Thanksgiving Pre-lude

Meng Hu wrote this, quoting Heidegger: \”…the West, steeped in reason and logic, can only use thought to try to go beyond thought. And this can only be accomplished by the solitary individual.\”

It is the start of the holiday season. Today for instance, there is a Thanksgiving lunch downstairs. I am sitting upstairs in my cubicle eating an apple. I cannot bring myself to participate in holidays. It is a moral or ethical discrepancy. That is, I think the way we do holidays is wrong, so I don\’t do them.

I don\’t believe the Bible is in some way more sacred than many other writings. But on the other hand, I still quote it from time to time to explain myself. For instance, Romans 12.2 says, \”Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.\” This resembles the idea of \”Renunciate\” (Sannyasa). Apart from society, my mind is renewed.

When I threw all my possessions under a Good Will truck and joined a monastery, I renounced the world. I\’ve not ever been able to take the world back completely. I waver in some areas. Other areas, I have a strict conviction: this I will not do.

But it is hard for me to discuss any of this and certainly I\’ve never been able to explain to anyone why I don\’t do some things and when. Usually, when I do talk about myself, people don\’t understand and make up some story that I don\’t agree with. But then I seem incapable of clearly explaining the inner rationale. In some cases, it is just an ongoing process. Also, I find as time goes on, that while my renunciation and spiritual practice are important to me, I have no need to attract anyone else into the ideas. As the years go by since I left the monastery and religion, I find that I am less vehement about my beliefs and so less inclined to discuss them with anyone.

Sometimes I worry that the theme of my life is disappearing. The theme which began at the age of 22 to know God. And then the extension of the theme I found at about age 38 to \”Shamelessly follow Jesus and live a life of prayer.\” Who and what I think of Jesus is not a denominational Christian belief. But the desire to that life is still in me. It seems I went through a string of activities designed to open inner doors to know God more. But since the results are not conscious, I cannot point to them.

It is just that I know they are there.

This brings me back to Thanksgiving. I am taking the week off work. I really really look forward to the solitude. Somehow, listening to silence is what I must do. 

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The Way of the Sage

As I\’ve mentioned before, I am reading Plotinus\’ Enneads. In 2.9.9, he mentions \”…the way of the Sage…\” \”…the Sage intent upon the sublimest, upon the realm above…\” There are seven Enneads and this reference to Sage appears less than one quarter of the way in the book. But that is all that is said in this location and seems the first reference to the way of the Sage in the Enneads so far.

In my life I have chased: divine union, enlightenment, God, He, and etc. You name it as it seems to go by various names.

Is the Sage wise? Does the Sage win the much sought after spiritual boon?

Maybe the Buddhist, one who chops wood and carries water, is the highest being.

Who is Heidegger\’s Dasein? How do I become aware of That? Unfallen? (A Heidegger term now, not a Biblical term).

I work for a living. Every weekend is a chance to be alone more fully. I get 3 days every other weekend. It is during these times that I turn my attention inward. Seeking. Listening. Even running or lifting weights.

For this I call myself a monk. A monos. One alone.

To be alone in thought is not a dopamine reward experience. So I never feel holy or enlightened. It is at best a battle with thought demons in the modern desert (a quiet suburb).

Whats going on in my mind, where my inner eyes gaze, defines whether I am a monk, or merely anti-social. A barrage of ego criticisms battering me. Waves of silence washing me. Both at once as I merely sit.

It is not a self improvement program. If you got nothing, you probably figured it out.