How is consciousness individuated and how is my consciousness not distinct from others?
This is my main hang up. I realize everything within my consciousness is one, and without a center, but unless Buddhism slips into solipsism (and I don't think it does) I have to believe that each other human organism is playing out an analogous stream of consciousness in their heads. I realize my personal distinctions between "me" and "other" within my consciousness are arbitrary, but I fail to see how the actual distinction between my consciousness and yours as a separate one is arbitrary.
There seems to be a distinct line between my consciousness and yours. In this respect how are we "one"? How is my consciousness and yours connected in any way?
Feel free to ignore my question and post your own.
>Feel free to ignore my question and post your own.
Is there a better snack than roasted & salted sunflower seeds?
>But try to visualize consciousness as separate from time or physical space
That seems extremely counter intuitive though. How could thoughts or sensations of consciousness take place outside of the background of time and space?
I don't understand what either of you are getting at. Care to clarify?
Why are some /pol/ memes ridiculed here and others adopted?
The fact that we can only use the idea of person to differentiate one consciousness from another was one of the criticisms of Descartes' dualism by people like Peter Strawson. If consciousness and thinking really is a separate substance from matter and person (and Descartes gives us good reasons to think that it is) then how do I refer to Mary's consciousness as separate from Bob's consciousness without being dependent on separating the person of Mary from the person of Bob.
I always thought this criticism was actually a good argument that the consciousness of each being is in fact connected and can't be separated. Since we can't really talk about individual consciousness without being depended on the concept of person, which consciousness is said to be a different type of substance from.
i could not say what space consciousness occupies but I say that I have faith that in the same way that bhuddism professes that physical matter does not stop or start and that you and i coinhabit eachother because there "is no I" (as the texts say), then the same holds true in the consciousness sphere, that there are no boundaries and therefore our thoughts are interrelated.
on top of that my own experience in communication without words, but also to a degree, without even so much body language, so much seems to be expressed from other people... you feel like you share a world, but one which exists in your mind...
thoughts on this, gotama?
i real think at some level people communicate without words or body language, meaning somehow in a greater conciousness; but thats because while communication implies a seperation between two subjects. it really only means that something is being shared: thats the communication >itself
the shared thing.
and in the same way that communication is shared, the means for communicating must also be shared, eg our minds, our conciousness, has to be connected or there would be no possible means of communication, in the way that i feel like i cant understand say, saturn, but i can feel that i understand the way another person feels without speaking, or animal even
>How could thoughts or sensations of consciousness take place outside of the background of time and space?
They don't take place "outside," they all function together. You are a combination of all three: Time, Space, Consciousness.
>That seems extremely counter intuitive though
It seemed counter intuitive when Einstein said you could fire someone into space at near the speed of light, and they could return 50 years later having aged an hour.
Consciousness is called "Vijnana" and it's separate from your physical matter "Rupa." They both interact with each other and with "Kala," Time.
This amounts to little more than masturbation.
You won't understand Buddhism by reading books and discussing concepts with other mid 20's hipsters on an anime image board. Go meditate.
Your senses give you perception, emotions then guide you, brain then gives rise to thoughts via memory/pattern matching.
Consciousness is multiple temporary thoughts that come into existence and then fade away shortly after. However before fading, these collection of thoughts influences new thoughts. This process is repeated till we die.
Vipassana, a basic meditation, is one thats needed to understand(and truly live it) this simple process.
The reason its said "we're all one" is due to each one of us, everyone, being influenced by each other. (I say a negative word to you, you become negative for the rest of the day, which affects people around you negatively, and so on) The chain of influence is the reason behind "we are all connected". We are all separate due to our own bodies being different and computing different pieces of information at different rate with different filters. Thus giving everyone a different "self" identity.
>Masturbation is extremely satisfying and knowing that it doesn't get me closer to having actual sex is not something that would stop me from doing it.
I live with my gf. Even though I can get laid whenever I still beat off in the shower sometimes.
Will do. But I can't do both at the same time.
So I could say that there is a clear and distinct barrier between "my" consciousness and "Yours"?
Sure, we may influence each other but in the same way that one distinct billiards ball influences another distinct.
Why can't I define "self" as "this particular stream of consciousness". How is this not a center?
>So I could say that there is a clear and distinct barrier between "my" consciousness and "Yours"?
Yes to a large degree.
>Why can't I define "self" as "this particular stream of consciousness". How is this not a center?
The self is simply what we think we are. Are we simply some particular thoughts? "Wow this cat is beautiful", is that your "self"? What about "this cat is beautiful" "I want to pet it" "I want to buy this cat" and "I like the feel of the fur on this cat"? Is that your "self"? Those are particular streams of thought I had as an example. It was my consciousness (not the total, but enough to be relevant) for a moment.
A person can't be defined by their consciousness.
>The self is simply what we think we are. Are we simply some particular thoughts? "Wow this cat is beautiful", is that your "self"? What about "this cat is beautiful" "I want to pet it" "I want to buy this cat" and "I like the feel of the fur on this cat"? Is that your "self"?
I am the continuous stream of consciousness that started when the first neuron in the structure that would grow to become my brain fired and will end when this brain ceases to function. I am the sum of each and every thing that made up that stream.
How is this not self? How is this not "I"? Sure, it's made up of things but they add up to me. You don't argue that a cat isn't a single thing because it's made up of parts, you acknowledge that "cat" refers to the totality that all those parts make.
Is this not a solid definition of "self"?
I suppose that could be a possible definition.
However if you think about it a bit, do you remember each and every thought you had ever in your entire lifetime? What about 50% of those thoughts? What about 10%? Those missing thoughts are majority of your life.
I know we have memories of our actions, but those are mostly important things. At most an average person will have 90% accurate memory of what happened yesterday. Stretch it even further, and their "self" degrades and is mostly made up of flash backs that recorded something important or sometimes random junk memory. For most of us, we can't recall anything more than 10% (thats a very generous number). Even people with photographic memory can't recall every thought they ever had.
I suppose if god or some universal agent is looking at you with perfect clarity and perfect memory, they could sum up your "self", but for us, this is a false self. We can say "I'm made up of all that I've ever been and I've ever thought of", but reality comes down hard.
For a practical situation, you are what your memory holds and what your current thoughts carry and what you present yourself as currently.
I don't understand what that even has to do with it. The quality of a memory doesn't matter, all that matters is that it was a phenomenon that occurred within the stream of consciousness that is "me".
And why would I need to know all the contents of a thing to know its that thing? Why does it matter that I can't recall and hold before my mind everything implied by my definition of self at the same time?
You may be completely unaware what sequence of nucleotides is in a particular cat's 3rd chromosome but you know its a cat. I don't need to know what I was thinking at this time 4 years ago to know it was part of my "self".
See, I don't think I'm right here. I don't think I've discovered one simple trick to see past Buddhism. I'm just caught up on this definition of self which seems to me to be consistent and in possession of a "center".
Lets have a 10 year old say that, his self is everything that ever happened to him. @ 20, his self would be 50% of whatever he is now. @ 30, his self would be 1/3 of what he is. And 100, 1/10, etc. What are those extras 9/10 that make up him at 100?
Maybe when he was younger, he was an incomplete. Or maybe at 100, he was an alien taking over a 10 year old boy.
No, I'm saying that my "self" is everything that's gone or will go through my stream of consciousness from the point it started till the point it ends. Basically defining "self" as a single complete stream of consciousness.
I think you're misunderstanding what I'm trying to say. I'm not saying that I've created a new Buddhist-proof definition of "self", I'm trying to point toward what I think is a place that you could objectively draw a line between "self" and "everything else".
Buddhism, as I understand it, is partly about realizing that no such line can actually make consistent sense. But I am the stream of consciousness within which is the experience of writing this post at this time in this place, you are the stream of consciousness within which is the experience of reading this post at whatever time and place you read it in. In this way we seem to me to be totally different and distinct things.
I don't think I've thought of something new or even really interesting here. I'm just personally hung up on this question.
I don't think Buddhists would disagree that on a practical level we have separate selves but merely state that on a more fundamental level that selves do not have a fixed identity and that consciousness is the same in all sentient beings.
Besides, there are gaps in your continuous stream. We have gaps when we sleep. It's possible to get amnesia. It's also possible to die and be resuscitated. Etc.
I don't know much about time but saying the self is everything that ever will be is a very vague answer from a practical person. This would lead to the believe that currently you are incomplete or you are not your "true self." This idea has flaws like other people have said, for example memory loss and multiple personality disorder.
>on a more fundamental level that selves do not have a fixed identity and that consciousness is the same in all sentient beings
What makes one level more fundamental than the other? And also what is meant by consciousness being the same in all sentient beings? Obviously the contents of consciousness are completely different from one sentient being to the next, so you must be referring to some deeper "sameness"
Are you simply saying consciousness is the ability to experience anything at all and that this ability is what we all share? If that's the case it doesn't seem very profound.
>Besides, there are gaps in your continuous streamBesides, there are gaps in your continuous stream
Gaps would simply be negative space. Imagine consciousness like some kind of tunnel and imagine that the objects of consciousness are projected onto the walls of this tunnel. The tunnel starts with the very first object processed by "consciousness" in a fetus and ends with at the very end of the last object processed by consciousness. This entire "tube" is what I'm referencing. It wouldn't matter to anything if one of the objects of consciousness along the length was the thought "I've forgotten everything I've ever known". It's a shitty metaphor I know but it might work in someone else's mind.
Read the shitty tube metaphor above.
What I'm saying is that I have no access to anything "outside" this tube and it has no access to me. I guess this is probably a solipsistic argument of some sort.
Because if you focus strongly enough on "your" consciousness, you can see anything that is within "other" consciousness.
But they won't outright tell you in any philosophical text that ESP is possible.
What you declare as your consciousness is actually an illusion, a complex web of conditioned reflexes, linguistic concepts, memories, and associations. The same is with the other person. The ground consciousness - the one thing that remains once you managed to disconnect from emotional patterns, linguistic concepts, societal brainwashing, the influence of your personal history, and the basic pattern of the ego - is the same from person to person.
Check Dzogchen and Mahamudra.
I don't know how the shit works. It has only worked like five times for me and each one was just a brief flash. Four of the times, it was the person I wanted to see. One time, I just saw the future.
>The ground consciousness - the one thing that remains once you managed to disconnect from emotional patterns, linguistic concepts, societal brainwashing, the influence of your personal history, and the basic pattern of the ego - is the same from person to person.
Either you're saying that achieving a state of mind that is the "ground of consciousness" produces a certain phenomenal experience for all sentient beings, in which case the ground of consciousness would just be another experience of consciousness.
Or you're saying that the "experience" of being absolutely void of experience (nothing) is equal to itself which doesn't seem profound in the least. It's just saying emptiness is the same as emptiness.
It's not an experience. It's a state of being. Actually, your true state of being, which is always present beneath your ego and your thoughts and your identifications. The Vajrayana traditions describe this fundamental state as luminous emptiness, but to say it's empty is not exactly true. It's described as empty because it's utterly free of whatever concepts you impose on it. Since the state is beyond thought and emotion and other ways of translation, it's described as emptiness.
How could I acknowledge 'being' in a certain state of being if by "state of being" you don't mean a sensory state?
I don't think that's the claim. We may "emerge" out of matter, but actual reality in turn emerges from us.
How could something exist in any meaningful way without an observer? What you see right now, for instance, is a very specific sequence of photons that hit your eye and were shaped into an image by your mind. If you close your eyes, what happens to that sequence of electrons that would have otherwise hit your eye and been processed into an image? Maybe they reflect, or get absorbed by atoms in your eye lid, but they never attain any kind of actual being like an image you see.
The world constructed you and you construct the world. The world could never have been constructed without you (does a universe that pops into "existence" never to be acknowledged by anything at all until it fades out really ever exist?) and you could have never been constructed without the world, since you're made of it.
What do you mean by fall?
Now if you mean that if you went to look at it after the fact it would be on the ground, then of course it falls.
The problem is we don't think that way. When you think of a tree falling you think of the sound it makes and the way it looks and other such things, these things truly do not happen.
Literally, yes, the tree does fall. Technically, since what you mean by fall is probably a kind of being able to ascribe truth status to the sensations you associate with a tree falling as having actually happened. In this sense the tree doesn't and can't fall without an observer.
If I read you correctly, what you argue is that if we come in after the tree has fallen, we see the tree in it's fallen state, but the tree did not truly fall.
However, if we are around to observe the tree falling, then the tree does fall and end up in a fallen state.
The act of "falling" is a mere transition from one state to the other in a tree--and just one transition of many. If we cannot verify this state and only see a fallen tree, then there could be a multitude of other things that brought the tree to its fallen state.
How did samsara arise in the first place?
Also, if time is beginning and endless why are we not all Buddhas by now, given that an infinite amount of time has now passed?
Time may not have a beginning or end, but that doesn't mean our corporeal lives do not. Life as we know it has a beginning and end, and exists purely within time. Enlightenment is without time. You in your present state (in this lifetime) may not be a Buddha, but you (as a part of consciousness) exists outside of time.
>If I read you correctly
Close, but not quite. That's more my fault then yours though.
Here's the best I can do to explain my position:
>Think of a tree falling when no ones around
What do you think of? You think of a tree falling with you around! You think the mental image of a tree falling or maybe you think of the sound. This is just normal reflexive thinking.
So imagine I asked if a tree fell down when no one was around and my friend says yeah, no one was anywhere near and we came back and found it had fallen. What mental construct do I now ascribe the status "True" to? Well, it's the one I thought. I think of the image or sound of the tree falling when I'm around (in some disembodied fashion) and then I say "that was true".
Speaking by dictionary definitions, of course you're correct. The tree fell, that's true. But phenomenologicaly, that's not actually what you're telling yourself is true. You're saying that the sound or the image or some other sensation related with a tree falling actually happened. In that sense you're wrong.
Imagine two small asteroids hitting 4 trillion light years away with absolutely no one or nothing to acknowledge or react to it happening. Really think about in what sense that actually happens. I'm not saying "It's all in your head", but I am saying everything you know about, care about and consider as being in existence part of your mind.
Thanks for your answer; I appreciate it.
I guess the further question is that if time is infinite then why has samsara arisen and how? And then why have we not all become enlightened after infinite eons extending to the past? Does that make any sense?
If ignorance is an unnatural state of beings then how did it arise in the first instance?
Think of it like this: samsara is time. Enlightenment allows you to leave time. It would seem like we should all be outside time by now, but remember that consciousness is infinite. There is no set finite number of individual "selves" that can exist at any given point, so as parts of the consciousness move outside time, more move in. It's like life and death.
And there's nothing unnatural about ignorance. It's key to the natural progression toward enlightenment.
Not the same guy and only lightly read up on Buddhism.
>if time is infinite then why has samsara arisen and how? And then why have we not all become enlightened after infinite eons extending to the past? Does that make any sense?
Well yeah, makes sense to me. Think of it this way, given infinity you'd see universes rise and fall, and life pop into and out of existence at a rate that we don't know yet. But even if it's extremely rare the universe is big enough that even small odds would mean it's a significant occurence.
Anyway, now think of it like a cycle. Think of all the beings in the universe for infinity, sometimes they'd be "enlightened" and sometimes they'd be in samsara. Why should we think that the universe as a whole reaches a point of nirvana all at once? It makes more sense to think of it as localized phases.
Also some schools of Buddhism profess that nirvana and samsara are absolutely identical. Some vocally say this is not the case, but I've read extremely little about that debate so I'll leave it at that.
>If ignorance is an unnatural state of beings then how did it arise in the first instance?
If I understand this correctly language would be the blamed culprit. It changed the whole gambit.
So before language there was no samsara and ignorance?
>And there's nothing unnatural about ignorance
It's my understanding that the true state of beings is enlightenment, which would mean ignorance (grasping) is an unnatural state.
The time before language is a sort of natural ignorance. Yes, this is fairly anthropocentric, but remember that animal conscience is a temporary property of Conscience, and can find itself as human. Were humans more animalistic before language? I would argue so.
Enlightenment may be a "true" state, but ignorance is also true in that it is the youthful state necessary to progress into enlightenment. That progression is the meaning of life, and without ignorance, there would be no meaning to life and no way to assign "truth" to enlightenment.
This question is one close to heart to my op question.
To believe I'm one with everyone else I have to somehow believe that consciousness is something separate from brains that just happens to only go where they go.
I can't wrap my head around separating the brain from consciousness but at the same time, even if you factor in the brain it doesn't make sense.
I don't know enough about it but I'd be interested in panpsychist arguments. What if brains just have it to a more complex degree? I'm still very on the fence with that though. But seriously, how could anyone really claim to know?
A person can't be defined by any arbitrary methods; those only serve to view ourselves in relation to others. The question to me is: At what point are we "conscious," at what point are we "individuals?" It seems to me that even if humans gain a spectrum of choice making and thinking, it is limited by the environment--which Buddha would say prooves in itself the inextricable oneness between "external" and "internal." For example, we think we make all of our own decisions, but no one made their brain and body grow as a child, even though they claim them as "myself" as they get older.
>no one made their brain and body grow as a child, even though they claim them as "myself" as they get older.
I wouldn't claim that anything other than what goes on in my (abstract) head was "me".
I think that's the normal dualist position.
That wasn't determined by you, either. You behave exactly as you are programmed to, either via genetics or environment, the same as all living things. Just because you percieve yourself as being independent from everything, doesn't make it so. When you really think about it, science has confirmed Buddhism, not refuted it--starting with the food chain.
>You behave exactly as you are programmed to, either via genetics or environment
In your head you differentiate between "the real you" and "The programmed me". This differentiation is just part of your brains function.
I'm not saying that consciousness is some magical thing thats not affected by genes or environment. The idea of being "programmed" and the idea of being "free" are both just ideas in the mind. There the same thing: you.
Why is that a bad thing? Just because something is popular, doesn't make it less valid; the ideas have to stand on their own. Alan Watts has been a great introduction to Buddhism to many people.
>What links my consciousness with you?
What separates them?
How I think about it, is that your cells are constantly dying and being replaced, so that 10 years ago you had a physically completely different body from when you do now. Just as you have a completely different body from other people
I did and I'm just getting over the part where I feel ashamed to say it. Some stuff he says is weird but there's not many options for a regular guy to get into the stuff he gets into as a westerner and actually understand it.
He does the job and makes it interesting enough that you want to keep reading. How could you ask for more?
I have a totally different atomic makeup, and even my thought patterns are different from 5 years ago, there's no doubt.
But there's still a barrier. I know nothing outside the conscious experience produced by this one body I have. We're totally separate on every level except some of our atoms may exchange. Is that really enough to say we're the same?
I'm in the part of listening to him where I'm trying to see what other people think about him. Like I wanna see if how much I love him is stupid. Cuz listening to him is a little bit how I feel like cults get started. But I like it.
>there's not many options for a regular guy to get into the stuff he gets into as a westerner
this is ridiculously accurate
I think about it as a spectrum of points of view. Some people think they are puppets and get really depressed because they feel like they have no control over their life. Others take LSD and discover they're one with everything. Buddhism points out that no point between these extremes is the "right" or "correct" point of view, but that they are simply people's expanding and contracting definitions of who they are
>Cuz listening to him is a little bit how I feel like cults get started. But I like it.
I feel the same way. I'll keep going unless I reach some point where I want to buy power crystals, that's my mental safety word for new age-ey eastern stuff.
>What I'm saying is that I have no access to anything "outside" this tube and it has no access to me.
I don't know about you, but I feel extremely influenced by the outside world, and in rare moments I see the enormous influence I exert onto my surroundings without sometimes realizing it
>I don't know about you, but I feel extremely influenced by the outside world
What you mean by the outside world is what I meant by the shit projected on the tube. (Its a really shitty metaphor, and my fault that didn't get across).
The "outside world" is just a story your brain tells you about the stimulus it's getting. Its not actually "you" reaching out and being touched by some kind of real, trancendental "outside".
And by "story your brain tells you" I mean the story as it is phenomologically experienced as your brain processes stimulus in whatever way it does, of which consciousness is a part, I guess.
Basically I didn't mean to imply hard dualism.
>he "outside world" is just a story your brain tells you about the stimulus it's getting.
I think this is a remarkably similar argument to the one that Buddhism makes
You don't "feel" that the world outside is caused by you, but in a very broad sense you are responsible. The only difference is whether you label the outside world as "real" or not.
And on that note I think is where we ask the wormy question of what "real" is.
>how real is real?
>is an illusion created by the mind real if the mind views and accepts it as real? Especially if there is nothing outside that is real-er? (excluding the Matrix argument)
in a way, solipsism's argument that our mind is the only thing that exists is only different from Buddhism in that it has a different definition of a mind
>in a way, solipsism's argument that our mind is the only thing that exists is only different from Buddhism in that it has a different definition of a mind
Interesting, but a big claim. I'd like to know more.
Whats the difference in the definition of a mind and what's the justification for the different definitions?
making this up as I go along
When I think of the mind in a solipsist (is that a word?) sense, I think of someone who thinks they THEY, their consciousness is the only thing that exists. Buddhism kind of (as far as I've understood it) says the same thing, except is says that the little critters you see all over are a part of your identity as a being of pure consciousness. Solipsism says they are also part of you, that they are caused by you and part of you because your "mind" created it, but it asserts that they are illusions. Buddhism incorporates these critters that your mind made as part of you
>brain is not a receiver, consciousness almost surely emerges from it
Ok, I agree with you
>we are not all one and Buddhism is retarded
not seeing how these ideas are mutually exclusive
>I think of someone who thinks they THEY, their consciousness is the only thing that exists
I think the argument is really more like, "what reason do I have to believe that there is anything outside my consciousness when my consciousness is the sum total of everything I can possibly and will experience?"
>critters you see all over are a part of your identity as a being of pure consciousness
Is the empty space in a cup the same thing as the empty space in a bowl? I see a crayon that's the same color as my skin and it doesn't strike me as profound. Other things with brains probably use them too. But how can I say truthfully?
>that they are illusions
do you have to believe they're illusions to believe you're the only one experiencing them?
>incorporates these critters that your mind made as part of you
sure they're part of you in that you made them. But to think so abstractly as to think that they're real "outside" you (whatever that means) and that they share a property which you share of being able to think and that somehow makes you the same thing seems to require a lot of leaps of faith.
>not seeing how these ideas are mutually exclusive
If consciousness emerges from brains, and it can only experience what that one brain picks up as stimulus, and there is a corresponding consciousness for each brain that follows the same rules as mine then the two ideas are mutually exclusive.
are you really saying that buddhist meditation gives you magic powers?
>do you have to believe they're illusions to believe you're the only one experiencing them?
This is showing my ignorance on solipsism, do they not necessarily think that the outside world is an illusion?
>that they share a property which you share of being able to think and that somehow makes you the same thing seems to require a lot of leaps of faith.
In my experience Buddhism isn't about getting anyone to believe anything, but rather getting them to realize a lot of different perspectives are possible, and that believing that there is a "right" point of view is somewhat foolish
>how do you guys cope with doing it while being a Buddhist?
there's no difference whatsoever
>In my experience Buddhism isn't about getting anyone to believe anything, but rather getting them to realize a lot of different perspectives are possible, and that believing that there is a "right" point of view is somewhat foolish
Buddhist writings explain enlightenment in much more fantastic and much much more complex language then that. I find it hard to believe that's the ultimate idea behind Buddhism.
The principles it operates on might be closer to Taoism. The book says you contact a matrix that contains all information, but I have no idea how they could have concluded that's how it operates.
>there's no difference whatsoever
Are you saying Buddhism doesn't frown upon it?
I admit I'm not too familiar with the specifics of all it's teachings. I just know I feel horrible afterwards.
>Are you saying Buddhism doesn't frown upon it?
No clue. I mean they probably do. But I didn't let Christianity tell me not to jerk it and I'm sure as hell not stopping now
I use Buddhism to make sense of my life. It's a tool for my use, I am not a tool to be used by it
sorry not sorry
>I thought of the "one consciousness" stuff, especially in terms of meditation, to be in regards to our capabilities for empathy
That doesn't follow for me. "All living organisms need to eat" is an even broader statement and isn't at all indicative of all living organisms being the same thing. Sounds like a psychological overload of empathy to me. To have so much and project it onto the world.
>I use Buddhism to make sense of my life. It's a tool for my use, I am not a tool to be used by it
Protip: use your natural desire to masturbate despite your personally held beliefs that a moral authority frowns upon it as a subject for investigating what desire really is
What's absolute about it?
That's only because the word "consciousness" literally has within it's broad definition everything you could possibly be absolutely sure of, since everything you experience is a conscious experience.
There's nothing else you can be sure or skeptical of because it encompasses everything you can think of.
"Everything I have experienced" is a set that is constantly changing though. Consciousness is not. Yet despite not changing, "everything I have experienced" still resides within the set named "consciousness", which means it must be the set that contains everything.
>Consciousness is not
Consciousness isn't always changing? Are you even human? That's like what it does.
What you're really saying is that the actual ability to think at all is somehow special, which I'm open to, but confused.
buddhism doesn't teach "all is one". unless someone can point me towards the verse in the pali canon stating such a thing... maybe it is mahayana.
consciousness is not a singular "thing" in buddhism (pali canon buddhism). look into the controversy with the monk sati who had the wrong view that "this very consciousness, which sees and hears, is what goes life to life". the buddha took him to task: which consciousness? haven't i taught you that consciousness is dependently arisen, that without a cause it does not arise? in other words, the monk sati had a typical spiritualist view of consciousness as the center, the subjective self, "WHO" hears, sees, thinks, etc and who is alive now, who dies, who is reborn. what he could not see is that the buddha was teaching a no-"who" view of reality. no subjective self who hears, sees, thinks, etc. just seeing, just hearing, just thinking, even if the abstracted sense of "self" or "i" occurs. buddhism is not a "realize your true self" philosophy, it is a "realize what you took for granted as self is not-self" philosophy. what exists now, in buddhist terms, cannot be called a "self" even though in ordinary language this is how things go. thus, consciousness is not-self. it can be difficult to see if you've unconsciously adopted the view that "you" are consciousness, or that your real self consists of consciousness. the buddhist view is really pushing you towards realizing that this very consciousness, whether mundane or supramundane, is not actually a self any more than matter is. in one sutta in the khanda vagga, consciousness is compared to a magician's trick, an illusion. it is just the very opposite of most spiritual traditions that teach consciousness=soul.
so the questions regarding "my" consciousness and "yours" don't really apply. it is not that it is "mine" and "yours". the difference is just like how we have different bodies yet in the ultimate sense we are not the bodies. neither are we the consciousnesses, according to buddhism.
it's difficult to see. what many people don't realize in discussing buddhism is that it is taken for granted within buddhism that until a certain point of sanctification is reached, understanding the real depths of such things as anatta, sunnata, and nibbana are simply impossible, and all we can do is grasp in the dark in our ignorance as putthujanas.
What if "I am the same thing I remember being 5 years ago" is just a thought you learn. If you didn't know words could you ever remember and maintain such a construct. It's a pretty cultural meme that goes very very far back to the dawn of names themselves.
this thread reminds me of the time I met a Buddhist monk in Penn Station NYC on my way home on new years day. he was asking for donations for his temple, and I was feeling generous so I hooked him up. I got a golden icon and wooden bracelet in return. the best part is that my hangover disappeared shortly after.
Mahayana here (FPMT) I don't even understand the implication of "all is one." Sounds like something that came from Hinduism (thou art that) and people have misplaced on Buddhism.
How many /lit/izens are practicing Buddhists? What are your schools/traditions?
As a generic buddhist, I think the "all is one" gets thrown towards buddhist because of hindus idea of "all is one" and taoist "all is ying/yang". Because these two asian religions are like "all in one", buddhism must also be "all is one."
Thats where I see this language coming from honestly.
>How many /lit/izens are practicing Buddhists? What are your schools/traditions?
I wish I would, but I am scared to feel and also to fail to achieve the path, since I am already good for nothing.
I think that i do not believe to deserve to be happy.
>why has samsara arisen and how?
No answer is given. But there's no need to think of a reason for its existence. It's just the way things are.
>And then why have we not all become enlightened after infinite eons extending to the past?
Because we have been doing the same things over and over again, at best making only the slightest of progress, and that in only certain existences. Logically, innumerable beings have reached enlightenment of course, but innumerable others (us) haven't been able to.
>If ignorance is an unnatural state of beings then how did it arise in the first instance?
It isn't. The base nature of beings is an enlightened one, but this doesn't mean that beings were enlightened and then fell down due to ignorance, as if Adam and Eve were thrown out of Paradise. What this means is that all without exception (don't listen to what the Nirvana Sutra or similar "fug da heretics :DDD" texts say) have the possibility to uncover their base nature and destroy ignorance. It doesn't depend on external, alien factors and isn't something that you win or is bestowed upon you because you did X or Y action. It's something you "get" by getting rid of the superfluous in you.
>Will there be a point when there is no one in the hell, hungry ghost, animal, etc realms?
Maybe. There's no guarantee whatsoever. That's why all have to save themselves, and help and support others to save themselves too.
What will happen at that point, if it happens, we can't really know.
>I fail to see how the actual distinction between my consciousness and yours as a separate one is arbitrary.
It operates on the same principle as derridian or lacanian deconstruction.
You can only define a thing by what it is not. 'Self' can only be defined in relation to 'other' and vice versa.
The process of differentiation between the two can be very detailed and very inclusive, but it is never exhaustive -- never complete.
You say you understand this already, but I don't think you do.
Consciousness is not a stable, objectively definable condition. It's différance can be undermined. It can be deconstructed like anything else.
If you can't even separate consciousness from non-consciousness... what makes you think you can separate two consciousnesses from each other?
You're having trouble with this because you're clinging to a logocentric concept of consciousness.
>Are you saying Buddhism doesn't frown upon it?
Sort of, in the same way that sex itself is also frowned upon from the highest level of practice. The reason is that these are acts that at the very least deepen your attachments, so are bad. You need to be of a very particular level of understanding yourself and have a very special connection with your partner in order to turn sex into something different. Even once-returners though (those who will be reborn only once before enlightenment) can lead non-celibate lives. It's not really a black and white issue.
>I just know I feel horrible afterwards.
Then work on it so that you don't. You might be unable to instantly cut off indulgence in sexual pleasure, as pretty much all of us are, but you can reduce the negative effects it creates. Eliminating the subtlest negative effects is something to be done later, but you can start working on gross effects like this feeling right away.
>scared to feel
>and also to fail to achieve the path
Maybe you won't necessarily be able to do it within this very life, but it won't mean that you have failed. Whether you look at Theravada or Mahayana, this holds true.
And maybe you'll achieve it in this life. You can't know beforehand.
>I think that i do not believe to deserve to be happy.
No being deserves anything. If something should happen because of a past action, karma takes care of it. Anything else is a choice.
Maybe in a recent previous human birth you were the nicest and most reliable person for those around you. In that case why wouldn't you 'deserve' happiness now? Even a terrifying murderer 'deserves' it if he has sincerely changed his ways, like what happened with Angulimala.
>>Are you saying Buddhism doesn't frown upon it?
buddahbro said that a wank is permitted in his tantric doctrine, but you no longer desire it since you ejaculate in yourself, somehow, after a while and when you meditate.
Yeah that's a specific form of tantric practice. Like the one that makes the practitioner use a consort and engage in sex, but the practitioner is advanced enough to use the act as a final gateway into liberation.
These remain quite advanced and, as far as I know, relatively rare practices however. As pretty much always there is a question of means, sex and sexual pleasure are not harmful in and of themselves, and can even be used for positive effect. Of course this doesn't mean that every act can be used in that way (killing, for example) but many of them can.
>'Self' can only be defined in relation to 'other'
Yes but I think you're interpreting this as being an exchange between some kind of "inside" and "outside" world. Or the mind and it's surroundings.
I've always found the truth of such assertions to be much more subtle. "self" and "other" are designations the mind gives to stimulus. "self" doesn't mean "my inner monolog and conscious experience" with "other" meaning "The stuff outside that causes sensation". Think of your brain as a muscle that flexes one way to indicate a certain happening within it as "me" and flexes another way to indicate "not me". I'm not saying this is how it works but the metaphor works.
It's all, of course, happening within your consciousness, even things you can only make sense of with the theory that they are happening without.
>Consciousness is not a stable, objectively definable condition
Sure, but there is a consistent stream, and the stream "I" am experiencing can in no way conceivably overlap or interact with the one you're experiencing. You may say we can do this with words or something like that, but even words spoken by another person are entirely encapsulated in your consciousness.
>logocentric concept of consciousness
True enlightenment is a state far removed from one of evaluating the moral worth of actions. When you realize deeply that it could not be any other way, actions cease to have moral overtones. With true understanding you wouldn't even wish it had gone another way if you could, because you see it's perfection.
Karma doesn't function as a scale on which some acts (murder, rape, whatever) get you a certain amount of negative points and some other acts (empathy, kindness) get you positive points. Most people feel like they know it's not that simple, but I think few have actually really replaced that notion of karma after they have accepted it as false.
When you do something you think of as morally right (we all have some kind of moral code we follow even if we don't call it that) you feel as though you've done the right thing and you are taking that belief that "this is right" and influencing the world with it, which in turn makes the world itself more like what you think of as "right"
When you do something you think of as wrong you feel as though you've done something wrong and this action of yours changed something about the real world and made it more like what you consider "wrong".
Consider a mass murderer who truly believes deep in his heart that he's sacrificing himself completely for his victims and doing them the ultimate service by killing them. He feels as though he's morally right and his actions have made the world more like what he considers "right", just like the guy who accomplished the same goal via kindness. Morality is not some kind of special class of mental constructs, you should view it as you view any of your other mental constructs, retaining, of course, a healthy dose of moral judgments of your own actions if for no other reason than to be able to live comfortably with others.
This is karma as I understand it. Sorry for the wall of text.
>you're interpreting this as being an exchange between some kind of "inside" and "outside" world
No, because inside and outside is just another unstable binary to be deconstructed.
You've created a label for your subjective experience and called it consciousness -- defined it in relation to everything that is not your subjective experience. But this isn't any less arbitrary than the difference between fuschia and hot pink.
You're clinging to consciousness as a stable difference -- one that transcends the never ending process of difference... but it doesn't.
If you want to get really Bhuddist about it, we are all aspects of the same universe experiencingn itself subjectively. The act of differentiation and labeling isn't any more powerful for being laid along the criteria of subjectivity than it is along anything else.
to feel alive and human, I believe. I do not like emotions and I really wish to be a robot.
>Maybe you won't necessarily be able to do it within this very life, but it won't mean that you have failed. Whether you look at Theravada or Mahayana, this holds true.
I think that it took only a few years for the first buddha to be enlighten, but then the buddhists of today spend dozens of years meditating with, apparently, only a few of them achieving the path whereas they start in their childhood
I would not cope with a defeat, personally, since I am already good at nothing. To realize that I cannot even do this would live me nothing.
And besides, then it seems hopeless to follow the first buddha who manage to reach enlighten from 28? to 36 ? years of age when we are 20 or 30 years old today.
the dalai lama had all the best teachers and access to all the secrets of the buddhisms, speaking directly in pali, with the best care possible since he was an infant.
And yet, he does not seem enlightened. Is he actually ?
>No, because inside and outside is just another unstable binary to be deconstructed.
That's why I put them in quotes. I was using them to refer to what you phenomenologicaly think of when you think of "inside" and "outside", not the things as having a reality of their own.
>You've created a label for your subjective experience and called it consciousness
We can call it the subjective experience if you like that better.
>defined it in relation to everything that is not your subjective experience.
There is no such thing as something that is not my objective experience. What could possibly reach my mind without being interpreted in a subjective way? The very thought of experiencing something not mediated by subjective interpretation is absurd and unthinkable. The normal person has a strong belief that they're located somewhere in their skull, and that sensations that appear to come from somewhere other than between your skull (due to your perception of distance) are not "them" but instead something separate that they're sensing. That's pretty universal pop-ontology if you will. Actually treating these designations of "inside" and "outside" as real objective facts for deconstructing with linguistics and logic will of course unearth that they're inconsistent definitions that refer to the same general thing. That's not their job though, the job of the idea of "inside" and "outside" is one of making social interactions intelligible and they do a fine job of that.
>But this isn't any less arbitrary than the difference between fuschia and hot pink.
If the difference in the meanings of those words were truly arbitrary we could use them interchangeably without sounding strange. In reality the words refer to more than just the colors they "literally" refer to. Imagine being on a date and asking what your date's favorite color is. Play out the scenario once where they respond with "pink" and another time where they respond with "fuschia". You would construct a different mental image of the person depending on which they said. You would make inferences about what the color they picked says about them and those inferences would be different for each word. Language and meaning go much deeper than literal definitions.
>we are all aspects of the same universe experiencingn itself subjectively
yet somehow in our subjectivity we developed a method to objectively ascertain that there was a metaphysical reality outside ourselves called the universe that is actually also somehow not separate from us in that we are it.
I really do get the appeal of the idea, but the formula is the same one other, more overtly silly, religions use it's just cleverly ornamented with interesting philosophy and really cool traditions and legends.
>Karma doesn't function as a scale on which some acts (murder, rape, whatever) get you a certain amount of negative points and some other acts (empathy, kindness) get you positive points.
They do though. There are some actions which are intrinsically wholesome, and some that are intrinsically unwholesome. Wholesome ones will have positive results, unwholesome ones will have bad results. This is very clearly explained by the Buddha.
What doesn't happen is that you don't get positive points when you kill someone you and everyone considers a bad guy. Also, an action doesn't necessarily create either good or bad results. It can create both at the same time, and you'll have to deal with it. Also, there are actions that
An enlightened being is incapable of performing those intrinsically unwholesome actions. He doesn't do it because he is attached to morals, but simply because wholesomeness is his state of being.
>There are some actions which are intrinsically wholesome, and some that are intrinsically unwholesome
Who decides to what degree things are "wholesome"? Me? If all life on earth was wiped out right now and 3 billion years later a new, completely different sentient species has evolved here. If actions are intrinsically marked with "wholesomeness" points what function of the universe has kept them constant in between our species and theirs? is it a law of matter like gravity that certain actions preformed by certain kinds of structures in the universe are wholesome and others not so much?
>Wholesome ones will have positive results, unwholesome ones will have bad results
Via the definition of positive and bad the person preforming the acts has. Of course if you think an action is good if it's results are good, and the same for bad actions. You only think of it as good in the first place because of its positive results.
>Also, an action doesn't necessarily create either good or bad results. It can create both at the same time
Of course I'd never argue that point, it's very clearly true.
>An enlightened being is incapable of performing those intrinsically unwholesome actions
“The limits of nirvāna are the limits of samsāra. Between the two, also, there is not the slightest difference whatsoever” (Inada 1993, 158)
>to feel alive and human, I believe. I do not like emotions and I really wish to be a robot.
I understand the wish and the way you feel, but it's impossible to become a robot. You can however learn to not be under the control of your wildly swaying emotions.
>I think that it took only a few years for the first buddha to be enlighten,
We do not know who the "first" Buddha was. The historical Buddha practiced asceticism for 6 years to the extreme, and he became enlightened after that period, though it wasn't due to the practices he did. He achieved it in a relatively small amount of time because it was his "destiny" (via karma amassed through so many lifetimes) to become the Buddha of our era.
>but then the buddhists of today spend dozens of years meditating with, apparently, only a few of them achieving the path whereas they start in their childhood
Not even the Buddha's own disciples necessarily became enlightened quickly. In fact, Ananda couldn't make it before the Buddha's nirvana, despite his skill in the path. Yet others became enlightened in extremely short amounts of time. There is no set standard, as it depends on the person's situation. Furthermore, dozens of years of practice in order to be liberated is nothing compared to the countless aeons already spent in ignorance.
>I would not cope with a defeat,
You're not fighting against anything. What are you getting defeated by? Suppose that you couldn't be enlightened in this lifetime, you could still become a non-returner, once-returner or stream-enterer.
Besides, if you took up this path, you would throw out this manner of viewing things eventually. So at that point you wouldn't despair because you have failed. And again, this is something you cannot know without trying. Many talented people would have enormous difficulties in meditation, or even living Buddhism in general. This is perfectly normal. Talented and untalented are all on the same boat when it comes to this. The only thing that makes a difference is each individual's karma, which will result in some advancing rapidly and others advancing more slowly. And you can't know what your lot will be beforehand.
You can't answer that question without knowing him personally. But he didn't necessarily have access to the best teachers, because who has decreed that Gelug teachers must be the best? The Dalai Lama is just an important lama for that 'sect', nothing more, he doesn't even have weight in the whole of Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhists also don't need to use Pali, they are not Theravadins and have their own canon.
>There is no such thing as something that is not my objective experience.
There doesn't have to be. You only need to conceptualise such a thing in order to use it to define it in relation to its opposite.
There no such thing as unicorns either, and yet I can define it.
You think we're talking about Bhuddism, don't you? We're not. We're talking semiotics.
>If actions are intrinsically marked with "wholesomeness" points what function of the universe has kept them constant in between our species and theirs? is it a law of matter like gravity
Yep, that's literally what the dharma is (it also means the Buddha's teachings). How this works has not been explained with all its details by the Buddha, but he did explain a lot of things about it. As in, why is it that something is intrinsically unwholesome or not. It has been solidly constructed.
>Via the definition of positive and bad the person preforming the acts has
As stated above, via a universal law that acts impartially.
>“The limits of nirvāna are the limits of samsāra. Between the two, also, there is not the slightest difference whatsoever” (Inada 1993, 158)
This absolutely doesn't mean anything related to the issue at hand. Just like how the principle of emptiness doesn't imply that killing is ok.
"In the past, and also now, I declare that [...] an arahant [...] is incapable of transgression in regard to nine things: [...] destroying life [...] taking what is not given [...] engaging in the sexual act [...] telling a deliberate lie [...] making use of stored-up enjoyments as he did in the past [...] taking a wrong course of action on account of desire, on account of hatred, on account of delusion, or on account of fear. In the past, and also now, I declare that [...] an arahant is incapable of transgression in regard to these nine things." (The Buddha, date unknown, AN 9:7;IV 370-71)
>There doesn't have to be. You only need to conceptualise such a thing in order to use it to define it in relation to its opposite.
Egg-fucking-zactly. That is the same point I was trying to make when I wrote that post.
>There no such thing as unicorns either, and yet I can define it.
Because I know very well what horses are and what horns are and I know unicorn means "horse with a horn". You can mix and match concepts all you want, I don't understand why this is significant or unexpected.
>We're talking semiotics.
Discussing Buddhist philosophy can take no other form than semantics.
Take this quote:
"All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain? "
What does he mean by wrong doing?
What does he mean by "transformed"?
There's more than one way to skin this cat and it all comes down to semantic decisions we make based on what we think the quote is supposed to mean.
>he did explain a lot of things about it. As in, why is it that something is intrinsically unwholesome or not. It has been solidly constructed.
I'd be very interested to see this construction
>As stated above, via a universal law that acts impartially.
How is believing that there's a universal law that gives out wholesomeness points to actions any different than thinking there's a universal god that does the same thing. What's the difference in logic here?
>This absolutely doesn't mean anything related to the issue at hand.
You said there were things enlightened ones were incapable of doing. If the limits of samsara and nirvana are identical that would imply that you were wrong, so it is very much related.
>In the past, and also now, I declare that [...] an arahant [...] is incapable of transgression in regard to nine things
> destroying life
So they can't accidentally step on a bug or accidentally trip an old lady or something?
If you take this as a literal law you can point out things like that that would be bound to happen and make it silly. But I imagine you interpret that quote as meaning that they can't do those things purposefully and with intention. That doesn't actually say much because an arahant is able to see past the smokescreen that is intention.
Semantics is not semiotics.
You don't like the unicorn example? Let's make it more explicit. I've just conceptualized a new mystical creature. Let's call him a snagglegrumpkin He doesnt exist. How do I define him? By what he is not. And what is he not? Well he's definitely not anything that's not a snagglegrumpkin! That include lions and tigers and bears and, well... Pretty much everything except snagglegrumpkins.
What is the point of defining 'self' if it is not something that can ever be functionally used by anyone for any purpose. At no point in any individual's life can they quantify, qualify, or assess self if it is the sum-total of 'experiences' occurring throughout organic life of an individual. Then of what use is it? Concepts only exist for functional purpose, think Wittgenstein
>What is the point of defining 'self' if it is not something that can ever be functionally used by anyone for any purpose
Well I'm trying to use it for the purposes of my argument. People act like Wittgenstein thought things had no meaning unless they have to do with surviving as a hunter gatherer.
>Concepts only exist for functional purpose
Therefore if a concept is brought into existence it is implied that it serves some functional purpose.
We don't just talk about hammers and antelope anymore, we discuss ideas abstractly and use metaphors. "This statement is meaningless" just means, "I'm incapable of thinking of a context in which I can make sense of these words being used together"
I especially hate when people try to bring past and experience into definition of the 'self'
If I'm not the same from one moment to the next, then what bearing does that other fucker from five minutes ago have on me? He doesn't even exist anymore!!
All that you are, you are in a single moment. We, like the universe, are in flux. I know it sounds like such a hack line, but you cannot step on the same piece of water twice.
When you purposefully design something so that it doesn't make sense don't be surprised when it doesn't make sense.
You're not creating a new concept you're just invoking the preexisting concept of nonsense.
No, snugglegrumpkins make perfect sense. They're also definitely not cats or dogs. I mean, obviously they're snagglegrumpkins. That's the only thing they can be. You think I'm joking? I'm not.
Now you're just invoking the fact that your nonsense has one tangible quality: a name.
>definitely not cats or dogs
as per the preexisting concept of what it is to have a name
>obviously they're snagglegrumpkins. That's the only thing they can be
as per the preexisting concept of what it is to have a name
>You think I'm joking
Why would I keep a conversation up with someone I thought was le epic trell?
No, I think you're serious. I think the fact that your consciousness is limited and that the processes of creativity and abstract thought are much less mystical than we'd like to think can be a scary idea.
youre making a mistake anon
Youre making dualistic views.
There is neither perception of "you" nor "others"
There is just thus. That which is your own and others consciousness, occasionally mingling, occassionally deviating solely. We are all energy intertwined, we all are eventually going to be rejoined when we pass from this world.
your concept of time and that which is what manifests as the perception of self is skewed, and exists much shorter than it really is. This is but a stretch is the river of eternity that you will flow along.
Do not fret it, for we already are connected and yet not
You are misunderstanding what I mean by functional purpose, it doesn't have to be reduced to manual communal living. If the definition of self helps you in your relation to the other, it serves a purpose. What I'm saying is that it is useless to conceptualize self as an ethereal total of phenomenological qualia, because no one, and you are included, can relate or identify with a definition like that, even if you think you could. A definition like that assumes a superseding plane of existence transcendent of time from which someone could see the total trajectory of time. However, consciousness is time-dependant and one cannot define consciousness, memory, or experience without it being inextricably bound to time; therefore the definition is useless. For example, let's use phenomenological experience: if, as a 22 year old male, you were to hypothetically enter an anarchistic commune, undoubtedly that experience would forever alter your conception of self. However, your identification and orientation of that experience in the total trajectory of your remembered life events is wholly dependant on how it relates to your preceding experiences and how they have prepared you to accept this novel life event. All consciousness and experience is time-linked and inalienable from the corporeal
>much prexisting concepts!
They came from the same place that the snagglegrumpkin came from.
Incidentally Snagglegrumpkin are also certainly different from bandersnatches, Jabberwockys, and tum tum birds. I'd say they're marginally similar to a whizzaboo though only between 4 and 10pm
>The fun part is that this makes it just as easy to conceptualise the imaginary. Concepts need no direct basis in stimulus.
I think you just underestimate the amount of abstraction we do with the ingredients we get from stimulus.
The picture you conjure up is nothing you've ever really seen, for sure, but if you pay attention you'll find that the parts that make up your snugglegrumpkins image are things you already know.
Try to imagine the absence of space or time or try to imagine a color you've never seen.
You forgot anon, there is no such thing as totality or permanence in this world. Try to hold on to the concept or idea of this cat is like water through your fingers.
Look at the cat, see how it sheds hair, skin cells, evaporated water, weight. It is not the same cat than it was moments before. It is not the same. Nor are you. Your idea of "self" is flawed in that you believe yourself permanent.
What you is transience, flow, and all you can do to fully realize what you are is to see what is occurring in the moment, but not get hung up on that moment too long, because it slips by before you can realize the moment fully.
>Be like the falling leaf. Accept the path you are on, for you are not going to change its path. All you can do is make the most of the path you are on
its not that. Its that you can only realize self as long as you are in the moment. But then that moment is over. You have a new body, a new self each moment. It is not easy to grasp, but it is true
>it is useless to conceptualize self as an ethereal total of phenomenological qualia, because no one, and you are included, can relate or identify with a definition like that, even if you think you could.
No see, I'm saying that just because you can't identify with it (which you probably could be conditioned to do) doesn't mean it doesn't have a functional purpose. That's not the only functional purpose things can have.
>A definition like that assumes a superseding plane of existence transcendent of time from which someone could see the total trajectory of time
No, but it invokes this concept as a way of visualizing it.
>consciousness is time-dependant and one cannot define consciousness
If you or I didn't have a functional definition of consciousness this would be meaningless. You can't use a word to invoke meaning and then say it's meaningless.
> if, as a 22 year old male, you were to hypothetically enter an anarchistic commune, undoubtedly that experience would forever alter your conception of self. However, your identification and orientation of that experience in the total trajectory of your remembered life events is wholly dependant on how it relates to your preceding experiences and how they have prepared you to accept this novel life event. All consciousness and experience is time-linked and inalienable from the corporeal
We are in total agreement here.
>They came from the same place that the snagglegrumpkin came from.
Exactly...the human mind. Every concept is a meme. Some have simply evolved for a long time and taken on a lot of complexity.
If our minds couldn't handle abstraction we'd never have learned to count. We'd never had even figured out 'zero'
If the word exists, then a concept exists, in some capacity in our minds -- even if only a relational way.
No we never 'get at' any meaning. We get at supplements of meaning -- we get close enough for our purposes. This applies not only to abstract concepts, but to everything.
It is no easier or harder to 'get at the meaning' of the absence of space than it is to get at a the meaning of cat or dog or the letter 'Q' or Jerry Seinfeld.
We never get there. We always defer meaning one step further until we reach a supplement of meaning that is close enough for our purposes, and we get there through differentiation.
Differentiation. Defferal. Différance
>I'd be very interested to see this construction
Read the sutras. Too complicated for me to explain it in a good manner here.
>How is believing that there's a universal law that gives out wholesomeness points to actions any different than thinking there's a universal god that does the same thing. What's the difference in logic here?
Explained in the sutras. This is a pretty vast subject to tackle, but for starters God has created everything for a purpose, and for the sake of Man and Man only, and basically exists to test them and then to reward and punish people according to standards he decreed (generally shaky standards too). Dharma has not been created and did not create anything and has no goal or purpose, it is simply the way things are, and the way things are happens to be that every volitional action has a consequence. It's like touching a hot plate. The laws of physics make it so that if you touch it, you will suffer the consequences, it doesn't matter at all why you touched it.
If you ask something like "but why is an act like killing considered unwholesome?" then before delving into more philosophical explanations in the sutras I suggest thinking long and hard about what killing entails, from every angle. Unless you're a person that believes that all actions have the same weight you should be able to see why.
>You said there were things enlightened ones were incapable of doing. If the limits of samsara and nirvana are identical that would imply that you were wrong, so it is very much related.
No? Nirvana and samsara are not different because both are empty, just like anything and everything are. This is what the quote means. I don't really understand what you think it implies.
>So they can't accidentally step on a bug or accidentally trip an old lady or something?
Accidentally causing harm is not an unwholesome action. And maybe they actually can't do those, how can I know? I'm not one.
>That doesn't actually say much because an arahant is able to see past the smokescreen that is intention.
Where do you get this from?
Arahants still act via intention. The only thing that changes is that their intention is freed from trappings of "me". It doesn't mean in any way that they get free pass to perform acts that the Buddha has decreed over and over to be unwholesome. They become harmonious with the way things are.
Actually one of the variant Buddhist schools were talking about solipsism. There are also some early ascetics before Buddha's time and during Buddha's time as well as currently, that preach solipsism in India. There could very well be a strong possibility that solipsism is an Indian idea, just like Skepticism/Epicurean/etc.
>True enlightenment is a state far removed from one of evaluating the moral worth of actions. When you realize deeply that it could not be any other way, actions cease to have moral overtones. With true understanding you wouldn't even wish it had gone another way if you could, because you see it's perfection.
yes, but it is already perfection while many people are not enlightened and do bad karma things, if you must accept those, you must accept that bad karma and evil deeds are alright and perfect. Even our own lack of enlightenment belongs to this perfection and our entanglement (if we achieve the path) would not change the perfection (by definition of perfection)
>If you ask something like "but why is an act like killing considered unwholesome?" then before delving into more philosophical explanations in the sutras I suggest thinking long and hard about what killing entails, from every angle. Unless you're a person that believes that all actions have the same weight you should be able to see why.
but there are not justifications to the thesis that not all actions have the same weight.
I think the schools mentioned here >>6374444 could be interesting.
>In this respect how are we "one"?
Buddhism asserts that the view that "all are one" is a delusion. Non-duality doesn't entail monism.
The distinction between one continuum and another isn't arbitrary, they are actually separate continuums. It is a plurality of overlapping dreams.
There are three major categories of paths in Buddhism, only one is strictly about renunciation, including renouncing masturbation. Another is about actively cultivating desire in skillful ways and utilizing it as part of the path, so masturbating, but in a meditative context specifically, rather than mindlessly for example. Finally, a path concerned with the spontaneous and effortless transformation of all things as part of the path, so one isn't gong out of one's way to cultivate desire, but when it arises naturally one can engage with it is one chooses as lone as one is looking at thoughts and experience in the specific ways coinciding with this path.
In order of their presentation, they require increasingly more faculties and specific skills. Which is why you most often hear about the first one being associated with Buddhism, as it is the path open to anyone without any qualification, while the second for example requires an attainment already (realizing no-self, not merely conceptually understanding it) as well as being able to directly discern rlung/prana movement in one's experience).
>Are you saying Buddhism doesn't frown upon it?
The primary issue is that is that by ejaculating you release this tension that is critical to build up along the path, as it serves a critical soteriological function. The secondary issues involve the fact that lust is associated with the subtle will to control, even dominate others, and that lust can become an obstacle for meditative stability.
>buddhism doesn't teach "all is one"
Indeed, even in Mahayana this is a no go. In fact, In Dzogchen and elsewhere this line of thought is specifically identified as a delusion of sorts resulting from deluded unenlightened states which are mistaken as truth by unknowing practitioners.
My guess is that buddhabro doesn't spent much time here at all and either is too busy meditating and living a chill life, or has already gone back into retreat.
>Ananda couldn't make it before the Buddha's nirvana, despite his skill in the path.
But Ananda didn't have much skill, he was a shit contemplative with weak meditating and a lack of insight, missing critical insights the Buddha hinted him towards on many occasions...but he did have great memory. Even after the Buddha's death Ananda gave into peer pressure and showed a group of women, who were not part of the sangha, the Buddha's naked corpse.
No, the Dalai Lama says quite seriously he isn't Enlightened, he mentioned several times throughout his public discourses that he is a very poor monk without much skill in meditation, and he should be taken seriously in this regard. Having said that, he did receive direct introduction from Dilgo Khyentse (who was most certainly very enlightened).
So the Dalai Lama has glimpsed Rigpa in some fashion, which is still a big deal in any Monk's path, but aside from this gift from Dilgo, he has not accomplished very much in his own path.
As far as all the secrets, that certainly isn't true, he primarily is versed in Gelugpa, nothing more. He has been given secret instructions on the heart sutra and so on, but he admitted publicly he forgot some of them. As far as Vajrayana and Dzogchen, which entail the bulk of Tibetan innovations, the Dalai Lama admitted he, and his particular retinue of monks, haven't focused much on it (which makes sense considering his own limited abilities) but expressed publicly that maybe he should of spent much more time with it, for a variety of reasons. Such as to more fully fulfill his comprehensive role as Dalai Lama.
so how long does it take for the asian monks to become englithen (or near theenlightenment), those monks who are enrolled when they are children
the anon who went into the retreat said it was for 4 years, but he was not able to stabilize the fourth state of mental activity yet (something like this). I forgot to ask his age, but he began in his teen age.
Do we have stats on how long it takes to reach such an such steps in the path, for both the western monks and the asian ones ?
where are you yourself ?
Asian lay Buddhists do (not talking about full blown lay-yogis, but your average Joe). If you travel to Tibet, you find a skepticism by the average uneducated lay-person who identifies as "Buddhist" that any white person could achieve Buddhahood or that even blind or deaf people can, because "humans are defined in terms of the five senses".
The actual Sangha though is pretty open to westerners accomplishing, but feel there are major obstacles to overcome. They initially came to the West thinking Westerners would accomplish very swiftly, because they thought Western minds were so developed, educated, and active. They learned that this activity was difficult to draw to a single point, difficult to relax and so forth. One also has to consider that just because one is in the Sangha doesn't make one enlightened, kids are ordained and so forth, so you will naturally have competitiveness and pride. So not only do some members think they are better than Westerners, but better than members of the Thai Sangha and especially peers in their own monastery. The human condition is being worked on at the monestary, but it isn't left behind just because one has decided to join one.
As of right now, the most commonly referenced westerners who were considered very developed, likely most developed, in their path were the Olds (who never ordained), a couple who did a 9 year retreat in Thogal (one of the Olds died a little while ago). Every monk that met them was extremely impressed and felt they had made tremendous progress (more than any Westerner they had met thus far), but the Olds still made some major blunders.
After a while they stopped listening to their teacher and began thinking they had accomplished the third and fourth Thogal vision, despite the teacher relaying firmly that they had not and were exhibiting common signs of the second still. They ignored them, declared themselves enlightened, stole some of the secret materials, and began writing books and establishing their own pagan/new-age tradition which taught Thogal, including some of the secret materials.
Relative to the totality of Buddhist history, the West is in very early stages. By in large most practitioners are really unimpressive and intend on settling for less.
All that exists is one because of the fact that everything is but a wave in a field. There is only one object: the universe.
Any peak or trough of a wave is indistinguishable from another. Its continuous, not discrete. Any division can only be something we both agree on as a division, which would not correspond to anything in the real world. Hence any such division could only be arbitrary.
>so how long does it take for the asian monks to become englithen (or near theenlightenment), those monks who are enrolled when they are children
Depends on the person by far and their practice. Same goes with actually getting your Geshe degree, it takes anywhere from 12-40 years to get.
>but he was not able to stabilize the fourth state of mental activity yet
Yeah, the fourth togal vision, which is one of the most difficult and advanced accomplishments in the entire tradition of Buddhism. The Olds were in retreat for 9 years and didn't reach it at all. So if buddhabro reached it at all, then he is way ahead of the game and has a natural knack for advanced meditation.
>Do we have stats on how long it takes to reach such an such steps in the path, for both the western monks and the asian ones ?
No, would be incredible if we did, but there are too many factors preventing such things. Monks taking vows not to discuss their attainments being a major one.
>where are you yourself ?
All I will say is that I still have a long ways to go.
>All I will say is that I still have a long ways to go.
could you give direction on how to achieve a good meditation ?
What does it mean to concentrate on something ? (buddhabro took the exemple of a part of the statue of buddha, iirc)
Last time buddahbro wrote a bit on this, but I did not fully followed him. I tend to fall asleep if I focus on some object.
>but there are not justifications to the thesis that not all actions have the same weight.
For Buddhism, there are. Because an enlightened being taught that it is this way, and he knows the justification because he knows how samsara and karma work, with all their details. If you also had the knowledge right now, you would also have the justification. That's why it has something to do with trust in what the Buddha said.
>But Ananda didn't have much skill
Ananda is the one single monk the Buddha praised the most through the sutras. He had a lot of skill. And he didn't show the Buddha's corpse because he gave in to peer pressure (none of his peers had such an act in mind), he did it because he thought it would benefit those women.
There were plenty of monks (and lay people) who couldn't do most of what Ananda could and still achieved enlightenment before him. This is because when you become enlightened you do not necessarily gain new skills. You can have enlightened beings who will frankly be less than ideal in explaining the path to others, and you can have non-enlightened beings that will be great teachers.
Here's the archived thread if you didn't have it already: https://warosu.org/lit/thread/S6121653
You can read a little about it here:
>What does it mean to concentrate on something ?
Applying the mind to something and sustaining the mind on that something is generally what is meant.
Good meditation is wholly relative to which kind of meditation you are doing. Some meditations you are not trying to do anything at all, just simply let the mind rest in its own state and nothing more.
I like this alot:
>I tend to fall asleep if I focus on some object.
This is normal for beginners. You just have to be very persistent and keep doing it. Fall asleep, take a long nap, then get up and start practicing again.
Do this again and again and eventually the mind will no longer become sloth like, but will become very active and awake when practicing.
What kind of Karma do I have to have to become a god? Enlightenment doesn't really sound to appealing this time round, I would rather take a few more spins on the wheel if that's alright.
yes thank you
>We want to strike the chosen visual object with our attention again and again and very assertively so. If you can, strike it as many times per moment as one can, and strike it again even when your attention is on it. Why? Because we are not looking for some sort passive concentration (in fact this lulling passive concentration is commonly mistaken as Jhana in by Western novices and even so-called "experienced" peoples, when it is actually moving in quite the wrong direction), we are looking for a highly assertive, almost masculine and aggressive concentration that fiercely pierces the target, this assertive way much more rapidly develops real single-point concentration skills opposed to the passive "concentration". Take for example trying to scout out and scan a fastly moving object, one is assertively following the object rather than something more passive. We want to be much more assertive with re-placing rapidly per moment our attention on the object than even this. This also helps tremendously in keeping the mind attentively sharp, rather than getting too spaced out and distracted by arising thoughts, because the practice has been made so active and engaging. One is using all of one's effort, energy, and being striking this object.
this is part that I do not follow, with the ''striking'', I do not understand what this means ...
>Ananda is the one single monk the Buddha praised the most through the sutras
The Buddha didn't praise Ananda's skill as a monk, he chastised him several times for still not getting basic principles of behavior after years of being his attendant (such as being spit on). Any high number of praises came from his memory and the sheer fact that Ananda was a first cousin who spent a lot of time with the Buddha (more than anyone else, since he was his attendant).
The kind of high praise of actual skill pertaining to being a monk was most commonly given to Sariputta and Maudgalyayana.
He wasn't trusted at the council and was banished from it until he achieved enlightenment.
>who couldn't do most of what Ananda could
Such as, specifics in regards to actual path skills?
>This is because when you become enlightened you do not necessarily gain new skills.
That isn't true at all and is covered in the Pali. The Buddha discusses other things that can be gained in terms of skill, including meditative skill.
>You can have enlightened beings who will frankly be less than ideal in explaining the path to others
What Pali sutta says this? Why are you making things up? The Buddha was enlightened so your entire point is a joke.
>he did it because he thought it would benefit those women.
No text relaying this event says it was for the benefit of the women, stop making stuff up. All of them say it was a lapse in judgement and give no indication of any altruism, but rather to court favor with the women. In fact, one text discusses how the women had made clear in part they wanted to see the Buddha's genitals, and Ananda STILL went ahead with it.
Stop being so full of shit.
The downside to this is that even though your lifespan can last millions of years in great bliss, when it ends you have burnt through your good merit and fall hard to extremely low rebirths, like in the hells.
Anyway, you basically practice form jhana meditation a shit ton and get rid of almost all defilements but actually cultivate pride. Also funerary developments in Buddhism involving what to do in the inbetween state before the next life involve you grasping at the weaker white light, not the super bright ones that hurt your eyes, but the weaker inviting white ones specifically, as this is supposed to radically increase your chance of being born a deva (pleasure-being, light being, least accurate translation is "god").
It take it to mean taking the mind and assertively placing it or pressing it on an object. Striking seems to relay the style of doing so, insofar as assertively, almost aggressively as he says, placing the mind on the object and doing so rapidly.
So instead of just placing the mind on an object and just sort of resting it there in a sort of a passive concentration, every moment should be a dance or parlay with the object, where you are rapidly re-placing the mind on the object with such fierceness and intensity that it could be considered punching or striking the object with your mind. Applying the mind with much force.
It means to maintain your attention on the object and not falling into the trap of thinking that the mere acknowledgement of the fact that the object is there is the same as maintaining the attention.
>The Buddha didn't praise Ananda's skill as a monk
>he chastised him several times
Yes, which changes nothing.
>The kind of high praise of actual skill pertaining to being a monk was most commonly given to Sariputta and Maudgalyayana.
No one's going to object to the fact that Buddha's other top disciples had better skills than Ananda. Doesn't mean that he himself had "shit skills" as you put it.
>He wasn't trusted at the council and was banished from it until he achieved enlightenment.
Which is normal, because the council was composed only of enlightened members. The fact that they let him achieve enlightenment and then join it should have been point enough of how he was seen.
>Such as, specifics in regards to actual path skills?
I was specifically not talking about "path skills", which is why I talked about teaching just after that.
>That isn't true at all and is covered in the Pali. The Buddha discusses other things that can be gained in terms of skill, including meditative skill.
>What Pali sutta says this? Why are you making things up? The Buddha was enlightened so your entire point is a joke.
What sutta or sutra says that it is true? Where is it said that enlightened beings are necessarily the best at everything and anything they do?
It isn't the case.
This is what separates a Buddha from an arahant. He is a perfectly enlightened being, while others are just enlightened. He is the perfect teacher and the perfect speaker, the others aren't. I have a hard time believing that you've read enough material to be discussing these points.
>All of them say it was a lapse in judgement and give no indication of any altruism, but rather to court favor with the women.
Want to provide citations for that?
Of course it was a lapse in judgement. He THOUGHT it was a good thing to do. I'm not going to say anything about this kind of slander though.
>I was specifically not talking about "path skills", which is why I talked about teaching just after that.
Those are the only skills that are in the category of skills as a monk. What else would there be? Which means that in regards to everything that matters Ananda was an overall shit monk.
>Yes, which changes nothing.
It detracts of your attempted glorification of Ananda.
>other top disciples
No, Ananda wasn't "another" top disciple, he was the attendant. According to the Buddha every Buddha in the past and to come will have two chief disciples and one attendant during his ministry. In the case of Gautama Buddha the pair of disciples were Sariputta and Maudgalyayana and the attendant Ānanda..
>The fact that they let him achieve enlightenment and then join it should have been point enough of how he was seen.
How highly his memory was seen, it says nothing of praise of his skills as a monk.
>Where is it said that enlightened beings are necessarily the best at everything and anything they do?
Never claimed that, nice diversion m8
>What sutta or sutra says that it is true?
No, not going to go sutta digging when you don't back up any of your claims. Where is the sutta that says that you do not necessarily gain any new skills?
There are passages that discuss how arahants can still work on developing supranormal abilities for example.
>He is a perfectly enlightened being, while others are just enlightened.
Where is this distinction found in the texts, which sutta?
Why isn't such mentioned here when the question is specifically asked about the difference between a Buddha and an arahant?
>I have a hard time believing that you've read enough material to be discussing these points.
>you don't agree with me, including my made up bullshit, so therefore you must not know what you're talking about.
I have read the entire canon available in English, a ton of secondary works, and have taken a load of uni courses on Buddhism.
>Of course it was a lapse in judgement. He THOUGHT it was a good thing to do. I'm not going to say anything about this kind of slander though.
So you admit you are just making shit up. Cool. Care to provide the citation that he thought it be would be "benefit" to those women?
>Buddhism isn't a religion, it's a philosophy.
>There are no Buddhist extremists.
>Buddhism is the only religion that doesn't oppress women.
Where do people get these stupid fucking ideas.
>Which means that in regards to everything that matters Ananda was an overall shit monk.
Provide me a citation where the Buddha called him a bad monk. I'm not even going to talk about the fact that things like how one conducts himself in general is also part of the things that "matter".
>It detracts of your attempted glorification of Ananda.
I'm not glorifying him. You're attempting to shit on him. Which is in itself hilarious, due to the differences between you and him, but let's not go there.
>No, Ananda wasn't "another" top disciple
Every single source talking about the Buddha's top disciples will list him as one among them. Chief =/= top. Sorry, but virtually every single authority on the field will include him in that category. Well, every single authority except yourself.
>How highly his memory was seen, it says nothing of praise of his skills as a monk.
If his skills were shit they wouldn't have given him any specific consideration. Instead they were confident that he would succeed. Learn to read between the lines, this is getting embarrassing.
>No, not going to go sutta digging when you don't back up any of your claims. Where is the sutta that says that you do not necessarily gain any new skills?
Where is the sutta that says you do? Why would any sutta need to state this obvious point in the first place when it hasn't been implied in any way?
>There are passages that discuss how arahants can still work on developing supranormal abilities for example.
Of course they can. They CAN gain new skills. They won't spontaneously gain new ones simply because they've become enlightened.
>Where is this distinction found in the texts, which sutta?
It strikes me as pretty odd that you who has read the entire canon would think that a single sutta would make the distinction, since most of the Sutta Pitaka is about the Buddha explaining simple points over and over in different suttas. To make it simple for you though, go (re-)read the final chapter of In The Buddha's Words. Some of the relevant ones are there.
>Why isn't such mentioned here when the question is specifically asked about the difference between a Buddha and an arahant?
If you are unable to understand the difference between the Tathagata and arahants, you should stop talking about this subject. There is no debate about this.
>I have read the entire canon available in English, a ton of secondary works, and have taken a load of uni courses on Buddhism.
Sure you did. And it shows perfectly clearly in the breadth of knowledge you're putting on display here as well as the polite and collected manner you're expressing yourself with.
>So you admit you are just making shit up. Cool. Care to provide the citation that he thought it be would be "benefit" to those women?
He himself said that he saw no fault in what he did.
Let's make no mistake, Ananda was an imperfect monk. But a "shit" one?
... said the guy who doesn't even practice.
>Where do people get these stupid fucking ideas.
From the media?
Well, the first point is understandable, because (to reiterate what has been said a trillion times before) it's not a religion in the sense cultures accustomed to Abrahamic religions define religion. You can also thank the last century's intellectuals for this misunderstanding.
The second came up because up until relatively recently Buddhist extremists were away from our vision (the media). And because extremism has no canonical support.
The third is because the oppression also has no canonical support, and because it took on rather subtle forms compared to the equivalents that could be seen in Western societies.
That's my take on it.
I'm glad you posted this. It clarifies a lot of the questions I've had about the specific aspects of what it is to meditate that writings I've read on meditation have always failed to get into.
>Well, the first point is understandable, because it's not a religion in the sense cultures accustomed to Abrahamic religions define religion
That's bullshit and you know it, Buddhist fits perfectly into the Abrahamic definition of religion.
>The third is because the oppression also has no canonical support
Apart from it's fucking everywhere in the Pali Canon?
>Buddhist fits perfectly into the Abrahamic definition of religion.
No, not really. Have you actually spoken to big time believers about how they perceive Buddhism? Because I did and they themselves labeled it as a philosophy (in a diminutive way). Was like that with Christians and Muslims.
>Apart from it's fucking everywhere in the Pali Canon?
>Well, the first point is understandable
Not really. Buddhism addresses soteriological concerns. If someone wants to make a point about religions not being religious in the conventional Western sense Confucianism or Taoism would be much better fits.
>The second came up because up until relatively recently Buddhist extremists were away from our vision (the media)
If people weren't so completely ignorant of Asian history they wouldn't need to keep up on current events in SE Asia.
>The third is because the oppression also has no canonical support
Not overt oppression no, but the Buddha and his successors didn't exactly come to an understanding of universal suffrage with their enlightenment.
"It is impossible that a woman should be the Universal Monarch It is possible that a man should be the Universal Monarch. It is impossible that a woman should be the King of Gods. It is possible that a man should be the King of Gods. It is impossible that a woman should be the King of Death. It is possible that a man should be the King of Death. It is impossible that a woman should be Brahma."
Here's the Buddha literally saying it's impossible for a woman to become enlightened.
>Not really. Buddhism addresses soteriological concerns. If someone wants to make a point about religions not being religious in the conventional Western sense Confucianism or Taoism would be much better fits.
That's for sure. And remember that Confucianism wasn't a religion at first.
>If people weren't so completely ignorant of Asian history they wouldn't need to keep up on current events in SE Asia.
>Not overt oppression no, but the Buddha and his successors didn't exactly come to an understanding of universal suffrage with their enlightenment.
That's not very relevant though because the Buddha didn't really care about revolutionizing society. It's still a fact that (at least according to what those women wrote) for a lot of women entering the Sangha was a liberating experience.
I can't remember where it was but I think he discusses at one point how those progressing correctly on the spiritual path surpass notions of gender/sex (whatever term applies here nowadays, I don't know anymore).
Wheel Turning Monarchs, big shot deities, brahmas etc. are all unenlightened beings though. However (it seems you somehow omitted it) it is indeed said in this same section that they cannot become perfectly enlightened beings (ie. Buddhas).
There are also sections of the canon that directly state that they are able to become enlightened, such as the one where the Buddha confirms Ananda's question concerning women and arahantship.
I don't think the Buddha himself had negative attitudes towards women. However, it seems like especially subsequent generations of monastics were mostly passive-aggressive towards them and lit the fire of negative attitudes.
>Confucianism wasn't a religion at first
Confucius describes aspects of Heaven and god(s) in Analects, he was a very religious person even for his times, Confucianism couldn't exist and can't be practiced without Shenism.
In that sense I agree. I meant that his teachings themselves were not linked to religion in a way like he didn't claim to have divine insight or something of the sort. But Confucius himself was certainly religious.
I disagree with the last claim though.
Kongzi was a cultural critic whose philosophy shaped and was incorporated into the future practices of Chinese religion but it was not in itself a religious philosophy. The Rites are, however, very important in his thought.
>like he didn't claim to have divine insight or something of the sort
He actually did, he literally claims to have the favor of heaven because he was born from it and understands it.
>Confucius describes aspects of Heaven and god(s) in Analects, he was a very religious person even for his times
Yes but he did not regard himself as a religious teacher and he made a point of not answering his students' religious questions.
Prior to the neo-Confucianism his ideology was essentially a secular one, which concerned itself with religion only when people were failing to meet their familial and communal obligations through religious laziness.
Buddhism is a religion built upon a strong philosophy which was built upon a a method of overcoming suffering.
Buddhist extremists go to extreme lengths in their pursue of truth via multiple decade long retreats.
Any new religion can say they are oppression free.
He seems to be highly advanced on the spiritual path. It's not really possible to measure how close you are to enlightenment though.
Dunno about how close Buddha is to Jesus for Christians. I imagine those with open minds would agree with a lot of what he says, but would find his rejection of a creator God and the whole rebirth system problematic.
Can one be reborn as a life form that was unable to conceptualize suffering? Animals without brains, or single-celled organisms, for instance? Is being materially bound necessarily suffering even if it's impossible to experience suffering as such at that level? Also, what about plants?
I second this question. If there is no self, and everything is "void", what's left to be reincarnated? I know it must be a complex idea, more complex than "it's you but now your a fish!" I just can't tell to what degree.
What is it that "passes on" to justify the idea that "I" reincarnate with my karma points still intact?
>Can one be reborn as a life form that was unable to conceptualize suffering?
I think so. Actually, we have to question whether they're actually incapable of conceptualizing it, or feeling it to whatever degree. Also, higher celestial beings are also pretty much incapable of conceptualizing suffering as we understand it.
>Is being materially bound necessarily suffering even if it's impossible to experience suffering as such at that level?
Replace suffering with the term dukkha. It'll make things easier and clearer. So yeah, everything is suffering regardless of what you are, because everything that exists is impermanent and imperfect.
>Also, what about plants?
Not counted as sentient beings. They still have Buddha nature according to some.
>I second this question. If there is no self, and everything is "void", what's left to be reincarnated? I know it must be a complex idea, more complex than "it's you but now your a fish!" I just can't tell to what degree. What is it that "passes on" to justify the idea that "I" reincarnate with my karma points still intact?
Consciousness is like electricity, and new forms of existence are like light bulbs. Because of the fundamental ignorance, we are unable to understand that there is no self and everything is emptiness in the absolute sense, and we have to continue being reborn (not reincarnated, big difference) over and over again. So we can't switch off the current as long as wisdom isn't developed. But in reality there is nothing that gets reborn in the absolute sense, but in the practical sense there is (obviously, otherwise nothing would exist).
There is no "you" that is reincarnated. "You" are part of one stream of consciousness, actually being reborn every single moment, and that stream engenders a new beings under such or such form as the current one dies.
>Consciousness is like electricity, and new forms of existence are like light bulbs.
>we have to continue being reborn (not reincarnated, big difference)
Please elaborate on these points if you have the time
>There is no "you" that is reincarnated. "You" are part of one stream of consciousness, actually being reborn every single moment
The idea that reincarnation is moment to moment is easy for my western mind to grasp, but the oldest schools of Buddhism do undoubtedly have more literal beliefs about reincarnation. This is one of those things that comes up in every Buddhism discussion because there are those on each side of the fence.
Would you mind explaining, for my benefit, how you came to the conclusion that the 'reincarnation' the Buddha was talking about was a momentary one?
>that stream engenders a new beings under such or such form as the current one dies.
This I don't even know how to interpret (not that I'm blaming you). Can you say this in another way I might get?
Thanks, pretty neat stuff.
What about the nature of reality, from a Buddhist perspective, necessitates the cycle of rebirth? Is it one of those things that "just is" or does it have a cause? I view death as permanent and unending, so if suffering is really impermanence then to me the end to suffering is death (again, from my point of view). I understand that an end to my individual consciousness is not the end of impermanence itself, but without rebirth it may as well be from where I'm standing.
>Please elaborate on these points if you have the time
Couple hours later maybe as I have to head out soon and don't know if I'll have the time when I get back. But I'll to try to make it a bit clearer with these responses.
>but the oldest schools of Buddhism do undoubtedly have more literal beliefs about reincarnation
Well, normally all schools do. I meant that there is a moment to moment rebirth, as well as literal rebirth in other forms. But there is no fixated unchanging object that is being reborn or transmuted. Death is just a slightly longer 'moment' which separates 2 forms (and sometimes form and non-form) from this point of view.
>This I don't even know how to interpret (not that I'm blaming you). Can you say this in another way I might get?
Basically again like the electricity and light bulb analogy, the current is always there, but the bulb gets burnt up sooner or later, and then you have to replace it. You plug in a new bulb which might be similar or completely different than the other. In the same way, consciousness is like a force or energy that keeps going, powering up a certain form of existence for a duration of time, and then powering up another one when the previous one dies out. Each person is the result of a different stream of consciousness, so while there is no reincarnation, there is still some sort of continuity between previous and next forms. That's why karma has an effect on "you". The only way to stop the current is to cut off the fundamental ignorance. You can read up on Dependent Origination for some more info on this.
> Is it one of those things that "just is" or does it have a cause?
There is no first cause for the cycle of rebirths, it's the way things are. However the bondage to the cycle is caused by ignorance.
>I understand that an end to my individual consciousness is not the end of impermanence itself, but without rebirth it may as well be from where I'm standing.
You're absolutely right that if life is suffering and death is a permanent end, then death itself is liberation from suffering. But since according to Buddhism death itself is also suffering as it's really just a small gap between one life and the other, nothing out of the ordinary at all, it doesn't put an end to suffering. Because of this it doesn't make sense to reject teachings on rebirth and karma as superstition or wishful thinking or whatever some "modern" people put them as, as they are pillars of the workings of the universe the Buddha explained.
In classical terms, gods/humans/animals/ghosts/denizens of hell.
In mahayana(tibetan/chinese/japanese) terms, all beings are including plant/metaphysical-spiritual beings on top of the traditional definition.
Sentience can be defined as; the capacity to feel, and contain the ability to make a decision
Question is; do we do any of that? Or are we pre-dispositioned to just behave to our environment?
According to Buddhism there is a mix of free will, reaction to environment/conditioning and karmic effects, though perhaps the latter might encapsulate everything that has to do with environment. Your karma determines the environment you'll be living in after all.
Nothing. You keep living the spiritual life as an enlightened being. And then you nirvana when you die.
>The Self’ signifies the Buddha; ’the Eternal’
signifies the Dharmakaya; ’Bliss’ signifies Nirvana, and ’the Pure’ signifies Dharma
>on-Self is Samsara, the Self is the Tathagata; impermanence is the sravakas
and pratyekabuddhas, the Eternal is the Tathagata’s Dharmakaya; suffering is all tirthikas, Bliss is Nirvana; the impure is all compounded [samskrta] dharmas , the Pure is the true Dharma
that the Buddha and Bodhisattvas have
The Muslim "debunks" of Buddhism are funnier. Especially the ones that can't really say anything bad about it so they end up moving the discussion to Islam instead by saying that Mohammed is actually Maitreya.
It should be clear from experience that you only have one persons memory, and that memory is the means through which you know who you are. Simple as that.
Now you might ask "what about this thing called memory? How does it work?" But I think this is s technical question.
I remember listening to a Zizek talk where he said that it was a widely held belief among the members Khmer Rouge that Pol Pot had reached enlightenment either before or during his time as head of the country. I think the story isn't true, given the government persecution of Buddhist monks and the like.
Regardless, I wonder if it's possible for someone to both attain liberation and be a genocidal maniac. Thoughts?
Buddhism is not a perfect religion in the sense that, like any given group adhering to a set of principles or whatever, most Buddhists in history have been far from ideal. Through history some of these even used violence.
But the Buddha himself lived what he preached and the religion itself is still a religion of peace. And I mean peace, not "peace but the kind that comes when you become slave to this big deity". It literally exists to shape you into a peaceful person in acts and mind, in dealings with other people and in the way you relate to life, and to carry these to perfection, which leads to liberation. All violent acts stem from delusion and egotistical considerations. An enlightened being on the other hand has eradicated his delusions and the illusion of ego.
Stream entry is not necessarily something easy, for starters (I'm not really sure whether the specific attainment Ananda had was ever discussed actually). Buddhist practice as a whole is pretty damn difficult, those who have given a serious and proper go would know better to slander about such or such person's progress on the path, both because like I just said they would empathize with the difficulty, and because this kind of speech, slandering and injurious, is one of the things you must stop as part of the practice. The latter is explained perfectly clearly so there's no excuse of ambiguity.
Also, if that anon was around Ananda back then, he would realistically believe that he was enlightened, or at least had attained the stage of non-returner. He knows that this wasn't the case only because today he can read what enlightened people have said on the matter.
To play the devil's advocate, we have no way of knowing 100% whether anything attributed to the Buddha was actually spoken by him or not.
"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives (lit: previous homes). He recollects his manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus he recollects his manifold past lives in their modes and details. Just as if a man were to go from his home village to another village, and then from that village to yet another village, and then from that village back to his home village. The thought would occur to him, 'I went from my home village to that village over there. There I stood in such a way, sat in such a way, talked in such a way, and remained silent in such a way. From that village I went to that village over there, and there I stood in such a way, sat in such a way, talked in such a way, and remained silent in such a way. From that village I came back home.' In the same way -- with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability -- the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. He recollects his manifold past lives...in their modes and details." --Samaññaphala Sutta
I realize the theory behind giving up attachments but can't seem to do give up attachment to something like my job which causes anxiety? How can I let it go when my mind knows that I need it for survival?
That's literally the rules.
>Should any bhikkhu accept gold and silver, or have it accepted, or consent to its being deposited (near him), it is to be forfeited and confessed.
>Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of monetary exchange, it (the income) is to be forfeited and confessed.
This is wrong though as it suggests that if a householder doesn't become a monk right here and now, he can only obtain more favorable rebirths, when in reality he can advance over time to a point like non-returning, upon which he will leave the householder life.
As a householder you have a more difficult job than a monk in regards to that, because you have more things you are attached to. However it is wrong to think of attachment too flatly as... just something you are attached to. A mother is attached to her child, and that's the way it has to be if the child is to be able to survive and grow up. 'unhealthy' (in quotes because from the absolute point of view attachments are unhealthy period, but in practical terms it works differently) attachment, where for example a mother will forbid her child to drink fruit juice because they contain preservatives and the like which might or might not cause health problems some decades later, is what that should not be.
To put it simply, your job is not your life, it is one part of your life. If it's causing you additional suffering and stress, if instead of enjoying it or being neutral about it you are tortured by it but you keep going at it because you think you will die without it, it is time to realize something is wrong and to investigate its causes. It might be the nature of the work itself, it might be you overreacting and creating stress, it might be that your standards of 'survival' are unrealistic, it might be anything.
The training on this subject does not necessarily start with letting go of an attachment, but first curing the unhealthiness of the attachment. If you're attached to your work in a healthy way, it would mean that you're not slacking off and fulfilling your duties towards customers and chiefs, while not disliking your work and not being stressed out by it. This is the ideal state. It's the same as being a monk. Monks, like other practitioners, will have attachments in regards to the dharma at first. They will be unable to get rid of them just like that, so they must instead transform the attachment and use it to propel themselves further. When they have advanced enough, they will naturally let go.
Obviously one cannot have his cake and eat it too.
The Foundations of Buddhism is a very good starting point.
That would be the point where you get the confirmation, yeah. As the Buddha puts it (and as it is said he, and any other enlightened beings did), that would be when you would have directly known and realized it for yourself. This is the point where faith (pretty much a strong trust and a willingness to undertake the claim yourself) enters the scene of Buddhism.
Buddhism is not an answer to life anyway. I'd say that it's more like an answer to the problem of cyclical existence.
>As the Buddha puts it (and as it is said he, and any other enlightened beings did), that would be when you would have directly known and realized it for yourself.
Any idea what particular sutta he states this in?
He repeats it many times in different contexts (like talking directly about how one will realize and know these for himself at one point, or referencing the existence of people that have done it already), but take a look at MN 117.
that is a cool sutta but through glancing at it I didnt notice anything directly mentioning the different realms of existence
>There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives & brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.
The usage of rebirth and next world, and the existence of people that have known and realized it for themselves.
But if you want specific mention and/or description of the different realms of existence, there are again many many suttas in which they are taken up. I don't really know which one would be the most complete. Take a look at the Buddhist Cosmology wikipedia page, you should be able to find some indications there.
>This is wrong though as it suggests that if a householder doesn't become a monk right here and now, he can only obtain more favorable rebirths, when in reality he can advance over time to a point like non-returning, upon which he will leave the householder life.
this is interesting, since there is some mechanism that keeps tracks of the past lives of ONE individual, there is some permanence after all.
You could say that samsara is permanent and impermanent at the same time. It won't go away by itself, so a stream of consciousness that produces beings that will never do something to get out of it will be inside samsara permanently (although the stream itself is not a fixed self object either, but let's say that it will propagate itself indefinitely). On the other hand, it is possible to get out of samsara, so for some beings the system will be impermanent.
the fact that we forget our previous lives at each rebirth seems like a scam or a waste of time, if our true goal, as a species and an individual, is to finish the path.
This waste of time leads to nothing but more suffering (and perhaps to more non-suffering) since if people knew that they must be enlightened via the remembrance of the past life (and therefore the whole concept of rebirths), I bet that this same people would behave adequately and do nice things as soon as they live and remember their past lives.
This is a big incoherence a priori.
The universe does not forget. Your actions are not for an individual reward, but to benefit all. Your identity is lost like a mask is taken off, but that doesn't mean your actions don't have an effect in the world or that they are in anyway in vain or lost. Nothing is lost. The reborn individual is not the same individual as before, your self is dilluted and is once again the whole self and then a new knot emerges and you identify yourself with it. It's just like having a glass of water, then that water dries, it rains and you fill another glass. It's not the same water, but at the same time, it is. If that water is fresh or poisoned, whether it goes to new glasses or into rivers or make up clouds, it doesn't matter. While you are that glass of water, purify your actions, that's the best you can do for all the water in the world.
why do we need to start from scratch and rediscover, birth after brith, that the buddhism is the right attitude and so on, earning karma points for ourselves, when we could very well understand, once and for all, that the buddhism is right in such life L, then undergo the rebirth to go to life L+1, in the case where we do not manage to finish the path in the life wherein we undertake it for the first time (here life L).
The thing is that, when we begin anew, that is to say after a rebirth, we forget that the buddhism is right and probably we will lose some karma points in doing bad things (just like when we did not know that the buddhism is right), in the eyes of the buddhism, towards us and the others.
Whereas, if we reborn with already the knowledge that buddhism is right, we will gain time, avoid to cause pain to the others and ourselves. Everybody wins if we do not begin from scratch.
> if our true goal, as a species and an individual, is to finish the path.
There is no goal. There is no path (the Buddhist path does not pretend to be the one that all beings follow, as said path is the Noble Eightfold Path, not samsara). There is a choice.
The Buddha never ever made a promise such as how all beings would be saved or anything of the sort. He just explained things as they are, and said that we have an individual choice to get out of the system (and to help others do it too).
If you have actually understood that Buddhism is right beyond the mere intellectual, then you have perhaps become a stream-enterer. Which means that you have at most 7 births left to enlightenment. Which means that in at least one of these lives, you will be drawn to Buddhism and complete the path.
If you've become a once-returner, then you will more or less be reborn with the knowledge that Buddhism is correct.
If you only had a passing interest in Buddhism, then you would maybe generate some good karma and reap its rewards later on. But since the dharma is profound and difficult to understand, a mere casual relationship with it is not sufficient to change anything substantial about you, ie. it is not sufficient to affect the conditions and causes of rebirth.
In any case, it is normal that one is born without knowledge of the path. A Buddha's task is to rediscover it and make it available for everyone. If we all instinctively had the knowledge, there would be no need for Buddhas in the first place as we'd all be guaranteed liberation sooner or later on our own.
The Foundations of Buddhism.
And keep in mind that Siddhartha is only somewhat linked with Buddhism, the contents of its story aside.
How can I realize the concept of no self on an instinctual level?
>How can I realize the concept of no self on an instinctual level?
>How can I realize the concept of no self
>How can I
It's never beggining from scratch because your actions had an effect on the world and that ultimately affects everything and everybody. To talk about life and death or good or bad actions is also about talking about small changes of perception. In the same sense that in a certain state of mind you act appropriately or have your attention aimed somewhere and then later you lose it and you're not thinking of it anymore. That doesn't mean that attention was for nothing. It won't be a smooth ride, in the same sense that you'll know that you'll commit several mistakes throughout your life and that doesn't mean you should do them right now or that what you do of good now is worthless. Yesterday died. Tomorrow is a new life on its own.
There are no karma points, karma is not something you gain, it is something you do. Karma means action and doing what you can with what you have, about responsibility. It's also not about "buddhism being right", but whether you are or aren't responsible for your actions right now, whether you are paying attention to existence, whether you are doing good things and learning more and more on what it means to do good things. To do the right thing today means to work in favour of everyone's attention and good doing. You'll do bad things later on, but only because you lost your attention, you got hooked by something else. Those are other lives. You'll gain the attention back and lose it a thousand times. This is all meaningless, worthless to think about, because whether you have 1 second left or a billion years in front of you, what matters is whether you're doing good right now.
I think it is important to drop down the volume of some fantasies on universal enlightenment, not that it is not right, but because it is hypnotic and can be used as disguises and excuses. We should not forget that right now, with these people around us, with these choices in our hands, with these tiny small actions that you could barely say change your neighborhood nevertheless your next lives or the universe, with these small actions you are building something great and they do change everything. A small action is better than no action. Nothing is in vain.
So if the buddha truly saw the heaven and hell realms in his past lives, could this be (somewhat) interpreted as the "heaven" that the bhagavad gita describes? So in a different realm krishna and the other hindu gods are having a ball, and the buddha wants nothing to do with it?...I mean, I know it is silly to mix two religions together, but its an idea to toy around with.
I don't know much about the Bhagavad Gita and how the heaven in there works, but in Buddhist cosmology there are a number of different heavenly realms (as well as a formless realm), where gods (devas) reside. All of these are impermanent: the realms themselves might get destroyed cyclically, their inhabitants might eventually die or become enlightened, or a combination of all these might happen. So even rebirth in a heaven is ultimately unsatisfactory. That's why the Buddha "wants nothing to do with it". It can also be deduced that most if not all beings have been at least once reborn in a heaven realm.
It is possible that Krishna and the rest reside in one of them.
Reincarnation concerns more or less a permanent thing that moves from one form to another. There has to be some "thing" that incarnates. This is generally understood to be a soul, or a self (an abstract one that is basically equivalent tot he soul, or a literal self like a divine being that takes an embodiment), or both at the same time.
Most of Buddhism believes in rebirth. Rebirth concerns a stream (in this case consciousness) that "produces" birth and, upon death, a subsequent stream that does the same thing. A combination of conditions and causes cause that birth; upon death whatever was born is dissolved and there is no self that remains, however the karmic forces remain.
At the same time, rebirth also happens in daily life (this is the view that, if I understand correctly, "secular Buddhists" and similar groups subscribe exclusively to at the expense of the former), both mentally (what we call "me" only exists for a moment, but we think that there is a continuity between the me's of subsequent moments) and physically (cells die and are replaced, practically the entire body gets replaced every now and then, genetic code changes).
I hope this made it a little bit clearer for you.
Wow, thanks for the prompt response.
It does help to clarify things a bit, yes. Currently looking into the Tibetan schools and the translations/terminologies seem to be muddled, with people using rebirth/reincarnation interchangeably.
So the main idea here,if I understand, is that Buddhism doesn't believe in reincarnation (i.e. that my soul pops from body to body - human or otherwise) but rather rebirth (my karma has an effect). What is it that inhibits these bodies? Once I die and go to bardo (or into another body) what exactly is experiencing this transition?
There is nothing that inhibits a body. Rather a body is like a conflation of different "energies" (aggregates), like perception and mind. The Buddha explained this by drawing an analogy with a chariot: we call a specific object a chariot, but in reality said chariot is a conflation of parts, and is a chariot only as long as those parts are present. In a way, a being is a form that is self-powered via consciousness and these aggregates, and takes up an identity for itself by believing that it is something single, unique and substantial.
When death occurs, the aggregates are dispelled. The stream of consciousness flows on, and will work like a candle that lights another before being extinguished. The Buddha equated karma to soil and consciousness to seed. Craving is the water, what will sprout from the seed is what is born.
What exactly happens after death in terms of the transition is a matter of debate between different schools and traditions. Some believe that nothing experiences the transition because it happens immediately. I can't talk about Bardo because I'm not familiar enough with the specifics of it.
For further information try reading on the Five Skandhas/Aggregates and Dependent Origination (but not too complex ones), you'll probably be able to find texts that explain this subject better than I did.
Also, the whole tulku system of Tibetan Buddhism might be confusing because it looks a lot like reincarnation, but it's more like guided rebirth. That's why all subsequent rebirths of the same lama might act in completely different ways.
Uh-huh, sure. Come back after you've read up on how reincarnation beliefs work -in whatever part of the world- and what the Buddha taught about rebirth.
People who pander to Western secularists either pretend that the rebirth the Buddha taught refers only to mind states, or that it was just a cultural accretion that has no place in the era of fedoras.
You mean the Nirvana "kill all icchantikas" Sutra of Mahayana?
No one in their right mind takes it seriously. Are you also going to use it to claim that Buddhism offers justifications for violence and killing?
99% of Buddhist texts speak against a substantial self that incarnates. In fact, even the vision of the self in the Nirvana Sutra is not as simple as you think it is. But the Sutra itself is terrible and mostly worthless so who cares.
>the Mahaparinirvana Sutra is at the very core of all East Asian Buddhist sects
It was an important sutra, that's true. But the primary thing they took from it is the concept of Buddha nature, which I think is a good concept. The elaboration of Buddha-nature didn't exactly develop as a teaching on self, although it seems it was that way at first for a couple centuries in China, because of cultural presuppositions (a similar thing happened in Japan, where at first they used Buddhism as an idol cult). A lot of discussion concerning what exactly is that self that the sutra talks about followed, I think that a real consensus still isn't established today but most recognize that there was no talk of a soul, an atman.
I did caricaturize it a little but the MPS has lots of problematic bits, pretty much every single mention of icchantikas being one. The confusion between the idea of a Buddha-nature and a substantial self that came from the sutra is another, and it's probably one of the reasons why the point was taken up and brought closer to the original teachings of not-self in later sutras, such as Lankavatara.
In short, it is possible that reincarnation has been taught at some point in early East Asian Buddhist history, but as far as I know the error was noticed a relatively short while later and adjustments were made accordingly.
>so you probably align yourself with Theravada
I don't align myself with anything.
Is there any convincing argument against Buddhism's impermanence theory?
For example, in the Sagatha-Vagga of the Samyutta Nikaya (a book of short suttas containing gathas or verses) there are numerous 'simplified' statements of this theory: namely, that nothing is permanent, therefore all activities are in vain.
This logic runs throughout the whole of Buddhism. It is to say, in other words, that all activities occur within time, thus they cannot have ultimate (permanent) significance. If we examine the subtle tendency of our thinking, it seems that we engage in new activities, drives, desires, etc with a renewed vigor reminiscent of the last pursuit before it became stale or reached natural completion. This corresponds to the 2nd arya-sacca or noble-truth (craving gives continuity to suffering). This craving is what drives us through life seeking this and that for our own delight. But due to the impermanence of all things and the impermanence of dependent factors (sankhara), that which was desired becomes otherwise, or loses its appeal, or passes naturally with time. Though we placed our hopes in it, it failed to fully satisfy us. Craving moves on still thirsty for more.
If all life activities, however appealing they might seem at the time, are merely conditioned things, having no substantial reality, (for example, winning an award might seem very important, but within hours the hall is empty, all that remains is a memory and piece of statue), then is anything worth doing or striving for? Other than attainment of Nibbana? It would seem that the Buddha's teaching pushes the monk towards the Unconditioned realm of Nibbana by undermining the value of the conditional world via the teaching of universal impermanent.
A major obstacle to one following Buddhism may be a lurking sense of doubt that life should be renounced - entirely. If this fundamental attachment to striving and seeking in the world cannot be abandoned, progress along the path cannot be made.
So I ask you, /lit/, is there actually anything worth doing in life? Considering that all attainments are not-attainments, all things are impermanent, everything we have we shall lose? Is it not all like someone in a dream seeking this and that in a dream - rather than waking up?
Is "waking up" in Buddhism realization that what exists is not substance/essence but process? And therefore that a mere process need not seek anything at all? What can a process without substantial self truly attain?
Example: Brad Pitt has won awards, but "Brad Pitt" is a name for a process, not an existent, substantial persons. What can the process-Pitt truly attain that is beyond the world of words and thoughts? What is winning an award but some thoughts and the acquirement of a piece of matter?