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OfflineOneWhoHasSeen
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5057899 - 12/13/05 04:33 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I am going to admit that I haven't read this entire thread. It is kind of lengthy.

But to answer the first post...

There is wisdom in releasing things that cause desire. You say that it is OK to have those things that you have, but what happens when those things are taken away?

After death, everything you valued in life will be taken away. It will be the ultimate cold-turkey so-to-speak. If you lived your life surrounded by things, then it is those things that you will desire to have again, and thus be thrown back into another life again.

The reason people decide to live the life of an ascetic, or close to it anyway, is best described by this statement, "You can never miss what you never had."

If you can surround yourself with these things, and then be able to get rid of all of them without a second thought, then more power to you. But in my experience, our ego doesn't usually work that way, and only those who have massive will-power, well beyond your average person, could do this.

Although I consider myself a Christian in faith but not religion, and I always take what the bible says with a grain of salt, the story of Jesus and Lazarus rings true. When Jesus asked simple fishermen to give up what they are doing and follow him, they did so. But Lazarus, being wealthy and having always been surrounded by his wealth, could not give it all up to follow him.

Remember that if you remember the teaching of the Buddha, Hinduism, and the religion that spawned them (the Vedas and the Upanishads), it is this desire that will cause your soul to wish to be re-born into the world.

In short, giving up all that causes desire now will make it that much easier to give up after death. But if you are confident in your will-power and your ability to give up what you have accumulated here in life, then by all means live how you wish. Just be aware so that you do not fall down the path of desire.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: OneWhoHasSeen]
    #5059322 - 12/13/05 09:46 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

edit: this is intended as a response to FWG

Quote:

I think the result of all of this difference in viewpoints is that you seem to blur the distinctions between physical needs and desires.




when an person is deprived of food, they become hungry. some people claim not to become hungry. yet virtually all angimals become hungry when deprived of food. what's special about the human? perhaps the human who is not hungry is capable of repression.

when a person is deprived of companionship, they become lonely. some people claim not to become lonely. (unfortunately i don't know of any way to tell if an animal is lonely. perhaps pet owners can tell us whether social species of pet become lonely when deprived of companionshp.) anyway, is it more likely that people who don't report loneliness don't feel loneliness, or that they repress it, much like the hungry repressor represses hunger?

surely you can agree that it's possible to repress loneliness. how can one tell the difference between repressed loneliness and enlightened non-attachment? the simplest explanation is that there is no difference.

also, please define this distinction between physical and mental. brains are physical. and hunger can exist in the same level of consciousness as loneliness, since they're both sensations of pain. a person who talks to no one about their feelings, really talks to no one about their feelings, and this is a physical fact. a person who cares for no one but themself, really cares for no one but themself, and this is a physical fact.

Quote:

If one is a conscious, understanding, aware individual who realizes the possibillity of losing one's job and the prospect of finding a new one, one wouldn't need a signal that drains that consciousness



how does fear drain consciousness in a way that hunger does not?

Quote:

and thus inhibits one's ability to work towards a preferred outcome.



if a person is so hungry that they sit, thrashing around, gnawing on furniture, instead of going over to the refrigerator, it isn't because they haven't repressed their hunger, it's because they're foolish. if a person takes from the existence of fear of losing their job, that instead of doing their best at work, they do their worst (???), then that would also be folly.

Quote:

Upgrading one's desires into preferences that do not inflict negative emotions or disrupt our continuous center in being and peace by rewarding one for taking action towards one's desire with positive emotions gives oneself more ability to fufill their preferences.



why do we need to twist words around to have a discussion? preferences ARE desires. if i prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate, then plainly i must DESIRE vanilla; yet if i eat chocolate when no vanilla is available, plainly, on some level, i must DESIRE chocolate. preferences are at most a kind of desire.

Quote:

If the situation that reality presents is not preferential, as reality is so vast and contains near limitless, interacting variables that it is fact that it will not always unfold as one prefers or demands, then one does not become emotionally upset and seperate one from the only oppurtunity one has in which to interact and experience.



perhaps one does become upset, but represses the upset.


Quote:

One's mind is actively reprogramming itself naturally, as it interacts with reality in every instant as it directly perceives it through its senses, whether one is consciously participating in that mental programming or not.



what you describe is learning. when i open my closet and see no monstrous pile of laundry, i no longer fear a monstrous pile of laundry. yet if i sit before my closet, see the monstrous pile of laundry, and fear it, no amount of telling myself it doesn't exist, or it doesn't irk me, will make it so.

Quote:

Any desire stems from one's illusory sense of self, and as one's sense of self can take any form possible, relative to the confines of our experience, it is entirely possible to focus on one's conscious presence and fully create oneself as one wishes.



why do you know think this is possible? why do you think that what you describe isn't repression? surely repression is a far more parsimonious explanation for the same phenomenon.

Quote:

Is it possible to learn a new language? Definitely. Is it possible to go through therapy to overcome fears or addictions? Most certainly.



what therapy do you have in mind?

a fear can be overcome in a behavioralist paradigm once the source is understood as not actually threatening. if i am afraid of cats, i can be slowly brought in closer and closer contact with cats, until i understand on a visceral level that cats won't generally harm me.

in cognitivist therapy, a person's irrational fears will be discovered for their irrational basis: the example of cats might go like this: 'what do you fear from cats' 'they will gouge my eyes out' 'do they gouge out the eyes of other people? why would they gouge yours out' etc.

in many different kinds of therapy, including many humanist and psychdynamic kinds of therapy, people talk out their feelings in order to come to terms with them. this is more like integration and "de-repression" or feelings, and it's a far cry from the path you describe, which i would call one of repression.

Quote:

Can one determinedly put themselves through intense, focused practice such as meditation or physical training in order to change aspects of themselves permanently? Can one enter new patterns of behavior that will become routine, such as taking the new dog outside to use nature's facilities?



firstly, taking the new dog outside is a habit and falls into the realm of action. meditation i'm sure has many benefits; one i know of is that it relaxes people. i don't think this counts as evidence that people can choose how to feel however; it may be that observing the mind's process allows a person to come to terms with themself in a way that's similar on some level to therapy where a person talks about their feelings, and the lessened anxiety is a result of having less fear, as one fears oneself less. physical exercise changes the muscles and releases endorphins. this is also different than a person changing how they feel through an act of will.

Quote:

We can choose to change ourselves. The more we understand ourselves and what composes us and is responsible for who we are and our perspective and understanding, the more able we are to truly create ourselves in a higher, present, aware form.



sounds like such a person is very unaccepting of themself. why would such a person want to create a different person than they already are? i suspect the anwer to this might be the reason why many people repress themselves.


Quote:

"Force of will" (force has absolutely nothing to do with it ), mental programming is not being proposed as a means by which to satisfy some suspossed need. It is being presented as the ability to remove the unnecessary parasite that is the abstractive desire by reprogramming the glitch in one's thought processes responsible for that desire. There is no point in trying to satisfy a delusional necessity as doing so is folly. It is as simple as burning off the tick with one's wildfire of awareness, consciousness, being.




how is it delusional to think that if i have companionship, i won't be lonely? and what makes you so sure the process you describe isn't in fact repression?

Quote:

this distinction between pain and suffering is of the same essence of my illustrations of the distinction between one's physical needs (such as hunger) and one's mental desires presented as physical needs (such as loneliness or boredom).



is loneliness painful?
is suffering painful?

if the answer to either these questions is yes, then that debunks your argument.

if loneliness is painful, then plainly that's a "mental" need (whatever that means) that's painful; yet according to this definition it would also be suffering; yet according to your perspective the two are distinct from each other.

similarly, if suffering is painful, that shows they are not distinct in a way that's pertinent to this discussion.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


Edited by crunchytoast (12/13/05 09:47 PM)


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5059452 - 12/13/05 10:10 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

>> yet it can't be shown in a single way tht non-attachment, as you define it, is ever not repression.
That's true. However, just because it can't be shown doesn't mean it can't occur.



true. i don't know for certain that it's not true; also i don't know for certain unicorns don't exist. however, there's a much more parsimonious explanation for medievil tapestries that show unicorns, than that unicorns actually existed, namely, that unicorns are the products of overactive imaginations. similarly, there's a more more parsimonious explanation of why phenomena that could be called non-attached enlightenment (or whatever) could occur, namely that this is the result of repression, and not a psychologically unique phenomenon at all.


Quote:

If he did not care about dying, then why did he rouse himself to obtain medical help? Why not did he simply remain with the intriguing sensations he was feeling until his death?



why indeed. perhaps he desired to live.

Quote:

There is an answer to this question that comes directly from his own mouth, although I don't have the exact quote accessible to me, so I will have to paraphrase. Gen Tharchin said, "knowing that there is no certainty of continuing my Dharma practise in the next life, I should seek medical help so that I might preserve the opportunity I have now to attain enlightenment. This is the only way I will be able to benefit living beings directly as the actual expression of Buddha's great compassion."



this sounds like desire to me.

in any case, this person's actions were the result of his values. why does a person who is bitten by the snake have to go out and beat the snake to death? that falls into the realm of action and intelligence. plainly it would be unwise to kill the snake in this situation, instead of seeking medical intention, if one desired to "preserve the opportunity to gain enlightenment."

indeed, if a person in that situation up and killed the snake out of rage, and died of untreated poison soon after, i think that would say something: during that person's life, it's likely that "rational" rage was repressed, that they always fought against it and pushed it down, and inevitably experienced it coming back to bite them in the ass, so to speak, at the most inopportune moments. would this indeed be the result of un-repressing the emotion so that it could be integrated into the personality? no; in fact this scenario would be the result from an opposite cause: the person pursued lifelong repression of rage throughout the lifetime, attempted to repress rage immediately after the biting, and acted wildly, as unintegrated rage quickly took over to the expense of self-preservation instincts, in a way that fully accords with such an individual's either-or conception of his emotions.

Quote:

>> yet the happiness these people apparently have could still be attributed to long-lasting happiness. my question was, why do you interpret this as intransient happiness, instead of long-lasting happiness? how can you tell the difference? it seems you have merely re-asserted that this happiness is intransient, without offering an explanation of why you think it's intransient rather than transient.

This leads us back to the question: "Can intransient happiness actually exist."

Let me clarify how I understand these spiritual people. Until they have achieved liberation, whatever happiness they are experiencing now is temporary. This is because they have not yet cut the root of desire: ignorance. However, they are engaged in a practise which transmutes ignorance in to wisdom. The extent to which they've had success with this is the extent to which they are free from suffering. It's not until they've stopped ignorance completely and achieved liberation that suffering has stopped and their happiness becomes intransient.

This happiness is intransient because it does not depend on transient things, such as outer circumstances, or the idea of self-existence.



you've dodged my question. why is this phenomenon better explained as being a unique phenomenon of intransience, than simply another manifestation of transient desire who's source has been repressed from conscious awareness? surely the more parsimonious explanation, the explanation which uses fewer principles to explain the same phenomenon, is mine. do you agree or disagree?

Quote:

Buddhism does not teach that we do not act on desire when it appears.



i suppose that depends on one's interpretation of buddhism.

Quote:

In fact it's when desire appears that we are most active. Buddhism involves the actual applied study of desire. What better opportunity to study desire than when it appears to us directly!

The difference between the way a Buddhist handles desire and the way a person unengaged in the spiritual path handles desires is as follows. The person uninterested in spiritual progress becomes absorbed by their desires. They begin to identify with them. They sell themselves and give up all their possessions for their desires. For the satisfaction of their desires, they fight with each other and hurt even those they love. Such is the power of desire to guide our actions in many ways that harm us. A Buddhist, or anyone interested in stopping this problem, on the other hand, becomes acutely aware of their desires when they appear, and, without becoming absorbed them, scrutinizes them for the authenticity of perspective which gives rise to them, and their actual potential to alleviate suffering.



yet certainly, at least, that implies a desire to alleviate "suffering" ?

Quote:

This is a dispassionate way of relating to the mind and to the world, but it is not repressive. It allows a person's feelings and inclinations to arise completely, and cease of their own volition, just as a person controlled by their desires would experience. The difference is that an alertness exists in the mind of the one who is interested in ending their suffering. It is a kind of awareness which functions to guide us away from suffering and in to real happiness.



to me this sounds like: "sit back and watch one's desires as they appear, and then note their illusory foundations." is that a fair paraphrase? assuming it is, then please explain to me how loneliness (for example) is supposed to be stopped by this process, in a way that can't possibly be repressive.

Quote:

>> there's a difference between pain and suffering. for example, pain happens when a person touches a hot stove, or is isolated from people; yet suffering (in this conception) more-or-less means that a person is reacting to pain in an "unskilful" manner.

This is about as close as we have come to agreeing yet!

Pain does not cause suffering. Suffering is a mistake that occurs only within the mind. If this is the meaning of what's quoted above, then we agree.




hmmm... i agee that the words can be used in these limited senses, and there's nothing wrong with that. but i would like to note that for the record, pain and suffering are synonyms, and not so distinct in reality as they are made out to be in this specialized use.

also, the point (as i see it) of using words in these limited senses is to reconcile common sense with buddhism, in the same way a christian might interpret the book of genesis symbolically.

i don't plan to provide any more such "exegesis" of buddhist lore; that would be the responsibility of any practicing buddhists. personally, i think the line between suffering and pain is a blurry one.

nevertheless, even if we define the words these ways, i still do not think that "suffering" means escape from desire. if a person experiences pain, for example the pain of loneliness or hunger, that pain signifies a desire.


--------------------
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OfflinePed
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5060881 - 12/14/05 04:54 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

>> this sounds like desire to me. in any case, this person's actions were the result of his values.

Sure they were. That doesn't make them desrious. The kind of desire we're talking about here is the kind that is at the root of suffering. Because his desire to help liberate others from their suffering is a cause for his happiness, we cannot say this is desirous in the same way a person desires sexual intercourse or a piece of cheese cake, neither of which can make us happy without simultaneously making us suffer.


>> yet certainly, at least, that implies a desire to alleviate "suffering" ?

Everyone already has the correct wish to be free from suffering. The problem is that we believe this can be achieved through the full satisfaction of our every desire. Because we cannot ever fully satisfy our desires, and because our desire, and thereby our sense of dissatisfaction, only increases the more we get, in fact desire is suffering.

Aryadeva said "In the desire realm, happiness is destroyed by it's cause, but suffering is never destroyed by it's cause." We can understand this by example. We might feel that chocolate ice cream makes us happy. And for a short time, it does. But if we ate three cartons of chocolate ice cream, it would not be long before the cause of our happiness, ice cream, actually became the cause of our suffering. We can examine any cause of our happiness and discover that within it is the seed of suffering. On the other end of the spectrum, we can see that the cause of our suffering never serves as the cause of our happiness. If we are burned, and this causes us to suffer, repeatedly burning ourself again and again will not transmute our suffering into happiness in the way that constant consumption of chocolate ice cream transmutes our happiness into suffering.

This is because of our desrious relationship with the world. If we can stop this desirous relationship, we reverse this situation completely. If we have an interest in putting an end to suffering, and we have cultivated that wish deeply and have generated an understanding of suffering and it's causes, the suffering we experience will be the impetus of our spiritual progress, and as such it will be in service of our happiness. By the same token, the happiness we derrive from this practice contains within it the potential for only increased happiness. Instead of suffering cyclicly in the way we do now, we reverse the flow. By cutting the root of desire, happiness arises naturally in all our activities.


>> to me this sounds like: "sit back and watch one's desires as they appear, and then note their illusory foundations." is that a fair paraphrase? assuming it is, then please explain to me how loneliness (for example) is supposed to be stopped by this process, in a way that can't possibly be repressive.

Well, we come to understand that our lonely feelings are optional, that in reality it's only our ego that requires contact with others to establish the basis for it's own existence, and thereby feel secure in itself. Since our ego is no more substantial than a reflection in a mirror, we can understand that the desire for repeated contact with others comes from a space of emptiness. Because it is foolish to negotiate with holograms or pictures on a TV screen, we lose interest in that aspect of our being altogether and uncover the contentment that comes from living in accordance with reality. That is the actual cure for loneliness.

More conventionally speaking, however, we simply recognize that the need for extraneous distractions is only an idea. Because it's an idea which serves as the foundation for our discomfort, we abandon the idea and replace it with another, more sustainable idea. For example, we might begin to consider the sufferings of countless other living beings and how these are, realistically speaking, far more important than our own. If we invest our happiness in this more realistic and sustainable view, then we shall become free from the instability of our relationships and abide within a space of contentment.


>> pain and suffering are synonyms, and not so distinct in reality as they are made out to be in this specialized use.

In this context we're speaking of pain as a physical sensation. Suffering is a condition that occurs within the mind. Whatever we choose to call it, there is a condition within the mind that causes us discomfort, and serves no other purpose. This is what we're calling suffering. Since no factor outside the mind has the intrinsic power to cause suffering within the mind, it follows that suffering originates, manifests, and finally subsides within the mind. If we wish to end suffering, we need to address the condition of our mind, and not our external conditions, which in any case no have no intrinsic capacity to affect the mind.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5061041 - 12/14/05 07:10 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

they say that attachment causes suffering and desire leads to attachment.
so the work to be done is not on desire but on attachment.

one is a weaker indirect or "likely" link (desire) to suffering,
the other is direct and "actual" link (attachment) to suffering.

attachment is like being stuck in the wild thickets. to extricate from suffering one must navigate the tangles and barbs.

sure, if you never get into thickets, you will not suffer, but you will not have much to write home about either.

the thing to learn is detatchment (dis-entanglement) as the thicket is always growing, and desire is an invitation to live, it is natural, something to understand and care about.


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OfflineColbadol
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5061674 - 12/14/05 11:44 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

all of this is sooo interesting.
at the end, however, i wonder if suffering is REALLY bad. wouldnt the existence of pain give greater contrast to pleasure? Nothing is beautiful if nothing is ugly. theres no basis.

if we dont desire and only live in the moment, how do we break boundaries? how do we invent, discover, or even train for a race?

if you wanna go sit in a hut on a mountain and be totally content that's fine. Certainly a way of happiness. but thats what we're talking about; being content.

my old coach always always always hammered into me to never be content. certainly made me a better athlete.


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5062393 - 12/14/05 02:57 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Classical Freudian repression refers to the denial of libidinal impulses (sexual and erotic energy and impulses, animalistic wanting and desire, and the desires for togetherness, connection, and so on.)

The presence of repression may be determined by pathological symptoms.

Quote:

Sigmund Freud:
SYMPTOM: Behaviors or bodily abnormalities that are caused by the return of the repressed. According to psychoanalysis, insistent desires that the individual feels s/he must repress will often find alternative paths toward satisfaction and therefore manifest themselves as symptoms.

Freud defines a symptom thus: "A symptom is a sign of, and a substitute for, an instinctual satisfaction which has remained in abeyance; it is a consequence of the process of repression" ("Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety" 20.91).

Symptoms tend to be activities that are detrimental or perhaps only useless to one's life. In extreme cases, such symptoms "can result in an extraordinary impoverishment of the subject in regard to the mental energy available to him and so in paralysing him for all the important tasks of life.




Therefore, the most efficient means of identifying healthy non-attachment vs. repressive self-denial (or in Keyesian terms, preferential vs. addictive), would be the presence or absence of pathological symptoms.

If an individual has, in fact, nipped in the bud their irrational beliefs and emotional addictions, they will be more functional, not less functional.  They will experience more peace, well-being, self-acceptance and interrelatedness.

The repressed individual, by contrast, will try to express their impulses in other ways.  Perhaps through anxiety disorders, phobias, self-medication, workaholism, or any other means available to redirect the powerful energies they are denying.

Peace on Earth, Rational Emotive Therapy to all men.  :heart:


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5062431 - 12/14/05 03:08 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
when an person is deprived of food, they become hungry.  some people claim not to become hungry.  yet virtually all angimals become hungry when deprived of food.  what's special about the human?  perhaps the human who is not hungry is capable of repression.




Perhaps they are, perhaps they are not. Repression is the opposite of that which I am proposing, and the effects each cause reveal which is which. There is a fundamental difference between an effort to force aspects of one's mind out of consciousness and the effort to completely explore this aspect and resolve it so that its effects are no longer produced.

Quote:


when a person is deprived of companionship, they become lonely.




This statement is baseless, in that while the possibillity that such a cause/effect relationship is valid, it does not necessarily follow that it applies to all people. They become lonely? You would need to effectively demonstrate that when one is deprived of companionship, they experience a state of loneliness.

Quote:


some people claim not to become lonely.  (unfortunately i don't know of any way to tell if an animal is lonely.  perhaps pet owners can tell us whether social species of pet become lonely when deprived of companionshp.)




There are plenty of animals that live solitary lives, with the exception of mating season, naturally. Does a bear who is preparing for hibernation feel lonely at the prospect? I'm sure the thought never occurs to them, as an experience of loneliness would quite possibly be evident in their behavior, just as it is in human behavior.

Quote:


  anyway, is it more likely that people who don't report loneliness don't feel loneliness, or that they repress it, much like the hungry repressor represses hunger?




I'm not sure which is more likely, actually. It depends on the specific progression of thoughts within each person's mind. They could be repressing their suffering from being lonely, or they could not feel lonely at all as they might not have aspects of their thoughts that identifies not having companionship as a problem. Which is more likely? It just depends.

Quote:


surely you can agree that it's possible to repress loneliness.  how can one tell the difference between repressed loneliness and enlightened non-attachment?  the simplest explanation is that there is no difference.




I surely do agree that it is possible to repress the experience of being lonely, and that the simplest explanation is that there is no difference, but that the fact that such an explanation is simple in nature does not mean that the explanation reflects the reality of the situation.

While the difference might not be readily apparent to an observer that is not the person themself, the difference will be there and it may reveal itself through that person's behavior (as our thoughts are responsible for our behavior, of course :wink:).

Difficulity in an observer's ability to realize the difference does not negate the possibillity that there is a difference, or that the difference is possible.

Quote:


also, please define this distinction between physical and mental.  brains are physical.




Brains are physical, and the mind results from this physical brain and its relation to the rest of our body, but the phenomenon of our mind itself is not physical in nature. That is the fundamental distinction between physical and mental phenomenon. :grin:

Quote:


and hunger can exist in the same level of consciousness as loneliness, since they're both sensations of pain. 




I wouldn't necessarily propose hunger as a sensation of "pain", firstly. If one does not attend to their hunger, the absence of sustaining oneself with food will certainly result in a painful experience. But is hunger as it is usually experienced (not in an extreme manner) painful? There is definitely a signal that expresses that one is hungry, but it isn't usually painful.

Anyways, as I have called into question previously, it is a question of from which the signal originates, and why.

Quote:


a person who talks to no one about their feelings, really talks to no one about their feelings, and this is a physical fact.  a person who cares for no one but themself, really cares for no one but themself, and this is a physical fact.




Of course a person who does not communicate to others regarding the nature of their feelings really doesn't communicate such. This involves their interaction within the physical plane, so it definitely can be physically evidenced. It is to be noted that it does not reveal anything of the nature of their mind's phenomenon other than that its thought process came to bring the person to physically interact in such a manner.


Quote:


how does fear drain consciousness in a way that hunger does not?




It doesn't. I am questioning whether or not the diversion of one's consciousness by fear is necessary or beneficial.

Quote:


if a person is so hungry that they sit, thrashing around, gnawing on furniture, instead of going over to the refrigerator, it isn't because they haven't repressed their hunger, it's because they're foolish.




The point that I was attempting to express is that any signal, any thought that we consciously focus on will mean that other thoughts, sensations, and signals will have less conscious attention focusing on them. The more that we focus on the experience of the signal that is expressing that we are hungry, the less consciousness we have to focus on our means of satisfying that hunger.

Naturally, I propose a distinction between a signal such as hunger that results from a physical process, and that of a signal resulting from a mental abstraction such as the need for companionship. One is free to exercise their ability to share companionship with others. One is more free to do so when they are not focused on an experience of loneliness. One is more aware and focused on the dynamic, complex workings of a relationship with another when one consciously participates in that relationship as a result of their own decision to engage in the relationship, as opposed to having a more limited in awareness mental process inflicting loneliness upon oneself in order to cause oneself to engage in a relationship.

Quote:


  if a person takes from the existence of fear of losing their job, that instead of doing their best at work, they do their worst (???), then that would also be folly.




I am stating that their state of fear in regards to losing their job will inhibit their ability to effectively perform the duties of their job as their consciousness will be diverted towards identifiying, relating to, and experiencing the fear of losing the job. It involves one's attitude, and I would feel secure in asserting that someone who does not feel their job is threatened, and not only that, but that they are embracing a great oppurtunity to advance in their career will perform on a higher degree than someone who is worried and fearful that they will lose their position. The manner in which we interpret reality defines the manner in which we behave in reality. :wink:

Quote:

why do we need to twist words around to have a discussion?  preferences ARE desires.  if i prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate, then plainly i must DESIRE vanilla; yet if i eat chocolate when no vanilla is available, plainly, on some level, i must DESIRE chocolate.  preferences are at most a kind of desire.




I do not consider it to be twisting words that have the same meaning. In fact, I recognize a great distinction between the two. If I prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate ice cream, I will feel free to exercise my conscious choice to select vanilla over chocolate if I have the oppurtunity to do so. Furthermore, the fact that I prefer vanilla ice cream will not prevent me from being able to fully experience chocolate ice cream if reality presents itself as such that I cannot, in that moment, choose vanilla over chocolate. The fact that I prefer vanilla over chocolate will not ruin my experience of chocolate ice cream. Even if I prefer to not eat chocolate ice cream if I cannot have vanilla ice cream, I will not become emotionally upset over not being able to satisfy my preference to experience consuming vanilla ice cream. Reality presents itself as it naturally unfolds, and my holding of a preference will not cause myself any suffering or emotional upset if the manner in which reality unfolds does not fufill that preference.

The word desire implies a longing for, a want. Essentially, a need. I will admit that wanting something in itself will not result in suffering, as it does not imply that not receiving that which one wishes for will result in suffering. The nature of the word and that it concerns a longing for something, however, implies that we would be concerning ourselves with that want when that which we want is not being received in the moment or when fufilling that want is not possible in the present moment (longing for).

Preference itself simply states a selection of one choice over another. It implies no wanting, no longing for, and thus, it is the word I choose to express myself with as it relates to the concept I am expressing! :grin:

You state that there is not a difference, but that which I have just outlined is the distinction as I see it. :wink:

Quote:


perhaps one does become upset, but represses the upset.




Perhaps. Perhaps not. It is equally possible that one simply does not consider the outcome of their preference as anything that necessitates getting upset over in the first place.


Quote:

what you describe is learning.  when i open my closet and see no monstrous pile of laundry, i no longer fear a monstrous pile of laundry.  yet if i sit before my closet, see the monstrous pile of laundry, and fear it, no amount of telling myself it doesn't exist, or it doesn't irk me, will make it so.




At this moment, If I were to open the door to my bedroom, there will be three piles of mostly clean laundry in containers. It would be apt to describe the pile as monstrous. I do not feel it is a preferential state for the laundry or my room to be in, as I prefer a clean room and my laundry organized and sorted so that it can be effectively managed. The reality of the situation, however, is that after our trip to the laundry-mat (which also isn't preferential, but presently necessary as my dryer does not function as I expect it to and fixing/replacing it is not financially feasible in this moment :lol:), the situations have been such that we have not folded/hung our laundry.

I do not fear either a monstrous pile of laundry as I enter the room or the absence of such, and I do not become emotionally upset over either as I enter the room. My mind is such that, even though I do not prefer a monstrous pile of laundry to be present within my bedroom, I will not experience any form of mental suffering as a result. It is not such that I actually do experience suffering as a result of the clothing and I simply repress that suffering. :smirk:

Quote:

why do you know think this is possible?  why do you think that what you describe isn't repression?  surely repression is a far more parsimonious explanation for the same phenomenon.




I think it is possible because I actively experience it. I think that what I describe is not repression because the traits of repression as I understand it are not present. If I did indeed repress such mental suffering, it would take conscious effort in order to repress it. Upon the release of such conscious effort, that which I was attempting to repress would spring forth immediately. I feel that I am aware of that which I am conscious of and the nature of that which I consciously concern myself with, and I do not expend conscious effort in repression.

Thus, I do not think that which I describe is not repression. :tongue:

And, once more, the simplest explanation from one's vantage point does not mean that, as it is simple, it accurately represents the reality of the situation. :smirk:


what therapy do you have in mind?


(Note: Apparently you can only have fifteen quotes per reply :thumbdown:)

The type of therapy that would entail someone assisting another in leading them through their mind to find the exact mental cause responsible for the complex/behavior/suffering in question, so that it can be identified and one can progress through resolving it. I am to understand that such therapy does exist and that it is extremely beneficial and productive. :grin:


a fear can be overcome in a behavioralist paradigm once the source is understood as not actually threatening.  if i am afraid of cats, i can be slowly brought in closer and closer contact with cats, until i understand on a visceral level that cats won't generally harm me.


Exactly! We will only fear something if we feel justified in doing so. :thumbup:

Are we justified in fearing anything at all? I would like to especially focus on this segment of the debate, as I feel doing so will be productive for both of us! :mushroom2:


in many different kinds of therapy, including many humanist and psychdynamic kinds of therapy, people talk out their feelings in order to come to terms with them.  this is more like integration and "de-repression" or feelings, and it's a far cry from the path you describe, which i would call one of repression.


In actuality, I feel that these types of therapy and the previous one you described are integral and key to the path that I describe. Perhaps I have never directly addressed it, but I have stated that it involves identifying the exact source, the thought process responsible for the suffering, completely addressing it and resolving it. Repression is the exact opposite of that which I describe. :wink:

firstly, taking the new dog outside is a habit and falls into the realm of action.  meditation i'm sure has many benefits; one i know of is that it relaxes people.

Taking the new dog outside becomes a habit, but it initially requires conscious choice. It might be an action, but what determines our actions? :grin: Meditation may relax people, but it also may bring an awareness to the innerworkings of our thoughts and the role they play in creating our experience of reality. Meditation, just as everything else, is many things to many different people.


i don't think this counts as evidence that people can choose how to feel however..... this is also different than a person changing how they feel through an act of will.


People can choose how to feel in that people can use their thoughts to become aware of their thoughts, the mechanics of how their thoughts create how they feel, and that they can then use their thoughts to change the nature of their thought patterns in such a manner that changes how their thoughts make them feel. Thus, it is an act of will. It obviously isn't an instantaneous act of will, and perhaps our difference in opinion is the result of your perception that I am claiming such. In context of all that I have expressed, it should be clear that it is certainly not.

sounds like such a person is very unaccepting of themself.  why would such a person want to create a different person than they already are?  i suspect the anwer to this might be the reason why many people repress themselves.

On the contrary, the absolute first, required step in personal change is the complete acceptance of the form they currently exist in. Reality couldn't have unfolded itself in any different manner, and we exist in this moment as the ultimate expression of that. One cannot properly change themself if they do not understand who they are right here and now. To completely understand oneself as they are is to accept themself as they are. The nature of a complete understanding of yourself and all that concerns yourself implies constant change and interaction. Everything is in a state of constant change.

It is entirely possible to fully accept oneself but yet strive to change oneself. It is the most effective manner in which one can change oneself, and it springs forth naturally from total acceptance and understanding of oneself. Change is constant, and to play a conscious, active hand in changing oneself is the ultimate expression of understanding and accepting oneself. :wink:



is loneliness painful?
is suffering painful?

if the answer to either these questions is yes, then that debunks your argument.


By what manner does it debunk my entire arguement? :confused: The only thing I can see that you are referring to is my assertion that there is a difference between physical pain and mental suffering. The difference is in the source, and the similarities between physical pain and mental suffering's effects on our mind does not debunk any aspect of my arguement.


if loneliness is painful, then plainly that's a "mental" need (whatever that means) that's painful; yet according to this definition it would also be suffering; yet according to your perspective the two are distinct from each other.


They are distinct from each other in the sense that physical pain results from a physical process, but that both physical pain and mental pain/suffering are experienced in a similar manner within one's mind. The distinction is in the source and the question of the necessity of the experience of both.

I hope you are fucking happy, I was suspossed to go to bed two fucking hours ago! :lol: :mad: You so owe me, man, I think you better just agree with me now and get it over with. :tongue: :grin:

Seriously, though, man, thank you for the oppurtunity to focus on the concept that I hold and also the manner in which I express it. I look forward to reading your response, but do not look forward to further arguing about it. :lol:

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5062484 - 12/14/05 03:22 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

fireworks said:
I think it is possible because I actively experience it. I think that what I describe is not repression because the traits of repression as I understand it are not present. If I did indeed repress such mental suffering, it would take conscious effort in order to repress it. Upon the release of such conscious effort, that which I was attempting to repress would spring forth immediately. I feel that I am aware of that which I am conscious of and the nature of that which I consciously concern myself with, and I do not expend conscious effort in repression.




I did a little bit of brushing up on the difference between repression and supression, and found that the former is unconsciously denied, whereas the latter is consciously denied.

SO...repression would not require conscious effort to maintain, but would result in pathological symptoms.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5063220 - 12/14/05 06:14 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

The repressed individual, by contrast, will try to express their impulses in other ways. Perhaps through anxiety disorders, phobias, self-medication, workaholism, or any other means available to redirect the powerful energies they are denying.



i don't consider freud an authoritative source. do you? is freud automatically right, just because it's freud saying it?

secondly, even assuming for the sake of argument he's right, do you know of any study that measures the incidence of followers

btw "pathological" is 100% a value judgment, and as such has no use in objective science. sadly, modern day psychoanalysis is more akin to witch-burners in its treatment of nonconformist human expression.

ultimately, this quotation completely bypasses the issue, which is a scientific problem: repression exists sometimes, and can explain all the phenomena in this thread; why do we need to introduce an extra principle (wilful dissolubility of desire) when that too can be explain by repression? surely occam's razor sides with me. is the reason that everyone dodges the occam's razor argument that it's just too forceful to be rebutted?


--------------------
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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5063272 - 12/14/05 06:29 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
i don't consider freud an authoritative source.  do you?  is freud automatically right, just because it's freud saying it?




You introduced the Freudian concept of repression as a causitive factor in mental illness.  If repression is not good for us, then we will present with the symptoms of illness: pathology.

If you don't consider him an authority, then don't use his psychological concepts as debating tools. :grin:

Quote:

secondly, even assuming for the sake of argument he's right, do you know of any study that measures the incidence of followers




I need clarification here...are you saying that you believe Freud was wrong about repression being bad for us?  "Incidence of followers" is unclear.

Quote:

btw "pathological" is 100% a value judgment, and as such has no use in objective science.  sadly, modern day psychoanalysis is more akin to witch-burners in its treatment of nonconformist human expression.




Quote:

I said:If an individual has, in fact, nipped in the bud their irrational beliefs and emotional addictions, they will be more functional, not less functional. They will experience more peace, well-being, self-acceptance and interrelatedness.

The repressed individual, by contrast, will try to express their impulses in other ways. Perhaps through anxiety disorders, phobias, self-medication, workaholism, or any other means available to redirect the powerful energies they are denying.




OK, so we take out "pathological," which just means ill or abnormal, and replace it with anxious, phobic, self-medicating, workaholic.  Are those specific and identifiable enough?

Quote:

ultimately, this quotation completely bypasses the issue, which is a scientific problem: repression exists sometimes, and can explain all the phenomena in this thread; why do we need to introduce an extra principle (wilful dissolubility of desire) when that too can be explain by repression?  surely occam's razor sides with me.  is the reason that everyone dodges the occam's razor argument that it's just too forceful to be rebutted?




No, the problem is that repression, a term invented and defined by a psychoanalyst (Freud) to describe the process by which his clients created their mental illness, does NOT describe the positive effects experienced by several posters here from re-programming their irrational thinking to uproot their neurotic insistence that reality conform to their desires.

Occam's razor states:

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate"

which translates to

"Multiples should not be used if not needed."

Obviously multiples ARE needed in this case, since we are presented with evidence that Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy techniques do NOT produce the predictable symptoms of emotional distress/mental illness which are induced by repression and suppression.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5063343 - 12/14/05 06:46 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

>> this sounds like desire to me. in any case, this person's actions were the result of his values.

Sure they were. That doesn't make them desrious. The kind of desire we're talking about here is the kind that is at the root of suffering.

so indeed the statement "the root of suffering is desire" is false. perhaps a better statement would be "the root of suffering is frustrated desire."

Because his desire to help liberate others from their suffering is a cause for his happiness, we cannot say this is desirous in the same way a person desires sexual intercourse or a piece of cheese cake, neither of which can make us happy without simultaneously making us suffer.
having sex never made me suffer. nor did eating cheesecakes. what do you have in mind?

Everyone already has the correct wish to be free from suffering. The problem is that we believe this can be achieved through the full satisfaction of our every desire. Because we cannot ever fully satisfy our desires, and because our desire, and thereby our sense of dissatisfaction, only increases the more we get, in fact desire is suffering.
incorrect; an accurate statement would be some desire is suffering, since there are plenty of counterexamples.
this statement means as much as, 'life is suffering.' yes life has suffering in it, but, for better and worse, that's life. that doesn't prove there's an alternative to life devoid of suffering.

because our desire, and thereby our sense of dissatisfaction, only increases the more we get,
perhaps you're referring to constant desire for improvement. if i attain something, i want to do better. yet in my experience, this doesn't lead to a greater desire but an equally strong, new desire for a greater thing.

Aryadeva said "In the desire realm, happiness is destroyed by it's cause, but suffering is never destroyed by it's cause." We can understand this by example. We might feel that chocolate ice cream makes us happy. And for a short time, it does. But if we ate three cartons of chocolate ice cream, it would not be long before the cause of our happiness, ice cream, actually became the cause of our suffering. We can examine any cause of our happiness and discover that within it is the seed of suffering.
incorrect. in the example you give, eating a spoonful of ice cream yields happiness. if i desire to eat a spoonful, then plainly my desire does not contain within it the seed of its own suffering.

Quote:

This is because of our desrious relationship with the world. If we can stop this desirous relationship, we reverse this situation completely. If we have an interest in putting an end to suffering, and we have cultivated that wish deeply and have generated an understanding of suffering and it's causes, the suffering we experience will be the impetus of our spiritual progress, and as such it will be in service of our happiness. By the same token, the happiness we derrive from this practice contains within it the potential for only increased happiness. Instead of suffering cyclicly in the way we do now, we reverse the flow. By cutting the root of desire, happiness arises naturally in all our activities.



this is akin to arguing whether unicorn's horns are one foot or two feet long. what makes you so sure such a state of being exists?

Quote:

Well, we come to understand that our lonely feelings are optional, that in reality it's only our ego that requires contact with others to establish the basis for it's own existence, and thereby feel secure in itself. Since our ego is no more substantial than a reflection in a mirror, we can understand that the desire for repeated contact with others comes from a space of emptiness. Because it is foolish to negotiate with holograms or pictures on a TV screen, we lose interest in that aspect of our being altogether and uncover the contentment that comes from living in accordance with reality. That is the actual cure for loneliness.



since our ego is a reflection in a mirror (whatever that means) everyone must be a hologram. you lost me.

Quote:

More conventionally speaking, however, we simply recognize that the need for extraneous distractions is only an idea.



is "2+2=4" only an idea that exists purely in our minds, with no relationship to reality? either it's true that we have a need for extraneous distractions (in which case it's false that this is "only" an idea) or else you must be assuming it's false, but if that's the case, then you're assuming what you're setting out to prove. this is no more than circular reasoning.

Quote:

Because it's an idea which serves as the foundation for our discomfort, we abandon the idea and replace it with another,



in what way is the fact that it's the foundation of discomfort sufficient to make it discardable? do you have any reason to believe any of this? this looks like more circular reasoning to me.

Quote:

more sustainable idea. For example, we might begin to consider the sufferings of countless other living beings and how these are, realistically speaking, far more important than our own.



who says they're more important?

Quote:

If we invest our happiness in this more realistic and sustainable view,



i wonder if you think that it's never realistic to hope for companionship.

Quote:

then we shall become free from the instability of our relationships and abide within a space of contentment.[/quot]
this is all 100% hypothetical.

Quote:

>> pain and suffering are synonyms, and not so distinct in reality as they are made out to be in this specialized use.

In this context we're speaking of pain as a physical sensation.



i suffered from a headahche earlier today.

Quote:

Suffering is a condition that occurs within the mind. Whatever we choose to call it, there is a condition within the mind that causes us discomfort, and serves no other purpose. This is what we're calling suffering.



loneliness serves a purpose: it causes the human animal to be social. one of the greatest advantages that humans have over other animals is their ability to socialize.

Quote:

Since no factor outside the mind has the intrinsic power to cause suffering within the mind,



all this begs the question. if non-buddhists are deprived of companionship, do they not become lonely? is this just a chance occurance? of course it's possible that a factor outside of the mind (isolation) can cause a person to become lonely.

Quote:

it follows that suffering originates, manifests, and finally subsides within the mind.



your conclusion is based on faulty premises.

Quote:

If we wish to end suffering, we need to address the condition of our mind, and not our external conditions, which in any case no have no intrinsic capacity to affect the mind.



plainly that's false.
also, consider the example of hunger: that's pain, and certainly that's a sensation. does that not "exist in the mind" to the same extent that the pain of loneliness does?

perhaps you are thinking of belief: a person feels lonely, so they say, 'this is because of an underlying belief in the need for people. i dont need people to be happy.' yet does telling oneself that you don't need people make it so? can one truly change what they believe through force of will alone? if i belief 2+2=4, can i truly choose to believe 2+2=5? i admit, if a person thinks 2+2=5, then goes back and thinks about it some more, maybe in a way that sheds more light on the situation, they could realize their error. yet the possibility only happens if there's an error in the first place to be discovered.

therefore, for you to imply that it's irrational for a person to choose to believe they need people, begs the question of whether this is irrational or not.

ultimately the more parsimonious explanation for the same phenomena is that this is all repression.


--------------------
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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5063451 - 12/14/05 07:17 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

You introduced the Freudian concept of repression as a causitive factor in mental illness. If repression is not good for us, then we will present with the symptoms of illness: pathology.




i didn't introduce the freudian concept. i introduced a general concept of repression. numerous other "schools" of psych use the concept of repression, yet use a different concept than freud's.

Quote:

If you don't consider him an authority, then don't use his psychological concepts as debating tools.



perhaps it's not clear what i mean by repression. i mean: when a person feels an emotion, they tell themselves they don't actually feel it, removing it from their conscious awareness.

surely a person doesn't have to believe that boys want to have sex with their mothers to use this simple concept.

have you ever seen a person clench their fists, and grind their teeth, and face turn red and in a scowl, and say, "I'M NOT ANGRY!"

yet surely it's possible to feel the same emotion while wilfully supressing those same physical signs.


Quote:

secondly, even assuming for the sake of argument he's right, do you know of any study that measures the incidence of followers

I need clarification here...are you saying that you believe Freud was wrong about repression being bad for us? "Incidence of followers" is unclear.



sorry, i guess that got cut off. i meant incidence of followers of this belief systems: do you have any evidence that people who follow this philosophy as espoused by ped/fwg, etc, have fewer "pathological symptoms"? (surely we must use an objective study; after all, simply asking people about their behaviors is notoriously inaccurate.)

furthermore, my argument has not been that repression is bad. i'm not making an value judgments with this thread. i'm making a factual one: it's incredibly unlikely that "non-attached desire" is not actually repression, since repression explains the same phenomena with fewer principles.

Quote:

I said:If an individual has, in fact, nipped in the bud their irrational beliefs and emotional addictions, they will be more functional, not less functional. They will experience more peace, well-being, self-acceptance and interrelatedness.



you have yet to show how non-attachement is possible.

Quote:

The repressed individual, by contrast, will try to express their impulses in other ways. Perhaps through anxiety disorders, phobias, self-medication, workaholism, or any other means available to redirect the powerful energies they are denying.



so there's this idea, that the repressed individual will try to express their impulses in other ways, and that's an objective test for whether something is repression or not.

the first problem with this is: why would a person's impulses come out in stigmatized ("pathological") ways only (phobias)? why wold a person's repressed impulses truly care about coming out only in "pathological" (stigmatized) ways?

secondly, you have yet to show how this must be the case. the only evidence you've offered is a claim on sigmund freud's part. unfortunately, just because freud talked about a concept of repression similar to the one i use (which i'm sure we can all agree exists, at least to some extent), and freud also happened to have claimed this must be the case, this doesn't make these things necessarily true.

for example, i suppose a really repressive person, once shown evidence of their repression, and in denial of their repression, would change their behavior in a way that hides the evidence saying, 'if you were right, then that evidence would continue to be there.'

Quote:

OK, so we take out "pathological," which just means ill or abnormal, and replace it with anxious, phobic, self-medicating, workaholic. Are those specific and identifiable enough?



i'm not convinced that these things necessarily happen as a result of repression. in fact, i suspect that everyone represses some emotions. it's a very human thing to do, to lie to oneself. in fact, lying to oneself could yield less stigmatized effects:

consider the businessman who repressed his feelings of suspicion with a business partner then allows himself to be cheated out of money.

not everyone who represses is going to fall into one of those categories, nor will they behave in "pathological" or stigmatized ways. folly and self-deception are widespread.

Quote:

No, the problem is that repression, a term invented and defined by a psychoanalyst (Freud) to describe the process by which his clients created their mental illness, does NOT describe the positive effects experienced by several posters here from re-programming their irrational thinking to uproot their neurotic insistence that reality conform to their desires.



there are multiple explanations: first, some of what these posters have talked about can be attributed to not acting on one's feelings, which is different than the repression i talk about.

second: if a person feels happy about something, and sad about something, and represses the sad emotion, and they tell you how they feel, what do you think they will say?

third: if a person re-evaluates their beliefs, and in the process happens to see the real falsehood in a belief, their emotional state will change accordingly. yet this cannot happen through force of will, but only if the person truly sees the falsehood of a belief.

the example ped gives is loneliness. yet merely telling oneself "i am not lonely" or "i don't need people" is not sufficient to make it so, any more than telling oneself "2+2 is not 4" is sufficient to make it so. perhaps if a person is surrounded by people and never actually feel lonely around them, and that person says, 'i am lonely' but can't find any feelings to back up this statement, that might be an example of a belief changing. but note: that only happens through reference to reality, and not through any pure act of will.

fourth: perhaps PART of what is meant by addiction and preference is integration. if i feel like i need to focus on what's important, it may be because one desire "the addiction" is conflicting with a another desire "the preference" and calling one addiction and one preference, helps a person to face reality, when a person can't have everything they want.

also: if people feel like the philosophy of non-attachment helps, them, i think that's great. nor do i think it's bad if they continue to follow this philosophy, if they feel it helps. nor am i judging anyone for following whatever philosophy they hold true.

yet this is a spirituality and philosophy forum where debate is allowed, and i think it's a perfectly okay place for me to talk about the factual status of some of the assumptions in such a philosophy.

Quote:

Occam's razor states:

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate"

which translates to

"Multiples should not be used if not needed."

Obviously multiples ARE needed in this case, since we are presented with evidence that Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy techniques do NOT produce the predictable symptoms of emotional distress/mental illness which are induced by repression and suppression.




none of this is my position.

my position is merely that repression, as i've used the concept, explains "non-attachment." perhaps if you don't like the word, i can use another word, like repression2. still, even if i did so, my occam's razor argument would continue to hold, since the concept of repression as i've used it in this thread would still better explain "non-attachment" than having an extra principle would.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


Edited by crunchytoast (12/14/05 08:19 PM)


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5063634 - 12/14/05 08:05 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

There is a fundamental difference between an effort to force aspects of one's mind out of consciousness and the effort to completely explore this aspect and resolve it so that its effects are no longer produced.
how does one resolve it?

when a person is deprived of companionship, they become lonely.

This statement is baseless, in that while the possibillity that such a cause/effect relationship is valid, it does not necessarily follow that it applies to all people. They become lonely? You would need to effectively demonstrate that when one is deprived of companionship, they experience a state of loneliness.


yet this would be impossible with all people according to my theory, since some people repress feeling lonely.  i'm extrapolating from the fact that most people repress sometimes, and that most people report loneliness when emotionally isolated, that the people who do not report loneliness a) feel it and b) repress it.  this doesn't necessarily follow, but it's the most parsimonious explanation for the phenomena.

There are plenty of animals that live solitary lives, with the exception of mating season, naturally. Does a bear who is preparing for hibernation feel lonely at the prospect? I'm sure the thought never occurs to them, as an experience of loneliness would quite possibly be evident in their behavior, just as it is in human behavior.
emotions aren't always evident in behavior.  professional poker players can keep a straight face despite experiencing numerous emotions; yet even such trained face-readers as fellow professional poker players often fail to see through this mask.

for animals who lack the expressive capacity of a human face, it must be so much harder to interpret emotion.

I'm not sure which is more likely, actually. It depends on the specific progression of thoughts within each person's mind. They could be repressing their suffering from being lonely, or they could not feel lonely at all as they might not have aspects of their thoughts that identifies not having companionship as a problem. Which is more likely? It just depends.
most people exeperience loneliness when deprived of companions.  why these individuals have evolved with this capacity if it did not denote an underlying need, much like hunger denotes an underlying need?  we are social animals.  thus it's unlikely that loneliness is purely the result of thought patterns.

secondly, repression can explain the thought pattern phenomena you describe.  using occam's razor, it's much more likely that repression underlies this, than that this phenomena is a unique extra principle in the system.

Quote:

I surely do agree that it is possible to repress the experience of being lonely, and that the simplest explanation is that there is no difference, but that the fact that such an explanation is simple in nature does not mean that the explanation reflects the reality of the situation.



absolutely right.  it merely makes it much more likely.  do unicorns exist since we find them on medievil tapestries?  or is it much more likely that their appearances are the result of human imagination?

While the difference might not be readily apparent to an observer that is not the person themself, the difference will be there and it may reveal itself through that person's behavior (as our thoughts are responsible for our behavior, of course ).
in what way?

Difficulity in an observer's ability to realize the difference does not negate the possibillity that there is a difference, or that the difference is possible.
what's the difference?

Brains are physical, and the mind results from this physical brain and its relation to the rest of our body, but the phenomenon of our mind itself is not physical in nature. That is the fundamental distinction between physical and mental phenomenon.
surely it's more likely that concsciousness is to the brain as software is to a computer's hardware.  this explains the same phenomenon (mind) with fewer principles (you use the extra principle of *the existence of the non-physical*).

I wouldn't necessarily propose hunger as a sensation of "pain", firstly. If one does not attend to their hunger, the absence of sustaining oneself with food will certainly result in a painful experience. But is hunger as it is usually experienced (not in an extreme manner) painful? There is definitely a signal that expresses that one is hungry, but it isn't usually painful.
interesting argument :strokebeard:
question: do you find hunger uncomfortable?

Of course a person who does not communicate to others regarding the nature of their feelings really doesn't communicate such. This involves their interaction within the physical plane, so it definitely can be physically evidenced. It is to be noted that it does not reveal anything of the nature of their mind's phenomenon other than that its thought process came to bring the person to physically interact in such a manner.
you haven't shown how hunger isn't analogous.  surely a person's thought process leads them to seek food when they're hungry.

The point that I was attempting to express is that any signal, any thought that we consciously focus on will mean that other thoughts, sensations, and signals will have less conscious attention focusing on them. The more that we focus on the experience of the signal that is expressing that we are hungry, the less consciousness we have to focus on our means of satisfying that hunger.
i agree that focus isn't always important, but i think awareness is.  if i'm aware that i'm hungry, i can focus on standing up and walking to the fridge.  if i'm drunk, i will have to focus a lot.

Naturally, I propose a distinction between a signal such as hunger that results from a physical process, and that of a signal resulting from a mental abstraction such as the need for companionship. One is free to exercise their ability to share companionship with others. One is more free to do so when they are not focused on an experience of loneliness. One is more aware and focused on the dynamic, complex workings of a relationship with another when one consciously participates in that relationship as a result of their own decision to engage in the relationship, as opposed to having a more limited in awareness mental process inflicting loneliness upon oneself in order to cause oneself to engage in a relationship.
you're presupposing this is possible; i have shown with my occam's razor argument many times that this is unlikely to be.

The manner in which we interpret reality defines the manner in which we behave in reality.
this is a more-or-less solid distinction between what you call "physical" and "mental" desires: so-called mental desires imply beliefs.  if i believe i have no companionship, and i am being honest with myself, i will be lonely.  if i believe i do, and i am honest with myself, i will tend not be.

still, this exlcudes the possibility that a person can choose their beliefs.  can i choose to believe that 2+2=5?  can you choose to believe you can fly through will alone, and truly believe it?  for most of us, i think, there would be some self-deception involved for us to "choose to believe" such things.

Quote:

I do not consider it to be twisting words that have the same meaning. In fact, I recognize a great distinction between the two. If I prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate ice cream, I will feel free to exercise my conscious choice to select vanilla over chocolate if I have the oppurtunity to do so. Furthermore, the fact that I prefer vanilla ice cream will not prevent me from being able to fully experience chocolate ice cream if reality presents itself as such that I cannot, in that moment, choose vanilla over chocolate. The fact that I prefer vanilla over chocolate will not ruin my experience of chocolate ice cream. Even if I prefer to not eat chocolate ice cream if I cannot have vanilla ice cream, I will not become emotionally upset over not being able to satisfy my preference to experience consuming vanilla ice cream. Reality presents itself as it naturally unfolds, and my holding of a preference will not cause myself any suffering or emotional upset if the manner in which reality unfolds does not fufill that preference.



while i agree you can prefer these things, it must at least cause unconscious upset were these things to occur.

The word desire implies a longing for, a want.  Essentially, a need. I will admit that wanting something in itself will not result in suffering, as it does not imply that not receiving that which one wishes for will result in suffering. The nature of the word and that it concerns a longing for something, however, implies that we would be concerning ourselves with that want when that which we want is not being received in the moment or when fufilling that want is not possible in the present moment (longing for).
i desire these cookies i'm eating.  if i didn't, would i be eating them?  yet since i am eating them, plainly i don't long for them.  i don't think all desire implies longing, but only frustrated or postponed desire.

Preference itself simply states a selection of one choice over another.
how could one choose to eat the cookies in front of them unless one desired them on some level?

I think it is possible because I actively experience it.
yet this experience could be accounted for through repression.  my question was, why do you think that this isn't repression?

I think that what I describe is not repression because the traits of repression as I understand it are not present.
here's the traits as i'm using them: putting a feeling out of awareness.

If I did indeed repress such mental suffering, it would take conscious effort in order to repress it. Upon the release of such conscious effort, that which I was attempting to repress would spring forth immediately.
what if you pushed the effort from awareness as well?

And, once more, the simplest explanation from one's vantage point does not mean that, as it is simple, it accurately represents the reality of the situation.
once more, i agree, it merely makes the situation much more likely.

(Note: Apparently you can only have fifteen quotes per reply )
:lol: i know this fact a little better than i would like to admit!

The type of therapy that would entail someone assisting another in leading them through their mind to find the exact mental cause responsible for the complex/behavior/suffering in question, so that it can be identified and one can progress through resolving it. I am to understand that such therapy does exist and that it is extremely beneficial and productive.
my understanding is that processing through something implies removing emotions from repression.

Exactly! We will only fear something if we feel justified in doing so. 

Are we justified in fearing anything at all? I would like to especially focus on this segment of the debate, as I feel doing so will be productive for both of us!

i think we fear something if we find it threatening.  the cat turns out not to be threatening.  yet the only reason the belief changed is because of integration of information about the outside world, not because the person chose not to fear, or chose to discard their belief.


in many different kinds of therapy, including many humanist and psychdynamic kinds of therapy, people talk out their feelings in order to come to terms with them. this is more like integration and "de-repression" or feelings, and it's a far cry from the path you describe, which i would call one of repression.

In actuality, I feel that these types of therapy and the previous one you described are integral and key to the path that I describe. Perhaps I have never directly addressed it, but I have stated that it involves identifying the exact source, the thought process responsible for the suffering, completely addressing it and resolving it. Repression is the exact opposite of that which I describe.

id like to think so, but it doesnt sound like we agree 100%, for example how can a person choose not to feel lonely?

People can choose how to feel in that people can use their thoughts to become aware of their thoughts, the mechanics of how their thoughts create how they feel, and that they can then use their thoughts to change the nature of their thought patterns in such a manner that changes how their thoughts make them feel.
by thoughts i assume you mean beliefs.  yet if what you say were true, a person could choose to believe the earth is flat, that 2+2=5, etc.  somehow i think a person could only choose to "believe" these things is through self-deception, if they're already acquainted with much evidence to the contrary.

Thus, it is an act of will. It obviously isn't an instantaneous act of will, and perhaps our difference in opinion is the result of your perception that I am claiming such. In context of all that I have expressed, it should be clear that it is certainly not.
i can accept that if you're right, it doesnt have to be instantanous, yet i think our disagreement is more substantial than that.

It is entirely possible to fully accept oneself but yet strive to change oneself.
is it possiblt to fully accept one's feelings and strive to change them through an act of will?

I hope you are fucking happy, I was suspossed to go to bed two fucking hours ago!  You so owe me, man, I think you better just agree with me now and get it over with. 
:lol:
i'm spending WAY too much time with this.  i feel like i'm fighting a hydra.

Seriously, though, man, thank you for the oppurtunity to focus on the concept that I hold and also the manner in which I express it. I look forward to reading your response, but do not look forward to further arguing about it.
yeah... same here... yet i think i'll be drawn back like moth to flame...


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5063736 - 12/14/05 08:23 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

OK, so you don't think that repression is necessarily bad for us.  Gotcha.  You don't believe that non-attachment, or changing addictions into preferences, or re-programming irrational beliefs, are possible.  (Though repression is.)

Fine.

My final word on this: try it.

Ken Keyes, Jr. "Handbook to Higher Consciousness."
Albert Ellis "Guide to Rational Living."

Conduct your own experiment.  Wholeheartedly apply the techniques, and see whether they have a positive effect on your experience of daily events.

They have changed my life, they seem to have changed FWG's life, and (judging by the millions of copies sold) have been used by many other individuals and therapists.

The proof is in the pudding.  :wink:


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5063848 - 12/14/05 08:41 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

OK, so you don't think that repression is necessarily bad for us. Gotcha. You don't believe that non-attachment, or changing addictions into preferences, or re-programming irrational beliefs, are possible. (Though repression is.)
all i'm arguing is an issue of fact.

*
i've tried a similar philosophy before, but i just couldn't come to grips with the fact that, no matter how i talked to myself, i felt certain ways, if i was honest with myself about it.

also, no matter what, i was not constantly happy.

also i would draw erroneous conclusions from my self-deceptive self-talk, in such a way that i often made poor decisions, that i would not have made had i listened to my feelings a little better.

it's not fair to say that i haven't tried these things. i used to be a big believer in this philosophy for the longest time.

i haven't read the ellis. i think there's a lot of good insights in the keyes book. still, he seems to go too far (IMO) when he says that upleveling necessarily creates happiness, for example. at most, i think uplevelling gives a person a way to manage their emotions, and doesn't create an emotion on its own.

also i believe sadness is fruitful as well as happiness, which seems to conflict the philosophy of the book. i am all about the sort of love he describes, but i wish that it would include an acceptance of one's feelings as well.

(judging by the millions of copies sold) have been used by many other individuals and therapists.

The proof is in the pudding.

this could also be explained by the human penchant for self-deception.

They have changed my life, they seem to have changed FWG's life
i think there are other things than non-attachment that could account for the majority of the positive effects i've seen dscribed, such as choosing whther to act on feelings, and integration of feelings, being two.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5064515 - 12/14/05 10:59 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

crunchytoast,

In reading your most recent reply to me, I get a sense for the futility of our argument. Concepts have become jumbled and semantic issues have begun to appear. I suggest that we start over from the very beginning. I will lay out everything I believe on the matter, making no bones about where it comes from: Buddhist teachings. I'm certain that if you're able to consider what's contained herein outside the context of "Buddhist teachings" and apply the reasoning to the conditions of your life, we will find at least some common ground. Already in our debate I feel there is more common ground between us than we yet realize.

If there is anything in my next most recent post which you feel you'd like me to elaborate on, I'm happy to do so. For now, let's try to keep things clear and understandable. I will make a concerted effort not to contend against you, and I hope you will keep up the same practise. Without contention, we will be able understand each other much better.

I'm going to present this in traditional form for the sake of clarity and the sake of my practise. This includes homage, the actual message, and dedication. You can take from these what you wish.



Homage to the venerable spiritual guide.


On Desire and Suffering

This has three parts:

1. No Object Outside Ourself Has the Intrinsic Capacity to Produce Feelings
2. What is Needed For Objects to Generate Feelings Within Living Beings
3. How This Understanding Opens the Door to Freedom From Suffering




No Object Outside Ourself Has the Intrinsic Capacity to Produce Feelings:

If objects outside ourself possessed within them the intrinsic capacity to deliver feelings to living beings, then all living beings who experienced certain external conditions would experience the same happiness. It's easy to see that this is not so: some people enjoy chocolate, others cannot stand it. Some people enjoy chocolate, and then develop distaste for it later on. Some people, believing that chocolate has the actual potential to produce happiness, eat so much chocolate that in fact it becomes the cause of their suffering. How can something possess both the intrinsic cause of happiness and the intrinsic cause of suffering at the same time? How can something which possesses the intrinsic cause of happiness produce happiness in one person and suffering another?

Some people suffer at the sight of spiders. Others keep spiders as pets, and this makes them very happy. Knowing this, we can say that spiders do not have the actual power to produce happiness or suffering in living beings.

In general, if someone were to knock on our door and give us a bowl of precious jewels worth millions of dollars, we would feel as though this bowl, and this person, was the carrier of our good feelings. We would tell others the story of the amazing thing that happened to us. However, if we were to deliver the same bowl of precious jewels to a dog, and present it to him in an elaborate ceremony, he would be uninterested, or perhaps even frightened. On the other hand, if we were to casually toss him a dirty bone, he would be very thankful to us; he would conceive of the bone and the person who tossed it as the arbiter of his happiness, and would almost certainly develop strong attachment to both. If we were to casually toss a dusty bone as an offering at the feet of a human being, it's likely that he or she will feel insulted.

Because they do not affect all living beings the same way, external conditions do not possess intrinsic capacity to generate feelings within living beings. Neither suffering nor happiness arrive within our mind from the outside. Both of these conditions arise and cease only within the mind.




What is Needed For Objects to Generate Feelings Within Living Beings

This has two parts:

a. The Three Factors Sustaining Feeling
b. How They Function Together

The Three Factors Sustaining Feeling

There are three factors which function to generate feelings within living beings. The first is the object, which in any case has no intrinsic capacity to deliver either happiness or suffering. The second is a mental factor called inappropriate attention: this is the mental factor which imputes inherent characteristics on to objects or circumstances which in reality possess none. The third factor is a mental factor called grasping, or desire. This is the mental factor which, after the first and second factors have already assembled, grasps at phenomenon and attempts to make them permanent. It's this third factor which is the actual condition sustaining feeling.


How They Function Together

We'll take suffering as our first example.

Suffering occurs when the mind is involved in a certain kind of relationship with external circumstances. If we have a wish, and after developing that wish external circumstances assemble themselves in such a way that our wish goes unfulfilled, and we suffer as consequence, then we can say that our mind, in relationship with external circumstances, has produced a result: suffering.

By the same token, temporary happiness occurs when the mind is involved in a certain kind of relationship with external circumstances. If we have a wish, and after developing that wish external circumstances assemble themselves in such a way that our wish is fulfilled, and we feel happy as consequence, we can say that our mind, in relationship with external circumstances, has produced a temporary result: happiness. This happiness is temporary because it is definite that external conditions will change, and though our wish was once satisfied, it will eventually go unfulfilled and give rise to the experience of suffering.




How This Understanding Opens the Door to Freedom From Suffering


Once again, all feelings, including suffering, arise in dependence upon the convergeance of three factors: the object, the imputation of characteristics upon an object, and desire, the attempt to solidify phenomenon as permanent.

At present, we are engaged in a great and ongoing effort to arrange the first factor, our external circumstances, in ways which, once related to second and third factors, both of which occur within our mind, produce happiness. We try to avoid suffering by reducing the likelihood that external conditions will encounter our mind in ways that produce suffering. But this is a futile effort, because it is not possible for any living being to assume absolute control over their external circumstances. Even if they worked like slaves for a thousand aeons, external circumstances would still be unpredictable and unmanagable to them.

Even though we might spend our entire life trying and repeatedly failing to find happiness and freedom from suffering, we rarely discover the futility of our efforts. This is because we do not properly understand how the relationship between our mind and external conditions functions to produce what we feel, and as a result we continuously mistake external objects and conditions as being the actual cause of our good and bad feelings.

There is one condition that living beings do have control over, and that's the mind. A living being can work for a comparably short time to arrange their mind in such a way that, once related to the simple reality of external conditions, will function to produce in them only happiness an increased wisdom, and never suffering or increased ignorance. All that is needed is a clear understanding of how the mental factor of inappropriate attenton and the mental factor of desire leave us in a place of essential discordance with reality. Because this practise actually leads us to a more realistic way of dealing with reality, it is not a repressive practise. In fact it is the opposite. It is a practise which free us from the bondage of being unable to fulfil our wishes, and having to endure the heartache of watching everything we cherish decay and disappear.

There is one mental factor which, once involved in a relationship with external conditions, always functions to produce suffering. That mental factor is desire. When we bring desire to our relationship with reality, we shall have to experience the dissatisfaction of our desires going unfulfilled. And when they are fulfilled, we shall have to experience the anxiety anticipating change, and invariably we will have to experience the disappointment of our circumstance's inevitable cessation. In this way any happiness afforded to us by our desirous mind contains within it the very seed of suffering. Recognizing how desire functions only to prepare us for suffering is called renunciation, it is the first step along the path to liberation. Recognizing that objects possess no inherent capacity to generate certain feelings is called wisdom. When this wisdom is conjoined with compassion, we experience the bliss of true and lasting happiness.

Before we can accomplish this, however, we have to understand the relationship between our mind and reality and how it functions to produce our experience. This is a very profound contemplation. Once we have perfected this knowledge, we can set about the actual journey which takes us away from suffering and into an experience of peace and contentment. When we have completed that journey, we can say that we have attained liberation. Following liberation it is a short step to complete and full enlightenment.



Through this virtue may all beings pass beyond sorrow.




--------------------


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Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


Edited by Ped (12/14/05 11:20 PM)


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5066455 - 12/15/05 12:06 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Ped, we are SO on the same page, literally and figuratively! :grin:

:thumbup:


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5066512 - 12/15/05 12:23 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

such long postings here
does it mean the people are coming together with their ideas?
as a bumper sticker kind of guy, all I can say has to be less than a page eg.
the roots of pain are said to be hatred, greed and delusion. (you can jam desire into greed) i.e. bad karmic roots.
this means that the pain (from injury or just from existence) is more intense when the mind is guilty, and less intense when the mind is free of guilt.
injury itself is not so easy to predict or attribute. so be careful.

{suffering as an extension of pain is due to entanglement or attachment which is like unto desire,
as a chord or arpegio is to a single note}


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5066526 - 12/15/05 12:27 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Interesting post, as usual.  :thumbup:

I have a theory that guilt not only intensifies pain (through the creation of suffering in the mind), but also attracts "punishment" in an attempt to atone for perceived sins.


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