Zen and The Nothing Person

Anything at all goes here. Keep it clean.

Moderator: Spiritual Do-gooder

User avatar
boda
Posts: 554
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by boda » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:56 pm

Bukowski made the following claim yesterday that I found to be unusual and I wanted to explore the meaning of it.
bukowski wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:32 pm
You can sit on your ass, count your breath, (or not count your breath) recite litanies to kanzeon or muddle through koans forever, but if you don't get better at letting go of your own self importance, and your judgements of others, negative or otherwise then it's time to try a new path.
It appears to mean that if we judge others in any way ("negative or otherwise") and don't feel unimportant, then it's time to quit Buddhism and try something else, presumably something that will succeed in making us feel unimportant and unable to judge others in any way.

Incidentally, Clyde interpreted what Bukowski wrote to mean that "if we’re not working on letting go of our attachments we’re not practicing Buddhism."

In any case, it's unclear what a person without attachments, or someone who feels unimportant and unable to judge others would look like. This brought to mind a recent video by Brad Warner where he talks about a study that links meditation to ego inflation. Brad claims, and I agree with his view, that meditation doesn't turn someone into a "nothing person" who shows no sign of likes, dislikes, judgements, or personality.

It's a short video and the relevant portion is only about the first three minutes. I recommend watching it.



Your thoughts?

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by clyde » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:41 pm

There’s a difference between acknowledging judgements and preferences arising, and being attached to them. As Brad said, its not about “getting rid of”, but “understanding what they are.”
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
boda
Posts: 554
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by boda » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:27 pm

clyde wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:41 pm
There’s a difference between acknowledging judgements and preferences arising, and being attached to them. As Brad said, its not about “getting rid of”, but “understanding what they are.”
So how does "letting go of our attachments" fit into this schema? Or more to the point, what does it look like to not be attached to judgements and preferences? Does a person in this condition appear normal or are they more like what Brad calls a "nothing person"?

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by clyde » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:37 pm

Regarding attachments, letting go and understanding are two ways of saying the same thing.

There is no special way a person “in this condition” looks.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
boda
Posts: 554
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by boda » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:41 pm

clyde wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:37 pm
Regarding attachments, letting go and understanding are two ways of saying the same thing.
No, it isn't. For instance, an addict can understand their addition but still be unable to overcome it.
There is no special way a person “in this condition” looks.
How do you know this?

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 1723
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by fuki » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm

What creates attachments are always desires and fears, upon realizing one's true nature there is spontaneous natural total freedom from attachments not prior to Awakening. So to practise for the sake of being free from attachments is ofcourse bondage and self-seeking. Nevertheless with practise comes various insights/fruits etc and certain habits may fall away because they've lost their meaning, instead of being given up. But anyone who thinks he has overcome anything is just living in the past and remains in the grip of self-identification.

And there's no such thing as a "person" a something/nothing person is still a self-view, and all self-definitions are false. It's impossible to define yourself since all definitions in the present cannot exist without the (concept) of the past, being free from attachments does not come with practise.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

User avatar
boda
Posts: 554
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by boda » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:37 pm

fuki wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm
a something/nothing person is still a self-view
Exactly. Whatever a nonjudgmental and egoless person is supposed to be, it's just an idea and another identity that we may grasp at, or for the inverse, push away ("to try a new path").

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 1723
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by fuki » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:33 pm

boda wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:37 pm
Exactly. Whatever a nonjudgmental and egoless person is supposed to be, it's just an idea and another identity that we may grasp at, or for the inverse, push away ("to try a new path").
Yes, it all 'originates' from grasping at form, and I'm including "mental activity" as form or "outward appearance" eventhough most assume that thoughts arising in consciousness are personal and private. In any case such a "person" wouldn't consider him/herself as nonjudgmental and egolessness, only the 'ego' would claim to be egoless or non-judgmental.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

User avatar
bukowski
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:57 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, England.

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by bukowski » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 pm

Hi boda, all. :waving:

I thought the piece i wrote was fairly clear, but just to try to add some context, i was talking about our natural desire to see failings in others whilst being blind to our own failings.

That's it. Nothing much to read into or consider I'm afraid.

Hope that helps

Metta, bukowski. :namaste:

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 1723
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by fuki » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:12 pm

bukowski wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 pm
i was talking about our natural desire to see failings in others whilst being blind to our own failings.
It's a habit we pick up at a very young age, I sometimes observe kindergarden groups just as observing groups of "adults", seems to be the rule more then the exception. It's a habit to talk about others who aren't present to begin with whether "negative" or "positive" the habit is the same.

Self-view needs to be constantly reasserted since it doesn't exist constantly or fixed so to keep the habit of self-identification up one needs to have a concept about others ofcourse or the objective world, since any self-view arises due to conditions, so it doesn't matter whether it's "positive or negative" the mind doesn't discriminate between positive or negative, but an opinion must be formed! :evil:
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

Caodemarte
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:02 pm

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:53 pm

bukowski wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 pm
Hi boda, all. :waving:

I thought the piece i wrote was fairly clear, but just to try to add some context, i was talking about our natural desire to see failings in others whilst being blind to our own failings.

That's it. Nothing much to read into or consider I'm afraid.

Hope that helps

Metta, bukowski. :namaste:
It is true and helpful as well. I would just add to find a new Path “or find a new way to walk the Path you are on.” In any case, if you find that practice is making you more self centered or more hostile or more self deluded then you clearly need to re-examine what you are doing. Most people can find ways to abuse anything, very much including spiritual paths. A good teacher or spirtual friend can help us puncture these delusions.

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by clyde » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:47 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:53 pm
bukowski wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 pm
Hi boda, all. :waving:

I thought the piece i wrote was fairly clear, but just to try to add some context, i was talking about our natural desire to see failings in others whilst being blind to our own failings.

That's it. Nothing much to read into or consider I'm afraid.

Hope that helps

Metta, bukowski. :namaste:
It is true and helpful as well. I would just add to find a new Path “or find a new way to walk the Path you are on.” In any case, if you find that practice is making you more self centered or more hostile or more self deluded then you clearly need to re-examine what you are doing. Most people can find ways to abuse anything, very much including spiritual paths. A good teacher or spirtual friend can help us puncture these delusions.
Yes to that. And to what Fuki wrote too, although I might go further and say that the habit of thinking “positive or negative” has a source or basis in our bodies, whether it’s our physiology, our brains or our DNA.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
boda
Posts: 554
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by boda » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:27 am

Hello Bukowski, and All, :558:
bukowski wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 pm
Hi boda, all. :waving:

I thought the piece i wrote was fairly clear, but just to try to add some context, i was talking about our natural desire to see failings in others whilst being blind to our own failings.

That's it.
This isn’t adding context, rather it’s making a claim that this is all you wrote. That isn’t true.

Studies indicate that we tend focus on negatives or problems, including negatives in people, as a survival mechanism or whatever. Studies also show that our self-assessments tend to be inflated.

I strongly disagree that we have a “natural desire to see failings in others.” That makes no sense. A natural desire would be an evolutionary trait that is beneficial to survival or gene propagation in some way. We’re a social species, which means that we evolved to cooperate. Our survival depended on it, so if anything we should have a natural desire to see the good in others.

I might agree that we have a rather unnatural competitiveness born of capitalist culture where we might desire to see failings in others, so we might exploit them for selfish gain.
Nothing much to read into or consider I'm afraid.
I would urge you to reconsider. As you can see, I considered it and other portions of what you originally posted.

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 1723
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by fuki » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:15 am

clyde wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:47 am
Yes to that. And to what Fuki wrote too, although I might go further and say that the habit of thinking “positive or negative” has a source or basis in our bodies, whether it’s our physiology, our brains or our DNA.
Perhaps Clyde, however we are not our bodies or brain, so it depends whether we take it as our identity, for instance there are 'natural' desires/fears and ''personal'' desires/fears. Seeking errors in others has to do with emotional contractions of the fabricated personality ofcourse. While correcting 'others' in a situation isn't correcting anyone in a dualistic sense but just 'correcting' the situation for the benefit of the collective/universal, which is something we do together, not one who corrects another, it's just working together instead of the activity of an individual correcting another individual.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by clyde » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:05 pm

bukowski wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 pm
I thought the piece i wrote was fairly clear, but just to try to add some context, i was talking about our natural desire to see failings in others whilst being blind to our own failings.
I understood bukowski to be saying that when he was writing his previous post (in another thread), he was thinking about how we see others’ failings while overlooking our own, and sharing this thought was the added context to his previous post.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 958
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:40 pm

boda wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:56 pm
Your thoughts?
Just awaken, and never mind the gradations (our way is to get at the root, not the branches and twigs).

Your teacher will guide you after awakening, as before.

Strong practice,

--Joe

User avatar
boda
Posts: 554
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by boda » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:29 pm

clyde wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:05 pm
bukowski wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 pm
I thought the piece i wrote was fairly clear, but just to try to add some context, i was talking about our natural desire to see failings in others whilst being blind to our own failings.
I understood bukowski to be saying that when he was writing his previous post (in another thread), he was thinking about how we see others’ failings while overlooking our own, and sharing this thought was the added context to his previous post.
You neglect to include the portion immediately following where he says “That’s it.” Clearly there were other thoughts, such as when it’s time for some people to find a different path.

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by clyde » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:03 pm

“That’s it” = “I’ve added all I have to add.”
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
boda
Posts: 554
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by boda » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:48 pm

clyde wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:03 pm
“That’s it” = “I’ve added all I have to add.”
Hmm, and how do you translate what immediately follows that, which is “Nothing much to read into or consider I’m afraid.” It appear to suggest that any thoughts besides what he just claimed are contrived, and this supports my interpretation of “That’s it” to mean that no other thoughts were expressed and not that he’s added all he has to add.

Nothing wrong with saying “I’ve added all I have to add. Nothing much to read into or consider I’m afraid.” though the thoughts are less related than my interpretation.

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 1723
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Re: Zen and The Nothing Person

Post by fuki » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:14 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:40 pm
(our way is to get at the root, not the branches and twigs).
When addicted and enchanted to superimpositions of motion or form there is no true inquiry, copying the teachers instructions is useless then since one can't use consciousness to do or undo anything.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

Post Reply