How to assess whom to associate with, and whom not to associate with?

if one has the view that samsara goes on forever, they tend to operate out of the position of "have a good time however you can", accepting material pleasure as some sort of indubitable constant.

If one is a little bit more sharper they can see the folly of that position which gives rise to all sorts of cynicism, misanthropic tendencies or nihilism, but even then, the "have a good time how you can philosophy" still calls in (unless they begin to seriously consider the ultimate significant nihilistic issue of life - whether one should commit suicide).

If one sees the universe as ruled by a chaotic or evil god, its difficult to understand how we could hope to attain a state higher than that (unless one has a view that god is also subservient to the time factor, and his reign of eternality can hope to be challenged) .... but of course even after all is said and done, such notions simple become the chaff for discussion forums like this, while one still hotly pursues "have a good time as you can" no matter how constantly bad the track record of such endeavors appear.

Trying to be 'a little bit more sharper here'.....

There may be a little more to this 'nihilistic' belief in living for the moment, might there not? It isn't necessarily about having a great time whilst you can, (although I for one wouldn't discourage it); couldn't it be more about ACCEPTING that you cannot live at any other time than the present? Sure one can hope that things might be in some way different tomorrow (but they jolly well could be worse rather than better and how will you cope with THAT?!). One can even plan to make changes that might influence tomorrow or vow that you won't do again what you made the mistake of doing yesterday; but you cannot actually be anywhere else but in the present. (contradict away!)

Metaphysics is great I wouldn't be without it; but it's impossible to get past the actual physics of living without physically ending life. Suicide certainly will bring an end to 'this'. It may or may not be a route to 'that'.
 
my point is that there are other issues to perfection outside of a matter based paradigm of renunciation

BG 3.4 Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.




what makes you say that?

Sorry, this is probably due to my own ignorance but could you reword this. I didn't understand it. Sorry.
 
Sorry, this is probably due to my own ignorance but could you reword this. I didn't understand it. Sorry.

Since you earlier said something from the Buddhist perspective - There is a similar outlook in Buddhism as this -

BG 3.4 Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.

- namely, in Buddhism, there is the common instruction to the effect of:

Abandon the bad, develop the good.

In other words, merely abandoning the bad, the unwholesome, the unskillful (qualities, acts) is not enough; one also has to develop the good, the wholesome, the skillful (qualities, acts). If one wishes to attain Liberation, that is.
 
To keep someone's company, to listen to them, to talk to them, to do things together. And further: to take what they say seriously, to heed their advice, to appreciate their presence.

Then its easy, I willingly associate with people who make me laugh or think or preferably laugh and think. I'm forced to associate with many others because there are very few who can make me laugh and think.
 
When I meet someone there are some things that stand out and I know if I want to associate with that person or not. I like people who are down to earth, honest, funny,
and have the same views about life, kids.

I can't stand people that are phoney, who follow others just to be liked, or have a huge egos.
 
There may be a little more to this 'nihilistic' belief in living for the moment, might there not? It isn't necessarily about having a great time whilst you can, (although I for one wouldn't discourage it); couldn't it be more about ACCEPTING that you cannot live at any other time than the present?

But such acceptance that one can only live in the present is only possible if one also has a broader outlook on time. Such as "Yes, time is long, it stretches out for eons and eons, but all I really have is right now."

If one were to really fully live in-the-now, with no relation to either past or future, one would be catatonic, or enlightened.


Metaphysics is great I wouldn't be without it; but it's impossible to get past the actual physics of living without physically ending life.

This implies that it is impossible to become Liberated and live to tell.
 
But such acceptance that one can only live in the present is only possible if one also has a broader outlook on time. Such as "Yes, time is long, it stretches out for eons and eons, but all I really have is right now."

That IS what I am saying. The average human life span is approximately 75 years. If we are to believe what we see and hear about the age of the universe being 13.7 billion years old (give or take 120 million or so!); well that for adds perspective. We live; we die; the universe was and will be, presumably. Humbling!

If one were to really fully live in-the-now, with no relation to either past or future, one would be catatonic, or enlightened.

Why catatonic? Why enlightened? Why not just being?




This implies that it is impossible to become Liberated and live to tell.

What exactly would you want to tell, to whom, and why?
 
That IS what I am saying. The average human life span is approximately 75 years. If we are to believe what we see and hear about the age of the universe being 13.7 billion years old (give or take 120 million or so!); well that for adds perspective. We live; we die; the universe was and will be, presumably. Humbling!

No, you are not saying that. But perhaps you have implied, which seems verified by your reply now.


Why catatonic? Why enlightened? Why not just being?

If one were to really fully live in-the-now, with no relation to either past or future - then one would not eat or drink, to begin with. Hunger and thirst are drives related to past and future.
If one were to really fully live in-the-now, with no relation to either past or future - then one would also not work, not brush one's teeth etc.

What do you mean by "just being"?


What exactly would you want to tell, to whom, and why?

I cannot speak of something like that personally, as I do not have the according realization.

However, as the religious histories go, enlightened beings have taught religious principles of Liberation to other beings out of true mercy for them.

There is a difference between Christianity and Dharmic religions: According to some Christian doctrines, one cannot become liberated while still in this body - physical death is necessary in order to become fully liberated. Not so in Hinduism and Buddhism, where one is said one can become liberated, and live in the physical body, to tell others.
 
No, you are not saying that. But perhaps you have implied, which seems verified by your reply now.

Well I have said this whole kit and kaboodle somewhere but I do forget where and when and too whom. Damn my dulling brain!


If one were to really fully live in-the-now, with no relation to either past or future - then one would not eat or drink, to begin with. Hunger and thirst are drives related to past and future.
If one were to really fully live in-the-now, with no relation to either past or future - then one would also not work, not brush one's teeth etc.

What do you mean by "just being"?

Well I'm very literal. When I'm hungry I eat. When I'm thirsty I drink. sometimes I don't do either cos I'm wrapped up in what I'm doing NOW. If I feel like brushing my teeth I'll brush them now but I actually I won't bother because I did that a couple of hours ago. Of course all that is IF I can do that. Sometimes circumstance might prevent me even though I very much want to. I might then begin to worry that I haven't eaten or brushed my teeth but by 'living in the moment' I try to put aside those worries until I can actually 'do' something about it. Trivial example but applicable to any situation.

Te he he! Just to test my theory I just went and brushed my teeth. My mouth feels clean and fresh!


I cannot speak of something like that personally, as I do not have the according realization.

However, as the religious histories go, enlightened beings have taught religious principles of Liberation to other beings out of true mercy for them.

There is a difference between Christianity and Dharmic religions: According to some Christian doctrines, one cannot become liberated while still in this body - physical death is necessary in order to become fully liberated. Not so in Hinduism and Buddhism, where one is said one can become liberated, and live in the physical body, to tell others.

Ah 'to tell others' rather than allow self discovery by 'just being'?

My puzzlement lies in who assessess whom as being 'enlightened'? What criteria are being used in order to make this assessment?

To me it is just a way for one set of humans to infer that another are unenlightened and therefore inferior. (OkOk mea culpa!). I get all uncomfortable because to me 'enlightened' has the ring of 'saved' to it. And I don't like that.

Rules, rules, rules. Live by these rules; live by those rules. Just another set of randomly imposed rules. But I accept that such 'structure' works for many, many people. That's fine for them but it's not for me, personally.

Finding our own way. It takes a lifetime or no time at all in the general scheme of the universe.
 
But such acceptance that one can only live in the present is only possible if one also has a broader outlook on time. Such as "Yes, time is long, it stretches out for eons and eons, but all I really have is right now."

If one were to really fully live in-the-now, with no relation to either past or future, one would be catatonic, or enlightened.




This implies that it is impossible to become Liberated and live to tell.

A little koan that I made up just for you.

Gb asks his guru, " how shall I know when I am liberated ? "

Guru; " who is holding you captive ?"
 
I like Cicero for this one:

The man who backbites an absent friend, nay, who does not stand up for him when another blames him, the man who angles for bursts of laughter and for the repute of a wit, who can invent what he never saw, who cannot keep a secret — that man is black at heart: mark and avoid him.
 
How to assess whom to associate with, and whom not to associate with?
Every person is going to make this decision based on his own criteria. It's probably easier to start with the negative. Don't hang out with people who you can reasonably expect will do you harm, whether physical, financial, emotional, etc.

Other than that, I don't think most people "assess" each other and make "decisions" about who to "associate" with. It just happens.

American men typically choose associates who share common interests. My friends play go, are musicians or at least serious music fans, go dancing, like science and other fields of scholarship, have dogs and parrots, travel, enjoy ethnic restaurants, and a bunch of other things that would fill a page.

American women typically find people whose company they enjoy and then they join them in their activities. If you're wondering how they find those people in the first place, you'll have to ask a woman. :) But this facilitates male-female relationships. If a woman likes a man, she'll take up a lot of his activities and other interests, and once she does that, he will like her.
How to assess what to associate with, and what not to associate with?
This is an odd question for me. For American men, the "who" and the "what" are likely to be almost identical.
 
The human mentality is generally divided in orientation between quantitative values, and qualitative values.

I gravitate towards people in the 15% quantitative, 85% qualitative range.
 
How to assess with whom to associate?

1. Whosoever is in need of you.

2. We are intuitively drawn to those with whom we will associate long term. It's a metaphysical cognitive phenomenon. One can spot such a person across a room, across a street, or even (horrors ;) ) via the Internet. The recognition is always mutual, and in my experience, instantaneous.

I could talk about the Light and Spirit, the unmistakable tie that binds all like beings, but I've only been on this forum for thirty-six hours, so I think I'll wait on that.... If anyone knows to what I'm referring, please stand up and holler! - Jesse.
 
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