virus: Susan: Sense and Solubility

Robin Faichney (
Sat, 3 Apr 1999 17:34:18 +0100

In message <v02140b3ab32ab9d960c3@[]>, Reed Konsler <> writes
>>>> might be more productive to
>>>>take another approach: you seem to be saying that your
>>>>ego is reborn every time you stop meditating. That's
>>>>actually OK, temporarily, but from a Buddhist point of
>>>>view, if your meditative technique is OK, you should
>>>>start getting insights into the nature of the ego (and
>>>>other stuff) that cause it to be weaker every time it's
>But insight into the structure of something doesn't
>mean that the thing understood is weakend. Insight
>into the structure of matertials has lead us to the
>construction of plastics, carbon fibers, magnesium
>alloys...all stronger, more resillient substances than
>the stones, sticks and ironmongery of previous
>ages. In general, insight leads to a stronger something,
>not a weaker something.

Sorry, Reed, but this is awfully woolly thinking. We're talking conceptual stuff here, not material, and belief in illusions is weakened by insight. That you are fundamentally distinguishable from what's not you is an illusion, and belief in a separate self is typically weakened by the sort of insights that occur during meditation.

>>>But why would I want to weaken my ego? ...
>>>What do you think "ego" means?
>>To have an ego, in this context, is to believe that
>>you have independent existence. Ego is thinking of
>>your self as separate.
>I can understand why it would be undesireable to
>hold such a model as an exclusive view of reality.
>Even so, I think there are a number of contexts
>when viewing people as individual has it's merits.

I agree. But people need to realise that view, despite its occasional usefulness, is relatively superficial, while the alternative is quite profound.

>One idea which I have tried to make apparent is that we
>must use metaphor to understand our perceptions of
>material reality.
>Maybe you never have to put the hood back down
>but, eventually, the thing has to run again. Unless
>you decide that you don't have anywhere you want
>to go. But if you don't want to go anywhere, why
>not sell your car? After all, you don't need it.

Sorry, I lost track of your metaphor there. What does "selling the car" mean?

>All I asked you to do was accept an ambivalent word in the
>context I provided it: Senseless meaning a state of suspended
>disbelief...a state of accepting patternlessness. You chose
>to seize on an alternate definition.
>If I offer you a rose for it's beautiful sent, why do you
>seize it by the thorns? Are words so important that you
>would wound yourself rather that change your

This looks like religious rhetoric -- Jesuitical, even. False logic combined with powerful images. It's unusual for me to find myself on this side of such an argument, and I now get some idea why profoundly irrational rhetoric can wind people up so much.

>>>What is this thing which differentiates the enlightened from
>>>the child?
>Maybe. But if we define "experience" as the accumulation of
>a historical life, memory of past events and a hodge-podge
>of theories and metaphors to categorize and rationalize them...
>well, there are may experienced people who are not
>enlightened. There must be a special kind of "experience"
>which differentiates enlightenment from age.

You asked what differentiates the enlightened from the child -- not what differentiates between the enlightened and the unenlightened. Two different things. Use your head, Reed!

>Can you understand how a
>book which might be useful to me might not be the
>first I would recommend to everyone? I have to
>think about other people collectively and as individuals
>with understanding of their state and interests.

I'm sure we're all grateful you're looking out for us, Reed.

>Sometimes it is more effective to think of myself as
>seperate from them. For this reason, I choose to
>preserve my ego.

OK, that explains it perfectly. You need say no more.