RE: MD Consciousness/Awareness/the property market in London

From: Marty Jorgensen (mjorgensen@vpdinc.com)
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 02:29:06 BST


Hi Platt - You asked:
PLATT:
Marty, I have read much the same as you in the Buddhist literature about
compassion, based I believe on what Elephant properly describes as
the enlightened experience of Oneness or Self with a capital S. Having
like you never been enlightened to the best of my knowledge, I must
bow to the testimony of those who have. Since we appear to be in the
same state of unenlightenment, I wonder how you react to my
comments above about compassion as it pertains to a divided world
that most of us experience. Incidentally, I agree with Elephantís
assertion that one need not spend years in meditation under the
tutelage of a swami to become enlightened to the fact that reality exists
prior to the self/other division. But, having realized that, where does that
leave us in guiding our daily lives?

My response:

Certainly everyone who claims to be compassionate is not what we would
consider to be 'enlightened', which is why I disagree with Elephant's
equation of enlightenment with compassion; all enlightened people may be
compassionate, but not all compassionate people are enlightened. Now you
could argue that those who use compassion towards their own ends are not
really compassionate, and you would have a good argument, but for the
purpose of general language usage, they would APPEAR to be compassionate.
But that is the trivial question, the real meat is in your point about the
result of all this compassion in the world - what good does it do us?

It is my opinion that if one is TRULY enlightened in the sense we have been
discussing, and not just using compassion / helping others as a way to help
themselves, than a true positive effect in the world would be the result.
One would be compassionate not for the benefit it might bring, whether
emotional or physical, but because it is the only action that makes sense -
not because 'to ignore the suffering in others is to ignore the suffering in
one's self' but because to ignore suffering does not decrease the suffering
that exists.

But this doesn't answer your question; "Given the divided world most of us
experience, how does the compassion of the enlightened help us in guiding
our daily lives?"

The only answer I can give to this question relates back to the pursuit of
Dynamic Quality - if we can break out of the static patterns of behavior
that routinely hold us back and look at the world as it really is AND ACT
ACCORDINGLY, then perhaps we can have a positive effect on the world around
us. I believe no matter what we read, learn or intuit won't help anybody
until we actually DO something, and that real action IS Dynamic Quality,
with no need for names, referents or explanations. We can learn from the
experiences of those who have been touched by enlightenment; we can learn
from their example of living, but it only means something if we do more than
learn and do something about it - and that 'doing something' is dynamic.

There is much more to be said, but I must be on my way. The search
continues...

marty j

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-moq_discuss@venus.co.uk
[mailto:owner-moq_discuss@venus.co.uk]On Behalf Of Platt Holden
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 5:22 PM
To: moq_discuss@moq.org
Subject: Re: MD Consciousness/Awareness/the property market in London

Hi Elephant, Marty, All:

PLATT: (previously)
Am I to assume that both you gentlemen have been enlightened and
thus can claim from personal experience of the relationship between
enlightenment and compassion? Or, is the relationship something you
have gleaned from the testimony of others? I do not find it in the MOQ.

ELEPHANT:
A Proper question Platt. I should say that there is a tiny bit of both:
testimony of others (Simone Weil, Iris Murdoch, Buddhism, even
Pirsig), and 'personal' experience. Remember: all that this personal
experience needs to amount to is the realisation that subjects and
objects are not the first cut. I should say that this is pretty much co-
determinate with ceasing to be selfish, and one can test (in ones own
case) how much one has translated an intellectual insight into a
heartfelf certainty by just this fact.

PLATT:
If I understand you correctly, it's impossible to be selfish when one
comes to realize that reality is prior to the division of self/other and
that
what I call myself is an illusion, just as space and time and other
divisions are illusions. Thus the truth of the phrase, "Ask not for whom
the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

Therefore it follows that compassion is merely what anyone in his right
mind would hold as a high value since to ignore the pain and suffering
of another is, in reality, to ignore the suffering of oneís self. But wait
a
minute. That canít be. There is no self. How do you express the moral
value of compassion in world where individual selves do not exist?

I ask because itís been my experience that behind many acts of
compassion there is self-congratulation and pride in taking and
holding the moral high ground against less enlightened beings. In fact,
those who are in a position to help or be compassionate hold power
over the helpless, not only risking a rising dependency among the
helpless but the use of compassion as weapon in the battle for
political power.

What Iím driving at is that itís one thing to theorize from the experience
of enlightenment and logic that weíre all One, but quite another to put
the theory into practice in a world of competition and fierce struggle
between value levels, whether those levels are thought of as
independent divisions or as embodied in their entirety in human
beings.

I think Pirsig touched on this problem in Chap. 24 of Lila:

"What the Metaphysics of Quality indicates that the twentieth-century
intellectual faith in the manís basic goodness as spontaneous and
natural is disastrously naive. The ideal of a harmonious society in
which everyone without coercion cooperates happily with everyone else
for the mutual good of all is devastating fiction."

So while itís easy to agree that compassion is a good thing,
compassion may not always be our best moral guide in our practical
world of static quality, especially when it comes to fending off
dangerous biological values. Isnít that what Pirsig is driving at in Chap.
24?

MARTY:
I can't speak for Elephant, but if I'm enlightened, someone forgot to tell
me about it. My opinion is based on what I have read outside of the
MOQ - it is a subject that interests me greatly, but I have no personal
experience to draw from. There are probably hundreds of descriptions
of what it means, as well as a lot of personal intuition; my definition
basically comes from Buddhist literature.

PLATT:
I have read much the same as you in the Buddhist literature about
compassion, based I believe on what Elephant properly describes as
the enlightened experience of Oneness or Self with a capital S. Having
like you never been enlightened to the best of my knowledge, I must
bow to the testimony of those who have. Since we appear to be in the
same state of unenlightenment, I wonder how you react to my
comments above about compassion as it pertains to a divided world
that most of us experience. Incidentally, I agree with Elephantís
assertion that one need not spend years in meditation under the
tutelage of a swami to become enlightened to the fact that reality exists
prior to the self/other division. But, having realized that, where does that
leave us in guiding our daily lives?

Platt

MOQ.ORG - http://www.moq.org
Mail Archive - http://alt.venus.co.uk/hypermail/moq_discuss/
MD Queries - horse@darkstar.uk.net

To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:
http://www.moq.org/md/subscribe.html

MOQ.ORG - http://www.moq.org
Mail Archive - http://alt.venus.co.uk/hypermail/moq_discuss/
MD Queries - horse@darkstar.uk.net

To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:
http://www.moq.org/md/subscribe.html



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Aug 17 2002 - 16:01:16 BST