Thursday, March 31, 2005

What is Love?

I would like to pose this question to everyone, myself included. It has so many meanings doesn't it? It's hard to begin... On the most basic level i'd say love stands for connection or communion. Biology would explain it as horomones produced to create certain helpful urges for reproduction. Of course that's a very shallow definition only taking into account one aspect of our nature. If that is the bottom end of the meaning the organic component that anchors us in this reality, then what would be the opposite of that?

I believe Eros and Agape come into use at this point. Eros being gods love eminating out into the subjective realm, all encompassing all giving love. Agape is our ascending love for the divine. Perhaps our wonder at the miracle of existance would fit into the category of agape (correct me if i'm wrong, i'm far from scholarly)

I think that is a good aspect of love to consider: exstacy or awe, wonder etc. When we look at just how intricate and dynamic and full of meaning life around us is we sometimes can feel the almost tangible web of love binding it all together. I'm not much more than an armchair philosopher but i think that love is the power that binds our reality together, much like the Force :) If everything is ultimately interconnected subjectivity arising through coemergence(is that redudant i think those all add something)then whatever compulsion that drives our interactions. That intersubjective glue that creates our need our dependance on each other for our very identity and means of proliferating ourselves would be love, i think.

Of course there are many other forms of love. Love for our parents, love for our friends, love animals and nature, love/empathy for strangers...such a list could get pretty long. I think though that in our modern society one primary aspect of love we are concerned with is Romantic love. Falling in love is the stuff dreams are made of :) Girl and guy alike always hold fantasies about finding that perfect mate, that person that makes them feel complete. Someone who doesn't exist, really :( But that's a good thing! To grow in love we must move past such Ideals into the real world and find a radical acceptance for those in our lives instead of trying to match them to a preconfigured template. If we can realize that anyone who would choose to really love us and accept us for who we are must have all those Ideals within them. If we can learn to see the Divine in our Life Mate then we will help realize that potential in them and they will reciprocate and thus we can ascend.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Post on GenSit

I posted this today and i thought it would be good content for this site since it's relatively self contained

For me moment to moment experience is like standing on the edge of a beach at high tide. Waves of experience rush at me and crash over and through my being, whether they be human interaction or introspection, emotions, mental objects, or physical stimuli. I’m subjected to all these various forms most generated by my interior while i sit alone in a room :) I can encompass these forms but i’m also exposed to them in a way that’s beyond my control. Of course i can exercise control over my responses to them.

When i step back and observe my moment to moment awareness the first thing that stands out is a feeling of longing. I want something, what is it? And i can’t answer that question. I have a deep need it seems to come from the very center of my soul. I would interpret that as i feel like i’ve lost myself…where am i, where did i go? There’s something about myself i used to know :) I think some people would interpret this same feeling as existential angst. The Loss of Meaning. Of course i think it’s ultimately a choice you have to make do i choose to have faith in the meaning of life or get lost in it’s web?

But that feeling can be so intense sometimes it generates many different emotions and contexts for my life. Sometimes i feel so held down by my own boundaries that i become totally isolated, alone in the universe. Then other times i’m taken aback by the majesty and immensity of the universe and i feel very transcendent, very connected to the “ultimate meanings” of the universe, very connected to life in all it’s manifestations. Sometimes i’m shaken to my very core with a need, an intensification of this longing, a need to transcend myself to find some kind of tangible value beyond my day to day existence. I’m so moved by this that i feel like my soul could take flight into the heavens never to return.

I interpret this as my longing for Ultimate Union. The juxtaposition between life and death. We are thrown into this world that is seemingly completely out of control and definitely out of our control, we don’t know what’s going on, where did i come from? who am i? on what basis do i form my values? within what context do i interpret my experiences? The essential question i think. We are a part of this Divine Comedy, do we choose to find meaning or loose our souls to the outer forms? We have to create our own meaning. Can we manage to go out with our head held high and a lifetime of baggage neatly tucked away?

I feel so drawn toward this ultimate union though i am forced to find meaning within the context of that inevitable fact. I’m also equally drawn into my life, so moved by the miraculous nature of existence. I want a front row seat! Yet, i’m drawn toward my inevitable end because i know that’s where i’ll find my final meaning, but i’m juxtaposed between that need and my love of life. Which creates this state of tension a duality to the context of my life.

I think what ebuddha was saying about deep structures and inherent forms is quite important. We couldn’t be having this conversation at all if everyone hadn’t at least read about the Witness state. So obviously the more you refine your language your metaphysical framework the more context you will have within which to interpret your experiences and thus give them more meaning, finding more fulfillment within the experience itself. But it is also important to consider what the goal of these traditions, properly interpreted that is, would be.

The answer is to find yourself. To realize that everything you were ever looking for is right in front of you now. In order to find yourself… you not me… and then find Yourself… you and me… you have to have a radical dynamic acceptance of who and what you are; the experiences you have, the time frame within which you live, your own personal completely culturally/contextually driven interpretations have to be validated from within. And i think the way to do that is exactly what Sal is getting at with this post. We have to interpret this for ourselves we can’t let anyone who came before us do it.

Spiral Out, Keep Going

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Meditative Types Included In Each Major Tradition

Update: This post seems to be getting attention, so i wanted to let everyone who looks at it know that the types of meditation i took from Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass. listing it by religion, that was my idea, i think i covered most things. I can see alot of ways to improve this list and people have been making suggestions, please keep doing so, and once i get something concrete in mind i'll publish an updated version of it. Thanks!

*In no way do i intend this list to be comprehensive if anyone feels that i should add something for the sake of completeness or feels that i have misrepresented any information please let me know

Buddhist

  • mindfulness
  • mantra
  • visualization
  • formless awareness
  • movement
Note: Buddhism was influenced from the very beginning by deep meditative traditions so it has very complex systems of labeling states of consciousness in schools such as Yogacara and very simple austere practices such as vipassana in the Theravada school. It also encompasses many more variant forms of meditation such as tantra within Tibetan Buddhism

Yoga

  • mindfulness
  • movement
  • devotional
  • visualization
  • mantra
  • contemplation
  • concentration
  • formless
Note: Yoga seems to be the oldest richest form of mediation. In reference to Yoga i'm reluctant to lump it into such a category it encompasses so many ideas and concepts about union with the Divine.

Taoist

  • movement
  • mindfulness
  • visualization
  • devotional
Note: This tradition emphasized heavily movement based discipline and also visualization and manipulation of energy currents within the psychic body.

Christian

  • devotional
  • contemplation
  • mindfulness
  • mantra
Note: Although Christianity in it's modern form does not encompass meditation in general; throughout history Christian followers have had very rich mystical/meditative traditions.

Sufism

  • movement
  • mantra
  • devotional
  • visualization
Note: Sufism is commonly known for it's whirling dervishes, which is a mediative practice to induce ecstatic union with the Divine. Of course the practice is much richer and deeper than this one association. The bulwark of Sufi practice is the dhikr (Zhikr) which is chanting the divine names in "remembrance" of God's true self (You) There is no God but god

Kabbalah

  • visualization
  • contemplation
Note: This practice involves visualization of various divine ideals such as the throne of god and the tree of life

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Meditation

Over the last few days i've been attempting to track down a good overview on meditation, and haven't had much luck. Which has brought me to the conclusion that i will formulate one myself. I don't wish to do anything comprehensive, but simply to create a straightforward breakdown of meditation. I"m sure I'll leave out tons of stuff, but i'm going to cover at least the most popular aspects of practice. To begin with i'm going to break it down into two categories and then hopefully ellaborate further from that point. Types of Meditation:
  • Concentration
  • Mantra
  • Contemplation (Reflection)
  • Devotion
  • Visualization
  • Movement
  • Mindfullness
  • Formless Awareness
Major Meditative Traditions:
  • Buddhist
  • Yoga
  • Taoist
  • Christian
  • Sufi
  • Kabbalah
In the next post i will at least give types of meditation within the various traditions.