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Through birth are conditioned decay, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"After five minutes of your birth, they’ll decide your name, nationality, religion, and cult... And you’ll spend your life fighting and stupidly defending things you didn’t choose."

Did you choose to be born?

Comments

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @pegembara

    Who is the "they" that is doing that deciding?
    &
    Asking, "Did you choose to be born?" assumes that there was a you to make such a choice.

    Is the coalescing of Karmic streams really a "you"?

    pegembaralobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    You were lucky!

    lobsterBunksWalker
  • @pegembara said:
    Did you choose to be born?

    Unlikely. Unless of course a few cells changing and eventually emerging is a primordial and unique 'moi'
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryogenesis

    @how puts a Buddhist Face on the exploration of pre-birth 'me'. Good luck finding that dharma phantom ...

    @how said
    Asking, "Did you choose to be born?" assumes that there was a you to make such a choice.

    Is the coalescing of Karmic streams really a "you"?

    My limited knowledge is that my 'face before I was born' was how can I put this politely ...

    Non-existent.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @pegembara said:
    "After five minutes of your birth, they’ll decide your name, nationality, religion, and cult... And you’ll spend your life fighting and stupidly defending things you didn’t choose."

    Did you choose to be born?

    I never knew there was an alternative.

    If somehow I could have made that choice then I would already know it's just a field trip to a long dream so I would choose to be born for sure.

    Nothing to lose and perspective to gain. Yeah, what the hells, sign me up.

    I have chosen to live if that counts for anything.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @how said:
    @pegembara

    Who is the "they" that is doing that deciding?
    &
    Asking, "Did you choose to be born?" assumes that there was a you to make such a choice.

    Is the coalescing of Karmic streams really a "you"?

    It would probably depend on what we mean by "really".

  • Here is the rest of the insightful article that shows how the apparent choices we make are strongly influenced by things beyond our control.

    I was born into a middle-class Chinese family, and both my parents are Buddhists.

    My mother loved dressing me up in beautiful dresses, took pride in putting me through ballet and piano classes while making sure I learnt the etiquettes of “being a female”.

    Referring to the quote above, I am therefore a heterosexual, Chinese Buddhist girl by default.

    For as long as I could remember, I was disciplined by threats like the classic “that black man will come and kidnap you if you don’t walk with me” or “that aunty will come and scold you if you don’t listen to me”. Naturally, I was pretty convinced.

    As my grandmother passed away a few months after I was born, my family paid regular visits to a temple where she was cremated. My brother and I were taught to pray to her, with lit incense sticks in our hands.

    We also had to pray to various Gods for better results or good health, and my mother’s belief in fengshui can be seen in the way our furniture were positioned in the house.

    These practices inevitably gave me the impression that religion became more of a responsibility instead of a set of beliefs.

    As I turned out to be less feminine than expected, I was always compared to my “girlier” cousins who put much more effort into their looks than I did. My aunt, a lesbian, was also constantly talked about during family gatherings.

    It became clear to me that as soon as I deviate from my family’s existing expectations of me, I will be shunned.

    We were taught to defend mainstream religious, ethnic or sexual identities that we did not choose for ourselves, and this could also be seen in our lovely, multicultural society.

    Whether we admit it or not, we indeed are “stupidly defending things we didn’t choose”.

    I am obliged to be a Buddhist girl strictly adhering to Chinese traditions, and there are people who believe that seeing a cross outside a church would challenge the faith they are defending for, a category which was determined as soon as they were born.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2016

    A tribe (like a family) is just one group of folks that is defined differently from the rest.

    I think that a transition into real adulthood requires some objective evaluation of whether the worth of belonging to any tribe is truly worth all the costs of that membership.

    lobsterShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Filial Piety (respect for ones parents) comes to mind when members of the Chinese community are mentioned ...It's that whole mind set developed over many generations, dating back to the time of "Confucius"...It's ingrained in Chinese culture....

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @how said:
    A tribe (like a family) is just one group of folks that is defined differently from the rest.

    I think that a transition into real adulthood requires some objective evaluation of whether the worth of belonging to any tribe is truly worth all the costs of that membership.

    And respectively, there is really only one tribe that none of us can help but belong to.

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