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InvisibleRavus
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Projection of the Enlightened?
    #4461934 - 07/27/05 11:52 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I was reading a Buddhist member's post here where they were discussing the Buddhist/ Taoist attitude to drugs, and in it he stated that while drugs may help some people in some ways, they are nevertheless counterproductive to the "ultimate goal" of enlightenment.

My first reaction was, of course, to think this a pompous and arrogant statement. Not his opinion on drugs, of course; everybody has their own subjective ways of thinking, and that's never bothered me. But the mere fact that the Buddhist would try to tell me the ultimate goal of Nirvana, this goal that apparently all humanity and all life is moving towards, seemed ridiculous. As if there should be a cessation to suffering?- that is not my ultimate goal, so perhaps I am excluded from the Buddhist version of humanity. In fact, that would be counterproductive towards any goals I strive for, and I know I'm not alone in this.

In Buddhists' readings I've observed before, they try to say that all the scientific studies going on aren't incompatible with Buddhism, which to a certain extent I agree with. Compared to Christianity (such as Creationism), Buddhism has much more potential to bond with science, seeing as Buddhism has kept itself more to the point. Yet one of the basic premises of Buddhism is that Nirvana is the cessation of suffering, and that we should move to Nirvana- and this to me is where the problem arises.

Why is life suffering? To my knowledge, I've never seen a very good answer from Buddhism- they state the obvious, that life is filled with suffering, but simply stop at that observation. However, if we look at science and evolution, life is suffering because we've evolved to feel suffering whenever something goes wrong- and life is continuously going wrong. All components of suffering, whether they be pain or depression or loss, are all warning signals, saying that something is wrong, something has gone wrong or something's about to go wrong.

With this in mind, suffering is itself a way to help our survival. Life is suffering, I agree, but the cessation of suffering is even worse. Suffering makes us greater, truely; and I say this not as a matyr, but as someone who has overcome suffering time and time again, as I'm sure all of us have here. If we did not suffer, how would we evolve? If we did not suffer, how would we relate to others? For if life is suffering, then bonds are forged from pain- and while we wish for the cessation of suffering, there's a reason we don't receive it.

If we actually stopped suffering, we would devolve. We'd slide back down, slowly and surely, into something lower, something with less emotions and less experience. Our personalities are forged in fire, not in room temperature water.

Thinking this, I looked back on the Buddhist's statement of the "ultimate goal", and rejoiced, knowing that the "ultimate goal" would indeed be an ultimate failure. My motto in life is that suffering makes me greater; without suffering, I know I would be something less than human. The Buddha's only humanity had come from his past suffering, his personality had been forged in his repeated failures to achieve Nirvana. Whether he actually achieved Nirvana (if such a thing exists) or faked it in the end, I do not know, but as a safety precaution I'm staying far away from the eightfold path.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Ravus]
    #4462039 - 07/28/05 12:16 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Good post. Well thought out and worded.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Ravus]
    #4462327 - 07/28/05 01:14 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

life != suffering
Life is the original rorschach ink blot.


--------------------
PsyPost - Psychedelic Research


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Ravus]
    #4462451 - 07/28/05 01:45 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

:thumbup: Some good points there dude

This is why I have serious problems with Buddhism. Personally I think it's bullshit but I won't try to keep anyone from following it.

Like you, I see suffering as a means to an end, the end being learning and growth. To end suffering is to end learning and growth. However, if you end suffering, and you aren't yet at your goal, you're in a state of stagnation instead. Buddhism sets the goal as the end of suffering, which is a goal rooted in this reality, instead of a goal and truth which may be rooted in a reality that's beyond our comprehension. The goal, for example, may be to rejoin with the Source of creation (if you believe such a thing), but to end your suffering isn't the same thing as rejoining with Source.

So I think the end of suffering is an effect of reaching the goal rather than the goal itself. You should not seek to end methods of reaching your goal, and mistake ending those methods as the goal itself. This is like saying, when you get out of your car, you're at your destination. Well, this isn't necessarily true. If you get out of your car, you may not yet be at your destination, but when you reach your destination you'll definitely get out of your car...


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Ravus]
    #4462804 - 07/28/05 02:55 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
......With this in mind, suffering is itself a way to help our survival. Life is suffering, I agree, but the cessation of suffering is even worse. Suffering makes us greater, truely; and I say this not as a matyr, but as someone who has overcome suffering time and time again, as I'm sure all of us have here. .....




this is part of why the realized ones say that life is already perfect.

seeking enlightented attitude is not about becoming unnatural

the only thing seemingly unnatural is meditation which is actually natural too. (it seems unnatural as one attempts to step outside of the flow of reactive thinking,
but it is just another way of standing one's ground, and you can see the evolutionary advantage of that I presume)


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Offlineiambobby
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: moog]
    #4462843 - 07/28/05 03:00 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

You guys rock. This thread is awesome.


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Yesterday, the world was flat. Today, the world is a round ball. Tomorrow? The world will not be defined so easily with words...


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Offlineiambobby
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: iambobby]
    #4462867 - 07/28/05 03:03 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

p.s anything that has outright black and white judgements is bullshit, including this here post of mine.


--------------------
Yesterday, the world was flat. Today, the world is a round ball. Tomorrow? The world will not be defined so easily with words...


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Ravus]
    #4462998 - 07/28/05 03:30 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
Suffering makes us greater




I think that is a far too general statement to make. When I look at starving children in Africa, I don't see kids that are growing 'greater'. Sometimes suffering is useful and sometimes it is damaging.

There appears to be a large amount of unneeded suffering in the world and I support anyone who is working to reduce theses sufferings.


--------------------
PsyPost - Psychedelic Research


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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4463352 - 07/28/05 05:21 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I don't like how Buddhism makes it seem like "enlightenment" is so unattainable for the average Joe. A person must work to the stage where everything is understood as meaningless in-and-of-itself, and then once this nihilistic abyss is passed over, happiness is created for the sake of creating happiness. The arbitrary power is wielded. And especially with drugs, it's really not hard in this day and age, to see how everything is meaningless.

Life is indeed suffering, from an egocentric perspective beant on resisting the flow of life. But for someone who is able to go with the flow, the hedonistic view tempts, and they finds themselves to be adrift on an endless ocean. Happiness, it is discovered, leads back to suffering! For a person who sees the relativity of things, all is suffering, unless relativity is accepted and seen past.

It *is* possible to see clearly. Simply, we are the order arising from the chaos, in perpetual becoming, and we have all the reason in the world to be happy!


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Ravus]
    #4463481 - 07/28/05 07:14 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

> he stated that while drugs may help some people in some ways, they are nevertheless counterproductive to the "ultimate goal" of enlightenment.

I have always looked at drug use for enlightenment the same way I look at a shortcut when driving. The shortcut will get you where you want to go, and for some it will get you there faster, but there is always a much greater risk of getting lost when taking the shortcut.


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Just another spore in the wind.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Seuss]
    #4463618 - 07/28/05 08:49 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

once in the system they are fine, the difficulty with reccommending acquisition or usage relates to the fact that they are external devices, extra and overtop of the basic package:

buddhism attempts to be an owners manual for the basic package.

upgrades are an untouched territory, and that really makes sense.

no warrantee anyway.


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OfflineTriplexiosis
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #4463635 - 07/28/05 09:04 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

If you suffered only once in your life, you've sufered once too much.


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"If there were no desire to heal, the damaged and broken met along this tedious path I've choosen here, I certainly would have walked away by now" Tool - Patient

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Edited by Triplexiosis (07/28/05 09:05 AM)


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4463694 - 07/28/05 10:03 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

the_phoenix said:
I don't like how Buddhism makes it seem like "enlightenment" is so unattainable for the average Joe. A person must work to the stage where everything is understood as meaningless in-and-of-itself, and then once this nihilistic abyss is passed over, happiness is created for the sake of creating happiness. The arbitrary power is wielded. And especially with drugs, it's really not hard in this day and age, to see how everything is meaningless.

Life is indeed suffering, from an egocentric perspective beant on resisting the flow of life. But for someone who is able to go with the flow, the hedonistic view tempts, and they finds themselves to be adrift on an endless ocean. Happiness, it is discovered, leads back to suffering! For a person who sees the relativity of things, all is suffering, unless relativity is accepted and seen past.

It *is* possible to see clearly. Simply, we are the order arising from the chaos, in perpetual becoming, and we have all the reason in the world to be happy!




I like this. :thumbup:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineGomp
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Icelander]
    #4463794 - 07/28/05 11:00 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

""If we actually stopped suffering, we would devolve. We'd slide back down, slowly and surely, into something lower, something with less emotions and less experience. Our personalities are forged in fire, not in room temperature water.""


A good sailor is not taught on calm seas? :P


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Disclaimer!?


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Icelander]
    #4463798 - 07/28/05 11:01 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

not unreachable
yet never attained.

first of all enlightenment is not a static state that is withheld or made difficult to understand, but those wishing to obtain "it" have an uphill battle. it can be touched and seen but not grasped, so it cannot be hauled off or obtained or attained or retained. (relatively private jokes about how familiar with "enlightenment" a particular bikku or bodhisatva may or may not be does not help to clarify this)

then there is the matter of how serious is the student.

a student that really believes he can attain something is pushed up against the wall (very difficult)

One who is humble and ready to progress finds the path open already and does not need to make much effort.

None of this is really hard to understand - very basic.
change


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: redgreenvines]
    #4463973 - 07/28/05 11:49 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

And I like this. :thumbup: The "changes" that have happened in my life as far as what I consider my growth. Were all achieved by surrender rather than struggle.
______________________________________________________

"None of this is really hard to understand - very basic.
change  "
______________________________________________

^^^ It took me about 50 years to understand this. Talk about dense. :grin:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Icelander]
    #4464177 - 07/28/05 12:51 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

[to ravus]
Oops, I am late as usual, sorry.
As far as I recall Buddhas words, he sees the picture behind our  'suffering'. It's called 'desire'.
But you are totally right, that 'suffering' shall show you that there is something wrong. The human inherent desire herin is, to 'better' that.
So we have to bring light to the 'desire' and try to differentiate it. Didn't Buddha himself do that ?
Damned, I have to get out my books :wink:
(edit: hmm..it is of course a difference, if your suffering derrives from the desire to pull out your hand out of a burning fire, or from the inability to ride out your horse on a squaremile property.I think this, at least...)

Thanks for the good post.


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
........................................................
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Acceptance is the absolute key - at that moment you gain freedom and you gain power and you gain courage'


Edited by BlueCoyote (07/28/05 01:03 PM)


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #4464306 - 07/28/05 01:39 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:


As far as I recall Buddhas words, he sees the picture behind our 'suffering'. It's called 'desire'.




Ah yes, but that still doesn't really explain it, it only pushes back the questioning. Why do humans have desire which causes suffering? Though in all fairness to the Buddha, science then was simply a stump compared to science now, where we can look through evolution and examine in a more logical sense why desire and suffering appeared in the first place.

I don't think saying desire causes suffering really explains it, because while it seems like a revelation, the simple act of suffering requires us to want something different, otherwise we wouldn't care about our situation. It doesn't go behind the scenes and say why we feel this though, just simply what we feel.

Quote:

But you are totally right, that 'suffering' shall show you that there is something wrong. The human inherent desire herin is, to 'better' that.




Exactly. If we didn't feel pain, how would we know when we were standing in the fire? Not only is suffering necessary for our survival, but because it's necessary and hardwired into our mind, the act of overcoming it is an act of overcoming all the mental processes and ideas that would dominate and weaken us. Experiencing and overcoming suffering is strengthening our mental state for the future assaults which will surely come.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Ravus]
    #4464330 - 07/28/05 01:45 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I agree, suffering and Joy. All important. :yinyang:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Projection of the Enlightened? [Re: Icelander]
    #4464531 - 07/28/05 02:45 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
And I like this. :thumbup: The "changes" that have happened in my life as far as what I consider my growth. Were all achieved by surrender rather than struggle.
______________________________________________________

"None of this is really hard to understand - very basic.
change  "
______________________________________________

^^^ It took me about 50 years to understand this. Talk about dense. :grin:




i.e. and so you get that the change is continuous & by the second
the flow of ongoing creation - many directions simultaneously & not stopping for anyone to say, "hey I am enlightened now" or "finally I am on top of it!", which would actually mean that they are missing it.

that is the essence of change, and the essence of why enlightenment cannot be grasped or "attained", though it can be followed and encountered - courted and embraced.


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