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Question

BunksBunks VeteranAustralia Veteran

What are we (beyond the conceptual) and why are we here?

Comments

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran
    edited October 2

    Form = cause and effect. I guess we can agree on that. At a gross level a combination of daddy’s sperm and mum’s eggs. Plus all the food we’ve eaten and liquid drink.

    What about feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness? From where have these manifested?

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    Are they just products of form or is form a product of them?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Thich Nhat Hanh says in No Death, No Fear that we are conditioned arising — we manifest when the conditions are right for us to do so. Of course we have our ancestors, and if you think about your childhood compared to how you are now, you’ll notice a difference in how you relate to thoughts and emotions. We are evolving beings, your whole body refreshes its cells every few years.

    Bunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    What about feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness? From where have these manifested?

    Part of the answer is in the aggregates.
    http://buddhismteacher.com/five_aggregates.php

    Buddhism does not require ‘god done it and knows best' displacement.

    @Bunks said:
    What are we (beyond the conceptual) and why are we here?

    In the spirit of your question I would suggest 'life meaning' is absent. It is an arising without a plan for an immortal soul. However we are not reduced to nihilism. Quite the contrary.

    We can make the very best existence for ourselves and others. That is a high calling and purpose:

    • Harmonise rather than fight the karmic arising :)
    • Be kind, wise and ‘most excellent’ ;)
    • Share our humanity, life strategies and (where available) awakenings ... <3

    We can know and experience our emptiness. We can increase in emptiness, decrease in clinging to being, becoming and the machinations of samsara ... In this sense we are here to befriend ...

    personadamcrossleyBunksVastmind
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    edited October 2

    @Bunks said:
    What are we (beyond the conceptual)

    IMO its best to say we don't totally know. We understand the physical body/brain fairly well. I don't think we understand the experiential mind much at all, even to the point where people argue that experience is just an illusion. I'm not necessarily saying the mind and brain are made up of different stuff (substance dualism), it may be that the experience of mind is completely a product of the brain, but currently we have no explanation for how or why it arises. It often isn't even a question neuroscience considers.
    https://samharris.org/the-mystery-of-consciousness/
    https://samharris.org/the-mystery-of-consciousness-ii/

    and why are we here?

    I don't know if there really is a reason in the cosmic sense, but we are here, so it up to us to make the most of it. There are better and worse ways of being and there are many ways to be beneficial, to be on the whole a more positive force in the world rather than a negative one. The exact details of what that is and how to do it has been the focus and effort of generations of wise and virtuous people. Many aspects of the world and people are situational and change over time so the needs and solutions change along with them and many aspects are more universal and stable.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    What are we (beyond the conceptual) and why are we here?

    The question of what we are goes back some ways. Sri Ramana Maharshi said that inquiring within about that question was ‘the most direct way to enlightenment’. You could say you are the watcher, although Ramana wasn’t satisfied with that.

    Why we are here is another one that people have been breaking their heads over for a while, there are whole branches of philosophy dedicated to it. Psychologists have been known to say there is no meaning, except what we give it.

    adamcrossleylobsterBunks
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran
    edited October 2

    @Bunks said:
    What are we (beyond the conceptual)?

    In the world of Fullmetal Alchemist, humans are:

    Oxygen, 43kg - Carbon, 16kg - Hydrogen, 7kg - Nitrogen, 1.8kg - Calcium, 1kg - Phosphorus, 0.78kg - Potassium, 0.14kg - Sulfur, 0.14kg - Sodium, 0.10kg - Chlorine, 0.095kg - and Magnesium, 0.019kg.

    And they are also irreplaceable. I think this is a reasonably accurate paradox.

    Nothing can equal the value of a human soul.

    Perhaps the body gives rise to the mind. Perhaps there is also a soul, but no one knows. The Buddha teaches that identifying with things is the way to suffering, but he doesn’t rule out a soul—it’s just best to proceed as if there isn’t one.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    Some of you might find this respectful conversation interesting. Between a physicalist Michael Shermer and an idealist Deepak Chopra.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    What are we (beyond the conceptual) and why are we here?

    Neurons firing for consciousness's pleasure/entertainment

    Sub atomic particles floating about in consciousness soup...where we stick together for a while before drifting apart...

    We ( like all matter) are just the ingredients that makes up the soup...( I guess we are the meaty grisly parts)

    Or

    Nothing special...No particular reason....

    Bunkslobster
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited October 3

    @Bunks said:
    Are they just products of form or is form a product of them?

    They are dependently co-arisen phenomena. Without consciousness, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Likewise without the body or form (a combination of daddy’s sperm and mum’s eggs. Plus all the food we’ve eaten and liquid drink.) Unless there is a disembodied person participating. :)

    "Very well then, Kotthita my friend, I will give you an analogy; for there are cases where it is through the use of an analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said. It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name & form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

    "If one were to pull away one of those sheaves of reeds, the other would fall; if one were to pull away the other, the first one would fall. In the same way, from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress."

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.067.than.html

    The Buddha did not answer the question "Why are we here?" because it does not lead to liberation.

    "This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.002.than.html

    So when we ask "why are we here?"
    Who is asking whom? :)

    Isn't it possible that 'you' are beyond thought?

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 3

    @Bunks said:
    Form = cause and effect. I guess we can agree on that. At a gross level a combination of daddy’s sperm and mum’s eggs. Plus all the food we’ve eaten and liquid drink.

    What about feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness? From where have these manifested?

    I'll give it a go....
    Perhaps consciousness just 'is' ( without it would the other components exist? ) the phenomena of feeling, perception & volitional formation arise up in & from consciousness and depart back into consciousness...

    Where consciousness (AKA awareness) interacts with the neurons as they fire, forming the pathways which form the concepts of thought, feeling, perception & mental formation...the concept of "I am"....Karma, being the sticky substance that holds it all together...

    ...and going back to your original question

    What are we (beyond the conceptual) and why are we here?

    A tool what consciousness uses to explore itself...

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