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How Do You Achieve Bliss?

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I’ve been practicing transcendental meditation for 22 years.  
It consists of sitting quietly for 20 minutes silently repeating a meaningless sound over and over in your mind.  You gently bring yourself back to the sound when ever you notice yourself thinking.  

Brain researchers are fascinated with it.  They are still trying to figure out why it works, but the studies they have conducted have shown increased scholastic ability in schools, decreased crime in prison inmates, and they are also studying it to help with PTSD in war veterans.  

I think it works as an exercise in self discipline.  You are gently becoming aware of the multitude of random things that your mind constantly throws at you.  Gently noticing them and returning to the mantra.  I think the mantra keeps the chattery part of your mind occupied so that your witness, or your self, strengthens in observation.  It exercises the frontal cortex/executive functions of the mind.

I transcend into Bliss Consciousness.  I feel an expansive energy emanating from my consciousness, my self awareness grows.  My ability to hold context grows.  Bliss provides a sharp contrast to negative energy, helping priorities become more clear.
 

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On 11/4/2017 at 12:13 PM, Eiuol said:

... points 3 to 4 are honestly a lot of vanity. One, telling yourself you're just wonderful because you're you is empty.

It takes a great deal of mental effort to understand the massive body of work Ayn Rand has presented, and even greater finesse to express it intelligibly.  The trader in me wants to earn the right to think of my self as good.  

On 11/4/2017 at 12:13 PM, Eiuol said:

Who says you deserve to be happy?

This idea touches on the concern with a sense of entitlement that drives politics.  

I think there is a fear that Objectivists will be stereotyped by the behavior of some of its members.  If a person uses Ayn Rand to justify being an egomaniacal ass, it makes it harder for more sensitive empathic Objectivists to present themselves to people.  

Though I embrace and value Ayn Rand’s definition of selfishness, I am still affected by what it means to more than 90% of the population. (i.e. pushing others down) I prefer the phrases self esteem or self awareness.  

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I remember an excerpt of Ayn Rand's notes where she tells herself: 

"stop admiring your self so much, you are nothing yet" 

But it is her right to know herself well enough to use that thought as motivation or shield, and to accept it from no one else.

To me, Ayn Rand seems to radiate with bliss consciousness, especially while engaging in vigorous debate.  It takes a great deal of self awareness to be able to inspire the rational mind of your adversary.  

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10 minutes ago, Tenderlysharp said:

"stop admiring your self so much, you are nothing yet" 

Ever hear the phrase, "life is about the journey, not the destination?" I think that's a false dilemma... but constantly looking towards the future and delaying your own pleasure in the now is not the way that I have ever personally achieved happiness.

I think that you should admire yourself as much as you possibly can, so long as your life is on the right track. That includes now when you are nothing, and someday when you become something.

10 minutes ago, Tenderlysharp said:

But it is her right to know herself well enough to use that thought as motivation or shield, and to accept it from no one else.

Exactly. I will not accept that I don't "deserve" to admire myself because I don't yet measure up to some external standard. I measure up to my own internal standards... ones which are informed by Objectivism, but are still unique to me.

10 minutes ago, Tenderlysharp said:

To me, Ayn Rand seems to radiate with bliss consciousness, especially while engaging in vigorous debate.  It takes a great deal of self awareness to be able to inspire the rational mind of your adversary.  

Ayn Rand rarely smiled. Why do you think that is? Was she just happy internally, and didn't choose to externally display it?

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14 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

I think that you should admire yourself as much as you possibly can,

I feel a resistance to this, and I am trying to figure out why.  It could be the word 'you' as though you are telling me to admire myself as much as I possibly can.  There is more to it.  I am trying to understand why it doesn't sit well with me.  

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Maybe you and I define or value admiration differently.  To me self admiration is something intimate... I don't care to express my own admiration of myself to anyone else, those moments pass as I challenge myself to a new goal.  I don't really like when others praise me, not that I am unhappy that they feel admiration, but the way admiration is substituted for work.  The way their admiration gets chained to an expectation, as though I owe them something for generating a feeling of admiration in them.  It depends who the admiration is coming from.  If I admired a painting my friend made, and they told me it was inspired by work that I did, I would feel honored.  I don't like the way most fans interrupt celebrities in the grocery store to gush on their admiration.  It isn't a fair trade.  

Admiration... like bliss, ecstasy, love are words with meanings that carry a great deal of energy/fuel to move forward.  

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15 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

Ayn Rand rarely smiled. Why do you think that is? Was she just happy internally, and didn't choose to externally display it?

Quite honestly I didn't believe you when I read that she rarely smiled.  The glint in her eyes when she sets the stage for a profound abstraction is so poignant to me, I never questioned the joy I felt I shared with her in those moments.  

For some reason this makes me think of the opposite feeling I had when watching a video of a diplomat saying some horrifyingly nasty things while a smile was plastered on his face and his head was nodding up and down.  

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6 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

I feel a resistance to this, and I am trying to figure out why.  It could be the word 'you' as though you are telling me to admire myself as much as I possibly can.  There is more to it.  I am trying to understand why it doesn't sit well with me.  

My thinking is that it often reflects an insecurity to tell oneself "I'm great" as a form of meditation is going as far as to say emotions may be willed. What I tried to say earlier is that this isn't so good, and I say so from a point of view where I'm in a state where I feel balanced and successful.

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