreme state of denial, having convinced a person that they have overcome it's very existance?Or am i reading this wrong?
My limited experience of Buddhist meditation has led me to inquire as to where thoughts "come from". They "occur" to me just as "physical sensations" do. In Orteguian terms, they are just as much a part of "my circumstance" as the physical sensations I have. It seems to me the "ego" is the part of me that thinks that somehow "I" created these thoughts.
Waking up' means: no more mistaking 'existence' as 'crappy'. Whatever you may think life is, is wrong. It's all beyond the painful confines of apparent thoughts and rational judgements. Boundless and clear.
People assume they are thinking, even thinking logically, but in fact they are being 'thought'. Does one control thoughts or is it the other way around? Obviously thoughts go where they will, to heaven and to hell, according to circumstance and conditioned interpretation, and folks helplessly follow those thoughts when they identify with thought as their own doing and their own self-ness.
But if one were the real thinker of his own thoughts, how could he ever be displeased? How could he be sad or angry or fearful or full of pains? Thoughts nag. Thoughts circle. Thoughts attack.
Proper meditation allows seeing thoughts as thoughts, and feelings as feelings, mere mental phantoms of no substance, and not by any means any 'reality' of importance or dreads. This is detachment-mindfulness.
Non meditators can't see thoughts and feelings as such, but they unconsciously obey them as commands supposedly arising from their own self-ness. They are helplessly and painfully reactive and out of control. Victims of circumstance. They don't know what they're doing, or where they're going, racing along heedlessly 'thoughtful'.
If you think meditation seems hard or painful, that is thought not truth. Don't believe what you think you think. Bathed in thought, submerged in thought, enchanted by thought one dreams up a 'life' of heavens and hells that truly do not exist.
Reality is here and now. There's not a problem in the world.
actually, and without jumping on you, I think a distinction must be drawn between two terms which are often confused - 'existence', and 'being'.
It is one thing to think of God as 'the source of all being' and quite another to say he is 'everything that exists'. The word 'exist' actually means 'to be apart from'. So everything that 'exists' is by its nature compound and contingent. Whereas 'being' encompasses but is not actually an existing thing. There are realities which are beyond existence, and forms of existence which are so ephemeral that they are to all intents and purposes unreal. Huge discussion of course. But do get that 'existence' is by nature contingent, limited, compound, and, to quote the Buddha, 'DUKKHA'.
---------- Post added 10-20-2009 at 06:53 PM ----------
and as mentionedin an earlier post, the British theologian and philosopher of religion has some BRILLIANT things to say about the question of Who or What is God.
This idea suggests that God is separate from existence and not the cause thereof . Maybe reality consists of two broad factors Mind =God and Matter/Energy =that which is not God. Do you agree?
"The wise will only say - it is not this, it is not that" - anon.
I believe the divine is a rational agent accounting for the order and the logical intelligibility of the world and the ability to express natural law in mathematical form.
I believe the divine strives for higher levels of order complexity, life, mind, and experience accounting for the self organizing properties of nature and the endless creativity and novelty of the world.
When I look at the world, I do not see a universe primarily of matter inert and insensate. Instead I see a universe alive and enchanted, striving against the forces of chaos toward creativity, novelty and experience. Because I am a panpsychist for me the world is full of experiencing entities, societies and organisms. Because I have a process view the ultimate reality is one of becoming, change and flux not of machine like mechanistic determinism.
The "divine dwells within" within your mind, within the world. The divine patiently, persistently, lovingly and persuasively urges the world forward in a never ending process of creative advance. The divine is not a tyrant, the divine is not a judge, the divine dwells upon the tender elements of the world.
In essence, God is a very Human (sometimes) rational Concept, and within those parameters we can say whatever we want about him, once it "exists" mainly, as an object of cohesion in our very personal experience of reality...
I say mainly because, any Idea of God, even trough our need, expresses also a true link between us and the Universe around, in many ways it summarizes that inner impression of belonging...so somehow, its true when we say, that God is because we believe, or in a more common approach, that faith bring us to is presence...
...once alive, we all believe in something, so its fair to say that we all believe in God to some level...
...my vision, pantheistic and simple at its core, empathizes with the Big Machine concept...something like a "Matrix" made of Algorithms and numbers, with no "true substance", Static and Dead, Eternal, and beyond Time or Space...Time and Space, witch appear to me, as simulated effects, through witch "We" are revealed as Entities, who bring Him/"it" to Life, to existence and, in to Self awareness...
Best Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE
"In essence, God is a very Human (sometimes) rational Concept"
What you say here is clearly false.
God, if he exists, is not a concept. Not a human concept, not a rational concept. God is simply not a concept at all. The concept of God is a concept, not God. If God exists, then the concept of God has a referent, and that referent is God, not the concept.
That really ought to be got clear. There is no point in mixing up the concept of God with God, anymore than there is a point in mixing up the concept of the Eiffel Tower with the Eiffel Tower. Nothing but confusion can result from such a mix-up.
In that case is not Transcendental but simply Transcendent..and you cannot speak of it !
In what case? And why can't I speak of God?
However even if God is only the embodiment of human created ideals it is stll a powerful concept