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Posted by lil' jimi on August 24, 2003, at 1:01:37

In reply to jim, your post, your retirement, lil' jimi, posted by habbyshabit on August 22, 2003, at 23:47:01

> Hey Jim,

hi habby

> Congratulations on retiring!

thank you

> We're retired now since last Oct. It's a new day.

congratulations to you !

> Is your wife a Buddhist?


> Do you have month long retreats on your retirement schedule?

i wish
.. .... .. no

> You honored me with your last post, deeply. Here I was thinking my thinking (writing) was obtuse and whining. >

the honor was mine ... ... your evocative thought-provoking message was a stimulating inspiration for me.

> Bill Maher, Real Time on HBO tonight said that he thought Religion was a neurologic disorder! He wasn't joking! While he didn't elaborate, It was interesting to see someone who's intellect (and political persuasion) I admire, kind of validate my thoughts. Not that I think all religious folks, or spiritual folks are disordered, not at all. >

which serves to reminds of an idea i failed to include in my previous post ... ...

> It seems, now, at this juncture in my process, to be some function of the central nervous system to alight one's mind with a pathway that allows one comfort in the midst of what is surely chaos on this planet. Could it be an evolutionary advantage? >

i believe so

> Fear is dis-advantages. Faith makes for boldness and fearlessness. Just ask the suicide bombers.
> I was lying in a darkened room yesterday, quite distressed with all this when suddenly I was just empty of thoughts about it or anything else. Shunyata! Could I have stumbled across a secret of Buddhism? Emptyness? I've meditated to the point of quiet - not emptiness. Could all this be some cerebral Koan that has no answer and leads, Zen like, to emptiness. >

i don't know and i'm not qualified to judge ...
... ... your "to the point of quiet" sounds like samadhi, where this emptiness you felt reminds me more of descriptions of satori ... the surprise ... the suddenness ... painlessness ... the engaged disengagement ... the relief from cerebral discourse
... ... and i believe that the secrets of buddhism are many times stumbled upon ...

> I have to admit I have felt better since. Not that I have answers or faith or am a born again Buddhist. It was a curious thing. One minute tears, fear, dispair. Then next minute, emptiness. No fear, pain, processing, thinking. T'was very weird. >

practically a classic description of satori ... especially your reaction

> Has my central nervous system shifted gears into normal, everyday conciousness? Or worse, am I escalating into a hypo-mania? Two years ago, I never had to ask these questions. My cycles were years long and normalcy and spirituality live side by side in relative peace.
> It is an interesting topic - eh? - spiritual experience and faith and it neurological underpinnings. Hard to believe I never looked at it before. Oh, I've heard the near death experiences of moving into a tunnel with light at the end is just the firing of a dying neurology, but I never gave it much thought, or credence. That too I wanted to believe in. Life after death. You know, dying faith, takes that with it, the belief in an after or before death. And I'm a channel for God's sake. I don't even want to go into just now what these thoughts have done with that avocation!!! Arlon!!! In that darkened room yesterday, I couldn't even turn to them for answers.
> Oh, Jim, I'm so glad this conversation inspires you. While I bless your joy. It gives me great hope that maybe shunyata is really the only answer there is. Can you live in emptiness? Buddhism is so full of ritual, mantra and color that emptiness always seems so, well, empty! A contradiction. >

well, now our tibetans can be positively baroque if not rococo ... ... contrasting with the starkness of japanese zen ...

> Hope your party was more fun than the anticipation.

thank you ... ... it was ... of course

> With deep respect,
> Hab

and right back at you with kisses and giggles ... ...
... ... and deepest respects too ...
~ jim

p.s. ... the perspective i wanted to offer before:

... we face another challenge when considering neurological dysfunction, spiritual experiences, hallucinatory delusions, consciousness, the social context, et cetera ... especially distinctions made between valid spiritual experiences versus persistent delusion ... ...

.... the challenge is that physical reality, which we do believe in if we are passing for sane, amounts to a cosmic spiritual delusion
... ... its claims to having a substantial permanent self-nature are as empty as any individual's claim to having an autonomous permanent self-nature ... all are empty ...

so there is extra work for the experiencer to do when comparing the appropriate consciousness we use everyday, spiritual experiences and neurologically deficient episodes, because they all must take place on the backgound of our larger cosmic illusion ... ... and should we awaken from this dream, then would (will!!) we be truly conscious ...
~ j




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