Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What is Enlightenment


Has Bill Gates or Donald Trump come forward and said that when you become a billionaire that you will be in a state of constant, unending incredible happiness? Has Tom Cruise announced that his wife, Katie Holmes, is so great that he no longer needs Scientology since he is in a state of eternal peace all of the time? Has Ellen Degeneres said that since she is rich, famous and has a beautiful girlfriend (she is a lesbian) that she is euphoric all of the time? I currently am not rich, am not famous and do not have a beautiful girlfriend.

The celebrities that I would like to have as a girlfriend include Leelee Sobieski (she is extremely smart and has the most awesome sounding voice), Renée Zellweger (she has the warmest and nicest smile) and the adorable looking Selma Blair (she is visually stunning). So we know that the above will not bring a state of consciousness like this. But does something like the above exist at all where you can feel superhuman enjoyment? If not, then why does it sound so good to you? Shania Twain sings "And it only hurts when I'm breathing. My heart only breaks when it's beating. My dreams only die when I'm dreaming, so I hold my breath, to forget." Is this all there is?

Article: What is Enlightenment:

Finding Happiness in an Unhappy World

Andrew Cohen has a magazine with this title (What is Enlightenment). He created it to explore this subject. This article could also be called East Meets West. Everything that has ever happened to you, was to teach you that you need to find the ultimate, supreme happiness inside of you.

Keep in mind that happiness, peace of mind, self-esteem, confidence and satisfaction all go together. You cannot have one without the others. One thing that you can do now to help get more of all of the above, according to research of top psychologists, is to do altruistic acts (helping other people). Not people you know, but strangers like helping in a soup kitchen, visiting AIDS patients, cleaning a public park or giving food to a homeless person. This comes out of the book, Learned Optimism (© 1990) by Dr. Martin Seligman. In 1998, Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association by the widest margin in its history!

People in Africa need your used shoes to keep parasites from entering their feet and you can even collect some from friends and send to: shoe4africa.org. The psychology of this is that you do not care if people hurt you, due to a lack of self-esteem. So you beat them to it and hurt yourself by sacrificing some of your time and possessions. Now, if someone hurts you, they are also hurting people in Africa and that is a different story.

Here is something that you can learn right now to get rid of a lot of your stress. LRH says "Try to control what you can control and do not try to control what you cannot control." The serenity prayer is "God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can change and the wisdom to know the difference." For example you can control what you do, but you cannot control what others do.

Jesus says that you look for slivers in the eyes of others while you have logs in your own eyes. Jesus says about anxiety, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?.... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself (NIV bible-- Matthew 6:26). The line in red is in both Matthew 6:27 and Luke 12:25."
In psychology, they have the flow experience. There are a few books on it like, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (© 1990) by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (last name pronounced "cheeks sent me high"). Dr. Martin Seligman (see above) (professor at University of Pennsylvania) calls him "one towering figure in the social sciences." The first line of this book says "Twenty-three hundred years ago Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness." The Dalai Lama says "The purpose of life is to be happy." For help with depression see this page on Natural Healing.

In his book, Authentic Happiness (© 2003), Dr. Seligman describes the flow experience like this: "When does time stop for you? When do you find yourself doing exactly what you want to be doing, and never wanting it to end? Is it painting, or making love, or playing volleyball, or talking before a group, or rock climbing, or listening sympathetically to someone else's troubles?" Dr. Seligman is now director of the new psychology (Positive Psychology) which researches how everyone can be happier.

The back of the book, Flow, says "These investigations have revealed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow-- a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity." Absolute is a powerful word. It is used to describe God. People can experience the flow at different degrees. I would play volleyball for hours and feel it during the whole time but at different degrees. Sometimes for a few minutes I would experience the flow experience to the infinite degree. This is the greatest thing that a human being can feel.

A woman had a near death experience and wrote a book about it. She said that while she was dead she felt something nicer than she ever felt when she was alive. This was her encounter with the flow experience. To feel it to the infinite degree, feels totally perfect. It is common for people to never experience it while alive. Although, the most ancient scriptures known to man say that people feel it while in deep sleep. Sigmund Freud described an "oceanic feeling" as a sense of limitless and unbounded oneness with the universe.

This flow experience to the infinite degree is at the core of a human being. During it, time stops. I would have a feeling of eternal peace and limitless happiness, while feeling it. Eternal is a powerful word, but it was a renowned psychologist whose book describes the flow as absolute. When you feel it, you know that it is the secret of life or the meaning of life. It is supreme. It is being one with the universe. So I would think about how if I could play volleyball all the time, without stopping, for the rest of eternity, then I would be really happy. Of course that is impossible. But it can be felt while doing nothing at all. Millions of people around the world do meditation where they are doing nothing at all, physically.

A Harvard Medical School professor (Herbert Benson, M.D.) has written a classic book on meditation called The Relaxation Response (1975) which is now being taught in many medical schools. Meditation creates a unique physiological state where your respiration (breathing) and heart rate are slower than when you are sleeping. This book teaches that the very purpose of technology is to make life easier so that people will experience less stress. But it explains that it is not working since people are now feeling more stress than ever before. So enlightenment is the ultimate state that a human can achieve. An enlightened person is someone who is in the flow experience to the infinite degree all the time. This is enlightenment. Buddha defines enlightenment as "the end of suffering."

If those ancient scriptures are correct, then you will be feeling that infinite feeling the next time you go to sleep even though you do not remember it when you wake up. Several years ago,  the singer Mariah Carey had a nervous breakdown and she said that it was due to lack of sleep. Some people have asked if someone could be enlightened and not know it. So you can see from the above that there is no doubt at all that you would know it if you were enlightened. I would also read non-fiction books for hours since I would feel the flow experience but not to the infinite degree.
Where does this experience come from? It does not come from the brain. The science of cosmology is a combination of astronomy and physics. Wikipedia says "modern scientific cosmology is usually considered to have begun in 1917 with Albert Einstein's publication of his final modification of general relativity in the paper 'Cosmological Considerations of the General Theory of Relativity.'" Cosmology teaches that if someone wants to know how long it took before the physical world was created or how far do things extend beyond the physical universe, these questions have no meaning. Time and space are only attributes of the physical universe, not the non-physical universe.

You exist in the non-physical universe. Do you only exist there after you die? No, time has no existence there. So you could say that in that world or universe-- you are eternal. You have no beginning and no end. That is where the flow experience comes from. That is your home. You are only visiting the physical universe for around 100 years. If you could unlock all the love in your heart, you would drown all your fears away. A very famous American psychologist, Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), said "I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." You can be in the eternal now!

People are looking for miracles. If anyone says that you are a miracle, they are wrong. You are THE miracle. You know this, deep down inside of you. Many people (your ancestors) have worked very hard and put in a lot of time just to enable you to be alive right now. In reality, you are beyond time and space. You are the most incredible thing to ever exist. You are much more wonderful than you can possibly imagine. But when you do experience what you really are, you are in perfect peace and total contentment. The whole universe is waiting for the greatest miracle-- for you to discover what you truly are. You are the One! You are everything and everything is you.

The webpage, Prescription for Happiness, has more about this. People on the forums ask about what they can do to get over feelings of guilt from doing bad things or get over trauma from bad things happening to them. They need to do something that purifies the soul like this meditation. It helps you to be happy living in the present by getting rid of attachments to past traumas caused by you or caused by others. That is how psychotherapy is supposed to work, but this works perfectly unlike any person can. Christians call this forgiving yourself and forgiving others. But this is easy to say but almost impossible to do. Here is the link to learning about the meditation that I have been doing for decades. It is called Self-Knowledge (www. wordsofpeace.org).

The book, Flow, says "Self-Knowledge-- an ancient remedy so old that its value is easily forgotten-- is the process through which one may organize conflicting options. 'Know thyself' [quote from Socrates who laid the foundation for Western philosophy] was carved over the entrance to the Delphic oracle, and ever since untold pious epigrams [concise poem or witty saying] have extolled its virtue." Socrates believed in the immortality of the soul and that, discovering this, was the priority in life.

End of Article

Article Epilogue (Concluding Section)

Purpose of Life Quotes

"The question of the purpose of human life has been raised countless times; it has never yet received a satisfactory answer and perhaps does not admit of one.... We will therefore turn to the less ambitious question of what men themselves show by their behaviour to be the purpose and intention of their lives. What do they demand of life and wish to achieve in it? The answer to this can hardly be in doubt. They strive after happiness; they want to become happy and to remain so."

Sigmund Freud (founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology).
"How to gain, how to keep, and how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive for all they do."

William James (one of the most prominent psychologists-- graduated Harvard Medical School)

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."

Aristotle (Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy.)

"Happiness, though an indefinite concept, is the goal of all rational beings."

Immanuel Kant (philosopher, Wikipedia says "He is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe and of the late Enlightenment.")

"It appeared to me obvious that the happiness of mankind should be the aim of all action, and I discovered to my surprise that there were those who thought otherwise."

Bertrand Russell (Wikipedia says "Russell was an influential philosopher and mathematician." His books "have had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics and analytic philosophy.")

"All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves."
Blaise Pascal (He was a brilliant French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher.)

"Pleasure is the object, duty and the goal of all rational creatures."
Voltaire (He was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher known for his wit, philosophical sport, and defense of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade. Voltaire was a prolific writer, and produced works in almost every literary form, authoring plays, poetry, novels, essays, historical and scientific works.)

"Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness."
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

"I believe that the very purpose of life is to seek happiness."
Dalai Lama --From  his book, The Art of Happiness (1998).

More on Enlightenment

To increase self-esteem by learning more about yourself, read this short online book that is all about you. One website says that it was written about 7,000 years ago. It is called the Ashtavakra Gita (Song of the Self-Supreme).

I have the book, Foundations of Modern Cosmology (© 1998, 505 pages). It was written by John F Hawley, professor of Astronomy at the University of Virginia and Katherine A Holcomb, who has a Ph.D. in physics. It says "Expressed rather flippantly, space is that which keeps everything from happening at the same place, and time is what prevents everything from happening at once." Also it says "Yet time did not exist before the universe, and space does not exist outside it."

When you change the way that you look at things, the things that you look at, change. If you are strong, you should be kind. If you are smart, you should be simple. If you are wealthy, you should be humble. Find enlightenment and happiness.

Psychology Today Magazine says "Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex - brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety. There is also less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear."

The psychiatrist and author, Daniel Amen, M.D., has done over 40,000 brain scans. He says that meditation makes your brain work much better. He wrote the New York Times bestseller, Change your Brain, Change your Life. This book says that you should meditate everyday.

Oprah Winfrey has been heavily promoting A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. It is about being in the present where there is no suffering. His previous book was The Power of Now. In A New EarthEckhart Tolle says "Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego."

Eckhart Tolle, in The Power of Now, says (page 9):
Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth.  They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all these things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

Also in The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle says (page 50):
Most people find it difficult to believe that a state of consciousness totally free of all negativity is possible. And yet this is the liberated state to which all spiritual teachings point. It is the promise of salvation, not in an illusory future but right here and now. You may find it hard to recognize that time [perception] is the cause of your suffering or your problems.... Ultimately, there is only one problem: the time-bound mind itself. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry-- all forms of fear-- are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
Prem Rawat says:
Man can be identified by three qualities: space, time, and energy. His body lives in space, his mind in time, and his soul lives in infinite energy, in the infinite self. By meditation, you will be able to cross those limits of space and time that all human beings exist in. Once you do that, you will be able to find out who you really are.
Eckhart Tolle says in The Power of Now (page 72), "But beware: The false, unhappy self, based on mind identification, lives on time. It knows that the present moment is its own death and so feels very threatened by it."

Eckhart Tolle says (page 59 of A New Earth) "Most people are so identified with the voice in the head-- the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that are accompany it-- that we may describe them as being possessed by their own mind." He says on page  41 of this book, "One thing we do know:  Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.  How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."

Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet, says "There is a cup of joy inside of you, but you cannot drink from it save [unless] you forget the past and renounce the future." To renounce (give up or refuse) means to have nothing to do with it anymore. There is a book, Thoughts Without a Thinker, by Mark Epstein, M.D. (© 1995). Dr. Epstein is a Harvard college and Harvard Medical School graduate. He is a psychotherapist and the book is about psychotherapy and Buddhist meditation with a forward by the Dalai Lama. It says "there are indeed meditation experiences that evoke an oceanic feeling of oneness with the universe."

The oldest writings known to man are the Vedas and Upanishads from India. The Katha Upanishad is about the one thing that everyone knows exists, but everyone pretends does not exist-- death. In it, the god of death explains to Nachiketa all about life and death. Here are 2 paragraphs quoted from it:
They say yoga is this complete stillness In which one enters the unitive state,
Never to become separate again.
If one is not established in this state,
The sense of unity will come and go.
The Self cannot be known by anyoneWho desists not from unrighteous ways,Controls not his senses, stills not his mind,And practices not meditation.
Blaise Pascal (1623-- 1662) had a sick body, but a brilliant mind. He was a French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher. He said "All of man's misery comes from his inability to sit quietly in a room all by himself and do nothing." Deepak  Chopra, M.D., says "Meditation is a vertical dive through the layers of the mind, the emotions, feelings, desires, intellect and ego into the realm of the Spirit. Spirit is who you really are, and the Spirit is a real force."
The Indian saint and poet, Kabir (@ 1500 A.D.) says
The night you passed in sleep
And the day in visiting your false friends;
Alas! Thus you have wasted
The diamond of your life on naught.
You will die one day, perhaps tomorrow;
Grass will grow on your tomb,
And your friends will forget you.
Therefore know your true self soon.

This world is a house made of wood, and lo it is burning furiously;
He who stays in it dies.
The yogi withdraws from it in meditation
And he is saved.
According to Men's Health magazine (September 2004), Jet Li is the only five-time national wushu (martial arts) champion of China. Because of this, China has declared him a national treasure. He meditates at least one hour a day and has meditated 14 hours in a day. Since he is a Buddhist, China must have relaxed its policy of not allowing religions there (not from above magazine-- just my opinion).

Wikipedia says, under Yoga Philosophy, "In all branches of yoga, the ultimate goal is the attainment of an eternal state of perfect consciousness." The book, Kabbalah: The Divine Plan (Jewish mysticism) (© 1996) by Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevi (Warren Kenton) says

"The world of the Divine holds past, present and future. It is the realm of timelessness, because all are contained within the totality of the Eternal Now. However, in order for God to behold God, there has to be an extension to Existence, otherwise there would be no time and space in which all the dimensions of Divinity could be experienced. There had to be movement, a going out from the potential to the actual. This was to take the mode of generating multiplicity from the primordial world of Unity, thus developing, as Existence extended, an increasing diversity that would eventually seek to return to a union with its origin in the One, the Ancient of Ancients, as the Absolute was also called."
The Summer 2007 issue of Discover Presents Medical Mysteries magazine has an interview called Well-Being with Andrew Weil, MD. It has a picture of the doctor doing meditation. Shakespeare said "This above all else. To thine own self be true."
The bestselling book, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self (© 1981) by Alice Miller says "What is described as depression and experienced as emptiness, futility, fear of impoverishment, and loneliness can often be recognized as the tragedy of the loss of the self, from which many suffer in our society." Alice Miller has achieved worldwide recognition for her work on the causes and effects of childhood traumas. Washington Post Book World says about this book "A book that patients prescribe...the therapists are reading it because their patients are recommending it."

Here is what the above mentioned book, Thoughts Without A Thinker, says about the book above:
As the therapist Alice Miller has so vividly described it in The Drama of the Gifted Child: "In therapy, this small and lonely child that is hidden behind her achievements wakes up and asks: 'What would have happened if I had appeared before you, sad, needy, angry, furious? Where would your love had been then? And I was all those things as well. Does this mean that it was not really me you loved, but only what I pretended to be? The well-behaved, reliable, empathic, understanding, and convenient child, who in fact was never a child at all? What became of my childhood? Have I not been cheated out of it? I can never return to it. I can never make up for it.' "
An example of the above is with Joan Borysenko. She is the author of several self help books. In Wisdom magazine (October 2007) she is asked "What do you think gets in the way of us recognizing our own Divine nature or Buddha nature?" She says
"It starts with our own parents. By the time we are 5 or 6 years old, we have a personality that has been configured to make sure that we get love one way or another.... I lived in a family where you got loved by doing real well in school and not making any waves at home. I became a really nice person who did really well in school, because that was how I survived. It's not that is was a bad thing. I just couldn't be authentically myself, because I felt like these are the ways that I should be. We lose track of what it would be like simply to be present in the moment. We are always on the look out for 'Who's looking? Am I pleasing the right person and doing the right thing?' "
Here are some quotes about yoga by Timothy McCall M.D. from his book, Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing (© 2007) [See this book at bottom of page]. "I've gained muscle, lost fat and become a lot more flexible." "What's become more important to me is the mental peace that has come...." "Stepping out of the crazy, fast-paced world to pay close attention to what's happening right then and there puts me in touch with a calm place deep inside me-- deep inside all of us." "Yoga [includes postures and meditation] is not a panacea [cure-all], but it is powerful medicine indeed for body, mind and spirit." Dr McCall is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine who started doing yoga in middle age. The cover of this book says "Read this to find out why we teach our patients yoga-- Mehmet Oz, M.D., author of YOU: The Owners Manual."

Due to lack of self-esteem, Christians have distorted the message of Jesus. Was He a goat, a cow, a carrot or a chair? No, He was a human being. There are sayings like "Talk is cheap." "Actions speak louder than words." "Those who know, do. Those who don't know, teach." So besides what He taught, Jesus demonstrated the potential of a human being with His life.

Some people are concerned about mistranslations of the bible so here are several of them. Jesus said the following to His disciples according to the King James Version, (Matthew 5:14) "Ye are the light of the world...." In The Jerusalem Bible, He says "You are the light of the world...." In New International Version (NIV), He says "You are the light of the world...." In the New American Bible (NAB), He says "You are the light of the world...."

More on Flow and Enlightenment

One time in my life I experienced the flow experience to the infinite degree while talking to someone. It was in 1999 when I was talking to Jennifer M Abrams who was a student at the University of Pennsylvania (graduated 2001). This experience of talking to Jennifer Abrams changed the way I felt for the next 3 weeks.  I had never felt this powerful of a connection with anyone, ever. She said that her doctor said that she needed to lose 7 pounds. I said to her "You do not need to lose 7 pounds. You are perfect!" She said to me "No! You are perfect!"

The back of the book, Flow, says about it, "Both the sense of time and emotional problems seem to disappear, and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence." If you look up Abraham Maslow in  Wikipedia, it tells how he talked about transcendence being the ultimate experience. Then Wikipedia says that to learn more about transcendence, see the flow. But Maslow died 20 years before the above book on the flow was written.

Although Maslow did not investigate transcendence, he did know about it. So the people who believe that Maslow came up with the concept of the flow first should go to war with the people who believe the author of the book on it, came up with it first, and they should kill each other. Now this sounds stupid, but this is what people do. Catholics and Protestants are both Christians. Now these guys hate each other. Being good Christians, they were at war with each other in Europe killing each other, before World War II.

Here is a story from the Jewish tradition. A guy was being given a tour of heaven by a heavenly host. He noticed that everyone was reading and studying the Talmud (Hebrew holy scripture). He asked the heavenly host, "Is everyone in heaven a scholar?" The heavenly host said, "You do not understand. It is not that the scholars are in heaven. It is heaven that is in the scholars."

As far as feeling the flow to the infinite degree while in deep sleep, I came up with the idea for the above article (and wrote it) right after waking up. Before I was 10 years old, my mother would bring my younger brother (Lonny Bluestein) and I to the library every 3 weeks. If you do not return or renew the books within three weeks, you pay a fine. We would spend many hours there and we would leave, with each of us carrying around 6 books. We would be very excited at that time with all these new books to read.

I would only read nonfiction books. I do love watching movies of fictional stories. At that time all the books I took out were on science, beginning with rocks and minerals, snakes and insects. On page 138 of Flow, it says "But there is no better reason for doing science than the sense of order it brings to the mind of the seeker. If flow, rather than success and recognition, is the measure by which to judge its value, science can contribute immensely to the quality of life." Besides volleyball, I also loved doing gymnastics and soccer. I was a fast little guy. Many professional athletes feel the flow experience. During their game, nothing else exists.

I used to watch this cartoon on TV about Underdog. He was a super hero dog that could fly. One time he went against a bad guy called Overcat. This cat had the same powers as Underdog, but he was bigger and stronger. So the first time they fought, Overcat beat him. So Underdog was wondering how he can beat someone that is bigger and stronger than him. Then he realized the answer and I remembered the exact words he said. Hey, I was just a little kid at the time so it was impressive to me. Underdog said "That's it! He is too big to move as fast as me. And he can't hit what he can't see." So then Underdog beat him and Overcat was put in jail.

The book, Flow, tells how yoga and martial arts are 2 of the oldest and best ways to develop the flow. At age 12 I started doing  yoga  and  martial arts. At that time no one had heard of yoga so when I told them about it, they would call it yogurt.  At age 13 I started doing tai chi  (also called moving meditation). No one told me about yoga and martial arts, but I learned about them from reading. I had several martial arts instructors but the main one was Tom Updegrove. He currently owns the Martial Posture Studio in center city Philadelphia. It was Tom Updegrove who got me into also doing tai chi which is a martial art but also more.

My first martial arts instructor was a former Mr. Pennsylvania in bodybuilding. Then the franchised school moved and Tom took it over. He came to my  Bar Mitzvah  and he was my sifu  (Chinese word for martial arts instructor). So I tell Chinese-Americans that I meet that my sifu came to my Bar Mitzvah (Jewish rite of passage ceremony/celebration). He and I went to the Northeast United States Regional Karate Championships in Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. hosted by George Dillman, when I was 16 years old. It was my grandfather, Joseph Bluestein, who drove me there.

Since I was under 18 he had to sign my death waiver stating that if I die while fighting, he cannot sue anyone. I fought in the Junior Division, which was for every person there under 18 years old, and I came in second place in that tournament.

At age 14 I went to Japan for 3 weeks for a Boy Scout International Jamboree. We toured around Japan for the first two weeks. We were supposed to be camped at the base of Mt Fuji for the last week, but after 4 days of camping there we were caught in a typhoon and had to be evacuated by the Red Cross. They took us to stay at an agricultural school. During those 4 days there I was best friends with another martial artist. He was a Maori which are the indigenous (native) people of New Zealand.
As far as the different degrees of the flow experience (the book mentions that crossword puzzles can produce "a mild state of flow"), it is similar to Einstein's theory of relativity. If a ship is traveling near the speed of light, then time slows down for the ship. This can happen to any degree. So the ship may have a time moving at half that of earth time. If it goes faster, it could be moving at a time at one quarter, one eighth or any amount that of earth time.

Now this is impossible, but if a ship were moving at the speed of light, then time would slow down until it stopped for that ship. It is impossible since the mass would increase until it were at an infinite mass. So the only things that travel at the speed of light, like photons (particles of light) and radio waves, are things that have no mass. For the photon, time has stopped and it is everywhere simultaneously which is what they say about God.

When a parent loves their child, this is a very enjoyable experience. If someone thinks that it is not, then they are confusing love with fear, anxiety, worry or stress. Being afraid that your child may have something happen to them is not love. It is fear. Love is love and fear is fear. To try to protect a child from harm is not love or fear. It is being cautious. So what does this have to do with enlightenment? The enlightened person has no more needs for themselves. They are set for eternity. They have the contentment that they have been searching for their whole life according to Westerners. According to Easterners, they have the satisfaction that they have been searching for during many lifetimes.

The love that the enlightened person has for everyone in the world, is the same love that a parent has for a child. The enlightened person feels that same love and compassion for everyone in the world and that is what motivates them to do things. The enlightened person has more love for you than any of your parents. Some people cannot understand this since they have never felt it. They imagine that this person has other motives. Although some can mean well but make things worse. There is this saying from Insight Personal Growth Seminars: "Take care of yourself so you can take care of others." The book, Flow, says (page 191) "Those who try to make life better for everyone without having learned to control their own lives first, usually end up making things worse all around."

Bringing Up Children

For the best way to raise an infant or new born baby, see the link to the Continuum Concept. It is the 2nd link on the Links page. See the article about this and self-esteem on last article on this Articles webpage. One thing that some people are nervous about is sleeping with their baby. Dr Seligman (on board of directors of Parents Magazine) and his wife (with degrees in psychology) slept with all 4 of their children when they were babies. This may not be a good idea if the parents are drunk or are on drugs, since this may hinder the parent's ability to not roll onto their baby, while they are sleeping.

Bringing up children is so easy, you probably will not believe it. I have great news and I have terrible news about this. They are both the same news. Children learn by imitation, not by what you tell them. Sometimes they have mothers on TV with their teenage daughters. They say they are trying to get their daughters to not make the same mistakes that they did. It does not work that way. Then this situation is made much worse by the parents trying to force the kids to not imitate them. If you smoke and drink, do not expect your children not to do that?

If you treat others badly and tell your children to treat people nicely, you will think it is rebellious when they treat others badly. If you teach your kids to treat others badly and you treat people nicely, then you will call it rebellion when your children treat others nicely. If you treat others nicely and you teach your children to be nice to others, then you think that they are listening to you and not rebellious if they treat others nicely. In actuality, they are just imitating you. If you want your children to be happy and you are miserable, make sure they spend plenty of time around happy people. So don't focus on forcing your child to be a good person. Just focus on making yourself a good person. Also allow your children to have different preferences than you.

Kahlil Gibran says, in The Prophet,
Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tallies with yesterday [tallies-- to make count of].

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