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Previous Comments By 'rightcobmiller'

True Meditation Has No Direction, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Aug 22, 2013 Bill wrote:

 Last night I attended the “Wednesday” that went with this reading and had something to share, but then balked and simply passed when the mic came to me.  It’s sort of an irony - the share was to be about how I’ve found it increasingly difficult to share in recent months.
 
I’d been feeling bad about that, but in retrospect, this reading and the ensuing comments suggested a new interpretation. Though I’ve always pretty much been a left brain-dominant person, after attending Wednesdays for several years, the experience for me is less and less about the words and more and more about simply *being* with you all.
 
Not that words are unimportant, but they are simply pointers to reality (and often crude ones at that). Lately, just give me the reality.

 

The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell

FaceBook  On Dec 11, 2012 Bill Miller wrote:
Given our inability to apprehend the Infinite directly, *everything* about life is essentially an oversimplified story (“myth”) regarding the same - or is a tool in service of a myth. “We need iPhones because technology is a means to stay connected.” Sure, that’s a functional story, but there are certainly other stories that might serve as well.
 

I Am Nothing, by Paul Buchheit

FaceBook  On Aug 26, 2011 Bill Miller wrote:

There are two ways to interpret the concept of “nothing” in this context - and I think we often confuse them in the West. “Nothing” can mean “the absence of anything” or it can be read as “no thing” - i.e., a phenomenon that cannot be limited, narrowed down to, or identified with any particular subset.

As applied to the self, I like the latter interpretation because it’s expansive, opening up a range of greater possibility. I dislike the former because it basically negates one’s own existence. I don’t think that is what we were put here for. In spiritual circles however, people sometimes fall into a mindset that denigrating the self is somehow the “holy” thing to do.

And there is a mathematical precedent for the above! One formal definition the number zero is not “the absence of anything” but “the sum of all positive and negative integers”. In other words, zero is not nothing or a particular thing, but essentially everything.

That’s how I like to view the human spirit.

 

Make Death Your Ally, by Duane Elgin

FaceBook  On Jul 8, 2011 Bill Miller wrote:

Well, this is one of those sentiments that I agree with in principle, yet struggle with in practice. This may just pertain to me, but I'm also driven by a sense I'm here, given the gift life, with a mandate to contribute something meaningful to the whole enterprise before passing on. I'm not sure that I've done that, and I'm not sure I've even found my proper niche where that can be accomplished. In that sense then, death seems like a looming, ticking deadline - what if the potential is not realized in time?

I guess the standard answer is to simply be appreciative of the small things - whatever is - and to not be attached to any particular "big" thing.  Yet unrealized potential always seems sad to me.

Anyway, I'll be interested to hear other's thoughts.

 

Live the Questions Now, by Rainer Maria Rilke

FaceBook  On Jun 4, 2011 Bill MIller wrote:

  

Upon first reading this letter by Rilke, I griped: "Jeez, I feel like I've been 'living the questions' for decades! When am I going to get to live some of the answers?! (grumble, grumble)"

 

However, upon hearing it read again for the evening, my perspective began to expand. A logical follow-on thought to the above might be: "Well, are you asking the right questions?" (But that also makes me want to grumble.)

 

Finally, I remembered an idea I'd seen in several books ("The User Illusion", "The Secret Teachings of Plants" - and I suppose Wittgenstein's "Blue" and "Brown" books) - that words, that language, is not reality but merely a pointer to reality. When an experience - or for that matter, a *question* - has been reduced to words (and a mental concept is usually also expressed in words), then you are no longer dealing with reality. You're working with a limited model of reality - sort of like using a map, rather than being in the actual terrain that the map points to.

 

So that was my ultimate take-away from the Rilke piece: Don't become preoccupied with your verbalized questions. Just be present to the experience. Live it, flow with it - and try to appreciate where it takes you.

 

Applying Realization to Relationships, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Feb 9, 2010 Bill Miller wrote:

This is the one principle of Eastern metaphysics (or our Western mis-interpretation of it) that I've always found puzzling, even depressing - this whole "dissolution of the self" concept. In the instance of this article, how can love exist without a lover and a beloved, a relationship, and an action between them as independent personalities? Can love exist in a vacuum? Would it not be like a song without a singer or an audience? Even if such a thing could exist, what would be the point? Many religious philosophies are so eager to denigrate the self and existence in the material world, yet why would such an elaborate phenomenon be created if the goal were merely to throw it away? On the contrary, I've come to believe that whatever powers that be, that are responsible for our existence, they *depend* on us being here, living, loving, doing, being - and generally making divine principles into actual, manifested realities. Otherwise, these principles would just remain in the realm of abstract potential, as archetypes or Platonic forms. As Meister Ekhart observed centuries ago, God needs us as much as we need God. I'm told that the mathematical definition of "zero" is "the sum of all positive and negative integers". In other words, zero is not "nothing", in fact it can be thought of as *everything*. I believe a similar principle holds regarding the perfect unity of all things. I see it as moving in the opposite direction to that described in the article. Rather than the elimination of all personality and identity, it is the full completion and integration of all personality - on a cosmic scale! Whenever I eventually get to be fully realized, I will not only fully know who I, "Bill" am, but I will also equally know the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of Pancho, Nipun, Viral, Pavi, Somik, Aumatma, Guri, Chris, Toys, Hashida, Dinesh, Vijay, ... and on to infinity. I don't want to live in an eternity that consists o  See full.

This is the one principle of Eastern metaphysics (or our Western mis-interpretation of it) that I've always found puzzling, even depressing - this whole "dissolution of the self" concept.

In the instance of this article, how can love exist without a lover and a beloved, a relationship, and an action between them as independent personalities? Can love exist in a vacuum? Would it not be like a song without a singer or an audience? Even if such a thing could exist, what would be the point?

Many religious philosophies are so eager to denigrate the self and existence in the material world, yet why would such an elaborate phenomenon be created if the goal were merely to throw it away? On the contrary, I've come to believe that whatever powers that be, that are responsible for our existence, they *depend* on us being here, living, loving, doing, being - and generally making divine principles into actual, manifested realities. Otherwise, these principles would just remain in the realm of abstract potential, as archetypes or Platonic forms. As Meister Ekhart observed centuries ago, God needs us as much as we need God.

I'm told that the mathematical definition of "zero" is "the sum of all positive and negative integers". In other words, zero is not "nothing", in fact it can be thought of as *everything*. I believe a similar principle holds regarding the perfect unity of all things. I see it as moving in the opposite direction to that described in the article. Rather than the elimination of all personality and identity, it is the full completion and integration of all personality - on a cosmic scale! Whenever I eventually get to be fully realized, I will not only fully know who I, "Bill" am, but I will also equally know the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of Pancho, Nipun, Viral, Pavi, Somik, Aumatma, Guri, Chris, Toys, Hashida, Dinesh, Vijay, ... and on to infinity.

I don't want to live in an eternity that consists of abstract principles, floating around in a sea of blissful nothingness. I want to be with all my "Buds" - and infinitely more of them!

-Bill Miller

 

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Willing to Experience our Suffering, by Charlotte Joko Beck

FaceBook  On Dec 22, 2009 Bill Miller wrote:

The thing I found most interesting in this piece was the little exegesis on the word “suffering”. Note that a literal interpretation of the word does not necessarily imply something bad/negative - it  simply points to something to “bear up under”. It could be something good! (Recall the King James translation of Jesus’ request to “suffer the children to come unto me”. I’m sure he wasn’t suggesting they be made to crawl over broken glass.) 

In that light, life itself is something that we bear up under, when we are fully engaged with it. It is noteworthy that in contemporary usage, the word “suffer” has become synonymous with ongoing pain - you know, that grim ethic which portrays life as primarily ongoing struggle and torment.

Yet by our individual and collective choices and actions, we create the world we live in. Why not choose to “bear up” the things that are happy and loving?

 

Disturb Me, Please!, by Margaret Wheatley

FaceBook  On Oct 27, 2009 Bill Miller wrote:

Reminds me of a similar observation that I also find this helpful, by psychologist Karl Pribram, and his holographic model for brain functioning. Things are stored in the brain in a manner similar to a holographic pattern (not localized in particular cells). Emotional experience happens (both positive and negative) when something disrupts or doesn't fit the established patterns (e.g. something desirable or aversive happens that you weren't expecting). I guess the message is to not be too attached to your "patterns" :-)