If you can control thought, you can control your entire existence

RMQualtrough

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That is the reason that meditative practice is a good idea.

Thought is the most powerful thing in our existence. If you are a crazy person and literally think you are the second coming of Jesus, your entire perception of reality will be coloured by your thought that you are Jesus.

For schizophrenics, they might suffer with bad delusions of celebrities and the government stalking them, or demons being out to get them, and that colours their entire experience of life.

If you are distressed about work, or you have certain emotions or thoughts about yourself which are bad and limiting, to recognize that they are thoughts arising and falling away in awareness can allow a person better control over their PERCEPTION of events. The events will not change, if you think you can run faster than a Lamborghini, it will never come to fruition. But a person delusional enough could race a Lambo over and over and find a way to still have this tinted view of reality.

Chris Chan's dimensional merge has failed to come into fruition many times but he still believes.

Most of us are probably not crazy enough to have thoughts that extreme. But for example we might have thoughts like "I want pizza" when we are on a diet. And it's possible to recognize and strip down that desire to nothing more than thoughts and feelings arising in consciousness, and with control it is possible to remove power from these thoughts.

For most of us in a first world country, it is our self who limits our own happiness. When an incel is constantly upset about women, it is the thought of inceldom that is causing distress, the perception of the fact... Because see, even if a person is a permavirgin, they could sit on a park bench looking out over a beautiful landscape. And if those thoughts were controlled and understood to be thoughts and nothing more, there would be nothing to stop them from being happy and joyous in that moment, if the landscape was pleasant to them. It isn't then women who make them sad in that moment - if they had their ideal girlfriend waiting back home, they would not feel bad. So THAT present moment being experienced is in itself peaceful and happy, but tinted with thought and emotion.

On a daily basis I wouldn't be surprised if tens of thousands of thoughts and feelings arose into our conscious awareness. The ability to concentrate mind and to sit with thought and emotion NOT for the objective of making them go away (which is resistance) but being at peace even coinciding with them, can alleviate the felt suffering.
 

Truman the Jewman

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Harness the collective consciousness. Access the "Inland Empire." Collate a spirit bomb, and destroy decadent Western society with it.
- OP, probably
 

RMQualtrough

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Take the meds, for sanity sake.
You get into some wild shit when talking sanity.

Let's say someone is the ugliest motherfucker on the planet. But they are deluded that they look okay. That is a form of insanity. But beneficial to quality of life.

Dependent upon the form of thought there's also an assumption often that consensus = sanity. Presently there is a huge rift between people believing vax conspiracies and people not doing so. Both are entirely convinced their perspective is correct and sane.

But for most of us, controlling thought is simple stuff, like letting go of past failings, getting over feelz for someone, not eating pizza.
 

L50LasPak

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What if peaceful and joyous thoughts are not beneficial at all, and we're merely distorted into thinking they are just because they bring us pleasure?

Similar to the wireheading experiments, where rats had an electrode inserted into their brain so they could press a button and feel pleasure, then proceeded to press the button constantly, neglecting food and even water, until they died of self-neglect in pursuit of endless good feels. What if unrestricted positive thinking works in exactly the same way, providing that sense of fulfillment and satisfaction to a person without putting anything tangible in their hands or actually improving their life in any way? Perhaps unrestricted positive thinking is nothing more than placing yourself in a Skinner Box of your own creation.
 

Cool Username

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Have you ever watched the last episode of Evangelion? They kind of talk about this. Well, they actually talk about how reality depends solely on your perception of it. Reality is perception.
Let's suppose you hate dogs, you see one and you think it's the vilest creature on earth. A dog lover would think it's the noblest animal. The dog is still a dog, but there is one different reality of this same dog for every person who "perceives" it.
I had to study philosophy in college and I'm pretty sure it's a legit philosophical concept. I don't remember the name because I hated that subject, tho.
In my opinion you can "control" your existence (your "reality") which is based on your perception. Now I don't if the perception is based on your thoughts or the other way around. I sucked at Philosophy.
 

Fucky Chucky

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What if peaceful and joyous thoughts are not beneficial at all, and we're merely distorted into thinking they are just because they bring us pleasure?

Similar to the wireheading experiments, where rats had an electrode inserted into their brain so they could press a button and feel pleasure, then proceeded to press the button constantly, neglecting food and even water, until they died of self-neglect in pursuit of endless good feels. What if unrestricted positive thinking works in exactly the same way, providing that sense of fulfillment and satisfaction to a person without putting anything tangible in their hands or actually improving their life in any way? Perhaps unrestricted positive thinking is nothing more than placing yourself in a Skinner Box of your own creation.
This is what has always bothered me about eastern religion. If suffering is a self imposed illusion then its existence is an obstacle to be moved around. Christianity seemed to get to the meat of the problem by simply insisting that suffering is meaningful and must be imbued with the right value in order to be good. Ether way, these are conceptual frameworks around the phenomenon.
 

The Great Chandler

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This is what has always bothered me about eastern religion. If suffering is a self imposed illusion then its existence is an obstacle to be moved around. Christianity seemed to get to the meat of the problem by simply insisting that suffering is meaningful and must be imbued with the right value in order to be good. Ether way, these are conceptual frameworks around the phenomenon.
I agree with Christianity's assessment (though it's more of a belief from the Persian Zoroastrianism) that suffering has a meaning and that having a set of strong ethics can make one's life or faith more enjoyable.

Like yeah! Suffering sucks! But without it, you wouldn't really be living either. Suffering makes people want to groove, improve, or at least do things that keep your mind off of what the hell is going on! Y'know?
 

Fucky Chucky

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I agree with Christianity's assessment (though it's more of a belief from the Persian Zoroastrianism) that suffering has a meaning and that having a set of strong ethics can make one's life or faith more enjoyable.

Like yeah! Suffering sucks! But without it, you wouldn't really be living either. Suffering makes people want to groove, improve, or at least do things that keep your mind off of what the hell is going on! Y'know?
I think I do, but I don't know dick about Zoroastrianism.
 

toledo

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This is what has always bothered me about eastern religion. If suffering is a self imposed illusion then its existence is an obstacle to be moved around. Christianity seemed to get to the meat of the problem by simply insisting that suffering is meaningful and must be imbued with the right value in order to be good. Ether way, these are conceptual frameworks around the phenomenon.
Buddhism doesn't say that suffering is a self-imposed illusion, just simply that there are plenty of forms of discomfort and anguish and dissatisfaction that can be overcome or at least reduced by changes in lifestyle and mindset. This is a rather optimistic take. Christianity similarly argues that there is sin, struggle, and pain in life, and not always for any good reason, but it can be endured or overcame. In any regard, both Buddhism and Christianity say that individual struggling and suffering are only overcame ultimately, after someone successfully follows the religion, in the next life.

I agree with Christianity's assessment (though it's more of a belief from the Persian Zoroastrianism) that suffering has a meaning and that having a set of strong ethics can make one's life or faith more enjoyable.

Like yeah! Suffering sucks! But without it, you wouldn't really be living either. Suffering makes people want to groove, improve, or at least do things that keep your mind off of what the hell is going on! Y'know?
no pain, no gain, right? I agree with you that, without struggling, people don't grow and evolve. An easy example is the pain someone can feel when they lose someone or their house burns down, etc. The pain they feel wouldn't have came without the love they got from that thing. But there's that old quote, "tis better to have loved and lost..."
 

Fucky Chucky

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Buddhism doesn't say that suffering is a self-imposed illusion, just simply that there are plenty of forms of discomfort and anguish and dissatisfaction that can be overcome or at least reduced by changes in lifestyle and mindset. This is a rather optimistic take. Christianity similarly argues that there is sin, struggle, and pain in life, and not always for any good reason, but it can be endured or overcame. In any regard, both Buddhism and Christianity say that individual struggling and suffering are only overcame ultimately, after someone successfully follows the religion, in the next life.


no pain, no gain, right? I agree with you that, without struggling, people don't grow and evolve. An easy example is the pain someone can feel when they lose someone or their house burns down, etc. The pain they feel wouldn't have came without the love they got from that thing. But there's that old quote, "tis better to have loved and lost..."
All spiritual traditions need to deal with suffering and loss. I think that the last few hundred years reveal to us what is the superior view of suffering, though it may be less optimal for the individual believers in such things.
 

RMQualtrough

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What if peaceful and joyous thoughts are not beneficial at all, and we're merely distorted into thinking they are just because they bring us pleasure?

Similar to the wireheading experiments, where rats had an electrode inserted into their brain so they could press a button and feel pleasure, then proceeded to press the button constantly, neglecting food and even water, until they died of self-neglect in pursuit of endless good feels. What if unrestricted positive thinking works in exactly the same way, providing that sense of fulfillment and satisfaction to a person without putting anything tangible in their hands or actually improving their life in any way? Perhaps unrestricted positive thinking is nothing more than placing yourself in a Skinner Box of your own creation.
Peace is actually not an emotion but the lack of anxiety and desire (in the most extreme cases during a mystical experience). That experiment sounds more akin to something like being addicted to heroin or meth though? Like constant dopamine spikes or something.

For some people the idea that life doesn't have inherent meaning is horrifying. For others it is liberating. Really, some form of "this is what you must do in life" from a higher power is like a divine dictatorship rather than true freedom.

It is kind of a separate topic because you are discussing things through a lens of personal perspective. Did the Buddha or Adi Shankara live meaningless lives because they'd sit on some rocks in silence? To most of us we see that as bad. But it is only the subjective interpretation we have and not necessarily what is experienced by these individuals. Actually if monks did not find sitting in silence etc fulfilling they simply wouldn't do it... In many sects there is no reincarnation based on being good or bad in life so it's not just like something done for some sort of afterlife prize.

Joyous emotion is not actually the major goal of these traditions, but the end of suffering. For me what is more important is understanding reality and what I fundamentally am. But the understanding seems to come WITH some of these skills unexpectedly.
 

RMQualtrough

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This is what has always bothered me about eastern religion. If suffering is a self imposed illusion then its existence is an obstacle to be moved around. Christianity seemed to get to the meat of the problem by simply insisting that suffering is meaningful and must be imbued with the right value in order to be good. Ether way, these are conceptual frameworks around the phenomenon.
An obstacle to be moved around by what? These religions are not making you "gain", it is more like removing the self from the equation, which is loss. Uhm, put another way, as you said it is "illusion", all that is happening is the illusion is being seen through. It's not that anything has changed, it is the realization of the truth of what you truly are.

In the first step of understanding, and this can be known by anyone right now in obvious fashion, for every thought there is thinker. For every observed there is observer. Your "am"ness is the latter. The "I AM" that is being, comes from awareness. Not from the objects you are aware of. So you understand first to differentiate that which observes with that which is observed.

So when feeling sad a person may believe "I AM sad", literally as if to say what they fundamentally are is sad. And yet when sadness goes away and a different emotion takes its place, we find we have not gone anywhere... These objects of awareness are finite and temporary. You are the awareness itself which observes them. Awareness is never itself sad or happy or anything, it just "is". Which is peace because peace is negation of emotion not a separate emotion.

This does not mean you do nothing about X or Y situation, but it is an important step in control over mind and a key step in understanding to switch identification from objects of the finite limited self from consciousness. The consciousness itself being fundamentally peaceful and without suffering.

Later in understanding, even this duality is collapsed. And it is understood that there is no distinct subject and object but that the object IS the activity of the subject. Like a movie playing on a screen... First a person might say "hey, look, notice that this movie is appearing on a screen". Later it is like "hey, look, notice that the movie is a modulation OF the screen (its pixels being lit up different colors etc)..." Awareness cannot know experience in infinity or in nonduality. Only from apparent duality.

Next time you wake from a dream, I want you to consider how throughout that dream you saw the landscape as something separate and different from your character's viewpoint. Even though it was all demonstrably one thing (your mind). There was never anything to the dream BUT mind. And then try to see if you can understand the same possibility about what you call the waking world, you may consider it to take place in something like God's mind to use religious terminology.
 

RMQualtrough

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Buddhism doesn't say that suffering is a self-imposed illusion, just simply that there are plenty of forms of discomfort and anguish and dissatisfaction that can be overcome or at least reduced by changes in lifestyle and mindset. This is a rather optimistic take. Christianity similarly argues that there is sin, struggle, and pain in life, and not always for any good reason, but it can be endured or overcame. In any regard, both Buddhism and Christianity say that individual struggling and suffering are only overcame ultimately, after someone successfully follows the religion, in the next life.


no pain, no gain, right? I agree with you that, without struggling, people don't grow and evolve. An easy example is the pain someone can feel when they lose someone or their house burns down, etc. The pain they feel wouldn't have came without the love they got from that thing. But there's that old quote, "tis better to have loved and lost..."
Just to differentiate, in Buddhism next life is not an idea in every sect of that religion.

The idea of most nondual schools is that all things are experienced by the true Self (or in Buddhism not that either because of Anatta AKA no-self) simultaneously and you yourself are merely a finite object.

In other words you might fall asleep and dream you are Robert walking in New York. But there is no Robert or New York, only your mind. Robert was always you. New York was always you. And as such no specific character exists in a fashion where they are ever not the dreamer, no matter how good or bad they are. There is nothing to judge because the essential nature of all things is one and the same. Notice you could dream of fighting against Hitler. When you wake even Hitler collapses into the self. Because there was no Hitler. Lmao.

If you were sat down with a terrorist for a conversation, you could note that your demeanour and ideas are very different. Extremely. Yet you both share the identical essence of "AMness", which is awareness. Everything terrorist about them is merely an apparition on top OF that Am-ness which you both are. If you remove everything terrorist from the terrorist and everything pastor from a pastor, to the very essence of their being (pure consciousness), where is there a distinction? And therefore what then is there to judge?
 

L50LasPak

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It is kind of a separate topic because you are discussing things through a lens of personal perspective. Did the Buddha or Adi Shankara live meaningless lives because they'd sit on some rocks in silence? To most of us we see that as bad. But it is only the subjective interpretation we have and not necessarily what is experienced by these individuals. Actually if monks did not find sitting in silence etc fulfilling they simply wouldn't do it...
I will never understand this interpretation. Just because people do a thing and believe in a thing does not mean that thing actually has meaning or provides any tangible benefit. Human beings are inherently flawed, and as such it is always possible that they are just wrong about their interpretation of something, no matter how much time and effort they've put behind it. I submit that it is absolutely possible that the great gurus of ages past did waste their time sitting on rocks, and that they still did it anyway. Its possible some of them were even aware of the futility of such an act.

That experiment sounds more akin to something like being addicted to heroin or meth though? Like constant dopamine spikes or something.
Something else interesting that came out that experiment is that when it was inevitably conducted on humans, the test subjects didn't just report a feeling of pleasure or euphoria, some of them did indeed report a feeling of peace or relief instead. Just about the only good thing to come out of the experiments is that doctors are looking at wireheading as a treatment for patients with chronic pain such as cancer patients as an alternative to heavy painkiller use. Its worth noting that heroin addicts and other painkiller addicts also report a feeling of relief upon using rather outright pleasure, including a strong lack of anxiety.

My point stands that just arbitrarily reinterpreting your perception of reality produces a result comparable to this experiment. Its not just euphoria, but also that lessening of anxiety, or even the false belief that one has achieved higher understanding (how many out there claim heavy drug use has allowed them to obtain enlightenment?), all of these things can be obtained by just tricking your brain into thinking them, either via chemicals or via strong regimentation of thought patterns, though the latter is the harder to do.

Christianity seemed to get to the meat of the problem by simply insisting that suffering is meaningful and must be imbued with the right value in order to be good
I'll be the first to admit that my worldview still allows for the possibility that suffering is still pointless even with all this in mind.
 

RMQualtrough

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I will never understand this interpretation. Just because people do a thing and believe in a thing does not mean that thing actually has meaning or provides any tangible benefit. Human beings are inherently flawed, and as such it is always possible that they are just wrong about their interpretation of something, no matter how much time and effort they've put behind it. I submit that it is absolutely possible that the great gurus of ages past did waste their time sitting on rocks, and that they still did it anyway. Its possible some of them were even aware of the futility of such an act.

Something else interesting that came out that experiment is that when it was inevitably conducted on humans, the test subjects didn't just report a feeling of pleasure or euphoria, some of them did indeed report a feeling of peace or relief instead. Just about the only good thing to come out of the experiments is that doctors are looking at wireheading as a treatment for patients with chronic pain such as cancer patients as an alternative to heavy painkiller use. Its worth noting that heroin addicts and other painkiller addicts also report a feeling of relief upon using rather outright pleasure, including a strong lack of anxiety.

My point stands that just arbitrarily reinterpreting your perception of reality produces a result comparable to this experiment. Its not just euphoria, but also that lessening of anxiety, or even the false belief that one has achieved higher understanding (how many out there claim heavy drug use has allowed them to obtain enlightenment?), all of these things can be obtained by just tricking your brain into thinking them, either via chemicals or via strong regimentation of thought patterns, though the latter is the harder to do.

I'll be the first to admit that my worldview still allows for the possibility that suffering is still pointless even with all this in mind.
I wrote a lot earlier on Reddit about WHY psychedelic drug trips can bring legitimate glimpses into the same thing come upon by monks and sages.

Your brain simply can't be tricked into knowing that it is conscious. This is the experience we are talking about, not being away with the fairies in fractal-land but the essence of your very existence. The premise of meditation and the practice of it, is because despite that intellectual knowledge that "I am aware", the experience OF it is a different animal entirely and VERY difficult to experience. To explain total death of the ego is at a certain stage impossible to even verbalize, because what it is precedes conceptual thinking (I have not personally reached that level). To experience your awareness in a near-pure form where almost nothing remains often takes years of dedicated meditative practice (almost nothing because total nothingness is experienced as general anaesthetic or "Nirodha Samapatti", time skips). Any path to a mystical experience has the same exact end result because you only experience one awareness, so there is only one thing to be shown.

It is knowably genuine because you aren't being shown something new. It's what is inherent to the core of your being. In fact awareness has been first and foremost in every experience that you have ever had since birth, and will continue to precede all of your experience until death. Don't underestimate the power of being shown your own being.

I have written a number of good analogies to demonstrate this which I can share.
 

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Nothing exists; even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others.
 

RMQualtrough

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Nothing exists; even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others.
I have a soft spot for absolute literal nothingness. I feel it holds extreme explanatory power in explaining reality.