What is “Spiritual”

What actually we are dealing with in “Spiritual” matters?

A few months back Ark asked, “what the hell is spiritually minded? If you can’t define spirit then such a term is simply fluff”. Well, I can define it.

What people think it is, is much different than what it actually is. Here is a sample definition—“Spirit is the ethereal conscious that infiltrates the corporeal being to cause and sustain life. Being aware of this duality in human nature is to be in tune with the eternal, external human nature beyond physical existence”.

What it actually is though, is a connection to our natural instincts. Being ingenious by trusting your gut based on thousands of years of hunches that continue to pay off, evidenced by survival.

“One cannot help but appreciate the power of this instinct, nor its effectiveness as exampled by humanity thriving—in spite of being populated by an idiot majority” yet somehow continues to thrive, now beyond natures ability to replenish it.

Every day billions of people use this instinct to make important decisions. After all the data is analyzed, prayers offered, pros and cons considered, the decision is typically made by snap-judgement, gut feeling, a hunch—and very likely on impulse or irresponsible wants. This is the “spirit” in action—the survival instinct, and its amazing how much it actually works. And delegating authority to the subconscious mind is a win, most of the time. Don’t think, just do.

To those who seek validation outside themselves, this they call the spirit. But it’s quite obvious it is ancient instinct talking to itself and subconscious genius protecting the masses, often from themselves. No belief required. It did fine before its name change to “spirit” and will do fine again without it.

The antithesis of instinctive action is waiting. Nothing is more useless than waiting on the Holy Spirit to direct your decisions when you already know what to do. More often than not, waiting on the spirit is a call to inaction—and excuses.

Delegating authority to instinct has the backing of evolution and a proven track record of success. Long before Abraham was, we were doing just fine trusting the gut to warn us of danger and prompt us to action when needed. Now we must go through proper channels to do so, only to do it anyway.


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

75 thoughts on “What is “Spiritual””

    1. Indeed, our gut contains a great deal of microbiome, which “is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – that live on and inside the human body. The number of genes in all the microbes in one person’s microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome. The microbiome may weigh as much as five pounds.”

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      1. Yes! Spirituality is almost always a claim of “special knowledge” used to imply superiority in a hierarchy. As with most variables used in that context, it’s vague and can be manipulated to suit the purposes of the claimant. It’s a direct parallel to “faith”.

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  1. Yeah, you say you can define ‘spirit’ but you haven’t defined it. You’ve used the term as a noun: a ‘connection’ between something undefined and our instinct. Then you use it as if it were itself an instinct. Then you call it the survival instinct. But then you call it a quest seeking validation from without, yet then immediately call it a subconscious genius. At the final analysis, I cannot tell anyone how you define the term spirit. So Ark’s question still stands unanswered and I think you’ve demonstrated that the term ‘spiritually-minded’ remains a fluffy phrase without any particular meaning… unless you mean it to be something instinctual about our survival, which makes no sense as originally used.

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    1. I did say “What people think it is, is much different than what it actually is” and isn’t, I should add. Of course my definition is just an explanation of what believers think it is, and isn’t. It’s probably not the only evolutionary trait we’ve adopted poorly to modern use. We still have an over zealous radar for danger where there is none, ie; the world is going to hell while simultaneously being the safest time in history to be alive. Thats more a problem of living in the past though, I would guess.

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  2. I’m all for getting rid of the words spirit and spiritual as they serve no logical purpose in the real world. As you said, our evolution has given us millions of years to fine-tune our survival instinct and this is why we thrive, not some made-up fictitious ethereal presence that lives between dimensions because humans couldn’t or still can’t define how they came to be. Nice read/write, Jim. 🙂

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    1. Thank you dear. It seems you understand my point perfectly. Not sure what happened but some of the comments took a turn as though i support “spirit” as instinct. Instinct is simply confused as spirit because thats what half the world us taught. Its a useless word that means nothing, as evidenced by those who live without the spirit that do just fine every day.

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  3. I’m trying to figure out what you’re saying here. You defined instinct, which can be developed by evolutionary processes and experiences… but how do you go from that to saying that it’s ‘spiritually guided’? It doesn’t need to be guided by some magical ethereal process.

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  4. I think I know what spirit and spirituality mean (despite what you and Ark may claim I do or don’t). But I cannot define them precisely. I say the same of words like quality, robust, and others (I forget for now). Your position sounds similar to when I was told to lead (or judge or follow) with my heart (instinct?). I don’t know, Jim. I need to think about this one. 🙂

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    1. Ha! Yes of course. Can you do better? I guess you just don’t know how to think in believer mode. Even more obvious is the fact you know this by instinct. We need to send you some missionaries to overdub your natural man.


  5. The problem with “defining” spirit in the first place is defining what the individual user of the word means by it, and I defy anyone to define “spirit” in the English language for two reasons: 1) every individual who speaks English has a different understanding of what spirit means to them, so there is no possible group definition that can supercede all others (But then isn’t this true of any word in English which does not have only one use in the English language. IS THERE ANY WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE THAT HAS ONE AND ONLY ONE DEFINITION IN EVERY POSSIBLE USAGE OF SAID WORD?)
    2) There is NO WORD OR GROUP OF WORDS IN EXISTENCE IN ENGLISH that can adequately define a word, spirit, without bringing into play conjecture to ask the question can any word in English have just one unequivocal definition.

    I only know one language competently to discuss trying to define any word in that language. Is there any language that has a word that can give every person who uses it exactly the same understanding. I personally doubt it, though I would like to think the Chinese word “xi” or “chi,” or others words in other languages, are capable of meaning spirit AS I MEAN spirit.

    This may all seem like word games, but I guarantee you it is not. Especially when it comes to the word spirit in English, I do not mean spirit in any way exactly or even similarly to what I “understand” other people to mean when they use the word spirit. The reason for this, the word I use when I do want to mean spirit does not exist in the English language. English is the laziest of all human languages, I think I am safe in saying that. English reuses words over and over until they become meaningless in a discussion of specifics. If, and I used that word advisedly, we could each invent a new word for it to mean the same thing to all English-speakers as it means to the inventor (neologist?) that word would instantly becoming meaningless because no one would understand its meaning anyway.
    Let us look to the world’s greatest English language ACCIDENTAL NEOLOGIST, Donld J Trump. The word in question would be, for example, COVFEFE. He probably was trying to write “coffee,” but being functionally illiterate, he had no idea how to spell coffee at that moment. So he hit a bunch of letters in a kind of random fashion and invented COVFEFE. So, in this case, the inventor of the word had no idea what it meant, but he inspired hundreds or thousands or even millions of English speakers to try to give the new word a definition. To this point, it is still meaningless, though the word does now exist in the English language. Completely contrary to this word is the word spirit, which has been RE-INVENTED so many times it itself is now meaningless. In some “usages” spirit can point a certain direction, such as religious usage, but even that cannot confine spirit to one definition. My own usage of the word spirit is in a direction I call atheism, which is non-religious, but yet religious people will try to force my meaning into their understanding, which is utterly ridiculous as well as impossible, to try to be polite. This atheist, meaning me, can never speak to a theist about spirit, since they have no conception of a non-religious usage of spirit, because not even I am using a meaning that is non-secular, as in the term “team spirit.”
    Okay, this is getting much longer than I meant it to be, but please let me try to finish? (In other words, try and stop me, no insult intended, Jim.)

    Having said all that, which for me is a serious discussion from one end to the other, I know that I can define the experience pointed at by the English word spirit, but that definition of the word only exists in the “language of the spirit–telepathy.” So, if anyone wants to know my definition, please contact me telepathically, and I will be happy to share. But please do not ask me to reciprocate in kind, wanting to know your definition of spirit, because I do not want my definition to become watered down by yours, unless your telepathic understanding of spirit is identical to mine, at which point we will become spiritual siblings. But, oh, we are already spiritual siblings in my understanding of spirit. So our telepathic languages must already be spiritually connected, to those of your readers are looking for the perfect definition outside of themselves, yet within the English language, which is never to be. How sad for us humans… How sad for all living beings, for humanity has cut themselves off from all others, even though the linking apparatus, spirit, is still there.

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        1. Kinda like elections? My wife likes those kind of movies—like Kung Pow and PootiTang. I’ll sit with her, but I turn up my ear buds with music or something else.

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  6. I was into many spirits until my mid-twenties: rum, vodka, whisk(e)y, tequila, brandy, Blue Curaçao, cognac, vermouth, absinthe, Everclear — it was all good (except for gin; can’t stand the taste). As for proof: it was usually somewhere between 60 to 110.

    But when I became a man, I put away childish things.

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  7. my two cents, it’s simply our essential nature.

    all existence is a manifestation from the most subtle (consciousness) to the gross (matter). matter is nothing more than very densely vibrating energy. the finer consciousness becomes (the more it approaches its original source) matter is not seen as matter. all is seen as it truly is, indivisible consciousness.

    as long as you identify as a body/person, you will see body/persons everywhere.
    when you identify as consciousness, you will see consciousness everywhere.

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    1. “What we understand to be phenomena
      Are but the magical projections of the mind.
      The hollow vastness of the sky
      I never saw to be afraid of anything.
      All this is but the self-glowing light of clarity.
      There is no other cause at all.” ~ Yeshe Tsogyal

      “He who knows that all things are his mind,
      That all with which he meets are friendly,
      Is ever joyful.” ~ Milarepa

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          1. Don’t have to be that severe and vicious, td. Monica need only have to ask her mind, how the hell did I ever imagine rawgod. There’s no way to be “that” insane.


            1. Severe and vicious? Good grief. I used ‘damage’ because that is a materialistic process over which mind plays zero part. And I connected that to a hand because experience is a really good teacher: get the punishment first and figure out the lesson after. And the lesson is that mind does not create reality but is subject to it.

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            2. Mind does create reality, elsewise we would all experience one and only one reality. Or maybe you do think your reality is the reality everyone else should see. But life doesn’t work that way, now does it?
              Meanwhile, asking Monica to stick her hand in fire to prove a point is definitely severe and vicious. Do you actually read what you write, or are you only concerned on the part that is important to you, and the rest is just fodder. The point is not that Monica isn’t intelligent enough to ignore your suggestion, but that you think it is okay to even suggest someone do such a thing. James Jones suggested his flock drink poisoned KOOL-AID, and they did it. There is always someone to try what another person says they should try, without thinking about the possible consequences. Trump suggested people take Hydroxichloriquine, and a day later someone died from taking it. Trump took no responsibility. Think about it. Your instruction was “Well, test that: Stick your hand in a fire”! Had Monica, OR ANYONE, done that you would have been responsible for any “damage” that resulted, and that pain and suffering would only have been in your mind, because it would not have been your hand in the fire.
              Am I taking this too seriously, or are you not taking this seriously enough? The examples I gave support my understanding, and put the lie to yours. Once words are put out there, the speaker or writer loses all control over them. But he or she does not lose responsibility. Trump should have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, but…

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            3. Two things: first, I was responding to Jim and not Monica and, secondly how can you assume the suggestion is’cruel’ and/or ‘vicious’ if you thought mind defines reality? Funny that… this thing called empathy. It is the firing of mirror neurons that allows you (and everyone else) to get your brain to ‘experience’ something you haven’t experienced but merely been made aware of. This is how we ‘walk a mile in another’s shoes’ so to speak. Here’s the thing if as you say, “Mind does create reality, elsewise we would all experience one and only one reality” follow your own reasoning: it is BECAUSE there is only one reality that your mirror neurons allow you to ‘experience’ my suggestion and find it ‘cruel’ and/or ‘vicious’… because you KNOW what might happen. How is that possible if reality is subjectively arbitrary?

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            4. First point taken, except that when I read your comment it came right after Monica’s ON MY COMPUTER. Jim’s comment had not yet been published WHERE I COULD READ IT. I would have remembered it being there. And, yes, i should have looked to see whom the comment was directed to, but that would not have changed my response. The who was unimportant, it was the WTF! Now, you seem to believe in mirror neutrons, and you pose them as the cause of empathy. I know nothing about mirror neutrons, my reality does not lean or bend in that direction. But don’t tell me I cannot empathize with the feeling of a hand being stuck in fire. My dear father made sure I knew the feeling very well. Fortunately he knew when to remove my hand from the fire at “just the right moment” before the sensation did more serious damage, as you put it.
              But that aside, this conversation is going nowhere. You have your talking points, few or none of which I will ever agree with, and I have my talking points, few or none of which you will ever agree with. Our REALITIES have very little in common. I could never suggest a living being cause itself or have itself caused to experience pain or damage. For you it seems to be a thought experiment. To me it is a feeling MORE REAL than most realities.

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            1. Hmm. I thought hands and minds went together. Ive never seen one without the other, or the equivalent of one.


            2. Our interpretation of stuff like ‘pain’ is subjective so that doesn’t help us here. What helps is physical damage that is not subject to the vagaries of subjective interpretation but demonstrable. That’s why I said ‘test’. We really can put these kinds of claims to the test and THEN draw conclusions rather than assume something is true FIRST and then rely on slippery words and dubious premises to then pretend to ‘conclude’ anything about reality.


          2. no, you raise a valid point. which takes up back to Einstein’s quote “reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” … the only one where you can get a decent cup of coffee, is my fav version 😄

            the physical world is subject to physical laws. the body will suffer injuries, it will deteriorate under the influence of time, it will die.
            pain is there for good reasons. and our mental proclivities are so deeply ingrained that they are insidiously difficult to uproot. like convincing a bird that lived all life in a cage, that there is a sky out there.

            the question is, are You the body that suffers these changes? or maybe you are experiencing Through the body?

            and let’s face it, the idea of ‘reality as an illusion’ is old as the world. Plato has the allegory of the cave, it exists in buddhism as sunyata (emptiness), it exists in Hinduism as Maya, and even Einstein came to that conclusion.
            now, these are not your every day ‘joe schmoes’…
            if the illusion was obvious, it would never work, would it😉

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            1. To use an analogy, it’s like being told by big brained people that an onion is not as it appears to our native senses, that there is in fact a lot going on, that it’s made up of layers, of various chemicals, with tiny particles that are constantly in motion, that there is actually far more space than material occupying its physical presence but that invisible forces are doing this that and the other thing, yada, yada, yada.

              From all this, we get people who hear about the complexity that constitutes an onion and draw a conclusion that what we see and taste and feel and smell and touch and call an onion is an ‘illusion’, that the ‘onion’ – according to these big brained people – isn’t actually real!

              Is that claim true? Is the ‘illusion’ these big brained people refer to in the macro sense by explaining much of the micro processes that constitute it have the same meaning as NOT REAL for the macro object and therefore simply a projection of our mind?

              Well, not for one second do I think any of these folk mean reality is imaginary in the sense you mean it unless they’ve gone down the rabbit hole of metaphysical philosophy. This philosophy has not, does not, and probably never shall produce one jot or tittle of practical explanation about the real world, about reality, and so this method of metaphysical musing is incapable of informing actual applications, actual therapies, and actual technologies that work the same for everyone everywhere all the time, in contrast to a method that presumes a physical and chemical reality exists independent of us.

              Philosophically, such a practical and productive method that presumes reality is real (I can’t believe I have to say that) can be argued by metaphysicians to be a complete and utter fabrication produced wholly by the mind. But that argument is devastated by the fact that the method – that predicates reality is exterior to our minds and operates independently of us – actually works and really does produce applications, therapies, and technologies that really do work for everyone everywhere all the time in spite of minds that insists it’s all an illusion. That’s why I have very high confidence that anyone who sticks their hand in a fire WILL receive damage no matter what their minds insist should be the case because it’s all an illusion. To throw all that reliable and consistent practical work all of us use everyday into philosophical doubt for metaphysical reasons seems to me to be the very definition of silly (having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish).


            2. You are assuming you have the right to define reality, rather than just “your”
              reality. I refuse to allow you that assumption. You can find no reality in a “metaphysical” rabbit hole, yet my metaphysical reality find a completely new look at an unknown reality once the hole has been passed through. YOUR REALITY has meaning to you, while it has no such meaning to me. To play with words, which is my right in my world, Metaphysical reality is by definition still reality. You term my reality silly. I term your practical reality useless. I have a phrase I use, “once I am dead,” which informs others death is but a doorway for me. From what I have read of your thoughts and understanding, your response to my above phrase would be, “dead is dead.” Except how can death “be anything” (is) when death ends everything that is. The languages cannot co-exist, even though they are both English.

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            3. As I thought, so why lie about it and say you were responding to Jim? Which part of your reality does that defend?


            4. Chill. You seemed to think my latest comment was directed to you when it was in reply to Monica’s comment. I was just clarifying that fact for you so that you could read it in regards to Monica’s claims for context rather than presume I was trying to trigger you… and now presume I am lying about it. Pretty weird way to interpret stuff, rg.


            5. I had no presumption of you trying to trigger anyone. I am trying to make sense of the totality of what you wrote, not just to compartmentalize your words by what you were writing to each person, but by what you were saying as a whole to all the readers. If you speak differently to different respondents, where is the true you? That is what I am trying to find out.
              Obviously WORD PRESS does not always publish things in order of when or by whom oreven to whom they are or were written, and conversations can get mightily mixed up. The reader/respondent cannot always see the linear progression of the conversation, so must therefore look at the discussion as a whole. I took umbrage with one point, and though I got the whom mixed up, as I said, I believe my point is still valid. You made what seems to me to be an off the cuff remark without taking consequences into account. You did not say “Imagine that you put your hand in a fire…” No, what you wrote was a directive, “Put your hand in a fire…” I questioned, I still think rightly, the writing of such a directive. I gave extreme examples of what happens when such directives are given, the James Jones suicide massacre, and the death of a person caused by loose words from the present president (sic) of the USofA. No, you did not tell anyone to kill anyone, not even themselves, but you did advocate self-harm even if you did not mean to. Readers can be impressionable, and they will do what writers will tell them to do, even though they don’t know your motivation, or because they read such a diective as a way to learn about something.
              I was, in effect, asking you to choose your words more wisely. And it seemed to me you took umbrage with my request, which I apologize for not making it as clear as I might have.
              But I still want to impress upon you, and anyone else who might read my words (any of Jim’s readers, for example) that words can become weaponized whether they are intended to be or not.
              If you like, you can look at it that I intruded myself into a private conversation, or two, but these conversations are not private, they are deliberately public. Neither you nor I can control how people understand what they hear us say, which I believe takes us right back to the original question of Jim’s post, WHAT IS SPIRITUAL. If a person wants to see only one reality, that is up to them. But that does not give them the right to prevent others from seeing more than one reality, or even just a single but different reality.
              I personally choose to see three completely different realities: Ego or Physical reality; Mind or Metaphysical reality; and Spiritual Reality. When someone tells me there is only one reality, I speak up. No one can take away my ability to see what I see. They (you) do not have my permission to even try.

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            6. RG, I think you trying to police me, by thinking yourself in a position of moral editor over what I write and how I write it, under the self-appointed position of champion of those who may be offended or confused or somehow at risk, telling me that my words are weapons and to alter them into a more benign form, is a lot of Woke nonsense. My suggestion is that you get over yourself because you are projecting on to me by using the most negative connotation possible towards my meanings and, I suspect, thinking yourself virtuous for doing so. It’s not virtuous at all. This kind of demand for self-censoring by others to meet your standards is a vice and regarding free speech a toxic rot far, far too widespread these days. The problem here is you… in how you interpret things and it will never improve if you think the problem that accompanies your negative interpretation is somewhere out there and belongs to everyone else who you determine must have hostile intentions, and that you expect others to therefore ‘correct’ themselves and adjust to you (because, after all, you assume you are a moral champion of potential victims).

              The reason why I feel perfectly safe asking people to test beliefs they insist is the case about mind determining reality is that by asking alone, people won’t do it it because they already know perfectly well that reality will have the final say. Not their minds contrary to reality. Reality. That’s why I made the suggestion: to demonstrate the ridiculousness of the mind-determines-reality claim or, for those who really don’t know the ridiculousness of the claim, to learn by hurting ONLY themselves. Most of us get this by the time we can walk and fall or bump into things. Some older folk forget these fundamental lessons as we navigate our environments in their plunge into the metaphysical rabbit hole they find alluring. I think once in a while a stark reminder is useful.

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            7. Don’t take it so personally, tildeb. I have been asking people to be cautious with their words for over 40 yewrs now. You are but a drop in a thousand buckets.
              But now I have put you on the defensive, that was not my purpose. But listen to yourself, “by asking alone, people won’t do it”. That is exactly the attitude I am arguing against, which by the way I am not directing you to do. You were not “asking,” you were telling.
              And then there is the use of the word “ridiculousness.” Nothing is ridiculous except to close-minded people. Did I call your theories ridiculous? I don’t believe so. I said something like you are free to believe what you want, just don’t force it on anyone else. By calling theories which differ from your own ridiculous, you are the one preventing free speech. I never said, “DON’T” I said “please don’t?” Not the same thing at all.
              Meanwhile, when does “reality” ever “have the final say”? There is no final say. There is just history, his story, as in the last writer of the events we now call history. History has nothing to do with reality. The winner writes history, the loser fades into ignominity.
              You call me “WOKE.” What have I ever said that gives you such an image of me. By tearing down statues, how is that going to change anything. At this moment, it won’t. Two hundred years from now, maybe, if civilization as we know it is still around. I doubt it will be. But you tell me this is reality? It is only your reality, not mine, so how can either one BE REALITY? I am okay with that. Are you?
              Let me take a totally different tack. Do you believe there are Indians in America? By Indians I mean people who are not descended from people who came from the Indian subcontinent within the last 10,000 or more years. I can tell you, in reality, there are no such Indians in any of the .Americas. Do you accept my reality? I doubt it. You will probably tell me that I am an Indian because Columbus named me so. Columbus had no right to do so, An Indian must be connected with India. That is reality, within the strict limits available to us as nationalized human beings. Outside of those limits, there are no such things as Indians or Americans. These are only words. Words MAY describe reality, but they ARE NOT REALITY. We are just living beings, and that in itself is problematic.
              Of course, all I am saying is sheer ridiculousness to you, because words themselves are real to you. You can see them and hear them. Not reality? Can’t I see how ridiculously crazy I am? Yes, I can, except when I compare myself to you. Reality is what we each make it. And that takes the influence of mind.


            8. Monica, when you are dreaming, it very often seems real. Just because a dream seems real doesn’t make it real unless we have objective verification from an exterior reality that it is. Understanding that a subjective framework when extended into reality as if true doesn’t make it so… especially when that objective reality demonstrates incompatibility with a belief held about it. That’s why very often you realize you are dreaming… when we do or encounter something that does not align with how we know reality works.

              When we observe or imagine something, we have neural activity that seems to duplicate actually doing or experiencing something. For example, there is almost no difference in brain activity between raising one’s arm and imagining that one is raising one’s arm, almost no difference between a chimp observing another chimp eating a banana and actually eating a banana. That is fascinating. Why do we have almost the same neurology going on in such cases? Well, studying this question has led to a better understanding of what is actually going on in the brain. That’s why I mentioned mirror neurons. So it should not be surprising that when we enter a dream state, the same neural activation is going on in the brain unrelated to the doing and experiencing the actual physical and emotional activity occurring in the brain in reality. So why would our brains do this?

              Well, it seems to be related to having the means to learn by second-hand experience, learn by second-hand emotions. This has a HUGE evolutionary advantage (meaning it enables vastly greater fitness when one can ‘relate’ closely to a potential mate). It also explains the neurology necessary for possessing the means to enable what we call compassion and empathy and sympathy. We have the neurology to have a pseudo ‘experience’ in order to be able to displace our ourselves into the position of others. This then aids us in responding appropriately. This is a biological tool we have inherited that promotes social functioning. And we know that dreaming has something to do with re-examining our responses – especially emotional responses – to recalled events, reshaping these events using the language of symbols, and either reinforcing certain neurology or breaking apart other connections. None of this biological activity is evidence that by our brain’s activity we therefore can make reality an illusion… even if it may seem that way. An onion is still an onion.


            9. ye. just because this reality seems so real, doesn’t make it so.

              look, i’m not trying to ‘convert’ you to anything. for most people something needs to happen, a terrible painful event or some mysterious event they cannot explain, that will trigger a search for something other than what is seen. when life offers you all that keeps you satisfied, there is no reason for searching the ‘unknown’.
              only when the feeling comes that there is something more than meets the eye, do we turn our attention inwards. until then, all this talk is useless.

              it’s not meant that 1,000 people become buddhas (awakened). life is meant to be lived as it is, and enjoyed.

              however, it’s the nature of consciousness to manifest outwards, and then return inwards, back into itself. yin/yang, breathing in, breathing out. birth, death. and when that process starts, it’s not a matter of choice. nobody ‘chooses’ the unknown. the unknown engulfs you.

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            10. there is wonderful quote by Zhuangzi, that expresses this human dilemma. goes like this: “Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”

              why they call buddha the ‘awakened’ one. once you are awakened, there is no doubt about yourself, or the nature of reality.

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            11. Consciousness seems to be different from the world and looks at it, but really is one process. This little bit of focuse attention we identify as “I”, or me vs the world, is really only one thing. This is the illusion really, the way we’re trained to be apart from it when we’re not.

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            12. that is exactly right!

              we take life happening for granted, but never question what makes this possible. it is consciousness (not the brain) that is the stuff of life, that carries our thoughts, our actions, our very self. it allows all to be- why i like to call it empty canvas. without the canvas… what painting?

              seeing-ness, hearing-ness, testing-ness, being-ness, etc are all states of consciousness. they just happen by themselves.
              this very consciousness, in its purest form, is Awareness. here, the are non senses anymore, no thought. it is the Watcher ( a term frequently used). it is that pure state which is only aware of what occurs, but doesn’t interfere in any way. you, as Watcher, are always there: unchanging, unmoving.
              observe how All things arise in this awareness.

              so in this way, consciousness/awareness is always outside the manifest world. it is NOT made of anything material. but you can definitely feel it, you can ‘grow’ into it. the awakened one has Become it. this is our essential nature. this is what we are.

              so yes, the idea that i am “a person in a world” is totally illusory. there was never a person, there was never a world. you were always the entire happening, that pure awareness in which all occurs.

              right on, Boss! you get a thousand golden points💪 and a slice of pizza 🍕

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            13. you can imagine the difficulty of the teacher, when the student goes to him “oh, i have this and this amazing belief, or this and that great thought”. and the teacher thinks “i don’t give a damn about your thoughts and beliefs, i’m trying to make you see what your thoughts and beliefs are MADE OF”.

              if you’re always looking at the ripples on the lake, you’ll never see that lake is water. the ripples have to subside, and then we see “ahh, it’s all water”.
              and then we see the perfect refection of the moon rather than a distortion.
              so with mind or consciousness.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. One good reason real teachers never seek students. One thing that flies in the face of the jesus story selecting disciples to share his new found knowledge. Real masters never do that.

              Liked by 1 person

            15. oh, i don’t know the jesus story. i thought they just followed him, no?

              here’s a funny about Zen Master and his disciple, Grasshopper.
              Grasshopper asks “Master, what are you doing today?”
              Master “Nothing.”
              Grasshopper “But Master, you did nothing yesterday!”
              Master “Yes, and I didn’t finish”.

              Liked by 1 person

            16. Matthew 4:18 “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee,he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

              21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their
              father and followed him”.

              He handpicked them

              Liked by 1 person

            17. apparently, the buddha also picked his students.

              it’s very hard to judge how or why an enlightened master acts a certain way, because their actions are never within the boundaries of regular logic. masters often use very unconventional, irrational, even provocative methods (sex!) to awaken the student. the only rule would be to make no rules for such people. they cannot be boxed in any conventional way. their very being is to break all mental concepts.

              in the east, Jesus is accepted as an enlightened master. in fact, Yogananda places him as part of his lineage. i don’t know. it’s possible the Jesus knew those people will make good disciples, that Judas will betray him.


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