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The human condition, and buddhist forums reaction to it!

I have reviewed many topics of conversation on many websites that propose to have buddhist inclination, and end up being bored stiff with the same old answers.

Sadly few of them really provide meaningful answers to many earnest questions, that many new people who come to the buddhist forums are really seeking.

The sad fact is that there is certain types of (good and bad) banter, and yes there are allusions and references to standard scriptural reference;, but apart from acknowledging that the human condition as nothing more than "suffering" and yet more 'suffering' ad nauseam, ad infinitum, what is the human condition from your perspective? I find it quite refreshing sometimes. Like when I get a surprise present, or an ad hoc visit to or from someone I haven't seen in a decade or so. Like when I saw an elderly relative after they had a bowel cancer operation last week.

its not all sad and bad...

lobster

Comments

  • 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

    We have the same old answers on here, because we have the same old questions. Very oftn from New Buddhists' who are enquiring about matters for the first time.
    Repetition may get boring, but forums don't run that way for your benefit.

    The answers are usually mixed, but good and varied.
    Simply because they don't float your boat, doesn't mean they don't satisfy the curiosity of those asking. And sometimes if the questions aren't varied, or posed in an understandable way... well, we do our best within the written medium...

    I think you misunderstand the human condition, if all you can see it as no more than suffering.

    ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

    Getting a surprise present, or visit, or seeing an elderly relative post-operation, are all aprt and parcel of the same 'suffering'.

    Nothing sad in any of it.
    Sad and bad are subjective.

    bt it's all still 'suffering'.

    Only, I may have a different opinion to yours as to how to define and understand it.

    dhammachicklobsterDhammaDragonwojciech
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I generally prefer the term "unsatisfactory" as it works better for me than "suffering" does. People who insist all Buddhism is is talking about how much suffering there is in life are lacking true understanding, in my opinion. It is not about focusing on the things we've labeled as bad. It's not about focusing on the things we've labeled as good. As focus on both of those things is a big part of what it means that life is unsatisfactory, or suffering. When you learn how to let go of that good/bad judgment, even just a bit, then understanding shifts. The key, to me, is to realize that contentment can be found equally in both the moment you receive a surprise gift, and in the moment you just tripped and spilled coffee all over yourself right before your job interview. That we judge one as good and one as bad is the entire problem (in a nutshell) because it leaves us wanting to avoid the bad but seek the good. And that nonstop tug-of-war is what causes this suffering or unsatisfactoriness. In my understanding and experience, of course.

    CarlitaShoshinnakazcidwojciech
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @karasti said:
    I generally prefer the term "unsatisfactory" as it works better for me than "suffering" does. People who insist all Buddhism is is talking about how much suffering there is in life are lacking true understanding, in my opinion. It is not about focusing on the things we've labeled as bad. It's not about focusing on the things we've labeled as good. As focus on both of those things is a big part of what it means that life is unsatisfactory, or suffering. When you learn how to let go of that good/bad judgment, even just a bit, then understanding shifts. The key, to me, is to realize that contentment can be found equally in both the moment you receive a surprise gift, and in the moment you just tripped and spilled coffee all over yourself right before your job interview. That we judge one as good and one as bad is the entire problem (in a nutshell) because it leaves us wanting to avoid the bad but seek the good. And that nonstop tug-of-war is what causes this suffering or unsatisfactoriness. In my understanding and experience, of course.

    👍👍👍👍

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @satcittananda said:
    I have reviewed many topics of conversation on many websites that propose to have buddhist inclination, and end up being bored stiff with the same old answers.

    Sadly few of them really provide meaningful answers to many earnest questions, that many new people who come to the buddhist forums are really seeking.

    The sad fact is that there is certain types of (good and bad) banter, and yes there are allusions and references to standard scriptural reference;, but apart from acknowledging that the human condition as nothing more than "suffering" and yet more 'suffering' ad nauseam, ad infinitum, what is the human condition from your perspective? I find it quite refreshing sometimes. Like when I get a surprise present, or an ad hoc visit to or from someone I haven't seen in a decade or so. Like when I saw an elderly relative after they had a bowel cancer operation last week.

    its not all sad and bad...

    personally, i enjoy coming here.learning from others is great.my perspective on the human condition?this is going to be raw...we eat,we shit,we die.the space between birth and death we do stuff.and yes there is nirvana,the hope ...the opposite side of dukkha.some tears and some laughs--that'severybodyslife--as we do stuff.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    There are actually 3 levels of dukkha
    1) suffering of suffering, like breaking a leg or loosing a relationship. The stuff pretty much everyone recognizes as suffering.

    2) the suffering of change, which is how nothing is really a true source of happiness. Stepping into a walk in refrigerator on a hot day is pleasant only as a change from a state of being hot, the cold is not a true source of happiness as after a bit it changes from pleasant to unpleasant and we need to change again and try to find a constantly elusive state of equilibrium. This category is where happy things like surprise presents and visits with close ones comes in. Seeing your relative is happy but if they moved in and never left then it would become less exiting.

    3)This is either a subtle kind of suffering that comes with identifying with a self or the added layer of suffering we add to events by our own rumination depending on who you ask. I'm undecided as to which.

    Anyway, this is all to say that your objection to all life being suffering is that you are only defining dukkha as the first type, Buddhism defines dukkha in further ways that change the meaning from being "all sad and bad..."

    ShoshinDhammaDragonCarlita
  • @satcittananda said:
    I have reviewed many topics of conversation on many websites that propose to have buddhist inclination, and end up being bored stiff with the same old answers.

    BORING! :p

    Today I am grateful Baby Jesus has been replaced by a sausage roll 🤭🤦🏽‍♀️🤔😶
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/greggs-says-sorry-advent-calendar-replaces-baby-jesus-sausage-roll-christmas-2017-a8055896.html
    So happy to be a time traveller (one of my reasonably interesting hobbies)
    http://qgate.soup.io
    Also so glad to be only temporarily insane (one of the side effects of time and dimensional travel) 🤷🏽‍♀️

    ... and now back to the un-stiff ...

    dhammachickNamadaCarlita
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Not all topics on Buddhist forums are about suffering =)

    May you be well, may you be happy

    dhammachickKeromelobsterDhammaDragon
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 16

    And suffering has to do with 'grasping' or 'clinging'... NOT simply enjoyment, but rather
    'grasping'. So what is grasping? I can't explain that to you because it is something that people do the meditation to explore their own mind. To be honest I am still waiting for my own better understanding of what 'grasping' is. When will it dawn on me? I don't know.

    But if you are experiencing enjoyment then maybe there is no grasping? Not talking about like a 'high' of neurotransmitters from drugs on that one though. But enjoyment is a sign that it is not grasping.

    Nirvana
  • Continue to do your Practice as taught.
    Be patient and mindful. Especially patient.
    And understand that intellectual answers are not answers to what we truly seek .. only our experience can provide answers. And some questions have no answer.

    Shoshinlobsterperson
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @satcittananda said:
    apart from acknowledging that the human condition as nothing more than "suffering" and yet more 'suffering' ad nauseam, ad infinitum, what is the human condition from your perspective?

    The human condition is all sound and fury, signifying... all kinds of things in the mind. I don’t think it is all suffering, rather I think it is inevitably a rather lively mix, with pleasant things to be enjoyed but let go of when their time has passed, and unpleasant things meant to be taken note of with full awareness and also let go of in their time.

    From a Buddhist perspective, the importance of suffering is that we often turn away from our suffering, we kind of shove it under the carpet while we spend time on the things we wish to enjoy, and we say how great our lives are. So we need to have suffering pointed out to us, to realise that, oh yeah, these are the ways in which I suffer. And then to learn to cope in a mature way with that suffering, acknowledging it rather than hiding it.

    All these things happen in the mind. The world all around us is full of interconnected events, the past leaving its traces in everything we see. All is impermanent, constantly being transformed in ways visible and invisible. Our attachment to things happens in the mind, and that is where we need to learn to let go.

    lobsterkarastiSnakeskin
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    @person said:
    There are actually 3 levels of dukkha...

    ... and there are two types of sukkha:

    1) Our sukkha may depend on external causes and the fulfillment of our wants and expectations.
    This type of sukkha is unfortunately entangled with attachments, unwholesome tendencies, and frustrations.
    In a nutshell, second-arrow dukkha.

    2) Our sukkha may be the product of a mental condition by which we see things as they are -not as we want them to be-, stop colouring reality with valorations such as 'good' or 'bad,' we are deeply accepting and unruffled by what we cannot change, and simply enjoy life in the here and now, when it's party-time.
    We eat when hungry, sleep when tired, rejoice when life is sweet, accept when dukkha blows.

    Life is what it is: impermanent, dukkha and no-self.
    Whether you like it or not, @satcittananda.
    Whether you want to stare at it in the eyes or not.
    Independently of whether you prefer to overlook the ugly stuff.
    That does not mean that we cannot be happy in moments that call for celebration.

    personCarlitaHozan
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @satcittananda said:
    its not all sad and bad...

    Some old sage said that too. He called it a "Noble Truth" or something like that. :p

    DhammaDragonShoshinHozan
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    ...Suffering has to do with 'grasping' or 'clinging'... NOT simply enjoyment, but rather
    'grasping'. So what is grasping? I can't explain that to you because it is something that people do the meditation to explore their own mind...

    Yes, it's attachment ("grasping") that causes the suffering, not the enjoyment itself. "En-joy-ment" in itself is quite delightful, after all. Detachment can only come through the wisdom imparted through the dharma or the Tao or seeking only what is eternal. Suffering comes from wanting (needing) everything we like to stay more or less the same, or at least not being lost to us.

    It seems to me that losing the sense of "I Am" to the nth degree is the bare bones of living a detached life. Caring for others never stops, though, because the ego becomes dissolved (as much as is humanly possible) in the "here and there." My being doth not end at my fingertips, nor my responsi-bility for other at theirs.

    JeffreylobsterDhammaDragonHozan
  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:

    @person said:
    There are actually 3 levels of dukkha...

    ... and there are two types of sukkha:

    1) Our sukkha may depend on external causes and the fulfillment of our wants and expectations.
    This type of sukkha is unfortunately entangled with attachments, unwholesome tendencies, and frustrations.
    In a nutshell, second-arrow dukkha.

    2) Our sukkha may be the product of a mental condition by which we see things as they are -not as we want them to be-, stop colouring reality with valorations such as 'good' or 'bad,' we are deeply accepting and unruffled by what we cannot change, and simply enjoy life in the here and now, when it's party-time.
    We eat when hungry, sleep when tired, rejoice when life is sweet, accept when dukkha blows.

    Life is what it is: impermanent, dukkha and no-self.
    Whether you like it or not, @satcittananda.
    Whether you want to stare at it in the eyes or not.
    Independently of whether you prefer to overlook the ugly stuff.
    That does not mean that we cannot be happy in moments that call for celebration.

    You know. I never heard of the word Sukkha before. Something new today.

    "There are, O monks, these three feelings: pleasant feelings, painful feelings, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings."

    Be it a pleasant feeling, be it a painful feeling, be it neutral,
    one's own or others', feelings of all kinds[1] —
    he knows them all as ill, deceitful, evanescent.
    Seeing how they impinge again, again, and disappear,[2]
    he wins detachment from the feelings, passion-free.
    ~Sukha Sutta: Happiness

    Nice post.

    DhammaDragonHozan
  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    @satcittananda said:
    I have reviewed many topics of conversation on many websites that propose to have buddhist inclination, and end up being bored stiff with the same old answers.

    Sadly few of them really provide meaningful answers to many earnest questions, that many new people who come to the buddhist forums are really seeking.

    The sad fact is that there is certain types of (good and bad) banter, and yes there are allusions and references to standard scriptural reference;, but apart from acknowledging that the human condition as nothing more than "suffering" and yet more 'suffering' ad nauseam, ad infinitum, what is the human condition from your perspective? I find it quite refreshing sometimes. Like when I get a surprise present, or an ad hoc visit to or from someone I haven't seen in a decade or so. Like when I saw an elderly relative after they had a bowel cancer operation last week.

    its not all sad and bad...

    Human condition: Everything is in the process of change. That change good or bad is temporary. It is impermanence. The result is suffering. It's not "inherited sin" if put in that light.

    For example, if you sat in your work chair for hours straight, your enlightenment is you want to stand up. That gives you temporary relief. So, the day ends and you stand, feeling relieved of your pain. Then you stand for hours and want to sit down. So standing isn't enlightenment nor is siting because we, until we "get it" are standing and siting all our lives before fully understanding both positions are a start of understanding the human condition if one likes (acknowledging suffering). Then you acknowledge the cause of suffering. Why do you want to stand? Why do you want to sit? When will there be a time where you don't need to do either? Find the solution. What is the solution? It's not to stand. It's not to sit. Once you find it (in The Dhamma) then you practice it. You experience it. No sit. No stand. No self. Emptiness. You know this by meditating. It's the last of the noble truths. There is a way from suffering (sitting and standing to get relief from either by performing the other).

    We go through life times of trying to understand the four noble truths through practicing the eight-fold path as a simple, very very simple explanation of practice. All surrounded in impermanence. No human condition. Nothing inherited. Just the fact we are born we are dying. In that process of dying, we suffer. Lifetimes and lifetimes of standing and siting. It's exhausting. But then The Buddha finally understood it and he died. He no longer stands or sits. Perfect peace. No rebirth.

    I find it nice to apply the noble truths to everyday situations. Acknowledge. Cause. Solution. Method. To stand or to sit. That is the question. O.o

    person
  • wojciechwojciech I yam whatever you say I yam Veteran

    The prospect of not waking up tomorrow or gasp dying before my/your head hits the bed is enough to elicit a richness of excitement and fear.

    If you're bored stiff with questions and answers, try dancing with a dish rag; that'll loosen you up :smile:

    As for the human condition: I don't know!

    lobster
  • Dancing with our washing up. Cue music.

    Sounds like a plan ...

  • 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

    lobster
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