What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
02-02-2015, 12:38 PM
What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
As a long-time atheist and skeptic, I recently came to the recognition of what is commonly called enlightenment/awakening/self-realization.

I'm currently writing a book that synthesizes the scientific evidence for our true nature, with the spiritual recognition of what we are. Since this book is going to be aimed towards atheists/skeptics, I wanted to do some research and engage in some dialogue with other like-minded individuals about the topic of spiritual enlightenment.

What are your thoughts on this matter? What language, arguments, scare you away from entertaining it as a possibility? Is there anything that has been convincing as to the possibility that one can recognize the illusory nature of the self and live life accordingly?

Thanks for your time!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2015, 12:55 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
"Spiritual recognition of what we are"

Care to elaborate further?

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2015, 12:58 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
Welcome to TTA.

(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  ...
spiritual
...
What are your thoughts on this matter?
...

The thoughts will probably depend on the definition of 'spiritual'.

I for one, have not seen this concept clearly defined or expressed as a hypothesis.

(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  ...
illusory nature of the self
...

If you are referring to a Dan Dennett-like suggestion that consciousness is illusory i.e. it's a label / model / classification of self-monitoring systems / processes... yes, I can relate to that.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2015, 01:24 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  ...the scientific evidence for our true nature, with the spiritual recognition of what we are.

I have no clue what you are talking about. What is our "true nature" and what scientific evidence supports that? What is "spiritual recognition" and what are we?

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes unfogged's post
02-02-2015, 01:46 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  As a long-time atheist and skeptic, I recently came to the recognition of what is commonly called enlightenment/awakening/self-realization.

What does " came to the recognition of" mean?

Can you define "enlightenment/awakening/self-realization"?

Quote:I'm currently writing a book that synthesizes the scientific evidence for our true nature,

What is our 'true nature'?

Quote:with the spiritual recognition of what we are.

What is 'spiritual recognition'?

Quote:Since this book is going to be aimed towards atheists/skeptics, I wanted to do some research and engage in some dialogue with other like-minded individuals about the topic of spiritual enlightenment.

Please explain what you mean by 'spiritual enlightenment'.

Quote:What are your thoughts on this matter?

Still don't know what matter you are talking about.

Quote:What language, arguments, scare you away from entertaining it as a possibility?

Why do you assume I am scared away?

Quote:Is there anything that has been convincing as to the possibility that one can recognize the illusory nature of the self and live life accordingly?

'illusory nature of the self'? Really?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chas's post
02-02-2015, 02:13 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(02-02-2015 01:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  As a long-time atheist and skeptic, I recently came to the recognition of what is commonly called enlightenment/awakening/self-realization.

What does " came to the recognition of" mean?

Can you define "enlightenment/awakening/self-realization"?

Quote:I'm currently writing a book that synthesizes the scientific evidence for our true nature,

What is our 'true nature'?

Quote:with the spiritual recognition of what we are.

What is 'spiritual recognition'?

Quote:Since this book is going to be aimed towards atheists/skeptics, I wanted to do some research and engage in some dialogue with other like-minded individuals about the topic of spiritual enlightenment.

Please explain what you mean by 'spiritual enlightenment'.

Quote:What are your thoughts on this matter?

Still don't know what matter you are talking about.

Quote:What language, arguments, scare you away from entertaining it as a possibility?

Why do you assume I am scared away?

Quote:Is there anything that has been convincing as to the possibility that one can recognize the illusory nature of the self and live life accordingly?

'illusory nature of the self'? Really?

^^^
The first book review and not bad as book critiques go.
Summarised through incredulity and skepticism the author's refusal to quantify the intrinsic, ethereal nature of identity.

Encore!

Tongue

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2015, 02:51 PM
RE:
(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  I'm currently writing a book that synthesizes the scientific evidence for our true nature, with the spiritual recognition of what we are. Since this book is going to be aimed towards atheists/skeptics, I wanted to do some research and engage in some dialogue with other like-minded individuals about the topic of spiritual enlightenment.
Hopefully it will be better than Sam Harris's Waking Up. It wasn't bad, exactly, but it was disappointing.

(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  What are your thoughts on this matter?
If we're on the same page as far as thinking of "spiritual" as being a particular kind of psychological and psychological as being a particular kind of physical, we probably won't have much disagreement.

(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  What language, arguments, scare you away from entertaining it as a possibility?
I'm not frightened of words like "spiritual" if I know that they're meant in a rational, naturalistic sort of way. Once things start trending towards dualism, Platonism, or supernaturalism of any kind, I'm out.

(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  Is there anything that has been convincing as to the possibility that one can recognize the illusory nature of the self and live life accordingly?
For me, it was seeing that a lot of people have appear to have done it at one level or another. Yes, it's almost always steeped in a pile of religious mumbo-jumbo, but it struck me that it seemed like there was probably something real, but "merely" psychological, behind it. What little reading I've done on the scientific side of this seems to back up my suspicions.

I'm just thinking out loud.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes KnowtheSilence's post
02-02-2015, 05:17 PM
The spiritual recognition of what we are
(02-02-2015 12:55 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  "Spiritual recognition of what we are"

Care to elaborate further?

Yeah, that was certainly a vaguer statement than I intended.

The "spiritual recognition of what we are" is a blanket statement to describe what most of religion and spirituality is pointing to. In simple terms, it's the fact that we exist as awareness. The idea of self-realization or buddha nature or enlightenment are all referring to the recognition that what we are is not the contents of the mind (thoughts, feelings, sensations) but rather the clear and present awareness in which the contents of consciousness arise.

The ideas of oneness, god, cosmic consciousness; all these are ways of trying to describe the recognition that we are not apart from the universe. Most humans live their lives as though they are a discrete personality, a separate self. However, this is merely an illusion. It's an arising in consciousness with thought, threaded together with a lifetime of memories and identification with that same "I" thought.

So, the "spiritual recognition of what we are" is both an acknowledgement that we are awareness existing, and that we are not a separate self.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2015, 05:32 PM
Defining Spiritual
(02-02-2015 12:58 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome to TTA.

(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  ...
spiritual
...
What are your thoughts on this matter?
...

The thoughts will probably depend on the definition of 'spiritual'.

I for one, have not seen this concept clearly defined or expressed as a hypothesis.

Thank you very much for the welcome! Atheist forums like this were a big part of my becoming an atheist many years ago so it's nice to be a part of one again.

Yeah, "spiritual" is certainly a tough term to pin down. I'm using spiritual to mean experiential but not experimental. It is referring to a sense of being/knowing that is ineffable, because spirituality is not of the mind, but a reference to the experience or presence of the canvas in which the stuff of the mind appears.

(02-02-2015 12:38 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  ...
illusory nature of the self
...
'DLJ Wrote:If you are referring to a Dan Dennett-like suggestion that consciousness is illusory i.e. it's a label / model / classification of self-monitoring systems / processes... yes, I can relate to that.

I have not read a lot of Dennett so it would be ignorant to make a statement on whether my idea of the illusory self is similar to his. Do you have a short primer, or something I could read to get up to speed on his theory of consciousness?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2015, 05:33 PM
RE: What are your opinions on enlightenment/self-realization and what are they based on?
(02-02-2015 05:17 PM)Spirtic Wrote:  So, the "spiritual recognition of what we are" is both an acknowledgement that we are awareness existing,

I might agree with that; still not entirely sure what you mean by it though.

Quote: and that we are not a separate self.

That is even less clear. When you say that, and "we are not apart from the universe" are you just saying that conciousness is a product of the physical brain which is a part of the universe? Or are you saying that conciousness is part of some greater conciousness? If the latter, I don't see any evidence of that.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: