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Acceptance & Rejection

  1. May 26, 2003 #1
    Many have pointed out here that obviously we do indeed exist in some sense, and that it is difficult if not impossible to discuss nonexistence, the origin of existence, etc. Along these same lines of reasoning, rejection can be seen as being predicated on acceptance. Unless we accept something we cannot reject anything. As with nonexistence, acceptance can be a slippery subject to discuss. However, it could also be possibly the only way to understand these other slippery concepts.

    . Acceptance

    Harmony is only in following the Way.
    The Way of Happiness is
    Without form or quality,
    But expresses all forms and qualities;
    The Way is hidden and implicate,
    But expresses all of nature;
    The Way is unchanging,
    But expresses all motion.
    Beneath sensation and memory
    The Way is the source
    Of all the world.
    How can I understand the source of the world?
    By accepting.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2003 #2
    I'm lousy with directions...

    ...which Way do I go?

    Acceptance feels much to me like giving up. There is a part of me that just will not let me feel at ease until I have the answer for the great mystery of existence. Yet I know I will never have the answer...

    Somewhere, in the back of mind, is a feeling of despair.
  4. May 26, 2003 #3
    I really don't what to steal any of wuli's thunder, but acceptance is giving up. It is giving up trying, wrestling and letting it happen. We can't know the secret, paradox, of existance until we accept our existance and the existance of everything else including that which we can never know. In other words we must first exist to know existance. When we accept that we can not know and quit fighting it then in repose and harmony we will come to know. Not all at once but indicernable step by step we will come to know. Each step will lead us to the next and soon it will no longer concern us that we do not know and can not know. Then someday we will realize that we do know and have always known and we will laugh at how simple and wonderful and beautiful it is and at how silly we were to struggle so hard and so long and think that it was so difficult and complicated. We will laugh for days in delight and at ourselves. We will then know the unknowable and know that there is nothing to know.
  5. May 26, 2003 #4
    This is exactly the kind of fundamentalist, black and white, good and evil, thinking that I have struggled to elucidate here. If I accept that gravity exists it does not mean that I stop looking for anti-gravity. Accepting that racism exists, does not mean I accept it must always exist. Nor, for that matter, does it mean I must believe Racism will some day cease to exist or we will someday find the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

    If there is a God, Royce, then God would perhaps want us all to come to such a realization on our own. If there is no God, then again we must come to such a realization on our own. Paradox allows for this, but only if we are capable of acceptance.
  6. May 26, 2003 #5
    Okay, wuli, you want a discussion/arguement. You got it.
    I did not say to stop looking for or at anything nor is anything black and white. I said to quit fighting it, quit trying to find the unknowable and accept that you can not know the unknowable. You are, I know, playing the devil's advocate and sounding just like most westerners that acceptence is giving up and doing nothing. This stems from ignorance and misunderstanding, not yours, I know better, but westerners, like me.
    Giving up is one of the hardest things that I have ever attempted to do because of the necessarily included paradox, ie. trying to give up is still trying to do something and not acceptance. I can't even write about it with my limited command of the english language, my mother tongue, because the word 'attempt' implies acting, trying, excerting my will. The paradox: How do we give up fighting, wrestling, trying without trying to do so? The answer, in your own words, ACCEPTANCE. By accecepting the futility of trying not to try.
    It has nothing to do with giving up yet is giving up (I sound like the Toa myself, don't I?)
    How can we find anti-gravity if we're blind to the fact that our minds are as closed as our eyes.
  7. May 26, 2003 #6

    Les Sleeth

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    I have a little different take on at least the "inner" version of acceptance/surrender.

    If one accepts that reality exists independently of what we think of it, and that reality "works" a certain way, then it seems practical to learn the "way" of reality, and harmonize with that. That's because reality is the way it is, and no amount of fighting that or complaining about it will ever change it. I am not talking about relative circumstances, which can be changed, but rather that part of reality which cannot be changed (e.g., physical laws).

    But acceptance is only part of the story, because first one has to understand the "way" of reality one is going to harmonize with. Some here say, the "way" is only physical, and so once one has understood physical laws, all that needs to be known about reality has been understood. Some of us say maybe there is more, and so aren't in such a hurry to settle for the physical alone.

    Science has made the physical available to us like never before, so I personally think people are jumping for that too fast; afterall, at least it offers something that is real. If there is more than the physical, the question becomes: how do we find a way to directly experience that? We need that because without the confirmation of experience, all the talk about "something more" than the physical is just speculation at worst, or at best some intuitive sense no one can really get at or explain to others in a discussion such as this.
  8. May 26, 2003 #7
    Yes, Les, I agree and I know wuli does too but I'll let him say that.
    Acceptance means accepting the world that way it really is and not the why we wish to be. Reality is both external and internal. The physical reality outside of us exist whether we look at it or not or accept it or not. Thus; "When it is raining let it rain." The harmony is harmonizing the internal with the external that is reality as well as finding harmoney within. The reality is that there is no internal and external there is only one reality that is existance.
  9. May 26, 2003 #8
    Hey, maybe I've found acceptance then. This doesn't mean you have feel good about the situation does it?
  10. May 26, 2003 #9
    First you said, quote: "Acceptance is giving up," and now you say what you said was "quit fighting it", yet somehow this is not a black and white view of acceptance and the two statements do not mean the same thing.

    No offense, but what you sound like is confused.

    I do not struggle, fight, or otherwise "try" to take my next breath. Even if I hold my breath until I pass out, I will still take that next breath and resisting or fighting has nothing to do with my taking my next breath. Breathing is a natural, spontaneous, and effortless activity on my part.

    Now, of course you could claim that in some sense my body is fighting for life. However, the opposite view is much simpler. A Darwinist might put it to you that animals do not breath to survive, it is just that those which actually do breath live to see another day. Likewise, the animals that evolved breathing did not do so consciously or deliberately, but quite by accident.

    Expanding upon this analogy with evolution and biology rejection, strife, struggle, fighting, etc. are also behaviors that animals did not self-select and do not struggle to maintain. They are innate and the reason the animals have them is because that is what nature had available and what survived. Nature it seems is inherently accepting, nurturing, giving.

    That is the paradox of existence.
  11. May 27, 2003 #10


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    Greetings !

    What about the observed data - the observed Universe ?!
    It takes lots of effort to explore and deal with it -
    life. If it would seem you're around already - what's
    the point of giving up ? As a matter of fact, if that's
    the way you choose to look at things - why keep living ?

    However paradoxical things may be and seem some things
    still just appear to us - emotions, thouhgt, experiences,
    the world. So, why not just live your life and be guided
    by these instead of being a vegetable ?

    And btw, how about enjoying the benefit of the doubt in
    the paradox ?

    Live long and prosper.
  12. May 27, 2003 #11
    Drag, often you do not address people by name and your writing is a bit confusing. Perhaps if you could clarify both right now it would help.
  13. May 27, 2003 #12
    "I" am in the center of the Universe. Afterall the Universe is endless, and no matter where you go, you are in "its center." Hmm ... wouldn't that be another way of saying God embraces everything?
  14. May 27, 2003 #13
    Re: Re: Acceptance & Rejection

    That would be the extreme extension of the concept. The heart of the idea is simply that we exist and have innate feelings of acceptance about our existence. Both believers and non-believers then can share a great deal in the way of feelings and perspectives, with the single exception being God of course. Thus they can understand and accept each other that much more.
  15. May 27, 2003 #14
    When I said to give up, I did not mean to quit, to lay down our arms and die. Nor did I mean to quit searching or looking. We, most of us westerners any way, have been taught since birth that life is a struggle and we must run as fast as we can just to stay where we are. "God helps those who help themselves" How many time have I heard that one? We have been taught that it is by will power and determination that we accomplish anything.
    I know that acceptance is foreign to our, western, ways of thought.
    To put it into words you would use, acceptance is passive and female.
    Acceptance of ourselves, our lives, and our reality is not an active striving thing that we we are all used to doing. It is a passive nonstriving thing. It is acceptance. Only in that way can we achieve it. By giving up the struggle to achieve acceptance we learn to accept what is. When we accept what is, our eyes are opened and we can see what really is, free of our preconceived notions, biases or desires. When we can see what really is then we can accomplish so much more than if we perceive reality as other than what it really is, but what we have been taught or lead to believe. Science just as ourselves can not learn anything new unless it is willing to give up its old outdated theories. Far to often many so called scientist are unwilling to give up those old ideas and paradigms and accept the new.
    This is what , at least in part, what I mean by giving up.
    Last edited: May 27, 2003
  16. May 27, 2003 #15
    Another part of what I mean by 'giving up' is to open our minds as well as our eyes to see what really is and all of the new possibilities that are.
    I can't remember right now were I heard or read this. A Catholic priest was asked what the shortest prayer was. He replied;"F**k it, which is saying let go, let God."
    This too is part of giving up, of acceptance.
  17. May 27, 2003 #16

    Les Sleeth

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    Yes, this is one of the spiritual meanings; it is, in fact, exactly what Islam means.

    I know of another and more everyday example too. The best racquetball player in our club is a joy to watch because he is so relaxed. No one hits harder and more accurately or moves faster, but if you watch him, it is hard to tell he is expending much effort. Michael Jordan moves like that too, or look at relaxed swing of Tiger Woods. Watch how a great horse rider merges with horse, and so on.

    What I am suggesting is that "surrender" means relaxing into the conditions one needs to be truly successful. The real question to me is, what sorts of forces/conditions facillitate success? Physical condtions are the most obvious, but as you know I question if they are the only conditions one can learn to harmonize with and "ride" like that great equstrian.
  18. May 27, 2003 #17
    No, I don't think that physical condition are the only ones we need to relax to. I think mental attitude is probably just as important if not more so. I watch a lot of golf on TV. The announcers are always saying that a player can't get out of his own way. He's over analysing his game. Tiger always talks about staying in the moment. They once ask Fred Couples what he does to make the ball draw or fade. He said; "Nothing I just walk up knowing the I need to draw the ball and it does.' I found that very Zen l1ke.
    To become one with the horse requires as much mental as physical adjustment. As I said Harmony is both internal and external. Once true harmoney is reached the external and internal become one. There is no difference between them. This may last just as long as the ride or a life time. It may only be a few seconds during the ride or golf swing or whatever when we suddenly feel the difference and correctness of it and say "Oops, I did something right."
  19. May 27, 2003 #18
    Well said Royce.

    Drag hasn't gotten back to us yet, so I'll try to answer some of his questions and expand upon what you've said Royce.

    Humanity is not merely subject to the paradox of existence, we Are the paradox. Just as nature creates and destroys, we create and destroy; as mysterious as the universe as a whole is, we ourselves are mysterious and the paradox has no apparent boundries. It is not merely an external or an internal phenomenon, not merely Materialistic nor Idealistic.

    Accepting ourselves and the world around us is often difficult to do only because we have adopted habitual ways of abstractly catagorizing things as good and bad, right and wrong. In turn, habits and behaviors themselves are not so much the issue as our attitude towards them. As useful as such habits can be at times, at other times they are counterproductive. They remain nothing more or less than mechanistic tools which only we ourselves can animate and bring to life through the motivations of our attitudes which, in turn, help to shape new habits and atittudes.

    To paraphrase R. W. Emerson, "Virtue is its own reward, to have a friend you must first be a friend." The opposite is also true and applies not only to the world around us, but more poinently to ourselves. One need not believe in a God or even that life has a specific meaning or rational way in which it can ultimately be conceptualized in order to appreciate the value of friendship. However, you do have to take that first step.


    Cultivate harmony within yourself,
    And harmony becomes real;
    Cultivate harmony within your family,
    And harmony becomes fertile;
    Cultivate harmony within your community,
    And harmony becomes abundant;
    Cultivate harmony within your culture,
    And harmony becomes enduring;
    Cultivate harmony within the world,
    And harmony becomes ubiquitous.
    Live with a person to understand that person;
    Live with a family to understand that family;
    Live with a community
    To understand that community;
    Live with a culture to understand that culture;
    Live with the world to understand the world.
    How can I live with the world?
    By accepting.
    Last edited: May 27, 2003
  20. May 27, 2003 #19


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    Greetings !
    I appologize for the inconvinience. :wink:

    As you may've guessed (I personally thought it was
    quite clear) I adressed you and the subject of this
    thread of yours.

    You speak of the Way and of ecceptance. But paradox
    or not we do appear to exist - think, feel, live.
    Our emotions and thoughts are not entirely indpendent
    (probably at least, according to science) unlike what
    it seemed to me that you implied - writings on
    a blanck page. Recognizing the PoE does not mean
    that I shouldn't pursue what I want to pursue, feel
    what I want to feel or do what I want to do. It
    does not mean that I should drop into my meditation
    chair and turn into a vegetable. Why live at all then ?
    Why not just cut your own throat and get it over
    with. I highly disagree with this Universal acceptance
    approach. You can accept some things and, if you wish,
    can fight for others - not because you think they're
    really "right" but because that's what you want to do
    and that's the view that makes you feel good.

    Would you call that denial ?
    Maybe it is, but that's the only guide I have -
    what I want to do. For me this Way of yours is denial.

    Live long and prosper.
  21. May 27, 2003 #20

    Les Sleeth

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    Hmmm. I am not sure about Wuli's beliefs, so I don't want to say you've misunderstood him, but I am familiar with some of the philosophy of acceptance/surrender, and what you are describing isn't it. However, if not properly understood, one might interpret acceptance in a fatalistic way (and plenty of people have misunderstood it that way), and then I'd agree with you about the weakness of such a philosophy.

    This weekend I was around two families. In one the father was so tolerant, accepting of his young children, yet he continuously worked to guide them. The second family was headed by a relatively young man attempting to be a stepfather for the first time. He had the two young boys all but saluting (they did have to say "yes sir"). Now, you can imagine which set of kids were happier and healthier.

    In my opinion, the deep meaning of acceptance is to understand the true nature of reality and harmonize with that. It really only applies to that because reality is the one thing you cannot fight and win. All the suffering of the world is brought about by people who don't understand how to accept this truth, just like the dad who was withholding love until the children were behaving perfectly doesn't understand reality. Children are made a certain way, and when the father understands and accepts what the children need FIRST he is more likely to be successful at any thing he wants to achieve with them.

    Acceptance gets "deep" when one starts including as part of reality God or Truth. Total surrender to that aspect of reality has been an important part of the so-called "mystical" path.
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