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TOPIC: Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school

Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 07 Nov 2015 23:57 #101030

Cut and pasted from the comments section of a post on Rommel de Leon's Facebook page: (I don't have Rommel's permission to repost this, so I hope it's OK. Rommel, if your Facebook stream is friends-only and you don't want this public, please contact me and I'll take it down.)

Vincent Horn: Plus, there are as many kinds of non-dualities as there are dualisms.

Gary Weber: Hi Rommel de Leon. Gratitude for the share. Great that you found it useful. There is much confusion on many of these issues. Once the "I" is diligently deconstructed, real nonduality manifests. stillness

Gary Weber: Hi Vincent. What are the different kinds of non-dualities? This isn't "enlightenment is whatever you want it to be" again, is it? stillness

Vincent Horn: Self & World / Inside & Outside / Emtpiness & Form / Mind & Matter / I could go on..

Vincent Horn: and no I don't think this is "enlightenment is whatever you want it to be" I think it's differentiating the different styles and flavors of enlightenment instead of the "grand unifying enlightenment is one thing and one thing only and that's the thing I've experienced" story. :)

Gary Weber: Vincent. you really don't understand nonduality. In every countless example of duality, there is an "I", an object, and some action. As the dualities are countless, it impossible to unravel each of them, one by one to end our suffering. The real insight of advaita/nonduality is realizing that the "I" is a program, just a piece of software, that our species developed 75,000 years ago. It has been shown to have no fundamental reality in neuroscience. Instead of focusing on these dualities, advaita focuses instead on deconstructing the process by which the "I" is created, and then the suffering related to the various objects disappears as there is no "I" to crave/hang on to them. "Enlightenment is whatever you want it to be" is contrasted by the many, many sources from many traditions that do give a singular definition of what "enlightenment/nondual awakening" is as given in the post. It is the same one my Zen masters used and that all of my advaita teachers used. The fact that some folk can't reach it doesn't mean they get to redefine it to being whatever they can reach. you might find it easier to just completely let go of your Buddhist beliefs for 6 months and try self-inquiry and surrender and see what happens...what's the downside? i'm not selling anything here as you know, but IMHO, you're in an untenable philosophical position now. stillness

Vincent Horn: Hi Gary, with deep respect for you and your work I also think your position here has its problems. What position doesn't?

I've done self-inquiry for much longer than 6 months and I've had plenty of experiences associated with that method. I've also done loads of heart-based practice and vipassana practice and pure awareness practices and concentration practices. I've done each of those practices for thousands of hours and the tentative conclusion that I've reached is that the different models-and-practices (all of which absolutely do NOT agree about the nature of enlightenment) reveal different aspects of awakened heart-mind-body. And they all, also come with their own delusions as they are embodied and solidified.

After all, we are still people, and we still identify with things correct? You seem to identify most with stillness, since you sign all of your letters with that and talk about it endlessly? That's cool, I respect that. One could just as easily sign their messages with "movement" or "love" and I see many folks who do just that. I suspect you're highly awake to a certain type of non-duality, and aspect of consciousness, you're also totally deluded about how everyone else is a failed version of yourself. That total delusion manifests as an incapacity to even consider the possibility that you may be wrong or that a multi-dimensional (as opposed to singular-linear) model of awakening most accurately describes what is reported. No, you say it's everyone else that's wrong and doesn't get what you get. Maybe, maybe not.

Personally, I've spent way too much time around the scene to not see the all-too-personal benefits that come from being the most enlightened kid on the block. I'm awake in some ways and deluded in others, but when push comes to shove I typically admit it. I don't see you doing the same, though I suspect at some point you might. Until then, keep up the good work (I honestly mean that) and keep thinking you are egoless stillness. It's no skin off my back.

Gary Weber: Those are totally your projections, Vincent. i don't "identify" with stillness...if you had experienced "nonduality" you would realize that that isn't what happens. It is all over Rich Doyle's and my "Into the Stillness". i do not see "everyone else as a failed version of myself"...i honestly see everyone as It/Her/Universal Consciousness. There is no one to be "the most enlightened kid on the block", really. Again, unless you've really lived in that space, it means nothing to you. As there is no consistent definition of "enlightenment" in most of Buddhism, it's not surprising that "enlightenment is what you want it to be" makes sense for you. That's not what many other lineages, much more focused on awakening say. Let's just let it go...this has gone through 2 interchanges and as you've moved over into personal attacks, which is unfortunate, it's no longer productive. stillness

Vincent Horn: I'm sorry Gary but which person are you referring to when you say it's a personal attack? And how do you reconcile that with the view that you're laying out here? I attacked you to highlight the very contradiction that I see at the heart of your absolute view. It totally negates the personal dimension of experience, where we identify in a very particular way with ideas, people, etc. and get upset when people attack them, no matter how enlightened we are. I've yet to meet a single person for whom this isn't the case. If all you, or I, were was stillness neither of us would care. The old-school Buddhists claim that very thing, in fact. Good thing they were living in cloistered environments meditating all the time--maybe for some of them they actually were successful in temporarily suppressing the personal narrative in a total way. But since that isn't all you are, at least not all the time, then I know it sucks when I attack you. For me, that's the point I'm trying to make here: we do care about our ideas, limited positions, limited experiences of the absolute, etc. I do and you do. We are both boundless and bounded and that's why it sucks when someone tells you that you don't know what you're talking about. And it's also why, as you yourself have claimed, enlightenment is capable of endless enlargement.
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 00:03 by Kenneth Folk.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 09:28 #101033

Seems to me that Vincent makes claims about Gary’s experience that relies solely on Vincent’s experience. For example, Vincent says, “For me, that's the point I'm trying to make here: we do care about our ideas, limited positions, limited experiences of the absolute, etc. I do and you do.” And also, “We identify in a very particular way with ideas, people, etc. and get upset when people attack them, no matter how enlightened we are.” And, “We are still people, and we still identify with things correct?” I think these comments are what Gary refers to when he says to Vincent that these are “totally your projections.” Vincent can only evaluate Gary’s experiences based on his own personal understanding, which makes Vincent’s evaluation possibly very inaccurate.

Gary’s evaluation of Vincent’s understanding is that Vincent does not “understand nonduality.” He bases this claim on the fact that Vincent maintains a multiplicity of nondualities, which Gary feels is untenable because, in his experience, once the “I” was deconstructed there is only a single, universal nonduality. When the “I” is deconstructed, who exists to be aware of and conceptualize multiple nondualities? No one, and I think that’s Gary’s point.

Kenneth, I think it’s unfortunate that you titled this thread in a way that suggests there is a clear outcome to this discussion. It also reveals your bias.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 11:04 #101034

I think it's always a good idea to air these differences. Always. I find things I agree with Gary Weber about and I have always found things I agree with Vince Horn about. I suspect I feel more akin to Vince because my practice history is more like Vince's than Gary's. That's as far as I would ever be wiling to take comparisons or pass judgement. I think both are very much awake. I think both are worth listening to and learning from. I see no reason to take sides. There are no sides, after all, just views.
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 11:06 by Chris Marti.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 11:10 #101035

That said, I also think airing these differences is a good way for all of us to examine the various views we have access to, and to think about how those views relate to what is being said by others like Vince and Gary, and see how folks take a liking to a particular view, or not, and peg truth, or not, to a specific view.
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 11:21 by Chris Marti.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 11:25 #101036

With respect, Kenneth, can you please clarify your permission to post this? Since it may not be wide-open, it would be inappropriate to post it wide open here. I will keep it published for the time being, but given its nature, I want to be clear on it.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 13:20 #101038

Tom Otvos wrote:
With respect, Kenneth, can you please clarify your permission to post this? Since it may not be wide-open, it would be inappropriate to post it wide open here. I will keep it published for the time being, but given its nature, I want to be clear on it.

Tom, I haven't heard from Rommel directly, but he officially "liked" my Facebook post linking to this post, so I believe we have the green light.

Cut and pasted from my Facebook feed:

Jackson Timothy, Rommel de Leon, Dan Rizzuto and 5 others like this.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 14:08 #101039

Why is this even important? There are people who would murder to be able to have any type of insight and there's also legions of people who think this is the stupidest shit that ever hit planet earth. Let's not reach either of them so that less and less people benefit from this stuff and we can be the only ones that see it.

I think insight of any kind is beneficial, but conversations and debates like this one above are a waste of time. It is practically an abuse of time.
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 14:17 by Femtosecond.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 14:18 #101040

Chris Marti wrote:
That said, I also think airing these differences is a good way for all of us to examine the various views we have access to, and to think about how those views relate to what is being said by others like Vince and Gary, and see how folks take a liking to a particular view, or not, and peg truth, or not, to a specific view.

Also, how we react to views that are different from ours. Do we care that someone disagrees and, if so, where is the "I" that cares?
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 14:27 #101041

Cut and pasted from my public Facebook feed:

Katherine MacLean: Oh, geez. Don't really know where to begin. I'm happy these conversations are happening. But I'm of at least two minds about it. Gary's methods "worked" for me until they didn't (like all good things I've tried). His teaching and the process was more effective at reducing suffering and dissolving my strong attachments to a lot of things I previously associated with ME, than anything else, including concentration practice, open awareness, retreat, drugs... When the technique was working, I got a lot of positive feedback about how "well" I was doing on the path of self-inquiry and how I was an exceptional student. When they stopped working and I was suffering more than ever before (I was going through a major period of loss, depression, grief), I was told I "wasn't doing the method correctly" and "wasn't good enough" as a student. However, the overall experience, including the initial period of teaching and the dramatic cutting-off from teaching, was by far the most useful and profound lesson in letting go I've ever received. So, I consider the whole "experience of Gary" to be a gift. What does all this have to do with nonduality and enlightenment? I have no fucking clue.

Katherine MacLean: I will add that in ALL of my encounters with teachers, Buddhist and otherwise, is that they become way more normal, fucked up, attached, deluded, etc the more you get to know them. And that's really refreshing. As Joan Halifax, another problematic person in this whole field, once said, "The only enlightened people I know are dead."
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 14:34 by Kenneth Folk.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 14:29 #101042

Cut and pasted from my public Facebook feed:

Jim Luceno: Look at me. I've transcended the "I", and yet I'm still hung up on a conversation I had with Kenneth Folk in 2010. I've transcended duality, but that doesn't exclude posting angrily on the internet at 4 in the morning like every other bored male.

This is the formula I've noticed for people who get involved in eastern mysticism. I come up with an ideal of what a Good Person is: the sort of person I'd be if I could get rid of all my "bad traits" and amplify all the ones I like, the most flattering ones. Then I train myself to conform to this "higher self". Eventually I declare I've done this. I can't, because of all the problems explored in classical psychoanalysis, so whenever those negative states come up - thinking, sense of separation, anger, negativity - I either blame it on low blood sugar, project it into the other person, or just sign my message "stillness". Because if you repeat something enough, it makes it true.

Honestly, I'd rather deal with a stark raving lunatic, so long as they were just genuine with me about how they felt and experienced things, than a person engaged in this sort of blatant denial.

"Stillness" my ass.
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 14:33 by Kenneth Folk.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 14:33 #101043

Cut and pasted from my public Facebook feed:

Justin Chapweske: *sigh* at least in his slide show Gary admits that he gets fussy when tired or low blood sugar.

Buddhist emptiness really is a better model than this "kill the ego" crap.

Gary admits his mind chatter bothered him, so he sought to get rid of it. I can dig that. My mind chatter was irritating as hell. Now the chatter just doesn't care as it sees itself as empty appearance just like every other construct. This seems much more inclusive than trying to kill the chatter.

Awake people, of all people, should really be the ones to grok that single ways of seeing things are HIGHLY suspect.

Justin Chapweske: Something you questioned in one of our conversations really resonated with me Kenneth. I said something about this present experience being somehow beyond concepts and you simply questioned that assumption.

I've come around to its probably all conceptual / constructed. Not just the "I", the "chair", or "awareness", but the exact warping field of colors and sensations appearing now. Nothing is outside of construction (that is knowable anyway).

This has led to a pleasant form of defeat. This shit can't be escaped so might as well embrace it. This leads me to be very skeptical of people who say they "have it", where "it" excludes some aspect of experience because that aspect isn't "real" or is somehow inferior. Maybe I'm just too post-modern in my current phase and will get really picky about experiences again in the future
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 14:36 #101044

Cut and pasted from my public Facebook feed:

Dan Rizzuto: Lovely interchange. Thanks for reposting, Kenneth.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 15:27 #101045

I guess it matters if people believe they might successfully eliminate more garbage (dukkha) from their lives. My most recent post gives a perfect example of garbage. I would love to be where Gary is, if I could. He's saying it's possible and we shouldn't settle, from what I gather.

I think it's very difficult to get a sense of what is happening in another person's mind, and communicate it. On the whole, however, I am not as ready as some to dismiss Gary's point. He's not being petty or taking things personally; he just doesn't want to continue a discussion that seems to him to have no potential when he sees Vince telling him he's deluded. Anyway, both are awesome people and highly advanced.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 15:27 #101046

JUST BECAUSE FALLACY
(also known as: trust me, mother knows best fallacy, because I said so, you’ll see)

Description: Refusing to respond to give reasons or evidence for a claim by stating yourself as the ultimate authority in the matter. This is usually indicated by the phrases, “just trust me”, “because I said so”, “you’ll see”, or “just because”. The just because fallacy is not conducive to the goal of argumentation -- that is coming to a mutually agreeable solution. Nor is it helpful in helping the other person understand why you are firm on your position. “Just because” is not a reason that speaks to the question itself; it is simply a deflection to authority (legitimate or not).

Logical Form:

X is true because I said so.


-Bo Bennett, PhD

www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/lo...just-because-fallacy
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 18:06 by Kenneth Folk. Reason: formatting
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 15:27 #101047

I'd love to wake up one day and have it all magically revealed to me. I doubt that's going to happen, kind of because if it did this whole mysterious existence will have turned out to be a tragic joke with a stupidly simple punch line. I guess at the end of the day that's how I'd evaluate these things at this point in time - do they remove or destroy the mystery and chaos? If so, keep going. It's really hard to imagine a solution that takes all of this and reduces it to some formula that any mind could fully understand. Sort of a spiritual version of Godel - no view can quite ever be outside of it's own experience. The snake can try to eat its tail but it has to fool itself into thinking it really did.

:P

And, and, and, and... if the evidence for the solution isn't available, or at least it's not visible, it makes the claim much harder to swallow.
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 15:32 by Chris Marti.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 15:32 #101048

To be fair, Kenneth, any one of us could be considered guilty of the same thing. Let's face it, if I were to talk to people in my hometown meditation group about this stuff they'd tell me I had been drinking some kind of koolaid. I would have to say something like "Try the practice and see if it works," which is what Gary says, except not everyone can or will, or not everyone is able to get the same or similar results.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 15:35 #101049

Laurel, the issue is different if someone is saying they have the only answer. Not that they have an answer. They have the answer.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 15:57 #101050

I suppose, although if I could shut off the dukkha from this past week I would probably think I had gotten the answer too, and that people still experiencing any of it were missing true stillness. I did shut it off eventually, while I was writing it, in fact, but getting there was no picnic.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 16:14 #101051

I observe that there are lots of important figures in spiritual/contemplative history - though we can question whether they were historically real, but often we have the writings etc - who definitely thought that their path was the path. I don't necessarily think that my way is the only way, but I do think there are some ways that will not work (although the practice of those is also equally a manifestations of God, and if it's right for such people to be called to other practices, then that will occur). Ultimately, other people as subjects are not real in the sense of not knowable, their subjectivity is never within experienced reality, and therefore the idea of what their experience is or isn't is 100% hypothetical. I'd also say we all need different things, i.e. some people need to become more open and some less, some more ascetic and some less, etc etc, but we don't want to take this as universal.

What I look for in a teacher now is not so much whether they think their way is the only way, but how they express that (or indeed if they express it, as it may be something that one discusses in one's inner circle only, which is a different choice) - and express everything else connected with their spiritual path. Do they seem tight, egotistical and/or defensive? That's a bad sign. All I can say is if it leaves you tight and defensive, it's not the awakening that I have ever been after. On the other hand, are they trying to project a blissed out perfection? Also a warning sign.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 08 Nov 2015 18:10 #101057

Chris Marti wrote:
Sort of a spiritual version of Godel - no view can quite ever be outside of it's own experience. The snake can try to eat its tail but it has to fool itself into thinking it really did.

!!!
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 09 Nov 2015 00:33 #101068

every3rdthought: Do they seem tight, egotistical and/or defensive? That's a bad sign.

This seems to be the idea from the discussion that I resonate with the most. I am definitely biased towards Vince, so that's a factor, but I would also say that Vince seems more objectively relaxed and willing to admit he's wrong. I trust people who are willing to admit they are wrong. I trust people who truly don't take things too seriously, who are willing to make fun of themselves, and others equally. These are the people I want to learn meditation from, personally.

I have loved working with Ron Crouch because he doesn't ever come off as intense or attached in any uptight way. When I started practicing actualism, he was genuinely curious to hear about it. I don't necessarily see these as qualities that are an inevitable byproduct of spiritual practice, but in my ideal world they would be, hehe. And since there are no real 'ideals' in the sense that there are no guarantees with this stuff, perhaps the best attitude is a heartfelt "fuck it", and a shrug.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 09 Nov 2015 01:45 #101070

Hello, friends

I obviously don't know what's going on inside the minds of either Vincent or Gary (or even inside my own, to be completely honest) but I can make some guesses based on (1) personal meditative explorations (2) review of my behavior (3) scholarship research.

Both are neutral persons for me. I am a student of Kenneth and like our relationship and his approach very much, here may be some of my biases.

So, take it for what it's worth.

I see Vincent's words arising from a place of not-knowing. He simply suggests a direction for further investigation not being restricted by belief in some concept.

I see Gary's words arising from an attachment to the concept of stillness he finds particularly pleasant and useful in his daily life. Vincent's suggestion that stillness may be not everything there is is taken as a personal insult because it is an insult to a person identified with stillness.

I believe, Kenneth chose such a provoking title to point out exactly this.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 09 Nov 2015 02:24 #101072

One more point. Seeing emptiness or no-self or whatever is one thing. Applying these insights in daily life (including speech) is another.

Both are dependent on each other but not the same.

I want to train in both. If I were to choose a guide between Vincent and Gary based on this dialogue, I'd choose Vincent. Because I would prefer to speak like him.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 09 Nov 2015 08:45 #101079

They both have valid points to make. What we're seeing here is a communication problem. Marshall Rosenberg is the book to read.
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Vincent Horn takes Gary Weber to school 09 Nov 2015 08:53 #101080

I don't believe we're seeing a communication problem. I think we're seeing evidence that post-awakening bifurcation happens, and matters.
Last Edit: 09 Nov 2015 08:53 by Chris Marti.
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