Sometimes a good question can better direct your thinking than a thousand answers
Category Archives: Meaning
Non-dual spirituality non-self vs Atheist non-self
When you believe* in the spiritual concept of ‘liberation’ i.e. a recognition/realisation of the delusion of a separate self, but you don’t have ‘life after death’ beliefs e.g. a belief in heaven, reincarnation etc. – then ‘liberation’ amounts to this:
1) either ‘dying’ when you die i.e. the concept of a separate self dies when your body dies – as for most people
2) or ‘dying’ a few years before you die i.e. the concept of a separate self dies and one’s own experience is transformed into ‘life experiencing life’
Given that for these people liberation only amounts to a few years of changed experience (often quite joyful) … does ‘liberation’ actually amount to much anyway? Is it actually such a ‘big deal’?
Presumably this is ‘something’ like the way Sam Harris (an atheist philosopher) and Tony Parsons (a ‘liberated’ ‘person’) experience the world (at least sometimes during meditation in the case of the former, permanently in the case of the later).
Since neither ‘believe’ in free-will, do they both doubt that you can ‘do’ anything about the outcome either?
* Strictly speaking – perhaps its not appropriate to refer to spiritual teachers as ‘believing’ certain words such as those written here – since they would say that this is the way they ‘experience’ reality – not a set of beliefs they have ‘about’ reality.
If meaning depends on thought, does that mean that when I stop thinking life becomes meaningless?
It sometimes takes communicating a thought in writing or speech, to realise how wrong it was. Unexpressed, there’s no reality-test.
‘All’ ‘words’ ‘are’ ‘in’ ‘scare’ ‘quotes’ ‘whether’ ‘we’ ‘like’ ‘it’ ‘or’ ‘not’. ‘Qualifications’ ‘can’ ‘never’ ‘be’ ‘final’.
Its extraordinary that the two capacities we value most as part of being ‘human’ – our consciousness* and our free-will – appear to be unnecessary for evolution, seem extremely difficult to understand and may not even exist (at least in the case of free-will).
* Some might say e.g. ‘love’ is most central to being human, but what would ‘love’ be if we didn’t have the capacity to experience it i.e. consciousness?
To say that you are ‘spiritual, but not religious’ could simply mean: “I am good and not bad. Please approve of me”. But it could also mean something deeper e.g. “I am willing to undermine/let go of the beliefs I already have, as an alternative to continually reinforcing old beliefs and adopting new ones” or “I am willing to try ‘wanting what I get’ (accepting) as an alternative to ‘getting what I want’ (striving)”.
… An ordinary life has become synonymous with a meaningless life …