As a rude followup to my own post :-), but said to forestall people suggesting "opposites" that I "should" care about and be attached to, I have zero interest in theoretical questions. Such as "Does consciousness give rise to manifestation or vice-versa?" or "Is Einstein's Unified Field the same as what people refer to when they say "the Absolute" or "Transcendence?"
These questions do nothing for me at all. They don't even register on my Worth Examining Meter. The reason is that IMO no one on Earth will ever know the answers to any of them. Therefore, why bother to even bother with them? I'm a fairly pragmatic person. If the questions have to do with how I or other people can lead a happier life and cause more happiness or fulfillment or satisfaction for other people, then I'll examine them. If they have to do with Pure Theory, why bother? That's just ego-fodder, IMO. Let the egos play with that shit. --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, turquoiseb wrote: > > Share will have to forgive me for not answering her questions "in line," > but I have been pondering them, so I will try to explain what I mean by > "cognitive dissonance," and why I don't think it's in the least > upsetting or uncomfortable. As defined, CD is holding two or more > conflicting and in many cases opposite ideas in one's mind at the same > time." For many people, this causes them some upset, confusion, or > distress. Many react *to* CD by "stuffing" the opposite idea or concept > they don't want to deal with, and pretending it isn't there. > > Me, I prefer to bring it into the foreground of my thinking and deal > with it, "juggling" it alongside any other ideas I might hold that it > might seem to be the opposite of. For me, CD is FUN. > > One of the reasons for this is that I owe no allegiance to any > particular philosophy, school of thought, religion, or tradition. I am a > member of no spiritual group or cult or religion or lineage, and hold no > teacher or guru or saint as an "authority." For me, they were all Just > Human Beings, doing their best to suss out the nature of life, given > their own experiences and what they had been told by other people. > > This FREES me to some extent from the *attachment* that causes so many > people distress when encountering CD. For example, if you have spent a > long time in the TM movement, you might have come to believe that MMY > was an "authority," knowledgeable about many things, and thus To Be > Believed when he talked about them. I hold no such belief. I also hold > no such belief with regard to the original Buddha, or any other > spiritual teacher in history, living or dead. I consider them ALL just > fellow human beings, spouting their opinions. > > But if I *did* believe what I've suggested about MMY, I might be tempted > to *resist* examining certain ideas that run counter to his beliefs and > teachings. When these ideas come up, a MMY TB might be tempted to think, > "Well, that is completely contrary to what MMY said, so of course it > can't be true. Therefore I shouldn't even waste time thinking about it." > Doing this, they avoid the potential distress of CD. > > Me, I examine the ideas. I don't owe MMY or his ideas or teachings any > loyalty, and I don't owe them belief in these ideas of teachings. I make > my own decisions. Thus, for me, seemingly contradictory ideas are an > opportunity to PLAY, to examine seemingly contradictory ideas from many > different viewpoints, and see which of these POVs strike a resonance > with me. I'm not trying to determine "Truth" because I don't believe in > the concept. I'm only playing with the ideas to see which seem most > reasonable to me, based on my life experience and the general guidelines > provided by Occam's Razor. > > Let me give you a couple of examples. They are both questions that some > people feel are "weighty," and that many of them have *very* strong > opinions about, and thus attachments to. They are: 1) "Is there life > after death?," and 2) "Is enlightenment real, and worth pursuing?" > > For the first, I get to deal with everything I've ever heard or read on > the subject, plus my own subjective experiences. I tend to believe that > there *is* life after death, and it pretty much follows the Tibetan > model -- dying, followed by a period in the Bardo. The Bardo period > includes ALL of other religions' or other belief systems' ideas about > both Heaven and Hell, but then opens up into a new life in another body. > I tend to believe that this is what happens. > > At the same time, I have NO PROBLEM examining and thinking about the > more materialist view, that when one dies there is a big CLICK, followed > by eternal darkness, and no more existence. I don't have any problem > with this, because 1) neither I nor anyone else will ever know which is > more correct until we actually die, and 2) if the latter scenario > happens, there won't even be any "I" or "me" there to be disappointed > that there is no Next Life. :-) > > So I can juggle these two ideas simultaneously in my mind, without being > either repulsed by or attached to either. The CD is there -- holding and > appreciating opposite concepts -- but there is no distress because I am > attached to neither one of them. > > Take the second issue, whether enlightenment is worth pursuing as a > goal. Now here I have somewhat of an advantage, in that I don't have to > deal with the question of "Does enlightenment exist?" I've had > experiences for weeks or months at a time that convince me it does. BUT, > is it worth pursuing as a goal? > > Many teachers say it is. Bzzzzzt. I consider none of them "authorities." > Many people who claim to be enlightened say it is. Bzzzzzt. I don't > consider them authorities, either. I've been there, done that with some > of the states of mind they talk about and I don't consider them any > "better" than other states of mind. Like Curtis, I do not believe that > referring to these states of mind as "higher" states of consciousness is > either accurate or a favor to those hearing it. They're *different* > states of mind, that's all. So there is no belief in a "hierarchy" or > higher/lower, better/worse for me to pay attention to or consider. > > So the bottom line when dealing with this question, for me, is "Would it > benefit anyone else on planet Earth but myself to become enlightened?" > The answer to that, as far as I've been able to determine, is a big, fat > NO. Therefore, for me, it isn't worth pursuing as a goal. End of story. > > I honestly don't know what you think of as cognitive dissonance, Share, > so I can't comment on why you feel that the experience is distressing. > All I'm trying to do in this rap is to make a case for why I do not. >