--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, TurquoiseB <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "qntmpkt" <qntmpkt@> wrote:
> > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "jim_flanegin" <jflanegi@> 
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > So the best solution to answer your question is for you to  
> > > fully realize Enlightenment, waking, dreaming and sleeping.  
> > > Then you will know beyond any doubt.
> > 
> > This is a typical "neo-Advaitin" reply; a strategy  Nisargadatta 
> > Maharaj fell back on repeatedly rather than saying "I don't 
> > know".  Sorry, this is a poor excuse for addressing the questions
> > regarding knowledge and how acquire it. There's either a full, 
> > or partial answer: saying "find out for yourself" is a cop out.
> No, it really isn't. It's the only honest and useful
> answer one can give. Even the 'partial' answers are
> all lies, and thus misleading.
> You seem to be assuming that the state of enlight-
> enment *can* be described, and the "path" to it 
> described. I make no such assumption.
> Enlightenment can never be understood, even by those
> who are experiencing it. A description, even given
> by someone who is experiencing it, will IMO never help
> that person to understand enlightenment or help anyone
> else to experience it. Descriptions are at best just 
> something one does to pass the time, in the exact same
> way you'd try to describe the taste of a papaya to 
> someone who has never encountered one. We are talking 
> about an *experience*. Either you experience it or you 
> don't.

Sometimes I think that it would be a good idea for
those who really believe that enlightenment can be
described, and that the descriptions they have been
given to them by 'sages' over the centuries are
accurate and useful, to step back and ask themselves
the Dr. Phil question: 

   "How's that working for you?"

In other words, if you're completely convinced that
all these descriptions you've read and heard over
the years are actually useful at helping you to
experience enlightenment, how many times have you
personally experienced enlightenment as a result 
of hearing all these descriptions?

I mean, in the case of long-term TMers, you've 
heard Maharishi describe this state (or states, if
you want to get nitpicky) for 30 to 40 years now.
Have any of these descriptions ever helped you in
any way to *have* the actual experience of these
states, or (for those here who have experienced
such things) did the experiences just kinda happen 
on their own, and reveal to you when they did that 
*none* of the descriptions had even came close? 

For me it is certainly the latter. The experience
of enlightened states of attention renders any
previous description of them laughable.

I'm saying this because in my opinion (and in the
opinion of several teachers I've met), getting hung
up on descriptions of enlightenment and trying to
come up with the "best" deseription of enlightenment
or trying to "understand" enlightenment is an excellent 
method of never actually experiencing enlightenment. 
Like many things, the actual value of enlightenment
comes from experiencing it, not from thinking about 
it or talking about it.

*In general*, looking at a wide range of spiritual
traditions in the world, those traditions that put
a lot of emphasis on intellectually describing and
"understanding" enlightenment don't actually seem
to produce very many instances of enlightenment in
their students. By contrast, those traditions I've
encountered in which enlightenment experiences are
common rarely seem to spend much time discussing
descriptions of enlightenment; the students are having 
too much fun living it to sit around and talk about it...

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