• Agent Smith
    8.9k
    happiness and truthbaker

    So much for hedonism.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    From a philosophical perspective, maya (illusion) causes suffering, the truth/reality does not.
  • javi2541997
    2.7k
    Smith, I think it is the opposite: reality makes more pain and suffering than illusions.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    I thinks it's misaligning expectations with reality that causes, or increases, suffering. 'Truth hurts' only ego and vanity ...
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    I thinks it's misaligning expectations with reality that causes, or increases, suffering. 'Truth hurts' only ego and vanity ...180 Proof

    That's correct, which is to say maya (illusion) is the cause of suffering, and out goes the window the first noble truth - life (reality) is suffering. Samsara is not suffering, a wrong/distorted view of it is. That is what distinguishes the Buddha from a non-Buddha is drishti (view), the right one and the countless other wrong ones. Nirvana then is not about exiting samsara, but about understanding what it is. I met the Buddha, we all have (there are more molecules in a cup of water than there are cups in all the waters of the world), we just didn't recognize him. :cool:
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Nirvana then is not about exiting samsara, but about understanding what it is. I met the Buddha, we all have ... we just didn't recognize him. :cool:Agent Smith
    :fire:
  • Bylaw
    362
    I thinks it's misaligning expectations with reality that causes, or increases, suffering. 'Truth hurts' only ego and vanity ...180 Proof
    expectations are a part of reality. So, there is a subtle dualism in Buddhism. What is outside us, we should accept and/or have no expectations about. What is inside us, well, that we need to change.
    If this is said to a Buddhist, the response is said, sometimes, no, no accept what is inside also. 1) the processes of Buddhism and Buddhist practice and community through implicit messages do not treat the inside and outside the same, but further 2) Expressions of expectation and 'negative emotions' and to some degree even positive emotions are intentionally cut off and dampened both by practices and then by social pressures in every Buddhist social community I have come in contact with East and West.

    Just observe can be claimed to be neutral, but actually there is an injunction to not express. To cut off the natural ----> expression process of emotions/expectations/desire.

    So.......

    I met the Buddha, we all have (there are more molecules in a cup of water than there are cups in all the waters of the world), we just didn't recognize him. :cool:
    4 hours ago
    Agent Smith
    .....yes, I met the Buddha, recognized him, but found him judgmental and dualist in a way that I dislike and that I don't think he quite notices. I have sympathy for his concerns and intentions. But ultimately I consider him part of the problem.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    .....yes, I met the Buddha, recognized him, but found him judgmental and dualist in a way that I dislike and that I don't think he quite notices. I have sympathy for his concerns and intentions. But ultimately I consider him part of the problem.Bylaw

    Blame it on Brahma who, as per legend, descended from heaven with a retinue of other gods, and begged the Buddha to turn the wheel of the dharma. Buddha, very reluctantly, did as asked and here we are. The Buddha is a problem, I concur - inter alia, he provides one more reason for us to hate each other.
  • Bylaw
    362
    I think I agree, but I would emphasize that he gives us a way to hate ourselves that looks like compassion. More or less the Buddha was saying Oh, you mammals, isolate that dreadful limbic system and keep it from expression. But he did not say this directly, however effectively nonentheless he did.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    I feel you've grasped the wrong end of the stick mon ami. The Buddha was driven by intense suffering i.e. he was, if not a good thinker, a deep feeler. His first noble truth is life is suffering - to appreciate this truth, the limbic system must be on high gear. Have you seen people? Are they feeling the pain? Nope! The normal person or average Joe has, compared to the Buddha who was feeling for all sentient beings, the emotional range of a teaspoon (kind courtesy Hermione Granger).
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    what is the "authentic reality" in this case?
    The one outside the matrix, or the one you've known your whole life within it?

    In my opinion, both are as real as one another. They both exist and both are a part of the whole reality as a simulation must exist in some larger set of conditions (external reality).

    If a simulation mimics perfectly the physics, possibilities and outcomes of actual reality there is virtually (excuse the pun) no difference between the two. You have the same capabilities, the same autonomy to achieve or not achieve whatever you want in either case.

    But if there is a clear difference - in sensation, feeling, behaviour or state of affairs (which is probably more likely) etc of the real world verses the matrix world, that is sufficient reason to warrant the consideration of what life may be like unplugged.

    Our individual conscious awareness are all similar to simulations in that they are constructions of how to perceive and process the raw data of objective reality. If people have different beliefs, different body morphologies, differrment sexes, different abilities to see, feel, touch hear etc, for all intents and purposes their reality behaves differently, is reasoned/understood differently, has a different quality of meaning to others.

    Just as a blind man does not experience the world the same way as able sighted people do. Describing something visual to them means little if they are blind from birth.

    If everyone existed in my minds reality. It would be drastically different to their own. Some people may enjoy it, some people may hate it, and that likely reflects in who I woukd get along with if I spent time with them.
  • Bylaw
    362
    Yes, he noticed that he was suffering. And that's peachy. I notice it also and dislike all the pretending and denial. Fine. But that's not his program. His program is to sever emotion from expression and see desire as problematic. When you meditate you are, amongst other things, severing the experience of emotions from their expression. And it is no coincidence that every single Buddhist community looks down on emotional expression. Of course other traditions and society in general has mixed feelings about expressing emotions, with cultural varients and degrees of difference therein. But Buddhism has the process down to a rigorous discipline and science. Disidentification and disconnnection of the flow from emotion to expression are core practices. I can get how this can even seem non-judgmental and compassionate, but in the end it is a form of practiced self-hatred, just as Christianity tries to teach a hatred of sexual urges. But compared to Buddhism Christianity is generally explicit and thuglike.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k


    Well, isn't desire a, if not the, cause of suffering? :chin:

    Remember the "desire" to shut down the limbic system is proportional to the intensity of suffering one experiences. If one hasn't felt extreme pain, you'll be ok with having a limbic system, experiencing but mediocre emotions.
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    . I can get how this can even seem non-judgmental and compassionate, but in the end it is a form of practiced self-hatred, just as Christianity tries to teach a hatred of sexual urges. But compared to Buddhism Christianity is generally explicit and thuglike.Bylaw

    Self hatred or self restraint? Hatred is an emotion/mood which is biased and has an opposite. Apathy, stillness or the eternal middle ground would be more apt to Buddhism - neither good nor bad, it is what it is.

    As far as I know Buddhism tells one to always be conscious of where an emotion towards /or attachement to something comes from and recognise that it's transient and will pass. Both the good and bad ones.

    And that if you dare to feel emotions to their fullest - in pursuit of love for example, you must be prepared for the mutual opposite that that will inevitably generate when love is lost.

    You can't feel happiness without feeling sadness. You can't chase thrill without being chased by boredom. So they say allow both to pass through you without dictating your behaviours/ desires ans motivations. Feel them, but try not to cling onto them.

    Easier said than done. Perhaps an untenable ideal. No one can prove it for sure.
  • Bylaw
    362
    Well, isn't desire a, if not the, cause of suffering? :chin:Agent Smith
    I don't think so. No. And the suffering does not go away in Buddhism.
    Remember the "desire" to shut down the limbic system is proportional to the intensity of suffering one experiences.Agent Smith
    That's cultural. I don't think that's universal at all. The difference between Italian and British mourners (as statistical tendencies with individual exceptions of course). Or white Protestant middle class culture, high church, vs. afroamerican culture when mourning celebrating, expressing anger or sexuality.
  • Bylaw
    362
    Self hatred or self restraint? Hatred is an emotion/mood which is biased and has an opposite. Apathy, stillness or the eternal middle ground would be more apt to Buddhism - neither good nor bad, it is what it is.Benj96
    On a verbal level, yes. A kind of trained indifference. But on a practice level, you are cutting off the connection between the emotions and expression. I posit there is self-hatred (at a universal and doctrinal level, not at a personal one. That said, any individual doing it, is making it personal.) Then I would suggest trying expressing emotions with passion in any Buddhist community, East or West, and see if they have more judgments and hatred of emotions than what you'll experience in other contexts.
    As far as I know Buddhism tells one to always be conscious of where an emotion towards /or attachement to something comes from and recognise that it's transient and will pass. Both the good and bad ones.Benj96
    Yes, at the verbal level, it's general neutral. Actions speak louder than words, however. And the actions have implicit distaste for emotions. If you had one kid in school who was not allowed to talk or express themselves in a variety of ways, we'd catch the lie in the teacher saying he or she did not judge that child.
    And that if you dare to feel emotions to their fullest - in pursuit of love for example, you must be prepared for the mutual opposite that that will inevitably generate when love is lost.Benj96
    Sure.
    You can't feel happiness without feeling sadness. You can't chase thrill without being chased by boredom. So they say allow both to pass through you without dictating your behaviours/ desires ans motivations. Feel them, but try not to cling onto them.Benj96
    It goes way beyond not clinging to them. Expressing them is problematic. And you must actively, in a disciplined repetition disidentify with them and cut off their flow through the body.
    What they call clinging is, in my experience, merely feeling them.
    It's a bit like how Big Pharma has been pathologizing grief and other emotions.
    The time limit on healthy grief has been going down and people are encouraged to take pills earlier in the process of grief. Through a bunch of clinical jargon they've come round to trying to get us to see the natural evolution of grief as clinging.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    I think you're denying a truth that stares you in the face every single day. It doesn't matter though, it's a phase in understanding.
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    It's a bit like how Big Pharma has been pathologizing grief and other emotions.
    The time limit on healthy grief has been going down and people are encouraged to take pills earlier in the process of grief.
    Bylaw

    I agree that there is certainly a conflict between business models and healthcare. One is trying to maximise profit and the other is trying to maximise well-being and often those two aims are at odds with one another.

    The sad fact of this is that money is a very powerful shaper of these political and institutional dynamics, and its influence likely is impeaching on best medical practice.

    However, all is not lost. Society has an excellent record of intense public outcry and backlash when any company, policy or industry pushes that little bit too far. We are also very innovative with alternative therapies.

    And personal autonomy in medicine still has a core/fundamental rule over what doctors can insist you take. Grief would have to be quite extraordinary to be involuntarily medicated. Coersion is most frowned upon.
  • Bylaw
    362
    I think you're denying a truth that stares you in the face every single day. It doesn't matter though, it's a phase in understanding.Agent Smith
    Ah, the other dog just put his leg up on my back and thinks he going to sniff my balls first.

    I think you're denying a truth that is staring you in the face any time you engage in Buddhist practices and/or engage in relations inside a Buddhist community.
    So, what do we do now?
    I could explain my long engagement with Buddhism and also go into a very complex explanation of what my spirituality is now, to try to show that you (like the Buddhists) are making assumptions that lead you both to assume only one possible way to alleviate suffering exists and that the problem child is emotions and desires.

    But actually I'll just suggest you keep an open mind.

    But noted: you think you know what phase I'm in and it's a phase you've transcended. It's like I've been called a teenager.

    What is your practice of Buddhism like? How much do you meditate? Do you have any supervised meditation? I guess I am asking if you live by the beliefs you seem to be saying you believe in. How hypothetical is all this for you?
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    So then desire isn't a cause of suffering. :chin: Can you tell me why you think that is so. Should the dog who's sniffing your testicles bite one/both off? You wouldn't suffer now would you? Imagine, instead of anticoagulants, the dog's saliva contains a strong anesthetic. I feel for you mon ami.
  • Bylaw
    362
    Should the dog who's sniffing your testicles bite one/both off?Agent Smith
    Here's what I see happened. Instead of responding to the points I made, you went ad hom. The insult was open. You're in a phase. (one that I, Agent Smith am not in or no longer am in) The ad hom is implicit, since instead of responding to the points I made you decided to place me as a person in a category. I must be wrong, due to some personal lack on my part.
    There are points I raised that you have not responded to, and that they are not dependent on whether desire is the or the only cause of suffering.
    So, for reasons unknown you decided to go personal. And here you are condescending to me, the person who is taking the position that emotions and desires are fine.
    There's an irony in that. Perhaps you'll figure out that irony. Perhaps not.
    And nice try as far as shifting the burden of proof. You're the one who brought up desire causing suffering as a point against the issues I have with Buddhism. You haven't demonstrated that or that it means the points I made were not correct.
    Whatever my position on Buddhism is, I do know they've got discipline. You don't pass off your chores or the practice on others.
    The irony extends.
    I'm done with ya.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Apologies if you're offended. Believe me I'm not in the habit of hurling ad homs at other people. Look up my post history and be satisfied. In fact you'll see I've been on the receiving end of a lot of vitriol.

    Desire is a cause of suffering. When you say it isn't then the onus probandi on you to demonstrate why not. As for evidence of the second noble truth, visit Wikipedia on dukkha and find out why this is a truth.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Desire is a cause of suffering.Agent Smith
    Pardon my simplistic (Theravādin?) interpretation – I think Buddha teaches that attachment to impermanent 'relationships and things' as if they were not impermanent – e.g. trying to hold on to smoke (i.e. māyā) – causes dukkha (i.e. frustration, distress, anxiety). Yeah, 'attachment is desire', but it's how one attaches, or desires, that causes dukkha, and not just "desire" itself; thus, the Buddha teaches the Noble Eightfold Path as exercises, more or less, for sustaining habits of aligning expectarions with reality – to align letting-be with impermanence – such that ego-desire (craving) transforms into nonego-desire (renouncing) and then trannsforms further into eco-desire (à la wu-wei), or as you've pointed out, Smith: understanding samsara. :fire:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Pardon my simplistic (Theravādin's?) interpretation – I think Buddha teaches that attachment to impermanent 'relationships and things' as if they were not impermanent – e.g. trying to hold on to smoke (i.e. maya) – causes dukkha (i.e. frustration, distress, anxiety). Yeah, 'attachment is desire', but it's how one attaches, or desires, that causes dukkha, and not just "desire" itself; thus, the Buddha teaches the Noble Eightfold Path as exercises, more or less, for sustaining habits of aligning expectarions with reality – to align letting-be with impermanence – such that ego-desire (craving) transforms into nonego-desire (renouncing) and then trannsforms further into eco-desire (à la wu-wei), or as you've pointed out, Smith: understanding samsara. :fire:180 Proof

    :fire: :clap: :pray:

    To tell you the truth, I quite like what bylaw is getting at. The Buddhist recommendation to end suffering by extinguishing desire seems to me a trivial solution, like morphine drips for everybody are in hedonism. Thus I second your motion - "how one attaches, or desires" - which you seem to relate to my view that samsara needs to be understood rather than transcended.

    I know this Buddhist monk who likes the occasional drink and he always makes it a point to say (paraphrasing) "drink, enjoy, but do realize, it is empty (sunyata)" :lol:
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    I know this Buddhist monk who likes the occasional drink and he always makes it a point to say (paraphrasing) "drink, enjoy, but do realize, it is empty (sunyata)" :lol:Agent Smith
    O empty glass – another round, barkeep. :pray: :sweat: :party:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Yeah – empty glass, another round, barkeep. :pray: :sweat:180 Proof

    :up:
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