• Dan84
    40


    I bet old Karl is real fun at a dinner party.
  • Dan84
    40


    Sorry old chap. I don’t like to result to insult but you are being a bit of an ass. Could you please cut out the assness. Just a little.
  • Pattern-chaser
    629
    for the avoidance of confusion in future, perhaps you might use the word moksha, or Kevala Jnana, or ushta instead?karl stone

    Or perhaps you might accept that, like nearly every other English word in existence, "enlightenment" has several meanings, all of which are clearly understood (from context) by the vast majority of English speakers? Here's one link, but there are many others. The Eastern meaning of "enlightenment" is listed as a known meaning of this word. Must we only use words in the way that you, personally, use them? Piffle! :joke:
  • karl stone
    203
    Also, the term 'enlightenment' from the 'age of enlightenment' is borrowed from the spiritual teachings found in the ancient scriptures. Back then, they thought that a scientific revolution would bring about that beatific society often alluded to in scriptures. Compared to now, obviously they were wrong, or it is yet to happen.BrianW

    Your point is trivial - because until the the Enlightenment, religious systems of thought, and the language used to describe them were all that were available. Using the term enlightenment to describe the light of rational knowledge was a step forward. Science surrounds us with miracles that we can see and experience in the real world, and if science has not reached its full potential, it's because the Enlightenment project was resisted by people like you. Appropriating the term to describe your eastern mysticism is a step back into the shadows of religious ignorance. But if you're okay with it - be aware, there are innumerable gerera of intestinal parasite yet to be classified, so prepare yourself for the karma tapeworm Giardiasis Gita!
  • karl stone
    203
    Sorry old chap. I don’t like to result to insult but you are being a bit of an ass. Could you please cut out the assness. Just a little.Dan84

    I did try. I asked him to let it go, but he persisted. So I tried asking nicely - but I'm meeting with that infuriating denial of genuine human emotion Buddhists affect - as a pretense of spirituality.
  • karl stone
    203
    Or perhaps you might accept that, like nearly every other English word in existence, "enlightenment" has several meanings, all of which are clearly understood (from context) by the vast majority of English speakers? Here's one link, but there are many others. The Eastern meaning of "enlightenment" is listed as a known meaning of this word. Must we only use words in the way that you, personally, use them? Piffle!Pattern-chaser

    I'm quite sure, if asked, most people would understand the term enlightenment to refer to some eastern spiritual nonsense, and very few would know anything about the 18th century rationalist philosophical movement. What does that tell you? That science, while surrounding us with miracles of technology - and providing real knowledge of the world, is nonetheless held in contempt. I seek to address that - because truth is important, particularly as we face global scale existential threats. No amount of limb bending and chanting at the beyond is going to solve climate change. We need to complete the Enlightenment project.
  • Dan84
    40
    Or perhaps you might accept that, like nearly every other English word in existence, "enlightenment" has several meanings, all of which are clearly understood (from context) by the vast majority of English speakers? Here's one link, but there are many others. The Eastern meaning of "enlightenment" is listed as a known meaning of this word. Must we only use words in the way that you, personally, use them? Piffle!Pattern-chaser

    I have to agree here Karl. I’m open to your reasoning and you are certainty intelligent, certainly, more so than myself for sure. But you are at risk of being closed.

    Karl id like to start a personal dialogue with you discussing mainly these matters but others, related. Would you mind?

    I’m no expert on debate but I feel like you are so maybe you can educate me in the process.

    Let me know.
  • sign
    8
    The more recent argument in the posts above reminded me of Hegel. How might science-directed philosophy be related to quasi-religious philosophy? Since both strive for a truth beyond utility (and in this case even use the same metaphor of light), maybe they aren't so opposed as they seem. This article supplies a clear summary of a fascinating chapter in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit on just this issue. Houlgate's book is another great source.

    https://philosophynow.org/issues/37/The_Dialectics_of_Faith_and_Enlightenment

    My own approach to the issue is simply to recognize the value of both approaches. Science-directed philosophy offers a kind of hygiene or discipline. On the other hand, quasi-religious philosophy more directly addresses the whole of our situation. Science-directed philosophy can err by closing itself off from realms of experience. Quasi-religious philosophy can err by refusing to use science-directed philosophy to sharpen itself and avoid dogmatism.
  • BrianW
    481


    What Krishna taught, the teachings of yoga, had nothing to do with religion. They were based on principles of the activities of our lives and apply to all occupations.

    Similar teachings were given by Buddha as dharma and had nothing to do with religion. They were just as much based on principles of the activities of our lives and apply to all occupations.

    I don't know the religious system from which you derive enlightment but, it is obvious you do not know the Bhagavad Gita or even the teachings of Buddha. None of those teachings have anything to do with mysticism. Their teachings were and have been practised by many including those whose occupations are in the fields of science, politics, religion, philosophy, etc.
    Also, the numerous machines and tools invented long before the 'science' revolution or 'the age of enlightenment' is a testament to the fact that analytical methods of investigation and the empirical value derived therefrom have been in existence for a very long time. Rationale was a part of humans long before the term science was coined.

    I don't know whether your scientific inclination allows you to use unfounded premises in your accusations but, I can assure you the valid teachings on enlightenment, eastern or otherwise, are not based on superstition. They are products of well reasoned out practices.

    Would you judge a reasonable person by the actions of the insane? I hope not. I don't know why you would judge the teachings on enlightenment given by such distinguished minds as Krishna's by the actions of those who clearly do not adhere to his teachings. Those actions of the religious nuts which necessitated a social revolution through a 'scientific' mode of progress cannot define the refined teachings given by people such as Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, etc, just as the misguided actions of political leaders like Hitler do not define the entire field of politics.
  • BrianW
    481


    I'm not saying scientific efforts are not admirable. But, contrary to your belief, Krishna's yoga teachings about enlightenment are not antagonistic to science or any other field of knowledge or occupation. In fact, they complement them.
  • All sight
    287
    Simple, attain to nine independent domain specific masteries, awaken all of your faculties, and obtain all nine muses. Get on it.
  • karl stone
    203
    I have to agree here Karl. I’m open to your reasoning and you are certainty intelligent, certainly, more so than myself for sure. But you are at risk of being closed.
    Karl id like to start a personal dialogue with you discussing mainly these matters but others, related. Would you mind?
    I’m no expert on debate but I feel like you are so maybe you can educate me in the process.
    Let me know.
    Dan84

    I cannot imagine there's anything you can't say here. Afterall, this is a thread about yoga, and I'm discussing science and survival. If this is the Buddhist way of telling me to knock it off - just tell me to knock it off. It's okay to want things!
  • Dan84
    40
    Ha no it’s not got anything to do with Buddhism it’s about having a conversation that could be interesting without having to put up with interruptions that dilute the content.
  • karl stone
    203
    What Krishna taught, the teachings of yoga, had nothing to do with religion. They were based on principles of the activities of our lives and apply to all occupations. Similar teachings were given by Buddha as dharma and had nothing to do with religion. They were just as much based on principles of the activities of our lives and apply to all occupations.BrianW

    From the POV of the western person seeking some spiritual dogma to follow because they cannot think for themselves, and must therefore borrow from others to lend their own personality a little depth - your dogma is entirely interchangeable with any religious dogma, and the claim it's not a religion - it's a philosophy, is a distinction without a difference. It's slightly different in its native context. There, it's an inter-generational religious practice - ideas ingrained into children before the age at which they're capable of rational judgement.

    I don't know the religious system from which you derive enlightment but, it is obvious you do not know the Bhagavad Gita or even the teachings of Buddha. None of those teachings have anything to do with mysticism. Their teachings were and have been practised by many including those whose occupations are in the fields of science, politics, religion, philosophy, etc.BrianW

    I can think for myself, and think reality quite astonishing enough without needing to gussy it up with tawdry decoration. If you have anything as ineffable in your philosophy as wondering what the universe is expanding into, for example - then sign me up! If you have built any glittery thing to your god that's as magnificent as the starry sky, anything as beautiful as the sunrise, anything as profoundly excruciating as individual mortality against hope for the future of our children - then sign me up. Otherwise, I'll simply look reality in the eye and be humbled by its fearful majesty.

    Also, the numerous machines and tools invented long before the 'science' revolution or 'the age of enlightenment' is a testament to the fact that analytical methods of investigation and the empirical value derived therefrom have been in existence for a very long time. Rationale was a part of humans long before the term science was coined.BrianW

    Here's a real thing most people don't see. Ask yourself - do you know more today than yesterday? Do you know more, and better today than when you were five years old? Clearly, knowledge has a direction - from less and worse knowledge, to more and better knowledge over time - and yet you parade the ancientness of your philosophy as a claim to superiority.

    I don't know whether your scientific inclination allows you to use unfounded premises in your accusations but, I can assure you the valid teachings on enlightenment, eastern or otherwise, are not based on superstition. They are products of well reasoned out practices.BrianW

    I'm sure you think so. But how could you say otherwise? To my mind, your philosophy is quite easily categorized alongside religious dogma - and it's a pretense you don't have gods when you revere as gods claimants of a psychological state described as: "a state of unity, harmony and freedom as a conscious being within an absolute reality." If this isn't a religion - but a philosophy, if it isn't incompatible with science, presumably you can explain in terms of cause and effect how...

    Satisfy the Divine with your sacrificial deeds — and It will satisfy you! By acting for Its sake, you will achieve the highest good.
    For the Divine satisfied with your sacrificial deeds will grant you whatever you need in life. The one who receives gifts and gives no gifts in return, is verily a thief!
    The righteous who live on the remains of their sacrificial gifts to God are liberated from sins. But those who are anxious only about their own food — they feed on sin!
    Thanks to the food, the bodies of creatures grow. The food arises from rain. The rain arises from Sacrifice. (I.e., as a result of right behavior of people.) Sacrifice is performance of right action.
    - Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3; 11-14.
    BrianW

    ....rain arises from sacrifice. What this seems like to me, is a primitive terror that the crops will fail because the rains did not come - written into religious practice. What does this sacrifice entail? I imagine goods deeds and giving money to the church. It's no different to Catholicism - behavioral control by the clergy. i.e. the antithesis of Enlightenment.
  • karl stone
    203
    Ha no it’s not got anything to do with Buddhism it’s about having a conversation that could be interesting without having to put up with interruptions that dilute the content.Dan84

    Feel free to send a PM - and I'll respond or I won't.
  • BrianW
    481
    From the POV of the western person seeking some spiritual dogma to follow because they cannot think for themselves, and must therefore borrow from others to lend their own personality a little depth - your dogma is entirely interchangeable with any religious dogma, and the claim it's not a religion - it's a philosophy, is a distinction without a difference. It's slightly different in its native context. There, it's an inter-generational religious practice - ideas ingrained into children before the age at which they're capable of rational judgement.karl stone

    Yeah, it's the POV of someone ignorant. My point exactly.

    I can think for myself, and think reality quite astonishing enough without needing to gussy it up with tawdry decoration. If you have anything as ineffable in your philosophy as wondering what the universe is expanding into, for example - then sign me up! If you have built any glittery thing to your god that's as magnificent as the starry sky, anything as beautiful as the sunrise, anything as profoundly excruciating as individual mortality against hope for the future of our children - then sign me up. Otherwise, I'll simply look reality in the eye and be humbled by its fearful majesty.karl stone

    Does this mean you don't acquaint with information from others because you can think for yourself? Don't you also depend on what others have thought prior to you? Don't you depend on other's knowledge acquired prior to you?
    I can think for myself too, yet, I supplement it with more knowledge and wisdom from other valid sources.

    Here's a real thing most people don't see. Ask yourself - do you know more today than yesterday? Do you know more, and better today than when you were five years old? Clearly, knowledge has a direction - from less and worse knowledge, to more and better knowledge over time - and yet you parade the ancientness of your philosophy as a claim to superiority.karl stone

    No matter how much knowledge we add, there will be principles that remain constant. That is the value of understanding the laws/principles in operation through nature and in reality. For example, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed. No matter how much knowledge we acquire, that principle remains the same. The same with the principles taught in the Bhagavad Gita.

    I'm sure you think so. But how could you say otherwise? To my mind, your philosophy is quite easily categorized alongside religious dogma - and it's a pretense you don't have have gods when you revere as gods claimants of a psychological state described as: "state of unity, harmony and freedom as a conscious being within an absolute reality." If this isn't a religion - but a philosophy, if it isn't incompatible with science, presumably you can explain in terms of cause and effect how... rain arises from sacrifice. What this seems like to me, is a primitive terror that the crops will fail because the rains did not come - written into religious practice. What does this sacrifice entail? I imagine goods deeds and giving money to the church. It's no different to Catholicism - behavioral control by the clergy. i.e. the antithesis of Enlightenment.karl stone

    Simple. Selfishness is not sustainable. Or, how can individuals build a collective without unified or harmonious activity? If nature is unified and harmonious in its working through the many aspects of reality, why can't humans learn from that?
    The flowery language is called symbolism and was the primary mode of expression in those ancient times. There's a difference between literal and practical, to understand there's need to be practical. Also, symbolism allows a larger content of applicable information to be coded in simpler form.

    The rain arises from Sacrifice. Sacrifice is performance of right action.
    Here, sacrifice refers to nature. Nature is a prescribed system of activity which, as far as is known, unfolds ultimate utility for reality.
  • Dan84
    40
    [reply="karl stone;23420

    Fool
  • Pattern-chaser
    629
    I'm quite sure, if asked, most people would understand the term enlightenment to refer to some eastern spiritual nonsense, and very few would know anything about the 18th century rationalist philosophical movement. What does that tell you?karl stone

    Not much. I see your assertion, and I disagree with it. I think that the two meanings of "enlightenment" that you describe are (roughly) equally well known. And I wonder why you need to be rude about a concept you disagree with? Is it that you think (Eastern) enlightenment somehow contradicts your scientific outlook? [ I don't think it does.]

    What does that tell you? That science, while surrounding us with miracles of technology - and providing real knowledge of the world, is nonetheless held in contempt.karl stone

    There is an opposite perspective, that focusses more on the application of science where it is not the appropriate tool. Sadly, the best example I can think of is philosophy forums like this one, which are populated with Sciencists* eager to promote their Vulcan** philosophy over and above all other ways of thinking. Logic uber alles, as you might say.

    So I would conclude that we should strive to use science where it is appropriate and useful, something we do not always do. But at the same time, and for the same reasons, we should strive never to use science where it is inappropriate and not useful, which is also something we do too often. :up:

    I seek to address that - because truth is important, particularly as we face global scale existential threats. No amount of limb bending and chanting at the beyond is going to solve climate change. We need to complete the Enlightenment project.karl stone

    I submit that no amount of science is going to solve these problems either. The problem isn't science, it's people. And there are no scientific ways of dealing with people. Before it became too late, we should have been able to moderate our consumption and our population, and generally trodden less heavily upon the Earth. But our greed proved insuperable, and now our species has reached its end. Sadly, even completion of the Enlightenment Project won't change this.

    * - not all contributors to philosophy forums are sciencists, of course. But they are very much in evidence; we've all seen and heard them. Thankfully, there are many non-sciencists, here and elsewhere, and one can find them if one looks carefully.... :up: :smile:

    ** - Vulcan as in Star Trek and Mr Spock, not the Roman God of Fire. Vulcan philosophy begins and ends with logic, Jim.
  • Pattern-chaser
    629
    ↪BrianW


    Wouldn’t philosophy be dull if it was just science.

    Imagine.
    Dan84

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :up:
  • Pattern-chaser
    629
    Sorry old chap. I don’t like to result to insult but you are being a bit of an ass. Could you please cut out the assness. Just a little. — Dan84


    I did try. I asked him to let it go, but he persisted. So I tried asking nicely - but I'm meeting with that infuriating denial of genuine human emotion Buddhists affect - as a pretense of spirituality.
    karl stone

    This topic was created to discuss spirituality, enlightenment in particular. The persistence is yours. The derail is yours. The unfriendliness, that's yours too. Time to stop now. :up:
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k
    Here the irony rests: to reach enlightenment, a soul must act selflessly. Selfless action is required to be released from the karma cycle, but the action will never be entirely sacrificial because the motivation behind altruistic action is personal gain. As a result, enlightenment is unreachable because selfish intent can never be separated from altruistic action.gnat

    Let me re-quote part of that:

    the motivation behind altruistic action is personal gain.

    For you now, maybe. What makes you think that has to be so for everyone, always? Obviously if it's for personal gain, it isn't altruism.

    This enlightenment goal-orientedness is misguided. You'll be done (with life and need) when you're done. What's the hurry? What do you have against thousands of more lifetimes?

    After a very great many lifetimes you'll be life-completed and lifestyle-perfected, and done. It's pointless to worry about what that would be like, or how it will be achieved. When it arrives it arrives.

    Selfishly-motivated "altruism" isn't altruism. But what's wrong with being a beneficial, or at least harmless, person just for its own sake? Benefit to other living things is benefit to you, because they're like you. Overall what-is, is good. If you're grateful, then you don't need an ulterior-motive to be considerate of your fellow living-things.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Noah Te Stroete
    257
    I like what you said there. Although I don’t think there is reincarnation, and I think heaven is a state of consciousness not a place, one should try to be beneficial or at least harmless for its own sake.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    Although I don’t think there is reincarnation, and I think heaven is a state of consciousness not a place, one should try to be beneficial or at least harmless for its own sake.Noah Te Stroete

    The matter regarding reincarnation is a matter of what metaphysics one subscribes to. By Materialism there's no reincarnation. By Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism, reincarnation is what plausibly follows.

    Of course it isn't necessary to agree about reincarnation. Of course none of us will ever know, because, by the time we reach a next life, or the increasingly-deep sleep at the end of lives (after this life if there's no reincarnation), there won't be any knowledge about this life anyway, and so there'll be no knowledge about how we got to where we then are, (...just as, in this life, we have no knowledge of how we got here, what happened, how or why this life started.)

    On the reincarnation matter, I just ask, "If there's a reason why we're in a life, and if that reason remains at the end of this life, then what does that suggest?"

    , and I think heaven is a state of consciousness not a place

    In the ever-deepening sleep at the end-of-lives (arriving at the end of this life if there isn't reincarnation) there's no such thing as places, space, time, events or identity, or any knowledge that there could have been such things, or any reason to miss them.

    Given that that's the final state-of-affairs, and is timeless, it can be said that sleep is the natural, normal, usual and rightful state of affairs.

    As Barbara Ehrenreich put it, death doesn't interrupt life--life (...whether with one lifetime or many) briefly interrupts sleep.

    , one should try to be beneficial or at least harmless for its own sake.

    Yes, and that's the natural way to live, given the way things are for us.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • karl stone
    203
    This topic was created to discuss spirituality, enlightenment in particular. The persistence is yours. The derail is yours. The unfriendliness, that's yours too. Time to stop now.Pattern-chaser

    Yes. Admittedly, I am unfriendly toward hocus pocus. I don't like Christianity, or Buddhism, or Islam or Judaism. So at least I'm consistent. This is not discriminatory unfriendliness - but an epistemic distinction, between scientifically valid knowledge, and emotionally grabby unfounded assertions - generally made by unscrupulous people to defraud the gullible. It's scam that thrives on friendliness - upon fake sympathy, but is ultimately more cruel, more controlling, more possessive and demanding than the unvarnished truth.

    So, I've defined my view of the term enlightenment - but what's yours? A claim to superior understanding and authority that has no practical means of demonstration? And meanwhile, an actually Enlightened body of knowledge - that surrounds with practical miracles, has no authority at all? Instead, it's subject to the religious, political and economic complex - under the rubric of which, all manner of tawdry new age philosophies multiply.

    Homeopathy, witches, living on light, healing crystals, guiding angels, mediums, druids, ghost hunters, tarot cards, ouji boards etc, etc - such that if I'm unfriendly, it's that they cynically play on friendliness - on the fact that people are too kind to be as brutally honest as science has to be to be true.
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