Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Are you an eternalist, an annihilist, or somewhere in between?

SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

See the Ananda Sutta, where eternalism and annihilationism are opposing views.

"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

«1

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I am open to all possibilities at this stage in my life.

    What about you Spiny?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I am not who I suppose myself to be. Nor am I otherwise....

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I'm a Transformationalist.

    As a tree will go from seed to tree to drawing earth elements and water to create more seeds, or a small patch of water might evaporate and become cloud only to fall as a raindrop and run down to the sea... I think human consciousness will probably go through a number of transformations, after death, and each transformation like giving birth.

    So not exactly eternal, but not annihilationist.

    WalkerDavid
  • One of the definitions of the "middle way" is between these two extremes.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    Part of what I get from that sutta reading between the lines is that Vacchagotta was one of those guys who just wanted to trip the Buddha up and try to catch him in a trap. I wonder if the Buddha could have explained his position, but kept silent because no matter what he said Vacchagotta would have picked at it.


    I also say this because one of the metaphors I've heard explaining the difference between the eternalist view of reincarnation and the Buddhist view of rebirth is that reincarnation views that which is reincarnated as being like a thread (eternal, unchanging self) tying beads (lives) together. Opposed with rebirth as like a stack of blocks (lives) stacked upon one another.

    So in regards to the OP question, I suppose I am just confused. I think well, maybe we are reborn, one life depending on the previous, and I think maybe this is it. So I play the odds and work to be happy in the moment without being a jerk and using spiritual methods (meditation, love) rather than worldly ones (alcohol, sex). I get to have a happy life now and I should be alright if I'm reborn again.

    Bunkslobster
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited September 2016

    Are you an eternalist, an annihilist, or somewhere in between?

    To answer this, you have to think about it and thinking about it takes you out of being present to experience. Oh, to be free as a bird.

    "Yes, friends. As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death."

    "What do you think: Do you regard the Tathagata as being in form?... Elsewhere than form?... In feeling?... Elsewhere than feeling?... In perception?... Elsewhere than perception?... In fabrications?... Elsewhere than fabrications?... In consciousness?... Elsewhere than consciousness?"

    "And so, my friend Yamaka — when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life — is it proper for you to declare, 'As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death'?"

    "Previously, my friend Sariputta, I did foolishly hold that evil supposition. But now, having heard your explanation of the Dhamma, I have abandoned that evil supposition, and have broken through to the Dhamma."

    "Then, friend Yamaka, how would you answer if you are thus asked: A monk, a worthy one, with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?"

    "Thus asked, I would answer, 'Form is inconstant... Feeling... Perception... Fabrications... Consciousness is inconstant. That which is inconstant is stressful. That which is stressful has ceased and gone to its end."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.085.than.html

    Fosdick
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    I am open to all possibilities at this stage in my life.

    What about you Spiny?

    I lean more towards the annihilationist view, partly because there is no evidence for rebirth, and partly because wanting to be reborn seems like another form of clinging.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Jayantha said:
    One of the definitions of the "middle way" is between these two extremes.

    Yes, it is dependent origination.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    Wanting it all to continue and wanting it all to be over are both states of clinging I think.

    I just go with the flow and although some kind of continuance makes sense while complete annihilation doesn't (in my book anyways), it also doesn't make sense for any continuance to be from the same deceased perspective.

    @Kerome seems to have it.

    Cinorjerperson
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @David said:
    Wanting it all to continue and wanting it all to be over are both states of clinging I think.

    The fear of annihilation and craving for continuation is a powerful driving force behind religious belief. It is no coincidence that most religious traditions include a belief in some kind of post-mortem continuation, including Buddhism.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @Kerome said:
    I'm a Transformationalist.

    As a tree will go from seed to tree to drawing earth elements and water to create more seeds, or a small patch of water might evaporate and become cloud only to fall as a raindrop and run down to the sea... I think human consciousness will probably go through a number of transformations, after death, and each transformation like giving birth.
    So not exactly eternal, but not annihilationist.

    So in your belief, is there is an ultimate destination for this transforming "soul", or would it carry on transforming indefinitely, or...?

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:
    Wanting it all to continue and wanting it all to be over are both states of clinging I think.

    The fear of annihilation and craving for continuation is a powerful driving force behind religious belief. It is no coincidence that most religious traditions include a belief in some kind of post-mortem continuation, including Buddhism.

    You'll get no argument from me there but it isn't the only driving force. Some people just want to figure out what's really going on and different things make sense to different people.

    I think staking a claim either way (conjecture) is to get caught in a thicket of views since I doubt all the information is in.

    Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Cinorjer
  • No, I don't believe my consciousness is going to survive death. It won't even survive injury or disease to my brain if that happens before my heart stops beating. I've been a skeptic from childhood and my inability to believe without evidence about drove me crazy before I found Buddhism. I'm not saying that nothing survives. Only that what does continue won't be "me".

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

    I agree about religious belief but not about atheism. There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is more to it than we can glean at the moment.

    As such, agnosticism seems to be the only honest position.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

    I agree about religious belief but not about atheism. There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is more to it than we can glean at the moment.

    As such, agnosticism seems to be the only honest position.

    Plenty of evidence for what? And if there is no evidence for something, I don't see how it is dishonest not to believe in it.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

    I agree about religious belief but not about atheism. There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is more to it than we can glean at the moment.

    As such, agnosticism seems to be the only honest position.

    Here in the Netherlands there is a movement called "something-ism" which encapsulates all those people who believe there is something after death, just without necessarily believing in God or the rest of the Christian mythos. It seems to be a more accurate statement of what we know then mere agnosticism.

    person
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

    I agree about religious belief but not about atheism. There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is more to it than we can glean at the moment.

    As such, agnosticism seems to be the only honest position.

    Plenty of evidence for what? And if there is no evidence for something, I don't see how it is dishonest not to believe in it.

    Evidence that all the information is not in. That's good enough not to subscribe to a firm stance.

    Agnostics don't believe in things there is no evidence for either.

    lobster
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

    I agree about religious belief but not about atheism. There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is more to it than we can glean at the moment.

    As such, agnosticism seems to be the only honest position.

    Here in the Netherlands there is a movement called "something-ism" which encapsulates all those people who believe there is something after death, just without necessarily believing in God or the rest of the Christian mythos. It seems to be a more accurate statement of what we know then mere agnosticism.

    Sounds like just another word for agnostic.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

    I agree about religious belief but not about atheism. There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is more to it than we can glean at the moment.

    As such, agnosticism seems to be the only honest position.

    Plenty of evidence for what? And if there is no evidence for something, I don't see how it is dishonest not to believe in it.

    Evidence that all the information is not in. That's good enough not to subscribe to a firm stance.

    Agnostics don't believe in things there is no evidence for either.

    I don't think the information will ever all be in, but religious belief is often used to fill in some of the large gaps in our knowledge and understanding.

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran
    edited September 2016

    Having any extreme view will lead to cravings. Believing that we only have this life to live will cause a feeling of longing to live a different life, or not wanting it to end. Believing that we have many lives to live will also cause a feeling of not wanting this life to end or vice versa.

    It is better to just treat them as "views" and not buy in to them so much as to not see where they lead.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Here, the Atheist and the Theist are on equal ground.

    Only if you ignore the evidence, or rather the lack of it. There is no evidence for God or afterlife, and to me most religious belief looks like clutching at metaphysical straws.

    I agree about religious belief but not about atheism. There is plenty of evidence to suggest there is more to it than we can glean at the moment.

    As such, agnosticism seems to be the only honest position.

    Plenty of evidence for what? And if there is no evidence for something, I don't see how it is dishonest not to believe in it.

    Evidence that all the information is not in. That's good enough not to subscribe to a firm stance.

    Agnostics don't believe in things there is no evidence for either.

    I don't think the information will ever all be in, but religious belief is often used to fill in some of the large gaps in our knowledge and understanding.

    That's why I think agnosticism is the only truly honest position as nobody knows for a fact if there is a magic deity or a magic nothing or something in between.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited September 2016

    but people don't base faith on what they know. They base their faith on what they believe.
    Everybody knows God cannot be proven, but ardent Christians believe a God exists and feel that they are justified in doing so...

    dhammachick
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 2016

    You would probably then be surprised by how many don't realize the distinction between faith and fact.

    I find I have to constantly be reminding certain Christians that while they are entitled to their own opinion or belief, they are not entitled to their own facts. Usually right after I'm told that we were all born into original sin and I reply with "you don't actually know that" and they say "Yes I do".

    But it's the same as an Atheist claiming there is no (G)god(s) or rebirth or karma simply for the lack of compelling evidence. What constitutes "compelling" is kind of subjective though.

    To acknowledge that we just do not know enough to claim exclusivity of truth in these things is the honest approach, faith or no faith.

    lobster
  • @SpinyNorman said:

    @Jayantha said:
    One of the definitions of the "middle way" is between these two extremes.

    Yes, it is dependent origination.

    did you mean 'dependent origination' is equal to 'middle way'?

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @upekka said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Jayantha said:
    One of the definitions of the "middle way" is between these two extremes.

    Yes, it is dependent origination.

    did you mean 'dependent origination' is equal to 'middle way'?

    In the suttas the middle way most often refers to that between indulgence and ascetism, but it also refers to that between annihilationism and eternalism.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @David said:> To acknowledge that we just do not know enough to claim exclusivity of truth in these things is the honest approach, faith or no faith.

    Theism and atheism are views, not ontologies.

    Clearly you cannot prove the non-existence of something, it is about forming a view based on the evidence, or lack of it. People have different ideas about what constitutes "evidence", though generally there seems to be a much lower standard where religious beliefs are concerned.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @namarupa said:> Having any extreme view will lead to cravings. Believing that we only have this life to live will cause a feeling of longing to live a different life, or not wanting it to end. Believing that we have many lives to live will also cause a feeling of not wanting this life to end or vice versa.

    It is better to just treat them as "views" and not buy in to them so much as to not see where they lead.

    I agree, they are just views and attaching to them is unhelpful. A problem I have with the Buddhist model of rebirth is the question of the ultimate goal. If we do eventually manage to "escape" the cycle of rebirth, what, if anything, happens next? In Hinduism there is the goal of union with Brahman, but Buddhism doesn't seem to have that - except possibly in the sense of "union" with Nirvana, if you view it as a transcendent reality.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    Are you an eternalist, an annihilist, or somewhere in between?

    I like "none of the above" the most! =)

    lobster
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @namarupa said:> Having any extreme view will lead to cravings. Believing that we only have this life to live will cause a feeling of longing to live a different life, or not wanting it to end. Believing that we have many lives to live will also cause a feeling of not wanting this life to end or vice versa.

    It is better to just treat them as "views" and not buy in to them so much as to not see where they lead.

    I agree, they are just views and attaching to them is unhelpful. A problem I have with the Buddhist model of rebirth is the question of the ultimate goal. If we do eventually manage to "escape" the cycle of rebirth, what, if anything, happens next? In Hinduism there is the goal of union with Brahman, but Buddhism doesn't seem to have that - except possibly in the sense of "union" with Nirvana, if you view it as a transcendent reality.

    What about the Mahayana goal of Buddhahood in order to help others escape as well?

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> To acknowledge that we just do not know enough to claim exclusivity of truth in these things is the honest approach, faith or no faith.

    Theism and atheism are views, not ontologies.

    Clearly you cannot prove the non-existence of something, it is about forming a view based on the evidence, or lack of it. People have different ideas about what constitutes "evidence", though generally there seems to be a much lower standard where religious beliefs are concerned.

    Which is largely down to people failing to discuss the role of mental illness in this area. Let's face it, most of the prophets in the bible sound like they are hearing voices and having hallucinations, only one step short of a schizophrenia diagnosis. If you accept that they heard the voice of God, how do you distinguish them from the thousands in mental wards hearing voices which identify themselves as the voice of god every day? If you do not, there are quite a few holy books that need rewriting.

    But evidence in this area is hard to come by. It is not scientifically rigorous, since it can't be physically tested and repeated and measured. It all happens inside the mind, at best you can refer to the size of the body of experience - as with NDEs - and attempt a statistical analysis, or rely on the reputation of people.

    personWalkerlobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @person said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @namarupa said:> Having any extreme view will lead to cravings. Believing that we only have this life to live will cause a feeling of longing to live a different life, or not wanting it to end. Believing that we have many lives to live will also cause a feeling of not wanting this life to end or vice versa.

    It is better to just treat them as "views" and not buy in to them so much as to not see where they lead.

    I agree, they are just views and attaching to them is unhelpful. A problem I have with the Buddhist model of rebirth is the question of the ultimate goal. If we do eventually manage to "escape" the cycle of rebirth, what, if anything, happens next? In Hinduism there is the goal of union with Brahman, but Buddhism doesn't seem to have that - except possibly in the sense of "union" with Nirvana, if you view it as a transcendent reality.

    What about the Mahayana goal of Buddhahood in order to help others escape as well?

    So you would get enlightened and then decide to get reborn for ever to help others? I suppose that gets round the problem. ;)

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> To acknowledge that we just do not know enough to claim exclusivity of truth in these things is the honest approach, faith or no faith.

    Theism and atheism are views, not ontologies.

    Clearly you cannot prove the non-existence of something, it is about forming a view based on the evidence, or lack of it. People have different ideas about what constitutes "evidence", though generally there seems to be a much lower standard where religious beliefs are concerned.

    Which is largely down to people failing to discuss the role of mental illness in this area. Let's face it, most of the prophets in the bible sound like they are hearing voices and having hallucinations, only one step short of a schizophrenia diagnosis. If you accept that they heard the voice of God, how do you distinguish them from the thousands in mental wards hearing voices which identify themselves as the voice of god every day? If you do not, there are quite a few holy books that need rewriting.

    But evidence in this area is hard to come by. It is not scientifically rigorous, since it can't be physically tested and repeated and measured. It all happens inside the mind, at best you can refer to the size of the body of experience - as with NDEs - and attempt a statistical analysis, or rely on the reputation of people.

    It's the inherent subjectivity of such experiences which is the problem, particularly because it seems they are often shaped by preconceived assumptions and beliefs.

    lobster
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Something in between, I suppose. I just don't know, but I find all the alternatives equally intriguing and plausible based upon what we know of the universe and how it works and the assumptions we make about where consciousness fits into that equation.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @David said:
    You would probably then be surprised by how many don't realize the distinction between faith and fact.

    Oh no, I'm not surprised at all. I am well aware of how so many people cannot make that distinction.
    I'm just responding to what I perceived to be a flaw in your post, because it sounded as if you couldn't either.... ;)

    dhammachick
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @federica said:

    @David said:
    You would probably then be surprised by how many don't realize the distinction between faith and fact.

    Oh no, I'm not surprised at all. I am well aware of how so many people cannot make that distinction.
    I'm just responding to what I perceived to be a flaw in your post, because it sounded as if you couldn't either.... ;)

    Silliness.

  • @seeker242 said:

    Are you an eternalist, an annihilist, or somewhere in between?

    I like "none of the above" the most! =)

    Indeed.
    I'll join.

    The Buddha focussed on dukkha not choices between favoured pontifications.

    ... and now back to the opinions ...

    person
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> To acknowledge that we just do not know enough to claim exclusivity of truth in these things is the honest approach, faith or no faith.

    Theism and atheism are views, not ontologies.

    That doesn't make sense really. Ontologies deal with the nature of being and you can't get more metaphysical than staking a claim of truth about what happens when the body dies.

    Clearly you cannot prove the non-existence of something, it is about forming a view based on the evidence, or lack of it.

    Ok but my point is that non-belief is different than outright dismissal.

    People have different ideas about what constitutes "evidence", though generally there seems to be a much lower standard where religious beliefs are concerned.

    True.

    However to have religious beliefs is to conjecture and there is a difference between weighing possibilities and claiming an unprovable truth.

    person
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @David said:

    @federica said:

    @David said:
    You would probably then be surprised by how many don't realize the distinction between faith and fact.

    Oh no, I'm not surprised at all. I am well aware of how so many people cannot make that distinction.
    I'm just responding to what I perceived to be a flaw in your post, because it sounded as if you couldn't either.... ;)

    Silliness.

    I know. I'm full of it.

    (Don't answer that.....)

    dhammachick
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> To acknowledge that we just do not know enough to claim exclusivity of truth in these things is the honest approach, faith or no faith.

    Theism and atheism are views, not ontologies.

    That doesn't make sense really. Ontologies deal with the nature of being and you can't get more metaphysical than staking a claim of truth about what happens when the body dies.

    Theism and atheism are views/beliefs, in this case about whether God exists.

    Clearly you cannot prove the non-existence of something, it is about forming a view based on the evidence, or lack of it.

    Ok but my point is that non-belief is different than outright dismissal.

    In reality is it a spectrum, with different degrees of belief and disbelief.

    People have different ideas about what constitutes "evidence", though generally there seems to be a much lower standard where religious beliefs are concerned.

    True.

    However to have religious beliefs is to conjecture and there is a difference between weighing possibilities and claiming an unprovable truth.

    You could say that theists claim an unprovable truth, and atheists reject the claim. In any case it is all about belief and disbelief.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Another sutta on eternalism v. annihilationism, with dependent origination as the middle way:

    "The world in general, Kaccaayana, inclines to two views, to existence[2] or to non-existence.[3] But for him who, with the highest wisdom, sees the uprising of the world as it really is,[4] 'non-existence of the world' does not apply, and for him who, with highest wisdom, sees the passing away of the world as it really is, 'existence of the world' does not apply....
    .....Avoiding both extremes the Tathaagata[10] teaches a doctrine of the middle: Conditioned by ignorance are the formations... "

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.wlsh.html
    ( see notes 2 and 3 )

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 2016

    God?

    Oh sorry, I thought this was a Buddhist forum.

    @SpinyNorman said:
    You could say that theists claim an unprovable truth, and atheists reject the claim. In any case it is all about belief and disbelief.

    You could but that leaves the Atheist that claims there is nothing.

    In my view you describe an atheistic leaning Agnostic.

    But I'm not here to squabble.

    Are you trying to get around to a discussion on the nature of the unborn?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Moderator note: Don't you two start it up again. Try at least to have some form of constructive discussion without descending into spat-sarcasm, ok? Nipping this in the bud, right now. Further unnecessary posts (or part thereof) will simply be deleted.

    Thanks.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    No, just friendly banter.

    I had a few unskillful days and it showed but I have no hard feelings towards @SpinyNorman.

    I can edit that if it helps at all.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    That didn't really require a response. And believe me, any editing needed, I would already have done it.

  • I don't know what I think really … but as month by month I see the disintegration of my mum's personality as she slides further into dementia, the whole question becomes more vivid and real to me. If anything survives of her life and herself, what will it be? If her karma sparks off another existence, who will that person be? It's not metaphysical speculation any longer. I feel as if the noble truths are staring me in the face like huge tower blocks.

    lobsterdhammachick
  • "Form, monks, is not self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.' But precisely because form is not self, form lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.'

    "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine(you). This is my self(yours). This is what I am(you are)'?

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.059.than.html

    Asking if there is "something/a soul" that lives on or lives and then dies is making an assumption that there is a "being" that exists. Answering yes or no is based on that wrong assumption.

    lobster
  • @Susanna said:
    I don't know what I think really … but as month by month I see the disintegration of my mum's personality as she slides further into dementia, the whole question becomes more vivid and real to me. If anything survives of her life and herself, what will it be? If her karma sparks off another existence, who will that person be? It's not metaphysical speculation any longer. I feel as if the noble truths are staring me in the face like huge tower blocks.

    Very real. Exactly right. Pontifications is for time wasting fun and deciding how to dance on pin pricks. When it comes down to meaningful and constructive dancing dialogue we find the urgency of dukkha and its reality. Hence the Buddha did not engage in proliferation of unskillfulness. Find and acknowledge known reality, move towards solutions. Dharma here we come ...
    @pegembara answered it well in the previous post.

  • Yes, 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.' I can see that I'm clinging to the memory of what she used to be. Her favourite film was "Gone with the Wind"! So I guess accept what is real, do what I can for her as she is now, don't get bogged down in theorising, carry on practising, and don't try to fight the wind of change …

    lobsterDavid
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited September 2016

    When it is too hot outside, go find a shade. Don't expect the sun to turn down the heat just for you.

    That is seeing things as they are, not as you want them to be.

    "Merely thus," "just such": everything is such as it is and in no way different from that thusness. To intuitively realize this is to see the truth of all things, to see the reality of the things which have deceived us.

    Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

    lobster
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.