• Wayfarer

    This is the best introduction to emptiness I'm aware of.

    Someone discovered empirical evidence for karma, rebirth, etc. and didn’t tell me?praxis

    There is ample documentation of people, mainly children, who remember their past life. Bhikkhu Analayo's recent book has many such examples. Review here.
  • praxis

    Anecdotal rather than empirical evidence.
  • Wayfarer
    Folks generally will believe what suits them.
  • TheMadFool
    Let's start with inconsistencies in the foundational principles of rebirth and emptiness. I imagine there are countless vague and tenuous ways to make these concepts appear consistent with each other, but none are reasonably sound.

    For an essence or soul-like thing to be reborn in another body, it would need to be immaterial or unaffected by matter, and therefore separate and unchanging, which is the very antithesis of emptiness.


    I was once schooled by a devout Buddhist that his religion, for sure, rejects eternalism (sunyata) but that that didn't imply nihilism. Buddhism dwells somewhere midway.
  • Pop
    My thinking is Idealistic in the vein of Shiva and Buddha, but far from solipsistic, if that is what you are intimating?
  • TheMadFool
    y thinking is Idealistic in the vein of Shiva and Buddha, but far from solipsistic, if that is what you are intimating?Pop

    I'm not sure how to respond to that. :smile:
  • Pop
    Perhaps just answer my original query - I would be interested in what your perspective on the matter is.:smile:
  • praxis
    Folks generally will believe what suits them.Wayfarer

  • Xtrix
    The only way to be truly happy is to get what you want otherwise you're just living in self denial. It's how we've evolved. Happiness is a reward mechanism for when we do something to aid our survival which is the only reason you can never be happy permanently.Gitonga

    You're equating happiness with pleasure -- it's not the same thing, neither in Buddhism nor in Aristotle.

    This is in reference to how Buddhist say no matter how much material you get you'll never be fully happy so stop chasing material.Gitonga

    No. Stop craving, and becoming attached with, material. Seek what you want, but with equanimity and understanding.
  • Gitonga
    it doesn't have to be material, for example it could be friends
  • Xtrix
    No. Stop craving, and becoming attached with, material. Seek what you want, but with equanimity and understanding.Xtrix

    it doesn't have to be material, for example it could be friendsGitonga

    Same thing applies. I was using your word because that's the example you chose.

    One shouldn't be attached to family and friends either. One shouldn't be attached to anything in life. Why? Because (1) there's no good reason to be and (2) what good does it do? What does it add? Mostly it adds unnecessary, counterproductive sufferring, and we know this from experience.

    So what is meant by "attachment"? It's a clinging to beings of any kind -- material, social, or abstract. What's "clinging"? Identifying with, and thus feeling "ownership" of something ("mine"), which is implies an idea of "me" (selfhood) and which ultimately betrays a belief in permanence.

    Chasing pleasant sensations and emotions, or clinging to the phenomena of life, is a guaranteed way to be disappointed. Schopenhauer is pretty convincing here.

    It does not mean, however, we have to drop all of our projects in life, become apathetic, commit suicide, withdraw, become passive, or turn into cold, bloodless zombies. I'm much more Aristotelian and Nietzschean when it comes to how one should or shouldn't live -- when it comes to morality.

    The synthesis here, in my view, is this: by recognizing craving and aversion are two sides of the same coin, by facing up to this reality (and not fleeing from the reality), you can momentarily get outside of it. In this space of "simple awesome," which is often described in Buddhist literature, you can cultivate yourself -- it's freedom in a sense. Freedom from the past and its accumulation of habits and regrets, freedom from worry about death (the future), and freedom from thinking. You're just "being," and it's exactly the practice (the "exercise") of getting in touch with being that allows you to cultivate your life -- your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions.

    Then you can choose your values, rather than have them choose you (in a poetic sense). Meaning you no longer have to fall "victim" to anything, good or bad -- whether depression, being a workaholic, anxiety, mood swings, laziness, lack of attention, sex addiction, being "overly nice," or any other habit or way of being that you've developed in your life.

    Nearly everything we do is learned, despite there also being a real "nature" (genetic endowment), with its scope and its limits. If that's true, then if we can understand the process by which we come to acquire our various behaviors through experience, we can also harness and direct that process, shaping it in various ways. This is essentially the goal of psychotherapy, in fact.

    Bottom line: don't be reactive, be responsive. Buddhist meditation fits right in with this, just as Hindu yoga fits in with the goal of a healthy body. Better to just do it than debate the philosophy of it.
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