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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Buddhism

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Old 25-02-2018, 05:52 PM
Rain95 Rain95 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 212
Originally Posted by sky123
I believe we are all enlightened, we are born enlightened but life creates delusions and ignorance and covers up our natural state.

That's interesting to me that someone disagreed with this. I agreed with it and think it is true too. I think I know how it can be taken in different ways though depending on how people define the terms in it so I believe that may be the cause of some agreeing and some disagreeing. Like the part that says, "we are born enlightened." People will define that word in this sentence "we" in different ways. So that could be why some might disagree with the premise of being born enlightened while others agree.

When I think of the word "we" in that sentence, I am referring to consciousness or what we actually are. I am not referring to what we are while merged with, or identified with, like the human body or it's memory and mind. So consciousness would be "enlightened" or wholly self aware before birth, before merging with a human body, which then presents the human bodies inputs and experience to the previously solo consciousness.

A consciousness before birth has no input from a human body. It has no human memory, no human senses, no thought present from a human brain. So it is enlightened. It is only self aware in the sense of being one with everything it is aware of. There is no subject and object or duality which is a product of thought. No human body means no thought is present, so no duality can be present. There is no human brain there creating "me" and "that" conceptual experience. There is experience but it is direct without subject and object. This experience cannot be understood from a human mind centered viewpoint. Even the word "understood" here is misleading because remember there is no thought and conceptual thinking without a human body. So "understanding" to a consciousness un-merged with a human body and it's mind is a wholly different thing than anything we can imagine.

So going back to the statement, "we are born enlightened" means consciousness is naturally in an enlightened state. You can't really say it knows itself, as that refers to how we interpret that word "knowing' from our dualistic human perspective and experience. That all ties into how we seek to become enlightened and what we understand ourselves to be while living in the delusion presented by a human experience.

The rest of the sentence is, "life creates delusions and ignorance and covers up our natural state." Life here to me refers to human life, the experience of a consciousness being merged with a human body and it's brain and mind, being subjected to how the physical world is experienced and interpreted from within a human body and it's mind. To how "self" is interpreted from within a human mind and body. The human bodies computer like brain and body is a point of perception and so the consciousness merged with the human body naturally passively surrenders to this interpretation of reality. It comes to identify with the human condition of self and independence. This does mask or cover up the reality that we are not the self the human mind creates and presents through it's design.

This all then sets up the backdrop of the human quest to become enlightened. Since the point of reference for this is the self created by the human mind, it becomes "difficult" to achieve. It's not really a difficult thing at all since consciousness is already enlightened, one merely has to not identify with the realities or thought driven perceptions that are always present during a human life. But yea, easier said than done. Our conditioning is such that our "ego" seeks to be free of "ego." That's basically why it is difficult. The wrong self is seeking to be selfless. Really this self seeking it is what prevents it. The not recognizing this self as not the self. So a type of stepping down has to occur so that our moment to moment experience is no longer about what our mind presents as realities or as "me." The problem is never that we don't have something, it is always that we are not aware of something. The truth about what we are. The awareness of something else this moment can be or we can be.

A funny thing about all of this is there is only one thing conscious in a human body, consciousness itself. So in this sense there is only one self. The human body and physical matter is not conscious. So really all that is going on is a consciousness has identified with things as self that are not self. A thought comes from the brain and consciousness gives it realty by giving it attention and energy.
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Old 25-02-2018, 09:00 PM
django django is offline
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In the advaita vedanta and non-dual tradition, the higher Self is perfect and is only waiting to be Realised, but in the Buddhist tradition Buddha nature is like a bud which still has to flower, so they acknowledge that there is something perfect within, but it is not already complete. I just favour the Buddhist perspective.
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Old 26-02-2018, 03:22 AM
Rain95 Rain95 is offline
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The Self is pure consciousness.Ramana Maharshi Quotes and Sayings, Ramana Maharshi, Advaita Vedanta Quotes,...

Every sentient being, even insects, have Buddha nature. The seed of Buddha means consciousness. Dalai Lama
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Old 26-02-2018, 04:02 PM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Posts: 4,470
Originally Posted by Rain95
The Self is pure consciousness.Ramana Maharshi Quotes and Sayings, Ramana Maharshi, Advaita Vedanta Quotes,...

Every sentient being, even insects, have Buddha nature. The seed of Buddha means consciousness. Dalai Lama

I feel that self is consciouness but Buddha Nature is pure awareness.
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Old 26-02-2018, 04:48 PM
Rain95 Rain95 is offline
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Posts: 212
That makes sense to me. Seems like consciousness can get itself into all kinds of trouble and suffering when it does not have enough focus and awareness. Really suffering is a choice that we make when we decide to live with what the human mind produces. When we don't have enough awareness to know we don't have to listen to it, to be it, to let it affect our experience, that we can be free of it in some ways.

One flaw in saying this is this though is it all takes place in the mind. It's like the difference between describing an apple in your hand verses one in your mind. The difference between describing something present and actual and something imagined. Things don't really have words attached to them or symbols. It's something humans rely on to try to communicate our reality to others. It works well with simple objects like an apple, but then subjective things like experience and in more complex subjective things, words tend to not communicate very well.

We all have pretty much the same experience eating an apple but then when trying to explain what silence is, or mindfulness, or consciousness or whatever, our experience and understanding of what the words mean or represent are different so it's difficult to communicate or agree on what is said or true or right. Then also, different people, different philosophies, different beliefs, different religions, all disagree as authorities on what these words and experiences are or should be or mean.

We all know we exist. But then all of us don't know or believe we can alter our experience and ourselves by relating to our thoughts in different ways. Then others hearing such things either have no interest in it or are hostile to such ideas. This is one reason spiritual teachers are important. Not to worship or follow but as examples of other ways we can be.
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