Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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AWE


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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #1
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

I found this article in The Guardian today and would like to share it: It's about the feeling K spoke of with the diminishing of self when turning a corner and encountering a mountain or when holding one's baby for the first time. It is about many of this type of experiencing which some describe as 'spiritual.'

Awe: the powerful emotion with strange and beautiful effects

Oliver Burkeman

The other day, I got fairly decisively lost while hiking in the French Pyrénées. Not seriously lost, since I had a functioning iPhone, and was never much more than an hour’s walk from a road where, in a crisis, I could doubtless have flagged down a grudging French motorist. (Is there any other kind?) But just lost enough to feel the first frisson of something like fear: enough to be reminded that mountain ranges are very large and solid things, whereas I am a tiny and fragile thing, and that it takes a vanishingly small amount of effort on the part of a mountain range to kill a human.

I say “something like fear”, incidentally, because the experience wasn’t wholly unpleasant: the frisson had a distinctly pleasurable component. Actually, there’s a word for this combination of terror, euphoria and smallness in the face of vastness, which constitutes the oddest and least understood of emotions: awe.

If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t need psychological research to convince you that you need more awe in your life: a trip to Yosemite or the Sheeps Head Peninsula, or merely watching the BBC’s Planet Earth or The Cave of Forgotten Dreams ought to do the trick. But here’s some psychological research for you anyway: according to work recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which I found via Smithsonian magazine, feeling awe in the face of overwhelming natural environments is associated with more “pro-social” behaviors of generosity and kindness.

In one part of the study, participants who spent time looking upwards at high eucalyptus trees were more likely to help a researcher who had dropped some equipment than were those who looked at a building. In another, watching clips from Planet Earth triggered more altruistic attitudes. “By diminishing the emphasis on the individual self”, researcher Paul Piff was quoted as saying, “awe may encourage people to forgo strict self-interest to improve the welfare of others.”
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Perhaps it’s not surprising that awe has strange effects on us; after all, it’s a pretty strange phenomenon. The late psychologist Paul Pearsall – who did much to campaign for its recognition as an additional “official” emotion, alongside mainstream psychology’s accepted ones – noted that awe cannot be categorized as wholly negative or positive: the mixture of the two is fundamental. Relatedly, it isn’t provoked only by experiences we’d categorize as positive: glorious natural scenes prompt awe, but so can the recognition of mortality brought about by the diagnosis of a potentially fatal disease. Crucially, in the new study, pro-social attitudes were associated with awe felt in the presence of natural beauty and natural disasters. Both are vivid reminders of the smallness of the individual self.

Pearsall also coined my favorite neologism, “openture”, as the opposite of “closure” – a mindset of actively welcoming awe, of being committed to fully experiencing everything that can be experienced, not just life’s good bits. He even writes of experiencing awe, and of “feel[ing] more alive than I’ve ever felt”, after discovering the body of his adult son, who had committed suicide.

I admit to feeling a little ambivalence about the burgeoning psychological research on awe – which, as Smithsonian magazine notes, has already been found to boost creativity, improve physical immunity and enhance the sense of having an abundance of time. Staunch supporter of scientific research though I am, I can’t help but feel a tension between awe itself – predicated on humility in the face of ungraspable vastness – and the attempt to pin that vastness down, to render it tame by understanding it.

I know many New Atheists disagree, taking this position to be tantamount to belief in supernatural forces. But to visit Yosemite, say, because you’ve heard it’ll make you happier or healthier or more creative is to get things back-to-front. The experience is its own justification.

That said, most of us spend much of our lives trying, in one way or another, to get the world under control, to make reality predictable and explicable and non-intimidating. So it probably can’t hurt to have researchers remind us of the vast emotional rewards that come from realizing we never will.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #2
Thumb_stringio Bobby D United States 589 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

For as long as I can remember, thunderstorms, and the threat of severe storms and violent weather have always put me into a state of total relaxation. Particularly, tornadoes.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #3
Thumb_stringio Frank Smith United States 32 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Bobby D wrote:
For as long as I can remember, thunderstorms, and the threat of severe storms and violent weather have always put me into a state of total relaxation. Particularly, tornadoes.

Ah, egos are amusing creatures, aren't they?

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #4
Thumb_stringio Bobby D United States 589 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Frank Smith wrote:
Ah, egos are amusing creatures, aren't they?

You sure you want to be inviting my kind of abuse on yourself, steve-o?

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #5
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 5845 posts in this forum Offline

Pavil Davidov wrote:
. . . most of us spend much of our lives trying, in one way or another, to get the world under control . . . we never will.

The chaos and confusion of the present springs from our bringing a non-existent past into the present. We do this through thinking and thought, and the past brought forward results in disharmony, lack of control and violence.

Why is this so? Because the natural order of evolution and progression is from the present to the past, not from the past to the present. We can only progress from where we are, the present. We do not start from yesterday and progress from where we were yesterday.

And the present is moving, forever new, accessible only with awareness and not with memory and thought.

max

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #6
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Frank Smith wrote:
Ah, egos are amusing creatures, aren't they?

Yes, to other egos. But if you've nothing to say, say nothing.

Stay off this thread, Steve.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #7
Thumb_stringio Joan Galbraith France 713 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Bobby D wrote:
You sure you want to be inviting my kind of abuse on yourself,

If you're talking to Frank; why wouldn't he? Firstly its past applications seem to have failed to dent him at all, and secondly he's doubtless picked-up on how the unfailingly positive nature of your reception of anything and everything Pavil says must surely reflect the unhealthy but (obviously) abiding awe you hold him in. He's probably noticed also how you stay silent every time your champion's ideas get debunked. Just suggesting. Frank himself alone will know of course.

This post was last updated by Joan Galbraith (account deleted) Tue, 18 Aug 2015.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #8
Thumb_stringio Joan Galbraith France 713 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Pavil Davidov wrote:
Stay off this thread, Steve.

Lol... Only agreement with the narrative is welcome and/or acceptable.

This post was last updated by Joan Galbraith (account deleted) Tue, 18 Aug 2015.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #9
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Bobby D wrote:
For as long as I can remember, thunderstorms, and the threat of severe storms and violent weather have always put me into a state of total relaxation.

Thunderstorms seem to have different affects on different people. We get them most evenings in the summer here in Sao Paulo. I know when one's coming. I get very agitated. Then when it breaks I relax totally. But this isn't 'awe' exactly. What happens before an electric storm is that you get a build-up of negative ions in the atmosphere. Lightening is a plasma, which means in this case, a stream of negative ions grounding themselves to Earth. Our psychic activity is also electric and gets disturbed by the ionic excess. It's a relief when it disperses.

Awe is like the "wow" feeling . . . or in the case of spiritual hitchhikers, the "woo" feeling. In the latter case, it seems to be a particular addiction to spiritual experience. But I guess such feelings can also be induced by thunderstorms, especially when trees and roofs start flying about - but then that's the "whoosh" feeling :-)

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #10
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Joan Galbraith wrote:
Lol... Only agreement with the narrative is welcome and/or acceptable.

Not at all John. But in post 3 Steve started a personal attack on another poster. I said, if he's nothing to say on the subject of "awe" he should better say nothing. Same goes for you.

You two turn every thread you enter on, into shit pie.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #11
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Joan Galbraith wrote:
If you're talking to Frank; why wouldn't he? Firstly its past applications seem to have failed to dent him at all, and secondly he's doubtless picked-up on how the unfailingly positive nature of your reception of anything and everything Pavil says must surely reflect the unhealthy but (obviously) abiding awe you hold him in. He's probably noticed also how you stay silent every time your champion's ideas get debunked. Just suggesting. Frank himself alone will know of course.

John . . . nothing personal of course but, go fuck yourself.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #12
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5853 posts in this forum Offline

Bobby D wrote:
For as long as I can remember, thunderstorms, and the threat of severe storms and violent weather have always put me into a state of total relaxation

I've felt that way too ever since I was a little kid. The gathering storm and all that stuff. Here in the mountains in the summer it can be particularly dramatic seeing the cumulus clouds build up over the mountains, the winds picking-up, the wildlife heading for shelter, the earth waiting for the release of all that energy. Thrilling.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #13
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5853 posts in this forum Offline

Joan Galbraith wrote:
Lol... Only agreement with the narrative is welcome and/or acceptable.

No that is not what Paul said. It's not a question of agreeing or not agreeing but rather Steve, in his infinite ignorance, tried to insult another poster. If you can't stay up with the conversation, Joanie, then remain silent.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #14
Thumb_stringio Joan Galbraith France 713 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Pavil Davidov wrote:
You two turn every thread you enter on, into shit pie.

Dually based thought isn't what does it then, you'd say?

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #15
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

max greene wrote:
Because the natural order of evolution and progression is from the present to the past, not from the past to the present.

.xaM ,ereht tuoba gniklat er'uoy tahw wonk t'nod yllaer I

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

This post was last updated by Pavil Davidov (account deleted) Tue, 18 Aug 2015.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #16
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5853 posts in this forum Offline

Joan Galbraith wrote:
If you're talking to Frank; why wouldn't he? Firstly its past applications seem to have failed to dent him at all

That is because of one of two reasons: First Steve is your invention (which I do believe he is) or that Steve is so devoid of awareness, so completely blank mentally, that he doesn't know when he is being insulted.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #17
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Joan Galbraith wrote:
Dually based thought isn't what does it then, you'd say?

I refer you back to post 11 and invite you to live it.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #18
Thumb_stringio Joan Galbraith France 713 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
No that is not what Paul said. It's not a question of agreeing or not agreeing but rather Steve, in his infinite ignorance, tried to insult another poster.

It rather seems to me you must feel he succeeded.

Jack, most of your posts are directly grossly insulting.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #19
Thumb_stringio Bobby D United States 589 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Joan Galbraith wrote:
If you're talking to Frank; why wouldn't he? Firstly its past applications seem to have failed to dent him at all,

Failed to dent him eh? You saying that you've never seen him cry like a little baby when no one takes him seriously enough. He whines to the mod, calls the mod names, cries to me for being mean to him because, after all...he is a serious inquirer. Then he ultimately cries his way off the board...leaves...then comes back under a different name? But it's failed to dent him. Right. lol

Joan Galbraith wrote:
He's probably noticed also how you stay silent every time your champion's ideas get debunked. Just suggesting. Frank himself alone will know of course.

I know that you are too involved with yourself to see this john but...you may want to pay attention to the fact that, when you get your ass handed to you in a debate, combined with my online sentiments towards you...you are the one that in fact "goes away" for brief periods. At which time I leave because my service to those that have rational views they want to discuss on this board, unencumbered by your madly irrational and delusionally disruptive presence, is no longer warranted. As long as you are gone, john...I am gone. When you come back, like you have here recently...then I will be here. So...in essence john, I am your follower. Such irony! Bwaaaahaaa. You are the reason I am active on these boards again wild man. lol.

How do you like them apples, sunshine? It's true. You are the pimple on the ass of society...and I am the treatment. I am here to make you go away. I feel responsible, as I am the reason you reared your ugly little head on this forum in the first place. I follow you because you followed me. And here we all are living in the yellow submarine. lol.

And if you think these are just ravings of a mad man....good! Take the intensity of that reality and multiply it by 1000 and you may realize just how delusional and idiotic you look. I am your mirror, whack job.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #20
Thumb_dev Dev Singh United States 48 posts in this forum Offline

I have removed both Frank/Steve and Joan/John from the forum.

From here on out, anyone who doesn't have the sensitivity to recognize which threads they should or should not participate in will suffer the same fate.

Dev

Kinfonet Admin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #21
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 5845 posts in this forum Offline

Pavil,

Now that these distractions are out of our hair (Oops! You said you are bald. Sorry.) and you have had an opportunity to reflect, care to comment further on post 5?

max

This post was last updated by max greene Tue, 18 Aug 2015.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #22
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

max greene wrote:
The chaos and confusion of the present springs from our bringing a non-existent past into the present.

OK, Max, since you've asked me to respond to this post, I will:

Though the past does not exist now, except as memory, it did exist then. Your confusion springs from your conviction that the past did not ever exist. There was no yesterday and will be no tomorrow. It will always be today. That type of reasoning was explored relentlessly and with great humour in Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and I'm a great admirer of the book. It is summed up in the phrase, "Jam every other day."

max greene wrote:
We do this through thinking and thought, and the past brought forward results in disharmony, lack of control and violence.

Whilst I do agree that thinking and thought always involve the past and whilst I also agree that bringing in the past can cause "chaos and confusion" I do not agree this is necessarily so. It depends on how conscious we are that the past is being brought in and how consciously and carefully we apply the past in a way which does not determine or override the present but informs it.

max greene wrote:
Why is this so? Because the natural order of evolution and progression is from the present to the past, not from the past to the present.

I really have no idea why time-reversal is a concern here, Max, and I do not understand your point at all, even thought you've now started a thread to develop it. It seems ludicrous. I'm sorry.

max greene wrote:
We can only progress from where we are, the present.

Of course, but where we are is often stuck in the past, psychologically speaking. We are stuck with our bundle. That's the problem. The past bundle is carried into the present because we did not release it in the past. But it can be released, instantly, at any moment, if and when the process of holding is sufficiently understood. I am sure we've all experienced that in some ways. We just haven't gone the whole hog, irrevocably so. Inertia has taken hold of our brains (I include my own).

max greene wrote:
We do not start from yesterday and progress from where we were yesterday.

Unfortunately we do. Today is a continuation of yesterday unless and until the trajectory of yesterday is totally negated, which it appears we cannot or do not do.

max greene wrote:
And the present is moving, forever new, accessible only with awareness and not with memory and thought.

Without memory and thinking our access to the present is without meaning. A baby has what you are speaking of and is utterly dependent on its carers. It has to build upon its experiences to "progress" as you call it.And in doing so those experiences immediately become personalized because the small child is yet too naive to do otherwise. But if the spark of humanity remains in that child, if it's not knocked out of him, then he has potential to overcome his naivety and not only access the moving present but also understand it.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #23
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Dear Max, with regard to what you term "distractions," may I offer an advice, if you don't mind: This thread has a subject. It's there in the heading. "AWE." Have you anything to say on the subject? If not, you may prefer to keep away. That's simple. Try to relate to the discussion in hand, not always bring everything back to the same thing please. I've responded to all your points so let's leave it there and return to the thread and its subject . . . "AWE."

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

This post was last updated by Pavil Davidov (account deleted) Tue, 18 Aug 2015.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #24
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Dev Singh wrote:
From here on out, anyone who doesn't have the sensitivity to recognize which threads they should or should not participate in will suffer the same fate.

Point taken.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 #25
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 5845 posts in this forum Offline

Pavil Davidov wrote:
Your confusion springs from your conviction that the past did not ever exist.

Have you ever lived in a past? Has anyone? Everyone lives, and has lived, in the present. No past ever "existed."

Pavil Davidov wrote:
Whilst I do agree that thinking and thought always involve the past and whilst I also agree that bringing in the past can cause "chaos and confusion" I do not agree this is necessarily so.

Thinking and thought are the self -- separative, limited and protective. The attempt to impose the self's version of the past on the present is a distortion of the present to fit the past -- and the self, when pressed, resorts to violence.

Pavil Davidov wrote:
. . . where we are is often stuck in the past, psychologically speaking.

It is impossible to be stuck in the past, either physically or psychologically. Thinking, which is the psychological, must take place in the present or not at all.

Pavil Davidov wrote:
Without memory and thinking our access to the present is without meaning.

Memory is recalled in the present, and acted upon with awareness. That is the proper use of memory.


Oops. Just saw your subsequent post. Well, I'll post this anyway.

max

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 #26
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

max greene wrote:
Oops. Just saw your subsequent post. Well, I'll post this anyway.

OK, but I won't respond to your comments for reasons given.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 #27
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

I was just reading something that created that feeling of 'awe' in me. Here it is. The article is about scientists who report they have created an almost fully developed human brain, in a laboratory, from skin cells converted into stem cells and given the necessary environment to induce those stem cells to grow into a brain, even down to the optic nerve and so on. They say they need to develop a heart next in order to bring the brain to the next stage. This isn't science fiction.

Now, what do your think they'll use this brain for? Well, the article says they can use it to help fight disease and all that but no, they'll use it for military research.

But just imagine the feeling those scientists got, standing in the lab with this human brain, grown from scratch. And there it is in front of you, life. But it's not connected to a body and has no sensory input. One nevertheless asks, what is its potential? Has it intelligence? What is the future? Sentient machines with lab-grown human brains?

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

This post was last updated by Pavil Davidov (account deleted) Wed, 19 Aug 2015.

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 #28
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

"As we were talking, for no reason, for what we were talking about was not too serious, out of some unapproachable depths suddenly one felt this immense flame of power, destructive in its creation. It was the power that existed before all things came into being; it was unapproachable and by its very strength one could not come near it. Nothing exists but that one thing. Immensity and awe.

"Part of this experience must have “continued” while asleep for on waking early this morning it was there and the intensity of the process had awakened one. It is beyond all thought and words to describe what’s going on, the strangeness of it and the love, the beauty of it. No imagination could ever build all this up nor is it an illusion; the strength and the purity of it is not for a make-believe mind-brain. It’s beyond and above all faculties of man."

Krishnamurti's Notebook (40) 29th

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 #29
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

"What we don't understand, we either worship or destroy. We put it in a church, in a temple, or in a dark corner of the mind, and hold it in awe; or we kick it, throw it away; or we escape from it."

Eighth Talk in Saanen, 1964

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 #30
Thumb_stringio Pavil Davidov Poland 4402 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

We see from the above two quotes that although 'awe' may be sourced from genuine experience or from thought, in both cases what is being referred to is an intensity of feeling.

The overpowering of 'self' by the sheer intensity of that feeling of 'awe' is, in itself, a superficial thing. By considering the feeling as of great importance in itself rather than looking at what lies behind it, we venerate the superficial side of experience, the effect. And the ego is easily hooked on effects even when those same effects subdue it, temporarily. It is the excitement that follows that it hooks onto, the excitement of its own dispersal and subsequent re-integration, the excitement the ego finds in its own death and resurrection.

Feelings are not worthy of veneration. Or rather, by venerating them we rob them of their meaning and dress them in other clothes.

"Wherever you go, there you are." Insight from Mullah Nasruddin

This post was last updated by Pavil Davidov (account deleted) Wed, 19 Aug 2015.

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