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InvisibleMiddlemanM

Registered: 07/12/99
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Quetzalcohuatl]
    #10260218 - 04/30/09 03:26 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Exactly. There is desire but it is not 'my' desire.


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InvisibleMastamike1118
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: andrewss]
    #10260229 - 04/30/09 03:28 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

damn well i always thought that the very striving is a desire...but it always starts with that striving... right?

but then i thought your kinda sposed to give up that desire but idk its prolly impossible to give up all desire... well actually they say transcend desire...so you would give it up without actually giving it up


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Mastamike1118]
    #10260231 - 04/30/09 03:29 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Shouldn't we still keep the desire to help alleviate other people's suffering?





THIS IS THE MOST TRUE THING I HAVE HEARD ALL DAY.

Thank you for it, deCypher. :smile:


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Word to your mom.


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InvisibleMastamike1118
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10260238 - 04/30/09 03:31 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

agreed^^^ i guess what was said before only pertains to the ones who want it all you know that nirvana shit...


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Offlinelaserpig
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Mastamike1118]
    #10260243 - 04/30/09 03:33 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

as far as i know, reaching enlightenment is like the exact opposite of losing the desire to alleviate suffering


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Weedmaster P knows the truth.


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InvisibleQuetzalcohuatl
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Mastamike1118]
    #10260248 - 04/30/09 03:37 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Well i'm not buddhist really and my reasoning is just a logical condundrum.

you can't really reason your way through paradoxes and dilemmas like this, they are like a runaway bull charging down on you you either dodge out of the way or grab a hold of the horns and get taken for a ride. That's why sometimes Zen is so silly and yet when you finally have the 'a-ha' moment and get it you realize it was actually not so silly.


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InvisibleMiddlemanM

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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Quetzalcohuatl]
    #10260282 - 04/30/09 03:55 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Exactly. Awakening is a process that takes place below the neck.


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Middleman]
    #10260312 - 04/30/09 04:08 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

The awakening below the neck facilitates a greater awakening above the neck. :grin:


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Offlinesupernovasky
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: deCypher]
    #10260335 - 04/30/09 04:15 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

deCypher said:
The Buddhists seek to ultimately eliminate desire in all its manifestations, thus preventing suffering from an individualistic basis.  Evolve your consciousness and ye shall find the kingdom of heaven within.  However, I claim this is an ultimately selfish tactic: you claim selflessness while you instead only pursue the narcissistic phantoms of your own Awareness.

Shouldn't we still keep the desire to help alleviate other people's suffering?  The external world is just as important as the internal world.




Alright, this is a very complex question, whether you realize it or not... and it requires a quite complex answer. Taṇhā, what you refer to as desire, is something that buddhism is concerned with lessening, you are correct. However, the fundamental problem in the OP is the assumption that buddhism seeks to remove ALL Taṇhā. It does not. In Buddhism, there are three sorts of taṇhā that are considered the root of suffering are as follows:

The first is sensuality and the craving for objects pleasing to the senses.
The second is the craving for existence and reality.
The third is craving nonexistence and atemporality.

This also takes into account the negatives... for instance, you can have a taṇhā to NOT experience pain, or to NOT experience bad things... its kind of how subtraction and addition are the same operator. You can always add a negative or subtract a positive.

Whenever someone does these things based off of Taṇhā for the aforementioned three roots of suffering, they act on these desires because they believe doing so will bring about happiness, well-being, and the negatives of that... a loss of suffering, a loss of longing. Buddhism believes that this is the root cause of suffering. The third of the four noble truths states that suffering can be eased with a gradual extinguishment of craving of these three things.

There is a belief that not all taṇhā is bad in Buddhism, though. In fact, one of the central tenets of buddhism is that taṇhā, when applied to something that WILL bring about a cessation of suffering, ceases to be a negative force and instead becomes a valuable tool to enlightenment.

So when is it a valuable tool and a good thing in buddhism?

According to the Pali Cannon:

Quote:

And what, monks, is right effort?
(i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
(iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, and culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen:
This, monks, is called right effort.



Or, in a more simple manner:


Quote:

make effort to prevent the unwholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
make effort to destroy the unwholesome that has arisen in oneself.
make effort to arouse the wholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
make effort to maintain the wholesome that has arisen in oneself.



I hope that was good enough.


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InvisibleMastamike1118
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: supernovasky]
    #10260358 - 04/30/09 04:21 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

lol so basically do nothing...


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InvisibleQuetzalcohuatl
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Middleman]
    #10260518 - 04/30/09 05:50 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

lolwut


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OfflineWandering_Yogi
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Quetzalcohuatl]
    #10260647 - 04/30/09 06:39 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Thanks, Supernovasky. I think I get you.

I want to talk about selfishness.
Perhaps all human behavior is selfish from a certain point of view.
Human actions that appear selfless or compassionate such as self-sacrifice could be motivated by personal priorities. For example, maybe I would only sacrifice my life to save yours because I'm convinced that I couldn't live with myself if I let you die.


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InvisibleMastamike1118
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: Wandering_Yogi]
    #10260659 - 04/30/09 06:44 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

sacrificing yourself for another..... idk that just doesnt sit well with me...

ok yea everyone will think of you as heroic...but damn u just gave up your shot at everything for nothing...for a thought in your mind...


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: supernovasky]
    #10261714 - 04/30/09 12:38 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Rahz said:
I think the idea is that when a person lets go of a desire, like compassion, they are then able to exemplify it. IOW, a person isn't selflessly compassionate until they have no desire to be compassionate. Once the desire is gone, they find it's their nature to be compassionate. Within the desire to have compassion, there is duality, and it will prevent a person from being it.




OK, but I don't understand the logic that infers that compassion comes naturally from within once all desire is gone.

Quote:

supernovasky said:
In Buddhism, there are three sorts of taṇhā that are considered the root of suffering are as follows:

The first is sensuality and the craving for objects pleasing to the senses.
The second is the craving for existence and reality.
The third is craving nonexistence and atemporality.




Thanks for the info, supernovasky.  #2 and #3 are particularly interesting; does this mean we should be apathetic about our own existence/nonexistence?

Quote:

supernovasky said:
make effort to prevent the unwholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
make effort to destroy the unwholesome that has arisen in oneself.
make effort to arouse the wholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
make effort to maintain the wholesome that has arisen in oneself.




This I can agree with more than Rahz's proposal... both wholesome and unwholesome things lie within ready to be awakened by preference and imposition of a scheme of moral qualification.  But how do Buddhists determine which is considered wholesome and which is considered unwholesome?


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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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Offlinevigilant_mind
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: deCypher]
    #10261721 - 04/30/09 12:40 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

The Buddhist outlook seems paradoxical to me. In order to eliminate your desires, you have to desire to eliminate your desires.


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: vigilant_mind]
    #10261729 - 04/30/09 12:42 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

vigilant_mind said:
The Buddhist outlook seems paradoxical to me. In order to eliminate your desires, you have to desire to eliminate your desires.




You have to initially desire to eliminate all desire, but after you've hypothetically stopped desiring then you would no longer need that first statement of preference and the situation would not be contradictory.


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OfflineMushroomTrip
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: deCypher]
    #10261926 - 04/30/09 01:23 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

My take is that, desire, as proposed in here = emotional attachment, holding on to the desired outcome, which as a result creates a difficulty of dealing with the fact that things go in a different direction, when they do.
I think that you can still want things, without having to have the attachment.


--------------------
:bunny::bunnyhug:
All this time I've loved you
And never known your face
All this time I've missed you
And searched this human race
Here is true peace
Here my heart knows calm
Safe in your soul
Bathed in your sighs

:bunnyhug: :yinyang2:


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OfflineBrainChemistry
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: MushroomTrip]
    #10262364 - 04/30/09 02:47 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

MushroomTrip said:
My take is that, desire, as proposed in here = emotional attachment, holding on to the desired outcome, which as a result creates a difficulty of dealing with the fact that things go in a different direction, when they do.
I think that you can still want things, without having to have the attachment.




DEFINITELY!

Thanks for posting this MT because I totally agree with you.

It is entirely possible to desire something, while at the same time not care if you get it. Or rather....not care when you get it. This is about accepting the fact that if wait for things to come to you, can eventually achieve all that you desire.

Also desire without attachment can be changed. If you realize you can't get what it is your desiring and you aren't attached to it...well then you just adjust your desire!

I really don't like the strict Buddhist interpretation of "desire leads to suffering". It only leads to suffering if you are so attached to your desires that you feel like you can't live without it. That is called obsession!! Not desire!

And also...whos to say that suffering, in the proper amounts, isn't a good thing? A little bit of suffering can teach you lessons about life that would otherwise take a life time to learn.


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Offlinesupernovasky
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: deCypher]
    #10262814 - 04/30/09 04:03 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

deCypher said:
Quote:

Rahz said:
I think the idea is that when a person lets go of a desire, like compassion, they are then able to exemplify it. IOW, a person isn't selflessly compassionate until they have no desire to be compassionate. Once the desire is gone, they find it's their nature to be compassionate. Within the desire to have compassion, there is duality, and it will prevent a person from being it.




OK, but I don't understand the logic that infers that compassion comes naturally from within once all desire is gone.

Quote:

supernovasky said:
In Buddhism, there are three sorts of taṇhā that are considered the root of suffering are as follows:

The first is sensuality and the craving for objects pleasing to the senses.
The second is the craving for existence and reality.
The third is craving nonexistence and atemporality.




Thanks for the info, supernovasky.  #2 and #3 are particularly interesting; does this mean we should be apathetic about our own existence/nonexistence?

Quote:

supernovasky said:
make effort to prevent the unwholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
make effort to destroy the unwholesome that has arisen in oneself.
make effort to arouse the wholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
make effort to maintain the wholesome that has arisen in oneself.




This I can agree with more than Rahz's proposal... both wholesome and unwholesome things lie within ready to be awakened by preference and imposition of a scheme of moral qualification.  But how do Buddhists determine which is considered wholesome and which is considered unwholesome?




:smile: The simple wood cutter who does not think about these questions and simply exists to help raise the wholesome traits in others is considered one of the holiest states of existence in Buddhism.

As far as what is considered wholesome vs unwholesome, we'd have to go back to the less simplified version:

(i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
(iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, and culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen:

Buddhism focuses a lot on cultivating skillful qualities while extinguishing unskillful qualities. The exact definition of that is left up to the Buddhist to determine.

Do not take what I am about to say as typical Buddhism, because we all define these things differently: I in my own meditation have aligned my values and my belief of "skillful vs unskillful" as having the propensity to gain use from humanity vs having the propensity to waste humanities time. Every action that I take affects others and self in a multitude of ways. In these actions, we are all connected and part of the same net of forces that determines the direction that every atom in this universe takes. The more unskillful qualities that I provoke or commit, the less likely these forces will lead to gaining a use from what this universe has provided for us. The more skillful qualities I provoke or commit, the more likely we are to get a use from what this universe has provided for us.

I view Buddhism as aligning us with our natural propensity as human beings to act as organizers, thinkers, discoverers, and builders. The more we try to cultivate these traits, the more advanced we become. Advancement is important in Buddhism, and eventually enlightenment. Proceed forward with purpose, not Tanha for pleasurable things, but Tanha for skillful qualities and the cultivation thereof.


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Offlinesupernovasky
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Re: Absence of desire... and why this may not be a good thing. [Re: BrainChemistry]
    #10262844 - 04/30/09 04:07 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

BrainChemistry said:
Quote:

MushroomTrip said:
My take is that, desire, as proposed in here = emotional attachment, holding on to the desired outcome, which as a result creates a difficulty of dealing with the fact that things go in a different direction, when they do.
I think that you can still want things, without having to have the attachment.




DEFINITELY!

Thanks for posting this MT because I totally agree with you.

It is entirely possible to desire something, while at the same time not care if you get it. Or rather....not care when you get it. This is about accepting the fact that if wait for things to come to you, can eventually achieve all that you desire.

Also desire without attachment can be changed. If you realize you can't get what it is your desiring and you aren't attached to it...well then you just adjust your desire!

I really don't like the strict Buddhist interpretation of "desire leads to suffering". It only leads to suffering if you are so attached to your desires that you feel like you can't live without it. That is called obsession!! Not desire!

And also...whos to say that suffering, in the proper amounts, isn't a good thing? A little bit of suffering can teach you lessons about life that would otherwise take a life time to learn.




Its not that desire by itself leads to suffering. It is that we feel that obtaining what we desire will ultimately provide an end to our suffering. Of course, suffering is relative. There may be a small amount of suffering from boredom, or there may be a large amount of suffering from intense pain. Buddhism contends that we are locked in a cycle of trying to extinguish our sufferings by striving to obtain what we desire, and that for those that wish to cultivate an end to suffering, we need to transcend this cycle and understand that obtaining what we desire will not extinguish the suffering that we thought it would. Obtaining that shiny new video game may relieve your boredom for a little while, but boredom as an emotion will still remain within you long after the game loses its use.

Buddhism focuses on meditating and isolating these feelings and understanding how they work, and what they cause you to do. Ultimately, it contends that you can lessen the effect of these feelings, even rise above them. I know that it has certainly done so in my life.


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