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Optimistic Nihilism

personperson Where is my mind?'Merica! Veteran

I think there is a strong thread of nihilism that comes as part of being scientifically literate. We don't have to let it get us down, if there is no ultimate purpose to the universe and it all eventually ends in dissolution and heat death then we can assign whatever purpose to our lives that we want.

Traditional Buddhism offers a claim of an ultimate purpose but if in actuality there isn't one we can still adopt Buddhist principles to give meaning to our lives and find an inner happiness and peace.

VastmindsilverShoshin

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited August 13

    @person said:
    Traditional Buddhism offers a claim of an ultimate purpose but if in actuality there isn't one we can still adopt Buddhist principles to give meaning to our lives and find an inner happiness and peace.

    Indeed.
    Here is one we did earlier ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/18602/the-zen-of-nihilism

    Buddhism offers an ultimate experience that creates happiness and peace known as Nirvana. Nihilism offers ... nothing ... and that has an optimistic or perhaps meaningless form for some. It is therefore unskilful and warned about in dharma as potentially distressing and disquieting ...

    Nice video. Is the ultimate purpose realisation? I would suggest it is a good starting point ...
    http://buddhasutra.com/files/eight_realizations_sutra.htm

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited August 13

    One of our favorite YouTube subscriptions! :)

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

    @lobster said:
    Indeed.
    Here is one we did earlier ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/18602/the-zen-of-nihilism

    I miss @Nevermind, argument for the sake of argument can really help clarify things and increase one's own understanding. Though I can feel the bothered, frustrated feelings I got back then just from reading through it again.

    Maybe a better way of stating my point would be to say that meaning and purpose doesn't have to come from something outside us, be an intrinsic part of the universe. We can find purpose and meaning even on a grand scale within our own human mind.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @person said:
    We can find purpose and meaning even on a grand scale within our own human mind.

    I suppose ...
    The need for purpose and meaning is an attachment, like all conditional arisings it passes ...
    Ay caramba. Nothing/emptying (not nihilistic emptiness) is on it's Way ... ;)

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited August 13

    Also, purpose made is no less meaningful than purpose given or found in my books.

    I think it's all just information being shared and my favorite scientist, Carl Sagan, said that we are a way the cosmos can know itself.

    When I think of things like heat death I consider the anomaly that we call the big bang (or our universe) is most likely just one of an infinite amount of specks in the bigger picture (universe containing all expanding sub-universes or big bangs) which has no beginning or ending.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited August 13

    @person said: We can find purpose and meaning even on a grand scale within our own human mind.

    In my view meaning is always within our mind, and problems arise to the extent that we project our meaning onto the universe. Probably a good argument for not taking our opinions too seriously. :p

    lobster
  • lobsterShoshin
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    Generosity might be strategically effective or virtuous, but that’s not important. The point is that there is no good reason to love life or each other, yet we do.

    —John Tarrant, “The Erotic Life of Emptiness”

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks guys.

    What is the point of being a nihilist? :p

    My choice is not to make meaning in a supposed nihilistic environment/universe but to align or take a skilful path.

    For example if we develop wisdom, compassion, metta, boddhicitta, generosity that @Vastmind mentions, life affirming strategies etc we will be fulfilled. Hooray!,

    That is why the emptying of tripe/trump, shellfish, selfish, lizard and monkey brain qualities, impediments, unclarified butter fly mind, tweet brain etc is part of the dharmic realignment.

    Yes we are empties. Yes it has a form/plan. Sunyata is not nihilistic emptiness ... Buddhism is not nihilism ...
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/emptiness-most-misunderstood-word-in-buddhism_b_2769189.html

    ... we are touched by suchness
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/5835/whats-suchness

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @lobster said:> What is the point of being a nihilist? :p

    Yeah, it all seems so pointless! Dudeism is the answer!

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @lobster said:> What is the point of being a nihilist? :p

    Yeah, it all seems so pointless! Dudeism is the answer!

    Does that mean we should all go bowling?

  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    Bowling for Buddha sounds like good clean fun.

    Vastmind
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @lobster said:> What is the point of being a nihilist? :p

    Yeah, it all seems so pointless! Dudeism is the answer!

    Does that mean we should all go bowling?

    Right on, the Zen of ten-pin bowling, with beer to follow. :p

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