• baker
    3.3k
    Was the Buddha sourgraping?
    Did he dismiss too easily life as it is usually lived?

    If one tries hard enough, does one find true happiness in things that are subject to change, to aging, illness, and death?
  • Tom Storm
    2.5k
    If one tries hard enough, does one find true happiness in things that are subject to change, to aging, illness, and death?baker

    I'll take a stab at this. Immutability is not a necessary component of happiness from where I sit. Do I disparage an amazing meal because it gets finished? The pleasure is in the eating. Am I prevented from appreciating a magnificent sunny day because the weather will change in 16 hours? Do I bemoan friendship because my friends will all be dead in a few decades? For me pleasure or delight is felt in moments, in glimmers of experience. Those moments do not have to be permanent to be cherished.
  • Hermeticus
    135
    Was the Buddha sourgraping?baker

    "sour grapes"
    "bad behavior that happens because someone else is more successful"
    Cambridge Dict

    I don't think so. Supposedly Siddhartha Gautama was a prince, with a lifestyle to show for it. Pretty clothes, good food, servants and guardians, all that jazz.

    Of course it also depends what you understand as a "life usually lived"?

    Either way, I don't see the Buddha being "sour" about anything.
    He came from a privileged background which likely taught him that material value is not an immediate key to happiness. When he witnessed suffering, disease and death, he decided to go down a spiritual path, becoming an ascetic. He didn't find the right answers in ascetism either though. Eventually, he did find a formula that seems to work: The Middle Way.

    Such a way certainly doesn't condemn trying hard, working for things, money, food and whatever else. There is always a certain amount of trying necessary to live at all. Rather, I'd like to propose, the Middle Way is about just that - finding the right balance between everything and nothing.
  • Yohan
    356
    If one tries hard enough, does one find true happiness in things that are subject to change, to aging, illness, and death?baker
    What would you say distinguishes true happiness from untrue happiness?
    One can enjoy things that are subject to gaining, illness, and death, but how much joy, and for how long?
    PS. I'm not sure "true happiness" is even the goal of Buddhism.
    The question might better be asked, can one find an end to suffering in things that are subject to change?
  • khaled
    3.3k
    true happinessbaker

    What's the word "true" adding here?

    If you mean "lasting happiness", yes, just pick something that ages very slowly and you're mostly good to go. Though that is difficult to do.
  • baker
    3.3k
    /am currently on a smartphone. Very tedious, can't quote properly. Later./
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    The Buddha's problem: He was, I believe, in search of constants but the catch is change is the only constant. :lol:
  • T Clark
    7.2k
    Was the Buddha sourgraping?
    Did he dismiss too easily life as it is usually lived?
    baker

    [irony]Yes, one of humanity's great philosophical systems, which has been studied by millions and profoundly influential for 2,500 years, is based on resentment about the unfairness of the world.[/irony]
  • baker
    3.3k
    For me pleasure or delight is felt in moments, in glimmers of experience.

    Those moments do not have to be permanent to be cherished.
    Tom Storm

    As long as there is an infinite supply of those moments.
  • Shawn
    12k
    I like Zen Buddhism for this reason. Instead of focusing on anything that some might quibble over, they just practice zazen or engaging in life. They're jokingly known for telling students to kill the Buddha if you meet him on the road.

    I'm reading a pop-Zen book by Brad Warner, There is No God. It's kind of cool how practical Zen can-be.
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    Was the Buddha sourgraping?baker
    No. Therapists or physicians are not "sourgraping" when they treat, and teach others how to treat, illnesses. (Besides music, what could be more life-affirming?)

    Did he dismiss too easily life as it is usually lived?
    No. The Buddha diagnosed and prescribed a treatment for "life as it usually lived" maladaptively.

    The Buddha, if it makes sense to say he "seeks" anything, seeks the cessation of "constants" (e.g. anicca, anatta, moksha).
  • Tom Storm
    2.5k
    Quick question. Seems to me there is a lot of pop-Buddhism around these days. People often have a kind of romanticized, redacted, 'self-help' form of Buddhism in mind when they consider this path. So my ill phrased question is; what's worse - no understanding of Buddhism or a familiarity with the self-help variety?
  • Shawn
    12k


    I don't know. Mindfulness meditation is beneficial in most regards. It's nice to engage in any form of meditation, and I think most practicers of meditation want to do it correctly, so they engage in their own investigation into Buddhism.
  • praxis
    4.3k
    I'm reading a pop-Zen book by Brad Warner, There is No God. It's kind of cool how practical Zen can-be.Shawn

    :lol: If Brad were at all practical he'd be a MUCH better meditation teacher.
  • Shawn
    12k


    The book is shiete, but I'm still laughing while I read it.
  • Shawn
    12k
    :rofl:
  • Tom Storm
    2.5k
    Fair enough, I wasn't thinking about meditation. Not something I have done myself for decades.
  • Janus
    11.3k
    As long as there is an infinite supply of those moments.baker

    Only needed if your demand is to be completely happy all the time.
  • baker
    3.3k
    what's worse - no understanding of Buddhism or a familiarity with the self-help variety?Tom Storm

    That depends on whether the Buddha of the Pali Canon really was sourgraping or not.
  • baker
    3.3k
    Only needed if your demand is to be completely happy all the time.Janus

    If "ordinary unhappiness" is your aim ...
  • Tom Storm
    2.5k
    That depends on whether the Buddha of the Pali Canon really was sourgraping or not.baker

    What do you think?
  • baker
    3.3k
    Therapists or physicians are not "sourgraping" when they treat, and teach others how to treat, illnesses.180 Proof

    In the case of the Buddha, his solution to the problem of suffering is so radical that it doesn't seem like a solution at all, but, rather, a whole new pathology.

    (Besides music, what could be more life-affirming?)

    Then you're not talking about the Buddha of the Pali Canon.
  • baker
    3.3k
    Was the Buddha sourgraping?
    — baker

    "sour grapes"
    "bad behavior that happens because someone else is more successful"
    Cambridge Dict
    Hermeticus

    "Sourgraping" refers to the old tale of the fox and the grapes: The fox was eager to eat some grapes, but because they were too high on the vine for his reach, he gave up and disparaged them, saying that they are probably sour anway and not worth the effort.

    I don't think so. Supposedly Siddhartha Gautama was a prince, with a lifestyle to show for it. Pretty clothes, good food, servants and guardians, all that jazz.

    The story goes that he was unhappy despite all that luxury.

    Of course it also depends what you understand as a "life usually lived"?

    Seeking satisfaction in food, drink, sex, work, art.

    Either way, I don't see the Buddha being "sour" about anything.

    By modern standards, he exemplifies antisocial tendencies, depression, and other pathologies.

    Basically, he can be accused of not trying hard enough to find happiness in his marriage, family, work etc.
  • Janus
    11.3k
    It is not "ordinary unhappiness" (for me at least: I cannot speak for you). It is a mix of up and down. I am familiar with the Buddhist idea of learning to cease to respond to the "five hindrances", but you will not be motivated enough to do that unless you have become convinced that liberation from them is actually possible.
  • baker
    3.3k
    It is not ordinary unhappinessJanus

    The reference is to Freud's idea that the goal of psychotherapy is to overcome being neurotically miseable and instead be ordinarily unhappy.

    It is a mix of up and down. I am familiar with the Buddhist idea of learning to cease to respond to the "five hindrances", but you will not be motivated enough to do that unless you have become convinced that liberation from them is actually possible.

    I actually don't know a canonical reference for this. @Wayfarer, do you? How is the order of things-- must one first be convinced that abandoning the hindrances is possible before one can begin abandoning them?
  • baker
    3.3k
    That depends on whether the Buddha of the Pali Canon really was sourgraping or not.
    — baker

    What do you think?
    Tom Storm

    I don't know. The Buddha of modern Buddhism is an entirely different figure from the one in the Pali Canon. To say that there are modern Buddhists who are appaled by the Buddha of the Pali Canon is an understatement.
  • Janus
    11.3k
    The reference is to Freud's idea that the goal of psychotherapy is to overcome being neurotically miseable and instead be ordinarily unhappy.baker

    Freud was a pessimist. Happiness/ unhappiness: it's a matter of perspective.

    I actually don't know a canonical reference for this.baker

    I'm not claiming there is. But I see no reason to think anyone would attempt to give up responding to the five hindrances if they didn't believe that liberation from them is possible (and desirable!). That said: world-weariness may do the trick I suppose.
  • baker
    3.3k
    But I see no reason to think anyone would attempt to give up responding to the five hindrances if they didn't believe that liberation from them is possible.Janus

    Where did you get that phrase "responding to the five hindrances"? I've never heard it before. The hindrances as something to "respond to"?
  • Janus
    11.3k
    We respond to the hindrances otherwise they would not hinder us, no? I thought the idea is pretty standard Buddhist fare. I just performed a search and found plenty of references. Here's one on the top of the list:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_hindrances

    The question is as to whether it is really possible (and desirable) to permanently cease responding to them, i.e. become liberated from them. Why would you try unless you believed it is possible?
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    In the case of the Buddha, his solution to the problem of suffering is so radical that it doesn't seem like a solution at all, but, rather, a whole new pathology.baker
    Perhaps. In modern (western) context, "the Buddhist solution" is like weaning-off of a heroin addiction with physician-assisted methadone treatment (& group counseling support) and then maintaining with premium THC & CBD edibles.
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