Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby arijitmitter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:00 am

There is no exact description of Nibbana in Buddhist texts. Let us take a few words we usually associate with it - pure bliss, wisdom, joy, peace, stillness of mind and so on.

Can it be a state of self hypnosis ( Nibbana and the jhanas leading to it ) ? I am not denying meditation works and that it opens the subconscious. I am even willing to believe it gives a sixth sense and some extra sensory perception.

However when in self hypnosis the subject suggests to himself what he can do - give up smoking, worrying, anxiety. When he gives up anxiety ( real anxiety or his anxiety from guilt associated with smoking ) his mind opens up ( has more RAM to spare and less threads employing the CPU, to use a computer analogy ) and he finds he can lose weight, make more money, complete a college degree, learn a new language and so on.

I have not tried it but I am not entirely skeptical about it. ( That may beg the question how do some people become a success while smoking and worrying - well they have more RAM and a better CPU to start with; they could easily cope with all the hassles and have mental space left over to be a success etc; otherwise why do some of us get fed up with one job, one wife, one child and some be relaxed while juggling a $ 20 billion empire and two mistresses and a wife spread across two continents. )

What if you swapped giving up smoking as a goal of self hypnosis with Nibbana and tried it for many years. Will your brain rewire itself to make you happy all the time ? Is it a possibility ?

Nibbana and bliss of jhanas is just auto suggestion ?
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby SarathW » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:09 am

You can’t explain Nibbana in words. It is something to be realise.
The best we can do is hypnotise the man and do not wake him up and let him find out what Nibbana is!
:oops:
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby arijitmitter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:19 am

SarathW wrote:
You can’t explain Nibbana in words. It is something to be realise


So if I wrote a post tomorrow that I have reached Nibbana you have no objection ? ( Since Nibbana cannot be described in words the onus of proof is not upon me )
Last edited by arijitmitter on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby SarathW » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:23 am

No objection.
Because I am not an Arahant. I don't no what it is!
I know only what is going inside my mind not yours. :)
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby arijitmitter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:58 am

arijitmitter wrote:
So if I wrote a post tomorrow that I have reached Nibbana you have no objection ?


I wrote this in jest. Please disregard it and if anyone can please post an opinion on the OP.
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby SarathW » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:02 am

No problems.
Hypnosis is another conditioning.
Enlightenment is un conditioning.
:)
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby fig tree » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:37 am

It seems possible for people to talk themselves into thinking that they are enlightened, and I suspect a lot of phony spiritual mastery is like this.

I heard a talk of Ajahn Brahm once in which he explained the five hindrances to be overcome in meditation in terms of the way that they impede one's seeing things as they really are, not just in meditation but in everyday life as well. As I understand it, the willingness of a person in a hypnotic state to engage with a somewhat phony version of reality in order to go along with what is requested of them is partially caused by the hindrance of desire. And if one succeeds in overcoming that, even temporarily, one will be in a genuinely clearer state of mind which doesn't use the same kind of tricks to make progress as it tends to do in hypnosis.

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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby Crazy cloud » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:03 am

The Grand Finali

Desires are of various levels,
Being the crude, middle, subtle.
All are the snars to trap wordlings
In all of their undertakings.

The crude one i based on matter;
Body, money as its anchor.
All things pleasant to five sense-doors
Are what they want more and more.

The middle kind is satisfied
With happiness that is acquired
Trough mind being peaceful, tranquilled.
It thinks the highest goal's fullfilled.


It shuns making strenuous effort;
Abhors attempt to move forward,
Wallows in self-complacency,
Thinking it's final victory.

What'ver pleases the eyes, ears, nose,
Tounge, touch they regard as foremost.
Other than these they do not care;
Of all else never are they aware.

The subtle is far developed;
Such mind does not prefer to stop,
It can't be naively content,
But looks forward to attainment

Of that Dhamma beyond mundane,-
That which never will wax or wane,
Being the crown of all that's good
Trancending all the magnitudes

Of astronomical brightness,
Being secure, stable, changeless,
Where mundane consepts are absent.
That's what's known as Enlightenment.

Let Buddhists sublimate their desires,
Whit their minds gradually purified
Until they reach the atmosphere
Where gods and men respect, revere

This is the highets benefit
Off'ring the viewpoint ultimate.
It seems so far, yet is so nigh
If we should have the will to try.

Where there's a will, there's a way
But we must first of all display
our faith, courage, resolution
To breasth the air of that Dimension.

In doing good there is the end,
Aspirants attain this point when
They reach the full-final victory
There comes to them the Grand Finali.

Supremely pure and calm are they,
Where Peace unruffled holds sway,
Absolute is their Perfection:
"Tis where aspirants are Enlightened.

:candle:
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby arijitmitter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:03 pm

fig tree wrote:It seems possible for people to talk themselves into thinking that they are enlightened, and I suspect a lot of phony spiritual mastery is like this.
Fig Tree


But there is no way to distinguish phony Enlightenment from real Enlightenment. When the fake cannot be distinguished from the real how do we know which is which ? Is it not better that for the good of all mankind an Anagami at least ( from any religion ) emerges and tells us how exactly he sees, feels, hears, perceives the world.

If people knew of jhanas as real, crime rate will nose dive ( atheism and denial of other realms have caused humans to become corrupt and criminal; previously criminal behavior was not a general human trait but found in some humans; most were afraid of hell and did not commit heinous crimes like looting your retirement fund ). Cannot someone in lower levels of fourth jhana allow a few serious scientists from John Hopkins etc to visit him and do an MRI, measure his neuro hormones etc other tests as well as allow world's best psychiatrist to determine if he is delusional in any way.

Even if we did not meet a Buddha or a Christ, to know that medical tests performed on someone 1/10th of Buddha has proved he is different mentally, psychologically and perhaps physically ( enlarged areas in brain; greater neuron densities in some parts ) will assure us that religion and spirituality are real.

( I should be candid that I have some doubts about Enlightenment itself; I believe there may be epilepsy or some other brain / personality disorder that manifested itself as Enlightenment and gullible people 2000 years back believed in Christ, Buddha, Mohammed etc just like gullible people 2000 years before that thought of sun, thunder etc as God. If there is another coming of Krishna, Christ or Buddha Mettaya they will have it far harder ).

P.S - I request ( just a request ) all readers not to share meaningless poems. I asked your opinion not poems !! And please no enigmatic answers like " who hears, who is hearer " as some are prone to write.

:namaste: Arijit
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:50 pm

arijitmitter wrote:There is no exact description of Nibbana in Buddhist texts. Let us take a few words we usually associate with it - pure bliss, wisdom, joy, peace, stillness of mind and so on.


Nibbana is, itself, a description, so you're stating that there is no description of a description in the texts, which of course isn't there nor would we expect it.

That which nibbana describes is certain cessations; your other terms are somewhat poetic, and liable to misunderstandings and tangential associations apart from the cessation of greed, hatred, and delusion (which satisfies your desire for an exact description of the goal).

Self-hypnosis is a skill with certain goals to which it is directed, while nibbana is a description of an altogether different goal, with relevant skill sets which largely differ.

It's comparing apples and oranges (or more precisely, apple fruits and orange trees).
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby santa100 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:18 pm

arijitmitter wrote:But there is no way to distinguish phony Enlightenment from real Enlightenment. When the fake cannot be distinguished from the real how do we know which is which ? Is it not better that for the good of all mankind an Anagami at least ( from any religion ) emerges and tells us what exactly he sees, feels, hears, perceives the world.

It's kind of difficult to really tell if one is a noble disciple for a couple of reasons. One is that we ourselves must cultivate enough moral disciplines to develop enough insight to see it, for:
Bhikkhus, would an untrue man know of a true man: ‘This person is a true man’?”—“No, venerable sir.”—“Good, bhikkhus. It is impossible, it cannot be, that an untrue man should know of a true man: ‘This person is a true man.’ ~~ MN 110 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ~~

Another reason is that it's not so much that a noble disciple has "gained" anything miraculous to show to us as compared to what he has "given up" or "let go": greed, hatred, delusion, defilements, etc. These kinds of things certainly aren't for show although the Buddha said that it's still possible to see if one is mindful and put in enough effort:
1.“It is by living together with someone, great king, that his virtue is to be known, and that after a long time, not after a short time; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is wise, not by a dullard.
2.“It is by dealing with someone, great king, that his honesty is to be known, and that after a long time, not after a short time; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is wise, not by a dullard.
3.“It is in adversities, great king, that a person’s fortitude is to be known, and that after a long time, not after a short time; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is wise, not by a
dullard.
4.“It is by discussion with someone, great king, that his wisdom is to be known, and that after a long time, not after a short time; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is wise, not by a
dullard.” ~~ SN 3.11 ~~


So, enlightenment cannot be self hypnosis for there's nothing for one to "gain". There're only things for one to "let go". And the cold hard truth is one simply cannot cut corner and expect their greed, hatred, and delusion to disappear..
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby arijitmitter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:26 pm

daverupa wrote:Self-hypnosis is a skill with certain goals to which it is directed, while nibbana is a description of an altogether different goal, with relevant skill sets which largely differ.

It's comparing apples and oranges (or more precisely, apple fruits and orange trees).


Hopefully what I say does not constitute blasphemy. Are you absolutely certain Buddha was enlightened. Even his 5 friends Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahanama and Assaji did not believe him when he said he had reached enlightenment. Then he said have you ever heard me lie ? They said no they had not. And he told them again, I am enlightened.

Much as I will like to scorn Christ and Hindu Avatars they never denied they were Divine - and if you believe in God you might as well believe in miracles performed by his Son(s).

Have you in any of the Suttas found any kind of inkling that has told you Buddha was any more than a Gandhi.

I understand my questioning nature ( from anatta to enlightenment ) maybe irritating to many here who are orthodox, blind believers in Buddhism and I do respect their views. But I ask them to try and understand my query - if a man told you he was enlightened will you take him at his word ? What will be the required proof ? I will have had no problem if he came back home and told his father he was enlightened and left and lived as a wandering ascetic.

But he set out in clear terms that should you follow some other path you are doomed to bad Kamma - not in so many words but Christians are certainly doomed to bad Kamma since they eat meat; at very least all butchers are destined to be born as a mosquito if you are to believe Buddha; about Hindus he said they believe in a delusional Godhead called Brahman who is only on 16th plane of existence whereas by time of his death 500 of Buddhas followers had made it to Arahant or 28 - 31st stage. So he set out a power play with other religions very very clearly. He, I believe said something nasty about Mahavira, founder of Jainism, to the effect of a false prophet or something similar.

Doubt is not bad - Alexander Berzin, noted Mahayana Buddhist and scholar had deep doubts about rebirth till he found some sort of proof to satisfy himself http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level1_getting_started/general_introductory_material/believe_rebirth.html
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby arijitmitter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:40 pm

santa100 wrote:So, enlightenment cannot be self hypnosis for there's nothing for one to "gain". There're only things for one to "let go". And the cold hard truth is one simply cannot cut corner and expect their greed, hatred, and delusion to disappear..


Question is not of gain or loss but if it is real or non existent. You said " enlightenment cannot be self hypnosis ". At least self hypnosis is reasonably well studied. It has been put under microscope of rational thought and certain proofs of it's existence has been found though exact process is not clear. We find it's results clearly - people leave smoking, lose weight, undergo surgery without anaesthesia ( last one seen with my own eyes on Discovery ). Here is a different one http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500165_162-4033962.html. So real doctors and surgeons ( by default scientists ) who had M.D degree saw a man with no anaesthesia undergo his bones being chopped up.

If you were to wander the mountains in Tibet - Nepal border and you met a monk in a cave who told you - do you know last night I became enlightened - will you believe or disbelieve him ?
If you believe - on basis of what
if you disbelieve - on basis of what
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:39 pm

I can see you've got some doubt about the claim of awakening, but the point is to assess the root of suffering for yourself, here and now. All we have to admit about the Buddha, at first, is that he had an experience he thought was worth teaching others about. You can approach and learn about that, or not, but there's no need to chase around historical phantasms.

arijitmitter wrote:But he set out in clear terms... not in so many words but...


This is an odd bit of dissonance, as though you have conclusions before the facts are tallied. It might help to step back from what you think you already know about the Dhamma and its purpose, in order to learn again.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby santa100 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:59 pm

arijitmitter wrote:If you were to wander the mountains in Tibet - Nepal border and you met a monk in a cave who told you - do you know last night I became enlightened - will you believe or disbelieve him ?
If you believe - on basis of what
if you disbelieve - on basis of what

Well, if I saw someone claiming enlightenment, first thing I'd do was not to immediately reject nor believe. I'd go back and use what the Buddha taught us (in MN 110 and SN 3.11 as mentioned previously).

Back to the "proof" that you want to see about enlightenment. How can scientists design a machine that measure the mind of someone who has completely eradicated greed, hatred, and delusion? As we speak, science has only barely made baby steps in understanding the inner working of the mind. All they probably would be able to say is such individual might have bigger, more developed frontal lobe, left/righ hemisphere,...or this or that region of the brain seems to generate bigger sparks of electrical activities..

The Buddha probably would care less about whether you believe in His enlightenment or not. He would be more interested to see if you can apply His teaching to solve the most immediate afflictions we worldlings are facing everyday: greed, hatred, and delusion. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't wait til that day when scientists successfully create that "enlightment" scanning machine to begin cultivating the Dhamma..
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby arijitmitter » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:19 am

daverupa wrote:I can see you've got some doubt about the claim of awakening, but the point is to assess the root of suffering for yourself, here and now. All we have to admit about the Buddha, at first, is that he had an experience he thought was worth teaching others about. You can approach and learn about that, or not, but there's no need to chase around historical phantasms.


I understand. At some point a leap of faith is necessary. That is hard for a person who has been trained to think rationally from birth. But with enough persistence there will come a day when I have faith.

This story which you all know is tailor made for me -

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”


I am too full of opinions and speculations. I must empty my cup first.

:namaste: Arijit
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby 3ball » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:23 am

I agree that it's impossible to know for sure that someone IS enlightened. But it's possible to know if someone isn't enlightened! Someone who harms other living beings, fears death and pain, lies, teaches non-dhamma, indulges in sense pleasures. It's not proof positive, but it certainly weeds out anyone I've ever spent lots of time with.
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Re: Can Enlightenment Be Self Hypnosis

Postby mydoghasfleas » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:39 am

Would an enlightened person even go around saying "I an enlightened?"

I don't think so. Their actions would speak for them.
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