September 11, 2006 at 3:44 pm #17880
I’m moving this to the top, to highlight some subtle but important differences.
No-where or now-here
Date/Time 2006-09-10 22:20:24
Remote IP: 184.108.40.206
People see the truth based on their spiritual openness and development. Some see Buddhism as a doorway to a wonderful mystery, some- as a temple built out of dogmas and rituals. It’s our choice to lock ourselves in the spiritual prison and through away the key. Or not…
I totall y support the diversity of paths. It is part of the Free Will nature of this realm. I have travelled widely and seen that the truth lies in the human beings choosing the paths and making them into what they create them to be here on earth. This doesn’t make all the paths the same, diversity has its evolutonary purpose both on the biological and the spiritual levels. Thats why I dont choose my friends based on their religion/path, but on who they are.
None of the religions Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam have any inherent existence. They are all human constructions, i.e. expressions of human free will, and are sustained by new generations of followers/practitioners keeping any particular path alive.
So the ultimate underlying value here is cultivation of Free Will. But there are fundamental differences in the type or meaning of Free Will perceived in different paths. Most of them want the followers to surrender their individual will to a higher collective will, some in the form of a Deity/God that has never been a human and never will; some as a human that has become a deity (Christ, Krishna), some to a priesthood, some to an abstract concept of the elevated human (Atman, Buddha) or to give it up to an Underlying Primordial Ground (Dzogzhen, Ramana Maharshi). Taoism is mercurial, and in its evolution has embraced a whole range of these, from Celestial Masters deifying Lao tzu to wuji worshippers.
The alchemical point of view is slightly different in its specific application of free will. It posits that the human being has all the ingredients of the cosmos/collective within them, and if their virtue and cultivation method is in alignment, that they can express the highest level of free will attainable while still living within the human form. In short, the adept may consciously cook or refine the primordial within the human form, by internalizing its cosmic processes within the human process. That grows their level of free will while embodied. It uses the human form as the alchemical vessel of transformation, and hold humanity as an essential part of the divine process of Way-making.
Clarifying the differences between paths/religions allows humans to hold a clearer intention and to more deeply explore their creative potential – a potential that is given to everyone by the division of the Original Sprit into the Many.
Most importantly, deciding if one resonates with a teaching is the key as to whether one engages that path and commits to exploring its practices. It is not about arguing about beliefs, which are often irreconcilable – it’s about clarifying which practices will be most effective for each person to achieve optimum health and self-realization. For me, that means evaluating any method or path by its degree of embodiment. Embodiment is the culmination of free will.
I perceive fundamental differences in the expression of free will between Mayahana Buddhism, its offshoot in Chan Buddhism, and my investigation of the process underlying Taoist inner alchemy. In my opinion, the Mahayana Buddhists were most likely meditators who realized the falsity, the dead endedness of the mainstream Buddhist teachings and the problems it created – mainly that Emptiness metaphysics destroyed the ground for moral action. If everything is illusory, so is moral action. Plus, they saw that many humans do not resonate with Negative thinking.
Their solution: write up a new text, claim Buddha wrote it on his deathbed, and start a new sect. Was this revelation or cultural realism needed to allow Buddhism to evolve? I say the latter is more likely. Very common in the history of religions for people to invent new levels of Highest Consciousness in order the trump the old order of rellgion and gain adherents. And use the founder of the religion to write the text for them, suddenly (hundreds of years later) clarifying the problem with the original religion. Did the ghost writer of the sutra have super consciousness while He was writing the text? We can tell its not written by a woman, giving birth to form is still bad karma. The superconscious state of mind of the anonymous writer is a matter of belief.
The compromise the Mahayana made was to allow “essence” to have reality, but only at the level of the (to use Daoist lingo) Original Spirit, i.e. only the primordial essence is real and true, everything else is still false and illusory at the human level, i.e. to make only the physical samsara realm as empty, This reversal of traditional Buddhist termiinology was as far as they could go and still claim to be part of the Buddhist family (my opinion).
In short, the importance of having a human destiny and fulfillilng the souls desire to complete that destiny is still missing from the Mahayana version of allowing limited essence/function into the Big picture. Its still not allowed into the little human picture.
Allowing for immortality ONLY at the collective level (original spirit, Buddha-mind) still does not offer a convincing bridge between the primordial and the embodied human being. It does not offer a cosmology as to how 100% of humans suffer from the “bad karma” of having emotions and thoughts, or remove what I perceive as an innate judgment AGAINST humans for having emotions and thoughts and thus creating more bad karma (rather than feelings potentially being the true expression of free will/destiny).
It is still NEGATIVE THINKING rather than POSTIVE THINKING at the level of the embodied human, even though the Buddha mind is allowed Positive Existence.
In short, there is overall still a bias against incarnation itself, this physical plane is a lesser realm that is to be transcended as the first possible opportunity, rather than an integral and valuable part of the cosmic process. The Wheel of Life itself has now been allowed to have inherent existence at the level of its Creator, but individual humans still need to get off the wheel in order to clear their bad karma of having been born a human instead of a god.
It avoids, or worse, denies the FREE WILL issue that humans have a spark of the Original Spirit within their embodied human self that makes them potentially REAL here in the physical plane. REAL means having real free will choice, rather than a phantom choice being made by a distant Original Spirit in another dimension, that rather clumsily cannot control the feelings and thoughts of its (puppet?) creations. I raise the puppet question because if you dont have real choice over creating your own destiny, you are some kind of puppet, even if a divine one.
Now, I want to make clear, that this free will choice of path has nothing to do with having wonderful and divine experiences. One can surrender to the collective level of the divine mind and have those wonderful experiences download into your individual mind on any path, and feel that they are confirmation of ones decision to follow that path, deity, teaching, etc.
But having a blissful experience has nothing to do with accepting responsibility for ones free will, i.e. ones ability to create a reality and sustain it as a harmonious and balanced process within physical embodiment. Bliss is not skill. The Tibetan Buddhists know this, and thats why they emphasize skillful means.
Inner Alchemy and qigong are skillful means of getting deep inside the embodiment process at the human level.
My bottom line is not about choosing between the interesting or quaint or exotic or marvelously grand beliefs a particular path offers, but evaluating what level of FREE WILL it cultivates on the practical level in each individual human.
The highest level of free will available to a human is to CONSCIOUISLY CREATE YOUR OWN SELF at all levels of the process original spirit, oversoul, soul, heart-mind, body. Sex is the most popular unconscious way to participate in that process. Inner sexual alchemy simultaneously coupling the yin, yang, and yuan levels ioffers the experience of a progressively higher level of that process. Bypassing the process is a potentially dangerous illusion that can be engendered by feelings of bliss. It can paralyse you to stay at one level. A tough balancing act.
If you dont want to do the work of earning or learning that level of free will, then at your death my knowing is that each of us will be given the level of free will in other planes that is our default setting.
For most people, this means at death they will be dissolving their individual form into some level of the collective, and letting that level of the collective decide what to create next, i.e. a very low level of integration of their individual free will. The collective, after all, doesnt want to be sullied by some level of unproven or inharmonious or non-virtuous individual will.
Religions are in the business of convincing believers that the followers have nothing to do but follow the collective, and that they will at death be taken to the highest levels of Creation/SuperConsciousness/God/Buddhamind if they are good/pure, did what the priest hood or practices demanded. How to sort through this quagmire of grandiose claims made for each rellgions promised heaven?
I prefer the Taoist alchemical approach, which holds that most of your attainment is going to happen while you are in your body, or immediately after the time of death. You can experience your individual essence and level of self-realization now, while embodied. So the body is the supreme vessel of transformation, and thus THIS LIFE is supremely important. Its an opportunity, the body is not seen as bad luck or bad karma or suffering. Its your unique contribution to the collective process.
I personally am not interested in the teachings of those Taoists in China who absorbed Buddhist ideas about the process that undermine the inherency of humanity in the physical plane, who focus on Other Worldly Enlightenment, or who lack alchemical skill but make pronouncements about the process.
I have to filter all of Thomas Clearys translations to convert the Buddhist mind categories he imposes on the texts back into simple, experiential alchemical language of jing-chi-shen-wu. His books are great for Buddhists who have adopted Taoist alchemical methods they are not necessarily seeking greater embodiment of their free will, but rather surrender to a collective level of it.
Your post suggests that Ive boxed myself into a kind of spiritual prison because I dont see all paths as leading to the same marvelous end. This sounds to me like a religious judgment of a believer in the spiritual collective ruling-the-individual rather than the individual growing up to rule the spiritual collective within them.
I put Original Spirit below me as the ground rather than above me as the Free Will ruler. I say Original Spirit makes the rules, but it doesnt enforce its will that is our job as humans. This is similar to Process Theology in Christianity (God is Process) or Rudolphs Steiners description of the notion of God in ancient Greece; God was omnipresent as divine witness, but not omnipotent. The potency or free will has been distributed to the Many, of which we are each One.
I dont think humanity will ever get out of its spiritual prison until individual humans recognize their inherent free will as real and learn to use it in practical, embodied ways. That is still not the message I get from Chan or Mahayana Buddhism. When they evolve to recognize Heaven and Earth as equal co-creators within human form, let me know.
Your Prisoner of spiritual process,
MichaelSeptember 11, 2006 at 8:31 pm #17881
Nowhere in the Diamond Sutra is emptiness ever mentioned!
You write as if Mahayana Buddhism is some-sort-of recent development. It had been around long before Shakyamuni appeared on the scene. It wasn’t called “Mahayana” but the essence was always there. It is really just the desire to see everyone around you faring as well as you are–if not faring better.
Imagine if I posted that the Tao didn’t exist until some homeless Chinese spiritualists…
The only Buddhists who advocate the idea of a Heaven are those who realize they don’t have what it takes to attain anything in this life, so they use what little free will they have to try and control their incarnation to land in a heaven which is really a place where they may have some shot at attainment. The rest of the Buddhists with cultivation intent are trying to do the same exact thing you are doing.
If you read the Diamond Sutra you will see that Shakyamuni taught that it isn’t about heaven, that negative thinking (nihilism) is not where it is at, and that dwelling on emptiness is incorrect. He taught the Tao and using that position of ultimate free will to help all the other fuckers who weren’t as lucky as him to make it out of the bear trap.
Naturally, you are free to claim that the Diamond Sutra is a forgery to plug the holes in early Buddhist thought…
-PlatoSeptember 11, 2006 at 8:52 pm #17883September 11, 2006 at 8:52 pm #17885September 11, 2006 at 8:58 pm #17887
You keep babbling about more free will in the alchemical path because you can create. What is creating? Yi is. But what scatters yi? Xin does. THIS IS WELL KNOWN IN QIGONG AND ALCHEMY CIRCLES. Read any of Jwing Ming Yang’s books and he shows you that xin scatters yi.
When yi is clear and unobstructed by xin, that is TRUE free will, not an ability to do something, wether create or whatever. One can then be one-pointed about any object and get it if he/she wants, whether that is to create or anything for that matter. Buddha said nothing is impossible if you are one-pointed.
FajinSeptember 11, 2006 at 9:03 pm #17889
Q: Is living your life in every moment in wu-wei the highest free will or not?
FajinSeptember 12, 2006 at 12:06 am #17891
“Their solution: write up a new text, claim Buddha wrote it on his deathbed, and start a new sect.”
I heard about this from a Duke Theology student. I thought it was just funny at the time. I mean so much focus is put on Christianity do to the nicene creed, and other thing. But I mean non of those guys wrote there own stuff. I have heard similiar things about the Quran from sufis.September 12, 2006 at 12:30 am #17893
Excellent peice. I still doubt any Healing Dao “egos” will be able to “digest” it though. Just wanted to emphasize one brilliant point you made.
>>So my point is…
…if you want to practice stillness or alchemy, do it. Because you are drawn to it a the moment and that’s all that matters now. The moment.<<
*The moment is all that matters, but that's the thing, they can't see the moment because xin prevents them from being able to live in this wu-wei. So they do what they are drawn to through the xin's desire. Noooo, they'll say it's free will to create to do this and that and that. But in the suchness of it, who is doing it and when? Yi is, in the moment.
FajinSeptember 12, 2006 at 8:11 am #17895
“The only Buddhists who advocate the idea of a Heaven are those who realize they don’t have what it takes to attain anything in this life, so they use what little free will they have to try and control their incarnation to land in a heaven which is really a place where they may have some shot at attainment.”
It was my understanding that here (human realm) is the best place for attainments…
Anyway, I think “forgeries” 😉 are present everywhere including daosim…September 12, 2006 at 8:23 am #17897
We set the limits and choose what we want to believe and follow. If you have to filter Cleary’s translations because they don’t fit your view, it’s your free will to do so. 🙂 The expression “spiritual prison” wasn’t directed at anyone but used as a metaphor to express how I feel about blindly following the dogmas, even if it comes from Chan or Mahayana. Through practice and helping others the wisdom will flourish and one will be able to see things for what they are. Try to come to a cow that is all shaking and screaming before being killed, look it straight in the round eyes filled with pain and horror, and say: “Don’t worry friend, it’s because of me you will die today, but don’t be afraid- I will eat your corpse with Love and Acceptance so you can take a ride on my spiritual journey of transformation.” Sounds ridiculous, right, as much as us going to war to bring peace to the Middle East? So why do I need to point it out? As Fajin said before, it all sounds nice but if you look closer- spiritualized BS.
So my point is…
…if you want to practice stillness or alchemy, do it. Because you are drawn to it a the moment and that’s all that matters now. The moment.”
Right it does sound ridiculous, but according to this we shouldn`t eat anything at all… Unfortunately I (and billions of others) are not so developed to do that yet.
And how do you know that when you`ll see things as they are, that you`ll still be against eating meat?
“…and if you want to eat meat, eat meat. Because you like the taste, not because you want to make the cow enlightened… MU”
Now that I agree with. Eat when hungry. 🙂
What does MU stand for though?
Fajin: “I still doubt any Healing Dao “egos” will be able to “digest” it though.”
Are you without ego perhaps? …September 12, 2006 at 10:26 am #17899
>>Are you without ego perhaps? …<<
*I'm with ego but I don't use an alchemist's point of view when I read things anymore. I said Heaing Dao egos. As Bagua said, they isolate and polarize in their discussions, in a sense polarizing further. It is like dissecting a corpse.
They even go so far as to say that the Tao Te Ching is an alchemical text when Lao Tzu was actually defining our original nature and how to live life at its fullest in wu-wei. Daoists know that you cannot live life in wu-wei without attaining a state of wu-hsin (non-imndedness). Then alchemists make their excuses as, oh, without a mind, you have no free will, you are a dead tree, no such thing as false self, etc., etc., etc. Need I say more?
FajinSeptember 12, 2006 at 10:30 am #17901
Thanks for the link, I’ll get this one and Nan’s enlightenment books, great stuff!
FajinSeptember 12, 2006 at 12:36 pm #17903
it seems both michael and fajin/max are making valid points within the domains of experinece each are addressing. the impediment lies in whether the points about one’s own chosen domain of experience actually address the paradigm offered by the other person. i think the point michael is making in a way comes down to how buddhist language does not address the full range of experiences that constitutues the human process, indeed, it is often quite negative toward many of them. i think he is suggesting its lexical mores are insufficient as a spiritual language for most people, again, the issue is not that the buddhist approach is incorrect about the domain of experience it focuses upon, just that its focus doesn’t EMBODY the whole spectrum of processes that make up a life, because it denies their authenticity.
i find this to be a genuine problem.September 14, 2006 at 7:42 am #17905
I am delighted to see all this passion coming out.
It seems whenever I quote the summaries of Buddhist texts, i.e. here cited by Fajin in wikipedia, that rather than accepting them for what they say, there is a an attempt to shift the focus away from the actual classical buddhists texts to what these modern Buddhists are thinking and focusing on or to a different text that has a different focus. A lot of squirming about, a lot of “rectification” required.
It’s all fine with me – I see a progression away from the traditional mainstream Buddhist focus in otherworlds and to realizing that one’s innate nature is here as well in the physical body. And yes, I may be intentionally creating a little polar tension in order to make the point. But don’t blame all alchemists, or all healing taoists. That’s just the debater in me having fun.:)
But what’s the main point? That yuan jing biths both pre-natal jing and post-natal jing, a continuous line of essence that is unbroken. I am simply pointing out that this unbroken process is what allows alchemy to work and for every human being to be as real in their own dimension, as real as subtle beings are in theirs. Sure, we’re vibrating a little slower, but the principles are exactly the same.
Of course, every one is an alchemist unconsicously, everyone is using the elements to transform themselves according to their personal and soul desires. It doesn’t matter what you label it – bad karma, illusion, or real – the process is unavoidable, one cannot hide from the Life Force and the Way it functions.
Dear Buddhists, please don’t feel attacked. I am jsut interested in cleaning up the antiquated religious language that obscures the process, and in highlighting the principles of the process of the Life Force. And in cultivating self-realization to higher levels of spiritual EMBODIMENT than I find in the many spiritual groups my journey takes me through.
Let’s get into the meat of the issue.
I am really quite surprised at the level of judgement here against meat-eaters. I was a vegetarian for seven years, and then began eating meat again on a trip across China. I didn’t become any less spiritual (IMHO). I smile and beam love into whatever I eat, vegetable or animal, to raise its vibration and purify whatever bloody trauma it has suffered.
Its all a part of the earth’s body. Eating is an alchemical process, the main one that everyone practices: push a carrot in one end, consciousness comes out the other end. In between the bowel and organ spirits extract the elemental essence of whatever is eaten and incorporate it into the physical and spiritual process of that eater.
What and how you digest is more important than what you eat. The transformational process rules. Poor digestion = poor health, on many levels.
Fajin you said were working on experiencing the Oneness of everything and everyone. What does that mean in this context? I think it means that you are not really content to sit and be one with all the meat eaters, and hvae their experience as if it were your own. Doesn’t i t really mean you would ideally like to TRANSFORM all the meat eaters into vegetarians, to enlighten them?
If that is the case, Oneness is not really the language that is appropriate here – you really would like to exert your WILL to change things to be the way you believe them to be most spiritually elevated. Welcome to the spirtual battleground…..it is part of the Manifest Oneness to embrace all polarities, to embrace equally violent bloodsucking meateaters like the Dalai Lama and tranquil zen vegetarians (who sneak a little sushi now and then).
Who is the “you” that wants to change everyone? Its your xin. Perhaps your xin, propelled by some soul level issue. But please consider that Xin, the heart-mind, is not a devil. Its a vessel for experience, that arrives incomplete and sexually polarized at birth.
Its desire for completion is thus natural and given to it by Original Spirit, via other levels of its collective self and personal soul (ling). The desire for sex and the desire to eat meat is essentially the same – to know the body more deeply.
You cannot take xin out of the life process. You can integrate xin into the process, so that its not creating resistance and struggle. You can eliminate those tendencies within xin to dissipate and fragment. That is of course built into the alchemical process – fusion of the five phases, get the struggling shen to function as one. Its behind the zillions of one-pointed techniques found in all paths. Get one pointed, so you can exert your free will more powerfully, as you said. We agree here, I think!
But when the body-mind functions effortlessly as one, is the xin eliminated, or is it still here but functioning in a harmonious, more powerful fashion? How can you claim the xin is eliminated, if the sensory functions are still operating? Are you claiming that “original spirit made me blink”??? More likely the mote in your eye.
I think its useful to not take texts too literarally. Of course, one can seal the senses temporarily in meditation. We can temporarily visit other dimensions in meditation.
But my experience is you will still have a personality as long as you have a body. The sitting meditation ends, a personal desire arises to get up and walk and talk. There is always the desire to breathe, which you don’t realize you have until someone tries to smother you. These are all functions controlled by the xin.
Even the most enlightened bodhisattva-in-human form will continue to make personal choices here, not from some distance plane (soul or higher level) that cannot even see what is happening here other than as a subtle pattern of vibration. You need the lovely senses to function in the physical. Rather than eliminate the xin, I think “divinize” it is more appropriate it.
What does it mean to divinize the Heart-Mind? It becomes a vessel of direct perception – the soul, and rarely, perhaps the oversoul/great spirit/da shen might be able to perceive directly through the physical body in real time. That is is my idea of wu-wei: effortless flow of the transformations of jing-chii-shen-wu between all levels of self, right into the sensory driven xin level. That is smooth process, we’ll call it alchemical if made conscious.
Hope that answers your question about wu-wei.
And the meat thing is very, very deep. Stellar consciousness was injected into an animial body some eons ago.
Man has hunted and eaten other animals as part of his process of integrating with the animal level. Originally, the hunter had to first capture the spirit of the animal. It is part of the human experiment. I know it is very distasteful to some. And modern slaughter houses are an abonmination, making it worse and degrading what used to be a spiritual practice.
For others their blood type drives them to meat – their animal body level has been programmed by millions of years, and its hard to reset the default. But I think in the pursuit of Oneness, the first part of the xin that one wants to let go of is the part that judges others. Judgements are a great way to elevate one’s own xin.
Forgiving all those who have judged My Heart Mind,
ps. I am off to Glastonbury and Stonehenge, will not have much time to post for a few weeks.
Enjoy the process that is cooking nicely here without me.September 14, 2006 at 10:37 am #17907
Glad you didn’t turn away from the xin vs. yi issue this time.
I think it is safe to assume that Po spirit governs the involuntary functions of the body like blinking and Hun Spirit governs the mind. Yi is yi, something separate. It is yuan shen.
When xin is there, whether divine or not, our yi is not clear, and absorption cannot occur. The idle thoughts continue to arise, no matter who positive and loving they are and we grasp them and allow them to influence our actions. Guan Yin reached his enlightenment and found that thoughts are essentially empty.
Xin must be gone to achieve total absorption and oneness. I have gone through this in my meditations and every time I reach a higher state of empty-mindedness, the ego is slowly letting go its grasp on the yi.
My yi is clearer and sharper and able to penetrate reality more and more. This way I become more concsious of reality and its processes. I can see things as they are without the xin making my yi cling to anything. That’s the way to live life.
The choices part you talked about would be the same for Buddha and Lao Tzu. If Buddha and Lao Tzu have no ego, for example, they make different choices based on the reality that faces them, ie. a specific time, specific place, specific things going on around them that influences their actions. Otherwise, they would act the same because it is their Original Self doing the spontaneous acting based on the reality they experience.
Just ask yourself this, what was my original face before I was born? Did it look any different from anyone else’s? It is formless, we all looked the same. Our non-actions are the same. This is true wu-wei.
If there is an alchemy that can bring about the same state of mind that Zen can bring, and allow our yi to be clear and completely penetrating the most subtle layers of reality, that’s great, that’s where it should take us. If not, then we are missing the final peice of the continuos process, shen to wu stage.
Buddhists are there already, how long will it take for Daoists to get there too so that we may all agree?
P.S. I’m taking a BIG break from the forum, don’t know when I’ll be back that was my last post.
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