Saturday, September 3, 2016

your turn #2 (we moved to room 8202) update today

rené magritte, 1935

UPDATE: today, tuesday. big portion of the class addressing the upanishads. this thursday we keep at it.

very good points!

we're all learning. we're all students. we're right even if we are wrong.

just as this is the best of all possible worlds (though this world may suck sometimes).

my job in this class is to problematize the issues, to listen and learn. don't worry, we have to get used to a new philosophical jargon. break the resistance.

ideas being fluttered around in class:

damah: "self governance"
the "experience unexperienced"
bhakti: the importance of joy.
"am just the unaffected ground where all consuming is consumed" 
are we god? yes. remember: the hindu way is enstasis (going inside) as opposed to extasis (christian way). they're both valid.

if i forgot something you can address it.

the metaphysics in hinduism builds around dualities: atman/brahman, kharma/dharma, maya/reality, dukkha/bhakti,

many of your comments addressed undeniable tensions.

the problem of free will vs. kharma,

the problem of dukkha,

reincarnation as literal or metaphoric,

which brings me to maya (the veil of illusions) 

1- we're here to fulfill our kharma (our cosmic debt from previous lives). so, our being here is necessary and unavoidable, and yet, we remain unaware. we don't feel as if we deserve this. the idea of cause/effect goes unnoticed. this is a result of our avidya (or ignorance).

(maya plays a part here).

while it's true that we're here to fulfill our kharma, it's no less true that simultaneously we are here to change our future's kharma.

what's the vehicle? our dharma. the reality and the duties thereof that we have to live with. "duty" is our embeddedness, what we come with here. we have to work with what we have. for example: if i have a brother with a disability i have no choice but deal with that. if i've a klineferter DNA predisposition there's nothing i can do about it, etc.

2- samsara is the wheel that keeps this universe going. we're inside it. yet, are we not all brahman? is not my atman yours and yours mine and both ours HIS? since the only thing we have in this phenomenal realm are our actions, it's through actions that we find a path to realization or more suffering. the path is moksha.

what's on your mind? you can address any topic from our last two classes. tuesday we'll read from the Upanishads.


felipe rios said...

The terror of darkness unveils the horrors of the night...

If there is to be a god, what a god!
Picture yourself as the whole and absolute root and sum of all good and evil, of what is and what is not. The wholeness of the whole and everything there is to be, and even the things that just because of distance we will never get to see. the ensemble of god and it all. Then comes the universe, the galaxies and stars, planets and species, amongst them humans. The universe or god's own fabric of creation sprouted little sections of itself into men. We all are crumbles of this fabric of universal and eternal existence separated from itself, alienated into an individual and very personal point of view. God must have decided at some point that it was not ungodly to separate from itself into an individual shape and thinking in order to live itself and understand what itself is made of, its taste, smell and tenderness. And as long as we stay here we all shall be victims of our own virtue by "laws" of kharma and dharma, and by means of brhaman and atman...

If there is a god other than me in this world it must be a woman or of some female nature of sorts... otherwise I would not be the kind of man I am, and to her I would say:

She has:

The magic of
Furtive love
Golden looks with
Mysterious touch
If she arrives
We all lose control
And deserve her kiss
For guilt is not enough
To hold everyone's lust
When the conscience stops
While our hearts push
To the sweet abyss
of her tender kiss

Daniel Montes said...

The Apanishads were extremely interesting and finally gave me a better understanding of Atman and Braman, that wasn’t so logical. We talked about how everyone of is connected to one another, how we feel this when we go to concerts or sporting events we all feel connected to something that is beyond our self’s. To reach this point of connectivity though, we must first know our self’s which opens us up to the energy around us. We start at atman and reach Braman through self-discovery and opening the doors of our soul to the world.

Those who are brave break free from world’s appearances, and realize that self is unmixed consciousness:

Cindy Matheus said...

The concept of god doesn’t have to be tied to a faith. Although many of us have religious backgrounds and despite the different concepts that we individually associate with god, I think each of us should feel like god, as Professor Triff said. It might be sinful (for lack of a better word) to think of us as almighty, perfect, or powerful – but we are not that and that is not what I believe makes me god. I feel like god because this supreme being that I cannot even begin to comprehend created me regardless of who I was in my past lives and who I am in this life. I feel my soul; my atman and that is a direct connection to him. God is everything and yet he is nothing. I am everything yet I am nothing. To quote Sartre, existence precedes essence. My existence is my divinity, before anything. I hope this helps slightly in trying to conceptualize the idea of being god or feeling like god.

Anonymous said...

The Hindu belief that we are god sparked an interesting conversation in class. For my comment I wanted to pick that discussion back up, using ‘brahman’ and ‘god’ synonymously. I think the idea of us being, or existing as a part of, god is comforting. It ties individuals together and makes us equally important. Initially, the concept may be hard to grasp because we have preconceived notions about ourselves. The Upanishads address this by saying “The truth is imminent in all that is perceived.… This truth also transcends whatever is perceived”. I interpret this as meaning: although the truth is not always clear to you, it's clear to your atman (true you). Since atman is brahman, and vice versa it’s reasonable that Hindu’s believe they exist as god. “The universe comes from brahman, exists in brahman, and will return to brahman”. - Ian Deck

Ever valladares said...

The word God is one with millions of interpretations. It's a difficult yet interesting topic to discuss because it takes something you thought you knew all your life and forces you to suspend previous beliefs. As someone who was raised by Christians, i feel the slight discomfort of using God as a entity that isn't a single being. It's just what we've been conditioned to perceive when talking about the creator. I think we all, as living, have a part of a force not present in the non-living. We have the fortune to be alive and the capacity to realise it. Bhakti seems like an emotional state,a place you enjoy being but are never there long. I feel it sometimes when I'm slacklining and hold my focus on my balance and nothing more. The joy of existence is the easiest to enjoy but the hardest to remember. It's important to always remember to realise the food moments and to acknowledge the power of time.

Anonymous said...

The only way one is going to be able to fulfil their kharma is through experience. Thankfully in the Hindu religion they are allowed multiple chances to make it right. Having failed once and being able to try something again and try to make it right is the only way to learn from one’s mistakes. Our duty is to make it better the next time around and learning more about one’s self within and realizing what they are capable of. While we are evolving through samsara and are given multiple opportunities, is when there is no time to waste to make it better. We live and we learn and that is part of evolving to become a better you. We are put on earth to suffer at the beginning, learn from what went wrong and what we failed at and hopefully not get it wrong the next time coming. There are duties that we have to fulfil and the most important one in my eyes is the one of evolving and becoming the best you, one can be.
Carlota Sanchez

Daiana Oppecini said...

I really enjoyed last class discussion on the word God, and how for some it seemed so hard to grasp the concept of all of us being God, just a minuscule piece of the puzzle this universe is. It is hard for me to step into the Hinduism shoes, since all religious beliefs, in my opinion, are attempts from civilizations to explain what cannot be explained and to try to get a sense of purpose. But I still tried to apply some of the concepts to my daily life, like the idea of Kharma, what goes around comes around. This has always been in mind, without thinking about what I could be reincarnated into in my next life. Treat others how you would like to be treated. Maya was a bit trickier, and I attributed to it to most of the funny situations I came across during the past week at work and in personal relationships.

Diego Vieira said...

I found the Taittiriya Upanishad rather interesting. It states that Brahman is OM, and OM is everything. However it also says Brahman is the mind, which would mean the mind is everything. I believe the Hindus were onto something when describing the mind as everything, because it can be. The mind affects how we perceive things, and how perceive things effects how we react to them. It can change and affect whether certain things make us happy and bring us joy, or if they simply just pass on by without have much of an impact on our lives. While it is true that we are here to fulfill our Kharma, I do believe we have control over how we end up fulfilling it, and our actions will always affect our future kharma because we are constantly sowing and reaping what we sow within the cycle of samsara. And all of it leads to our growth and evolution as we strive to be the best versions of our selves.

Anonymous said...

this term avidya, our ignorance, is such a fundamental concept to try to understand. everything that we are, that we see, that we feel, that we think is avidya, our reality is our avidya. we live out our kharma and our dharma in avidya. it is easy to believe that everything that happens to us is our kharma but that is nothing more than maya, it is that which we precieve is happening to us and the paths we choose that is our actual kharma. the events are just events, but your existence and choices in those events is kharma. let me ask you is it better to be a rich man sad or a poor man happy? when you pass a homeless person or a handicap person and feel pity or sadness for them, that is avidya because who are you to pass judgement on that which you do not know? those people you perceive your self better than may in fact be a more virtuous person then you could ever hope to achieve in this lifetime, remember everyone must suffer, but it is our dharma to kharma through samsara.

Daniel O'Brien

Sebastian M. Lorenzo said...

It’s crazy. We are God and everything that we do are Godly acts, in a way. However, while we have this free-will to do all the things we want, we must have damah. Without it, we do things that we shouldn’t do, or things that are unnecessary. In addition, realizing that we are God gives us this mental power to accomplish anything which is great. I think many depressed or upset people can experience bhakti by realizing their potential. My mother has always taught me that enstasis is far better than extasis because in reality, whatever problems we have can be solved from within, not the Christian way.

This cycle of samsara is never ending until we fulfill our kharma and reach moksha. I love this concept because by realizing it, I can live a better a life now so that my metaphoric next life, can be rife with good karma.

Lastly, I love this concept that God is everything. I have been explaining it to my friends because I feel that everyone should know it. God is everything and to interpret God with three letters is insufficient. You cannot simply define God because in order to define it, you would need to define everything in the universe, you would need to put all these puzzle pieces together to see this picture and unfortunately, we will never see it.

Eric Paz said...

Having discussed both dukkha (suffering) and bhakti (joy) in class and how to be human means to have suffering be part of life. As well as how some were saying how they believe that bhakti can only be experienced moments at a time throughout life and not indefinitely. Though I believe bhakti isn't usually experienced indefinitely, I do think it is possible. When speaking about duality and balance, I see it as something that you continuously have to put effort into to be able to reach that 'perfect' equilibrium in your life. A somewhat silly way of explaining it, imagine finding your balance on one leg for a couple minutes, it may be easy yet you have to still put a tiny bit of effort into finding your center. Now, imagine trying to balance on your leg 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Trying to constantly find your center takes an immense amount of effort on your part, but it's all geared towards reaching that balance.

-Eric Paz

Alec Rodriguez said...

As we mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad last week, Brahman exists in everything, and everything is Brahman. The self who can be realized by the pure in heart is in each of us, and it is important to become intimate with this inner self. By communicating with our inner selves not only can we manifest our greatest selves but we can also challenge feelings of misery and incompleteness. As the Upanishad states "Where reality and self are realized as only one; there incompletneess can't arise, nor misery, nor want, nor death." By questioning our very existence and way of being we can make ourselves whole, or at least begin learning how.

Cristian Soto said...

Brahman and Atman are one in the same. By going inside to raise awareness of your Atman, you by definition increase your sentient knowing of Brahman. Becoming instinctual leads us further towards our Atman. Moments of Moksha (or is it Bakti) lead us too our Atman. Case in point, looking within ourselves through a "flow" state is beneficial to our quest of understanding.

Calherbe Ernest said...

What is OM?

It is somewhat challenging to put to words but Om represents everything. It is said to be the seed of all of creation. This one little word contains all the power of the universe. It is the beginning, middle and the end of everything. Its also the past, present and future. Chanting Om brings into your awareness the physical reality of this world and your body, the subtle impressions of the mind and emotions and the thoughts and beliefs of your life and this world. It is said that the sound of OM includes the entire process of sound and all other sounds are included within it. Therefore, Om is called the seed sound (bija), the original sound from which all other sounds and worlds come from. This is why Om is said to represent God, Bhraman, Source, Universal Consciousness. Because it has the power to create everything.

Awntonio Rolle said...

Om is what your understanding of God. Which represents everything. Which makes you question yourself like how can I be God when I have all these imperfections. I realize that we are truly God because to truly understand oneself you have to believe in the higher power. God give you the power to evolve and make you a better person. You are able to become the person you really want to be. Like sinning we all do it it even though we know it's wrong but it does not make us a bad person. We are here to learn form our mistakes.