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People who claim to be enlightened...

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

Dear all,

It’s an odd phenomenon that online on spiritual forums you sometimes come across people who claim to be enlightened. Usually they’ll be displaying a large ego and it’s easy to tell that they are nothing like enlightened, but occasionally you can have a fun conversation with someone of this type, trying to plumb the depths of their understanding.

Have you come across this? Do you think it’s an online-only phenomenon?

With warm regards,
Kerome

FoibleFull

Comments

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited July 7

    Nice response from Federica

    It's an oxymoron. A case of a compartmentalized understanding, enclosed by a compounding delusion. A demonstration that all it takes to go from heaven to hell, amidst a potentially valid spiritual awakening, is the smallest level of identity claiming. The proof that few experiences have more potential for you really screwing up than within a state of spiritual certainty.
    Some part of this is an inevitable experience for any seeker of the way. An experienced teacher or a Sangha, hopefully with someone in it more experienced than you, is often the best medicine to traverse beyond such limitations. Like a king's Wiseman whose job is to constantly whisper in his lieges ear, when surrounded by yes men, that "this is not you" or "this too will change".

    My partner performs this task with glee and is an FFFnn master at allowing no space to be imagined between my feet and the ground.

    The point of a spiritual awakening is not that it happens, for it seems to eventually be offered to everyone, whether they are capable of recognizing it or not, but is how to not relate to it in the possessive sense.

    Whether such experiences last seconds or decades, they need only be responded to as with any phenomena's visitations, unmolested in their arisings, unfolding's and departing's, lest one ends up as hobbled as the person Kerome speaks of who has personalized that which only needed to be transcended .

    lobsterKeromeSuraShineShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I was on another language Buddhist forum, and I came across a case like this. The moderators unceremoniously chucked him out, saying “advertising was not allowed”. But I was a little sorry to see it, he was an interesting guy.

    Even the ones who have failed to relate well to their experience can be intrigueing to talk to, if only to see what a spiritual experience can do to a persons mental makeup. Not many of them seem to go the route of the teacher, looking for disciples.

    In India these people would probably become sadhus or sannyasins, holy men seeking to impress with feats of endurance or psychic power. It seems a slightly more dignified way of life than kicking around in mental institutions, if you are unlucky.

    David
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited July 7

    Historically, Chinese monastery's used to be a place for the mentally afflicted to be sent, dropped off or abandoned.
    The monks often spoke of them as singly enlightened for how little guile they presented to the world. Abbots said they taught their monks about patience, sympathy. tenderness, compassion, selflessness & love.
    If true, it made the monasteries of old sound so much more awakened and functional in daily life than many of those that I see today.

    lobster
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    those who self proclaim enlightenment are like the self proclaimed special messengers of God. Approach with extreme caution and hold on to your wallet and belongings.

    BunksAlexlobster
  • SuraShineSuraShine South Australia Explorer

    @Kerome said:
    The moderators unceremoniously chucked him out, saying “advertising was not allowed”.

    I'm sorry to say I lol'd hard at reading that :scream:

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Have you come across this? Do you think it’s an online-only phenomenon?

    How many here including moderators, can recognise the woke real people, fruads, arhats, bodhi, stream entrants, bodhisattvas, interior psychological states, bumi level, gender, religious affiliations, political fanatics, new age peaceniks, age of a sentient etc from a few posts? :p

    How many here know what is in their best interests? O.o
    Some may need a troll to practice non feeding or compassion ... People interaction sure is complicated by us peeps. :3

    This is why stillness and discernment is so important. o:)

    B) Be enlightened ... or be Square. :)

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Dear all,

    It’s an odd phenomenon that online on spiritual forums you sometimes come across people who claim to be enlightened. Usually they’ll be displaying a large ego and it’s easy to tell that they are nothing like enlightened, but occasionally you can have a fun conversation with someone of this type, trying to plumb the depths of their understanding.

    Have you come across this?

    Yes...

    Do you think it’s an online-only phenomenon?

    No ...But online there's a degree of anonymity which make it more likely ....

    Bearing in mind ....the web is full of weirdos ...


    "Everybody's somebody else's weirdo"

    howpersonSuraShine
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    It is also so much easier to sound like you've got a few brain cells to throw around when you can edit everything online. Up close/ personal and in real time, it's a whole different show.

    KeromeShoshinlobsterFoibleFull
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I just find it funny, that people who don’t have a clue how they sound just try it.

    コチシカFoibleFull
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Explorer

    Unfortunately, I have never met any enlightened beings. Maybe one or two bodhissatvas, that I'm aware of I mean...

    But if someone says "I'm enlightened" I already suspect something. I've heard this claim once before only, and ... yeah, no. :angry:

    lobsterFoibleFull
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    I have no problem with someone telling me that they are enlightened....
    as long as they can see that same enlightenment in everyone else.

    AlexlobsterShoshinDavid
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Mad or not ...
    http://sufi-tavern.com/sufi-doctrine/the-far-and-near-side-to-madness/

    ... It is a common hazard/companion on the route to Greater Clarity ...
    https://cundi.weebly.com/crazies.html

    Looking for it, the vision cannot be seen: cease your search. It cannot be discovered through meditation, so abandon your trance states and mental images. It cannot be accomplished by anything you do, so give up the attempt to treat the world as magical illusion. It cannot be found by seeking, so abandon all hope of results.
    — Shabkar Lama, 19th Century Tibetan mystic

    Aye Carumba!
    https://sufiway.org/teaching/seven-contemplations-on-the-open-path/14-teachings/41-the-art-of-awakening

    FinnTheHuman
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @how said:
    I have no problem with someone telling me that they are enlightened....
    as long as they can see that same enlightenment in everyone else.

    There is that, isn't there? Hidden wisdom?

    I've come to accept those claiming enlightenment as having had direct knowledge of interconnectivity or the Two Truths or any other way of looking at DO and however our true nature reveals itself to whoever.

    In my perspective whatever that means is important but it is what we do with it and how we train with it that makes us ever more aware or awake so enlightenment is perhaps more the best means to the end than the end itself.

    If there is such a thing

    how
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @how said:
    It is also so much easier to sound like you've got a few brain cells to throw around when you can edit everything online. Up close/ personal and in real time, it's a whole different show.

    I've had a few posts where I've sat back and said to myself "Yes, that's just what I needed to say. And 10 minutes to spare on the edit too!"

    howlobsterFoibleFullShoshin
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Those who claim to be enlightened ... are not.

    The very state of enlightenment entails not focusing on ourselves, and that includes not trying to impress others. By focusing ON others, there is no way the enlightened person focuses on themselves.
    Humility is one of the traits of the enlightened.

    コチシカlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:
    Those who claim to be enlightened ... are not.

    Generally true. 💗 ... but some are.

    You are quite right about the impressive and ultimately unseen humility of the awoken ...

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @how said:
    It is also so much easier to sound like you've got a few brain cells to throw around when you can edit everything online. Up close/ personal and in real time, it's a whole different show.

    I remember listening to a podcast a while back, can't remember the name, probably a Hidden Brain episode, on a distinction in intelligence between fast thinkers and slow thinkers. It was in the context of law school. Law school tests, I think it was about admissions tests, have a high timed element, they test ones ability to get through the test fast as well as correctly. What I remember the gist being was that some schools were recognizing that maybe they were leaving some quality people out with this style and having let "slower", or maybe more deliberate, thinkers in were able to see how they could bring a different set of skills to the table. I think something similar to how extroverted people are generally seen as better leaders but introverts make excellent leaders as well but often have a different style.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    Enlightenment usually doesn't gets personally claimed by sane practitioners because.....

    self aggrandizement shouts louder of self delusion than of any state of selflessness.

    lobsterKeromeShoshin
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer

    I did come across one person who quite earnestly, to my mind, claimed to be enlightened. He might be the only person I ever encountered off line that claimed to be enlightened, period. I didn't get to know him quite well, but he came across as very humble to my mind. He seemed genuinely interested in topics outside of his own self, at least seemingly.

    I do believe most people who claim to be enlightened are frauds. I think that is the nature of the time we are living in, in which people are less interested in truth than what "works" - pragmatic considerations of wealth, fulfillment, etc which masquerade at times as enlightenment. These latter things are a part of the truth, but you have to start out with truth first and then these latter things will be added to you. If you focus only on your needs though, however lofty, you won't get full satisfaction, because you have to come to truth with "empty hands." Only the transcendent can properly fulfill the seeker. But nowadays what people want is other than the transcendent, and they sometimes don't even know it. A lot of the time what they desire is peripheral things, and they think they want Truth. That is my opinion.

    Perhaps a good way to measure one's enlightenment is how much suffering they have endured to get to their goal. Suffering I really think produces character and sets one's mind more fixedly in truth and higher things.

    Shoshin
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    I like the fellow who said, "I'm enlightened except that I'm still working on it."
    That there is about as close as your going to get unless you get there yourself.
    But watch that third step.....

    Peace to all

    lobsterShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 14

    ... and now for something completely different (from 'The Life of Brian Brain')

    FOLLOWERS: Hail Messiah!

    BRIAN: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand?! Honestly!

    GIRL: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.

    BRIAN: What?! Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!

    FOLLOWERS: He is! He is the Messiah!

    http://montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Life_of_Brian/19.htm

    and now back to the opinions and step watching ... ;)

    WalkerShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:
    Perhaps a good way to measure one's enlightenment is how much suffering they have endured to get to their goal. Suffering I really think produces character and sets one's mind more fixedly in truth and higher things.

    I’m not so sure that teachers and such have suffered quite so much, it’s not a race to see how much you can endure. You might get some very strange and twisted people that way.

    howlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    You might get some very strange and twisted people that way.

    You called?
    ... oops :3

    WalkerfedericaJeffreyadamcrossley
  • WalkerWalker Veteran Veteran

    @lobster said:
    ... and now for something completely different (from 'The Life of Brian Brain')

    Well I guess, I'm not enlightened, I'm a very naughty boy!

    lobsterShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    People who claim to be enlightened...

    Hmm thus have I heard....talk is cheap

    Dogen and Enlightenment

    According to Dogen
    At the time of satori, a person might see visions or might not see visions, might have great realization or might not be aware that anything happened. The test lies not in epiphenomena that appear at the time but in the subsequent demeanor and behavior of the person. You can’t fake it. When a real change of heart has occurred, the world is a different place.

    After all.....actions speak louder than words

    lobsterDavid
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited July 18

    @Kerome said:
    Dear all,

    It’s an odd phenomenon that online on spiritual forums you sometimes come across people who claim to be enlightened. Usually they’ll be displaying a large ego and it’s easy to tell that they are nothing like enlightened, but occasionally you can have a fun conversation with someone of this type, trying to plumb the depths of their understanding.

    Have you come across this? Do you think it’s an online-only phenomenon?

    With warm regards,
    Kerome

    It's not online-only, but being online can give someone the appearance of being more normal than they are. You can't see psychotic ticks and neuroses online if someone writes well. Also, being online emboldens people who would be too shy of being mocked to make outrageous claims. There's a man online on a forum I sometimes view who says he is Mañjuśrī bodhisattva. Another who says he became a stream-entrant while dropping acid.

    A lot of people are very eager to ascribe spiritual advancement to drug-induced hallucinogenic psychotic episodes, both online and in real life. Certainly more online though.

    In Buddhist spaces, it's Buddhas and bodhisattvas, but if we were on a Neopagan forum, it would be random people claiming to be Aries and Thor. There's a whole "Jerusalem syndrome" for Christians.

    lobster
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    Is anyone here familiar with the British television show "Cuckoo?" The first season was very good. Self-proclaimed online steam-entrants, so-named on account of their hot air, sometimes remind me of the titular character.

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