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Free Willy

Did the Buddha choose to die or was it the karma of being human rather than a whale?
Do we have free will, karmic choices or really only when we are awake?

From another thread...

Among other things, "Tathagatha" means "that which is coming and going."
The Buddha described himself as a "flowing occurrence."

adamcrossley

Comments

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I like that phrase - a "flowing occurrence" - has a nice ring.

    He also reminds us that no one wants to die - so it's not like we consciously 'choose' to die. Beyond that, I dunno! Maybe it's like mass hypnosis - we all 'believe' we're going to die roughly between the ages of x and 80-something - barring untimely (?!) accidents.

  • 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 think everyone believes they'll die quietly, in a dignified manner, in their old age, serenely lying in a well-made bed, crisp clean sheets, neat blankets, propped up on pillows, peacefully surrounded by our loved ones.
    That is as much a dream as being alive, is.

  • As a flowing occurence, I try to focus on what is helpful to myself and others ...
    https://www.enthusiasticbuddhist.com/articles/

    In other words, calmer karma dharma, which involves a gradual change away from killer wails, rainbow bodies, fantasy absolutism and belief imposition.

    My karma presently involves:

    • loosening the mind, rather than tightening the nuts and bolts ...
    • wonderment
    • being kind to sleeping Buddha Nature predators eg. Demon J Trump

    Have I gone wrong again?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Free Willy

    Why? Was Willy caught in the zip ?...Bet that's painful ;)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Did the Buddha choose to die or was it the karma of being human rather than a whale?

    On a more serious note....

    "I am not my body...I am not my thoughts...I am not my mind"

    So the body decays and dies and the mental states cease to be...

    The Buddha's body had no choice ...no say in the matter so to speak ....

    I would say it's a case of where....

    The Spirit is Willy willing but the flesh is weak

    lobsterDhammaDragon
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    edited December 2

    @lobster said:
    Did the Buddha choose to die or was it the karma of being human rather than a whale?
    Do we have free will, karmic choices or really only when we are awake?

    Death is not a choice for any aggregate-composite human being to make.
    Death is part of the combo.

    "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you:
    All compounded things are subject to vanish.
    Strive with earnestness!"
    (Maha-Parinibbana Sutta)

    We also do emerge with a pre-programming in the guise of store-consciousness, alaya-vijnana, where our karmic seeds hold us hostage to innate conditioned proclivities and tendencies.

    But choice of deliberate thinking, choice of response or reaction, are always ours to make.
    Not necessarily when we are awake.
    Unenlightened as we may be, we can always choose.
    Except not to die.

  • and yet some choose.....freely.....

  • Lovely picture @IronRabbit

    I would love to have been present with a toasting fork and a bag of marshmellows ... o:)

    Never waste a good monk ...

  • @lobster said:
    Do we have free will, karmic choices or really only when we are awake?

    I’m struggling with this at the moment. We know that phenomena have no inherent existence, but are merely a collection of occurrences, all of which are dependent on previous occurrences. For example, a tree was once a seed and will soon be compost for future trees. It doesn’t exist independently of those other states.

    Do actions, likewise, have no inherent existence, since actions all have multiple causes and determining factors? Even a thoroughly intentional action is still the result of certain predispositions already present in the person who acts. So can any action be said to exist independently? I’m not so sure.

    Help me, wise people o:)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I’d say that all actions exist dependent on the chain of events that caused them. If you look at the inter-being aspect of existence, the results of our actions are clearly visible all around us.

  • 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 December 2

    An action has no name on its own; it must be related to whatever the doer is doing. So eating can only be done if there is an eater. Sleeping can only be done if there is a sleeper. An action can only be done if there is an actor.
    An action cannot exist independently.
    Even a leaf trailing to the ground is bidden to do so by either the tree shedding it (an action performed by the tree) or by the wind shaking it loose (an action performed by the wind).

  • 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

    ...Further:
    A son can only be a son, if he has a parent. A pawn can only be a pawn in relation to another chess-piece. Severed from these distinctions, the son loses his 'son-ness'. The pawn ceases to be a pawn. To single them out and extract them from their connection, negates their essence.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Explorer
    edited December 3

    @Kerome
    @federica

    So what does that say about moral responsibility? If actions can’t be separated from their causes and effects. Is a murderer totally responsible for the murder, partly responsible, or totally without responsibility?

    Is some responsibility borne by the society, or by the murderer’s upbringing, etc.?—which of course all have antecedents of their own.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    The murderer also cannot be separated from the causes and effects that surround him, and so he is definitely responsible and accumulates karma for his actions.

    We have the choice to go along with the causes that influence us, or we can struggle against them to create different effects. The whole dharma is based on the principle of personal choice, within limits.

    What limits? The limits of the contents of our mind. You can’t choose what you can’t think of. That’s one reason why the dharma is important.

  • 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

    @adamcrossley said: So what does that say about moral responsibility?

    The 5 precepts are all about moral responsibility, aren't they?

    If actions can’t be separated from their causes and effects. Is a murderer totally responsible for the murder

    Yes, of course they are.

    partly responsible, or totally without responsibility?

    What prompts you to ask this? The kinds of responses that go, "It's not my fault, it's because I'm damaged, my dad used to hit me!" or "I couldn't help it, it just 'happened'!" Neither of which are acceptable or correct....

    Is some responsibility borne by the society, or by the murderer’s upbringing, etc.?—which of course all have antecedents of their own.

    It's common for perpetrators of crimes and misdemeanours, to cite causes, excuses and mitigations.
    The bottom line is, they actively CHOSE their course of Action.
    The direct consequences of their Actions are theirs to carry.

  • @adamcrossley said:
    Help me, wise people o:)

    that's me out ... hooray! I knew being a fool was the right choice ... :p

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