The Road To Becoming A Warrior Part 4

Zen Buddhism tells stories to illustrate life and cut through the complexities. It shows one how to resolve paradox. As way to enlightenment it is very valuable. Here is a story that illustrates the road to enlightenment.

When a person is first aware, forests are forests, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.

When a person begins to learn, they begin to see that forests are no longer forests, mountains no longer mountains and rivers no longer rivers.

But when a person sees (has reached enlightenment) forests are forests, mountains are mountains, and rivers are rivers.

Jesus told people to be like the child. What does that mean? To be full of wonder as if seeing things for the first time. But the child comes from a standpoint of nothing. But they soon just take for granted that the trees are trees and that the sun will come up in the morning. Then we learn about the world and society and the world changes into a complex place where nothing is as it appears to be. What Zen is saying is the same as what Jesus was saying. When you reach enlightenment the world is once again that of the child, to see everything as if for the first time but now knowing what it is you are seeing instinctively.

This is why when you start on a quest, you must forget all you knew and all that you have been taught. In a sense it is a rebirth. One of several you go through on your way to inner peace and enlightenment. If you want to see as a child, you have to drop all that you think you know. Put it all up for re-examination.

This is difficult for people to do because they have beliefs. Beliefs are part of us. They have become part of us. They are part of our self identity. But they were not always part of our self identity. We accepted them at some point. There are all kinds of beliefs we attach to ourselves. Yet these beliefs hinder progress. A child has no preconceived ideas.

The point is that the seeker must want truth no matter what that truth turns out to be. Therefore the true seeker has no investment in what the truth is, so they cannot afford beliefs.

Buddha told us not to take his word for anything. He told us not to believe him. We have to experience what he is telling us so we know it to be true for ourselves. This is also the Toltec way. Do not accept or agree to what others tell you about yourself or the world. There is a difference between knowing and believing.

Most philosophies tell us experience is the only way we can know truth. Your gut instinct is what you need to rely on to tell you what is right and what is wrong. Your mother may have told you this, mine did. If you feel it is wrong, don’t do it. It probably is. Listen to that small inner voice.

It is sound advice for the most part. Particularly for telling right from wrong for yourself. But feelings cannot always be trusted. Imagination has a habit of being wrong. I have a very good imagination. I can and have talked myself in to all manner of beliefs. Only to discover down the road that they were mistaken. For moral choices I can usually rely on my instinct. But the operative word here is: usually. Instinct needs to be educated and imagination needs to be kept at bay. More on the education of instinct later.

Every religion can tell us how to be moral people and how to find inner peace through causing the least amount of friction between us and the world. They can even give us good hints thereby on how to become an enlightened individual. But their beliefs above and beyond that point are guesses based on the interpretation of people’s experiences. They are no more than models of how it is that we see what we see and experience what we experience.

We experience these things, to be sure. I would never say someone did not have an experience. The problem is not the experience, it is the interpretation of it that becomes an issue. So many religions. So many models. So many beliefs. So much faith. So much certainty that they are right.

What they are all right about is the human condition. What they are all right about is that love is very much part of the end answer. And the reason we know they are right about it is because they all say the same thing as does folk wisdom, as does much of philosophy.

While reality by consensus is nonsense in that by simply agreeing the world is a certain way it does make it a reality, consensus in experience due to our mutual human predicament shows us universal patterns or truths. The interpretation of those patterns is irrelevant.

We name the patterns like love and greed and hate and peace and negative and positive. They are experiences, feelings. We all have them and some are positive and some are negative. But whatever the experience, it requires a resolution or response. That’s one of the patterns. It is a truth. “Emotions require resolution or response” is a pattern of existence that is true of no matter what animal or human that lives on this planet.

Forget the models or interpretations. While useful at times, they eventually get in the way. Look to the patterns, for they are truth itself.

To do this you have to start by not believing anything.

I’ve talked a lot about this in my books. But it is something which must be stressed. Belief of any kind is a hindrance in the search for truth, and of course a search for enlightenment is by default a search for truth. As strange as it may seem, belief is not required in your life. Something is true or it is not. Belief does not change that. So belief in a fact is not needed and not wanted. It doesn’t even make much sense to say you believe in a certain fact. You know it. That which you know does not require belief. Knowing makes belief redundant.

To believe something speculative is to set yourself up for a fall. If you believed the earth was flat before it was discovered that it is not, your world view would crumble when you discovered the truth. And the fact that some people did believe the earth was flat illustrates how wrong our logical guesses can be. Our intuition tells us that the earth is flat. It is a logical conclusion for anyone with half a brain who doesn’t know about gravity. You would be stupid to believe it was round. Put an object on a ball and it will fall off. The earth spins and it is round? Unthinkable. Put an object on a ball and spin it and the object flies off.

So the belief that the earth was flat was based on logical deductions but it was dead wrong. You would have been crazy to believe it is round and spins before we knew it was so. And now that we know it is so we know it. Belief in the fact is redundant. To now believe the earth is flat is truly madness.

And it is worse for things we cannot know about like gods. Anything we say about them is speculation. Belief about them one way or the other is as mad as believing the earth is flat.

But we must retain some of our beliefs, surely? Without belief or faith there is no hope. Nonsense. Hope has nothing to do with belief. It is a wish. With will and work some wishes can become reality. You will never get a job if you do not apply for jobs. No matter how long it takes there is always hope. Belief that you will get a job is not required. The probability is you will eventually get one if you try hard enough.

Non-belief can be simple by looking at it as: Let’s wait and see. It is as simple as that. For things that are not fact or for things you do not know are fact, just wait and see. It is no more complicated than that. You can still have an opinion, but don’t take your own opinion as fact. Base your opinion on probability rather than belief. How probable is it that invisible pink squirrels exist? Not very, since I made them up in my head. But no one can prove they do not exist. I have opened a Pandora’s box and unleashed invisible pink squirrels on the world. My opinion is that they don’t exist. I hold no belief that they exist. But I hold no belief that they do not exist.

There is no difference between investing in a belief in the positive or in the negative. Those who invest no belief invest in no belief at all. They are like a newborn.

If you can accomplish just this one thing, you have already eliminated a full half of what is standing in your way to becoming a warrior.

More by this Author

  • There Is an Exception to Every Rule
    7

    There is a big problem with some sayings that seem perfectly logical. Let’s look at this common example: There is an exception to every rule. Most people would just start thinking of all the rules they can recall...

  • The Bible and the Oppression of Women
    109

    The feminist movement has made a lot of inroads in the last century, but it is difficult to fight literally centuries of being considered inferior and even evil by men in society. It is even harder to fight the...

  • Venting your plumbing
    21

    This essay is on the importance of venting a drainage system, the consequences of not doing so, and how to fix it.


21 comments

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I just saw a pink squirrel run past my widow! LOL

Another great hub Slarty. You must have been typing very quickly as there are a few typos.

I liked the way to connected the teachings of Jesus and Buddha showing that the essential message in all religion is the same (if the religion is interested in truth).

Dropping beliefs is the way of the warrior but that is more easily said than done. There that is one of my beliefs! However if it was that easy them more people would have done so. There is my mind searching for evidence to justify my belief. But without belief then how would the world exist? Now that is too big a step! Back up SW...what planet are you on?

Everything we see outside of us is actually a picture in our heads so it cannot exist outside. We even give the picture meaning and that certainly does not exist outside of our heads. The picture in our heads is created in the brain and does not exist as we have created outside of the brain. Something is there to have reflected the light into our heads but we cannot know it. Our perception depends on 5 windows called our senses and they do exactly what they are designed to do...show us the world through the ego's eyes.

The world does not exist as we perceive it but to truly drop belief would mean to close the 5 senses and be in a state separate from the world we have written our meaning upon.

I agree and support the message in this hub but feel you could go further with regard to the how of achieving what you propose. Reading and commenting on a Slarty Hub is a wonderful way to start to the day. Thank you.

Voted up!


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

"I just saw a pink squirrel run past my widow! LOL"

Hard to do since they are invisible. ;) But I will take your word for the fact that you experienced something pink.

Thanks for mentioning the typos. I'll have to find and correct them.

"Dropping beliefs is the way of the warrior but that is more easily said than done. There that is one of my beliefs!"

Is it a belief or just an opinion? If you attach self to it and identify with it it is a belief. If you invest no faith in it, perhaps it is just an opinion which if you discover it is false you will change as easily as you change your underwear.

People use the word belief to mean probability. They say they believe a certain a thing has a good probability of being of correct. But if you are working only with probability and not with any degree of faith, it is not a belief, it is an opinion. You THINK that perhaps that is the way things work but you could just as easily be wrong.

It is important to be clear on the words we use. I view belief as having a degree of faith attached to it. Opinion may or may not.

"Everything we see outside of us is actually a picture in our heads so it cannot exist outside."

You are making a statement of certainty. You have yet to prove that it is fact. For me, there are layers of reality, No matter what we see it corresponds to something, be it what we think we see or something all together different. It doesn't matter.

Seeing is not the only sense we have, Those who are blind see through hearing and through touch taste and smell, among others.

To say things do not exist as we perceive them seems to me to be correct. We can't. Our senses are very limited and imprecise. But to say that they do not exist does not ring true. I see you have used both in your argument and just wonder which it is you actually mean and if you mean they do not exist at all then I'd like you to explain that concept a little farther, if you would.

"The world does not exist as we perceive it but to truly drop belief would mean to close the 5 senses and be in a state separate from the world we have written our meaning upon."

Yes and no. You needn't remove or close the senses. You merely have to shut down your belief that what you see is the full picture.

Look. If you see an apple, you pick it from the tree and you eat it, it does not matter whether that apple exists in reality as an apple or just a mass of atoms and particles. The apple corresponds to something real. You need to include in to self is real. The benefits to your body are real.

If you feel cold your brain tells you you need shelter or a heat source. It does not matter whether you perceive it as the atoms in your body needing to be sped up or that you skin needs warmth, It's the same thing. You will suffer if you do not get warmth.

If you can control your body temp with your mind that's fine too.

Whether life is an illusion or not we have to pretend it is not if we are to survive and play and game. It is irrelevant what is really going on, your feelings are needs that require you fulfill them. How you accomplish that is irrelevant. Accomplish it you must or you will suffer.

Lack of belief is a lack of a personal tie to a specific way of doing things or a specific way of thinking. It is a way out of much of your suffering. Because when you make a way of doing things part of you, if that way fails you have no other and you suffer. Your world may crumble. Some people kill themselves hen their world view crumbles.

So the simplest way to not suffer from a belief being shattered is to simply not have any. And it is simple. You find you have no need for belief once you drop it.

But you must accept facts. If the way you are doing something does not produce the desired results you have to drop it and use another way.

Ego is automatically reduced when you practice lack of belief. Beliefs become part of you.

Think of it as using the scientific method in your thinking. Nothing is certain, though facts of observation are indisputable, the interpretation of what is observed is always up for debate.

You know that when you shoot a particle through two slits it looks like it is not a particle but a wave. That is all you know. You observed it. Why that is so is not yet known. Anything said about it is speculation.

You know the fact. You accept it. You don't have to believe it or not believe not believe it. It is irrelevant which you do. You just have to accept the fact whether you like it or not. Surely believing the speculative interpretation is not required or desired.

You may be of the opinion that a certain interpretation carries more weight of evidence than another, but to believe it is fact is folly. particularly if you act as if it is or if you tell others that it is. If you treat speculation as fact you are lying to yourself and others.

As in science there is nothing wrong with speculating. But you must know and indicate that you are speculating. Then you can test your speculation through experiment or through logic.

I mentioned the flat earth and how logical it was that people did not believe the earth was round. What they failed to consider was why things fall toward he earth.

We experience gravity every day. But it took one man to realize that if things fall toward the earth there must be a reason for it. And that reason makes it possible for us to live on a round earth,

Logic is only as good as the information you have. But you have all the information before you. You have to recognize it and factor it in.

Einstein did amazing thought experiments that proved to be accurate. But he could not do the experiments that proved his hypothesis true. When others proved his hypothesis true time and time again the theory of relativity general and special, became recognized as containing facts because they the theories have been observed in reality.

That does not mean his theories are one hundred percent fact. Others will build upon them as more evidence comes in. No that I know of has all the answers or all the knowledge. So even when one knows so much, one would have to say one knows next to nothing. Yet what we do know is amazing.

Thanks you for kind comments, as always. ;)


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

Once again you have come back with very well thought out comments to what I have said and I agree.

In particular I like and agree with the following things you said:

"You merely have to shut down your belief that what you see is the full picture."

Yes, you say it better than me with these words.

"To say things do not exist as we perceive them seems to me to be correct." Yes, this is what I mean. I am not denying the existence of something but that our perception gets in the way of us actually knowing the truth about it. But as you correctly say, it doesn't really matter as long as it like the apple benefits us.

There is something wrong with what you say here:

" But you must know and indicate that you are speculating."

All knowledge is speculation. truth cannot be "known" because what you call knowledge is in fact perception.

Everyone is expressing opinions all the time and that is something we take fro granted. If we are to start every sentence telling people that we are about to give an opinion that would be come tedious.

I am fine with everything else you say and I think that there is a hub in this comment alone from you in answer to my initial one.

It is always good to talk to you like this.

Best wishes to you and yours.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

I am glad we finally see eye to eye on the human world. We always did, it seems. But it was something I wanted to clear up. ;)

So as to speculation. I "think" that there is knowledge. Facts exist. However, our perception of the facts may be faulty or incomplete at best.

Again, this is part of our debate about reality. We can see reality from the patterns we observe. That is knowledge, Be it incomplete or not. We do not have to interpret the observations, merely acknowledge that we have observed something. That something and the patterns that create it are facts or reality.

I will give an example of the mundane: If I do not pay the light bill I will be cut off. That is a certainty, in the long run at least. You might be lucky and someone might misplace your file. But eventually the error will be caught and your service terminated. This is a fact.

You may be cut off anyway even you do pay your bill. But the fact is, the knowledge you have is that it is far more likely that you will have electricity when you want it if you pay your bill. This is knowledge. And we have a lot of it.

It is easy to tell people you are speculating. For instance, the word: May, or possibly, or any number of qualifying words inserted into your sentence indicates that you are speculating.

If I say: God exists. I am stating something speculative because I can not know it to be absolutely true, as a fact. As if it is absolutely true. This makes people believe me if they take my word.

If I said the big bang is the factual way the universe began, I would be lying to myself and to you. If I say I think god exists, or I think the universe may have been created by the bug bang, or that it is the best model we currently have, then I am indicating that I am speculating. Possibly based on evidence and possibly not.

If I say you will not be cut off if you don't pay your bill, and you believe me, then it's your fault if your lights go out. But if I say you may not because I have inside information that tells me your file may have been lost and you do not exist in the system anymore, then you are indicating that you I may want to wait a bit and see if I get a first or second notice before paying up. I may be in luck. I can test the voracity of your claim by waiting and seeing what happens. You have given me information that I can test for myself.

Now, if i act on your claim, you may rightly question my honesty. I may even want to inform the company of their mistake. Why? Because I do not want any form of guilt to interrupt my peace of mind.

And is that not knowledge as well?

Going back to our apple. It does not matter if it is not merely an apple. You have the knowledge that if you eat it, it will do you good.

So all knowledge is not speculation. If it were, water might boil at any temperature at all regardless of altitude or pressure or the purity of it.

While it boils at different temperatures at different altitudes, purity and pressure, it will boil at exactly the same temperature if all the variables are the \same and remain the same. At sea level, at atmospheric pressure, at a particular purity, it will always boil at the same temperature.

Knowledge is relative. But to what it is relative it is often absolute.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

Thank you for getting back to me on this but I don't agree when you say:

"Again, this is part of our debate about reality. We can see reality from the patterns we observe. That is knowledge, Be it incomplete or not. We do not have to interpret the observations, merely acknowledge that we have observed something. That something and the patterns that create it are facts or reality."

By saying, "We can see reality from the patterns we observe.", you are describing perception. It is impossible for us not to perceive no matter what words you use to describe it, it is still perception because the knowledge you speak about is observer dependent. Many people like yourself want to believe that there exist indisputable facts. But you are using your mind to observe these so called facts. The same mind that projects the meaning you hold about yourself and everything you see, hear, touch, smell and taste on to the world. You have just replaced the word perceive now with observe and then without saying that you are speculating you then define reality as your see it to be "That something and the patterns that create it are facts or reality."

Unless you can say with 100% certainty that you could not find one observer from the beginning of time to dispute your claim about anything you say is fact then you are speculating and that is as much anyone in this world can do. Nothing that you have said here convinces me otherwise.

There is not in existence the mechanism to prove that what any two people observe is the same thing so no matter what examples you give you cannot be sure that I even see them in the way you are sending them to me so more often than not we are actually talking to ourselves and whatever you are actually saying can at best be only heard as an inaudible whisper for the most part.

There is nothing wrong with having different view points and it doesn't mean we cannot appreciate each others. I am happy and content with the way I feel about things and couldn't care less if nobody agreed with me. It doesn't stop me expressing myself and I enjoy doing that as I think you do.

There is one more thing that I would like to say and that is with regard your points about integrity. There are many people in the world who are not content to express their ideas. They want people to agree and they do this by calling their ideas facts. It is a form of intimidation and usually the motive is control. These people don't like surprises. They want the world to be a neat and tidy place with no surprises. They feel safe when they are surrounded by people who agree with their "facts" and to those who hold different opinions and beliefs they tell them that they are being dishonest and their integrity is questionable. Sometimes we fall prey to the things we say we seek to avoid perhaps we can gain something by recognising this when it happens. The ego is indeed a formidable opponent especially when it wants its way! LOL

You have a good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

By saying, "We can see reality from the patterns we observe.", you are describing perception. It is impossible for us not to perceive no matter what words you use to describe it, it is still perception because the knowledge you speak about is observer dependent."

What I am saying is there are facts that are not observer dependent. Those are the patterns we "live" if you do not like the word see.

Water would boil regardless of whether we see it or observe it or not. The universe does not depend on the observer.

If you have eaten an apple it is a fact that you have eaten the apple. It is irrelevant that I can not perceive what ever it is the same way you do. Yes that is the issue with perception and why it is just interpretation. But it is an interpretation of something, not nothing. The patterns of existence.

Our observations do not make the events happen. They happen and we observe. If there is no observer they happen anyway. I walked into my room and noticed a picture had fallen off the wall. I was not there to see it fall but it is no longer on the wall and it is now on the floor. These are all facts.

If there are no facts then we might as well just kill ourselves or each other. We are illusion. Who cares? What does it matter? Is that what you think? I dare say it isn't. ;)

Eliminate ego and you are not a free man. You are dead.

But there is a way to be a natural man.

I would love for you to take some time to read about U._G._Krishnamurti even just starting with:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U._G._Krishnamurti

You have read my story. Compare it to his. I will say in advance that you will agree with some of what he tells you that I do not agree with. And there will be much you will disagree with. ;)

There is something I have found very interesting over the years. That is that if you argue long enough, you start to make the other person's points for them and they yours. The outcome of a really good argument is discovering you have been saying the same thing from different points of view. But in order to get there you must be ruthless. ;)

See you soon, my good friend.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I am actually quite enjoying this and I hope you are too.

"What I am saying is there are facts that are not observer dependent. Those are the patterns we "live" if you do not like the word see."

Here you are making a claim but you have no evidence to support such a claim. You are making a subjective claim and simply changing words to try to make the claim sound better. I am an independent observe and I don't agree that there are any facts in this world that are observer independent. That is a speculation and one that you seem to have invested much energy. You keep making claims and demanding I accept them as fact. The only reason that you make any of the claims is based on your perception which you admit is a faulty. You only have perception to go on and you are labelling some of your perceptions as facts. This doesn't make sense to me.

Let me list some of your claims:

"What I am saying is there are facts that are not observer dependent."

"Water would boil regardless of whether we see it or observe it or not. The universe does not depend on the observer."

"Our observations do not make the events happen. They happen and we observe. If there is no observer they happen anyway."

You have invested so much energy into these opinions that you have made them beliefs you now call facts. This is exactly how people create their own reality and you are no different to anyone else in the way you do this.

You state another belief based on a belief you now hold true and call it interesting. it is true as long as you believe it to be so and you will continue to attract the experiences to support this belief but it will never make it true outside of your own mind or the minds of those who choose to share this belief. I don't choose to share this belief.

There is another claim you make without any evidence to support such a belief- "Eliminate ego and you are not a free man. You are dead."

Just because you have never met a live egoless person doesn't make your statement a fact. It just means that you believe this to be the case because it fits your world view and that's all that can be said about it.

It is as if you have created a world dependent on a belief you call "facts". This world requires "facts" for your life to have any stability or meaning. It comes across as if facts make you feel safe when you say "If there are no facts then we might as well just kill ourselves or each other. We are illusion. Who cares? What does it matter? Is that what you think? I dare say it isn't. ;)"

Ii don't see how it follows that we kill ourselves and others when we realise that it is all an elaborate illusion created by the mind. Surely the opposite opinion would be equally possible and that is that we start to love and accept ourselves more knowing it is all our own making.

You see me in your own head where I have always existed and I see you in mine. The time must be right for us to become aware of each other and maybe because we are ready to suspend our judgement of each other and are now able to appreciate those aspects in ourselves that we once could not acknowledge or even entertain. I can fully appreciate you and that is the most important thing for me in all our communication.

Have a good night buddy.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I believe there are more than five windows Mr. Spirit Whisperer.

"It is impossible for us not to perceive no matter what words you use to describe it, it is still perception." - Arguing our points/perception/beliefs is almost pointless because of this sentence. All is opinion.

"But you are using your mind to observe these so called facts." - So are you Mr. Whisperer or am I projecting myself onto you now?

"There is not in existence the mechanism to prove that what any two people observe is the same thing." I find that to be true but also useless. This does not affect me in any way. I can actually care less about it. Most people usually disagree with my perception of reality anyway lol

"I am happy and content with the way I feel about things and couldn't care less if nobody agreed with me. It doesn't stop me expressing myself and I enjoy doing that as I think you do." - this is why I wrote to you that your illusion is beautiful, better (a biased word, only applicable to me) than most others.

Yet, Mr. Spirit Whisperer ... you leave behind all other illusions to comfortably rest in the one you built yourself. I appreciate your work because you can help some people to your "safe" place. Many people (in my opinion) do not have the ability nor the energy to even come close to where you are.

"Come out and see": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3SVyGujjN8

Cheers to you both! Thank you for writing this Mr. O'Brian and thank you for commenting Mr. Spirit Whisperer


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Oh yes. Now we are getting somewhere. Tomorrow I will give a more detailed reply. For tonight I ask you only this: How do you justify telling me there are no fact and yet asserting it as a fact?

To me the person who says there are no facts is negating their own argument. ;)


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I justify telling you that "facts" are an illusion because from the onset I said that all we can give are our opinions and speculations. Wars are fought because some people believe that what they call facts are true! They are all opinions including everything we say to each other. I am not arguing with you because to do so would imply that I seek to convince you. You have your opinions and I have mine. Nobody's opinion is better than anyone else's. It is when some opinions are given special status as "facts" that problems occur in the world. I am happy to accept that everyone has different opinions and I feel it is possible to appreciate this.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

Mr Happy,

"I believe there are more than five windows Mr. Spirit Whisperer.

When I said this I am referring to how we consciously perceive each other and the world. I agree that there are other windows but most people normally do not have conscious access to them.

"It is impossible for us not to perceive no matter what words you use to describe it, it is still perception." - Arguing our points/perception/beliefs is almost pointless because of this sentence. All is opinion.

I don't agree that any human activity is pointless including expressing ourselves. Arguing is a form of self expression but normally it involves a desire to control. expressing your opinions, perceptions and beliefs is how we live our daily lives and learn to realise that there is no truth to be had in anything we experience in this world. No matter how much you want it to make sense it cannot and all your arguments is not going to change that. The "matrix" exists like a canvas upon which we paint our beliefs and express our opinions. The paintings are beautiful and the more intelligent the painter the more intricate the detail of the painting, but it is still a painting on a canvas.

""But you are using your mind to observe these so called facts." - So are you Mr. Whisperer or am I projecting myself onto you now?"

I exist as the canvas upon which you create me. I in essence am you and you are me.

"Yet, Mr. Spirit Whisperer ... you leave behind all other illusions to comfortably rest in the one you built yourself. I appreciate your work because you can help some people to your "safe" place. "

This is very beautifully expressed Mr Wolfman Jack. Very beautiful indeed.

Thank you.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

SW

Now let me be clear that I am not arguing just to be right. I am arguing to find out why you think you are right. If you explain it to me perhaps I will learn something, though by what I understand of what you are saying I won't be any the wiser for it. Again, it is not agreement I want, it is an explanation so I can understand your point of view. To do this I must give you mine so you know what questions I am actually asking. Please don't take any of this personally. I am not trying to be right, I am trying to tell you my understanding and find out why yours differs so much. I don't want you to feel insulted by anything I say or think that I will in some way think less of you if you don't agree with me.

I am in full agreement that everyone has their own opinion and that some opinions lead to violence when they are thought of as fact. A good example is religion. But do you not see that when you say there are no facts that you are in fact telling me your opinion that there are no facts is a fact? Don't you see what a problem in logic that poses?

If it is a fact then you negate the idea that there are no facts because you gave me one, and if it is not a fact then the idea is meaningless.

So yes, if there are no facts then no matter what we say or do none of it makes any sense. Right?

I fully appreciate diverse ideas about speculative subjects. I fully appreciate and enjoy them because we can then learn about the world together and discover facts about life by hashing out our opinions.

A lot of life is not a matter of fact, it is a matter of choice as to how to do things. Choice may be the wrong word but it gets the point across. There is no right way and no wrong way as long as the desired result is the same, and there are many examples of the many roads an individual can take.

But you seem to fear facts themselves. In your own profession you say you are helping people. But if there are no facts your statement has no meaning, it is just an opinion. You are not helping and you are not not helping. Your actions are useless. I'm sure that is not your opinion or you wouldn't bother.

Is it not a fact that people come to you with problems? Is it not a fact that you want to help them? Or is your desire to help just an opinion and their ailments just opinion?

The fact is you disagree with me about the existence of fact. You say so adamantly. There are millions of facts for all to see and that is one of them.

My point with saying that if there are no facts then we may as well kill each other or ourselves was an extreme example of the futility and meaninglessness of a world without facts. If there are no facts then there is no morality. Morality then becomes an opinion no better or worse, truer or less so then Hitler's version of morality. It's all just opinion. In fact, some say Hitlers way is the natural way of things. Natural selection and survival of the fittest and most ruthless. Yet knowing something about evolution I know that is not a fact.

As I indicated before this was the belief of the early Materialists. I am a materialist and that idea has been dropped by materialism because it causes real problems, meaning factual problems. Or at least factual within the context of our illusion.

So I can only think this deeper then denying that when you eat an apple it is a fact that you ate an apple. You are saying that nothing we can think is anything but opinion and all that we think and see is just illusion and meaningless. Yet you say this only in the context of facts themselves, and you seem to have a completely different opinion toward morality. This seems contradictory to me.

I don't mean meaningless in the sense of a higher meaning, I mean meaningless in the sense that it is all gibberish in your opinion. You say there is an underlying reality or at least you seem to imply you believe that, but apparently from what I can gather you don't think it relates to anything we think or observe. There is no way to get to reality in your opinion. If you are right, is that then not a fact?

You say that I have made a belief out of facts. Fair enough. But again, if there are no facts then you are saying that is just your opinion and has no real meaning or value.

The world seems to work in opposites. There is a yes and a no, a male and a female, a reflection and an absorption. But there is only opinion and no facts? Only speculation and no facts?

How far will you take this idea? I have no children or wife, they are just my opinion? I am not alive it is just my opinion? If true, all these things would be facts.

You have an opinion, is that not a fact? If not then you have no opinions and that becomes a fact.

A fact can mean an actualization. Something potential becoming actual. The word fact has many meanings. But again, if you see the world as a place where there are no facts and we can not get to reality then there is nothing to learn, nothing to say, nothing to do to make life better. Because then it is all just illusion. You will have to then agree with U.G. that nothing matters in the end. There is no bliss in life or after death. You are already dead. Your life is of no meaning and no consequence. As he pointed out with his last dying words: I am nothing. I am useless to nature because I can no longer reproduce, and now I can not even survive. I will just rot in the ground and everyone should just forget about me.

Those are not his exact words but they are pretty close. His belief was that thought itself was the enemy. You seem to be suggesting the same thing. Logic and thought are the enemy. The only way you can get to reality, if you can get there at all, is through forgetting about logic and reason.

Well U.G went through a physical transformation. He believed that the only true natural human was one who gave up thought and lived a natural life. In other words, give up the brain and the idea of "I" or self and give the brain back to it's prime function, that of taking care of the body.

His opinion, and mine as well, by the way, is that the brain's original function was to protect the body at all costs. But it eventually took over and began to see itself as that which needs to be preserved at all costs. Therefore it has created souls and gods and the like as a way to beat death.

The brain is like the government that no longer works to protect the people but only does what is in it's best interest for survival.

You and I and U.G all differ on what that means.

So I leave you with this. You have told me that you think that the words of your guru sum up the way to enlightenment: "love all, serve all."

This is true or it is not. You seem to suggest it is true or a fact. Yet by telling me there are no facts you suggest it is not true. If there are no facts there is no truth. Don't you agree? ;)

Again. Please do not take anything I said personally. It is not to cast aspersions upon you or you ideas. It is to flesh out what you mean by your words by giving examples of what I mean by mine so we can see if we can come to an understanding of our diverse positions. I do not need to be right. I need to understand.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

"I don't agree that any human activity is pointless including expressing ourselves."

What meaning can it have if there is no truth? If there is no truth it is pointless.

"Arguing is a form of self expression but normally it involves a desire to control. expressing your opinions, perceptions and beliefs is how we live our daily lives and learn to realise that there is no truth to be had in anything we experience in this world. No matter how much you want it to make sense it cannot and all your arguments is not going to change that. The "matrix" exists like a canvas upon which we paint our beliefs and express our opinions."

Is that a fact? How do you know this to be a fact?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Mr. O'Brian, my apology for jumping in as I am but I think (I always like to think, whatever that means) that Mr. Spirit Whisperer knows that what he says/writes is a fact because he wills it so.

We are all gods. Cheers!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

Mr Happy you made me laugh so much when I read your interjection. It is just beautiful and perfectly explains how ridiculous it is for us to take anything we say seriously. My sides are hurting form the laughing. Thank you so much for that. Please don't be offended it is just so perfect.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Mr Happy

You may jump in at any time. This is not a private conversation. ;)

Spirit Whisperer is an amazing individual. I have no doubt about his powers of seeing.

There is nothing but god. And as soon as we realize the full extent of what that means we realize there is no god.

Cheers!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

Slarty, I accepted what you said before about taking things personally and I take nothing you say personally. I just don't care enough about these things.

So let me clarify once again what my opinion is. In my opinion we only can share opinions. There is nothing true or real about any of our interactions. It means nothing and that is how I live my life. I know this might sound contradictory but by refusing to subscribe to the game I do not judge because I see nothing real or meaningful in any of it. Once people make any part of the illusion important in any way then we get sucked in and cannot truly love each other unconditionally. This is how I am and I express myself without any of the rules or regulations that seem important to you. I love reading your opinions. I love sharing mine but they mean nothing to me. And by that I am free to be me exactly as I am now and changes every minute. I have no rules I muddle along like everyone else but I have never been happier or more content in my life. I like being like this. I do the work I like doing, I spend time doing the things I like doing. I am with people I like being with. I am not sure how I got here but it has something to do with refusing to believe that any of it is real. I once did and I felt miserable. I don't know how else to put it to you and I promise I am not in any way trying to be elusive or ambiguous. That is the best I can do right now. Is that so bad? Why can't you be happy with that?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

I'm perfectly happy with it. ;) No more need be said about it.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Well, Mr. Spirit Whisperer ... I did not view my comment to be funny but you willed it so. Thus, I am laughing too now. Why would I be offended?

And Mr. O'Brian, I like your statement that: "There is nothing but god"; I can work with that.

All the best to you both!


Business Success 5 years ago

Namaste,

I fell into such a hub of peace and safety when I first took notice of the magic that blossomed at the beginning of my (since) lifelong immersion in the Zen thought process as I wandered along my Path of Enlightenment. It began somewhere along my moving through Hinduism into Buddhism in my twenties (I am now soon to be 61) while studying at UT Austin. But, so as not to get caught up in the soul killing but tremendously ego nurturing practice of what Jason Mraz so eloquently points to in his little ditty titled "Words", I will simply say that the canvas on which the hues and swirls of that which is you Slarty, is becoming more, or less, distinguishable. I enjoyed and learned some more from this, the second (of more) of your meanderings... :-)

So for now I will just repeat (with the serenity I viewed in my Zen Master's glistening eyes and joyful smile)

"Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water."

Namaste


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Zen really is a world view I identify with. It taught me a great deal though I have not had a formal teacher. It taught me how to resolve paradox. Your teacher said it all. He was reiterating a Zen koan about the the way we perceive things as we move along.

When you first start out on the road trees are just trees, mountains just mountains. When you begin to see, trees are no longer just trees and mountains no longer just mountains. But when you see, trees are trees are trees and mountains are mountains.

"Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water." is the same thing.

I'm glad to run in to someone else who studied Zen, and under a teacher no less. It will be interesting to get your perspective.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working